Thursday, December 31, 2020

Adieu Sam Nda-Isaiah





“I am always saddened by the death of a good person. It is from this sadness that a feeling of gratitude emerges. I feel honoured to have known them and blessed that their passing serves as a reminder to me that my time on this beautiful earth is limited and that I should seize the opportunity I have to forgive, share, explore, and love. I can think of no greater way to honor the deceased than to live this way.”

― Steve Maraboli




I have written numberless eulogiums about the loss of people dear to me but this is the first in honour of a Christian friend, Mr Sam Nda-Isaiah, the late Chairman of LEADERSHIP Group, who passed on recently.



At a time, LEADERSHIP was the only Nigerian newspaper that designated four pages for Islam; no other newspaper has done that to date, not even those referred to as 'Muslim newspapers'. I started writing for LEADERSHIP a few weeks after the paper went daily in 2005 through the instrumentation of the then Special Projects Editor, Mr Abdulmumin Balogun. Thus, I have tarried long enough in LEADERSHIP to write about my personal experience with Oga Sam and what I have gathered from people in his employ about the nature and disposition of that personage.   


Sam was a good Christian who was not known for the vices common among people of his status. He was a strict teetotaller, had no place for tobacco in any of its forms and had no space for infidelity. He was famously proud of and protective towards his faith. He may not have wanted to be a Muslim, but he showed every sign of wanting to be at peace with Muslims, by all means, and did not desire his newspaper to be branded as a Christian or anti-Islam media outlet. I wrote a three-part series in 2012 captioned 2012 Democracy Day Church Service in which I analysed the paper of the guest speaker Archbishop Peter Akinola which he delivered at the National Christian Centre, Abuja. In the first part, I gave credit to the Archbishop for his frankness on the issue of corruption as addressed by his speech. It was after publishing the second part of the series that trouble started. In it, I drew the attention of readers to the ‘inflammatory and inciting’ aspect of Archbishop Akinola’s ‘presentation which was full of historical incongruities and erroneous interpretation of facts.’ I posited that ‘It is only a Christian evangelist that can speak so openly in the presence of the custodians of security in Nigeria which included the Commander-in-Chief himself, distorting history, preaching hate and goading Christians against Muslims without the press calling for his arrest, or his establishment expelling him. If any imam were to speak thus he would have been stopped, accused ‘of inciting people against the government’ (as happened to me at the National Mosque same time last year, but for the intervention of His Eminence, the Sultan), and subsequently removed from his position. Many were the imams that have been so expelled in not a few Northern states for speaking against injustice, corruption and electoral malpractices during the 2011 elections.’


When the third part of the series was sent LEADERSHIP did not publish it. I asked the editor who told me that the instruction to drop the page came from the Chairman. I called Mr Nda-Isaiah straightaway and he picked my call. ‘Mr Chairman,’ I said, ‘you must have a very strong reason to direct that my article be dropped last Friday, but please I want to know why.’ I reminded him of the fact that I write gratis for LEADERSHIP and if the paper does not appreciate that sacrifice, I, at least, expected a little more courtesy in the way the article was treated. He listened to me until I finished then he said, ‘Ustaz, I have read the first part of your piece. It was okay, but after the second part which I have not read, a Christian association complained about it and requested the stoppage of the series. I am now in Lagos for a meeting. I will, however, constitute a committee of three - two Christians, one Muslim - to look at the piece and advise me. I’ll get back to you.’


The committee of three finished its assignment and true to his words, the Chairman called later and said, ‘Ustaz, the article will be carried next week. The committee saw no reason to drop it.’ He went further to say that he was under the same unfair scrutiny by the Christian association on a piece he wrote concerning ‘Arewa and Muslims.’ ‘They said,’ he lamented, ‘that I am projecting the image of Islam and Muslims. What kind of nonsense is this?’ He asked. I was impressed by his fair approach to the issue. I am still impressed by the respect he accorded me and my opinion. 


I was later to learn that whatever it was that made him disagree or angry with you, whatever the quarrel was, the very moment you stepped into his presence and said you wanted to speak with him, you had a new slate; no judgment was made based on past trespasses. The merit of the new idea or discussion was what mattered. That he bore no malice towards people, including his workers, showed the high quality of breeding in him.  


He was quite proud of his achievements but not exultant; this is natural and normal for one who did not expect to achieve so much, so soon. 


Some people, even in the northern establishments may not have had a soft spot for late Mr Nda-Isaiah because they did not like the fact that he was a moving repository of secrets concerning their personal and official activities. But what he stood for in respect of patriotism and belief in Nigeria gobbled up any ill feelings from naysayers. 


One thing that God bestowed him with, unknown to most people, was that his quality of reasoning was decades ahead of his age. Whenever there was an issue concerning which some leaders had taken a position, Mr Nda-Isaiah always made them recant to a more balanced position by telling them the implications of their stand and how that would affect the country. Politicians and technocrats soon realised that he knew more than they gave him credit for.  


Many who tasted his harsher side chose to see more of his dark sides than the bright ones. For example, very few people knew about the orphanage that the late Chairman of the LEADERSHIP Group supported on a monthly basis. He never discussed this with anyone; whoever came to know about this, that information came to them by mistake or on a need-to-know basis: like the accountant preparing the salary schedule or the curious auditor that checks the payroll for oddities. When LEADERSHIP had plenteous crops before these lean, hard years, I learnt he could almost bring down the house if there was any delay in the disbursement of salaries. ‘There are families that are feeding from here;’ he would emphasise, ‘I will not allow one employee who represents only one family to mess up the future and livelihood of more than three hundred families!’ Thus, salaries, every accountant was admonished then, must be paid as and when due, by the 25th of every month, and may God help the payroll manager that would forget the orphanage, from the wrath of the Chairman. 






I also came to know that the late Mr Nda-Isaiah never, ever tolerated a mistake from himself. He loved good prose and was a writer I loved to read. His entire day, I learnt, could be darkened if he committed any mistake in his writing. That was why only one senior editor could touch the content of what he had written without an argument ensuing. He was known to be thorough to a fault: an unusual but sparkling quality in our society. 


All accounts of him mentioned his love for white apparel.  He had a simple reason for that - ‘..if there is a stain, you can see it from a distance.’ He was squeaky clean and never liked a speck of dirt. His workers and visitors were many times forced to take a second look at themselves before they appeared in his presence. He was a lover of cleanliness and tidiness. This was also reflected in the organisation of his ideas in the articles he wrote in Last Word, the rested Monday column in his newspaper. 


A staff member told me that he travelled with the Chairman by road to Gombe and when they reached Jos they stopped by the women roasting masara (corn) at the Ring Road. ‘How much is masara.’ The staff asked, wanting to start bargaining the price. ‘No, no, my friend,’ said the Chairman, ‘you don’t do that. These women barely manage to eke out a living. Feel for them because they have chosen a good name over and above selling their bodies. She said her masara is N100; just pay her her price for each. Even if you feel you are overpaying, just  know that you are blessing her.’ That was how he operated; whatever he bought from the struggling members of the society: bananas, peanuts or other things, he paid the exact amount mentioned by the seller wordlessly, in order to encourage them in their struggle.  But he never bribed a policeman, however much a case was presented. If, however, the personnel stopped him and said, ‘sir, we are suffering. Please give us something with which we can eat,’ he would oblige. But if the officer tried to arm-twist him, the case would become an attempt to wake the dragon. It would surprise many that the late Sam Nda-Isaiah's writings, several years ago, regarding better pay for the Nigeria Police and reforms of the force were major points in the demands of the genuine leaders of the recent EndSARS protests. 


The above trip happened during the period of petroleum scarcity. On their return journey to Abuja, they needed to refuel the car. The member of staff with him went to speak to the fuel attendant to help them get fuel. When he came back, the late chairman asked him what he did. He said he was trying to hasten the refuelling. ‘Don’t do that again please, the people on the queue are human beings like us. We will be on the queue until it is our turn.’ And so it was that they spent over almost two hours in a queue, to refuel and head for Abuja, after refusing 'approvals' to overtake others to the fuel pump. 


Another member of staff who served as a page planner (including for this page) told me (by sending the screenshots of the chats) that he once had a health challenge, sent a WhatsApp message to the late Chairman, in which he explained his condition and what he needed for the trip and medical expenses. It was an ample amount of money. ‘Send me your account details’ was the response he received. A short while later the entire amount was paid into the staff member's account - no questions asked; not even an attempt to verify the veracity or otherwise of the claim.


Those people who erroneously thought that Sam Nda-Isaiah was hardhearted would be surprised to learn that Sam, as I learnt, would often kneel down, close his eyes and pray God for the success, wellbeing and prosperity of his employees, calling the names of those in any form of distress one after another and beseeching God to alleviate their worries. These good qualities, many could not have seen or heard about.


As a newbie in publishing he believed in the maxim: break all rules; you don’t have to conform to the norm. He was the first to break the news of an anti-constitutional third term plot by a former president. He was the first to publish the pictures of members of the National Assembly that backed the plot and was the first to mathematically represent warped electoral manipulations of calculations of two-thirds majority requirements for a consensus. There were a lot of criticisms, of course, but he did set the pace and redefine 'norms' with his newspaper's editorial style, commentaries, perspectives and his column. 


Up until his demise, he was working. He would call a staff member by 2 am to make an inquiry about some assignments he gave, ‘Are you sleeping?’ If the staff said, ‘Yes sir.’ the Chairman’s answer would be, ‘You are not cut out for great things!’ That was his standard on himself and he expected every other person to be living to it. He would leave the office late, attend one or two meetings that normally stretched into the night and arrive home in the a.m only to work or read in his state-of-the-art library late into the early morning; he would still be in the office before noon, clutching a to-do list which would be attended to, item by item. He believed very much in God, believed in prayer, and believed in work. He did not lie down, waiting for miracles. He chased his dreams with sure steps. 


He craved for perfection and worked to attain it by all means necessary and whoever showed any tardiness on the road to efficiency and perfection was openly rebuked or shown the way out. Many that were sacked from his employ, of course, did not like both the way they were treated on the work and how it was terminated but some of them later confessed to the weaknesses they perceived in themselves, which the late Chairman identified, in their new places of service and through the people that manage them. Oftentimes, your worst critic is the one that really loves you because he causes you to grow and be a better person. The late Mr Nda-Isaiah was the unappreciated, worst critic Nigerian leaders and some of his workers didn't appreciate until his demise. 


My prayer is for the LEADERSHIP, through which the Chairman has moulded many people, through which he has catered for numerous families, to survive and thrive.  

 

His demise was a very concerning and painful incident if you put to account the hundreds of people in his employ and their families. I do not mean that their sustenance came from him; God it was that gave them their sustenance and He shall continue to give them. But the responsibility of running LEADERSHIP is an exceptionally big one. My concern is the direction for LEADERSHIP at this moment in time. In establishments of this nature, the owner of the big idea has certain reaches that most people do not have. The reach that the late Sam Nda-Isaiah had opened doors for the organisation. Now that he is gone the responsibility of keeping the newspaper empire he built has just become bigger. Everyone who remembers that the late, altruistic publisher of LEADERSHIP; LEADERSHIP Friday; LEADERSHIP Weekend; LEADERSHIP Sunday; LEADERSHIP Hausa and National Economy, empowered hundreds of people and made leaders out of young men and women, should pray for and support the publications he created. He was an example of the can-do spirit we need in our individual and corporate lives. 






The late Sam Nda-Isaiah supported many widows and orphans. The families of many of his friends that departed this world before him were subjects of concern to him and he helped them financially and with employment, on their merit. Some of these families will be more hard hit by his demise than we can imagine. And now, his own children have also become orphans who need our prayers too.


May his legacies live on and may his immediate and larger family - which includes all people who desire a better Nigeria, have the fortitude to bear his loss. He was my friend, your friend and Nigeria's friend. We should remember this fact. Adieu Sam Nda-Isaiah, adieu!

Thursday, August 13, 2020

HAGIA SOPHIA SHOULD HAVE MAINTAINED ITS CHURCH STATUS




I did not get carried away when, on July 10, the Turkish Council of State revoked the Turkish Government's 1934 decree on assigning museum status to the Hagia Sophia, and how within the hour, President Recep Tayyip Erdogan announced that the famous monument shall be a mosque for the second time with the first prayers to be held on July 24. I felt utterly despondent seeing how politicians could disguise shameless self-aggrandisement in religious garb. Many got carried away. I refused to bite the bait!


A Tale of Two Cities

Two cities, Jerusalem and Constantinopole,  were under the Byzantine rule, and both were conquered, at different times in history, by Muslim caliphs. Jerusalem fell during the caliphate of Umar ibn al-Khattaab when he sent a host at the head of which were some of the ablest Muslim generals, the likes of Khalid ibn al-Waleed and Amr ibn al-Aas to route the Byzantines. Jerusalem was taken by 637 but Patriarch Sophronius, a representative of the Byzantine government, as well as a leader in the Christian Church, insisted that he would only surrender the city to Umar personally.


When this information reached the Commander of the Faithful, Umar ibn al-Khattaab left Madeenah and arrived in Jerusalem on a donkey and assisted by one servant. Sophronius received and marvelled at the leader of the Muslims who was dressed indistinguishably from his servant.  

During a tour of the city which included the Church of the Holy Sepulchre, the time for prayer was due and Umar asked Sophronius to guide him to a place where he could offer his Sallah. Sophronius invited Umar to pray inside the Church, but Umar demurred. He insisted that if he offered his prayers there, later Muslims would use it as an excuse to convert the Church into a mosque. Umar, instead, prayed outside the Church, where a mosque - Masjid Umar (Umar's Mosque) was later built.


Umar's Treaty

Wherever the Muslims went in their expeditions the conquered cities witnessed the drafting and ratification of a treaty, detailing their rights and privileges, and the people of Jerusalem were not an exception. There was a treaty which was signed by both Umar and Patriarch Sophronius, along with of the generals of the Muslim armies. The text of the treaty read in part:

In the name of Allah, the Merciful, the Compassionate. This is the assurance of safety which the servant of Allah, Umar, the Commander of the Faithful, has given to the people of Jerusalem.

He has given them an assurance of safety for themselves, for their property, their churches, their crosses, the sick and healthy of the city and for all the rituals which belong to their religion.

Their churches will not be inhabited by Muslims and will not be destroyed. Neither they, nor the land on which they stand, nor their cross, nor their property will be damaged. They will not be forcibly converted.


Other sublime examples existed even before the above where, for instance, the Prophet, Sallallaahu Alaihi wa Sallam conveyed his unambiguous position on such matters, like his authorised letter of protection for the Sinai Monastery, (otherwise known as the Saint Catherine's Monastery or the Sacred Monastery of the God-Trodden Mount Sinai) in Egypt. This letter of protection, known as the Ahtiname of Muhammad, or the Covenant or Testament of Muhammad upheld the principles of peace and tolerance between communities. The Ahtiname from the Prophet of Islam (to the Sinai Monastery) stated that “No one is allowed to plunder these Christians, or destroy or spoil any of their churches, or houses of worship, or take any of the things contained within these houses and bring it to the houses of Islam


Aside from the above, the Prophet, Sallallaahu Alaihi wa Sallam was reported to have written to the Bishop of Bani Harith bin Ka'ab and the bishops of Najraan, their priests, monks and followers that they "keep all that is in their hands whether little or much, including their property, prayers, or monks, all under the protection of Allah Almighty and his Prophet Sallallaahu Alaihi was Sallam; no bishop is to be removed from his post, or monk from his monastery, or priest from his church."


When Khalid bin al-Waleed conquered Damascus, he wrote to its inhabitants: "In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful. This is given by Khalid bin al-Waleed to the people of Damascus. When the Muslims enter any territory, the people shall have safety for themselves, their property, their temples and the walls of their city, of which nothing shall be destroyed. They have this guarantee on behalf of Allah, the Messenger of Allah, the Caliph and the Muslims." 


The Prophet of Islam, Sallallaahu Alaihi wa Sallam and his followers were the proponents of tolerance, mutual respect and peaceful co-existence with members of other religions in the society. They practised this in every sense of the word as expounded in the above examples. Any action that could cause dissension and unrest in the society was forsaken for the greater good, that is, peace.


The second of the Two Cities was Constantinople (now Istanbul, Turkey), the home of Hagia Sophia which was "commissioned by the Byzantine Emperor Justinian I and designed by architects Anthemius of Tralles and Isidore of Miletus, was inaugurated in 537 and for centuries stood as the largest church in the Christian world, with a dome that soared more than 160 feet off the floor. 


'It was converted into a mosque in 1453, when the Ottomans conquered Istanbul, with minarets placed around its perimeter, its Byzantine mosaics covered in whitewash. Mustafa Kemal Ata­turk, the founder of the modern Turkish republic, transformed it into a museum in 1934.' 


Sultan Mehmet II, if the purported Waqf (endowment) documents were not forged, was not advised righty in converting the Church into a mosque in the absence of a precedent in the matter. 



Erdogan's Earlier Position on Hagia Sophia

Friday, March 15th 2020 cannot be easily forgotten, a day in which a lone gunman entered two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand and killed a total of 51 people and injured 49 others. 

That terrorist was Brenton Tarrant, a 28-year-old man who had live-streamed the first shooting on Facebook, and prior to the attack, had published an online manifesto in which he said among other 'nonsense': 'we will kill you if you cross west of the [Bosporous] Strait, we will come to Istanbul and destroy all the mosques and minarets'. 

Shortly after the New Zealand incident, President Erdogan spoke at an election rally where the crowd, angered by the terrorist's manifesto, chanted "open Hagia Sophia" for prayers. In his response, Erdogan said people shouldn't be deceived by Brenton's manifesto that contained references to Turkey and Hagia Sophia museum as it was then known. "We don't take action," he said, "because the despicable [terrorist Brenton Tarrant] said so," Erdogan told the crowd that there was no need to "open Hagia Sophia for prayers" since worshippers can scarcely fill the nearby Sultan Ahmet Mosque (or the Blue Mosque), "how can you fill the Hagia Sophia?" Referring to Turkey's largest Camilica Mosque which was then opened for prayers, he said, "It is four or five times bigger than Hagia Sophia. Sixty-thousand people can pray in it at the same time." 

President Erdogan, however, stored opening of Hagia Sophia for prayers as the joker in the pack when he ended his address by saying, "We know how to take the step and we know the political language for it."


Now is the Time 

With the economy deteriorating, inflation rising to some 20%, a weaker Turkish lira and unemployment reaching about 15%, now is the time to play the joker - open Hagia Sophia for prayers!


Waning Popularity


President Erdogan's AK Party won the 31 March local elections nationally but lost in the three biggest cities - Istanbul, the capital Ankara and Izmir.


Losing the Istanbul mayorship narrowly to the main opposition Republican People's Party (CHP) was a bitter blow to Erdogan, who was the city's mayor in the 1990s.


The AKP (Justice and Development Party) alleged voting irregularities in Istanbul, and controversially that result was annulled.


But a re-run of the city's election on 23 June delivered a bigger victory for CHP candidate Ekrem Imamoglu, who was 9% ahead of his AKP rival. Thus, now is the time to manipulate people's emotions and inveigle them into accepting this fa├žade of love for Islam when in reality Ankara pursues sordid fraternalism with Tel Aviv and commits human rights violations at home against its own people. 

  

Why will I be impressed with the recitation of the Qur'an from a president who closed down a Qur'an publishing company in his own country that used to produce millions of copies of the Glorious Qur'an for free distribution around the world? Erdogan falsely imputed the blame for an alleged coup attempt against his government to the Hizmet movement, the owners of the Qur'an publishing company. 


The Phantom Coup 

The dramatisation of the '2016 coup claimed at least 240 lives and, according to his officials, also came close to killing Mr Erdogan, who had been staying at the Aegean holiday resort of Marmaris.' The design behind this well-orchestrated drama was the detention and sacking of hundreds of thousands of people especially those with any links with the Hizmet movement of Sheikh Fethullah Gulen - soldiers, journalists, academics, public servants and opposition politicians. Erdogan said the plot was engineered by Sheikh Gulen, a US-based Muslim scholar who denied the charge. Nevertheless, the Turkish government has declared the Hizmet movement a terrorist organisation and sought for Sheikh Fethullah's extradition from the US to face trial but the US has said it will need to see evidence of Sheikh Gulen's involvement first. 


There were no answers! 


Conversion of Mosques into Churches


Some Muslims got excited and exalted by the news of opening Hagia Sophia for prayers because there are numberless mosques around the world, (not least the Mosque of Cordoba in Spain), that non-Muslims converted to churches. When has the behaviour of non-Muslims become a beacon light to Muslims' interaction with others? Whatever is the feeling of Muslims concerning mosques like Cordoba, vile as that conversion is, the Christians view Hagia Sophia in like manner. Hagia Sophia should have maintained its church status! 

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

THE KHUTBAH OF IMAM MUHAMMAD KABIR ADAM PhD ON RAPE




Praise be to Allah Almighty; I am grateful to Him, I repent to Him and I ask for His forgiveness:  Thy Lord bringeth to pass what He willeth and chooseth. They have never any choice. Glorified be Allah and exalted above all that they associate (with Him)! (Qasas, 68).  He created you from one being, then from that (being) He made its mate; and He hath provided for you of cattle eight kinds. He created you in the wombs of your mothers, creation after creation, in a threefold gloom. Such is Allah, your Lord. His is the Sovereignty. There is no God save Him. How then are ye turned away? (az-Zumar, 6) I testify that none deserves to be worshipped except Allah alone, without any partner. I further testify that Muhammad is Allah's worshipping servant and chosen Messenger who said, "So act kindly towards women.." May Allah grant commendation to His Messenger, as well as to the Messenger's immaculate family, esteemed Companions, and all who continue following their path until the Day of Recompense.

Dear people, I adjure you and myself to observe Taqwaa of Allah Almighty; it is the shelter and the haven: "And whosoever keepeth his duty to Allah, Allah will appoint a way out for him,... And will provide for him from (a quarter) whence he hath no expectation... And whosoever putteth his trust in Allah, He will suffice him. ...And whosoever keepeth his duty to Allah, He maketh his course easy for him... And whoso keepeth his duty to Allah, He will remit from him his evil deeds and magnify reward for him on the Day of Recompense". (Talaaq, 2-5)

O people, servants of Allah! Obey Allah and obey His Messenger and those among you who are in authority. Whoever obeys Allah and His Messenger has gained a signal victory. 

O mankind! Be careful of your duty to your Lord Who created you from a single soul and from it created its mate and from them twain hath spread abroad a multitude of men and women. Be careful of your duty toward Allah in Whom ye claim ( your rights ) of one another, and toward the wombs (that bare you ). Lo! Allah hath been a Watcher over you. (an-Nisaa, 1)

Know, O servants of Allah, that Islam abhors and vehemently opposes rape; Islam affirms the humanity of the woman as it does that of the man. For man is part of  Allah's creatures and enjoys grace and honour from Allah Almighty, as expressed by the Qur'anic text: 

Verily We have honoured the children of Adam. We carry them on the land and the sea, and have made provision of good things for them, and have preferred them above many of those whom We created with a marked preferment.  (al-Israa, 70)

Yes, brothers (and sisters) in faith! Overpowering a woman into doing something under duress is viewed as an aggression against the woman and defilement of her honour which Islam seeks to guard. 

Dear brethren, mating is a natural interaction, regulated by the Shari'ah, between a male and a female. Intercourse is sanctioned only by legal marriage based on mutual consent of the parties involved, the availability of Waliy, the Sadaaq and the presence of witnesses, according to the saying of the Almighty: 

so wed them by permission of their folk, and give unto them their portions in kindness, they being honest, not debauched nor of loose conduct.  (an-Nisaa, 25)


The girlchild, brothers and sisters in faith, should be respected and protected under the custody of her parents or guardians until she attains the marriageable age where whoever desires to have her as a wife will approach her parents with Sadaaq and witnesses. But the rape of especially a minor is a bestial act not befitting a human being that is honoured by Allah with the Shari'ah and whom He distinguished with intellect, discernment and guidance. Islam prohibits cohabitation as seen in Suratul Mu'minuun

And who guard their modesty. Save from their wives or the (slaves) that their right hands possess, for then they are not blameworthy, But whoso craveth beyond that, such are transgressors, (al-Mu'minuun, 5-7)

On the authority of the above verse, touching a woman illegally is an assault and grave injustice against outside the realm of what constitutes obedience to Allah Almighty. No wonder the scholars equate rape with trampling on the rights of the woman, oppression, murder, looting and terrorism; they view it as corruption on earth, because a woman who is raped may be killed during this horrendous operation, or be left with an unhealing wound in her heart. 

Dear brethren! Will the rapist like the same treatment on his daughter, or his sister, or his mother or even his wife? 

The answer will undoubtedly be no. Based on this, brothers of Imaan, the rapist should think twice before he inflicts harm on other women as the same treatment could be meted out to his daughter, sister, mother, or wife because what goes around, comes around! 

Oh Allah, preserve the dignity and honour of women and save us from the evils of aggressors who work corruption on the earth.

May Allah bless you and me with the great Qur’an and benefit me and you with what is in it of Aayaat and the wise Dhikr. Servants of Allah, seek pardon of your Lord. He was ever ForgivingHe will let loose the sky for you in plenteous rain, and will help you with wealth and sons, and will assign unto you Gardens and will assign unto you rivers.

THE SITTING 

Praise be to Allah, the Creator; glory be to Him, and may blessings and peace be upon the best man who cares about humanity; may Allah's commendation and peace be upon him, his immaculate family, and esteemed Companions.

Brothers in Imaan, it is the duty of every member of the society to abhor rape and let his abhorrence of it lead and represent him to those in authority with a view to stalling this heinous crime in the society. In a Hadeeth of Jaabir bin Abdillaah al-Bajali, Radiyallaahu Anhu, who said that: 

The Prophet, Sallallaahu Alaihi wa Sallam said: "If any man is among a people in whose midst he does acts of disobedience and though they are able to make him change (his acts), they do nothing to effect the change, Allah will smite them with punishment before they die". (Abu Dawud). In another Hadeeth which Hudhaifa ibn al-Yamaan reported, the Prophet, Sallallaahu Alaihi wa Sallam said, "By Him in Whose hand my life is, you either enjoin good and forbid evil, or Allah will certainly send His punishment on you, then you will make supplication and it will not be accepted." (at-Tirmidhi)

And by the authority of these Ahaadeeth, brothers in faith, we all must, as members of society, abhor all iniquities especially that of rape which is a grievous sin; it also violates the sanctity of the woman and forces her into unlawful intercourse. Rape is great disobedience and awful calumny which Allah Almighty has made Haraam

And whoso disobeyeth Allah and His messenger and transgresseth His limits, He will make him enter Fire, where such will dwell forever; his will be a shameful doom. (an-Nisaa, 14) 

Allah also ordered, in respect of one who approaches a woman unlawfully, that the law should take its due course: 

And as for the two of you who are guilty thereof, punish them both. And if they repent and improve, then let them be. Lo! Allah is Relenting, Merciful. (an-Nisaa, 16)

In the Hadeeth, on the authority of Waa'il ibn Hujr, Radiyallaahu AnhuWhen a woman went out during the time of the Prophet, Sallallaahu Alaihi wa Sallam for prayer, a man attacked and overpowered (raped) her. She shouted and he ran away and disappeared.  Then someone came by and she (in a daze) said: 'That man did such and such to me'. And when a company of the Ansaar (Emigrants) came by, she still said: 'That man did such and such to me'. They went and seized whom they (wrongly) thought had raped her and brought him to her. She affirmed that he was the one. They arraigned him before the Messenger of Allah, Sallallaahu Alaihi wa Sallam on charges of assault and rape. But before the Messenger of Allah, Sallallaahu Alaihi wa Sallam passed the Rajm sentence on him, the real rapist who had assaulted the woman stood up and said: 'O Messenger of Allah!  I am the man who did it to her'.  The Messenger of Allah said to the woman: 'Go away, for Allah has forgiven you'. He also offered some palliative words to the one that was wrongly arrested. Then he, Sallallaahu Alaihi wa Sallam turned to the rapist and ordered: 'Stone him to death'. And let face the full wrath of the law! 

Dear brethren in faith! Observe Taqwaa of Allah in your dealings with women for they are fragile; Allah created them that you may find succour through them in your life. Allah said: 

And of His signs is this: He created for you helpmeets from yourselves that ye might find rest in them, and He ordained between you love and mercy. Lo, herein indeed are portents for folk who reflect. (ar-Rum, 21)

The issue of preserving and protecting women so they do not fall victims of vile members of the community is necessary and the responsibility of every member of society, because a woman is a mother of children, she is a daughter, a sister and a wife that partners her husband in the journey of life. Therefore, dear brethren, protect the dignity of the woman and give her all the protection she needs to be worthy of noble life in society. The Almighty said: 

And they (women) have rights similar to those (of men) over them in kindness, and men are a degree above them. Allah is Mighty, Wise. (al-Baqarah, 228)

Thursday, July 23, 2020

PROF. IMAM IBRAHIM MAQARY'S KHUTBAH ON SECURITY






Allah made it experience the garb of dearth and fear because of what they used to do. (an-Nahl 112)




Allah has encompassed His servants with myriad, countless bounties, and if ye would count the favour of Allah ye cannot reckon it. (an-Nahl: 18)

One of the greatest favours of Allah on us is the Ni'mah of Imaan.  Many (people) may not realise that Imaan is a derivative of Amn (security); or in another sense, belief is part and parcel of security. Aside from that, one of Allah's attributes is al-Mu'min - the source of peace and security. He guarantees the safety of His bondsmen, securing them from fear in the world and chastisement in the hereafter. 


Allah Almighty designates His servants as Mu'mineen but the apparent likeness in the appellations merits no basis for comparison between the Designator and the designee. 

(Also), Allah Almighty repeatedly reminds us of (security) and makes it a great favour on us:  O ye who believe! Remember Allah's favour unto you, how a people were minded to stretch out their hands against you but He withheld their hands from you; and keep your duty to Allah. In Allah let believers put their trust. (al-Maa'idah: 11) He also said:  So let them worship the Lord of this House, Who hath fed them against hunger and hath made them safe from fear. (Quraish: 3-4)




No one measures the essence of security with the right measure except those that fall into insecurity. The stout of heart (Ulul Azm) among the messengers (of Allah) have always asked Allah the provision of security. When Ibrahim finished the construction of the House in Makkah he turned to Allah and prayed:

 My Lord! Make this a region of security and bestow upon its people fruits, such of them as believe in Allah and the Last Day, ... (al-Baqarah:126)

He mentioned security first before sustenance because in a state of insecurity sustenance loses its taste and man is unable to work for his daily bread. But in a state of security man feels tranquil and able to perceive the taste of food and drink. 


And thus Allah answered the prayer of His Khaleel (friend) and, as a favour upon the people of this purified spot, grant beauty of life and security to the territories, regarding which Allah said: 
So let them worship the Lord of this House, Who hath fed them against hunger and hath made them safe from fear. (Quraish: 3-4)

The importance of this Ni'mah (security) is depicted in a Hadeeth reported by at-Tirmidhi and others, that at the sight of a new moon the Messenger of Allah, Sallallaahu Alaihi wa Sallam used to supplicate: 

"O Allah, let this moon appear on us with security and Imaan; with safety and Islam and in line with what You love and are pleased with. (O moon), our Rabb (Lord) and yours is one."



The mention of security appears numberlessly in the Glorious Qur'an and the Noble Prophet's Sunnah to draw attention to (the need for ) peace and psychological reassurance. This security embodies life itself, the establishment of discipline and guarding same against anyone that attempts to corrupt it. Verity, the Kitaab and Sunnah encourage the doing of any act that engenders security to the Muslims, nay, to the entirely of Allah's creatures including trees and hills! What is plainer in this regard than his words, Sallallaahu Alaihi wa Sallam in what Ibn Mas'ud, Radiyallaahu Anhu, reported? He said: 'We were in the company of Allah's Messenger, Sallallaahu Alaihi wa Sallam during a journey when he drew apart to relieve himself.  In his absence, we saw a red bird which had two young ones with it. We caught them and the red mother bird came beating the earth with its wings. In the meantime, the Prophet, Sallallaahu Alaihi wa Sallam returned and said, "Who has put this bird to distress on account of its young? Return them to her." He, Sallallaahu Alaihi wa Sallam also noticed a mound of ants which we had burnt up. He asked, "Who set fire to this?" We replied: "We have done so." He, Sallallaahu Alaihi wa Sallam said, "None can chastise with fire except the Rabb of the fire."

The Messenger of Allah, Sallallaahu Alaihi wa Sallam warns against and prohibits the commission of any act that threatens the peace and security of any person. In the Hadeeth: "The Mu'min is he from whom people's lives and wealth are safe." And in another (Hadeeth): The Muslim is he from whose tongue and hand other Muslims, (in Muslim's version of the Hadeeth), the people are safe." It is also reported: "By Allah, he does not believe! By Allah, he does not believe! By Allah, he does not believe!" It was said, "Who is that, O Allah's Apostle?" He said, "That person whose neighbour does not feel safe from his evil."  


Indeed, we have to broaden the scope of our understanding to appreciate the deeper meaning of neighbour in the above noble prophetic text. 

Security legislation in Islam is not confined exclusively to protecting the Muslims; it extends to the non-Muslims in that it proscribes killing them or any form of transgression against their wealth or honour; it threatens whoever distresses (non-Muslims) with grievous chastisement. Verily, Islam legislates the Hudud (punishment) and retribution to serve as a dire warning and a deterrent against crimes that afflict members of the society in their person, honour or property. 

Where there is security, hearts are filled with tranquillity,  calm reigns and felicity pervades (the place). He, Sallallaahu Alaihi wa Sallam said:


"If anyone of you reaches the morning with his family and dwelling safe, with his health intact, and possessing his provision for that day, it is as though everything in the world was gathered and given to him." 
(Reported by at-Tirmidhi)


Dear beloved! If security is disrupted, the situation changes whereby innocents are murdered, women are widowed, children are orphaned, ignorance goes viral, wrongdoing spreads and fear descends: so Allah made it experience the garb of dearth and fear because of what they used to do. (an-Nahl 112)



THE SECOND KHUTBAH



One of the ways of ensuring security is by recognising the essence of our security forces who spare no effort in guarding our country. We have to laud the sacrifices they are making in giving battle to the enemy in the trenches; they sacrifice their comfort so we may be comfortable; they sacrifice their security so we may be secure; they even pay the ultimate price by dying in the frontlines so we may live. They deserve our encouragement and prayers. If lapses are noticed in their modus operandi there are better ways of reaching those in authority for advice and good counsel, not the improprieties we hear from the Mimbar or the social media. Solutions to security problems must be proffered with tact and secrecy. 

Finally, we have to also search ourselves, it may be that our handiworks plunge us into our current situation so we revert and make amends: Allah coineth a similitude: a township that dwelt secure and well content, its provision coming to it in abundance from every side, but it disbelieved in Allah's favours, so Allah made it experience the garb of dearth and fear because of what they used to do(an-Nahl 112)

Praise be to Allah!