All Praises are due to Allah, We praise Him, we seek His assistance and we seek His forgiveness. We seek refuge in Allah from the evil of ourselves and from our evil deeds. Whomever Allah guides there is none who can misguide him, and whomever Allah misguides there is none who can guide him. I testify that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah alone without any partners, and I testify that Muhammad (SAW) is Allah’s slave and Messenger.
“O you who have believe! Fear Allah as He should be feared, and do not die except in a state of Islam (i.e. as Muslims), with complete submission to Allah.” (Ali Imran, 3:102)
“O Mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, who created you from a single person (Adam) and from him (Adam) He created his wife (Eve) and from them both He created many men and women and fear Allah through whom you demand your mutual rights, and do not cut off the relations of the wombs (Kinship). Surely, Allah is Ever and All-Watcher over you.” (An-Nisaa, 4:1)
“O you who have believe! Keep your duty to Allah and fear Him, and always speak the truth. He will direct you to do righteous good deeds and will forgive you your sins. And whosoever obeys Allah and His Messenger, he has indeed achieved a great achievement (saved from the Hell Fire and enter Paradise).” (Ahzaab, 33:70-71)
As to what proceeds: Verily the best of speech is the Book of Allah and the best of guidance is the guidance of Muhammad (SAW). The worst of affairs are the newly invented affairs in the religion and every newly invented affair in the religion is an innovation and every innovation is misguidance and all misguidance is in the Hell Fire. As to what proceed:
Servants of Allah!
Our beloved Master Muhammad (Pbuh) said: “The example of the person abiding by Allah’s order and restrictions in comparison to those who violate them is like the example of those persons who drew lots for their seats in a boat. Some of them got seats in the upper part, and the other in the lower. When the latter needed water, they had to go up to bring water and that troubled the others. So they said, Let us make a hole in our share of the ship (and get water) saving those who are above us from troubling them. So, if the people in the upper part left the others do what they had suggested, all the people of the ship would be destroyed, but if they prevented them, both parties would be safe.”
My respected people!
This is a great prophetic teaching, which contains a concrete example and comparison inciting no disagreement amongst sensible people. It highlights the most beautiful meanings and lessons. In it, the Prophet compares the society with the sailing vessel, which everyone should protect amidst the realm of life so that individuals can live happily, in peace, prosperity, love, unity, progress and respect. People are invited, therefore, to work together to achieve mutual interests and ward off various evils.
This sums up principles of solidarity and mutual counseling and strengthens the responsibility of keeping the community safe and stable. Because the ship is one, if it survives so will those on board. If it is hurt, those on board will be hurt too. So everyone is responsible for its safety and has a role to ensure its advancement and welfare. For example, the older should care for the younger, while the younger should treat the elder nicely. Allah the Almighty says:
“The believing men and believing women are allies of one another.” (Attawba: 71)
That is, their hearts are united in mutual affection, love and compassion.
Our beloved Prophet (Pbuh) also said:
“The similitude of believers in regard to mutual loves, affection, and fellow-feeling is that of one body; when any limb of it aches, the whole body aches, because of sleeplessness and fever.”
It was said that people are like one body; as they help each other, it emerges to be independent, but if they let each other down, it falls apart.
Brothers and Sisters!
This Hadith also highlights the sensibly disciplined freedom, which does not harm the individual, the society and the nation as a whole. In fact, as we can see, the Prophet (Pbuh) condemned those who were in the lower part of the vessel as they had intended to pierce a hole to make an easy way up. Had they done this, they could have hurt not only themselves, but also others. That is why he (Pbuh) warned us strongly to avoid similar acts when he said:
“If anyone harms (others), Allah will harm him, and if anyone shows hostility to others, Allah will show hostility to him.”
This means whoever harms someone unjustly whether taking to his property, person or integrity; Allah will likewise treat him and cause him distress. Indeed the best people are those who are good to others and the dearest to Allah are those who are most beneficial to each other.
Please know that Allah the Exalted denounced people who cause harm to their society and country as He says:
“They destroyed their houses by their (own) hands.” (Al Hashr: 2)
This Aya (Qur’anic verse) refers to the heinous act of individuals damaging their own homes, and their own country. For this reason, they are vilified by Allah because they breach trust and seek the destruction of achievements. He the Most High says in this regard:
“And do not be like she who untwisted her spun thread after it was strong.” (An nahl: 92)
This is a Divine lesson to show the ill-doing of persons who break the covenant and destroy what they, themselves, have accomplished. Thus they are like the one who spins her thread, and then she unties it into scattered pieces, of no use to her. It is worthwhile mentioning here that the whole society is a trust shared by all and, as such, it ought to be protected.
Benefits in the Hadith also include avoiding evil and overcoming causes of strife before they happen. This can be achieved by educating the ignorant, advising the heedless, teaching the youth and sanctioning the imprudent. Such principles are adopted by the wise people, who believe in prevention being better than the cure.
On this matter, the Messenger of Allah (Pbuh) said:
“Some people open the door to good and close the door to evil, and some people open the door to evil and close the door to good. Congratulations to those in whose hands Allah places the keys to good, and woe to those in whose hands Allah places the keys to evil.”
Dear Servants of Allah!
Muslims are asked to observe their Lord in their speech and all of their behaviours. They must say but truth and do but good, because they are responsible for their acts. The Almighty says:
“And do good that you may succeed.” (Al Haj: 77)
Bearing this in mind, we supplicate to Allah to protect Nigeria from all evils and perpetuate its Union. May Allah help us to follow the right path and help us also to obey You, Your Messenger Muhammad (Pbuh) and those You have decreed on us to obey Your orders:
“O you who have believe! Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger, and those charge with authority among you.” (An nisaa: 59)
O Servants of Allah!
Please be aware that you are asked to obey Him, the Almighty, as it ought to be by observing Him in private and in public and know that Nigeria is a large ship that has set an example of best achievements and giving, a solid edifice and a unified nation under its wise leadership. As we all see, many ships around us endure hard times, ours, by Allah’s grace, has remained infallible. Therefore, never should we allow an enemy, a criminal, a corrupt, an envious or a wrong government’s policies to hurt our fortified vessel as they have failed to do that from outside. So let us be also its guards from inside.
The happier is the one who learns from others’ experiences, acknowledges the merit of Allah’s blessing on him, remains grateful to Him, to his homeland and leaders and be considerate to his society. Thus he is on the path of the Prophets and Messengers. The Prophet Suleiman (Solomon) was quoted in Qur’an as saying:
“My Lord, enable me to be grateful for Your favour which You have bestowed upon me and upon my parents and to do righteousness of which You approve. And admit me by Your mercy into (the ranks of) Your righteous servants.” (An naml: 19)
My fellow Nigerians!
Let’s come together and salvage the country. Let’s learn how to co-exist peacefully with each other. Let’s learn how to tolerate and mutually respect each other. We don’t have a country other than Nigeria. We don’t have anywhere to go apart from Nigeria. Let’s respect it so that we have everlasting peace, unity and progress. Let’s stop attacking our nation. Let’s talk, let’s dialogue and let’s not destroy the good image and the good reputation of our dear country. Let’s not destroy the achievements of our respected forefathers.
O Muslims, bear in mind that you are asked to offer prayer and greetings upon our most noble Prophet (Pbuh) for Allah say:
“Indeed, Allah and His angels send blessings 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.”
He also said:
“Nothing turns back the Decree except supplication.”
May the peace and the blessings of Allah be upon our beloved Master Muhammad (Pbuh), his family and all his Companions. May Allah grant us always His blessings and make us amongst His servants who protect their nation and are keen to strive for its safety and advancement. May Allah also make us keys to good deeds and barriers against evils, O Allah, the Most Exalted.
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 gives us in this world that which is good and in the Hereafter that which is good, and save us from the torment of the fire.
May Allah be pleased with the Rightly Guided Caliphs: Abu Bakr, Umar, Uthman and Ali, and all of the Companions.
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, forgives all of the Muslims, men and women, living and dead, and makes blessings follow us and them. May Allah have mercy on our leaders, grant success and continued good health to them, and provide strength and assistance to them. O Lord, forgive and show mercy to our parents, relatives and whoever has done a favour to us.
May Allah have mercy upon our righteous martyrs and raises their status in the highest ranks of Paradise to reside amongst those upon whom Allah has bestowed favour, of the Prophets and the steadfast affirmers of truth, O the Almighty, O the most forgiver.
O Allah, we pray to You to grant your forgiveness to the one who built this Mosque and to his parents as well as to anyone who contribute to the progress and development of this Mosque, and anybody who is also contributing to the progress and development of Islam anywhere he may be. O Allah, we also supplicate to You to forgive whoever built a Mosque where your name is remembered.
O Allah, make this our gathering one of compassion, and our dispersion after it one that is infallible. O Allah, do not let anyone amongst us deprived, desperate or unhappy.
We pray to Allah, the Most Gracious, to preserve and protect Nigeria, Nigerians and Islam in general from all temptations, both apparent and hidden, and continue blessing Nigeria and all Muslim countries with safety and security.
“Indeed, Allah orders justice and good conduct and giving to relatives and forbids immorality and bad conduct and oppression. He admonishes you that perhaps you will be reminded.” (An nahl: 90)
O Servants of Allah!
Remember Allah and He will remember you. Be grateful for His benevolence, He will increase His blessing to you. Allah, the Most High, says:
“And establish prayer. Indeed, prayer prohibits immorality and wrongdoing, and the remembrance of Allah is greater. And Allah knows that which you do.” (Al Ankabuut: 45)
This Khutbah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today, Friday, Ramadan 12, 1437 AH (June 17, 2016), by Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Central Mosque and Alhaji Abdurrahman Okene’s Mosque, Okene Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached via: +234 803 828 9761.