In the name of Allah, Most Merciful, Bestower of Mercy
All Praise is due to Allah, We praise Him and we seek help from Him. We ask forgiveness from Him. We repent to Him; and we seek refuge in Him from our own evils and our own bad deeds. Anyone who is guided by Allah, is truly guided; and anyone who has been left astray, will find no one to guide him. I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, the Only One without any partner; and I bear witness that Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) is His servant, and His Messenger.
O You who believe, – be aware of Allah, with correct awareness, and die not except as Muslims.
O You who believe, – Be aware of Allah, and speak a straightforward word. He will forgive your sins and repair your deeds. And whoever takes Allah and His Prophet as a guide, has already achieved a mighty victory.
O mankind! Show reverence towards your Guardian-Lord Who created you from a single person, created, of like nature, his mate and from the two of them scattered (like seeds) countless men and women;― Be conscious of Allah, through Whom you demand your mutual (rights) and (show reverence towards) the wombs (that bore you): for surely, Allah ever watches over you.
My dear brothers and sisters, one of the blessings with which the Muslim nation has been endowed is the day of Jumu’ah, or Friday. The Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) said:
“The best day the sun rises over is Friday; on it Allah created Adam. On it, he was made to enter paradise, on it he was expelled from it, and the Last Hour will take place on no other day than Friday.” [Ahmad and At-Tirmidhi]
Imam Ibn Kathir, may Allah have mercy upon him said:
“It was named Jumu’ah because it is derived from the word Al-Jam’ in Arabic which means to gather, as Muslims gather on this day every week, and Allah has commanded the believers to gather for His worship, as He says that:
“O you who believe! When the call is proclaimed for Jumu’ah (Friday prayer), come fast to the remembrance of Allah.” [Quran, 62: 9] meaning be keen to go and attend it.”
Respected servants of Allah, please I call on all of us to use this opportunity, the opportunity of Jumu’ah (Friday) and our Mimbars (pulpits), to pray for our blessed country, Nigeria, for the insecurity and other problems bedeviling it, and to pray for it’s leaders of guidance from Allah The Almighty. Here are some other important virtues and facts about the Day of Jumu’ah:
- It includes the congregational Jumu’ah prayer, which is one of the obligatory acts in Islam and one of the great gatherings of the Muslims. Allah The Almighty will seal the heart of whoever abandons and slights this, according to the Prophet (Peace be upon him), in a Hadith (narration) in the book of Imam Muslim may Allah have mercy upon him.
- The day of Jumu’ah includes an hour during which all supplications (Du’as) are accepted by Allah. Abu Hurairah, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him), said:
“On (the day of) Jumu’ah is an hour during which Allah gives to a Muslim servant standing in prayer whatever he asks for.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
- Giving in charity during this day is more virtuous than any other day. Ka’ab, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon hi ), said:
“Charity given during the day of Jumu’ah is greater (in reward) than any other day.”
- The believers will see their Lord from Paradise on that day. Anas Ibn Malik, may Allah be pleased with him, said regarding the saying of Allah The Almighty:
“And We have more (i.e. a glance at The Almighty).” [Qur’an, 50: 35] “Allah will appear to them on the day of Jumu’ah.”
- Day of Jumu’ah (Friday) is an Eid, i.e., a recurrent holiday and celebration. Ibn Abbas, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) said:
“Jumu’ah is a day of celebration, so whoever attends it should perform Ghusl (bathing) beforehand.” [Ibn Majah]
- It is a day on which sins are forgiven, as narrated by Salman, may Allah be pleased with him, who narrated that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:
“Any man who performs Ghusl (bathing) on Friday, perfumes himself if he has perfume, wears the best of his clothes, then goes to the Mosque and offers as many prayers as he wishes while not harming anybody, then listens quietly while the Imam speaks until he offers the prayer, will have all his sins between that Friday and the next forgiven.” [Al-Bukhari]
- When walking to attend the Friday sermon (Khutbah), a Muslim gets the reward of both praying Qiyam (i.e., the night prayer) and fasting a full year. Aws Ibn Aws, may Allah be pleased with him, narrated that the Prophet (Peace be upon him), said:
“Whoever performs Ghusl (bathing) on Friday after having sexual intercourse with his wife, then goes early to the Mosque and attends from the beginning of the Khutbah (sermon) and draws near to the Imam and listens to him attentively, Allah will give him the full reward of fasting all the days of a year and observing night-vigil on each of its nights for every step that he took towards the Mosque.” [Ibn Khuzaimah and Ahmad]
- Hell is fired-up during every day of the week except Friday, as a mark of honour and respect for the day of Friday.
- Dying on Friday, during the day or night, is a sign of a good end, for the one who dies on that day will be protected from the trial of the grave (i.e., Allah The Almighty will enable such a person to be steadfast during it). The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:
“Any Muslim who dies during the day or night of Friday will be protected by Allah from the trial of the grave.” [At-Tirmidhi and Ahmad]
On the praying for the leaders:
It is reported that Al-Fudail Bin Iyyad – Allah have mercy on him – said:
“If I had one supplication (Du’a) that was going to be answered I would make it for the leader, for the wellbeing and righteousness of the leader means wellbeing for the country and its people.” [Imam Al-Dhahabi, in Siyar A’lam Al-Nubala, in his biography of Al-Fudail Bin Iyyad]
This means wanting good for the leaders and supplicating to Allah for them features as an important aspect of the creed (aqidah) of Ahlus-Sunnah wal-Jama’ah, and distinguishes them from the extremist ideology of the Khawarij and terrorist sect. This has been recorded in the classical works of Sunni aqidah, for example:
Imam Al-Barbahari (in Sharh Al-Sunnah page 113, 114) states that:
“If you see a man supplicating against the leader, know that he is a heretic (Sahib Hawa), and if you see a man supplicating for the leader, know that he is a Sunni – In Shaa Allah.”
And Imam Al-Ajurri states (in Al-Shari’ah Vol.1 page 371):
“I have mentioned warnings against the ways of the Khawarij that convey the message for everyone who Allah protects against the ways of the Khawarij, and who does not hold the views of the Khawarij, but is [instead] patient over the injustice of the leaders … and who prays for the wellbeing and righteousness of the leaders, and who does Hajj and Jihad behind the leaders against every enemy of the Muslims, and who prays the Jumu’ah and Eid prayers behind the leaders. Whoever fits this description is upon the Straight Path – In Shaa Allah.”
Ya Allah, unite our country, Nigeria, around the principles of justice, peace, love and faith.
Put peace and love in our hearts for the diversity that makes our nation so beautiful.
Ya Allah, Most Merciful, we pray for our nation to remain tolerant and loving, remove prejudice from our hearts, and allow us to love our brothers and sisters in Islam and in humanity.
Ya Allah, allow our Government to remain accountable to the people, give them vision and wisdom, as they take decisions affecting peace in our world so that they may uphold peace in the world, advance the welfare of our nation and deal kindly and justly with all our communities.
Ya Allah, Most Strong, give us the strength to protect and care for our neighbours.
Make our hearts and minds aware of our heritage, fulfilling duties and responsibilities as a citizen.
Ya Allah, Most Merciful, allow us to show kindness to those most vulnerable in society.
Protect us from evil, inspire and guide us in defending those open to abuse.
Ya Allah, Most Generous, allow us to give in charitable activity, and to help those most in need.
Make us more conscious of what is not good for us.
Ya Allah, Most merciful, Most Generous, please give us the patience to continue to learn from one another and work towards a more peaceful and kind world.
Make our hearts generous so that we may treat others as we wish to be treated ourselves. Help us to share that which we have with others, for your sake. Strengthen us, love us and be kind to us all.
Ya Allah, unite our hearts and set aright our mutual affairs,
guide us in the path of peace.
Liberate us from darkness by Your light, save us from enormities whether open or hidden.
Bless us in our ears, eyes, hearts, spouses, and children. Turn to us; truly you are Oft-Returning, Most Merciful.
Make us grateful for Your bounty and full of praise for it,
so that we may continue to receive it and complete Your blessings upon us.
Ya Allah, we beg of you pardon and safety.
Ya Allah, we beg of You useful knowledge and acceptable deeds.
Ya Allah, impart to our earth its blessings, its embellishment, and its repose.
Ya Allah, Your forgiveness is vaster than our sins and Your compassion is more promising than our actions.
Ya Allah, make us patient and grateful to You and make us look small in our own eyes and great in the sight of others.
We invoke the perfect words of Allah from which neither a good person nor a bad one can escape, for protection against any evil that may come down from the sky or rise up to it and any evil that may be planted in the earth or spring forth from it against the evil of the tests of the night and the tests of the day, and the evil of the happenings of night and day, save only the happening that brings good, O Most Beneficent One!
Ya Allah, I ask that you continue to have your hand on this country, and that you provide the leaders with the wisdom to guide us in the right direction. I ask that you communicate to them in different ways so that they make decisions that honour you and make our lives better. Allah, I pray that they continue to do what is best for all the people in the country, that they continue to provide for the poor and downtrodden, and that they have the patience and discernment to do what is right.
I also pray to Allah for our country’s safety. I ask that you bless the soldiers that guard our borders. I ask that you keep those that live here safe from others who would do us harm for being free, for worshipping you, and for allowing people to speak freely. I pray, Allah, that we one day see an end to the insecurity and that our soldiers come safely home in a world that is both grateful and no longer needs them to fight.
Ya Allah, I continue to pray for this country’s prosperity. Even in hard times, I ask for your hand in programmes that help those who have problems helping themselves. I thank you for your hand in already helping those who do not have homes, jobs, and more. I pray, Allah, that our people continue to find ways to bless those that feel alone or helpless. Again, Allah, I pray from a place of thankfulness that I have been given a gift like living in this country. Thank you for all of our blessings, thank you for your provisions and protections.
O Remover of Difficulties, have mercy on us and blessed us with sustainable peace in our blessed country! 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.