The Chief Imam of Usman Bn Affan Jumu’at Mosque, Kano, Sheikh (Dr.) Aliyu Yunus Muhammad has said that Nigerians must do everything possible for peace to reign in the country, saying obedience and cooperation with the authorities is an evidence of patriotism.
The Islamic scholar made this statement at the virtual Ramadan lecture series organised by Muslim News Nigeria, with the theme, ‘For The Love of The Country’.
Sheikh Aliyu said responsible people love their country and feel deeply attached to it to the extent that they do not want to leave.
According to him, “Speaking about one’s country and professing love for it is not a topic that revolves around racism or bigotry. Rather, it is a discussion revolving around one’s life and growth. It’s based on the depth of one’s values and principles.
“One of the Muslim scholars, Imam Al-Asmaii’ said he heard a Bedouin Arab saying ‘if you want to know whether a person is responsible or not, you should look into his affection and attachment to his country, his longing for his brothers and his weeping over the time he has spent at home’.
“In essence, what this is showing is that a responsible person is always remembering his people and nation. So, loving one’s country and affiliating oneself to the nation is natural. When a person is born in a particular place and grows up in it, drinks and eats in it, and lives amongst his people, naturally he becomes connected to that place; wherever he goes, he never forgets that place.
“Allah says about the Israelites that, ‘If I had said to them that they should kill themselves and go out of their nations, only a few of them would do.’ It is not an easy task for somebody to leave his home or kill his fellow brothers,” he noted.
Sheikh Aliyu, who is also a Lecturer at the Federal College of Education, Kano, said Allah linked love for one’s country to his religion. He quoted a verse from the Noble Qur’an where Allah says, ”He does not forbid us from relating well to those who do not fight us or expel us from our homes.”
Speaking further, he cited a narration where Anas Ibn Malik reported that when the Prophet (SAW) travels and returns from his journeys, on nearing Madinah, he would make his camel walk faster due to his love for Madinah. i.e. whenever he is returning from journey, he quickly enters Madinah.
“Ibn Hajar while commenting on this Hadith said it proves that the Prophet (SAW) had specific love for the town of Madinah. He showed affection. Therefore, loving one’s country is not being racial or bigoted,” he noted.
The Imam added that Prophet Muhammad (SAW) has shown at different times that it’s good to love one’s country, citing his reaction to his forceful ejection from Makkah, his place of origin.
Sheikh Yunus charged Muslims to practice peace; obedience and cooperation with the authorities, adding that they are evidence of patriotism. He emphasized that Islam expects all believers to be proactive and make positive impact in any society they find themselves.
“Our Prophet demonstrated in another scenario that it is good to love one’s country. When he was embarking on hijrah from Makkah to Madinah, he got to the border and looked back, saying Allah loves the city of Makkah and there was no justification for him to leave if not that Allah instructed him to migrate following persecution of the Quraysh (unbelievers) in Makkah.
“Abu Hamid Al-Ghazaaliy, one of the Muslim scholars said humans love their lands due to what it contains; a person is able to find comfort from where he was born and that’s why he always tries to protect his nation.
“According to Islam, affiliating to one’s country symbolizes a form of unity of its citizens and loving one’s country should be within the limits of the Shari’ah. Loving one’s country means fulfilling responsibilities towards the people of the nation and the nation itself by preserving its security, defending and respecting its sanctuaries and citizens.
“Loving one’s country is shown by rectifying its people and not corrupting them in any way. Rather, Muslims should cooperate with their brothers and sisters in commanding good and prohibiting evil, and promoting all the virtues that Islam advocates.
“Loving one’s country is shown by respecting the elderly, having concern for the youth, obeying the laws of the nation, keeping the towns and streets clean, and not annoying fellow citizens of the nation. Loving one’s country is shown by protecting the assets of the country and its resources.
“Loving one’s country is not a day affair but a life time’s. That’s why a nationalist wherever he goes would always pray and also remember his country. In every situation, he never forgets his country, the Chief Imam stated.
The Shariah graduate from the University of Madina, the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia therefore said true love for one’s country demands that one wants the best for his country, thereby calling on Muslim brothers and sisters in Nigeria, especially in this month of Ramadan to pray for our country, for peace and stability to reign.
“Let us also work towards the good practice of Islam of living peacefully with one another, trying to put our heads together regardless of our differences. Islam urges us to be active and proactive in any society we live. Muslims have to participate in public life. I also call on Muslims to remember the responsibilities of leaders and citizens.
“Islam has clearly stated the responsibilities of leaders and the led. A leader has the responsibility of dealing justly with his citizens and protecting the integrity of the country. A leader must not be deceitful, promising and not fulfilling his promises. A leader must do his best to ensure everyone is living in comfort. While the followers must be obedient to their leaders.
“In Islam, we are asked to obey the commands of our leaders as long as they do not go against the commandments of Allah. Followers should not incite violence in the society. Again, they should always pray for their leaders.
“Today, as Nigerians in our time, we have a great country which is precious in our hearts. We have to purify our hearts and do everything possible to ensure that peace reigns in Nigeria. We should show love to our country by contributing to everything that will make our country prosper and shy away from disunity. We pray Allah (SWT) protect our country and its leaders. We pray that Allah bless our country with peace and continuous progress. Amin, he added.
The third phase of Muslim News Ramadan lecture series will continue on Tuesday, with Sheikh Ismaeel Busayri, a Nigerian-born Papua New Guinea (PNG) based scholar, proffering Islamic solutions to the controversies surrounding correcting or criticism of leadership in the public. Time is 1pm (Nigerian time), live on Muslim News Facebook page.
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