Friday Sermon: Good Leader Consult People In His Affairs! By Imam Murtadha Gusau

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Verily 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.” [Ali-Imran, 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.” [An-Nisa’, 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.” [Al-Ahzab, 70-71]
Verily, the most truthful speech is the Book of Allah, the best guidance is the guidance of Muhammad, and the worst of affairs are newly invented matters (in the religion). Every newly invented matter (in the religion) is a religious innovation, and every religious innovation is misguidance, and every misguidance is in the Hellfire.
Dear brothers and sisters! Allah the Almighty said addressing the Prophet (Peace be upon him):
“And consult them in the affairs.” [Ali-Imran, 159]
Hence, Allah the Almighty orders the Prophet (Peace be upon him) to consult his companions. Let me ask you here: who is the Prophet Muhammad? He is the master of mankind, the most beloved creature to Allah, the one who is gifted with shrewdness, the best of Adam’s sons, the one whom revelation was sent upon, and he is the infallible, yet, and despite all these characteristics and privileges, he is ordered by Allah to consult his companions. Allah the Most High said:
“Then when you have taken a decision, put your trust in Allah, certainly, Allah loves those who put their trust (in Him).” [Ali-Imran, 159]
Respected brothers and sisters! What is the wisdom behind consulting people? What is the point here? Why, despite the endless wisdom included in Allah’s Words, Allah asked the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) to consult his companions?
1. To sooth their souls by consulting them
When you order someone and he has to carry out your orders, he feels as if he was a tool in your hands. However, when you consult him, you give him the feeling that he is your partner, and this is an educational way. Therefore, consulting soothes the souls of the consultants.
When you ask your wife for her opinion on something you are intending to do she feels that you are equal partners. Hence, the first aim of the Prophet’s consultation with his companions is soothing their souls.
Whenever Allah orders the believers to do something, he shows them the wisdom behind this order, and by doing so, Allah soothes their hearts.
2. To get strength with his companion’s opinion
This is exactly what the Prophet (Peace be upon him) meant when he said to Abu Bakr and Umar (RA):
“If you two are agree upon an opinion I would not oppose you.” [Ahmad]
What does this mean? It means that when the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said those words, he was then choosing the wise and the prudent among his companions to ask for their opinion (or else he wouldn’t say: “I would not oppose you”), and by this act, he was supporting their opinion. 
Al-Nu’man Ibn Bashir said: 
“The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said on the pulpit: He who is not grateful for a little cannot be grateful for the abundance, and he who is not grateful to people cannot be grateful to Allah [whereas] to talk about Allah’s blessings is gratitude, and leaving it is ingratitude (kufr). The community (jama’ah) is mercy, and dissension is debasement.” [Ahmad]
When you have an opinion which is right, then you consult someone and he recommends the same opinion, your opinion gets stronger.
Hence, you feel supported when you see an opinion and consult a friend who agrees upon what you are going to do, thus, you get confident of your opinion, and this is called “strengthening.”
Therefore, the first purpose of consulting is soothing the souls, whereas the second purpose is that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) feels strength because of his companion’s opinion.
For example, when someone asks me a question, for which I know the answer, and I answer him with evidence from the Qur’an or Sunnah or the opinion of schools of thoughts (Scholars), I feel more confident when I ask a scholar and he give me the same answer. Man is supported with his brothers. He should not choose individual opinion, week evidence, or a weard opinion. He should be with the majority of scholars. Anas Ibn Malik said: I’ve heard the Prophet (Peace be upon him) saying:
“My nation will never agree upon misguidance, and if you witness any conflict, then follow the majority of my nation.” [Ibn Majah]
You should know that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) is individually infallible, while his nation is collectively infallible through Muslim’s agreement, and they never agree on something wrong.
Whenever you read interpretation books, they say in it most of the time: The majority of scholars said so and so, hence, be with the majority (of course not the majority of people but the majority of believers), as the Majority of people may go astray. Allah the Almighty says:
“And most of them follow nothing but conjecture.” [Yunus, 36]
Hence, first: consulting soothes the souls, second: it strengthens the consulted, assuring him that he is on the right path, as consulting gives strength and self-confidence. 
3. To legislate consulting among his nation after his death
The delicate point in the whole matter is that when the Prophet (Peace be upon him) consulted his companions ?carrying out Allah’s order to him, he put a law by this act, so that it would be carried out by his nation after him.
If he was a Prophet who is infallible and never makes mistakes, he is guided by revelation, he is supported by Allah, he is protected by the divine providence, and he is gifted with unlimited wisdom and knowledge, what about the generations of leaders and scholars who would come after him? They are not like him, they may be confused, so they need to resort to consultation. Hence, he made consultation a Sunnah and he set up an example for them.
Though the Prophet (Peace be upon him) wasn’t in need for consulting his companions because of his wisdom, knowledge and his infallibility, but he consulted them in order to set up an example for scholars and leaders, who will come after his death. Thereby, he laid down a law in consulting others.
Again, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) consulted his companions to sooth their souls, to get support from their opinions, but definitely, he didn’t need their opinion and recommendations, as he was infallible, supported with revelation (Wahy), and gifted with wisdom and knowledge. He could do without their reasoning, yet he did so in order to set up a good example for them.
You all remember that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) borrowed money from a Jew, and to this, a narrow minded person might say: Is it rational that the Prophet took money from a Jew, whereas he was surrounded with his companions who were ready to sacrifice their souls and hearts for him? The answer is so simple: The Prophet (Peace be upon him)  didn’t borrow money from a Jew out of need, or because his companions were negligent to his needs, but he meant to lay down a law that you can deal with people of the book (Jews and Christians), to buy from them and sell to them.
If the Prophet (Peace be upon him) had never dealt with people of the book (Jews and Christians), you would not have been allowed to do so, hence he set up an example for you and lied down a law by such an act.
Another example to clarify this idea is the following: what do you think about the Prophet’s courage? He was described by his companions as follows:
“When the battle used to become fierce and the eyes seemed to be coming out of the sockets, we were to look for the Prophet (Peace be upon him) in order to find a shelter behind him, as he was the closest one among us to the enemy.”
This means that the courage of all the companions wasn’t up to the Prophet’s courage (Peace be upon him), yet, how did he migrate from Makkah to Madinah?
He did that undercover, he hid in the cave of Thawr, asked someone to bring him news, asked another to bring him food, and a third to wipe off his traces, why do you think he did that? Why didn’t he migrate like Umar who challenged all the infidels? Umar (RA) said:
“Whoever wants to cause grief for his mother and leave his children as orphans, then let him meet me behind that valley.”
One might wonder: who was more courageous, the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him), or this noble companion (Umar)?
The companion (Umar) was challenging the infidels, whereas the Prophet (Peace be upon him) was sneaking out of Makkah and hiding in the cave of Thawr spending three days in it.
The answer to this is very simple: had the Prophet migrated as Umar did, then rushing into danger would have been mandatory for a Muslim, and caution would have been impermissible, which could lead people to death.
Because the Prophet’s acts would be legislations till the Day of Judgment, the Prophet was cautious, he considered the causes, and he didn’t challenge Quraish. He resorted to the cave of Thawr, stayed in it for three days, he asked someone to bring him news, another to wipe off his traces, and a third to bring him food, not to mention that he hired a non-Muslim expert in trace tracking (he preferred expertise).
In other words, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) was a legislator, and when he consulted his companions, he laid down a law for us, for leaders after him, and for scholars, in order to consult in our affairs.
In another incident, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) set up a practical example. It was in Badr Battle, as he had chosen a loction. One might say: O Lord, wasn’t it better to send Angel Jibril (Gabriel) to the Prophet with the right location for the battle? Well, it was possible, but why did not Allah send Jibril (Gabriel)? Wasn’t it possible to inspire the Prophet of the most suitable location for the battle? Well, it was possible as well, but why didn’t any of this happen? After the Prophet (Peace be upon him) had chosen a location according to his own judgment, a polite enthusiastic companion of best quality asked him:
“Has Allah inspired you to choose this very spot or is it an opinion and strategy of war and a matter of consultation?”
Pay attention to the accuracy of the companion. Had the location been chosen by Revelation (Wahy), he wouldn’t have said a word.
The Prophet (Peace be upon him) replied:
“It is strategy of war and a matter of consultation.” 
The man said: 
“This place is not good.”
As simple, humble, spontaneous, and friendly as he was, and without neglecting, bashing or dismissing the adviser, the Prophet never considered that question as an act of discrediting to his judgment.
The Prophet asked:
“Where is the best place?” 
And the man pointed to the perfect place so that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) approved his plan and agreed to carry it out, and he moved the army to that spot.
4. You show respect to the person you consult with
Also the wisdom behind consulting someone is to raise high his self-esteem, to let him feel the importance and acceptance of his opinion, and to feel that he is contributing through his opinion to this country, state, town, family, company, school, or hospital.
This is called: ”The Democratic Management”, it is when a hospital manager, for example, asks doctors around him: what do you think of so and so? Considering the following Qur’anic verse:
“And consult them in the affairs. Then when you have taken a decision, put your trust in Allah.” [Ali-Imran, 159]
5. You test people by consulting them
We should not miss an important point. As we said before that the wisdom behind consulting others (either you were a sultan, an emir, king, president, governor, sole administrator, managing director, director, principal, hospital manager, company owner, father, business manager, or merchant etc) is to sooth their hearts, strengthen your opinion, and raise high their self-esteem, we still have another wisdom which unfolds a great educational purpose, as when you consult others you have the chance to get to know their reasoning, their points of view, and you can sift the narrow minded from the wise, the short-sighted from the long-sighted, and the sincere from the unfaithful. Hence, when you consult others, you are testing them in the process.
* The believer accepts the advice and thanks the adviser
This is leadership, and this is how the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) set up an example for his nation after him.
If you happened to be advised by a sincere and enthusiastic person, bringing all the needed evidence to support his advice, beware of going arrogant, rejecting, or turning away from him, and don’t ever do what breaks him because he dared to advise you.
Dear brothers and sisters! Please, pay attention to the following point:
Those who praise you won’t improve you. On the other hand, those who criticise you are those who improve you. Whenever you are criticised for doing something you avoid it so you get better, but when you are praised for something you are satisfied with it and you don’t get improved.
I always recall Khalifah Umar’s saying: 
“I love the person who gives me my blemishes as a present.”
This is how believer should do, he should be flexible towards advice, a good listener to it, grateful to the person who offers it. He should never despise him, nor should he bash or abandon him. He should never consider the advice as an act of crossing a red line, rather, he should thank the adviser.
As a legislator for the Ummah, the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) consulted his companions to lay down a law to be a Sunnah after his death.
Nowadays, you can make use of this law practically. If you have a family you can consult your wife in fundamental matters, and there is no harm in doing so.
Along with the same line, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) consulted Umm Salamah (his wife) in the Agreement (Sulh) of Hudaibiyyah, and adopted her opinion, so there is no harm in consulting your elder sons in order to sooth their souls, strengthen your opinion, and make them feel as partners in the family, and above all you teach them to humble down in their life, to consult others, and to accept consultation and advice.
Dear brothers and sisters! He who accepts the sincere advice, will attain the same reward of the person who offers it.
When you offer your advice you will get a reward, and he, who accepts it politely and thank you for it will get a reward as well.
Reported by Ibn Uday and Baihaqi in the Shu’ab, authenticated by Ibn Abbas, May Allah be pleased with both of them, he said:
“When the Qur’anic verse “and consult them in the affairs” was revealed and descended, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: Allah and his Messenger, Muhammad (Peace be upon him) don’t need consulting, however, Allah descended this verse out of mercy on my nation. Whoever consults others will never lack reasoning, and whoever doesn’t abide by it, might be afflicted with aberrance.”
* Consultation doesn’t mean chaos
In order to avoid turning consultation into chaos, dispersal, business obstruction, and disputes, we should consult and brain storm, as leadership sometimes needs people’s opinion, yet, in the end, you should do what is right, taking into consideration all the opinions. Hence, consulting is for taking hints and it is not a mandatory to take. This is because Allah said in the following verse:
“Then when you have taken a decision, put your trust in Allah.” [Ali-Imran, 159]
* Consultation is a crucial part of the believer’s life
Reported by Al-Shafi’i, from Abu Hurairah, May Allah be pleased with him, he said:
“I’ve never seen someone keener on consulting his companions than the Prophet (Peace be upon him).”
Consulting is a crucial matter, and Allah the Almighty described the believer saying: 
“They conduct their affairs by mutual consultation.” 
Allah the Almighty said: 
“And who (conduct) their affairs by mutual consultation.” [Ash-Shurah, 38]
And Allah ordered the Prophet (Peace be upon him) in the following verse: 
“And consult them in the affairs.” [Ali-Imran, 159]
This means that Shurah (Consultation) should be part of the believer’s life.
When the person, you offer your advice to, accepts it, makes use of it, and praises you for it, he will be encouraging this righteous behaviour which is enjoined by the noble Sunnah, and mentioned in Qur’an.
* The Prophet encouraged his companions to seek consultation
The Prophet (Peace be upon him) encouraged his companions to consult each other. Aisha, May Allah pleased with her, said: 
“The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: The consultee is aid seeker, and the consultant must be trustworthy, so whenever you are consulted, you should consult with the same opinion you would consult yourself with.” [Kashf Al-Khafa’]
I know some merchants who wear pants made of a stagnant colour of stock fabric just to tell their customers when they ask if this fabric is good or not: Don’t you see that I am wearing it. So he is wearing those pants in order to sell the fabric, and this is dishonesty.
One should advise others with the same thing he will consult himself with, and that should be for real not just to display the goods, or out of malice.
Scholars said: Consultation draws out the sweetest of opinions, and the best of what is hidden in chests, exactly like when we take honey from the bee hive.
Therefore, when you consult a believer, you are bringing out his wise opinion.
Two days ago, in a Mosque, a brother asked me about a land he bought, but after a while someone claimed to own part of it and he filed a suit case. When he asked the owner about that, his papers weren’t complete, and though this brother won the case and became the owner of the whole land, yet he was not comfortable that part of it is not owned by the main owner who sold it to him, and kept feeling worried for three years.
The main owner of the land died and this brother asked me what to do? I said: it is easy, sell the part that you doubt owning and give it to the poor as Sadaqah, in that case if the land was yours then you paid Sadaqah and will be rewarded for it on the Day of Judgment, and if it wasn’t yours, then it was kept for its owner to be rewarded in the Hereafter (because he is now dead and if he were alive he would have given it to him), and by doing so you will be relieved of worry. This man was touched deeply by this solution which he couldn’t figure out himself, as he was worried that he has eaten ill-gotten money, given that he who transgresses a part of land will be in hellfire, so how about 2000 square metres (half acre) of land?
There is a solution for any problem, but you need to seek it in order to find it.
Who should we consult?
It was mentioned in the relic:
“Polish your minds by deliberation, and seek an aid in your matters through consulting.”
Best of times is when you deliberate knowledge with others, consult them, ask for their evidence to support the matter in question, ask for their hints, and swap notes between your opinion and theirs, in that case, you are polishing your mind by deliberation, and seeking aid in your matters through consulting. However, don’t consult just any one; rather you should know who to consult.
“And obey not him whose heart We have made heedless of Our Remembrance, one who follows his own lusts and whose affair (deeds) has been lost?.” [Al-Kahf, 28]
You should consult the believers. Scholars said: the consultant should be trustworthy, respectful, adviser, steadfast, non self-absorbed, not hesitant, not a liar, and he should not be fond of the matter he is consulted in (there is no conflict of interests).
In other words, if the matter of consulting is a garden, then you shouldn’t ask someone who is fond of gardens by saying: this garden is for me and for my neighbour, so what should I do? In this case, he might say to you: take it, out of his love to gardens, and he would be driven by his love instead of being just. Same goes for he who is ascetic about worldly life matters, like when you say to him: there is a disagreement between me and the owner of this store, what should I do? As he might say to you: leave it to him, because he is not interested in tangible things, and by this he is giving an opinion that might be not just for you if you have kids and the store should be yours according to law. Both men will be giving opinion very far from rightness, as the fond of the first will blind him from the truth, and the distance of the second will do the same.
Also don’t consult a stingy person in money related matters, as he will say to you: keep your money for a rainy day, hence, the stingy can’t be a consultant.
Instead, you should consult someone who is trustworthy, respectful, adviser, steadfast, non self-absorbed, non hesitant, and not a liar.
The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:
“The consultee is an aid seeker, and the consultant must be trustworthy, so whenever you are consulted, you should consult of the same opinion you would consult yourself with.”[Kashf Al-Khafa’]
You are free to pardon yourself from giving any opinion. Keeping silent might be the answer, and remember that you are trusted if consulted. Hence, if consulting could lead to a conflict, you should pardon yourself from giving any opinion as this is better than giving an opinion you are not convinced with, or giving an opinion opposite to what you know, as this is a major sin, so beware of advising others with the opposite of what you know.
Imam At-Tabarani reported through Anas Ibn Malik, that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:
“The one who asks Allah for guidance by performing Istikharah prayer would never be disappointed, and the one who consults others would never regret.” [At-Tabarani by Anas]
Istikharah is all about seeking aid from Allah, whereas consulting is sought from experts believers.
Being a believer only is not enough, and being an expert only is not enough, you should have both to be consulted. If the consultant was not a believer, then he wouldn’t be a good adviser, as in his advice, he might have a conflict of interests, so he would hinder it from you. On the other hand, the believer who has no experience gives you his opinion out of ignorance. Therefore, Guidance is sought from Allah and advice is sought from experts.
* Consultation is borrowing minds and experiences
“The one who consults wise men is borrowing their minds.”
You can gain fifty years of experience from someone by asking him nicely: What do you think of this matter sir? And remember, he who consults wise men will be borrowing their minds.
Do you know that by asking a question to an expert, you are able to summarises fifty years of his experience? If he is an expert in economic, commerce or industry, and you are about to start a business of yours, consult him, and, in general, always consult the believers who are honest and wise.
* Despotism
Some have said a nice statement in this respect: 
“Despotism in opinion wastes the sane, and obliges the choosers.”
When someone acts autocratically despite the fact of being surrounded by wise people, he cancels their reasoning by such an act. Hence, Despotism abolishes the reasoning of wise people and turns the free choice of choosers into obligation. In other words, acting autocratically turns the sane into a fool.
I hope that we make use of this sermon practically in our daily life, and get ourselves used to consulting others, to asking, to brain storming, to resorting to the experts, to the pious, and to the believers, whether in your business or traveling, and beware of acting autocratically, as this will lead you to the worst of your deeds.
Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, the Ever-Living, Who does not die, and Peace and Blessings upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his family and companions.
This Jumu’ah Khutbah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today Friday, Jumada Al-Ula 18, 1440 A.H. (January 25, 2019), by Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’ah and the late Alhaji Abdur-Rahman Okene’s Mosques, Okene, Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached via: gusaumurtada@gmail.com or +2348038289761.

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

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

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

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

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

Imam Ibn Taymiyyah said:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Imam Ibn Taymiyyah said:

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

Imam al-Khattabi said:

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

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

1. Ibn Mas’ud (RA) reported:

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

Meaning:

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

2. Ibn Abbas (RA) reported:

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

Meaning:

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

3. Salman (RA) reported:

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

Meaning:

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

Allah says in the Noble Qur’an:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Meaning:

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

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

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

2. To take a bath.

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

4. To use perfume.

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

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

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

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

– Procedure of the Eid Prayer

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

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

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

Meaning:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Narrated Jabir Ibn Abdullah (RA) that:

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

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

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

– The Slaughtering Of Sacrificial Animals

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– What is the Proper Animal for Slaughter?

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

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

Abu Ayyub al-Ansari (RA) has said:

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

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

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

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

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

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

* Zaid Ibn Arqam

Ilyas Ibn AbuRamlah ash-Shami said:

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

* Abdullah Ibn Abbas

Ata’ Ibn Abi Rabah said:

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

* Ata’ said:

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

* Abu Hurairah

The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

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

Benefits in this Subject:

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

He said:

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

He said:

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

He said:

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

He said:

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

He said:

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

He said:

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

He said:

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

He said:

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

He said:

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

He said:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Eid-du-kum Mubarak!

Ma’assalam,

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

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

Friday Sermon: The Virtues Of The Day Of Arafah And It’s Rulings In Islam, By Imam Murtadha Gusau

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

All praise is due to Allah, and may His blessings and peace be upon the Messenger after whom there are no Messengers.

Dear Respected Brothers and Sisters! The day of Arafah is the 9th day of the month of Dhul-Hajj on the Islamic calendar. It occurs near the end of the Hajj pilgrimage as pilgrims stand on the plain of Arafah to perform prayers, supplications and acts of worship.

About two million pilgrims or more attend the plain of Arafah during each annual pilgrimage. This event is the culmination and the climax of the Hajj pilgrimage, the most important ritual for the pilgrims.

The day of Arafah is among the most virtuous days. On that day, supplications are answered, sins are forgiven, and Allah boasts to the angels of the people of Arafah. It is a day that Allah granted a great value to and favoured over other days. It is the day of perfecting the religion and completing the favour and the day of forgiveness of sins and salvation from Hellfire.

You should know the virtues of this day, how Allah favoured it over other days and the guidance of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) therein. I ask Allah to save us from Hellfire on that great day. Ameen.

The virtues of the day of Arafah are as follows:

1. It Is The Day On Which The Religion Of Allah Was Perfected And Allah’s Favour Was Completed

Narrated Tariq Bin Shibab that:

“Some Jews said, “Had this Verse been revealed to us, we would have taken that day as Eid (festival).” Umar said, “What Verse?” They said: “This day I have Perfected your religion for you, Completed My Favour upon you And have chosen for you Islam as your religion.” [Quran, 5:3] Umar said, “I know the place where it was revealed; It was revealed while Allah’s Messenger was staying at Arafah.” [Bukhari, Muslim and An-Nasa’i]

2. It Is A Day Of Eid For The People Who Are In That Place

Uqbah Bin Amir narrated that:

“The Messenger of Allah said: “The Day of Arafah, the Day of Nahr, and the Days of Tashriq are Eid for us, the people of Islam, and they are days of eating and drinking.” [At-Tirmidhi]

It was narrated from Uqbah Bin Amir that the Messenger of Allah said:

“The day of Arafah and the day of sacrifice and the day of At-Tashriq are our Eid, the people of Islam, and they are days of eating and drinking.” [An-Nasa’i and Abu Dawud]

3. It Is A Day By Which Allah Swore An Oath

The Almighty cannot swear by anything except that which is mighty. The Day of Arafah is the “witnessed day” mentioned in the verse:

“By the witnessing day [Friday] and by the witnessed day (the Day of Arafah).” [Surah Al-Buruj, 85:3]

It was reported from Abu Hurairah (May Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:

“The promised day is the Day of Resurrection, the witnessed day is the Day of Arafah, and the witnessing day is Friday.” [At-Tirmidhi]

The View Of Ikrimah And Al-Dahhak:

“And by the even and the odd.” [Surah Fajr, 89:3]

Ibn Abbas said:

“The even is the Day of al-Adha (i.e. 10th Dhul-Hajj) and the odd is the day of Arafah (i.e. 9th Dhul-Hajj).”

4. It Is The Day On Which Allah Took The Covenant From The Progeny Of Adam

It was reported that Ibn Abbas (May Allah be pleased with him) said:

“The Messenger of Allah (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Allah took the covenant from the loins of Adam in Na’man, i.e., Arafah. He brought forth from his loins all his offspring and spread them before Him, then He addressed them, and said: Am I not your Lord? They said, ‘Yes, we testify,’ let you should say on the Day of Resurrection: ‘Verily, we have been unaware of this.’ Or lest you should say: ‘It was only our fathers aforetime who took others as partners in worship along with Allah, and we were (merely their) descendents after them; will You then destroy us because of the deeds of men who practised Al-Batil (i.e., polytheism and committing crimes and sins, invoking and worshipping others besides Allah)?” [Musnad of Ahmad]

5. The Standing On Arafah In The Hajj

Abdurrahman Bin Yamur Ad-Daili said:

“I saw the Prophet in Arafah when some people from Najd came to him. They told a man to ask him about Hajj. He said: “Hajj is Arafah. Whoever comes on the night of Al-Muzdalifah before Subh prayer, then he has caught up with Hajj.” [An-Nasa’i and Malik in Muwatta]

Shaykh Uthaimin said:

“What is meant by the words of the Prophet (Blessings and peace of Allah be upon him), “Hajj is Arafah” is that in Hajj it is essential to stand in Arafah. Whoever does not stand in Arafah has missed out on Hajj. It does not mean that the one who stands in Arafah no longer has to do any of the actions of Hajj, according to scholarly consensus, because if a person stands in Arafah, he still has to do some actions of Hajj, such as staying overnight in Muzdalifah, tawaf al-ifadah, sa‘ayi between as-Safa and al-Marwah, stoning the Jamarat and staying overnight in Mina. Rather what is meant is that standing in Arafah is an essential part of Hajj and if he does not stand in Arafah then there is no Hajj for him. Hence the scholars said: Whoever misses the standing (in Arafah) has missed Hajj.” [Majmu’u Fatawa of Ibn Uthaimin, vol. 23 page 24]

6. It Is The Day Of Forgiveness Of Sins And Freedom From The Fire

Aisha (Allah be pleased with her) reported Allah’s Messenger (May peace be upon him) as saying:

“There is no day when Allah sets free more servants from Hellfire than the Day of Arafah. He (Allah) draws near, then praises them to the angels, saying: What do these want?” [Muslim]

7. Allah Expresses His Pride To His Angels On This Day

It was reported from Ibn Umar that the Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:

“Allah expresses His pride to His angels at the time of Isha’ on the Day of Arafah, about the people of Arafah. He says, ‘Look at My slaves who have come unkempt and dusty.’” [Musnad of Ahmad]

8. Ruling On Fasting On The Day Of Arafah (9th Dhul-Hajj) For Pilgrims And Non-pilgrims

Fasting on the day of Arafah is a confirmed Sunnah for those who are not performing Hajj.

Narrated Abu Qatadah that the Messenger of Allah (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was asked about fasting on the day of Arafah (9th of Dhul-Hajj), whereupon he said:

“It expiates the sins of the preceding year and the coming year.” [Muslim and Abu Dawud]

It was narrated from Hunaidah Bin Khalid, from his wife, from one of the wives of the Prophet, that: the Messenger of Allah used to fast nine days of Dhul-Hajj, the day of Ashura, and three days of each month: The first Monday of the month, and two Thursday. [An-Nasa’i and Abu Dawud]

Ikrimah said:

“We were with Abu Hurairah in his house when he narrated to us that: The Messenger of Allah prohibited fasting on the day of Arafah at Arafah.” [Abu Dawud]

Narrated Maimunah that:

“The people doubted whether the Prophet was fasting on the day of Arafah or not, so I sent milk while he was standing at Arafah, he drank it and the people were looking at him.” [Bukhari and Muslim]

Imam Al-Nawawi said:

“With regard to the ruling on this matter, Imam Ash-Shafi’i and his companions said: It is mustahabb to fast on the day of Arafah for the one who is not in Arafah. As for the pilgrim who is present in Arafah, Imam Ash-Shafi’i said in al-Mukhtasar and his companions said: It is mustahabb for him not to fast, because of the Hadith of Umm al-Fadl. A number of our companions said: It is makruh for him to fast this day. Among those who stated that it is makruh were al-Darimi, al-Bandaniji, al-Muhamili in al-Majmu’ and al-Musannaf fil-Tanbih, and others.” [Al Majmu’, vol. 6 page 428]

Imam Al-Kasaani said:

“With regard to fasting the day of Arafah, for people other than those who are performing Hajj it is mustahabb, because of the many Hadiths which recommended fasting on this day, and because it is superior to other days. That also applies to the pilgrim if it will not make him too weak to stand in Arafah and say Du’a, because this is combining two acts of worship. But if it will make him too weak, then it is makruh (disliked), because the virtue of fasting on this day is something that may be made up in some other year, whereas the virtue of standing in Arafah and making Du’a is something that is not attainable for most people, except once in a lifetimes, therefore attaining that virtue (of standing in Arafah and making Du’a) takes precedence.” [Bada’i Al-Sana’i, vol. 2 page 76]

Imam Al-Khurashi said:

“Fasting on the day of Arafah, for one who is not doing Hajj, and the ten days of Dhul-Hajj”, what is meant is that fasting on the day of Arafah is mustahabb for the one who is not doing Hajj. As for the pilgrim, it is mustahabb for him not to fast this day, so as to strengthen himself for supplicating (Du’a), and the Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) did not fast during Hajj.” [Sharh Mukhtasar Khalil, vol. 6 page 499]

Shaykh Ibn Uthaimin (May Allah have mercy on him) was asked:

What is the ruling on fasting the day of Arafah for non-pilgrims and pilgrims?

He replied:

“Fasting on the day of Arafah for non-pilgrims is a confirmed Sunnah. The Messenger of Allah (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was asked about fasting on the day of Arafah and he said: “I ask Allah that it may expiate for (the sins of) the year that comes before it and the year that comes after it.”

According to another report he said:

“It expiates for the past and coming years. As for the pilgrim, it is not Sunnah for him to fast on the day of Arafah, because the Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) did not fast on the day of Arafah during the Farewell Pilgrimage. In Sahih al-Bukhari it is narrated from Maimunah (May Allah be pleased with her) that the people were not sure whether the Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was fasting on the day of Arafah, so she sent him some milk when he was standing in Arafah, and he drank it whilst the people were looking on.” [Majmu’u Fatawa Ibn Uthaimin, part 20, question no. 404]

9. Fasting On This Day Is An Expiation For Two Years

Narrated Abu Qatadah that the Messenger of Allah (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was asked about fasting on the day of Arafah (9th of Dhul-Hajj), whereupon he said: It expiates the sins of the preceding year and the coming year.” [Muslim and Abu Dawud]

10. Ruling On Fasting On The First Eight Days Of Dhul-Hajj For Pilgrims And Non-pilgrims

Fasting on the first eight days of Dhul-Hajj is mustahabb for pilgrims and others, because, as Narrated by Ibn Abbas that:

“The Prophet said, “No good deeds done on other days are superior to those done on these (first ten days of Dhul-Hajj).” Then some Companions of the Prophet said, “Not even Jihad?” He replied, “Not even Jihad, except that of a man who does it by putting himself and his property in danger (for Allah’s sake) and does not return with any of those things.” [Bukhari, At-Tirmidhi and Abu Dawud]

“The fuqaha (Jurists) are unanimously agreed that it is mustahabb to fast during the eight days of Dhul-Hajj, before the day of Arafah. The Malikis and Shafi’is stated that it is Sunnah to fast on these days for the pilgrim too.” [Al-Mausu’ah al-Fiqhiyyah, vol. 28 page 91]

It is Sunnah to fast the eight days before the day of Arafah, as is stated in al-Rawdah, and that applies equally to pilgrims and others, but it is not Sunnah for the pilgrim to fast on the day of Arafah, rather it is mustahabb for him not to fast then, even if he is able for it, following the example of the Messenger (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him), and so that he will have more strength for Du’a. [Nihayatul Muhtaaj, vol. 3 page 207]

It was narrated from Hunaidah Bin Khalid, from his wife, from one of the wives of the Prophet, that: the Messenger of Allah used to fast nine days of Dhul-Hajj, the day of Ashura, and three days of each month: The first Monday of the month, and two Thursday. [An-Nasa’i and Abu Dawud]

This (fasting) of eight days of Dhul-Hajj is mustahabb for Both pilgrims and Non-pilgrims. In the case of the one who is on Hajj, it is not Sunnah for him to fast on the Day of Arafah (9th Dhul-Hajj), because the Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) did not fast on this day in Arafah. It was narrated that he forbade fasting on the Day of Arafah in Arafah. As I have explained in Point Number eight.

11. The Ruling On If A Country Differs With Makkah With Regard To Sighting The New Moon

Shaykh Ibn Uthaimin was asked:

“What if the day of Arafah is different because of the moon being sighted at different times in different countries? Should we fast according to the moon sighting in the country where we are or according to the moon sighting in al-Haramain (the two Noble Sanctuaries)?”

He replied:

“This is based on a difference of opinion among the scholars: Is there only one moon sighting for the whole world or does it vary according to when the moon rises in different places? The correct view is that it varies according to when the moon rises in different places. For example, if the moon is sighted in Makkah, and today is the ninth, and it is sighted elsewhere one day before Makkah, and the day of Arafah in Makkah is the tenth for them, it is not permissible for them to fast on this day because it is Eid. Similarly if it so happens that they sight the moon after Makkah, and the 9th in Makkah is the 8th for them, then they should fast the day that is the 9th for them, which is the 10th in Makkah. This is the correct view, because the Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “When you see it (the new moon) fast and when you see it break your fast.” Those who did not see the moon in their own location have not seen it. Just as people are unanimously agreed that the times for dawn and sunset vary according to their own location, so too the months are also worked out by location, just like the daily timings.” [Majmu’u Al-Fatawa, 20]

12. Prophet Muhammad’s (Peace be upon him) Khutbah On The Day Of Arafah

Narrated Ibn Abbas that: “I heard the Prophet delivering a sermon at Arafah.” [Bukhari]

Ja’afar Bin Muhammad reported on the authority of his father that:

“…The Messenger of Allah (May peace be upon him), however, passed on till he came to Arafah and he found that the tent had been pitched for him at Namirah. There he got down till the sun had passed the meridian; he commanded that al-Qaswa should be brought and saddled for him. Then he came to the bottom of the valley, and addressed the people saying: Verily your blood, your property are as sacred and inviolable as the sacredness of this day of yours, in this month of yours, in this town of yours. Behold! Everything pertaining to the Days of Ignorance is under my feet, completely abolished. Abolished are also the blood-revenges of the Days of Ignorance.

The first claim of ours on blood-revenge which I abolish is that of the son of Rabi’ah Bin al-Harith, who was nursed among the tribe of Sa’ad and killed by Hudhail. And the usury of the pre-Islamic period is abolished, and the first of the usury I abolish is that of Abbas Bin Abdul-Muttalib, for it is all abolished. Fear Allah concerning women! Verily you have taken them on the security of Allah, and intercourse with them has been made lawful unto you by words of Allah. You too have right over them, and that they should not allow anyone to sit on your bed whom you do not like. But if they do that, you can chastise them but not severely. Their rights upon you are that you should provide them with food, shelter and clothing in a fitting manner. I have left among you the Book of Allah, and if you hold fast to it, you would never go astray. And you would be asked about me (on the Day of Resurrection), (now tell me) what would you say? They (the audience) said: We will bear witness that you have conveyed (the message), discharged (the ministry of Prophethood) and given wise (sincere) counsel. He (the narrator) said: He (the Noble Prophet) then raised his forefinger towards the sky and pointing it at the people (said):” O Allah, be witness. O Allah, be witness,” saying it thrice. (Bilal then) pronounced Adhan and later on Iqamah and he (the Noble Prophet) led the noon prayer. He (Bilal) then uttered Iqamah and he (the Noble Prophet) led the afternoon prayer and he observed no other prayer in between the two…” [Muslim]

13. The Gathering And The Resurrection Of Mankind Will Be In Al-Sham Not In Arafah

Because there is no authentic evidence to indicate that.

Shaykh Sa’ad Al-Humaid said:

Rather it is proven in the sahih (authentic) Hadith that the gathering will be in al-Sham (Greater Syria, including Palestine).

It was narrated from Abu Dharr (May Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:

“Al-Sham is the land of the gathering and the resurrection.” [Musnad of Al-Bazzar]

Imam Al-Manawi said:

“It is the place where the people will be gathered for the Reckoning. They will be resurrected from their graves then they will be driven to that land. It has been singled out for this because it is the land of which Allah said: “The land which We have blessed for the Aalamin (mankind and jinn).” [Surah Al-Anbiya, 21:71] Most of the Prophets were sent from that land and their laws spread throughout the world, so it is appropriate that it should be the land of the gathering and the resurrection.” [Faid Al-Qadir of Imam Al-Manawi, vol. 4 page 171]

14. The Best Day For Du’a (Supplication) Is The Day Of Arafah And The Best Du’a Of The Prophets Is…

On the authority of Amru Bin Shu’aib, from his father Muhammad, from his grandfather Abdullah Bin Amru Bin Al-As, Allah is pleased with them that the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) said:

“The best supplication offered is on day of Arafah. And the best that I and the Prophets before me uttered is La Ilaha Ilallah, Wahdahu La Sharika Lah Lahul Mulk Wa Lahul Hamd Wa Huwa Ala Kulli Shai’in Qadir.” [This Hadith is in Jami At-Tirmidhi no. 3585 and Al-Albani graded it as sound in Sahihul Jami no. 3274 and Sahihut-Targhib no. 1536]

Imam Ibn Abdil-Barr said:

“In this Hadith is a proof that some Du’a is more virtuous than other Du’a, and some days are more virtuous than others. And it proves that the Du’a on day of Arafah is all answered in most cases except those who  do not transgress in the Du’a.” [Al-Idhtidhkar, vol. 1 page 10860]

The Irsal (severance in chain) between Amru Bin Shu’aib and Abdullah Bin Amru does not harm because Imam Adh-Dhahabi stated that Shu’aib stayed in the house of his grandfather Abdullah Bin Amru Bin Al-As Allah is pleased with them.

15. Da’if (weak and unauthentic) Hadith Regarding Arafah

The saying:

“If Arafah falls on a Friday then Hajj in that year is equivalent to seven Hajjs or Seventy two Hajj.”

All the Imams judged this Hadith to be false and not authentic.

Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim said:

“As for that which is commonly spoken of among the common folk, that it is equivalent to seventy-two Hajjs, this is false and there is no basis for it (in any report) from the Messenger of Allah or from any of the Sahabah or Tabi’in, and Allah knows best.” [Zaad Al-Ma’ad, vol. 1 page 65]

Shaykh Al-Albaani (May Allah have mercy on him) said:

“The Hadith is false and has no basis at all.” [Al-Silsilah Al-Da’ifah, 207]

16. Congratulations For Those Who Will Stood At Arafah

Congratulations for you, dear pilgrims, you whom Allah granted standing in Arafah next to people who race to Allah with yearning hearts and flowing tears. Among them, there are many fearful servants who were disturbed and worried by fear. Others are loving servants who suffer passionate yearning. Many of them are hopeful servants who trust the promise of Allah and its sincerity. There are also many repentant servants who made their repentance sincere and true for the sake of Allah. There are refugees resorting to the door of Allah and knocking on it.

Some of them deserve Hellfire, but Allah rescued them, saved them, and freed them from the heaviest burdens. There upon, the Most Merciful Lord looks at them and boasts about their gathering to the residents of heavens. Then, He comes near and says:

“What do these people want? We have, upon their arrival, protected them against deprivation, and the Merciful has granted them their ultimate requests.”

Pilgrims should remember to pray for their countries, for their loved ones, the Muslims, the righteous, and humanity at large. At the same time, Muslims who are not performing the pilgrimage should pray for those who are. If we meet any pilgrims on their journey, we should honour them as they are the guests of Allah the Almighty.

In sum, the day of Arafah is among the holiest times of the year in Islam. It commemorates the finality of revelation and the completion of the Hajj pilgrimage. We should increase our good deeds, prayers, and supplications during this time. If we are not present at Arafah, it is best to fast the day in remembrance. If we are on the plain of Arafah, it is best to save our strength for worship.

I ask Allah to bless this day for us and all Muslims everywhere.

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!

O Allah! 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.

Dear Brothers and Sisters! Anything good I have said in my today’s 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 the 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, Dhul-Hajj 6, 1439 AH (August 17, 2018), by Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’ah and the late Alhaji Abdurrahman Okene’s Mosques, Okene Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached via: gusaumurtada@gmail.com or +2348038289761.

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

The First Ten Days Of The Month Of Dhul-Hajj In Islam, By Imam Murtadha Gusau

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

The month of the Dhul-Hajj is one of the most important months in Islam. This is the month of Eid-al-Adha and the month of Hajj. Dhul-Hajj is the last month of Islamic calendar which reminds us of the sacrifice of Prophet Ibrahim (AS) and His son Prophet Isma’il (AS). In this noble month, Muslims go to Saudi Arabia for performing Hajj and also celebrate Eid-al-Adha by sacrificing animals for the sake of Allah Almighty. With the start of noble month of Dhul-Hajj, Muslims from all over the world have embarked on a journey of a lifetime that is for Hajj.

Those who can’t go for Hajj can do some special deeds in the first Ten days of Dhul-Hajj. These Ten days are the best in the whole year, and it’s so important that we take advantage of them if we are not able to perform pilgrimage this time. We have no guarantee that we’ll live to see the next Dhul-Hajj so make the most of the days while performing some special deeds. Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) said:

“There is no deed that is better in the sight of Allah or more greatly rewarded than a good deed done in the (first) Ten days of Al-Adha.” It was asked, “Not even Jihad for the sake of Allah?” The Prophet (Peace be upon him) replied, “Not even Jihad for the sake of Allah, unless a man goes out himself for Jihad taking his wealth with him and does not come back with anything.” [Bukhari]

* Things To Do In The First Ten Days Of Dhul-Hajj

Following are some deeds or the acts of worship that one should perform in the first blessed Ten days of Dhul-Hajj, surely they will help to gain the pleasure of Almighty Allah, In Shaa Allah.

1. Perform Hajj And Umrah

No doubt, the best thing one can do on these blessed days is to perform Umrah and Hajj. Abu Hurairah (RA) reported that:

“The Prophet (Peace be upon him) was asked which deed is best. He said, “Belief in Allah and His Messenger.”He was asked, then what? He said, “Jihad for the sake of Allah.” He was asked, then what? He said, “An accepted Hajj.” [Muslim]

2. Fasting

The first nine days of Dhul-Hajj are a really good time to fast. We should try to fast on all nine days up until the day of Eid-al-Adha as fasting on the day of Eid is not permitted. If one should not fast in all nine days fast on the ninth day of Dhul-Hajj, because the Prophet (Peace be upon him) recommended us to do good deeds during this time, and fasting is one of the best of deeds one could do.

“The Prophet (Peace be upon him) used to fast on the ninth of Dhul-Hajj, on the day of Ashurah, on three days of each month, and on the first two Mondays and Thursdays of each month.” [An-Nasa’i]

3. Give Charity

There are extra blessings in this noble month of Dhul-Hajj so, take this opportunity and give charity. It does not matter how much we are going to donate, always remember that whoever gives in the cause of Allah, He (Allah) multiplies it when He returns it to you. Use this month to get into the habit of giving charity, no matter how small it is.

4. Recite Tahlil, Takbir And Tahmid

It is Sunnah to recite Takbir (Allahu Akbar), Tahmid (Alhamdulillah) and Tahlil (La Ilaha illallah) during the first blessed Ten days of Dhul-Hajj. These words should be recited abundantly in the Mosque, homes, office, streets and every place where it is permissible to remember Allah Almighty. In Noble Quran Allah Almighty says:

“That they may witness things that are of benefit to them (reward of Hajj in the Hereafter and also some worldly gain from trade), and mention the Name of Allah on appointed days, over the beast of cattle that He has provided for them (for sacrifice).” [Quran, 22:28]

5. Read Quran

Many of us don’t quite understand the significance of Dhul-Hajj and Eid-al-Adha. If someone wants to know about the significance of this noble occasion should return to the source of our knowledge, that is the Noble Quran and the Sunnah of the Prophet (Peace be upon him). Read the story of Prophet Ibrahim (AS) and remind yourself of his sacrifice. Try to understand the importance of his sacrifice to better understand why we sacrifice animals and what the significance of this Eid is.

6. Perform The Sacrifice

One of the good deeds that will bring a person closer to Allah Almighty during these blessed Ten days is offering a sacrifice of an animal. Sacrificing an animal revives the Sunnah of Prophet Ibrahim (AS). He (AS) was ready to give up everything for the sake of Allah Almighty and submitted unconditionally to Allah’s commands by even offering his beloved son as a sacrifice. In Hadith, our beloved Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) said:

“When anyone of you intends to sacrifice the animal and enter in the month of Dhul-Hajj, he should not get his hair cut or nails pared till he has offered his sacrifice.” [Muslim]

7. Make Sincere Repentance

Allah loves those who repent to Him with complete submission. In these blessed Ten days of Dhul-Hajj return to Allah by giving up all the bad deeds, open and secret, that He dislikes. Be regretful of your sins and disobedience and resolve to never return to sin and to firmly adhere to the path which Allah loves.

8. Perform All Good Deeds

If one is not able to perform Hajj this year then he/she should perform every possible good deed during these blessed days of Dhul-Hajj. Every act that is done with sincerity for the pleasure of Allah Almighty will bring you closer to Him, In Shaa Allah.

9. Forgive Others

Allah is the most forgiving and He the Most High is not the only one who can forgive. We also should forgive other for the sake of Almighty Allah. Begin the Islamic New Year with a fresh start and a clean heart by forgiving those who did wrong with you. Allah loves those who forgive, so forgive others.

In short, there are so many blessings of these blessed Ten days of Dhul-Hajj, some of them are mentioned above. So make the most of this perfect opportunity offered by these invaluable and irreplaceable Ten days. Participate to do good deeds and appreciate this blessing and make the most of it.

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.

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

Friday Sermon: A Brief Guide On How To Perform Hajj And The Story Of Prophet Ibrahim, By Imam Gusau

In The Name Of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful

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

Dear Brothers and Sisters! Hajj is the fifth pillar of Islam; Allah, the Exalted, ordained it in the ninth year after Hijrah (the Prophet’s migration from Makkah to Madinah), according to the preponderant opinion. Allah Almighty Says:

“And [due] to Allah from the people is a pilgrimage to the House – for whoever is able to find thereto a way. But whoever disbelieves – then, indeed, Allah is free from need of the worlds.” [Quran, 3:97]

Hajj is the mandatory religious obligation which is obligatory on every sane, matured, financially and physically stable Muslim once in a lifetime. Every year, from the month of Shawwal to Dhul-Hijjah Muslims from all around the world travel to Saudi Arabia in Makkah for offering Hajj (Pilgrimage). Hajj with pure intention and just for the sake of Allah Almighty will cleanse the person internally; his soul will be like a newborn with his body free from previously committed sins. There is an excessive amount of information associated with Hajj; most is critical to ensure that Hajj is performed not only in the best intentions but also in the correct manner. For performing this obligation in the correct manner with full devotion and respect we all should know about the facts related to Hajj (Pilgrimage). Hajj is one of the best deeds that draws the person closer to Allah, the Exalted. There are three types of Hajj:

1. Hajj At-Tamattu

2. Hajj al-Qiran

3. Hajj al-Ifrad.

Here, I shall talk about Hajj at-Tamattu as it is the most recommended one, and also the one performed mostly by our people.

Respected Brothers and Sisters! In this type of Hajj, one is to perform Umrah during the Hajj months (i.e. Shawwal, Dhul-Qa’adah and the first nine nights of Dhul-Hijjah) and to perform the Hajj in the same year with a sacrifice slaughtered in Mina on the day of Eid-Al-Adha (The 10th day of Dhul-Hijjah) or during the days of at-Tashriq (i.e. the 11th, 12th and 13th of Dhul-Hijjah). The pilgrim may remove his Ihram garments and continue his normal activities between Umrah and Hajj. It is necessary to make the Tawaf and the Sa’ayi twice, the first time for Umrah and the second time for Hajj.

The different steps of the Hajj Journey are described below:

– Ihram

Ihram is the intention of the person willing to perform all rites of Umrah, Hajj or both when he arrives at the Miqat. Each direction coming into Makkah has its own Miqat. It is recommended that the one who intends to perform Hajj makes Ghusl (a shower with the intention to purify one’s self and to be ready for Hajj), perfumes his body, but not his garments, and puts on a two-piece garment with no headgear. The garments should be of seamless cloth. One piece to cover the upper part of the body, and the second to cover the lower part. For a woman the Ihram is the same except that she can wear any kind of wide garments, and should not use perfumes at all and her dress should cover the whole body decently, leaving the hands and the face uncovered. The pilgrim should say the intention according to the type of Hajj. For Hajj At-Tamattu one should say:

“Labbaikallahummah Umrah”, which means, “O Allah I answered your call to perform Umrah.”

It is recommended to repeat the well-known supplication of Hajj, called Talbiyyah, as frequently as possible from the time of Ihram till the time of the first stoning of Jamrat Al-Aqabah in Mina on the tenth day of Dhul-Hijjah.

Men are recommended to utter the talbiyyah aloud while women are to say it quietly. This Talbiyyah is the following:

“Labbaikallahummah labbaik. Labbaika la sharika laka labbaik. Inna al-hamda wan-ni’mata laka wa al-mulk. La sharika lak.”

Meaning:

“Here I am at your service. O my Lord, Here I am. No partner you have. Here I am. Truly, the praise and the provisions are yours, and so is the dominion. No partner you have.”

– Tawaf

When a Muslim arrives in Makkah, he should make Tawaf around the Ka’abah, as a gesture of greeting Al-Masjid Al-Haram. This is done by circling the Ka’abah seven times in the counterclockwise direction, starting from the black stone with Takbir and ending each circle at the black stone with Takbir, keeping the Ka’abah to one’s left.

Then the pilgrim goes to Maqam Ibrahim (Ibrahim’s station), and performs two Raka’ah behind it, (close to it if possible), but away from the path of the people making Tawaf. In all cases one should be facing the Ka’abah when praying behind Maqam Ibrahim.

– Sa’ayi

The next rite is to make Sa’ayi between Safa and Marwah. The pilgrim starts Sa’ayi by ascending the Safa. While facing the direction of the Ka’abah he praises Allah, raises his hands and says Takbir “Allahu Akbar” three times, then makes supplication to Allah. Then the pilgrim descends from the Safa and heads towards the Marwah.

One should increase the pace between the clearly marked green posts, but should walk at a normal pace before and after them. When the pilgrim reaches the Marwah, he should ascend it, praise Allah and do as he did at the Safa. This is considered one round and so is the other way from the Marwah to the Safa. A total of seven rounds are required to perform the sa’ayi.

– Shaving The Head Or Trimming The Hair

After Sa’ayi, the Muslim ends his Umrah rites by shaving his head or trimming his hair (women should cut a finger tip’s length from their hair). At this stage, the prohibitions pertaining to the state of Ihram are lifted and one can resume his normal life.

There are no required supplications for Tawaf or for Sa’ayi. It is up to the worshipper to praise Allah or to supplicate Him with any acceptable supplication or to recite verses of the Qur’an.

There are no many specific supplications that the Prophet used to recite during the rites.

A Pilgrim performing Hajj Al-Tamattu should intend Ihram, from the place where he is staying, on the eighth of Dhul-Hijjah, which is the Tarwiyyah Day, and it is better to leave for Mina in the morning. In Mina, the pilgrims pray Zuhr, Asr, Maghrib and Isha of the 8th day of Dhul-Hijjah and Fajr of the 9th day of Dhul-Hijjah (Arafah Day). Zuhr, Asr and Isha are each shortened to two Raka’ah only, but are not combined.

The pilgrims remain in Mina until sunrise of the 9th day of Dhul-Hijjah and then leave for Arafah.

– Departure To Arafah

On the 9th day of Dhul-Hijjah, the Day of Arafah, the pilgrims stay in Arafah until sunset. It is preferable to pray Zuhr and Asr at Arafah, shortened and combined during the time of Zuhr to save the rest of the day for glorifying Allah and for supplication asking forgiveness. A pilgrim should make sure that he is within the boundaries of Arafah, not necessarily standing on the mountain of Arafah, he should also be sure that he has spent any part of the night – even a few minutes-within Arafah. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“I stood here on this rocky hill and all Arafah is a standing place.” [Muslim]

One should keep reciting Talbiyyah, glorifying Allah the Greatest and repeating supplication.

It is also reported that the Prophet used to say the following supplication:

“There is no deity worthy of worship except Allah, the one without a partner. The dominion and the praise are His and He is powerful over everything.”

Anas Ibn Malik was asked once how he and his friends used to spend their time while walking from Mina to Arafath in the company of the Prophet. Anas said:

“Some of us used to cry out Talbiyyah, others used to glorify Allah the Greatest and the rest used to repeat supplications. Each one of us was free to worship Allah in the way he likes without prejudice or renunciation of his right.” [Al-Bukhari]

In the vast plain of Arafah, tears are shed, sins are washed and faults are redressed for those who ask Allah for forgiveness and offer sincere repentance for their wrong doings in the past. Happy is the person who receives the Mercy and Pleasure of Allah on that particular day.

Soon after sunset on the day of Arafah, the pilgrims leave for Muzdalifah quietly and reverently in compliance with the advice of the Prophet who said when he noticed people walking without calmness:

“O people! Be quiet, hastening is not a sign of righteousness.” [Al-Bukhari]

To follow the example of the Prophet keep reciting the Talbiyyah, glorifying Allah the Greatest and mentioning the name of Allah until the time of stoning Jamrat Al-Aqabah, Al-Jamrat al-Kubrah (a stone pillar in Mina). In Muzdalifah, the pilgrim performs Maghrib and Isha prayers combined, shortening the Isha prayer to two Raka’ah. Pilgrims stay overnight in Muzdalifah to perform the Fajr prayer and wait until the brightness of the morning is widespread before they leave for Mina passing through the sacred Mash’ar Al-Haram valley. Women and weak individuals are allowed to proceed to Mina at any time after Midnight to avoid the crowd.

– Back To Mina

Stoning Jamrat Al-Aqabah:

When the pilgrims arrive in Mina, they go to Jamrat Al-Aqabah where they stone it with seven pebbles glorifying Allah “Allahu Akbar” at each throw and calling on him to accept their Hajj.

The time of stoning Jamrat Al-Aqabah is after sunrise. The Prophet threw the pebbles late in the morning and permitted the weak people to stone after leaving Muzdalifah after Midnight. The size of the pebbles should not be more than that of a pea as described by the Prophet (Peace be upon him) who warned against exaggeration. The pebbles can be picked up either in Muzdalifah or in Mina.

– Slaughtering Of Sacrifice

After stoning Jamrat Al-Aqabah, the pilgrim goes to slaughter his sacrifice either personally or through the appointment of somebody else to do it on his behalf. A pilgrim should slaughter either a sheep, or share a cow or a camel with six others.

– Shaving The Head Or Trimming The Hair

The final rite on the tenth day after offering one’s sacrifice is to shave his head or to cut some of the hair. Shaving the head is, however preferable for it was reported that the Prophet prayed three times for those who shaved their heads, when he said:

“May Allah’s Mercy be upon those who shaved their heads.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

For women, the length of hair to be cut is that of a fingertip. The stoning of Jamrat Al-Aqabah and the shaving of head or the trimming of hair symbolizes the end of the first phase of the state of Ihram and the lifting of its restrictions except for sexual intercourse with one’s spouse. Stoning Jamrat Al-Aqabah, slaughtering the sacrifice and shaving the head or cutting part of the hair are preferred to be in this order, as it is the order that the Prophet did them. However, if they are done in any order, there is no harm in that.

– Tawaf Al-Ifadah

Tawaf Al-Ifada is a fundamental rite of Hajj. The pilgrim makes Tawaf Al-Ifadah by visiting Al-Masjid Al-Haram and circling the Ka’abah seven times and praying two Raka’ah behind Maqam Ibrahim if possible and without causing any harm to Muslims. Then the pilgrim should make Sa’ayi between the Safa and the Marwa. After Tawaf Al-Ifadah the state of Ihram is completely ended and all restrictions are lifted including sexual intercourse with one’s spouse. Tawaf Al-Ifadah can be delayed until the days spent in Mina are over.

The pilgrim should return to Mina and spend there the days of Tashriq (i.e. the 11th 12th and 13th days of Dhul-Hijjah).

During each day, and after Zuhr prayer until the midnight, the pilgrim stones the three stone pillars called “Jamrat”: The smaller, the medium and Jamrat Al-Aqabah, glorifying Allah “Allahu Akbar “with each throw of the seven pebbles stoned at each pillar.

These pebbles are picked up in Mina. A pilgrim may leave Mina to Makkah on the 13th of Dhul-Hijjah or on the 12th if he wishes, there is no blame on him if he chooses the latter, but he has to leave before sunset if not he must stay in Mina till he throws the pebbles the next day (13th).

– Farewell Tawaf

Farewell Tawaf is the final rite of Hajj. It is to make another Tawaf around the Ka’abah. Ibn Abbas said:

“The people were ordered to perform the Tawaf around the Ka’abah as the last thing before leaving Makkah, except the menstruating women who were excused.” [Bukhari]

* The Story Of Prophet Ibrahim (AS)

Dear Servants of Allah! In the religion of Islam, Allah Almighty sent many Prophets in this world for the guidance of mankind, almost twenty-five are mentioned in the Noble Quran. One of them is Prophet Ibrahim (AS), a very important Prophet in the religion of Islam. Prophet Ibrahim (AS) is greatly associated with Hajj because the origin of Hajj is as old as the Ka’abah, which was built by Ibrahim (AS) and his son Isma’il (AS). Every act of Hajj reminds Muslims about the noble family of Ibrahim (AS). Every act of Hajj refers back to the righteous actions and struggle of either Ibrahim (AS), his wife Hajarah or his son Isma’il (AS).

Prophet Ibrahim (AS) lived in a time, long before the time of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him). When He was young boy He used to watch people who worship idols and considering them their gods. Prophet Ibrahim (AS) was very clever and intelligent. He (AS) always used to ask questions about things that happen around him. Ibrahim (AS) could not believe that anyone could consider these idols, made of stone to be their gods and worship them. Prophet Ibrahim (AS) was confused and one day he (AS) told his father he didn’t think people should worship objects they had made themselves. His father was angry and told him not to say anything about the gods again.

Prophet Ibrahim (AS) decided to show the people they were wrong, so he (AS) made a plan. One night Prophet Ibrahim (AS) sneaked into the place where all the statues were kept. He (AS) chopped off the heads of all statues with an Axe but left the biggest one and hung the Axe around the neck of the big idol and then went away. Next morning when people returned they were shocked, “What happened to our Idols?” they thought about it. They discussed it for a while and concluded that Ibrahim (AS) would know because he (AS) was known to speaking out against their idols. When they asked Ibrahim (AS) whether he did this act of breaking of their idols. He (AS) told them that it was the biggest ‘god’ statue to have done it as he held the Axe on his shoulder. Despite that the people realized that the idols were not able to speak, their foolishness led them to decide to burn Prophet Ibrahim (AS).

The foolish people chained Prophet Ibrahim (AS), dug a deep hole, filled it with firewood and lit an intense fire and decided to throw him in the fire. Before throwing Prophet Ibrahim (AS) in, Angel Jibril came close to his head and asked him whether he (AS) wished for something, then Prophet Ibrahim (AS) said that he only wanted Allah (SWT) to be pleased with him. Prophet Ibrahim (AS) was thrown into the fire, at that moment Allah (SWT) ordered the fire to be cool for him. The fire obeyed and Prophet Ibrahim (AS) came out unharmed. Still, the foolish people denied Allah’s (SWT) miracle.

After this incident, Prophet Ibrahim (AS) moved away and got married to his wife named Sarah. They lived happily for a long time. However, there was some heartache in Ibrahim (AS) and Sarah’s life. They had been happily married for so long and Allah had not granted them any children. Sarah knew that Ibrahim (AS) was eager for a child but she was getting old and may not be able to give him a child. She suggested to Prophet Ibrahim (AS) that he should marry Hajarah, their slave girl, and maybe Allah would bless them with a child through her. Prophet Ibrahim (AS) accepted the advice of his beloved wife Sarah and married Hajarah. It wasn’t long before Ibrahim (AS) and Hajarah were blessed with a baby boy whom they named Isma’il.

After sometime, Sarah became jealous of Hajarah and Isma’il (AS). She told Prophet Ibrahim (AS) to take the child and mother to a land far away from them. Prophet Ibrahim (AS) then decided to take them to a place in Hijaz (Arabian Peninsula), which was then a dry, mountainous and barren land. Here Prophet Ibrahim (AS) left Hajarah and Isma’il (AS) under the shade of a lofty tree, near the hills of Safa and Marwa. This place had very little vegetation and had no water. Prophet Ibrahim (AS) left some food with Hajarah and a pouch of water. After some time both the food and water ran short and Isma’il (AS) began to cry. Hajarah was scared and she started to ran between the hills of Safa and Marwa looking for food or water but could not find anything. She ran between the two hillocks seven times. After the hectic search, she returned and found a spring had appeared where Ismail (AS) was kicking the sand with his feet. This spring, called Zamzam, producing clean water and Hajarah and Isma’il (AS) drank from it.

After many years, Prophet Ibrahim (AS) returned to Makkah to see his son a grown man. He learned that Hajarah had passed away in his absence. Allah wanted to test Ibrahim’s submission again in a dream; the Prophet Ibrahim (AS) was instructed to sacrifice his son Isma’il (AS) to Allah. Ibrahim (AS) told his son Isma’il (AS) about the dream, and both agreed to submit to the will of Allah (SWT). Isma’il (AS) lay prostrate with his forehead touching the ground, while his father laid a sharp knife upon his neck. At that moment, Allah Almighty called down:

“O Ibrahim! You have done my bidding and now you will be rewarded!”

A large ram appeared as an alternative sacrifice, and instead of killing his son, Prophet Ibrahim (AS) slaughtered the sheep to the glory of Allah Almighty.

After that Allah (SWT) ordered Prophet Ibrahim (AS) to build a house for the worship of Almighty Allah. He (AS) then went to his son, Isma’il (AS) for some help. They both set the foundation of the Ka’abah using a rock that came from Heaven. Today, this rock is found in the core of the Ka’abah, known as the black stone. They started to build it and when the walls became high, Isma’il (AS) brought a stone for his father who stood over it. This stone was called the Maqama Ibrahim. The Ka’abah was finished and everyone worshipped there. The Ka’abah is known as the house of Allah. Prophet Ibrahim (AS) then asked the tribes to make the pilgrimage to this house of Allah the noble Ka’abah.

Every year, millions of Muslims from all over the world travel to Makkah to circle the Ka’abah that Prophet Ibrahim (AS) and Isma’il (AS) built and run between the two hills of Safa and Marwa, just like Hajarah did. We also observe the obedience of the Prophet Ibrahim (AS) by sacrificing an animal on their behalf and distribute the meat among the poor people.

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

This Jumu’ah Khutbah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today Friday, Dhul-Qa’adah 27, 1439 AH (August 10, 2018), by Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’ah and the late Alhaji Abdurrahman Okene’s Mosques, Okene Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached via: gusaumurtada@gmail.com or +2348038289761.

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

The Believers Are Nothing Else Than Brothers, By Imam Murtadha Gusau

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

Brotherhood in Islam is a comprehensive concept that is based upon good character with others, treating others the way we want to be treated, and uniting together upon common values. It has three levels of degree: religion, family, and humanity. Each of these levels has a set of rights and duties that a Muslim must uphold with others.

The strongest level of brotherhood is the sense of community, friendship, and common purpose in Islam for the sake of Allah. At this level, the believers work together towards fulfilling the goals of the religion and living out its divine values.

The believers are brothers in Religion just as Allah has described them in the Qur’an:

“The believers are nothing else than brothers. So make reconciliation between your brothers, and fear Allah, that you may receive mercy.” [Surah Al-Hujurat, 10]

Abu Hurairah (RA) narrated that the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) said:

“Do not be jealous of one another, do not artificially inflate prices against one another, do not harbour hatred against one another, do not turn against one another, do not desert one another, one of you should not enter into a transaction when the other has already entered into it; rather be brothers one to another and servants of Allah. A Muslim is a brother to another Muslim. He does not wrong him, and does not desert him, nor despise him. Piety is found here [pointing three times to his chest]; despising his Muslim brother is enough of an evil for any man to fall into. Every Muslim’s blood, property and honour are unlawful to be violated by another Muslim.” [Related by Muslim]

Anas Ibn Malik (RA) narrated from Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) that he said:

“None amongst you believes (truly) until he loves for his brother” – or he said “for his neighbour” – “that which he loves for himself.” [Muslim]

Imam Ahmad reported from Ibn Umar (RA), from the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) that:

“The servant of Allah will not reach true iman (faith) until he loves for the people the good which he loves for himself.”

Imam Muslim reported from Abdullah Ibn Amr Ibn al-As (RA) that he said:

“While we were with the Messenger of Allah on a journey, we stopped to camp, and some of us were pitching tents, some were competing in shooting arrows, and some were taking the animals out to race them. Then the caller of the Prophet called out: As-Salatu Jami’ah (call to prayer). So we gathered, and the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) stood up and addressed us. He said:

“There has never been a Prophet before me who was not obliged to tell his nation of what he knew was good for them, and to warn against that he knew was bad for them. With regard to this Ummah of yours, its wellbeing has been placed in its earlier generations, and the last of them will be afflicted with calamities and things that you will hate. Then there will come tribulations which will make the earlier ones pale into insignificance, and the believer will say: “This will be then end of me,” then relief will come. Then more tribulations will come and the believer will say: “Surely, this will be the end of me,” then relief will come. Whoever would like to be taken far away from the Fire and be admitted to Paradise, let him die believing in Allah and the Last Day, and let him treat people as he would like to be treated himself…”

So these narrations prove that a believer is happy when his brother is happy and is saddened when his brother is sad. So he wishes for his brother what he wishes for himself of goodness. This is achieved when a Muslim is free from trickery, cheating, animosity, jealousy and envy.

Jealousy entails that a person hates the fact that blessings have been bestowed upon someone else – or that another should even be bestowed the likes of what he himself possesses. This is because he wants to be distinguished above the people with bounties – and wants to be singled out with distinction. So having true iman (faith) opposes this attitude. Having true iman (faith) entails that a person wants for all the believers that they too share in what Allah has given him without there being any reduction of what he has of goodness and bounties.

Allah, the Most High, has praised and extolled the one who possesses these noble qualities:

“Surely that home of the Hereafter We assign to those who do not desire exaltedness and high-mightiness upon the earth or corruption. And the [best] outcome is for the righteous.” [Surah Al-Qasas, 83]

Ikrimah (rahimhullah) and others said regarding this verse that:

“Seeking highness in the earth is to be haughty and proud, and to seek elevation in society, and to seek a special position with the leader; and corruption is to commit acts of disobedience.”

Allah, the Most High, stated in his praise of the believers:

“And those who came after them say: “Our Lord! Forgive us and our brethren who have preceded us in Faith, and put not in our hearts any hatred against those who have believed. Our Lord! You are indeed full of kindness, Most Merciful.” [Surah Al-Hashr, 59:10)

So from the qualities of the believers is that their hearts and tongues are safe and secure from harming their believing brothers who have preceded them in iman (faith) and their brothers who are present with them. So the believers praise their brothers, make supplications for them that Allah forgives them – and that He forgives them all. And this is even more so when referring to the first and foremost of believers: the Companions of Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him), the Muhajirun and the Ansar and those who follow them correctly. Whoever finds in his heart hatred for the Companions of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) or he seeks to lower their great status, then he is not a believer. Abu Hurairah (RA) reported Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) as saying:

“Do not revile my Companions! Do not revile my Companions! By Him in Whose Hand is my soul, if one amongst you would have spent as much gold as Uhud in charity, it would not amount to even a handful or even half a handful of what they have given.” [Muslim]

So may Allah, the Mighty and Majestic, disgrace those who curse and revile the Companions of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him). They revile the Rightly Guided Khulafa’, diminish their worth and belittle them. So if this is how they treat the best of brothers in iman and best of the believers, how do you think they will treat you? If they have no respect for the best of the people around the Messenger (Peace be upon him), his Companions and his wives, then what respect and honour will they have for the Muslims today. If they are treacherous towards the best of mankind and despise them, then how will they love you and show loyalty to you?! So their claims of loving the Muslim ummah is a blatant lie since they cannot even find it in them to love the Companions of the Prophet (Peace be upon him). Allah, the Most High, stated:

“And the first to embrace Islam of the Muhajirun (those who migrated from Makkah to Al-Madinah) and the Ansar (the people of Al-Madinah who helped and gave aid to the Muhajirun) and also those who followed them exactly. Allah is well-pleased with them as they are well-pleased with Him. He has prepared for them Gardens under which rivers flow, to dwell therein forever. That is the supreme success.” [Surah At-Tawbah, 9:100]

Allah, the Most High, said about the Companions:

“…So through the Companions Allah may enrage the disbelievers. Allah has promised those who believe and do righteous deeds among them forgiveness and a great reward.” [Surah Al-Fath, 48:29]

This verse is a proof that those who harbour hatred for the Companions are unbelievers in Allah and His Messenger. As for the true believers: They love the Companions of the Messenger (Peace be upon him), they ally themselves with them and seek forgiveness for them, and emulate them.

So upon the believers is to love for others what they love for themselves and dislike for them what they dislike for themselves. If a Muslim sees a deficiency in his Muslim brother in terms of his religion, or his affairs then he strives to rectify him, advise him and aid him. He does not backbite and expose his shortcomings because no one would love that for themselves. Allah, the Most High, stated:

“And do not spy on each other, neither backbite one another. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You would hate it [so therefore you should hate backbiting]. And fear Allah. Verily, Allah is the One Who accepts repentance, Most Merciful.” [Surah Al-Hujurat, 49:12]

If a believer would not be happy that a person carries scandalous tales between him and the ones he loves causing animosity; then why would he ever allow himself the leeway to rumour-monger between a brother and those whom he loves and respects, thus causing discord between the hearts? Allah, the Most High, said:

“And obey not everyone who swears much, and is considered worthless; A slanderer, going about with malicious gossip!” [Surah Al-Qalam, 10 -11]

The one who walks amongst the people whispering tales, “By Allah, I heard him say this… and I saw him do that…” They open the doors of backbiting and malicious gossip amongst the ranks of Muslims.

To speak behind a person’s back with that which he hates is forbidden except in exceptional circumstances which the Prophet (Peace be upon him) and his Companions and the early scholars made clear, such as: warning against the misguided people by name; to silence the weak narrators and liars in the chains of narrations in order to protect the purity of the Prophetic narrations; to warn against the open sinners who do not hide their sins, so as to protect the believers from their immorality; the one seeking a fatwa from a scholar or a ruling from a judge.

As for slandering, inventing stories and lying against another, and spreading malicious rumours, then this absolutely forbidden – even against bad people this is forbidden. Sincere Muslims suffice themselves with the truth – they are not in need of lying upon anyone!

It is reported that news reached Hudhaifah that a certain man carried tales. Upon this he remarked: I heard Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) saying:

“The malicious tale carrier will not enter Paradise.” [Muslim]

And the Salafus-Salih (Our pious predecessors) would regard the tale-carrier who seeks to destroy marriages as harmful as a magician, “what the scandal-monger achieves in a day, takes the magician a year to achieve!”

Likewise a Muslim would hate that he is mocked and ridiculed and belittled, so therefore he does not ridicule and mock others. Allah, the Most High, stated:

“Woe to every slanderer and backbiter.” [Surah Al-Humazah, 1]

“Indeed, those who committed crimes used to laugh at those who believed. And whenever they passed by them, used to wink one to another [in mockery].” [Surah Al-Mutaffifeen, 29 – 30]

Also, a believer would hate to be tricked and cheated when buying and selling, so how could he possibly trick, cheat and deceive others? A believer would hate that he be annoyed by his neighbours and harmed by them, so why would he therefore annoy his neighbours? The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“By Allah, he does not believe! By Allah, he does not believe! By Allah, he does not believe!” It was said, “Who is that, O Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him)?” He said, “That person whose neighbour does not feel safe from his evil.” [Bukhari]

If a believer hates to be oppressed, then how can he find it in him to oppress others? To the point that a believer would not even propose to a woman that his fellow Muslim has proposed until he withdraws his proposal or she turns him down:

“A person should not enter into a transaction when his brother (had already entered into but not finalised), and he should not make a proposal of marriage upon the proposal already made by his brother, until he permits it.” [Muslim]

A believer should constantly exert himself in diverting evil from others and from his brothers just as he would like it to be diverted from himself – and this is beneficial comprehensive principle.

I swear by Allah the Most High, if Muslims were to act upon these guidelines and admonitions, the Ummah would be in a much better condition – and the non-Muslims would adopt this faith much more readily because they would see the fruits of these faith in its adherents.

May the blessings and peace of Allah be upon Muhammad and all his family and Companions.

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

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

The Islamic Way Of Celebrating Eid, By Imam Gusau

In The Name Of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful

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

Dear Brothers and Sisters! Eid-ul-Fitr starts as Ramadan ends and is dated the 1st of Shawwal in the Islamic calendar every year. It celebrates the ‘breaking of the fast’, the end of the strict discipline of fasting in the daylight hours. The Eid prayer is held outside, weather permitting, to allow as many people to pray together. Everyone wears their best clothes and many people buy new clothes for the occasion. On the way to the Eid prayer, the people recite aloud Allahu akbar (Allah is Great), Alhamdulillah (all praise if for Allah), La ilaha illallah (there is none worthy of worship except Allah), repeatedly.

After the Prayer which consists of two Raka’ahs, the Imam delivers a Sermon (Khutbah) and reminds the people to obey Allah, to remember Him, to worship Him, to fear Him, to avoid sins, to be kind, brotherly and generous, and to help those in need by giving in charity. Muslims should go away from the Sermon wanting to be better worshippers, obedient to Allah, adhere to the Sunnah, to end suffering and to follow the truth. When the Imam has finished, the people greet each other, often hugging and supplicating for one another. Then they visit their friends and family to share this joyous occasion – they eat and drink together and they share gifts.

Segregation between men and women is a must in Islam, though (unfortunately) not always practiced. Women beat the ‘Duff’ (a simple drum), and sing pleasant songs, young girls enjoy singing the most! There is a great community spirit and no one is left out – the elderly are shown kindness and respect, the young are given toys.

No haram acts are permitted on this lovely day such as flirting with the opposite sex, fornicating, committing adultery, smoking, drinking alcohol, etc. Muslims are expected to give a special payment to charity in the form of food (rice, corn, or wheat, or barley, etc.) in thankfulness to Allah and as expiation for any shortcomings. This payment must be given before the Eid prayer. Visiting the graves of deceased relatives is not from the recommended acts of Eid day that are reported in the Hadith.

Eid-ul-Fitr around the world: The way Eid-ul-Fitr is celebrated varies across the Muslim world, but almost everywhere food plays an important part and special dishes are prepared for the occasion. In Nigeria, government announces two day public holiday (Friday and Monday). In Malaysia, there are three days of public holidays. Their special dishes include rice cooked in coconut leaves or bamboo shoots served with beef. In Iraq, a special breakfast of buffalo cream with honey and bread is eaten, while in Egypt, the festive meal is fish based.

Respected Brothers and Sisters! Anas (RA) said:

“The Prophet (Peace be upon him) came to Madinah and the people of Madinah had in Jahiliyah two days of play and amusement (they are the day of Nairuz (New Years Day) and the day of Maharajan (Final Day of the Year). So, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: “I came to you and you had in Jahiliyah two days of play and amusement. Indeed, Allah has replaced them for you by that which is better than them: The day of Nahr (slaughtering) and the day of Fitr (breaking fast).” [Sahih, Imam Ahmad in Musnad and others]

Imam Shaikh Ahmad Abdur-Rahman al-Bana said:

“This is because the two days, the day of Fitr and of Nahr are from the legislation of Allah, the Most High, His choice for His creation and because they succeed the performance of two great pillars of Islam, which are Hajj and Fasting. In them, Allah forgives the pilgrims and those who fast, and spreads His Mercy over all His obedient creation. As for the days of Nairuz and Maharajan, then they were chosen by the wise men of that era, either because of the mildness of the climate and season or because of other transitory virtues. Thus, the difference between them is clear for those who contemplate.” [See Fat-hur-Rabbani, vol. 6, page 119]

Eid (plural ‘Ayad’) is any day of gathering. It is derived from ‘ada’ (meaning returned), because people return to it periodically.

Ibnul Arabi says:

“It is called Eid because it returns every year with renewed happiness. Some scholars say it is derived from ‘adah’ (custom or practice) because people are accustomed to celebrating it.

Ibn Abidin said:

“The Eid days are thus named because Allah renews His Bounties in them; and He distributes His blessings to His servants. From these are Fitr (eating), after food had been prohibited and Sadaqatul Fitr (the charity of breaking the fast) to the needy. And on Eid-ul-Adha, the completion of Hajj with the final Tawaf of visiting; the meat from sacrifices and many other acts. Also because the custom in Eid is joy, happiness, cheerfulness and gladness.” [See Hashiyah of Ibn Abidin, vol. 2 page 165]

– Recommended Acts on Eid:

Eid is a purely religious occasion, since it is granted by Allah through the revelation and when Allah grants something, he grants it complete and perfect. Thus, He granted us Eid and instructions to celebrate it.

1. Ghusl (Bathing):

It is recommended to take bath on the morning of Eid. Nafi’ reports:

“Abdullah bin Umar (RA) used to bathe on the day of Fitr before setting out to the Musallah (Eid Praying Ground).” [Sahih, Reported by Malik and Shafi’i]

2. Adornment And Beautifying Oneself For Eid:

Ibn Umar (RA) said:

“Umar (RA) bought a silk outer-garment that was being sold in the market. He came to the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) and said: “Take this garment, to adorn (yourself) with on Eid and for meeting delegations with. Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) replied: “Indeed, this is the garment of the one who has no share of the Hereafter.” Umar remained as long as Allah willed him to remain and then left. Then, the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) sent to him the silk garment. So Umar came with it to the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) and said: “O Messenger of Allah! You said indeed this is the garment of the one who has no share of the Hereafter but you sent this garment to me!” So the Messenger of Allah said: “Sell it and fulfill your needs with its profit.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim and others]

Imam Hafiz Ibn Hajar (Rahimahullah) said:

“The evidence derived from this Hadith is that the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) approved Umar on the basic principle of beautifying oneself for Eid and restricted him to wear garment made of silk.” [See Fat-hul-Bari vol. 2 page 234]

From beautifying oneself on Eid is wearing Kohl (Kwalli), perfumes and oil, wearing turban, caps etc. It is also recommended to wear best clothes on Eid.

3. Eating some dates on the morning of Eid:

Narrated Anas Ibn Malik (RA):

“The Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) would not leave (his house) on the day of Fitr until he ate some dates.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari and others]

Imam Al-Muhallab said:

“The wisdom in eating before the prayer is to avoid the assumption that one must continue to fast until the Eid prayer is over.” [See Fat-hul Bari, vol. 2, page 447]

4. Proceeding to the Musallah (Eid Praying Ground):

The Sunnah is to hold the Eid prayer in the open. The outdoor place is known as the Musallah. Abu Sa’id Al-Khudri (RA) said:

“The Prophet (Peace be upon him) on the day of Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Adha would go to the Musallah and the first thing that he would begin with is the prayer.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari, Sahih Muslim and an-Nasa’i]

The renowned Islamic scholar Ibn Hajj Al-Maliki said:

“The Sunnah with regards to the Eid Prayer is to perform it at the Musallah. This is because the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) said: “Prayer in my Masjid is a thousand times better than a Prayer anywhere else except the Masjid al-Haram.” [Sahih Al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim]

Despite this great excellence in his Masjid, he (Peace be upon him) went out (to the Musallah) and left his Masjid.” [See Al-Madhkal vol. 2, page 283]

He, who is unable to proceed to the Musallah, due to illness or old age or due to the rain, can pray in the Mosque and there is no blame on him, In Shaa Allah. [Refer to Al-Mughni, vol. 2, page 230]

5. Going to and returning from the Musallah:

Jabir Ibn Abdullah (RA) said:

“When it was the day of Eid, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) would alter his routes (of returning).” [Sahih Al-Bukhari]

Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim Al-Jawziyyah said:

“The Prophet (Peace be upon him) used to change his route on the days of Eid, such that he went by one route and returned by another. It is said (he did this) to give salams upon the people of both routes. Or so that both groups get some of his blessings. Or so that anybody who has a need can take care of it. Or to make manifest the ruling of Islam… and this is the most correct opinion for all these reasons and for other reasons of wisdom which his actions contain.” [See Zad Al-Ma’ad Fi Hadyi Khairil Ibaad, vol. 1, page 449]

Imam An-Nawawi after mentioning the previous sayings writes:

“Even if the reason is not known, it is still definitely preferred to make it a ruling guideline to be followed and Allah knows best.” [See Rawdatul Talibin, vol. 2, page 77]

6. The goal of offering the prayer in the Musallah is to gather the majority of Muslims in one place. However, we see that people in many  countries today have established many Musallahs, even without the need for them, in order to disunite the Ummah. The Islamic scholars and Muslim leaders have warned people against such a thing. [See Nihayatul Muhtaj, by Imam Ar-Ramli, vol. 2, page 375]

And wallahi these numerous Musallahs have turned into podiums set up to declare loyalty to different political parties and divide the word of Muslims. Indeed, there is no Might or Power except with Allah!

7. Going To The Eid Early:

Imam Al-Baghawi said in Sharhus Sunnah, vol. 4, page 302 – 303:

“It is preferred that the people leave for the Musallah after praying the dawn prayer (Fajr), so that they can take their places and make Takbir. While the Imam proceeds when it is time for the prayer.”

8. Walking to the Musallah:

It is recommended to walk to the Musallah, if it is at a short distance. Ali Ibn Abi Talib (RA) said:

“From the Sunnah is to proceed to the Eid (Musallah) by foot.” [At-Tirmidhi]

9. Making Takbir:

Allah the Almighty says:

“… You must exclaim Allah’s greatness for having guided you, so that you may be grateful.” [Quran, 2:185]

Takbir is a distinctive feature of Muslim Eid celebration. It starts from the time one leaves his house heading towards the Musallah. It is established that the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) would emerge on the day of Eid-ul-Fitr and say the Takbir until he reached the Musallah and until he had performed the prayer. So, when he had performed the prayer, he stopped saying the Takbir. [See Silsilah Ahadith As-Sahihah by Shaikh Al Albani]

Shaikh Al Albani (Rahimahullah) said:

“This Hadith contains evidence concerning legality of the common practice of Muslim of saying the Takbir aloud on route to Musallah. Even though many people are now neglecting this Sunnah so much so that it is almost totally forgotten! It would be useful at this point to remind that saying the Takbir in unison (in groups), is not permissible. This applies as well to any other form of Zikr (Remembrance of Allah), whether it is supposed to be said loudly or secretly. Let this be a warning for us, and let us keep in our minds that the best guidance is of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him).” [See As Sahihah, vol. 1, page 121]

– The wisdom in Takbir:

Muslims are instructed to proclaim the Takbir frequently, especially in situations, which might imply feelings of arrogance in the heart. For example; when a person slaughters an animal, he may feel arrogant because he has the power to kill, but when he says: ‘Allah is the Greatest’, he remembers his true position, and that no matter how great and mighty he thinks himself, Allah is Greater and Mightier, and He is the One Who provided him with the animal and gave him the strength to slaughter it. Similarly, throwing stones in Mina is an act of power and aggression. But when the pilgrims say: ‘Allahu Akbar’, they remembers Allah’s Power and Might.

In their travels, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) and his Companions used to say, ‘Allahu Akbar’ when they ascended a hill. Rising to a high place is another act that may cause arrogance in the heart. By applying this Sunnah, one controls himself and remembers that Allah is Greater and Higher.

Likewise, celebrations are occasions of rejoice and happiness. People tend then to be arrogant. But when they remember Allah’s greatness so very frequently, they retain their position of submission and servitude before Him.

Furthermore, saying the Takbir loudly and frequently makes people remember that the Eid is a gift granted by Allah, He is greater than worries and fears, which could mar the Eid spirit; He is the One who guides them, and who is capable of protecting them, removing their worries, and accepting their acts of worship that precedes the Eid.

– The Words of Takbir:

No authentic saying (Hadith) of Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) is found describing the exact words of the Takbir. However, the following have been reported from the Sahabah (Companions RA):

1. Ibn Mas’ud (RA):

“Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, La ilaha illallah, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar wa lillahil-Hamd.” [Sahih, Irwa al-Ghalil no. 650, Daraqutni and Ibn Abi Shaibah]

Meaning: “Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest, There is none worthy of worship except Allah. Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest and to Allah belongs all praises.”

2. Ibn Abbas (RA):

“Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar wa lillahil-Hamd; Allahu Akbar wa ajal, Allahu akbar ala ma hadana.” [Sahih, Baihaqi]

Meaning:

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

3. Salman (RA):

“Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar kabira.” [Sahih, Baihaqi]

Meaning:

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

Many people have differed from the pious predecessors (Salaf) in this Zikr, adding innovations and pronouncing the Takbir in unison which have no basis.

Imam Ibn Hajar (Rahimahullah) said:

“Some additions to the Takbir have been innovated in these times for which there is no basis.”

– Eid Greetings:

It is permissible for Muslims to greet each other on the day of Eid with specific greetings, which have been reported from the Sahabah (RA). Responding to a question in this regard, Imam Ibn Taimiyyah (Rahimahullah) said:

“As for the greetings on the day of Eid, then it is by saying to one another when meeting after the prayer: “’Taqabbalallahu minna wa minkum wa Ahalallahu ‘alaika’ [See Majmu al-Fatawa, vol. 24, page 253]

Meaning:

“May Allah accept it from you and us and may Allah make it return to you, and other things of this nature.”

Imam Hafiz Ibn Hajar said:

“We have related in ‘Mahamiliyat’ with a chain of narration, which is hasan, from Jubair bin Nufair, who said: “The Companions of Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) when they met on the day of Eid, would say to each other: ‘Taqabbalallahu minna wa minkum’ “May Allah accept it from you and us.” [See Fat-hul-Bari, vol. 2, page 446]

This is the greeting with which the Sahabah (RA) used to greet each other with. Therefore, greeting one another in this manner is a part of the religion and thus one will be rewarded for it by Allah.

– Rulings Concerning The Two Eids:

Imam Ibn Taimiyyah said that it is mandatory for every Muslim to attend Eid prayer. Imam Al-Shafi’i said that Eid prayer is mandatory on whomever Jumu’ah prayer is mandatory. Indeed, the Companions narrated that:

“The Prophet (Peace be upon him) ordered them to go out to the Musallah (Eid Praying Ground) when the Eid day starts.” [Related by Al-Tahawi, Al-Baihaqi, and others]

– There Is No Adhan, Nor Iqamah, Nor Saying “Al-Salatu Jami’ah” Before Eid:

Jabir Ibn Samurah (RA) said:

“I prayed (Eid Prayers) with the Prophet (Peace be upon him) more than once without there being Adhan or Iqamah.” [Related by Muslim]

– The Time Of The Prayer:

Imam Ibn Qudamah said:

“It is Sunnah to pray early on Eid-ul-Adha to allow some time for the Sacrifice, and to pray late on Eid-ul-Fitr to have time to give Zakatul-Fitr. To my knowledge, there is no disagreement among scholars on this issue.”

– Eid Prayers Is Not Preceded Or Followed By Sunnah/Nafilah Prayer:

There is no Sunnah (desirable) Prayer before or after Eid Prayer. Ibn Abbas (RA) said:

“On the day of Eid-ul-Fitr, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) went out and offered a two Raka’at Prayer and did not offer any other Prayer before or after it….” [Related by Al-Bukhari and others]

– Women And Children Are Allowed To Attend The Eid Prayer:

Ummu Atiyyah (RA) said:

“Our Prophet (Peace be upon him) ordered us to come out (on Eid day) with mature girls and the virgins to attend the gathering of the Muslims but the menstruating women (even though they came out) had to keep away from the Musallah.” [Related by Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

– The Manner Of Performing Eid Prayer:

1. The Takbir:

Aisha (RA) said:

“When performing Eid Prayers of Al-Fitr and Al-Adha, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) used to make Takbir (i.e., say Allahu Akbar) seven times in the first Raka’ah and five times in the second one.” [Related by Abu Dawud and Al-Hakim]

2. What to say between Takbir:

Ibn Mas’ud (RA) said:

“Praising Allah, Subhanahu wa ta’ala, and thanking Him of what is due to Him (e.g., saying Alhamdulillah wa Subhanallah) could be said between each two Takbirat (i.e., between each two “Allahu Akbars”).

3. When to raise the hands:

Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim, in his book Zad Al-Ma’ad, said:

“Ibn Umar (RA), who never performed any action (of worship) until he verified its authenticity (Sunnah), used to raise his hands at every Takbirah.”

– What To Read In Eid Prayer:

“The Prophet (Peace be upon him) used to read in Eid Prayer Surah Al-A’la (Surah 87) in the first Raka’ah and Surah Al-Ghashiyah (Surah 88) in the second Raka’ah.” [Related by Ahmad]

He (Peace be upon him), also urged to read Surah Al-Qamar (Surah 54) and Surah Qaf (Surah 50). [Related by Muslim]

– Khutbah (Sermon) Is After The Eid Prayer:

Ibn Abbas (RA) said:

“I offered the Eid prayer with the Prophet (Peace be upon him), Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman (RA), and all of them offered prayer before delivering the Khutbah.” [Related by Al-Bukhari]

– The Way Of Giving The Eid Khutbah (Sermon):

Upon finishing the prayer, the Imam should stand up and give Khutbah.

– Encouraging People To Give Sadaqah:

Ibn Abbas (RA) said:

“I (in my boyhood) went out with the Prophet (Peace be upon him) on the day of Eid-ul-Fitr or Eid-ul-Adha; the Prophet (Peace be upon him) prayed and then went towards the women, preached and advised them and ordered them to give alms.” [Related by Al-Bukhari]

– Songs And Amusements Permitted On Eid Days:

Aisha (RA) said:

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

One should note, however, that the kind of instrument permitted is (tambourine or Duff) since other instruments are prohibited.

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.

Wassalamu Alaikum, Eidukum Mubarak, wa taqabbalallahu minna wa minkum.

Your Brother:

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

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

The Last Ten Days Of Ramadan, By Imam Gusau

In The Name Of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful

Dear Brothers and Sisters! The Prophet (Peace be upon him) used to strive hard (in worship) during the last ten days of Ramadan in a way that he did not strive at any other times. [Muslim from Aisha]

Among the things he did were secluding himself in I’tikaf and seeking Lailatul Qadr during this time. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

In Sahihain it is reported from the Hadith of Aisha that when the last ten days of Ramadan came, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) would stay up at night, wake his family and gird his loins. [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Muslim added: he strove hard and girded his loins.

Her phrase “girded his loins” is a metaphor for his preparing himself to worship and strive hard in worship, more than usual. It has the meaning of “rolling up one’s sleeves” to worship (i.e. getting ready to make a great deal of effort).

It was also said that it was a metaphor for keeping away from women and abstaining from sexual relations.

The phrase “stay up at night” means that he would stay awake, spending the night in prayer, etc.

It was reported in another Hadith that Aisha said:

“I never saw the Prophet (Peace be upon him) recite the entire Quran in one night, or spend a whole night in prayer until the morning, or fast an entire month, except in Ramadan.” [Sunan al-Nasa’i]

The words “stay up at night” may mean that he spent most of the night in worship, or that he did not stay up for the entire night, but he did that at the times of Isha’ and Suhur, and other times, in which case it would mean that he stayed up for most of the night.

The phrase “and wake his family” means that he would wake his wives to pray Qiyam al-Lail. It is known that he (Peace be upon him) used to wake his wives all year round, but he used to wake them to spend part of the night in Qiyam. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) woke up one night and said:

“Subhanallah! What tribulations have come down tonight! What treasure has come down tonight! Who will wake up the dwellers of the apartments? There may be women who are clothed in this world and naked in the Hereafter.” [Al-Bukhari]

It was also reported that he (Peace be upon him) used to wake Aisha when he wanted to pray Witr. [Al-Bukhari]

But when he woke his wives during the last ten nights of Ramadan, this was more persistent than at other times of the year.

The fact that he (Peace be upon him) did this indicates the importance he attached to worshipping his Lord and making the most of this special time.

The Muslim should follow the example of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) for he is the best example, and he should strive hard in worshipping Allah. He should not waste the hours of these days and nights. For we do not know, perhaps this time will never come again, for the spoiler of pleasures, i.e., death, which must come to all men, may come and snatch him and his life will end; then he will feel regret at the time when regret will be of no avail.

Among the unique virtues of these special nights is that Lailatul-Qadr is among them. Allah says:

“Ha-Mim. [These letters are one of the miracles of the Quran and none but Allah (Alone) knows their meanings.] By the manifest Book (this Quran) that makes things clear. We sent it (this Quran) down on a blessed night [(i.e. the Night of Al-Qadr) in the month of Ramadan]. Verily, We are ever warning [mankind that Our Torment will reach those who disbelieve in Our Oneness of Lordship and in Our Oneness of worship]. Therein (that night) is decreed every matter of ordainments. As a Command (or this Quran or the Decree of every matter) from Us. Verily, We are ever sending (the Messengers). (As) a mercy from your Lord. Verily, He is the All-Hearer, the All-Knower.” [Quran 44:1-6]

Allah sent down the Quran on this night which the Lord of the Worlds has described as blessed. It was reported from a group of the Companions of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) including Ibn Abbas, Qatadah, Sa’id Ibn Jubair, Ikrimah, Mujahid and others – that the night on which the Quran was sent down was Lailatul-Qadr.

The phrase Therein (that night) is decreed every matter of ordainments means, on that night the destiny of all creatures for the coming year is decreed. On that night it is written who will live, who will die, who will be saved, who will be doomed, who will be destined for Paradise, who will be destined for Hell, who will be granted honour, who will be humiliated, where drought and famine will occur, and everything else that Allah wills in that year.

What is meant by the idea that the destiny of all creatures is written on Lailatul Qadr is that on Lailatul Qadr they are transferred from al-Lawh al-Mahfuz. Ibn Abbas said: “You may see a man furnishing his home or plowing his field, and he is one of those who are going to die,” i.e., it has been decreed on Lailatul Qadr that he is one of those who are going to die (in the coming year). And it was said that on this night, the destiny of people is shown to the angels.

The meaning of “Qadr” is veneration or honour, i.e. it is a night that is venerated because of its special characteristics, and because the one who stays up during this night becomes a man of honour. And it was said that Qadr means constriction, in the sense that the knowledge of precisely when this night is, is hidden. Al-Khalil Ibn Ahmad said: it was called Lailatul Qadr because the earth is constricted by the great numbers of angels on that night, and Qadr means constriction. Allah says: “But when He tries him, by straitening his means of life [fa qadara alaihi rizqahu].” [Quran 89:16] , i.e., by constricting or reducing his provision.

And it was said that Qadr means Qadar, i.e., that on this night the decrees for the coming year are ordained, as Allah says:

“Therein (that night) is decreed every matter of ordainments” [Quran 44:4]

And because Allah’s decrees are decided and written down on this night.

So Allah has called it Lailatul Qadr, because of its great value and high status with Allah, and because so many sins are forgiven and so many faults are concealed during this night. For it is the night of forgiveness, as it was reported in Sahihain from Abu Hurairah that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“Whoever stays up during Lailatul Qadr out of faith and in the hope of earning reward, all his previous sins will be forgiven.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim

Allah has given this night special characteristics which make it unique:

1. It is the night on which the Quran was sent down, as I have stated above. Ibn Abbas and others said:

“Allah sent down the Quran at one time from al-Lawh al-Mahfuz to Baitul-Izzah in the first heaven, then it was revealed to the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) in stages according to events over twenty-three years.” [See Tafsir Ibn Kathir]

2. Allah described it as being better than a thousand months, as He the Almighty said:

“The night of al-Qadr is better than a thousand months” [Quran 97:3]

3. Allah described it as being blessed, as He the Most High said:

“We sent it (this Quran) down on a blessed night” [Quran 44:3]

“On this night, the angels and the Spirit [al-Ruh] descend, “i.e., many angels descend of this night because it is so blessed, and the angels come down when Allah’s blessing and mercy come down, just as they come down when Quran is recited, and they surround the circles of Zikr (gatherings where Allah is remembered), and they beat their wings for the one who sincerely seeks knowledge, out of respect for him.” [See Tafsir Ibn Kathir]

The Spirit [al-Ruh] is Jibril who is specifically mentioned in this manner as a sign of respect for him.

4. This night is described as peace, i.e., it is safe, for the Shaitan (Satan) cannot do any evil or cause any harm on this night, as Mujahid said. [See Tafsir Ibn Kathir]

5. On this night, many people are saved from punishment because of what they do to worship Allah, may He be glorified.

6. “Therein (that night) is decreed every matter of ordainments” [al-Dukhan 44:4] , i.e., the affairs of that year are dispatched from al-Lawh al-Mahfuz to the angels who record the decrees: who will live, who will die, what provision people will be given, what will happen until the end of that year, every matter of ordainments is decreed, and it cannot be altered or changed. [See Tafsir Ibn Kathir]

All of this is already known to Allah before it is even written down, but He makes known to the angels what is to happen, and commands them to do whatever they are enjoined to do. [See Sharh Sahih Muslim of Imam an-Nawawi]

7. Allah forgives the previous sins of the one who stays up and prays during this night out of faith and in hope of earning the reward from Him. It was reported in the Hadith of Abu Hurairah that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“Whoever fasts the month of Ramadan out of faith and in the hope of earning reward, all his previous sins will be forgiven, and whoever stays up during Lailatul Qadr out of faith and in the hope of earning reward, all his previous sins will be forgiven.” [Agreed upon]

The phrase “out of faith and in the hope of earning reward” means, believing in Allah’s promise of reward for this, and seeking the reward, with no other aim or purpose, such as showing off etc.” [See Fath al-Bari]

8. Allah has revealed a surah (chapter) concerning this night which will be recited until the Day of Resurrection, in which He mentions the honour and great value of this night. This is the surah in which He the Most High says:

“Verily, We have sent it (this Quran) down in the Night of Al-Qadr (Decree). And what will make you know what the Night of Al-Qadr (Decree) is? The Night of Al-Qadr (Decree) is better than a thousand months (i.e. worshipping Allah in that night is better than worshipping Him a thousand months, i.e. 83 years and 4 months). Therein descend the angels and the Ruh [Jibril] by Allah’s Permission with all Decrees. (All that night), there is peace (and goodness from Allah to His believing servants) until the appearance of dawn.” [Quran 97:1-5]

The phrase And what will make you know what the Night of Al-Qadr (Decree) is? serves to draw attention to the importance and great significance of this night.

The Night of Al-Qadr (Decree) is better than a thousand months means, it is better than over eighty three years, as I have already mentioned. This is a great virtue, the value of which no one can fully understand except the Lord of the Worlds, may He be blessed and exalted. This encourages the Muslim to spend this night in prayer and to seek the Face of Allah by doing so. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) used to seek this night, hoping to gain some good from it, and he is the example for this Ummah.

It is mustahab to seek it during Ramadan, especially in the last ten nights of the month. Abu Sa’id al-Khudri said:

“The Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) did I’tikaf during the first ten days of Ramadan, then he did I’tikaf during the middle ten days in a Turkish tent [the word qubbah, translated here as “tent”, refers to a tent or any circular structure] in which a mat was placed. He said: so he took the mat in his hand and put it at the side of the tent, then he raised his head to speak to the people, so they came closer to him. He said: “I did I’tikaf during the first ten days, seeking this night, then I did I’tikaf during the middle ten days. Then someone came to me and told me that it is in the last ten days, so whoever among you wants to do I’tikaf, let him do so.” So the people did I’tikaf with him. He said: “I was shown an odd-numbered night, in the morning of which I was prostrating in mud and water.” Then in the morning of the twenty-first, he got up to pray Subh and it was raining; the roof of the Mosque leaked, and there was mud and water. He came out when he had finished praying, and there was mud and water on his forehead and nose. That was the morning of the twenty-first, one of the last ten days.” [Sahih Muslim]

In a report, Abu Sa’id said:

“It rained on the night of the twenty-first, and the roof of the Mosque leaked over the place where the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) was praying. I looked at him, when he had finished praying Salat al-Subh, and his face was wet with mud and water.” [Agreed upon]

Muslim narrated a Hadith from Abdullah Ibn Unais that was similar to the Hadith of Abu Sa’id, except that he said, “it rained on the night of the twenty-third.” According to a Hadith narrated by Ibn Abbas, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: “Seek it in the last ten days of Ramadan, when there are nine days left, and seven days left, and five days left.” [Narrated by al-Bukhari]

Lailatul Qadr is in the last ten days of Ramadan, as stated in the Hadith of Abu Sa’id quoted above, and as stated in the Hadith of Aisha, and in the Hadith of Ibn Umar who said that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said “Seek Lailatul Qadr in the last ten days of Ramadan.” [The Hadith of Aisha was narrated by al-Bukhari; the Hadith of Ibn Umar was narrated by Muslim. This wording is that of the Hadith of Aisha]

It is more likely to be in one of the odd-numbered nights, because of the Hadith of Aisha who said that the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) said:

“Seek Lailatul Qadr in the odd-numbered nights of the last ten nights.” [Narrated by al-Bukhari]

We should seek it especially in the odd-numbered nights, i.e., on the twenty-first, the twenty-third, the twenty-fifth, the twenty-seventh and the twenty-ninth. It was reported in Sahihain that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“Seek it in the last ten nights, on the odd-numbered nights.” [Narrated by Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

According to the Hadith of Ibn Abbas, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“Seek it in the last ten nights of Ramadan, when there are nine left, when there are seven left, when there are five left.” [Narrated by Al-Bukhari]

So it is more likely to be in one of the odd-numbered nights.

Ubadah Ibn al-Samit said:

“The Prophet (Peace be upon him) came out to tell us when Lailatul Qadr was, and two of the Muslims were arguing. He said: “I came out to tell you when Lailaul Qadr was, and So and so and So and so were arguing, so it [the knowledge of when Lailatul Qadr] was taken away from me. Perhaps this is better for you. So seek it on the ninth and the seventh and the fifth.” [al-Bukhari], i.e., on the odd-numbered nights.

This Hadith indicates how bad it is to argue and fight, especially with regard to matters of religion, and that this is a cause of goodness being taken away or concealed.

Shaykhul Islam Ibn Taymiyah said:

“But odd-numbers have to do with what is past [i.e., when one starts counting from the beginning of the month], so it should be sought on the twenty-first, the twenty-third, the twenty-seventh or the twenty-ninth; or it may be with regard to what is left, as the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: ‘when there are nine left, or seven left, or five left, or three left.’ On this basis, if the month has thirty days, these will be even-numbered nights, so on the twenty-second there will be nine days left, on the twenty-fourth there will be seven days left. This is how it was explained by Abu Sa’id al-Khudri in the Sahih Hadith, and this is how the Prophet (Peace be upon him) prayed Qiyam during this month. If this is the case, then the believer should seek it in all of the last ten days.” [See al-Fatawa]

Lailatul Qadr is more likely to be in the last seven days. Ibn Umar reported that a man among the Companions of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) was shown Lailatul Qadr in a dream, and that it was one of the last seven nights. The Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) said:

“It seems that your dreams agreed that it is one of the last seven nights, so whoever wants to seek it, let him seek it in the last seven nights.” [narrated by Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

It is most likely to be on the night of the twenty-seventh. It was reported, in a Hadith narrated by Ahmad from Ibn Umar, and a Hadith narrated by Abu Dawud from Mu’awiyah, that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“Lailatul Qadr is the night of the twenty-seventh.” [Musnad Ahmad and Sunan Abu Dawud]

The view that it is the night of the twenty-seventh is the opinion of most of the Sahabah and the majority of scholars, and Ubay Ibn Ka’ab used to assert, without saying “In shaa Allah”, that it was the night of the twenty-seventh. Zurr Ibn Hubaysh said: I said: What makes you say that, O Abul Mundhir? He said: by the signs of which the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) told us: that the sun rises that morning with no visible rays. [Narrated by Muslim]

And many marfu’ Ahadith were narrated which said that it was on this particular night.

Ibn Abbas also stated that it is the night of the twenty-seventh. He reached this conclusion by means of an amazing process. It was reported that Umar gathered the Sahabah together and included Ibn Abbas even though he was very young. They said, “Ibn Abbas is like one of our children. Why have you brought him here with us?” Umar said: “He is a youth who has a good mind and who asks lots of questions.” Then he asked the Sahabah about Lailatul Qadr, and they agreed that it was one of the last ten nights of Ramadan. He asked Ibn Abbas about it, and he said: “I think I know when it is: it is the night of the twenty-seventh.” Umar said, “What makes you think that?” He said, “Allah made the heavens seven, and the earths seven, and the days seven, and He created man from seven, and He made Tawaf seven (circuits), and al-Sa’ayi seven, and the stoning of the Jamar seven.” So Ibn Abbas thought that it was the night of the twenty-seventh because of this analysis. This has been soundly reported from Ibn Abbas. Another of the ways in which the conclusion was reached that it is the night of the twenty-seventh is by noting that the word fiha (therein) in the verse: “Therein descend the angels and the Ruh [Jibril]” [Quran 97:4] is the twenty-seventh word of Surah al-Qadr [in the original Arabic].

But there is no shar’i evidence (Dalil/Hujjah) to support this manner of analysis, and there is no need for such calculations, because we have sufficient shar’i evidence available to us.

The fact that it is usually the night of the twenty-seventh does not mean that this is always the case. It could be the night of the twenty-first, as mentioned in the Hadith of Abu Sa’id quoted above, or it could be the twenty-third, as mentioned in the report of Abdullah Ibn Unais quoted above. According to a Hadith narrated by Ibn Abbas, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“Seek it in the last ten days of Ramadan, when there are nine days left, and seven days left, and five days left.” [Narrated by al-Bukhari]

Some of the scholars thought that it is more likely that Lailatul Qadr moves and does not come on a specific night each year. Imam Al-Nawawi said:

“This is the apparent meaning because of the conflict between the Sahih Ahadith on this matter, and there is no way to reconcile the Ahadith apart from saying that Lailatul Qadr moves.” [See al-Majmu’]

Respected Servants of Allah! Allah has concealed this night so that His slaves will strive to seek it, and will strive hard in worship, just as He has concealed the hour of Jumu’ah, and so on. So the believer should strive hard during the days and nights of these ten days, seeking Lailatul Qadr and following the example of our beloved Prophet (Peace be upon him) and he should strive in making Du’a and seeking to draw close to Allah.

It was reported that Aisha said:

“I said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, what do you think, if I witness Lailatul Qadr, what should I say?’ He said: ‘Say, O Allah, You are Forgiving and Generous, and you love forgiveness, so forgive me.'” [Narrated by Imam Ahmad, al-Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah. Its isnad is Sahih]

Thirdly: a greater virtue is attached to I’tikaf on this night than on any other night of the year. I’tikaf means staying in the Mosque to worship Allah, may He be exalted. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) used to spend these ten days in I’tikaf, as stated in the Hadith of Abu Sa’id quoted above. He spent the first ten days in I’tikaf, then the middle ten days, then he told them that he had been seeking Lailatul Qadr, and that he had been shown that it was in the last ten days, and he said:

“Whoever was doing I’tikaf with me, let him do I’tikaf for the last ten days.”

It was reported from Aisha that:

“The Prophet (Peace be upon him) used to do I’tikaf during the last ten days of Ramadan until he passed away, then his wives did I’tikaf after him.” [Agreed upon]

The four Imams and others (may Allah have mercy on them) said that he entered it before the sun set, and they interpreted the Hadith as meaning that he entered his place of I’tikaf and kept away from people after Salatul Subh, not that this was the time when he started his I’tikaf. [See Sharh Muslim of Imam  Al-Nawawi and Fath al-Bari of Imam Ibn Hajar]

It is Sunnah for the person in I’tikaf to keep himself busy with worship, and it is forbidden for him to have intercourse with his wife or to do anything that leads to it, because Allah says:

“And do not have sexual relations with them (your wives) while you are in I’tikaf (i.e. confining oneself in a Mosque for prayers and invocations leaving the worldly activities) in the Mosques” [Quran 2:187]

And he should not go out of the Mosque except in the case of a pressing need.

– The signs by which Lailatul Qadr is known

The first sign:

Ubay Ibn Ka’ab said that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) announced that one of its signs was that when the sun rose on the following morning, it had no (visible) rays.” [Muslim]

The second sign:

Ibn Abbas narrated by Ibn Khuzaimah, and by al-Tayalisi in his Musnad, with a Sahih isnad, that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“Lailatul Qadr is a pleasant night, neither hot nor cold, and the following day the sun rises red and weak.” [See Sahih Ibn Khuzaimah and Musnad of al-Tayalisi]

The third sign:

Wathilah Ibn al-Asqa said that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“Lailatul Qadr is a bright night, neither hot nor cold, in which no meteors are seen.” [Narrated by al-Tabarani in al-Kabir also See Majma’ al-Zawa’id and Musnad of Imam Ahmad]

These three Sahih Ahadith explain the signs which indicate Lailatul Qadr.

It is not essential for the one who “catches” Lailatul Qadr to know that he has “caught” it. The point is to strive hard and to be sincere in worship, whether or not one knows that one has “caught” it. It may be that some of those who do not know that may be better with Allah and higher in status than those who did know which night it was, because the former strove hard.

– Don’t Miss The Last Ten Days Of Ramadan !!!

Respected Brothers and Sisters! The last ten nights of Ramadan are very special. The first of these nights occurs on the eve of the 21st day of Ramadan. In other words, it is the night that commences after the completion of the 20th day of fasting. Sometimes there are only nine nights, whenever the month of Ramadan lasts for only 29 days. Nevertheless, they are still traditionally referred to as “the last ten nights.”

The last ten nights of Ramadan are very special. These are the nights that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) would spend in constant worship. Among these nights is Lailatul Qadr – a night more blessed than a thousand months.

The Prophet (Peace be upon him) used to single these nights out for worship and the performance of good deeds. He would exert himself in worship during these ten nights more than any other nights of the year.

1. Waking Up The Family

Aisha informs us that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) used to wake up his family during the last ten nights of Ramadan. Indeed, he used to wake up his wives for prayer throughout the year, but that was so that they could pray for a small fraction of the night.

We know this, because Ummu Salamah relates that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) woke her up one night and said:

“Glory be to Allah. What has been sent down of trials during this night? What has been sent down of treasures, so that the denizens of the bedchambers will be awakened? O Lord! To be clothed in this world by naked in the Hereafter.” [Al-Bukhari]

During the last ten nights of Ramadan, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) would wake up his wives to pray for a much longer portion of the night than during the rest of the year.

2. Exerting Oneself In Worship

Aisha tells us:

“The Prophet would exert himself in worship during the last ten nights more than at any other time of the year.” [Muslim]

The great jurist, Imam al-Shafi’i declares:

“It is Sunnah for one to exert greater efforts in worship during the last ten nights of Ramadan.” [al-Majmu’]

When Aisha tells us that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) would “tighten his waistbelt”, she is speaking figuratively. The phrase means to set about to devote oneself fully and wholeheartedly to the task at hand.

3. Seeking Out Lailatul Qadr

One of the greatest distinctions of these ten special nights is that one of them is Lailatul Qadr – the Night of Decree. This is the greatest night of the year – better than a thousand months. This means that a Muslim can earn more rewards on Lailatul Qadr than he would if – excluding this special night – he were worship his Lord for eighty-four years straight. This is one of the immense favours that Allah has bestowed upon the Muslim Ummah.

Ibrahim al-Nakha’i says:

“Good works performed on this night are better than those performed consistently for a thousand months.”

Abu Hurairah relates that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“Whoever spends Lailatul Qadr in prayer, believing in Allah and seeking His reward, will be forgiven all of his past sins.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Belief in Allah, in this Hadith, means not only to believe in Allah, but to believe in the reward that we are promised for observing prayer on this night.

A Muslim should seek out this special night by spending the last ten nights of Ramadan engaged in various acts of worship. These include reciting the remembrances of Allah, reading the Quran, and begging Allah’s forgiveness.

It is best for us to strive hard on all ten nights, because the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: The way we “look for” Lailatul Qadr is by engaging in extra worship.

When the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: “Look for it in the last ten nights” he did not mean that we should literally “look for” signs and indications that distinguish Lailatul Qadr from other nights. The things that distinguish Lailatul Qadr from other nights are part of the Unseen.

Allah the Almighty says:

“Surely We revealed it on a blessed night. Surely We ever wish to warn (against evil) – On this night, every wise matter is made distinct.” [Surah al-Dukhan, 3-4]

He the Most High also says:

“Lailatul Qadr is better than a thousand months. The angels and the Spirit descend therein, by the permission of their Lord, with every decree. (This night is) peace, until the rising of the dawn.” [Surah al-Qadr, 3-5]

These are the ways in which Lailatul Qadr is special. They are not things that we can see with our eyes. No one after the Prophet (Peace be upon him) can see the angels.

4. Observing a Retreat in the Mosque (I’tikaf)

Observing a retreat in the Mosque is of the best things we can do during the last ten nights of Ramadan.

The practice of i’tikaf is a strongly recommended act. The purpose of doing so is to devote one’s heart exclusively to Allah. The person engaging in i’tikaf keeps this intention close to mind and seeks Allah’s blessings. He should not forget the reason why he is observing this retreat.

A person observing i’tikaf does not leave the Mosque except for what is absolutely necessary (like going to the bathroom). While in the Mosque, he should busy himself with the remembrance of Allah. He should make sure to offer the remembrances of the morning and evening and the prescribed remembrances for the five daily prayers. He should perform all of the Sunnah prayers and all other recommended prayers, like the Duha prayer. He should read as much of the Quran as he can.

He should spend less time eating and sleep as little as possible. He should avoid unnecessary talk. However, he should engage in advising his fellow Muslims and in enjoining them to truth and to patience.

5. Generosity

It is encouraged for us to be extra generous during the last ten nights of Ramadan, without being extravagant or ostentatious in our giving. Ibn Abbas relates that:

“Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him ) was the most generous of all people in doing good, and he was at his most generous during the month of Ramadan. Angel Jibril used to meet with him every year throughout the month of Ramadan, so the Prophet could recite the Quran to him. Whenever Jibril met with him, he became more generous than a beneficial breeze.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

Imam Al-Nawawi states in al-Majmu’, vol. 6 page 398 that:

“Generosity and open-handedness are strongly encouraged in Ramadan, especially during the last ten nights. By doing so, we emulate the example of Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) as well as of our Pious Predecessors (Salafus Salih). Also, this month is noble, and good works carried out in this month are more blessed than they are at any other time. Also, during this month, people are preoccupied with fasting and worship, and this distracts them from their livelihood, so they might need some assistance during this time.”

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.

Ma’assalam,

Your Brother:

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

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

Friday Sermon: The Importance And Significance Of Learning History In Islam, By Imam Gusau

n The Name Of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful

All thanks and praises are due to Allah, we seek His help and forgiveness. We seek refuge in Allah from the evil within ourselves and from 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 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 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.

Dear Brothers and Sisters! The great Indian Islamic scholar and historian Shaykh Abu Al-Hasan Ali An-Nadwi observes, like other sages of Islam have before, that Islam, being the last and universal religion of Allah, has a unique history of internal revival, reform and self-rejuvenation.

Allah Almighty sent the message of Islam at a chosen moment in the development of human history where the technological, scientific and intellectual understanding of humanity as a whole was reaching a stage of final maturation and ripening. Instead of geographically confined nations and tribal systems which all received their own messengers from Allah, the humanity was now ripe for one, universal, perfected and final message of Allah.

The development of the Islamic Ummah in history was amazingly rapid. It was full of trials and tribulations and encounters with other cultures and religious systems. As a result, the final message of Allah was embodied in a civilization that was enriched by all the great civilizations of the world. Within the first century of its birth, Islam spread across half the known and majority of the civilized world of that time. As different people became Muslims or came under the rule of Islam, the scholars of Islam came from increasingly diverse regions, thus enriching the flowering and protection of Islamic scholarship and tradition with their own cultural strengths. The contributions of the Persians in bureaucracy and culture, the Hindus in mathematics, the Greeks in logic, the Turks in military and architecture fields, just to name a few, all became sources of strength of Islam. On the other hand, the previous philosophical and religious systems of the new lands both challenged and influenced the Muslim scholars. All these factors make the history of Islam extremely fast-moving, diverse and filled with conflicts, debates and upheavals. Each of these experiences, however, also helped it mature and develop.

Dear Servants of Allah! Whenever the Ummah of Islam faced a new danger, internal or external, Allah Almighty raised among the Muslims scholars and leaders who protected the true religion of Allah Almighty and revived it in its true, pristine form. This ubiquitous phenomenon is known to the historian as revivalism or tajdid.

The Ummah of Islam, with its preserved source-texts (the Quran and the Hadith), scholarship and legacy, has survived all its enemies only because of the special Divine arrangements. In history, this protection and guidance of Allah Almighty has been actualized in the form of the rise of great scholars and leaders, fields of scholarship like the sciences of the Quran, of Hadith, of jurisprudence and its principles, the preservation of the Arabic language and so on.

Today, the Muslim Ummah faces great challenges from all sides. But an observer of Islamic history recognizes that the situation is neither new nor hopeless: in fact, these trials and challenges are part of Allah’s plan to take the Ummah of Islam and the message of Islam up to a new level of strength and recognition in this world.

To learn Islamic history is to inquire how Allah’s ways have worked and His will carried out at the hands of myriads of individuals and groups and how His promises have come true. To look at history Islamically is to keep an eye on the moral, spiritual and ethical dimensions of all episodes in history, however big or small. This is precisely why the Quran makes learning history in some ways an act of faith and a source of wisdom.

* Why learn history

– Reasons from the Quran

Just as the food we eat constitutes our bodies, our history constitutes our minds. Our ideas, concepts, sentiments, and preferences, in short, what makes us human, is largely a result of our past experiences. Individuals, peoples, institutions, or nations, all acquire their particular nature or identity primarily because of their unique histories. We cannot know ourselves without knowing where we have been and come from. Not knowing where we come from leaves us without our sense of selfhood. Loss of identity leaves us without a purpose, like a ship without destination, at the mercy of merciless winds. This loss of identity has been mentioned in the Quran as a punishment from Allah. He Almighty Says:

“And be not like those who forgot Allah, so He made them forget themselves…” [Quran, 59: 19]

People who forget who they were may forget who they ought to be. This leads to self-deceit and arrogance. Allah Almighty reminds every human being again and again of his or her individual ‘history,’ to shake them up from their disbelief and arrogance. Allah Says:

“Had he not been a sperm from semen emitted? Then he was a clinging clot, and [Allah] created [his form] and proportioned [him].” [Quran, 75:37-38]

And:

“Does man not consider that We created him from a [mere] sperm-drop – then at once he is a clear adversary?” [Quran, 36:77]

In the chapters of Al-Fil and Quraish, Allah Almighty reminds the people of Quraish of his favours upon them in the past, encouraging them to learn moral lessons from their history. He Almighty Says:

“Have you not considered [O Muhammad], how your Lord dealt with the companions of the elephant (Ashabil Fil)?” [Quran, 105:1]

And:

“For the accustomed security of the Quraish – Their accustomed security [in] the caravan of winter and summer – Let them worship the Lord of this House, Who has fed them, [saving them] from hunger and made them safe, [saving them] from fear.” [Quran: 106]

Allah Almighty repeatedly commands the Muslims in the Quran to observe, consider, and reflect upon the lessons from the history of bygone nations. Instructing the Muslims in moral and spiritual history of the earlier nations seems to be one of the major emphasis of the Quran. The fact that majority of Allah’s Final Message consists of stories of moral struggle of earlier peoples is an indication of the significance of learning history, and learning it with the right perspective of seeking lessons.

The following are a few lessons that can be drawn from the Quranic perspective on history:

1. Universality Of Lessons

The lessons from the rise or fall of any nation in the past are valid for all humanity, for there are some unalterable, universal laws or principles that apply to all nations depending on their specific conditions. The Quran calls these laws the Sunan (established ways of dealing) of Allah Almighty:

“…But you will never find in the way of Allah any change, and you will never find in the way of Allah any alteration.” [Quran, 35:43]

2. Moral-spiritual Interpretation

While modern historians focus on different dimensions of history and offer different bases for the interpretation of history based on their respective belief systems, the basis of Quranic storytelling is emphatically moral and spiritual. In other words, Allah Almighty demands of us to look first and foremost at the moral aspects of a nation’s history. Nations fall, for example, is not due primarily to economic failures, but due to the moral-spiritual failure to properly dispense economic justice based on the correct belief in and obedience to Allah Almighty. In the chapter of Al-A’raf, after relating several stories of encounter between the truthful Prophets of Allah and their disbelieving people, Allah Almighty summarizes the lessons of these stories by saying:

“And if only the people of the cities had believed and feared Allah, We would have opened upon them blessings from the heaven and the earth; but they denied [the messengers], so We seized them for what they were earning.” [Quran, 7:96]

3. Learning Moral Lessons From History Is An Obligation

The cause of the downfall of nations one after the other in the aforementioned verse [Quran, 7:96] is that they neglected the moral lessons of the history of their forefathers, and thought that the same does not apply to them. Allah Almighty Says:

“And what prevented the people from believing when guidance came to them except that they said, ‘Has Allah sent a human messenger?’ Say, ‘If there were upon the earth angels walking securely, We would have sent down to them from the heaven an angel [as a] messenger.’” [Quran, 17:94-95]

4. History Is The Best Way To Teach And Caution

The Quran could have been a book of abstract theories of laws that govern societies, or simply a list of do’s and don’ts. But the fact that our Creator, Allah, the Most Wise, has chosen story telling as a chief means to caution and education of the humankind necessarily means that humans have a propensity to learn from other’s examples. Successful teachers and preachers of Islam always have a good grasp of history.

5. History Of All Humanity Is Relevant

By Islamic history, we often mean the history of Muslims. But the Quran is full of history of rebellious nations. We conclude that so long as the framework of history is Islamic (i.e., moral spiritual), no part of human history is irrelevant to the believers.

6. History Repeats Itself

It has become a cliché that history repeats itself. This is true inasmuch as all struggles of good and evil are bound by the universal Sunan (principles) established by Allah Almighty. In order to show the Muslim Ummah its potential failings, the Quran focuses on the moral stories of the Children of Israel, for they were, as some Islamic scholars have observed, ‘the ex-Muslim Ummah.’

7. Systematic Learning Of The Science Of History Is A Requisite

The Quran, the Final Message of Allah Almighty, is a book of guidance and contains all foundational principles and general moral exhortations that will suffice all those who seek Allah Almighty till the Day of Judgment. The Quran is not a book of history, and the way it tells stories presumes that the audience has some knowledge of the history being told. If the Quraish, for instance, did not know the something about the history of Aad, Thamud and the destruction of the army of Abrahah and his Elephants, the Quranic references to these incidents would make little sense to them. The Quran provides the moral interpretation to the human drama of life and gives many instructive examples. But it is an obligation of Muslims to learn as accurately and objectively as possible the facts of history so the Quranic principles could be correctly applied, since fulfilling the requisites of an obligation is an obligation itself. To learn objectively the science of history, therefore, is part of Islamic obligation upon the Muslim Ummah, without which they cannot fully benefit from the message of the Quran.

Respected Brothers and Sisters! Remarkably, the chapter of Al-A’raf, the Heights, the seventh chapter of the Noble Quran, has for its theme the topic that we are concerned with here, that is, history. Or more precisely, it is about the manifestation of Allah’s message of Tawhid, monotheism, in history and the various human responses to it.

This theme is lost to most cursory readers of the Quran. Remarkably few readers notice that every chapter of the Quran has a unique theme, an ethos that sets it apart from all other chapters and hence the meanings every chapter derives from the same historical event are different. This is why the same historical event appears to have been narrated several times in the Quran in different chapters; few realize that it is not mere repetition; it has a different purpose and perspective each time. In the chapter of Al-A’raf, the theme of the narratives is to give a sense of the historical progression of humankind and how different groups of humans responded to the Truth of Allah Almighty. It begins by reassuring the Prophet Muhammad that his mission is not only true, it is the truth – the truth around which the entire history of humanity revolves. Hence he should have no hesitation in reminding his folks of their Creator and warn them of their waywardness. To reassure him, Allah Almighty calls to witness the entire history of humankind. He Almighty Says:

“Alif, Lam, Mim, Sad. [This is] a Book revealed to you [O Muhammad] – so let there not be in your breast distress therefrom – that you may warn thereby and as a reminder to the believers. Follow (O mankind!) what has been revealed to you from your Lord and do not follow other than Him any allies. Little do you remember! And how many cities have We destroyed, and Our punishment came to them at night or while they were sleeping at noon!” [Quran, 7:1-4]

Then, the chapter recounts the story of the creation, emphasizing the promise Shaitan (Satan) made to himself that he will do his best to deceive and delude the humanity. Human history is a sad witness to how he has been able to triumph over human reason and goodness so often — despite Allah’s clear signs. The chapter recounts stories of Allah’s message in human societies, and after relating several stories of encounter between the truthful Prophets and their disbelieving people, it summarizes the lessons of these stories by saying:

“And if only the people of the cities had believed and feared Allah, We would have opened upon them blessings from the heaven and the earth; but they denied [the messengers], so We seized them for what they were earning.” [Quran, 7:96]

One thing Shaitan (Satan) often did successfully, the chapter states, was to make people forget the true meanings of their history. The cause of the downfall of nations one after the other in the aforementioned verse is that they neglected the moral lessons of the history of their forefathers, and thought that the same does not apply to them. Allah The Most High Says:

“And We sent to no city a Prophet [who was denied] except that We seized its people with poverty and hardship that they might humble themselves [to Allah]. Then We exchanged in place of the bad [condition], good, until they increased [and prospered] and said, ‘Our fathers [also] were touched with hardship and ease.’ So We seized them suddenly while they did not perceive.” [Quran, 7: 94-95]

One remarkable verse of this chapter comes after a long description of the rise and fall of the Israelites, and tells us how they became more and more corrupt because instead of learning lessons from their past and holding fast to the Book of Allah, they became adept at making excuses for themselves. Allah Almighty Says:

“And there followed them successors who inherited the Scripture [while] taking the commodities of this lower life and saying, ‘It will be forgiven for us.’ And if an offer like it comes to them, they will [again] take it. Was not the covenant of the Scripture taken from them that they would not say about Allah except the truth, and they studied what was in it? And the home of the Hereafter is better for those who fear Allah, so will you not use reason?” [Quran, 7:169]

Dear Brothers and Sisters! Let us now look at some of the most prominent advantages of learning history of humanity from an Islamic perspective.

1. Faith And Certainty

When connected to a Quranic understanding of history, a believer feels connected to the numerous Prophets, reformers, martyrs and inviters/callers to Allah Almighty who have struggles and sacrificed in the way of Allah since the dawn of humanity. The facts of history bear witness that the truth always prevails and Allah’s side is always victorious, and this increases the believers in faith and certainty in their cause.

2. Liberation From The Deception Of Narrow Materialist Thinking

History of rise and fall of nations makes us realize the fleeting nature of power and glory in this world. A thoughtful look at history shows us that the nations that today arrogantly rebel against Allah Almighty and oppress others based on their material superiority or their military superiority were not too long ago dependent and weak, and will soon be replaced by others. It is human nature to be deceived by a ‘static’ view of history, that makes us think that those who are wealthy, strong and powerful today have always been so and will always remain so.

Imam Al-Ghazali gives an example of this weakness and shortsightedness of human senses. He said:

“If we look at the Sun, it appears still, and if we did not know the big picture and know its course of daily rising and setting, we would imagine that it will always stay up in the sky shining forever. Just as our eyes deceive us about the Sun being static; our lack of knowledge of history and of Allah’s ways misleads us into thinking that the wealth and power are permanent.”

3. Tolerance And Forbearance

Critical knowledge of one’s origins and one’s past is always humbling and eye-opening. In the history of Islam, one often sees some ignorant followers of a great Islamic scholar fighting the followers of another Islamic scholar, while the two scholars greatly respected and learned from each other. If we know even a little history of how the Islamic sciences of Fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence) and Hadith developed through diverse and multiple contributions of scholars from all over the world, how the pioneering scholars were open-minded about criticisms to their verdicts and opinions, and how they changed their opinions when a reasonable argument was presented to them, we will never fight other Muslims over differences in opinions. The much-needed attitude of mutual tolerance and accommodation of opinions (within well-known Islamic limits) can be attained only through proper education of Islamic history.

4. Motivation And Inspiration

When the believers from the Israelites encountered the mighty giant Jalut (Goliath) and his tremendous army under the leadership of Saul (Talut), people felt overwhelmed by the enemy’s strength, except a few who had obeyed their leader. These few reminded their fellow believers of lessons from history to encourage them to fight for the truth. Here is the story in the Quran. Allah Almighty Says:

“And when Saul went forth with the soldiers, he said, ‘Indeed, Allah will be testing you with a river. So whoever drinks from it is not of me, and whoever does not taste it is indeed of me, excepting one who takes [from it] in the hollow of his hand.’ But they drank from it, except a [very] few of them. Then when he had crossed it along with those who believed with him, they said, ‘There is no power for us today against Goliath and his soldiers.’ But those who were certain that they would meet Allah said, ‘How many a small company has overcome a large company by the permission of Allah. And Allah is with the patient.’” [Quran, 2:249]

Dear Servants of Allah! In summary, the today’s Sermon have made the case that reading human history from a correct perspective, the spiritual and moral perspective, is an obligation of the Muslim Ummah without which we cannot properly understand and apply the message of the Quran. And that Islamic history is not only history of Muslims, but any history learned with the eye on Allah’s plan and on moral and spiritual forces at work. This does not mean that Muslims can neglect material explanations for historical changes – in fact one cannot fully understand the moral or religious challenges without carefully sifting through the political, economic, military and social challenges of any given time. Hence, by learning history, carefully and critically, both as amateurs and as academic scholars, we will be reminded time and again of Allah’s power and plan and of the power of faith and hope in Him Almighty. Thus, our learning can become a guide towards the regeneration and revival of the Muslim Ummah.

* On The Recent Texas Shooting

Dear Brothers and Sisters! It has truly become the wild west. Ten killed and ten injured in the twenty-second school shooting in the United States in 2018 last week at Santa Fe High School, near Houston, Texas and the media has already moved on.

The teen terrorist was wearing a trench coat with Nazi, fascist, and religious symbols. Unsurprisingly, the media, which always jumps ahead of itself in identifying a criminal as Muslim, has been silent about the attacker’s faith and refrained from calling him a terrorist.

This teen murderer was clearly a product of their violent culture. He was wearing a shirt that said “Born to Kill”; his Facebook page had artwork inspired by the music of neo-Nazi groups and the Alt-Right. This culture of violence allows us to ignore the murder of  those we consider “The Other”, like the 60 Palestinian protesters killed by the Israeli army earlier this month. It also allows us to tolerate and forget the appointment of a known torturer to one of the highest positions in the United States, which, like this shooting, also took place last week.

After each mass shooting, America gives the tragedy a little attention before turning to other topics, in this case, the royal wedding. But the student movement of #NeverAgain, which emerged from the school shooting in Parkland, Florida earlier this year is changing this attitude.

As Muslims, it is our responsibility to not only connect to Allah in prayers, but to also take appropriate steps to change this culture of violence.

Respected Brothers and Sisters! 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.

Dear Servants of Allah! Anything good I have said in my today’s 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 and Most Merciful.

This Jumu’ah Khutbah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today Friday, Ramadan 9, 1439 AH (May 25, 2018), by Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’ah and late Alhaji Abdurrahman Okene’s Mosques, Okene Kogi State, Nigeria. The Imam can be reached via: gusaumurtada@gmail.com or +2348038289761.

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

Friday Sermon: The Consequences Of Sectarianism And Disunity In The Ummah, By Imam Gusau

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

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

Respected Servants of Allah! Today, in my Sermon, I want to address a common problem that the Ummah nowadays faces. It is called sectarianism and disunity. The Muslim Ummah is besieged with increasing problems. And this predicament is not unconnected with the way it ignores the honourable and true message brought by the Noble Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) especially as it relates to unity. This no doubt is the root cause of all humiliations it experiences in different parts of the world such as Nigeria, Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, Syria, Yemen, Pakistan, Somalia, Libya, Myanmar/Burma, Central African Republic, in the west and a host of others.

Generally speaking, unity is an unavoidable measure for the development and for the attainment of one’s needs. It is on the basis of unity the United Nations (UN), European Union (EU), North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO), African Union (AU), Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), ECOMOG, G8 and lots of others were established. Then why should the Muslims divide? No doubt, all persecutions, humiliations, disgrace and extreme poverty befalling the Ummah are nothing but resultant effects of its division.

Unity is the central focus and one of the wisdom in legislating Ramadan fasting with greater emphasis on the need for all Muslims to be united and shun all trivial issues that tend to divide them. Despite its numeric strength and bountiful resources, the Ummah has become the laughing stock of its detractors due to divisions and enmity spread by its detractors and their stooges from within! Allah says:

“Whatever misfortune happens to you, is because of the things your hands have wrought, and for many of them He grants forgiveness.” [Qur’an, 26:31]

In a Hadith, the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) has said:

“No community differed after (the demise of) their Prophet except that the people of their falsehood gained mastery over the people of their truth.”

The growing disunity is therefore detested and it is important for the Ummah to address this most lingering problem. On the need for the Ummah to remain unconditionally united, Allah has clearly warned:

“Be not like those who are divided amongst themselves and fall into disputations after receiving clear signs; for them is a clear chastisement.” [Qur’an, 3:105]

All Muslims should make it their point of duty to heed such exhortation.

Dear Brothers and Sisters! Modern-day violence among sects of Islam often spring primarily from political, not religious motives. The Qur’an is very clear in its guidance to Muslims that it is wrong to divide into sects or groups and fight one another. Allah the Almighty said:

“As for those who divide their religion and break up into sects, you (Muhammad) have no part of them in the least. Their affair is with Allah; He will in the end tell them the truth of all that they did.” [Qur’an, 6:159]

And He said:

“Surely, this brotherhood of yours is a single brotherhood, and I am your Lord and Cherisher, therefore serve me and no other. But they broke their religion into sects among them; yet they will all return to Us.” [Qur’an, 21:92-93]

And He the Most High said:

“And surely this brotherhood of yours is a single brotherhood, and I am your Lord and Cherisher, therefore fear Me and no other. But people have broken their religion into sects, each group rejoicing in that which is with them. But leave them in their confused ignorance for a time.” [Qur’an, 23:52-54]

And He the Almighty said:

“Turn back in repentance to Him, and fear Him. Establish regular prayers, and be not among those who ascribe partners to Allah — those who split up their religion, and become mere sects, each party rejoicing in that which is with itself!” [Qur’an, 30:31-32]

And He said:

“The believers are but a single Brotherhood. So make peace and reconciliation between your two contending brothers, and observe your duty to Allah, that you may receive mercy.” [Qur’an, 49:10-11]

Dear Servants of Allah! The Qur’an is clear in its condemnation of sectarian violence, and also speaks against terrorism and the harming of innocent people. In addition to the guidance of the Qur’an, the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) also warned his followers about breaking into groups or sects and fighting one another.

On one occasion, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) drew a line in the sand and told his Companions that this line is the Straight Path. He then drew additional lines, coming off the main line like branches springing from a tree. He told them that each diverted path had a shaytan (satan) along it, calling people to misguidance.

In another narration, it is said that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) told his followers:

“Beware! The People of the Book were split up into seventy-two sects, and this community (Ummah) will be split into seventy-three. Seventy-two of them will go to Hell, and one of them will go to Paradise, the majority group (The Jama’ah).”

My People! One of the paths to unbelief is to go around calling other Muslim “kafir” (unbeliever), something that people unfortunately do when they divide into sects and groups. The Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) said that anyone who calls another brother an unbeliever, is either telling the truth or is himself an unbeliever for making the accusation. Since we don’t know which Muslims are actually on the Straight Path, that is only for Allah to judge, we must not put such divisions amongst ourselves.

– Let’s ask ourselves now. What is sectarianism?

Dear Brothers and Sisters! Muslim sectarianism has many forms, many categories, numerous tentacles and many manifestations. Some extremely harmful, and some not as harmful. It reveals itself in varying ways according to time, place, people and sub-ideology. Some Muslim sects are relatively new and some are hundreds of years old. Some sects are built around individuals and some are built around ideas or supplemental philosophies. Some are hyper cultish with elaborate rituals and liturgical nuance, and some are very simple. Some sects require initiation, some don’t. Some sects are descriptive but not necessarily sectarian and some sects are sectarian at their core but vague in their description. Some are both. Some sects are local, regional and some are international. Some are all over the place and change with the changing of the times. So let’s first take a look at the meaning of the word:

Sect: According to the New Shorter Oxford Dictionary; Is a body or group of people subscribing to views that are divergent from other people of the same religion.

Sectary: a person who is zealous in the cause of his sect or his group.

Sectarian: According to Merriam Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary, 11th Edition, sectarian (adjective) characteristic of a sect. Also, having limited character or scope. (noun) adherent of a sect., narrow, bigoted.

Sectarianize: is to make sectarian

According to Wikipedia, sectarianism is: a form of bigotry, discrimination, or hatred arising from attaching relations of inferiority and superiority to differences between subdivisions within a group. Common examples are denominations of a religion, ethnic identity, class, or region for citizens of a state and factions of a political movement.

That’s on the English side. However, we need to look at the Arabic side of the meaning of sectarianism because our primary scriptures are in Arabic, and the foundations of codified traditional knowledge in Islam are in Arabic. Thus, In the Arabic language, there are several words and phrases in the Qur’an that are used to denote sectarianism; for example; hizb (???), as in the verse:

“And surely this your religion is one religion and I am your Lord, therefore be careful (of your duty) to Me. But they cut off their religion among themselves into sects, each part (hizbin) rejoicing in that which is with them.” [Qur’an, 23:52-53]

Hizb however, could also simply mean a group of people; as in the verse:

“And when the true believers saw the clans (ahzaab), (confederate forces) they said: This is that which Allah and His messenger promised us. Allah and His messenger are true. It did but confirm them in their faith and resignation.” [Quran, 33:22]

In modern-day parlance, some groups use the word hizbee as a pejorative term meaning someone who is a sectarianist, or a party loyalist as in political party, or a specific Muslim group, representative of a specific ideology.

Another word used to describe sect in the Qur’an is shi’ite. I’m not talking about Shiite people here, I’m talking about the word shi’ite, as in the verse:

“Surely they who divided their religion into parts and became sects (shiya’an), you have no concern with them; their affair is only with Allah, then He will inform them of what they did.” [Qur’an, 6:159]

The above aforementioned verse is not referring to any particular sect; it’s talking about breaking into sects and sectarianism in general. However, this conversation is not about semantics, and every Muslim sect can present their arguments why they are not a sect, why they are not sectarian or why they are the saved sect, or the best sect of all.

Allah forbid the Prophet (Peace be upon him) from supporting sectarianism in our religion, and the Prophet forbade the people from arguing about doctrine. The Prophet (Peace be upon him)  said:

“No people ever went astray, after they were guided, except that they were overcome by arguing.” [Collected by at-Tirmidhi]

Dear Brothers and Sisters! The general rule of Islam with regards to this harmful sectarianism is to avoid it. Allah the Almighty said:

“And hold firmly to the rope of Allah all together and do not become divided. And remember the favour of Allah upon you – when you were enemies and He brought your hearts together and you became, by His favour, brothers. And you were on the edge of a pit of the Fire, and He saved you from it. Thus does Allah make clear to you His verses that you may be guided.” [Qur’an 3:103]

– The Prophet’s (Peace be upon him) view on sectarianism and it’s by products

The Prophet (Peace be upon him) outlined many of the principles of non-sectarianism throughout his life as well as during his farewell Sermon when he said:

“There is no superiority of an Arab over a non-Arab nor for a non-Arab over an Arab except by piety.” [Bukhari and Muslim]

He (Peace be upon him) further elucidated the foundation for actionable non-sectarianism when he said:

“verily your blood, your wealth, and your honour is sacred, like the sacredness of this day, of this month, and of the place.” [Bukhari and Muslim]

He cemented his disdain for sectarian practices when he said:

“Do not return after I’m gone to being like unbelievers, some of you striking the necks (fighting) of others.” [Bukhari and Muslim]

Dear Servants of Allah! Sectarianism also has to do with abandoning the principles of Islamic brotherhood, disregarding the idea of racial equality, and lack of respect for the sanctity of life, honour and wealth as outlined by the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) in his farewell Sermon. Perhaps the most obvious and widespread manifestation of sectarianism is racism, but it is not the only manifestation of it.

Respected Servants of Allah! Muslim sectarianism has been around ever since shortly after the death of the Prophet (Peace be upon him). The Prophet warned us against it, the Qur’an warns us against it, and the Muslim world has suffered by it in the worse ways. The first social issue relating to sectarianism addressed by the Prophet (Peace be upon him) was racism. He addressed it by freeing slaves and elevating the status of the ex-slave to that of an already free non-slave Arab. He reiterated this principle throughout his tenure as a Prophet of Allah. Even at the end of his life, he appointed Usama Ibn Zaid as a General and commander of the Muslim army who included Umar and Abu Bakr and Usama was barely eighteen years old.

Sectarianism brings out the very worst in the Ummah, from the wars between the Companions of the Prophet (Peace be upon him), to the massacre of Muslims by other Muslims in so many countries, to the fratricidal warfare between Muslim groups throughout the ages, and even what we see today in many Muslim countries and now in Nigeria and elsewhere. Different groups calling the other unbelievers, Mosques being bombed, some Muslims protesting and causing untold hardships to the people. Violent extremism, petty Mosque politics, racism within the Ummah in many Muslim countries and even here in Nigeria. It can all be traced back to racism, sectarianism, disunity and the notion of the other.

– Muslim sectarianism in the modern sense

There are many faces of Muslim sectarianism. Sectarianism in the modern sense is the belief that your particular sect represents the whole of Islam, or that the addendums of faith, belief, and practice, representative of your sect, embodies the whole of Islam or the entirety of the message of Allah and His Prophet (Peace be upon him) whereas someone not subscribing to your additions, is considered less of a Muslim or even not a Muslim.

For example, if you believe that the Sheikh of your sect or the Amir or Chairman of your group is the only one that possesses true guidance of Islam and that believing in him and following him is necessary to obtain salvation, then you are sectarianized. If you believe that you must call yourself by the name of your sect, or your group in order to be rightly guided, then you have been sectarianized. If you believe that your brand of Islam is the only true brand of Islam in exclusion to all other brands of Islam, then you are sectarianized. If you cannot pray behind this or that person because they do not ascribe to your sect or group, then you are sectarianized.

Example of some types of sectarianism here in Nigeria are people who ascribe to the terms, Jama’atu Izalatil Bid’ah Wa Iqamatis-Sunnah (Both Kaduna and Jos factions), Sufi groups like Fityanul Islam, Ahbabu, Tijaniyyah order (with all it’s divisions), Qadiriyyah order (with all their factions), Naqshabandiyyah, Shadhiliyyah, Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), Muslim Ummah of South Western Nigeria (MUSWEN), Supreme Council for Sharia in Nigeria (SCSN), Muslim Professionals in Da’awah (MPD), Ahmadiyyah Muslim Jama’ah, Ansaruddeen society of Nigeria, Nawair’uddeen society of Nigeria, Ansarul Islam society of Nigeria, Anwarul Islam Society of Nigeria, Anwarul Islam Movement of Nigeria, Nasrul-lahil Fat-hi Society of Nigeria (NASFAT), Muslim Student’s Society of Nigeria (MSSN), National Council of Muslim Youth (NACOMYO), Young Muslim Brothers and Sisters, Federation of Muslim Women’s Associations in Nigeria (FOMWAN), Women in Da’awah, Jama’atu Tabligh, Jama’atu Ta’awunil Muslimeen, Ideal Islamic Youth Association of Nigeria, The Muslim Congress (TMC), The Young Muslims, Muslim Corpers Association of Nigeria (MCAN), Muslim Lawyers Association of Nigeria (MULAN), The Islamic Society for Calling and Guidance of Nigeria, The Muslim Forum, Mosques and Islamic Centres in Nigeria, Islamic Youth League of Nigeria, Federation of Muslim Medical Laboratory Science Students, Foundation for Islamic Awareness, Ebirra Muslims Association of Nigeria (EMAN), Hausa Muslims Ummah Association, Igbo Muslims Association, Yoruba Muslims Association, Da’awah Consultative Forum, Al-Fatihul Quareeb Islamic Society of Nigeria, Aqibat lil Muttaqeen Society of Nigeria, Jam’iyyatu Ansorul Faidoti Awliya of Nigeria, Ahbabu-Dinil Islami Society of Nigeria, Zumratul Islamiyyah Society of Nigeria, Shi’ah (with all their factions), Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), Baha’iyyah, Ibahiyyah and Ikhwaniyyah, just to name a few from over 1000 Islamic groups operating here in Nigeria; if you consider calling yourself by these names as a religious obligation and that those who don’t ascribe to these names are less of a Muslim than you, or that you are a better Muslim than they are, simply because of the sectarian title, then this is sectarianism. If you as an adherent of a particular sect or group, believe that only people of that sect or group are rightly guided, then that is sectarianism. If you are a member of a Muslim ideological group and believe that your group represents the totality of Islam in exclusion of other groups then you are a sectarianist. If because of group or sub-ideological differences, you declare the other to be an unbeliever your calling yourself. One of the hallmarks of sectarianism is to direct anything ranging from simple disdain or hostility, or the grand charge of heresy towards the other group that is different from your sect.

– Combating Sectarianism

Granted, combatting Muslim sectarianism is no simple proposition. People have to be unsectarianized. Sectarianism is taught, and it can be un-taught. There is a sectarian mindset, and there is an unsectarian mindset. It’s a monumental problem for converts because Muslim converts come into Islam pure of faith and are then taught sectarianism as they come along. Another problem is the colonial mental hold that the intellectual molestation that occurs through the multiplicity of different spheres of influence and teaching methodology thrust upon convert Muslims. This stuff didn’t happen overnight and it was very methodical, which on the one hand makes it a multi-layered problem but on the other hand makes it easy to trace how we got to this point, especially if you understand Muslim history. It is possible for a person to back his or her way out of sectarianism; it’s called deprogramming.

De-programming is not for everybody, but there are a lot of Muslims who do not want to be a part of a sect or any group, there are a lot who do not want to be racist, and there are many who do not want to be an extremist in their religion, and who do not want to be jumping from one sub-ideology of Islam to another, and who do not want, groupie-type Islam following someone who doesn’t have clue who you are. The problem is, not many Imams, or Islamic teachers are equipped to deal with this issue. Many Imams have no training whatsoever in the classical sciences of Islam which is problem also because you end up making stuff up, making up ideology, and things like that. That doesn’t help much either.

There is no one way to combat sectarianism since sectarianism and people who practice it or believe in it differ from time to time and from place to place. Fighting sectarianism is not so much as deconstructing every Muslim sect and polemicizing ideological arguments against it. It has more to do with promoting unity in spite of sectarianism and giving Muslims a clear choice on how not be stuck in a sectarian modality whereas you believe your sect offers the only path, or the best path to salvation. Unity is not for everyone; it’s for the people who want to be unified.

This is about the disruption of lives, the breaking of the bonds of brotherhood and sisterhood, about fratricide, incessant debates about micro-doctrine, splitting of communities, killing of Muslims around the world, arguing, fighting and fitnah in our Masaajid (Mosques).

I believe that there are Muslims out there who don’t want to sectarianize, who believe in what Allah says in the Qur’an, who believe in the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) and what was reported from him according to authentic sources and believe that they will someday meet Allah, and want to meet Him as a Muslim, as Ahlus-Sunnah Wal Jama’ah, and not as an adherent of any sub-sect of Islam. That is their choice and people should be made aware that there is such a choice.

There is a need to address the dangers and evil consequences of Muslim sectarianism in our country and everywhere in a peaceful, sane, healthy, and rational way. We have to create Muslim communities that are equally open to everyone; Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo, Fulani, Ebirra, Igala, Kanuri, Nupe, Bassa, Okun, Kaje, Kurama, Arago, Eggon, Tiv, Idoma, Ogori, Birom, White, Black, Latino, Arab, Pakistani, Indian, Asian, African, low income, high income, educated and undereducated e.t.c. This is the real legacy of the great Prophet of Islam, Muhammad (Peace be upon him). This is the picture of non-sectarian Islam, and this is the conversation that we are bringing to the forefront. If this Sermon makes sense to you and you support combating sectarianism, extremism and racism in our Ummah, then assist us, support us, help us and make a donation to our Mosque and Islamic center, so that our Da’awah will move smoothly.

Dear Brothers and Sisters! Know that the manifestations and implications of the approved way of life called Islam is extremely vast; where every major aspect of ones life from running educational institutions, to charity, to building orphanages, and Mosques, and hospitals, taking care of poor, needy and assisting the IDPs etc. have a role to perform and develop. There is absolutely no harm and no restriction if some Allah-fearing brothers and sisters wish to form an organization of like minded people focused in these and other noble causes for the development and endorsement of Muslims in particular and humanity in general. The building and operating of such noble and well-meaning organizations are absolutely encouraged in Islam and if done with the right intentions to help mankind and thus earn the Pleasure and Good Will of Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala, the people who initiate, develop, and operate such organizations will receive a huge reward from Allah Subhanahu wa ta’ala on the Day of Resurrection.

The organizations, groups or sects that are specifically prohibited in Islam are the ones that break away from the Ummah of the Muslims and form their own set of religious principles and beliefs, and enlist followers who believe that only their particular chosen sect is on the Straight Path and every other believer is misguided or a disbeliever. These type of organizations, sects, and creeds which encourage and propagate moving away from the Muslim Ummah or moving away from the Muslim leaders, is what is absolutely prohibited in Islam.

Allah says in Chapter 45 Surah Al-Jathiyah verse 17:

“Then they differed amongst themselves after the knowledge (of Islam) had come to them, only because they wanted to wrong one another. Your Lord will judge between them on the Day of Resurrection concerning the matters in which they have been differing.”

And Allah says in the Noble Qur’an Chapter 23 Surah Muminun verse 52-54:

“And you all belong to one and the same Ummah, and I (Allah) am your Lord; so fear Me Alone! Yet afterwards the people divided themselves into different sects, and each sect rejoicing in what it has. Well, leave them deeply involved in their heedlessness up to an appointed time.”

At-Tirmidhi in Hadith 171 Narrated by Abdullah Ibn Amr,
Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) said:

“There will befall my Ummah exactly (all those) evils which befell the people of Isra’il, so much so that even if there was one amongst them who openly committed fornication with his mother there will be among my Ummah one who will do that, and if the people of Isra’il were fragmented into seventy-two sects my Ummah will be fragmented into seventy-three sects. All of them will be in Hell Fire except one sect. They (the Companions) said: O Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him), which is that? Whereupon he (Peace be upon him) said: It is one to which I and my Companions belong.”

But if one wishes to form an organization of like minded brothers and sisters focused on furthering and nurturing a particular aspect of the needs of the believers, like education, charity, religious teachings, helping the poor and needy, taking care of IDPs problems etc.; without any intention whatsoever to break away from the Muslim Ummah, without the intention to cause any fitnah, but rather with their noble works they wish to unite the Ummah; there is absolutely no harm and no restrictions in Islam in forming such good organizations. These noble brothers and sisters who work as a group to further the Cause of Allah will have a huge reward in the Presence of their Majestic Lord on the Day of Resurrection.

– The Bad Effects Of Disunity In The Da’awah

Respected Servants of Allah! Unfortunately, we see nowadays many Muslim groups and sects working in Da’awah plagued with the diseases of enmity, hatred, division, disagreements, and discord, in total contrast to the teachings of the Qur’an and Sunnah. This problem of sectarianism, disunity and division is the greatest challenge Muslims have to deal with today, for them to live in peace and to progress.

Efforts of Da’awah would not be fruitful unless we forget their differences, make Da’awah the center of our interests, cooperate with each other, and coordinate our work.

Muslims should be cautious of those Da’awah groups or sects which claim to be the only representative of true Islam and attribute disbelief to others. In many cases such groups neglect their duties in Da’awah and focus in opposing and eliminating others.

– Evil Consequences Of Division

1. Shielding Allah’s mercy and support.

2. Lose of power and strength.

3. Failure to achieve our goals.

4. Division substitutes love with hatred, trust with suspicion, and peace with conflict.

5. Division dissipates our energy in empty arguments instead of benefiting ourselves and others.

6. Division distracts people away from Da’awah.

7. Division leads to disgrace here and in the Hereafter.

– Hold Fast Together And Let Nothing Divide You

The first step in handling this serious problem is to be aware of its dangers and bad results, because division and disunity weaken our Ummah and open the doors to our enemies. Qur’an warned against division and disputes:

“And obey Allah and His Messenger; and fall not into disputes, lest you lose heart and your power depart from you; and be patient; surely Allah is with the patient.” [Qur’an, 8:46]

We should realize that working toward unity of the Muslim groups is a collective duty upon all of us. We need to focus our efforts to purify ourselves and eliminate from our communities all those problems that cause division and disunity.

Muslim groups must work together to correct their faith, correct their aqidah, follow the Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Prophet (Peace be upon him), obey and respect their leaders, cooperate on good purposes in all fields. Then as a result of this, Allah (Exalted be He) will unite their hearts. Qur’an says:

“If you had spent all that is in the earth you could not have attuned their hearts, but Allah has attuned them.” [Qur’an, 8:63]

Here are some advises for those who are working in Da’awah to keep in the back of their minds:

1. Stick firm to the way of Allah and let nothing divide you, no matter how little it might seem.

2. Unity is one of the great blessings of Allah and disunity/divisions is a punishment from Allah.

3. Your unity must be your first priority.

4. Seek protection in your unity and work together under the spirit of one team.

5. Beware of those who want to divide you; do not give them a chance.

6. Your unity must be based on Islamic principles: faith, brotherhood, justice, and equality.

7. The purpose of your unity must be serving the interests of all people regardless of their colour, race and it must not be achieving some casual benefits for only a group of people.

Dear Brothers and Sisters! Know that the efforts of Da’awah groups would not be fruitful unless they forget their differences, make Da’awah the center of their interests, cooperate with each other, and coordinate their work. They should not forget that they are working for the same aim and under the same banner. They must all hold fast together to the way of Allah, not for gaining followers of this group or that, or achieving worldly interests. Qur’an says:

“And hold fast, all of you together, to the rope of Allah and let nothing divide you.” [Qur’an, 3:103]

However, working under the spirit of one team does not mean not to have any kind of disagreements and misunderstandings at all. The Companions of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) were in complete harmony with each other and were sincere brothers and sisters, but in spite of this, they had disagreements concerning different matters of the branches of faith.

However, disagreements must be avoided, under all circumstances, if they are related to the fundamentals of the religion, work against the interests of Muslims, or may lead to disputes, conflict, and disunity among Muslims.

Respected Brothers and Sisters! I ask Allah to assist us in living by the Qur’an 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.

Dear Brothers and Sisters! Anything good I have said in my today’s 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 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, Ramadan 2nd, 1439 AH (May 18, 2018), 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: gusaumurtada@gmail.com or +2348038289761.

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

Ramadan Mubarak, By Imam Gusau

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

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

Dear Brothers and Sisters! As we begin the month of Ramadan, full of mercy, giving, gratitude and Sabr (patience), the images from Gaza in Palestine sear our minds and break our hearts. May Allah grant the Ummah more Sabr, and wisdom to world leaders, as well as people of faith.

My people! Ramadan is the month of empowerment, which begins when we train our hearts, souls, and bodies to commit to higher goals and resist the wrongs inside of us, along with those outside of us.

This Ramadan, let’s plan to follow three Prophetic success strategies of empowerment: Communication, care for humanity, and coalition-building.

Under the leadership of Prophet Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him, the early Muslims first trained themselves to resist wrong within themselves. From the worship of false gods to lying, stealing, insolence toward parents, arrogance, and other character ills, they fought an internal battle. And when it was time to take the struggle to the external, they were more than ready.

This Ramadan, let us resist our weaknesses. Be it extravagance, anger, or anything else. Whatever the fault, whatever we have always struggled with, no matter how long we have struggled with it, let us make a conscious effort to resist.

But let’s not stop there. We must help our family and friends do the same. Let us help them gain that Taqwa, Allah-consciousness, that Allah wants us to attain through fasting in Ramadan [Quran, 2:183]. Help them get up for Suhur; make an Iftar meal for a friend going through a rough time; give a mom of young kids a break so she can participate in Tarawih in peace. Attaining Taqwa is an internal battle – but it is a collective one as well.

– Ramadan Between Yesterday And Today

O you who believe, Ramadan is a sacred month wherein Almighty Allah is constantly testing His creation and giving humanity the opportunity to achieve infinite, endless Bliss. Fasting is a complete purification and a means to developing the consciousness of Allah’s presence. The consciousness of Allah (Taqwa) is a protection against the schemes of Shaitan (Satan), and the suffering of this world. Allah has informed us that:

“Whoever keeps his duty to Allah (has taqwa), He ordains a way out for him and gives him sustenance from where he imagines not. And whoever trusts in Allah, He is sufficient for him. Surely Allah attains His purpose. Allah has appointed a measure for everything.” [Qur’an, 65:2]

Respected Brothers and Sisters! Many Muslims today have a misconception about fasting and the activities of a fasting person. They go into a state of semi-hibernation, spending most of their daylight hours in bed. If they fear Allah, they wake up for prayer, but then return to sleep immediately. This unnatural sleep makes them become lazy, dull-witted and often cranky.

Ramadan is actually a time of increased activity wherein the believer, now lightened of the burdens of constant eating and drinking, should be more willing to strive and struggle for Allah. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) passed through approximately nine Ramadans after the Hijrah. They were filled with decisive events and left us a shining example of sacrifice and submission to Allah.

In the first year after the Hijrah, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) sent Hamza Ibn Abdul Muttalib with thirty Muslim riders to Saif al Bahr to investigate three hundred riders from Quraish who had camped suspiciously in that area. The Muslims were about to engage their enemies, but they were separated by Majdy Ibn Umar al-Juhany. The Hypocrites of Madinah, hoping to oppose the unity of the Muslims, built their own Masjid (called Masjid ad-Dirar). The Prophet (Peace be upon him) ordered this Masjid to be destroyed in Ramadan.

On the seventeenth of Ramadan, 3 AH, Almighty Allah separated truth from falsehood at the Great Battle of Badr. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) and 313 of his Companions set out to intercept a caravan of their own goods that had been left in Makkah. It was led by Abu Sufyan himself, and estimated at 50,000 dinars. They were met, instead, by a well-equipped army of the nobility of Quraish, intend on putting out the light of Islam. Despite being outnumbered three to one and appearing weak and unseasoned, the Muslims defended their faith with a burning desire to protect the Prophet and meet their Lord through martyrdom. Allah gave them a decisive victory on this day of Ramadan, that would never be forgotten.

In 6 AH, Zaid Ibn Haritha was sent to Wadi al-Qura at the head of a detachment to confront Fatimah bint Rabi’ah, the queen of that area. Fatimah had previously attacked a caravan led by Zaid and had succeeded in plundering its wealth. She was known to be the most protected woman in Arabia, as she hung fifty swords of her close relatives in her home. Fatimah was equally renowned for showing open hostility to Islam. She was killed in a battle against these Muslims in the month of Ramadan.

By Ramadan of 8 AH, the treaty of Hudaibiyyah had been broken and the Muslim armies had engaged the Byzantines in the North. Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) felt the need to strike a fatal blow to disbelief in the Arabian Peninsula and conquer the city of Makkah. Allah has declared His Sanctuary a place of peace, security and religious sanctity. Now the time had come to purify the Ka’abah of nakedness and abomination. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) set out with an army having more armed men than al-Madinah had ever seen before. People were swelling the army’s ranks as it moved toward Makkah. The determination of the believers, guided by the Will of Allah, became so awesome that the city of Makkah was conquered without a battle, on 20 Ramadan. This was one of the most important dates in Islamic history for after it, Islam was firmly entrenched in the Arabian Peninsula. During the same month and year, after smashing the idols of Makkah, detachments were sent to the other major centers of polytheism and al-Lat, Manat and Suwa, some of the greatest idols of Arabia, were destroyed.

Such was the month of Ramadan in the time of the Prophet (Peace be upon him). It was a time of purification, enjoining the good, forbidding the evil, and striving hard with one’s energy, time, life and wealth. After the death of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) Muslims carried on this tradition and Allah used the true believers to affect the course of history. Ramadan continued to be a time of great trials and crucial events.

Ninety-two years after the Hijrah, Islam had spread across North Africa, Iran, Afghanistan, Yemen and Syria. Spain was under the tyrannical rule of King Roderic of the Visigoths. Roderic had forced his six millions serfs and persecuted Jews to seek the aid of the Muslims of North Africa in order to be delivered. Musa Ibn Husair, the Umayyad governor of North Africa, responded by sending his courageous general Tariq Ibn Ziyad at the head of 12,000 Berber and Arab troops. In Ramadan of that year, they were confronted with a combined Visigoth army of 90,000 fighters led by Roderic himself, who was seated on a throne of ivory, silver, and precious gems and drawn by white mules. After burning his boats, Tariq preached to the Muslims warning them that victory and Paradise lay ahead of them and defeat and the sea lay to the rear. They burst forth with great enthusiasm and Allah manifested a clear victory over the forces of disbelief. Not only was Roderic killed and his forces completely annihilated, but also Tariq and Musa succeeded in liberating the whole of Spain, Sicily and parts of France. This was the beginning of the Golden Age of Al-Andalus where Muslims ruled for over 700 years.

In the year 582 AH, Salahuddin Al-Ayyubi, after battling with the Crusaders for years, finally drove them out of Syria and the whole of their occupied lands in the month of Ramadan. The Muslim world was then destined to meet one of its most frightening challenges.

In the seventh century AH, the Mongols were sweeping across Asia destroying everything that lay in their path. Genghis Khan called himself “the scourge of Allah sent to punish humanity for their sins.” In 617 AH, Samarkand, Ray and Hamdan were put to the sword causing more than 700,000 people to be killed or made captive. In 656 AH, Hulagu, the grandson of Genghis Khan, continued this destruction. Even Baghdad, the leading city of the Muslim world, was sacked. Some estimates say that as many as 1,800,000 Muslims were killed in this awesome carnage. The Christians were asked to eat pork and drink wine openly while the surviving Muslims were forced to participate in drinking bouts. Wine was sprinkled in the Masjids and no Azan (call to prayer) was allowed. In the wake of such a horrible disaster and with the threat of the whole Muslim world and then Europe being subjected to the same fate, Allah raised up from the Mamluks of Egypt, Saifuddin Qutuz, who united the Muslim army and met the Mongols at Ain Jalut on 25th of Ramadan, 458 AH. Although they were under great pressure, the Muslims with the help of Allah, cunning strategy and unflinching bravery crushed the Mongol army and reversed this tidal wave of horror. The whole of the civilized world sighed in relief and stood in awe at the remarkable achievement of these noble sons of Islam.

This was the spirit of Ramadan that enabled our righteous forefathers to face seemingly impossible challenges. It was a time of intense activity, spending the day in the saddle and the night in prayer while calling upon Allah for His mercy and forgiveness.

Today, the Muslim world is faced with drought, military aggression, widespread corruption and tempting materialism. Surely we are in need of believers who can walk in the footsteps of our beloved Prophet (Peace be upon him), the illustrious Sahabah, Tariq Ibn Ziyad, Qutuz, Salahuddin and the countless heroes of Islam. Surely we are in need of believers who are unafraid of the threats of the mischief makers, yet kind and humble to the believing people; Muslims whose fast is complete and not just a source of hunger and thirst.

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.

May Allah raise up a generation of Muslims who can carry Islam to all corners of the globe in a manner that befits our age, and may He the Almighty give us the strength and the success to lay the proper foundations for them.

May Allah make us of those who carry out our Islam during Ramadan and after it, and may He the Most High not make us of those who say what they do not do – Ameen Ya Rabb!!!

May Allah bless this Ramadan for all of us, our families, and Muslims the world over. May it be a time of healing, comfort, reflection, and renewed faith and strength. Ameen.

Wassalamu Alaikum

Your Brother:

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

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]

Friday Sermon: O Muslims, Ramadan Has Come To You, By Imam Gusau

In The Name Of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful

All praise is due to Allah, the Cherisher and Nourisher (Rabb) of the entire universe; the felicity of the hereafter is for those who fear Him. I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship except Him. He is without partner, the object of worship of all the fore-runners and those gone-by. He maintains and administers the heavens and  earth.

I further bear testimony to the fact that Muhammad (Peace be upon him) is His Messenger, His beloved and the custodian of His Revelation. Almighty Allah had sent him as the Messenger of good tidings and warner to all of humanity. He has been sent as the caller towards Allah, a shining and bright lamp shedding light. Allah’s blessings be upon His Messenger (Peace be upon him), his progeny, his Companions, who followed him in his mission of inviting the people towards Allah, remained steadfast therein, and offered sacrifices for the same, till Allah, the Almighty gave supremacy to His religion through them and gave eminence to His Kalimah – in spite of the disliking of the polytheists. Countless salutations – Peace and blessings be upon the Noble Prophet (Peace be upon him).

As for what follows, then:

Dear Brothers and Sisters! I advise you and myself to fear Allah during this blessed month as well as in any other month. However, this month has a special merit by which Allah has distinguished it, since it is a unique occasion for performing good deeds. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) would supplicate to Allah to allow him to be able to reach Ramadan. So when the month of Rajab would come in, he (Peace be upon him) would say:

“O Allah! Bless us during Rajab and Sha’aban and allow us to reach Ramadan.” [Reported by Al-Bayhaqi in Shu’b al-Iman, Bazzar in his Musnad, Abu Nu’aim in al-Hilya and Ibn Asakir in Kanz al-‘Amal, declared weak by Imam Albani in Ad-Da’ifah]

It has been narrated that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) would also give his Companions the glad tidings of its arrival and explain to them its many virtues, saying to them:

“O people! A great and blessed month has come upon you.” [Reported by Imam Ahmad in Musnad]

The Prophet (Peace be upon him) would encourage his Companions to strive hard in performing good deeds during this month, both the obligatory and recommended ones, such as prayer, charity, sadaqa, showing goodness and kindness, being patient while obeying Allah, spending one’s day with fasting, one’s night with praying and one’s hours with recitation of the Qur’an and remembering Allah.

So do not waste time by being heedless and refusing, as is the case with the wretched ones who have forgotten Allah and so He has caused them to forget themselves. Such people do not extract benefit from the passing of occasions for doing good, nor do they realize their sanctity or know their worth.

Respected Brothers and Sisters! Many people don’t know this month except as a month for various types of foods and beverages. So they go to great extents in giving their souls what they desire. And they exceed in buying fancy types of foods and drinks. It is well known that the intake of too much food and drink causes one to be lazy with acts of worship. What is required for the Muslim is that he decrease in his intake of food and drink such that he is energetic when it comes to acts of Ibadah (worship).

Some people don’t know the month of Ramadan except as a month in which one sleeps during the day and stays up all night doing things that have no benefit or things that cause harm. So these people stay awake most of the night or all of it then sleep in the daytime even over the times of the obligatory prayers. So they don’t pray with the congregation or in the prescribed times of prayer.

Another group of people sit at the dinner table when it’s time to break fast and abandon performing the Maghrib prayer in congregation. These types of people do not know the value of the month of Ramadan nor do they refrain from violating its sanctity by committing the forbidden type of sleeplessness (i.e. all night), abandoning the obligations and doing the prohibited.

Next to these people are those individuals who don’t view the month of Ramadan except as an opportunity for doing business, displaying their products and chasing after the worldly life, which is temporary. So they are active in buying and selling, thus spending all their time in the marketplaces and abandoning the Masaajid (Mosques). And if they do go to the Masaajid, then they are in haste and anguish. They do not relax while in the Masaajid since their joy and comfort lies in the market areas.

And there is another type of people that do not know the month of Ramadan except as a time for begging in the Masaajid (Mosques), in the houses of big men, in the houses of politicians and their offices, and in the streets. So they spend most of their time going back and forth from here and there and traveling from one city to another, from one country to another in order to collect money through begging and by presenting themselves as being needy when they are in fact wealthy, and as injured when they are in fact healthy! Such people are denying Allah’s blessing on them and taking the people’s wealth unjustly. And they are wasting their precious time in things that are harmful to them. So there are no special merits that can be found in Ramadan for these types of people.

O Dear Servants of Allah! The Prophet (Peace be upon him) would strive hard during this month more than he would in any other month. Even though the Prophet (Peace be upon him) was strong in performing worship at all times, he would free himself up during this month from many of the duties, which in reality were acts of worship, leaving off these righteous deeds for deeds that were better than those.

The Salaf as-Salih (Pious predecessors) would follow his example in this regard and so they would particularize this month with higher ambitions, thus keeping themselves unoccupied in it so that they could perform good deeds. They would spend their night in Tahajjud prayer and their day in fasting, remembrance of Allah and recitation of the Qur’an, thus frequenting the Masaajid for that purpose. So we should compare our conditions to their conditions and see what the extent of our abilities is in this month.

Dear Brothers and Sisters! We should know that just as the good deeds are multiplied during this month, then likewise, evil acts are worse and their punishment is greater. So we should fear Allah and magnify the sanctity of this month.

Allah the Almighty said:

“And whoever magnifies the sacred things of Allah, this is better for him in the sight of his Lord.” [Surah Al-Hajj, 22:30]

My Respected people! Abu Hurairah (RA) reported that the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) said:

“Ramadan has come to you – a blessed month. Allah has made it obligatory on you to fast in it. During this month, the gates of heaven are open, the gates of the Hellfire are closed and the evil devils are chained. To Allah belongs a night in it, which is better than a thousand months. Whosoever is prevented from its good, then he has been deprived.” [Reported by Ahmad and An-Nasa’i. See Ahmad Shakir’s checking of the Musnad and Sahih at-Targhib wat-Tarhib of Shaykh al-Albani as well as Tamamul Minnah]

Dear Servants of Allah! In this Hadith is a glad tiding to the righteous servants of Allah, of the coming of the blessed month of Ramadan. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) informed his Companions of its coming and it was not just a simple relaying of news. Rather, his intent was to give them the glad tidings of a magnificent time of the year, so that the righteous people who are quick to do deeds can give it its due estimate. This is because the Prophet (Peace be upon him) explained in it (the Hadith) what Allah has prepared for His servants from the ways towards gaining forgiveness and His contentment – and they are many. So whoever has forgiveness escape him during the month of Ramadan, then he has been deprived with the utmost deprivation.

Imam Ibn Rajab said:

“From the great favours and bounties that Allah has bestowed upon His servants is that He has prepared for them meritous occasions so that they may be of profit to those who obey Him and a race for those who rush to compete (for good deeds). These meritous occasions are times for fulfilling hopes by exerting in obedience and uplifting flaws and deficiencies through self-rectification and repentance. There is not a single occasion from these virtuous times, except that Allah has assigned in it works of obedience, by which one may draw close to Him. And Allah possesses the most beautiful things as gifts, which He bestows upon whomsoever He wills by His Grace and Mercy. So the one who achieves true happiness is he who takes advantage of these virtuous months, days and hours and draws closer to His Guardian in them, by doing what is prescribed in them from acts of Ibadah (worship). Thus perhaps he will be showered with one of the many blessings of those occasions and be helped by it, with an assistance that is enough to save him from the Fire and what it contains, such as its blazing heat.” [See Lata’iful Ma’arif of Imam Ibn Rajab, page 8]

Respected Brothers and Sisters! Being able to reach Ramadan is itself a magnificent bounty that is bestowed on the one who reaches it and rises to its occasion, by standing in prayer during its night and fasting during its day. In it, he returns to his Protector — from disobeying Him to obeying Him, from neglecting Him to remembering Him, from remaining distant from Him to turning towards Him in submissive repentance.

A Muslim must be conscious of this bounty and acknowledge its magnitude. For indeed, many people are prevented from fasting, either because they die before they reach it, or because they are not capable of observing it or because they oppose and turn away from it. Thus, the one who fasts must give praise to his Lord for this bounty and should welcome this month with joy and delight that a magnificent time of the year out of all the occasions for performing obedience is welcomed. He should exert himself deeply in doing good deeds. And he should invoke Allah to grant him the ability to fast and stand in night prayer, and that He provide him with seriousness, enthusiasm, strength, and energy in that month. And that He awaken him from heedless oversleeping so that he may take advantage of these virtuous times of goodness.

My beloved people! It is unfortunate to find that many people do not know the value of this virtuous occasion, nor do they consider it to be sacred. So the month of Ramadan no longer becomes a significant time for obedience, worship, reciting the Qur’an, giving in charity and making remembrance of Allah. Rather, to some people, it becomes a significant time to diversify their foods and drinks and to prepare different types of meals before the month begins. Some other people do not know Ramadan except as a month of sleeplessness and constant recurring gatherings, while sleeping by day. This is to the point that some among them sleep past the time of the obligatory prayers, thus not praying them in congregation or in their proper times. Other people do not know Ramadan except as a significant time for conducting worldly affairs, not as a significant time for conducting affairs for the Hereafter. Thus, they work busily in it, buying and selling, and they stay in the market areas, consequently abandoning the Masaajid. And when they do pray with the people, they do so in such a hurried manner. This is because they find their pleasure in the market places. This is the extent that the notions and views (of Ramadan) have been changed.

Some of the Salaf as-Salih (Pious predecessors) used to say:

“Indeed Allah, the Most High, has made the month of Ramadan as a time of competition for His creatures, in which they may race with one another to His pleasure, by obeying Him. Thus, one group comes first and so they prosper and another group comes last and so they fail.” [See Lata’iful Ma’arif of Imam Ibn Rajab, page 246]

Also, the person does not know if this is perhaps the last Ramadan he will ever see in his life, if he completes it. How many men, women and children have fasted with us the past year, and yet now they lie buried in the depths of the earth, relying on their good deeds. And they expected to fast many more Ramadans. Likewise, we too shall all follow their path. Therefore, it is upon the Muslim to rejoice at this magnificent occasion for worship. And he should not renounce it, but instead busy himself with what will benefit him and what will cause its effect to remain. For what else is it, except numbered days, which are fasted in succession and which finish rapidly.

Oh Allah, make Taqwa (piety) for us our most profitable characteristic. And do not make us from those people who are neglectful and lost. And secure our fear on the Day of the arrival of the Hour. And forgive us and our parents and all the Muslims, ameen.

* Shedding Tears Of Sorrow In Ramadan

Dear Servants of Allah! I shed a tear of sorrow in Ramadan on those who don’t consider the sacredness of the month, and its virtues and merits, not only they meet it – as the other months – by sins and violations, but also they became farer from Allah – the Almighty – also they invented different types of sins and abominations, to deprive themselves and others from the heavy rain of rewards, they make the preparations to fight the Creature of the heavens and earth (Allah).

A tear in Ramadan on those who waste the obligated prayers, as they sleep at the time of prayers at some time, delay it other time, and leave it sometime.

A tear in Ramadan on those who disgrace Fasting sacredness, by their obscenity and bad morals, as they insult, curse, steal, backbite, and lie on people. And if you advised someone he argues that this is because of the Fasting!! As if Fasting is the reason behind these disadvantages, and they are unaware about the opinion of Fasting, its benefits, and its great rewards, and the most important benefits are:

– Devotion towards Allah occurs. As Allah says:

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

So does the devotion to Allah call for insulting, cursing, injustice and aggression of which we are used to even in the sacred month of Ramadan and in a sacred state of fasting? For that Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) said:

“Whoever doesn’t give up forged speech and evil actions, Allah is not need of his leaving his food and drink (i.e. Allah will not accept his fasting).” [Narrated by Imam Al-Bukhari]

So may Allah have mercy on you to know the reality of Fasting.

A tear in Ramadan on the women, who go out to pray Al-Tarawih/Tahajjud prayer while they are adorned, incensed, scented, showily, and wearing their most beautiful dresses, and the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“Don’t prevent the female servants of Allah from visiting the Mosques of Allah, but they may go out (to the Mosque) having not perfumed themselves.” [Narrated by Abu Dawud and Al-Albani said the Hadith is Hasan Sahih]

And the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“Whoever (woman) fumigated herself with perfume shouldn’t join us in the Isha prayer.” [Narrated by Imam Muslim]

A tear in Ramadan on those who waste the month on watching the useless channels of satellite TV, and no satellite TV which spread debauchery, nakedness, and buffoonery, and their madness, debauchery and buffoonery increase in that precious month to fight the virtues and violate the nation’s constants and sanctities.

In our busy lives, we often forget to remember our Creator (Allah). As Muslims, we should try and incorporate Zikr in our daily lives, especially with Ramadan coming up in around one weeks’ time. Even if you take a couple of minutes out of your daily schedule to read the Qur’an and remember Allah the Almighty, they won’t go unrewarded. During those 5-10 minutes forget everything and focus on the blessings you have been provided by Him. You will feel relaxed and it will help rid you of the daily stresses of life.

* The Does And Doesn’t Of Fasting

– The Obligation

Dear Servants of Allah! Fasting is one of the five pillars of Islam. It is an act of obedience and submission to Allah’s commands through the highest degree of commitment, sincerity and faithfulness to seek Allah’s mercy, to atone for sins, errors, and mistakes and to avoid condemnation to Hell.

It is done out of deep love for Allah, with a genuine virtue of devotion, honest dedication and closeness to Allah, for Fasting is for Allah and Him alone.

The fasting during Ramadan is obligatory on every adult, sane, and able Muslim.

Denial of the obligatory nature of fasting in the month of Ramadan amounts to disbelief (kufr).

One who avoids fasting without genuine reasons is a sinner and transgressor according to Islamic law.

– Time: When To Fast

Fasting in Islam involves abstinence from three primal physical needs of human beings – food, drink, and sexual intercourse from dawn (approximately one and a half hours before sunrise) to sunset during the entire month of Ramadan.

– Who Is Exempted From Fasting

1. Children under the age of puberty and discretion.

2. The insane people who are unaccountable for their deeds. People of these two categories are exempted from the duty of fasting and no compensation or any other substitute is enjoined on them.

3. Men and women who are too old and feeble to undertake the obligation of fasting and bear its hardships. Such people are exempted from this duty, but they must offer at least one needy poor Muslim an average full meal or its value per person day.

4. Sick people whose health is likely to be severely affected by fasting. They may postpone the fast, as long as they are sick, to a later date and makeup for it, a day for a day.

5. People expecting hardship. Such people may break the fast temporarily during their travel only and make up for it in later days, a day for a day. But it is better for them, the Qur’an says, to keep the fast if they can without causing extraordinary hardships.

6. Expectant women and women nursing their children may also break the fast, if its observance is likely to endanger their own health or that of their infants. But they must make up for the fast at a delayed time, a day for a day.

7. Women in periods of menstruation (of a maximum of ten days). They must postpone the fast till recovery and then make up for it, a day for day.

– Niyyah Or Intention Of Fast

To observe the fast, the intention of fasting is essential (Wajib). The intention should be made daily, preferably before dawn of each day of fasting (in Ramadan).

Provision is made if someone has forgotten to express his intention before dawn. In such a case one is allowed to express intention of fasting before noon to avoid the invalidation of the fast.

The wording of Niyyah may be as follows, but should be said in your heart:

“I intend to observe fast for today.”

– Suhur

Suhur is a light, predawn meal, recommended before actually fasting. It is a blessing and hence recommended but not essential.
Any consumption of food or drink should cease at least five to ten minutes before the onset of dawn.

– Iftar

Iftar is an Arabic term meaning breaking the fast immediately after the sunset. Iftar is a light snack consisting of dates or desserts, along with liquids, such as water, juice or milk.

This is eaten after making the Du’a (supplication) for breaking the fast.

– What Breaks The Fast

1. Intentional consumption of food, drink, medicine, or smoking during the fasting.

2. Any injection which has some nutritional value.

3. Beginning of menstruation or post natal birth bleeding (even in the last moment of sunset).

The conditions mentioned above invalidate fasting and require “Qadah” (making up only the missed day or days). However, intentional intercourse during the hours of fasting invalidates fasting and not only requires “Qadah” but also additional penalty.

– What Does Not Break The Fast

1. Eating or drinking by mistake, unmindful of the fast.

2. Unintentional vomiting.

3. Swallowing things which are not possible to avoid, such as one’s own saliva, street dust, smoke, etc.

4. Brushing the teeth.

5. Bathing: if water is swallowed unintentionally, it does not invalidate the fast. However, while fasting gargling should be avoided.

6. Injection or I/V (Intravenous) which is solely medicinal and not nutritional.

7. In some special circumstances if the food or drink is just tasted and immediately removed out of the mouth without allowing it to enter into the throat.

– Kaffarah

During the fasting period, if one deliberately breaks his or her fast, she/he must free one slave, or fast for sixty continuous days, or feed sixty needy persons, or spend in charity an amount equal to feeding sixty persons.

If one chooses to fast sixty days and the continuity is interrupted for any reason, except menstruation, one has to start the sixty day cycle all over again.

– Breaking Of The Fast Under Exceptional Conditions

Muslims are permitted to break their fast of Ramadan when there is a danger to their health.

In this situation a Muslim should make up his/her fast later. The missed fast(s) can be made up at any other time of the year, either continuously or intermittently, except on the day of Eid-ul-Fitr and the day of Eid-ul-Adha.

– Tarawih

These are special Sunnah prayers in the month of Ramadan. They follow the Isha’ prayers.

– Lailat al-Qadr

Amongst the nights of Ramadan, there is one special night of Power (Qadr) which is highlighted in Surah al-Qadr (Surah 97 in the Qur’an).

It has the significance of being better than a thousand months (Qur’an 97:3).

This was the night when Qur’an was revealed to mankind. Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) recommended Muslims search for this night of Power (Qadr) in the odd nights of the last ten nights in Ramadan.

Muslims spend the night in Ibadah (worship), asking forgiveness of their sins and reciting the Qur’an.

Respected Brothers and Sisters! I ask Allah to assist us in living by the Qur’an 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.

Dear Brothers and Sisters! 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, Sha’aban 24, 1439 AH (May 11, 2018), 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: gusaumurtada@gmail.com or +2348038289761.

[easy-social-share buttons="facebook,twitter" counters=0 style="button"]