In the name of Allah, Most Gracious, Most Merciful
All praise is due to Allah, Rabb (Cherisher and Sustainer) of all the worlds. May peace and blessings of Allah be upon the Messenger, his family and companions.

Fellow Muslims! Fellow Nigerians!
In the days that tribulations and crisis have overwhelmed the Muslims that sorrow has clouded its pure sky and guidance has become confused with error and falsehood with truth, the only way out is the fear of Allah. Fear of Allah illuminates the way to guidance and removes the darkness of ignorance and error. Whoever Allah endows with piety has been endowed with a light by which he can march to salvation and has been saved from erroneous beliefs, ideologies, thoughts and manners, for Muslims are in need of piety and certainty of faith more than ever before in order to attain victory by the permission of Allah.

The Muslims have never been in need of piety and certainty of faith as they are to attain victory by the permission of Allah.

Fellow Muslims! Fellow Nigerians!
There is an important factor that we must not forget in spite of the challenges that we are facing today; a factor upon which the victory, glory and civilisation of Islam are built and that can rescue us from the abyss of dissention. The factor is that we are a nation of pure faith, universal message and Tawheed (Islamic Monotheism) that is based on sincerity to Allah and following the way of Muhammad – peace and blessing of Allah be upon him. This factor is an all-important one that must be a topic of every place and time till the Day of Resurrection. The best thing that Muslims can be concerned about and which the reformers can talk of is the matter of Islamic belief, the Sunnah of the Messenger and the Prophetic history. This is the best source of education for the Ummah; for nothing pleases man better than speaking about the one he loves, especially if the beloved is the Messenger of Allah, the leader of all men and a mercy to mankind. It is through Allah and then through Muhammad that this guided Ummah was built on the Islamic belief of Monotheism. This is the truth that wise men called unto. There is not a single man in history that attained what the Messenger of Allah has attained in terms of honour and glory. His name is mentioned by millions of people, and millions of hearts shake at the mention of his name. However, the important thing is to convert this love into pure and subtle following of him in all that he has brought from Allah. Allah says:

“If you (really) love Allah then follow me (Muhammad) Allah will love you and forgive you your sins. And Allah is off-forgiving, Most Merciful.” (Al-Imraan, 3:31)

Brethren in faith!
Muslims are presently in need of deriving lessons from the light of the Prophet, the blessed Sunnah and outstanding history of the Prophet (SAW) more than ever before. Because it is in this age that the Ummah faces waves of tribulations and is overwhelmed by whims and different ideologies. It is in this age that Muslims face grievous challenges and the conspiracies of their enemies whose leaders are Jews and Zionists. They are supported in this unholy war by those who don’t like to see peace reign in the world, and most unfortunately, the secularists among those who claim to be Muslims. The matter however becomes worse when many Muslims are ignorant of their religion and only move with the trends unquestionably or follow inherited innovations without any verification, though the Messenger of Allah has said:

“Whoever does a deed over which there is no command from us, it will be rejected.” (Muslim)

Brethren in Islam!
O lovers of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW)! The following are important aspects of the Prophet’s manners. They are sources of bliss and pure fountains for all those who want to free themselves from idolatry, ignorance and darkness. If many of those who love the Prophet (SAW) have missed seeing him with their eyes, there is certainly consolation for them in reflecting over his manners and qualities.

Brethren in faith!
We need to march strictly according to the Sunnah and we need to correct our stances according to the way the Prophet (SAW) had lived. We need to examine and review ourselves, and take from the Sunnah and the Prophet’s life history what can increase us in faith and purify our minds. The Prophet of Islam was not like any other great man as some may wrongly think. He rather possessed all aspects of human greatness. He should not be taken as a Lord, Rabb (Cherisher and Sustainer) but believed as only a Messenger and a Prophet. He himself said:

“Do not exaggerate in praising me as the Christians have done of the son of Mary (Jesus). I am only a slave of Allah and His Messenger.” (Al-Bukhari)

It is however saddening that some Muslims do not properly esteem the Prophet (SAW) when they have a negative love for him, a love that has no positive impacts on their lives or behaviour.

Dear Muslims!
Reflect over his guidance in all aspects of religion and life. In area of Tawheed (Islamic Monotheism), he called unto belief in the Oneness of Allah for thirteen years in Makkah and ten years in Al-Madinah. He was the one whom Allah commanded thus:

“Say: verily, my Salah (prayer), my sacrifice, my living and my dying are for Allah, the Rabb (Cherisher and Sustainer) of the worlds. He has no partners. And of this I have been commanded, and I am the first of the Muslims.” (Al-An ‘am, 6:162-163)

The first obligation of the Muslim who loves the Prophet (SAW) is to emulate him in calling to Islamic Monotheism and to beware of all acts of innovation and shirk that could negate that. He should also emulate him in his manners of worship.

“The Prophet (SAW) would stand up in prayer during the night so long that his feet would become swollen and when he was asked; ‘Has Allah not forgiven you your past and future sins?’ He would say, “Shouldn’t I be a grateful slave of Allah?”

In the area of good conduct, you will find the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) as the exemplar par excellence in generosity, good nature and uprightness. He was always good-tempered, gentle, and lenient and never took revenge for himself. That was why Allah praised him thus:

“And verily, you are on an exalted (standard of) character.” (Al-Qalam, 68:41)

He also addressed him saying:

“And by the Mercy of Allah you dealt with them gently. Had you been severe and harsh-hearted, they would have broken away from about you.” (Al-Imraan, 3:159)

Anas (the Messenger of Allah’s house help) said:

“I have never touched brocade or a silk softer than the palm of the Messenger of Allah, neither had I smelt anything more pleasant than the Prophet’s odour. I have served him for ten years and he never rebuked me once, or told me about something I had done, ‘Why have you done this’, or something I had not done, ‘Why have you not done this’.”

These are the great characters and sublime manners! Would Muslims then not follow his example?

In aspect of dealing with his companions and family members he said:

“The most-perfect believers in faith are the best among them in morals. And the best among you are those who treat their women in the most perfect manner.”

Also, in his administration of Islamic state in Al-Madinah, in his acts of worship, in his calling and in his endeavour to convey the message of his Rabb (cherisher and Sustainer), he is the best example for all Muslims.

An example of his wisdom in calling to the truth and his gentleness with people vividly shows in the story of the Bedouin man who urinated in a corner of the mosque. When his companions shouted at him he said:

“Leave him alone and do not shout at him.” He then told his companions, “You are sent as bearers of glad tidings and not as those who make things difficult for people.” He then gently directed the man and corrected him with wisdom. The Bedouin was so impressed by this act that he said: “O My Rabb (Cherisher and Sustainer)! Have mercy on me and Muhammad and do not have mercy on any one besides us.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Another example was the story of Thumaamah bin Uthaal who was captured in a battle (as prisoner of war) and tied to a pillar in the mosque while he was still a polytheist, a non-believer and the leader of his people. The Prophet (SAW) passed by him and said:

“What do you have, O Thumaamah?” he said, “I have good. If you kill me, you would kill a distinguished person and if you would show mercy on me, you would show mercy to a thankful person. And if you need money, ask for whatever you want, it would be given to you.” The prophet (SAW) then said, after having honoured him and dealt with him in the best form, “Release Thumaamah!” Thumaamah then went away, took a bath and came back to the Mosque and said, “I testify that there is no Rabb (Cherisher and Sustainer) worthy of worship but Allah and that Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah. O Muhammad! By Allah, there was nothing on the face of the earth that was more detestable to me than your face but now your face is the beloved face to me on the earth. There was no religion on the face of the earth more detestable to me than your religion but now, your religion is the most beloved to me. There was no land more detestable to me than your land but now your land is the most beloved land to me.”

When the prophet (SAW) was asked to curse the polytheists, he said:

“I am not sent as a curser, I am only sent as a mercy to mankind.”

When he conquered Makkah, he told the disbelieving inhabitants of that city who had been his tormentors:

“How do you think I am going to treat you?” He said, “Well, for you are a generous brother and a son of a generous brother.” He then said, “O Allah, forgive my people for they know not what they are doing.” He then faced the Makkans and said, “Go home, you are free.”

Let the whole humanity therefore know these bright pages of the history of the mercy of Islam and that of the Prophet of Islam which can also be found in the Torah and Injeel (Gospel of prophet Isa (Jesus)). Let this be known, to all those who attack Islam and its Prophet, that Islam is full of good and noble traits. Let the whole world recognise the difference between the noble universality of Islam and their own globalisation that is based on the destruction of all human values. Would the Muslims then not recognise the best way to practically revive their religion and the Sunnah of their Prophet? They should learn from past events and their own experiences, especially in these days that the Ummah is undergoing crises. Also, they should not only speak of the qualities of the Prophet (SAW) but act positively through these qualities to stop those Zionist Jews who desecrate their holy places and commit all kinds of vicious crimes against the rightful owners of Palestine, under the nose of the whole world.

Brethren in Islam!
How can we be speaking about the virtues of the Prophet (SAW) only when the enemies of Islam among the atheists and some trouble-makers among the Jews insist on their aggression against the Muslims by insulting and abusing their beloved Prophet Muhammad, (SAW), in the name of freedom, freedom of expression, or free speech?

How can we feel satisfied while our situations are becoming worse day in, day out? Muslims, therefore, should hold fast unto their religion and the Sunnah of their prophet (SAW) with all love, sincerity, cooperation and mutual magnanimity. It is then that they can be united under the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His beloved Messenger (SAW). For the latter part of his Ummah cannot be put aright except by that which put their Predecessors right. Allah says:

“Indeed, in the Messenger of Allah (Muhammad), you have a good example to follow for him who hopes for (meeting with) Allah and the Last Day and remembers Allah much.” (Al-Ahzaab, 33:21)

Brethren in Faith!
Fill your hearts with the qualities of the Prophet, reflect over them and teach it to your children and households. It should not only be recited at occasions, it should rather be put into practice in reforming your ways and your lives. In these days that there are many new inventions, the Sunnah of Muhammad (SAW) is the best protection against the evil effect of these inventions. You are in need – more than ever before – of unity under the Book of Allah and the Sunnah so that the goal of the Ummah can be attained. Every Muslim is manning a strategic position for Islam according to his ability. So let him take care of his duty as it is due. Show Allah the best of you and move forward in a balanced way through sure knowledge upon which awareness is based, so that the Ummah can take up her leading role among mankind.

Servants of Allah! Fellow Nigerians!
The great poet Maya Angelou once said:
“Hate, it has caused a lot of problems in the world, but has not solved one yet.”
Sadly, such wisdom is lost on the likes of Pamela Geller, Robert Spencer, and Geert Wilders, the unholy trinity of professional Islamophobia. They make their living off preaching hatred of Islam and the Prophet Muhammad (SAW), benefitting financially and politically from dehumanising and demonising Islam and Muslims.

It is in their capacity as professional Islamophobes that Geller and Spencer helped to organise the “Muhammad Art Exhibit and Cartoon Contest” in Garland, Texas. The event, which featured Wilders as one of the main speakers, was intended to cause as much offense and ridicule as possible to Muslims by inviting cartoonists to draw incendiary pictures of Islam’s revered Prophet Muhammad (SAW). It was also an effort to exploit the tragedy of the Charlie Hebdo shootings in Paris in January in order to maximise media exposure for themselves and the American Freedom Defense Initiative, the organisation co-founded by Geller and Spencer that sponsored the event.

While some media attention was given to the event ahead of time, the tragic shooting by two gunmen on Sunday evening gave Geller and Spencer exactly what they wanted — a reason to declare yet one more time a war against Islam. Geller proclaimed, “This is war” on her website after news broke of the two gunmen opening fire on a security officer. Spencer issued a tweet blaming moderate Muslims for not restraining their more violent brethren. Both could barely contain their glee that the event ended with such drama. They wanted a war. That was the whole purpose behind the event.

We wouldn’t know who Pamela Geller is if it weren’t for her hatred of Muslims and her ability to channel this hatred for financial profit and the media spotlight. The same holds true for Spencer and Wilders. We only know who they are because they have devoted their lives and their careers to bigotry. Their hatred for Muslims led the Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League to condemn the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI) as a hate organisation. It also led the British government to prevent Geller and Spencer from entering the country back in 2013.

I passionately urged my Muslim Brothers and Sisters to ignore these people; I called upon you not to give them what they want and respond or even protest the event. I appealed to you to please never mind those people, the enemies of peace, who are consistently vilifying the Islamic faith and continuously abusing and insulting the beloved and respected Prophet of Islam, Muhammad the son of Abdullah (SAW), and who are intentionally provoking Muslims under the guise of fighting radical Islam. They invited each other to Texas, America for the contest of drawing cartoons ‘they said’ of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW), or what they term as, “Muhammad Art Exhibit and cartoon Contest.” They offered a 10,000 dollars prize for the best artwork or cartoon depicting the Prophet, as well as a 2,500 dollars “People’s Choice Award.” The group has introduced a growing number of Americans to its conspiratorial anti-Muslim agenda.

They are trouble makers; they actually know very well what the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) means to us; they keep doing that intentionally to incite you, to see how Muslims will react, so that they will tell the world, “you see, haven’t we told you that Islam is the religion of terror?” Please don’t listen to all they are doing as provocation; they want to anger you, don’t give them the satisfaction or the media attention they thrive on. So, run from them the way you would run from a dangerous lion. Please be patient and follow the teachings of your religion on this issue, follow the advice of your sincere Islamic Scholars and Leaders on the matter, so that you succeed here and the hereafter. Show the world that you Muslims are not terrorists, and your religion is not the religion of violence and terror. Allah (SWT) says:

“…But if you remain patient and become the pious, not the least harm will their cunning do to you. Surely, Allah surrounds all that they do.” (Al-Imraan, 3:120)

My Respected people!
I will now mention some of the organisers, promoters and supporters of this heinous act briefly in my today’s Khutbah (Sermon) for your own benefit and information. They are as follow:
1. Pamela Geller, queen of the Muslim bashers, the Jewish 56-year-old single mother of four, a university drop out who runs the controversial blog Atlas Shrugs. Co-founder and head of Stop Islamization of America (SIOA) that operates under the auspices of the American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI). Also co-founder of Stop Islamization of Nations (SION), an international network of “Stop the Islamization” groups, largely from Europe, that purports to “stand for freedom and oppose the advance of Islamic law.” She was also the woman who organised what they called “Muhammad Art Exhibit and Contest”, at Curtis Culwell Centre in Garland north of Dallas, Texas, America. She was banned from entering the United Kingdom back in 2013 to speak at an English Defense League (EDL) rally, by Home Secretary Theresa May, ruling her as having established anti-Muslim hate groups. She is also a contributor to the conservative Magazine, Human Events.
2. Robert Spencer, a Melkite Greek Catholic, co-founder of Stop Islamization of America and American Freedom Defense Initiative (AFDI), and also the owner of a blog Jihad Watch.
3. Anti-Muslim Radical Dutch politician, Geert Wilders.
4. David Yerushalmi, Chairman, Society of Americans for National Existence. One of the driving forces behind Shari’ah related conspiracy theories. An attorney with a record of anti-Muslim, anti-immigrant and anti-black bigotry; a close ally of Pamela Geller and Robert Spencer, and one of the driving forces behind efforts to ban or restrict the use of Shari’ah law in American courts.
5. Brigitte Gabriel of ACT.
6. Rene Stadtkewits, founder and Chairman of the German anti-Muslim Die Freiheit party, and member of the German parliament.
7. Anders Gravers Pedersen, Danish anti-Muslim activist, and the head of Stop Islamization of Europe (SIOE).
8. Frank Gaffney, a prominent Stop Islamization of America board member, founder of the Center for Security Policy.
9. James Lafferty, a Stop Islamization of America board member and Chairman, founder of the Virginia Anti-Shari’ah Task force ( VAST), a Coalition of anti-Shari’ah, anti-Muslim people, committed to stopping the spread of Islam in Virginia and across the U.S.
10. David Horowitz, founder of the right-wing conservative David Horowitz Freedom Center, which provides the Jewish Pamela Geller and catholic Robert Spencer with some financial support, including the sponsorship of Robert Spencer’s Jihad Watch blog. In recent years, Horowitz has sponsored “Islamofascism Awareness Week,” a project on college campuses that promotes anti-Muslim views and features events with anti-Muslim activists.
11. The Israel Project (TIP), headed by a Jew, Josh Block, a former spokesperson for the American Israel Public Affairs Committee.

Indeed all praise belongs to Allah, the Lord of all creation – and May peace and blessings be upon the prophet, his family, his companions and those who follow him precisely until the Day of Judgement.

This Khutbah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today, Rajab 26, 1436 A.H (May 15, 2015), by Imam Murtada Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’at Mosque, Okene, Kogi State Nigeria. He can be reached through 08038289761.