(Friday Sermon) No, Don’t Be Deceived, Terrorism Has No Religion! By Imam Murtada Gusau
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
All Perfect Praise be 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 (SAW) is His slave and Messenger.
“O you who have believe! Fear Allah (by doing all that He has ordered and by abstaining from all that He has forbidden) as He should be feared (Obey Him, be thankful to Him, and remember Him always), and die not except in a state of Islam (as Muslims) with complete submission to Allah.” (Ali-Imran: 102)
“O mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, who created you from a single person (Adam), and from him (Adam) He created his wife [Hawwa (Eve)], and from them both He created many men and women and fear Allah through whom you demand your mutual (rights), and (do not cut the relations of) the wombs (kinship). Surely, Allah is Ever an All-watcher over you.” (An-Nisa’: 1)
“O you who have believe! Keep your duty to Allah and fear Him, and speak (always) the truth. He will direct you to do righteous good deeds and will forgive you your sins. And whosoever obeys Allah and His Messenger (SAW) he has indeed achieved a great achievement (i.e. he will be saved from the Hell-fire and made to enter paradise).” (Al-Ahzaab: 70-71)
Verily the most truthful speech is the Book of Allah, and the best guidance is the guidance of Muhammad (SAW). And the worst matters are the newly invented matters (in the religion), and ALL new matters are innovations into the religion, and all the innovations are misguidance, and all the misguidance lead to the fire.
My Respected People!
Know that the most dangerous sect in Islam today is the Kharijite (plural al-khawarij). They have existed since the very early period of Islam and they will continue to cause strife in the Muslim nation until the end of time when they will join forces with the False Messiah (dajjal/anti-Christ). We must be aware of their ideology and characteristics in order to protect ourselves from unwittingly supporting their destructive behaviour.
The Kharijites earned their name (from the root kh-ra-ja meaning “to go out”) because they exited Islam and the Muslim community due to their dangerous and heretical innovations. They will recite the Qur’an but it will not go beyond their throats, meaning it will not enter their hearts and they will not benefit from it and understand it.
Abu said Al-Khudri reported that: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:
“There will come a people from the east who recites the Qur’an but it will not go beyond their throats. They will pass through the religion just as an arrow pierces its target and they will not return to it just as the arrow does not return to the bow.” (Sahih Bukhari 7123)
The Kharijite ideology is based upon the following evil tenets:
- Declaring Muslims to be unbelievers.
- Rejecting lawful obedience to the leaders.
- Justifying violence against Muslims and all innocent people.
The correct Islamic belief is that no Muslim can become an unbeliever due to his sins alone. Imam At-Tahawi states:
“We do not excommunicate anyone who prays toward Makkah (Al-Qiblah) because of their sins as long as he does not consider them lawful, and we do not say sins do not harm the faith of those who commit them.” (Aqidah At-Tahawiyyah)
A Muslim must explicitly disavow Islam in order to be properly considered an unbeliever. Imam At-Tahawi states:
“A person does not leave faith except by disavowing what brought him into it.” (Aqidah At-Tahawiyyah)
In contrast, the Kharijites charge other Muslims with unbelief due to their sins or perceived sins in order to justify their merciless and criminal behaviour towards them.
Shaykhul Islam Ibn Taymiyyah said:
“The Kharijite sect was the first to declare Muslims to be unbelievers because of their sins. They charged as unbelievers whoever disagreed with their innovations and they made lawful the spilling of blood and the taking of wealth. This is the condition of the people of innovation that they invent some religious innovation and then they excommunicate whoever disagrees with them concerning it. Rather, the people of the Sunnah and the community (Ahlus-Sunnah wal Jama’ah) follow the Book and the Sunnah and they obey Allah and His Messenger and follow the truth. And they have mercy upon the creation.” (Majmu’ Al-fatawa 1/278)
True Muslims have mercy upon the entire creation, including unbelievers and idolaters, but the kharaijites have no mercy for those outside their group. They declare other Muslims to be unbelievers by misinterpreting and misapplying the verses of the Qur’an.
Al-Bukhari reported that: Ibn Umar, May Allah be pleased with him, considered the Kharijites to be the worst of Allah’s creation and he said:
“Indeed, they take verses that were revealed about unbelievers (who attacks Muslims) and use them against the believers.” (Sahih Bukhari: 6531)
In the early period of Islam, they declared Ali ibn Abi Talib to be an unbeliever when he intended to reconcile with Mu’awiyah.
Ubaidullah ibn Abu Rafi reported: The Kharijites came out against Ali, may Allah be pleased with him, and they said:
“There is no rule but for Allah.” (12:40) Ali said:
“A word of truth by which is intended falsehood.” (Sahih Muslim: 1066)
The original Kharijites misused the verse “there is no rule but for Allah,” (12:40) by not properly distinguishing between matters upon which Allah has definitively ruled and matters left open to interpretation, consultation, and human decision-making (Ijtihad). Ali ibn Abi Talib decisively refuted them with the Qur’an.
Ibn Hajar reported: The Kharijites indicted Ali and they said:
“You have replaced the authority Allah has given you and the name with which He named you. Then, you judged with the judgment of men in the religion of Allah while ‘there is no rule but for Allah.’ (12:40)
When Ali heard this, he gathered the people and he called for the greatest scripture (mushaf) and he started striking it with his hand and saying:
“O you scripture, speak to the people!”
They said, “It is not a person. It is only ink and paper. We are speaking about what is narrated from it.” Ali said:
“The Book of Allah is between me and these people. Allah said regarding the woman and man: “if you fear dissension between the two, send an arbitrator from his people….” (4:35), and the nation of Muhammad is greater than the affair of a woman and a man. They have taken vengeance upon me because I have written to Mu’awiyah and yet the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, had written to Suhail ibn Amr and: You certainly have in the Messenger of Allah an excellent example.” (33:21) (Fath-ul-Bari from Sunan Al-Bayhaqi 16230)
The Kharijites believe their opinions regarding leadership, government, politics, and the Shari’ah are the only valid opinions in Islam and whoever disagrees with them becomes an unbeliever. However, the truth is that much of these matters are left open to interpretation and consultation among the Muslims (i.e. Ijtihad).
In fact, the Prophet commanded us to distinguish between the rule of Allah and the rule of people and not to claim our opinions are the rulings of Allah.
Buraidah reported that: When the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, would appoint a commander over the army, he would personally enjoin him to fear Allah and to be good with the Muslims who were with him. They Prophet would say:
“When you besiege the people of a fortress and they appeal to you for protection in the name of Allah and His Prophet, do not give them protection in the name of Allah and His Prophet, but rather give them protection in the name of you and your companions. Verily, for you to violate the protection of yourself and your companions is a lesser sin than to violate the protection of Allah and His Messenger. When you besiege the people of a fortress and they appeal for you to bring them out according to the rule of Allah, do not bring them our according to the rule of Allah but rather bring them out according to your ruling. Verily, you do not know if you will judge with the ruling of Allah concerning them or not.” (Sahih Muslim: 1731)
Thus, Muslims must distinguish between the rule of Allah and the rule of people. Yet the Kharijites, who make no such distinction, will charge other Muslims with unbelief who disagree with their views. In fact, the Kharijites do not simply declare Muslims to be unbelievers in a theoretical way, but rather they call for violent rebellion against entire Muslim societies.
Regarding our leaders, the correct Islamic belief is that we must obey them in all lawful matters. We should only disobey them if they command us to commit sins and we may not call for a violent overthrow of their government as long as they allow the prayer.
Umm Salamah reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:
“There will be leaders from whom you will see both goodness and corruption. One who recognizes their evil and hates it will maintain his innocence, but one who is pleased with it and follows them will be sinful.
It was said, “Shall we not fight them?” The Prophet said: No, as long as they pray.” (Sahih Muslim 1854)
As long as Muslims are allowed to pray and practice their pillars of Islam, then there is no justification for declaring a rebellion against the leaders. In contrast, the Kharijites rebel against the leader not to protect the religion or to protect the interest of the people, but rather for inexcusable worldly reasons.
Abu Hayyan reported that:
“A man from the Kharijites came to Hassan Al-Basri and he said, “What do you say about the rebels?” Hassan said: “They are seekers of the world.” He said, “Why do you say that when one of them goes out with his spear until it breaks and he leaves his family and children?” Hassan said: “Tell me about the leader. Does he prevent you from establishing prayer, giving charity, and performing the pilgrimage?” He said no. Hassan said: “As I see it, he has only prevented you from seeking the world and you have fought him for it.” (Al-Basa’ir wal Dhakha’ir 1/34)
In general, Muslims must work to reform societies through non-violent methods such as educating, teaching, preaching, and charity. Violence is only a last resort in the worst case. The Kharijites, on the other hand, charge Muslim leaders with unbelief and anyone else who does not support their call for violent rebellion. In this way, they justify indiscriminate violence against entire Muslim societies.
Abu Hurairah reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:
“Whoever rejects obedience to the leader and divides the community and dies will have died upon ignorance (Jahiliyyah). Whoever fights under the banner of one who is blind, raging for the sake of tribalism, or calling to tribalism, or supporting tribalism, and is killed will have died upon ignorance (Jahiliyyah). Whoever rebels against my nation, striking the righteous and wicked alike and sparing not even the believers and does not fulfill the pledge of security, then he has nothing to do with me and I have nothing to do with him. (Sahih Muslim 1848)
Servants of Allah!
This narration succinctly describes the characteristics of the Kharijites and their violent behaviour. They reject lawful obedience to Muslim leaders and they fight according to their tribal zeal, meaning they are not concerned with justice for their victims. They attack both the righteous and the wicked, and they do not honour covenants of security and the protection of civilians.
And in our times, you will see them target markets, bus stations, airports, schools, Mosques, Churches, security agents, Government properties and other places frequented by unarmed civilians. The purpose of such attacks is not to achieve any immediate military objectives, but rather to spread terror among the population and destabilize the government. In this way, they follow the same path as the first Kharijites in the early period of Islam.
Imam At-Tabari reported that:
“The Khawarij came to a village and they seized a man and his daughter. She said to them, “O people of Islam! Indeed, my father is an old man so does not kill him, and I am only a girl. By Allah, I have never been immoral and I have never harmed anyone.” They brought her to kill her and she kept saying, “What is my sin? What is my sin?” Then she fainted and they killed her with their swords.” (Tarikh At-Tabari 1512)
Imam Ibn Kathir said:
“If the Khawarij ever gained power, they would corrupt the entire earth, Iraq, and Syria etc. They would not leave a boy or a girl or a man or a woman, for in their view the people have become so corrupt that they cannot be reformed except by mass killing.” (Al-Bidayah wan Nihayah 10/584)
Wherever they appear, the Kharijites cause division among the Muslims at large and even among their own groups. Whenever they form a group, it is not long before splinter groups and off-shoots appear with each one claiming to have the right to seize the Caliphate.
Wahb ibn Munabbih said:
“I knew the early period of Islam. By Allah, the Kharijites never had a group except that Allah caused it to split due to their evil condition. Never did one of them proclaim his opinion except that Allah caused his neck to be struck. Never did the Muslim nation unite upon a man from the Kharijites. If Allah had allowed the dangerous and evil opinion of the Kharijites to take root, the earth would have been corrupted, the roadways would have been cut off, the Hajj pilgrimage to the sacred house of Allah would have been cut off, and the affair of Islam would have returned to ignorance until the people would seek refuge in the mountains as they had done in the time of ignorance (Jahiliyyah). If there were to arise among them ten or twenty men, there would not be a man among them except that he would claim the Caliphate for himself. With each man among them would be ten thousand others, all of them fighting each other and charging each other with unbelief until even the believer would fear for himself, his religion, his life, his family, his wealth, and he would not know where to travel or with whom he should be.” (Ta’rikh Dimshaq of Ibn Asakir 69290)
Nevertheless, the Kharijites have been successful recruiting ignorant or desperate Muslims. The Prophet described them as using beautiful Islamic rhetoric and selling “foolish dreams” to the Muslim masses.
Ali ibn Abi Talib reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:
“In the last days, there will be young people with foolish dreams. They will say the best of words in creation but they will pass through Islam just as an arrow passes through its game. Their faith will not go beyond their throats.” (Sahih Bukhari 4770)
Brothers and Sisters!
Their “foolish dreams” are their promises of an Islamic Utopia, a glorious jihad, a new Caliphate that will bring honour and strength back to the Muslims. Yet, their dreams are unrealistic and their methodologies dangerous to the very people they claim to be helping. Their understanding of faith is so shallow, superficial, dangerous and hypocritical that they cause even greater harm to Muslim community. They are fools by allowing themselves to be used by the underground enemies of peace, unity and progress; enemies of Islam and Muslims, in the name of doing jihad and protecting Islam!
In another narration, the Prophet described them saying:
“There will be dissension and division in my nation and a people will come with beautiful words but evil deeds. They recite the Qur’an but it will not pass beyond their throats. They will leave the religion (Islam) as an arrow leaves its target and they will not return until the arrows returns to its notch. They are the worst of the creation.” (Sunan Abu Dawud 4765)
Indeed, like their predecessors their preaching and propaganda entices people to join their cause but by their actions they are the worst of the creation, even though they recite the Qur’an and call to Islam. They bring forth verses of the Qur’an to bolster their arguments but they wield them against the objectives of lslam.
Usama ibn Zaid reported that: Sa’ad, May Allah be pleased with him, said:
“By Allah, I would never kill a Muslim or any innocent man as this one had killed him.” A man said to him: Did not Allah say: “Fight them until there is no more persecution and religion is entirely for Allah?” (2:193) Sa’ad said: We did fight them until there was no more persecution, but you and your companions intend to fight until there is persecution.” (Sahih Muslim 96)
Sa’id ibn Jubair reported that:
“We were met by Abdullah ibn Umar and we hoped that he would narrate to us a good saying. A man approaches him and said, “O Abu Abdur Rahman, tell us about fighting during times of persecution as Allah said: “And fight until there is no more persecution.” (2:193) Ibn Umar said: “Do you know what persecution is? May your mother be bereaved of you! Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, only fought the idolaters as there was persecution for practicing their religion. It was not like your fighting for the sake of ruling or leadership?” (Sahih Bukhari 6682)
The purpose of a just war in Islam is to end religious persecution and to protect innocent people, yet the Kharijites use such verses to further persecute Muslims and innocent people and to justify their worldly ambitions of political power.
We will continue to expose them (the Kharijites) and their evils as we see their violent call appear again and again until the end of time when the false messiah appears among them. They follow the same Satanic forces from which will emerge the greatest tribulation and suffering ever faced by humanity.
Abdullah ibn Amr reported that: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:
“There will emerge from the east some people from my nation who recite the Qur’an but it will not go beyond their throats. Every time a faction of them emerges it will be cut off.”
The Prophet repeated this and on the tenth time he said:
Every time a faction of them emerges it will be cut off until the False Messiah (dajjal/anti-Christ) emerges from their remnants.” (Musnad Ahmad 27767)
As such, in our times we are witnessing a number of conflicts between different governments and rebel Kharijite forces. Muslims are stuck between the spear of the leader and the sword of the rebel. In such cases, we must remain patient and work to reform and improve our communities through education, teaching, preaching, and charity.
Abdullah ibn Amr reported that: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:
“There will be a tribulation that will wipe out the Arabs in which those killed on both sides are in the Hellfire. In that time the tongue will be stronger than the sword.” (Musnad Ahmad 6941)
My respected people!
If we are not careful, we might fall into the sins of either side of the conflict by legitimizing the misdeeds of an oppressive government or justifying acts of terrorism in response. We should not rush to support one or another side in such conflicts as they are tribulations (fitnah) in which the truth is unclear.
Abu Hurairah reported that: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:
“There will be tribulations during which a sitting person will be better than the one standing. The one standing will be better than the one walking. The one walking will be better than the one running. Whoever exposes himself to these tribulations will be destroyed, so whoever finds a place of protection or refuge should take shelter in it.” Sahih Bukhari 6670)
Rather, we must be patient, resist calls for violence, and avoid getting involved in these conflicts. If we are patient, it will not be long before Allah will give us a way out. But if we call for violence, then Allah will heap more violence upon us.
Hassan Al-Basri, may Allah have mercy on him, said:
“If the people had patience when they are being tested by their unjust leader, it will not be long before Allah will give them a way out. However, they always rush to their swords, so they are left with their swords. By Allah, not even for a single day did they bring about any good.” (Tabaqat Al-Kubra 8789)
Brothers and Sisters!
Satan intends to use the alluring call of the Kharijites as a means to drag us into the Hellfire. We have to resist them by upholding the true teachings of Islam: mercy with the creation, patience with hardship, justice with even our enemies. The Kharijites intend to impress us by their outward displays of faith, but inwardly they have no faith. Only by understanding true Islam in both its inward and outward teachings can we protect ourselves, our children, and our communities from their dangerous ideology. What happened in the North-East Nigeria, Borno, Yobe, and Adamawa and even here in Okene is a great lesson to all of us. So we should be careful.
Allah blesses our brother, professor Abu Amina Bilal Philips as he said in one of his lectures:
“The only way to overcome this problem of Muslims getting radicalized is by educating the Muslim community about Islam. Islam is not about kissing the Qur’an and keeping it on a shelf. It is about seeking knowledge by reading, understanding and reflecting.”
May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon our beloved Prophet and Master, Muhammad peace be upon him, his family and all his Companions.
This Khutbah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today, Friday, Shawwal 17, 1437 AH (July 22, 2016), by Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Central Mosque and Alhaji Abdur Rahman Okene’s Mosque, Okene Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached via: +234 803 828 9761.