The Islamiqueness of Today's Muslims (2)

11 May 2013

The Islamiqueness of Today's Muslims (1)

By Abdulwarees Solanke

More importantly however is their sincerity in the observance of these rites. Their sincerity is reflected in the purity of their intention for the acts, the correctness of the observance and the steadfastness with which they were upheld. So, the Islamiqueness of the early Muslim generation scored highly on the purity of intention and the correctness of the observance of the religious acts. To them, it was not just worshipping just for the sake of it, but worshipping to earn the favour of Allah. Therefore, the true muslims of the early generation avoided pride and show off, ostentation, hypocrisy and idolatry because they understood well that all their actions will come to nought if an aota of these vices is found in them.

They also invested in learning because they understood that they cannot correctly practice their faith in ignorance of its tenets. Scholars in the Islamic past were more honourable and influential than the rulers. The rulers held the views of the scholars very sacrosanct in the governance of the Muslim ummah just as the they respected the qadis, the judges who in most instances also doubled as the scholars too. The belief is that wisdom is the most paramount gift anybody can possess. So the wise men and scholars in the early Muslim generation were in fact the most pious. On the fulcrum of these, the society attained order and balance.

Conscious that there is danger in complacence, the early muslims were always constantly evaluating themselves and their actions to purge themselves of any hypocrisy; they constantly engage in repentance if they found fault in themselves, oft-returning to the ideals they upheld, avoiding praises and glorification; working steadfastly, but silently and ensuring that public interest is paramount and not vested selfish interest is pursued.

The early Muslims were the real personification of utilitarianism and altruism in public governance. They were fiercely loyal to righteous causes because to them this is a form of Jihaad fiisebilillah, that is struggle in the cause of Allah, which is everything that prevents man's inhumanity to man; it is obliterating wickedness, oppression and injustice; it is advancing everything that will bring peace, order and happiness in the society; it is working to establish the kingdom of God on earth ensuring that every man lives in the abode of peace, Daarusalaam.

In doing this the early Muslims emphasized on unity and brotherhood, humility and piety. So, the early muslims lived like monks in the night, devoted to prayers, evaluating themselves and seeking forgiveness of their shortcomings as they were also madly active in the day as if that would be their last day on earth, not willing to leave anything to chance. They were damn restless. On this activism, they rose to glory and prominence. But when the fruits of efforts began to bud, the love of enjoyment set in. Rulers began to revel in music and drink, creating bands of court attendants, adorning expensive robes and gold, hosting lavish banquets at the expense of their religious obligations. Scholars who tried to warm were either banished or imprisoned for their effrontery of trying to caution or correct the excesses of the royal courts.

In this context, division arose in the body of the Ummah, between the supporters of the royalty, that is the court jesters and yesmen and the followers of the scholars and men of devotion. This division is still prevalent in the Muslim world of today. Those who call to reform are branded as extremists. Unfortunately, this division is at the root of the hardening of stances, multiplication of notions and ideas of change, infiltration of the camps of muslims by hypocrites and exploiters. Not just the Muslim world is suffering from this crisis and division; the entire world is, as camps of supporters are erected behind the two groups all over the world. This is the reality of the contemporary international geopolitics as it affects the Muslim World. This is why the superpowers maintain military high commands in the gulf of Arabia; why the war against terrorism is uneding even when the countries of the Muslim world are trying to use their own initiatives to restore peace in their lands. The example of Egypt is one case. Today Ikhwan is the popular choice for the leadership and government of Egypt. Ikhwan, a movement with offshoot in the early 20s was the most hounded group in Egypt with exile, imprisonment and assassination of its activists. But their resolution to and consistency is what brought them to power now to give leadership in accordance with the values they upheld, the values of justice, equity and morality, ingredients of reform in any society. But the vanguards of corruption and oppression and exploitation who shut all the doors of virtues in the society while promoting debauchery and licentiousness would never want such moral order to prevail.

Check out the circumstances of the war in Iran and Iraq, the invasion of Kuwait, the crisis in Afghanistan and other revolts (or Spring) in the Arab and the Muslim World. The extent to which today's muslims live according to the dictates of their religion, in ensuring justice and equity, discipline and integrity, measures the depth of peace they enjoy and the goodness they spread to the rest of the world. This is the Islamiqueness I am referring to.


The Islamiqueness of Today's Muslims (1)

ABDUL-WAREES  SOLANKE B.Sc. Mass Comm (Lagos); Master of Public Policy (Brunei Darussalaam)  Head, Voice of Nigeria Training Centre, c/o VON Transmitting Station, Ikorodu, Lagos. Formerly the special assistant to the Director General, VON, he is the 2007/2008 Commonwealth Broadcasting Association scholar in Public Policy at the Universiti Brunei Darussalam, 08090585723



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