In the name of Allah, Most Merciful, Bestower of Mercy
All praise is due to Allah, Lord of all creation. May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon the Messenger, his family, his Companions and those who follow him till the Hour is established.
Dear brothers and sisters, every day, a brutal crime is committed somewhere in the world. Many beautiful and valuable souls are taken away from us by the hands of evil and ignorant people and terrorists who act individually or collectively in the name of a certain group or entity. They leave an empty void in our hearts forever which can never be filled. These terrorists not only commit crimes, but they spread hatred among mankind by causing hate between followers of certain groups. These terrorists don’t think much about the consequences of what they do. Very often, they are very ignorant human beings that act selfishly, hoping to achieve their agenda which is based on a false premise.
Respected servants of Allah, today, terrorists come in many different flavours. They come from different cultures, religions, and nations but do not represent them. They all commit crimes individually and collectively but often in the name of a large groups hoping to gain followers and media coverage. Its a good strategy. Use the name of a religion or some other large group to recruit more and justify their actions by false power that it gives them. But lets be clear. Wallahi all terrorists share one thing in common; they are all terrorists who lack iman (faith) and happiness in their lives. They are worthless human beings whose only hope of being known and remembered is by committing evil actions.
My beloved people, terrorists commit evil crimes every day hoping to be noticed because deep down they know they are cowards. When you can’t change the world for good and be known and remembered for a good cause, its easier to do bad and be noticed. That’s why the majority of terrorists are either young ignorant men who have been recruited by fear or false hope of attaining a certain reward, or other men who have no sense of peace and happiness in their lives. These people are often oblivious of the fact that they will truly be accountable for their evil actions when they return to Allah in the hereafter. But terrorists don’t really believe in Allah because to believe is to do what Allah has told us to do through religious scriptures.
If you were ask, why do these terrorists commit crimes and what fuels their actions? These are good questions and I will attempt to answer them In Shaa Allah.
Respected brothers and sisters, most crimes committed by terrorists are often committed by hate filled individuals or ignoramuses or mentally sick people who don’t think about others but themselves. These individuals either have a mental disease, or develop hatred for a certain group of people. As usual, it is the media (social or conventional) instilling hate in peoples hearts by spreading false propaganda to achieve their own political agenda. Politics, Power and Greed is truly the culprit of terrorism.
Not all terrorists are religious terrorists. Some terrorists as the media likes to label them, are “independence fighters” hoping to achieve freedom and a better life. For example, when you have been oppressed all your life and have no rights to good quality education, lack food, lack all the social amenities in life and your human rights are being violated, the only way to achieve change is through violence. But we are outsiders and judge by what the unoppressed tell us. When we look at the all terrorists through one media, we are merely looking at an object from one distorted angle. We need to look at the so called terrorists for whom they really are. We could be seeing an innocent person acting out of fear and persecution because their loved ones have been kept hostage and they have no choice but fight. That can be an opportunity for us to help them out of their wrong thinking, not judge them.
As I said earlier, all terrorists are truly terrorists. Islam is not the religion of terror. Islam is here to share the message of hope and righteousness for all mankind. Terrorism and religion are two complete different things and we should never mix them.
Lets remind these terrorists that Allah is the giver of life. His are everything that exists. We have no right to take anyone’s life but Him. Our whole life is to be lived in a way that brings honour and glory to Allah. Killing and terroristic actions are not approved by Allah as predicated by Islam.
Allah has shown us the reason why we exist and how we are to live in the Qur’an. He has instructed us to turn to Him for guidance and mercy. If we obey Him and put all our trust in Him, we are guaranteed eternal life after this life. So lets abstain from all evil actions and honour Allah by spreading love, hope and righteousness.
I would like to leave you with a beautiful message on the value of life as portrayed by Allah the Most High in the Glorious Qur’an:
“We decreed for the Children of Israel that whosoever kills a human being for other than manslaughter or corruption in the earth, it shall be as if he had killed all mankind, and whoever saves the life of one, it shall be as if he had saved the life of all mankind.” [Qur’an, 5:32]
• Islamic religion is good for mankind
Dear brothers and sisters, since the creation of the first human being (Adam – Peace be upon him), man has been involved in religious practices to attain guidance and peace. The need for understanding our purpose in this life and our desire and hope for more life has caused man to continue striving for truth. Religion have been around for thousands of years and have continually shaped human morality and objective of life. Religion have given man the answers they need. Religion is good and have contributed positively to our civilisation. Unfortunately, not all kind of religious teachings and understandings have contributed positively to human evolution. As observed historically and today, many people have deviated from human compassion and love, from truth, and have turned into violent and corruptive ways to achieve their ways. Unnecessary wars have been fought over some strange beliefs, wealth, power, and land, all because of Mans selfish nature for self-gratification.
Religion are not to blame for the crimes we witness today but man himself. Man is responsible for creating many false religious understandings that promise false rewards. Today we have many religions that practice ancient traditions and superstitions. For example, the belief in demigods, where you have a god for every attribute of life, such as god of fire, god of rain, and god of many other things causes men to deviate from the truth into falsehood. Man has gone so low as to worship statues and will kill if His statue is destroyed. Man is good by nature but evil by actions. Our moral system is what makes us human. Self-control is what separates us from other living things. When we become disbelievers, we lose accountability and self-control. We become selfish people only caring about ourselves. We lose the one thing that matters the most; that is our purpose as a noble creation.
As humans, we are made weak in flesh, and unless we control our desires and tendencies, there are no limits of what we can and will do for self-gratification. We will often make what is impermissible permissible, and what is permissible impermissible to live by our corruptive nature. It is not just a theory, but corruption is evident today in wealth distribution, in power distribution, in land distribution, and in religious propaganda; all for self-gratification and success. We have lost all sense of responsibility and accountability by the deception of this materialistic world.
The noble Qur’an makes a mention of men’s corruptive nature. As narrated:
“Corruption has appeared in the land and the sea on account of what the hands of men have done.” [Qur’an, 30:41]
This Qur’anic verse talks about how man has corrupted everywhere. Unguided men, unbelievers and criminals seeking undue pleasure in this life without much thought. The Qur’an explains what men’s tendencies are in this life and makes it clear that the life to come is what we should to strive for. But no we refuse to listen and obey.
“Worldly desires, wives, children, accumulated treasures of gold and silver, horses of noble breed, cattle, and farms are all made to seem attractive to men. All these are the bounties of the worldly life but in the life to come Allah has the best place for people to dwell.” [Qur’an, 30:14]
The desire to be remembered and leave a legacy behind is widely practiced today. Lack of belief in anything other than this life causes man to do anything for his benefit. Ancient traditions are still practiced today because man loves to be admired and respected. We have dynasties today in which a sequence of rulers from the same family continue to hold lofty positions and enjoy the best life with great wealth, while others strive to barely meet ends. We also have monarchies today where a single person is the head of state with total sovereignty. Monarchs usually both hold and achieve their position through the right of hereditary succession. This unjust practice of having noble blood is still practiced today because man still thinks they are better than others because of what family they are born in. Fortunately, the Qur’an rejects this false belief, as stated:
“O mankind! We created you from a single [pair] of a male and a female, and made you into nations and tribes, that you may know each other [not that you may despise]. Verily the most honoured of you in the sight of Allah is the most righteous of you. And Allah has full knowledge and is acquainted [with all things].” [Qur’an, 49:13]
The noble Qur’an makes it clear that nobody is superior except by righteousness and good actions.
Man is the biggest danger to his existence. Rivalry amongst each other will cause the creation of new and bigger weapons to feed the ego. Everyone wants to be the most powerful, most feared and most honoured. Our ego is the biggest problem and one that needs to be controlled if we want peace and understanding amongst ourselves. We are a selfish creation and need a moral system to abide by in order for us to be upright. Islam is that source of guidance yet most people chose to live by their desires without caring for any moral implications. Man refuses religion because he does not want to give up his desires that are not allowed in religion. Man also chooses not to follow a particular religion because he has doubts and is unwilling to strive for truth. He has no time for truth because corruption is easier and more enjoyable. Religion makes us accountable whereas our desires make us arrogant and selfish.
Dear servants of Allah, humans will use any means necessary to achieve their ways. Historically, we have always had terrorists groups that killed children, women and men because they were different. They did not believe what they believed. These unguided men are ignorant in their belief system. They commit genocide and all sorts of crimes to spread their ignorant beliefs and understandings. If you don’t become like them, you become the enemy. We have had these groups in Islam and all other religions. Fortunately I can speak for Islam and confirm that religion is a choice. In the noble Qur’an it is stated:
“There is no compulsion in religion.” [Qur’an, 2:256]
Meaning, do not force anyone to become a Muslim, for Islam is plain and clear, and its proofs and evidence are plain and clear. Therefore, there is no need to force anyone to embrace Islam.
So why is religion believed to be bad? There is a lot of good guidance in it. Why do we often see terrorist groups associated with religion. Its easy, “Power.” The most effective ways have been to act and recruit in the name of religion. Its the most effective way to recruit more and achieve the biggest results. However no one person can speak for any religion but the scripture themselves. Man’s actions define man, whereas religious teachings define the religion. And what do we know about Islam? It is the religion of peace. The word “Islam” itself means peace acquired by submitting to the will of Allah the Almighty.
Today, many religious beliefs and understandings are man made, and have been created to control the masses by fear and false promises. It is often observed that those religious beliefs and understandings are often named by their founder; an indication of selfishness and self-praise. Man’s desire for power and legacy has caused the birth of many false religious understandings which have sent many people astray. Unfortunately, man’s innate corruptive tendency has given the rise to many false idols, false ideologies, false sects, false practices, and false hope. Human minds have been destroyed from excessive propaganda, deception, corruption, violence and falsehood. Today we are in the midst of thousands of years of human corruption and we are able to observe in detail false beliefs, false understandings and false ideologies, and no beliefs.
We live in a world with the mindset of free for all. No rules. No accountability. No morality. The evolution of religion has turned into no religion. Man does not want to live by rules. The desire to corrupt is greater than the desire for good. Believers in the Abrahamic faiths are often mocked and labeled as paranoid human beings who live by a book of fears and false promises. They are often mocked for living a life by rules and no fun. The phrase “We only have one life, why not live it,” has become very popular. In fact, it may be more popular than religion in the new generations. This phrase alone is enough to give enough power to one person to do as they please with no accountability, no morality, and no self-standard. This is an example of a lost soul, with a hardened heart who has no purpose in this life; they are just self created to self-indulge excessively.
Man is to be blamed not religion. In fact, not enough religion is the problem we have today. Sure we have extremists in both ends, but a hardened heart knows no boundaries and will continue to spread corruption. They will use whatever means necessary to achieve their goals. What they lack is knowledge and understanding not money and wealth as its believed today. That’s why religion is good for the soul. It softens itself from arrogance and pride, and it gives value to our existence. Religion has the answer of life not money.
Dear brothers and sisters, humans have been created as the greatest of all creatures on Earth, and have been created with free will for the purpose of obeying and serving Allah. We are created to worship Allah and enjoy this life for an appointed time. Unfortunately we are disobedient creation and are on Earth as a result of Adam’s fall. His mistake of not embracing the guidance of Allah caused mankind to be kicked out of paradise and live on Earth for an appointed time.
According to Islam, it is believed that when Allah created Adam (Peace be upon him), His instruction was to be obedient to Allah and enjoy the bounties of paradise, and not eat from the forbidden tree. It was a test of obedience. Unfortunately, Adam was reckless and was deceived by Satan (Shaitan) to eat from the forbidden tree which caused mankind to be kicked out of paradise into Earth for an appointed time. Allah the Most High said:
“O you get down from the Garden. [Once you are on the earth], a guidance will certainly come to you from Me: whosoever follows My guidance, there will be no fear for them nor shall they grieve. But those who disbelieve and reject Our revelation, they are the inmates of the Fire, in it they shall abide.” [Qur’an, 2:38-39]
We learn from the above Qur’anic verses what disobedience does to us. We also learn that without guidance which comes from religious teachings, we will corrupt excessively. We learn that Allah is a just and will continually to forgive us as long as we turn to Him with sincerity and repentance. Allah has given us the manual of life (Qur’an) and has promised guidance as long as we live on earth. Without guidance, the world we live in today will not be peaceful.
• Knowing Who to Believe and Who to Trust
My beloved people, Today, wallahi the world is in chaos. There is an underlying order in nature, but human society is a tsunami of lies, deception, disinformation, conflicting claims, selfishness and greed. This news channel says one thing, that one says another. One group claims to be “freedom fighters”, others call them terrorists. One person tells you to practice Islam this way, another says that way. You meet someone and he or she seems honest, while others say, “Don’t trust him, he’s no good.” You make personal choices for your life, and people criticise you and say you are foolish or misguided.
What a confusion! How do you know what to believe, and who to trust?
Answer: Believe in Allah first. Trust Him. Invite His word and guidance into your life and open yourself to it fully.
Next, believe in Allah’s Messengers, His books, the angels, the Day of Resurrection, and that certain things are predestined and beyond your control (Qadar).
These are the six pillars of Iman (faith).
Lastly, believe in yourself. With Allah guiding you, have no fear. Believe in your instincts, your choices, and your own heart. This is the most difficult challenge, but it’s vital. Know yourself, and believe in yourself.
If you get that down, it’s clear sailing. You’ll know which people you can trust, and which ones you can’t. You’ll know which causes you can support, and which ones are lies and deception. That’s the power of Iman (faith). It lights the way and makes things clear. The noble Qur’an is Al-Furqan, the criterion by which all things can be judged. The authentic Sunnah is our guide that shows us how to put the Qur’an into practice in our lives.
These are the sources of Truth. As the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) said during his last sermon, on the occasion of the Hajj and on the day of Arafah, in the Uranah valley near Makkah, with ten thousand people listening:
“O people, no Prophet or Messenger will come after me and no new faith will be born. Reason well, therefore, O people, and understand the words which I convey to you. I leave behind me two things: the Qur’an and my example, the Sunnah; and if you follow these you will never go astray.” [Agreed upon (Muttafaqun alaihi)]
Dear brothers and sisters, wallahi the religion of Islam is as-Sirat al-Mustaqim – the Straight Path. When you have knowledge of the Truth, you cannot be distracted or fooled by falsehood or by anybody!
Allah the Almighty says:
“Let there be no compulsion in religion: Truth stands out clearly distinct from Error: whoever rejects evil and believes in Allah has grasped the most trustworthy hand-hold that never breaks. And Allah is All-Hearing and All-Knowing.” [Qur’an, 2:256]
And remember, on the day the Muslims opened Makkah, the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) recited, while watching the idols being smashed:
“…And say [O Muhammad]: ‘Truth has come, and falsehood has departed, Indeed is falsehood, [by Nature], ever bound to depart.’” [Qur’an, Al-Isra’: 81]
The same is true on a personal level. When Truth arrives in your heart, and you put it into action in your life, you will find that falsehood can no longer stand before you.
You’ll walk calmly amidst the media whirlwind, the spin, the claims, the bigotry and greed, the terrorist groups calling to their illegal Jihad, the selfish people who only want to use you, the betrayers who would hurt you without remorse. You will know who to believe and trust, because you know yourself, and you carry truth inside you – The noble Qur’an and the authentic Sunnah of the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him), according to the understanding of our pious predecessors.
May Allah guide us all to the True path and fill our hearts with love and hope, 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.
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: email@example.com or +2348038289761.
This Jumu’ah Khutbah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today, Friday, Jumada al-Ula 21, 1441 A. H. (January 17, 2020).