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Living Together with Non-Submitters

Friday Sermon by Alban Fejza on 03.02.2023


Praise be to God! There is  no other god except God.

In previous video about Penalty Zakat, under point 17, I said that, if you publicly mention  or admit a bad deed which you did after joining  the submitters, you should contribute an equitable  charity for it. Now, of course, it should not be  the job of any religious leader to catch you doing  something wrong. In fact, they should try not to  see your faults, if they have an option. However, there is something, which if they did their  job right, and if you are a proper submitter,  they would always notice. It’s something which  you shouldn’t hide, and something which they  would definitely know. It has to do with who  you live with. They have the right to know that,  for many reasons, and one of them is to know  whether you are in a life situation where you  need help as a submitter, so they can tell the  other submitters to send their Zakat to you,  and you don’t have the right to hide it, because  in a perfect society, that could actually put you  in legal trouble. For example, you are obliged  to tell people that you are married. These days,  many people get married and keep it a secret.  Well, how is that different from adultery?  If marriage was allowed to be kept a secret,  then all the adulterers, anytime they got caught,  they could just claim that they are married but  they kept it a secret. Or let’s say that you are  single, and you say that it’s private information  whether I am single or not. Well, that attitude  is not as harmless as it seems. Let’s say someone  sees you with your sister going in the same house,  and given that they don’t know whether you are  single or not, they are forced to assume that  she is your wife, because you never told them  who your sister is, and then no one will be  interested to be married to your sister, because  the word might spread in the community that she  is your wife. Therefore, you would be harming your  sister by being more private than the Quran allows  you to be. See, you can not pick and choose  what information you share and what not, when  it comes to some definite things in the Quran.  Unfortunately today, people reveal their bodies  which should be private, but they all of a sudden  are concerned about their privacy in matter which  should be public. Ridiculous! I mean what happens  in a house is private, but who lives in a house is  not private. Obviously, I am not saying that you  should go and tell that to your enemies, but you  should not hide it from your friends, if they ask  you about it, and our best friends are the other  submitters. So, it’s definitely not reasonable,  and it’s not natural to hide from other submitters  who you live with. At the same time, it’s not  reasonable for a Congregation Director not to  be interested about that. He is there to help the  community, maybe help you find someone to marry,  or see if you need Zakat, or things like that, and  he can not know that unless he knows the basics,  where do you live, who do you live with,  do you work? And so now, given that in a  perfect group of submitters, the Congregation  Director always in one way or another ends up  knowing who you live with, he will know whether  you live with a submitter or a non-submitter. Now, when you live with someone, they end up being  your protector and you are their protector. For  example, they have the key to the house and  you have the key to the house, or you have  to get their key, or if there is a house fire,  and you are sleeping, they might wake you up,  or if a burglar enters the house, they might wake  you up, and things like that. Basically, they  become your protectors. The Arabic term for it is  avlia, which means protector. So, if you live with  a non-submitter, you have accepted them as your  protector. Now, what does the Quran say when you  have accepted a non-submitter as your protector? In verse 5:51, in the Arabic, it says, “O you who  believe, do not accept the Jews and the Christians  as protectors. Some of them are protectors to  the others. And whomever among you accepts  them as protectors, then you are from them.” And this means that, if you live with Jews, you  are also a Jew, if you live with Christians,  you are also a Christian, if you live with  Muslims, you are also a Muslim, if you live  with Quranists, you are also a Quranist, and  so on. But it’s not the end of the world,  because since the internet it is possible to  be both from among the Jews and a submitter,  and from among the Christians and a submitter, and  so on. And we can also find this at the beginning  of Rashad’s English Translation of the Quran. In  the Proclamation. there at the beginning, he says  that you can be a Jewish Submitter, or a Christian  Submitter, or a Muslim Submitter and so on. And by the way, this does not make you hypocrite,  because you are not hiding it. This simply makes  you a person who has mixed his good deed with  his bad deeds, and for that you have to give to  charity, according to verses 102 and 103 of Sura  9. There is a distinction between hypocrites and  those who mix good deeds with bad deeds. The  hypocrites are disbelievers who are stuck with  submitters, but the Christian Submitters or Muslim  Submitters, or Jewish Submitters are believers who  are stuck with non-submitters. And if you are  stuck with these people, because God has not  given you strength yet to be fully financially  independent, or because of your past sins,  especially today when it is almost impossible to  buy your own house until the very late years of  your life, or not at all, or maybe you rushed  into a marriage, or for whatever reason, you  can still be a believer, and you can still be a  submitter, but you inadvertently, unintentionally  bring problems in the community of submitters,  and for this you should be willing to pay. And if you are in that situation, you yourself  know that you encounter problems when you want  to be fully with us, and you know that it is  holding you back to fully give your support  in the cause of God, and you now that your  non-submitter cohabiter is going to bring  you contagious diseases, and God knows how they  got them, which then you will get from them and  spread among us. Therefore, you should pay  for it, in accordance with what God tells us  in verses 102 and 103 of Sura 9. But how much should you pay?  Well, for example, since you are a Christian  Submitter, then for the Christians, we charge a  tax according to verse 9:29. It’s not specified  in English translations what type of tax,  but in the past, in Arabic, when this verse was  revealed, everyone knew what it meant, and it  meant one and only one thing. A poll tax. Only  poll taxes were called a tax back then. A poll  tax is tax which is the same for everyone, when  you poll the people, when you count the people,  everyone who is counted pays the same amount –  the same amount for each individual, regardless of  their circumstances. One tax per person, the same  amount. This is a poll tax, and it was implemented  by the Roman Empire which consisted of Christians  and Jews when the Quran was revealed, and then it  was adopted by Muhammad also, because that was  the only tax which existed among the people of  the scripture, just a poll-tax. The Quran calls  it the tax of the people of the scripture,  which means that it was already in existence in  their scripture. And sure enough, we find it in  the Bible. In the book of Exodus, chapter 30,  from verse 11 until 16, here is what it reads: Then the Lord said to Moses, “When you take  a poll of the Israelites to count them,  each one must pay the Lord a poll tax for his  life at the time that he is counted. In this way,  no plague will come on them when you count  them. Each one who is counted should give half  a shekel. This half shekel is an offering to the  Lord. Anyone above 20 years old should give this  offering to the Lord (they lived longer then). The  rich should not give more than a half shekel and  the poor should not give less than a half shekel  (everyone the same), and you should use the money  for the service of the tent of meeting,  which was their tent mosque in the desert. They had a moving mosque, a tent, which they  carried with them wherever they traveled in  the desert, just like we have an online mosque. So, the poll tax is given in the Bible and it is  half a shekel per person. And the historians have  discovered a shekel from those Biblical times,  and it turns out to be about 11 grams of gold.  So, half a shekel is about 5.5 grams of gold,  but the gold in the past was not as pure as now,  so just to be on the safe side, let’s say 4 grams  of gold. So, the poll tax for the people  of the scripture should be 4 grams of gold. So, if you live with the people of the scripture,  you belong with them, and you should pay 4 grams  of gold as a poll tax, each year. In US dollars,  today, in 2023, it’s about 240 US dollars. So, in our congregation today, for the year  2023, God willing, in our yearly report,  for all of you who live with non-submitters, I am  going to write a debt of 240 dollars, which you  will have to pay when needed in the cause of God. By the way, you might wonder, for example,  why am I not taxing the Christians, but  only the Christian Submitters. Well,  actually the rule is the same for every  Christian in e democracy, and here is the rule:  If you are a Christian, you either pay the  poll tax, or you are not counted among us.  It just happens that the Christians today don’t  care to be counted among us, but you should care  to be counted among us, according to verse 18:28  and verse 5:83. You should strive to be among the  submitters. We love and respect you for being a  submitter, and not for being a Christian, but for  being a Christian, you have to pay the poll-tax,  and the same thing applies if you are a Jewish  Submitter, or a Muslim Submitter, or a Quranist  Submitter, and so on. What matters is that you are  a submitter. If you happen to also be from among  the Christian, or Muslims, or whatever, because  you live with them, that’s just circumstances. By the way, just because you paid the poll-tax,  that does not give you permission to break  the other rules in the Quran. For example,  if you are a male, you can not say that you are  living with a Christian friend who is a female,  and you are not married. That’s not allowed.  Here, I am talking about obeying all the other  Quranic rules, and still paying the poll-tax,  just because you happen to break the specific  rule in the Quran which tells you not  to live with people of the scripture. One more thing, if you have children who are less  than 18 years old, they are automatically counted  as submitters – dependent submitters – but once  they become 18, and you tell them to join the  submitters, and they do not join, then you either  remove them from your house, or you keep them,  in which case you are also from among them,  and therefore you should pay the poll-tax.  So, it benefits you financially to educate  your children as submitters while they  are growing up. By the way, regardless  with how many non-submitters you live,  you only pay one poll-tax. You are only paying  it for yourself, for living with non-submitters,  which makes you from among them. Again, you  are still a submitter, but also from that other  group at the same time. This is possible today,  because of democracies and online communication.  So, you might live with a non-submitter, and at  the same time be connected online with submitters,  and therefore also belong with submitter. And  verse 102 in Sura 9 confirms it by calling it a  mixed deed. A deed with both good and bad in it.  A good deed for the fact that you are probably  treating your family member nicely (living with  them) but a bad deed because you are living with  a non-submitter. Therefore, a good deed and  a bad deed at the same time – a mixed deed. By the way, even in cases when you  are not living with a non-submitter,  if you live in his or her property without  rent, then you should still pay the poll tax,  because he or she is protecting you with his  property. For example, let’s say that your  non-submitter father decided to give you an  apartment, and you live in it. You are being  protected by him, which means that you belong  with him, in which case you pay the poll-tax.  If you receive the apartment after he dies,  that’s another issue, you have to give that  20% which I explained in another video, but  if he gives you that apartment before he dies,  you don’t pay that 20%. But, you pay the poll-tax  for as long as he lives, which is an amount of  money equivalent to 4 grams of gold, each year. And finally, let me explain with an example why  you should pay a poll tax when you are protected  or living with non-submitters. Verse 29:41 says,  “The example of those who accept other protectors  beside God is that of the spider and her home;  the flimsiest of all homes is the home  of the spider, if they only knew.” So, if you are being protected by a non-submitter,  then you are being protected by other protectors  beside God, in which case it is like  being protected by a spider’s home,  which is the weakest possible form of protection.  But, if you are being protected by a submitter, he  himself is being protected by God, in which case  all of you together are being protected by God.