Muslim Scholars Fault NASRDA On Commencement Of Ramadan

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(Friday Sermon) Ramadan Has Come By Imam Murtada Gusau

All praises are due to Allah, we praise Him we seek His assistance and we seek His forgiveness. We seek refuge in Allah from the evil of ourselves and from our evil deeds. Whomever Allah guides there is none who can misguide him, and whomever Allah misguides there is none who can guide him. I testify that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah alone without any partners, and I testify that Muhammad (peace be upon him) is Allah’s slave and Messenger.

“O you who have believe! Fear Allah as He should be feared and do not die except in a state of Islam (as Muslims with complete submission to Allah).” (Ali Imran, 3:102)

O mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, who created you from a single person (Adam) and from him (Adam) He created his wife (Eve) and from them both He created many men and women and fear Allah through whom you demand your mutual rights, and do not cut off the relations of the wombs (kinship). Surely, Allah is Ever an All-watcher over you.” (An- Nisaa’, 4:1)

O you who have believe! Keep your duty to Allah and fear Him, and always speak the truth. He will direct you to do righteous good deeds and will forgive you your sins. And whosoever obeys Allah and His Messenger, he has indeed achieved a great achievement (saved from the Hell fire and enter paradise).” (Ahzaab, 33:70-71)

As to what proceeds: verily the best of speech is the book of Allah and the best of the guidance is the guidance of Muhammad (peace be upon him). The worst of affairs are the newly invented affairs in the religion and every newly invented affair in the religion is an innovation and every innovation is misguidance and all misguidance is in the Hell fire. As to what proceeds:

O Servants of Allah! O Muslims!

You are facing the great sacred month of Ramadan; the month of Sawm (Fast), the month of Qiyam-ul-Layl (optional prayer at night), and the month of recitation of the Qur’an. In this month, Allah opens the door of forgiveness and sets His pious servants free from the fire. Ramadan is the month of giving sadaqah (voluntary charity); a month of feeding the poor slaves of Allah; a month, in which the doors of Paradise are open, the doors of Hell are closed, rewards of deeds are multiplied, hardships are removed, supplications are answered, ranks are elevated, and sins are forgiven. During this month, Allah (Glorified be He) provides His Servants with all kinds of bounties and showers His Awliya’ (pious people) with blessings.

A month in which Allah has made fasting it one of the pillars of Islam and in which the Prophet (peace be upon him) observed sawm and commanded the people to do the same. He (peace be upon him) informed us that whoever observed Sawm in Ramadan out of sincere faith and hoping for Allah’s Reward, their previous sins shall be forgiven; and that those who observe Qiyam-ul-Layl (night prayer) in Ramadan out of sincere faith and hoping for Allah’s reward, their previous sins shall be forgiven. In this month, there is one night that is better than thousand months (i.e. Laylatul Qadr).

Muslims who deprive themselves of its good are really in loss. Honour this month, May Allah forgive you, by having good intentions, doing your best to observe Sawm and Qiyam-ul-Layl, competing to do good, and repenting sincerely from all sins and misdeeds. Do your best to advise one another and cooperate in doing good and being pious. Advise one another to enjoin the good and forbid the evil, and invite one another to everything that is good to win dignity and great rewards.

Sawm (Fast) has many benefits and great wisdom:

Some of these benefits are: Purifying one’s soul; disciplining it; ridding it of bad traits and evil attributes, such as insolence, ingratitude, and miserliness; accustoming it to adopt good ethics, such as patience, forbearance, and generosity; and struggling to please Allah and draw closer to Him.

Other benefits of sawm: it makes us know humble selves, our needs, our weaknesses and our dependence on our Lord. It reminds us of Allah’s blessings and of the needs of the poor; thus, driving us to be grateful to Allah (Glorified be He). We ought to employ Allah’s blessings in obeying Him and in consoling and helping our poor Muslim fellows.

Allah (Glorified and Exalted be He) refers to these benefits in the following Ayah (Qur’anic verse):

“O you who have believe! Observing As-Saum (the fasting) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaqun (the pious).” (Qur’an 2:183)

Allah (Glorified Be He) points out that Muslims are commanded to observe Sawn to fear Allah. This indicates that Sawm is a means to become pious and fear Allah as He should be feared which would result into obeying Allah and His Messenger. In this way, servants will be saved from Allah’s punishment and Wrath.

Brothers and Sisters!

Sawm (the Fasting) diminishes one’s sexual desire and is a way to help one remain pure and chaste. Satan runs in our bloodstream and Sawm (the Fasting) narrows the veins and reminds one of Allah and His Greatness and, thus, the power of Satan diminishes and one’s faith is strengthened. Sawm encourages good deeds and dissuades bad ones.

Other benefits of Sawm: it purifies the body of toxins, making one healthy and energetic, as confirmed by many reliable and educated physicians.

O respected Muslims!

Sawm is a good deed for which there is enormous reward, especially Sawm in Ramadan which Allah has made obligatory for His Servants and made it a means to be granted success.

On the authority of Ubadah Ibn As-Saamit (may Allah be pleased with him) who reported that Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said:

“Ramadan came to you as a month of blessing in which Allah spreads His Mercy, forgives sins, and answers supplications. Allah (Exalted be He) sees your competition and speaks proudly of you to the angels. So show Allah that you are doing good as the deprived one is who deprives himself of Allah’s Mercy (in this blessed month).” (al-Haithami in his Majma’ az-Zawa’id 3/142 number 4783, ascribed this to Al-Tabarani in Majma al-Kabeer 13/37 number 13655)

Also on the authority of Abu Hurayrah (may Allah be pleased with him) who reported that Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said:

“Allah has enjoined you to fast the month of Ramadan and I have made it a Sunnah (a commendable act) for you to observe Qiyam-ul-layl during it. Whoever observes Sawm and Qiyam-ul-Layl during its nights out of sincere faith and hoping to attain Allah’s rewards (not for showing off); they will emerge as sinless as a new-born child.” (Related by Al- Nasa’i)

Muslims should know that it is prescribed, when observing Qiyam-ul-Layl in Ramadan or offering any other Salah (prayer), to offer Salah with tranquility and submissiveness when standing, bowing, prostrating and reciting Qur’an.

Many people who observe Qiyam-ul-Layl, Tarawih in Ramadan do so without contemplation or tranquility. Rather, they only hit the ground and this is not permissible. It is Munkar (that which is unacceptable or disapproved of by Islamic law and Muslims of sound intellect) and renders Salah null and void since tranquility is a pillar in Salah.

It was also authentically reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) commanded the one who knocked the ground while performning his Salah in haste to repeat it.

My respected people!

Glorify your Salah by performing it as Allah commands; and seize the opportunity to gain every benefit from this great month of Ramadan by performing good deeds and all forms of worship.

Hasten to obey Allah as it is a great month in which Allah gives His Servants a chance to compete in doing good deeds in obedience to Him. May Allah forgive you and have mercy on you! Offer as much Salah as you can, give Sadaqah, feed the poor and orphans, recite the Qur’an with contemplation and thought, glorify Allah, praise Him, say Takbir and Tahlil (sayig: “La ilaha illa Allah [There is no god except Allah]”) and ask Allah for forgiveness.

Send peace and blessings to Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) as much as you can and do good to the poor, needy, and orphans. Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) was the most generous of all people and was even more generous during Ramadan. So follow in his footsteps, imitate and emulate him, may Allah have mercy on you, by increasing your Sadaqah and good deeds in Ramadan. Help your poor brothers to observe Sawm and Qiyam-ul-Layl, and hope for Allah’s Reward, the King and All-Knower.

Guard your Sawm from what Allah forbids. It was authentically reproted that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

“Whoever does not give up false speech and acting accordingly, Allah does not need them to leave their food and drink”. He (peace be upon him) also said: “Sawm is a shield (from the fire and from committing sins). When one of you is observing Sawm, he should avoid intimate relations (with his wife) and quarreling, and if someone insults him, he should say, ‘I am observing Sawm.” {Sahih al-Bukhari 1904}

It was also reported that the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:

“Sawm is not only abstinence from food and drink, but (true) Sawm is abstinence from empty talk and bad language.” [Reported in Al-Mustadrak of al-Hakim number 1604]

Ibn Hibban reported in his Sahih Book of Hadith on the authority of Abu Sa’id (may Allah be pleased with him) who narrated that Allah’s Messenger (peace be upon him) said:

“Whoever observes Sawm in Ramadan knows its ordinances and observes what should be observed during it will have all their previous sins forgiven.”

Also, Jabir ibn Abdullah Al-Ansary (May Allah be plesed with them) said:

“When you observed Sawm, let your ears, eyes and tongue abstain from lying and other unlawful acts. Do no harm your neighbours. Be characterized by humility and calmness. Let there be a difference between the days of observing Sawm and the days when you are not observing Sawm.” [Musannaf ibn Abi Shaibah number 8981]

Servants of Allah!

In this blessed month of Ramadan, Muslims, and all our 3 tiers of governments, (Federal, state and local governments) should fear Allah and be generous and spend as much as they can, paying much attention to the poor and those who do not ask for charity. Wealthy Muslims and governments should help them observe Sawm and Qiyam-ul-Layl, following the way of the Prophet (peace be upon him) to please Allah (Glorified be He) and as a way of thanking Him for His Blessings. Allah (Glorified be He) has prosmised His Servants who spend their wealth, a great reward and many blessed children.

Allah (Glorified be He) says:

“And whatever good you send before you for yourselves, (i.e. Nawafil non-obligatory acts of worship: prayers, charity, fasting, Hajj and Umrah), you will certainly find it with Allah, better and greater in reward.” [Qur’an 73:20]

Fellow Muslims!

Beware, may Allah grant you mercy, any sins that might affect your Sawm negatively, diminish your reward, or incur Allah’s Wrath such as usury, adultery, theft, looting the public treasury, murder without justification, unjust consumption of the property of orphans; and all forms of injustice against persons, money, or honour. You shold also avoid cheating in dealings, not keeping trusts, being ungrateful to parents, and severing ties of kinship. Enmity and hostility without a just cause; intoxicants and drugs, such as Marijuana, Indian hemp, and Tobacco; backbiting and slander, lying, false testimony, false claims, and perjury should all be avoided.

People should not act pridefully, or make envy (Hasad) against each other. Muslims shoud not listen to songs and music in the blessed month of Ramadan. Muslim women should abstain from Tabarruj (dressing immodestly in violation of the Islamic dress code) and imitating disbelieving women in wearing revealing clothes or other things that Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him) have forbidden.

These sins are forbidden at all times and all places, but are more forbidden during Ramadan and more grievous because of the sanctity of this month.

O Muslims! You must fear Allah and avoid what He and His Messenger have forbidden. Be steadfast in obeying Allah in Ramadan and in other months as well, advise one another to do that. Enjoin others to do good and forbid evil to gain honour, happiness, and dignity, and to be saved in this world and in the Hereafter.

Brothers and Sisters!

Ramadan is like a rare flower that blossoms once a year and just as you begin to smell its fragrance, it disappears for another year. Try to make this Ramadan, the month of mercy and blessings, the turning point in your life. Break free from the deceptions of Satan and this world and indulge into the sweetness of true Imaan (faith). In the blessed month of Ramadan we have 4 weeks of Barakat (blessings), 30 days of forgiveness, 720 hours of guidance, 43200 minutes of purification and 2592000 seconds of Nur (light). Try as much as possible to enjoy them and  benefits from them.

My respected Muslim Brothers and Sisters!

As usual, let’s fear Allah (SWT) for the unity of Islamic ummah. Let’s fear Allah so that we obey our leaders. Let’s fear Allah so that we have patience and wait to hear from them (our leaders) for the commencement of Ramadan fasting. The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, as the overall leader of Nigerian Muslims and the President General of the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic affairs (NSCIA), is going to announce on the proper date to start the fasting, as good Muslims, we must obey. I pray may Allah the Almighty grant our leaders success and provide strength, assistance and tawfeeq to them, ameen.

May Allah protect you, us, and all Muslims from that which brings His wrath! May Allah accept our sawm and Qiyam-ul-Layl and rectify the affairs of Muslim leaders and make them a means to defend Islam and Muslims! May Allah guide us all to comprehend Islam, hold fast to it, and judge according to it in all our affairs! Allah has power over all things.

O Allah! Preserve us until Ramadan comes and make Ramadan easy for us, and accept it from us with total acceptance. O Allah! Let us reach the blessed month of Ramadan. May this coming Ramadan be the best (Ramadan) for all of us.

O Allah! Safeguard us for the month of Ramadan (by sparing us to witness the blessed month of Ramadan healthy and fit), and safeguard the month of Ramadan for us (by making the conditions in it such that we can take maximum benefit from it) and accept it from us.

May the Peace and blessings of Allah be upon His beloved Servant and Messenger, Muhammad, and upon all his family and Companions and whoever follows his way until the Day of Resurrection.

 

This Khutbah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today, Friday, Sha’aban 20, 1437 AH (May 27, 2016), by Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’at Mosque and Alhaji Abdurrahman Okene’s Mosque, Okene Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached via: +23480382 89761.

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(Friday Sermon) Islam And Reading Culture By Imam Murtada Gusau

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

Alhamdulillah. Indeed, all praise is due to Allah. We praise Him and seek His help and forgiveness. We seek refuge with Allah from the evil within ourselves and from our wrongdoings. He whom Allah guides, no one can misguide, and he whom He misguides, no one can guide.

I bear witness that there is no (true) God except Allah alone without a partner, and I bear witness that Muhammad (PBUH) is His abd (servant) and Messenger.

O you who have believe! Revere Allah the right reverence, and do not die except as Muslims.” (Ali Imran, 3:102)

“O people! Revere your Lord who has created you from a single soul, created from it its mate, and dispersed from both of them many men and women. Revere Allah through whom you demand things from one another and (Cherish the ties of) the wombs, indeed, Allah is ever-Watchful over you.” (An-Nisa’, 4:1)

“O you who have believe! Revere Allah and say fair words. He will then rectify your deeds and forgive your sins. He who obeys Allah and His Messenger have certainly achieved a great victory.” (Al-Ahzaab, 33:70-71)

Indeed, the best speech is Allah’s (SWT) Book and the best guidance is Muhammad’s (SAW) guidance. The worst affairs (of religion) are those innovated (by people), for every such innovation is an act of misguidance leading to the Fire.

Dear Servants of Allah!

Allah has bestowed upon us existence, but He made our life restricted in span. It remains short no matter how much it lasts. For this reason the Noble Qur’an urges us to invest in our time by doing good deeds so as to benefit ourselves and our nation. And reading is one of the beneficial acts to busy ourselves with. Because of its importance in life, it was the first thing revealed to the Prophet (PBUH) as Allah says:

“Recite/Read in the name of your Lord who created – created man from a clinging substance. Recite/Read and your Lord is the most Generous – who taught by the pen – taught man that which he knew not.” (Al Alaq, 1-5)

Dear Servants of Allah!

Reading is thus a delight for the soul and a feed for the thought. Therefore, you are invited to read beneficial knowledge and acquire useful books. The best book of all is the Noble Qur’an. Allah the Almighty says:

So recite what is easy from it.” (Al Muzammil, 20)

On the same matter, the Prophet (PBUH) said:

“Recite the Qur’an for it will come as an intercessor for its readers on the Day of Resurrection.”

It is the inscribed book for understanding what Allah, may Glory be to Him, has availed in this universe, from land, sea, air, environment to space. Whoever reads the Qur’an and ponders its meanings will go deeply in understanding its verses, indicating the all knowledge of the Creator as well as his wisdom and might.

Allah the most Exalted says:

We will show them our signs in the horizons and within themselves until it becomes clear to them that it is the truth.”

Also Reading the Prophetic Hadiths and traditions as well as those of scholars and the pious is also a rich source for attaining knowledge. They contain a wealth of lessons that they can be alternative to many other books and records. It was reported that it was said to Ibn al Mubarak:

“O Abu Abdulrahman, what if you go out and sit with your friends.” He said, “When at home, I am sitting with the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH’s) companions,” meaning reading books.

Dear Brothers and Sisters!

Reading is the key to harness sciences, master skills, learn religious teachings and acquire the knowledge and heritage of former and later peoples. It is no wonder then that it is a reason for elevating the status of man either in his lifetime or after his death. Allah the most exalted says:

“Allah will raise those who have believed among you and those who were given knowledge, by degrees. And Allah is acquainted with what you do.” (Al Mujadala: 11)

In another place in the Qur’an, the high value of reading is highlighted in the account of the youth of the cave (as-habul Kahf), who kept a book with them:

Or have you though that the companions of the cave and the inscription were, among our signs, a wonder?” (Al Kahf: 9)

About them (the youth and the inscription), Ibn Abbas, May Allah be pleased with him, said that the inscription with them at the cave was their code of law.

This point to the importance of taking and reading books in all of one’s actions as was the case with early Muslims. Well aware of this, they rolled up their sleeves and sought to combat literacy by studying and learning. It was not uncommon amongst them to advise each other before travel to read books during their journey saying, “help yourselves overcome the solitude of being away from home by reading books. They are speaking tongues and seeing eyes.”

Al Khalil Ibn Ahmad al Farahidi, the founder of al Arud (the study of Arabic prosody), said, “Anything I heard, I wrote and memorized. And anything I memorized had benefitted me.” During his life, he was an avid reader and passionate about learning.

A scholar said to his friends, “please know that knowledge comes and go, so make books its protector and pens its guardian.” Their readings yielded beneficial knowledge, which was recorded in books of various forms and types.

My respected people!

You are advised to read different kinds of sciences and texts as there are a large number of materials translated into Arabic, English, Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo, Ebira, etc. making knowledge conveniently available in our mother tongues.

This is accentuated by the evolution of reading tools, which are no longer the preserve of conventional mediums; books, journals, magazines and so on. Reading has become electronic through the internet and other similar mediums, featuring varied knowledge content that feeds the souls and thoughts.

The new reading facilities save time and effort and take us to the age of smart communication solutions, invented by people who invested well in reading. So strive hard in reading beneficial sciences and encourage your children to follow whatever is new and useful. You need also to give some of your time to reading, daily and weekly.

With this in mind, I command you to obey Allah duly and be aware that nations progress through reading and knowledge, without which life is meaningless. That is why Allah swore by their tools, the pen. He the Almighty says:

“Nun. By the pen and what they inscribe?” (Nun: 1), highlighting the high status of writing. Let us make the books our companions in order to contribute to our beloved nation.

Dear Servants of Allah!

Allah has asked you to abide by an order He has been the first to undertake, then His angels, for He says:

Indeed, Allah confers blessing upon the Prophet, and His angels [ask Him to do so]. O you who have believed, ask [Allah to confer] blessing upon him and ask (Allah to grant him) peace.” (Al Ahzaab: 56)

The Prophet (PBUH) said:

“For everyone who invokes a blessing on me will receive ten blessings from Allah.”

May the peace and the blessings of Allah be upon our Master Muhammad (PBUH), his family and all his Companions.

“O Allah, we seek your favour to bless us with beneficial knowledge, let our hearts be full of your gratitude and keep our tongue moist with your remembrance. May Allah bless us with good provision, accepted work, well-being in mind and body and blessed living life and progeny.

May Allah be pleased with the rightly guided caliphs and all those who will follow them in righteousness till the Day of Judgment.

O Allah guide us to know what is good, make us benefit from what we have learnt, and increase our knowledge.

O Allah, give us piety and purify our souls. You are the Master and the Lord of souls. O Sustainer, amend our intentions, grant that our spouses and our offspring be a joy to our eyes and make success be an ally to us.

O Allah, we implore you at this instant not to let a sin unforgiving, a distress unrelieved, an illness unhealed or a handicapped without relief, a dead without mercy or a debt unsettled. Our Lord, give us in this world that which is good and in the Hereafter that which is good, and save us from the torment of the fire.

May Allah grant our leaders success and provide strength and assistance to them.

“O Allah, forgives all of the Muslims, men and women, living and dead, and makes blessings follow us and them. O Allah have mercy on our parents. O Lord, forgive and show mercy, you are the Ever merciful and there is no strength or power save with Allah, the High, the Great.

I pray to Allah, the Most Gracious to continue blessing our beloved country, Nigeria, with peace, unity, progress, safety and security, ameen.

O Servants of Allah remember Allah and He will remember you. Be grateful for His benevolence He will increase His blessings to you. Allah, the Most High, says:

“And establish prayer. Indeed, prayer prohibits immorality and wrongdoing, and the remembrance of Allah is greater. And Allah knows that which you do.” (Al Ankabut: 45)

 

This Khutbah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today, Friday, Sha’aban 13,1437 AH (May 20, 2016), by Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’at Mosque and Alhaji Abdurrahman Okene’s Mosque, Okene Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached through: +234 803 828 9761.

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Untold Story Of How Three Kaduna Pastors Were Kidnapped, One Killed

March 21, 2016 has come and gone, but it is a day the President of the United Church of Christ in Nigeria, Rev. Emmanuel Dziggau, will not forget in a hurry. He was kidnapped alongside two other clergy men along Kaduna-Abuja Express Way.

And unfortunately, one of them, Rev.Iliya Anto, did not live to tell the story of their abduction and ordeal in the kidnappers’ den.

Members of the Taraya Ekklesiyoyin Kristi A Nigeria (Fellowship of Churches of Christ in Nigeria, TEKAN), were thrown into confusion following the abduction of their President and other clergymen. Dziggau is also the president of Haddiyar Ekklesiya Kristi A Nigeria (United Church of Christ in Nigeria) and the TEKAN/ECWA bloc leader in the Christian Association of Nigeria.

The Reverend was kidnapped along with his deputy, Rev. Illiya Anto, and a retired reverend in the church, Yakubu Dzarma. They were at the church crusade ground along the Kaduna-Abuja highway on that fateful day to clear the proposed permanent site for the HEKAN Theological Seminary.

Suddenly, masked gunmen, numbering about 10, stormed the crusade ground and picked the three men, while other church members fled.

The General Secretary of the church and one of the eyewitnesses, Rev Jibrailu Wobiya, who escaped the abduction said, the abductors came in a car and parked by the roadside, with their driver inside the car, while others dropped, brandishing guns and other dangerous weapons.

“They came down; having suspected them, we ran, but they caught up with The President, Reverend Anto and Reverend Yakubu Dzarma. I was scared by the way and manner they dragged them, especially Rev Anto, who was ill”.

Meanwhile, the President, Reverend Emmanuel Dziggau and Rev. Yakubu Dzarma regained freedom on Wednesday night, but for Rev Anto, his already decomposing body was found in the bush.

A top official of the United Church of Christ, who pleaded anonymity, said on Thursday that Dziggau and  Dzarma were freed on Wednesday in the night, while the corpse of Rev. Anto was found, almost decomposing in the bush.

But, unlike the Army Colonel Samaila Inusa, who was abducted and subsequently killed, Reverend Anto died in the bush where he was abandoned by the kidnappers following his health  condition.

A reliable source from the Kaduna HEKAN Church said, a day after the their abduction, their abductors had called to inform that Anto was not well and they had dropped him at a location in the bush. He equally disclosed that Reverend Anto was discharged from the hospital penultimate Thursday, and only managed to follow them to the church site where they were abducted on Monday.

According to him, “On Tuesday, the abductors contacted the church leadership that they had dropped Rev. Anto in the bush, because they discovered he was not feeling fine. So, they said we should come and pick him, with a strong warning that only three persons should come for him.

“But when we dispatched people to the location to carry him, they couldn’t get him after combing the area. The kidnappers, who might have been watching from their hideout, said we sent too many people to pick. So, they refused to give further description of the location and we thought they must have gone with him.

“When they couldn’t find him, they called them again and the kidnappers gave the description of the car they came with, the number of policemen in the team and the number of SSS. So, they (kidnapers) said the people sent to pick up the pastor were too many and they stopped giving description,” he said.

It was gathered that the late Reverend was abandoned in the bush because he couldn’t withstand the rigour of the excessive trekking they were subjected to.

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(Friday Sermon) Differences Of Opinion Among The Muslims By Imam Murtada Gusau

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

Verily all praise is for Allah, the only true God worthy of worship, peace and blessings be upon Muhammad, the slave and final Messenger of Allah.

Servants of Allah!

People were a single nation upon the religion of Adam (AS) for fourteen generations, then the devils dislodged and diverted them from their deen (religion) and forbade them from what Allah had made permissible. They disagreed and differed, so Allah sent His Messengers in succession so that they would worship Allah alone and so that His sayings would be the deciding factor in any disagreement.

Muhammad (SAW) came after a gap in the succession of Prophets, to explain the straight way to the people and to guide them by Allah’s permission, in those matters of the truth about which they differed, to the way of the Mighty and the One worthy of all praise.

The reason this topic is being written about, when this page could have well been written about matters of more importance pertaining to this religion is because it occupies the minds of many people, especially in this time of ours. Not only does it cause confusion in the minds of the common people, but also the students of knowledge.

Additionally, this Sermon aims at eliminating hatred, enmity, and disunity amongst Muslims as a result of differences in opinion. I ask Allah the Most High that upon taking a glimpse at this topic, that there will develop an increase in the respect of scholars and tolerance towards other Muslims who hold valid opinions that may be contrary to that of others.

Brothers and Sisters!

During the lifetime of Prophet Muhammad, people used to refer directly to him when in dispute, so he would judge between them, making the truth plain to them. How often do we read in the Qur’an: “They ask you regarding…” upon which Allah would then reply to His Prophet with a clear answer, ordering him to convey it to the people. Some examples include the following verses:

“They ask you as to what is lawful for them. Say, ‘Lawful unto you are all things good and pure…” (Al-Ma’idah, 5:4)

“And they ask you as to what they should spend. Say, ‘What is beyond your needs…” (Al-Baqara, 2:219)

“They ask about the spoils of war. Say, ‘The spoils of war are for Allah and the Messenger…” (Al-Anfal, 8:1)

“They ask you about the new moon. Say, ‘They are signs to indicate fixed periods of time for mankind and for the pilgrimage….” (Al-Baqara, 2:189)

After the demise of the greatest man ever to have set foot on the face of the earth, Prophet Muhammad, the Muslim Ummah (nation) differed on legal rulings of the Shari’ah. However, these disagreements within subsidiary issues do not affect or harm the fundamentals of the religion, and hence, do not impose on the principles of the Shari’ah nor its root sources -The Qur’an and the Sunnah. None of the scholars who are trusted, and relied upon with respect to their knowledge, trustworthiness and religion, intentionally oppose the book of Allah and the Sunnah of His Messenger. Nevertheless, it is indeed possible for scholars to commit mistakes in the laws of Allah because the human, as Allah describes him, is weak: “…and man was created weak.” (An-Nisa, 4:28)

Therefore, man is weak in his knowledge and perception, and he is weak in his understanding and comprehension. As a result, mistakes will emanate from him in some matters. Mistakes committed by the majority of the scholars are not in the fundamentals, except there are those who have fallen into error and stood in opposition to certain fundamentals of Sunnah as a result of their ijtihaad. Ibn Taymiyyah states:

“…Many of the Mujtahidun of the Salaf (pious predecessors) and those later on have said and performed deeds which are innovations. They however, did not know these deeds to be acts of innovation due to weak hadiths which they believed to be authentic, or incorrectly understanding verses of the Qur’an or due to an opinion they exerted in an issue which had textual evidences they were not aware of ….” (Majmu’ al-fataawa, vol. 19, page 191)

The Causes

The following causes are some of the frequently found reasons for differing between scholars:

  1. The evidence was not known to the scholar, which ultimately led to error in his judgment.

Evidences pertaining to a particular issue or issues of the religion not reaching a scholar, whether he be one of the four schools of thought (Abu Hanifa, Malik, Shafi’i and Ahmad ibn Hanbal May Allah have mercy on them all) or any of the scholars that came after them, is not something unique to them only. This also happened to the companions themselves. This can be seen in the hadith collected in Sahih Bukhari:

“Umar ibn Al-khattaab (RA) was traveling to Ash-Sham. Along the way, someone mentioned to him that a plague had broken out there. So he stopped and started to seek counsel from the companions. He counseled both the Muhaajirun and the Ansaar, and the companions differed on this issue which resulted in two opinions, the correct being that they should not travel to Sham but return to Madinah. During this deliberation and consultation, Abdur-Rahman ibn ‘Awf, who had been preoccupied and therefore not initially present, turned up and remarked: “I have with me some knowledge on this matter. I heard the Messenger of Allah say: ‘If you hear of it (i.e. a plague) being in a land, do not go there, and if it breaks out in a land which you are in, do not leave in flee of it.” (Sahih al-Bukhari)

This example illustrates that people who lived during the time of revelation did not have knowledge and evidences regarding everything. The above ruling given by Abdur-Rahman ibn ‘Awf was not only no known to the chief of the believers, Umar ibn al-Khataab (RA), but also to the major companions of the Muhaajirun and Ansaar.

  1. The hadith is known to the scholar; however he regards it as being in contradiction to a stronger hadith.

Once again, let us look at an example involving the companions themselves and not those after them.

“Fatimah, the daughter of Qays (may Allah be pleased with her) was divorced by her husband for the third and final time. He arranged for wheat to be sent to her as a means of sustenance during her waiting period. She however, belittled it and refused to accept it. They then took their case up with the Prophet, whereupon, he informed her that he in fact had no legal claim to any maintenance or accommodation.” (Sahih Muslim)

Umar ibn Al-Khataab was unaware of this Sunnah and held the view that the woman in such a predicament was entitled to maintenance and housing. He rejected the above mentioned hadith on the basis that she may have forgotten and said: “Are we to leave the saying of our Lord for the saying of a woman, when we know not if she has remembered or forgotten?” The verse Umar (RA) was referring to is: “…and do not turn them out of their (husbands’) homes, nor shall they (themselves) leave unless they are guilty of open lewdness…” (At-Talaq, 65:1)

The chief of the believers did not have any confidence in the authenticity of this piece of evidence. There are numerous examples where we notice that some scholars regard a certain hadith as authentic, so they give judgment in accordance to it. Whilst others see it as being weak so do not consider it, due to a lack of trust as to whether it actually is reported from the Messenger of Allah.

  1. The scholar knew the hadith but he did not recollect it.

Indeed just how many people find that a hadith or a verse from the Qur’an has slipped from their minds? Even the Prophet can forget, the one to whom revelation is sent down. Allah said: “We shall cause you to recite so that you do not forget, except what Allah wills…” (Al-A’laa, 87:6-7)

The Messenger of Allah led his companions in prayer one day and he missed out a verse forgetfully. Ubayy ibn ka’b was present with him, so when the Prophet finished praying and was informed that he missed a verse, he said to Ubayy: “Why didn’t you remind me of it?” (Abu Dawud and Ahmad)

An example for this cause is the incident involving Umar ibn al-Khataab and Ammar ibn Yasir (may Allah be pleased with them both). The Messenger of Allah had sent them on an errand. On their journey one morning, both of them awoke in a state of Janabah (major impurity). Ammar exercised his judgment and saw that the purifying action of the earth was the same as that of water. So he rolled around on the earth just as the animal would, in order to completely cover himself with the earth just as would have been compulsory for him to cover his entire body with water; he then prayed. As for Umar, he did not pray. When they approached the Prophet, he informed them of the action that should have been taken, saying to Ammar: “It would have been enough for you to do this with your hands.” The Prophet struck the ground with his hands once, wiped his left hand on top of his right hand, then he wiped his palms and face. (Sahih Bukhari)

Ammar used to relate this incident before and during the khilafah of Umar. One day, Umar summoned for him and said: “What is this hadith which you keep relating?” After Ammar informed him of the incident, Umar did not recall it and said: “Fear Allah O Ammar!” So Ammar said to him: “If you so desire, as Allah has made binding my obedience to you, I will stop narrating this incident.” ‘Umar replied: “We leave you to that which you have adopted.” i.e. relate it to the people. Therefore, we see that Umar had forgotten that the Prophet allowed tayammum (dry ablution) for the one in the state of janabah, just as it is allowed for the one who is in the state of minor defilement. The point to be made here is that a scholar can forget, becoming oblivious to the correct legal judgment and therefore giving an incorrect judgment, for which he is excused. However, the one who is aware of the evidences is not excused.

  1. The scholar is aware of the evidence but understand it incorrectly.

An example from the Sunnah to support this cause is the incident where the companions differed with each other on their way to a battle. The Messenger of Allah ordered his companions to set out for Bani Quraydhah and said: “None of you should pray Asr except at Bani Qurayhdah.” (Sahih Bukhari) The companions understood this command differently: Some though that the Messenger of Allah’s intention was for them to make haste in setting off so that when the time for Asr prayer arrived, they would already be at Bani Quraydhah. Consequently, when the time for Asr prayer set in and they were in fact still on their way, they prayed and did not delay it out of its prescribed time. The other companions understood the Messenger of Allah’s order to mean that they should not pray Asr until they reach Bani Quraydhah. Hence they delayed their prayer until they reached Bani Quraydhah and therefore prayed it outside its time.

Servants of Allah!

This Hadith is a fundamental evidence for not rebuking the Mujtahid who falls into error when exercising his judgment. This is only true when certain conditions are met. Some of them are the following: Firstly, the person performing Ijtihaad is qualified to do so. Secondly, the particular issue in which he errs in is open to Ijtihaad. Thirdly, the person exerts his utmost in trying to arrive at the correct ruling. Also, the person must have some form of evidence, which he uses to justify his position.

The Messenger of Allah said:

“If a judge gives a ruling upon Ijtihad and is correct, he will attain two rewards, and if he performs Ijtihad and errs in his ruling, then he secures one reward.” (Bukhari, Muslim and others)

So, it is only when the previously mentioned conditions are met that this hadith can take effect. This is an extremely important matter related to “differing” mentioned by a number of scholars like Ash-Shaatibi, Al-Khattaabi, ibn Taymiyyah and their like.

In the example of Bani Quraydhah, the correct position is with those who prayed on time. This is because the texts which make the prayers at their stated times obligatory, are clear and conclusive; and this hadith is a vague text. Therefore, the sound and correct methodology that should be adopted in such circumstances is to refer those texts that are vague and ambiguous back to those that are clear and conclusive – And Allah knows best.

  1. The scholar is aware of the hadith, but it is in fact abrogated.

At the advent of Islam, the praying person, when in ruku’ used to put his hands together and place them between his knees. However, this was later abrogated, and the new ruling was for one to place his hands on his knees. (Bukhari)

Once, Alqamah and Al-Aswad, two famous taabi’in scholars from amongst the students of ibn Mas’ud prayed at his side; they placed their hands on their knees, whereupon, he prohibited them and ordered them to do as he did. This is because he did not know of the abrogation. Hence, a scholar may use as evidence for his ruling a hadith that is authentic, its meaning may also be understood correctly, however, little did he know of its abrogation.

  1. The scholar is aware of the evidence, but he sees it to lie in conflict or contradiction to stronger evidence.

We often hear one asserting that there is a consensus of the scholars on a particular issue, only to find out that no such consensus has in fact taken place. An example of this is that a group related that there was a consensus of the scholars on the acceptance of a slave’s testimony, whilst others reported that there was a consensus on the rejection of a slave’s testimony. The reason this occurs is because a certain type of individual who is surrounded by people who agree with him on an issue, believes that not a single person disagrees with him due to his full conviction that this judgment is exactly what the texts imply. Hence, two evidences form in his mind: The text and a consensus of the scholars. In addition, he may even feel that this judgment is supported by correct analogical deduction known as qiyas. Therefore he judges that no one differs on this text which to him is supported by correct qiyas. The reality however, is the complete opposite.

 

Ibn Abbas is of the opinion that riba (usury) only occurred in an-nasee’ah (Illegal profit earn on a lent commodity), whilst the scholars after him have all agreed that riba is of two types: al-fadl (Illegal profit earn by exchanging the same commodity, different in quality) and an-nasee’ah.

  1. The scholar gives a ruling based on a hadith he deems to be authentic, whilst others see it as weak (da’if)

A weak hadith is not a true saying or action of the Prophet and cannot be used to prove any point of Islamic Law. Thus any law which is based on such a hadith is considered incorrect. In the hadith collected by Abu Dawud, whereby Hafs ibn Ghayyaath reported from Abdur-Rahman ibn Is-haaq from…that Ali ibn Talib was supposed to have said: “The Sunnah position of the hands in Salah is to place one hand on the other hand, below the navel.” This hadith is classified as weak because Abdur-Rahman was a known liar.

In another hadith also collected by Abu Dawud, and which the scholars of hadith classified as authentic, Tawus reported: “Allah’s Messenger used to put his right hand on his left hand and place them on his chest whenever he was in Salah.” Another example is the differences of opinion concerning the prayer of Tasbeeh (Salatu Tasbeeh). Whilst some scholars view it as legislated and justifiable, others deem the hadiths regarding it as not authentic. Shaykhul-Islam ibn Taymiyyah said: “its hadith is a lie on the Prophet.”

Whose opinion should we follow?

Brothers and Sisters!

It is obligatory on the Muslim to search and investigate in order to find the one closest to the correct opinion. Just as a person who is sick, looks for the most competent person in the field of medicine, then the same applies here, as knowledge is a remedy for the hearts. It is not a condition that you take all your rulings from the most knowledgeable person of your time. This is because not every knowledgeable person always holds the correct opinion. This statement can be supported by the fact that at the time of the companions, people would ask one who was less knowledgeable than others who were also present. At the very least, a Muslim should refer back to those whom he believes to be the most competent in their religion and knowledge, those who refers back to the Qur’an and authentic Sunnah. The notion that because there is a difference on a particular matter, e.g. with regard to the prohibition of something, it therefore becomes permissible is completely rejected by the Sunnah. If we were to accept this then we would declare lawful riba, illegal marriages like mut’ah and certain intoxicating drinks because the ummah differed in these issues. Allah Most High says:

“If you differ in anything amongst yourselves, refer it back to Allah and His Messenger, if you believe in Allah and in the Last Day.” (An-Nisa, 4:59)

My respected people!

Let me conclude my Sermon by citing some of the statements of the Imams of the four schools of thought, may Allah have mercy on them all.

Imam Abu Hanifah said:

“If a hadith is found to be sahih, then it is my madhhab.” (ibn Aabideen in al-Hashiyah)

He also said:

“It is not permitted for anyone to accept our views if they do not know from where we got them.” (Ibn al-Qayyim in I’lam al-Muwaqqi’in and others)

Imam Malik ibn Anas said:

“Truly I am only a mortal: I make mistakes (sometimes) and I am correct (sometimes). Therefore, look into my opinion: all that agrees with the Book and the Sunnah accept it; and all that does not agree with the Book and the Sunnah, ignore it.” (Ibn Abdul Barr in Jami’ Bayanil ilm)

“He also said:

“Everyone after the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) will have his sayings accepted and rejected, except the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him).” (Ibn Hazm in usul al-Ahkam)

Imam Shaafi’i said:

“If you find in my writings something different to the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), then speak on the basis of the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), and leave what I have said.” (Al-Khateeb)

He also said:

“When a hadith is found to be sahih, then that is my madhhab.” (Nawawi in Al-Majmu)

Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal said:

“Do not follow my opinion; neither follows the opinion of Malik, nor Shafi’i, nor Awza’i, nor Thawri, but takes from where they took.” (Ibn al-Qayyim in I’lam)

Therefore, Servants of Allah, reflect on these sayings, for they alone are enough to smash blind following of opinion.

And Allah knows best.

Alhamdu Lillah and May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon His Messenger Muhammad (SAW), his family and his companions.

This Khutbah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today, Friday, Jumaada al-Thaany 22, 1437 A.H (April 1st, 2016), by Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, The Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’at Mosque and Alhaji Abdurrahman Okene’s Mosque, Okene Kogi State Nigeria. He can be reached via: +234 80 382 89761.

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Pastor Series 6: Johnson Suleman:  Apostle of Judgmental Fire on Evil Politicians and Occult Rulers By Obinna Akukwe

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Meet the Igbo Herbalist Who Has 57 Wives

Odo, also known variously as Onuwa, King Solomon of Africa or King of Satan was married to 68 women but some of them had earlier died. Augustina Odo (nee Asogwa) and Virginia, nee Mogbo from Oraifite were among the dead ones.

Odo spoke in an interview with the South East Voice at his palatial home at Aji, Enugu Ezike in Igboeze North Local Government Area of Enugu State.

Onuwa who was armed with an Onward note book where names of his wives and over 200 children
were listed according to their dates of birth said that his first son, Emeka was born on December 15, 1969.

“I was born in 1947 on the day they had an eclipse of the sun and the moon. There was darkness in the afternoon on the day I was born. I was the only son of my parents. “I was baptised as a Christian in the Catholic Church and I even became a mass servant under Rev Father Desmond McGlade.

I however became a herbalist because of circumstances beyond my control. As I said, I was the only son of my parents but because some of his relations wanted to take over his landed property, they poisoned me. I contracted tuberculosis and had to be treated for years.

At a point, I was even unable to walk for about five years because I became lame. I ran to Ondo State in the South West, where I trained to become a herbalist at the age of 15, before returning to the village.

I married 15 wives when my father was alive and the situation prolonged his life. He died in 1992 at the ripe old age of over 90 years. My first son has seven children and four grandchildren. Any of my children who chooses to become a Christian is free to do so, provided he/she must become a Catholic. I don’t like the Pentecostal churches.”

Meanwhile, it was learnt that although Onuwa abhorred seeing his children attend churches other than the Catholic church, seven of them were ordained pastors at the Lord’s Chosen Church. Hitherto, some of them attended Catholic and Anglican churches while many of them took after their father in his business. However, the ordination of the pastors brought about a radical Christian awakening in the extra-large family of Chief Odo. In the past four years, there had been a simmering misunderstanding between the pastors and their father regarding his herbal practice. The pastors were said to be mounting heavy pressure on him to repent and turn to Jesus, a demand the herbalist spurned.

Via@Vanguard

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(Friday Sermon) Islam Teaches Muslims Good Character By Imam Murtada Gusau

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

All perfect praise be to Allah, we praise Him, seek His aid, and ask His forgiveness. We seek refuge in Allah from the evils of ourselves and from our bad deeds. He whom Allah guides, there is none to misguide him, and he whom He leaves astray there is none to guide him! I bear witness that Muhammad (SAW) is His slave and Messenger.

To proceed:

“O you who have believe! Fear Allah (by doing all that He has ordered and by abstaining from all that He has forbidden) as He should be feared, (Obey Him, be thankful to Him, and remember Him always), and die not except in a state of Islam (as Muslims) with complete submission to Allah.” [Al-Imraan: 103]

“O mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, who created you from a single person (Adam), and from him (Adam) he created his wife [Hawwa (Eve)], and from them both He created many men and women and fear Allah through whom you demand your mutual (rights), and (do not cut the relations of) the wombs (kinship). Surely Allah is Ever an All-Watcher over you.” (An-Nisaa’: 1)

“O you who have believe! Keep your duty to Allah and fear Him, and speak (always) the truth. He will direct you to do righteous good deeds and will forgive you your sins. And whosoever obeys Allah and His Messenger (SAW) he has indeed achieved a great achievement (i.e. he will be saved from the Hell-fire and made to enter paradise).” [Al-Ahzaab: 70-71)

To Proceed:

Verily the most truthful speech is the Book of Allah, and the best guidance is the guidance of Muhammad (SAW). And the worst matters are the newly invented matters (in the religion), and ALL new matters are innovations into the religion, and all the innovations are misguidance, and all the misguidance lead to the fire.”

Servants of Allah!

Good character, morals, ethics and manners are fundamental to the religion of Islam and the means by which we can achieve salvation in the life to come. Good character is a major theme in the teachings of the Qur’an and the Hadiths of the Prophet (SAW). True righteousness is defined by it and the best Muslims are those who practice it. The believers with the most complete faith, who are most beloved by Allah and His Messenger, are those with the best character. A good Muslim is a person who received good training and upbringing from his parents. Therefore he will not abuse or insult the leaders and elders of other people nor listen to those untrained people who are trying to tarnish his image, defame him or spreading the campaign of calumny against him. Because he have believed that it’s lack of good training and proper upbringing that would make a person to behave so.

Allah praised the Prophet’s character and set him as the example and role model for all believers to follow. Allah the Most High said:

Verily, you are upon great moral character.(Surah Al-Qalam 68:4)

The commentators of the Qur’an say the “great moral character” mentioned in this verse is the Qur’an, the Prophet, and the religion of Islam itself.

Imam Ibn Kathir also comments on this verse, saying:

“The meaning of this verse is that the Prophet would emulate the Qur’an in its commands, its prohibitions, and it became his temperament. His character became accustomed to it and he abandoned his visceral carnal nature. Whatever the Qur’an commanded he did, and whatever it prohibited he abstained. Along with this, Allah ingrained within him great character traits of modesty, generosity, courage, forgiveness, forbearance, and every beautiful trait.” (See Tafsir al-Qur’an al-Azim, 68:4)

The primary mission of the Prophet was to instill good character within the believers in every aspect of their lives.

Abu Hurairah reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

Verily, I have only been sent to perfect righteous character.” (See Musnad Ahmad, 8729)

In another narration, the Prophet said:

“I have been sent to perfect good character.” (See al-Muwatta, 1614)

And in another narration, the Prophet said:

“Verily, Allah has sent me to perfect noble morals and complete good deeds.” (See al-Mu’jam al-Awsat, 7073)

Brothers and sisters!

With respect to Allah, good character means upholding the sound creed (aqeedah) and acts of worship (ibadah). With respect to people, good character means being just, merciful, forgiving, kind, generous and patient in our interactions with them (Mu’amalat).

This comprehensive view of good character coloured the Prophet’s preaching in Makkah and throughout his life. The companions would recall how good character was one of the first Islamic teachings they had ever heard.

Ibn Abbas reported: When Abu Dharr heard that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, had appeared in Makkah, he said to his brother, “Ride to this valley and tell me about this man who claims to have received revelation from the heavens. Listen to his words and then inform me. “The man rode along until he arrived in Makkah and he listened to the Prophet, then he return to Abu Dharr and he said:

“I have seen him order noble morals, and his speech is not that of poet.” (See Sahih Muslim, 2474)

Since good character is so important, behaving in a morally upright manner is a religious obligation. The Prophet commanded Muslims to behave well in every circumstance and with every human being, not simply those close to us.

Abu Dharr reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

“Behave with good character toward the people”. (See Sunan At-Timidhi, 1987)

Good character is not merely recommended or secondary to issues of doctrine. Rather, good character, morals, ethics, and manners are the spirit that breathes life into our doctrines. It is the very essence of the righteousness spoken about all throughout the Qur’an. It is accessible to our innate rational nature as Allah has bestowed upon all of us the power to recognize righteousness and sin, even without the aid of revelation.

An-Nawwas ibn Sam’an reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

“Righteousness is good character and sin is what waivers in your heart and you hate for people to find out about it.” (See Sahih Muslim, 2553)

In another narration, the Prophet said:

“Consult your soul, consult your heart. Righteousness is what is satisfying to your soul and your heart, and sin is what wavers in your soul and causes hesitancy in your chest, even if the people give you a judgment, and again give you a judgment.” (See Sunan Ad-Darimi, 2533)

From all this, many classical scholars understood that good character is essential and required in Islam, even equivalent to the religion itself.

Imam ibn Al-Qayyim writes:

“The religion itself is entirely good character, so whoever surpasses you in good character has surpassed you in religion.” (See Madaarij al-Saalikin, 2/294)

And he also writes:

“Good manners itself is the religion in its entirety.” (See Madaarij al-Saalikin, 2/363)

The true measure of a good Muslim is how good are his character and manners, particularly in his or her relationships with their families and all people. Men are specifically called upon to treat their women in the best manner. The honour of a Muslim man is directly proportional to his behaviour towards women.

Abdullah ibn Amr reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

“The best of you are those with the best character.” (See Sahih Bukhari, 3366)

In another narration, the Prophet said:

“The most complete of the believers in faith are those with the best character, and the best of you are the best in behaviour to their women.” (See Sunan At-Tirmidhi, 1162)

And in another narration, the Prophet said:

“Verily, the believers with the most complete faith are those with the most excellent character and who are most kind to their family.” (See Sunan At-Tirmidhi, 2612)

Servants of Allah!

Good character is among the greatest of good deeds to be placed on the scale of a believer on the Day of Judgment, even more so than an abundance of voluntary acts of worship.

Abu Dardaa reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

“Nothing is heavier upon the scale of the believer on the Day of Resurrection than his good character. Verily, Allah hates the shameless, obscene person.” (See Sunan At-Tirmidhi, 2002)

Aisha reported: the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

“Verily, the believer may reach through his good character the status of one who regularly fasts and prays at night.” (See Sunan Abu Dawud, 4798)

The Prophet informed us that good character is the leading cause of people entering paradise. On the contrary, character flaws involving bad speech, defaming, attacking, abusing and insulting people and sexual immorality are the leading cause of people entering the Hellfire.

Abu Hurairah reported: The Prophet was asked, “What enters most people into paradise?” The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him said:

“Righteousness and good character.”

It was asked, “What enters most people into the Hellfire?” The Prophet said:

“The mouth and the private parts.” (See Sunan At-Tirmidhi, 2004)

Those who practiced good character and manners will be the closet to the Prophet and the righteous in paradise, whereas those who indulged in bad manners will be the furthest from them.

Abdullah ibn Amr reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessing be upon him, said:

“Shall I tell you about the most beloved to me and the closest to my assembly on the Day of Resurrection? They are those with the best character.” (See Musnad Ahmad, 6696)

In another narration, the Prophet said:

“Verily, the most beloved and nearest to my gathering on the Day of Resurrection are those of you with the best character. Verily, the most reprehensible of you to me and the furthest from my gathering on the Day of Resurrection will be the pompous, the extravagant, and the arrogant.” (See Sunan At-Tirmidhi, 2018)

My respected people!

The scholars have written many books and articles about the virtues of good character and their practical manifestations: acts of mercy, justice, fairness, patience, forbearance, modesty, humility, generosity, piety, kindness, compassion, and so forth. In each case, good character involves the respect due to Allah, as well as the respect due to human beings and animals as the creations of Allah.

Ibn Taymiyyah summarizes the good character of Islam, saying:

“The believers encourage people to reconcile relations with those who have cut them off, to give charity to those who have deprived them, and to forgive those who have oppressed them. They order people to be benevolent with parents, to uphold family ties, to be benevolent with neighbours, to be kind with orphans, travelers, and the poor, and to be gentle with servants. They forbid bragging, arrogance, and transgression. They discourage people from feeling superior over others, rightly or wrongly. They enjoin people to use lofty manners and prohibit them from pursuing trifles. All that they say or do from these virtues and other teachings, in all of it they follow the Qur’an and the Sunnah. Their path is the religion of Islam with which Allah has sent Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him.” (See al-Aqidah al-Wasitiyah, 1/71)

Dear Servants of Allah!

As Muslims, our goal should be to behave well towards Allah by continuously seeking knowledge of the religion and performing acts of worship, while at the same time behaving well towards all people, upholding divine values of justice, fairness and mercy, and responding to evil with good.

“O Allah! Make us among those who earn your forgiveness and acquire safety from the Hell fire, Ameen.

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Prayers, peace and mercy are upon our beloved Master Muhammad, the son of Abdullah (SAW), his family and his companions.

Success comes from Allah, the Lord of all that exists, and He the Most High knows best.

This Khutbah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today, Friday, Jumaada al-awwal 24, 1437 A.H (March 4, 2016), by Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’at Mosque and Alhaji Abdurrahman Okene’s Mosque, Okene Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached through: +234 80 3828 9761.

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(Friday Sermon) The Signs Of The Hour, By Imam Murtada Gusau

In The Name Of Allah, the All-Merciful, the All-Compassionate

Alhamdulillah. Indeed, all praise is due to Allah. We praise Him and seek His help and forgiveness. We seek refuge with Allah from the evil within ourselves and from our wrongdoings. He whom Allah guides, no one can misguide; and he whom He misguides, no one can guide.

I bear witness that there is no (true) God except Allah – alone without a partner, and I bear witness that Muhammad (SAW) is His ‘abd (servant) and Messenger.

 “O you who have believe! Revere Allah the right reverence, and do not die except as Muslims.” (Al-Imran, 3:104)

 “O people! Revere your Lord who has created you from a single soul, created from it its mate, and dispersed from both of them many men and women. Revere Allah through whom you demand things from one another, and (cherish the ties of) the wombs, indeed, Allah is ever-watchful over you.” (An-Nisaa’, 4:1)

“O you who have believe! Revere Allah and say fair words. He will then rectify your deeds and forgive your sins. He who obeys Allah and His Messenger have certainly achieved a great victory.” (Al-Ahzaab, 33:70-71)

Indeed, the best speech is Allah’s Book and the best guidance is Muhammad’s (SAW) guidance. The worst affairs (of religion) are those innovated (by people), for every such innovation is an act of misguidance leading to the fire.

Servants of Allah!

The signs and portents of the Hour are part of the eschatological knowledge of revelation concerned with the events leading up to the Day of Judgment. It is one of the more difficult bodies of revealed knowledge to understand, and Muslims might fall into extremism if they do not understand the purposes and principles of interpreting such revelations.

Every Muslim needs to understand that we know very, very little about the events leading up to the end of time. Not even the Prophet himself, or any prophet, knows when the Hour will occur.

Allah the Most High said:

“People ask you concerning the Hour. Say: Knowledge of it is only with Allah.” (Surah Al-Ahzaab, 33:63)

And Allah the Almighty said:

“Verily, Allah alone has knowledge of the Hour.” (Surah Luqman, 31:34)

In a famous Hadith, the Angel Gabriel asked the Prophet when the Hour will begin, to which the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, replied:

“The one being asked does not know more than who is asking.” (See Sahih Bukhari, 50)

Hence, to claim any such specific knowledge about when the Hour will occur is clear misguidance and injustice, tantamount to inventing lies about Allah. We believe in general that the events the Prophet told us about will occur, although we cannot know exactly when they will happen since their dates are not mentioned in any authentic Hadith.

Imam Al-Qurtubi writes:

“What is befitting to say about this issue is that what is reported from the Prophet of tribulations and events will come to pass, but specifying a time or a year for them would require a decisively authentic text with no room for doubt.” (See al-Tadhkirah bi-Ahwal al-Mauta… 1/711)

The verses and Hadiths that speak about the signs preceding the Day of Judgment are a specialized field of study in Islamic creed. Scholars who study these issues need to be grounded in knowledge, wisdom, and a sound understanding of Islamic principles. Lay people who venture into this field without its requisite learning come up with strange and outrageous theories that misguide the Muslim public.

Ibn Hajar Al-Asqalany writes:

“If someone speaks about matters besides their specialty, then they will come up with many strange things.” (See Fath al-Bari, 1676)

Brothers and Sisters!

The reason why the Prophet informed us about the portents, events, and tribulations of the Hour was not for us to attempt to predict their occurrence or devise theories, but rather to encourage us to perform good deeds before such disasters strike. We ought to be grateful for times of peace and prosperity, making the most of them as we know for certain that these times will not last forever.

Abu Hurairah reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

Hasten to perform good deeds before six events: the False Messiah, the smoke, the beast from the earth, the rising of the sun from the west, and the general turmoil of the masses and individuals.” (See Sahih Muslim, 2947)

In another narration, the Prophet said:

“Hasten to perform good deeds before a tribulation which will be like the dark of the night, in which a man will be a believer in the morning and an unbeliever in the evening, or he will be a believer in the evening and an unbeliever in the morning. He would sell his religion and faith for some goods in the world.” (See: Sahih Muslim, 118)

And in another narration, the Prophet said:

Hasten to perform good deeds before seven events: Are you waiting for poverty which makes you forget? Or wealth which burdens you? or debilitating disease or senility? Or an unexpected death or the False Messiah? Or is it evil in the unseen you are waiting for, or the Hour itself? The Hour will be bitter and terrible.” (See Sunan At-Tirmidhi, 2306)

Al-Qadi Iyad comments on these Hadiths, saying:

“The Prophet commanded them to hasten to perform good deeds before the appearance of these signs, for when they appear they will be stunned and distracted from performing good deeds, or they might lose the opportunity to repent and have their deeds accepted.” (See: Mirqat al-Mafatih, 5465)

My respected people!

If people are starving or fearful for their survival, it becomes incredibly difficult for them to worship in tranquility and to seek higher intellectual and spiritual pursuits. We have to take advantage of our well-being to strengthen our faith such that when the tribulations come, our faith will be able to carry us through. And if we see the signs happening around us, this is only a reminder that the end is eventually coming and therefore we must repent before it is too late.

Imam Al-Qurtubi writes:

“The wisdom in the signs preceding the Hour is to inform people about them, to awaken them from their negligence, and to encourage them to take precaution with repentance and renewed devotion, such that they will not be caught off guard and be unable to make up for their shortcomings.” (See: al-Tadhkirah bi-Ahwal…, 3/1217)

And ibn Hajar writes:

“The wisdom in the signs preceding the Hour is that it will alert the heedless and encourage them to repent and prepare.” (See: Fath al-Bari, 11/350)

And Al-A’lai writes:

“The purpose of these reports is to encourage initiative in performing good deeds before our end and to make the most of our time before disaster strikes.” (See: Fayd al-Qadir, 3/195)

The Prophet would not answer people who asked him details about the Hour. Instead, he would encourage them to perform good deeds. In one incident, a man came to the Prophet and asked him when the Hour would occur, to which the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, replied:

What have you prepared for it?” (See Sahih Bukhari, 3435)

These purposes we have to bear in mind before reading eschatological revelations, lest we fall into error and sin. Nothing we do can speed up or slow down the coming of these tribulations, nor do we have the right to claim special knowledge about such events.

Servants of Allah!

In our times, one of the most abused and a misunderstood revelation is the inevitable advent of the False Messiah or Anti-Christ (i.e. ad-dajjal). The False Messiah will be a dictator who causes a major tribulation and period of persecution on earth, misleading people with false miracles and wonders and claiming to be Allah Himself.

The Prophet narrated much about the False Messiah, some of it vague and in metaphorical language, and even more has been narrated that cannot be authenticated. These Hadiths like many others regarding the signs of the Hour are open to a variety of possible interpretations. Muslims who claim to know the “true” interpretations of these signs are merely speculating. The true details of these matters will only be known with certainty at the time they come to pass.

For this reason, the Prophet worried that Muslims would be confused by the long and ambiguous traditions discussing the False Messiah. In order to simplify these details for us, the Prophet told us that all we need to really know is that Allah does not have one eye.

Ubadah ibn As-Samit reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

Verily, I have told you so much about the False Messiah that I am afraid you will not understand. Verily, the False Messiah is a short man, pigeon toed, curly haired, with one eye that is sightless, neither protruding nor sunken. If you are confused about him, then know that your Lord does not have one eye.” (See Sunan Abu Dawud, 4320)

By knowing this one fact and having a sound understanding of our faith in general, we will be able to recognize the False Messiah when he arrives without need to know everything that has been related about him. Every sincere Muslim will be able to recognize that he will be the leader of unbelief and idolatry.

Anas ibn Malik reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

There was no Prophet except that he warned his people of the one-eyed liar. Verily, he is blind in one eye and your Lord is not blind in one eye. He will have written across his forehead the word of unbelief.” (See Sahih Muslim, 2933)

Some scholars believe the False Messiah will literally have unbelief (Kufr) written on his forehead, while others believe it will be a miracle bestowed upon true believers, and yet others believe that their knowledge of Islam will grant them insight into the identity of the False Messiah. The truth is that we do not know exactly how this sign will manifest, but we do know for sure that the believers will recognize it if and when they see it.

As this example demonstrates, the signs preceding the Hour by their nature are characterized by the ambiguity of their details. In the same way we interpret the attributes of Allah, we must apply the principle of not interpreting how (bi la takyif) these signs will really be. We believe in the signs, but are uncertain of their details. The specific details themselves are not as important as the purpose of hastening to good deeds and strengthening our faith in preparation for hard times. It simply is not possible and was never meant for the believers to extract from these Hadiths anything more than this.

We have no control over the signs of the Hour, neither to bring them about nor repel them. It is a waste of time preoccupies ourselves with anything other than preparing ourselves, our faith, our knowledge, and our character for the tribulations ahead. Delving too much into their details and pursuing innumerable baseless conspiracy theories on the internet that attempt to incorporate them only distracts us from the more important matters we must attend to here and now.

Ja’afar As-Sadiq, May Allah have mercy on him, said:

“Allah the Exalted has decreed for us some things and demands from us some things. What he has decreed for us has been kept hidden from us, and what he wants from us has been made plain to us. What is the matter with us that we busy ourselves with what is decreed for us at the expense of what is demanded from us?” (See al-Milal wal-Nihal, 1/165)

Servants of Allah!

To conclude, know that true knowledge of the Hour belongs to Allah alone and not anyone else. The Prophet informed us of some of its signs to encourage us to perform good deeds, repents, and be grateful for periods of prosperity. The details of the signs are often vague and open to interpretation, making it impossible for anyone to claim he or she knows with certainty how these things will happen. We need to fulfill the purpose of these Hadiths by carrying on as Allah has commanded us, rather than getting bogged down in useless speculation and, at worst, fictitious claims and conspiracies about the Unseen.

O Allah! Make us among those who earn your forgiveness and acquire safety from the Hell fire, Ameen.

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Prayers, Peace and Mercy are upon our beloved Master Muhammad, the Son of Abdullah (SAW), his family and his Companions. And success comes from Allah, the Lord of all that exist, and He the Most High knows best.

This Khutbah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today, Friday, Jumaada al-awwal 10, 1437 AH (February 19, 2016), by Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Juma’at Mosque and Alhaji Abdurrahman Okene’s Mosque, Okene Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached via: +23480 3828 9761.

 

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[Friday Sermon] Balance And Moderation In Islam By Imam Murtada Gusau

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

All Perfect Praise be to Allah, we praise Him, seek His aid, and ask His forgiveness. We seek refuge in Allah from the evils of ourselves and from our bad deeds. He whom Allah guides, there is None to MISGUIDE him, and He whom he leaves astray there is NONE to guide him! I bear witness that Muhammad (SAW) is His slave and Messenger.

To Proceed:

“O you who have believe! Fear Allah (by doing all that He has ordered and by abstaining from all that He has forbidden) as He should be feared, [Obey Him, be thankful to Him, and remember Him always], and die not except in a state of Islam (as Muslims) with complete submission to Allah.” [Al-Imraan: 102]

“O mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, Who created you from a single person (Adam), and from him (Adam) he created his wife [Hawwa (Eve)], and from them both He created many men and women and fear Allah through whom you demand your mutual (rights), and (do not cut the relations of) the wombs (kinship). Surely Allah is Ever an All-Watcher over you.” [An-Nisaa’: 1]

“O you who have believe! Keep your duty to Allah and fear Him, and speak (always) the truth. He will direct you to do righteous good deeds and will forgive you your sins. And whosoever obeys Allah and His Messenger (SAW) he has indeed achieved a great achievement (i.e. he will be saved from the Hell-fire and made to enter Paradise).” [Al-Ahzaab: 70-71]

To Proceed:

Verily the most truthful speech is the Book of Allah, and the best guidance is the guidance of Muhammad (SAW).

And the worst matters are the newly invented matters (in the religion), and ALL new matters are innovations into the religion, and all the innovations are misguidance, and all the misguidance lead to the fire.”

Servants of Allah!

Islam teaches us to be moderate and balanced in all aspects of life, whether it is religion, worship, relationships, ideas, or daily activities. Principled moderation is one of the defining characteristics of good character in Islam.

Allah the Most High said:

“Thus, We have made you a justly balanced community that you will be witness over the people and the Messenger will be a witness over you.”

(Surah Al-Baqarah, 2:143)

Ar-Razi comments on this verse, saying:

“The justly balanced (wasat) in reality is the furthest point between two extremes. There is no doubt that the two poles of excess and extravagance are destructive, so to be moderate in character is to be furthest from them, which is to be just and virtuous.” (See al-Tafsir al-Kabir, 2:143)

Moderation is the center point between two extremes. Every one of our virtues sits at the moderate center of two vices that stray from it. Our goal should be to find that center and always return back to it when we move away from it.

Ibn Manzuur writes in his classical Arabic dictionary:

“Every praiseworthy characteristic has two blameworthy poles. Generosity is the middle between miserliness and extravagance. Courage is the middle between cowardice and recklessness. Humanity has been commanded to avoid every such blameworthy trait.” (See Lisan al-Arab, 15/209)

My respected people!

Moderation is closely related to balance (tawazun) and justice (‘adl), as justice implies balancing rights and duties and setting everything in its rightful place. The moderate, just, and correct action in any given situation often involves the balancing a various concerns and seeking the middle ground between them.

Wahb ibn Munabbih, may Allah have mercy on him, said:

“Verily, everything has two ends and middle. If you hold one of the ends, the other will be skewed. If you hold the middle, the two ends will be balanced. You must seek the middle ground in all things.” (See Hilyat Al-Awliya, 4818)

This understanding of moderation is alluded to in our concept of the straight path to Allah in Islam. The straight path is the one that traverses the middle ground, neither swerving right nor left.

Hudhaifah, May Allah be pleased with him, said:

“O people, remain straight upon the path and you will have taken a great lead, but if you swerve right or left then you will be led far astray.” (See Sahih Bukhari, 6853)

In fact, it is Satan who sets up his partners along the straight path to call people away from it. The devils intend to mislead humanity into the extremes of any direction as long as it is away from the straight and middle path.

Ibn Mas’ud reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, drew a line with his hand and he said:

“This is the straight path of Allah.”

Then the Prophet drew lines to the right and left and he said:

“These are other paths and there is not a path among them but that a devil is upon it calling to its way.”

Then the Prophet recited the verse:

“Verily, this is the straight path, so follow it and do not follow other paths (6:153).” (See Musnad Ahmad, 4423)

As such, the principle of moderation should be pervasive in our thought processes and at the forefront of our reasoning in daily life.

We should be moderate when it comes to balancing the duties of religion and the duties of worldly life.

Allah the Almighty said:

“Seek the home of the Hereafter by that which Allah has given you, but do not forget your share of the world.” (Surah Al-Qasas, 28:77)

Some of the companions complained to the Prophet about the mixed feelings they experienced. When they were in the study circle of the Prophet, their awareness of the Hereafter and its realities would be at its peak, while when they returned to family and work their lives would carry on as usual. The Prophet told them that this was normal and that a Muslim ought to devote time to the Hereafter as well as worldly life.

Hanzalah Al-Usayyidi reported: I said, “O Messenger of Allah, when we are in your presence and are reminded of Hellfire and Paradise, we feel as if we are seeing them with our very eyes, but when we leave you and attend to our wives, our children, and our business, most of these things slip from our minds.” The Prophet said:

“By Him in whose hand is my soul, if your state of mind remains the same as it is in my presence and you are always occupied with the remembrance of Allah, the angels will shake your hands in your beds and roads. O Hanzalah, rather time should be devoted to this and time should be devoted to that.” (See: Sahih Muslim, 2750)

As part of this, we should be moderate in our acts of worship such as prayer, fasting, and even charity. For example, our prayers should be recited in a moderate voice, neither too loud nor too soft.

Allah the Most High said:

“Do not recite too loudly in your prayer or too softly, but seek a way between them.” (Surah Al-Isra, 17:110

Abu Musa reported: We were with the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, during a journey when the people began to exalt Allah loudly. The prophet said:

O people, be gentle with yourselves for you are not calling upon one who is deaf or absent. Rather, you are calling upon the Hearing, the seeing.” (See Sahih Bukhari, 3910)

The Prophet set the example in his leadership of the prayer and Friday sermon. He would lead the prayer and deliver a sermon that were long enough for the people to absorb a meaningful lesson or reminder, but not so long that it would cause boredom or distress.

Jabir Ibn Samurah reported:

“I was praying with the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, and his prayer was of moderate length and his sermon was of moderate length”.  (See Sahih Muslim, 866)

Regarding voluntary acts of worship, the Prophet encouraged his companions on many occasions to limit their extra worship so that they could take care of their duties to their families as well as maintain their health.

Abdullah ibn Amr reported:

The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said to me, “O Abdullah, I am told you fast all day and pray all night.” I said, “Of course, O Messenger of Allah.” The Prophet said: Do not do so. Fast and break your fast, pray in the night and sleep. Verily, your body has a right over you, your eyes have a right over you, and your wife has a right over you.” (See Sahih Bahari, 4903)

Salman Al-Farisi, May Allah be pleased with him, said:

“You have a duty to your Lord, you have a duty to your body, and you have a duty to your family, so you should give each one its rights.” (See Sahih Bakhari, 1867)

Brothers and Sisters!

We should be moderate in our charity for much the same reason. We ought to spend enough to help others in need, while still retaining enough to take care of our families and ourselves.

Allah the Almighty said:

They are those who, when they spend, are neither extravagant nor miserly, but follow a middle way between them.” (Surah Al-Furqan, 25:67)

We should be moderate in our mannerisms with others, carrying ourselves with tranquility and dignity rather than flamboyance, arrogance or melancholy.

Allah (SWT) said:

“Be moderate in your pace and lower your voice. Verily, the most disagreeable of sounds is the voice of a donkey.” (Surah Luqman, 31:19)

As-Suyuti comments on this verse, saying:

“It is a moderate pace between crawling and running, and you must have tranquility and dignity.” (See Tafsir Al-Jalalayn, 31:19)

Finally, we should be moderate in our relationships with others. This includes not only all of the virtues we mentioned that lie between extremes, but also to keep our feelings and emotions in check. We should love for people what we love for ourselves, but not as infatuation that we endorse their sins. And we should hate the sins and evil deeds people commit, but not as malice that we want to harm them.

Umar ibn Al-Khattab, May Allah be pleased with him, said:

“Let not your love be infatuation and let not your hatred be destruction.

It was said, How is this?” Umar said: When you love someone, you become infatuated like a child. When you hate someone, you love destruction for your companion.” (See Al-Adab Al-Mufrad, 1322)

We need to be moderate particularly when dealing with non-Muslims. Some Muslims go to extremes either in imitating the bad behaviours of non-Muslims, or rejecting their culture and companionship completely. Rather, we ought to have a balanced relationship with them in which we bear witness to our religion with good character.

Ibn Hibban said:

“Do not exaggerate in seeking nearness to them, nor be excessive in seeking distance from them.” (See Tafsir Al-Maawardi, 60:8)

To conclude, moderation is a comprehensive principle in Islam that guides a Muslim in all activities of his or her daily life. It is the avoidance of any type of extremism pleasing to Satan that leads us astray from the straight path. With a renewed understanding of this Islamic teaching, Muslims can help counter the many rising tides of extremism that threaten not only the Muslim community, but all humanity.

O Allah! Make us among those who earn your forgiveness and mercy, and acquire safety from the Hell Fire, Ameen.

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Prayers, peace and Mercy are upon our beloved Master, Muhammad, the son of Abdullah (SAW), his family and Companions.

And success comes from Allah, and He the Most High knows best.

This Khutbah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today, Friday, Jumaada al-awwal 3, 1437 AH (February 12, 2016), by Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Juma’at Mosque and Alhaji Abdurrahman Okene’s Mosque, Okene, Kogi State Nigeria. He can be reached through: +234 80 3828 9761.

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[Friday Sermon] The Prohibition Of Tribalism In Islam By Imam Murtada Gusau

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

All perfect praise be to Allah, we praise Him, seek His aid, and ask His forgiveness. We seek refuge in Allah from the evils of ourselves and from our bad deeds. He whom Allah guides, there is none to misguide him, and he whom He leaves astray there is none to guide him!

I bear witness that none is worthy of Worship but Allah, who is alone without partners and I bear witness that Muhammad (SAW) is His Slave and Messenger.

To Proceed:

“O you who have believe! Fear Allah, (by doing all that He has ordered and by abstaining from all that He has forbidden) as He should be feared, [Obey Him, be thankful to Him, and remember Him always], and die not except in a state of Islam (as Muslims) with complete submission to Allah.” [Surah Ali-‘Imraan, 3: 102]

“O mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, who created you from a single person (Adam), and from him (Adam) He created his wife [Hawwa (Eve)], and from them both He created many men and women and fear Allah through whom you demand your mutual (rights), and (do not cut the relations of) the wombs (kinship). Surely, Allah is Ever an All-Watcher over you.” [Surah An-Nisaa’, 4:1]

“O you who have believe! Keep your duty to Allah and fear Him, and speak (always) the truth. He will direct you to do righteous good deeds and will forgive you your sins. And whosoever obeys Allah and His Messenger (SAW) he has indeed achieved a greater achievement (i.e. he will be saved from the Hell-fire and made to enter Paradise).” [Surah Al-Ahzaab, 33: 70-71]

To Proceed:

Verily the most truthful speech is the Book of Allah, and the best guidance is the guidance of Muhammad (SAW).  And the worst matters are the newly invented matters, and ALL new matters (in Religion) are innovations into the religion, and all the innovations are misguidance, and all the misguidance lead to the fire.

Servants of Allah!

Tribalism is the pernicious and deleterious ideology that afflicts all human societies in every time period, originating in the worship of idols and reconstructing itself into many forms throughout the ages. In modern times, we know it as the specters of racism, xenophobia, supremacism, imperialism, slavery, fascism, genocide and ethnic cleansing. In practice, it rears its ugly head in the shape of prejudice, bigotry, and discrimination.

Allah has commanded us to uphold justice with all other human beings regardless of their race, religion, or identity.

Allah the Most High said:

“O you, who believe, be persistently standing firm in justice as witnesses for Allah, even if it be against yourselves or parents and relatives. Whether one is rich or poor, Allah is more worthy of both. Follow not your desires, lest you not be just.” (Surah An-Nisaa’, 4:135)

Brothers and Sisters!

Tribalists, by contrast, reject universal standards of justice. They divide the world into the privileged in-group and the demonized out-groups, holding to the slogan “my people, right or wrong.” Their love of their own people and hatred of different people causes them to rationalize and justify the unjustifiable.

Wathila ibn Al-Asqa’ reported: I said,

“O Messenger of Allah is it part of tribalism that a man loves his people?” the Prophet said: “No, rather it is tribalism that he supports his people in wrongdoing.” (See Sunan ibn Majah, 3949)

Love for one’s people is normal and healthy if it leads to good deeds, but such love that comes at the expense of justice is not true love at all.

Tribalism by this definition has been rejected by Islam in the harshest terms. Tribalism is a form of “blind following” whose adherents live in “ignorance,” an allusion to the pre-Islamic worship of idols.

Jundab ibn Abdullah reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

“Whoever is killed under the banner of blind following, which calls to tribalism or supports tribalism, then he has died upon ignorance.” (See Sahih Muslim, 1850)

The Prophet Peace and blessings be upon him disowned anyone who lives by the ideology of tribalism or supports it in any way. Tribalists might be outwardly Muslims, but in reality Allah will not count them among the true believers.

Jubair ibn mut’im reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

“He is not one of us who calls to tribalism. He is not one of us who fights for the sake of tribalism. He is not one of us who dies following the way of tribalism.” (See Sunan Abu Dawud, 5121)

The Prophet delivered an instructive parable to use about the likeness of one who adheres to tribalism:

Abdullah ibn Mas’ud reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

“Whoever supports his people in oppression is like a dead camel that falls into a well and is pulled out by its tail.”(See Musnad Ahmad, 4141)

In another narration, the Prophet said:

“The parable of the one who supports his people upon other than the truth is that of a dead camel that falls into a well and is pulled out by its tail. (Musnad Ahmad, 3670)

My respected people!

The Tribalist who falls into this sin is destroyed, just like a camel that plunges to his death inside a well. The corpse of his sin will poison the well for an entire town, while the townspeople must endure the hideous sight and stench as they remove his carcass from their drinking water. Like the rotting camel, all throughout history we have seen the deadly presence of tribalism justify oppression, murder, and genocide.

 

Tribalism takes many different forms, but the mindset is always the same. When Tribalists justify themselves in terms of race, this is classic biological racism. Sometimes Tribalists justify themselves in terms of culture, claiming their culture must dominate others, in which case they are simply practicing cultural racism.

 

Even religion itself can be used to construct and justify an ideology of tribalism. If religion is used to violate the human rights of others and rationalize injustice against out-groups, it has become nothing more than religious racism.

 

Rather, the religion of Islam teaches us to uphold the rights of all human beings, to walk with humility, and to leave the divine judgment to Allah alone. We would do well to remember the fates of the humble sinner and the arrogant worshipper.

 

Abu Hurairah reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

 

“Two men among the children of Israel were the opposite of each other. One of them was a sinner and the other would strive in worship. The worshiper would see the sinner and tell him to stop. One day he found him sinning so he said: Stop! The sinner said: leave me alone, by my Lord, have you been sent as a watchman over me? The worshiper said: by Allah, Allah will not forgive you or admit you into paradise. Later their souls were taken and they met in the presence of the Lord of the worlds. Allah said to the worshiper: Did you have knowledge of me or power over what is in my hand? Allah said to the sinner: Enter Paradise by my mercy. And Allah said to the worshiper: Take him to the Hellfire.”(See Sunan Abu Dawud, 4901)

 

In other words, it is never fair to compare the best of ourselves to the worst of others, lest we fall into the destructive sin of arrogance and braggadocio.

 

No matter what scheme is used to justify tribalism, whether race, culture, or religion, the outcome is always the same: racist practice. Whoever the Tribalists designate as the out-group will suffer prejudice, bigotry, and discrimination meant to enhance the Tribalists own privilege at the expense of those they deem inferior. Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi raaji’uun!

 

The method of tribalism is to issue blanket indictments of an entire race, culture, religion, or group of people. They will condemn an entire group for the crimes of a few, or misrepresent an entire group by only examining its worst elements. Thus, the purveyors of Islamophobia claim all Muslims are terrorists, the purveyors of anti-Semitism claim all Jews are greedy, and the purveyors of racism claim black people are natural criminals and parasites. In every case, the Tribalists construct a false caricature of their victims to be the straw man of their vicious attacks.

 

Islam teaches us to reject such blanket indictments and false generalizations. Some of the Prophet’s companions began to have bad thoughts about all of the Jews and Christians, but verses were revealed making clear distinctions the righteous and unrighteous.

 

Allah the Most High said:

 

“They are not all the same. Among the people of the Book (Jews and Christians) is a community standing in obedience, reciting the verses of Allah during the night and prostrating in prayer. They believe in Allah and the Last Day, and they enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and hasten to do good deeds. Those are among the righteous. Whatever good deeds they do will never be denied, for Allah knows well the righteous.” (Surah Ali Imran, 3:113-115)

 

It would be wrong to negatively characterize an entire religious group with all its unique individuals and diverse interpretations. For this reason, the Prophet firmly censured the poets of his time who had a habit of excoriating entire tribes.

 

Aisha reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

 

“Verily, the greatest of people in falsehood is a man who insults another man by disparaging the entire tribe.” (See Sunan Ibn Majah, 3761)

 

In another narration, the Prophet said:

 

“Verily, the greatest criminal among people is a poet who disparages the entire tribe.” (See al-Adab al-Mufrad, 870)

 

Servants of Allah!

If we accept blanket indictments of an entire group, then we are making a claim of collective guilt that will ultimately lead to collective punishment, and collective punishment is a crime of war. Islam rejects collective guilt and punishment, in word and deed, as innocent people may never be held accountable for the crimes of others.

 

Allah the Most High said:

 

“No soul earns anything except it is upon itself, and none shall bear the burdens of another.” (Surah Al-An’am, 6:164)

 

Abdullah ibn Mas’ud reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

 

“No man is to be punishment for the crimes of his father or his brother.” (See Sunan An-Nasa’i, 4131)

 

Hence, tribalism is the ideological core of all militant terrorists and criminals, regardless of whether they support state terrorism or renegade terrorism. The Prophet renounce anyone who fights for tribalistic reasons and who eschews the principle of non-combatant distinction in war.

 

Abu Hurairah reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

 

“Whoever fights under the banner of one who is blind, raging for the sake of tribalism, or calling to tribalism, or supporting tribalism, and is killed in this state will have died upon ignorance (Jahiliyyah). Whoever rebels against my nation, striking the righteous and wicked alike and sparing not evens the believers and he does not fulfill the pledge of security, then he has nothing to do with me and I have nothing to do with him.” (See Sahih Muslim, 1848)

 

When the connection between tribalism and terrorism is understood, it will not be difficult for you to see that every violent extremist group, whether white supremacists or kharijite terrorists or others, all share the same basic tribalist ideology even thought they express it in different terms.

 

In sum, Islam rejects all forms of tribalism, racism, and bigotry. We must not construct a false caricature of other groups in order to justify oppression, blanket indictments, and collective punishment against them. We must take the lead in upholding justice and the natural rights of not only Muslim, but of all human beings.

 

Fellow Nigerians!

Remember, whether you are Hausa, Fulani, Yoruba, Igbo, Kanuri, Nupe, Ebira, Igala, Okun etc., first thing is we are all Nigerians and Allah the Almighty created us to live together and benefit from each other’s gift, wisdom and experience. Further, no group or tribe can claim ownership of the Nigerian state; being different in tribes isn’t a reason why others will be maligned, belittled, vilified, denigrated, bad-mouthed, aspersed, dress downed and demonized. Therefore we must fear Allah and avoid any tribalistic behavious that will jeopardize our peaceful co-existence.

 

Let’s join hands together to move the country forward, in order to have the blessing of sustainable peace, unity and progress.

 

The Black, White, Yellow, Africans, Americans, Arabs, Europeans, Asians, northerners, southerners, westerners, easterners, etc. are all the same in the eyes of Allah. We should not be deceived by our colour, tribe or anything.

 

Servants of Allah!

The inauguration of the new Governor of Kogi State His Excellency, Alhaji Yahaya Adoza Bello (Fair Plus) took place peacefully by the Grace of Allah on Wednesday, 27th January, 2016.

 

The Governor is taking over a state that has been so polarized along tribal lines that it will take the wisdom of Prophet Sulayman for the Governor to succeed.

 

The debt profile of the state is equally frightening. This is therefore as I see it not a time for celebration but one that requires serious prayers for the Governor.

 

All persons of goodwill must therefore join in prayers for him and members of his team. Let us be part of the solution and not part of the Governor’s problems. No violence, no vilifying, no taunting of other tribes.

 

O Allah! Make us among those who earn your forgiveness and acquire safety from the Hell fire, Ameen.

 

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the worlds. Prayers, peace and mercy are upon our beloved master, Muhammad, the son of Abdullah (SAW), his family and Companions.

 

And success comes from Allah, and He the Most High knows best.

 

This Khutbah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today, Friday, Raby’ al-Thaany 19, 1437 AH (29 January, 2016), by Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’at Mosque and Alhaji Abdurrahman Okene’s Mosque, Okene Kogi State Nigeria. He can be reached for advice and corrections via: +2348038289761.

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[Friday Sermon] The Prohibition Of Rape In Islam By Imam Murtada Gusau

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

Alhamdulillah. Indeed, all praise is due to Allah. We praise Him and seek His help and forgiveness. We seek refuge with Allah from the evil within ourselves and from our wrongdoings. He whom Allah guides, no one can misguide; and he whom He misguides, no one can guide.

I bear witness that there is no (true) god except Allah – alone without a partner, and I bear witness that Muhammad (SAW) is His ‘abd (servant) and Messenger.

“O you who have believe! Revere Allah the right reverence, and do not die except as Muslims.”(Al-Imraan, 3:102)

“O people! Revere you Lord who has created you from a single soul, created from it its mate, and dispersed from both of them many men and women. Revere Allah through whom you demand things from one another; and (cherish the ties of) the wombs, indeed, Allah is ever Watchful over you.” (An-Nisaa’, 4:1)

“O you who have believe! Revere Allah and say fair words. He will then rectify your deeds and forgive your sins. He who obeys Allah and His Messenger have certainly achieved a great victory.”(Al-Ahzaab, 33:70-71)

Indeed, the best speech is Allah’s (SWT) Book and the best guidance is Muhammad’s (SAW) guidance. The worst affairs (of religion) are those innovated (by people), for every such innovation is an act of misguidance leading to the Fire.

Dear servants of Allah!

Islam has forbidden rape and sexual abuse since the time of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) until today. Allegations by anti-Muslim activists are only buttressed by the appalling criminal behaviour of terrorist groups acting in the name of Islam who use rape as a weapon of war. Rape by itself is an atrocity, but it is made even worse, tantamount to idolatry, when it is falsely justified in the name of Allah and His Messenger.

The basic principle in Islamic law is that a Muslim is forbidden from harming another person or animal unless it is necessary to repel a greater harm.

Ubada ibn As-Saamit reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, issued a decree:

“Do not cause harm or return harm.” (See Sunan ibn Majah, 2340)

As-Suyuti expresses the legal principle as follows:

“Harm should be removed.” (See Al-Ashbah wa Nathaa’ir, 7)

Since it is well-established that rape causes innumerable harms to mind, body, and spirit, without any rational justification of preventing a greater wrong, it follows that rape is absolutely forbidden in Islam. This by itself is enough to establish the prohibition of rape. Even so, the Prophet further set the precedent that rape should not be tolerated in Muslim society. A man in Madinah was caught after he raped a woman and the Prophet (SAW) applied legal punishment on him, the maximum of which is the death penalty.

Abu Alqama reported:

“A woman went out to pray during the time of the Prophet (SAW) and she was met by a man who attacked her and raped her. She said, “This man has molested me!” The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said: “He is condemned to death.” (See Sunan At-Tirmidhi, 1454)

The righteous Caliphs who succeeded the Prophet continued this policy of legal punishment for the crime of rape. The victim of rape would not be punished regardless of the circumstances.

Ibn Umar reported:

“Umar ibn Al-Khattab was given a servant girl among the girls who served the leadership. She was forced upon by one of the young men, so Umar flogged the man and he did not flog the woman.” (See Musannaf of Ibn Abi Shaybah, 29012)

Nafi’ reported:

“A man was invited as a guest of the family of a household, and then he forced himself upon a woman among them. It was referred to Abu Bakr, so he flogged him an expelled him, and he did not flog the woman.” (See Musannaf of Ibn Abi Shaybah, 29013)

Hajjaj reported:

“An Abyssinian forced himself upon a woman among them. It was referred to Umar Ibn Abdul Aziz and he applied legal punishment on him.”(See Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah, 29014)

Brothers and Sisters!

Also the righteous jurists who succeeded the companions of the Prophet (SAW) established a legal consensus that rape was forbidden and should be punished as if it were adultery. They only disagreed about the monetary fine that was to accompany legal punishment.

Ibn Abdul Barr writes:

“The scholars agreed that the rapist must be given legal punishment if there is clear evidence against him that he deserves punishment or if he confesses to it. If the evidence is not as clear, then he is given a discretionary punishment. There is no punishment for the victim if it is true that she was forced and overpowered, as would be evident by her screams and cries for help.” (See Kitaab A-Istidhkaar, 32083)

And according to the Encyclopedia of Islamic Law it is said:

If a woman were to be raped, meaning without consent, then the rapist must be given legal punishment and his fine is agreed upon, although the jurists disagreed on the amount. The Hanafi scholars said he must pay the maximum blood money and no less. The Maliki scholars said he must pay the dowry and a just settlement. The Shafi’i scholars said he must pay blood money. The Hanbali scholars said he must pay a third of her blood money and a dowry similar to it.” (See Mawsu’at Al-Fiqhiyyah, 3212)

The prohibition of rape applied to all women, including slaves and prisoners of war.

Imam Ash-Shafi’i said:

“If a man acquires a slave girl by force and then he rapes her, and he is not an ignorant person, then the slave girl is taken from him. He must pay the fine and the legal punishment for adultery will be applied to him.” (See Kitaab Al-Umm, 253)

My respected people!

Indeed, it is even forbidden in Islam to slap a slave or a servant, let alone commit any greater harm. If a Muslim so much as slapped his servants, the Prophet (SAW) would command them to be set free.

Ibn Umar reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

“Whoever strikes his slave without limit or slaps him, then the expiation for his sin is to emancipate him.” (See Sahih Muslim, 1657)

Suwaid ibn Muqarrin reported: He had a servant girl and someone slapped her, so he said to him:

“Did you not know that it is forbidden to strike the face? I was the seventh of my brothers during the lifetime of the Prophet and we had only one servant. One of us became enraged and slapped him, so the Prophet commanded us to set him free.” (See Sahih Muslim, 1658)

If it is forbidden to simply strike a slave in a humiliating way, then how can it be lawful to commit rape which is many times worse?

Anti-Muslim activists and their extremist Muslim counterparts in criminal terrorist organizations agree that Islam allows the rape of captive women, yet they cannot produce any clear scriptural and legal proof for their position. Instead they must rely upon the ignorance of their audience who are unable or unwilling to investigate the intended meaning of the Quran and Sunnah.

The Noble Quran speaks about marriage to “those, whom your right hands possess,” meaning slaves and servants. This was known as the institution of concubinage which was a form of marriage in pre-modern Arab and Muslim society. To infer from these verses that rape is permissible, or even praise worthy, is an incredibly unwarranted eisegesis, or a reading into the text that which it does not say.

Likewise, extremists cannot find any instance in the prophetic traditions or biography in which the companions of the Prophet (SAW) raped captive women. Therefore, they must once again erroneously infer their desired interpretation by citing a prophetic tradition without any regard to context and scholarly commentary.

Their primary proof-text used to justify rape is the following tradition:

Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudri reported:

“At the battle of Hunain, the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, sent an army to Awtas and they encountered the enemy and fought them. Having overcome them and taken them prisoner, the companions of the Messenger of Allah refrained from having intercourse with the captive women because their husbands were idolaters. Then Allah revealed the verse: ‘(Prohibited for you) are married women except those whom your right hands possess’.” (4:24). (See Sahih Muslim, 1456)

Interpreted on its own, this tradition might appear to sanction the rape of captive women. Yet the scholarly methodology requires the collation of all texts and commentaries on a given topic before coming to a conclusive rule, principle, or practice. We must see how the companions of the Prophet, their students, and the scholars who succeeded them understood and applied the tradition within the entirety of Islamic teachings.

In reality, we will find that this tradition is a proof against their position. Sexual intercourse was only made lawful with these women after they embrace Islam, which requires consent.

An-Nawawi comments on this tradition, saying:

“Know that it is the way of Ash-Shafi’i and the scholars who agreed with him that it is unlawful to have intercourse with the captive women among the idolaters and other unbelievers who are without a divine scripture unless they first embrace Islam. They are forbidden to approach as long as they are following their religion and these captive girls were among the Arab polytheists who worshiped idols. This tradition and others like it imply that the women embraced Islam and this is how they must be interpreted. Allah knows best.” (See Sharh Sahih Muslim, 1456)

Hence, contrary to the practice of Muslim terrorists who rape their hostages, the righteous jurists prohibited intercourse with non-Muslim prisoners of war, just as they prohibited compulsion in the propagation of Islam.

Brothers and Sisters!

Following the Prophet (SAW) is done by adhering to the scholarly method and prioritizing the foundational Islamic values and principles at the heart of all authentic religious practice. Forcing a predetermined interpretation onto scripture by clinging to the literal meaning of texts, without regard to context and exegesis, is not faithfulness or devotion; it is ignorance and illiteracy.

My respected people!

The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said:

“The best of you are those who are best to their women.” (See Sunan At-Tirmidhi, 1162)

O Allah! Make us among those who earn your forgiveness and acquire safety from the fire, Ameen.

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Prayers, peace and Mercy be upon our beloved master, Muhammad (SAW), his family and companions.

Success comes from Allah, and Allah knows best.

This Khutbah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today, Friday, Raby’ al-Awwal 27, 1437 AH (8 January, 2016), by Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi-uvete Jumu’at Mosque and Alhaji Abdurrahman Okene’s Mosque, Okene Kogi State Nigeria. He can be reached via: +2348038289761.

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