The above quoted verse of the Qur’an is a vital obligatory aspect of Islam which came directly, as a divine order, from the Almighty Allah, Who made the religion of Islam an act of worship for people who sincerely surrender themselves to His will. Thus, any deviation from that divine order is a cultivation of endless restiveness for self, in all circumstances. From this, it becomes clear that unity is a vital norm of Islam that no genuine seeker of societal peace would want to discard.
Web of Unity
If there is any time, in the history of Nigeria, when the largest Muslim Ummah of the black race, needs to build a most formidable web of unity, as a fortress, it is now.
For centuries, most Muslims, in various parts of the world, have consistently deviated from holding unity as an Islamic principle while, at the same time, perceiving certain adherents of some religions, other than Islam, as their enemies. But, ironically, in reality, there are no enemies for Islam or Muslims, anywhere, other than the Muslims themselves. A thorough and sincere examination of this assertion will surely confirm its. In a nutshell, Muslims are the enemies of both Islam and fellow Muslims.
Here in Nigeria, if anything is called Satan, and that diabolical entity truly lives in the midst of humans, Nigeria must be its abode. As a mysteriously damnable entity, Satan may not be physically perceivable, but his shadow is evidently vivid in the evil machination generally called politics. And, certain elements, in the society, including some ambitious Muslims, who are often proud to be called politicians, are the agents of that unperceivable diabolical entity called IBLIS.
From whichever angle it is perceived, Politics, as played in Nigeria, by Nigerians, today, will be seen as infectious leprosy. Any contact it makes, with human fingers, will surely render those fingers ineffective with contagious implication.
Although, Politics, generally, is a social necessity that cannot be totally avoided in any human society because of its irreplaceable role in socializing humanity, nevertheless, the method of handling it in Nigeria, has practically turned it into a paradoxical slough of a snake which has no life of its own but scares the people around it, despite its empty appearance.
Without the way politics is being played globally, today, the entire world would have been in perfect harmony.
Since her independence in 1960, Nigeria has hardly experienced any social calamity that did not emanate from politics, directly or indirectly. Thus, like the Island of Ithaca of yore, in the Greek mythology, Nigeria, now, harbours a sphinx that frequently confronts all citizens with an unanswerable question. And, the inability to answer that question, correctly, by anybody, has become a desperate sphinx threatening to devour our country from time to time. For how long can we continue to cope with this situation before the bubble will finally bust, is a fundamental question that urgently requires a practically fundamental answer.
Today, politics, in Nigeria, is a paradoxical odyssey, the ship of which cruises dangerously on an ocean of uncertainty. And, the real sailor of that ship is the stolen money desperately used by the minority, in pursuit of power, to the gross disadvantage of the majority of citizens.
We are now in an era when the source of money being squandered on politics no longer matters as much as the status which that stolen money confers on the thief.
In actual fact, what really matters, in today’s Nigeria, is not how decent you are, as a person, or, how valuable you are as an expert in any field of endeavour, but how rich you are, moneywise, no matter the source of your richness.
In a nutshell, a rich rogue is by far more relevant and more important to an average Nigerian of today, than a gentleman without money.
It is, actually, the size of your purse, or that of your bank account, that determines the status by which you are recognized in the society. And, that has now become the new definition of pedigree on the one hand, and, the secret god which most Nigerians, including Muslims, have adopted as an option.
It is not surprising, therefore, that, even Muslim men and women of letters, as well as high caliber professionals are now struggling to become servants to mere nonentities who, by any means, have struck the opportunity to occupy public positions in a clueless government, in order to control an enclave in Nigeria’s treasury.
The world has changed so much that the same money which used to serve man in the past is now the master that man serves with relish. In the face of money, conscience has become a lost paradise that no one seeks again. And, with its disappearance, human dignity has also become an old wife’s tale. Whither Nigeria’s tomorrow, in all these, is a question reserved for the future to answer.
The Wilderness of Avarice
In the wilderness of avarice and aggrandizement audaciously imposed by money, Nigerians of today have lost the culture of dignity highly cherished by Nigerians of yesteryears and there is no sense of nostalgia for it. No matter the solo or chorus that the song of this era may bring into today’s music of politics, it will still be discovered that the bottom-line of ambition and desperation, among Nigerian politicians, is nothing but satanic avarice.
When a hopeful country finds itself in this kind of situation, she quickly resorts to the last bastion, for solution. And, the last bastion, in the case of Nigeria, as constantly presented by charlatans, is religion, which is being conspicuously, but undeservedly, displayed as the First Estate of the Realm.
Sailors without Compass
As far as religion is concerned, most of the so-called clerics in both Islam and Christianity, in Nigeria, today, are like sailors, on a strenuous voyage, who have lost the compass that should guide them in sailing through the tumultuous waves of water while their congregational passengers continue to pray fervently for safety on a turbulent ocean.
To those clerics, religion is no longer the path to salvation but a short cut towards material wealth, even as they have relegated morality to its lowest ebb.
Here is a country where clerics do not only preach material prosperity but also live in stupendous affluence in the midst of their wretched congregations. Here is a country in which clerics are either known for trafficking in drugs or gun running or serve as patrons for suppliers of ammunition to as in the case of a notorious episode of a mission to South Africa, in 2014, that suddenly ended up in a fiasco. Some of those clerics are even known for taking corporate bribes from the politicians as in the case of an alleged N7 billion that caused wild brouhaha within the religious sphere, in Nigeria, in the same 2014.
Here is a country where neither conscience nor morality has a role to play in religion, any longer, as the so-called clerics have technically banished both and, thus, become, not just accomplices of political rogues but most of whom have turned into barking dogs for those politicians. If this continues to be the choice of Muslims, where will the divinely ordained Muslim unity belong in the end? That is a vital question that may be addressed in this column, in a foreseeable future, in sha’Allah.
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