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In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, and 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 (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 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 (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.
Allah the Most High said:
“O mankind! We have created you from a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know one another. Verily, the most honourable of you with Allah is that who has At-Taqwa (i.e. the Pious). Verily, Allah is All-knowing, Well Acquainted (with all things).[Al-Hujurat, 49:13]
O servants of Allah,
I urge myself first and all of you to obey Allah and be submissive to Him. Verily, Allah, Exalted is He, has declared the truth in His noble Book as He says:
“O you who have believed, fear Allah and believe in His Messenger; He will (then) give you a double portion of His Mercy and make for you a light by which you will walk and forgive you; and Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.”(Al-Hadid: 28)
Dear Muslims, Dear Nigerians,
Our Lord sent His Messengers to bring out people from darkness into the light and spread goodness and peace as well as love and compassion amongst them. Every Messenger came to complete what his predecessor began and built up on what had been achieved. For example, the Prophet of Allah Isa (Jesus) complemented the message of Musa (Moses), peace be upon them. The Almighty says:
“And We sent, following in their footsteps, Jesus, the son of Mary, confirming that which came before him in the Torah; and We give him the Gospel, in which was guidance and light and confirming that which preceded it of the Torah as guidance and instruction for the righteous.”(Al-Maida: 46)
Our Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was sent to continue this mission of guidance further. Allah says:
“Muhammad is not the father of [any] one of your men, but [he is] the Messenger of Allah and last of the prophets. And ever is Allah, of all things, knowing.” (Al-Ahzaab: 40)
Thus he (SAW) completed the heavenly messages and laid down the rules for respecting and appreciating them.
On this matter, Allah’s Messenger (SAW) said:
“My similitude in comparison with the other prophets before me is that of a man who has built a house nicely and beautifully, except for a place of one brick in a corner. The people go about it and wonder at its beauty, but say, ‘Would that this brick be put in its place!’ So I am that brick, and I am the last of the Prophets.”
He (SAW) believed in Books sent by Allah to other Messengers before him. Isa (Jesus AS) informed his people about the arrival of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) when he said:
“O children of Israel, indeed I am the Messenger of Allah to you confirming what came before me of the Torah and bringing good tidings of a Messenger to come after me, whose name is Ahmad.” (As-Saf: 6)
The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was instructed to believe in what is in the Book sent to him as mentioned here:
“But say, I have believed in what Allah has revealed of the Qur’an.” (Ash-Shura: 15)
The most Exalted is He, says that Quran came to confirm what was mentioned in the Gospel:
“And We have revealed to you, [O Muhammad], the Book in truth, confirming that which preceded it of the Scripture and as a criterion over it.”(Al-Maida: 48)
Our Lord also ordered us to believe in all of His Books and Messengers as He says:
“Say, [O believers], We have believed in Allah and what has been revealed to us and what has been revealed to Abraham and Ishmael and Isaac and Jacob and the Descendants and what was given to Moses and Jesus and what was given to the prophets from their Lord. We make no distinction between any of them, and we are Muslims [in submission] to Him.” (Al-Baqara: 136)
At the same time, He banned us from making distinction between His Messengers and Apostles as He says:
“We make no distinction between any of His Messengers.”(Al-Baqara: 285)
For his part, the Prophet (SAW) says:
“Don’t give superiority to any prophet amongst Allah’s Prophets.”
Dear servants of Allah,
The noble Qur’an underlines fine human relations based on the goodly word, purposeful dialogue, good treatment and kind forgiveness. It is also promoting means that achieve peace and harmony, and is calling for staying away from causes of hatred and strife. The aim is to ensure stability and prosperity and to reinforce positive communication amongst people and civilizations. Our Lord says:
“We have created you from a male and a female, and made you peoples and tribes that you may know one another.” (Al-Hujurat: 13)
In light of what has been said, the anti-discrimination law has been issued as an evident response to the call of all heavenly religions aiming at preserving the human dignity and rights. It is also meant to maintain sanctities, which Islam has called for their protection from any potential aggressor or disdainful person.
As it is known that Allah may deter the aggressors through the power of Authority more than He may through Qur’an. The leaders are in the position to intervene to prevent people from committing sins and corruption in a way that is more efficiently. Here the law acts as a deterrent agent against anyone who may venture to insult Allah or to cause mischief in the land. The Almighty describes His Highest and unique status saying:
“That is Allah, your Lord; there is no deity except Him, the Creator of all things, so worship Him. And He is Disposer of all things. Vision perceives Him not, but He perceives [all] vision; and He is the Subtle, the Acquainted.” (Al-An’aam: 102-103)
The law also stipulates stringent penalties against anyone who offends others religions, their rituals and sacred places, or abuses any heavenly Books through any acts of distortion, destruction or disrespect. Moreover, the law came also to prohibit any act that would be considered as insulting or ridiculing Prophets and Apostles, their wives, their families and companions. Further, it criminalizes any act that would be considered as insulting or bringing damage to houses of worship or graveyards, including their content or accessories.
In fact, the law provisions honour Allah’s ordinances, rituals and sanctities in accordance with what He says:
“That [has been commanded], and whoever honours the sacred ordinances of Allah, it is best for him in the sight of his Lord.” (Al-Hajj: 30)
Brothers and Sisters,
On another note, the anti-discrimination law highlights the pioneering role of our country in preserving public interests and freedoms. It reflects the aspects of progress and civilizations the country enjoys under its judicious leadership. Such is seen in terms of religious coexistence, protection of the special status of the heavenly Books, Prophets and Companions.
These principles are embraced by Islam in accordance to a culture of moderation based on dialogue and wisdom rather than intolerance or disorder. Therefore, the law shall uphold further such high values and ideals as justice and orderly freedom and show the true side of our religion. Infact Islam is happiness for all humanity.
Dear Muslims, Dear respected Nigerians,
Please be aware that this law has been issued in the right time with the goal of enhancing social cohesion and strengthening the principles of moderation, peaceful coexistence and tolerance. This provides a sound foundation for the environment of continuing progress and acculturation. It sends a universal message for fighting discrimination and feud, containing extremism, discarding seeds of violence and fanaticism and preserving the rights of all without prejudice on the basis of religion, creed, doctrine, race or region.
Equally, it calls for respecting others and treating them well, criminalizes hate speech, alienation, and extremism and punishes anyone for naming other religious groups or individuals as criminals or speaking badly against them. Moreover, it summons all members of the community to protect the sound culture of moderation as our Lord says in this regard:
“And thus we have made you a just community.”(Al-Baqara: 143)
Further, its rules reflect the essence of our tolerant religion and are in line with our high interests. They would allow us to benefit from a range of advantages like preserving the individual and community’s interests, protecting the national unity, barring temptations, drying up sources of extremism and criminalizing it’s financing.
Brothers and Sisters,
Allah the most Exalted has created humans and enjoined upon them the mission of populating the earth and enriching it with life and civilization. In so doing, He ordained them to establish peace and promote unity and tranquility. He has prescribed Islam as religion for all as He says:
“Indeed, the religion in the sight of Allah is Islam.” (Al-Imran: 19)
As-Salaam (meaning peace- a word related etymologically to Islam) is also one of the glorious names of Allah as He describes Himself in the noble Quran:
“Allah is He, than whom there is no other god. The Sovereign, the Holy One, the Source of Peace (and Perfection).” (Al-Hashr: 23)
And He is the Peace upon His Creation. He wants good things for them, inviting them to its virtues so as to win the Home of Peace. He Says:
“And Allah invites to the Home of Peace.” (Yunus: 25)
Peace is a blessing for which our Prophet (SAW) used to supplicate to Allah after each prayer. According to Aisha (R.A):
“When the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said the Salaam (in Prayer), he would sit only for as long as it took to say: ‘Allahummah anta Assalaam wa minka Assalaam, tabarakta ya dha Al Jalaal Wa Al Ikram. Meaning, (O Allah, You are Assalaam, From You is all peace, blessed are You O Possessor of majesty and honour).” (Muslim)
He (SAW) also said:
“Spread the greeting (peace) to people and you will be safe.” (Ahmad)
That is, you keep away from discords and hatred and give way to mutual affection and reconciliation.
Dear Servants of Allah,
Peace is essential because it fulfills our interests and helps bring benefits to us. Moreover, it is a means by which to assess how civilized we are, ensure tranquility, strengthen love amongst families, achieve reconciliation between people in dispute and be far from inflicting wrong on others. Indeed whoever seeks avenues for peace will be on the right path and get Allah’s guidance. The Almighty says:
“By which Allah guides those who pursue His pleasure to the ways of peace and brings them out from darkness into the light, by His permission, and guides them to a straight path.” (Al-Maida: 16)
My respected people,
Please remember that Peace was Allah’s advice to His Apostles and the guidance for His pious servants. Here is the story of the Prophet Ibrahim (AS) who was leniently calling on his father to believe in Allah alone. When the latter refused to obey, Ibrahim (AS) did not turn against his father nor did he intimidate him. Instead he (Ibrahim) prayed to Allah saying:
“[Abraham] said, “Peace will be upon you. I will ask forgiveness for you of my Lord. Indeed, He is ever gracious to me.” (Maryam: 47)
The noble Quran also tells us about a woman (Bilqis the Queen of Sheba) who was known for her wisdom as she pursued peace. About her, Allah says:
“She said, “O eminent ones, indeed, to me has been delivered a noble letter. Indeed, it is from Solomon, and indeed, it reads: ‘In the name of Allah, the Entirely Merciful, the Especially Merciful, Be not haughty with me but come to me in submission [as Muslims].’ “She said, “O eminent ones, advises me in my affair. I would not decide a matter until you witness [for] me.” (An-naml: 29-32)
When she discussed this matter with her people and court, they advised her to use force, to go to war. They said:
“They said: “We are men of strength and of great military might, but the command is yours, so see what you will command.” (An-naml: 33)
She got back to herself and thought of an alternative, a solution that was likely to spare her people the destructive consequences of such a move. She chose to offer a gift wishing to soften the hearts and avoid the war. She said:
“But indeed, I will send to them a gift and see with what [reply] the messengers will return.”(An-naml: 35)
Her attitude proved to be wiser and was praised before and after her conversion to Islam. She was remembered for her intuition that a gesture as simple as offering a gift could have a powerful impact on people’s reaction and reverse the course of events.
Thanks to her sensible decisions she led her people to succeed in this world and the next. She was quoted in surah An-naml as saying:
“My lord, indeed I have wronged myself, and I submit with Solomon to Allah, Lord of the worlds.” (An-naml: 44)
Dear Servants of Allah,
The first words that our Prophet (SAW) said when entering Madina were brief but were deep in meaning. They chanted love and called for peace. They had strong impact on hearts, ears and eye. The first who felt their emphatic power was his Companion Abdullah bin Salaam.
Speaking of his experience, he said:
“When the Prophet (SAW) came to Madina, the people rushed to meet him, and it was said, ‘the Messenger of Allah (SAW) has come! The Messenger of Allah (SAW) has come! The Messenger of Allah (SAW) has come!” It was said Three times.
“I came with the people to see him, and when I saw his face clearly, I knew that his face was not the face of a liar.”
“The first thing I heard him say was when he said, ‘O people! Spread (the greeting of) salaam, feed others, uphold the ties of kinship, and pray during the night when people are sleeping, and you will enter Paradise with Salaam (peace).” (Al-Tirmidhi)
As he (SAW) explained to people, peace was his ultimate goal, inviting everyone to achieve it and act accordingly. A person asked Allah’s Messenger (SAW):
“What (sort of) deeds in or (what qualities of) Islam are good?’ He replied, “To feed (the poor) and greet those whom you know and those whom you don’t know.” [Agreed upon]
This meaning took deep root in Companions’ minds. Ammar bin Yasir said:
“Whoever combines three qualities has got Iman (faith). That implies being far from wrong, attaining goodness and making efforts for the spread and continuity of peace and being just and generous.”[Al-Bukhari]
Commentators maintained that these virtues involve avoiding breaking ties, hatred and animosity and as such they mark one’s genuine submission to Allah.
On another level, peace is the basis of dealing with other people as our Prophet (SAW) ordained by his Lord. The Almighty says in this regard:
“Well, O prophet, bear with them and say, “Peace to you!’’ soon they shall know.” (Az-Zukhruf: 89)
Here the Prophet (SAW) was advised that he should neither curse his opponents for their scornful attitude and mockery, nor respond in harsh words. He was asked instead to just wish them well and forgive them.
Indeed these are the true characters of the faithful as highlighted in this verse:
“And when they hear ill speech, they turn away from it and say, “For us are our deeds, and for you are your deeds. Peace will be upon you; we seek not the ignorant.” (Al-Qasas: 55)
Peace is thus inclusive of behaviours and good morals advocated by Islam, ones that lead the Muslim to succeed and win Paradise. Allah says:
“But those who feared their Lord will be driven to Paradise in groups until, when they reach it while its gates have been opened and its keepers say, “Peace be upon you; you have become pure; so enter it to abide eternally therein,” [they will enter].” (Az-Zumar: 73)
O Servants of Allah,
Please obey Allah as it should be, by observing Him in Private and in public and know that one of the foundations of coexistence is peace. Under its shade can people live in serenity, enjoy prosperity and feel safe. Know that Nigeria is a blessed country that we pray to enjoy peace and stability and to be a place where everyone is secure, lives is respect and receives esteem.
Truly this is a Divine blessing that we all need to protect, foster and above all praise Allah the most Exalted for granting us with great founding fathers, who laid its basis, and the current leaders, who are promoting peace and goodness for the sake of people as our Prophet (SAW) called for. He said:
“Shall I not tell you of something which, if you do it, you will love one another? Spread the greetings of Salaam amongst yourselves.” (Muslim)
Dear Servants of Allah,
Bear in mind that you are asked to offer prayer and greetings upon our most noble Prophet, Muhammad (SAW), and Allah says:
“Indeed, Allah and His angels sends blessing upon the Prophet. O you who have believed, ask [Allah to confer] blessing upon him and ask [Allah to grant him] peace.”(Al-Ahzaab: 56)
On the same matter, the Prophet (SAW) said:
“For everyone who invokes a blessing on me will receive ten blessings from Allah.”(Muslim)
May the peace and the blessings of Allah be upon our beloved Master Muhammad (SAW), his family and all his Companions. May Allah be pleased with the rightly guided Caliphs: AbuBakr, Umar, Uthman and Ali, and all those who will follow them in righteousness till the Day of Judgment.
Inna lillahi wa inna ilayhi raaji’ uun!
It is indeed with deep sense of loss I received the sad and regrettable news of the passing away of Emir of Borgu kingdom, Alhaji Haliru Muhammad Dantoro, Kitoro III of Borgu Emirate. Surely the Emir is a great and courageous leader, a man of peace, and his network of friends extends beyond the shores of Nigeria. He is indeed Unique in his leadership and deep in his faith in Allah the Almighty. May his exemplary leadership style in promoting peace, unity and progress in Niger State and generally Nigeria be remembered as his legacy towards making Nigeria a better place to live. I commiserate with His Eminence, the Sultan of Sokoto Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, the leader of all the Nigerian Muslims and President General of the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic affairs (NSCIA), President Muhammadu Buhari (PMB), the Governor of Niger State, Alhaji Abubakar Sani Bellor, the Etsu Nupe and Chairman of Niger State Council of Traditional rulers, Alhaji Yahaya Abubakar, the Emir of Kontagora, the Emir of Suleja Alhaji Auwal Ibrahim, General Ibrahim Babangida, General AbdulSalam Abubakar, the APC leader and former Governor of Lagos State Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, the Jagaba of Borgu, the deceased’s family, the people of Borgu, the entire people of Niger State, and indeed the Muslim Ummah and the entire People of Nigeria.
I pray that Allah the Almighty forgive his shortcomings and failings. May He the Most High grant him Jannatul Firdaws. May He the Exalted give all of us the fortitude and perseverance to bear the irreplaceable, great and irreparable loss, Ameen.
I also want you my respected people to please, include my father Alhaji Muhammad Dangusau Maidoya Gusau in your blessed prayers. He died Friday, October 16, 2015 in Gusau Zamfara State (three weeks ago). May Allah (SWT) forgive him, have mercy on him and grant him Jannatul Firdaws, Ameen.
I pray to Allah, the Most Gracious, to preserve and protect our country Nigeria from all temptations, both apparent and hidden, and continue blessing Nigeria with safety and security.
O Allah, may we ask You to help us with what gets us closer to Paradise and furthers us from hell.
O Allah we seek Your grace to admit us, our parents, our leaders and whoever has done a favour to us and all Muslims to Your Paradise.
O Allah, we implore You at this instant not to let a sin unforgiven, 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 success to our leaders, have mercy on them, provide strength and assistance to them, and guide them to the right way that will benefit all Nigerians irrespective of their religion, tribe, race, party and region.
O Allah forgives all of our brothers, men and women, living and dead, and makes blessings follow us and them.
O Allah gives us beneficial rain and do not make us among the despondent. O Allah, relieve us, O Allah, relieve us, O Allah relieve us.
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-Ankabuut: 45)
This Khutbah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today, Friday, Muharram 23, 1437 AH (November 6, 2015), by Imam Murtada Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’at Mosque, Okene, Kogi State Nigeria. He can be reached through: +2348038289761.