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[Friday Sermon] Let Us All Repent From Our Sins And Turn To Allah Almighty!

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By Imam Murtadha Gusau

In the name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy

All praise is due to Allah the forgiver of the sins and the accepter of repentance and severe in punishment.

Dear brothers and sisters! Allah Almighty said:

“And those who, when they commit an immorality or wrong themselves [by transgression], remember Allah and seek forgiveness for their sins – and who can forgive sins except Allah? – and [who] do not persist in what they have done while they know.” [Qur’an, 3: 135]

Respected brothers and sisters! Indeed repentance cures hearts sickened by misdeeds. Repentance is the gate of hope. Repentance is an open door. Repentance is warm streaming tears. Allah Almighty says:

“[O Muhammad], inform My servants that it is I who am the Forgiving, the Merciful.” [Qur’an, 15: 49]

Glory be to Allah, The Forgiving, Especially Merciful. He is the most in giving yet His servants disobey Him. He watches over them, protects them and safeguards them as if they did not disobey Him.

Allah is the One who answers the supplication of the one supplicating. Allah answers the one asking. And Allah is the hope for the hopeful.

And Allah is the Most Generous and generosity is from Him. And from His generosity is that he forgives the disobedient. And He loves those who are constantly repentant and loves those who purify themselves.

Dear Muslims! Repentance is when the sinner and those falling short, and all of us are sinners and fall short, turns to his Lord with a broken heart and humbled limbs. And his state and words express: Oh Lord, I do not have a lord other than You who accepts my repentance, none is able to forgive me if You do not forgive me, and none is able to have mercy on me if You do not have mercy on me, oh Lord of the worlds.

Great servants of Allah! Why do we repent? We repent because Allah commanded repentance. Allah Almighty said:

“And turn to Allah in repentance, all of you, O believers, that you might succeed.” [Qur’an, 24: 31]

We repent because Allah loves those who are constantly repentant, those returning to Him and those seeking forgiveness. We repent so that our Lord will rejoice over us. We repent because Allah Almighty says:

“And whoever does not repent – then it is those who are the wrongdoers.” [Qur’an, 49: 11]

We repent because our scale is going to be displayed before our eyes on the Day of Resurrection. Our good deeds will be put on one side, and our bad ones will be put on the other side. And the good deeds will not tip the scale except by sincere repentance that erases bad deeds.

Listen and contemplate upon the narrative of this believing woman who, for a moment, neglected Allah’s watchfulness and fell into adultery. But the intensity of Iman (faith) and her fear of her Lord made her not able to sleep. Her mind did not calm down and her burden did not lighten, and the sin fueled a fire in her heart. And the ugliness of indecency burned within her chest. She said:

“Oh Messenger of Allah, I have committed adultery so purify me. And he turned her away, so the following day she said: Allah’s Messenger, Why do you turn me away? Perhaps, you turn me away as you turned away Ma’iz (the man that she had committed adultery with and he previously approached the Prophet but was turned back initially). By Allah, I have become pregnant. He said: if you insist, then go until you give birth. So when she gave birth, she came with the child wrapped in a cloth and said: Here he is, I have given birth. He said: Go nurse him until you wean him. When she weaned him, she came to him with the child who was holding a piece of bread in his hand. She said: Allah’s Messenger, here is, I have weaned him and he eats food. He entrusted the child to one of the Muslims and commanded for her to be brought. So she was buried up to her chest and he commanded the people and they stoned her. Khalid Bin Walid came forward with a stone and struck her head and blood spurted on the Khalid’s face so he swore at her. Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) heard him and said: Khalid, take it easy, by Him in Whose Hand is my soul, she has made such a repentance that even if an extorter were to repent, he would have been forgiven. Then he commanded for her to be brought, then he prayed over her and she was buried.” [Muslim]

And in another narration:

“Then he (the Prophet) prayed upon her, so Umar Bin Al-Khattab said you pray upon her and she has committed adultery. Then he (the Prophet) said: she has made such a repentance that if it were divided among the people of Madinah, it would have accommodated them.” [Muslim]

My Dear brothers and sisters! Now is it not the time to repent? Is it not the time to turn to Allah? Is it not the time to return to Allah? For Allah stretches out His hand at night so that the sinners of the day may repent. And stretches out His hand at day so that the sinners of the night may repent. And repentance is not only for those who commit immorality and indecency, but it is for every believer. Allah Almighty says:

“O you who have believed, repent to Allah with sincere repentance. Perhaps your Lord will remove from you your misdeeds and admit you into gardens beneath which rivers flow.” [Qur’an, 66: 8]

And our beloved Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) used to repent to Allah and seek His forgiveness more than 70 times in one day and in another narration more than 100 times. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“O people, repent to Allah and seek His forgiveness, for I repent to Allah a hundred times a day.” [Muslim]

And Ibn Umar (may Allah be pleased with them) said:

“We counted the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) saying a hundred times during one single sitting: My Lord forgive me and pardon me. Indeed, You are the Oft-Repenting and Especially Merciful.” [Sunan Abu Dawud]

So leave the disobedience, leave the people of the disobedience, leave the place of the disobedience, and leave everything that reminds you of the disobedience, and plentifully recite:

“Our Lord, we have wronged ourselves, and if You do not forgive us and have mercy upon us, we will surely be among the losers.” [Qur’an, 7: 23]

Oh you who accustomed your tongue to backbiting, gossip and false speech, repent to Allah!

O you who neglected your children and left them to associate with bad company, repent to Allah!

Oh you who has gotten used to delaying the prayers, repent to Allah!

Oh you who has gotten used to eating the unlawful (Haram), repent to Allah, and return to the lawful (Halal), before the Angel of Death comes to you. Hasten from now and repent to Allah!

Please do not delay your repentance. What would you do if death descends upon you and you have not repented? How extensive are Allah’s blessings upon us and how far we fall short in being grateful to Him. And with that, He does not withhold from us!

Think about the One with Whom you are dealing. The One Who offers repentance to the disbelievers. And opens the path of return for the wicked. The One that if He forgives all creation, it would not diminish His dominion at all. The One Whose mercy surpasses His wrath. The One Whose name is The Accepter of Repentance, the Oft-Forgiving.

“And turn to Allah in repentance, all of you, O believers, that you might succeed.” [Qur’an]

Respected servants of Allah! Let us pause and reflect upon a narrative of the repentant.

It was narrated that a man came to Ibrahim Bin Adham and said to him: O Abu Ishaq, I transgressed against myself in disobedience, so offer me something to deter me and save my heart. Abu Ishaq said: As for the first matter, if you want to disobey Allah Almighty, do not eat from His sustenance. He said: From where do I eat and all that is on the earth is from His sustenance? He said: Are you fine with eating his sustenance and disobeying him? He said no.

Tell me the second matter. He said, “If you want to disobey him, do not live in any of his land.” The man said, “This is greater than the first matter.” If the east and the west and what is between them belong to Him, then where do I live? He said, “Are you fine with eating from his sustenance, living in his land, and disobeying him?” he said no.

Tell me the third matter. He said: If you want to disobey him while you are under his sustenance and in his land, find a place where he does not see you, and disobey him in it. He said: O Ibrahim, how is this while he is aware of what is in hidden? He said: Are you fine to eat from his sustenance and live in his land, and disobey him while he sees you and sees what you do openly? he replied no.

Tell me the fourth matter. He said: If the angel of death comes to you to take your soul, then say to him: delay me until I repent sincerely, and do righteous deeds for the sake of Allah. He said: he would not accept that from me. He said: Then if you are not able to push away death so that you can repent and you know that if he comes to you there can be no delaying, then how do you hope for salvation?

He said: tell me the fifth matter. If the guards of Hell come to you on the Day of Resurrection to take you to the fire, then do not go with them. He said: They will not leave me and will not accept that from me. Then how do you expect salvation then? He said: Oh Ibrahim: Enough for me, enough for me, I seek Allah’s forgiveness and repent to Him.

Dear Muslims! Now renew your repentance every night before you go to sleep. And fulfill its conditions for it may be your last sleep. And restore the rights to their owners, for this is one of the conditions of repentance. And adhere to seeking forgiveness for whoever does so, Allah provides him relief from every worry and a way out from every difficulty and sustenance from where he does not expect. And perform good deeds after misdeeds to wipe them out. Indeed, good deeds do away with misdeeds. And accompany the repentant and the righteous. They will remind you of Allah and the person follows the religion of his friend.

Oh Allah make us among those who are constantly repentant and who purify themselves. Oh the Oft Forgiving cleanse us of our sins. Indeed Allah is all Hearing, Answering.

I conclude with this and send prayers of blessings and peace upon our beloved Prophet as your 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.

Servants of Allah! Indeed, Allah orders justice and good conduct and giving to relatives and forbids immorality and bad conduct and oppression. He admonishes you that perhaps you will be reminded.

Remember Allah, the Great – He will remember you. Thank Him for His favours – He will increase you therein. And seek forgiveness from Him – He will forgive you. And be conscious of Him – He will provide you a way out of difficult matters. And, establish the prayer.

All praises and thanks are due to Allah alone, 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 and sincere followers.

Murtadha Muhammad Gusau is the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’ah and the late Alhaji Abdur-Rahman Okene’s Mosques, Okene, Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached via: gusauimam@gmail.com or +2348038289761.

This Jumu’ah Khutbah (Friday sermon) was prepared for delivery today, Friday, Muharram 07, 1444 AH (August 05, 2022).

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Opinion

The Muslim Ummah, death of Queen Elizabeth II and the appreciation of Islam by King Charles III

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By Imam Murtadha Gusau

 

 

 

 

In the name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy

All praise is for Allah, we praise Him, we seek His help, we ask for His forgiveness, and we seek refuge with Allah from the evils of our own souls and the wickedness of our actions, whoever Allah guides, there is none that can lead him astray, and whoever Allah allows to go astray, there is none that can lead him to the right path.

I testify and bare witness that there is no deity worthy of worship in truth but Allah, alone, without any partners. And I testify and bare witness that Muhammad (Peace be upon him) is His Servant and Messenger. As for what’s after:

My dear brothers and sisters! On Thursday 8th September, 2022 Queen Elizabeth II passed away. As you all know, she was the longest reigning monarch in the history of the United Kingdom, having celebrated her platinum jubilee earlier this summer, completing 70 years on the throne. In her wake she leaves behind four children, eight grandchildren and twelve great grandchildren. Her eldest son now accedes to the throne as King Charles III, the new head of the British monarchy and the Commonwealth.

During her reign she witnessed 15 Prime Ministers, beginning with Winston Churchill and ending with Liz Truss. Her reign saw the slow degradation of British power from the twilight of colonial era to new post-colonial Britain. During her long life she lived through times of prosperity and security for many in the United Kingdom as well as times of war, crisis, and recessions.

However, her legacy is not without controversy. Whereas Prime Minister Liz Truss credited “her devotion to duty” as “an example to us all”, as reported by Scottish Daily Express, others have seen her death as a moment to remind us of the role the British monarchy has played in colonialism.

For example, Uju Anya, an associate Professor of Second Language Acquisition at Carnegie University, tweeted on Thursday afternoon that:

“If anyone expects me to express anything but disdain for the monarch who supervised a government that sponsored the genocide that massacred and displaced half my family and the consequences of which those alive today are still trying to overcome, you can keep wishing upon a star.”

Also Julius Malema, a politician, youth leader and activist from South Africa has this to say on the death of Queen Elizabeth II, as reported by Pan African Daily TV:

“We do not mourn the death of Elizabeth, because to us her death is a reminder of a very tragic period in this country and Africa’s history…. If there is really life and justice after death, may Elizabeth and her ancestors get what they deserve.”

Queen Elizabeth was on the throne when UK colonial administration committed one of the many heinous crimes of British colonialism in East Africa during the Mau Mau rebellion, killing tens of thousands to perpetuate British occupation all in the name of the Crown. Despite numerous opportunities to offer an official apology the Queen was not forthcoming.

Whilst it can be easy to get swept up in these discussions, I will reminds us of the important lessons that we as Muslims should take from her passing. How should Muslims react at the passing of Queen Elizabeth II?

There are three lessons that I wish to draw to the attention of my Muslim brothers and sisters, from the death of anyone, not just the Queen:

Firstly, we should recollect that we are all going to die; that Allah created death in order that we reflect upon the reality of this life, that we pause and ponder over what we have prepared for the real life that comes after death. Death is the biggest challenge presented to humanity by Allah Almighty. It is the end of this life; every individual will start another life following it. A wise person would take the opportunity to reflect on how s/he has spent this transient life in preparation for the everlasting life to follow. That’s why the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“Remember death frequently.”

The reason for this is given in another narration of the Prophet (Peace be upon him). We are informed that death strikes a balance, if you are in a difficult situation, remembering death will remove that feeling of difficulty from you. And yet if you have a carefree life, then remembering death will remind you of the reality of this fleeting life. Allah Almighty says in the Noble

Qur’an:

“Every soul will taste death.”

Allah also said in reference to the Prophet (Peace be upon him):

“You are going to die and all of them are going to die.”

So this is the first point of reflection. Do not lose sight of the fact that whatever ups and downs, whatever joys and sorrows, whatever disputes and disagreements all of which you will forget, do not forget that you are going to die and the death of the Queen—or of anyone else—should remind us of the reality of this life.

The second lesson is, that Allah almighty decreed that the Queen died at 96 years of age and her husband died when he was almost a hundred. This is Allah’s decree. He chooses whether you have a long life or a short one but whatever your situation you will surely die in the end. Even if you live for a hundred years you will die, even if you are a king, a queen, a governor, a president, a minister, a senator, a local government chairman or the most wealthy person, you are not going to live forever, this is another important lesson we should take from the passing of the Queen or any other seemingly powerful person. When we look at these people we ask, where is their wealth, where is their power, where are their supporters? Have any of these things protected them against death and will they help them whilst they are in the grave? The answer is NO!

The final thought is that people feel sad upon the passing of those who are close to them. Sometimes we also feel a sadness for those who are not so close to us but have some connection to our lives. This is not reprehensible in of itself. It depends on how you react.

For example, people may repeat the traditional Islamic invocation uttered on news of person’s death:

“Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi raaji’uun (meaning: truly we belong to Allah and to Him we shall surely return).”

Can this be said with regards to the death of a non-Muslim such as the Queen?

Respected servants of Allah! I do not think there is an issue here. It is simply uttering a truth that applies to mankind, rich and poor, believer and non-believer, that every human belongs to Allah and every single one will return to Him to be judged. There is no direct supplication in this statement. It may become an issue if there is an implicit supplication made for the salvation of a deceased non-Muslim.

In this regard, what about praying for their salvation? In terms of praying for Allah’s mercy for a deceased unbeliever, from an Islamic perspective, saying ‘Oh Allah have mercy on this person who died as a non-Muslim’, this is not permitted. This is by the consensus (Ijma’) of all Muslim scholars. This is not contradicted by saying Allah is the most merciful because the understanding of Allah’s mercy must be understood in light of the rest of the Islamic scriptures. Allah Almighty says in the Noble Qur’an:

“It is not befitting for the Prophet and the believers to seek forgiveness for the polytheists…”

Here ‘polytheists’ refers to all those who died all those who died as non-Muslims. Allah further says in the Qur’an that anyone who dies as a non-Muslim, he is either a polytheist or an unbeliever. Therefore we are not allowed to supplicate for those who have died as non-Muslims. We know that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) had his uncle who was the most beloved person to him, when he died the Prophet (Peace be upon him) did not pray for him whatsoever.

Furthermore it is not sufficient that the deceased are those who believe in Allah Almighty and are monotheist like Unitarians. Allah sent Muhammad (Peace be upon him) as a Messenger to all mankind. Those who do not believe in him and follow his message remain unbelievers even if they are Unitarians. They are not considered Muslims which is why the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“No one hears about me, whether he is a Jew or Christian, and he does not believe in me and in my message, except he will enter the fire of hell, he is not Muslim.”

May Allah give us the wisdom to understand our religion and apply it in different contexts, ameen.

My dear brothers and sisters! Following the death of Queen Elizabeth II, the accession of King Charles III to the throne has been dominating airwaves in an unprecedented fashion. This has prompted a race to understand more about the new “Head of the Commonwealth” containing 2.4 billion people across the world, drawing Muslims into the vortex, too. Among this coverage has been the curious fondness and appreciation he has shown for Islam over the years.

Yes, the new king’s appreciation of Islam is well established for those who have followed his career over the long years of his time as Prince of Wales. His positive attitude towards Islam, is indeed something rare in the governing classes of the United Kingdom and is undoubtedly appreciated by Muslims, particularly considering the overabundance of Islamophobes in the ruling establishment attempting to make daily life more and more difficult for Muslims across the board.

In a speech given at the Oxford Centre for Islamic Studies—of which he is a patron—King Charles gave a speech entitled ‘Islam and the West’, in which he sated that:

“It is odd, in many ways, that misunderstandings between Islam and the West should persist. For that which binds our two worlds together is so much more powerful than that which divides us. Muslims, Christians – and Jews – are all ‘peoples of the Book.’ Islam and Christianity share a common monotheistic vision: a belief in one divine God, in the transience of our earthly life, in our accountability for our actions, and in the assurance of life to come. We share many key values in common: respect for knowledge, for justice, compassion towards the poor and underprivileged, the importance of family life, respect for parents. ‘Honour your father and your mother’ is a Qur’anic precept too. Our history has been closely bound up together.”

King Charles goes on to say:

“If there is much misunderstanding in the West about the nature of Islam, there is also much ignorance about the debt our own culture and civilisation owe to the Islamic world. It is a failure which stems, I think, from the straitjacket of history which we have inherited. The medieval Islamic world, from Central Asia to the shores of the Atlantic, was a world where scholars and men of learning flourished. But because we have tended to see Islam as the enemy of the West, as an alien culture, society and system of belief, we have tended to ignore or erase its great relevance to our own history. For example, we have underestimated the importance of 800 years of Islamic society and culture in Spain between the 8th and 15th centuries. The contribution of Muslim Spain to the preservation of classical learning during the Dark Ages, and to the first flowerings of the Renaissance, has long been recognised. But Islamic Spain was much more than a mere larder where Hellenistic knowledge was kept for later consumption by the emerging modern Western world. Not only did Muslim Spain gather and preserve the intellectual content of ancient Greek and Roman civilisation, it also interpreted and expanded upon that civilisation, and made a vital contribution of its own in so many fields of human endeavour – in science, astronomy, mathematics, algebra (itself an Arabic word), law, history, medicine, pharmacology, optics, agriculture, architecture, theology, music. Averroes and Avenzoor, like their counterparts Avicenna and Rhazes in the East, contributed to the study and practice of medicine in ways from which Europe benefited for centuries afterwards. Islam nurtured and preserved the quest for learning. In the words of the tradition, ‘the ink of the scholar is more sacred than the blood of the martyr.’ Cordoba in the 10th century was by far the most civilised city of Europe. We know of lending libraries in Spain at the time King Alfred was making terrible blunders with the culinary arts in this country. It is said that the 400,000 volumes in its ruler’s library amounted to more books than all the libraries of the rest of Europe put together. That was made possible because the Muslim world acquired from China the skill of making paper more than 400 years before the rest of non-Muslim Europe. Many of the traits on which modern Europe prides itself came to it from Muslim Spain. Diplomacy, free trade, open borders, the techniques of academic research, of anthropology, etiquette, fashion, various types of medicine, hospitals, all came from this great city of cities.”

It is here King Charles highlights a sentiment rarely appreciated in the Western world:

“Medieval Islam was a religion of remarkable tolerance for its time, allowing Jews and Christians the right to practise their inherited beliefs, and setting an example which was not, unfortunately, copied for many centuries in the West. The surprise, ladies and gentlemen, is the extent to which Islam has been a part of Europe for so long…”

King Charles is not only praising what Islam has bought to the Modern European world, but emphasising that Islam is an intrinsic part of European history, and its growth was influenced by Islam:

“…first in Spain, then in the Balkans, and the extent to which it has contributed so much towards the civilisation which we all too often think of, wrongly, as entirely Western. Islam is part of our past and our present, in all fields of human endeavour. It has helped to create modern Europe. It is part of our own inheritance, not a thing apart. Islam can teach us today a way of understanding and living in the world which Christianity itself is the poorer for having lost. At the heart of Islam is its preservation of an integral view of the Universe. Islam – like Buddhism and Hinduism – refuses to separate man and nature, religion and science, mind and matter, and has preserved a metaphysical and unified view of ourselves and the world around us.”

He has also praised many Muslim scholars and authors such as Rene Guenon, Seyyed Nasr and Martin Lings. In particular, when Martin Lings’ book “A Return to the Spirit” was published after his death, King Charles wrote a letter of admiration in which he praises a book written by a prominent English convert, about the last Prophet sent to mankind:

“One of Martin Lings’ greatest legacies was his remarkable biography of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him).”

Kings Charles is not a closet Muslim, but clearly literate in some aspects of Islamic thought probably unparalleled in the history of the British Monarchy, being described as an “Islamophile” by some:

Others have been questioning this special pleading for King Charlie’s appreciation of Islam. While he appears to be in little need of such good will, the same cannot be said for other prominent figures in UK public life who have likewise expressed an appreciation for many aspects of Islam but have also been publicly maligned.

Dr Salman Butt, a Journalist, warns that:

“It’s good to celebrate positive news, but important not to fall into some traps, such as using events like these as a plaster to cover over a weakness that we might feel: requiring validation from a powerful or famous non-Muslim. If we do feel that, we need to take a step back and build our appreciation for Islam with knowledge and, more importantly, good deeds; since Ibadah (worship) increases our intelligence and reflective capabilities, and strengthens our Iman (Faith) and character.“

All praises and thanks are due to Allah alone, 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 and sincere followers.

Murtadha Muhammad Gusau is the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’ah and the late Alhaji Abdur-Rahman Okene’s Mosques, Okene, Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached via: gusauimam@gmail.com or +2348038289761.

This Jumu’ah Khutbah (Friday sermon) was prepared for delivery today Friday, Safar 19, 1444 AH (September 16, 2022).

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Opinion

Resurgence of Interest in Hausa Identity on Social Media: A Perspective

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By Aliyu Ammani

 

 

 

 

 

Those following happenings in the social media, could not have missed the debates and controversies generated by the rise in tribal identity consciousness among the Hausa in Nigeria. Identity among the Hausa has been suppressed by the mischievous use of the tag “Bamaguje”, masked by “Hausa-Fulani” and “Arewa” labels, and tacitly put to question over the years. 

Many people see in this increasing consciousness, a threat to the coexistence between the Hausa and the Fulani, two tribes that have been living together for centuries in Hausaland.

Series of conspiracy theories are churn out to explain the genesis of this resurgence on social media, most of which borders on the ridiculous.  The conspiracy theorists appeared not to see the wood for the trees.

There are 2 basic reasons behind the resurgence of interest in Hausa identity in Nigeria today.

First, the Bororo Fulani banditry in Hausaland on populations that are essentially Hausa, and its attendant destruction of lives and properties, maiming, looting, raping of women, kidnapping for ransom etc.

Thousands of towns and villages across Hausaland were sacked. Communities of free law abiding citizens forced back to the dark age of slavery; abled bodied men attacked and abducted, sometimes right inside mosques on Fridays.

The perpetrators of these heinous crimes are always willing to tell the world that they are

Fulani, fighting for Fulani against the Hausa. The reader can hear from the Horse’s Mouth in the following audio-visual documentaries available on YouTube: (i) BBC Africa Eye Documentary “The Bandit Warlords of Zamfara”, (ii) Trust TV’s “Nigeria’s Banditry ‘The Inside Story’” and. (iii) a video coverage of Dr Ahmad Gumi’s meeting with Zamfara Bandits at Shinkafi.

Second, and most important, the attitude of city dwelling Fulani, including some notable traditional and religious leaders in Hausaland in the face of Bororo banditry.

Instead of publicly dissociating themselves from the atrocities of the Bororo bandits or publicly declaring that terrorists like Bello Turji, Dogo Gide and Ado Aleru do not represent the Fulani; they seem more comfortable fabricating excuses for the bandits in tongue-in-cheek statements like “their cattle were rustled”, “traditional cattle routes were blocked by new farmlands and settlements”, “the Fulani are not in it alone, there are other tribes including the Hausa aiding and supporting them” “the Fulani are neglected by the governments, …” etc.

Not a single traditional ruler in mainstream Hausaland came out to publicly take an impartial stand as did the emir of Muri.

Even Miyetti Allah, the Fulani association that is always quick to cry blue murder whenever the interest of the Bororo appeared threatened, appeared to lose its voice.

Thus, projecting an impression that while Bororo Fulani are busy terrorising and destroying essentially Hausa populations and settlements; city Fulani are busy manufacturing and propagating excuses and justifications for the atrocities.

Can one sincerely justify banditry or rebellion by Fulani in Hausaland, a land that is practically a Fulani territory?

The most important traditional rulers in Hausaland are Fulani. The key political figures and public officials in Hausaland are Fulani. The most notable Islamic clerics and religious leaders are Fulani. Even in Hausa settlements outside Hausaland, the heads of the communities, known as “Sarakunan Hausawa” (singular- Sarkin Hausawa) majority are Fulani. The Fulani should be the last to rebel in Hausaland!

The Hausa, hitherto conditioned to accept that he has ‘his back covered’ by the Fulani, feels betrayed. With the scales falling off his eyes, he began to see the writing on the wall: “You are on Your Own”. This ignites the process that sparked the chain of reactions that we are now seeing on social media as the resurgence of interest in Hausa identity, what others see as the dissociation of Hausawa from the Fulani.

There is indeed the tendency that a reawakening of identity consciousness among the Hausa is capable of igniting an equal spark in Fulani identity among the almost “hausanised” Fulani in Hausaland. This could lead to an upsurge in identity politics among both groups, which could lead to extremism where elements from both tribes could begin to see and interpret processes and events on a “we versus them’ basis.

Traces of such extremism are already visible. However, the possibility of such tendency should not be reason enough to deny the Hausa of their rights to tribal identity, association and aspirations, for the simple reason that other Nigerian tribes have been enjoying such rights without posing any threat to their coexistence with other tribes in Nigeria.

The upsurge in Hausa identity revival has started and cannot be stifled or halted, the genie is already out of the bottle.

The question that begs for an answer is “which way forward”?

The way forward is not in the identification and clamping down on the persons or group managing pro Hausa identity revival social media handles as is being suggested by some Islamic clerics across Northern Nigeria. This is more likely to compound rather than solve the problem.

The solution is for the ‘organised Fulani front’ to confront and respectfully address the fears of the Hausa people (of a conspiracy to annihilate them), assure them and publicly dissociate the Fulani from the activities of terrorists like Bello Turji & Co, and commence the process of rebuilding mutual trust and respect between the Hausa and Fulani.

 

 

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Opinion

Friday Sermon: Say The Truth Any How Bitter It Is!

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By Imam Murtadha Gusau

In the name of Allah, the Most Merciful, the Bestower of Mercy

All praise is for Allah, we praise Him, we seek His help, we ask for His forgiveness, and we seek refuge with Allah from the evils of our own souls and the wickedness of our actions, whoever Allah guides, there is none that can lead him astray, and whoever Allah allows to go astray, there is none that can lead him to the right path.

I testify and bear witness that there is no deity worthy of worship in truth but Allah, alone, without any partners. And I testify and bare witness that Muhammad (Peace be upon him) is His Servant and Messenger. As for what’s after:

Dear brothers and sisters! Know that, to acquire divine knowledge is to inherit a Prophetic legacy of action and propagation. The learned are like radiant beacons of light moving between sheathes of darkness. They are the glowing effects of the Prophets of Allah, through whom He conveyed His covenant to man. Their presence illuminates the paths of those who come near them. On the authority of Abu Darda (RA), the Prophet (Peace be upon him) says:

“The learned are the heirs of the Prophets who bequeath neither dinar nor dirham but only knowledge; and he who acquires it, has in fact acquired an abundant portion.” [Abu Dawud and At-Tirmidhi].

Central to every messenger’s duty was his conveyance and transmission of the message of truth. The heirs of that legacy protract that learning, conveying and proactively blotting out the murk of ignorance and misguidance whenever they encounter it. Allah Almighty says:

“O Messenger! transmit what has been sent down to you from your Lord. If you do not do it you will not have transmitted His Message.” [Qur’an, 5:67]

The Prophet (Peace be upon him) further informs:

“Convey from me even a verse…” [Bukhari].

The right of truth is for it to be imparted, not hidden or obscured. In Arabic, the word for ‘worthy‘ (ahaq) derives from the word for ‘truth’ (haq). This implies that the truth is the worthiest pursuit and objective. Both appear in the following verse:

“Ask (them, O Prophet), “Can any of your associate-gods guide to the truth (al-Haq)?” Say, “(Only) Allah guides to the truth.” Who then is more worthy (ahaq) to be followed: the One Who guides to the truth or those who cannot find the way unless guided? What is the matter with you? How do you judge?” [Qur’an, 10:35]].

Respected servants of Allah! For one to refrain from imparting what is true, or worthiest for that moment, despite being able to, when such can rectify another person’s misguidance, resolve a schism or stand in the face of an injustice becomes tantamount to consent. One can only see their refraining a worthier (ahaq) endeavour if they first undermine (falsify) that truth (haq) being concealed. And as the nature of truth is to be imparted (both clear and clarifying), like intense light which burns away the dusk, forcing it to stay concealed within oneself will bridle its holder with its unbearable heat. On the authority of Abdullah Bin Amr Ibn Al-As (RA), the Prophet (Peace be upon him) says:

“Whoever conceals knowledge Allah will bridle him with reins of fire on the Day of Resurrection.” [Ibn Hibban]

Dear brothers and sisters! Such deplorable behaviour was rampant among the followers of Judaism and their clergymen. Seeing themselves as Allah’s ‘Chosen People’, they absolved themselves from the need to salvage ‘other’ gentiles from misguidance. In effect, they saw themselves exclusively worthy of Allah’s mercy and absolution. This cultish demeanour with the truth and their failing to share their knowledge with others, to guide them or speak truth to people brought about their corresponding removal from His Mercy, culminating in Allah’s curse (La’anah). Allah Almighty says:

“Those who hide the Clear Signs and Guidance We have sent down, after We have made it clear to people in the Book, Allah curses them, and the cursers curse them.” [Qur’an, 2: 159]

Some of them even earned by way of their consensual silence:

“They are people who listen to lies and consume ill-gotten gains…” [Qur’an, 5:42].

They listened to lies silently, ‘Samma’un’, failing to denounce the falsehoods they heard which forms the crux of why they were cursed. And though they were not heard, or necessarily known to be proponents of that falsehood, their silence spoke just as loud.

There is little doubt that they knew their silence, as people of scripture and knowledge, would deliver that effect without needing to openly profess falsehood. Had they spoken in support of falsehood, Allah would have instead called them ‘mutakalimun bil-batil’ or ‘speakers of falsehood’, but their silence was enough to make them culpable for the lies peddled by others.

Correspondingly, their consuming “ill-gotten gains” was to their earning by way of that silence or in today’s terms, they were ‘Scholars for Dollars.’ Those who had reason to pay them off knew of their reformatory impact, as learned men, should they have spoken out. It also speaks volumes about what the peddlers of lies are prepared to offer those who know the truth in extortions, or in new terms, ‘hush money’ in exchange for staying quiet. Today, this presents as one of the most abominable phenomena among learned men under many absolutist regimes.

A group of them once approached the Prophet (Peace be upon him) seeking his judgement for two who had committed adultery. On the authority of Abdullahi Bin Umar (RA), he said:

“The Torah was brought, and then one of the followers of Judaism put his hand over the Divine Verse of the stoning to death and started reading what preceded and what followed it. On that, (the companion) Ibn Salam (RA) said to him: ‘Lift up your hand.’ The Divine Verse of the stoning was under his hand.” [Bukhari and Muslim].

Beloved servants of Allah! Notice how the man in question was cautious not to openly deny that the verse existed. Instead, putting his hand over it, his actions were synonymous to promoting the falsehood in question. Allah Almighty says:

“People of the Book! why do you mix truth with falsehood and knowingly conceal the truth?” [Qur’an, 3: 71]

Some will argue that silence is more palatable to the masses. Countering a falsehood may compromise one’s popularity or charisma, being likely to stir up mass objection or loss of ‘followers’ or loss of worldly gain. These may focus their activism around palatable messages and affectionate, more acceptable narratives (the ‘known’ or the ‘ma’ruf’). They may even have little wealth, drive cheap cars or wear simple clothes but their words are cleverly crafted so as not to stir up the tastes of their crowds. Sufyan al-Thawri (rahimahullah) is reported to have said:

“Many are ascetic with respect to their food and drink but compete for fame or leadership like two mules butting heads.” [Jami’ul Masa’il].

Imam al-Thawri’s words tell that being an ascetic is not by one’s mere abstinence from taking corporate gifts or large pay cheques or by wearing rugged clothes. Instead, one can also choose to be austere with respect to their presence, platforms and audiences, seeing no reason to compete for these ultimately material returns. Sheikh Abdul Aziz al-Tarifi says:

“Whoever witnesses the inviolability and status of Islam being defied, or people’s right being violated, but fails to speak in order to maintain his own status, Allah will take away from his own status as much as that appropriated from Islam because you reap what you sow.”

It becomes not only incumbent on those who recognise evil to contest it, but follows that it is better and undeniably ‘safer’ to be ignorant of an unfolding evil than to recognise it and choose silence over speaking.

All praises and thanks are due to Allah alone, 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 and sincere followers.

Murtadha Muhammad Gusau is the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’ah and the late Alhaji Abdur-Rahman Okene’s Mosques, Okene, Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached via: gusauimam@gmail.com or +2348038289761.

This Jumu’ah Khutbah (Friday sermon) was prepared for delivery today Friday, Safar 5, 1444 AH (September 02, 2022).

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