APRIL 18, 2019
Why Dangote missed Warri Jalsa
Ishola Balogun Just after the Fajr prayers, it became cloudy with a little drizzle in Warri. Hundreds of Muslims had gathered at the Mom Civic Center, along the popular airport road in the city, venue of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jamaat, Nigeria, the 4th Eastern Region/SouthSouth Jalsa Tarbiyah. As if it was the hand of God, the momentary showers became the mainspring for a successful event. Quality people trooped in from far and near including non Ahmadis who according, to them were endeared to the group by their philosophy of ‘love for all, hatred for none’.
It was also gathered that Africa’s richest man, and chairman of the largest indigenous industrial conglomerate, Alhaji Aliko Dangote who was on the list to deliver the first paper on: “The Guiding Principles for Survival in Business without corruption in a mono-product economy” missed the occasion as a result of some issues on our air travel.
Again, it was gathered that his friends had put in place a 62nd birthday bash for him without his knowledge on that day. Even at that, as a good friend of the Jamaat, all efforts to personally attend the event and immediately return to Lagos were frustrated by air travel.
Muslims At the gathering, the solemn Quran recitation of the Quran (59:18-24), rendition of Qasidah of the Prophet, and the lecture were soul lifting. Captivated by the rendition of the eulogies of the prophet, the Amir Sahib, Dr. Mashu’ud Fashola called for a repeat of a part of Qasidah to the applause of all in reverence and glorification of Allah (SWT) and Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w). NSCIA condemns New Zealand terrorist attacks Famous scholar, Dr, Saheed Timehin fired the first salvo interrogating the theme of the event, Recognition of God: A true means of salvation. Timehin posited that recognition of God as spelt out by Islam will create in the individual a moral consciousness that makes him see that his actions have a tansworldly reference. He develops a firm belief in transcendental accountability, stressing character building through a functional moral orientation that assists him to embrace virtues and shun vices. He stated that in Islam, the individual is an executor of the divine will on earth. “God consciousness or recognition of the divine is thus the missing link between human systems and socio-economic behaviour both at individual and governmental levels. This is why political analysts, economists and social theorists are all trying today to rediscover the missing link.”
In Nigeria today, the socio-economic malady has adverse effect on the power of any Nigerian to see God all around and has opaque our inner vision to recognise God. He emphasised that even with our devotion, we can still battle unemployment, poverty, social discrimination and other forms of injustice. Thus recognising Allah’s purpose in our lives will help in appreciating God more at all times. We need to know that sometimes, devotion does not extricate us from the aforementioned problems. According to him, we most often fall into this error because we approach God with our reasoning faculty alone. The hypothetical questions then become – In what ways is recognition of God compatible with our socio-economic realities and how can it translate into salvation from the harsh realities that plague us? We claim to know God but we do not know Him enough to trust Him. We sing praises, extol His noble Attributes, chant His names and supplicate at the feet of His Majestic Throne, yet our souls do not accept His Sovereignty and neither do our hearts believe in his omnipotence. Evil acts and corruption emanate from non-recognition of God and the long term effect is that it undermines national and communal harmony and also prevents the actualisation of maximum good for the populace.
Timehin stated that, in truth, the true recognition of God can only be achieved by His Grace and this Grace is tied to the personality of one man whose life is a total reflection of Allah’s limitless Grace and a complete manifestation of His Mercy. That man is Muhammad (s.a.w), the legislative authority in the annals of religion till the end of time. He advised participants to be conscious of every step they take and keep in view the divine injunctions at all times. By the time Dr Timehin finished, the lecture which lasted 45 minutes had ignited another round of fire from other speakers. The Amir of the Jamaat, Dr Mashuud Fashola enjoined goodness to all irrespective of colour, race, ethnic or political differences even to repay evil with goodness, adding that the reformation of man in line with the design of what God wants man to be is crystal to the recognition of God and a means to reaching paradise.
Dr Fashola said the convention which is loaded with blessings such as acquiring religious knowledge and progress in the worship of their creator; mutual brotherhood that will strengthen the community; benefit from prayers of the founder, khallifa and congregation – including worldly and heavenly blessings; the elimination of all personal problems, grief and hardships, achievement of cherished goals, full protection for all loved ones, guidance, spiritual elevation among others is a great benefit for all participants as it will help to reform and redirect them to the path of God. Other speakers also took turn to address moral deficit hanging on our society as well as pontificating on the path of righteousness, moral rectitude at homes. When a Muslim is ethically right and morally upright, righteousness will not only dots his path, but also elevates him and he becomes better being, recognising the presence and authority of God in all his endeavours. When this important aspect of faith is present in one’s life, it is only then he can have mental equanimity amidst all the crises of life that might come his way and though this achieve the straight path to salvation. This was the import of the message.
The business summit which was moderated by the Cheif Host, Naib-ul- Amir, Eastern region/South-south was another laudable effort towards socio-economic development of participants. The panelists which included Zaid Abdullah, a well trained agriculturist; Barrister Abdulazeez Olatoye; Dr. AbdulLateef Busari; Alhaji M. A Bankole, CEO and accomplished entrepreneur; Dr. Habeeb Yekeen; retired banker, Economists and accomplished businessman are some of the experts with good experiences in their diverse fields. They took members through on how to become successful in business without losing the touch of their spiritual life as Muslims. What people say Your ideals will bring peace, tolerance, prosperity to mankind —Gov Obaseki The governor of Edo State, Mr Godwin Obaseki who was represented by Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture, Comrade S. B. Kadir commended the efforts of the Jamaat in propagating global religious tolerance, education and provision of social services to guarantee better living for humanity. In his message read by Comrade Kadiri, the governor said: “There is no denying the fact that the values you espouse are very meaningful in driving the ideal world of peaceful coexistence, shared economic prosperity, globally enlightened citizenry, religious and cultural tolerance, security, and enhanced better living for mankind. “I am particularly grateful that the focus of this year’s Annual Regional Conference is focusing on very pertinent issues which we must all keep collaborating to address. “We are all aware that there is currently an enormous challenge in trying to provide adequate jobs for our teeming unemployed youths. The unemployment challenge remains one of the main focuses of our administration which we are assiduously working to nip with the transformational reforms we have set on course. Therefore, we welcome and regard as very salutary such endeavours like yours, aiming to equally address the issue of soaring unemployment.
“However, I must remark on your choice of personalities earmarked to bring the expected value out of this Conference. Very noteworthy is that fact that a global icon of entrepreneurial success, Alhaji Aliko Dangote (GCON) is a prime choice to deliver the know-how in economic and job related matters, And I trust the other resource persons to equally deliver the right value-orientation. “The second focus which makes this Conference very relevant is the issue of displaced moral values and decadent society. I am hoping that this Conference will bring about the needed regeneration towards a societal rebirth. “Finally, let me once again express our deepest appreciation for the two-day free medical exercise which you carried out through your Humanity First affiliate in Ovia South-West Local Government Area of Edo State in October, 2018.
Our administration remains highly grateful for your wonderful support and the great works you are undertaking in Edo State and indeed Nigeria in general. Let us not look at Muslims with hatred — Rev Monday Madukwe, CAN Secretary, Delta State. I see the spirit of oneness in all their activities especially their motto – Love for all, hatred for none. If it is practiced as we have heard here, the religious crisis we always experience will no longer exist. It shows we can be one, because we are creatures of the same Great God. So, religious differences should not lead to hatred. We must be united in our diversity. The programme is commendable, the goal is commendable. So, whatever negative attitude anybody has against Islam should be out of ignorance. It is the same God that created us.
Let us not look at Muslims with hatred, let us look at them with love because we are from the same creator. Ahmadiyya expend time, resources to create peace — Bibhatsu Das (Hare Krishna) I like the people because they expended time and resources to create peace among people of different faith.
The Muslims are humans; you have to be human first before you talk about God. You cannot talk about God when your consciousness is that of animal. You have to be human first and Ahmadiyya people are on that platform. I congratulate them and we wish them well. All Muslims are united in Warri—Alhaji Ajisafe, Chief Imam of Warri All the Muslims including Ahmadiyya are very united here and we can see from this gathering that we are one and united ummah. Any time there is gathering of Muslims, people always marvel over our number because we rally round every one of us irrespective of tribe whether, Nupe, Hausa, Yoruba, Itsekiri, Igbo, once you are a Muslim, we are one and the King, Olu of Warri and all Deltans accept us. So, my advice for Muslims is to continue to be united while we beg the government to look into the Hajj board with a view to giving opportunities to some of us.