In The Name Of Allah, The Beneficent, The Merciful

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad is His Servants and Messenger.

Dear Brothers and Sisters! The objectives of my today’s Sermon is to recall the main parts of the marriage ceremony, to consider the importance of marriage in Islam, and to condemn the activities of those Muslims playing with and mocking their creator (Allah) in their marriage celebrations.

Dear Servants of Allah! The forthcoming union of the daughter of Africa’s richest billionaire, Alhaji Aliko Dangote and the pilot son of former Inspector General (IG) of Police, Alhaji MD Abubakar, promises to be the mother of all weddings. The high profile wedding ceremony between Fatima Dangote and Jamilu Abubakar is reportedly scheduled to hold in March 2018.

As the wedding bells ring for the couple, their families are planning to spare no expense in giving them the treat of a grand wedding celebration. According to the reports, about five presidents in the world and all the past presidents of Nigeria are billed to attend the wedding. Likewise, world’s renowned billionaire philanthropist and Microsoft boss, Bill Gate, has confirmed his intent to attend the wedding in March at the prestigious Eko Hotels and Suites, Lagos.

My Respected people! The first phase of Fatima Dangote’s wedding to Jamilu Abubakar kicked off in a grand-style last week.

As mentioned, Fatima is the daughter of billionaire businessman and Africa’s richest man, Alhaji Aliko Dangote while Jamilu is the pilot son of former Inspector General of Police, Alhaji Mohammed Dikko Abubakar.

A pre-wedding dinner held in Kano state to officially mark the commencement of the traditional rites.

The event was attended by friends, well-wishers, associates and family members of both Dangote and the Abubakar families.

The wedding will take place on Thursday, March 15 in the ancient city of Kanon Dabo.

The nuptial ceremony will climax in Lagos state at the Eko Hotel and Suites, Lagos on Saturday, March 24.

Congratulations to Fatima Dangote and Jamilu Abubakar. I’m wishing you a happy marriage life. May Allah bless you and shower His blessings on you and Allah unite you both in goodness. Ameen.

And I salute Alhaji Aliko Dangote, the Fatima’s father, who says he does not want alcohol served at his daughter’s wedding.

Aliko Dangote reportedly says there should be no alcohol when his daughter ties the knot in March.

Several media outlets say that the decision is religion-based. And Alhamdulillah, the billionaire father of the bride and the groom’s father are both good Muslims, as is the couple.

In accordance with Islamic doctrines, guests will reportedly not be entertained with alcohol when the ceremony happens next month at the convention centre of Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, Lagos.

Respected Brothers and Sisters! In the other hand, Allah the Most High said:

“And when We intend to destroy a city (town or a country), We command its affluent, its well-to-do, its elites, its big men (to obey Allah) but they defiantly disobey therein; so the word (i.e., deserved decree, deserved punishment) comes into effect upon it, and We destroy it with (complete) destruction. And how many have We destroyed from the generations after Prophet Nuh (Noah). And sufficient is your Lord, concerning the sins of His servants, as Acquainted and Seeing.” [Qur’an, 17: 16 -17]

And He the Almighty said:

“And when there came to them a Messenger from Allah confirming what was with them, a party of those who were given the Scripture threw away the Book of Allah behind their backs as if they did not know!” [Qur’an, 2: 101]

My beloved people! If you can recall, recently, Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, literally became a Makkah of sorts, as personalities from all walks of life converged on the ancient city to grace the talk-of the-town wedding reception of Idris and Fatima, son and daughter of Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State and his Kano State counterpart, Alhaji Abdullahi Umar Ganduje.

The memory of the wedding reception, held at the renovated Agodi gardens on Saturday, which would continue to register in the minds of people for a long time, had in attendance the prominent Nigerians who converged on Agodi Gardens to celebrate with the couple and their families.

Actually, without any doubt, the glamorous wedding of Fatima Ganduje and Idris Ajimobi, children of two Nigerian governors, is a disgrace to Islam and Muslims, as the wedding witnessed a flurry of unislamic activities both in Kano and Ibadan running for several days. Wallahi the bride and groom did not conduct themselves with decorum and respect and actually all the blames will go back to their parents for not guiding them do the right thing.

For God’s sake look at what happened in Kano and Ibadan. That thing really upset every sensible and positive thinking Muslim. The daughter of the governor cuddling in the presence of people. Yet it was the same state that sanctioned an actress (Rahama Sadau) for cuddling someone in a musical video. Now the daughter of the governor has done it openly which means it is now legal.

Respected Brothers and Sisters! Fatimah Ganduje is a daughter of Muslim serving leader, someone nicknamed himself “KHADIMUL ISLAM”, a Governor of sort from the core north, a state with high expectations of Islamic and moral teaching background in the country. The groom, Idris, is also a Muslim, his father, Governor Abiola Ajimobi a Muslim. Yet with all that, they throw it away because of the luxury and parental support they has of doing whatever they needs without shame and without stop. Islam does not allow you or anyone to be quite in a situation that warranted such acts of immorality in the society.

Please where is the so-called Hisbah in the state? Is your Hisbah work finish only at policing the activities of the poor man? Talaka bawan Allah! Haba Nigerians, is this the kind of people we elect as our leaders? Let the people of Kano fear Allah. This is the height of immorality, and to also remind you of what happened to many past disobedient people and nations. You should not provoke Allah, you should not anger the creator of all that exist. You should wallahi be careful.

Allah the Most High said:

“And when they angered Us, when they provoked Us, We took retribution from them and drowned them all. And We made them a precedent and an example for the later peoples.” [Qur’an, 43: 55]

Dear Servants of Allah! As the show of indecency, immorality and flamboyance continued by the Ganduje’s and Ajimobi’s amidst increasing poverty, hunger, squalor and Almajiri problems in the land, the question to ask by every right thinking person is, can Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje actually be a so-called “KHADIMUL ISLAM” (i.e. The supporter, uplifter and helper of Islam) or a HADIMUL ISLAM (the destroyer of Islam)? Is Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje in control of his house? How can such a character be trusted with a huge and challenging public responsibility like managing Kano State? Even Desert Herald Newspaper can reveal to us that over N400m of Kano’s resources was wasted in a marriage that is doomed to fail due to the withdrawal of blessings by Allah the Almighty, unless if they repent and seek the pardon and forgiveness from Him Subhanahu wa ta’ala.

Dear Servants of Allah! A brother and a social media user, Mallam Gimba Kakanda shared a post saying:

“So some of our Arewa girls want a “Yoruba demon” like Ajimobi’s son, Idris, to press their breasts in public in the name of love. We are sorry that we weren’t raised that way. If that’s how you want to be loved, perhaps you should meet Fatima Ganduje for tips. It’s amusing to find out that Hisbah only police the morality of the poor. This has been my case against the brand of Shari’ah our elite introduced in Northern Nigeria, where Rahama Sadau is vilified for the very “indecency” the politician’s daughters are celebrated, where Danlami the Shopkeeper is punished and humiliated in public for stealing N1000 while the politician who stole N1,000,000,000 enjoys royal treatment in the same society. I’m not for morality policing, but such hypocrisy bites me. You see, this country is a beautiful place, a place of vast opportunities. It just isn’t for the poor. Being poor is itself a crime in Nigeria.”

My people! In Islam, the establishment of justice is one of the most essential goals in the sending of the Prophets and in revealing the divine scriptures [See Qur’an, 57: 25]. The just people are loved by Allah [See Qur’an, 60: 8] while the unjust will face the fire of Hell [See Qur’an, 72:15].

The Prophet once observed:

“Allah does not bless a community in which the weak cannot take from the strong what is rightfully theirs without fear of reprisal.” [Sunan Ibn Majah]

Deviation from the path of justice is not allowed, even when it concerns one’s opponent or enemy [See Qur’an, 5: 8]. The leader and the led, the rich and the poor, black and white, should be treated equally before law, without any discrimination or distinction of race, colour, sex, language, religion, region, class, political affiliation, birth or other status. The following incident illustrate how strictly this ideal was religiously maintained in the early phase of Islam in accordance with Islamic doctrines and commandments. A woman by the name of Fatimah, belonging to the Banu Makhzum tribe, once committed a theft. Her kinsfolk, fearing that her hand would be amputated, sent Usamah Ibn Zayd to intercede with the Prophet on her behalf. When the Prophet heard this preplanned intercession, signs of anger appeared on his face saying:

“Are you trying to sway me as to the limits laid down by Allah?” He asked!

Usamah Ibn Zayd immediately admitted his mistake and begged the Prophet to pray on his behalf for forgiveness. The Prophet then delivered a powerful Sermon to those assembled there saying:

“Communities of old came to grief and destruction because of the disparity and leniency shown to those in high positions when they committed such an offence. On the contrary, any offender of humble origin or lowly status in society had harsh punishment meted out to him. By Allah, if my own daughter Fatimah were to steal, I would have her hand cut off.” [Bukhari and Muslim]

Respected Brothers and Sisters! Know that, in Islam, marriage is a legal union between a man and woman without which they cannot be together. The Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) considered marriage to be a part of Sunnah, then he added:

“Whoever turns away from my Sunnah is not from me.”

In another narration, he said:

“O young people, those of you who can support a wife should marry, for marriage controls the gaze and protects the private parts from prohibited acts. And if one is unable to marry, he should fast for it is a shield.” [Bukhari and Muslim]

This narration is guidance from the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) directed towards the Muslim youth specifically, due to the fact that desires and lusts in the young adults are stronger and thus the need for them to marry is greater. For this reason, he (Peace and blessings be upon him) encouraged them with marriage. Allah stated:

“Say [O Prophet] to the believing men to lower their gazes and to guard their chastity for that is purer for them. Indeed Allah is All-aware of what they do. And tell the believing women to lower their gazes and to guard their chastity..” [Qur’an, 24: 30-31]

So looking at the opposite sex has inherent dangers that a person cannot escape from except by three affairs:

1. To lower the gaze and not to hold glances.

2. Marriage for the one who is able to do so.

3. Fasting for the one who is not able to marry, for it is a shield.

Allah (the Most High) stated:

“And let those who cannot find the financial means for marriage keep themselves chaste until Allah enriches them from His Bounty.” [Qur’an, 24: 33]

And from being chaste is lowering the gaze and keeping away from the places of tribulation, and to avoid freely-mixing with the opposite sex as all of these are means to tribulation as is known to every intelligent and wise person. Allah the Almighty stated:

“And marry those amongst you who are single and the righteous of your male and female servants. If they are poor, Allah will enrich them out of His bounty.” [Qur’an, 24: 32]

Marriage is strongly recommended in Islam and most Muslims believe that it is their duty to marry and have children as the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) did. Marriage is celebrated in different ways in different parts of the Muslim world.

But there are common key features legislated in Islam: The willing consent of both parties, the consent of the guardian for his ward (usually a daughter) to marry, the presence of two just Muslim witnesses, and the giving of the dowry to the bride by the groom.

1. Willing consent: Both parties must willingly agree to the marriage in front of at least two trustworthy Muslim witnesses. This is to make sure that no one is forced to marry because forced-marriages are forbidden in Islam. The Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) allowed a woman to have her marriage cancelled when she complained that she was married to a man without her consent. The Prophet stated:

“A previously married woman (Bazawara) cannot be married off until she is consulted, and a virgin (Budurwa) cannot be married off until she gives her consent.” He was asked: “And how does she give consent?” He replied: “By her silence (if she is shy to speak).” [Bukhari and Muslim]

The great Scholar and Faqih (Jurist), Shaykh Salih Al-Fawzan stated that:

“This narration is also a proof that a woman is not compelled or forced into marriage, regardless of whether she is a virgin or previously married. And those who make a difference between a virgin and a woman previously married by saying: “It is allowed to compel the virgin into marriage, but not a woman who has been previously married”, then this distinction is not correct and opposes the evidence.”

Ibn Abbas said:

“A virgin girl came to the Prophet and stated that her father had married her off against her will. So Allah’s Messenger allowed her to choose [to either stay with him or to leave him].” [Ahmad, Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah]

Yet you still find those who oppose this claiming that the guardian has a right to compel a woman under his care. So this narration is a clear evidence in this matter.

Each person is simply asked if they will accept the other as their husband or wife. When they answer “yes”, and the guardian agrees, the witnesses bear witness, the dowry is stated and accepted, then two copies of the marriage contract are signed by all those involves. One copy is kept in the Mosque or Islamic centre and the other with the married couple. Though the signing of the contract is not a condition, it is however deemed to be better since a record of the marriage contract is useful when disputes arise over what was agreed, or when travelling to other lands or when a written proof is requested by a judge etc.

2. The contract: The marriage contract is drawn up by the couple and their families. It sets out what each partner can expect from the other. Some modern-day contracts mention what will happen “if the marriage fails” and ends in divorce. Traditional contracts see no need for such additions since the success and failure of a marriage is in the Hand of Allah and then upon the couple to make it work. And if it fails, then Shari’ah Law decides the course of action. Marriage contracts, written or otherwise have existed since the earliest of times. A husband may include in the contract that she lives with his elderly parents, or assist him with children from a previous marriage. A wife may request in the contract that she is allowed to drive or get an online degree or request from her husband that he provides for children from a previous marriage.

* Roles in Marriage:

– Role of the wife:

1. Bring up and train her children as Muslims.

2. Run the home efficiently.

3. Obey her husband unless he orders her to break Allah’s law.

4. Dress with a correct Hijab (or a Muslim dress) when outside the home.

5. Be faithful and not to have prohibited relationships with men outside of marriage.

– Role of the husband:

1. Always act towards his wife according to the teachings of Islam.

2. Support his family and provide them with food, clothing, shelter and access to education, according to his power.

3. Be faithful and not have prohibited relationships with women outside of marriage.

3. The dowry: The husband is commanded by the Qur’an and Sunnah to give a dowry which is a wedding gift of money or possessions to his wife. She may do with it whatever she pleases.

4. The permission of the guardian. The presence of a “waliy” i.e. a guardian. So a marriage is not sound and correct except with a guardian who contracts the marriage for the woman and gives his permission. If she was to marry herself, then the marriage would be invalid. The Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) stated:

“There is no marriage except with a guardian.” [Ahmad and Abu Dawud]

And in another narration, he said:

“There is no marriage except with a guardian and two witnesses.” [Ibn Hibban and others]

The guardian is the closest male blood relative on her father’s side beginning with the father. As for her blood relatives through her mother, such as the maternal uncle, or her grandfather on her mother’s side, or her brother through her mother but not through her father, or the son of her maternal aunt, then all of these are male relatives from her mother’s side – and from this side they are not considered as her guardians. Rather her guardians are males from the father’s side beginning with the closest (i.e. her father) then the next in closeness. And if she does not have a guardian, then her guardian is the Muslim leader (like Sultan, Emir, judge or Imam), as will be discussed later – and this is due to the fact that the leader is the guardian of the one who has no guardian. A non-Muslim cannot be a guardian in marriage. The Prophet stated:

“Any woman who gets married without the permission of her guardian (waliy), then her marriage is invalid.”

He repeated it three times. Then he said:

“If he consummates with her, she is entitled to the dowry due to his making permissible her private parts. And if they dispute over her guardianship, then the leader is the guardian of the one who has no guardian.” [Abu Dawud and Ibn Majah]

Shaykh Al-Fawzan and other Fuqaha (jurists) state:

“If a woman’s guardians dispute, and differ between themselves or the woman differs with her guardians over a marriage partner – and she is in the right (after investigation), then the guardianship transfers to the leader or to the deputy of the leader (such as the Sultan, Emir, a court judge or an Imam). In the non-Muslim countries, it is those who take the role or the place of the leader in this affair, such as the Islamic centres (i.e. those in charge of them). So that would be the head of an Islamic organisation, or the head of an Islamic centre, who takes on the role of the guardian, because he has the role of religious responsibility, and takes on the role of guardianship. So this would be the case for women who convert to Islam.

If her father prevents her from marriage, then the guardianship is transferred from him to another near relative. And if there is no near relative, then it is transferred to the leader and so on. So the affairs are under the guidelines of the Shari’ah, not disorderly or chaotic.

5. Witnesses: The presence of two witnesses to the contract of marriage. And they must be trustworthy.

* The Pillars of the Marriage (Nikah) are:

Making the proposal of marriage and accepting it; both parties, the bride and groom are free from any impediment or obstacle that prevents the marriage from going ahead and being concluded.

* The Conditions of Marriage are four:

1. The guardian’s permission – and he is the father or whoever he appoints, or whoever takes his place (if the father has died or is a non-Muslim).

2. Two just Muslim witnesses.

3. The willingness of both the bride and the groom, each one being pleased with the other and making that known at the time of the marriage (i.e. the aqd an-Nikah).

4. That both parties are named, the groom is named and the bride is named. It is not sufficient that the guardian merely states:

“I have hereby married my daughter to you.”

Rather he must name her specifically because it is possible that he has a few daughters, so it is not known which one he has married off.

Likewise, it is not said:

“I have married her to your son.”

Because he may have a few sons, so it is not known which one. So it is necessary to name each of them.

6. Spreading news of the marriage: Shaykh Al-Fawzan stated:

“It is obligatory, or even a condition according to some of the Scholars to spread the news of the marriage. Either way, it is a must to do so – and the intent behind announcing the marriages is that they are not kept secret. The Prophet said:

“Announce the marriages.” [Ahmad and Al-Hakim]

He also said:

“Announce this marriage and strike the drum for it.” [Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah]

The beating of the “Duff” (drum) by the women in marriage ceremony is a type of announcing because whoever hears it, comes to know that a marriage has taken place – and they rejoice, and the people supplicate for the marriage to be blessed. This is not to be accompanied by other haram/prohibited musical instruments and display of nudity, as that is prohibited by textual evidence. As for specifically playing the drum, then it is allowed on the occasions of marriage for the purpose of announcing the marriage and happiness.

From the types of announcing is to carry out a “walimah” (a meal or feast for invited guests), either upon the contract of the marriage or upon the consummation of the marriage. The Prophet (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said:

“Perform a walimah (a wedding feast for guests) even if it is with one sheep.” [Bukhari and Muslim]

The wedding ceremony and walimah in Islam take place in an environment of segregation between the sexes – in separate rooms or halls. A marriage unites two families and brings together communities and strengthens bonds of brotherhood in Islam. In British law, for example, this contract is not legally binding. There will have to be a civil ceremony as well as if the husband and wife want the rights that British law gives to married couples.

Muslims are strongly encouraged to treat marriage as a lifelong commitment. They are required to keep to the marriage contract. Islam allows divorce if the marriage breaks down, wal iyazubillah.

* No secret marriage in Islam

Dear Servants of Allah! As said earlier, it is a condition of a sound marriage that it be announced and attested to publicly. A secret marriage, which is only witnessed by a few people in private, is potentially harmful to those affected by it, as it almost always involves deception, and it is even more so if a man marries an additional wife in secret and without her consent.

Allah the Almighty said:

“Marry them with the permission of their families and give them their due as is good, chaste women, neither fornicators nor secret mistresses.” [Qur’an, 4:25]

Scholars have said that this verse prohibits secret marriages, by drawing an analogy between a ‘secret mistress’ and a secret marriage.

Imam Ibn Taymiyyah said:

“Imam Malik obligated announcing the marriage in public. A secret marriage is a type of prostitution. Allah the Almighty said: Chaste women, neither fornicators nor secret mistresses. [Qur’an, 4:25] Thus, a secret marriage is a type of secret mistress.” [Majmu’ al-Fatawa]

Scholars also refer to the statements of the Prophet (Peace and blessings be upon him) commanding the announcement of marriages in public.

Aisha reported that: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings be upon him) said:

“Announce this marriage publicly, conduct it in the Mosque, and strike the drums for it.” [Sunan al-Tirmidhi]

Muhammad Ibn Hatib reported that: The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said:

“The difference between an unlawful and lawful marriage is the beating of drums and the raising of voices.” [Sunan al-Tirmidhi]

Based upon this evidence, it is said that a marriage conducted in secret is invalid and annulled.

Shaykh Abu Bakr Abdul Aziz said:

“A secret marriage is invalid, as Imam Ahmad said: If he is married with a guardian’s permission and two witnesses, it is not so until it is announced publicly.” [al-Mughni of Imam Ibn Qudamah]

Some scholars said that a secret marriage is valid, meaning it is in legal effect and cannot be annulled, even though it is disapproved to do so.

Imam Ibn Qudamah said:

“If the marriage is contracted with a guardian and two witnesses, but he keeps it secret or conceals its attestation, that is disapproved but the marriage is valid.” [al-Mughni]

The important point here is that the legal ‘validity’ of an act does not mean it is ethical or morally sound. If some scholars accept the validity of a secret marriage, that in no way implies they are endorsing or encouraging the act.

Nevertheless, many and majority of the scholars said that a secret marriage is not only invalid, but it is also a type of adultery. Umar Ibn Al-Khattab was particularly strict about this matter.

Abu Az-Zubair reported that: Umar Ibn Al-Khattab, may Allah be pleased with him, was presented with a marriage which no one had witnessed except one man and one woman. Umar said:

“This is a secret marriage and I do not permit it. If I had known of it beforehand, I would have stoned them.” [al-Muwatta of Imam Malik]

And Ibn Taymiyyah said:

“As for a secret marriage, the attestation of which is concealed and witnessed by no one, it is invalid according to the prevalent opinion of scholars. It is a type of illicit intercourse.” [Majmu’ al-Fatawa]

Thus, secret marriages are forbidden in Islam as they resemble adultery, or at the very least they are morally disapproved. Believing men who fear Allah would be wise to avoid contracting a secret marriage, especially if they are marrying a second wife behind the backs of their first wives and their families.

Please, Fatima Aliko Dangote and Jamilu MD Abubakar, I want you to show to the world that you are good Muslims with good Islamic upbringing and training in your marriage ceremony. Do not do as others do. Do not put your religion to shame and disgrace. Know that Allah is watching you and all what you are doing. This is my Nasihah (an advice) to you and to every Muslim on their marriage celebrations. May Allah bless your union, ameen.

All praise is due to Allah, Lord of the worlds. May the peace, blessings and salutations of Allah be upon our Noble Messenger, Muhammad, and upon his family, his Companions and his true followers.

Ya Allah, Who saved Prophet Yunus from fish, Prophet Ibrahim from fire, Prophet Musa from fir’awn, Prophet Yusuf from well and Prophet Muhammad (Peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) from Quraysh, save us from every difficulties of life, turn all our expectations into reality, because you turn egg into bird, seed into tree, fluids into human, hardship into relief and cloud into rain. Answer our secret prayers and prosper the work of our hands. Ameen Ya Rabbal Aalamin.

This Jumu’ah Khutbah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today, Friday, Jumadal-Thani 28, 1439 AH (March 16, 2018), by Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’ah and late Alhaji Abdurrahman Okene’s Mosques, Okene Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached via: [email protected] or +2348038289761.

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