KHUTBAH (SERMON): ALLAH AFFLICTS MANKIND WITH DIFFERENT TYPES OF AFFLICTIONS BECAUSE OF THEIR DISOBEDIENCE AND WICKED DEEDS.

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful

Verily, all praise is for Allah, we seek His help and His forgiveness. We seek refuge with Allah from the evil of our own souls [and from our bad deeds. Whomsoever Allah guides will never be led astray, and whomsoever Allah leaves astray, no one can guide.
I bear witness that there is no god but Allah, [alone and without any partner] and I bear witness that Muhammad is His slave and Messenger.

"O you who believe! Fear Allah as He should be feared, and die not except in a state of Islam (as Muslims) with complete submission to Allah." [Ali Imran 3:102]

"O mankind! Be dutiful to your Lord, Who created you from a single person, and from him He created his wife, and from them both He created many men and women, and fear Allah through Whom you demand your mutual (rights), and (do not cut the relations of) the wombs (kinship) Surely, Allah is Ever an All-Watcher over you)." [al-Nisa’ 4:1]

"O you who believe! Keep your duty to Allah and fear Him, and speak (always) the truth). He will direct you to do righteous good deeds and will forgive you your sins. And whosoever obeys Allah and His Messenger (SAW) he has indeed achieved a great achievement (i.e. he will be saved from the Hellfire and made to enter Paradise)." [al-Ahzaab 33:70-71]

As to what proceeds: Verily the best of speech is the Book of Allah and the best of guidance is the guidance of Muhammad (SAW). The worst of affairs are the newly-invented affairs in the religion and every newly invented affair in the religion is an innovation and every innovation is misguidance and all misguidance is in the hellfire. To proceeds:

O people! Allah [The Blessed and Most High] obligated on every Makhluq (i.e every Jinn and human) to obey Him and His Messenger in every era and place, an He forbade (them) from disobeying Him and His Messenger. Allah (The Mighty an Majestic) stated:

"O you who believe! Obey Allah and His Messenger, and turn not away from him (i.e Messenger Muhammad) while you are hearing." [8:20]

And He said:

"Say (O Muhammad): Obey Allah and the Messenger (Muhammad). But if they turn away, then Allah does not like the disbelievers." [3:32]

And:

"Make not the calling of the Messenger (Muhammad) among you as your calling to one another. Allah knows those of you who slip away under shelter (of some excuse without taking the permission to leave, from the Messenger). And let those who oppose the Messenger’s (Muhammad) commandment (i.e. his Sunnah legal way orders, acts of worship, statements, etc.) (among the sects) beware, lest some Fitnah (disbelief, trials, afflictions, earthquakes, killing, overpowered by a tyrant leader, etc. befall them or a painful torment be inflicted on them.” [ Qur’an 24:63]

Servants of Allah! In these noble verses, Allah (The Most High) commanded (us) to obey Him and His Messenger, and He made obedience to Him and His Messenger a means to happiness in this life and the next. And He forbade (us) from disobeying Him an His Messenger, and He made disobedience to Him and His Messenger a cause of punishment in this worldly life – a punishment (whose severity) cannot be perceive. And because of this Allah ended these two verses by mentioning Fitnah [i.e. trials (as an indication of the)] severity of His Punishment and the painful torment (afflicted on) the one who disobeys Him and His Messenger.

Imam Ahmad (rahimahullah) said about this verse (i.e. 24:63):

"Do you know what Al-Fitnah is? Al-Fitnah is Shirk. Perhaps if he (i.e. the person) rejects some of his (i.e. the Prophet’s) statements, something of deviation may enter into his heart, so he is destroyed." [Reported by Ibn Battah in Al-Ibaanah Al-Kubra 97]

My respected people! The punishments (that occur due to) sins and disobedience do vary depending on the level of the offenses (committed); sometimes the punishment occurs (as trial) in one’s religion and this is the greatest of punishments. It is (when the act of disobedience comes between a person and Iman and between him and Husnul khaatimah (good end).

If every single one of us scrutinizes himself attentively, he will find that whenever he commits a sin and fails to repent, he will realise that he did commit a greater sin than it previously. And the testimony to this is the saying of Allah:

"So when they turned away (from the Path of Allah), Allah turned their hearts away (from the Right Path)." 61:5]

Allah (The Most High) said:

”And We shall turn their hearts and their eyes away (from guidance as they refused to believe therein for the first time, and We shall leave them in their trespass to wander blindly.” [6:110]

And Allah (The Most High) said:

"َSo He punished them by putting hypocrisy into their hearts till the Day whereon they shall meet Him, because they broke that (covenant with Allah) which they had promised Him and because they used to tell lies.” [9:77]

Brothers and Sisters! Also know that, an act of disobedience comes between a person and Iman (faith). Imam Sa’adi (rahimahullah) stated about the verse: "And know that Allah comes in between a person and his heart." He said:

"Therefore, beware of rejecting the command of Allah when it come to you at first, lest He comes between you and it [i.e. Allah (The Most High prevents you from guidance as a just recompense) when you turn away, for indeed Allah intervenes between a person
and his heart. Allah causes it (i.e. the heart of a person) to change and turns it in any direction as He wills (i.e. as a just recompense for the one who rejects or turns away from the truth). Therefore, a Muslim should increase in (uttering) the statement
(i.e. the Du’a): “ turner of the hearts, keep my heart firm upon your Religion; O turner of the heart turn my heart towards obedience to You.” (See Taysir Al-Karim Ar-Rahman Fi Tafsir Kalam Al-Mannaan and also See Tafsir of this verse in Al-Fawa’ id of Imam
Ibnul Qayyim (rahimahullah))

Servants of Allah! It is obligatory to ponder upon the punishments that were afflicted on the previous nations. Allah (The Most High) promise to punish the Faasiqin [rebellious disobedient people] just as He punished those before them by way of being swallowed by the earth, wind blast and wind etc. They were punished for being inattentive and heedless to Allah’s commandments an prohibitions. Allah (The Most High said):

"Do then those who devise evil plots feel secure that Allah will not sink them into the earth, or that the torment will not seize them from directions they perceive not? O that He may catch them in the midst of their going to and fro (in their jobs), so that there be no escape for them (from Allah’s Punishment)? Or that He may catch them with gradual wasting (of their wealth and health). Truly! Your Lord is indeed full of Kindness, Most Merciful." [16:45-47]

And Allah the Most High said:

"Did the people of the towns then feel secure against the coming of Our Punishment by night while they are asleep? Or, did the people of the towns then feel secure against the coming of Our Punishment in the forenoon while they play? Did they then feel secure against the Plan of Allah. None feels secure from the Plan of Allah except the people who are the losers." [7:97-99]

Also Allah the Most High said:

"Because of their sins they were drowned." (71:25)

And Allah the Most High said:

"So when they angered us, we punished them, and drowned them all." (43:55)

O Servants of Allah! Indeed Allah is The Exalted and All Mighty Compeller. The One Perfect In Strength; The One and Only (Who has no partner in His Names, Attributes and Actions and Allah alone deserves to be worshipped etc and Allah is -The Overwhelming Subduer Who is Never Overcome. Allah shows His slaves signs and punishments by way of which they can reflect and contemplate, and so that they may return to obedience and not remain in their misguidance and heedlessness.

How much wisdom is there regarding the afflictions by way of which Allah afflict some of the slaves and not others!? And from that wisdom – and Allah know best – is so that they serve as a lesson for those who are present regarding (the affair of those who) have preceded, and so that they may take heed regarding what has already gone by and prepare themselves for what is to come.

Allah’s admonitions and reprimands are of various types – sometimes it is by way of drowning, just as the people of Nuh were destroyed through drowning. Sometimes it is by way of winds, just as Allah destroyed the people of Ad by way of that. Sometimes it is by way of (severe torment – destructive loud thunder bolts, just as Allah destroyed Thamud by way of (thunderbolts followed by a earthquake). Sometimes it is by way of turning their houses upside down, just as Allah destroyed the people of Lut. Sometimes it is by way of a violent wind wit shower of stones just as Allah destroy Shu’aib’s people… And sometimes it is by way of enemies who are given the upper hand, just as Allah gave the upper hand to a people who had extreme strength over Bani Isra’il. Sometimes it is by recession, famine, poverty, hunger and insecurity in the land.

Allah Glorified and Exalted Be He commanded us to reflect upon, the saying:

"Say: “Behold all that is in the heavens and the earth,” but neither Ayat (proof evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.) nor Warners benefit those who believe not. Then do they wait for (anything) save for (destruction) like the days the men who passed away before them? Say: “Wait then, I am (too) with you among those who wait.” Then (in the end) We save Our Messengers and those who believe! Thus it is incumbent upon Us to save the believers." [10:101-103]

O Servants of Allah! These calamities, miseries, hunger, poverty, insecurity, recession, admonitions and wars that we see here and there and hear about, are in reality a chastisement from Allah upon His Servants, so that they may return (to Allah in repentance) – seeking rescue and deliverance from Allah. Allah The Most High said:

"When Our Torment reached them, why then did they not believe with humility? ;meaning: Did they humble themselves when our Torment reached them? – But their heart became hardened, and Shaitan (Satan) made fair-seeming to them that which they used to do." [6:43]

Therefore, O Servants of Allah! Indeed it is a calamity that these afflictions have reached many people but they still remain upon what they are upon. They have neither turned away from their sins nor repent to Allah (Glorified and Exalted Be He). The one who stays away from the congregational prayer has not ceased doing so; the one who does not pay attention to his children and their upbringing has not ceased doing so; the one who eats usury and engages in forbidden dealings is still not paying attention and not turning away (from his sin). This (behaviour of the people) is the same regarding all other acts of disobedience and major sins. The people remain upon their misguidance and increase in it – neither being reminded no learning lessons.

Imam Ibnul Qayyim (rahimahullah) said:

"Among the punishments for sins are (the following): It causes blessings to cease and brings about punishment. A blessing does not cease from a slave and punishment does not befall a slave except due to sin, just as Ali Ibn Abi Taalib (radiyallahu-anhu) said: "A calamity does not descend except due to sin and a calamity is not removed except due to repentance. And indeed Allah (Glorified and Exalted Be He said: "And whatever of misfortune befalls you, it is because of what your hands have earned. And He pardon much.’’ [42:30]

And Allah The Most High said:

"That is so because Allah will never change a grace which He has bestowed on a people until they change what is in their ownselves.‘’ [8:53]

So Allah (The Most High) informed (us) that He does not replace the blessing He bestows on any individual, people or a nation unless the persons changes his/her/their own state of affairs – by replacing obedience to Allah with disobedience; replacing gratefulness to Allah with ungratefulness and replacing the means to Allah’s Pleasure with the means leading to Allah’s Displeasure. When a person changes, Allah changes his state of affair as an exact recompense (according to his evil crimes). – And your Lord is not at all unjust to (His) slaves. [41:46] If he (the person) replaces obedience with disobedience, Allah replaces his state of wellbeing with punishment and his state of honour with humiliation.

Allah (Glorified and Exalted Be He) said:

"So We punished each (of them) for his sins, of them were some on whom We send Hasiba (a violent wind with shower of stones) [as the people of Lut (Lot)], and them were some who were overtaken by As-Saihah [torment – awful cry, etc. (as Thamud or Shu’aib’s
people)], and of them were some whom We caused the earth to swallow [as Qarun (Korah)], and of them were some whom We drowned [as the people of Nuh (Noah), or Fir’aun (Pharaoh) and his people]. It was not Allah Who wronged them, but they wronged themselves.’’ [29:40]

Allah (Glorified and Exalted Be He) said:

‘’So, when the promise came for the first of the two, We sent against you slaves of Ours given to terrible warfare. They entered the very innermost parts of your homes. And it was a promise (completely) fulfilled.’’ [17:5]

THE ALL ENCOMPASSING WISDOM OF ALLAH REGARDING THE PUNISHMENTS HE DECREED

Brothers and Sisters! Indeed Allah (The Most High) is All-Wise and All-Knowing regarding what He has decreed and what He causes to occur from what He has decreed; just as He is All knowing with regards to what He legislated and commanded. He created what He willed of the [Universal Signs and Events] and decreed various types of punishment in order that His slaves may fear (destruction), and as a reminder of what is obligated on them with regards to fulfilling His Rights; a warning against associating partners with Him, opposing His commandments and doing what He has prohibited by way of turning away from the Sunnah [of the Messenger (sallallahu-alayhi wasallam)] and the guidance of those who were foremost to embrace Islam (i.e the Sahabah). Allah (Glorified and Exalted Be He) said:

"And We sent not the signs except to warn, and to make them afraid (of destruction)." [17:59]

And He also said:

"We will show them Our Signs in the universe, and in their own selves, until it become manifest to them that this (the Qur’an) is the truth. Is it not sufficient in regard to your Lord that He is a Witness over all things?." [41:53]

He the Most High said:

"Say: “He has power to send torment on you from above or from under your feet, or to cover you with confusion in party strife (Sects, Groups), and make you to taste the violence of one another.” [6:65]

Abus Shaikh Al-Asfahaaniy (rahimahullah) reported from Mujahid (rahimahullah) that he said about this verse: – "Say: He has power to send torment on you from above]; meaning: destructive thunderbolts, stones and winds ِ – or from under your feet]; meaning: earthquake and swallowed by the earth."

O my people! All the calamities that take place, the trials and other than them, by way of which the slaves receive harm and different types of injuries are all due to Shirk, sins and other acts of disobedience. Allah (The Mighty and Majestic) said:

"And whatever of misfortune befalls you, it is because of what your hands have earned. And He pardons much.” [42:30]

And He said:

"So We punished each (of them) for his sins, of them were some on whom We send Hasiba (a violent wind with shower of stones) [as the people of Lut (Lot)], and them were some who were overtaken by As-Saihah [torment – awful cry, etc. (as Thamud or Shu’aib’s
people)], and of them were some whom We caused the earth to swallow [as Qarun (Korah)], and of them were some whom We drowned [as the people of Nuh (Noah), or Fir’aun (Pharaoh) and his people]. It was not Allah Who wronged them, but they wronged themselves.” [29:40]

AN OBLIGATION UPON ALL MUSLIMS

O Servants of Allah! It is obligatory upon all the Mukallafin among the Muslims – those who have reached the age of accountability in Islam and are of sound mind to repent to Allah (Glorified and Exalted Be He); adhering to steadfastness in Allah’s Religion (i.e. Islam) and to be careful of what Allah has prohibited, such as Shirk and acts of disobedience, so that they can receive wellbeing and be safeguarded from all evils in this life and the next. And so that all calamities are repelled from them and all good is conferred upon them.

O Servants of Allah! All these affairs cannot be accomplished except through obedience to Allah and His Messenger, just as Allah (Glorified and Exalted Be He stated:

"And if the people of the towns had believed and had the Taqwa (piety), certainly, We should have opened for them blessings from the heaven and the earth, but they belied (the Messengers). So We took them (with punishment) for what they used to earn (polytheism and crimes, etc.)." [7:96]

And Allah the Most High said about the Ahlul Kitaab:

"And if only they had acted according to the Taurat (Torah), the Injil (Gospel), and what has (now) been sent down to them from their Lord (the Qur’an), they would surely have gotten provision from above them and from underneath their feet." [5:66]

And He the Most High said:

”Did the people of the towns then feel secure against the coming of Our Punishment by night while they are asleep? Or, did the people of the towns then feel secure against the coming of Our Punishment in the forenoon while they play? Did they then feel secure against the Plan of Allah. None feels secure from the Plan of Allah except the people who are the losers.” [7:97-99]

O Servants of Allah! Fear Allah and be mindful of Him in your actions, within your own souls and among your families. Enjoin obedience to Allah, adhere to the truth and establish it in your families. Abandon disobedience, evil and corruption. Exalt Allah’s Shari’ah (i.e. Allah’s commandments, prohibitions, laws and everything Allah has ordained), and exalt the Qur’an and the prayer.

THE BAD EFFECTS OF SINS ACCORDING TO IMAM IBN Al-QAYYIM IN HIS BOOK JAWAB AL-KAAFI

1. The Prevention of Knowledge: Knowledge is a light which Allah throws into the heart and disobedience extinguishes this light.

Imam Shafi’i said:

"I complained to Wakee’ about the weakness of my memory
So he ordered me to abandon disobedience
And informed me that the knowledge is light
And that the light of Allah is not given to the disobedient

2. The Prevention of Sustenance: Just as Taqwa brings about sustenance, the abandonment of Taqwa causes poverty. There is nothing which can bring about sustenance like the abandonment of disobedience.

3. The prevention of obedience (to Allah). If there was no other punishment for sin other than that it prevents one from obedience to Allah then this would be sufficient.

4. Disobedience weakens the heart and the body. Its weakening the heart is something which is clear. Disobedience does not stop weakening it until the life of the heart ceases completely.

5. Disobedience reduces the lifespan and destroys any blessings. Just as righteousness increases the lifespan, sinning reduces it.

6. Disobedience sows its own seeds and gives birth to itself until separating from it and coming out of it becomes difficult for the servant.

7. Sins weaken the hearts will and resolve so that the desire for disobedience becomes strong and the desire to repent becomes weak bit by bit until the desire to repent is removed from the heart completely.

8. Every type of disobedience is a legacy of a nation from among the nations which Allah Azza Wajallah destroyed. Sodomy is a legacy of the People of Lut, taking more than one’s due right and giving what is less is a legacy of the People of Shu’ayb, seeking greatness in the land and causing corruption is a legacy of the People of Pharoah and pride/arrogance and tyranny is a legacy of the People of Hud. So the disobedient one is wearing the gown of some of these nations who were the enemies of Allah.

9. Disobedience is a cause of the servant being held in contempt by his Lord. Al-Hasan al-Basri (R) said: "They became contemptible in (His sight) so they disobeyed Him. If they were honourable (in His sight) He would have protected them. Allah the Exalted said: "And whomsoever Allah lowers (humiliates) there is none to give honour." [Hajj 22:18]

10. The ill-effects of the sinner fall upon those besides him and also the animals as a result of which they are touched by harm.

11. The servant continues to commit sins until they become very easy for him and seem insignificant in his heart and this is a sign of destruction. Every time a sin becomes insignificant in the sight of the servant it becomes great in the sight of Allah.

Ibn Mas’ud (R) said: "Indeed, the believer sees his sins as if he was standing at the foot of a mountain fearing that it will fall upon him and the sinner sees his sins like a fly which passes by his nose so he tries to remove it by waving his hand around." [Bukhari]

12. Disobedience inherits humiliation and lowliness. Honour, all of it, lies in the obedience of Allah. Abdullah ibn al-Mubarak said:

I have seen sins kill the hearts
And humiliation is inherited by their continuity
The abandonment of sins gives life to the hearts
And the prevention of your soul is better for it

13. Disobedience corrupts the intellect. The intellect has light and disobedience extinguishes this light. When the light of the intellect is extinguished it becomes weak and deficient.

14. When disobedience increases, the servant’s heart becomes sealed so that he becomes of those who are heedless. The Exalted said:

"But no! A stain has been left on their hearts on account of what they used to earn (i.e. their actions)." [Mutaffifin 83:14]

15. Sins cause the various types of corruption to occur in the land. Corruption of the waters, the air, the plants, the fruits, dwelling places and the economy of the country. The Exalted said:

"Mischief has appeared on the land and the sea on account of what the hands of men have earned; that He may give them a taste of some of (the actions) they have done, in order that they may return." [Rum 30:41]

16. The disappearance of modesty which is the essence of the life of the heart and is the basis of every good. Its disappearance is the disappearance of all that is good. It is authentic from the Messenger (sallallahu alayhi wasallam) that he said: "Modesty is goodness, all of it." [Bukhari and Muslim]

A Poet said:

And by Allah, there is no good in life Or in the world when modesty goes

17. Sins weaken and reduce the magnification of Allah, the Mighty in the heart of the servant.

18. Sins are the cause of Allah forgetting His servant, abandoning him and leaving him to fend for himself with his soul and his shaytan and in this is the destruction from which no deliverance can be hoped for.

19. Sins remove the servant from the realm of Ihsaan (doing good) and he is prevented from (obtaining) the reward of those who do good. When Ihsaan fills the heart it prevents it from disobedience.

20. Disobedience causes the favours (of Allah) to cease and make His revenge lawful. No blessing ceases to reach a servant except due to a sin and no retribution is made lawful upon him except due to a sin. Ali (R) said: "No trial has descended except due to a sin and it (the trial) is not repelled except by repentance." Allah the Exalted said:

"Whatever misfortune afflicts you then it is due to what your hands have earned and (yet) He pardons many." [Shura 42:30]

And the Exalted also said:

"That is because never will Allah change the favour He has bestowed on a people until they change what is with themselves." [Anfal 8:53]

Wassalamu Alaikum

May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon our beloved Prophet and Master, Muhammad peace and blessings be upon him, his family and all his Companions.

This Khutbah (Friday Sermon) was prepared for delivery today, Friday, Rabi’ al-awwal 2, 1438 AH (December 2, 2016),

By: Imam Murtadha Muhammad Gusau, the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Central Mosque and Alhaji Abdurrahman Okene’s Mosque, Okene Kogi State, Nigeria.
The Imam can be reached via: +2348038289761.

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