In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, and the Most Merciful
All thanks and praises are due to Allah, who sustains all creation with His favour. He is the only deity worthy of worship. O Allah! We only worship You, seek and invoke You for help for each and everything, and appreciate and praise You for Your bounties. I hereby testify that none has the right to be worshipped except Allah alone, without partners and that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger whom He sent as mercy for mankind and the jinn. O Allah! Send Your mercy and blessings to Muhammad, his progeny, companions and people of knowledge and correct guidance.
Allah the Exalted said:
“O you, who have believed! Bow down, and prostrate yourselves, and worship your Lord and do good that you may be successful”. (Surah Al-Hajj, 22:77)
Brothers and Sisters!
In this Ayah (verse of the Quran) Allah commands His believing slaves to worship Him by bowing down in Ruku’ and prostrating in Sujud for Him Alone. He also commands them to do good things so that they might acquire guidance. Doing good entails enjoining righteousness and forbidding evil, it also entails worshipping Allah in Tawheed with sincerity, being kind and compassionate, offering sincere advice to all people and directing them to what ensures their happiness and correctness. All these Allah commands us to do, prefers for us and rewards us if we implement and adhere by them.
My respected people!
Islam is built on five pillars. Believing in them makes a person Muslim, provided he or she abides by these pillars and implements them sincerely and faithfully. These pillars are; testifying that none has the right to be worshipped except Allah and that Muhammad (SAW) is His slave and Messenger, performing prayer, paying what is due of Zakaat, fasting during the lunar month of Ramadan, and performing Hajj to the sacred House of Allah for those who can afford the journey.
‘Laa ilaaha illallaah’ means, ‘none has the right or is worthy of being worshipped except Allah.’ This testimonial requires performing all acts of worship for Allah alone, including invoking, supplicating and feeling humility and fright for Him alone and none else. Furthermore, only Allah should be feared and he should be the sole source of happiness, hope and aid. None of these acts can or should be directed towards anything or anyone other than Allah. Otherwise, one’s testimony that ‘none has the right to be worshipped except Allah’ becomes useless.
Testifying that Muhammad (SAW) is the Messenger of Allah requires adhering by the Prophet’s command and refraining from whatever he forbids. This testimonial also requires referring to the Sunnah of the Prophet (SAW) for judgment and accepting his decisions with full submission.
Allah the Most High said:
“But no, by your Lord, they can have no faith, until they make you (O Muhammad SAW) judge in all disputes between them, and find in themselves no resistance against your decisions, and accept (them) with full submission.” (Surah An-Nisa’, 4:65)
There are five compulsory daily prayers, and they constitute the second pillar of Islam after the two testimonials. One of the conditions of having prayers accepted and not rejected is that it is performed in total sincerity to Allah, with faith and humility. The prayers do, (and should) forbid those who perform them from committing sins and evil acts, as long as they are performed properly and on time.
Allah the Al-mighty said:
“As-Salaat (the prayer) prevents from Al-fahshaa’ and Al-Munkar (i.e. disbelief, polytheism, and every kind of evil wicked deed).” (Surah Al-Ankabuut, 29:45)
The third pillar of Islam is the Zakaat, especially if it is given away with a sincere good heart. The Zakaat cleanses and purifies the heart and increases one’s wealth. Paying it takes the Muslim away from the evil characteristics of miserliness and stinginess. Also, the Zakaat is the right that the poor and needy Muslims have on one’s wealth and its amount is not substantial. When Zakaat is paid with a good heart, faith, sincerity and given to the poor and needy, Muslims who deserve it to comfort them, then this act of charity will purify the heart of its giver and cleanse his money. This is a primary wisdom behind the ordainment of Zakaat. We should also assert that Zakaat entails one’s good use of his position and social status that Allah had given him to intercede for good causes:
Allah the Most High said:
“Whosever intercedes for a good cause will have the reward thereof.” (Surah an-Nisa’, 4:85)
Also, the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said:
“Intercede for a good cause and you will have a reward thereof.”
Therefore, O Brothers and Sisters! Fear Allah and purify your hearts and intentions for Him alone in all of your actions.
Fasting in the lunar month of Ramadan is an obligation required by Allah and has such a unique status that all the actions of mankind are theirs except the fast, for it is for Allah and He rewards for it. Allah Accepts the fast from His believing slaves and rewards them for it, and indeed, He has the best rewards. During the fast, one abandons his food, drink and satisfying his lusts as an act of drawing closer to his Lord, obeying His orders and seeking His mercy, pardon and kindness.
The fast requires one to restrain his senses from committing evil. For instance, the hand fasts by restraining it from committing harm and being used to consume unlawful things, while the leg fasts when it is restrained from walking towards evil and any act that might bring Allah’s anger. The tongue fasts when it is restrained from uttering evil, foolishness, lying and backbiting. The ear fasts by not listening to words of calumny, lies, backbiting, haram musical instruments and songs. The eye fasts by not looking at unlawful things, especially women whom one is not allowed to look at. Also, the eyes should be restrained from peeking at other people’s secrets and private affairs. The Messenger of Allah (SAW) included all these meanings in his very comprehensive statement. He said:
“Verily, the fast is Junnah (a shield or protection). Therefore, when it is a day when one of you is fasting, let him not commit Rafath (sexual intercourse with the wife), or dispute foolishly and unjustly.”
Allah endowed Ramadan, the month of the fast, with goodness, blessing and kindness, in addition to the revelation of the Qur’an as guidance and mercy for mankind. Allah ordained the fast during Ramadan and His Messenger established the Sunnah of Qiyam (voluntary prayer) during its nights. The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said:
“Whosever establishes prayers during the nights of Ramadan faithfully, out of sincere faith and hoping to attain Allah’s rewards (not for showing off), all his past sins will be forgiven.”
Dear Muslims, Dear Nigerians!
Perform acts of righteousness and good deeds so that you earn Allah’s generous rewards. Invoke Allah to forgive you your sins and to guide and direct you to success. Beg Allah to save your country, to allow it to progress and to protect and aid its people and defenders.
O Allah! Make us among those who earn Your forgiveness and acquire safety from the fire, Ameen.
This Khutbah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today, Friday, Raby’ al-Awwal 20, 1437 AH (1st January, 2016), by Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’at Mosque and Alhaji Abdulrahman Okene’s Mosque, Okene Kogi state Nigeria. He can be reached through: +2348038289761.