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Saturday, August 24, 2013

HAJJ: ETIQUETTES OF HAJJ

Praise be to Allah Who made the House a place of return for the people and [a place of] security and He made visit to it an obligation on the one who have the ability, that He may recompense those who do evil with [the penalty of] what they have done and recompense those who do good with the best [reward]. We praise Him and seek His help and forgiveness. We seek refuge in Him from the evils of our souls and that of our actions. Whom Allah guides, none can mislead, and whom He cause to stray, none can guide him. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah alone and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger. O Allah! Bestow peace and blessings on our master- Muhammad (pbuh), his families, his companions who strove in goodness. Thereafter, Brothers in faith, I urge you to fear Allah- The Mighty, The All-knowing, that is the best provision, which could lead to the abode of peace, it is also a cleanser of sins and iniquities. Allah say: :{ وَتَزَوَّدُوا فَإِنَّ خَيْرَ الزَّادِ التَّقْوَى وَاتَّقُونِ يَا أُولِي الْأَلْبَابِ } (البقرة:197) And take provisions, but indeed, the best provision is fear of Allah. And fear Me, O you of understanding. (2:197) The etiquettes of Hajj: A Pilgrim who performs the hajj with full observance of the principles and guiding conditions returns home cleansed of sins and iniquities. In order to achieve an acceptable hajj in the sight of Allah, the following etiquettes need to be abided by: 1- To seek divine guide and made consultation: An intending Pilgrim have to consult with trustworthy persons religiously, wealth of experience and up to date knowledge. It is also recommended that he supplicate to Allah (swt) for divine choice. The two recommendations is not particularly about hajj itself for hajj is a good act, rather it is to beseech Allah for the best choice of time, health status, travel companions and provisions and other surrounding benefits. 2- Sincerity of Intention for Allah: A pilgrim must not embark on the journey of hajj out of hypocritical display or people awareness. He must not aim to earn people’s merit or recognition to pronounce in his favour that for instance: Mr So performed hajj nor sought to be given thetitle of Alhaaj. Rather it must be out of love for Allah and desire for reward, and fear of His punishment, and a request for elevation in ranks and cleansing of sins. Sincerity is the pillar of every action. Allah says: {وَمَا أُمِرُوا إِلا لِيَعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ مُخْلِصِينَ لَهُ الدِّينَ} (البينة : 5) {And they were not commanded except to worship Allah, [being] sincere to Him in religion } (98: 5). The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: (Actions are (judged) by intentions, and for everyone is what he intended) (Bukhari and Muslim). 3. Taking step to write a will: Before embarking on the journey, it is a wise step for the pilgrim to write down his bequest which clearly states his properties and trusts kept in his care, likewise, to admonish his family members to be fearful and conscious of Allah before embarking on the journey so as to adequately prepare for any eventuality which traveling is prone to. 4. Taking step to make sincere repentance: This refers to true and sincere repentance from all kinds of sins. The pilgrim is therefore advised to hasten to repentance, return people’s right. The level of compliance with these objectives assures acceptability of the hajj, guarantees elevation in rank, forgiveness of sins and actually turning the sins to good deeds. 5. Acquiring knowledge of the rules of Hajj performance even if it is only the summary of its procedures. However, if he is unable, then, he should take along books, tapes, that will enlighten him on the subject and where there are confusion, he should make effort to ask. 6- Choosing good travel companions that will assist him towards goodness and remind him when he forgets, especially the ones he could benefit from their knowledge and good morals. 7- Selecting a leader with remarkable quality of experience and sound opinions to lead the pilgrims’ group. The rest of the group must therefore maintain obedience to him and beware of division against him while the leader too must maintain kindness to them and consult them on issues. 8- Relating well with companions including assisting them without demand for favour or procrastination, thanking them for any service they rendered, enduring any act of ignorance, harshness etc that may emanate from them. A pilgrim must always view others as more deserving of rights than himself and not the opposite, this represents nobleness in character worthy to elevate one’s status before God and obliterate one’s sins. Also, the pilgrim should desist from quarrelling with others and give them excuses if such arises. He should also be gentle with people and make them happy especially the weak ones and the women. He should also ensure fulfillment of promises, but accept their excuses in kindness where lateness or mistakes occur. He should equally bear their blame when they blame him on any issue, but accept others excuses. These are manifestations of lofty state of heart, and good companionship who bears others injuries but will not burden them with any of such. 9- Preparing lawful earnings: A Pilgrim must also prepare funds from lawful earnings in order that his Hajj and Prayers could be accepted. The Prophet (pbuh) said: “Verily Allah is pure, He accepts not except what is pure” 10- Constant calmness and gentleness in all matters. The prophet (pbuh) said: "O people! Be quiet. Hastening is not a sign of righteousness." (Al-Bukhari) Allah's Apostle (may peace be upon him) said: “Kindness is not to be found in anything but that it adds to its beauty and it is not withdrawn from anything but it makes it defective.” (Muslim) 11- Ensuring the comfort of the Pilgrims and being cautious of causing any disturbance that could hurt them such as creating noisy atmosphere, chocking them up, or by smoking or others. It is expected of a Pilgrim to love for his brothers what he loves for himself and to hate for them what he hates for himself. 12- Guarding of the tongue or Speech by avoiding excessive and bad talks, backbiting, gossiping and ridiculing people. Equally, beware of frequent jokes or deepening in the practice, and guide your tongue from insults and verbal abuse. Avoid argument and quarrels except if the controversy is to establish the truth and expose falsehood. {فَلا رَفَثَ وَلا فُسُوقَ وَلا جِدَالَ فِي الْحَجِّ} (البقرة : 197) {so whoever has made Hajj obligatory upon himself therein [by entering the state of ihram], there is [to be for him] no sexual relations and no disobedience and no disputing during Hajj. } (2: 197). 13. Women should maintain guard and chastity: They must beware of mingling with men and arousing their fascination and from display of finery and adornments and nakedness. 14. Enjoining of virtue and forbidding of vice and calling to the way of Allah, based on individual capacity and ability with necessary kindness and gentleness, accompanied by wise and good advice, and being compassionate to those we invite while we maintain courtesy and patience on whatever emanates from them to us. 15. Recognition of the sacredness of the holy sites of hajj and its season: The recognition of this will make the Pilgrim discharge the hajj rites with humility and total reverence for Allah. To be in this state of mind will also endow the Pilgrim the required patience to withstand the challenges he will be facing during the hajj rites including experiences like fatigue, tiredness and injuries. Allah says: { ذَلِكَ وَمَنْ يُعَظِّمْ شَعَائِرَ اللَّهِ فَإِنَّهَا مِنْ تَقْوَى الْقُلُوبِ} (الحج: 32) “That [is so]. And whoever honors the symbols of Allah - indeed, it is from the piety of hearts.” (22: 32). 16. Maximizing the opportunity of the time: The pilgrim should avail himself the opportunity of the hajj period to maximize the usage of his time for devotions including dhikr, supplications, quranic recitation, anywhere within the holy sites. 17. Observing the obligatory acts like solat in congregation. In summary, the Pilgrims should engage themselves with whatever action would draw them closer to Allah, and assist them in that regard. They should beware of all actions including speeches or acts that could render their hajj null and void or reduce the rewards. May Allah bless us all with the Qur’an and profit us all with the messages therein, having said this, I seek forgive from Allah for me and you and all Muslims, do seek His forgiveness He is Oft-forgiving. THE SECOND SERMON Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds, surely the prolific end is for the righteous, and surely there will be no enmity except against the transgressors, the evil doers. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah alone and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger, O Allah bestow Your peace and blessings upon our master Prophet Muhammad, his families and all his companions. Thereafter, O Muslims fear Allah and beware of Injustice and its ugly consequences for verily Allah grants respite to the unjust or oppressor until when He get hold of him, He will never let go of him. Be aware- may Allah be merciful on you- that oppression is of three types: Injustice of the servant to his Lord and Creator and that is Shirk- associating partners with Allah, the injustice among people, and finally the injustice done to self. Allah- the Almighty had warned against all the classes of injustice, He elucidated that end of the mischief maker is tormenting, and his abode is the lake of hell, what an evil end! Today we wish to discuss on the second type of injustice; injustice among people, this account will not be forgotten by Allah until the right of the oppressed is revenged from the oppressor. Allah says while leaving a threat against injustice thus: إِنَّا أَعْتَدْنَا لِلظَّالِمِينَ نَارًا أَحَاطَ بِهِمْ سُرَادِقُهَا وَإِنْ يَسْتَغِيثُوا يُغَاثُوا بِمَاءٍ كَالْمُهْلِ يَشْوِي الْوُجُوهَ بِئْسَ الشَّرَابُ وَسَاءَتْ مُرْتَفَقًا.(الكهف ٢٩) “Indeed, We have prepared for the wrongdoers a fire whose walls will surround them. And if they call for relief, they will be relieved with water like murky oil, which scalds [their] faces. Wretched is the drink, and evil is the resting place.” (18:29) يُدْخِلُ مَنْ يَشَاءُ فِي رَحْمَتِهِ وَالظَّالِمِينَ أَعَدَّ لَهُمْ عَذَابًا أَلِيمًا. (الإنسان ۳۱) “He admits whom He wills into His mercy; but the wrongdoers - He has prepared for them a painful punishment.” (76: 31) And in a hadith Al-Qudsi: "O My servants, I have made oppression unlawful for Me and unlawful for you, so do not commit oppression against one another.” Zhulm- Oppression means tyranny, aggression, deviation from the truth towards falsehood and exceeding the religious bound, as well as wrong placement of matters. At this juncture we would like to direct our concern to what is happening in Egypt. We are witnessing today an open perpetration of oppression from a section of the community against the other. The oppression reached its peak when the rights activists of this world, the west and the European kept mute; they change all standards and distorted every platform. Suddenly the world leaders became deaf, dump and lame; deprived of any ability to challenge the tyrannical putschists and murderers in Egypt as they did concerning some other countries when they witnessed such military coup. They left the Egyptian coup plotters, spreading evil in the land in colossal magnitude, they deceived their brothers and co-citizens, they transgressed against all known rights, they shed bloods of Muslims, they opened fire against them, burnt them, desecrated the women and children’s dignity, they as well terrorized the peaceful faithfuls, directing their missiles towards the citizens; Muslims and Non-Muslims alike, instead of directing it to their true enemy. They have also caused dissention within the Muslim nations, and the avowed enemies- the Zionists rejoice over our predicament. What an injustice! What a heinous crime! However, this only signals the end, the end of this oppression, deception, and enmity. Behold! how the end of the tyrants will be. Surely life is of two seasons; season of sweetness and season of bitterness, happiness and sadness, hence, the reign of oppression is only to last for an hour but the reign of the truth last till the day of judgment. Allah had sworn by His might and majesty in support of the request of every oppressed person thus: “I will surely support you even if it is after some time” Surely the promised time will certainly come and swiftly indeed, Allah’s willing, for Allah is the Truth, He bombards with the truth against falsehood- the divine bombardment- which your shielding artilleries, guns, warplanes, bullets and machine guns cannot withstand. Allah says: (بَلْ نَقْذِفُ بِالْحَقِّ عَلَى البَاطِلِ فَيَدْمَغُهُ فَإذَا هُوَ زَاهِقٌ ولَكُمُ الوَيْلُ مِمَّا تَصِفُونَ) “Rather, We dash the truth upon falsehood, and it destroys it, and thereupon it departs. And for you is destruction from that which you describe.” (21:18) (عَمَّا قَلِيلٍ لَّيُصْبِحُنَّ نَادِمِينَ) “[Allah] said, "After a little, they will surely become regretful." (23: 40) (وسَيَعْلَمُ الَّذِينَ ظَلَمُوا أَيَّ مُنقَلَبٍ يَنقَلِبُونَ) “And those who have wronged are going to know to what [kind of] return they will be returned.” (26: 227) The Prophet (pbuh) said: “Injustice will become series of darkness on the day judgement” He also said: “Beware of the curse of the oppressed, for there is no screen between it and Allah” (Agreed upon) It was narrated that Taawus bn Kaisaan came to Hishaam bn Abdul Malik and he said to him: “I warn you of the day of Adhaan” Hishaam said: “What is the day of Adhaan?” Taawus replied: “Then an announcer will announce among them, "The curse of Allah shall be upon the wrongdoers." Suddenly Hishaam bn Abdul Malik became shocked and dumbfounded (on hearing this reply) It was also reported that when Khaalid bn Barmak and his son were imprisoned, the son said: “O my father! We now live under shackles and imprisonment after we had honour and majesty? He replied: “O my son the curse of the oppressed had traveled in the night we forgot about it but Allah never forget it” Oh Allah make the Qur’an the succor to our hearts, light to our faces, remover of our grief and sorrow. O Allah show us the truth and grant us the wherewithal to follow it, show us falsehood and grant us the wherewithal to desist. O Allah forgive the believers; men and women, and the Muslim men and women, both the living and the deceased, You are All- hearing, most near, answerer of prayers. O Allah make this nation- Nigeria peaceful, safe, generous, with abundant welfare, and all other Muslim nations.

HAJJ: RULING AND HISTORY

Praise be to Allah for honouring the sacred house in His wisdom and for making visit to it an obligation on who have the ability among Muslims and the believers. He also forgives who visits the site. I praise Him and seek His forgiveness. I seek refuge in Him from the evils of our souls and that of our actions. Whom Allah guides, none can mislead, and whom He cause to stray, none will you find as a guide for him. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah alone and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and Messenger, he was sent with the best religion. O Allah! Bestow peace and blessings on Your servant and messenger- Muhammad (pbuh), his families, his righteous and generous companions. Thereafter, O Servant of Allah, I urge you to fear Allah for you shall meet Him soon. Take admonition from the passing life events, maximize your life in good deeds, for surely it is ending swiftly. Allah say: {وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُفْلِحُونَ} (آل عمران 130). “but fear Allah that you may be successful. (3:130) Definition of Hajj: Dear Muslims, we have just pass by the Ramadan institution where we learnt a great lessons of morals. Today, we commence with another Islamic institution for training and development. This is the holy pilgrimage institution where we shall learn more morals to develop our souls. Linguistically, the word Hajj- pilgrimage means: ‘the intent to set out for a place’ it is said grammatically thus: ‘Muhammad made pilgrimage to us’ meaning: ‘Muhammad approached or reached us or set out towards us’ Technically, it is the intention of visiting the Ka’bah to perform certain prescribed rites some of which are obligatory and non-obligatory. It could also be described as visit to specific sites during specific times in order to perform some specific rites. The visitation here mentioned is the journey, the specific sites are the ka’bah and mount ‘Arafah, while the specific times are the months of hajj- Shawwal, Dhul- Qa’dah and the first ten days in Dhul- Hijjah; every rite has specific time. And the specific rites include coming for hajj in the state of ihram to the specific sites. Allah said: {الْحَجُّ أَشْهُرٌ مَعْلُومَاتٌ فَمَنْ فَرَضَ فِيهِنَّ الْحَجَّ فَلَا رَفَثَ وَلا فُسُوقَ وَلا جِدَالَ فِي الْحَجِّ وَمَا تَفْعَلُوا مِنْ خَيْرٍ يَعْلَمْهُ اللَّهُ وَتَزَوَّدُوا فَإِنَّ خَيْرَ الزَّادِ التَّقْوَى وَاتَّقُونِ يَا أُولِي الأَلْبَابِ}(البقرة : 197) “Hajj is [during] well-known months, so whoever has made Hajj obligatory upon himself therein [by entering the state of ihram], there is [to be for him] no sexual relations and no disobedience and no disputing during Hajj. And whatever good you do - Allah knows it. And take provisions, but indeed, the best provision is fear of Allah. And fear Me, O you of understanding.” (2:197) The Ruling on performing Hajj: Dear Muslims, the Hajj is one of the five pillars of Islam, and one of its obligations explicitly indicated in the Qur’an and Sunnah, the scholarly consensus and reason. It is a mandatory obligation for every individual with the ability once in a lifetime, and whoever denies it has disbelieved except if he is only a newcomer to Islam or grew up in the rural environment detached from civilization and neighbours. The Almighty Allah said: {وَأَتِمُّواْ الْحَجَّ وَالْعُمْرَةَ لِلَّهِ}(البقرة:196) { And complete the Hajj and 'umrah for Allah. } (2: 196), Also Allah says: {وَللَّهِ عَلَى النَّاسِ حِجُّ الْبَيْتِ مَنِ اسْتَطَاعَ إِلَيْهِ سَبِيلاً وَمَن كَفَرَ فَإِنَّ الله غَنِىٌّ عَنِ الْعَالَمِينَ} (آل عمران:97) {And [due] to Allah from the people is a pilgrimage to the House - for whoever is able to find thereto a way. But whoever disbelieves - then indeed, Allah is free from need of the worlds. } (3: 97) 'Abdullah bin 'Umar, may Allah be pleased with him said: the Messenger of Allah peace be upon him said: "Islam has been built upon five things - on testifying that there is no god save Allah, and that Muhammad is His Messenger; on performing salah; on giving the zakah; on fasting during Ramadhan; and on Hajj to the House for he who has the ability to perform it."[Al-Bukhari & Muslim] Abu Hurairah narrates that once, in a sermon, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "O people! Allah has prescribed Hajj for you, so you must perform it." A man asked: "Every year, O Prophet of Allah?" The Prophet (peace be upon him) remained silent. When the man repeated it thrice, the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: "Had I said 'yes', it would have become a yearly obligation, and this would have been beyond your power." Then he added: "Leave me alone so long as I leave you alone (i.e., do not pester me with questions about things which I omit and do not mention). Some people who lived before you were destroyed because they asked too many questions and disagreed with their Prophets. So when I command you to do something, you must obey and do it to the best of your power, and if I forbid you from something, then avoid it." (Bukhari and Muslim) History of the pilgrimage: O brothers in Islam and faith, the sacred House of Allah is the minaret of monotheism built by the father of monotheism- Ibrahim peace be upon him. Ibrahim came with Haajarah- his wife and her son Isma’eel still in suckling stage to Makkah. He stationed them at the sacred old House of Allah by a large tree over the Zamzam above the mosque. Then, Makkah had no human soul living there, nor water, but Ibrahim left the two- Haajarah and Isma’eel, there, leaving with them only a waterskin and a bag of dates. When prophet Ibrahim (A.S) took off, the wife followed him and said: “O Ibrahim, where are you going while you left us in this Valley, where there is no person or thing? She repeated this severally, but he did not look at her. Then she said to him: “Has Allah commanded you to act this way? He said: “Yes”. She then said: “Then, He- Allah will not neglect us”. Then Ibrahim (peace be upon him) left until he reached the mountain path where they could not see him, he faced the ka’bah and supplicated as follows: {رَّبَّنَا إِنَّى أَسْكَنتُ مِن ذُرّيَّتِى بِوَادٍ غَيْرِ ذِى زَرْعٍ عِندَ بَيْتِكَ الْمُحَرَّمِ رَبَّنَا لِيُقِيمُواْ الصلاةَ فَاجْعَلْ أَفْئِدَةً مّنَ النَّاسِ تَهْوِى إِلَيْهِمْ وَارْزُقْهُمْ مّنَ الثَّمَراتِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَشْكُرُونَ}(إبراهيم:37) { Our Lord, I have settled some of my descendants in an uncultivated valley near Your sacred House, our Lord, that they may establish prayer. So make hearts among the people incline toward them and provide for them from the fruits that they might be grateful. } (14: 37), The mother of Isma’eel continued to breastfeed her son- Isma’eel, and give him to drink of the water until it finished. She became thirsty likewise the son, she began to stare at him and to move in a twisting or contorted motion. She eventually set out in dislike of mere staring at him without effort. She mounted the mount Safa and faced the valley, searching if she could see anyone around, but she did not. Then she mounted the mount Marwah, and she searched if she could see anyone again, but she did not see anyone. And she did like that seven times. When she got to mount Marwah, she heard a voice but she said: “silence” and she paid rapt attention and she heard. Behold! It was the Angel at the zam-zam place who continued to scratch the ground with his heel until water sprouted therefrom and she collected it with her hands. Thus she drank and fed her son. The Angel said: “Don’t be afraid of neglect, this house shall be built by this boy and his father” (Bukhari) Ibrahim and his son built the House, and Allah ordered Ibrahim (peace be upon him) to call people for the pilgrimage. Allah said: {وَأَذّنْ فِى النَّاسِ بِالْحَجّ يَأْتُوكَ رِجَالاً وَعَلَى كُلّ ضَامِرٍ يَأْتِينَ مِن كُلّ فَجّ عَميِقٍ} (الحج:27) {And proclaim to the people the Hajj [pilgrimage]; they will come to you on foot and on every lean camel; they will come from every distant pass } (Hajj: 27). And Ibrahim said: “O my Lord, how will I informed people while my voice cannot reach them? Allah said: “Yours is to make the call and for Us is the conveyance” Then Ibrahim stood up where he was, (other narrations mentioned he stood on mount Safa or Mount of Abu Qubays) and said: “O people, your Lord had selected a house (for His worship), you must make pilgrimage to the place”. Upon this, the mountains were lowered creating passage for his voice to reach every part of the world. Everything in the world that heard the call including stones, sands and trees and persons Allah had destined will perform pilgrimage till end of time responded thus: “O Allah! We obey Your call, We obey Your call”. Hajj and the attitudes of the days of Ignorance Dear valued audience, the pilgrimage continued after Ibrahim and his son Isma’eel (may Allah’s peace be upon them) on the true religion without adulteration. But with the passage of days and prolonged time some changes set in during the pre-Islamic era part of which includes: 1- They interpolated statement of shirk against Allah in the Talbiyah thus: (We answer Your call, there is no partner with You, We answer Your call except only a partner which You have and own whatever he owns). Here they have associated partner with Allah among His servants but Allah refuted the practice thus: { ضَرَبَ لَكُمْ مَثَلًا مِنْ أَنْفُسِكُمْ هَلْ لَكُمْ مِنْ مَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُكُمْ مِنْ شُرَكَاءَ فِي مَا رَزَقْنَاكُمْ فَأَنْتُمْ فِيهِ سَوَاءٌ تَخَافُونَهُمْ كَخِيفَتِكُمْ أَنْفُسَكُمْ كَذَلِكَ نُفَصِّلُ الآيَاتِ لِقَوْمٍ يَعْقِلُونَ } (الروم:28) {He presents to you an example from yourselves. Do you have among those whom your right hands possess any partners in what We have provided for you so that you are equal therein [and] would fear them as your fear of one another [within a partnership]? Thus do We detail the verses for a people who use reason. } (30: 28). Ibn Abbaas (R.A) said: 'Which you fear they inherit you as inherit one another, therefore, if you fear this for yourself and you feel displeased with this happening to you, then how can you be pleased with making the gods you worship My partners when they are in actual fact My servants!!! 2- They circumambulate the holy House naked believing it as an act of obedience, but Allah refuted the claim thus: وَإِذَا فَعَلُوا فَاحِشَةً قَالُوا وَجَدْنَا عَلَيْهَا آبَاءَنَا وَاللَّهُ أَمَرَنَا بِهَا قُلْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لا يَأْمُرُ بِالْفَحْشَاءِ أَتَقُولُونَ عَلَى اللَّهِ مَا لَا تَعْلَمُونَ} (الأعراف:28 “And when they commit an immorality, they say, "We found our fathers doing it, and Allah has ordered us to do it." Say, "Indeed, Allah does not order immorality. Do you say about Allah that which you do not know?" (7: 28). That is it is not worthy of His perfection and wisdom to order His servants to partake of evil; not any form of evil as perpetrated by these infidels or others. Then, our Lord Almighty commanded them to dress and cover their nakedness during Prayer, Tawaaf and others. Allah the Almighty says: { يَا بَنِي آدَمَ خُذُوا زِينَتَكُمْ عِنْدَ كُلِّ مَسْجِدٍ } (الأعراف:31). {O children of Adam, take your adornment at every mosque} (7: 31). 3- Also residents of the sacred sites do not stand with the people in 'Arafah instead they stayed at Muzdalifah because they claimed they are residents of the holy sites and it is not right for them to leave the sites and stand with other Arabs at ‘Arafah, but Allah refuted the claim and ordered them to join other people at ‘Arafah and descend therefrom to Muzdalifah together as that was the tradition of Ibrahim and Isma’eel, (peace be upon them). Allah the Almighty says: { ثُمَّ أَفِيضُوا مِنْ حَيْثُ أَفَاضَ النَّاسُ وَاسْتَغْفِرُوا اللَّهَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ } (البقرة:199). {Then depart from the place from where [all] the people depart and ask forgiveness of Allah. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful. } (2: 199). Thereafter, through Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) Allah returned the pilgrimage to pure monotheism, having covering of privacy and staying at the holy precincts as it was in the tradition of prophet Ibrahim (A.S). The prophet (pbuh) announced to people before he performed the Hajj thus: (After this year, no Mushrik will perform Hajj, and the circumambulation of the ka’bah will not be done naked anymore) (narrated by Al-bukhari). This is in practical compliance with the words of Allah: { يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا إِنَّمَا الْمُشْرِكُونَ نَجَسٌ فَلَا يَقْرَبُوا الْمَسْجِدَ الْحَرَامَ بَعْدَ عَامِهِمْ هَذَا وَإِنْ خِفْتُمْ عَيْلَةً فَسَوْفَ يُغْنِيكُمُ اللَّهُ مِنْ فَضْلِهِ إِنْ شَاءَ إِنَّ اللَّهَ عَلِيمٌ حَكِيمٌ} (التوبة:28) { O you who have believed, indeed the polytheists are unclean, so let them not approach al-Masjid al-Haram after this, their [final] year. And if you fear privation, Allah will enrich you from His bounty if He wills. Indeed, Allah is Knowing and Wise. } (10: 28) { وَطَهِّرْ بَيْتِيَ لِلطَّائِفِينَ وَالْقَائِمِينَ وَالرُّكَّعِ السُّجُودِ} (الحج:26). Allah says: "{and purify My House for those who perform Tawaf and those who stand [in prayer] and those who bow and prostrate. } (Hajj: 26). In the late part of the ninth year after hijrah, the pilgrimage was made obligatory thus: {وَلِلّهِ عَلَى النَّاسِ حِجُّ الْبَيْتِ مَنِ اسْتَطَاعَ إِلَيْهِ سَبِيلاً} (آل عمران 97) “And [due] to Allah from the people is a pilgrimage to the House - for whoever is able to find thereto a way.” (3:97) The verse was revealed according to the position of majority of Islamic scholars in the year of delegations- the last part of the ninth year. Having said this, I seek forgive from Allah for me and you and all Muslims, do seek His forgiveness He is Oft-forgiving. THE SECOND SERMON Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds, the lord of the foremost and later generations, and may peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his companions and those who follow them in righteousness. Muslims, security, safety, tranquillity and stability are basic requirements and demands for humanity. Under Security life is active knowledge is spread, and people can worship their Lord and enjoy a benefitting life where the tree of social wellbeing grows. This was the focus of the supplication of Prophet Ibrahim (A.S): {رَبِّ اجْعَلْ هَذَا الْبَلَدَ آمِنًا وَاجْنُبْنِي وَبَنِيَّ أَنْ نَعْبُدَ الأَصْنَامَ رَبِّ إِنَّهُنَّ أَضْلَلْنَ كَثِيرًا مِنْ النَّاسِ فَمَنْ تَبِعَنِي فَإِنَّهُ مِنِّي وَمَنْ عَصَانِي فَإِنَّكَ غَفُورٌ رَحِيمٌ رَبَّنَا إِنِّي أَسْكَنتُ مِنْ ذُرِّيَّتِي بِوَادٍ غَيْرِ ذِي زَرْعٍ عِنْدَ بَيْتِكَ الْمُحَرَّمِ رَبَّنَا لِيُقِيمُوا الصَّلاةَ فَاجْعَلْ أَفْئِدَةً مِنْ النَّاسِ تَهْوِي إِلَيْهِمْ وَارْزُقْهُمْ مِنْ الثَّمَرَاتِ لعلهم يشكرون}(إبراهيم:35-37). {And [mention, O Muhammad], when Abraham said, "My Lord, make this city [Makkah] secure and keep me and my sons away from worshipping idols. My Lord, indeed they have led astray many among the people. So whoever follows me - then he is of me; and whoever disobeys me - indeed, You are [yet] Forgiving and Merciful. Our Lord, I have settled some of my descendants in an uncultivated valley near Your sacred House, our Lord, that they may establish prayer. So make hearts among the people incline toward them and provide for them from the fruits that they might be grateful. (14:35-37) Examine how prophet Ibrahim placed request for security before provision and sustenance because livelihood will be meaningless without security. Dear Muslims, obedience to Allah and His Messenger is a basic requirement for stability and survival in times of crises, {وَلَوْ أَنَّهُمْ فَعَلُوا مَا يُوعَظُونَ بِهِ لَكَانَ خَيْرًا لَهُمْ وَأَشَدَّ تَثْبِيتًا وَإِذًا لآتَيْنَاهُمْ مِنْ لَدُنَّا أَجْرًا عَظِيمًا وَلَهَدَيْنَاهُمْ صِرَاطًا مُسْتَقِيمًا} (النساء 66_68). “And if We had decreed upon them, "Kill yourselves" or "Leave your homes," they would not have done it, except for a few of them. But if they had done what they were instructed, it would have been better for them and a firmer position [for them in faith]. And then We would have given them from Us a great reward. And We would have guided them to a straight path”. (4: 66- 68) Sins and mischief are also the fundamental causes of fear, anxiety, calamities and tribulations thus Allah ordered the Muslim nations to pray for forgiveness and repentance, and He had promised to provide them enjoyment, blessings, good things, expanse in living, wealth and good off springs, provided they are obedient. However, if they are disobedient, they will be in great torment in this world and in the hereafter. Allah says: { وَأَنِ اسْتَغْفِرُوا رَبَّكُمْ ثُمَّ تُوبُوا إِلَيْهِ يُمَتِّعْكُمْ مَتَاعًا حَسَنًا إِلَى أَجَلٍ مُسَمًّى وَيُؤْتِ كُلَّ ذِي فَضْلٍ فَضْلَهُ وَإِنْ تَوَلَّوْا فَإِنِّي أَخَافُ عَلَيْكُمْ عَذَابَ يَوْمٍ كَبِيرٍ} (هود3). {And [saying], "Seek forgiveness of your Lord and repent to Him, [and] He will let you enjoy a good provision for a specified term and give every doer of favor his favor. But if you turn away, then indeed, I fear for you the punishment of a great Day. } (11:3). The Muslim nations today is in dire need of a return and repentance to Allah- their Lord, and to cooperate in goodness and piety and to shun evil, particularly in this trying period where the enemies have laid siege upon Islam, Muslims and their lands. Oh Allah make the Qur’an the succor to our hearts, light to our faces, remover of our grief and sorrow. O Allah show us the truth and grant us the wherewithal to follow it, show us falsehood and grant us the wherewithal to desist. O Allah forgive the believers; men and women, and the Muslim men and women, both the living and the deceased, You are All- hearing, most near, answerer of prayers. O Allah make this nation- Nigeria peaceful, safe, generous, with abundant welfare, and all other Muslim nations.

Friday, August 9, 2013

AFTER RAMADAN WHAT NEXT?

Praise be to Allah in an exceeding degree, praise be to Him for His favours and comfort. Praise be to Allah exceedingly, Allah is the greatest. Glory be to Allah morning and evening. To Allah is due all praises as it is pleasing to Him for all His uncountable blessings. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah alone; He gives and takes life, He is able of all things. I bear witness that our leader, model, and master- Muhammad bn Abdullah is his chosen prophet and Messenger. May Allah bestow peace and blessings on him, his families, his companions and those who follow them in righteousness till the day of recompense. May Allah grant us the same and all righteousness servants of Allah. Thereafter, O Servant of Allah, I urge you to fear Allah in the secret and the public. Piety is the way out of every difficulty and a path to provision and abundance. “And whoever fears Allah - He will make for him a way out. And will provide for him from where he does not expect. And whoever relies upon Allah - then He is sufficient for him. Indeed, Allah will accomplish His purpose. Allah has already set for everything a (decreed) extent (65:2-3) Dear Muslims, we had beautiful moments in Ramadan filled with mutual hastening to goodness and acts of obedience. Mosques were filled with Worshippers morning and night showing existence of genuine faith in the souls and its penetration into the depths of the hearts. Farewell to Ramadan: Brothers in faith, behold the season of soul revival is gone, wherein piety, ideological unity and Muslim solidarity existed. A season of solat- prayers, gatherings, and according the mosques its dignity. It is also a season of spending and charity, a season of purifying the hearts, upholding chastity of the tongues, lowering the gaze, guarding the listening faculty, purifying intention, and reforming speeches and deeds. Muslims’ condition after Ramadan: Dear Muslims, the sincere believers is in one of the two states after Ramadan: 1- State of diffidence, fear and concern that perhaps their good deeds may be rejected and not accepted- they hope in Allah, calling and beseeching Him to accept their deeds, as stated in the hadith of Aisha, she asked about the verse: )وَالَّذِينَ يُؤْتُونَ مَا ءَاتَوا وَقُلُوبُهُمْ وَجِلَةٌ أَنَّهُمْ إِلىَ رَبِّهِمْ رَاجِعُونَ( (المؤمنون 60) (And they who give what they give while their hearts are fearful because they will be returning to their Lord) (23:60) ' O messenger of Allah, are they those who fornicate, and consume alcohols, and steal? The prophet (pbuh) replied: “No, O daughter of siddiq, they are those who observed solat, observed the fast, and gave charity, and then became fearful that it might not be accepted from them.” (Ahmad & Tirmidhi) What an excellent state of humility of the believers! Having concluded acts of obedience in succession, they became afraid over the acceptance. Thus it was related that some of the righteous predecessors do ask Allah for six months after Ramadan for acceptance of their deeds. Ali, may Allah be pleased with him said: “Be more concerned about acceptance of your deeds than the deed itself, haven't you heard about the verse: ({إِنّمَا يَتَقَبَّلُ اللهُ مِنَ الْمُتَّقِينَ} (المائدة 27)) { "Indeed, Allah only accepts from the righteous [who fear Him]} (5:27), ' (narrated by Abu Na'eem in Al-Hilyah). Fudalah Ibn Ubayd said: “If I know that Allah have accepted the weight of the mustard grain (of deed) from me, that is more beloved to me than the entire world and all it contains” 2- The second case is the state of sincere believers who after Ramadan keep-up with the level of obedience and righteousness. They are not servants to Ramadan rather, they choose to worship Allah- Who is their Lord, the Lord of Ramadan, and the Lord of other months. It is unfortunate that people that were repentant, submissive, and dedicated to worship – (such as bowing down, prostrating and reading the Quran) return to sins and destruction of all beautiful deeds they did in Ramadan. (( وَلاَ تَكُونُواْ كَالَّتىِ نَقَضَتْ غَزْلَهَا مِنْ بَعْدِ قُوَّةٍ أَنْكَاثًا ) النحل 92 (And do not be like she who untwisted her spun thread after it was strong) (16: 92) ( يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ أَطِيعُواْ اللهَ وَأَطِيعُوا الرَّسُولَ وَلاَ تُبْطِلُواْ أَعْمَالَكُمْ ) محمد 33 (O you who have believed, obey Allah and obey the Messenger and do not invalidate your deeds.) (47:33) Sign of Acceptance of Good deeds after Ramadan Some of the most important signs of acceptance after Ramadan include: Elevation in the level of God’s consciousness. This is manifested in a fasting person when he increases in traits of shamefulness and reverence before Allah, because Ramadan is a practical training platform for being God- conscious. Another sign of acceptance is sincere repentance and not returning to sins after Ramadan. Also is hastening to obligatory and supererogatory acts of worship. Developing increased and continuous interest towards obligatory acts after Ramadan; where one hasten in responding to the call to prayer, in addition to persistent supererogatory acts without delay or wasting time, then such person have actually tread the path to acceptance of his deeds. In addition to that, he would have earned God’s companionship, protection and guidance as stated in the hadith Qudsi: (Nothing endears My servant to Me than doing of what I have made obligatory upon him to do. And My servant continues to draw nearer to Me with supererogatory (nawafil) prayers so that I shall love him. When I love him, I shall be his hearing with which he shall hear, his sight with which he shall see, his hands with which he shall hold, and his feet with which he shall walk. And if he asks (something) of Me, I shall surely give it to him, and if he takes refuge in Me, I shall certainly grant it to him.'). In summary, continuation in acts of obedience and worship is an evidence of acceptance, for if Allah accepts the work of a servant of His, He guides him to be engaged in righteous deeds thereafter. Scholars say: “the reward of good work is succeeding it with good work” one who does a good act and follows it with more good acts is a proof to its acceptance, while good work followed by bad one is a proof for its non-acceptability and rejection. Hoping for reward from Allah; a condition of worship acceptability. Brothers in Islam, Ramadan have come and gone, you have observed the fast and night prayers in faith and hope of reward from Allah. This is a vital condition in the acceptance of all forms of worship. Allah says: {وَمَا أُمِرُواْ إِلاَّ لِيَعْبُدُوا اللهَ مُخْلِصِينَ لَهُ الدِّينَ حُنَفَاءَ} (البينة ٥) And they were not commanded except to worship Allah, [being] sincere to Him in religion, inclining to truth, and to establish prayer and to give zakah. And that is the correct religion. (98:5) Observe supererogatory fasts out of faith and with hope for reward from Allah, that is the core of sincerity and the soul of closeness to God, it is an all time obligation which is not confined to the month of Ramadan alone. Continuous Act is the Best: Dear brothers in Islam know that the ability to fast daily in Ramadan is an evidence of the ability to fast the supererogatory ones outside Ramadan. Therefore maximize the designated times for non-obligatory fasts such as the six days in Shawwaal, Monday and Thursday, the three mid days of every lunar month, the fasting of the day of Ashura etc. The benefits include, apart from complementing deficiencies in the obligatory acts, elevating status of a believer and cleansing shortcomings, thus follow bad deed with good deed. Be mindful of solat! Perfect the solat postures in the congregational prayers and outside it, e.g: bowing, prostration,. Be aware also that establishment of solat is not confined to the month of fasting, rather, solat is a well established pillar of Islam through the year. (إِنَّ الصَّلاَةَ كَانَتْ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ كِتَابًا مَوْقُوتًا)) النساء ١۰۳ . (Indeed, prayer has been decreed upon the believers a decree of specified times.)) women 103. In Ramadan some completed the Qur’an once or more, do not desert the Qur’an thereafter, listen to words of Allah revealing the the prophet’s complain (pbuh) to Allah on the day of Resurrection: وَقَالَ الرَّسُولُ يَا رَبِّ إِنَّ قَوْمِى اتَّخَذُواْ هَذَا الْقُرْآنَ مَهْجُورًا} (الفرقان ۳۰) And the Messenger has said, "O my Lord, indeed my people have taken this Qur'an as [a thing] abandoned. (25: 30), In Ramadan also, your limbs and organs shared in the fast of abstinence from the haram- forbidden things. This act of abstinence from evil is not confined to the month of Ramadan, rather to guard the heart, and the hearing and sight faculty from prohibited things is a legislation that spreads throughout the year. Allah says: ((إنَّ السَّمْعَ وَالْبَصَرَ وَالْفُؤَادَ كُلٌّ أُولَئِكَ كَانَ عَنْهُ مَسْئُولاً )) الإسراء 36. (And do not pursue that of which you have no knowledge. Indeed, the hearing, the sight and the heart - about all those [one] will be questioned.) (17: 36) Likewise you have displayed exemplary Islamic character in Ramadan, you therefore need to uphold this trait always because, as stated by the prophet (pbuh), character is the heaviest thing in the scales of measure: (Nothing is heavier in the scale of the believer than good character on the day of Judgement) (Al-tirmidhi). Join the ties of kinship, with your brothers, and neighbours. Keep up generosity and kindness after Ramadan, as well as other acts of worship. Allah says: ({وَاعْبُدْ رَبَّكَ حَتىَّ يَأْتِيَكَ الْيَقِينُ} (الحجر ۹۹) ) {And worship your Lord until there comes to you the certainty (death).} (15:99). Unity and brotherhood in the Islamic Ummah Ramadan comes every year to contribute to maintaining the unity of the Islamic Ummah, while Muslims in the world participate in fasting in the blessed month. The Islamic Unity is considered the strongest element and most reliable binding force in terms of unity in faith and doctrine, worship, communal fraternity and brotherhood, which is above all forms of affiliations; nationalism, ethnicity and geographical. Allah says: { إِنَّمَا الْمُؤْمِنُونَ إِخْوَةٌ فَأَصْلِحُوا بَيْنَ أَخَوَيْكُمْ وَاتَّقُوا اللَّهَ لَعَلَّكُمْ تُرْحَمُونَ }(الحجرات 10) {The believers are but brothers, so make settlement between your brothers. And fear Allah that you may receive mercy.} (49: 10) The doctrinal interdependence within the Islamic Ummah is manifested in mutual cooperation, compassion, empathy, and exchange of affection and love, as graphically described by the messenger of Allah thus: From Nu'man bin Bashir (R.A), he said: “The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) said: ("You see the believers as regards their being merciful among themselves and showing love among themselves and being kind, resembling one body, so that, if any part of the body is not well then the whole body shares the sleeplessness (insomnia) and fever with it.") (Bukhari) Thus fasting consolidates the brotherly relations between fasting Muslims- despite the difference in status, race, colour- through practical demonstration of mercy, compassion, forgiveness and pardon advocated by Islam. The global leadership is for the Muslim nation: For this reason, the Islamic nation deserves to attain the rank of global leadership and perfection through her characteristics of medial balance and fairness which positioned her to be witness to mankind, Allah says: {كُنْتُمْ خَيْرَ أُمَّةٍ أُخْرِجَتْ لِلنَّاسِ تَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَتَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنْكَرِ وَتُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ} (آل عمران 110) “You are the best nation produced [as an example] for mankind. You enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong and believe in Allah”. (3:110) {وَكَذَلِكَ جَعَلْنَاكُمْ أُمَّةً وَسَطًا لِتَكُونُوا شُهَدَاءَ عَلَى النَّاسِ وَيَكُونَ الرَّسُولُ عَلَيْكُمْ شَهِيدًا}(البقرة 143) “And thus we have made you a just community that you will be witnesses over the people and the Messenger will be a witness over you”. (2:143) Having said this, I seek forgive from Allah for me and you and all Muslims, do seek His forgiveness He is Oft-forgiving. THE SECOND SERMON Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the worlds, the lord of the foremost and later generations, and may peace and blessings be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his companions and those who follow them in righteousness. Dear Muslims, you need to sustain the level of worship and obedience after Ramadan. Succeed Ramadan with fasting of six days in Shawwal, that is like fasting for the year. This is understood because a good deed is of ten folds of reward; the month of Ramadan is equivalent to ten months while the six days in Shawwaal is equivalent to two months while a year is made up of twelve months. The prophet (pbuh) said: (whoever fasts Ramadan then follows it with (fasting of) six days in Shawwaal is like the fast of a year) (narrated by Muslim). Finally, it is permissible to observe the fast consecutively or non-consecutively. Oh Allah accept our fast, prayers, bowing and prostration. O Allah ease for us Your remembrance, gratitude to You and sound worship. O Allah make the Qur’an the succor to our hearts, light to our faces, remover of our grief and sorrow. O Allah show us the truth and grant us the wherewithal to follow it, show us falsehood and grant us the wherewithal to desist. O Allah forgive the believers; men and women, and the Muslim men and women, both the living and the deceased, You are All- hearing, most near, answerer of prayers. O Allah make this nation- Nigeria peaceful, safe, generous, with abundant welfare, and all other Muslim nations.

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