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Wednesday, May 28, 2014

THE POSITION OF SALAH (PRAYER) IN ISLAM

Praise be to Allaah, the Lord of the worlds, we praise and thank Allah, the exalted. We seek help and guidance from Him, we believe in Him and trust Him. And we seek refuge in Him from the evil of our souls and deeds. He that Allah guides is the guided, and the one He misleads will have no one to be his guide. I testify there is no god except Allah, and that our master- Muhammad is His servant and messenger. O Allah send peace and blessing on Muhammmad (SAW), his household, companions and those who follow them in righteousness until the Day of Judgment. O servants of Allaah! I admonish you and myself to fear Allaah the exalted both in secret and public since it is (the means to) success, victory and salvation. Allaah says: " يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ حَقَّ تُقَاتِهِ وَلَا تَمُوتُنَّ إِلَّا وَأَنْتُمْ مُسْلِمُونَ (102 O you who have believed, fear Allah as He should be feared and do not die except as Muslims [in submission to Him]. (3:102) ” Brothers in faith, today’s sermon is on the POSITION OF SALAH (PRAYER) IN ISLAM as it was made obligatory in the course of the Miraculous Night Journey of the Prophet in Rajab. SALAH, ITS MEANING Salah linguistically means prayer, Allah says: {خُذْ مِنْ أَمْوَالِهِمْ صَدَقَةً تُطَهِّرُهُمْ وَتُزَكِّيهِمْ بِهَا وَصَلِّ عَلَيْهِمْ إِنَّ صَلَاتَكَ سَكَنٌ لَهُمْ وَاللَّهُ سَمِيعٌ عَلِيمٌ} [التوبة:9\ 103] “Take, [O, Muhammad], from their wealth a charity by which you purify them and cause them increase, and invoke [Allah 's blessings] upon them. Indeed, your invocations are reassurance for them. And Allah is Hearing and Knowing.” The Prophet (pbuh) said: “If any one of you is invited, he should accept (the invitation). In case he is fasting, he should pray (in order to bless the inmates of the house), and if he is not fasting he should eat.” The reality of blessing emanating from Allah is eulogies and praises, while it means supplication when it emanates from the Angels. Allah says: {إِنَّ اللَّهَ وَمَلَائِكَتَهُ يُصَلُّونَ عَلَى النَّبِيِّ يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا صَلُّوا عَلَيْهِ وَسَلِّمُوا تَسْلِيمًا} [الأحزاب: 56] “Allah and His angels send blessings on the Prophet: O ye that believe! Send ye blessings on him, and salute him with all respect.” (33:56) Ibn Abbas says it means seeking blessings. It is also said that blessing from Allah is sending mercy upon him (pbuh), and blessing from the Angels is seeking forgiveness for him (pbuh) Technically: It refers to a form of worship consisting of specific statements and actions, starting with takbeer (pronouncing the greatness of Allah) and ending with tasleem (salutations of peace). It is called salah because it contains supplications. (Al-Mughniy) The Judgement of Solat: It is obligatory on every sane, Muslim, who is of age of puberty, except the menstruating woman or with post birth blood. The obligation of prayer is based on evidences from the Qur’an, the Sunnah and the consensus of the Ummah. Allah says: {وَمَا أُمِرُوا إِلَّا لِيَعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ مُخْلِصِينَ لَهُ الدِّينَ حُنَفَاءَ وَيُقِيمُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَيُؤْتُوا الزَّكَاةَ وَذَلِكَ دِينُ الْقَيِّمَةِ} [البينة: 5] “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) {إِنَّ الصَّلَاةَ كَانَتْ عَلَى الْمُؤْمِنِينَ كِتَابًا مَوْقُوتًا} [النساء: 103] “Verily the prayers are enjoined on believers at stated times.” (4:103) The Prophet said to Mu’adh bn Jabal: “teach them that Allah made five solat mandatory on them daily” (Bukhari) “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 performing pilgrammage to the House (the Ka'bah at Makkah), for who can find a way to it (or find the means for making the journey to it)." The Prophet says: “Allah made five solat mandatory on the servant of Allah, whoever observe them not being negligent of any, as belittling their rights, he has a promise before Allah to admit him to the paradise.” (Abu dawud) The Islamic Ummah is unanimous over the obligation of the five daily prayers. It is not obligatory on the one menstruating or the one in post birth blood.” STATUS OF PRAYER 1- Prayer is the pillar of the religion: The Prophet (pbuh) says: "The peak of the matter is Islam (submission to Allah), the pillar is prayer; and its topmost part is jihad.” 2- Salah is the first act that the person will be held accountable for. The Messenger of Allah, upon whom be peace, said "The first act that the slave will be accountable for on the Day of Judgement will be prayer. If it is good, then the rest of his acts will be good. And if it is evil, then the rest of his acts will be evil." (Related by at-Tabarani.) 3- Salah will be the last part of Islam to be lost, when it perishes, Islam will perish.: The messenger of Allah says: "If Islam were stripped away, piece by piece, people would hold tight to the next one. The first thing taken would be ruling and governance, and the last thing would be prayer." (Related by Ibn Hibban from the hadith of Abu Umamah.) Also: “The first thing to be lost will be the trust and the last will be Salah (prayer), many a times that the prayer of he who prays has no good in it” (At-tabraaniy) 4- Salah was the last thing that the Prophet (pbuh) recommended to his nation before he died, saying, "Prayer, prayer and what your right hand possesses, such that the Prophet (continued) to reverberate this in his heart and the tongue was no more uttering it." 5- Allah praises those who establish it and command it: {وَاذْكُرْ فِي الْكِتَابِ إِسْمَاعِيلَ إِنَّهُ كَانَ صَادِقَ الْوَعْدِ وَكَانَ رَسُولًا نَبِيًّا - وَكَانَ يَأْمُرُ أَهْلَهُ بِالصَّلَاةِ وَالزَّكَاةِ وَكَانَ عِنْدَ رَبِّهِ مَرْضِيًّا} [مريم: 54 - 55] . “Also mention in the Book (the story of) Isma'il: He was (strictly) true to what he promised, and he was a messenger (and) a prophet. He used to enjoin on his people Prayer and Charity, and he was most acceptable in the sight of his Lord. (19: 54-55) 6- Allah dispraises those who are heedless of their prayers: Allah says: {فَخَلَفَ مِنْ بَعْدِهِمْ خَلْفٌ أَضَاعُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَاتَّبَعُوا الشَّهَوَاتِ فَسَوْفَ يَلْقَوْنَ غَيًّا} [مريم: 59] "Now there has succeeded them a later generation who have ruined their prayers and have followed lusts. But they will meet deception" (Maryam 59); "Ah, woe unto worshippers who are heedless of their prayers" (al-Ma'un 4-5). {إِنَّ الْمُنَافِقِينَ يُخَادِعُونَ اللَّهَ وَهُوَ خَادِعُهُمْ وَإِذَا قَامُوا إِلَى الصَّلَاةِ قَامُوا كُسَالَى يُرَاءُونَ النَّاسَ وَلَا يَذْكُرُونَ اللَّهَ إِلَّا قَلِيلًا} [النساء: 142] “ Indeed, the hypocrites [think to] deceive Allah, but He is deceiving them. And when they stand for prayer, they stand lazily, showing [themselves to] the people and not remembering Allah except a little,” (4: 142) 7- It is the greatest of the pillars of Islam after the statement of witness: “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 performing pilgrimage to the House. 8- It was made obligatory on the night of miraculous journey of the prophet (pbuh). 9- It was made obligatory as fifty salah daily but reduced to five with reward equivalent to fifty. 10- It begins and end the attributes of the belivers in suratul-mu’minun: Not praying and denying its obligation is seen as disbelief and places the person outside the religion of Islam. All scholars agree on this piont. Judgement of he who neglects Salah: Neglecting the obligatory prayers is an act of disbelief. He who neglects it out of denial of its obligation has committed great disbelief even if he observes it, this is agreed upon by scholars’ consensus. However, he who left it entirely, but believes in its obligation and never denies it is a kafir. The sound statement of Islamic scholars is that this disbelief is great kufr as well and it takes him out of Islam as shown in the following evidences: 1- Allah says: (يَوْمَ يُكْشَفُ عَنْ سَاقٍ وَيُدْعَوْنَ إِلَى السُّجُودِ فَلَا يَسْتَطِيعُونَ - خَاشِعَةً أَبْصَارُهُمْ تَرْهَقُهُمْ ذِلَّةٌ وَقَدْ كَانُوا يُدْعَوْنَ إِلَى السُّجُودِ وَهُمْ سَالِمُونَ}) “The Day the shin will be uncovered and they are invited to prostration but the disbelievers will not be able, Their eyes humbled, humiliation will cover them. And they used to be invited to prostration while they were sound.” (68: 42- 43. This shows he who neglects prayer despite being a Muslim will be gathered with the disbelievers and hypocrites who failed to prostrate when Muslims prostrate 2- He will be among the sinners doom for hell: Allah says: Every soul, for what it has earned, will be retained, Except the companions of the right, [Who will be] in gardens, questioning each other about the criminals. [And asking them], "What put you into Saqar?" They will say, "We were not of those who prayed, Nor did we used to feed the poor. And we used to enter into vain discourse with those who engaged [in it], And we used to deny the Day of Recompense.” (74: 38- 46) 3- He is not of brothers to the believers: Allah says: (فَإِنْ تَابُوا وَأَقَامُوا الصَّلَاةَ وَآتَوُا الزَّكَاةَ فَإِخْوَانُكُمْ فِي الدِّينِ وَنُفَصِّلُ الْآيَاتِ لِقَوْمٍ يَعْلَمُونَ) “ But if they repent, establish prayer, and give zakah, then they are your brothers in religion; and We detail the verses for a people who know.” (9: 11) 4- Jabir reports that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, said, "Between a person and disbelief and shirk is discarding prayer." (Muslim.) Buraidah reported that the Prophet, upon whom be peace, said, "The pact between us and them is prayer. Whoever abandons it is a disbeliever." (Related by At-Tirmizhi, anNasa'i and Ibn Majah.) SECOND KHUTBAH All praises are due to Allah the lord of the worlds. May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon Muhammad (pbuh) his household, companions and all believers till the day of accountability. Allah says: يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا قُوا أَنْفُسَكُمْ وَأَهْلِيكُمْ نَارًا وَقُودُهَا النَّاسُ وَالْحِجَارَةُ عَلَيْهَا مَلَائِكَةٌ غِلَاظٌ شِدَادٌ لَا يَعْصُونَ اللَّهَ مَا أَمَرَهُمْ وَيَفْعَلُونَ مَا يُؤْمَرُونَ"{التَّحْرِيم :66\6} “O you who have believed, protect yourselves and your families from a Fire whose fuel is people and stones, over which are [appointed] angels, harsh and severe; they do not disobey Allah in what He commands them but do what they are commanded.” (66: 6) Ali bn Abi Talib says on the tafsir of the verse thus: “Teach yourselves and your families and educate them on good manners.” The Prophet says: “Allah shall ask every shepherd about what was kept under his care; did he attended to it or neglected it? He shall also ask the man about his household” (Ibn Hibaan) Brothers in Islam, as we commemorate the INTERNATIONAL MISSING CHILDREN'S DAY on 25 May as well as the CHILDREN’S DAY on May 27, it is important to discuss childrens’ rights. What are children's rights in Islam? Virtuous and integrated education for children in accordance with Islamic guidelines: 1. It is obligatory on the parents to take charge of the responsibility to give sound and balanced education, including mental and physical growth to the child. This responsibility will be bear by whoever takes the place of the parents for the child’s welfare and interests. 2. Of the priorities of basic education is to teach the child the principles of the faith, worship, obedience, discipline, etiquette, manners, and training the child to avoid forbidden matters, including bad habits and bad companions. As well as redirect him to focus beneficial practices such as, good reading culture. The parents or guardian should also be exemplary model for the child. 3. It is obligatory on parents to take into account the gradual process approach in according the child a margin of freedom, in accordance with his age, deepening his sense of responsibility, in order to bear the full responsibility upon reaching the legal age. 4. It is necessary to protect the child especially the adolescents from influence of sexual instincts, excitability and passion during instilling sexual education. In addition, as Nigeria marks May 29 as democratic day, we implore the Nigerian government that leadership is a trust and responsibility which God order should be given to the rightful persons. Allah says: "إن الله يأمركم بأن تردوا الأمانات إلي أهلها وإذا حكمتم بين الناس أن تحكموا بالعدل إن الله عنما يعظكم به إن الله كان سميعا بصيرا" (النساء 58) “Indeed, Allah commands you to render trusts to whom they are due and when you judge between people to judge with justice. Excellent is that which Allah instructs you. Indeed, Allah is ever Hearing and Seeing.” (4: 58) Oh Allah send peace; flowing with continuous tranquility and security upon Nigeria and all other Muslim nations.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

THE MIRACULOUS NIGHT ASCENSION OF THE PROPHET (PBUH)

IN THE NAME OF ALLAH, THE BENEFICENT, THE MERCIFUL Praise be to Allaah, the Lord of the worlds Who says: سُبْحَانَ الَّذِي أَسْرَى بِعَبْدِهِ لَيْلًا مِنَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ إِلَى الْمَسْجِدِ الْأَقْصَى الَّذِي بَارَكْنَا حَوْلَهُ لِنُرِيَهُ مِنْ آيَاتِنَا إِنَّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْبَصِيرُ" {الإسراء :17\1} Exalted is He who took His Servant by night from al-Masjid al-Haram to al-Masjid al-Aqsa, whose surroundings We have blessed, to show him of Our signs. Indeed, He is the Hearing, the Seeing. (Q17:1). We praise and thank Him abundantly. May the peace and blessing of Allah be showered on Muhammmad (SAW), his household, companions and those who follow them in righteousness until the Day of Judgment. O servants of Allaah! I admonish you and myself to fear Allaah the exalted both in secret and public since it is the way to success, merger of all goodness and protection from all evils and tribulations. Allaah says: " وَإِنْ تَصْبِرُوا وَتَتَّقُوا لَا يَضُرُّكُمْ كَيْدُهُمْ شَيْئًا إِنَّ اللَّهَ بِمَا يَعْمَلُونَ مُحِيطٌ " {آل عِمران : 3\120}. And if you are patient and fear Allah, their plot will not harm you at all. (3:120) Dear brothers and sisters in Islam, today’s sermon shall be focused on the miraculous night journey of the Prophet (pbuh) following our discussion on the virtues of Rajab last week. Al-Israa means a night journey. Al-Mi’raaj refers to stairs, ladder, or route or place of ascent of Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) on the night of his ascension. Importance of the ascension Sayyid Qutb in ‘Fi zilaal’ states: “The journey from al-Masjid al-Haram to al-Masjid al-Aqsa chosen by Allah- the most kind, binding the faith from prophet Ibrahim and Isma’il (AS) to Muhammad- the seal of prophets. It also binds the holy sites of all the religion of monotheism. It as the journey was an open declaration of the inheritance of the messenger of Allah the sanctuaries of the earlier Prophets, and that his mission encompasses all the holy sites, as well as the relation between them. It symbolizes an expedition which transcends time and space, its meaning and interpretation are heavy beyond the simple meaning derivable at the first glance at an issue …” Masjid Aqsa is of a blessed surrounding beyond the masjid itself. The Al-Aqsa Mosque is the heart of the Holy Land where in Allah situated the children of Israel and eventually banished them out of it. The journey itself was a great miracle full of signs and wonders. The miraculous movement from Masjidul-Haram to Masjidul-Aqsa within a short while ... is equally of the signs of Allah which opens the heart to the prospects of wonderful horizon in life and equally reveals the latent energies concealed within the human nature and the preparations to receive support for selected persons among the human race- honoured before Allah above all other creatures. Allah hears and sees all things - the subtleties, and the conspicous . Scholars’ view on the occurrence: The most among scholars of Islam belief was taken to Masjid-Aqsa physically and then ascended to the heavens until he reached the lote tree, and this cause the amazement of the quraish. When Ummu Haani heard of the story she advised the Prophet not to tell people that they may belied you. if the ascension was an experience through dream it would not have attracted such level of skepticism and outright denial by the quraish. It is an Islamic faith to accept that the journey was with both body and spirit. The event of Israa and Miraj was a common narration in every region of Islam, about 20 companions narrated it. However, the purported hadith narrated by ‘Aisha and Mu’awiyyah which states it was a dream experience was sound, even if it were sound, it would not have suffice as evidence due to young age of ‘Aisha then and the kufr of Mu’awiyyah. In addition, the chain was not linked to the Prophet (pbuh) and they have not spoken on that capacity. The verse- Exalted is He who took His Servant by night from al-Masjid al-Haram to al-Masjid al-Aqsa, whose surroundings We have blessed, to show him of Our signs. Indeed, He is the Hearing, the Seeing. (Q17:1). points to the following: 1- The firmness of the event in the qur’an and all collections of hadith. It is narrated on the authority of Anas b. Malik that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) said: I was brought al-Buraq Who is an animal white and long, larger than a donkey but smaller than a mule, who would place his hoof a distance equal to the range of version. I mounted it and came to the Temple (Bait Maqdis in Jerusalem), then tethered it to the ring used by the prophets. I entered the mosque and prayed two rak'ahs in it, and then came out and Gabriel brought me a vessel of wine and a vessel of milk. I chose the milk, and Gabriet said: You have chosen the natural thing Then he took me to heaven. 2- The event of Israa and Miraj took place both with the body and soul physically mounting the Al-Buraaq, and dream or vision. With this evidence of the qur’an- “Exalted is He who took His Servant by night” the servant mentioned here refers to a being made of body and soul, were it being in dream, it could have read- “He who took the soul of His servant”. Also is the verse- “The sight [of the Prophet] did not swerve, nor did it transgress [its limit]. If it were to be a dream or vision it would have been a miracle, nor caused the quraish any amazement such that some people fell into apostasy when they could not comprehend it thus if it were mere dream such could not have happened. The following verses describe the mi’raaj- ascension to the heavens: "وَالنَّجْمِ إِذَا هَوَى (1) مَا ضَلَّ صَاحِبُكُمْ وَمَا غَوَى (2) وَمَا يَنْطِقُ عَنِ الْهَوَى (3) إِنْ هُوَ إِلَّا وَحْيٌ يُوحَى (4) عَلَّمَهُ شَدِيدُ الْقُوَى (5) ذُو مِرَّةٍ فَاسْتَوَى (6) وَهُوَ بِالْأُفُقِ الْأَعْلَى (7) ثُمَّ دَنَا فَتَدَلَّى (8) فَكَانَ قَابَ قَوْسَيْنِ أَوْ أَدْنَى (9) فَأَوْحَى إِلَى عَبْدِهِ مَا أَوْحَى (10) مَا كَذَبَ الْفُؤَادُ مَا رَأَى (11) أَفَتُمَارُونَهُ عَلَى مَا يَرَى (12) وَلَقَدْ رَآهُ نَزْلَةً أُخْرَى (13) عِنْدَ سِدْرَةِ الْمُنْتَهَى (14) عِنْدَهَا جَنَّةُ الْمَأْوَى (15) إِذْ يَغْشَى السِّدْرَةَ مَا يَغْشَى (16) مَا زَاغَ الْبَصَرُ وَمَا طَغَى (17) لَقَدْ رَأَى مِنْ آيَاتِ رَبِّهِ الْكُبْرَى (18) " {النّجم :53\1-18} (1)By the star when it descends, ( 2 ) Your companion [Muhammad] has not strayed, nor has he erred, ( 3 ) Nor does he speak from [his own] inclination. ( 4 ) It is not but a revelation revealed, ( 5 ) Taught to him by one intense in strength - ( 6 ) One of soundness. And he rose to [his] true form ( 7 ) While he was in the higher [part of the] horizon. ( 8 ) Then he approached and descended ( 9 ) And was at a distance of two bow lengths or nearer. ( 10 ) And he revealed to His Servant what he revealed. ( 11 ) The heart did not lie [about] what it saw. ( 12 ) So will you dispute with him over what he saw? ( 13 ) And he certainly saw him in another descent ( 14 ) At the Lote Tree of the Utmost Boundary - ( 15 ) Near it is the Garden of Refuge - ( 16 ) When there covered the Lote Tree that which covered [it]. ( 17 ) The sight [of the Prophet] did not swerve, nor did it transgress [its limit]. ( 18 ) He certainly saw of the greatest signs of his Lord. The event took place a year before the hijrah. Scholars are unanimous that solat was made obligatory on this night in Makkah but disagree on the form. Bukhari and Muslim reported from ‘Aisha "When the prayers were first enjoined they were of two Rakat each. Later the prayer in a journey was kept as it was but the prayers for non-travellers were completed." Narrated Abdullah bn Abbass, he said: “Allah enjoined prayers on the lips of your prophet as four rakats while not on journey, and two rakats on a journey, and one rakat in time of fear” (Muslim) 3- The event of ascension was opportunity that Allah will show His prophet great signs that point to His existence, oneness, and ability such as, paradise, hell, the nature of the heavens, the throne and the world became decimated compared to the expanse of the universe and gained the power of endurance and perseverance and strive in the cause of Allah … The event also points to the unified message of the Prophets in calling to Oneness of God despite difference in time and law. The hadith on Al-Israa and Al-Mi’raaj Narrated Anas bin Malik: The night Allah's Apostle was taken for a journey from the sacred mosque (of Mecca) Al-Ka'ba: Three persons came to him (in a dreamy while he was sleeping in the Sacred Mosque before the Divine Inspiration was revealed to Him. One of them said, "Which of them is he?" The middle (second) angel said, "He is the best of them." The last (third) angle said, "Take the best of them." Only that much happened on that night and he did not see them till they came on another night, i.e. after The Divine Inspiration was revealed to him. (Fateh-Al-Bari Page 258, Vol. 17) and he saw them, his eyes were asleep but his heart was not----and so is the case with the prophets: their eyes sleep while their hearts do not sleep. So those angels did not talk to him till they carried him and placed him beside the well of Zam-Zam. From among them Gabriel took charge of him. Gabriel cut open (the part of his body) between his throat and the middle of his chest (heart) and took all the material out of his chest and abdomen and then washed it with Zam-Zam water with his own hands till he cleansed the inside of his body, and then a gold tray containing a gold bowl full of belief and wisdom was brought and then Gabriel stuffed his chest and throat blood vessels with it and then closed it (the chest). He then ascended with him to the heaven of the world and knocked on one of its doors. The dwellers of the Heaven asked, 'Who is it?' He said, "Gabriel." They said, "Who is accompanying you?" He said, "Muhammad." They said, "Has he been called?" He said, "Yes" They said, "He is welcomed." So the dwellers of the Heaven became pleased with his arrival, and they did not know what Allah would do to the Prophet on earth unless Allah informed them. The Prophet met Adam over the nearest Heaven. Gabriel said to the Prophet, "He is your father; greet him." The Prophet greeted him and Adam returned his greeting and said, "Welcome, O my Son! O what a good son you are!" Behold, he saw two flowing rivers, while he was in the nearest sky. He asked, "What are these two rivers, O Gabriel?" Gabriel said, "These are the sources of the Nile and the Euphrates." Then Gabriel took him around that Heaven and behold, he saw another river at the bank of which there was a palace built of pearls and emerald. He put his hand into the river and found its mud like musk Adhfar. He asked, "What is this, O Gabriel?" Gabriel said, "This is the Kauthar which your Lord has kept for you." Then Gabriel ascended (with him) to the second Heaven and the angels asked the same questions as those on the first Heaven, i.e., "Who is it?" Gabriel replied, "Gabriel". They asked, "Who is accompanying you?" He said, "Muhammad." They asked, "Has he been sent for?" He said, "Yes." Then they said, "He is welcomed.'' Then he (Gabriel) ascended with the Prophet to the third Heaven, and the angels said the same as the angels of the first and the second Heavens had said. Then he ascended with him to the fourth Heaven and they said the same; and then he ascended with him to the fifth Heaven and they said the same; and then he ascended with him to the sixth Heaven and they said the same; then he ascended with him to the seventh Heaven and they said the same. On each Heaven there were prophets whose names he had mentioned and of whom I remember Idris on the second Heaven, Aaron on the fourth Heavens another prophet whose name I don't remember, on the fifth Heaven, Abraham on the sixth Heaven, and Moses on the seventh Heaven because of his privilege of talking to Allah directly. Moses said (to Allah), "O Lord! I thought that none would be raised up above me." But Gabriel ascended with him (the Prophet) for a distance above that, the distance of which only Allah knows, till he reached the Lote Tree (beyond which none may pass) and then the Irresistible, the Lord of Honor and Majesty approached and came closer till he (Gabriel) was about two bow lengths or (even) nearer. (It is said that it was Gabriel who approached and came closer to the Prophet. (Fate Al-Bari Page 263, 264, Vol. 17). Among the things which Allah revealed to him then, was: "Fifty prayers were enjoined on his followers in a day and a night." Then the Prophet descended till he met Moses, and then Moses stopped him and asked, "O Muhammad ! What did your Lord en join upon you?" The Prophet replied," He enjoined upon me to perform fifty prayers in a day and a night." Moses said, "Your followers cannot do that; Go back so that your Lord may reduce it for you and for them." So the Prophet turned to Gabriel as if he wanted to consult him about that issue. Gabriel told him of his opinion, saying, "Yes, if you wish." So Gabriel ascended with him to the Irresistible and said while he was in his place, "O Lord, please lighten our burden as my followers cannot do that." So Allah deducted for him ten prayers where upon he returned to Moses who stopped him again and kept on sending him back to his Lord till the enjoined prayers were reduced to only five prayers. Then Moses stopped him when the prayers had been reduced to five and said, "O Muhammad! By Allah, I tried to persuade my nation, Bani Israel to do less than this, but they could not do it and gave it up. However, your followers are weaker in body, heart, sight and hearing, so return to your Lord so that He may lighten your burden." The Prophet turned towards Gabriel for advice and Gabriel did not disapprove of that. So he ascended with him for the fifth time. The Prophet said, "O Lord, my followers are weak in their bodies, hearts, hearing and constitution, so lighten our burden." On that the Irresistible said, "O Muhammad!" the Prophet replied, "Labbaik and Sa'daik." Allah said, "The Word that comes from Me does not change, so it will be as I enjoined on you in the Mother of the Book." Allah added, "Every good deed will be rewarded as ten times so it is fifty (prayers) in the Mother of the Book (in reward) but you are to perform only five (in practice)." The Prophet returned to Moses who asked, "What have you done?" He said, "He has lightened our burden: He has given us for every good deed a tenfold reward." Moses said, "By Allah! I tried to make Bani Israel observe less than that, but they gave it up. So go back to your Lord that He may lighten your burden further." Allah's Apostle said, "O Moses! By Allah, I feel shy of returning too many times to my Lord." On that Gabriel said, "Descend in Allah's Name." The Prophet then woke while he was in the Sacred Mosque (at Mecca Some of the scenes the Prophet witnessed: - The Prophet saw some men and people whose heads are pelted with stones. He asked: Who are those O Jibreel? He said: “Those are people whose lag behind of solat” (Al-bayhaqi) - The Prophet (pbuh) saw some people who graze freely as the cattle graze on their thorny feeds. He asked: Who are those O Jibreel? He said: “Those are people who did not pay the zakat of their wealth” (Al-bayhaqi) - The Prophet (pbuh) saw some people who were eating rotten beef but before is a fresh meat. He asked: Who are those O Jibreel? He said: “Those are some people among your people who had legal wife, but left her to sleep with repugnant woman till daybreak.” (Al-bayhaqi) - The Prophet (pbuh) saw some women who were tied with their breasts. He said: “Who are those O Jibreel? He said: “These were women who brought children who are not of their husbands into the household.” (Al-bayhaqi) SECOND KHUTBAH All praises are due to Allah who says: "وَلَوْ أَنَّ أَهْلَ الْقُرَى آمَنُوا وَاتَّقَوْا لَفَتَحْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ بَرَكَاتٍِ مِنَ السَّمَاءِ وَالْأَرْضِ وَلَكِنْ كَذَّبُوا فَأَخَذْنَاهُمْ بِمَا كَانُوا يَكْسِبُونَ (96) أَفَأَمِنَ أَهْلُ الْقُرَى أَنْ يَأْتِيَهُمْ بَأْسُنَا بَيَاتًا وَهُمْ نَائِمُونَ (97) أَوَأَمِنَ أَهْلُ الْقُرَى أَنْ يَأْتِيَهُمْ بَأْسُنَا ضُحًى وَهُمْ يَلْعَبُونَ (98) أَفَأَمِنُوا مَكْرَ اللَّهِ فَلَا يَأْمَنُ مَكْرَ اللَّهِ إِلَّا الْقَوْمُ الْخَاسِرُونَ (99) And if only the people of the cities had believed and feared Allah, We would have opened upon them blessings from the heaven and the earth; but they denied [the messengers], so We seized them for what they were earning."( 97 ) Then, did the people of the cities feel secure from Our punishment coming to them at night while they were asleep? ( 98 ) Or did the people of the cities feel secure from Our punishment coming to them in the morning while they were at play?( 99 ) Then did they feel secure from the plan of Allah? But no one feels secure from the plan of Allah except the losing people. (7: 96- 99) May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon the chosen Prophet (pbuh), his household and his companions and those who follow them in goodness. The verses above serve as an enticement for believers and terrifying warning for disbelievers. The enticement here is illustrated in the abundant favour that descend from the heavens including rain, blowing wind etc, and on land which consists of plants, vegetations, abundant cattle, security, peace, guidance to men, … As a frightening warning to the disbelievers, the verses serve as warning of an agonizing torment and inevitable destruction as it had happened to people of ancient times who assaulted and belied their prophets. Our problems in Nigeria are still present, it increases day by day, including, the bomb blast, kidnapping involving over two hundred female students, people who make offerings to the jinns and demons, the perverted nature of homosexuality and lesbianism, the growing culture of nudity and others. Allah says: فَفِرُّوا إِلَى اللَّهِ إِنِّي لَكُمْ مِنْهُ نَذِيرٌ مُبِينٌ (50) وَلَا تَجْعَلُوا مَعَ اللَّهِ إِلَهًا آخَرَ إِنِّي لَكُمْ مِنْهُ نَذِيرٌ مُبِينٌ (51) . {الذاريات :51\50-51} Oh Allah send peace; flowing with continuous tranquility and security upon Nigeria and all other Muslim nations.

THE POSITION OF AL-AQSA MASJID IN ISLAM

IN THE NAME OF ALLAH, THE BENEFICENT, THE MERCIFUL Praise be to Allaah, the Lord of the worlds Who says: وَإِذْ قَالَ مُوسَى لِقَوْمِهِ يَا قَوْمِ اذْكُرُوا نِعْمَةَ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ إِذْ جَعَلَ فِيكُمْ أَنْبِيَاءَ وَجَعَلَكُمْ مُلُوكًا وَآتَاكُمْ مَا لَمْ يُؤْتِ أَحَدًا مِنَ الْعَالَمِينَ (20) يَا قَوْمِ ادْخُلُوا الْأَرْضَ الْمُقَدَّسَةَ الَّتِي كَتَبَ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ وَلَا تَرْتَدُّوا عَلَى أَدْبَارِكُمْ فَتَنْقَلِبُوا خَاسِرِينَ (21)" O And [mention, O Muhammad], when Moses said to his people, "O my people, remember the favor of Allah upon you when He appointed among you prophets and made you possessors and gave you that which He had not given anyone among the worlds. O my people, enter the Holy Land which Allah has assigned to you and do not turn back [from fighting in Allah 's cause] and [thus] become losers." (5: 20- 21) We praise and thank Allah, the exalted. We seek help and guidance from Him, we believe in Him and trust Him. And we seek refuge in Him from the evil of our souls and deeds. He that Allah guides is the guided, and the one He misleads will have no one to be his guide. I testify there is no god except Allah, and that our master- Muhammad is His servant and messenger. O Allah send peace and blessing on Muhammmad (SAW), his household, companions and those who follow them in righteousness until the Day of Judgment. O servants of Allaah! I admonish you and myself to fear Allaah the exalted both in secret and public since it is (the means to) success, victory and salvation. Allaah says: " يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا اتَّقُوا اللَّهَ حَقَّ تُقَاتِهِ وَلَا تَمُوتُنَّ إِلَّا وَأَنْتُمْ مُسْلِمُونَ (102 O you who have believed, fear Allah as He should be feared and do not die except as Muslims [in submission to Him]. (3:102) ” Brothers in faith, today’s sermon is on the POSITION OF AL-AQSA MASJID IN ISLAM owing to the close affinity of Al-Aqsa to the Miraculous Night Journey discussed last week. The following evidences set the tone for the status of today’s discussion: Allah says: "سُبْحَانَ الَّذِي أَسْرَى بِعَبْدِهِ لَيْلًا مِنَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ إِلَى الْمَسْجِدِ الْأَقْصَى الَّذِي بَارَكْنَا حَوْلَهُ لِنُرِيَهُ مِنْ آيَاتِنَا إِنَّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْبَصِيرُ (1) {الإسراء :17\1} . Exalted is He who took His Servant by night from al-Masjid al-Haram to al-Masjid al-Aqsa, whose surroundings We have blessed, to show him of Our signs. Indeed, He is the Hearing, the Seeing. (Q17:1). The Prophet said: “Do not set out to journey except for three masjids: the holy masjid (in makkah), this masjid of mine, and the Al-Aqsa masjid” (Bukhari/Muslim). The Prophet also said “Solat in the holy masjid (in makkah) has preference over other with a hundred thousand, and in my masjid with a thousand, and in the Al-Aqsa masjid with five hundred solats” (Ahmad) Abu Dhar Al-Ghifaariy said: “I said to the messenger of Allah: O messenger of Allah, which was the first masjid on earth? He said: “The holy masjid (in makkah), I said: then which? He said: “Al-Aqsa masjid” I said: “What (time) was between them? He said: “forty years” (Bukhari/Muslim) The Prophet said: “A group among my ummah will never cease to be manifest on the truth, victorious over their enemy. Whoever go against them will never harm them, until there comes the decree of Allah, remaining like that. They said: “Where are they?” He said: “At the sacred precinct (in Jerusalem)” (Ahmad) The sacred precinct in Quds- Jerusalem has a non-detachable position in the Islamic belief, unanimously agreed upon by all Muslims, regardless of their affiliations and that account for the collaboration in its defense and honouring of its holy sites. The following are some of the status Al-Quds occupies in Islam: Al-Quds as the first qiblah (direction in solat) Al-Quds- Jerusalem remained the first direction in prayer the Prophet (pbuh) and his companions Muslims faced from the beginning of making solat a religious obligation during the prophet’s night journey in the tenth year after being commissioned as a prophet. The situation remained till the sixteenth month after hijrah when a revelation to change towards the kaa’bah was revealed thus: " وَمِنْ حَيْثُ خَرَجْتَ فَوَلِّ وَجْهَكَ شَطْرَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ وَحَيْثُ مَا كُنْتُمْ فَوَلُّوا وُجُوهَكُمْ شَطْرَهُ..." {الْبقرة :2\150} “And from wherever you go out [for prayer], turn your face toward al-Masjid al-Haram. And wherever you [believers] may be, turn your faces toward it” (2:150) In Madinah an historic landmark took place whereby Muslims faced both Quds- Jerusalem and Makkah in one prayer. This event enraged the Jews who questioned the change. However, the Qur’an responded to their claim that all directions belong to Allah and that their submission that all the prayers Muslims had facing Quds is fruitless: " سَيَقُولُ السُّفَهَاءُ مِنَ النَّاسِ مَا وَلَّاهُمْ عَنْ قِبْلَتِهِمُ الَّتِي كَانُوا عَلَيْهَا قُلْ لِلَّهِ الْمَشْرِقُ وَالْمَغْرِبُ يَهْدِي مَنْ يَشَاءُ إِلَى صِرَاطٍ مُسْتَقِيمٍ (142) وَكَذَلِكَ جَعَلْنَاكُمْ أُمَّةً وَسَطًا لِتَكُونُوا شُهَدَاءَ عَلَى النَّاسِ وَيَكُونَ الرَّسُولُ عَلَيْكُمْ شَهِيدًا وَمَا جَعَلْنَا الْقِبْلَةَ الَّتِي كُنْتَ عَلَيْهَا إِلَّا لِنَعْلَمَ مَنْ يَتَّبِعُ الرَّسُولَ مِمَّنْ يَنْقَلِبُ عَلَى عَقِبَيْهِ وَإِنْ كَانَتْ لَكَبِيرَةً إِلَّا عَلَى الَّذِينَ هَدَى اللَّهُ وَمَا كَانَ اللَّهُ لِيُضِيعَ إِيمَانَكُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ بِالنَّاسِ لَرَءُوفٌ رَحِيمٌ (143) " {البقرة :2\ 142-143} . The foolish among the people will say, "What has turned them away from their qiblah, which they used to face?" Say, "To Allah belongs the east and the west. He guides whom He wills to a straight path." 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. And We did not make the qiblah which you used to face except that We might make evident who would follow the Messenger from who would turn back on his heels. And indeed, it is difficult except for those whom Allah has guided. And never would Allah have caused you to lose your faith. Indeed Allah is, to the people, Kind and Merciful. (2: 142- 143) Quds as the land of Al-israi and Mi’raaj The making of Quds the end of the terrestrial part of the miraculous journey of the Prophet (pbuh) and the take-off point for the celestial part of the glorious journey was not a mere coincidence. Rather it was a divine plan and wisdom to gather all the prophets and messengers in a place where the seal of the Prophets was made an Imam- a leader, to demonstrate a new world order of change of leadership from the children of Israel to a new nation, a new messenger, … Allah says: " وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَاكَ إِلَّا رَحْمَةً لِلْعَالَمِينَ (107)" {الأبياء :21\107} , " تَبَارَكَ الَّذِي نَزَّلَ الْفُرْقَانَ عَلَى عَبْدِهِ لِيَكُونَ لِلْعَالَمِينَ نَذِيرًا (1)" {الفرقان :25\1} . “And We have not sent you, [O Muhammad], except as a mercy to the worlds.” (21: 107) “Blessed is He who sent down the Criterion upon His Servant that he may be to the worlds a warner” (25:1) Quds as the third of the sacred precincts: The first is Makkah, the second is Madinah and Quds- Jerusalem is the third honoured with the Al-Aqsa masjid. The Prophet said: “Do not set out to journey except to three masjids: the holy masjid (in makkah), this masjid of mine, and the Al-Aqsa masjid” (Bukhari/Muslim). It is not permissible for a Muslim to set out determined to travel to any masjid for solat there except these three mentioned. The prayer in Al-Aqsa is equivalent to five hundred in other masjids other than masjid-Al-haram and the prophet masjid. (hadith) Al-Quds as the land of Prophethood and blessings: Al-Quds is part of Palestine being its beginning. The Qur’an describes this land as land of blessings in five places thus: 1- (الَّذِي بارَكْناَ حَوْلَهُ) “whose surroundings We have blessed…” (17:1) 2- ("وَنَجَّيْنَاهُ وَلُوطًا إِلَى الْأَرْضِ الَّتِي بَارَكْنَا فِيهَا لِلْعَالَمِينَ (71)" {الأنبياء : 71}) (And We delivered him and Lot to the land which We had blessed for the worlds.) (21:71) 3- (" وَأَوْرَثْنَا الْقَوْمَ الَّذِينَ كَانُوا يُسْتَضْعَفُونَ مَشَارِقَ الْأَرْضِ وَمَغَارِبَهَا الَّتِي بَارَكْنَا فِيهَا وَتَمَّتْ كَلِمَتُ رَبِّكَ الْحُسْنَى عَلَى بَنِي إِسْرَائِيلَ بِمَا صَبَرُوا ..." {الأعْرَافُ : 137}) “And We caused the people who had been oppressed to inherit the eastern regions of the land and the western ones, which We had blessed. And the good word of your Lord was fulfilled for the Children of Israel because of what they had patiently endured.” (7:137) 4- ("وَلِسُلَيْمَانَ الرِّيحَ عَاصِفَةً تَجْرِي بِأَمْرِهِ إِلَى الْأَرْضِ الَّتِي بَارَكْنَا فِيهَا وَكُنَّا بِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ عَالِمِينَ (81) {الأنْبياء :21\81}) “And to Solomon [We subjected] the wind, blowing forcefully, proceeding by his command toward the land which We had blessed. And We are ever, of all things, Knowing.” (21:81) 5- (" وَجَعَلْنَا بَيْنَهُمْ وَبَيْنَ الْقُرَى الَّتِي بَارَكْنَا فِيهَا قُرًى ظَاهِرَةً وَقَدَّرْنَا فِيهَا السَّيْرَ سِيرُوا فِيهَا لَيَالِيَ وَأَيَّامًا آمِنِينَ (18) {سبأ : 34\18}) “And We placed between them and the cities which We had blessed [many] visible cities. And We determined between them the [distances of] journey, [saying], "Travel between them by night or day in safety." (34: 18) Al-Quds as the land of bond and Jihad: Virtues of Al-aqsa mentioned are of the good news which portent that Islam will conquer and acquire the land, it shall also be the convergence point for Muslims for devotion and prayer. As stated in history, Umar bn Khattab conquered the land. Patriarch Sophronius gave a condition that he will not release the keys of the city to no one except the khalifa. (Patriarch is a title for heads of the Eastern Orthodox Churches in Istanbul and Alexandria and Moscow and Jerusalem) Umar entered the city on an exciting historical journey, he received the keys and made a historical agreement with the Christian inhabitants known in history as the Umar treaty. The treaty guaranteed for them (the christians) their worship, belief, religious symbols, lives and wealth. Great persons among the companions that witnessed the event of this treaty included: Khaalid bn Al-waleed, Abdur-Rahman bn ‘Awf, ‘Amr bn Al-‘Aas and Mu’awiyah bn Abi Sufyaan. (At-tabari) Allah made the prophet (pbuh) know that this holy land will be occupied by the enemies, with threats of invasion and occupation therefore he charged the Muslim Ummah to station continuous watch, struggle, jihad and defense at this precinct, even if it is still in the hands of enemies. He enjoins them as well to liberate the land whenever they are capable, as was reported in some narrations of a coming battle between Muslims and Jews including assurance of victory for Muslims in the end. The Prophet said: “A group among my ummah will never cease to be manifest on the truth, victorious over their enemy. Whoever confronts them will never be able to harm them, except what they will suffer of injury until there comes the decree of Allah, while they will remain like that. They said: “Where are they?” He said: “At the al-Maqdis (sacred precinct- Jerusalem) and the environs of Jerusalem” (Tabraani/ Abdullah bn Ahmad) SECOND KHUTBAH All praises are due to Allah who says: " قَالَتْ إِنَّ الْمُلُوكَ إِذَا دَخَلُوا قَرْيَةً أَفْسَدُوهَا وَجَعَلُوا أَعِزَّةَ أَهْلِهَا أَذِلَّةً وَكَذَلِكَ يَفْعَلُونَ (34) {النّمل :27\34} She said, "Indeed kings - when they enter a city, they ruin it and render the honored of its people humbled. And thus do they do. (27: 34) The verse above informs that when mighty powers, kings and monarchs enter a country by force, they ruin and damage homes and wealth, humiliate the noblest of its people through killing or captivity, they subdue with coercion in order to gain dominance … The world powers- America, Britain, France, Israel etc, have entered Nigeria, they are known for their destructive tendencies, because they have no good record in any country they visited or invaded. The fifteenth of May (15th May) annually is recognized as the International Family Day. The family in Islam is not restricted to the couple and their children alone rather it encompasses a wide range of relatives including- grandparents, brothers, uncles, aunts, etc join by birth, or marriage, or fostering, … Allah says: "فآت ذا القربي حقه والمسكين وابن السبيل ذلك خير للذين يريدون وجه الله وأولئك هم المفلحون" (الروم 30/38) So give the relative his right, as well as the needy and the traveler. That is best for those who desire the countenance of Allah, and it is they who will be the successful. (30:38) Oh Allah send peace; flowing with continuous tranquility and security upon Nigeria and all other Muslim nations.

Monday, May 5, 2014

THE VIRTUES OF RAJAB AND THE ATTACHED INNOVATIONS

Praise be to Allaah, the Lord of the worlds Who says: O Children of Aadam! We have bestowed raiment upon you to cover yourselves and as an adornment, and the raiment of righteousness, that is better. Such are among the signs of Allaah that they may remember (Q7:26). We praise and thank Him abundantly. May Allaah shower is blessing on Muhammmad (SAW) who said: “The end time of my ummah shall witness some women who are clothed but naked, on their heads will be the like of the humps of the camels. Curse them, they are cursed.” (Tabaraaniy), in another narration: “… They will not enter Paradise nor even smell its fragrance, and its fragrance can be smelled from such and such a distance.” Peace be upon him, his household, companions and those who follow them in righteousness until the Day of Judgment. O servants of Allaah! I admonish you and myself to fear Allaah the exalted both in secret and public since it is (the means to) success, victory and salvation. Allaah says: "وَمَنْ يَتَّقِ اللَّهَ يَجْعَلْ لَهُ مَخْرَجًا وَيَرْزُقْهُ مِنْ حَيْثُ لَا يَحْتَسِبُ وَمَنْ يَتَوَكَّلْ عَلَى اللَّهِ فَهُوَ حَسْبُهُ إِنَّ اللَّهَ بَالِغُ أَمْرِهِ قَدْ جَعَلَ اللَّهُ لِكُلِّ شَيْءٍ قَدْرًا "{الطَّلاق : 2-3} And whoever fears Allah - He will make for him a way out ( 3 ) 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) ” The month of Rajab is full of virtues, it is one of the four sacred months; dhul-qa’dah, dhul-hijjah, muharram and rajab. The Arab, before Islam, held the sacred months in high esteem, such that a man would meet the killer of his father but will not attempt to kill. The Arabs inherited sanctification of the holy month from Prophet Ibrahim and Isma’eel (AS) preoccupying themselves with tilling the land by trading, farming, and others neglecting killing in obedience to Allah’s commandment. Allah says: {إِنَّ عِدَّةَ الشُّهُورِ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ اثْنَا عَشَرَ شَهْرًا فِي كِتَابِ اللَّهِ يَوْمَ خَلَقَ السَّمَاوَاتِ وَاْلأَرْضَ مِنْهَا أَرْبَعَةٌ حُرُمٌ ذَلِكَ الدِّينُ الْقَيِّمُ فَلَا تَظْلِمُوا فِيهِنَّ أَنْفُسَكُمْ وَقَاتِلُوا الْمُشْرِكِينَ كَافَّةً كَمَا يُقَاتِلُونَكُمْ كَافَّةً وَاعْلَمُوا أَنَّ اللَّهَ مَعَ الْمُتَّقِينَ (التوبة : 36). “Indeed, the number of months with Allah is twelve [lunar] months in the register of Allah [from] the day He created the heavens and the earth; of these, four are sacred. That is the correct religion, so do not wrong yourselves during them. And fight against the disbelievers collectively as they fight against you collectively. And know that Allah is with the righteous [who fear Him].” (9:36) Abu Bakrah narrated the Prophet gave sermon at the hajj saying: “Verily time has made a cycle as it was when Allah created the heavens and the earth. The year is made of twelve months, four of it are sacred; three are in succession- Dhul-qa’dah, Dhul-hijjah, Muharram and Rajab (revered by the) tribe of Mudhaar. (Ahmad). Rajab also revive the memory of the Israa and Mi’raaj (heavenly night journey) which happened in the 27th night of Rajab. A blessed and miraculous journey which binds the holy masjid in makkah and the Al-aqsa masjid and between muslims and the holy site of qudus … Allah says: { سُبْحَانَ الَّذِي أَسْرَى بِعَبْدِهِ لَيْلًا مِنَ الْمَسْجِدِ الْحَرَامِ إِلَى الْمَسْجِدِ الْأَقْصَى الَّذِي بَارَكْنَا حَوْلَهُ لِنُرِيَهُ مِنْ آيَاتِنَا إِنَّهُ هُوَ السَّمِيعُ الْبَصِيرُ}(الإسراء : 1) “Exalted is He who took His Servant by night from al-Masjid al-Haram to al-Masjid al-Aqsa, whose surroundings We have blessed, to show him of Our signs. Indeed, He is the Hearing, the Seeing.” (17:1) The Prophet (pbuh) led other Prophets to demonstrate that the religion of the Prophets is one- Islam. Allah says: {إِنَّ الدِّينَ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ اْلإِسْلاَمُ} (آل عمران : 19) “Indeed, the religion in the sight of Allah is Islam.” (3:19) {وَمَنْ يَبْتَغِ غَيْرَ الْإِسْلَامِ دِينًا فَلَنْ يُقْبَلَ مِنْهُ وَهُوَ فِي الْآخِرَةِ مِنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ} (آل عمران : 85) “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.” (3:85) We shall mention some details on Al-Israa and Mi’raaj, judgement and the benefits: The five daily solat was made obligatory in the month as fifty units and later reduced to five but with a reward of fifty. It is the first thing to be accounted for on the day of resurrection. “The first thing a servant will be judged about on the day of resurrection is the solat, if it is good, all his deeds will be good and if it is deficient, all his actions will be deficient” (Abu Dawud & Tabaraani) Narrated Abu hurairah, the Prophet says: “The first thing a servant will be judged about is the solat, if it is complete, otherwise, Allah says: check does my servant have voluntary acts of worship? If he has voluntary acts of worship is found, it is used to complete his obligatory deeds” (hadith qudsi) Solat is the way to success in life and hereafter provided it’s complete in the humility and devotion which lits the heart and teaches the etiquettes of true servitude to Allah. (( قَدْ أَفْلَحَ الََمُؤْمِنُونَ, الََّذِينَ هُمْ فِى صَلاَتِهِمْ خَاشِعُونِ} Certainly will the believers have succeeded (23:1) {إنَّ اْلإنْسَانَ خُلِقَ هَلُوعًا إذَا مَسَّهُ الشَّرٌّ جَزُوعًا وَإذَا مَسَّهُ الْْخَيْرُ مَنُوعًا إِلاَّ الْمُصَلِّينَ الَّذِينَ هُمْ عَلَى صَلاَتِهِمْ دَائِمُونَ} (المعارج ١۹_۲۳) Indeed, mankind was created anxious: ( 20 ) When evil touches him, impatient, ( 21 ) And when good touches him, withholding [of it], ( 22 ) Except the observers of prayer ( 23 ) Those who are constant in their prayer (70: 19-23) Despite this level of virtue, there is no authentic hadith that selects the month of Rajab for any special devotion. Unfortunately, some Muslims- though with good intention for devotion to worship- have fallen into some contravening practices out of unguided passion for devotion and obedience. The mere intention is not sufficient except when it is accompanied with legitimate actions otherwise such actions remain unacceptable before Allah. The Prophet (pbuh) says: "Whosoever introduces into this affair of ours (i.e. into Islam) something that does not belong to it, it is to be rejected." (Agreed upon) According to the version in Muslim, (it reads): "Whosoever works a work which has for it no command of ours is to be rejected." - Among the innovations invented in the month is the act slaughtering of animals referred to as Al-‘Atirah. Abu Huraira reported Allah's Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: (The sacrifice of Fara' and 'Atira) has no (sanction in Islam). Fara' means the first-born young one of a camel and ‘Atirah means the animals slaughtered in the month. Among the innovations include Solatu-r-Ragaib which is not permitted by Allah or the messenger. Scholars said: “There is no authentic solat specific for the month of Rajab, and all the hadith reported on virtues of solatu-r-raqaib are falsehood and null none of it is authentic.” It was invented 400 years after hijrah, it was not known before then and none of the scholars of the glorious era of Islam was aware of it. Among the innovated practices is fasting of the entire month. There is no authentic hadith or evidence on fasting the entire month, however it is permissible to observe Monday and Thursday, thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteenth days of the month. The Prophet have not been reported to observe an entire month for fasting other than Ramadan. 'A'isha, the Mother of the Believers (Allah be pleased with her), reported that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) used to observe fasts (so conti- nuously) that we said that he would not break, and did not observe (them) till we said that he would not fast: and I did not see the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) completing the fast of a month, but that of Ramadan, and I did not see him fasting more in any other month than that of Sha'ban. - Among the innovation is to select the month of Rajab for Umrah which is called Ar-Rajabiyyah. There is also no authentic hadith on such preference, infact the Prophet (pbuh) had Umrah four times in his life and never observed any of them in Rajab. However there are evidences virtues of Umrah in Ramadan, such as the statement of the Prophet that: “Umrah in Ramadan is equal to hajj (in other months)” and in another narration “It is equal to performing hajj with me” Ibn hajar said: “There is no authentic narration worthy as evidence specifically on fasting in Rajab, or on standing in its night for prayer.” Ibn Taymiyah on his part said: “Solatu-r-Ragaib done on the first night in Rajab as 20 rakats with recitation of Chapter of The Opening and Suratul-Ikhlas is bid’ah- innovation by consensus of Islamic scholars. Also keeping wake in the middle of Sha’baan which consists of prayers where in a rakat 1000 of suratul-ikhlas is recited.” A Muslim seeking righteousness and bountiful rewards should refer to the book of Allah and the sunnah of the messenger (pbuh). The Prophet says: “I have left for you, that which when held firmly, you will not go astray forever- the book of Allah and my sunnah” (Muslim) Allah says: {وَمَا ءاتَاكُمُ الرَّسُولُ فَخُذُوهُ وَمَا نَهَاكُمْ عَنْهُ فَانتَهُواْ} (الحشر:7). SECOND KHUTBAH All praises are due to Allah. May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon the chosen Prophet (pbuh), his household and his companions and those who follow them in goodness. Dear Muslims, be informed that Islam is not just appellation or affiliation without practice of its laws and obligation, and desisting from deficient tendencies. Islam is not confined to the solat and zakat and the hajj alone but rather it include all those including morals such as truthfulness, trustworthiness, fulfillment of pledges, patience, forbearance, humility, dignity, honour, and kindness. As well as knowledge, civilization, educationa and training, skill, empowerment, society, nation, political structure, economic, income, peace and harmony. Islam honours the employer who discharges his duties accordingly, and the rights of his worker with sincerity, and regarding it as a reason for prayer’s acceptability and safety from difficulties and tribulations, as reported in the hadith of the three persons who sought refuge in a cave and got trapped in the cave. Therefore, in the memory of the world worker’s day, we hereby call on the government at all levels to fear Allah and discharge their responsibilities justly towards their workers and pay them their rightful wages without overburdening them beyond their capability. Oh Allah send peace; flowing with continuous tranquility and security upon Nigeria and all other Muslim nations.

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