THE FIRST KHUTBAH FOR THE MONTH OF SHA’BAAN 8-SHA’BAAN-1437AH (13-MAY-2016CE): VIRTUES AND DUTIES IN THE MONTH OF SHA’BAAN

IN THE NAME OF ALLAH, THE BENEFICENT, THE MERCIFUL

BEING THE FIRST KHUTBAH FOR THE MONTH OF SHA’BAAN 8/SHA’BAAN/ 1437AH (13/MAY/2016CE)

 

VIRTUES AND DUTIES IN THE MONTH OF SHA’BAAN.

Praise is to Allah that had dignified some nights in honour, and had spread in them His grace. We praise Him with His perfectness that overwhelmingly subdues the minds of men. We thank Him over His inestimable favours. And I bear witness that there is no god but God, we do not worship other than Him, and I testify that Muhammad (pbuh) is His servant and Messenger; His chosen one till eternity and the most elevated in the universe, O Allah shower your peace and blessings on him, his family, spouses and pious companions.

Thereafter,

I admonish you and myself on the fear of Allah, obedience and striving in righteousness … Allah says:

{وَتَزَوَّدُواْ فَإِنَّ خَيْرَ الزَّادِ التَّقْوَى وَاتَّقُونِ يَا أُوْلِي الأَلْبَابِ}

{ And fear Allah that you may receive mercy.} (2:197).

Dear faithful the todays sermon is on VIRTUES AND DUTIES IN SHA’BAAN.

THE STATUS OF THE MONTH OF SHA’BAN:

Dear faithfuls, several days have gone, months have passed away, time have made a full session, and the approaching days herald the advent of the month of the Quran, and in a few days time the month of Sha’baan will arrive reminding all Muslims of the goods that comes with it. Sha’ban is one of the months in a year

{ إِنَّ عِدَّةَ الشُّهُورِ عِنْدَ اللَّهِ اثْنَا عَشَرَ شَهْرً} (التوبة 36)

{The number of months in the sight of Allah is twelve (in a year)} (9: 36),

Sha’baan is a month loaded with much good, a reason why the Messenger of Allah chose it for worship among other months. Thus Sha’baan is distinguished as the month of prophet Muhammad (pbuh).

Imam Ahmad narrated from Anas bin Malik may Allah be pleased with him that: (the Messenger of Allah fasts and does not break until we say: ‘The Messenger of God never intend to break (the fast). And he remain without fasting till we say: ‘He do not intend to fast in the year’ and fasting in Sha’baan was the most beloved to him).

Also in this month deeds of men are brought to Allah, may He be glorified and exalted. Al-Tirmidhi and Al-Nasaa’i narrated from Usama Ibn Zayd, the words of the Prophet (pbuh) thus: “It is the month where deeds are brought to the Lord of the worlds”

It is a month where God bestows on His servants the great gift of presenting their deeds unto Him; and He (swt) accepts whatever He wants therefrom. It is worthwhile to make a pause for learning here. Sha’ban is the annual closing season of the books of deeds for mankind. O servants of God, how then do you conclude the year? In what condition do you wish God sees you when your deeds are lifted up unto Him? And what do you wish to be the content of your deeds lifted to Allah- the exalted? Do you like your deeds to be raised while you are in obedience to the Lord Almighty, firmness in faith accompanied with sincerity and continuous work? Strive towards good works before the presentation before your Lord in the month of Sha’baan- and know that:

{إِلَيْهِ يَصْعَدُ الْكَلِمُ الطَّيِّبُ وَالْعَمَلُ الصَّالِحُ يَرْفَعُه} (فاطر10).

{ To Him mount up (all) Words of Purity: It is He Who exalts each Deed of Righteousness. } (35:10).

Fasting in Sha’baan

Imam Ahmad narrated from hadith of Usama Ibn Zayd said: The Messenger of Allah (pbuh) fasts for days and does not break until we say: ‘The Messenger of God never intend to break (the fast). And he remain without fasting for days as if he does not fast except two starting from Friday, provided those two days are among his days, otherwise he fasts the two, and he does not fast in any other months as he does in Sha’abaan. I said: ‘O messenger of Allah, you fast to the extent that you do not break, and you also remain without fasting to such extent that you does not fast except two days if it goes with the days you are fasting, otherwise you fast on those two day alone? He said: “Which two days?” I replied: Monday and Thursday. He said: “In those two days, the deeds are brought to the Lord of the worlds and I love that my deeds are present while I am fasting” I said: “I have seen you fast in other months what you fast in Sha’abaan” He said: ‘That (Sha’abaan) is a month between Rajab and Ramadan forgotten by people, it is a month where deeds are presented before the lord of the worlds (the exalted) and I love that my deeds are present while I am fasting”

‘A’isha, the Mother of the Believers (Allah be pleased with her), reported that the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) used to observe fasts (so continuously) that we said that he would not break, and did not observe (them) till we said that he would not fast: and I did not see the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) completing the fast of a month, but that of Ramadan, and I did not see him fasting more in any other month than that of Sha’ban.

In Muslim’s narration: He used to observe fast (at times) so continuously that we said: He has fasted, he has fasted. And (at times) he did not observe fast (for days) and we began to say: He has abandoned fasting, he has abandoned fasting.”

Anas (Allah be pleased with him) reported that some of the Companions of Allah’s Apostle (may peace be upon him) asked his (the Prophet’s) wives about the acts that he performed in private.Someone among them (among his Companions) said: I will not marry women; someone among them said: I will not eat meat; and someone among them said: I will not lie down in bed. He (the Holy Prophet) praised Allah and glorified Him, and said: What has happened to these people that they say so and so, whereas I observe prayer and sleep too; I observe fast and suspend observing them; I marry women also?And he who turns away from my Sunnah, he has no relation with Me.

Fasting in Sha’abaan is a form of practice  before that of Ramadan in order to experience and get accustomed to the challenges of fasting and taste of the joy in it. It is equally seen as the supererogatory act before the compulsory one. All the meritorious acts- including Quranic recitation, enjoined in Ramadan is equally enjoined in Sha’abaan. Anas narrated that when Sha’abaan begins, Muslims preoccupy themselves with the qur’an, they read it, pay the zakat of their wealth in support for the weak and poor towards Ramadan.

Salamah bu Kuhail says: “Sha’abaan is described as the months of reciters (of the qur’an). In his quest for adequate preparation, Amr bn Qays used to lock-up his shop to devote to quranic recitation when Sha’abaan begins”

It was said that Sha’aban said to Allah: “O my Lord, you placed me between two great months what then is my portion? He (Allah) said: “I have ordained quranic recitation in you”

Secondly, the middle of Sha’abaan

Narrated Abu Hurairah: The Prophet says: “When Sha’abaan get to half, do not fast until Ramadan” (Ahmad, Abu Dawu, Tirmidhi,) Scholars differ on the soundness of this hadith and its application. Tirmidhi, Ibn Hibaan, Al-hakim, At-tahaawiy and Ibn Abdul-Barr regarded it as sound. While some other greater and more knowledgeable scholars than those mentioned- such as Ar-Rahman bn Mahdi, Imam Ahmad, Abu Zar’ah Ar-Raazi and Al-Athram described it as disliked. Imam Ahmad rejected this hadith on the basis of the following hadith: “Do not precede fasting in Ramadan with the fast of a day or two.” The understanding is the permissibility to precede Ramadan with more than two days with fast. Al-Athram said: All hadiths disagree with it (hadith on middle of sha’abaan). He also pointed to the hadith that describe the prophet practice of fasting all days of sha’abaan and linking it with Ramadan as well as the prohibition of preceding Ramadan with two days. Hence, the hadith remain strange and unusual with sound hadith. At-Tahawiy said the hadith is abrogated, and consensus to desist from applying it. Other scholars such as Imam Shafi and his companions forbid to commence supererogatory fasting in the second half of Sha’abaan for someone who is not used to that. Scholars are also different on the reason for prohibition. A group said it is the fear of adding to Ramadan what is not of it. However, this opinion looks inconsistent with what concerns the second half of Sha’baan except in preceding Ramadan with a day or two. Another group holds that the prohibition is to guaranty strength for fasting in Ramadan lest one get weak. Similarly, the practice of the prophet (pbuh) in fasting all sha’abaan at times, most of it at times, and continuing it with Ramadan at other times, disagrees with the opinion of the second group above because all these fasting took place in the second part of Sha’abaan.

Fasting of the middle day of Sha’abaan

This is not forbid as it counts among the days of the thirteenth, fourteenth and fifteen of every month which is enjoined monthly.

Reviving neglected periods with acts of obedience to God have some of the following benefits:

-The Act of obedience is concealed, and the concealment of supererogatory acts of worship is honourable especially fasting which is a secret between a person and his Lord, thus it has been described to be devoid of Riyaau- show off.

  1. Secondly, engaging in the acts of obedience in a period where most men are in a state of heedlessness is most difficult for the souls. This is because the soul feels consoled and finds solace in the situation around it when the number of people involved in the acts of righteousness is much, therefore, obedience and imitating becomes easier for it on that basis. The same will be the case when inattentiveness is much among them. Imagine the difficulty experienced by people in observing fasting in months other than Ramadan, but when Ramadan is here, they become alive, inspired and never feel weariness or lukewarm, simply because people around them are collectively engaged in the same act of worship. However, the most rewarding deed is the most difficult for the soul, provided it is a recommended obligation in shariah.

The prophet said, talking about the strangers at the time of strangeness of Islam in the end of time: “For every performer among them is fifty folds of your kind of reward- i.e referring to his companions– because you have opportunity of support towards righteousness but they would find none”  

Muslim also reported that he said: (Blessed are the strangers). Also it was reported in Saheeh Muslim among the hadeeth of Ma’qal Ibn Yasar may Allah be pleased with him that the Prophet said: (The act of worship done in the state of commotion is like migrating towards me) and in Imam Ahmad’s narration: “in the state of trials”

This reality is because in the time of temptation or trials, forgetfulness overtakes people, then, they follow their own whims and do not refer to the religious position, and they become preoccupied with these misleading situations neglecting the worship of their Lord. In this situation their condition could be likened to that of the state of ignorance, hence, whoever distances himself from this prevalence and takes up the worship, seeking Allah’s pleasure, deserting His annoyance would obviously be as the one who migrates to the prophet in the period of ignorance.

THE PROPHETIC TRADITION.

Dear brothers in faith, Sha’ban is the month of the prophetic guidance in the area of love for obedience to God, worship and fasting. Al-bukhari and Muslim narrated from the mother of the believers- Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her she said: (I never saw the messenger of Allah complete the fasting of any except the month of Ramadan, and I never saw him fast most of any month except in Sha’baan), and in  Imam An- Nasaai and and Al-tirmidhi’s narration, she said: (I never saw the messenger of Allah fast most in any month except Sha’baan, he observes fast in it but a little) Ibn Rajab of Hanbali said: Fasting in Sha’baan is superior to all other months”.

Ibn Hajar said: ‘The hadith proves the merit of fasting in Sha’baan’

Imam As-San’aani said while indicating that the month of Sha’ban is preferred for fasting than others: “Scholars mentioned concerning the preference of the month of Sha’baan for supererogatory worships over other months: The best supererogatory worship is that close to Ramadan; before and after it. So it is joined or associated with the fasting of Ramadan due to its closeness to it, it thus represents the supererogatory act that comes with the obligatory act both before and after it, and it will also represent a makeup for any deficiency in the obligatory act.

SUPEREROGATORY ACTS OF WORSHIP:

Dear Muslims, if the month of Sha’baan is for fasting in the view of the Messenger of Allah (PBUH), then it is also a month for various supererogatory acts of worship, including the Quran Recitation, memorization and revision. Ibn Rajab Al-Hanbali said: “Since Sha’baan is a preface to Ramadan, then, what is recommended in Ramadan is also recommended in it, such as reciting the Qur’an so as to prepare for meeting Ramadan and creating tenderness of the soul for obedience to Allah”

A Muslim should increase acts of charity and other forms worship. It is equally a month for mutual competition among Muslims in goodness and worship before the coming of Ramadan, therefore let your Lord see much good about you in the month.

Be aware as well that the day and the night are two safes, therefore be cautious of whatever you drop into them of good or bad acts. Be one of the favourites who profit themselves in the glorious periods of the year; months, days, and hours. Move closer to your Lord with good rewarding acts of worship in order to earn His grace and guaranty of safety from hellfire and the containing torments.

Dear Muslims, since Sha’baan is a preface to Ramadan, then, what is recommended in Ramadan is also recommended in it, including fasting, reciting the Qur’an so as to prepare for meeting Ramadan and creating tenderness of the soul for obedience to Allah.

Owing to these reasons and others, the prophet increase in fasting in the month to seize the opportunity provided by the period neglected by others. Imagine the personality of the prophet who had been forgiven all his sins yet he was devoted. In the same vein, the early Muslims were always industrious in Sha’baan in preparedness for Ramadan.

Salamah Ibn Kuhayl said: “Sha’baan is called the month of the reciters of the Qur’an” Also Amr bn Qays do close up his shop whenever the month of Sha’baan sets in and he devote himself to reading the Qur’an.

Abubakr Al-Balkhi said: “The month of Rajab is a month for planting, and the month of Sha’baan is the month of watering the plants and the month of Ramadan is for harvesting” He also said: “The month of Rajab is like the wind, while Shaaban is like the clouds, and Ramadan is like the rain, and whoever have not planted  and sowed in Rajab, and have not watered in Sha’baan how does he expect to harvest in Ramadan?”

Here Rajab is winding up what are you going to do in Sha’baan if actually you wish for Ramadan? And here is the illustration of the practice of the prophet (pbuh) and our pious predecessors in the months.

SOME OF THE INNOVATIONS IN SHABAAN

– Solat Alfiyyah- which is a hundred rakats prayer done in congregation where the Imam recites ten suratul ikhlas in every rakat.

– Choosing the middle night of shabaan specifically for special prayer and the day for fasting.

– Observing six rakat in the middle night of shabaan for warding off evil, seeking prosperity,..

 May Allah make us all of the people who receive admonition when admonished and forgive us the early and later of our sins. Having said this, I seek Allah’s forgiveness for us all and all Muslims, He is verily All-forgiving, Most Gracious.

THE SECOND SERMON

 All praises are due to Allah, We praise and thank Him, believe and depend on Him. I testify there is no god but Allah alone and I testify that our leader- Muhammad (pbuh) is his servant and messenger.  May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him, his household, companions and whoever follows them till the day of recompense.

 Servants of Allah, the world celebrates INTERNATIONAL DAY OF FAMILIES every year on the 15th May, which coincides this year with next Sunday, 15th May 2016. Islam dignifies the family and we shall today look at that in the following manner:

The concept of family in Islam:

The family concept in Islam is distinguished from others. The family is the social unit from which the Muslim community is built. It is a nucleus established on righteousness and faith, commitment and loyalty, as elucidated in verses of the Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Prophet.

One of the pointers to the concern of Islam on the establishment of the family in order that it achieve its goal which includes securing modesty for the couples, effecting a relationship of tranquility, love, kindness, and setting up a Muslim home, cooperating on goodness and faith, including raising righteous children who would serve Allah in the future.

The family stretches to entails interrelated units which include relatives, it monitors the personalities of individuals in relation to morals and virtues in order to establish goodness in the family.

Parents are enjoined to provide necessary knowledge and adequate welfare to those under their care, including Islamic knowledge and teachings, and relevant beneficial skill for a good and worthy life.

The extent of cooperation among families determines the extent of societal strength and value. Marriage and family establishment are natural basics of life, but still is a bond that extends till the hereafter. Allah says:

“Gardens of perpetual residence; they will enter them with whoever were righteous among their fathers, their spouses and their descendants.” (13: 23)

Talking about marriage and family establishment today comes with anxieties and grieves and seemingly non-workability, marital problems with increased rate of divorces affecting about one-third of marriages or more.

This calls for a pragmatic step to put this under control, with a call of responsibility to scholars of education, and all stakeholders to come up with projections. The media must play a great role to showcase the lofty aims and objectives of marriage and family, in addition to projecting virtuous characters in the effort to build a formidable society.

Islam sees marriage as a divine trust. And marry the unmarried among you and the righteous among your male slaves and female slaves. If they should be poor, Allah will enrich them from His bounty” (24: 32).

 “then marry those that please you of [other] women, two or three or four. But if you fear that you will not be just, then [marry only] one or those your right hand possesses.” (4: 3)

Success of marriage is achievable through compliance with this prophetic lesson: Abu Huraira (Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: A woman may be married for four reasons: for her property, her status. her beauty and her religion, so try to get one who is religious, may your hand be smeared with dust.

The prophet also advice parents thus: “When people you are pleased with their religion and character approaches you (seeking the hand of your wards in marriage), then accept them for marriage, but if you do not, then evil will be in the land, and great corruption.” Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah.

Many have failed as well to understand the value of marriage which Allah as described as a solemn covenant, they thereby transgressed all bounds. and they have taken from you a solemn covenant?” (4: 21)

‘Uqba b. Amir (Allah be pleased with him) reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: The most worthy condition which must be fulfilled is that which makes sexual intercourse lawful.” (Bukhari & Muslim)

Hence, the need to protect this covenant with discipline between the couple, and promote safety atmosphere and passion which are signs of a successful marriage signs, especially with the knowledge that the devil has vowed to entice the sons of Adam and work to severe between a man and his wife.

Some of the recommendations for a successful marriage:

– Couples should closely work together and desist from sins. Many broken homes were caused through sins of their own hands. Allah says: “And whatever strikes you of disaster – it is for what your hands have earned; but He pardons much.” (42: 30)

– Mutual respect is of the strongest signs and pillars of family stability; the wife must recognize the honour and value of her husband, likewise the husband must recognize and honour his wife as a life partner not a business partner. Every good put forward by a party, the benefit reaches the doer first. An advising mother once told her daughter thus: “Be to him like a slavegirl, he will be to you like a servant.”

– Overlooking and turning a blind eye to some lapses in the family is a key factor that cannot be overemphasized in the effort to gain family stability. The media- tv, home video, etc is one of the medium that spread corrupt images about marriages.

– The husband has the role to spend on the family which must not be neglected. Abu Huraira reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying: Of the dinar you spend as a contribution in Allah’s path, or to set free a slave, or as a sadaqa given to a needy, or to support your family, the one yielding the greatest reward is that which you spent on your family.

We must not end this khutbah without mentioning the lingering fuel crisis which have made the Federal Government announced a hike in pump price of PMS from #86. 50 to #145 per litre.

O Lord, grant us recourse and strive towards You and grant us the sweetness of supplication and submissiveness in Your presence, answer our prayers and actualize our requests and never return us disappointed and fruitless.

O Allah grant honour to Islam and Muslims, and humiliate idolatry and idolaters, protect the possession of religion, humiliate the enemies of the religion. O Allah grant us security in our country- Nigeria, make this country safe, secured, generous, comfortable, and all other Muslim countries.  O Allah, grant victory to your religion and your book and your Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and your righteous servants. Oh God, make our leaders merciful to us, and guide them to the truth, O Lord of the universe.

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