In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
All Praise is due to Allah, We praise Him and we seek help from Him. We ask forgiveness from Him. We repent to Him; and we seek refuge in Him from our own evils and our own bad deeds. Anyone who is guided by Allah is indeed guided; and anyone who has been left astray, will find no one to guide him. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, the Only One without any partner; and I bear witness that Muhammad (Peace be upon him), is His servant, and His messenger.
O You who believe, – Be aware of Allah, with correct awareness, an awe-inspired awareness, and die not except as Muslims.
O You who believe, – Be aware of Allah, and speak a straightforward word. He will forgive your sins and repair your deeds. And whoever takes Allah and His Prophet as a guide, has already achieved a mighty victory.
“O mankind! Show reverence towards your Guardian-Lord Who created you from a single person, created, of like nature, his mate and from the two of them scattered (like seeds) countless men and women. Be conscious of Allah, through Whom you demand your mutual (rights) and (show reverence towards) the wombs (that bore you): for surely, Allah always watches over you.”
Dear brothers and sisters! Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) once said:
“If you have no shame, then do as you please.” [Bukhari and Ibn Majah]
Here, he (Peace be upon him) was simply reminding people that every human being has a ‘fitrah’ an innate sense of what is right and what is wrong. If we are guided by our higher instincts, we’ll be safe. If we give in to our lower passions, then we are at risk of displeasing Allah and inviting His wrath and punishment. Those who have no faith, and no sense of shame, will do as they please without caring for the consequences. They will surely reap what they have sown.
Respected servants of Allah! These days, we live in the age of shamelessness. Many people flaunt their sins openly. Serial liars who have lost their moral compass have become leaders of powerful nations and countries. They wreak havoc on millions and are rarely held to account. Social media, mainstream newspapers and TV are awash with their mischief, dressed up as ‘alternative facts.’ They brainwashed people and manipulate people’s emotions, sowing fear and division in order to win a few more votes and supports.
So, what’s new? The battle between truth and falsehood, between good and evil is as old as humanity itself. And this battle will continue until the end of time. We are caught up in the middle of the storm. We have to navigate our way to safety, and we have to teach our followers, our loved ones, our children and grandchildren how to do likewise.
Not everyone has rock solid guidance that never changes. We Muslims are indeed fortunate. Our religion (Islam) offers a clear road map to show us the way to Allah’s mercy and Allah’s Good Pleasure. Sheikh Abdul-Hakim Murad describes Islam as ‘Allah’s hospital’ ‘humanity’s lifeboat’ and ‘the last bus home.’ These metaphors remind us how blessed we are to be followers of Allah’s last Prophet and final Messenger, Muhammad (Peace be upon him). Without Islam, people are truly lost. Allah’s Book, Al-Qur’an, also refers to itself as Al-Furqan, the Criterion, It distinguishes what’s right from what’s wrong. We Muslims have no excuse! We also have the detailed life example of Allah’s Praised One. Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) is described in many ways, and one of them is Al-insan al-kamil: The complete human being. Anyone who wants to become completely human should follow his example and guidance. His beloved wife Aisha (RA) also described Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) as ‘the living Qur’an.’
Al-Buhuti reported that: Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, said:
“O Allah, show me the truth as truth and guide me to follow it. Show me the falsehood as falsehood and guide me to avoid it.” [Sharh al-Muntaha al-Iradat, vol. 3, page 49]
Anas Ibn Malik reported that the Messenger of Allah said:
“Let he who believes in Allah and the Last Day speak the truth or remain silent and safe.”
Dear brothers and sisters! What practical lessons do we learn from this Prophetic advice?
We must check the facts before sharing any news. Don’t pass on any tweets, WhatsApp or Facebook messages unless you’re sure that it’s accurate. Otherwise, you could be spreading lies and harming others.
Truth will always prevail over falsehood. Truth is eternal. Lies are not. Be a witness to the truth. Do not lie, and don’t spread or share lies.
Follow Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him)’s example. He spoke little, but when he spoke it was to the point and always wise advice. Don’t talk too much. If what you want to say cannot improve on the silence, then be quiet.
Do not argue. If you disagree with someone, say what you believe to be true, then remain silent. You don’t have to win every argument. Enough is it that Allah has witnessed your stand. Allah is our Guardian and that is sufficient for us.
“And enough is Allah as a witness. And enough is Allah as a Guardian.” [Qur’an, 48:28 and Qur’an, 4:45]
Dear brothers and sisters! Whatever hardships and pain we may be enduring in our personal lives, let us always remember that, right now, millions of others have to endure much worse calamities in many parts of the world. Just think of Palestine, Syria, Afghanistan, Yemen, Kashmir, think of those Uighur Muslims in China and the Rohingya in Myanmar/Burma. Not to speak of so many IDPs, homeless and destitute people here in our own country.
Be thankful that you are here, and that you have the means to improve your situation when so many people do not have a choice. When we have done what we can, physically and financially, then we still have Du’a and Prayers. Du’a is the most powerful weapon of the believer. We must always turn in humility and prayer to the One Who holds the fate of all creation in His Hand. Allah Almighty says:
“Glory be to Him (Allah) in Whose Hand is the dominion of all things. He created Death and Life so that He may test who is best in conduct among you… And He is the Exalted in Might, the Most Forgiving.” [Qur’an, 67:1-2]
And now, Dear brothers and sisters! To conclude our sermon I will say:
“Surely Allah commands justice, good deeds and generosity to others and to relatives; and He forbids all shameful deeds, and injustice and rebellion: He instructs you, so that you may be reminded.”
And Allah the Most High says:
“And remember Me, I will remember you. Be grateful to Me, and do not reject faith.”
“And without doubt, Remembrance of Allah is the Greatest Thing in life, and Allah knows the deeds that you do.”
O Allah, You are peace, and peace comes from You and peace returns to You. O Allah, let us live in peace and let us enter the House of Peace, for You are Great and Glorified.
O my Lord, please give us the best of this life and the best of the life to come, and save us from the torment of the Fire.
O my Lord, help us to perfect our prayer, and that of our descendants; and please accept this prayer.
O our Lord, forgive us, and our parents, and all believers until the Day of Judgement.
O Lord, do not let our hearts deviate, now that we have been guided; but grant us mercy from Your very Presence; for you are the Granter of bounties without measure.
Glory be to Allah, Lord of Majesty and Honour! High is He above the partners they associate with Him! Peace on all the Prophets, and praise to Allah, Lord of all the worlds!
All praises and thanks are due to Allah alone, Lord of the worlds. May the peace, blessings and salutations of Allah be upon our noble Messenger, Muhammad, and upon his family, his Companions and his true and sincere followers.
Murtadha Muhammad Gusau is the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’ah and the late Alhaji Abdur-Rahman Okene’s Mosques, Okene, Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached via: firstname.lastname@example.org or +2348038289761.