Brothers and sisters in Islam, Allah says:
“And fear the Fitnah (affliction and unrest) which affects not in particular (only) those of you who do wrong exclusively, and know that Allah is severe in penalty” (Quran 8, al-Anfaal: 25).
Indeed, no words are rebuking and deterring like the words of Allah.
Abu Dawood narrated on the authority of Al-Miqdaad ibn al-Aswad: “I swear by Allah, I heard the Messenger of Allah (Sallallaahu Alayhi wa Sallam) say: The happy man is he who avoids dissensions: happy is the man who avoids dissensions; happy is the man who avoids dissensions: but how fine is the man who is afflicted and shows endurance.”
Also reported in al-Bukhari and Muslim is a Hadeeth where the Prophet says “Prior to the Last Day, there will be a time during which knowledge will be taken away and ignorance will spread as al-Harj will abound. Al-Harj means killing (bloodshed).”
We belong to God and to Him we shall return.
Safety and peace, as enshrined in extant laws to maintain peace and human security, are among the greatest blessings of Allah on humanity. Unfortunately, our country, these days, is boiling in the mug of crises as it passes through a very difficult twist of time in which a contingent of the citizenry is playing with the greatest blessing of God upon them—peace.
Albeit minimal compared to the result of disastrous revolutions in other countries as witnessed in recent times, we have all seen the unintended consequences of the EndSARS protests. And as such, this sermon queries: What is the meaning of demonstrations and sit-ins that are called peaceful and then soon turned into disasters, devastation and chaos?
Yes, scholars of Islam share divergent positions on the permissibility of protest. There are those who consider it permissible, given the origin of the permissibility of customs (in the Principles of Islamic Jurisprudence). But empirical reality and popular experience confirm beyond any doubt that demonstrations require a very high level of civility so that peaceful protests do not turn into raging strife out of control leading to chaos, shedding of innocent blood, destruction of the economy, and other disasters that no sane mind would wish for. Truth be told, if there is no other example of what is regarded as “Prohibition of Evil” in Islam, which is the ultimate purpose of Islamic Law, then protest is. The reality of Arab and Islamic countries that have resorted to this option is not far from us.
It must be noted that no one can be called wise until they are able to discern and strike a balance between good and evil knowing that the good can easily become evil. This fundamental knowledge is what is absent from today’s society.
Nigeria is in dire need of urgent reforms. However, the Islamic way of channelling this is dialogue. The Messenger of Allah (Sallallaahu Alayhi wa Sallam) said: “Allah likes three things for you, and He disapproves of three things for you. He is pleased with you that you worship Him and do not associate anything with Him, and that you take hold of the rope of Allah altogether, and that you give good counsel to the one to whom Allah gives command over you. He disapproves of your irrelevant talks (gossip), the squandering of property, and persistent questioning.”
There are other authentic Hadiths in which the Prophet (Sallallaahu Alayhi wa Sallam) instructs us to abide by the Muslim community and their leader and to advise him and never revolt.
On the authority of Abu Hurairah, the Messenger of Allah (Sallallaahu Alayhi wa Sallam) said: “There are three (types of) people with whom Allah will neither speak on the Day of Resurrection nor purify them (from sins) and there will be a painful chastisement for them: A person who spares water in a desert and refuses to give it to the traveller; a person who sells a commodity to another person after the afternoon prayer and swears by Allah that he has bought it at such and such price, and the buyer pays him accordingly though, in reality, it was not true; and a person who pledges allegiance to an Imam (leader) just for some worldly benefit, and then if the Imam bestows on him (something out of that) he fulfils his allegiance, and if he does not give him, he does not fulfil it.”
Brothers in Islam, the demonstrations, chants and sit-ins, they can only add insult to the injury—making things worse. As a matter of fact, fires emerge from the smallest spark. This does not mean that we ignore the peaceful aspect and good intentions of the demonstrations. The ultimate truth, however, there is no single demonstration that started and ended without plundering, looting, killing, settling scores and opening of healed wounds. So, beware of being deceived by titles, slogans and deceptive chants, they are absolutely useless when the country is consumed by disaster.
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