In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious and the Most Merciful
By Imam Murtada Gusau,
All praise be to Allah for blessing us with a generous nation and greatest bounties. I extol Him as is befitting to His great sovereignty and glorious status and I bear witness that there is no deity but Him; having no associates. To Him belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth and whatever is within them. And He is over all things competent.
I also testify that Muhammad (SAW) is His Servant and Messenger, 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:
“O you who have believe, persevere and endure and remain stationed and fear Allah that you may be successful.” (Ali-Imraan: 200)
My respected people,
The homeland is one’s cradle where he lives, acquaints himself with its elements and enjoys its vicinity. As such anyone who has loved his country all throughout his life must be sincere in building it. In this sense, founding nations and civilizations is more than a mission; rather it is a covenant that only people in whom Allah invests honesty can fulfill. That is why people take to defend their homeland naturally and willingly. Some would sacrifice their life and this is the utmost form of generosity. Some would sacrifice their children or their wealth, while others would do all of these and even more.
In Surah An-Naml (Ants), the noble Quran tells the story of a group of people who proposed to their queen to defend their homeland, capitalizing on their might and strong will:
“They said, ‘we are men of strength and of great military might, but the command is yours, so see what you will command’.” (An-Naml: 33)
Some scholars explained that the speakers in this verse were ready to defend their kingdom and their nation by hinting at using force. Yet while taking this stance, they let this matter to the queen with full belief in her prudent opinion. In so doing, they were all set to follow her orders.
As an outcome, she led them to safety, thanks to her wisdom and good sense of judgment. This incident highlights the value of obedience, making it a beneficial lesson especially for the young who are the safety valve for any nation.
Brothers and Sisters,
Please know that safeguarding the homeland is an honour like no other. Its unique status was stressed by the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) when he said:
“Shall I tell about a night better than Laylat Al Qadr (the Night of Decree), [It is when] a guard who is on watch in a fearful place and who are Perhaps may not return to his family.”
So congratulations to those who are away from their families, our gallant troops, staying up all night so that others can sleep (peacefully). They battle the cold so their people and nation remain stable and secure. Because of their sacrifice they earn a higher rank.
On the narration of Artaa bin Al Mundhir that Umar bin Al Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, told his companions:
“Who are amongst people shall have greater reward?” They said those who fast and pray, mentioning so and so. Thereupon, he said, “Shall I inform you about the most rewarded of all those you mentioned?” They said, “Yes please.” He said “A man reins his horse and guards people, not knowing if there is a predator around to prey on him, a venomous snake to bite him, or an enemy to assault him. This is a greater recompense than those you mentioned.”
Moreover, it is mentioned in a Prophetic Hadith that the watchful eye on people’s rights, one that guards the borders of the nation and obeys Allah will, by His grace, not be touched by the Hellfire.
Ibn Abbas narrated that he heard the Messenger of Allah (SAW) saying:
“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.”
Knowing this, anyone, who desires the great reward, should be content with that Allah has prepared for him while he defends his nation, whether in land, sea or sky. It was narrated by Sahl bin Sa’ad, may Allah be pleased with him that Allah’s Messenger (SAW) said:
“(Ribat) Guarding the frontier for a day in the cause of Allah is better than the world and what is in it.”
In the same regard, Abdullah bin Amr, may Allah be pleased with him, said:
“I would rather love to stay up all nights guarding and be afraid in the way of Allah, the most Exalted, than giving one hundred camels as charity.”
Dear Servants of Allah,
For the cause of defending the nation one can sacrifice his life, give money or make achievements. An example of this noble mission was taken by a group of people who were praised in the Quran when they offered their wealth to protect their homeland from temptations and threats. The verse reads:
“They said, ‘O Dhul Qarnayn, indeed Gog and Magog are [great] corrupters in the land. So may we assign for you expenditure that you might make between us and them a barrier?” (Al-Kahf: 94)
Ibn Abbas, May Allah be pleased with him, said:
“The expenditure refers here to the money which people wanted to collect amongst themselves and give it out to Dhul-Qarnayn in return for erecting a barrier to keep their enemies away and under control”.
Also, protecting the homeland can be achieved by serving it across all of its institutions and by being dedicated to performing work as it ought to be. Thus one has to be sincere about discharging his responsibilities, and should work on protecting the reputation of his nation. Failing to do so is failing to defend the nation and this is against what our Prophet (SAW) said:
“Every one of you is a guardian and responsible for what is in his custody.”
Protecting the nation is a responsibility that requires commitment, including praying for the nation and the leaders. On this matter a respected scholar said:
“If I have an accepted supplication I will pray it for the leader.”
Let us then pray to our Lord to confer upon our country, Nigeria, goodness and prosperity as well as continuing safety and security. Doing this is one of the signs of loyalty and sincere sense of belonging. It also reflects the Prophet’s traditions and manners. The Prophet Ibrahim (A.S), for example, prayed for his homeland saying:
“My Lord, make this city (Makkah) secure.” (Ibrahim: 35)
Also the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) for his part, supplicated for his homeland as he said:
“O Allah, bless us in our mudd; O Allah, bless us in our saa; O Allah, bless with this blessing two more blessings.”
With this in mind, you are urged to pray for your nation and supplicate to Allah to protect it and bless it with His generous favours. May Allah bless our country with continued bounties and keep it safe from all sorts of evil, Ameen.
Servants of Allah,
Please be aware that you are asked to obey Him, the Almighty, as it ought to be by observing Him in private and in public and know that it falls on us to contribute effectively in educating our children on the love of their nation. It is our responsibility to prepare them during the peacetime to be the builders of their country’s civilization and glories and in need stand as the shield of protection. This is because they are the renewable source of energy from which the country draws its strength and resistance. In this regard, Umar bin Al Khattab, May Allah be pleased with him, said;
“Teach your children swimming, archery and horse-riding.”
Further, let us salute the defenders of this generous nation: our Armed Forces, who ensure safety and security so that everyone can enjoy a stable and serene life. No wonder then if they are referred to as the wealth of this nation, its impervious fort, a symbol of its union, a source of its pride and pillar of its security. In fact without their role we could not have reached such a progress and steady prosperity at all levels. We truly appreciate their unyielding efforts in protecting the nation and its gains, for whose cause they offer their lives.
My respected people,
Apart from that, know that Islam is a religion of forgiveness and leniency. It appeals to people, and let them accept it. Thus it comes to emphasize good morals, lay the foundations of moderation, safeguard human rights, and establish such finest cultural values of coexistence, tolerance and solidarity. Then there has emerged the eternal message of mercy and peace for all mankind. Allah says:
“And We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], except as a mercy to the world.” (Al Anbiyaa: 107)
In the same regard, our Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said:
“Actually, I was awarded mercy (by Allah).”
This authentic principle is being thoroughly stressed in Islam as he (SAW) said:
“He who shows no mercy to the people, Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, does not show mercy on him.”
He (SAW) said also:
“Mercy is taken away only from him who is miserable.”
Mercy in Islam is a virtue that encompasses also other creatures besides humans. Ibn Mas’ud reported:
“We were with the Messenger of Allah (SAW) during a journey. He went to ease himself. We saw a bird with her two young ones and we captured her young ones. The bird came and began to spread its wings. The Messenger of Allah (SAW) came and said: ‘who grieved this for its young ones? Return its young ones to it.”
If the prophet (SAW) prohibited us to cause suffering to a bird by taking its little chicks, so what would be the case with someone who inflicts grievance on another by taking the life of his brother or relative?
Dear Servants of Allah,
Indeed it is heartbreaking to see the tolerant teachings of Islam and the Prophetic tradition being violated out of proportion. This has been undertaken by sinful groups taking to extremist views and militancy and tarnishing the image of our tolerant religion. In total disregard of religious dictates and in cruelest manner, they unleash havoc, shedding blood and breaching sanctities. Disgracefully, they speak in the name of Islam and attribute their heinous crimes to it.
Nay they have utterly distorted Islam and its human ideals because they endorse an alien ideology that is contradictory to it. Truly, their radical attitude has killed their pure human nature and perceptions, rendering them insensible to morality and humanity. Can anybody then say that such crimes have anything to do with Islam?
Along this dark, unjust and deadly road have walked those people who are penetrating unspeakable massacres; they kill others in cold blood and disfigure them. They have been tearing down buildings, spilling blood, violating integrities, assaulting women without respect to any of Islam’s commands, nor to any of human’s values or principles. Here again arises a question: where are they from those religious texts that condemn the crimes they do?
Where are they from the incident involving Usama bin Zaid who raised his sword when he (the soldier of the polytheists) uttered: “there is no deity but Allah.” But he (Usama bin Zaid) killed him.
The Messenger of Allah (SAW) called for him and asked him why he had killed him. He (Usama) said: “O Messenger of Allah, he struck the Muslims and killed such and such of them. And he even named some of them. I attacked him and when he saw the sword he said, ‘there is no deity but Allah’.”
The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: “did you kill him?” he (Usama) replied in affirmative. He (the noble Prophet) remarked: “what would you do with: ‘there is no deity but Allah,’ when he would come (before you) on the Day of Judgment?”
He (Usama) said, “O Messenger of Allah, beg pardon for me (from your Lord).” He (the noble Prophet) said, “what would you do with: ‘there is no deity but Allah’ when he would come before you on the Day of Judgment? He (the noble Prophet) added nothing to it but kept saying, ‘what would you do with: ‘there is no deity but Allah’ when he would come (before you) on the Day of Judgment?
“The Prophet (SAW) kept on repeating that so often that I wished I had not embraced Islam before that day,” Usama bin Zaid said.”
Where they are from the Hadith of the Prophet of mercy (SAW) saying: “a faithful believer remains at liberty regarding his religion unless he kills somebody unlawfully.”
Where are they from the severe warning contained in the words of the Prophet (SAW): “if this world was to be destroyed, that would be less significant before Allah than the unlawful killing of a believer or any innocent person?
Again where are they from the stern warning in the words of the Prophet (SAW): “if the inhabitants of the heavens and the inhabitants of the earth all took part in shedding blood of believer or innocent, then Allah would cast them (all) in the Fire?” How on earth can they ignore the Prophet’s instruction:
“Whoever rebels against my Ummah, killing good and evil people alike, and does not try to avoid killing the believers, and does not pay attention to those who are under a covenant, then he has nothing to do with me and I have nothing to do with him.”
So how will those people meet the Prophet (SAW) on the Day of Judgment while they did not respect the sanctity of his Ummah, and ignored his warnings and orders?
As you can see these verses and Hadiths denounce categorically all forms of extremism and stress the fact that it is against our tolerant religion and call for fighting it by all means.
Dear Muslims, fellow Nigerians,
Since militant ideology has reached this dark alarming level with their advocators having fallen deep in the abyss of impurity, losing sense of conscience and failing to listen to the voice of wisdom and comply with good guidance, then a firm action must be taken. This is required in order to preserve the religion from such an alien system of thought and protect people from the evil posed by those extremists and their gruesome acts. For these reasons and others, addressing the harm caused by those terrorists is legal and legitimate demand. May Allah save our nations from those corrupters and purify it from the extremists, Ameen.
O servants of Allah,
Please obey Allah as it ought to be by observing Him in private and in public and be aware that as the image of our religion is being stained by those groups’ actions of killing innocents, violating sanctities, taking others’ property, it is our duty to show to the world that this is contrary to the teachings of Islam. It is also our duty to warn against any misleading Fatwa that defends those corrupt groups or be deceived by it.
The responsibility rests as well with parents who need to protect their children from any intruding ideology and creed by educating them following the true Islamic principles. The youth, boys and girls, for their part, must adhere to the guidance of genuine Islam and beware of radical ideas and of those who spread them, especially through electronic social network mediums. They also must stand alert not to let themselves be lured to slogans and allegations disseminated by terrorist organizations, which claim falsely glamorous slogans.
My respected people,
Terrorists launched attacks on Yola, Kano, Borno, Paris and Mali killing many people. The attacks occurred at market, farm center GSM market, IDPs camp, Hotel etc. I strongly condemn these attacks. They are very bad, disgust, unpleasant, despicable, cruel, vicious, sinful, atrocious, in human and barbaric. My heart goes out to the victims of all these terror attacks where innocent people have been killed by the wicked people, murderers and blood suckers.
I am profoundly saddened by the loss of life and indiscriminate murder of innocent people. This criminal barbarity is Godlessness. Terrorism has no faith and cannot be condoned by any means, rationale or ideology. We must commit to each other to defeat it. Godless cowards attack unarmed, randomly selected, innocent people. Terrorists are sinful, immoral, barbaric criminals. It is displeasing to hear the media call ISIS, Al-Shabaab, Al-Qaedah or Boko Haram Sunni Jihadists. Neither are their actions from the Sunnah or Islamically considered Jihad. My thoughts and prayers are with the innocent victims, their families and communities.
I ask Allah, the Lord of the worlds, to bring justice to these horrific situations, to recompense those who committed these murders with what they deserve, to bring those still at large to justice, and to rid the earth of these evil, treacherous, murderous lunatics, who do nothing but bring harm and corruption to the world.
O Allah, be with our brave soldiers as they fight against terror. Match forward O defenders of our nation, we are proudly behind you. Do not be scared, be courageous like a lion, be strong and stand for what is right no matter how the challenges. Do not be scared. Be courageous and watch Nigeria begin the revival process, watch Nigeria rescued and watch Nigeria being restored. We shall not be cowed; our humanity shall trump, outrank and defeat their terror by the Grace of the Almighty Allah.
My heart, thoughts and prayers goes to the entire people of Yola, Kano, Borno and all the victims of terror and the victims of injustice any where they are. Be assured that terror will be defeated; terrorism will not win Inshaa Allah!
Inna lillahi wa inna Ilayhir raaji’uun. From Allah do we come and to Him is our return!
Brothers and Sisters,
Just on Sunday’s evening (22-11-2015), Allah reclaimed one more of His beloved Servants. Prince Abubakar Audu, former Governor of Kogi State was to his family a devoted husband and loving father. We all knew him, not only as the former Governor of Kogi State. He was also much-loved father and respected leader to us all.
Even though we should be prepared for death at any time, the suddenness of his departure has left us all in a state of shock. We still have to come to terms with our sense of loss. Perhaps we should remind ourselves, brothers and sisters that the late prince Abubakar Audu was merely on loan to us from Allah. And Allah has now taken back that loan, which was only given to us for a time, in trust. The truth is, we are all on loan from Allah, and surely, some day we will all return to our rightful owner.
A week before his death and departure, I happened to be among the Islamic Clerics delegated to visit and give Naseehah to him in order to fear Allah concerning the people if he wins the election. He promised us that he will not disappoint people if Allah makes him a winner in the coming election.
Being the Muslims we have taken his death in good faith as we strongly believed that Allah gives and Allah takes. To us we also believed that his time was up; nothing any man can do to stop it.
Let us pray to Allah, first of all, to give comfort and solace to the late Prince Abubakar Audu’s family, friends, and associates. And the family of his Royal Highness, the late Pa Audu Oyidi, Orego Atta of Igala land and the paramount ruler of Ogbonicha-Alloma in Ofu Local Government of Kogi State, the people of Ogbonicha, people of Ofu Local Government and entire people of Kogi state and Nigeria. Help them O Allah quickly to ease their pain, and to overcome their sorrow. O Allah gives us and them the fortitude to bear the irreparable and irreplaceable loss. O Allah, showers your mercy and forgiveness on the soul of the late Prince, forgive his shortcomings and failings and allow him to enter your garden (Al-Jannatul Firdausi), Ameen.
Dear Servants of Allah,
Bear in mind that you are asked to offer prayer and a greeting upon our most noble Prophet Muhammad (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.”
He also said:
“Nothing turns back the Decree except supplication.”
May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon our Master Muhammad (SAW), his family, and all his Companions. May Allah be pleased with the Rightly Guided Caliphs:
Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and Ali and all those who will follow them in righteousness till the Day of Judgment.
May Allah grant success to our Armed Forces and add strength to their strength. May Allah reward them abundantly, for the work they were rendering to their nation.
O Allah, we implore You at this instant not to let a sin unforgiven, a distress unrelieved, an 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 help us succeed in these blessed days in every work to please you, O Lord of the Worlds.
O Allah, may we ask You to help us with what get 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.
May Allah grant success, guidance, protection and continued good health to our leader President Muhammadu Buhari. May Allah also ensure success to his Deputy, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, and provide strength and assistance to his ministers.
O Allah forgives all of the Muslims, men and women living and dead, and makes blessings follow us and them.
May Allah protect and have mercy on His Eminence, the Sultan, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III and all our respected Emirs.
O Lord forgives and show mercy to our parents, relatives and whoever has done a favour to us.
O Allah, we pray to you to grant your forgiveness and mercy to who built this mosque, Alhaji Ahmad Adoke, and to his parents as well as to anyone who help the development of this mosque. O Allah, we also supplicate to You to forgive whoever built a mosque where Your name is remembered.
We pray to Allah, the Most Gracious, to preserve and protect Nigerians from all temptations, both apparent and hidden, and continue blessing our nation and all countries with safety and security.
O Allah, make this our gathering one of compassion and our dispersion after it one that is infallible.
O Allah, do not let anyone amongst us deprived, desperate or unhappy. O Merciful One grants us Your Mercy, Ameen.
O servants of Allah,
Remember Allah and He will remember you. Be grateful for His benevolence and He will increase His blessings to you. Allah, the Most High, says:
“And establish prayer. Indeed, prayer prohibits immorality and wrongdoings, 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 15, 1437 A.H (November 27, 2015), by Imam Murtada Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’at Mosque, Okene, Kogi State Nigeria. He can be reached through: +2348038289761.