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An apt and timely sermon

‘You need to read this hubby dear, you can’t afford to miss it.’ I said, walking towards Tahir in the sitting room and presenting to him my phone.

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‘I bet it’s another ‘must read’ from your WhatsApp cronies isn’t it? When will you learn to accept that I’m not always interested in those crazy stuff that keeps making the rounds on social media Bint?’ He asked, reluctantly taking the phone from me. 

‘It’s not at all one of those crazy stuff, as you call them. This is a well-researched, beautifully written Friday sermon on the protection of life and property In Islam, which was delivered yesterday by our erudite brother, Imam Murtadha Gusau. I’m ecstatic about it because it is so timely. It came at a time when people are associating so much savagery and bloodshed with Islam. This khutba enlightens us about the Islamic provisions against murder and destruction of properties. So whoever engages in them is on his own because Islam does not condone them. It will hopefully educate those who attribute every violence to Islam to sometimes look elsewhere for their murderers other than among Muslims.’ I explained.

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‘I see’ Tahir said, lifting the phone up to his face. ‘It sounds like a sermon worth reading’ he added before reading on.

In The Name Of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful.

Dear Brothers and Sisters! The purpose of Islamic Law is for humans to achieve happiness in this world and the hereafter, by following the law of adopting the good and neglecting the bad. Islamic Law does not command anything that is not good for people, and it does not forbid anything that is not bad for them.

It was made to protect five things: religion, life, sanity, offspring, and property, which are the main rights of humans in this world.

* The Protection Of Human Life

Islam guarantees the right of life for every human being, whether they are Muslims or non-Muslims. Every human life is sacred in Islam and every person has been granted Allah-given fundamental and universal rights at the time of their birth. Allah the Almighty says:

“And indeed We have honoured the Children of Adam, and We have carried them on land and sea, and have provided them with lawful good things, and have preferred them to many of those whom We have created with a marked preferment.” [Al-Quran, 17:70]

The dignity that Allah bestowed upon humankind at the time of creation was the blessing of a sacred inviolability which manifests itself as the rights to life, freedom, and property ownership. The right to life has been recognized as the first and most important universal right derived from the Shari’ah and classical Islamic law.

Respected Servants of Allah! Life is Allah Almighty’s gift to humans, and no one has the right to trespass it, even the person himself; Allah the Most High created humans and honoured them with the duty to perform His tasks on earth, and also to test their capabilities of performing their worship of Him.

Islam protects humanity by its laws. It obligates the leaders to look after the poor and give them their basic needs of shelter, food, drink, clothing and other necessities of life. It obligates charity and almsgiving, which come under the law of cooperation and helping one another among individuals to achieve social solidity in the society.

Islam guarantees a good and noble life for humanity; thus forbidding humiliation, annoyance, and harm. Allah the Almighty says:

“And those who annoy believing men and women undeservedly, bear (on themselves) a calumny and a glaring sin.” [Al-Quran, 33:58]

Islam considers aggression or assault upon human life as a great crime and one of the seven serious crimes in this world, which destroy both religion and life. Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him), while warning Muslims, said:

“Avoid the seven great sins.” His Companions asked: “What are they?” He (Peace be upon him) replied: “Joining others with Allah – in worship or other issues – performing magic, killing a person, except by right and fair judgment, earning money by interest, misuse and benefiting from an orphan’s money, running away from the battlefield and defamation of faithful, pure women, who did nothing wrong.”

And Allah, the Most High, considers the aggression or assault upon one soul as equal to the aggression or assault upon the entire human race when He said, in the Holy Quran.

“On that account: We ordained for the Children of Israel that if any one slew a person – unless it be for the crime of murder or for spreading mischief in the land – it would be as if he slew the whole people: and if any one saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people. Then although there came to them Our apostles with clear signs, yet, even after that, many of them continued to commit excesses in the land.” [Al-Quran, 5:32]

The Noble Quran describes Muslims, who avoid slaying innocent people as true Muslim believers. The Noble Quran says:

“Those who invoke not, with Allah, any other god, nor slay such life as Allah has made sacred except for a just cause, nor commit fornication; and anyone that does this meets with punishment.” [Al-Quran, 25:68]

Quranic verses continue to warn of attempts on the lives of innocent people, and gives the wronged person the right to ask for a fair and just punishment for his/her opponent. Allah the Almighty says:

“Nor take life – which Allah has made sacred – except for a just cause. And if anyone is slain wrongfully, We have given his heir authority (to demand qisas or to forgive): but let him not exceed bounds in the matter of taking life; for he is helped (by the Law).” [Al-Quran, 17:33]

The Islamic Law of Equality is one important warranty that prevents the spreading of crime. The person, who knows that killing another person will definitely lead to his/her own death, will avoid committing such a sin.

Dear Brothers and Sisters! I need to mention here, that the first life that Allah the Almighty forbids aggression upon is the person’s own life. The person who commits suicide or harms him/her self will be subject to grave and harsh penalties and punishment. Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) said:

“Whosoever jump from a mountain, drinks poison (with the intention of killing him/her self) will be in the Hellfire forever. Whosoever kills him/herself with a piece of iron, he will continuously do the same to him/herself in the hereafter, while he/she in the Hellfire and remain forever.”

* The Protection Of Property

Respected Servants of Allah! Property is the mainstay of life, and Islam considers it as Allah Almighty’s, which He the Most High makes man a guardian over it, and allows him/her to earn them in lawful ways and use them moderately.

Islam encourages work, production, and earning money and other property by lawful means. Allah the Most High says:

“It is He Who has made the earth manageable for you, so you traverse through its tracts and enjoy of the Sustenance which He furnishes: but unto Him is the Resurrection.” [Al-Quran, 67: 15]

In this regard, the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) awakens the Muslim’s desire to work, and considers work as worship that brings the person closer to Allah. He (Peace be upon him) said:

“No earning is better than what the person earns from his own work, and whatsoever the man spends (in lawful matters) on himself, his wife, his children, his family and his servant is charity…

Dear Servants of Allah! Islamic Laws and instructions protect these five essentials, which are important human rights. Whomsoever considers and practices them, Allah the Almighty will reward him/her with happiness in this life and the hereafter.

Dear and Respected Servants of Allah! In the address which the Prophet (Peace be upon him) delivered on the occasion of the Farewell Hajj, he said:

“Your lives and properties are forbidden to one another till you meet your Lord on the Day of Resurrection.”

Allah, the Almighty has laid down in the Noble Quran:

“Anyone who kills a believer deliberately will receive as his reward (a sentence) to live in Hell for ever. Allah will be angry with him and curse him, and prepare dreadful torment for him” [Al-Quran, 4:93]

The Prophet (Peace be upon him) has also said about the Dhimmis (the non-Muslim citizens of the Muslim State):

“One who kills a man under covenant (i.e. a Dhimmi) will not even smell the fragrance of Paradise.” [Al-Bukhari and Abu Dawud]

Islam prohibits homicide but allows only one exception, that the killing is done in the due process of law which the Quran refers to as Bil-Haqq (with the truth). Dear Brothers and Sisters! Know that, the primary responsibility of any sincere government is the protection of life and property of it’s citizens.

Respected Brothers and Sisters! I ask Allah to assist us in living by the Quran and Sunnah. I pray that He lets us recognise the truth for what it is and helps us to follow it, and that He lets us see falsehood for what it is and helps us to avoid it. From gusaumurtada@gmail.com

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