RELISHING MAKKAH AND MADINAH: THOUGHTS ON A BETTER NIGERIA
Relishing Makkah And Madinah: Thoughts On A Better Nigeria
By Rasheed Abubakar | @Independent Nigeria | April 13, 2018
When Dawud Wharnsby sang the ever-green Nasheed (Islamic song): “Madinah Tun-Nabi, Madinah Tun-Nabi, the City of the Prophet is like home to me. I’ll travel through the world but I doubt that I will see a city with such wonder as Madinah” in his 1995 track, I never had a deep practical understanding of its lyrics until last week, when I was a Guest of Allah at Al-Madinah Al-Munawara, otherwise known as the City of Light.
My first ever visit to the Holy Land came at a time when disregard for human life has reached an alarming rate in my beloved country, Nigeria. The incessant kidnappings, herdsmen/farmers clashes and the latest Offa carnage (robbery) which happened on the day I left the shores of Nigeria (Thursday, April 5) for Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah, the Lesser Hajj are recent examples. The Nigeria Police later confirmed the death of 17 people, with others severely injured in the attack.
Those innocent Nigerians who lost their lives to the tragic incident and other lives lost indiscriminately on a daily basis elsewhere in Nigeria could have been protected if past governments had long invested in protecting lives and property of Nigerian citizens, which is the primary responsibility of any serious government.
Every month, the Governors of the 36 States in Nigeria receive security votes which run into billions of naira, purposely to put in place mechanisms that will protect lives and property of the citizenry. It is however sad that despite the huge funding, there is nothing to show for it. It is unfortunate that the Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulfattah Ahmed for instance could not protect the lives of the innocent people under his watch, yet he could place a 5 million Naira bounty on the heads of the suspects behind the attack. Of what use is the 5 million Naira to the dead victims? It is not the bounty that matters, what has the government put in place to prevent a future reoccurrence of such dastardly incident in the State?
Truth be told, governance is a huge task. If those who seek for leadership positions know the burden and hurdles that await them in the Hereafter, they would reject such. I however doubt if a typical Nigerian politician who uses dubious means to get to office at all costs would ever back out even if he is exposed to the consequences of taking public office without protecting lives and property and fulfilling promises made during elections.
Why will he back out when there are bogus benefits that accrue to him while in office (government), even as he claims to be the servant of the people? Imagine a Senator of the Federal Republic of Nigeria receiving a whopping 13.5 million Naira “running cost” allowance on a monthly basis, aside a N750, 000 monthly consolidated salary and other allowances. This is a token compared to what the Governors earn, going by former Governor of Anambra State, Peter Obi’s shocking revelation, where he said that, “If I tell you how much governors earn, you won’t sleep.”
Evidently, Nigeria is blessed. And with the kind of money/resources she has, citizens have no reason to suffer. Their lives need to be protected and their blood should not be spilled unjustly. If government is serious about security of lives and property, job opportunities as well as infrastructural development, citizens would not embark on journeys of no return in search of unreal greener pastures abroad. Nigerian leaders need to fear Allah and remember the day they will stand before Allah for account.
Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) declared in an authentic narration: “Every one of you is a shepherd and shall be questioned on how he manages his flock. The leader of the people is a guardian and is responsible for his subjects. A man is the guardian over his family and he is responsible for them. A woman is the guardian of her husband’s home and the children and she is responsible for them. The servant is a guardian over the property of his master and he is responsible for it. No doubt, every one of you is a shepherd and he is responsible for his flock”.
One of the reasons going for Hajj or Umrah annually has become easy and virtually seamless is because the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, as the “shepherd” of those major Islamic rites, has invested heavily in security and has put measures in place to protect millions of pilgrims that come from different parts of the world. The structures and activities of Umrah and Hajj are indications that the Saudi government is organised and functional. No “fantastically corrupt nation” that does not classify or regard stealing as corruption can ever succeed in hosting such a large population gathering as Saudi Arabia does. It will fail woefully!
Sadly, our politicians also visit Saudi Arabia to perform Umrah and Hajj. They see the structures put in place by the Kingdom. They even take selfies while in Ihraam inside the most beautiful place on earth. They go to Dubai, a neighbouring Arab country to lavish public funds on frivolities and shopping sprees, while the lives of ordinary Nigerians, their subjects, are being taken unjustly by extremists who take laws into their own hands because of government’s insensitivity to their plights. Nigerians are dying of poverty in a country that is blessed with bounties. We pay for more yet we get less.
As I write this, shortly after Salatul Ishai in the Prophet’s Mosque in Madinah, the City of Light, I came to the conclusion that, based on Qur’an 13:11, both the leaders (people in government) and the led (citizens) need to change their attitude for good, because “Allah will not change the condition of a people (from good to bad or from bad to good, from ease to hardship or from hardship to ease) unless they change their condition themselves”.
First, our perception about Nigeria must change for good. If as citizens, we crave for a righteous leader, we must exhibit goodness in our behaviour and conduct. If citizens are bad, more often than not, Allah gives them bad and wicked leaders. And if they are good, Allah in His infinite mercy blesses them with good leaders. Nigerians need to be more patriotic and show sincere love for their motherland.
Makkah, in modern day Saudi Arabia, is today blessed with an abundance of fruits and goodies, despite being in a desert. It is also secure for both the Saudi citizens and the millions of pilgrims who pay visits to it, testifying to the acceptance of the prayers of Prophet Ibrahim (AS) as stated in Qur’an 2:125-129 and Qur’an 14:35-40.
The Best of Mankind, Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) was also reported to have supplicated for Madinah to be the best city in the world in several authentic narrations, and the evidences of the acceptance of those prayers have also been witnessed during my short stay.
What is required of a leader is to be just to everyone irrespective of his or her class in society. Let us always remember the Hadith of the Prophet (SAW) which says that a just leader shall be among the seven that would be under the Shade of Allah on the Day of Judgement, when there shall be no shade except that of Allah. Justice must be established and served to all, “even if it be against yourselves or parents and relatives”. Qur’an 4:135
– Rasheed Abubakar is a journalist and the author of “Muslims and the Threats of the Media”. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org | Twitter: @rawshield123
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