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Upholding Muslim/Christian Unity, By Sanusi Muhammad

TO those Muslims and Christians who believe in the existence of a Supreme Being, God (Allah), and subscribe to whatsoever is written in the Holy Books of Islam and Christianity, should rate themselves as wrongdoers that may die enveloped in sin unless, there is a change of the present narrative of hate against one another for the sake of those religions they imposed unto themselves.

Neither the Islamic faith nor Christianity preaches or encourages hate. Modern day clerics and clergies out of frustration, greed and ignorance of the religions they claim to preach, have overtime, positioned their podiums and pulpits to bakeries of hate, politics and extortion.

For instance, in the Muslim Holy Qur’an, it is said: “…….Hold fast the chord of Allah, together, and, do not, be disunited…….Q 3: 103”.
But is the Muslim community holding fast the chord of Allah as decreed? Is the Muslim community united and not factionalized along created sects of Tijjaniyya, Izala, Qadiriyya etc which are alien to the Holy Qur’an or Hadith of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) or part of any Islamic literature from any renowned passive cleric of Islam?


In the Holy Qur’an, there is nowhere a sect was mentioned and, I stand to be proved wrong. How then do we have sects in stiff competition to control the Ummah ostensibly for pecuniary benefits? The quote from Holy Quran chapter 3, verse 103 is a vital obligatory aspect of Islam which came directly, as a divine order, from the Almighty Allah, Who made the religion of Islam an act of worship for people who sincerely surrender themselves to His will. Thus, any deviation from that divine order is a cultivation of endless restiveness for self, in all circumstances.

From the quoted verse, it becomes clear that unity is a vital norm of Islam that no genuine seeker of societal peace would want to discard.
If there is any time, in the history of Nigeria, when Muslims and Christians need to build a most formidable web of unity, as a fortress, it is now.

For centuries, most Muslims and Christians have consistently deviated from holding unity as a religious principle while at the same time perceiving adherents of some religions other than Islam and Christianity, as their enemies. But, ironically, in reality, there are no enemies for Islam and Christianity anywhere other than the Muslims and Christians themselves who have refused to tolerate each other.

A thorough and sincere examination of the assertion will surely confirm this. In a nutshell Muslims and Christians are the enemies of Islam, Christianity and Traditional religion which happens to be the oldest form of worship in our clime that encourages peaceful co-existence devoid of parochial sentiments and hate. At that period, bribery and corruption were shameful acts and abhorred.

Today, bribery and corruption are more respected than the national anthem. They are undoubtedly more practiced and protected than religions and humanity. We are indeed, a lost generation with no amount of prayer that can salvage us, because we don’t genuinely practice and respect what our Creator says, we only pretend to be adherents as hypocrites.

Here in Nigeria, if there is anything referred to as Satan and that diabolical entity truly lives in the midst of humans, then Nigeria must be its abode because, we have more satanic agents in leadership and followership than saints!
As a mysteriously damnable entity, Satan may not be physically perceivable, but his shadow is evidently, vivid in the evil machination generally called politics. In our brand of politics and screening system, a lunatic with the financial muscle, backed with forged credentials, can be declared a state governor by election or rigging, or a minister by appointment, a senator etc.

A politician with fake credentials with the financial clout and support of the temple of justice can be declared, as ‘elected’ or appointed to occupy any position of power.
And, certain elements in the society, including some ambitious Muslims and Christians, who are often proud to be called politicians or associated with politics, are agents of that unperceivable diabolical entity referred to as IBLIS.

From whichever angle it is perceived, politics as played in Nigeria today, can be rated as infectious leprosy more dangerous to the good of the society than the deadly corona virus.
Any contact it makes, with human fingers, will surely render those fingers ineffective with contagious implication. Although, politics, generally, is a social necessity that cannot be totally avoided in any human society because of its irreplaceable role in socializing humanity, nevertheless, the method of handling it in Nigeria, has practically turned it into a paradoxical slough of a snake which has no life of its own but scares the people around it, despite its empty appearance.

Without the way politics is being played globally, today, the entire world would have been in perfect harmony. Since Nigeria’s independence, the country has hardly experienced any social calamity that did not emanate from politics, directly or indirectly. Thus, like in the island of Ithaca of yore, in the Greek mythology, Nigeria now, harbors a sphinx that frequently confronts all citizens with an unanswerable question. And, the inability to answer that question, correctly, by anybody, has become a desperate sphinx threatening to devour our country from time to time.

For how long can we continue to cope with this situation before the bubble will finally bust, is a fundamental question that urgently requires a practically fundamental answer. Today, politics in Nigeria is a paradoxical odyssey, the ship of which it cruises dangerously on an ocean of uncertainty. And, the sailor of that ship is the stolen money desperately used by the minority criminals, in pursuit of power for abuse, to the gross disadvantage of the majority tolerable and patient citizens.

We are now in an era when the source of funds squandered on politics by godfathers to politicians and the politicians themselves, no longer counts as much as the funds squandered. In our pathetic system, an armed robber, kidnapper, bandit or corrupt public servant with sleaze funds, can access any elective or political office with ease and even celebrated and crowned with traditional title as a hero by a cross section of the society. We have really lost our moral values!

What really matters in our Nigeria of today, is not how decent, sincere and honest one is, as a person, or how valuable one is as an expert in any field of endeavor, but how wealthy one is, no matter the source of the wealth. In a nutshell, a wealthy rogue is by far more relevant, more influential and more respected than an average honest, educated and capacitated Nigerian without money.

As a matter of fact, today, there is no gentlemanliness without money no matter the source of the money. It is actually the size of one’s purse, or bank account that determines the status by which the society recognizes one. And that has now become the new definition of pedigree on the one hand, and, the secret god which most religious adherents have adopted as an option.

It’s not surprising, therefore, that, even adherents of religions of letters, as well as high calibre professionals are now struggling to become servants to mere nonentities who by hook or crook, have struck the opportunity to occupy public positions in clueless governments in order to control an enclave in the national treasury to steal.

The world has changed so much that the same money which used to serve people in the past is now the master that people serve with relish.
In the face of money, conscience has become a lost paradise that no one seeks again but only a minute few. And with its disappearance, human dignity has also become an old wife’s tale. Whither Nigeria’s tomorrow, in all these, is a question reserved for the future to answer.
In the wilderness of avarice and aggrandizement audaciously imposed by money, Nigerians of today have lost the culture of dignity highly cherished by Nigerians of yesteryears and there is no sense of nostalgia for it.

No matter the solo or chorus that the song of this era may bring into today’s music of politics, it will be discovered that the bottom line of ambition and desperation, among Nigerian politicians, is nothing for satanic avarice.
When a hopeful country finds itself in this pathetic situation, it quickly resorts to the last bastion for solution. And, the last bastion, in the case of Nigeria, as presented by charlatans, is religion, which is being conspicuously, but undeservedly, displayed as the First Estate of the Realm.

As far as religion is concerned, most of the so called clerics and clergies are like sailors, on a strenuous voyage, who have lost the compass that should guide them in sailing through the tumultuous waves of water while their congregational passengers continue to pray fervently for safety on a turbulent ocean.
To those clerics and clergies, religion is no longer the path to salvation but a short cut to material wealth even as they have relegated morality to its lowest ebb. Here is a country where clerics and clergies do not only preach material prosperity but also live in stupendous affluence in the midst of their wretched congregations.

Nigeria has turned to a country in which clerics and clergies are either known for trafficking in hard drugs, gun running, preaching hate for pecuniary gain or serve as patrons for suppliers of ammunition as in the case of a notorious episode of a mission to South Africa, in 2014, that suddenly ended up in a fiasco. Some of those clerics and clergies are even known for taking corporate bribes from politicians as in the case of an alleged N7billion that caused wild brouhaha within the religious sphere, in Nigeria, in the same 2014.

During electioneering campaigns, residences and offices of renowned clergies and clerics are hotspots for politicians seeking elective offices. They troop to those spots for solicited ‘prayers’ which must be accompanied with Ghana Must Go stocked with cash to grease palms of the prayer warriors and leaders of religious bodies (registered or unregistered).

Here is a country where neither conscience nor morality has a role to play in religion, any longer, as the so called clerics and clergies have technically banished both and, thus, become, not just accomplices of political rogues but mostly the barking dogs for those politicians.
That is the horrible situation which has become an irresolvable bone of contention and breeder of disunity and insecurity among Nigerian Muslims and Christians, over politics. Now, at the political crossroads, will this situation be further allowed to function at the expense of religions? We are watching in prayer for a better Nigeria.

I Come In Peace!

Muhammad is a commentator on national issues

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