Al-Muharram 9, 1441 A.H. (Monday, 09/09/2019)

In the Name of Allah, The Most Merciful, The Most Kind

Praise be to Allah, the free of all wants and needs, the worthy of all praise; the owner of the Throne, the All Glorious. I praise my Lord and thank Him. I turn to Him in repentance and ask Him for forgiveness. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah alone, who has no partners, the Doer of whatsoever He wills; and I bear witness that our Prophet and Master, Muhammad, is His servant and Messenger, who was granted victory and given the greatest support. O Allah! Bestow your peace and blessings upon your servant and Messenger Muhammad and upon his family and companions, who followed the rightly guided commands.

Dear brothers and sisters, when you feel like you are under attack, become the immovable object. Duck your head and root yourself like a mountain, and the “unstoppable force” will break around you like a breeze. Whether you are under attack for your faith, or being criticised for making life choices that others do not like or understand, hold your ground and do not yield an inch, as long as you are in Allah’s path.

You all know that when the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) began preaching in Makkah, the people were idol worshipers. The Prophet used to go to the Ka’abah, the square Mosque which is the oldest house of worship on earth, and preach the idea of ‘La Ilaha-Illallah.’ There is no god but Allah. In other words no idol is worthy of worship, no human being should be deified, no saint or angel should be venerated. Only Allah.

Because of this preaching, the Quraish (the Arab tribe which held sway in Makkah, and to which the Prophet Muhammad himself belonged) persecuted him relentlessly. And yet he persisted, gaining followers, until the Quraish became desperate. They met with Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) privately, and offered to make him king of Quraish, and to bestow great wealth on him, on the condition that he stop preaching. He replied:

“…if they should put the sun in my right hand and the moon in my left, even then I shall not abandon the proclamation of the Unity of Allah (La ilaha illallah). I shall set up the true faith upon the earth or perish in the attempt.”

Allahu Akbar! That is the immovable object! I will not detail the extreme suffering that was imposed upon the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) and his family after that; the economic boycott, the assassination attempts and attempted wars of extermination against the Muslims; suffice it to say that Islam persisted and grew until it became the dominant religion of the world. All because one man was unstoppable and immovable.

Respected servants of Allah, faith, love and kindness are not cute ideas or naive catchphrases. They are elemental forces with the power to alter human hearts, and to change the world. They are transformative emotions and behaviours that were bestowed upon us by Allah, who is Al-Rahman (The Most Merciful) and Al-Wadud (The Most Loving). They are stronger than hurricanes, and they transcend the birth and death of individuals, and the rise and fall of nations.

Don’t we still have love for the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him), and for the Sahabah (his companions), all of whom lived many generations and nations ago? In fact we look upon them as our heroes and leaders and we love them as if they were dear friends. This is proof of the enduring nature of love, which survives when all else changes around us.

Faith, love and kindness are the secret weapons that Allah has given us to conquer corruption, cynicism, hatred, racism, and evil, in ourselves and in the world.

These ideas are not naive, as some might say. Was the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) naive? He suffered in his mission, but he persevered. His mission was rooted in faith and love of Allah, and expressed through kindness to all people. There are so many stories about him showing tremendous kindness to rude and even murderous people, and changing their hearts in the process. He succeeded in the face of impossible odds. His success is a testament to the power of these noble emotions and behaviours.

That’s why I illustrated in one of my previous articles with a photo of sun rays shining on a dark and snowy world. Because these powerful emotions and behaviours are not the stuff of sunny afternoons, cotton candy and daisies. They are like a guiding star that is only seen in the darkness. They come into their own and show their true power by confronting and overcoming hatred, bitterness, painful loss, war, poverty and despair.

I describe them as behaviours because faith that exists only in the heart is not true faith. Faith is proven by action. Faith is defined by the way you live your life. The same is true for love and kindness. Love is a verb, not a noun. It’s not an abstract feeling in your heart, but a matter of behaviour, the way you treat people, the way you help, forgive, and show mercy to people.

Please, dear brothers and sisters, listen to the following great words from the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him)’s wife:

“Never! By Allah, Allah will never disgrace you; You keep good relations with your Kith and kin, you tell the truth, you help the poor and the destitute, you serve your guests generously and you assist the deserving calamity-afflicted ones.”

Dear brothers and sisters, by these great words, the Mother of Faithful Believers, Khadijah, strengthened the heart of the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him), when he talked to her about the angel that descended to him in the cave of Hirah. Expressing his fear, he said to her:

“I fear that something may happen to me.”

The role of the righteous woman and wife was to relieve the severity of the hardship that affected the Prophet of mercy (Peace be upon him), following this hard difficult meeting with Angel Gabriel; and to ensure him about Allah’s Care for him, proving that by referring to the virtuous morals that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) used to practice in his community. She is clarifying for him that Allah, Glory be to Him, will never disgrace him for one collective reason: He is preserving a group of social worships, so Allah, Glory be to Him, will never disgrace a person, who keeps good relations with kith and kin, tells the truth, helps the poor and the destitute, serves his guests generously and assists the deserving calamity-afflicted ones.

She is speaking to her husband as if she was a psychologist, a philosopher and a scholar, who is knowledgeable about Allah’s Divine rules in his creatures…

By such words, she anticipated what the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon Him) said:

“Good deeds protect against bad ends, epidemic and ruin…” [Al-Hakim]

Yes, wallahi, Allah will never disgrace this great heart that carries all this goodness for people. Sadness will never touch this heart. Fear from people will never reach his soul. Happiness rather will fill his life, tranquility will fill his soul, bliss will overwhelm his life and the dust of misery will be shaken off his head.

“Never…”

Wallahi your heart will not become sad as long as it carries goodness for people…

“Have glad tidings…”

The wound will be healed, pain will vanish away, and you will move forward in the way of life with this righteous heart, out of which light is overflowing to humans, to light up covered hearts, blind eyes and deaf ears.

“By Allah, Allah will never disgrace you…”

You’re not that kind of people that Allah would disgrace; you’re not that servant that his Lord would abandon him, because you’re a servant, who does good deeds to the servants of Allah. You fed them when they were hungry, you clothed them when they were naked, and sympathised with the orphan. Thus, you acted as a father. You forgave those who did wrong to you. Thus, your forgiveness was like that of a mother towards her children.

You have mercy like that of a father or a mother,

These are the two merciful ones in this life.

Allah did not disgrace you and will never disgrace you. Enjoy your life!

“You keep good relations with kith and kin…”

You keep good relations even with those who abandoned you. You enrich the poor kin, and strengthen the weak kin. You are support for your people and a stake for your relatives. They did not hear but good words from you. They did not touch but good deeds from you. You are a son for their old, a father for their young and a brother for their fellows.

“You tell the truth…”

You never tell lies. You never cheat, commit perjury, or conceal the truth. You have never been charged of even one lie in your life. You have never been stained by the claws of lying even for a single moment.

“You help the destitute…”

The destitute is that one, who can not afford his own needs. You do not only help him, but you support him! You even carry his stuff on your shoulders! No one seeks your help without having his need fulfilled, his weakness comforted and his heart pleased.

“You serve your guests generously…”

What an honoured guest that you host! What a great guest that you serve! You prepared the kettles, provided the pillows and fulfilled the needs. Guests spend their nights at your home in safety and hospitality, and they leave it honoured and pleased.

“You assist the deserving calamity-afflicted ones.”

Life calamities are countless, and reality misfortunes are enormous. However, you help those afflicted till they overcome their calamities, and you help those agonised till they get over their agony. You are the aid of the miserable, treating their wounds and looking after their orphans.

His Friend Abu Bakr is no Exception!

Abu Bakr, his great student, his friend, follows his steps and practices his morals. When he was tried, he emigrated towards the Land of Habasha, till he reached (Bark Al-Ghamad), where he met Ibn Ad-Dughunnah, the master of the (Peninsula). He asked:

“Where are you going, Abu Bakr?” Abu Bakr said, “My people ousted me, so I like to travel in the land, in order to worship my Lord.” Ibn Ad-Dughunnah said, “A person like you, Abu Bakr, should not be ousted. You keep good relations with your Kith and kin, tell the truth, help the poor and the destitute, serve your guests generously and assist the deserving calamity-afflicted ones. I’m your protector. Go back and worship your Lord in your land.”

Wallahi, Allah will never disgrace the doers of these good deeds everywhere. He will never abandon them in the face of a far disbeliever or a near oppressor. Those people are the most worthy of having the power in land. They are the most deserving ones to have pleasure in this life and in the Hereafter. It was incumbent upon Allah to employ persons such as ‘Ibn Ad-Dughunnah’ to assist and support them, so that good doers enjoy under the protection of Allah, Glory be to Him. Hence, you should do good deed so your heart is pleased and Allah will never disgrace you In Shaa Allah.

May Allah accept our Ibadah (worship) and supplications, guide our leaders and provide us with a lasting peace in our beloved country Nigeria, ameen Ya Mujib!

And all praise is due to Allah, Lord of the worlds. May the peace, blessings and salutations of Allah be upon our noble Messenger, Muhammad, and upon his family, his Companions and his true followers.

Wassalamu Alaikum,

Your brother, Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, sent this piece from Okene, Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached via: gusaumurtada@gmail.com or +2348038289761.