Considering Boko Haram’s grand chicanery and perpetual conspiracy against the manumission and democratic emancipation of Nigerians from their modern slave masters, one may be tempted to throw one’s arms in despair and frustration and then go home to await divine intervention as called by the President, when last week, before he left for the Brazil party, he handed over the baton to God; or one can sit back and wait for the system to collapse from the weight of its internal contradictions. I have my reasons.
I was born into a Christian family, grew up as a Christian and till today, I am still a Christian. The first time I heard the phrase, “Allahu Akbar,” the meaning struck me hard and till today, the music of “Allahu Akbar” continuously plays in my heart, praising the Almighty now and always. It is an open declaration of intent before a prayer starts, literarily meaning, “Allah is the Greatest” or “God is the Greatest.” I grew up being fascinated by Islamic doctrines, having spent my growing up years with Islamic scholars, living with core Islamic family, eating their food, praying in their style, going for Tahajjud, and yet still loyal to my Christian faith. Today, anytime I hear the phrase, “Allahu Akbar,” I nod my head in consent, because I know that the music has come not to break, but to make.
I validated this in three core Islamic countries. My short stints in Yemen, Turkey and Qatar added many tributaries to my understanding of Islam. I had two Yemeni Islamic scholars who grilled me in the follicle of how religion offers hope as a moral harbinger vis-a-vis the submission to the phrase, “Allahu Akbar”. While I was inside a religious hall for tourists in Istanbul, I folded the palms of my hands to form a hollow pipe and I holla “Allahu Akbar”. The attention that greeted my sight suggested, in lucid expression, the fear inherent in the phrase as people repeated the phrase in turn. My Turkish friend told me that people re-echoed the phrase because they wanted to be partakers in declaring the worth of God.
Unfortunately, the modern theory, which is yet to be documented in any holy book, suggests that the phrase has undergone historical metamorphosis. With an hindsight of the future, the usage might be confined to catastrophic declarations. The new theory, albeit unpopular, is winning massively, with disciples expanding across the latitute. In local parlance, we can speak of Boko Haram. When bombs go off, the phrase follows. In gun battles, the phrase is played with bullets in the name of imposing beliefs. However, it will be disturbingly irritating for someone to postulate that the phrase is synonymous to evils. My growing up didn’t suggest this. And this is also an oddity in my expanded knowledge of Islam. An abridged version of Suratun Q 4:1 says, O mankind, fear your Lord who created you from a single soul, Adam, and from him He created his wife, Hauwa (Eve); and from both He created many men and women. So I doubt if anybody wants to contest that he or she cannot be linked to Adam and Eve. This connotes single source of mankind. Creating us with so much diversity was a delibrate attempt by God. It offers us an opportunity of becoming stronger by finding a common bond as validated by Qur’ an 49:13.
So the modern theorists who shout the phrase when a presumed ‘infidel’ is beheaded or shattered with bomb should know that they are not fighting the cause of Allah, for God can fight for himself. God created mankind with differences so that all men can find the worth in their similarities. Qur’ an 5 (Ma’idah):48, makes it clear that if Allah had willed, he would have made us into one nation, but that he may test us in what He has given us, to compete in good deeds, then return back to Him and He will inform us all about that in which we used to differ. As a finishing thought-process, Qur’an 2(Baqarah):256 declares that there is no compulsion in religion. So I am wondering where these modern theorists in Boko Haram got their religious education from as their deeds are wholly un-islamic.
Book haram is propelled by a curious mix of factors, some of them inimical to the long term interest of those who at the moment show the sect symphathy. That said, it is clear that these modern theorists are pushing for ethno-religious revolution. But ethno-religious revolutions do not occur overnight and history is a furtive tiger which often steals upon the scene without much funfair. On the other hand, since hope springs eternally from the Nigerian breast and since no ruling group can be eternally cohesive and coherent, one can explore the fissures and crevices constantly thrown up by the movement of history in the ethno-religious space and these develop into a capillary network with momentous possibilities.
With great optimism of the political will coupled with an abiding pessimism of the critical intellect, one can make a reasoned and measured choice within the contradictory amalgam of Nigerian ethno-religious set up since we have allowed the sect to fester badly. At this point, I am tempted to fall in love with the logic that Nigeria may be on its way to Mogadishu or Kigali, provided we fail to add one more leg to our tripod stand of unity. My choice is informed by the grilling happenstances ravaging the heart of the land. Things are terribly changing.
To those annihilating modern theorists, they should know that they are far from the truth, they are from Islam and they are far from reality. Personal Jihad is the greatest Jihad. They should first fight to win themselves for Allah rather than fighting to win others for God. It is a sheer waste of souls to commit suicide on behalf of God, for Allah is not blood thirsty. If he wishes, God is so powerful to fight for Himself, no man can fight for Allah.
It is me, @Obajeun
Jonah Ayodele Obajeun. Blogs @www.obajeun.com. Catch him on twitter via @Obajeun.
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