(Friday Sermon) True And Sincere Muslims Must Be Generous, Especially In The Blessed Month Of Ramadan

By Imam Murtadha Gusau

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

 All Perfect Praises are to Allah; we praise Him, seek His aid, and ask His forgiveness. We seek refuge in Allah from the evils of ourselves and from our bad deeds. He whom Allah guides, there is none to misguide him, and He whom He leaves astray there is none to guide him! I bear witness that none is worthy of worship but Allah, who is alone without partners, and I bear witness that Muhammad (Pbuh) is His slave and Messenger.

“O you who have believe! Revere Allah the right reverence, and do not die except as Muslims.” (Al-Imran, 3:102)

“O People! Revere your Lord, who created you from a single soul. Created from it its mate, and dispersed from both of them many men and women. Revere Allah through whom you demand things from one another and (cherish the ties of) the wombs, indeed, Allah is Ever watchful over you.” (An-Nisa’ 4:1)

“O you who have believe! Revere Allah and say fair words. He will then rectify your deeds and forgive your sins. He who obeys Allah and His Messenger (Pbuh) have certainly achieved a great victory.” (Al-Ahzab, 33:70-71)

To Proceed:

Indeed the best speech is Allah’s Book and the best guidance is the guidance of Muhammad (Pbuh). And the worst affairs (of religion) are those innovated (by people), for every such innovations is an act of misguidance leading to the fire.

Servants of Allah! Islam is a religion that encourages generosity in its followers and gives a full code of life to Muslims. When the wealthy and fortunate ones are generous, it ultimately lends to the sharing of delights and as a result whole of the community and society is able to enjoy the blessings of Almighty which in other case would have been difficult for someone to attain and cherish. Therefore, one element that can be found in abundance in the character of Muslims is generosity.

Brothers and Sisters! Besides the compulsory act of Zakah as an exemplification of generosity, there are other generous deeds, which a Muslim can commit for the well being of fellow humans in general and Muslims, in particular. Moreover, the reward and imperativeness of these acts of generosity increases substantially when they are undertaken in the month of Ramadan.

Ramadan as a Month of Generosity

My people! Before moving on to the imperativeness and need of generosity in the month of Ramadan, it is imperative that a Muslim realizes and identifies Ramadan in itself as a generous offering from Allah Almighty to Muslims.

Ramadan is a month in which Allah Almighty showers His blessings and mercy upon Muslims with full throttle. It is a month in which Allah closes the doors of Hell and opens the doors of Paradise for Muslims, which means that the generosity of Allah Almighty is at its peak and He is open to forgiving all those who repent from true heart and in addition to simple forgiveness also grant them with rewards and blessings so that they land a better and higher place in Paradise. Therefore, Ramadan in itself is a month of generosity in every aspect.

The lines below discuss why a Muslim must be increasingly generous during the month of Ramadan.

A Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh)

Above all, perhaps the biggest and greatest reason why a Muslim must be generous during the month of Ramadan is the fact that being specifically generous during the month of Ramadan is the Sunnah of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh). Ibn Abbas (RA) narrates:

“The Messenger of Allah (Pbuh) was the most generous of people. He was especially generous in Ramadan when the Angel Gabriel (Jibril) would come and review the Quran with Him. Gabriel (Jibril) would review the Quran with Him every night during the month of Ramadan. Verily, when Gabriel (Jibril) would come and review the Quran with Him in Ramadan, the Messenger was more generous than the free blowing wind.”  (Tirmidhi)

From this narration, two things become clear about the personality of Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh). The first thing that becomes clear is that Prophet (Pbuh) was most generous of all, therefore, Ramadan or no Ramadan. One ought to follow his Sunnah and be generous in everyday life. The second thing that is evident from the narration is the fact that Prophet (Pbuh) was especially generous during Ramadan and it is one of his beloved deeds during the month of fasting, hence, more the reason for a Muslim to show and indulge in acts of generosity during this month and share the blessings and joys with other fellow beings during this Noble month, so that all are able to enjoy and celebrate the Noble month in the best possible manner.

Allah Practices and Encourages Generosity

As discussed earlier that the month of Ramadan in itself is a symbol of generosity by Allah Almighty, therefore, if Allah Almighty who despite all the sins of humans is generous to them, there is no reason why Muslims should not be generous to each other. Prophet (Pbuh) mentions in a hadith:

“During it (Ramadan) a caller cries out, ‘Those desiring good come forward, and those desiring evil stay away’. Allah has those He liberates from Hell and that occurs every night (during Ramadan).” (Tirmidhi)

Also from this hadith it is clear that during the month of Ramadan, Allah Almighty specially opens the door of forgiveness for Muslims. It is in the nights of this Noble Month that He forgives people from Hell and takes them to paradise. Therefore, Allah Almighty shows additional generosity during the month of Ramadan.

At another place, Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) said:

“I swear by Allah, He (Allah) will never disgrace you! (Because) You uphold the sanctity of blood relations, you honour the guest, you bear the burdens of others, you spend on the deprived, and you assist people in the face of calamities.” (Bukhari)

My Respected people! This hadith shows that Allah Almighty never disgraces people who are generous. Moreover, this hadith also shows the factors that can be considered as act of generosity, which include the following:

  • Firstly, a person is to hold the sanctity of blood relations from which it can be inferred that being good to the blood relations, taking care of them is also an act of generosity, therefore, every Muslims must hold the sanctity of blood relations.
  • Secondly, a Muslim must be hospitable to the guests and give them proper respect and deal with them with graciousness and take care of them properly, which also falls under the circle of generosity.
  • Thirdly, helping others in sharing their burden of any sort is also an act of generosity. Thus, when a Muslim helps another Muslim in bearing the burden no matter if it is financial or physical burden, he or she is actually being generous.
  • Fourthly, spending money on those who are deprived of the necessities of life and assisting the people who are facing any calamity is also an act of generosity. Hence, during Ramadan a Muslim must not let any chance of helping others go from hand.

Distinction on the Judgment Day

Generosity is an act of virtue and being generous during Ramadan and after it gives a separate identity to a Muslim for which he or she will receive distinction on the judgment day. In one hadith, Prophet (Pbuh) said:

“Should I not inform you of the most generous of all? Allah is the most generous of all and I am the most generous of humanity. After me the most generous person is a man who learns something beneficial and disseminates it. He will be resurrected on the Day of resurrection as an individual nation. Likewise, is a man who gives his life in the way of Allah.” (Ibn Adiy)

Dear Brothers and Sisters! From this hadith it is clear; those who are generous will rise as a separate nation on the resurrection day. This rising separately is a blessing from Allah and it shows that the generous will be distinct from others. Therefore, being generous in Ramadan is actually an upward movement in spiritually and piety for distinction.

In a nutshell, exhibition of generosity in general is recommended in Islam; however, the need and rewards of it rise heavily in the month of Ramadan. In Ramadan, being generous helps sharing of joy and blessing, whereas the reward against it also gets multiplied many times like any other virtuous deed committed during this Noble Month.

Ramadan – The Life Transforming Time of the Year

Servants of Allah! As always mentioned, Ramadan is the most sacred month in the Islamic Calendar in which Muslims all over the globe keep away from eating, drinking and fulfilling other physiological needs from dawn to dusk just for the sake of pleasure of Allah (SWT). It is deduced from the Arabic word, “Ramada” which means “Extreme Heat.” As it is commonly known that intense high temperature can twist and curve even the strongest metals, same is the case with this Noble Month which is a great source of shaping the lives of believers for their own betterment. The Almighty Lord says in the Noble Quran:

“O you who have believed, decreed upon you is fasting as it was decreed upon those before you that you may become righteous.” [Quran, 2:183]

The above mentioned great verse clearly suggests that Ramadan is not any normal time of the year rather it is an absolute blessing from the Gracious Allah which makes Muslims more productive through “Taqwa.” It comes from the Arabic root word “Waqa” meaning “to guard or protect”, which implies that Taqwa is the name of Consciousness of the Exalted One through actions. More specifically, it tells us to do what pleases Him and avoid anything that displeases the Most Merciful. The modern science also advocates that a normal individual needs about four weeks time in order to change its habits. Similarly, Ramadan serves as fixing up the bad patterns of a Muslim through a highly disciplined schedule of fasting, performing Salah, Quran Reading, and giving charity and so on.

Now let us take some considerations to keep in mind in this consecrated period to benefit from it to the fullest.

Inconceivable Amount of Reward for Fasting

My people! The biggest incentive for anyone in Ramadan could be that the return as a result of restraint from all kinds of daily necessities for the Creator of the universe is unimaginable. No one has the idea about how great in number and magnitude the reward could be because this deed is solely for Allah (SWT) and He is the One Who knows about its worth. Narrated Abu Hurairah that the Messenger of Allah said:

“By the One in whose hand my-self is, the smell of the breath of a man fasting is better with Allah than the scent of musk.’ He leaves his desires and his food and drink for my sake. Fasting is for Me and I reward it. Every good action is rewarded by ten times its kind, up to seven hundred times, except fasting, which is for Me, and I reward it.’ “(Muwatta Malik)

It means that the Almighty Lord loves His servant who is in a state of fasting many more times than the one who is not performing it. This Hadith also shows that “fasting” is the action that is only done for the sake of attaining pleasure of the Most Beneficent by refraining from food and water throughout the day. Although it seems like a very extreme kind of activity but it is also a great test of one’s faith which is to be fulfilled through deed of fasting. In Ramadan, each good action is rewarded from ten to seven hundred times in return and that is concerning normal acts. On the other hand, fasting is rewarded to a degree that no one can even dream about. Thus, fasting in Ramadan is an immense means of encouragement and motivation in terms of its greatest number of rewards.

Drawing Closer to Allah (SWT) Through Night Prayers

As compensation for normal deeds increase manifold in Ramadan, there is also a very important task to accomplish during this Noble Month, i.e. Night Prayers. Compulsory Salah itself is a great source of attaining closeness to Allah (SWT), which results in His mercy and Forgiveness. But praying in the dark hours (Nawafil/non obligatory prayers) when most of the people are asleep, it shows one’s determination on its religious conviction. The Messenger of Allah is reported by Abu Hurairah (RA) to have said:

“Whoever prayed at night in it (the month of Ramadan) out of sincere faith and hoping for a reward from Allah, then all his previous sins will be forgiven.” (Bukhari)

It shows that during Ramadan, Nafilah Ibadah with honest conscious causes one’s pardoning of all of its past wrongdoings. This routine will also result in constant memory of the Almighty Lord even in other months and will serve as benchmark for bringing one near to Him.

Building a Habit of Reading Quran

Brothers and Sisters! The sacred Book of Quran is nothing but a great source of clarification and enlightenment in all walks of life. The demise of Muslims in this day and age is also due to negligence about the teachings of Quran and living in darkness. Ramadan provides a great opportunity for all believers to learn the Quran and know about their purpose of life. It is also the Sunnah of Rasulullah (Pbuh) to recite this Highly Revered Manuscript in Ramadan regularly.

“Jibril used to come to the Prophet (Pbuh) every night in Ramadan, and study the Quran with Him.” (Bukhari)

It means that Jibril (AS) used to visit the Prophet (Pbuh) every day in this hallowed period of the year and study Quran Karim with Him which he did not do in normal days frequently. Reading this Sanctified Scripture in Ramadan will not only fulfill the Prophetic tradition but also help in developing a custom of understanding and learning the Quran daily.

Caring for Others and Thankfulness to Allah

Ramadan is the time when Muslims come to realize about the good things like assets and money which Allah (SWT) has blessed them with. It is also the occasion when believers all over the world pay Zakah (Charity) to the poor families from their own wealth to a certain proportion.

Narrated Anas (RA):

“The Prophet (Pbuh) was asked which fast was most virtuous after Ramadan. He said: “Sha’aban in honour of Ramadan” He said: “Which charity is best?” He (Pbuh) said: ‘Charity in Ramadan.’”

The previously stated account of conversation of the Prophet (Pbuh) suggests that aiding deprived ones in Ramadan is indeed the best of the charities one can ever accomplish. This act not only teaches one to feel for other’s needs but also be grateful also to the Gracious Allah for everything.

Adopting a Well Balanced Diet and Routine

For all those who complain about their fitness problems, Ramadan is that time period which automatically gives those best results. Developing right kinds of eating habits at Suhur and Iftaar make one able to know about its finest possible dietary plans. Thus, Ramadan is not only a name of fulfilling religious responsibilities alone, rather it provides a complete package in order to make one’s routine more fruitful and well disciplined.

In short, the Noble month of Ramadan comes up with many lessons that eventually transform the lives of Muslims in the best way.

My respected people! To conclude my Sermon, I ask Allah to assist us in living by the Quran and Sunnah. I pray that He lets us recognize 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.

My People! Anything good I have said in my today’s Khutbah (Sermon) is from Allah the Almighty and any mistakes are my own and I 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 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 Sermon (Khutbah) was prepared for delivery today, Friday, Sha’aban 22, 1438 A.H. (May 19, 2017), by Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’ah and Alhaji Abdurrahman Okene’s Mosques, Okene Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached via: +2348038289761.

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Cleric Urges Nigerians To Pray For Buhari

Rev. Soji Adeniyi of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Lokoja, has appealed to Nigerians to pray for President Muhammadu Buhari,as he traveled out of the country on health ground.

?Adeniyi made the appeal on Sunday in Lokoja, his sermon entitled, “The need to always pray for a nation.”

The cleric said there was a need for the people to always seek the face of God for their leaders and country.

The Reverend, who prayed for the quick recovery of Buhari, said he would triumph over the sickness and return in good health to continue his duty to the nation.

He advised people who form the habit of wishing their fellow human death to eschew such attitude, adding that it was against the scripture.

Adeniyi, however, urged leaders to always have the fear of God in their actions toward the led and make it a duty to serve the people.

He expressed the hope that Nigeria would soon be ranked among great nations of the world. (NAN)

NAN

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Islamic Cleric To Face Prosecution For Insulting Emir Sanusi

A renowned cleric, Shiek Nasiru Bazallah, has been arraigned by the Nigeria Police before a Kano Magistrate Court for allegedly insulting the Emir of Kano, Mallam Lamido Sanusi, with the intent to provoke a breach of peace.

The prosecution alleged that the cleric incited disturbance and attempted to defame the character of the monarch, contrary to Section 114, 392 and 399 of the penal code.

First Information Report stated that on May 8, 2017 Emir Sanusi lodged a complaint to the Kano State Commissioner of Police, alleging that the defendant, on March 20, 2017, acted in a manner which defamed the monarch’s character.

Furthermore, the report alleged that the Islamic scholar gathered his adherents at Goron Dutse quarters, where he made statements to incite disturbance and defame the monarch.

But the defendant said the allegations levelled against him were false, urging the court to admit him to bail.

However, police prosecutor, Inspector Haziel Ledapwa, informed the court that police investigation was still in progress.

In his ruling, the presiding magistrate, Hassan Fagge, granted the defendant bail in the sum of N1m, including two reliable sureties.

He ruled that the two sureties must be directors at any federal ministry.

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(Friday Sermon) Let’s Prepare For The Arrival Of Ramadan, The Month Of Many Blessings By Imam Murtadha Gusau

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

All Perfect Praises are to Allah; we praise Him, seek His aid, and ask His forgiveness. We seek refuge in Allah from the evils of ourselves and from our bad deeds. He whom Allah guides, there is none to misguide him, and He whom He leaves astray there is none to guide him! I bear witness that none is worthy of worship but Allah, who is alone without partners and I bear witness that Muhammad (Pbuh) is His slave and Messenger.

“O you who have believe! Revere Allah the right reverence, and do not die except as Muslims.” (Al-Imran, 3:102)

“O People! Revere your Lord, who created you from a single soul. Created from it its mate, and dispersed from both of them many men and women. Revere Allah through whom you demand things from one another and (cherish the ties of) the wombs, indeed, Allah is Ever watchful over you.” (An-Nisa’ 4:1)

“O you who have believe! Revere Allah and say fair words. He will then rectify your deeds and forgive your sins. He who obeys Allah and His Messenger (Pbuh) have certainly achieved a great victory.” (Al-Ahzab, 33:70-71)

To Proceed:

Indeed the best speech is Allah’s Book and the best guidance is the guidance of Muhammad (Pbuh). And the worst affairs (of religion) are those innovated (by people), for every such innovations is an act of misguidance leading to the fire.

My Respected People! Ramadan is one of the eagerly awaited months of Islamic calendar. The month is full of blessings and mercy that showers upon Muslims from Allah Almighty. Therefore, in order to increase their fair share in the feast of blessings and mercy, Muslims try preparing for the month before hand, so that the transition remains easy for them and they make the most out of the whole month.

Brothers and Sisters! Pertaining to the arrival of the month, it is imperative that a Muslim prepares for it before hand and be reflective of all that the month carries and how one can extract the maximum blessings and mercy from it. Today’s Sermon will discuss the importance of the month of Ramadan, the way a Muslim must reflect upon it and how one should prepare for it before it actually arrives.

Importance of Ramadan

Servants of Allah! There are numerous hadith of Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) and verses of Quran that emphasize on the importance of Ramadan in Islam. For the sake of general understanding, the verse of Quran that stresses on the importance of Ramadan is mentioned below:

O you who have believe! Observing al-sawm (the fasting) is prescribed for you as it was prescribed for those before you, that you may become al-muttaqun (the pious).” (2:183)

From this verse of Quran, it becomes clear that fasting is nothing new or special that was bestowed upon Muslims, rather the earlier nations of the earlier Prophets also kept fast. Moreover, in this verse Allah Almighty also mentions the objective of fasting in Ramadan, and which is to make oneself pious. Therefore, for Muslims fasting is of grave importance as it helps them purify their souls and transcend to a higher level of piety.

Reflecting Upon Ramadan

My people! When a Muslim hears about the arrival of Ramadan, the first thing he or she needs to do is to reflect upon the purpose of Ramadan. Allah Almighty does not need the fasting, the thirst and hunger of a Muslim, rather it is all for the personal good of a Muslim and the well-being of a society.

Although in the aforementioned verse of Quran, Allah Almighty has mentioned the purpose of fasting, and that is to make a person more pious. However, if one reflects upon the reasons behind fasting, there may come numerous other objectives as well.

Firstly, in Ramadan, all the Muslims pray extensively and cordially, therefore, it is quite natural that this month presents a chance for increasing the reward balance and seeks forgiveness for the sins that a person has committed.

Secondly, the hunger and thirst in the month of Ramadan help a Muslim relate with the other people in the world who are unfortunate and don’t have access to ample food and drinking water. When a Muslim keeps a fast, actually he or she empathizes with such people and feels the way they feel and the way they go through the day with such limited provision.

Thirdly, when a Muslim goes through the day with limited energy, although it effects at a physical level, however, the real effect of it is seen on the attitude of a person making him or her more humble and patient. Therefore, during a fast, a Muslim is supposed to be at the best of his or her character in terms of patience and humility.

In addition, I advise you to try and know dos and don’ts of fasting in Ramadan as well to avoid bad things and follow good habits.

Preparing for Ramadan

Muslims anxiously await the arrival of Ramadan so that they can get on with the process of praying and gaining blessings, mercy and forgiveness from Allah Almighty. The arrival of Ramadan brings a complete or at least a major change in the routine of a person. Therefore, those who don’t prepare beforehand, find it difficult to settle in and get used to with the Ramadan routine once it’s upon them. Therefore, the objective of preparations is to make a person transit into the routine of Ramadan and waste not any of its precious moments. Let me give the major tips that can help in preparing yourself better for the Noble Month.

Have the Right Intentions

The first thing that a Muslim needs to do pertaining to preparation for Ramadan is having the right intentions. You must really intend to make the most out of this month only then will you be able to enjoy Ramadan and gain the blessings it offers. On the other hand, if you just want to go through the month, then nothing will come to avail and despite whatever situations of ease you create for yourself, Ramadan will be futile and hard for you. Therefore, try having right intentions pertaining to preparing for the month.

Get Into the Habit of Tasbih

Tasbih is a verbal praise of Almighty Allah which a Muslim does either reading phrases or words of praise of Allah Almighty. In Ramadan, each and every moment gets sanctified, therefore, to get the maximum reward from the days of Ramadan besides prayer; a Muslim must do Tasbih as well. When you start performing Tasbih a month before the arrival of the Noble Month, then by the time the month comes, you are already in the habit of recitation of Tasbih, while sitting, walking, or doing any work.

Make Your Prayers Regular

Dear Brothers and Sisters! In Ramadan, the number of people in congregational prayer gradually increases. However, there are people who initially find it hard to make time to go to a mosque and offer prayer in congregation in the beginning days of Ramadan. Therefore, in order to make sure that you offer prayers with congregation at the first day of Ramadan, start making time for congregational prayer a month before the arrival of the Noble month. For those who do not know how to accurately perform the Salah/Prayer, the Step by Step Salah is a perfect guide in form of mobile app to learn Salah on your own. In addition, to learn in depth, you must know the key elements to consider while offering Prayer.

Try Keeping Few Nafilah Fasts

The initial few fasts of Ramadan are quite hard on Muslims, as they suddenly get exposed to hunger and thirst and don’t know how it is to spend a day on low energy. They don’t know the foods that make them feel satiated for longer, they don’t know the drinks that keep the thirst in control and they don’t know how they should adjust their routine during fast. For this very reason, it is imperative that a Muslim keeps a few Nafilah fasts before the Ramadan in order to know about the changes that are to come during the fast, so that when Ramadan comes, he or she is prepared for it.

Quran Reading

Quran recitation brings blessings and reward from Almighty Allah; however, in order to read Quran, it is imperative that a Muslim has sufficient time. Therefore, in order to make the most out of Quran reading in Ramadan, it is imperative that a Muslim starts reading Quran before Ramadan so that he or she knows that how much they can read in a particular time and when do they have time for it. This way, when Ramadan comes, they already know when to read and how much to read. And for those Muslims, who are naive to reading Quran in Arabic, it is the perfect time to start learning to read Quran as the reward of learning in Ramadan is seventy times higher than learning in any other month. So, to help you cash this much reward, our Nagazi-Uvete Central Mosque is here to help you. Register yourself now and start learning to read the Noble Quran.

In a nutshell, it is imperative for a Muslim to contemplate over the purpose of Ramadan, so that he or she is able to experience and incorporate that purpose into his or her personality. Moreover, the preparation of the Noble Month before its start also helps in enjoying the month in a better way and experience the true essence of it with minimal hassle.

Brief Do’s and Don’ts of Ramadan Fasting

The Noble Month of Ramadan is just around the corner. Muslims anxiously await this auspicious month in which they pray and praise Allah Almighty and receive greater blessings and rewards in return. During this whole month, Muslims fast from the beginning of the day from sunrise to till the sunset refraining from any kind of drinking, eating, sexual intercourse etc.

Regarding the month of Ramadan, Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) said in a hadith:

“When the month of Ramadan starts, the gates of the heaven are opened and the gates of Hell are closed and the devils are chained.” (Bukhari)

Now from this hadith, it is clear that Ramadan is the month of asking forgiveness and receiving countless blessings. Moreover, as there is no Satan, therefore, there are minimal temptations in this month. In addition to the simple refraining from eating or drinking, there are other things which Muslims need to avoid and there are other things which they need to do in Ramadan. Here I will give the major dos and don’ts of Ramadan.

The Do’s

Servants of Allah! There are number of things, which a Muslim can do to make use of the blessings of the Noble Month of Ramadan. The following lines give the major actions or deeds that Muslims must perform in the month of Ramadan.

Reciting Quran daily – The first thing that you can do to make sure that you earn maximum blessings and rewards in the Noble Month as mentioned earlier, is to recite Quran. With every single word of Quran there is a reward, hence the more you read Quran the more reward you receive. Moreover, pertaining to reading of Quran, you must prefer recitation and understanding its meanings as that is the essence of Quran which can help you become a better Muslim not only in the month of Ramadan only, but for months and years that are to come. In addition, if you are someone who does not know how to read the Quran in Arabic, Ramadan is the month to get started with Quran learning. Daily you can take Quran Tutoring Classes from any reliable Islamic center. In Shaa Allah, by the end of Ramadan, you will be on the right track to be able to read and recite the Noble Quran with perfect pronunciation.

Following the Sunnah – Acting upon the Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) is another deed that brings reward to a Muslim. The month of Ramadan provides a great chance to learn about Sunnah and then practice it in the Noble Month, where there is peace and blessing everywhere. Therefore, a Muslim must try learning about Sunnah of Prophet (Pbuh) in general and his traditions related to Ramadan in particular and then apply it to daily life throughout the month.

Nawafil Brings Reward – Although every Muslim regularly observes five times a day prayers during Ramadan, however, as the reward for prayers get increased in this month, therefore, a Muslim must also indulge in Nawafil prayers whenever he or she finds time. Offering Nawafil brings additional rewards and benefits to a Muslim and helps purify his or her heart making them glorify Allah Almighty with a pure and sincere heart.

Performing Tarawih – Tarawih is another Sunnah of Noble Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) which is special to the month of Ramadan. A Muslim must ensure that in addition to all the mandatory prayers the Tarawih (after Isha’ prayer) is also observed. Therefore, Tarawih should be observed on regular bases to attain greater blessings and rewards during the whole month.

Paying Zakah – Although there is no set month for paying Zakah, however, the month of Ramadan is an ideal time when one can pay Zakah and be charitable. As the festival of Eid comes after Ramadan, therefore, paying Zakah helps those who are less fortunate be able to celebrate the festival with somewhat same zest as all the other prosperous people. Therefore, one must try paying the due Zakah in the month of Ramadan.

The Don’ts

My people! Besides the obvious fact that a Muslim is not allowed to eat or drink anything during fast and refrain from any sexual activity, there are several other things, which a Muslim must refrain from in order to ensure that fast is observed in the true spirit. The lines below give some major don’ts which a Muslim must observe when keeping a fast during the month of Ramadan.

Eating Junk Food – Suhur and Iftar are two important elements of Ramadan where former is related with eating before dawn while the latter is concerned with eating on breaking of fast. However, it is observed that some Muslims do not take care of what they eat at both these occasions, which makes fasting difficult for them in addition to causing health problems. Therefore, what Muslims need to do is to avoid excessive or junk food eating during the Ramadan to stay healthy.

Holding Grudges – Fasting gives the lesson of sacrifice and forgiveness; therefore, during the month of Ramadan a Muslim must not hold grudges and indulge in fighting people. Rather, he or she needs to start forgiving people and whatever mistakes people commit he or she should be tolerant and forgiving towards them.

Losing Patience – Another thing that fasting in Ramadan teaches is tolerance and patience. These are two character attributes that seriously lack in people these days and even during Ramadan people lose their temper, grow impatient and create all kinds of problems for themselves as well as for others. Therefore, getting angry during Ramadan is one thing that a Muslim must try to avoid and increase patience and tolerance.

Committing Satanic Deed – Ramadan also teaches a Muslim to ward off evil and its temptation. Although the Satan is chained in this month, however, it is the habits of the rest of the months that haunt a Muslim in this month as well. Therefore, a Muslim must try refraining from base thoughts as well as committing vain and base deeds. Instead, a Muslim must do acts of good and kindness so that the fast is kept and observed in the true spirit.

In a nutshell, for a Muslim it is imperative to do good deeds and refrain from evil and sinful deeds as well as thoughts so that the true purpose of fasting is achieved. Once a Muslim is able to refrain from the bad and starts doing good, then the practice in Ramadan can be carried on to the rest of the years as well, which is the true purpose of this Noble Month.

Some Mistakes to Avoid in Ramadan

Avoid Anger:

The first thing that a Muslim needs to avoid during Ramadan is anger. It is the root cause of the evils and the outcome of it is never good. When angry the judgment of a person gets clouded and he or she is not able to see clearly, and in such unclear situation a person commits mistakes that for which a person has to feel ashamed, regret or repent upon later on. Moreover, one of the essences of fasting in Ramadan is that it teaches a Muslim to be patient and humble, which are the virtues which when present cause the vice of anger to flee. Therefore, it is more than imperative that a Muslim resorts towards patience and tolerance instead of getting angry during Ramadan. This anger leaves to hurting other people emotionally, which definitely is not a good deed and should be avoided during Ramadan. Also, when you feel getting angry, remember Prophet Muhammad’s (Pbuh) advice of seeking refuge from Allah.

The Prophet (Pbuh) said:

“I know a word which, if only he would say it, this (anger) would leave him. If he said, “A’uzu billahi min al-shaytan (I seek refuge with Allah from the Shaitan),” this [anger] would leave him.” (Reported by Bukhari, al-Fath, 6/377)

In addition, start concentration upon the Special Deeds of Our Beloved Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) in Ramadan which would ultimately drive your anger away.

Avoid Sleeping All the Day:

Each and every moment of Ramadan is precious and a Muslim must make full use of it by praising and praying to Allah Almighty in the maximum time possible. Although the sleep at night and a little nap in the afternoon is necessary for the health of the body, however, staying all night long and sleeping throughout the day is never a good ploy. In order to avoid the hunger and thirst that develops during the day, some Muslims try staying awake during the night so that they could sleep through the day. This is wrong and against what fasting teaches us. The thirst and hunger during fast helps us understand what the less fortunate people go through, therefore, if one does not feel all that, then the essence of Ramadan is lost. Hence, it is imperative that a Muslim keeps fast whilst keeping the regular routine intact and continuous.

Avoid Fasting Without Prayer:

This usually happens in cases when Muslims stay awake during the night and spend all day sleeping. Besides praying in fast, the prayers themselves are mandatory upon a Muslim and fasting or no fast, a Muslim is supposed to offer them regularly. Therefore, a day without prayers in normal circumstances is not complete, let alone the day of Ramadan. In Ramadan a Muslim is supposed to indulge in excessive prayers and seek forgiveness and blessings from Allah Almighty by offering regular prayers, therefore, if one does not do so and only remains hungry and thirsty throughout the day, then perhaps it is not keeping the fast in the way it deserves to be kept. Therefore, a Muslim must make sure that regular fast is accompanied with the mandatory prayers and Tarawih Salah at night to keep fast with true essence.

Avoid Not Taking Care of Speech:

Another objective of fasting in Ramadan is to teach a person self-control. In a fast, a person is supposed to control his or her desires and urges. Besides these urges and desires, a Muslim is also to control the way he or she is to behave and speak with others. In this regard, one needs to take care of any kind of vulgar speech. Whether it’s in terms of profane, derogatory or vulgar speech or in form of backbiting and slandering, a Muslim is to refrain from them all in order to better be able to incorporate the spirit of Islam in his or her personality. Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh) says:

“Fasting is a shield, so the one who fast should always avoid obscene speech and ignorant behaviour. If someone abuses him or starts to fight with him, he should reply by saying: I am fasting, I am fasting.” (Bukhari)

Therefore, a Muslim is to observe fast as a shield and refrain from all such sorts of speech that provoke anger or caused derogation of the other person.

In a nutshell, the emphasis or focus of a Muslim during Ramadan should be on gathering as much blessings as possible. In addition, one must take care of the things to do and things to avoid in Ramadan. Therefore, it is imperative that one refrains from any such deeds that spoil the blessings gained and is against the essence and spirit of fasting.

My respected people! To conclude my Sermon, I ask Allah to assist us in living by the Quran and Sunnah. I pray that He lets us recognize 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.

My People! Anything good I have said in my today’s Khutbah (Sermon) is from Allah the Almighty and any mistakes are my own and I 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 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 Sermon (Khutbah) was prepared for delivery today, Friday, Sha’aban 15, 1438 A.H. (May 12, 2017), by Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’ah and Alhaji Abdurrahman Okene’s Mosques, Okene Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached via: +2348038289761.

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TB Joshua Announces Plan To Relocate Ministry To Israel

Nigerian Prophet T.B. Joshua has declared his intentions to leave Nigeria and relocate his ministry to the nation of Israel. He made this known while speaking with audience at his church service on Sunday 30th April 2017.

Joshua disclosed that he had just returned from the ‘Holy Land’ after holding meetings with three prominent Israeli Mayors of Jerusalem, Tiberias and the Jordan Valley. He said further that the Mayors have offered both land and facilities in an area around the biblical site of the Sea of Galilee for the Nigerian Pastor to organise meetings for international pilgrims.

“This is where my Father in Heaven came from – it’s non-negotiable,” Joshua explained, adding it was not a decision he undertook lightly.

“It’s the best place for you to meet Prophet T.B. Joshua. After your healing, blessing and deliverance, you can move around all the spiritual monuments which will establish your faith,” he further clarified.

Joshua said his decision to leave was not connected to the “persecution” he endured during his ministry.

However, he hoped the move would help people to “appreciate” what his ministry had been contributing to both the local economy and Nigeria’s international image.

“This is the most persecuted ministry in the world. Who are the people persecuting the ministry? My people, Africa,” Joshua bluntly stated, adding that this ‘treatment’ had led him into a life of virtual isolation.

“That is why I choose to live a lonely life. If you want to see me, come to this church. I don’t go out. It has not been easy – because I don’t know who is a friend or who is an enemy. If you learn T.B. Joshua is not around, I am in a revival. I live in the church here. I don’t have a house outside.”

“Anytime you pray, remember Africa in prayer,” the cleric solemnly continued to an audience which included over 3,000 foreign nationals who flew into Nigeria to attend the church service.

“Many heroes and great people have been chased out of Africa. There are many geniuses in the Western world who are originally from Africa.”

The cleric pointed to the example of heavyweight boxing champion Anthony Joshua who was allegedly turned down by Nigerian sporting authorities when he wanted to represent the country.

“What happened to me from the beginning of my ministry is enough to chase me out of this country – but I am still in your midst. Upon the persecution and hatred – I decided to follow the path of love. You show hatred; I show love. When I go for a revival, you will see the stadium full but I am not carried away by that. I leave where I’m celebrated to live where I’m persecuted.”

The cleric then advised congregants: “Where you are not celebrated is the best place to stay, to get strength. When you are in the midst of a battle, you are building yourself. That is why I decided to stay where I am not celebrated here in Nigeria. When the grace of God is amid challenges, it gets stronger.”

According to the cleric, the invitation to Israel came due to the growing popularity of Joshua’s television channel Emmanuel TV, which is especially known on YouTube.

“Your life can preach a better sermon than your mouth,” he exhorted the congregation, stating that the Israeli officials had observed his ministry from afar before inviting him.

No timeframe for the move was specified in the service and it was not clear whether activities in The SCOAN’s Ikotun-Egbe base would cease entirely.

Joshua concluded by counselling people: “Don’t destroy your relationships beyond repair because the person who fights you today can be your saviour tomorrow.”

The shock announcement will come as a blow to Nigeria’s religious tourism industry.

Statistics from the Nigerian Immigration Services revealed that six out of every ten travelers to Nigeria go to The SCOAN, with countless local businesses and hotels in the area relying on the church activities for their sustenance.

 

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Redeemed Pastor Adeboye Blesses Apostle Suleman

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Muslim Group Condemns Masquerade Attack On Catholic Priest

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has condemned the wanton exhibition of religious extremism by traditionalists whose masquerades, Oriokpa, attacked a Catholic seminarian, Lawrence Ezeugwu on Wednesday, March 9, 2017 in Nsukka, Enugu state.

MURIC Director, Prof Ishaq Akintola, in a statement on Tuesday, described the attack as “crude, barbaric and symptomatic of thuggery and hooliganism.”

He therefore, called the attention of the Federal Government to the excesses of traditionalists particularly in Southern Nigeria, noting that in the South West, the Oro cult worshippers behave as if they are above the law.

Traditionalists impose illegal curfew without being challenged by the authorities.

The statement reads further, “A good example is the curfew imposed by Oro cultists in Ikorodu, Lagos State, during the last Ramadan season which nearly caused a violent clash between Muslims and traditionalists.

“It is well known that Muslims shuttle between the mosques and their homes day and night during Ramadan. The imposition of a curfew during such a period was not only illegal but also provocative.

“Although the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria Section 38 (i) & (ii) guarantees freedom of religion thereby empowering traditionalists to freely practice their faith, it does not allow one group to laud it over another.

“The right of traditionalists to religious freedom stops where it begins to encroach on others’ rights and vice versa.

“For genuine and enduring peace, Nigerians must learn to respect one anothers’ rights. This country has witnessed too many human and material losses as a result of religious crisis and the only way to guard against recurrence is for the authorities to strictly apply sanctions against those who violate the sanctity of religious freedom.

“MURIC therefore appeals to the Inspector General of Police (IG) to ensure that the masquerades who attacked the Catholic priest are duly punished. State and local governments must also ban illegal proclamation of curfews by cultists.

“Anything short of these will be an invitation to chaos as citizens who are conscious of their right to freedom of movement as stipulated in Section 41 (i) of the 1999 Constitution may be tempted to challenge any illegal imposition of curfew and defend themselves.

“Finally, we remind the security agencies that they have a big role to play in this issue because it is becoming glaring that cultists are getting more daring due to the nonchalant attitude of security agents.

“The police and other security agents need to be more proactive. They should stop any illegally imposed curfew in the interest of law and order instead of folding their hands watching how different religious groups slog it out.”
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Top Islamic Singer, Ruqoyaah Gawat Advocates For Women’s Rights

In the spirit of the recently-held International Women’s Day, celebrated velvet-voiced Islamic singer, Alhaja Ruqoyaah Gawat-Oyefeso has lent her weight behind the call for the rights of women in nation building without any encumbrance. To this end, the highly spiritual singer, in collaboration with some of her like-minded friends Alhaja Tawakalitu Adunni Olorire, Hajia Monsurat Ojonla, Hajia Aishat Umuh Niyass, put together an album entitled ‘Eto Obinrin’ (Rights of Women). The album symbolically dwells on the inalienable rights of women and their girl children. This, interestingly, is in consonance with the demand and agitation of different groups and NGOs during the last International Women’s Day. Again, the album, ‘Eto Obinrin’ is in further celebration of women as the pillar of the home front and why they should not relegated to the background in the scheme of things by the men folk on account of their gender. The album will be released on the 13th of March, 2017 under stable of Okiki Films & Music Productions.

Recently, very industrious and meticulous Ruqoyaah was crowned the ‘Sheikha of Music’ at the Maolid Nabiyy and Award Presentation of Morkaz Ogombo in Ajah, Eti-Osa Local Government area of Lagos.

Alhaja Ruqoyaah, a graduate of Mass Communication from the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago Iwoye Ogun State, has distinguished herself in impacting good morals to women through her music. Ruqoyaah Gawat-Oyefeso, the daughter of popular NTA presenter, Alh. Rasaq Aremu Gawat remains one of the most patronized Islamic singers in town; she comes across as a likeable privileged, wealthy, and down to earth person. She won the 2016 Best Female Islamic Artiste of the year at City People Entertainment Awards and also clinched the 2016 Best Female Islamic Musician of the year at the IMAN Awards. She is adjudged to be the best among others now in the Islamic music world and she is definitely making a difference in the lives of the younger generation especially her female folk.

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Catholic Priest Explains Why He Converted To Islam

Teaching about Islam taught me many things.

I enjoyed being a priest helping the people for some years. However, deep inside I was not happy and I felt that there was something not right. Fortunately, and it is God’s will, some events and coincidences in my life led me to Islam.

I used to think of Egypt as a country of Pyramids, camels, sand and palm trees. I actually took a charter flight to Hurghada.

Shocked to find it similar to some European beaches, I took the first bus to Cairo where I spent the most wonderful week in my life.

This was my first introduction to Muslims and Islam. I noticed how Egyptians are such gentle, sweet people, but also very strong.

Like all Britons, my knowledge about Muslims up to that time didn’t exceed what I heard from the TV about suicide bombers and fighters, which gave the impression that Islam is a religion of troubles.  However, getting into Cairo I discovered how beautiful this religion is.

Very simple people selling goods on the street would abandon their trade and direct their face to Allah and pray the moment they heard the call to prayer from the mosque. They have a strong faith in the presence and will of Allah. They pray, fast, help the needy and dream to have a trip to Makkah with the hope of living in heaven in the hereafter.

On my return I resumed my old job of teaching religion. The only compulsory subject in British education is Religious Studies. I was teaching about Christianity, Islam, Judaism, Buddhism and others. So everyday I had to read about these religions to be able to teach my lessons to the students, many of whom were Arab Muslim refugees. In other words, teaching about Islam taught me many things.

Unlike many troublesome teenagers, these students set a good example of what a Muslim could be. They were polite and kind.  So a friendship developed between us and they asked if they could use my classroom for prayers during the fasting month of Ramadan.

Luckily, my room was the only one with a carpet. So I got accustomed to sitting at the back, watching them praying for a month.  I sought to encourage them by fasting during Ramadan with them, even though I wasn’t yet a Muslim.

Once while reciting a translation of the holy Quran in class I reached the verse:

{And when they hear what has been revealed to the Messenger, you see their eyes overflowing with tears because of what they have recognized of the truth.} (Quran 5:83)

To my surprise, I felt tears welling up in my eyes and I tried hard to hide it from the students.

The following day, I was taking the underground and noticed how terrified the people were. I was also afraid of the repetition of such acts in Britain. At the time, the Western people started fearing this religion they blamed for terrorism.

However, my previous experience with Muslims took me to a different direction. I started wondering ‘Why Islam? Why do we blame Islam as a religion for the action of terrorists who happened to be Muslims, when no-one accused Christianity of terrorism when some Christians have acted the same way?

One day I headed to the biggest Mosque in London, to hear more about this religion. Getting into London Central Mosque, there was Yusuf Islam, the former pop singer, sitting in a circle talking to some people about Islam. After a while, I found myself asking him” ‘What do you actually do to become a Muslim?’

He answered that a Muslim should believe in one God, pray five times a day and fast during Ramadan. I interrupted him saying that I believed all this and had even fasted during Ramadan.  So he asked:

‘What are you waiting for? What is holding you back?’  I said: ‘No, I don’t intend to convert.’

At that moment the call to prayer was made and everyone got ready and stood in lines to pray.

I sat at the back, and I cried and cried. Then I said to myself: ‘Who am I trying to fool?’

After they ended their prayers, I headed to Yusuf Islam, asking him to teach me the words by which I announce my conversion.

After explaining its meanings to me in English, I recited after him in Arabic that there is no God but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah, I couldn’t hold back my tears.

‘Gardens of Islam’

I decided to write this book “Gardens of Delight: a Simple Introduction to Islam” to give non-Muslims an idea about the basic principles of Islam. I tried to tell people how beautiful Islam is and that Islam has the most extraordinary treasures, the most important being Muslims’ love for each other.

The Prophet says:

‘Even a smile to your brother is a charity.’

May Allah have mercy on brother Idris Tawfiq.

Idris Tawfiq was a British writer, public speaker and consultant. He became a Muslim around 15 years ago. For many years, he was head of religious education in different schools in the United Kingdom. Before embracing Islam, he was a Roman Catholic priest. He passed away in peace in the UK in February 2016 after a period of illness. May Allah (SWT) have mercy on him, and accept his good deeds. Ameen.

– aboutislam.net

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Buhari, Sultan, Emir Of Kano Expected As Quranic Competition Opens In Kwara 

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The Worst Leadership Is From The Church – Adeboye

Enoch Adeboye, the general overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, worldwide, has said “the worst leadership is from the church.”

The cleric said bad leadership was the core of Nigeria’s problem as a nation, but noted that it was particularly worse in the church.

PUNCH reports that Adeboye made the comments on Wednesday in Ikeja, Lagos, during the third annual birthday public lecture organised to commemorate his 75th birthday.

Represented by his wife, Foluke, the pastor said, “Leadership is at the core of our problem in this nation. Some people sit in their room and comment on newspaper articles, but have you removed the log in your eyes?

“If there is anywhere leadership should be recommended, it should be from the church. But it is unfortunate that the worst leadership is from the church. We should go and check ourselves. Are we in true leadership or we are in falsehood? Because this has been the groaning of my heart for many years and I pray about it fervently.

“I challenge the leaders in this church that what the Bible says about elders, I have not seen it. But things are changing and I want us to be part of that change.

“The problem of corruption which we have in this nation would not have been there if everybody is contented with what he or she has. But people love to do more than they have. They want to show off to their children, and the children also when they get to school or are with their colleagues, are not satisfied because they were not brought up to be satisfied.”

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Quranic Recitation Competition To Hold In Kwara

Arrangements have been concluded by the Centre for Islamic Studies, Usmanu Danfodiyo University, Sokoto in collaboration with the Kwara State Musabaqah Committee to host the 31st edition of the National Quranic Recitation Competition in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital.

According to a statement signed by the Chairman, Local Organizing Committee of the event, Justice Idris Haroon (rtd), competition will run from Friday 3rd February to Saturday, 11th February 2017 and will feature participants from about 30 states of the federation.

The chairman who is also a former Grand Khadi of the Kwara State Sharia Court of Appeal, further stressed that “the opening ceremony for the event has been slated for Friday 3rd  February 2017 at the Metropolitan Square along Asa-Dam road.

“The competition proper will be held at the University Auditorium of Al-Hikmah University for male and female while the closing ceremony for the event where laurels will be given to winners of different categories of the competition will be held at the Metropolitan square on Saturday 11th February 2017.

“President Muhammadu Buhari, Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammadu Saad Abubakar III, the Emir of Kano , Alhaji Muhammadu Sanusi II, and the Chairman of Dangote Groups, Alhaji Aliko Dangote are among dignitaries expected at the occasion.”

The LOC Chairman appealed to the people of Kwara State to be hospitable to the parcipating states and be law abiding before, during and after the event for the successful hosting of the competition.

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