Friday Sermon: The Lessons In Crisis, Calamities And Natural Disasters By Imam Murtadha Gusau

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
All praise is for Allah. We praise Him, we seek His aid and we ask for His forgiveness. We seek Allah’s refuge from the evils of ourselves and from our evil actions. Whosoever Allah guides, there is no one who can misguide him; and whosoever Allah misguides, there is no one who can guide him.
I testify that none has the right to be worshipped except Allah, alone, who has no partner; and I testify that Muhammad (Peace be upon him) is His servant and Messenger.
Dear brothers and sisters! If there is anything significant to be learned by natural disasters, it is that life is short and unpredictable. No matter where we go, and no matter what we do, there is a disaster that can strike us. There is always a power greater than us. Danger is always lurking behind us. If we go to the mountains, fire can threaten us. In some areas, cold weather can surprise us. In other places, strong winds and tornadoes can wipe us out. In other places, ethno-religious crisis or terrorism can destroy us. Life has many dangers, but natural disasters get our attention the most and cause the greatest damage. They not only speak to us directly but those from far away.
Sometimes a natural disaster is needed to wake us up and motivate us to get going and do good. Some of us may have been living a passive life for too long. Our positive contribution to society has been minimal. Our actions may have been fruitless motivated by personal gain. Our humanity has died. Instead of integrating into society and helping our neighbours regardless of their skin colour, tribe, state, region, or religion, we have been living in ignorance and intolerance. We may have been preoccupied with our careers focused in making money, racial movements, political parties, or involved with movements in spreading hate and intolerance. Instead of doing good, we have been hurting others. We are greatly in need of spiritual guidance and transformation, and change may just come through natural disasters.
Respected brothers and sisters! When disasters strike, we may either become a victim of a catastrophe, in which case we are on the receiving end of help, or we may be a spectator and have an opportunity to help. It is during these times that we can apply ourselves or learn by the actions of others. It is during these times that we can grow and develop spiritually and emotionally.
I believe that crisis, calamities and natural disasters are Allah’s warning, punishment, and a blessing to many people. They serve many purposes and each person or community receives it differently. Natural disasters and crisis may be Allah’s-send to guide us and redirect our paths. They may strike us to test our faith or punish us for our harmful actions. Their purpose may be to bring our communities together and break gender, cultural, and racial stereotypes. Natural disasters, calamities and crisis may also offer an opportunity to reveal the best of humanity and allow us to help and love our neighbours. In any disaster, we have an opportunity to make a difference and earn good deeds.
Natural disasters can encourage social cohesion and better relationships. When disasters strike, humans have a tendency to get together and show their traits and put them to work. It is during these times that we may work together and realise that all people are the same and have the same basic needs. Friendships may be formed and new things may come to life.A natural disaster can be thought of as a megaphone from Allah to get the attention of those affected by the natural disasters as well as those from far away who may be watching from their comfort zones of their homes. Sometimes a loud message is only delivered by big speakers. Sometimes a lesson can only be learned by extreme measures. Whether there is a message of warning, hope or a punishment from Allah, people will contemplate and understand its purpose in due time.
My respected people! All of us need guidance. All of us are motivated differently. For many of us, natural disasters may easily get our attention and give us an opportunity to contemplate about life and change. Many of us may be doing so much for our bodies but nothing for our souls. We may be consumed with the glamour of life and the pursuit of materialistic things. We may be living large and in sin. We may be living in deception depriving our souls. We may be building strong foundations for Earthly objects, yet the foundation of true life is being abandoned. We may be fulfilling our earthly goals but neglecting our spiritual needs. We may be preoccupied with unimportant things and in the process, we forget our purpose in life. We are not preparing for our destination in the life hereafter. As a favour, the Most-Merciful is shaking our foundation to get our attention. He wants us to start building a new foundation with gratitude and appreciation. Allah is giving us a second chance to true life by showing us His power and our weakness at the same time.
We need a pause from our daily activities and just mediate. Instead of thinking and preparing for tomorrow, we need to embrace today. Through this calamity, crisis and disaster, Allah is making that decision for us. He is forcing us into a timeout to be more receptive of our current blessings and be thankful for everything we have been given. Allah wants us to recognise Time as our greatest blessing and our families and friends as our greatest assets. It is very important that we recognise the lesson that has been pre-packaged for us.
Take heed. This crisis and disaster are not random. There is a big message for everybody. Allah is calling His people back to true life and you are among them. Allah is reminding us why we exist. He is showing us who is in control and reminding us of our limitations. Allah wants us to abandon our fruitless deeds and enjoy the blessings that we have been given while we can. We are rapidly accumulating wealth yet we are not enjoying most of it. We are trading all our time for a goal that we have deemed important. We are short changing ourselves. Instead of socialising with Allah’s creation, we are isolating ourselves.
Allah is being merciful and is calling us loudly through a megaphone. He want us to change for good and earn good deeds. He wants us to get to know His creation better and appreciate life more. Allah wants us to know Him because where we are going, He is well known by His righteous servants, and He wants us to be there. He wants us to seek His guidance and do His works.
Allah did not create us to be consumed by the world, instead, He created us to consume the world and feed the spirit. Our spirits have been yearning for Allah’s love for too long and need our attention. Our hearts have died without spirituality. Instead of praising Allah and loving our fellow human beings, we have been praising money. It is because of our own doing that Allah allowed this disaster and crisis to happen. Our spirits sounded the alarm and Allah answered in the best way we would understand. Much good will come because the greatest change happens when we hit the lowest point in our lives.
Dear brothers and sisters! We all face difficulties in life. Sometimes they are small and annoying difficulties that we have to deal with. They tend to bother us temporary. It may be an issue that we cannot deal with or figure out at the time, but it’s not a deal breaker. We are living the moment and aren’t bothered much by these small difficulties. It may just feel like bad luck. Eventually we go on with our lives and forget we ever had these difficulties. They were like I said, small announces that did not affect us much. However, from time to time for whatever reason not known to us at the time, some difficulties visit us unexpectedly and knock us out. We don’t know what hit us. We are blinded by strong storms from each direction. These are not annoyances but real difficulties that stay with us for a long, long time and change our core permanently. If our foundation was weak to begin with, they will crack it wide open and expose our true colours.
I’m sure you can relate. We all have been through difficult unpleasant times that test and expose us of what we are made out of. Truly, no human being is exempt from difficulties. They are part of life. The very first breath we take into this world, we face difficulties; we have to learn to deal with this world on our own. But what about when it gets really tough. I’m talking really, really tough. What about when our prayers to Allah become specific about issues we cannot fix on our own. In the past we may have prayed with general prayers but not anymore. We need specific help with what’s in front of us. What about when we hit a big fat wall with our abilities and see the impossible stamp in front of us. We are hopeless and cannot rely on anyone. Our efforts are fruitless. What about when we have to accept things for what they are, having no control of the situation. We have to learn to live with it, or so it appears. What about when we are dealing with multiple difficulties at the same time. We have to change our lifestyle. We have to make sacrifices. We have to make difficult unpleasant decisions.
That is crisis we are dealing with. We have many issues happening at once that we cannot address on our own. We have reached the human limits. No doctors can help us with what we have. No authority can change things for us. No wisdom can solve our problems. We are at the mercy of life. The easy life we had got detoured. Unless we are deeply rooted spiritually with Allah at the center of our life, these crisis can send us deep into depression and scar us permanently. Depending on how we react, these difficulties can either soften our hearts or harden them like rock.
How we deal with the crisis is very important. It will determine how we will turn out to be. If we resort to alcohol and drugs, violence, aggression and other temporary unrealistic and unhealthy ways to cope with all the stress around us, we will not change and learn to deal with these problems in the future. In fact, we will cause more harm. We will be in a perpetual crisis because we are not changing, or learning to cope with changes. That is why we will be bombarded with the same crisis over and over again, until we understand why things are happening to us. There is a lesson in each of our crisis for us and we need to learn from them. We need to decipher each difficulty and find the hidden message that is there specifically for us.
My beloved people! Crisis may include being diagnosed with a serious untreatable health condition that may be only manageable, having to deal with lots of pain daily. It can be dealing with the aftermath of a natural disaster, witnessing in front of us, our life savings disappear and memories vanish forever. Being personally affected by a human tragedy such as a loss of a loved one whom we grew up with. Or dealing with other crisis that send shockwaves through our psyche, sending us into an unfamiliar and worrisome territory.
I’m sure each one of us in the midst of a similar crisis will be overwhelmed with fear, sorrow or grief. We will not know how to deal with these situations. We haven’t experienced something similar in the past. We are not prepared to deal with what is in front of us. We will be confused and not know what to do. We will be uncertain of our future. We will be hopeless and full of fear. Stress will be rampant. Our physical and emotional well being will be out of control. Nobody may be able to help us. In fact, nobody may understand us. We may be stigmatised by other people for things out of our control. Regardless of everything that is happening around us, we need to never lose sense of ourselves, of who we are and what we stand for. In these difficult times, we need to put our energy in Allah and not the crisis. We need to remind ourselves how big our Allah is, not how big our crisis is.
The crisis we are in may or may not be very big but to someone who is living the moment and is oblivious of Allah, this can appear like the greatest Earthquake to have ever happened. To someone who has no sense of identity and purpose this crisis can appear like the end of life. Having to change our life drastically is not easy by any means. Being unable to do the things we were once able to is a prison sentence. Feeling small and hopeless may be a new feeling. We are not used to being overpowered by things. All this difficulty can make us bitter, hate life altogether, lead to depression, suicide, and worst of all, taking the anger on other people. We need to exercise patience and realise that we are in a crisis season. When the rain has soften the ground, the new season will begin with sunshine, growth, opportunity, and peace. Joy is just around the corner, for no season is permanent.
I know promises, optimism, and hope may not mean much to you now, but I promise you nothing lasts forever in this world. All good and bad things will end. It’s perfectly normal to be overwhelmed with difficulties and feel hopeless and Small. Being human is being at the mercy of our bodies, mother nature, and our efforts whom Allah controls all. We truly don’t realise how much control we don’t have. We may think we can change our future and control our circumstances. We may feel like we hold the keys to our destiny, but it’s truly far from that. We can only control our efforts, motives, dreams, and desires. We are in control only of small things. Allah is in charge of it all. What Allah has destined will happen. We cannot change destiny. Its already been written. Your sustenance, your life span, your intelligence, your place of birth, and your parents, you had no control over any of that. Similarly, many of the things that happen to us we have no control. What we control is our emotions, our patience and our actions.
That is not to say that our choices don’t have negative consequences. What we do and how we live will affect us. Each choice will have an effect in our lives; both positive and negative. But my point is, we cannot change destiny based on our actions. We cannot change the outcome of our affairs because that is linked to destiny. We can only change or influence the way things happen, but what Allah has willed will prevail. Understanding Allah’s will, our abilities and purpose in life is crucial in dealing with any of life’s crisis. It allows us to align our efforts with Allah’s will and become more accepting of things happening to and around us.
In the midst of any of your crisis, whatever you’re afraid of, whatever your mind is thinking, maybe it’s anxiety attacks. Maybe you fear your marriage will never get better. Maybe it’s a fear about what’s happening with one of your kids. Maybe you have a deadly disease such as cancer and are uncertain of your future. Maybe you fear your own death is near and you have people that depend on you. Who will take care of them? I don’t know what it is but wherever your crisis is, wherever the darkness of your valley is, here’s the promise: Allah’s presence will never leave you. He will be there helping you with each step. He will never forsake you. Learn to let go of control and let Allah steer the ship of life for you. He won’t let you down.
Know that Allah will allow crisis to visit us for our own good. There are a lot of blessings in disguise and Allah often uses crisis to shape and bless us. To prepare us for what’s yet to come. He knows what’s best and when, and He is in control of it all. What Allah allows to happen nobody can stop it from visiting us. In the other hand, what Allah stops from reaching us, nobody can bring it forth. Trust that your lord is in charge directing your affairs for your best benefit. Honour and respect Him in the midst of crisis. Don’t lose hope. Don’t become bitter. Lean not on your understanding and Trust Allah that He knows best and has your best interest.
Even knowing that Allah is in charge will not take away our fear. We can struggle, that’s human. But we shouldn’t be paralysed by fear because Allah will protect us. Allah will guide us. He will give us strength with each crisis we face. He will never give us more than we can handle as it is specifically stated in the Qur’an:
“Allah does not burden a soul beyond that it can bear…” [Qur’an, 2:286]
Knowing that Allah is with us and for us, we can pray for help with certainty that He will answer us in the best possible way. We can attain peace with any crisis through prayer. But we must be patient with Allah. His ways are not our ways. We need to be prepared for all answers. We may pray hard for Allah to take away many of our afflictions and hear nothing but silence. We may feel abandoned or rejected for being flat out ignored by Allah. We may repeat our prayers with the deepest faith we can muster only to hear a Big NO again. But don’t despair. Allah is in charge of everything. His No’s are often his answers for us. He has allowed this adversity to come our way. If He has allowed it, He knows we can handle it, and He will bring forth much good.
Dear brothers and sisters! Often times, we are put through hard times to be tested and see how we cope with each difficulty. To learn about ourselves, our weaknesses and strengths, our attitude in life, our morals, our patience, our hope, and our trust in Allah. Allah reminds us of the testing we will undergo:
“And certainly, We shall test you with something of fear, hunger, loss of wealth, lives and fruits…” [Qur’an, 2:155]
We are put through tests to be molded and learn from them. To have our efforts tested and to be taught by our efforts. To increase our trust in Allah. To see if we will turn towards the Straight Path, or away from it. Do we become bitter or better. We need this crisis in our life because of Allah’s plan for our life. He has a plan and a programme for us.
Every bit of pain we endure, both emotional and physical, alleviates us from our punishments in the hereafter. Its the ways of Allah to reward and forgive us. Everything that happens has a purpose and Allah will always use difficulties for our own Good. As it narrated by Aisha: The Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) said:
“No calamity befalls a Muslim but that Allah expiates some of his sins because of it, even though it were the prick he receives from a thorn.”
Respected brothers and sisters! Remember, crisis is part of life. Each one of us must go through our own difficulties to grow and develop as Allah’s people. To endure pain and suffering is normal for we were not created in Heaven but planet Earth where perfection does not exist. Earth is not a place where we get everything and live happily ever after. No! Allah created us so He may test us which one of us is best in deeds [Qur’an, 67:2]. And He will reward us in Heaven, the place of perfection with eternal bliss. That’s where our hopes should be, not this vanishing world.
Keeping pushing forward and know that each step is closer to victory. Do your best on your own and pray to Allah for help. The impossible will happen because we have an all powerful Allah who can do all things. No problem is too big for Him. If it’s in His plan for your life, at the right time, Allah will move mountains to bless you with what’s destined for you.
Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, the Ever-Living, Who does not die, and Peace and Blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his family and Companions.
This Jumu’ah Khutbah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today Friday, Rajab 22, 1440 AH (March 29, 2019), by Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’ah and the late Alhaji Abdur-Rahman Okene’s Mosques, Okene, Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached via: gusaumurtada@gmail.com or +2348038289761.

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Friday Sermon: Travel Through The Earth And See! By Imam Murtadha Gusau

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Peace and blessing be upon whom Allah sent as a mercy to the Worlds, upon his Family, his Companions and his Brothers till the Day of Resurrection.
Respected brothers and sisters! If you were to travel around the world, you will come across many different people and cultures. You will see many young and old faces each different and unique in their special way having endured different scars in their life. You will come across people with different skin colour and different educational backgrounds. You will see wealthy and poor people along the way interacting with each other. You may come across famous and powerful leaders whom you may not even recognise. You may meet people at various marketplaces trying to sell you their favourite food or tools that they have made with their own hands. You may even run into a painter who spends most of his time brushing his emotions on a piece of paper and exchanging his work for little money. In this short journey, you will temporarily be part of different cultures and traditions.
Throughout this journey, you will see a lot of things but will experience very little. It will be like waking up from a night full of dreams only remembering certain things and assigning to them special feelings and emotions. In this journey, you will remember most of the events that were closest to you. You will remember situations that you may have felt most alive. Maybe you felt vulnerable and unwanted. Maybe you felt strange and insecure. Maybe you felt loved. These are the events that will be part of you in this journey. The rest of the journey will be a character building experience that will be part of your memory for ever.
Dear brothers and sisters! No matter where you go, and no matter who you interact with, you will always be you. Your DNA will not change because you go to a different location. You will always have a special lens that you see the world through. Your feelings and emotions, and your attitude will accompany you everywhere you go. If you are taught that poor people are dangerous and unhappy, that is what you will expect. If you are taught that a certain culture is backwards and oppressive towards women, you will look for those qualities to match to your expectations. But the good thing is, you will only be exposed to your own ignorance and will be enlightened. Your lens will become enlarged, and the details will become clearer.
One of the greatest things about experiencing different cultures around the world is you will be exposed to new experiences. You will learn new things about the world around you and yourself. You will see first hand what motivates people who have different opportunities in life. Your knowledge of the world, people, and different cultures will increase. You will see people live and behave differently. You will have first hand experience of societal structures and discover new social norms and lifestyles. This journey will change your perspective and reshape your personality. It will make you thankful for everything you have and humble you. It will remind you that in the grand scheme of things, you are a tiny spot in the universe almost undetected compared to the other many spots, yet important.
My beloved people! Traveling to a different country and experiencing a new culture gives you a new perspective about the world around you. You no longer are the center of the world, but you are part of a bigger world which you knew not. How you see yourself changes. Things that you once considered important for your future may no longer be considered necessary for your happiness. Being exposed to different cultures where electricity is not always available, or is always available, and where there is no functioning plumbing or lack of Internet and transportation, humbles you. You get to witness with your very own eyes how children who lack resources use their imagination to create toys from whatever resources they have at their disposal. All of a sudden you realise that happiness is not in things we have, but the attitude we have with the things we lack.
Traveling the world allows you to become a more social person. You become open minded about people and cultures who view the world differently from you. Your exposure to different cultures allows you to have better relationships with people who do not see the world the same as you. You learn to understand better people’s motivation and respect their differences. You become more open minded, and informed. Exposure to many cultures arms us with better judgement in dealing with propaganda, hate, and ignorance which the media shoves in our faces daily.
Dear brothers and sisters! We were not created to hate each other. We were not created to disrespect and belittle those different from us. Allah created us so that we may know each others differences and find friendship, love, and help in each other. In the noble Qur’an Allah specifically says:
“O mankind, indeed We have created you from male and female and made you into nations and tribes that you may know one another. Indeed, the most noble of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Acquainted.” [Qur’an, 49:13]
From the above verse, we learn that Allah created all of us differently with unique skills and abilities. Each person has been blessed with something unique to contribute to the world. Everyone has been numbered and has been assigned a purpose. In each person, there is a skill or ability that is not defined by their skin colour or race, but by their creators fingerprints whom we all share. With all our physical and cultural differences, Allah has made it very clear that our created differences are His choice, but our actions are our choice, and determine our righteousness. Therefore, it is very important that we become travelers of the world and recognise everyone’s differences and our own uniqueness. If all of us took the initiative to learn about the world around us, we will no longer put much importance into political issues that divide us. We will no longer allow the media to feed us with incomplete and prepackaged information to influence us. We will be equipped with experience and knowledge to break social and cultural stereotypes that deprive us of love and happiness.
– The noble Qur’an calls us to travel
Allah the Most High says:
“Say: Travel in the land and see how (Allah) originated creation, and then Allah will bring forth (resurrect) the creation of the Hereafter (i.e. resurrection after death). Verily, Allah is Able to do all things.” [Qur’an, 29:20]
And He the Almighty says:
“Say: Travel through the earth and see what was the end of those who rejected Truth.” [Qur’an, 6:11]
And the famous Muslim traveler, Ibn Batutah says:
“Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.”
Dear brothers and sisters! Throughout the Qur’an life is described as a journey, and knowledge and ignorance as light and darkness on its way (e.g. Qur’an 6:122, 13:16, 24:35, 24:40, 27:86, 35:19-20, 37:5, 40:61 and 84:18-20).
However, besides numerous references to this spiritual journey, special emphasis is also laid on physical travel.
The word ‘sayr’ – which means travel or move (e.g. a planet is ‘sayyarah’) – with all its variations, appears in the Qur’an total 27 times. Many of its usages are in the formulation of ‘Do travel’, ‘Tell them to travel’, or ‘Do they not travel?’
The Qur’an promotes travel as a potential pilgrimage, since during travel one passes by numerous ‘ayah’ or divine messages (Qur’an 31:31, 12:105, 22:46; 45:3 and 10:6). Also, man’s ability to travel is described as a special honour endowed to man as part of man’s exalted status above all natural Forces (Qur’an 17:61, 66, 70).
Travel, tour and navigation demand geographical and astronomical information as well as nautical, aeronautical and astronautical knowledge. Because scientific data about natural objects (explored messages of nature) give man orientation and power, they are described in the Qur’an as directions of paths, like landmarks and guiding stars. Allah the Almighty says:
“And it is He (Allah) who has set for you the stars that you may guide yourselves by them in the darkness of the land and the sea. We have detailed Our messages for a people who possess knowledge.” [Qur’an, 6:97]
“And it is He (Allah) who has made the sea subservient… And He has placed firm mountains on Earth, lest it sway with you, and rivers and paths, so that you might find your way, And landmarks; and by the stars they are guided.” [Qur’an, 16:14-16]
“It is He who has made the Earth a cradle for you, and has traced out for you ways therein.” [Qur’an, 20:53]
While thus encouraging travel in general, the Qur’an also strongly recommends travel when it has a specific, positive purpose: travel to trade, search, explore, visit, migrate, enjoy, learn, study, spiritual and so on.
* Travel to read divine messages
The Qur’an promotes travel as a potential pilgrimage since during travel one passes by numerous ‘ayah’ or divine messages that declare Allah’s oneness and greatness. Allah the Most High says:
“Have you not seen the ships speeding through the sea, carrying Allah’s provisions, so that He might show you some of His wonders? Herein, behold, there are messages indeed for all who are patient, grateful.” [Qur’an, 31:31]
“And how many a Message in the Heavens and the Earth which they pass by, yet they turn away from it!” [Qur’an, 12:105]
There is a call for travel in order to read these messages by searching new information and experience-based knowledge and thereby to acquire wisdom. Allah the Almighty says:
“Do they then not travel through the Earth, so that their minds gain wisdom and their ears thus learn to hear? For surely it is not the eyes that are blind, but blind are the minds which are in the foremost.” [Qur’an, 22:46]
Translated here as ‘minds’, the word ‘qulub’ signifies ‘sites of intellect or understanding’ (as defined in Qur’an, 6:25), whereas the word ‘sadr’, translated here as ‘foremost’, has a metaphoric connotation, and – since in Arabic it has the connotation of chest, top, foremost or upper part of anything – indicates brain as well.
* Travel for trade and commerce
The Qur’an encourages travel for trade and commerce – which generates mutual profit and benefit through exchange of commodities and export-import – while depicting it as a great way to get some of the divine blessings. Allah the Most High says:
“Your Sustainer is He who causes the ships to move on for you through the sea so that you may go about in quest of some of His bounty: verily Most Merciful is He towards you.” [Qur’an, 17:66]
“And in the ships that speed through the sea with what benefits man…there are messages for a people reasoning.” [Qur’an, 2:164]
“Then, once the contact prayer is ended, disperse through the Earth and go in quest of some of divine Bounty, and remember Allah frequently, so that you may succeed.” [Qur’an, 62:10]
* Travel to explore new horizons
Another emphasised purport of travel is searching and exploring new lands and areas, new possibilities, potential resources and richness of various cultures. Allah says:
“And on that one sees ships ploughing through the waves, so that you might go forth in quest of some of His bounty, and thus have cause to be grateful.” [Qur’an, 16:14]
“And you see the ships cleave through it that you may seek of His Bounty and that you may be thankful.” [Qur’an, 35:12]
“It is Allah who has subjected to you the sea that the ships may run thereon by His command, that you may seek of his Bounty, and that you may be thankful.” [Qur’an, 45:12]
* Travel for recreation
Travel even for simple pleasure, in the form of recreational tourism, is also encouraged. Allah the Most High says:
“It is He who enables you to travel by land and sea; until when you are in the ships, and they sail on with them in a pleasant breeze, and they rejoice.” [Qur’an, 10:22]
“Lawful for you is all water-game, and all the catch of the sea, as enjoyment for you and for those who travel.” [Qur’an, 5:96]
“And among His signs is that He sends the winds with glad tidings, and to give you a taste of His grace, and so that the ships might sail by His command, and that you might go about in quest of some of His Bounties, that you may be thankful.” [Qur’an, 30:46]
* Travel to learn from visiting new places
The Qur’an encourages travel that aims to visit new places as a means of learning. Allah the Almighty says:
“Do they then not travel through the Earth, so that their minds gain wisdom and their ears thus learn to hear?” [Qur’an, 22:46]
“Have you not seen the ships speeding through the sea, carrying Allah’s provisions, so that He might show you some of His wonders? Herein, behold, there are messages indeed for all who are patient, grateful.” [Qur’an, 31:31]
* Travel to immigrate
We are asked to fight or flight. Fight against oppression or, if this is not an option, flight to seek refuge elsewhere. When we fail to freely express our opinions or practise our decent values in a particular country or place, we should try to emigrate to another which is more suitable for the purpose. Thus travel with intent of immigration, whenever essential, is prescribed, while apathy and self-harm are condemned. Allah says:
“Was Allah’s Earth not spacious enough that you could emigrate in it?” [Qur’an, 4:97]
“Those who have emigrated for Allah because they were oppressed, We will grant them good in this world, and the reward of the End will be greater, if they knew.” [Qur’an, 16:41]
* Travel to study evolutionary science, palaeontology and anthropology
One of the highlighted purposes of travel is searching, exploring and learning about origin and evolution of Universe, life and man. Allah the Most High says:
“Do they not see how Allah originates creation, then reproduces it: surely that is easy for Allah. Say: Travel through the Earth and deeply observe HOW Allah did originate the creation; then Allah produces the next creation; surely Allah has power over all things.” [Qur’an, 29:19-20]
* Travel to study archaeology and history
Over and over again the Qur’an emphasises the importance of travel with a purpose to study archaeology and the history of nations and humankind in general, including causes of rise and fall of previous peoples and civilisations. Allah the Almighty says:
“Do they not travel through the Earth, and deeply observe what was the End of those before them?” [Qur’an, 47:10]
“Have they not travelled through the Earth and deeply observed the consequences for those who were before them?” [Qur’an, 40:82]
Please refer to similar statements in Qur’an 35:44 and 40:21.
* Travel to learn from the past
Then we are invited to ‘travel through the Earth’ so that we can learn lessons from the past. What happened to all those great powers and civilisations of the past? One needs to travel, both physically and conceptually, to search and explore the history and the driving forces behind it. Allah the Most High says:
“Say: Travel through the Earth and deeply observe how was the end of the rejecters.” [Qur’an, 6:11]
“Ways of life have passed away before you. So do but travel through the Earth and deeply observe how was the end of the rejecters.” [Qur’an, 3:137]
Similar verses are e.g. Qur’an 16:36 and 27:69.
The Qur’an asserts that the cause of the causes of the decline and fall of a civilisation is people’s rejection of the divine oneness – expressed as their denial of the unity of nature and the unity of humanity. This denial leads to the rejection of human’s ultimate responsibility for his conscious actions, and this, in turn, leads to cognitive and moral bankruptcy – i.e., unscientific attitude to nature and life, and subsequent socioeconomic and political chaos – and so to the downfall of communities and civilisations. Allah says:
“Corruption has appeared on land and sea because of what men’s hands have earned, and so He will give them a taste of some of their deeds, in order that they may turn back. Say: Travel through the Earth and deeply observe what happened in the end to those before you: Most of them worshipped others besides Allah. Set then your face steadfastly towards the system which is straight.” [Qur’an, 30:41-43]
Here the growing pollution and destruction of our natural and social environment (‘Corruption has appeared on land and sea’), so seriously demonstrated in our time, is predicted as a consequence of man’s self-destructive – because utterly materialistic – inventiveness and frenzied activities (‘because of what men’s hands have earned’) which now threaten the human existence itself with previously unimaginable ecological and socioeconomic disasters: an outcome of man’s oblivion of Allah and, hence, of moral values, and his delusion that ‘material progress’ is the only thing that matters.
We are asked to learn lessons from history of the extinct civilisations who likewise worshipped material comfort, ego and power, as well as worshipped various false idols like messengers, avatars and other sanctified creatures (‘Most of them worshipped others besides Allah’). They thus lost harmony with natural laws and moral values – which are based on the unity of nature and the unity of humanity and which have their ultimate foundation on Allah’s oneness – and, as a consequence, destroyed themselves.
* A call of cheer for the traveller
However, the Qur’an also positively reminds the traveller, who is wandering through the pages of history, that – as rain vivifies a barren land – man’s conscious effort can as easily create a civilisation out of ruins. Allah the Almighty says:
“Was it not a lesson for them, how many generations We annihilated before them, in whose dwellings now they do walk about? Certainly there are messages in this: Will they not then hear? Do they not see that We drive the water to the barren land, then We bring forth thereby crops of which their livestock and they themselves eat; will they not then see?” [Qur’an, 32:26-27]
Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, the Ever-Living, Who does not die, and Peace and Blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his family and Companions.
This Jumu’ah Khutbah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today Friday, Rajab 15th, 1440 AH (March 22, 2019), by Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’ah and the late Alhaji Abdur-Rahman Okene’s Mosques, Okene, Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached via: gusaumurtada@gmail.com or +2348038289761.

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Friday Sermon: O As-Salam, The Source And Provider Of Peace, Bless Us With Permanent Peace! By Imam Murtadha Gusau

In the Name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful
Indeed, all praise is due to Allah, we praise Him, we seek His aid, and we ask for His forgiveness. We seek refuge in Allah from the evil of our actions and from the evil consequences of our actions. Whoever Allah guides, there is none to misguide, and whoever Allah misguides there is none to guide. I bear witness that there is no god worthy of worship except Allah, and I bear witness that Muhammad is the servant and Messenger of Allah.
To proceed:
Dear brothers and sisters! My State, Zamfara, in the last seven days is reeling helplessly, practically soaked in its own blood. Over 100 people were reportedly slaughtered with as much number abducted. 
The armed bandits, thieves and terrorists raped women, razed down houses, vehicles and everything in their way. 
People always lost their earnings. They are always in desperation looking for resources to meet up required ransom payments within stipulated deadline. 
Residents in the state who are familiar with the scale of ransom demands say that each of the captives will attract no less than one million Naira. Some with links to politically exposed individuals or families attract between ten million to twenty million Naira. Only the captives considered bare and under the poverty line are usually let off with five hundred thousands naira token. 
My people! The attacks in Zamfara State are too many, too frequent for any reporter to keep pace with. The people in Zamfara State seem to have given up all hope of seeing any end to the bloodletting in the state. The villagers have become vulnerable to their political leaders as they are to the terrorists that kill, maim and abduct them, at will. 
Many of the victims that voted in the last elections are too poor and distressed to even ask those they voted for questions, many just want handouts to survive the day. Several irresponsible politicians took advantage of this desperate situation. 
O As-Salam, reveal your Mercy, Peace and Security to the people of Zamfara state and Nigeria, ameen.
Dear brothers and sisters! As-Salam (Peace) is one of Allah’s names. Allah the Almighty says: 
“He is Allah, besides whom there is no god, the King, the Noble One, Peace, the Giver of Security…” [Qur’an, 59:23]
Allah is the bringer of peace who spreads peace throughout creation. Since life was first created, it has been predominated by long stretches of peacefulness, security, tranquility, and contentment. Allah is Peace and from Him emanates all peace. It is as the Prophet, may the mercy and blessings of Allah be upon him, said: 
“O Allah! You are Peace and from You is peace. Blessed be You, possessor of glory and honour.” [Sahih Muslim]
It is astonishing that some people who invoke Allah by this Noble name live their lives in contention and hostility towards the world. Every aspect of their lives is full of strife, from within themselves, to their outward behaviour, in their thinking, and with their families. How can such a person find peace with the Lord?
My respected people! The name As-Salam also connotes “soundness”, the idea of being free from blemish. It conveys the meaning that Allah is free from every shortcoming and deficiency; like fatigue, sleep, sickness, or death. Allah’s existence is one of absolute perfection. Allah the Most High says: 
“Allah, there is no god but He, the living and self-subsisting. Neither slumber nor sleep overtake him.” [Qur’an, 59:255]
Allah is free from anything that would contradict with his absolute self-sufficiency. Nothing can fatigue Him or elude Him. Nothing is beyond His reach.
The People of the Scripture (Ahlul-Kitab) attribute such a deficiency to Him when they claim that He rested on the seventh day, after creating the heavens and the Earth. This is why Allah the Almighty says: 
“Indeed We created the heavens and Earth and everything between them in six days, and We were not touched by any fatigue.” [Qur’an 50:38]
“If Allah wills anything to happen, He just says “Be!” and it is.” [Qur’an, 36:28]
This same connotation of the name As-Salam applies to Allah’s knowledge. Allah is free from ignorance, doubt, and indecision. Nothing is hidden from His knowledge. His knowledge is not acquired through learning. It is absolute, complete, and wholly accurate, comprehending everything in the past, present, and future without exception.
“Do you not see that Allah knows all that is in the heavens and on Earth? There is not a secret consultation between three, but He makes the fourth among them, – nor between five but He makes the sixth,- nor between fewer nor more, but He is in their midst, wheresoever they be.” [Qur’an, 58:7]
“It is the same (to Him) whether any of you conceals his speech or declares it openly; whether he lurks by night or walks forth freely by day.” [Qur’an, 13:10]
Likewise, His speech is free from all falsehood and injustice. Allah the Most High says: 
“Perfected is the Word of your Lord in truth and justice.” [Qur’an, 6:115]
His pronouncements are true and His decrees are just. His Law and every expression of His will are perfect. Allah’s Law is full of wisdom and knowledge, as is the Qur’an which He revealed to His Prophet (Peace be upon him). The Qur’an is rich in meaning, multilayered, guiding humanity in every way to what assures their welfare in this world and the next. It is unfortunate that so many people who read the Qur’an are content to neglect this richness and blindly follow traditions and rote knowledge. They have become incapable of creative thinking and renewal, and as a consequence wallow in the backwardness, ignorance, poverty and cultural decline that we witness today.
Allah is free from having any contender, rival, or partner in His dominion. He alone holds sovereignty over Creation, both in this world and the next.
His decree and His command are free from tyranny and injustice. Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) relates to us that Allah the Almighty says:
“O my servants! I have forbidden Myself to act unjustly and have made it forbidden for you among yourselves, so do not oppress one another.” [Sahih Muslim]
From the perfection of Allah’s justice, He forbids Himself to ever act unjustly and makes it forbidden for us to oppress one another. He the Almighty says:
“And your Lord is not in the least unjust to His servants.” [Qur’an, 41:46]
Allah commands us to cultivate this quality within ourselves and never act unjustly towards one another. By acting justly, we are engaged in an act of devotion to our Lord, since Allah is not only just, but He loves justice and those who act justly. In the same way, He is All-Knowing, and He loves knowledge and those who possess knowledge. He is beautiful. He loves beauty and those who cultivate beauty within themselves. He is generous, and He loves generosity and charitable people. These are all among the attributes of our Lord.
This connotation of soundness, this freedom from blemish, extends to His actions: to what He gives and to what He withholds. When Allah keeps something from us, it is not due to stinginess or scarcity. Glory be to Allah above that! It is from His infinite wisdom that He withholds what He withholds from his servants. Some people are better off wealthy while others are better off poor. 
“Allah enlarges the livelihood of whom He will, and straitens (it for whom He will); and they rejoice in the life of the world, whereas the life of the world is but brief comfort as compared with the Hereafter.” [Qur’an, 13:26]
Likewise, some people benefit more by being healthy while others benefit more from experiencing illness. Allah knows what each of us needs and what is ultimately in our best interests.
All of Allah’s attributes share in this perfection, this freedom from deficiency. Allah’s attributes do not resemble to created things. He is incomparable. It is from Allah’s wisdom that we, as created beings, are subject to the limitations and shortcomings inherent to our nature and to the tribulations of living in the world. Allah on the other hand is As-Salam, the one who is free from all shortcomings.
Allah’s name As-Salam is truly great in its meaning in that it articulates the perfection that all of Allah’s names possess – that each and every one of Allah’s attributes is free from shortcomings.
When we greet each other with peace by saying: “As-Salam Alaikum”, we are invoking this name of Allah, and in doing so, we are communicating this connotation of Allah’s perfection as well as the idea of peace.
And indeed Allah has made “peace” the salutation of the believers:
“Their salutation on the Day they meet Him will be ‘Peace!’” [Qur’an, 33:44]
He has commanded us to use this salutation: 
“So when you enter houses, greet yourselves with a salutation from Allah.” [Qur’an, 24:61]
Therefore, a believer invokes peace upon himself and upon others with this salutation.
* Allah is the Bestower of Peace
Indeed, Allah greets his creatures in this world with the salutation of peace.
“Peace be upon Nuh (Noah) in all the worlds.” [Qur’an, 37:79]
“Peace be upon Ibrahim (Abraham).” [Qur’an, 37:109]
“Peace be upon Musa (Moses) and Harun (Aaron).” [Qur’an, 37:120]
“Peace be upon Iliyas (Elias).” [Qur’an, 37:130]
“Peace be upon the Messengers.” [Qur’an, 37:181]
“Say: Praise be to Allah, and peace be upon the servants He has chosen.” [Qur’an, 27:59]
“Peace be upon those who follow guidance.” [Qur’an, 20:47]
Allah’s salutation upon His servants is His decree that they will be safeguarded in this world and the next. Though they are subject to the trials and tribulations that others experience in the world, Allah bestows upon their hearts contentment and certainty of faith which transforms their difficulties into a boon and a rewarding experience. Theirs are contented hearts, at peace with whatever Allah decrees for them.
The eminent Companion Sa’ad Ibn Abi Waqqas was blessed in that his prayers were always answered. When he became blind, people would ask him: 
“Why don’t you beseech Allah to restore your sight?”
He would reply: 
“By Allah! My being content with Allah’s decree is dearer to me than what else I desire.”
Dear brothers and sisters! As-Salam is the Name of Allah Almighty, The Giver and Provider of Peace and security.
There are two meanings of the Name As-Salam:
1. The Perfection.
2. The Giver and Provider of Peace and Security.
But linguistically, Salam and Salamah mean bara’ah: immunity, to be free of something and to be unblemished. According to Ibn Al-Arabi, Salamah means Afiyah: well being, to be safe and good. We see in the Qur’an that a quality of Ibadur-Rahman (Servants of The Most Merciful) is:
“…and when the ignorant (people) address them, they reply with words of peace.” [Qur’an, 25:63]
They say “Salamah” to the ignorant, meaning they don’t want anything to do with their conversation. 
Also, Jannah (Paradise) is called Darus-Salam [Qur’an, 10:25], it is free of all grief, death, worries, tensions, fatigues, enmities, hatred, and it is a place of safety. Also when we say “Assalamu Alaikum”, it means, you are safe from me and you will not receive any shar (evil) from me.
To summarise the meanings of Salam:
1. To be peaceful, to be friendly, to be in a good state.
2. To be free from imperfections.
3. To be safe and secure.
Other words from the same root include:
1. Salim: A Qalbun salim is a heart that is sound, unblemished, in a state of Afiyah (well being).
2. Islam: State of submission.
The root of sin-lam-mim appears 170 times in the Qur’an. The Name As-Salam in the Qur’an appears once at the end of suratul Hashr (verse 23). From the Sunnah we learn the Name As-Salam is mentioned in the Du’a after Salah (Prayer) ‘Allahummah anta As-Salam, wa minka As-Salam, tabarakta ya Zal Jalali wal Ikram.’
* What does it mean that Allah is As-Salam?
Imam Ibn Kathir states: 
“As-Salam is the One who is Free from all imperfections and deficiencies, because of the Perfection of His Being, of His Attributes and His Actions. He is So Perfect, He does not have any imperfections. For example, He is Living and is free from the imperfection of death. His Knowledge is free from the imperfection of forgetfulness. His Attributes are free from the imperfection of being similar to any creation. His Actions are perfect, whatever He does there is Hikmah (wisdom) behind it.”
So to summarise the statement of Imam Ibn Kathir: As-Salam is the One who is Perfect, He has no deficiencies which is why As-Salam has been translated as The Perfection.
Imam Al-Qurtubi states: 
“As-Salam is the One who is safe from all deficiencies.”
He explains as-Salam in three ways:
1. The One free from every fault, and He is absolved of every deficiency.
2. He gives Salam to His servants in Jannah (Paradise). 
We learn from the Qur’an that the dwellers of Paradise will be greeted with salam, by Allah, by the angels and by each other. In surah Yasin verse 58, Allah Ta’ala says: “People in Jannah will be told, “Salam, a statement from their Rabb, the Most Merciful.”
3. The One whose creation is free from His Zulm (injustice).
He keeps His creations safe from any injustice on His part and His creation is free from injustice from Him. What does this tell us? If Allah is As-Salam, there is no way He can be unjust. Many times we read in the Qur’an:
“Allah did not wrong them, rather they wronged themselves.”
In a Hadith Qudsi, Allah Ta’ala says:
“O My servants, I have made oppression haram upon Myself, and I have made it haram between yourselves, so do not wrong each other.” [Sahih Muslim]
So this teaches us that if we want Allah’s Protection, we cannot do Injustice (Zulm). Those who did not receive the protection of Allah, they did not receive His Salam, they committed Injustice (Zulm).
What is the lesson for us?
If you want Allah’s Peace, Security and Protection do not commit Injustice (Zulm) upon yourself, upon others and upon Allah.
What is Injustice (Zulm) upon yourself? Committing sins.
What is Injustice (Zulm) upon others? Transgressing their rights.
What is Injustice (Zulm) upon Allah? Shirk.
If we do Injustice (Zulm), we do not deserve Salam (Peace) from Allah Ta’ala.”
* Is there a connection between the words: Salam, Muslim, Islam?
Yes, there is a connection between these words. Who is Allah’s Salam (Peace) towards? The one who does not do Injustice (Zulm) upon Him, themselves and others. Also, Allah gives His Salam (Peace) to the people who get to Jannah, the people who are Allah’s Chosen servants. Allah Ta’ala says in Suratun Naml verse 59: 
“Say Alhamdulillah, and there is Salam (Peace) upon Allah’s servants, those whom He has chosen.” 
‘Istafa’ means to be chosen based on purity; so when you are pure and have purified yourself, and made yourself Salim for Allah, you receive Allah’s Salam (Peace). This shows us we need to work on ourselves, clean ourselves and be khalis (pure/sincere) for the sake of Allah. If we submit-we do Islam, and then we get Allah’s Salam (Peace). If we do not submit, we do not get His protection and security. When the Prophet (Peace be upon him) would offer Islam to others, he would say to them: 
“Iza sallamta nafsaka lillah, salimta.”
Meaning:
“When you submit yourself to Allah, you will be safe.”
This shows us that when we do not submit to Allah, we will not be protected. 
Lesson:
Submit to Allah so that you can be secure. Those people who receive Allah’s Salam (Peace), they will be in Darus-Salam (Abode of Peace, Jannah).
Who does Allah send Salam upon?
1. “When you meet those who believe in Our signs, say salamun alaikum to them.” [Qur’an, 6:54] 
When you sincerely believe, you receive Allah’s Security.
2. “Peace and security be upon the one who follows the guidance.” [Qur’an, 20:49]
Guidance is not just believing, but it is to follow the guidance and do the actions.
3. “Those will be rewarded with the highest place (in Paradise) because of their patience. Therein they shall be met with greetings and the word of peace and respect.” [Qur’an, 25:75]
The Ibadur-Rahman will receive Gurfah (highest rooms in Jannah), because of their patience and they get salam from Allah. This is why we see people who are suffering so much but they are calm and patient, because they have this serenity and peace inside that Allah has given them.
4. “Salam will be upon those people whom Allah has chosen.” [Qur’an, 29:59]
Salam upon Allah?
When we say Salam, upon the Prophet, upon the righteous people, say salam to each other, we should not say salam upon Allah. We do not say Jazakallah to Allah, Allah is the One who gives jaza’ (recompense)! We do not say Salam Alallah (Salam upon Allah), because He Himself is As-Salam!
There is a Hadith narrated by Ibn Mas’ud that the Companions used to say: ‘Assalamu Alallah’ (Salam be upon Allah) instead of ‘At-Tahiyatu lillahi’ (The Greetings are for Allah) in the tashahhud. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) told them: ‘do not say Assalamu Alallah because He is Al-Malik (The King) and He is Al-Mu’ti (The One who Gives), He is the Possessor of Salam and He gives Salam.’ He does not need security and safety, He Himself is Salam and Perfect. 
Also we learn that once Angel Jibril came to the Prophet (Peace be upon him) and said, Allah sends His Salam to Khadijah. Her reply was: ‘Innallaha Huwas Salam, indeed Allah, He is Salam, wa ala Jibril as-Salam, and upon Jibril be Salam, and upon you, O Prophet of Allah.’ She did not say, and salam upon Allah.
So we must be careful and not say Salam upon Allah.
* How to make Du’a by Allah’s Name as-Salam
1. After Salah (Prayer) we should say:
“O Allah, You are As-Salam and from You is all peace, blessed are You, O Possessor of majesty and honour.”
Why do we say this after Salah? What do you want protection, safety and security from? From the mistakes committed during the Salah. A Salah in which there is no khushu (humility), it is struck back on the person and not taken. So it is as if you are saying:
“O Allah, if my Salah was not proper, if there was anything You did not like, keep me safe from its consequence.” 
This is the benefit of following the Sunnah, you are secure from things that you do not even imagine. Who would have imagined that you would suffer consequences after praying Salah?! But the sunnah teaches us, so we say Allahummah antas salam wa minkas salam, O Allah protect me from the shortcomings of my Salah.
2. We can make Du’a by this Name when we want security, safety and peace. Sometimes we are very worried, very nervous, sad, anxious, say: 
“O Allah antas Salam (You are as Salam), give me security and protect me from this.”
You can also say:
“O Salam, give me Your Salam in the hereafter, and guide me to subul as-Salam (ways of peace).”
Also when you want your heart to be salim (sound and free from shirk), ask As-Salam, and He will give you a Salim heart (Qalbun Salim).
3. We should send salam upon each other and upon the Prophet (Peace be upon him) and upon the Prophets alaihimus salam.
In Surah Saffat, Allah mentions salam after each Prophet, ‘Salamun ala Nuh, salamun ala Ibrahim, salamun ala Ilyasin’, so when we hear or write their name, we should say alaihis salam or sallalahu alaihi wa sallam. We should write taslim for the Prophets, if Allah sends salam upon them, we should as well.
O Allah, You are Peace and from You is peace. Blessed be You, possessor of glory and honour. Have mercy on us, bless Zamfara State and Nigeria with peace and security! Ameen.
Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, the Ever-Living, Who does not die, and Peace and Blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad and upon all his family and Companions.
This Jumu’ah Khutbah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today Friday, Rajab 1st, 1440 AH (March 8, 2019), by Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’ah and the late Alhaji Abdur-Rahman Okene’s Mosques, Okene, Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached via: gusaumurtada@gmail.com or +2348038289761.

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Women Are The Twin Halves, Partners, Helpers And Sisters Of Men By Imam Murtadha Gusau

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
All praise is for Allah. We praise Him, we seek His aid and we ask for His forgiveness. We seek Allah’s refuge from the evils of ourselves and from our evil actions. Whosoever Allah guides, there is no one who can misguide him; and whosoever Allah misguides, there is no one who can guide him.
I testify that none has the right to be worshipped except Allah, alone, who has no partner; and I testify that Muhammad (Peace be upon him) is His servant and Messenger.
Respected brothers and sisters! Let me ask a serious question, please, what is equality between male and female?
Dear brothers and sisters! Know that women in Islam are equal to men in so many aspects as follows:
1. Equality in humanity
Women have feelings, personal status, and special characters. Allah the Almighty says:
“O mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, Who created you from a single person (Adam).” [Surah Al-Nisa’, 1]
Here in this verse, “O mankind” means men and women.
As men feel, women feel too, as men level up to values, women also do, and as men can achieve heroism, women can too. Hence, men and women are created from one soul. Allah the Most High says:
“…and from him (Adam) He created his wife [Hawwa (Eve)], and from them both He created many men and women and fear Allah through Whom you demand your mutual (rights), and (do not cut the relations of) the wombs (kinship). Surely, Allah is Ever an All-Watcher over you.” [Surah Al-Nisa’, 1]
Women are human exactly like men, and the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said in this respect:
“Women are twin halves of men.”
And he also said:
“Every new-born child is born in a state of fitrah (innate). Then his parents make him a Jew, a Christian or a Magian, just as an animal is born intact. Do you observe any among them that are maimed (at birth)?” [Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi, Nasa’i, Abu Dawud, Ahmad and Malik]
This ‘new-born’ here indicates male and female.
Therefore any inferior look at the woman as less human than man is a Jahiliyyah (pre-Islamic) consideration that is not admitted in Islam. Better yet, Islam came to fight such consideration as a form of discrimination.
2. Equality in subliming
Dear brothers and sisters! Women can be righteous exactly like men, and they can be deviated like men as well. A man can be a believer or a disbeliever, and so can woman be, man can be obedient or disobedient to Allah, and so can woman be, man can be sublime and ascend and woman can be sublime and ascend too. Allah the Almighty says:
“And by Nafs (Adam or a person or a soul, etc.), and Him Who perfected him in proportion Then He showed him what is wrong for him and what is right for him.” [Surah Ash-Shams, 7-8]
‘Nafs’ here is refers to both male and female.
“Then He showed him what is wrong for him and what is right for him.” [Surah Ash-Shams, 8]
Man and woman are created so as to know by innate nature what is wrong and what is right, and to know when they do wrong and when they do right.
This is the real Islam according to its origins and resources. It is not what Muslims do nowadays; it is rather the great principles established by the noble Prophet (Peace be upon him). Allah the Most High says:
“Indeed he succeeds who purifies his ownself (i.e. obeys and performs all that Allah ordered, by following the true Faith of Islamic Monotheism and by doing righteous good deeds). And indeed he fails who corrupts his ownself (i.e. disobeys what Allah has ordered by rejecting the true Faith of Islamic Monotheism or by following polytheism, etc. or by doing every kind of evil wicked deeds).” [Surah Ash-Shams, 9-10]
This Qur’anic verse addresses both men and women. Saving one’s life is like saving all mankind, and killing one person is like killing all mankind.
Dear brothers and sisters! Woman is equal to man as a human being, and as a person who has the ability to transcend, sublime, excel, and to be looked up to.
3. Equality in dignity and honour
One other thing, woman is equal to man in dignity and honour. In Hammurabi’s law that is taught in some law schools, if someone killed another person’s daughter, he ought to deliver his own daughter to be killed by that person… well, what is her fault? What is the fault committed by the killer’s daughter to be killed in revenge for the victim? The Prophet (Peace be upon him) was asked once:
“What is the worst sin in the sight of Allah? He said: “To join a partner with Allah Who created you.” The man said: then what? He said: “And to kill your children for fear of poverty.” He asked: then what? He said: “and to commit adultery with your neighbour’s wife.” [Agreed upon]
And Allah the Almighty says in the noble Qur’an:
“And when the female (infant) buried alive (as the pagan Arabs used to do) shall be questioned. For what sin she was killed?” [Surah Al-Takwir, 8-9]
And He the Most High says as well:
“And there is (a saving of) life for you in Al-Qisas (the Law of Equality in punishment), O men of understanding, that you may become Al-Muttaqun (the pious).” [Surah Al-Baqarah, 179]
Islamic law scholars legislated that a man is killed for killing a woman, because they both share the same dignity and honour.
Therefore, women are equal to men in humanity, transcendence, dignity, and honour. Moreover, our great Islam imposed a penalty of eighty whips and an eternal declined testimony on those who accuse the chaste women without bringing to testimony four witnesses on that act, unless they repent, but still, after repenting, the penalty should be carried out in this life, as it won’t be canceled by repentance, hence, it was mentioned in the Hadith:
“Slandering a chaste woman perishes the deeds of a year.”
4. Equality in all religious duties
Dear brothers and sisters! Woman is not only equal to man in humanity, transcendence, and honour. She is also equal to him in having the same duties in the respect of faith pillars, not to mention all the religious duties that man is assigned to by Allah. The following are some evidences from the noble Qur’an:
“Verily, the Muslim men and women, the believing men and women, the men and the women who are obedient (to Allah), the men and women who are truthful, the men and the women who are patient, the men and the women who are humble (before their Lord Allah), the men and the women who give Sadaqah (i.e. Zakah, and alms, etc.), the men and the women who observe Saum (fast), the men and the women who guard their chastity and the men and the women who remember Allah much with their hearts and tongues, Allah has prepared for them forgiveness and a great reward (i.e. Paradise).” [Surah Al-Ahzab, 35]
If the language of this Qur’anic verse didn’t mention women, it would still be addressing men and women as well (as it addresses people in general), but Allah wanted to confirm, clarify, and perish any doubt about equality between men and women in religious duties, faith pillars, and Islamic pillars. And here is another evidence:
“Whoever works righteousness, whether male or female, while he (or she) is a true believer verily, to him We will give a good life, and We shall pay them certainly a reward in proportion to the best of what they used to do (i.e. Paradise in the Hereafter).” [Surah Al-Nahl, 97]
And the third evidence is:
“So their Lord accepted of them (their supplication and answered them), “Never will I allow to be lost the work of any of you, be he male or female. You are (members) of one another.” [Surah Al-Imran, 195]
5. Women are charged with special assignments
Dear brothers and sisters! Women are independent regarding responsibility to deeds and they have some special religious duties. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:
“…The woman is a guardian and is responsible for her husband’s house and his offspring…” [Agreed upon]
In other words, woman is independently charged with faith pillars, Islam pillars, and religious duties, and she is held responsible for any delinquency. Allah the Almighty says:
“So whosoever does good equal to the weight of an atom (or a small ant), shall see it. And whosoever does evil equal to the weight of an atom (or a small ant), shall see it.” [Surah Al- Zalzalah, 7-8]
6. Equality in education and politeness
Women are equal to men in education and politeness, Allah the Most High says:
“O you who believe! Ward off from yourselves and your families a Fire (Hell) whose fuel is men and stones, over which are (appointed) angels stern (and) severe, who disobey not, (from executing) the Commands they receive from Allah, but do that which they are commanded.” [Surah Al-Tahrim, 6]
The word ‘family’ in this verse indicates the wife and the children whether daughters or sons. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) says:
“The best of what a father might give his child is the good manners.”
‘His child’ here means male or female, also the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:
“Whoever looks after two girls till they attain maturity, will come with me on the Day of Resurrection like this.” ‘The Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) joined his two fingers illustrating this.’ [Muslim]
This is a glad tiding to all of you, whoever has two daughters whom he rears according to Islam, looks after, and be good to, is granted paradise. In another Hadith:
“There is no one who has three daughters or three sisters…”
This Hadith is critical so pay attention to, whoever has a sister under his care, and he dignifies her, honours her, and guides her to Allah’s path, will be granted paradise. A woman might be a spinster and she lives under her brother’s care, this precise Hadith is addressing this brother who is in charge for her, and he will be granted paradise if he dignifies, rears, and guides her to the right path of Allah. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) says:
“There is no one who has three daughters, or three sisters, and he treats them well, but Allah will admit him/her to Paradise.” [Tirmidhi, Al-Nasa’i, Abu Dawud, and Ibn Majah]
7. Equality in knowledge, individual duty, and collective duty
Dear brothers and sisters! Woman also equals man in seeking knowledge, individual duties, and in collective duty, and since she is charged with faith pillars, Islam pillars, and religious duties, she can’t carry out all that without knowledge, and for that reason, Allah the Almighty says:
“And say: My Lord! Increase me in knowledge.” [Surah Taha, 114]
This Qur’anic verse is recited by boys and girls, men and women, and seeking knowledge is an individual duty that is enjoined on every Muslim whether male or female. 
Dear respected brothers and sisters! The Prophet (Peace be upon him) says:
“He who has a daughter and who teaches her good manners and improves her education and then manumits and marries her, will get a double reward; and any one of the people of the Scripture who believes in his Prophet and Me, will get a double reward; and any servant who observes Allah’s right and his master’s right will get a double reward.” [Agreed upon]
Urwah Ibn Al-Zubair described his aunt Aisha (may Allah be pleased with them both) saying:
“I have never met anyone who is more knowledgeable in Fiqh (Islamic legislation), medicine, and poetry than Aisha May Allah be pleased with her.”
Lot of Hadiths were narrated by the mothers of believers (The Prophet’s wives), and there are a lot of sayings referred to them in Qur’an’s interpretation and Hadith’s jurisprudence, not to mention all the women who learned, recited and memorised the Qur’an.
8. Equality in holding on to morals
Dear brothers and sisters! Women are ordered like man to hold on to morals either in their apparent behaviour, pure intentions, or in the clean heart. Allah the Most High says:
“So whoever hopes for the Meeting with his Lord, let him work righteousness and associate none as a partner in the worship of his Lord.” [Surah Al-Kahf, 110]
This verse refers to male or female. 
Some people say: Behind every problem look for a woman, whereas Islam says: Behind every problem look for the sin, because all adversities, calamities and tribulations on earth occur as a result of deviation from Allah’s path due to ignorance which is the worst enemy of mankind.
One of the Prophet’s wives was jealous (which is a character of women) and she said: ‘It’s bad enough that Safiyyah is such and such. (Some of narrators said: she is short).’ He said:
“You have said a word which could spoil the sea water if mixed with it.” [Tirmidhi, Abu Dawud, and Ahmad]
How dignified woman is in Islam! When this wife mocked her because she is short, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said to her:
“You have said a word which could spoil the sea water if mixed with it.”
Dear brothers and sisters! Women are in charge of their hearts in respect of faith, hypocrisy, sincerity, or duplicity, of their tongues in respect of truthfulness and lying, and of their organs in respect of obedience and committing sins. Hence, women are equal to men in the obligation towards having a pure heart and good intentions, and towards watching the tongue and the actions.
9. Equality in the six fundamentals
Dear brothers and sisters! Women are equal to men in their obligation towards maintaining the six fundamentals for which Islam has come. Islam is established on maintaining those six fundamentals, and whoever violates any of them, is punished by a certain penalty (Hadd) that is mentioned in the noble Qur’an and is detailed in the Sunnah.
Shari’ah (Islamic Law), as you know, is all about interests, mercy, and justice, and every case overpasses justice to injustice, interests to corruption, and mercy to harshness, is not part of Shari’ah even if it was justified by thousands of interpretations.
The six fundamentals are religion, soul, mind, honour, wealth, and security, and whoever violates any of them, whether male or female will be punished with a certain penalty that is mentioned in Qur’an and detailed in Sunnah. Allah the Almighty says:
“Cut off (from the wrist joint) the (right) hand of the thief, male or female, as a recompense for that which they committed, a punishment by way of example from Allah. And Allah is All-Powerful, All-Wise.” [Surah Al-Maidah, 38]
The one who drinks wine, whether male or female, should be whipped eighty times.
Whoever commits adultery will be punished by whipping or stoning, Allah the Almighty says:
“The woman and the man guilty of illegal sexual intercourse, flog each of them with a hundred stripes.” [Surah Al-Nur, 2]
And in taking somebody’s life, Allah the Most High says:
“And there is (a saving of) life for you in Al-Qisas (the Law of Equality in punishment), O men of understanding, that you may become Al-Muttaqun (the pious).” [Surah Al-Baqarah, 179]
This Qisas (the law of equality in punishment) is for men and women alike. As for security, the recompense of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger and do mischief in the land is that they shall be killed, crucified or a hand and a foot are cut off on the opposite sides.
10. Equality in calling to Allah (Da’awah)
Dear brothers and sisters! Islam also makes men and women equal in calling to Allah. Thereby, every woman should pass her knowledge to other women, and should spread this religion, because Allah the Almighty says:
“By Al-Asr (the time). Verily! Man is in loss, Except those who believe (in Islamic Monotheism) and do righteous good deeds, and recommend one another to the truth, and recommend one another to patience.” [Surah Al-Asr]
When revelation came to the Prophet (Peace be upon him)  and he said to Khadijah:
“I fear that something may happen to me.” 
She replied:
“Never! By Allah, Allah will never disgrace you. You keep good relations with your Kith and kin, help the poor and the destitute, serve your guests generously and assist the deserving calamity-afflicted ones.”
What does that mean? It means that she was with the Prophet (Peace be upon him) in his mission.
The first Martyr in Islam was a woman, namely Sumayyah and her husband Yasir who were killed in the line of their commitment to their belief, and because they held on to this righteous religion. Hence, women also call to Allah and spread this religion in the field suitable for them and within the permissible limits.
11. Equality in inheritance
Dear brothers and sisters! Men and women are equal in inheritance, Allah the Most High says:
“There is a share for men and a share for women from what is left by parents and those nearest related, whether, the property be small or large – a legal share.” [Surah Al-Nisa’, 7]
She is equal to him in inheritance, but in regard of the Qur’anic verse that says: “the male will have twice the share of the female“, that is a totally different issue that have been In Shaa Allah elaborated in some of my previous sermons.
12. Equality in transactions (like in contract)
Men and women are equal in all kinds of transactions such as: signing a contract, buying, selling, donating, almsgiving, lending, or signing a guaranty act.
Thus, women are equal to men in a lot of things such as: signing contracts, transactions, inheritance, calling to Allah, seeking knowledge, being charged with faith pillars, Islam pillars, religious duties, obligation towards purifying the heart, having the good intentions, watching the tongue, in individual duties, in collective duties, in politeness, in education, in believing in Allah, in dignity, in creation, and she is fully equal to him in humanity.
Hence, all the texts I have mentioned from the Qur’an and Sunnah indicate that the woman is a human being in the full sense of the word, and she is completely equal to man.
* Male is not like female
Woman equals man in humanity, creation, dignity, religious duties, education, rearing, morals, responsibilities, consequences, and transactions. However, Allah the Almighty says:
“And the male is not like the female.” [Surah Al-Imran, 36]
1. Difference between man and woman is for integration
It is true that woman equals man in a lot of issues. Yet, her physical and mental structure is different from man’s, and this kind of difference doesn’t mean that she is inferior but it means integration (between the two genders). This difference between man and woman makes them repose to each other, complement each other, and it is the secret of affection and mercy which Allah created between the couples.
2. Differences are between two genders not two individuals
Dear brothers and sisters! Talking about differences between male and female or between man and woman, is a trial to tackle the differences between two genders not two individuals, because as an individual, a woman might excel a man professionally and vice versa, but now we are talking about the differences between two genders.
Sometimes you find a woman with ruthless heart and a man with flaming emotions (out of normal nature). However, there are differences between male and female in general.
3. Differences are related to biological functions
It is a fact that there are physical differences between women and men. These differences help them match the functions that each of them is charged with, and there is a profound wisdom and a great mercy in the differences and distinctive features that the Creator installed in the two genders.
4. Exceptions are meant to show the value of the usual
If that rule had exceptions, that would be (for a profound wisdom) to show the value of the usual. Usual things that have no exceptions don’t attract attention.
Following is an example from our life; cows sometimes get infected with diseases which turn them into wild animals that might attack and kill human who is obliged (in these cases) to put an end to their lives losing their valuable cost. This exceptional case reminds us of the blessing that Allah subdued these creatures to us:
“And We have subdued them unto them.” [Surah Yasin, 72]
When we see an exception in this life, we should know that it is meant to show us the value of the normal thing, and to acknowledge the blessings that Allah bestowed on His servants.
5. Physical differences
According to scientists, women have special physical features suitable for the functions they are assigned to by Allah. They have glands that don’t exist in men; these glands give them feminine characters like smooth skin, nice voice, shyness, and vulnerability.
Moreover, women in general (with a few exceptions) are shorter (by 10 centimeter) than men in all races, and the skeleton of a woman is lighter than that of a man, which makes her less able to move and go around than him. The muscles of women are weaker than those of men by about one third, but her cellular tissue is richer of vessels and sensory nerves which allow her to store fat that gives her the form of her body.
Man’s brain is heavier than that of woman by 100 grams. The ratio of man’s brain to his body is one to forty while the ratio of woman’s brain to her body is one to forty four, and her brain’s convolutions (irregular ridges on the surface of the brain) are less in number and order than men’s. Whereas the part of comprehension is smaller in women’s brain, the center of emotions is more effective than that in men. The lung’s capacity in women is less than that of men, her respiration is faster, her heart is smaller, but her pulse is faster. Allah the Almighty says:
“And among His Signs is this, that He created for you wives from among yourselves, that you may find repose in them, and He has put between you affection and mercy. Verily, in that are indeed signs for a people who reflect.” [Surah Al-Rum, 21]
This weakness and these attractive characters make men repose to women. Tackling the differences between women and men is a long topic, but I chose some of the differences to talk about which is better than leaving the topic altogether.
6. Psychological differences
Women tend to beautify themselves (putting make up and the like). There are Psychological differences between men and women as follows:
1. In emotions
Women’s emotions are stronger than men’s. Thus, they have more ability to take care of children, parents, brothers, and sisters. Their emotions can be arisen faster than men’s. This characteristic is suitable for women’s first mission which is to bring up her children and provide them with high emotions as well as with milk.
A woman came to the Prophet (Peace be upon him) and said to him:
“O Messenger of Allah, my husband took me as a wife when I was young, beautiful, and wealthy, and now that I got old, out of shape, my family are scattered, and my wealth is gone, he said to me: You are to me like my mother, and I have children from him. If I leave them they will be lost, and if I take them they will be hungry.”
2. In will
Woman’s will is weaker than man’s, as she is so demanding yet forgetful, she walks away from what she wants, she is moody, and she hesitates a lot.
Thus, she is less cohesive, less determined, and less firm than man. The question to be ask here is: What is the wisdom behind all that? These characters match her mission. Had women had the same characters as men, they would have been in disagreement which leads to divorce. All these characters in women are meant to be suitable for her mission as a wife, a mother, and an educator for her kids and for the Ummah (Nation).
A woman’s relation to her children is based on tenderness, love and passion. Because children’s minds are emotional and desire oriented. Women can’t deal with children with weak emotion and stubborn will. That’s why mothers are usually closer to their children than fathers.
3. In braveness
Men and women differ in braveness too. Women are usually less brave than men, and because of that they follow familiar ways and jobs that are in harmony with their nature, and that is because the woman is a mother, daughter, sister and a wife, and we should not forget about the role of protectiveness and maintenance that is assigned to men in the family, Allah the Most High says:
“Men are the protectors and maintainers of women, because Allah has made one of them to excel the other, and because they spend (to support them) from their means.” [Surah Al- Nisa’, 34]
Woman is less impulsive than man who is molded to be initiative, explorer, cruiser for the unknown, and creative in such aspects, and he is supported by the woman who pushes him forward as she doesn’t have his braveness.
7. Religious differences
There are religious differences between man and woman as follows:
1. Moral and cultural responsibility
Allah the Almighty assigned man to a moral responsibility for his family, Allah the Almighty says:
“O you who believe! Ward off from yourselves and your families a Fire (Hell) whose fuel is men and stones, over which are (appointed) angels stern (and) severe, who disobey not, (from executing) the Commands they receive from Allah, but do that which they are commanded.” [Surah Al-Tahrim, 6]
Dear respected brothers and sisters!
“Ward off from yourselves and your families a Fire (Hell).” [Surah Al-Tahrim, 6]
Some Qur’anic interpreters said: 
“Order them to leave sins and perform acts of worship, and by doing so you are warding off hellfire from them.”
Whereas, other interpreters said:
“The word ‘families’ includes the wife and children.”
Umar, May Allah be pleased with him, asked the Prophet (Peace be upon him) about the interpretation of this verse, so the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:
“To prevent them from what is forbidden by Allah, and order them to do what is enjoined by Allah and by that you will be warding them off from fire.”
This is the meaning of the verse, and according to it, every believer is assigned to ward off hellfire from his family by ordering them of performing acts of worship and forbidding them from committing sins. Hence, Imam Ali, May Allah be pleased with him, said:
“Teach yourselves and your families the good and rear them.”
Some scholars concluded that man should seek knowledge in general, and should seek all the knowledge needed to rear his wife and kids in particular, how so? How to ward off hellfire from the family? What is necessary to complete the Fard (obligatory duty), is a duty itself, what completes a Wajib (mandatory), is a mandatory itself, and what completes a Sunnah is Sunnah, hence, if Allah ordered you to ward off hellfire from your family by guiding them to Allah’s path, ordering them to be obedient, and prohibiting them from sinning, that requires that you abide by all that yourself. It was said in the noble Hadith:
“Let Allah have mercy on the man who said: O my family, pray, fast, perform Zakah, take care of the wretched, the orphans, and take care of your neighbour, perhaps Allah will put you together in paradise (by doing all that).”
Allah might reunion man with his family in paradise if he ordered them and they responded, and he prohibited them and they were prohibited. Allah the Almighty says:
“Ward off from yourselves and your families a Fire (Hell).” [Surah Al-Tahrim, 6]
So parents have great responsibility in raising their children, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:
“Neglecting one’s own dependents is a reason enough for a man to commit a sin.” [Muslim, Abu Dawud and Ahmad]
The Hadith indicates that it isn’t enough to provide your children with food, money, and sustenance, it is more important to acquaint them with Allah’s orders and prohibitions, follow up on their religious duties, and make sure they don’t commit sins.
2. Spending
Dear brothers and sisters! Man is assigned by Allah to religious, moral, and ethical responsibilities towards his family, in addition to his responsibility to spend on them. Thus, it was said: seeking sustenance is obligatory after the religious duties. In other words, after fulfilling your religious duties, you are demanded of another duty, which is to seek sustenance and to make a living.
The Prophet (Peace be upon him) touched the hand of Ibn Mas’ud once and found it so rough because of hard work, so he raised it and said to His companions:
“Allah and his Messenger love this hand (i.e. indicating that Allah and his messenger love those who work hard.”
Spending on wife and kids and providing them with their needs of food, drink, house, and clothes, is an essential responsibility within man’s available income and is considered as an act of worship. Basically, any permissible handcraft practiced in permissible ways to sustain yourself and your family and of which you spend on the poor and serve Muslims without leaving your religious duties, is considered as an act of worship. Some scholars said: If permissible matters were accompanied with good intentions they will turn into acts of worship. Allah the Almighty says:
“Let the rich man spend according to his means, and the man whose resources are restricted, let him spend according to what Allah has given him. Allah puts no burden on any person beyond what He has given him. Allah will grant after hardship, ease.” [Surah Al-Talaq, 7]
And in another verse Allah the Most High says:
“…but the father of the child shall bear the cost of the mother’s food and clothing on a reasonable basis.” [Surah Al-Baqarah, 233]
This is the religious difference between man and woman, as Allah assigned man to religious, moral, and ethical responsibilities, and assigned him to spend on his wife and children. It is considered as an act of worship to make a living in order to spend on your family.
8. Perfection lies in the differences
Dear brothers and sisters! I want to draw your attention to an important fact. Having stronger emotions and weaker psychological and mental ability is considered perfection for women, and the opposite is also true for men.
Think of the difference between cars and trucks in respect of distributing functional areas. The car has more space for passengers while the truck has more space for goods. The area of each is perfect for the purpose it is made for.
Hence, when we say “women lack something” we don’t accuse her of imperfection. Rather, it is perfection itself. Having stronger emotions, passion, caring, and less interest in general issues, less courage, and weaker will is perfection for women. It is that difference that makes women attractive and satisfying for men.
9. Differences serve marital life
Dear brothers and sisters! It is a long issue, but highlighting a few aspects of it is better than leaving it altogether. It is true that men and women are equal in responsibility and honour, but we should not neglect the difference between men and women. This is very important as it confirms the sacred mission that women are assigned to. It is the difference that attracts man to woman to find ease, it is the difference that attunes man to woman, and it is the difference that makes each of them completes the other.
The closest things to man’s life are his job and his wife. You either have a good or a bad choice, but it is never too late to have a good wife. If you reform yourself and ask Allah to guide your wife, He will- most probably- answer you and make her a comfort for you. Moreover, Allah says that if man chooses a good wife, guides her to Allah’s path, and orders her to obey Allah and His messenger, Allah will reward him in the worldly life before the hereafter, but what is the reward? His wife and kids will be the comfort of his eyes. Allah the Almighty says:
“And those who say: “Our Lord! Bestow on us from our wives and our offspring who will be the comfort of our eyes, and make us leaders for the Muttaqun (the pious).” [Surah Al-Furqan, 74]
Dear brothers and sisters! All these words, texts, and facts are quoted from Allah’s method. Allah the Most High says:
“And none can inform you (O Muhammad) like Him Who is the All-Knower (of each and everything).” [Surah Fatir, 14]
Who has the best knowledge of marital life? Who is theOne who molded, organised, and gave every gender his/her physical, mental psychological, and social characters? Who made each gender complete the other? The answer to all these questions is: Allah the Most High.
When humanity is lost, when it goes astray, and looks for the way, they must get back to Allah’s book, to the best method, to the right path, to the Creator’s instructions, to the knowledge of the All-knower.
The particular characteristics of woman in her heart, sensation system, brain, skeleton, height, or weight, is the very reason that makes her loved to man who reposes to her. I would like to mention three Qur’anic verses here:
“And among His Ayat (proofs, evidences, lessons, signs, etc.) is the creation of the heavens and the earth, and whatever moving (living) creatures He has dispersed in them both.” [Surah Ash-Shura, 29]
“And from among His Signs are the night and the day, and the sun and the moon.” [Surah Fussilat, 37]
“And among His Signs is the sleep that you take by night and by day, and your seeking of His Bounty.” [Surah Al-Rum, 23]
Allah the Almighty also says:
“And among His Signs is this, that He created for you wives from among yourselves, that you may find repose in them, and He has put between you affection and mercy. Verily, in that are indeed signs for a people who reflect.” [Surah Al-Rum, 21]
This affection and mercy between husband and wife are created by Allah, and it is the foundation of marital relation, losing them would result to dangerous problems.
Dear brothers and sisters! As long as man is alive and has the chance he should reform himself and the closest people to him (his wife) and should ward off hellfire from his children by rearing them, offering them advice, guiding them, and encouraging them to seek knowledge.
I am pretty sure that any problem on earth, be it small or big, individual, collective or massive, is a result of deviation from Allah’s method, which is a result of ignorance.
* Islamic orders in treating women
Dear brothers and sisters! The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:
“The best of you is the best for his family and I am the best for my family.” [Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah and ad-Darimi]
And he also said:
“Only an honourable man treats women with honour and integrity. And only a mean man humiliates women.” [Ibn Asakir and Al-Jami’ Al-Sagir]
And the Prophet (Peace be upon him) addressed women by saying to one of them:
“O woman, be sure, you and all women that being a good wife to your husband equals Jihad (fighting) in the cause of Allah.” [Baihaqi]
The Prophet (Peace be upon him) was used to be bright-faced and smiling when entering his house, and He described women by saying:
“They are the precious and the source of pleasure.”
* Ignorance is the worst enemy of the truth
This is the true religion that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) came with. We should take Islam from its resources not from the lives of Muslims which might not be in harmony with Allah’s path, nor from the tributaries which came from western cultures to distort Islam. Allah the Almighty says:
“This day, I have perfected your religion for you, completed My Favour upon you, and have chosen for you Islam as your religion.” [Surah Al-Maidah, 3]
Every issue we need, were completely addressed by Islam, and detailed in its method, and in the Qur’an. Our duty now is to learn and seek knowledge.
It is naivety, and narrow mindedness to accuse something without knowing it and trying to comprehend it, following the right path to acquaint it, and taking it from its resources.
If you want to know Islam, you have the Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Prophet (Peace be upon him), and you have the biography of his Companions who followed him with full reception, comprehension, and righteousness. Allah the Almighty says:
“Say (O Muhammad): “This is my way; I invite unto Allah (i.e. to the Oneness of Allah – Islamic Monotheism) with sure knowledge, I and whosoever follows me (also must invite others to Allah i.e to the Oneness of Allah – Islamic Monotheism) with sure knowledge. And Glorified and Exalted be Allah (above all that they associate as partners with Him). And I am not of the Mushrikun (polytheists, pagans, idolaters and disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah; those who worship others along with Allah or set up rivals or partners to Allah).” [Surah Yusuf, 108]
One should never judge Islam before becoming familiar and acquainted with it. Seeking knowledge is an individual duty on every Muslim and is your way to sublime. If you want worldly life, you need to seek knowledge, if you want the hereafter, you need to seek knowledge, and if you need both, you need to seek knowledge.
There are two kinds of knowledge, there is the knowledge that entertains you, and the knowledge that benefits to you. Knowledge of Allah’s orders and prohibition is an entertaining and beneficial knowledge, and it grants happiness in the worldly life and the hereafter alike.
Most kinds of science stop with death, whereas religious knowledge lasts even after death forever and ever, as it is the real knowledge. The prudent is he who knows Allah, knows the reason behind his own existence, and knows the purpose of his existence.
The Prophet (Peace be upon him) and his Companions passed by an insane man, so He asked them (knowing the answer): “Who is this?” They replied: He is an insane person. He answered: “This man is afflicted, but the insane is he who disobeys Allah.”
In another incident, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) entered the Mosque and ran into a genealogist, so he asked (knowing the answer), “Who is he?” They replied: he is a genealogist, and he asked again: “What is the genealogist?” They answered: he is the one who knows people’s ancestors, so the Prophet (Peace be upon him) commented: “That is a kind of knowledge that is not beneficial to the one who learns it, and is not harmful to those who are ignorant of it.”
Hence, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) used to supplicate by saying:
“O Allah, I seek refuge with you from useless knowledge, a heart that is not humble to you, an eye that does not cry, and a soul that does not get satisfied, and I seek refuge with you from those four.”
Dear brothers and sisters! Seeking knowledge confirms the humanity of man.
Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds, the Ever-Living, Who does not die, and Peace and Blessings be upon our beloved Prophet, Muhammad and upon all his family and Companions.
Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau sent this piece from Okene, Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached via: gusaumurtada@gmail.com or +2348038289761.

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Friday Sermon: The Ummah’s Strong Need For Islamic Knowledge, By Imam Murtadha Gusau

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
All praise is for Allah. We praise Him, we seek His aid and we ask for His forgiveness. We seek Allah’s refuge from the evils of ourselves and from our evil actions. Whosoever Allah guides, there is no one who can misguide him; and whosoever Allah misguides, there is no one who can guide him.
I testify that none has the right to be worshipped except Allah, alone, who has no partner; and I testify that Muhammad (Peace be upon him) is His servant and Messenger.
Dear brothers and sisters! What is the real knowledge?
Allah, Glorified and Sublime be He, says:
“Allah bears witness that La ilaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), and the angels, and those having knowledge (also give this witness); (He is always) maintaining His creation in Justice.” [Surah Ali-Imran, 18]
It is deduced from this Qur’anic verse that the real knowledgeable man is the one who bears witness of Allah’s Justice, but the one who transmits some of what he has read is considered only a transmitter, not a knowledgeable man. If this man narrates to someone what he has found in some books without thinking deeply about these pieces of information, he may make the listener have contradictory ideas about some religious issues. As a result, the listener may believe that Allah’s Justice is different from ours, but he may start thinking that man in fact does not have the free will, and all his actions and deeds are imposed upon him. These words are not the words of the knowledgeable, but the ones of the transmitter. He transmits both the facts and false ideas he has read, so he will be punished for transmitting falsehood. Allah the Almighty says:
“Allah bears witness that La ilaha illa Huwa (none has the right to be worshipped but He), and the angels, and those having knowledge (also give this witness); (He is always) maintaining His creation in Justice.” [Surah Ali-Imran, 18]
* The most precious deed in man’s life is to acquire the Islamic knowledge from a knowledgeable man
“This knowledge contains the rules of the religion, so look thoroughly into the person from whom you acquire the knowledge of your religion.” [Muslim, by Ibn Sirin]
In another Hadith, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:
“O Ibn Umar, your religion, your religion is your flesh and blood. Take it from the pious ones, and do not take it from those who deviated.” [Kanz Al-Ummal, by Ibn Umar]
If someone tells a man about false religious ideas, that might help him commit sins, cover or justifies sins, this is absolutely falsehood. Some people justify gazing at forbidden things referring mistakenly to what our Prophet Yusuf (Peace be upon him) did (when the woman of Al-Aziz wanted to commit adultery with him).
The outcomes of acquiring the sound Islamic knowledge are chivalry, chastity, honesty, trustworthiness and so on. If the Muslim is entrusted with all the money of this worldly life, he will take his portion only. Hence, the believer is trustworthy, honest and chaste. If he is entrusted with something, he will never betray the trust. Moreover, the believer gets married to a religious woman in order to have righteous children. Also, he invites his neighbour, his son in law, his nephew, his brother, his friend, etc… to the Masjid in order to get them closer to Allah and be steadfast. Allah the Almighty says:
“See you not how Allah sets forth a parable? – A goodly word as a goodly tree, whose root is firmly fixed, and its branches (reach) to the sky (i.e. very high) . Giving its fruit at all times.” [Surah Ibrahim, 24-25]
Below is another similitude. Allah the Almighty says:
“And these similitudes We put forward for mankind, but none will understand them except those who have knowledge (of Allah and His Signs, etc.).” [Surah Al-Ankabut, 43]
* The Noble Qur’an is Allah’s Book. 
Allah, the Glorified and Exalted, says:
“Nay, but they, the clear Ayat [i.e the description and the qualities of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him), written like verses in the Taurat (Torah) and the Injil (Gospel)] are preserved in the breasts of those who have been given knowledge (from the people of the Scriptures).” [Surah Al-Ankabut, 49]
This means that the verses of the Noble Qur’an are not merely Words that have been written in these papers:
“Nay, but they, the clear Ayat [i.e the description and the qualities of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him), written like verses in the Taurat (Torah) and the Injil (Gospel)] are preserved in the breasts of those who have been given knowledge (from the people of the Scriptures).” [Surah Al-Ankabut, 49]
Whoever does not acquire the Islamic knowledge from the people of knowledge will never get the truth. Let alone, whoever does not know the Sunnah will be ignorant of what the scholars discuss. The Prophet (Peace be upon him), said:
“Wisdom increases the honour of the noble.” [Al-Jami’ As-Saghir, by Anas]
If someone is from a noble linage, he will be more exalted after acquiring knowledge, and if he is honourable, knowledge will increase his honour. 
A Khalifah said, If you are noble men, knowledge will make you more elevated, if you are from middle class people, knowledge will make you noble people and if you are from lower class people, you will know how to live by knowledge.
The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:
“Wisdom increases the honour of the noble and exalts a servant as high as to raise him to the level of kings.” [Al-Jami’ As-Saghir, by Anas]
Also, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said in a Hadith narrated by Abi Hurairah:
“Two things will not be together in a hypocrite: Good manners, and Fiqh in the religion.” [At-Tirmidhi, by Abi Hurairah]
Allah has never been the Guardian of the ignorant, and He grants the ignorant knowledge before He becomes His Guardian.
Someone may be highly educated, but if he is not steadfast on Allah’s Order, he is not knowledgeable, and the knowledge he has is mere ignorance. On the other hand, you may know someone who is not highly educated, but he acts upon Allah’s Order, he fears Allah, Glorified and Sublime be He, he makes use of whatever sound Islamic fact he receives, he has exalted knowledge even though it may be little. As you know, life is short and man may not have the chance to acquire all the Islamic knowledge. Thus, fearing Allah is enough knowledge for man. Our Master Abu Bakr As-Siddiq, may Allah be pleased with him, said:
“Verily, I am supposed to be a follower of Allah’s Shari’ah, not to be an innovator.”
“The knowledgeable man never says something from his own mind, but rather he refers to Allah’s Words and the Sunnah of the Prophet (Peace be upon him). The learned and the warriors are nearest to the rank of Prophet hood. The learned have been sent for which the Prophets were sent. They are guides to the people and the warriors wage war in the path of Allah with their arms like the Prophets.” [From Ahadith Al-Ihya’, by Ibn Abbas]
Man may stand before Allah on the Day of Resurrection and his position is as great as the whole nation. I just want to urge you to be like that. You can know your position in Allah’s Sight by the number of people you help to be guided to Allah. Keep in mind that the main task of the Prophets (Peace be upon them) was guiding people. Furthermore, If Allah decrees that you guide someone to Him, you will be wealthier than whoever has been given all the wealth of the worldly life.
Onassis, is one of the wealthiest men, who owned shipping fleet and islands, but what did he take with him when he died? Before he died he said:
“I am the most miserable man.” 
In one of the Arab countries the man owns 5000 million Dollars, but this does not make him different from other people, because all people can eat one ounce and a half of meat for lunch, all people can wear one suit for one meeting, all people sleep in one bed every day and all people can drink one cup of water when they are thirsty. If man thinks deeply about the situation of the wealthy people, he will find that their life is about deceptive appearances.
* The virtue of wisdom
Allah, Glorified and Sublime be He, said:
“He grants Hikmah to whom He pleases, and he, to whom Hikmah is granted, is indeed granted abundant good.” [Surah Al-Baqarah, 269]
If you are granted wisdom, you will spend your money wisely, you will make money wisely, you will choose to get married to a righteous young woman, you will mend your mistakes, you will raise your children properly and you will seize the moment perfectly.
A brother in faith told me that once his father had some pains, so he took a sedative medicine, but from that day on he become addicted to it. Consequently, the father has become bed-ridden, and he needs to take the medicine, which costs 30,000 naira daily. The medicine is a very effective one, so if the father does not take it, he will break everything he sees. Had he been wise, he would not have ended up like that. He is in debt now, and at an hour of anger, he sold his house at 290,000 millions although it was worth 700,000 millions. The agent/broker deceived him and sold the house at that cheap price, so the man moved to live in his mother’s house in one room with his wife and five children (sons and daughters). His house is worth 800,000 millions these days. Where is his wisdom? His son said that the house was 180 square meters, and that their situation was difficult.
Wisdom is everything in life. Money needs to be guarded, but knowledge guards you. Wisdom helps you bring your money, but foolishness causes its loss. Also, by wisdom man can choose a good woman to be his wife, but without it, he chooses a beautiful wife who will plot against him later on. Man should seek knowledge, because it is the most precious thing in life. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:
“The death of an entire tribe is easier than the death of one scholar.” [At-Tabarani, by Abi Ad-Darda]
* If scholars and leaders are righteous, people will be righteous too
The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:
“Two types of people who if they are righteous, the people are righteous and if they are bad, the people are bad: The scholars and leaders.” [Ibn Abdul Barr and Abu Na’im, from Hadith of Ibn Abbas]
Imam Al-Ghazali said:
“Let the day that ends without enriching my knowledge to get closer to Allah, Glorified and Sublime be He, not be blessed.” 
If you are certain that whatever the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said is the truth, then you should reconsider your daily activities and deeds. You should make benefit from the interpretation of a Qur’anic verse which you did not know before, a Hadith you did not know and an issue of Fiqh. Also, you should do a good deed, act upon the orders mentioned in the Prophetic Sunnah, such as visiting a sick person, give sincere advice to other people, enjoin Al-Ma’ruf, forbid Al-Munkar, recite Allah’s Book and remember Allah, Glorified and Sublime be He.
* Salah (Prayer) is the skeleton of all the religion
The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:
“Salah (Prayer) is the skeleton of all the religion, whoever keeps it and gives it its rights he would have kept the faith, and whoever destroyed it or leave it then he had destroyed the faith.” [Al-Baihaqi in Shu’ab Al-Iman, by Umar]
Someone may say, “I am a good man, and I never hurt anyone, but I do not pray.” How does anyone dare to say that? This is either dullness or cleverness. A person may not hurt anyone, because he is dull, but if he is powerful, and he never hurts other people to save himself from making trouble and live in peace, then this is cleverness. However, this is not what our religion about; Islam is about knowing Allah, Glorified and Sublime be He.
A student may complain at the end of the year about failing in the exam, saying that he never does harm to his colleagues and never makes trouble with them, but he does not study. This is ridiculous! Success needs studying hard for the exams. Likewise, it is nonsense to say that since you have a good heart it does not matter whether you pray or not and whether you act upon Allah’s Order or not. Being a Muslim means being a steadfast man who performs prayer regularly. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:
“Allah has not given any man more excellence than the knowledge of religion and one person (knowledgeable in the Religion) is more formidable to the devil than a thousand worshippers. Everything has its foundation and the foundation of this religion is knowledge of (Deen) theology.” [As-Sakhawi, by Abi Hurairah]
In another Hadith, he (Peace be upon him) said:
“The best of religious practice is the easiest.” [Ahmad, Sahih]
Someone may travel with a group of people, and when it is time to pray, he refuses to shorten Salah (Prayer) with them saying that he is not tired. Well, the other people are exhausted, and they are allowed to shorten their Salah (Prayer), so you should agree with the group and do what they do. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:
“Agree with those whose religious performance is the least.”
In another Hadith, the Prophet, Peace be upon him, said:
“The best of religious practice is the easiest and the best worship is engaging in Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence).” [Al-Jami’ As-Saghir, by Anas]
* Fiqh (religious understanding) is the best act of worship
Sawm (fasting), Salah (Prayer) and Hajj are acts of worship, but the best act of worship is engaging in Fiqh. A man got back from Hajj, and many people visited him to congratulate him. One day, he looked into the hole of the door where the women came to congratulate his wife, so how did he really perform Hajj? It would have been better for him to have knowledge about religious issues before he performed Hajj, and it would have been greater if his act of worship had been performed according to the Islamic knowledge he had had. A man who has no Fiqh knowledge may kill someone in Hajj in order to kiss the Black Stone, so is he engaged in Fiqh? He justifies what he does by saying that he wants to reach the stone, but to do so he wants to smash all people before him, which is definitely ignorance. Another man stands at Arafah in a tent listening to the tape recorder and drinking cold water. After he comes back from Arafah, he says to you, “Praise be to Allah, we spent five hours there having fun, drinking cold water and listening to the tape recorder. Everything was fine.” Is this Hajj? Pay attention to the meaning of the following Hadith:
“The best of religious practice is the easiest and the best worship is engaging in Fiqh (Islamic jurisprudence).” [Al-Jami’ As-Saghir, by Anas]
* The excellence of learning
The Prophet (Peace be upon him) was once asked:
“O Prophet of Allah, which action is best? He, Peace be upon him, said, ‘Knowledge.’ He was then asked, ‘Which knowledge do you mean?’ He, Peace be upon him, said, ‘Knowledge about Allah.’ They said, ‘We ask you about action but you speak of knowledge.’ The Prophet, Peace be upon him, said, ‘With your knowledge of Allah, a few actions will suffice and your ignorance about Allah will not suffice even though actions are numerous’.” [Al-Jami’ As-Saghir, by Anas]
No matter how many activities you have, they are useless as long as you are ignorant about Allah. For instance, the twenty floor building of someone who constructs it without the help of some engineers, will be destroyed, because it is built ignorantly. Although the owner brings hundred tons of iron, and he dedicates different amounts of iron to different places of the building, his work is done randomly without asking the help of engineers. As a result, the building will be destroyed, and his money will be spent in vain. If you want to build a building and buy building materials, such as iron and cement, which are expensive, you should ask an engineer to do that for you, because he knows the correct amounts you need of these materials for the building. The Noble Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:
“With your knowledge of Allah, a few actions will suffice and your ignorance about Allah will not suffice even though actions are numerous.” [Al-Jami’ As-Saghir, by Anas]
Abu Al-Aswad said:
“There is nothing greater than knowledge. Kings are rulers of people, but scholars are the rulers of the kings.”
Is there any king who has no consultants? If a king wants to allow people to do something, or he wants to deprive them of doing something that is related to economy and finance, he consults the experts of economy. Furthermore, Presidents all over the world have prominent consultants, which indicates that knowledge is essential in man’s life. When the President has a social or an economic problem, he meets with the consultants and ask them to find the solution. This means that the backbone of having a healthy and strong society is knowledge. Our Master Prophet Sulaiman Bin Dawud, Peace be upon them, was given the choice to choose between the kingdom, wealth or knowledge:
“And Sulaiman (Solomon) inherited (the knowledge of) Dawud (David).” [Surah An-Naml, 16]
Prophet Sulaiman (Peace be upon him) favoured knowledge over the money and the kingdom, so he was granted money and the kingdom besides knowledge. 
Imam Abdullah Ibn Al-Mubarak was once asked:
“Who are the best people?” He answered, “The learned.” It was then said to him, “And who are the kings?” He answered, “The ascetics.” He was asked, “Who are the dishonourable people then?” He answered, “Those who take earthly benefit at the expense of their religion.” 
Pay attention to the following Hadith:
“Whoever has been granted the understanding of the Noble Qur’an but believes that someone else has been granted something better than him despises what Allah has glorified.” [Ishaq Bin Rahwaih, by Abdullah Bin Amr Bin Al-Aas]
Let me clarify this Hadith by given an example. If you understand the Noble Qur’an by Allah’s Grace, but your income is limited, you live in a three-room house and you have no car, while your friend, who was your friend in the primary school, owns millions, you despise what Allah has glorified if you believe that Allah has granted him a greater blessing (the money) than yours (comprehending the Noble Qur’an). It does not matter if you belong to the lower class, whereas your friend belongs to the upper class as long as you have been granted the ability of studying and understanding the Noble Qur’an. Thus, if you believe that your friend has been granted something greater than what you have, you despise what Allah has glorified. 
Al-Fath Al-Musili, may Allah have mercy on his soul, said:
“Does the patient not die if he is deprived of eating and drinking?” They said, “Yes, he does.” Then he said, “Like the patient, if the heart is deprived of learning wisdom and acquiring beneficial knowledge for three days, it dies.”
Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with them, said:
“Revising for few hours at night the Islamic knowledge I have acquired is more preferable than staying all the night praying and reciting the Qur’an.” 
Sitting together, revising the Islamic knowledge we have is more preferable to Allah than staying up till the morning remembering Allah and praying. Al-Hasan, who is one of the scholars of the interpretation of the Noble Qur’an, may Allah be pleased with him, interpreted the following Qur’anic verse:
“Our Lord! Give us in this world that which is good and in the Hereafter that which is good.” [Surah Al-Baqarah, 201]
He said: 
“The good that we ask Allah to grant us is knowledge and worship.”
But other scholars said that it is a reference to the righteous wife. 
Al-Ahnaf, may Allah have mercy on his soul, said:
“If man’s glory is not accompanied by Islamic knowledge,
It will be turned into humiliation.”
Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds.
I ask Allah the Generous, the Lord of the great throne by His Beautiful Names and Lofty Attributes to benefit us all from what He has taught us, and to rectify all of our conditions. And I ask Him to guide us to the straight path, and to not leave us to ourselves even for the blink of an eye. Verily the Blessed and Exalted responds to the supplication and He is the One hope is placed in and the best to rely upon. And Allah knows best. May the prayers and peace of Allah be upon His Servant, His Messenger, and our Beloved Prophet Muhammad, and upon his family and his Companions.
This Jumu’ah Khutbah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today Friday, Jumada Al-Ula 25, 1440 AH (February 1st, 2019), by Imam Murtada Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’ah and the late Alhaji Abdur-Rahman Okene’s Mosques, Okene, Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached via: gusaumurtada@gmail.com or +2348038289761.

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Friday Sermon: Shi’a Rebels Only Under The Leaders Who Are Muslims, By Imam Murtada Gusau

In The Name Of Allah, The Most Beneficent, The Most Merciful
All praise is due to Allah, Lord of all creation. May Allah extol the mention of the Prophet Muhammad 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 exactly till the Day of Judgement.
Dear Brothers and Sisters! Throughout such a talk, we could find out clearly that Shi’ite movements only rose as rebellious movements against the leaders who are Muslims or Sunni rule, hiding under the guise of the religious people who love or are affiliated to the Prophet’s Household (Ahlul Bait).
Many readers – as noticed from their comments – have surely been shocked by the history of the rise of Shi’a. Certainly, we do not record historical facts merely to know what had happened in various stages of history. Rather, we aim at taking lessons wherefrom so that we might be able to tackle our crises in a better and a clearer way. Therefore, ignoring such history stands for committing a crime against modern generations. By doing so, we deprive ourselves of light if we overlook studying the roots of the issue, otherwise. Moreover, first of all, the Qur’an enjoins us to study the stories of ancient nations so as to apply its lessons to our actual fact. In this regard, Allah May He be Exalted said:
“So relate the stories, perhaps they may reflect.” [Al-A’raf, 176]
Accordingly, it is not enough to merely tell stories. Rather, we have to reflect on stories and derive wherefrom practical methods to help us understand our actual fact and thus be enlightened about our future.
I would like to start the Sermon with two important notes:
1. To understand and benefit from this Sermon, readers should first read my previous article, as I highlighted there their origins and referred to some doctrines of Shi’a, which will help understand the developments.
2. Until the moment I only narrate events and report authentic narrations. However, I have not yet highlighted our attitude toward Shi’a and the nature of relations that should be between us and them. Anyway, I will single out my next article for this topic. Thus, it will be useful to me to receive your impressions on how should we deal with them, especially while bearing in mind the historical and religious backgrounds we dealt with in detail.
Now back to the story of Shi’a:
After the death of Al-Hasan Al-Askari (whom they consider their twelfth Imam), Shi’a passed by what was known in the history as the period of “Shia’s Bewilderment”, during which they were divided into many sects, each formulating its religion beliefs according to their whims in such a manner as to have better political gains. The most famous of such sects was Ithna Ashriyyah (who believe in, study and prepare for the advent of the Imam Al-Mahdi, the twelfth descendant of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) who according to them is believed to be still alive and waiting for the world to prepare for his emergence from occultation and just leadership), which we dealt with in the previous article. However, it was not the sole sect on the arena. Rather, another but more dangerous sect rose which had the worst impact on the Muslim Ummah, namely, Isma’iliyyah (a major branch of the Shi’a with numerous subdivisions. It branched off from the Imamiyyah by tracing the imamate through Imam Ja’afar Al-Sadiq’s son Isma’il, after whom it is named). It is one of the most erroneous sects whose followers are judged by most Muslim scholars to be out of the scope of Islam. A cunning plan by a Jew, called Maimun Al-Qaddah, who sought to plot against the Muslim Ummah, was behind the foundation of such a sect. This man pretended to be a Muslim and curried favour with Muhammad Bin Isma’il Bin Ja’afar Al-Sadiq, making closer ties with him.
Muhammad Bin Isma’il belongs to the Prophet’s Household and is the grandson of Ja’afar Al-Sadiq (the sixth Imam according to Ithna Ashriyyah). His father Isma’il is the brother of Musa Al-Kazim, the seventh Imam according to Ithna Ashriyyah. Maimun Al-Qaddah perpetrated an act showing his great rancour to the Muslim Ummah, which motivated him to plan to undermine it even if several decades after his death! Maimun Al-Qaddah named his son Bin Muhammad and bequeathed him to give his sons and grandsons the same names of Muhammad Bin Isma’il’s sons and grandsons. His plan was that with the passage of time, those Jews would claim affiliation to the Household of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) being the descendants of Muhammad Bin Isma’il Bin Ja’afar Al-Sadiq! This is not everything. They are to claim that the right to the grand Imamate that is to dominate the entire Muslim Ummah is exclusive to the descendants of Isma’il Bin Ja’afar Al-Sadiq rather than those of Musa Al-Kazim as claimed by Ithna Ashriyyah. Maimun’s dreams came true and the Isma’iliyyah sect came into existence. Later on, Maimun Al-Qaddah’s grandsons started to fabricate tenets and beliefs totally running counter to Islam. One of the most offensive of their tenets is that they believe in Incarnation (their Imam is Allah incarnate). They also believe in transmigration (the passing of the soul, especially those of their Imams, at death into another mortal body). Moreover, they also believe that their Imams will return to life after death (Recently, wallahi, one of Ibrahim Zakzaky’s followers told me that Nigerian army killed their Shaykh in the Zaria event, and he came back to life). Furthermore, they are extremely licentious and indecent and publicly slander Companions and insult the Prophet (Peace be upon him) himself although they claim affiliation to him. Besides, their great concern was to assassinate Sunni leaders in the Muslim world. However, they will have a very serious potential with which I will deal later in this Sermon In Shaa Allah.
Preaching Isma’iliyyah’s destructive ideas then started to spread vividly among the ignorant people. Making use of people’s love of the Prophet’s Household, they persuaded a group of people that they were the grandchildren of Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him). Many Persians who pretended outwardly to be Muslims while were inwardly Majus, embraced this call. One of them was Husain Al-Ahwazi, who was one of the most devoted propagators and prominent founders of Isma’iliyyah. He practiced his mission in Basrah (Iraq) where he happened to know a very virulent character in the history of Islam, Hamdan Bin Al-Ash’ath. The latter’s ethnicity is controversial. Some scholars say he was a Persian Majus, while others say he was one of Bahrain Jews. However, Hamdan Bin Al-Ash’ath was nicknamed “Qurmut.” With the passage of time, he formed his own sect which was named Al-Qaramitah after his name. It is a branch of Al-Isma’iliyyah sect but is even more dangerous. This sect holds the idea of common ownership of money and women. Its adherents deem all prohibited acts such as murder, adultery and theft to be lawful. Furthermore, they make living on pillage and highway robbery. Concomitantly, all thieves and outlaws joined it and thus it became one of the most dangerous sects in the history of the Muslim Ummah.
All these and other countless developments took place during the second half of the third century A.H., which resulted in the rise of three major sects, Ithna Ashriyyah, Isma’iliyyah and Qaramitah, each claiming to be on the right. Moreover, they differ in all respects including doctrines, principles and rulings. However, there were conflicts between them and Sunnis as well as among each other, as each of them denied the truth of the other. Actually, they were motivated by whims and innovation (Bid’ah) in religion.
Until this stage of history, such sects were no more than movements that staged disorder and turmoil within the Muslim Ummah. However, they had not yet assumed power or had sovereignty. By the end of the third century and the beginning of the fourth century A.H., great developments took place that led to serious repercussions.
The first sect to assume power was Al-Qaramitah, because it was the most virulent and violent sect. One of its propagators, Rustum Bin Al-Husain, reached Yemen where he established an Al-Qaramitah-based state and started to correspond with people everywhere – they corresponded with even Morocco – propagating their doctrine. However, this state did not last long.
Anyway, another Al-Qaramitah-based state was established on the Arabian Peninsula especially in Bahrain (It is not today’s Bahrain but the area to the east of Arabia). The Qaramitah state in such an area represented so great threat to the safety of Muslims that they murdered Hujjaj (Pilgrims). Perhaps the most heinous crime they committed was attacking Al-Masjid Al-Haram (the Sacred Mosque) on the Day of Tarwiyyah (the eighth day of the month of Dhul?Hijjah) in 317 A.H., during which they killed all Hujjaj (Pilgrims) in the Haram (Sacred Mosque) and stole the Black Stone (Hajarul Aswad) from the Ka’abah after having broken it! They took the Black Stone to their capital in Hajar, to the east of the Arabian Peninsula keeping possession of it for twenty two years (22 years). However, it was returned to the Ka’abah in 399 A.H.
Concerning Isma’iliyyah, they found the land of Morocco a fertile soil for their call. The ideas of Rustum Bin Al-Husain the Qaramitah-based ruler of Yemen spread in Morocco through a man called Abu Abdullah the Shi’ite. We know that both sects, Isma’iliyyah and Qaramitah, claim the Imamate of Isma’il Bin Ja’afar Al-Sadiq.
Therefore, one of the grandsons of Maimun Al-Qaddah, Ubaidullah Bin Al-Husain Bin Ahmad Bin Abdullah Bin Maimun Al-Qaddah, found it opportune to establish a state in Morocco. Thus, he headed for there and, along with some of his followers, declared the Isma’iliyyah-based state nicknaming himself Al-Mahdi. He claimed to be the Imam of the Isma’iliyyah mission and to be a grandson of Muhammad Bin Isma’il Bin Ja’afar Al-Sadiq and that the previous Imams, i.e. his forefathers ending up in lineage with Isma’il Bin Ja’afar Al-Sadiq were concealed. Seeking to attract the hearts of masses, he called his state the Fatimid state falsely after the name of Fatimah the daughter of Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) although he was of a Jewish origin. His call mushroomed among people on account of their ignorance and passion. It started to extend until it took control of North Africa, spreading such Bid’ahs and evils as judging Companions to be disbelievers, incarnation, transmigration of souls and other false beliefs. Expansion of such a state reached Egypt, which was invaded in 359 A.H. by one of their army commanders, Jawhar Al-Saqalli Al-Isma’ili during the reign of Al-Mu’iz Lidinillah Al-Ubaidi (More accurately, he should be better called Al-Ubaidi, after the name of Ubaidullah Al-Mahdi, than called the Fatimid).
Al-Mu’iz Lidinillah Al-Ubaidi invaded Egypt and established Cairo and Al- Azhar Mosque with the aim of spreading the Isma’iliyyah Shi’ite sects therein. He also killed Sunni scholars and publicised cursing Companions. The same was also followed by subsequent rulers. Some of them got so mad that they claimed godhood, the most famous among whom was Al-Hakim bi-Amrillah. They have built many Mosques to spread their thought. Their rule over Egypt, Levant (Sham) and Hijaz lasted for about two centuries until Salahud-Din wiped out their evil and librated Egypt in 567 A.H. from the Isma’ilite occupation. As for the third sect, Ithna Ashriyyah, although believing in many Bid’ahs (innovations in religion), it caused less harm than the abovementioned two sects. Adherents of this sect believe in Allah (May He be Exalted), His Messenger (Peace be upon him) and Resurrection after death. However, they introduced into religion tremendous and heinous Bid’ahs (innovations in religion) and acts. Moreover, its propagators influenced the major tribes in Persia (Iran) and Iraq, which resulted in their assuming power in some areas.
For example, they influenced the Saman tribe, a tribe of a Persian descent, which led to its adhering Shi’ism. The tribe had sovereignty over large parts of Persia (present day Iran) from 261 to 389 A.H. Nevertheless, Shi’ism could make its way through such a state only by nearly the beginning of the fourth century A.H.
They also influenced the Banu Hamdan tribe, a tribe of an Arab descent affiliated back to the Taghlib tribe. They ruled Mosul in Iraq from 317 to 369 A.H. Their authority extended to Aleppo from 333 to 392 AH.
The most dangerous tribe they influenced was the Banu Buwaih tribe, a tribe from a Persian descent. They established a state in Persia and extended their authority so much as to the Abbasid caliphate in 334 A.H. maintaining a puppet Abbasid caliph for fear that Sunnis might rise against them.
They continued to take control of the Abbasid caliphate for over one hundred successive years (from 334 to 447 A.H.) until the rise of the Sunni Seljuk state that saved Iraq from the Shi’ite domination. Throughout such years, Shi’a showed bitter enmity against Sunni scholars and caliph. Furthermore, they wrote phrases at the doors of their Mosques insulting Companions. They would even insult Abu Bakr and Umar (May Allah be pleased with them) in Friday Sermons (Khutbahs). Undoubtedly, it was a very gloomy period in our Islamic history.
So far, we could see that the fourth century A.H. was a purely Shi’a-dominated period; the Shi’ite Buwaihids having had authority over parts of Iran and the entire Iraq, the Samanis having had authority over the east of Iran, parts of Afghanistan and the east of the Muslim world, and the Hamadaniyyun having had authority over parts of Mosul and Aleppo. This is in addition to the Qaramitah’s dominance over the east of Arabia and sometimes over Hijaz and even Damascus and Yemen. As to the Ubaidi (the so-called Fatimid) state, it was so vast that it occupied all African Muslim countries in addition to Palestine, Syria and Lebanon.
By the end of the fourth century A.H., the Qaramitah-based state came to an end, while the Banu Buwayh’s state was put down by the middle of the fifth century A.H. (447 A.H.). As to the Ubaidi Isma’ilites, they continued to rule till the middle of the sixth century A.H. (567 A.H.).
Thereafter, the Muslim world was once again Sunni-ruled in all regions even though the Ithna Ashriyyah sect continued to exist in regions of Persia and parts of Iraq although without assuming power.
The state of affairs continued this way until 907 A.H. (the outset of the tenth century A.H.) when Isma’il the Safavid established the Shi’ite Ithna Ashriyyah Safavid state in Iran (named after their grandfather Safiyyud-Din Al-Ardabili, of a Persian descent, who died in 729 A.H.). This state expanded making Tabriz its capital. Engaging into a fierce conflict with the neighbouring Sunni Ottoman empire, the Safavids allied with the Portuguese in order to fight and defeat Ottomans. They occupied parts of Ottoman-subordinate Iraq, where they started to spread their Shi’ite ideology. However, Sultan Salim (I) fought against them in a well-known decisive battle called in history Chaldrian in 920 A.H., in which he had great victory over them and could expel them from Iraq. Time passed and the conflict continued between Safavids and Ottomans, Iraq being the focus of such a conflict. The Safavid state remained in authority over Iran for over two centuries from 907 A.H. to 1148 A.H., the year when it fell apart, (the Safavids state fell apart in the mid 18th century A.D.), which resulted in the division of Iran into a number of regions that were objects of conflict among Ottomans, Russians, Afghans and the army commanders of Abbas (III), the last Safavid Sultan.
When the Ottoman empire entered into the crumbling phase and was increasingly clawed by Europeans and Russians, its clutch on the areas to the west of Iran, consequently, got less tight. The Iranian region was thereafter ruled alternatively by many rulers whose loyalty was to Western, British, French or Russians, leaders.
In 1193 A.H./ 1779 A.D., a person called Agha Muhammad Qajar, a Shi’ite of a Persian descent, assumed authority. However, having secular tendencies, he neither propagated nor ruled according to Ithna Ashriyyah’s doctrines. He and his sons subsequently ruled Iran successively experiencing ups and downs. The ruler in such a dynasty used to be given the title “Shah.”
This dynasty’s rule was toppled by Reda Bahlavi, who, helped by the British, rebelled against it in 1343 A.H./1925 A.D. appointing himself as the Shah of Iran. However, the British got dissatisfied with him, in 1941 A.D. on account of disagreements that arose between them and thus ousted him and crowned his son Muhammad Reda Bahlavi. The latter continued to rule Iran under the secular system until 1399 A.H./1979 A.D. when the Shi’ite Ithna Ashriyyah Revolution headed by Khomeini rose to restore the Shi’ite system of rule once again in Persia (Iran).
This was the story of the Shi’ite rule over the Muslim world since the rise of Shi’a till the present. Throughout such a story, we could find out clearly that Shi’ite movements only rose as rebellious movements against the Sunni rule or Muslim rule, hiding under the guise of the religious people who love or are affiliated to the Prophet’s Household (Ahlul Bait). During all these stages, we noticed no clashes between any of such sects and such enemies of the Muslim Ummah. Moreover, they engaged in no conflict with Tatars or other enemies. On the contrary, we could notice that they repeatedly cooperated with enemies to destroy Muslim Ummah in all stages of history.
Although we do not tend to hold descendants responsible for the faults of ancestors, we aimed at discussing the abstract, ideology and methodology which completely goes in line with that of ancestors, which is the core point and the root of the problem.
So long as there is a belief in the supposition that Imamate is to be assumed by a particular dynasty, that their Imams are infallible, and they defame Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman as well as other Companions and Mothers of the Believers (Aisha, Hafsah etc), good faith should never be supposed. Rather, we have to suppose that the descendants have followed the steps of ancestors.
Throughout history, we could find out clearly that Shi’ite movements only rose as rebellious movements against the leaders who are Muslims, hiding under the guise of the religious people who love or are affiliated to the Prophet’s Household (Ahlul Bait). Their rebellions and uprisings in Nigerian history under General Ibrahim Badamasi Babangida (IBB), General Sani Abacha, ‘Yar Adu’a etc, and now under President Muhammad Buhari is in our memory. There’s no any time in the history of their rebellions in Nigeria that we heared they rebel under non-Muslim President. Even their supporters today, in Nigeria, and all those who are fighting for them majority are non-Muslims. Their very aims and goals is to come together in order to undermine Islam and Muslim Ummah, period!
Respected Brothers and Sisters! Now, what do you think our attitude toward them should be? How should we deal with them? Is it better to discuss their issue or keep silent? Is it better to be ignorant or knowledgeable about them? This is what we will continue to deal with in our next topics In Shaa Allah.
I ask Allah to glorify Islam and Muslims. Ameen.
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.
This Jumu’ah Khutbah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today Friday, Rabiu’l Awwal 8, 1440 AH (November 16, 2018), by Imam Murtada Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’ah and the late Alhaji Abdur-Rahman Okene’s Mosques, Okene Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached via: gusaumurtada@gmail.com or +2348038289761.
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Friday Sermon: How Islam Honoured Woman, By Imam Murtadha Gusau

In The Name Of Allah, The Most Beneficent, 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 exactly till the Day of Judgement.

O Muslim woman, know that, you are among the hopes of this Ummah!

Dear Brothers and Sisters! Before the advent of Islam, the state in which women lived was disgraceful; as they led arduous and miserable lives. Women’s rights were unheard of and their duties far exceeded their capacity. A woman’s life was spent in distress and agony from the moment of birth until the moment of her death; if she escaped being buried alive as a young girl, she would live in humiliation and contempt for the rest of her life.

In the pre-Islamic era (Jahiliyyah period), people used to bury young girls alive, and if she survived somehow, she was considered of no consequence, as if she had no right to live. So, what kind of life could women at that time expect?

Islam came to save women from a humiliating and disgraceful existence. It guided women to all that honours her and provides her with the respect that is due to her – whether as a beloved young girl, an honoured sister, an affectionate wife or a compassionate and respected mother.

Islam greatly honours women, raises their status and elevates them to the position of which they are worthy, as they are the progenitors of men and the educators of future generations.

Due to the importance of the woman’s role in educating future generations and her direct influence in instilling in them the correct Islamic creed, righteous conduct and morals and teaching them various acts of worship, her enemies exert great efforts to Westernise her and focus on beguiling her through the deceptive glamorous calls that have ensnared the sons and daughters of our Ummah. Such calls include the so-called movement for “women’s freedom”, “women’s rights”, so-called “feminist movements”, and calling for “equality between men and women.”

Muslim women should be made aware of and warned against the conspiracies that are being secretly perpetrated against them in order to drag them into the impure swamps of immorality, by continuously tempting them in every possible way to abandon the teachings of their religion that came to safeguard their honour and ensure their happiness in this world and in the Hereafter.

It is truly unfortunate to see that some Muslim women are attracted to these fallacies and lies and even follow them. They have not only adopted such misleading thoughts, they even spread them through various mediums and lead a life of absolute intellectual, social and behavioural subordination to the West. They blindly imitate Western women without thinking. Thus, the following Sahih Hadith of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) applies to them:

“You will continue to follow the ways of your preceding nations, span by span and Zira’ by Zira’ (i.e., a measurement equal to sixty-four centimeters) to the extent that even if they entered a hole of a mastigure, you would follow them (i.e. you will continue to follow your preceding nations so consistently in their disagreeable actions).” The Companions, May Allah be pleased with them said: ”O Messenger of Allah! (Do you mean) the Jews and the Christians?” He said: ”Who else?”

Such women have forgotten that the social, legal, and historical circumstances that faced European woman are totally different from those faced by the Muslim woman. The European woman lived in an unjust society based on human laws rather than divine legislation. Therefore, her rights were exceedingly violated, which made her rebel against her conditions in order to retrieve even a small part of her lost rights.

With regard to the Muslim woman, Islam granted her all her rights more than fourteen centuries ago; hence, she has the right to be proud and hold her head up high by virtue of these rights, which have not been granted to women till this day even in those countries which claim to be “civilised” and “developed.”

O Respected Muslimah! Your enemies are trying to deceive you and use you as their weapon by alleging that they want to free you, while, by Allah, their only purpose is to ruin your chastity and honour and undermine your honourable status and happiness under Islam. You have to stop these oppressors and criminals immediately and firmly because your deviation and loss means the breakup of the family bonds that attach its members; scattering them in life’s mazes.

My Dear Sisters in Islam! Your enemies are lying in wait for you, and continue to wage war against Hijab – a continuation of the events in the early history of Muslims when they conspired to remove a Muslim woman’s Hijab at the time of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) in the market of Banu Qainuqa.

This war is continuing until today, because your enemies realise very well that ruining the Muslim woman means ruining the entire Muslim society.

Undoubtedly, some of those people have grown up under the protection of atheism, thus, they pretend to be Muslims, while they are in fact disbelievers. Such people are very keen to remove the Hijab of the Muslim woman and stain her honour and dignity. Hence, they find that there is no better way than offering them so-called “woman’s freedom” in the guise of “modern Islam.”

O Daughter of Islam! Do not listen to those who beautify the life of dangerous intermixing between the two sexes and abandonment of the Hijab in the name of “freedom” and “civilised behaviour”, so that you are saved from becoming a toy in their hands. Say to them that Allah the Almighty says:

“O Prophet, tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to bring down over themselves (part) of their outer garments. That is more suitable that they will be known and not be abused. And ever is Allah Forgiving and Merciful.” [Qur’an, 33:59]

O Beloved Muslimah! Contemplate the following verse and its lessons, Allah the Most High says:

“And when he came to the well of Madyan, he found there a crowd of people watering (their flocks), and he found aside from them two women driving back (their flocks). He said, “What is your circumstance?” They said, “We do not water until the shepherds dispatch (their flocks); and our father is an old man.” [Qur’an, 28:23]

This Qur’anic verse is part of the story of Prophet Musa, before he was sent to his people as a Messenger of Allah. He went to a distant land to escape from the oppression of Fir’awn (Pharaoh). When he arrived there, he found a group of people watering their flocks, with two women standing apart from them. He asked them why they were standing aside. They told him that they had come to this place to water their flock, as their father was an old man and could not work. Nevertheless, they did not justify themselves under this compelling necessity to intermix with men; rather, they waited until the men had finished and then watered their flocks.

My Beloved Sister! Would you not review your stance, and contemplate on how to define the safe way?

Return to Allah, contemplate the Qur’an, and imitate the wives of the Prophet of Allah (Peace be upon him) as this is the only way to Paradise. Wake up my Sister, before it is too late and before your death and reckoning, when the scale will be set and the Sirat will be placed over Hell and the obedient people will be distinguished from those who are disobedient.

* Muslim Sisters Must Avoid The So-called Feminist Movements

Simple logic: If you adopt a moral standard by which the Qur’an is considered immoral, then you have two choices. You either reject that moral standard or you reject the Qur’an!

Have you heard of the Bechdel Test? This is a feminist standard used to determine whether a written story or film meets the bare minimum requirements of representing women. The Test is straightforward: Does the story or film in question have at least two female characters who speak to each other about something other than a man?

What feminists realised is that many stories and films have minimal female representation and the few female characters that do appear are simply love interests of the male characters, who are the focus of the narrative. This is a gross violation of gender equality and, hence, of justice, as far as feminism is concerned.

Now, is the Bechdel Test a good standard of justice and morality? Is it a good standard for determining female representation and visibility? Virtually all feminists would say, “Yes, of course! Women MUST be represented!”

Well, if we judge by this feminist standard, then the Qur’an would be considered unjust and immoral (as would the Prophet (Peace be upon him), his Companions and literally all the scholars of the Islamic tradition prior to maybe twenty years ago). For example, Surah Yusuf, which Allah describes as “the best of stories,” does not pass the Bechdel Test and, therefore, does not adequately represent women as far as feminism is concerned.

The feminist asks, “How is this the best of stories when not a single woman is referred to by name? How is this the best of stories when the only women mentioned are those who lust after and conspire against a man? What about Yusuf’s mom or sisters? Why are they not mentioned anywhere? Was there not a single positive woman in that time to include in the narrative?” This is all what the feminist sees but the rest of us recognise the folly of questioning Allah in this way.

This is just one example but it encapsulates why many so-called Muslim feminists end up leaving Islam. They eventually realise that the feminist morality they have adopted renders scholars, the Companions, even the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him), even Allah as immoral, na’uzubillah. So they reject it all and apostatise!!!

So what is the upshot? Well, first of all, Muslims MUST reject the Bechdel Test, clearly. If the best of all stories in the Qur’an does not meet the feminist standard of morality, then our very Iman depends on throwing that standard in the trash.

Then what can be said about female representation?

Feminists, Muslim and non-Muslim, emphasise representation. “Women’s voices need to be heard!” they shout. Well, of course they do. Islamically, no one disagrees with that. Of course women’s voices are important and need to be respected and represented. Allah acknowledges this in the Qur’an when He says, for example:

“Indeed Allah has heard the statement of her that disputes with you concerning her husband and complains to Allah. And Allah hears the argument between you both. Verily, Allah is All-Hearer, All-Seer.”

But feminists are not satisfied with these assurances. It is not enough that women’s voices are represented. They need to be represented in a particular way. Speaking panels need to include as many women as men. Mosque boards need to include a proportional number of women as men. Books need to cite as many women as men. Islamic organisations need to give women as much visibility as men. Etc.

Visibility is the important concept here. To be represented, women must be physically seen. Otherwise, one is guilty of “hiding” and “marginalising” women and this is the epitome of injustice, we are told.

But then, where was the female representation among the Rightly Guided Caliphs? Where is the female representation in Surah Kahf? Where is the female representation in Surah Baqarah? Where is the female representation in Al-Isra’ wal-Mi’raj? Where is the female representation among the authors of the authoritative Hadith collections or the most prominent books of Fiqh or the most cited books of Tafsir (which is not to deny that there were female scholars?), etc.

If feminism informs our standards of female representation, then we stand to lose a great deal of our religion, if not the entirety of it.

If we dump feminist standards, then what standards should we adopt?

We adopt Islam’s standards, the Qur’an’s standards.

Maryam (RA) was not looking for representation. She was not demanding to speak her mind and “be heard.” Infact, Allah commanded her to remain silent. But then by His command, her baby spoke for her and miraculously defended her from the crib.

We see the same from the Mother of the Believers. They weren’t demanding to stand in front of everyone and “be visible.” They weren’t demanding to be “represented” in every gathering and consultation and on every platform. What lessons should we take from their example? Are those loud, screeching voices that are attempting to disrupt our communities with their calls for “representation” really following any Islamic precedence?

Here is the critical question the screechers don’t want you to ask. Does the lack of visibility from the Sahabiyat (Women Companions) mean that they lacked influence? Absolutely not. It is feminism’s deceit to conflate visibility with influence and power. Influence and power do not require being visible and, in fact, a great deal of power is obtained through deliberate lack of visibility.

Respected Brothers and Sisters! We don’t need to be fooled by this toxic, man-made ideology of feminism that has corrupted the minds and hearts of so many of our brothers and sisters. The time has come to throw it away!!!

* Muslim Women Versus Western Women

Islam positions women in a noble position, because the brilliant generation will be born out of their womb. In the period of jahiliyyah (ignorance period) culture prior to the arrival of Islam, women were considered to be very low and despicable, in fact not a few female newborn were buried alive. They looked at women with one eye, in fact they were even considered contemptible and worthless. After the arrival of Islam, it was proven that the female could breathe in the air freely and the task of building a community that is cultured and civilised, was given to them.

So it is no surprise that in Islam, there is no such thing as discrimination against women, there are no need of the women emancipation and feminism. Because since the first time the religion of Islam was revealed to the surface of the Earth, Islam always uphold the status and dignity of women. And an Islamic Shari’ah like this will not fade with times, it will never be evolved and going through a revolution.

This is in contrast to the Western culture today which is the product of an age that will always change and shift due to the erosion by the time. Whereas, Islam places the men and women in accordance with the nature of each. Therefore, there is no reason for the Muslims, whether they are men, women, old or young, to demand more than what have been outlined by the Creator, Allah the Almighty. Because it is Allah Who is the All-Knowing about the secrets behind the creation of His creatures.

The Western nations in the reform and modernisation, are demanding equal rights (emancipation). However, the concept of emancipation itself is increasingly unclear with times, what should be the emancipation to free women from the shackles of slavery, is instead plunging the women into the abyss of a new slavery. In the capitalist society, women are exploited and becoming a commodity that can be traded with the public, just look at the ads in the information media around us. In a free society, women are taught the permissive culture, that is detached from the values of the normative, only for the benefit of the industry.

Away from the concept of Islam, they are demanding equality, freedom and human rights, whereas they in fact are neglecting the nature and dignity of the women which is supposed to be held in high esteem. In an indirect manner, they are actually claiming that Islam is discriminative against women. Whereas, Islam places the women in a position which does not exceed what has been outlined and destined as women.

Umar Bin al-Khattab ever said:

“At the time of jahiliyyah (ignorance), the women had no value for us. Until finally Islam came and declared that the woman is equal to man.”

This equality that Islam meant covers all aspects, including the issue of rights and obligations. This is very well understood by the women of Islam and therefore they hold very strongly to the teachings of Islam.

It is not rare that there are statements from some Muslims which say:

“The path to the awakening is already very clear, namely by means of going through the path which had been gone through by the European nations. Thus, we can change to be like them, and website must take all that is on them. The bitter, sweet, good and bad, including things that are liked, as well as disliked.” [Taha Hussain, in the future of knowledge in Egypt]

* The Destruction Of The Family

The subsequent problem is no longer just about women’s issues and their rights.

However, it will expand and widen, covering on how to build a household in such ways and styles that correspond to Western civilisation. Thus developed the idea that, in managing a household we no longer have to pay close attention to the rules and values. The role of the “mother” is no longer a woman’s task. That role is the responsibility of the society. In fact, the role can be performed by women and men.

Actually, in Europe, this thought and ideology has given birth to many problems. For example, in France, it was recorded that 53% of the children born do not have clear fathers. In many European countries, there is an increasingly developing trend of not wanting to have children, or even not wanting to get married. The relationship of men and women is merely a free sex relationship without any ties, there is no binding rule. And furthermore, they demanded that abortion is legalised as a direct impact from the outbreak of the free sex culture.

It also had a significant impact on the very sharp rise in the number of crimes. In 1998, the level of crimes in America reached a phenomenal figure. The act of rape occurs every 6 minutes, shooting happens every 41 seconds, murder every 31 minutes. The funds spent on tackling the acts of crime at that time reached 700 million dollars per year (this figure does not include the crime of drugs). This number is equal to the annual income of 120 third world countries.

* Crimes Against Women

The outbreak of crimes provides its own dangers for the women in Europe, so much so that the UN, on 17th December 1999, issued a decision that 25th November is an ‘Anti-Violence Against Women Day.’ There are a lot of facts and data that should be heeded by those who are lulled by the West. In Europe and America, at every 15 seconds, a violence against women happens. And it is not even coupled with the act of rape every day. Causing America to be recorded as a country with the highest number of violence against women. According to the UNICEF records, 30% of violence against women occur in America and 20% in the United Kingdom.

Not to mention the crime of slavery which happens in America, the CNN had broadcasted a report that in 2002, millions of children and women were traded in America every year. More than 120 thousands of women from Eastern Europe and some other poor countries are sent to Europe to be employed as sex slaves. And then more than 15 thousand women, a majority of whom come from Mexico, are sold to America to be employed in the prostitution complexes.

This illicit business even steal away the independence of children in the world, to the point that the UN General Assembly, at its 54th meeting, issued an enactment on the rights of children on 25th May 2000. A decision that was deemed urgent so that prevention would be done, so as the buying and selling of children no longer happen, much less if later they are employed as sex slaves, such as that found in the internet networks.

Observing what is happening in the West, should make us think further if we want to walk in a path that has been taken up by the West. In Israel’s prisons, there are about 100 female prisoners. Why is the West silent over all this? In Palestine, there are more than 250 women who have met their martyrdom, not to mention the women who suffered injuries in the aftermath of Intifadhah. As for the woman in Iraq, suffice it for us what was delivered by the world organization on 22nd February 2005, which stated that the condition of the Iraqi women is not much different from the conditions when they were under the reign of Sadam Husain.

This explains that the independence and freedom of women as touted by America do not touch them at all. In fact, their conditions under the American occupation is much worse. They received rough treatment, they were persecuted, harassed and even raped.

Therefore, as Muslims, let us think clearly, and do not be influenced by the argumentation that feminism and gender equality can be the solution to the problems of women in the Islamic world, such as in domestic violence, women trafficking and other social problems. Until this moment, the Western countries had not been able to prove that they managed to overcome the mentioned social problems. Quite the contrary, moral disintegration have destroyed the social fabric of the Western society, the feminist movement are then blamed because it is considered to have changed the women to become career crazy beings and distanced them from the warmth of a family.

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

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

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The Dangers And Evil Consequences Of Rumour Mongering, By Imam Murtadha Gusau

In The Name Of Allah, The Most Merciful And The Bestower Of Mercy

All praise belongs to Allah the Lord of the worlds, and may His peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, and upon his family members and Companions.

Respected Brothers and Sisters! Indeed, it is incumbent that a Muslim preserves his tongue from speech that has no benefit within it, and likewise speech that is harmful for the individual or others. From this type of speech is an evil rumour; whether these rumours are related to individuals, or the Muslim ummah or society. It is indeed upon the Muslim to seek clarification and to only speak if it is necessary. Allah the Sublime and High stated:

“Oh you who believe! If a fasiq (sinner) comes to you with information, then verify it, lest you harm others out of ignorance and as a result of what you have done, you will regret.” [Surah al-Hujurat: 6]

Thus, it is upon a Muslim who hears something sinful about his brother to conceal it and not reveal it, even if it were true. If what has reached the individual (about his brother) is true, and it contains harm upon his brother, it is upon him to conceal his faults and advise him in private. The person should not spread evil about his brother even if he actually performed what was mentioned. This is because doing so is classified as a form of backbiting. Allah the Most High mentioned:

“Do not backbite one another. Would one of you like to eat the flesh of his brother when he is dead? You would detest it. And fear Allah, indeed Allah is accepting the repentance and merciful.” [Surah al-Hujurat: 12]

The Prophet (Peace be upon him) explained the meaning of backbiting as:

“A person speaking about his brother with that which he dislikes.”

Upon hearing this, the Companions (Sahabah) asked:

“What if what we are saying is true?”

The Prophet (Peace be upon him) replied:

“If what you are saying is true, then you have backbite him, and if it is not, you have slandered him.”

Meaning: you have lied upon him.

Hence, the person as (actually) sinned in every instance. Whether the information is true, or it is a lie, the action is either considered backbiting or lying, and both actions are major crimes in Islam.

That which has proceeded is related to the rights of and individual. It is also mandatory to observe the same as it relates to the society and its safety. That which harms the society should also be avoided. It is upon a Muslim to avoid spreading calamities and rumours and he should not create fear amongst the people by spreading this amongst the people. This action is the way of the Munafikun (hypocrites). They are the ones who pursue rumours and spread them in order to bring about fear amongst the people and make them weak. Allah the Most High mentioned (concerning them):

“Had they gone forth with you, they would not have increased you except in confusion, and they would have been diligent among you seeking to cause you fitnah (chaos and dissention). And among you are avid listeners to them. Indeed Allah is All Knowing of the wrongdoers.” [Surah at-Tawbah: 49]

Allah The Most High also said:

“Indeed those who like that immorality is spread about the believers, they will have a painful punishment in this life and the hereafter.” [Surah al-Nur: 19]

This is a tremendous warning, and thus, the good Muslim should not be an individual who spread rumours and indecent news that bring about fear to the people. If this information and occurrence is something that poses a danger upon the people, and it needs to be rectified, this will not take place by spreading it amongst the people who do not possess the ability to rectify the matter. These types of matters should be referred back to the leaders and those in authority. They are those who rectify the matters and prevent its harm. Allah the Most High stated:

“And when it comes to them an affair of (public) security or fear, they spread it. But if they had referred it back to the Messenger or to those of authority among them, and then the ones who draw correct conclusions from it would have known about it. And if it were not for the favour of Allah upon you and His mercy, you would have followed the Shaitan, except for a few.” [Surah al-Nisa: 83]

Thus, it is mandatory upon a Muslim to protect his tongue and not to speak about and spread rumours and private or secret matters. Instead, one should observe silence and conceal the faults of others. One should also supplicate for the rectification of Islam and the Muslims. This is that which is befitting for the Muslim.

Dear Servants of Allah! Know that Islam encourages healthy discussion among its followers. It encourages an environment where the individuals in a group or in the society sit together and share their intellect, as well as thoughts regarding the matters that concern the collective well being. However, Islam discourages any other undertaking that are not directed towards making the life of other people better. One of such acts of conversation condemned by Islam is rumour, as mentioned earlier.

There is no harm in having gossip that is based on sharing experiences and feelings that are authentic, however, Islam condemns any gossiping that is undertaken with the objective of spreading rumour.

Muslims who learn the Qur’an can easily understand the forbiddance of spreading a rumour in the Qur’an, and the Hadiths of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) also speak against this evil act.

The lines below discuss the way in which Islam discourages spreading of rumour and the mitigating measures that a Muslim is to adopt against it.

Allah Almighty says in Qur’an:

“O you who believe! If a Fasiq (sinner, liar – evil person) comes to you with any news, verify it, lest you should harm people in ignorance, and afterwards you become regretful for what you have done.” [Surah al-Hujurat: 6]

In this Qur’anic Verse, Allah Almighty explains the problem, as well as the solution to it. With one or two encounters or interactions with a person, one is able to judge whether the next person is a liar or not, therefore, once that is identified then a Muslim should always verify and weigh the news brought by such a person. Lying is the root cause behind the existence of rumour, therefore, those who know that the news come from a lying person, should stop and verify it before spreading it to others. Any action undertaken on the news of a liar without any verification is definitely to cause an action that a Muslim would regret in the future.

People might argue that the rumour is just for the sake of gossip and it has nothing to do with lying. As it has nothing to do with lying therefore for them it is permissible to gossip and spread the rumour. Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) regarded the spreading of a rumour as a form of lying in the following Hadith:

“Should I tell you what is a blatant lie? It is a rumour circulating among people.” [Muslim]

Thus rumour is not some kind of gossip which one might undertake in leisure, rather rumour spreading is a form of lying and the way it is spoken or spread makes it blatant or obvious. Therefore, those who spread gossip and rumour are actually speaking lie with boldness and without any fear. A Muslim ought to differentiate healthy gossip from the one that turns into a rumour which in return is a form of lying spoken at a massive scale.

Pertaining to the condemnation of spreading a rumour and false gossip that does not have any authenticity associated with it, Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) said in a Hadith:

“Allah has forbidden you to disobey your mothers, to bury your daughters alive, to not pay the rights of others and to beg from others. And He dislikes gossip for you, asking too many questions and wasting money.” [Bukhari]

In this Hadith, the message is as obvious as it gets. Gossiping and spreading a gossip is not one of the acts that is adored by Allah Almighty. Therefore, as imperative it is for a Muslim to obey his or her mother, it is equally imperative for a Muslim to stay away from gossip. The act of gossiping might seem trivial at first, however, if its implications are analysed, one gets to know that they are far grave than what one associates with rumour or casual gossiping. The seriousness of gossiping and spreading a false rumour is addressed by Allah Almighty in Qur’an in the following way:

“When you received it with your tongues and said with your mouths that of which you had no knowledge and thought it was insignificant while it was, in the sign of Allah, tremendous.” [Surah an-Nur: 15]

My Respected People! Being humans, we are shortsighted and see things only in the perspective or in the vision which is under our control or power. We might spread a rumour thinking it to be casual and not having any graveness associated with it, however, it is not that the rumour is trivial, rather it is our comprehension of things that is trivial and immature. It is only Allah Almighty who has a greater view of things and who knows that what damage a seemingly casual or trivial gossip could cause, therefore, it needs to be avoided in any case and under any circumstance.

The question then to ask is that how should a Muslim deal with gossiping or how can he or she keep it away and resist its evil implications. The answer can be easily inferred from the following Hadith of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) in which he said:

“When man wakes up in the morning each day, all his body parts warn his tongue saying: ‘Fear Allah with regards to us, for we are under your mercy; if you are upright, we will be upright and if you are crooked, we will be crooked.” [at-Tirmidhi]

The tongue of a person is in the centre of it all. It is with this tongue that a person spreads rumours and if this tongue is under the control then the ultimate result would be a person refraining from spreading of rumours. Moreover, one also needs to avoid sitting in the company of liars from whom one hears only false rumours which are then spread by the tongue. Therefore, in addition to controlling one’s own tongue, one should also avoid spreading of rumour by verifying its source first and then telling it to others.

In a nutshell, the spreading of rumour is never trivial or casual that could be done for fun, rather it is always grave and has far reaching implications. Islam detests it, therefore, a Muslim must refrain from the spreading of rumour, which can only be done if a Muslim when hearing a news verifies it first and then makes sensible use of his or her tongue.

Dear Brothers and Sisters! Wallahi, making up rumours and lying about others is one of the greatest sins that can occur within a society and sometimes can even place the lives of others in danger, as we are witnessing the dangers and evil consequences of spreading the rumour in our societies today. This act can also result in one’s honour and dignity being stripped from one – thus paralysing one’s life within a society.

How many times has information that has absolutely no foundation, ignited the flames of war between two people or two groups, resulting in a great loss and injury to both sides?

In order to prevent such a great injustice from occurring, Islam has commanded the Muslims not to pay attention to just any piece of news or information that comes to them and not to accept just anything that anyone says to them.

Rather, Muslims are only supposed to accept the reports from those people who possess some inner feelings and the fear of Allah. It is the reports from those people who possess the ethical traits of justice, confidence (of their speech) and reliance (in what the person says) which would prevent a person from making up false reports and lying and relating bits of news and information that are unfounded and fabricated.

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.

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

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Friday Sermon: Du’a, Supplication, Invocation, Prayer: The Weapon Of The Believer, By Imam Gusau

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

Alhumdulillah. 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 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! Du’a – an Arabic word written here in English letters. Three small letters that make up a word and a subject that is large and breathtaking. This word ‘Du’a’ could be roughly translated to mean supplication or invocation. Although neither word adequately define Du’a. Supplication, which means communicating with a deity, comes closer than invocation which is known to sometimes imply summoning spirits or devils.

In Islamic terminology Du’a is the act of supplication. It is calling out to Allah; it is a conversation with Allah, our Creator, our Lord, the All Knowing, and the All Powerful. In fact the word is derived from the Arabic root meaning to call out or to summon. Du’a is uplifting, empowering, liberating and transforming and it is one of the most powerful and effective act of worship a human being can engage in. Du’a has been called the weapon of the believer. It affirms a person’s belief in One Allah and it shuns all forms of idolatry or polytheism. Du’a is essentially submission to Allah and a manifestation of a person’s need for Allah.

Prophet Muhammad, May the mercy and blessings of Allah be upon him, said:

“A servant becomes nearest to his Lord when he is in prostration (Sujud). So increase supplications in prostrations.’’

He also said:

“The supplication of every one of you will be granted if he does not get impatient and say, ‘I supplicated my Lord but my prayer has not been granted.’’’

At this point in understanding exactly what Du’a is, it would be easy for someone from a Christian background to think that Du’a is prayer. Du’a certainly holds certain similarities to the prayer of Christians, however it should not be confused with what Muslims call prayer. Prayer or in Arabic-Salah, is one of the pillars of Islam, and in performing the five daily prayers a Muslim actually engages in a physical form of Du’a asking Allah to grant them Heaven through their actions. Throughout the prayer one also supplicates to Allah directly.

For Muslims prayer is a set of ritual movements and words performed at fixed times, five times per day. Allah says in Quran:

“Verily, the prayer is enjoined on the believers at fixed hours.” [Quran, 4:103]

Muslims pray in the early morning before sunrise, in the middle of the day, in the afternoon, at sunset and at night. Prayer is an act of worship, in which a Muslim reaffirms his belief in One Allah and demonstrates his gratefulness. It is a direct connection between Allah and the believer and it is an obligation.

Du’a on the other hand is a Muslims way of feeling that connection to Allah at anytime, in any place. Muslims call on Allah frequently throughout the day and night. They raise their hands in supplication and ask for His help, mercy, and forgiveness. Du’a incorporates praise, thanksgiving, hope, and calling on Allah to assist the one in need and grant his or her requests.

Du’a can be made for the individual, their family, friends, strangers, those in dire circumstances, for the believers, and even for the whole of humanity. When making the Du’a it is acceptable to ask for good in this worldly life and in the hereafter. A person making Du’a should not hold back, but ask Allah to grant both the largest and smallest requests.

Prophet Muhammad, May the mercy and blessings of Allah be upon him, encouraged the believers to make Du’a. He said:

“The Du’a of a Muslim for his brother in his absence is readily accepted. An angel is appointed to his side. Whenever he makes a beneficial Du’a for his brother the appointed angel says, Ameen. And may you also be blessed with the same.’”

Although making Du’a is not an obligation, there are many benefits to making Du’a to Allah frequently and with full submission. Feeling the closeness to Allah that comes with sincere Du’a, it increases faith, gives hope and relief to the distressed and saves the supplicant from the despair and isolation. Throughout the Quran, Allah encourages the believer to call on Him, He asks us to lay our complaints, dreams, hopes, fears and uncertainties before Him and to be sure that He hears every word.

“You Alone do we worship and You Alone do we ask for help.” [Quran, 1:5]

“And your Lord says, Call on Me; I will answer your (prayer). But those who are too arrogant to worship Me will surely find themselves in Hell, in humiliation.” [Quran, 40:60]

“Say, O My slaves who have transgressed against their souls; despair not of the Mercy of Allah: For Allah forgives all sins; for He is oft Forgiving, most Merciful.” [Quran, 39:53]

“Say, Call upon Allah, or call upon ArRahman (The Most Beneficient): By whatever name you call upon Him, (it is well): For to Him belong the Most Beautiful Names.” [Quran, 17:110]

“And when My slaves ask you (O Muhammad) concerning Me, then (answer them), I am indeed near (to them by My Knowledge). I respond to the supplications of the supplicant when he calls on Me (without any mediator or intercessor). So let them obey Me and believe in Me, so that they may be led aright.” [Quran, 2:186]

Prophet Muhammad, May the mercy and blessings of Allah be upon him, called Du’a the essence of worship. He also suggested that the believer be humble, yet firm when making Du’a and said:

“When one of you supplicates, he should not say, ‘O Allah, forgive me if You will,’ but be firm in asking and make the desire great, for what Allah gives is nothing great for Him.”

When we make Du’a, when we call upon Allah in our hour of need, or express our gratefulness, or for any other reason including simply to feel the comfort of being close to Allah, we must remember to examine our sincerity and to check our intention. Du’a must be addressed to Allah Alone, who has no partners, sons, daughters or intermediaries. Our intention when making the Du’a must be to please Allah, obey Him and trust Him completely.

When a person makes Du’a Allah may give him what he asked for or He may divert a harm that is greater than the thing he asked for, or He may store up what he has asked for, for the Hereafter. Allah has commanded us to call upon Him and He has promised to respond to our call.

Respected Servants of Allah! Du’a is essentially submission to Allah and a sign of our need for Allah. Du’a has been called the weapon of the believer because it increases faith, gives hope and relief to the distressed and saves the supplicant from the despair and isolation. And perhaps most importantly Allah loves to be asked and He encourages us to call on Him for all our needs, wants, and desires.

The renowned Islamic scholar Imam Ibn al-Qayyim described Du’a in the following way. He said:

“The Du’a and prayers for seeking refuge with Allah are like a weapon, and a weapon is only as good as the person who is using it; it is not merely the matter of how sharp it is. If the weapon is perfect and free of faults, and the arm of the person using it is strong, and there is nothing stopping him, then he can lay waste to the enemy. But if any of these three features is lacking, then the effect will be lacking accordingly.”

It is incumbent upon us then, when we make our Du’a that we do so in the best possible way. As a way of metaphorically sharpening our sword we should endeavour to call on Allah in the best way and with the best manners. There is etiquette to making Du’a. Following that etiquette is an indication that a person is sincere and is endeavouring to maximise his or her chances of having the Du’a accepted by Allah, who says that He will:

“I answer the prayer (Du’a) of the supplicant when he beseeches unto Me.” [Quran, 2:186]

A firm and unwavering belief in the Oneness of Allah is an essential ingredient for Du’a. True sincerity and a willingness to accept that Allah Alone is able to change the course of events or grant requests is also necessary. The supplicant should eagerly and urgently call on Allah, however he should remain humble and quiet without getting either exasperated or bored. Prophet Muhammad, May the mercy and blessings of Allah be upon him, liked to say his Du’a three times and he also asked for forgiveness three times.

Praising Allah in the way He deserves to be praised is the starting point for a person making Du’a. Whilst Prophet Muhammad was sitting, a man came in and prayed and said:

“O Allah, forgive me and have mercy on me.” Prophet Muhammad heard him and said: “You have been too hasty, O worshipper. When you have prayed and are sitting, praise Allah as He deserves to be praised, and send blessings upon me, then call upon Him.”

Prophet Muhammad also recommended raising one’s hands when making Du’a. He said:

“Your Lord, May He be blessed and exalted, is Kind and Most Generous, and He is too kind to let His slave, if he raises his hands to Him, to send them back empty.”

Praising Allah the way he deserves to be praised essentially means recognising His Oneness. He is the First, the Last, the Beginning and the End. He Alone has the Power and the Strength. Recognise this and send blessings on the Prophet Muhammad, before beseeching Allah.

When the supplicant reaches out to Allah he should do so with humility. Allah tells us in Quran that humility is a desirable quality and that a believer should call on his Lord with a mixture of hope and fear. Hope that Allah will hear his Du’a and keep him safe from life’s trials and tribulations, and fear that his actions will displease his Lord.

“Invoke your Lord with humility and in secret.” [Quran, 7:55]

“Verily, they used to hasten on to do good deeds, and they used to call on Us with hope and fear, and used to humble themselves before Us.” [Quran, 21:60]

“And remember your Lord within yourself, humbly and with fear and without loudness in words in the mornings and in the afternoons.” [Quran, 7:20]

Dear Brothers and Sisters! The best times for making Du’a include just before Fajr (dawn prayer), in the last third of the night, during the last hour of Friday (i.e. the last hour before Maghrib prayer), when rain is falling, and between the call to prayer and Iqamah (the call raised immediately before prayer begins). Other excellent times to make Du’a are when the believer is in prostration (Sujud).

The believer should endeavour to use the clearest and most concise words when offering his supplications. The best Du’as are those used by the Prophets; however it is permissible to say other words according to the specific needs of the supplicant. There are many wonderful collections of authentic Du’as and believers should take extra care to authenticate the Du’as they use to supplicate to Allah.

When making Du’a it is important to either say authentic Du’as found in the Quran or Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad, or the words that spontaneously come to mind when one is seeking the protection or forgiveness of Allah. It is not permissible to set your own specific time, place or number of repetitions. To do so would be an act of innovation (Bid’ah) in the religion of Islam and that is a very serious matter.

For instance when one turns to Allah in his darkest hour or in a moment of joy, he or she speaks from his heart with sincerity and love. A person must never be afraid to converse with Allah, to pour out his heart, his longing, his love, fears and desires. However, if one begins to make strange rituals, such as making a Du’a 30 times on Wednesday after Asr prayer, this is how trouble begins. As a general rule Du’a must either be spontaneous or from the authentically narrated. This is not complicated, Islam without manmade rituals and superstitions is pure devotion to Allah, and it is easy and comforting.

To close this week’s Sermon let me mention situations in which Du’a is more likely to be accepted. These situations include, when one is mistreated or oppressed, when one is travelling, when one is fasting, when one is in desperate need, and when a Muslim makes Du’a for his absent brother.

As believers we know that Allah is above the heavens, above His creation yet He is unrestrained by any of physical dimensions. Allah is close, very close, to those who believe in Him and He answers their every call. Allah knows all of our secrets, dreams, and wishes, nothing is hidden from Him. Allah is with His creation by His knowledge and power. Why then do some Dua’s (supplications) remain unanswered?

A mighty question indeed and even the first Muslims were concerned with the answer. Abu Hurairah, one of the Prophets closest Companions said that he heard the Prophet, May the mercy and blessings of Allah be upon him, say:

“A person’s Du’as will be answered so long as he does not pray for something sinful or for the breaking of family ties.”

From this we learn that if the Du’a is inappropriate or one is asking for something sinful Allah will not respond.

If the person making Du’a communicates with Allah in an arrogant manner, perhaps complaining or raising his voice in anger or petulance Allah may not respond. Another reason for Allah not responding to Du’a is when the supplicant begs Allah for help or comfort yet he has surrounded himself with unlawful wealth, food, or clothing. One cannot continuously engage in sinful behaviour and activities without even a second of remorse yet at the same time expect Allah to answer his Du’as and requests.

Prophet Muhammad told his Companions that:

“Allah is far removed from every imperfection and only accepts that which is lawful. Allah commanded the pious to follow the same commandments as He gave to the Messengers. “O (you) Messengers! Eat of the Tayyibat [all kinds (lawful foods which Allah has made lawful (meat of slaughtered eatable animals, milk products, fats, vegetables, fruits)] and do righteous deeds. Verily, I am Well-Acquainted with what you do.” [Quran, 23:51]

“O you who believe! Eat of the lawful things that We have provided you with.” [Quran, 2:172]

Thereafter Prophet Muhammad mentioned a man who had travelled on a long journey, he was dishevelled and covered in dust and stretched his hands towards heaven saying:

“O Lord, O Lord”, but his food was unlawful and his drink was unlawful so how was his Du’a to be accepted?”

The man described here had some of the characteristics that make Du’a more likely to be accepted. It can be deduced that on account of this man not living his life within the lawful limits his Du’a was not accepted.

Another important point to remember is not to be hasty. A supplicant must never give up, he must never say:

“I pray and pray, I make Du’a after Du’a but Allah does not hear me, He does not respond!”

Just when a person feels like giving up he must make more Du’a, ask Allah again, and again for more and more. There is no power or strength except with Allah alone. There is no solution or outcome except from Allah. When supplicating to Allah a person must be both resolute and sincere.

The Du’a of any one of you will be answered so long as he is not impatient and says, ‘I made Du’a but it was not answered.

Let not any one of you say, ‘O Allah, forgive me if You will, O Allah have mercy on me if You will. Let him be resolute in the matter, whilst knowing that no one can compel Allah to do anything.

It is also important to understand that a response to a Du’a may not be exactly what you expect. Allah may respond and fulfill the desire of a person immediately. Sometimes Du’as are answered very quickly. However sometimes Allah responds in a different way, He might keep some evil away from the supplicant, or He will reward him with something good but not exactly what the supplicant asked for. It is important to remember that Allah knows what the future holds and we do not.

“… It may be that you dislike a thing which is good for you and that you like a thing which is bad for you. Allah knows but you do not know.” [Quran, 2:216]

Sometimes Allah will save his response to a Du’a until the Day of Resurrection when a person will be most in need of it.

Dear Brothers and Sisters! Du’a has unlimited power, it can change many things and it is an important act of worship that we must never lose faith in. Making Du’a demonstrates our great need for Allah and it recognises that He is able to do all things. He gives and He withholds but when we trust Allah completely we know that His decree is just and wise.

Respected Servants of Allah! Make Du’a and be patient, for Allah will answer, in the best possible way, at the best possible time. Never give up hope, never stop asking, and ask for more and more and more. Ask for good in this world and in the hereafter. Wallahi, Du’a is the weapon of the believer.

“So We answered his call, and delivered him from the distress. And thus We do deliver the believers (who believe in the Oneness of Allah, abstain from evil and work righteousness).” [Quran, 21:88]

“And He answers (the supplication of) those who believe (in the Oneness of Allah – Islamic Monotheism) and do righteous good deeds, and gives them increase of His Bounty. And as for the disbelievers, theirs will be a severe torment.” [Quran, 42:26]

My Respected People! In the above, we have learned many righteous and inspiring things. We know that Du’a is the weapon of the believer, therefore, there is no need to resort to despair, or anger, because sharing our grief with Allah is a way of relieving and overcoming burdens. We have learned that Du’a is the essence of worship and that there is an etiquette when supplicating Allah for anything, both in times of need and when we praise and thank Him. I have discussed the way some Du’a seemingly go unanswered, and finally, in my final part, I will look at the way the Prophets made Du’a.

Respected Brothers and Sisters! As we know, the Prophets of Allah throughout time always had special and close relationships with Allah. They turned to Him in times of distress and need, and they never forgot to praise and thank Him for the countless blessings in their lives. The Prophets were aware of the importance of patience and gratitude and above all their relationships with Allah were bonds formed due to their complete and utter submission to His will. However, even with such trust and love they still at times became scared or distressed, and felt alone and overwhelmed.

Consequently, the Prophets turned to Allah and called on Him to make them patient and steadfast, they asked for help in this life and bliss in the next. They called on Allah to make their families and companions righteous and patient, and to make themselves and all around them, grateful and serene. Although Allah loves us to turn to Him and speak the words that flow from our hearts, the words of the Prophets are more complete and submissive to Allah’s will, then we could hope to be. Supplicating Allah with the Du’as found in the Quran and the authentic Sunnah of Prophet Muhammad, May the mercy and blessings of Allah be upon him, is a righteous and comforting practice.

When Prophet Adam and his wife Hawwa (Eve) were expelled from heaven (Jannah) Adam turned to Allah in repentance. He said:

“Our Lord! We have wronged ourselves. If You forgive us not, and bestow not upon us Your Mercy, we shall certainly be of the losers.” [Quran, 7:23]

Humankind continues to make mistakes and commit sins but we only harm ourselves. Our sins and mistakes do not harm Allah. However if Allah does not forgive us and have mercy on us, we will surely be among the losers.

When Prophet Yunus (Jonah) awoke in the belly of the whale he thought he was dead and was lying in the darkness of his grave. He felt around him and realised that this was not a grave but the belly of the giant whale. He was afraid and raised his voice calling out to Allah:

“None has the right to be worshipped but you oh Allah, far removed are you from every imperfection and truly I have been one of the wrongdoers!” [Quran, 21:87]

Throughout his life Prophet Ayyub (Job) was put through many trials and tests by Allah but he remained steadfast, patient and was constantly turning to Allah for forgiveness. Even when he felt at his most helpless he did not complain but turned to Allah and begged for forgiveness. He said:

“Verily distress has seized me and You are the Most Merciful of all those who show mercy.” [Quran, 21:83]

The Quran relates to us the stories of the Prophets in order that we might learn from them. They are worthy role models and their lives are not so different from our own. How many times has each one of us sunk to the ground or into a chair in despair? How many times have we felt so physically or mentally exhausted that it seems we will be unable to go on for even one more second?

Prophet Musa (Moses) was forced to flee Egypt and walk out into the desert to face an unknown future. After walking for more than a week across the burning sands, he came to an oasis. It was there that this man of honour helped the women at the well before flinging himself under a tree and calling out to Allah for help.

Prophet Musa (Moses) knew that Allah was the only One who could deliver him from his predicament, so he turned to Allah and before his supplication was finished help was on its way. Musa (Moses) was probably hoping for a slice of bread or a handful of dates but instead Allah gave him safety, provisions and a family.

“My Lord! Truly, I am in need of whatever good that You bestow on me!” [Quran, 28: 24]

There are lessons for humankind throughout the story of Prophet Musa (Moses). When Musa (Moses) was sent by Allah to confront tyrant and dictator Fir’awn (Pharaoh), he was afraid that he would not be able to live up to Allah’s demands, but instead of complaining or despairing Musa turned to Allah and made Du’a:

“O my Lord! Open for me my chest (grant me self-confidence, contentment, and boldness). And ease my task for me; and make loose the knot (the defect) from my tongue, (remove the incorrectness of my speech) that they understand my speech.” [Quran, 20:25-28]

And After Musa (Moses) learned of the great evil his people had committed by building the golden calf, he was angry. However, even amidst such wrongdoing he called upon Allah to have mercy upon them all:

“You are our Protector, so forgive us and have Mercy on us, for You are the best of those who forgive. And ordain for us good in this world, and in the Hereafter.” [Quran, 7:155-156]

King (and Prophet) Sulaiman (Solomon) was acutely aware of the power of Allah. He always praised Allah for any condition that he was put in. He said:

“All praise and thanks is due to Allah.” [Quran, 27: 15]

Prophet Sulaiman (Solomon) also understood that no power or strength would be his, unless he requested it from Allah. He made Du’a and asked for a kingdom that would never be surpassed. Allah granted his request and Prophet Sulaiman (Solomon) reigned over an empire the like of which we cannot imagine.

“He said, “My Lord! Forgive me, and bestow upon me a kingdom such as shall not belong to any other after me. Verily, You are the Bestower.” [Quran, 38:35]

These Du’as are a small example of how the Prophets of Allah made Du’a. Their stories and their Du’as are found throughout the Quran. When we read the stories of Prophets Sulaiman (Solomon), Yusuf (Joseph), Yakub (Jacob) or Ibrahim (Abraham) we find that they, and all of the Prophets completely submitted to Allah that’s why they succeeded. They raised their hands in supplication and requested help from Allah Alone.

As believers we must never forget that Allah hears our Du’as and supplications, and answers. Sometimes the wisdom behind the answers is beyond our comprehension but Allah desires only good for us. Putting our trust in Allah and submitting to His will allows the believer to weather any storm, and to stand tall in the face of any adversity. We are never alone.

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.

This Jumu’ah Khutbah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today Friday, Muharram 25, 1440 AH (October 5, 2018), by Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’ah and the late Alhaji Abdurrahman Okene’s Mosques, Okene Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached via: gusaumurtada@gmail.com or +2348038289761.

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Nigeria At 58: The Love For One’s Country Is A Sign Of Faith (Iman), By Imam Murtadha Gusau

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

Indeed all praise is for Allah; we praise him, seek His aid and ask His  forgiveness. We seek refuge in Allah from the evil in ourselves and  we seek refuge from our evil actions Whoever Allah guides none  can misguide him, and whoever Allah misguided none can guide him.

I bear witness there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah, He is alone and has no partners, and I bear witness that Muhammad is  His servant and  final Messenger.

May the peace and salutations of Allah be upon him, his family and his enlightened Companions, and those who follow them up in goodness until the Day of Resurrection. To proceed:

Dear Brothers and Sisters! In Islam, speaking about one’s country progress and development and professing love for it is not a discussion which revolves around racism, bigotry or nationalism. Rather it is a discussion revolving  around one’s life, place and growth; it is based on the depth of one’s values and principles.

Imam Al-Jurjani said:

“A person’s country is the place of his birth and where he resides.” [See At-Ta’rifat, page 327]

Imam Al-Asma’i said:

“I heard a Bedouin (an Arab man from the village) saying: ‘if you want to know a person, look to his affection and attachment to his  country; his longing for his brothers and his weeping over the time  which he has spent.” [See Al-Mujalasah by Ad-Dainuri, page 336]

Ibn Najjar Al-Baghdadi said:

“I heard Abu Bakr Muhammad Ibn Dawud say, ‘whoever does not drink from the water of loneliness and does not place his head on  the pillow of sadness, he has not known the right of his country and  soil; and neither the right of the people of knowledge and elderly…” [See Zail Tarikh Baghdad, vol. 16, page 207]

So loving one’s country and affiliating to one’s nation is something which is a natural human instinct; it is the nature which Allah has created people upon. When a person is born in a particular land, grows up in it, drinks from its water, breaths its air and lives amongst its people, his natural human instinct connects him to that land; he loves it and is loyal towards it. It is sufficient as an insult to a person’s feelings that it is said that he has no country. In the noble Qur’an, loving one’s country has been linked to loving one’s self. Allah, the Majestic and Exalted, said:

“If We had decreed upon them, “Kill yourselves” or “Leave your  homes,” they would not have done it, except for a few of them.” [Qur’an, 4:66]

In fact, Allah linked the love of one’s country to the religion, He said:

“Allah does not forbid you from those who do not fight you because  of religion and do not expel you from your homes – from being  righteous toward them and acting justly toward them. Indeed, Allah loves those who act justly.” [Qur’an, 60:8]

In the following Qur’anic verse, had it not been for what a person’s  country means to him, the disbelievers would not have threatened  the Messengers of Allah to exile them from their country. Allah the Most High said:

“And those who disbelieved said to their Messengers, “We will surely  drive you out of our land, or you must return to our religion.” So their Lord inspired to them, “We will surely destroy the wrongdoers. And  We will surely cause you to dwell in the land after them. That is for  he who fears My position and fears My threat.” [Qur’an, 14: 13-14]

Also in the story of the people of Prophet Lut (Alaihis salam). Allah the Almighty said:

“They said: “If you do not desist, O Lut, you will surely be of those  evicted.” He said: “Indeed, I am, toward your deed, of those who detest [it]. My Lord, save me and my family from [the consequence  of] what they do.” [Qur’an, 26:167-169]

Allah also connected between being exiled from one’s country and killing, He said:

“If We had decreed upon them, “Kill yourselves” or “Leave your  homes,” they would not have done it, except for a few of them.” [Qur’an, 4:66]

Our Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) was tested with  both of these difficulties on both sides. In Makkah, the Quraish threatened him using their tongues and hands, as well as the hypocrites in Madinah who also threated him. Allah, the Most High, said regarding the threat of the Quraish:

“And [remember, O Muhammad], when those who disbelieved  plotted against you to restrain you or kill you or evict you [from  Makkah]. But they plan, and Allah plans. And Allah is the best of planners.” [Qur’an, 8:30]

And he said regarding the threat of the hypocrites:

“They say, “If we return to Madinah, the more honoured [for power] will surely expel therefrom the more humble.” And to Allah belongs  [all] honour, and to His Messenger, and to the believers, but the hypocrites do not know.” [Qur’an, 63:8]

Anas, May Allah be pleased with him, mentioned that:

“When the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) returned from a journey he would, upon seeing the high pathways of Madinah, make  his she camel proceed faster; and if it were another animal, even then he used to make it proceed faster.” [Bukhari]

In another narration:

“When he returned from a journey, and saw the walls of Madinah, he  would make his riding camel proceed faster, and if he was on  another animal he would move it [faster] due to his love of it.”

Al-Hafidh Ibn Hajr (rahimahullah) said:

“This Hadith proves the virtue of Madinah, as well as the legislation  of loving one’s country and showing affection for it.” [Fath al-Bari, vol. 3, page 621]

The most beautiful love towards one’s country is when Allah also loves the country as well as the person himself loving the country. This is what Allah gave to His Prophet (Peace be upon him) when  He loved Makkah, however he tested the Prophet (Peace be upon him) by distancing him from it. Abdullahi Ibn Adiy Az-Zuhari, May  Allah be pleased with him, narrated that he heard the Prophet (Peace be upon him) saying whilst standing in Al-Hawza in the market of Makkah:

“By Allah, you are the best land of Allah, you are the most beloved  land of Allah to Allah, the Majestic and Exalted. Had it not been for me being exiled from you, I would have never left you.” [Ahmad, Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah, with an authentic Isnad]

Al-Aini, May Allah have mercy upon him, said:

“Allah tested His Prophet though him having to depart from his country.”

As-Suhaili, May Allah have mercy upon him, said:

“In this is an evidence for loving one’s country, and the severity upon  a person due to departing it.”

Al-Hafiz Az-Zahabi, May Allah have mercy upon him, mentioned the  things which were dear and beloved to the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him), he said:

“He used to love his wife Aisha, her father Abu Bakr, Usamah Ibn  Zaid, his two grandchildren Hasan and Husain, sweet food, honey;  he used to love mount Uhud and he used to love his country.” [See Siyar A’lam An-Nubala, vol. 15, page 394]

This is what our role model and example, Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) was like; in his pure heart he held a sincere  love for his country. Today, as Nigerians, in our time, we have a great country which is precious in our hearts. However we need to purify  our hearts, and hearts are not purified except with love, but this love  will never be fulfilled unless it is according to what Allah has legislated for us.

Ali Ibn Abi Talib – May Allah be pleased with him – said:

“When we came to Madinah we tasted some of its vegetation and became ill and tired…” [Ahmad]

Ibn Abdul-Barr, May Allah be pleased with him, said:

“In this Hadith is an explanation of what is normal to people’s  custom even today, that when a person moves to another land  which he is not accustomed to its environment and has neither  drank from its water, he finds difficulty and denial…it also shows the  love and yearning that most people have for their country and the emotional longing and grief they have due to them leaving their country in which they were born and grew up.” [See Al-Istizkar, vol. 26, page 48]

Bilal Ibn Rabah, May Allah be pleased with him, said:

“O Allah curse Shaibah Ibn Rabi’ah, Utbah Ibn Rabi’ah and Umayyah Ibn Khalaf because they exiled us from our lands to the land of illness…” [Bukhari]

Ibn Al-Mulaqqin, May Allah have mercy upon him, said:

“As for Bilal, he yearned to return back to Makkah, his country in  which he was accustomed to and remained healthy therein.” [See At-Tawdhih, vol. 12, page 579]

Amir Ibn Abdullah said:

“I find myself regretting [leaving] Basrah for four matters: not being  able to answer the call of its Mu’azzin, [the feeling of] its extreme  thirst; because my brothers are there and because it is my country.” [See Az-Zuhd, by Imam Ahmad, page 227]

Ibrahim Ibn Adhama (died 162 AH) said:

“I have not severely suered for leaving anything than the suering of leaving my country.” [See Hilyatul Awliya’, vol. 7, page 370]

Abu Hamid Al-Ghazali, May Allah have mercy upon him, said:

“Humans love their lands due to what it contains, a person is able to  find comfort by remaining there, and if he is away from his land he  finds himself yearning for it, he defends it if it is attacked and becomes angry if it is belittled.”

The great Islamic scholars authored independent books on the issue of loving one’s countries such as the book: “Yearning for one’s country” by Imam Abu Hatim As-Sijistani; and the book: “Loving one’s country” by Amr Ibn Bahr Al-Jahidh. In addition to this the innumerable verses of poetry that were authored regarding this. As-Subki mentioned in the biography of Imam Abu Muhammad Al-Muzani, “that he authored a book regarding loving one’s country. He then became ill after  authoring it by a week and then died. He became known as: ‘The one who was killed due to his love of his country!”’ [See At-Tabaqaat, vol. 3, page 19]

Therefore it should be known that the Arabic word “Watan” is not repulsive nor is it evil as some people think. Rather it has been mentioned upon the tongues of many of the Imams of knowledge and religion – as has preceded.

According to Islam, affiliating to one’s country symbolises a form of  unity to the Jama’ah (main body of Muslims); the teachings of  Islam emphasise and reiterate the importance of this. This is as  long as loving one’s country is according to the guidelines of Shari’ah and within the limits that should be considered. It is also worth  mentioning that affiliating one’s self to a country is a means of  security and safety; we are able to protect the minds of majority of our youth against destructive thoughts and ideas, deviant methods,  oppressive onslaughts and malicious rumours which are  propagated by people of malice and spite in order to undermine this  country, its capabilities and resources, and more so to undermine the people of authority in this country as well as its trustworthy sincere scholars. This country has religious, political, security, intellectual, cultural and economic distinctions which other countries do not have.

It is a mistake to think there is a contradiction between having a  sense of patriotism– according to its natural meaning – and between Islam. In fact perceiving a contradiction between them is  nothing except a deceptive avenue to insult Islam, and trying to  manipulate and exploit people’s natural intrinsic love for their country. This paints a picture in the minds of people that the legislative laws of the Shari’ah somehow obstruct and cripple the  interests of the country because Islam contradicts and negates a person’s patriotism and loving one’s country! One of the alien  concepts that have been deliberately associated with this is by the  Harakiyyun (political activists in the clothes of religion) who have a despised partisan narrative upon which they try to cultivate young people. This alien concept of theirs is that there is only one global Muslim state which does not have any countries nor borders.

Due to this concept, allegiance to the country of Tawhid, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, is disputed in fact completely absolved. Their anger and rage increases when this blessed country is mentioned, or one of its qualities and merits is praised; this blessed  country in the shade of which its citizens live, in fact the whole Islamic world benefits from it. And the essence of patriotism towards it is: having the correct Aqidah, a binding pledge of allegiance, fulfilling our responsibilities, supporting and obeying its leaders, not rebelling against the main body of Muslims and feeling a sense of belonging to it.

Respected Brothers and Sisters! In Islam, loving one’s country is shown by fulfilling our responsibility towards it and its people, and preserving its security.

Loving one’s country is shown by defending and respecting it, its religion, sanctuaries and citizens.

Loving one’s country is shown by remaining within its laws, and rectifying its people and not corrupting them in any way.

Loving one’s country is shown by respecting the elderly, having concern for the youth, respecting the neighbour, having respect for  its laws, keeping the towns and streets clean and not annoying the fellow citizens.

Loving one’s country is shown by protecting its assets and resources, and by every sincere Muslim interacting with each other  with the correct Islamic manners and etiquettes.

Loving one’s country is not one day in a year only, neither is it displaying photos and flag only, rather loving it is fulfilling rights and  responsibilities every day, in every situation.

My Dear Respected Brothers and Sisters! Love for one’s nation and country is natural. Consider the following Hadith:

“A woman named Fasilah narrates that she heard her father saying: I asked the Prophet (Peace be upon him) “O Messenger of Allah, is love for one’s nation considered chauvinism?” He (Peace be upon him) replied: “No, chauvinism is partly to help one’s nation in perpetrating injustice.” [Ibn Majah]

However, the important point is how and where to channel the love you have for your country. True love for one’s country demands that one wants the best for his country. He cannot bear seeing his country unsuccessful. The true success is the success of the hereafter. In Surah Yasin, Allah speaks of Habib Najjar. When his country denied the message of the Messengers, his love and concern for his country made him restless. He was aware of the grave consequences of denying the message of Allah. Allah said in the Qur’an:

“A man (Habib Najjar) from the far end of the city came running. He said: “O my people! Follow the Messengers! Accept the message of those who do not ask for any remuneration and they are guided.” [Surah Yasin, 20-21]

Therefore I advise all of you to channel your love in the right avenue. Work towards bringing your country/community towards those practices that will bring them goodness in the hereafter.

In the end, I ask Allah to protect our country, its leaders and its people from every evil, calamity, tribulation and difficulty; May He  bring about safety, peace and security to our country. May Allah  save us from divisions, disunity, differences, disobedience,  corruption, terrorism and all evils.

May Allah protect our country, Nigeria, and it’s people, and May He the Most High protect all the Muslim countries, the Muslims and all the Humanity, ameen.

O Allah, bless Nigeria with continued peace, progress, strength, unity, and development.

O Allah, unite our country around the principles of justice, peace, love and faith.

Put peace and love in our hearts for the diversity that makes our country so beautiful.

Allah, the Most Merciful, we pray for our country to remain tolerant and loving, remove prejudice from our hearts, and allow us to love our brothers and sisters in humanity.

O Allah, allow our Governments to remain accountable to the people, give them vision and wisdom, as they take decisions affecting peace in our world so that they may uphold peace in the world, advance the welfare of our country and deal kindly and justly with all our communities.

O Allah, Most Strong, give us the strength to protect and care for our neighbours.

Make our hearts and minds aware of our heritage, fulfilling duties and responsibilities as a citizens.

O Allah, Most Merciful, allow us to show kindness to those most vulnerable in society.

Protect us from evil, inspire and guide us in defending those open to abuse.

O Allah, Most Generous, allow us to give in charitable activity, and to help those most in need.

Make us more conscious of what is not good for us.

O Allah, Most merciful, Most Generous, please give us the patience to continue to learn from one another and work towards a more peaceful and kind world.

Make our hearts generous so that we may treat others as we wish to be treated ourselves. Help us to share that which we have with others, for your sake. Strengthen us, love us and be kind to us all, ameen.

All praise is for Allah the Lord of the Worlds, and May peace and  salutations be upon the most noble of Prophets and Messengers.

Wassalamu Alaikum,

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

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Let’s Stop Pretending There’s Nothing And Start Al-qunut Prayers In Our Mosques! By Imam Murtadha Gusau

In The Name Of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful

All praise is due to Allah Alone; and may peace and blessings be upon the Final Prophet Muhammad, his family, and Companions.

I don’t know why we should be playing politics with peoples lives. In a responsible society these things wouldn’t happen. We tend to put premium on politics over peoples lives. If the Inspector General of police is incompetent he should be removed. I don’t see why we will take lives for granted. As these killings are taking place now, only Allah knows what will happen during election and after the election.

Making Qunut when the people are afflicted by temporary trials is one of the lawful acts in Salah (Prayer). This is one of the authentically established acts of Sunnah reported in the two authentic Books of Hadith (i.e. Al-Bukhari and Muslim) in addition to other books. It is narrated on the authority of Anas Ibn Malik (may Allah be pleased with him) that:

“The Prophet (Peace be upon him) sent seventy men, called Al-Qurra’ (Quran Reciters), for some purpose. Two clans of Banu Sulaim, namely Ri’il and Zakwan, obstructed their way near a well known as Ma‘unah Well. The people (i.e. Al-Qurra’) said, ‘By Allah, we have not come to harm you, but we are passing by you on our way to do something for the Prophet (Peace be upon him).’ But (the two clans) killed them. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) therefore invoked against them for a month during Salatul Subhi (morning Prayer).”

It is also narrated on the authority of Abu Hurairah and Anas
(May Allah be pleased with them) that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) made Qunut after Ruku‘u (bowing) in the last Raka‘ah (unit of Prayer) for one month: “Upon raising his head (from bowing) he would say, ‘Sami Allahu liman hamidah [Allah listens to those who praise Him], Rabbana wa lakal hamd [Our Lord, to you is the Praise],’ then he would supplicate to Allah for certain men whom he mentioned by name, saying, ‘O Allah! Save Al-Walid Ibn Al-Walid and Salamah Ibn Hisham and Ayyash Ibn Abu Rabi’ah and the oppressed believers. O Allah! Harden Your Punishment against the tribe of Mudar and inflict upon them years (of famine) like the years (the famine which broke out at the time) of Yusuf (AS).’” There are many other well-known Hadith supporting the same meaning.

Afflictions for which supplication while standing in Salah is legislated are those which concern the Ummah in general, such as when the disbelievers attack Muslims, supplicating for the Muslim captives, and for Muslims who are afflicted by famine, for the killing of the innocent people and for the spread of epidemics, etc.

Qunut Al-Nawazil (Qunut for removing calamities) is to be said after rising from the Ruku‘u (bowing) of the last Raka‘ah in all the obligatory Prayers, whether Prayer recited out loud or Prayer with subvocal recitation. This is more confirmed in Fajr (Dawn) Prayer. It is reported on the authority of Ibn Abbas (may Allah be pleased with him and his father) that:

“The Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) continued to make Qunut for a month successively at the Zuhr (Noon), Asr (Afternoon), Maghrib (Sunset), Isha’ (Night) and Fajr (Dawn) Prayers, at the end of every Salah. When he said, ‘SamiAllahu liman hamidah [Allah listens to those who praise Him],’ in the last Raka‘ah, he would invoke Allah against some clans of Banu Sulaim, namely Ri’il, Zakwan, and Usayyah while those praying behind him would answer, Ameen.’” [Related by Imam Ahmad and Abu Dawud]

There is no specific Du‘a to say in Qunut Al-Nawazil, but Muslims should supplicate at every time with what is suitable for their circumstances under the affliction. Anyone who supplicates in afflictions with Du‘a-ul-Qunut that is said in the Witr (Prayer with an odd number of units), which is, “Allahummahdina fiman hadait… [O Allah, guide me among those You have guided…], has contradicted the Sunnah and missed the purpose. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) did not invoke Allah in afflictions with this Du‘a; rather, he used to teach it to the people to say it in the Witr Prayer.

Qunut Al-Nawazil is legislated from the time a calamity occurs until it is removed.

The Imams of the Mosques, may Allah grant them success, have to strive to learn the Sunnah and to abide by it in all matters, because people imitate them and learn from them. Careful caution must be paid not to contradict the Sunnah, either out of exaggeration or negligence. This applies to Du‘a-ul-Qunut said in the Witr Prayer and upon occurrence of Nawazil (calamities). What Islam prescribes is to supplicate with all-inclusive words, using the authentically reported supplications that should be said with calmness and submissiveness. There must be no elongation, redundancy, or causing hardship to the persons being led by an Imam in Prayer. The Imam should make Qunut only in general afflictions.

Truly, the Ummah is in dire need of our prayers. Try to get together with friends and family at fajr at least and ask the Imam to perform the qunut for the oppressed, particularly for the killing of innocent people taking place in Nigeria!

All praise be to Allah Alone, Lord of the worlds, and peace and blessings be upon His Messenger, and his family and Companions.

Wassalamu Alaikum,

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

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Friday Sermon: How To Benefit The Decease After Death, By Imam Murtadha Gusau

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

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

Dear Brothers and Sisters! Allah the Almighty said:

“And that the human being can have nothing but what he has earned (good or bad). And that his deeds will be seen. Then he will be recompensed with a full and the best recompense.” [Al-Quran, 53:39-41]

Commenting on this Quranic verse, Imam Ibn Kathir, rahimahullah, said:

“Imam Shafi’i concluded from this verse that reciting the Quran does not benefit the dead, because it is not from their doing and earning. For this reason, Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him), did not recommend it to his Ummah, did not encourage them to do it, or guide them to it with a text or a hint. Nor was such a thing reported from any of the Sahabah (Companions). Had this been any good, they would have preceeded us in doing it. Matters of worship must be limited to the texts (Nusus), and are not liable to modifications based on analogies and opinions.” [See Tafsirul Quranil-Adhim of Imam Ibn Kathir]

It is in general true that one cannot benefit from other people’s deeds after his death. But this has important exceptions detailed in this chapter.

* Funeral (Janazah) Prayer

When the Muslims pray janazah for their deceased brother, they are granted intercession for him. The more the number of Muslims who join in the prayer, the more beneficial it is for the deceased.

This means that Allah takes their testimony and their legal supplication regarding the deceased’s apparent actions as a sufficient reason for forgiveness. Since those Muslims who associated with him did not find any major problem to prevent them from supplicating for him, Allah the Most Generous, accepts that and agrees to forgive many of his hidden sins that they did not know. Anas and Aisha (RA), reported that Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) said:

“Whenever a person dies, and a group of Muslims numbering one hundred pray janazah for him, all interceding on his behalf, their intercession is granted (by Allah) and he is forgiven.” [Muslim and others]

Ibn Abbas (RA) reported that Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) said:

“Whenever a Muslim man dies, and forty men stand for his janazah prayer, all of them not joining anything with Allah in worship (i.e. not committing shirk), Allah grants them intercession for him.” [Muslim and others]

Maimunah (RA), reported that Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) said:

“Whenever a (Muslim) person dies, and a group of (Muslim) people pray janazah for him, they are granted intercession for him.” [An-Nisa’i. Verified Hasan by Shaykh Al-Albani in Sahih al-Jami’ no. 5787]

Malik Ibn Hubairah (RA) reported that Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) said:

“Whenever a Muslim dies, and three lines of Muslims pray janazah for him, he is granted forgiveness.” [Ahmad, Abu Dawud, and others. Verified Hasan by Al-Hafidh and others; Shaykh Al-Albani disagrees with this because Muhammad Ibn Ishaq one of the narrators is known to be a Mudallis (i.e. one who is ambiguous in stating his sources) and did not declare direct hearing of this report. Also See Ahkamul-Jana’iz, 128]

Yet the Prophet’s (Peace be upon him) practice of forming three lines for janazah prayer provides a further supporting evidence for this Hadith.

* Deeds Of Renewed Benefit

Dear Brothers and Sisters! Any good deed that a Muslim starts during his lifetime, and that is of renewed benefit and ongoing use for the Muslims, will continue to benefit him and augment his record of good deeds, even after his departure – as long as its benefits continue to reach others. Allah the Most High says:

“We record that (deeds) which they have put forward and their traces (that which they have left behind).” [Al-Quran, 36:12]

Abu Hurairah (RA) reported that Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) said:

“When a human being dies, all of his deeds are terminated except for three types: an ongoing sadaqah, a beneficial knowledge from which others benefit, and a righteous child who makes Du’a for him.” [Muslim and others]

Abu Qatadah, rahimahullah, reported that Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) said:

“The best that a man can leave behind after his death are three things: a righteous child who makes Du’a for him, an ongoing sadaqah whose rewards continue to reach him, and a knowledge that continues to be implemented after him.” [Ibn Majah and others. Verified to be Sahih by Imam Al-Mundhiri and Shaykh Al-Albani]

Abu Qatadah, rahimahullah, reported that Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) said:

“Among the good deeds that continue to benefit a believer after death are: a knowledge that he taught and disseminated, a righteous child who lived after him, a Quran book that he left as inheritance, a Masjid that he built, a house that he built for the two wayfarers, a stream that he ran, or a charity that he gave from his wealth during his healthy lifetime so that it would reach him (in rewards) after death.” [Ibn Majah and others. Verified Hasan by Imam Al-Mundhiri and Shaykh Al-Albani]

Commenting on this, Imam Al-Mundhiri, rahimahullah, said:

“Some scholars say that the deeds of a human being end with his death. However, since he had caused these things (which are mentioned in the above Hadiths), such as the earning of a child, disseminating the knowledge among those who take it from him, compiling a book that remains after him, or establishing a sadaqah, the rewards of these things continue to reach him as long as they continue to exist.” [See Awn al-Ma’bud, 8:86]

The reason that one continues to receive rewards for these deeds even though they are done by other people, is that he had initiated them during his life or contributed to them to a certain degree, whether little or large. Since Allah does not neglect an atom’s weight of deeds, He records these contribution for a person even after his death.

Imam Abu al-Wafa Ibn Aqil said:

“The best explanation for this in my view is that a human being, by his efforts and good conduct, had earned friends, produced children, married spouses, done good, and was amiable to the people. Because of this, they invoke mercy for him and do good on his behalf. All of this is then a result of his own earning.” [See Kitab Ar-Ruh, by Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim, page 171]

And Rashid Ridah, rahimahullah, said:

“Among the deeds that benefit a person, even though they are done by others, are those that count like his own because he caused them, such as his children’s supplication for him, or their performing Hajj on his behalf, giving sadaqah on his behalf, or fasting on his behalf – all of which having been established with authentic Hadiths.” [See Tafsir al-Manar 8: 247]

* Charitable Deeds From A Child

* One’s Child Is From His Earning

Respected Brothers and Sisters! The above Hadiths indicate that a righteous child benefits his deceased parents with Du’a. It is further demonstrated here that he can benefit them by spending sadaqah, as well as doing other charitable deeds, on their behalf. Aisha (RA) reported that Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) said:

“Indeed the best that one eats is that which he earns. And his child is from his earning.” [Ahmad, Abu Dawud, and others. Verified as Sahih by Shaykh Al-Albani in Akhamul- Jana’iz , 217]

The reason for this is that a parent benefits himself by rearing his child according to the teachings of Islam, and exerting a consistent effort to raise him as a righteous person. As the child grows into adulthood and does righteous deeds, his parents deserve a merit in that they helped him accomplish that and his good actions are therefore, at least in part, from his parents’ earning.

* Sadaqah From A Child

Aisha (RA) reported that a man asked Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him):

“My mother had a sudden death, and did not have chance to bequeath anything. Had she been able to do, I think that she would have given sadaqah. Would she or I get any rewards if I give sadaqah on her behalf?” He replied, “Yes! So give sadaqah on her behalf.” [Al-Bukhari, Muslim and others]

Ibn Abbas (RA) reported that Sa’ad Bin Ubadah’s mother died during his absence on a trip. He came to the Prophet (Peace be upon him) and asked him:

“O Allah’s Messenger! My mother has passed away during my absence. Would it be of benefit to her if I give sadaqah on her behalf?” He replied: “Yes!” He said: “Be my witness then that I give my fruitful garden as sadaqah on her behalf.”

Abu Hurairah (RA) reported that a man asked the Prophet (Peace be upon him):

“My father has died, leaving behind a wealth; but he did not bequeath anything. Would it help him if I give sadaqah on his behalf?” He (Peace be upon him) replied: “Yes!” [Muslim, Ahmad and others]

Abdullah Ibn Amr (RA) reported that al-As bin Wa’il as-Sahmi (his grandfather) bequeathed that one hundred slaves be freed on his behalf. His son, Hisham, freed fifty; and Amr wanted to free the other fifty, but decided to ask Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) first. He came to the Prophet (Peace be upon him) and said: “O Allah’s Messenger! My father has bequeathed that one hundred slaves be freed on his behalf. Hisham has freed fifty and fifty are left. Should I free them for him?” He replied: “Had he been a Muslim, your freeing slaves, giving sadaqah, or performing Hajj on his behalf would all have reached (in rewards) and benefited him.” [Ahmad, Abu Dawud, al-Baihaqi. Verified as Hasan by Shaykh al-Albani, in Ahkamul-Jana’iz, 218]

Commenting on these Hadiths, Imam ash-Shawkani said:

“This indicates that the rewards for a sadaqah from a child reach the parents after their death – even if they had not bequeathed it. These Hadiths restrict the general meaning of Allah’s saying: “And that the human being can have nothing but what he has earned.” [Al-Quran, 53:39] But there is no indication in these Hadiths that the sadaqah except from one’s own child, helps. Since it is established that a person’s child is his own earning, it is not possible to claim that the meaning (of these Hadiths) needs to be restricted. As for the sadaqah from other than one’s child, it is apparent from general Quranic texts that it does not help the deceased. This should then be maintained unless an additional evidence can be brought to restrict it.” [See Nail al-Awtar, 4:97]

* Charitable Deeds From A Non-Child

Some scholars, such as Imam an-Nawawi, hold the opinion that all charitable deeds on behalf of a deceased person can benefit him, whether done by his children or other people. But this is refuted by Imam ash-Shawkani’s strong argument above. Similarly, Shaykh al- Albani says in this regard:

“Some scholars have treated a non-child as a child (in this matter). This analogy is invalid for various reasons:

1. It conflicts with the general Quranic texts that make a person’s good deeds a condition for entering Jannah. There is no doubt that a parent benefits himself by raising his child and nurturing him. Thus unlike other people, he deserves a reward for this.

2. The difference between the two cases inhibits such an analogy. As in Aisha’s Hadith, Allah has made a child part of his parent’s earnings – but not of other people’s earnings. The Sultan of Ulama’, Imam Al-Izz Ibn Abdus-Salam said:

“If one does an act of obedience and dedicates its reward to a living or dead person, the reward will not reach that person. And if he starts an act of worship intending it on behalf of a dead person, it would not be as intended – except for things excluded in Islam such as sadaqah, fasting and Hajj.” [See Al-Fatawah, 24:2]

3. Had this analogy been possible it would have implied that it is recommended to dedicate rewards to the dead. In such a case, the Salaf would have done this, because they surely used to have more concern than us about doing good. But they did not do it. Imam Ibn Taimiyyah said:

“It was not the practice of the Salaf (Pious predecessors), when they performed a voluntary prayer, fasting, Hajj or Quranic recitation, to dedicate the rewards of that to the dead Muslims. Thus, one should not abandon the way of the Salaf, because it is better and more complete.” [See Al-Ikhtiyaratul-Ilmiyah, 54]

Note that Imam Ibn Taimiyyah has another opinion contradicting this one, which was advocated by his student, Imam Ibn al-Qayyim in his book, ar-Ruh. That opinion conflicts with Ibn Taimiyyah’s known position of rejected qiyas in matters of worship; and it was refuted in a strong and sound manner by Rashid Ridah, in Tafsirul-Manar 8: 254-270.

* Claims For Consensus (Ijma’)

It should be noted that there are claims for Ijma’ (consensus) that a dead person benefits from the good deeds, including Quranic recitation done on his behalf by other people. Whereas these claims have been demonstrated to be invalid in the above discussion, they further fall under the following two considerations:

1. It has been demonstrated by staunch scholars, such as Ibn Hazm in Usulul-Ahkam, ash-Shawkwani in Irsadul-Fuhul, and Abdul-Wahhab Khallaf, in Usulul-Fiqh, that it is not possible to justify ijma’ for other than the most obvious matters in Islam. Imam Ahmad has indicated this in his famous refutation against those who claim ijma’.

2. I have investigated many of the cases for which there have been claims of ijma’ and found that there is an obvious difference of opinion concerning them. I (Shaykh al-Albani) even found (in some cases) that the opinion of the majority of scholars is contrary to the claimed ijma’!” [See Ahkamul-Jana’iz, 219]

* A Dangerous Belief

The danger of holding a wrong belief in regard to this issue has been clarified and emphasized by Shaykh Al-Albani:

“We do not doubt this wrong belief’s evil effects upon one who adopts it. He would rely upon others for acquiring rewards and high ranks (in the hereafter), because he knows that the Muslims dedicate hundreds of good deeds everyday to all of the living and the dead Muslims, and he is one of them; that would then relieve him from having to work hard when others are striving on his behalf! … A more dangerous saying is that it is permissible to perform Hajj on behalf of others, even if there is no valid excuse preventing them from performing it by themselves. This causes many of the wealthy people to drop Hajj or other obligations, giving themselves the excuse, ‘They will perform Hajj on my behalf after my death! .. There are many other similar opinions that clearly have evil effects on the (Muslim) societies. It is imperative for the scholars who wish to reform (the societies) to reject such opinions, because they conflict with the texts, as well as the spirit of the Shari’ah. As for the person who rejects the opinions described above, it is inconceivable that he would ever rely on other people in doing deeds and acquiring rewards. He realizes that only his own deeds can save him, and he is rewarded in accordance with what he himself earns. It is then incumbent that he strives at the utmost to leave behind him good traces which will result in good rewards for him even in the loneliness of his grave – instead of those imaginary good deeds.” [See Ahkamul-Jana’iz, 222-223]

* Fulfilling The Deceased’s Vows

* Fasting The Vowed Days

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

“Whoever dies while he has a fasting to fulfill (as a vow), his wali’ (kin/guardian) should fast for him.” [Agreed upon]

Ibn Abbas (RA) reported that a woman was travelling in the sea, and she vowed that if Allah saved her she would fast for one month. Allah saved her, but she died before fulfilling her vow. Her daughter came to the Prophet (Peace be upon him) and mentioned this to him. He asked: “Had she owed money as debt, wouldn’t you have paid it on her behalf?” She replied: “Yes.” He said: “Allah’s debt is more worthy of being fulfilled. So fulfill (the vow) for your mother.” [Agreed upon]

Sa’ad Bin Ubadah reported that he told Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him):

“My mother has died and she had an unfulfilled vow.” He instructed him: “Fulfill it for her.” [Agreed upon]

These Hadiths clearly indicate that it is recommended for a deceased’s wali to fulfill his vows of fasting.

* Fasting The Missed Days Of Ramadan

Dear Brothers and Sisters! Some scholars recommended, in addition to this, fasting the days of Ramadan that the deceased had missed. However, the correct position in this regard is expressed by Imam Ahmad rahimahullah. He said:

“One may not fast for a dead person except in the case of a vow.” [See Al-Masa’il, 96 by Abu Dawud]

This position is confirmed by the understanding of two of the Companions, Aisha and Ibn Abbas. Amrah reported that her mother died without making up her missed days of Ramadan. She asked Aisha (RA):

“Should I make that up on her behalf?” She replied: “No! Rather give sadaqah to the needy in the amount of a half sa’i (of grains or food) for every missed day.” [At-Tahawi, Ibn Hazm. Verified to be Sahih by Shaykh al-Albani in Ahkamul-Jana’iz, 215]

Sa’id Ibn Jubair (RA) reported that Ibn Abbas (RA) said:

“If a man gets sick in Ramadan and then dies without fasting, food should be given on his behalf – without a need to make up for the fasting. But if he had made a vow (to fast), his wali’ should fast for him.” [Abu Dawud, Ibn Hazm. Verified Sahih by al-Albani in Ahkamul-Jana’iz, 215]

Commenting on this, Shaykh Al-Albani says:

“This understanding is adopted by the Mother of the Believers, as well as Ibn Abbas, the great scholar of the Ummah, and is further held by the Imam of Sunnah, Ahmad Ibn Hanbal. It is the most moderate and appropriate opinion in this regard; and it fulfills all of the relevant Hadiths, without rejecting any of them, especially the first, which the Mother of the Believers (RA) did not find applicable to the fasting of Ramadan. She is the reporter of the Hadith, and it is established that a narrator of a Hadith is more knowledgeable about the meaning of what he reports, especially when his understanding agrees with the rules and foundations of the Shari’ah, as is the case here.” [See Ahkamul-Jana’iz, 215-216]

And Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim rahimahullah, comments on Aisha’s above Hadith by saying:

“One group (of scholars) generalizes this and enable other people to follow it clean and pure, as it was revealed, and says that both the vowed and missed obligatory fasting should be made up for the deceased. Another group rejects this and says that no fasting may be made up for him. A third group is more specific in saying that only the vowed fasting, but not the obligatory fasting, should be for his brother, the appointed angel says, Amin; and the same be given to you.'”

* Guarding In Allah’s Way

As has been previously demonstrated standing guard in the way of Allah benefits a person after his death. Fudalah Ibn Ubaid and Uqbah Ibn Amir (RA) reported that Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) said:

“The deeds of a dead person are sealed (at the time of death) except the one who stands guard in the way of Allah; his good deeds continue to increase until the Day of Resurrection, and he is protected from the trial of the grave.” [Ahmad, Abu Dawud, At-Tirmidhi, and others. Verified Sahih by Shaykh Al-Albani in Sahihul-Jami’ no. 4562]

* Reviving The Sunnah Of The Prophet (Peace be upon him)

Calling to a forgotten Sunnah or fighting an established Bid’ah are amongs the most important charitable deeds that a person can do during his lifetime. They help revive Allah’s religion revealed to Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him). Jarir Bin Abdullah (RA) reported that they (the Companions) were with Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) in the middle of the day when a group of people arrived (from outside Madinah) to see him. They were barefoot, (almost) naked, wearing only woolen lined cloth pieces or cloaks, armed with swords, wearing no izars or anything else beside that. Most or all of them were from (the tribe of) Mudar. The face of Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) changed (reflecting sadness) when he noticed their extreme poverty. He went in (to his house), then he came out. He commanded Bilal to give Adhan, prayed Zuhr, then mounted a small Minbar. He gave a Khutbah (Sermon) in which he praised and thanked Allah, and then said: “After this, (I say that) Allah has revealed in His book: ‘O people! Revere your lord who has created you from one soul, and created from it its mate, and from these two spread forth multitudes of men and women; and fear Allah through whom you demand your mutual rights, and revere the ties of the wombs. Indeed Allah is ever watchful over you.’ [Al-Quran, 4:1] “And He says: ‘O you who believe! Revere Allah, and let every person look to what he has sent forth for the morrow; and revere Allah. Allah is well Aware of what you do!And be not like those who forget (disobey) Allah, and He caused them to forget themselves. Those are the disobedient. Not equal are the dwellers of the Fire and the dwellers of Jannah. It is the dwellers of Jannah that will be successful.’ [Al-Quran, 59:18-20] “Spend (in Allah’s way) before you are prevented from spending. Let a man spend of his dinars, dirhams, clothes, measure of wheat, barley or dates.” Until he said: “Do not belittle any amount of sadaqah (charity). Safeguard yourselves from the Fire, even with half a date.” Observing the people’s slow response, the Prophet’s face showed signs of anger. But then, one man from the Ansar came with a parcel full (of money) of silver and gold, which he could hardly hold in his palm. He handed it to Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) while he was still on the Minbar, and said: “O Allah’s Messenger! Take this in Allah’s way.” He (Peace be upon him) took it. Abu Bakr, (RA) then stood and gave something. Then Umar (RA) gave something. Then the rest of the Muhajirun and Ansar gave. Thus people followed each other in giving charity. This one would give a dinar, this a dirham, this such and this such – until there were two piles of food and clothes; and the face of Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) lighted up with a reddish-golden colour. So he said: “He who initiates in Islam a good way gets his reward for it, as well as rewards similar to those who follow him into it, without reducing any of their rewards. And he who initiates in Islam an evil way gets his burden for it, as well as burdens similar to those who follow him into it, without reducing any of their burdens.” He (Peace be upon him) then recited: “We record that which they have done, as well as their traces – and We have enumerated everything in a clear book.” [Al-Quran, 36:12] And he (Peace be upon him) divided what was collected among them (the poor people from Mudar).” [Muslim, Ahmad and others. See also Ahkamul-Jana’iz, 224-226]

Respected Brothers and Sisters! From the above discussion, we can conclude that:

1. A person’s deeds are sealed by his death. Nothing that takes place after that can affect his records.

2. The exception to the above rule is that anything, good or bad, that takes place after a person’s death, which he contributed to its occurrence in any manner during his lifetime, will appear in his records in proportion with his contribution to it.

Wallahu ‘Alam

Dear 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.

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

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

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

This Jumu’ah Khutbah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today Friday, Shawwal 29, 1439 AH (July 13, 2018), by Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’ah and the late Alhaji Abdurrahman Okene’s Mosques, Okene Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached via: gusaumurtada@gmail.com or +2348038289761.

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