Sermoneer: Prof Abdulrahman Oloyede
Sermon: Lessons from the prophet before his journey to the heavens
Venue: University of Ibadan Central Mosque
Date: Friday, Sha’ban 2, 1438
Asalamualaykum warahmotulahi wabarakaatuuh brethren in Islam. Glory is due to Allaah, our Creator, our Sustainer, our Nourisher, our Cherisher. May His boundless mercies, blessings and salutations be showered upon the Seal of the Prophets, Muhammad (ﷺ), his companions, his household, his well wishers and all those who accept his Divine message till the day that no other day will succeed.
With today marking the first week of Sha’ban – after seeing the end of the month of the Rosuul’s ascension, Rajab – the Imam pitched the tent of his discourse on lessons to be learnt from the precedents of this Holy Journey.
The Imam stated in clear terms and emphatically too that no one – and never would there be any one – has ever been blessed with such glorious feat. The Journey, in his words, was an expression of Divine Goodwill of Allaah upon the Prophet (ﷺ) which usually follows times of retributions in the life of every believer.
The tribulations that trailed the life of the Prophet came in their numbers and in many dimension, Professor Oloyede explained. At a point in time, his family was denied the right to buy and sell for three years. They were confined under house arrest for three years. All in the name of punishing him for the “alien message” of Islam he brought.
His trials didn’t end there, the Imam highlighted further. The Prophet had earlier moved his companions to Abyssinia, present day Ethiopia, to take them away from the hands of torture of the pagan Meccans. While this was on, within a seemingly short time span, his grandfather, who was his succour, died after he had earlier lost his dearest wife, Khadijah.
In proceeding his narration, Oloyede moved on to mentioning the Prophet’s migration to Taif to deliver the message of Islam. There again, he was rejected and stoned. Such are what a believer must experience before his faithfulness can be authenticated, the Imam admonished.
The Prophet, rather than rain curse on the people of Taif, prayed unto them. Prophet Muhammad supplicated to Allaah saying “if all I am going through is not because you are angry with me, I am glad to experience them.” Lesson to be drawn from this is that whenever we have difficulties in life, what we should be concerned about should be “is Allaah pleased with me?”, the Imam deduced.
Allaah says in Suratul-Baqara, Verse 214:
أَمْ حَسِبْتُمْ أَن تَدْخُلُوا الْجَنَّةَ وَلَمَّا يَأْتِكُم مَّثَلُ الَّذِينَ خَلَوْا مِن قَبْلِكُم مَّسَّتْهُمُ الْبَأْسَاءُ وَالضَّرَّاءُ وَزُلْزِلُوا حَتَّىٰ يَقُولَ الرَّسُولُ وَالَّذِينَ آمَنُوا مَعَهُ مَتَىٰ نَصْرُ اللَّهِ أَلَا إِنَّ نَصْرَ اللَّهِ قَرِيبٌ
“Or think you that you will enter Paradise without such (trials) as came to those who passed away before you? They were afflicted with severe poverty and ailments and were so shaken that even the Messenger and those who believed along with him said, ‘When (will come) the Help of Allah?’ Yes! Certainly, the Help of Allah is near!”
The above verse was then corroborated by the Imam by another in Qur’an 29:2 (Suratul-Ankaboot, Verse 2)
أَحَسِبَ النَّاسُ أَن يُتْرَكُوا أَن يَقُولُوا آمَنَّا وَهُمْ لَا يُفْتَنُونَ
“Do people think that they will be left alone because they say: ‘We believe,’ and will not be tested.”
This verses, as pointed out by the lecturer, are evidences to show that, surely, Allaah will test us. The Prophet’s tests are the been aforementioned. However, just as for every glory, there shall be trials, so also, no gruesome hardship can exist except it is followed with groundbreaking breakthrough. For instance, the prophet’s initial challenges were annulled by the rare gift of unmatched blessing of Israi wal-miraaj.
Moving on, the Imam resounded the verse of Suratul-Araf, Verse 16, where Allaah says,
قَالَ فَبِمَا أَغْوَيْتَنِي لَأَقْعُدَنَّ لَهُمْ صِرَاطَكَ الْمُسْتَقِيمَ
“(Iblis) said: ‘Because You have sent me astray, surely I will sit in wait against them (human beings) on Your Straight Path.’”
This goes to say that shaytorn’s threat and plans are undying. He is forever active. Therefore, we as believers should always expect his temptations.
With patience during times of tribulations, Professor Oloyede concluded, you will achieve success in life and hereafter. Everyone’s trial is according to their Iman. The more the tests, the more the Iman. Whatever you are facing, remember your breakthrough is nearby, he advised.
Akinpelu Yusuf is a Campus Journalist who schools as a Statistician in the University of Ibadan.