Mum was committed to her asalatu group. Her confidence in her sheikh was deep. She would adhere to any spiritual counsel offered by the missioner. That’s good though, but wasn’t for mum – in the long-run.
One day, an issue ensued between mum and I. She wanted my adherence to her call to fetishism. To her, it was no big deal for a Muslim to seek succor with a soothsayer during hardship. Esin o ni a ma saajo. Awon to kewu ju yin lo naa n d’ogbon si i. This, no doubt, is the belief of most Yoruba mothers. May Allah guide them aright. All energy exerted to make her see how detrimental that was to her faith fell on deaf ears. She perceived my adamance as extreme, and was quick to remind me of the scriptural emphasis on obedience to parents.
While the debate was ongoing, there came in Mr Missioner – mum’s spiritual junta. My happiness knew no bound as I thought I had got someone to bail me out of the nest of shaytan. Rather than mum change the subject to do herself a cover-up, she grew more wings and her voice roared even louder than a lion would.
Optimistically, I tabled the matter before Mr Sheikh with the expectation that he would sing my gospel and mum’s mouth would get muted. I thought he would express disappointment in her member and have her scolded for not upholding pristine Islam – which I assumed he must have taught his weekly congregants. But my perception of him was wrong. Had I known that in his filthy mouth lied reservoir of fuel that would inflammably fan the saddening inferno, I would have had the subject tactically changed and resume the discussion after his departure.
Mr Missioner spoiled everything with his celebrated ignorance. He blurted out nonsense with confidence. He farted, urinated and defecated from his mouth and the whole place smelt of a detestable odour. It was a day to remember, indeed – more than a decade ago.
“Although, visiting a soothsayer is shirk, and such is haram in Islam. But where a child is asked by his parents to do such, he will go with them and stay by the door (of the shrine) till the exercise is concluded. He will not enter but may answer questions from outside and give out money when necessary. This is because disobedience to parents is abhored by Allah,” he said, as I shockingly listened talked from his anus.
Mum’s ego was gingered by her sheikh’s nonsensical, luciferous, fatwah. She developed more nerve to hit me further and gave me a new name – extremist. I could not but face Mr Shege to argue the matter out with him. At that point, I never minded his status as mum’s teacher any longer. He was not worth the reverence. I soiled him with Quranic and Sunnatic facts to prove him incorrect. Mum looked on as scorn was poured on the face of her lowly but respected Shehu. She couldn’t rescue him as she found it difficult to tame my flow too.
The likes of the aforesaid self-acclaimed sheikh are incalculable in our society. They are all over as chief imams, missioners of organisations misleading our innocent parents with their infectious viruses. An alfa who will aid and abet shirk in the manner the Shege did does not deserve to be a mu’adhdhin let alone being made imam of a mosque.
Disobedience to parents is a كبيرة (major sin), no doubt. It is one of the easiest roads to hell. Whoever wants Allah’s displeasure fall on him should just displease his parents. It’s as simply as that. He would catch it without stress.
وَقَضَىٰ رَبُّكَ أَلَّا تَعْبُدُوا إِلَّا إِيَّاهُ وَبِالْوَالِدَيْنِ إِحْسَانًا ۚ إِمَّا يَبْلُغَنَّ عِنْدَكَ الْكِبَرَ أَحَدُهُمَا أَوْ كِلَاهُمَا فَلَا تَقُلْ لَهُمَا أُفٍّ وَلَا تَنْهَرْهُمَا وَقُلْ لَهُمَا قَوْلًا كَرِيمًا.
“For your Lord has decreed that you worship none but Him. And honour your parents. If one or both of them reach old age in your care, never say to them ˹even˺ ‘ugh,’ nor yell at them. Rather, address them respectfully.”
Surat Al-Isra’ 23
The Creator, however, is greater than the creatures. Where our parents want us flout the Creator’s order(s) to please them, the Creator, not, His creatures, should have our obedience. And this should be done with the best of manners. Our adamance on upholding the truth should be done politely. Voice should not be raised at them; we should not talk back at them even if they abuse us and call us names in the open.
(وَإِنْ جَاهَدَاكَ عَلَىٰ أَنْ تُشْرِكَ بِي مَا لَيْسَ لَكَ بِهِ عِلْمٌ فَلَا تُطِعْهُمَا ۖ وَصَاحِبْهُمَا فِي الدُّنْيَا مَعْرُوفًا ۖ وَاتَّبِعْ سَبِيلَ مَنْ أَنَابَ إِلَيَّ ۚ ثُمَّ إِلَيَّ مَرْجِعُكُمْ فَأُنَبِّئُكُمْ بِمَا كُنْتُمْ تَعْمَلُونَ)
“But if they (your parents) pressure you to associate with Me what you have no knowledge of, do not obey them. Still keep their company in this world courteously, and follow the way of those who turn to Me ˹in devotion˺. Then to Me you will ˹all˺ return, and then I will inform you of what you used to do.”
Surat Luqman 15