Everyone is talking about "Revolution" today, but what does that mean, and what should it look like?
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
What is revolution? Many groups throughout recent generations have spoken of "revolution," but few if any have given any meaningful, empirically quantifiable definition to the term. Yet periodically, a new organization crops up claiming to be "revolutionary," more often than not just a nostalgic reconfiguration of groups of old.
Year after year, decade after decade, generation after generation this occurs, with each of said group coming and going with the changing tides of human awareness. Each claims an agenda of "revolution," and "liberation," yet time after time things continue to stay the same…
The Taliy`ah, the Vanguard, this "Pioneering" Movement, is not a movement of empty promises nor hollow rhetoric. We are not making promises from "our" agenda. All we promise is to Allah; our niyyah and commitment to work towards Al-Waaqia, the Inevitable, ultimate goal.
We are not claiming man-made time tables for change to occur. Rather, we emerged saying what the prophets and a'immah have said so long ago; that if change is to come then it will come by us being "firm" in our "commitment." We are told by the Ahl al-Bayt that when our Imam disappears then we are expect relief from beneath our own feet. We are told that if the Shi`ah were firm in their commitment to the A'immah then the Rise of Al-Qa'im would not be delayed.
In light of this, it was indeed not without reason that Muhammad said - as recorded in Bihaaru-l-Anwaar - that the Ummah would AT BEST last 1,000 years (one day), and at worst 500 years (half a day).
That our great `Ulemaa' of old have collected such ahadith should make us constantly aware that our Ummah today is not like the Ummah of Muhammad's time, and that over the course of 500 to 1,000 it degenerated into a dead Ummah; just as the Qur'an tells us about EVERY Ummah.
It is with this understanding that we must look back to the original teachings of the Ma'soomoon and seek to follow what they said without settling for the norms of a dead Ummah; which refuses to enjoin to the right and forbid to the evil except when they perceive no other options. In this generation such acts themselves are the pinnacle of "revolution," the pinnacle of bringing about change from beneath our own feet.
There are many organizations out there who will make the zealot feel very good about themselves. They will gather together to discuss grandiose ideas of "community action" and "revolution" as they have chosen to define it. They will make you feel very empowered with their nostalgic iconography of movements which came on the scene with big talk of action, but left the scene after a few good photo opts partaking in "community action." And yet, these "actions" are certainly no more "revolutionary" than the actions of your average Christian church in the West today, who consistently feed, clothe and build homes for the poor. Why has such become "revolutionary" in the context of the Islamic "Ummah?" Clearly it is because, as Muhammad said, the Ummah is dead. "Revolution" in the context of the Ummah is that which takes the necessary steps to resuscitate, revive and resurrect this corpse of the Ummah.
For year after year the rhetoric of hypothetical change is regurgitated then reformulated by way of a slightly modified recipe for more talk of change that never manifests. Such groups will make you "feel" a sense of initial empowerment but their result is only the empowerment of their leaders who amass a virtually cult like, unquestioning following from their mubaa'i`oon. Day to day "action" thus gradually degrades from moderate level community involvement (in the best case scenario), to inter-personal group political dynamics in a sociological microcosm of mainstream social status seeking.
Thus, the group is neutered by their own hands; the status quo is maintained, and the time table for "change" is perpetually pushed further into the hypothetical future context. For we see from the words of the A'immah that change can come whenever we are firm in our commitment. For Imam Ja`far as-Sadiq claimed that it was Divine Will for him to be "Al-Qa'im," the one who will Rise, and yet those who claimed to be his Shi`ah destroyed all hope of this and caused "Badaa'" or change in the manifestation of Divine Will within the dimension of Dunyaa (Time-Space).
Still, the big talk and rhetoric remains, while quantifiable action is kept on the sidelines. Big talk remains at the forefront of such group propaganda: "Fuck the police," or "Death to America," or "Death to Israel" jump starts the hypothetical revolution and keeps just enough current flowing through the circuit of the group dynamic. Revolution is not a lyric sheet of a song, nor a rhetorical protest chant.
This is why the true oppressors need not fear such bantering, nor such groups. They are kept within certain boundaries by infiltration when rarely necessary. However, more often than not their ego-centered sandy foundation ensures that all the oppressor must do is sit back and wait for such movements to self destruct.
Thus, it is written that Zhang Yu said in the "Art of War" that "When a strategy of the generals is thoroughgoing, opponents cannot see into it, so the country is strong. If there is even a slight gap, then opponents can take aggressive advantage of this, so the country is weak."
The Qur'an speaks of the nature of such schisms and division by way of taking "aggressive advantage" of such "gaps" by saying: "Ironically, they broke up into sects only after the knowledge had come to them, due to jealousy and resentment among themselves. If it were not for a predetermined decision from your Lord to respite them for a definite interim, they would have been judged immediately. Indeed, the later generations who inherited the scripture are full of doubts." Al-Qur'an, Surah 42:14
And the generations pass, while much is discussed of "revolution" while no change ever comes…
The Prostitution of Revolution
The limited exception to this is when potential and actual members of a purportedly "revolutionary" organization are manipulated by means of exploiting tragedy and oppression (this is particularly exploitable if there are examples of oppression which have been carried out on said organization), to recruit new members and to brainwash actual members into carryout out actions which the leadership themselves simply do not partake in.
Of this, the A'immah said there are three types of people who seek knowledge:
With an isnad (chain of transmission), reaching up to Muhammad ibn Ya'qubu-l-Kulayniy from `Ali ibn Ibrahim, who reports in a marfu' (without mentioning intermediary authorities) hadith from Abu `Abdullaah that he said: "The seekers of `Ilm are of three kinds, so recognize them by their specific qualities and characteristics. One kind of them seeks it for the sake of jahl (ignorance) and dispute. Another kind seeks it for the sake of domination and deceit. Yet another kind seeks it for the sake of understanding and `aql (reason)."
That is, the first type seeks Knowledge for the sake of verifying their preconceived notions. This is their "Jahl" position which they seek to fortify for the sake of disputing over their cultural indoctrination, and fortifying the position of whatever "group think" they have been immersed in (either by family, culture, or indoctrination). Such a person has already made up their minds as to what they will accept and what they will not. When they read the Book of Allah, they have a point to prove already formulated within their mind. Ayat which do not lend themselves to their position are glossed over or otherwise purposefully misinterpreted, based upon ignorance of history or scriptural context.
These are those who deny the signs of Allah when they do not conform to their understanding; an act which the Qur'an equates with kufr; as it is said in Surat al-Ghafir, Ayah 4: "None dispute in the Ayat (signs) of Allah except those who disbelieve."
This can be seen in the parable of a youth who was skilled in martial arts. For his age he was exceptional even. He came to a renowned Shifu, asking to be accepted as his student. He told the Shifu of how he was the greatest martial artist he had yet encountered in the region, how he just needed to train with the old man to become the greatest in the world.
The Shifu asked the youth to sit and have tea with him before they discussed the matter further. The young man sat as the Shifu began to pour the tea until it was overflowing the brim of the cup. The old man continued to pour and pour as the hot tea flooded.
"What are you doing? The cup is full! You can't keep pouring tea into a full cup!" The young man exclaimed as he excitedly jumped to his feet.
The old man replied, "Then do not come to me with a full cup asking to have it filled."
For one cannot bestow knowledge upon a person who has preconceived their position. No matter the daleel from the Book of Allah, or from Ahadith, they will not accept new knowledge just as a full cup will not accept new tea. Thus, `Isasaid that while he had found a cure for ailments of the flesh in the plants of the Earth, he had not found a cure for the fool from his folly.
It has been reported that Abu `Abdullah said, "Verily, `Isa ibn Maryam said, 'I treated the sick then I healed them by the permission of Allah, and I cured those born blind and the lepers by the permission of Allah, and I treated the dead and revived them by the permission of Allah, and I treated the fool, but i could not correct him.' Then it was said, 'Ya Ruh Allah! What is a fool?" He said, 'He is one who is admirable in his own view to himself, he who considers all of merit to be for him and not against him, and who finds all rights to be for himself and does not find against himself any right. Such is the fool for whom there is no trick to cure him.'"
Bihar al-Anwar 14, 323
Of such, it is written in the Proverbs of Sulaiman (Proverbs 21:2) that: "Every way of a man is right in his own eyes: but the LORD ponders the hearts."
And, in 12:13 of the same text: "The way of a fool is right in his own eyes: but he that listens to counsel is wise."
Thus, the wise man is open to new instruction and guidance, and is not fixed in preconceived notions. When proof is given to him he accepts it, and when he is reasoned with, he is not staunch and pig-headed. He is open to introspection, self-examination and critique. He does not seek to hide his flaws, but rather seeks to purge them from himself.
The Imam continued on describing this type of seeker saying that he is: "The one who seeks it for ignorance and dispute's sake is injurious and quarrelsome. He contests opinions in the gatherings of men, speaking of knowledge and describing forbearance. He puts on the garb of humility, though he is devoid of piety. As a result Allah crushes his nose and severs his waist."
This type of person is the embodiment of riya`, false piety. They will act with the utmost "adab" (manners), but will use adab as a mere mask of their inward spitefulness. `Isa spoke of such individuals when he said that "they come to you in sheep's covering, but inside they are ravenous wolves."
Interesting in this comment is that a sheep's clothing is "wool." The term often used for a "mystic" or "`arif" in Islam is "Sufi" which etymologically derives from the term for wool (soof). So he is saying that not only are these people who act with false piety, but they are also those who dress the part, emulating the dress of the humble who are free from attachment to the Dunya.
Of the next type we read of those who seek knowledge for the sake of manipulating others. Sometimes this is manipulation for the benefit of themselves, and sometimes it is manipulation for what the seeker tells themselves are more altruistic reasons. In this way, they tell themselves, that the "end justifies the means."
The manipulative seeker uses knowledge acquired in a manner that motivates others to do things that they themselves do not do. We see this all to often with the leadership of terrorist organizations who will exploit knowledge to manipulate young and impressionable youths in a manner similar to that of Hasan ibn Sabbah and his cult of "Assassins," who would die at their "Shaykh's," command. The Imam described this type of seeker as: "The one who seeks knowledge for domination and deception is an imposter and a sycophant. He is domineering with those who are his likes but is humble in front of the rich, whose sweetmeats he ingests while he demolishes his own faith. As a result Allah blinds his vision and wipes out his traces from the legacy of the learned."
That is, such a person will pay little attention to one who is like himself, one who is of no benefit to him (as he himself is neither a benefit to others nor to himself). Conversely, the rich, popular and powerful are given his full attention. Once such a person realizes that a person is of use to him then he will put everything on hold and focus his attention on gaining that person's favor.
To those who are like him, he seeks to set himself up over them as their leader without merit manifesting through his works. While such a person may gain notoriety in his short lived life-span, his words will not be quoted by the true seekers of knowledge when he is gone. Such a person is called here an "imposter," a "dajjal."
The Imam continued on about the one who is pure in his seeking of knowledge: "As to him who seeks knowledge for the sake of understanding and `aql, he is grief-stricken and awake at nights. Having tied his cap with the loose end of his turban, he stands up in the dark of nights. He acts and is in trepidation. A caller overawed, engaged in his work, and acquainted with the people of his times, he is apprehensive of his most trusted brother. As a result of it Allah strengthens his supports and grants him amnesty on the Day of Resurrection."
`Usul Al-Kafi, "Kitaab Fadu-l-`Ilm," "Baabu-l-Nawadir," hadith 5.
Thus we see fulfillment and verification of the statement of Al-Masih regarding those who come to your in sheep's clothing. For he continued on in the Injil saying of these false teachers in our mist that "By the fruits you will recognize those men."
That is, we know them by their works, by their deeds or lack thereof. We do not see in the dajajilah the actions of the Mu'min. For the actions of a Mu'min are difficult in nature of discipline; as the Qur'an tells us "in difficulty there is ease." Their actions are real and their lives are hard. Thus, of `Isa it was said in ahadith that in times of difficulty he was happy and in times of ease he was sad.
We do not see them standing for Salah in the darkness of nights. We do not see them acquainted with the people. We do not see them on the streets interacting with real people for no reason other than for the sake of them. Instead, you see these dajajilah interacting with those who profit them in some way. Other than that they do not spend their time associating with "those who are his likes," unless there is some gain in it for them. Thus, as `Isa said, "You know a tree by its fruits."
The Solution of Revolution
So what is revolution? Many who get involved in purportedly revolutionary struggles spend years finding out first hand what revolution is NOT. Unfortunately, once they realize what revolution is not, they become disillusioned and walk away from all hopes of achieving true revolution which manifests change on a quantifiable level.
Revolution can thusly be defined by its implemental and tangible solutions. These are not to be theoretical solutions based on rhetorical manifestos, speeches and the like. There is no "change" in those things; and revolution, if nothing else, is change. When a wheel revolves around a hub is there change? Did the wheel remain static or did it "revolve?" Clearly if there is no change then there is no revolution, and any person, group or entity otherwise defined as "revolutionary" is defined as such based solely on empty rhetoric if they are not actively CHANGING the situation around them and in the world at large.
Revolution is not big talk, hype and rhetoric. Revolution is answers and solutions. If someone asks a rhetorical question, they are by definition not looking for an answer. If you say something to someone, and they reply "What are you, stupid?" They are not actually asking you a question to which and answer is desired or expected.
So too is this the case with so-called "revolutionary" rhetoric. Such rhetoric prostitutes the plight of the oppressed for the sake of self-promotions and propagandizing. This is the methodology of those leaders who themselves are often bourgeoisie or otherwise less-directly effected by the oppression they are promoting their agendas by. Such people have no business as self-appointed spokesmen for the oppressed.
True revolution must embrace solutions which the community themselves embrace. For a woman can be abused but she will not leave her abusive spouse if you go and beat him up and take her away from him. Instead she will consider YOU to be her oppressor and she will return to her abusive spouse to reconcile. She will be abused time and time again, but as long as she believes that her abuser cares about her, and that she "can't do any better" than him, then she will continue to return to the cycle of abuse time and time again. Such is the case with the purported revolutionary who seeks to do for the oppressed what they think might be best for them, without popular support.
This is precisely why the A'immah stressed patience, Saboor, as the act of revolutionizing the Consciousnees of the oppressed – waking them up to the fact that they are oppressed, that they are manipulated and enslaved, that they can "do better" – is an act far more "revolutionary" in and of itself than simply lashing out at a singular manifestation of the oppression. The latter may make "you" FEEL more empowerment. It may make "you" feel satisfied, but this is manifestation of "self"ish motivation, microcosmically mirroring the satisfaction one would feel if they lashed out and punched everyone who offended them. Such "empowerment" is left-hand path oriented and will bring no true and lasting change; only temporary illusion of empowerment to the "self." This is not revolution.
By and large, the oppressed clearly do not want to be oppressed, but they also rarely seek the rhetorical "solutions" that so many so-called "revolutionary" groups offer them. In the so-called "Third World," such "solutions" usually manifest in the form of military coups, dictatorships or other self-motivated agendas, which exploit the poor and oppressed for the gain of the leader and promulgator of said agendas. In the so-called "First World," they manifest in the form of groups which talk and plan, but never change the situation of the oppressed for the better. Ask yourself this: when was Malcolm X assassinated? Was it during the years of spouting rhetoric for Nation of Islam? Or was it when he embraced Universal Brotherhood, and sought (and offered) REAL, tangible solutions to the world's problems? The answer is not coincidental my brothers and sisters.
For TRUE revolution brings true solutions; solutions for the people, not for the propagandizers. True revolution is build upon the foundation of popular support. No true revolution will be achieved through means that the people reject. Such "liberation" is nothing more than oppression masquerading under the guise of altruistic pretense.
Revolution does not apply "quick fixes" to problems; for quick fixes rarely heal the underlying root cause of a problem. If a man has a gaping, festering wound that keeps getting infected, is the solution to put a band-aid on this, or should the underlying injury and the causes of infection be treated? To heal the underlying problem is to be of whole body, to be complete.
Ho Yanxi said in the Art of War, that: "Complete means having both ability and intelligence. When a country has generals that are thoroughly able and intelligent then that country is safe and strong. This means that generals have to be completely capable and completely knowledgeable in all operations. Generals in the field must already be acquainted with all the sciences of warfare before they can command their own soldiers and assess battle formations."
Such "completeness" is described by Imam al-Baqir when he said: "Our Shi`ah are like a threshing floor having some grains. The grains are afflicted with worms. They are purified and then are afflicted with worms until very little remains that will never be harmed by the worms. So are the Shi`ah. They are clarified and purified until a very few of them remain, who will never be affected by seditions."
Bihar al-Anwar, vol 52 p116, Al-Ghaybah Nu'mani, p.228
His son, Imam as-Sadiq described this further with expounding upon the story of the Biblical "Gideon" (Judges 7:5-7) known in the Qur'an as "Taloot," and drawing the analogy of these 300 troops to the army of the Imam who will Rise.
"The companions of Talut have been tried by the river. Allah has said 'Allah will try you by a river' [2:249] The companions of Al-Qa'im also will be tried like that."
Al-Ghaybah by at-Tusi p.472, Ithbat al-Hudat, vol.3 p.516, Bihar al-Anwar, vol.52 p.332, Mu'jam Ahadith Al-Imam al-Mahdi, vol.5 p.48
This is the nature of what those who desire to be true Mu'minun, true Shi`ah must strive to embody. For many claim to be "Shi`ah" of the Ahl al-Bayt today, but how few live up or even attempt to live up to the standards which the A'immah set for their "Shi`ah" (which they said are the true Mu'minun)? As the infamous hadith attributed to the 12th Imam records, "If our Shi`ah were firm on their commitment to us, then our meeting would not be delayed."
The strength of a truly revolutionary force lies in flexibility and dynamic growth as a movement. Most groups are founded upon the rhetoric, and in many cases cult of personalities, of their founders' vainglorious desires for bay`ah (unquestioning allegiance). Rarely does a group emerge which abolishes rhetoric, seeks guidance from a common spiritual (barzakhi) leader (Imam), and otherwise reject all forms of bay`ah and hierarchical centralization.
Thus, "rank" within such a group context is based upon tangible action, upon what the Chinese call "Kung Fu," that being "Effort" and "time." Without effort and time, there is no advancement in such a dynamic movement, however with it, seniority is granted by nature of respect growing in the eyes of the people. This is the Islamic approach to seniority and rank, as the Qur'an tells us in Surat al-Baqarah, Aayah 148 to strive with each other in performing acts of righteousness. There is no notion of there being harm in such striving, through the perfected intention is to strive hard in the commission of righteous acts for the sake of the righteousness of the acts itself.
Instead, the successful revolutionary movement, a movement concerned with true and lasting change (manifest on a tangible, quantifiable level, rather than on the basis of hypothetically successful rhetoric), will ebb and flow with the changing tides and climates. They will bend yet never break like the White Willow tree blowing in the wind. They will seek knowledge for the sake of knowledge itself, deflecting error when it seeks to infect their ideology (`aqeedah), and forthrightly admitting error when reason (`aql) demonstrates faultiness in former understandings. Thus, even the great Imam Ja`far as-Sadiq said "My friend is one who points out my faults."
If even one of the Ahl al-Bayt, whom the Qur'an said was "purified" with a thorough "purification" can admit fault, the true revolutionary should welcome introspection, self critique and constructive criticism from others. This is the nature of a dynamic understanding and approach; and revolution is nothing if not dynamic. Thus, Imam Ja`far as-Sadiq also said "Not three people pass me by but I can learn something from at least one of them."
In this way we must learn to be the student of ALL. We must seek to learn even from the difficulties and iniquity in the world. There must be nothing that is devoid of a lesson, whether intended by the actor or not. `Isasaid "If you want to be great in God's Kingdom, learn to be the servant of ALL."
In demonstrating this, he himself even knelt down at the feet of his students, removed their sandals, and washed their dirty feet; covered with the dust of travel. This "communion" expressed the symbiotic relationship between them, and between ALL. Thus, `Isa said "I and the Father are one," but he also said to his disciples "You and I are one." This is the nature of Wahdat al-Wujud, the Unity of Existence.
It is this dynamic realization that one must be in tune with if they are to learn from all, and if they are to serve all. For this is the essence of Unity. Sunzi has said in the "Art of War" that: "When you are concentrated into one while the opponent is divided into ten, you are attacking at a concentration of ten to one, so you outnumber the opponent."
This is how the oppressors oppress. It is how the Native Americans divisions were exploited to turn them against each other when they were robbed of their land. This is how the Nation of Islam's own ranks were used to assassinate Malcolm X. Conversely, this is how the dynamic revolution must be reverse engineered and fortified.
Sunzi has said in the "Art of War" that victory is achieved in such a way that you:"Induce them to adopt specific formations in order to know the ground of death and life."
In such a way the battlefield is known; two sides are pitted against each other and the one with more skill, power and tact gains victory. However, the superior tact is the way of fighting by not fighting. For the A'immah have said quite clearly that whosoever undertakes an uprising before the rise of the Imam al-Qa'im, they are doomed to destruction. Again, for TRUE and LASTING Revolution to come, the Consciousness of the masses must be revolutionized.
The Conclusion of Revolution
If those seeking change are destroyed then by what means does change come? Who does self-destruction benefit save those megalomaniacs seeking to exploit their foot soldiers for sake of punctuating a political statement? Would not the zeal of the youth deemed so expendable by such imposters and sycophants be put to better use if properly educated and refined into a true mystic warrior? Is not a blade sharper once honed rather than when it has come fresh out of the mold?
To sharpen and polish the Consciousness of the masses, the Qur'an says: "Teach: for teaching benefits the Mu'minun (Believers)." Surah 51.55
Similarly, we read that Muhammad said: "Seeking knowledge for one hour is better than praying for seventy years."
And more relevant, that "The ink of `Ulemaa' (those who acquire knowledge), is holier than the blood of Shuhada (Martyrs)."
The nature of seeking Knowledge, of TRULY seeking knowledge is such that, as `Isasaid: "Seek and you shall find;" for once we TRULY seek, we will find the Knowledge sought. Once we find it we are to Submit to it. We are not truly seeking truth if when we find it we reject it. The nature of true seeking is to Submit to the truth no matter how difficult such Submission might be in terms of self control. For one who does not do this is like the one who seeks knowledge for the sake of ignorance, one who seeks knowledge to justify their preconceived notions, and cultural bias or indoctrination of "Group Think," without critical examination and daleel. For the Qur'an says in Surat al-Baqarah, Aayah 111: "Bring proof if you are truthful."
This bias of is transcended by true Taqwah, as we read "...And fear Allah, and Allah shall teach you..." Al-Qur'an, Surah 2.282
Thus, true knowledge is not taught in a classroom, but by way of Taqwah, by way of fearing Allah and Allah reciprocating this with instruction. Thus we read in hadith that: "`Ilm (knowledge), is not extensive learning. Rather it is a light that Allah casts in the heart of whomever Hu wills."
Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 1, 225
It is in this way that Allah teaches, and directly guides the true Mu'min. This guidance precludes a dynamic and evolving understanding and approach to the world around us. Thus, when Allah adds to our `Ilm, to our Knowledge and Science, when Allah further guides us, then we must be open to new understandings, new ways of approaching and looking at things.
To be dynamic in understanding and in manifestation is to achieve martial completion. Thus, for a true Revolution, for true CHANGE to manifest, the true Revolutionary must understand, implement and embody "martial completion." Sunzi has said in the "Art of War" that: "Therefore when you induce others to construct a formation while you yourself are formless, then you are concentrated while the opponent is divided."
Sunzi further said that: "Even if opponents are numerous, they can be made not to fight."
How are they made not to fight? They are made not to fight by the will of the masses; for the masses naturally want to be free once they know that they are enslaved. But when they do not recognize oppression for what it is, how can they manifest their will for liberation? Rhetorical talk will not wake them up to this, neither will it stay the hand of the oppressor.
We read in Ahadith that Imam al-Hasan said, "The wise man does not argue or seek to overcome with stratagem rather he propagates his wisdom. If it is accepted he praises Allah and if it is rejected he praises Allah."
Reported by Abu Nu`aim ibn Hammaad in his Zawaa'id `alaz-Zuhd libnil Mubaarak (no. 30) and Ibn Battah in Ibanatul-Kubra (no. 611).
This is what the great Sufi Shaykh Bawa Muhaiyadeen called the state of "Al-hamdulillaah," that is, giving praise to Allah no matter what; seeking only the will and pleasure of Allah in all things.
Thus, we see that Imam al-Hasan put up with the illegitimate dictatorship of Mu`awiyyah, and did not seek to overthrow him from his illegitimate power base even though Mu`awiyyah deserved to be overthrown. Instead, a treaty was signed, and the Imam dealt with him the way that the Qur'an tells us to deal with kuffar, by saying"To you be your deen and to me be my deen."
Thus, so long as we have the ability to speak, we "propagate wisdom" in order to revolutionize consciousness. When we do this, then surely the corrupt will manifest physical oppression against and then we are permitted the inherent right of self-defense. If we are truly propagating revolution and effecting change then the oppressors will bring the war to us. If the war is not coming to us or if it is being brought to us because of seeking to mirror the violence of the oppressor, then this is self-destruction, not revolution.
For, it was only when there was no ability to speak out, no ability to protest, no ability to practice one's deen did Imamu-l-Hasan's brother Imam al-Husayn manifest the inward jihad externally against Yazid, the son of Mu`awiyyah. Thus, of this state of patience, of Saboor, we read the words of `Isaas taught by the A'immah themselves:
"Verily, I threw this world on its face for you and you sat on its back. Then none contend with you but kings and women. As for kings, do not contend with them for this world, then they will not bother you when you abandon their world. As for women, then beware of them by fasting and praying."
Majlisi, Bihar al-Anwar, vol. 14, 327
By TRULY enjoining to righteous actions and speaking out against iniquity, we are LIVING REVOLUTION. By doing these things, paying no concern to who is offended by this, by pulling no punches and attacking injustice equally, across the board, around the globe, at home and abroad, we will and we are amassing enough enemies amongst the iniquitous from all facets of the Party of Satan, the Hizbu-sh-Shaytan; whether in the West or in the East.
If we are TRULY enjoining to righteous actions and speaking out against iniquity, if we are bring REAL, quantifiable solutions, and not just pseudo-revolutionary rhetoric, then the corrupt elements within the governments of the world, the corrupt elements within police departments, the corrupt elements of secret societies, organizations and the like, will bring the battle to us. We will not have to choose how and when we will manifest our inward jihad externally. For by definition externalization of jihad should be done as a last resort, when no other option is available.
Thus, the Qur'an tells us that amidst all of the oppression, rape and murder of the Muslim Ummah in Muhammad's time, the externalization of jihad had to be "proscribed" by way of Divine Revelation. The Qur'an says: "Fighting is proscribed to you, though you may detest it."
Thus, it was understood from the beginning that the Muslimun came in Peace, in Salaam. They did not come in War, in Harb. This was not their desire, and neither is it our desire. Our desire is change, revolution. Change must come. Those who understand this must not sit idly by as oppression spreads throughout the world like a cancer, as innocent people are raped and murdered in the Sudan, as nations are colonized for their natural resources or land itself, as oppressive regimes such as those of Sa'oodiyyah and Syria are basically given a free pass by the dead Ummah today to oppress their citizenry.
Yes, there are many chanting "Death to America" and "Death to Israel" but how few chanted "Death to Saddam?" How many chant death to the Ba'athist regime in Syria? How many chant "Death to the imposter 'royal' family of Sa`udiyyah?"
Yes brothers and sisters, we come speaking of peace and justice, but there are those criminals who will violate moral law and the law of ever civilized nation by attempting to silence us by any means they can. By living righteously we cause the corrupt elements of the world powers to bring the war to us.
The disciples complained to `Isa ibn Maryam about the disrespect of the people for them and their hating them. He said, "Be patient. Likewise the Mu'minun are hated among the people. The example of them is like the example of wheat. How sweet is its taste and how numerous are its enemies."
Majmu'a Warram, 2, 114
We do not need to form meetings, write periodicals or the like to try to find ways for both the corrupt and non-corrupt facets of society to attack us. When we meet it is to fortify and mutually benefit our-Self, symbiotically and as a whole Jam`ah. It is not to seek means to hasten that which cannot be hastened one single day before the Shi`ah are firm in their commitment.
For in truth, our battle is not against the whole of any such institution, it is against the corrupt elements within it. Our battle is not against the military, but against the oppressive and inappropriate use of the military by corrupt elements within the government. Our battle is not against the police, but against corrupt police, dirty cops who receive pay offs from those who destroy society, those who violate the law in the line of "duty," such as the police in the Rampart district, such as the police who shoot unarmed, non-aggressing, innocent people.
These are things which are not the rights of such individuals to do. We oppose them on both moral and legal grounds, and are well within our rights to do so. So if those corrupt elements, sensing the threat of our words, of our disseminating the SOLUTION to the problem (which they are an integral part of), bring the war to us, then we are within our rights to defend ourselves.
This is the fighting that Allah has proscribed to us, and though such a proscription by be "detested" like bitter herbs bringing healing to the body, so too does this proscription of self-defense bring healing, bring rectification, bring solution to the world. This is the REAL revolution. This is the REAL solution.