In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful
All praise is due to Allah, we praise Him, seek His aid and His Forgiveness. We seek refuge in Allah from the evils of our souls and the evils of our actions. Whomsoever Allah guides there is none to misguide and whomsoever Allah misguides there is none to guide. I bear witness that there is none Worthy of Worship except Allah, alone, without any partners and I bear witness that Muhammad (SAW) is His servant and Messenger. To Proceed:
“O you who have believe! Fear Allah as He should be feared and die not except as good Muslims.” (Al-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 (kingship). 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 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 he has indeed achieved a great achievement (i.e. he will be saved from the Hell-fire and made to enter paradise).” (Al-Ahzaab, 33:70-71)
The truest speech is the Book of Allah, and the best way is the way of Muhammad (SAW). The worst of affairs are the newly invented matters (in religion), every newly invented matter (in religion) is an innovation, every innovation is misguidance, and every misguidance is in the Fire. To Proceed:
My Dear Brothers and Sisters,
I am sure many of you would have seen the picture fortnight ago of a drowned Syrian toddler Aylan Kurdi. Newspapers around the world and social media have shown the same picture, of a three-year-old boy, Aylan, who fled with his family from the Syrian civil war, whose dead body was washed up on a beach in Turkey.
We’re getting so used to being shocked and horrified by images in the media, but this picture was something else. This picture tells us so much about what’s wrong with the world, and more importantly, it tells what’s wrong with ourselves.
This picture sums up the human story, the human tragedy behind the headlines. Millions of lives have been affected by today’s man-made disasters, from the Rohingya people in Burma to northeast in Nigeria to Afghanistan, Iraq, Yemen, Somalia, Eritrea and Syria. Innocent people have been murdered, bombed, burnt out of their homes and driven from their neighbourhoods in some people’s mad rush for power. The image of this little boy’s body on the beach sums up our human failure to live and let others also live. It sums up our collective failure to treat other people as our equals, as fellow human beings with dignity and respect. It sums up our failure to show compassion to the most desperate people on earth. Allah will certainly hold every one of us to account.
My Dear Brothers and Sisters,
We only have a few minutes for Friday Sermons. We don’t have time for details, and it’s beyond our scope to point fingers of blame, and to consider whys and wherefores. Things aren’t that simple. The reasons are complex. This isn’t just about wars of wealthy nations for the resources of poor nations. It’s also about our leaders’ corruption, greed and incompetence. In so many countries, leaders are oppressing their people. But it’s not only at the high levels of government. In so many communities and in so many homes, we are unjust towards our husbands and wives, our parents and our children. We often complain about others out there, but many of us are no different. Many of our problems are home made. The Noble Quran has a stern warning for us in Surah Al-Ra’d, 13:11,
“Allah will not change the condition of a people until they change what is within themselves.”
Dear Brothers and Sisters,
The mess that we see out there is only a visible expression of the mess inside our own lives and inside our own hearts. If we Muslims were anything like our noble Prophets and their companions, the Muslim world would not be in such a wretched state today. We need to cleanse and purify ourselves inwardly first, in our hearts, our desires, our longings and our attachment to this worldly life. Only when we allow ourselves to be guided by the Nur, the light of Allah, and not by our own selfish egos, only then will things get better for us.
The UNHCR (United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees) reports that there are now over 50 million refugees worldwide. Half of them are children, and the main victims in this real life drama are always the orphans. When their parents are either killed or maimed or in prison, the poor orphans are left without financial and emotional support to sustain them.
What does our Noble Quran and our Prophetic Sunnah teaches us about orphans? There are numerous references in the Quran and the Hadith. We have time only for a few. One of my favourite verses is Ayatul Birr, the verse in Surah Al-Baqara (Verse 177) that describes the truly righteous, virtuous persons:
“It is not righteous (or virtuous) that you simply turn your faces towards East or West; but it is righteous/virtuous to believe in Allah and the Last Day, and the Angels, and the Book, and the Messengers; to spend of your wealth, out of love for Him, for your family, for orphans, (repeat: “for the orphans”) for the needy, for the wayfarer, for those who ask, and for the freedom of slaves; to be steadfast in prayer, and to practice regular charity, to fulfill the promises, (the contracts) which you have made; and to be firm and patient, in pain (or suffering) and adversity, and throughout all periods of panic. These are the people of truth, the muttaqeen, those who are cautiously aware of Allah.”
If we want Allah’s blessings and if we want to draw nearer to Allah, if we want Allah to love us, then we must do what pleases Allah. We must help orphans. We must personally take care of them, or at least pay something towards their care.
As we all know, Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was himself an orphan, whose father died before he was born and whose mother died when he was still very young…
Surely Allah’s wisdom decreed that our beloved Prophet should be an orphan, so that his example would be a source of comfort and inspiration to million of orphans throughout history. Every orphan should know that our beloved Prophet was just like them, feeling their pain, feeling their loneliness and vulnerability.
The Hadith tells us of the high status given to those who care for the orphan. Imam Al-Bukhari narrated that Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said:
“I and the custodian of an orphan are like this (together) in Paradise.” And he joined his forefinger and middle finger together.”
Ibn Majah also narrated on the authority of Abu Hurairah that Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said:
“The best Muslim house is a house in which an orphan is well treated; and the worst Muslim house is a house in which an orphan is badly treated.”
The above Prophetic Hadiths show clearly that if someone takes good care of an orphan, he is sure to enter paradise.
In another authentic Hadith, Abu Hurairah narrated that Prophet Muhammad, (SAW) said:
“He who looks after a widow and a needy person is like a fighter for the cause of Allah.” He also said:
“Like someone who stands up the night in prayer for worship and someone who is always fasting.” (Al-Bukhari)
Dear Brother and Sisters,
Wallahi, caring for orphans and helping others to care for them is a guaranteed way to win Allah’s good pleasure and enter into paradise. We are facing one of the greatest mass movements of refugees in 70 years since the Second World War. And most of these refugees are Muslims and many are children. It’s time we opened up our hearts, and our homes, to take responsibility for some of them. They desperately need help. Many non-Muslims have already responded with compassion and generosity. We should be amongst the foremost to do so. Food and medicines as well as blankets, tents and winter clothing are being collected in many areas. Some people are freeing up spare rooms to offer to refugees.
Let’s all do what we can, let’s check what’s being done in our local areas and let’s give this very noble-caused the full-hearted support it deserves.
My Respected people,
Our noble Prophet praised the widows whose husbands die and who refuse to remarry, so that they can raise their children without risking bad treatment from a stepfather. Allah alone knows the hardship such widows must endure.
Imagine my dear sisters and brothers, how precious the orphan is in Allah’s eyes. Allah guarantees paradise to the one who care for the orphans. Allah guarantees paradise to the widows who refuse to remarry, fearing that her next husband may not be good for her children. Such women were praised by Prophet Muhammad (SAW). Auf Bin Malik Al-Ashja’i narrated that Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said:
“I and a woman with dark brown cheeks will be like these (i.e. together) on the Day of Judgement (and he joined his forefinger and middle finger together); this is a widow, although beautiful and noble, who devoted herself to her orphans after her husband’s death, until they became strong enough or died,”
The scholars of Hadith tells us that, “a woman with dark brown cheeks” means a widow who refused to re-marry, and she became pale with hard work and sorrow, and her cheeks became dark brown.
These Hadiths clearly tell us how much Allah loves those who care for the orphans. They raise their children with love. They trust in Allah (tawakkul) and cultivate healthy Iman (faith) in their children’s hearts.
Dear Sisters and Brothers,
You and I could be like this (show index/middle finger together), side by side with our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) in Al-Jannah Firdaws, if we take care of the orphans, near and far.
On the other hand, those who neglect orphans or who treat them harshly, can risk incurring Allah’s displeasure. We read in Surah Al-Maa’uun:
“Have you seen the one who denies the judgment day? That is the one who drives away the orphans.”
My dear Sisters and Brothers,
Let us not, by our carelessness and lack of compassion, fall into this category. Never neglect the suffering of orphans. Thousands, no, millions of orphans are waiting out there, to be loved, to be cared for, to be fed, clothed and educated. They could be your own children! They could be your or my grandchildren! But for the grace and mercy of Allah, that could happen to anyone! We have no guarantees that we will always have comfort, security and wealth! We cannot and we should not be indifferent to the plight of orphans anywhere in the world. Let’s do what we can to help!
In Nigeria alone, over two million Nigerians have been displaced. Sixty thousand children are being born in displaced persons camps this year alone. They are desperately in need of our help. God bless you as you assist them.
Let us send a loud and clear message to orphans everywhere, that they are not alone. Let them know that we do care. We ask Allah to bless our efforts and to infuse it with His barakah, so that the benefits of our work can be magnified many times over. Ameen!
We appreciate the efforts of some individuals, NGO’s, Government agencies and many organizations in their struggles to assist the orphans, widows, refugees, disabled persons, and migrants. Like NEMA, JNI, NSCIA, SCSN, JIBWIS under the able leadership of Sheikh Abdullahi Bala Lau, Alhaji Atiku Abubakar the Turaki of Adamawa and many individuals, Muslims and Christian organizations that time will not allow me to mention. May God pay them back and reward them abundantly.
My Respected Brothers and Sisters,
It is our negligence that makes the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo to make a mockery on us and publish a cartoon about the death of drowned Syrian toddler Aylan Kurdi on the cover of its latest issue. The magazine used two cartoons both including drawings of Aylan’s death. In one of the drawings it says:
“Proof that Europe is Christian. Christians walk on water – Muslim children sink”.
Also hear what the German Chancellor Angela Markel said:
“We will tell our children that Syrian migrants fled their country to come to Europe when Mecca and Muslim lands were closer to them. The rich oil Arab countries could do a lot of help for Muslims suffering around the World if they had that spirit and consciousness!”
There’s a report from the reliable source that Muslims refugees in Berlin are converting in droves before being accepted, received and are given a shelter.
There’s also a report that the controversial far right mayor of a French town has once again caused a storm after a video emerged of him trying to evict Syrian refugees from their lodging, telling them “they are not welcome”.
Robert Menard, the mayor of Beziers in southern France, has become a house- hold name in France since being elected in May last year, thanks to his inflammatory acts.
The latest incident to provoke a storm and strong criticism from both the public and politicians saw him visiting Syrian refugees living in his town telling them “you are not welcome in this town”.
Even here in Nigeria there are reports that a pastor in Benin, Edo state gathered some children from North East, among them are Muslim orphans and converted them to Christianity.
Now the question is, what are the meaning of all these? Are our Muslim leaders not aware of these? Wallahi we are all going to be held responsible by our actions or inactions.
Inna Lillahi Wa inna ilayhi Raaji’uun!
I commiserate with world Islamic community over deadly crane collapse at the Grand Mosque in Makkah Saudi Arabia that caused the death of 111 people including 6 Nigerians. May Allah grant Jannah (Paradise) to all the victims and bring quick recovery to the injured ones. May Allah accept the efforts of His noble, martyred guests. Indeed their prayers, their sacrifice, their living and dying were all for Him, the Most High. And we appreciate the efforts of King Salman in all what he did concerning the tragedy, May Allah reward him with Jannah.
I also commiserates with Abu Naima primary and secondary school in Jos, Plateau state and the parents of 10 pupils who lost their lives on Sunday‘s building collapse. May Allah grant Jannah to the death ones and cure the injured ones. I appeal to all teacher and parents to take consolation in God.
In conclusion, I must send powerful salutations and thanks to all those who pray, participate physically on how Shaykh Adam Idoko will be release by his abductors. We thanked the security agencies, NSCIA under the leadership of Sultan. We thanked Professor Ishaq Oloyede, the Secretary General NSCIA. We thanked JNI also under the able leadership of Sultan. We thanked Dr. Khalid Abubakar Aliyu, the Secretary General JNI. We thanked SCSN under the leadership of Dr. Ibrahim Datti Ahmad and its Secretary General, Malam Nafi’u Baba Ahmad. And many more who contribute in any way. May Allah reward them with Jannah ameen.
Brothers and Sisters, to conclude our Sermon:
“Surely Allah commands justice, good deeds and generosity to others and to relatives; and He forbids all shameful deeds, and injustice and rebellion; He instructs you, so that you may be reminded.” “And remember Me; I will remember you. Be grateful to Me, and do not reject faith.” “And without doubt, Remembrance of Allah is the Greatest Thing in life, and Allah knows the deeds that you do.”
I ask Allah to grant us success to worship Him sincerely, and obey Him as He deserves – I ask Him to forgive us and show us His Mercy and enter us in to the eternal Gardens of Paradise and protect us from His Punishment. And all praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the worlds.
This Khutbah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today, Jumu’ah Thul-Hijjah 4, 1436 A.H (September18, 2015), by Imam Murtada Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’at Mosque, Okene, Kogi State Nigeria. He can be reached via: 08038289761 (+2348038289761)