In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, 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 the evil within ourselves and from our wrongdoings. 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 ‘abd’ (servant) and Messenger.
“O you who believe! Fear Allah (God) and keep your duty to Him. And let every person look to what he has sent forth for tomorrow, and fear Allah. Verily, Allah is well-Acquainted with what you do.” (Al-Hashr, 59:18)
“O you who believe! Revere Allah the right reverence, and do not die except as Muslims.” (Al-Imraan, 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-Nisaa,’ 4:1)
“O you who believe! Revere Allah and say fair 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-Ahzaab, 33:70-71)
Indeed, the best speech is Allah’s (SWT) Book and the best guidance is Muhammad’s (SAW) guidance. The worst affairs (of religion) are those innovated (by people), for every such innovation is an act of misguidance leading to the Fire.
My Respected People,
Many articles, booklets, sermons, conferences, workshops and books have been written and took place about ‘Women’s position in Islam’ but we have seen none about ‘Men’s position in Islam’. We believe it is right and proper that this imbalance is balanced. Islam enjoins some responsibilities on men, some on women and many joint responsibilities on both of them.
Brothers and Sisters,
If Islam and Muslims are to succeed then Muslim men must examine their role and conduct in the light of Islamic teachings and the needs and requirements of the time. Let us examine Muslim men’s role, duties and performance against a check list.
1. Men as heads of family
A. Are they discharging their duty towards their family in accordance with the commandments of Allah (SWT) and His Messenger (SAW)?
B. Are they performing Salah (Five daily prayers) and adhering to the other basic duties of Islam and ensuring that their spouse and children do the same?
C. Are they by their conduct and their piety setting an example of proper Muslim conduct and Muslim manners at home? Children learn by example. If the father does not practice Islam he would not be in a position to ask his wife and children to do so. If the children learn Islam elsewhere and have a non-practicing father their close relationship with him is bound to suffer.
D. Are they ensuring as head of their family that their wives and daughters wear hijab and express through their dress and conduct Islamic values? Our research and investigation indicates that in some Muslim households while mother, daughter and son want to be better and more practicing Muslims, some men, as fathers and husbands are actually preventing or discouraging them to do so.
E. Are they ensuring both the religious and secular education of their children and are they making the necessary sacrifices for it? The greatest assets of the Ummah are its young. Only a well brought up and well educated or skill trained Muslim can hope to be an asset; others may well prove to be a liability.
F. Although giving advice is easy than implementing it I nevertheless feel that I must bring to the attention of my listeners and readers an important issue. This involves the problem faced by working Muslim mothers when their children are still young and are left with baby-sitters or in some form of care. It is very difficult to draw the line between right and wrong as each family’s needs and financial circumstances will differ. But it can be safely said that if by lowering their material expectations and sticking to necessities rather than working for luxuries, Muslim women can afford to stay at home and look after their children, and then they must do so. The Qur’an and Sunnah have both exalted the role of motherhood above all else and there is great deal of Divine wisdom in it. One can see the adverse effects on many children in the society where the mother is also a career woman. I deal with some alternatives available to working Muslim mothers in my previous Friday sermon on women’s position in Islam.
2. Men as members of community
A. A Muslim’s conduct in local community, in the wider circle of friends and acquaintances, at educational establishments, work place and other gatherings is a reflection on Islam. A Muslim man has certain rules of behaviour with neighbours, at work place, in the conduct of business and in other group situations. Men as a member of the Islamic community and as heads of their family should examine their conduct in the light of the Qur’anic injunction:
“Let there be a community (or Ummah) among you, advocating what is good, demanding what is right, and eradicating what is wrong. These are indeed the successful.” (Al-Imran, 3:104)
Individual conduct determines family and group conduct, local community conduct and global Ummah conduct. Successful da’wah to non-Muslims cannot be accomplished in any community anywhere if the conduct of Muslims in that community is questionable.
B. It is incumbent on every Muslim man to devote a small portion of his time on local community, local charity and local da’wah work. This may include assisting any active Muslim organisation or institution or individual, helping at the local mosque or Islamic school, local charity or NGOs and involvement in local play or social group. This can be extended to providing free tuition to local Muslims by qualified and trained teachers or other educated Muslims. One should endeavour to do whatever is within one’s capacity. This active and grassroots work is essential for the improvement of the Muslim community and to make them better and responsible members of society. Most of us are very busy in trying to make a living but where there is a will some spare time can be found.
Sitting at home watching television and reading newspaper reports about Syria, Yemen, Libya, Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Kosovo, Chechnya, Kashmir, Palestine, Borno, Yobe and Adamawa (or North Eastern Nigeria in General) is not enough. Some form of active involvement on a continuing basis by every Muslim is necessary, deeper involvement by more committed Muslims is a must.
The Qur’an and hadith enjoin on men responsibility towards family, friends and neighbours, the local community and the Ummah. All men will have to answer before Allah (SWT) how they discharged this obligation on the Day of Judgment. This is an issue that affects the very health and survival of Muslims and cannot be avoided. The revival of their faith, the renewing of their resolve, the strengthening and improvement of their situation can never be achieved unless all Muslim men can honestly and truly answer most if not all of the questions posed above in an affirmative manner.
The establishment of Islamic societies, the educational and technical advancement of Muslims, the general improvement in their situation can only be achieved if Muslim men develop and improve themselves as individuals, families, communities until they become a model Ummah. It will then be possible to change everything and influence anyone. This is a difficult task but there are no soft options available.
The following is the prayer for righteous men from the Noble Qur’an:
“…Our Lord! Grant unto us wives and offspring who will be the joy and the comfort of our eyes, and guide us to be models of righteousness.” (Furqan, 25:74)
O Allah, please help us to develop the talents and skills you have given us. Help us to manage the resources of money, knowledge, time and opportunity that you have placed in our trust, to bring benefit beyond our families and ourselves to humankind as a whole, irrespective of religion, tribe, race and region.
O Allah let us be part of a huge collective effort to raise the Ummah to that high status we enjoyed under your beloved prophet Muhammad (SAW) and his illustrious Companions.
My fellow Respected Nigerians,
I call on all of you to please fear Allah (God). Let us support and pray for the present Administration of President Muhammadu Buhari for its determination to restore the glory of Nigeria. Doing so will make it succeed in rectifying the country. We must also give our security Chiefs the necessary support and prayers they need, for them also to succeed in overcoming the security challenges facing our great and beloved country, Nigeria.
May Allah assist, protect and guide them to bring back complete and sustainable peace in Nigeria.
May Allah bless our country with peace, unity, progress and development. May He the Almighty protect and guide our leaders to the right way.
May He the Most High expose and destroy the enemies of peace, unity and progress. Those who don’t want to see our blessed country move forward. The extremists, terrorists, Boko Haram insurgents, kidnappers, militants, cattle rustlers etc., as well as all their secret, hidden, and underground supporters, sponsors and sympathisers. Ameen Yaa Ar-hamar-Raahimeen Yaa Rabbal Aalameen.
And all praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the worlds, prayers and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad (SAW), his family and Companions.
This Khutbah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today, Thul-Qi’dah 13, 1436 A.H (August 28, 2015), by Imam Murtada Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Juma’at Mosque, Okene, Kogi State Nigeria. He can be reached through: 08038289761 (+2348038289761).