5 Things You Dont Know About Ramadan

As Muslims around the world look to the sky for the sighting of the moon which marks the beginning of Ramadan on June 18th, they will also be preparing themselves for a month long of fasting from sunset to dawn. During the Ramadan, Muslims try to give up bad habits and stay dedicated to their faith.

Leading online shopping community, kaymu.com.ng has put together top 5 things you didn’t know about Ramadan:

  • Ramadan is the ninth month on the Islamic calendar-The Islamic calendar is different from the western calendar we use. Ours is dependent upon the sun’s movements. While in the Islamic calendar each month begins with the sighting of the new crescent moon. While we have 365 days in a year, they have 354 days. Because the lunar year is shorter, each date on it falls about 10 or 11 days earlier than the solar calendar. Since each month begins upon the sighting of a new crescent moon, the beginning of Ramadan can only be predicted. Depending on weather and atmospheric conditions, it may be delayed.
  • Ramadan means “scorched earth”-The word Ramadan is derived from an Arabic root rmd, as in words likeramidaor ar-ramad. Depending where you look, it means: scorched ground, shortness of rations, scorching heat, parched thirst, or sunbaked ground. Those are the general feelings of Muslims during the month, since the fast involves refraining from “moisture” — like drinks, food and sex — during the daylight hours.
  • People name their sons Ramadan-Religious baby names aren’t unusual across any faith and so the muslims are not left out, as the religious observance has also become a common name for Muslim baby boys. While the name was a more popular choice in the ’90s than it is now, Ramadan could be making a comeback.
  • The Date Changes Each Year-Ramadan is based on the Islamic calendar and begins with the hilal, the Arabic word for crescent or “new moon,” in the ninth month of each year. But because the lunar cycle steadily moves backward compared to the western calendar, Ramadan falls earlier and earlier each year. This year Ramadan begins on the 18thof June and ends on the 17th of July.
  • Ramadan is a huge month for charity: Donations to charities see a significant rise during the month of Ramadan, as many Muslims choose to give their charity for the year during the holy month. Mosques and religious organizations offer free meals to the poor every evening. It’s also common for wealthier Muslims to give poor families Ramadan bags or baskets containing basic cooking items like beans, oil, and rice. Some go to the extent of visiting the sick and orphanage homes.
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[Friday Sermon] Welcoming The Blessed Month (Ramadan) By Imam Murtada Gusau

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

All praise is due to Allah (SWT) who prescribed fasting for the believers in a certain noble month; therein He designated a night that is better than a thousand months. I bear witness that there is no god worthy of worship except Allah (SWT) alone, having no partners. All praise is for Him and the dominion belongs to Him. To Him belong the creation, the Commandment, the might and the power. I bear witness that Muhammad (SAW) is His slave and Messenger.

Servants of Allah! Allah (SWT) says:

“O you who believe! Observing As-Saum (the fasting) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaquun (pious and god fearing). Observing Saum (fasts) is for a fixed number of days, but if any of you are ill or on a journey, the same number (should be made up) from other days.” (2:183-184)

O servants of Allah!

Fasting for the sake of Allah (SWT) is such a virtuous form of worship. No one but Allah (SWT) wholly realizes its reward. Fasting the month of Ramadan is one of the pillars of Islam. Allah (SWT) has prescribed it for the believers to become a shield, mercy, benevolence and a cause of good health for them. It is to be performed in a manner that shall revive and awaken the feeling of Taqwa (fearing Allah) in their hearts and repress the fervor of their lusts and whims. Consequently, they shall attain the benefits and advantages of this spiritual experience in all fields; social, moral and health. For this reason Allah (SWT) concluded the aforementioned verse with:

 “…So that you may have Taqwa (The Fear of God).” (2:183)

Allah (SWT) being the All-Merciful, All Kind, has made it easy for the Muslims to fast the month of Ramadan. Firstly, He pointed out that fasting, being a form of worship was not decreed as an obligatory duty upon man for the first time; Allah (SWT) had prescribed it before for other nations. In regard to this Allah (SWT) said:

 “…as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become Al-Muttaquun (The Pious).” (2:183)

Having known that, the Muslim shall feel more comfortable in accepting this obligation and be encouraged and strive to practice fasting at its best. Secondly, Allah (SWT) referred to the month of Ramadan as:

“…a fixed number of days.” (2:184)

Those are fasted consecutively and finish quickly. Think about this month that a Muslim only fast its days compared to the whole year with its days and nights spent through indulging in the permissible desires and joys which are granted to us by Allah (SWT), the All Generous, and the All-Merciful. What shall the ratio be? Thirdly, Allah (SWT) has made it permissible for old people who are unable to fast to break their fast and feed a needy person in atonement for each day that is if they find a needy person. Allah (SWT) says:

“And as for those who can fast with difficulty (e.g. an old man), they have (a choice either to fast or) to feed a Miskin (poor person) (for every day).” (2:184)

Ibn Abbas (R.A) commented on this verse saying:

“It (i.e. the verse) is not abrogated; it is for the old who cannot fast.” (Al-Bukhari)

The same is applied to the terminally ill people. Also the pregnant and nursing women, if they fear that harm will befall the baby or fetus when they fast, or, if they are afraid for themselves, they may break their fast and make up for the days they miss later.

Fourthly, Allah (SWT) has made the month of Ramadan a month of worship in which all forms of worship are being practiced. It is then a time for the believer to increase his reward by doing every form of worship permissible such as recitation of Qur’an, Zikr (Supplication, making mention of Allah), prayer, Du’a (invocation to the Lord), and so forth. All Muslims worldwide, from many different origins, nationalities, poor and rich come together to worship Allah (SWT) intensively in this month. In the villages, in the cities, in the countries, in every house and every tent, Ramadan is being lived. There shall be no differences, no chaos and no pride in one’s opinion. Everyone is fasting in this blessed month of Ramadan, in which the sacred book of Allah (Al-Qur’an) was revealed to the Messenger Muhammad (SAW). Fifthly, Allah (SWT) has made it permissible for husbands and wives to resume their sexual life after sunset, as well as to eat and drink. People can still enjoy their food and their spouses whether they have slept before that or not. In the beginning (In early Islam), people were not allowed to eat, drink, or have sexual intercourse if they had slept before breaking fast after sunset. This caused a lot of hardship for some of them, so Allah (SWT) made it easier for them and allowed them to satisfy their hunger thirst and desire throughout the whole night in Ramadan. Allah (SWT) said:

“It is made lawful for you to have sexual relations with your wives on the night of As-Saum (the fasts). They are Libaas [i.e. body-cover, or screen, or Sakan (i.e. you enjoy the pleasure of living with them)] for you and you are the same for them. Allah knows that you used to deceive yourselves, so He turned to you (accepted your repentance) and forgave you. So now have sexual relations with them and seek that which Allah has ordained for you (offspring), and eat and drink until the white thread (light) of dawn appears to you distinct from the black thread (darkness of night), then complete your Saum (fast) till the nightfall.” (2:187)

This and other issues demonstrate that Allah (SWT) has made this obligation easy to fulfill. Allah (SWT) said:

“Allah intends for you ease and He does not want to make things difficult for you. (He wants that you) must complete the same number (of days), and that you must magnify Allah [i.e. to say Takbir (Allahu Akbar: Allah is the Most Great)] for having guided you so that you may be grateful to Him.” (2:185)

My Respected people!

Fasting is to abstain from eating, drinking, sexual intercourse, and whatever they entail, with a pure intention for the sake of Allah (SWT) from the break of the dawn until sunset. Moreover, fasting becomes more perfect and complete if the prohibitions in general and sins are also averted. In this regard the Prophet (SAW) said:

“Allah does not need someone to abstain from eating and drinking while, at the same time, he is involved in lying and carrying out falsehood.”

Fasting also was first decreed as a mandatory form of worship in the second year of Hijrah. When the Prophet (SAW) passed away, he had fasted nine months of Ramadan.

The beginning of Ramadan can also be observed with two things:First: the sighting of the crescent of the month of Ramadan. Allah (SWT) says:

“So whoever of you sights (the crescent on the first night of) the month (of Ramadan i.e., is present at his home), he must observe Saum (Fasts) that month.” (2:185)

Second: the completion of 30 days of the previous month of Sha‘aban, which is the eight month in the Hijrah calendar. In this regard the Prophet (SAW) said:

“…if the weather is cloudy [i.e., as you try to sight the moon], then complete the month of Sha’aban at thirty days”.

In this respect, the phases of the moon, its height, or the crescent size shall not be considered in the beginning of the month or its end. The occident and the onsets of the moon alternate and both depend on the planets travelling in the galaxy. It is noteworthy to say that the Prophet (SAW) never relied on the phases of the moon or the size of the crescent in his ruling regarding starting or ending of Ramadan. He did not even consider them in this issue. He, instead, focused on sighting the crescent. He (SAW) said:

“Observe fast on sighting the moon (of Ramadan) and terminate it on sighting the moon of (Shawwal). However, if it is cloudy then complete the month of Sha’aban at thirty days.”

Servants of Allah!

Sincerely and islamically speaking, the Muslim in Nigeria must rely on the announcement from his overall leader, the leader of all the Nigerian Muslims, The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, for starting, commencing and ending the Ramadan Fast. It’s not allowed for anybody to rely on the leader of his Sect or Group to commence the fast or to end it or to follow his desire and opinion; doing that would actually scatter, split, divide, disunite and confuse the Ummah and is against the Shari’a. And also a Muslim must receive this great month happily and gratefully, while praising and thanking Allah (SWT) and with full readiness and a pure intention to practice all forms of worship in this month. He (Muslim) must look forward to spending the days of this month fasting, reciting Qur’an, the nights praying, giving out sadaqa/charity, feeding the people, assisting the needy and less privilege, supplicating and invoking Allah (SWT). The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) used to give the great tidings of the advent of Ramadan to his Companions saying:

“The month of Ramadan has come about. It is a month of blessings that Allah (SWT) has decreed to be mandatory upon you to fast its days. In it, the gates of Heavens are opened, the gates of Hell are closed; and the devils are chained. In it, there is a night that is better than a thousand months. Whoever is deprived from its goodness is indisputably deprived.”

We ask Allah (SWT) not to deprive us from this goodness and to bestow upon us the virtues of this blessed month. Allahummah Ballignar-Ramadan. Oh Allah allows us to witness Ramadan alive and safely. 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, Sha’aban 17, 1436 A.H (June 5, 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 via 08038289761.

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[Friday Sermon] The Neighbour’s Rights In Islam BY Imam Murtada Gusau

IN THE NAME OF ALLAH, THE MOST GRACIOUS, THE MOST MERCIFUL

All praise is for Allah (SWT) Who ordered us to keep the ties of kinship intact and forbade us from being ungrateful. He further confirmed the right of a Muslim over another Muslim. The neighbour has a right over his neighbour even if he is not a Muslim or is a sinner.

We praise Allah (SWT) and put our trust in Him. I bear witness that there is no god worthy of worship except Allah (SWT) alone having no partners with Him. He is the Creator who created everything other than Himself.

May peace and prayers be upon our beloved Master Muhammad (SAW) who spoke the best of speech. May peace and blessings be upon him, his family, and his Companions who fulfilled all of the people’s rights required from them and upon every one that follows their guidance till the Day of Judgement.

O servants of Allah!

Know that, the nieghbour’s rights are proven in many Verses of the Qur’an and Ahadith of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW). It was even said that the angel jibreel kept emphasizing upon Muhammad (SAW) the importance of the neighbour’s rights until the Prophet (SAW) developed an impression that Jibreel was going to prescribe a share in the inheritance for the neighbour. No one harms his neighbour except an ill-mannered person who is wicked and evil. The Prophet (SAW) said:

“By Allah, he does not believe. By Allah, he does not believe. By Allah, he does not believe.” It was said: “O Messenger of Allah! Verily, he lost and failed. Who is he?” He said: “it is he whose neighbour does not feel safe from his Bawaa’iq.” They asked: “What is Bawaa’iq?” He said: “His evil.” (Agreed upon)

The Arabs before and after Islam were proud of being kind to their neighbours. They even priced their houses according to how valuable their neighbour was. Furthermore, Islam has made it incumbent upon Muslim to be kind and benevolent to their neighbours regardless of their neighbour’s religion. It was even ruled that the wicked person is he whom people avoid for his ill-manners, terrible behaviours and his harmful actions. The most disgusting and revolting neighbours are those who search for people’s (and also their neighbour’s) faults and deficiencies. They would not mind looking into people’s privacy. Thus they cannot be entrusted with people’s lives, religion, money, or property. The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said:

“He who believes in Allah and the Last Day should show hospitality to his neighbour; he who believes in Allah and the Last Day should show hospitality to his guest; and he who believes in Allah and the Last Day should speak good or remain silent.” (Agreed upon)

He (SAW) also said:

“The believer is he who the people feel safe with. The Muslim is he who the Muslims are protected from his tongue and hand. The emigrant is he who abandons evil. By Him in Whose Hand is my soul, he will not enter paradise whose neighbour is not secure from his evil.”

O Muslims! O Nigerians!

It is really shameful to go to sleep with a full stomach while your neighbour is hungry. It is also shameful to always wear new clothes, yet be so stingy that you would not even give your neighbour your used clothes to cover his nudity. It is shameful to enjoy all the good things you have – food, clothes, perfume, and much more – while your neighbours long for bones and dry bread. Are you aware of what the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said regarding giving things away to your neighbours even if it were a little thing? He (SAW) said:

“Certainly, a woman should not belittle what her neighbour gives her, even if it is a sheep’s intestines.”

He (SAW) addressed Abu Dhar (RA) saying:

“O Abu Dhar! When you cook, add more water (i.e. to make enough soup) and take care of your neighbours (by sending them some of it).”

O Brothers in Islam! O Nigerians!

Your neighbour has rights upon you, which you must fulfill! These rights are easy to fulfill; I shall mention them as a reminder to me and you. When you meet with him (your neighbour) or run into him accidentally, you should greet him by saying Assalamu Alaikum. When he falls sick, you should visit him. When he dies, you should attend his funeral and look after his children after his death as if it were their father looking after them. You must stand by him in happiness, in grief, in hardship and ease. The Prophet (SAW) said:

“The best of companions with Allah is the one who is good to his companion, and the best of neighbour with Allah is the one who is good to his neighbour.”

O Muslims!

It is prohibited for you to peek into your neighbour’s house, especially while he is not paying attention. It is prohibited for you to cheat him (by having relations) with his wife or his daughter. You should know that he, who looks into his neighbour’s house without his permission, would have his eyes filled from Hellfire. It is forbidden upon you to try to listen to what your neighbour says in his house like spies do, which would make him insecure with you being his neighbour and never trust you with what he says or does.

If you are not able to be good and kind with your neighbour or acknowledge his favour upon you, then do not harm him and keep your evil away from him. Let him relax in his home and visit him when he invites you. When he consults you, advise him sincerely. If he is oppressed, give him your help, support and defense. Yet if he is the oppressor, help him by stopping him from oppression. If he does well, hail and compliment him and if he does wrong, pardon him. If he corrupts, do not approve of his corruption and remember that on Judgment Day many will be grabbing their neighbours, each one saying:

“O Lord! This is my neighbour who closed his door in my face and deprived me of his good advice while witnessing my evil.”

“A man asked the Prophet (SAW) about a woman who made many prayers and fasted much. Yet she would hurt her neighbours. The Prophet (SAW) answered: She is in the fire of Hell. The man asked again about another woman who only did her obligations in terms of praying and fasting, yet she gave charity with big pieces of Aqit (yoghurt or cheese) and never harmed her neighbours. The Prophet said: ‘She is in Paradise.’’

The Prophet (SAW) also said:

“Four are from happiness: a good wife, a spacious residence, a good neighbour and a comfortable vehicle. And four are from misery: a bad neighbour, a bad wife, a bad vehicle and a small (stifling) residence.”

Allah (SWT) likes the neighbour who is patient upon his neighbour’s harms until one day Allah (SWT) will help him, either by moving him away from that neighbour or by that neighbour’s death. It is idiocy and stupidity for People to file complaints with the authorities against their neighbours for the bickering and quarrels that occur among the women or children. The prophet (SAW) also forbade building walls or raising the houses so high that such would cause harm for the neighbour and might block the wind from reaching the neighbour’s property or expose of the neighbour’s privacy. The prophet (SAW) used to say:

“O Allah, I seek refuge with you from the bad neighbour in a permanent residence, as the neighbour in the nomadic residence is always moving (i.e., he does not stay in one place).”

The prophet (SAW) said:

“Beware of the prohibitions then you are the best of worshippers. Be satisfied with which Allah has given you, then you are the richest of people. Be kind to your neighbour, and then you are a believer. Love for the people what you love for yourself, and then you are a Muslim. And do not laugh too much, for laughing too much kills the heart.”

Some people do not care about others if they themselves are comfortable. They would not mind if all the people were annoyed by them and angry with them. They would not mind even if their reputation was hurt so long as they satisfy their lusts and joys. Their lusts and desires are fulfilled and their needs are met, so it does not matter if all these were satisfied at the expense of their honour, dignity, or reputation. For that reason, these people are despised by others, hated by their neighbours and have a disgusting reputation among their peers. The prophet (SAW) said:

“If you feel no shame, then do whatever you wish.”

He (SAW) also said:

“Allah has divided your manners among you as he has divided your provisions. Verily Allah gives (the pleasures of this) life to whom He loves and whom He does not. Yet, He does not give the faith except to whom He loves. He who is given the faith, verily Allah has loved him. By Him in whose Hand is my soul, a person does not become a Muslim until his heart and tongue submit and surrender (to Allah), and does not believe until his neighbour is safe from his evil.”

Allah (SWT) says:

“Worship Allah and join none with Him (in worship); and do good to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, Al-Masaakin (the poor), the neighbour who is near of kin, the neighbour who is a stranger, the companion by your side, the wayfarer (you meet), and those (slaves) whom your right hands possess. Verily, Allah does not like such as are proud and boastful.” (4:36)

Servants of Allah!

I remind you and myself of the way of Allah’s Messenger (SAW) in the Month of Sha’aban. Sha’aban is the eight month of the Islamic lunar calendar. It is called so because in this month the Arabs used to disperse (tasha’aba) in search of water, or it was said that it is so called because it Sha’aba (branches out or emerges) i.e., it appears between the months of Rajab and Ramadan.

The month of Sha’aban falls between two sacred months, Rajab and Ramadan. Allah’s Messenger (SAW) used to spend most part of it by fasting. Imam Bukhari (Rahimahullah) reports in his Sahih that Aisha (RA) said:

“The Messenger of Allah (SAW) used to fast until we thought he would never break his fast, and he would not fast until we thought he would never fast. I never saw the Messenger of Allah fasting for an entire month except in Ramadan, and I never saw him fast more than he did in Sha’aban.” (Bukhari)

And when Allah’s Messenger (SAW) was asked, why he fasted so abundantly in the Month of Sha’aban? He (SAW) said:

“(Sha’aban) is a Month to which people do not pay attention, between Rajab and Ramadan, and it is a Month in which deeds are lifted up to the Lord of the worlds (Allah). I like for my deeds to be lifted up when I am fasting.” (An-Nasaa’i, see also Sahih al-Targheeb wat-Tarheeb, p. 425)

Servants of Allah!

Let us emulate and imitate the Allah’s Messenger in this blessed Month of Sha’aban by fasting much in it and start the preparation for the coming of the great Month of Ramadan. Oh Allah allows us to Witness Ramadan alive, wishing you Ramadan Mubaarak in advance and your loved ones.

Let us be aware of these blessed times in our times of need – let us pay attention to that which is neglected and make our Sha’aban and Ramadan our sources of salvation. O Allah! Bless us abundantly in Sha’aban and deliver us safely unto Ramadan, ameen.

May Allah make you and I among the best of His creatures, and May He bless us all with the good favours and provisions that he bestows upon us. May He protect you and me from harming the neighbour and from ignoring his rights upon us, because neighbourhood is trust so we must respect our neighbours even if they are not Muslims.

My Respected Brothers and Sisters! Fellow Nigerians!

As at today Friday, May 29, 2015, our President Alhaji Muhammadu Buhari and our state’s Governors have been sworn in. I ask Allah in His infinite Mercy to direct him and them and all our leaders to succeed in bringing about benefit to their subjects. I ask Allah, the Most Generous and Bounteous, the Lord of the Mighty Throne to guide them all to that which is right and beneficial to all of us. May He (SWT) hold their hands to that which is good to them and all the people of Nigeria. I ask you O Allah! To use them bring a real and true transformation in Nigeria. O Allah! Bring unity, peace, development and progress in our country. We hope for your mercy. Do not tire of us even for a moment. Place all of our affairs in order. There is no god but You O Allah! May Allah guide all our leaders to be successful and keep their hearts firm in the right way, enhance their good deeds, free them from the burden of sins, set right their affairs, free our country from the shackles of backwardness and destruction, purify us and them and reward us all with paradise. May Allah use them to help Nigeria recover from its present calamities, verily; You (Allah) are the Best of those who are sought, Oft-Forgiving, the Most Merciful.

Indeed all praise belongs to Allah, the Lord of all creation – and May peace and blessings be upon the 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, Sha’aban 10, 1436 A.H (May 29, 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 via 08038289761.

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Muslims and Christians: the Other Story, 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 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 is truly 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.

“O You, who believes, be aware of Allah, with correct awareness, and die not except as Muslims.”

“O You, who believes, be aware of Allah, and speak a straightforward word. He will forgive your sins and repair your deeds. And whoever takes Allah and His Prophet as a guide, has already achieved a mighty victory.”

In the opening verse of Surah An-Nisaa’, Allah says:

“O mankind! Show reverence towards your Guardian-Lord Who created you from a single person, created, of like nature, his mate and from the two of them scattered (like seeds) countless men and women;- Be conscious of Allah, through Whom you demand your mutual (rights) and (show reverence towards) the wombs (that bore you); for surely, Allah ever watches over you.”

My Dear Brothers and Sisters!
In the verse I just quoted, the Noble Qur’an reminds us that we are all descended from common ancestors, we are all children of Adam and Eve, peace be upon them. Yet there are still people who forget this, and who treat others with unbelievable hatred and contempt. In recent days, some Christians and Jews have been burning Qur’ans and also inviting others in Texas America to the contest of drawing the cartoons, ‘as they said’, of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW), sponsored by one organisation called American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI). And also some Muslims have been bombing churches, kidnapping and beheading Christians and committing acts of mindless terror. They claim they are defending their religion and serving God (Allah), which is totally untrue. But each group is equally misguided. They are just massaging their own bruised egos. Senseless violence between followers of one great religion and another has nothing to do with real faith.

Wars between Crusaders and Caliphates tell us more about the political rivalry for wealth and power between two civilisations. It tells us nothing about the spiritual connection that has always existed, very strongly, between sincere believing Christians and sincere believing Muslims.

My Respected people!
In my today’s Khutbah (Sermon), insha-Allah, I want to focus on this topic. Let’s look at three remarkable Christians to illustrate the intimate connection between the followers of Jesus and Muhammad, May Allah’s peace and blessing be on both of them. We can learn some important lessons from their stories.

They are Bahira (the Monk), Waraqa bin Naufal and Najjashi, the king, the Negus of Abyssinia (Ethiopia or Habasha).

Let’s begin with Bahira the Monk. As we know, Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was an orphan. His father died before he was born, and his mother died just a few years later. So he was left in the care of his uncle Abu Talib. One day Abu Talib decided to take him along with a caravan to Syria. Along this route was a monastery. Bahira, a Christian monk lived there.

As the caravan approached, Bahira noticed a small cloud was shading it from the sun, in an otherwise cloudless sky. When the caravan stopped by a tree, the cloud also stopped. This tree, by the way, is still alive, Subhanallah! It’s still there. It’s the only tree, in fact the only vegetation of any kind, for more than 100 miles in any direction, between Jordan and Syria. This tree stands all alone in the empty desert, the last living Sahaba (companion of the Prophet), the last living entity still connected with our beloved Prophet, Muhammad, (SAW).

Bahira invited the travellers to a meal, and after examining the boy Muhammad closely he recognised the mark of prophet-hood on his back. He advised Abu Talib to take good care of him, because his own people would seek to harm him.

Our story goes fast-forward to a mountain cave near Makkah and Muhammad is now a man of 40. He often goes there to meditate, but that night, one of the last ten nights of Ramadan, a strange thing happens. Suddenly, the Angel Jibril (Gabriel) appears, and hugs Muhammad in a tight embrace, almost squeezing the life out of him, commanding him to read. He protests: I cannot read! I’m illiterate! But again and again he is commanded: Read! Until the first verses of the Noble Qur’an comes tumbling forth from his lips:

In the name of Allah, the All-Merciful, the All-Compassionate.
“READ! In the name of your Lord Who created, (1) Created man from a clot of blood. (2) Read: and your Lord is the Most Bounteous, (3) Who teaches by the pen, (4) Teaches man that which he knew not!”

This was the beginning of Muhammad’s assignment as God’s last Prophet. Gripped by fear and dread, he rushed home to his wife, Khadija, pleading, “Cover me, Cover me!” He feared that he was losing his mind. But Khadija reassured him, saying:

“You always maintain family ties, always feed the poor and you stand by the downtrodden. Allah would never humiliate you or forsake you.”

And where do you think she took him to find advice and consolation? To the rich and powerful, the grandees of Makkah? No! She was rich and powerful herself. But she took him to her cousin, Waraqa, a poor man in failing health who was a Christian. He was old and losing his sight, but he reassured Muhammad that this event was foretold in earlier scripture. He said:

“If I lived long enough I would stand by you, even when your people turn against you.” “Will my people turn against me?” Asked Prophet Muhammad, Waraqa replied: “Never has a Prophet brought what you will bring without his people turning against him.”

We are reminded here that Ibrahim (Abraham), Nuh (Noah), Musa (Moses) and Isa (Jesus) all met with ingratitude and violent rebellion from their own people, the very people who needed to be saved from themselves. Doesn’t that sound familiar? People of faith are always resisted by their own people who worship other gods, the false idols of power, greed and vanity.

Here is another example of a great Christian of the time, the king, the Negus of Abyssinia, who protected a small group of Muslims from persecution from their own tribe, the Quraish of Makkah.

As soon as Prophet Muhammad (SAW) started preaching his message, he made enemies, lethal enemies. He called on people to worship the One God of Abraham and Moses and Jesus, not the many idols, 360 idols of wood and stone adorning the Ka’aba. This was bad for business. Imagine someone preaching against capitalism and consumerism in Eagle Square, Abuja! Not quite the same earth-shaking message, but imaging! Prophet Muhammad urged people to stop burying alive their baby daughters, for the strong to stop oppressing the weak, for the tribes to stop genocidal warfare, to stop ethno-religious crisis. He was calling for change, radical change, and his enemies, sensing a threat to their business, power and authority, started torturing and killing his followers.

Islam was now in mortal danger.

So as a precaution, Prophet Muhammad (SAW) sent a small group to Abyssinia/Ethiopia.

“There you will find a just and tolerant Christian ruler who will protect you.” He assured them.

Yaa Salaam! These were the world’s first Muslim asylum seekers, given protection by a Christian king in Africa, 1436 years ago! Today, Good Christians in Nigeria, Africa and the world are still following this noble tradition, taking care of asylum seekers who fears persecution in their own countries!

What about Muslim hospitality towards Christians?

While he was the leader in Madinah, Prophet Muhammad (SAW) received a delegation of Christians from Najran in Southern Arabia. When the time came for their prayers, they had no place to pray, so he invited them into his mosque and allowed them to pray in there.

My Dear Brothers and Sisters!
How many of us Muslims will do that today? Let’s “speak a straightforward word” as the Qur’an advises us. How many mosques, anywhere in the Muslim world, will offer their Christian neighbours that courtesy exemplified by our own Prophet?

When believers of any faith treat believers of another faith with kindness and respect, they are also showing courtesy to God, to Allah.

My Dear Sisters and Brothers!
Let’s remember the Golden Rule, the Ethic of Reciprocity: Prophet Isa (Jesus) said:

“Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.” 600 years later, also Prophet Muhammad said that:“We are not believers until we desire for others what we desire for ourselves.”

My Dear Sisters and Brothers!
The Islamic Calendar, the Hijrah, began when Prophet Muhammad evaded assassination in Makkah and migrated to Madinah. Jews, Christians and Muslims welcomed him as their new leader. They eagerly awaited his first speech, his first Khutba (Sermon). It was short, eloquent, and powerful.

He summed up the entire teaching of Islam in one short sentence:

“Spread Salaam (peace), feed the hungry; pray for a part of the night and you will enter paradise.”

That’s all.. that’s what Islam is all about; Spreading peace between people, feeding the poor, thanking our generous Provider (Allah) every night, and hoping for His good pleasure.

My Respected people!
Please, read the legacy of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) that you will find today written with Gold in the Topkapi Museum in Istanbul. It reads:

“This is a message from Muhammad ibn Abdullah, as a covenant to those who adopt
Christianity, Near and far, we are with them.
Verily I, the servants, the helpers, and my followers defend them, because Christians
are my citizens; and by Allah! I hold out against anything that displeases them. No
compulsion is to be on them.
Neither are their judges to be removed from their jobs nor their monks from their
Monasteries.
No one is to destroy a house of their religion, to damage it, or to carry anything from it
to the Muslims’ houses.
Should anyone take any of these, he would spoil God’s covenant and disobey His
Prophet. Verily, they are my allies and have my secure charter against all that they hate.
No one is to force them to travel or to oblige them to fight.
The Muslims are to fight for them.
If a female Christian is married to a Muslim it is not to take place without her approval.
She is not to be prevented from visiting her church to pray.
Their churches are to be respected. They are neither to be prevented from repairing
them nor the sacredness of their covenants.
No one of the Ummah (Muslims) is to disobey the covenant till the Last Day
(End of the world).”

This charter of privileges has been honoured and faithfully applied by many Muslim regimes throughout the centuries. Imagine that! Despites wars between Crusaders and Caliphates, Christians were safe in some Muslim countries, making bread and breaking bread with local Muslims. There’s a powerful message for our troubled world today.

Those who ‘spoil God’s Covenant’ and disobey clear instructions from Prophet Muhammad will have to answer to Almighty Allah. Let us therefore show respect and love for sincere believers among the ‘people of the earlier Scriptures.’ This is what Allah commands us to do, and for more than 14 centuries, Prophet Muhammad’s letter has reminded us of this Covenant.

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 (Allah); I will remember you. Be grateful to Me, and do not reject faith.”

“And without doubt, Rememberance of Allah is the Greatest Thing in life, and Allah knows the deeds you do.”

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

This Khutbah (Friday sermon) was prepared for delivery today, Sha’aban 4, 1436 A.H (May 22, 2015), by Imam Murtada Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’at Mosque, Okene, Kogi State Nigeria. He can be reached through 08038289761.

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Stand With the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) In Love, Following, Honour and Respect, By Imam Murtada Gusau

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

All praise is due to Allah, Rabb (Cherisher and Sustainer) of all the worlds. May peace and blessings of Allah be upon the Messenger, his family and companions.

Fellow Muslims! Fellow Nigerians!
In the days that tribulations and crisis have overwhelmed the Muslims that sorrow has clouded its pure sky and guidance has become confused with error and falsehood with truth, the only way out is the fear of Allah. Fear of Allah illuminates the way to guidance and removes the darkness of ignorance and error. Whoever Allah endows with piety has been endowed with a light by which he can march to salvation and has been saved from erroneous beliefs, ideologies, thoughts and manners, for Muslims are in need of piety and certainty of faith more than ever before in order to attain victory by the permission of Allah.

The Muslims have never been in need of piety and certainty of faith as they are to attain victory by the permission of Allah.

Fellow Muslims! Fellow Nigerians!
There is an important factor that we must not forget in spite of the challenges that we are facing today; a factor upon which the victory, glory and civilisation of Islam are built and that can rescue us from the abyss of dissention. The factor is that we are a nation of pure faith, universal message and Tawheed (Islamic Monotheism) that is based on sincerity to Allah and following the way of Muhammad – peace and blessing of Allah be upon him. This factor is an all-important one that must be a topic of every place and time till the Day of Resurrection. The best thing that Muslims can be concerned about and which the reformers can talk of is the matter of Islamic belief, the Sunnah of the Messenger and the Prophetic history. This is the best source of education for the Ummah; for nothing pleases man better than speaking about the one he loves, especially if the beloved is the Messenger of Allah, the leader of all men and a mercy to mankind. It is through Allah and then through Muhammad that this guided Ummah was built on the Islamic belief of Monotheism. This is the truth that wise men called unto. There is not a single man in history that attained what the Messenger of Allah has attained in terms of honour and glory. His name is mentioned by millions of people, and millions of hearts shake at the mention of his name. However, the important thing is to convert this love into pure and subtle following of him in all that he has brought from Allah. Allah says:

“If you (really) love Allah then follow me (Muhammad) Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is off-forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Al-Imraan, 3:31)

Brethren in faith!
Muslims are presently in need of deriving lessons from the light of the Prophet, the blessed Sunnah and outstanding history of the Prophet (SAW) more than ever before. Because it is in this age that the Ummah faces waves of tribulations and is overwhelmed by whims and different ideologies. It is in this age that Muslims face grievous challenges and the conspiracies of their enemies whose leaders are Jews and Zionists. They are supported in this unholy war by those who don’t like to see peace reign in the world, and most unfortunately, the secularists among those who claim to be Muslims. The matter however becomes worse when many Muslims are ignorant of their religion and only move with the trends unquestionably or follow inherited innovations without any verification, though the Messenger of Allah has said:

“Whoever does a deed over which there is no command from us, it will be rejected.” (Muslim)

Brethren in Islam!
O lovers of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW)! The following are important aspects of the Prophet’s manners. They are sources of bliss and pure fountains for all those who want to free themselves from idolatry, ignorance and darkness. If many of those who love the Prophet (SAW) have missed seeing him with their eyes, there is certainly consolation for them in reflecting over his manners and qualities.

Brethren in faith!
We need to march strictly according to the Sunnah and we need to correct our stances according to the way the Prophet (SAW) had lived. We need to examine and review ourselves, and take from the Sunnah and the Prophet’s life history what can increase us in faith and purify our minds. The Prophet of Islam was not like any other great man as some may wrongly think. He rather possessed all aspects of human greatness. He should not be taken as a Lord, Rabb (Cherisher and Sustainer) but believed as only a Messenger and a Prophet. He himself said:

“Do not exaggerate in praising me as the Christians have done of the son of Mary (Jesus). I am only a slave of Allah and His Messenger.” (Al-Bukhari)

It is however saddening that some Muslims do not properly esteem the Prophet (SAW) when they have a negative love for him, a love that has no positive impacts on their lives or behaviour.

Dear Muslims!
Reflect over his guidance in all aspects of religion and life. In area of Tawheed (Islamic Monotheism), he called unto belief in the Oneness of Allah for thirteen years in Makkah and ten years in Al-Madinah. He was the one whom Allah commanded thus:

“Say: verily, my Salah (prayer), my sacrifice, my living and my dying are for Allah, the Rabb (Cherisher and Sustainer) of the worlds. He has no partners. And of this I have been commanded, and I am the first of the Muslims.” (Al-An ‘am, 6:162-163)

The first obligation of the Muslim who loves the Prophet (SAW) is to emulate him in calling to Islamic Monotheism and to beware of all acts of innovation and shirk that could negate that. He should also emulate him in his manners of worship.

“The Prophet (SAW) would stand up in prayer during the night so long that his feet would become swollen and when he was asked; ‘Has Allah not forgiven you your past and future sins?’ He would say, “Shouldn’t I be a grateful slave of Allah?”

In the area of good conduct, you will find the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) as the exemplar par excellence in generosity, good nature and uprightness. He was always good-tempered, gentle, and lenient and never took revenge for himself. That was why Allah praised him thus:

“And verily, you are on an exalted (standard of) character.” (Al-Qalam, 68:41)

He also addressed him saying:

“And by the Mercy of Allah you dealt with them gently. Had you been severe and harsh-hearted, they would have broken away from about you.” (Al-Imraan, 3:159)

Anas (the Messenger of Allah’s house help) said:

“I have never touched brocade or a silk softer than the palm of the Messenger of Allah, neither had I smelt anything more pleasant than the Prophet’s odour. I have served him for ten years and he never rebuked me once, or told me about something I had done, ‘Why have you done this’, or something I had not done, ‘Why have you not done this’.”

These are the great characters and sublime manners! Would Muslims then not follow his example?

In aspect of dealing with his companions and family members he said:

“The most-perfect believers in faith are the best among them in morals. And the best among you are those who treat their women in the most perfect manner.”

Also, in his administration of Islamic state in Al-Madinah, in his acts of worship, in his calling and in his endeavour to convey the message of his Rabb (cherisher and Sustainer), he is the best example for all Muslims.

An example of his wisdom in calling to the truth and his gentleness with people vividly shows in the story of the Bedouin man who urinated in a corner of the mosque. When his companions shouted at him he said:

“Leave him alone and do not shout at him.” He then told his companions, “You are sent as bearers of glad tidings and not as those who make things difficult for people.” He then gently directed the man and corrected him with wisdom. The Bedouin was so impressed by this act that he said: “O My Rabb (Cherisher and Sustainer)! Have mercy on me and Muhammad and do not have mercy on any one besides us.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Another example was the story of Thumaamah bin Uthaal who was captured in a battle (as prisoner of war) and tied to a pillar in the mosque while he was still a polytheist, a non-believer and the leader of his people. The Prophet (SAW) passed by him and said:

“What do you have, O Thumaamah?” he said, “I have good. If you kill me, you would kill a distinguished person and if you would show mercy on me, you would show mercy to a thankful person. And if you need money, ask for whatever you want, it would be given to you.” The prophet (SAW) then said, after having honoured him and dealt with him in the best form, “Release Thumaamah!” Thumaamah then went away, took a bath and came back to the Mosque and said, “I testify that there is no Rabb (Cherisher and Sustainer) worthy of worship but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. O Muhammad! By Allah, there was nothing on the face of the earth that was more detestable to me than your face but now your face is the beloved face to me on the earth. There was no religion on the face of the earth more detestable to me than your religion but now, your religion is the most beloved to me. There was no land more detestable to me than your land but now your land is the most beloved land to me.”

When the prophet (SAW) was asked to curse the polytheists, he said:

“I am not sent as a curser, I am only sent as a mercy to mankind.”

When he conquered Makkah, he told the disbelieving inhabitants of that city who had been his tormentors:

“How do you think I am going to treat you?” He said, “Well, for you are a generous brother and a son of a generous brother.” He then said, “O Allah, forgive my people for they know not what they are doing.” He then faced the Makkans and said, “Go home, you are free.”

Let the whole humanity therefore know these bright pages of the history of the mercy of Islam and that of the Prophet of Islam which can also be found in the Torah and Injeel (Gospel of prophet Isa (Jesus)). Let this be known, to all those who attack Islam and its Prophet, that Islam is full of good and noble traits. Let the whole world recognise the difference between the noble universality of Islam and their own globalisation that is based on the destruction of all human values. Would the Muslims then not recognise the best way to practically revive their religion and the Sunnah of their Prophet? They should learn from past events and their own experiences, especially in these days that the Ummah is undergoing crises. Also, they should not only speak of the qualities of the Prophet (SAW) but act positively through these qualities to stop those Zionist Jews who desecrate their holy places and commit all kinds of vicious crimes against the rightful owners of Palestine, under the nose of the whole world.

Brethren in Islam!
How can we be speaking about the virtues of the Prophet (SAW) only when the enemies of Islam among the atheists and some trouble-makers among the Jews insist on their aggression against the Muslims by insulting and abusing their beloved Prophet Muhammad, (SAW), in the name of freedom, freedom of expression, or free speech?

How can we feel satisfied while our situations are becoming worse day in, day out? Muslims, therefore, should hold fast unto their religion and the Sunnah of their prophet (SAW) with all love, sincerity, cooperation and mutual magnanimity. It is then that they can be united under the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His beloved Messenger (SAW). For the latter part of his Ummah cannot be put aright except by that which put their Predecessors right. Allah says:

“Indeed, in the Messenger of Allah (Muhammad), you have a good example to follow for him who hopes for (meeting with) Allah and the Last Day and remembers Allah much.” (Al-Ahzaab, 33:21)

Brethren in Faith!
Fill your hearts with the qualities of the Prophet, reflect over them and teach it to your children and households. It should not only be recited at occasions, it should rather be put into practice in reforming your ways and your lives. In these days that there are many new inventions, the Sunnah of Muhammad (SAW) is the best protection against the evil effect of these inventions. You are in need – more than ever before – of unity under the Book of Allah and the Sunnah so that the goal of the Ummah can be attained. Every Muslim is manning a strategic position for Islam according to his ability. So let him take care of his duty as it is due. Show Allah the best of you and move forward in a balanced way through sure knowledge upon which awareness is based, so that the Ummah can take up her leading role among mankind.

Servants of Allah! Fellow Nigerians!
The great poet Maya Angelou once said:
“Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in the world, but has not solved one yet.”
Sadly, such wisdom is lost on the likes of Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer, and Geert Wilders, the unholy trinity of professional Islamophobia. They make their living off preaching hatred of Islam and the Prophet Muhammad (SAW), benefitting financially and politically from dehumanising and demonising Islam and Muslims.

It is in their capacity as professional Islamophobes that Geller and Spencer helped to organise the “Muhammad Art Exhibit and Cartoon Contest” in Garland, Texas. The event, which featured Wilders as one of the main speakers, was intended to cause as much offense and ridicule as possible to Muslims by inviting cartoonists to draw incendiary pictures of Islam’s revered Prophet Muhammad (SAW). It was also an effort to exploit the tragedy of the Charlie Hebdo shootings in Paris in January in order to maximise media exposure for themselves and the American Freedom Defense Initiative, the organisation co-founded by Geller and Spencer that sponsored the event.

While some media attention was given to the event ahead of time, the tragic shooting by two gunmen on Sunday evening gave Geller and Spencer exactly what they wanted — a reason to declare yet one more time a war against Islam. Geller proclaimed, “This is war” on her website after news broke of the two gunmen opening fire on a security officer. Spencer issued a tweet blaming moderate Muslims for not restraining their more violent brethren. Both could barely contain their glee that the event ended with such drama. They wanted a war. That was the whole purpose behind the event.

We wouldn’t know who Pamela Geller is if it weren’t for her hatred of Muslims and her ability to channel this hatred for financial profit and the media spotlight. The same holds true for Spencer and Wilders. We only know who they are because they have devoted their lives and their careers to bigotry. Their hatred for Muslims led the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League to condemn the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) as a hate organisation. It also led the British government to prevent Geller and Spencer from entering the country back in 2013.

I passionately urged my Muslim Brothers and Sisters to ignore these people; I called upon you not to give them what they want and respond or even protest the event. I appealed to you to please never mind those people, the enemies of peace, who are consistently vilifying the Islamic faith and continuously abusing and insulting the beloved and respected Prophet of Islam, Muhammad the son of Abdullah (SAW), and who are intentionally provoking Muslims under the guise of fighting radical Islam. They invited each other to Texas, America for the contest of drawing cartoons ‘they said’ of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW), or what they term as, “Muhammad Art Exhibit and cartoon Contest.” They offered a 10,000 dollars prize for the best artwork or cartoon depicting the Prophet, as well as a 2,500 dollars “People’s Choice Award.” The group has introduced a growing number of Americans to its conspiratorial anti-Muslim agenda.

They are trouble makers; they actually know very well what the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) means to us; they keep doing that intentionally to incite you, to see how Muslims will react, so that they will tell the world, “you see, haven’t we told you that Islam is the religion of terror?” Please don’t listen to all they are doing as provocation; they want to anger you, don’t give them the satisfaction or the media attention they thrive on. So, run from them the way you would run from a dangerous lion. Please be patient and follow the teachings of your religion on this issue, follow the advice of your sincere Islamic Scholars and Leaders on the matter, so that you succeed here and the hereafter. Show the world that you Muslims are not terrorists, and your religion is not the religion of violence and terror. Allah (SWT) says:

“…But if you remain patient and become the pious, not the least harm will their cunning do to you. Surely, Allah surrounds all that they do.” (Al-Imraan, 3:120)

My Respected people!
I will now mention some of the organisers, promoters and supporters of this heinous act briefly in my today’s Khutbah (Sermon) for your own benefit and information. They are as follow:
1. Pamela Geller, queen of the Muslim bashers, the Jewish 56-year-old single mother of four, a university drop out who runs the controversial blog Atlas Shrugs. Co-founder and head of Stop Islamization of America (SIOA) that operates under the auspices of the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI). Also co-founder of Stop Islamization of Nations (SION), an international network of “Stop the Islamization” groups, largely from Europe, that purports to “stand for freedom and oppose the advance of Islamic law.” She was also the woman who organised what they called “Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest”, at Curtis Culwell Centre in Garland north of Dallas, Texas, America. She was banned from entering the United Kingdom back in 2013 to speak at an English Defense League (EDL) rally, by Home Secretary Theresa May, ruling her as having established anti-Muslim hate groups. She is also a contributor to the conservative Magazine, Human Events.
2. Robert Spencer, a Melkite Greek Catholic, co-founder of Stop Islamization of America and American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), and also the owner of a blog Jihad Watch.
3. Anti-Muslim Radical Dutch politician, Geert Wilders.
4. David Yerushalmi, Chairman, Society of Americans for National Existence. One of the driving forces behind Shari’ah related conspiracy theories. An attorney with a record of anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant and anti-black bigotry; a close ally of Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, and one of the driving forces behind efforts to ban or restrict the use of Shari’ah law in American courts.
5. Brigitte Gabriel of ACT.
6. Rene Stadtkewits, founder and Chairman of the German anti-Muslim Die Freiheit party, and member of the German parliament.
7. Anders Gravers Pedersen, Danish anti-Muslim activist, and the head of Stop Islamization of Europe (SIOE).
8. Frank Gaffney, a prominent Stop Islamization of America board member, founder of the Center for Security Policy.
9. James Lafferty, a Stop Islamization of America board member and Chairman, founder of the Virginia Anti-Shari’ah Task force ( VAST), a Coalition of anti-Shari’ah, anti-Muslim people, committed to stopping the spread of Islam in Virginia and across the U.S.
10. David Horowitz, founder of the right-wing conservative David Horowitz Freedom Center, which provides the Jewish Pamela Geller and catholic Robert Spencer with some financial support, including the sponsorship of Robert Spencer’s Jihad Watch blog. In recent years, Horowitz has sponsored “Islamofascism Awareness Week,” a project on college campuses that promotes anti-Muslim views and features events with anti-Muslim activists.
11. The Israel Project (TIP), headed by a Jew, Josh Block, a former spokesperson for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

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

This Khutbah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today, Rajab 26, 1436 A.H (May 15, 2015), by Imam Murtada Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’at Mosque, Okene, Kogi State Nigeria. He can be reached through 08038289761.

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[Friday Sermon] The Extremists (Khawaarij) Methodology Of Forbidding Evil By Imam Murtada Gusau

First Sermon:

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

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

Servants of Allah!

My today’s Khutbah (Sermon) Insha-Allah is going to be a response to some important questions by some Brothers and Sisters from Lagos, Port Harcourt, Enugu and France, who sent their questions through my email. I decided to answer their questions in Khutbah (Sermon) for the benefit of all. Below are the questions and my answer to them seeking help from Allah (SWT):

Question: Imam, within the last couple of years and today, we have heard some of the religious callers and preachers talking about the different ways of calling people (to the truth) and forbidding evil. Some of these ways include political demonstrations, assassinations, terrorist’s attacks, rape, kidnap and marches. And perhaps some of the people (ignoramuses) even consider these to be forms of Islamic jihad.

  1. We hope for clarification regarding whether these things are legitimate

Means legislated by Islam or if they are considered blameworthy religious innovations and forbidden means.

  1. We also hope for an explanation of the correct way to deal with people

Who invite to these actions, promoting and calling to them.

  1. Is it permissible to inform the authorities about another Muslim who is

Deviant in his creed/Methodology and understanding of Islam since that person will cause harm to the Muslim society and the society at large?

Answer: All praise and thanks are for Allah. It’s well-known that the command to enjoin good and forbid evil, calling to the truth, and guiding people are all from the foundations of Allah’s religion, Islam. However, Allah (SWT) says in His Mighty Book:

“Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good preaching, and argue with them in a way that is best.” (Al-Nahl, 16: 125)

And when He (Allah) sent Musa (Moses) and Haarun (Aaron) to the pharaoh, He said:

“And speak to him with gentle speech that perhaps he may be reminded or fear (Allah).” (Taa Haa, 20:44)

The Prophet (SAW) came with wisdom and he instructed callers and preachers to use wisdom and be patient. This is also in the Qur’an in Surah al-Asr:

“By the time, certainly, mankind is in loss; except for those who have believed and done righteous deeds and advised one other with the truth and advised one other with patience.” (Al-Asr, 103:1-3)

So, the person who calls to Allah (SWT) and the one who enjoins good and forbids evil should adorn himself/herself with patience, hoping for his rewards, and bearing patiently whatever he hears or faces during his preaching.

As for someone who chooses a path of harshness or – may Allah protect us – one that causes harm to people, commotion, differences, discord, or that disunites people – these are Satanic ways and the foundation of the call of the Khawaarij (The Extremists). They are the people who oppose evil militarily by taking up arms. They reject anything they do not agree with, anything that contradicts their beliefs, and they do this by means of fighting and bloodshed and by declaring people to be disbelievers among other things. So, they have differentiated between the calling and preaching of the prophet’s companions and our righteous predecessors and between the call of the Khawaarij and those who follow their methodology and ways (and they have chosen the latter). The call of the companions was one of wisdom, preaching, clarifying the truth, patience, and by noble means while hoping for reward. But the call of the Khawaarij, terrorists, and extremists, is one of fighting against people, spilling their blood, considering them disbelievers, disuniting them, dividing Muslims into separate, opposing sects. These are wicked actions and foreign, religiously-innovated deeds.

The best thing to do with people who call to these types of things is to avoid them, expose them, stay far away from them, their creed/methodology and never give them the benefit of the doubt. Those people cause divisions among Muslims. A unified group is a mercy from Allah and disunity is discord and a punishment, and we seek refuge with Allah. If the people of a single country were united upon good, united upon a common view and objective, they would have dignity and prestige.

Today, the citizens of most countries are divided into rivaling factions, groups and parties. They have split up and differed, so their enemies, both from among themselves and others, have infiltrated them. This is an innovated way, a filthy path – the very path taken before by those (Khawaarij) who broke away and fought the leader of believers, ‘AIi Ibn Abi Taalib (R.A) and those with him from the prophet’s companions and those who pledged allegiance to the Prophet (SAW). They (the Khawaarij) fought against him claiming they only wanted rectification while they were the very pinnacle of corruption, at the very height of innovation, and the peak of discord. They are the same ones who disunite Muslims and weaken them. Even someone who merely speaks their ideas, adopting them and trying to beautify them – this one too is evil in belief and he must be avoided. They were called the Khawaarij Qa’diyyah (The sitting Khawaarij), who incite people by their preaching.

And know – may Allah protect us – the difference between a person who causes harm to the entire nation as well as merely those who sit with him and between someone who is on the truth. He should be a Muslim working, building, and calling to that which is good, enjoining righteousness. He should speak only the truth and invite in a good, gentle and tolerant manner, suspecting good of his brothers. He knows that attaining complete perfection (in society) is extremely difficult, and that the only one free of faults was the prophet (SAW). And know that if those people pass, it may not be that better people will come; if people present now – be they the leaders, authorities, students of knowledge, or simply the general public of any country – if they all passed away, people much worse than they may come. No year will come except that the following year will generally be worse.

So, whoever expects people to reach a complete level of perfection or to be totally free of mistakes and sins, such a person is foolish. Those are the khawaarij, the ones who disunite people’s views, destroy their religion, economy, and causing them harm. These are the very objectives of those who fight against the people who stick to the Sunnah and the mainstream body of Muslims – fighting them with their religious innovations, whether they are the Rafidah, the Khawaarij, the Mu’tazilah, or any of the various colours or sects of the people of evil, misguidance and innovation.

May Allah guide and protect us all from evil and evil people, Ameen.

Second Sermon:

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, peace and blessings on him, is His servant, and his Messenger.

Servants of Allah!

The Islamic position with regarding those who incite or plan terrorist acts such as suicide, kidnap or bombings is that Muslims should inform the authorities of their activities. This is regardless of whether these acts are perpetrated in Muslim or non-Muslim countries. Muslim communities must be at the forefront of stamping out these non-Islamic acts that are done falsely in the name of Islam. The Messenger of Allah stated:

“Whoever sees an evil let him change it with his hand. If he is not able to do that, then let him change it with his tongue. And if he is not able to do that, then let him with his heart, and that is the weakest of faith.”(Reported by Muslim).

The scholars have stated that changing with the hand is done by the governments and authorities, so they hold and punish and imprison the evil doers. If they withhold from this duty, it does not fall into the hands of the citizens to take the law into their own hands. Rather they remain patient. As for speaking against the evil in terms of refuting the false ideologies and creeds, then that is for the scholars and the people of knowledge, not for ignorant, and there has never been time in the history of lslam, except that the scholars have spoken out against evil ideologies and doctrines as a safeguard for Islam, and this will not stop up until the final Hour is established. As for the general and ordinary person then he forbids only in accordance to his knowledge and ability in line with the rulings of the true scholars of the Sunnah based upon the Qur’an and the Sunnah (Hadith). As for hating with the heart, then this is for the one who recognizes evil, but does not have the knowledge or the ability to speak against this, so he distances himself from it and keeps away from it. So as it relates to the terrorists, then it is known by the one possessing knowledge as well as the one who is devoid of it, that these acts are evil and condemned by the Muslim scholars based upon the texts of the Qur’an and authentic Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW). So both, the one possessing knowledge and the general person, informs the authorities of those that incite or plan terrorists acts.

And this is from the aspect of forbidding evil and thereby earning the reward of Allah, the Most High. Indeed it is a distinguishing trait of this nation (Ummah) that they enjoin the good and forbid the evil. Allah states:

“Let there arise from amongst you a group of people that call to good and they enjoin the good and forbid the evil. And indeed they are the successful.” (Al-Imraan, 3:104)

Indeed nations that came before were cursed upon the tongues of the Prophets due to them not forbidding the evil when it appeared. Allah, the Most High, states:

“Those amongst the Children of Israel who disbelieved were cursed by the tongue of Dawud (David) and Isa the son of Maryam (Jesus son of Mary). That was because they used to transgress the bounds. They used not to forbid one another from evil which they committed…” (Al-Maa’idah, 5:78 -79)

So today’s Muslims should take heed from this great verse. Additionally the Messenger of Allah (SAW) stated:

“There are not a people, amongst whom sins are committed, and they are stronger than those who commit them yet they do not prevent them, except that Allah sends His punishment upon them all.”(See Tashabbuhul-Khasees of Imam adh-Dhahabee and the hadith is authentic).

Another reason why these terrorists and their ideology must be stamped out is due to the fact that they are innovators and misguided ones who have attributed to Islam that which Islam is free of, and it is impermissible to accommodate them or defend them or protect them, or even love them, due to the statement of the Prophet (SAW):

“Whoever innovates or accommodates an innovator, then upon him is the curse of Allah, His Angels and the whole of mankind.” (Reported by Bukhari and Muslim)

And there is not a shadow of a doubt from an Islamic perspective, that these terrorist ideologies are innovations and these perpetrators are innovators, and it is not permissible to protect them or give them refuge.

One can recognize the ideology of these evil doers from certain matters that their lectures, preaching and discussions always revolve around, from them is that they always call for rebellion and revolution in the Muslim communities and against the Leaders; they declare the Muslim leaders and those who work in the apparatus of government to be apostates and unbelievers; they praise the suicide bombers and terrorists and insurgencies in Iraq, Palestine, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, Nigeria, Somalia and other places and continually justify their actions; they may praise the bombings of 9/11 in New York, 7th July bombings in London or the Madrid bombings. Or you may hear them praising            the attacks in France, Nigeria, Mali and Kenya or the attacks in the Muslim countries like the attacks in Riyadh and Khobar all in Saudi Arabia. Or the terrorist attacks in Iraq, Syria, Yemen Afghanistan, Pakistan, Somalia, Libya etc. These discussions of theirs may not necessitate that they themselves will organize or carry out terrorist acts but this speech of theirs incites others towards violence. Remember it only takes two or three young men (or women) who have been affected to go out and wreak havoc.

The Messenger of Allah (SAW), mentioned these renegades (Known as the Khawaarij) in a narration:

“If I am alive when they appear, I will slaughter them with the slaughtering of Aad.”

And Aad was a tribe mentioned in the Qur’an that was punished by Allah for their evils and transgressions. He (SAW) also stated:

“They are the worst of Allah’s creation under the sky.”

Servants of Allah!

There are many, many other narrations of the Prophet (SAW) and his Companions (R.A) describing them, to the extent that Shaikhul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah and Imam an-Nawawiy, two great scholars of the Middle Ages, stated the consensus (Ijma’) of the great scholars of the Islam and Sunnah that these renegades must be prevented, stopped and fought against. In fact Shaikhul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (died 728 AH) state that the Khawaarij (Extremists) are more harmful to Islam and the Muslims than the Jews and the Christians. And this is due to the fact that these so-called Jihadis, Takfiris and terrorists are a cancer within the ranks of the Muslims, destroying the purity of the Religion from within.

So when one looks at the activities of these people such as the killing and kidnapping of men, women and children, Muslim and non-Muslim alike, one sees that they are indiscriminate in their murderous acts. After what has been mentioned above one can see why the Scholars of this noble and blessed Islamic da’wah have issued verdicts calling people to inform the authorities if they know of anyone inciting or planning terrorist acts.

There is no doubt that those making a link between terrorism and what they term as ‘The Wahhaabis’, intending by that the Ahlus-Sunnah, have made a mythical link based upon fallacies and falsehood. The great Scholar Muhammad Ibn Abdul-Wahhaab (died 1206 AH), after whom his adversaries invented the derogatory term ‘Wahhaabi’ for anyone who studied his works with sincerity – then this scholar was the most fervent in his opposition to deviation and deviant ideologies. Rather the Ahlus-Sunnah whom the opposers term as Wahhaabis, have been at the forefront of combating the terrorist, takfiri, false jihadi and khariji ideologies, for decades. And this refutation of the Ahlus-sunnah scholars upon these groups was not just a mere response to modern-day events but rather a religious obligation upon them regardless of prevailing circumstances.

So Sayyid Qutb, the father and reference point of the modern day false jihadist-terrorist movements, was refuted by the Ahlus-Sunnah scholars for his call to assassinations and violent revolution decades ago and again in the early nineties by the likes of the scholars such as Shaikh Bin Baaz, Shaikh Bin Uthaimeen, Shaikh Nasiruddeen al-Albaany, Shaikh Muqbil bin Haadi al-Waadi’i, Shaikh Fawzaan, Shaikh Ubaid al-Jaabiriy and especially in great detail by Shaikh Rabee’ bin Hadi al-Madkhalee who authored several books in exposition of Sayyid Qutb and his creed/ideology. Shaikh Bin Baaz warned and exposed the evil doctrine of Osamah bin Laden back in the early nineties, whilst the Islamic political groups were in praised of him. All those Islamic scholars warned against the dangerous people like, Salmaan al-Awdah, ‘Aa’idh al-Qarnee, Safar al-Hawaalee, Sayyid Qutb, Anwar al-Awlaki, Abdallah Faisal, Abu Muhammad al-Maqdisi, Abu Qataadah al-Filistiniy, Yusuf al-Qardaawee, Hasan al-Bannah, Muhammad Suruur, Abu Hamza al-Misri, Umar Abdurrahman, Muhammad al-areefiy, Abdurrahman Abdul-Khaaliq, Osama bin Laden, Ayman al-Zawaahiriy, Jamaluddeen al-Afghaniy, Muhammad Abduh, Muhammad Qutb, Taqi al-Deen al-Nabahani, Abdullah Azzam, Saleem Begg, Omar Bakri, Shakeel Begg, Anjem Choudary, Adnan Ar’oor, Muhammad al-Mas’aree, Abu Yahya al-libi, Abu Mus’ab al-Zarqaawee, Abu Baseer at-Tartoosee, Abu Bakr al-Baghdaadee, Muhammad Yusuf and Abubakar Shekau of Nigeria and others like them. Sayyid Abul ‘Ala Maududi is another reference point for the modern day violent politically motivated groups, yet the Scholars such as Shaikh Rabee’ al-Madkhali, Shaikh Ubaid al-Jaabiree, Shaikh Hammaad al-Ansaaree exposed his errors and warned against his approach. Another example is the warning of the Yemeni scholar Muqbil bin Haadee against the HAMAS of Palestine whilst the latter were supporting terrorist attacks on civilian buses in Israel. We also have the Scholarly stance against Hezbollah of south Lebanon, such as the statements of Shaikh Bin Baaz, Shaikh Bin uthaimin, Shaikh Ahmad an-Najmi and others. Shaikh Ibn Uthaimeen in his now published explanation (Sharh) of ‘Riyaadhus-Saaliheen’ well over twenty years ago showed his clear abhorrence at the suicide bombings in Palestine. So this is the clarity with which the Scholars speak and have always spoken. Over a thousand years of Islamic authorship, from the time of the disciples of the Prophet until this day, the Scholars of Sunnah have been refuting the false ideologies and dangerous creed, whether extremist or negligent – whereas the people of deviation will respond based upon political expediency, but the underlying ideology in support of revolution and suicide attacks remains. How is it possible to be straddling both sides of the fence in this issue, whilst the Qur’an and Sunnah (Way of the Prophet) is so clear upon them?

What is astonishing is that these same people accuse the Scholars of Sunnah, whom they call Wahhaabis, of being responsible for these false extremist ideologies. It reminds us of the lines of poetry:

“She accused me of the illness she possessed, and then slipped way!”

Brothers and Sisters!

In times of trials and fitnah like this in which we are in, if a Muslim is asked about the condition of another Muslim, that Muslim who he’s being asked about is upon a way or methodology that is different from what Islam came with like killings and attacking without just cause then it’s upon that person who asked to say that which he knows about those people. He should say the truth openly. Because in that there is a prevention of these types of attacks and killings that take place which opposes the way of Islam. At the same time by doing so, the person being asked removes doubts from himself in the minds of those people. Such that, if he hidden anything they would have considered him also to be a terrorist in the same way. The actions of the Khawaarij or killing people without cause and just reason or destroying companies, schools, markets and buildings, this has nothing to do with Islam in the slightest. As for the proof that some people use by saying that whoever transgresses against you then you transgress against them similarly, this is with regard to two people similar in status, rather your Lord says:

“And if you forgive then this is closer to piety.”

And He also says:

“And if he forgives then his reward is with Allah.”

On top of that we all see the results of these types of attacks and these types of unjustified killings and the way that it has brought harm to Islam and the Muslims. Maybe even bad thoughts and misunderstanding about Islam in itself.

I ask Almighty God (Allah) to enable every Muslim and non-Muslim to fully understand these words and to comprehend the true Islamic position With respect to the people of misguidance. We also ask Him to grant every person the ability to grasp the true message and beauty of Islam as it was revealed to the noble prophet of Islam.

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

“Inna lillahi Wa inna ilaihi Raaji’uun!” “Indeed we are from Allah and unto Him we return.”

I received the news of the death of Shaikh Musa Muhammad (1947-2015), the Chief Imam of the National Mosque Abuja with great shock, on Saturday evening, May 2nd 2015.

On behalf of my humble self, my family and the entire Muslim community in Okene, I commiserates with the leader of all Nigerian Muslims, his Eminence, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III and Professor Ishaq Oloyede Secretary General, Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Dr. Khalid Abubakar Aliyu, the Secretary General of Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI), and the entire Nigerian Muslims on the death of the Chief Imam. Surely, the Chief Imam would be remembered for his knowledge, patience, experience and humility. The Nigerian Muslim Ummah would also miss his wealth of service to the humanity. Surely, Allah takes what is His, and what He gives is His and to all things He has appointed a time… So let us have patience so that we are rewarded.

Oh Allah! Forgive our Chief Imam his shortcomings and failings, elevate his station among those who are guided, send him along the path of those who came before, forgive us and him, oh Lord of the worlds. Enlarge for him his grave/tomb and shed light upon him in it. Oh Allah! Take him into paradise and protect him from the punishment of Hell-fire.

Indeed, death is not a tragedy if the dead is a sincere and true Muslim and able to fulfill his purpose in life. May Allah be Merciful to the soul of Imam Musa Muhammad. I pray that Allah (SWT) gives his family and the Muslim Ummah the strength and fortitude to bear the irreparable loss, ameen.

This Khutbah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today, Rajab 19, 1436 A.H (May 8, 2015), by Imam Murtada Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’at Mosque, Okene, Kogi State Nigeria. He can be reached through 08038289761.

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Buhari Must Cleanse Aso Rock Else He’ll Die in Office -Prophet Tibetan

Prophet Marcus Korede Tibetan of the Celestial Church of Christ, Elijah Parish, Lagos has issued another set of prophecies concerning Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari and Ayo Fayose.

According to Encomium, the prophet said, ”the Lord said there’s going to be change. He said we should congratulate Nigerians for taking the strong decision to liberate themselves from bad leadership. The Lord said Nigerians should welcome the spirit of change as it is taking place not just only in the political arena but across all families and up to the kitchens in various homes. God said He is the One that brought this change and all Nigerians must embrace it and be in the spirit of WAI (War Against Indiscipline)”.

Speaking to Buhari, he said, ”if General Buhari want to run his term successfully and does not want the fate of late President Umar Yar’Adua to befall him, he must make a complete and total cleansing of Aso Rock Villa before he moves in. Between now and when he would be sworn in, General Buhari must not step into Aso Rock Villa for any meeting either in the day or in the night. And after he is sworn in on May 29, he must ensure that America, Britain and Germany help him snoop around the entire Aso Rock vicinity to detect anything that might have been planted in there for him. An entirely new security measure should be put in place to ensure the total security and safety of the new landlord. Until then, the General could run his own “White House” from anywhere but Aso Rock”.

On Fayose, the prophet said, ”The Lord does not do mistake with his words, Ayo Fayose has just nine months to stay on that seat after which he will be going to jail. I don’t really have much to say on this. I have told you what the Lord will do on December 20 when I was launching my prediction book in Nigeria. Ayo Fayose will not see the end of 2015 as Ekiti State Governor”.

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Nigerians May Stone Buhari in the Next 6 Months – Apostle Suleman

The General Overseer of Omega Fire Ministry, Apostle Johnson Suleman, who prophesied that many politicians who lost in the last election would win, has again asserted that Nigerians May stone President elect, Muhammadu Buhari, 6 months after he assumes office.

Apostle Suleman had prior to the 2015 general elections prophesied that President Jonathan will win the elections but the man who won will not be given. He also prophesied that there will be a serious post-election violence consequently.

Speaking on why people may stone Buhari in the next six months, Apostle Suleman said, “Let me say this to you. In the next six months, people may stone Buhari. The reason I’m saying this is because the expectation is too high.

“Nigerians expect Buhari to put gold on their tables. Two, the large chunk of followership Buhari has are youths and young people are impatient. Young people don’t believe in progressive change, they want change.

“When they say change, they see a new picture.

“And Buhari has been talking from the two sides of the mouth. During campaign, he told us Boko Haram would be a thing of the past. Now, you are President-elect, you are saying people shouldn’t expect a miracle. Are you a pastor? If I wanted a miracle worker, won’t I bring a Mallam or a miracle worker? When you were being voted for, we were not voting for a pastor, so don’t tell us about miracles.

“Like I said, Jonathan will be seen as a hero very soon because that’s the Nigerian story. Anybody who they feel is not doing well, get him out. The next few minutes, they miss this person. If by September, there is still a blink in power, people will start abusing Buhari. You said you were going to do this.

“Two, who are Buhari’s footmen, the large chunk are ex-PDP people and of course you know, many are still defecting. Nigerian politicians are the most shameless people (I know); they can’t bear hunger. They are defecting now to lobby for offices. If you should check the people around the man, it gives you an idea of where the man is heading. If you check the agenda, listen to their campaign, it wasn’t about issues, it was about personality. Change this man! And I wanted us to talk about what the issues are, brainstorm to make things better.

“I heard he had a five-hour meeting behind closed doors with President Jonathan. He has now seen the reality of how deep the issues are and it has now dawned on him that the man sitting there was actually managing to survive.

“That is one thing about leadership. When the ball is passed to you, you realise it’s deeper than you think. So I do not see change in Nigeria. The only change I see is we have a breath of fresh air, a new government. To say there will be instant change in Nigeria, I doubt. We are praying as Christians and believers. It doesn’t matter what the enemy is trying to do in Nigeria, as believers, we know that the will of God will be done,” he stated.

On why his prophesies didn’t come to pass, Mr Suleman stated that, “If you watch that prophecy manual, I said very clearly that President Jonathan would not win but that the man that would win would not be given. It was stated there. I said a few prophecies about some other people- (Ibikunle) Amosun, (Nasir) el Rufai, (Nyesom) Wike and some other people. Whether a prophecy is fulfilled or not depends on who it’s said about.

“Few of the people prophesied about contacted me. I don’t want to call names but they contacted me. You said I won’t get this or that, I want it. Can it be reversed?’ I said very well. If you are given certain prayers to make, prophecies can be reversed. If you’re given certain things to do, prophecies can be reversed. And actually, there were some people I never thought would reach out to me, those who were Muslims, those who were stubborn leaders, they contacted me.

“So, I told them ‘this is not about man, it’s about God. If you’re humble enough, we can pray about it.’ And we prayed. Like today especially, I’ve got messages from people who were happy and said ‘Oh, thank God, it was reversed.’

“Like that of the President, I saw him a month before the election and we talked one on one. All I told him was that he wouldn’t win. I personally told Jonathan to concede defeat. I told him he would save a lot of heads if he conceded defeat and left. I saw not less than half a million people without their heads.”

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[Friday Sermon] Importance Of Moral Education In Islam By Imam Murtada Gusau

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

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

I bear witness that there is no (true) god except Allah – alone without a partner, and I bear witness that Muhammad (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.”(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.

Fellow Muslims! Fellow Nigerians! Servants of Allah!

Know that, education occupies an important place among the Muslims. It has great impact on the minds of growing generations who are the pillars of every society.

Moral education in the early days of Islam served the needs of the Ummah. It produced mature generations and made the Ummah the leader not the led, the powerful not weak; for it was an Ummah that gives more than it takes.

Educationists are heavily responsible for guiding the growing generation, arming them with faith and protecting them against trials and temptations. The Muslim Ummah should deem herself above regarding education as a mere means of increasing material wealth and neglect the noble goals of education. The young boy who goes to school is like an empty vessel and within days and years; this vessel will be filled with conducts, manners and ways that are learnt from educational institutions. It is these, that shape his life and moulds his way of thinking and way of life and it is by this that education embodies the identity of the society and the Ummah and shows her values.

Amid various modern educational theories, we Muslims sometimes forget some fundamental things. The primary purpose of education is to raise up the growing generations on Islamic values and concepts brought by Allah’s Messenger (SAW) Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam, to make the youth a true Muslim in his belief, feelings and conduct, submitting all aspects of his life to Islam, prostrating to Allah, humbling himself before Him and weeping whenever he hears the verses of Allah being recited out of hope for His Mercy and fear of His punishment.

Nations do not progress by accumulating information or wealth but by education that implants value and principles that reflect in practical life. Wise men do not regard the goal of education as mere accumulation of information and committing texts to memory without having any respect for their meanings. If we therefore, aim at nurturing the generations and making them progress to perfection, no amount of material information and mechanical expertise can develop a person, make him a complete human being and encourage him to do good if that is not backed with a strong belief in excellent values and concepts. Mere memorization of the concepts, without allowing that to have impact on the heart or conduct is of no use.

Servants of Allah! Fellow Nigerians!

The duty of education, before imparting information, should be to prepare the heart that will use this information for good, not evil, for the benefit of mankind not to harm them. This can however not be achieved except by implanting the correct faith in the depths of the youth’s heart so that, it cannot be stained with ambiguity or deviated by lust or wrong ideologies. It should be a faith-based education that is far from frivolities and impudence and whose foundation is the Qur’an and Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW), understood according to the way of the righteous predecessors, and aimed at purifying the soul. It should be and education that makes the soul aim at lofty matters and deem itself above debasing things; and education that makes the soul pleased, annoyed, befriend and struggle for the sake of Allah alone. Our need for hearts that are full of true Faith is therefore, not less than our need for heads that are filled with information, so that our growing generation will not become a devil hat spread its evil and destruction in society and across the world and in order that they may not be corrupted by drugs and perverted ideologies.

The messenger of Allah (SAW) did not use to leave any man for his whims whenever he embrace Islam but would each him the matters of his religion. When Umayr bin Wahb embraced Islam, the Prophet (SAW) told his companions:

Teach your brother the matters of his religion and teach him the Qur’an.”

Also Imam Ahmad reported,

“The companions used to learn ten verses of the Qur’an of the Prophet (SAW) and they would not learn another ten verses until they had well understood the meanings of the previous ten verses and put them into practice. They would say: We learnt both knowledge and practice.”

Our righteous predecessors used to call children’s teacher educator and mentor. Ibn Al-Mubaarak said:

“We learnt morals for thirty years and we studied knowledge for twenty years.”

Ibn Seereen said:

“The righteous predecessors used to learn moral guidance as they would learn knowledge.”

Brethren in faith! Fellow Nigerians!

The effective and truthful education is the one that goes hand in hand with nurturing, for education without nurturing is useless and valueless, and to separate between them breeds a generation that will be weak in faith, corrupt and ignominious in personality and confused in thought; a generation that will have no regard for values and will be an easy target for vicious thoughts and dangerous, un-Islamic ideologies. The youth educated in this way will use his knowledge to cause misery to himself and his society. What is the value of knowledge, if its owner is a liar, corrupt and traitor who indulges in filthy dealings and undo the very essence of education bit by bit through his pervasive behaviours? What is the value of knowledge if that does not reflect practically in the student’s relationship with his teachers, brethren, colleagues, society and books?

Therefore, learning is more than to memorize a book or to receive information or to attend classes. It is rather making of a generation and implanting of belief, concepts and values. The perpetuity of any nation then lies in its ability to transfer its faith, morals and history to its upcoming generations with its language.

The moral problems of a nation manifest when it neglects education and separates moral education from learning. If all this scientific progress is not accompanied by high moral standards, it will eventually lead to real perdition. Was it not this civilization that triggered, -within 25 years- two worlds wars in which weapons of mass destruction that threaten the humanity with complete destruction, were created and wantonly used? Modern civilization wallows in the abyss of moral decay in spite of its scientific progress and it caused among the Muslim communities problems of belief, morals and ideologies which can only be solved if the Muslims go back to the Islamic values and Divine Guidance. That is why education specialists say that, “the first step towards reform is good education and last step is also good education”.

Fellow believers! Fellow Nigerians!

The Muslim youth will grow up to be fruitful member of the society if he does not see cheating, corruption, or hears lie; he will learn virtues, if his environment is not polluted with immoralities; he will learn compassion if he is not treated with harshness and he will learn honesty if dishonesty is eradicated from the society.

We Muslims are obliged to benefit from all useful modern sciences, but we must be aware that these sciences must be purified from their filth, for many of these sciences have been developed by modern materialistic thoughts that emanated from perverted cultures and in a society in which there is a continuous war between sciences and religion, where knowledge and values have no regard.

Modern sciences should not be imparted wholesale before they are subjected to purification by Muslims. We do not reject universal sciences, psychology, astronomy, sociology or other sciences, but we do not accept the foundations that contradict religion on which these sciences are built. To Muslims, the Faith should be axis of foundations of sciences and Islam should be the frameworks of their methodologies. It is then that all sciences can be in line with the greatest testament, “There is no God worthy of worship but Allah”, that every seed can glorify Allah and affirm His Omnipotence Oneness. It is then that sciences can achieve their desired moral goals in which the student will acquire morals, virtues, knowledge and faith. Allah says:

“He is it who sent among the unlettered ones a Messenger (Muhammad) from among themselves, reciting to them His verses, purifying them (from the filth of disbelief and polytheism) and teaching them the Book (this Qur’an) and Al-Hikmah (the Sunnah). And verily, they had been before in manifest error.” (Al-Jum’ah, 62:2)

Brethren in Islam! Servants of Allah!

Learning is an obligation of every male and female. But because of the natural differences between both, we must not neglect the methodology and curricula that will enable each one of them carry out his or her natural responsibilities in life. By teaching a girl useful sciences and knowledge, she is being prepared to carry out her primary duty as a wife, mother, house mistress, nurturer of generations and maker of men; and the boy is made to qualify as the leader of the house who directs its affairs with wisdom, compassion and knowledge.

Brethren in faith! Fellow Nigerians!

Preparing curricula about family and all that relates to it has become a goal and social necessity imposed by the conditions of today’s families, that live in undesirable interrelationships, emotional dryness and ignorance about the concept of guardianship, foundations of marital life, basics of child bearing and the art of dealing with family problems not to talk of rampant divorce cases and the rise in the rate of spinsterhood.

O Allah! We seek refuge in you from grief and sadness, from Weakness and from laziness, from miserliness and from cowardice, from being overcome by debt and overpowered by men.

I ask Almighty God (Allah) to enable every Muslim to fully understand these words and to comprehend the Islamic position with respect to the people of misguidance. I also ask Him (SWT) ability to grant every person the ability to grasp the true message and beauty of Islam as it was revealed to the noble prophet of Islam.

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

Indeed all praise belongs to Allah, the Lord of all creations – and May peace and blessings be upon the prophet, his family, his companions and those who follow him precisely until the Day of Judgment. Ameen.

This Khutbah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today, Rajab 5, 1436 A.H (April 24, 2015), by Imam Murtada Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’at Mosque, Okene, Kogi State Nigeria. He can be reached through 08038289761 and murtadagusau2@yahoo.com

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[Friday Sermon] Showing Gratitude To Allah By Imam Murtada Gusau

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

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- 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-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 has 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.

Fellow Muslims! Fellow Nigerians!

Allah has bestowed many of His Great favours on His slaves. His right Hand is always full of gifts and He is generous every all day and night. He portions out provision for whomsoever He wishes with no reckoning. He tests His servants with blessings as He tests them with calamities. He says:

“And We shall make a trial of you with evil and with good, and to Us you will be returned.” (Al-Anbiyaa, 21:35)

Allah gives favour with all this and the trial of luxurious life is greater than that of difficult times, for the beneficiary needs to be patient and grateful. Poverty and wealth are sources of trial, but man must always be persevering and thankful to Allah in all things He commands or forbids and all things He decrees. Piety is based on these two things. Allah makes a combination between gratitude and Faith (eemaan) when He says:

“Why should Allah punish you if you have thanked (Him) and have believed in Him.” (An-Nisaa, 4:147)

Almighty Allah also tells us that showing gratitude to Him is the purpose of creation. He says:

“And Allah has brought you out from the wombs of your mothers while you know nothing. And He gave you hearing, sight and hearts that you might give thanks (to Him).” (An-Nahl, 16:78)

He says that He is pleased when thanked:

“…And if you are grateful, He is pleased with you…” (Az-Zumar, 39:7)

He created the night and the day for reflection and for showing gratitude to Him. He says:

“And it is He Who has put the night and the day in succession, for such who desires to remember or desires to show his gratitude.” (Al-Furqaan, 25:62)

He divides His slaves into two: the grateful and the ungrateful. He says:

“Verily, We showed him the way whether he be grateful or ungrateful.” (Al-Insaan, 76:3)

Allah also tells us that He regards only those who thank Him as those who worship Him and that whoever does not thank Him is not among His worshippers. He says:

“And be grateful to Allah, if it is indeed He whom you worship.” (Al-Baqarah, 2:172)

He praises the first Messenger He sent to the earth with His words:

“O offspring of those whom We carried (in the ship) with Nuh (Noah)! Verily, he Nuh (Noah) was a grateful slave.” (Al-Israa, 17:3)

He commanded Prophet Musa to receive the prophethood, the message and His Divine speech with him with gratitude, He says:

“O Musa! I have chosen you above men by My Messages and by My speaking (to you). So hold that which I have given you and be of the grateful.” (Al-A’raaf, 7:144)

He praises His friend Ibrahim for being thankful to Him. He says:

“Verily, Ibrahim was a leader, obedient to Allah and he worshipped none but Him, and he was not of those who were polytheists. (He was) thankful for His (Allah’s) Graces.” (An-Nahl, 16:120-121)

He commanded Prophet Daawud to be thankful and He says:

“Work you, O family of Daawud with thanks.” (Saba’, 34:13)

Allah also tells us that Prophet Sulaymaan said:

“My Rabb (Lord)! Inspire and bestow upon me the power and ability that I may be grateful for your favours which you have bestowed on me and on my parents.” (An-Naml, 27:19)

Allah also commands His Messenger Muhammad (Sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) to be grateful to Him and He says:

“Nay! But worship Allah (alone) and be among the grateful.” (Az-Zumar, 39:66)

The first admonition that Allah gave man was to be grateful to Him and his parents. He says:

“And give thanks to me and to your parents, unto Me is the final destination.”

(Luqmaan, 31:14)

The Prophets also commanded their people to thank Allah. Prophet Ibrahim told his people:

“Seek your provisions from Allah and worship Him (Alone), and be grateful to Him”. (Al-Ankabuut, 29:17)

Fellow Muslims! Fellow Nigerians! None draws lessons from signs of Allah but the grateful. Allah says:

“Thus do We explain variously the signs for a people who give thanks.” (Al-A’raaf, 7:58)

Showing gratitude to Allah is also the admonition that the Prophet Sallallahu alayhi wa sallam gave to his companions. He said to Mu’aadh:

“O Mu’aadh! I love you. So do not stop from saying at the end of every prayer, “Allahumma a’innee ‘alaa dhikrika washukrika wa husni ‘ibaadatika.” Meaning, O Allah! Help me to remember You, to give thanks to You and to worship You in the best way.” Ibn Taymiyyah said, “I ponder over the best invocation and I found that it is: “Allahumma a’innee ‘alaa dhikrika washukrika wa husni ibaadatika.”

When Satan, the enemy of Allah knew the high position that showing gratitude to Allah occupies and that it is one of the greatest act of worship, he made efforts to keep people away from it. Allah tells us that he (Satan) said:

“Then I will come to them from before them and behind them, from their right and from their left and you will not find most of them as thankful ones.”

(Al-A’raaf, 7:17)

Our Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was the most grateful one to his Rabb (Lord). He left this world while he never ate his fill of barley bread. He once tied a rock unto his stomach out of severe hunger. His past sins and future sins were forgiven for him. He would stand up in prayer during the night so long so that his feet would be cracked and yet he would say:

“Should I not be a thankful slave?”

Showing gratitude to Allah is also safety from punishment. Allah (SWT) says:

“Why should Allah punish you if you have given thanks (to Him) and believed (in him)?” (An-Nisaa, 4:147)

Prophet Lut was saved from punishment because of his gratitude to Allah. Allah says in His Book about the people of Lut:

“Verily We sent against them a violent storm of stones (which destroyed them all, except the family of Lut, them We saved in the last hour of the night; as a favour from Us. Thus do we reward him who gives thanks.” (Al-Qamar, 54:34-35)

When the people of Saba showed ingratitude to Allah and disobeyed Him. Allah removed His favour from them and made them taste punishment.

Also, in Suratul Qalam, the people of the garden were ingrate to Allah for His Blessings and denied the poor the part thereof. So Allah visited their crops with a tragedy that turned them into particles of dust.

Al-Fudayl bin ‘Iyaad said:

“Always thank Allah for His blessing, for seldom does a fovour of Allah return to a people after it has been removed from them.”

My respected people! Fellow Nigerians!

Any blessing that does not bring man closer to Allah is actually a calamity. Showing gratitude preserves the existing blessing and brings about the lost one.

Ali bin Abi Taalib said:

“The favour of Allah is retained by showing gratitude to Him and showing gratitude brings more blessings; and more blessing will not cease to come from Allah until man stops giving thanks. If a Muslim has a favourable position in the sight of Allah and preserves this position and thanks Allah for it, Allah will give him a greater position; but if he is ungrateful, Allah will make that blessing a trap for him.”

Al-Hassan said:

“When you see your Rabb (Lord) showering blessings on you while you are disobeying Him, be careful. For Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala says: “We shall gradually seize them with punishment in ways they perceive not.” (Al-A’raaf, 7:182)

Sufyaan said while commenting on this verse:

“Allah will continue to shower them with blessings while He will prevent them from giving thanks.”

Almighty Allah has condemned ingrate among His slaves. He says:

“Verily, man is ungrateful to his Rabb (Lord).” (Al-Aadiyaat, 100:6)

Fellow Muslims!

It is by thanking Allah and obeying Him that doors of the blessings of this world and the hereafter are opened for man. Allah (SWT) says:

“And if the people of the towns (or Nations) had believed and had the piety, certainly, We should have opened for them blessings from the heaven and the earth.”

(Al-Aaraaf, 7:96)

Showing gratitude to Allah can be with tongue, heart and the limbs. Thanking Allah with the heart means attributing all favours to Him. Thanking Him by the tongue means praising Him much for the blessings. Praising Allah is the highest degree of gratitude and it is among the first verses of the glorious Qur’an.

Thanking Allah with limbs means making use of them in deeds that please Allah and not to use them in things that displease him. Showing gratitude with the eye means one should not use it to see forbidden things; gratitude of the tongue means one should speak only the truth; gratitude of the ears is to refrain from using them to listen to gossip, slander and all kinds of forbidden things.

Allah also commands that the parents must be thanked. He says,

“Give thanks to Me and to your parents.’’(Luqmaan, 31:14)

Fellow Nigerians!

Among manifestations of showing gratitude to them (the parents) is to be dutiful to them, to seek for their pleasure and to be humble to them. It is an act of sin to be unkind to them or to disobey them in matters that do not contradict Islamic injunctions.

The most fortunate of men is the one who takes Allah’s blessings as means to the abode of the hereafter and the most wretched is the one who makes use of Allah’s favours for his lustful desires. Allah (SWT) says:

“Allah is full of bounty to mankind; yet most of mankind gives no thanks.”

(Ghaafir, 40:61)

Brethren in faith! My respected people!

Gratitude is one of the qualities of our Rabb (Lord) and the most beloved of His creation to Him is he who gives thanks. Equally, the most detestable of them to Him is he who is ungrateful. So, Allah is full of thanks and loves the grateful.

To give thanks to whoever does well to you among mankind is also part of thanking Allah. The prophet (SAW) said:

“He who does not thank men, does not thank Allah.” (Reported by Ahmad)

However, when you do a good deed to someone, do not expect him to thank you. If you are helping someone and expecting something in return, you are doing business not kindness. Therefore, expect your reward from Allah and be satisfied with whatever Allah gives you, you will be the most grateful of all men. Do praise and extol Allah much, for that is of the greatest acts of worship. The prophet (SAW) said:

“The one who eats out of the provision of Allah and gives thanks to Him is like the one who fasts and is patient.” (Al-Bukhari)

He who does not give thanks for little blessings will not give thanks for greater ones. When Abu Mugheerah was asked:

“How is your morning?” He said, “We wake up in the morning immerse in Allah’s favours but we are unable to give thanks to Him.” Men are only but two: one who is tested with well-being in order to know how grateful he will be, and the other who is tested with an affliction to know how patient he will be. Try, therefore, dear brethren to combine between patience, gratitude and piety in order to be among the most truthful worshippers of Allah”.

This Khutbah (Friday sermon) was prepared for delivery today, Jumaada al-Thaany 21, 1436 A.H (April 10, 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 and murtadagusau2@yahoo.com

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Fayose, Mimiko ‘ll Be Impeached, Akure Based Prophet Reveals

The General Over­seer of Faith and Victory Church, Akure, has predicted that Governor Olusegun Mimiko of Ondo State and his counterpart in Ekiti, Ayodele Fayose, will be impeached from office before the end of this year.

Prophet Oladipo, who predicted the victory of the presidential candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Gen Mohammadu Buhari, said both Mimiko and Fayose have limited days left to spend in office as gover­nors of their respective states.

In an exclusive inter­view with Sunday Sun, Prophet Oladipo insisted that Fayose would be im­peached in six month’s time and his Ondo State counterpart in December this year.

According to him, Gov­ernor Mimiko had disap­pointed God who put him in the office and as such no amount of prayer could forestall his removal be­fore the end of this year. His words: “God has re­vealed to me that Ekiti State Governor, Mr Ayo­dele Fayose, will be im­peached before the end of this year. Fayose will be sent packing from the gov­ernment house before the end of this year.”

“I predicted that Fay­ose would win the gover­norship election in Ekiti State and he won. But this time around, God has said that he would be im­peached from office and there is nothing he can do to prevent the fulfillment of that prediction. Either he agrees with me or not, Fayose is going to be im­peached because God has said it,” he stressed.

He, however, advised Mimiko to be prayerful to avert the looming im­peachment. He said: “If Mimiko can pray very well, God can still have mercy on him because he is a beloved child of the Almighty God. But if he fails to pray, he will be im­peached before December this year.”

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[Friday Sermon] The Value And The Power Of Words In Islam By Mam Murtada Gusau

FIRST SERMON:

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

AlhamduLillah. Indeed, all praise is due to Allah. Wepraise 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 what 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 no 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”. (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. To proceed:

My dear Brothers and Sisters in Islam,

Our khutbah (Friday Sermon) today is about the value and the power of words. No matter who we are, no matter where we live, or what we do in our daily lives, we all depend on the proper use of words, to convey our thoughts and feelings to one another… Certainly the more articulate and wise we are in the use of words, the more effective we can be in our society.

Whatever we choose to do as a career, we can certainly do it better by mastering the skill of good communication. But we must understand the power of words, and we must harness that power, in order to serve our wider responsibilities, and to serve Allah. Never be careless about words. Words are vital instruments. Words are the means by which we can study our past and leave a legacy for the future. It is the means chosen by Allah to reveal His message and to preserve it for future generations, for all time to come.

Words can be weapons. Words can wound, humiliate and inflict pain far greater than physical violence. Words can be used to inflame passions, to arouse anger, to declare war, to bring about failure and to destroy. But just as potent as they are as weapons, words can also heal wounds and make peace. They can be soothing to those in grief, they can offer hope to those in despair. Indeed, well-chosen words have a power and a beauty that can project well beyond one lifetime. Think of the great works of literature that still enrich our lives today, centuries after they were written.

Islam is pre-eminently, a faith founded on the power of words. It is very significant that the Prophetic mission of RasulullahSallalLahu‘AlayhiWasallam, began with just one word, “IQRA’!’’”READ!”

The development and growth of Islam is due to the persuasive power of the word of Allah, as it touched the hearts and minds of those seeking enlightenment, throughout the ages.

The first verses to be revealed to Prophet Muhammad, declared the power of the Divine Word:

“Iqra’bismi rabbi kallatheekhalaq

Khalaqalinsana min ‘alaq

Iqra’ warabbukalakram

Allathee ‘al-lama bilqalam.

Al-lamalinsaanamaa lam ya’lam…

Meaning:

“Read, in the name of your Rabb (Lord, Cherisher and Sustainer) who created!

Read, and your Rabb (Lord, Cherisher and Sustainer) is most Gracious,

He who taught Man the use of the Pen;

Taught Man that which he did not know.”

Throughout the literature of Qur’an and Hadith, the Believers are urged to use words wisely in their relations with all people. SuraAn-Nahl, sets this out eloquently in verse 125,

“And invite to the path of your Rabb (Lord, Cherisher and Sustainer), using wisdom and beautiful preaching.”

Wisdom and beautiful preaching, rather than words of anger or abuse, is what the Noble Qur’an prescribes. This is the only way we can hope to win the hearts and minds of others, to the way of Islam.

My Respected people, Fellow Nigerians,

Who can forget the moment when Sayyidina‘Umar first heard the words of Al-Qur’an? He had just been told that his sister had joined the Muslims, so in an angry rage he went over to her house, with his sword in hand. Then, just as he passed her open window, he heard the words of Allah being recited. These words carried such beauty and persuasive power, that it stopped an angry and aggressive man, in his tracks. As he stood and listened, it slowly melted his heart, and aroused such deep desire within him, to identify and accept the Author of those beautiful verses (Words). When he heard that these were the revealed words of Allah, he immediately went out to find Rasulullah (Messenger of Allah), and to announce his acceptance of Islam.

Dear brothers and sisters, let us also, like Sayyidina ‘Umar, allow the beautiful words of Allah to tame our hearts and the desires within us, and to transform us into the noble ambassadors of Allah, which is our Divine destiny.

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Islam, Fellow Nigerians,

Last four years I heard a Khubah (Sermon) in South Africa, where a Sudanese brother used the term,Heart-to-heart missileas the topic of his sermon. He was describing the power of sincere advice. When we find ourselves deeply moved by inspiring words, these words can touch our hearts in a special sort of way that changes our lives dramatically. It feels like being struck by a missile… in this case, a heart-to heart missile. When this happens, we instinctively want to share the good news with our loved ones. And when they are affected in the same way, then they also, are hit by a heart-to heart missile.

We’ve heard of Cruise missiles, Scud missiles and patriot missiles, air-to-air and surface to air missiles. Sometimes they hit their targets, sometimes they don’t. A sincere word, loving advice, the heart-to-heart missile never misses its target. In order to benefit, we must ensure that our hearts are pure, and soft, and receptive to guidance, and then we can be targets for heart-to-heart missiles. And the more we purify our hearts, and allow ourselves to be influenced by good advice, the more Allah smiles on us, and give us the honourto fulfill His Divine plan.

Dear Brothers and Sisters, Dear Nigerians,

When we open our hearts to the influence of the Noble Qur’an, the Word of Allah will grow within us and make us strong. And when we strengthen our Faith, Iman, we can more effectively fight on the information battlefield.

Today we hear terms like info-warrior, and the battle for hearts and minds. Yes indeed there is a war of ideas, there is an information jihadout there, and we must do our best to present the message of Islam truthfully, sincerely, powerfully and effectively.

History teaches us that no power on earth can resist an idea whose time has come. In the 7th Century, Islam was the idea whose time had come.Islam saved mankind. Neither the Romans nor the Persians could stop it. Today, at the dawn of the 21st century, Communism lies dead and buried, and Islam remains the only real challenge to Secular Materialism. Today, Islam is the idea whose time has come.

In many ways, the war of ideas, the battle for hearts and minds, is much more important than any military conflict. Military campaigns are won and lost, territories change hands over and again, but ideas endure. And in the realm of ideas, Islam will always triumph. Truth ultimately prevails over falsehood. This is borne out in the words of Al-Qur’an:

“Truth has come, and falsehood has perished; falsehood by its nature, is bound to perish.”

But Dear Brothers and sisters, although the ultimate victory of Islam is guaranteed by Allah, you and I must still work hard, to earn the good pleasure of our Rabb (Lord, Cherisher and Sustainer). Our place in al-Jannah(Paradise)is by no means guaranteed. You and I will be judged by our words and deeds, by our intentions, actions and inactions.

In the information jihad, the most powerful weapons are not guns, bombs and missiles, but wise words and good actions.

It is not enough for us to know Islam well. We Muslims must also become effective and influential communicators. We must master communications technology and psychology. Those of us who are gifted communicators, like our teachers, broadcasters, writers, poets and artists, must transmit the message of Islam in a beautiful, powerful and effective manner.

Our dear Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) was a communicator without equal.When he spoke, it was with absolute sincerity.His thoughts, and words and deeds were of the same substance. There was no contradiction in his personality. Armed with the message of truth from Allah, he was an information-warrior, and a military leader, a strategist and a statesman of exceptional brilliance. He commanded implicit obedience from his devoted followers, and even his enemies regarded him with deep admiration and respect.

One English writer who admired him greatly was Thomas Carlyle, who wrote these words 80 years ago in his book, (On Heroes and Hero Worship, and the Heroic in History, London, 1918).

He said:

“…These Arabs, the man Muhammad and that one century. It is as if a spark had fallen, one spark on a world of what seemed black unnoticeable sand, but lo, the sand proves explosive powder, blazes heaven high from Delhi to Grenada: I said: the great Man was always as lightning out of heaven; the rest of the men waited on him like fuel, and then they too would flame… How one man single-handedly could weld warring tribes and wandering Bedouins into a most powerful and civilized nation in less than twenty years…”

Dear Brothers and Sisters in Islam, Fellow Nigerians,

Let us pray to Allah, SubhanahuWata’ala, to help us become like the fuel that flamed with the light of Islam, many centuries ago, when Muslims led the world from darkness into light. Despite the material prosperity we see around us today, we do indeed live in an age of spiritual darkness. Modern man has a spiritual hunger that only Islam can satisfy. Dear Muslims, let us not fail in our duty, to hold up the light of Islam, in our thoughts, in our words, and in our actions.

May Allah guide us all in the correct used of words, in our exams, in our speech, in our work, our homes and in our relations with one another.May Allah guide us all, to use the right word, in the right place, at the right time.Ameen!

SECOND SERMON:

All praise is for Allah Who has honoured man and has created him in the best of forms. Praise is for Allah Who has endowed man with the ability to speak with his tongue as one of His greatest bounties. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, the only God Who has no partner. In the Divine Book, Allah says:

“See you not how Allah sets forth a parable? A goodly word like a goodly tree, whose root is firmly fixed, and its branches (reach) to the heavens (i.e. very high). It brings forth its fruits at all times, by the leave of its Lord, Allah sets forth parables for mankind in order that they may receive admonition (remember).”(Ibrahim, 14:24-25)

I also bear witness that our Master Muhammad, servant of Allah is His beloved Messenger and the noblest of all mankind.May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, his family, his companions, and all those who follow them in righteousness till the Day of Judgment.

O Believers, O Fellow Nigerians,

I remind myself first and all of you to be God-fearing and pious. I also urge all of us to obey Him, the Exalted, Who says:

“O you who believe! Keep your duty to Allah and fear Him and speak (always) the truth. He will direct you to do righteous deeds and will forgive you your sins. And whosoever obeys Allah and His Messenger (peace be upon him), he has indeed attained the highest achievement (i.e. he will be saved from the Hell-fire and will be admitted to Paradise.” (Al-Ahzaab, 33:70-71)

Allah, the Exalted, has endowed us with words we utter in order to communicate with each other, express our feelings, and reveal our intentions. The tongue is a great endowment of Allah which may be used to praise and thank him for which one earns reward. Allah, the Exalted says:

Have We not made for him two eyes, and a tongue and two lips?” (Al-Balad, 90:8-9)

Nevertheless, some words may earn us the greatest reward and others may lead us to the worst punishment and a great failure. The tongue has either power of good or bad. Allah has ordained Muslim not to belittle the value of his words, and not to utter words of no use or have no control over his speech or his ability to foresee the repercussions of his saying. Allah, the Exalted, says:

“Not a word does he (or she) utter but there is a watcher by him ready (to record it).” (Qaf, 50:18)

Allah has praised the believers who refrain from vain pursuits (curiosity), gossip, abusing and insulting people and backbiting. In his divine revelation, Allah says:

”And those who avoid and turn away from vain, dirty, false, evil talks.” (Al-Mu’minuun, 23:3)

On the other hand, utterances such as the two Shahada which are the proclamation of Islam, remembering Allah, and greeting someone have their valuable impact and benefits.

O servants of Allah, O Fellow Nigerians,

Allah has warned us of the bad effect of useless talk or that which does not concern us, because we exert both physical and mental energy to no avail and we waste our time. Indeed, scientific research has shown that talking too much, abusing people and gossiping require energy that might affect both our physical and mental health. Malik bin Dinar said:

“If you see that your heart hardens, your body becomes weak, and you have little (provision), then know that you have talked about that which does not concern you.”

O Believers, O Fellow Nigerians,

We are responsible for every word we say especially when it may harm others either through gossip and backbiting or telling lies. Indeed, by uttering just one word “divorce” a man can destroy a coherent family; another careless word may infringe upon relations, between friends, partners or loved ones. Marriage, divorce, financial transactions and contracts all require verbal or written wordings.

Each and every word we utter is recorded and one day we will stand accountable for this record.

It has been narrated that, Mu’aazibnJabal (may Allah have mercy on him), companion of the Prophet (peace be upon him), once asked the Messenger of Allah, may the peace and blessing of Allah be upon him, to tell him about an act that will cause him to enter Jannah (paradise) and be protected from the fire. The Prophet (peace be upon him) said, “Guard your tongue”. Mu’aazibnJabal asked,” Shall we be questioned about our utterances?” the Prophet (peace be upon him) said:”Most people will be thrown into Hell-face-down because of the transgressions of their tongues.”

Another hadith highlights the same issue:

“Every morning all the limbs of a person plead with his tongue:” Fear Allah for our sake, for our fate is tied to yours. If you follow the straight path so shall we. And if you go astray so shall we”.

O servants of Allah, O my respected people,

Almighty Allah has created this great universe with one word. Allah says:

“Verily, when He intends a thing, His Command is, “Be!”, and it is” (Yaa-Seen, 36:82)

It takes few words to build, love each other and strengthens unity, those are key words that may earn us the reward of Allah and the pleasure of people, and it takes few words to destroy, to fail, spread animosity, and division, earning us the wrath of Allah and the disrespect of people. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) says:

“A servant unthinkingly says something pleasing to Allah Most High for which Allah raise him whole degrees. And a servant unthinkingly says something detested by Allah, Most high, for which he plunges into hell.”

Communication entails a big responsibility requiring every one of us to think and reflect on the far reaching consequences before uttering any word, especially those who are engaged in thoughts that may spread, or may impact people’s life. It has been narrated that the Prophet (peace be upon him) was asked:

“O Messenger of Allah, which of the Muslims is best?” and he said: “He who the Muslims (and all the Creators of Allah) are safe from his tongue and his hand.”

And lastly my respected people, I wish to use this opportunity and this platform to congratulate our new Nigerian President-elect of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, General Muhammad Buhari for the victory Allah (SWT) has given him in the concluded presidential election of March 28, 2015. I called on General Muhammad Buhari to fear Allah and remember that only Allah (GOD) gives power to whom He wishes. Allah (SWT) says in the Noble Qur’an:

“Say (O Muhammad SAW): “O Allah! Possessor of the Kingdom, You give the kingdom to whom You will, and You take the kingdom from whom You will, and You endue with honour whom You will, and You humiliate whom You will. In Your Hand is the good. Verily, You are Able to do all things.” (Ali-Imraan, 3:26)

Therefore, our President, know that, Allah, Owner of the Mighty Power, has ordained great responsibilities for those who are in authority. He has also ordained for you rights on those under your responsibility and commanded that those rights be respected. The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said:

“Each one of you is responsible and each will be asked about his (or her) responsibility.”

Fear Allah O our president; fear God O General Buhari with regards to the responsibility that Allah has entrusted you. Fulfill your duties towards your subjects and those whom Allah allowed you to be responsible for, be they Muslims, Non-Muslims, Northerners or Southerners etc. By doing this o our president, you will be among the best leaders on Earth, and this ensures tranquility, peace, unity, development and harmony for our great and beloved Nation, Nigeria.

Our President, Our General, remember also that this victory was the victory for all the Nigerian Masses. You should (must) consider this success as a success for all Nigerians, not only the success or victory for Northerners or Muslims, because you are from the North or because you are a Muslim. All the regions of Nigeria contributed immensely their votes for you. Nigeria also belongs to all of us irrespective of religious and ethnic differences.

President Muhammad Buhari, I believe millions of Christians voted for you in this election, just as I believe also millions of Muslims voted for Goodluck Jonathan.Therefore, know that, National Unity and reconciliation is essential as an agenda for your incoming administration.

To you the winner, May Allah gives you the ability to discharge your responsibilities. And may the new dispensation in leadership make Nigerians Experience Sea of change by way of making unemployment, poverty, insecurity and corruption a history. To those who didn’t win, we commend you for trying; you have also contributed to the development of our great and beloved Country, Nigeria.

My respected people,

I also commended President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan for conceding defeat to President-elect General Muhammad Buhari in this March 28, Presidential election, and for this historical feat and this singular gesture.

Let us join hands, let’s dialogue and build a new Nigeria irrespective of our differences. Let’s be law-abiding and peaceful.

Our President, our General, I pray May Allah guide you throughout your tenure and may you keep your campaign promises and put them into actions…

May Allah (SWT) make us all successful towards building a new and prosperous Nigeria, AmeenYaaRabb.

AlhamduLillahilLathee bi ni’matiheetatimmus-Swaalihaat.

May Allah bestow upon us the power to obey Him, and to obey those He has ordained us to obey…

We implore you, O Allah, to make the Glorious Qur’an the light of our heart. We beseech you to help us recite its words and apply its rulings and follow the hadith of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), Ameen.

This Khutbah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today,Jumaadaal-Thaany 14, 1436 A.H (April 3, 2015), by Imam Murtada Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi-UveteJumu’at Mosque Okene, Kogi State Nigeria. He can be reached Via 08038289761 and murtadagusau2@yahoo.com.

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