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CHOOSING MOST COMPETENT 2023

IN THE NAME OF ALLAH, THE BENEFICENT, THE MERCIFUL

BEING THE THIRD SERMON FOR THE MONTH OF RAJAB, DATED 19TH RAJAB, 1444 AH (10TH FEBRUARY, 2023 CE).

CHOOSING THE MOST SUITABLE PERSON FOR LEADERSHIP IS A COLLECTIVE RESPONSIBILITY

All Praises belong to Allah, the Lord of the Universe, Who says in his Glorious Book: (يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَخُونُوا اللَّهَ وَالرَّسُولَ وَتَخُونُوا أَمَانَاتِكُمْ وَأَنْتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ) “O you who believe! Betray not Allah and His Messenger, nor betray knowingly your Amanat (things entrusted to you, and all the duties which Allah has ordained for you) ”, “…Verily, the best of men for you to hire is the strong, the trustworthy.” we thank Him, we believe in Him, and we trust in Him. We seek refuge in him from the evil of our own souls, and from our bad deeds. He whom Allah guides is the one who is guided and nothing that can mislead him, and whoever is let astray, none can guide Him. I testify that there is no god worthy of worship except Allah alone. He has no partner. And I bear witness that Muhammad is his servant and His Messenger., who said in his hadith: : “When honesty is lost, then wait for the Hour.” It was asked, “How will honesty be lost, O Allah’s Messenger (PBUH)?” He said, “When authority is given to those who do not deserve it, then wait for the Hour.” (Bukhari). May the Blessings and Peace of Allah be upon him and his pure household and companions.

Thereafter….

O servants of Allah, I enjoin you and myself to fear Allah, the Mighty and Sublime, for it is an intercessory solution for all the problems of this world and the Hereafter, in accordance with the Saying of Allah Ta’alah: “Whoever fears Allah, He will make a way out  for him. And He’ll provide for him from where he does not reckon” (At-Talaaq: 2-3) (وَمَنْ يَتَّقِ اللَّهَ يَجْعَلْ لَهُ مَخْرَجًا (2) وَيَرْزُقْهُ مِنْ حَيْثُ لَا يَحْتَسِبُ) “and whosoever fears Allah and keeps his duty to Him, He will make his matter easy for him.” (At-Talaaq: 4).

Brothers in faith! This is the third meeting in the month of Rajab, and we are awaiting the general elections and preparing for it in all ways, night and day. The first stage is indeed close by remaining two weeks. This is the presidential and the parliamentary elections. And the topic of our sermon today – insha-Allah Ta’alah – revolves around choosing the most suitable person for leadership as everybody’s responsibility.

The basic principle in elections in the Sharee’ah of Islaam is participation, not boycott:

Brothers in Faith! We have elucidated, in our past sermons on this Minbar, the view of Islaam to be as follows:

1. A testimony: And Allah Ta’alah has said: (وَأَقِيمُوا الشَّهَادَةَ لِلَّهِ ذَلِكُمْ يُوعَظُ بِهِ مَنْ كَانَ يُؤْمِنُ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ) “And establish the testimony for [the acceptance of] Allah. That is instructed to whoever should believe in Allah and the Last day” (At-Talaq: 2). (وَلَا تَكْتُمُوا الشَّهَادَةَ وَمَنْ يَكْتُمْهَا فَإِنَّهُ آثِمٌ قَلْبُهُ وَاللَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ عَلِيمٌ) “And conceal not the evidence for he, who hides it, surely his heart is sinful. And Allah is All-Knower of what you do.” (Al-Baqarah: 283).

2.  It is a recommendation: Recommendation of the candidate by the voter, and the recommendation in the sense of judgement is equivalent to bearing just witness in front of a judge. And the scholars of Fiqh have established that the witnesses of recommendation is same as the witnesses of a lawsuit in many ways, including that it is required in both of them that the one giving witness must of complete sound mind (intellect), accuracy/consistency, mandate, justice, sight and speech, and that the witness should not be constrained in slander or calumny, and the absence of kinship that prevents the acceptance of the testimony and that the testimony does not benefit the witness. The prophet (Peace and Blessings of Allah be upon him) said: “Whoever is in charge of the affairs of the Muslims and appoints someone over them as a favor, the curse of Allah will be upon him. Allah will not accept his compulsory or optional good deeds., until he is made to enter Jahanam.” (Al-Haakim in Al-Mustadrak)

3- Mandate and Authorization: Allah says: (إِنَّ خَيْرَ مَنِ اسْتَأْجَرْتَ الْقَوِيُّ الْأَمِينُ) “Indeed, the best of those whom you hire is the strong and trustworthy” (Al-Qasas: 26).

4- Trust: (يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَخُونُوا اللَّهَ وَالرَّسُولَ وَتَخُونُوا أَمَانَاتِكُمْ وَأَنْتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ) “O you who believe! Betray not Allah and His Messenger, nor betray knowingly your Amanat (things entrusted to you, and all the duties which Allah has ordained for you) ” (Al-Anfal: 27). “When honesty is lost, then wait for the Hour.” It was asked, “How will honesty be lost, O Allah’s Messenger ()?” He said, “When authority is given to those who do not deserve it, then wait for the Hour.” (Bukhari).

The Obligation of a Muslim

Part of the obligations of a Muslim who lives in any society is to contribute positively to resolving the issues of this society, according to his Islamic point of view, and therefore if he is allowed to participate in the election of representatives who represent the nation in parliamentary matters or in choosing the government, and in passing a vote of confidence in it, or in removing it, and in preventing evil from the ummah, and other matters of interest that result from the voting of representatives into the People’s parliament/ So, if a Muslim is allowed to participate in the election of these representatives, the Sharee’ah’s view is that it is an opportunity that a muslim should not waste,  as he must have a role in removing some evils, or spreading some types of good, or repelling injustice in general from people, among whom are muslims, or in keeping corruption away from the nation, corruption, in all its forms, that harms everyone, including, of course, muslims.

Participation in elections is a type of greater Jihaad:

Hence, participating in the elections as a candidate, and by voting is a kind of greater jihad, because it involves a great effort to serve Islam, the homeland, muslims, and all other people, and in it as well because it is the duty of the current period, and the issue of Islam today is the deviation of many governments from the religion of Allah Ta’alah and the true Sharee’ah and the spread of corruption in many fronts and aspects of life in the hands of statesmen, and so the greater Jihaad is in rectifying them or replacing them. There is no doubt that participation in the elections is the contemporary and safe way to do so, and it is within the limits of what we have the capacity to do.

He who withdraws from this responsibility commits a sin:
But he who withdraws from participating in the electoral process has failed to perform this duty, even though he performs other religious duties, but those cannot stand as substitute for the elections. In addition to that, other religious activities can in no way take away the sins of not participating in this process which is both religious and civic obligation. He who participate has the reward and those who do not have their sins. Allah says: (﴿وَأَقِيمُوا الشَّهَادَةَ لِلَّهِ ذَلِكُمْ يُوعَظُ بِهِ مَنْ كَانَ يُؤْمِنُ بِاللَّهِ وَالْيَوْمِ الْآخِرِ﴾{الطّلاق:65\2}  )( and establish the testimony for [the acceptance of] Allah. That is instructed to whoever should believe in Allah and the Last day.) (65: 2)

(﴿وَلَا تَكْتُمُوا الشَّهَادَةَ وَمَنْ يَكْتُمْهَا فَإِنَّهُ آثِمٌ قَلْبُهُ وَاللَّهُ بِمَا تَعْمَلُونَ عَلِيمٌ﴾{البقرة:2\283}) (And do not conceal testimony, for whoever conceals it – his heart is indeed sinful, and Allah is Knowing of what you do.) (2: 283)

Who should we vote for?

We should vote for whom we trust his religion, trust, and ability, simply put, the most upright among the candidates should be given the votes. In a situation where the available candidates lack these quality-as is the reality in our time- then we must vote for the lesser in evil. It known with the scholars of hadith to say, in a situation where they could not find any evidence on a matter other than a weak hadith, where any other evidence is even worse than the weak hadith, they will describe it as the most correct point on the matter of discussion.

Allah says: (يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُوا لَا تَخُونُوا اللَّهَ وَالرَّسُولَ وَتَخُونُوا أَمَانَاتِكُمْ وَأَنْتُمْ تَعْلَمُونَ) (O you who have believed, do not betray Allah and the Messenger or betray your trusts while you know [the consequence].) (8: 27)

The Prophet said: “Any person who appoints a person over a group of people, and there exists among the group a better person before than whom he has appointed, such has betrayed Allah, His messenger, and the Muslims.” (Hakim)

When two non-Muslims vie for the post of presidency in a non- Muslim or Muslim country: When two non-Muslims vie for the post of presidency in a non- Muslim; if one of them has stronger hostility for Islam and Muslims while the other is of lesser evil, we would elect the one with lesser evil to bar away the greater evil. Allah reported the rejoice of the companions of the Prophet over the victory of Christians over the pagan Persians: (الم (1) غُلِبَتِ الرُّومُ (2) فِي أَدْنَى الْأَرْضِ وَهُمْ مِنْ بَعْدِ غَلَبِهِمْ سَيَغْلِبُونَ (3) فِي بِضْعِ سِنِينَ لِلَّهِ الْأَمْرُ مِنْ قَبْلُ وَمِنْ بَعْدُ وَيَوْمَئِذٍ يَفْرَحُ الْمُؤْمِنُونَ (4) بِنَصْرِ اللَّهِ يَنْصُرُ مَنْ يَشَاءُ وَهُوَ الْعَزِيزُ الرَّحِيمُ (5))  “Alif, Lam, Meem. The Byzantines have been defeated. In the nearest land. But they, after their defeat, will overcome. Within three to nine years. To Allah belongs the command before and after. And that day the believers will rejoice. In the victory of Allah. He gives victory to whom He wills, and He is the Exalted in Might, the Merciful. (30: 1-5)

It is imperative to pray that Allah make the elections free, fair, credible and peaceful:

We need to fervently pray that Allah make the coming elections free, fair, credible and peaceful for Allah do test His servants that they may beseech Him: (﴿وَلَقَدْ أَرْسَلْنَا إِلَى أُمَمٍ مِنْ قَبْلِكَ فَأَخَذْنَاهُمْ بِالْبَأْسَاءِ وَالضَّرَّاءِ لَعَلَّهُمْ  يَتَضَرَّعُونَ﴾{الأنعام:6\42}) And We have already sent [messengers] to nations before you, [O Muhammad]; then We seized them with poverty and hardship that perhaps they might humble themselves [to Us].” (6:42)

(﴿ وَمَا أَرْسَلْنَا فِي قَرْيَةٍ مِنْ نَبِيٍّ إِلَّا أَخَذْنَا أَهْلَهَا بِالْبَأْسَاءِ وَالضَّرَّاءِ لَعَلَّهُمْ يَضَّرَّعُونَ  ﴾{الأعراف:7\94}) “And We sent to no city a prophet [who was denied] except that We seized its people with poverty and hardship that they might humble themselves [to Allah].” (7: 94)

This is a remarkable favour in time of trials, for real sufficiency is to seek from Allah, that is the essence of worship. Servility to Allah is an eminent honour which could not be matched. Allah (swt) loves that mankind seek all of their needs from Him including food and drink as stated in hadith qudsiy thus: “O My servants, all of you are liable to err except for those whom I guide on the right path, therefore seek guidance from Me so that I should direct you to the right path. O My servants, all of you are hungry (needy) except for those whom I feed, therefore seek food from Me so that I may feed you. O My servants, all of you are naked (need clothes) except for those whom I provide garments, therefore seek clothing from Me so that I should clothe you.” (Muslim)

Remember that Prophet Nuh (AS) supplicated to Allah, his prayer was answered and the dissident people were perished in the flood. Prophet Musa (AS) beseeched Allah (swt) and he was saved from the tyrant pharaoh, who was drowned in the sea. Prophet Solih (AS) made the same supplication and he was saved while people of Thamud were perished, Prophet Hud was victorious and the people of ‘Ad were ruined. And Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) was honoured equally on several occasions … Ibn ‘Abbas (RA) said: “Hasibunallah wa ni’mal wakeel” was said by Ibrahim when he was cast in the fire, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) chanted it also when he was threatened by the hypocrites thus, “Those to whom hypocrites said, “Indeed, the people have gathered against you, so fear them.” But it [merely] increased them in faith, and they said, “Sufficient for us is Allah, and [He is] the best Disposer of affairs.” So they returned with favor from Allah and bounty, no harm having touched them. And they pursued the pleasure of Allah, and Allah is the possessor of great bounty.” (3:173-174) (Bukhari)

Why then are Muslims today forgetful of this great prayer?

SECOND KHUTBAH

All praises are due to Allah, in whose Hand is the Dominion, and He is Able over all things. He is the One who created death and life in order to test who among you is best in deed, and He is the Exalted in Might, the Forgiving. He says in His Book: (قُلْ إِنَّ الْمَوْتَ الَّذِي تَفِرُّونَ مِنْهُ فَإِنَّهُ مُلَاقِيكُمْ ثُمَّ تُرَدُّونَ إِلَى عَالِمِ الْغَيْبِ وَالشَّهَادَةِ فَيُنَبِّئُكُمْ بِمَا كُنْتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ) “Say, “Indeed, the death from which you flee – indeed, it will meet you. Then you will be returned to the Knower of the unseen and the witnessed, and He will inform you about what you used to do.” (Jum’ah: 8). We praise Him, exalted is He, we thank Him for His immeasurable favours on us. We seek blessings and peace upon the best of the creatures of Allah, our master and leader, Muhammad, his household, companions and whoever follows them in righteousness till the day of recompense.

Thereafter,

Dear servants of Allah, it was reported from the Prophet (peace be upon him) on the authority of Ibn ‘Umar, (RA), who said: The Messenger of Allah, (PBUH), took me by the shoulder and said: “Be in this world as though you were a stranger or a traveler/wayfarer.” Ibn ‘Umarused to say: “When evening comes, do not expect (to live till) morning, and when morning comes, do not expect (to live till) evening. Take from your health (a preparation) for your illness, and from your life (a preparation) for your death.” (Al-Bukhari)

Brothers in faith, we belong to Allah and to Him we shall return, and it is with great regret at the present time that a massive devastating earthquake kills more than 5,000 people in Turkey and Syria on February 6, 2023 while the population is asleep. Turkish President Erdogan said that this is the largest disaster the country has witnessed since 1939, adding that 2,824 buildings collapsed as a result. It was reported that a second earthquake struck the southeast of the country in the same area as the first quake. In Syria, state media said the quake killed at least 430 people across the border in government-held areas of war-torn Syria.

Servants of Allah, earthquake is a sign of Allah the Almighty to have mercy on the dead of the believers. Calamities are an expiation for sins, a punishment for the disobedient and sinners, and a reminder for the living among the believers. Allah says: (وَمَا نُرْسِلُ بِالآيَاتِ إِلاَّ تَخْوِيفًا) “And We do not send signs except to intimidate” (Al-Isra 17-59). Also, ((فَلَوْلا إِذْ جَاءهُمْ بَأْسُنَا تَضَرَّعُواْ وَلَـكِن قَسَتْ قُلُوبُهُمْ وَزَيَّنَ لَهُمُ الشَّيْطَانُ مَا كَانُواْ يَعْمَلُونَ، فَلَمَّا نَسُواْ مَا ذُكِّرُواْ بِهِ فَتَحْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ أَبْوَابَ كُلِّ شَيْءٍ حَتَّى إِذَا فَرِحُواْ بِمَا أُوتُواْ أَخَذْنَاهُم بَغْتَةً فَإِذَا هُم مُّبْلِسُونَ).) “Why, when Our punishment came to them, did they not humble themselves? But their hearts became hardened, and Satan made attractive to them that which they were doing* when they forgot what they had been reminded of, We opened for them the gates of all opportunities; and when they were happy with what they were given, We took them suddenly! They were confounded”. (Al-An’aam: 43- 44)

What is the duty of Muslims in such disasters?

  1. Hastening to repent and return to God Almighty by adhering to His Book and the Sunnah of His Prophet, (PBUH)
  2. Praying to God Almighty to protect the living among them, have mercy on the dead, and heal the injured among them
  3. Preparing for the Day of Resurrection for it will be a sudden event as this was. My virtuous brother, ask yourself, if you die now, do you have what will benefit you to enter Paradise in the afterlife? A man came to ask the Messenger (PBUH) about the Hour, the Messenger, (PBUH) said to him: What have you prepared for it?
  4. Donate from your wealth as charity, pay zakat to those afflicted as much as you can. No matter how much money we collect in the world, it is difficult to suffice what we see on television every day of saving the dead and the injured alike. Your donations can be paid through this account: (Human Concern Foundation International: 1012578198 Zenith Bank PLC)

O Allah, forgive and have mercy on the dead Muslims of this catastrophe, and make their graves a garden of the gardens of Paradise, and do not make it a pit of the pits of fire, and admit them into your spacious gardens with those whom You have bestowed upon among the prophets, the truthful ones, the martyrs, the righteous, and such are best as companions. And heal their injured with a speedy recovery that does not leave sickness.

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