By Imam Murtadha Gusau
In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Ever Merciful
All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all creation. May the salutations of Allah, His peace and blessings be upon our Prophet, his family, his companions and his true followers until the Last Day – then to proceed:
Dear brothers and sisters! As you know, our beloved Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) used many methods in order to call people to Islam. For example, he used to tell them true realistic stories as well as the stories of the earlier nations so that they would deduce lessons from them. In these stories, Allah Almighty says:
“There is a message for any that has a heart and understanding or who gives ear and earnestly witnesses the truth.” [Surah Qaf: 37]
Dear servants of Allah, stories have an undeniable effect on people. In my today’s sermon let me mention one of the stories about one of the earlier nations as narrated by the Prophet (Peace be upon him) so that we can deduce useful lessons from it. Imams Bukhari and Muslim reported that Abdullah Bin Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said: I heard the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:
“While three persons were traveling, the night fell and they had to enter a cave in a mountain in order to spend the night. A big rock rolled over and blocked the mouth (entranceway) of the cave. They said to each other: Nothing could rescue you but invoking Allah with the best deed you have performed (so that Allah might remove the rock).” One of them said, ‘O Allah! My parents were old and I used to go out to collect wood. On my return I would milk (the animals) and take the milk in a vessel to my parents to drink. After they had drunk from it, I would give it to my children, family and wife. One day I was delayed and on my return I found my parents sleeping, but I disliked to wake them up, or to feed my family before them. I waited with the vessel in my hand with my children crying at my feet (because of hunger) until dawn when they woke up and drank their share of the milk. O Allah! If You regard that I did it for Your sake, then please remove this rock so that we may see the sky.’ So, the rock was moved a bit but it was too small for them to get out. The second said, ‘O Allah! You know that I was in love with a cousin of mine, like the deepest love a man may have for a woman, and I tried to seduce her but she refused, until one day she became in need of money, and she came to me for help, so I offered her one hundred and twenty Dinars (gold currency) provided she gives in to my desire, and she accepted. When I sat in between her legs, she said to me: Fear Allah, and asked me not to deflower her except rightfully (I.e. by marriage). So, I got up and left her, though she was the most desired and beloved to me, and made her keep the money. O Allah! If You regard that I did it for Your sake, kindly remove this rock.’ So, the rock was moved a bit but it was too small for them to get out. Then the third man said, “O Allah! Once I employed workers, and I paid them, except one who left without taking his due share, so I invested it and from it great wealth developed. After some time that man came and demanded his money. I said to him: Go to those camels, cows and the shepherd and take them for they are all for you. He asked me not to mock him. I told him that I was not mocking him, so he took it all and left nothing behind. O Allah! If You regard that I did it sincerely for Your sake, then please remove the rock. So, the rock was removed completely from the mouth of the cave, and they came out walking.”
Dear servants of Allah! Think over this great story. These three persons remembered Allah and followed his commands when they were free from any troubles and Allah saved them when they were in distress. Hence, whenever a man fulfills his duties towards Allah during times of ease, Allah will support him in times of worry, trouble and distress; He will be Most Gracious to him and facilitate maters for him. Allah says Almighty says:
” … And whosoever fears Allah, He will make for him a way out (from hardships). And will provide him from sources he could never imagine.” [Surah At-Talaq: 2-3]
He the Most High also said:
“And whosoever fears Allah, He will make his matter easy for him.” [Surah At- Talaq: 4]
Dear brothers and sisters! In this story, the first man in the cave gave a great example of dutifulness towards his parents. Throughout the whole night, he was holding the vessel of milk not allowing his children nor himself to drink (until his parents had drunk their share). He did not even disturb his parents by waking them up until dawn. This indicates the excellence of having and showing dutifulness to parents and that it is a means for facilitating one’s affairs and avoiding distress. Dutifulness to one’s parents is the best act of keeping relations with one’s family and relatives. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:
“Whoever would like to have wider provisions and prolong his life, should keep good relations with his kith and kin.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
This is an advanced reward in this worldly life. His provisions are lavish and his life is prolonged, let aside the reward in the Hereafter. Allah highly honours parents to an extent that He prohibited the son to utter even the smallest word that indicates annoyance, as He the Most High says:
“Your Lord has decreed that you worship none but him, and that you be kind to parents. Whether one or both of them attain old age in your life, say not to them a word of contempt, nor repel them, but address them in terms of honour. And, out of kindness, lower to them the wing of humility, and say: my Lord bestow on them your mercy even as they cherished me in childhood.” [Surah Al-Isra: 23-24]
The Prophet (Peace be upon him) told us that the best type of goodness is having good relations with the friends of one’s father. Imam Muslim reported that Abdullah Bin Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:
“The best type of goodness is having good relations with the friends of one’s father.”
In contrast, Islam warned against undutifulness to one’s parents and made it one of the gravest sins. Abu Bakr narrated that The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:
“Should I not inform you about the most grievous of the grave sins?” We (the companions) said: Indeed O Messenger of Allah. He said: “Associating anyone with Allah, undutifulness to parents, (he was reclining then he sat up saying): (beware of) false testimony or false utterance, and he repeated it so many times that we wished that he should become silent.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]
Abu Hurairah narrated that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) also said:
“Let him be humiliated, let him be humiliated, let him be humiliated. It was said: Allah’s Messenger, who is he? He said: “He who finds his parents in old age, either one or both of them, and does not enter Paradise (due to his dutifulness to them).” [Muslim]
Scholars said that the Hadith indicates that dutifulness to parents when they are old and weak (by serving them, financially supporting them, or any other means), are the gates to Paradise. If a person does not assume such duties, Allah will humble him and humiliate him.
Respected servants of Allah! Some people pay little attention to dutifulness towards their parents. They may be ungrateful to them in both words and actions. They may avoid them and abandon them. Abandoning one’s parents, even if one had not been ungrateful to them, in reality is a sort of undutifulness towards them.
Imam At-Tabarani reported that:
“A man came to the Prophet (Peace be upon him) and said: Messenger of Allah! My father has taken away my money. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: Go and bring him to me. Angel Jibril came down to the Prophet (Peace be upon him) and said: Allah conveys His Salam (peace) upon you and says: When the old man comes before you, ask him about something he said to himself, which he did not utter for his ears to hear. When the old man came, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) asked him: Why is your son complaining, do you want to take his money? The old man said: Ask him (my son) whether I spend such money on his paternal and maternal aunts or on myself. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: Forget about it and tell me about something you said to yourself and you have not even uttered it. The man said: I swear by Allah, O Messenger of Allah, that through you, Allah increases our faith. I have said to myself which I did not utter for my ears to hear. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said: Say it and I will listen. The man said: I have provided you with food when you were a baby and child and you made the best use of these provisions. If you became ill for a night, I would spend it very worried and concerned. It was as if I had been the ill person instead of you, and my eyes poured out tears. I feared that you may die, although I knew that death is an inevitable end. When you reached of age and attained the status for which I had long yearned, you rewarded me with roughness and rudeness, as if you had been the one who grants me graces and favours. As long as you have not fulfilled your duties towards your father, I wished that you would at least behaved towards me like you behave towards our quarrelsome neighbour. As a result, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said to his son: “You and your money are (the property) of your father.”
Dear servants of Allah! The second person of the three in the story gave a great example of unmitigated virtuousness. He almost managed to fulfil his desire with this woman who was the most beloved person to him. Yet, when she reminded him to fear Allah, he left her in spite of his love and did not even take back his money.
Bukhari and Muslim reported a Hadith that there are seven people whom Allah will give shade on the Day when there will be no shade but His, one of these is:
“A man who refuses the call of a charming woman of noble birth for illicit intercourse with her and says: I fear Allah.”
What a great difference it is between this man and the man who travels to countries and cities where adultery is practiced openly! He travels there in order to commit adultery with prostitutes. I seek refuge in Allah from such an act. Travelers to such countries and cities should know that Allah sees them and that He is All-Knowing. He knows all about them in this country as well as in themselves with destruction if they do not repented. Allah Almighty says:
“Those who invoke not, with Allah, any other god, nor slay such life as Allah has made sacred, except for just cause, nor commit fornication; and any that does this (not only) meets punishment. (But) the Penalty on the Day of Judgment will be doubled to him, and he will dwell therein in ignominy. Except he who, repents, believes, and works righteous deeds, for Allah will change the evil of such persons into good, and Allah is Oft-Forgiving, Most Merciful.” [Surah Al-Furqan: 68]
In order to know how disgraceful adultery is, it is enough to think over the legal penalty of it in this worldly life. An unmarried adulterer and adulteress are to be lashed one hundred times and exiled for a year. A married adulterer and adulteress are to be put to death, but in a most horrible manner – stoning till death. I seek refuge in Allah from the accursed Satan (Shaitan), ameen. Allah Almighty says:
“Nor come close to adultery: for it is a shameful (deed) and an evil, opening the road (to other evils).” [Surah Al-Isra’: 32]
Respected servants of Allah! The third person mentioned in this story was a man who gave the best example of honesty, justice and sincerity. He invested the employee’s wages and increased it greatly, he gave it (the accumulated wealth) to him and refused to take anything in return. What a great difference between this man and those who treat their employees unjustly and devour their wages or salaries, especially if such employees are from the poor people! Such employers are very near to the people mentioned in Allah’s saying:
“Woe to those that deal in fraud, Those who, when they have to receive by measure from men, exact full measure, But when they have to give by measure or weight to men, give less than due. Do they not think that they will be called to account?” [Surah Al- Mutaffifin: 1-4]
They want the employees to perform their work as best as they can, but they do not give them their due wages or salaries or procrastinate in giving them. Some employees may return home without getting all their wages or salaries. Let those employers who hire an employee and deny him his wages or salaries, be aware that this helpless employee will not be their adversary; it will be Allah the Lord of the Worlds. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said that Allah has said:
“There are three people whom I will litigate against on the Day of Judgment, and whosoever I litigate against will lose” Out of them, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) mentioned: “A man who hires a worker who fulfilled his duties, but he did not give him his wages or salaries.”
Beloved servants of Allah! This Hadith also indicates that It is permissible to supplicate to Allah by mentioning good deeds (i.e. At-Tawassul). Such supplication is a means of relieving distress. Think about these three people who supplicated to Allah by mentioning their best deeds when they were in distress and how Allah relieved it.
I ask Allah for peace and good health, and to protect us and all the brothers and sisters, ameen.
May Allah send His Salah and Salam upon our beloved Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him).
And all praises and thanks are due to Allah alone, Lord of the worlds. May the peace, blessings and salutations of Allah be upon our noble Messenger, Muhammad, and upon his family, his Companions and his true and sincere followers.
Murtadha Muhammad Gusau is the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’ah and the late Alhaji Abdur-Rahman Okene’s Mosques, Okene, Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached via: firstname.lastname@example.org or +2348038289761.
This Jumu’ah Khutbah (Friday sermon) was prepared for delivery today, Friday, Jumadah Thani 08, 1442 AH (January 22, 2021).