Op-Ed Religion

JUMAT SERMON: The Birth Of The Prophet

JUMAT SERMON: The Birth Of The Prophet
  • PublishedOctober 7, 2022


By Imaam Raji, Musa Oladapo

I seek refuge in Allah from the devil the accursed and I start in the name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful. I testify that there is no deity worthy of worship except Allah. I also testify that Prophet Muhammad (SAW) is His Messenger. May the benediction be upon His soul, members of His household, His companions and those who follow His ways till the Last Day.


As the world celebrates the birth of Prophet Muhammad, (SAW) during this month, Rab’ul Awal (the third month of lunar calendar), I decided not to talk about the celebration of His birth because of the controversy it always generates, but rather the peace His birth brought to the world if actually practice. Allah says: “There has certainly been for you in the Messenger of Allah an excellent pattern for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Last Day and (who) remembers Allah often.” Quran 33:21.  

He says again: “We sent thee not but as a Mercy for all creatures”. Quran 21:107.

There is no doubt that the birth and His eventual raise as the Prophet had a lot of advantages to humanity. Because His messages transcend spiritual aspect of our life, it rather covers all aspects of human endeavour. Perhaps that is why the Prophet himself was reported to have boldly said: “I was raised to perfect all the good virtues.”

For the purpose of this sermon, I will limit my discussion to only aspect of our lives which I believe have been degenerated to the lowest ebb. 

Firstly: Economics aspect of our life. Islam institutionalised Zakat (poor rate) in order to prevent people from being impoverished and fight against wealth being concentrated in the hand of the affluent. “……..So that wealth may not become stagnant in the hands of the few rich”, said Allah in Quran59:7. The Prophet (SAW) ensured the collection and distribution of Zakat because of His belief that it would assist economic growth.

According to a saying of the Prophet, nothing will prevent the poor from causing misery and hardship in the society when they are hungry except giving them their due from the wealth of the rich. This is why we see many people, irrespective of their age engaging in various degrees of crimes such as deceit and cheating, bribery, robbery and usurpation of property e.t.c, to make the ends meet. Nobody is now safe even our monarchs are not exempted. As we all see in some quarters where some of them involve in all sort of crimes and what become their consequence. 

Islam abhours stinginess but rather encourages kindness to the less privileged in the society. In fact, the Prophet (SAW) had warned us thus: “Avoid stinginess for stinginess caused those who preceded you to perish and lead them to shed their blood and violate their sanctities.”

On each of these crimes, both the Quran and hadith vehemently warn us and promise unpalatable consequences for whoever indulges in any of them. 

Let us look at them one after the other.  Deceit and Cheating: The Prophet was quoted to have said; “one who cheats is not one of us” (Muslim) what an awful disbandment, a reasonable person will say. Someone who professes Islam but summarily disbanded because of an anti-social economic practice, It leaves much to be desired.  

As for the bribery which has become a social malady in all our various strata of society. People believe generally that nothing can be easily done in Nigeria without bribing one’s way. Allah says; “And eat not up your property among yourselves in vanity, nor-seek by it to gain the hearing of the judges that you may knowingly devour a portion of the properly of others wrongfully”, Quran 2:188.

 In these connections, the Prophet also said: “May Allah cause the briber, the one bribed and the one who goes between them.” (Ibn Hibban). From this tradition, one can vividly see that Islam frowns at all means through which bribery is being promoted, as all the involved parties are cursed together. I remember some years back, when I was travelling to the northern part of the country; our bus was stopped at a road block, mounted by some soldiers. After a few minutes, he demanded that the driver should give him money and the driver complied. Amazingly, he gave the driver a pamphlet that contained condemnation of bribery in the society. The pamphlet was believed to have been written by an NGO as part of its effort to sanitise the society and distributed through those boys. That is to tell you of how the society has trivialised the crime in the society because when one of the passengers on bus read it loudly, it generated mixed reactions of various proportion on how the society had degenerated.

On usurpation of property, this falls under Allah’s words; “O You who believed, eat not up your wealth among yourselves in vanity.”  Quran 4:29. It also involves wronging others and preventing society. The Prophet said: “Whoever usurps a Muslim’s property through a false oath Allah will make Hell his abode and forbid him from Paradise. Is any loss greater than this?”

The second one is the social aspect of our life as taught by the Prophet (SAW). The teaching of Islam through the Prophet (SAW) brought laws that regulated the mutual rights and duties of the members of the society that guarantee social stability. Such rights and duties are either special or general.

Peoples’ Obligations Towards Their Leader: It is clearly stated in the Qur’an thus; “O you who believe! Obey Allah and obey the messenger (Muhammed) and those of you who are in authority” Quran 4:39.

The Prophet also said: “Listen and obey, if an Abyssinian slave is appointed as your leader, as long as he implements Allah’s Book (i.e the Qur’an) among you” (it is a popular tradition). We can see that obedience to the ruler is a must unless his orders are in conflict with that of God. His teachings do not permit rudeness to the ruler but pieces of advice and constructive criticism are allowed. 

Allah says; “And speak to him mildly perhaps he may accept admonition or fear Allah.” Quran 20:44

Accordingly, the ruler too has his obligations towards the ruled. People’s right over the ruler are listed as follow.

  1. Absolute justice, i.e, giving everyone equal right
  2. He should consult them regarding their affairs in order to address their needs

iii.    Laws of Allah must be his source of operation because Allah knows what is best for His creatures.

  1. He should not conceal himself from his people.  The prophet says; “whoever is appointed by Allah’s favour as ruler or governor, then keep himself absent from them, thereby ignoring their needs and poverty, Allah will ignore his needs and destitution on the Day of Judgment”. (Abu Dawood and Tanfiahi).
  2. He should be merciful to his subjects. He should accord befitting respect for the elders, treat the children kindly and have developmental program for them. Allah says; “And by the Mercy of Allah you dealt with them”. Quran 3:159. The Prophet (SAW) also said; “Allah shows His mercy to those who are merciful. Show mercy to those living on earth, and Allah will give you His mercy” (Abu Dawood and Tirmidh).

One may infer then that probably that was why Umar bn khattab (RAA) indicated the importance of this by saying; “By Allah, if a mule tripped over and fell in Iraq, I would be afraid that Allah will ask me why I did not level the road for it”. That was the highest level of responsiveness to one’s duties and accountability. A right-thinking person will say.

My esteem readers, without mincing words, the Prophet (SAW), His messages and practices have proffered practicable solutions to all contemporary global problems if only our leaders at all levels agree to implement it. Especially now that world has tried various doctrines and systems and proved to be incapable of solving its problem. I challenge the world leaders to give Islamic way of life a trial. Since it is a natural one, all our seemingly insurmountable social economical/political problems would be a thing of past. In shaa Allah.

I seek forgiveness from Allah from my sin and yours until the end of our prayer is Al hamdullilah Rabbil ‘alamiin.

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