By Imam Murtadha Gusau
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
Verily, all praise is for Allah. We praise Him, we seek His assistance and we ask for His forgiveness. And we seek refuge in Him from the evils of ourselves. Whoever Allah guides, none can misguide. Whoever He misguides, none can guide. And I bear witness that there is no deity other than Allah and I bear witness that Muhammad is His servant and messenger.
Dear brothers and sisters, the Sultanate Council announced that due to non-sighting report of the crescent in Nigeria, Wednesday has been declared the first day of Muharram 1445 After the Hijrah (AH).
In line with the Sultan, His Eminence, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar declaration of Wednesday, July 19, 2023 as the first day of Muharram 1445 After Hijrah, Sokoto state has joined the league of states, declaring the day as public holiday.
The chairman of the Advisory Committee on Religious Affairs Sultanate Council, Professor Sambo Wali Junaidu, had earlier declared Wednesday as the first day of Muharram 1445 After Hijrah, in a statement.
The statement explained that July 17 equivalent to the twenty ninth of Dhul-Hijjah 1444 AH, the committee didn’t receive any report from the various Moon sighting committees across the country confirming the sighting of the crescent of Muharram.
Due to this the Nigerian President and Commander in Chief of the armed forces in Nigeria, Alhaji Bola Ahmed Tinubu has felicitated Muslims in Nigeria and all over the world for witnessing a new Islamic year, 1445 AH.
He called on all Nigerians to imbibe the values of patience, perseverance and faithfulness as was taught by the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be Upon Him).
He also called on all citizens to endure the present challenges and be hopeful assuring that all hands are on deck to deliver on the promises made.
The President prayed that the incoming Hijri year will be more peaceful and prosperous.
In celebration of the Islamic New Year, also some states across the country have declared the day as a public holiday.
Kebbi State government has declared the day public holiday to mark the commencement of the Islamic new year, 1445AH.
Also, the Jigawa State government has declared the day work free to mark the Hijrah 1445 (Islamic New Year).
Meanwhile, Zamfara, Kwara, Kano, Oyo and Osun State governments have also declared public holiday to mark the new Islamic Year, Hijrah.
Also, a team of northern and southern Christian clerics has felicitated Muslims across the country, Africa and the world on the Islamic New Year.
Respected servants of Allah, know that one of the marvelous qualities of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) was his infinite patience.
Allah was with Muhammad (Peace be upon him), as He is always with those who patiently persevere. Allah Almighty says:
“Allah is certainly with those who patiently persevere.” [Qur’an, 2:153]
The Qur’anic word used for patience is ‘Sabr’ and there is no English equivalent for it.
We can convey the idea of Sabr only by phrases such as endurance against afflictions, patience with delay, perseverance against hardships, steadfastness in the face of setbacks, courage against hostilities, self-restraint against provocations, will power against temptations, and equanimity or calmness of mind as regards fortunes and misfortunes.
The Prophet (Peace be upon him) was a perfect role model to his followers. His life was the shining example of a man of extraordinary endurance: His father died before his birth; his mother died when he was only 6 years old; and his grandfather who took up his guardianship also died soon. Then it was his uncle Abu Talib who protected him.
And when Allah appointed him His last Prophet, he was faced with the most brutal persecution and hostility from his own people. But these harsh experiences of life did not make him a cynic; on the contrary, they perfected his faith in Allah, making him all the more strongly committed to his Allah-given mission. During the 13 years of his life in Makkah as the messenger of Allah, he faced all forms of abuse, boycott, expulsion and threats of physical violence. Yet he never budged an inch away from his mission. Rather he was gentle, considerate and sympathetic even to his enemies.
During the early days of his preaching, the people of Makkah had approached him through his uncle Abu Talib and made very tempting offers to him, such as the leadership of the City of Makkah, the most beautiful girl in marriage, and wealth of immense proportions.
The Prophet (Peace be upon him) spurned all these offers and said:
“I swear by the name of Allah, O Uncle, that if they place the sun in my right hand and the moon in my left hand in return for giving up this matter (calling people to Islam), I will never desist until either Allah makes it triumph or I perish defending it.”
This steadfastness and constancy against temptations was unusual in an Arab of those days.
And imagine the day when the Prophet (Peace be upon him) had to leave his home, his city, and his people and emigrate to another place! The Hijrah, as the emigration of the Prophet from Makkah to Madinah is known, was a great sacrifice and a painful decision for the Prophet at the time when he undertook it. But his personal comforts, likes, and dislikes had no value in the face of the immense task before him.
One remembers the time when he and his companion Abubakar were almost overcome by their pursuers in the Cave of Thawr. When Abubakar in dismay told the Prophet (Peace be upon him) that they were only two persons against the enemy, he told him with unflinching faith in the Almighty Allah not to grieve, as Allah was with them. Allah in the Qur’an admonishes the Muslims:
“If you will not aid him [Prophet Muhammad], Allah certainly aided him when those who disbelieved expelled him, he being the second of the two, when they were both in the cave, when he said to his companion: Grieve not, surely Allah is with us. So Allah sent down His tranquility upon him, strengthened him with hosts that you did not see, and made lowest the word of those who disbelieved; and the word of Allah, that is the highest; and Allah is Mighty, Wise.” [Qur’an, 9:40]
He (Peace be upon him) taught his followers:
“When you ask for anything, ask it from Allah, and if you seek help, seek the help of Allah. Know that if the people were to unite to do you some benefit, they could benefit you only with what Allah had recorded for you, and that if they were to unite to do you some injury, they could injure you only with what Allah had recorded for you. The pens are withdrawn and the pages are dry.” [At-Tirmidhi]
The source of the Prophet’s courageous determination in the face of all the traumatic experiences he suffered was his strong faith in Allah and his dependence on Him. The Prophet’s conviction that Allah was with him when he was struggling with adverse circumstances, is evident from this teaching:
“Strange are the ways of a believer for there is good in every affair of his, and this is not the case with anyone else except in the case of a believer; for if he has an occasion to feel delight, he thanks (Allah); thus there is a good for him in it, and if he gets into trouble and shows resignation (and endures it patiently), there is a good for him in it.” [Muslim]
The Prophet (Peace be upon him) was always considerate and understanding, even toward those who were ignorant and arrogant towards him. Indeed his gentleness and patience with them earned their love and respect, as Allah Almighty says in the Qur’an:
“Thus it is due to mercy from Allah that you deal with them gently, and had you been rough and hard-hearted, they would certainly have dispersed from around you.” [Qur’an, 3:159]
An incident at the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah demonstrates how lenient and kind the Prophet (Peace be upon him) was to ignorant people. Abu Hurairah reports:
“A bedouin urinated in the Mosque and some people rushed to beat him. The Prophet said, ‘Leave him alone and pour a bucket of water over it. You have been sent to make things easy and not to make them difficult.” [Al-Bukhari]
Once a man approached the Prophet (Peace be upon him) seeking advice, and the Prophet said:
“Do not get angry.”
The man asked for advice several times and the Prophet replied every time:
“Do not get angry.” [Al-Bukhari]
The questioner was probably one disposed to a quick temper, and so the Prophet (Peace be upon him) was stressing the need to control his anger. The Prophet also said:
“He who is deprived of forbearance and gentleness is, in fact, deprived of all good.” [Muslim]
We may remember the day of Makkah Victory: The Prophet reentered the city after 10 long years of living in Madinah. Practically there was no opposition to him. The whole of Makkah lay at his feet as he marched in. His enemies stood in surrender awaiting his verdict, and he could very well have cried “havoc” or “let slip the dogs of war” as the triumphant commanders of those days used to do.
Instead, in a historic break from the old tradition, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) gave amnesty to all his former enemies. He told them:
“You may go. You are a free people.” [Authenticated by Al-Albani]
Unfaltering loyalty to the cause of Allah is the virtue of Prophets. Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) was a brilliant example of a man committed to his divinely appointed mission. So it is no wonder that he stood firm against all opposition and finally succeeded in winning over the hearts and minds of millions.
For those who practice Sabr (Patience) in Islam, there is always the unfailing promise and prospect of a never-ending world of felicity.
• Be Patience, In Shaa Allah With Every Difficulty And Sufferings There Is Relief
Dear brothers and sisters, Allah Almighty says:
“So, verily, with every difficulty, there is relief. Verily, with every difficulty there is relief.” [Qur’an, 94:5-6]
The above Qur’anic verse is full of hope that inspires and motivates us and shows that there is always a bright light at the end of the tunnel. Whenever we are in any difficulty, the above verse inspires us to patiently persevere in our efforts and place our full hope and trust in Allah the Almighty. Allah is the Best of Planners, and during times of difficulty, as well as during times of ease, we should always remember and resort to Him. When we patiently strive in the path of Allah then we prepare ourselves to receive Allah’s kindness. Allah Almighty says:
“And Allah is full of pity for (His) servants.” [Qur’an, 3:30]
In addition, Allah in His mercy and kindness has appointed angels to protect us and to pray for our forgiveness. Allah the Most High says:
“Lo! There are above you guardians, generous and recording, who know (all) that you do.” [Qur’an, 82:10-12]
And He the Most High says:
“Almost might the heavens above be rent asunder while the angels hymn the praise of their Lord and ask forgiveness for those on the earth. Lo! Allah is the Forgiver, the Merciful.” [Qur’an, 42:5]
Dear servants of Allah, relief Comes After Difficulty When one is striving in Allah’s path, one should have a goal and set one’s sights on that goal. With every striving there will be obstacles — success does not come easily. But patience and perseverance, together with an unshakeable belief in Almighty Allah, give one the impetus to carry on despite the difficulty and despite the hardships, with the knowledge that the suffering will end and that the striving will bear fruit. Allah Almighty says:
“And that man has only that for which he make effort. And that his effort will be seen. And afterward he will be repaid for it with fullest payment.” [Qur’an, 53:39-41]
Continuous striving is the only way to overcome obstacles. It was only through striving, persistence, and perseverance, that apartheid in South Africa was dismantled although many people thought it impossible. Similarly, it was only through the same striving and surmounting huge obstacles that the Berlin Wall came crumbling down and that Communism failed. So too will all oppressors come tumbling down. The will of a people inspired by freedom and the return of their land, together with hope as their rocket fuel, will propel them to confront the oppressor as they look forward to victory and might. Allah has promised that His religion will prevail. He the Most High says:
“Allah has decreed: Lo! I verily shall conquer, I and My messengers. Lo! Allah is Strong, Almighty.” [Qur’an, 58:21]
Many believers all over the world are being mistreated and tortured simply for their belief. They are suffering various forms of difficulties and hardships. Allah Almighty says:
“They had naught against them save that they believed in Allah, the Mighty, the Owner of Praise.” [Qur’an, 85:8]
The oppressors parade the earth with injustice, brutal arrogance, racism, and discrimination, regarding one race or nation more worthy of respect than another and having total disregard for fairness, justice, mercy, compassion. They show no fear of Allah. Yet their time will come soon and they will face a humiliating punishment. Media blackouts, propaganda, lies, and conspiracies will not help them on the day when all will be revealed. He the Most High says:
“Those who disbelieve assert that they will not be raised again. Say (unto them, O Muhammad): Yes, verily, by my Lord, you will be raised again and then you will be informed of what you did; and that is easy for Allah.” [Qur’an, 64:7]
“Those who oppose Allah and His Messenger will be abased even as those before them were abased; and We have sent down clear tokens, and for disbelievers is a shameful doom.” [Qur’an, 58:5]
“Lo! The guilty used to laugh at those who believed.” [Qur’an, 83:29]
“This day it is those who believe who have the laugh of disbelievers.” [Qur’an, 83:34]
Dear brothers and sisters, these Qur’anic verses inspire us and fill our hearts to the brim with hope.
All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all creation; may Allah extol the mention of our noble Prophet Muhammad in the highest company of Angels, bless him and give him peace and security―and his family, his Companions and all those who follow him correctly and sincerely until the establishment of the Hour.
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: firstname.lastname@example.org or +2348038289761.
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