Friday Sermon: Shi’a Rebels Only Under The Leaders Who Are Muslims, By Imam Murtada Gusau

In The Name Of Allah, The Most Beneficent, The Most Merciful
All praise is due to Allah, Lord of all creation. May Allah extol the mention of the Prophet Muhammad in the highest company of Angels and May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, his family, his Companions and all those who follow him exactly till the Day of Judgement.
Dear Brothers and Sisters! Throughout such a talk, we could find out clearly that Shi’ite movements only rose as rebellious movements against the leaders who are Muslims or Sunni rule, hiding under the guise of the religious people who love or are affiliated to the Prophet’s Household (Ahlul Bait).
Many readers – as noticed from their comments – have surely been shocked by the history of the rise of Shi’a. Certainly, we do not record historical facts merely to know what had happened in various stages of history. Rather, we aim at taking lessons wherefrom so that we might be able to tackle our crises in a better and a clearer way. Therefore, ignoring such history stands for committing a crime against modern generations. By doing so, we deprive ourselves of light if we overlook studying the roots of the issue, otherwise. Moreover, first of all, the Qur’an enjoins us to study the stories of ancient nations so as to apply its lessons to our actual fact. In this regard, Allah May He be Exalted said:
“So relate the stories, perhaps they may reflect.” [Al-A’raf, 176]
Accordingly, it is not enough to merely tell stories. Rather, we have to reflect on stories and derive wherefrom practical methods to help us understand our actual fact and thus be enlightened about our future.
I would like to start the Sermon with two important notes:
1. To understand and benefit from this Sermon, readers should first read my previous article, as I highlighted there their origins and referred to some doctrines of Shi’a, which will help understand the developments.
2. Until the moment I only narrate events and report authentic narrations. However, I have not yet highlighted our attitude toward Shi’a and the nature of relations that should be between us and them. Anyway, I will single out my next article for this topic. Thus, it will be useful to me to receive your impressions on how should we deal with them, especially while bearing in mind the historical and religious backgrounds we dealt with in detail.
Now back to the story of Shi’a:
After the death of Al-Hasan Al-Askari (whom they consider their twelfth Imam), Shi’a passed by what was known in the history as the period of “Shia’s Bewilderment”, during which they were divided into many sects, each formulating its religion beliefs according to their whims in such a manner as to have better political gains. The most famous of such sects was Ithna Ashriyyah (who believe in, study and prepare for the advent of the Imam Al-Mahdi, the twelfth descendant of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) who according to them is believed to be still alive and waiting for the world to prepare for his emergence from occultation and just leadership), which we dealt with in the previous article. However, it was not the sole sect on the arena. Rather, another but more dangerous sect rose which had the worst impact on the Muslim Ummah, namely, Isma’iliyyah (a major branch of the Shi’a with numerous subdivisions. It branched off from the Imamiyyah by tracing the imamate through Imam Ja’afar Al-Sadiq’s son Isma’il, after whom it is named). It is one of the most erroneous sects whose followers are judged by most Muslim scholars to be out of the scope of Islam. A cunning plan by a Jew, called Maimun Al-Qaddah, who sought to plot against the Muslim Ummah, was behind the foundation of such a sect. This man pretended to be a Muslim and curried favour with Muhammad Bin Isma’il Bin Ja’afar Al-Sadiq, making closer ties with him.
Muhammad Bin Isma’il belongs to the Prophet’s Household and is the grandson of Ja’afar Al-Sadiq (the sixth Imam according to Ithna Ashriyyah). His father Isma’il is the brother of Musa Al-Kazim, the seventh Imam according to Ithna Ashriyyah. Maimun Al-Qaddah perpetrated an act showing his great rancour to the Muslim Ummah, which motivated him to plan to undermine it even if several decades after his death! Maimun Al-Qaddah named his son Bin Muhammad and bequeathed him to give his sons and grandsons the same names of Muhammad Bin Isma’il’s sons and grandsons. His plan was that with the passage of time, those Jews would claim affiliation to the Household of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) being the descendants of Muhammad Bin Isma’il Bin Ja’afar Al-Sadiq! This is not everything. They are to claim that the right to the grand Imamate that is to dominate the entire Muslim Ummah is exclusive to the descendants of Isma’il Bin Ja’afar Al-Sadiq rather than those of Musa Al-Kazim as claimed by Ithna Ashriyyah. Maimun’s dreams came true and the Isma’iliyyah sect came into existence. Later on, Maimun Al-Qaddah’s grandsons started to fabricate tenets and beliefs totally running counter to Islam. One of the most offensive of their tenets is that they believe in Incarnation (their Imam is Allah incarnate). They also believe in transmigration (the passing of the soul, especially those of their Imams, at death into another mortal body). Moreover, they also believe that their Imams will return to life after death (Recently, wallahi, one of Ibrahim Zakzaky’s followers told me that Nigerian army killed their Shaykh in the Zaria event, and he came back to life). Furthermore, they are extremely licentious and indecent and publicly slander Companions and insult the Prophet (Peace be upon him) himself although they claim affiliation to him. Besides, their great concern was to assassinate Sunni leaders in the Muslim world. However, they will have a very serious potential with which I will deal later in this Sermon In Shaa Allah.
Preaching Isma’iliyyah’s destructive ideas then started to spread vividly among the ignorant people. Making use of people’s love of the Prophet’s Household, they persuaded a group of people that they were the grandchildren of Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him). Many Persians who pretended outwardly to be Muslims while were inwardly Majus, embraced this call. One of them was Husain Al-Ahwazi, who was one of the most devoted propagators and prominent founders of Isma’iliyyah. He practiced his mission in Basrah (Iraq) where he happened to know a very virulent character in the history of Islam, Hamdan Bin Al-Ash’ath. The latter’s ethnicity is controversial. Some scholars say he was a Persian Majus, while others say he was one of Bahrain Jews. However, Hamdan Bin Al-Ash’ath was nicknamed “Qurmut.” With the passage of time, he formed his own sect which was named Al-Qaramitah after his name. It is a branch of Al-Isma’iliyyah sect but is even more dangerous. This sect holds the idea of common ownership of money and women. Its adherents deem all prohibited acts such as murder, adultery and theft to be lawful. Furthermore, they make living on pillage and highway robbery. Concomitantly, all thieves and outlaws joined it and thus it became one of the most dangerous sects in the history of the Muslim Ummah.
All these and other countless developments took place during the second half of the third century A.H., which resulted in the rise of three major sects, Ithna Ashriyyah, Isma’iliyyah and Qaramitah, each claiming to be on the right. Moreover, they differ in all respects including doctrines, principles and rulings. However, there were conflicts between them and Sunnis as well as among each other, as each of them denied the truth of the other. Actually, they were motivated by whims and innovation (Bid’ah) in religion.
Until this stage of history, such sects were no more than movements that staged disorder and turmoil within the Muslim Ummah. However, they had not yet assumed power or had sovereignty. By the end of the third century and the beginning of the fourth century A.H., great developments took place that led to serious repercussions.
The first sect to assume power was Al-Qaramitah, because it was the most virulent and violent sect. One of its propagators, Rustum Bin Al-Husain, reached Yemen where he established an Al-Qaramitah-based state and started to correspond with people everywhere – they corresponded with even Morocco – propagating their doctrine. However, this state did not last long.
Anyway, another Al-Qaramitah-based state was established on the Arabian Peninsula especially in Bahrain (It is not today’s Bahrain but the area to the east of Arabia). The Qaramitah state in such an area represented so great threat to the safety of Muslims that they murdered Hujjaj (Pilgrims). Perhaps the most heinous crime they committed was attacking Al-Masjid Al-Haram (the Sacred Mosque) on the Day of Tarwiyyah (the eighth day of the month of Dhul?Hijjah) in 317 A.H., during which they killed all Hujjaj (Pilgrims) in the Haram (Sacred Mosque) and stole the Black Stone (Hajarul Aswad) from the Ka’abah after having broken it! They took the Black Stone to their capital in Hajar, to the east of the Arabian Peninsula keeping possession of it for twenty two years (22 years). However, it was returned to the Ka’abah in 399 A.H.
Concerning Isma’iliyyah, they found the land of Morocco a fertile soil for their call. The ideas of Rustum Bin Al-Husain the Qaramitah-based ruler of Yemen spread in Morocco through a man called Abu Abdullah the Shi’ite. We know that both sects, Isma’iliyyah and Qaramitah, claim the Imamate of Isma’il Bin Ja’afar Al-Sadiq.
Therefore, one of the grandsons of Maimun Al-Qaddah, Ubaidullah Bin Al-Husain Bin Ahmad Bin Abdullah Bin Maimun Al-Qaddah, found it opportune to establish a state in Morocco. Thus, he headed for there and, along with some of his followers, declared the Isma’iliyyah-based state nicknaming himself Al-Mahdi. He claimed to be the Imam of the Isma’iliyyah mission and to be a grandson of Muhammad Bin Isma’il Bin Ja’afar Al-Sadiq and that the previous Imams, i.e. his forefathers ending up in lineage with Isma’il Bin Ja’afar Al-Sadiq were concealed. Seeking to attract the hearts of masses, he called his state the Fatimid state falsely after the name of Fatimah the daughter of Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) although he was of a Jewish origin. His call mushroomed among people on account of their ignorance and passion. It started to extend until it took control of North Africa, spreading such Bid’ahs and evils as judging Companions to be disbelievers, incarnation, transmigration of souls and other false beliefs. Expansion of such a state reached Egypt, which was invaded in 359 A.H. by one of their army commanders, Jawhar Al-Saqalli Al-Isma’ili during the reign of Al-Mu’iz Lidinillah Al-Ubaidi (More accurately, he should be better called Al-Ubaidi, after the name of Ubaidullah Al-Mahdi, than called the Fatimid).
Al-Mu’iz Lidinillah Al-Ubaidi invaded Egypt and established Cairo and Al- Azhar Mosque with the aim of spreading the Isma’iliyyah Shi’ite sects therein. He also killed Sunni scholars and publicised cursing Companions. The same was also followed by subsequent rulers. Some of them got so mad that they claimed godhood, the most famous among whom was Al-Hakim bi-Amrillah. They have built many Mosques to spread their thought. Their rule over Egypt, Levant (Sham) and Hijaz lasted for about two centuries until Salahud-Din wiped out their evil and librated Egypt in 567 A.H. from the Isma’ilite occupation. As for the third sect, Ithna Ashriyyah, although believing in many Bid’ahs (innovations in religion), it caused less harm than the abovementioned two sects. Adherents of this sect believe in Allah (May He be Exalted), His Messenger (Peace be upon him) and Resurrection after death. However, they introduced into religion tremendous and heinous Bid’ahs (innovations in religion) and acts. Moreover, its propagators influenced the major tribes in Persia (Iran) and Iraq, which resulted in their assuming power in some areas.
For example, they influenced the Saman tribe, a tribe of a Persian descent, which led to its adhering Shi’ism. The tribe had sovereignty over large parts of Persia (present day Iran) from 261 to 389 A.H. Nevertheless, Shi’ism could make its way through such a state only by nearly the beginning of the fourth century A.H.
They also influenced the Banu Hamdan tribe, a tribe of an Arab descent affiliated back to the Taghlib tribe. They ruled Mosul in Iraq from 317 to 369 A.H. Their authority extended to Aleppo from 333 to 392 AH.
The most dangerous tribe they influenced was the Banu Buwaih tribe, a tribe from a Persian descent. They established a state in Persia and extended their authority so much as to the Abbasid caliphate in 334 A.H. maintaining a puppet Abbasid caliph for fear that Sunnis might rise against them.
They continued to take control of the Abbasid caliphate for over one hundred successive years (from 334 to 447 A.H.) until the rise of the Sunni Seljuk state that saved Iraq from the Shi’ite domination. Throughout such years, Shi’a showed bitter enmity against Sunni scholars and caliph. Furthermore, they wrote phrases at the doors of their Mosques insulting Companions. They would even insult Abu Bakr and Umar (May Allah be pleased with them) in Friday Sermons (Khutbahs). Undoubtedly, it was a very gloomy period in our Islamic history.
So far, we could see that the fourth century A.H. was a purely Shi’a-dominated period; the Shi’ite Buwaihids having had authority over parts of Iran and the entire Iraq, the Samanis having had authority over the east of Iran, parts of Afghanistan and the east of the Muslim world, and the Hamadaniyyun having had authority over parts of Mosul and Aleppo. This is in addition to the Qaramitah’s dominance over the east of Arabia and sometimes over Hijaz and even Damascus and Yemen. As to the Ubaidi (the so-called Fatimid) state, it was so vast that it occupied all African Muslim countries in addition to Palestine, Syria and Lebanon.
By the end of the fourth century A.H., the Qaramitah-based state came to an end, while the Banu Buwayh’s state was put down by the middle of the fifth century A.H. (447 A.H.). As to the Ubaidi Isma’ilites, they continued to rule till the middle of the sixth century A.H. (567 A.H.).
Thereafter, the Muslim world was once again Sunni-ruled in all regions even though the Ithna Ashriyyah sect continued to exist in regions of Persia and parts of Iraq although without assuming power.
The state of affairs continued this way until 907 A.H. (the outset of the tenth century A.H.) when Isma’il the Safavid established the Shi’ite Ithna Ashriyyah Safavid state in Iran (named after their grandfather Safiyyud-Din Al-Ardabili, of a Persian descent, who died in 729 A.H.). This state expanded making Tabriz its capital. Engaging into a fierce conflict with the neighbouring Sunni Ottoman empire, the Safavids allied with the Portuguese in order to fight and defeat Ottomans. They occupied parts of Ottoman-subordinate Iraq, where they started to spread their Shi’ite ideology. However, Sultan Salim (I) fought against them in a well-known decisive battle called in history Chaldrian in 920 A.H., in which he had great victory over them and could expel them from Iraq. Time passed and the conflict continued between Safavids and Ottomans, Iraq being the focus of such a conflict. The Safavid state remained in authority over Iran for over two centuries from 907 A.H. to 1148 A.H., the year when it fell apart, (the Safavids state fell apart in the mid 18th century A.D.), which resulted in the division of Iran into a number of regions that were objects of conflict among Ottomans, Russians, Afghans and the army commanders of Abbas (III), the last Safavid Sultan.
When the Ottoman empire entered into the crumbling phase and was increasingly clawed by Europeans and Russians, its clutch on the areas to the west of Iran, consequently, got less tight. The Iranian region was thereafter ruled alternatively by many rulers whose loyalty was to Western, British, French or Russians, leaders.
In 1193 A.H./ 1779 A.D., a person called Agha Muhammad Qajar, a Shi’ite of a Persian descent, assumed authority. However, having secular tendencies, he neither propagated nor ruled according to Ithna Ashriyyah’s doctrines. He and his sons subsequently ruled Iran successively experiencing ups and downs. The ruler in such a dynasty used to be given the title “Shah.”
This dynasty’s rule was toppled by Reda Bahlavi, who, helped by the British, rebelled against it in 1343 A.H./1925 A.D. appointing himself as the Shah of Iran. However, the British got dissatisfied with him, in 1941 A.D. on account of disagreements that arose between them and thus ousted him and crowned his son Muhammad Reda Bahlavi. The latter continued to rule Iran under the secular system until 1399 A.H./1979 A.D. when the Shi’ite Ithna Ashriyyah Revolution headed by Khomeini rose to restore the Shi’ite system of rule once again in Persia (Iran).
This was the story of the Shi’ite rule over the Muslim world since the rise of Shi’a till the present. Throughout such a story, we could find out clearly that Shi’ite movements only rose as rebellious movements against the Sunni rule or Muslim rule, hiding under the guise of the religious people who love or are affiliated to the Prophet’s Household (Ahlul Bait). During all these stages, we noticed no clashes between any of such sects and such enemies of the Muslim Ummah. Moreover, they engaged in no conflict with Tatars or other enemies. On the contrary, we could notice that they repeatedly cooperated with enemies to destroy Muslim Ummah in all stages of history.
Although we do not tend to hold descendants responsible for the faults of ancestors, we aimed at discussing the abstract, ideology and methodology which completely goes in line with that of ancestors, which is the core point and the root of the problem.
So long as there is a belief in the supposition that Imamate is to be assumed by a particular dynasty, that their Imams are infallible, and they defame Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman as well as other Companions and Mothers of the Believers (Aisha, Hafsah etc), good faith should never be supposed. Rather, we have to suppose that the descendants have followed the steps of ancestors.
Throughout history, we could find out clearly that Shi’ite movements only rose as rebellious movements against the leaders who are Muslims, hiding under the guise of the religious people who love or are affiliated to the Prophet’s Household (Ahlul Bait). Their rebellions and uprisings in Nigerian history under General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB), General Sani Abacha, ‘Yar Adu’a etc, and now under President Muhammad Buhari is in our memory. There’s no any time in the history of their rebellions in Nigeria that we heared they rebel under non-Muslim President. Even their supporters today, in Nigeria, and all those who are fighting for them majority are non-Muslims. Their very aims and goals is to come together in order to undermine Islam and Muslim Ummah, period!
Respected Brothers and Sisters! Now, what do you think our attitude toward them should be? How should we deal with them? Is it better to discuss their issue or keep silent? Is it better to be ignorant or knowledgeable about them? This is what we will continue to deal with in our next topics In Shaa Allah.
I ask Allah to glorify Islam and Muslims. Ameen.
And all praise is due to Allah, Lord of the worlds. May the peace, blessings and salutations of Allah be upon our noble Messenger, Muhammad, and upon his family, his Companions and his true followers.
This Jumu’ah Khutbah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today Friday, Rabiu’l Awwal 8, 1440 AH (November 16, 2018), by Imam Murtada Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’ah and the late Alhaji Abdur-Rahman Okene’s Mosques, Okene Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached via: gusaumurtada@gmail.com or +2348038289761.
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The Shi’a And Its Followers, By Imam Murtada Gusau

In the Name Of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful
All praise is due to Allah, Lord of all creation. May Allah extol the mention of the Prophet Muhammad in the highest company of Angels and may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, his family, his Companions and all those who follow him exactly till the Day of Judgement.
Dear Brothers and Sisters! Scholars of Usul Al-Fiqh (Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence) stated the following rule:
“One cannot pass a judgment on something unless one has a clear conception of it.”
Based on this rule, it is meaningless to pass a judgment on Shi’as unless you have good knowledge about them. It is also meaningless to express one’s opinion on reconciling the views of Sunnis and Shiites without recognising the nature of both groups. Likewise, it is of no real sense to accept or reject talking about Shi’a without knowing the reality of the issue, to what extent it is dangerous, its rank as to our priorities and its relation to the multiple variables the Ummah is facing.
In short, before we proceed to criticise the opponents or the proponents of Shi’a, we should first understand who Shi’as are, what their origins are, what their theological and Fiqhi (Jurisprudential) backgrounds are, what their history is about, what their reality is an what their goals and ambitions are. Only after doing this, we can express our view foresightedly, especially when we know how many people changed their long-believed views and give up their ideas after they had been provided with sound information and clear vision.
Now the question is who are Shi’as?
The issue is not merely that of certain people living in a certain country who have some disputes with neighbouring countries. Rather, it is an issue of theological, historical and Fiqhi backgrounds that have to be referred to.
Many historians differ on the real beginning of Shi’a.
What is commonly believed by the masses is that Shi’as are those people who supported Ali Bin Abi Talib during the caliphate of Mu’awiyah Bin Abi Sufyan, (May Allah be pleased with them). Accordingly, this means that those who supported Ali Bin Abi Talib are Shi’a while those who supported Mu’awiyah are Sunnis. Such a notion has never been accepted by anyone. Moreover, Sunnis believe with regard to the dispute that arose between the two honourable Companions that Ali (May Allah be pleased with him) was on the right, while Mu’awiyah (May Allah be pleased with him) exercised Ijtihad (independent judgment) but did not reach the truth. Thus, Sunnis thought is clearly siding with Ali. Moreover, tenets, doctrines and ideologies held by Shi’a are entirely different from those held by Ali Bin Abi Talib absolutely. Therefore, it is incorrect to say that the rise of Shi’a was at that era.
Some historians say that the rise of Shi’a was after Al-Husain (May Allah be pleased with him) was martyred. This opinion sounds to be more logical. Actually, Al-Husain rebelled against the rule of Yazid Bin Mu’awiyah and, therefore, headed for Iraq after his followers there had promised to back him. However, they let him down at the critical time, which led to the martyrdom of Al-Husain at Karbala. The group of people who invited him and failed to support him regretted doing so and decided to expiate their sin through rebelling against the Umayyad state. They actually did so and a large number of them were killed and thus were called Shi’a. This might explain why we notice that Shi’a are more attached to Al-Husain Bin Ali than to Ali Bin Abi Talib (May Allah be pleased with him) himself. They also, as we can see, mark the anniversary of Al-Husain’s martyrdom while they do not mark that of Ali Bin Abi Talib.
However, this sect only rose as a political one opposing the rule of the Umayyad dynasty and backed any attempts to rebel against it. Until that time, they did not hold theological or jurisprudential principles different from those of Sunnis. We will even come to know that earlier leaders whom Shiites claim to be their earlier Shi’a Imams were only Sunni men adopting doctrines and principles of Sunnis.
The situation continued to be stable for months after the martyrdom of Al-Husain (May Allah be pleased with him). At this period lived Ali Zainul-Abidin Bin Al-Husain who was one of the most righteous personalities and great ascetic scholars. He has never been reported to have any beliefs or ideologies different from those held by Companions and later generations.
Ali Zainul-Abidin had two sons of a high level of piety and purity, namely, Muhammad Al-Baqir and Zaid, both of whom completely believed in beliefs held by Sunni scholars including Companions and Successors. However, Zaid Bin Ali (May Allah have mercy on him) differed in viewing that Ali Bin Abi Talib was worthier of assuming caliphate than Abu Bakr (May Allah be pleased with him). Although this opinion conflicts with the Ummah’s consensus (Ijma’) and contradicts many authentic Prophetic Hadith that explicitly held Abu Bakr Al-Siddik, Umar and Uthman in a higher rank than Ali (May Allah be pleased with him), this difference of opinion, however, does not relate to doctrinal issues. While he viewed that Ali was the best, he, however, admitted the high rank of the first three caliphs. He also believed in the permissibility of one less in rank assuming imamate despite the existence of those higher in rank. Accordingly, he did not deny the imamate of Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman (May Allah be pleased with them). Apart from this view, he concurred with Sunnis in theology, principles and Fiqh.
Repeating the attempt of his grandfather Al-Husain Bin Ali (May Allah be pleased with them both), Zaid Bin Ali rebelled against the Umayyad caliph Hisham Bin Abdul-Malik, which ended up with his being killed in 122 A.H. His followers then founded a sect based on his ideas, known in history as Zaidiyyah, named after Zaid Bin Ali. Though considered to be a Shi’a-based sect, Zaidiyyah agrees with Sunnis in everything except in holding Ali in a higher position than the first three Caliphs. The followers of this sect are mainly in Yemen and they are the nearest Shi’a sects to Sunnis – even one can hardly distinguish them from Sunnis in most respects.
It is worth mentioning that a group of the followers of Zaid Bin Ali asked him about his opinion on Abu Bakr and Umar. In reply, he supplicated Allah to show mercy to both of them, but those who asked him refused to do the same and seceded from his sect. Therefore, they were known in the history as Rafidah (lit. dissenters) because they rejected the caliphate of Abu Bakr and Umar on one hand, and rejected Zaid’s opinion on the other. Subsequent generations of such a group founded a sect which was later known as Ithna-Ashriyyah (or Imamiyyah) to turn into Shi’a’s largest sect.
Muhammad Al-Baqir, Zaid Bin Ali’s brother, died eight years before his brother (in 114 A.H.) leaving behind a son who became the reverend scholar, Ja’afar Al-Sadiq. The latter was a prominent scholar and a proficient Faqih (Jurisprudent), who held the same theology believed in by Companions, Successors and Muslim scholars in general.
Late at the era of the Umayyad caliphate, the Abbasid movement started activities aiming at rallying people against the Umayyad caliphate. The movement collaborated with the groups which seceded from Zaid Bin Ali and both toppled the Umayyad caliphate in 132 A.H. The Abbasid caliphate came to power headed by the founder Abul-Abbas Al-Saffah and his successor Abu Ja’afar Al-Mansur. Those who collaborated with this movement felt disappointed as they sought to establish a caliphate ruled by one of Ali Bin Abi Talib’s grandchildren. Therefore, those people formed a group called Al-Talibiyyun (lit. proponents of Ali Bin Abi Talib (May Allah be pleased with him) compared to Abbasids who are named after Al-Abbas Bin Abdul-Muttalib) with the aim of staging a coup against the Abbasid caliphate.
Until this era, there were no essential theological or jurisprudential violations except that of the criticism of Abu Bakr and Umar; actually, some of them who seceded from Zaid Bin Ali rejected them and would even curse them in public.
Ja’afar Al-Sadik died in 148 A.H. leaving behind a son called Musa Al-Kazim, who was also a scholar but less in rank than his father. He died in 183 A.H. leaving behind some sons including Ali Bin Musa Al-Ridah.
It happened that the Abbasid caliph al Ma’amun sought to contain the rebellion of Al-Talibiyyun who claimed the caliphate for the descendants of Ali Bin Abi Talib rather than those of Al-Abbas. Thus, he nominated Ali Bin Musa Al-Ridah as the crown prince, which fueled a fierce controversy among Abbasids. However, Ali Bin Musa Al-Ridah suddenly died in 203 A.H., but Al-Talibiyyun accused Al-Ma’amun of killing him and once again staged successive revolutions against Abbasids just as they did with Umayyads.
Anyway, passage of years gave room for revolutions to relatively calm down. Until that time, Shi’a had not yet adopted an independent religious school of thought to be called Shi’a. Rather, there were only political movements aiming at assuming power and opposing leaders due to many reasons which did not include such theological reasons as those held by Shi’a now.
Strikingly, such dissenting calls found support on a large scale in the Persian region (currently Iran). Actually, many inhabitants of such a region felt sorry for the fall of the huge Persian empire and its fusion into the Islamic state. They, Persians, considered themselves of a higher race, a better ethnicity and a greater history than Muslims. This feeling led to the rise of Persophilia – an ideology which means giving priority to their race and ethnicity over anything even Islam. Some of them even showed deep adherence to their Persian roots, lock, stock and barrel, even the fire which they once worshiped.
As they were not powerful enough to rebel against the Islamic state, and being Muslims for decades, they found the Al-Talibiyyun’s revolutions a way through which they would seek to topple the Islamic caliphate which toppled their Persian state before. In the same time, they did not want to forsake Islam which they embraced for many years. They, however, decided to interpolate it through injecting into it the heritage of the Persian state so as to secure instability within the Muslim Ummah. They kept a low profile, while Al-Talibiyyun maintained the high profile. Bearing in mind that Al-Talibiyyun are affiliated to Ali Bin Abi Talib, are a part of the Prophet’s Household and thus held in a high esteem by people, such people secured continuation of their mission.
Thus, attempts of Persophils united with those of Al-Talibiyyun belonging to the Prophet’s Household to form a new independent, not only political but also religious, entity.
Back to Al-Talibiyyun, we can see that after the death of Ali Al-Ridah whom Abbasid Caliph Al-Ma’amun nominated as the crown prince, he was succeeded by his son Muhammad Al-Jawad who died in 220 A.H. The latter was also succeeded by his son Ali Bin Muhammad Al-Hadi who died in 254 A.H. Finally, the latter was succeeded by Al-Hasan Bin Ali called Al-Askari who also died suddenly in 260 A.H. leaving behind a young 5-year-old son, Muhammad.
Throughout previous years, separatist movements, which consisted of some of the Prophet’s Household and Persophils, would swear allegiance to the elder son of Al-Talibiyyun’s leader, starting with Ali Al-Ridah and ending with Al-Hasan Al-Askari. Concerning the ascendants of Ali Al-Ridah, such as his father Musa Al-Kazim or his grandfather Ja’afar Al-Sadik or his grandfather’s father Muhammad Al-Baqir, they did not assume the revolutionary leadership against Umayyad or Abbasid rule.
However, after Al-Hasan Al-Askari had died in 260 A.H., revolutionists got totally confused as to who is to assume leadership when Al-Hasan Al-Askari left behind a young son. They even got more confused after the sudden death of that young son. This resulted in dividing such revolutionary groups into many sects each different from the other in terms of principles and ideas as well as even in laws and beliefs.
The most famous among such sects is Ithna Ashriyyah (or Imamiyyah), now prevailing in Iran, Iraq and Lebanon. It is the biggest Shiite sect at present.
The leaders of this sect started to add to Islam ideas that would work best for situations they are exposed to currently and that may ensure the continuation of their sect despite the absence of their leader.
They added many serious Bid’ahs (innovations in religion) to the religion of Islam, claiming them to be part and parcel of Islam. Thus, such Bid’ahs, with the passage of time, became a key component of their ideology and thought. Some of such Bid’ahs relate to Imamate (caliphate). Seeking a justification for the lack of a current Imam or leader, they argued that Imams are twelve only, arranging them in the following order:
1. Ali Bin Abi Talib
2. Al-Hasan Bin Ali
3. Al-Husain Bin Ali
4. Ali Zainul-Abidin Bin Al-Husain
5. Muhammad Al-Baqir Bin Zainul-Abidin
6. Ja’afar Al-Sadik Bin Muhammad Al-Baqir
7. Musa Al-Kazim
8. Ali Al-Ridah
9. Muhammad Al-Jawad
10. Ali Al-Hadi
11. Muhammad Al-Mahdi and
12. Al-Hassan Al-Askari.
That is why this sect is called Ithna Ashriyyah (Imamiyyah or The Twelvers). Seeking to justify why the Imam succession came to an end, they claimed that the young child Muhammad Bin Al-Hasan Al-Askari has not died yet, and that, according to them, he has disappeared in a mountain cave and that he is still alive (over one thousand years now). They further claim that he will be back one day to rule the world. They also believe him to be the Awaited Mahdi (Righteous Imam).
They also claimed that the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) bequeathed Imamate to those twelve names but Companions withheld and hide such information. This is why they judge Companions in general to be disbelievers (however, some of them judge Companions to be only profligate) as they concealed such a bequeath. Influenced by the Persian system of rule, they introduced the inevitability of the monarchical system believing that the Imam must be the elder son of Ali Bin Abi Talib and likewise all succeeding Imams.
As known to all, this notion is not Islamic at all. Even Sunni Islamic states based on a monarchical system, such as Umayyad, Abbasid, Seljuk, Ayyubi and Ottoman caliphates, never considered the monarchical system to be a part of religion or that ruling must be on a dynasty basis. Influenced also by Persia, they introduced sanctification of the ruling dynasty. Accordingly, they believed in the infallibility of the aforementioned Imams and thus considered their sayings to be as holy as the Qur’an and Prophetic Hadith.
Moreover, most of their Fiqhi (jurisprudential) rules are even derived from the sayings of Imams, regardless of whether these sayings are authentically or falsely attributed to them. Furthermore, in his book “Islamic Government (Al-Hukumah Al-Islamiyyah)”, Khomeini, the leader of the Iranian revolution, stated that:
“One of the fundamentals of our ideology is that our Imams are higher in rank than devoted angels and Prophets.”
Hence, this explains their bitter hostility to all Companions (except for a few of them who do not exceed thirteen). They also show hostility to even some of the Prophet’s Household, such as Al-Abbas (May Allah be pleased with him), Allah’s Messenger’s uncle, and his son Abdullah Bin Abbas (May Allah be pleased with him), the great scholar of the Ummah. Unarguably, hostility to these two figures and judging them to be disbelievers is due to the historical conflict between Ithna Ashriyyah and Abbasid caliphate.
Also among their Bid’ahs (innovations) is that they consider most Muslim countries to be Darul-Kufr (House of disbelief). They also judge the people of Madinah, Makkah, Egypt and Levant (Sham) to be disbelievers, falsely reporting the Messenger of Allah to have said something in this regard and thus believe it to be a part of their religion.
Wallahi, you can refer to such ideas in their original resources, such as Al-Kafi, Bihar Al-Anwar and Tafsir Al-Qummi, Tafsir Al-Ayyashi, Al-Burhan and other books.
Consequently, they do not acknowledge any Sunni scholars and all the authentic Hadith books, such as Al-Bukhari, Muslim, Al-Tirmidhi and Al-Nasa’i. They also deny the authority of Abu Hanifah, Malik, Al-Shafi`i and Ibn Hanbal. They also do not admit the excellence of Khalid Bin Al-Walid or Sa’ad Bin Abi Waqqas, Umar Bin Abdul-Aziz, Musa Bin Nusair, Nurul-Din Mahmud, Salahud-Din, Qutuz and Muhammad Al-Fatih.
As a result of their non-recognition of Companions, Successors and books of Hadith and Tafsir (exegesis of the Qur’an), they depended largely on sayings attributed to their Imams through very weak chains of narrators. Consequently, many abhorred Bid’ahs took place regarding their doctrines, acts of worship, transactions and other wakes of life. In this article, I do not intend to give a list of their Bid’ahs; actually, such a goal requires composing many books. I only refer here to the origin of the problem so that we may understand its consequences.
However, it requires a lengthy talk to speak about such Bid’ahs as Taqiyyah (a dispensation allowing Shiites to conceal their faith when under threat, persecution or compulsion) and Raj’a (the second coming or the return to life of their Imams after death), viewing that the Qur’an was interpolated, misbelieving in Allah, Bid’ahs committed at the shrines, building such shrines in Mosques, abhorred Bid’ahs committed on the anniversary of Al-Husain’s Martyrdom and thousands of other Bid’ahs that became key pillars in religion according to Shi’a Ithna Ashriyyah.
Wallahi all that I have mentioned so far is only a part of the ideology of Ithna Ashriyyah. However, there are several other sects that rose during the same period in history, especially during the period known in history as the period of “Shi’a Bewilderment”, which started as early as the middle of the third century A.H. following the death of Al-Hasan Al-Askari (the twelfth and last Imam according to them).
From this period on, literature and books that plant their ideology and doctrines were composed. Their methodologies spread widely in the Persian region in particular and in the Muslim world in general. However, till then no state was established to officially adopt such ideologies. Anyway, by the end of the third century and the beginning of the fourth century A.H., serious developments took place that led to Shi’a assuming power in some areas, which had serious repercussions on the entire Muslim Ummah.
However, I have to repeat the rule that “one cannot pass a judgment on something unless one has a clear conception of it.” Thus, if we are to take a decision regarding a specific matter or issue, we have to have knowledge about it first. In other words, we can judge something to be right or wrong or say that it is better to do so-and-so only when authentic information is available. Undoubtedly, judgments based of passions and on no study leads certainly to evil consequences.
Respected Brothers and Sisters! Now what do you think our attitude toward Shi’as should be? How should we deal with them? Is it better to discuss their issue or keep silent? Is it better to be ignorant or knowledgeable about them? This is what I will deal with in my next Jumu’ah Sermon, In Shaa Allah.
Lastly, I ask Allah to glorify Islam and Muslims. Ameen.
And all praise is due to Allah, Lord of the worlds. May the peace, blessings and salutations of Allah be upon our Noble Messenger, Muhammad, and upon his family, his Companions and his true followers.
Your Brother:
Imam Murtada Muhammad Gusau, from Okene, Kogi State, Nigeria: He can be reached via: gusaumurtada@gmail.com or +2348038289761.
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Friday Sermon: How Islam Honoured Woman, By Imam Murtadha Gusau

In The Name Of Allah, The Most Beneficent, The Most Merciful

All praise is due to Allah, Lord of all creation. May Allah extol the mention of the Prophet in the highest company of Angels and may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, his family, his Companions and all those who follow him exactly till the Day of Judgement.

O Muslim woman, know that, you are among the hopes of this Ummah!

Dear Brothers and Sisters! Before the advent of Islam, the state in which women lived was disgraceful; as they led arduous and miserable lives. Women’s rights were unheard of and their duties far exceeded their capacity. A woman’s life was spent in distress and agony from the moment of birth until the moment of her death; if she escaped being buried alive as a young girl, she would live in humiliation and contempt for the rest of her life.

In the pre-Islamic era (Jahiliyyah period), people used to bury young girls alive, and if she survived somehow, she was considered of no consequence, as if she had no right to live. So, what kind of life could women at that time expect?

Islam came to save women from a humiliating and disgraceful existence. It guided women to all that honours her and provides her with the respect that is due to her – whether as a beloved young girl, an honoured sister, an affectionate wife or a compassionate and respected mother.

Islam greatly honours women, raises their status and elevates them to the position of which they are worthy, as they are the progenitors of men and the educators of future generations.

Due to the importance of the woman’s role in educating future generations and her direct influence in instilling in them the correct Islamic creed, righteous conduct and morals and teaching them various acts of worship, her enemies exert great efforts to Westernise her and focus on beguiling her through the deceptive glamorous calls that have ensnared the sons and daughters of our Ummah. Such calls include the so-called movement for “women’s freedom”, “women’s rights”, so-called “feminist movements”, and calling for “equality between men and women.”

Muslim women should be made aware of and warned against the conspiracies that are being secretly perpetrated against them in order to drag them into the impure swamps of immorality, by continuously tempting them in every possible way to abandon the teachings of their religion that came to safeguard their honour and ensure their happiness in this world and in the Hereafter.

It is truly unfortunate to see that some Muslim women are attracted to these fallacies and lies and even follow them. They have not only adopted such misleading thoughts, they even spread them through various mediums and lead a life of absolute intellectual, social and behavioural subordination to the West. They blindly imitate Western women without thinking. Thus, the following Sahih Hadith of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) applies to them:

“You will continue to follow the ways of your preceding nations, span by span and Zira’ by Zira’ (i.e., a measurement equal to sixty-four centimeters) to the extent that even if they entered a hole of a mastigure, you would follow them (i.e. you will continue to follow your preceding nations so consistently in their disagreeable actions).” The Companions, May Allah be pleased with them said: ”O Messenger of Allah! (Do you mean) the Jews and the Christians?” He said: ”Who else?”

Such women have forgotten that the social, legal, and historical circumstances that faced European woman are totally different from those faced by the Muslim woman. The European woman lived in an unjust society based on human laws rather than divine legislation. Therefore, her rights were exceedingly violated, which made her rebel against her conditions in order to retrieve even a small part of her lost rights.

With regard to the Muslim woman, Islam granted her all her rights more than fourteen centuries ago; hence, she has the right to be proud and hold her head up high by virtue of these rights, which have not been granted to women till this day even in those countries which claim to be “civilised” and “developed.”

O Respected Muslimah! Your enemies are trying to deceive you and use you as their weapon by alleging that they want to free you, while, by Allah, their only purpose is to ruin your chastity and honour and undermine your honourable status and happiness under Islam. You have to stop these oppressors and criminals immediately and firmly because your deviation and loss means the breakup of the family bonds that attach its members; scattering them in life’s mazes.

My Dear Sisters in Islam! Your enemies are lying in wait for you, and continue to wage war against Hijab – a continuation of the events in the early history of Muslims when they conspired to remove a Muslim woman’s Hijab at the time of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) in the market of Banu Qainuqa.

This war is continuing until today, because your enemies realise very well that ruining the Muslim woman means ruining the entire Muslim society.

Undoubtedly, some of those people have grown up under the protection of atheism, thus, they pretend to be Muslims, while they are in fact disbelievers. Such people are very keen to remove the Hijab of the Muslim woman and stain her honour and dignity. Hence, they find that there is no better way than offering them so-called “woman’s freedom” in the guise of “modern Islam.”

O Daughter of Islam! Do not listen to those who beautify the life of dangerous intermixing between the two sexes and abandonment of the Hijab in the name of “freedom” and “civilised behaviour”, so that you are saved from becoming a toy in their hands. Say to them that Allah the Almighty says:

“O Prophet, tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to bring down over themselves (part) of their outer garments. That is more suitable that they will be known and not be abused. And ever is Allah Forgiving and Merciful.” [Qur’an, 33:59]

O Beloved Muslimah! Contemplate the following verse and its lessons, Allah the Most High says:

“And when he came to the well of Madyan, he found there a crowd of people watering (their flocks), and he found aside from them two women driving back (their flocks). He said, “What is your circumstance?” They said, “We do not water until the shepherds dispatch (their flocks); and our father is an old man.” [Qur’an, 28:23]

This Qur’anic verse is part of the story of Prophet Musa, before he was sent to his people as a Messenger of Allah. He went to a distant land to escape from the oppression of Fir’awn (Pharaoh). When he arrived there, he found a group of people watering their flocks, with two women standing apart from them. He asked them why they were standing aside. They told him that they had come to this place to water their flock, as their father was an old man and could not work. Nevertheless, they did not justify themselves under this compelling necessity to intermix with men; rather, they waited until the men had finished and then watered their flocks.

My Beloved Sister! Would you not review your stance, and contemplate on how to define the safe way?

Return to Allah, contemplate the Qur’an, and imitate the wives of the Prophet of Allah (Peace be upon him) as this is the only way to Paradise. Wake up my Sister, before it is too late and before your death and reckoning, when the scale will be set and the Sirat will be placed over Hell and the obedient people will be distinguished from those who are disobedient.

* Muslim Sisters Must Avoid The So-called Feminist Movements

Simple logic: If you adopt a moral standard by which the Qur’an is considered immoral, then you have two choices. You either reject that moral standard or you reject the Qur’an!

Have you heard of the Bechdel Test? This is a feminist standard used to determine whether a written story or film meets the bare minimum requirements of representing women. The Test is straightforward: Does the story or film in question have at least two female characters who speak to each other about something other than a man?

What feminists realised is that many stories and films have minimal female representation and the few female characters that do appear are simply love interests of the male characters, who are the focus of the narrative. This is a gross violation of gender equality and, hence, of justice, as far as feminism is concerned.

Now, is the Bechdel Test a good standard of justice and morality? Is it a good standard for determining female representation and visibility? Virtually all feminists would say, “Yes, of course! Women MUST be represented!”

Well, if we judge by this feminist standard, then the Qur’an would be considered unjust and immoral (as would the Prophet (Peace be upon him), his Companions and literally all the scholars of the Islamic tradition prior to maybe twenty years ago). For example, Surah Yusuf, which Allah describes as “the best of stories,” does not pass the Bechdel Test and, therefore, does not adequately represent women as far as feminism is concerned.

The feminist asks, “How is this the best of stories when not a single woman is referred to by name? How is this the best of stories when the only women mentioned are those who lust after and conspire against a man? What about Yusuf’s mom or sisters? Why are they not mentioned anywhere? Was there not a single positive woman in that time to include in the narrative?” This is all what the feminist sees but the rest of us recognise the folly of questioning Allah in this way.

This is just one example but it encapsulates why many so-called Muslim feminists end up leaving Islam. They eventually realise that the feminist morality they have adopted renders scholars, the Companions, even the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him), even Allah as immoral, na’uzubillah. So they reject it all and apostatise!!!

So what is the upshot? Well, first of all, Muslims MUST reject the Bechdel Test, clearly. If the best of all stories in the Qur’an does not meet the feminist standard of morality, then our very Iman depends on throwing that standard in the trash.

Then what can be said about female representation?

Feminists, Muslim and non-Muslim, emphasise representation. “Women’s voices need to be heard!” they shout. Well, of course they do. Islamically, no one disagrees with that. Of course women’s voices are important and need to be respected and represented. Allah acknowledges this in the Qur’an when He says, for example:

“Indeed Allah has heard the statement of her that disputes with you concerning her husband and complains to Allah. And Allah hears the argument between you both. Verily, Allah is All-Hearer, All-Seer.”

But feminists are not satisfied with these assurances. It is not enough that women’s voices are represented. They need to be represented in a particular way. Speaking panels need to include as many women as men. Mosque boards need to include a proportional number of women as men. Books need to cite as many women as men. Islamic organisations need to give women as much visibility as men. Etc.

Visibility is the important concept here. To be represented, women must be physically seen. Otherwise, one is guilty of “hiding” and “marginalising” women and this is the epitome of injustice, we are told.

But then, where was the female representation among the Rightly Guided Caliphs? Where is the female representation in Surah Kahf? Where is the female representation in Surah Baqarah? Where is the female representation in Al-Isra’ wal-Mi’raj? Where is the female representation among the authors of the authoritative Hadith collections or the most prominent books of Fiqh or the most cited books of Tafsir (which is not to deny that there were female scholars?), etc.

If feminism informs our standards of female representation, then we stand to lose a great deal of our religion, if not the entirety of it.

If we dump feminist standards, then what standards should we adopt?

We adopt Islam’s standards, the Qur’an’s standards.

Maryam (RA) was not looking for representation. She was not demanding to speak her mind and “be heard.” Infact, Allah commanded her to remain silent. But then by His command, her baby spoke for her and miraculously defended her from the crib.

We see the same from the Mother of the Believers. They weren’t demanding to stand in front of everyone and “be visible.” They weren’t demanding to be “represented” in every gathering and consultation and on every platform. What lessons should we take from their example? Are those loud, screeching voices that are attempting to disrupt our communities with their calls for “representation” really following any Islamic precedence?

Here is the critical question the screechers don’t want you to ask. Does the lack of visibility from the Sahabiyat (Women Companions) mean that they lacked influence? Absolutely not. It is feminism’s deceit to conflate visibility with influence and power. Influence and power do not require being visible and, in fact, a great deal of power is obtained through deliberate lack of visibility.

Respected Brothers and Sisters! We don’t need to be fooled by this toxic, man-made ideology of feminism that has corrupted the minds and hearts of so many of our brothers and sisters. The time has come to throw it away!!!

* Muslim Women Versus Western Women

Islam positions women in a noble position, because the brilliant generation will be born out of their womb. In the period of jahiliyyah (ignorance period) culture prior to the arrival of Islam, women were considered to be very low and despicable, in fact not a few female newborn were buried alive. They looked at women with one eye, in fact they were even considered contemptible and worthless. After the arrival of Islam, it was proven that the female could breathe in the air freely and the task of building a community that is cultured and civilised, was given to them.

So it is no surprise that in Islam, there is no such thing as discrimination against women, there are no need of the women emancipation and feminism. Because since the first time the religion of Islam was revealed to the surface of the Earth, Islam always uphold the status and dignity of women. And an Islamic Shari’ah like this will not fade with times, it will never be evolved and going through a revolution.

This is in contrast to the Western culture today which is the product of an age that will always change and shift due to the erosion by the time. Whereas, Islam places the men and women in accordance with the nature of each. Therefore, there is no reason for the Muslims, whether they are men, women, old or young, to demand more than what have been outlined by the Creator, Allah the Almighty. Because it is Allah Who is the All-Knowing about the secrets behind the creation of His creatures.

The Western nations in the reform and modernisation, are demanding equal rights (emancipation). However, the concept of emancipation itself is increasingly unclear with times, what should be the emancipation to free women from the shackles of slavery, is instead plunging the women into the abyss of a new slavery. In the capitalist society, women are exploited and becoming a commodity that can be traded with the public, just look at the ads in the information media around us. In a free society, women are taught the permissive culture, that is detached from the values of the normative, only for the benefit of the industry.

Away from the concept of Islam, they are demanding equality, freedom and human rights, whereas they in fact are neglecting the nature and dignity of the women which is supposed to be held in high esteem. In an indirect manner, they are actually claiming that Islam is discriminative against women. Whereas, Islam places the women in a position which does not exceed what has been outlined and destined as women.

Umar Bin al-Khattab ever said:

“At the time of jahiliyyah (ignorance), the women had no value for us. Until finally Islam came and declared that the woman is equal to man.”

This equality that Islam meant covers all aspects, including the issue of rights and obligations. This is very well understood by the women of Islam and therefore they hold very strongly to the teachings of Islam.

It is not rare that there are statements from some Muslims which say:

“The path to the awakening is already very clear, namely by means of going through the path which had been gone through by the European nations. Thus, we can change to be like them, and website must take all that is on them. The bitter, sweet, good and bad, including things that are liked, as well as disliked.” [Taha Hussain, in the future of knowledge in Egypt]

* The Destruction Of The Family

The subsequent problem is no longer just about women’s issues and their rights.

However, it will expand and widen, covering on how to build a household in such ways and styles that correspond to Western civilisation. Thus developed the idea that, in managing a household we no longer have to pay close attention to the rules and values. The role of the “mother” is no longer a woman’s task. That role is the responsibility of the society. In fact, the role can be performed by women and men.

Actually, in Europe, this thought and ideology has given birth to many problems. For example, in France, it was recorded that 53% of the children born do not have clear fathers. In many European countries, there is an increasingly developing trend of not wanting to have children, or even not wanting to get married. The relationship of men and women is merely a free sex relationship without any ties, there is no binding rule. And furthermore, they demanded that abortion is legalised as a direct impact from the outbreak of the free sex culture.

It also had a significant impact on the very sharp rise in the number of crimes. In 1998, the level of crimes in America reached a phenomenal figure. The act of rape occurs every 6 minutes, shooting happens every 41 seconds, murder every 31 minutes. The funds spent on tackling the acts of crime at that time reached 700 million dollars per year (this figure does not include the crime of drugs). This number is equal to the annual income of 120 third world countries.

* Crimes Against Women

The outbreak of crimes provides its own dangers for the women in Europe, so much so that the UN, on 17th December 1999, issued a decision that 25th November is an ‘Anti-Violence Against Women Day.’ There are a lot of facts and data that should be heeded by those who are lulled by the West. In Europe and America, at every 15 seconds, a violence against women happens. And it is not even coupled with the act of rape every day. Causing America to be recorded as a country with the highest number of violence against women. According to the UNICEF records, 30% of violence against women occur in America and 20% in the United Kingdom.

Not to mention the crime of slavery which happens in America, the CNN had broadcasted a report that in 2002, millions of children and women were traded in America every year. More than 120 thousands of women from Eastern Europe and some other poor countries are sent to Europe to be employed as sex slaves. And then more than 15 thousand women, a majority of whom come from Mexico, are sold to America to be employed in the prostitution complexes.

This illicit business even steal away the independence of children in the world, to the point that the UN General Assembly, at its 54th meeting, issued an enactment on the rights of children on 25th May 2000. A decision that was deemed urgent so that prevention would be done, so as the buying and selling of children no longer happen, much less if later they are employed as sex slaves, such as that found in the internet networks.

Observing what is happening in the West, should make us think further if we want to walk in a path that has been taken up by the West. In Israel’s prisons, there are about 100 female prisoners. Why is the West silent over all this? In Palestine, there are more than 250 women who have met their martyrdom, not to mention the women who suffered injuries in the aftermath of Intifadhah. As for the woman in Iraq, suffice it for us what was delivered by the world organization on 22nd February 2005, which stated that the condition of the Iraqi women is not much different from the conditions when they were under the reign of Sadam Husain.

This explains that the independence and freedom of women as touted by America do not touch them at all. In fact, their conditions under the American occupation is much worse. They received rough treatment, they were persecuted, harassed and even raped.

Therefore, as Muslims, let us think clearly, and do not be influenced by the argumentation that feminism and gender equality can be the solution to the problems of women in the Islamic world, such as in domestic violence, women trafficking and other social problems. Until this moment, the Western countries had not been able to prove that they managed to overcome the mentioned social problems. Quite the contrary, moral disintegration have destroyed the social fabric of the Western society, the feminist movement are then blamed because it is considered to have changed the women to become career crazy beings and distanced them from the warmth of a family.

And all praise is due to Allah, Lord of the worlds. May the peace, blessings and salutations of Allah be upon our noble Messenger, Muhammad, and upon his family, his Companions and his true followers.

Your brother, Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, writes from Okene, Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached via: gusaumurtada@gmail.com or +2348038289761.

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The Dangers And Evil Consequences Of Rumour Mongering, By Imam Murtadha Gusau

In The Name Of Allah, The Most Merciful And The Bestower Of Mercy

All praise belongs to Allah the Lord of the worlds, and may His peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, and upon his family members and Companions.

Respected Brothers and Sisters! Indeed, it is incumbent that a Muslim preserves his tongue from speech that has no benefit within it, and likewise speech that is harmful for the individual or others. From this type of speech is an evil rumour; whether these rumours are related to individuals, or the Muslim ummah or society. It is indeed upon the Muslim to seek clarification and to only speak if it is necessary. Allah the Sublime and High stated:

“Oh you who believe! If a fasiq (sinner) comes to you with information, then verify it, lest you harm others out of ignorance and as a result of what you have done, you will regret.” [Surah al-Hujurat: 6]

Thus, it is upon a Muslim who hears something sinful about his brother to conceal it and not reveal it, even if it were true. If what has reached the individual (about his brother) is true, and it contains harm upon his brother, it is upon him to conceal his faults and advise him in private. The person should not spread evil about his brother even if he actually performed what was mentioned. This is because doing so is classified as a form of backbiting. Allah the Most High mentioned:

“Do not backbite one another. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his brother when he is dead? You would detest it. And fear Allah, indeed Allah is accepting the repentance and merciful.” [Surah al-Hujurat: 12]

The Prophet (Peace be upon him) explained the meaning of backbiting as:

“A person speaking about his brother with that which he dislikes.”

Upon hearing this, the Companions (Sahabah) asked:

“What if what we are saying is true?”

The Prophet (Peace be upon him) replied:

“If what you are saying is true, then you have backbite him, and if it is not, you have slandered him.”

Meaning: you have lied upon him.

Hence, the person as (actually) sinned in every instance. Whether the information is true, or it is a lie, the action is either considered backbiting or lying, and both actions are major crimes in Islam.

That which has proceeded is related to the rights of and individual. It is also mandatory to observe the same as it relates to the society and its safety. That which harms the society should also be avoided. It is upon a Muslim to avoid spreading calamities and rumours and he should not create fear amongst the people by spreading this amongst the people. This action is the way of the Munafikun (hypocrites). They are the ones who pursue rumours and spread them in order to bring about fear amongst the people and make them weak. Allah the Most High mentioned (concerning them):

“Had they gone forth with you, they would not have increased you except in confusion, and they would have been diligent among you seeking to cause you fitnah (chaos and dissention). And among you are avid listeners to them. Indeed Allah is All Knowing of the wrongdoers.” [Surah at-Tawbah: 49]

Allah The Most High also said:

“Indeed those who like that immorality is spread about the believers, they will have a painful punishment in this life and the hereafter.” [Surah al-Nur: 19]

This is a tremendous warning, and thus, the good Muslim should not be an individual who spread rumours and indecent news that bring about fear to the people. If this information and occurrence is something that poses a danger upon the people, and it needs to be rectified, this will not take place by spreading it amongst the people who do not possess the ability to rectify the matter. These types of matters should be referred back to the leaders and those in authority. They are those who rectify the matters and prevent its harm. Allah the Most High stated:

“And when it comes to them an affair of (public) security or fear, they spread it. But if they had referred it back to the Messenger or to those of authority among them, and then the ones who draw correct conclusions from it would have known about it. And if it were not for the favour of Allah upon you and His mercy, you would have followed the Shaitan, except for a few.” [Surah al-Nisa: 83]

Thus, it is mandatory upon a Muslim to protect his tongue and not to speak about and spread rumours and private or secret matters. Instead, one should observe silence and conceal the faults of others. One should also supplicate for the rectification of Islam and the Muslims. This is that which is befitting for the Muslim.

Dear Servants of Allah! Know that Islam encourages healthy discussion among its followers. It encourages an environment where the individuals in a group or in the society sit together and share their intellect, as well as thoughts regarding the matters that concern the collective well being. However, Islam discourages any other undertaking that are not directed towards making the life of other people better. One of such acts of conversation condemned by Islam is rumour, as mentioned earlier.

There is no harm in having gossip that is based on sharing experiences and feelings that are authentic, however, Islam condemns any gossiping that is undertaken with the objective of spreading rumour.

Muslims who learn the Qur’an can easily understand the forbiddance of spreading a rumour in the Qur’an, and the Hadiths of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) also speak against this evil act.

The lines below discuss the way in which Islam discourages spreading of rumour and the mitigating measures that a Muslim is to adopt against it.

Allah Almighty says in Qur’an:

“O you who believe! If a Fasiq (sinner, liar – evil person) comes to you with any news, verify it, lest you should harm people in ignorance, and afterwards you become regretful for what you have done.” [Surah al-Hujurat: 6]

In this Qur’anic Verse, Allah Almighty explains the problem, as well as the solution to it. With one or two encounters or interactions with a person, one is able to judge whether the next person is a liar or not, therefore, once that is identified then a Muslim should always verify and weigh the news brought by such a person. Lying is the root cause behind the existence of rumour, therefore, those who know that the news come from a lying person, should stop and verify it before spreading it to others. Any action undertaken on the news of a liar without any verification is definitely to cause an action that a Muslim would regret in the future.

People might argue that the rumour is just for the sake of gossip and it has nothing to do with lying. As it has nothing to do with lying therefore for them it is permissible to gossip and spread the rumour. Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) regarded the spreading of a rumour as a form of lying in the following Hadith:

“Should I tell you what is a blatant lie? It is a rumour circulating among people.” [Muslim]

Thus rumour is not some kind of gossip which one might undertake in leisure, rather rumour spreading is a form of lying and the way it is spoken or spread makes it blatant or obvious. Therefore, those who spread gossip and rumour are actually speaking lie with boldness and without any fear. A Muslim ought to differentiate healthy gossip from the one that turns into a rumour which in return is a form of lying spoken at a massive scale.

Pertaining to the condemnation of spreading a rumour and false gossip that does not have any authenticity associated with it, Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) said in a Hadith:

“Allah has forbidden you to disobey your mothers, to bury your daughters alive, to not pay the rights of others and to beg from others. And He dislikes gossip for you, asking too many questions and wasting money.” [Bukhari]

In this Hadith, the message is as obvious as it gets. Gossiping and spreading a gossip is not one of the acts that is adored by Allah Almighty. Therefore, as imperative it is for a Muslim to obey his or her mother, it is equally imperative for a Muslim to stay away from gossip. The act of gossiping might seem trivial at first, however, if its implications are analysed, one gets to know that they are far grave than what one associates with rumour or casual gossiping. The seriousness of gossiping and spreading a false rumour is addressed by Allah Almighty in Qur’an in the following way:

“When you received it with your tongues and said with your mouths that of which you had no knowledge and thought it was insignificant while it was, in the sign of Allah, tremendous.” [Surah an-Nur: 15]

My Respected People! Being humans, we are shortsighted and see things only in the perspective or in the vision which is under our control or power. We might spread a rumour thinking it to be casual and not having any graveness associated with it, however, it is not that the rumour is trivial, rather it is our comprehension of things that is trivial and immature. It is only Allah Almighty who has a greater view of things and who knows that what damage a seemingly casual or trivial gossip could cause, therefore, it needs to be avoided in any case and under any circumstance.

The question then to ask is that how should a Muslim deal with gossiping or how can he or she keep it away and resist its evil implications. The answer can be easily inferred from the following Hadith of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) in which he said:

“When man wakes up in the morning each day, all his body parts warn his tongue saying: ‘Fear Allah with regards to us, for we are under your mercy; if you are upright, we will be upright and if you are crooked, we will be crooked.” [at-Tirmidhi]

The tongue of a person is in the centre of it all. It is with this tongue that a person spreads rumours and if this tongue is under the control then the ultimate result would be a person refraining from spreading of rumours. Moreover, one also needs to avoid sitting in the company of liars from whom one hears only false rumours which are then spread by the tongue. Therefore, in addition to controlling one’s own tongue, one should also avoid spreading of rumour by verifying its source first and then telling it to others.

In a nutshell, the spreading of rumour is never trivial or casual that could be done for fun, rather it is always grave and has far reaching implications. Islam detests it, therefore, a Muslim must refrain from the spreading of rumour, which can only be done if a Muslim when hearing a news verifies it first and then makes sensible use of his or her tongue.

Dear Brothers and Sisters! Wallahi, making up rumours and lying about others is one of the greatest sins that can occur within a society and sometimes can even place the lives of others in danger, as we are witnessing the dangers and evil consequences of spreading the rumour in our societies today. This act can also result in one’s honour and dignity being stripped from one – thus paralysing one’s life within a society.

How many times has information that has absolutely no foundation, ignited the flames of war between two people or two groups, resulting in a great loss and injury to both sides?

In order to prevent such a great injustice from occurring, Islam has commanded the Muslims not to pay attention to just any piece of news or information that comes to them and not to accept just anything that anyone says to them.

Rather, Muslims are only supposed to accept the reports from those people who possess some inner feelings and the fear of Allah. It is the reports from those people who possess the ethical traits of justice, confidence (of their speech) and reliance (in what the person says) which would prevent a person from making up false reports and lying and relating bits of news and information that are unfounded and fabricated.

All praise is due to Allah, Lord of the worlds. May the peace, blessings and salutations of Allah be upon our noble Messenger, Muhammad, and upon his family, his Companions and his true followers.

Written by your brother, Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, from Okene, Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached through: gusaumurtada@gmail.com or +2348038289761.

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Islam Allows Muslims To Participate In Any Goodness, Virtue, Righteousness And Piety, By Imam Murtadha Gusau

In The Name Of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful

All praise is due to Allah, Lord of all creation. May Allah extol the mention of the Prophet in the highest company of Angels and may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, his family, his Companions and all those who follow him diligently till the Day of Judgement.

Respected Brothers and Sisters! Allah the Almighty said in His Noble Book, Al-Qur’an:

“Help One Another In Virtue, Righteousness And Piety; But Do Not Help One Another In Sin And Transgression.” [Qur’an, 5:2]

In this Qur’anic verse Allah commands His servants to help one another perform any righteous, good deeds, which is the meaning of ‘Al-Birr’, and to avoid any sins, which is the meaning of ‘At-Taqwa.’ Allah forbids His servants from helping one another in sin, `Ithm’ and committing the prohibitions.

Imam Ibn Jarir said that:

“Ithm (Sin) means abandoning what Allah has ordained, while transgression means overstepping the limits that Allah set in your religion, along with overstepping what Allah has ordered concerning yourselves and others.”

Imam Ahmad recorded that one of the Companions of the Prophet narrated the Hadith:

“The believer who mingles with people and is patient with their annoyance, earns more reward than the believer who does not mingle with people and does not observe patience with their annoyance.”

Dear Brothers and Sisters! Many people had lost their lives in the Battles of Fijar in which much blood was shed. As a result, the feeling of hostility had further sharpened among Arab tribes. At every moment, the smallest reasons had the potential of causing the break-up of great incidents, like someone getting killed or tribes attacking one another.

There was no sense of security in terms of life, property, and dignity for those who came from outside of Makkah. Anyone could take any foreigner’s property he wanted without paying a single penny. The weak and helpless were being subjected to all kinds of persecution and they did not have the courage to show defiance.

A solution had to be found for this situation that spread savagery. These actions that were unbefitting to human dignity had to be stopped. Yet, what could be done?

These were the matters that people with integrity, those whose conscience felt tormented amid the injustice, and those who were consistently thinking about the community’s safety and social order, wanted to resolve.

* The Seized Goods of the man from Zubaid!

The last straw was when Al-As Bin Wa’il, a leading figure of the city, extorted the goods of someone from the Zubaid tribe of Yemen. Every door that the Zubaidi tribesman had knocked on for help was being shut on his face. Finally, he went up the Abu Qubais Mountain and attempted to notify the Quraishis of the insults and injustice that he faced in a loud voice. And it was from this summit that that he summoned the community for help.

This invitation awoke the minds that were contemplating the miserable circumstances in their society. They immediately huddled together and looked for a solution to resolve the corruption and illegitimate behaviour that was taking place. Our Noble Prophet’s (Peace be upon him) uncle, Zubair was the first person who attempted to gather prominent figures and the reputable elderly in one place in respect to this matter.

Hashim, Muttalib, Zuhra, Asad, Harith, and many of leading figures from the sons of Taim met in the home of Abdullah Bin Jud’an, who was considered to be the oldest person in Makkah and one of the wealthiest and influential of men. It was there, in his home, that the “Hilful-Fudul” alliance was established.

After they spoke and discussed at great length, they decided on the following articles:

1. No person will be subjected to persecution, regardless of whether he/she is a native of Makkah or an outsider.

2. From now on, there will be no opportunities for cruelty to occur. An oppressor’s cruelty will not be overlooked and there will be no further opportunities for oppression to be inflicted.

3. We will push for the rights of the downtrodden until they are obtained.

Promising they would persevere in upholding these testaments, the members of the alliance made the following oath:

“We will persevere with our oath till the seas do not have enough water to wet a strand of hair, till the mountains are wiped away, and until the act of istilam (the act of rubbing the Hajarul-Aswad while circumambulating the Ka’abah. If it cannot be rubbed due to big crowds, then a gesture of greeting should be given from a distance) is removed.”

The name given to this alliance was”Hilful Fudul.”

The reasons for this are explained as follows:

“Hilf” means oath whereas “Fudul” means people with virtue. During a period in which they were found in Makkah, two people by the name of Fadl from the Jurhumi tribe, made an oath with someone named Fudail from the Qaturah tribe, to prevent cruelty and rape from taking place in the city.

Because the leading figures of the Quraish had gathered in respect to similar matters and with the intention of making decisions, this association was called “Hilful-Fudul” to remind the “incident that took place between the Fadls.”

The association’s first action was to take back the Zubaidi tribesman’s goods, which he had brought for the purpose of trade, from Al-As Bin Wa’il.

Although our Beloved Prophet (Peace be upon him) was young, he joined this association, which comprised of the elderly, together with his uncles and showed an affirmative response with his vote. This shows that our Noble Prophet (Peace be upon him) had possessed mature thoughts since he was very young, that he was disgusted by cruelty, and had a reputable standing among his tribe.

Of course this individual, who was a symbol of compassion and mercy, was going to rush to help the oppressed and facilitate the positive endeavours on this matter before he was assigned the responsibilities that came with his prophethood. He had been sent for the purpose of “completing high ethics.” In that case, he would partake in every endeavour that was a means of upholding high ethics.

As a matter of fact, after he was appointed as a Prophet (Peace be upon him), he expressed his contentment at having joined the association with the following statement:

“I was also there in Abdullah Bin Jud’an’s home when the oath was affirmed. In my opinion, that oath is more pleasant than owning red-haired camels. If I am summoned to it during the Islamic era, I will accept it.”

This word of the Messenger of Allah is also a criterion for the Muslims of today: To help the societies and organisations that struggle against oppression and all kinds of immoralities no matter under what name and how…

Dear Brothers and Sisters! Our great Islam calls for Muslims and non-Muslims to cooperate with one another in any good deeds, justice, and mutual benefit for humanity.

The precedent for this cooperation is the alliance of al-Fudul (Hilful-Fudul), a pre-Islamic pact of justice made by the people of Makkah in which they pledged to support an oppressed person no matter what tribe or religion he was from. The Prophet spoke highly of this pact and made clear that he would support any similar pact with non-Muslims after the advent of Islam.

Talha Ibn Abdullah reported that:

“The Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) said: “Certainly, I had witnessed a pact of justice in the house of Abdullah Ibn Jud’an that was more beloved to me than a herd of red camels. If I were called to it now in the time of Islam, I would respond.” [See Sunan Al-Kubrah of Imam Al-Baihaqi]

In another narration, the Prophet said:

“Certainly, I had witnessed a pact of justice in the house of Abdullah Ibn Jud’an which, if I were called to it now in the time of Islam, I would respond. Make such alliances in order to return rights to their people, that no oppressor should have power over the oppressed.” [See Al-Dala’il Fi Gharib al-Hadith]

Imam Ibn Hisham describes the nature of this pact, saying:

“They promised and pledged that they would not find any oppressed person among their people or among anyone else who entered Makkah except that they would support him. They would stand against whoever oppressed him until the rights of the oppressed were returned.” [See Al-Sirah Al-Nabawiyyah]

Beloved Servants of Allah! In Islam, justice is the universal right of all human beings regardless of their race, tribe, religion, gender or region. It is one of the most fundamental purposes and objectives of Islamic law (Maqasid Al-Shari’ah).

Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim said:

“Allah the Exalted has made clear in his law that the objective is the establishment of justice between His servants and fairness among the people, so whichever path leads to justice and fairness is part of the religion and can never oppose it.” [See Al-Turuq Al-Hikmiyyah]

My People! Since justice is a universal right, Islam encourages Muslims to cooperate with non-Muslims in agreements like the Hilful Fudul in order to protect people from injustice, return the rights of the oppressed, and perform any kind of charitable work that benefits humanity as a whole.

Allah the Most High said:

“Cooperate with one another in righteousness and piety, and do not cooperate with one another in sin and aggression.” [Qur’an, 5:2]

Imam Ibn Kathir comments on this verse, saying:

“Allah the Exalted commands his faithful servants to cooperate in any good deeds, which is righteousness (Birr), and to avoid evil deeds, which is piety (Taqwa). He prohibits them from supporting one another in falsehood and cooperating in sinfulness and unlawfulness.” [See Tafsirul Qur?anil Karim]

Some of the pre-Islamic alliances were nullified by Islam, such as those that were based upon vulgar tribalism, sin, and transgression. However, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) continued to make pacts based upon justice well after the emigration to Madinah.

Asim reported that:

“I said to Anas Ibn Malik people are saying the Prophet (Peace be upon him) declared that there was no pact in Islam. Anas said: The Prophet (Peace be upon him) made a pact between the Quraish and the Ansar in my house.” [Sahih Bukhari]

Imam An-Nawawi comments on this Hadith, saying:

“The inherited pacts and what the law prohibits have been annulled. As for a pact in obedience to Allah, supporting the oppressed, and brotherhood for the sake of Allah, then it is a matter to be desired.” [See Fath al-Bari]

In another Hadith, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) explicitly confirmed that all pre-Islamic and non-Islamic alliances based upon justice and charity, such as the Hilful Fudul, are upheld and strengthened by Islam.

Ibn Abbas reported that:

“The Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) said: “Every pact from the time of ignorance (Jahiliyyah) is not increased by Islam except in strength and affirmation.” [Musnad of Imam Ahmad]

Imam Zuhrah said:

“It is a pact such as the Hilful Fudul, in which they agreed not to help an oppressor over an oppressed person in Makkah.” [Fath al-Bari]

Dear Brothers and Sisters! The classical scholars held that it is permissible for Muslims to cooperate and seek help from non-Muslims if there is a benefit in it (Maslaha) and it involves no sin. In fact, the Prophet (Peace be be upon him) told us a time would come when the Muslims would make peace with the Romans and cooperate against a common enemy.

Hassan Ibn Atiyah reported that:

“The Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) said:

“You will make a secure peace with the Romans, and together you will fight an enemy from behind you.” [Sunan Abu Dawud]

Imam An-Nawawi said:

“Imam Ash-Shafi’i and others said that if the unbelievers have good advice for the Muslims and there is a need for their help, then their help may be sought; otherwise it is disapproved.” [See Sharh Sahih Muslim]

And the Islamic scholars relied upon the evidence of many instances in the life of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) in which he sought the assistance of non-Muslims.

Imam Ash-Shawkani said:

“Imam Abu Hanifah and his companions held that it is permissible to seek help from the unbelievers and sinners as long as they are adhering to the commands and prohibitions. They used as evidence that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) sought help from some people among the Jews as mentioned, he sought the help of Safwan Ibn Umayyah at the battle of Hunain, and he reported that an alliance would be made between the Muslims and the Romans in which they would together fight an enemy from behind the Muslims.” [See Naylul Autar]

Therefore, my people, there’s no problem, we should investigate many different ways in which we can cooperate with non-Muslims for a good cause. Today, our world is racked by violence from every direction, countless people live in grinding poverty, and our climate is threatened by pollution. These are issues that matter to all human beings regardless of their religion or ideology, as they put our collective future in danger. Hence, by forging national and international alliances to tackle these problems together, we can better serve Allah, our religion, and all of humanity at the same time.

My Respected people! This Fudul Alliance was formed after the Quraish returned from the Fijar War. It began when a man from Zubaid – a region in Yemen, as mentioned earlier – went to Makkah with some merchandise. Al-As Ibn Wa’il purchased the merchandise from him, took possession of the merchandise, but refused to pay for it. The man from Zubaid pleaded with Quraish’s chieftains to help him, but they refused, simply because, like them, Al-As was a nobleman and a leader and was therefore not to be opposed.

The Zubaidi man didn’t give up hope; instead, he stood beside the Ka’abah and called out, asking for help from the descendants of Fihr (the Quraish) and reproaching them for their refusal to help him against the man who had wronged him. Zubair Ibn Abdul-Muttalib, one of the Prophet’s uncles, stood up and exclaimed, “Will no one help him!”

As a result of Zubair’s display of anger, a meeting was convened at the house of Abdullah Ibn Jud’an; present at the meeting were the clans of Banu Hashim, Zuhrah, and Banu Taim Ibn Murrah. The meeting occurred in Dhul-Qa’adah, one of the four inviolable months, and those who were present pledged and swore by Allah that they would be as one hand in their support of any victim against his wrongdoer. They then went together to Al- As Ibn Wa’il, seized from him the merchandise he had wrongfully taken, and returned it to its rightful owner.

The Quraish referred to what happened in the house of Ibn Jud’an as the Fudul Alliance (Hilful Fudul). Fudul was an appropriate name for the alliance since Fudul comes from the Arabic word Fadl, which means nobility, superiority, and virtue. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) who was present at the above-mentioned meeting, said later on in his life:

“When I was a boy, I attended the Al-Mutibin Alliance (i.e., the Fudul Alliance) with my uncles. I would not love to have even red camels as a recompense for me breaking (the terms) of that alliance.”

The owner of red camels during those times would today be equivalent to a billionaire. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said in another Hadith:

“I was present in the house of Abdullah Ibn Jud’an when an alliance (i.e., the Fudul Alliance) was formed, and I would not love to have in place of that alliance red camels. And if I were invited by it in Islam, I would answer and attend it.”

* The Lessons in the Fudul Alliance (Hilful Fudul):

1. The Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) felt honoured for being able to participate in an alliance that was formed on the basis of establishing justice, which shows that justice has an absolute and not a relative value; or in other words, no matter who it is that is carrying out justice, the act itself deserves to be praised.

2. The Fudul Alliance was like an oasis within the darkness of pre-Islamic ignorance (Jahiliyyah). That the Fudul alliance was formed proves that, just because evil pervades a given society, it does not mean that that society is completely void of virtuous acts and deeds. Makkan society was an ignorant society (Jahiliyyah); within it, all of the following evils were rampant: the worship of idols, base manners, wrongdoing, fornication, and usury.

Nonetheless, within the ranks of Makkan society were some men of noble breeding and character, men who despised evil and wrongdoing. This reality should provide an important lesson for today’s Du’at (callers to Islam) who live in societies wherein Islam is not applied or is being fought against.

3. No matter what form it takes, wrongdoing is unacceptable. It doesn’t matter whether the person being wronged is a Muslim or a non-Muslim, a pious man or a sinner, a rich man or a poor man; whoever he is, others in society must come to his help.

4. It is permissible to form an alliance with non-Muslims if justice is being served in the process; in fact, doing so is a part of enjoining good and forbidding evil.

5. It is permissible for Muslims to form alliances that are similar in intent and content to the Fudul Alliance because they establish a goal that is recognised by and encouraged in the Shari’ah; however, in doing so, Muslims must take into consideration what is best for Islam and for Muslims in the short term and in the long run.

6. A Muslim must strive to have a positive effect on society, to be a person who is remembered for the positive influence he has on the events that take place during his lifetime. Even prior to receiving revelation for the first time, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) was known for his many positive contributions to society, to the degree that everyone in the Quraish called him by the name Al-Amin (The Trustworthy One). People’s hearts were attracted to him when he was still at a very young age, and that attraction, in addition to love, continued to grow throughout his entire life, but especially during the years of his Prophethood. [See Sahih As-Sirah An-Nabawiyyah by Shaykh Ibrahim Al-Ali, page 59, and As-Sirah An-Nabawiyyah by Ibn Hisham, vol. 1 page 134, and Fiqh As-Sirah by Al-Ghadban, page 102, and Tabaqat of Ibn Sa’ad, and Al-Bidayatu wan-Nihaya of Imam Ibn Kathir, and Sirah of the Messenger of Allah, by Professor Aliy Muhammad Sallaby]

May Allah be praised; and may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon His Messenger Muhammad (Peace be upon him) and upon his family and Companions.

Written by your Brother:

Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, from Okene, Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached via: gusaumurtada@gmail.com or +2348038289761.

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Friday Sermon: The Power Of Reconciliation In Islam, By Imam Murtadha Gusau

In The Name Of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful

Praise be to Allah, we seek His help and His forgiveness. We seek refuge with Allah from the evil of our own souls and from our bad deeds. Whomsoever Allah guides will never be led astray, and whomsoever Allah leaves astray, no one can guide. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, and I bear witness that Muhammad (Peace be upon him) is His servant and Messenger.

“O you who believe! Fear Allah as He should be feared, and die not except in a state of Islam (as Muslims) with complete submission to Allah).” [Al Imran, 3:103]

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

“O you who believe! Keep your duty to Allah and fear Him, and speak (always) the truth.” [Al-Ahzab, 33:70]

Respected Brothers and Sisters! Reconciling people is among the great noble morals. The Shari’ah urged it in more than one occasion as Allah Almighty says:

“So fear Allah and amend that which is between you.” [Qur’an, 8: 1]

The Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) said:

“Sadaqa (i.e. charity) is due on every joint of a person every day the sun rises. Administering of justice between two men is also a sadaqa. Assisting a man to ride upon his riding animal, or helping him load his luggage upon it is a sadaqa; a good word is a sadaqa; every step that you take towards prayer is a sadaqa, and removing harmful objects from the pathway is a sadaqa.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim; this is the wording of Al-Bukhari]

Due to the importance of this virtue (reconciliation), Islam assigned one of the disbursement channels of zakah for those who seek to reconcile people. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“The best charity is to reconcile between people.” [At-Tabarani in Al-Mu‘jam Al-Kabir]

Poets did not forget the virtue of reconciling people, so they immortalised it in their poems. One Arab poem said a line of verse that means:

“All merits are referred to two matters; glorifying the Orders of Allah Almighty and seeking to reconcile people.”

Dear Servants of Allah! Reconciling people is a branch of faith and an Islamic moral code through which grudges are eliminated, hearts are purified, and flames of fitnah are extinguished. Allah Almighty said – about this quality:

“No good is there in much of their private conversation, except for those who enjoin charity or that which is right or conciliation between people. And whoever does that seeking means to the approval of Allah – then We are going to give him a great reward.” [Qur’an, 4: 114]

Islam urges the believer to regard ‘reconciling people’ as one of his most important aims in his worldly life, as it is through reconciliation that the Ummah becomes a coherent unit where one part thereof seeks to amend the other part. Thus, it becomes like a single body; if one organ of it complains, the rest of the body suffers sleeplessness and fever. Neglecting this matter leads to the disintegration of the Ummah and the severance of its ties. That is why Islam considered reconciling people better than many acts of worship. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“Should I not tell you what is better in degree than prayer, fasting, and charity.” They (the Companions) said: “Yes.” He said: “Reconciling people, for grudges and disputes are the razor (that shaves faith).” [Ahmad, Abu Dawud, and At-Tirmithi: good-authentic]

Reconciliation should be realised by bridging the gaps that occurred because of disputes and conflicts over worldly affairs and by removing their bad effects.

Some scholars maintain that the prayer, the fasting, and the charities that are mentioned in the Hadith refer to the voluntary, not the obligatory. Imam Al-Qari said:

“Allah Almighty knows best about the intended meaning. However, it could mean that bringing reconciliation to conflicts and disputes that might lead to shedding blood, plundering money, and violating sanctities is better than fulfilling obligatory acts of worship whose benefits do not extend to others, taking the possibility of making up for them, in case they are missed, into consideration. This is so because such acts of worship are among the Rights of Allah Almighty that are less significant in His sight than the rights of the slaves. As regards his saying, “Grudges and disputes are the razor,” the author of An-Nihayah said: ” ‘The razor’ refers to such a bad quality that removes faith, just like a razor removes hair. It was also said that it refers to severing ties of kinship and injustice.”

Imam At-Tibi said: The Hadith urges reconciling people and avoiding corrupting relations between them, because reconciliation is a reason for holding firm to the rope of Allah Almighty and avoiding disunity between the Muslims, whereas disputes are a crack in the religion. Whoever seeks to amend the relations between the Muslims and removes the corruption thereof will attain a degree that is greater than that of the fasting person who observes night prayers and is preoccupied with his own benefit only.”

From the sum of these Hadiths, we reach an important result, which is that our great religion aspires for reconciliation and seeks for it. Allah Almighty informed us that settlement of disagreements is best. Allah Almighty says:

“…there is no sin upon them if they make terms of settlement between them – and settlement is best.” [Qur’an, 4: 128]

Dear Brothers and Sisters! Reconciling people is a great act of worship that Allah Almighty loves. The one who seeks to reconcile people is the one who offers his time, effort, money, authority, and power to reconcile the disputing parties. He is a person whose soul loves goodness and yearns for it. He does not care about the people’s opinions or criticism as long as he seeks the pleasure of Allah Almighty. He exposes himself to embarrassing situations and shares the concerns of his Muslim brothers in order to reconcile two persons.

Many are those homes which were about to collapse because of a simple dispute between the spouses. Then, when a person interfered seeking reconciliation between them by means of a good word, a sincere advice, or sometimes a sum of money, he restored peacefulness between them and saved the family from loss and destitution?

How many ruptures of relations were about to occur between two brothers, friends or relatives because of a mistake or a minor error, but then a person succeeded in reconciling them.

How many lives and properties were saved and shaitanic (satanic) temptations were suppressed after they were about to start, thanks to the favour of Allah Almighty and then to those good people who reconcile others!

Congratulations, O Muslims, to those who were guided by Allah Almighty to reconcile two opponents, spouses, neighbours, friends, associates, partners, parties or groups.

What further indicates the great virtue of reconciling people is that Islam allows lying to reconcile quarreling people. The intended meaning of lying here is to exaggerate in describing and confirming the good aspects of the other party so as to reconcile hearts and to assert that such a dispute was not intentional. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“The one who reconciles people is not considered a liar if he exaggerates what is good or says what is good.” [Ahmad]

A great and respected scholar said:

“Allah Almighty likes lying for the sake of reconciliation and dislikes truthfulness for the sake of corruption.”

Thus, pay attention to this.

We have to realise that we are human beings and that disputes breaking up among us is something normal and natural. Rare are those people who are safe from disagreement. It might occur between you and your brother, relative, spouse, or friend… This happens often. So, we have to rid ourselves of this by reconciliation, shaking hands, forgiveness, condescendence, love, and brotherhood so that everything becomes normal and alright again.

Let us reflect upon this Hadith of the master of those who reconcile people, Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him):

“The gates of Paradise are opened on two days: Monday and Thursday. Every servant of Allah who does not associate anything with Allah Almighty (committing shirk) is granted pardon, except the person in whose (heart) there is rancour against his brother. It would be said: delay both of them until they reconcile; delay both of them until they reconcile; delay both of them until they reconcile.” [Muslim]

Imam Al-Awza‘i said:

“There is no step that is dearer to Allah Almighty than a step towards reconciling people. Whoever reconciles two people, Allah Almighty will grant him safety from Hellfire.”

O my loved ones for the sake of Allah, the Exalted! Someone may say: ‘I want to go to so-and-so to reconcile, but I fear that he rejects me, refuses to receive me, or depreciates my visit!’ I tell you: remember that your Prophet is telling you: ‘Go to him even if he dismisses you or talks badly about you. Go to him once, twice, and thrice and hasten to give him a present, smile at him, and treat him nicely.’ The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“Allah Almighty augments the honour of he who forgives.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

If you pardon, Allah Almighty will increase your honour; if you reconcile people, Allah Almighty will increase your honour. If you were expelled or the door was not opened for you and you returned, then know that this is one of the wishes of the predecessors of the Ummah because it is proof of the purity of the heart since Allah, the Exalted, says:

“And if it is said to you, “Go back,” then go back; it is purer for you.” [Qur’an, 24: 28]

So, take care of this, O believer, and do not leave for Shaitan (Satan) a way to yourself.

Try reconciliation today. Call the one who is disputing with you and treat him nicely. Perhaps this call might be a reason, after the mercy of Allah Almighty, for forgiving your sins:

“Would you not like that Allah should forgive you? And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” [Qur’an, 24: 22]

Go to him. There are people who went to sit with their opponents for only fifteen or thirty minutes, but they ended up sitting for long hours because of the great happiness, comfort, familiarity, and love they felt.

Try to be the one who takes the initiative of reconciliation and do not let Shaitan’s (Satan’s) whisper overcome you. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“It is unlawful for a Muslim to forsake his fellow Muslim for more than three consecutive days. When they meet, each of them turns his face away from the other. The better one is the one who starts the greeting.” [Ahmad]

The one who seeks reconciliation should keep the etiquettes of settlement in mind so that Allah Almighty supports him and so that he receives the fruits of his endeavour. The greatest of these etiquettes include:

1. He should make his intention sincere for the sake of Allah Almighty. He should not intend money, prestige, ostentation, or fame with the reconciliation, but he should seek the countenance of Allah Almighty, Who says:

“And whoever does that seeking means to the approval of Allah – then We are going to give him a great reward.” [Qur’an, 4: 114]

2. He should adhere to justice and completely avoid injustice. Allah the Most High says:

“Then make settlement between them in justice and act justly. Indeed, Allah loves those who act justly.” [Qur’an, 49: 9]

3. Let your conciliation be based upon Shari’ah knowledge. It is preferable that you consult scholars in this regard, study the issue from all its sides, and listen to each of the parties.

4. Do not be rash in your judgment and take your time because hastiness may lead to corrupting more than what has been amended.

5. You should choose the appropriate time for reconciling between the conflicting parties. That is to say that you only start the reconciliation when the issue becomes cool, the severity of the dispute is alleviated, and the fire of anger is extinguished; then you start to reconcile them.

6. What is more important also is using nice words, you should say: “O father of so-and-so, you are known for such-and-such.” You should mention his merits and good deeds and you may exaggerate even to the point of lying; then warn him against grudges and disputes.

O Allah, purify our hearts from grudge, envy, and cheating.

O Allah, amend our relations with our leaders, relatives, friends and associates.

O Allah, amend our relations with our loved ones.

O Allah, make life an increase for us in every good and make death a relief for us from every evil with Your mercy, O Most Merciful of the Merciful.

All praise is due to Allah, Lord of all creation. May Allah extol the mention of the Prophet in the highest company of Angels and may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, his family, his Companions and all those who follow him diligently till the Day of Judgement.

This Jumu’ah Khutbah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today Friday, Safar 2nd, 1440 AH (October 12, 2018), by Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’ah and the late Alhaji Abdurrahman Okene’s Mosques, Okene Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached via: gusaumurtada@gmail.com or +2348038289761.

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Friday Sermon: Du’a, Supplication, Invocation, Prayer: The Weapon Of The Believer, By Imam Gusau

I Begin With The Name Of Allah, The Most Merciful, The One Who Bestows Mercy

Alhumdulillah. Indeed, all praise is due to Allah. We praise Him and seek His Help and forgiveness. We seek refuge in Allah from our soul’s evils and our wrong doings. He whom Allah guides, no one can misguide; and he whom He misguides, no one can guide.

I bear witness that there is no god except Allah – alone without any partners. And I bear witness that Muhammad is His Servant and Messenger.

O Allah, send prayers upon Muhammad and the followers of Muhammad, just as You sent prayers upon Ibrahim and upon the followers of Ibrahim. Verily you are full of praise and majesty. O Allah, send blessings upon Muhammad and upon the family of Muhammad, just as You sent blessings upon Ibrahim and upon the family of Ibrahim. Verily, You are full of praise and majesty.

Dear Brothers and Sisters! Du’a – an Arabic word written here in English letters. Three small letters that make up a word and a subject that is large and breathtaking. This word ‘Du’a’ could be roughly translated to mean supplication or invocation. Although neither word adequately define Du’a. Supplication, which means communicating with a deity, comes closer than invocation which is known to sometimes imply summoning spirits or devils.

In Islamic terminology Du’a is the act of supplication. It is calling out to Allah; it is a conversation with Allah, our Creator, our Lord, the All Knowing, and the All Powerful. In fact the word is derived from the Arabic root meaning to call out or to summon. Du’a is uplifting, empowering, liberating and transforming and it is one of the most powerful and effective act of worship a human being can engage in. Du’a has been called the weapon of the believer. It affirms a person’s belief in One Allah and it shuns all forms of idolatry or polytheism. Du’a is essentially submission to Allah and a manifestation of a person’s need for Allah.

Prophet Muhammad, May the mercy and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

“A servant becomes nearest to his Lord when he is in prostration (Sujud). So increase supplications in prostrations.’’

He also said:

“The supplication of every one of you will be granted if he does not get impatient and say, ‘I supplicated my Lord but my prayer has not been granted.’’’

At this point in understanding exactly what Du’a is, it would be easy for someone from a Christian background to think that Du’a is prayer. Du’a certainly holds certain similarities to the prayer of Christians, however it should not be confused with what Muslims call prayer. Prayer or in Arabic-Salah, is one of the pillars of Islam, and in performing the five daily prayers a Muslim actually engages in a physical form of Du’a asking Allah to grant them Heaven through their actions. Throughout the prayer one also supplicates to Allah directly.

For Muslims prayer is a set of ritual movements and words performed at fixed times, five times per day. Allah says in Quran:

“Verily, the prayer is enjoined on the believers at fixed hours.” [Quran, 4:103]

Muslims pray in the early morning before sunrise, in the middle of the day, in the afternoon, at sunset and at night. Prayer is an act of worship, in which a Muslim reaffirms his belief in One Allah and demonstrates his gratefulness. It is a direct connection between Allah and the believer and it is an obligation.

Du’a on the other hand is a Muslims way of feeling that connection to Allah at anytime, in any place. Muslims call on Allah frequently throughout the day and night. They raise their hands in supplication and ask for His help, mercy, and forgiveness. Du’a incorporates praise, thanksgiving, hope, and calling on Allah to assist the one in need and grant his or her requests.

Du’a can be made for the individual, their family, friends, strangers, those in dire circumstances, for the believers, and even for the whole of humanity. When making the Du’a it is acceptable to ask for good in this worldly life and in the hereafter. A person making Du’a should not hold back, but ask Allah to grant both the largest and smallest requests.

Prophet Muhammad, May the mercy and blessings of Allah be upon him, encouraged the believers to make Du’a. He said:

“The Du’a of a Muslim for his brother in his absence is readily accepted. An angel is appointed to his side. Whenever he makes a beneficial Du’a for his brother the appointed angel says, Ameen. And may you also be blessed with the same.’”

Although making Du’a is not an obligation, there are many benefits to making Du’a to Allah frequently and with full submission. Feeling the closeness to Allah that comes with sincere Du’a, it increases faith, gives hope and relief to the distressed and saves the supplicant from the despair and isolation. Throughout the Quran, Allah encourages the believer to call on Him, He asks us to lay our complaints, dreams, hopes, fears and uncertainties before Him and to be sure that He hears every word.

“You Alone do we worship and You Alone do we ask for help.” [Quran, 1:5]

“And your Lord says, Call on Me; I will answer your (prayer). But those who are too arrogant to worship Me will surely find themselves in Hell, in humiliation.” [Quran, 40:60]

“Say, O My slaves who have transgressed against their souls; despair not of the Mercy of Allah: For Allah forgives all sins; for He is oft Forgiving, most Merciful.” [Quran, 39:53]

“Say, Call upon Allah, or call upon ArRahman (The Most Beneficient): By whatever name you call upon Him, (it is well): For to Him belong the Most Beautiful Names.” [Quran, 17:110]

“And when My slaves ask you (O Muhammad) concerning Me, then (answer them), I am indeed near (to them by My Knowledge). I respond to the supplications of the supplicant when he calls on Me (without any mediator or intercessor). So let them obey Me and believe in Me, so that they may be led aright.” [Quran, 2:186]

Prophet Muhammad, May the mercy and blessings of Allah be upon him, called Du’a the essence of worship. He also suggested that the believer be humble, yet firm when making Du’a and said:

“When one of you supplicates, he should not say, ‘O Allah, forgive me if You will,’ but be firm in asking and make the desire great, for what Allah gives is nothing great for Him.”

When we make Du’a, when we call upon Allah in our hour of need, or express our gratefulness, or for any other reason including simply to feel the comfort of being close to Allah, we must remember to examine our sincerity and to check our intention. Du’a must be addressed to Allah Alone, who has no partners, sons, daughters or intermediaries. Our intention when making the Du’a must be to please Allah, obey Him and trust Him completely.

When a person makes Du’a Allah may give him what he asked for or He may divert a harm that is greater than the thing he asked for, or He may store up what he has asked for, for the Hereafter. Allah has commanded us to call upon Him and He has promised to respond to our call.

Respected Servants of Allah! Du’a is essentially submission to Allah and a sign of our need for Allah. Du’a has been called the weapon of the believer because it increases faith, gives hope and relief to the distressed and saves the supplicant from the despair and isolation. And perhaps most importantly Allah loves to be asked and He encourages us to call on Him for all our needs, wants, and desires.

The renowned Islamic scholar Imam Ibn al-Qayyim described Du’a in the following way. He said:

“The Du’a and prayers for seeking refuge with Allah are like a weapon, and a weapon is only as good as the person who is using it; it is not merely the matter of how sharp it is. If the weapon is perfect and free of faults, and the arm of the person using it is strong, and there is nothing stopping him, then he can lay waste to the enemy. But if any of these three features is lacking, then the effect will be lacking accordingly.”

It is incumbent upon us then, when we make our Du’a that we do so in the best possible way. As a way of metaphorically sharpening our sword we should endeavour to call on Allah in the best way and with the best manners. There is etiquette to making Du’a. Following that etiquette is an indication that a person is sincere and is endeavouring to maximise his or her chances of having the Du’a accepted by Allah, who says that He will:

“I answer the prayer (Du’a) of the supplicant when he beseeches unto Me.” [Quran, 2:186]

A firm and unwavering belief in the Oneness of Allah is an essential ingredient for Du’a. True sincerity and a willingness to accept that Allah Alone is able to change the course of events or grant requests is also necessary. The supplicant should eagerly and urgently call on Allah, however he should remain humble and quiet without getting either exasperated or bored. Prophet Muhammad, May the mercy and blessings of Allah be upon him, liked to say his Du’a three times and he also asked for forgiveness three times.

Praising Allah in the way He deserves to be praised is the starting point for a person making Du’a. Whilst Prophet Muhammad was sitting, a man came in and prayed and said:

“O Allah, forgive me and have mercy on me.” Prophet Muhammad heard him and said: “You have been too hasty, O worshipper. When you have prayed and are sitting, praise Allah as He deserves to be praised, and send blessings upon me, then call upon Him.”

Prophet Muhammad also recommended raising one’s hands when making Du’a. He said:

“Your Lord, May He be blessed and exalted, is Kind and Most Generous, and He is too kind to let His slave, if he raises his hands to Him, to send them back empty.”

Praising Allah the way he deserves to be praised essentially means recognising His Oneness. He is the First, the Last, the Beginning and the End. He Alone has the Power and the Strength. Recognise this and send blessings on the Prophet Muhammad, before beseeching Allah.

When the supplicant reaches out to Allah he should do so with humility. Allah tells us in Quran that humility is a desirable quality and that a believer should call on his Lord with a mixture of hope and fear. Hope that Allah will hear his Du’a and keep him safe from life’s trials and tribulations, and fear that his actions will displease his Lord.

“Invoke your Lord with humility and in secret.” [Quran, 7:55]

“Verily, they used to hasten on to do good deeds, and they used to call on Us with hope and fear, and used to humble themselves before Us.” [Quran, 21:60]

“And remember your Lord within yourself, humbly and with fear and without loudness in words in the mornings and in the afternoons.” [Quran, 7:20]

Dear Brothers and Sisters! The best times for making Du’a include just before Fajr (dawn prayer), in the last third of the night, during the last hour of Friday (i.e. the last hour before Maghrib prayer), when rain is falling, and between the call to prayer and Iqamah (the call raised immediately before prayer begins). Other excellent times to make Du’a are when the believer is in prostration (Sujud).

The believer should endeavour to use the clearest and most concise words when offering his supplications. The best Du’as are those used by the Prophets; however it is permissible to say other words according to the specific needs of the supplicant. There are many wonderful collections of authentic Du’as and believers should take extra care to authenticate the Du’as they use to supplicate to Allah.

When making Du’a it is important to either say authentic Du’as found in the Quran or Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad, or the words that spontaneously come to mind when one is seeking the protection or forgiveness of Allah. It is not permissible to set your own specific time, place or number of repetitions. To do so would be an act of innovation (Bid’ah) in the religion of Islam and that is a very serious matter.

For instance when one turns to Allah in his darkest hour or in a moment of joy, he or she speaks from his heart with sincerity and love. A person must never be afraid to converse with Allah, to pour out his heart, his longing, his love, fears and desires. However, if one begins to make strange rituals, such as making a Du’a 30 times on Wednesday after Asr prayer, this is how trouble begins. As a general rule Du’a must either be spontaneous or from the authentically narrated. This is not complicated, Islam without manmade rituals and superstitions is pure devotion to Allah, and it is easy and comforting.

To close this week’s Sermon let me mention situations in which Du’a is more likely to be accepted. These situations include, when one is mistreated or oppressed, when one is travelling, when one is fasting, when one is in desperate need, and when a Muslim makes Du’a for his absent brother.

As believers we know that Allah is above the heavens, above His creation yet He is unrestrained by any of physical dimensions. Allah is close, very close, to those who believe in Him and He answers their every call. Allah knows all of our secrets, dreams, and wishes, nothing is hidden from Him. Allah is with His creation by His knowledge and power. Why then do some Dua’s (supplications) remain unanswered?

A mighty question indeed and even the first Muslims were concerned with the answer. Abu Hurairah, one of the Prophets closest Companions said that he heard the Prophet, May the mercy and blessings of Allah be upon him, say:

“A person’s Du’as will be answered so long as he does not pray for something sinful or for the breaking of family ties.”

From this we learn that if the Du’a is inappropriate or one is asking for something sinful Allah will not respond.

If the person making Du’a communicates with Allah in an arrogant manner, perhaps complaining or raising his voice in anger or petulance Allah may not respond. Another reason for Allah not responding to Du’a is when the supplicant begs Allah for help or comfort yet he has surrounded himself with unlawful wealth, food, or clothing. One cannot continuously engage in sinful behaviour and activities without even a second of remorse yet at the same time expect Allah to answer his Du’as and requests.

Prophet Muhammad told his Companions that:

“Allah is far removed from every imperfection and only accepts that which is lawful. Allah commanded the pious to follow the same commandments as He gave to the Messengers. “O (you) Messengers! Eat of the Tayyibat [all kinds (lawful foods which Allah has made lawful (meat of slaughtered eatable animals, milk products, fats, vegetables, fruits)] and do righteous deeds. Verily, I am Well-Acquainted with what you do.” [Quran, 23:51]

“O you who believe! Eat of the lawful things that We have provided you with.” [Quran, 2:172]

Thereafter Prophet Muhammad mentioned a man who had travelled on a long journey, he was dishevelled and covered in dust and stretched his hands towards heaven saying:

“O Lord, O Lord”, but his food was unlawful and his drink was unlawful so how was his Du’a to be accepted?”

The man described here had some of the characteristics that make Du’a more likely to be accepted. It can be deduced that on account of this man not living his life within the lawful limits his Du’a was not accepted.

Another important point to remember is not to be hasty. A supplicant must never give up, he must never say:

“I pray and pray, I make Du’a after Du’a but Allah does not hear me, He does not respond!”

Just when a person feels like giving up he must make more Du’a, ask Allah again, and again for more and more. There is no power or strength except with Allah alone. There is no solution or outcome except from Allah. When supplicating to Allah a person must be both resolute and sincere.

The Du’a of any one of you will be answered so long as he is not impatient and says, ‘I made Du’a but it was not answered.

Let not any one of you say, ‘O Allah, forgive me if You will, O Allah have mercy on me if You will. Let him be resolute in the matter, whilst knowing that no one can compel Allah to do anything.

It is also important to understand that a response to a Du’a may not be exactly what you expect. Allah may respond and fulfill the desire of a person immediately. Sometimes Du’as are answered very quickly. However sometimes Allah responds in a different way, He might keep some evil away from the supplicant, or He will reward him with something good but not exactly what the supplicant asked for. It is important to remember that Allah knows what the future holds and we do not.

“… It may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allah knows but you do not know.” [Quran, 2:216]

Sometimes Allah will save his response to a Du’a until the Day of Resurrection when a person will be most in need of it.

Dear Brothers and Sisters! Du’a has unlimited power, it can change many things and it is an important act of worship that we must never lose faith in. Making Du’a demonstrates our great need for Allah and it recognises that He is able to do all things. He gives and He withholds but when we trust Allah completely we know that His decree is just and wise.

Respected Servants of Allah! Make Du’a and be patient, for Allah will answer, in the best possible way, at the best possible time. Never give up hope, never stop asking, and ask for more and more and more. Ask for good in this world and in the hereafter. Wallahi, Du’a is the weapon of the believer.

“So We answered his call, and delivered him from the distress. And thus We do deliver the believers (who believe in the Oneness of Allah, abstain from evil and work righteousness).” [Quran, 21:88]

“And He answers (the supplication of) those who believe (in the Oneness of Allah – Islamic Monotheism) and do righteous good deeds, and gives them increase of His Bounty. And as for the disbelievers, theirs will be a severe torment.” [Quran, 42:26]

My Respected People! In the above, we have learned many righteous and inspiring things. We know that Du’a is the weapon of the believer, therefore, there is no need to resort to despair, or anger, because sharing our grief with Allah is a way of relieving and overcoming burdens. We have learned that Du’a is the essence of worship and that there is an etiquette when supplicating Allah for anything, both in times of need and when we praise and thank Him. I have discussed the way some Du’a seemingly go unanswered, and finally, in my final part, I will look at the way the Prophets made Du’a.

Respected Brothers and Sisters! As we know, the Prophets of Allah throughout time always had special and close relationships with Allah. They turned to Him in times of distress and need, and they never forgot to praise and thank Him for the countless blessings in their lives. The Prophets were aware of the importance of patience and gratitude and above all their relationships with Allah were bonds formed due to their complete and utter submission to His will. However, even with such trust and love they still at times became scared or distressed, and felt alone and overwhelmed.

Consequently, the Prophets turned to Allah and called on Him to make them patient and steadfast, they asked for help in this life and bliss in the next. They called on Allah to make their families and companions righteous and patient, and to make themselves and all around them, grateful and serene. Although Allah loves us to turn to Him and speak the words that flow from our hearts, the words of the Prophets are more complete and submissive to Allah’s will, then we could hope to be. Supplicating Allah with the Du’as found in the Quran and the authentic Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad, May the mercy and blessings of Allah be upon him, is a righteous and comforting practice.

When Prophet Adam and his wife Hawwa (Eve) were expelled from heaven (Jannah) Adam turned to Allah in repentance. He said:

“Our Lord! We have wronged ourselves. If You forgive us not, and bestow not upon us Your Mercy, we shall certainly be of the losers.” [Quran, 7:23]

Humankind continues to make mistakes and commit sins but we only harm ourselves. Our sins and mistakes do not harm Allah. However if Allah does not forgive us and have mercy on us, we will surely be among the losers.

When Prophet Yunus (Jonah) awoke in the belly of the whale he thought he was dead and was lying in the darkness of his grave. He felt around him and realised that this was not a grave but the belly of the giant whale. He was afraid and raised his voice calling out to Allah:

“None has the right to be worshipped but you oh Allah, far removed are you from every imperfection and truly I have been one of the wrongdoers!” [Quran, 21:87]

Throughout his life Prophet Ayyub (Job) was put through many trials and tests by Allah but he remained steadfast, patient and was constantly turning to Allah for forgiveness. Even when he felt at his most helpless he did not complain but turned to Allah and begged for forgiveness. He said:

“Verily distress has seized me and You are the Most Merciful of all those who show mercy.” [Quran, 21:83]

The Quran relates to us the stories of the Prophets in order that we might learn from them. They are worthy role models and their lives are not so different from our own. How many times has each one of us sunk to the ground or into a chair in despair? How many times have we felt so physically or mentally exhausted that it seems we will be unable to go on for even one more second?

Prophet Musa (Moses) was forced to flee Egypt and walk out into the desert to face an unknown future. After walking for more than a week across the burning sands, he came to an oasis. It was there that this man of honour helped the women at the well before flinging himself under a tree and calling out to Allah for help.

Prophet Musa (Moses) knew that Allah was the only One who could deliver him from his predicament, so he turned to Allah and before his supplication was finished help was on its way. Musa (Moses) was probably hoping for a slice of bread or a handful of dates but instead Allah gave him safety, provisions and a family.

“My Lord! Truly, I am in need of whatever good that You bestow on me!” [Quran, 28: 24]

There are lessons for humankind throughout the story of Prophet Musa (Moses). When Musa (Moses) was sent by Allah to confront tyrant and dictator Fir’awn (Pharaoh), he was afraid that he would not be able to live up to Allah’s demands, but instead of complaining or despairing Musa turned to Allah and made Du’a:

“O my Lord! Open for me my chest (grant me self-confidence, contentment, and boldness). And ease my task for me; and make loose the knot (the defect) from my tongue, (remove the incorrectness of my speech) that they understand my speech.” [Quran, 20:25-28]

And After Musa (Moses) learned of the great evil his people had committed by building the golden calf, he was angry. However, even amidst such wrongdoing he called upon Allah to have mercy upon them all:

“You are our Protector, so forgive us and have Mercy on us, for You are the best of those who forgive. And ordain for us good in this world, and in the Hereafter.” [Quran, 7:155-156]

King (and Prophet) Sulaiman (Solomon) was acutely aware of the power of Allah. He always praised Allah for any condition that he was put in. He said:

“All praise and thanks is due to Allah.” [Quran, 27: 15]

Prophet Sulaiman (Solomon) also understood that no power or strength would be his, unless he requested it from Allah. He made Du’a and asked for a kingdom that would never be surpassed. Allah granted his request and Prophet Sulaiman (Solomon) reigned over an empire the like of which we cannot imagine.

“He said, “My Lord! Forgive me, and bestow upon me a kingdom such as shall not belong to any other after me. Verily, You are the Bestower.” [Quran, 38:35]

These Du’as are a small example of how the Prophets of Allah made Du’a. Their stories and their Du’as are found throughout the Quran. When we read the stories of Prophets Sulaiman (Solomon), Yusuf (Joseph), Yakub (Jacob) or Ibrahim (Abraham) we find that they, and all of the Prophets completely submitted to Allah that’s why they succeeded. They raised their hands in supplication and requested help from Allah Alone.

As believers we must never forget that Allah hears our Du’as and supplications, and answers. Sometimes the wisdom behind the answers is beyond our comprehension but Allah desires only good for us. Putting our trust in Allah and submitting to His will allows the believer to weather any storm, and to stand tall in the face of any adversity. We are never alone.

Glory be to your Lord, the Lord of Might above what they describe. And peace be upon those sent. And praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds.

How perfect You are O Allah, and I praise You. I bear witness that none has the right to be worshipped except You. I seek Your forgiveness and turn to You in repentance.

This Jumu’ah Khutbah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today Friday, Muharram 25, 1440 AH (October 5, 2018), by Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’ah and the late Alhaji Abdurrahman Okene’s Mosques, Okene Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached via: gusaumurtada@gmail.com or +2348038289761.

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Nigeria At 58: The Love For One’s Country Is A Sign Of Faith (Iman), By Imam Murtadha Gusau

I Begin With The Name Of Allah, The Most Merciful, The One Who Bestows Mercy

Indeed all praise is for Allah; we praise him, seek His aid and ask His  forgiveness. We seek refuge in Allah from the evil in ourselves and  we seek refuge from our evil actions Whoever Allah guides none  can misguide him, and whoever Allah misguided none can guide him.

I bear witness there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah, He is alone and has no partners, and I bear witness that Muhammad is  His servant and  final Messenger.

May the peace and salutations of Allah be upon him, his family and his enlightened Companions, and those who follow them up in goodness until the Day of Resurrection. To proceed:

Dear Brothers and Sisters! In Islam, speaking about one’s country progress and development and professing love for it is not a discussion which revolves around racism, bigotry or nationalism. Rather it is a discussion revolving  around one’s life, place and growth; it is based on the depth of one’s values and principles.

Imam Al-Jurjani said:

“A person’s country is the place of his birth and where he resides.” [See At-Ta’rifat, page 327]

Imam Al-Asma’i said:

“I heard a Bedouin (an Arab man from the village) saying: ‘if you want to know a person, look to his affection and attachment to his  country; his longing for his brothers and his weeping over the time  which he has spent.” [See Al-Mujalasah by Ad-Dainuri, page 336]

Ibn Najjar Al-Baghdadi said:

“I heard Abu Bakr Muhammad Ibn Dawud say, ‘whoever does not drink from the water of loneliness and does not place his head on  the pillow of sadness, he has not known the right of his country and  soil; and neither the right of the people of knowledge and elderly…” [See Zail Tarikh Baghdad, vol. 16, page 207]

So loving one’s country and affiliating to one’s nation is something which is a natural human instinct; it is the nature which Allah has created people upon. When a person is born in a particular land, grows up in it, drinks from its water, breaths its air and lives amongst its people, his natural human instinct connects him to that land; he loves it and is loyal towards it. It is sufficient as an insult to a person’s feelings that it is said that he has no country. In the noble Qur’an, loving one’s country has been linked to loving one’s self. Allah, the Majestic and Exalted, said:

“If We had decreed upon them, “Kill yourselves” or “Leave your  homes,” they would not have done it, except for a few of them.” [Qur’an, 4:66]

In fact, Allah linked the love of one’s country to the religion, He said:

“Allah does not forbid you from those who do not fight you because  of religion and do not expel you from your homes – from being  righteous toward them and acting justly toward them. Indeed, Allah loves those who act justly.” [Qur’an, 60:8]

In the following Qur’anic verse, had it not been for what a person’s  country means to him, the disbelievers would not have threatened  the Messengers of Allah to exile them from their country. Allah the Most High said:

“And those who disbelieved said to their Messengers, “We will surely  drive you out of our land, or you must return to our religion.” So their Lord inspired to them, “We will surely destroy the wrongdoers. And  We will surely cause you to dwell in the land after them. That is for  he who fears My position and fears My threat.” [Qur’an, 14: 13-14]

Also in the story of the people of Prophet Lut (Alaihis salam). Allah the Almighty said:

“They said: “If you do not desist, O Lut, you will surely be of those  evicted.” He said: “Indeed, I am, toward your deed, of those who detest [it]. My Lord, save me and my family from [the consequence  of] what they do.” [Qur’an, 26:167-169]

Allah also connected between being exiled from one’s country and killing, He said:

“If We had decreed upon them, “Kill yourselves” or “Leave your  homes,” they would not have done it, except for a few of them.” [Qur’an, 4:66]

Our Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) was tested with  both of these difficulties on both sides. In Makkah, the Quraish threatened him using their tongues and hands, as well as the hypocrites in Madinah who also threated him. Allah, the Most High, said regarding the threat of the Quraish:

“And [remember, O Muhammad], when those who disbelieved  plotted against you to restrain you or kill you or evict you [from  Makkah]. But they plan, and Allah plans. And Allah is the best of planners.” [Qur’an, 8:30]

And he said regarding the threat of the hypocrites:

“They say, “If we return to Madinah, the more honoured [for power] will surely expel therefrom the more humble.” And to Allah belongs  [all] honour, and to His Messenger, and to the believers, but the hypocrites do not know.” [Qur’an, 63:8]

Anas, May Allah be pleased with him, mentioned that:

“When the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) returned from a journey he would, upon seeing the high pathways of Madinah, make  his she camel proceed faster; and if it were another animal, even then he used to make it proceed faster.” [Bukhari]

In another narration:

“When he returned from a journey, and saw the walls of Madinah, he  would make his riding camel proceed faster, and if he was on  another animal he would move it [faster] due to his love of it.”

Al-Hafidh Ibn Hajr (rahimahullah) said:

“This Hadith proves the virtue of Madinah, as well as the legislation  of loving one’s country and showing affection for it.” [Fath al-Bari, vol. 3, page 621]

The most beautiful love towards one’s country is when Allah also loves the country as well as the person himself loving the country. This is what Allah gave to His Prophet (Peace be upon him) when  He loved Makkah, however he tested the Prophet (Peace be upon him) by distancing him from it. Abdullahi Ibn Adiy Az-Zuhari, May  Allah be pleased with him, narrated that he heard the Prophet (Peace be upon him) saying whilst standing in Al-Hawza in the market of Makkah:

“By Allah, you are the best land of Allah, you are the most beloved  land of Allah to Allah, the Majestic and Exalted. Had it not been for me being exiled from you, I would have never left you.” [Ahmad, Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, with an authentic Isnad]

Al-Aini, May Allah have mercy upon him, said:

“Allah tested His Prophet though him having to depart from his country.”

As-Suhaili, May Allah have mercy upon him, said:

“In this is an evidence for loving one’s country, and the severity upon  a person due to departing it.”

Al-Hafiz Az-Zahabi, May Allah have mercy upon him, mentioned the  things which were dear and beloved to the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him), he said:

“He used to love his wife Aisha, her father Abu Bakr, Usamah Ibn  Zaid, his two grandchildren Hasan and Husain, sweet food, honey;  he used to love mount Uhud and he used to love his country.” [See Siyar A’lam An-Nubala, vol. 15, page 394]

This is what our role model and example, Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) was like; in his pure heart he held a sincere  love for his country. Today, as Nigerians, in our time, we have a great country which is precious in our hearts. However we need to purify  our hearts, and hearts are not purified except with love, but this love  will never be fulfilled unless it is according to what Allah has legislated for us.

Ali Ibn Abi Talib – May Allah be pleased with him – said:

“When we came to Madinah we tasted some of its vegetation and became ill and tired…” [Ahmad]

Ibn Abdul-Barr, May Allah be pleased with him, said:

“In this Hadith is an explanation of what is normal to people’s  custom even today, that when a person moves to another land  which he is not accustomed to its environment and has neither  drank from its water, he finds difficulty and denial…it also shows the  love and yearning that most people have for their country and the emotional longing and grief they have due to them leaving their country in which they were born and grew up.” [See Al-Istizkar, vol. 26, page 48]

Bilal Ibn Rabah, May Allah be pleased with him, said:

“O Allah curse Shaibah Ibn Rabi’ah, Utbah Ibn Rabi’ah and Umayyah Ibn Khalaf because they exiled us from our lands to the land of illness…” [Bukhari]

Ibn Al-Mulaqqin, May Allah have mercy upon him, said:

“As for Bilal, he yearned to return back to Makkah, his country in  which he was accustomed to and remained healthy therein.” [See At-Tawdhih, vol. 12, page 579]

Amir Ibn Abdullah said:

“I find myself regretting [leaving] Basrah for four matters: not being  able to answer the call of its Mu’azzin, [the feeling of] its extreme  thirst; because my brothers are there and because it is my country.” [See Az-Zuhd, by Imam Ahmad, page 227]

Ibrahim Ibn Adhama (died 162 AH) said:

“I have not severely suered for leaving anything than the suering of leaving my country.” [See Hilyatul Awliya’, vol. 7, page 370]

Abu Hamid Al-Ghazali, May Allah have mercy upon him, said:

“Humans love their lands due to what it contains, a person is able to  find comfort by remaining there, and if he is away from his land he  finds himself yearning for it, he defends it if it is attacked and becomes angry if it is belittled.”

The great Islamic scholars authored independent books on the issue of loving one’s countries such as the book: “Yearning for one’s country” by Imam Abu Hatim As-Sijistani; and the book: “Loving one’s country” by Amr Ibn Bahr Al-Jahidh. In addition to this the innumerable verses of poetry that were authored regarding this. As-Subki mentioned in the biography of Imam Abu Muhammad Al-Muzani, “that he authored a book regarding loving one’s country. He then became ill after  authoring it by a week and then died. He became known as: ‘The one who was killed due to his love of his country!”’ [See At-Tabaqaat, vol. 3, page 19]

Therefore it should be known that the Arabic word “Watan” is not repulsive nor is it evil as some people think. Rather it has been mentioned upon the tongues of many of the Imams of knowledge and religion – as has preceded.

According to Islam, affiliating to one’s country symbolises a form of  unity to the Jama’ah (main body of Muslims); the teachings of  Islam emphasise and reiterate the importance of this. This is as  long as loving one’s country is according to the guidelines of Shari’ah and within the limits that should be considered. It is also worth  mentioning that affiliating one’s self to a country is a means of  security and safety; we are able to protect the minds of majority of our youth against destructive thoughts and ideas, deviant methods,  oppressive onslaughts and malicious rumours which are  propagated by people of malice and spite in order to undermine this  country, its capabilities and resources, and more so to undermine the people of authority in this country as well as its trustworthy sincere scholars. This country has religious, political, security, intellectual, cultural and economic distinctions which other countries do not have.

It is a mistake to think there is a contradiction between having a  sense of patriotism– according to its natural meaning – and between Islam. In fact perceiving a contradiction between them is  nothing except a deceptive avenue to insult Islam, and trying to  manipulate and exploit people’s natural intrinsic love for their country. This paints a picture in the minds of people that the legislative laws of the Shari’ah somehow obstruct and cripple the  interests of the country because Islam contradicts and negates a person’s patriotism and loving one’s country! One of the alien  concepts that have been deliberately associated with this is by the  Harakiyyun (political activists in the clothes of religion) who have a despised partisan narrative upon which they try to cultivate young people. This alien concept of theirs is that there is only one global Muslim state which does not have any countries nor borders.

Due to this concept, allegiance to the country of Tawhid, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, is disputed in fact completely absolved. Their anger and rage increases when this blessed country is mentioned, or one of its qualities and merits is praised; this blessed  country in the shade of which its citizens live, in fact the whole Islamic world benefits from it. And the essence of patriotism towards it is: having the correct Aqidah, a binding pledge of allegiance, fulfilling our responsibilities, supporting and obeying its leaders, not rebelling against the main body of Muslims and feeling a sense of belonging to it.

Respected Brothers and Sisters! In Islam, loving one’s country is shown by fulfilling our responsibility towards it and its people, and preserving its security.

Loving one’s country is shown by defending and respecting it, its religion, sanctuaries and citizens.

Loving one’s country is shown by remaining within its laws, and rectifying its people and not corrupting them in any way.

Loving one’s country is shown by respecting the elderly, having concern for the youth, respecting the neighbour, having respect for  its laws, keeping the towns and streets clean and not annoying the fellow citizens.

Loving one’s country is shown by protecting its assets and resources, and by every sincere Muslim interacting with each other  with the correct Islamic manners and etiquettes.

Loving one’s country is not one day in a year only, neither is it displaying photos and flag only, rather loving it is fulfilling rights and  responsibilities every day, in every situation.

My Dear Respected Brothers and Sisters! Love for one’s nation and country is natural. Consider the following Hadith:

“A woman named Fasilah narrates that she heard her father saying: I asked the Prophet (Peace be upon him) “O Messenger of Allah, is love for one’s nation considered chauvinism?” He (Peace be upon him) replied: “No, chauvinism is partly to help one’s nation in perpetrating injustice.” [Ibn Majah]

However, the important point is how and where to channel the love you have for your country. True love for one’s country demands that one wants the best for his country. He cannot bear seeing his country unsuccessful. The true success is the success of the hereafter. In Surah Yasin, Allah speaks of Habib Najjar. When his country denied the message of the Messengers, his love and concern for his country made him restless. He was aware of the grave consequences of denying the message of Allah. Allah said in the Qur’an:

“A man (Habib Najjar) from the far end of the city came running. He said: “O my people! Follow the Messengers! Accept the message of those who do not ask for any remuneration and they are guided.” [Surah Yasin, 20-21]

Therefore I advise all of you to channel your love in the right avenue. Work towards bringing your country/community towards those practices that will bring them goodness in the hereafter.

In the end, I ask Allah to protect our country, its leaders and its people from every evil, calamity, tribulation and difficulty; May He  bring about safety, peace and security to our country. May Allah  save us from divisions, disunity, differences, disobedience,  corruption, terrorism and all evils.

May Allah protect our country, Nigeria, and it’s people, and May He the Most High protect all the Muslim countries, the Muslims and all the Humanity, ameen.

O Allah, bless Nigeria with continued peace, progress, strength, unity, and development.

O Allah, unite our country around the principles of justice, peace, love and faith.

Put peace and love in our hearts for the diversity that makes our country so beautiful.

Allah, the Most Merciful, we pray for our country to remain tolerant and loving, remove prejudice from our hearts, and allow us to love our brothers and sisters in humanity.

O Allah, allow our Governments to remain accountable to the people, give them vision and wisdom, as they take decisions affecting peace in our world so that they may uphold peace in the world, advance the welfare of our country and deal kindly and justly with all our communities.

O Allah, Most Strong, give us the strength to protect and care for our neighbours.

Make our hearts and minds aware of our heritage, fulfilling duties and responsibilities as a citizens.

O Allah, Most Merciful, allow us to show kindness to those most vulnerable in society.

Protect us from evil, inspire and guide us in defending those open to abuse.

O Allah, Most Generous, allow us to give in charitable activity, and to help those most in need.

Make us more conscious of what is not good for us.

O Allah, Most merciful, Most Generous, please give us the patience to continue to learn from one another and work towards a more peaceful and kind world.

Make our hearts generous so that we may treat others as we wish to be treated ourselves. Help us to share that which we have with others, for your sake. Strengthen us, love us and be kind to us all, ameen.

All praise is for Allah the Lord of the Worlds, and May peace and  salutations be upon the most noble of Prophets and Messengers.

Wassalamu Alaikum,

Your Brother, Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, writes from Okene, Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached via: gusaumurtada@gmail.com or +2348038289761.

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Some Signs Before The Day Of Judgment, By Imam Murtadha Gusau

Monday, September 17, 2018

I Begin With The Name Of Allah, The Most Merciful, The One Who Bestows Mercy

Alhamdulillah. Indeed, all praise is due to Allah. We praise Him and seek His Help and forgiveness. We seek refuge in Allah from our soul’s evils and our wrong doings. He whom Allah guides, no one can misguide; and he whom He misguides, no one can guide.

I bear witness that there is no god except Allah – alone without any partners. And I bear witness that Muhammad is His Abd (servant) and Messenger.

O Allah, send prayers upon Muhammad and the followers of Muhammad, just as You sent prayers upon Ibrahim and upon the followers of Ibrahim, verily you are full of praise and majesty. O Allah, send blessings upon Muhammad and upon the family of Muhammad, just as You sent blessings upon Ibrahim and upon the family of Ibrahim, verily, You are full of praise and majesty.

Dear Brothers and Sisters! Sayyidinah Hudhaifah Bin Yaman (RA), a great Companion of the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him), has narrated that the Noble Prophet (Peace be upon him) predicted that seventy-two events shall occur in the period close to the Day of Judgement. And these are:

  1. People will begin to miss their prayers and pay no attention to them. If this is said in our times, there will be nothing surprising in it because the majority of Muslims today do not offer their prayers.  The Noble Prophet (Peace be upon him) made this prediction at a time when prayers were considered as a line of demarcation between Iman and Kufr. Even the most sinful and vicious person  living in that age did not miss his prayers. In his time, i.e. 1440  years ago, the Noble Prophet predicted about the present times that the people will miss their prayers.
  2. They shall begin to betray their trusts (Amanah). That is, they will misappropriate the trusts entrusted to them for safe custody.
  3. They will begin to eat usurious income.
  4. They will begin to consider lying to be lawful. Telling lies will become an art.
  5. They shall construct high-rise buildings.
  6. They shall sell their Religion (Faith) for worldly gains.
  7. They shall violate the bonds of relationships.
  8. Justice will become a virtue almost hard to find anywhere.
  9. Falsehood will become truth (and vice versa).
  10. Silk garments will be worn by men.
  11. Oppression and wrongdoing will become rampant.
  12. Divorces will become common practice.
  13. Sudden deaths will become a common occurrence.
  14. One who betrays his trust will be regarded as trustworthy.
  15. The trustworthy will be regarded as untrustworthy.
  16. The liar will be regarded as truthful.
  17. The truthful will be regarded as a liar.
  18. Calumny will become a common feature, i.e. people  will put false blames on one another.
  19. The weather shall be hot despite rains (Climate change).
  20. Instead of desiring children, people will hate them. They  will pray  to Allah not to favour them with children. This is actually happening as a result of the Family  Planning Departments of Governments raising the slogan ‘Only Two Issues’ guarantee prosperity.
  21. The meaner classes will be happy and prosperous.
  22. The respectable classes will  be in trouble and cast out of society.
  23. Some of the leaders and the ministers will become used to being engrossed in lies from morning until evening.
  24. The trustworthy will begin to betray their trusts.
  25. The leaders of the people will become wrongdoers.
  26. Some of the scholars of Religion and the reciters of Qur’an will become lewd and sinners.
  27. The people shall put on skin-garments.
  28. The hearts of the wearers of skin-garments will be more foul smelling than dead animals.
  29. They will be more bitter than the aloe plant (with bitter leaves).
  30. Gold will become widely used.
  31. Silver will be in great demand.
  32. Sins and wrongdoing will be on the increase.
  33. Peace and security will deteriorate (as we see and witnessing at this moment in time).
  34. The pages and covers of the Noble Qur’an will be lavishly decorated.
  35. The Mosques will be decorated with beautiful writing and designs.
  36. Lofty minarets will rise from the Masaajid (Mosques).
  37. Even so, the hearts will remain desolate and empty.
  38. Wine will be drunk freely.
  39. Punishments of the Shari’ah will be suspended.
  40. The slave girl shall bear her master. In other words, the daughter shall rule over her mother and behave with her as a master behaves with his slave girls.
  41. The bare-footed, the naked and the uncultured shall become  kings and leaders. The mean, the untouchable classes and the depressed ones will become Heads of State.
  42. Woman and man shall be partners in trade, as women are trying to take part in every walk of life side by side with men.
  43. Men will imitate women; and
  44. Women will imitate men. In other words, men and women shall adopt each other’s guise and appearance.
  45. The people will swear by names other than Allah’s name. It is lawful to swear only by Allah or some attribute of Allah or by the Noble Qur’an. In the later ages people will swear by objects as ‘by  your head’, etc. This is unlawful and strictly forbidden.
  46. In the times to come even Muslims will bear false witness. The use of the word ‘even’ indicates that unbelievers do bear false witness freely but a Muslim who is not expected to do so, will also commit this sin.
  47. Salam (salutations) will be bidden only to those who are known and not to strangers. This is against the injunction of  the Noble  Prophet (Peace be upon him) who has said in a Hadith: “Salam  should be bidden to everyone whether you know or do not know the person.”
  48. Religious knowledge will be acquired not for the sake of religion  but for the sake of earning worldly resources and worldly honour and status.
  49. Work relating to the Hereafter will be done to earn worldly gains.
  50. War spoils (Booty) or public property will be taken as personal estate. War spoils has been used here to imply public property  which will be enjoyed as personal property.
  51. A trust (Amanah) shall be taken and misappropriated as plundered property.
  52. Zakah will be paid reluctantly, as if it were a penalty.
  53. The meanest man shall become the leader of the people by their consent or votes.
  54. Men will disobey their parents.
  55. Men will misbehave with their mothers.
  56. A man will not hesitate in causing harm to his friends.
  57. A man will obey his wife in a wrong way.
  58. The voices of the wrongdoers will rise in  the Mosques.
  59. Women engaged in the singing profession will be held in great esteem and accorded high status.
  60. Musical instruments will be kept and preserved with care.
  61. Wine will be drunk by roadsides.
  62. Wrongdoing, dictatorship and tyranny will be looked upon as acts of pride.
  63. Justice will be sold (with bribery) in the Courts of Justice.
  64. The number of Police will increase.
  65. The Noble Qur’an will be recited in a musical style, so as to enjoy  the singing tone and its musical cadence. At that time, the Qur’an will not be recited for the sake of its Da’awah (preaching), for understanding it and for reaping the reward for its recitation.
  66. Beast skins will be used.
  67. The later people of the Ummah will taunt and curse the former people, i.e. the latter will pass derogatory remarks at the former. As a result of this trend a large section of the people is deriding insolently  the Noble Companions of the Prophet and are behaving in the same way with the leaders of Religion who conveyed to us the message of Religion. These elder Scholars of Religion are being blamed as being ignorant of the Hadiths and the Noble Qur’an whereas the later generations claim to have understood those sources of Islam better than the former. The Noble Prophet also said that when these signs appear then:
  68. Red windstorm may come from Allah; or
  69. Earthquakes may up heave the earth; or
  70. They will begin to commit murders on ordinary grounds.
  71. The people’s faces may be distorted; or
  72. Stones may rain down from the sky or some other torment may  descend from Allah – Allah forbid.

All these signs are proving true of our society one by one. The punishment that has come over us is really due to these misdeeds. [See ad-Durrul Mansur, Volume 4, page 52]

* Some Evils Destroying The Ummah…

Respected Brothers and Sisters! The role of the individual in Islam is not limited to fulfilling the five pillars. The Muslim in an Islamic community has a greater responsibility than is usually understood. All of a Muslim’s activities in life are included as acts of worship depending upon the intention underlying them. Nothing is required from a Muslim beyond service to Allah and nothing is accepted from him, which is not a service. Every individual’s responsibilities fall into two parts: his responsibility to adhere to the teachings of Islam and his responsibility to enjoin good and forbid evil – which is social reform. There is a reason why enjoining good and forbidding wrong comes first, even before faith. It emphasises the Muslim’s duty and implies faith can only be realized by certain actions, which maintains a relationship between the individual and society.

Neglecting these duties leads to widespread corruption and an increase in evils that consume the core of the community, such as the following:

  1. Indifference: Muslims are commanded to play a positive role in their community and assist in enjoining matters of virtue and preventing evil by as much as they can. Many Muslims stray away from the right path because they do not find anyone to assist them and rescue them from straying in their communities, as those around them act indifferently. One should not underestimate any input he can give in such cases and consider the story of the imprisonment of Imam Ahmad to see how effective a person can be if he takes the initiative and does not act indifferently. When Imam Ahmad, may Allah have mercy upon him, was imprisoned, a thief was with him in the same cell. The thief said to him:

“O Imam Ahmad! I persevere and tolerate the punishment I receive while I am upon falsehood and being punished for a sin. Would someone like you, who is suffering as a result of being upon the truth, not persevere and endure?”

Thus, this thief played an important role in comforting and consoling Imam Ahmad in a difficult situation.

Underestimating the harms of intermixing and neglecting to lower the gaze: If members of a particular community give free rein to their sight, do not adhere to the Hijab and women wear perfume before leaving their homes, the most obvious outcome is the spread of immorality in the community. Immoral films, TV programmes, obscene content on the internet and intermixing between the two sexes are other causes that have led to people committing sins and indulging in immorality. People nowadays mix with the opposite sex in universities, schools and workplaces, while Yunus Bin Ubaid said:

“Never be in seclusion with a woman, even if you wish to teach her the Qur’an, and even if only you would be the one reciting.”

  1. Being ill-mannered: Many people possess three very evil qualities, namely: lying, cowardice and miserliness, and these are the worst three qualities a person can possess. There are also many other evil qualities that we must be mindful of and hold ourselves to account regarding, such as backbiting, badmouthing others and tale-bearing, while replacing them with praiseworthy qualities and morals.

The Salaf (our pious predecessors) would rebuke themselves for every word they uttered, words which would be considered very normal to people nowadays. Malik Bin Dhaighan said:

“Rabah Bin Qais once came asking for my father after the Asr prayer, but he happened to be sleeping, so we informed him of this, to which he remarked: ‘Who would sleep at this time of the day?’ Then he left. We sent a man after him to see if he wanted us to wake my father up for him, but this man did not return until it was time to pray Maghrib. When we asked him why he returned so late, he said: ‘I followed him to ask him, but found that he was headed to the graveyard while rebuking himself, saying: ‘What business is it of yours to ask this kind of question? Why do you ask what does not concern you? What is it to you when people go to sleep? People are free to sleep any time they desire, why did you indulge in what does not concern you?…’”

Note how lightly such a question would be taken in our time, and how strongly he rebuked himself for asking it.

  1. Severing ties with kinfolk: The most important of kinfolk are one’s parents, and yet we find many people dealing with them in an inappropriate manner or even severing ties with them altogether. As for those who do try to fulfill the needs of their parents, many of them do it begrudgingly, while expressing discontent or complaining that it is a burden upon them. This is in spite of the fact that Allah commands us to not say even the least expression of discontent in this regard, saying:

“…Say not to them (so much as) ‘Uff,’ and do not repel them but speak to them a noble word.”  [Qur’an, 17:23]

The mother of Huthail Bin Hafsah said:

“He would collect wood during the summer and peel off the outer layer of bark himself. Then, when winter would come, he would come to me whilst I was praying, light a brazier (in my room) and place the peeled wood in it, as this does not give harmful smoke. He would do so just so that I would be warm during prayer. He would do so even though we had a servant who could do the job. Whenever I thought of stopping him and commanding him to return to his family, I would remember why he was doing it, and thus I would allow him to continue.”

Why was he doing this himself despite him having a servant who could have done it for him? It was nothing but a reflection of his full dutifulness towards his mother.

This type of nobility is not limited to ones parents; rather, one should be kind to all his relatives and even his fellow Muslims and non-Muslims neighbours.

  1. Wasting time: The issue of wasting time is a very important one indeed. We must be careful about it and hold ourselves to account regarding it because we spend much of our time uselessly instead of spending it in acts of obedience to Allah, as it should be utilised. Allah the Almighty says:

“And it is He who has made the night and the day in succession for whoever desires to remember or desires gratitude.” [Qur’an, 25:62]

Therefore, time was created so that we would fill it with acts of obedience to Allah but many people do the exact opposite of this. The Salaf (our pious predecessors) were very keen to make use of every second of their time. Imam Al-Hasan al-Basri said:

“I have met some people (Prophet’s Companions) who were stingier with their time than they were with their wealth.”

But people nowadays waste their times in games, late nights, socialising, watching television and in vain talk. They may even go as far as doing so at the expense of their religious obligations, such as their daily prayers, and so on.

  1. Wasting wealth: Many men cave in under pressure from their wives and children and therefore spend extravagantly, but when they are asked to spend in charity, one would find that they are so stingy that if they were to pull out two bills to give in charity, one would invariably return to his pocket. However, if this same person were to go to a restaurant or shopping in a big supermarket, he would have no problem in spending multiples of this amount.

Allah will ask us about our wealth because we were informed as such by the Prophet (Peace be upon him). Abu Barzah reported that:

“The Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) said: “Man’s feet will not move on the Day of Resurrection before he is asked about his life and how he consumed it, his knowledge and what did he do with it, his wealth and how he earned it and how he disposed of it, and about his body and how he wore it out.” [At-Tirmithi]

This does not imply that people do not spend generously or that there are no people who do any of the above mentioned matters correctly. The purpose of highlighting these points is to serve as a reminder for Muslims – at both the individual and community level – so that we realise the importance of these matters and hold ourselves to account with respect to them, as there are many of us who are failing to do so.

May Allah help us to act upon these injunctions and to keep away from all sins. Ameen

May the blessings and peace of Allah be upon our leader, Prophet Muhammad and all his family and Companions.

Your Brother: Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, writes from Okene, Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached through: gusaumurtada@gmail.com or +2348038289761.

 

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The Prophet Hijrah, Month Of Muharram And The Fasting Of Ashurah, By Imam Murtadha Gusau

I Begin With The Name Of Allah, The Most Merciful, The One Who Bestows Mercy

Alhamdulillah! Indeed, all praise is due to Allah. We praise Him and seek His Help and forgiveness. We seek refuge in Allah from our soul’s evils and our wrong doings. He whom Allah guides, no one can misguide; and he whom He misguides, no one can guide.

I bear witness that there is no god except Allah – alone without any partners. And I bear witness that Muhammad is His Abd (servant) and Messenger.

O Allah, send prayers upon Muhammad and the followers of Muhammad, just as You sent prayers upon Ibrahim and upon the followers of Ibrahim. Verily you are full of praise and majesty. O Allah, send blessings upon Muhammad and upon the family of Muhammad, just as You sent blessings upon Ibrahim and upon the family of Ibrahim. Verily, You are full of praise and majesty.

Dear Brothers and Sisters! After Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) had preached publicly for more than a decade, the opposition to him reached such a high pitch that, fearful for their safety, he sent some of his adherents to Habasha/Abyssinia (Ethiopia), where the Christian ruler extended protection to them, the memory of which has been cherished by Muslims ever since. But in Makkah the persecution worsened. Prophet Muhammad ’s followers were harassed, abused, and even tortured. At last, therefore, Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) sent seventy of his followers off to the northern town of Yathrib, which was later to be renamed Madinah (The City). Later, in the early fall of 622, he learned of a plot to murder him and, with his closest friend, Abu Bakr al-Siddiq, set off to join the emigrants.

* The Hijrah

In Makkah, the plotters arrived at Prophet Muhammad’s home to find that his cousin, Ali, had taken his place in bed. Enraged, the Makkans set a price on Prophet Muhammad’s head and set off in pursuit. Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) and Abu Bakr, however, had taken refuge in a cave where, as they hid from their pursuers, a spider spun its web across the cave’s mouth. When they saw that the web was unbroken, the Makkans passed by and Prophet Muhammad and Abu Bakr went on to Madinah, where they were joyously welcomed by a throng of Madinans as well as the Makkans who had gone ahead to prepare the way.

This was the Hijrah – anglicized as Hegira – usually, but inaccurately, translated as “Flight” – from which the Muslim era is dated. In fact, the Hijrah was not a flight but a carefully planned migration which marks not only a break in history – the beginning of the Islamic era – but also, for Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) and the Muslims, a new way of life. Henceforth, the organizational principle of the community was not to be mere blood kinship, but the greater brotherhood of all Muslims. The men who accompanied Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) on the Hijrah were called the Muhajirun – “those that made the Hijrah” or the “Emigrants” – while those in Madinah who became Muslims were called the Ansar or “Helpers.”

Prophet Muhammad was well acquainted with the situation in Madinah. Earlier, before the Hijrah, the city had sent envoys to Makkah asking Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) to mediate a dispute between two powerful tribes. What the envoys saw and heard had impressed them and they had invited Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) to settle in Madinah. After the Hijrah, Prophet Muhammad’s exceptional qualities so impressed the Madinans that the rival tribes and their allies temporarily closed ranks as, on March 15, 624, Prophet Muhammad and his supporters moved against the pagans of Makkah.

The first battle, which took place near Badr, now a small town southwest of Madinah, had several important effects. In the first place, the Muslim forces, outnumbered three to one, routed the Makkans. Secondly, the discipline displayed by the Muslims brought home to the Makkans, perhaps for the first time, the abilities of the man they had driven from their city. Thirdly, one of the allied tribes which had pledged support to the Muslims in the Battle of Badr, but had then proved lukewarm when the fighting started, was expelled from Madinah one month after the battle. Those who claimed to be allies of the Muslims, but tacitly opposed them, were thus served warning: membership in the community imposed the obligation of total support.

A year later the Makkans struck back. Assembling an army of three thousand men, they met the Muslims at Uhud, a ridge outside Madinah. After an initial success the Muslims were driven back and the Prophet himself was wounded. As the Muslims were not completely defeated, the Makkans, with an army of ten thousand, attacked Madinah again two years later but with quite different results. At the Battle of the Trench (Khandaq), also known as the Battle of the Confederates (Ahzab), the Muslims scored a signal victory by introducing a new defense. On the side of Madinah from which attack was expected they dug a trench too deep for the Makkan cavalry to clear without exposing itself to the archers posted behind earthworks on the Madinah side. After an inconclusive siege, the Makkans were forced to retire. Thereafter Madinah was entirely in the hands of the Muslims.

The Constitution of Madinah – under which the clans accepting Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) as the Prophet of Allah formed an alliance, or federation – dates from this period. It showed that the political consciousness of the Muslim community had reached an important point; its members defined themselves as a community separate from all others. The Constitution also defined the role of non-Muslims in the community. Jews, for example, were part of the community; they were Dhimmis, that is, protected people, as long as they conformed to its laws. This established a precedent for the treatment of subject peoples during the later conquests. Christians and Jews, upon payment of a yearly tax, were allowed religious freedom and, while maintaining their status as non-Muslims, were associate members of the Muslim state. This status did not apply to polytheists (Mushrikun), who could not be tolerated within a community that worshipped the One Allah.

Ibn Ishaq, one of the earliest biographers of the Prophet, says it was at about this time that Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) sent letters to the rulers of the earth – the King of Persia, the Emperor of Byzantium, the Negus of Abyssinia, and the Governor of Egypt among others – inviting them to submit to Islam. Nothing more fully illustrates the confidence of the small community, as its military power, despite the battle of the Trench, was still negligible. But its confidence was not misplaced. Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) so effectively built up a series of alliances among the tribes his early years with the Bedouins must have stood him in good stead – that by 628 he and fifteen hundred followers were able to demand access to the Ka’abah during negotiations with the Makkans. This was a milestone in the history of the Muslims. Just a short time before, Prophet Muhammad (Peace and be upon him) had to leave the city of his birth in fear of his life. Now he was being treated by his former enemies as a leader in his own right. A year later, in 629, he reentered and, in effect, conquered Makkah without bloodshed and in a spirit of tolerance which established an ideal for future conquests. He also destroyed the idols in the Ka’abah, to put an end forever to pagan practices there. At the same time Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) won the allegiance of Amr Ibn al-As, the future conqueror of Egypt, and Khalid Ibn al-Walid, the future Sword of Allah, both of whom embraced Islam and joined Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him). Their conversion was especially noteworthy because these men had been among the Prophet Muhammad’s bitterest opponents only a short time before.

In one sense Prophet Muhammad’s return to Makkah was the climax of his mission. In 632, just three years later, he was suddenly taken ill and on June 8 of that year, with his third beloved wife Aishah in attendance, the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) died with the heat of noon.

The death of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) was a profound loss. To his followers this simple man from Makkah was far more than a beloved friend, far more than a gifted administrator, far more than the revered leader who had forged a new state from clusters of warring tribes. Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) was also the exemplar of the teachings he had brought them from Allah the Almighty: the teachings of the Quran, which, for centuries, have guided the thought and action, the faith and conduct, of innumerable respected men and women, and which ushered in a distinctive era in the history of mankind. His death, nevertheless, had little effect on the dynamic society he had created in Arabia and the world, and no effect at all on his central mission: to transmit the Quran and Sunnah to the world. As Abu Bakr put it:

“Whoever worshipped Muhammad (Peace be upon him), let him know that Muhammad is dead, but whoever worshipped Allah, let him know that Allah lives and dies not.”

* The Month Of Muharram

Muharram is the month with which the Muslims begin their lunar Hijrah Calendar. It is one of the four sanctified months about which the Noble Quran says:

“The number of the months according to Allah is twelve months (mentioned) in the Book of Allah on the day in which He created heavens and the earth. Among these (twelve months) there are four sanctified.”

These four months, according to the authentic traditions are the months of Dhul-Qa’adah, Dhul-Hijjah, Muharram and Rajab. All the commentators of the Noble Quran are unanimous on this point, because the Noble Prophet in his Sermon on the occasion of his last Hajj, has declared:

“One year consists of twelve months, of which four are sanctified months, three of them are in sequence; Dhul-Qa’adah, Dhul-Hijjah, Muharram, and the fourth is Rajab.”

The specific mention of these four months does not mean that any other month has no sanctity, because the month of Ramadan is admittedly the most sanctified month in the year. But these four months were specifically termed as sanctified months for the simple reason that their sanctity was accepted even by the pagans of Makkah.

In fact, every month, out of the twelve, is originally equal to the other, and there is no inherent sanctity, which may be attributed to one of them in comparison to other months. When Allah Almighty chooses a particular time for His special blessings, then it acquires sanctity out of His grace.

Thus, the sanctity of these four months was recognized right from the days of Prophet Ibrahim. Since the Pagans of Makkah attributed themselves to Prophet Ibrahim they observed the sanctity of these four months and despite their frequent tribal and clannish battles, they held it unlawful to fight in these months.

In the Shari’ah of our Noble Prophet the sanctity of these months was upheld and the Noble Quran referred to them as the “sanctified months (Ash-hurul Hurum).”

The month of Muharram has certain other characteristics peculiar to it, which are specified below:

– Fasting During The Month

The Noble Prophet (Peace be upon him) has said:

“The best fasts after the fasts of Ramadan are those of the month of Muharram.”

Although the fasts of the month of Muharram are not obligatory, yet, the one who fasts in these days out of his own will and choice is entitled to a great reward by Allah the Almighty. The Hadith cited above signifies that the fasts of the month of Muharram are most rewardable ones among the Nafilah fasts i.e. the fasts one observes out of his own choice without being obligatory on him.

The Hadith does not mean that the award promised for fasts of Muharram can be achieved only by fasting for the whole month. On the contrary, each fast during this month has merit. Therefore, one should avail of this opportunity as much as he can.

– The Day Of Ashurah

Although the month of Muharram is a sanctified month as a whole, yet, the 10th day of Muharram is the most sacred among all its days. The day is named Ashurah.

According to the respected Companion Ibn Abbas.

“The Noble Prophet, when migrated to Madinah, found that the Jews of Madinah used to fast on the 10th day of Muharram. They said that it was the day on which the Prophet Musa (Moses) and his followers crossed the Red Sea miraculously and the Pharaoh (Fir’awn) was drowned in its water. On hearing this from the Jews, the Noble Prophet said, “We are more closely related to Musa than you” and directed the Muslims to fast on the day of Ashurah.” [Abu Dawud]

It is also reported in a number of authentic Hadiths that in the beginning, fasting on the day of Ashurah was obligatory for the Muslims. It was later that the fasts of Ramadan were made obligatory and the fast on the day of Ashurah was made optional. Aishah (RA) has said:

“When the Noble Prophet came to Madinah, he fasted on the day of Ashurah and directed the people to fast it. But when the fasts of Ramadan were made obligatory, the obligation of fasting was confined to Ramadan and the obligatory nature of the fast of Ashurah was abandoned. One can fast on this day, if he so wills, or can avoid fasting, if he so wills.”

However, the Noble Prophet used to fast on the day of Ashurah even after the fasting in Ramadan was made obligatory.

Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud reports that:

“The Noble Prophet preferred the fast of Ashurah to the fast of other days and preferred the fast of Ramadan to the fast of Ashurah.” [Bukhari and Muslim]

In short, it is established through a number of authentic Hadiths that fasting on the day of Ashurah is Sunnah of the Noble Prophet and makes one entitled to a great reward.

According to another Hadith, it is more advisable that the fast of Ashurah should either be prefixed or suffixed by another fast. It means that one should fast two days: the 9th and 10th of Muharram or the 10th and 11 of it. The reason of this additional fast as mentioned by the Noble Prophet is that the Jews used to fast on the day of Ashurah alone, and the Noble Prophet wanted to distinguish the Islamic-way of fasting from that of Jews. Therefore, he advised the Muslims to add another fast to that of Ashurah.

Some Hadiths signify another feature of the day of Ashurah. According to these Hadiths one should be more generous to his family by providing more food to them on this day as compared to other days. But these Hadiths are not authentic according to the scholars of the science of Hadith. Yet, some Scholars like Imam Baihaqi and Imam Ibn Hibban have accepted them as reliable.

What is mentioned above is all that is supported through authentic sources about Ashurah.

However, there are also some legends, lies and misconceptions with regard to Ashurah that have managed to find their way into the minds of the ignorant people, but have no support of authentic Islamic sources, some very common of them are these:

– This is the day in which Prophet Adam was created.

– This is the day in which Prophet Ibrahim was born.

– This is the day in which Allah accepted the repentance of Prophet Ibrahim.

– This is the day on which the al-Qiyamah (Dooms-day) will take place.

– Whoever takes bath in the day of Ashurah will never get ill.

All these and other similar whims and fancies are totally baseless and the Hadiths referred to in this respect are not worthy of any credit.

Some people even take it as Sunnah to prepare a particular type of meal in the day of Ashurah. This practice, too, has no basis in the authentic Islamic sources.

Some other people attribute the sanctity of Ashurah to the martyrdom of Sayyidinah Husain (AS) during his battle with the Syrian army. No doubt, the martyrdom of Sayyidinah Husain is one of the most tragic episodes of our history. Yet, the sanctity of Ashurah cannot be ascribed to this event for the simple reason that the sanctity of Ashurah was established during the days of the Noble Prophet (Peace be upon him) much earlier than the birth of Sayyidnah Husain (AS).

On the contrary, it is one of the merits of Sayyidnah Husain that his martyrdom took place on the day of Ashurah.

Another misconception about the month of Muharram is that it is an evil or unlucky month, for Sayyidnah Husain was killed in it. It is for this misconception that people avoid holding marriage ceremonies in the month of Muharram. This is again a baseless concept which is contrary to the express teachings of the Noble Quran and the Sunnah. Such superstitions have been totally negated by the Noble Prophet (Peace be upon him). If the death of an eminent person in a particular day renders that day unlucky for all times to come, one can hardly find a day, free from this bad luck, out of 365 days of the whole year, because each and every day has a history of the demise of some eminent person. The Noble Quran and the Sunnah of the Noble Prophet have made us free from such superstitious beliefs, and they should deserve no attention.

Another wrong practice related to this month is to hold the lamentation and mourning ceremonies in the memory of martyrdom of Sayyidnah Husain (AS).

As mentioned earlier, the event of Karbala is one of the most tragic events of our history, but the Noble Prophet has forbidden us from holding the mourning ceremonies on the death of any person. The people of Jahiliyyah (Ignorance) used to mourn over their deceased relatives or friends through loud lamentations, by wearing black clothes and tearing their clothes and by beating their cheeks and chests. The Noble Prophet (Peace be upon him) stopped the Muslims from doing all this and directed them to observe patience by saying:

“Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi raaji’uun!”

A number of authentic Hadiths are available on the subject. To quote only one of them, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“He is not one of us who slaps his cheeks, tears his clothes and cries in the manner of the people of jahiliyyah.”

All the authentic jurists and fuqaha are unanimous on the point that the mourning of this type is absolutely impermissible. Even Sayyidnah Husain (AS) shortly before his demise, had advised his beloved sister Sayyidah Zainab (AS) not to mourn over his death in this manner. He said:

“My dear sister, I swear upon you that you, in case I die, shall not tear your clothes, nor scratch your face, nor curse anyone for me or pray for your death.”

It is evident from this advice of Sayyidina Husain that this type of mourning is condemned even by the blessed person for the memory of whom these mourning ceremonies are held. Every sincere Muslim should avoid this practice and abide by the teachings of the Noble Prophet and his beloved grand child Sayyidina Husain (AS).

* Blessings Of Muharram

It is the first month of the Islamic Calendar.

The meaning of the word: The word “Muharram” means “Forbidden.” Even before Islam, this month was always known as a scared month in which all unlawful acts were forbidden, prominently the shedding of blood.

A blessing of Muharram: There are many bounties of this month, especially the tenth of Muharram.

Two of the many virtues of the 10th of Muharram:

On this day he who spends more lavishly for the sake of his family members, Allah Ta’ala will bestow blessing upon the sustenance of the following year (weak not authentic).

Abu Qatadah has related that the Prophet has reported to have said:

“It is my thought that by fasting on the 10th of Muharram Allah Ta’ala will pardon the sins of the past year.” [At-Tirmidhi]

* Events Of Muharram

– Hussain was martyred in this month.

– Shaykhain At-Tirmidhi and Hakim has narrated from Anas that the following verse:

“Allah may forgive you of your sins that which is past and that which is to come.” [Surah Al-Fath] was revealed on the 10th of Muharram.

– The Prophet Muhammad went to defeat Bani Muharin and Bani Tha’alabah (Tribes of Bani Gatfan) in the year 4 A.H.

Wishing the Muslim Ummah a blessed, peaceful and prosperous 1440 A.H.

Glory be to your Lord, the Lord of Might above what they describe. And peace be upon those sent. And praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds.

How perfect You are O Allah, and I praise You. I bear witness that none has the right to be worshipped except You. I seek Your forgiveness and turn to You in repentance.

Written by your Brother: Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, from Okene, Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached via: gusaumurtada@gmail.com or +2348038289761.

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The Islamic Teachings Concerning Earthquakes, By Imam Murtadha Gusau

In The Name Of Allah, The Most Kind And The Most Merciful

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad (Peace be upon him), is His Servant and Messenger.

Dear Brothers and Sisters! Although Nigeria is not located within the major seismic zones of the world; over the years, several minor earthquakes have been experienced in some parts of the country. The first widely reported occurrence of an Earth tremor in Nigeria was in 1933. Other events were reported in 1939, 1964, 1984, 1990, 1994, 1997, 2000 and 2006. The intensities of these events ranged from III to VI based on the Modified Mercalli Intensity Scale. Of these events, only the 1984, 1990, 1994 and 2000 events were instrumentally recorded. They had body wave magnitudes ranging from 4.3 to 4.5, local magnitudes between 3.7 and 4.2, and surface wave magnitudes of 3.7 to 3.9. When these events occurred, there were no functional seismological observatories in Nigeria. However, that has now changed with the establishment of a seismographic network managed by the Centre for Geodesy and Geodynamics (CGG), Toro, Nigeria. Presently, the network has four operational stations equipped with 24-bit 4-channel recorders and broadband 30-second seismometers. Efforts are being made to establish more stations and migrate to real-time collection of seismic data using the general packet radio service (GPRS) technology as well as automatic location of events. Remote sensing, geological and geophysical studies have revealed the presence of a NNE-SSW trending Ifewara-Zungeru fault zone which has been shown to be linked with the Atlantic fracture system. The dynamics of the Atlantic fracture zones have been suggested to be responsible for the seismic activities experienced in the areas.

Respected Servants of Allah! Just yesterday, a powerful earthquake has rocked the city of Sapporo in northern Japan killing at least four people, just hours after large parts of the south of the country were battered by the biggest typhoon to hit in 25 years.

The Magnitude 6.7 quake struck 70 miles south of Sapporo on the island of Hokkaido shortly after 7pm BST (3am Thursday local time), according to the US Geological Survey (USGS).

Local government officials are reporting that a 82-year-old man has died after falling down the stairs in his home during the earthquake, and have confirmed that three more people passed away following the devastating tremor. Another 33 people are still missing.

But public broadcaster NHK said that six people were found in cardiopulmonary arrest, a term commonly used in Japan before death is formally confirmed, and authorities expect the death toll to further rise as rescuers searched houses buried by landslides. A further 120 people were injured, with at least 10 being taken to hospital.

Japanese TV showed damaged buildings and quoted police as saying some people had been trapped in collapsed structures.

The tremor, which lasted for about 20 seconds, triggered a landslide which covered homes in the rural town of Atsuma trapping residents inside.

Aerial footage showed scenes of devastation, with mounds of reddish earth and toppled trees piled up at the edge of green fields, and the collapsed remains of what appeared to be houses or barns could be seen scattered around.

Other scenes from the southeastern part of Sapporo showed crumbled roads and mud flowing onto a main street.

Fellow Nigerians! Sincerely speaking, in the past 24 hours only, there are 119 earthquakes or it’s sign that took place worldwide. It happened in places like: New Zealand, Mexico, Alaska, California, France, Greece, Peru, Japan, Indonesia, Turkey, Romania, Ecuador, Russia, Norway, Azerbaijan, Hawaii, Puerto Rico, Iran, Fiji Region, Switzerland, Oklahoma etc.

My Respected people! Firstly, I want you to have the fear and consciousness of Allah, the Most High, and to ponder over events that happen around you. Learn lessons from them and remember, for the intelligent one among us is he who remembers and takes admonition.

The topic of this article today is on the big, powerful, strong, thunderous sound that look like or sound like a ‘tremor’, or a sign of an ‘earthquake’, which hit Abuja city and it’s environs yesterday, here in Nigeria.

Fellow Nigerians! The earthquakes in the world use to cause thousands of people to die, causes loss of wealth and properties, and forces people to seek refuge outside of their dwellings, being without their home and their wealth, and without food and drink. The earthquakes used to turn security into fear, richness into poverty, causes joined families to depart, and turns life into death. Without doubt, in it is a lesson for those who take lessons and a reminder for those who remember, so that they may return to their Lord and their Creator, Allah.

The Truthful, the Chosen one, As-Sadiq al-Mustafah, Muhammad, (Peace be upon him), has informed us that a multitude of earthquakes is a sign of the proximity of the Hour. He informed us that they would be many at the end of the time.

Imam Ahmad relates in a Hadith narrated by Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him), that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, said:

“The Hour will not happen until (Beneficial) knowledge is taken out, time passes quickly, earthquakes increase in number, fitan (tribulations) appear, and al-harj increases in number.” It was said, “What is al-harj, O Messenger of Allah?” He said: “Al-qatl, Al-qatl (killing, killing).”

A lot of what is mentioned in this Hadith has already materialised. Happenings of earthquakes and the like from other destructive and disastrous events are the greatest evidence of the astonishing power of Allah, the Most High. Earthquakes are from among the soldiers of Allah, the Exalted, subjected to His order. He, the Most Just, causes fear in the hearts of those whom He wills, teaches lessons to whom He wills and punishes whom He wills. Allah the Most High says:

“And none can know the forces of your Lord, except He.” [Qur’an, 74:31]

And He says:

“For to Allah belong the forces of the heavens and the earth.” [Qur’an, 48:7]

Respected Brothers and Sisters! If this Ummah (Nation) leaves Allah’s Shari’ah (law), ignores the religion of Allah, the Most High, and follows Shaitan (Devil/Satan), Allah will subjugate it to His armies, which no one knows except He. From among these armies are the earthquakes. Allah the Almighty says:

“Such is the Seizure of your Lord when He seizes the towns while they are doing wrong. Verily, His Seizure is painful and severe.” [Qur’an, 11:102]

And He says:

“When We decide to destroy a town, We (first) send a definite order (to obey Allah and be righteous) to those among them who are given the good things of this life. Then, they transgress therein, and thus the word (of torment) is justified against (them). Then we destroy it with complete destruction.” [Qur’an, 17:16]

Allah, the Most High, with earthquakes makes clear to His servants a plain reality, that the kingdom of the heavens and the earth is in His Hands and that He is the Irresistible and Dominant over His servants.

Some people may be astonished by what the West has from the materialistic power, from various weapons, aircraft carriers, bombs, missiles, satellites, different technologies etc., and they forget that Allah, the Most Merciful, allowed that piece of land to move and shake, being able to shake the force of the West, East, South and the North. Everything is in His Hands, He has power over all things, and no one in the Heavens and the Earth can weaken Him, Allah, the Most High. Appearance of the earthquakes therefore points us to a different reality that may be absent in the minds of some people, especially those who are busy with this world and who are servants of materialism.

The earthquakes also reminds us of the Day of Judgment. The Day when all of the Earth will shake, and not only one part of it. Allah the Almighty says:

“O mankind! Fear your Lord and be dutiful to Him! Verily, the earthquake of the Hour is a terrible thing. The Day you shall see it, every nursing mother will forget her nursling, and every pregnant one shall drop her load, and you shall see mankind as in a drunken state. Yet they will not be drunken, but the Torment of Allah will be severe.” [Qur’an, 22:1-2]

Think for yourselves, historically, what is left after the earthquakes, from destroyed buildings and houses, deaths of thousands, and families seeking refuge outside of their homes. What state is that in which everyone is running away, caring about nothing? So what do you think of the Day of Judgment? Allah the Almighty says:

“That Day shall a man flee from his own brother, and from his mother and his father, and from his wife and his children.” [Qur’an, 80:34-36]

And He says:

“On the day (when the first blowing of the Trumpet is blown), the earth and the mountains will shake violently.” [Qur’an, 79:6]

Allah, the Most High, warns His servants with the earthquakes to learn a lesson and be admonished, and to be ready and prepare themselves for the Day of sorting out, the day of the great earthquake, that will shake all of the earth.

Allah has placed in this universe Sunan, ways, fixed and manifest laws, neither do they change nor are they replaceable. He does not have any kinship with anyone, He is the sole Creator and Ruler, and He will question and hold accountable everyone, including Prophets and Messengers. Allah the Most High says:

“Then surely, We shall question those to whom it (the Book) was sent and We shall question the Messengers.” [Qur’an, 7:6]

From among the established Sunan of Allah is that He does not send punishment except due to sin and He does not remove it except after repentance. Allah the Most High says:

“Whatever misfortune befalls you, it is because of what your hands have earned.” [Qur’an, 42:30]

And Allah, The Mighty and Majestic, says:

“Evil and mischief have appeared on land and sea because of what the hands of men have earned, that Allah may make them taste a part of that which they have done, in order that they may return (by repenting to Allah).” [Qur’an, 30:41]

Every disaster and every calamity that befalls the people is due to their sins and wrongdoing. So know, servants of Allah, what wrongdoing does to its doers.

What has taken Adam and Hauwa’ (Eve) from Jannah (Paradise) except wrongdoing, and what Has drowned all of the people on the earth at the time of Prophet Nuh (Noah), to the point that water reached the peak of mountains, except wrongdoing?

Who is it who sent the furious violent wind upon the people of Aad, so that they were seen lying overthrown and destroyed, as if they were hollow trunks of palm-trees? Who is it who sent the awful cry upon the people of Thamud until it cut their hearts inside their bodies, and they all fell dead without exception? Who lifted the villages of the people of Prophet Lut (Lot) till the angels heard barking of their dogs, then turned them upside down, and then rained upon them a rain of stones?

That is the immediate punishment for wrongdoing: drowning, fire, earthquakes, destructive floods, strong wind, landslides, hurricanes, destruction, famine, poverty, hunger, disunity, insecurity, raging wind… etc.

“And the torment of the hereafter is far more severe and more lasting.” [Qur’an, 20:127]

Do we not take admonition and lesson? Allah, the Most High, says:

“Did We not destroy the ancients? So shall We make the later generations to follow them. Thus do We deal with the mujrimun (Criminals and Sinners). Woe that Day to the deniers (of the Day of Resurrection)!” [Qur’an, 77:16-19]

Respected Brothers and Sisters! The thunderous sound of Abuja and it’s environs is just a warning from Allah, the Most Beneficent, not only to the people of that city alone, but rather to the Muslims and humanity in general, in all lands – that they may return to their Lord and the teachings of their religion. Otherwise a punishment will come upon them. Allah, the Most High, says:

“So We seized each of them for his sins.” [Qur’an, 29:40]

Many of the Muslims today have gathered many sins. We see those who delay and neglect prayers, eat haram (that which is forbidden), deal with riba (interest), do not fulfil their trusts, neglecting their families, order the evil and forbid the good. Those who indulge in free-mixing and display of awrah, those who indulge in homosexuality, lesbianism, fornication and adultery, listening to haram music and songs, those who indulge in killing human beings for rituals, those who indulge in terror acts and those who have abandoned the Qur’an and Sunnah. All these exist in our society. Let us fear Allah and preserve what we have from the blessings, for wrongdoing removes blessings, rather it changes it to a curse. And let us be warned of an evil end, for Allah gives us a chance but is not neglectful. What has happened to the previous nations and some of the current ones will happen to us if we obey the Shaitan (Satan/Devil) and go far from the path of the Most Merciful. These are the Sunan and ways of Allah that will never change. Allah the Almighty says:

“Or do you feel secure that He, Who is over the Heaven (Allah), will not cause the earth to sink with you, then behold it shakes (as in an earthquakes)? Or do you feel secure that He, Who is over the heaven, will not send against you a violent whirlwind? Then you shall know how (terrible) was My Warning.” [Qur’an, 67:16-17]

Let us pause and ask ourselves what has been the tangible impact on us since we have heard and seen this very heavy thunderous sound, and what it has left from the mighty and scary destruction that makes the hearts bleed. The happy one is one who learns from the calamity of others, and the sad one is by whom these calamities pass while he takes no lesson from them.

Just recently, the sun and moon eclipsed, then followed the floods, then the strong wind, and then the earthquakes happened in some parts of the world. The people are still as they were before, you see no change. You do not see people going back to the path of Allah and you do not see any crowds in Mosques. It is unfortunate that the explanation offered for these events is that they are normal natural disasters, and that they do not link it to what happens to people due to their wrongdoing. Theirs is clearly wallahi an incorrect interpretation. Allah the Most High says:

“And We sent not the signs except to warn, and to make them afraid (of destruction).” [Qur’an, 17:59]

Fellow Nigerians! Wallahil Azim, the happening of many earthquakes is among the minor signs of the Day of Judgement. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“The Hour will not happen until knowledge will be uplifted and many earthquakes will take place.” [Bukhari]

Also, among the signs of the Hour is the occurrence of three major landslides. The Prophet when mentioning the ten signs of the Day of Judgement said:

“… and three major landslides, one in the East, one in the West and one in the Arabic peninsula…” [Muslim]

The earthquakes and other signs in this universe are a lesson for the believer. Allah frightens his slaves with such occurrences so a Muslim should take heed and repent, and fear that what happened to others could have happened to him because of his sins.

Besides, among other lessons that a Muslim learns from such an incident is that, in the eyes of Allah the creation will have no value when they disobey Him [He would careless if they are destroyed or vanish] and should remember by the occurrence of such earthquakes the horror of the Day of Judgement and the destruction that the whole universe will undergo.

Earthquakes are one of the great signs of Allah in this universe, with which He tests His slaves as a reminder or to instil fear of Him or as a punishment. Man must remember, when the signs occur, his weakness, incapability, humble status before Allah and his need of Him, so he turns to Allah, may He be exalted and glorified, in supplication, beseeching and humility, in the hope that Allah will lift this great distress from the people. Allah the Almighty says:

“Do you feel secure that He, Who is over the heaven (Allah), will not cause the earth to sink with you, then behold it shakes (as in an earthquakes)? Or do you feel secure that He, Who is over the heaven (Allah), will not send against you a violent whirlwind? Then you shall know how (terrible) has been My Warning?”

And He says:

“Verily, We sent (Messengers) to many nations before you (O Muhammad). And We seized them with extreme poverty (or loss in wealth) and loss in health with calamities so that they might believe with humility. When Our Torment reached them, why then did they not believe with humility? But their hearts became hardened, and Shaitan (Satan/Devil) made fair-seeming to them that which they used to do. So, when they forgot (the warning) with which they had been reminded, We opened to them the gates of every (pleasant) thing, until in the midst of their enjoyment in that which they were given, all of a sudden, We took them to punishment, and lo! They were plunged into destruction with deep regrets and sorrows.” [Surah al-An’am]

Shaykh Bin Baz (May Allah have mercy on him) said:

“What must be done at the time of an earthquake or other calamity, or an eclipse, strong wind or flood is to repent to Allah, may He be glorified, and to beseech Him and ask Him for well-being, and to remember Him a great deal and ask Him for forgiveness, as the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said at the time of an eclipse:

“When you see that, then turn to remembrance of Allah and call upon Him and ask for His forgiveness.”

It is also mustahabb to show compassion to the poor and needy, and to give charity to them, because the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“Show mercy, you will be shown mercy.” [Narrated by Ahmad]

And he said:

“Those who show mercy will be shown mercy by the Most Merciful. Show mercy to those who are on earth and the One Who is in heaven will show mercy to you.” [Narrated by Al-Tirmidhi]

Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“The one who does not show mercy will not be shown mercy.” [Narrated by Bukhari]

It was related from Umar Bin Abdul Aziz (May Allah have mercy on him) that:

“He used to write to his emirs when earthquakes took place, telling them to give charity.”

One of the means of being safe and sound from all evils is for those in authority and the leaders to hasten to restrain the foolish people and compel them to adhere to the truth, and to implement the laws among them, and to enjoin what is good and forbid what is evil, as Allah the Most High says:

“The believers, men and women, are Auliya (helpers, supporters, friends and protectors) of one another, they enjoin (on the people) Al-Ma’ruf, and forbid (people) from Al-Munkar; they perform As-Salah and give the Zakah, and obey Allah and His Messenger. Allah will have His Mercy on them. Surely Allah is All-Mighty, All-Wise.” [Surah Al-Tawbah, 9:71]

“Verily, Allah will help those who help His (Cause). Truly, Allah is All-Strong, All-Mighty. Those (Leaders) who, if We give them power in the land, (they) order for Iqamatus-Salah. [i.e. to perform the five compulsory congregational Salah (prayers) (the males in Mosques)], to pay the Zakah and they enjoin Al-Ma’ruf, and forbid Al-Munkar. And with Allah rests the end of (all) matters (of creatures).” [Surah Al-Hajj, 22:40-41]

“And whosoever fears Allah and keeps his duty to Him, He will make a way for him to get out (from every difficulty). And He will provide him from (sources) he never could imagine. And whosoever puts his trust in Allah, then He will suffice him. Verily, Allah will accomplish his purpose. Indeed Allah has set a measure for all things.” [Surah Al-Talaq, 65:2-3]

Fellow Nigerians! Remember, the earthquakes that we experience in this world today are just a pre-runner to the earthquake of the end of time. The earthquakes are one of the signs of Allah and their coming are absolutely in Allah’s control. Even with all the technology available in the world today, the geologists and all the scientists are not able to point out where and when is the next earthquake going to strike! Allah Alone knows where and when his punishment is going to come.

It is the Mercy of Allah that the earth is stable and we are able to build and live on it in peace. But mankind seldom appreciates and thanks Allah for these and all the other blessings. It is only when we experience the wrath of Allah’s revenge, that we begin to call on Him to help us. And no sooner than He stops the torment, we go back to our ignorant ways of invoking and thanking other gods along with Allah. The same earth which is calm and stable today, can with one command and order of Allah, sink mankind and everything he builds on it, in a matter of minutes!!

Earthquakes are a sign amongst the signs of Allah, and all power to bring or stop earthquakes are in the control of no one else but Allah Alone!

May Allah save you and us all from the torment of the Final Day. May Allah guide you and us all to the Straight Path of Islam. May Allah guide you and us all to the Sirat al-Mustaqim. Ameen.

And whatever written of truth and benefit is only due to Allah’s assistance and guidance, and whatever of error is of me. Allah alone knows best and He is the only source of strength.

All praise is due to Allah, Lord of the worlds. May the peace, blessings and salutations of Allah be upon our Noble Messenger, Muhammad, (Peace be upon him), and upon his family, his Companions and his true followers.

Your Brother: Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, from Okene, Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached through: gusaumurtada@gmail.com or +2348038289761.

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Celebrating The Eid-ul-Adha, Day Of Sacrifice And Greatest Day Of Hajj, By Imam Murtadha Gusau

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad is His Servant and Messenger.

Tomorrow Tuesday, the tenth day of Dhul-Hajj is the greatest day of Hajj (Yawm al-Hajj al-Akbar). It is also known as Yawm an-Nahr (the Day of Sacrifice), since it marks the ending of the major rite of Hajj – the Sacrifice. And it is on this day that the Muslims commemorate the bounties and blessings of Allah. It was recorded in a Hadith by Imam Ahmad (in his Musnad vol. 4 no. 350) that the day of Nahr is the most virtuous day to Allah. The Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) said:

“The greatest Day of Hajj (Yawm al-Hajj al-Akbar) is the Day of an-Nahr (Slaughtering).” [Sahih, by Shaikh al-Albani in Irwa al-Ghalil, no. 1101. And Sunan Abu Dawud no. 1945]

Imam Ibn Taymiyyah said:

“The most excellent day of the week is the day of Jumu’ah (Friday), by the agreement and consensus of the Scholars (Ulama). And the most excellent day of the year is the day of an-Nahr. And some of them said that it is the day of Arafah. However, the first opinion is the correct one, since it is related in the Sunan collections that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: “The most excellent days with Allah is the day of an-Nahr, then the day that the Muslims reside in Mina.” [Sahih, by Shaikh al-Albani in Irwa al-Ghalil no. 2018. Also Related by Abu Dawud in his Sunan no. 1765. See also Majmu’ al-Fatawa vol. 25, Page 288]

The day of An-Nahr is also known as Eid-al-Adha, meaning the festival of Sacrifice and it is one of the two festivals which Allah has granted to the Ummah of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him). Anas (RA) narrated:

“Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) came to Madinah and the people of Madinah in the days of Jahiliyyah had two days of play and amusement. So, Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) said: “I came to you and you had in Jahiliyyah, two days of play and amusement. Allah has replaced something better for you; the Day of an-Nahr and the day of al-Fitr.” [Sahih, by Hafiz Ibn Hajr Al-asqalani, in Bulugh al-Maram. And also related by Imam Ahmad in Musand, vol. 3, no. 103]

The Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) said:

“The day of al-Fitr, and the day of an-Nahr, and the days of at-Tashriq (the three days after an-Nahr) are our days of Eid (festivity); and they are days of eating and drinking.” [Sahih, by Shaikh al-Albani in Sahih al-Jami’, no. 8192. Also Related by Ahmad in Musnad, no. 1945]

At the end of the Hajj (Annual pilgrimage to Makkah), Muslims throughout the world celebrate the holiday of Eid-ul-Adha (Festival of Sacrifice). In this year (2018), Eid-ul-Adha will begin on Tuesday, August 21st, and will last for three days, ending on the evening of August 24th, 2018.ass

– What Do Muslims Do to Celebrate The Eid-ul-Adha?

On the first morning of Eid-ul-Adha, Muslims around the world attend morning prayers at their local praying grounds. Prayers are followed by visits with family and friends, and the exchange of greetings and gifts. At some point, members of the family will visit a local farm or otherwise will make arrangements for the slaughter of an animal. The meat is distributed during the days of the holiday or shortly thereafter.

– Glorifying Allah with Takbir in these days (Takbir al-Muqayyad)

From the Subh/Fajr prayer of the day of Arafah until the Asr prayer of the 13th day of Dhul-Hajj, one should make Takbir after every obligatory Salah (prayer). Ibn Abi Shaibah relates that:

“Ali (RA) used to make the Takbir beginning after the Fajr/Subh prayer on the day of Arafah, until after the Asr prayer on the last day of at-Tashriq.” [Sahih, by Shaikh al-Albani in al-Irwa, and also Related by Ibn Abi Shaibah in al-Musannaf]

Imam Ibn Taymiyyah said:

“The most correct saying concerning the Takbir – that which the majority of the Salaf (Pious Predecessors), and the Scholars from the Companions and Imams were upon – is to begin making the Takbir from Fajr (dawn) on the day of Arafah up until the last day of at-Tashriq (the thirteenth of Dhul-Hajj), after every Prayer.” [See Majmu al-Fatawa, vol. 24 page 220]

Imam al-Khattabi said:

“The wisdom behind saying the Takbir in these days is that in the time of Jahiliyyah (pre-Islamic ignorance), they used to slaughter for their false objects of worship and idols. So the Takbirs were prescribed in order to indicate that the act of slaughtering is directed to Allah alone, and by mentioning only His Name.” [See Fath al-Bari of Imam Ibn Hajar Al-asqalani]

As regards to the actual wording of the Takbirs, then nothing has been related from the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him). However, the following have been reported from his Sahabah (his Companions):

1. Ibn Mas’ud (RA) reported:

“Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, La ilaha illallah, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar wa lillahil-Hamd.” [Sahih, Irwa al-Ghalil 650, Imam Daraqutni and Ibn Abi Shaibah]

Meaning:

“Allah is the greatest, Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest, and there is none worthy of worship except Allah. Allah is the Greatest; Allah is the Greatest and to Allah belongs all praises.”

2. Ibn Abbas (RA) reported:

“Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar wa lillahil-Hamd; Allahu Akbar wa-ajal, Allahu Akbar ala ma hadana.” [Sahih – Baihaqi, vol. 3 page 315]

Meaning:

“Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest, and Allah is the Greatest and to Allah belongs all praises. Allah is the Greatest to that which He has guided us to.”

3. Salman (RA) reported:

“Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar kabiran.” [Sahih – Baihaqi, vol. 3 page 316]

Meaning:

“Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest, and Allah is the Greatest.”

Allah says in the Noble Qur’an:

“Increase in these days with Tahlil, Takbir and Tahmid (Takbir al-Mutlaq). And mention the name of Allah on the appointed Days.” [Surah al-Hajj, 22:28]

This verse has been explained by Tafsir’s scholars to mean the ten days of Dhul-Hajj. Scholars consider it desirable to increase Zikr (remembrance of Allah) in these days, because the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) is reported to have said:

“There are no days that are greater to Allah or in which deeds are more beloved to Him than these ten days, so increase your Tahlil, Takbir and Tahmid during these days.” [Musnad of Imam Ahmad]

Tahlil, Takbir and Tahmid means saying ‘La ilaha illallah’, ‘Allahu Akbar’ and ‘Alhamdulillah’, respectively.

Ishaq narrates from the scholars of the Tabi’in that in these ten days they used to say:

Allahu-Akbar, Allahu-Akbar; La-ilaha-illallah; wallahu-Akbar, Allahu-Akbar; wa-lillahil-hamd.

It is also a beloved act (mustahab) to raise the voice when saying the Takbir, in the markets, the houses, the offices, the streets, the masjids (mosques), and other places, because of the saying of Allah, the Most High in Surah al-Hajj verse 37:

“…that you may magnify Allah for His guidance to you…”

Imam al-Bukhari said in the book of al-Eids (two Eids prayers) in the chapter of the Virtue of good deeds during the days of Tashriq:

“Abdullah Ibn Umar and Abu Hurairah (RA) would go out in the marketplace during the ten days and say Takbirs, and the people would say Takbirs when they said Takbir.” [Sahih al-Bukhari]

The Sunnah is to say the Takbirs individually. The saying of Takbirs in congregation, i.e., everyone pronouncing the Takbirs with one voice, is not permissible since this has not been transmitted (to us) from the early generations of the Sahabah and those who followed their ways. And this is applicable for all Zikr and supplications, except if the person doesn’t know what to say. In that case he may repeat after someone else until he learns (the words to be said).

Narrated al-Barra’ (Allah be pleased with him) that he heard the Prophet (Peace be upon him) delivering a Khutbah (Sermon), saying:

“The first thing to be done on this day (i.e. first day of Eid-ul-Adha) is to pray (Eid prayer); and after returning from the prayer we slaughter our sacrifices (in the name of Allah), and whoever does so, he has acted according to our Sunnah.” [Kitabul Eids in Sahih Bukhari]

Eid-ul-Adha is celebrated on the 10th through 13th day of Dhul-Hajj, and in the 12th month of the lunar calendar. Many of the rituals related to the Eid directly commemorate the sacrifices of Prophet Ibrahim (AS) and his family for the sake of Allah. On the way to the Eid prayer, while waiting for it and on the way back from the prayer one should recite the following Takbirs as much as possible:

“Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, La ilaha illallah, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar wa lil-lahil-hamd.”

Meaning:

“Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest; there is no god except Allah; and Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest and for Allah is all praise.”

Also it is the tradition of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) to go to the Eid prayer by one way and return by another. And don’t forget, the Takbiraat at-Tashriq above is also to be recited after every fard (compulsory) prayer, beginning from the Fajr prayer of the 9th to the Asr prayer of the 13th of Dhul-Hajj (that is 23 times in all), as mentioned earlier. The following actions are also Sunnah on the day of Eid:

1. To clean the teeth with miswak (or its equivalent, like toothbrush).

2. To take a bath.

3. To adorn oneself and dress in the best clothes that are available and are permitted in Shari’ah.

4. To use perfume.

5. To rise early and go to the prayer grounds early.

6. To walk to the prayer grounds if possible and to recite the takbir above.

7. Nothing is to be eaten before the prayer of Eid-ul-Adha, unlike Eid-ul-Fitr.

8. No Nafilah prayers should be prayed at the Eid prayer ground, neither before nor after the Eid prayer.

– Procedure of the Eid Prayer

Eid-ul-Adha Prayer consists of two Raka’ahs in congregation. The procedure of the prayer is as follows:

First, make the niyyah (intention) for the Eid Salah (prayer). Then the Imam says Allahu Akbar (and the followers do so after him). Then the hands are folded as in other prayers and read the Du’a al–istiftah as follows:

“Subhanakallahummah wa bi hamdika, wa tabarakas-muka wa ta’ala jadduka wa la ilaha ghairuka.”

Meaning:

“O Allah! Glory and Praise are for You, and blessed is Your name, and exalted is Your majesty; and there is no god except You.”

Then Allahu Akbar is said seven times, every time raising the hands to the ears and dropping them except the last time when they are folded. Then the Imam recites the Ta’awwudh and Bismillah quietly and then recites Surah Fatiha and another Surah (Preferably Surah Al-A’la or Surah Qaf). Then Ruku’u and Sujud are performed as in other prayers. In the second Raka’ah, the Imam recites Bismillah quietly and then Surah Fatiha and another Surah loudly (Preferably Surah Al-Ghashiyah or Surah Al-Qamar) and then say Allahu Akbar five times, each time raising the hands to the ears and dropping them. Then the congregation goes into Ruku’u, Sujud and finishes the prayer as any other. After the Eid prayer is completed, the Imam stands up and gives Khutbah (Sermon) in Arabic, as was the practice of the Prophet (Peace be upon him). He can translate it in the local language for people to understand the message in the Sermon.

– Some selected Hadiths from Sahih al-Bukhari in the Chapter of the Two Eids:

Narrated Aisha (RA) that Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) said:

“There is an Eid for every nation and this is our Eid.”

Narrated Abdullah bin Umar (RA) that Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) used to offer the prayer of Eid-ul-Adha and Eid-ul-fitr and then deliver the Khutbah (Sermon) after the prayer.

Narrated Ibn Abbas (RA) that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“No good deeds done on other days are superior to those done on these (first 10 days of Dhul-Hajj).” Then some Companions of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: “Not even Jihad?” He replied, “Not even jihad, except that of a man who does it by putting himself and his property in danger (for Allah’s sake) and does not return with any of those things.”

Narrated Jabir Ibn Abdullah (RA) that:

“On the day of Eid, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) used to return (from the prayer) through a way different from that by which he went.”

Narrated Urwah, on the authority of Aisha (RA) that:

“On the days of Mina (11th, 12th and 13th of Dhul-Hajj) Abu Bakr (RA) came to her while two girls were beating the tambourine and the Prophet (Peace be upon him) was lying covered with his clothes. Abu Bakr (RA) scolded them and the Prophet (Peace be upon him) uncovered his face and said to Abu Bakr, “Leave them, for these days are the days of Eid and the days of Mina.”

– The Slaughtering Of Sacrificial Animals

According to Imam Abu Hanifah, the slaughtering is a wajib. For Abu Hanifah, a wajib is more than a Sunnah and less than a fard (Obligatory or Compulsory). The other Imams consider a wajib to mean fard (obligatory).

Therefore, he sees that it is wajib for those people who are capable to do it according to the Hadith:

“Whoever has the ability to slaughter and he doesn’t, then let him not come near our prayer area.”

So Abu Hanifah took from this Hadith that it was a wajib. But if we cannot consider it as a wajib, at least it is a Sunnah Mu’akkadah and in it is a great bounty.

Its time of occurrence (the Slaughtering) is after Salatul-Eid (Eid Prayer), meaning the earliest salatul-Eid that has been performed in your area. After which, it is permissible to make the sacrifice. If it is done before that, it is not considered an Eid sacrifice (Layyah).

For the Prophet (Peace be upon him) commanded the one who performs the slaughtering before the Eid prayer to consider his sheep as a “sheep of meat” and not as a “sheep of worship.” Even if he gave all of it in charity he will only be rewarded for it the reward of charity, not the reward for slaughtering for the Eid. For slaughtering is an act of worship and the acts of worship if they have a fixed time and condition then it is not befitting for it to be performed early or late, like the daily prayers. For example, is it permissible for you to pray Zuhr before its appointed time? The answer to this question is a big and capital No! So it is with the slaughtering of the Eid, it has its specified time too.

Some people in certain places slaughter their animal the night before the Eid. This is incorrect and a misplacement of the Sunnah, as well as a loss of the reward that it contains. If this person realizes his mistake in time, especially if he made a vow to slaughter (then it is obligatory for him), he should repeat it in the correct time after the Eid prayer. It is also permissible to slaughter on the second and third day of the Eid. It is best to slaughter before the sun reaches its zenith (Zawal). If the time for Zuhr comes and he has not performed the slaughter it is better to wait till the second day to do it. Some of the Imams have said that it is permissible after that during the day or even the night.

For this reason I see that it is not absolutely necessary that everybody slaughters on the first day because there will be a lot of crowding at the site of the slaughtering. So, it is possible that some people can delay their slaughtering until the second or third day. Wallahu ‘Alam.

– What is the Proper Animal for Slaughter?

Camels, cows, ram, sheep and goats are the proper animal to use for slaughtering because they are considered livestock (Bahimatul An’am). So it is permissible to slaughter from any of these types. The sheep can be used for one, meaning a man and the members of his household. As the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“This is on behalf of Muhammad and his family.”

Abu Ayyub al-Ansari (RA) has said:

“During the time of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) a man used to slaughter one sheep for himself and his family until it came to the point that people competed with each other and they became what you now see.”

As for cows and camels, 1/7 of either of them is sufficient for one person, so it is possible and permissible that 7 people could share one camel or one cow with the condition that the cow is not less than two years old or the camel less than five years old.

The better the quality of the animal used for slaughtering with regards to its size and condition, the better. That is because it is a gift to Allah, Mighty and Majesty. Therefore, it is befitting for the Muslim to present to Allah the best possible thing. As for one giving to Allah what he himself would dislike, then no, this is not appropriate. But in the end, know that:

“It is not their meat nor their blood that reaches Allah, rather, it is the piety of the hearts that reaches Him.” [Al-Qur’an]

– The Position Of Praying Jumu’ah When The Eid Falls On A Friday

Imam Abu Dawud in his Sunan collected narrations for the subject of praying the Jumu’ah prayer if the Eid falls on Friday. He began placing these Hadiths right after a series of Hadith that mention the categories of people excused from Jumu’ah:

* Zaid Ibn Arqam

Ilyas Ibn AbuRamlah ash-Shami said:

“I witnessed Mu’awiyah Ibn Abu Sufyan asking Zaid Ibn Arqam: Did you offer along with the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) the Friday and Eid prayers fell on the same day? He said: Yes. He asked: How did he do? He replied: He offered the Eid prayer, then granted concession to offer the Friday prayer, and said: If anyone wants to offer it, he may offer it.”

* Abdullah Ibn Abbas

Ata’ Ibn Abi Rabah said:

“Ibn Az-Zubair led us in the Eid prayer on Friday early in the morning. When we went to offer the Friday, he did not come out to us. So we prayed by ourselves alone. At that time Ibn Abbas was present in at-Ta’if. When he came to us, we mentioned this (incident) to him. He said: He followed the Sunnah.”

* Ata’ said:

“The Friday and the Eid prayers occurred during the time of Ibn Az-Zubair. He said: Two festivals (Eid and Friday) both fell on the same day. He combined them and offered two Raka’ahs in the morning and did not add anything until he offered the afternoon (Asr) prayer.”

* Abu Hurairah

The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“Two festivals (Eid and Friday) have both fell on this day. If anyone does not want to offer the Friday prayer, then the Eid prayer is enough for him. But we shall offer the Friday prayer.”

Benefits in this Subject:

Shaykh Muhammad Nasiruddin Al-Albani graded all these narrations as being authentic.

He said:

“If anyone wants to offer it, he may offer it.” ‘Shows that when the Jumu’ah and Eid fall on the same day the excuse to not attend Jumu’ah is allowed only to the one who makes Eid prayer.”‘

He said:

“He followed the Sunnah.” ‘Shows the Eid is given preference, perhaps because it’s the yearly Eid and Jumu’ah comes weekly.”‘

He said:

“Led us in the Eid prayer on Friday early in the morning. When we went to offer the Friday, he did not come out to us.” ‘Shows that the Eid prayer is done before Jumu’ah.”‘

He said:

“Ibn Az-Zubair led us in the Eid prayer on Friday early in the morning. When we went to offer the Friday, he did not come out to us.” Al-Amir As-San’ani said: “This doesn’t prove Ibn Zubair didn’t pray until Asr, just because he didn’t go out with them for prayer, and this doesn’t mean he didn’t pray alone in his house.”

He said:

“Ibn Az-Zubair led us in the Eid prayer on Friday early in the morning. When we went to offer the Friday, he did not come out to us.” ‘Is proof that the Eid prayer is offered in the countryside or in an open area, and not in the Masjid.”‘

He said:

“Ibn Az-Zubair led us in the Eid prayer on Friday early in the morning. When we went to offer the Friday, he did not come out to us.” Shaykh Ibn Rislan said: “This implies that since the regular Imam didn’t come out every one prayed the Zuhr independently.”

He said:

“Ibn Abbas was present in at-Ta’if..” ‘Ibn Abbas lived in Ta’if and died there in 68 Hijrah at the age of seventy years old.’

He said:

“He followed the sunnah.” Al-Amir said: “Ibn Abbas’s speech means he followed the sunnah by not going to offer Jumu’ah and not holding is Jumu’ah when the Eid falls on a Friday isn’t an innovation (Bid’ah).”

He said:

“If anyone wants to offer it, he may offer it.” ‘This establishes that a person has the option to offer Jumu’ah or not; however, if he doesn’t offer Jumu’ah then he must still pray Zuhr. Since there is a consensus among the scholars that whoever misses Jumu’ah must offer Zuhr; as Jumu’ah takes the place of the Zuhr.”‘

He said:

“…and did not add anything to them until he offered the afternoon prayer.” ‘It could be inferred that they offered the Eid prayer they didn’t offer anything else until Asr. And this position has been reported to have been practiced by Az-Zubair and Ali Ibn Abi Talib. However what’s established is just because the Imam didn’t come to the Masjid doesn’t mean he didn’t pray as Imam Al-Amir mentioned.”‘

Imam Ash-Shafi’i held the position that the excuse to miss Jumu’ah was only for those who lived far away based on a Hadith with a broken chain from a Tabi’i on the Prophet. This makes it weak since the Tabi’i didn’t meet the Prophet. Also, this argument is rejected based on Ibn Abbas’s words “This is the Sunnah“, for those who didn’t go out and pray Jumu’ah.

So if the Eid and Jumu’ah both coincided together on the same day, the Muslim who observes the Eid prayer with the Imam has the option to attend Jumu’ah or pray Zuhr in his house.

Now, as we all know, 1439/2018 Eid-ul-Adha is just around the corner and millions of Muslims all over the world are prepping fervently; from buying rams, goats, cows and camels to shopping for brand new attires in the happiness of this yearly awaited occasion. On the other hand, there are the less privileged, needy and orphans, eager every year, to receive the meat as a blessing of Allah the Most High..

We hope this Eid brings immense joy in every household and may Allah shower his blessings on all the Muslims, providing ease in carrying out the sacrifices.

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the worlds. May the peace, blessings and salutations of Allah be upon our Noble Messenger, Muhammad, and upon his family, his Companions and his true followers.

Finally, I ask Allah Almighty, in His infinite Mercy to accept all our Ibaadaats (Worships) in these blessed days and always. Wa Taqabbalallahu Minna Wa Minkum, ameen.

Eid-du-kum Mubarak!

Ma’assalam,

Your Brother: Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’ah and the Late Alhaji Abdurrahman Okene’s Mosques, Okene, Kogi State, Nigeria. The Imam can be reached via: gusaumurtada@gmail.com or +2348038289761.

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