[Friday Sermon] Islam, Politics And The Quest For Supporting Honest Leaders, By Imam Murtada Gusau


By  Imam Murtada Gusau

In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, 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 none Worthy of Worship except Allah, alone, without any partners, and I bear witness that Muhammad (SAW) is His 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 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-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.

My Dearest and Respected people,

Today many people shun politics because they think that it doesn’t exist in Islam. Politics does exist in Islam. It is deep and profound. Unfortunately, many of the Muslims politicians today are unaware of what Islam say concerning politics. Politics today consists of deception, hate, intolerance, prejudice, jealousy, envy, lying, flattery, sycophancy, corruption, looting of public treasury and hypocrisy in most cases. However, Islamic politics is contrary to this. Islamic politics means: Good planning, management and bringing progress and sustainable development to the people. By it, you will learn how to get out of situations without falling into lying. And you will know how to give precedence to advantages over disadvantages. You will know how to prioritize if there are evils, i.e. how to commit the least evil in order to avoid a greater evil. Knowing these things is from the politics that are religiously legislated.

What also falls under legislated politics is when the Prophet (SAW) left the hypocrites to stay amongst the ranks of the Companions, even though he knew who they were, out of fear that it would be said that Muhammad kills his Companions. If he (SAW) were to have killed the hypocrites, whom he knew by name, the people who are not aware of the facts would have made a big issue out of it, as the saying goes: “They make a mountain out of a pebble.”

So the people would say: “Muhammad has started to kill his Companions.” This would then have harmed the course of the Da’wah (call to Islam), impeding it from moving forward. So it would have been halted and the enemies would have increased. Therefore, it was a greater advantages to let this number of people remain amongst the ranks of the Muslims for it would ensure that the Call to Islam continues to progress in the world.

Another example of religiously legislated politics is when Allah’s Messenger (SAW) saw the manner in which many people would be harmed by the door of the Ka’abah. The Messenger of Allah (SAW) strongly wished to demolish the ka’abah, connect it to the ground and then make two doors for it – a door from which people would come in and another door from which they would exit instead of the hardship and turmoil the people were going through at that time. However, as he (SAW) told ‘Aisha:

“If it were not for the fact that your people had just come out of the Days of ignorance, I would surely have done that.”

If the Prophet (SAW) were to have demolished the ka’abah and return it back to the structure of Prophet Ibrahim, connecting the door to the ground, the people would have found great ease as they would have been able to enter from here and exit from there. Instead (at the time of the Prophet), the only thing that could be found was people climbing up and lining up on the backs of others. Whoever paid something would be pulled by his hand and mounted on top (of the backs of people to reach the elevated door). And whoever did not pay would be turned away and thrown to the floor.

However, all of this was a lesser evil – even though it caused hardship and grief to some people – than if it were to be said that Muhammad has begun to demolish the ka’abah. If news of this were to spread throughout the earth, people would be hindered from entering Islam. So by not doing that, he (SAW) was choosing the lesser of the two evils. This is a form of legislated politics. Examples of this are many. If you study the written works on religious politics by Imam Ibn Taimiyyah, his student, Ibn Al-Qayyim, and others, you will realize that politics do exist in Islam. However, it is honest politics and not false. So we should know this precisely.

So if you understand Islam in terms of its beliefs, its acts of worship, its interactions and all of the other subjects that we mentioned –  if you know all of this – you would be taking from the original source. You would be taking from the niche of Prophethood. At this point, you would know where the Saved group is. But as before this, then no, you wouldn’t. You would be aligning yourself with everyone out there.

Today you hear about certain groups that call themselves the Islamic Groups but aligning themselves with dishonest, corrupt politicians in supporting the oppressor over the oppressed. Why is this? It is due to their lack of understanding the Religion. It is just a mere claim – “Islam, Islam, Islam!” this is not an empty word. Islam is a Religion of actions. Acquire knowledge before you speak and act. This is how you will come to know the Saved group, which everyone wishes to be a part of.

Fellow Muslims, Fellow Nigerians,

In Islamic Politics, you will not allow to support injustice or unjust candidate or any unjust and dishonest politician because of party differences or in the name of opposition.  In Islam supporting the truthful, mai gaskiya, honest and just leader or politician is a quality of the pious people, that they do not fear anyone but Allah. In the other hand, supporting the dishonest, false and unjust leader or politician is a bad quality of bad people who fear people and do not fear Allah. Allah commands that a Muslim or any good citizen be honest and support the honest leader. Allah the Most High said:

“O you, who has believed, fears Allah and be with those who are true.” (At-Tawbah, 9:119)

And He said:

“And do not incline (or give your support) toward those who do wrong, lest you be touched by the fire, and you would not have other than Allah any protectors; then you would not be helped.” (Hud, 11:113)

He the Most High also said:

“And cooperate, give your support in righteousness and piety, but do not cooperate and give your support in sin, wrong and aggression. And fear Allah, indeed, Allah is severe in penalty.” (Al-Maidah, 5:2)

Ibn Katheer, the renowned and famous Qur’an scholar, explained the meaning of this verse in Surah Hud, 11:13. He said:

“Being truthful and adhering to truthfulness, means you will be among the people and the group of the truth and be saved from calamity and that it will make a way out for you from all your problems.”

A true believer, one who is truly submitted to Allah, has many characteristics by which he can be identified. The most obvious of these noble characteristics are honesty of character and truthfulness of speech. Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was a perfect example of honesty. Even before his Prophethood, he had earned the titles of Al Ameen (the Trustworthy one) and AS Saadiq (the truthful).

Al-Ameen, the Prophet Muhammad once gathered all the people of Makkah and asked them:

“O you people of Makkah! If I say that an army is advancing on you from behind the Mountains, will you believe me?” All said in one voice “Yes, because we have never heard you telling a lie.”

All the people, without exemption, swore to his truthfulness and honesty because he had lived an unblemished and extremely pious life among them for forty years.

Abu Sufyan described his honesty. When Prophet Muhammad (SAW) sent a letter to the Emperor of Byzantium inviting him to Islam, the Emperor, Heraclius sent for the Makkan trader, Abu Sufyan. Even though he was, at that time, a dire enemy of Islam and Muslims, he spoke the truth about our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) when he said:

“He neither tells lies nor betrays others; he bids people to worship God Alone and orders us to observe prayer, honesty and abstinence.”

My Respected People,

This honesty and truthfulness, an essential ingredient of the Muslim character, includes being truthful towards God by worshipping Him sincerely, being truthful to oneself, by adhering to God’s laws, and being truthful with others by speaking the truth and being honest in all dealings, such as politics, buying, selling and marriage. There should be no deceiving, cheating falsifying or withholding of information, from the government or individuals, thus a person should be the same on the inside as he is on the outside.

Prophet Muhammad (SAW) warned us of the dangers inherent in dishonesty and supporting dishonest people, and the benefits of living in an honest way and supporting honest people. He said:

“Truthfulness leads to righteousness, and righteousness leads to paradise. In addition, a man keeps on telling the truth until he becomes a truthful person. Falsehood leads to wickedness and evil-doing, and wickedness leads to the (Hell) fire, and a man may keep on telling lies till he is written before God, as a liar.” (Al-Bukhari)

Brothers and Sisters,

Because of his honesty, our President, Muhammadu Buhari had earned the title of MAI GASKIYA (THE TRUTHFUL). Therefore, I enjoined all our politicians and fellow Nigerians including me, to emulate this locally, globally and universally revered and acknowledged servant of God (Buhari mai gaskiya) in his honesty and truthfulness. We must support him and pray for him in his good intention to move our country forward.

Supporting Buhari/Osinbajo is a must if we are sincere. Let us forget all the bad political sentiments in the name of party differences or in the name of opposition and support the train of honesty and truthfulness.

We must also give our support and prayers to those leaders, politicians, religious and traditional leaders, business men and women, civil servants, journalists, security agents, lawyers and those in private sectors who are in support of and cooperating with President Muhammadu Buhari MAI GASKIYA, the anti-corruption warrior who was even praised by Washington Post as the least corrupt president in Africa, in changing the direction of our blessed nation and overcoming its challenges. If we don’t support honest leaders and their supporters, we are surely going to be held responsible for all the failures in the system.

Dear Muslims, Dear Nigerians,

We must change our thinking and wrong perception that politics doesn’t exist in Islam. Politics actually exist in Islam. But what we suppose to understand is there is no looting of public treasury, corruption, hate, intolerance, prejudice, jealousy, envy, sycophancy, flattery, hypocrisy, and dishonesty in Islamic politics. Islamic politics is contrary to all these. This means Muslim politician must be honest, truthful, generous, friendly and man of people.

I pray that Allah the Most High, the Most Mighty, the Most Wise, The All-knowing, to guide us and all our leaders to the right way and make us all steadfast on that which he loves, as well as our family and all the Muslims and the good citizens of Nigeria, Ameen.

Unlimited advancement, multiple blessings, undiluted and unpolluted happiness, endless peace, and immeasurable joy and happiness are my wishes for you forever and in this Eid-ul-Adha celebration. May Allah shower His blessings and mercy upon you and your entire households. May Al-Mighty Allah make us witness more of it in life with peace, success, wealth, long life and prosperity in good health, Amin. BARKA DA SALLAH.

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

This Khutbah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today, Jumu’ah Thul-Hijjah 11 1436 A.H (September 25 2015), by Imam Murtada Muhammad Gusau the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’at Mosque, Okene, Kogi State Nigeria. He can be reached through: 08038289761 (+2348038289761).