7. Tribes and Families in Early Madina


بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم وصلى الله على سيدنا محمد وعلى ءاله وصحبه أجمعين وسلّم


Title: Tribes and Families in Early Madina

Author: Idris Mears

Publication date: 19th October 2013


Assalamu alaykum. Welcome to the Muslim History Programme of the Muslim Faculty of Advanced Studies. This is the seventh of 12 sessions which make up the Early Madina module. The lecture will last approximately 40 minutes during which time you should make a written note of any questions that may occur to you for clarification after the lecture.

Tribes and Families in Early Madina

In the tradition of the Muslims in their gatherings of knowledge since the establishment of the Muslim community and its nomos (a term I will return to) fourteen hundred and thirty four years ago with the Prophet’s hijrah to al-Madinah al-Munawwarah, the illuminated City, I begin this presentation by praising Allah! “He is powerful and mighty. In His hand, He holds royal authority and kingship…He created us from the earth as living, breathing creatures. He made us to settle on it as races and nations. From it, He provided sustenance and provisions for us. The wombs of our mothers and houses are our abode. Sustenance and food keep us alive. Time wears us out. Our lives’ final terms, the dates of which have been fixed for us in the book (of destiny), claim us. But He lasts and persists. He is the Living One who does not die. Prayer and blessings be upon our Lord and Master, Muhammad, the Arab prophet, whom Torah and Gospel have mentioned and described. (Prayer and blessings) also upon his family and the men around him who by being his companions and followers gained wide influence and fame and who by supporting him found unity while their enemies were weakened through dispersion. Pray, O Allah, for him and them, for as long as Islam shall continue to enjoy its good fortune and the frayed rope of unbelief shall remain cut! Give manifold blessings (to him and them)! And I call on Allah to pray on Muhammad, His ‘abd, His worshipping slave, and His final messenger to mankind and to include in that prayer his, his family, and his sahabah, his companions.”

These are not my own words. They are from the opening du’a of Ibn Khaldun’s masterwork, the Muqaddimah and I am drawing focus on this customary, but too often formulaic, courtesy because it expresses the balancing for humankind as loci of knowledge and understanding of what the Sufis refer to as haqiqah, the ultimate Reality, and shari’ah, the way that that Reality manifests itself - what is also referred to in Qur’anic terminology as the Sunnah of Allah in His Creation. 

The initiating work of genius exploring this matter of haqiqah and shari’ah as a tool of analysis in enframing the deen of Islam as a programme of social reform and action is Shaykh Dr Abdalqadir as-Sufi’s ‘Jihad – A Groundplan’. It was his first book after he had completed his suluk, his sufic training, and been initiated as a teaching Sufi shaykh. It is significant in approaching his work as an inheritor of the sufic transmission that this book, whilst imbued with the freshness of his own personal ma’rifah, existential realization of the haqiqah, the oneness of God, clearly indicates the primacy for the Muslims of restoring the shari’ah in its complete sense and analyses how the falling away from the full implementation of the deen of Islam occurred, particularly highlighting the impact of modernity as an historical imperative stemming from the collapse of traditional Christian Europe and the rise of the present world order. His subsequent work and writing has continued to develop these themes, becoming more precise in his political and historical critique, the culmination of which is ‘The Time of the Bedouin’, his contemporary application of Ibn Khaldun’s methodology that we will be later looking at in detail, and he has continued to add significant aspects to his programme, particularly the restoration of zakat and the implementation of gold and silver currency. However, to my eyes, his most significant book may well be one that could be seen to be almost an anomaly and because of its slight size almost overlooked. That book is ‘The Muslim Prince’. This presentation, through exploring Ibn Khaldun’s approach to families and tribes and the bonding processes of society, I hope will reveal why I think ‘The Muslim Prince’ is so crucial and how it relates to our present situation.

In analytical historical terms, we could posit this dual but unified haqiqah –shari’ah approach to knowledge as a dynamic tension between meta-history, ‘meaning’ history, and located history. I developed this theme in a previous discourse, where I identified the life history of the Prophet Muhammad, and therefore by implication the life histories of all the prophets in the core meaning narrative of mankind, what could be termed their sunnahs, as the ‘biting’ point where meta-history and located history intersect in a defining ur-,source, event. 

At this juncture, I would like to remind participants of the primary intention of this lecture series as outlined by Hajj Abdassamad Clarke in his exposition, Madina – A New Matrix: “To make the location within which, and the people among whom, the revelation happened clear in order to give us clarity about the revelation itself so that we understand the revelation within our own situation and how to act by it. He commented that in the light of Carl Schmitt’s observation that nihilism is the separation of order (nomos) and location, we can only understand the first Islamic nomos by understanding its location and its time, and that we can only implement our own Islamic order if we understand our location and our time.”

 

The Greek term Nomos, according to Wikipedia, refers to provisional codes (habits or customs) of social and political behaviour, socially constructed and historically (even geographically) specific.  It refers not only to explicit laws, but to all of the normal rules and forms people take for granted in their day to day activities. Nomos stands for order, valid and binding on those who fall under its jurisdiction; thus it is a social construct with ethical dimensions. It is a belief, opinion or point of view; it is a human invention.

The meta-historical understanding of what it means to be human and how the human narrative has unfolded in its prophetic manifestation gives context to this phrase, ‘a human invention’. 

The use of Greek philosophical concepts and terminology ties in with how Ibn Khaldun used the philosophical matrix that Ibn Rushd had refined and developed from Aristotelian material to make his analysis of society. As Ibn Khaldun noted: “The sciences of only one nation, the Greeks, have come down to us, because they were translated through al-Ma’mun’s efforts.” In his exposition, Ibn Khaldun always refers to the Messenger, Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, as the Lawgiver. We could define the Messenger as the forger of Nomos by his praxis. 

It is pertinent for participants to hold in mind that this synthesis of Greek thought was an integral ingredient of the traditional worldview in both the Islamic and European worlds that modernity has sought to supplant. What we are embarked on in this forum is the bringing of the traditional to life, its ihya’, as expressed by the titles of Al-Ghazali’s ‘Ihya’ ‘Ulumi’d-din’ and Shaykh Uthman Dan Fodio’s ‘Ihya’ as-Sunnah’. The core existential matter for mankind in this post-modern age is to reclaim the human project from the derailment of modernity and to put it back on a track that reclaims the essence of the traditional by bringing together meaning and event - sunnah as process not imitation.

Hajj Abdassamad expressed this in his introductory lecture as the intention to rescue Madina from the preconception of it as the passive setting within which the deen was revealed and to show its significance as the society trained by the Messenger of Allah under the Divine gaze both for its particular role in taking the deen forward and out of Arabia and for its status as a model or blueprint for an illuminated society whenever and wherever needed. 

The Qur’an as the source book of meta-history constantly juxtaposes a confrontation between the prophetic communities of Ibrahim, Musa and ‘Isa and the statist empires with their ruler cults of Nimrud, Firawn and Kaisar. Although it is pertinent to highlight that the prophet Ibrahim is referred to as an ummah, a community, in himself. 

Allah in His Wisdom did not place the event of the unfolding of His final revelation to mankind through His final messenger in the great civilisations of that era: the empires of the Byzantine, Persian, Indian or Chinese worlds with their state cults and rigid hierarchies of power elites and exploited and taxed underclasses. He placed it in the environment of Makkah and Madinah specifically, and more generally, in the Arabian Peninsula and Arabian society.

With the exception of the Kinda, a Yemeni tribe with a tradition of monarchy and the Ghassanids and Lakhmids whose territory bordered the Byzantine and Persian empires and who were drawn into their respective spheres of influence, the Arabs did not have a common national identity or method of governance. Their identity was purely tribal, based on blood-kinship, and the only other group conception outside of the tribe was a confederation of tribes, based on the taking of an oath, for a particular short-term purpose, such as fighting against another confederation, or someone becoming related to or a member of a tribe as a confederate (hâlif), a protected neighbour (jâr) or a client (mawla). 

The Arabs disliked the idea of kingship on principle. As for communal decisions, the Quraysh did have, since the time that Qusayy, the ancestor of the Prophet Muhammad, brought them together in Makka (a couple hundred years before the Prophet), the Dar an-Nadwa where leaders of his family met to discuss major issues of war and peace, disputes between other tribes and within the tribe, trade and markets, hajj, marriage and divorce. Opposition to communal decisions would result in a boycott or sanctions against those concerned. There was no ultimate authority other than the tribe. Although discussions were held, no clan had to abide by any decision that was made. 

There was not even a sense of the Arabs as an ethnic group. The word ‘Arabs’ (al-‘arab) is hardly found in pre-Islamic poetry. The word ‘Arabic’ is said to have first occurred in the Qur’an, where it is used to describe the Arabic language: ‘arabiyya. We do have the term, al-a‘rab, the nomadic Arabs, the Bedouin. This will be a key term in our ongoing exposition. 

 

In Suratu’l Hujurat, Allah says: “O Mankind! We have created you from a male and female, and made you into peoples, shu’uban, and tribes, qabaa’il, so that you might come to know each other. The noblest in Allah’s sight is the one with the most taqwa. Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware.” 

This ayat delineates the process of how society coheres together organically from the cellular level of the couple to the formation of organs and limbs. The Prophet, may Allah bless him and grant him peace said that his ummah, community, was like a single body. Ibn Khaldun, drawing on Aristotle, posits that man is defined by sociability, political-ness from the Greek root polis, the city and its hinterland, and that human social organization is something necessary by man’s primal nature, by his fitrah. He divides sociability between Bedouin, people of the hinterland and the wild places, and Sedentary, essentially meaning city dweller. Both Bedouins and Sedentary people are natural, fitri, groups.

Fitrah encompasses a range of meanings around the concept of nature and naturalness. The Prophet Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace, said in the well-known hadith in Sahih Al-Bukhari, “Every child is born on Fitrah, then his parents make him a Jew, a Christian, or a Magian just as the animal produces its baby with perfect limbs. Do you see any deficiency in its shape? “ Islam is the religion (deen) that keeps mankind in touch with this pure and unconditioned nature, and it is often referred to as Deen al-Fitrah. Allah says in Suratu’l Rum, “So set your face firmly towards the religion (the deen) as a pure natural believer (haneef), Allah’s natural pattern (fitrah) on which He made mankind.” 

We can view the deen of Islam as a seed, complete in its potential, which needs to be planted in soil, a growth culture, a millat. If the soil is the natural patterning of the fitrah, then the seed will produce a strong, resilient (one of the meanings of haneef) plant. If the seed for instance is cultivated in the dominant capitalist culture with its reduction of the human being to producer and consumer, it will produce a sickly plant that reflects the social and individual diseases of this culture and will not have the regenerative energy to address the pressing issues of our times. We witness the failure and intellectual and spiritual bankruptcy of such phenomena of modernity as ‘Islamic’ banking, the ‘Islamic’ state and ‘Islamic’ education. 

The exemplar of fitrah for modern man is Ibrahim, peace be upon him, the prophet referred to as the ‘Haneef’, who emerged in the cradle of civilization in Mesopotamia where man first began to live in cities in relation to an agrarian and pastoral hinterland and an outlying wilderness. Allah constantly refers in Qur’an to the pattern of social conditioning and its worldview (millat) of our forefather Ibrahim the Haneef as the appropriate one for mankind and it is notable that Allah does not associate the term millat with the prophet Muhammad, may Allah bless him and grant him peace. Examining the life of Ibrahim, peace be upon him, we can see that he lived in dynamic interaction between the settled and wild places and that he exemplifies the mutual re-invigoration of this relationship.

The fitrah of Ibrahim in which the city, the polis, is a new but natural environment with its ecological functions of market, administrative centre and ritual gathering place rests on the previous fitrah of the ancients, the Adamic fitrah, which subsists in the pattern of life of the people of the wild places. It is interesting to note from a meta-historical overview that the ritual worship aspect of the city existed in the ancient pattern and that Makka which was established as a place of worship and pilgrimage by Adam is indeed the most ancient city, Al Atiq, the Umm al Qura.

The balance between the city as the centre of order and governance but which tends to stasis, stagnation and corruption and the regenerative influx of fresh energy from the edges was posited by Ibn Khaldun as the core mechanism of social regeneration and dynamism. Ibn Khaldun noticed that the incomers from the wild places had nobleness of character and group loyalty (‘asabiyya) that gave them the energy and focus to take leadership and reinvigorate the centre and restore just governance. 

We can explore this dynamism between the two modes of sociability and relate them to the Qur’anic terminology of qaba’il and shu’ub and Ibn Khaldun’s differentiation between Bedouin and Sedentary, by looking at the work of the German sociologist Ferdinand Tonnies. He, like Ibn Khaldun, made a bipartite division of societies, delineating social modes he characterized as gemeinschaft and gesellschaft. 

“Individuals in Gemeinschaft, often described as community, are regulated by common mores, and beliefs that people use about the appropriate behaviour and responsibility of members of the association, to each other and to the association at large; their ties are characterized by a moderate division of labour, strong personal relationships, strong families, and relatively simple social institutions. In such societies there is seldom a need to enforce indirect social control, due to a direct sense of loyalty an individual feels for gemeinschaft. Tönnies saw the family as the most perfect expression of gemeinschaft; however, he expected that gemeinschaft could be based on shared place and shared belief as well as kinship, and he included globally dispersed religious communities as possible examples of gemeinschaft.” (Wikipedia)

In summary, we could characterise gemeinschaft as a society that coheres together by ‘asabiyya, group loyalty, what Ibn khaldun designates as Bedouin. We could also use the Qur’anic terminology qaba’il, but please do not take me as a mufassir, a Qur’anic interpreter.

“In contrast, gesellschaft, often characterised as civil society, describes all of the associations in which, for the one person and a larger group never takes precedence over the individual’s self-interest, and these associations lack the same level of shared mores. Gesellschaft is maintained through individuals acting in their own self-interest. A modern business is a good example of gesellschaft: the workers, managers, and owners may have very little in terms of shared orientations or beliefs, they may not care deeply for the product they are making, but it is in all their self-interest to come to work to make money, and thus the business continues.” (Wikipedia) 

In summary, gesellschaft could be characterised as a society that coheres through people being citizens of a polity, in Khaldun’s terminology, Sedentary, or in Qur’anic terminology, shu’uban, and again I admit my lack of credentials as a mufassir,

The Islamic polity, the Madinah of the Prophet and his companions, however cannot be described as either of these models. Rather it exists in a barzakh, an interspace or overlap, between the two. On the one hand, it is a gemeinschaft in which ‘asabiyya has been purified by ukhuwwa, brotherhood, and suhbah, keeping company, and extended beyond the tribe. On the other hand, it is a civil society which maintains this purified ‘asabiyya as a mutual binding force. I remind the audience again of the ayat in Suratu’l Hujurat, where Allah says: “O Mankind! We have created you from a male and female, and made you into peoples, shu’uban, and tribes, qabaa’il, so that you might come to know each other – li yata’rrafu – have mutual recognition and affirmation of one another”. When the asabiyah of the Bedouin social mode is not purified, society devolves into savagery. When civil society has no channels of asabiyah to irrigate it, it devolves into statism or even more drastically into anarchy that is the same as savagery. A spectrum of possibilities exists between these extremes. 

From a historical overview, the coming into being of Madinah exists in a moment of transition from the one mode of sociability to the other and the catalyst of movement is the presence and leadership of the Prophet Muhammad. In this way the phenomenon of this transitional primal Islam and its re-occurring manifestations can be seen to be like a seed that is planted. The plant grows and flourishes for its appointed time and then it withers and dies although its dead form may subsist for a while. Its seeds however are blown by the wind and some find fertile soil. In a complementary organic picture, it has been noted by Richard Bulliett in his ‘View from the Edge’ how the energising creative impulse of the advance of the muslim ummah on its periphery revitalises the centre, but as Ibn Khaldun notes every dynasty or locus of power has a limit to its power of expansion, although the da’wa, the call to the deen and its transformational quality, which Ibn Khaldun uses as a technical term, increases its potential. 

In this context, he analyses the situation of the Arabs at the beginning of Islam: “Since they were a very large group, they very quickly overran neighbouring Syria, ‘Iraq, and Egypt. Then, they kept on going, into Western India (as-Sind), Abyssinia, Ifrigiyah, and the Maghrib, and later into Spain. They spread over many provinces and border regions, and settled in them as militiamen. Their numbers were exhausted by that expansion. No further conquests could be made by them, and the Muslim empire reached its farthest extension. Those borders were not passed, but the dynasty receded from them, until God permitted it to be destroyed. The situation of later dynasties was the same. Each dynasty depended on the numerical strength of its supporters. When its numbers were exhausted through expansion, no further conquest or extension of power was possible. This is how God proceeds with His creatures. The greatness of a dynasty, the extent of its territory, and the length of its duration depend upon the numerical strength of its supporters. The reason for this is that royal authority exists only through group feeling. Representatives of group feeling are the militiamen who settle in the provinces and territories of the dynasty and are spread over them. The more numerous the tribes and groups of a large dynasty are, the stronger and larger are its provinces and lands. Their royal authority, therefore, is wider. An example of this was the Muslim dynasty when God united the power of the Arabs in Islam. The number of Muslims who participated in the raid against Tabuk, the Prophet’s last raid, was 110,000, (consisting of) Mudar (ed North Arabian) and Qahtan (ed South Arabian) horsemen and foot soldiers. That number was augmented by those who became Muslims after the (raid) and down to the time of the Prophet’s death. When (all these people) then set out to seek for themselves the royal authority held by (other) nations, there was no protection against them or refuge. They were allowed (to take possession of) the realms of the Persians and the Byzantines who were the greatest dynasties in the world at that time, (as well as the realms) of the Turks in the East, of the European Christians and Berbers in the West (Maghrib), and of the Goths in Spain. They went from the Hijaz to as-Sus in the far west, and from the Yemen to the Turks in the farthest north.”

This perspective is pertinent to the discussion, brilliantly analysed by Ibn Khaldun, about whether caliphate as the polity of the Muslim ummah is necessarily unitary by nature or whether there can be co-existing Islamic realms. Looked at from this organic perspective set out by Ibn Khaldun, the caliphate as a one world state model of the Hizb al Tahrir and their ilk is firmly located in the systems technique of modernism.

It is pertinent at this point, in order to fully explore how this moment of transition, this moment of the creative flowering of the human condition, encapsulated by primal Madinah occurs, to make a synopsis of Ibn Khaldun’s theory of society, pointing out that he outlines a general theory for society and places the phenomenon of the advent of Islam within this general theory. 

 Ibn Khaldun says that Allah inspired him to a science whose truth he rigorously set forth. Speaking of the state of historical enquiry at his time he said: “The critical eye is not sharp. Occupation with the (scholarly) disciplines on the part of those who have no right is widespread. The reporter merely dictates and passes on (the material). The later historians are all tradition-bound and dull of nature and intelligence in spite of trying not to be dull. They merely copy the (older historians) and follow their example.” I think his words encompass the Muslims of our age as well as his.

Ibn Khaldun, as previously mentioned, posits that human social organization is something necessary by man’s primal nature, by his fitrah. He divides sociability between Bedouin and Sedentary. Both Bedouins and sedentary people are natural, fitri, groups.

Bedouins adopt the natural manner of making a living, namely, agriculture and animal husbandry. They restrict themselves to the necessary in food, clothing, and mode of dwelling. Bare necessities are prior to the conveniences and luxuries. The toughness of desert life precedes the softness of sedentary life. Urbanization is the goal of the Bedouin. The desert is the basis and reservoir of civilization and cities. 

Bedouins are closer to being good than sedentary people because sedentary people are much concerned with pleasures therefore their souls are colored with blameworthy and evil qualities. Bedouins may be as concerned with worldly affairs but their concern only touches necessities and not luxuries. They are closer to the first natural state and can more easily be cured than sedentary people.

Bedouins are more disposed to courage than sedentary people who have become used to laziness and ease. The sedentary entrust defense of their property and their lives to the ruler, and to the militia and the fortifications that protect them. They are carefree and trusting and have ceased to carry weapons. They have become like women and children, who depend upon the master of the house. 

The Bedouins live alone in the country, remote from militias. They provide their own defense and do not rely upon others. They always carry weapons. Fortitude has become a character quality of theirs, and courage their nature. 

Not everyone is master of his own affairs. Chiefs and leaders who are masters of the affairs of men are few in comparison with the rest. If the domination is kind and just, and the people are not oppressed by laws and restrictions, they are guided by the courage or cowardice that they possess in themselves. They are satisfied with the absence of any restraining power. Self-reliance becomes a quality natural to them. If, however, the domination with its laws is one of brute force and intimidation, it breaks their fortitude and deprives them of their power of resistance as a result of the inertness that develops in the souls of the oppressed. When laws are (enforced) by means of punishment, they completely destroy fortitude, because the use of punishment against someone who cannot defend himself generates a feeling of humiliation that breaks fortitude. 

It is no argument against this that the men around Muhammad observed the religious laws, and yet did not experience any diminution of their fortitude, but possessed the greatest possible fortitude. When the Muslims got their religion from the Lawgiver, the restraining influence came from themselves, as a result of the encouragement and discouragement he gave them in the Qur’an. Governmental and educational laws destroy fortitude, because their restraining influence is something that comes from outside. The religious laws, on the other hand, do not destroy fortitude, because their restraining influence is something inherent. Therefore, governmental and educational laws influence sedentary people, weaken their souls and diminish their stamina, because they have to suffer (their authority) both as children and as adults. The Bedouins, on the other hand, live far away from the laws of government, instruction, and education. 

Mutual aggression of people in towns and cities is averted by the authorities and the government, which hold back the masses under their control from attacks and aggression upon each other. They are thus prevented by the influence of force and governmental authority from mutual injustice, save such injustice as comes from the ruler himself. The restraining influence among Bedouin tribes comes from their shaykhs and leaders. It results from the great respect and veneration they generally enjoy among the people. Their defense and protection are successful only if they have group feeling, asabiyya, which results from (blood) relationship or something corresponding to it.”

Asabiyya gives energizing power to the fortitude and courage of the Bedouins and if this energy is channeled by leadership, whether prophetic or in the normal case by what Ibn Khaldun designates as royal authority, the power of command (‘amr) acquired by force of character and credibility of lineage (and we must remember the lineage of the prophet in this context) then what Ibn Khaldun designates as ‘superiority’is achieved and the momentum of change is set in motion and the possibility of a new nomos emerges.

Shaykh Abdal Qadir as-Sufi’s outlines in The Time of the Bedouin how this process unfolds. 

Firstly, he proposes that the new nomos is founded on: “a liberating couple which finds the woman upholding her beloved spouse’s project for mankind and womankind”, echoing once again the ayat from Suratu’l Hujurat that has underpinned this whole presentation. “O Mankind! We have created you from a male and female, and made you into peoples, shu’uban, and tribes, qabaa’il, so that you might come to know each other. The noblest in Allah’s sight is the one with the most taqwa. Allah is All-Knowing, All-Aware.” 

It is a nomos that corresponds to Bedouinism, the First Stage of Ibn Khaldun’s three stages through which man, as a collective animal, passes. Bedouinism is not Nomadism. The Bedouin – very much like the figure that Ernst Junger calls Waldganger – is simply outside the passive urban community. He does not need theories, nor laws cooked up by party legalists, in order to know what is right. He has recognized himself as an in-time creature with a beyond-time contract. From his emergence there is born a Resistance. He is able to become by the power of growth and expansion a new civic force in which emerges “the most powerful force that the social man can experience. It is kinship that transcends the tribal and the familial”, a unification of the group that takes them to the Second Stage defined by Ibn Khaldun with the term ‘Asabiyya’ “the life and death unifying bond of brotherhood without blood ties […] Asabiyya unites men to find the power to act and transform and command […] If the binding factor (religio – to bind together) is there, that is Divine religion, it is, that being its highest possibility, assured a triumph”.

Stage Three is Kingship, the appointment of a King, which transfers that authority to each of the people of the Asabiyya. Once a people, a whole people take on this charge, they become an irresistible power.

Bringing to its culmination the worldview which starts with Ibn Khaldun and ends in Ernst Jünger, the last pages of the book unfold the action of the new Bedouin who “will bring to an end the long Revolution that brought down the natural system defined by Ibn Khaldun”.

In our age where the wild places have been devastated by the rapaciousness of the bankist economic imperative and the so-called rule of law has been globalised, where are the Bedouins found? I would posit that they are found in the margins of the mega-cities, the shanty towns and other exclusion zones, in what is called the developing world, where the disempowered and disenfranchised are left to their own devices and their innate ability to survive. 

But the key to the empowerment of the Bedouin and the bringing into being of the new nomos, is the emergence of the galvanising royal authority, the prince who Shaykh Abdal Qadir envisions and advises in The Muslim Prince.

I finish with the hopes of the poet.

No, the seer said

I am not searching out

the mannerly prince with the common touch

well fed well scrubbed well shod

well versed in the etiquette of the times

well prepared to take his appointed place

with his retinue and rents

No, I keep my hopes on the horizon 

waiting for the stranger from the wild places 

with wildness in his heart

and strength in his sinews 

tempered by test and task 

bringing his band of dust-shod companions

who stand with him whatever the cost 

I send out envoys to seek him

and ask after him from the travellers

spread the news of his coming

and prepare his place

Yes, the seer said

he will come

he is searching for me 

May Allah give us the gifts of ukhuwwa, suhbah and the joy of the mujahid!

As salamu ‘alaykum

That brings us to the end of today’s lecture… [recommend further reading etc., if any]. The subject of our next lecture is… [title]… [recommend preparatory reading, etc., if any]. Thank you for your attention. Assalamu alaykum.

References