By Imam Murtada Gusau
In the name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy
Alhamdulillah. Indeed, all praise is due to Allah. We praise Him and seek His help and forgiveness. We seek refuge with Allah from our soul’s evils and our wrong doings. He whom Allah guides, no one can misguide; and he whom He misguides, no one can guide.
I bear witness that there is no (true) god except Allah – alone without a partner, and I bear witness that Muhammad (saw) is His Servant and messenger.
“O you who believe! Revere Allah the right reverence, and do not die except as Muslim”. (Al-Imran, 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-Nisa, 4:1)
“O you who believe! Revere Allah and say just 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-Ahzab, 33:70-71)
Indeed, the best speech is Allah (swt)’s Book and the best guidance is Muhammad (saw)’s guidance. The worst affairs (of religion) are those innovated (by people), for every such innovation is an act of misguidance leading to the fire.
O servants of Allah,
Know that, youth is the most vital stage of life, worthy to make the best use of it and to strive toward excellence. Youngsters are full of energy and vivid passions. Their road is paved with hope, persistence and enlightened thinking. Indeed, it is the period of beneficial production for generations to come. Muslim and Nigerian youth must be aware of the essential importance and value of their life, direct it to the right way in order to achieve the best outcome. It is a very sensitive period that requires caring, reinforcement of good guidance to Allah’s way and good ethics. Remember, dear Muslims, dear Nigerians, that it is through faith and good ethical values that Muslims rise in status in this world and the Hereafter. Allah, Exalted be He, says about As-haabul Kahf: “Truly, they were youths who believed in their Lord, and We increased them in guidance.” (Al-Kahf, 18:13)
He also said concerning Prophet Ibrahim (AS): “They said: “We heard a young man talking against them, who is called Ibrahim (Abraham)”. (Al-Anbiya: 21:60)
“If we are to reach real peace in this world… we shall have to begin with youth”. – Mahatma Gandhi.
Islam takes very special care of the youth, and urges youngsters to make the best use of this valuable period of their life. Every Muslim shall be asked by Almighty Allah about his/her life in the Hereafter, but the period of youth has a special reckoning of Allah. The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: The son of Adam (every body) will not pass away from Allah until he is asked about five things: how he lived his life, and how he utilized his youth, with what means did he earn his wealth, how did he spend his money, and what did he do with his knowledge.”
Islam emphasizes the merits of young people developing knowledge and understanding of Allah’s guidance, adhering to His commands, and aspiring to be the best by performing good acts. Young people have the physical and mental abilities for being mindful of Allah in all aspects of life. As human beings get older, they start losing the enthusiasm and the power of their good old years.
O believers, O Nigerians,
Islam has stressed the immense value of early religious and ethical teachings, the closeness to Almighty Allah and the fulfillment of His commands overtly and privately. Luqman’s advice to his son includes one’s relation to Almighty Allah: “O my son! Join not in worship (others) with Allah. (Luqman, 31:13)
Dear brothers and sisters,
It is important to note that the Sunnah consolidates the period of childhood which precedes that of youth in order to guarantee the solidity of its basis. Thus, the importance of regular prayer is emphasized from early childhood. The prophet, may peace be upon him, said: “Order your children to pray at the age of seven.”
“Great changes in the destiny of Mankind can be effected only in the minds of youth”. – Sir Herbert Read.
Youngsters have strong physical drive and desire that must be directed properly, to safeguard one’s faith, and strive to avoid committing immoral and unlawful acts. It is no wonder that Islam emphasizes marriages so much. We are often reminded that Muslim cannot have a relationship unless it is within marriage, to protect the family institution or for proliferation. Prophet Muhammad, may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, said “O young men! Those of you who can support a wife should marry, for it (marriage) controls the gaze and preserves one from immorality. And whoever cannot (marry) should fast; for it is a means of reducing the sexual desire.”
Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) gave young believers glad tidings that Allah will bestow upon them His forgiveness in the Hereafter. Our beloved Prophet said: “Seven (kinds of people) will be sheltered under the shade of Allah on the Day of Judgment (among them) a young man who passed his youth in the worship and service of Allah.”
“The secret message communicate to most young people today by the society around them is that they are not needed, that the society will run itself quite nicely until they – at some distant point in the future – will take over the reigns. Yet the fact is that the society is not running itself nicely… because the rest of us need all the energy, brains, imagination and talent that young people can bring to bear down on our difficulties. For society to attempt to solve its desperate problems without the full participation of even very young people is imbecile”. – Alvin Toffler
Islamic history has a myriad of examples of great Muslim youth who were luminaries of humanity. We remind you, dear Muslims, of young believers who gathered around the Prophet, peace be upon him, in the beginning of his call and young people who carried the call. To name a few, Zaid bin Thaabit, may Allah be pleased with him, who collected the whole text of the Holy Qur’an and Mus’ab bin Umair, may Allah be pleased with him, who was the first ambassador in Islam. He was asked by Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) to go to Madina to teach the Qur’an and through him and his good teachings the people of Madina converted to Islam.
“Older Men declare war. But it is youth that must fight and die”. – Herbert Hoover.
The history of Islam was marked by the contributions of eminent young Muslim scholars such as Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, who was considered the real father of the science of interpretation of the Holy Qur’an. Imam Abu Hanifa, Maalik, Ash-shafi’i and Ahmad bin Hanbal were young scholars and the fathers of the four schools of jurisprudence. We implore Almighty Allah to forgive and have mercy on all of them. May Allah bestow His blessings upon all young Muslims, young Nigerians and guide them to have a fruitful life for the benefit of their people and their countries.
“The World’s biggest power is the youth and beauty of a woman”. – Chanakya
“Youth is the spirit of adventure and awakening. It is a time of physical emerging when the body attains the vigor and good health that may ignore the caution of temperance. Youth is a period of timelessness when the horizons of age seem too distant to be noticed.” – Ezra Taft Benson
My respected brothers and sisters,
Youngsters nowadays have all the fundamental elements of success and excellence. Schools, colleges, universities, religious, cultural and scientific centers strive to offer the best education. Their physical needs are met through halal sport and entertainment centers. Because education has become of utmost importance, students are awarded educational and training scholarships abroad to widen their perspective on life, enhance their education and knowledge as well as their abilities and talents. Studying abroad also aim to gain knowledge of the latest technologies in economy, industry, agriculture, medicine, engineering and many other beneficial fields. It is the responsibility of young people today to take advantage and fulfill their country’s dream, as well as their parents who are eager to see the fruits of their upbringing and care and be proud of their children as successful adults with fulfilling lives.
“The foundation of every state is the education of its youth”. – Diogenes
“A good youth ought to have a fear of God, to be subject to his parents, to give honour to his elders, to preserve his purity; he ought not to despise humility, but should love forbearance and modesty. All these are an ornament to youthful years”. – Saint Ambrose
All praise and thank be to Allah. He confers upon us sense of reason and intellect other than all creatures. He makes lawful for us the good things and prohibits for us the evil. We extol Him as is befitting to His glorious sovereignty and status, and bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship, except for Allah alone without any partners, associates or peers.
We also witness that Muhammad is His Servant and Messenger, the Best of his Creation, the Closest to Him. Allah’s Messenger said, “If a large amount of anything causes intoxication, a small amount of it is prohibited.” 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 you and myself to be mindful of Allah the Almighty and obey Him, in light of what He says,
“O you, who have believed, fear Allah. And let every soul look to what it has put forth for tomorrow – and fear Allah. Indeed, Allah is acquainted with what you do.” (Al hashr: 18).
“This is a time for bold measures. This is the country, and you (the Youth) are the generation”. – Bono
Dear Muslims, dear Nigerians,
Allah – the most Exalted is He- has created humans in the best of form, guided them and gave them good living. He also instructed them to do acts of worship in recognition of His blessings. Allah says,
“Then eat of what Allah has provided for you [which is] lawful and good. And be grateful for the favour of Allah, if it is [indeed] Him that you worship.” (An-nahl: 114)
Muslims should therefore strive well in all situations; in their food, drink, dress and behaviour. Thus was the Prophet Pbuh’s character about whom Allah says,
“[He] makes lawful for them the good things and prohibits for them the evil”. (Al Aaraf: 157)
Lawful matters are defined by scholars as everything that Allah has permitted which is beneficial and does not contradicts religion. The evil in this context is anything that Allah has prohibited and is seen as harmful to well-being and is breaching faith.
Allah says, “O mankind, eat from whatever is on earth [that is] lawful and good and do not follow the footsteps of Satan. Indeed, he is to you a clear enemy.” (Al Baqara: 168)
Here Allah commands His servants to benefit from the good bounties of the earth He has offered them, which are neither harmful to the body, nor to the mind. At the same time he forbids following the steps of Satan.
Dear Servants of Allah,
Satan is poised to mislead people away from what Allah has permitted and tempt them, for example, to the world of addiction and intoxication. This way they are losing reason, with which Allah has raised their rank over the rest of creatures. So it is no wonder then that Islam has interdicted the consumption of any stimulant that might alter consciousness and feelings.
Umm Salamah narrated that, “The Messenger of Allah pbuh forbade every intoxicant and everything which produces lack of vigor”.
Indeed, intellect is one of the greatest Divine blessings that sets us apart and helps us build nations and civilizations.
It is a responsibility and honour. Those who have it must act and worship Allah accordingly, and live sensibly. Caliph Umar ibn al Khattab said, “a man’s true essence is his mind, his origin should be faith and his moral courage his character.”
Therefore whoever tends to harm their minds and selves by using intoxicants and similar substances, Allah the Almighty has vowed to punish them that they will drink from the sweat of hell dwellers. Allah’s Messenger pbuh said, “Verily Allah the Exalted and Majestic, made a covenant to those who drank intoxicants to make their drink Tinat al-Khabal. They said: Allah’s Messenger, what is Tinat al-Khabal? He said: it is the sweat of the denizens of Hell or the discharge of the denizens of Hell”.
In fact, anyone who is out of mind lacks wisdom gets weaker and causes himself destruction.
Dear Servants of Allah,
Please know that our souls belong to Allah and we cannot dispose of them anyway we wish. We are totally subject to our Lord as He says,
“Say, “Indeed, my prayer, my rites of sacrifice, my living and my dying are for Allah, Lord of the worlds.” (Al An’am: 162)
He strongly cautioned against causing harm on oneself or on others as in this verse:
“And do not kill yourselves [or one another]. Indeed, Allah is to you ever Merciful. And whoever does that in aggression and injustice – then We will drive him into a Fire.” (An-nisa: 29-30)
That is, those who are taking on what Allah has forbidden while they know and further continue transgressing His orders, they will be cast into Fire. In the same regard, our beloved Prophet Pbuh said, “whoever drinks poison and kills himself with it, he will be carrying his poison in his hand and drinking it in the (Hell) Fire wherein he will abide eternally forever.”
Drugs and intoxicants have a further ill-effect. They drain addicts out of their wealth, which Allah has blessed them with. Our guide Muhammad pbuh said, “Verily Allah disapproves three things for you: irrelevant talk, wasting of wealth and excessively asking others for something”.
They also cause them to neglect the needs of their families and disrupt their cohesion. This is seen as one of the major sins about which our Prophet Pbuh said, “It is sufficient sin for a man that he neglects whom he maintains.”
He pbuh also said, “Allah will ask each guardian about those whom He asked him to guard, whether he kept or lost that, that He will ask each man about his family.”
Please be aware that everyone should assume his role in protecting the community and limit the spread of such evil. Parents are especially had to be vigilant and guide their sons and daughters to avoid bad company. Friends, as you know, tend to have influence on each other. As it is said, “a man follows the religion of his friend; so every one of you is a guardian and responsible for his charges.”
Teachers, Lecturers and religious leaders also have a role to play and are required to direct their students and educate them. From their important position, they should highlight these dangers and risks.
Having this in mind, may Allah protect our youth from any harm and bless us in our lives and health as long as we live amin.
“Youth, afterall, are not just adults-in-the-making. They are people whose current needs and rights and experiences must be taken seriously”. – Alfie Kohn
The following is the description of the good Muslim youth:
Dear brothers and sisters,
The description and the traits that are a must for the Muslim youth to adorn himself with are: to establish and apply the meaning of Islam in his life. Islam, its meaning is submission to Allah. And the meaning of submission to Allah is:
– Doing that which is obligatory
– Staying far from the prohibitions
– Following the Prophet Pbuh in all that which he came with – in the collective issues and the details of these issues – by speech, actions, manners, and behaviour.
This is because the Muslim does not have a role-model except the prophets, the messengers and those who followed them from the pious people: thus this is the method for the Muslim to take his examples to be followed, those who are from the people of good and success.
Because these are the people who call to the path of Allah, and they only do this by the knowledge they possess – because calling to Allah is necessitated by having knowledge.
And they are the people who fear Allah The Most Majestic, so it is upon the Muslim to be like these people – and be someone who fears Allah.
And they are the people who preserve the obligations of Allah – in secrecy and outwardly, in travel or in their homelands – and in all situations; it is upon the Muslim to be like this also.
So when the Muslim sees in his self that he is sticking to the Book of his Lord and the guidance of His prophet pbuh; then this is a sign of goodness, and this is the source of uprightness.
So he should praise and thank Allah the Mighty, The Most Majestic – on this, and he should stick on to it.
And if he sees in himself an attraction to the callers of evil, and innovations, and corruption, and deviations, and he is hastening to their evil: then he has done wrong on his self, such that he has placed his hand in the hand of shaytaan; so the shaytaan took hold of him by his forehead and led him to the Hell fire; and what an evil abode it is.
And let him have mercy – in his self- to every Muslim, and specifically the youth have to have mercy on themselves – so as to gain mercy in their souls [and this is through]:
First: by accompanying the people of knowledge and goodness.
Second: sitting in the gatherings of legislated remembrances and sittings of knowledge.
Third: Abandoning evil and its people.
Fourth: by grasping an immense portion from the Book of his Lord (The Qur’an), and the Sunnah of His prophet pbuh; And by spending his life in every beneficial and good thing so that his life can be pure and blessed. And life does not become good, nor does it become joyful, except if;
– It is a life of seeking knowledge and recitation,
– And a life of seeking understanding (fiqh) of the religion of Allah,
– And a life of accompanying and sitting with the best of people, (i.e. the scholars, students of knowledge and all of the good men).
Now this is the good and blessed life which every Male and female Muslim is supposed to be adamant in achieving and preserving.
Especially the youth – among those who are young in age and are pure in this age of theirs – it is rightful upon them in this age of theirs to preserve this purity and cleanliness and not to ‘taint’ or put dirt in their hearts, and their limbs; by falling into sins and [also falling into] deviations; which are only pleasing to the shaytaan and make angry Allah, Ar-Rahmaan (The Most Merciful), and they lead the one who commits them into the punishment of the hell fire; and what an evil abode it is.
“This world demands the qualities of youth: not a time of life but a state of mind, a temper of the will, a quality of imagination, a predominance of courage over timidity, of the appetite for adventure over the love of ease.” – Robert Kennedy.
“The duty of youth is to challenge corruption”. – Kurt Cobain
“Use your youth so that you may have comfort to remember it when it has forsaken you, and not sigh and grieve at the account thereof”. – Walter Raleigh
Dear Servants of Allah,
Bear in mind that you are asked to offer prayer and greetings upon our most noble and beloved Prophet Pbuh, 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 Ahzab: 56)
On the same matter, the Prophet Pbuh 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 pbuh, 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. 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, whoever has done a favour to us and all Muslims to Your Paradise.
O Allah, we implore You at this instant not to let a sin unforgiving, 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 the Hereafter that which is good, and save us from the torment of the Fire.
O Allah, forgives all of the Muslims, men and women, living and dead, and makes blessings follow us and them. O Lord, forgive and show mercy to our parents, relatives and whoever has done a favour to us. We pray to Allah, the Most Gracious, to preserve Nigeria from all temptations, both apparent and hidden, and continue blessing our country and all Muslim countries and the world in general with safety and security.
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 establishes prayer. Indeed, prayer prohibits immorality and wrongdoing, and the remembrance of Allah is greater. And Allah knows that which you do.” (Al Ankaboot: 45)
This Khutbah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today (Jumu’ah) Dhul-Qi’dah 25, 1435 A.H. (September 19, 2014) by Imam Murtada Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi Jumu’at Mosque, Okene, Kogi State Nigeria. He can be reached via 08038289761 and [email protected] or [email protected]