Islam To Overtake Christianity As World Largest Religion By 2070

The Pew Research Centre has predicted Islam to overtake Christianity as the worlds largest religion by 2070.

The centre disclosed there were roughly 1.8 billion Muslims in the world n 2015, which is roughly 24 per cent of the global population.

One major factor identified as the lead champion of this revelation is the record of high fertility rate found among the muslims which the research centre considers an avenue to give birth to more babies in the future.

“By 2050 it’s predicted Muslims will make up 2.1 per cent of the United States’ population.” the report reads.

Indy100.com

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The Gulen Movement Is Not A Cult — It’s One Of The Most Encouraging Faces of Islam Today – Graham Fuller

Last week witnessed what may be the last act of an unfolding struggle between two major Islamic movements in Turkey. Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan accused exiled Islamic leader Fethullah Gulen of plotting last week’s failed coup against the government. Immediately thereafter, Erdogan unleashed massive Stalin-style purges and arrests across the country of anyone suspected of any connection with Gulen or indeed of anyone of any ideology who opposes Erdogan.

First of all, when we talk about Islamic leaders in Turkey, we’re talking about a very different scene than in most of the rest of the Muslim world. In Turkey, it’s basically a struggle among Islamic moderates. Neither Erdogan nor Gulen call for any kind of Islamic State, Sharia law or Caliphate. They both operate fairly comfortably within a primarily secular state structure established a century ago by the country’s modernizing secularist founder, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. We’re not really talking about Islam or theology but about power and influence. Politics in Turkey has always been a rough game, even within a basically democratic order.

But there are important differences between the two groups. Erdogan runs a political party while Gulen operates a civil movement called Hizmet (“Service”). Erdogan comes out of a more traditional Sunni Turkish Islamist movement; Gulen comes out of an apolitical, more Sufi, mystical and social tradition. Gulen is interested in slow and deep social change, including secular higher education; Erdogan as a party leader is first and foremost interested in preserving his party’s power, operating in a populist manner, trying to raise the general welfare.

Why would Gulen choose to attempt a coup that’s contrary to all his views and at a time of maximum weakness vis-a-vis Erdogan?

I believe it is unlikely that Gulen was the mastermind behind the dramatic failed coup attempt against Erdogan last week. Of course, in the absence of evidence, so far no one can speak with certainty. Gulen’s social movement probably has well over a million followers or sympathizers who are not under centralized control. With the arrests of tens of thousands this week and the use of torture already suspected, there is no telling what kind of “confessions” will be generated. Erdogan demands that the U.S. extradite Gulen (he lives in Pennsylvania) to Turkey, but Washington does not usually extradite political figures unless the evidence is highly persuasive in a U.S. court.

More importantly, Erdogan’s sensational and sweeping charges against Gulen seem to fly in the face of most logic. Consider the following:

Erdogan had already largely crushed Hizmet before the coup. He was enraged in 2013 at the publication — by Gulen followers — of police wiretap evidence of widespread corruption within Erdogan’s own circles. He undertook a massive and ongoing purge against Hizmet’s members, activists, supporters, officials, financial institutions, television stations, newspapers, educational and social institutions, especially within the police and judiciary. Hizmet institutions were devastated. Its members knew their base had been crippled and understood the need to regroup as a movement, perhaps working more closely with liberal and even secular forces to maintain democracy, to protect against a return of military power and to prevent Erdogan’s widening abuses of authority.

Gulen has always embraced the importance and dignity of the state, in the best Ottoman tradition. He has supported the state against earlier Islamist movements that raised Islam over the state. He even felt compelled to support the military takeover of the state in 1980 in order to preserve the state in the face of raging guerrilla warfare raging in the streets. Basically, however, he supports democracy over military rule as the surest guarantee for the freedom of Hizmet to exist and conduct its social mission.

Gulen immediately denounced last week’s coup as well. Was he merely dissembling? Unlikely, since it is consistent with Gulen’s discomfort with military rule over years. Furthermore, Hizmet does not engage in terrorist activities, so support for political violence in this case is extremely unlikely. Erdogan’s charge that Hizmet is a “terrorist organization” is absurd to anyone with the least knowledge of the movement, given its strong emphasis on peace and dialogue.

Gulen arguably lacked even the capability to organize a serious coup in an army that, over decades, has rigorously weeded Hizmet followers out — indeed, any officers showing any religious beliefs. Turkish intelligence has also been all over the movement for years, amassing massive dossiers. Why would Gulen choose to attempt a coup that’s contrary to all his views and at a time of maximum weakness vis-a-vis Erdogan?

I found Hizmet to be remarkably moderate, tolerant, non-violent and open to dialogue.

The coup leaders called themselves the Peace at Home Committee. “Peace at home” (yurtta sulh) is part of a famous slogan of Ataturk’s and not associated with Gulen.

It beggars the imagination to believe that the now tens of thousands of people purged and arrested — police, army, judges, lawyers, teachers, bankers, journalists — are all terrorist enemies of the state. Clearly Erdogan is seizing the occasion to eliminate any and all opposition to his plans to create a new super-powerful presidency for himself. Erdogan will find many, even within his own party, who are dismayed at his reach for total power — but are cowed into silence. Once objective journalists now watch their words.

In the interest of full disclosure — it is on public record that I wrote a letter as a private citizen in connection with Gulen’s U.S. green card application in 2006, stating that I did not believe that Gulen constituted a security threat to the U.S. This came shortly after I had finished a book, The Future of Political Islam that involved extensive travel and interviews with Islamists around the world. In that context, I found Hizmet to be remarkably moderate, tolerant, non-violent, open to dialogue, a social rather than political movement, and a strong proponent of education as the means to empower Muslims in a globalizing future.

But in the years of Bush’s global war on terrorism, many neoconservatives in Washington were agitating to deport Gulen — among many hundreds of other Muslim clerics — as a security risk to the U.S. I found the charge baseless. Indeed, I still believe that Hizmet as a movement represents one of the most encouraging faces of contemporary Islam in the world.

I wanted the U.S. Federal Bureau of Investigation to at least be aware of my considered personal opinion as they considered his case. Since then, enemies of Gulen and many conspiratorial-minded Turks decided to connect the dots: the fact that I was a U.S. Central Intelligence Agency official (I had retired from the agency 18 years before) and that I had spoken out in defense of Gulen constituted clear “proof” that Gulen is a CIA agent.

Gulen’s movement is hardly without its faults. He is an old-school figure, 75 years old, reclusive and often not in touch with daily aspects of the organization. Hizmet has not been a transparent organization — hence it’s viewed as “shadowy.” But in past decades, when membership in Hizmet (or any Islamic movement in Turkey) constituted grounds for possible prosecution, its members kept a low profile, often hiding their affiliation.

That changed after Erdogan’s Justice and Development Party (known as the AKP) came to power in 2002. Many members of Hizmet then became free to seek positions in government (if qualified). In particular, they sought jobs in the police and judiciary, to a large measure to ensure that police powers would never be wielded against them (or the AKP) again, as in the past. The tide has now turned, and the full powers of the Erdogan-controlled police are being used against Hizmet members. Sadly, the police have regularly been a political football in Turkish politics over the years.

Erdogan’s own AKP had once been a remarkable model. Indeed, if Erdogan had retired from politics in 2011 with all the party’s accomplishments, he would certainly go down in history as the greatest prime minister in the history of democratic Turkey. But, as with so many leaders, after a decade in power, corruption sets in, leaders lose their touch and grow isolated and power-hungry. Erdogan is now in the process of destroying virtually everything his party created in the first decade of governance. His sweeping purges and the pall of fear and uncertainty is destroying Turkey itself.

How will it end? Erdogan has beaten Hizmet decisively. But he is planting the seeds for his own destruction. How and when he will fall remains unclear. Meanwhile, on the international scene, Turkey is rapidly becoming a pariah. The country itself is now his primary victim.

 

* Graham E. Fuller

Former vice chairman, CIA’s National Intelligence Council; Author “Breaking Faith

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Ex-aide Of Winners Chapel Bishop Converts To Islam, Exposes Church

Living Faith Church Bishop, David Abioye’s former aide, Ismail Haruna, has converted from Christianity to Islam.

Ismail, who was formerly known as Nicholas Martin, was a former driver of Bishop David Abioye.

Ismail revealed the reason for his conversion, citing an incident relating to finance mismanagement at the Living Faith, Garden of Faith Church in Kaduna, Kaduna state.

Ismail,who did not give details into the crime, revealed that he was convinced to drop Christianity when he was sacked from his job for accepting wrong.

“I was a driver to bishop Abioye in Winners, I started working in Canaan Land in 2001 and I worked for five years.

Ismail, who revealed this in a recent interview with news website, Naij.com, stated that he was laid off telling the truth

“Something happened and they said that when you say the truth and the same truth will set you free,” Ismail said.

 “But, I was the only person that rose up and said this is what happened and this is the truth.

“They laid us off and said we should stop working in the ministry.

“Ismail said the incident made him move to Abuja, Nigeria’s capital city.

“I now converted to a Muslim because of what happened.

“From 2004 till this year, I was not going to church again because I was just alone thinking,” he added.

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What Islam Says About Blasphemy And Killing – Imam Murtada Gusau

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

Thursday’s brazen attack and the killing of an Igbo market woman, Bridget Agbahime, the wife of Pastor Mike Agbahime, at Kofar Wambai market in Kano, who was alleged to have blasphemed the Prophet Muhammad (Pbuh), has left many people the World over shocked, saddened, and even infuriated. As the smoke cleared and I learned that the Kano State Government announces the arrest of the prime suspect in the killing. We called on all civil and community leaders to cooperate in ensuring lasting peace. And I urged all the Nigerian leaders to emulate governor Ganduje’s initiative in ensuring brotherly co-existence in the country.

As a Muslim, I was left having to grapple with – and answer- questions about the Islamic stance towards free speech and whether this incidence is a natural consequence of mocking or abusing Muslim sentiments.

Blasphemy is a very controversial topic in Islam that has taken on new importance due to the proliferation of instant global communication. Muslim extremists incorrectly cite a precedent in classical Islamic law to justify gross acts of vigilante violence and murder. Therefore, it is important for us to understand the context of the classical ruling and to view this issue in the larger perspective of the Qur’an and Sunnah as a consistent whole.

The general answer to blasphemy (Sabb ala Allah wa Rasulihi) as commanded in the Qur’an is to respond with patience, beautiful preaching, and graceful avoidance. The Qur’an records the fact that the Prophet was called a “sorcerer,” a “madman,” and a “liar,” yet Allah commanded him to be patient and to increase his acts of worship.

Allah Said:

“Be patient over what they say and avoid them with gracious avoidance.” (Surah Al-Muzzamil 73:10)

And Allah said:

“So be patient over what they say and exalt with the praises of your Lord before the rising of the sun and before its setting.” (Surah Qaf 50:39)

And Allah said:

 “So be patient over what they say and exalt with the praises of your Lord before the rising of the sun and before its setting.” (Surah Ta Ha 20:130)

These insults deeply hurt the feelings of the Prophet and his Companions, but Allah did not prescribe revenge for them.

Allah said:

“We already know that your heart is constrained by what they say, so glorify the praises of your Lord and be among those who prostrate.” (Surah Al-Hijr 15:97-98)

In fact, Allah told the Prophet and his Companions to expect more insults and mockery from the followers of other religions, and that they should remain patient and not let their abuse shake their faith.

Allah said:

“You will surely be tested in your possessions and in yourselves, and you will surely hear from those who were given the scripture before you and from those who associate others with Allah much abuse. But if you are patient and fear Allah that is of the matters requiring resolve.” (Surah Ali Imran 3:186)

In other verses, Allah commands the believers to simply avoid those who mock Islam and not to sit with them until they discuss something else.

Allah said:

When you see those who engage in offensive discourse concerning our verses, then turn away from them until they enter into another conversion.” (Surah Al-An’am 6:68)

And Allah said:

“It has already been revealed to you in the Book that when you hear the verses of Allah, they are denied and ridiculed. So do not sit with them until they enter into another conversation. Verily, you would then be like them.” (Surah An-Nisa 4:140)

Generally, the Prophet was commanded to endure any insult or mockery from his enemies which resulted from their bad character.

Allah said:

“Show forgiveness, enjoin what is good, and turn away from the ignorant.” (Surah Al-A’raf 7:199)

Abdullah ibn Zubair explained this verse, saying:

The Prophet was commanded to forgive the people’s bad character.” (Sunan Abu Dawud 4787)

There are many recorded incidents in the life of the Prophet in which he was mocked, defamed, and even physically attacked for his faith in Islam, but despite this abuse the Prophet responded with patience, forbearance, mercy, and forgiveness.

In one incident, a group of Jews insulted the Prophet in his own home. Although the Prophet was the leader of Madinah at the time, he did not order these men to be harmed. Rather, he used the incident to teach his Companions an important lesson about kindness.

Aisha reported:

“A group of Jews asked permission to visit the Prophet and when they were admitted they said, “Death be upon you.” I said to them, “Rather death and the curse of Allah be upon you!” The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said: “O Aisha, Allah is kind and He loves kindness in all matters.” I said, “Have you not heard what they said?” The Prophet said: “I said to them: And upon you.” (Sahih Bukhari 6528)

Al-Bukhari records this narration in his chapter regarding those who curse and abuse the Prophet, which strongly implies that he did not believe legal punishment should be applied to every case of blasphemy.

Badr ud-Din Al-Ayni, a scholar of the Hanafi School, comments on this chapter heading:

“Al-Bukhari has adopted the method of the people of Kufi on this issue, that if someone curses or berates the Prophet and he is a non-Muslim citizen, then he is rebuked but he is not killed. This is the opinion of Ath-Thawri.” (Umdat al-Qari fi Sharh Sahih Al-Bukhari 34/412)

In another incident, the Prophet was defamed and insulted by one of the men of Madinah who was upset with his method of distributing charity. The Prophet did not retaliate against him even though he was very disturbed by it, citing the fact that Musa (Moses), peace be upon him, was harmed by his people with much greater abuse.

Ibn Mas’ud reported:

“The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, was distributing charity among the people when a man from the Ansar said, “By Allah, Muhammad did not intend to please Allah with this distribution!” I came to the Prophet and informed him about this, then anger could be seen on his face and the Prophet said: “Moses was hurt with more than this, yet he remained patient.” (Sahih Bukhari)

Indeed, it was the practice of all the Prophets to patiently endure the harm they received from their people, even to the point of asking Allah to forgive their oppressors.

Allah said:

“They said: We will surely be patient with whatever harm you cause us, and let them rely on who would rely upon Allah.” (Surah Ibrahim 14:12)

Ibn Mas’ud reported:

“I saw the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, tell the story of a Prophet who was beaten by his people and he wiped the blood from his face, saying: “My Lord, forgive my people for they do not know.” (Sahih Bukhari 6530)

An-Nawawi comments on this narration, saying:

“In this is what the Prophets, peace and blessings be upon them, were upon of forbearance, patience, forgiveness, and compassion for their people, their supplications for them to receive guidance and to be forgiven, and that they should be excused for their sins because they did not know.” (Sharh Sahih Muslim 1792)

The Prophet continued to set this example throughout his life, even to the point of forgiving several people who tried to kill him.

In one incident, a woman came to the Prophet and fed him with a poisoned sheep. When the Prophet began to suffer and it was discovered what she had done, the companions asked him if they should kill her. In this case, it would have been a justified retaliation against attempted murder, but the Prophet pardoned her instead.

Anas ibn Malik reported:

“A Jewish woman came to the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, with a poisoned sheep and he ate from it. She was brought to him and he asked her about it. She said, “”I wanted to kill you.” The Prophet said: “Allah has given you no authority over me.” It was said, “Should we kill her?” The Prophet said: No.” (Sahih Bukhari 2474)

In another incident, a man from an opposing tribe attempted to kill the Prophet while he was sleeping. Allah miraculously saved the Prophet by causing the man’s hand to slip, after which the Prophet gained power him. Even so, in this position of strength the Prophet continued to show clemency.

Jabir reported:

“We took part in the expedition with the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, against Najd and when the time for afternoon rest approached, he was in a valley of thorny trees. He dismounted under a tree to rest in its shade and hung his sword upon it. The people dispersed among the trees in order to use their shade. While we were like this, the Prophet called us and we came to find a Bedouin sitting in front of him. The Prophet said: “This person came to me while I was asleep and he quietly took my sword. I woke up while he was standing over my head, holding my unsheathed sword. He said: Who will protect you from me? I said three times: Allah.” Jabir said: “The Prophet did not punish him and he sat down.” (Sahih Bukhari 2753)

In another narration, the Prophet said to the man:

“Will you bear witness that there is no God but Allah and I am the Messenger of Allah”? The man said, “No, but I give you my word that I will not fight you and I will not join anyone who is fighting you.” So the Prophet let him go. The man returned to his people and said: “I have just come to you from the best of people!” (Musnad Ahmad 14768)

The man was impressed by the Prophet’s character so much that he returned to his people and praised him. This is an excellent example of how mercy and forgiveness are among the best deeds for winning the hearts and minds to Islam.

In one of the most famous incidents, the Prophet finally gained power over his enemies after being persecuted for twenty-three years. He could have easily ordered their execution and the companions would have complied. However, the Prophet used this moment to teach the lesson of mercy just as Yusuf (Joseph), peace be upon him, had forgiven his brothers.

Al-Qasim ibn Salim reported:

“When they came to the Ka’bah they were holding onto its door and the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said: “What do you say? What do you think”? They said three times, “We say you are the son of our brother.” The Prophet said: “I say to you as Joseph said to his brothers: No blame upon you today. Allah will forgive you and He is the most merciful of the merciful.” (12:92)

Abu Yusuf reported:

“When they had gathered in front of the sacred Mosque, the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said: “What do you think I will do with you”? They said, “Only good, O noble brother, son of a noble brother.” The Prophet said: “Go, you are free.” (Sunan Al-Kubra of al-Bayhaqi 17714)

All of this evidence indicates the general rule that Muslims should respond to blasphemy with patience, forbearance, and graceful discussion. We need to behave in the serene manner of the Prophet as well as publish articles, set up websites, and otherwise spread authentic information about his life and teachings.

That said, the classical ruling in Islamic law imposes the death penalty upon those who blaspheme against Islam. This ruling is derived from handful of instances in which the Prophet executed some people for treason, not for merely insulting Islam.

For example, the Prophet ordered the execution of Ka’ab ibn Al-Ashraf as he conspired to wage war against Madinah. Ka’ab also wrote poetry satirizing the Prophet and his Companions, although this was not his only offense. Rather, he posed an imminent danger to the Muslim community due to his support for gathering an army.

Badr ud-Din Al-Ayni comments on the story of Ka’ab and other narrations:

“In these traditions it is shown that they were not killed merely for their insults. Indeed, they were only killed due to their aid of the enemy and gathering together for war and supporting it.” (Umdat al-Qari fi Sharh Sahih Al-Bukhari 34/413)

This was the general social and political context within which the classical ruling against blasphemy had developed.

Intisar Rabb, a onetime director of Harvard University’s Islamic Legal Studies program, explains:

“The rationale underlying this rule was an argument linking several steps. To curse God was to blaspheme Him, which was implicitly to signal a departure from the community of Muslims and the laws governing them. The presumption was that a person could not possibly be a Muslim, fitting squarely within its system of laws and confessing to the oneness and supremacy of God, if he or she at the same time cursed God. The same applied to cursing the Prophet, the family of the Prophet, and the revered Companions of the Prophet. For (the jurists), if religious speech acts akin to confessing the Muslim creed reflected societal commitments to uphold the law, much as an oath of citizenship might in the contemporary world, then renouncing such an oath would conceptually signal a threat or possibility of treason, combat against the state, and opposition to the social order itself. In other words, members of the Muslim community under Muslim rule were expected to play by its rules, including its call to honour reputation, lineage, and religious status. For the jurists, signaling absolution from those expectations could very well pose a threat of violence against the state and its public order or rule of law.” (See Ellis Mark S. 2012 Islamic law and international human rights law: searching for common ground? P. 158/164)

Therefore, it is not mere blasphemy that warrants the death penalty, but rather only when it is combined with acts of treason and sedition.

There is one particular proof-text being used in support of vigilante violence which we must critically examine. Extremists and Mob cite this narration in isolation and without context to justify the murder of anyone who insults the Prophet. The fault in their interpretation results from their attempt to derive a legal ruling from an anomalous narration and in disregard for general rules and principles firmly established in stronger texts.

Ibn Abbas reported:

“A blind man had a lady servant who would abuse the Prophet and disparage him. He forbade her from doing it but she did not stop. He rebuked her and she still did not stop. One night she was reviling the Prophet, so he took a dagger and pressed it on her stomach and killed her. In the morning, it was mentioned to the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him and he said: “I ask by Allah and by my right over whoever did this to stand up.” The blind man said, “O Messenger of Allah, I am her master and she used to abuse and disparage you. I forbade her but she did not stop, and I rebuked her but she did not stop. I have two sons like pearls from her and she was my companion. Last night she began to abuse you and disparage you, so I took a dagger and pressed it on her stomach until she died.” The Prophet said: “Bear witness that there is no punishment for her killing.” (Sunan Abu Dawud 4361)

There are problems with this narration both in its chain of authorities and in the text itself. This is a solitary (Ahad) narration coming by route of the sub-narrator Uthman Ash-Shaham who is widely regarded as trustworthy, but upon whom some scholars have cast doubt.

Yusuf ibn Abdur Rahman Al-Mizzi reported:

“An-Nasa’i said: from what I have read, Uthman Ash-Shaham is not strong. And he said on other topics there is nothing wrong with him.” (Tahdhib Al-Kamal 5495)

An –Nasa’i expressed doubt on Uthman Ash-Shaham’s ability to narrate about certain topics. In addition, Al-Bukhari, the leading scholar of prophetic narrations, did not narrate from him. Certainly a narration involving such strong legal implications should be narrated by a wide range of authorities whose capabilities are beyond question, yet this is not the case. It is possible that Uthman Ash-Shaham made an error relating the narration’s context, details, and implication.

Furthermore, there is a degree of anomaly (shadh) in this narration as it apparently contradicts several of the verses and traditions we previously mentioned. An anomalous narration is one that is related from trustworthy sources, but is contradicted by stronger sources.

Ibn Salah reported:

“Ash-Shafi’i said: An anomalous narration is not one that has been narrated by a single trustworthy person and not narrated by others. Rather, and anomalous narration is a report from a trustworthy person that contradicts what is narrated from other people.”  (Ulum Al-Hadith of Ibn Salah)

The fact that this narration contradicts what is authentically and abundantly reported elsewhere should make us very cautious about deriving a general rule from it.

And if we accept the narration as authentic (sahih) or at least trustworthy (hasan), as most scholars of prophetic narrations have done, then we must understand it in proper context and in agreement with the abundance of conflicting evidence.

This single incident occurred at time when the Makkans were waging war against Madinah. Repeated and stubborn expressions of defamation against the Prophet during this time would have strongly implied sympathy with the enemy forces. This means the woman potentially would have been in a position to relay sensitive information to the enemy, such as troop movements, which could have placed the entire community in danger. Consistent with the whole of Islamic scripture, we should conclude that her offense involved not simply insults on account of her bad character, but rather a repudiation of her loyalty to the community.

Moreover, the Prophet did not command or prescribe her execution. He initially considered it an evil deed that demanded an explanation. Upon hearing that the woman had posed a threat to the community, he only judged that the man not be punished for murder in this particular case, this makes the narration a description of a localized event rather than a universal prescription for all cases.

As such, we should not extract from this narration the idea that common Muslims may punish blasphemy against Islam without legal authorization. Islam does not authorize individual Muslims to appropriate for themselves the role of judge, jury, and executioner. It is a well-established principle in Islam that legal punishment may only be carried out by authorities who act upon due process. This solitary narration cannot be used to overturn this essential principle of Islamic law.

Does this mean that blasphemy should be tolerated in every case? Free speech is not merely a human right, but rather it is a responsibility. The purpose of free speech is to facilitate discussion in search of truth and justice. Consequently, the general rule is that people are free to speak their minds respectfully, but speech that serves no purpose other than to slander, defame, offend, or incite to violence is not worthy of protection. Indeed, the Muslims have been prohibited from cursing other religions and evens idols.

Allah said

“Do not insult those they invoke besides Allah, lest they insult Allah in enmity without knowledge.” (Surah Al-An’am 6:108)

For this reason, many Muslim countries have statutes against defaming Islam as well as Judaism, Christianity, and other religions, as this harms the cohesion of peaceful communities. Most countries in the world impose legal or at least social restraints on free speech with laws against slander and defamation, as well as what they consider “blasphemy,” such as the many European countries that prohibit profaning the memory of the Holocaust. Muslims and all people should respect such limits as it is the responsibility of good citizens to refrain from harming social order and peace.

However, the best way to counter false speech is by speaking the truth. The problem of blasphemy can usually be remedied by a number of peaceful solutions such as publishing articles, setting up websites, holding conferences, and arguing with good manners. Every non-violent means should be used to counter blasphemous speech before resorting to legal action and especially the death penalty. No doubt, the least likely to resort to killing are the true believers.

Ibn Mas’ud reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

“The most restrained of the people regarding killing are the people of faith.” (Musnad Ahmad 3720)

Muslims must avoid calling for the death penalty whenever possible, because indulgence in this matter indicates a lack of strong faith.

We also need to view this matter from the legal principle of public welfare (maslahah mursalah). Ibn Taymiyyah defines this principle as follows:

”The principle of public welfare is the case when a distinguished jurist views another action as more likely to bring benefit and there is nothing in the law to negate it.” (Majmu’Al-fatawa 11/342)

In so many cases, we see that the prosecution of blasphemy can cause greater harm to the community and the image of Islam than the blasphemy itself. We have a precedent in the practice of the Prophet to withhold such punishments when they cause greater harm.

Jabir ibn Abdullah reported:

“A man came to the Messenger of Allah on his way back from Hunain while there was some silver in the backpack of Bilal. The Messenger of Allah took a handful from it and distributed it among the people. The man said to him, “O Muhammad! Be just!” Umar ibn Al-Khattab said, “O Messenger of Allah, allow me to kill this hypocrite!” The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said: “I seek refuge in Allah that the people will say I am killing my Companions.” (Sahih Muslim 1063)

In this case, the Prophet refused to punish a dangerous man, a hypocrite who was pretending to be a Muslim in order to attack the community from within, on the grounds that it would have harmed the image of Islam in the eyes of the people.

Likewise, the age of instant communication ensures that cases of blasphemy are no longer confined to local areas, but instead they have global implications. Prosecution for mere childish insults and thoughtless, impromptu remarks, without evidence of treasonous intent, only project an image of Islam as intolerant and draconian. Rather, judges need to carefully consider the unintended consequences and they must justify any prosecution in terms greater than mere insults and hurt feelings.

Furthermore, we have the lessons of history which compel us to seek mitigation and restriction of the classical blasphemy law. Numerous Muslim scholars were imprisoned and persecuted because their views were considered “blasphemy” by the ruling regime. Most notably is the case of Ahmad ibn Hanbal who was imprisoned and tortured by the ruling Mu’tazilte regime for his alleged blasphemy of affirming the Quran was uncreated. An uncompromising and loosely interpreted blasphemy statute increases the possibility of it being misused by a corrupt regime to victimize callers to truth.

Therefore it is not permissible for a Muslim without judicial authority to implement Islamic legal punishments on his own initiative. Vigilante justice, or “taking the law into your own hands,” is unlawful in Islam because it will lead to chaos and possibly greater harm than the crimes themselves. Likewise, it is not permissible for a Muslim to declare war or to commit an act of war without lawful authority.

Abu Hurairah reported: Sa’ad ibn Ubadah said:

“O Messenger of Allah, if I find another man with my wife, should I leave him alone until I bring four witnesses?” The Prophet said yes, Sa’ad said, “Never! By the one who sent you with the truth, if that happened to me I would quickly grab the sword!” The Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, said: Listen to what your leader is saying.” (Sahih Muslim 1498)

In this example, the Prophet has forbidden a man who witnesses his wife committing adultery from implementing legal punishment by his own initiative. This is because legal punishments may only be applied by appointed judges and because the punishment for adultery requires the testimony of four reliable witnesses.

Ibn Muflih writes:

“It is forbidden to establish a legal punishment unless it is done by the leader or his deputy.” (See Al-Furu’ 6/53)

Sheikh Hani Al-jubayr, judge at the Jeddah Supreme Court, writes:

“The prescribed punishments in Islamic Law are only to be issued by the judge, since due process and proper procedures of evidence must be observed. They must thereafter only be carried out by properly empowered government officials. Otherwise things will deteriorate into public violence that may bring about dire consequences.”

Therefore, a Muslim who witnesses a crime (any kind) should inform the local authorities who will take appropriate action. He should never attempt to implement legal punishments on his own.

Sheikh Ahmad deedat said:

“The biggest enemy of Islam is the ignorant Muslim, whose ignorance leads him to intolerance, whose actions destroy the true image of Islam, and when the people look at him they think that Islam is what he is.”

In conclusion, numerous verses and traditions in Islam demonstrate that the general rule for responding to blasphemy is to counter it with patience, forbearance, and speaking the truth in a beautiful manner. Muslims ought to behave this way in the overwhelming majority of cases. The only exception to this rule is derived from the specific cases in which the Prophet punished some people for treason in addition to their harmful utterances. We must not expand this specific rule to all cases, thereby negating the general teachings of mercy, patience, and tolerance.

 

Your Brother, Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, the chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’at Mosque and Alhaji Abdurrahman Okene’ s Mosque, Okene Kogi State Nigeria. He can be reached via: +2348038289761. Saturday, Sha’aban 28, 1437 AH (June 4th, 2016).

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Blasphemy Killing: No Jungle Justice In Islam – Muslim Group

Mrs. Brigdet Agbawe, a Christian woman, was attacked by a mob and decapitated in Wambai market, Kano, over a religious argument.

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) strongly condemns this gruesome murder. It is preposterous, barbaric and unIslamic.

Islam frowns upon mob action and there are laid down procedures for apprehending anyone who breaks the law of the land. Even where blasphemy is committed, the woman should have been taken to the police station instead of being brutally attacked. There is no jungle justice in Islam.

We charge the Nigerian Police to get to the root of the matter and deal with the culprits according to the law. Nobody has the right to take to take the law into his hands. We will not stand akimbo while some misled Muslims smear the name of Islam.

Qur’an chapter 4 verse 59 commands Muslims to obey those in position of authority and, by inference, the laws of the land. There must be decorum in social interface. Anybody can fall victim of mob action if we continue like this. Any false claim can be made against a perceived enemy and a wild mob will descend on an innocent person or persons before you can say Jack Robinson.

MURIC is deeply saddened by this ugly incident. The fact that the victim is a woman makes it more Bohemian, more anti-social and most unacceptable by Islamic standards. Islam teaches respect for the women folk. Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said the noblest of men are those who honour women.

In addition, the fact that the Glorious Qur’an prohibits the killing of an innocent soul (Qur’an 6:151 and this poor woman must be deemed innocent until proved otherwise by a competent court of law) is enough to denounce the perpetrators of this heinous crime.

We appeal to the Federal Government, religious leaders and traditional rulers all over the country to intensify enlightenment among the citizens particularly in the area of religious tolerance and peaceful coexistence. Nigerians should eschew intense religious arguments except in scholarly and friendly environments.

As we sum up, we recall that there are reports that the police have arrested two suspects. We dare say this is not good enough. Two people cannot publicly hold a woman down and cut off her head. Available evidence point at the participation of a large number of people. The presidency has also shown interest. Heads must roll on this if we must make it a deterrent. We therefore urge the police to dig deeper in order to prevent future carnage. Enough is enough.

Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Director,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)

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(Friday Sermon) Islam And Reading Culture By Imam Murtada Gusau

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

Alhamdulillah. Indeed, all praise is due to Allah. We praise Him and seek His help and forgiveness. We seek refuge with Allah from the evil within ourselves and from our wrongdoings. He whom Allah guides, no one can misguide, and he whom He misguides, no one can guide.

I bear witness that there is no (true) God except Allah alone without a partner, and I bear witness that Muhammad (PBUH) is His abd (servant) and Messenger.

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

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

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

Indeed, the best speech is Allah’s (SWT) Book and the best guidance is Muhammad’s (SAW) guidance. The worst affairs (of religion) are those innovated (by people), for every such innovation is an act of misguidance leading to the Fire.

Dear Servants of Allah!

Allah has bestowed upon us existence, but He made our life restricted in span. It remains short no matter how much it lasts. For this reason the Noble Qur’an urges us to invest in our time by doing good deeds so as to benefit ourselves and our nation. And reading is one of the beneficial acts to busy ourselves with. Because of its importance in life, it was the first thing revealed to the Prophet (PBUH) as Allah says:

“Recite/Read in the name of your Lord who created – created man from a clinging substance. Recite/Read and your Lord is the most Generous – who taught by the pen – taught man that which he knew not.” (Al Alaq, 1-5)

Dear Servants of Allah!

Reading is thus a delight for the soul and a feed for the thought. Therefore, you are invited to read beneficial knowledge and acquire useful books. The best book of all is the Noble Qur’an. Allah the Almighty says:

So recite what is easy from it.” (Al Muzammil, 20)

On the same matter, the Prophet (PBUH) said:

“Recite the Qur’an for it will come as an intercessor for its readers on the Day of Resurrection.”

It is the inscribed book for understanding what Allah, may Glory be to Him, has availed in this universe, from land, sea, air, environment to space. Whoever reads the Qur’an and ponders its meanings will go deeply in understanding its verses, indicating the all knowledge of the Creator as well as his wisdom and might.

Allah the most Exalted says:

We will show them our signs in the horizons and within themselves until it becomes clear to them that it is the truth.”

Also Reading the Prophetic Hadiths and traditions as well as those of scholars and the pious is also a rich source for attaining knowledge. They contain a wealth of lessons that they can be alternative to many other books and records. It was reported that it was said to Ibn al Mubarak:

“O Abu Abdulrahman, what if you go out and sit with your friends.” He said, “When at home, I am sitting with the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH’s) companions,” meaning reading books.

Dear Brothers and Sisters!

Reading is the key to harness sciences, master skills, learn religious teachings and acquire the knowledge and heritage of former and later peoples. It is no wonder then that it is a reason for elevating the status of man either in his lifetime or after his death. Allah the most exalted says:

“Allah will raise those who have believed among you and those who were given knowledge, by degrees. And Allah is acquainted with what you do.” (Al Mujadala: 11)

In another place in the Qur’an, the high value of reading is highlighted in the account of the youth of the cave (as-habul Kahf), who kept a book with them:

Or have you though that the companions of the cave and the inscription were, among our signs, a wonder?” (Al Kahf: 9)

About them (the youth and the inscription), Ibn Abbas, May Allah be pleased with him, said that the inscription with them at the cave was their code of law.

This point to the importance of taking and reading books in all of one’s actions as was the case with early Muslims. Well aware of this, they rolled up their sleeves and sought to combat literacy by studying and learning. It was not uncommon amongst them to advise each other before travel to read books during their journey saying, “help yourselves overcome the solitude of being away from home by reading books. They are speaking tongues and seeing eyes.”

Al Khalil Ibn Ahmad al Farahidi, the founder of al Arud (the study of Arabic prosody), said, “Anything I heard, I wrote and memorized. And anything I memorized had benefitted me.” During his life, he was an avid reader and passionate about learning.

A scholar said to his friends, “please know that knowledge comes and go, so make books its protector and pens its guardian.” Their readings yielded beneficial knowledge, which was recorded in books of various forms and types.

My respected people!

You are advised to read different kinds of sciences and texts as there are a large number of materials translated into Arabic, English, Hausa, Yoruba, Igbo, Ebira, etc. making knowledge conveniently available in our mother tongues.

This is accentuated by the evolution of reading tools, which are no longer the preserve of conventional mediums; books, journals, magazines and so on. Reading has become electronic through the internet and other similar mediums, featuring varied knowledge content that feeds the souls and thoughts.

The new reading facilities save time and effort and take us to the age of smart communication solutions, invented by people who invested well in reading. So strive hard in reading beneficial sciences and encourage your children to follow whatever is new and useful. You need also to give some of your time to reading, daily and weekly.

With this in mind, I command you to obey Allah duly and be aware that nations progress through reading and knowledge, without which life is meaningless. That is why Allah swore by their tools, the pen. He the Almighty says:

“Nun. By the pen and what they inscribe?” (Nun: 1), highlighting the high status of writing. Let us make the books our companions in order to contribute to our beloved nation.

Dear Servants of Allah!

Allah has asked you to abide by an order He has been the first to undertake, then His angels, for He says:

Indeed, Allah confers blessing upon the Prophet, and His angels [ask Him to do so]. O you who have believed, ask [Allah to confer] blessing upon him and ask (Allah to grant him) peace.” (Al Ahzaab: 56)

The Prophet (PBUH) said:

“For everyone who invokes a blessing on me will receive ten blessings from Allah.”

May the peace and the blessings of Allah be upon our Master Muhammad (PBUH), his family and all his Companions.

“O Allah, we seek your favour to bless us with beneficial knowledge, let our hearts be full of your gratitude and keep our tongue moist with your remembrance. May Allah bless us with good provision, accepted work, well-being in mind and body and blessed living life and progeny.

May Allah be pleased with the rightly guided caliphs and all those who will follow them in righteousness till the Day of Judgment.

O Allah guide us to know what is good, make us benefit from what we have learnt, and increase our knowledge.

O Allah, give us piety and purify our souls. You are the Master and the Lord of souls. O Sustainer, amend our intentions, grant that our spouses and our offspring be a joy to our eyes and make success be an ally to us.

O Allah, we implore you at this instant not to let a sin unforgiving, a distress unrelieved, an illness unhealed or a handicapped without relief, a dead without mercy or a debt unsettled. Our Lord, give us in this world that which is good and in the Hereafter that which is good, and save us from the torment of the fire.

May Allah grant our leaders success and provide strength and assistance to them.

“O Allah, forgives all of the Muslims, men and women, living and dead, and makes blessings follow us and them. O Allah have mercy on our parents. O Lord, forgive and show mercy, you are the Ever merciful and there is no strength or power save with Allah, the High, the Great.

I pray to Allah, the Most Gracious to continue blessing our beloved country, Nigeria, with peace, unity, progress, safety and security, ameen.

O Servants of Allah remember Allah and He will remember you. Be grateful for His benevolence He will increase His blessings to you. Allah, the Most High, says:

“And establish prayer. Indeed, prayer prohibits immorality and wrongdoing, and the remembrance of Allah is greater. And Allah knows that which you do.” (Al Ankabut: 45)

 

This Khutbah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today, Friday, Sha’aban 13,1437 AH (May 20, 2016), by Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’at Mosque and Alhaji Abdurrahman Okene’s Mosque, Okene Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached through: +234 803 828 9761.

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(Friday Sermon) Islam Teaches Muslims Good Character By Imam Murtada Gusau

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

All perfect praise be to Allah, we praise Him, seek His aid, and ask His forgiveness. We seek refuge in Allah from the evils of ourselves and from our bad deeds. He whom Allah guides, there is none to misguide him, and he whom He leaves astray there is none to guide him! I bear witness that Muhammad (SAW) is His slave and Messenger.

To proceed:

“O you who have believe! Fear Allah (by doing all that He has ordered and by abstaining from all that He has forbidden) as He should be feared, (Obey Him, be thankful to Him, and remember Him always), and die not except in a state of Islam (as Muslims) with complete submission to Allah.” [Al-Imraan: 103]

“O mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, who created you from a single person (Adam), and from him (Adam) he created his wife [Hawwa (Eve)], and from them both He created many men and women and fear Allah through whom you demand your mutual (rights), and (do not cut the relations of) the wombs (kinship). Surely Allah is Ever an All-Watcher over you.” (An-Nisaa’: 1)

“O you who have believe! Keep your duty to Allah and fear Him, and speak (always) the truth. He will direct you to do righteous good deeds and will forgive you your sins. And whosoever obeys Allah and His Messenger (SAW) he has indeed achieved a great achievement (i.e. he will be saved from the Hell-fire and made to enter paradise).” [Al-Ahzaab: 70-71)

To Proceed:

Verily the most truthful speech is the Book of Allah, and the best guidance is the guidance of Muhammad (SAW). And the worst matters are the newly invented matters (in the religion), and ALL new matters are innovations into the religion, and all the innovations are misguidance, and all the misguidance lead to the fire.”

Servants of Allah!

Good character, morals, ethics and manners are fundamental to the religion of Islam and the means by which we can achieve salvation in the life to come. Good character is a major theme in the teachings of the Qur’an and the Hadiths of the Prophet (SAW). True righteousness is defined by it and the best Muslims are those who practice it. The believers with the most complete faith, who are most beloved by Allah and His Messenger, are those with the best character. A good Muslim is a person who received good training and upbringing from his parents. Therefore he will not abuse or insult the leaders and elders of other people nor listen to those untrained people who are trying to tarnish his image, defame him or spreading the campaign of calumny against him. Because he have believed that it’s lack of good training and proper upbringing that would make a person to behave so.

Allah praised the Prophet’s character and set him as the example and role model for all believers to follow. Allah the Most High said:

Verily, you are upon great moral character.(Surah Al-Qalam 68:4)

The commentators of the Qur’an say the “great moral character” mentioned in this verse is the Qur’an, the Prophet, and the religion of Islam itself.

Imam Ibn Kathir also comments on this verse, saying:

“The meaning of this verse is that the Prophet would emulate the Qur’an in its commands, its prohibitions, and it became his temperament. His character became accustomed to it and he abandoned his visceral carnal nature. Whatever the Qur’an commanded he did, and whatever it prohibited he abstained. Along with this, Allah ingrained within him great character traits of modesty, generosity, courage, forgiveness, forbearance, and every beautiful trait.” (See Tafsir al-Qur’an al-Azim, 68:4)

The primary mission of the Prophet was to instill good character within the believers in every aspect of their lives.

Abu Hurairah reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

Verily, I have only been sent to perfect righteous character.” (See Musnad Ahmad, 8729)

In another narration, the Prophet said:

“I have been sent to perfect good character.” (See al-Muwatta, 1614)

And in another narration, the Prophet said:

“Verily, Allah has sent me to perfect noble morals and complete good deeds.” (See al-Mu’jam al-Awsat, 7073)

Brothers and sisters!

With respect to Allah, good character means upholding the sound creed (aqeedah) and acts of worship (ibadah). With respect to people, good character means being just, merciful, forgiving, kind, generous and patient in our interactions with them (Mu’amalat).

This comprehensive view of good character coloured the Prophet’s preaching in Makkah and throughout his life. The companions would recall how good character was one of the first Islamic teachings they had ever heard.

Ibn Abbas reported: When Abu Dharr heard that the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, had appeared in Makkah, he said to his brother, “Ride to this valley and tell me about this man who claims to have received revelation from the heavens. Listen to his words and then inform me. “The man rode along until he arrived in Makkah and he listened to the Prophet, then he return to Abu Dharr and he said:

“I have seen him order noble morals, and his speech is not that of poet.” (See Sahih Muslim, 2474)

Since good character is so important, behaving in a morally upright manner is a religious obligation. The Prophet commanded Muslims to behave well in every circumstance and with every human being, not simply those close to us.

Abu Dharr reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

“Behave with good character toward the people”. (See Sunan At-Timidhi, 1987)

Good character is not merely recommended or secondary to issues of doctrine. Rather, good character, morals, ethics, and manners are the spirit that breathes life into our doctrines. It is the very essence of the righteousness spoken about all throughout the Qur’an. It is accessible to our innate rational nature as Allah has bestowed upon all of us the power to recognize righteousness and sin, even without the aid of revelation.

An-Nawwas ibn Sam’an reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

“Righteousness is good character and sin is what waivers in your heart and you hate for people to find out about it.” (See Sahih Muslim, 2553)

In another narration, the Prophet said:

“Consult your soul, consult your heart. Righteousness is what is satisfying to your soul and your heart, and sin is what wavers in your soul and causes hesitancy in your chest, even if the people give you a judgment, and again give you a judgment.” (See Sunan Ad-Darimi, 2533)

From all this, many classical scholars understood that good character is essential and required in Islam, even equivalent to the religion itself.

Imam ibn Al-Qayyim writes:

“The religion itself is entirely good character, so whoever surpasses you in good character has surpassed you in religion.” (See Madaarij al-Saalikin, 2/294)

And he also writes:

“Good manners itself is the religion in its entirety.” (See Madaarij al-Saalikin, 2/363)

The true measure of a good Muslim is how good are his character and manners, particularly in his or her relationships with their families and all people. Men are specifically called upon to treat their women in the best manner. The honour of a Muslim man is directly proportional to his behaviour towards women.

Abdullah ibn Amr reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

“The best of you are those with the best character.” (See Sahih Bukhari, 3366)

In another narration, the Prophet said:

“The most complete of the believers in faith are those with the best character, and the best of you are the best in behaviour to their women.” (See Sunan At-Tirmidhi, 1162)

And in another narration, the Prophet said:

“Verily, the believers with the most complete faith are those with the most excellent character and who are most kind to their family.” (See Sunan At-Tirmidhi, 2612)

Servants of Allah!

Good character is among the greatest of good deeds to be placed on the scale of a believer on the Day of Judgment, even more so than an abundance of voluntary acts of worship.

Abu Dardaa reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

“Nothing is heavier upon the scale of the believer on the Day of Resurrection than his good character. Verily, Allah hates the shameless, obscene person.” (See Sunan At-Tirmidhi, 2002)

Aisha reported: the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

“Verily, the believer may reach through his good character the status of one who regularly fasts and prays at night.” (See Sunan Abu Dawud, 4798)

The Prophet informed us that good character is the leading cause of people entering paradise. On the contrary, character flaws involving bad speech, defaming, attacking, abusing and insulting people and sexual immorality are the leading cause of people entering the Hellfire.

Abu Hurairah reported: The Prophet was asked, “What enters most people into paradise?” The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him said:

“Righteousness and good character.”

It was asked, “What enters most people into the Hellfire?” The Prophet said:

“The mouth and the private parts.” (See Sunan At-Tirmidhi, 2004)

Those who practiced good character and manners will be the closet to the Prophet and the righteous in paradise, whereas those who indulged in bad manners will be the furthest from them.

Abdullah ibn Amr reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessing be upon him, said:

“Shall I tell you about the most beloved to me and the closest to my assembly on the Day of Resurrection? They are those with the best character.” (See Musnad Ahmad, 6696)

In another narration, the Prophet said:

“Verily, the most beloved and nearest to my gathering on the Day of Resurrection are those of you with the best character. Verily, the most reprehensible of you to me and the furthest from my gathering on the Day of Resurrection will be the pompous, the extravagant, and the arrogant.” (See Sunan At-Tirmidhi, 2018)

My respected people!

The scholars have written many books and articles about the virtues of good character and their practical manifestations: acts of mercy, justice, fairness, patience, forbearance, modesty, humility, generosity, piety, kindness, compassion, and so forth. In each case, good character involves the respect due to Allah, as well as the respect due to human beings and animals as the creations of Allah.

Ibn Taymiyyah summarizes the good character of Islam, saying:

“The believers encourage people to reconcile relations with those who have cut them off, to give charity to those who have deprived them, and to forgive those who have oppressed them. They order people to be benevolent with parents, to uphold family ties, to be benevolent with neighbours, to be kind with orphans, travelers, and the poor, and to be gentle with servants. They forbid bragging, arrogance, and transgression. They discourage people from feeling superior over others, rightly or wrongly. They enjoin people to use lofty manners and prohibit them from pursuing trifles. All that they say or do from these virtues and other teachings, in all of it they follow the Qur’an and the Sunnah. Their path is the religion of Islam with which Allah has sent Muhammad, peace and blessings be upon him.” (See al-Aqidah al-Wasitiyah, 1/71)

Dear Servants of Allah!

As Muslims, our goal should be to behave well towards Allah by continuously seeking knowledge of the religion and performing acts of worship, while at the same time behaving well towards all people, upholding divine values of justice, fairness and mercy, and responding to evil with good.

“O Allah! Make us among those who earn your forgiveness and acquire safety from the Hell fire, Ameen.

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Prayers, peace and mercy are upon our beloved Master Muhammad, the son of Abdullah (SAW), his family and his companions.

Success comes from Allah, the Lord of all that exists, and He the Most High knows best.

This Khutbah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today, Friday, Jumaada al-awwal 24, 1437 A.H (March 4, 2016), by Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’at Mosque and Alhaji Abdurrahman Okene’s Mosque, Okene Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached through: +234 80 3828 9761.

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Ese Oruru: How The North And Islam Became Scapegoats Of A Teenager’s Folly, By Gimba Kakanda

There is a usually predictable, almost robotic, pattern of reaction to any story in which an individual or a group from the north of Nigeria is a major character. This is the error of contemptuous generalisation, taking the action of a few individuals for a collective decision of the entire region. Or visiting the “sins” of the colonial north upon the millennial. This diseased lockstep of the mind is then applied to our social interactions, influencing both the outcomes of our political activities and even one’s sense of safety or social integration in any region other than ours. 

 
The case of Ese Oruru, a girl of 13, 14 or 17, depending on the narrative one subscribes to, only opens a big playgroup for some of the most bigoted suspects to amuse us with their insularity. These analysts and emergency activists proudly exhibit how they were influenced by stereotypes and sincere ignorance to perceive and portray the north as a continent of barbarians. This is an easy inference from the barrage of insults and condescending commentaries that attribute the travail of the “southern girl” to the religion of Islam and people of the north. 
 
The bottom line of her story, as popularised by the north-shaming narrative is, Ese was kidnapped in Bayelsa by an 18 year-old Yunusa Dahiru, also known as Yunusa Yellow, and taken to Kano where, against her will, she was forced to become a Muslim, married to the boy, and then sheltered in the palace of Emir Muhammadu Sanusi II of Kano Emirate. Thus, the catch lines, especially for those yet to forgive Sanusi Lamido Sanusi for his part in the fall of a “southern President” became: “Emir Sanusi Abducts Bayelsa Girl”, “Emir Sanusi Forces Bayelsa Girl into Islam”, “Emir Sanusi Justifies Kidnap of Bayelsa Girl”, and the stories came in various screaming headlines and sensationalised by both the mainstream media and blogs desperate for massive web traffic and mischief. A pathetically ingenious blog even carried that Ese was abducted by Yunusa to be made the Emir’s concubine, citing the former CBN Governor’s recent marriage to an 18 year-old and describing him as paedophile!  
 
The embarrassed Emirate Council countered the sensationalised narrative, confirming its awareness of the story and the role it played. The Council was approached by the family of Yunusa and, in its disapproval of the mode of union between Yunusa and Ese, it wrote to the Kano State Shari’ah Commission and the Office of the Assistant Inspector General of police, Zone 1, to have the poor girl reunited with her family. This was the last the Emirate heard of the case until it became a viral advocacy that attributed to it a role it didn’t play. 
 
“At the police office,” according to Yunusa’s 55-year-old father in a March 2 interview with the Premium Times, “And before Ese’s family, the girl cried that her life was in danger and that she rather died than go back with her family. In sympathy, the police said Aisha should be taken back to Kura.”
 
That account of Ese’s “father-in-law”, Malam Dahiru Bala, indicts the Police as culprits in this story, and also contradicted what she told newsmen at the Police Headquarters in Abuja: that she didn’t know how she got to Kano; that Yunusa wasn’t even her boyfriend, just a patron at her mother’s restaurant; that she didn’t remember consenting to elope with Yunusa; that she didn’t recognise her mother when the latter came to Kano; that she wasn’t married to Yunusa; that her conversion to Islam was not consensual; and that she regretted what happened and that, if she sees her alleged husband, she wouldn’t even know what to do, because “I’m confused… I don’t know what to do.”  This is from her interview with The Sun of March 3, 2015. Ese’s post-freedom accounts are even more intriguing, as claims of her love affair with Yunusa is now even dubious. But what may frustrate the denial is her mother’s version of the story, that when she found out her little girl was missing, the first suspect was the 18-year-old Hausa boy. But what matters now that she’s regained her freedom is the legal perspectives of this unfortunate, as the dual legal systems operational in both the south and north have provisions for penalising the guilty party at the Court of Law.
 
While we await the outcome of that, it’s pertinent to challenge the mischievous labelling of the north and its people in the court of public opinion by a legion of bigoted southerners who wore the garb of activism not truly out of sympathy for the girl, but to amplify their bigotry. Some of them are the same hypocrites who dismissed the abduction of Chibok girls as a hoax and anti-Jonathan propaganda. Because the case of Chibok is, as expressed in pidgin, “na dem-dem!” – a northern affair. Their empathy is thus geographically responsive.
 
If the welfare of the girl was indeed their concern, why are they silent about the growing baby factories across the southern half of the country? They can’t claim to have no knowledge of the existence of these dehumanising places. A few months ago, in Asaba, police detectives raided a place opposite the Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria office to free 8 pregnant teenagers. On June 13, last year, Enugu State Police Command raided a baby factory in Etiti in Amankwo-Ngwo Udi Local Government Council to free pregnant girls as young as 17. And even in Ese’s place of origin, activities similar to such advocacy-worthy atrocity takes place. Not long ago, the State Coordinator of Child Protection Network, Ms. Mariam Kombo-Ezeh shared stories of child abuse in Bayelsa State including the death of a 7-year-old from HIV/AIDS acquired from a rape. She also recounted the story of a 4-year-old girl raped to death by a 40-year-old man, but how many of these self-styled activists know the 40-year-old monster or bother to track this case and ensure delivery of justice? Theirs is only to sensationalise that of a particular people, which they generalise to register their savagery.  
 
If ignorance had not been applied in our clamouring for the freedom of Ese, whose case is of course heart breaking to all sane minds, the north and Islam wouldn’t have been made scapegoats of a teenager’s foolish adventure. A simple enquiry would’ve shown that Islam does not condone elopement, and it’s perhaps the same wisdom the Kano Emirate Council identified with, in admonishing the Police and Sharia Commission to “repatriate” her.  The Muslims have their tradition for formalising union between a man and woman, referred to as “Katb el-Kitab” – marriage contract. In a famous Hadith, the Prophet of Islam said: “Any woman who gets married without the permission of her guardian, her marriage is invalid, her marriage is invalid, her marriage is invalid.” Note the repeated clause. What Yunusa did is a crime that has no place in Islam or the northern society. Activist-types barely disguising their pet bigotries insisting that it is, for purposes of their own devising, will not make it so. They will only make communication and mutual understanding more fraught. My God save us from us! 
 
Gimba Kakanda

@gimbakakanda on Twitter
Editor: Opinion express in the article are strictly those of the writer and those not necessarily reflect the views of abusidiqu.com or its associates
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[Friday Sermon] Balance And Moderation In Islam By Imam Murtada Gusau

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

All Perfect Praise be to Allah, we praise Him, seek His aid, and ask His forgiveness. We seek refuge in Allah from the evils of ourselves and from our bad deeds. He whom Allah guides, there is None to MISGUIDE him, and He whom he leaves astray there is NONE to guide him! I bear witness that Muhammad (SAW) is His slave and Messenger.

To Proceed:

“O you who have believe! Fear Allah (by doing all that He has ordered and by abstaining from all that He has forbidden) as He should be feared, [Obey Him, be thankful to Him, and remember Him always], and die not except in a state of Islam (as Muslims) with complete submission to Allah.” [Al-Imraan: 102]

“O mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, Who created you from a single person (Adam), and from him (Adam) he created his wife [Hawwa (Eve)], and from them both He created many men and women and fear Allah through whom you demand your mutual (rights), and (do not cut the relations of) the wombs (kinship). Surely Allah is Ever an All-Watcher over you.” [An-Nisaa’: 1]

“O you who have believe! Keep your duty to Allah and fear Him, and speak (always) the truth. He will direct you to do righteous good deeds and will forgive you your sins. And whosoever obeys Allah and His Messenger (SAW) he has indeed achieved a great achievement (i.e. he will be saved from the Hell-fire and made to enter Paradise).” [Al-Ahzaab: 70-71]

To Proceed:

Verily the most truthful speech is the Book of Allah, and the best guidance is the guidance of Muhammad (SAW).

And the worst matters are the newly invented matters (in the religion), and ALL new matters are innovations into the religion, and all the innovations are misguidance, and all the misguidance lead to the fire.”

Servants of Allah!

Islam teaches us to be moderate and balanced in all aspects of life, whether it is religion, worship, relationships, ideas, or daily activities. Principled moderation is one of the defining characteristics of good character in Islam.

Allah the Most High said:

“Thus, We have made you a justly balanced community that you will be witness over the people and the Messenger will be a witness over you.”

(Surah Al-Baqarah, 2:143)

Ar-Razi comments on this verse, saying:

“The justly balanced (wasat) in reality is the furthest point between two extremes. There is no doubt that the two poles of excess and extravagance are destructive, so to be moderate in character is to be furthest from them, which is to be just and virtuous.” (See al-Tafsir al-Kabir, 2:143)

Moderation is the center point between two extremes. Every one of our virtues sits at the moderate center of two vices that stray from it. Our goal should be to find that center and always return back to it when we move away from it.

Ibn Manzuur writes in his classical Arabic dictionary:

“Every praiseworthy characteristic has two blameworthy poles. Generosity is the middle between miserliness and extravagance. Courage is the middle between cowardice and recklessness. Humanity has been commanded to avoid every such blameworthy trait.” (See Lisan al-Arab, 15/209)

My respected people!

Moderation is closely related to balance (tawazun) and justice (‘adl), as justice implies balancing rights and duties and setting everything in its rightful place. The moderate, just, and correct action in any given situation often involves the balancing a various concerns and seeking the middle ground between them.

Wahb ibn Munabbih, may Allah have mercy on him, said:

“Verily, everything has two ends and middle. If you hold one of the ends, the other will be skewed. If you hold the middle, the two ends will be balanced. You must seek the middle ground in all things.” (See Hilyat Al-Awliya, 4818)

This understanding of moderation is alluded to in our concept of the straight path to Allah in Islam. The straight path is the one that traverses the middle ground, neither swerving right nor left.

Hudhaifah, May Allah be pleased with him, said:

“O people, remain straight upon the path and you will have taken a great lead, but if you swerve right or left then you will be led far astray.” (See Sahih Bukhari, 6853)

In fact, it is Satan who sets up his partners along the straight path to call people away from it. The devils intend to mislead humanity into the extremes of any direction as long as it is away from the straight and middle path.

Ibn Mas’ud reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, drew a line with his hand and he said:

“This is the straight path of Allah.”

Then the Prophet drew lines to the right and left and he said:

“These are other paths and there is not a path among them but that a devil is upon it calling to its way.”

Then the Prophet recited the verse:

“Verily, this is the straight path, so follow it and do not follow other paths (6:153).” (See Musnad Ahmad, 4423)

As such, the principle of moderation should be pervasive in our thought processes and at the forefront of our reasoning in daily life.

We should be moderate when it comes to balancing the duties of religion and the duties of worldly life.

Allah the Almighty said:

“Seek the home of the Hereafter by that which Allah has given you, but do not forget your share of the world.” (Surah Al-Qasas, 28:77)

Some of the companions complained to the Prophet about the mixed feelings they experienced. When they were in the study circle of the Prophet, their awareness of the Hereafter and its realities would be at its peak, while when they returned to family and work their lives would carry on as usual. The Prophet told them that this was normal and that a Muslim ought to devote time to the Hereafter as well as worldly life.

Hanzalah Al-Usayyidi reported: I said, “O Messenger of Allah, when we are in your presence and are reminded of Hellfire and Paradise, we feel as if we are seeing them with our very eyes, but when we leave you and attend to our wives, our children, and our business, most of these things slip from our minds.” The Prophet said:

“By Him in whose hand is my soul, if your state of mind remains the same as it is in my presence and you are always occupied with the remembrance of Allah, the angels will shake your hands in your beds and roads. O Hanzalah, rather time should be devoted to this and time should be devoted to that.” (See: Sahih Muslim, 2750)

As part of this, we should be moderate in our acts of worship such as prayer, fasting, and even charity. For example, our prayers should be recited in a moderate voice, neither too loud nor too soft.

Allah the Most High said:

“Do not recite too loudly in your prayer or too softly, but seek a way between them.” (Surah Al-Isra, 17:110

Abu Musa reported: We were with the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, during a journey when the people began to exalt Allah loudly. The prophet said:

O people, be gentle with yourselves for you are not calling upon one who is deaf or absent. Rather, you are calling upon the Hearing, the seeing.” (See Sahih Bukhari, 3910)

The Prophet set the example in his leadership of the prayer and Friday sermon. He would lead the prayer and deliver a sermon that were long enough for the people to absorb a meaningful lesson or reminder, but not so long that it would cause boredom or distress.

Jabir Ibn Samurah reported:

“I was praying with the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, and his prayer was of moderate length and his sermon was of moderate length”.  (See Sahih Muslim, 866)

Regarding voluntary acts of worship, the Prophet encouraged his companions on many occasions to limit their extra worship so that they could take care of their duties to their families as well as maintain their health.

Abdullah ibn Amr reported:

The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said to me, “O Abdullah, I am told you fast all day and pray all night.” I said, “Of course, O Messenger of Allah.” The Prophet said: Do not do so. Fast and break your fast, pray in the night and sleep. Verily, your body has a right over you, your eyes have a right over you, and your wife has a right over you.” (See Sahih Bahari, 4903)

Salman Al-Farisi, May Allah be pleased with him, said:

“You have a duty to your Lord, you have a duty to your body, and you have a duty to your family, so you should give each one its rights.” (See Sahih Bakhari, 1867)

Brothers and Sisters!

We should be moderate in our charity for much the same reason. We ought to spend enough to help others in need, while still retaining enough to take care of our families and ourselves.

Allah the Almighty said:

They are those who, when they spend, are neither extravagant nor miserly, but follow a middle way between them.” (Surah Al-Furqan, 25:67)

We should be moderate in our mannerisms with others, carrying ourselves with tranquility and dignity rather than flamboyance, arrogance or melancholy.

Allah (SWT) said:

“Be moderate in your pace and lower your voice. Verily, the most disagreeable of sounds is the voice of a donkey.” (Surah Luqman, 31:19)

As-Suyuti comments on this verse, saying:

“It is a moderate pace between crawling and running, and you must have tranquility and dignity.” (See Tafsir Al-Jalalayn, 31:19)

Finally, we should be moderate in our relationships with others. This includes not only all of the virtues we mentioned that lie between extremes, but also to keep our feelings and emotions in check. We should love for people what we love for ourselves, but not as infatuation that we endorse their sins. And we should hate the sins and evil deeds people commit, but not as malice that we want to harm them.

Umar ibn Al-Khattab, May Allah be pleased with him, said:

“Let not your love be infatuation and let not your hatred be destruction.

It was said, How is this?” Umar said: When you love someone, you become infatuated like a child. When you hate someone, you love destruction for your companion.” (See Al-Adab Al-Mufrad, 1322)

We need to be moderate particularly when dealing with non-Muslims. Some Muslims go to extremes either in imitating the bad behaviours of non-Muslims, or rejecting their culture and companionship completely. Rather, we ought to have a balanced relationship with them in which we bear witness to our religion with good character.

Ibn Hibban said:

“Do not exaggerate in seeking nearness to them, nor be excessive in seeking distance from them.” (See Tafsir Al-Maawardi, 60:8)

To conclude, moderation is a comprehensive principle in Islam that guides a Muslim in all activities of his or her daily life. It is the avoidance of any type of extremism pleasing to Satan that leads us astray from the straight path. With a renewed understanding of this Islamic teaching, Muslims can help counter the many rising tides of extremism that threaten not only the Muslim community, but all humanity.

O Allah! Make us among those who earn your forgiveness and mercy, and acquire safety from the Hell Fire, Ameen.

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Prayers, peace and Mercy are upon our beloved Master, Muhammad, the son of Abdullah (SAW), his family and Companions.

And success comes from Allah, and He the Most High knows best.

This Khutbah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today, Friday, Jumaada al-awwal 3, 1437 AH (February 12, 2016), by Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Juma’at Mosque and Alhaji Abdurrahman Okene’s Mosque, Okene, Kogi State Nigeria. He can be reached through: +234 80 3828 9761.

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Islam and Women By Muhammad Malumfashi

Women in the book

Islam is the complete way of life. It’s a perfect religion, Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) left not a thing untouched, his Quran, an exposition for everything (Al-Nahl 89). So there is no way Islam wouldn’t have talked about Women. A whole chapter dedicated to women i.e Chapter 4 ‘Al-Nisai’ of the holy book. This apart from other numerous mentions across the book and traditions of the holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Some (of these women) were mentioned as example to be emulated where as others for the opposite and not for one to follow their paths.

Example of such: The first woman created Hauwa. She was created to be a companion, a partner of Adam, she was though not mentioned by name but was referred as Adam’ wife in the Qur’an in several places. The wives of Prophet Ibrahim (PBUH), Hadith mentioned their names as Hagar and Sarah the mothers of Ishaq and Isma’il (Prophets of God, PBUT), who were pious women. Quran also mentioned in Chapter 12 ‘Surah Al-Yusuf’ the wife of Aziz (The King of Egypt) which tried to seduce Prophet Yusuf (PBUH), later Quran described the plot of women as a ‘mighty’ one. The wife of Pharoah (Asiya according to narrations) who prayed to God to build a place for her in paradise and save her from Pharoah her husband and other people who are disbelievers. {Chapter 66 Tahreem ‘The Prohibition’}. The mother, sister and wife of Prophet Musa (PBUH) in chapter 28 i.e Surah Qasas and other chapters like: ‘Taha’ 20, Quran told how God ordered Musa’s mother to throw him into the river in fear of Fir’aun, which she did. How he was suckled, later after escaping from Egypt he went to Madyan, where he met two girls, married one. Again, the Queen of Sheba (Saba’) who and her people were worshipping sun before she submitted to Prophet Sulaiman PBUH (Islam), her story narrated in Chapter 27 (Surah Naml) of the holy Quran. A whole chapter named after Maryam ‘Mary the mother Jesus PBUT, not only that a chapter was named after her, her name was called explicitly. She was a good example of modest, God – fearing & chaste woman who wished death than to have an illegitimate child. Other numerous mentions like the wife of Imran ‘Mother of Mary’, many a verses referring to the wives of Prophet PBUH notably chapters 24 & 33.

However some other women were mentioned like the wife of Abu Lahab (according to a Hadith, Umm-Jamila bnt Harb) in chapter 111. She will have her neck twisted with fibre rope in hell, for what she and her husband did to Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) in Mecca. Allah set example for those who disbelieve in chapter 66, the wives of Noah and Lot, despite under Prophets of God but they rejected the doctrine. All they will be told ‘enter fire with those who’ll enter’. May we and our family not be amongst.

Women before Islam

It was one of the companions of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) who said those who witnessed the Jahilliyyah (Pre-Islamic era) will appreciate Islam the more. Before the coming of Muhammad who was a light to the entire universe (not only to women), they were oppressed. In the Arabian peninsula (which though had some level of civilisation), women were nothing short of sex objects then. Relationship they had with men was only and purely sexual. Such can be found in their poetry, which was full of eroticism. The women are always involved in multiple courtships, sleeping with different sets of men at the end of day, the new child is attributed to the man whom he resembles most. Men marry as many as they can (including their late fathers wives) some sleep with them while some turn them to slaves and sell them off. When a woman is in her period she’s chased out of the house compound until she turns pure. Women were free to give birth anytime, nevertheless the female born are used to be buried alive. There’s this story of a young daughter who was wiping the sweat of her dad as he tirelessly dig her grave, at the end he buried her alive. Her crime? She was born a lady, seen a burden or one who brings poverty. One of the pagans of Makkah at that time was reported to have said about women ‘We buy them, use them and then dump them.. ‘

In the Europe, the story wasn’t any different either. If there was any, then it makes it even worse for the women of that time. The emperor of Rome, Imperium Romanium regarded women far inferior to men in the Roman law. Just as it was the case in the Arabia, women weren’t allowed to inherit, they in fact are inherited. Woman was an asset, a movable one. A sex object which have no control over her own desires. It was even a topic of debate, whether a woman has soul or if she’ll be raised after this life in the kingdom of God. They were so relegated.

Women after Islam

That was a brief picture of the inferiority of women across the world before the coming of Muhammad (PBUH), he through divine intervention led a social reconstruction, knowing that men can’t do without women since the creation of Adam. He placed women were truly they belonged to. Not superior to the men, but as those created to be partners by God.

Islam made them enjoy their whole rights, carry out their responsibilities with co-operations from their partners. With their rights not denied in any guise and/or their duties exercised in a fair atmosphere. Women were respected & treated with honour. Nonetheless men enjoyed the natural position of leaders as Chapter 2 verse 228 revealed. This position only adds more responsibilities to the side of the men. Though men have a degree (which of responsibility) they are spiritually equal in the sight of Allah as another verse explained, the most noble in the sight of God (Allaah) is the pious (not by race, gender or tribe). With our different, each unique physical and psychological attributes, it made us adopt to our differrent responsibilities; household, society, war front. These made these roles & responsibilities different but justly balanced. Even we differ in our nature.

Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) emancipated women from the oppression mentioned far above. In all aspects, discussed below are some points.

In terms of education, Muhammad (PBUH) never left women alone. They got scholarship from the Prophet PBUH like the men. He established a school for this purpose, offer sermons to them on Eids. Aisha, one of ‘the mother of believers’ reported over a thousand of Hadiths from her husband PBUH. A lot of companions learnt from her school. In Islam, a woman must have access to education just like the man.

When it comes to parenthood, mothers have the upper hand over the male fathers. In one Hadith the Prophet (PBUH) mentioned ‘mother’ three times stressing before mentioning the father when asked who one should respect more. A lady complained to the Prophet (PBUH) of how her ex-husband want to snatch her baby from her, reminding Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) how she carried the baby in her body for months, then breastfeed him.. Muhammad (PBUH) affirmed she was in the best position to keep the baby. The heavens are under the feet of of Mothers reported a Hadith from Tirmidhi.

Before Islam, as mentioned women don’t inherit. The Qur’an, chapter 4 precisely (and some other) revealed verses regarding the woman’ portion in Islam. The proponents of ‘equal rights’ instead of the half of man’s commanded by Allaah forgot to mention the fact that man has more fiscal & financial responsibilities. Woman, is always under the guardianship of a man (father, uncle, brother, husband and even son at times). Her accommodation, feeding, eduction, clothing and others, all are tied to his neck. A young companion was seen visibly worried after his father died a martyr in one of the battles. The Prophet (PBUH) asked if he was worried over his father who was in Paradise. He replied that he has over 12 siblings (all young female ones) which he’s to take care of. It’s quite reasonable for the young man to have larger share than his sisters which were under his total control until they get married, in his case his father left nothing to inherit but some debts, which he has to pay.

In the Pre-Islam period men do marry a lot of women, Islam restricted that to only 1, 2, .. 4. The Qur’an (Chapter 4, verse 3) only allows marrying more than one on certain pre-requisites. With the fact that women are under their guardians (Wali), such guardians don’t have the right to marry of the women forcefully. Her consent must be sought before the deal. A lady approached the Prophet (PBUH) reporting her father who married her to a man she likes not, Prophet (PBUH) gave her conditions to terminate the marriage or stay (if she likes). She chose the latter only saying she wants parents to know that, they have know such powers. Not only the parents, a companion of the Prophet (PBUH) divorced his wife and later became so disturbed. Prophet (PBUH) was alarmed by his condition, went to meet his ex-wife and asked her if she’ll go back to her former lover. She asked if it was a command from God for so, when she learnt it was only an advice from the Rasul, she rejected the advise of the messenger. Parents or guardians can only propose, if the lady rejects they can only present different options, appeal and advice. In the other side, a Hadith of Prophet PBUH saying ‘when a man comes to you, seeking for your hands in marriage.. when he’s religious enough, accept him, or else there’ll be Fitnah.’ Noting that her dowry ‘mahr’ must be given to her (which they can use to support themselves even out of the marriage). Husbands should treat their wife(ves) fairly with love and compassion. Showing great sympathy and deep affection. The Prophet PBUH said the best to you are the best towards their wives and I’m the best to my wives. One of his wives said he always helps them with the house chores (as it’s the woman duty to keep the house). Lastly When there is no option and the union must be separated, and divorce remains the only option. This must be exercised within the Shariah.

Islam abolished all illicit sexual practices and burying of the females in Surah Isra’, only allowing intercourse after a marriage deal. Then, one has the right to sleep with his wife, according to chapter 2 of the holy Quran, however he wishes only disallowing going from behind. When the wives of Prophet are not clean, they cover their lower body and he deals with anything above that. Also encouraging foreplay to satisfy the partner better. One’ wife shouldn’t reject his offer on bed, as well he shouldn’t deprive them that right. Islam made it compulsory to make equal shifts when one has different homes.

 

Muhammad Malumfashi is on twitter @ya_waliyyi

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[Friday Sermon] The Prohibition Of Tribalism In Islam By Imam Murtada Gusau

In the Name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

All perfect praise be to Allah, we praise Him, seek His aid, and ask His forgiveness. We seek refuge in Allah from the evils of ourselves and from our bad deeds. He whom Allah guides, there is none to misguide him, and he whom He leaves astray there is none to guide him!

I bear witness that none is worthy of Worship but Allah, who is alone without partners and I bear witness that Muhammad (SAW) is His Slave and Messenger.

To Proceed:

“O you who have believe! Fear Allah, (by doing all that He has ordered and by abstaining from all that He has forbidden) as He should be feared, [Obey Him, be thankful to Him, and remember Him always], and die not except in a state of Islam (as Muslims) with complete submission to Allah.” [Surah Ali-‘Imraan, 3: 102]

“O mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, who created you from a single person (Adam), and from him (Adam) He created his wife [Hawwa (Eve)], and from them both He created many men and women and fear Allah through whom you demand your mutual (rights), and (do not cut the relations of) the wombs (kinship). Surely, Allah is Ever an All-Watcher over you.” [Surah An-Nisaa’, 4:1]

“O you who have believe! Keep your duty to Allah and fear Him, and speak (always) the truth. He will direct you to do righteous good deeds and will forgive you your sins. And whosoever obeys Allah and His Messenger (SAW) he has indeed achieved a greater achievement (i.e. he will be saved from the Hell-fire and made to enter Paradise).” [Surah Al-Ahzaab, 33: 70-71]

To Proceed:

Verily the most truthful speech is the Book of Allah, and the best guidance is the guidance of Muhammad (SAW).  And the worst matters are the newly invented matters, and ALL new matters (in Religion) are innovations into the religion, and all the innovations are misguidance, and all the misguidance lead to the fire.

Servants of Allah!

Tribalism is the pernicious and deleterious ideology that afflicts all human societies in every time period, originating in the worship of idols and reconstructing itself into many forms throughout the ages. In modern times, we know it as the specters of racism, xenophobia, supremacism, imperialism, slavery, fascism, genocide and ethnic cleansing. In practice, it rears its ugly head in the shape of prejudice, bigotry, and discrimination.

Allah has commanded us to uphold justice with all other human beings regardless of their race, religion, or identity.

Allah the Most High said:

“O you, who believe, be persistently standing firm in justice as witnesses for Allah, even if it be against yourselves or parents and relatives. Whether one is rich or poor, Allah is more worthy of both. Follow not your desires, lest you not be just.” (Surah An-Nisaa’, 4:135)

Brothers and Sisters!

Tribalists, by contrast, reject universal standards of justice. They divide the world into the privileged in-group and the demonized out-groups, holding to the slogan “my people, right or wrong.” Their love of their own people and hatred of different people causes them to rationalize and justify the unjustifiable.

Wathila ibn Al-Asqa’ reported: I said,

“O Messenger of Allah is it part of tribalism that a man loves his people?” the Prophet said: “No, rather it is tribalism that he supports his people in wrongdoing.” (See Sunan ibn Majah, 3949)

Love for one’s people is normal and healthy if it leads to good deeds, but such love that comes at the expense of justice is not true love at all.

Tribalism by this definition has been rejected by Islam in the harshest terms. Tribalism is a form of “blind following” whose adherents live in “ignorance,” an allusion to the pre-Islamic worship of idols.

Jundab ibn Abdullah reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

“Whoever is killed under the banner of blind following, which calls to tribalism or supports tribalism, then he has died upon ignorance.” (See Sahih Muslim, 1850)

The Prophet Peace and blessings be upon him disowned anyone who lives by the ideology of tribalism or supports it in any way. Tribalists might be outwardly Muslims, but in reality Allah will not count them among the true believers.

Jubair ibn mut’im reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

“He is not one of us who calls to tribalism. He is not one of us who fights for the sake of tribalism. He is not one of us who dies following the way of tribalism.” (See Sunan Abu Dawud, 5121)

The Prophet delivered an instructive parable to use about the likeness of one who adheres to tribalism:

Abdullah ibn Mas’ud reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

“Whoever supports his people in oppression is like a dead camel that falls into a well and is pulled out by its tail.”(See Musnad Ahmad, 4141)

In another narration, the Prophet said:

“The parable of the one who supports his people upon other than the truth is that of a dead camel that falls into a well and is pulled out by its tail. (Musnad Ahmad, 3670)

My respected people!

The Tribalist who falls into this sin is destroyed, just like a camel that plunges to his death inside a well. The corpse of his sin will poison the well for an entire town, while the townspeople must endure the hideous sight and stench as they remove his carcass from their drinking water. Like the rotting camel, all throughout history we have seen the deadly presence of tribalism justify oppression, murder, and genocide.

 

Tribalism takes many different forms, but the mindset is always the same. When Tribalists justify themselves in terms of race, this is classic biological racism. Sometimes Tribalists justify themselves in terms of culture, claiming their culture must dominate others, in which case they are simply practicing cultural racism.

 

Even religion itself can be used to construct and justify an ideology of tribalism. If religion is used to violate the human rights of others and rationalize injustice against out-groups, it has become nothing more than religious racism.

 

Rather, the religion of Islam teaches us to uphold the rights of all human beings, to walk with humility, and to leave the divine judgment to Allah alone. We would do well to remember the fates of the humble sinner and the arrogant worshipper.

 

Abu Hurairah reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

 

“Two men among the children of Israel were the opposite of each other. One of them was a sinner and the other would strive in worship. The worshiper would see the sinner and tell him to stop. One day he found him sinning so he said: Stop! The sinner said: leave me alone, by my Lord, have you been sent as a watchman over me? The worshiper said: by Allah, Allah will not forgive you or admit you into paradise. Later their souls were taken and they met in the presence of the Lord of the worlds. Allah said to the worshiper: Did you have knowledge of me or power over what is in my hand? Allah said to the sinner: Enter Paradise by my mercy. And Allah said to the worshiper: Take him to the Hellfire.”(See Sunan Abu Dawud, 4901)

 

In other words, it is never fair to compare the best of ourselves to the worst of others, lest we fall into the destructive sin of arrogance and braggadocio.

 

No matter what scheme is used to justify tribalism, whether race, culture, or religion, the outcome is always the same: racist practice. Whoever the Tribalists designate as the out-group will suffer prejudice, bigotry, and discrimination meant to enhance the Tribalists own privilege at the expense of those they deem inferior. Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi raaji’uun!

 

The method of tribalism is to issue blanket indictments of an entire race, culture, religion, or group of people. They will condemn an entire group for the crimes of a few, or misrepresent an entire group by only examining its worst elements. Thus, the purveyors of Islamophobia claim all Muslims are terrorists, the purveyors of anti-Semitism claim all Jews are greedy, and the purveyors of racism claim black people are natural criminals and parasites. In every case, the Tribalists construct a false caricature of their victims to be the straw man of their vicious attacks.

 

Islam teaches us to reject such blanket indictments and false generalizations. Some of the Prophet’s companions began to have bad thoughts about all of the Jews and Christians, but verses were revealed making clear distinctions the righteous and unrighteous.

 

Allah the Most High said:

 

“They are not all the same. Among the people of the Book (Jews and Christians) is a community standing in obedience, reciting the verses of Allah during the night and prostrating in prayer. They believe in Allah and the Last Day, and they enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and hasten to do good deeds. Those are among the righteous. Whatever good deeds they do will never be denied, for Allah knows well the righteous.” (Surah Ali Imran, 3:113-115)

 

It would be wrong to negatively characterize an entire religious group with all its unique individuals and diverse interpretations. For this reason, the Prophet firmly censured the poets of his time who had a habit of excoriating entire tribes.

 

Aisha reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

 

“Verily, the greatest of people in falsehood is a man who insults another man by disparaging the entire tribe.” (See Sunan Ibn Majah, 3761)

 

In another narration, the Prophet said:

 

“Verily, the greatest criminal among people is a poet who disparages the entire tribe.” (See al-Adab al-Mufrad, 870)

 

Servants of Allah!

If we accept blanket indictments of an entire group, then we are making a claim of collective guilt that will ultimately lead to collective punishment, and collective punishment is a crime of war. Islam rejects collective guilt and punishment, in word and deed, as innocent people may never be held accountable for the crimes of others.

 

Allah the Most High said:

 

“No soul earns anything except it is upon itself, and none shall bear the burdens of another.” (Surah Al-An’am, 6:164)

 

Abdullah ibn Mas’ud reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

 

“No man is to be punishment for the crimes of his father or his brother.” (See Sunan An-Nasa’i, 4131)

 

Hence, tribalism is the ideological core of all militant terrorists and criminals, regardless of whether they support state terrorism or renegade terrorism. The Prophet renounce anyone who fights for tribalistic reasons and who eschews the principle of non-combatant distinction in war.

 

Abu Hurairah reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

 

“Whoever fights under the banner of one who is blind, raging for the sake of tribalism, or calling to tribalism, or supporting tribalism, and is killed in this state will have died upon ignorance (Jahiliyyah). Whoever rebels against my nation, striking the righteous and wicked alike and sparing not evens the believers and he does not fulfill the pledge of security, then he has nothing to do with me and I have nothing to do with him.” (See Sahih Muslim, 1848)

 

When the connection between tribalism and terrorism is understood, it will not be difficult for you to see that every violent extremist group, whether white supremacists or kharijite terrorists or others, all share the same basic tribalist ideology even thought they express it in different terms.

 

In sum, Islam rejects all forms of tribalism, racism, and bigotry. We must not construct a false caricature of other groups in order to justify oppression, blanket indictments, and collective punishment against them. We must take the lead in upholding justice and the natural rights of not only Muslim, but of all human beings.

 

Fellow Nigerians!

Remember, whether you are Hausa, Fulani, Yoruba, Igbo, Kanuri, Nupe, Ebira, Igala, Okun etc., first thing is we are all Nigerians and Allah the Almighty created us to live together and benefit from each other’s gift, wisdom and experience. Further, no group or tribe can claim ownership of the Nigerian state; being different in tribes isn’t a reason why others will be maligned, belittled, vilified, denigrated, bad-mouthed, aspersed, dress downed and demonized. Therefore we must fear Allah and avoid any tribalistic behavious that will jeopardize our peaceful co-existence.

 

Let’s join hands together to move the country forward, in order to have the blessing of sustainable peace, unity and progress.

 

The Black, White, Yellow, Africans, Americans, Arabs, Europeans, Asians, northerners, southerners, westerners, easterners, etc. are all the same in the eyes of Allah. We should not be deceived by our colour, tribe or anything.

 

Servants of Allah!

The inauguration of the new Governor of Kogi State His Excellency, Alhaji Yahaya Adoza Bello (Fair Plus) took place peacefully by the Grace of Allah on Wednesday, 27th January, 2016.

 

The Governor is taking over a state that has been so polarized along tribal lines that it will take the wisdom of Prophet Sulayman for the Governor to succeed.

 

The debt profile of the state is equally frightening. This is therefore as I see it not a time for celebration but one that requires serious prayers for the Governor.

 

All persons of goodwill must therefore join in prayers for him and members of his team. Let us be part of the solution and not part of the Governor’s problems. No violence, no vilifying, no taunting of other tribes.

 

O Allah! Make us among those who earn your forgiveness and acquire safety from the Hell fire, Ameen.

 

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the worlds. Prayers, peace and mercy are upon our beloved master, Muhammad, the son of Abdullah (SAW), his family and Companions.

 

And success comes from Allah, and He the Most High knows best.

 

This Khutbah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today, Friday, Raby’ al-Thaany 19, 1437 AH (29 January, 2016), by Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’at Mosque and Alhaji Abdurrahman Okene’s Mosque, Okene Kogi State Nigeria. He can be reached for advice and corrections via: +2348038289761.

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[Friday Sermon] The Prohibition Of Rape In Islam By Imam Murtada Gusau

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

Alhamdulillah. Indeed, all praise is due to Allah. We praise Him and seek His help and forgiveness. We seek refuge with Allah from the evil within ourselves and from our wrongdoings. He whom Allah guides, no one can misguide; and he whom He misguides, no one can guide.

I bear witness that there is no (true) god except Allah – alone without a partner, and I bear witness that Muhammad (SAW) is His ‘abd (servant) and Messenger.

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

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

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

Indeed, the best speech is Allah’s (SWT) Book and the best guidance is Muhammad’s (SAW) guidance. The worst affairs (of religion) are those innovated (by people), for every such innovation is an act of misguidance leading to the Fire.

Dear servants of Allah!

Islam has forbidden rape and sexual abuse since the time of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) until today. Allegations by anti-Muslim activists are only buttressed by the appalling criminal behaviour of terrorist groups acting in the name of Islam who use rape as a weapon of war. Rape by itself is an atrocity, but it is made even worse, tantamount to idolatry, when it is falsely justified in the name of Allah and His Messenger.

The basic principle in Islamic law is that a Muslim is forbidden from harming another person or animal unless it is necessary to repel a greater harm.

Ubada ibn As-Saamit reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, issued a decree:

“Do not cause harm or return harm.” (See Sunan ibn Majah, 2340)

As-Suyuti expresses the legal principle as follows:

“Harm should be removed.” (See Al-Ashbah wa Nathaa’ir, 7)

Since it is well-established that rape causes innumerable harms to mind, body, and spirit, without any rational justification of preventing a greater wrong, it follows that rape is absolutely forbidden in Islam. This by itself is enough to establish the prohibition of rape. Even so, the Prophet further set the precedent that rape should not be tolerated in Muslim society. A man in Madinah was caught after he raped a woman and the Prophet (SAW) applied legal punishment on him, the maximum of which is the death penalty.

Abu Alqama reported:

“A woman went out to pray during the time of the Prophet (SAW) and she was met by a man who attacked her and raped her. She said, “This man has molested me!” The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said: “He is condemned to death.” (See Sunan At-Tirmidhi, 1454)

The righteous Caliphs who succeeded the Prophet continued this policy of legal punishment for the crime of rape. The victim of rape would not be punished regardless of the circumstances.

Ibn Umar reported:

“Umar ibn Al-Khattab was given a servant girl among the girls who served the leadership. She was forced upon by one of the young men, so Umar flogged the man and he did not flog the woman.” (See Musannaf of Ibn Abi Shaybah, 29012)

Nafi’ reported:

“A man was invited as a guest of the family of a household, and then he forced himself upon a woman among them. It was referred to Abu Bakr, so he flogged him an expelled him, and he did not flog the woman.” (See Musannaf of Ibn Abi Shaybah, 29013)

Hajjaj reported:

“An Abyssinian forced himself upon a woman among them. It was referred to Umar Ibn Abdul Aziz and he applied legal punishment on him.”(See Musannaf Ibn Abi Shaybah, 29014)

Brothers and Sisters!

Also the righteous jurists who succeeded the companions of the Prophet (SAW) established a legal consensus that rape was forbidden and should be punished as if it were adultery. They only disagreed about the monetary fine that was to accompany legal punishment.

Ibn Abdul Barr writes:

“The scholars agreed that the rapist must be given legal punishment if there is clear evidence against him that he deserves punishment or if he confesses to it. If the evidence is not as clear, then he is given a discretionary punishment. There is no punishment for the victim if it is true that she was forced and overpowered, as would be evident by her screams and cries for help.” (See Kitaab A-Istidhkaar, 32083)

And according to the Encyclopedia of Islamic Law it is said:

If a woman were to be raped, meaning without consent, then the rapist must be given legal punishment and his fine is agreed upon, although the jurists disagreed on the amount. The Hanafi scholars said he must pay the maximum blood money and no less. The Maliki scholars said he must pay the dowry and a just settlement. The Shafi’i scholars said he must pay blood money. The Hanbali scholars said he must pay a third of her blood money and a dowry similar to it.” (See Mawsu’at Al-Fiqhiyyah, 3212)

The prohibition of rape applied to all women, including slaves and prisoners of war.

Imam Ash-Shafi’i said:

“If a man acquires a slave girl by force and then he rapes her, and he is not an ignorant person, then the slave girl is taken from him. He must pay the fine and the legal punishment for adultery will be applied to him.” (See Kitaab Al-Umm, 253)

My respected people!

Indeed, it is even forbidden in Islam to slap a slave or a servant, let alone commit any greater harm. If a Muslim so much as slapped his servants, the Prophet (SAW) would command them to be set free.

Ibn Umar reported: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

“Whoever strikes his slave without limit or slaps him, then the expiation for his sin is to emancipate him.” (See Sahih Muslim, 1657)

Suwaid ibn Muqarrin reported: He had a servant girl and someone slapped her, so he said to him:

“Did you not know that it is forbidden to strike the face? I was the seventh of my brothers during the lifetime of the Prophet and we had only one servant. One of us became enraged and slapped him, so the Prophet commanded us to set him free.” (See Sahih Muslim, 1658)

If it is forbidden to simply strike a slave in a humiliating way, then how can it be lawful to commit rape which is many times worse?

Anti-Muslim activists and their extremist Muslim counterparts in criminal terrorist organizations agree that Islam allows the rape of captive women, yet they cannot produce any clear scriptural and legal proof for their position. Instead they must rely upon the ignorance of their audience who are unable or unwilling to investigate the intended meaning of the Quran and Sunnah.

The Noble Quran speaks about marriage to “those, whom your right hands possess,” meaning slaves and servants. This was known as the institution of concubinage which was a form of marriage in pre-modern Arab and Muslim society. To infer from these verses that rape is permissible, or even praise worthy, is an incredibly unwarranted eisegesis, or a reading into the text that which it does not say.

Likewise, extremists cannot find any instance in the prophetic traditions or biography in which the companions of the Prophet (SAW) raped captive women. Therefore, they must once again erroneously infer their desired interpretation by citing a prophetic tradition without any regard to context and scholarly commentary.

Their primary proof-text used to justify rape is the following tradition:

Abu Sa’eed Al-Khudri reported:

“At the battle of Hunain, the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, sent an army to Awtas and they encountered the enemy and fought them. Having overcome them and taken them prisoner, the companions of the Messenger of Allah refrained from having intercourse with the captive women because their husbands were idolaters. Then Allah revealed the verse: ‘(Prohibited for you) are married women except those whom your right hands possess’.” (4:24). (See Sahih Muslim, 1456)

Interpreted on its own, this tradition might appear to sanction the rape of captive women. Yet the scholarly methodology requires the collation of all texts and commentaries on a given topic before coming to a conclusive rule, principle, or practice. We must see how the companions of the Prophet, their students, and the scholars who succeeded them understood and applied the tradition within the entirety of Islamic teachings.

In reality, we will find that this tradition is a proof against their position. Sexual intercourse was only made lawful with these women after they embrace Islam, which requires consent.

An-Nawawi comments on this tradition, saying:

“Know that it is the way of Ash-Shafi’i and the scholars who agreed with him that it is unlawful to have intercourse with the captive women among the idolaters and other unbelievers who are without a divine scripture unless they first embrace Islam. They are forbidden to approach as long as they are following their religion and these captive girls were among the Arab polytheists who worshiped idols. This tradition and others like it imply that the women embraced Islam and this is how they must be interpreted. Allah knows best.” (See Sharh Sahih Muslim, 1456)

Hence, contrary to the practice of Muslim terrorists who rape their hostages, the righteous jurists prohibited intercourse with non-Muslim prisoners of war, just as they prohibited compulsion in the propagation of Islam.

Brothers and Sisters!

Following the Prophet (SAW) is done by adhering to the scholarly method and prioritizing the foundational Islamic values and principles at the heart of all authentic religious practice. Forcing a predetermined interpretation onto scripture by clinging to the literal meaning of texts, without regard to context and exegesis, is not faithfulness or devotion; it is ignorance and illiteracy.

My respected people!

The Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said:

“The best of you are those who are best to their women.” (See Sunan At-Tirmidhi, 1162)

O Allah! Make us among those who earn your forgiveness and acquire safety from the fire, Ameen.

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. Prayers, peace and Mercy be upon our beloved master, Muhammad (SAW), his family and companions.

Success comes from Allah, and Allah knows best.

This Khutbah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today, Friday, Raby’ al-Awwal 27, 1437 AH (8 January, 2016), by Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi-uvete Jumu’at Mosque and Alhaji Abdurrahman Okene’s Mosque, Okene Kogi State Nigeria. He can be reached via: +2348038289761.

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