In The Name Of Allah The Most Beneficent The Most Merciful
BEING THE FOURTH SERMON FOR THE MONTH OF JUMAADA THAANIYAH DATED 6TH JUMAADA THAANIYAH 1441 AH (31ST JANUARY, 2020 CE)
TOPIC: THE PARADISE IS SURROUNDED BY HARDSHIP AND THE FIRE IS SURROUNDED BY LUST
All praises indeed are due to Allah, we praise Him, we seek His assistance and forgiveness and we turn to Him in repentance. We seek refuge with Him from the evils of our souls and our misdeeds. Whoever Allah has guided is the one that is indeed guided and nobody can lead such astray. And whoever is led astray, then for such, there is no helper/ protector that can guide him. I testify that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah. He is One and has no partner. I testify also that Muhammad (Peace and Blessings of Allah be on him) is Allah’s slave and messenger. May the Peace and Blessings of Allah be on him, his household, and all his companions in general.
Thereafter… Oh believers! Fear Allah the Most Exalted and be mindful of Him, the Most Glorifed and Most Majestic. And act in obedience to Allah and be far from His disobedience, because it is indeed only in that, that there is the happiness of this life and the hereafter.
Oh servants of Allah! The life of this world really, is an arena of strive and struggle, and Allah says, “And those who strive for Us, We will surely guide them to Our ways. And indeed, God is with the doers of good.” (Al-Ankabuut: 69). And the struggle that we speak about in this life, oh servants of Allah, is in two big areas and two huge issues:
Whoever is consistent in obedience to Allah and is adherent to it, and runs away from sins and disobedience and stays far from it, on this achievement, Allah, the Most Glorified and Most Majestic, in making true this effort, will reward him on the Day of Resurrection with a big reward. Allah Ta’alah says: “…So he who is drawn away from the Fire and admitted to Paradise has attained [his desire]. And what is the life of this world except the enjoyment of delusion.” (Aal-Imraan:185). Such good (for) servants of Allah! He is rewarded on the Day of Resurrection with being drawn away from the Fire and admittance into Paradise, the abode of the righteous.
Paradise has things that surround it and shielding it, and so does the Fire. Servants of Allah! We must know the things surrounding it and shielding it. There is no doubt that one must strive against his soul in this life to be safe from the things that surround the Fire and protect oneself from it, so that one does not fall into it and then enter the Fire, and likewise the converse. The question is: ‘What is it shielded with?’ (The question) is what are the things surrounding Paradise and shielding it, so that one succeeds in entering either the Paradise or the Fire? The answer is in what has been reported by Imaam Muslim in his Sahih from the hadith of Anas ibn Maalik (may Allah be pleased with him) that the Prophet (may the Peace and Blessings of Allah be on him) said: “Paradise is surrounded by things that seem hard and the Fire by lust” (Bukhari). In the report of Abu Hurrairah, he has the wording: (may Allah be pleased with him): “The Fire is shieded by lust and Paradise is shielded by things that seem hard.”
Oh servants of Allah! The hard things that shield Paradise are the obedience to Allah and his Obligations that He commanded His servants to do, even if it is difficult for the soul and the heart does not like it. Lusts that is shielding the Fire, on the other hand, are the generality of disobedience and transgression, even though, the heart tends towards them and is eager to do them.
Oh you believers! On of the things that makes this hadith clear and increases its understanding is the hadith reported by Imaam Ahmad in his Musnad and also the Imaams of the Sunan (famous books of hadith), from the hadith of Abu Hurrairah (may Allah be pleased with him) that the prophet (may the Peace and Blessings of Allah be on him) said: “When Allah created Paradise and the Fire, He sent Jibril (AS) to Paradise and said, ‘Look at it and what is prepared ready for its inhabitants there’. He said, ‘Then he came to it and looked at it and what Allah has prepared for its inhabitants. Then he went back to Allah and said, ‘By you Honour Oh Allah, no one would hear about it except that he would want to enter it.’ Then Allah commanded that Paradise be surrounded by difficulties and hardships and asked Jibreel again to go and take another look. Jibreel went again and after looking at it came back and said: “O My Lord! By Your Honor, I am afraid now that no one will be able to enter it.” Then after Allah created the Hell, He asked Jibreel to go and take a look. When Jibreel came back he said: “O My Lord! By Your Honor, no one who hears about it will ever enter it.” Then Allah surrounded the Hell by all kinds of lusts and desires and asked Jibreel to take another look. This time after looking at it Jibreel said: “O My Lord! By Your Honor, I am afraid that no one will be able to avoid it.”
Oh servants of Allah! If a sensible person thinks about this matter and really understands it, he would do his best in devoting himself to his Lord and do his best in striving against his own soul. Indeed, obedience to Allah, engaging in worship and staying far away from disobedience and sins are at first sight seem very bitter, but it is only bitter for a little while, its end is everlasting sweetness that will not stop. Verily, the bitterness of the world is short, while the sweetness and pleasure of the hereafter is everlasting, never ending. And that the servant be patient with the bitterness in this fleeting world, and then soon, get the sweetness and pleasure of the hereafter that never ends, is better for him than to preoccupy himself in this worldly life with false sweetness and fleeting pleasure that its end is everlasting perdition and loss and unrelenting, unending and lingering bitterness.
Our needs in this life are of two categories of patience: Servants of Allah need to be patient in obeying Allah, the Most Glorified and Most Majestic, and patience against transgression and disobedience of Allah. He keeps his guard on obedience to Allah, the reward of which he’s in need of, and he distances himself from disobedience, the consequence of which no one can endure on the Day of Resurrection. One of the greatest harm and biggest loss is for a man not to be patient on obeying Allah in this life and engaging in sins and transgression, and then bring upon himself on the day of Resurrection, everlasting loss and useless regret.
Dear servants of Allah! Let every one of us know that the Paradise is close to its people and that the Fire is close too. There is nothing that stands between the inmate of Paradise and Paradise except death, likewise there is nothing that stands between the inmate of the Fire and the Fire except to die. It is surprising for those who take refuge in beneficial foods from the fear of their harm. How then will he not take refuge from sins for the fear of its humiliation on the day he would meet his Lord, the Exalted on the Day of Judgment!!
Dear servants of Allah, of the confirmed prayers from our Prophet, peace and blessings of Allah be upon him: “Allahumma Inni As-alukal Jannah wama qarraba ilayha min qaolin ao ‘amalin, wa a’uuzubika mina an-naar wama qarraba ilayha min qaolin ao ‘amalin”. meaning (Oh Allah, I ask you for Paradise and what could draw me closer to it, of word or action, and I seek refuge with You from the Fire, and what could draw me closer to it, of word or action. Therefore, it is obligatory on us to engage in plentiful supplication unto Allah.
Having said this, I seek Allah’s forgiveness for myself and for you and for all Muslims from all sins, so seek His forgiveness, He will forgive you, He is the Most Forgiving, Most Merciful.
THE SECOND SERMON
All praise is due to Allah, the greatest in kindness, the broadest in favour, generousity and grace I testify that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah. And I testify also that Muhammad (Peace and Blessings of Allah be on him) is Allah’s slave and messenger. May the Peace and Blessings of Allah be on him, his household, and all his companions in general.
As to what follows, – dear worshipers of Allah – our country, Nigeria, is currently going through a frightening spread of a fatal disease called “Lassa fever”, and at least 41 people have died since its outbreak this month, according to the Nigerian Center for Disease Control. The center said that during the past week, the spread of the disease had increased from 9 to 19 states in Nigeria, while 258 cases had been confirmed during the month, including 7 health workers, noting that “Lassa fever” is highly contagious. Its transmission occurs through the secretion of rodents, or through direct contact with the blood, urine, feces or other body fluids of a sick person. Be aware that “Lassa fever” is not a new disease, but its spread this time is unprecedented, very fast and unexpected manner, such that many health workers have contracted the disease. That is why we need to take preventive measures to protect ourselves from this epidemic in compliance with our religion’s guidelines in subscribing to preventive measures regarding all diseases, especially the infectious ones.
And part of what we need to do as preventive measures is to block available cracks in the walls of our homes to prevent entry of mice, get rid of garbage in special containers, and ensure food and water are stored tightly.
People must wear protective gloves when caring for anyone who may have been infected by Lassa fever, while burial procedures must be done in safe manner.
Then we must be armed with prayers to Allah, relying on Him, for He is the best Protector and the Most Merciful. Among the effective prayers and supplications that is said in order to prevent harm, evils and the occurrence of various diseases and epidemics, are the following:
Narrated Uthman bin Affan, may Allah be pleased with him, he said: “I heard the Messenger of Allah, peace be upon him saying: “There is no servant of Allah that says in the morning, and in the evening – “Bismillahil-lazi la yadhurru ma’as-mihi shay’un fil-ardhi wa la fis-sama’i wa Huwas-Sami’ul Aleem” Meaning: (In the Name of Allah, Who with His Name Nothing can cause harm in the earth nor in the heavens, and He is the All Hearing, the All Knowing) (Tirmidhi)
Abdullah bn Umar, may Allah be pleased with both, he said: “Of the prayer of the messenger of Allah: “Allahumma innia’udhu bika min zawali ni’matika, wa tahawwuli ‘afiyatika, wa fuja’ati niqmatika, wa jami’i sakhatika.” (Muslim) Meaning: “O Allah I seek refuge with You from deprivation of Your Blessing, alteration/removal of Your Protection, sudden infliction of Your Anger, and all Your Wrath.”
Anas (May Allah be pleased with him) reported: The Prophet (peace be upon him) used to supplicate: “Allahumma inni a’udhu bika minal-barasi, wal- jununi, wal-judhami, wa sayyi’il-asqami’ (O Allah! I seek refuge in You from leucoderma, insanity, leprosy and evil diseases).” [Ahmad, An-nasaai, Abu Dawud].
Finally, confer blessing and peace upon the prophet (peace be upon him) as Allah commanded you to do in His book, He said: “Indeed Allah and His angels send blessings on the Prophet: O ye who believe confer blessing upon him and ask (Allah to confer) to confer blessing upon him and peace. (Al-Ahzaab: 56), The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: He who confers blessing of Allah upon me once, Allah confers blessing upon him ten times.”
O Allah, bless and grant peace upon Muhammad and upon the family of Muhammad, as you conferred blessing and peace upon Ibrahim and the family of Ibrahim. You are Praiseworthy, Honourable.
Oh Allah grant honour to Islam and Muslims, humiliate shirk and Mushrikeen, and destroy the enemies of Islam and protect the holding of the Islam, Oh Lord of the worlds. Oh Allah, we ask you for Paradise and what could draw us closer to it, of word or action, and we seek refuge with You from the Fire, and what could draw us closer to it, of word or action. “Our Lord! Forgive us, and our brethren who came before us into the Faith, and leave not, in our hearts, rancour (or sense of injury) against those who have believed. Our Lord! Thou art indeed Full of Kindness, Most Merciful.” “Our Lord! Give us good in this world and good in the Hereafter, and defend us from the torment of the Fire!”