SHUAIB KEWUYEMI SHITHO, Esq.
Islam teaches Muslims neither to be foolish nor to take anyone through the peripheral of fooldom. The uncanny wisdom, balanced knowledge and informed understanding deducible from the indubitable teachings and practices of a Muslim’s faith indicate that he shouldn’t be foolhardy in his dispositions towards both celestial and mundane affairs.
Howbeit, the reality presently staring us in the face presupposes that many of our present crop of so called “emotionally pious, widely educated and great scholars of Islam, but largely uniformed Muslims” are, sorry to say, downright behaving ridiculously ‘stupide’. We Muslims, especially some of the Southern Nigeria stock, are fond of abdicating our duties and responsibilities to our adversaries, especially through phony facades of religious tolerance, improvident neutrality, and myopic negligence only to show up later to start clamouring for our slept-over rights that are readily and already been trampled upon by the rampaging and vulturous crusaders and their allies.
Were our precursors and previous Muslims mere reactionaries to greatly important issues as political concerns? Nay! They were superbly proactive and indeed did dictate paces and spaces of their times and climes. If they were the sheeple and this docile as we are, there wouldn’t be Shari’ah Courts in most major towns in Yorubaland before the incursion of Christian missionaries under the guise of colonisation, who later swept the preeminent Islamic culture and civilization under, and indeed, surreptitiously supplanted it with Euro-Christian legal system. Have we ever cared to ask why most Central Mosques are adjacent the palaces of Obas in virtually all ancient Yoruba towns? If they stood aloof to the political barracuda in their localities then, no one would have allowed them spaces to practice Islam that we are ‘guidedly’ enjoying today with our “overlapping taqwah and galloping eeman” which is abysmally lacking insightful inclusiveness. Wasn’t the Prophet of Allah a political leader? Are we piously better than his rightly guided successors: Abubakri, Umar, Uthman and Ali (RA)? What about the revolutionary Salahudeen Al-Ayyubi and his likes? Some may argue that, after all, theirs wasn’t a democracy. Yes, but is it not the same democracy that has now been forced down our throats to rule and direct our lives, to dictate the pace of our Islamic practices, and only to the extent to which it allows us to operate our Allah-given rights?
None can truly practise Islam in its entirety as handed down by the Prophet of Allah, SAW, without active persistence, insistence and wilful implementation of the divine Shari’ah law in his private and public endeavours. Whereas having our daughters sisters and wives adorning hijab has now assumed the very vexed issue to be ridiculed and tackled by those who are non Muslims and well prepared to prevent Muslims from living according to their divine prescriptions and biddings; yet ‘pious’ brothers and sisters remain insisting on distancing themselves from ‘dirty’ politics and ‘filthy’ politicians who continue to make ‘dirty’ and devilish political policies on them. Options of comparable competitiveness and attainment of the lawful greatest opportunities in Nigeria are somewhat limited and limiting the aspirations of generation of Muslims because of the ideological verbiage, leanings and engagements of those taking policy decisions which, most oftentimes, are at variance with our Islamic ethos and ideologies. They keep raising up their games and becoming increasingly charged to subdue, dominate, reduce and render our highfalutin “Muslim majority” to mere inconsequential noisemakers. Churches keep pouring out their congregation into politics. Some have said “No PVC, No Church Service” Prof Yemi Osinbajo did not just get to the Vice Presidency of Nigeria, but for being a Pastor! When is an Imam or Islamic Sheikh going to preside over a State or Nigerian Federation? Did I hear you say it’s unilsamic? I want to believe that we sincerely need to re-examine ourselves?
Our present political indifference and slothfulness, in the name of piety has been throwing up carefree and nominal Muslims whose interests and commitments to the plights of Muslims are subliminally hogwash and ineffective comparable to their Christian counterparts. The likes of Tinubus, Fasholas, Ajimobis, Amosuns, Pa Akandes, Sarakis, Abdulfattahi Ahmed of Kwara State, etc, whose wives and children are mostly practising Christians irksomely come to mind.
Obviously, we are not advancing the course of Islam, and indeed, it is even the worst form of Eeman according to the hadith, “man ra’aa minkum…”
Allah has elevated and honored us that we are the best of people raised up for the liberation of mankind. The moral firmament of this world has been entrusted to the Muslims, we cant afford to abdicate it to the marauders, pillagers and plunderers of our patrimony.
Politicians will keep determining your fates and modifying your faith. If care is not taken, they will still obstruct you from achieving your ākhirah, if you choose to abandon the political spaces to them to fickle, tickle and dribble.
Let’s get ourselves properly involved in the political engagements around our localities, contribute that your own ‘piously’ quota, get your Permanent Voter’s Card (PVC) and ensure you vote for the right, pious and better candidates during elections; work for justice, egalitarianism and solidarity of Muslims in the face of mounting loathfulness and global Islamophobia threatening our ‘Muslimness’. That’s how to be a truly pious and better Muslim in the present precarious conditions we found ourselves. Allah has declared not to change our conditions unless and until we are ready to change ourselves. If you think you are so godly and very reserved, and as such, wouldn’t want to associate with politics and politicians who, to you, are devilish and dirty people, then you should know that you have actually set the stage and surrendered willy-nilly to them to misdirect and obstruct your jaundiced piety and righteousness. At the end of the day, Allah will count you amongst those who are vicariously liable to the rots and corruption on the land that He has graciously blessed and structured.
Shuaib Kewuyemi Shitho, Esq.(firstname.lastname@example.org) is the National Legal Advisor, Muslims Political Awareness Front, MUPAF, and the Provost, Al-Ummah College of Shari’ah and Legal Studies, UMCALS.