City of Brass

Dr. Yahya Michot, professor at Hartford Seminary with the collaboration of student Samy Metwally, has prepared a complete translation along with an introductory analysis of Shaykh Yusuf Al-Qaradawi’s khutbah (sermon) in Tahrir Square on February 18, 2011.

Here is the PDF with the analysis and the translation. I am reproducing the

translation of Qaradawi’s sermon below.

Praise is due to God! “Praise is due to God, Who has guided us to this. We could not truly have been led aright if God had not guided us” (Q. 7:43). Our Lord, to You the praise is due, as befits the majesty of Your Face and the greatness of Your might. Praise is due to God, a praise abundant, excellent and blessed, which fills the heavens and fills the earth, fills what is between them both and fills anything You want besides! Praise is due to God, Who helps the believers to win and humiliates the wrongdoers! Praise is due to God! We praise Him and we ask Him for help; we ask Him for guidance and we ask Him for forgiveness. We seek refuge in God, Exalted is He, from the evils of our souls and the bad of our actions. We praise You, O God, and we thank You. We cast off and we abandon whoever rejects You. There is no god but You. There is no god but God alone. He has made His promise be true. He has helped His servant to win. He has strengthened His soldiers. He alone has defeated the unjust. I bear witness that there is no god but God alone, Who has no partner. I bear witness that there is no god but You, “the Owner of the sovereignty. You give the sovereignty to whomever You want and You take it away from whomever You want. You strengthen whomever You want and You humiliate whomever You want. In Your Hand is the good. You are powerful over every thing” (Q. 3:26). And I bear witness that our master and our imam, our model and our loved one, Muhammad, is the servant of God and His Messenger, the blessings of God and His peace be upon him, and upon his brothers – the Prophets and the Messengers, especially “the resolute among the Messengers” – Noah, Abraham, Moses and Jesus, the blessings of God be upon all of them – and those who follow them in beneficence, until the Day of judgement.

Now, to our topic. O brothers, O my sons and my daughters, O my brothers and my sisters, O my grandsons and my granddaughters, children of Egypt! The usage of preachers, for their sermons, is to say “O Muslims!” but me, I say in this Square, “O Muslims and Copts! O children of Egypt!” This is the day of the children of Egypt all together. It is not the day of the Muslims alone. I am addressing them from this tribune (minbar), and from this Square, Tahrir Square – or, rather, from this day onwards, it ought to be called the “Square of the Martyrs of the January 25 Revolution”. O Brothers, I am addressing you from above this tribune and from the Square of the Martyrs of the January 25 Revolution, this revolution which has taught the world how revolutions should be. It was not an usual revolution but it was a revolution teaching something. The youth who have triumphed in this revolution did not triumph over Mubarak only. They triumphed over Mubarak, they triumphed over injustice, they triumphed over falsehood. They triumphed over robbery and they triumphed over plundering. They triumphed over egoism and they initiated a new life by this revolution. The first whom I will congratulate are these youth, some of whom thought that they would not triumph. As for me, in my last sermon, I swore on the pulpit, I swore by the Great God that this revolution would triumph and that this youth would never be let down, because I believe in the ways (sunan) of God which do not fail to manifest and I believe in the promise of God, Who never lies. God has indeed promised to help the believers to win, and God has promised to make the truth win over falsehood. “And say: Truth has come and falsehood has vanished away. Surely, falsehood is ever bound to vanish” (Q. 17:81). It is not possible that falsehood should triumph over the truth. Falsehood has an hour but the reign of truth will last until the coming of the Hour. “As for the scum, it passes away as a worthless thing; while, as for that which is useful to mankind, it remains in the earth” (Q. 13:17). It was inevitable that this revolution should triumph, and that its believing children should triumph over this tyrant (tâghût), over this Pharaoh who threatened and menaced. But the believers – Egypt once it believes – made answer to Pharaoh.

That Pharaoh had said to the Egyptians: “Do you believe in Him before I give you permission?” (Q. 20:71). Similarly this Pharaoh said: “Do you make a revolution before I give you permission to make a revolution?” It is not allowed to the minds to be convinced, nor to the hearts to believe, nor to the limbs to move except with an authorization from Pharaoh! “You are making a revolution before I give you permission to make a revolution?” “You are believing in Him before I give you permission?” The children of Pharaoh, Egypt, once they believed, said to Pharaoh, defiantly: “We will not prefer you to what has come to us of clear proofs and to Him Who made us; therefore, decide what you are going to decide” (Q. 20:72). Observe the human being when he believes and the human being before he believes! The magicians whom Pharaoh had brought together from all the regions of Egypt threw their cords and their rods and said: “By Pharaoh’s might, we will surely be the winners” (Q. 26:44). And “they said to Pharaoh: ‘Will there surely be a reward for us if we are the winners?’ ” (Q. 26:41) – ‘Is there money?’ – “He said: ‘Yes, and surely you will then be of those who are made near’ ” (Q. 26:42). – ‘There is money, positions, and many benefits!’ – And what did these authentic Egyptians say once they believed, the truth having appeared to them? “We will not prefer you to what has come to us of clear proofs and to Him Who made us; therefore, decide what you are going to decide; you can only decide about this world’s life. Surely we believe in our Lord that He may forgive us our sins and the magic to which you compelled us; and God is better and more lasting” (Q. 20:72-73).

This is Egypt when it believes. This is why these youth from all regions in Egypt, from all social classes, rich and poor, educated and illiterate, workers and cultured – though the majority were cultured and educated people -, we saw altruism increase among them. They became, they fused into, one melting-pot: Muslims and Christians, radicals and conservatives, rightists and leftists, men and women, old and young, all of them became one, all of them acting for Egypt, in order to liberate Egypt from injustice (zulm) and tyranny (tâghût). It was inevitable that Egypt be liberated, because these youth willed it, and when the youth will, their will participates of the will of God. In the past, we learnt by heart this poem of Abû l-Qâsim al-Shâbbî:

Surely, the day the people (sha’b) wills to live, the divine decree (qadar) must inevitably comply! The divine decree… Some people (nâs) say: “Does the divine decree follow people?” Oh yes, the divine decree… God Most High says: “God does not change the condition of a folk until they first change that which is in yourselves” (Q. 13:11). Change what is in yourself, and God will change your situation and your condition. The people (sha’b) changed, so God changed its condition! The people (sha’b) endured, it was put to the test, it made sacrifices, it was determined, and the fear was removed from it. The pharaohs, in the past, made people (nâs) fear, they used to gain victories by frightening them, they used to throw fear into the hearts of people. But people did not care about Pharaoh, nor about Korah (Qârûn), nor about Hâmân, nor about the State Security, nor about torture, nor about the camels, the mules, the horses, nor about the snipers, nor about any of all these things. They were determined, the people (sha’b) was determined, the youth were determined, the youth of the revolution were determined to continue, and God realized their hopes, God realized their goals.

My congratulations to this people (sha’b), my congratulations to these youth, the revolutionary youth, whose hands I would like to kiss, one by one, because they have raised our heads by what they have realized, by their enduring, their outdoing all others in endurance and their remaining steadfast, these young people who have made this revolution, and have given mankind the highest example. I consider them, in some way, as like the Helpers, whom God described in His Book by saying: “They prefer them before themselves though poverty may afflict them” (Q. 59:9); the Helpers who have been described as being many when it is about succouring others, and few when it is about cupidity. One of them remains hungry so that his brother may eat his fill, one of them works hard so that his brother may rest, one of them stays up at night so that his brother may sleep; he prefers them to have the bed and the cover, the food and the drink. These are the youth of Egypt.

I recommend to these youth to keep their spirit. The revolution has not ended. The revolution has just started producing fruits. Do not think that the revolution is over! Consider that the revolution is continuing, because we will participate in the construction, the construction of the new Egypt, Egypt which has learned many things from this revolution. Be patient with your revolution and preserve it! Beware lest someone steal it from you! Protect this revolution! Be on your guard against the hypocrites, who are ready to put on, every day, a new face, and to speak with a new tongue! “When they meet those who believe, they say: ‘We believe’; and when they are alone with their devils, they say: ‘Surely we are with you’ ” (Q. 2:14). Yesterday they were against the revolution and, today, with the revolution! Be on your guard against those! Say to the youth: “Protect your revolution! Be vigilant about this revolution, and continue to protect it!” This is what I demand from my children, the youth of the revolution: to continue their revolution and to preserve their unity. Beware lest someone enter among you who would corrupt this excellent relationship and this fraternity which has brought you together in this Square. These are my words to the youth of the revolution.

Other words now to the Egyptian people (sha’b), to the whole Egyptian people (sha’b), the great people (sha’b) whom God has mentioned in the Qur’ân. Note that the Qur’ân has not mentioned any country by name, except two countries: a country mentioned in one verse, Babylon, with its magic, and Egypt, which He mentioned five times in the Glorious Qur’ân. No country is mentioned in the Qur’ân more than once except the country about which He said: ” Enter safe into Egypt, if God wills” (Q. 12:99). And those wrongdoers did not want anyone to enter into Egypt except with fear. They sowed fear and took away the things by which society is sustained. Hunger and fear: they imposed these two together on people. Hunger and fear! They were getting fatter and the people (sha’b) of Egypt was perishing from emaciation. They were stealing in millions and the people (sha’b) of Egypt was getting its salaries and wages in millims. They used to plunder the wealth of the country and to smuggle it abroad. It has been said that what was plundered from Egypt during these years amounts to three trillion dollars. Three trillions of dollars, not billions! Three trillions of dollars! If this money were returned to Egypt, or if half of it were returned, or a quarter of it, the debts of Egypt would be repaid and it would pay for the projects to build Egypt in the future.

I say to the Egyptian people (sha’b): “Felicitations to you, O people (sha’b)! This great people (sha’b) which embraced Christianism and gave thousands – souls and blood – for Christianism. They fought the Byzantines, despite the fact that they were Christians like them, because they were opposed to them in the matter of doctrine. There used to be periods which are called the “Eras of the Martyrs”. And when it embraced Islam, it sacrificed itself for this Islam. It fought the Crusaders and it made King Louis IX prisoner in the house of Ibn Luqmân in Mansoura. It fought the Tatars and the battle of ‘Ayn Jâlût took place on 25 Ramadan of the year 658 H., led by the Mamluk commander al-Muzaffar Sayf al-Dîn Qutuz. He defeated the Tatars against whom nobody was standing. The army of Egypt triumphed over them – Egypt which has been the qibla of Islamic culture throughout the past centuries, the qibla of Islamic sciences and of the Arabic language.

Egypt, O brothers, has triumphed in this revolution and has triumphed over what has been called “sectarianism”. There was something which they used to call “sectarianism”, and which they themselves had produced. In this Square, the Square of the Martyrs of January 25, the Christian stood with the Muslim, side by side. I remember that yesterday, while I was coming from Qatar, a young man came to me, saying: “I am So-and-so, son of So-and-so, from Egypt. I am a Christian. I am one of those who follow the program The Sharî’a and Life and your Friday sermons in Qatar. I am proud of you, you who are calling for the unity of the Umma, and you…, and you…” I said: “Praise is due to God!…” In Tahrîr Square, the Copt brothers were standing as guards of their [Muslim] brothers while they were praying. And today I invite them not to guard their brothers, but to prostrate with their Muslim brothers in thankfulness to God Most High. To prostrate is something that the Muslims and the Christians both do. In this square, this sectarianism has come to an end, this cursed sectarianism. Yesterday, Ahmad Ragab, the satirist writer, mentioned that he had visited Tahrir Square and found a young Muslim girl pouring water for a Muslim man for the ablution; he said: “Now, the revolution has succeeded!” As for me, my granddaughter was leading a group of young people washing and cleaning the squares, and painting various things in need of paint. A priest passed by them, a priest, who said to them: “Do you need some help? I, I can help you.” They said: “Yes, please”, thinking that he would work with them. He took out a hundred Egyptian pounds and said: “This is my help to you.” They said “God is greater!” (Allâhu akbar!) and bought some brushes, paints, and other things. This is the Egyptian spirit, the spirit that encompasses all. I hope from the people (sha’b) of Egypt that it sticks to this unity, the unity of a line of people praying. Let there be no fanaticism! We are all believers. We have to believe in God and to deepen our faith. We are all Egyptians. We are all rising up against falseness (bâtil). We are all angry on behalf of the Truth. That spirit must persist, O my brothers and sisters, O my sons and daughters!

Some words now to the army of Egypt. Some words to the army of Egypt. I salute the army of Egypt. I salute this army which is the armor of the people (sha’b), its support and its pride. Some of the brothers told me: “Don’t overpraise the army! It might let you down and not help the revolution to win!” I said to him: “By God, they will not let me down!” When I preached my latest sermon, after the first communiqué that had been issued and many people had been struck by disappointment because of it, I said: “I believe that the army of Egypt will not be less patriotic than the army of Tunisia. The army of Tunisia helped the revolution of Tunisia to win, and the army of Egypt, which entered four wars for Egypt and for Palestine, it is not possible that this army betray its country, it is not possible that it sacrifice the youth for the sake of a single individual. This army is too reasonable and too noble to do that. And I swore that the army would join with the people (sha’b). The army joined with the people (sha’b), issued these decisions which we had seen, and announced from the first day that the right to express itself peacefully was guaranteed to the people (sha’b) as long as it remained peaceful. It also announced that it understood the demands of the people (sha’b) and that it would not intervene against it; and it did not and would not use force against the children of the people (sha’b), who are making the revolution and demonstrating peacefully. This army, which has announced that it is not an alternative to the legitimate order (shar’iyya) which the people (sha’b) wants and which the youth of this square would be pleased with. It also announced that it is attached to freedom and democracy. It has set up this commission for revising the constitution – within ten days! – and it is in a hurry that life be changed into civilian life – this commission which is chaired by this eminent man, the legal adviser, the jurist, the historian, the thinker, the moderate, the fair-minded, Târiq al-Bishrî. We want from this commission that it play its role as soon as possible.

And we demand from the Egyptian army that it liberate us from the government that Mubarak formed in his time, a time now over, annihilated. We want a new government, in which there are none of these faces which people cannot bear anymore. Every time people see them, they remember the injustice, they remember the killing, they remember the falseness, they remember the raid of the camels, the mules and the horses, they remember the snipers who kill people, they remember the vehicle which is going right and left, back and forth, and is killing people, running people over! Twenty people were killed, run over by this vehicle! People do not want to see these faces. We demand from the army and from its command that it liberate us from this government and set up a government, form a civilian government from the children of Egypt – and how many they are, the noble children of Egypt who did not commit such crimes! We also demand, we demand from the army that it immediately set free the political detainees and the political prisoners whom the prisons are holding and who have lived long years under the vaults of the prisons after being judged by military tribunals or emergency tribunals that give no evidence and do not care about the truth. The traces of these tribunals must be erased. I do not want our brave and noble army to be charged with any sin. Every day which passes while those people are in prison, every day which they spend in prison, or even, every hour, all those who caused this injustice and are not correcting it are committing a sin. Inasmuch as we are able to correct this injustice, this injustice must cease.

Before I finish speaking, I want to turn to the children of Egypt. I know that the children of Egypt have suffered a lot of injustice. Various groups of workers, peasants and employees, how long they have suffered injustice! However, God did not build this world in a day, nor in hours. He built it in six days, although He had the power to build it with a “‘Be!’ and it is”, in order to teach us perseverance. We inevitably must be patient, a little longer. I call on everyone who has stopped working, or is striking, or is sitting-in, to contribute to this revolution with his work. Egypt wants you to work. The Egyptian economy is underdeveloped and it is not permitted to us who have supported the revolution, it is not permitted to us to be a cause retarding the construction of Egypt, retarding the economy of Egypt. On the contrary, we must convince all our brothers who are striking and who are sitting-in, to be patient a little longer. I am calling on the army to contact them, to reassure them and to promise them that this is indeed what we want, so that Egypt moves along in its construction, in the phase of construction. All the children of Egypt are now ready to build. Everyone is ready to take a stone and to build something in this country. I call on all the children of the country to work for construction. We are in a new phase, a phase in which the truth triumphs and falseness is brought to naught. Surely, it is the right of all these Egyptians that they get their rights, that they obtain that which they deserve and that they be treated equitably, but it is also our duty to be patient with our brothers in the army, so that all hopes be achieved, one after the other. “And say to them: ‘Act!’ God will see your action, and so will His Messenger and the believers, and you will be brought back to the Knower of the invisible and the visible, and He will inform you about what you used to do” (Q. 9:105). Pray to God Most High and He will hear your prayer.

Praise is due to God, the Forgiver of sins! Who has no partner. Those who are in the heavens and on the earth glorify Him. To Him belong the sovereignty and the praise, and He is powerful over every thing. I bear witness that our master and our imam, our model and our loved one, Muhammad, is the servant of God and His Messenger, the bearer of good tidings, the warner, and the enlightening lamp, the blessings of God and His peace be upon him, upon his family and his Companions, who believed in him, backed him up, helped him to win, and followed the light that had been sent down with him. Those are the successful! Pleased be God with those who forward his call, are guided by his Sunna and struggle as he struggled, until the Day of judgement!

In the name of God, the Compassionate, the Merciful. “Say: ‘In the bounty of God and in His mercy: therein let them rejoice. It is better than what they gather’ ” (Q. 10:58). We ask the Mighty and Majestic God to render this day of this Umma better than its yesterday, and its tomorrow better than today. O God, be generous with us and don’t treat us with contempt! Give us and don’t deprive us! Give us more and not less! Prefer us and don’t prefer others to us! Be pleased with us and make us pleased! O God, we ask You to pardon us, and to grant us to do well in our religion and in this world, in our family and in our wealth. O God, cover our deficiencies and appease our fears! Protect us from before us and from behind us, from our right, from our left, and from above us! And we take refuge in Your might against being destroyed from under us. O God, open things for this country in a manifest opening! O God, guide its inhabitants on a straight way! O God, help them to achieve a strong victory! O God, give them Your grace completely, make Your serenity come down into their hearts and pour upon them Your favour and Your mercy! O God, purify our sayings from futility, our actions from foolishness, our souls from weakness, our hearts from disloyalty, our tongues from lying, our eyes from betrayal, our acts of worship from simulation, our life from self-contradiction! O God, render this day better for us than our yesterday, and render our tomorrow better than this day! Make our end excellent in all affairs and draw us away from the ignominy of this world and from the torment of the hereafter! O God, draw us away from the ignominy of this world and from the torment of the hereafter! O God, in Your mercy we hope; so, don’t entrust us to ourselves even for the twinkling of an eye! Correct for us all the evil done by us. There is no god but You. O Ever-Living, O Self-subsisting, to Your mercy we appeal for help. O Ever-Living, O Self-subsisting, to Your mercy we appeal for help.

Before I conclude my speech and these invocations, I will say some words to the regimes ruling in the Arab countries. I will say to them: “Don’t be arrogant! Don’t delude yourselves! Don’t stop History! Nobody will be able to fight the divine decrees, nor to delay the day when it rises. This world has changed and the world has evolved. The Arab world has changed from the inside. So, do not stand against the peoples (sha’b). Try to come to an understanding with them! Don’t deceive them! Don’t try to get them with empty words! It is not possible that peoples (sha’b) remain silent. Dialogue with them in a real dialogue, not to patch things up, but with constructive actions, constructive actions that put things in their places, respect the minds of people (nâs) and respect the minds of the peoples (sha’b)!” This is my message to the rulers of the Arabs.

Now, a message to our brothers in Palestine. Myself, I have the hope that God, Glorified and Exalted is He, just as He has cooled my eyes with the victory of Egypt, will cool my eyes with the opening (fath) of al-Aqsâ Mosque and will make it possible for me to preach in al-Aqsâ Mosque. O God, make it possible for us to preach in al-Aqsâ Mosque and to enter al-Aqsâ Mosque safely, without fear or dread! O God, make for us a reality of this manifest opening!

O children of Palestine, be confident that you will be helped to win! The Rafah crossing will be open for you. I demand this from the Egyptian army, from the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces: “Open the Rafah crossing! Open that which stands between us and our brothers! Ghazza is part of Egypt and Egypt is part of Ghazza. Egypt must be a support, an armor, a fortress. For Egypt which has fought four wars for Palestine, it is not proper to block the road. The crossings that are in our hands must necessarily be open, especially the Rafah crossing. We should open it to the convoys that used to be prevented from giving succour to our brothers.” This is what I demand from our dear, brave and noble army.

I am asking God, Glorified and Exalted is He, that He make us see the right conduct in our affairs. Our Lord, forgive us, as well as our brothers who preceded us in the faith! Do not put in our hearts any malice toward those who believe! Our Lord, you are Kind, Merciful! O God! Amen. O God, bless Your servant and Your Messenger, Muhammad, his family, his Companions, and those who follow them in beneficence until the Day of judgement!

Stand up for the prayer! Surely prayer keeps one away from lewdness and what is reprehensible.


Previous Posts
Join the Discussion
comments powered by Disqus