[Friday Sermon]: Fear Allah And Obey Him, Avoid Sins, Then He, The Most High Will Bless You With Trustworthy And Responsible Leaders “Kama Takuunuu Yuwalla Alaikum,” By Imam Murtada Gusau

By  Imam Murtada Gusau

In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful

Indeed, the praise is for Allah. We praise Him, seek His aid and ask for His forgiveness. We seek refuge with Allah from the evils of ourselves and from the evils of our actions. Whosoever Allah guides, then none can misguide him. And whosoever Allah misguides, then none can guide him. I testify that there is no deity worthy of worship besides Allah alone, without any associate. And I testify that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger.

“O you who believe! Fear Allah as He ought to be feared, and die not except as Muslims.” [Ali-Imran, 3:102]

“O mankind! Fear your Lord, who created you from one soul and created from it its mate and dispersed from both of them many men and women. And fear Allah, through whom you ask one another, and the wombs. Indeed, Allah is an All-observer over you” [an-Nisa’, 4:1]

“O you who believe! Fear Allah and speak words of appropriate justice. He will then amend for you your deeds and forgive you your sins. And whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger has certainly attained a great attainment.” [Ahzaab, 3:70-71]

To proceed:

Indeed, the best of speech is the speech of Allah and the best of guidance is the guidance of Muhammad (SAW). And the most evil of affairs are the newly-invented ones and every innovation is misguidance and every misguidance is in the fire.

My respected people! Know that:

Any suffering that the people incur from the rulers and leaders today is a result of the sins of the people. Remember the story of when Ali (R.A) was asked about why there was lots of civil strife in his time compared to the time of Abu Bakr (R.A), to which he replied that, “In the time of Abu Bakr and Umar, they were ruling over good men and in this time, I am ruling over the likes of you.”

My Brothers and Sisters,

Indeed, the loss of the righteousness of a society or a government is a reflection of that society itself, and the rulers and leaders come from that society, not from another planet. And those leaders and rulers never descended from mars, but they sprang “from us and within us.” It is the sinfulness and disobedience amongst the people that leads to their oppression and tyranny. Hence, if we desire rectification of our circumstances then that will not occur by declaring an open and vehement war against our leaders and forgetting ourselves. And yet we are from the completeness of the problem of the current situation today in our blessed country Nigeria. Also the confirm way to rectify and change this situation is not merely to attack the rulers and the leaders, but rather by rectifying the society, and changing the people. For this reason, I urge the Muslims that they return honestly and sincerely to their religion, and that they apply what they know of their religion, “And on that day the believers will rejoice, with the aid of Allah.” [Al-Qur’an]

Hence, o our brothers and sisters, wallahi the affair is not as you perceive it, just an expression of sentiments, and the raging (fury) of the youth, and  revolutions, demonstrations, protests, like the foam of soap, it stirs  and roars in its land, then you do not see any effect whatsoever from it.

My Brothers and Sisters, Allah the Most High said,

“And Allah puts forward the example of a township (country or nation), that dwelt secure and well content; its provision coming to it in abundance from every place, but it (its people) denied the favours of Allah (with ungratefulness). So Allah made it taste the extreme of hunger (famine and poverty) and fear (insecurity), because of what they used to do.” [An-Nahl, 16:112]

The Qur’an exegetes (Al-Mufassiruun) explain this verse to be in reference to Makkah in its origin, but that it is a general rule and pertains to all inhabitations. Thus, Amn (security) and Rizq (provision) is provided by Allah, and when His favours are rejected through shirk (polytheism), kufr (disbelief), bid’ah (innovation), and ma’siyah (sin and disobedience), then that Amn (security) and Rizq (provision) turns to Khawf (fear and insecurity) and Juu’ (hunger and poverty). Once this is established (and this is only one of many verses which firmly establish this diving law and whatever follows on from it), there now comes the issue of the ways and means through which such fear, insecurity (khawf) and hunger, poverty (juu’), the opposites of amn (security) and rizq (provision) reaches the people. And Allah is the doer of whatever He wills, He can bring upon fear, hunger and poverty through whatever ways He wishes, be that through famine, be that through war, be that through repressive political structures, be that through the interplay of unfair economic activity between nations, be that through defeat, colonization or neocolonialism by another nation, be that through removal of the Shari’ah laws which guarantee amn (safety) and adl (justice) and protection of one’s blood, wealth and honour, or be that through  an oppressive tyrannical ruler/leader as a recompense for the deeds of the servants ( in order that they may return) and so on. Those who deny the favours of Allah through ungratefulness are taken by Istidraaj (gradual, unperceivable onset of punishment) as is mention in the Qur’an, and this too will have its associated multitude of ways and means through which it is effected and which only Allah (SWT) knows.

*          Imam Al-Hassan al-Basri (d. 110 H) Espousing the Divine law

My respected people,

–   Ibn Sa’ad relates in his Tabaqaat al-Kubraa [7/163-165]:

“A group of Muslims came to al-Hassan al-Basri seeking a verdict (fatwa) to rebel against al-Hajjaaj bin Yusuf [a tyrannical and despotic ruler]. So they said, “O Abu sa’eed! What do you say about fighting this oppressor who has unlawfully spilt blood and unlawfully taken wealth and did this and that?” So al-Hassan said, “I hold the opinion that he should not be fought. If this is a punishment from Allah, then you will not be able to remove it with your swords. If this is trial from Allah, then be patient until Allah’s Judgment comes, and He is the best of Judges. “So they left al-Hassan, disagreed with him and rebelled against al-Hajjaaj – so al-Hajjaj killed all of them. Al-Hassan used to say, “If the people had patience when they are being tested by their unjust ruler or leader, it will not be long before Allah will give them a way out. However, they always rush for their swords, so they are left with their swords. By Allah! Not even for a single day did they bring about any good.”

–  It is also narrated from al-Hassan al-Basri (d. 110 H), as mentioned in Minhajus-Sunnah of Shaikhul-Islam (4/528):

“Verily, al-Hajjaj is the punishment of Allah to His slaves. So do not repel the punishment of Allah with your own hands. But you must submit and show humility, for Allah the most High stated, “And indeed we seized them with punishment, but they humble not themselves to their Lord nor did they invoke (Allah) with submission to Him.” [Al-Mu’minun, 23:76]

–  And also from al-Hassan al-Basri, as occurs in the Book Adaab Hassan al-Basri, of Ibn al-Jawzee, (page 119-120):

“Know – May Allah pardon you – that the tyranny and oppression of the kings and leaders is a retribution and punishment (niqmah) from among the retributions and punishments of Allah the Most High. And Allah’s retributions and punishments are not to be faced with the sword, but they are to be faced with taqwa (the fear of Allah) and are repelled with supplication and repentance, remorse (inaabah) and abstention from sins. Verily, when the punishments of Allah are met with the sword only, are more severe. And Maalik bin Deenar narrated to me that al-Hajjaj ibn Yusuf used to say, “Know that every time you commit a sin Allah will bring about a punishment from the direction of your ruler or leader.” And I have also been told that a person said to al-Hajjaaj, “Do you do such and such with the Ummah of Muhammad (SAW)?” So he replied, “For the reason that I am the punishment of Allah upon the people of Iraq, when they innovated into their religion whatever they innovated, and when they abandoned the commands of their Prophet (SAW) whatever they abandoned.”

*          Ibn al-Qayyim also espousing the Divine Law

My respected Brothers and Sisters,

–  Also Ibn al-Qayyim, the great Muslim scholar, explains this important divine law further, as occurs in his book, Miftaah Darr is- Sa’aadah, [Darr Ibn Affaan publishing, (2/177)], whilst nothing here that Ibn al-Qayyim is merely talking about iniquities, such as transgressions and oppressions of the people against each other, and not matters reaching the level of major kufr or major shirk. So when you have read this speech of Ibn al-Qayyim, you should make the relevant analogy with what you are witnessing regarding the disobedience found today in our societies. Ibn al-Qayyim said:

“And reflect in His, the most High’s wisdom in making the [nature of the] kings of the servants, their leaders and their rulers to be of the same genus as the actions [of the servants]. Rather, it is as if their actions became manifest in the appearance of their rulers, leaders and kings. If they (people) remain upright, then their kings and leaders will remain upright, and if they turn away (from uprightness), then they (the kings and leaders) too will turn away from uprightness. And if they (the people and servants) oppress [themselves and others], then their kings, leaders and rulers will oppress them. And if there appears plotting and deception from them, their rulers and leaders will be made to behave likewise, and if they (the servants) prevent the rights of Allah that are between themselves and become miserly with respect to them (i.e. withhold the rights of each other), then their kings, rulers and their leaders will withhold the right that they (the servants) have upon them and will become miserly with respect to them. And if they take from the one who is considered weak, what they do not deserve to take from him in their dealings (i.e. misappropriate from him), then the kings and leaders will take from them (the people) what they do not deserve to take from them and will inflict hem with unjust taxes. And everything that they (the people, servants) take away from the weak person, the kings and leaders will take away from them with power and force. So the people’s actions become manifest in the actions of the kings and leaders. And it is not from the Divine wisdom (Hikmah of Allah) that the evil-doers, disobedient servants and sinners are made to be ruled over [by anyone] except by one who is of their like.”

My respected people,

Know that, when the very first band and generation of Islam was the best of the generations, and the most pious of them, then their rulers and leaders were likewise. And when they became tarnished and corrupted, the rulers and leaders were made corrupted over them. Thus, the wisdom, Hikman and  the Sunnah (way of Allah), refuses that the likes of Mu’awiyyah, and Umar bin Abdil-Azeez are put in authority over us in the likes of these times [The 1436 Hijrah], let alone the likes of Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and Ali (R.A). Rather, our rulers and leaders are in accordance with our nature and the rulers and leaders of those before us were in accordance with their nature.

–  Ibn Abil-Izz al-Hanafi stated in his commentary and explanation of the Book Aqeedatut-Tahaawiyyah:

And as for adhering to obedience to the rulers and leaders, even if they commit oppression then this is because the evils, calamities and harms that arise on account of rebelling against them, is numerous times more than that which occurs as a result of the oppression of the rulers themselves. Rather, in having patience over their oppression there is expiation of sins and a multiplication of the reward. For Allah did not empower them over us except, due to the corruption in our actions and the recompense for an action is its like (al-jazaa’u min jinsil amal). Hence, it is upon us to strive in seeking forgiveness (Istigfaar), making repentance and rectification of our actions. Allah the most High said,

“And whatever of affliction and misfortune befalls you, then it is because of what your hands have earned, yet He pardons many” (Ash-Shura, 42:30)

And He the Most High said,

“… And whatever of evil befalls you, and then it is from your own soul (i.e. from yourself)”. (An-Nisa’, 4:79)

And He the Most High said,

And thus do we turn some of the oppressors against others on account of what they used to earn.” (Al-An’am 6:129)

And he the Al-Mighty Said,

Such is the seizure of your Lord when He seizes the (population of) the towns while they are doing wrong. Verily, His seizure is painful (and) severe.” (Hud, 11:102)

And He the Most High Said,

Evil (sins and disobedience to Allah) has appeared on land and sea because of what the hands of men (and women) have earned (by oppression and evil deeds), that He (Allah) may make them taste a part of that which they have done, in order that they may return (by repenting to Allah, and begging His pardon)” (Ar-Rum, 30:41)

Hence, if the subjects (of a State, Nation or Country) wish to save themselves from the oppression of the tyrannical leader, then let them try to abandon oppression themselves.”

–  Ibnul-Khallaal Related in his book as-Sunnah, (1/134)

“When some people came to the Imam Ahmad bin Hambal (d.241 H) when the caliphs of Banul-Abbas spoke with the creation of the Qur’an and forced and obligated the people speak with it, and also beat Imam Ahmad, imprisoned him, and other than him from the scholars so that they should say that the Qur’an is created, and said, “We want to revolt against these people (leaders), since the fitnah has become great”. He replied, “That is not lawful for you. When the swords come out at the time of fitnah, blood is spilled, sanctities are abused and the roads are cut off or blocked. Be patient, until the righteous are freed and released from the disobedient sinner”.

My dearest Brothers and Sisters,

Indeed, it is well known in Islamic history that Allah the Most High empower fir’aun (Pharaoh) over his people due to their corruption, sins, rebellions and disobedience to Allah. Allah the al-Mighty and the Most High said,

Thus he [Fir’aun (Pharaoh)] befooled (and misled) his people and they obeyed him. Verily, they were ever a people who were Faasiquun (rebellious, sinners and disobedient to Allah).” (Az-Zukhruf, 43:54)

Also, Qatadaa (rahimahullah) Said, the children of Israa’eel (Bani Israa’eel) asked:

O our Lord, you are in the heaven and we on the earth, so how are we going to understand you are with us or against us? Then Allah the Most High revealed to some of their prophets that: “if I put on authority the best and trustworthy people among you, then it is a sign that I am with you. And if I give authority to the irresponsible, untrustworthy and bad people among you then it is also the sign that I am against you.”

And al-Ajluuniy relates in his Book Kashful Khafaa’,

“A Prophet among the prophets of the children of Israa’eel looks and ponders on how the Nebuchadnezzar (Bukhtanasar in Arabic) maltreated the Bani Israa’eel (children of Israa’eel) and he commented: 

“O Allah I have understands that you empower Nebuchadnezzar (Bukhtanasar) over us because of what our hands have earned and you pardon much.”

My respected people, know that,

Wallahi the following Sins have the capacity to destroy and plunge a Nation into a serious disasters, calamities, unrest, agitation, strife, civil war, conflict, trials, tribulations, controversies, anarchy, lawlessness, chaos, confusion and complete disorder, so fear Allah the All-Wise and avoid them:

  1. Associating anything with Allah (Shirk)
  2. Murder
  3. Practicing Magic
  4. Not praying (the 5 daily prayers)
  5. Not paying Zakat
  6. Not Fasting in Ramadan, without excuse
  7. Not performing Hajj, while being capable
  8. Disrespecting parents
  9. Abandoning relatives
  10. Fornication and Adultery
  11. Homosexuality (Sodomy)
  12. Lesbianism (As-Sihaaq) and Bestiality (having sex with an animal)
  13. Interest (riba – in borrowing or lending)
  14. Wrongfully consuming the property of an orphan
  15. Lying about Allah and His Messenger
  16. Running away from the battlefield
  17. A leader’s deceiving his people and being unjust to them
  18. Pride and arrogance
  19. Bearing false witness
  20. Drinking (alcohol)
  21. Gambling
  22. Slandering chaste women
  23. Stealing from the spoils of war
  24. Looting and stealing from the public treasury
  25. Stealing
  26. Highway Robbery
  27. Taking false Oath
  28. Oppression
  29. Illegal gain
  30. Consuming wealth acquired unlawfully
  31. Committing suicide
  32. Frequently lying
  33. Judging unjustly
  34. Giving and accepting bribes
  35. Women imitating men or men imitating women
  36. Being cuckold
  37. Marrying a divorced woman in order to make her lawful for the husband
  38. Not protecting oneself from urine
  39. Showing-off
  40. Learning knowledge of the religion for the sake of this world and concealing that knowledge
  41. Betrayal of trust
  42. Recounting favours
  43. Denying Allah’s Decree (Kaddara)
  44. Listening to people’s private conversations
  45. Carrying tales and Backbiting
  46. Cursing
  47. Breaking contracts
  48. Believing in fortune-tellers and astrologers
  49. A woman’s bad conduct towards her husband
  50. Making statues and pictures
  51. Lamenting, wailing, tearing the cloth, etc. when an affliction befalls
  52. Treating others unjustly
  53. Overbearing conduct towards the wife, the servant, the weak, and animals
  54. Offending one’s neighbour
  55. Offending and abusing Muslims
  56. Offending people and having an arrogant attitude towards them
  57. Trailing one’s garment in pride
  58. Men wearing silk and gold
  59. A slave running away from his master
  60. Slaughtering an animal which has been dedicated to anyone other than Allah
  61. To knowingly ascribe one’s paternity to a father other than one’s own
  62. Arguing and disputing violently
  63. Withholding excess water
  64. Giving short weight or measure
  65. Feeling secure from Allah’s plan
  66. Offending Allah’s righteous friends
  67. Not praying in congregation but praying alone without an excuse
  68. Persistently missing Friday prayers without any excuse
  69. Usurping the rights of the heir through bequests
  70. Deceiving and plotting evil
  71. Spying for the enemy of the Muslims
  72. Cursing or insulting any of the companions of Allah’s Messenger (saw) and cursing or insulting one of his wives (saw)
  73. Consuming and taking illegal and prohibited Drugs, Indian hemp (marijuana) etc.
  74. Lies Became Truth and Truth became lies
  75. Good became bad and bad became good
  76. Listening to music and singing and wasting time in haram and useless plays etc.
  77. Terrorism, Extremism and revolt against the people in authorities

Brothers and Sisters, know that,

Being human we all make mistakes and we all sin, we believe that no one is infallible besides the Messenger of Allah (SAW), but the best among the sinners are those who repent before their Lord and make an honest and sincere effort to mend their ways. As Allah the Most High says in the Glorious Qur’an:

“Say: “O My slaves who have transgressed against themselves (by committing evil deeds and sins)! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah, verily Allah forgives all sins. Truly, He is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.*and turn in repentance and in obedience with true faith to your Lord and submit to Him, before the torment comes upon you, (then) you will not be helped.” (Az-Zumar, 39:53-54)

My respected brothers and sisters,

Now that We have grasped these firmly established divine laws and the fact that the causes of all the calamities such as tyrannical and despotic leaders, stealing and looting of public resources, plundering of wealth, removal of safety, removal of the Shariah laws, removal of Security and so on, are the actions of the people fundamentally and that these effects are manifested by Allah the Exalted through whatever means He wishes, like colonization, repression, tyranny, bad leaders and so on, then we need to have patience and should have taqwaa (the fear of Allah) and change our behaviors, attitude and characters. Many verses are mentioned which outline divine laws which interplay with human actions – from them that seeking forgiveness from Allah (Istigfaar) results in provision from the sky (Surah Nuh, 71:10-12). That if a people are upon their religion they will be given sustenance in abundance (Surah Al-Jinn, 72:16), and that sound faith (eemaan) and taqwa (the fear of Allah) are the route to all blessings from the heavens and the earth (Surah Al-A’raaf, 7:96), and that whoever has taqwaa (the fear of Allah) the affairs are made easy for him (Surah At-Talaaq, 65:4) and that sustenance will come from places not imagined or expected (Surah At-Talaaq, 65:3).

So, my respected Brothers and Sisters,

This is what Allah (SWT) has permitted me to mentioned to you in my today’s Khutbah, and I am lastly remembering you of the saying of Imam Maalik (rahimahullah) who used to say, that,

The latter part of this Ummah will not be corrected and rectified except by that which corrected and rectified its first part” [Related in ash-Shifaa’ of al-Qaadee Iyaad (d.544 H), (2/676]

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

And anything good I have said in my Khutbah (Sermon) is from Allah the Al-                                                                                                                            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 bounds in anything I said or do.

With this I conclude my Khutbah (sermon) and ask Allah again, the Al-Mighty and the Sublime to forgive all of our sins and failings. So seek his forgiveness. He is All-Forgiving Most Merciful.

This Jumu’ah Khutbah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today (Jumu’ah) Safar 19, 1436 A.H (December 12, 2014). By Imam Murtada Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi Uvete Jumu’ah Mosque Okene, Kogi State Nigeria. He can be reached via 08038289761 and [email protected]