In Observance Of The Anniversary Of The Birth Of The Last Prophet, Muhammad (Peace And Prayers Be Upon Him), The Brother Leader Leads Presidents And Muslims From Various Parts Of The World In Prayer In The City Of Kampala
We celebrate this day because Muhammad is a prophet for the whole of humanity. He is the last of God’s prophets. Islam is the faith in the eyes of God. All the prophets who preceded Muhammad were Muslims. All those who believe in God and His messengers are Muslims. Muhammad was the last to bring the message of Islam.
God wished for humanity to profess a single faith namely; Islam. Unlike all the prophets before him, Muhammad was sent to all humanity. His predecessors were sent to their own tribes or peoples only. God says “Truly, the religion with Allah is Islam. (3-19)” and He also says “And whoever seeks a religion other than Islam, it will never be accepted of him, and in the Hereafter he will be one of the losers. (3-85)”.
The Koran that is in our hands today is the only book revealed by God. We believe in the Old and New Testaments, but the Bible as we know it is not the one revealed by God to Moses and Jesus. Proof of that is that Muhammad, the Last and the Seal of the Prophets, is mentioned in the original Bible. The Bible available today contains no mention of Muhammad. This means it has been tampered with. Moses (Peace be Upon Him) said that he would be followed by a prophet called Muhammad. Jesus said to the Children of Israel that he brought glad tidings of a prophet named Ahmed. A Testament that contains no mention of Muhammad is a forgery.
Jesus is mentioned in the Koran 25 times. We cannot delete a single one of them. Moses is mentioned in the Koran 138 times. We cannot delete a single one of them. Mary is mentioned 39 times in the Koran. They are mentioned with deep reverence and respect. We cannot be real Muslims if we do not believe in Jesus and Moses who are mentioned in the Koran. Clearly, the Koran is the only Book from which no word was deleted. We must search for the real Torah revealed by God to Moses and the real Gospel revealed by God to Jesus. Where are they now? Sadly, it would seem that the original Bible has been obliterated. What we have now is man-made. Some parts of it have been deliberately suppressed.
By the Solar (Gregorian) Calendar, Muhammad was born on the 13th of April 571 AD. He lived for about 63 years, that is to say he died in the year 634 AD. Nowadays, our calendar starts with the birth of Christ. Why? Because the birth of Jesus (PBUH) was a divine miracle. The Koran relates that miracle in detail. Jesus was the word of God. He was born without a father. This was a divine miracle. He spoke to people while still a babe in the cradle. He resurrected the dead, cured the invalid, and made a clay bird and breathed in it giving it life by the grace of God. When he asked God to give him and his disciples food from heaven, it was done. We have the right to start our calendar with this miracle that happened 2007 years ago.
However, there is another event that the world is entitled to use as the beginning of its calendar. That event is the death of Muhammad (PBUH) because Muhammad is the last of the prophets. The death of the prophet was a momentous event. With Muhammad’s death, contact between Heaven and earth came to a stop. Revelation ended completely after Muhammad. There will be no prophet after him until the Day of the Judgment. Heaven fell silent after his death and no further revelations were made. Muhammad is the last prophet and the Koran is the last Heavenly-revealed Book. Then, clearly the world is entitled to consider that day a landmark in its calendar.
By the Lunar Calendar, Muhammad was born on the 12th of Rabie Al Awwal. He died on the same date 63 years later. It is an extraordinary date in the history of humanity. He was born, as I said earlier, in the year 570 or 571 AD. With a simple calculation, we know that he died in the year 634 AD.
Those who do not use the birth of Jesus and the death of Muhammad, the Last of the Prophets, as landmark dated in their calendar, are bigots and enemies of God’s Prophets. Why does the world not use the death of the last prophet as the beginning of its calendar. This, in our opinion, means that the world is bigoted. It is ruled by hatred. It is racist.
Why do we use the birth of Jesus as the beginning of our calendar? The reason is that it was an extraordinary day. It was the day one of God’s prophets was born without a father. Moses had his miracles. He had a miraculous staff. When he put his hand under his cloak, it came out white without a blemish. In this regard, there is an important matter I wish to raise. There are books whose authors attribute so-called miracles to Muhammad (PBUH). The reason is that they see that Jesus worked miracles and so did Moses. They say how come Muhammad does not have any?
This is God’s will. We believe in Muhammad without miracles. Those who fabricate miracles and attribute them to Muhammad do not believe in him. They are of feeble faith. All those sheikhs and imams who claim that Muhammad worked miracles are unbelievers. It is enough for Muhammad that the Koran was revealed to him. He does not need any other miracles. Those who need further miracles to believe in the Koran, have no faith in the Holy Book. Suffice it that Muhammad is the Last Prophet, a distinction no other prophet has. In the Koran, Muhammad is the only prophet to have God and His angels bless him and salute him. “Allah and His angels send blessings on the Prophet: O ye that believe! Send ye blessings on him, and salute him with all respect” (33-56). You say: “God, bless Muhammad like You blessed Abraham”. This is wrong. God did not send his blessing on Abraham. You can only say “Abraham Peace be Upon Him”. Muhammad alone was the prophet on whom blessings and prayers were sent by God and His angels.
I hope that end will be put to those fabrications attributed to Muhammad (PBUH) such as the claim that a gazelle spoke to him, that the stones addressed him, that water flowed from his hand, that he fed a thousand people from a single dish or that the moon split in half for him. Where is it said in the recorded history of the 6th and the 7th centuries AD that God had split the moon in half? Those who make such claims are no followers of Muhammad. Such fabrications are the work of people of feeble faith. Those fabricated miracles are proof of the lack of faith of those people. Attributing them to Muhammad only undermines the faith of other believers.
They make a false claim that water flowed from Muhammad’s hands only because Moses struck the rock with his staff and water flowed from it. It Prophet Muhammad himself who told us that Moses and Jesus worked miracles. Why was he not jealous and ask why he did not have the same privilege? The reason is he knew as a prophet that miracles were God’s domain and His will. Muhammad did not hide that Moses had a miraculous staff that transformed into a serpent that devoured all the serpents of the desert. He did not hide that Moses parted the sea and made water flow from a rock. Why did he not hide those miracles? Simply because Gabriel told him that in the revelation and it was written in the Koran.
The Koran mentions Jesus 25 times. It was Muhammad who told us that Jesus resurrected the dead and healed the invalid by the grace of God. God told him that and Muhammad cannot alter it. Why is it that Muhammad felt no jealousy? Why did he not ask why was Jesus given those miracles and I was not? Because he knew that miracles were God’s domain. Muhammad believed completely in the miracles of Moses and Jesus. He conveyed them to us as they were revealed to him by Gabriel. He incorporated them in the Koran. I hope that an end will be put to those fabrications. Muhammad is the last prophet. This is a distinction beyond all distinctions.
It is Muhammad alone among all prophets who had the peace and the blessings of God and His angels bestowed upon him. God took Muhammad on a nocturnal journey from the Holy Mosque in Mecca to the Al-Aqsa Mosque. This was a veritable miracle. (Indeed he did see, of the Greatest Signs, of his Lord (53-18). These were the miracles, and the wondrous events mentioned in the Koran and confirmed by Muhammad. They are more than enough. To attribute to Muhammad things he did not do, is an act of unbelief. The charlatans are cramming the Internet with such fabrications that do nothing but confuse people.
Muhammad, whose birthday we celebrate today, is the Last of the Prophets. He is the prophet sent to the whole of humanity. Those in Scandinavia, who are attacking Muhammad, attack a prophet sent to them. Those who slander Muhammad are sick and ignorant. They are racists and bigots. They are enemies of humanity, of God, of Jesus and of Moses. Moses and Jesus believe in Muhammad. Muhammad believes in them too. Does Scandinavia believe in Jesus? Certainly not. If they attack Muhammad, then they are unbelievers who disrespect one of God’s Prophets. God will repay them for such attitude. They believe that Muhammad is the prophet of the Arabs! Muhammad is a prophet for all humanity, Arabs and non-Arabs alike. He is a prophet sent to Scandinavia too, whether they like it or not. God has stated clearly that Muhammad’s faith shall prevail even though the Mushrikun (polytheists, pagans, idolaters, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah) hate (it).(9-33).
God refers to a prophet for all mankind whose name is mentioned in the Old Testament and the New Testament. However, there is no mention of him in the Bible available to day. Then it is a forgery. It is not the authentic one. (And (remember) when ‘Iesa (Jesus), son of Maryam (Mary), said: “O Children of Israel! I am the Messenger of Allah unto you confirming the Taurat [(Torah) which came] before me, and giving glad tidings of a Messenger to come after me, whose name shall be Ahmad. (61-6).
In our last meeting in Timbuktu to celebrate the Prophet’s birthday, we addressed the question of the pilgrimage. The pilgrimage existed before Muhammad. It has existed since the time of Abraham and Ismail. The Kaa’ba predates Abraham and Ismail. It has existed so that people can go on pilgrimage to it. It is not only the people who believe in Muhammad who are supposed to go there, but all people should. Pilgrimage has been a duty of all people even before Muhammad was sent. In the Koran, God says (Pilgrimage thereto is a duty men owe to Allah,- those who can afford the journey; (3-97). He says (men) not Arabs or Muslims. It is the duty of all people whether they be from America, Europe, Asia or Africa to go on pilgrimage, because the Kaa’ba is the first house of worship created by God on this Earth. “The first House (of worship) appointed for men was that at Bakka (3-96)”. God says (appointed for men”, he did not say “appointed for Arabs or Muslims”. This is the House of God on Earth. It belongs to all people. It is the duty of all people to visit the Kaa’ba, walk between the hills of Safa and Marwa, and stand in prayer on Mount Arafat. Who was it that decreed that these rites are exclusive to a certain group of people?
Whoever claims that the pilgrimage is for Muhammad’s followers alone? The House was appointed for all men. This is God’s House. It does not belong to anybody in particular. Who has the right to prevent people from circumambulating the Holy Shrine? God says: “Verily! Those who disbelieve and hinder (men) from the Path of Allah, and from Al-Masjid-al-Haram (at Makkah) which We have made (open) to (all) men, (22-25)”. In His own words, God says that the House is appointed for all men, and all men have an equal right to go to it on pilgrimage. God says that it is those who disbelieve who hinder people from visiting the mosque which He has made open to all men. What gives the Arabs the right to monopolize the House of God? All people have the right to circumambulate the Shrine. What is the origin of the prohibition of all other than Muhammad’s followers to come to the Shrine? There is only one verse in the Koran that deals with this matter. It is a completely unambiguous verse “O ye who believe! Truly the Pagans are unclean; so let them not, after this year of theirs, approach the Sacred Mosque. (9-28)”.
It is only the unclean pagans who are prohibited to come to the mosque. Who are they? What would happen if the Pope expresses a wish to circumambulate the Kaa’ba? If we go by the current rules, he would be told that it is not allowed. He would ask why, what is the convincing reason for this prohibition? If we go though the whole Koran, all we would find is the verse that says (Truly the Pagans are unclean). The Pope would simply answer that he is neither pagan nor unclean and that he therefore has a right to visit the Kaa’ba. He would say:” this is the House of God that was appointed for all mankind and not for Arabs alone. I believe in God. I am neither a pagan nor unclean”. Would you be able to tell the Pope that he is unclean? Similarly, if the US president wished to circumambulate the Kaa’ba, what would he be told? Under the current rules, this is prohibited. Again, if he asks about the reason for the prohibition, what would we say to him? Who would be able to say to the US president that he is an unclean pagan? Let anyone who claims to have the courage go and tell the US president that he is an unclean pagan who has no right to come to the mosque. I assure you however that no one would be able to do that. Therefore, the US president could come and circumambulate the Kaa’ba whether they like it or not. Can the person in charge of the Pilgrimage Affairs tell the US president that he is unclean? Of course not. If he says that he believes in God, who can tell him that he is a pagan?
The rules in effect now are problematic and they run counter to the Koran. Only unclean pagans are not allowed to come near the Holy Mosque. All other people have a right to do so. In the clear words of the Koran, anyone who attempts to prevent them from doing so is an unbeliever. “Verily! Those who disbelieve and hinder (men) from the Path of Allah, and from Al-Masjid-al-Haram (at Makkah) which We have made (open) to (all) men, (22-25)”. Those who deny people access to the Holy Mosque are unbelievers. God says that “Pilgrimage thereto is a duty men owe to Allah,- those who can afford the journey; (3-97)”. He did not say that it is a duty Arabs owe to Allah. He said all people. All those who can, have a right to go to the Holy Mosque. In the words of God: “Remember We made the House a place of assembly for men and a place of safety; (2-125)” a safe haven for all people to meet. He also says: “And take you (people) the Maqam (place) of Ibrahim (Abraham)] as a place of prayer (2-125)”. God is constantly talking about people, all people and not about any specific group of them. He also says “We commanded Ibrahim (Abraham) and Isma’il (Ishmael) that they should purify My House for those who are circumambulating it, or staying or bowing or prostrating themselves (there, in prayer). (2-125)”. The words are very clear. God commanded Ibrahim and Ismail to build and purify the House so that people could come to it on pilgrimage. This was long before Muhammad. God said unto Ibrahim: “And proclaim to mankind the Hajj (pilgrimage). They will come to you on foot and on every lean camel, they will come from every deep and distant (wide) mountain highway (to perform Hajj). (22-27)”. He also said to him: “Verily, the first House (of worship) appointed for mankind was that at Bakkah (Makkah), full of blessing, and guidance for all beings (3-96)”. Once again, the words are very clear. God refers to all people and all beings.
On this great day, let me turn to another subject of great importance. Among us here are Muslims for all parts of the world. I know that a large number of the are persecuted and suffer from discrimination. Some even go so far as to consider them apostates. We have different sects and sub-sects; Sunni and Shia. Who can deny that Shia are persecuted? Many sub-sects of the Shia are unfairly discriminated against and considered as unbelievers. So are many other Islamic sects. The theological explanations are no concern of mine. What concerns me is the political status of those sects.
The Shia are second and third class citizens in Arab countries. Political disenfranchisement is the result of their religious faith. They lost their right to be first class citizens. What is their crime except professing the Shia views of venerating the members of the family of the Prophet and believing that Ali was the most entitled to succeed him?
Many Shia sub-sects are persecuted, scattered all over the world and accused of heresy. This is the case with the Baharis, the Baha’is, the Nizaris, the Druze, the Nusseiris, the Zeidis, the Qadyanis and many other Shia sects. The religious and theological differences are no concern of mine. What concerns me is the political persecution and discrimination that have resulted from those religious differences.
Because of their faith or sect, a Shia, a Baha’i, a Druze, a Zeidi or a Bahari cannot be the head of their state or hold a position of influence in their country. The same applies to the Sharifs, the descendants of the family of the Prophet, who are persecuted because of their links to the Shia.
What we are talking about is not a religious question. It is a political one. It is a violation of human rights. We are all human before being adherents of a certain faith or members of a certain sect. We are citizens of our countries irrespective of sect or creed. Therefore, we must all be politically equal. Who has the right to exclude one, ostracize another or pass judgment on a certain group? A country belongs to all its citizens.
This country, Uganda, provides refuge to large numbers of persecuted Baharis and Ismailis. Why did they have to flee India and come to Uganda? This is political persecution.
In the final analysis, religious faith should be a matter between a person and God. Politically, we are all equal.
I stand side by side with the oppressed and the persecuted members of those sects who are scattered all over the world. They live in fear and trepidation because of their beliefs. They must be left alone. Their beliefs are a personal matter between them and God. Nobody has the right to deny them their political rights as citizens because of religious reasons.
As a result of the persecution suffered by those oppressed communities, it was necessary to call for the re-establishment of the Fatimid State. It can protect those oppressed groups. The New Fatimid State might be established in North Africa and the Middle East. It could become a very powerful state. Then, those who persecute those communities will bitterly regret their misguided actions. All those meek, persecuted groups; Baha’is, Ismailis, Zeidis, Baharis, Shia and Druze may one day have their own states. This is not a matter of old historical or philosophical debate. This is an actual political situation that has a bearing on our life today.
May we always celebrate this great day until God’s true faith prevails, until all are aware that Muhammad is a prophet for all mankind and that the religion with Allah is Islam. (3-19).
Peace, God’s Mercy and His Blessings be upon You.