Lecturer: Prof Abdulrahman Oloyede
Venue: University of Ibadan Central Mosque
Date: Friday, Sha’ban 22, 1438.
Asalamualaykum warahmotulahi wabarakaatuuh brethren. We give Allaah all the glory, the thanks, the encomiums for keeping us alive to see today. And more importantly, for retaining us in His fold. We seek His unending benison upon Muhammad, those who accepted his message in his lineage, his allies who showed him sincere camaraderie and everyone who has sworn allegiance to never tarry from the Straight Path till the day that will be preceded by no other day.
Gradually, the sun of Ramadan is rising on our horizon. And as expected, as commanded by Allaah, one thing is mandatory on us Muslims preparing for the coming of this Holy month: increase in piety. Bearing this in mind, the Imam intimated us on the relevance of piety to life of a Muslim.
As the Ramadan fast draws near, it is important to reiterate the necessity for it’s preparation, the Imam reasoned. The life of a Muslim is and should be lived for Allaah, he added. He then continued saying that, we must live our lives in preparation to meet our Lord. Because one day, all sights would sight there Lord; so it is the only logical thing to do.
In addition, in a rhetorical manner, the Imam quizzed the congregation, demanding to know if there is anyone who came to this world with something. No one did. Hence, in the light of this, if it is true we didn’t come to this world with something, then we should know that someone merciful has placed it there, he deduced. Emphatically, we must serve Him, he said. We must give to Allaah His due. We must be watchful of His do’s and don’ts. Whosever doesn’t has failed, he completed.
Statistically, Professor Oloyede proceeded, Nigeria ranks highest in suicide rate, followed by USA. Nigeria has the highest number of mosques and churches in the world, a went on to mention. Bridging these two facts, he bemoaned and queried at the same time, why is Nigeria in her current state despite being home to more mosques and churches than anywhere else in the world? Why hasn’t the religiousness of Nigerians salvaged the crazy drive to take their lives? It is because we believe in Allaah but we act less piously, the Imam pointed out. If just 10% of what is used in disobeying in Allaah is used in obeying Him, Nigeria will be saved, he submitted. Allaah Himself tells us in Suratun-Nisa, Verse 36,
وَاعْبُدُوا اللَّهَ وَلَا تُشْرِكُوا بِهِ شَيْئًا وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا وَبِذِي الْقُرْبَىٰ وَالْيَتَامَىٰ وَالْمَسَاكِينِ وَالْجَارِ ذِي الْقُرْبَىٰ وَالْجَارِ الْجُنُبِ وَالصَّاحِبِ بِالْجَنبِ وَابْنِ السَّبِيلِ وَمَا مَلَكَتْ أَيْمَانُكُمْ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُحِبُّ مَن كَانَ مُخْتَالًا فَخُورًا
“Worship Allah and join none with Him in worship, and do good to parents, kinsfolk, orphans, Al-Masakin (the poor), the neighbour who is near of kin, the neighbour who is a stranger, the companion by your side, the wayfarer (you meet), and those (slaves) whom your right hands possess. Verily, Allah does not like such as are proud and boastful.”
Moving on, the Imam quoted the maxim of the Yorùbá which talks about salt. Salt is known to always preserve food from getting rotten, but what happens when salt itself gets rotten? Muslims are salt of the world. We are to correct the anomalies in the world. What happens when Muslims themselves get rotten? He questioned. He therefore admonished us Muslims to go back to basis by reinvigorating our piety gauge. In Qur’an 7, Surah Al-Araf, Verses 6-7 Allaah warns us,
“Then surely, We shall question those (people) to whom it (the Book) was sent and verily, We shall question the Messengers  Then surely, We shall narrate unto them (their whole story) with knowledge, and indeed We were not absent ”
Professor followed this by explaining that the moment we begin to we adhere to Allaah’s injunctions, other things like good deeds to others, obeying parents, strengthening family ties and so on would not be difficult. He narrated to us the dialogue of Ibn Hajar with a serial sinner. Ibn Hajar advised the sinner never to sin on Allaah’s earth nor should he eat from Allaah’s provisions each time he desires to sin. The serial sinner replied saying such are not possible. Ibn Hajar then said if he knows such are impossible, then don’t sin. So also the Imam advised us Muslims to always reason this way each time the urge to sin pokes its ugly head.
The Imam didn’t conclude until he said, it is hypocrisy to put love of money, children, fame, worldly gains above the love for Allaah for they shall all vanish. However, the bounties of Allaah are eternal and of greater benefits. And no one gets them except those whose lives are tied to the commandments of their Creator. He therefore admonished us to be of those.
NB: Dear readers, it secretes gall in my mouth, as well numbs my fingers as I type this that this might be the last from me. This is on the backlight of reviews that have been following the Imam’s sermons in some quarters in the school which negates some of the Imam’s line of reasoning. In the bid to check this, the Imam has embargoed any form of review of his sermon henceforth. Because of this, my column on this has to be suspended. It is my own way of serving Allaah through you but it is unfortunate it has to cease. But I pray Allaah continues to shower us with the understanding of His Deen and may He make us dwellers of Jannah. Insha Allaah, I will be very glad to serve you a different capacity once the offer comes.Please Follow Us @ThePageNg