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

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

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

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

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

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

Imam Ibn Jarir said that:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* The Seized Goods of the man from Zubaid!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The reasons for this are explained as follows:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Talha Ibn Abdullah reported that:

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

In another narration, the Prophet said:

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

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

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

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

Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim said:

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

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

Allah the Most High said:

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

Imam Ibn Kathir comments on this verse, saying:

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

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

Asim reported that:

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

Imam An-Nawawi comments on this Hadith, saying:

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

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

Ibn Abbas reported that:

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

Imam Zuhrah said:

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

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

Hassan Ibn Atiyah reported that:

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

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

Imam An-Nawawi said:

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

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

Imam Ash-Shawkani said:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Written by your Brother:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* The Hijrah

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* The Month Of Muharram

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

– Fasting During The Month

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

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

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

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

– The Day Of Ashurah

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

According to the respected Companion Ibn Abbas.

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

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

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

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

Abdullah Ibn Mas’ud reports that:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

“Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi raaji’uun!”

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

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

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

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

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

* Blessings Of Muharram

It is the first month of the Islamic Calendar.

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

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

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

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

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

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

* Events Of Muharram

– Hussain was martyred in this month.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Woe To Those Who Give Not The Zakah (1), By Imam Gusau

Monday, Ramadan 19, 1439 AH (June 4, 2018)

In The Name Of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful

Dear Brothers and Sisters! Know that Zakah is one of Islam’s pillars and great foundations. It is Joined by Allah The Almighty with prayer (Salah) in many locations of His Glorious Book. The source of its obligation lies in the Quran, the Prophetic Sunnah and the consensus (Ijma’) of the Islamic Ummah.

Concerning the Book of Allah The Almighty, a mention may be made of His Saying:

“And establish prayer and give zakah and obey the Messenger – that you may receive mercy.” [Quran, 24:56]

“O you who have believed, indeed many of the scholars and the monks devour the wealth of people unjustly and avert [them] from the way of Allah. And those who hoard gold and silver and spend it not in the way of Allah – give them tidings of a painful punishment. The Day when it will be heated in the fire of Hell and seared therewith will be their foreheads, their flanks, and their backs, [it will be said], “This is what you hoarded for yourselves, so taste what you used to hoard.” [Quran, 9:34-35]

As far as the Prophetic Sunnah is concerned, the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) said:

“Islam is based on five (pillars): to testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah; to establish prayer; to give Zakah; to observe the fast of Ramadan; and to perform Hajj to the House (i.e. the Ka‘abah) for him who could find thereto a way).” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

The Messenger of Allah further said:

“Any owner of gold or silver who does not pay the Zakah due on it will, on the Day of Resurrection, have his treasure heated in the Fire of Hell and then made into plates. His flanks, forehead and back will be branded with them. Every time they (i.e. the plates) get cold, they will be heated again on a day that will last fifty-thousand years. This will be done to him until Allah Pronounces the judgment on His slaves. Then one will be shown his path, leading him either to Paradise or to Hellfire.” [Muslim]

– Ruling on Zakah:

Dear Servants of Allah! Zakah is due on everyone who meets the following conditions:

1. Faith in Islam: the disbeliever is not asked to give it even though he will be accounted for not giving it since the disbelievers are addressed by Shari’ah commands.

2. Freedom: it is not due on a slave’s wealth even though it is due on the wealth of the mentally disabled and children.

3. The full possession of the due Nisab (i.e. the minimum amount liable for Zakah) and the Nisab of each kind will be accurately defined later In Shaa Allah. If one’s wealth is less than the Nisab, no Zakah will be due except for the Rikaz, which is what is found buried from the time of Jahiliyyah (i.e. pre-Islamic period of ignorance).

4. Stability of Nisab: it is not due on the share of the Mudharib before distributing the money.

5. The elapse of a full lunar year on prices, articles of merchandise and live stock. Concerning grains, fruits, what comes out from the land, products of grazing animals, the profit from trade and Rikaz, Zakah is due on that even if a full lunar year does not elapse on it.

In other words, Zakah is due on every free Muslim in full possession of a due Nisab upon which a lunar year has elapsed, whether he is young or old, sane or insane. The only exception is that the young or insane does not give out his Zakah by himself but it is given out by his guardian.

– Kinds of wealth on which Zakah is due:

1. Currencies and prices (i.e. gold, silver and cash money)

2. Articles of merchandise

3. Livestock

4. What comes out from the land of grains and fruits

The focus will be made in what follows on prices and articles of merchandise.

– The due Nisab of Zakah on prices and articles of merchandise:

1. The Nisab of gold is 20 dinars (i.e. approximately 85 grams).

2. The Nisab of silver is 200 dirhams (i.e. approximately 595 grams).

3. The Nisab of cash money is debatable.

– Zakah on articles of merchandise:

Articles of merchandise are goods planned for sale with the intention of making profit, like cars, equipment and various kinds of commodities ready for trade (i.e. those which are purchased with the intention to be sold in trade rather than to be used). If a lunar year elapsed, a merchant should assess the commodities he has according to their market value at the very time Zakah became due on him rather than according to their value on the day he bought them. This is in order not to wrong the poor, in case the price rose, or the merchant, in case the price fell. The assessment should depend on the retail price for the retailers, the wholesale price for the wholesalers and the average for those who combine both.

Notice: a man may buy a commodity with the intention to sell it and make a profit but he uses it instead. On the other hand, another man may buy a commodity with the intention to use it and, seeing it improper, he sells it instead. On which of both is Zakah due?

The separating limit is the original intention. If one’s original purpose when purchasing a commodity is to sell and trade in it, then it will belong to the articles of merchandise on which Zakah is due even though it may probably be used. If the original purpose of buying is to use it, then no Zakah will be due on it even though it may probably be sold.

If one bought a commodity with the intention to use it and a year later intended to sell it, it would be considered an article of merchandise from that very date and not from the date he bought it. Vice versa, if he bought it with the intention to traffic in it and a year later he intended to use it, Zakah would not be due from that very date and would be due only for the previous time.

– Zakah on shares:

Concerning the Zakah of shared companies, the purpose of a shareholder from possession is one of two:

1. To intend an investment in the long term and gain profits and revenues. For example, if he is in the Saudi market, no Zakah will be due on the shareholder because as I know the company pays it on his behalf. If he is in another market where the companies do not abide by paying Zakah, he should estimate the Zakah by accounting the real holdings on which Zakah is due far from the market value. If it is difficult for him and he likes to be more cautious, then he should give Zakah like the rights of sharers (i.e. owners) which is 2.5%. The rights of sharers are the total assets minus the total deductions and the result is multiplied by 2.5%.

2. To intend by possession of shares to trade or make a Mudharabah with the expectation that their price will rise so as to sell them. That is to buy today and sell tomorrow and so on. This person should give Zakah on the shares he has like articles of merchandise. If a lunar year elapsed on him, he should consider the market value rather than the nominal or real value of the shares and give Zakah on them as articles of merchandise (i.e. 2.5%).

A differentiation should be made between an investor and a Mudharib. The one who intends to sell a share within a year is a Mudharib on whom the Zakah of articles of merchandise is due and the one who intends to sell after more than a year is an investor.

– Equity funds:

Equity funds are frequently like a Mudharib in purchasing and selling shares. So the Zakah due on them is like that due on articles of merchandise as was clarified in number (2). If it is the day that ends a lunar year on which an almsgiver gives out his Zakah, he should assess the equities he has on that day and give out as much as 2.5% thereof. It is worth mentioning that the funds themselves usually do not give out Zakah and it is entrusted to the customer, the owner of the equities.

– Zakah on jewelry:

Scholars have two different opinions about the obligation of Zakah on jewelry. What is intended by jewelry is only gold and silver. No Zakah is due on precious stones, pearls and the like, regardless of how high their price may be.

1. The first opinion claims that no Zakah is due on jewelry because the purpose is to use them permissibly rather than to trade in them. Thus, the meaning of increase does not apply to them, neither in reality nor in consideration. They bring many indications in support of this opinion and, at the same time, render weak the indications of those who advocate the obligation of Zakah on jewelry. This opinion is adopted by many scholars.

2. The other opinion argues that Zakah is due on jewelry in view of the general traditions concerning the Zakah on gold and silver and the Hadith of the woman with the two bracelets and others. This is the opinion of many scholars including Ibn Baz, Ibn Uthaymin and others.

However, it is worth mentioning that, in the case of adopting the opinion that no Zakah is due on the jewelry of women, the following criteria should be observed:

A. To intend only adornment thereby and, in case saving is intended, Zakah becomes due on it.

B. To intend to use it in a current rather than a future need. An example of a future need is that one keeps it for his would-be wife. In this case, Zakah becomes due on it.

C. To remain fit for adornment. But whatever is crushed or broken and thus becomes unusable thereof, then Zakah is due on it because it is not prepared for such use.

D. To be used permissibly. If its use is impermissible, then Zakah becomes due on it. An example of impermissible use is to be in the form of a statue or an idol and so on.

E. Not to exceed the limit of moderation and usage in the amount of jewelry that is used. But if it exceeds the limits of extravagancy, then Zakah becomes due on what is beyond the limit of moderate usage.

– Zakah on salaries:

Zakah is not due on a salary once it is received. It should be joined with what one has. If a lunar year elapsed and he has something thereof, he should give out Zakah for it.

– Zakah on residential date-palm trees:

Some people have date-palm trees in their homes or resorts whose fruits reach the due Nisab and take no heed of giving the Zakah due on them. The due Nisab of fruits is five Wasaqs and the Wasaq is sixty Sa’is (i.e. three-hundred Sa’is or nearly six-hundred and fifty-three or six-hundred and twelve kilograms). If the date-fruits reach the due Nisab, one-twentieth (i.e. 5%) becomes due because it is irrigated by artificial means as is prevalent in our lands these days. If it is watered by rain, then one-tenth (i.e. 10%) is due. If it is equally watered by artificial as well as natural means then 7.5% is due.

– Channels of spending Zakah:

The channels of spending Zakah are the eight categories mentioned in Saying of Allah The Almighty:

“Zakah expenditures are only for the poor and for the needy and for those employed to collect [Zakah] and for bringing hearts together [for Islam] and for freeing captives [or slaves] and for those in debt and for the cause of Allah and for the [stranded] traveler – an obligation [imposed] by Allah. And Allah is Knowing and Wise.” [Quran, 9:60]

– The following points should be made here:

* Zakah is neither permissible nor sufficient for him upon those whom the almsgiver should spend like a child, wife or father. According to some scholars, Zakah is not valid for everyone whom the almsgiver should inherit when that one dies.

* Zakah to a relative is better than to anyone else because it acts both as Zakah and a means of strengthening kinship ties. Relatives are worthier of the favour, provided that they are not among those upon whom the almsgiver should spend as was previously clarified.

* Zakah should not be paid to the almsgiver’s employees, such as a driver and servant, in order to avoid mixing Zakah with obligatory fees.

* It is permissible to pay Zakah in advance to serve a public benefit such as when a calamity befalls the Muslims or there is a needy person whose state requires Zakah to be given in advance. In such a case, Zakah may be paid in advance and deducted from the obligatory alms when a lunar year elapses.

* It is also permissible to delay Zakah to serve a predominant need or benefit. Such a case is when the lunar year elapses on one upon whom Zakah is due and he has no money at hand to pay Zakah from or he has goods offered for sale which he could only sell after a long time. In this case, there is no harm to delay Zakah till money becomes available. Another example is that the almsgiver knows that his relative is in need and he could only convey Zakah to him after a long time. At any rate regardless of what Zakah is delayed, with or without a legal excuse, the almsgiver remains liable for it and will not be free from this obligation until he gives it. It should be accounted from the very day it becomes due rather than the day on which it is paid.

– How to calculate Zakah:

A Muslim could calculate his Zakah according to one of the following two ways:

1. To make for each lump sum he gains an independent lunar year from the very moment he possesses it until it amounts the due Nisab and, if a lunar year elapses on that kind of money, he will give Zakah on what he has of it and the same applies to all kinds. For example, if one receives the salary for the month of Muharram, its lunar year will be Muharram of the following year and the lunar year of the salary of Safar will be Safar of the following year. The same applies to any money he receives, that is, to record the very day on which he receives that money and then wait for the elapse of a lunar year on it. But it should be kept in mind that if the money is a trade profit or comes from that of a previous Zakah, it should have the same lunar year of the principal and not an independent year. Nevertheless, this way is somewhat difficult.

2. The other way is easier; it is to consider the time at which one attains a due Nisab and waits until a lunar year elapses from the very date he got the Nisab. Then, he gives Zakah on all the wealth he has on which Zakah is due even if no lunar year elapsed on the whole of it. At the same time every year, he should give out Zakah on the wealth he has. This way he will be relieved of calculating Zakah on each part of his wealth individually.

– A practical example for Zakah according to the second way:

Fix for yourself a day for Zakah, say, the fifteenth of Ramadan every year. Being so, when it is the fifteenth of Ramadan this year, you should collect the following:

* Your cash stock whether in bank accounts or cash in hand.

* The market value of the Mudharabah shares on that day.

* The last assessment of equities on equity funds.

* Gold and silver not prepared for the adornment of women like gold ingots.

* Gold and silver prepared for adornment according to the opinion which adopts the obligation of Zakah on it.

* Debts you have with others in case your debtors are rich and the debts are payable during the same year.

* All you offered for sale of land, homes, livestock or goods in a marketplace or others.

* The total of all that was previously mentioned minus the debts you owe and expect to pay throughout the same year. For example, if you buy a house in installments for one million Naira, you should not deduct the whole sum but only what you will pay throughout the present year: the installment sum multiplied by twelve.

The final result of all that was previously mentioned minus debts is the money on which Zakah is due.

In conclusion, I remind all my respected Brothers and Sisters to exalt the symbols of Allah The Almighty, perform them as they are commanded by their Lord and learn that wealth belongs to Allah The Almighty which He Distributes among His servants to Test which of them is better in deed and in this let the competitors compete.

May Allah Accept from all of us our fasting, Qiyam and righteous deeds. Allah Knows best and may He Send blessings and peace upon our Prophet Muhammad, all his family and Companions.

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

Your Brother:

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

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Friday Sermon: Sha’Aban: A Month Neglected By Many People, By Imam Gusau

In The Name Of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most 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 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.” [Qur’an, 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.” [Qur’an, 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.” [Qur’an, 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 Servants of Allah! The Islamic lunar calendar comprises of twelve months. Each month of the Islamic calendar has its religious as well as historical significance, however, there are a few months that hold a superior stature compared to other months and because of this they are given more value and respect by the Muslims. One of such months is the month of Sha’aban.

Dear Brothers and Sisters! Sha’aban is the eighth month of the Islamic calendar. It falls between two sacred months, Rajab and Ramadan. Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) used to spend most part of Sha’aban by fasting, Imam Bukhari reports in his Sahih that Aishah (RA) said:

“The Messenger (Peace be upon him) used to fast until we thought he would never break his fast, and he would not fast until we thought he would never fast. I never saw the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) fasting for an entire month except in Ramadan, and I never saw him fast more than he did in Sha’aban.”

Today, some ignorant people however have themselves specified particular nights of the year, when they stay awake all night and worship Allah. It is believed that anyone who worships Allah in these specific nights, it will recompense for his yearly deeds and will be enough for his salvation and entering Jannah. One among these nights is the night of mid Sha’aban (15th Sha’aban), which is popularly known as ‘NISFU SHA’ABAN.’ In Shaa Allah I’ll elaborate further on this issue in a bit.

Imam Ibn Rajab said:

“Fasting in Sha’aban is better than fasting in the sacred months (i.e. Dhul-Qadah, Dhul-Hijjah, Muharram and Rajab – [Surah Tawbah, 9:36], and the best of voluntary fasts are those that are (observed in the months) closest to Ramadan, before or after. The status of these fasts is like that of al-Sunan al-Rawatib, which are done before and after fard (prayers) and which make up for any shortfall in the number of obligatory prayers. The same applies to fasts observed before and after Ramadan. Just as al-Sunan al-Rawatib are better than other kinds of voluntary prayers, so fasts observed (in the months) before and after Ramadan are better than fasts at other times.” [See Lata’if al-Ma’arif fima li Mawasim al-Aam minal-Waza’if, by Ibn Rajab al-Hanbali]

Dear Servants of Allah! When Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) was asked, why he fasted so abundantly in the month of Sha’aban, he (Peace be upon him) said:

“(Sha’aban) is a month to which people do not pay attention, which people neglected, between Rajab and Ramadan, and it is a month in which deeds are lifted up to the Lord of the worlds (Allah). And I like for my deeds to be lifted up when I am fasting.” [An-Nasa’i, See also Sahih al-Targhib wat-Tarhib, page 425]

This and other Ahadith of Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) encourage performing good deeds when people are likely to become negligent of Allah’s remembrance and worship, like remembering Allah in the market place, where people get busy in their dealings and in times of difficulty – Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) said:

“Worship at times of tribulation (fitnah) is like Hijrah (migration) to me.” [Sahih Muslim]

The virtue and superiority of worshiping Allah when people tend to become negligent of Allah’s remembrance is because worship at such times is more difficult than worshiping Allah when everybody is engaged in the worship.

Fasting in Sha’aban serves as training before Ramadan. However, fasting the whole month of Sha’aban is Makruh (dislike) and against the Sunnah and way of Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him). Ibn Abbas (RA) said:

“The Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) did not fast any entire month apart from Ramadan.” [Sahih al-Bukhari]

It is also prohibited to fast at the end of Sha’aban with the intention of not missing the first days of Ramadan, except for those who have the habit of fasting regularly and the last day of Sha’aban coincides with a day when the person habitually fasts, those who are bound by vows or have to make up some obligatory fasts. It is reported in Sahih al-Bukhari from Abu Hurairah (RA) that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“Do not preempt Ramadan by one or two days, except for those who have the habit of fasting regularly, in which case they may fast.” [Sahih al-Bukhari]

Fasting at the end of Sha’aban is prohibited to maintain distinction between the obligatory and voluntary fasts – it is also a precaution to prevent the people from falling into the trap of Shaitan (Satan), who persuaded the People of the Book (Ahlul Kitab) to add more fasts to that which Allah had made obligatory for them. For this same reason, it is also prohibited to fast on the ‘day of doubt (Yaumu as-Shak).’ A day of doubt is when people are not sure about the start of Ramadan, because of cloudy weather, or some other reason.

* NISFU SHA’ABAN (15th Sha’aban): Is there any reality?

Respected Servants of Allah! Some ignorant people have themselves specified particular nights of the year, when they stay awake all night and worship Allah. It is believed that anyone who worships Allah in these specific nights, it will recompense for his yearly deeds and will be enough for his salvation and entering Jannah. One among these nights is the night of mid Sha’aban (15th Sha’aban), which is popularly known as ‘NISFU SHA’ABAN’ in the Arabic language.

Specifying particular nights for worshiping Allah is against the Sunnah and way of the Prophet (Peace be upon him). In fact, he (Peace be upon him) has strictly forbade specifying particular nights for worship, he said concerning Friday:

“Do not single out the night (preceding) Friday among the nights for prayer and do not single out Friday among days for fasting but only when anyone among you is accustomed to fast (on dates) which coincide with this day (Friday).” [Sahih Muslim]

Friday is the best day of the week and it is also greatly encouraged to perform good deeds on Friday. If it had been enough to worship Allah during some specific nights, and then become negligent of Him throughout the year, then Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) would have specified the night of Friday for worshiping Allah, but he forbade it. This clearly proves that worshiping Allah only during some particular nights in the whole year does not fulfill the slave’s obligation of worshiping his Lord. The slave is required to worship Allah at all times until his death, because worship is the sole purpose of man’s creation. Allah says:

“Glorify, the praises of your Lord and be of those who prostrate themselves (to Him). And worship your Lord (O Muhammad (Peace be upon him)) until there comes to you death.” [Qur’an, 15:99]

It was the practice of Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) to worship Allah all throughout the year, all his nights and days were spent in the worship of Allah.

The Sunnah of Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) during the month of Sha’aban was to fast and he (Peace be upon him) said concerning the virtue of Sha’aban:

“…it (Sha’aban) is a month in which deeds are lifted up to the Lord of the Worlds. I like for my deeds to be lifted up when I am fasting.’” [An-Nasa’i, See also Sahih al-Targhib wat-Tarhib, page 425]

Apart from this, most narrations that are commonly spread among the people concerning the virtues of the month of Sha’aban or specifically the night of 15th Sha’aban (Nisfu Sha’aban) are weak and fabricated. Scholars like Imams ash-Shawkani, Ibn Jawzi, Ibn Hibban, al-Qurtubi have greatly condemned these narrations. [For details refer to Al-Fawa’id al-Majmu’ah, Maudhu’at al-Kubrah and Tafsir Qurtubi]

From among the fabricated Ahadith are those which mention: “On this day (15th Sha’aban) Allah frees people from the Hellfire in accordance with the number of hair found on the skin of the goats of the tribe of Banu Kalb”, “anyone who prays fourteen Raka’ahs of Salah on the night of 15th Sha’aban will get the reward of accepted fasts and Hajj of twenty years”, etc. Anybody who relates such fabricated Ahadith should be reminded of the authentic Hadith of Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him), which says:

“Whosoever narrated a lie on my behalf, let him make his place in Hellfire.” [Sahih al-Bukhari]

Beloved Servants of Allah! The night of 15th Sha’aban has also been given the status and virtues of Lailatul-Qadr by misinterpreting Qur’anic verses. It is claimed that the lailatim-mubarakah (blessed night) mentioned in Surah ad-Dukhan [Qur’an, 44:3], refers to the night of 15th Sha’aban, when Allah forgives the sins of His slaves, increases their ages and provisions. Therefore, people stay awake all night and say innovated (Bid’ah) supplications in loud voices.

Allah says in Surah ad-Dukhan:

“By the manifest Book (this Qur’an) that makes things clear, We sent it (this Qur’an) down on a blessed night (laylatim-mubarakah). Verily, we are ever warning.” [Qur’an, 44:2]

Allah informs us in this verse that He sent down the Qur’an in laylatim-mubarakah (the blessed night). The Qur’an itself identifies laylatim-mubarakah in other verses, it is mentioned in Surah al-Qadr [Qur’an, 97:1]:

“Verily, We have revealed it (the Qur’an) down in the Night of al-Qadr.”

So, according to this verse, laylatim-mubarakah is not the night of 15th Sha’aban but it is the Night of al-Qadr, which comes in Ramadan. Allah says in Surah al-Baqarah [Qur’an, 2:185]:

“The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur’an…”

Another deviant belief related to the night 15th of Sha’aban is that the mention of the descent of Ruh in Surah al-Qadr [Qur’an, 97:4], means that the souls of the dead people return back to the world and meet their wives and relatives. For this reason, widows prepare food liked by their husbands and wait for their arrival. People also visit graves and seek forgiveness for all those people who have died between the last Sha’aban and the present one.

Allah says in Surah al-Qadr:

“Therein (in the Night of Qadr) descend the Angels and the Ruh by Allah’s Permission with all Decrees.” [Qur’an, 97:4]

Firstly, this verse refers to the Night of al-Qadr and not 15th Sha’aban as explained earlier. Secondly, descending of the Ruh in this verse means the descending of Angel Jibrilu with other Angels and not souls of the dead people (See Tafsir Ibn Kathir). Besides, believing that souls of the dead can return back to the world and meet with their relatives is itself an incorrect belief. The teachings of the Qur’an and the Sunnah clearly state that the souls of the dead do not return back to the world. I had explained this subject in details in my previous Sermon. Anyone who wishes to learn more about this subject may refer to it.

As far as visiting the graves is concerned, a weak narration (of Aishah (RA) reported in Sunan at-Tirmidhi (in the book of fasting) is often brought forth to support the visiting of graves on the night of 15th Sha’aban. The Hadith reads as follows:

“One night (i.e. night of mid Sha’aban) I found the Messenger of Allah absent from my apartment. I therefore, went out to search him out and he was in Baqi cemetery raising his head towards the heaven.’ He said, “O Aishah were you afraid that Allah and His Messenger will wrong you?” She said, ‘I replied: I had not such a low opinion about Allah and His Messenger, but I presumed that you had gone to some of your wives for some need.” He said, “Verily, Allah descends in the night of mid-Sha’aban to the heaven of the world and then forgives people more than the number of the hair of the sheep of Banu Kalb.”

A similar Hadith is also found in Sahih Muslim, but it does not mention the night of 15th Sha’aban. However, the Hadith of Sunan at-Tirmidhi is not authentic and thus does not have any proof for visiting graves specifically on the night of Sha’aban.

Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) has permitted the men to visit the graves at any time and make Du’a for the engraved. He (Peace be upon him) said:

“I used to forbid you from visiting graves, but now you should visit them, for surely they are reminders of the next life.” [Sahih Muslim]

And he (Peace be upon him) also taught us the Du’a of visiting graves:

“Peace be upon the Believers and Muslims among the inhabitants of these dwellings. May Allah have mercy on those who have gone ahead of us, and those following us. And we shall, Allah-willing, be joining you.” [Sahih Muslim]

But to specify certain days for visiting graves was neither the practice of Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him), nor the Sahabah (RA), therefore, visiting graves specifically on 15th Sha’aban should be avoided, as it falls under the category of innovations (Bid’ahs) and Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) said about innovations:

“… and the worst of affairs are the newly invented matters, every newly invented matter is an innovation and every innovation is misguidance and every misguidance is in the Hellfire.” [An-Nasa’i]

Many people also light candles on graves, which has no basis from the Qur’an and the Sunnah. In fact, lighting candles is an imitation of the fire worshipers (majus), and Ibn Abbas (RA) narrated that:

“Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) cursed the women who visit the graves. He also cursed those who set up Mosques and lights over graves.” [Abu Dawud, Ibn Majah, at-Tirmidhi and an-Nasa’i]

* A Reminder in Sha’aban

Dear Brothers and Sisters! If you still have to make up any missed obligatory fasts of last Ramadan, then hasten to make up them before the next Ramadan arrives. It is not permissible to delay missed fasts until after the following Ramadan, except in cases of necessity (such as a valid excuse that continues between the two Ramadan). Aishah (RA) says:

“It used to be that I had days to make up for Ramadan and I would not be able to do so except in Sha’aban.” [Sahih al-Bukhari]

Anybody who is able to make up the missed fasts before the (second) Ramadan and does not do so has to make them up after the (second) Ramadan and in addition, he should repent and feed one poor person for each day that was missed. [This is the view of Imams Malik, al-Shafi’i and Ahmad]

* Three great innovations (Bid’ahs) in Sha’aban!!!

The three great Bid’ahs (religious innovations) which some people do in the month of Sha’aban, Shaykh Muhammad Ibn Salih al-Uthaymin said:

“I would like to warn against the three things which are done in the middle of Sha’aban: The First issue: Amongst the general mass, there are many people who think that the night of the middle of Sha’aban (i.e. the 15th of Sha’aban) is Lailatul-Qadr (the Night of Decree) and that one (who prays in this night) gets the reward that has been mentioned in the Sunnah (i.e. his previous sins would be forgiven).

But what is known is that Lailatul-Qadr occurs in the month of Ramadan and the evidence for that is the saying of Allah in the Qur’an: “Verily! We have sent it (this Qur’an) down in the night of Al-Qadr.” [al-Qadr, 97:1] And in the saying of Allah: “Ha-Mim. By the manifest Book (this Qur’an) that makes things clear, We sent it (this Qur’an) down on a blessed night. 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.” [al-Dhukhan, 44:1-4]This is the Text which is clear that the Qur’an was sent down on Lailatul-Qadr, in which matters of ordainment are decreed.

Then Allah also says: “The month of Ramadan in which was revealed the Qur’an, a guidance for mankind and clear proofs for the guidance and the criterion (between right and wrong).” [al-Baqarah, 2:185] This is sure, clear and certain proof that Lailatul-Qadr occurs in the month of Ramadan, rather it occurs in the last ten (nights) of Ramadan. The Second issue: Some people specially mark this night (of the middle of Sha’aban) by establishing prayers in the night and Fasting in the day, based upon the Weak Ahadith. Since these Ahadith are not authentic, then specially marking out the middle of Sha’aban for establishing night prayers should not be done. But if a person is in the habit of getting up for night prayers, then he should pray in the night of the middle of Sha’aban like he prays in any other night without marking it as a special occasion.

Similarly, one should not make it a special occasion to Fast only in the middle of Sha’aban because nothing such has been reported from the Prophet (Peace be upon him). But if one Fasts for three days of Ayyam al-Bidh (i.e. the night when the Moon is full) and they are the thirteenth, the fourteenth and the fifteenth day (of the Lunar calendar); so if one Fasts on these three days, then his Fasting will be in accordance with the Sunnah.

But one should not believe that this (Fasting these three days in Sha’aban) is better than Fasting in any other month, even though the Prophet (Peace be upon him) used to Fast much in this month of Sha’aban, more than any other month, sometimes he would Fast for almost the complete month except for a few days. The Third issue: Some people specially prepare food on the 15th of Sha’aban and invite others over it or they distribute it to the neighbours and relatives believing that there is more virtue if one does it specially on this night.

But I say: The matter is not like (how they perceive). Nothing has been legislated that one should mark this night by specially preparing food or inviting people for food or giving out Sadaqah (charity). It is like any other day, one should prepare food on this day like the way he does on any other day of the year. These are the three Bid’ahs which some people have fallen into, which I wanted to warn against.” [See Majmu’ al-Fatawa of Shaykh Ibn Al-Uthaimin, vol. 7 page 279-281]

Dear Servants of Allah! I’m reminding myself and my Muslim brothers and sisters, especially the Nigerian Muslim Ummah that it is only the Amirul Mu’mineen, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III has the right to make an announcement for the commencement and finishing the Ramadan fast. It is a great innovation (Bid’ah) in Islam for any Islamic scholar or any leader of any organization, sect or group to do so. We have to fear Allah, we must avoid making contributions in disuniting the Ummah.

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

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

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 my Friday Sermon, and I 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 10, 1439 AH (April 27, 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.

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Friday Sermon: Beware Of Atheism (Iyyakum Wal Ilhaad), By Imam Gusau

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Respected Servants of Allah! Atheism, in modern terminology, means denying the Creator (Allah) altogether, denying that He exists and not acknowledging Him, may He be glorified and exalted. The universe and everything in it, according to their claims, came about purely by chance. Wallahi this is a strange view which is contrary to sound human nature, reason and logic, and is contrary to simple logic and indisputable facts.

Brothers and Sisters! As I said, Atheism is the denial that Allah exists. In Arabic, its known as AL-ILHAAD. An atheist is a person who disbelieves in Allah, His names, His attributes, His Lordship, and denies that worship should be directed to Him. The atheists have the belief that this world came into existence without a creator by an eternal material. This material is considered to them to be the creator of creation. Along with this, they reject the Messengers and religion.

The atheists themselves are divided into two types;

1- Those who deny Allah totally.

2- Agnosticism, those who say, “ We don’t know if Allah is the Creator and if He exists.

Both groups have no faith in Allah and doubt His existence. When researching an atheist’s situation it’s clear that they aren’t convinced in the signs of Allah as being the Creator. Their beliefs aren’t truly based on any scientific theories and facts.

Maurice Blondel, a French philosopher, once said:

“There really isn’t no true atheists.”

For that reason, it’s not farfetched that you find a group of them affirming Allah’s existence, but they say that He disappeared after creating this world. This is a major crime and sin.

Allah the Almighty said:

“And they say: “The Most Beneficent (Allah) has begotten a son (or offspring or children) [as the Jews say: Uzair (Ezra) is the son of Allah, and the Christians say that He has begotten a son [Isa (Jesus Christ)], and the pagan Arabs say that He has begotten daughters (angels, etc.)].” Indeed you have brought forth (said) a terrible evil thing. Whereby the heavens are almost torn, and the earth is split asunder, and the mountains fall in ruins, that they ascribe a son (or offspring or children) to the Most Beneficent (Allah).” [Quran, 88-91]

In the past Atheism wasn’t really widespread and only a few people had this belief similar to Fir’aun (Pharaoh). After him, there was an atheistic trend in the medieval Islam known as materialism [ ???????]. However today since the end of the seventeen and the beginning of the eighteen century, and the spread of technology the rise of atheism began. Those eras were the periods of Marxism and Darwinism, and Nietzsche and Freud. These philosophers fought against the Catholic Church in Europe and it’s from them the ideology of atheism spread.

Brothers and Sisters! There isn’t any sincere particular school dedicated to the teachings of atheism. Atheists generally base their beliefs off of experiments and philosophy and from this they have divided into various sects among themselves as follows:

* Secularism: Those who want to establish the state off of resources and material and not religion.

* Existentialism: A philosophical theory or approach which emphasizes the existence of the individual person as a free and responsible agent determining their own development through acts of the will.

* Positivism: A philosophical system recognizing only that which can be scientifically verified or which is capable of logical or mathematical proof, and therefore rejecting metaphysics and theism.

* Socialism: Founded by Karl Marx, a policy or practice based on the political and economic theory of socialism that denies the existence of Allah.

* Darwinism: the theory of the evolution of species by natural selection advanced by Charles Darwin.

Last to add to this list is an evil form of atheism, that has recently spread around the world, and is picking up momentum in the Arab and African Worlds, known as Devil Worship, or the Church of Satan.

Servants of Allah! Atheism goes against the natural disposition of man and the intellect. Despite this, it has spread and found its way in the Muslim World. Some people have fallen into this trend of atheism as a result of being brainwashed while living among the disbelievers or being educated in their system or they didn’t receive strong and proper Islamic training/upbringing from their parents. Other reasons stem from the inability to accept the Qadr and Qada of Allah or accept it in its correct manner, in particularly the things related to the actions of Allah and the servants. Moreover, we find people going to atheism when they are ignorant of Islam. The Muslims who are running to atheism and of the Church of Satan are following their desires or have an unbridled desire to live what they call freedom. Therefore they don’t consider anything Halal [lawful] or Haram [prohibited]. Also those who are in the shade of atheism don’t believe there is anyone watching over them, no account, no punishment and no reward. Allah’s aide is sought!

Servants of Allah! Most people who consider themselves intellectuals due to their status, or on educational certificates have taken the path of denying Allah’s presence due to arrogance. Allah the Most High said:

“Verily, those who dispute about the Ayat (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) of Allah, without any authority having come to them, there is nothing else in their breasts except pride [to accept you (Muhammad ) as a Messenger of Allah and to obey you].”

* Arrogance leads to many atrocities

– Denying things you comprehend – Allah said:

“Nay, they deny that; the knowledge whereof they could not compass.” [Yunus :39]

– Turning away from the truth and listening to it – Allah said:

“And never came an Ayah from among the Ayat (proofs, shreds of evidence, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) of their Lord to them, but they did turn away from it.” [Ya-Sin: 46]

– Being content with the knowledge you possess and rejecting the Shari’a – Allah said:

“Then when their Messengers came to them with clear proofs, they were glad (and proud) with that which they had of the knowledge (of worldly things): And that at which they used to mock, surrounded them (i.e. the punishment).” [Ghafir :83]

– Blind-following misguided leaders – Allah said:

“And similarly, We sent not a warner before you (O Muhammad ) to any town (people) but the luxurious ones (elites) among them said: We found our fathers following a certain way and religion, and we will indeed follow their footsteps.” [Az-Zukhruf :23]

– The final result of arrogance is the increase of misguidance – Allah said:

“So when they turned away (from the Path of Allah), Allah turned their hearts away (from the Right Path).” [As-Saff :5]

Now what are the pillars of atheism, its foundations, and the approach on which unilateral thought was based were founded?

It’s sufficient to say there isn’t any complete thought among atheists that fully explain their theories from beginning to end. Some atheists will come and present a bunch of awkward questions answered by their doubts and assumptions, which don’t satisfy a person’s thirst for knowledge. They have established their foundation and thought both based on experimental theories or philosophy.

* Experimental Theories

Two of the most widely known experimental theories are evolution and the big bang theory. Charles Darwin wrote a book titled, The Origin of Species; which serves as a major reference point for an atheist who defends the theory of evolution. Atheists believe that Darwin’s theory of evolution explains life; however, when it’s closely examined there are still many unanswered questions that remain. Therefore this theory is flawed. Darwin’s theory doesn’t cover all aspects of life. For instance, insects make up eighty percent of animals. Did these insects evolve or remain, and why didn’t the principles of evolution go into effect with them. Insects are living beings and they weren’t included in Darwin’s theory of evolution as well as birds.

The main distraction in this theory of Darwin’s is the question, how do non-living things transform into living? Their only response is, “by coincidence.” Referring to happenings by coincidence isn’t an academic answer. Darwin also concluded that man evolved from apes as they share the same illnesses as humans. The question to ask here is why apes, and not rats? Rats and humans share the same diseases as well, like cancer.

Darwin viewed evolution for every species consists of individuals that show considerable variations. Under certain environmental conditions, particular variations will be most advantageous. Natural selection weeds out the unadapted and the best-adapted survive. These variations become dominant in the species and so it evolves. In the case of giraffes, times of drought and arid conditions give an advantage to those animals that can out-compete others by reaching the higher, untouched leaves. They form the ancestral stock of the animals that evolve into giraffes.

This is also rejected as the necks of goats didn’t evolve. They need long necks to eat leaves from high trees, and their necks didn’t expand over time.

* The Big Bang Theory

In summary, the origin of creation comes from one cell that was swimming in a time and place then one day all of sudden it just exploded about fifteen million years ago. So based off of this theory this world came from the cell that was the size of a pin. The question they’re unable to answer about this theory is where did that cell come from?

Why was this cell still then moved all of a sudden?

What’s the difference between the moments of the explosion compared to others?

How did the big bang organize such a well-structured universe?

How did non-living thing come from matter and transform into living beings with intellects?

Whenever you ask an atheist the question about how non-living beings became living, they reply, by coincidence. Coincidence is Lord of the Worlds according to atheists.

* Philosophy

Philosophers give precedence to the intellect over the texts (Nusus). They believe that the mind is able to grasp everything that exists in its senses. In reality with this belief, they go against the limits of the mind and the body’s senses. The mind doesn’t have the ability to comprehend everything.

Imam Ibn Battah mentioned that:

“Man came to Abdullah Ibn Abbas with his son. His son said, He was puzzled by his mind and this went to his heart, so he brought him to Ibn Abbas. Abdullah Ibn Abbas said: “Look over there nephew and tell me what is that black thing you see over there?”. He replied, “So and so.” Ibn Abbas said: “That’s’ right, and what is that image behind you?” The boy replied, “I don’t know.” Ibn Abbas said: My nephew the same way Allah has placed a limited limit without a veil, likewise, He has placed on the Heart’s sight a limit, so don’t go beyond its bounds and limits.” [See ‘Atheism, its means of spreading, its dangers, and ways to combat it, by Shaykh Salih Ibn Abdil Aziz Sindi]

The same applies to the senses. It’s not everything that exists can be confined to the five senses.We accept the fact that the senses exist, but what is the proof that something outside of these five senses doesn’t exist?

Measuring the existence of thing according to the five senses wallahi is a weak criterion; as sometimes our senses deceive us. For example there are times that things appear to us outside of its true form. During the afternoon on a very hot day doesn’t it appear that water is in front of you in the desert, but it’s a mirage? And when a pen is placed in a glass of water doesn’t it appear broken? The mind and senses are always to be trusted. The mind doesn’t have the ability to explain everything.

The soul, for example, is something that can’t be explained although it’s the closest thing to you. The mind truly can’t be explained, nor can visions or dreams. If we accept the argument that just because Allah can’t be seen right now this means He doesn’t exist then we’d have to discard many experiments and scientific conclusions. For instance gravity, electrons, Ether, or Atoms and so forth are all things we affirm exist, even though we can’t see them.

Just because we are unable to see Allah it doesn’t mean He doesn’t exist. It’s enough to look at His creation and its system in order to recognize He is in existent. The methodology of atheism is one of the contradictions which has no true criterion except desires.

The Debate between Prophet Musa (Moses) and Fir’aun (Pharaoh) (An Atheist Versus A Muslim):

Brothers and Sisters! Allah the Most High said:

“We will show them Our Signs in the universe, and in their ownselves, until it becomes manifest to them that this (the Quran) is the truth. Is it not sufficient in regard to your Lord that He is a Witness over all things?” [ Al-Fussilat :43]

The thoughts that come to one’s mind which voluntarily submit to Allah’s Lordship.

“In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.

2- All the praises and thanks be to Allah, the Lord of the Alamin (mankind, jinns and all that exists).

3- The Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful.

4- The Only Owner (and the Only Ruling Judge) of the Day of Recompense (i.e. the Day of Resurrection).

5- You (Alone) we worship, and You (Alone) we ask for help (for each and everything).

6- Guide us to the Straight Way.

7- The Way of those on whom You have bestowed Your Grace, not (the way) of those who earned Your Anger, nor of those who went astray.” [Al-Fatihah :1-7]

The Debate Between a Believer and non-believer… [Musa and Fir’aun]

Fir’aun said:

“And what is the Lord of the Alamin (mankind, jinns and all that exists)?” [Surah Ash-Shu’ara :23]

Fir’aun asked this question denying Allah the Lord of Heavens and Earth exists. He denied everything the Prophets, the Heavens and Earth and what the intellect and natural disposition acknowledges.

Musa said:

“Our Lord is He Who gave to each thing its form and nature, then guided it aright.” [Ta-Ha :50]

Musa (Moses) said:

“Lord of the heavens and the earth, and all that is between them, if you seek to be convinced with certainty.” [Ash-Shu’ara :24]

Musa (Moses) said:

“Lord of the east and the west, and all that is between them, if you did but understand!” [Ash-Shu’ara :28]

These are the Heavens with their stars, planets, suns and moons. The Earth has mountains, gardens, animals and human-beings. This planet has clouds, winds, seas and deserts. Allah created all of these things and He manages them, nurtures them and by the fact that he arranged them in this fashion is a sign that He exists.

These creations in the Heavens and in the Earth prove Allah’s knowledge, His Will, His Might, His Wisdom and His Mercy:

“Our Lord is He Who gave to each thing its form and nature, then guided it aright.” [Ta-Ha :50]

Allah created man after he was nonexistent then guided him through customary actions, his nature, the five senses, his thinking and his intellect. Allah guided man to the religion (Islam) that makes him righteous and leads him to purpose of his creation.

Allah said:

“Verily! In the creation of the heavens and the earth, and in the alternation of night and day, and the ships which sail through the sea with that which is of use to mankind, and the water (rain) which Allah sends down from the sky and makes the earth alive therewith after its death, and the moving (living) creatures of all kinds that He has scattered therein, and in the veering of winds and clouds which are held between the sky and the earth, are indeed Ayat (proofs, evidences, signs, etc.) for people of understanding.” [Al-Baqarah :164]

This design and the organization of these creations are well planned and are clear signs to man’s psychic that the organizer of this World’s design is Wise, Merciful, and Compassionate. The sound mind and Fitrah [disposition] believe in all of these things about Allah.

Fir’aun (Pharaoh) said to those around:

“Do you not hear (what he says)?” [Ash-Shu’ara :25]

Fir’aun (Pharaoh) said:

“Verily, your Messenger who has been sent to you is a madman.” [Ash-Shu’ara :27]

Fir’aun said:

“What about the generations of old?“ [Ta-Ha :51]

Fir’aun reviled Musa publicly calling him crazy because he mentioned things that were unknown to them. Musa denied Materialism and this is what Fir’aun and his group accepted and acted by among themselves. Fir’aun and his people thought the previous nations were the same.i.e, They only believed in what they could see and rejected everything that they couldn’t. In other words, They don’t believe in the unseen and He is the Creator of these visible things.

Musa said:

“Our Lord is He Who gave to each thing its form and nature, then guided it aright.” [Ta-Ha :50]

“The Lord of the heavens and the earth and all that is between them, if you (but) have a faith with certainty.” [Ad-Dukhan :7]

“Lord of the east and the west, and all that is between them, if you did but understand!” [Ash-Shura: 28]

[Fir’aun (Pharaoh)] said:

“What about the generations of old?”

Musa said:

“The knowledge thereof is with my Lord, in a Record. My Lord is neither unaware nor He forgets,” Who has made earth for you like a bed (spread out); and has opened roads (ways and paths etc.) for you therein; and has sent down water (rain) from the sky. And We have brought forth with it various kinds of vegetation. Eat and pasture your cattle, (therein); verily, in this are proofs and signs for men of understanding.” [Ta-Ha :52-54]

The generations of old and everything that took place there among the believers and disbelievers is all recorded. Their Creator isn’t unaware of their deeds. He knows their actions and beliefs and they are noted in his book which is error free, and has no negligence or misguidance.

My Lord is the one who has made the Earth well-prepared and good enough for you to live in. The entire Earth isn’t an ocean; inhabitable for land animals and humans. The whole Earth isn’t mountains and rocks; not suitable for plants and living, along with other subsistence for life; such as food and drinks.

Among the organization of this World is you are able to connect the East to the West by air, land or sea. The layout of this Earth makes it easy for ships and caravans to travel to do business.

Fresh water falls from the sky clean and pure without any salt and bitterness. This water gives life to plants, to animals and to mankind. If there was no rain life on Earth would cease to exist and the entire Globe would become a wasteland.

Allah the Almighty said:

“It is He (Allah) Who sends down water (rain) from the sky; from it you drink and from it (grows) the vegetation on which you send your cattle to pasture; With it He causes to grow for you the crops, the olives, the date-palms, the grapes, and every kind of fruit. Verily! In this is indeed an evident proof and a manifest sign for people who give thought.” [An-Nahl :10-11]

Allah the Most High said:

“And the earth! We have spread it out, and set thereon mountains standing firm, and have produced therein every kind of lovely growth (plants). An insight and a Reminder for every slave turning to Allah (i.e. the one who believes in Allah and performs deeds of His obedience, and always begs His pardon). And We send down blessed water (rain) from the sky, then We produce therewith gardens and grain (every kind of harvests) that are reaped.. And tall date-palms, with ranged clusters; A provision for (Allah’s) slaves. And We give life therewith to a dead land.” [Qaf :7-11]

Allah said:

“It is He Who sends down water (rain) from the sky, and with it We bring forth vegetation of all kinds, and out of it We bring forth green stalks, from which We bring forth thick clustered grain. And out of the date-palm and its spathe come forth clusters of dates hanging low and near, and gardens of grapes, olives and pomegranates, each similar (in kind) yet different (in variety and taste). Look at their fruits when they begin to bear, and the ripeness thereof. Verily! In these things there are signs for people who believe.” [Al-An’am :99]

Allah said:

“Is not He (better than your gods) Who created the heavens and the earth, and sends down for you water (rain) from the sky, whereby We cause to grow wonderful gardens full of beauty and delight? It is not in your ability to cause the growth of their trees. Is there any ilah (god) with Allah? Nay, but they are a people who ascribe equals (to Him)! Is not He (better than your gods) Who has made the earth as a fixed abode, and has placed rivers in its midst, and has placed firm mountains therein, and has set a barrier between the two seas (of salt and sweet water). Is there any ilah (god) with Allah? Nay, but most of them know not.” [An-Naml :60-61]

Allah said:

“Allah is He Who sends the winds, so they raise clouds, and spread them along the sky as He wills, and then break them into fragments, until you see rain drops come forth from their midst! Then when He has made them fall on whom of His slaves as He will, lo! they rejoice! And verily before that (rain), just before it was sent down upon them, they were in despair! Look then at the effects (results) of Allah’s Mercy, how He revives the earth after its death. Verily! That (Allah) Who revived the earth after its death shall indeed raise the dead (on the Day of Resurrection), and He is Able to do all things.” [Ar-Rum :48-50]

Allah said:

“See you not that Allah drives the clouds gently, then joins them together, then makes them into a heap of layers, and you see the rain comes forth from between them. And He sends down from the sky hail (like) mountains, (or there are in the heaven mountains of hail from where He sends down hail), and strike therewith whom He will, and averts it from whom He wills. The vivid flash of its (clouds) lightning nearly blinds the sight.” [An-Nur :53]

Allah said:

“See you not that the ships sail through the sea by Allah’s Grace? That He may show you of His Signs? Verily, in this are signs for every patient, grateful (person). And when a wave covers them like shades (i.e. like clouds or the mountains of sea-water), they invoke Allah, making their invocations for Him only. But when He brings them safe to land, there are among them those that stop in the middle, between (Belief and disbelief). But none denies Our Signs except every perfidious ungrateful.” [Luqman :31-32]

Allah said:

“And if you would count the graces of Allah, never could you be able to count them. Truly! Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [An-Nahl :18]

Brothers and Sisters! I mentioned these verses in the context that Musa used them as evidence against the Atheism of Fir’aun (Pharaoh). These verses are appropriate for Musa’s detailed argument for the things he quoted. These verses are clear and supportive evidence. Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) said:

“The prophets are paternal brothers; their mothers are different, but their religion is one.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

The Prophets are Allah’s ambassadors to creation and the guiding light to Him. The methodology and eras are all different, but the goal and path is one. Their objective is to know Allah, believe in Him, worship Him and love him the Most High humbly.

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

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

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

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

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

This Jumu’ah Khutbah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today, Friday, Rabi’ul Thani 10, 1439 AH (December 29, 2017), by Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’ah and late Alhaji Abdurrahman Okene’s Mosques, Okene Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached via: +2348038289761 or gusaumurtada@gmail.com

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Prophet’s Birthday (Al-Maulid) Between Us Who Oppose It And Our Brothers/Sisters Who Celebrate It, By Imam Gusau

Saturday, Rabi’ul Awwal 13, 1439 AH (December 2nd, 2017)

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

Brothers and Sisters! Celebrating the birthday of Prophet Muhammad (al-maulid) is actually a very controversial practice in Islam on which Muslims disagree. Misunderstanding over this issue evokes strong emotions and often leads to bitter arguments among the Muslims. As such, we need to place this topic in scholarly perspective and remember to behave kindly and mercifully to our Muslim brothers and sisters.

* Prophet’s Birthday (al-maulid) Celebration in History

The month of Rabi’ul-Awwal (the First Spring Season) of the Islamic Calendar is well known in the entire Muslim world as Shahr al-Maulid (the Month of Birth) of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him). Although the precise date of his (Prophet) birth is disputed among the historians and scholars, but 12 of Rabi’ul-Awwal is acknowledged in most places as national holiday.

As a matter of fact in Islam there are only two holidays: Eid-ul-Fitr (the first day after the fasting month Ramadan) and Eid-ul-Adha.

Now the question is: Why do the Muslim Ummah make other days during the year as the Islamic holidays? Why the Prophet’s birthday is celebrated and considered as a holiday?

My respected people! Going deeply into the sirah (biography) of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him), nobody can trace the tradition of Maulid (the Prophet’s birthday) celebration or other celebrations of very important days in Islamic history. Never the Prophet (Peace be upon him) nor his close Companions or people who followed him and his companions encouraged people to make his birthday as a special day. Nobody knows exactly when the first celebration of the Prophet’s birthday was celebrated or marked as a holiday.

Noted in history that the celebration was found during the reign of Wazir al-Afdlal (487-515 AH/1095-1121 CE) of the Fatimite regime in Egypt. The celebration was held during the day time and attended by government officials and Muslim spiritual leaders in town. The Fatimite Amir as a head of state sat in the balcony of the palace and three speakers in sequence delivered their Maulid speeches. They talked about Prophet Muhammad’s (Peace be upon him) origin, his birthday and his life. At that time, celebration was not only for the Prophet’s birthday but also the birthday of Ali (the Prophet’s cousin), Fatimah (his daughter) and the Amir as the present Imam of Shi’ite Muslim. The influence of the Shi’ite doctrine of the celebration of the Prophet’s birthday (maulid) was very clear and is still eminence in modern Egypt even today. Foreign tourists who visited Cairo several times or anybody who ever stayed there for a long period will note that Husain’s birthday (the Prophet’s grandson) was celebrated more thoroughly and illuminiously than the Prophet’s birthday, in the meantime the majority of Muslims in Egypt today adhere to Ahlus Sunnah’s wal jama’ah Islam.

Ibnu Khalikan’s historical report says that Ahlus Sunnah version of the Prophet’s birthday celebration was introduced in Egypt by Al-Malik Muzaffar Ad-Din Kukburi in 604 AH/1207 CE. Kukburi was brother of Salahuddin al-Ayyubi (Saladin). These were the days of Crusade where almost 200 years waves after waves of crusaders from Europe came to the heart of the Muslim world in the Middle East to fight Muslims in their own countries.

During the crusade a process of acculturation took place. Both Islamic and Christian culture exchanged views on many things and each tried to put its influence on the other. Christians brought sciences, technologies and wisdom of the East to Europe, and Muslim imitated some festivals and feasts of the Christians who lived among them. One of these feasts is the tradition to celebrate the birth of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) as Christians celebrated the birthday of Jesus Christ, known as Christmas.

This Christian impact is clearly seen in the use of wax light in Maulid festival, torchlight procession, mass entertainment’s, special cakes and foods on the occasion, etc. A big festival was organized and attended by a huge number of people from Cairo and its vicinities. The Amir as a head of the state and the Sufi orders played a significance role in the festival.

A tower made of wood for the Amir was erected in the courtyard of the palace. People attending the festival were entertained by groups of musicians and singers of various kind. Week after week during the month of Maulid, streets of Cairo were overcrowded by people who celebrated the occasion. On the eve of Maulid, after Maghrib prayer, people under the command of the Amir paraded on the street of Cairo starting from the Citadel proceeding to the Palace. In their hands were torches. On the Maulid Day all citizens assembled in the courtyard of the Palace where a tower made of wood had been erected. Beside the tower stands a pulpit for the speakers who would sermon the audience and narrate the story of the Prophet’s birthday. The Amir was not only able to see the whole audience from the tower but also watched the troops who parade on one corner of the courtyard. Guests of honour were received by the Amir on the tower and were given Jubbah of honour (long dress for man). On the evening the Amir and officers of the state celebrated the Maulid with sufis in their zawiyah (place where the sufis preferably offer their rituals and sufis practices).

From Egypt the tradition of Maulid was spread to Makkah and the land of Hijaz in Arabia (by the strangers from Egypt). From the Holy City where Muslim peoples of different nationals assembled during the hajj season each year, the tradition was spread to North Africa, Morocco and Andalusia (Spain). To the north it was spread to Syria, Iraq, Turkey and Balkan peninsula, and to the south, to Yemen and Hadramaut, and to the east, to Southeast Asia, Indonesia and to the whole of Africa.

Brothers and Sisters! Today, without knowing its origin, the Maulid celebration and commemoration has become part of religious and cultural life of many Muslims. Even in some rural areas, the Maulid celebration is identical with parties to commemorate a child’s birthday, the day of child’s circumcision, marriage, etc.

Brothers and Sisters! Even the great scholar of Islam, Imam As-Suyuti, although he supports celebrating the Prophet birthday (maulid), admits that it was a practice that was instituted several centuries after the Prophet (Peace be upon him) and his companions.

Imam As-Suyuti said:

“The first to institute celebrating the birthday was the ruler of Irbil, the king Muzhaffar Abu Sa’id Kukbari Ibn Zain al-Din Ibn Baktagin, one of the great and noble rulers who left behind many good works.” [See Husn Al-Maqsad fi Amal Al-Mawlid of Imam As-Suyuti]

* The Arguments of Those who Celebrate the Maulid !!!

Those who think that this birthday (Maulid) should be continued produce specious arguments which are flimsier than a spider’s web. These specious arguments may be Inshaa Allah dealt with as follows:

1 – Their claim that this is veneration of the Prophet (Peace be upon him):

Our response to that is that the way to venerate him is to obey him, do as he commanded and avoid that which he forbade, and to love him; he is not to be venerated through innovations, myths and sins. Celebrating his birthday is of this blameworthy type because it is a sin. The people who venerated the Prophet (Peace be upon him) the most were the Sahabah, his Companions, as Urwah Ibn Mas’ud said to Quraish:

“O people, by Allah I have visited kings. I went to Caesar, Chosroes and the Negus, but by Allah I never saw a king whose companions venerated him as much as the companions of Muhammad venerated Muhammad (Peace be upon him). By Allah, whenever he spat it never fell on the ground, it fell into the hand of one of his companions, then they wiped their faces and skins with it. If he instructed them to do something, they would hasten to do as he commanded. When he did ablution (wudu), they would almost fight over his water. When he spoke they would lower their voices in his presence; and they did not stare at him out of respect for him.” [Al-Bukhari].

Yet despite this level of veneration, they never took the day of his birth as an Eid (festival). If that had been prescribed in Islam they would not have neglected to do that.

2 – Using as evidence the fact that many people in many countries do this:

Our response to that is that evidence consists of that which is proven from the Prophet (Peace be upon him), and what is proven from the Prophet is that innovations are forbidden in general, and this is an innovation. What people do, if it goes against the evidence, does not prove anything, even if many of them do it. Allah the Most High said:

“And if you obey most of those on the earth, they will mislead you far away from Allah’s path.” [Quran, 6:116]

Nevertheless, in every age, praise be to Allah, there have always been those who denounce this bid’ah and state clearly that it is false. Those who persist in following it after the truth had been explained to them have no proof.

Among those who denounced the celebration of this occasion was Shaykhul-Islam Ibn Taymiyah, in his blessed Book Iqtida’ as-Sirat al-Mustaqim; Imam ash-Shatibi in his Book al-I’tisam; Ibn al-Haj in his Book al-Madkhal; Shaykh Taj al-Din Ali Ibn Umar al-Lakhami who wrote an entire book denouncing it; Shaykh Muhammad Bashir al-Sahsawani al-Hindi in his Book Siyanah al-Insan; al-Sayyid Muhammad Rashid Rida wrote a separate essay on this topic; Shaykh Muhammad Ibn Ibrahim alush-Shaykh wrote a separate essay on it; Shaykh Abdul-Aziz Ibn Baz, Shaykh Al-Albani, Shaykh Al-Uthaimin, Shaykh Fauzan, Shaykh Rabi’, Shaykh Muqbil, Shaykh Abubakr Mahmud Gumi and others who are still writing and denouncing this bid’ah every year, at the time when this bid’ah is being done. Mind you, don’t try to tell me that the Saudi scholars and leaders supports or celebrates Prophet birthday (maulid)! It’s a lie and among the fake news going round in the social media!!

3 – They say that by celebrating the maulid they are keeping the memory of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) alive:

Our answer to that is that the memory of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) is constantly kept alive by the Muslim, such as when his name is mentioned in the Adhan and Iqamah and in Khutbahs, and every time the Muslim recites the Shahadatain after doing Wudu (ablution) and in the prayers, and every time he sends blessings (Salati) upon the Prophet (Peace be upon him), in his prayers and when he is mentioned, and every time the Muslim does a wajib (obligatory) or mustahab (recommended) action that was prescribed by the Messenger (Peace be upon him). In all of these ways (the Muslim) remembers him and the reward equivalent to the reward of the one who does that action goes back to the Prophet (Peace be upon him). Thus the Muslim constantly keeps the memory of the Messenger (Peace be upon him) alive and has a connection with him night and day throughout his life through that which Allah has prescribed, not only on the day of the maulid and things which are bid’ah and go against the Shari’ah and the Sunnah, for that wallahi puts one at a distance from the Messenger (Peace be upon him), and the Messenger (Peace be upon him) will disown him because of that.

The Messenger (Peace be upon him) has no need of this innovated celebration, because Allah has already bestowed veneration and respect upon him, as He says:

” … and raised high your fame … ” [Quran, 94:4]

For Allah is not mentioned in the Adhan, Iqamah or Khutbah except that the Messenger (Peace be upon him) is mentioned after Him; this is sufficient veneration, love and renewal of his memory, and sufficient encouragement to follow him.

Allah did not refer to the birth of the Messenger (Peace be upon him) in the Quran, rather He referred to his Mission, and says:

“Indeed, Allah conferred a great favour on the believers when He sent among them a Messenger (Muhammad) from among themselves.” [Quran, 3:124]

And:

“He it is Who sent among the unlettered ones a Messenger (Muhammad) from among themselves.” [Quran, 64:2]

4 – They may say that the celebration of the Prophet’s birthday was introduced by a knowledgeable and just king who intended thereby to draw closer to Allah. Our response to that is that bid’ah is not acceptable, no matter who does it. A good intention does not justify a bad deed and even if a person died as a knowledgeable and righteous person, this does not mean that he was infallible.

5 – They say that celebrating the mawlid comes under the heading of bid’ah hasanah (“good innovation”) because it is based on giving thanks to Allah for the birth of Prophet (Peace be upon him)!

Our response to that is that there is nothing good in innovation (in religion). The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“Whoever innovates anything in this matter of ours (i.e., Islam), that is not part of it will have it rejected.” [Narrated by al-Bukhari]

And he said:

“Every innovation is a going astray.” [Narrated by Ahmad]

The ruling on innovations is that they are all misguidance, but this specious argument suggests that not every bid’ah is a going astray, rather there are good innovations.

Al-Hafiz Ibn Rajab said in Sharh al-Arba’in:

“The words of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) ‘every innovation is a going astray’ is a concise but comprehensive comment which includes everything; it is one of the most important principles of religion. It is like his words ‘Whoever innovates anything in this matter of ours (i.e., Islam), that is not part of it will have it rejected.’ Whoever innovates anything and attributes it to Islam when it has no basis in the religion, this is a going astray and is nothing to do with Islam, whether that has to do with matters of belief or outward and inward words and deeds.” [Jami’ al-Ulum wal-Hikam, page 233]

Brothers and Sisters! These people have no proof that there is any such thing as a “good innovation” apart from the words of Umar concerning Tarawih prayers, “What a good innovation this is.” [Sahih al-Bukhari, Mu’allaqan; al-Fath 4/294]

They also said that things were innovated which were not denounced by the Salaf (Pious predecessors), such as compiling the Quran into one volume and writing and compiling the Hadith.

Our response to that is that these matters had a basis in Islam, so they were not newly-invented. Umar said: “What a good bid’ah” meaning innovation in the linguistic sense, not in the Shar’i sense. Whatever has a basis in Islam, if it is described as an innovation, is an innovation in the linguistic sense, not in the Shar’i sense, because innovation in the Shar’i sense means that which has no basis in Islam.

And compiling the Quran into one book has a basis in Islam, because the Prophet (Peace be upon him) had commanded that the Quran be written down, but it was scattered, so the Sahabah compiled it in one volume so as so protect and preserve it. The Prophet (Peace be upon him), led his companions in praying Tarawih for a while, then he stopped doing that, lest that become obligatory on them. The Sahabah continued to pray it separately during the life of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) and after his death, until Umar Ibn al-Khattab gathered them behind one Imam as they used to pray behind the Prophet (Peace be upon him). This was not an innovation introduced into the religion.

Writing down the Hadith also has a basis in Islam. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) ordered that some Ahadith (plural of Hadith) should be written down for some of his companions when they asked him for that. In general terms writing it down during his lifetime was not allowed, for fear that the Quran might be mixed with things that were not part of it. When the Prophet (Peace be upon him) died, this fear was no longer a factor, because the Quran had been completed and arranged in order before he died. The Muslims compiled the Sunnah after that in order to preserve it and keep it from being lost.

We may also say to them: why was this act of thanksgiving (the maulid), as they call it, not done by the best generations, the Sahabah, Tabi’in and followers of the Tabi’in, who loved the Prophet (Peace be upon him) most and who were most keen to do good and give thanks? Are those who introduced the innovation of the mawlid more rightly-guided than them? Do they give more thanks to Allah? Definitely not!

6 – They may say that celebrating the birthday of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) is indicative of their love for him; this is one way of showing that, and showing love of the Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, is prescribed in Islam!

Our answer to that is that undoubtedly loving the Prophet (Peace be upon him) is obligatory for every Muslim; he should love him more than he loves himself, his child, his father and all the people – may my father and mother be sacrificed for him – but that does not mean that we should introduce innovations for doing so that have not been prescribed for us. Loving him dictates that we should obey him and follow him, for that is one of the greatest manifestations of love, as it is said:

“If your love is sincere then obey him; for the lover obeys the one whom he loves.”

Loving the Prophet (Peace be upon him) implies keeping his Sunnah alive, adhering firmly to it, and avoiding words and deeds that go against it. Undoubtedly everything that goes against his Sunnah is a reprehensible innovation and a manifest act of disobedience. That includes celebrating his birthday and other kinds of bid’ah. A good intention does not mean that it is permissible to introduce innovations into the religion. Islam is based on two things, purity of intention (Ikhlas) and following (the Prophet). Allah says:

“Yes, but whoever submits his face (himself) to Allah (i.e. follows Allah’s religion of Islamic Monotheism) and he is a Muhsin (a doer of good) then his reward is with his Lord (Allah), on such shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve.” [Quran, 2:112]

Submitting one’s face to Allah means being sincere towards Allah, and doing good means following the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) and implementing the Sunnah.

7 – Another of their specious arguments is when they say that by celebrating the Prophet’s birthday (maulid) and reading the biography of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) on this occasion, they are encouraging people to follow his example! We say to them that reading the biography of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) and following his example are required of the Muslim all the time, all year long and throughout his life. But singling out a specific day for that with no evidence for doing so is an innovation, and every innovation is a going astray. Bid’ah does not bear any fruit but evil and it leads to a person distancing himself from the Prophet (Peace be upon him).

Brothers and Sisters! Wallahi, without any doubt, celebrating the birthday of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) whatever form it takes, is a reprehensible innovation. The Muslims should put a stop to this and other kinds of bid’ah, and occupy themselves with reviving and adhering to the Sunnah. They should not be deceived by those who promote and defend this bid’ah, for these types of people are more interested in keeping innovations alive than in reviving the Sunnah; they may not even care about the Sunnah at all. Whoever is like this, it is not permissible to imitate him or follow his example, even if the majority of people are like this. Rather we should follow the example of those who follow the path of the Sunnah, among the righteous Salaf (predecessors) and their followers, even if they are few. Truth is not measured by the men who speak it, rather men are measured by the truth.

The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“Whoever among you lives (for a long time) will see many differences. I urge you to follow my Sunnah and the way of the rightly-guided Caliphs who come after me. Hold on to it firmly. Beware of newly-invented matters (in the religion), for every innovation is a going astray.” [Narrated by Ahmad and at-Tirmidhi]

So the Prophet (Peace be upon him) explained to us in this Hadith what we should do when there are differences of opinion, just as he explained that everything that goes against his Sunnah, be it words or deeds, is a bid’ah, and every bid’ah is a going astray.

If we see that there is no basis for celebrating the birthday of the Prophet (Peace be upon him), whether in the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) or in the way of the rightly-guided Caliphs, then it is one of the newly-invented matters, one of the bid’ah which lead people astray. This principle is what is implied by this Hadith and is what is indicated by the verse:

“O you who believe! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger (Muhammad), and those of you who are in authority (our leaders). (And) if you differ in anything amongst yourselves, refer it to Allah and His Messenger, if you believe in Allah and in the Last Day. That is better and more suitable for final determination.” [Quran, 4:59]

Referring to Allah means referring to His Book (the Quran), and referring to the Messenger (Peace be upon him) means referring to his Sunnah after he has passed away. The Quran and Sunnah are the reference point in cases of dispute. Where in the Quran or Sunnah does it indicate that it is prescribed in Islam to celebrate the Prophet’s birthday (maulid)? Whoever does that or thinks that it is good must repent to Allah from this and from other kinds of bid’ah. This is the attitude of the true servant of Allah and the sincere Muslim who is seeking the truth. But whoever is too stubborn and arrogant after proof has been established, then his reckoning will be with his Lord (Allah).

* Was Imam Ibn Taymiyyah really for the Maulid ???

Brothers and Sister! Some people claim that Ibn Taymiyyah was for the Maulid (not against it) and as ‘evidence’ they produce the following paragraph from his words:

“And similarly what some people innovate by analogy with the Christians who celebrate the birth of Isa (Jesus), or out of love for the Prophet (Peace be upon him) and to exalt him, and may Allah reward them for this love and effort, not on the fact that it is an innovation…” [Taken from “Majmu’ Al-Fatawa”, Vol. 23 page163, and “Iqtida’ As-Sirat Al-Mustaqim”, page 294-295, Section entitled, “The innovated festivals of time and place.”]

From the above words is seems as if this great Imam, Mujahid and Scholar of Islam, was for the maulid and saw it as something legitimate and rewardable.

However, this is a false interpretation of his words. Here is what Ibn Taymiyyah actually said along with a better translation of the text:

“? ???? ?? ????? ??? ????? ??? ?????? ?????? ?? ???? ???? ???? ????? ? ??? ???? ????? ??? ???? ???? ? ??? ? ?????? ?? ? ???? ?? ?????? ??? ??? ?????? ? ??????? ? ??? ?????.”

“And like that, what some people have innovated, be it out of analogy to the Christians in the birth of Isa (Jesus) or be it out of love for the Prophet (Peace be upon him) and honour for him and Allah, they may be rewarded for this love and ijtihad, not for the innovation.”

So it is clear that Imam Ibn Taymiyyah classed it an innovation, and saw no reward for the deed.

For more information please refer to the Book: “The Erroneous and Invalid In Muhammad Hisham Kabbani’s Maulid”, By Shaykh Abu Khalil, Dar Al-Kitab Wal-Hikmah publishing. Page 30-32.

Again Imam Ibn Taymiyyah said regarding the celebration of the Prophet’s birthday (maulid):

“Indeed, what they do is like the Christians who have taken the various days of Isa (Jesus), upon him be peace, as celebrations, as well as the Jews. The celebrations in Islam are legislated by Allah to be followed and nothing should be invented in the religion that does not belong to it. Such is the case of what some people have invented, either in imitation of the Christians who celebrate Jesus’s birthday or out of love for the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, and exalting his status. Allah might reward them for their love and their reasoning (ijtihad) but not for the innovation (bid’ah) of which they take the birthday of the Prophet as a celebration.” [Iqtida’ As-Sirat Al-Mustaqim 1/294]

Brothers and Sisters! To conclude, I think the celebration of the Prophet’s birthday is a matter of legitimate scholarly disagreement. Both sides invoke established principles in Islam, although they disagree about which principle should take precedence in this case. Yet, followers and preachers on either side sometimes go to extremes in denouncing others or including baseless practices on this day, both of which harm the unity and harmony of the Muslim community.

We should remember to behave with each other with gentleness, fairness, and humility, and to remain united in our love of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) and Islam even if we strongly disagree on some issues.

Allah the Most High said:

“Hold firmly to the rope of Allah all-together and do not become divided.” [Quran, 3:103]

We ask Allah to unite our hearts in the love of Allah and His Messenger and in following the Prophetic teachings in the best manner. Ameen.

Allah knows best.

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

May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon you all.

Your Brother:

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

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