Long before Al-Qaida – Al-Ma’idah – was established in the Western hemisphere.
You have to understand Surah Al-Ma’idah to grasp how the Muslim Brotherhood and other ideological flanks (Tehran comes to mind) deploy within what is considered enemy camp.
This particular Surah has a time stamp of 6 A.H. or possibly early 7 A.H. dependent on the scholar and the tafseer.
Things which were already in play were now firmed up. Prior to this Surah, there was a bit of shape-shifting regarding government and state. With Al-Mai’dah these things came to a screeching halt. Free-standing mosques serving as miniaturized consulates of the Islamic State were visible across the landscape. Established (mandated) prayers were in full swing.
Modern history note: Qutb and members of Al-Ikhwan believe three men constitute a community of believers, and only two men – are needed to establish prayers. If two men are present, one is to step out and lead the prayer. The second is to serve as the mirror. The most devout pray Al-Fatihah seventeen times a day. This information has been confirmed to me by two members of the Brotherhood at separate times. And there is an area Sunni mosque which in the past, had an image of this dynamic on their Facebook page.
Courts were in session and Hadd penalties (the rights of Allah over man, which cannot be adjudicated) were in full force. Stoning for adultery? Of course! Prophet Muhammad had a woman stoned for adultery after allowing her time to wean the child from the breast. I have this lengthy correspondence of file from the American wife of a Pakistani man who supported OBL. Contra lateral amputation or crucifixion for creating mischief against the state? Yes. Gender segregation? Absolutely.
This was also a time when nascent foreign policy reached out to the Byzantine Empire, Egypt, and the diaspora of Arab chieftains still not under the aegis of Islam. Prophet Muhammad managed to create a silver seal to denote his newly found power.
One thing Westerners do not understand is how Islam strengthens through confederacy. (And that is also the name of one of the Surah) But Islam works hard to establish ruling bodies within the enemy camp and from these confederacies – a network of operations is exposed. The table is spread. And it is bountiful.
While we think of ICNA, ISNA, Fiqh Council of North America, and MAS,
we can forget to think about the World Assembly of Muslim Youth and the Muslim Student Association. MSA is very active in my town and seeking to draw in the high school students. Their activities have now trickled down from university base of operations. There is an overarching vision to bring all the youth under the umbrella by whatever means: Henna tattoo parties for the girls, sports for the young men, things that count for youth amirates. Umar Lee over in St. Louis used to run his own little basketball league and gave himself the title of Amir. What most do not know, is that he was a good buddy of Ismail Royer – but that is a story for another day.
Throughout “The Table Spread” Jews and Christians also receive a tongue lashing. And pivotal to Muslim psychology is the admonition which forbids confiding in non-Muslims. As for myself, I have been lucky in that regard because I can let the signals, code and symbols fly back and forth with Qur’anic text and Ahadith – hence – conversations move beyond trite chit-chat.
But read Surah Al-Ma’idah when you have about 0.5 hours of time. You will better understand Islam in the West.
That Muslim behind the counter at an area gas station might just be fine. Your Muslim doctor might be excellent. Show great kindness. But let our agencies deal with the Al-Ma’idah crowd.