Nigeria is currently facing the most difficult time in history. It is not far from the truth that there are some unseen forces trying to achieve the division of Nigeria with religious crisis. The bombers of Churches, Mosques, killers of innocent Christians and Muslims can’t be Jihadists. The concept of jihad in Islam is totally different from what we see these days in Nigeria. Let us seek better understanding of Islamic principles and apply them accordingly. All they want is to turn the adherents of the two faiths against one another and achieve their political profits.
The True Meaning of Jihad in Islam
Jihad does not mean “holy war”. The word ”Jihad” actually stems from Juhd, to strive/struggle. This is encouraged and can be for anything to please God. It is a jihad to get up in the morning to go to pray and to go to work; it is a Jihad to go school in the rain. Etc.
Personal Jihad: The most excellent jihad is that of the soul. This Jihad, called the Jihadun-Nafs, is the intimate struggle to purify the soul of satanic influence–both subtle and overt. It is the struggle to cleanse one’s spirit of sin. This is the most important level of Jihad.
Verbal Jihad: On another occasion, the Prophet said:
“The most excellent jihad is the speaking of truth in the face of a tyrant.“
He encouraged raising one’s voice in the name of Allah on behalf of justice.
Physical Jihad: This is combat waged in defence of Muslims against oppression and transgression by the enemies of Allah, Islam and Muslims. We are commanded by Allah to lead peaceful lives and not transgress against anyone, but also to defend ourselves against oppression by “fighting against those who fight against us.” This “jihad with the hand” is the aspect of jihad that has been so profoundly misunderstood in today’s world.
Islam strictly forbids killing of innocents. Nobody can ever be justified in killing any innocent man, woman or child. It is indeed a grave sin. In fact, all forms of oppression are outlawed and Muslims are encouraged to help others no matter what their religion or background is.
Terrorism does happen, it happens in all societies where various elements of ignorance, helplessness, sense of injustice and oppression are present. It happens by individuals, groups, and even States some perhaps closer to home then you might have though! Have an eye-opener. Extremists/Terrorists do not follow True Islam, their motivations and inspirations are driven from elsewhere
Islam is free from imperfections, a message for all mankind and for all time. Islam is very simple and easy to follow. A Muslim is simply someone who believes in Allah as the only God worthy of worship without having any partners. And, to believe in all his messengers who include Musa (Moses), Ibrahim (Abraham) Isa (Jesus) and the last and final messenger sent to mankind Muhammad, sollaLohu ‘alaihi wasallam. May Allah’s peace and blessings be upon them all.
Islam is not faulty. The Qur’an was revealed by God to all humanity to follow. It shall stand the test of time and not change. Its message is universal. Contrary to common ignorant beliefs, the Qur’an does not sanction the use of violence, terrorism, or oppression of any sort against any innocent men, women or children.
Rather, it upholds the sanctity of life. It encourages human rights and supports resolution to peace. There are many non-Muslims in the West who after researching and looking at Islam, have totally shed their past prejudices about Islam and accepted Islam. They realised that what they had perceived about the religion previously was completely untrue. They found that the Qur’an upholds women’s rights, and is against all forms of racism and oppression.
Allah says in the Quran:
”Certainly, We have brought to them a Book (the Qur’ân) which We have explained in detail with knowledge, – a guidance and a mercy to a people who believe” Qur’an 7:52
No place in the Qur’an calls for the forced conversion of others, oppression of women or any of the other false claims people make regarding Islam – Unfortunately, in today’s climate of War, State Terror and Media bias, the true teachings of Islam seldom get mentioned.
Allah (most glorified and most high) says in the Qur’an:
Invite (mankind, O Muhammad SAW) to the Way of your Lord (i.e. Islâm) with wisdom (i.e. with the Divine Inspiration and the Qur’ân) and fair preaching, and argue with them in a way that is better. Truly, your Lord knows best who has gone astray from His Path, and He is the Best Aware of those who are guided. Qur’an 16:125
Allah says in another verse:
There is no compulsion in religion. Verily, the Right Path has become distinct from the wrong path. Whoever disbelieves in Tâghût (false worship or idols)and believes in Allâh, then he has grasped the most trustworthy handhold that will never break. And Allâh is All-Hearer, All-Knower [Qur’an 2:256]
It is forbidden to force anyone to become Muslim. And under Islamic law, forced conversion is not seen as carrying any legal status. i.e. it is invalid. In fact, any forced action is seen as invalid. Every action in Islam is judged by the Intention behind it, and it is only Allah who knows what lies in our hearts.
The Stand of the Muslims, and Islamic Clerics in Nigeria on Terrorism
As far as I observe, Northern Elites, Muslims and Islamic scholars do not support terrorism of any sort because anybody can be a victim. Terrorism has no place in Islam. The Prophet says “Do not oppress and don’t be oppressed“. Allah and his Prophet, sollaLohu ‘alaihi wasallam, forbids people from going to extremes.
The Messenger of Allaah (SAW) said:
“I warn you of extremism in the Religion for indeed those that came before you were destroyed due to their extremism in the religion.” Reported by an-Nasaa’ee (5/268), ibn Maajah (no. 3029), Ahmad (1/215, 347)
In sahih Bukhari, Hadith No. 633, narrated on the authority of Anas reads:
Allah’s Apostle (SAW) said,
“Help your brother, whether he is an oppressor or he is an oppressed one”
People asked, ” O Allah’s Apostle (SAW)! It is all right to help him if he is oppressed, but how should we help him if he is an oppressor?”
The Prophet (SAW) said
“By preventing him from oppressing others”
It is on the basis of the above hadith that Muslim ummah in Nigeria speak against terrorism, oppression and violence in the name of Islam. For instance, the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar spoke against the ongoing violence in the Northern Nigeria in the following words:
“The bloodshed must stop. Each and every one of us must come to appreciate that we cannot continue on this destructive path.“We must open active, meaningful and sincere channels of dialogue and communication to ensure that we listen to those who have real grievances and to take genuine efforts to address them.“But we must, as the ummah, also take a resolute stand against those who take advantage of this unfortunate situation to wreak havoc on society, in pursuit of their narrow interest.
“Allah will definitely put to shame those who seek to violate the honour and sanctity of Muslims. We must at all times seek Allah’s intervention through prayers for there is no calamity or distress that He cannot dispel.”
“The Jamaatul Nasril Islam, being a noble organisation, founded on truth and piety to educate Muslims, should maintain its original mandate and form with a renewed vigour and go ahead to establish much more cordial relationship with other faith-based organisations.
“This will really go a long way in the establishment of a better cordial and respectful relationship between the Nigerian Muslims and their Christian compatriots as witnessed during the time of the late Sardauna.” [Nigerian Tribune, Written by Hassan Ibrahim Friday, May 25, 2012]
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar also said and I quote:
“If Boko Haram and its leadership have something to say; if they have any grouse against the Nigerian state, the proper thing for them is to come out in flesh and state it, so that a process of dialogue that will eventually lead to the resolution of the crisis and the siege on Nigerians can commence in earnest” [Thisday, 28th February, 2012]
Incompetence of the Present Administration in the Country
I think Jonathan led government is the worst in history. This regime lacks the initiative, sincerity and pragmatic methodologies of solving several problems facing this nation. Prominent among the obstacles on our wheel of progress and development are corruption, dishonesty, insecurity of lives and properties, unemployment, discrimination and greediness. This government has not indicated an atom of interest in tackling any of these.
Firstly, it is not all about sending troops to clear terrorists in Maduguri, Damaturu, Kano, Kaduna etc. The solution to the insecurity menace goes beyond this. We must identify the root causes of terrorism and insurgencies and approach them diplomatically and systematically.
Secondly, it is not all about programming an oil merchant to romance the legislators with corruption in retaliation of corruption. Mr. President must display zero tolerance for corruption in all aspects of our system.
Thirdly, in our judicial system, all crimes must be treated accordingly, regardless of economic echelon, political class or traditional background. Let criminals (among the poor or the rich) face the wrath of the law.
Well meaning Nigerians are calling for a sovereign National Conference where all stake-holders would be able to table their grievances and resolve the problems through the instrumentality of dialogue. The Federal Government is turning a deaf hear. The sovereign National Conference is needed urgently in Nigeria than ever before.
Unlike the case of Late Umaru Musa Yar’adua, the incapacitation of Goodluck Jonathan to further run the affairs of this nation does not lie in his state of health. Jonathan’s natural weakness, incompetence and lack of proper understanding of the intricacies of leadership and governance clearly disqualify him from aspiring further for the post of President in 2015.
The 2015 general elections must be free and fair. Nigerians must be allowed to correct their 2011 electoral mistakes without any form of pressure, intimidation or inducement. That is the only life line we have for now, and we must not blast it. We need an incorruptible President that can bring change in all aspects of our lives.
For us to save this country from crumbling in 2015 as predicted by Western powers, we must improve our political understanding and orientation. Let us educate ourselves, families and friends on the danger of selling our votes. Our fates are in our hands, we must not mortgage our future for just a token from ruthless and selfish politicians.
We need an entirely different institutions and mindsets. With considerable level of determination, sincerity and prayers, we can surely revive our confidence in this country.
We must learn from the Arab spring and several other political disturbances around the world. We do not deserve a bloody revolution. All we want is a peaceful transition of power in 2015 from this hopeless regime to a system that will make the interest of all Nigerians its paramount objective.
God bless Nigeria.
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