[Friday Sermon] The Significance And The Blessing Of Peace And Stability, By Imam Murtada Gusau

In the Name of Allah, the Most Beneficent and the Most Merciful

By Imam Murtada Gusau,

Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Worlds. He ordered us to seek peace and stability. He at the same time interdicts causing harm and strife. I extol Him as is befitting to His great sovereignty and glorious status, and I bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship, except for Allah alone without any partners or peers.

I also witness that Muhammad is His Servant and Messenger. He is the Best of His Creation, the closest to Him. May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, his family, his companions, and all those who will follow them in righteousness till the Day of Judgment.

O Servants of Allah,

I urge myself first and all of you to obey Allah and be submissive to Him. Verily, Allah, Exalted is He, has declared the truth in His noble Book He said:

“O you, who has believed, perseveres and endues and remains stationed and fear Allah that you may be succeful.”(Ali Imraan: 200)

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Our clear religion is a blessing as it aims to achieve highly venerable objectives and establish happy and dignified life based on faith, guidance, kindness, piety, stability, harmony, peace and firm union. It also looks forward to development and progress. It is a fully comprehensive religion that consists of virtues, seeking to accomplish interests and rid of corruption. The Almighty says:

“And the word of your Lord has been fulfilled in truth and in justice.” (Al An’am: 115)

That is, everything he says is true, every matter He orders is just and every act he forbids is evil. In fact Allah does not interdict something unless it is harmful.

In the same regard, our Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said:

“It was the duty of every Prophet that has gone before me to guide his followers to what he knew was good for them.”

This is reflected in the principles of peace and coexistence, which Islam laid down the foundation. Islam also interdicts anything that may threaten peace. It is a religion that calls for safeguarding lives and properties, protecting societies and nations, preserving acquisitions, maintaining the wheel of development and growth and averting strife and evils.

Islam highly values peace for it makes it a top pursuit and a way of greetings (Salaam) amongst Muslims in this life and the Hereafter. Stressing its importance, the Almighty says: 

“Their greeting the Day they meet Him will be, “peace. “And He has prepared for them a noble reward.” (Al Ahzaab: 44)

Dear Servants of Allah,

Our Lord has instructed us to empower ourselves enough in order to safeguard the peace and maintain stability. On this matter He the Most High says:

And prepare against them (trouble makers) whatever you are able of power” (Al Anfaal: 60)

The Almighty has also asked us to take caution to avoid all that may threaten the supreme interests, as He says:

“O you, who has believed, takes your precaution.” (An-Nisaa’: 71)

In another verse, the Exalted is He ordered us to rally around the leader to achieve this noble goal:

“And hold firmly to the rope of Allah all together and do not become divided.”(Ali Imraan: 103)

Our beloved prophet (SAW) highlighted this order with the most clear and eloquent manner when he said:

“A leader is a shield for them. They fight (for their rights) behind him and they are protected by (him from tyrants and aggressors).”

This Hadith comes to shed light on the position of the leader as a protector for his subjects. He defends them from the enemy and stands against them falling in internal strife. His subjects have to fight and struggle alongside with him against any unjust and corrupt for the good of people’s interests. This has been a matter of consensus amongst scholars and people of wisdom. It has also been confirmed by the religion and laws. Moreover, failing to do so will result in a situation where the strongest will overpower the weakest and the unjust violate the rights of the innocent.

Dear Worshippers,

Islam has urged us to take a wise attitude in all matters of life and, as such, actions should suit context. It asks us to be lenient when required and be firm and steadfast when need be. Islam also authorizes self-Defence and brings succor to the others against oppression and aggression. In this endeavor, it allows to adopt resolute measures in order to secure safety and security, if necessary. The Almighty is He says: 

“So whoever has assaulted you, then assault him in the same way that he has assaulted you. And fear Allah and know that Allah is with those who fear Him.”(Al Baqara: 194)

The Almighty also says:

“And those who when tyranny strikes them, they defend themselves.” (Ash-Shura: 39)

This refers to the obligation of addressing the unjust and stopping him with the aim of averting his evil acts. And while it is highly commendable to forgive the weak, it is unacceptable to do so for the arrogant oppressor. In fact, if we treat him with mercy we may encourage him to continue in his acts of oppression, corruption and injustice.

Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Maintaining stability was one of the priorities set by our Prophet (SAW). He was keen to spread principles of peace and coexistence, lay their foundation in the society and prevent all forms of abuse and oppression. Thus at times he was lenient but at others he was firm and resorted to deterrent measures as it might have required.

“On the narration of Anas ibn Malik in Sahih Al Bukhari, may Allah be pleased with them, that some people came to the Prophet (SAW) and embraced Islam. The climate of Madinah did not suit them, so the Prophet (SAW) ordered them to go to the (herd of mulch) camels of charity and to drink their milk and urine (as a medicine). They did so, and after they had recovered from their ailment (became healthy) they turned renegades (reverted from Islam) and killed the shepherd of the camels and took the camels away. The prophet sent (some people) in their pursuit and so they were (caught and) brought, and the Prophet ordered they would be killed.”

The Prophet (SAW) pronounced this harsh punishment against the culprits because of their grave doings and the risk they posed to society and its peace and stability.

For their part, the Companions were committed to preserving coexistence, peace and stability following the example of the Prophet (SAW) by being compassionate at times and steadfast at others.

For example, when some people went into rebellion during the ruling of Ali ibn Abu Talib, may Allah be pleased with him, he advised them kindly. He also gave them a grace period with the hope they would come to their senses and repent. But they did not respond positively, rather they persisted in and went too far in attacking and killing people. They stole properties and engaged in robberies. In every sense of the word, they had threaded the lives of people and the peace and stability of the community as a whole. So Ali ibn Abu Talib together with other Companions addressed them firmly using power until they eliminated this source of evil.

Servants of Allah,

Please be aware that you are asked to obey Him (Allah), the Almighty, as it ought to be by observing Him in private and in public and know that peace and stability is a supreme interest and a vital necessity, which every sensible person must preserve. Without it people cannot feel safe about their lives, nor can they pursue their interests, build their present or look forward to the future.

Also without it, hardly can progress occur, nor does civilization prosper. As a result, calamities fell upon people. That is why our beloved Master Muhammad (SAW) said:

“Whoever among you wakes up physically healthy, feeling safe and secure within him, with food for the day, it is as if he acquired the whole world.”

O respected worshippers,

Our wise leaders have not spared efforts to achieve this supreme interest either internally or externally. They have cooperated with sisterly and friendly nations to lay the foundations of right and justice and respond to oppression, threat and corruption in line with Allah’s instruction:

“And cooperate in righteousness and piety.” (Al-Ma’ida: 2)

In this same regard the Prophet (SAW) said that Allah brings support and mercy to those who remain united.

Knowing this, may Allah bless our leadership; raise the status of our nation, save our soldiers, people and brothers from all evils. May Allah also spare us the wickedness of the malevolent and the greedy.

Dear Muslims, Dear Nigerians,

There is a pressing need for all creatures to have peace and stability. Crucial as it is, Prophet Ibrahim (AS) for example, prayed to his Lord to grant it to his folk when he was quoted as saying:

“And [mention] when Abraham said, ‘My Lord, make this a secure city and provide its people with fruits – whoever of them believes in Allah and the Last day’.” (Al-Baqara: 126)

Stressing its value, Allah the Exalted mentioned that it was reward from Him to some nations as was the case with Sabaa people. He the Almighty says:

“There was for [the tribe of] sabaa in their dwelling place a sign; two [fields of] gardens on the right and on the left. [They were told], “Eat from the provisions of your Lord and be grateful to Him. A good land [have you], and a forgiving Lord. (Sabaa: 15)

Allah the Exalted also blessed Quraysh with wealth, comfort and security as He says:

“(Allah) He Who has fed them [saving them] from hunger and made them safe [saving them] from fear.” (Quraysh: 4)

Dear Servants of Allah,

One key to peace and stability is to first believe in Allah, fear Him and avoid His prohibitions for He says:

“They who believe and do not mix their belief with injustice – those will have security, and they are [rightly] guided.”(Al-An’am: 82)

In this verse Allah the Almighty promises those who have achieved Iman (faith) and avoided disobedience to bestow upon them safety and security.

Thus the true believers are depicted as those who appreciate what Allah has granted them of benefits, namely security; they thank Him if He gives them, and think about the conditions of those living in fear and poverty. In this regard, Allah the Almighty says:

“And remember when you were few and oppressed in the land, fearing that people might abduct you, but He sheltered you, supported you with His victory, and provided you with good things – that you might be grateful.”(Al-Anfaal: 26)

This is a reminder to us that we need to remember Allah as a token of gratitude to Him for granting us security, and let others do the same. We also need to thank anyone else who played a part in achieving it, as our Prophet (SAW) said:

“If anyone does you a kindness, recompenses him; but if you have not the means to do so, pray for him until you feel that you have compensated him.”

In this context, we have to thank Allah and our leaders who have devoted themselves to obeying their Lord, building the land, and offering the means for good living to their people. They also make sure everyone is safely in his home. Our thanks should also go to any institution, official or individual with a contribution to this.

The least we can say to them is “thank you and may Allah reward you as much as you did of good to us,” reminding them of the glad tidings awaiting them as is mentioned in this Hadith:

“There are two eyes that shall not be touched by the Fire: an eye that wept from the fear of Allah, and an eye that spent the night standing on guard in the cause of Allah.”

Also one of the means to promote peace and stability is by spreading harmony amongst people. On this account our Prophet (SAW) said:

“A believer to another believer is like a building whose different parts enforce each other.” The Prophet then clasped his hands with the fingers interlaced (while saying that).”

So beware of disagreement, for it is an evil that leads to division and loss. Beware also of dangerous partisanship because it is an agent of destruction that leads communities to fall apart. Allah the Almighty says in this regard:

“And obey Allah and His Messenger, and do not dispute and [thus] lose courage and [then] your strength would depart; and be patient. Indeed, Allah is with the patient.” (Al-Anfaal: 46)

O servants of Allah,

Please also know that the love of one’s homeland is crucial to the peace and stability of any society. Thus if a man loves his country, he will definitely feel the responsibility towards preserving its security and stability. This was why our Prophet asked his Lords to grant him the love of Madinah so he could achieve stability and tranquility. He (SAW) said: 

“O Allah, make us love Madinah as much as we love Makkah or even more.”

After all, someone who feels secure in his homeland is likely to be more confident and self-motivated to excel in work and be more productive.

With this in mind, we seek Allah’s favour to guide us to the right path, make us amongst those who are grateful to His bounties and be obliged to anyone doing good to us. May Allah also make us amongst those who preserve the precious blessing of their nation’s stability, security and progress.

O Allah, also help us to obey You, Your Prophet Muhammad (SAW), and those You have ordained upon us to obey pursuant to Your orders:

“O you who have believe! Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger, and those charged with authority among you.”(An-Nisaa’: 59)

O servants of Allah,

Please obey Allah as it should be by observing Him in private and in public, and be aware that a good citizen is someone who seeks building and protecting his nation and is keen to serve it for the good of its peace, stability and development. He also shuns away from pretenders who rather seek to cause damage to it.

So let us then look forward to seeing our country’s flag always high, its edifice always solid, impenetrable, safe and secure. Let us also think of what we have offered to our country and have in mind that everyone must shoulder the responsibility of ensuring its security and stability.

Dear servants of Allah,

Bear in mind that you are asked to offer prayer and a greeting upon our most noble Prophet (SAW) for Allah says:

“Indeed, Allah and His angels sends blessing upon the Prophet. O you who have believed, ask [Allah to Confer] blessing upon him and ask [Allah to grant him] peace.” (Al-Ahzaab: 56)

On the same matter, the Prophet (SAW) 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 (SAW), his family and all his Companions.

May Allah be pleased with the Righty Guided Caliphs and all those who will follow them in righteousness till the Day of Judgment.

O Allah, may we ask you to help us with what gets us closer to Paradise and furthers us from hell. O Allah we seek Your grace to admit us, our parents, our leaders and whoever has done a favour to us and all Muslims to Your Paradise. O Allah guides us to perform good work and give up misdeeds.

O Allah, make Iman (faith) beloved to us and beautify it in our hearts and make us hate mischief, immorality and disobedience. O Allah I seek from You guidance, virtue, purification of the soul and being self – sufficient. O Allah let us see the Truth as Truth and grant that we follow it. And let us see Falsehood as falsehood and grant that we avoid it.

May Allah also mend 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 seek Your favour to raise our status, increase our good deeds, remove from us our misdeeds and cause us to die with the righteous.

O Allah, we implore You at this instant not to let a sin unforgiven, a distress unrelieved, and 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. May Allah have mercy on us, 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.

We pray to Allah, the Most Gracious, to continue blessing Nigeria with safety, security, unity and progress.

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-Ankabuut: 45)

This Khutbah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today Friday, Safar 1st, 1437 A.H (November 13, 2015), by Imam Murtada Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’at Mosque, Okene, Kogi State Nigeria. For corrections and advice, he can be reached via: +2348038289761.