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On the Occasion of 11th of July, 2013, the Day of Burial of the Shahids (Martyrs) of Srebrenica Genocide, 1995
By Mustafa Ceric, Ph.D.
Grand Mufti Emeritus of Bosnia; President of World Bosniak Congress
إن الحمد لله، نحمده و نستعينه و نستغفره، و نعوذ بالله من شرور أنفسنا و سيّئات أعمالنا، من يهد الله فلا مضلّ له، و من يضلله فلا هادي له، و أشهد أن لا إله إلاّ الله وحده لا شريك له, و أشهد أن محمداً عبده و رسوله قال الله سبحانه و تعالي في كتابه الكريم: قال الله تعالى فى كتابه الكريم وهو أصدق القائلين:
تَبَارَكَ الَّذِي جَعَلَ فِي السَّمَاء بُرُوجًا وَجَعَلَ فِيهَا سِرَاجًا وَقَمَرًا مُّنِيرًا !
Blessed be He who has set in heaven constellations, and has set among them a lamp, and an illuminating moon! (25:61)
وَهُوَ الَّذِي جَعَلَ اللَّيْلَ وَالنَّهَارَ خِلْفَةً لِّمَنْ أَرَادَ أَن يَذَّكَّرَ أَوْ أَرَادَ شُكُورًا !
And it is He who made the night and day a succession for whom He desires to remember or He desires to be thankful! (25:62)
وَالأَرْضَ مَدَدْنَاهَا وَأَلْقَيْنَا فِيهَا رَوَاسِيَ وَأَنبَتْنَا فِيهَا مِن كُلِّ شَيْءٍ مَّوْزُونٍ (15:19
And the earth We have spread out (like a carpet); set thereon mountains firm and immovable; and produced therein all kinds of things in due balance! (15:19)
وَجَعَلْنَا لَكُمْ فِيهَا مَعَايِشَ وَمَن لَّسْتُمْ لَهُ بِرَازِقِينَ!
And We have provided therein means of subsistence- for you and for those for whose sustenance ye are not responsible! (15:20)
وَإِن مِّن شَيْءٍ إِلاَّ عِندَنَا خَزَائِنُهُ وَمَا نُنَزِّلُهُ إِلاَّ بِقَدَرٍ مَّعْلُومٍ!
And there is not a thing but its treasures (inexhaustible) are with Us; but We only send down thereof in due and ascertainable measures! (15:21)
وَأَرْسَلْنَا الرِّيَاحَ لَوَاقِحَ فَأَنزَلْنَا مِنَ السَّمَاء مَاء فَأَسْقَيْنَاكُمُوهُ وَمَا أَنتُمْ لَهُ بِخَازِنِينَ !
And We send the fecundating winds, then cause the rain to descend from the sky, therewith providing you with water though ye are not the guardians of its stores! (15:22)
وَإنَّا لَنَحْنُ نُحْيِي وَنُمِيتُ وَنَحْنُ الْوَارِثُونَ !
And verily, it is We Who give life, and Who give death! It is We Who remain inheritors (after all else passes away! (15:23)
Dear brothers and sisters,
As we are at the beginning of the holy month of the Ramadan of 1434 our soul should be ready to feel, and our mind to understand, that consciousness, as the ability to think and to judge the objective world, is the fundamental component of universe in the same way as it is space and time. The physical world, its laws and consciousness of those who perceive it, make an integral whole. A comprehensive description of reality requires all of its three dimensions (space, time and consciousness). Indeed, without our perception of universe as such, it is actually dead.
That is why the Creator of Universe motivates man not to downgrade his life on Earth to mere vegetating, but to activate his consciousness, as an integral part of the objective world. This is the true meaning of the Ibādat of fasting – for man to wake up, to awaken his consciousness: - Fasting has been prescribed to you, just like to those before you, to become self-conscious as a result of your conscious of Allah (لعلّكم تتّقون). In other words, you should have your soul opened up and your consciousness awaken for the beauty and the greatness of Allah's creation and for the sustenance of universe and human life in it.
From its very creation, universe had been put in careful balance between the constant expansion and momentary disappearance. If universe were to contain more matter, additional gravity would cause implosion. But, if it were to contain less matter, it would expand faster so that the creation of galaxies would be impossible.
Atomic cores are bound by the so-called great strong force. If this force were only a little bit stronger, all the protons of universe would vanish, and so there would be no atoms of hydrogen to serve as fuel for long-lasting stars. In that case, there would be now water, nor would there be any form of life, as we know it.
This is how things are with physical world and its laws, which were established by the Almighty, the Knowing and the Wise Creator, Allah Almighty, by His act of creation of universe without our presence and knowledge. It is He who sustains these laws without our touch and impact. Allah has freed us from the care for the laws of physical world, except to be conscious of them as the third dimension of reality in which we live. This consciousness about perfect laws of physical world imply the existence of consciousness of the need for perfect laws of spiritual world, i.e. morality and ethics, which are Allah’s laws, proclaimed by Musa a.s., on Mt. Sinai, and then confirmed by the last Allah’s Prophet, Muhammad, a.s, as ten Allah’s commands that need to be bound together by “strong consciousness”, just like atomic cores are bound together by “strong force”.
And, just like “strong force” is subordinated to its Creator just as much as it is necessary to bind atomic core together, so “strong consciousness” needs to be subordinated to its Lord, to the extent that it could bind together the human core so that mankind would have peace and security of its life on Earth, just like living creatures have water for their life in universe. Allah, the Almighty, has secured water for life in universe, but He left it to man to secure peace on Earth through “strong consciousness” (التقوى), which needs to be manifested through consciousness and application of moral values, the most important of which are the ten Allah’s eternal laws of the spiritual world.
Dear brothers and sisters around the world, on the occasion of the eighteenth anniversary of the Srebrenica genocide I would like to remind you of the ten Allah’s eternal laws, Al-Wasayā, indeed - the ten Allah's commands, as ten conditions for spiritual and moral renaissance of our today's Ummah and to say to you here and now: "The genocide is over and we have to raise from its ashes ", and we shall be able to do it, God willing, if we have "strong consciousness" of Allah’s call to the followers of the Book, which says: قُلْ تَعَالَوْاْ أَتْلُ مَا حَرَّمَ رَبُّكُمْ عَلَيْكُمْ – Tell them, Muhammad: I will recite unto you that which your Lord hath made a sacred duty for you!
The first, أَلاَّ تُشْرِكُواْ بِهِ شَيْئًا - That ye ascribe no thing as partner unto Him!
The second, وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا - And that ye do good to parents!
The third, وَلاَ تَقْتُلُواْ أَوْلاَدَكُم مِّنْ إمْلاَقٍ نَّحْنُ نَرْزُقُكُمْ وَإِيَّا - And that ye slay not your children because of penury!
The fourth, وَلاَ تَقْرَبُواْ الْفَوَاحِشَ مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَمَا بَطَنَ - And do not approach immoralities – what is apparent of them and what is concealed!
The fifth, وَلاَ تَقْتُلُواْ النَّفْسَ الَّتِي حَرَّمَ اللّهُ إِلاَّ بِالْحَقِّ - And do not kill the soul which Allah has forbidden [to be killed] except by [legal] right!
ذَلِكُمْ وَصَّاكُمْ بِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَعْقِلُون - Thus doth He command you, that ye may remember!
The sixth, وَلاَ تَقْرَبُواْ مَالَ الْيَتِيمِ إِلاَّ بِالَّتِي هِيَ أَحْسَنُ حَتَّى يَبْلُغَ أَشُدَّهُ - And come not nigh to the orphan's property, except to improve it, until he attain the age of full strength!
The seventh, وَأَوْفُواْ الْكَيْلَ وَالْمِيزَانَ بِالْقِسْطِ لاَ نُكَلِّفُ نَفْسًا إِلاَّ وُسْعَهَا - Give measure and weight with (full) justice;- no burden do We place on any soul, but that which it can bear!
The eighth, وَإِذَا قُلْتُمْ فَاعْدِلُواْ وَلَوْ كَانَ ذَا قُرْبَى - Whenever ye speak, speak justly, even if a near relative is concerned!
The ninth, وَبِعَهْدِ اللّهِ أَوْفُواْ ْ - And fulfill the covenant of Allah!
ذَلِكُمْ وَصَّاكُم بِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَذَكَّرُونَ - Thus doth He command you, that ye may remember!
And the tenth: وَأَنَّ هَـذَا صِرَاطِي مُسْتَقِيمًا فَاتَّبِعُوهُ وَلاَ تَتَّبِعُواْ السُّبُلَ فَتَفَرَّقَ بِكُمْ عَن سَبِيلِهِ ذَلِكُمْ وَصَّاكُم بِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَّقُون - Verily, this is My way, leading straight: follow it: follow not (other) paths: they will scatter you about from His (great) path: thus doth He command you. That ye may be righteous! (6:151-153).
* The first Wasiyyah, i.e., the first command is the most important one, since it motivates us to be conscious (التقوى) of the One and Only God, who was not born, to whom no one and nothing is equal, who is Omnipresent, Merciful and All-embracing. This consciousness is an integral part of the reality of universe, just like it is the case with space and time - values without which there would be neither universe, nor would there be us in Universe. It is God, The Almightily, who has breathed His spirit into us (ونفخ فيه من روحه) and thus has enabled us to be conscious (التقوى) of His presence. After the genocide, we have all become more acutely aware of our faith, our culture and our nation, and we have all become more ready to defend and fight for our right to freedom, property and honor. We have realized that strong belief in the One and Only God, as the “strong consciousness” of ourselves and of our origin, is the most powerful defense and the most effective struggle against genocide, because Allah responds to those who beg for His mercy. Let us not forget that, for decades before the genocide, we had been taught to forget God, to forget our faith and tradition, to become de-Islamized, so they are now frustrated by the fact that we are returning to God, that we are returning to our faith and tradition, and that we are getting Islamized with “strong consciousness” of our common destiny.
* It is understandable that the second Allah’s Wasiyyah - to love and respect our parents, because how could possibly those who do not love their parents love their neighbors. That is why love and respect for our parents comes right after the love and respect for the Creator, and why it is immediately followed by the love and respect for our neighbors. These are mutually linked values, wherefrom stems the noble value of love for humanity which suffers today from hatred that turns into crime against humanity.
* For sure, children’s love for their parents implies also the love of parents for their children and, therefore, the third Wasiyyah, is the command not to kill children out of fear from poverty, because everyone has its own subsistence (rizq). This command needs to be heard by our youth, but also by those who have the authority and power to provide conditions for our youth to enter into timely marriages and to establish families so that healthy children would be born for the happiness and success of our Ummah. Dear youth do not be afraid of your life and of the life of your progeny. Everyone has his own sustenance (rizq) and so do not allow love for your pets to overpower love for your own progeny. And do not allow your houses to be big but with only a few children. With many children even a small house becomes big, while with few children, a big house may remain empty.
* If we are faced with ruthless bribery and corruption in our society, then the fourth Allah’s Wasiyyah should be our first imperative; it is a strong moral command that one should not take somebody else’s property, neither openly, nor secretly. There is no audit or police control capable of following every single civil servant in the state bodies, hospitals, shops, schools and faculties, and capable of forcing them to perform their tasks conscientiously and responsibly, if those civil servants lack moral consciousness and conscientiousness to be able to differentiate the Harām from the Halāl, decent from indecent work, immoral from moral behavior. So let us remember that no Ummah has ever been destroyed from outside, but from within, due to shattered morality; that is why the condition of all conditions for our recovery is our moral renaissance, which implies our fight against bribery and corruption, against lies and slander, theft and greed, against public and secret immorality.
* It has never been so important as it is today to be aware that to kill an innocent man is the gravest sin. Unfortunately, it has never been the case as it is today that so many innocent people are killed, from Syria to Burma. But, innocent people are not killed only with weapon. Today, people are killed by neglect for their basic living conditions. That is why it is important to emphases, here and today, the fifth Allah’s Wasiyyah – that starving and neglected members of our community and society are the conscience of all of us.
* Of course, the Almightily Allah warns us in His sixth Wasiyyah of the rights of orphans, since their property is like fire that shall burn you if you approach it in order to take it from him. Therefore, do not touch the property of orphans and do not infringe with orphan’s right.
* And, when you judge the people and about people, be fair and do as you would do to yourself, because, the Messenger of Allah said: - None of you truly believes until he loves for his brother what he loves for himself. And we all want to be judged justly, so when you judge others, do it with fairness because it is the seventh Allah’s command.
* And when you speak, speak justly even when it concurs your relatives, since truth is a precondition for mental health of an individual, while justice is a precondition for mental health of a society. People whose individual members speak truthfully and fight for justice shall conquer lie and injustice. That is why I am praying to Allah Almightily , to give to my people the willpower to be aware, always and in every place, of the eighth Allah’s command – to tell the truth and to fight for justice.
* The ninth Allah’s command is to fulfill our oath given to Allah that we keep repeating the Shahadah – that there is no other god but Allah and that Muhammad, a.s., is the last Messenger of Allah – by passing it on to our progeny and to keep the unity of Dīn and Ummah, as preconditions for our success here and our salvation in the hereafter.
* The Allah’s tenth Wasiyyah is that the Ummah should follow one path, since if each of us takes his own path, we shall be broken into tiny particles that can be blown away by small force. And the one and united path for all of us is the path of Islam, which means the path of peace within our Ummah and the peace with the rest of the world; it is the path of the Shahids, who testified the faith and freedom of our Ummah by their own lives; it is the path of our unity in defense and struggle against genocide; it is the path of our rebirth from the ashes of genocide.
This is the message of the Bosniak Muslims victims of the Srebrenica genocide to the Muslim Ummah of Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Yemen, Bahrain, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Iran, Tunisia, Libya, Mali ... be conscious of Allah and follow the path of the Messenger of Allah who has taught us the lesson of Hudaybiyya so that we know that the way out of bloodshed is peace and tolerance. The victims of Srebrenica genocide call upon all the nations of the Muslim Ummah to follow the example of the Messenger's peace of Hudaybiyya and to take the best from the wisdom of European Westphalia because a wisdom is lost thing for a Muslim so that wherever he finds it he should take it. And the Westphalia wisdom teaches us that after all the only way for the Ummah to succeed here and to be saved in the hereafter is to make peace with itself and to observe tolerance with others. For the sake of peace and security of our Ummah, we urge you to heed our appeal for the unity of our Dīn and Ummah for the sake of our children who should never suffer genocide again.
Oh Allah, be for us and not against us! Oh Allah, end our lives happily and link our days and nights in health, inscribe our path and our expectations into your Mercy, shield our sins with your forgiveness, teach us how to rectify our faults, increase our piousness, give us the knowledge to read new signs of Your faith, Oh Allah, we trust in You and on You we rely!
Oh Allah, make us strong on the right path, save us from the sin for which we will feel repentance on the Day of Reckoning, alleviate our this-worldly burdens, empower us to live the life of honest and decent people, free us and keep us away from evil people, use Your mercy to remove our fathers, our mothers, our brothers and sisters from fire, o You, the Perfect and the Forgiving, the Noble and All-protecting, the Knowing, and the Almighty.
With the holiness of Shahids, we pray to You, Oh Allah, to make our sin vanish, to make our worry disappear, to make disease leave us, to make fear leave us, to make it so that we are not followed by poverty, not to be seen by misery, not to be caught by laziness, not to be misled by the wrong path, make it so that we are forgotten by our enemies, and that we are not persecuted by enemies, not to be sold out by traitors, make our people free, make our homeland proud, our homes safe, our society honest, our return home successful, make our fight for truth and justice lasting, make our unity in faith embraced, make our life with neighbors voluntary.
O Allah, o Allah, o Allah, o Merciful, You, who are the beginning of all beginnings and the end of all endings, You, who are the perfect force, You, who are merciful to the powerless, You, who are the most merciful of all the merciful ones– You are Allah, because there is no other god but You, Hail to You, we are unjust towards ourselves, Oh Allah, let there be Salāwat and Salām upon Prophet Muhammed, a.s., His family and His Ashābs, and let our last Duā', prayer, be: - Thank You, Allah, the Lord of all worlds! Amin!
يَا أَللهُ يَا أَللهُ يَا أَللهُ، بِرَحْمَتِكَ يَا أَرْحَمَ الرَّاحِمِينَ، وَيا أَوَّلَ الأَوَّلِينَ، وَيَا آخِرَ الآخِرِينَ، ويا ذَا القُوَّةِ الْمَتِينِ، وَيَا رَاحِمَ المَسَاكِينِ، وَيَا أَرْحَمَ الرَّاحِمِينَ، لا إِلهَ إِلا أَنْتَ سُبْحَانَكَ إِنِّي كُنْتُ مِنَ الظَّالِمِينَ. وَصَلَّى اللهُ عَلَى سَيِّدِنَا مُحَمَّدٍ وَآلِهِ وَصَحْبِهِ أَجْمَعِينَ، وَالْحَمْدُ للهِ رَبِّ الْعَالَمِينَ.