SERMON: Fear Allah, Do Not Become Two-Faced (Mai Fuska Biyu), By Murtadha Gusau

Imam Murtada Gusau

By Murtadha Gusau,

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

Verily, all good praises are for Allah, we seek His help and His forgiveness. We seek refuge with Allah from the evil of our own souls and from our bad deeds. Whomsoever Allah guides will never be led astray, and whomsoever Allah leaves astray, no one can guide. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, He is alone and without any partner, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His 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.” [Ali Imran 3:102]

“O mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, Who created you from a single person, and from him He created his wife, 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).” [al-Nisa’ 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 (SAW) he has indeed achieved a great achievement (i.e. he will be saved from the Hellfire and made to enter Paradise).” [al-Ahzaab 33:70-71]

As to what proceeds:

Verily the best of speech is the Book of Allah and the best of guidance is the guidance of Muhammad (SAW). The worst of affairs are the newly-invented affairs in the religion and every newly invented affair in the religion is an innovation and every innovation is misguidance and all misguidance is in the hellfire. As to what proceeds:

Dear Brothers and Sisters!

Imam Fudayl Ibn Iyad (Rahimahullah) said:

“Humility is that you humble yourself to the truth and accept it from the one who says it. Humility is that you accept truth, even if heard from a child or the most Jahil (ignorant) person.” [Madarij As-Salikin of Imam Ibn Qayyim, 2/342]

Shaykh Al-Islam Ibn Taymiyyah said:

“So whoever perceives (from himself) deficiency (shortcomings) in his speech or actions or his condition or his sustenance or a change of heart, then he should holdfast to tawhid and seeking forgiveness, for in them is the cure.” [Al-Fataawaa, 11/698]

“True fear of Allah and piety will not be complete and perfect except with good manners.” ~ [Ibn Rajab al-Hanbaly in Jami’ al-Ulum wal-Hikam page 338]

My Respected people! The “double-faced” person acts like a hypocrite whom Allah describes in the following verse:

“And when they meet those who believe, they say: “We believe,” but when they are alone with their Shayatin (devils – polytheists, hypocrites, etc.), they say: “Truly, we are with you; verily, we were but mocking.” [2: 14]

Imam Al-Bukhari and Imam Muslim reported that the Prophet (Pbuh) said:

“The worst person is the double-faced one who meets these people with a face and meets others with a different one.”

Brothers and Sisters! As for how to deal with such a person, I advise you to exhort him and remind him of Allah, remind him of the Day of Judgement, and the punishment Allah Will inflict on hypocrites, and what Allah and His Prophet (Pbuh) say about people who behave as such.

I advise you also to beware of him and be cautious when talking in his presence, as such people most of the times are tale-bearers. They report everything they hear. I ask Allah to protect us and bestow peace on us. Ameen.

However, it is of great importance that one makes sure that such a person is undoubtedly of such character, because mere doubts or misunderstandings should be neglected.

Brothers and Sisters! You have probably one time or the other met some people whom are two-faced. They say something else to you against someone else, and when they meet that person, they say something to that person against you, mai fuska biyu or munafuki is what we call that in Hausa. Usually this could be out of jealousy, someone has a better car, husband, house or work than you, and you can’t see that person being so happy so you try to make that person’s life miserable somehow. I’m talking about the so-called leg-pullers.

Remember that one time or the other, the truth will prevail, even if it’s on judgement day, so beware how you try to trick others or sowing hatred between them!

The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) has said:

“You will find that among the most evil of people with Allah (i.e. among the most evil people in the Judgement Day) on the Day of Resurrection is he who is two-faced: who goes to these (a group of people) with one face, and to these (another group of people) with another face.” (Sahih Al-Bukhari and Sahih Muslim)

Imam Al-Qurtubi said:

“A two-faced person is regarded as so evil because he is like a hypocrite; he/she sweetly talks with falsehood and lies, and sows dissension among people.”

A two-faced person is one who goes to each group with what pleases it, giving the appearance that he is from it and opposed to its counterpart (or enemy). His/her action is pure hypocrisy, lying, deception and trickery. But if a person goes to two groups in order to make peace between them (Sulhu), then he/she is doing something that is praiseworthy. Others have said: the difference is that a two-faced person praises the group he/she is with and finds faults with the other group, and he/she does the same when he/she is in the company of the other group. On the other hand, the praiseworthy person goes to each other of the two groups with words of reconciliation, finding excuses for one group while he is with the other, trying to convey good points of the other group while hiding their faults.

Servants of Allah! If you have people like this in your acquaintances, try your utmost to not make them angry and try to shy away from them. These people can change for the wrong at any possible time. Try to keep away from their company. Not having any company is better than having bad company. If people who have bad values are your friends, one day or the other that would rub over on you, even if you don’t want it to happen.

Do you actually want to stay with these people to try to change them, when they can hurt you bad, really bad. Isn’t​ it better that you save yourself and your loved ones from them? Yes, I hope and pray that you would agree to that.

My people! Now let me explain the Surah an-Nisa’ verses 142 and 143 of the Noble Quran so that we understand the topic fully.

Brothers and Sisters! The Hypocrites and Two-Faced Try To Deceive Allah and Sway Between Believers and Disbelievers.

The hypocrites fluctuate between Iman and kufr. They pretend to have Iman but in their hearts they have kufr. Why? In order to gain benefits from the Muslims as well as the disbelievers. But what are they actually doing? Deceiving Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. In the beginning of Surah Al-Baqarah it was mentioned:

“They (think to) deceive Allah and those who believe.”

Means to show on the apparent that is contrary to what is inside. In verse 142, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala states:

“Verily, the hypocrites seek to deceive Allah, but it is He Who deceives them.”

There is no doubt that Allah can never be deceived, for He has perfect knowledge of the secrets and what the hearts conceal. However, the hypocrites, due to their ignorance, scarce knowledge and weak minds, think that since they were successful in deceiving people, using Islamic Law as a cover of safety for themselves, they will acquire the same status with Allah on the Day of Resurrection and deceive Him too. Allah states that on that Day, the hypocrites will swear to Him that they were on the path of righteousness and correctness thinking that such statement will benefit them with Allah. And Allah’s statement:

“But it is He Who deceives them.”

He lures them further into injustice and misguidance. He also prevents them from reaching the truth in this life and on the Day of Resurrection.

A hadith states:

“Whoever wants to be heard of, Allah will make him heard of, and whoever wants to be seen, Allah will show him.”

And Allah’s statement:

“And when they stand up for Salah/Prayer, they stand with laziness.”

This is the characteristic of the hypocrites with the most honoured, best and righteous act of worship, the prayer. When they stand for prayer, they stand in laziness because they neither truly intend to perform it nor do they believe in it, have humility in it, or understand it. This is the description of their outward attitude! As for their hearts, Allah said:

“To be seen of men.”

They do not have sincerity when worshiping Allah. Rather, they show off to people so that they gain closeness to them. They are often absent from the prayers that they can hide away from, such as the Isha’ prayer and the Dawn/Fajr prayer that are prayed in darkness. In the two Sahihs, Al-Bukhari and Muslim, it is recorded that the Messenger of Allah, (Pbuh) said:

“The heaviest prayers on the hypocrites are the Isha’ and Dawn/Fajr prayers. If they know their rewards, they will attend them even if they have to crawl. I was about to order someone to pronounce the Adhan for the prayer, then order someone to lead the prayer for the people, then order some men to collect fire-wood (fuel); then I would burn the houses around men who did not attend the (compulsory congregational) prayer.”

In another narration, the Prophet said:

“By Him, in Whose Hand my soul is, if anyone of them had known that he would get a bone covered with good meat or two (small) pieces of meat between two ribs, he would have turned up for the prayer, and had it not been that the houses have women and children in them, I would burn their homes around them.”

Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala then ends this verse in the following words:

“And they do not remember Allah but little.”

During the prayer they do not feel humbleness or pay attention to what they are reciting. Rather, during their prayer, they are inattentive, jesting and avoid the good that they are meant to receive from prayer. When they pray they only want to get done with Salah, there is no recitation of Qur’an, tasbihaat, etc. They pray the shortest amount, the bare minimum just to get done with it. Nothing more than that no Sunnah no Nafilah. They are not concerned about reciting different Surah or azkaar.

Imam Malik reported that Al-Ala bin Abdur-Rahman said that Anas bin Malik (RA) said that the Messenger of Allah (Pbuh) said:

“This is the prayer of the hypocrite, this is the prayer of the hypocrite, this is the prayer of the hypocrite. He sits watching the sun until when it goes down between the two horns of the devil, he stands up pecks out four Raka’ahs (for Asr) without remembering Allah during them except little.” (Muslim, At-Tirmidhi and An-Nasa’i also recorded it. At-Tirmidhi said Hasan Sahih)

Lessons To Be Learnt

1. A person who tries to deceive others is actually deceiving himself, especially if he is deceiving Allah.

2. A person who is being given respite is also being deceived. If he is not being caught immediately he gives himself false assurance that if I was wrong I’d have been caught and punished. He lives a life of deception. When a person does something wrong and he is not hit by a calamity or punishment he should remind himself for the Akhirah (Hereafter). I may escape the punishment of Dunya (World) but what about Akhirah? How would I escape Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala’s punishment on the Day of Judgment?

3. It is hypocrisy to approach or perform Salah/ Prayer lazily. As we read in Surah al-Ma’un. Consider for a moment, you have a friend whom you admire a lot. You have a meeting with him/her. Are you reluctant in meeting them? Do you keep sitting lazily to dress up until the very last moment? No, you can’t wait. So why is it that we claim we love Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala but when it comes to Salah we are sluggish?

4. We should offer Salah as early as possible. We should give priority to Salah because if we give priority to Salah only then we’d be able to give importance to Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala. But if we delay, we won’t have much time to remember Allah, we’d be rushing through the Salah just to get done with it.

5. The men should perform Salah in the Masjid, but if the Masjid is far away [like in some non-Muslim countries] then at least Fajr and Isha’ should be performed in the Masjid. It is an obligation on the wives, mothers, sisters and daughters to encourage the men in their lives to offer Salah in the Masjid. This is because a Sahih Hadith narrates that if they knew the reward of coming to the Masjid they’d come crawling.

6. When the hypocrites pray they only want to get done with Salah, there is no recitation of Quran, tasbihaat, etc. We should ask ourselves when we sit down to eat do we remember Allah? When we see something beautiful do we praise Allah? Do we recite the masnun Du’as as taught by The Messenger of Allah (Pbuh) for every action that we do in a day? The hypocrite only prays Salah nothing more than that.

7. The hypocrite prays the shortest amount, the bare minimum, the fara’id just to get done with it. Nothing more than that no Sunnah no nafilah. He is not concerned about reciting different Surah or azkaar. There are 114 Surahs in the Quran how many have we memorized? Do we take care about reciting a different each time that we stand up to pray?

8. The one who has Khushu in Salah will do a lot of Zhikr of Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala, inside Salah as well as outside Salah.

9. It is hypocrisy to show-off a good deed. It is Riya’. When a person shows-off that deed is not accepted. Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala is Tayyib, and He accepts only that which is Tayyib. He doesn’t need a good deed which is done to please people. He will only accept that deed which is done for His sake only.

In verse 143, Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala begins by saying:

“(They are) swaying between this and that, belonging neither to these…”

The hypocrites sway between faith and disbelief. They are neither with believers nor with disbelievers. Rather, they are with the believers outwardly and with the disbelievers inwardly. Some of them would suffer fits of doubt, leaning towards these sometimes and towards those sometimes.

Ibn Jarir recorded that Ibn Umar (RA) said that the Prophet (Pbuh) said:

“The example of the hypocrite is the example of the sheep wandering between two herds, sometimes she goes to one of them, and sometimes the other, confused over whom she should follow.” (Muslim also recorded it)

This is why Allah said afterwards:

“And he whom Allah sends astray, you will not find for him a way.”

Whomever Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala sends leads astray from the guidance will never find a helper/wali to lead him to the right path because whom Allah misguides no one can guide. So the hypocrites whom Allah has led astray from the paths of safety will never find a guide to direct them, nor someone to save them. There is none who can resist Allah’s decision, and He is not asked about what He does, while they all will be asked.

Lessons To Be Learnt

1. The hypocrite wavers between Iman and kufr. Sometimes he acts like a Muslim and sometimes his actions resemble those of the kuffar. He is neither a disbeliever nor a believer. Why does he does that? To get benefits from both sides.

2. There’s severe warning against being shaky or doubtful about one’s Iman. This is the trait of a hypocrite. A true believer will never be doubtful what Quran or Sunnah teaches him.

3. A person whom Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala abandons no one can guide him. Why would Allah send someone astray? It happens because of one’s own actions. If someone is being disrespectful to Allah’s commands, Allah will let him go astray. It is their own inclination towards the wrong that makes them lose track.

4. When a person truly wants guidance then he should ask Allah subhanahu wa ta’ala because the matter of guidance and misguidance is on His hands alone. We must prove from our actions that we are sincere in our yearning for Hidayah (Guidance). We can’t say half-heartedly, “O if Allah wills, He will guide me.” No, you have prove you are worthy of it.

Few words on the month of Sha’aban.

Respected Brothers and Sisters! Sha’aban is the eighth month of the Arabic Islamic calendar. It comes between Rajab and Ramadan.

The Prophet (Pbuh) said:

“It is the month between Rajab and Ramadan which many people are negligent regarding.” [Narrated by Usamah Ibn Zaid and collected by an-Nasa’i and Ahmad]

Why is it called Sha’aban?

The name is from Sha’ab and the meaning of this word is: separation. [Ibn as-Sikkeet]

There are two different opinions regarding why Sha’aban was given this name:

1. The Arabs used to (yatasha’abun) separate and spread out in this month in order to look for water or due to wars. [Ibn Faris in Maqayis al-Lugha]

2. It is called Sha’aban because it comes and separates between the two months Rajab and Ramadan. [Lisan al-Arab]

Another name for Sha’aban.

The month of Sha’aban is also called Ajlan (lit. something which is quick).

Az-Zubaidi said:

“Ajlan is Sha’aban. It was called Ajlan due to how quickly it finishes i.e. its days are quick to pass by.”

Legislated Acts of Worship In Sha’aban

* Increase in Fasting

It has been established in the Sunnah that the Prophet (Pbuh) used to increase his fasting in this month.

Aishah (may Allah be pleased with her) said:

“The Messenger of Allah (Pbuh) used to fast to the extent we would think he will never break his fast, and [at other times] he would not fast to the extent we thought he would never fast. I never saw the Messenger of Allah completing a full month of fasting except Ramadan. I never saw him fasting more in any other month other than Sha’aban.” [Bukhari and Muslim]

Note: The meaning of fasting ‘all the month’ in this narration is fasting most of the month, not actually fasting the whole month in its entirety.

At-Tirmidhi narrates that Ibn al-Mubarak said:

“It is correct in the Arabic language to say regarding a person who has fasted most of the month that he: fasted all the month.” [Sunan at-Tirmidhi]

Innovations (Bid’ah) people created in the month of Sha’aban.

First: The ‘One Thousand’ Prayer.

This is one of the innovations performed on the night of mid-Sha’aban (Nisfu Sha’aban). It is one hundred Raka’ah prayed in congregation. The Imam recites Surah al-Ikhlas ten times in every Raka’ah. Alternatively, he prays ten Raka’ah and in every Raka’ah he recites Surah al-Ikhlas a hundred times after Surah al-Fatihah. It is a rejected innovation.

Imam Ibn Taymiyyah said:

“As for the Marfu’ narration regarding the ‘One Thousand’ Prayer, it is a lie and fabrication in agreement with the scholars of Knowledge and Hadith.” [Iqtida as-Sirat al-Mustaqim]

Imam Ibn al-Qayyim said:

“It is astonishing that some of the people who have a sense of knowledge regarding the Sunan are deceived by this trivial action and pray it.” [Al-Manar Al-Munif]

Second: Specifying the night of Mid-Sha’aban for prayer, and the day for fasting.

This is based on the narration: “When it is the night of mid-Sha’aban, then spend its night praying and its day fasting.”

This narration has no basis; in Islam, only the established [authentic] narrations should be implemented and acted upon.

Staying awake during the night is therefore an innovation. As for fasting mid-Sha’aban, if it is with the intention of specifying this day, then it is an innovation. But if it coincides with a person fasting the days of the full moon, Ayyam al-Bidh, (i.e. 13th, 14th and 15th), so a person fasts the 15th and the two days before it, then this is a Sunnah which has been proven by authentic Ahadith. However, it is important to note that this is a practice for every Islamic month, not specifically Sha’aban.

Third: Praying six Raka’ah in the night of Mid-Sha’aban with the intention that it wards off calamities and gives a long life.

They are prayed along with the recitation of Surah Yaseen and Du’a. This is also an innovation for which there is no evidence from the Shari’ah. In fact, the scholars have clearly mentioned it is an innovation.

Imam an-Nawawi (may Allah have mercy upon him) said:

“The prayer known as Salat ar-Raghaa’ib is 12 units (Raka’ahs) of Prayer between Maghrib and Isha, in the night of the first Friday of Rajab; and also 100 units of prayer on night of mid-Sha’aban – both these prayers are rejected and despised innovations. A person should not be deceived by them being mentioned in the book ‘Qut al-Qulub’ and also in ‘Ihya’ Ulum ad-Din’ and neither any narration mentioning them. This is because everything [which has been narrated regarding it] is false. A person should not be deceived by some of the Imams and Scholars who are confused regarding its ruling, even if they wrote a few papers stating that it is recommended, indeed such as person is mistaken.” [Al-Majmu’ Sharh al-Muhadhabb]

Wassalamu Alaikum Wa rahmatullah Wa bara ka tuhu.

I ask Allah to assist us in living by the Quran and Sunnah. I pray that He lets us recognise the truth for what it is and helps us to follow it, and that He lets us see falsehood for what it is and helps us to avoid it.

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

Brothers and Sisters! Know that we human beings are fragile, weak, and prone to illness. We all get sick at one time or another, some more seriously than others.

Muslims see illness not as a punishment from Allah, as some people want us to understand, but rather as a test and a purification of sins (Kaffarar Zunubai).

One of the Prophets of Allah, Prophet Ayyub (Job) said:

“Truly distress (sickness) has seized me, but You are Most Merciful of those that are merciful.” (Qur’an 21:83-94)

Oh Allah! The Sustainer of Mankind! Remove the illness from our President Muhammadu Buhari, cure his disease. You are the One Who cures. There is no cure except Your cure. Grant him a cure that leaves no illness!

I ask Allah, the Mighty, the Lord of the Mighty Throne, to cure our President, assist him, guide him and protect him from all evils!

Ya Allah! Grant President MUHAMMADU BUHARI complete Shifa, expiate his sin for every moment of suffering and grant him quick recovery. Ameen!

Oh Allah! Our Lord and Sustainer! Grant us good in this world and good in the Hereafter, and save us from the Fire of Jahannam (Hell).

Oh Allah! Make our country, Nigeria safe and the other Muslim countries in general, Oh Lord of the universe (Jinn and Mankind). Oh Allah, protect our safety, our Iman and our peace in our native lands and rectify those placed in authority over our affairs (our leaders) and don’t hold us to account for that which the foolish amongst us have done, and protect us from trials the apparent and hidden of it.

Oh Allah! Show us the truth for the truth and help us to follow it, and show us the falsehood for falsehood and help us to stay away from it, and make Iman the most beloved to us and beautify it in our hearts, and make disbelief, lewdness and rebellion most hated to us and make us from those who are guided.

Oh Allah! Rectify our leaders, Oh Allah, guide them to that which is good for themselves and to that which is good for us. Oh Allah make them a means for our safety, and make them a means for our word (unity) to be one, and make them a cause for our coming together, Ya Al-Hayyu (Oh The Ever Living, The One who cannot die), Ya Al-Qayyum (The Self Sustainer), Ya Saami’ (The Hearer) of the supplication.

Oh Allah! Safeguard our country. Oh Allah bring ease to the Nigerians from that which they face from sufferings. Oh Allah give us immediate ease. Oh Allah give us victory with a happy outcome. Oh Allah make ease for the Nigerians from every difficulty and from every suffering, Oh Hearer of the supplication, Oh Reliever from every distress, Oh answerer of the supplication, Oh Helper of the grieving, Oh ever living, Self Sustaining, Oh Hearer of the supplication, Oh Owner of Loftiness and Nobility! Ameen.

We seek Allah’s forgiveness, besides whom there is nothing worthy of worship. He is the Ever Living, the Self Subsisting – We turn to Him in repentance.

Our Lord! We have wronged ourselves, and if You do not forgive us and have mercy upon us, we will surely be among the losers.

Our Lord! Forgive us and our parents and whoever enters our house a believer – and [forgive] the believing men and believing women. Our Lord, forgive us and our parents and the believers on the Day the reckoning is established.

Our Lord! Do not take us to account if we have forgotten or erred. Our Lord, lay not upon us a burden like that which You laid upon those before us. Our Lord, burden us not with that which we have no ability to bear. And pardon us, and forgive us, and have mercy upon us. You are our protector, so give us victory over the disbelieving people (who attacks our religion).

O Allah! We seek refuge with You from weakness, laziness, cowardice, miserliness and from the senility of old age. We seek refuge with you from the punishment of the grave; and we seek refuge with you from the tribulations of life and death.

O Allah! We ask for guidance, piety, righteousness, chastity and prosperity.

O Allah! You are our Lord, there is nothing worthy of worship except You. You created us and we are your servants – we are upon your covenant and we maintain our pledge to you as much as we are able to. We seek refuge with you from the evil of what we have done. We admit Your blessings upon us and we admit that we have sinned, so forgive us for there is none who forgives sins except you. Ameen.

My respected people! Anything good I have said in my today’s 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 I do.

May Allah be praised; and may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon His Messenger Muhammad and upon his family and Companions.

With this I conclude my Khutbah (Sermon) and ask Allah, the Almighty and the sublime, to forgive all of our sins. So seek his forgiveness, He is all forgiving Most Merciful.

This Jumu’ah Khutbah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today, Friday, Sha’aban 8, 1438 A.H. (May 5, 2017), By Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’ah and Alhaji Abdurrahman Okene’s Mosques, Okene Kogi State Nigeria. He can be reached through: +2348038289761.