The hypocrite built a masjid so that they could come together secretly and comfortably to work against Muslims. They wanted the Prophet Muhammad (saw) to perform prayers in this masjid that is referred to as the Masjid al-Dirar in the Holy Qur’an. This way, this place would gain legitimacy and be the center of the movements to cause discord that they pursue in the city. While the Messenger of Allah (saw) was preparing to perform prayers in this masjid, the following verses were revealed that informed him of the true color of the issue: “And [there are] those [hypocrites] who took for themselves a mosque for causing harm and disbelief and division among the believers and as a station for whoever had warred against Allah and His Messenger before. And they will surely swear, ‘We intended only the best.’ And Allah testifies that indeed they are liars. Do not stand [for prayer] within it – ever. A mosque founded on righteousness from the first day is more worthy for you to stand in…”[i]
This incident that took place while the Prophet Muhammad (saw) was still alive is one of the clearest examples of exploitation of religion. Throughout the history, too, many persons and groups have not refrained from exploitation of religion to derive benefits by taking advantage of the influence of religion on people. Today, just as in the past, we face opportunists like FETO, a terorist organization led by Fethullah Gulen and DAESH who exploit Islamic values and concepts. However, the Prophet Muhammad’s (saw) warning is quite obvious, “What an evil servant is the one who seeks the world through the religion! What an evil servant is the worshipper who is misled by his desire!”[ii]
Six years ago, on the night of July 15, we witnessed a treacherous coup attempt by FETO hiding behind exploitation of religion. This organization that is a network of treason used Islam’s lofty truths for their own benefits. It exploited our people’s religious feelings. Corruption-mongers are referred to in the Holy Qur’an as follows, “And when it is said to them, ‘Do not cause corruption on the earth,’ they say, ‘We are but reformers.’ Unquestionably, it is they who are the corrupters, but they perceive [it] not.”[iii]
What falls upon us not to experience such incidences again is to lead our life with authentic religious knowledge obtained from reliable sources. We should direct our life into the right path with the guidance of the Holy Qur’an and the example of Prophet Muhammad (saw). We should never allow those to succeed who aim to exploit our religious values.
As I conclude this Friday’s khutbah, I wish Allah the Almighty’s (swt) mercy on our august martyrs who have from past to present sacrificed their lives in the cause of our religion and on our heroic veterans who have passed away for this cause.
[i] Tawbah, 9/107, 108.
[ii] Tirmidhi, Sifat al-Qiyamah, 17.
[iii] Baqarah, 2/11-12.