In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful
All Praise is due to Allah, We praise Him and we seek help from Him. We ask forgiveness from Him. We repent to Him; and we seek refuge in Him from our own evils and our own bad deeds. Anyone who is guided by Allah is indeed guided; and anyone who has been left astray, will find no one to guide him. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, the Only One without any partner; and I bear witness that Muhammad (Peace be upon him) is His servant and His Messenger.
Dear brothers and sisters! I’m sure that you are all familiar with the Hadith narrated by Bukhari and Muslim that:
“The parable of the believers in their affection, mercy, and compassion for each other is that of a body. When any limb aches, the whole body reacts with sleeplessness and fever.” [Bukhari and Muslim]
Respected brothers and sisters! Today, Gaza is the aching limb of the Ummah, and the entire Muslim world is angry, anxious and feeling pain for the suffering in Palestine. Our phones are buzzing with the latest updates from people on the ground over there. There’s a huge difference between our news sources nowadays from the news sources of a generation ago. The traditional news media no longer have the monopoly of reporting events and promoting their own, often distorted viewpoints.
Smart-phones and social media give us instant coverage of events in real time. No one can say that they don’t know what’s going on. The brutal killing of innocent civilians is clear for all to see.
And it’s not only Muslims who are protesting and calling for an end to the violent oppression in Gaza and the West Bank. Millions of non-Muslims are joining the protests. Many courageous Jewish groups, including veterans and officers in the Israeli army and air force, are standing up for the Palestinians and holding their government to account.
Does this surprise you? It shouldn’t. Every human being has an innate sense of fairness, an inborn sense of what’s right and what’s wrong. This is our primordial fitrah, our human nature that Allah has instilled into every one of us. Our fitrah might be covered by years of distraction or prejudice, but It’s never far below the surface. Sooner or later it breaks through the lies and propaganda and shows us the truth. Truth will always prevail over falsehood.
When our beloved Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) led his victorious army into Makkah after years of exile, he forgave his enemies and toppled the idols, the false gods around the Ka’abah, saying:
“And say: Truth has come, and falsehood has perished. Falsehood is always bound to perish.” [Qur’an, 17:81]
These wise words from Allah’s Book must surely be a source of comfort and strength in these difficult times. Truth will always defeat lies. True faith, iman, will always prevail over unbelief. Does not the Noble Qur’an remind us to:
“Travel through the earth, and see what was the end of those who stood against Faith.” [Qur’an 6:11]
Consider what happened to Pharaoh (Fir’aun) when he stood against Prophet Musa. Allah drowned Pharaoh (Fir’aun) and saved Prophet Musa and Bani Israel.
Consider what happened to the Roman Empire and the Persian Empire when they stood against the followers of Prophet Muḥammad (Peace be upon him). Allah destroyed those empires and gave victory to the Muslims.
Consider the fate of the corrupt Visigothic King Roderick of Spain, when he advanced against Tariq Ibn Ziyad in 711 C.E. Roderick was defeated, and Allah allowed the Muslims to rule Spain and Portugal for nearly 800 years. Allah has always given victory to His beloved servants, even when they were vastly outnumbered and overpowered by their enemies.
Respected servants of Allah! The sheer resilience of the Palestinians is truly heroic. They haven’t buckled or bowed to their oppressors, despite decades of abuse, humiliation and violence. 100 years after the Balfour Declaration, they haven’t given up their right to justice and human dignity.
A recent report in the Guardian newspaper says that many non-Muslims are taking Kalimatush-Shahadah in the USA and elsewhere. They are so impressed by the faith and tenacity of the Palestinians. They were curious about the source of this faith, so many started reading the Qur’an and some have formed their own Qur’an reading book clubs. So, as you can see, despite all the blatant lies and propaganda, Islam is still growing in the most unexpected ways. This is how Allah works. Our enemies plot and plan, but Allah is the best of Planners…
“The unbelievers seek to extinguish Allah’s Light by blowing on it with their mouths, but Allah will perfect His Light, to the dismay of the unbelievers.” [Qur’an, 61:8]
We pray that Allah’s help will come, to give our Palestinian brothers and sisters the peace, prosperity, human rights and dignity that they deserve.
Please say Ameen!
Dear brothers and sisters! Despite the immense pain and suffering in Gaza, we should never give up hope. We should never despair of Allah’s mercy. Allah isn’t asleep. Allah knows and sees everything. It’s all happening for a reason, and Allah is firmly in control, at all times, of His entire creation. We can be assured of this by reading verse 26 of Surah Al-Imran:
“O Allah! Lord of Power (and Sovereignty) You give power to whom You please, and you strip off power from whom You please. You honour whom You please, and You bring low whom You please. In Your Hand is all good. Truly, You have power over all things.”
My beloved people! All power comes from Allah. Many people forget this so they imagine that they have power. But their power is only given on loan from Allah, and it’s a test for them. When people abuse that Allah-given power, Allah removes it from them, and humiliates them.
For many long years, black and mixed race South Africans suffered under the evil system of Apartheid until Allah humiliated its leaders and stripped power from them. Israel is using a much worse form of Apartheid on the Palestinians. It’s only a matter of time before Allah frees Palestine and punishes their oppressors.
Please say, Ameen!
Last week, the streets of some countries were filled with thousands of people chanting their support for Palestine:
“Allah is Sufficient for us, and He is the Best Guardian; the best Protector and the best Helper.”
This was the response of the Sahabah, the Companions of Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) when they were warned at the Battle of Uhud, that a large army was gathering on the other side of the mountain, ready to attack. Today, the Palestinians are teaching us all that it doesn’t matter if your enemy has overwhelming military force. If you rely on Allah, you are the winner.
We who live safely in our comfortable homes, far removed from the conflict and suffering elsewhere, we have a duty to help. We cannot just be horrified spectators. We must do what we can, within the law, to stop the bloodshed and to help the survivors.
By saying this, I must emphasise that we should never resort to violence by doing crazy things that will harm our neighbours or our country. Doing so will only delight our enemies. There’s a lot that we can do, within the law, to help those in Palestine and other areas of conflict. We can donate more generously to the humanitarian relief efforts. We can join peaceful protest marches, discuss and debate with others, write to our leaders and urge our government to use their influence, to uphold international law. We can also just avoid buying products from companies that support the oppression. This is how Apartheid was defeated in South Africa. The worldwide boycott brought that evil system to its knees.
In Israel/Palestine, the killing must stop and the war criminals must be brought to account.
The unfolding crisis in Gaza has exposed the hypocrisy of those who support the rights of Israelis and Ukrainians but ignore the same rights of Palestinians. Protests around the world are showing that many ordinary people are way ahead of their leaders in standing up for justice. These protests include people of all races and all religions, including many Jewish organisations that stand up for justice in Palestine.
In Islam, justice is not an optional matter. Justice is a command from Allah. It’s not negotiable. We are commanded to uphold justice, even if it’s against ourselves or our loved ones.
Every sermon (Khutbah) ends with these words:
“Surely Allah commands justice..”
You and I will have to answer to Allah on the Day of Judgement, what could have done, and what we actually did to uphold justice when we had the opportunity to do so.
I pray that you and I will have no hesitation to face Allah and say that we did what we could, within our capacity, to help those who suffer injustice: the Palestinians, the Nigerians, the Rohinga, the Uyghurs and Kashmiris, and wherever any human being is denied basic human rights and dignity in the world.
We know that after every hardship comes ease.
We know for certain that the suffering of Palestinians, Nigerians, Uyghur, Rohinya and others will come to an end one day, in Allah’s good time. The oppressors will get their just deserts and those whom they oppressed will have the upper hand. We pray that our own efforts in this regard, will be pleasing to Allah.
Please say, Ameen!
Dear brothers and sisters! To conclude our sermon (Khutbah):
“Surely Allah commands justice, good deeds and generosity to others and to relatives; and He forbids all shameful deeds, and injustice and rebellion: He instructs you, so that you may be reminded.”
“(Allah says), and remember Me: I will remember you. Be grateful to Me, and do not reject faith, and without doubt, Remembrance of Allah is the Greatest Thing in life, and Allah knows the deeds that you do.”
We ask Allah Almighty to enlighten our hearts with Iman (faith) and bless us with wisdom to convey the truth in the best manner. Indeed Allah is All Hearing, Answering.
I conclude with this and send prayers of blessings and peace upon our beloved Prophet as our Lord commanded:
“Indeed, Allah confers blessing upon the Prophet, and His angels [ask Him to do so]. O you who have believed, ask [Allah to confer] blessing upon him and ask [Allah to grant him] peace.” [Qur’an, 33: 56]
O Allah, guide us with those whom You have guided, grant us well-being among those You have granted well-being, be an ally to us along with those whom You are an ally to, and bless what You have bestowed upon us, and save us from the evil of what You have decreed. For verily You decree and none can decree over You. He whom You support can never be humiliated. Glory is to You, our Lord, You are Blessed and Exalted.
O Allah, We ask You for all that is good, in this world and in the Hereafter, what we know and what we do not know. O Allah, we seek refuge with You from all evil, in this world and in the Hereafter, what we know and what we do not know. O Allah, we ask You for the good that Your servant and Prophet has asked You for, and we seek refuge with You from the evil from which Your servant and Prophet sought refuge. O Allah, we ask You for Paradise and for that which brings one closer to it, in word and deed, and we seek refuge in You from Hell and from that which brings one closer to it, in word and deed. And we ask You to make every decree that You decree concerning us good.
All praise is due to Allah, Lord of the worlds. May the peace, blessings and salutations of Allah be upon our noble Messenger, Muhammad (Peace be upon him), and upon his family, his Companions and his true and sincere followers.
Murtadha Muhammad Gusau is the Chief Imam of: Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’ah Mosque; and Late Alhaji Abdur-Rahman Okene Mosque, Okene, Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached via: [email protected]; or +2348038289761.
This Friday sermon (Jumu’ah Khutbah) was prepared for delivery today Friday, 21 Rajab, 1445 AH (February 02, 2024).