WHERE THE LIONS FIGHT

— SANNI KAY YUSUF

Scholars are scattered. Students are shattered. And the ummah is consequently battered – like a butchered buffalo. Friends in faith are now foes in fright. The booming boat of da’wah now in gloom. To Allah I pray that the flu doesn’t end in doom, as remedy apparently not in sight.

When the young are in a feud, settlement comes from the elderly. But when the elderly are in a skirmish, especially where the dirty linen is washed in public, who will come to the rescue of the sinking ship?

Rather than make concerted efforts to douse tension and quell the inferno of crises among the elders, the young ones are fuelling the disaster by launching support for both parties against each other. They call elders names – people old enough to father them if not father their fathers. Loose youth with no home training! Uneducated literates not showing value for money spent on their education! Neither Islam nor the African culture is in support of sauciness and insolence. So from where did you get your training?

Not only are the elders in question of age. They are well read of the Islamic knowledge. They are scholars. They understand the Quran inside-out. They fathom the Sunnah enviably. And they’ve learned of the virtues of the Books that malice is not harboured beyond three days (لا يحل لمسلم ان يهجر اخاه فوق ثلاث), yet they aren’t reflecting it in their dispositions – the same people who are trusted with sermons and admonitions in our society. What will they say if assigned the topic for a talk? Will it not be a case of adhere to my word, not my action?

Sheikhs aren’t saints. They aren’t angels. They are fallible human creatures. They aren’t free from quarreling over spiritual or mundane matters. But if such would rear its ugly head, it should happen in a beautiful, mature manner – given their statuses as scholars and leaders. The lions should fight without the grass having a feel of the hit. And if it would, the polity should not be heated up. Can’t there be a healthy fight?

Confusion now reigns in the ummah. No one seems potent to settle the lingering scores among the elder folk. Move right, we’ve done our best. Turn left, we don’t know what else to do. That’s what I hear in my effort to see the omen end. I was with a sheikh last week, he said the same thing. Who then can hold the lions’ teeth from furthering their bites?

Why are the elders doing this to themselves? Can those close to them make them realise the damage they are doing the ummah? Should they not settle those scores here before the hereafter? Can someone remind them what they already know of Suratul Hujuraat (Suratul Akhlaaq)?

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