In the past few days, there are two videos that caught my attention on this space due to the way that people have reacted to them. The first is the one by pastor David oyedepo and the second is that of an Egungun (masquerade) and his fellows that were observing Salāt.
Concerning Oyedepo’s statement that he will NEVER render financial assistance to anyone who asked him “in the name of Allāh”, I don’t understand why Muslims are bittered about it. First, he’s an ethnic and religious bigot who never hides his hatred for the Fulanis and Muslims (even though he romances Atiku and Gumi).
Second, he has only stated what he personally believes and practices and urges his congregation to do the same. He doesn’t represent Christianity in its entirety and his statements and actions has little effect on the excellent relationship that some of us have with our Christian friends and associates.
What we should be angry at is the fact that the Muslim community is riddled with abject poverty and want. From intellectual to financial poverty, the myriads of problems confronting us are enormous and daunting. We need to work on the following:
* Prioritise education
* Encourage vocational skills
* Organise entrepreneurship trainings
* Discourage begging
* Emphasise the dignity of labour and legitimate earning
* Establish Zakāt and Waqf foundations to cater for the needy
If the Muslim community prioritises addressing our basic problems rather than “minoring in major and majoring in minor”, who needs Oyedepo’s money?
On the issue of the masquerade and his followers observing Salāt, I don’t see it as mockery of Islām, rather I see them as ignorant and confused Musls who do not understand the basic tenets of the Dīn. What we need to do is to find them and educate them.
The fact is that there are thousands of Muslims in Nigeria that see nothing wrong in attending egungun festivals, praying at Osun Osogbo or even seeking spiritual help in church! To them, religion is a means to God and irrespective of what people believe, so long as they are serving God, there’s no problem at all.
For instance, there are so many Alhajis and Alhajas in Lagos that practice eyo and oro and see nothing wrong in that. They pray five times daily and still worship Ogun and the other deities.
We should rather find them and educate them rather than persecute or prosecute them.
Hasbunallāhu wa ni’mal wakīl