بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
Statement from Brother Younes Abdullah Muhammad before Sentencing
Assalamulaikum wa rahmatu Allahi wa barakatuh:
All praise be to Allah the Lord of all in existence. May the peace and salutations of Allah be upon Muhammad, seal of Messengers. I wanted to make a short statement to accompany my scheduled sentencing on June 22; 2012 in’sha’Allah. I hope and pray that you all may kindly consider me and my family in your du’aa over the next few days. As for my condition, then despite facing 15 years in prison and remaining in solitary, I am at peace and cannot count the innumerable blessings bestowed daily by Allah. Sometimes we take for granted the amazing gift that is our Islam, a religion that can expand prison walls to depths spanning the universe and that can transform the suffering that accompanies incarceration into a liberating solitude, on itikaaf with the most Merciful who tries us not with burdens we cannot bear. Indeed it is as Allah’s Messenger (saws) said:
عَجَبًا لأَمْرِ المؤمنِ إِنَّ أمْرَه كُلَّهُ لهُ خَيرٌ ليسَ ذلكَ لأَحَدٍ إلا للمُؤْمنِ إِنْ أصَابتهُ سَرَّاءُ شَكَرَ فكانتْ خَيرًا لهُ وإنْ أصَابتهُ ضَرَّاءُ صَبرَ فكانتْ خَيرًا لهُ
“How amazing is the matter of the believer? There is good in every affair of his and this is not the case with anyone except the believer. If any prosperity befalls him, he gives thanks, thus there is good in it for him. And if any misfortune befalls him and he endured patiently, there is good in it for him.”
I do not know if I will have much ability to communicate with you all after I am sentenced and so I want to tell all of you that supported me over the years that I love you for the sake of Allah and I ask any of you that I offended to forgive me. I wouldn’t trade the world and everything in it for the heart in my chest that beats with a passion for those oppressed and with love for our beautiful religion. True catastrophe can only befall the one that rejects Allah’s remembrance. As the great scholar Ibn Qayyim explained, “What good is there in a person who witnesses the sanctities of Allah being violated, His hudood left unapplied, His religion abandoned, the sunnah shunned and yet remains silent-still with a cold heart and silent tongue- a deaf, dumb shaytan.” Therefore, I hope that the trials befalling me not deter others from fulfilling the divine obligation to enjoin good and forbid evil. As Allah ta’ala says,
إِنَّمَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا بِاللَّهِ وَرَسُولِهِ ثُمَّ لَمْ يَرْتَابُوا وَجَاهَدُوا بِأَمْوَالِهِمْ وَأَنفُسِهِمْ فِي سَبِيلِ اللَّهِ أُوْلَئِكَ هُمُ الصَّادِقُونَ
“Only those are the believers who have believed in Allah and His Messenger and have never since doubted but have striven with their self and wealth in the cause of Allah. Such are the sincere.” (49:15)
Certainly, understanding that trials will befall those who carry this heavy religion is the key to comprehending why scholars like Ibn Qayyim consider the Battle of Uhud, typically classified as a defeat, a victory for all the lessons learned as a consequence. May Allah allow us to pass our tests and learn from our experiences as well.
Additionally, I want to emphasize that the deen of Islam is applicable to all times, places and circumstances and therefore adhering to it, protecting it and working to establish it will not contradict the welfare of the ummah in any time, in any place or under any circumstance. It is unfortunate that we live in an age when people try to bend the religion to suit the specific needs that accompany weakness, but while that does not excuse those excessively moderating Allah’s religion, it also doesn’t excuse those exceeding the limits of Allah, arguing that ends justify means, and equating jihad to the deliberate targeting of civilians. In retrospect I must admit, I should have stood up louder to oppose those voices that encouraged random, indiscriminate acts of terrorism. Allah’s Messenger (saws) warned those entering the religion with zeal that its powerful message could overtake them. Today we must readily admit that the limitations of violence as the primary means of change are extremely visible.
I really don’t have much to say about the specific allegations brought against me. The Statement of Facts associated with my case, while a very one-sided and decontextualized view, is a fairly accurate account of my actions. My reaction is perhaps best conveyed in the story of that noble companion Khubaib (RAA) who was captured, incarcerated and eventually martyred by the Quraish but who before facing crucifixion was asked by the enemy of Allah, Abu Jahl, whether he wished that Muhammad (saws) were in his place and that he were home with his family. Khubaib’s only reply was that even if a thorn would prick Muhammad’s toe he preferred to sacrifice his life and never see his family.
I continue to hold it unfortunate that this spirit has gone but as I explained in a document, “Seeking Clarification” after my arrest I never agreed with the provocative and narrow-minded internet post that started the South Park controversy. There is a major difference between intelligently explaining how popular culture can contribute to the passive acceptance of war and atrocity and barbaric incitement that only aids efforts to destroy the legacy of the Prophet Muhammad (saws). Indeed even the Pharoah of the ummah, Abu Jahl, could say nothing to belittle his character and when act without sophistication that image is reflected upon him (saws).
These subtle distinctions usually go unnoticed but it is these differences that separate those Allah has guided to the path and those He has placed upon it. We must all seek balance and improvement as we live in times of Islamic revival. Rather than extinguish the light of Allah, the Islamic identity is on the ascendant, demand for political Islam in the Muslim world is apparent and the spread of the religion to all of the world’s societies presents us with an unique opportunity to convey the religion of truth wherever we are. Today we sit on the threshold of sovereignty, in a state Shaykh Safar Hawali described in his beneficial works on Tawheed al Haqqimiyya,
“We the youth of Islam were able to dismantle the circle of subservience to the West, reject its deceiving civilization, know its conspiracies. But so far we do not know the reality of who we are… I am surprised that the vanguards of the Islamic call think that the religion of Ahlus Sunnah wal-Jamaah is about theoretical propositions relating to the unknown world rather than about a call for reform and change.”
The Prophet (saws) said, “He who is not concerned with the affairs of the Muslims is not one of us,” and I hope that it is possible to share my interpretation of events and contribute a bit to these existing times even though I am in prison.
Finally, over the next year I will be moved around a lot and I ask those of you that can afford to do so donate generously to my wife and children. My wife UmmAbdulhaqq can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org. As soon as I am in a permanent facility, she will be able to move beside me, work and gain self-sufficiency but until then the burden that she bears will be difficult and hope the ummah will help her. I will also release my address when I arrive at a destination and hope some of you may keep me abreast, and send me literature and words of encouragement. Many of you have already helped so much and for that I remain grateful.
As I have stated numerous times, the ummah is my family and despite the reality that we witness much hatred and betrayal inside our own community, it is truly an honor each and every day to experience life as a Muslim. I only encourage you to be good to each other, especially those closest. You never know when Allah may send a trial that takes you away from the ones you love. Therefore, I also remind you all to show concern for those facing the afflictions of he dunya; be merciful to others so that Allah may be merciful to you. May he guide us all to His siratul mustaqeem. Wake Up Ya Muslimeen!
Your Brother in Deen,
Younes Abdullah Muhammad