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Islam and War Against Indiscipline

SEPTEMBER 1984 ISLAM AND WAR AGAINST INDISCIPLINE 11 ISLAM AND WAR AGANST INDISCIPLINE By Ahmad Olayiwola Jagede No doubt any nation which is grossly indisciplined or morally bankrupt is heading for spiritual suicide which will ultimately bring upon itself Divine wrath. The military administration in Nigeria is to be commended for introducing it’s program—War Against Indiscip- line—on March 22nd, 1984 aimed at inculcating discipline into the Nigerian society. What is indiscipline? It means to me disorderliness, disobedience and lack of self control. It is the combination of these three things which plunged a nation flowing with milk and honey into her present state of economic and moral calamity. It is gratifying to recall that in 1976 the Ahmadiyya Muslim mis- sion in Nigeria allerted this nation to embark on Operation Moralize the Nation (OMN). They then introduced Feed the Nation (OFN) operation aiming to make the nation self-sufficient in food produc- tion to avoid famine and starvation. Islam teaches that one should not live in this world just to eat like the cattle and to forget one’s obligation to Allah, fellow human be- ings and other creatures. That is why we felt it imperative to offer that humble advice. It is again worthwhile to express the Islamic .view point on this program of war against indiscipline recently launched by the present administration. It is important that the reader understands the moral status of the Holy Founder of Islam, Prophet Muhammad, peace be on him, whose religion is used as a parameter to decide how to wage war against indiscipline, immorality or indecency in this country. The glorious Quran states: “Verily you have in the apostle of Allah, an excellent model for him who remembers Allah and the Last Day and who remember Allah much.” (33:22). This, verse clearly establishes that Muhammad, peace be on him, was humanity’s noblest specimen and a perfect model in beauty and beneficence. That is why God directed everyone to follow his footsteps in order to court His love. (Quran 3:32) Much guidance is outlined in the Holy Quran which caters to the moral development of mankind. I am unable to list them all but I 12 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS SEPTEMBER 1984 will comment on the following ones. CHASTITY Today the greatest moral laxity and indiscipline in this country is lack of chastity. This has led to many awful deeds culminating in promiscuous and adulterous intercourse between the high and the low. Concerning this the Quran declares: “and who guard their chastity, except from their wives or what their right hands possess, for them they are not to be blamed, but those who seek anything beyond that are the trasgressors. (23:6-8) CLEANLINESS This is one of the most important elements in Islam. Cleanliness of a true Muslim starts from the moment he urinates and visits the toilet. He cleanses himself with water. He takes a bath after conjugal relationship with his wife and he performs ablution before offering prayer. He concerns himself with inner or mental cleanliness as well as outer cleanliness. He endeavors to purify his mind. He should control his bowels and urinary system and not relieve himself in either manner in public thereby polluting our big metropolis, cities and towns with filth and offensive odors. FULFILMENT OF PROMISES One of the greatest wrongs in this country today is the failure to fulfill promises. It can be adduced that it was one of the reasons which led to the collapse of the first and second republics. Those who have ruled this country at one time or another profess to have faith in God. Allah says in the Holy Quran: “O ye who believe, why do you say what you do not do? Most hateful is it in the sight of Allah to say what you do not do.” (61:3-4) The fulfilment of promises should be paramount in their eyes. Allah further says in the Quran: “And those who fulfil their promise when they make one.” It should be noted that boastful and empty talk carries one nowhere and verbal professions unaccompanied by actual deeds smack of hypocrisy and insincerity. FRUGALITY The extravagant squandering of wealth is one of the worst forms of indiscipline this country is facing today. Trusted leaders, hoodlums, sycophants, etc., obtain money by hook or crook to hold parties. These kind of people should heed the Quran which says; “Verily the SEPTEMBER 1984 ISLAM AND WAR AGAINST INDISCIPLINE 13 squanderers are the brothers of satan and satan is ungrateful to his Lord” (17:27,28). These verses lucidly explain the status of the squanderers who have incited many people to armed robbery, swindl- ing, car stealing, etc., by the slipshold display of their illicit wealth. It should be noted carefully that he who uselessly squanders away his wealth and shirks his responsibility in giving to his kinsmen, the poor and wayfarer and even to Allah Himself, is showing ingratitude to Him who has bestowed affluence upon him. HUMILITY Humility is something which the Nigerian society cannot write home about. With a little academic influence or affluence most peo- ple become haughty, boastful, arrogant and self-centred even to the extent of denying their Creator. The Quran addresses such people: “And the true servants of the Gracious God are those who walk on the earth humbly and when the ignorant address them they avoid them gracefully by saying peace” (25:64). “And turn not thy cheek away from men in scorn, nor walk in the earth haughtily, surely Allah loves not any arrogant boaster.” (31:19) TRUTHFULNESS Regarding this important virtue a lot has to be done to retrieve the generality of the people of this nation from becoming untruthful and liars, especially the youths who are destined to be our future leaders. By acts of untruthfulness, most of them dupe their parents of large sums of money and student leaders embezzle their union funds. God addresses mankind in the Quran: “And those who bear not false witness and when they pass by anything vain, they pass by with dignity.” (31:19) PHILANTHROPY This involves the practice of loving and doing good to one’s fellow men. On the other hand it can be called Insaniyyat—service to humanity. The majority of Nigerians believe in what others can do for them and not in what they can do for others. The philanthropist must do all things for the love of God. Concerning them the Quran says: “And they feed for the love of Him the poor, the orphan and the prisoner.” (76:9) MODERATION This means not going to extremes. Nigerians are not by any stan- dards moderate in their activities. They hold parties especially on the 14 THE REVIEW OF RELIGIONS SEPTEMBER 1984 occasion of a funeral, house wanning parties and chieftaincy birth- day ceremonies which are hyper moderation. An upright solution must be found. Allah declares in the Quran: “And those who, when they spend are neither extravagant nor niggardly but adopt a moderate position in the middle. -“(25:68) This statement of God is food for thought for all Nigerians. Everyone possesses the intelligent quotient to understand where moderation lies between extravagance and niggardliness. The measure of the Military Government to imbibe this in us is most welcome. SPIRITUAL DEVELOPMENT Lack of spiritual development is the bane of Nigerian society which has culminated in the committal of social and criminal vices such as adultery, drunkenness, gambling, theft, armed robbery, murder, arson, which are but a few of them. Religion is a thing which has been thrown to the dogs in our society. There is not an atom of seriousness in imparting it in our schools or homes. The golden opportunity of using much desired leisure time to inculcate religion into our children has been taken away by the viewing of television by parents and children. Also attending cinemas to see pornographic films and club houses for dancing and discos. A nation which is spiritually base is at or may be at the brink of moral and social collapse. God says with respect to spiritual develop- ment: “Verily Allah enjoins justice and the doing of good to others and giving like kindred; and forbids indecency and manifest evil and transgression. He admonishes you that you may take heed.” (16:91). This verse contains three commandments and three prohibitions which deal briefly with all the stages of moral and spiritual develop- ment of man with both its positive and negative sides. The com- mandments are Justice, doing of good and kindness. The prohibi- tions are indecency, manifest evil and transgression or revolt against constituted authority. TRUST IN GOD How many Nigerians trust in God? It is their failure to trust in God who created them from nothing and will definitely return them to a state nothingness that warrants their seeking power, affluence, fame emminence. They associate partners with God which is indis- cipline, ingratitude to Allah and an unforgivable sin, should one die in such an unrepentant condition. People who are engulfed in this darkness should ruminate over the following words of God contained SEPTEMBER 1984 ISLAM AND WAR AGAINST INDISCIPLINE 15 in the Quran: “It is Allah Who is the Truth, and that which they call on besides Him is falsehood and because Allah is the High., the Great” (22:63). We have to place our trust in Allah alone and we must strive with all our abilities and capabilities to court His favor. Last on this point, the glorious Quran advises: “And trust thou in the One, Who is Ever-Living and is the Source of all life and Who dies not, and glorify Him -with His praise. And sufficient is He as the Knower of the sins of His servants” (25:59). If Nigerians heed this admonition then the idea of God Fatherism, a sort of indiscipline to cheat, corrupt and be insubordinate, etc., will be removed once and for all from our society. AHMADIYYA JAMAAT—A DISCIPLINED COMMUNITY With this country being steered by various types of immoralities and indiscipline one’s mind is pricked by the question whether or not there is any disciplined community among the Nigerian populace? I boldly say yes, the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community qualifies in this respect. Since the establishment of the community in 1916 no member of our community has been involved in any social or criminal scandal. The ‘magic wand’ that has brought this about is their making Islam their way of life as taught by the Holy Prophet Muhammad .(peace be on him) and the resuscitation of the same by his spiritual son in this age—Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad. Before you can become a full fledged member of Divine and disciplined community you have to fulfil ten conditions of initiation known in Islam as Bai’at. (Quran 48:11 & 19). The following are some of those conditions: 1. Keep away from falsehood, fornication, adultery, trespasses of the eyes, debauchery, dissipation,- cruelty, dishonesty, mischief, rebellion and being carried away by passion however”strong it may be. 2. Under the impulse of passion one shall cause no harm what- soever to the creatures of Allah in general, Muslims in particular, either by tongue, hands or any other means. 3. One shall remain faithful to God under all circumstances, in sorrow, adversity and happiness, in felicity and trials. One shall keep oneself under all conditions resigned to the dcree of Allah and also keep oneself ready to face all kinds of indignities and sufferings in His way. One shall never turn away from these ideals even in the face (continued on page 27)