TOPIC: ISLAM IS BEYOND RITUAL All praise and adoration is due Allah, the protector of the His religion (Islam). May he continue to shower His blessing upon the noble prophet Muhammad...
(Imam Morufu Onike Abdul-Azeez, Deputy Chief Missionary, NASFAT, Headquarters, Lagos)AS a religion, Islam cannot be divorced from any other areas of human endeavour, be it social, economic and political among...
All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of both the seen and unseen world. We pray that He shower His peace and benediction on the noblest of mankind.
We thank Allah (swt) for His favour of making us pass through the first phase of the electioneering process with ease and in peace.
The presidential and National assembly polls have come and gone while the results have been announced, winners have also emerged. However, that is not the end of the whole show. As Muslims, we still have the responsibility of ensuring that we partake in the process and is monitored to a logical conclusion.
Apart from the issue of ensuring that we comport ourselves in the coming elections just like we have done during the last elections and after the release of results, we also need to ensure that our newly-appointed electoral leaders do the right things.
As Muslims, what we need and which of course should be of utmost concern to us is an atmosphere to be able to practice our deen just as Allah (swt) has commanded us. The purpose of creation of the jinn and mankind, as far as Islam is concerned-is to worship Allah.
The Qur’an, Chp. 51 vs 56 says:
I created the jinn and humans for nothing else but that they may serve Me
However, it is instructive to note that in getting to worship Allah we need to remind ourselves of the uniqueness of the concept of worship in Islam. Worship goes beyond salat, sawm, zakat and hajj. It covers all aspects of human undertakings. For instance, search and acquisition of knowledge, earning a living, raising a family and providing feeding, clothing and accommodation for members of the family are all part of worship in Islam.
It is noteworthy to say here that for Muslims to be able to do these aspects of worship, the economy of the nation in which they live must be good, there must be security of lives and property, jobs must be provided for those qualified to work, salaries must not only be paid regularly but must also be enough to take care of the earner and his needs, hospitals must be well equipped in terms of human and material resources to mention but a few. And to get all these, good governance is the key.
This underscores the all-important reason why Muslims should ensure not only participation in but also working hard to enthroning good governments wherever they are. Here, we have in Prophet Ibrahim (ASW) a very good example.
In verses, Q14:35-37 Ibrahim (ASW) prayed to Allah for a safe and secure environment, keeping him and his sons away from worshipping idols, the hearts of people to be affectionately inclined to his children and for the provision of their sustenance. All these are ingredients of good governance that will make worship easy for Muslims.
Prophet Muhammad (SAW) also demonstrated to us in practical terms why Muslims should be involved in the enthronement of credible political leaders. He himself was a political leader and with the political power in his custody, he was able to do the following:
1. Masjid (Mosque): The Prophet (SAW) first established a Masjid for the worship of Allah. He himself worked in carrying the stones and building that small, humble but most powerful structure. This was the beginning, but soon other Masajid (mosques) were established in Madinah.
2. Madrasah (Islamic school and educational institution for the community): The first school under the supervision of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) was the school of Suffah. Later many other schools were opened. According to Maulana Shibli Numani, there were nine schools opened in Madinah alone in the time of the Prophet (SAW).
3. Mu'akhah: He established brotherly relations between the Muhajirun (Muslims who migrated from Makkah) and the Ansar (residents of Madinah who helped the Prophet (saw) and his Companions). Masjid and Madrasah were not enough; what was also important was to have good relations between Muslims. They should have their brotherhood on the basis of faith, not on the basis of tribes as they used to have prior to Islam.
4. Intercommunity and Interfaith Relations: Prophet (saw) also established good relations with other communities living in Madinah. There was a large Jewish community as well as some other Arab tribes who had not accepted Islam. The Prophet (saw) prepared a Mithaq (a covenant or a constitution) for relations between these communities.
5. Cleaning the City: Yathrib (previous name of Madinah) was a dirty city. When the Sahabah (Prophet's Companions) came from Makkah to Madinah, many of them got sick and did not like that city. The Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) asked them to clean the city and remove its dirt and filth. `Aishah, may Allah be pleased with her, said: “We came to Madinah and it was the most polluted land of Allah. The water there was most stinking. (Al-Bukhari, 1756)
6. Water System in the City: The Prophet (saw) asked the Sahabah to dig wells in different parts of the city. It is mentioned that more than 50 wells were opened in the city of Madinah and there was enough clean water for everyone.
7. Agriculture and Gardening: The Prophet (saw) encouraged the Sahabah to cultivate the land and make gardens. He told them that anyone who would cultivate any dead land, would own it. Many people started working and cultivating and soon there was enough food for everyone.
8. Poverty Eradication: In a short period of time it happened that there were no poor people in Madinah. Everyone had enough and the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) used to give gifts to coming delegations.
9. Safety, Security, Law and Order: Madinah became the safest city in the world. There were very few incidents of theft, rape, drunkenness or murder and they were immediately taken care of.
This is a template for us as Muslims upon which we can build a format to monitor the new government. We pray may Allah guide our leader aright in leading us putting our economy upright and make him the pride of Islam and Muslims in the world
May Allah (swt) make it an easy task.