In furtherance of my desire to enlighten the general public on the need for peaceful co-existence in the country, I shall endeavour to smoke out some hard truth that we must first confront to make this noble objective a reality. No nation has ever attained peace by following the wrong leaders, be it religious, political or what have you. In all my public comment so far, I made it part of my resolution to desist from criticizing religious leaders in the public.
As doing so may be misconstrued by many people who may share a contrary opinion. As a journalist and public affairs analyst, I owed the public a duty to relay to them ONLY information that will be of beneficial to them. In order to fulfill this responsibility, you cannot avoid exhumation of facts, no matter how scary it may be. It is in light of this that I address this week piece to all our so called ‘Men of God’ To avoid generalization, Nigeria can still boast of few distinguished religious leaders. Both Muslims and Christians alike. In the murky waters of greediness and shear hypocrisy, these men can raise their heads high and tell the people in authority the inconvenience truth. It is easy for anybody to proclaim himself as a Man of God especially when you are versed in either The Holy Qur’an or you possessed the needed vocabulary power to quote all Bible off heads. Character and attributes needed to lead people seems to be totally absent in the mind of people we called religious leaders today. No religion is spared from this infection. The called for reprisal attacks by the CAN President, Pastor Oritseja for has lead hundreds of innocent Muslims and Christians to their early graves. What benefit has the gangster pastor benefited from the blood of his fellow Christians who were killed last week? Has the reprisal attack ends the activities of those who hide under the cover of Boko Haram top kill innocent Christians in their churches? Perhaps not. Rather, the desperation of the disintegration desperadoes keeps expanding in intensity. The dark forces that are bent on creating religious war in this country have up their operations. Bombing of churches and the reprisal killing of Muslims that followed indicates that the people who are behind this madness have a perfect game plan. Temptations to pin the atrocities of these network created solely to achieve a certain end to Boko Haram is what might have led to the reprisal killings in Bauchi and Kaduna of recent. It said that whenever a witch plan to kill, they usually first try to create a scapegoat that will be sacrificed for their blood thirsty cults. This is the reason Boko Haram was created in the first place. Never mind that ‘Boko Haram’ was a coined name by the British Brain Control (BBC) for a group that simply goes by the name Jama’atu Ahlis Sunnati Lidda’awati wal jihad. For the purpose of this piece, I will concentrate less on the seeming wide network conspiracy against the North. It is now obvious to the most hard headed skeptics that it is not Muslims that are bombing Churches. It is time to graduate from battle cry and move to the battle field of defend if we are to halt these looming religious war that may not be limited to the Northern part of the country. Both Northern Muslims and Christians cannot change their ancestral residence. We are bound by common heritage. The economy of the North that is being destroyed serves the two religious divide. Our children attend the same schools. The curfew imposed in Kaduna state last week prevents both Muslim and Christian students writing NECO from sitting for the exam. I can go on and on to enumerate the chain of our oneness. It is against this background that I found it worrisome on what is engulfing the region at the moment. We have become a single broom. Any attempt to separate the broom into pieces will render its usage useless. The so called religious leader who called on its followers to go for killing of Muslims whenever there is bombing did not himself actively participate in the madness. Can you see his children on the street? Will he be there to assist in repairing what he contributed to destroy? The answer is obvious. The unity of this country is truly shaken. We have to facts the facts and figures squarely. In a country where one section sees nothing good in the other, the forced marriage will not last. The North remains the most insulted region in this country. All sort of names have been ascribed to denigrate the North. Despite the historical sacrifice of willingly allowed other regions to take the position of leadership, the insults continue unabated. Leading this crusade is the pen bombers in Punch Newspaper, The Sun Newspapers, Guardians, Thisday and some new online free madness groups. I don’t see how these people will change their chameleon colour no matter how hard the North try. Instead of calling on President Goodluck Jonathan to take responsibility for security challenges in the country, they resort to blackmail the very region that is being destabilized by known forces. The north needs to create Muslim-Christian army to protect the seeming destructive forces threatening our co-existence in the country. There must be bridge building mechanism to be anchored on the youths. The youths are the tools being used to destroy the common heritage we have.
A Letter from Prophet Muhammad to The Assyrian Christians “God has told me in a vision what to do, and I confirm His command by giving my solemn promise to keep this agreement. “To the followers of the Islam I say: Carry out my command, protect and help the Nazarene nation in this country of ours in their own land. Leave their places of worship in peace; help and assist their chiefs and their priests when in need of help, be it in the mountains,in the desert, on the sea, or at home. Leave all their possessions alone, be it houses or other properties, do not destroy anything of their belongings, the followers of Islam shall not harm or molest any of this nation, because the Nazarenes are my subjects, pay tribute to me and will help the Muslims. No tribute, but what is agreed upon,shall be collected from them, their church buildings shall be left as they are, they shall not be altered, their priests shall be permitted to teach and worship in their own way-the Nazarenes have full liberty of worship in their churches and homes. None of their churches shall be torn down, or altered into a mosque, except by the consent and free will of the Nazarenes. If any one disobeys this command, the anger of God and His Prophet shall be upon him.“The tribute paid the Nazarenes shall be used to promote the teachings of Islam and shall be deposited at the treasury of Beth Almal. A common man shall pay one denar (piece of money), but the merchants and people who own mines of gold and silver and are rich shall pay twelve denars. Strangers and people who have no houses or other settled property shall not have taxes levied upon them. If a man inherits property he shall pay a settled sum to the Baitulmal treasury. The Christians are not obliged to make war on the enemies of Islam, but if an enemy attacks the Christians, the Muslims shall not deny their help, but give them horses and weapons, if they need them, and protect them from evils from outside and keep the peace with them. The Christians are not obliged to turn Muslims, until God’s will makes them believers.“The Muslims shall not force Christian women to accept Islam, but if they themselves wish to embrace it, the Muslims shall be kind to them. “If a Christian woman is married to a Muslim and does not want to embrace Islam, she has liberty to worship at her own church according to her own religious belief, and her husband must not treat her unkindly on account of her religion. If any one disobeys this command, he disobeys God and his prophet and will be guilty of a great offense.“If the Nazarenes wish to build a church, their Muslim neighbors shall help them. This shall be done, because the Christians have obeyed us and have come to us and pleaded for peace and mercy.“If there be among the Christians a great and learned man the Muslims shall honour him and not be envious of his greatness.“If any one is unjust and unkind to the Christians he will be guilty of disobeying the Prophet of God.“The Christians should not shelter an enemy of Islam or give him horse, weapon or any other help. If a Muslim is in need the Christian shall for three days and nights be his host and shelter him from his enemies. The Christians shall, furthermore, protect the Mohammedan women and children and not deliver them up to the enemy or expose them to view. If the Nazarenes fail to fulfill these conditions, they have forfeited their right to protection, and the agreement is null and void.“This document shall be entrusted to the Christian chief and head of their church for safe keeping.”The peace of God be over them all! This agreement is written by Moavijah Ben Sofian, according to the dictates of Muhammad, the Messenger of God, in the 4th year of the Hejira in the city of Medina.
BEFORE WE ALL FORGET
At a time like this when confusion reign supreme, it is good to turn to the word of Almighty Allah. The Book that answers all questions is there to guide Muslims at a difficult period. We are indeed in a very dire situation. Some Muslims are enveloped in different types of slumber, and thus are not affected by the evil flowing from materialist ideologies, all of which seek to distance people from religion. They continue to live a life of Qur’anic morality without being influenced by the moral degeneration, chaos, and oppression engendered by materialism. Perhaps the Companions of the Cave’s state of sleep was the result of the inner peace and trust they experienced by submitting to destiny, because Allah creates everything according to a preordained decree and directs all events to the believers’advantage. Our Lord states that “… Allah will not give the unbelievers any way against the believers” (Surat an-Nisa’, 141). This is surely good news and a cause for serenity for all believers, for it is a sign that everything is positive and beneficial for the Muslims. Another cause for the Muslims’ sense of safety and inner peace is Allah’s promise that He will lead His sincere servants to success. The following verse delivers this good news to the believers: Allah has promised those of you who believe and do right actions that He will make them successors in the land, just as he made those before them successors, and will firmly establish for them their religion with which He is pleased, and give them, in place of their fear, security. “They worship Me, not associating anything with Me.” Any one who do not believe after that, such people are deviators. (Surat an-Nur, 55) In other words, Allah will lead His committed servants to security regardless of the difficulties they are facing. This is one reason for today’s Muslims, like the Companions of the Cave, to continue their work in peace.The Muslims also know and draw comfort from the fact that only Allah can will something to happen to them. Allah draws our attention to the determination of those believers who submit to Him, believe in destiny, and trust Him completely with the following verse: Say:”Nothing can happen to us except what Allah has ordained for us. He is Our Master. It is in Allah that the believers should put their trust.”(Surat at-Tawba, 51)
All over the world, we see conflict, people struggling against hunger and Poverty, and dramatic increases in moral degeneration. The only way out of this negative situation is to tell people, with patience and compassion, about how adhering to the values of the Qur’an will bring about goodness and well-being. We are still living under the oppression of anti-religious systems. This chaos and injustice is a sign of the End Times. However, the Muslims know that, Allah willing,this difficult period is about to end. This realization gives them great joy.