[FRIDAY SERMON] JERUSALEM/BAITUL-MAQDIS/MASJID AL- AQSA/AL-QUDS IN THE PAGES OF HISTORY By Imam Murtadha Gusau

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

All thanks and praise is due to Allah, we seek His help and forgiveness. We seek refuge in Allah from the evil within ourselves and the consequences of our evil deeds.

Whoever Allah guides will never be led astray, and whoever Allah leads astray will never find guidance. I bear witness there is no god but Allah, alone without any partners, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and His Messenger.

Praise be to Allah Who has blessed the precincts of al-Masjid al-Aqsa and Who cast away all those who turn away from worshipping Him. I bear witness that there is no god worthy of worship but Allah alone, with no partner or associate; He has commanded us to adhere to the faith and to the truth. And I bear witness that our beloved Prophet Muhammad is the Slave of Allah and His Messenger; he conveyed the message of his Lord, never falling short or sparing any effort. May Allah send blessings and peace upon him and those who follow his path and adhere to his Sunnah, and urge others to do likewise.

“O you who have believed, fear Allah as He should be feared and do not die except as Muslims in submission to Him.” [Quran, 3:102]

“O mankind, fear your Lord, who created you from one soul and created from it its mate and dispersed from both of them many men and women. And fear Allah, through whom you ask one another, and the wombs. Verily, Allah is ever watching over you.” [Quran, 4:1]

“O you who have believed, fear Allah and speak words of appropriate justice. He will then amend for you your deeds and forgive your sins, and whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger has certainly attained a great attainment.” [Quran, 33:70-71]

Verily, the most truthful speech is the Book of Allah, the best guidance is the guidance of Muhammad, and the worst affairs are newly invented matters (in the religion). Every newly invented matter is a religious innovation, and every religious innovation is misguidance, and every misguidance is in the Hellfire.

Fellow Muslims! In view of successive incidences that affect the Ummah these days with noticed world silence and international helplessness that stir up anger in some of the streets of the Muslim cities; we must take a time to read the history and ponder over Allah’s universal and legal decrees in order to know the right course, examine ourselves thoroughly and sincerely, hasten to work seriously for the interest of this Ummah and protect our values before they are swept away by the ever-changing trends.

Brethren in Faith! As a positive response to the current issues, I would like to take you on an emotional journey, from this Mosque in whose vicinity you live in peace and security to the blessed Al-Aqsa Mosque in view of persecution and massacres it undergoes nowadays which no serious Muslim must keep silent about.

Brothers and Sisters! Know that, Al Masjid Al Aqsa has a very special place in the hearts of the entire Muslim community due to its unique and rich history as a place of worship that is so closely intertwined with the lives of many of the Prophets of Islam, as well as for its special status as a Masjid to which travel is recommended and in which reward is increased. It is a special and blessed Masjid of vast size comprising 144,000 square metres in size (covering approximately 1/6th of the entire area of the Old City of Jerusalem) and with capacity to accommodate in the region of 500,000 worshippers.

Servants of Allah! Below I shall set out a very brief summary of the history of Al Masjid Al Aqsa, splitting the information into three sections:

1- From Prophet Adam (AS) to Prophet Muhammad (SAW);

2- From Prophet Muhammad (SAW) to 1917;

3- From 1917 to the present day.

1. From Prophet Adam (AS) to Prophet Muhammad (SAW)

Brothers and Sisters! Al Masjid Al Aqsa was the first qibla in Islam and it has been a significant and important place of worship for the Prophets of Islam. It was built 40 years after Al Masjid Al Haram in Makkah. There is a difference of opinion amongst scholars as to who exactly built Al Masjid Al Aqsa, with some scholars and historians asserting the view that Al Masjid Al Aqsa was built by Prophet Adam (AS), and others opining that it was built by Prophet Ibrahim (AS). It has also been rebuilt, renovated and expanded many times in the history of Islam.

It was a well known place of worship at the time of Prophet Ibrahim (AS) and for his son Prophet Ishaq (AS) and grandson Prophet Yaqub (AS). When Prophet Yaqub’s son Prophet Yusuf (AS) attained a position of power in Egypt, he asked his family to join him and escape the poverty that engulfed Palestine. Even Biblical sources claim this included his father Prophet Yaqub (AS) and Prophet Yusuf’s siblings and their children [See Book of Genesis], and that there were 33 in all. At this point, as there was no one left amongst Prophet Yaqub’s progeny to look after Al Masjid Al Aqsa (which at the time had the name of “Beteyel” or “House of God”), care for this blessed place was entrusted to the native population of the land (who were also followers of Prophet Ibrahim (AS)), the Palestinians.

Israelites who voluntarily emigrated to Egypt seeking a better material life remained there for approximately four centuries and became slaves to the Egyptians. This slavery only ended when Prophet Musa (AS) freed them from Fir’aun (Pharaoh) under the command of Allah. However, the Israelites rejected the orders of Allah to return to Palestine and were thus commanded to live in and wander through the desert of Sinai for 40 years. This ended when a new generation was born, containing within it Prophet Dawud (AS), who led his generation of believers to Palestine.

Prophet Dawud (AS) established his kingdom in part of Palestine, and controlled Jerusalem. His son Prophet Sulayman (AS) rebuilt Al Masjid Al Aqsa with the help of the local indigenous population and next to it he built the ruler’s palace. After Prophet Sulayman’s death, his two sons divided his kingdom amongst themselves with each having its own capital. These kingdoms existed for a very short period of time – approximately two hundred years, with the last king of Jerusalem in this dynasty being dethroned in 586/587BC as he tried to resist the Babylonians (led by King Nebuchadnezzar) but failed due to a crippling siege that the Babylonians had placed on the city.

Shortly after the Babylonians took control of Jerusalem, Al Masjid Al Aqsa was destroyed again.

The Persians overthrew the Babylonians (during which time efforts to rebuild Al Masjid Al Aqsa as a place of worship were renewed), but in the period thereafter ownership changed hands numerous times, and Al Masjid Al Aqsa was destroyed, rebuilt and then destroyed again within a century by the Romans in 70AD after a revolt in the city.

By 315-325AD, when the Roman Emperor Constantine converted to Christianity, the Romans and the people residing in their land (including the Jews) no longer had any regard for Al Masjid Al Aqsa and no longer treated it as a place of sanctity and worship, with the site of Al Masjid Al Aqsa actually being used as a place of waste disposal for the citizens of the city. This is how Al Masjid Al Aqsa remainded for the next few hundred years until the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) revived once again the spirituality of this blessed place, and his great companion Umar Ibn Al Khattab (RA) liberated the city.

2. From Prophet Muhammad (SAW) to 1917

Respected Brothers and Sisters! Al Masjid Al Aqsa had a very unique place in the life of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) for many reasons. Firstly, as Al Masjid Al Aqsa was central to the lives of many of his fellow Prophets (AS) with whom he shared an exceptional bond (as the Islam taught by Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) is a continuation, completion and perfection of the religion and message of monotheism preached by all the prophets of Allah including Prophet Adam (AS), Prophet Nuh (AS), Prophet Ibrahim (AS) (of whom Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was a descendant through his son Isma’il (AS)), Prophet Musa (AS), Prophet Dawud (AS), Prophet Sulayman (AS), and Prophet Isa (AS) to name a few), Al Masjid Al Aqsa also by definition had a central place in his life and heart. In addition to this, up until the second year of Hijrah (623/624AD), the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) turned and faced Al Masjid Al Aqsa as the direction for his prayers.

In his lifetime though, the most memorable reason why Al Masjid Al Aqsa has such significance is because it was the place to which he travelled on the night of Isra’, and it was the location from which he made his Mi’raj to the Heavens.

My Great people! In the books of Hadith, we learn that the Prophet (SAW) went to visit the Ka’abah at night, and fell asleep. The Angel Jibril (Gabriel) then awoke him and led him to a winged white beast named Buraq. It was on Buraq that the Prophet (SAW) then made the journey to Jerusalem (a journey that would typically take 40 days) in just one momentous night. On reaching Jerusalem, the Prophet (SAW) met and led all the previous Prophets in prayer at the site of Al Masjid Al Aqsa, and then embarked on the Mi’raj to the Heavens.

The journey of Isra’ was such a momentous occasion that Allah revealed verses relating to this journey in the Noble Quran:

“Glorified be He [Allah] Who did take His servant for a journey by night from Al Masjid Al Haram to Al Masjid Al Aqsa, whose precincts We did bless, in order that We might show him some of Our Signs. Verily He is the All Hearing, All Seeing.” [Quran, 17:1]

After the death of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW), the second Khalif of Islam (who was also a close Companion of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW)), Umar Ibn Al Khattab, entered and mercifully liberated Jerusalem (accompanied by 40,000 Sahabah) on the invitation of the Christian leader at the time, without shedding blood and with the guarantee of protection for the lives, property and places of worship of others within the city who wished to remain there. As Umar’s personality and characteristics closely resembled and matched those of the liberator of Jerusalem foretold within scriptures, the people of the city were quick to embrace and accept his rule.

As mentioned earlier, when he arrived at the site of Al Masjid Al Aqsa in 637/638AD, he didn’t find a place of prayer but rather a plot of land that had been left barren and had been used as a rubbish tip by the Romans. Upon seeing this he took the responsibility to remove the waste with his own hands and to rebuild Al Masjid Al Aqsa. Both the Christians and the Jews were pleased with the arrival of Umar and the Muslims, and with their just rule.

In 691/692AD, Abdul Malik bin Marwan began constructing what is nowadays known as the Dome of the Rock on top of the rock which some believe was the place where Prophet Muhammad (SAW) embarked on his Mi’raj to the Heavens. However, it must be noted that regardless of whether the rock has importance for this reason, its main significance derives from it being within the boundaries of Al Masjid Al Aqsa and therefore part of Al Masjid Al Aqsa.

The Muslims lost Al Masjid Al Aqsa to the Crusaders in 1099AD and were the victims of one of the darkest and most bloody days in its history. On arrival into Jerusalem. the Crusaders announced that they would not take any prisoners, resulting in a large proportion of the Muslims fleeing to Al Masjid Al Aqsa in order to seek refuge. The Crusaders later entered the blessed Masjid and massacred thousands of Muslims inside. Al Masjid Al Aqsa was then converted into a palace, and it took 88 years before the Muslims reclaimed it in 1187 under the leadership of the great leader Salahuddin Ayyubi (Saladin). His reclamation of Jerusalem and Al Masjid Al Aqsa was reminiscent of Umar Ibn Al Khattab’s liberation five centuries earlier, and was a stark contrast to the actions of the Crusaders just a generation prior. Like Umar Ibn Al Khattab, Salahuddin Ayyubi did not allow a massacre of civilians or soldiers, and after reclaiming Al Masjid Al Aqsa he also used his own hands to clean the blessed land, and famously sprinkled rosewater through the Masjid.

Servants of Allah! The Muslims once again had unhindered control of Jerusalem and Al Masjid Al Aqsa for a significant period of time – approximately eight centuries – and their rule was characterized by peace, peaceful coexistence, justice, development and prosperity, with Al Masjid Al Aqsa becoming a great centre of learning with scholars from all over the world travelling to study and teach within its blessed precincts. Throughout almost this entire period, the Christians and Jews were provided safety and protection, and their rights were respected as People of the Book (i.e. Ahlul Kitab).

3. From 1917 to the present day

Oh lovers of peace! For numerous centuries during the Ottoman Caliphate, the city of Jerusalem and Al Masjid Al Aqsa were preserved with honour and dignity, with Muslims being in charge of the administration of the city, but in line with Islamic law and the Ottoman millet system, they provided religious freedom and security for the Jewish and Christian minorities. However all this changed when the Zionist movement in Europe emerged with the aim of creating a Jewish state on Muslim Palestinian land. This Zionist movement which was supported by the British, was further strengthened during World War 1 when the British captured Jerusalem and brought an end to eight centuries of Muslim rule. On arrival into Palestine in 1917 they found a land that was 90% populated by Arabs and with fewer than 56,000 Jews (of which only 5% were native Palestinian Jews, with the majority being those who had fled European persecution in recent decades). The British allowed the Muslims control of Al Masjid Al Haram during this period.

Five years after the British capture of Jerusalem, the first restoration works of the 20th century in Al Masjid Al Aqsa took place, and a couple of years later in 1924 Trans-Jordan took over custodianship of Al Masjid Al Aqsa.

In 1947 prior to Britain passing over the issue of Palestine to the UN, the Jews owned less than 6% of the total land of Palestine. For this reason, when the UN General Assembly recommended (despite this being outside of their competence according to the UN Charter) having a “Jewish state” which would comprise 54% of the Palestinian land, the native Palestinians rejected the proposal.

In 1948 after a war and numerous massacres and atrocities committed by the Zionists, the Jews established “Israel” on 78% of Palestinian land, and captured approximately 85% of Jerusalem. The Jordanian Arab Legion took control of the West Bank – including 11% of the eastern parts of Jerusalem which encompassed the Old City and Al Masjid Al Aqsa.

In 1967 following a further war, Israel illegally occupied East Jerusalem and claimed to unify Jerusalem as part of Israel. This move was and is still, opposed and unrecognised by the international community. Following its capture of Jerusalem and the protests that followed, the Jewish authorities swiftly handed Al Masjid Al Aqsa back to Muslim control.

O lovers of Truth! Following attempts by prominent Israeli figures to establish Jewish prayers at Al Masjid Al Aqsa and subsequent protests, a law was passed prohibiting Jewish prayer on Al Masjid Al Aqsa. The decision also meant that Jews and foreign tourists could only enter Al Masjid Al Aqsa through the Maghrebi gate.

However since 1967 many Israeli authorities have passed rulings permitting Jews to offer worship on the site of Al Masjid Al Aqsa and many organisations have been lobbying Israeli officials to start the process of rebuiliding a Jewish place of worship on the sacred land of Al Masjid Al Aqsa.

In 1969 a fire that was started by a Zionist extremist destroyed the Mimbar (Pulpit) that was installed by Salahuddin Ayyubi. The Mimbar was considered one of the most beautiful in the world and was constructed with over 10,000 interlocking pieces of Cedar and other wood, Ivory and Mother of Pearl affixed without a drop of glue or a single nail. Most of the damage from the fire took over 20 years to repair, due to the Israelis not allowing suitable resources into Al Masjid Al Aqsa.

In 1987 four Palestinian men were killed queuing at a checkpoint in Gaza, sparking the first intifada. Intifada literally means “shaking off” or “uprising” and is used to convey the meaning of setting Palestine and Al Masjid Al Aqsa free from Israeli oppression.

In 2000, Ariel Sharon marched on Al Masjid Al Aqsa surrounded by over 1000 security guards and police. This sparked the second Palestinian intifada. Following this visit, restrictions were placed on Palestinians wishing to pray at Al Masjid Al Aqsa, with Palestinian men (especially those between 18-50 years of age), facing bans from praying at certain times. These restrictions continue to this day.

In March 2013 Jordanian King Abdullah II signed an agreement with the Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas which maintained and reiterated the status quo that the King of Jordan is the official custodian of the holy sites in Jerusalem and that he has the right to exert all legal efforts to preserve them, especially Al Masjid Al Aqsa.

In November 2013 a draft Israeli law was proposed in the Knesset (Israeli Parliament) allowing Jews the right to pray on Al Masjid Al Aqsa. This development was the result of 40 years of intense lobbying by nationalists who wish to destroy Al Masjid Al Aqsa in its current form, and replace it with a Jewish place of worship.

In October 2014 Israeli authorities closed Al Masjid Al Aqsa for the first time since 1967. This resulted in mass protests across Palestine and the Muslim world, and was swiftly followed by Al Masjid Al Aqsa being reopened.

Brothers and Sisters! To summarise the present day situation:

Israel systematically denies access to Al Masjid Al Aqsa to most Palestinians, and has permitted excavation works to be carried out under Al Masjid Al Aqsa damaging the foundations of Al Masjid Al Aqsa, and has permitted Jews to enter Al Masjid Al Aqsa during certain times on most days (despite this being contrary to traditional Rabbinical law for fear of disrespecting such sacred land). In addition to this, Israel maintains a security force on Al Masjid Al Aqsa permanently despite numerous appeals by the Supreme Muslim Council – and yet still fails to prevent Zionist extermists causing damage to Al Masjid Al Aqsa.

Interestingly, the UN Security Council has passed more than 20 resolutions condemning Israel’s annexation of Old Jerusalem, and Israel has been the most frequently condemned state by the UN in its history.

Brothers and Sisters! In Arabic, Jerusalem is called “Al-Quds”—the Noble and Sacred Place.

Servants of Allah! Jerusalem is perhaps the only city in the world that is considered historically and spiritually significant to Muslims, Jews, and Christians alike. The city of Jerusalem is known in Arabic as Al-Quds or Baitul-Maqdis (“The Noble, Sacred Place”), and the importance of the city to Muslims comes as a surprise to some Christians and Jews.

It should be remembered that Judaism, Christianity, and Islam all spring from a common source.

All are religions of monotheism—the belief that there is one Allah (God), and one Allah (God) only, before some of them replaced it by another thing. All three religions share a reverence for many of the same Prophets responsible for first teaching of the Oneness of Allah (God) in the area around Jerusalem, including Ibrahim (Abraham), Musa (Moses), Dawud (David), Sulayman (Solomon), and Isa (Jesus) —peace be upon them all. The reverence these religions share for Jerusalem is evidence of this shared background.

Brothers and Sisters! For Muslims, Jerusalem was the first qibla—the place toward which they turn in prayer as mentioned earlier. It was many years into the Islamic mission (16 months after the Hijrah), that Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was instructed to change the qibla from Jerusalem to Makkah (See Quran, 2:142-144). It is reported that the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said:

“There are only three Mosques to which you should embark on a journey: the sacred Mosque (Makkah, Saudi Arabia), this Mosque of mine (Madinah, Saudi Arabia), and the Mosque of Al-Aqsa (Jerusalem).”

Thus, Jerusalem is one of the three holiest places on earth for Muslims.

As also mentioned earlier, it is Jerusalem that our beloved Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) visited during his night journey and ascension (called Isra’ and Mi’raj). In one evening, historians tells us that the angel Jibril (Gabriel) miraculously took the Prophet from the Sacred Mosque in Makkah to the Furthest Mosque (Al-Aqsa) in Jerusalem.

He was then taken up to the heavens to be shown the signs of Allah. After the Prophet met with previous Prophets and led them in prayer, he was then taken back to Makkah. The whole experience (which many Muslim commentators take literally and most Muslims believe as a miracle) lasted a few hours. The event of Isra’ and Mi’raj is mentioned in the Quran, in the first verse of Chapter 17, entitled “The Children of Israel.”

“Glory to Allah, Who did take His servant for a journey by night, from the Sacred Mosque (in Makkah) to the Farthest Mosque (in Jerusalem), whose precincts We did bless—in order that We might show him some of Our signs. For He is the One who hears and knows all things.” [Quran, 17:1]

Brothers and Sisters! This night journey further reinforced the link between Makkah and Jerusalem as Noble cities and serves as an example of every Muslim’s deep devotion and spiritual connection with Jerusalem. Most Muslims harbour a deep hope that Jerusalem and the rest of the Noble Land will be restored to a land of peace where all religious believers can exist in harmony.

Abu Zar (RA) said:

“I asked Allah’s Messenger: Which is the oldest Mosque on earth? The Prophet (SAW) said: “al-Masjid al-Haram.” Then I asked: which one is the next? He replied: “al-Masjid al-Aqsa.” Then I asked: How many years between them? (i.e. of building them). He said: “Forty years, and pray when time of some prayer comes, since every place is a Mosque.” [Bukhari and Muslim]

As for the date of building al-Aqsa, there is difference among scholars concerning this point. But, it is reported that Adam (AS) first built it according to Imam Ibn Hajar al-Asqalani and he preferred this opinion. It is also reported that Prophet Ibrahim (AS), or Ya’qub Ibn Ishaq Ibn Ibrahim (AS) was the first builder. Then, it was rebuilt by Sulayman (AS).

Servants of Allah! Here are some things you may not know about Masjid Al Aqsa:

1- It isn’t just one Mosque

Yes – there are multiple Mosques on the site that we know as Masjid Al Aqsa. We think of Masjid Al-Aqsa as the building at the southernmost corner of the Mosque. In actual fact, that is the Qibly Mosque – so called because it is the closest to the qibla. The whole mount is Masjid Al Aqsa and is sometimes referred to the Haram Al-Sharif to prevent confusion. But there are other Mosques present on the site which are usually connected to historical incidents e.g. the Buraq Masjid, the Marwani Masjid and more.

2- It is a burial ground

There is no record of how many Prophets and Sahabahs of the Prophet are buried there. but there are certainly many. For instance, Prophet Sulayman is possibly buried there since we know that a Prophet is always buried where he died, and he died whilst supervising the construction of the previous building in some traditions.

3- It was a garbage dump

In the period of time when no Jews were allowed to live in the city, the mainly Roman inhabitants used the area of the Masjid as a garbage dump. When Umar liberated the city, he cleared the trash with his bare hands as mentioned earlier. He also ended the centuries-old exile of the Jews and invited 70 families of a nearby refugee village back into Jerusalem giving them the right to return after centuries in exile – a favour that our cousins seem to have forgotten.

4- Imam Al Ghazali lived and wrote his magnum opus there

One of the most famous books in Islamic literature is Ihya’ Ulum Al-Din by the great scholar of Islam Abu Hamid Al-Ghazali (Hujjatul Islam). He is a man that is revered by all schools of thought for his ability to plunge into the depths of the human soul whilst remaining anchored to Quranic and Prophetic teachings. What most people don’t know is that Imam Al-Ghazali, for a time, lived in Masjid Al-Aqsa and wrote the book whilst there. A building in the Masjid marks the site of his old room.

5- It was used as a stable, palace, and execution chamber

When the first Crusaders took Jerusalem, they found the majority of the Muslim population locked up in Masjid Al Aqsa. They slaughtered roughly 70,000 of them and then converted the Qibly Masjid into a palace, the Dome of the Rock into a chapel, and the underground chambers into a stable. Muslims who survived the initial massacre were later crucified on a large cross placed near the centre of the Masjid. This was the only cross that was broken by the Salahuddin Ayyubi. The base of the cross can still be seen there today.

6- It had a legendary Mimbar

Nuruddin Zengi, one of the greatest heroes in the history of Islam, had a special Mimbar (Pulpit) built to be installed in Masjid Al Aqsa when it would be eventually retaken from the Crusaders (you have to admire his supreme confidence). This Mimbar was not only beautiful, but it was made without using a single nail or lick of glue. Sadly Nuruddin did not live to see victory, but his protege Salahuddin Ayyubi fulfilled the wish of his teacher, and after liberating Jerusalem for the second time in the history of Islam, installed the Mimbar. It is still a work of legend amongst artisans and craftsmen. Unfortunately, this Mimbar did not survive the events described.

7- The Dome of the Rock used to look very different

The dome of the Rock – what is likely to be the first dome ever built in the history of Islam – was built by the Umayyad Caliph AbdulMalik Ibn Marwan. It started life wooden with either a brass, lead or ceramic cover, but almost a thousand years later during the reign of the Ottoman Caliph Sulayman the Magnificent, the distinctive gold layer was added to the dome along with the Ottoman tiles to the facade of the building.

8- It has been burnt down

Ever wonder what would happen if Masjid Al Aqsa was violated, a conquering army flag flown from the dome of the rock and the Masjid itself burnt down? Surely the Muslim world wouldn’t let that happen? Think again.

In 1967, Jerusalem left Muslim hands for the 3rd time and came under the control of Israel. The conquering Israeli soldiers flew their flag from the dome. The Israeli leadership realised that overt control of Masjid Al-Aqsa would serve as a constant provocation to the Muslim world. They used the fig leaf of a Waqf in order to placate the Muslims into complacency. It worked.

In 1969, an Australian Zionist set fire to the Mimbar of Nuruddin and the Qibly Mosque itself. The resulting inferno enveloped the entire Qibly mosque. The Muslim world awoke to scenes from the worst of nightmares. Desperate Palestinians tried to put out the flames in anyway they could. An entire Ummah hung their head in shame.

Since then, the Mosque has been rebuilt and refurbished, but the assaults against the 3rd holiest site in Islam continue to this day. Excavations undermining the foundations of the entire Mosque, unauthorised visits, and daily threats to rebuild the old temple are all currently under way. And today, the Jerusalem/Masjid Al-Aqsa is going to be the capital and headquarter of Israel Government from Tel Aviv (As they said). Masjid Al-Aqsa still waits.

Please, please, please let the world tell the Israel, American governments and all their supporters to give peace a chance, and warn them in order to avoid putting the world into danger with their unpopular, unwise, evil and dangerous action!

Brothers and Sisters in Islam! With all what I said, know that, the first step in waging war against the heartless Zionist enemy and their supporters is to reform ourselves from within, to hold fast to the Quran and Sunnah, to unite our ranks in truth and to be able to differentiate between the enemy and the friend especially in this age that the Ummah is facing different challenges from Zionists, their followers and supporters in terms of open and secret attacks that have resulted into some Muslim countries rejecting the Shari’ah and attacking Islamic morals and values through the mass media. Inspite of all this, there are some Muslims who are still wallowing in their error and sins and who have no respect for Muslim Noble places and see the issue of Masjid al-Aqsa from a secular perspective. There are also others who pre-occupy themselves with disagreements and many of them hold tenaciously to innovations, shirk and superstitions. We are calling all to the fact that, victory and glory cannot come except by following the path of the righteous predecessors and that any act of neglect in Islamic values and condoning defects in matters of Islamic belief, manner and virtues cause only defeat. Al-Quds cannot be liberated as well as other holy places except through the correct Islamic belief of monotheism and following the Islamic injunctions. We should also abstain from evils and protect the Muslim youth against the plot of the Jews as well as from all kinds of moral corruption.

Allah the Most High said:

“Allah has promised to those amongst you who believe and do righteous actions that He will certainly grant them Khilafah (succession) on the earth, as He granted it to those before them; and that He will grant them authority to practice their religion, the one that He has chosen for them; and He will change their state from one of fear in which they lived to one of peace and security. They will worship Me (Allah) alone, not associating any partner with Me. But whosoever disbelieves after this, then they are the rebellious ones.” [Quran, 24:55]

Also the Prophecies made about the last days by our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) are proving true. At the time, when the Muslim Ummah will have abundance of wealth, gold and silver, the Muslims will be extremely belittled, attacked, weak and helpless. The enemy nations will invite each other to pounce upon them as hungry people invite one another for food. The Sahabah (RA) asked with utter worry, “O Prophet of Allah! Would we be very few in number?” Prophet Muhammad (SAW) replied: “No! You’d be as great in quantity as the foam of the sea is, seen wherever the eye can reach. But you’ll be overtaken by ‘wahn’.” The Sahabah (RA) asked, “O Prophet of Allah! What is ‘wahn’?” He (SAW) replied: “Love of this world (materialism) and fear of death!”

The Prophet (SAW) also talked about that in a mighty saying of his when he said weakness will come upon the Ummah, its people will be enveloped by ignominy, whenever they turn away from the Religion of its Lord, and whenever they lax regarding holding to the Sunnah of its Prophet (SAW):

“When you engage in the trade of ‘Eina (doubtful trades), and you follow the tails of cattle about, and you are pleased with farming and you abandon struggle for the sake of Allah, Allah will allow disgrace to overcome you, He will not remove it from you until you go back to your Religion.”

My respected people! Are we truly and sincerely following and obeying our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW)? Are we imitating the Prophets and Messengers of Allah (AS)? Are we imitating the Sahaba, Companions of Prophet (SAW)? Are we trying to be like Umar Bin Khattab, Abu Ubaidah Amir Bin al-Jarrah, Nuruddin Zengi, Salahuddin Ayyubi, Abdul Malik Ibn Marwan, Sulayman the Magnificent, etc, in our faith, in our sincerity and in our actions, so that we liberate Masjid al Aqsa from the enemies of peace? So that one day, Al Quds will come back to us? Read the following Quranic verses:

“Verily ! Allah will never change the condition of the people until they change it themselves (with state of Goodness). But when Allah wills a punishment for them, there can be no turning back of it, and they will not find a protector besides Him.” [Quran, 13:11]

“And whatever of misfortune befalls you, it is because of what your hands have earned. And He pardons much.” [Quran, 35:45]

“If a good befalls you, it grieves them, but if some evil overtakes you, they rejoice at it. But if you remain patient and become Al-Muttaqun (the pious), not the least harm will their cunning (and evil plan) do to you. Surely, Allah surrounds all that they do.” [Quran, 3:120]

Allah is sufficient for us. He is the best disposer of affairs. Allah is sufficient for us. He is the best disposer of affairs. Oh Magnificent, oh Honoured One, Oh Magnificent, oh Honoured One, Oh Allah, Save the Muslims of Palestine, Oh Allah, Save the Muslims of Palestine, Oh Allah!!! Oh Allah, be a Guardian and Helper for them, Oh Allah, Our Lord, strong are those who are near to You, Glorious is Your Praise and sanctified are Your Names, Oh Allah no one can abolish Your command and no one can defeat Your army. Praise and glory to You, Oh Allah, to You the Jews (those who are wicked and inhuman) are evil doers, Oh Allah, Revealer of the Book, Mover of the clouds, Defeater of the armies, Crush them down, shatter them and their supporters, Oh Allah show us in them signs of Your might, Murderers of Your Messengers and Prophets, the tyrants of the innocents, Oh Allah, free the Muslims of Gaza, Oh Magnificent, oh Honoured One, Oh Allah loosen their chains, Heal their sickness and uncover their torture, Oh Allah replace their fear with safety, Oh Magnificent, oh Honoured One, Oh Allah strengthen Islam and the muslimeen, Lower shirk and mushrikeen (those who associate partners with you), Destroy the enemies of the religion and protect the territories of Islam, and unite the words of the Muslims in truth, oh Lord of the worlds, Oh Allah, save the weak and powerless of the muslimeen everywhere, Oh Allah, improve the situation of the muslimeen in Palestine, Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Syria, Kashmir, Somalia, Burma, Bosnia, China, Sudan, Bangladesh, Nigeria, Yemen and everywhere, Oh Allah, unite their hearts together, Guide them on the paths of peace, And lead them from darkness into light, Oh Magnificent, Oh Honoured One, Oh Allah, Our Lord, condemn us not if we forget or fall into error, Oh Allah, Our Lord, lay not on us a burden like that which You did lay on those before us, Oh Allah, Our Lord! Lay not on us a burden greater than we have strength to bear, Pardon us, absolve us and have mercy on us, You, our Protector, and give us victory over the disbelieving folk, Oh Magnificent, oh Honoured One.

O Allah, save our brothers in Palestine, the old ones among them whether male or female, their young men and women, their kids property and dwellings. O Allah, we beseech You against the Jews. O Allah cause Your punishment and anger that don’t escape the unbelievers to descend over them… O Allah turn the tide against them. O Allah, return the Muslims to the truth in a beautiful way, Possessor of Mightiness and Honour. O Allah, join the hearts of the Muslims together, take us all to Yourself. Make our hearts turn to You. We beseech peace and blessing on our Prophet, Muhammad (SAW). Ameen Ya Rabb!

Brothers and Sisters! Intensify and make Du’a for those suffering in Gaza/Palestine, and pray for them and all the Muslims and all the poor and needy as this is more beneficial!

I ask Allah to assist us in living by the Quran and Sunnah. I pray He lets us recognise the truth for what it is and helps us to follow it, and that He lets us see falsehood for what it is and helps us to avoid it.

O Allah! Guide us and protect us from the causes of ignorance and destruction! Save us from the defects of ourselves! Cause the last of our deeds to be the best and most righteous! And forgive all of us.

My Respected people! Anything good I have said in my today’s Khutbah (Sermon) is from Allah the Almighty, and any mistakes are my own and we seek refuge in Allah from giving wrong advice and from all forms of calamities and fitnah. And I ask Allah’s forgiveness if I stepped beyond bounds in anything I said or I do.

May Allah be praised; and may the peace and blessings of Allah be upon His Messenger Muhammad and upon his family and Companions.

With this I conclude my Khutbah (Sermon) and ask Allah, the Almighty and the Sublime, to forgive all of our sins. So seek his forgiveness, He is all forgiving and Most Merciful.

 

This Jumu’ah Khutbah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today, Friday, Rabi’ul Awwal 26, 1439 AH (December 15, 2017), by Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’ah and late Alhaji Abdurrahman Okene’s Mosques, Okene Kogi State, Nigeria.

  1. He can be reached through: +2348038289761or gusaumurtada@gmail.com

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