By Ishola Balogun
Any time I read any of the quotes of Prophet Muhammad, the feeling of satisfaction of being a Muslim and having a great leader as Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) resonate in me. Islam through Quran and hadiths has every solution for man, for peaceful co-existence, development, and gaining the hereafter.

But the issue we always contend with daily is the ability of individual to adhere strictly to these ‘Guidance’ (Quran and Hadiths).  Pondering on how we can be useful to ourselves in order to make the world a better place, I stumble again on this hadith: “No one of you shall become a true believer until he desires for his brother what he desires for himself.(Bukhari)

Abu Hurayrah (radhiyallaahu ‘anhu) narrated that the Messenger of Allaah (s.a.w) said, “The rights of the Muslim upon the Muslim are six.” It was said, “And what are they: Oh! Messenger of Allah?” He replied, “When you meet him, give him the greeting of peace, when he invites you, respond to his invitation, when he seeks your advice, advise him, when he sneezes and praises Allaah, supplicate for mercy upon him, when he becomes ills, visit him, and when he dies follow him (i.e. his funeral).”

Abu Hurairah said that the Prophet (s.a.w) said: “Beware of suspicion, for suspicion is the greatest falsehood. Do not try to find fault with each other, do not spy on one another, do not vie with one another, do not envy one another, do not be angry with one another, do not turn away from one another, and be servants of Allah, brothers to one another, as you have been enjoined.

A Muslim is the brother of a Muslim, he does him no wrong, nor does he let him down, nor does he despise him. Fear of God is here, fear of God is here, and he pointed to his chest. It is evil enough that a Muslim should look down on his brother. For every Muslim is sacred to one another: his blood, his honour, and his property. Allah does not look at your bodies or your forms, or your deeds, but He looks at your hearts”. (Bukhari, Muslim)

This is one of the most famous quotes of the Prophet (PBUH).  Prophet Muhammad had thought the world would be a place full of envy, pride, jealousy, selfishness and backbiting and had attempted to proffer solution to it through his practice to his followers.  He encouraged fellow Muslims to have a sense of fraternity amongst each other and to come to one common platform and help the overall growth of the Muslim world.

In order to achieve this unity and peace generally, the Prophet (s.a.w) gave us comprehensive direction on how to sustain fraternity. These are the six duties of a Muslim to another Muslim

1) The salutation: “When you meet him, greet him; greet him with a warm smile, a friendly face and As Salaam Alaykum.  The first duties that a Muslim has over another is saying As_Salaam Alaikum (May peace be with you) with a very good and friendly expression and being good to a brother even though you don’t know him. It also means that you answer the person with an equally good natured Wa_Laikaikum Assalam (May peace be with you too). Muslims should always say As Salaam Alaikum, even if you don’t know the person.

2) “When he invites you, respond to him” When a Muslim brother invites you to a function, you’re to participate in the joy of the host.  It is not enough excuse to say I don’t know him.  Once he is a Muslim, you don’t have to deny the invitation, rather, join him to rejoice with him.

3) “When he seeks counsel, give him good advice” This is very important in that a Muslim brother relies on the other even in kind.  But caution must be exercise that you don’t give him the wrong advice.  And if you don’t know, lead him to whoever will give him the good advice.

4) When a Muslim sneezes or even when he trips and he remembers to praise Allah, we must respond to him with a prayer for Allah to have mercy on him. “When he sneezes and praises Allah, say to him: `May Allah have mercy on you (Yarhamuk_Allah).

5) “When he is sick, visit him.  Sometimes, physical presence at the bedside of a sick_Muslim could do wonders better than a dose of pain-relief tablets.  But do not also forget to pray for him.

6) “When he dies, give him the last respect and follow to his funeral” One hadith even related that the Prophet stood up when the corpse of an unbeliever was being carried away for burial.

For a funeral of Muslim, attend his last rites.  This is of utmost importance. Speaking well of him and seeking forgiveness for him will ease his condition in the grave. In turn, when you die, others will also feel for you and make du’a sincerely for your forgiveness.

A scholar once said: For verily whoever observes the  funeral rites (janaza) of a Muslim, then he will receive a  reward equivalent to the size of the Mountain of Uhud in Madinah.  And if he follows the funeral procession until the body is buried, then he will receive tdouble of the reward. And following the funeral procession contains fulfillment of a right for Allah, a right for the deceased, and a right for the living relatives of the deceased.

If we can fulfil these basic duties of a Muslim to another, it is hoped that much of the problems of the society and the world at large will reduce drastically.  That is one of the things Islam wants to achieve.

Cleric tasks govts on good governance

The National Vice President, Federation of Ahlus Sunnah Organisations in Nigeria (FASON) and Amir (Spiritual Head) Universal Muslim Brotherhood (UMB), Sheikh Mas’ud Olanrewaju Adepoju has said corruption, greed and unrighteousness are bane of development in the country, adding that these vices are rampant within the rank and file of our leaders and followers. He noted that the price of fuel that should be reducing with the windfall in the world oil market, is instead jerking up for the Nigerian people.

The Islamic leader tasked President Goodluck Jonathan and state governors to focus on serious business of good governance – finding ways out of resolving the precarious financial situations in their various sates by – increasing sources of revenue, reduction in government spending blockage of financial leakages, borrowing funds to augment revenue from federation Accounts and deliver dividends of democracy.

Sheikh Mas’ud Adepoju added that Nigerian masses are being made sacrificial lambs for government’s incompetence, bad governance, lazy leadership and ineptitudeness, just as the government has incapacitated our 4 refineries despite huger spending over the years Turn Around Maintenance without any explanation for / to anybody.

A Muslim in pain
By HarunA  razaq

Islam has given us guidance in all aspects of our lives. Whenever such guidance is ignored, we cannot underestimate its consequences.  For the faithful, there are signs every day in their lives that reveal the divine wisdom and the fact that Allah is in charge of the affairs of man.

Calamities such as terrorist attack, poverty, kidnapping, etc. may very well belong to (a) signs of divine wrath due to the sins.  For example Allah says “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, and make you to taste the violence of one another…’ (6:65)”or (b) trials and tribulations to test true followers of their faith (Islam).

Allah says: “And certainly, We shall test you with something of fear and hunger, some loss in goods or lives or the fruits, but give glad tidings to the patient. Who, when afflicted with calamity, say: Truly! To Allah we belong, and truly, to Him we shall return “(2:155-156) or (c) sign of the end of times.

The Prophet (s.a.w) said, “The Hour (Last Day) will not be established until (religious) knowledge will be taken away (by the death of religious learned men), earthquakes will be very frequent, time will pass quickly, ‘afflictions will appear, murders will increase’ and money will overflow amongst you.” (Al-Bukhari, 2/17 no.146)

Truly, of the three factors mentioned above, many of our learned scholars are of a strong opinion that disasters, afflictions and problems that Muslim or non-Muslim societies are facing today are as a result of the behaviuor of the members of these societies. They based their evidence on the Qur’an and the Sunnah. For example, Almighty Allah states in the Qur’an: “Corruption doth appear on land and sea because of (the evil) which men’s hands have done, that He may make them taste a part of that which they have done, in order that they may return.” (30:41).

So, most probably the disasters, afflictions and problems facing us in Nigeria today are signs of Allah’s wrath due our sins, lewdness and the violation of Allah’s rules.

Thus, the purpose of this write up is not to judge others or decide matters that we have no right to decide, but to call attention to the dictates of Shariah. As it is observed that many of the present Muslim in Nigeria lack Islamic etiquettes due to our behaviour whenever a calamity strikes in our community, country or any place in the world.

We use to waste much of our time in criticizing the government, security agents, others who failed to do their rights and some times promote hear say in contradiction to the Qur’an. (see Q49:6). Therefore our duty when seen some one affected by a calamity is to do the following:

(i)                  To recite the following dua’ recommended by the prophet when seeing someone in trial or tribulation :”Alhamdu  lillahil lazi ‘aafani  mimmab taaaika bihi wa faddalani ‘ala kathiirin  mimma khalaqa  tafdiila”.

(ii)                To help the affected people as much as we can and in whatever way we can.
(iii)                To sympathize and pray for the injured and the survivors.
(iv)              To pray for the deceased strictly according to the dictate  of Shariah.
(v)                 To examined oneself if one is living a life according to the dictate of Shariah. If not, to change and make necessary correction as early as possible etc.

Furthermore, it should be noted that the place where a calamity strikes may have both good and bad people. When sins rise in a community and a punishment is sent down, it may also affects the good people. While that calamity is a punishment for the sinners, it becomes a source of purification or a reminder for the good doers.

It is usually painful to hear or watch the news of disasters, most especially this days that it has become too much in our country – Nigeria, as grieve, fear and different thoughts come to mind. One walks around with heavy hearts after watching the destruction of human life.

So, if we have not been affected now, who know who is next, so, the fear of Allah should be enough to make us strive for greater understanding of our religion, lead lives of true Muslim by following all the dictate of Shariah and making dawah (calling to the path of Allah).

May Allah Almighty help us all adhere to the principles of this true Religion, Islam, and enable us to be among the dwellers of Jannah Ameen.

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Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.