[Friday Sermon] Orphans, Widows, Refugees And Migrants Are Crying For Help By Imam Murtada Gusau

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)

To proceed:

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)

 

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[Friday sermon] Buhari’s 100 Days In Office And The Quest For Safeguarding The Trust (Amanah) In Our Midst By Imam Murtada Gusau

First Sermon:

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

All praise is for Allah (SWT) who put the Trust (Amanah) in the hearts of men after the heavens, earth and mountains had declined to bear it. He put the trust in the hearts of the children of Adam, males and females because he had created within them intellects and reasoning, with which they understood, and hearts and souls, with which they were guided. For this they endured the trust with all the risks it entailed. They did so to attain the level of the righteous believers as they safeguard and convey this trust (Amanah). Yet, if they waste it and neglect it, they shall fall to the lowest of the low.

I bear witness that there is no god worthy of worship except Allah Alone, having no partners. He is the God of the first of the people and the last of the people. He created and perfected His creation. Verily, He is the Judge and the All-Wise.

I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger who conveyed the message, fulfilled his trust in the most perfect manner, and worshipped his Lord until the time of his death. May the peace and blessings of Allah (SWT) be upon him, his family, his Companions and every one who follows on their footsteps until the Day of Recompense.

My Respected people!

Today’s Khutbah (Sermon) is a tribute to our incorruptible, just, honest, brave, intelligent, reasonable, sensible, no-nonsense, globally revered and universally acknowledged leader, President Muhammadu Buhari, as well as our state Governors, as they clocks 100 days in office. The main purpose of the Sermon is to remind them and fellow Nigerians that public office is a trust (Amanah), and they are all going to be held responsible about their offices either here (by God, EFCC, ICPC or CCB) or hereafter (by God alone).

O servants of Allah!

Fear Allah, the Most High, and fulfill the trust you were entrusted with. Allah (SWT) has offered the Amanah (the trust) to the heavens, the earth and the mountains, but they declined to bear it and were afraid of it. Yet, man agreed to bear it; he was indeed unjust and ignorant.

O servants of Allah!

Fulfill the trust that you agreed to bear by doing what Allah (SWT) ordered you to do. Worship Him and fulfill His rights over you. Do not betray Allah (SWT) and His Messenger, nor betray knowingly the trusts that were entrusted to you. Exceeding the proper bounds of this trust, as well as neglecting it, leads to betraying it. Betrayal of trust is a defect in the faith and a cause for loss and deprivation. The Prophet (SAW) said:

“He has no faith who cannot keep a trust (Amanah).”

He also said:

“The signs of a hypocrite are three: when he speaks, he tells lies; when he promises, he reneges; and when he is entrusted (with something), he betrays (it). Even if he prays, fasts and claims to be a Muslim (he still is a hypocrite).”

The Prophet (SAW) also said:

“When Allah gathers the first of the people and last of the people on the Day of Resurrections, he will raise a flag for every betrayer; then it will be said: this is the betrayal of such and such a person.”

To his regret and disgrace, this flag will be raised for the betrayer to expose him in front of all the people.

O Muslims! O Nigerians!

Trust is in worship, transactions and behavior. Keeping the trust in worship is by obeying Allah (SWT) with pure intention, following His Messenger (SAW) abiding by His orders, avoiding His prohibitions, and fearing Him openly and secretly. You should fear Allah (SWT) regardless of whether people can see you or not. So do not be one of those who fear Him in the Open, but when you are alone you disobey Him. That is indeed Ar-Riyaa’ (being dishonest in your intention by showing off). Do you not know that Allah (SWT) knows the fraud of the eyes and all that the breasts conceal? Do you not know that Allah (SWT) disapproved of those who behave that way? He (SWT) says:

“Or do they think that We hear not their secrets and their private counsel? Yes, (we do) and Our Messengers are by them, to record.” (Az-Zukhruf, 43:80)

“Know they not that Allah know what they conceal and what they reveal?” (Al-Baqarah, 2: 77)

“They may hide (their crimes) from men, but they cannot hide (them) from Allah; for He is with them (by His Knowledge), when they plot by night in words that He does not approve. And Allah ever encompasses what they do.” (An-Nisaa’, 4:108)

In behavior, to keep the trust is to treat people the way you like them to treat you, being sincere to you, as you would do. It is also to safeguard their rights, whether related to money or other things, which you are being entrusted with. Between a husband and a wife, keeping the trust is that each one of them should safeguard the other’s property and secrets. Every husband and every wife must keep what occurs between them in terms of the intimate relations secret. No one else should know about it. In an authentic Hadith, the Prophet (SAW) was reported saying:

“One of the worst people on the Day of Judgement is the man who would have intimate relations with his wife and she would have the same with him, then both of them or one of them would disclose the secrets of his partner. (Meaning: what had occurred between them).”

The husband and wife would trust one another not to disclose their private and intimate relationship between them, yet one of them would betray this trust. Or one of the two would confide something what he or she would not like anyone else to know, to the other, however the other spouse would disclose it to other people. This is not only applied to couples, it also applies to friends in terms of one confiding something to another. In this regard, a narration states that:

“If a man tells another something and turns his (face) around, then (this thing) is a trust (Amanah).”

 

As he would not turn his face around if this talk was not a secret that he wanted no one to hear.

Trust is also involved in transactions and commercial exchange, which include buying, selling and renting. The seller should not betray the buyer in terms of increasing the price, covering the defects of the commodity, cheating on describing the commodity or reducing the weight or measure. On the other hand the buyer must not betray the seller by taking some of the price off, defaulting on the debt, or procrastinating in paying his dues while he is able to pay. The renter must not betray the rentor by taking away some of the utilities or facilities that were agreed on to be provided in the rent contract. Likewise, the tenant should not cheat the renter by reducing the rent amount, declining to pay it or destroying something in the rented item whether a house, a shop, a machine, or a vehicle.

In proxies, the trustee must keep the trust by taking on all the responsibilities involved in this proxy. He should do everything that benefits his client. For instance, a trustee should not sell the commodity (the object of the Proxy) for a lower price than its real value for the purpose of pleasing the buyer. If the proxy involves buying something, the trustee must not buy it for a price that is higher than its real value just to please the seller. Every person in charge of any department or office in Government or private company or holding any responsibility is a trustee. He therefore; must safeguard this trust. A President is a trustee, a Vice President is a trustee, the Governors are trustees, a Sultan is a trustee, a Senate President is a trustee, a Speaker House of Representative is a trustee, the Senators and all the members of the House of Representatives are trustees, the Shehus are trustees, the Emirs are trustees and the ministers are trustees. The permanent Secretaries are trustees, the Obas are trustees, the Ohinoyis are trustees, the local Government chairmen are trustees, and the Service chiefs are trustees. A judge is a trustee, the directors and managers of any departments are also trustees. The Imams, Sheikhs, Malams and Alfas are all trustees. They all must take on the responsibilities that are involved in these trusts and manage them in a manner that will benefit and safeguard these trusts all according to their utmost abilities. The guardians of orphans, the trustees of Waqf (administrators of Islamic endowments), and the legal guardians that implement the wills are all trustees who must attend to the responsibilities of their trusts to the best of their abilities.

Trusts are also involved in the education process at schools. Those who are in charge whether they are vice chancellors, directors, supervisors, lecturers or principals, should keep in mind the issue of fulfilling their trusts and duties. This may be done by selecting useful textbooks and hiring the pious and righteous teachers, who care about teaching the students every useful material, be it religious studies, science and technology and other subjects and looking after them in terms of behavior, discipline, conduct and religious duties. Another trust should also be kept in this regard; that is how to protect the school exams from being tampered with and to insure the fair preparation of these exams. For example, the level of understanding and learning of the students must be taken into consideration by those who prepare the exams, so that the exams will suit the student’s intellectual and learning abilities. Two kinds of exams might harm and cause more detriment than good. First, the exam that is beyond the students’ level of learning and understanding and second is the exam, which is less than their level. The first may make many students fail and thus waste a whole year and the second may hurt the general level of education for the whole country. During the exam, the supervisors must be alert regarding any attempt at cheating among the students. Keeping the trusts in education also means that no student shall receive preferential treatment for any reason, because if this happens, the student himself will be the one getting hurt. All of the students in the exam hall are the responsibility and the trust of the supervisor. According to him, all the students are equal. No special attention should be given to any of them on the expense of the other students.

In the process of correcting and marking these exams, the correctors must be accurate and the correcting process must be done according to the standards of the system, so that no one will be oppressed or mistreated at the expense of the others. By this each student will get the result he earned.

If we keep this trust (Amanah) at all the three of its levels, this will benefit the whole nation. This will also benefit every person involved in the process; the supervisors in charge as they fulfill their duties and the students who will thereby reach the high level of education and knowledge and not just receive a certificate or a title. Keeping the trust in the end will benefit the knowledge itself in that it will be strengthened and increased.

The number of students who pass the exams shall not be that important because the main concern should be quality, not quantity. If there are fewer students that pass this year, next year there will be more, because the students will take the matter more seriously.

May Allah (SWT) guide us to fulfill the trust and successfully bear the responsibilities we have upon us. May he prevent us from falling into betraying the trust or neglecting it. With this, I conclude and ask Allah to forgive our sins. Seek his forgiveness, for He is the All-Forgiving, the All-Merciful.

Second Sermon:

All praise is for Allah who ordered us to perform the secretariat. I bear witness that none has the right to be worshipped except Allah. Our Lord promised honest and secretary people with paradise as a reward for them. I bear witness that Prophet Muhammad (SAW) is our Messenger who was the most secretariat person. Allah said:

“You who believe, fear from Allah and keep duty for him, and let everyone look for what he had sent for tomorrow. (Al-Hashr, 59:18)

My Respected People!

Keeping the trust is a super character which makes good trust among people. Allah said:

“Allah commands you that you should return back the trust to those whom they are due.” (An-Nisaa’, 4:58)

He the Most High also said:

“Those who are faithfully true to their trusts (Amanaat).” (Al-Ma’aarij, 70:32)

Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) also joined between the faith and trust as he said:

“The believer is the one that people feel safe of their wealth and soul with.”

Muslim’s trust is a real indicator of his faith: The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said:

“No faith for the dishonest.”

Prophet Muhammad (SAW) also said:

“Verily, I am to you a Messenger worthy of all trust.” (Ad-Dukhaan, 44:18)

“Verily the best of men for you to hire, is the strong and trustworthy” (Al-Qasas, 28:26)

Before revealing to our Messenger, because of his trust and Amanah people used to call him “The Trustful (Al-Ameen).”

Also trust has qualified the Prophet Yusuf to be over the storehouse of the land. Allah said:

“And the king said: Bring him to me that I may attach him to myself.” (Yusuf, 12:54)

O Brothers and Sisters!

The characteristic of trust was common in our Messenger’s life and for that Khadeejah (May Allah bless her) chose him as a husband.

O Believers! O Nigerians!

This trust (Amanah) included many things in our life:

Worship is trust so we must offer it in the best way.

Children are trust so the parent must take care of them and advise them.

Students are trust so the teacher must increase their knowledge.

Leadership is trust so the leaders must lead people honestly and sincerely.

Wealth is trust so we must earn halal and spend it in the right way and give charity and zakaat.

Job is trust so the worker must be sincere.

Neighborhood is trust so we must respect our neighbors

Family relations are trust so we must maintain them.

I pray for Allah to grant us and to help us keeping the trust and paying it to whom they are due, ameen.

I pray that Allah (SWT) in His Infinite Mercy to forgive the late chief Imam of Sheikh Othman Bin Fodio Mosque Sokoto, Imam Attahiru Alhaji Idris his sins, shortcomings, and failings. Who died Monday 07/09/2015 after a long and protracted illness due to the accident, at the age of 75. May Allah (SWT) grant him Jannatul Firdaus. I also pray that He the All-Mighty forgive the late Hajiya Fatima ‘Yar Gado, the wife of the late former Sultan of Sokoto Alhaji Muhammadu Maccido. She died Sunday evening 06/09/2015. She is the mother of Ubandoma Malami Maccido, Sarkin Gabas and former Damburan Sokoto. May Allah (SWT) have mercy on her and grant her Jannatul Firdaus. And we also mourns the sorrowful exit of the great Nigerian hero, the cop who found Tafawa Balewa and Okotie-Eboh’s bodies, a former police commissioner of old Gongola state, Alhaji Ibrahim Ahmad Babankowa who served in the police since first Republic. He died Tuesday, 08/09/2015 in Kano after a brief illness, at the age of 74. May Allah forgive him and grant him Jannatul Firdaus, ameen.

I commiserate with Sultan of Sokoto, the respectful and revered leader of all Nigerian Muslims and President General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), His Eminence Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III Mni. And his Royal Highness the Amir (Emir) of Kano Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi II. The Sokoto and Kano states Governments, the family of the late Imam Attahiru Alhaji Idris, the late police commissioner Alhaji Ibrahim Babankowa and late Hajiya Fatima ‘Yar Gado, the entire people of Sokoto and Kano states and the Muslim Ummah for these regrettable, irreplaceable and irreparable loses.

I pray that Allah reward them all with paradise and give us the fortitude to bear the loss, ameen.

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

 

This Khutbah, (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today, Jumu’ah Thul-Qidah 27, 1436 A.H (September 11, 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).

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[Friday Sermon] Men’s Position In Islam By Imam Murtada Gusau  


In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Bestower of Mercy

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 believe! Fear Allah (God) and keep your duty to Him. And let every person look to what he has sent forth for tomorrow, and fear Allah. Verily, Allah is well-Acquainted with what you do.”(Al-Hashr, 59:18)

 “O you who 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 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.

My Respected People,

Many articles, booklets, sermons, conferences, workshops and books have been written and took place about ‘Women’s position in Islam’ but we have seen none about ‘Men’s position in Islam’. We believe it is right and proper that this imbalance is balanced. Islam enjoins some responsibilities on men, some on women and many joint responsibilities on both of them.

Brothers and Sisters,

If Islam and Muslims are to succeed then Muslim men must examine their role and conduct in the light of Islamic teachings and the needs and requirements of the time. Let us examine Muslim men’s role, duties and performance against a check list.

  1. Men as head of family
  2. Are they discharging their duty towards their family in accordance with the commandments of Allah (SWT) and His Messenger (SAW)?
  3. Are they performing Salah (Five daily prayers) and adhering to the other basic duties of Islam and ensuring that their spouse and children do the same?
  4. Are they by their conduct and their piety setting an example of proper Muslim conduct and Muslim manners at home? Children learn by example. If the father does not practice Islam he would not be in a position to ask his wife and children to do so. If the children learn Islam elsewhere and have a non-practicing father their close relationship with him is bound to suffer.
  5. Are they ensuring as head of their family that their wives and daughters wear hijab and express through their dress and conduct Islamic values? Our research and investigation indicates that in some Muslim households while mother, daughter and son want to be better and more practicing Muslims, some men, as fathers and husbands are actually preventing or discouraging them to do so.
  6. Are they ensuring both the religious and secular education of their children and are they making the necessary sacrifices for it? The greatest assets of the Ummah are its young. Only a well brought up and well educated or skill trained Muslim can hope to be an asset; others may well prove to be a liability.
  7. Although giving advice is easy than implementing it I nevertheless feel that I must bring to the attention of my listeners and readers an important issue. This involves the problem faced by working Muslim mothers when their children are still young and are left with baby-sitters or in some form of care. It is very difficult to draw the line between right and wrong as each family’s needs and financial circumstances will differ. But it can be safely said that if by lowering their material expectations and sticking to necessities rather than working for luxuries, Muslim women can afford to stay at home and look after their children, and then they must do so. The Qur’an and Sunnah have both exalted the role of motherhood above all else and there is great deal of Divine wisdom in it. One can see the adverse effects on many children in the society where the mother is also a career woman. I deal with some alternatives available to working Muslim mothers in my previous Friday sermon on women’s position in Islam.
  8. Men as member of community
  9. A Muslim’s conduct in local community, in the wider circle of friends and acquaintances, at educational establishments, work place and other gatherings is a reflection on Islam. A Muslim man has certain rules of behaviour with neighbours, at work place, in the conduct of business and in other group situations. Men as a member of the Islamic community and as heads of their family should examine their conduct in the light of the Qur’anic injunction: 

“Let there be a community (or Ummah) among you, advocating what is good, demanding what is right, and eradicating what is wrong. These are indeed the successful.” (Al-Imran, 3:104)

Individual conduct determines family and group conduct, local community conduct and global Ummah conduct. Successful da’wah to non-Muslims cannot be accomplished in any community anywhere if the conduct of Muslims in that community is questionable.

  1. It is incumbent on every Muslim man to devote a small portion of his time on local community, local charity and local da’wah work. This may include assisting any active Muslim organization or institution or individual, helping at the local mosque or Islamic school, local charity or NGOs and involvement in local play or social group. This can be extended to providing free tuition to local Muslims by qualified and trained teachers or other educated Muslims. One should Endeavour to do whatever is within one’s capacity. This active and grassroots work is essential for the improvement of the Muslim community and to make them better and responsible members of society. Most of us are very busy in trying to make a living but where there is a will some spare time can be found.

Sitting at home watching television and reading newspaper reports about Syria, Yemen, Libya, Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Kosovo,Chechnya, Kashmir, Palestine, Borno, Yobe and Adamawa (or North Eastern Nigeria in General) is not enough. Some form of active involvement on a continuing basis by every Muslim is necessary, deeper involvement by more committed Muslims is a must.

The Qur’an and hadith enjoin on men responsibility towards family, friends and neighbours, the local community and the Ummah. All men will have to answer before Allah (SWT) how they discharged this obligation on the Day of Judgment. This is an issue that affects the very health and survival of Muslims and cannot be avoided. The revival of their faith, the renewing of their resolve, the strengthening and improvement of their situation can never be achieved unless all Muslim men can honestly and truly answer most if not all of the questions posed above in an affirmative manner.

The establishment of Islamic societies, the educational and technical advancement of Muslims, the general improvement in their situation can only be achieved if Muslim men develop and improve themselves as individuals, families, communities until they become a model Ummah. It will then be possible to change everything and influence anyone. This is a difficult task but there are no soft options available.

The following is the prayer for righteous men from the Noble Qur’an: 

“…Our Lord! Grant unto us wives and offspring who will be the joy and the comfort of our eyes, and guide us to be models of righteousness.” (Furqan, 25:74)

O Allah, please help us to develop the talents and skills you have given us. Help us to manage the resources of money, knowledge, time and opportunity that you have placed in our trust, to bring benefit beyond our families and ourselves to humankind as a whole, irrespective of religion, tribe, race and region.

O Allah let us be part of a huge collective effort to raise the Ummah to that high status we enjoyed under your beloved prophet Muhammad (SAW) and his illustrious Companions.

My fellow Respected Nigerians,

I call on all of you to please fear Allah (God). Let us support and pray for the present Administration of President Muhammadu Buhari for its determination to restore the glory of Nigeria. Doing so will make it succeeds in rectifying the country. We must also give our security Chiefs the necessary support and prayers they need, for them alsoto succeed in overcoming the security challenges facing our great and beloved country, Nigeria.

May Allah assist, protect and guide them to bring back a complete and sustainable peace in Nigeria.

May Allah bless our country with peace, unity, progress and development. May He the Almighty protect and guide our leaders to the right way.

May He the Most High expose and destroy the enemies of peace, unity and progress. Those who don’t want to see our blessed country move forward. The extremists, terrorists, Boko Haram insurgents, kidnappers, militants, cattle rustlers etc., as well as all their secret, hidden, and underground supporters,  sponsors and sympathizers. Ameen Yaa Ar-hamar-Raahimeen Yaa Rabbal Aalameen.

And all praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the worlds, prayers and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad (SAW), his family and Companions. 

This Khutbah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today, Thul-Qi’dah 13, 1436 A.H (August 28, 2015), by Imam Murtada Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Juma’at Mosque, Okene, Kogi State Nigeria. He can be reached through: 08038289761 (+2348038289761).

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{Friday Sermon} Women’s Position In Islam By Imam Murtada Gusau

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

All praise is due to Allah, we praise Him and we seek help from Him. We ask forgiveness from Him. We repent to Him; and we seek refuge in Him from our own evils and our own bad deeds.

Anyone who is guided by Allah, he is indeed guided; and anyone who has been left astray, will find no one to guide him.

I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, the Only One without any partner; and I bear witness that Muhammad, (SAW), is His servant, and His Messenger.

My Respect Brothers and Sisters,

A great deal of published materials is now available on this subject. I do not wish to repeat more of the same. I think that the debate on women’s position in Islam is now over. The time has come to examine, in a practical manner, how the Muslimahs (Muslim women) can contribute for the betterment of the Ummah as mother, wife, and daughter and as an active member of the Muslim community. The question is not what her role is; the urgent issue is how best she can discharge that role.

  1. GENERAL

There is now some consensus among Muslims that the role of our women is both important and wide ranging in the modern world. There is also growing consensus and confidence that it is now possible for Muslim women to remain good Muslimahs (Muslim women) and be able to discharge most of the duties and cope with most of the demands made on them by the present day society. At no time in Muslim history except during the time of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) the role of Muslim women has been of greater importance than it is today. On a local level this role has been greater in some Muslim countries at different times in history but never a greater global demand was made on the Muslim women. This applies to the ordinary Muslim women, the professional and educated Muslim women, the rich Muslim women including princesses and Sheikhas and the influential Muslim women in politics, teaching, and business or as wives of influential Muslims. Now let us examine some situations and make some recommendations and action plans. There is no single panacea for the many problems facing Muslims but that should not deter us from looking for solutions and for relying on Allah’s (SWT) help.

  1. MUSLIM WOMEN’S IDENTITY

Religious and cultural identity distinguishes one people from another. One of the great strengths of western culture is that it gives in western dress some distinct identity to western woman whether she is in bikini, skirt, trouser or dress. Muslim women vary in their style of dress depending on the part of the world they live, but there are still two Islamic rules that promote and sustain their common identity. It is the HIJAB and the modesty of their dress as prescribed by their religion that achieves this. HIJAB can truly be said to be the identifying symbol of the world wide Muslim Women. It is sad and very degrading to see so many educated Muslim women not wearing HIJAB and adopting the vulgar western dress. HIJAB is the pre-requisite to fulfill the requirements of modesty of dress required by Allah (SWT) from all Muslim Women.

HIJAB and a modest style of Islamic dress represent female modesty and respectability and assert Muslim women’s dignity and self-esteem in a public manner. Western dress often symbolizes a permissible lifestyle and an invitation to sexual and other harassment. Therefore every Muslim woman must feel proud in wearing HIJAB and must pay special attention to modesty of dress and ornament in public.

Muslim women were given an exalted status and many rights by Islam fourteen hundred and thirty six years ago. Some of these rights have been granted to Western women after a great deal of struggle only recently. The question now arises as to what the modern Muslim Woman is doing to express her gratitude to Allah (SWT) for His favours to her. A question can be posed to every Muslim woman, ‘don’t ask what Islam can do for you; ask what you can do for Islam?’ In dressing themselves in an Islamic manner Muslim woman is not only following Allah’s (SWT) Commandments but is also expressing gratitude to her Creator. Therefore she must feel pride and pleasure in dressing strictly according to the Islamic code. Some Muslim women think that western dress and haircut makes them advanced and progressive. In fact this is untrue. Muslim women who adopt this western dress code and show-off hair look totally out of place. Contrary to popular belief majority of people in the west don’t think much of these women.

* Not only in Islam,    even in Christianity and Judaism there is a command to wear HIJAB

It was reported that, the Women around Jesus (May the peace and blessing of Allah be upon him) veiled themselves according to the practice of women around the earlier Prophets. Their garments were loose and covered their bodies completely, and they wore scarves which covered their hair. In Genesis 24:64-5:

“And Rebekah lifted up her eyes, and when she saw Isaac, she alighted from the camel, and said to the servant, ‘Who is the man yonder, walking in the field to meet us?’ The Servant said it is my master.’ So she took her veil and covered herself.”

Also Paul wrote in his first letter to the Corinthians:

“But any woman who prays or prophesies with her head unveiled dishonours her head – it is the same as if her head were shaven. For if a woman will not veil herself, then she should cut off her hair; but if it is disgraceful for a woman to be shorn or shaven, let her wear a veil.”

Some may argue that it was the general custom of those times to be completely veiled. However, that is not the case. In both Rome and Greece, whose cultures dominated the region; the popular dress was quite short and revealed the arms, legs and chest. Only religious women in Palestine, following Jewish tradition, covered themselves modestly.

According to Rabbi Dr. Menachem M. Brayer, professor of Biblical Literature at Yeshiva University, it was customary that Jewish women went out in Public with a head – covering which, sometimes, even covered the whole face, leaving only one eye free. (See the Jewish woman in Rabbinic Literature, P.239)

He further stated that:

“During the Tannaitic period, the Jewish woman’s failure to cover her head was considered an affront to her modesty. When her head was uncovered she might be fined four hundred zuzim for this offence”. (Ibid., P. 139)

The famous early Christian theologian, St. Tertullian (d. 220 CE), in his famous treatise, ‘On The veiling of Virgins’, wrote:

“Young women, you wear your veils out on the streets, so you should wear them in the church; you wear them when you are among strangers, then wear them among your brothers…”

Among the Canon laws of the Catholic Church until today, there is a law that requires women to cover their heads in Church. (See Clara M. Henning, “Canon Law and the Battle of sexes”, in Religion and Sexism, P. 272)

Christian denominations, such as the Amish and the Mennonites for example, keep their women veiled and in hijab to the present day.

In the Noble Qur’an, in Surah (Chapter) al-Ahzaab, 33:59, the reason for veiling/Hijab is given. Allah states that it makes the believing women known in the society and provides protection for them from possible social harm, like rape etc.

  1. EDUCATION AND TRAINING OF MUSLIM WOMEN

Every Muslim Woman should aim to obtain the highest possible education including advanced education and training in the professions commensurate with her abilities. This is over and above her thorough education and study of Qur’an, Hadith, Muslim literature, culture, history and on-going involvement with Muslim current affairs. Every type of education and training is permissible for the Muslim woman unless it is manifestly haram or may expose her to undignified and unlawful situations. However, certain professions are more suitable and desirable for women. These are teaching, law, accountancy, journalism, information technology, medical science specializing in women and children, research based careers such as scientist, consultants. Those who cannot pursue higher education for any reason must undergo some vocational or skill training. These can include typing, word-processing, nursing, tailoring and hundreds of other halal occupations and hobbies for which suitable skill training is available. Education is no longer the privilege of the few. Those Muslims who still propagate that women do not need education are wrong and backward and they misunderstood Islam.

  1. MUSLIM WOMEN’S ROLE AS WIFE AND MOTHER

The Muslim woman’s role and duties as wife and mother has not changed at all in the last fourteen hundred and thirty six years. Both Qur’an and hadith are very clear about the sanctity of this role. Islam attaches greater importance to the role of a Muslim woman as wife and particularly as mother compared to all her other roles. Indeed her role as a career woman even when she is well educated and qualified cannot take priority over her role as mother while her children are young. A great deal of careful planning, understanding and compromise is essential as there may arise situations where important decisions and choices must be made when children and careers clash. The golden rule for the Muslim woman here is to follow Islam in the bringing up of her children rather than continue with her career. In many cases it may be possible for some women to combine part time work or to work from home. For accountants, lawyers, writers, journalists, computer specialists, home workers and members of some other professions it may be possible to work from home. It is not an ideal solution but a preferable course for those women who must keep intellectually busy or need to earn some extra money when their children are young. It should be noted that the duty of imparting early religious education to her children and instilling in them Islamic values and pride in being Muslims rests to a large extent on Muslim mothers.

Once children are grown, the Muslim woman can go back to her job or career after a refresher course or re-training.

  1. MUSLIM WOMEN VS LOCAL COMMUNITY AND SOCIAL ACTIVITIES

Muslims are now fortunate to have mosques and institutions for the teaching of Qur’an and Islam everywhere in the world. Plenty of books, teaching aids are also available. There are also trainings and other group activities going on all the time. It is important for Muslim women of all ages to actively involve themselves in these activities and to play a role suitable to their education and availability. Educated Muslim women should help their less educated sisters. Those who have more time should profitably employ it on local social work, teaching, lecturing, counseling, and fund raising. All this makes for a vibrant and well adjusted community.

  1. MUSLIM WOMEN’S ROLE OUTSIDE HOME

A Muslim woman’s conduct outside her home is reflection on her faith and virtue, her family and on Islam. It cannot be overemphasized that once outside home she is the very embodiment of ‘living Islam’. She must distinguish between halal and haram, right and wrong, proper and improper in accordance with the teachings of Islam and not the dictates of custom or fashion. The Muslim woman as sister, daughter, wife and mother closely holds her family together and instills in them high standards of character and behavior by her own example.

  1. A PRACTICAL WAY FOR ENHANCING LOCAL MUSLIM UNITY AND SOCIAL CONTACT

I would like to mention here one of the ways of enhancing local unity, social contact and sharing of ideas and problems that has been successfully working with excellent results in a part of Nigeria. The idea originated from two local women that between ten to twenty Muslim families should get together regularly once every month. They got together twelve families who gathered, for the first few months, taking turns in each other’s houses. Each family cooked some food and brought it to the designated house. All members of the family got together. The gathering was on the last Saturday of each month between 7 to 10 pm. Food was shared. The separate male and female groups discussed current problems, education, community matters and bringing up of children. Children made friends and shared their school and sports news and experiences. They also discussed religion and other subjects. Brief talks were given on important issues by different persons and followed by discussions. Such was the initial success of this activity that this group has now obtained, through the generosity of a local charity, the regular use of a public hall once a month. This hall has space for lectures, games and some sports facilities. The cost of the hall is negligible. We believe Muslims everywhere should organize such a get-together. There could be many groups in the same locality. The social, cultural and other benefits are enormous compared to the time and effort expended. Ideally the groups should be minimum ten and maximum twenty. Once the group is formed and started someone on its behalf can contact the local council for the use of a hall, a youth or recreation centre. Local charitable organizations may also help. We think it is a wonderful idea for gaining educational, social and religious benefits on a regular basis.

  1. CONCLUSION.

My emphasis on education and training of Muslim Women is not a license to ignore her tarbiyah in family management and acquisition of skills for running her home. It must remaining the first priority in all homes. Education and training should enhance a Muslim Woman’s ability to manage her home, children and extended family much better than an uneducated person. Education up to O level/Matriculation with an extended syllabus for religious education must be made compulsory for all young men and women in all Muslim communities. It has been estimated by some researchers that the literacy level of the Jews is ninety-six percent while that of the Ummah is no more than twenty-five percent. This gap is alarming!

Inna Lillahi Wa inna ilaihi Raaji’uun. We are from Allah and unto Him we return.

With a heavy heart and deep sense of loss that I commiserates with Sultan of Sokoto and President General of the Nigerian supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), His Eminence Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III Mni, the Shehu of Borno, Alhaji Abubakar Ibn Umar Garbai El-Kanemi, the Emir of Bauchi Alhaji Ridwan Suleiman Adamu, the Governors of Borno and Bauchi states and the good and peace-loving people of Borno, Bauchi and Misau on the demise of the royal father, the Emir of Misau, Late Alhaji Muhammadu Manga III, who died Monday, August 17, 2015 at the age of 78, after a protracted illness. And the regrettable and sudden death of the Deputy Governor of Borno state, His Excellency, Late Alhaji Zannah Umar Mustapha, which occurred on Saturday, August 15, 2015 in Yola, Adamawa State. Their death was not only a loss to their people and families, but also to the entire Muslims Ummah and Nigerians in general.

I pray that Almighty Allah will comfort the Sultan, the Shehu of Borno, the Emir of Bauchi, the Governors of Bauchi and Borno, the people of Borno and Bauchi states, the entire Muslim Ummah and all the Nigerians for the irreplaceable death. And I pray that Allah the Most High grant the Emir and deputy governor peaceful and eternal rest.

I pray that Almighty Allah, in His infinite Mercy, will forgive their short comings and failings, and grant them Jannatul Firdaus.

O Allah, give us the fortitude, power and strength to bear the irreparable and irreplaceable loses, Ameen.

O Allah, please help us to develop the talents and skills you have given us. Help us to manage the resources of money, time and opportunity that you have placed in our trust, to bring benefit beyond our families and ourselves to humankind as a whole.

O Allah let us be part of a huge collective effort to raise the Ummah to that high status we enjoyed under your beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and his illustrious companions.

O Allah, help our president, Muhammadu Buhari and all our state Governors and all our leaders in their efforts and good intentions to restore this our dear, great and blessed country to the right direction.

O Allah, help the National Security Adviser, Maj. General Babagana Monguno and our Service Chiefs and all the security agents, give them the knowledge, power and wisdom to overcome all the security problems bedeviling our dear country, ameen.

 

This Khutbah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today, Thul-Qi’dah 6, 1436 A.H. (August 21, 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)

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Nasfat Youth Commemorates International Youth Day With Symposia

…..as group held special prayers for Youths and Nigeria

The Youth Wing of the renowned Islamic group, Nasrul-Lahi-l-Fatih Society (NASFAT), at the weekend held symposia and special prayer sessions in different branches/Zones of the society across the country as part of activities to commemorate this year’s International Youth Day which is marked every 12th of August. The 2015 Youth Day’s theme, according to the UN, is “Youth Civic Engagement”. The NASFAT Youth symposia which were held simultaneously in all zones and branches of the society witnessed the presence of different speakers and scholars discussing this theme.

At the FCT Zone, the symposium was held at the NASFAT Islamic Centre, Utako District Abuja – moderated by Barr S.O.Q Giwa (the Zonal Chairman, NASFAT FCT Zone) – where Mr. Nurudeen Aderinto, an IT guru with Galaxy backbone Ltd, who was the lead speaker, charged the youths on the need to be actively involved in politics and governance while not compromising uprightness. He also exhorted them to be well educated with all-inclusive education as well as equip themselves with sound knowledge of Information Technology due to the array of opportunities it provides globally. Also speaking at the event was Alhaja Nofisat Arogundade, the immediate past NASFAT Women Leader, who charged the youths, especially the females, on the need for them to be more involved in civic duties and always speak out and rise up to challenges.

In Lagos state, the event was held at different branch level across Lagos Zones 1 and 2. At Ipaja branch of NASFAT Lagos Zone 2, the Youth National Head of Dawah – Ustaz Ismail Ibrahim – who was the guest speaker, admonished the youths to be pragmatic in their civic engagement’s expectations quoting a verse from the Quran: “God does not change the condition of a people until they change themselves” (Q13:11) with other relevant Quranic texts to drive home his points. The cleric also challenged the youths to embrace the principles of sound knowledge acquisition, respect for justice, integrity, God consciousness, community involvement and volunteerism, participation in incorruptible and credible governance, shunning violence as well as sound moral conducts as their instruments for positive and impactful civic engagement.
The story was not different in Kwara, Ogun, Osun, Aba, South-East, Northern Zones as well as in every other Zone/branch of NASFAT.

In the same vein, the Youth Wing at the NASFAT Headquarters Alausa collaborated with the Women wing of the society to hold the programme in an elaborate way as the day coincides with the start of the NASFAT annual Women Week celebration. A Senior Lecturer at the Lagos State University, Dr. Nosirudeen Onibon was the lead discussant of the Youth’s theme. Dr. Onibon, in his presentation advised youth generally on the need to harness their abundant energy for positive civic impact. In his words: “Youths participation was pivotal to the development of Islam in the early days as most people who aided Prophet Muhammad (SAW) were youths. He  himself was also a youth activist who was not only involved in civic duties but also spearheaded a group known as Hilful-Fudool whose sole aim is to protect the weak and speak for the cheated in every part of Makkah.” “The onus is thud on the youth of today to emulate this impeccable character laid down by our noble prophet (SAW) and the early Muslims,” he added.

The Youth members thereafter – led by the National Youth Secretary (Amir), Mr. Fatai Olayemi as well as some other Youth National Officers – proceeded to the Pen cinema motor Park in Agege where they held a campaign against alcohol consumption for drivers. Mr. Olayemi, while addressing the drivers and some of the Motor Park leaders, advised them to shun the habit of drunk-driving as not only is it totally condemned and prohibited in Islam but also portends great danger to not only the drivers themselves but the society at large. He also urged them to always consider what would be the plight and the fate of their loved ones in the event of ghastly accidents which may occur as a result of drunk-driving.

Highlights of the programme at the various venues were special prayer sessions held to pray for all Nigerian Youths and Youths globally as well as for peace, prosperity and harmony in Nigeria, especially the troubled parts of some Northern states of the country.

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[Friday Sermon] Hajj: The Physical And Spiritual Journey 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 misguide, 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 believe! Revere Allah the right reverence, and do not die except as Muslims.” (Al-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.” (Al-Nisa’, 4:1)

“O you who 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-Ahzab, 33:70-71)

Indeed, the best speech is Allah’s (SWT) Book and the best guidance is Muhammad (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.

My Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Our today’s Khutbah (Sermon) is about Hajj. In a few days’ time, millions of Muslims from the far corners of the earth will converge on the holy city of Makkah to perform the 5th and final pillar of their faith.

The Noble Qur’an says, in Surah Al-hajj, chapter 22, verse 27

“And proclaim the pilgrimage among men, they will come to you on foot and (mounted) on every kind of camel, lean on account of journeys through deep and distant mountain highways…”

Also in Surah Al-Imran, 3:97 – we read:

“…Pilgrimage is a duty men owe to Allah; those who can afford the journey; but if any deny faith, Allah stands not in need of any of his creatures.”

All Muslims, who have the means to do so, physically and financially, must do the pilgrimage at least once in a lifetime. It is a duty, but not merely a duty. It is an integral part of being Muslim.

For a few precious days we participate in one of the greatest annual events in human history. We complete the rituals whose origins go way back beyond the time of Prophet Muhammad, (SAW), to the time of Prophet Ibrahim (A.S), and even further back to the time of Adam (A.S). During these momentous days, pilgrims remove their normal clothing, removing all outer signs of nationality, of wealth and social status, and everyone wears the same simple sheet of white cloth, the ihraam. From the starting point or meeqat, they chant those deeply stirring words, “labbaik, Allahummalabbaik, labbaik… Here I am, O Allah, Here I am!” They are answering the call of Allah, which began with the first time they recited their KalimahShahaadah. Hajj is the response to Allah’s call, His invitation, to visit His House, at least once before we die. It is also the fulfillment of a promise that we all make. Every time we recite our KalimahShahaada, and we say …Wahajjulbayt,manistata‘ailayhisabeelaa…” It is a part of our Declaration of Faith that we promise to perform Hajj when he have the means to do so.

We then perform tawaaf, walking around the Ka’abah, which was purified of idols by Prophet Muhammad (SAW), as soon as he returned to Makkah from exile in Madinah. Praying at Maqam Ibrahim, the Place of Prophet Abraham (A.S), and performing sa’yi; we remember how his wife Hajar ran in search of water for her infant son, Ismail. This is how the well of Zamzam was found. To this day, for thousands of years, Zamzam has quenched the thirst of millions who visit the House of Allah. Later, we make our way to the great plain of ‘Arafaat and spend the day of wuqoof in deep and passionate prayer, asking Allah to forgive us our sins, just as he forgave Adam, (A.S), in that very place, on Jabal Rahma, the Mount of Mercy; we seek atonement for our past sins, and await Allah’s Mercy. At Mina and Musdalifah, we throw stones at the Jamraat. This is an outer expression of our inner resolve to reject Shaitaan (Satan) and all that he stands for. The whole experience of Hajj is rich in symbolism and history. We are not mere spectators, but active participants in this prolonged act of worship. When we do our daily prayers, it takes a few minutes of concentrated effort. When we perform Hajj, it takes at from 7 to 10 days to complete all the rituals associated with this great journey.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Islam,

This year, we expect the Day of Wuqoof in Arafaat. All the pilgrims will be devoting this day to seeking Allah’s Mercy. May I request that we all fast on that day, so that even if we cannot be on Arafaat in person, we can at least join those pilgrims in spirit. Our fasting should be an act of solidarity and unity with the Muslim Ummah, not only seeking forgiveness for ourselves, but also to seek Allah’s mercy and blessings for those who suffer hardship and distress everywhere.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Islam,

What is the significance of Hajj? What does Hajj really mean to us, and how does Hajj affect our lives, and our destiny?

Hajj is both an outward and inward journey. It is an outward journey, from our homes and families and familiar things, to the center of Islam; it is also an inward journey, to find our own center. The outward journey to reach the Ka’abah in Makkah helps us to meet our Muslim brothers and sisters, from around the world. It must also be our inward journey, to reach the Ka’abah of our own heart and own soul. Here we need to reflect, to take stock of ourselves. Where have we come from, and where are we going? What have we done with our lives? How have we used the health, education, wealth and opportunities, which Allah has provided for our benefit? We ask these questions at every level, but most importantly, at the spiritual level. Where have we come from, and where are we going?

The answer comes from deep within the innermost chambers of the heart, from within the deepest depths of the soul; in the words of the Noble Qur’an:

“Innalillahiwainnailayhirraajiuun”.“From Allah do we come, and to Him is our return.”

That is it! What could be simpler, more profound, and more complete! Our origin is from Allah, and our destiny is to return to Him. About that we have no choice. But how will we return? Will we return to him, eagerly, willingly, excited to meet with our lord, or will we return kicking and screaming, our hearts filled with dread, heavy with guilt and remorse? Will we return in a manner that pleases Allah, or displeases Him? Here we do have a choice, a most important choice. And the wonderful news is that we still have time to make that choice, and to act on it.

Hajj is a journey of full of meaning and purpose. By wrapping ourselves in 2 sheets of plain white cloth, the Ihraam, we symbolically prepare ourselves for death; it is the only time we will wrap ourselves, in our own Burial shroud. When we die, someone else will do it for us. Here we remind ourselves of the fleeting nature of our life on earth; yet it is also an opportunity to put matter right, to make a fresh start; a chance for rebirth, and renewal. We can take a new look at ourselves, consider the direction of our lives, and if needed, we can still rearrange our priorities.

Hajj brings together some of the fundamental teachings of Islam. The concept of Tawheed, the unity and oneness of Allah, is visibly expressed here, in a most powerful way. We see the oneness of Allah, through the oneness of those who worship Him. We see the essential unity that underpins the great diversity of Muslims. Every race, every language, every colour of the human species, is represented here. On Hajj, we are not merely passive witnesses and we are not like couch potatoes watching TV. We are an active part of the great Ummah of Islam.

We see and experience the true brotherhood of all believers. Before Hajj, we were used to praying and observing our Islamic duties in smaller groups. For example, prayer, Salah, is a duty we all must observe, on time, 5 times a day. When we are alone, we pray alone, but as soon as there is at least one other person, we are encouraged to pray together. If we are near a mosque, we are encouraged to go there, and join a larger group. Once a week, we attend Jumu’ahprayers, and twice a year, we join even larger groups for the Eid prayers. Finally, we are obliged, at least once in our lives to make the pilgrimage to Makkah. Hence, Islam urges us to seek active association in ever widening circles. So, clearly, Islam is not a religion of the Loner or the recluse. It fosters the idea of community, from gatherings of just 2 people at home, to over 8 million on Hajj.

Hajj is therefore an extremely important act of collective worship. Those who do not perform Hajj when they are capable of doing so are considered to be no better than non-Muslims. In an authentic Hadith, Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said:

“Whosoever fails to complete his Hajj before his death, he dies as a Jew or a Christian.”

Despite our many different languages, races, cultures and social backgrounds, we Muslims are all one. While in ihraam, we cannot see any distinction between rich and poor, high born or low born. The professor and student, the prince and the farmer, the businessman and window-cleaner, all wear the same 2 sheets of plain white cloth. In Ihraam, there is no distinction between anyone. We see ourselves exactly as Allah sees us. Stripped of all our outer pretensions, it is the inner person, the essential human being that we have to cultivate, strengthen and purify.

Hajj is a reminder of death. We are clothed in the same simple white cloth that will cover us on our final journey to the grave. Hajj is therefore an opportunity for new beginnings, for taking stock of our lives. It’s a wakeup call. When the angel of death comes to return us to our maker, we will have no opportunity to delay, or to complete any unfinished business. Hajj is therefore an excellent time to start setting things right.

Throughout the rites of Tawaaf, and sa’yi, the journey to Mina, Musdalifa and Arafaat, we seek Allah’s mercy and forgiveness for our sins, and we rededicate ourselves to His service. If those prayers are sincere, if we honestly and truthfully turn away from our bad and shameful behaviour, and if we strive with great effort to seek Allah’s pleasure, then the Hajj becomes a significant milestone in our lives. On Hajj we are able to reflect on our past deeds, from a distance, and consider our future direction. Hajj is not only the completion of an important Islamic duty. A true Hajji or true Alhaji returns home with a solemn determination to steer his life in the direction that pleases Allah. He no longer is a slave of his own vain desires, but a true Ambassador of Islam.

Someone we know may well be making their Hajj this year; many will have left already. We pray for their safety and good health, may Allah take good care of them on their journey to Makkah, Madinah and all the Holy places. May Allah accept their Hajj,and when they have completed their duties, may Allah return them safely to their homes, Inshaa-Allah.

May Allah Most Gracious, also accept this prayer, that each and every one of us here should find the means and the opportunity, to perform our sacred duty, and complete our own Hajj, at Allah’s invitation, in the near future, ameen.

May Allah the Bestower of Mercy also assist, help and guide our leader, the leader of all the Nigerian Muslims, the permanent National Amirul Hajj of Nigeria, His Eminence, the Sultan, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’adAbubakar IIIand His Royal Highness the Emir of Kano, SheikhMuhammaduSanusi II, who was delegated by the Sultan to represent him as the National Amirul Hajj of the 1436/2015 Hajj operation. And May He the Most High assist and help the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria and all the stakeholders on this great, important assignment and responsibility put on their necks and shoulders.AmeenYaaAr-hamar-RaahimeenYaaRabbalAalameen.

 

This Khutbah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today, Shawwal 29, 1436 A.H. (August 14, 2015), by Imam Murtada Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi-UveteJumu’at Mosque, Okene, Kogi State Nigeria. He can be reached via: 08038289761 (+2348038289761).

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[Friday sermon] “You Are A Terrorist Or Boko Haram!” Say “No, I Am A Muslim” By Imam Murtada Gusau

IN THE NAME OF ALLAH, THE MOST GRACIOUS, THE BESTOWER OF MERCY

Alhamdu lillah. 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 believe! Revere Allah the right reverence, and do not die except as Muslims.” (Al-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.” (Al-Nisa’, 4:1)

“O you who 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-Ahzab, 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.

My Dear Sisters and Brothers,

Recently I was invited to talk to some children, students and their parents at a mosque in my Home town Gusau, Zamfara state. After the talk a little girl who looked about 8 years old, raised her hand rather shyly and said: “Sir, what should I say when someone calls me a Terrorist or Boko Haram?”

My Respected people,

That question caught me by surprise, and for a moment I wasn’t sure how to answer. So, I asked her: “What was your reply?” She said, “I just told them, I’ m not a terrorist or Boko Haram. I’ m a Muslim. Then I walked away.” I smiled and said to the little girl, “Young lady, that’s the best answer you could have given. You’re not a terrorist or Boko Haram. You’re a Muslim. The two are not the same. And they could never be the same.”

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

This episode raises a rather important topic:

How do we handle abusive and insulting people? Do we lose our temper? Do we resort to violence? Do we walk away and say nothing? How should we react? If we return insult with insult we only make matters worse. And our mission is to contribute in solving the world’s problems. Some people say revenge is sweet: an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth. If that’s the way the world works, then the whole planet will end up blind and toothless. A silly man burns Qur’ans in America. Some fools provokes Muslims by drawing cartoons ‘as they says’ of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and hundreds of people in Pakistan, Niger etc. go on the rampage, burning down churches and a branch of McDonalds and causing injury and death. Someone pushes our panic button and thousands of Muslims respond, right on cue. Some years back a Danish newspaper publishes some silly cartoons also they said of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and instead of just ignoring them, some Muslims start a worldwide campaign to boycott all Danish goods. We seem to forget that, for years, Denmark has been at the forefront of humanitarian work, welcoming refugees and asylum seekers when others have shut their doors. How silly can you get? We complain that all Muslims are blamed for the bad behaviour of a few, yet we want to blame all Danish people and all Americans for the actions of one or two individuals. Brothers and Sisters, that makes no sense!

Anger and abuse that flows from a damaged self-esteem, from a bruised ego, belongs to the lower nafs, the lower self. As Muslims and believers, we claim to be followers of the ‘best of creation’ rahmatal lil aalameen, the Mercy to all the worlds, Muhammad (SAW). We should always therefore refer to the higher, not the lower inclinations within us. The prophetic way is to look beyond the bad behaviour; look to the heart, to the fu’ad, the kernel of goodness buried in the soul of every human being.

When Prophet Muhammad (SAW) went to Ta’if to preach Islam there, the people drove him out with such violence that he was battered, bruised and lost a tooth. His blood-soaked sandals stuck to his feet. The Angel of Mountains appeared, and offered to crush the people of Ta’if in an earthquake. But this alarmed the prophet. He refused the offer, saying that he was not a Prophet of revenge, but a Prophet of mercy. Perhaps one day the children of Ta’if will accept Islam. He was right. In time, they did accept Islam.

After years of exile, when Prophet Muhammad (SAW) returned to Makkah leading a huge army, he could have slaughtered all his enemies. Instead, he forgave them. This supreme act of mercy won the hearts of the Makkans and almost the whole city accepted Islam.

We should follow the Prophetic example. We should ignore insults, win our enemies’ hearts and minds and defuse explosive confrontations. Don’t throw fuel on the fire. As Muslims, we should all become fire-fighters, not arsonists. This enables us to gain the moral high ground, and with Allah’s help, we can turn enemies into friends. Read in Surah Al-Fussilat, Allah the Most High said:

“And who is better in speech than one who invites to Allah and does good deeds and says, “Indeed, I am Muslim.” Good deeds and bad deeds are not equal. Repel [evil] by that which is better; and thereafter, your enemy will become your devoted friend. But no one is granted this except those who are patient, and no one is granted it except one having a great portion [of good]. And if there comes to you from Satan an evil suggestion, then seek refuge in Allah. Indeed, He is the Hearing, the Knowing.”

That is why, whenever we feel an evil inclination, we should always say:

“A uthu bil-Laahi minash shaytaanir rajeem.” “I take refuge in Allah from Shaytaan (Satan), the Cursed One.”

When rudeness is met with unexpected kindness it immediately changes the paradigm. The one who insults you thinks he’s in control. He wants to provoke you but your courtesy and your dignity throws him off balance. Many of Islam’s enemies were thus conquered by kindness. Allah has the key to all hearts, and if you obey Allah and follow in the footsteps of His beloved Prophet, (SAW), then you are on the Siratal-Mustaqeem, the Straight path leading to Al-jannah (Paradise), Allah’s eternal Garden.

Umm Salamah reports that one of the prayers she heard Prophet Muhammad (SAW) recite most often was:

“Yaa Muqallibal Quluub Thabbit Qalbee ‘alaa Deenik.”  “Oh turner of the hearts please turns our hearts towards Your obedience.”

My Respected people,

We all know the story of the woman who left her rubbish at Prophet Muhammad’s door every day.

He, (SAW), never complained, but just quietly cleared it away without any fuss. Then one day there was no rubbish there, so he went to visit the woman and found she was ill. No fuss, no remonstrations of a bruised ego. The Mercy to All the Worlds showed mercy to this sick woman who always treated him with contempt. He brought her some food and stayed there to comfort her. Allah turned her heart over to Islam. She became a Muslimah. Where anger and retaliation would have made matters worse, she was won over with kindness. This is the Prophetic way, the true Islamic way.

Many of the greatest Sahaabah, the companions of the prophet, (SAW) were his mortal enemies before their hearts were turned to Islam. Khalid bin Walid and Amr ibn al As fought against the Muslims in the battle of Badr. When Allah unlocked their hearts, they again went into battle, leading victorious armies but now it was in the name of Islam. Khalid bin Walid conquered the Romans and Amr ibn al As conquered Egypt. Even in our times, people who hated Muslims vehemently, ex-members of the Klu-Klux-Klan in the USA and leading members of the Dutch right wing party have taken the Shahaada, made tauba (repented) to Allah, and apologized for their previous bad behaviour. We don’t know, and Allah alone knows. One day, some of our worst enemies could well be standing shoulder to shoulder with us, as brothers, in prayer. That is Allah’s secret. We have to trust Allah and live hopefully.

We must never take insults personally. When someone insults you, it’s because they are just insecure and ignorant. Smile and ask them politely what they mean. Ask why they feel so angry. Don’t become defensive and don’t retaliate. Keep your dignity; keep your courtesy, your good manners and sense of humour. And if that doesn’t work, just say, “I am a Muslim,” then walk away. Be like that 8 years old girl, using her intuition, her fitra, that primordial innocent nature that Allah has planted inside our hearts.

Allah is with those who patiently persevere: “innal Laaha ma’as Saabireen.”

In my Recent Ramadan trip to Makkah Saudi Arabia, on our Journey to Umrah (Lesser Hajj), in the restaurant, a Pakistani, talked to us: are you from Nigeria? We replied yes. He then said: you are Boko Haram. One of my friends shouted at him and wanted to fight him. I ask him to leave the man alone, since we are not Boko Haram. And the issue became history and past tense. The man became our friend and end up playing and laughing together.

My Dear Sisters and Brothers,

You may have seen reports of young Muslims going to the North east Nigeria or Middle East to join the fighting there. Just as prophet Muhammad (SAW) predicted, this is a time of fitna, the time of trials. This is a time of confusion. People are being killed and they don’t know why they are being killed. People are killing and they don’t know who they are killing. We hear of shifting alliances, reports of kidnapping and executions of journalists and aid workers. War is a very messy business. It’s not the glamorous stuff of Hollywood movies, paint-ball or video games. War is for real. If any of my own children or grandchildren were considering such a move my advice would be: Don’t go. Muslims are killing Muslims over there, and everyone claims Allah is on their side.

The Noble Qur’an warns us that:

“Whoever kills one innocent life, it’s as if he has killed all of mankind; and whoever saves one life, it is as if he has saved all of mankind”.

You may think that you are going to help a just cause, and that you are going to defend the weak against the oppressed. But things are far from clear. And things get more complicated and confusing every day. What if you actually killed one or more of Allah’s devoted, believing servants? When you take aim with a deadly weapon in your hands, can you be absolutely sure that you are not committing a terrible sin? In the heat of battle, how do you know? Wouldn’t it be wiser to stick to things you are sure of, and to avoid doubtful actions? How do you know that going over there will make things any better? It could also make things a lot worse! You may have good intentions but when you get there you may find the opposite of what you expect, and then it’s too late to change your mind. You heard the saying; “the way to Hell is paved with good intentions…”

On the other hand, you can do so much good work over here. There are so many ways you can serve Islam and help to save lives from over here, by helping to raise funds, and collect clothes, food and medicines for Emergency relief. Thousands of volunteers, NGOs are doing so already. Government officials from NEMA are doing so already. Why not join them instead? Why not stick to what you know is good work than to take risks with something that could be seriously sinful?

People who volunteer for emergency relief work are also showing the love, mercy and generosity of Islam. These are important aspects of Allah’s 99 beautiful Names, the Asma ul Husna.

My Dear Sisters and Brothers,

I pray that Allah will guide us in these difficult times. May Allah help us to internalize His noble qualities of Mercy, Love and Wisdom. Let us show Patient, Perseverance in serving others, and building bridges between Muslims and our neighbours in the wider community. Let us pray that Allah help us to become better Muslims so that we can set a good example for others.

Brothers and Sisters, to conclude our Khutbah (Sermon), I will say:

“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.”

 

This Khutbah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today, Shawwal 22, 1436 A.H (August 7, 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)

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Spirituality: The Ideal method to Marriage

Odeyemi Afis Olawale

“O’ you who believe, observing fasting (in the holy month of Ramadan) is prescribed on you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become the pious.”

The above verse quoted from the glorious book of Islam, (the Qur’an) has since time immemorial remained a unique revelation to the religion of Islam. It serves as guidance to all Muslims throughout the fasting month of Ramadan. This popular verse in the second chapter of the Qur’an has again set the bases for this year Ramadan lecture, in the Sheikh Muktar Isalekoto Islamic Foundation annual Ramadan lecture in Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria.

As it’s customary, the University of Ilorin was again agog with Muslims faithfull’s from all works of life who converged at the expansive auditorium of the prestigious University of Ilorin in the annual Ramadan lecture which is 7th in its series.

The lecture, as habitually convened by the Chief coordinator of the foundation and also the founder, Al-Ikmatul Al-Baligah program aired on 89.3 Unilorin FM Radio and NTA Kwara, Ustadz Lukman Muktar Isalekoto of the faculty of engineering, University of Ilorin, in his introductory speech at the occasion, expressed major concern over the prevalent dissolution of early marriage among community of the Muslim nation of present day world. The root cause of such abysmal state of affair was however a major  topic of discuss in the series of topics delivered at the occasion.

Speaking on the topic of direction of Salat (Prayer by supplication), the first lecturer of the day, Imam Abdulsalam Saliu, enjoined all Muslims to take swift cognizance of their Salat, and by making sure that while observing praying, they are properly positioned in the direction of the Kibla (I.e the holy Kaabah in Macca), as this is the right direction for prayer as prescribed by Islam and the Sunnah (teachings of the Prophet Muhammad ‘Peace Be Upon Him’), which states in clear term, that all forms of worship be observed facing the direction of the Kaabah.

He said however that, in common cases where such direction cannot be readily identified, Muslims must employ the services of experts in determining the actual direction to face in observing the Salat. This he said, “is possible through the use of compass, or weather forecast as was the practice in the early period of Islam. Imam Abdulsalam, emphasized that, “Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him), clearly stated that the direction of the Kiblah should be sourced in between the position the sun sets and rises.”

In the second lecture delivered by Chief Imam, Asbunallahu central Mosque Kwara, Sheikh Abdulrafiu Abdulkareem Oloduowo, traced the root cause and absence of marital bliss among  young Muslims couples to lack of spirituality and the absence of proper incentives before marriage is established. He stated that, spirituality which originally should be the foundational point on which a good marriage is premised, but with the absence of spirituality among other factors is responsible for the gradual extinction of the ideal type of Islamic marriage as was the case during the lifetime of Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him).

Using the Qur’an and the teachings of the Prophet Muhammed (Peace Be Upon Him) as a reference point and solution to solving societal problems. The Sheikh noted that, marriage in Islam is an injunction established by Allah to the entirety of mankind for the purpose of legitimate worship. Thus, Allah enjoins mankind to multiply through procreation which is important to worship as established in the glorious Qur’an.

According to him, a number of other factors contributed to the collapse of marriages among community of the Muslim faithfull’s, saying; “Today, we marry for the wrong reasons, and as soon as those who are married for the wrong reasons are joined together, they soon begin to experience problems and such marriage never worked.”

“Allah has created marriage for you in other that you may achieve comfort from your spouse, in other that you may enjoy the pleasure of your spouses company, in other that you may live with pleasure and happiness and have reasons to smile.”

“And from the signs of Allah, is that He has created for you and from amongst you spouse, in other that you may achieve happiness and indeed, Allah placed in your heart love for one another, and definitely that’s a sign for those who will like to ponder.” “Those who are married under the shade of Allah, naturally they will have a feeling towards their spouse, and they will feel very protective and very possessive of their spouse and that is a natural feeling that Allah places automatically in their heart which was not their prior to the union.”

The Sheikh advised couples to be conscious of their ‘Rab (their Lord, Sustainer, Nourisher and Provider)   who has created man from a single soul (Adam) and created from that soul it spouse (Eve).

Mentioning, the importance of communication in marriage, the religious Scholar observed that; “Communication is a major important factor of any marriage. Why is it so important to mention the use of the tongue at the occasion of  marriage? This is because, ninety nine percent of marital problems is connected to our tongue, because ninety nine percent of marital problems is connected to the way we speak in our marriages. We need to utter on a daily bases words that will put a smile on the faces of our spouse. You have to speak up when you have to, you need to talk if you have to talk.

Spend time together and be tolerant of one another. Trust and be just, to be tender and lenient, to be calm and polite and not be hard and harsh to your spouse. You have to sacrifice you time, your resources and energy. To be thankful and greatful to one another is equally important because thankfulness is an ideal way of rekindling our marriage.”

In his conclusive remark however, Sheikh Oloduowo advised that, when choosing a spouse, the best method to employ, and the best deciding factor is the spiritual sanctity of the man or woman to be married to.

“..And when choosen your spouse, if you have based your opinion only on beauty, the beauty will go, if you have based your opinion only on wealth, the wealth will go, if you have based your opinion only on reputation, such reputation may be tarnished overnight, but if you base your opinion on spirituality, the spirituality will only increase as time passes by.” On this note, the Scholar tasked religious leaders to give proper admonition to intending couples before marriages is legalized.

Meanwhile, in the last lecture delivered by Imam Abdulwahab Ajia, who treated succinctly, the Hidaah (waiting period) of a divorced woman or a woman who has just lost her husband according to Islamic injunction, said, “Women should be allowed to murn their husband for a period of time as prescribed by Islam. And for a woman divorced by her husband, for more than twice, must be allowed to remain in the husband house for a period of time she is observing her monthly circle (Menstrual period). But in cases where only one or two oral divorces has been made by the husband but the third one has not been issued, the husband is allowed to take back his wife if he has a change of heart. While in instances where three divorces has been issued and the couple decides to return to each other, then a fresh marriage rights has to be conducted and bridal price be paid as was the case in the first marriage before they can live once again as man and wife.

The all inclusive event featured a host of Islamic scholars as well as Muslim faithfull’s, students from various institution of higher learning, academic and non-academic staff of institutions and parents from far and near, thronged in massive crowd the University of Ilorin, the usual host and venue of the progam. The Vice-chancellor of the University, Professor Abdulganiyu Ambali (OON) was represented at the occasion by his deputy Vice-chancellor management services, Professor Yisa Fakunle, Professor Abdul Razak Ajao among others. Other guests present include, Alhaji Daudu Bala, Imam Sebutu, Dr. Onireti among other faithfull’s.

Odeyemi Afis Olawale; 300 Level History, report from the University of Ilorin, Kwara State, Nigeria.     

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10 Tips To Get The Best Out Of The Blessed Last 10 Nights Of Ramadan 

  1. No matter how good or bad your Ramadan went, enter the last 10 Days well prepared, with pure intentions, full energy and a positive outlook.
  1. Listen to or read the Tafsir of Surah Al-Qadr to know about this amazing night, to switch that mode ON and to keep it remained ON for all the nights. It could fall on any of the last 10 nights.
  1. Choose the most comfortable place for worship in your home or Masjid. Avoid leaning on pillows & cushions while reciting Qur’an or Adhkaar so as to keep your back straight.
  1. Switch off your mobile phones, iPads and Laptops if possible.
  1. If you’re alone, recite the Qur’an in a loud beautiful voice so that your ears & heart remain involved with the recitation and you don’t feel drowsy. Plus it has an amazingly calming effect trust me!

If you’re not alone then you can recite in a normal volume not to disturb others but can listen to a Qiraa-at in high volume using your earphone.

  1. Elongate your Sujood and make loads and loads of Du’aas in it. Cry hard and ask ALLAH everything you wish for in Dunya and Aakhirah.
  1. Raise your Du’aa – Remember it’s the night of decree and angels are precisely writing down whatever is gonna happen in your life for the next coming year, be specific in your Du’aas and ask for each and everything you need – Hajj, Job, Career, Spouse, Children, Home, whatever. Don’t play small in your Du’aas as you’re asking the KING OF ALL KINGS!
  1. Pray 2 Raka’ah Salatul Tawbah every single night and ask for forgiveness from ALLAH – Al-Ghaffar, Al-Ghafoor, Al-Tawwab and Al-’Afuww. Repent sincerely with full hope and firm resolve of not repeating those sins again.
  1. Memorize and keep asking the Du’aa of Lailatul Qadr: Allaahumma innaka ‘afuwwun tuhibb al-‘afwa fa’affu ‘anni (O Allaah, You are forgiving and You love forgiveness, so forgive me).
  1. Ask ALLAH to grant us Lailatul Qadr and accept from us whatever ‘ibaadaat we do by His tawfeeq.

– If you have found these tips useful, apply them and share with others too.
Gidado Sirajo Muhammad

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[Friday Sermon] Zakaah And Its Status In Islam By Imam Murtada Gusau

In the name of Allah, the Extremely Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy

All praise is for Allah. We praise Allah (SWT) in the way He deserves to be praised and thanked. May the peace and prayer of Allah (SWT) be upon the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) after whom there will come no other prophets, and upon his family, his Companions and every one that follows in their footsteps until the Day of Resurrection.

 

O servants of Allah!

Fear Allah (SWT) and know that one cannot be a true believer until he submits to the commandments of Allah (SWT). Allah has prescribed for you certain duties and made them mandatory; the implementation thereof is your source of peace and happiness. One of these duties is Zakaah (alms giving) or charity. Every Muslim possessing the liable amount of money or property must pay an annual percentage of that amount as charity.

 

This charity has great and obvious advantages in the Islamic society. It makes the rich reconcile and live peacefully with the poor. It fulfills some of the poor people’s needs and alleviates some of their suffering. It protects the needy from going astray in terms of criminal behaviour such as: robbery, kidnapping, violating other people’s property, and even committing suicide that is today rampant in our society.

 

Zakaah is purification. It purifies both the wealth and the wealthy. It also purifies the needy that receive it, and the whole society in which the wealthy look after the needy by giving them the dues of their money.

 

How does it purify the wealth, the wealthy and the needy? Zakaah makes the money increase both in purity and blessing. It purifies the wealthy and those who give their dues to the needy from stinginess. It further prevents them from adoring and worshipping their money which is a form of Shirk (taking partners with Allah). Zakaah purifies the soul of the needy from envy, hatred and animosity. Moreover, it cleanses them from coveting other people’s money and property and prevents them from falling prey to the plots of Satan (Shaytaan) who will attempt to corrupt them and incite them to commit crimes. At the end, it is the purification for the whole society.

 

To those who have money, we say:

 

“Do not be stingy, for He who granted you this money, if He wills, is able to take it away from you. Allah, who is the Rich, free of all needs, and worthy of all praise has bestowed His blessings upon you and made your hand the upper one and another hand the lower one. Be grateful to Him and appreciate His favours upon you, so that this wealth of yours may last and your hand may remain higher! Spend your money for the sake of Allah (SWT)! Do not be afraid that the Lord of the Throne will make you lose; Allah (SWT) has promised the charity giver to increase his wealth. And Allah’s promises shall never be reneged on. Besides, wealth is Allah’s favour upon you. If you appreciate it gratefully, it will increase and if you are ungrateful, it will perish and vanish, Wal iyaazu bil-lah. Allah’s mercy is near to those who are benevolent, so safeguard your wealth and property by giving the needy their right to some of it. The needy, if deprived from his rights, Will rush to do evil. The society that is corrupted, crime infested, and insecure shall have no opportunity for the wealth to grow, provision to increase, or a decent life to be established. This same society will be moving from one misery to another. May Allah guide and protect us, ameen.”

 

Allah has established a methodology in dealing with people regarding this very issue. That is when they give to the poor, He gives them more. But when they abstain and refuse to give their dues, He punishes them by withholding the rain and provision and increasing the prices of their life’s needs. You, who are wealthy, ask Allah (SWT) to bestow His mercy upon His servants and to give them rain and provision by your being generous and giving charity. Allah is indeed the All-Generous and loves those who are generous.

 

The Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) warns those who do not pay their Zakaah from Allah’s excruciating punishment and chastisement. For instance, the Prophet (SAW) said:

 

“Wealth shall not be destroyed whether on land or sea except by withholding the Zakaah dues.”

 Those who do not give their Zakaah dues shall be in the Fire of Hell in the Hereafter. They will be tortured with the very money whose dues they withheld. Al-Bukhari and Muslim narrated that the Messenger of Allah (SAW) hadaid:

 “By Him in Whose Hand is my soul! No one dies and leaves sheep, camels and cattle behind without paying their Zakaah dues, but that they will come on the Day of Resurrection in the best state of health they had ever been in before, and would tread him with their feet, and butt him with their horns until Allah (SWT) judges among the people. [They would continue doing that taking turns on him]. When the last of them gets tired, the first will take the turn again.”

The one who withholds the Zakaah due on his wealth will be shown his wealth as a huge snake, which will encircle him as said in a Hadith:

“The one that refuses to pay his Zakaah dues on his wealth will have it come to him as a huge snake on the Day of Judgment, which will wrap around his neck.”

Also Allah (SWT) said:

“And let not those who covetously withhold of that which Allah has bestowed on them of His Bounty (wealth) think that it is good for them (and so they do not pay the obligatory Zakaah). Nay, it will be worse for them; the things that they covetously withheld shall be tied to their necks like a collar on the Day of Resurrection. And to Allah belongs the heritage of the heavens and the earth; and Allah is Well-Acquainted with all that you do.” (Al ‘Imraan, 3:180)

Those who do not pay their Zakaah that is due on their wealth shall have their money changed into heated plates of metal on the Day of Resurrection with which they will be burned. Allah (SWT) said:

“And those who hoard up gold and silver (Al-Kanz: the money, the Zakaah of which has not been paid) and spend them not in the way of Allah, announce unto them a painful torment. On the Day when that (Al-Kanz: money, gold and silver, the Zakaah of which has not been paid) will be heated in the fire of Hell and with it will be branded on their foreheads, their flanks, and their backs, “This is the treasure which you hoarded for yourselves”. Now taste of what you used to hoard.” (At-Taubah, 9:34-35)

He who does not pay his Zakaah dues shall also be amongst the hypocrites. Imam Al-Bazzar reported:

“The prayer was clear and manifest (performed openly) for them so they accepted it. The Zakaah was made hidden for them (not a deed performed openly) so they ate it (They hate it and refuse to pay it). Those are the hypocrites indeed.”

He is cursed who does not pay his Zakaah dues for what Al-Asbahani reported:

“The Messenger of Allah (SAW) has cursed the Riba eater (the one who deals with usury), the witness of [a usury contract] and its writer, the woman who performs tattoos as well as the one who demands it, and the one who withholds charity…”

He who withholds his Zakaah money is not a true Muslim, meaning that he does not fulfils what Allah (SWT) requires him to do, even if he claims to be a Muslim. Imam Muslim reported in his book that:

“He who observes the prayer, but does not pay his Zakaah dues is not a Muslim that is benefited with his deeds.”

He who withholds his Zakaah dues should be afraid of being amongst the disbelievers and being afflicted with what they are. Allah (SWT) said:

“And woe to Al-Mushrikuun (the polytheists, idolaters, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah), those who give not the Zakaah and they are disbelievers in the Hereafter.” (Fussilat, 41:6-7)

On the Day of Judgment, the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) will not intercede for him who does not pay his Zakaah dues, for what Al-Bukhari and Muslim reported in their books. In this regard the Prophet (SAW) said:

“I do not want anyone of you to come to me on the Day of Resurrection carrying over his neck a camel that is growling, (calling upon me to intercede for him) saying, ‘O Messenger of Allah help me!’ I will then say to him; ‘I cannot help you with anything (now), for I did convey the Message (of Allah) to you.”

Allah (SWT) says:

“As for him who gives (in charity) and keeps his duty to Allah and fears Him, and believes in Al-Husna, We will make smooth for him the path of ease (goodness). But he who is greedy, miser and thinks himself self-sufficient, and belies Al-Husna. We will make smooth for him the path for evil. And what will his wealth avail him when he goes down (in destruction?). Truly, on Us is (to give) guidance. And truly, unto Us (belong) the last (Hereafter) and the first (This world). Therefore I have warned you of a blazing Fire (Hell). None shall enter it save the most wretched. Who denies and turns away. And Al-Muttaquun (the pious) will be far removed from it (Hell), he who spends his wealth for increase in self-purification. And who has (in mind) no favour from anyone to be paid back. Except to seek the Face of his Lord the Most High. He surely, will be pleased (when he will enter Paradise).” (Al-Lail, 92:5-21)

The dwellers of Hell fire will be asked:

What has caused you to enter Hell? They will say: ‘We were not of those who used to offer the Salaat (prayers). Nor we used to feed Al-Miskeen (the poor); and we used to talk falsehood (all that which Allah hated) with vain talkers. And we used to belie the Day of Recompense, until there came to us (the death) that is certain. So no intercession of intercessors will be of any use to them.” (Al-Muddaththir, 74:42-48)

“O you, who believed, gives in charity (i.e. Zakaah) from the good things which you have earned and from that which We have produced for you from the earth.” (Al-Baqarah, 2:267)

“O you, who believed, spends of that with which We have provided for you.” (Al-Baqarah, 2:254)

My Respected people!

With this I conclude my today’s Khutbah and ask Allah (SWT) to forgive all of our sins. Seek His forgiveness for He is the All-Forgiving, the Most Merciful.

Indeed all praise Belongs to Allah, the Lord of all creation – and May peace and blessings of Allah be upon the beloved Prophet, his family, his Companions and those who follow him precisely until the Day of Judgment.

This Khutubah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today, Ramadan 16, 1436 A.H. (July 3, 2015), by Imam Murtada Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’at Mosque Okene, Kogi State Nigeria. For corrections, comments, questions or advice about this Sermon, please feel free to contact me at: 08038289761.

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Scientifically Proven Benefits Of Ramadan Fast, By Usama Dandare

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar, and is observed by Muslims worldwide as a month of fasting to commemorate the first revelation of the Holy Quran to Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) and this annual observance is regarded as one of the Five Pillars of Islam. Fasting is fardh (“obligatory”) for adult Muslims, except those who are suffering from an illness, travelers, the elderly, pregnant women, nursing mothers and those going through menstrual bleeding.
While fasting from dawn until sunset, Muslims refrain from consuming food, drinks, smoking, backbiting, long arguments, lying, fighting and engaging in sexual relations; Muslims are also mandated to refrain from other behavior that could be perceived as sinful, such as swearing, engaging in disagreements, and unnecessary noise-making.

Several Muslims around the world observe fast between dawn to sunset in the month of Ramadan, they do so not for losing fat or any medical value, but for spiritual benefits as it is ordained by the Holy Quran in ‘Q 2:183’ which says:

“O you who believe! Fasting is prescribed to you, as it was prescribed for those before you (i.e. Jews, & Christians) so that you may (learn) self-restraint.”

But while fasting during the holy month remains an avenue for introspection and spiritual renewal for all Muslims around the world, fasting has several health benefits which was why even non-Muslims are encouraged to observe: during Ramadan, lunch is basically missed and take an early hour breakfast and do not eat until dusk. Abstinence from water for 12 or so hours is necessary for concentration of all fluids within the body, thus producing slight dehydration. The body has its own water conservation mechanism; in fact, it has been shown that slight dehydration and water conservation, improve longevity.

The physiological effect of fasting includes lowering of blood sugar, lowering of cholesterol and lowering of the systolic blood pressure. In fact, Ramadan fasting would be an ideal recommendation for the treatment of mild to moderate, stable, non-insulin diabetes, obesity, and essential hypertension but on the other hand, patients who are suffering from severe diseases, whether type 1 diabetes or coronary artery disease, kidney stones, etc., are exempted and should therefore not be allowed to fast.

When fasting, you give rest to the gastro-intestinal tract, the sexual organs, the tongue, the eyes and ears, etc. The transit time for a bolus of food from the mouth to the end of the large intestine, called colon, is about 12 to 14 hours. In fact, fasting is an additional safety device for the regenerative processes of the body. The repair processes of the body and the brain, including the memory molecules which take place when the body is at rest, especially during the stage of deep sleep. Sleeping during Ramadan is much deeper than in other times. Two hours of sleep during Ramadan are more satisfying and refreshing than more hours of sleep otherwise.

Fasting significantly increases deep sleep and reduces the dreaming time, which takes place during the Rapid Eye Movement (REM) in sleep, thus making it more beneficial for the elderly to fast because their normal hours of deep sleep in the non-fasting state are much less.

Through the beneficial effects of magnesium, fasting prevents the formation of atheroma as well as dissolves atheromatous plaques which are responsible for heart attacks and strokes. Hence, fasting takes an active part in the rejuvenating processes of the body through many channels.
Ramadan fast puts a healthy mind into a healthy body because fasting increased secretion of the growth hormone by the pituitary gland.. It is an anabolic hormone for synthesis of proteins and collagen, which produces a positive nitrogen balance. It also stimulates erythropoiesis, as well as collagen synthesis.

During the exercise of fasting, prayers and different spiritual experiences of Ramadan, certain endogenous substances are released by the brain and spinal-cord into the body called opioids, which include enkephalins and endorphins. These are responsible for euphoria, tranquility and serenity during such periods. Endorphins and enkephalins are natural painkillers. Endorphins may be responsible for the “feel nice” effects, experienced by many people after rigorous exercise. Endorphins and enkephalins are derived from beta-lipotropin. On release, it is cleaved to form three major active products: called met-enkephalin, gamma-endorphin, and beta-endorphin. Beta-endorphin is most active, and is about 20 times as potent as morphine. In addition to their pain killing properties, the narcoticanalgesics cause a profound feeling of well-being (euphoria). It is this feeling that is in part responsible for the psychological drive of certain persons who are fasting.

Muslims who have been fasting regularly since childhood have been exposed to different sleep/wake and light/darkness cycles on a daily basis in one annual lunar month. Hence, it may be easier for such persons to synchronize at a faster rate their circadian, circa-lunar and circa-annual bio-rhythms, under difficult conditions. Therefore, it is expected that Muslims who fast regularly would least suffer from jet lag and that health problems in Muslim shift-workers would be minimal.

Moreover, the social contact during taraweeh or qiyam (long night prayers) and other social spiritual activities should act as a zeitgeber (from German ‘time-giver’) which regulates any desynchronized biological rhythm. This amounts to gentle physical exercise, involving each and every muscle in the body and the night prayers utilized approximately, 200 calories. Perhaps, more additional exercise utilizes several extra calories ingested at iftar (meal for breaking the fast) approximately 1-2 hours earlier. Simultaneously, the blood glucose is steadily rising in the blood from the ingested nutrients; the circulating glucose isoxidized to CO2 and H20 during the prayers.

The physical movements during qiyam prayers also improve flexibility, co-ordination and relaxation response. It again reduces stress-related autonomic responses in normal persons and relieves anxiety and depression. Adrenaline and noradrenalin are secreted during the physical exercise of qiyam. They are responsible for the consequent dynamism, which now combines with the tranquility and the serenity, due to the secretion of enkephalins, endorphins, dynorphins and others.

The strain put on the forearm, during prostration in lifting the body from the ground, increases the bone mineral content of the forearm. The varying load during the different postures causes a lubricating effect and a protective flow of synovial fluid into the joint cavity. The reinforcement of the calf muscle pump by active ankle movements prevents deep veinthrombosis, which is a common cause of chronic ulcers of the legs in the elderly.
Exercise of qiyam improves mood, thought and behavior. Memory for short-term events deteriorates with old age. Prayers improve memory in the elderly, forshort-term events, by keeping the memory pathways in the brain open and communicating with each other, especially with constant repetition of the verses from The Holy Qur’an and other supplications of Allah (swt’s) glory. This also helps to screen the mind from other incoming thoughts.
There are also psychological effects of fasting as well. There is peace and tranquility for those who fast during the month of Ramadan as personal hostility is at a minimum, and the crime rate decreases. Aggression across borders in some countries is at a stand-still due to Ramadan because Muslims take advice from the Prophet (saw) who said, “If one slanders you or aggresses against you, say I am fasting.”

Understanding what Ramadan is and the sanctity of the fast is of paramount importance to all of us whether we are Muslim or non-Muslims. The goal of fasting is to teach patience, discipline, modesty and spirituality. Whoever is observing a lengthy period of fasting must stay healthy, eat wisely and sleep enough.

It is an effective detoxification therapy as toxins will break down and pass out of the body. Also, fasting is ideal for both the overweight and underweight. Fo rthe overweight, deposited fat gets used and burns down, facilitating weight loss. For the underweight, fasting also normalizes the digestive system and equips a body to digest and assimilate nutrients. Fasting can also clear many skin problems. This is because of the elimination of toxic materials. Fasting also has advantages in getting rid of addictions and habits like smoking and drinking alcohol.

Conclusively, these few tips below may help one maintain a balance and healthy life throughout this holy month of Ramadan and beyond:
* Avoid eating an excess of carbohydrates.
* Avoid an intake of excessive sugary and spicy food, and also stay away from caffeine drinks such as coke, coffee or tea.
* Avoid snacks high in salt like chips or nuts.
*  Take dinner only before Ishaa and after Taraweeh prayers, so the time afterwards is spent in Ibaadah, prayers and dhikr.
* Women should not be made to cook all day: hence, keep the meals simple and humble, so they too can get the time to engage in equal Ibaadah and prayers, during their day, and post-Iftaar as well.
* When considering dinner, it’s very important to include food varieties like: Meat/Bean, Bread/Cereal, Milk, Vegetable, Fruits among others.

Finally, i wish all my readers, friends, well-wishers, colleagues, family and the entire Muslim umma a blissful, bountiful, glorious and a happy Ramadan fast. May the Almighty Allah – the God of Muhammed, the God of Jesus Christ, the God of Moses and the God of Abraham – accept all our Ibaadah and spare our lives to witness more and more Ramadans ahead.

Reference:
www?.khanapakana.com
www?.masjidtucson.org
www?.islam-usa.com
www?.nature.com
www?.nhs.uk

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[Friday Sermon] The Importance Of Praying For Leaders In Islam By Imam Murtada Gusau

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Bestower of mercy

All praises and thanks are due to Allah, the Most Gracious, Most Merciful, and Owner of the Day of Resurrection. All praise and thanks are due to Allah, Who created creation so that they worship Him. He made His Signs clear and plain to them, so that they know Him, and He made the path to Him easy, so that they reach Him.

I bear witness that none has the right to be worshipped except Allah Alone without partners. His is the kingdom and He is Worthy of all praise, and He is Able to do all things. I testify that our Prophet, Imam and example, Muhammad, is Allah’s slave and Messenger. Allah has sent Muhammad with the guidance and the religion of truth to be a Warner for mankind and the jinn. May Allah’s peace and blessings be on the Prophet and on his Progeny, Companions and those who followed him with excellence till the Last Day.

Dear Muslims! Fellow Nigerians!

Remember Allah always and praise Him in the morning and evening. Know, may Allah grant you His Mercy, that Zikr (Allah’s remembrance) is the best speech to Allah. Abu Dhar (R.A) narrated a Hadith in which he said that the Messenger of Allah said to Him:

“Should I tell you about the most beloved speech to Allah? The most beloved speech to Allah is Subhanallahi wa bi-Hamdihi. (I exalt Allah above all unsuitable things ascribed to Him, and all the praises are for Him).” (Muslim collected this Hadith)

Zikr (remembering Allah) brings life to the hearts, enlightens and purifies them and fills them with happiness. Therefore, remember Allah always, humble yourselves before Him and Invoke Him in Du’a (Supplication), for:“Du’a (invocation) is the Ibadah (worship),” where Ibadah pertains to acts of worship. Invoke Allah for all your needs, minor and major, the necessary ones and those you can wait to attain. Await Allah’s relief (and it will surely come) Allah said:

“Invoke your Lord with humility and in secret.” (Al-A’raaf, 7:55)

Know, dear Muslims, that when a Muslim says Du’a for the benefit of his brother or sister, he or she earns Allah’s rewards. Allah said:

“And those who came after them say: Our Lord! Forgive us and our brethren who have preceded us in Faith.” (Al-Hashr, 59:10)

Further, Abu Ad-Darda’ and Uwaimir bin Zaid (R.A) said that they heard the Messenger of Allah (SAW) say:

“Every Muslim slave (Servant of Allah) who invokes Allah for the benefit of his absent brother, then the angel will reply, ‘Amin’ and for you the same.” (This Hadith was collected by Muslim)

Abu Ad-Darda’ (R.A) also narrated that the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said:

“The invocation of Allah by a Muslim person for the benefit of his absent brother is accepted. There will be an angel right next to his head who is entrusted with the job of replying, ‘Amin, and for you the same,’ every time he invokes Allah for his brother to earn all that is good and righteous.” (Also, Muslim collected this Hadith)

It was reported that Abu Ad-Darda’ (R.A) used to invoke Allah for seventy of his companions by name when they were not present with him, thus testifying that his heart was pure towards his brethren.

Therefore, since invoking Allah for other Muslims carries a reward for the Muslim, then there is no doubt that invoking Allah for Leaders to lead people righteously and honestly carries greater reward and bounties from Allah. Also, invoking Allah for other people is a part of the sincere advice that Muslims must deliver to their brethren.

Tamim bin Aus Ad-Darri (R.A) narrated:

“The Prophet (SAW) said, ‘The religion is sincerity.’ We said ‘To whom?’ He said, ‘To Allah, His Book, and His Messenger and to Muslim Leaders and their common folk.”

My Respected people!

Invoking Allah for sincere Leaders becomes more important if they lead people righteously and honestly. Therefore, the believing slave should draw closer to Allah by invoking Him for Leaders, because when they are righteous, the Ummah (Nation) in general benefits from their righteousness, and the vice versa. We should warn against the practice of those who do not have knowledge and whose habit is to defame their sincere and righteous Leaders and curse them, thus earning sin because of their ill-mannerism. There is a big difference between advising, and cursing and defaming. Muslims should offer sincere advice to their leaders, but should refrain from cursing, attacking, shouting and stoning them for fear that this might shatter the unity of the Ummah, causing a larger evil than the one they seek to remove. This, if it happens, will only please the enemies of unity and progress and brings comfort and happiness to their hearts.

Know that when Leaders are righteous, the Muslim Nation will benefit as a whole.

Abu Umamah (R.A) narrated that the Prophet (SAW) said:

“Do not curse your leaders and invoke Allah to make them righteous, for their righteousness brings about your well-being as well.”

This Hadith asserts the requirement from Muslims to advise their leaders and invoke Allah to make them righteous, just and fair. Also, implementing this Hadith serves to unite the Ummah (Nation), just as the Prophet (SAW) commanded.

Umm Al-Husain Al-Ahmasiyyah (R.A) said that she heard the Messenger of Allah (SAW) say in a Khutbah he delivered at Arafat:

“Even if a slave is appointed your commander, leading you according to Allah’s Book, (or he is following the rule of law or respecting the law of the land) then hear him and obey.”

Abdullah, son of Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal commented:

“I heard my father say, ‘I believe that the Leader has the right on me that I hear and obey him in times of ease and times of hardship, whether I feel vitality or relaxation.” (Muslim, Ahmad and Ibn Majah collected this Hadith)

Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal, who is known as the Imam of the Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah, used to say:

“If I have an accepted supplication, I will invoke Allah on behalf of the Leader.”

This statement from Imam Ahmad indicates his knowledge and understanding in the religion. If the Leader is righteous and just, the entire country will benefit, righteousness will flourish, Allah’s blessing will descend on them, the righteous people will become dominant and the evil ones will be humiliated.

Fellow Muslims! Fellow Nigerians!

Invoking Allah for Just and sincere Leaders is a way of helping one another in righteousness and fear from Allah; it unites the word of the Ummah, brings their hearts together and makes their Leader feel kind towards his nation.

Imam Ahmad and Muslim narrated that ‘Auf bin Malik Al-Ashja’i said:

“I heard the messenger of Allah say, ‘The best of your leaders are those who you love and they love you, for whom you invoking Allah for mercy and blessings and they invoke Allah for you for mercy and blessings. The worst of your Leaders are those whom you hate and they hate you, whom you curse and they curse you.’ We asked, ‘O Allah’s Messenger! Should we fight them in the latter case?’ He said, ‘No, as long as they establish the prayer for you. Verily, if a commander is appointed over one of you and he witnessed his commander committing Allah’s disobedience, let him hate the disobedience of Allah that he is committing, but refrain from rising against him.”

My respected people!

Our leaders actually need supports and prayers from us in order to bring national development and the consolidation of democratic gains in the nation. This is the time of patience and sacrifice. Our economy was in danger. Only God through our prayers can take us out of these problems bedeviling our country. And our prayers and supports to the leaders will go a long way in bringing the solutions to all these challenges by God’s Grace. Allah makes this change a blessing and mercy to all of us.

My Respected people!

Fear Allah, support, respect and pray for your leaders. It actually baffles, surprises, and confuses me to see or hear a Muslim attacking, stoning, disrespecting, disobeying and shouting at his leader. Most of the times, I also used to ask myself that, should those kind Muslims really understand the teachings of their religion? Should these kind Muslims really receive good Islamic upbringing and training from their parents? Because all we knew was that, Islam ordered its followers to respect their leaders and pray for them, be they political leaders, “traditional” leaders, community leaders or Religious leaders. Therefore, with this, I urged all of us to fear Allah and follow the teachings of our religion in order for us to succeed here and the hereafter.

O Allah’s slaves! O Nigerians!

Fear Allah and feel His Watch as if He is right in front of your eyes. Invoke Allah to grant righteousness to us all, and our leaders, and to make our Leaders among those who fear Him, seek refuge with Him, follow His Commandments and seek His Pleasure.

“O you who 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 will be admitted to Paradise.” (Al-Ahzaab, 33:70-71)

O Allah! Who created and brought the heavens and earth into existence, Who does not pass away or depart. He, Who knows all about our conditions and is fully aware of all our movements and period of rest, helps our President, Muhammadu Buhari to stop this Boko Haram People and all the Nigerians problems. Yaa Rahman Yaa Raheem!

O Allah! Who creates, sustains and controls the affairs within the universe. He Who protects and preserves us and controls our affairs, the Sole Creator, Sustainer and Brilliant Planner. We call on You to forgive us, have sympathy for us and give our president wisdom, power, knowledge and grace to stop and defeat the extremists (Boko Haram), a group which destroys, and does not build, corrupts much, and does not rectify, and all the related terror activities from this our beloved and great country, Nigeria. Yaa Rabb!

O Allah! Use him ( Muhammadu Buhari), his vice Osinbajo, Senate President Bukola Saraki, speaker House of Representatives Yakubu Dogara, our state Governors, our ministers and commissioners our local Government Chairmen, our Sultan, our Shehus, Obas and Emirs and all our other leaders to transform and salvage Nigeria, so that they lead us to all that is good for us and our country. Yaa Hayyu yaa Qayyum!

Our Lord! Let not their hearts deviate after You have guided them, grant them and us mercy from You, truly, You are the Bestower of Mercy.

O Allah! We are powerless, speechless and helpless, we pray through You to protect us and our leaders from fallen into mistakes and guides them O Allah, to all that which is good to all of us. Guide them, so that they will work for the unity, peace, progress and stability of Nigeria. Guide them also to provide quality and responsible leadership, and to bring Nigeria’s vast resources together to tackle a series of deep-seated, interconnected challenges and put the country on a road to better governance, increased security, and greater prosperity. Yaa Ar-hamar Raahimeen Yaa Rabbal Aalameen!

O Allah! Give them the zeal to overcome daunting and threatening challenges, instill in them Your fear, so that they will lead justly towards the development of our people and county.

O Allah! Protect us all and our country, bless this county, forgive and have mercy, and destroy whoever that has a bad intention against our leaders, against us and our great country, Nigeria. Just as you protected us before, we seek for more of such protection, Yaa Zal Jalaali wal Ikraam!

Our Lord! Accept (this prayer) from us. Indeed you are the Hearing, the knowing… Ameen.

With this I conclude my Sermon (Khutbah) and ask Allah (SWT) the Almighty, to forgive all of our sins. So seek His forgiveness, for He is the All-Forgiving, the All-Merciful.

Indeed all praise belongs to Allah, the Lord of all creation – and May peace and blessings of Allah be upon the beloved Prophet, his family, his Companions and those who follow him precisely until the Day of Judgment.

 

This Khutbah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today, Ramadan 2, 1436 A.H (June 19, 2015), by Imam Murtada Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’at Mosque Okene, Kogi State Nigeria. He can be reached for an advice or correction through 08038289761.

 

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