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Friday Sermon

Friday Sermon] Giving Charity (Sadaqah) Quenches The Wrath Of Allah

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Imam Murtada Gusau

By Imam Murtadha Gusau

In the Name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all creation—may He extol the Messenger in the highest company of Angels and send His peace and blessings upon him—likewise upon his family, Companions, and true followers.

Dear brothers and sisters! Indeed one of the greatest means of building social harmony in Islam is through giving and spending. Allah Almighty said:

“O you who have believed, spend from that which We have provided for you before there comes a Day in which there is no exchange [i.e., ransom] and no friendship and no intercession. And the disbelievers – they are the wrongdoers.” [Qur’an, 2: 254]

And Allah Almighty said:

“Those who spend their wealth [in Allah’s way] by night and by day, secretly and publicly – they will have their reward with their Lord. And no fear will there be concerning them, nor will they grieve.” [Qur’an, 2:274]

And spending in the way of Allah Almighty is one of the biggest challenges faced by man due to his love of and concern for wealth. Allah Almighty said:

“And you love wealth with immense love.” [Qur’an, 89:20]

And the Prophet (Peace be upon him) informed about the temptation of wealth, he said:

“Verily, there is a Fitnah (trial) for every nation and the trial for my Ummah (nation) is wealth.” [At-Tirmithi]

And some have become slaves to wealth. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“Wretched is the slave of the Dinar and the slave of the Dirham.” [Bukhari]

A person who is stingy with what Allah has given him thinks that doing so is better for him and does not pay heed to the Allah Almighty’s words:

“And let not those who [greedily] withhold what Allah has given them of His bounty ever think that it is better for them. Rather, it is worse for them. Their necks will be encircled by what they withheld on the Day of Resurrection. And to Allah belongs the heritage of the heavens and the earth. And Allah, of what you do, is [fully] Aware.” [Qur’an, 3:180]

Dear brothers and sisters! Know that wealth is a trust that people were entrusted with, as Allah Almighty said:

“And spend out of that in which He has made you successive inheritors. For those who have believed among you and spent, there will be a great reward.” [Qur’an, 57:7]

These are the ones for whom Allah blesses their wealth and multiplies their reward in the hereafter. Allah the Most High said:

“Who is it that would loan Allah a goodly loan so He may multiply it for him many times over? And it is Allah who withholds and grants abundance, and to Him you will be returned.” [Qur’an, 2:245]

One of the most important criteria by which a person’s faith (Iman) is measured is charity (Sadaqah). The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“And charity is proof.” [Muslim]

Kano State Government Commemorates World 2022 World AIDS Day

And it is a great transaction with Allah Almighty and striving in the sake of Allah with one’s wealth. And in it is salvation for a person from a painful punishment. Allah the Most High said:

“O you who have believed, shall I guide you to a transaction that will save you from a painful punishment? [It is that] you believe in Allah and His Messenger and strive in the cause of Allah with your wealth and your lives. That is best for you, if you only knew.” [Qur’an, 61:10-11]

And whomever wants his wealth to developed and progressed, or wants to nurture his wealth should spend from it for the sake of Allah Almighty. Allah Almighty said:

“Say Indeed, my Lord extends provision for whom He wills of His servants and restricts [it] for him. But whatever thing you spend [in His cause] – He will compensate it; and He is the best of providers.” [Qur’an, 34: 39]

And in the Hadith Qudsi Allah Almighty said:

“Spend and I shall spend on you.” [Bukhari]

And whatever a person spends for the sake of Allah Almighty is what they will find in front of them on the Day of Resurrection. And what remains in his balance will be the procession of the heirs. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“For whom among you is the wealth of his heirs dearer to him than his own wealth?’ They said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, there is no one among us for whom his own wealth is not dearer to him than the wealth of his heirs.’ The Messenger of Allah said: For indeed his wealth is what he has sent forward, and the wealth of his heirs is what he retained.’” [Bukhari]

Some people mistakenly and incorrectly think that they are the true owner of their wealth. Indeed, the wealth is the wealth of Allah Almighty that he directed to them in a manner that they did not expect. Allah the Most High said:

“And give them from the wealth of Allah which He has given you.” [Qur’an, 24:33]

And through charity (Sadaqah) Allah Almighty diverts the afflictions, calamities and tribulations from a person. As the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“Good deeds ward off destructive evil. And the giving charity secretly quenches the wrath and Punishment of the Lord. And joining the ties of kinship increases the lifespan. [Sahih Al-Jami’]

Charity extinguishes the bad deeds. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“Charity extinguishes bad deeds just as water extinguishes fire.” [Sahih at-Tirmithi]

Respected servants of Allah! Indeed spending and giving charity have etiquettes. And from among the most important etiquette is sincerity (Ikhlas) to Allah Almighty in it. For not having sincerity nullifies and reduces its reward. And some people give charity for the sake of showing off, reputation, boasting or bragging. And doing this will result in the severe punishment on the Day of Resurrection. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

The person with wealth will be brought (in the hereafter)…he will say: ‘I would nurture the ties of kinship and give charity.’ Then Allah will say to him: ‘You have lied.’ And the angels will say to him: ‘You have lied.’ Allah, Most High, will say: ‘Rather, you wanted it to be said that so-and-so is so generous, and that was said.’” [At-Tirmidhi]

And from the etiquettes of giving the obligatory charity (Zakah) is to spend it as prescribed and not to delay it. For if one has to pay Zakah on his wealth or crops or trade, then he must pay it at the proper time. And it is from the pillars of Islam. And the most beloved means of getting close to Allah Almighty is to perform the obligations. So to avoids the wrath and Punishment of Allah Almighty one should not delay it without an excuse.

And from the etiquettes of the obligatory charity is that he should seek out the truly needy people. And not to give those whom he does not know. For the Zakah is not correct unless it is given to those deserving of it. And Allah Almighty explained the different types of categories that qualify for Zakah. He the Most High said:

“Zakah expenditures are only for the poor and for the needy and for those employed for it and for bringing hearts together [for Islam] and for freeing captives [or slaves] and for those in debt and for the cause of Allah and for the [stranded] traveler – an obligation [imposed] by Allah. And Allah is Knowing and Wise.” [Qur’an, 9:60]

And from the etiquettes is not to nullify the charity through reminders of it or injury. Allah Almighty said:

“O you who have believed, do not invalidate your charities with reminders [of it] or injury as does one who spends his wealth [only] to be seen by the people and does not believe in Allah and the Last Day.” [Qur’an, 2:264]

Rather one should view giving charity as a favour from Allah Almighty because He the Almighty gave him the wealth and blessed him. And saved him from his inner greed. The wise believer views the needy person as the one who has favour over him because he accepted the charity from him and he gave him the chance to gain reward and mercy from Allah Almighty. And some of the righteous would say: “By Allah, I see the poor person as having favour over me. And if Allah Almighty did not make him accept my charity I would have been denied the reward and mercy from Allah Almighty.”

And from the etiquette of giving charity is to view the charity as a grace of Allah upon him that The Almighty enriched him and did not make him in need of taking charity. Rather He the Almighty made his hand the upper hand and made him the one who gives and not the one who takes. And it is a great grace that requires striving to be grateful through obedience to Allah Almighty and giving plenty of charity. And having compassion for the poor and needy.

And the one giving charity should conceal it as he is able to do so except if there is a clear benefit in publicising it. Allah Almighty said:

“If you disclose your charitable expenditures, they are good; but if you conceal them and give them to the poor, it is better for you, and He will remove from you some of your misdeeds [thereby]. And Allah, of what you do, is [fully] Aware.” [Qur’an, 2:271]

And the Prophet (Peace be upon him) informed that among the seven people whom Allah, the Mighty and Sublime, will shade with His shade on the Day of Resurrection, the Day when there will be no shade but His shade is:

“A man who gives charity and conceals it, so that his left hand does not know what his right hand is doing.” [Bukhari and Muslim]

And from the etiquettes is that the charity should be from good earnings, that is from lawfully earned wealth. As this is a reason for its acceptance and multiplying its reward. Just as the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“No one gives charity from good sources – for Allah does not accept anything but that which is good – but the Most Merciful takes it in His right hand, even if it is a date, and it flourishes in the Hand of the Most Merciful until it becomes bigger than a mountain and he tends it as anyone of you would tend to his colt (i.e., young pony) or his young (weaned) camel.’” [Muslim]

And from the etiquettes of charity is to spend the best of wealth in charity and not put forth the low quality food or the corrupt wealth. Allah Almighty said:

“O you who have believed, spend from the goodthings which you have earned and from that which We have produced for you from the earth. And do not aim toward the defective therefrom, spending [from that] while you would not take it [yourself] except with closed eyes.” [Qur’an, 2:267]

And a person has a greater reward from Allah Almighty if he gives charity with something that he loves from wealth, food or clothing. Allah the Most High said:

“Never will you attain the good [reward] until you spend [in the way of Allah] from that which you love.” [Qur’an, 3:92]

Dear brothers and sisters! And from the etiquettes of charity is to give priority to relatives if they are in need and they do not have anyone to help them. For their right is greater than that of others. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“Charity (Sadaqah) given to the needy is (counted as) charity, and if it is given to relatives it is (counted as) two: charity and nurturing (the ties of kinship).” [At-Tirmidhi and An-Nasa’i]

And the higher the degree of kinship, the greater the reward for the giver of charity.

And from the etiquettes of charity is not to take it back. For it is not permissible to take it back from the one it was given to. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“The likeness of the one who gives charity (Sadaqah) then takes it back is that of a dog who vomits then goes back and eats its vomit.” [Ibn Majah]

And from the etiquette of charity is that it is given in a state of health, wellbeing, youth and being in need and fearing poverty. Abu Hurairah (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that:

“A man came to the Prophet (Peace be upon him) and said: ‘O Messenger of Allah, what kind of charity brings the greatest reward?’ He said: ‘To give in charity when you are healthy and feeling miserly, and fearing poverty and hoping for a long life. Do not wait until the (death rattle) reaches the throat and then say: “This is for so and so,” and it nearly became the property of so and so (the heirs).‘” [Bukhari and Muslim]

And from the etiquettes of giving charity is to give it with a pleasant soul and not to hate giving it. For among the characteristics of the hypocrites (Munafiqun) is that:

“They do not spend except while they are unwilling.” [Qur’an, 9:54]

And as far as the believers, Allah Almighty praised them that their eyes welled with tears in sadness because they could not find something to spend. Allah Almighty said:

“Nor [is there blame] upon those who, when they came to you for you to take them along, you said, “I can find nothing upon which to carry you.” They turned back while their eyes overflowed with tears out of grief that they could not find something to spend [for the cause of Allah].” [Qur’an, 9:92]

May Allah make us among those who give charity (Sadaqah) joyfully, happily, plentifully and freely such that our left hand does not know about what our right hand spends. Indeed, Allah is All Hearing, Answering, ameen.

I conclude with this and send prayers of blessings and peace upon our beloved Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) as our Lord commanded:

“Indeed, Allah confers blessing upon the Prophet, and His angels [ask Him to do so]. O you who have believed, ask [Allah to confer] blessing upon him and ask [Allah to grant him] peace.” [Qur’an, 33:56]

O Allah, guide us with those whom You have guided, grant us well-being among those You have granted well-being, be an ally to us along with those whom You are an ally to, and bless what You have bestowed upon us, and save us from the evil of what You have decreed. For verily You decree and none can decree over You. He whom You support can never be humiliated. Glory is to You, our Lord, You are Blessed and Exalted.

O Allah, We ask You for all that is good, in this world and in the Hereafter, what we know and what we do not know.

O Allah, we seek refuge with You from all evil, in this world and in the Hereafter, what we know and what we do not know.

O Allah, we ask You for the good that Your servant and Prophet has asked You for, and we seek refuge with You from the evil from which Your servant and Prophet sought refuge.

O Allah, we ask You for Paradise and for that which brings one closer to it, in word and deed, and we seek refuge in You from Hellfire and from that which brings one closer to it, in word and deed. And we ask You to make every decree that You decree concerning us good.

Respected servants of Allah! 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.

Remember Allah, the Great – He will remember you. Thank Him for His favours – He will increase you therein. And seek forgiveness from Him – He will forgive you. And be conscious of Him – He will provide you a way out of difficult matters. And, establish the prayer.

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all creation; may Allah extol the mention of our noble Prophet Muhammad in the highest company of Angels, bless him and give him peace and security―and his family, his Companions and all those who follow him correctly and sincerely until the establishment of the Hour.

Murtadha Muhammad Gusau is 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: gusauimam@gmail.com or +2348038289761.

This Jumu’ah Khutbah (Friday sermon) was prepared for delivery today Friday, Jumadah Awwal 08, 1444 AH (December 02, 2022

Friday Sermon

Friday Sermon] Based On My 1444 AH/2023 Eid Al-Adha’s Sermon (Khutbah)

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Imam Murtada Gusau

By Imam Murtadha Gusau

In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

Verily, all praise is for Allah. We praise Him, we seek His assistance and we ask for His forgiveness. And we seek refuge in Him from the evils of ourselves. Whoever Allah guides, none can misguide. Whoever He misguides, none can guide. And I bear witness that there is no deity other than Allah and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and messenger.

Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar!

To proceed:

Dear brothers and sisters, be conscious of Allah Almighty on this great day. For it is the best of the days and it has the most deeds of Hajj.

Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, La Ilaha illalLah, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, wa lilLahil Hamd!

Allahu Akbar! Your pilgrim brothers and sisters stayed yesterday in Arafat.  Allahu Akbar!

And how many supplications did they make to Allah Almighty. Allahu Akbar! How many needs did Allah fulfill. Allahu Akbar! And how many people were accepted by Allah Almighty yesterday. Allahu Akbar! And how many sins were forgiven yesterday. Allahu Akbar! And how much mercy did Allah bestow. And how many were spared from the Fire. Oh Allah accept from us and the pilgrims and from all the Muslims. And make us and them from those whom You have forgiven their sins and rewarded their efforts and accepted their deeds and obligated mercy for them and spared them from the Fire.

Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, La Ilaha illalLah, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, wa lilLahil Hamd!

Respected servants of Allah, your brothers and sisters performing Hajj pilgrimage are now proceeding to the jamarat after having spent the night in Muzdalifah in large assemblies, exalting, magnifying and praising Allah. So Glory be to the One Who guided them to Islam! And glory be to the One Who moved their tongues to make Zikr and remembrance of Him, and magnify Him. And glory be to the One who made these rituals in such few days! And glory be to the One Who within these days made the hearts move and the eyes tear!

That [is so]. And whoever honours the symbols [i.e., rites] of Allah – indeed, it is from the piety of hearts.” [Qur’an, 22: 32]

Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, La Ilaha illalLah, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, wa lilLahil Hamd!

Dear brothers and sisters, know that the greatest blessing that Allah Almighty bestowed upon the believers is their guidance to Islam. For it is the true religion. Allah Almighty said:

“Indeed, the religion in the sight of Allah is Islam.” [Qur’an, 3:19]

And Allah will not accept from anyone a religion other than it. Allah the Most High says:

“And whoever desires other than Islam as religion – never will it be accepted from him, and he, in the Hereafter, will be among the losers.” [Qur’an, 3: 85]

And it is the religion that Allah Almighty perfected for His servants. Allah Almighty says:

“This day I have perfected for you your religion and completed My favour upon you and have approved for you Islam as religion.” [Qur’an, 5: 3]

And He the Most High says:

“And the word of your Lord has been fulfilled in truth and in justice. None can alter His words, and He is the Hearing, the Knowing.” [Qur’an, 6: 115]

And Islam is from the words of Allah Almighty that he perfected, truth in what He informed and fair in His decree. And Islam through the protection of Allah Almighty is preserved from addition, subtraction, alteration, and distortion. Because through Islam, Allah sealed the Books. And sealed the Prophethood with Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him). So Islam shall remain until the end of time, so that humanity is guided through it. Allah Almighty said:

“Indeed, it is We who sent down the message [i.e., the Qur’an], and indeed, We will be its guardian.” [Qur’an, 15: 9]

And the Qur’anic verses of the perfection of Islam were revealed to the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) during his farewell Hajj. Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, said:

“I know the place where it was revealed and the day on which it was revealed. It was revealed to the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) at Arafat, on a Friday.” [Bukhari and Muslim]

And with regards to the perfection of Islam, people are divided into three groups:

The first group are those who introduced into the religion of Islam unfounded religious practices and misguidances that have nothing to do with the Islam. And they deceived their followers with worships for which Allah Almighty has not sent down any authority. So they went astray and misled. And they are the common introducers of unfounded religious practices and those who follow them in their fabricated practices. And the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“If anyone introduces into this affair of ours (Islam) anything which does not belong to it, it is rejected.” [Bukhari and Muslim]

And the second group ar

Islam) anything which does not belong to it, it is rejected.” [Bukhari and Muslim]
And the second group are those who succumbed to the pressures of the times. So they have renounced some of the Islamic rulings and removed and omitted from it that which is inconsistent with the contemporary pressures on Islam and its followers. So they have permitted a number of forbidden matters and dropped a number of religious duties. And they dabble in the anomalies of jurisprudence and points of disagreement to extinguish the clear religious texts. And to reach their goal, they relied on the mistakes of those scholars who preceded them. And some of them did that for worldly aim. So how bad is what they did. They traded their religion for a worldly gain.
And some of them did that in defense of Islam, as they claim, to repel attacks against it, and this is from their ignorance. For the antagonists will not be satisfied with them until they destroy all of Islam, not some of it and until their way is followed. For they have ruined their souls and exposed it to the sources of sins and destruction. Islam is a great victorious religion, even if falsehood besieges it. Indeed the good consequence is for the Allah conscious.
And the third group are those who know the perfection of Islam, and worship Allah Almighty by it, and adhere to His ordainments, and do not add anything to it and do not subtract anything from it. And they are the greatest majority of Muslims, praise be to Allah the Almighty. And those in this group who fall short in adhering to their religion and those who wrong themselves by sinning, do not consider what they commit of the forbidden as permissible. And they do not consider what they leave out of the obligations as not required. Nor do they alter anything from Islam. Rather, they admit their negligence in their religion and their transgression upon themselves. They hope for repentance and ask others to supplicate for them. And such people are close to repentance and befitting for being given success in attaining it, since following desires did not destroy their hearts, nor do misleading unfounded religious practices divert them from the truth. For they know the perfection of Islam, just as they know their mistakes regarding the rights of their religion and their own rights. And a man was brought to the Prophet (Peace be upon him) to be disciplined for drinking alcohol so another man said:
Allah, curse him. How often he is brought to the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him)! So he (Peace be upon him) said, do not curse him, for he loves Allah and His Messenger.” [Bukhari]
And this does mean taking the major sins and misdeeds lightly. But rather those who become weak before sin then fall into it, while blaming themselves for what they did, are better than those who consider the sin permissible or take it lightly even if they do not commit it.
Respected brothers and sisters, one of the requirements for belief in the perfection of Islam is adherence to all of its ordainments, and care in not splitting it by accepting some parts and not others. For Allah Almighty rebuked people who did that and warned them of humiliation in this world and torment and punishment in the hereafter. The Almighty addressed them saying:
“So do you believe in part of the Scripture and disbelieve in part? Then what is the recompense for those who do that among you except disgrace in worldly life; and on the Day of Resurrection they will be sent back to the severest of punishment. And Allah is not unaware of what you do.” [Qur’an, 2: 85]
Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, La Ilaha illalLah, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, wa lilLahil Hamd!
Dear servants of Allah, so be conscious of Allah Almighty on this great day. And thank Him for favouring you with this religion (Islam), and for what He guided you to its rituals and rulings which are the best of rituals and ordainments. And ask Him for steadfastness upon it until death, for the hearts are in the Hands of the Allah Almighty and He turns them as He wills. Oh Allah, the Changer of the Hearts, make our hearts steadfast upon Your religion (Islam), ameen.
Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, La Ilaha illalLah, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, wa lilLahil Hamd!
Dear and respected Muslim women, know that the religion of Islam in its perfection and what it has of justice and mercy has not changed. For its rulings for women are the same rulings from when Allah Almighty revealed them to His Messenger Muhammad (Peace be upon him). So nothing was removed from it and nothing was added to it, in spite of attempts of some of the afflicted to distort, change or take away from it.
Indeed the woman who loves her Lord and religion and is certain of the perfection of Islam, adheres to all of the religion and holds on to it with determination and strength. And the words of the people of base desires and false notions do not deviate her from any part of her religion. And she is not turned away from the religion by the many women who take its rulings lightly. Because her greatest aim is pleasing her Lord, the Almighty and seeking the home of the hereafter. So she does not back down from this goal even if it means losing this entire worldly life. So how could she while she hears what Allah Almighty has permitted for her, and it is a lot, and she has pleased her Lord, Most glorified and she is pleased with herself. For the knot of sin around the heart is not unraveled except through repentance. And the pain of the sin does not leave the believer, because their modesty before their Lord, Glory be to Him, and their consciousness of His grace upon them. O believing women, adhere to all of Islam. For Islam is the religion of justice and perfection, and the reward for it is great, and this worldly life is short.
Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, La Ilaha illalLah, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, wa lilLahil Hamd!
Respected Muslims, and let the hearts that are far apart from one another gather together on this great day. And be brothers and sisters in religion. And remove what you have in your hearts of ill feelings. And be dutiful to your parents and join your kinship. And be good to your neighbours. And bring happiness to your family and your children. And enjoy what Allah Almighty has made lawful for you, and beware of sin, for it is evil and a burden upon those committing them in this world and the Hereafter.
Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, La Ilaha illalLah, Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar, wa lilLahil Hamd!
Make Allah Almighty repeatedly bestow upon us and you and upon all Muslims faith and blessings and safety and security. Make Allah accept from us and you the righteous deeds. Indeed Allah is All Hearing, Answering.
I conclude with this and send prayers of blessings and peace upon our beloved Prophet as your Lord commanded:
“Indeed, Allah confers blessing upon the Prophet, and His angels [ask Him to do so]. O you who have believed, ask [Allah to confer] blessing upon him and ask [Allah to grant him] peace.” [Qur’an, 33: 56]
O Allah, guide us with those whom You have guided, grant us well-being among those You have granted well-being, be an ally to us along with those whom You are an ally to, and bless what You have bestowed upon us, and save us from the evil of what You have decreed. For verily You decree and none can decree over You. He whom You support can never be humiliated. Glory is to You, our Lord, You are Blessed and Exalted.
O Allah, I ask You for all that is good, in this world and in the Hereafter, what we know and what we do not know.
O Allah, I seek refuge with You from all evil, in this world and in the Hereafter, what we know and what we do not know.
O Allah, I ask You for the good that Your servant and Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) has asked You for, and we seek refuge with You from the evil from which Your servant and Prophet sought refuge.
O Allah, I ask You for Paradise and for that which brings one closer to it, in word and deed, and we seek refuge in You from Hell and from that which brings one closer to it, in word and deed. And we ask You to make every decree that You decree concerning us good.
Dear servants of Allah, 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.
Remember Allah, the Great – He will remember you. Thank Him for His favours – He will increase you therein. And seek forgiveness from Him – He will forgive you. And be conscious of Him – He will provide you a way out of difficult matters. And, establish the prayer.
All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all creation; may Allah extol the mention of our noble Prophet Muhammad in the highest company of Angels, bless him and give him peace and security―and his family, his Companions and all those who follow him correctly and sincerely until the establishment of the Hour.
Murtadha Muhammad Gusau is 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: gusauimam@gmail.com or +2348038289761.
This Jumu’ah Khutbah (Friday sermon) was prepared for delivery today, Friday, Dhul-Hijjah 12, 1444 AH (June 30, 2023).

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Friday Sermon

Friday Sermon] The Last Ten Nights/Days, Lailatul-Qadr, Zakatul-Fitr And Bidding Farewell To Ramadan

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(Friday Sermon] The Last Ten Nights/Days, Lailatul-Qadr, Zakatul-Fitr And Bidding Farewell To Ramadan

By Imam Murtadha Gusau

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful

All praise is due to Allah, the Provider, the Bestower. In His Hands are the repositories of everything. He divided the religious matters between His servants, just as He divided the worldly matters between them. So among them are scholars, worshippers and the righteous. Just as among them are the disobedient, disbelievers and hypocrites. We praise Him (Allah) in a manner befitting His Majesty and Grandeur. He gave this Ummah (nation) Lailatul Qadr (Night of Decree) that is better than 1000 months. And He gave this Ummah abundant goodness. In these nights He has mercies and bestowals that He gives to the people of the Mosques and Qur’an. And He deprives the heedless and negligent. His Prophet (Peace be upon him) used to make I’tikaf (seclusion in the Mosque) seeking Lailatul Qadr (Night of Decree). He made I’tikaf in the beginning and middle of Ramadan then he was informed that the Lailatul Qadr was in the last ten nights so he established I’tikaf in those nights.

So be conscious of Allah and fill these virtuous nights with acts of obedience to Allah. For it is a great season from the seasons of the hereafter, and the profit within them is much and the pardoning of Allah within them is generous. And in these nights, Allah liberates many from the hellfire, and no one is careless in striving except the deprived.

“So race to [all that is] good. To Allah is your return all together, and He will [then] inform you concerning that over which you used to differ.” [Qur’an, 5:48]

Dear brothers and sisters! These last ten nights/days have appeared and they are quick to conclude and depart. And they are the best part of Ramadan. When these great ten nights entered, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) used to emphasise seeking forgiveness and he used to awaken his family for their sake. He (Peace be upon him) used to make I’tikaf in them to realise Lailatul Qadr. And on the 27th night, he gathered his wives and family for its sake. In that is advising the family to worship in these last ten nights/days.

Respected servants of Allah! If these ten nights entered, he (Peace be upon him) tightened his belt, revived the night, awakened his family and strived to the greatest possible extent. These ten nights are the conclusion of this month. And when those racing near the end of the track, they give it all that they have.

On this night is made distinct every precise matter. And it is also said that there is restriction on this night. Allah Almighty said:

“And thought that We would not restrict him.” [Qur’an, 21:87]

And likewise:

“And he whose provision is restricted.” [Qur’an, 65:7]

Meaning restriction since the earth narrows due to the abundance of Angels. This night is better than 1000 months that do not contain Lailatul Qadr. So if we compare Lailatul Qadr with a 1000 months that do not contain Lailatul Qadr, then this one night of Lailatul Qadr would surpass them in virtue. So the worship in Lailatul Qadr is superior to the worship of 1000 months.

And Allah Almighty favoured this Ummah with Lailatul Qadr. Indeed, Allah favoured this Ummah with many matters: Five prayers for this Ummah are equivalent to 50. Fasting one month is equivalent to fasting ten months. So fasting Ramadan is equivalent to the reward of fasting ten months. And the fasting of the six days of Shawwal is equivalent to the fasting of two months. Together with the ten months of Ramadan it is equivalent to fasting one complete year. Whoever prays Isha’ prayer in congregation it is as if he prayed half of the night. And whoever prayed Fajr (Subh) in congregation it is as if he prayed the whole night. And Zakah is 2.5% but purifies all of the servant’s wealth.

We praise Allah that he made us from the Ummah (Nation) of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him). And if He willed He would have made us part of other past communities. But He favoured us by making us part of the best nation (Ummah) produced for mankind. And likewise Allah gave this nation (Ummah) advantage and multiplied their reward, and from that is this Lailatul Qadr. He favoured us in that worship in it is superior to the worship of 1000 months. Allah Almighty said:

“Indeed, We sent it [i.e., the Qur’an] down during the Night of Decree.” [Qur’an, 97:1]

Among its honouring, is that the revelation of the Qur’an in it. Allah Almighty said:

“Indeed, We sent it down during a blessed night.” [Qur’an, 44:3]

And Allah the Most High said:

“And what can make you know what is the Night of Decree?” [Qur’an, 97:2]

For what it contains of honour and greatness, Allah fills the earth with Angels. And in this is honouring the worshippers. For it is as if the Almighty is saying to the Angels: you said when I created Adam:

“Will You place upon it one who causes corruption therein.” [Qur’an, 2:30]

So descend to the earth and look at My servants how they are praying (Salah), making remembrance (Zikr), supplicating (Du’a), reciting Qur’an, making I’tikaf, performing Umrah and  praying at night. So the Angels descend to the earth and see the worshippers. So congratulations to the one who invested his time in acts of obedience to Allah.

“The Night of Decree is better than a thousand months. The angels and the Spirit [i.e., Jibril] descend therein.” [Qur’an, 97:3-4]

Also, Angel Jibril descends with them. What honour is greater than this? And Allah the Most High said:

“By permission of their Lord for every matter. Peace it is until the emergence of dawn.” [Qur’an, 97:4-5]

Also, there is safety from evil and the plotting of shaitan. And it came on the authority of Ibn Mas’ud, may Allah be pleased with him, that  the sun does not rise in the morning of Lailatul Qadr between the horns of shaitan. For the shaitan is bound that night just as are the rebellious jinns.

The Prophet (Peace be upon him) used to make I’tikaf in these nights. And this is ordained seclusion in contrast to the innovated seclusion found in other communities and religions. In it a person turns to their Lord. I’tikaf contains the meanings of servitude and commitment. For whoever’s companion is Allah, then he remembers Him and calls upon Him and turns to Him. And he does not have any loneliness. Because in his I’tikaf, he secludes with his Lord and cuts off from the worldly life seeking the pleasure of Allah. Hoping to realise Lailatul Qadr. I’tikaf is from the worships of this Ummah (Nation) and has been made one of the most special acts of worship and it is coupled with fasting. For that reason, Allah mentioned it in the verses of fasting. In this night there are more Angels on the earth than the number of pebbles. They ascend to Allah with the deeds of the servants. This is a blessed and honoured night and whoever observes it has succeeded and is joyful. And whoever is deprived of it has been deprived of great goodness. Some scholars said that it is the 27th night. And others said it is the 21st night. And some said the 23rd night. And some said it is the last nights of Ramadan. And some said that it is not a specific night and that Lailatul Qadr moves among the last ten nights. So in one year it is on a night and on another year it is on a different night. And there is great wisdom in its concealment. For it was said that Allah concealed the middle prayer between the five prayers. And concealed the hour of the answered supplication on Friday. And whether repentance is accepted is hidden from people. Just as whether a deed is accepted is also hidden so that people strive. Likewise the time of their death is hidden from them so that they are always ready. It has been said that the wisdom of concealing Lailatul Qadr is so that people will continue performing deeds in hopes of realising it. And even if one strives, worships and prays on a night that is not Lailatul Qadr, his reward is not lost. Rather it is recorded. And he attains the honour of the period, the honour of worship in Ramadan and the honour of these ten nights. And for that reason the more that a person worships, the better off is his condition.

Respected brothers and sisters! Be as your Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) was. He was grateful for Allah’s bounties. And he magnified, and venerated the Almighty. He knocked on the Almighty’s door and called and supplicated to Him with humility and reverence. For your Lord, Exalted be He, is near and generous. Allah Almighty said:

“And when My servants ask you, [O Muhammad], concerning Me – indeed I am near. I respond to the invocation of the supplicant when he calls upon Me. So let them respond to Me [by obedience] and believe in Me that they may be [rightly] guided.” [Qur’an, 2:186]

Magnify your Lord Allah, and repeatedly make supplications, soften your hearts from fear of Him and turn your tears to Him. For He is especially merciful of you. Rabi’ah Bin Amir (may Allah be pleased with him) said that he heard the Messenger of Allah say:

“Be constant with: ‘O Possessor of Majesty and Honour (Ya Zal-Jalali wal-Ikram).” [At-Tirmizi]

And the meaning is adhere to it and use it in your supplication. For Possessor of Majesty and Honour is praise and glorification. For the grace of our Lord upon us is immeasurable and His rights upon us are great. And magnifying Him is obligatory, so carry out your obligation.

Be guarded to pray the night prayer on these blessed nights. And go to the Mosques during the nights for they contain Lailatul Qadr. If one revives every night of the year to realise Lailatul Qadr, that would not be too much. And know that if you do a lot of worship, Allah Almighty is more than you in rewarding and more generous than you in recompense. The companions said:

“We will make more (supplication), the Prophet said Allah is more (ready to answer).” [Ahmad]

Observe the prayer at the beginning and end of the night so that praying the whole night is recorded for you. For the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“Whoever prays the night prayer with the Imam until he finishes, Allah Almighty will record for him the night prayer of a (whole) night.” [An-Nasa’i]

Whoever stays at the Mosque between the night prayer of the beginning the night and the night prayer of the end of the night for remembrance of Allah, Qur’an, prayer and supplication has done well. Because he revived the entire night. And it is only a few nights which will soon depart. So let the triumphant triumph and the careless miss out.

I ask Allah Almighty to make us among those who realise Lailatul Qadr. And grant us success in performing what He loves and is pleased with. And to help us in these ten nights in remembrance of Him, being grateful to Him and worshiping Him in the best fashion. Indeed Allah is All Hearing, Answering.

Dear servants of Allah! The last ten nights of Ramadan have approached. And how fast they will pass. And they are the essence of the entire month of Ramadan. And the Prophet (Peace be upon him) used to mix the first 20 nights of the month with sleep and voluntary night prayers. As far as the last 10 ten nights, he (Peace be upon him) did not sleep within them. For if the last ten nights entered, he did not sleep during the night. And he used to wake up his family. And he (Peace be upon him) used to strive hard in worship and liven the night with acts of obedience to Allah. And he used to make I’tikaf (seclusion in the Mosque) during these ten.

It is incumbent on us to emulate our Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) by giving proper attention to these ten nights. And that we intend I’tikaf (seclusion in the Mosque). And we can implement this Sunnah if we stay in the Mosque for just an hour or two with the intention of doing I’tikaf. The scholars have mentioned that if one intends I’tikaf the minimum duration is one day and one night or one or two hours.

These last ten nights contain lailatul Qadr (night of decree). In this night the decrees are taken from the Lawhul-Mhfuz (Preserved Tablet) to Baitul-Izzah in this worldly heaven. Then to the angels so that they know what will happen to people during that year from sickness and wellbeing, richness and poverty and life and death. The angels look at a man walking on the Earth and it is written with them that he will die during this year in such-and-such month and such-and-such day due to an accident or illness and so on.

During this night the angels descend from the heavens and observe the people in the Mosque’s praying and remembering Allah Almighty. So congratulations to the worshipper and the one remembering Allah during this night. Whomever observes this night in worship it is as if he worshipped Allah Almighty for more than 1000 months which is equivalent to about 84 years. Allah Almighty said:

“The Night of Decree is better than a thousand months.” [Qur’an, 97:3]

The goodness of this month has a great impact on the scale of good deeds when one finds on the Day of Judgment that a new lifespan of acts of worship were added that raises their rank in Paradise. It is a simple deed with a great reward. So congratulations to the one who strives during Lailatul Qadr (night of decree) and all of the ten nights. Whether one sees its signs or not. For through the sincere intention, Allah grants the reward, for the graces of Allah are boundless. So let us strive and capitalise on these ten nights through the remembrance of Allah (Zikr), supplication (Du’a), prayer (Salah), charity (Sadaqah), dutifulness to parents, reciting the Noble Qur’an and righteous deeds. And beware of sins and guard our eyes, ears and tongues from the forbidden things.

Some of the scholars said that Lailatul Qadr (night of decree) is on the 27th night and some said the 21st night and some said the 23rd night and some said the last night of Ramadan. And some have said that Lailatul Qadr (night of decree) is not fixed on a specific night and can be on any of the last ten nights. So in one year it would be on a particular night and the next year it would be on another night and so forth.

And the wisdom of hiding it is so that the Muslims strive in acts of obedience on all of the last ten nights. Likewise, Allah has hidden the hour in which supplications are answered on the day of Friday. Also, Allah has hidden the time of death from everyone so that people constantly stay in preparation for that moment.

These ten nights are a chance to raise the ranks and expiate the bad deeds. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“Whoever performs voluntary night prayer during Lailatul Qadr (night of decree) out of faith and anticipation (of the reward from Allah), his previous sins will be forgiven.” [Bukhari]

Faith in that Lailatul Qadr (night of decree) is believing that it is during these 10 nights. And anticipation is performing voluntary night prayer on all of these 10 nights in anticipation of the reward and virtue of this night.

My beloved people! There are those who waste their time on these virtuous nights in the markets. And there are those who miss these virtuous nights while watching various media, especially shows that offend modesty and religion and increase the sins.

And there are young people who waste these nights playing and having fun or watching entertainment and matches. And there are those who waste these nights in gatherings of ill speech and improper conduct. Thus, such people miss out on a lot of goodness for themselves. And they will grieve and have regret on the Day of Resurrection over losing and neglecting this great virtue and over the sins and bad deeds that they have incurred.

We ask Allah Almighty to make us among those who perform voluntary night prayer during Lailatul Qadr (night of decree) out of faith and anticipation of the reward from Allah, ameen.

Respected brothers and sisters! We lived through a blessed month, full of peace and tranquility. A month in which the souls of the believers peak. And are elevated through fasting, prayers, and recitation of the Book of their Lord to the heights of solitude with Him and closeness to Him. This makes them wish that the whole year was Ramadan!

They are the nights of purification and excellence. Nights of putting forth concerns of this worldly life and shaking them off and being relieved of them. They are nights of the Qur’an. And what can make you know what is the Qur’an? It is the Words of our Lord, Most Majestic and Exalted. It has the narratives of those before us. And the news of those after us.  And a judge between the people. It is the truth and not amusement. And whoever seeks honour from other than it, Allah will disgrace him.

The Qur’an was recited in the night prayer of the blessed month of Ramadan. It filled people’s ears with Iman (faith), examples and lessons. They recited it starting from the creation of the heavens and the earth to when the people of paradise will enter paradise and the people of hell will enter the fire. And they reflected upon the verses of Allah about the previous communities and punishments that have come to pass against people before them. And what Allah has established of recompense in this world and the hereafter for those who obey Him. And the recompense for those who disobey Him. Allah Almighty said:

“We relate to you, the best of stories in what We have revealed to you of this Qur’an although you were, before it, among the unaware.” [Qur’an, 12:3]

Indeed, the fruitful tree of Ramadan has shed most of its leaves as it was gusted by the winds of time. Even if there were mistakes in what has passed due to negligence, the greatest mistake is insisting upon negligence going forward.

So see what type of person you were in Ramadan. Among the three types is one, he who wrongs himself, and two, he who is moderate, and three, he who is foremost in good deeds by the permission of Allah.

Indeed this Blessed Month is either a witness for you or a witness against you. So what will you do in its remaining nights? Allah the Most High said:

“Lest a soul should say, “Oh, [how great is] my regret over what I neglected in regard to Allah and that I was among the mockers.” [Qur’an, 39:56]

And what people feel of sorrow from the departure of Ramadan and the closing of their register of deeds in it is not because Ramadan is leaving without a return. For indeed Ramadan will certainly return until the Hour is established. Rather, a person is sorrowful because he does not know whether he will realise it when it returns another time. Whether he will be a trace after having existed and a narrative after having lived?!

How miserable is the one who has lost the Rayyan, the gate of heaven specifically for the fasting. And how miserable is the one about whom the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said Amin when Jibril, peace be upon him, said:

“And may a man who realises Ramadan and then he is not forgiven, or then Allah distances him, be humiliated. So then the Prophet said: Amin, Amin, Amin.” [Muslim]

This month of Ramadan is bidding farewell, and whatever remains of it, will pass like the blink of an eye. And those racing sprint when they near the finish line. And the successful ones finish in such a good fashion that it makes up for the shortcomings in the beginning. And you never know. Perhaps the blessing of your deeds is in the last part. For indeed, deeds are gauged by their conclusion.

So what a calamity it is for a sinner who did not repent in Ramadan. And how terrible it is for the person seeking paradise to have been neglectful in Ramadan. And what misery it is for the one escaping from the fire to have slept in Ramadan instead of striving. Allah Almighty said:

“So for this let the competitors compete.” [Qur’an, 83:26]

So be conscious of Allah and go towards Allah before being driven in the hereafter. Allah Almighty said:

“That Day, you will be exhibited [for judgement]; not hidden among you is anything concealed.” [Qur’an, 69:18]

Indeed what is between us and paradise and the fire is only for our life terms to end. And not prioritising important deeds is due to not realising how short life is no matter how long it is. So may Allah have mercy upon a person who prioritised making repentance. And overcame his desires. For one’s life term is concealed and his hope in living fools him. And between the life term and hope is shaitan adorning sins for people to do them. And shaitan gives a person false hopes that they can always make repentance, so that they delay it. Allah the Most High said:

“He [i.e., Satan] promises them and raises false hopes. But Satan does not promise them except delusion.” [Qur’an, 4:120]

Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, said that Allah invited to seeking forgiveness even those who claimed that Uzair is the son of Allah, and even those who claimed that Allah is poor, and even those who claimed that Allah’s hands are tied, and even those who claim that Allah is one of three. Allah said to all of them:

“So will they not repent to Allah and seek His forgiveness? And Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.” [Qur’an, 5:74]

Allah invites the believers to repent:

“O you who have believed, repent to Allah with sincere repentance. Perhaps your Lord will remove from you your misdeeds and admit you into gardens beneath which rivers flow [on] the Day when Allah will not disgrace the Prophet and those who believed with him.” [Qur’an, 66:8]

Dear brothers and sisters! Allah Almighty has prescribed at the conclusion of the month of Ramadan to pay Zakatul-Fitr (Sadaqatul-Fitr) which is purification and covers deficiencies in the fasting. Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, said:

“The Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) enjoined Zakatul-Fitr as a purification for the fasting person from idle talk and obscenities, and to feed the poor. Whoever pays it before the (Eid) prayer, it is an accepted Zakah, and whoever pays it after the prayer, it is (ordinary) charity.” [Abu Dawud]

And it is an obligation that the person pays for himself and on behalf of the members of his household on whom he is responsible for spending. Ibn Umar, may Allah be pleased with him, said:

The Messenger of Allah enjoined Zakatul-Fitr, a Sa’i of dates or a Sa’i of barley, on the free and bonded, male and female,  the young and old among the Muslims. And he commanded that it be paid before the people go out for the (Eid) prayer.” [Bukhari and Muslim]

And in another narration in Bukhari:

“And they used to offer it (Zakatul-Fitr ) a day or two days before Eid.” [Bukhari]

And beware of observing Eid in manner that displeases Allah. The one who turns Eid into a day of disobedience is not being grateful for Allah’s favour in realising Ramadan and succeeding in fasting and performing night prayers. And Allah Almighty says:

“So that you may complete the prescribed period and proclaim the greatness of Allah for guiding you, and perhaps you will be grateful.” [Qur’an, 2: 185]

I ask Allah Almighty to give us success in concluding Ramadan in the best possible fashion and to accept our fasting and night prayers. Indeed Allah is All Hearing, Answering.

Respected servants of Allah! Indeed bidding farewell to Ramadan is heart-wrenching and sorrowful. Because it separates one from the beloved month and deprives one of enjoying it and basking in its bounties and blessings. Also, there is the uncertainty that this may be one’s last Ramadan. And we just welcomed Ramadan yesterday and it is about to depart and leave. So shall we bid Ramadan farewell with apathy, lethargy, looking for it to end, desiring to escape from the burden and get ridding oneself of the restrictions? Or shall we bid Ramadan farewell like the men of understanding and the elite of Allah’s creation? Those following the path of the pious predecessors and the best of this Ummah (nation). Those who combined diligence in carrying out and perfecting deeds with concern afterwards of their acceptance and fear of their rejection. They are like those about whom Allah Almighty said:

“And they who give what they give while their hearts are fearful because they will be returning to their Lord.” [Qur’an, 23: 60]

Aisha (RA) asked about this Qur’anic verse:

“Are they those who consume intoxicants and steal?” He said: “No, O daughter of As-Siddiq. They are those who fast, perform Salah, give charity while they fear that their Lord will not accept it from them: They are those who hasten to do good deeds, and they are the foremost in them.” [at-Tirmizi]

Their hearts are full of fear from their Lord. Fearing that their good deeds will be outweighed and that they will run out of good deeds. Fearing that they have not fulfilled the right of Allah Almighty due to their knowledge of their Lord and what He deserves of honour and glorification. They are afraid that when they return to their Lord what they did will not save them from the punishment of Allah. For the believer feels Allah’s grace upon him, and feels Allah’s favours in every breath and every pulse. Therefore the believer feels that his level of worship and acts of obedience are insignificant in comparison to the favours of Allah Almighty. Imam Hasan Al-Basri (rahimahullah) said:

“The believer combines doing good with fear, and the hypocrite combines sinning with feeling secure from the punishment of Allah.”

And the Prophet (Peace be upon him) taught us that the deeds are gauged by how they conclude:

“Indeed, (the rewards of) the deeds are by their conclusion.” [Bukhari]

For this reason, Sahl Bin Abdullah At-Tustari (may Allah have mercy on him) said:

“The truthful fear for the bad conclusion in every moment and in every movement.”

The pious predecessors used to strive in performing righteous deeds and upon performing them they were full of concern as to whether they would be accepted from them. They used to supplicate Allah for six months that they would realise the month of Ramadan. Then they supplicated to Allah for six months that He would accept it from them.

And it is important to give this matter the proper attention and not to be heedless of it. Ali Bin Abi Talib, may Allah be pleased with him, said:

“Be more concerned with your deeds being accepted than you are with the deed itself. Did you not hear words of Allah Almighty:

“Indeed, Allah only accepts from the righteous [who fear Him].” [Qur’an, 5:27]

And it was narrated from him, may Allah be pleased with him, that he used to call in the last night of Ramadan:

“If only I knew the accepted ones so that I could congratulate them and the deprived, so I could console them.”

They are deprived because they did not attain forgiveness in spite of the many means for forgiveness in Ramadan, such as fasting, praying, providing meals, charity, joining kinship, recitation of Qur’an, remembrance of Allah and other matters. Those missing out on being forgiven in Ramadan are truly deprived.

One of the greatest ways that a fasting person can bid farewell to Ramadan and conclude their fasting is reciting the phrase of Tauhid, La Illaha ila Lah (there is no rightly worshipped deity but Allah) and seeking forgiveness.

Ibn Rajab (may Allah have mercy on him) said that the phrase of Tauhid wipes out the sins and erases them without a sin remaining and necessitates liberation from the Fire. And whoever recites it sincerely, Allah will make the fire forbidden for him. As the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“If anybody comes on the Day of Resurrection who has said: La ilaha illal-lah, sincerely from his heart, seeking to attain Allah’s Pleasure, Allah will make the Hell-Fire forbidden for him.” [Bukhari]

As for requesting forgiveness, it is one of the greatest means of attaining forgiveness. For seeking forgiveness is a supplication, and the supplication of a fasting person is answered when he is fasting and when he breaks his fast. And Allah combined the word of Tauhid and forgiveness in the verse:

“So know, [O Muhammad], that there is no deity except Allah and ask forgiveness for your sin and for the believing men and believing women.” [Qur’an, 47: 19]

And all good deeds are concluded by seeking forgiveness.  Prayer, the Hajj (pilgrimage) and the night prayers are concluded with seeking forgiveness. And the gatherings are adjourned by seeking forgiveness.

And the Caliph Umar Bin Abdul’aziz, may Allah have mercy on him, wrote a letter to the people of the villages, commanding them to conclude Ramadan by seeking forgiveness and offering Zakatul-Fitr. He wrote in his letter:

“Say as your father Adam, peace be upon him, said: “They said, “Our Lord, we have wronged ourselves, and if You do not forgive us and have mercy upon us, we will surely be among the losers.” [Qur’an, 7: 23] And say as Ibrahim, peace be upon him, said: “And who I aspire that He will forgive me my sin on the Day of Recompense.” [Qur’an, 26:82] And say as Nuh, peace be upon him, said: “And unless You forgive me and have mercy upon me, I will be among the losers.” [Qur’an, 11:47] And say as Musa, peace be upon him, said: “My Lord, indeed I have wronged myself, so forgive me.” [Qur’an, 28:16] And say as Yunus, peace be upon him, said: “There is no deity except You; exalted are You. Indeed, I have been of the wrongdoers.” [Qur’an, 21:87].”

Seeking forgiveness is most beneficial when accompanied with sincere repentance. For the one who only seeks forgiveness with his tongue and is determined to return to sinning after the month of Ramadan, is not seeking forgiveness in reality. Rather he is only deceiving himself and following the steps of shaitan.

And from the greatest ways of concluding Ramadan is by asking Allah for paradise and seeking refuge in Him from the fire. Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, said that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“What do you say during your prayer?” He said: “I recite the Tashahhud then I say: I ask you for Paradise and seek refuge with You from the Fire. But, by Allah, I am not able to invoke like you and Mu’az. Then the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: What we invoke revolves around that (requesting Paradise and seeking refuge from Hell).” [Abi Dawud]

And since the fasting person anticipates that his supplication will be answered, especially when he breaks his fast, he should supplicate for the most important matters and comprehensively for all goodness.

Allah Almighty commanded exalting and thanking Him upon completing Ramadan. Allah the Most High said:

“And [wants] for you to complete the period and to glorify Allah for that [to] which He has guided you; and perhaps you will be grateful.” [Qur’an, 2:185]

So be conscious of Allah and bid farewell to Ramadan in the best fashion. And conclude it with goodness for the deeds are gauged by their conclusion. And take advantage of what remains, for it is only a few nights and days. So bid farewell with good deeds that will be the best witness for you on the day that you stand before Allah, Glory be to Him, a day when neither wealth nor children will benefit except for those who come to Allah with a sound heart.

Dear Muslim brothers and sisters! As one bids farewell to Ramadan, he must remember that the doors of goodness opened in Ramadan are not closed with its departure. And that the arenas of obedience are not closed by Ramadan ending. Even though the fasting of Ramadan is coming to a close, the worship of fasting remains. There is the fasting of the six days of Shawwal. The Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) explained that fasting them after Ramadan is like fasting for the entire year. And there is fasting on Mondays and Thursdays of every week, and fasting the 13th, 14th and 15th of every month, and fasting on the day of Arafah and fasting on Ashurah, and fasting in the month of Muharram, which is the best fasting after Ramadan, as the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) informed.

And as the night prayer of Ramadan nears its end, we must remember that this great and blessed worship remains without end. And the Messenger of Allah informed us that the night prayer is the best prayer after the obligatory prayer and it has generous rewards. For the successful are those who continue with the goodness initiated in Ramadan. And there is no end to the deeds of the believer aside from death. As the Almighty Allah said:

“And worship your Lord until there comes to you the certainty [i.e., death].” [Qur’an, 15:99]

I ask Allah Almighty to grant us success in concluding Ramadan in the best possible fashion and to help us sustain the momentum throughout the year. Indeed Allah is All Hearing, Answering.

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Imam Ibn Rajab Al-Hanbali (rahimahullah) said:

“Dear Servants of Allah! The month of Ramadan is determined to leave and there are but a few days left of it… Those of you who have done good should complete it (in goodness) and whoever has neglected it then let him end it in goodness since actions are according to their endings. So enjoy the few nights and days that are left and bid it farewell by performing good deeds which can be a witness for you with Al-Malik Al-‘Alam, and see it off by parting with the most pure greeting and salam.” [See Lata’if Al-Ma’arif, Page 386]

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To donate food items, etc, contact the following Numbers: 08038289761, 08056557477.

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all creation; may Allah extol the mention of our noble Prophet Muhammad in the highest company of Angels, bless him and give him peace and security―and his family, his Companions and all those who follow him correctly and sincerely until the establishment of the Hour.

Murtadha Muhammad Gusau is 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: gusauimam@gmail.com or +2348038289761.

This Jumu’ah Khutbah (Friday sermon) was prepared for delivery today Friday, Ramadan 16, 1444 AH (April 07, 2023).

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Friday Sermon

Friday Sermon] Ramadan: The Month Of Mercy, Repentance And Charity. Use It Or Loose It!

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Imam Murtadha Gusau

By Imam Murtadha Gusau
In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful
All praise is for Allah, Lord of all creation, who guided us to Islam. May the peace, blessings and salutations of Allah be upon our noble Messenger, Muhammad, and upon his family, his Companions and his true and sincere followers.
Dear brothers and sisters! Know that, wallahi, there is no better time to start making positive changes in our lives than this blessed month of Ramadan.
The month of Ramadan is a Muslim’s recurring opportunity for spiritual enhancement and soul redemption. It is also an annual exercise in self-control and self-restraint, but above all, it is a physical manifestation of our total submission and obedience to Allah Almighty. Because of this submission and obeying of His order, the Muslim fasts, abstaining from food, drink, and sexual intercourse during the days of Ramadan. This is the physical aspect of fasting. By nightfall, the spiritual aspects take over, because while eating, drinking, and sexual relationship between spouses are permitted during nighttime, the Muslim then engages in prayers that take him/her deep into the night. It is a well-balanced program that lifts the spirit, strengthens the resolve, and asserts Tawhid (Islamic Monotheism) as no other act of worship can.
Dear brothers and sisters! The conduct of our Prophet (Peace be upon him) and his Companions may Allah be pleased with them in Ramadan differs a lot than the way Muslims do today. They dedicated their days and nights for worship. Their lives revolved completely around the book of Allah, the Qur’an. Reciting it in and out of prayers. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) used to review the whole Qur’an with Jibril (Angel Gabriel) once every Ramadan. Imam Bukhari may Allah have mercy upon him narrated that:
“Jibril used to repeat the recitation of the Qur’an with the Prophet (Peace be upon him) once a year (in Ramadan) but he repeated it with him twice in the year he died.” The Prophet (Peace be upon him) used to stay in ‘I’tikaf (seclusion in the Mosque) for ten days every year (during Ramadan) but in the year of his death, he stayed in I’tikaf for twenty days.”
The Month of Ramadan is the month of mercy, repentance and charity. The mere revelation of the Qur’an and the commission of the Prophet (Peace be upon him) to the Prophethood are among the greatest manifestations of Allah’s mercy. Allah, The Most Exalted, asserts this in numerous verses of the Qur’an, such as:
“And We have sent down to you the Book (i.e. the Qur’an) as clarification for all things and as guidance and mercy and good tidings for the Muslims.” [Qur’an, 16:89]
And:
“So there has [now] come to you clear evidence from your Lord and a guidance and mercy.” [Qur’an, 6:157]
And:
“And We had certainly brought them a Book which We detailed by knowledge — as guidance and mercy to a people who believe.” [Qur’an, 7:52]
And:
“And We send down of the Qur’an, that which is healing and mercy for the believers, but it does not increase the wrongdoers except in loss.” [Qur’an, 17:82]
And when Allah Almighty referred to the commission of our beloved Prophet (Peace be upon him) He said:
“And We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], except as a mercy to the worlds.” [Qur’an, 21:107]
Moreover, when the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said describing himself and listing his attributes:
“I am the Prophet of mercy.” [Bukhari]
Beloved servants of Allah! There is no question that our beloved Prophet (Peace be upon him) possessed the highest forms of moral and human attributes. Among human beings, he (Peace be upon him) was the most generous, the most merciful, the most courageous, the ‘most’ and the ‘best’ of everything good in Islam, and as described by his wife Aisha may Allah be pleased with her, his morals were the Qur’an.
Now the question is: where does this leave us? Some people dismiss their shortcomings by saying: “I am not the Prophet”, but please where does it say that you have to be a Prophet to be merciful, or to be generous, or to be anything for that matter? Granted, that no one can be compared to the Prophet (Peace be upon him) or even hope to partially attain his high levels and standards, but that should not be an excuse for not following his example and striving to be the best Muslims that we can be.
There are many Prophetic narrations that refer to the depravation of an individual from the very thing he deprives others from, or the rewards, in multiples, of that which he provides. Among these narrations are:
“Allah will not be Merciful to those who are not merciful to mankind.” [Bukhari]
“Allah does not bestow His mercy except on the merciful among His servants.” [Bukhari]
“Every good deed will be rewarded tenfold, up to seven hundred times, and Allah multiplies to whomever he wills.” [Bukhari and Muslim]
“Allah Says: Spend O son of Adam and I shall spend upon you.” [Bukhari and Muslim]
Dear brothers and sisters! There is no better time to start making positive changes in our lives than this blessed month. In Ramadan, many good things occur: the rewards are multiplied, the devils are chained, the gates of Hellfire are closed, and the gates of Paradise are opened. And every night of Ramadan, Allah redeems believers from the pains of Hellfire. It is the month of mercy, repentance, and charity. Use it or loose it!
Lastly, Dear brothers and sisters! Please, we sincerely seek your financial support, we need your help, we need your assistance, your donation and your contribution on the preparation in this coming blessed and Noble Month of Ramadan and Sallah period for the continuation of taking care of our orphans, widows and the students under our care. Your support is highly needed for Allah’s sake.
Respected servants of Allah! As usual, we sincerely solicit former your kind and sincere contribution towards the Ramadan preparation for our orphans, widows and students; and the development of our schools and Islamic Center financially, materially and morally.
Our aim and objective always is to have a standard Islamic center and Arabic/Islamic schools for orphans and less privileged Muslims children.
And if you want to pay your Zakah our great Islamic center is waiting for your kind and merciful gesture. Sincerely, your donation will help distribute Ramadan foods, etc for our orphans.
Remember, the Month of Ramadan will not be the same without our families, but unfortunately this is not a privilege enjoyed by everyone. This is the reason we’re steadfast in planning to provide Ramadan and Sallah feedings for the orphans, widows and students under our care!
We planned to distribute food packages that worth amount up to 4000 widows and 3000 orphans In Shaa Allah, this year.
And your contribution is highly waiting as usual. May Allah rewards all your efforts and your good deeds, ameen.
Remember, Allah Almighty says:
“If you support the course of Allah, He will support you.” [Qur’an, 47: 7]
And the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) said:
“Whoever relieves his Muslim brother of a hardship from the hardships of this world, Allah shall relieve him of a hardship from the hardships of the Day of Judgement. And whoever makes things easy for a person in difficulty, Allah will ease for him in this world and the Next. Allah is forever aiding a servant so long as he is in the aid of his Muslim brother.”
And he (Peace be upon him) said:
“Every act of goodness is considered as Sadaqah.” [Bukhari]
Here is our Account details:
Account no. – 0048647196
Account name – Murtala Muhammed
GTBank
For more enquiries contact, Imam Murtadha Muhammad, the director and Imam Of the Center: 08038289761.
To donate food items, etc, contact the following Numbers: 08038289761, 08056557477
Jazakumullah Khairan as you kindly contribute.
All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all creation; may Allah extol the mention of our noble Prophet Muhammad in the highest company of Angels, bless him and give him peace and security―and his family, his Companions and all those who follow him correctly and sincerely until the establishment of the Hour.
Murtadha Muhammad Gusau is 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: gusauimam@gmail.com or +2348038289761.
This Jumu’ah Khutbah (Friday sermon) was prepared for delivery today Friday, Ramadan 02, 1444 AH (March 24, 2023).

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