CURBING IMMORALITIES AND DEGRADING TENDENCIES

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CURBING IMMORALITIES AND DEGRADING TENDENCIES.

More than 14 hundred years ago, the Prophet of Islam (PBUH) foretold of a time when there will be widespread corruption, men will mate with men and women with women, wars and homicides will be on the high[1], female singers and musical instruments will become popular, nations will be ruled by the worst of their citizens[2]. A time when adultery will be committed openly and with impunity[3]. A time of chaos, when normality will become abnormal, when good deeds will be frowned at and evils rewarded. A time, of ‘immoralities and degrading tendencies.’ Sad to say that that time is here. It is staring us in the face, poking its filth into our lives and it has, in fact, managed to gain our acquiescence.

These days, a lot of upsetting spectacles meet my eyes that I fear they will sink in, in shame and disgust. No day passes without one being greeted with depressing news reports. If it is not of a man getting married to a dog[4] or of a union of prostitutes fighting for their right to operate openly[5], it will be of ‘men’ of God and school principals defiling children young enough to pass as their grandkids[6]. The situation, no doubt, is not just getting out of hand; it has already got out of hand. However, is it so bad to have gone beyond redemption? To this, I reply again with the words of Prophet Muhammad: ‘there is no disease that Allah has created, except that He also has created its treatment.’ [7] Thus, for every problem, no matter how seemingly gigantic, there is a solution. So what is the solution to this pressing problem? How may we curb the immoralities that have enveloped our society?

Allah says in the Qur’an; ‘surely Allah does not change a people’s lot unless they change what is in their hearts[8]. This verse is similar to the age-old saying that ‘heaven helps those who help themselves’, and it goes to show the importance of self-evaluation and individual development to societal reformation. And like a Greek philosopher [9] once said; ‘the city is what it is because our citizens are what they are.’ In other words, the change has to start from every individual, if we are ever going to get anywhere. We all need to collectively resolve to know what is evil, shun it and return to the will of our Lord.

In addition to this, the family also has a key role to play in this movement. It is widely acknowledged among scholars that the first agent of socialisation is the family. Whether a child will grow up to be an ‘Abu Bakr’ or an ‘Abu Lahab’ is primarily a function of his/her background. Today, the family system has become a shadow of its former self. We are in a world where fathers are busy 24 hours with sustaining the family. And mothers, whose duty it is to look after the home, are even busier than the family head. We are in a world where the closest companion of the young ones is not the chest of their mothers but that of teddy bears. We are in a world where majority of what children learn is got from social networks. In such a world, how can immorality not skyrocket beyond our control? Hence, we will achieve nothing unless we restore the efficacy of the family.

Finally, it is the case that all other establishments can merely recommend what is appropriate; only the government of the day that can enforce it. It only, can legitimately penalise what is wrong and harmonise legality with morality. If after all is said and done and we still have persons who contravene the common ethical code of the society, then the corrective hand of the law is needed to restore balance, effect justice and eradicate corruption from the land.

I wish to conclude by citing the flawless words of Allah (SWT) in the Holy Qur’an where He says: ‘Ye are the best of peoples, evolved for mankind, enjoining what is right, forbidding what  is wrong, and believing in Allah[10].’ Therefore, each and every one of us must take it as our responsibility to do good, enjoin good and forbid evil. We must all strive to put an end to the immoralities and degrading tendencies in our society, lest they be the one to put an end to us.

REFERENCE
1. Sahih Muslim, Book 41, Number 6903.
2. Narrated by ‘Ali ibn Abi Talib, in At-Tirmidhi.
3. Ibn Hibban and Al-Bazzar.
4. California Allows First Ever state Recognised Human-Animal Marriage: http://nationalreport.net/california-allows-first-ever-state-recognized-human-animal-marriage/ and Woman Marries Dog In Romantic Wedding Ceremony: http://mirror.co.uk/news/wierd-news/woman-marries-dog-romantic-wedding-3225948
5. Nigerian Prostitutes Demand Recognition: NEWS EXPRESS and Nigerian Prostitutes Strike: “We Demand Our Rights”: Pulse Nigeria, http://pulse.ng/gist/we-demand-our-rights-id2713674.html
6. ‘Pastor Raped Me Countless Times’ – Victim Tells Court: Nigerian Eye, published March 4, 2014 and Pastor Rapes 9-Year Old Girl: P.M. NEWS Nigeria, published July 29, 2010.
7.Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 7, Book 71, Number 582.
8. Qur’an, Surah Ar-Rad, 13:11. Translated by Yusuf Ali.
9. Dialogues of Plato.
10 .Qur’an, Surah Al-Imran, 3:110. Translated by Yusuf Ali.

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SIGNIFICANCE OF BEING PATIENT

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THE SIGNIFICANCE OF BEING PATIENT
“o you who believe! Be patient and excel in patience and remain steadfast, and be careful of (your duty to)Allah, that you may be successful.”

One faithful day, during the hour of Salatu-l-Zuhr (afternoon prayer for muslims), a musafir (traveller) was urged to lead the congregation in prayer. And after the completion, he narrated a short but beautiful story on the virtues of patience and forbearance. In shaa Allah, I will retell this story, as accurately as possible, using his own perspective.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

There was a time I had problem with my skin, so I paid a visit to a clinic that specialises in skin diseases, or so it seemed. I was told to wait, along with some others, at the reception. There were four of us; two appear to be conscious muslims and the last individual is a lady.

As time went by, the lady began to sing Christian songs, apparently seeing that those with are belong to another faith. Ideally, the muslim brothers ignored the lady’s clear attempts at provoking. Not getting the result she wanted, the lady raised her voice, and even turned in the muslims’ direction. Yet, they remained calm. In fact, being a muslim myself, and witnessing the whole episode, I felt obliged to address the woman and correct her lapse. More so, that my appearance would not present me as one who is biased. However, I remained silent.

After some time, the two brothers left the reception. And I asked the lady why exactly she pulled the stunt, knowing full well that they are muslims. She then said; “No o! Don’t you know those guys? They’re not muslims! One bears the name Paul and the other one is Samuel.” I was shocked at this response, but not for too long as I soon found out that she had a mental impairment.

Just imagine what could have happened if the reaction of the muslims had been retaliatory or violent? Who knows what might have ensued.
* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

The lesson I learnt from this story is to be patient in all situations. Things are not always as they seem. A muslim does not act based on emotion, but on reasoning. He does not allow his ego to rule over his intellect and moral code. If everyone goes mad, a muslim must be able to keep his head.

The truth is that if the two brothers had complained or shouted at the lady, everyone would heap the blame on them. The world is forever watching the muslim ummah for mistakes, flaws and shortcomings so that they may capitalise on such, and tarnish the image of Islam. We cannot allow this to happen. And that is why we must always act with caution, making sure to follow the example of the prophet (PBUH) to the letter.

This reminds of the story of how Hazrat Hamza (RA) reverted to Islam. One day, the Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was in meditation at the foot of Safa mountain, when Abu Jahl rebuked him in an extremely objectionable language and struck him. Uttering not a word, the Prophet (PBUH) returned home. Hamza had just returned from hunting, and he came to know about this incident. He rushed angrily to the compound of the Ka’aba, and saw Abu Jahl sitting among other Quraish leaders. He reproached and hit him, making the Shahada (the testimony in the oneness of Allah and prophethood of Muhammad). If the prophet had not been patient, and had he spoken angrily back at Abu Jahl, Hamza most likely would not have died as a believer.

The Prophet exhibited this attribute on countless occasions, and because of it, many believed and followed his path. It is, therefore, imperative for us too to inculcate it. May Allah (glorified and exalted is He) make it easy for us.

Amin.

THE FINAL SERMON

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THE FINAL SERMON:

After praising, and thanking God, the
Prophet, may God send His praises upon
him said:

“O People, lend me an attentive ear, for I
know not whether after this year, I shall
ever be amongst you again. Therefore,
listen to what I am saying to you very
carefully and take these words to those
who could not be present here today.

O People, just as you regard this month,
this day, this city as Sacred, so regard the
life and property of every Muslim as a
sacred trust. Return the goods entrusted to
you to their rightful owners. Hurt no one
so that no one may hurt you. Remember
that you will indeed meet your Lord, and
that He will indeed reckon your deeds.

God
has forbidden you to take usury (interest),
therefore all interest obligation shall
henceforth be waived. Your capital,
however, is yours to keep. You will neither
inflict nor suffer any inequity. God has
Judged that there shall be no interest, and
that all the interest due to Abbas ibn Abd’al
Muttalib shall henceforth be waived…
Beware of Satan, for the safety of your
religion. He has lost all hope that he will
ever be able to lead you astray in big
things, so beware of following him in small
things.

O People, it is true that you have certain
rights with regard to your women, but
they also have rights over you.

Remember
that you have taken them as your wives
only under a trust from God and with His
permission. If they abide by your right
then to them belongs the right to be fed
and clothed in kindness. Do treat your
women well and be kind to them for they
are your partners and committed helpers.
And it is your right that they do not make
friends with any one of whom you do not
approve, as well as never to be unchaste.

O People, listen to me in earnest, worship
God, perform your five daily prayers, fast
during the month of Ramadan, and offer
Zakat. Perform Hajj if you have the means.
All mankind is from Adam and Eve. An
Arab has no superiority over a non-Arab,
nor does a non-Arab have any superiority
over an Arab; white has no superiority
over black, nor does a black have any
superiority over white; [none have
superiority over another] except by piety
and good action. Learn that every Muslim
is a brother to every Muslim and that the
Muslims constitute one brotherhood.
Nothing shall be legitimate to a Muslim
which belongs to a fellow Muslim unless it
was given freely and willingly. Do not,
therefore, do injustice to yourselves.
Remember, one day you will appear
before God and answer for your deeds. So
beware, do not stray from the path of
righteousness after I am gone.

O People, no prophet or apostle will come
after me, and no new faith will be born.
Reason well, therefore, O people, and
understand words which I convey to you. I
leave behind me two things, the Quran and
my example, the Sunnah, and if you follow
these you will never go astray.
All those who listen to me shall pass on my
words to others and those to others again;
and it may be that the last ones
understand my words better than those
who listen to me directly. Be my witness, O
God, that I have conveyed your message to
your people.”

Thus the beloved Prophet completed his
Final Sermon, and upon it, near the
summit of Arafat, the revelation came
down:
“…This day have I perfected your religion
for you, completed My Grace upon you,
and have chosen Islam for you as your
religion…” (Quran 5:3)