THE CONCEPT AND ELEMENT OF NATIONAL UNITY::: Khutba 16TH MUHARRAM, 1439AH (6TH/OCTOBER/2017) English

IN THE NAME OF ALLAH, THE BENEFICENT, THE MERCIFUL

BEING THE THIRDKHUTBAH FOR THE MONTH OF MUHARRAM,16/MUHARRAM/1439AH (6TH/OCTOBER/2017CE)

THE CONCEPT AND ELEMENT OF NATIONAL UNITY

All praises are due to Allah Whosays:

﴿وَاعْتَصِمُوا بِحَبْلِ اللَّهِ جَمِيعًا وَلَا تَفَرَّقُوا وَاذْكُرُوا نِعْمَتَ اللَّهِ عَلَيْكُمْ إِذْ كُنْتُمْ أَعْدَاءً فَأَلَّفَ بَيْنَ قُلُوبِكُمْ فَأَصْبَحْتُمْ بِنِعْمَتِهِ إِخْوَانًا وَكُنْتُمْ عَلَى شَفَا حُفْرَةٍ مِنَ النَّارِ فَأَنْقَذَكُمْ مِنْهَا كَذَلِكَ يُبَيِّنُ اللَّهُ لَكُمْ آيَاتِهِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَهْتَدُونَ﴾[آل عمران :3\103]

And hold firmly to the rope of Allah all together and do not become divided. And remember the favor of Allah upon you – when you were enemies and He brought your hearts together and you became, by His favor, brothers. And you were on the edge of a pit of the Fire, and He saved you from it. Thus does Allah make clear to you His verses that you may be guided.”(3: 103). I testify there is no god but Allah alone, He has no associate, and I testify that Muhammad (pbuh) is the servant of Allah and His messenger. May Allah bestow peace and blessings on him (pbuh), his families, pious companions and all those who follow his guidance till the day of recompense.

Thereafter,

O people, I enjoin you and myselfto fear Allah in the secret and the open, for that is the intended goal of all forms of worship. Allah says:﴿وَتَزَوَّدُوافَإِنَّخَيْرَالزَّادِالتَّقْوَىوَاتَّقُونِيَاأُولِيالْأَلْبَابِ ﴾ {البقرة: 2\179}

O mankind, worship your Lord, who created you and those before you, that you may become righteous –

( 22 )   [He] who made for you the earth a bed [spread out] and the sky a ceiling and sent down from the sky, rain and brought forth thereby fruits as provision for you. So do not attribute to Allah equals while you know [that there is nothing similar to Him].(2: 21- 22)

Today’s sermon is titled “THE CONCEPT AND ELEMENTS OF NATIONAL UNITY” as a derivable lesson from the prophet’s migration, our nation- Nigeria is in dire need of the understanding of such concept at this time when some groups are advancing the call for secession and breakup into regional enclaves. We honestly consider such as a call to weakness, impotence and regret- God forbid.

The definition of national unity is the existence of one unified homeland, with its entire geographic borders, from east to west, north to south, inhabited by people linked to a common history, common goal and destiny, and common economic, political and social interests.

However in terms of the structural analysis and the linguistic composition of the term “national unity”, we find it consists of two words or two elements, namely, (unity), which means the gathering togetherand unification of the dispersed entity. The term (nationality) is that which represents the affiliation or belonging of a person to a certain country, where he lives, holds her citizenship, and demonstrates his loyalty to her, considering that this homeland is a social bosom composed of parents, loved ones, friends, families, tribes, clans and people settled in this specific geographical region and submit to the authority of the government of an organized state.

The issue of national unity has emerged since the beginning of Islam when our Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) formulated the Madinah Constitution as the best example fornationalism, citizenship, patriotism, obligations and rights, both consequential and guaranteed between the state and the citizen. After the migration from Makkah to Yathrib, many structural and demographic changes took place in Madinah, which embraced various categories of people including the resident and immigrant population: idolaters, Muslims-muhajirun and ansars, and Jews from the tribes of Auf, Qaynaqaa, Nadeer and Quraizha. Which necessitated a social contract and a document specifying the rights and duties of each party in accordance with the teachings of the new Islamic religion, which was brought by Muhammad peace be upon him, and what was from the Holy Prophet was the preparation of the Charter of Madinah or as sometimes called as “Constitution of Madinah”, which contained fifty-two items, most conspicuous of which is the respect for religion, protection of life, protectionof properties, and the rights of citizenship for each party to defend the city of Madinah from any external aggression from other tribes.

Imam Abdul Hameed bin Badis (1889-1940) considered that the Western colonial schemes aim to undermine the national unity of countries in order to achieve their own aims and goals, and therefore stresses that their confrontation is imperative. “We must believe in our hearts that Unity is a sure and inevitable duty, in it lies our strength and our lives, and in abandoning it is our weakness and death, and we must declare that with our tongues on every occasion of our discourse, and to work to achieve this practically by our unity and cooperation with our brothers”. IbnBadis goes even further to position the concept of union and unity in the way of the homeland within the comprehensive framework of faith in the Islamic religion when he says: “The duty of each member of the believers is to be  like a structure in solidarity and cohesion with others as a single body, as the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) said in the hadeeth: ” “The parable of the believers in their affection, mercy, and compassion for each other is that of a body. When any limb aches, the whole body reacts with sleeplessness and fever.

Thus, IbnBadis considers that national unity is the main factor in establishing the civilizational entity of the state or nation or society and its construction and ability to stand in the face of attempts to divide, split and breakup. He based his argument on unity as a religious obligation that believers are required to establish in their lives and in their living relationships without having a choice.
After reviewing some of the concepts of national unity through the approach of thinkers through different times and regions, we can point out that the most important elements that build and strengthen national unity are:

Firstly: the political system
The political system plays a key role in achieving national unity and strengthening it in terms of activating the application of the articles of the National Constitution with a view to peaceful coexistence among the people and the provision of various rights and guarantees. The political system, which represents the values, interests and identity of all, meets their needs, satisfies their desires and achieves the highest standards of justice and equality among them, will through its programs to deepen feelings of loyalty and affiliation to the nation would have taken advanced steps towards establishing national unity in the people’s minds and practical lives.

Second: The People With Its Various Cultural Components
The programs of the political system, despite their importance and necessity, alone cannot meet all the conditions and requirements of achieving national unity, but there is an urgent need for the effort of every member of nation in all its segments, as the basic component of the state. The people, with their religious and national symbols, and their political and elitist activities, represent a fundamental pillar in strengthening national internal cohesion, and deepening civil harmony according to a number of commitments, including the creation of various national components that would allow for mutual acceptability amongst themselves; psychologically, intellectually and morally. Acceptance of others necessarily means recognising them- in existence, thought and participation, and respect for their orientation and positions on any matter. Then comes an important step to activate the recognition through activating the mode of interaction and solidarity; socially, politically, culturally and nationally, because there is no coexisting without openness, communication and interaction.

Third: The margin of freedom and the application of justice
There is no doubt that freedom is closely linked to justice, in all its forms. It is justice that gives the broad margin of freedom, tolerance and peaceful coexistence between all social groups in the same homeland. But freedom cannot exist without a democratic system of government that guarantees the freedom of thought of the individual within the state, which is the basis of all other freedoms such as freedom of expression, freedom of belief, freedom of action and others. The most important guarantee and requirement of freedom of thought is to expand the circle of knowledge for all individuals through the adoption of free education, because thought is synonymous with knowledge that can only be realized by the availability of education. When knowledge becomes a commodity sold and bought, it becomes a monopoly for those who are able to pay its bills among the affluent class of the society, thus it would become its platform to serve their narrow interests. The free education allows for the spread of knowledge, enlightening minds and producing a lot of bright ideas for all people within the same country.

After that comes the rule of law and the establishment of the principle of legality by activating it throughout the country in accordance with the provisions of the national constitution, the laws as defined, where justice prevails and equality between all members of one nation.

Fourth: To Devote Pride To The Homeland And Citizenship
Nothing preserves the national unity and protects its gains than to consecrate the concept of citizenship practically in the lives of individuals through the achievements of spatial development, which quickly turn into a culture of pride in those service gains, so that they will live with all intimacy, jealousy and love. There is no doubt that the basis of this is the material work development, as well as raising motivation and moral spirit and create the feelings of pride in the homeland and its acquisition. When this becomes of the priority of the government, and the responsibility of the president himself, its impact will certainly be more effective and important.

National unity; an alternative western concept to the concept of unity of the Islamic nations
The conflict between Islam and disbelief began since the mission of Islam. And will continue till Allah inherit the earth and all on it. Over the course of fourteen centuries of this conflict, Muslims have experienced some weakness in the power that led to their military defeat in some locations until finally the state of Islam was torn down and the Islamic world was torn down by the disbelievers and their Muslim clients. The Islamic world was divided into small and humiliating states. Each with a president, ministers, a constitution, a national anthem and an army.
The danger of the concept of the homeland and its result is apparent in the following matters:

SECOND KHUTBAH

All praises are due to Allah Who created the heavens and the earth.May Allah bestow peace and blessings on Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), his families, his pious companions and all those who follow his guidance.

The World Teachers’ Day- an annual event- was commemorated on Thursday, 5th Oct, 2017, it is relevant to extol the virtues of teaching, and the teachers as exemplified in Islam.

Allah says: “Say, “Are those who know equal to those who do not know?” (39: 9)

Qualities of a teacher:

Some qualities of a teachers include: civilization, fortitude, tolerance, justice, and knowledge children psychology, truthfulness, honesty, sincerity, sociability, mental discipline, creativity, humility reasonable, cleanliness and perfection, accuracy, being adaptive, and contentment.

The duties of teachers:

Some of the duties of teachers include: teaching, advocacy, counseling, advising, training, education,… it is obligatory on him to carry out his duties rightly.

Sahl bin Sa’d, may Allah be pleased with him, reported that the Prophet, may Allah bless him- said to Ali, may Allah be pleased with him: “I swear by Allah, for Allah to guide a person through you is better for you thanthe red camel.” Agreed upon.

Abu Hurayrah, may Allah be pleased with him, he reported that the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him said: “Whoever calls to guidance will have a reward like that of those who follow him and that would not detract anything from their reward something,” narrated by Muslim.

And it, too, may Allah be pleased with him, said: The Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him said: “He that is asked about a knowledge and coveted it, he would be bridle on the day of judgement with reins of fire” Narrated by Abu Dawood, Tirmidhi, classified as good hadith.

The rights of teachers:

There is a common statement regarding the reward of teachers to be in heavens. They mean teachers should not wish for any fruit of their labour in this world, but their status in the afterlife is with Allah- the righteous, and that their portion in this world is poverty, deprivation and humiliation. However, this notion is indeed a fallacy and erroneous, because teachers are more deserving to be honored, respected and enriched, and adequately given incitement, because on their shoulders are other professionals made, such as doctors,

Today, the teaching profession has become a profession for the dejected by employers of labour- both government and private sectors. They do not see any right worthwhile for teachers, while their salaries are so relatively meager. The society does not respect them because they are poor even some parents do not give them their daughters in marriageowing to their poverty. Sometimes, it is difficult for teachers to rent apartment for accommodation. In many states in Nigeria today, the government has not paid their salaries for many months whereas they have dependant to spend on!!! What a parable!!!.

Advice to Teachers: Beware of despicable characters: likes unemployment, laziness and corruption in its different forms, such astaking bribe for exam malpractices, adultery, ignorance, negligence, and anger, and excess love for materialism.

Oh Allah descend peace; flowing with continuous tranquility and security upon Nigeria and all other Muslim nations. O Allah accept the worship of the pilgrims of hajj and Umrah, and grant us all Your pleasure, And the last of our call will be, “Praise to Allah, Lord of the worlds!”

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