Contributing to Peace and Prosperity, By Murtada Gusau

Imam Murtada Gusau

By Murtada Gusau,

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.” (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 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.

Servants of Allah,
Let us increase our fear to Allah (SWT), let us renew our resolution to bring ourselves closer to Allah (SWT) by obeying His commands and avoiding what He has prohibited upon us.

My respected people,
Human are often forgetful, and thus we cannot run away from making mistakes and committing sins. However, I am certain that no matter how many sins we have committed, every one of us here have the desire to be the best believer, the most obedient servant of Allah, and an Ummah of Prophet Muhammad (saw) whom he will be proud of. This noble intention has to be nurtured in order for us to be Muslims who try to be the best Muslim.

Brothers and sisters,
Who are we referring to as the best Muslim? What does it mean? Who is the best Muslim? Surely he would be someone who does not neglect his acts of worship and maintains his relationship with the creator. When others are sleeping, he wakes up to make Du’a and pray to Allah. when others are wasting time on activities that make them negligent, he will use the time and the years that Allah has bestowed upon him, engaging in activities that will earn him Allah’s pleasure. However, is this sufficient to make us the best Muslim?

Let us reflect upon the hadith of Rusulullah (SAW) where he said:

“A believer is friendly and there is no merit for a person who is not friendly. And the best of humankind is one who brings the most benefit to others.” (Hadith reported by Tabarani and Daraqutni)

My beloved people,
This is how complete our religion is. It is a religion that covers all aspects of life. Muslims are not just taught to worship Allah, not just to have good manners, but also to give and to spread kindness and benefit those around us.

Let us study what Allah (SWT) says in the Noble Qur’an, in Surah Al-Taubah, where Allah (SWT) mentions before Ibadah (acts of worship) “Amr bil Ma’ruf”, that is to call others to do good, and “nahyi anil Munkar”, that means to prevent others from doing something bad. Allah the Almighty says:

“The believing men and believing women are allies of one another. They enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and established prayer and give zakah and obey Allah and His Messenger. Those – Allah will have mercy upon them. Indeed, Allah is Exalted in Might and wise.”

Hence, through this verse, it is clear that we are required not to just focus on acts of worship. In fact, in addition to not doing anything that is evil, hurting others and so on, we are also commanded to prevent others from doing evil deeds. In other words, a believer must not only have good manners, but he has to also contribute to the social well-being of those around him.

The parable that Rasulullah (SAW) drew in his hadith where he said:

“A believer is like the date palm. Whichever part of the tree that you take, it will benefit you.” (At-Tabari)

Hence, a believer cannot just enjoy the merits from others, but also strive to bring about benefits to others, and radiate blessings to others.

My blessed people,
The question that we should think about is: what is our role as Muslims living in a multi-racial and multi-religious country like Nigeria? What is the role that we can play?

There are many roles for us as Muslims on this nation, on this blessed country, including ensuring prosperity and peace for all Nigerians, irrespective of their tribe, religion and region.

The Noble Qur’an emphasises peace. In fact, in the Qur’an, Allah mentions 789 words which come from the root word “peace”. This proves how peace and prosperity are prioritised by Allah (SWT).

Pay attention to the Du’a of Prophet Ibrahim (AS) to Allah (SWT) for the city of Makkah. Allah the Most High said:

“And (mention) when Abraham (Ibrahim) said, “My lord, make this a secure city and provide its people with fruits – whoever of them believes in Allah and the last day….” (Surah al-Baqarah, verse 126)

Servants of Allah,
If we reflect upon the contents of this Du’a, we will find that firstly, Prophet Ibrahim (AS) prayed for peace in the city of Makkah. This is because peace is critical and of utmost importance for people and lives to thrive in any city or country.

I am sure we are all aware of the grave situation and the disaster that has affected us and affected many people in other parts of the world, like Syria etc. There is no more peace in their country and the war that they are suffering continues with no clear end in sight. Imagine how difficult their situation is, imagine the pain and trauma that they have had to endure ever since there was no more peace in their country, and hence, their lives.

We cannot deny the fact that many factors contributed to the war and their current suffering, made worse by a group of individuals who claim to be Muslims but carry out activities that are un-Islamic, and in no way represent the teachings of Islam.

In fact, because of the events that have occurred, Muslims in other parts of the world feel the effects as well, as others view them with suspicion and treat them harshly. This is because there are individuals who cannot differentiate between the teachings of Islam and the irresponsible acts of a small group of people who claim to be Muslims.

We are very blessed that here, in Nigeria, we are now not witnessing too much worrying and too much dangerous incidents, Alhamdulillah for that. As citizens and residents of this country, we do not want our stand on the matter to be questioned or our safety to be jeopardised. As citizens of this country, we have the right to live and carry out our daily activities in peace. At the same time, we also contribute to efforts to ensure prosperity in this country. In living as a community, we must work together and cooperate to tackle factors that can threaten our peace, prosperity and security.

Brothers and Sisters,
The second aspect of the Du’a of Prophet Ibrahim (AS) is that he asked Allah for the country’s prosperity. Prosperity is a blessing from Allah that one should seek and be grateful for.

Islam does not forbid its Ummah to strive for economic success. But as Muslims, we need to ensure a balance in everything. While we strive for prosperity and success in this world, we should not forget of the ultimate goal – success in the hereafter. How is our investment for the hereafter? We may own two houses, many houses in this world, several cars, countless clothes, shoes and bags, but what about the state of our affairs in the hereafter? How will our family be in the hereafter?

Hence, as believers who enjoy blessings in a country like Nigeria, do not ever forget about striving for prosperity in the hereafter. In fact, as the time is moving fast to an end, we should spend some time reflecting on ourselves.

Servants of Allah,
As a conclusion to my today‘s Sermon, I would like to remind myself and all of you the importance of being grateful to Allah (SWT) for blessing us with peace and prosperity. However, there is no guarantee whatsoever that the peace and prosperity that we currently enjoy will continue forever. We must actively strive to protect the peace and continue in efforts to help the country to prosper.

Let us all make Du’a to Allah to protect this country, and may Allah grant us strength and the tenacity to strive toward a comprehensive and holistic concept of peace, unity, progress and prosperity.

Yaa Allah, protect the peace, unity, progress and prosperity of our country. Grant us the love for the hereafter, love toward You and Your Messenger, Prophet Muhammad (SAW). Raise us in the hereafter as an Ummah that You are pleased with. Raise us in the hereafter, Yaa Rahman, to be among those whom You love and care for, to be among the Prophets, the companions, the righteous. Yaa Allah, let us meet with our beloved Rasulullah (SAW) and help us to become an Ummah that can emulate the Prophet (SAW) and make him proud of us. Amin Yaa Rabbal ‘Aalamin.

This Khutbah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today, Friday, Rajab 21, 1437 A.H (April 29, 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.