[Friday Sermon] Charlie Hebdo: The Prophet (pbuh) Cannot Be Defended By Madness, Oppression And Misguidance

By Imam Murtada Gusau

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

All praise is due to Allah; we praise Him, and seek His help and forgiveness. We seek refuge in Allah, the Most High, from the evils of our own selves and from our wicked deeds. Whomsoever has been guided by Allah, none can misguide him, and whomsoever has been misguide by Allah none can guide him. I bear witness that there is no true god worthy of being worshipped except Allah, alone, without partner or associate. And I bear witness that Muhammad is his true slave and Messenger. 

“O you who believe! Fear Allah as He should be feared and die not except in a state of Islam (as Muslims with complete submission to Allah).” (Al-Imraan, 3:102) 

“O mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, who created you from a single person (Adam) and from him He created his wife (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, 4:1) 

“O you who 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; he has indeed achieved a great success.” (Al-Ahzaab, 33:70-71)

To proceed:  O Servants of Allah,

No Muslim would ever agree with the mocking, ridicule, and blasphemous lies directed at our Deen (Religion) and at our beloved Prophet (PBUH). Rather the Imams of Ahlus-Sunnah, the likes of Malik, al-Layth, Ahmad, Ishaaq, and ash-shafi’ee have agreed unanimously that the one who mocks, ridicules and defames the Prophet (PBUH) has disbelieved if he is a Muslim, and is going to be killed as a punishment for apostasy. And that the prescribed punishment for the one who lives in the lands of the Muslims and does that is death, a punishment that falls under the authority of the Muslims ruler not individual Muslims.

There is no doubt that these types of attacks on our Prophet (PBUH) will cause anger and make the stomach of every Muslims turn due to his love for Allah, His Messenger and His Deen (Religion). But the Muslim who is truthful, sincere, and just doesn’t allow himself to be overcome by emotion and respond to these attacks with a knee-jerk reaction that entails actions which Allah and His Messenger have prohibited. Rather, like in all matters, he is first and foremost patient, and then he takes those matters back to the Qur’an and Sunnah and the understanding of the Companions and those ‘Ulamaa’ (Scholars) who are firmly-grounded in knowledge. So he is patient and he plants his feet squarely upon knowledge, and he submits to what Allah and His Messenger (PBUH) have decreed. Allah the Most High said:

“O you who believe! Obey Allah and obey the Messenger, and those of you who have been placed in authority (over you). (And) if you differ in anything amongst yourselves, refer it back to Allah and His Messenger, if you truly believe in Allah and in the Last Day. That is better and more suitable for final determination.” (An-Nisaa, 4:59)

And Al-Hafith Ibn Katheer mentions that “those of you who have been placed in authority (over you)”, according to Ibn ‘Abbaas, Mujaahid, ‘Ataa’ and others from the Salaf refers to the ‘Ulamaa’. And Ibn Katheer mentions that it is general to both the rulers and the Ulamaa’. And of course this means the ‘Ulamaa’ of Ahlus-Sunnah, not those who ahlul-bid’ah calls scholars; the scholars who incite people to chaos and destructions and other than them from the callers to misguidance and disobeying the Islamic leaders.

What has transpired over the past few days in the lands of the Muslims and other than them as a reaction to the cartoons attacking Islam and insulting our beloved Prophet (PBUH) – contradicts the guidance and Sunnah of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH). One should remember that these types of attacks are not something new. Indeed Allah mentions throughout the Qur’an that His Messengers (A.S.) were constantly mocked and defamed, that their people called them crazy, mad, and even labeled them as sorcerers, etc. Allah (SWT) said:

“Likewise, no Messenger came to those before them except that they said: “A sorcerer or a madman!” (Adh-Dhaariyaat, 51:52)

And this happened with the Prophets and Messengers from Nuh (Noah A.S.) up to His final Messenger, Muhammad (PBUH).

In the lifetime of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) there were those who cursed and insulted him openly. Ka’ab bin al-Ashraf al –Yahudee (The Jews), in Madinah, used to recite defamatory poetry about him and made explicit poetry about the women of the Muslims. And there was ‘Abdullah bin Khatal in Makkah, who had two female singers who he had sing songs making fun of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH).

As for Ka’ab bin al-Ashraf, when he returned from Makkah to Madinah and began reciting his poetry insulting him, the Prophet (PBUH) asked his companions, “Who will deal with Ka’ab bin al-Ashraf? For, indeed he has harmed Allah and His Messenger.” And this was when the Prophet (PBUH) was in his dawlah (State) in Madinah and he was the ruler, and Ka’ab bin al-Ashraf was living under his authority in Madinah. But the Prophet (PBUH) didn’t ask his companions to punish his neighbours, companions, or even his family members for what Ka’ab bin al-Ashraf did. Nor did he punish the representatives of his tribe, Banu an-Nadeer, or randomly target the Jews and Christians of Madinah nor did he boycott their businesses. Any person of sound intellect would agree that this would be unjust and defies logic, not to mention the texts of the Book (Qur’an) and the Sunnah. Instead he (PBUH), as the ruler – dealt with Ka’ab bin al-Ashraf, the one who caused that harm specifically.

‘Abdullah bin Khatal was in Makkah, and he had two female singers who he taught to sing songs making fun of the Prophet (PBUH). And at that time, the Prophet (PBUH) was in Madinah, and was the ruler (PBUH), and never did he attack anyone from the non-Muslims in Madinah or any other town or village as retribution for the defamation and insults of ‘Abdullah bin Khatal towards him. Nor did he command his companions to attack Makkah or its people because of him. Rather he was patient (PBUH) and did not oppress, and did not transgress. He was patient and he was just (PBUH). So when the Prophet (PBUH) conquered Makkah, and he entered Makkah with his armies, he ordered them not to harm anyone who did not fight them, except for a small group of people who he named by name (PBUH). From them – and here the Prophet (PBUH) had conquered Makkah, and had might and capability (qudrah) – from them was ‘Abdullah bin Khatal and his two songstresses. He didn’t tell them to kill Ibn Khatal’s neighbours or his family members. He didn’t destroy the property of the members of his tribe or the followers of his religion. Rather he ordered them to kill ‘Abdullah bin Khatal and his two songstresses.

These are just two examples of how the Prophet (PBUH) dealt with those who abused him in his lifetime. He was Aadil (just), and was Saabir (patient) – (PBUH). He did not oppress and was not unjust, and these people cursed him, abused him, mocked him, and insulted him during his lifetime – (PBUH)!! So where are the actions of some people and jamaa’aat (political groups and parties) and the ignorant folk who’ve been affected by them from the actions and example of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH)?! Where do you find that the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) and his Companions went to another town and protested, or that they murdered the innocent, or destroyed or burnt their property to the ground because of what the likes of Ibn al-Ashraf and Ibn-Khatal did in Makkah and Madinah?!

Rather he was patient and just (PBUH)!! And ‘adl (justice) is to put everything in its proper place. And what we see from these people in Niger Republic and other places in the Middle East is oppression, injustice, madness and deviation from his Sunnah. And Allah the Most High said:

“So warn those who oppose his command, lest some fitnah (tribulations) befall him or they afflicted with a painful punishment.” (An-Nur, 24:63)

And what further elucidates the distinction between the guidance of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and those Muslims who have been overtaken by emotion and misguidance, is the narration of ‘Aishah (R.A.), collected by al-Bukharee, Muslim, Ahmad and others, when a group of Jews entered upon the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) and said “as-saamu alaykum” (death be upon you). So ‘Aishah (R.A.) understood what they said, so she responded: “wa ‘alaykum as-saam wal-la’nah” (and death and curses be upon you). So the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) said: “Take it easy, O ‘Aishah! Verily Allah loves rifq (gentleness and leniency) in all matters.” So ‘Aishah said: “O Messenger of Allah! Didn’t you hear what they said? So he (PBUH) said: “I already responded to them (by saying) ‘wa ‘alaykum (and upon you too).”


Brothers and Sisters,

Our Deen (Religion) is not based on emotion. Rather the Muslim who truly and sincerely loves Allah and his Messenger (PBUH) will stick to his guidance and his Sunnah. Allah the Most High said:

“Say: if you truly love Allah then follow me. (If you do) Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is All-forgiving, Most merciful” (Al-Imraan, 3:31)


My Respected people,

Here are some points to consider and reflect upon:

  • These protests which have spread throughout the Muslim lands, even to our respected neighbour Niger Republic are a bid’ah (innovation in the religion), as the ‘Ulamaa’ (Scholars) of Ahlus-Sunnah like Shaykh Ibn Baaz, Shaykh al-Albaanee, Shaykh Ibn Uthaymeen and Shaykh Fawzaan have clarified. They are an act of opposing and contending with the leader or ruler and are from the way of the Khawaarij (extremists). Of course the deviant jamaa’aat as-siyaasiyyah allows them and promotes them as they are means for them to contend with the rulers and reach rulership itself.
  • We’ve seen how the emotionally charged youth have taken to the streets in these protests and clashed with the police, and caused damage to property – not just the property of the French embassies – which is in it an act of oppression (by Charlie Hebdo satirical Magazine) – but the property of the Muslims as well! And this is supposed to be defense of the Prophet (PBUH)??! It cannot be that way the Muslims defend the Prophet (PBUH) with oppression when Allah has commanded us with justice (‘adl). He the Most High said:

“O you who believe! Stand out firmly for Allah and be just witnesses and don’t let the enmity and hatred of a people keep you from being just. Be just! That is closer to Taqwaa (Piety).” (Al-Ma’idah, 5:8) 

Al-Hafith ibn Katheer said: “Don’t let hatred for a people cause you to abandon justice towards them. Rather exercise justice with everyone, whether it be a close friend or an enemy.”

Shaykul-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah said: “for indeed the people did not dispute in the fact that the end result of Zhulm (oppression and injustice) is evil and harmful, and the end result of ‘adl (justice) is good and noble. And for this it has been said: “Allah will aid the nation that is just, even if it is a disbelieving nation, and He will not aid the nation that is unjust and oppressive even if it is a believing nation.” [Majmoo’ al-Fataawaa, (28/63)]

Then know that punishing others for the crimes and offenses of another is not justice! Allah says:

“No person earns any (sin) except against himself (only), and no bearer of burdens shall bear the burden of another.” (Al-An’am, 6:164)

  • The deviant groups and jamaa’aat as-siyaasiyyah use these protests and these types of events as a forum and a podium to spread their doubts, evils and their conspiracy theories amongst the people and to turn them against their rulers. They spout out anti-American, anti-French, anti-Western and anti-Israeli rhetoric and place the blame for the destruction we’ve seen over the past few days on everyone but themselves.


My Respected people,

The Messenger (PBUH) said: “Whoever – from the Muslims – kills a person who is under an agreement or treaty (with the Muslims), he will not smell the fragrance of Jannah (paradise), even though its fragrance can be smelled from the distance of 40 years away.” (Al-Bukhaaree)

And in another narration he said: “The assurance of protection of the Muslims is one, so whoever betrays the assurance of protection and safety of another Muslim, then upon him is the curse of Allah, and (the curse) of the Angels, and (the curse) of all the people.”

Al-Hafidh Ibn Hajr (Rahimahullah) explained: “His saying ‘The assurance of protection of the Muslims is one’ means that their giving an assurance of safety and security is correct (and binding). So if one of them gives Amn (security and protection) to a non-Muslim, then it is haraam (prohibited) upon anyone else to harm him…”

Those non-Muslims who live and work in the Muslim countries or Muslim communities or Muslim lands have been given Amn (an assurance of safety and protection), so by attacking them is contending with and opposing the Muslim ruler, and is an act of treachery and oppression. 

Shaykh Taariq as-Subay’ee explained that if even one of the Muslims gives Amn (protection) to a non-Muslim, even if that Muslim is a man or a woman, a free man or a slave, and even if that is by a gesture, or if a person is given Amn by the authorities of a Muslim land through diplomatic agreements or by giving him a visa to enter that land – that person has an assurance of safety and protection from every Muslim. It is totally haraam (prohibited) for any Muslim to harm him. And the person, the Muslim -, who does, falls under the curse of Allah, the Angels, and all of the people.

  • Look to those at the head of these protests and you’ll see that all of them are from the heads and supporters of some deviated groups and the misguided jamaa’aat as-siyaasiyyah. And the fact that none of the ‘Ulamaa’ of Ahlus-Sunnah have anything to do with this should be another sign for the person of intellect, just as Ibn Abbaas (R.A.) brought as a proof against the Khawaarij the fact that none of the Companions were with them, when he said: “Indeed I’ve come to you from the Companions of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) and there is not a single one of them with you”!
  • We see some Muslims protesting, fighting with the police, destroying property and other than that, all in the name of defending the Prophet (PBUH) from this cartoons produced by a man living in France. What is amazing is that no one is upset over the Masaajid (Mosques) that have graves in them where other than Allah are worshipped besides Allah, like the Masjid of al-Badawee, Zaynab, or al-Hussayn?! The greatest sin that one can commit is committed in the land of the Muslims, and the people are tearing down the France embassy over something they don’t have the authority or ability to do anything about?! Allah the Most High Said:

“Verily, Allah does not forgive that partners should be set up with him in worship (shirk), but He forgives what is less than that (from sins) for whomever He wills, and whoever sets up partners with Allah in worship, he has indeed invented a tremendous sin.” (An-Nisaa; 4:48)

So these Muslims and these jamaa’aat want to defend Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) by committing oppression and injustice – but where is the defense of Allah and His Tawheed (Monotheism) from the shirk committed by some Muslims in the lands of the Muslims themselves?!

So know that Allah (SWT) has commanded us with patience and justice, and forbidden us from injustice and oppression. And there is no justice in the actions we see from our brothers and sisters in Niger and the other countries that this is happening in. Where 76 Churches were burnt (in Niger), houses and properties worth millions of Naira destroyed. Those that carried out the madness allegedly did so to avenge the Charlie Hebdo cartoons. It is wrong for individual Muslim to carry out a capital punishment on an offender; it is the responsibility of the constituted authority. If government fails to mete out punishment on an offender such as the one who abuses, ridicule, mocked and insulted the prophet Muhammad (PBUH) Muslims are left with patience and good manners to deal with the situation; we should not at any time take law into our own hands. Islam never taught us to take law into our own hands. Rather what we see is ignorance, oppression, misguidance, and deviation from the Sunnah of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH).


And what benefit have they brought about?

The producer of these shoddy cartoons lives in France and France is a country that has its own laws that it governs its citizens by. And France also has treaties and agreements with almost all of these lands that their embassies are being attacked in, proven by the fact that they have embassies there to begin with. So then this affair is not in the hands of us common folk, and we don’t have the capability to do anything about it. What is upon us then is to be patient and cling to the Sunnah of the Prophet (PBUH). And this is a better defense of the Prophet (PBUH) than what we see from the deviant jamaa’aats and those infected by them!

And it is important to note that our patience and our clinging to the Sunnah during situations like this, when we don’t have the ability to change them is not a sign of weakness or deficiency. Rather it is the people of misguidance from the deviant and misguided groups that have duped our youth into thinking that not having the ability to act is the same as not acting, and this is misguidance and deception.

Ibn Mas’ud narrated that the Prophet (PBUH) was praying by the Ka’abah and when he went into sajdah, one of the companions of Abu Jahl put the entrails of a camel on the Prophet’s back (PBUH) while Ibn Mas’ud looked on. And Ibn Mas’ud said: “I was watching but couldn’t do anything about it. If only I had the strength and ability (to stop them).” [Al-Bukhaaree]

This shows us that in situations when we don’t have the capability to act, due to physical weakness, lack of strength or capability, or there being something else that prevents us from doing that, there is no shame of deficiency in that, just as the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) himself could not aid Yaasir, ‘Ammaar, and Ummu ‘Ammaar (R.A.) when he saw them being tortured for their Imaan (Faith) in Allah. So he said to them (PBUH):

“Patience, O Aali-Yaasir (O family of Yaasir)! For indeed you’ve been promised Jannah (Paradise).”

My respected people,

What we’ve written here or said in our todays Khutbah (Sermon) is not a defense of these cartoons. We find it just as offensive, appalling, and insulting as everyone else. Nor is it a defense of France or any other country. Rather it is meant to be a defense of the Messenger of Allah (PBUH) and our Deen (Religion) from those who go beyond the bounds, and those who play on the emotions of the Muslims and the emotional, disenfranchised youth, and call them to deviation and misguidance. It is a call to patience, justice and sticking to the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (PBUH). And this is what was needed to be said and clarified. And Allah knows best.

‘Ubaadah bin as-Saamit narrated: “The Messenger of Allah (PBUH) took an oath of allegiance (Bay’ah or Mubaya’ah) from us to listen and obey (the ruler) in adversity and prosperity, in pleasure and displeasure (and even) when somebody is given preference over us, and to not dispute or contend the authority of those it belongs to, and that we speak the truth wherever we may be without fearing in the matter of Allah the blame of the blamer.” (Muslim and others)

May peace and blessings be upon our beloved Prophet Muhammad, and upon his family and his companions, one and all. And all praise and thanks are due to Allah, Lord of Al-Aalameen.

O Allah! Guide us and protect us from the causes of ignorance and destructions! Save us o Allah, from the defects of our selves! O Allah, cause the last of our deeds to be the best and most righteous! And forgive all of us. I ask Allah (SWT) to bless our beloved country Nigeria with best, righteous and just leaders. Bless us O Allah, with peace and unity upon the truth, justice, stability, tranquility, harmony, mercy and protection from all kind of evil.

O Allah! We are facing General elections in our great, dear and beloved country, Nigeria, rescheduled to take place on March 28 and April 11 this year (2015). O Allah we ask you to distance and remove from us anything that could jeopardize or plunge this country into unnecessary election-related violence. O Allah! Assist us to have a free, fair, credible, transparent, peaceful and non-violent election exercises. O Allah! Save us and save our country from ruin and all kinds of calamities. Remove all our pains, worries and bring us happiness,   ameen Yaa ar-Hamar-Raahimina Yaa Rabbal Aalameen.

And lastly, servants of Allah! Know that, anything good I have said in my today’s khutbah (sermon) is from Allah the All-mighty, and any mistakes are my own and we seek refuge in Allah from giving wrong advice and from all forms of calamities and fitnah. And I ask Allah’s forgiveness if I stepped beyond bound in anything I said or I do. With this, my beloved and respected people, I conclude my Khutbah (sermon) and ask Allah again, the All-forgiving, Most Merciful.

And may the salutation and peace of Allah be upon our beloved prophet, his family and his companions.


This Khutbah (Friday sermon) was prepared for delivery today Rabi’ ath-Thani 23, 1436 A.H (February 13, 2015), by Imam Murtada Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’at Mosque Okene, Kogi State Nigeria. He can be reached via 08038289761 and [email protected]