by Malam Abuy Abba Akhuwa,
Someone told me, somewhere back, that, while they were in Da’awa (calling to Islam) in a remote village in Borno, they met several married men who doesn’t know how to do the Ghusul (Islam’s ritual bath). At a point, a villager argued with them that only those who engaged in adultery or fornication that were instructed to take the bath. Not for married couple. What a vital point!
Reminiscing this, is because of a Tanzanian classmate, who narrated a similar case to me whilst they were in Da’awa- in also a remote village in Kenya, where they met villagers who only pray on Fridays. Strange, isn’t? But, the most interesting part of it was that they have their (own) reason of doing such and cited it to the Da’ees (missionaries).
Again, in my personal experience, in August this year when we were at Qafila (a three week Da’awat trip) organised by my university and made it compulsory for every student before graduating- we were posted to a border town separating Sudan and Central African Republic, named Nuhud in Western Kurdufan. On reaching there, the Township Education Officer of the town advised us to please take our message to the remote villages surrounding his village whom are in dire need of Da’awa because some villagers don’t even know how to make ablution or call for prayer, neither do they know how to read the Qur’an nor pray properly and according to the rules of prayer. That the people of Nuhud are religiously too informed and sound. Alas, our supervisors took his advise and restrategise their plan. Then, off we go!
Those missionaries, both of them (exclude us) at the initial and final time being, didn’t engage in violence with the villagers nor threaten to kill them for abuse of prayer or enforce them to stop their rough understanding or interpretation of the Qur’an and Sunnah. They convince them according to the teaching of Islam (in other word DIALOGUE).
They made them defecate their wrong belief by engaging them in like debate with direct proves from the Kitab (Book).
The audaciousness that made me write this is that, even though we pray five times a day, fast on Ramadhan, give charity to the needy and visit the house of Allah regularly- we’re in no distance with them in term of ignorance. At a point, I agreed we’re worse because we often know the implication and the consequences of almost every wrongdoing we are part of or about to participate in; which made it hard, harder and hardest for God to forgive us. Still, we claimed the ownership of literacy. Lucky them (the illiterate villagers) they don’t even know their wrongdoing and that made it easier for God to forgive them.
What always disturb my peace is that the literate, at this spot that they were needed in urgency to rescue those ignorant villagers by engaging in the activity and lifetime achievement of the Holy (SAW) in other word known as Da’awa, chosed not to be part of it and opted for upholding sectarianism argument here and there. Fighting the battle of I’m right-You’re wrong. Knowing fully well such kind of argument was in existence for decades without yet a solution; but chooses to be part of it for the sake of either enriching ourselves or to protect the interest of others.
Better to say, they (the missionaries or the scholars or the literates) are advocating for or advertising their sect; unlike in their usual manner of condemning anyone or giving hate and discriminatory sermons at the pulpit of their Da’awa when you differ from their view and ideology. Than, they should engage in this high burden called preaching by exaggerating their adherents extremism and radicalization mindset.
Isn’t high time preachers should first begin with us (the educated illiterates) before proceeding to the peace loving and harmless illiterates villagers? Isn’t a high time preachers should start telling the ‘educated illiterates’ that human lives matter? That human lives are sacred and that’s why God said “if you intentionally kill one, its like you killed the whole Ummah?”
Sincerely, I wrote this for those only with common sense, not for those with unlock brain or dejected minds, who can chew many thing and argue its taste is the same.
That, some purchased the thought of everyone being a Shi’ite and inserts it in their medulla oblongata whenever one voiced out concern over mass killings is no more a surprise in Northern Nigeria.
I, personally, Malam Abuy Abba Akhuwa, is and was never a Shi’ite and will forever, never, be one. I have immeasurable faith and believe in my lane of religion. What I was doing was not supporting, advocating or endorsing any ideology, rather, to show sympathy and empathy to the orphans (because I’m an orphan and I know how it feels like to be one) of those slain harmless civilians will leave behind, and, also in upholding the rule of law and justice plus re-introducing sanctity to the human live.
The use of excessive force has never been a solution to political, cultural, economical or religious crises in as far as recent history is concerned. But, dialogue is the best identity every man should consider as name and religion; tribe and region.
Without dialogue, we become animals, who only use the language of excessive force by who gets the fattest meat.
Let’s fight extremism.
Malam Abuy Abba Akhuwa
International University of Africa, Khartoum, Sudan.
Email [email protected]