[Friday Sermon] In The Messenger Of Allah You Have A Good Example To Follow, By Imam Gusau

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious and the Bestower of Mercy

All thanks and praise is due to Allah, we seek His help and forgiveness. We seek refuge in Allah from the evil within ourselves and the consequences of our evil deeds.

Whoever Allah guides will never be led astray, and whoever Allah leads astray will never find guidance. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, He is alone without any partners, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and His Messenger.

“O you who have believed, fear Allah as He should be feared and do not die except as Muslims in submission to Him.” [Quran, 3:102]

“O mankind, fear your Lord, who created you from one soul and created from it its mate and dispersed from both of them many men and women. And fear Allah, through whom you ask one another, and the wombs. Verily, Allah is ever watching over you.” [Quran, 4:1]

“O you who have believed, fear Allah and speak words of appropriate justice. He will then amend for you your deeds and forgive your sins, and whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger has certainly attained a great attainment.” [Quran, 33:70-71]

Verily, the most truthful speech is the Book of Allah, the best guidance is the guidance of Muhammad, and the worst affairs are newly invented matters (in religion). Every newly invented matter is a religious innovation, and every religious innovation is misguidance, and every misguidance is in the Hellfire.

Servants of Allah! In this Quranic verse: “Indeed in the Messenger of Allah Muhammad (Peace be upon him), you have a good example to follow.” [Quran 33:21], mentions the expression “good example”, i.e. someone whom people imitate and follow.

This Quranic verse is a great principle in following the example of the Prophet (Peace be upon him), in his words and action. However, the verse does not specify in details the stages of this imitation and following it does not specify what is an obligation for us to imitate and what is only desirable. However, there are details about this in the books of jurisprudence.

Brothers and Sisters! Imitating and following the Prophet (Peace be upon him), is not restricted to the principles only, but also in branches. For instance, washing our private parts after relieving oneself with our right hand is forbidden according to some scholars, may Allah have mercy on them, as the Prophet (Peace be upon him), forbade us from doing so, and this is included in the branches. Washing our private parts from urine and excrement is an obligation and this is also included in branches. Eating with the right hand and the like are also among the matters in which we imitate the Prophet (Peace be upon him).

However, one should know that there is a difference between the Sunnan (plural of Sunnah) referring to actions of worship that we imitate the Prophet (Peace be upon him), either as an obligation or just as something desirable, and the Sunnan referring to habitual acts that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) used to do like combing his hair, (the manner of) turning back, having a bath from a container, the way he used to walk, and so forth.

A Muslim is not obliged to imitate him in these things although following his example in such matters means following the best and complete example, but whoever does not imitate him in such matters, is not sinful, and it is hoped that whoever imitates him, will be rewarded for that.

I hope that by now we have clarified some important issues, which is that imitating the Prophet (Peace be upon him) could be an obligation, or something desirable, either in principles or in branches and that there is a difference between the Sunnah about actions of worship and a habitual Sunnah.

In principle the actions of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) should be imitated and copied.

Imam Al-Bukhari wrote a chapter in his book entitled: “The chapter of imitating the actions of the Prophet (Peace be upon him).”

Imam Al-Hafiz Ibn Hajar, may Allah have mercy upon him, when commenting on this chapter in Fath  al-Bari stated the following verse as an evidence:

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

Some of the people of knowledge are of the view that it is obligatory to imitate the Prophet (Peace be upon him), as this is explicit in the Order of Allah as He says:

“And whatsoever the Messenger (Muhammad) gives you, take it, and whatsoever he forbids you, abstain (from it), and fear Allah. Verily, Allah is Severe in punishment.” [Quran, 59:7]

Allah also says:

“Say (O Muhammad to mankind): “If you (really) love Allah then follow me (i.e. accept Islamic Monotheism, follow the Quran and the Sunnah), Allah will love you and forgive you of your sins. And Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [Quran, 3:31]

Allah also says:

“…And follow him (Muhammad) so that you may be guided.” [Quran, 7:158]

Therefore, we have to imitate him in his actions and his words unless there is evidence that a specific action of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) was only desirable to imitate or that it was peculiar to him. Therefore, you should know that the evidence of imitating him in his words and actions, are not restricted only to the above verses, because the principle in his actions is that they are to be imitated unless there is evidence that they are peculiar to him (Khususiyyah).

This includes also running the affairs of the Muslims while in peace or during wars, and this is what is called ‘politics.’

The Companions understood this principle, which is to imitate the Prophet’s actions and words.

Imam Al-Bukhari stated in his chapter (already mentioned) that Ibn Umar, may Allah be pleased with both the father and the son, said:

“The Prophet wore a golden ring, then all the people wore golden rings. Then the Prophet said: “I made use of a golden ring, then he threw it away and said: “I will never wear it again”, so the people threw their rings away as well.”

As regards the actions that are peculiar to the Prophet only (Khususiyyah), these cannot be confirmed except with an evidence. The matters that are peculiar to the Prophet are known and the scholars wrote many books about that. And we do not know of any scholar who said that running the affairs of the people (politics) is something peculiar to him, and that this matter is the same as marrying more than four women, and so on.

Here it is worth mentioning that one should note what the meaning of politics in religion is. We mention here a debate which is mentioned by Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim in his book Bada’i Al Fawa’id, between Ibn Aqil Al-Hambali and a Shafi’i scholar. He says in his book:

“There is no politics except what is in accordance with the Shariah.” Ibn Aqil said: “Politics is any action that people do and which is closer to righteousness and further from evil and mischief even if this action was not established by the Prophet (Peace be upon him) or sent down as a revelation.”

Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim considered that what Ibn Aqil said was good, as he says:

“If the signs of justice appear, and its purpose become evident in any way, then this is the Shari’ah and religion of Allah.”

There is no contradiction between this and what we have mentioned previously about imitating the Prophet (Peace be upon him), because, if the means by which a benefit is achieved is not in contradiction with a religious text, then this is in accordance with what Prophet (Peace be upon him) was sent with and is not contrary to it.

Those who keep on repeating such things, want to restrict the religion to acts of worship only, and want to eradicate religion from practical life so that secularism will be applied in the life of the Muslims. They do every thing they can to provide any justification that confuses the Muslims about this matter.

Brothers and Sisters! I say that I mentioned the opinion of the scholars in relation to the order concerning imitating the actions of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) and what is peculiar to the Prophet (Peace be upon him) only and not to his Ummah.

Servants of Allah! The Prophet Muhammad’s (Peace be upon him) lifestyle and level of virtue are important in the acceptance and spread of the religion he conveyed. No contradiction can be seen between the beautiful traits he had before he became a Prophet and those he displayed as a model of behaviour during his apostleship. This indicates that his virtue conformed to the morality pointed out in the Quran. For example, because he was well-known for his sincerity, honesty, mercy, truthfulness and reliability even before he became a Prophet, he was called “Muhammad al-Amin, (Muhammad the Trustworthy).”

At a time when we understand more with each passing day the importance of being a “human being” first, the fact that Muhammad was first a human being and then a Prophet needs to be considered once again. If we do not want to limit Islam and Islam’s Prophet to a particular time and culture, then we have to understand the universal subtleties of his teaching that goes beyond time. In order to be a good Muslim, undoubtedly it is necessary to first be a good human being. In order to be a good human being, a role model is needed.

Servants of Allah! Showing Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) as a role model in the development of an ideal personality requires that his personal qualities have universal dimensions. For the individual principles of a model person should be able to be evaluated from a broader and more general perspective than just traditional cultures. In other words, such a person must have a personality suitable to principles that are accepted as indispensable by different perceptions and understandings and that do not change according to time and place. This puts forth the necessity of first being a “human being” for all mankind who are equal as servants to Allah, regardless of which religion or belief they adhere to.

When looked at from the perspective of personality development and training, it can be seen that the noble characters of Prophets always possess the ability of exalting the personalities of people around them who are at different levels of development. It should be recalled that before Prophet Muhammad received revelation, he spent a long time among his tribe equipped with his special traits. Personality consists of “making natural qualities habitual by training and shaping them,” behaviour consists of a person reflecting these habits in a way suitable to his role in society. Prophet Muhammad had a noble character before he became a Prophet. Reliable historical documents are full of examples proving this. Even if he had not been commanded by revelation, he was still sincere, honest, chaste, merciful, charitable, truthful and trustworthy. He was polite and empathetic towards women and compassionate towards children before Allah commanded him to be. These universal values he exhibited in his personality were the reason the Quran showed him as an example to mankind.

Brothers and Sisters! It can not be denied that his being the recipient of divine revelation exalted his personality to its zenith, as much as it led him to convey and explain the revelation. However, if we accept that someone without any admirable personal traits can gain them with revelation, then we are all sentenced to wait for revelation in order to attain a noble personality. In reality, however, due to the fact that there is no comparison between common individual traits like the potential strength of the ego, the capacity to make willful choices, and the capability for comparison and judgment between the exemplary person and the person taking the model, no one can have an excuse for behaving lazily in efforts to transform his character make-up.

We see that for centuries some Muslims have not been able to differentiate between taking someone as a role model and imitation. The reason for this is their lack of knowledge and their choosing the easy way out. However, in love felt for the Prophet it is necessary to know and understand his life, personality, and basic principles with their real essence and not by stories adorned with a number of lies, superstitions, innovations and sophistry. For true love demands responsibility. The real road that should be taken as an example passes through love with understanding, not crying.

I would like to give several examples of the natural qualities of being a human being that he left us; these correspond with historical truths and, approved by the Quran, they have become symbolized in the personality of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him).

The most obvious and basic indication of his superior personality is the Prophet’s truthfulness. Since the truthful one can be chaste, the chaste can be pious, and the pious can be a believer, as “A believer doesn’t lie,” it was inevitable that he be truthful. Even the Quraish mushriks/pagans who resisted accepting his Prophethood and message never doubted Prophet Muhammad in regard to his truthfulness. One day on the road to Badr, Ahnis bin Sharik said to Abu Jahil:

“Hey Abul-Hakam, no one can hear us here. Tell me your opinion of Muhammad. Is he truthful or is he a liar?” Abul Jahil replied: “I swear that Muhammad is definitely truthful; he has never told a lie!”

Khadijah may Allah be please with her, had rejected the marriage offers even of prominent tribal chiefs, but proposing to Muhammad herself, she married him because she greatly admired his virtues and character. Her words to Muhammad when the first revelation came are clear evidence that he was equipped with both truthfulness and the traits expected to be found in a perfect personality. She said:

“O Muhammad! You don’t need to feel any fear or anxiety; don’t worry! Allah will not embarrass a servant like you. I know that you tell the truth, fulfill trusts, show interest in your relatives, help the poor, open your door to the destitute and aid people who have undergone calamity. Remain constant! I swear to Allah that I am hopeful that you will be the Prophet of this community.”

Muhammad is a more humble human being than we think! Although he is a “mercy to the worlds,” he never saw himself superior to anyone else. Even before those who loved him with enough self-abnegation to say, “May my mother and father be sacrificed for you, O Messenger,” he never lost his humility: He reproached those who praised him excessively by saying, ” Don’t go to extremes in praising me like when the Christians say that Jesus is ‘the son of Allah.’ I am only Allah’s servant. Regarding me say, ‘Allah’s servant and Messenger.'”

Even though he was the “Prophet of Both Worlds,” he did not have others do his personal tasks. As related by Aisha: when she was asked, “What would he do at home?” she responded, “He did what everyone else does. He would mend his clothing, repair his shoes, milk his goats; he took care of his own work.”

He did not make distinctions among people, and he taught those who did that it was wrong. He said:

“Know that no Arab is superior to a non-Arab; no non-Arab to an Arab; no white to a black; and no black to a white. There is only superiority only in piety.”

Pointing out that together with making things easy, it was necessary to be forgiving, the Prophet demonstrated this with his way of living, his words, and verses from the Noble Quran. He aimed to beautify and give order to his own life and the lives of others in the light of Almighty Allah’s commands and recommendations.

Prophet Muhammad always treated women, slaves, war captives, children and animals with mercy in every stage of his life.

And patience! It is certain that patience is mandatory for every beautiful and good work. That beautiful person was extremely patient – to what came from Allah and what materialized from His servants. However, when his eyes became tearful from the grief of losing his son Ibrahim, he acted naturally like any father would. This not only taught that the pain of losing a child is an unbearable feeling that affects the human spirit and that at such a moment
men can cry, too, but at the same time he demonstrated with body language the necessity of bowing to fate and avoiding excessive behaviour that does not become a person of faith. He expressed the mistakenness of becoming overly attached to the passing next to the permanent, and the error of rebelling against Allah’s will with long periods of mourning and wailing. Famous Orientalist M. Watt says:

“Contemporaries of Muhammad were unable to see any moral flaws in him.”

Flaws were not seen after his time either, and they will not be seen! For his virtue was the Quran and was praised in the Quran.

As a result, the Prophet being one of us as a person makes it easier for us to understand him, and his being morally superior makes it easier for us to love him. In addition to loving Muhammad and taking him as a model, it is necessary to sincerely consider under what conditions he would love us and, turning the mirror towards ourselves, to look bravely into it and see how much we have been able to resemble that perfected personality. Plus we need to think, he was with us, but how much are we with him? At times we saw him as a compassionate father, at times as a sincere teacher, at times as a guide, at times as an authoritative leader, and at times as a just and fair husband. How about us? In this age when we are this far removed in time and place, are we able when necessary to be to him like his daughter Fatima, like his son Zaid, like his friend Abu Bakr, and like his life Companion Khadijah? Or, if he were in our place in today’s conditions, how would he have lived in accordance with the teaching of the Quran and Sunnah? If we had taken our place by his side, which one of the people around him would we resemble? By means of this auto-critique, which should reappear in the minds of believers, we will have taken an important step on the subject of updating our understanding of him and our conforming to his Sunnah (Peace be upon him).

I ask Allah to assist us in living by the Quran and Sunnah. I pray He lets us recognise the truth for what it is and helps us to follow it, and that He lets us see falsehood for what it is and helps us to avoid it.

O Allah! Guide us and protect us from the causes of ignorance and destruction! Save us from the defects of ourselves! Cause the last of our deeds to be the best and most righteous! And forgive all of us.

My respected people! Anything good I have said in my today’s Khutbah (Sermon) is from Allah the Almighty, and any mistakes are my own and we seek refuge in Allah from giving wrong advice and from all forms of calamities and fitnah. And I ask Allah’s forgiveness if I stepped beyond bounds in anything I said or I do.

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

With this I conclude my Khutbah (Sermon) and ask Allah, the Almighty and the Sublime, to forgive all of our sins. So seek his forgiveness, He is all forgiving and Most Merciful.

This Jumu’ah Khutbah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today, Friday, Rabi’ul-Awwal 12, 1439 AH (December 1st, 2017), by Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’ah and late Alhaji Abdurrahman Okene’s Mosques, Okene Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached via: +2348038289761.

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How Islam Solved Marital Problems, By Imam Murtadha Muhammad

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

Brothers and Sisters! Marriages usually start off so nicely and happily. Everyone cooperates-the couple, their parents, other relatives, friends and associates. Things usually run smoothly.

But somewhere along the way, marital disputes pop up. This is of course natural and must, but these can escalate to dangerous levels if not dealt with correctly, as we are witnessing today.

My people! Both spouses should have a realistic view of marital troubles, because, if tackled correctly, they may be a factor in enhancing dialogue and understanding. Marital discord can either be solved or made further complicated, according to the way the couple chooses to deal with it.

It is important to remember that uttering bad words and using abusive language in the course of an argument, has an undoubtedly negative effect that lasts even after the problem is over. Furthermore, it causes emotional wounds and distress that accumulates in the heart. Conversely, remaining silent instead of discussing a problem is also a negative and temporary solution, as it later leads to unexplained sudden and violent outbursts over trivial matters. Hence, repressing feelings is the beginning of psychological complications and gives rise to impatience.

Therefore, either a person should pretend to forget the problem, overlook it and voluntarily forgive the other party or the problem must be tackled. In doing the latter, the solution should address whatever troubles one’s soul and be applied with satisfaction and willingness. Both spouses should avoid any outcome that instigates feelings of victory or defeat in either one, as this only serves to deepen the rift. For example, they should avoid mockery, denial and rejection, and insistence on winning. Further, one should watch his or her speech; Abdullah Ibn Amr Ibn al-As may Allah be pleased with them, reported:

“The Prophet (Peace be upon him) was never unseemly or lewd in his language; he used to say, ‘The best among you are those who have the best morals.’” [Al-Bukhari]

Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, also relates that some Jews came to the Prophet, and said:

“As-samu alaika (death be on you)”. So, she (Aisha) says she replied: “‘Alaikum as-samu (death be on you); and may Allah curse you and inflict His wrath on you.” The Prophet said to her: “O Aisha, take it easy and be moderate; beware of violence and obscene language.” She asked: “Did you not hear what they said?”The Prophet replied: “Well, have not you heard what I said? I responded to them [by only saying ‘and to you’]; and my supplication against them will be accepted while theirs against me will not.” [Al-Bukhari]

That illustrates why, when Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, was asked about the morals of the Prophet, she said:

“The Prophet was never rude or indecent, nor was he loud-voiced in the streets, nor did he return evil for evil, but he would forgive and pardon.” [At-Tirmithi]

Another witness to his character is Anas, may Allah be pleased with him, who said:

“I served the Prophet (Peace be upon him) for ten years and he never blamed me for doing anything or questioned me about something that I did not do.” [Ahmad]

Indeed, we are warned by the Prophet, from being:

“The worst person in the Sight of Allah on the Day of Judgment”; that is “one who is avoided by people because of his evil.” [Al-Bukhari]

Brothers and Sisters! There is no doubt that women, especially those who are more sensitive, become confused, unsettled and worried when they have problems with those they love and appreciate. Moreover, a relationship can be completely damaged because of it, as is the case when, for instance, one of the spouses feels superior to the other in terms of status, property, beauty or culture. Indeed, the Prophet, said:

“Haughtiness is arrogant denial of the truth and contempt for people.” [Muslim]

The solution must only be decided after the issue has been carefully examined. Otherwise, a husband, for example, would say something, then change his opinion over someone’s interference or resort to quibbling even though he knows he is wrong.

* Steps to solve marital problems

  1. There must be an attempt to discover whether the problem stems from a disagreement or a misunderstanding. Each of the spouses must express his or her version of the problem and feelings regarding it. This should be done in a direct and clear manner that eliminates any probable misunderstanding, as sometimes that is all there is to what is assumed to be a serious disagreement.
  2. Every person must call his or her own self to account and realize how greatly negligent he or she is toward Allah The Almighty. In this way, other’s infringements on his or her right would seem trivial.
  3. It must be remembered that tribulations in life occur because of one’s sins and having problems with those a person loves, is considered an affliction. Muhammad Ibn Sirin said:

“I could see the effect of my sins in the behaviour of my wife and also, in my animal companion.”

  1. Marital discord must never be disclosed to the public and kept among those it concerns, i.e., the spouses.
  2. One of the errors in resolving a problem is referring to previous mistakes of either spouse, as that only widens the scope of the conflict. The trigger of the disagreement must be defined and focused on.
  3. Each of the partners should talk about the issue from his or her own point of view, without considering his or her understanding to be infallible or an uncontested fact, as that will destroy any chances to solve the problem.
  4. It is better to initiate a discussion with common points of agreement along with its benefits because this softens the heart, drives the devil away, draws both viewpoints closer and encourages both parties to offer concessions; Allah The Almighty Says:

“And do not forget graciousness between you.” [Quran, 2:237]

If one of them, for instance, says to the other:

“I have not forgotten your favour in such-and-such or your positive qualities. And, I can never deny whatever we see eye to eye on”;  this would generate an atmosphere of willing compromise.

  1. It is also imperative to not focus on one’s own rights, exaggerating them or demanding what is not due of others, especially while overlooking one’s responsibilities and duties toward others.
  2. A person must also be able to admit a mistake he or she realizes has been made by him or her, without contention. Both parties should have the courage and self-esteem to do this. When either spouse has admitted to a mistake, the other must praise him or her for that and not persist in what is wrong. More importantly, this admission of guilt must not be used as leverage, but rather be counted as one of the other’s merits that should be added to his or her record of good deeds and virtues, which must be cited.
  3. Some inherent female qualities, such as protectiveness, must also be handled delicately and patiently. The Prophet, even described how one of his wives once felt, by saying:

“Your mother felt jealous.” [Al-Bukhari]

We should follow the example of the Prophet, who would take into account the circumstances surrounding an incident and people’s temperaments and other factors that are beyond one’s control. Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, narrates:

“I have never seen a cook like Safiyyah. She sent the Prophet a container of food as a present; I could not contain myself and I broke it. I asked the Prophet about the expiation of this. He [understandingly] said, ‘A container for a container and food for food.’” [Abu Dawud and An-Nasa’i]

  1. It is also of utmost importance to be satisfied with what Allah The Almighty has bestowed on everyone. If the wife notices anything good in her husband, she has to praise Allah The Almighty and if she finds otherwise, she must realize that faults are not particular to only him. On the other hand, the husband should know he is not alone in facing marital problems.
  2. The husband should not hasten to solve a crisis in a fit of rage. He should wait until he calms down because any solution reached when angry, is usually far from being right.
  3. There must be an ability in both parties to accede to forfeiting some of their demands as a problem cannot be resolved if every party insists on retaining every one of his or her rights. There must be a room for adaptability to varying circumstances and conditions.
  4. Each of the spouses should be calm and never reckless or hurried. They should neither display boredom or annoyance. A good atmosphere is one of composure and deliberation to have a positive overview of the problem.
  5. Both spouses should be aware and know for certain that money is not the cause of happiness and that success does not result from living in big palaces and having servants. True success lies in leading a tranquil life that is free from worry and greed.
  6. Nothing can emphasize enough the importance of overlooking minor slips and unintentional mistakes on either part.

Wallahu ‘Alam, and success belongs to Him.

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, from Okene, Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached through: gusaumurtada@gmail.com or +2348038289761.

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[Friday sermon] O Islamic Scholars, Speak The Truth Even If It Be Against Yourself! By Imam Murtadha Gusau

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

All thanks and praise is due to Allah, we seek His help and forgiveness. We seek refuge in Allah from the evil within ourselves and the consequences of our evil deeds.

Whoever Allah guides will never be led astray, and whoever Allah leads astray will never find guidance. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, He is alone without any partners, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and His Messenger.

“O you who have believed, fear Allah as He should be feared and do not die except as Muslims in submission to Him.” [Quran, 3:102]

“O mankind, fear your Lord, who created you from one soul and created from it its mate and dispersed from both of them many men and women. And fear Allah, through whom you ask one another, and the wombs. Verily, Allah is ever watching over you.” [Quran, 4:1]

“O you who have believed, fear Allah and speak words of appropriate justice. He will then amend for you your deeds and forgive your sins, and whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger has certainly attained a great attainment.” [Quran, 33:70-71]

Verily, the most truthful speech is the Book of Allah, the best guidance is the guidance of Muhammad, and the worst affairs are newly invented matters (in religion). Every newly invented matter is a religious innovation, and every religious innovation is misguidance, and every misguidance is in the Hellfire.

Brothers and Sisters! Know that, to speak the truth was what the Prophet (Peace be upon him) came to teach and remind us. That, it was the sole means by which we would be judged by Allah on the final day. That the one who was successful on that day would be the one that spoke the truth even if it was against himself. Speaking the truth is the hallmark of the believers, it is the only means by which one is drawn close to Allah, it is the sword of Allah, it is the only means by which one acquires knowledge and understanding because Allah does not grant wisdom, understanding and knowledge to those that do not speak the truth, and nor does He grant them the right to struggle for His cause unless and until they place the truth before themselves.

Servants of Allah! Allah intends to clarify the truth to people and  prove it, and  thereby, leave  no  place  for  excuses that  they  did  not  receive  the  message  of  truth  from  Him;  that  is  why  He  sent  Messengers  and Divine  Books.  Indeed,  the  Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“No  one  likes  to  give people  excuses  more  than  Allah.”

He  has  sent  the  Messengers,  peace  be  upon  them,  as warners  and  bringers  of  glad  tidings;  hence,  they  explained  the  message  of  Allah  and  the Islamic scholars  and  students  of  knowledge  did  the  same  after  them.  This  is  so,  because  it  is compulsory  upon  anyone  who  attains  any  knowledge  to  follow  the  footsteps  of  the  Prophets and  Messengers,  peace  be  upon  them,  by  clarifying  what  they  are  aware  of. Allah  says:

“And  [mention,  O  Muhammad Peace be upon him] when  Allah  took  a  covenant  from  those  who  were  given  the  Scripture,  [saying]:  ‘You  must make  it  clear  [i.e.  explain  it]  to  the  people  and  not  conceal  it.’  But  they  threw  it  away  behind their  backs  and  exchanged  it  for  a  small  price.  And  wretched  is  that  which  they  purchased.” [Quran, 3: 187]

The  Jewish  Rabbis  were  commanded  to  believe  in  Muhammad (Peace be upon him) and  to  clarify  his  message  to  people.  In  the  Torah,  there  was  a  mention  of him,  his  description,  the  place  he  will  be  sent  to  and  the  description  of  his  Companions,  may Allah  be  pleased  with  them.  However,  when  they  recognized  him,  they  suppressed  this  news and  disbelieved  in  him.  Allah  says:

“Indeed,  those  who  conceal  what  We sent  down  of  clear  proofs  and  guidance  after  We  made  it  clear  for  the  people  in  the  Scripture –  those  are  cursed  by  Allah  and  cursed  by  those  who  curse (i.e., from  among  the  angels  and the  believers.).” [Quran, 2: 159]

Thus,  it  is  a  pledge  which  Allah  has  taken  from  the  people of  knowledge, the Ulama’  to  explain and speak the  truth,  rulings  and  legislations  to  people,  and  to  not  conceal  it. Therefore,  he  who  withholds  any  knowledge,  has  cheated  and  betrayed  the servants of Allah, and  will  be  cursed  by  Allah  and  those  who  curse  from  His  creations. As  for  those  who  teach  people  what  is  good  and  make  the  truth  clear  to  them,  Allah  will forgive  them  and  the  angels, the  whales  and  fish  in  the  sea,  as  well  as  all  animals,  including  the ant  in  her  dwelling,  will  supplicate  to  Allah  for  their  forgiveness  –  all  as  a  result  of  this  great deed.  On  the  other  hand,  Allah  has  warned  those  who  hide  the  truth  which  was  revealed,  in  return  of some  worldly  benefit,  when  He  says:

“Indeed,  they  who  conceal  what Allah  has  sent  down  of  the  Book  and  exchange  it  for  a  small  price  –  those  consume  not  into their  bellies  except  the  Fire….”  [Quran, 2: 174]

Thus, those who seek to gain worldly profits and, as a result,  suppress  the  truth  or  state  what  is  false  instead,  will  receive  a  far  greater retribution  compared  to  what  little  benefit  they  gained  in  life,  and  will  dwell  eternally  in  the Hellfire.

The  Arabs  and  Jews  held  the  Jewish  Rabbis  in  the  highest  regard.  The  Rabbis  even  used  to receive  gifts  from  the  Arabs  because  of  their  approval  of  the  disbelief  and  infidelity  in  which they  were  indulged  and  statements  that  pleased  them.  If  an  Arab  came  to  a  Rabbi,  asking  him: “Are  we  better  or  Muhammad?”,  he  would  reply:  “Indeed  you  are  better  than  him.”

The  Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“He  who  is  asked  about  knowledge  (regarding that  which  he  knows)  and  he,  in  turn,  conceals  it,  will  be  bridled  with  fire  on  the  Day  of Resurrection.”

In  this  manner,  the  evil  outcome  corresponds  with  his  deed,  for  just  as  he remained  silent  regarding  the  truth,  he  deserved  a  bridle  of  fire.  Allah  says:

“Mankind  was  [of]  one  religion  [before  their  deviation];  then  Allah  sent  the  prophets  as bringers  of  good  tidings  and  warners  and  sent  down  with  them  the  Scripture  in  truth  to  judge between  the  people  concerning  that  in  which  they  differed…” [Quran, 2: 213]

And:

“[It  is] so  He  will  make  clear  to  them  [the  truth  of]  that  wherein  they  differ  and  so  those  who  have disbelieved  may  know  that  they  were  liars.” [Quran, 16: 39]

Therefore,  Allah  has  sent  the Quran  down  in  order  to  clarify  for  the  people  what  they  differ  regarding;  He  says:

“And  when  Isa (Jesus) brought  clear  proofs,  he  said: I  have  come  to  you  with  wisdom  [i.e.Prophethood]  and  to  make  clear  to  you  some  of  that  over  which  you  differ,  so  fear  Allah  and obey  me.” [Quran, 43: 63]

Brothers and Sisters! What  was  the  task of the Prophet (Peace be upon him)?  Allah says:

“And We revealed to you the message [i.e. the Quran]”  Why?  “That  you  may  make  clear  to the  people  what  was  sent  down  to  them  and  that  they  might  give  thought.” [Quran, 16: 44]

Hence,  the  Prophet (Peace be upon him) did  the  following:

  • He (Peace be upon him) utilized  all  means  to  convey  and  explain  the  message.  On one  occasion,  he  ascended  the  Safa  mountain  and  gathered  the  people,  calling  upon  the tribes  of  Quraish.  Various  clans  were  assembled  and  those  who  were  not  able  to  come themselves  sent  their  messengers  to  observe  what  was  taking  place.  Abu  Lahab  (one  of  the Prophet’s  uncles)  and  other  individuals  from  Quraish  arrived;  then,  the  Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“(My people) suppose I told you that there is an enemy in the valley, intending to attack you; would you believe me?” They  responded:  “Yes, for we have not found you stating anything other than the  truth.” He (Peace be upon him) then said: “I am a warner to you in  face  of  a  horrific  punishment.” Abu Lahab snarled: “May  you  be  perished all  this  day.  Is  it  for  this  purpose  that  you  have  brought  us  together?” It was later revealed: “Perish  the  hands  of  Abu Lahab, and  perish  he!  His  wealth  and  his  children  will  not profit him….” [Quran, 111: 1-5]

  • He (Peace be upon him) used  to  go  around, preaching to the people, preaching  to  the  different  tribes, telling them the truth. Rabi’ah Ibn Abbad,  may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him, reported that:

“I  was  with  my  father once,  watching  the  Prophet (Peace be upon him) following  the  different  clans  (who came  to  Makkah)  and  another  man  was  following  him.  The  Prophet (Peace be upon him) would  stop  and  address  each  tribe  saying: ‘O  tribe  of  so-and-so! I am the Messenger  of  Allah  to  you,  commanding  you  to  worship  Allah  alone  without associating  partners with Him,  and ordering you to believe  in  me  and  support  me,  so  that I  am  able  to  convey  that  with  which  Allah  has  sent me.’  As  soon  as  the  Prophet (Peace be upon him) would  finish  his  speech,  the  man  following  him  would attack him and say:  ‘O tribe  of  so-and-so!  This  man  wants  you  to  renounce  your  gods,  Al-Lat  and Uzzah,  and  to forsake  your  allies  and  follow  the  innovations  and  misguidance  that  he  came  with;  so,  do not  believe  in  him  nor  follow  him.’  I  asked  my  father  about  that  man  and  he  informed  me that  it  was  Abu  Lahab  the  uncle  of  the  Prophet (Peace be upon him).”

  • He (Peace be upon him) traveled  from  one  place  to  another,  preaching  the  message; one  example  of  this  is his famous trip to  Ta’if. Also, he never favoured  anyone  at the expense of his message. One time, Ubay Ibn Khalaf  brought  decayed  bones  and  sprinkled  it with the sand, saying to  the  Prophet (Peace be upon him) and challenging him:

“Is it possible  that  your  Lord  will resurrect  this  again?”

Thereupon,  he (Peace be upon him) said:

“Verily,  Allah  will resurrect  this  and  will  put  you  in  Hell.”

Then,  Allah  revealed  the  verse  in  which  He  says:

“And  he  presents  for  Us  an  example  (i.e.,  attempting  to  establish  the finality  of  death)  and  forgets  his  [own]  creation.  He  says:  ‘Who  will  give  life  to  bones while  they  are  disintegrated?’  Say: ‘He  will  give  them  life  who  produced  them the first time….’”  [Quran, 36: 78-79]

  • He (Peace be upon him) debated  with  the  disbelievers  in  order  to  clarify  the  truth,  as he  did  with  the  delegation  of  the  Christians  of  Najran,  when  they  came  to  him  asking  about Prophet Isa (Jesus),  peace  be  upon  him.  So,  Allah  revealed  the  verse in which He  says:

“Indeed, the example of Isa (Jesus)  to Allah (i.e.  regarding  His  creation  of  him) is  like  that  of  Adam  …” [Quran, 3: 59]

O  you  who  differ  regarding  the  creation  of Isa (Jesus),  peace  be  upon  him and do  not  comprehend  his  reality and still  have  uncertainty  about  him and  doubt  the  way  he  was  created  from  his  mother Mary (Maryam), without a father! Know that his example  is  like  that  of  Adam,  peace  be  upon  him,  as  Allah  says:

“…  He created  him  from  dust;  then  He  said  to  him,  “Be,”  and  he  was.” [Quran, 3: 59]

Since you  believe  in  the  creation  of  Adam,  peace  be  upon  him,  who  was  created  without  prior existence  of  male  or  female  human  beings,  then  it  is  worthier  that  you  believe  in  the  creation of Isa (Jesus),  peace  be  upon  him.  Then,  when  they  insisted  on  their  stance,  out  of  stubbornness, Allah  revealed  the  verse:

“Then  whoever  argues  with  you  about  it  after [this]  knowledge  has  come  to  you – Say,  “Come,  let  us  call  our  sons  and  your  sons,  our women  and  your  women,  ourselves  and  yourselves,  then  supplicate  earnestly  [together] and  invoke  the  curse  of  Allah  upon  the  liars  [among  us].” [Quran, 3: 62]

At  that point,  the  disputing  parties  gathered  and  did  Mula’anah,  which  is  when  two  arguing  sides supplicate  for  the  curse  of  the  liar  among  them  and  his  destruction.  This  was  a  major  event; when  the  Prophet (Peace be upon him) did  Mula’anah,  he  came  out  with Fatimah,  Al-Hasan  and  Al-Husayn,  may  Allah  be  pleased  with  them,  (since  he  was  certain that  the  curse  will  befall  only  the  liar,  whereas  he  was  conveying  the  truth),  but  the  Christian delegation  backed  up  and  were  scared,  so  they  never  showed  up.

  • He (Peace be upon him) used  to  repeat  his  statements  thrice  and  speak  slowly,  so  that people  would  understand  him.  His  statements  were  brief  and  precise  to  the  extent  that  one could  actually  count  his  words.
  • He (Peace be upon him) erected  a  pulpit  for  himself  to  mount,  whilst  addressing people  in  order  to  be  visible  and  he  used  to  raise  his  voice  to  make  sure  that  he  was understood. Abdullah  Ibn Amr, may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him,  narrated that:

“Once,  the Prophet (Peace be upon him) remained  behind  us  in  a  journey.  He  joined  us  while we  were  performing  ablution  for  the  prayer,  which  was  overdue.  We  were  just  passing  wet hands  over  our  feet  and  not  washing  them  properly,  so  the  Prophet (Peace be upon him) addressed  us  in  a  loud  voice,  saying  twice  or  thrice:  ‘Woe  to  the  heels  in  the  Fire (i.e.,  those  that  are  not  properly  washed  during  ablution)’.”

  • He (Peace be upon him) was  the  furthest  from  being  ambiguous  and  from  using riddles  during  his  Sermons. On the  day when Makkah was conquered, the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) decreed  that  certain  people  be  killed; Ibn Abu Sarh  was one  of  them,  so  he  hid  himself  with Uthman Ibn Affan, may  Allah be pleased with him so as to be spared. When the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) called  the people  to  take  the  oath  of  allegiance, Uthman,  may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him,  brought him,  made  him  stand  before  the  Messenger  of  Allah (Peace be upon him), in an effort to intercede for him so that he would not be killed  as a disbeliever, and said:

“O Messenger  of  Allah!  Accept  the  oath  of  allegiance  from  Abdullah.”

He (Peace be upon him) raised  his  head  and  looked  at  him  thrice,  turning  him  down  every  time.  After  the third  time,  he  accepted  his  oath,  then  turned  to  his  Companions,  may  Allah  be  pleased  with them,  and  inquired:

“Is  there  not  any  intelligent  man  amongst  you  who  could  have  stood up  to  this  man  when  he  saw  me  desisting  from  receiving  the  oath  of  loyalty  from  him,  and kill  him?”

They,  may  Allah  be  pleased  with  them,  answered:

“We  do  not  know,  O Messenger  of  Allah,  what  lies  in  your  heart.  Why  did  you  not  give  us  a  hint  with  your  eye?”

He (Peace be upon him) said:

“It  is  not  proper  for  a  Prophet  to  have  a  treacherous eye.”

  • He (Peace be upon him) continued to explain and speak the truth and convey the message of Islam until his death. Even during the  sickness  in  which  he  passed  away,  he  advised  repeatedly:

“Guard your  prayer  and  what  your  right  hands  possess.”

An  interpretation  of  this  saying  is  that  one must  not  forget  reminding  the  people  to  pray,  so  how  will  the  case  be  concerning  one’s  own wife  and  children?

  • He (Peace be upon him) never  delayed  the  clarification  of  any  matter  about  which people  needed  to  know,  from  the  time  it  should  be  explained.  This  is  a  golden  rule  which  the scholars  apply  in  many  of  their  arguments.  For  example,  when  he (Peace be upon him) was  asked  about  what  to  do  before  praying  when  the  blood  of  the  menstrual  period drops  on  one’s  garment,  he (Peace be upon him) instructed  that  the  blood  be  scraped off  and  the  clothes  washed  and  he  did  not  specify  a  certain  number  of  times  it  should  be laundered.  Consequently,  based  on  this  incident,  the  scholars  who  do  not  specify  a  certain number  of  washes  of  the  garment,  remark:

“If  there  should  have  been  a  certain  number  of rinses,  he (Peace be upon him) would  have  stated  it,  because  he  never  delayed  the explanation  of  any  issue  from  the  time  it  should  be  clarified.”

Hence,  when  scholars  are asked  about  a  subject,  they  must  answer  clearly  and  openly,  without  equivocating,  and  in  a manner  in  which  people  understand.  The  problem  nowadays,  though,  is  that  some  scholars remain  silent  when  they  are  asked,  or  answer  in  a  vague  way  which  leaves  people  confused and  not  comprehending  what  he  meant,  or  respond  wrongly,  in  order  to  please  so-and-so people.

Servants of  Allah! Know that, there  are  many  harmful  effects  of  not  clarifying  the  religion and telling the truth, such as:

  • Islam  may  eventually  fade  away.
  • The  truth  will  disappear  gradually.
  • Evil  and  falsehood  will  spread.
  • The  people  of  the  truth  will  be  defeated  and  their  support  will  fade  away.
  • The  misguidance  of  the  common  people  and  the  ignorant  will  become  the  source  from which  people  will  seek  knowledge  and  ask  questions.

Brothers and Sisters! Imam Ahmad, may  Allah  have  mercy  on  him,  knew  his  position  between  people  and  that  they followed  anything  he  said.  So,  during  the  trial (Fitnah),  when  some  people  claimed  that  the  Quran  was produced  and  created  and  is  not  one  of  the  qualities  of  Allah  implying  that  it  may  vanish,  one of  his  students  named  Al-Maruthi  came  to  him,  trying  to  convince  him  to  give  in  to  the bidding  of  the leader,  regarding  the  creation  of  the  Quran.  He  may  Allah  have  mercy  upon him  said:

“Allah  has  forbidden  the  killing  of  one’s  self.”

He,  may  Allah  have  mercy  on  him, responded:

“O  Maruthi!  Look  out  of  the  prison’s  window  and  tell  me  what  you  see.”

He looked  outside  and  saw  a  huge  crowd  of  people  who  were  holding  pens  and  papers;  he  then asked  them:

“What  are  you  doing  here?”

They  replied:

“We  are  waiting  to  see  Imam Ahmad’s  stance  regarding  the  issue  –  if  he  says  the  Quran  was  created,  we  will  write  that  it was  created,  and  if  he  says  otherwise,  we  will  write  that.”

Thereupon,  Imam  Ahmad,  may Allah  have  mercy  on  him, asked:

“O  Maruthi!  Do  you  want  me  to  misguide  all  these people?”

My Respected people! Imam Ibn Kathir,  may  Allah  have  mercy  on  him,  mentioned  a  story  of  a  scholar  by  the  name  of Wahb,  may  Allah  have  mercy  on  him.  During  his  time,  the  leader  of  the  believers (Amirul Mu’mineen) was  an  evil and wicked man,  who  forced  people  to  eat  pork;  thus,  people  were  terrified  of  this  king.  This  scholar,  on  the other  hand,  was  loved  and  followed  by  the  people. The  monarch  wanted  to  force  him  to  eat pork,  so  the  people felt sorry for the scholar; the commander-in-chief came up to him secretly, and suggested: “Slaughter a goat and  give  it  to  me  to  cook  it  for  you;  when  the  king  orders  us to  bring  pork  out,  I  will  bring  the  meat  of  the  goat,  which  is  Islamically  lawful,  and  you  can  eat from  it.  In  this  manner,  the  king  will  think  that  you  are  eating  pork  while  you  are  actually eating  lawful  goat  meat.” Hence, the scholar slaughtered a goat and gave it to the  commander, who  instructed  the  cooks  to  cook  it  instead  of  pork,  when  the  king  demands  meat  for  the scholar.  People  gathered  to  see  whether  or  not  the  scholar  will  eat  it  and  thought: “If  he  eats  it, we  will  as  well,  and  if  he  refrains,  we  will  abstain,  too.” When  the  king  came  and  ordered  that pork  be  cooked  and  given  to  the  scholar,  the  cooks  did  as  the  commander-in-chief  directed them  and  presented  the  cooked  goat  meat  instead. When  the  meat  was  in  front  of  the  scholar,  he started  saying  to  himself: “If  I  consume  this,  people  will  eat  pork,  not  knowing  that  I  am actually  eating  goat  meat,  for  these  people  do  not  know  that  it  is  not  pork;  and,  they  will  follow my  footsteps  and  I  will  bear  their  sins  on  the  Day  of  Resurrection.  I  swear  by  Allah,  I  will  not eat  it  even  if  they  kill  or  burn  me.” Thus,  the  scholar  refused  to  eat  it,  while  the  commander continued  to  convince  him  to  eat  it  and  that  it  is  truly  the  meat  of  the  goat  he  had  slaughtered with  his  own  hands.  The  king  commanded  him  to  eat  it  and  the  people  insisted  on  it,  as  well, but  he,  may  Allah  have  mercy  on  him, declined, so the leader sentenced him to death. When  he was  being  taken  to  be  executed,  the  commander-in-chief  asked  him: “Did  you  think  that  I deceived  you  and  brought  pork  instead?” He  answered:  “No,  I  knew  it  was  goat  meat,  but  I  was afraid  that  people  will  follow  my  footsteps  in  eating  pork  when  they  see  me  consuming  it,  not knowing  that  it  is  goat  meat.  Later  in  the  next  generation,  people  will  also  consume  it  because they  will  believe  that I did  too,  and  thus,  I  will  misguide  all  people.”  Subsequently,  he,  may Allah  have  mercy  on  him,  was  killed. After  citing  this  story,  Imam Ibn  Kathir,  may  Allah  have mercy  on  him,  pointed  out: “Islamic scholars  should  be  careful  from  erring,  because  their  mistakes may  lead  huge  numbers  of  their  followers  astray.”

Moreover, in our time, when ignorance has become prevalent,  clarifying the truth is critical and a great issue worthy of attention.

Servants of Allah! Now, under  what  circumstances  are  scholars  excused  for  not  clarifying  the  truth  or knowledge  and  not  declaring  a  particular  Islamic  ruling  to  people?

The  scholar  may  delay explanation  of  an  issue  in  the  following  cases:

1- When  he  is  asked  regarding  something  and  he  is  not  knowledgeable  about  it,  then  he  must say  that  he  does  not  know  the  answer.

2- If  the  scholar  believes  that  the  questioner  is  trying  to  rush  him  into  issuing  a  ruling,  then  he should  think  carefully  until  he  is  certain  of  what  he  will  state.

3- When  the  issue  being  inquired  about  did  not  take  place  yet  or  is  far  from  actually  occurring, like  a  question  being  posed  about  a  hypothetical  situation.

4- If  the  scholar  knows  that  the  inquirer  is  not  seeking  the  truth,  rather  he  wants  to  misuse  his statement  or  accept  his  words  only  if  he  likes  them  or  else  he  will  reject  them.

5- If  the  answer  leads  to  a  consequence  worse  than  not  replying,  like  the  case  with  the  Prophet (Peace be upon him),  who  did  not  demolish  the  Ka’abah  and  rebuild  it  upon  the foundation  of Prophet Ibrahim,  peace  be  upon  him,  because  people  were  new  in  Islam  then  and he  was  afraid  there  would  be  trouble  if he did so.

6- If  the  response  enjoined  something  that  was  more  than  what  people  can  handle,  like  the incident  when  the  Prophet (Peace be upon him) refused  to  allow  Mu’adh,  may Allah  be  pleased  with  him,  to  convey  his  following  words:

“The  right  of  the  slave  who worships  Allah  without  setting  partners  with  Him  is  to  be  admitted  into  Paradise  (by Allah)”,  saying  to  him:  “I  fear  that  they  will  rely  on  this  statement  (i.e.,  not  worship Allah)  if  they  hear  this.”

7- If  there  is  a  chance  of  being  tortured  or  killed  or  there  is  a  fear  of  that.  He  should  still  say  the truth  if  refraining  from  doing  so  results  in  misguiding  people;  and,  he  should  persevere  and die for the sake of Allah.

8- If  concealing  a  certain  matter  does  not  entail  that  people  will  become  unaware  of  something that  is  mandatory  for  them  to  know  about  Islam or about their condition;  an  example  of  this  is  the  case  of  Abu Hurairah,  may  Allah  be  pleased  with  him,  who  suppressed  specific  details  regarding  the trials  before  the  Hour,  such  as  the  destruction  of  the  Ka’abah  before  the  Hour,  for  which people’s  minds  might  not  be  ready.

9- If  there  is  someone  who  is  more  knowledgeable  than  him  in  the  subject  questioned  about. On  the  other  hand,  there  are  improper  excuses,  such  as  fear  of  loss  of  one’s  job  or  status.

Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim,  may  Allah  have  mercy  on  him, narrated that:

“I  debated  with  a  Christian  until  I influenced  him,  so  when  we  became  alone  in  the  room,  I  asked  him:  ‘What  prevents  you  from following  the  truth  now  that  you  know  it?’  He  replied:  ‘I  enjoy  control  over  my  followers,  their wives  and  wealth,  but  if  I  become  a  Muslim  I  will  be  requesting  people  for  money  since  I  am  not a  scholar  in  Islam.  Hence,  neither  would  I  keep  my  position  as  a  Christian,  nor  would  I become  a  leader  in  Islam,  and  no  one  can  accept  such  a  situation.’  I  asked:  ‘Do  you  think  that Allah  will  forsake  you  if  you  give  all  this  up  for  Him?  Moreover,  even  if  this  does  happen  to you  in  this  life,  at  least  you  will  be  rescued  from  Hell  in  the  Hereafter.’  The  Christian  said: ‘Just  drop  the  subject.’”

Brothers and Sisters! I ask Allah to assist us in living by the Quran and Sunnah. I pray He lets us recognise the truth for what it is and helps us to follow it, and that He lets us see falsehood for what it is and helps us to avoid it.

O Allah! Guide us and protect us from the causes of ignorance and destruction! Save us from the defects of ourselves! Cause the last of our deeds to be the best and most righteous! And forgive all of us.

My respected people! Anything good I have said in my today’s Khutbah (Sermon) is from Allah the Almighty, and any mistakes are my own and we seek refuge in Allah from giving wrong advice and from all forms of calamities and fitnah. And I ask Allah’s forgiveness if I stepped beyond bounds in anything I said or I do.

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

With this I conclude my Khutbah (Sermon) and ask Allah, the Almighty and the Sublime, to forgive all of our sins. So seek his forgiveness, He is all forgiving and Most Merciful.

This Jumu’ah Khutbah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today, Friday, Safar 20, 1439 AH (November 10, 2017), 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 through: +2348038289761.

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[Friday Sermon] The Continuous Killing Of Innocent Souls In Ebiraland, By Imam Murtadha Gusau

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

All thanks and praise is due to Allah, we seek His help and forgiveness. We seek refuge in Allah from the evil within ourselves and the consequences of our evil deeds.

Whoever Allah guides will never be led astray, and whoever Allah leads astray will never find guidance. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, He is alone without any partners, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and His Messenger.

“O you who have believed, fear Allah as He should be feared and do not die except as Muslims in submission to Him.” [Quran, 3:102]

“O mankind, fear your Lord, who created you from one soul and created from it its mate and dispersed from both of them many men and women. And fear Allah, through whom you ask one another, and the wombs. Verily, Allah is ever watching over you.” [Quran, 4:1]

“O you who have believed, fear Allah and speak words of appropriate justice. He will then amend for you your deeds and forgive your sins, and whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger has certainly attained a great attainment.” [Quran, 33:70-71]

Verily, the most truthful speech is the Book of Allah, the best guidance is the guidance of Muhammad, and the worst affairs are newly invented matters (in the religion). Every newly invented matter is a religious innovation, and every religious innovation is misguidance, and every misguidance is in the Hellfire.

To proceed:

Inna Lillahi wa Inna Ilaihi Raaji’uun! Inna Lillahi wa Inna Ilaihi Raaji’uun!! Inna Lillahi wa inna Ilaihi Raaji’uun!!!

Brothers and Sisters! I was shocked to receive the sad news of the sudden death of Brother Mallam Abdulmu’min Yakubu Ozuwaya, the Ansarul Islam shura committee chairman and Brother Mallam Ibrahim Muhammad Otaru of Mallam Mustapha Jama’ah old Zango, who were attacked and killed by unknown gunmen.

They were killed at Ozuwaya area in front of Mallam Abdulmu’min house by unknown gunmen on Wednesday while discussing some important community issues.

May Allah forgive their sins, shortcomings, failings and have mercy on them. May He console their family, friends and associates.

I pray Ya Allah!  Expose the killers and put an end to this scourging evil perpetrating in Kogi Central. Ameen.

Also another family man, a father was gunned down while leading his family in Prayer at Nagazi. His wife and two of his children were shot, the man died instantly, but his wife and two children have been taken to the hospital. And in the same day evening another brother was shot dead in front of his house, in Okene.

I pray Allah Almighty to grant all of them Jannatul Firdaws and give their family, friends and associates the fortitude to bear the irreparable and irreplaceable lose ameen.

Brothers and Sisters! It may seem monotonous to explain and apologize every time murder of innocent people is done by those who use religion, in this case Islam, to carry out their crimes. These days, it happens almost on a daily basis; some more callous than others. The killing of Mallam Abdulmu’min Yakubu and Mallam Ibrahim Muhammad Otaru in Okene Local Government, Kogi State this week Wednesday is blatantly wrong and cannot be justified.

But for how long will we send condolences, make apologies and issue statements? It is time we address the issue of killing innocent people from the very sources that extremists take their cue to carry out their heinous crimes. We must always stand up for justice!

Allah warns in Surah al-Ma’idah:

“O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm for Allah, witnesses in justice, and do not let the hatred of a people prevent you from being just. Be just; that is nearer to righteousness. And fear Allah; indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what you do.” [Quran, 5:8]

They just cannot do it in our names or in the name of Islam any longer. It is simply wrong! We should also point out that killing in the name of religion is not only a problem that Muslims face today. People of various religions around the world also have followers who are extremists, who commit violent crimes and then use religion to justify their actions. Like other mainstream religious authorities, Muslims do condemn vociferously acts of aggression done in the name of Islam. But somehow their voices are not heard by the masses.

We do not mention this here as a smokescreen for what is done in the name of Islam. Whosoever does crime against humanity in the name of any religion whether they are individuals, groups, or nation-states, should be condemned in no uncertain terms. In addition, the public should not be confused by the official and doctrinal teachings of any religion, which oppose acts of terrorism, violence and injustice no matter how often they occurs.

Sevants of Allah! Islam prohibits the killing of women, children, monks, rabbis, the elderly, or any other noncombatant innocent person even in a state of war and hostility. Similarly, it prohibits the torture of prisoners of war; the mutilation of the dead; rape, molestation, or any kind of sexual violence during combat; the killing of diplomats, the wanton destruction of property, and the demolition of religious institutions some of which have eventually been incorporated into the modern international laws of war.

Brothers and Sisters! There are several proofs from the Quran, the guidance of Rasulullah, (Peace be upon him), the teachings of early generations (Salaf) and the fuqaha, the jurists, that condemn such acts. Let me examine a few:

Allah the Most High, in Surah al-Hajj, talks about the prohibition to deface, disturb or destroy places of worship:

“And were it not that Allah checks the people, some by means of others, there would have been demolished monasteries, churches, synagogues, and mosques in which the name of Allah is much mentioned. And Allah will surely support those who support Him. Indeed, Allah is Powerful and Exalted in Might.” [Quran, 22:40]

In Surah al-Baqarah, Allah restricts fighting to only those who fight you and not to transgress limits. Hence to kill someone while he’s praying, or about to pray, or helping the poor and needy, diplomats, journalists is not allowed.

“And fight in the Way of Allah those who fight you, but transgress not the limits. Truly, Allah likes not the transgressors.” [Quran, 2:190]

Also Ibn Mas’ud, a Companion of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) said:

“The Sunnah continues that emissaries are never killed.”

What is meant by emissaries here, are people who are sent from one group of people to another to perform a noble task such as reconciliation or the delivery of a message. Aid workers are also emissaries of mercy and kindness and should not be killed. Unfortunately extremists have openly slaughtered them in the name of Islam. One needs to ask them whose Islam? It is certainly not the Islam of Prophet Muhammad, (Peace be upon him), nor the Islam of the early or later generations (Salaf), nor of mainstream Muslims. Then whose Islam are they practicing?

The prohibition to kill women and children is understood from an incident when Prophet Muhammad, (Peace be upon him), found a woman killed in battle. He reprimanded that this should never have happened and immediately he prohibited the killing of women and children. It is agreed that if they actively participate in battles and get killed in the process, then it is not a crime. But to kill women and children and non-combatants is not allowed.

Servants of Allah! From the following Hadith I deduce also from it the prohibition of killing a Mu’ahad, a non-Muslim living in an Islamic State or Muslim towns. Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) says:

“Whoever kills a Mu’ahad will not smell Paradise.” [An-Nasa’i]

Also Allah prohibits the killing of innocent people. He says:

“And do not kill the soul which Allah has forbidden, except by right.” The phrase “by right” refers to crimes someone commits against individual or society which requires due process in an established reputable court of law; not this nonsense wanton killing that is done in the name of Islam.” [Quran, 17:33]

We learn from the instruction of Abu Bakr As-Siddiq, (RA), – may Allah be pleased with him, the first Caliph, that it is prohibited to kill Monks and Rabbis, old people and anyone found praying in a place of worship.

When Abu Bakr As-Siddiq, (RA), prepared an army and sent it to the Sham/Levant, he said:

“You will find people who have devoted themselves to monasteries, leave them to their devotions… do not kill the old and feeble, women or children; do not destroy buildings; do not cut down trees or harm livestock; do not burn or drown palms; do not be treacherous; do not mutilate; do not be cowardly; and do not loot.”

I would like to add here again that the killing of Mallam Abdulmu’min Yakub and Mallam Ibrahim Muhammad Otaru is repulsive. In Islam, anyone who says, “There is no god but Allah; Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah”, is a Muslim and cannot be declared a non-Muslim. Allah says:

“O you who believe, when you are going forth in the way of Allah, be discriminating and do not say to him who offers you peace: “You are not a believer”, – desiring the transient goods of the life of this world. With Allah are abundant spoils. So were you formerly, but Allah has been gracious to you. So be discriminating. Surely Allah is ever Aware of what you do.” [Quran, 4: 94]

My respected people! I must address the reasons for these intensified violent crimes. Why are they happening now more than ever before? Why do we hear of crimes against innocent people almost every day? Why are criminals hiding behind the curtains of faith?

I can go into a long discussion about why, what and who. But unless prejudice, aggression, hatred and injustice are ceased from being glorified and are dealt with for what they are, peace and harmony will be so far in the future that we may not see it in our lifetime.

Justice is at the core of human society and forms the basis of peace and security. Only when we, as humans, look within ourselves and acknowledge injustices can we truly heal and become true human beings, capable of living with peace, love and harmony. This is when we will be true to our faiths.

As Muslims we do not accept violence as a means or solution to eradicate injustice, for indeed violence in itself is another manifestation of injustice. Allah warns:

“O you who have believed, be persistently standing firm for Allah, witnesses in justice, and do not let the hatred of a people prevent you from being just. Be just; that is nearer to righteousness. And fear Allah; indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what you do.” [Quran, 5:8]

My people! There are ways and means to strive for justice and as Muslims we know that whatever justice is denied in this world it will certainly be given in the next. Once again, I send my condolences to all the families who have lost their loved ones and we hope and pray that all humans can see each other as the creation of One Allah and not through the lens of colour, tribe, region, religion, caste, race or creed.

Lastly, I urge the Federal Government of Nigeria, Kogi State and Okene, Adavi, Okehi, Ajaokuta and Ogori Mogongo Local Governments to put more efforts in tackling the insecurity (Kidnapping, armed robbery and terrorism) bedeviling the Kogi central.

I ask Allah to assist us in living by the Quran and Sunnah. I pray He lets us recognise the truth for what it is and helps us to follow it, and that He lets us see falsehood for what it is and helps us to avoid it.

O Allah! Guide us and protect us from the causes of ignorance and destruction! Save us from the defects of ourselves! Cause the last of our deeds to be the best and most righteous! And forgive all of us. Ameen Ya Rabb!

My respected people! Anything good I have said in my today’s Khutbah (Sermon) is from Allah the Almighty, and any mistakes are my own and we seek refuge in Allah from giving wrong advice and from all forms of calamities and fitnah. And I ask Allah’s forgiveness if I stepped beyond bounds in anything I said or I do.

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

With this I conclude my Khutbah (Sermon) and ask Allah, the Almighty and the Sublime, to forgive all of our sins. So seek his forgiveness, He is all forgiving and Most Merciful.

This Jumu’ah Khutbah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today, Friday, Safar 13, 1439 AH (November 3, 2017), by Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’ah and late Alhaji Abdurrahman Okene’s Mosques, Okene Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached via: +2348038289761.

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[Friday Sermon] The Prophet Is Closer To The Believers Than Their Own Selves

By Imam Murtadha Gusau

In the name of Allah, Most Compassionate, Most Merciful

All thanks and praise is due to Allah, we seek His help and forgiveness. We seek refuge in Allah from the evil within ourselves and the consequences of our evil deeds.

Whoever Allah guides will never be led astray, and whoever Allah leads astray will never find guidance. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, He is alone without any partners, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and His Messenger.

“O you who have believed, fear Allah as He should be feared and do not die except as Muslims in submission to Him.” [Quran, 3:102]

“O mankind, fear your Lord, who created you from one soul and created from it its mate and dispersed from both of them many men and women. And fear Allah, through whom you ask one another, and the wombs. Verily, Allah is ever watching over you.” [Quran, 4:1]

“O you who have believed, fear Allah and speak words of appropriate justice. He will then amend for you your deeds and forgive your sins, and whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger has certainly attained a great attainment.” [Quran, 33:70-71]

Verily, the most truthful speech is the Book of Allah, the best guidance is the guidance of Muhammad, and the worst affairs are newly invented matters (in religion). Every newly invented matter is a religious innovation, and every religious innovation is misguidance, and every misguidance is in the Hellfire.

Brothers and Sisters! As Muslims, we are commanded to love the Prophet (Peace be upon him) and to follow his path without any religious deviations or innovations, in order to worship Allah the Almighty in the way that He commanded. Sometimes, unfortunately, our claims of love fall short, and thus there are signs that we can reflect on in order to analyze how much love we truly have for the greatest human being to walk this earth, peace and blessings be upon him.

Servants of Allah! Abdullah Ibn Hisham reported that:

“We were with the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, and he was holding the hand of Umar Ibn Al-Khattab. Umar said to him: “O Messenger of Allah, you are more beloved to me than everything but myself.” The Prophet said: “ No, by the one in whose hand is my soul, until I am more beloved to you than yourself.” Umar said: “Indeed, I swear by Allah that you are more beloved to me now than myself.” The Prophet said: “Now you are right, O Umar.” [Al-Bukhari]

And Anas Ibn Malik reported that:

“The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said: None of you has faith until I am more beloved to him than his children, his father, and all of the people.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Brothers and Sisters! Let’s ask ourselves now. Do we truly love the Messenger of Allah? Because it is a fundamental of our religion, and a tenet of our faith, to love him. Allah the Almighty Says:

“Say [O Muhammad]: ‘If your fathers, your sons, your brothers, your wives, your relatives, your wealth which you have obtained, commerce or business wherein you fear decline, and dwellings with which you are pleased are more beloved to you than Allah and His Messenger and struggle in His cause, then wait until Allah executes His command. And Allah does not guide the defiantly disobedient people.” [Quran, 9: 24]

Imam Al-Fudhayl Ibn Iyadh said:

“This verse is enough of an evidence to prove the obligation of loving the Prophet because Allah dispraised in it those whose wealth, family or children are dearer to them than the love of Allah and His Messenger, describing them as defiantly disobedient at its conclusion.”

Servants of Allah! Love of the Prophet branches from Allah’s love of him; our love of the Prophet is due to the fact that Allah loves him, and because Allah sent him to us as His Messenger, as well as the fact that Allah instructs us to make him dearer to our hearts than our own souls. He Almighty Says:

“The Prophet is more worthy of the believers than themselves…” [Quran, 33: 6]

This means that the believer should love the Prophet (Peace be upon him) more than he loves his own self.

And my respected people! This love entails full obedience, full submission and full acceptance; it also entails favouring the Prophet (Peace be upon him) over oneself, one’s family and one’s wealth, and to surrender to the Prophet (Peace be upon him) the controlling direction that one has over himself.

The influence that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) should have over us is greater than that which a master has over his slave, or a father has over his child. We should have no control over ourselves except in acting in accordance with the way he directed us to. It is for every Muslim to prove his love for him, which can be determined according to the following narration of the Prophet (Peace be upon him):

“There are three qualities; whoever has them will taste the sweetness of faith: To love Allah and His Messenger (Peace be upon him) more than anyone else…” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

And one will never taste the sweetness of faith except after achieving this, as he said (Peace be upon him) in another narration:

“I swear by the One in whose Hand my soul is! None of you will truly believe until I become dearer to him than his child, his father and all of mankind.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

My Dearest people! This love is not simply an emotion that is confined to the heart, but rather it has implications and effects. This love makes the servant of Allah achieve a rank that he would not otherwise achieve by means of his bodily deeds, as in the narration of Ibn Mas’ud, may Allah be pleased with him, who said:

“A man came to the Messenger of Allah and said: ‘O Messenger of Allah! When will the Hour (i.e., the Day of Resurrection) come?’ He replied: “What have you prepared for it?” The man said: ‘Only my love of Allah and His Messenger.’ The Messenger of Allah then said: “You will be with those whom you love.”” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

It is not as important to know when the Hour will occur as it is to prepare for its arrival, and this is the reason why the Prophet drew this to the attention of the man by asking him that question.

Anas, may Allah be pleased with him, said:

“After being blessed by embracing Islam, we never rejoiced at anything as much as we did about this answer of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) to that man. I love Allah, His Messenger, Abu Bakr and Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, and hope to be with them (in the Hereafter) even if I cannot perform the good deeds they did.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Servants of Allah! The Companions, may Allah be pleased with them, had great love for the Prophet (Peace be upon him), to the extent that they would face arrows that were being fired in his direction to shield him. They would risk their lives for him and sacrifice everything they have for his rescue. Amr Ibn Al-As, may Allah be pleased with him, said:

“There was no one dearer to me or more glorified than the Prophet; I could never look at him directly in the eye due to the extent of my glorification, and if someone were to ask me to describe him, I would not be able to, as I never looked at him for long enough to be able to describe him.” [Muslim]

When Abu Sufyan, may Allah be pleased with him, was still a disbeliever, he asked Zaid Ibn Thabit, may Allah be pleased with him, who was taken as a hostage and being brought out by the people of Makkah to execute:

“Do you not wish that Muhammad was in your place and that we killed him instead, while you could go to your family and be with them?” He, may Allah be pleased with him, replied: “I swear by Allah! I would rather be here facing this than have him even being pricked by a thorn.” Upon hearing this, Abu Sufyan, may Allah be pleased with him, said: “I never saw a people who love a man more than the Companions of Muhammad love him.”

Such incidents greatly affected the disbelievers and caused many of them to embrace Islam.

A man from the Ansar, may Allah be pleased with them, came to the Prophet and said:

“You are dearer to me than myself, my child, my family and my wealth, and I feel as if I am dieing when I do not see you.” Then he began to cry. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) asked: “Why are you crying?” The man replied: “I remembered that we will die and you will die, then you will take your place in Paradise with the other Messengers and Prophets, while we, if indeed we do enter Paradise, will be lower in rank than you, and thus we will not be able to see you in Paradise.”

Note how much they loved him; they were worried about not seeing him, despite the fact that they may also be in Paradise!

The Prophet (Peace be upon him) did not comment on his words until Allah revealed the following verses:

“And whoever obeys Allah and the Messenger – those will be with the ones upon whom Allah has bestowed favour of the Prophets, the steadfast affirmers of truth, the martyrs and the righteous. And excellent are those as Companions. That is the bounty from Allah…” [Quran, 4: 69 -70]

Thereupon the Prophet (Peace be upon him) summoned him and said:

“Glad tidings to you!” [Al-Baihaqi]

Once, a female Companion was waiting at the approach to Al-Madinah for the return of the Muslim army from the battle of Uhud. She was informed that her husband, brother and father were killed, but her only reply was:

“What happened to the Prophet?”

They told her that he was fine and unharmed, but she insisted to seeing him so that she would be sure that he was truly safe. When she did see him, she remarked:

“Any affliction, after seeing that you are safe, is minor.”

Brothers and Sisters! Know that, someone who claims that he or she loves another will prefer that person to all others, he will also prefer what they like, if it were otherwise then he would be acting and his love would not be sincere. The following signs will be apparent in those who truly love the Prophet (Peace be upon him):

1- The first sign of love for the Prophet (Peace be upon him), is that he or she will follow his example, apply his Prophetic way (his Sunnah) in words, deeds, obedience to his commands, avoidance of whatever he prohibited and adopt his manner in times of ease, hardship, joy and disappointment. Allah says:

”Say, [O Muhammad], “If you should love Allah, then follow me, [so] Allah will love you and forgive you your sins.” [Quran, 3: 31]

2- The second sign is that he or she will set aside his own desires and appetite in preference to the law established and encouraged by the Prophet (Peace be upon him). Allah says:

”And those who, before them, had made their dwelling in the abode (City of Madinah), and because of their belief love those who have emigrated to them; they do not find any (envy) in their chests for what they have been given and prefer them above themselves, even though they themselves have a need.” [Quran, 59: 9]

3- The third sign is that a person’s anger of others is only for the sake of seeking the pleasure of Allah. Anas Ibn Malik was told by the Prophet (Peace be upon him):

”My son, if you can refrain from holding a grudge in your heart from morning to evening, then do so.” He then added, “My son, that is part of my Prophetic way (my Sunnah). Whosoever revives my way (Sunnah) has loved me, and whosoever loves me is with me in the Paradise.” [Tirmidhi]

If a person possesses this fine quality, then he or she has perfect love for Allah and His Messenger. If he is found to be slightly lacking in this quality then his love is imperfect, but not devoid of it. The proof of this is found in the saying of the Prophet (Peace be upon him), when a person faced punishment for imbibing. As the person was about to receive his punishment a man cursed the offender, whereupon the Prophet (Peace be upon him), said:

”Do not curse him. He loves Allah and His Messenger.” [Al-Bukhari]

4- The fourth sign is that one mentions the Prophet (Peace be upon him), in abundance – whosoever loves something, it is constantly upon his tongue. [See Al Shifa bi Ta’rifi Huquq al-Mustafa]

5- The fifth sign is yearning to meet the Prophet (Peace be upon him). Every lover yearns to be with their beloved. When the tribe of Ash’arites approached Madinah, they were heard chanting, “Tomorrow, we will be with those we love, Muhammad and his Companions!” [See Dala’il an-Nabuwwah of Imam Al-Baihaqi]

6- The sixth sign is that as well as the remembrance of the Prophet (Peace be upon him), someone who loves him will be found praising and respecting him whenever he is mentioned and display humility, and lower himself when he hears his name. We are told by Ishaq At-Tujibi that after the passing of the Prophet (Peace be upon him), whenever the Companions heard his name they became humble, their skin trembled and they wept. As for the other followers of the Prophet (Peace be upon him), some experienced the same out of love and yearning for him, whereas others did so out of respect and esteem. [See Al Shifa bi Ta’rifi Huquq al-Mustafa]

7- The seventh sign is the love expressed for the Prophet (Peace be upon him), and the People of his House (Ahlul Bayt), and his Companions – the Emigrants (Muhajirun) and the Helpers (Ansar) alike for his sake. A person with this sign will be found hostile to those who hate them.

Of Al Hasan and Al Husain, may Allah be pleased with them, the Prophet (Peace be upon him), said:

“O Allah, I love them, so please love them.” [Al-Bukhari, Muslim and Tirmidhi]

Al-Hasan said that the Prophet (Peace be upon him), also said:

“O Allah, I love him, so love the one who loves him.”

Of his two grandsons, the Prophet (Peace be upon him), also said:

“Whosoever loves them, loves me.”

Then he (Peace be upon him) said:

“Whosoever loves me, loves Allah. Whosoever hates them hates me and whosoever hates me hates Allah.” [Ibn Majah and Majma’ az-Zawaid]

The Prophet (Peace be upon him), said:

”Do not make my Companions targets after me! Whosoever loves them loves them because they love me, and whosoever hates them it is through their hatred of me. Whosoever harms them, harms me. Whosoever does something to hurt me does it is as if it is hurtful to Allah. Whosoever does something that appears to be hurtful to Allah is about to be seized.” [Tirmidhi and Musnad of Imam Ahmad]

Of his family, the Prophet (Peace be upon him), said referring to Sayyidah Fatima, may Allah be pleased with her, ”She is part of me, whosoever hates her hates me.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

“The Prophet (Peace be upon him), told Aisha to love Usamah Ibn Zaid because he loves him.” [Tirmidhi]

The Prophet (Peace be upon him), spoke of the Ansar (Helpers) saying:

“The sign of certain faith is love for the Ansar, whereas the sign of hypocrisy is hatred for them.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Ibn Umar tells us that the Prophet (Peace be upon him), said:

“Whosoever loves the Arabs loves them because he loves me. Whereas whosoever hates them hates them because of their hatred of me.” [See Al Shifa bi Ta’rifi Huquq al-Mustafa]

Brothers and Sisters! The fact is when someone loves another, he loves everything that person loves, and this was indeed the case with the Companions. When Anas (may Allah be pleased with him) saw the Prophet (Peace be upon him), eating a piece of pumpkin, he said: “From that day I loved pumpkins.” [See Al Shifa bi Ta’rifi Huquq al-Mustafa]

“Al-Hasan, the grandson of the Prophet, may the peace of Allah be upon them, went with Ja’afar to Salmah and asked her to prepare some food the Prophet (Peace be upon him), used to eat.” [See Shama’il Tirmidhi]

“Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) once saw the Prophet (Peace be upon him), wearing a pair of yellow coloured Sandals, so he too wore a pair of the same colour.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

8- The eighth sign is hatred of anyone who hates Allah and His Messenger, praise and peace be upon him. Such people are those who show hostility towards Allah and His Messenger. Believers having this sign avoid all those who oppose the Prophetic way (his Sunnah), and are in opposition to those who introduce innovations (Bid’ah) into the Prophetic way (that are against the spirit of Islam) and find the law he established burdensome. Allah says:

“You shall find no nation or people believing in Allah and the Last Day loving anyone that opposes Allah and His Messenger.” [Quran, 58: 22]

9- The ninth sign is found in those who love the Quran which the Prophet (Peace be upon him) brought, by which they were guided. When asked about the Prophet (Peace be upon him), Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, said:

“His character was that of the Quran.”

Part of the love of the Quran is listening to its recitation, acting according to it, understanding it, keeping within its bounds and the love of Prophet Muhammad’s way. [See Al Shifa bi Ta’rifi Huquq al-Mustafa]

Sahl Ibn Abdullah (may Allah be pleased with them) spoke of this sign saying:

“The sign of loving Allah is love of the Quran. The sign of loving the Quran is the love of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him). The sign of loving the Prophet (Peace be upon him), is love of his Prophetic way (his Sunnah). The sign of loving the Prophetic way is the love of the Hereafter. The sign of loving the Hereafter is hatred for this world. The sign of hatred for this world is that you do not amass any of it except for provisions and what you need to arrive safely with in the Hereafter.” [See Al Shifa bi Ta’rifi Huquq al-Mustafa]

Ibn Mas’ud (may Allah be pleased with him) said:

”No one needs to ask himself about anything other than the Quran, if he loves the Quran then he loves Allah and His Messenger (Praise and peace be upon him).” [Imam Al-Baihaqi in Adaab]

10- The tenth sign of love for the Prophet (Peace be upon him), is to have mercy on his Ummah, his nation by advising them well, striving for the betterment of their interest and removing anything that is harmful from them in the same way that the Prophet (Peace be upon him), was:

“Gentle, kind and merciful to the believers.” [Quran, 9: 128]

11- The eleventh sign of perfect love is found in whosoever restricts himself through self-denial, contentment, preferring poverty to the attractions of what is prohibited, haram in the world. The Prophet (Peace be upon him), told Abu Sa’id Al Khudri (may Allah be pleased with him):

“Poverty for those of you who love me flows quicker than a flood from a mountain’s peak to its base.” [Tirmidhi]

A man came to the Prophet (Peace be upon him), and said:

“O Messenger of Allah (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), I love you.” The Prophet (Peace be upon him), warned, “Be careful of what you say.” The man repeat his love for him thrice, whereupon the Prophet (Peace be upon him) told him: “If you love me prepare yourself quickly for poverty.” [Tirmidhi]

12- The twelfth sign is you follow the message that he conveyed. This entails reciting, studying, and implementing the rulings of the Creator that were revealed through His Messenger. Belief in the divine scripture is just one part of faith; implementing its rulings in your life is another.

13- The thirteenth sign is you love to follow the Sunnah. Every individual will vary in their love of the Sunnah and thus their love of the Messenger (Peace be upon him). The more you love the Sunnah, the more you’ll try to implement it in your life. You’ll never hear the words “It’s just a Sunnah” coming out of your mouth, primarily because you’ll do anything to follow his path. Instead, every time you learn about a Sunnah, you’ll be eager to implement it in your life. When you learn that something contradicts the Sunnah, you tend to stay away from it lest you fall into religious innovation. You also ensure that what you’re doing on a daily basis is legitimate and has some basis in the Quran or Sunnah.

14- The fourteenth sign is you study his Sirah (His Biography) and encourage others to do so. Every Muslim should study the biography of the Prophet (Peace be upon him); his compassion, his love, his dedication, his sincerity, his beauty, his exalted character, his concern for his Ummah, and what he went through to convey this message to the rest of the world. The Companions used to teach their children the Sirah from a young age. This is one of the greatest signs you love the Messenger (Peace be upon him) because you want to know more about him and his life, and oftentimes you’ll see those who love him study the sirah multiple times.

15- The fifteenth sign is you ask Allah to send prayers upon him often. Saying “Allahummah Salli ala Muhammad” in any of its appropriate variations is asking Allah to send peace and blessings and mercy upon the beloved Messenger, and every time you do it, Allah the Almighty will send upon you ten times the blessings and mercy in your life. Furthermore, every time you send salutations upon him, an angel appointed next to the Messenger (Peace be upon him) conveys your prayers to him. Finally, the more you send prayers upon him, the closer you’ll be to him on the Day of Resurrection and the more of his intercession you’ll have on that severe day.

16- The sixteenth sign is you love all the things he loved and all the people he loved. This includes acts of worship (fasting Mondays and Thursdays or praying at night) and countless Sunan (such as using the siwak) as well as the people he loved and those who loved him, such as Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman, Ali, his entire family, and the Companions in general. This is a litmus test for many who claim to love the Messenger but believe in fabrications and lies against his noble Companions.

17- The seventeenth sign is you frequently remember his life and wish to be with him. When you love someone, you find yourself thinking about them often. The more you love the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him), the more you’ll refer back to his life and the more you’ll pray that Allah grants you reunion with him in the Hereafter, in the highest levels of Paradise.

O Allah, grant us true and complete love for your Messenger and his Sunnah and allow us to be upon his path in this life and to rejoice with him in the next life.

O Almighty Allah! We ask you to fill our hearts with the true, sincere and immense love of your Beloved Habib Karim Alaihi af Dalus Salati wat Taslim. Keep us alive O Allah on his Sunnah and bless us with the death on Iman.

I ask Allah to assist us in living by the Quran and Sunnah. I pray He lets us recognise the truth for what it is and helps us to follow it, and that He lets us see falsehood for what it is and helps us to avoid it.

O Allah! Guide us and protect us from the causes of ignorance and destruction! Save us from the defects of ourselves! Cause the last of our deeds to be the best and most righteous! And forgive all of us. Ameen Ya Rabb!

My respected people! Anything good I have said in my today’s Khutbah (Sermon) is from Allah the Almighty, and any mistakes are my own and we seek refuge in Allah from giving wrong advice and from all forms of calamities and fitnah. And I ask Allah’s forgiveness if I stepped beyond bounds in anything I said or I do.

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

With this I conclude my Khutbah (Sermon) and ask Allah, the Almighty and the Sublime, to forgive all of our sins. So seek his forgiveness, He is all forgiving and Most Merciful.

This Jumu’ah Khutbah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today, Friday, Safar 6, 1439 AH (October 27, 2017), by Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’ah and late Alhaji Abdurrahman Okene’s Mosques, Okene, Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached via: +2348038289761.

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[Friday Sermon] Islam, Peace, And The Challenges Of Insecurity

By Imam Murtadha Gusau

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

All thanks and praise is due to Allah , we seek His help and forgiveness. We seek refuge in Allah from the evil within ourselves and the consequences of our evil deeds. Whoever Allah guides will never be led astray, and whoever Allah leads astray will never find guidance. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, He is alone without any partners, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and His Messenger.

“O you who have believed, fear Allah as He should be feared and do not die except as Muslims in submission to Him.” [Quran, 3:102]

“O mankind, fear your Lord, who created you from one soul and created from it its mate and dispersed from both of them many men and women. And fear Allah, through whom you ask one another, and the wombs. Verily, Allah is ever watching over you.” [Quran, 4:1]

“O you who have believed, fear Allah and speak words of appropriate justice. He will then amend for you your deeds and forgive your sins, and whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger has certainly attained a great attainment.” [Quran, 33:70-71]

Verily, the most truthful speech is the Book of Allah, the best guidance is the guidance of Muhammad, and the worst affairs are newly invented matters (in religion). Every newly invented matter (in religion) is a religious innovation, and every religious innovation is misguidance, and every misguidance is in the Hellfire.

Brothers and Sisters! Know that, Islam is a religion of peace in the fullest sense of the word. The Quran calls its way:

“…The ways of peace…” [Quran, 5:16]

It describes reconciliation as the best policy [Quran, 4:128], and states that Allah abhors any disturbance of peace [Quran, 2:205]

The root word of Islam is ‘Silm’, which means peace. So the spirit of Islam is the spirit of peace. The first verse of the Quran breathes the spirit of peace; it reads:

“In the name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate.”

This verse is repeated in the Quran no less than 114 times or 113 times excluding Surah at-Tawbah. It shows the great importance Islam attaches to such values as Mercy and Compassion. One of Allah’s names, according to the Quran, is As-Salam, which means Peace. Moreover, the Quran states that the Prophet Muhammad (may Allah exalt his mention) was sent to the world as a mercy to mankind. [Quran, 21:107]

A perusal of the Quran shows that most verses of the Quran (and also the Hadith) are based on peace and kindness, either directly or indirectly. The ideal society, according to the Quran is Dar As-Salam, that is, the house of peace [Quran, 10:25]

The Quran presents the universe as a model, which is characterised by harmony and peace [Quran, 36:40]. When Allah created heaven and earth, He so ordered things that each part might perform its function peacefully without clashing with any other. The Quran tells us that:

“It is not allowable [i.e., possible] for the sun to reach the moon, nor does the night overtake the day, but each, in an orbit, is swimming.” [Quran, 36:40]

For billions of years, therefore, the entire universe has been fulfilling its function in total harmony with His divine plan.

According to Islam, peace is not simply an absence of war. Peace opens doors to all kinds of opportunities which are present in any given situation. It is only in a peaceful situation that planned activities are possible. It is for this reason that the Quran says:

“…And settlement is best…” [Quran, 4:128]

Similarly, Prophet Muhammad has observed:

“Allah grants to gentleness (Rifq) what He does not grant to violence (Unf).” [Abu Dawud]

According to Islam, peace is the rule and war is only an exception. Even in defensive war we have to analyse its result; if the result is doubtful, Muslims should avoid war. Stray acts of aggression are not enough for Muslims to rush into war. They have to assess the whole situation and adopt a policy of avoidance when war is not certain to achieve a positive result.

In actual fact, the mission of all the Prophets from Adam to Isa (Jesus), may Allah exalt their mention, was one and the same – of establishing the ideology of monotheism in the world, so that man might worship the One Allah alone. As we know, there came a large number of Prophets in ancient times but the message of monotheism remained at the initial stage; it could not culminate in revolution.

In ancient times, the system of monarchy was entrenched throughout the world. The kings, in order to secure their political interests, adopted the course of religious persecution. These kings suppressed all religious movements that were different from the state religion. They would nip all ‘apostasy’ in the bud since they saw religion as a matter of affirming one’s loyalty to the state. If a person adhered to a religion other than the state religion, he was regarded as a rebel.

That is why in ancient times, Prophetic movements could go no further than the state of Da’awah, or invitation to Islam. No sooner would a movement based on monotheism arise than the coercive political system would be activated to pull it out by its roots. The reason for the absence of any historical record of Prophets (besides the Prophet Muhammad) in antiquity is traceable to the intense opposition of these coercive political systems.

All the Prophets of ancient times, historically speaking, were like mythical beings, rather than real human beings accepted as historical figures. Prophet Isa (Jesus), may Allah exalt his mention, was the last link in the chain of these persecutions faced by the preachers of monotheism. Then Allah decreed the abolition of this coercive political system, even if it entailed the use of force in order that the age of religious persecution might be brought to an end forever, and replaced by the age of religious freedom. This Divine plan was brought to completion through the Prophet Muhammad and his Companions, may Allah be pleased with them all. This is the command given in the Quran:

“Fight them until there be no fitnah [i.e., persecution] and [until] the religion [i.e., worship], all of it, is for Allah…” [Quran, 8:39]

Therefore, Prophet Muhammad received special divine succour in the form of a powerful team consisting of one hundred thousand individuals. Equipped with this team, the Prophet waged war to end this coercive system of religious persecution, and it was in Arabia that it was first of all overthrown. Then within a very short span of time, they advanced to abolish the coercive system established by the Sassanid and Byzantine empires.

Servants of Allah! In the wake of this Islamic action, the coercive system was abolished forever in the major part of the inhabited world of the time. This war waged by Prophet Muhammad and his Companions was not a war as is commonly understood, but rather a divine operation, which was carried out by people who possessed a high standard of moral character.

However, this operation was certainly only temporary in nature. Its goal was to put an end to the age of religious persecution and usher in the age of religious freedom. This end was fully achieved during the early period of Islam, the age of the pious Caliphs. Afterwards the time came to keep the sword in its sheath and engage in Da’awah work, that is, the call to Allah, which was the real and permanent goal of Islam.

It is no exaggeration to say that Islam and violence are contradictory to each other. The concept of Islamic violence is so obviously unfounded that, prima facie it stands rejected. The fact that violence is not sustainable in the present world is enough to convince one that violence, as a principle, is quite alien to the scheme of things in Islam. Islam claims to be an eternal religion and such a religion cannot afford a principle in its scheme which will not be sustainable in later periods of human history. An attempt to bracket violence with Islam amounts to casting doubts upon the very eternity of the Islamic religion.

No wonder then that the Prophet Muhammad so earnestly used to entreat his Lord in his daily prayer:

“O Allah, you are the original source of Peace; from You is all Peace, and to You returns all Peace. So, make us live with Peace; and let us enter paradise: the House of Peace. Blessed be You, our Lord, to whom belongs all Majesty and Honour!”

Brothers and Sisters! Know that, the Islamic concept of security is a very comprehensive one, more comprehensive than any of the other existing systems. It looks at humankind in relation to the universe and the factors influencing it. It encompasses physical, mental, psychological and spiritual domains as integral parts of an overall societal security system. Islamic teachings do not merely provide solutions to exceptional instances of criminal behaviour, but emphatically focus on measures that halt their existence. In other words, Islam executes as many means as possible to avert temptation. While modern societies and civilisations flaunt temptation – liquor, pornography, nakedness, violence, etc. – before the people, a true Islamic society removes the sources of these temptations, and when the need for correction emerges, the punishment is serious and effective.

Crime has prospered in modern society because a completely contradictory and artificial approach is followed to controlling it. All forms of temptation are prevalent and easily accessible and when the time comes for correction or punishment of a crime, it is done leniently and without seriousness. Sentencing is often biased and protective of the criminal’s rights over those of the victim.

Through the various practical forms of worship like Salah (the five daily prayers), fasting and Zakah (obligatory charity), Islamic teachings aim at implanting feelings of inner peace and security, responsibility towards others and mutual respect. In a video film by the Christian Science Monitor about Islam in America, a large portion was devoted to describing the lives of maximum-security prison inmates before and after becoming Muslims. Before reverting to Islam, many were serial killers, drug smugglers, addicts and professional criminals. When they embraced Islam while in prison, they turned into dignified, secure and contributing citizens. Western statistical indices show that in the majority of maximum-security prisons, the criminals get involved in criminal acts and end up back in prison. Such statistics are reversed when those inmates become Muslims. The success of Islam in providing the best solution to crimes in the midst of the western society, where all types of correction programs have failed, is strong contemporary evidence for the universality of Islam and the pressing need for adopting its teachings.

My respected people! But today, surprisingly Islam is portrayed as a religion of “terror” and “killing” by some ignoramuses, because of the evil actions of some criminal Muslims among us, yet this is just one of the most widely held misconceptions about Islam. Allah Almighty states unambiguously in the Quran:

“Nor take life — which Allah has made sacred — except for just cause. And if anyone is slain wrongfully, we have given his heir authority (to demand retaliation or to forgive): but let him not exceed bounds in the matter of taking life, for he is helped (by the Law).” [Quran, 17:33]

Based on this verse, it is Islamically unlawful to murder anyone who is innocent of any crime. At this point, we would do well to remember the distinction between the Quran and Sunnah, and the Muslims. Only the Quran and Sunnah are guaranteed to be in accordance with what the Creator desires, whereas the Muslims may possibly deviate. Hence, if any Muslim kills an innocent person, that Muslim has committed a grave sin, and the action cannot be claimed to have been committed “in the name of Islam.”

It should be clear, then, that the oft-used term “Muslim terrorist” is almost an oxymoron: by killing innocent people, a Muslim is committing a grave sin, and he is a criminal, and Allah is Just. This phrase is offensive and demeaning of Islam, and it should be avoided. It is hoped that as the general level of public awareness and understanding of Islam increases, people will keep “terrorism” and “Islam” separate from each other, and not use them in the same phrase.

Brothers and Sisters! Now let’s stop and sincerely ask our self, what are the causes and motivators of insecurity and terrorism?

Sincerely speaking, as Nigerians, we feel very insecure in our own country. Terrorism, kidnapping, insurgency, militancy, ethno religious crisis, cattle rustling, banditry, inflation, corruption, injustice, recession – all these words can be heard coming from your TV screens, radios, etc! It causes panic in the hearts of citizens! How did it get this bad? What can you do? I have the answer. Here are some of the causes of insecurity and terrorism:

1. Unemployment

The overwhelming unemployment rate in Nigeria is capable of causing panic! It’s especially obvious when it comes to Nigerian youths. According to the statistics, every tenth young citizen of Nigeria is officially unemployed. Another statistic provided by the NBS shows that unemployment rate in Nigeria has risen to 14%. It means that Nigeria does not get about 19% of its GDP! It’s the responsibility of the government to create new jobs. Alhamdulillah, the President of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari has already announced new reforms which should help with this task. But still, there are no concrete results yet.

2. Corruption

Few years back, the Transparency International places Nigeria on the top of the list for most corrupt countries in the world! Corrupted Nigerian politicians has become a turn off for international investors. Once Premium Times and Vanguard published an article where it tried to explain the corruption in Nigeria. According to this article, there is no real politician that’s wants to “kill” corruption in Nigeria. Corruption has already become a part of life in Nigeria. The Federal Government can’t show us one real politician interested in battling corruption in the country. But Alhamdulillah, with the coming of President Muhammadu Buhari, now we can say there’s hope in fighting it.

3. Imbalance

Different parts of Nigeria have a different speeds of development. Due to this, the oil-rich regions of the country feel disturbed when the Federal Government use “their oil” and do not develop their society. People of these regions feel cheated because of that. They want to take justice into their hands. That’s why they vandalize oil pipelines, attacks and kidnap oil workers. It’s one of the causes of insecurity in Nigeria. The Federal Government should deal with this problem. The only way is to balance the development of all regions of the country, in the North and the South.

4. Weak Judicial System

The Weak Judicial System causes insecurity in Nigeria. People feel insecure when criminals and terrorists can go free. A lot of evils minded people feel that money can buy freedom in Nigeria. The corrupt system proves this line of thought. Rich people and big men can buy their freedom in Nigeria. Poor people do not feel secure because of that! The Judicial System in Nigeria should be changed. There may be only one answer to that – transparency! The Federal Government should make sure a judge’s decision and power is transparent.

5. “Open” borders of Nigeria

Nigeria has borders that are poorly guarded. Insurgents, militants and criminals from other countries can infiltrate Nigeria with no problem. This situation is especially dangerous in the North East and the other region. The Federal Government of Nigeria can’t provide enough troops to secure the borders. Porous coastal borders are the main cause of terrorism in Nigeria. The Federal Government should increase the number of troops that guard borders. It’s also possible to train people to protect their regions from insurgents and criminals.

6. High Influx of Arms

Smugglers and other criminals use porous coastal borders of Nigeria to bring and sell arms! The Corruption system and weak judicial system only helps smugglers to sell even more guns. They provide pistols, shotguns, rifles, assault rifles, grenades, RPGs and explosives! These guns are used against the people, military forces and all our security agents. The Federal Government of Nigeria understands this situation and tries to find a solution. Still, it’s a complex problem. The government may need to ask help from residents and all the stakeholders of affected areas to patrol the borders together!

7. Narcotics

Narcotic trafficking is one of the causes of insecurity in Nigeria. Our youth became the consumers of hard drugs. Criminal groups are involved in smuggling of illegal substances to Europe, Asia, South Africa and North America. Nigerian gangs are one of the largest distributors of opium and cocaine in the world! Nigerians should fight this criminal trafficking! It’s not affecting just the country. The Federal Government should initiate cooperation with other countries to fight criminals! Opening an international investigation on the matter and creating groups responsible for this will help.

8. Slavery in Nigeria

The Walk Free Foundation of Global Slavery reports that a lot of Nigerians are trapped in human trafficking. For instance, women in Nigeria can be tricked to migrate to other regions in the country. They hope to find good jobs, but, instead of promised jobs, they sell their bodies for money. Some of them can be even sold to foreign brothels. The situation with human trafficking and forced labour in Nigeria is horrible. Nigerians should fight these crimes. You must make a report if you ever witness human trafficking or slavery. Do not be indifferent to this problem. People are born free and must live free!

9. Criminal Situation in Nigeria

For the last few years, Nigerians have been victims of robberies, kidnapping etc, which sometimes happens in daylight. Organized criminal gangs take over the streets of Nigeria. People do not feel safe when walking in the streets. Europe also feels the criminal situation in Nigeria. The ‘419 Scams’ tricked a lot of Europeans and Americans to part with their money! This situation is unique to Nigeria. Some of the corrupted government officials can’t provide help to Nigerians to fight with these criminals. The Federal Government should pay attention to this problem!

10. Terrorists Threat

Terrorism in Nigeria is not a new problem. Boko Haram insurgents, Niger Delta militants and IPOB agitators are three main terrorist groups that cause the most damage to Nigeria. They do not wish to surrender to the government. They just want to cause terror! The Federal Government of Nigeria keeps fighting with terrorists. Nigerian soldiers die every day for their country. Now, it’s the matter of time before the terrorists will be eliminated.

11. Political reasons

People choose terrorism and criminality when they are trying to right what they perceive to be a social or political or historical wrong. If we can remember, during the “Troubles” in Northern Ireland, which stretched from 1968 to 1998, Catholic and Protestant groups waged an ongoing campaign of violence against one another in Northern Ireland and in England, seeking political dominance.

Here in Nigeria for example, the injustice against the Fulani herdsmen by trying to make them second class citizens in the country, as Benue State under Governor Samuel Ortom starts anti grazing law implementation November 1st.  If care is not taken, the action can plunge the country into unnecessary war.

The Governor is said to be training his civilian JTF to implement the law forcefully in the state, and in the other hand, the Miyetti Allah Fulani Group said nobody can stop them from grazing because they are Nigerians and all citizen can live anywhere they like, and they are ready to defend themselves from any attack.

Benue State governor, Samuel Ortom, has said despite the threat by Miyetti Allah (cattle herders group), the anti grazing law implementation will commence November 1st, and no going back.

The governor spoke at the State House, Abuja where he met with the President and demanded the arrest of leaders of Miyetti Allah for vowing to thwart the Benue State anti grazing law.

Samuel Ortom charged security agencies not to stand by and watch Miyetti Allah members “reverse the peace” among the people of the state and make it ungovernable.

We call on the Federal Government to take the matter serious and interfere to deal with this problem amicably before it’s escalation.

12. Religious reasons

From 1990s till date, a number of attacks carried out in the name of religion made headlines. The Japanese doomsday cult Aum Shinrikyo perpetrated two deadly sarin gas attacks in the Tokyo subways in 1994 and ’95. In the Middle East, numerous suicide attacks since the 1980s till today have been celebrated as the work of so-called “Islamic martyrs.”

13. Socioeconomic reasons

Various forms of deprivation and frustration can drive people to terrorism and any kind of criminality, in particular, poverty, hunger, lack of education/illiteracy/ignorance, lack of political freedom or injustice. For example, the group Shining Path carried out a years-long campaign of violence against Peru’s government in the 1980s and early ’90s in an attempt to create a Marxist state.

Brothers and Sisters! It’s time to act! Nigeria is a wonderful country. World is a wonderful place to live! But unfortunately, they faces a lot of problems today due to insecurity! Do not be indifferent to these problems! You can help your country and the world to eliminate them.

Servants of Allah! Come, let’s join hand to spread peace on earth.

Imam An-Nawawi records in his book Riyadus-Salihin, Allah the Almighty said:

“O you who believe, do not enter houses other than your own houses until you ascertain welcome and greet their inhabitants with peace. That is best for you, that perhaps you will be reminded.” [Quran, 24:27]

And Allah the Most High said:

“When you enter houses, offer greetings of peace upon each other, a greeting from Allah, blessed and good.” [Quran, 24:59]

And Allah said:

“When you are greeted with a greeting, greet with one better than it or return it in a like manner.” [Quran, 4:86]

And He Allah said:

“Has there reached you the story of the honoured guests of Ibrahim (Abraham)? When they entered upon him and greeted him with peace, he said: And for you peace, a people unknown.” [Quran, 51: 24-25]

Abdullah Ibn Amr reported that:

“A man asked the Prophet, “Which Islam is best?” The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said: “To feed the hungry and to greet with peace those you know and those you do not know.”

Ammar Ibn Yasir said:

“Whoever has three qualities will have completed the Iman (faith): fairness from yourself to others, offering peace to the world, and spending in charity even while poor.” [Sahih Bukhari]

Abu Hurairah reported that:

“The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said: When Allah created Adam, He said: Go and greet with peace these groups of assembled angels and listen to how they greet you, for this will be the greeting among your progeny. Adam said: Peace be upon you. The angels said: Peace be upon you and the mercy of Allah.” [Sahih Bukhari]

Al-Bara Ibn Azib reported that:

“The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, commanded us to do seven things: to visit the sick, to follow the funeral procession, to bless those who sneeze, to return the greeting of peace, to accept invitations, to help others fulfill their oaths, and to support the oppressed.” [Sahih Bukhari]

Abu Hurairah reported that:

“The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said: You will not enter Paradise until you believe and you will not believe until you love each other. Shall I show you something that, if you did, you would love each other? Spread peace between yourselves.” [Sahih Muslim]

Abdullah Ibn Salam reported that:

“The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said: O people, spread peace, feed the hungry, and pray at night when people are sleeping and you will enter Paradise in peace.” [Sunan Ibn Majah]

At-Tufail Ibn Ubay Ibn Ka’ab reported that:

“I would come with Abdullah Ibn Umar to the market and when we did so, Ibn Umar would not pass anyone but that he would greet them with peace, whether they were selling merchandise or were poor. I came to Abdullah Ibn Umar one day and asked him to follow me to the market. I said: “What will you do in the market if you will not sell or buy or barter or sit in the gatherings?” Ibn Umar said: O you with a big belly, we only go out in the morning to greet them with peace. We greet with peace whomever we meet.” [Muwatta of Imam Malik]

Brothers and Sisters! I think it’s very good before I conclude my Sermon to explain briefly what terrorism means.

Servants of Allah! Loosely defined, terrorism is:

“The use of violence with the aim of furthering a political or ideological goal at the expense of the general population. Terrorism can take many forms and has many causes, often more than one. It can have its roots in religious, social, or political conflicts, often when one community is oppressed by another.”

Some terrorist events are singular acts linked to a particular historical moment, such as the assassination of Austria’s Archduke Franz Ferdinand in 1914, which touched off World War I.

Other terrorist attacks are part of an ongoing campaign that may last years or even generations, as was the case in Northern Ireland from 1968 to 1998.

Servants of Allah! Although acts of terror and violence have been committed for centuries, terrorism’s modern roots can be traced to the French Revolution’s Reign of Terror in 1794–95, with its gruesome public beheading, violent street battles, and bloodthirsty rhetoric. It was the first time in modern history that mass violence was used in such a fashion, but it would not be the last.

In the latter half of the 19th century, terrorism would emerge as the weapon of choice for nationalists, particularly in Europe as ethnic groups chafed under the rule of empires. The Irish National Brotherhood, which sought Irish independence from Britain, carried out a number of bomb attacks in England in the 1880s. About the same time in Russia, the socialist group Narodnaya Volya began a campaign against the royalist government, ultimately assassinating Tsar Alexander II in 1881.

In the 20th century, acts of terrorism became more prevalent throughout the world as political, religious, and social activists agitated for change. In the 1930s, Jews living in occupied Palestine conducted a campaign of violence against the British occupiers in a quest to create the state of Israel.

In the 1970s, Palestinian terrorists used then-novel methods such as hijacking airplanes to further their cause. Other groups, espousing new causes like animal rights and environmentalism, committed acts of violence in the 1980s and ’90s. And in the 21st century, the rise of pan-nationalist groups like Al Qa’idah, ISIS, Taliban, Al Shabab, Boko Haram, Haqqani, etc, that use social media to connect its members have killed thousands in attacks in America, Europe, the Middle East, Africa and Asia.

Servants of Allah! Below are some six extreme Christian groups that have shown their capacity for violence and fanaticism, to indicate that act of terrorism was not only carried out by Muslims, and we as Muslims cannot say they learn it from their religion – Christianity:

1. The Army of God

A network of violent Christians that has been active since the early 1980s, the Army of God openly promotes killing abortion providers – and the long list of terrorists who have been active in that organization has included Paul Jennings Hill (who was executed by lethal injection in 2003 for the 1994 killings of abortion doctor John Britton and his bodyguard James Barrett), John C. Salvi (who killed two receptionists when he attacked a Planned Parenthood clinic in Brookline, Massachusetts in 1994) and Eric Rudolph, who is serving life in prison for his role in the Olympic Park bombing in Atlanta in 1996 and other terrorist acts. Rudolph, in fact, has often been exalted as a Christian hero on the Army of God’s website, as have fellow Army of God members such as Scott Roeder (who is serving life without parole for murdering Wichita, Kansas-based abortion doctor George Tiller in 2009), Shelley Shannon (who attempted to kill Tiller in 2003) and Michael Frederick Griffin (who is serving a life sentence for the 1993 killing of Dr. David Gunn, an OB-GYN, in Pensacola, Florida).

Although primarily an antiabortion organization, the Army of God also has a history of promoting violence against gays. And one of the terrorist acts that Rudolph confessed to was bombing a lesbian bar in Atlanta in 1997.

2. Eastern Lightning, a.k.a. the Church of the Almighty God

Founded in Henan Province, China in 1990, Eastern Lightning (also known as the Church of the Almighty God or the Church of the Gospel’s Kingdom) is a Christian cult with an end-time/apocalypse focus: Eastern Lightning believes that the world is coming to an end, and in the meantime, its duty is to slay as many demons as possible. While most Christians have an extremely patriarchal viewpoint (much like their Islamist counterparts) and consider women inferior to men, Eastern Lightning believe that Jesus Christ will return to Earth in the form of a Chinese woman. But they are quite capable of violence against women: in May 2014, for example, members of the cult beat a 37-year-old woman named Wu Shuoyan to death in a McDonalds in Zhaoyuan, China when she refused to give them her phone number. Eastern Lightning members Zhang Lidong and his daughter, Zhang Fan, were convicted of murder for the crime and executed in February. In a 2014 interview in prison, Lidong expressed no remorse when he said of Shuoyan, “I beat her with all my might and stamped on her too. She was a demon. We had to destroy her.”

Eastern Lightning’s other acts of violence have ranged from the killing of a grammar school student in 2010 (in retaliation, police believe, for one of the child’s relatives wanting to leave the cult) to cult member Min Yongjun using a knife to attack an elderly woman and a group of schoolchildren in Chenpeng in 2012. Christian groups are not exempt from Eastern Lightning’s fanaticism: in 2002, cult members kidnapped 34 members of a Christian group called the China Gospel Fellowship and held them captive for two months in the hope of forcing them to join their cult. Although mainly active in the communist People’s Republic of China, Eastern Lighting has been trying to expand its membership in Hong Kong.

3. The Lord’s Resistance Army (LRA)

The mainstream media have had much to say about the Islamist brutality of Boko Haram, but one terrorist group they haven’t paid nearly as much attention to is the Lord’s Resistance Army – which was founded by Joseph Kony (a radical Christianist) in Uganda in 1987 and has called for the establishment of a severe Christian fundamentalist government in that country. The LRA, according to Human Rights Watch, has committed thousands of killings and kidnappings—and along the way, its terrorism spread from Uganda to parts of the Congo, the Central African Republic (CAR) and South Sudan. The word “jihadist” is seldom used in connection with the LRA, but in fact, the LRA’s tactics are not unlike those of ISIS or Boko Haram. And the governments Kony hopes to establish in Sub-Saharan Africa would implement a Christianist equivalent of Islamic Sharia law.

4. The National Liberation Front of Tripura

India is not only a country of Hindus and Sikhs, but also, of Muslims, Buddhists, Catholics and Protestants. Most of India’s Christians are peaceful, but a major exception is the National Liberation Front of Tripura (NLFT). Active in the state of Tripura in Northeastern India since 1989, NLFT is a paramilitary Christianist movement that hopes to secede from India and establish a Christian fundamentalist government in Tripura. NLFT has zero tolerance for any religion other than Christianity, and the group has repeatedly shown a willingness to kill, kidnap or torture Hindus and Muslims who refuse to be converted to its extreme brand of Protestant fundamentalism.

In 2000, NLFT vowed to kill anyone who participated in Durga Puja (an annual Hindu festival) And in May 2003, at least 30 Hindus were murdered during one of NLFT’s killing sprees.

5. The Phineas Priesthood

White supremacist groups don’t necessarily have a religious orientation: some of them welcome atheists as long as they believe in white superiority. But the Christian Identity movement specifically combines white supremacist ideology with Christianist terrorism, arguing that violence against non-WASPs is ordained by God and that white Anglo Saxon Protestants are God’s chosen people. The modern Christian Identity movement in the U.S. has been greatly influenced by the Ku Klux Klan—an organization that has committed numerous acts of terrorism over the years—and in the 1970s, new Christian Identity groups like the Aryan Nations and the Covenant, the Sword and the Arm of the Lord (CSA) emerged. Another Christian Identity group of recent decades has been the Phineas Priesthood, whose members have been involved in violent activities ranging from abortion clinic bombings to bank robberies (mainly in the Pacific Northwest). On November 28, 2014, Phineas Priesthood member Larry Steven McQuilliams went on a violent rampage in Austin, Texas – where he fired over 100 rounds at various targets (including a federal courthouse, the local Mexican Consulate building and a police station) before being shot and killed by police.

6. The Concerned Christians

One of the ironic things about some Christianists is the fact that although they believe that Jews must be converted to Christianity, they consider themselves staunch supporters of Israel. And some of them believe in violently forcing all Muslims out of Israel. The Concerned Christians, a Christianist doomsday cult that was founded by pastor Monte “Kim” Miller in Denver in the 1980s, alarmed Colorado residents when, in 1998, at least 60 of its members suddenly quit their jobs, abandoned their homes and went missing – and it turned out there was reason for concern. In 1999, Israeli officials arrested 14 members of the Concerned Christians in Jerusalem and deported them from Israel because they suspected them of plotting terrorist attacks against Muslims. One likely target, according to Israeli police, was Jerusalem’s al-Aqsa Mosque – the same Mosque that was targeted in 1969 (when a Christianist from Australia named Denis Michael Rohan unsuccessfully tried to destroy it by arson) and, Israeli police suspect, was a likely target in 2014 (when Adam Everett Livix, a Christianist from Texas, was arrested by Israeli police on suspicion of plotting to blow up Muslim Holy sites in Jerusalem).

Servants of Allah! Recent Las Vegas shooting that kills at least 59 people and injured 527 in deadliest ever US gun attack is still fresh in our mind. Where a so-called “lone wolf” gunman called Stephen Paddock (a Christian) carried out America’s deadliest mass shooting in a meticulously planned attack after waiting for three days in a hotel suite before striking at a festival crowd of 22,000. He fired on concert-goers from the vantage point of a 32nd-floor hotel room in Las Vegas.

Armed with as many as 23 weapons, including semi-automatic rifles, Paddock opened fire in a shooting spree that lasted between five and 10 minutes.

As police prepared to storm his hotel room, Paddock committed suicide by turning one of the guns on himself.

Brothers and Sisters! I ask Allah to assist us in living by the Quran and Sunnah. And I pray He lets us recognise the truth for what it is and helps us to follow it, and that He lets us see falsehood for what it is and helps us to avoid it.

O Allah! Guide us and protect us from the causes of ignorance and destruction! Save us from the defects of ourselves! Cause the last of our deeds to be the best and most righteous! And forgive all of us.

My respected people! Anything good I have said in my today’s Khutbah (Sermon) is from Allah the Almighty, and any mistakes are my own and we seek refuge in Allah from giving wrong advice and from all forms of calamities and fitnah. And I ask Allah’s forgiveness if I stepped beyond bounds in anything I said or I do.

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.

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

This Jumu’ah Khutbah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today, Friday, Muharram 29, 1439 AH (October 20, 2017), by Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’ah and late Alhaji Abdurrahman Okene’s Mosques, Okene Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached through: +2348038289761.

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[Friday Sermon] Speak Good Or Remain Silent By Imam Murtadha Gusau

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

All thanks and praise is due to Allah, we seek His help and forgiveness. We seek refuge in Allah from the evil within ourselves and the consequences of our evil deeds.

Whoever Allah guides will never be led astray, and whoever Allah leads astray will never find guidance. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, He is alone without any partners, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and His Messenger.

“O you who have believed, fear Allah as He should be feared and do not die except as Muslims in submission to Him.” (3:102)

“O mankind, fear your Lord, who created you from one soul and created from it its mate and dispersed from both of them many men and women. And fear Allah, through whom you ask one another, and the wombs. Verily, Allah is ever watching over you.” [4:1]

“O you who have believed, fear Allah and speak words of appropriate justice. He will then amend for you your deeds and forgive your sins, and whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger has certainly attained a great attainment .” [33:70 – 71]

Verily, the most truthful speech is the Book of Allah, the best guidance is the guidance of Muhammad, and the worst affairs are newly invented matters (in religion). Every newly invented matter is a religious innovation, and every religious innovation is misguidance, and every misguidance is in the Hellfire.

To proceed:

Brothers and Sisters! The topic for my today’s Khutbah (Sermon), will Inshaa Allah, be about the importance of guarding our tongues.

Servants of Allah! If care is not taking, our tongues are weapons of mass destruction (WMD): They destroy so many things! They destroy our good deeds, they destroy our Iman, they destroy our peaceful living, they destroy our politics, they destroy our community, they destroy our brotherhood, they destroy our family relationships, they destroy people’s reputations, they destroy people’s honour, dignity, self-respect etc. Our tongues destroy people. And also know that the First Person we destroy with our tongues is ourselves!

Allah the Most High said in Surah Infitar, 80:12

“But verily, over you are appointed angels to watch over you. Kind and honourable, writing down your deeds. They know all that you do.”

And Allah the Almighty said in Surah Qaf, 50:18

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

And his companion (angel) will say: “Here is (his record) ready with me!”

And Allah the Most High said in Surah Al Ahzab (The Confederates), 33:70-71

“O you who believe! Have Taqwa of Allah and speak (always) the truth (a straight forward word, a right word, a just word).”

In this Qur’anic verse, Allah is warning us to fear Him as He should be feared and then He tells us to always speak a straight forward word.

Brothers and Sisters! We need to be mindful of the things that come out of our mouths because we are going to be questioned about these things.

Abu Hurairah (RA) reported: The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“He who believes in Allah and the Last Day must either speak good or remain silent.” [Muslim]

Imam Ibn Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah said:

“Every gulp of air, that goes out in a cause other than the cause of Allah (SWT) will turn to sorrow and regret on the Day of Judgement.”

Servants of Allah! It’s easy to open our mouths and say whatever comes to mind. But how hard is it for us to keep our mouths shut? To keep our bad words to ourselves?

We use our tongues to say bad words. We use our tongues to put people down. We use our tongues to backbite people, to dishonour them. We use our tongues to remind people of the favours that we’ve done for them. We use our tongues to undo the good that we may have done.

How many times have we opened our mouths and let something out, and then wished we could take it back, wish we could undo the harm that we had done with our tongues.

It only takes a few seconds to undo with our tongues what may have taken years to build up.

Once something comes out, it can’t be undone. At best all we can do is to try to do some damage control. At best all we can do is apologize, but we can’t undo it.

Imam At-Tirmidhi has recorded that:

“I said: “O Messenger of Allah! Inform me about a matter that I may hold fast to. He said: ‘Say: My Lord is Allah, then be steadfast. I said: “O Messenger of Allah! What do you fear most for me?” So he took hold of his tongue and said: ‘This.’”

Brothers and sisters! Our tongues are our destroyers! They destroy our good deeds and our good works.

How many of us can think back to something that we may have said that caused harm. And years later when we think about it, we still feel bad about it, we still feel the regret, wishing we could take back our words? The pain stays, the memories stay fresh. The bad effects of our words linger on, years after they come out of our mouths.

It is reported that a man saw Ibn Abbas (RA) holding the tip of his tongue saying:

“Woe to you, say what is good and you will reap gain, and be silent from speaking evil and you will be safe.” The man asked him, ‘O Ibn Abbas, what is the matter that I see you holding the tip of your tongue saying such and such?’ He replied; “It has reached me that the servant of Allah will not be as angry at anything on the Day of Resurrection, as he will be at his tongue.”

Umar ibn Khattab (RA) once entered upon Abu Bakr (RA) and found him pulling at his tongue. He said:

“Oh, what are you doing?” Abu Bakr replied, “It is this (his speech) that has brought me so much trouble.”

Imam Al Hasan al Basri (Rahimahullah) said:

“The intelligent person’s tongue is behind his heart; when he wants to speak, he first thinks. If his words will be in his favour, he says them, and if they will be against him, he does not speak. And the ignorant person’s heart is behind his tongue; when he merely thinks of saying something, he says it, whether it is for him, or against him.”

Allah gave us two gates, checks, locks…our lips and our teeth. He has given us a chance to stop ourselves before we open our mouths to let something out. How many of us could use a third lock?

Imam Ash-Shafi’i (Rahimahullah) said:

“Be aware of your tongue, it’s dangerous! It’s like a snake, and so many people have been killed by their tongues.”

Brothers and sisters! Guarding our tongues is a hard thing to do, and it’s part of our test.

Narrated Sahl bin Sa’ad: Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) said:

“Whoever can guarantee (the chastity of) what is between his two jaw-bones and what is between his two legs (i.e. his tongue and his private parts), I guarantee Paradise for him.” [Al-Bukhari]

Brothers and Sisters! Without a doubt, it’s a hard thing to do, and so we should ask Allah, over and over again to help us with this fitnah. And with Allah lies all strength and success.

Abu Hurairah narrated that the Messenger of Allah was asked about that for which people are admitted into Paradise the most, so he said: “Taqwa of Allah, and good character. And he was asked about that for which people are admitted into the Fire the most, and he said:” The mouth and the private parts.” [At-Tirmidhi]

Brothers and Sisters! Be mindful of the things that come out of your mouths because the things you say today, will be waiting for you on the Day of Judgement. And when you stand before Allah, you will have to answer for these words. And this is why the Prophet (Peace be upon him) advised us by saying that he who keeps silent, keeps safe.

My Dear and Respected Brothers and Sisters in Islam! We need to work hard to guard our tongues because by guarding our tongues, we are helping to ward off the Hellfire from us.

“… a slave (of Allah) may utter a word (carelessly) which displeases Allah without thinking of its gravity and because of that he will be thrown into the HellFire.” [Al-Bukhari]

Allah the Almighty said in Surah Hujurat (the Dwellings), 49:12

“And do not backbite one another. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You would hate it (so hate backbiting). And fear Allah. Verily, Allah is the One who forgives and accepts repentance, Most Merciful.”

Narrated Abu Musa:

“Some people asked Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him), “Whose Islam is the best? i.e. (Who is a very good Muslim)?” He replied, “One who avoids harming the Muslims with his tongue and hands.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

“All of the Muslim is sacred to the Muslim, his wealth, honour and his blood. It is evil enough for someone to belittle his Muslim brother.” [Abu Dawud]

Brothers and Sisters! Don’t backbite one another. Don’t talk about your brothers and sisters, unless it’s in something good.

And the definition of backbiting has been explained in a Hadith collected by Abu Dawud that Abu Hurairah said:

“It was asked, ‘O Allah’s Messenger! What is backbiting’ He said: “Mentioning about your brother in a manner that he dislikes.” He was asked, ‘What if my brother was as I mentioned’ He said: “If he was as you mentioned, you will have committed backbiting. But if he was not as you say about him, you will have falsely accused him (slandered him).”

Backbiting was sternly warned against, and this is why Allah the Exalted and Most Blessed compared it to eating the flesh of a dead human being.

Brothers and Sisters in Islam! Be careful of what comes out of our mouths!

Amr ibn Al-As (RA) said:

“Words are like medicine, little is enough and too much destroys you.”

Brothers and Sisters! Guard your tongues, and measure your words. Think before we open our mouths and don’t backbite one another. And I know that it’s a hard thing to resist, but bite your tongues if you have to, because on the Day of Judgement, you’ll be wishing that you had.

Abu Said Al Khudri said: The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“When the son of Adam gets up in the morning, all the limbs humble themselves before the tongue and say: ‘Fear Allah for our sake because we are with you: (i.e., we will be rewarded or punished as a result of what you do) if you are straight, we will be straight; and if you are crooked, we will be crooked.” [At-Tirmidhi]

Subhanallah! Brothers and Sisters!! Think about this for a moment. Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) is telling us that our own bodies are afraid for us for what our tongues may do. They warn our tongues to fear Allah, and they seek refuge from the evil that they may send forward.

So my Dear and Respected Brothers and Sisters in Islam! I encourage us all to guard our tongues, and fear the day when we will be called to account for the things that we have said.

I ask Allah to help us to benefit from what we have heard here today.
And to help us to guard our tongues.

And I ask Allah to turn to us with Forgiveness and Mercy on the day that we meet Him, and to exchange our places in Hellfire, for places in Jannah. Ameen.

Servants of Allah! Know that the tongue is one of the greatest blessings of Allah, it is small but does great deeds and great damage in the same time. Through the tongue, true faith unfolds and infidelity emerges, its extent is endless like a vast arena. The interpreter of Hearts and Thoughts, machine of speech and statement, the good it made carved on the tablets of time and the evil it caused echoes through the eras. Whomever employs it wisely and for the sake of useful utterance, commencing his affairs, restraining it with religious bond and placing it where it belongs is worthy of salvation. Whoever liberates it, not monitoring what it utters, the devil will be his guide misleading him in different paths. People stumble in Hellfire due to their tongues’s yields. Moreover, all the human body parts affected by the tongue through its straightness or its straying as confirmed by the words of the Prophet (Peace be upon him):

“When the son of Adam (any human) rises in the morning his body parts calls out to the tongue saying “Fear Allah in us, for we are affected by your utterance, if you go steadfast so do we, but if you go astray so do we.” [At-Tirmidhi]

Brothers and Sisters! Islam gave an attentive care to the manner of speech and the way it functions, as the word coming out indicates an individual’s level of intellect and manners. The level of conversation judges its general standard and the extent that good virtues fuse in it’s environment.

A person must ask himself before preaching to others, is there any purpose of talking? If there is any sound reason to talk then be it, if not then silence is preferable where it’s not necessary, thus he will be rewarded heavily performing a pleasant worship.

Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud said:

“In the name of Allah the only Creator, nothing is most deserving of imprisonment than a tongue.”

Ibn Abbas May Allah be pleased with him said:

“Five matters that outweighs owning black stallions:

1 – Do not speak on matters that don’t concern you, its trivial for you and I am afraid that you would sin because of it.

2 – Do not interact in a topic that concerns you unless there is meaning and effect to what you are going to say, you might be of concern but there is no effect to what you are saying thus subjected to criticism.

3 – Do not quarrel a man of patience or a foolish man, the patient would hate you, and the foolish would harm you.

4 – Mention your brother in a manner you would like to be mentioned, and forgive him from what you would like to be forgiven.

5 – Act upon things knowing you will be rewarded for a kind act and held accountable for bad deeds.”

Servants of Allah! A Muslim cannot accomplish the five aforementioned qualities unless he restrains his tongue and leads it firmly curbing it where silence needed, and seizing for fruitful speech. As for who are led by their tongues they are lead astray.

A Hadith worthy of contemplating narrated in the two Sahih books by Abu Hurairah May Allah be pleased with him that the prophet said:

“The servant of Allah would utter a word that pleases Allah, not knowing it would, Allah would elevate his rank for it. A servant (another) of Allah would utter a word that would discontent Him while not noticing it would, it will lead him to fall deep in Hell.” [Al-Bukhari]

This is great advice from the Prophet (Peace be upon him):

“… O Muadh halt this and he held his tongue then continued saying that why people stumble on their nose in Hellfire due to their tongue’s yield. [At-Tirmidhi]

My Respected people! As a result of the severity and magnitude of this issue, the companions may Allah be pleased with them have set the best examples in restraining one’s tongue.

Words are your captive, unless it departs the mouth you would be their captive. Allah almighty said:

“Man does not utter any word except that with him is an observer prepared (to record).” [Qaf, 50:18]

So if you wanted to know what lies in the hearts of beings, deduce it from the movement of the tongue (what it utters), it will tell you what lies in a person’s heart whether he displayed or concealed it.

The sin of uttering could contain Shirk (Polytheism), and it’s one of the greatest sins to Allah Almighty. Such as talking about Allah without knowledge, this is the KIN of Shirk. Therefore the tongue is like a dagger with two blades, for the wise it is an instrument of Good and kindness, a ferry of salvation and success. To the snobby fool person it is a malicious scorpion, sticking to the flesh of a prey wickedly stinging it.

From the Lesions of the Tongue are the following:

1 – Seeking Deity with Allah (Shirk)

The knowledgeable Imam Ibn Hajar says:

“The sin of uttering could contain Shirk (Polytheism), it’s one of the greatest sins to Allah Almighty. speaking on Allah’s account with no knowledge.”

2 – Talking about Allah without knowledge

Talking about Allah without knowledge is one of heaviest sins, rather its greater than Shirk as stated by Imam Ibn Qayyim may Allah have mercy on him:

“It is so because it’s the reason behind shirk, this specific reason behind is speaking on Allah’s account without knowledge.”

3 – Slander

Its citing other’s flaws, referring to his brother with bad qualities whether he carried it or not, that’s how our beloved Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) recited the revelation of Allah:

“And do not spy or backbite each other. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his brother when dead? You would detest it.” [Al-Hujurat, 49:12]

Slandering is of three types:

Gheebah (Backbiting): If what you said about your brother is true behind his back.

Ifk (falsehood): Transmitting backbiting made about your brother behind his back.

Buhtan (Defamation): Mentioning false features about your brother.

These are the categories of slandering, categorized by Islamic scholars, any statement that is meant to dispraise either by words, gestures, a wink, signal or writing is a slander.

4 – Lying

In a hadith reported by Al-Bukhari, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) mentioned what he saw from the torments of the people of Hellfire:

“As for the one whose cheek you saw being torn away, he was a liar and he used to tell lies, and the people would report those lies on his authority till they spread all over the world. So, he will be punished like that till the Day of Resurrection.”

He also said:

“Never lie, for lying leads to lewdness, and lewdness leads to Hell. A man continues lying and seeking falsehood he will labeled by Allah as a liar.” [Muslim]

5 – Defamation of character

Allah almighty said:

“And those who accuse chaste women and then do not produce four witnesses – lash them with eighty lashes and do not accept from them testimony ever after. And those are the defiantly disobedient.” [Al-Nur, 24:4]

This type of Lesion is almost practiced by everyone except who is fortunate by the will of Allah as the most fall in the trap. Defamation of the believers by their chaste, their religion, or accusing them with false claims are heavy sins and considered as a Major Sin (Al kaba’ir).

6 – Perjury

Allah Almighty said praising one of his servants:

“And [they are] those who do not testify to falsehood, and when they pass near ill speech, they pass by with dignity.” [Al-Furqan, 25:72]

Allah Almighty also said:

“And do not conceal testimony, for whoever conceals it – his heart is indeed sinful, and Allah is Knowing of what you do.” [Al-Baqara, 2:283]

7 – Insult, cursing and ridiculing the people

Allah Almighty said:

“O you who have believed, let not a people ridicule [another] people; perhaps they may be better than them; nor let women ridicule [other] women; perhaps they may be better than them. And do not insult one another and do not call each other by [offensive] nicknames. Wretched is the name of disobedience after [one’s] faith. And whoever does not repent – then it is those who are the wrongdoers.” [Al-Hujurat: 11]

8 – Making an Oath in the name of other than Allah

Swearing with things other than Allah like trust, integrity, oneself, father, children, honour, tribe, king, town, life or the Prophet’s life. He (Peace be upon him) said:

“Who swore with something other than Allah has committed shirk.” [Authenticated by Al-Albani]

He Also said:

“Who is about to make a swear, let it be in the name of Allah or hold silent.” [Authenticated by Al-Albani]

9 – Falsehood and holding the truth

Imam Ibn Qayyim may Allah have mercy on him said:

“There are two big lesions of the tongue that if one is avoided the other won’t miss you, the lesion of speaking and the lesion of silence, both could be greater in sin than the other in its timing. Holding back the truth, not saying it, this person considered a dumb devil, disobedient to Allah, hypocrite bootlicker not fearing that it would affect him. Who utters falsehood is a speaking devil that disobeys Allah. Most people are deviant in their speech and silence, so they are swinging between these two lesions. People of the middle path are the people of the righteous path, keeping silent from falsehood and spoke with what would benefit them in the Hereafter.”

10 – Cursing

Narated Abu Al-Darda’ May Allah be pleased with him, that the Messenger of Allah said:

“Cursers are expelled giving intercession or being Martyrs in the day of resurrection.” [Muslim]

Narated by Aby Al-Darda’ May Allah be pleased with him, that the Messenger of Allah said:

“If the slave (worshiper of Allah) curses something, this curse rises to the heavens (skies) to find the doors of the heavens closed in its way, then it descends to earth to find its door also closed, roaming to the right and the left not finding a place to settle it will settle to the person cursed if he is worthy of it, if not then it will return to the person who uttered it.” [Abu Dawud]

* Jokes

Brothers and Sisters! A type of lying, widespread amongst people nowadays, it’s Joking. Where a person makes up a story with no root in real life, mocking other nationalities, tribes, race, lineage and countries all for the sake of making people laugh while it is not true. This is impermissible because it consisted of slander and lying for all the aforementioned individuals in these jokes.

Its doer threatened by the words of the Prophet:

“Woe (Al Wayl) to whom tells false stories to folks to make them laugh, woe to him woe to him.” [At-Tirmidhi]

Al Wayl; is a valley in Hell.

* Accustom yourself to pleasant speech

It is very pleasant to accustom one’s tongue to tender speech, thus whenever he speaks he only utters good. The pleasant and pure words respected by friends and foes and have good impact on people. With friends, it maintains intimacy and strengthens the bonds of friendship and a safeguard against the traps of the devil trying to plant hatred amongst them. Allah Almighty said:

“And tell My servants to say that which is best. Indeed, Satan induces [dissension] among them. Indeed Satan is ever, to mankind, a clear enemy.” [Al-Isra’, 17:53]

Tender speech with enemies calms down their dispute and breaks their sharp attitude or halts the evil and its development. Allah Almighty said:

“And not equal are the good deed and the bad. Repel [evil] by that [deed] which is better; and thereupon the one whom between you and him is enmity [will become] as though he was a devoted friend.” [Fusilat, 41:34]

* Beware of staining the Scholars with mischief

One of the most dangerous mischief widely spread these days, even amongst the people labeled as pious, misfortunate chitchat that results in slandering the people of knowledge (Ulama’). Leading to a greater drawback, slitting confidence in the people of knowledge and causing repulsive environment between the knowledgeable brothers and Du’aat (Islamic preachers) to Allah almighty. All this is a result of carrying news and talks without awareness or verification.

Brothers and Sisters! We have to know that behind every word uttered a responsibility lies beneath, thus acknowledging the effect and realize how to deal with it. Many a time a tiny improper word, that could lead to cutting ties. Many a time a harsh word said breaking up a whole family. Many a time a misleading word that leads whom utters it out of the folds of Islam. We Ask Allah refuge from that.

On the other hand, many a time a tender word said saving a life. Many a time a pleasant word said that would help hold family ties. Many A time a sincere word said leads who utter it to paradise. We ask Allah to make us be amongst the dwellers of paradise.

For the importance of the word and its effect, the Messenger of Allah said:

“Whoever believes in Allah and hereafter must utter good or hold his tongue.” [Agreed upon]

If people put this Hadith in context and cleared their intention in accordance with it, they would overcome a number of tragedies. In more than an occasion a rude not thought of word could spoil the intimacy between people, penetrating like a poisoned arrow, separating what was united and spoil the good.

* A Moment with the kind Sheikh

The kind Sheikh Ibn Baz May Allah have mercy on him said:

“Mentioning a person’s good qualities is not considered as slandering, like saying he is kind, good and maintains his prayers. This example is not slandering, slandering is mentioning your brother with things he would hate, like what the Prophet said: “Slandering is citing your brother with what he would hate.” [Authenticated by Al-Albani] The following is considered as slandering; stingy, coward, dirty tongue and of the kind; anything that he would dislike to be referred as. If a person slanders his brother, it’s his duty to go to him apologizing and say, “forgive me may Allah reward you, I spoke evil of you…”. However, if he feels that there would be a draw back in such step it’s better not go forth telling him, instead he could Ask forgiveness of Allah and supplicate for him. Moreover, mentions his good qualities in the same places he slandered him, this would be sufficient and praise Allah for it. If he is mocking something with his tongue, then he is labeled as a mocker and if he mocks the religion then he is turned infidel even if no one witnessed that, he must repent to Allah and return to righteousness. Whoever turns back to Allah and repents Allah will forgive him.”

I ask Allah to assist us in living by the Quran and Sunnah. I pray He lets us recognise the truth for what it is and helps us to follow it, and that He lets us see falsehood for what it is and helps us to avoid it.

O Allah! Guide us and protect us from the causes of ignorance and destruction! Save us from the defects of ourselves! Cause the last of our deeds to be the best and most righteous! And forgive all of us. Ameen Yaa Rabb!

My respected people! Anything good I have said in my today’s Khutbah (Sermon) is from Allah the Almighty, and any mistakes are my own and we seek refuge in Allah from giving wrong advice and from all forms of calamities and fitnah. And I ask Allah’s forgiveness if I stepped beyond bounds in anything I said or I do.

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

With this I conclude my Khutbah (Sermon) and ask Allah, the Almighty and the Sublime, to forgive all of our sins. So seek his forgiveness, He is all forgiving and Most Merciful.

This Jumu’ah Khutbah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today, Friday, Muharram 22, 1439 AH (October 13, 2017), by Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’ah and late Alhaji Abdurrahman Okene’s Mosques, Okene Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached via: +2348038289761.

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[Friday Sermon] Two Traits Cannot Exist In A Believer, Stinginess And Low Ethics By Imam Murtadha Gusau

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

All thanks and praise is due to Allah, we seek His help and forgiveness. We seek refuge in Allah from the evil within ourselves and the consequences of our evil deeds.

Whoever Allah guides will never be led astray, and whoever Allah leads astray will never find guidance. I bear witness there is no God but Allah, alone without any partners, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and His Messenger.

“O you who have believed, fear Allah as He should be feared and do not die except as Muslims in submission to Him.” [3:102]

“O mankind, fear your Lord, who created you from one soul and created from it its mate and dispersed from both of them many men and women. And fear Allah, through whom you ask one another, and the wombs. Verily, Allah is ever watching over you.” [4:1]

“O you who have believed, fear Allah and speak words of appropriate justice. He will then amend for you your deeds and forgive your sins, and whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger has certainly attained a great attainment.” [33: 70-71]

Verily, the most truthful speech is the Book of Allah, the best guidance is the guidance of Muhammad, and the worst affairs are newly invented matters (in religion). Every newly invented matter is a religious innovation, and every religious innovation is misguidance, and every misguidance is in the Hellfire.

To proceed:

Servants of Allah! In today’s Sermon, I’m going to try to explain stinginess and characteristics of stinginess rather than stingy people.

Brothers and Sisters! Literally, the word “stingy” means “miserly, who does not want to spend his money whatsoever, mean, parsimonious. It is expressed with the words “Bukhl” and “Shuh” in the Quran and Sunnah generally. A stingy person is called “Bakhil.” A Bakhil likes keeping his money and gives it only when he is asked.

The opposite of stinginess is generousness. A generous person gives money without being asked first and likes giving it. As a term, stinginess means “Refraining from spending something which is supposed to be spent and refraining from giving freely to someone else because of excessive love for money and property.”

According to Imam Ghazali, stinginess is to keep property or money endowed upon one by Allah, refraining from spending it on the reason of creation; wastefulness is using something for a reason except the reason of creation, and it is generousness to use and spend something in accordance with the reason of creation.

The word “Bukhl” is used in three verses related to stinginess and verbs derived from this word are used in other nine verses in the Quran. Also, the word “Shuh” is used in three verses and the word“Ashihhah” which means stinginess is used in one verse. We also see that words like “Qatr” and “Man” are used in some verses to mean stinginess in the Quran. The word “Qatur” means “stingy, mean” in English. It is used in the Quran as the opposite of wastefulness which means spending everything wastefully. And the word “Man” is used in verb form as “Yamna’una” in a verse, as “Man’u” in another and as “Manna” in two other verses.

About the situation of unbelievers who deny the truth, the Quran generally says:

“Those who (want but) to be seen (of men), but refuse (to supply) (even) neighbourly needs.” [al-Ma’un, 107:6 -7]

That is to say; in addition to being very stingy, they prevent others from giving freely too. Now, I would like to analyze the notion of stinginess in the light of the Quranic verses here:

Brothers and Sisters! Stinginess means saving money and property and not using them to help others. Stinginess, in the Quran, means saving property and money endowed upon one by Allah and not using them for help as Allah orders us to.

“Woe to every (kind of) scandal-monger and backbiter, who piled up wealth and lay it by.” [al-Humazah, 104:1-2]

“And there are those who bury gold and silver and spend it not in the way of Allah; announce unto them a most grievous penalty.” [at-Tawbah, 9:34]

Servants of Allah! One of the main essentials of the Quran is justice. Money, gold and silver are not supposed to be saved and piled up but to be delivered to the public and used. If these assets circulate amongst people they are beneficial. If these assets are kept by certain people, only a few people can benefit from them and a large part of the society is left poor and hungry. And this is against the justice of Allah. Everybody has got the right to benefit from boons created by Allah. The disease of stinginess one has got hinders available boons to be spent for the poor and needy.

“Truly man was created very impatient; fretful when evil touches him; and niggardly when good reaches him.” [al-Ma’arij, 70:19-21]

“Men’s souls are swayed by greed (They are inclined to be stingy by nature).” [an-Nisa, 4:128]

My good people! Allah the Glorious states in these verses that stinginess is a feeling that stems from one’s creation/nature and that this feeling was placed in their nature by Him. However, one should use this feeling in a positive way. If this feeling controls one’s all actions, it hinders him from doing good things. Stinginess was placed in human being’s nature in order to test them and for various reasons. One advances and develops by fighting against it. The religion of Islam emerged in order to earn a second nature.

Shaytan (Satan) directs people to stinginess by frightening them with poverty.

“The Evil One (Satan) threatens you with poverty and bids you to conduct unseemly. Allah promised you His forgiveness and bounties. And Allah cared for all and He knows all things.” [al-Baqarah, 2:268]

Charity and alms given freely from one’s property does not decrease the amount of the property, but makes it even more abundant and blessed because almsgiving purifies property from nonphysical dirtiness and makes it halal and clean. That pessimistic Shaytan (Satan), who has lost his hopes of Allah’s mercy, instills hopelessness in people secretly or illicitly, directs people to stinginess, to niggardliness by spreading around false and deceptive ideas and feelings. He encourages people to spend their money/property on evil, nonsensical things and sins. However, Allah guarantees people’s eternal happiness by forgiving their sins because of alms and charities they have given, and by endowing upon them thawabs (rewards) and benefits in return for their charity, both in the worldly life and in the otherworldly life.

A stingy person thinks that his property will make him eternal.

“He think that his wealth will render him immortal.” [al-Humazah, 104:3]

Brothers and Sisters! Man tries to save money ambitiously, due to his love for property. Moreover, he thinks that the money he has saved will give him the power to do anything he wants. Therefore, he never thinks of death, thinking that death will not come for him and he will stay alive forever because of his property. However, property, money and fortune are all temporary. When the time of death comes for him and when his soul leaves his body, all the property and money he has saved ambitiously so far will be left behind and if he did not use them on the way of Allah, he would not be able to save himself from the wrath of hellfire.

Dear Muslims! Stinginess is a selfish passion of the soul. This passion prevents one from spending his money freely on the way of Allah and prevents people from being purified. This feeling prevents people from using their assets on the way of Allah. Thus, if one cannot defeat this selfish feeling and stinginess in his lower self, it is impossible for him to purify his lower self because true salvation is possible when one purifies his soul from evil desires.

The following Quranic verse expresses this selfish feeling in people’s lower selves in a very astonishing way:

“Say (unto them): If you possessed the treasures of the mercy of my Lord, you would surely hold them back for fear of spending, for man was ever grudging.” [al-Isra, 17:100]

It is not stinginess to give freely as alms and charity from property which Allah has endowed on people. One who does not give alms and charity from their property is stingy.

And one who protects himself from selfish ambitions finds happiness and success. One can be a good and decent person only by spending bounties, which Allah endowed upon him, generously for others. Actually, Allah says:

“By no means shall you attain righteousness unless you give (freely) of that which you love; and whatever you give, of a truth Allah know it well.” [Ali Imran, 3:92]

My respected people! A greedy stingy person, who always wants to take and never to give, cannot be expected to be useful for others. One who is protected from lower self’s selfish passions has overcome this obstacle in front of the good and has begun to run towards the good and give abundantly from his property. This is what the true salvation is.

Characteristics of believers are mentioned in various places in the Quran. One of these characteristics of believers told in the Quran is that they are not stingy and that when they spend, they do it moderately. This is expressed in the 67th verse of Surah al-Furqan as follows:

“Those who, when they spend, are not extravagant and not niggardly, but hold a just (balance) between those (extremes).”

True believers should not be stingy. And wrath awaits those who are stingy and who bids others to be stingy. Allah the Glorious always warns human beings in different verses with different styles in order to protect people from this disease called stinginess.

“(Nor) those who are niggardly or enjoin niggardliness on others, or hide the bounties which Allah has bestowed on them; for We have prepared, for those who resist Faith, a punishment that steeps them in contempt.” [an-Nisa, 4:37]

“On the Day when heat will be produced out of that (wealth) in the fire of Hell, and with it will be branded their foreheads, their flanks, and their backs * This is the (treasure) which you buried for yourselves: taste you, then, the (treasures) you buried!”” [at-Tawbah, 9:35]

The Quran often suggests people to get rid of this selfish feeling and develop the feeling of generousness instead of it and do good deeds in every possibility.

“And let not those who covetously withhold of the gifts which Allah Has given them of His Grace, think that it is good for them: Nay, it will be the worse for them: soon shall the things which they covetously withheld be tied to their necks Like a twisted collar, on the Day of Judgment. To Allah belongs the heritage of the heavens and the earth; and Allah is well-acquainted with all that you do.” (Ali Imran, 3:180]

Brothers and Sisters! In this verse, Allah criticizes those who do not use their money for the sake of Allah, fearing that it will decrease, and states that it is wrong of them to think that this is good for them and that it is not good for them at all. All the property they have saved and have not spent for Allah will be hanged around their necks in the form of a fire-collar on the Day of Judgment. Allah the Supreme calls them to give up stinginess, by threatening them with this terrible wrath. Actually, man comes to this world, having nothing. Allah, with His great generousness, endows upon them property and enriches them. And eventually, when Allah wants them to help others with the property which He gave to them, they refuse to help, forgetting that it was all given to them by Allah, and claiming that they are the real owners of them. However, it is necessary to use not only the property, but also all kinds of boons such as abilities, skills and knowledge, which Allah endowed upon us helping the way of Allah.

They think that their property will decrease if they give alms and charity from them and that it is better for them to save their money instead of using it for helping others. However, it is bad for them to do so. One day they will depart from this world and all the money they have saved will be left behind. The true owner of all property is only Allah the Supreme. On the Day of Judgment, one will find with him only the property which he spent for helping others. That is what will be useful to him.

In fact, feelings which Allah the Glorious has placed in humankind’s disposition are not evil by themselves. What is evil is to make improper use of them. If the feeling of stinginess is used for not giving any from boons which Allah has endowed on one, with the passion for saving money for the worldly life, and thus hindering social aid, it is wrong and impropriety. Actually, Islam which prohibits wastefulness also prohibits stinginess. Allah the Glorious states:

“Who hoard their wealth and enjoin avarice on others, and hide that which Allah has bestowed upon them of His bounty. For disbelievers We prepare a shameful doom.” [an-Nisa, 4:37]

Fellow Muslims! Stingy people think that bounties which Allah has endowed generously are only for them and do not admit that poor people have got the right for a share from them. Those who do not know that property and treasures are means of testing direct others to be stingy too. Actually, this reality is expressed in the following verse as follows:

“Say (unto them): If you possessed the treasures of the mercy of my Lord, you would surely hold them back for fear of spending, for man was ever grudging.” [al-Isra, 17:100]

Those who have not failed to give the shares of the poor people from their property are blissful personalities. Allah’s bounties are different for every person.

“One should give alms from the bounties endowed upon him, as if he were a trustee and a servant.”

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

“Refrain from stinginess because stinginess destroyed those who lived before you and tempted them to shed each other’s blood and to consider harams to be halal…” [Muslim]

Once, the Prophet said to his Companions:

“Shall I tell you the people of Hell?” The Companions said: “Yes, o the Messenger of Allah!” The Prophet said: “They are those who are rude, stingy and arrogant.” [Bukhari]

Stinginess is one of the roads that lead to the wrath of Hell. Therefore, believing people should seriously avoid stinginess. It is possible to categorize factors resulting in stinginess under two titles:

1- Excessive love for property holdings and ambition of saving money.

The leading reason of stinginess, which is one of the negative ways of human beings, is excessive love for property holdings and ambition of saving money because the desire for richness and ambition for saving money are present in humankind’s disposition. For this reason, they always work for this world and save money. As a matter of fact, the verse, which says:

“And lo! In the love of wealth he is violent.” [al-Adiyat, 100:8] points out to this aspect of the humankind.

As it is stated in this verse, there is so much love for richness and so much ambition for saving money in human being’s heart that they always care for themselves only. And they care about others so little or not at all. Even if they had everything in the world and even if the treasures of Allah’s mercy belonged to them, they would still hesitate to use them for helping others fearing that they would decrease in amount. In their narrow hearts do reasons form which enchain their hands with cuffs of stinginess.

As a matter of fact, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) puts into words humankind’s love and ambition for richness in a nice way and states that this love and ambition will end with death only, by saying:

“If humankind had two valleys full of property, he would desire for the third valley. Only earth (death and being buried) can satisfy him. Allah accepts the repentance of those who repent.” [Muslim]

Respected Believers! Islam explains to people that their excessive love for richness will lead them to their own destruction, in nice and persuasive ways. If one thinks of the end of property, he will understand that it is better for him to be generous. In fact, one has got no other possessions on the earth than what he eats up, he wears and what he spends for the sake of Allah and saves for his otherworldly life. It is really astonishing that one struggles with all his power for saving money and property which he will leave to his inheritors in the end and receives Allah’s wrath for this reason. The Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) explained this reality as follows:

One day, the Prophet asked:

“Which one of you loves his inheritor’s property more than his own?” The Companions answered: “O the Messenger of Allah! All of us love our own property more than those of our inheritors.” Upon this, the Messenger of Allah said: “The true property of one is what he has sacrificed for the sake of Allah all his life. And what he has saved and put aside instead of spending is the property of his inheritors.” [Bukhari]

2 – Greed and thinking of children’s future: There is a feeling in the humankind’s disposition as if they would live forever. However, man is mortal. As it is impossible for them to live forever, they try to satisfy this feeling by having children who will continue their lineage. This is one of the reasons of sexual intercourse. Parents having children prefer to save their property to spending them, with the aim of providing their children with enough livelihood and a nice future. Therefore, they behave stingily.

Saving the bounties stingily which Allah has endowed upon us rather than spending them means turning those bounties that are for us to against us. Hawlah Bint Hakim reports:

“One day, the Messenger of Allah hugged one of his grandchildren and said: “You are those for the sake of whom stinginess, frightfulness and ignorance exist. You are one of the nice bounties that Allah has endowed upon people.”

If one’s children cause one to be frightful, stingy and heedless, he is doubtlessly disappointed. And whoever respects the law of the Lord and the rights of His servants above all, he is saved. Actually, being stingy in order to realize domestic rights and piling up possessions does not prevent poverty; it does not guarantee richness, either. It is nice that a Muslim thinks of meeting the needs of the generation that he will leave behind in order to protect them. Actually, people generally try to hand down property to their children so that they can endure troubles and problems that can occur after they die. In fact, this is a good will. It is expressed in a Hadith as follows:

“It is better that you leave your inheritors rich enough than you leave them so poor that they will need other’s help.” [Ahmad in Musnad]

However, guaranteeing children’s future and leaving them a comfortable life should not be done by making concessions on religion and ethics. It should not sound so reasonable that one hands down property to his children by being stingy and sacrificing his soul, generousness and Allah’s pleasure.

Islam considers one’s property and children a means of testing just like other boons and bounties. If one behaves lazily and avoids doing the necessary things and sacrificing, all these boons and bounties turn out to be troubles and even the greatest enemies for him. Islam orders people to be good to their own selves first, and then to his families, then to relatives and finally to all the other people.

Being good to oneself: Meeting your needs in halal ways, protecting yourself from harams, avoiding behaviours which will humiliate yourself in front of people and protecting yourself from the kind of poverty which puts Muslims in a situation which does not fit Muslim dignity. And this is possible only through a moderate lifestyle which excludes cruelty and wastefulness. A Muslim can keep property which will allow him to reach his lawful goal. If he cannot have it, he is considered poor.

Brothers and Sisters! While generousness is praised in Islam, stinginess is excoriated. One should refrain from stinginess to the utmost degree because stinginess is one of the reasons which destroyed previous nations and civilizations. As a matter of fact, stinginess led them to shed blood and consider harams to be halal, as it is stated in the Hadith.

“There are two characteristics which cannot exist in a believer. They are stinginess and low ethics.” [Tirmidhi]

This characteristic can be likened to selfishness that is the source of many evils. Actually, a selfish person spoils many social relationships by using all opportunities, whether be material or spiritual, to satisfy his caprices. He breaks off social links. For instance, it prevents visiting relatives, caring for friends and relatives, giving gifts to each other and helping the needy people.

Stinginess causes unhappiness. The public criticizes stingy people and a stingy person cannot receive respect from people. Shortly, stinginess is a disease that prevents all kinds of good deeds and charities; because charities can be done by giving the boons, which Allah has endowed upon one in various ways, generously to needy people. And stinginess prevents one from giving freely to other people for the sake of Allah.

Stinginess has got many disadvantages related both to individuals and to society. Stinginess neither allows the possessor of property to benefit from it nor the society to benefit from it, by encaging the property. So, stinginess causes many significant problems in society and in finance. Keeping property because of stinginess causes financial crisis. It causes the ethics to degenerate and hearts to become seditious.

Islamic scholars consider stinginess a spiritual sickness and a disease of the heart and state that this disease can be cured only with knowledge and practice.

Service to Allah is the job of earning a secondary disposition by putting Islam’s orders into practice. One can escape stinginess by being generous. One should believe that boons come only if Allah endows them and one should learn to be generous and get accustomed to be generous by supplicating beginning from the childhood.

Treatment through knowledge: It is possible to get over the disease of stinginess only by learning its harms related to ethics, religion and social aspects and the ways of getting rid of it. A person who knows dangers of stinginess refrains from it. For instance, would a person who knows how dangerous a snake is play with it? Would he let that snake sleep with him in his bed? Similarly, a person who knows how dangerous stinginess is quits this negative characteristic.

Treatment through practice: This treatment is possible by dealing with people’s problems. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said in one of his Hadith:

“Whoever does not share the problems of believers is not one of us.” [Suyuti in al-Jami’us-Saghir]

Therefore, we should care about people’s problems in the society that we are a part of. Although we may find it difficult, we have to help the poor and needy people in our society. If we get ourselves accustomed to generousness and save ourselves from stinginess, we can help the poor and needy people in our society.

There are the rich and the poor in every society. They should help each other; especially the rich should help the poor. If the rich are stingy and the poor are impatient, the balance, peace and orderliness of the society will decline. Theft, armed robbery, kidnapping, cattle rustling, extortion, bribery and corruption, conflicts, political, religious and ethnic crisis, terrorism and shedding blood will start in the society; as it has been seen and witnessing in our societies today, and in all stages of history. And this will result in the destruction of that society. People will start shedding blood and considering harams to be halal. The larger the gap between the poor and the rich grows, the more we see unfairness and cruelty in the society and all kinds of injustice start to spread over in the society. Increase and spread of injustice is considered an indication of proximity of destruction. In this sense, stinginess is one of the reasons of injustice. We can say that this is the reason why stinginess is mentioned together with injustice. In a hadith, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) explains the way of getting over stinginess as follows:

“One who gives zakah, who entertains his guests and who helps others in time of calamities is saved from stinginess.” [Bukhari]

Ibn Munzir reported that Ali Ibn Abi Talib had said:

“Whoever gives zakah for his property is saved from stinginess.”

Actually, people are often ordered to give zakah both in Quran and Hadiths in order to prevent the ambition for saving money that exists in human disposition from turning into stinginess. For this reason, one of the ways to escape stinginess is, for those who can afford, to give zakah for their property.

Imam Ghazali states the following about the cure of stinginess:

“One of the ways to get rid of stinginess, fear of poverty and greed is to think about the situation of stingy people and think that everybody hates them. Even a stingy person does not like other stingy people. There is not a stingy person who likes stingy people. If a stingy person thinks about it, he will understand that he is considered gloomy and terrible, and is disliked by other people, like other stingy people, too.”

Moreover, it is possible to get over the psychological disease of stinginess by thinking about the aim of gaining property. As a matter of fact, property is for meeting needs. After taking the amount of what we need, we should spend the rest for saving our otherworldly life. If a believer can comprehend that it is better to spend for otherworldly life than keeping property, the desire for spending on the way of Allah will predominate in his heart.

Remembering death often, thinking about friends or relatives who tired themselves to death while struggling for saving money and gaining property and that all they had were in vain after their death can help people quit stinginess, too.

Allah the Glorious teaches us how we can compensate for our shortcomings and weaknesses via His attributes and how we can reach the sublime ones and wants us to develop our characters in accordance with divine ethics. Allah has got beautiful names and attributes, one of which is generousness. That is to say, Allah is generous and likes those who are generous. So, if people follow this attribute of Allah and become generous, they are thus saved from stinginess which Allah dislikes and also please Allah. Actually, Imam Ghazali states that the cure of stinginess is possible by doing the opposite of stinginess that is generousness; that is to say, spending property on the way of Allah.

In addition to all of these, the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) suggests supplication in order to get rid of stinginess. In a Hadith, he says:

“O Allah, I seek refuge with You from frightfulness and stinginess.”

In another Hadith, he says:

“Every morning, two angels come down from the skies. One of them supplicates by saying ‘O Allah, may You make the property of those who help others with their own property abundant’ and the other one curses by saying ‘Destroy the property of stingy ones who keep their property.’” (Bukhari)

The Prophet (Peace be upon him) encourages people to break their habit of stinginess by helping others financially, with this Hadith. Human beings were created as stingy and impatient. That means these traits come from their disposition. Moreover, they have got both negative traits such as hatred, grudge and enmity and positive traits such as love, affection and kindness. Each of these is a corridor leading to either good or evil. In this sense, human beings should close the doors opening to evils and control their negative feelings and passions with the help of religious thoughts and feelings, which is called in religion “secondary disposition.” One should develop this disposition so that he can comprehend the perfection that is destined for him, that is, he can turn his disposition, which can turn into anything, to be something good, that is, into a believer.

Brothers and Sisters! Know that disease ruins the health of the body. When a person has the flu his/her whole body feels weak. It is only when he/she recovers that strength comes back to their limbs. If the person had to live with flu the rest of their life it would be a compromised existence. As flu is a disease of the body, stinginess is a disease of the soul. It ruins the health of the soul and Iman becomes weak. As long as the person does not recover from stinginess the condition of his/her Iman remains poor and the person is not able to do much good in his life.

Allah the Most High says:

“Here you are, called upon to spend in the Path of Allah, and some of you are being stingy, while whoever is stingy is only ungenerous towards himself. It is Allah who is rich and you who are the poor.” [Quran, 47:38]

My people! Allah the Almighty is reminding us in this Quranic verse that He has no need for our donations whatsoever. Whatever we have was given to us by Him who owns all the treasures in the universe and much, much more. When we are called to spend in the Path of Allah it is just to see who is stingy in giving back to Allah and who believes and trusts in Allah and is anxious that a home is made for him/her in Paradise.

Servants of Allah! The person who is niggardly in spending in Allah’s Path is actually being ungenerous only towards himself. This is because whatever we spend in Allah’s Path is what we are spending on our own home in Jannah (Paradise). In fact, Allah multiplies what we spend and gives it back to us both in this world as well as putting it towards our homes in Jannah (Paradise). Thus, the miser is only miserly towards himself/herself.

Uthman (RA) was a man who would spend his wealth freely in the Path of Allah seeking the pleasure of his Lord. Abu Hurairah (RA) narrated:

“Uthman bought Jannah (Paradise) from Allah’s Messenger twice: 1 – Once in a business transaction when he bought the well of Rumah (from the disbelievers), and which he made a public property for all Muslims, and 2 – he bought it a second time when he fully financed and equipped the Army of Hardship (Jaish al-Usra).”

The Army of Hardship was the name given to the Muslim army when it marched out to confront the Romans in Ghazwah Tabuk. This was a very difficult journey for the Muslims to undertake, which is why their army was called the Army of Hardship. Uthman (RA) gave so much to finance this Ghazwah that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: “Uthman does no longer need a deed of righteousness (i.e. to please Allah) after this.” [See The Beauty of the Righteous and Ranks of the Elite by Imam Abu Naim al-Asfahani]

Stinginess when it comes to spending in the Way of Allah or helping the poor is classified as an enormity (Al-Kaba’ir) by Imam adh Dhahabi in his Kitab al-Kaba’ir (Book of Enormities).

Brothers and Sisters! Lastly, I ask Allah to assist us in living by the Quran and Sunnah. I pray He lets us recognise the truth for what it is and helps us to follow it, and that He lets us see falsehood for what it is and helps us to avoid it.

O Allah! Guide us and protect us from the causes of ignorance and destruction! Save us from the defects of ourselves! Cause the last of our deeds to be the best and most righteous! And forgive all of us. Ameen Yaa Rabb!

My respected people! Anything good I have said in my today’s Khutbah (Sermon) is from Allah the Almighty, and any mistakes are my own and we seek refuge in Allah from giving wrong advice and from all forms of calamities and fitnah. And I ask Allah’s forgiveness if I stepped beyond bounds in anything I said or I do.

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

With this I conclude my Khutbah (Sermon) and ask Allah, the Almighty and the sublime, to forgive all of our sins. So seek his forgiveness, He is all forgiving and Most Merciful.

This Jumu’ah Khutbah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today, Friday, Muharram 15, 1439 AH (October 6, 2017), by Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’ah and late Alhaji Abdurrahman Okene’s Mosques, Okene Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached via: +2348038289761.

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[Friday Sermon] Welcoming The New Islamic Year 1439 Ah And Fasting In The Month Of Muharram, By Imam Murtadha Gusau

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

All thanks and praise is due to Allah, we seek His help and forgiveness. We seek refuge in Allah from the evil within ourselves and the consequences of our evil deeds. Whoever Allah guides will never be led astray, and whoever Allah leads astray will never find guidance. I bear witness there is no God but Allah, alone without any partners, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and His Messenger.

“O you who have believed, fear Allah as He should be feared and do not die except as Muslims in submission to Him.” (3:102)

“O mankind, fear your Lord, who created you from one soul and created from it its mate and dispersed from both of them many men and women. And fear Allah, through whom you ask one another, and the wombs. Verily, Allah is ever watching over you.” (4:1)

“O you who have believed, fear Allah and speak words of appropriate justice. He will then amend for you your deeds and forgive your sins, and whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger has certainly attained a great attainment.” (33:70-71)

Verily, the most truthful speech is the Book of Allah, the best guidance is the guidance of Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh), and the worst affairs are newly invented matters (In religion). Every newly invented matter (In religion) is a religious innovation, and every religious innovation is misguidance, and every misguidance is in the Hellfire.

Brothers and Sisters! This month Muharram marks the beginning of a new Islamic year, which was initiated after the Hijrah, or emigration, of Prophet Muhammad and which marked the formation of the first Muslim nation within an independent Islamic territory under the rule of Muslims.

Servants of Allah! The Muslims had no formal annual calendar until the caliphate of Umar Ibn Al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him. In the third or fourth year of his caliphate, Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, received a message from Abu Musa Al-Ash’ari, may Allah be pleased with him, who suggested that their future correspondence be confirmed with the appropriate date. Therefore, Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, gathered some of the surviving companions of the Prophet and consulted them on this matter. Some of them suggested adopting the Persian Calendar; others proposed adopting the Roman Calendar; others still proposed that the Muslims should form their own calendar and that it should start from the birth of the Prophet; another group agreed but thought that the new Islamic Calendar should start from the day on which the Prophet embarked upon his mission; another group believed that this new Islamic Calendar should begin from the emigration of the Prophet while a final group believed that it should start from his death.

After a long discussion, they (companions) may Allah be pleased with them all agreed unanimously to adopt that the Islamic Calendar should start from when the Prophet emigrated from Makkah to Madinah and that the first month of this new Calendar be that of Muharram. This is because Muharram is a sacred month and because it follows Zul-Hijjah which is the month in which the Muslims perform Hajj, or the pilgrimage, which is the last of the five pillars of Islam that was enjoined upon the Muslims.

Brothers and Sisters! Muharram also follows the month in which the Ansar (the Madinan followers of the Prophet) pledged allegiance to the Prophet (Pbuh) which was prior to his migration to Madinah. This pledge of allegiance was one of the introductory acts of the emigration itself and therefore Muharram was deemed the most suitable month to start the Islamic Calendar by the companions of the Prophet.

My beloved people! Wallahi it is truly saddening that some Muslims today have chosen to use only the Gregorian Calendar instead of the Hijrah calendar or Hijrah with Gregorian. The Gregorian calendar has no relation with Islam and although it has been in existence for long than that of the Hijrah Calendar, that is no excuse for the Muslims to adopt it. It is well known that the companions of the Prophet would hate that any Muslim would use the Roman or Persian Calendar only.

My people! We have just ushered in the new Hijrah year. Allah Says:

“Verily, the number of months with Allah is twelve months (in a year) so was it ordained by Allah on the day when he created the Heaven and the Earth; of them four are Sacred – that is the right religion, so wrong not yourselves therein…” [Quran 9: 36]

And the Prophet (Pbuh) said:

“The year is of twelve months, out of which four months are sacred: Three are in succession Zul-Qa’ada, Zul-Hijjah and Muharram, and (the fourth is) Rajab…” (Bukhari)

These are the months that Allah has appointed for the whole of mankind. He, The Most Exalted, also Says:

“They ask you [O Muhammad], about the new moons. Say ‘They are measurements of time for the people and for Hajj (Pilgrimage].” [Quran: 189]

Therefore, we know that these months, based on the lunar calendar, were appointed for all of mankind and not just for the Arabs. This is due to the fact that the lunar months can very easily be detected and calculated by the sighting of the crescent-moon, which marks the end of the month and the beginning of a new one.

Respected Brothers and Sister! We are in the new Hijrah year. Know that it is not from the Sunnah to celebrate it or to congratulate one another on its advent (like taking it as festive period etc). For the Muslims, the passage of years does not constitute a real cause of happiness; rather, what counts is the amount of time spent in obedience to Allah during these years. The years that have passed will be considered as successful if they were spent in obedience to Allah, and miserable if they were spent in disobedience of Allah. Therefore, the most evil person is he who has lived a long life and has committed evil deeds throughout.

It is a must that we receive our days, months and years while in obedience to Allah. We must bring ourselves to account, redeem ourselves from our bad deeds and duly perform our responsibilities towards our parents, wives, children, relatives, associates, friends and humanity in general.

The advent of every new year is marked by many Muslims with sincere resolutions and plans to improve and become closer to their Lord, but the days and hours slip away while the people’s conditions remain the same, the inevitable result of such failures will be loss and disgrace in this world and the next. Therefore, we must invest our time in obedience to Allah and make sure that our spiritual condition is improving from year to year; for the more time runs away from us, the closer we are drawing to our graves.

Servants of Allah! The improvements in our worldly lives do us absolutely no good if our spiritual lives are not improving at the same time. No one can attain honour and dignity without submitting to the Lord of the Worlds, Allah. Safety, peace, tranquility and welfare cannot be attained except by adopting the methodology of the Messengers of Allah, may Allah exalt their mention. Be very clear that if any of you see welfare and pleasure accompanied with sins and deviation, then this is definitely a mere respite that has been given by Allah ahead of a total ruin and destruction. Thus, we must all stand firm in the obedience of Allah in order to protect ourselves from His punishment. Allah, The Almighty Says:

“…And turn to Allah in repentance, all of you, O believers, that you might succeed.” [Quran 24: 31]

Servants of Allah! Allah has also favoured certain months, days and nights more than others. The number of months is twelve, as decreed by Allah when He created the heavens and the earth. Among these twelve are four sacred months, Zul-Qa’adah, Zul-Hijjah, and Muharram, which are successive and the month of Rajab that comes between Jumada Al-Akhirah and Sha’aban. Know that the best day which the sun rises on is Friday and the night of Al-Qadr (Laylatul Qadr) is more virtuous than a thousand months. Therefore, we must all respect and esteem that which Allah has magnified.

Scholars maintain that the rewards for good deeds are multiplied in times and places which are favoured by Allah, and vice versa for bad deeds. The proof of this is from Allah’s Saying:

“They ask you concerning the sacred month – about fighting therein. Say, ‘Fighting therein is great [sin], but averting [people] from the way of Allah and disbelief in Him and [preventing access to] the Sacred Mosque [in Makkah] and the expulsion of its people therefrom are greater [evil] in the sight of Allah. And fitnah [Polytheism and Disbelief] is worse than killing.’ And they will continue to fight you until they turn you back from your religion if they are able. And whoever of you reverts from his religion [to disbelief] and dies while he is a disbeliever – for those, their deeds have become worthless in this world and the Hereafter, and those are the companions of the Fire; they will abide therein eternally.” [Quran 2: 217]

Muslims should not wrong themselves during the Sacred Months. They should stay well within the limits defined by Allah, fulfill all His obligations, shun all His prohibitions and fulfill the rights of the people.

Respected Brothers and Sisters! Many rewards and blessings can be gained throughout the Islamic year, not only in Ramadan. The blessed month of Muharram is the first month of the Hijrah calendar and is one of the four sacred months concerning which Allah Almighty Says:

“Indeed, the number of months with Allah is twelve [lunar] months in the register of Allah [from] the day He created the heavens and the earth; of these, four are sacred. That is the correct religion, so do not wrong yourselves during them…” [Quran 9:36]

Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, said that this phrase “so do not wrong yourselves during them… ” referred to all the months, then these four were singled out and made sacred, so that sin in these months is more serious and good deeds bring a greater reward.

The Messenger of Allah, (Pbuh), said:

“The best of fasting after Ramadan is fasting Allah’s month of Muharram.” [Muslim]

The phrase “Allah’s month”, connecting the name of the month to the name of Allah in a genitive grammatical structure signifies the importance of the month. Al-Qari said:

“The apparent meaning is all of the month of Muharram.”

But it is known that the Prophet (Pbuh) never fasted any whole month apart from Ramadan, so this Hadith is probably meant to encourage increasing one’s fasting during Muharram, without implying that one should fast for the entire month.

It was reported that the Prophet (Pbuh) used to fast more in Sha’aban. It is likely that the virtue of Muharram was not revealed to him until the end of his life. [An-Nawawi and Muslim]

Al-Izz ibn Abdus-Salam said that:

“Allah makes certain times and placed sacred or blessed in order to encourage his servants for righteous deeds and bestow a greater reward for them.” [Qawa’id Al-Ahkam]

* Ashura in history

Brothers and Sisters! The tenth day of Muharram, known as Ashura, has a special significance. Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, said:

“The Prophet, (Pbuh), came to Madinah and saw the Jews fasting on the day of Ashura. He said: ‘What is this? They said: ‘This is a righteous day, it is the day when Allah saved the Children of Israel from their enemies, so Prophet Musa fast-ed on this day.’ He (Pbuh) said: ‘We have more right to Musa than you,’ so he fasted on that day and commanded (the Muslims) to fast on that day.” [Al-Bukhari]

Therefore the practice of fasting on Ashura was known even in the days of Jahiliyyah, before the Prophet’s Message. It was reported that Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, said:

“The people of Jahiliyyah used to fast on that day.”

Imam Qurtubi said:

“Perhaps the Quraish used to fast on that day on the basis of some previous law, like that of Ibrahim, may Allah exalt his mention.”

Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, said:

“I never saw the Messenger of Allah so keen to fast any day and give it priority over any other time than the day of Ashura and the month of Ramadan.” [Al-Bukhari]

The Prophet also said:

“For fasting the day of Ashura, I hope that Allah will accept it as expiation for the past year.” [Muslim]

* It is recommended to fast the ninth in addition to the tenth of Muharram.

Abdullah ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, said:

“When the Messenger of Allah fasted on Ashura and commanded the Muslims to fast as well, they said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, it is a day that is venerated and respected by the Jews and Christians.’ The Messenger of Allah said: ‘If I live to see the next year, ‘Inshaa Allah’, we will fast on the ninth day too.’ But it so happened that the Messenger of Allah passed away before the next year came.” [Muslim]

If a person does not know when Muharram began, and he wants to be sure of fasting on the tenth, he should assume that Zul-Hijjah was thirty days—as is the usual rule—and should fast on the ninth and tenth.

Imam an-Nawawi said that it expiates all minor sins and that is:

“Fasting the day of Arafah expiates sins for two years, and the day of Ashura expiates for one year… If there are minor sins for which expiation is desired, expiation for them will be accepted; if there are no minor sins or major sins, good deeds will be added to the servant’s account and he will be raised in status… If he had committed major sins but no minor sins, we hope that his major sins will be reduced.” [See Al-Majmu’ sharh al-Muhaththab]

* Fasting Ashura when one still has days to make up from Ramadan

The jurists (Fuqaha) differed concerning the ruling on observing voluntary fasts before making up the missed days from Ramadan or other obligatory fasts like for the fulfillment of a vow. The Hanafi jurists said that it is permissible to observe voluntary fasts before making up for the obligatory fasts, while the Maliki and Shafi’i scholars say that it is permissible but Makruh (disliked). The Hanbali scholars say that it is Haram (forbidden) and a person must give priority to the obligatory fasts until he has made them up. [See Al-Mawsu’ah al-Fiqhiyyah]

Servants of Allah! Muslims must hasten to make up any missed fasts after Ramadan, so that they will be able to fast Arafah and Ashura without any problem. If a person fasts Arafah and Ashura with the intention from the night before making up for a missed fast, this will be good enough to make up what he has missed, for the bounty of Allah is great.

* Avoiding innovations on Ashura

Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah (Rahimahullah) was asked about the authenticity of some things that people do on Ashura to seek reward, such as wearing kohl/kwalli, taking a bath, wearing henna/lalle shaking hands with one another, cooking grains (hubub) or food or something called cika-ciki and so on. Some other people mark this day by grieving and mourning, not drinking, wailing and rending their garments. His reply was:

“Nothing to that effect has been reported in any sound Hadith from the Prophet or his Companions. None of the Imams encouraged such things, neither the four Imams, nor any others. No reliable scholars have narrated anything like this, neither from the Prophet nor from his Companions, may Allah be pleased with them, nor from the Tabi’in; neither in any authentic report or in a weak report; neither in the books of Sahih, nor in as-Sunan, nor in the Musnads. No Hadith of this nature was known during the best centuries, but some of the later narrators reported Hadiths like:

“Whoever puts kohl/kwalli in his eyes on the day of Ashura will not suffer from eye disease in that year, and whoever takes a bath on the day of Ashura will not get sick in that year” and so on. They also reported a fabricated Hadith that is falsely attributed to the Prophet which says:

“Whoever is generous to his family on the day of Ashura, Allah will be generous to him for the rest of the year.”

Reporting all of this from the Prophet is tantamount to forging lies against him.

Servants of Allah! Let us remember Allah’s Messenger’s Hijrah from Makkah to Madinah, and the transformation of Yathrib into Madinah.

Let us reminisce about Hijrah, the great milestone in the Islamic cause.

Let us remember Umar’s adoption of Hijrah as the beginning of the Islamic calendar.

And let us remember that the real Hijrah today is to emigrate from evil that is forbidden from Allah and His Messenger.

On that note, I pray to the Almighty Lord that our new hijrah year which starts today may bring good things to all of us.

Wishing you and your family New Year full of peace, happiness and abundance of all. May Allah bless you through out the new year. Ameen.

I ask Allah to assist us in living by the Quran and Sunnah. I pray He lets us recognise the truth for what it is and helps us to follow it, and that He lets us see falsehood for what it is and helps us to avoid it.

O Allah! Guide us and protect us from the causes of ignorance and destruction! Save us from the defects of ourselves! Cause the last of our deeds to be the best and most righteous! And forgive all of us. Ameen Yaa Rabb!

My respected people! Anything good I have said in my today’s Khutbah (Sermon) is from Allah the Almighty, and any mistakes are my own and we seek refuge in Allah from giving wrong advice and from all forms of calamities and fitnah. And I ask Allah’s forgiveness if I stepped beyond bounds in anything I said or I do.

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

With this I conclude my Khutbah (Sermon) and ask Allah, the Almighty and the sublime, to forgive all of our sins. So seek his forgiveness, He is all forgiving and Most Merciful.

This Jumu’ah Khutbah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today, Friday, Muharram 1st, 1439 AH (September 22, 2017), by Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’ah and late Alhaji Abdurrahman Okene’s Mosques, Okene Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached via: +2348038289761.

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[Friday Sermon] The World Must Rise Up To Rescue The Oppressed From The Evil Of Oppressors

By Imam Murtadha Gusau

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

All thanks and praise is due to Allah, we seek His help and forgiveness. We seek refuge in Allah from the evil within ourselves and the consequences of our evil deeds. Whoever Allah guides will never be led astray, and whoever Allah leads astray will never find guidance. I bear witness there is no God but Allah, alone without any partners, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and His Messenger.

“O you who have believed, fear Allah as He should be feared and do not die except as Muslims in submission to Him.” [Quran, 3:102]

“O mankind, fear your Lord, who created you from one soul and created from it its mate and dispersed from both of them many men and women. And fear Allah, through whom you ask one another, and the wombs. Verily, Allah is ever watching over you.” [Quran, 4:1]

“O you who have believed, fear Allah and speak words of appropriate justice. He will then amend for you your deeds and forgive your sins, and whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger has certainly attained a great attainment.”  [Quran, 33:70-71]

Verily, the most truthful speech is the Book of Allah, and the best guidance is the guidance of Muhammad (Pbuh), and the worst affairs are newly invented matters (In religion). Every newly invented matter (In religion) is a religious innovation, and every religious innovation is misguidance, and every misguidance is in the Hellfire.

To proceed:

Servants of Allah! Know that Islam was revealed to protect the natural rights of all human beings, their inalienable rights to life, property, and freedom. Violating these rights for any reason without a just cause is a major sin and it is a betrayal of Islam if Muslims claim such injustice is legislated by the Quran and Sunnah.

Brothers and Sisters! Oppressor is someone who treats people in an unfair and cruel way and prevents them from having opportunities and freedom. While oppressed is someone governed in an unfair and cruel way and prevented from having opportunities and freedom.

In summary, the meaning of oppression is to take away other people’s property without right; to beat, abuse, attack, kill, maim and mistreat them; and to take advantage of the weak.

Allah says in Quran:

“Do no suppose that Allah is unmindful of what the unjust do. He only gives them respite until a Day when the eyes will stare in terror as they come hurrying on in fear, their heads upraised, their gaze not returning to them, and their hears blank. And warn mankind of a Day when the punishment will come upon them, and then those who commit oppression will say: “O Lord, give us respite for a little while. We will respond to your call and will follow the Messengers.” Thereupon they will be told: “And did you not swear earlier that there would be no ending for you? And you dwelt in the dwellings of those (earlier peoples) who wronged themselves (and were destroyed), and when it was made clear to you how We dealt with them and We set forth examples for you.”  [Quran, 14:42-45]

And Allah says:

“The way (of blame) is only against those who oppress people.”  [Quran, 42:42]

And He the Most High says:

“And those who do wrong will come to know by what a great reversal they will be overturned.”  [Quran, 26:227]

Allah’s Messenger (Pbuh) said:

“Allah grants the oppressor respite, but when He finally seizes him, He will not let him escape. He then recited “And such is the grasp of your Lord when He seizes them while they are doing wrong. Truly, His grasp is painful, strong.” [Quran, 11:102]. [Sahih Bukhari]

The Prophet (Pbuh) said:

“If anyone has done wrong to his brother with regard to his honour or anything else, he should make reparations to him before a Day in which there will be no Dinar or Dirham. If he has any good deeds to his credit, they will be taken from him to the extent of his wrong-doing, and if he did not have any good deeds, the evil deeds of the wronged one will be loaded upon him.” [Sahih Bukhari]

The Prophet (Pbuh) said:

“Allah says ‘O My servants, I have prohibited oppression to Myself and have made it prohibited among you, therefore, do not oppress each other.” [Sahih Muslim]

Allah’s Messenger (Pbuh) asked:

“Do you know who the poor is?” The Companions said: “The one who is without wealth or property”. The Prophet said: “Among my followers, the poor one is that person who will come on the Day of Resurrection with prayers, fasting, zakah and hajj, but also with injustices against others; abusing this one, taking the property of that one, slandering another, hitting another, shedding the blood of another. Then his good deeds will be taken away from him one by one and given to this person and that person (whom he wronged in this life). If his good deeds are exhausted before all his wrong deeds are settled, some of the evil deeds of those whom he wronged will be allocated to him, and he will be thrown into the fire.” [Sahih Muslim]

When the Messenger of Allah (Pbuh) sent Mu’adh to Yemen, he told him:

“Beware of the supplication of the oppressed, since there is no veil between him and Allah.” [Sahih Bukhari]

Aisha (RA) reported the Messenger of Allah (Pbuh) as saying:

“If anyone wrongfully takes even one span of another person’s land, on the Day of Resurrection his neck will be encircled by it to the depth of seven earths.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari]

Jabir (RA) reported that:

“When Makkah was conquered, the Muslims from Abyssinia returned and came to the Prophet (Pbuh). He asked them to tell something of interest about the Abyssinian people. They said: “A very old woman was walking by with a jug of water on her head. She passed by a young man, who put his hand between her shoulders and pushed her so hard that she fell down and broke the water jug. Then she stood up and looked at him, and said: ‘You treacherous young man, you will learn! On the Day when Allah will gather the former and latter people together, and your hands and feet will speak about what they did. You will know! That day, the matter between you and me will be settled.” The Prophet (Pbuh) remarked, “She spoke the truth. How can Allah bless a nation which does not help its weak ones against its strong?” [Ibn Majah and Baihaqi]

Allah’s Messenger (Pbuh) is reported to have said:

“There are five person with whom Allah is angry. He may punish them in this world, or may postpone their punishment by fire in the Hereafter:

1- A leader of a nation who takes from the people but does not share with them nor remove injustices from them.

2- A leader of a people whom they love and obey but who does not deal equitably between the strong and weak and speaks according to his selfish desires.

3- A man who does not order his wives and children to obey Allah and does not teach them their religious duties.

4- A man who hires a worker, and after the work is completed, does not pay him his full wages.

5- A man who unjustly keeps his wife’s mahr (Dowry).”

Abdullah Ibn Salam said:

“When Allah created people, they stood upon their feet and lifting their faces toward the sky, they asked, “O Lord, who are you with?” and He replied: “With the oppressed one until he is given his rights.”

* It is not allowed to socialize with the oppressors

Allah the Most High says:

“Assemble the oppressors and their cohorts.”  [Quran, 37:22]

Allah the Almighty says:

“And do not lean toward the oppressors, lest the Fire touch you and you have no protecting friends against Allah, then you will not be helped.”  [Quran, 11:113]

Ibn Abbas elaborated:

“Do not lean toward them with love, do not support them, nor soften your speech with them and show kindness.” Al-Suddi and Ibn Sayd said: “Do not flatter the tyrants.”

Ikrama said:

“It is leaning toward love of them when you obey them and show affection to them.”

Abu Aliyah said:

“Do not be pleased with their deeds.”

“Lest the Fire touch you” means that you will be scorched. In the explanation of “You have no protecting friends against Allah” Ibn Abbas says: “There will be no one to prevent Allah’s punishment from reaching you.” [Tafsir Ibn Kathir]

Sa’id Bin Musayyib said:

“Never be pleased with the supporters of tyrants, but oppose them in your hearts; otherwise your good deeds may become as nothing.”

Makhul Damashqi said:

“On the Day of Resurrection, a caller will call, ‘Where are the tyrants and their supporters? If anyone who is present who so much as gave them ink, or filled their bottle with ink, or sharpened their pen, or anything greater than that, he will be gathered with them under the dome of fire and thrown into Hell.”

A tailor came to Sufyan Thawri and asked:

“I sew the Sultan’s clothes, am I a supporter of the tyrants and oppressors?” Sufyan replied, “You are amongst the tyrants! The supporters are those who sell the needles and threads to you.” [Taken from book ‘The Major Sins’ by Muhammad bin Uthman]

The Prophet (Pbuh) is reported to have said:

“On the Day of Resurrection, among the first people to enter the Fire will be the floggers who have whips with which they flogged people wrongfully.”

Ibn Umar said:

“On the Day of Resurrection, the aides of the oppressors and their police will be the dogs of Hell.”

The Prophet (Pbuh) said:

“Do not stand around in a place where an oppressed person is being beaten without coming to his defense. because Allah’s curse descends upon such a place.”

* The position of the oppressed in relation to the oppressor

Allah the Almighty says:

“And those who, when tyranny strikes them, they defend themselves. And the retribution for an evil act is an evil one like it, but whoever pardons and makes reconciliation – his reward is [due] from Allah. Indeed, He does not like wrongdoers. And whoever avenges himself after having been wronged – those have not upon them any cause [for blame]. The cause is only against the ones who wrong the people and tyrannise upon the earth without right. Those will have a painful punishment. And whoever is patient and forgives – indeed, that is of the matters [requiring] determination [i.e. on the part of those seeking the reward of Allah].” [Quran, 42: 39-43]

Theses verses include two matters:

First: Taking revenge from the oppressor.

Second: Forgiveness on the part of the oppressed.

Ibrahim may Allah have mercy upon him said:

“The believers hated anyone to humiliate them, but whenever they had the chance to take revenge, they would forgive instead.”

Allah praises the believers in the abovementioned verses for having the strength and power to avenge in a just manner, for restoring their rights, and for not allowing aggressors to take advantage of them. They are by no means incapable, weak or humiliated, and they are quite capable of exacting revenge, yet they forgive and forget.

This is how Prophet Yusuf may Allah exalt his mention acted with his brothers despite his ability to take revenge from them. Likewise, the Prophet (Pbuh) forgave the man who attempted to kill him whilst he slept; the man was suddenly overcome with fear of the Prophet and therefore dropped the sword from his hand, and the Prophet took hold of it and forgave him, even though he (Pbuh) could easily have killed him.

Brothers and Sisters! There are many Quranic verses and Prophetic narrations addressing this issue and encouraging the oppressed to forgive the oppressor when he is in a position to exact revenge, as this will boost his record of rewards on the Day of Resurrection. On the other hand, if the oppressed insists on revenge then this is his right and it is perfectly permissible to do so, but the revenge must be strictly limited to the extent that he was wronged. If the wronged person is one of two wives, it is permissible for the husband to enable the wronged one to gain revenge, as the Prophet (Pbuh) permitted one of his wives to get back at another one who had badmouthed her.

* The supplication of the oppressed against the oppressor

My respected people! It is also permissible for the oppressed to supplicate against the one who transgressed his rights, and this is a form of revenge. The wronged person has the choice to avenge, to supplicate against the one who wronged him, to persevere and wait until Allah returns his right for him in the Hereafter, or to forgive. The best of all of these is to forgive and to do so would attain the greatest reward from Allah in the Hereafter.

* The permissibility of the oppressed to take what was taken from him by his oppressor if he finds it

It is permissible for the oppressed to do this, and it is also permissible for him to take something of the same value of the oppressor’s property, but he may not go beyond that. Similarly, if someone was badmouthed, then he may badmouth the one who badmouthed him but may not say more than what was said to him, or else he is a sinner, as the Prophet (Pbuh) said:

“Whatever two people say (from ill words) then both their sins lie with one who initiated, as long as the wronged does not transgress (i.e. exceed the extent to which he was wronged).”

This means that whatever they say to one another will all go into the record of the one who initiated, as he was the cause of all of it, but if the wronged person retaliates with more than what he was wronged with, then this is a sin on his part which the other person will not bear.

Along the same lines, one should not supplicate against the one who wronged him with that which would neither yield benefit to him nor help him retrieve his rights that were taken; it is better for him to simply supplicate to Allah for his rights being returned. The only exception to this is when the person being supplicated against is a disbeliever, in which case he may do so.

* Forgiveness versus revenge

In the last two verses [42-43] of Chapter Ash-Shuraa’ which were mentioned above and which mean:

“The cause is only against the ones who wrong the people and tyrannies upon the earth without right. Those will have a painful punishment. And whoever is patient and forgives – indeed, that is of the matters [requiring] determination [on the part of those seeking the reward of Allah].” [Quran 26: 42-43]

My people! These verses confirm that the blame lies with the one who initiated the oppression and transgression, while the one who perseveres through it, is doing something praiseworthy, and will be highly rewarded.

Al-Fudhayl Ibn Iyadh may Allah have mercy upon him said:

“If a man comes to you complaining about another man who wronged him, then advise him to forgive him. If he says, I cannot bring myself to forgive him and would rather utilise the right granted to me by my Lord to avenge then say to him: If you can limit yourself to avenging in a fair manner, without transgressing the limits to which you were wronged, then proceed; but if you cannot control yourself, then it is safer to return to the option of forgiving him as the reward for the one who forgives is great with Allah.”

The one who forgives can sleep at night in a relaxed manner with no fear that he may have exceeded the extent to which he was wronged, because he did not avenge at all. However, the one who sought vengeance will agonise and think to himself: “Did I transgress? Did I go beyond my limit?”

Servants of Allah! Forgiving is a high rank which the callers to Islam should possess as it is a rank that only those with a high status attain, and they are the ones whom people take as examples to follow.

Abu Hurairah may Allah be pleased with him narrated that a man once badmouthed Abu Bakr may Allah be pleased with him while the Prophet (Pbuh) was sitting with them, and the Prophet expressed wonder and smiled. The man continued, and after he had said much more, Abu Bakr may Allah be pleased with him retorted with some of the same, which caused the Prophet to get up (to leave) with an angry expression on his face. Abu Bakr may Allah be pleased with him said: ‘O Messenger of Allah! He badmouthed me while you were sitting there! Why did you become upset and leave when I answered back to some of what he had said?’ The Prophet said: “You had an angel retorting on your behalf (when you were silent), but when you began answering him back (i.e., the man), Satan arrived, and I was not going to sit in the presence of Satan.” Then he (Pbuh) said: “O Abu Bakr! Here are three matters, all of which are true: Whenever a man is oppressed but forgives for the sake of Allah the Most High and the Almighty, then Allah will honour him with victory…” [Musnad of Imam Ahmad]

* The obligation upon an oppressor

Brothers and Sisters! The one who oppresses others should fear Allah and beware of transgression, because it will be counted as multiples of transgressions on the Day of Resurrection: one for him disobeying Allah, another for him oppressing his fellow Muslim, and a third for initiating and opening the gate of transgression and oppression for others to imitate. The wronged person could even eventually die as a result of the oppression, and the transgressor would bear the consequences of this.

Just look at what Umar may Allah be pleased with him did with the public property of the Muslims: Aslam may Allah be pleased with him narrated:

“Umar Ibn Al-Khattaab appointed a freed slave of his, called Hunay, as manager of the Hima (i.e. a pasture devoted for grazing the animals of the Zakah or other specified animals, such as those used for Jihad etc.). He may Allah be pleased with him said to him: ‘O Hunay! Do not oppress the Muslims and (be sure to) ward off their curse (i.e. invocations against you), for the invocation of the oppressed is responded to (by Allah); allow the shepherd having a few camels and those having a few sheep (to graze their animals in that land), and take care not to allow the livestock of Abdur-Rahman Ibn Awf and the livestock of Uthman Ibn Affan may Allah be pleased with them (to graze their animals in your land), for if their livestock should perish, then they still have their farms and gardens, while for those who own only a few camels or sheep, if their livestock should perish, they would bring their dependents to me and appeal for help saying: ‘O Chief of the Believers! O Chief of the Believers!’ Would I then neglect them? (No, of course not). So I find it easier to let them have water and grass than to give them gold and silver (from the Muslim treasury). By Allah! These people think that I have been unjust to them. This is their land, and during the pre-lslamic period, they fought for it but then they embraced Islam (willingly) while it was in their possession. I swear By Him in whose Hand my life is! Were it not for the animals (in my custody) which I give to be ridden for Jihad (i.e. fighting in Allah’s Cause), I would not have turned even a span of their land into a Hima.’” [Sahih Al-Bukhari]

This was said regarding a matter that was not personal and he may Allah be pleased with him was merely being careful not to utilise the Muslim property in an incorrect manner, and yet he feared being unjust in any way. Therefore, those who transgress other people’s rights should fear Allah and fear the oppressed supplicating against them, as this is a very dangerous matter.

Mu’adh may Allah be pleased with him reported that the Messenger of Allah (Pbuh) dispatched him (as governor of Yemen) and instructed him thus:

“Beware of the supplication of the oppressed, for there is no barrier between it and Allah.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim]

In another narration, the Prophet of Allah (Pbuh) said:

“There are three persons whose supplications are never rejected: The just leader, the fasting person when he breaks his fast, and the oppressed when he supplicates and whose supplication is raised above the clouds and the gates of heaven are opened for it, and (to whom) Allah will say: ‘By My Glory! I shall assist you, even if it is after a while.'” [At-Tirmithi]

Abu Hurairah may Allah be pleased with him reported that the Prophet (Pbuh) said:

“He who has done a wrong that affects his brother’s honour or anything else, let him ask his forgiveness today before the time (i.e., the Day of Resurrection) when he will have neither a Dinar nor a Dirham. (On that Day), if he has done some good deeds, a portion equal to his wrongdoings will be subtracted from them; but if he has no good deeds, he will be burdened with the evil deeds of the one he had wronged in the same proportion.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari]

Abu Hurairah may Allah be pleased with him reported that:

“The Messenger of Allah (Pbhu) said:

“Do you know who is the bankrupt one?” The people said: ‘The bankrupt among us is the one who has neither money nor property.’ He (Pbuh) said: “The real bankrupt one of my nation would be he who would come on the Day of Resurrection having (performed) prayers, (observed) fasting and (spent in) charity, (but he will find himself bankrupt on that Day due to depleting these good deeds) because he despised others, uttered slanderous terms against others, unlawfully devoured the wealth of others, shed the blood of others, and beat others. Therefore his good deeds would be credited to the account of those (who suffered at his hand). If his good deeds are exhausted, their sins (i.e., those he oppressed) will be entered in his account and he will be thrown into the (Hell) Fire.” [Sahih Muslim]

* The transgressor must return the rights of people to them or their equivalent

Brothers and Sisters! How can the transgressor free himself from his transgression? Imam As-Safarini may Allah have mercy upon him said:

“The rights of people are either of a type that can be compensated for by an equivalent, like wealth or ruined goods, or by a type that cannot be compensated for.”

This means that if a person has unjustly taken wealth, then he should return it; if he ruined something, then he should replace it; if he took something and used it, then he should return it and compensate the owner for the usage. These steps should all be accompanied with sincere repentance to Allah.

That is in the case of it being something that can be compensated for, but what should the transgressor do in the case that it is of the other type, which cannot be compensated for? Slandering a person or backbiting him are not things that can be compensated for, and in such a case one should first of all regret what he did and repent, then he should supplicate for the forgiveness of the one whom he slandered or backbite. If the person falsely accused another of adultery or fornication, then he should go back and inform those in front of whom he made the accusation that he was lying.

Furthermore, he should seek the pardon of the wronged person unless he knows that by informing him things would only get worse, in which case he should refrain from telling him and simply supplicate earnestly to Allah for the wronged person’s forgiveness; he should also praise the wronged person in front of those same people that he had defamed or slandered him.

Imam Ibn Taymiyyah may Allah have mercy upon him said:

“If what was taken is of the type that can be compensated for, then one must return it, and if the owner has died then he should return it to his heirs. In addition to this, he must supplicate for the deceased, because he had deprived him of his right to benefit from his property for the period he was alive in, during which the property was in the possession of the transgressor.”

* How should people deal with the transgressor and the transgressed

Servants of Allah! After knowing the positions of the transgressor and the transgressed against, we need to know the stance that people should adopt towards each of them.

Anas may Allah be pleased with him reported:

“The Messenger of Allah (Pbuh) said:

“Help your brother, whether he is an oppressor or is oppressed.’ A man asked: ‘O Messenger of Allah! I (know how to) help him when he is oppressed, but how can I help him when he is an oppressor?’ He (Pbuh) said: ‘You can restrain him from committing oppression. That will be your help to him.’” [Sahih Al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim]

Al-Bara’ may Allah be pleased with him reported that:

“The Messenger of Allah (Pbuh) commanded us with seven things (one of which is): “Support the transgressed.”

Ibn Umar may Allah be pleased with him and his father, reported that the Messenger of Allah said:

“A Muslim is a brother of another Muslim. (So) he should not oppress him, nor should he forsake him (i.e. when he is being oppressed).” [Sahih Al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim]

Therefore, one must support the oppressed and the one who is being transgressed against; the one who refrains from supporting an oppressed person, whilst being able to, is sinful.

Abu Bakr may Allah be pleased with him said:

“O people! You recite this verse: “O you who believe! Upon you is [responsibility for] yourselves. Those who have gone astray will not harm you when you have been guided…” [Quran 5:105] (but misinterpret it) for I have heard the Messenger of Allah (Pbuh) saying: ‘When people see an oppressor but do not prevent him from (doing evil), it is likely that Allah will punish them all.’” [Abu Dawud and At-Tirmithi]

One should prevent the oppressor physically if possible, and this responsibility is greater with respect to the leaders and those in authority. If one cannot stop the oppressor physically, then he should do it verbally.

* An oppressor must not be supported and assisted

Brothers and Sisters! Helping an oppressor is from the gravest of disasters; people should not imitate an oppressor and must prevent him and make him realise the wrong that he is doing; if people assist the oppressor then they will not get to drink from the fountain of the Prophet (Pbuh) as he (Pbuh) himself informed us of this being the case.

Some people support a transgressor because he is a relative or a fellow tribe member, but the Prophet (Pbuh) warned against such oppressive behaviour.

* A believer should not be deceived

All that has been mentioned thus far does not suggest that one should be easily deceived by someone who claims to have been oppressed, for it is not necessarily true that every person who claims to have been oppressed has actually been; the following is a case in point:

“During the era of Abu Bakr may Allah be pleased with him a man whose hand and foot had been amputated came to Madinah from Yemen and went to Abu Bakr may Allah be pleased with him complaining that the governor there had wronged him. A few days later, a necklace of Asma’ Bint Umays may Allah be pleased with her the wife of Abu Bakr may Allah be pleased with him was stolen and so people began searching for it. The Yemeni amputee assisted in the search and supplicated: “O Allah! Punish the one who stole from this righteous household.” Finally the necklace was found in a jewellery store. After investigating the matter, the jeweller claimed that the man from Yemen was the one who brought it to him, and when he was questioned he confessed to his crime. Therefore, Abu Bakr may Allah be pleased with him commanded that his other hand be amputated and said: “I swear by Allah! His supplication against himself was worse than his theft.” Although this man claimed that he had been oppressed, it was subsequently discovered that he had not been, and that his hand and foot were in fact rightfully amputated.”

My people! Below are the quotes from even the non Muslims about oppression:

“I believe that there will be ultimately be a clash between the oppressed and those who do the oppressing. I believe that there will be a clash between those who want freedom, justice and equality for everyone and those who want to continue the system of exploitation. I believe that there will be that kind of clash, but I don’t think it will be based on the colour of the skin…”  ~ Malcolm X

“Within a system which denies the existence of basic human rights, fear tends to be the order of the day. Fear of imprisonment, fear of torture, fear of death, fear of losing friends, family, property or means of livelihood, fear of poverty, fear of isolation, fear of failure. A most insidious form of fear is that which masquerades as common sense or even wisdom, condemning as foolish, reckless, insignificant or futile the small, daily acts of courage which help to preserve man’s self-respect and inherent human dignity. It is not easy for a people conditioned by fear under the iron rule of the principle that might is right to free themselves from the enervating miasma of fear. Yet even under the most crushing state machinery courage rises up again and again, for fear is not the natural state of civilized man.”   ~ Aung San Suu Kyi, Freedom from Fear

“Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.”    ~ Frederick Douglass

“Human beings are so made that the ones who do the crushing feel nothing; it is the person crushed who feels what is happening. Unless one has placed oneself on the side of the oppressed, to feel with them, one cannot understand.”     ~ Simone Weil

“All oppression creates a state of war.”   ~ Simone de Beauvoir

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.”    ~  Martin Luther King Jr.

“In keeping silent about evil, in burying it so deep within us that no sign of it appears on the surface, we are implanting it, and it will rise up a thousand fold in the future. When we neither punish nor reproach evildoers, we are not simply protecting their trivial old age, we are thereby ripping the foundations of justice from beneath new generations.”     ~  Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn , The Gulag Archipelago 1918-1956

“They will hate you if you are beautiful. They will hate you if you are successful. They will hate you if you are right. They will hate you if you are popular. They will hate you when you get attention. They will hate you when people in their life like you. They will hate you if you worship a different version of their God. They will hate you if you are spiritual. They will hate you if you have courage. They will hate you if you have an opinion. They will hate you when people support you. They will hate you when they see you happy. Heck, they will hate you while they post prayers and religious quotes on Pinterest and Facebook. They just hate. However, remember this: They hate you because you represent something they feel they don’t have. It really isn’t about you. It is about the hatred they have for themselves. So smile today because there is something you are doing right that has a lot of people thinking about you.”    ~   Shannon L. Alder

Wassalamu Alaikum, success comes from Allah, and Allah knows best.

I ask Allah to assist us in living by the Quran and Sunnah. I pray that He lets us recognise the truth for what it is and helps us to follow it, and that He lets us see falsehood for what it is and helps us to avoid it.

O Allah! Guide us and protect us from the causes of ignorance and destruction! Save us from the defects of ourselves! Cause the last of our deeds to be the best and most righteous! And forgive all of us. Ameen Yaa Rabb!

My respected people! Anything good I have said in my today’s Khutbah (Sermon) is from Allah the Almighty, and any mistakes are my own and we seek refuge in Allah from giving wrong advice and from all forms of calamities and fitnah. And I ask Allah’s forgiveness if I stepped beyond bounds in anything I said or I do.

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

With this I conclude my Khutbah (Sermon) and ask Allah, the Almighty and the sublime, to forgive all of our sins. So seek his forgiveness, He is all forgiving and Most Merciful.

This Jumu’ah Khutbah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today, Friday, Zul-Hijjah 24, 1438 AH (September 15, 2017), By Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’ah and late Alhaji Abdurrahman Okene’s Mosques, Okene Kogi State Nigeria. He can be reached via: +2348038289761.

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NAHCON To Sanction Tour Operators Over Poor Arrangement For Pilgrims Stay In Muna

The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), has said it will sanction some tour operators who defaulted in their arrangement for the transportation and accommodation of pilgrims to Muna, for the commencement of the hajj rites.

Secretary of commission,  Dr. Muhammad Bello Tambuwal stated this in an interview while commenting on the plight of some pilgrims who could not be moved to Muna.

It was reported that some pilgrims mostly those that came in through your operators could not be moved to Muna at about eleven o’clock last night. This resulted from the failure of the tour operators to submit details of their pilgrims to the Mu’assasa, resulting further to the failure of the pilgrims submitting their passports to the Mu’assasa to enable them plan properly for their transportation and accommodation arrangements to, and in Muna.

Respite however came the way of the pilgrims as the Chairman of the commission, Barrister Abdullah Muhammad Mukhtar wade into the problem to salvage the pilgrims and the Nigerian image by evacuating, accommodating and feeding the stranded International pilgrims,

According to Dr Tambuwal, the commission chairman along with the head of the Taradudiyyah and Jamaraat Committees, Dr Aliyu Tanko and other officials who decided not to perform the Hajj met with the Mu’assasa and Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah officials to sort things out, at the end which it was resolved that all pilgrims that could not be moved to Muna upto about eleven o’clock last night, be moved directly to Arafat, and same with those who could not get accommodation in Muna.

Dr Tambuwal however said a list of the defaulting tour operators is being compiled to enable the commission apply proper contractual sanctions against them.

Meanwhile, pilgrims at the plains of mount Arafat have been engaging in the act of worship as part of the four pillars of Hajj.

This year, Arafat has taken a new look with permanent tents unlike the previous years where blankets were used as makeshift tents.

All the tents have been fortified with desert coolers that would soften the harsh weather condition, if they function maximally and as expected.

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[Friday Sermon] Fear Allah, Pay Workers Their Salary To Celebrate The Eid Happily By Imam Murtadha Gusau

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

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

I bear witness that there is no (true) god except Allah – alone without a partner, and I bear witness that Muhammad (Pbuh) is His ‘abd (Servant) and Messenger.

“O you who believe! Revere Allah the right reverence, and do not die except as Muslims.” (Surah Ali-Imran, 3:102)

“O people! Revere your Lord who has created you from a single soul, created from it its mate, and dispersed from both of them many men and women. Revere Allah through whom you demand things from one another; and (cherish the ties of) the wombs, indeed, Allah is ever watchful over you.” (Surah Al-Nisa’, 4:1)

“O you who believe! Revere Allah and say fair words. He will then rectify your deeds and forgive your sins. He who obeys Allah and His Messenger have certainly achieved a great victory.” (Surah Al-Ahzab, 33:70-71)

Indeed, the best speech is Allah’s (SWT) Book and the best guidance is Muhammad’s (Pbuh) guidance. The worst affairs (of religion) are those innovated (by people), for every such innovation is an act of misguidance leading to the Hellfire.

Servants of Allah! As you all knows, under the present administrations, in some states workers were owed salaries for upwards of 5, 7, 10, 14 and 17 months. Pensioners are owed several month’s arrears and  are dying.

As reliable and confirmed reports shows, no fewer than 12 states are owing their workers a backlog of salaries and allowances, despite double bailout funds from the Federal Government, with Kogi State owing as many as 15 to 17 months, as investigations have revealed in April.

Also on the list of heavily indebted states are Osun, Kwara, Bayelsa, Ondo, Ekiti and Oyo.

Others are Benue State, Nasarawa State, Abia, Imo as well as several months of unpaid allowances, and Ogun State, which owes months of unremitted deductions from workers’ salaries for cooperatives, union dues, among others.

In June, the Nigeria Union of Local Government Employees, NULGE, said that 23 states of the federation currently owed local government workers’ arrears of salary ranging from one to 16 months, as the national President of the union, Ibrahim Khalil, stated in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria, NAN, in Abuja.

Therefore, I appealed to the Governments at all level to fear Allah and pay workers their salaries, their arrears and other allowances, as Muslim faithful prepare for Eid-El-Adha celebration, in order to avoid Allah’s wrath on themselves, their local governments, their states and generally on the country.

Brothers and Sisters! The employer-employee relationship is considered a contract and hiring relationship, and we have some Shari‘ah texts that clarify the principles and regulations of this relationship as stated by the Islamic jurists in their books.

It is the right of the employee to have his wages specified in advance by the employer and to get it completely and on time. Abu Sa‘id Al-Khudri narrated that the Prophet, (Pbuh), said:

“Whoever employs someone to work for him, he must specify for him his wage in advance.” [See Musannaf of Abdur-Razzaaq]

Similar Hadiths were also narrated by Ibn Abi Shaibah in his Musannaf on the authority of Abu Hurairah, Abu Sa‘id and Uthman.

Abu Hurairah narrated that the Prophet, said:

“Allah Said, ‘I will be the opponent of three on the Day of Judgment:…and one who hires a workman and having taken full work from him, does not pay him his wages.‘”

On the Day of Judgment, Allah The Exalted will be the opponent of those types of people. Hence, the employers who hire workers then delay their wages for a month or two or three must fear Allah.

Abdullah Ibn Umar narrated that the Prophet, said:

“Pay the labourer/worker his wages before his sweat dries.”

Moreover, the employer has no right to force the worker to do more work or work longer than the time they agreed on, provided that the worker has the ability to do what they agreed on.

On the other hand, the worker must satisfy the conditions between him and the employer in what is not prohibited under Shari‘ah. Allah The Almighty Said:

“O you who have believed, fulfill [all] contracts.” [Quran 5:1]

The worker must also perform the work that is assigned to him perfectly. Al-Baihaqi and Abu Ya’ala narrated on the authority of A’ishah that the Prophet, said:

“Verily, Allah loves that when anyone of you does something he does it perfectly.”

Let me mention the great rule that the Prophet, (Pbuh) stated in a Hadith:

“There should be neither harm nor reciprocal harm.” [Imam Ahmad in Musnad]

Hence, there should be no harm against the employer or the employee.

My respected people! Wallahi, it is not permissible to delay payment of salaries to employees beyond the time when they are due, which is when the work is completed or at the end of the agreed-upon period. If the agreement is that the salary be paid monthly, then it must be paid to the worker at the end of each month; delaying it with no excuse is regarded as unfair and unjust. Allah the Almighty says:

“Then if they give suck to the children for you, give them their due payment.” [Surah al-Talaq, 65:6]

So Allah commanded that they be given their payment as soon as the work is done.

Ibn Majah narrated that Abdullah ibn Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said: The Messenger of Allah (Pbuh) said:

“Give the worker his wages before his sweat dries.” [Classed as sahih by al-Albani in Sahih Ibn Majah]

My people! What this means is to hastening to give him his dues as soon as the work is done. Similarly, when the agreed-upon period ends (which is one month in the case of most employees nowadays), then it is obligatory to hasten to give him his dues.

Imam Al-Manawi said in his book, Fayd al-Qadir that:

“It is haram to delay and postpone when one is able to pay. The command to give it to him before his sweat dries is a metaphor for the obligation to pay him as soon as the job is done, even if he does not sweat, or if he sweated and it has dried.”

Also the company owner or any private business owner’s delay in paying the salaries is wrongdoing which makes his honour and punishment permissible, as the Prophet (Pbuh) said:

“Withholding of payment by a rich man is wrongdoing.” [Narrated by al-Bukhari and Muslim]

And the Prophet (Pbuh) said:

“If one who can afford it delays payment, his honour and punishment become permissible.” [Narrated by Abu Dawud, al-Nasa’i and Ibn Majah. Classed as hasan by al-Albani in his book Irwa’ al-Ghalil]

What is meant by his honour becoming permissible is that one may say: “So and so delayed paying me and he wronged me.” Punishing him means detaining him. This is how it was interpreted by Sufyan and others.

Servants of Allah! The Standing Committee was asked about a boss who did not give his workers their salaries until they traveled to their homelands once every year or two, and the workers agreed to that because they have no choice, job opportunities are few, and they need the money.

They replied:

“What this boss should do is to give his workers their salaries at the end of every month, as is the custom among people nowadays. But if there is an agreement and they accept that the salary will be paid all together after one or two years, there is nothing wrong with that, because the Prophet (Pbuh) said in a sahih hadith:

“The Muslims are bound by their conditions.” [See Fataawa al-Lajnah al-Daa’imah, 14/390]

Based on the above, we should advise our Governments at all level, and the company owner and explain to them that it is haram to delay the employees’ salaries and it is haram to harm them.

The Federal Government, State Governments, Local Governments and private companies must understand that delaying the payment of employees’ salaries will cause serious problems, which will affect their efficiency and lead to disruptive, dangerous thoughts. The job contract requires the employers to pay them the monthly pay, and it is an injustice to delay them and it will affect them and their families.

Also private businessmen have to fear Allah and pay their salaries on time. The Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) said as mentioned earlier that:

“Give the worker his wages before his sweat dries.”

The delay in paying the salary might worry workers and may lead to disruption of important government projects, and also this might give workers justification for fraud and corruption, which would result in massive damage to the country.

I  ask Allah to assist us in living by the Quran and Sunnah. I pray that He lets us recognise the truth for what it is and helps us to follow it, and that He lets us see falsehood for what it is and helps us to avoid it.

O Allah! Guide us and protect us from the causes of ignorance and destruction! Save us from the defects of ourselves! Cause the last of our deeds to be the best and most righteous! And forgive all of us. Ameen Yaa Rabb!

My respected people! Anything good I have said in my today’s Khutbah (Sermon) is from Allah the Almighty, and any mistakes are my own and we seek refuge in Allah from giving wrong advice and from all forms of calamities and fitnah. And I ask Allah’s forgiveness if I stepped beyond bounds in anything I said or I do.

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

With this I conclude my Khutbah (Sermon) and ask Allah, the Almighty and the Sublime, to forgive all of our sins. So seek his forgiveness, He is all forgiving Most Merciful.

This Jumu’ah Khutbah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today, Friday, Zul Hijjah 3,1438 A.H. (August 25, 2017), by Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’ah and late Alhaji Abdurrahman Okene’s Mosques, Okene Kogi State Nigeria. He can be reached via: +2348038289761.

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