Let the Nigerians continue to live in harmony and maintain peaceful coexistence among themselves regardless of their religious, regional, partisan and tribal differences.

In The Name Of Allah, The Most Beneficent, The Most Merciful

All praises belong to Allah, the Lord of all that exists. I bear witness that nothing has the right to be worshipped except for Allah alone without partners, and I bear witness that Muhammad (Peace be upon him) is His Servant and Messenger. May the prayers and peace be upon him, his family and his Companions, collectively. As to what follows:

Dear Brothers and Sisters! In Nigeria, some fanatics accuse Islam and Muslims of bigotry against Christians and incitement to hate them. They back their false claim by what Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna State did of choosing a Muslim as his running mate in the coming 2019 elections, and by the actions of some criminal kidnappers, who abducted a first class traditional ruler in Kaduna State and killed him, and by some Qur’anic verses which they misunderstand or purposely misinterprete. Some of these Qur’anic verses cite the prohibition of taking non-Muslims allies, like the verse in chapter Ali-Imran, 28, which reads:

“Let not believers take disbelievers as allies rather than believers. And whoever [of you] does that has nothing with Allah, except when taking precaution against them in prudence. And Allah warns you of Himself and to Allah is the [final] destination.”

And chapter An-Nisa, 144:

“O you who have believed, do not take the disbelievers as allies instead of the believers. Do you wish to give Allah against yourselves a clear case?”

The fanatics quote these verses and the like as evidence for bigotry of Islam against Christians, even if they are citizens of the Muslim state.

In fact, such verses have a complete different signification, which is easily understood by those who study the reasons for the revelation of verses and the rules of forming the Muslim state at the time of the Prophet (Peace be upon him). It is manifested in the following:

1. The related forbidding is limited to those known as certain groups distinguished by their beliefs, dogmas, thoughts and ceremonies, that is Jews or Christians or the like, not as neighbours, colleagues or citizens. It is a duty upon every Muslim to be an ally only of the Muslim nation, and thus the forbidding mentioned earlier means that a Muslim is forbidden to court non-Muslims against Muslims.

It is granted that no religion or man-made system approves it for its followers to be allies to other groups, other than to which they are ascribed, which would otherwise lead to what is known in the language of nationalism as “Treason”.

2. The alliance prohibited by the Qur’anic verses is not applied to all non-Muslims in general, even if they were to be peaceful to Muslims or the Zimmi (protected non-Muslim living under Islamic rule), however, it is applied to those inflicting harm on Muslims or those who oppose Allah and His Messenger. This is manifested by the following:

a. The verse in chapter Al-Mujadalah, 22, which reads:

“You will not find a people, who believe in Allah and the Last Day having affection for those who oppose Allah and His Messenger.”

Opposing Allah and His Messenger is not restricted to disbelief in them only; rather it extends to opposing their call and confronting this, while doing harm to the adherents.

b. In the beginning of the chapter titled ‘Al-Mumtahanah 1’, Allah Almighty, says:

“O you who have believed, do not take My enemies and your enemies as allies, extending to them affection while they have disbelieved in what came to you of the truth, having driven out the Prophet and yourselves [only] because you believe in Allah, your Lord.”

The verse unveils the reason for prohibiting alliance or showing cordiality to polytheists, for being disbelievers in Islam and for attacking and driving out Muslims and the Messengers of their homes unjustly.

c. In the same chapter, 8-9 He said:

“Allah does not forbid you from those who do not fight you because of religion and do not expel you from your homes – from being righteous toward them and acting justly toward them. Indeed, Allah loves those who act justly. Allah only forbids you from those who fight you because of religion and expel you from your homes and aid in your expulsion – [forbids] that you make allies of them. And whoever makes allies of them, and then it is those who are the wrongdoers.”

Here, Allah classified non-Muslims into two groups:

* Those who were peaceful to Muslims and did not fight them in terms of Islam or expelled them from their homes, thus, they had the right to be approached in kindness and justice by Muslims.

* Those who went confronting and attacking Muslims, killing them, driving them out of their homes or supporting in doing so, thus, it became forbidden for Muslims to show alliance to this kind, like polytheists (Mushriks) of Makkah who severely punished Muslims. The text signifies that it is not forbidden to show alliance to the former kind.

3. Islam made it permissible for Muslims to marry women of the people of the Book (Jews and Christians). The marital life is based on psychological tranquility, love, affection and mercy, as indicated in the verse:

“And of His signs is that He created for you from yourselves mates that you may find tranquility in them; and He placed between you affection and mercy.” [Ar-Rum, 21]

This means that the alliance of Muslims with non-Muslims is permissible. How it comes for a Muslim husband to not be kind to his wife, Christian or Jew? Or how it comes for a Muslim not to be kind to his grand mother or grand father, or his aunt if they were to be Christians?

4. The very plain fact is that Islam gives priority to the religious bond than to any other one, whether it is relative, regional, tribal, racial, partisan or class. Muslims are brothers and Muslims are one nation, the noble of them is abided by any covenant and may be given by the least of Muslims. Muslims are one party against any other oppressing them. Muslims are attached to each other than any disbeliever, even if he is a father, son or brother to Muslims.

This condition is not restricted only to Islam, however, it is the nature of any religion and creed and the gospel approves this repeatedly.

5. In addition to the aforementioned, the life-example of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him), his Companions and the righteous successors present the practical evidence for what has been mentioned before. The book Future of Christians in the Muslim State is full of situations and examples of the great dealing of the Prophet with non-Muslims of the different dogmas and races.

Without hesitation, one can be assured that there is no law that ordains its adherents to be kind to others as much as Islam does, which is a strong evidence that it is a religion revealed by Allah, Lord of the worlds.

Respected Brothers and Sisters! I know, someday, reasonable Nigerian Christians will appreciate the tolerance of Nigerian Muslims. What the Kaduna State Governor Mallam Nasir Ahmad El-Rufai has been accused of doing in Kaduna State, of picking a Muslim as his deputy in the coming 2019 elections is what Adefarati in Ondo, Oyinlola in Osun, Fayose in Ekiti, Fayemi in Ekiti have done, of being Christians and picking Christian deputies, and nobody batted an eyelid to that.

It is what Plateau, Benue, Taraba and Edo States are presently doing and have consistently done, even despite a considerable Muslim population. You didn’t even see it in the news! Yet we are the intolerant ones.

Wallahi, if the Benue and Plateau farmers weren’t Christians, you wouldn’t have heard about the herdsmen/farmers’ clash. After all, when did you start hearing about the Zamfara carnage? Our press is a failure worse than our governments. If the herdsmen clashes weren’t politically motivated, the reportage clearly was.

Muslim kids still have to disobey convention to follow their religious dictates. Your Muslim identity debars you automatically from many jobs; “you can’t dress like this here!” In 21st century Nigeria! About the Hijab’s issue, our girls can only be Muslim after school hours; workers can’t even pray on the government premises but there is an official Christmas carol and there are Christmas decorations!

Imagine what those criminals did to Major General Idris Alkali at Du village in Plateau State, and no one is baying for blood. Try that with a Pong, Pang or Ping from Plateau or Benue States and come and listen to how ‘President Buhari ordered the extermination of Christians.’

Imagine what the criminals are always doing to our Muslim travellers in Gonin-Gora, Kaduna State! Did Nigerian Muslims attack and kill anyone because our brother General Alkali have been killed in Du Plateau State?

And according to the BBC Hausa Service report of the evening of Monday November 19, Northern Muslim youth were being attacked and hacked to death in Umuahia, the capital city of Abia State in South-Eastern Nigeria. Please what is the meaning of all this? These are all happenings as a result of hate speeches coming from the places of worship, whose fanatic populations are always inciting Nigerians against each other so that they undermine the peaceful coexistence between them.

The time for nihilist-anarchistic reporters, clerics and politicians to rot in jail is now. Your monopoly of dangerous rhetoric is self assumed, the other party only has common sense.

Respected Servants of Allah! Indeed, we are passing through traumatising and trying times due to the inhumanity to fellow humans. Any act of heartlessness – rude and crude – occasioned by the naked desire to rule, accumulate wealth and the like, will ultimately end in disastrous consequences against the criminal perpetrators. Any “happiness” achieved through wickedness is accursed, elusive and short lived. Allah – the Exalted – will surely give victory to those who fear HIM against the agents of Satan (Shaitan) who do not fear HIM.

Dear Brothers and Sisters! We must do everything we can to put pressure on the government to ensure diligent prosecution of the culprits, the killers of General Alkali, and get Muslim lawyers to monitor their prosecution. General Muhammadu Shuwa was similarly killed and nobody was apprehended or prosecuted. Just imagine what would have happened if a Christian Army General was brutally killed in Kano, Katsina, Sokoto, Borno, Bauci or Zamfara! The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has kept silent on General Alkali’s killing and nobody is contesting the complicity of all the accused, but at the same time they can interfere and support anything to undermine the Muslims Ummah or the peaceful coexistence between the Muslims and non-Muslims.

Let the Nigerians continue to live in harmony and maintain peaceful coexistence among themselves regardless of their religious, regional, partisan and tribal differences.

There is the need for people of Nigeria to live in peace and harmony as one people so that they will have a very sustainable development and progress.

This is the conclusion of this Khutbah (Sermon).

I ask Allah the Generous, the Lord of the great throne by His Beautiful Names and Lofty Attributes to benefit us all from what He has taught us, and to rectify all of our conditions. And I ask Him to guide us to the straight path, and to not leave us to ourselves even for the blink of an eye. Verily the Blessed and Exalted responds to the supplication and He is the One hope is placed in and the best to rely upon. And Allah knows best. May the prayers and peace of Allah be upon His Servant, His Messenger, and our Beloved Prophet Muhammad, and upon his family and his Companions.

This Jumu’ah Khutbah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today Friday, Rabi’ul Awwal 15, 1440 AH (November 23, 2018), by Imam Murtada Muhammad Gusau, 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: gusaumurtada@gmail.com or +2348038289761.