Friday Sermon: O Politicians, Indeed There’s Goodness In Dialogue And Debating In The Best Manner!

By Imam Murtadha Gusau

In the name of Allah, the Most Beneficent, the Most Merciful

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all creation—may He extol the Messenger in the highest company of Angels and send His peace and blessings upon him—likewise upon his family, Companions, and true followers.

Dear brothers and sisters! Thanks be to Allah the Almighty, as two warring parties, Dauda Lawal, governor of Zamfara State, and Bello Matawalle, minister of state for defence, have expressed their readiness to work together to fight insecurity in their state.

Governor Dauda Lawal and Muhammad Bello Matawalle, also a former governor of Zamfara, spoke on Wednesday after a two-day roundtable meeting on insecurity in northern Nigeria organised by the Coalition of Northern Groups.

Bello Matawalle served as governor of Zamfara State from 2019 to 2023.

He lost his re-election bid in the last elections to Dauda Lawal, who was the candidate of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP).

While speaking with reporters, the governor of Zamfara State said it is time to keep politics aside and come together with his predecessor for the development of the state.

On his part, Bello Matawalle said he would work with his successor to fight insecurity in Zamfara.

He said his portfolio as a defence minister would go a long way in helping to improve the security situation in the state.

Also in Kano State politics, president Bola Ahmed Tinubu has kick-started moves to reconcile the national leader of the New Nigeria People’s Party (NNPP), Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso and the National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Abdullahi Umar Ganduje.

Multiple sources reported that the president has communicated his intention to both leaders separately and has given them some time to inform their stakeholders of his intention, and return at a later date to finalise the reconciliation process.

President Tinubu met with Abdullahi Umar Ganduje and some select APC stakeholders from Kano State last week Thursday, and met with Rabi’u Musa Kwankwaso on Sunday, just as he plans to personally chair a reconciliation meeting where the two former governors of Kano State are expected to come with two persons each.  Sources close to Abdullahi Umar Ganduje confirmed that the president had asked the APC leader to meet with APC stakeholders in Kano on Thursday (yesterday), and commence the process of solidifying the unity of purpose amongst them.

Dear brothers and sisters! In the darkest of nights, even the full moon goes missing. And amid the turbulence of trials and disagreements that surge like waves of the ocean, along with everyone’s admiration of their own opinion, the wise person searches for a glimmer of light to illuminate the way, or for a lifeline to save them from the turbulence of a deep sea engulfed by waves upon waves, over which are cyclones and whirlwinds that leave even the wise bewildered.

Nowadays, we live in a time whereby the channels of information have increased and reached such rapid rates that people wake up to new developments, and end their days with new developments. To the point that sometimes, searching for the truth is like searching for a needle in a haystack. Herein, lies the challenge. And the consequences are dangerous.

And the approaches of yesterday may not be as effective as they once were, due to the tyranny of distractions and the weakening of moral restraint.

This makes discussion and debating in the best manner the best approach especially in the spheres of advising, guiding, upbringing, criticising, and disputing.

From this standpoint, we passionately highlight the need for prevailing in the principles of dialoguing and debating in the best manner, in all matters of life, as our true religion taught us. Our guide in this is the Book of our Lord and the Sunnah of our Prophet (Peace be upon him). Dialogue is a refined approach and an ideal means to reach goals with soundness, tranquility, politeness, and effectiveness.

Respected servants of Allah! Dialogue, is the exchange of talking between two or more people, intended to prove an argument, establish a right, refute a doubt, or dispel falsehood in speech, action, or belief. It is a significant method in the Qur’an and Sunnah. The Qur’an contains dozens of verses that include the concept of dialogue. And the pure Sunnah is full of this style, emanating from the Prophetic character aimed at guiding people, caring for them, and being merciful to them. As Allah the Almighty says:

“There has certainly come to you a Messenger from among yourselves. Grievous to him is what you suffer; [he is] concerned over you [i.e., your guidance] and to the believers is kind and merciful.” [Qur’an, 9:128]

Dialogue in our noble religion is distinguished for its applicability in all aspects of life, starting from matters of creed, leadership, to the upbringing of children. An example from the domain of creed is the dialogue that each Prophet had with his people, dialoguing with them in the best manner, hoping to guide them to the straight path of Allah. Adiy Ibn Hatim, who was initially a Christian, entered upon the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) and heard him reciting the verse of Allah:

“They have taken their scholars and monks as lords besides Allah, and [also] the Messiah, the son of Mary. [Qur’an, 9: 31] Adiy said, “We do not worship them.” The Prophet (Peace be upon him) replied: As for them, they did not worship them, but when they made something lawful for them, they considered it lawful, and when they made something unlawful for them, they considered it unlawful.” [Sahih At-Tirmithi]

Respected servants of Allah! This is an example of the Prophet’s dialogue in matters of creed, to serve as a beacon for every Muslim, eager to guide others, to follow the guidance of the Prophet (Peace be upon him). Allah the Exalted says:

“There has certainly been for you in the Messenger of Allah an excellent pattern for anyone whose hope is in Allah and the Last Day and [who] remembers Allah often.” [Qur’an, 33: 21]

Dear brothers and sisters! Indeed, engaging in wholesome and constructive dialogue is the best way to reach the truth and certainty for those who have a heart or lend an ear while being attentive.

When lust takes control of a person’s heart, and their heart longs for sin, mere reproach, rebuke and reprimand, far from the approach of constructive dialogue, are unlikely to uproot the lure of indulging in desires. This is where the true benefits of dialogue lie.

A young man once came to the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) and said:

“O Messenger of Allah, grant me permission to commit adultery. The people around him reprimanded him, saying, “Woe to you.” But the Prophet said, “Bring him closer.” So the young man came close and sat down. The Prophet asked him, “Would you like it for your mother?” He replied, “No, by Allah, may I be sacrificed for you.” The Prophet said, “Nor do people like it for their mothers.” He asked, “Would you like it for your daughter?” He replied, “No, by Allah, may I be sacrificed for you.” The Prophet asked him, “Would you like it for your sister?” He replied, “No, by Allah, may I be sacrificed for you.” The Prophet said, “Nor do people like it for their sisters.” The Prophet asked him, “Would you like it for your paternal aunts?” He replied, “No, by Allah, may I be sacrificed for you.” The Prophet said, “Nor do people like it for their paternal aunts.” The Prophet asked him, “Would you like it for your maternal aunts?” He replied, “No, by Allah, may I be sacrificed for you.” The Prophet said, “Nor do people like it for their maternal aunts.” Then the Prophet placed his hand on the young man and supplicated, “O Allah, forgive his sin, purify his heart, and guard his chastity.” After that, the young man never turned to anything sinful.” [Ahmad]

This is the essence of dialogue and its impact in clarifying matters and removing doubts, and extinguishing the blind flames of lust and desire.

Dialogue is also crucial in removing the cloud of suspicion and doubt that leads to falsely questioning motivations and honour. A Bedouin came to the Prophet (Peace be upon him) and said:

“My wife has given birth to a dark-complexioned boy, and I have disowned him. The Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him) said to him, ‘Do you have camels?’ He replied, ‘Yes.’ The Prophet asked, ‘What colour are they?’ He said, ‘Red.’ The Prophet asked, ‘Is there any grey in them?’ He said, ‘Indeed, there is some grey.’ The Prophet said, ‘How do you think that came about?’ The man said, ‘O Messenger of Allah, perhaps it is a strain [in their lineage].’ The Prophet said, And perhaps this [boy] has a strain [like that],’ and he did not permit him to disown the child.” [Bukhari and Muslim]

This dialogue removed the man’s suspicions and ill thoughts towards his wife, thereby cutting the roots of doubt and closing the door to family discord or marital problems. How great is the impact of dialogue when someone is skilled, calm, purposeful, driven by sincerity and the pursuit of truth and far from slandering and quarreling.

In the realm of raising children, dialogue has a more profound impact than mere instruction or forced imposition. Once, the Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) saw Al-Hasan Bin Ali – may Allah be pleased with them – putting a date from the charity dates in his mouth. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“‘Kakh’ (an expression of disapproval). ‘Kakh’ (an expression of disapproval), leave it. Do you not know that we do not eat (what is given in) charity.” [Bukhari and Muslim]

Indeed upbringing coupled with explaining the rationale and wisdom is superior to upbringing devoid of it. And if mere prohibition was sufficient in upbringing, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) would have sufficed with saying ‘Kakh’ (an expression of disapproval). However, adding some dialogue with reasoning instilled the correct understanding, rather than imposing it without the slightest explanation.

Fellow servants of Allah! Any society that cultivates proficiency in conveying ideas convincingly through dialogue and transparency and debating in the best manner and not in the roughest fashion, will convey ideas with clarity and understanding and without arrogance. If the outcome is not as desired, at least the evidence was established, and one’s duty is fulfilled, echoing the believer’s sentiment in the Qur’an:

“So you will remember what I [now] say to you, and I entrust my affair to Allah. Indeed, Allah is Seeing of [His] servants.” [Qur’an, 40: 44]

We ask Allah Almighty to enlighten our hearts with Iman (faith) and bless us with wisdom to convey the truth in the best manner. Indeed Allah is All Hearing, Answering.

I conclude with this and send prayers of blessings and peace upon your Prophet as your Lord commanded:

“Indeed, Allah confers blessing upon the Prophet, and His angels [ask Him to do so]. O you who have believed, ask [Allah to confer] blessing upon him and ask [Allah to grant him] peace.” [Qur’an, 33: 56]

O Allah, guide us with those whom You have guided, grant us well-being among those You have granted well-being, be an ally to us along with those whom You are an ally to, and bless what You have bestowed upon us, and save us from the evil of what You have decreed. For verily You decree and none can decree over You. He whom You support can never be humiliated. Glory is to You, our Lord, You are Blessed and Exalted.

O Allah, We ask You for all that is good, in this world and in the Hereafter, what we know and what we do not know. O Allah, we seek refuge with You from all evil, in this world and in the Hereafter, what we know and what we do not know. O Allah, we ask You for the good that Your servant and Prophet has asked You for, and we seek refuge with You from the evil from which Your servant and Prophet sought refuge. O Allah, we ask You for Paradise and for that which brings one closer to it, in word and deed, and we seek refuge in You from Hell and from that which brings one closer to it, in word and deed. And we ask You to make every decree that You decree concerning us good.

Dear servants of Allah! Indeed, Allah orders justice and good conduct and giving to relatives and forbids immorality and bad conduct and oppression. He admonishes you that perhaps you will be reminded.

Remember Allah, the Great – He will remember you. Thank Him for His favours – He will increase you therein. And seek forgiveness from Him – He will forgive you. And be conscious of Him – He will provide you a way out of difficult matters. And, establish the prayer.

All praise is due to Allah, Lord of the worlds. May the peace, blessings and salutations of Allah be upon our noble Messenger, Muhammad (Peace be upon him), and upon his family, his Companions and his true and sincere followers.

Murtadha Muhammad Gusau is the Chief Imam of: Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’ah Mosque; and Late Alhaji Abdur-Rahman Okene Mosque, Okene, Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached via:; or +2348038289761.

This Friday sermon (Jumu’ah Khutbah) was prepared for delivery today Friday, 14 Rajab, 1445 AH (January 26, 2024).