By Ishola Balogun
World Day of Muslim Culture, Peace, Dialogue and Film was observed all-over the world last Monday, March 11, 2013. This day was created in 2010 by Javed Mohammed of San Francisco who proclaimed the day as a special observance to share and discuss Muslim culture.
I do not want to go into whether it is accepted by some Shi’a or Sunni Muslims. But the fact that as innovative as it is, it is aimed towards using culture, art and film to create bridges of dialogue and understanding among people of different faith which ultimately can lead a more peaceful world.
Again, understanding Islam through its culture, dialogue, and ?lm in a way will give the world an in-depth knowledge of the Islamic world based on correct information, actual facts, and a true analysis of the course of events.
At a time when Muslims and non-Muslims are seen as enemies rather than allies, at a time when many erroneously see the issue of Boko Haram as a religious ideals, at a time when both Muslims and Christians are being killed by those who hide under the cloak of religion, at a time when bombs were planted in places of worships, there is need to use the opportunity the day offers to extend the hand of fellowship to non-Muslims to exchange messages of peace. It was done in London, US, and other parts of the world.
Undoubtedly, to take of any action that will contribute to a better understanding of the diversity of Muslim culture and in initiating dialogue with people of other faiths that may result in a more just, peaceful world, is another form of ibadaat.
Although many Muslims are unaware of this day but it is not out of place to consciously reflect on the need for exchanging the messages of peace in and around our immediate society and continue to spread the message of peace to all and sundry. By this, we will not only be teaching Islam, we will be correcting the misrepresentation the non-Muslims have about Islam.
That is the the best Jihad we would have done in our life time. As Muslims, we should know that peaceful activism is distinctly superior to violent activism, and that is why we need to exert more energy towards achieving peace at all areas of our lives than being violent.
According to a Hadith, “God grants to gentleness what He does not grant to harshness.” Come to think of it, an atmosphere of peace enables good relationship between people. It makes it possible for feelings of love and friendship to prevail; it engenders constructive activities to flourish.
It is my passionate appeal and that of other concerned Muslims to engage in a campaign for peace nation-wide. It is time that leaders, scholars, and other well meaning Muslims in the country come together without any regional sentiment to send out messages of peace and practically showcase our resolve for enthroning lasting peace in the country. Islam is peace.
The Mischief Makers
Some people are wont to quoted out of context some of the injunctions of the Quran like: ‘Kill them wherever you find them.’ (2:191) are those who are ignorant of the context and circumstance to which some of these verses were revealed.
They only claim to read the Quran but they don’t understand it, yet they give the impression that Islam is a religion of war and violence. This is totally untrue. Such verses relate in a restricted sense, to those who have unilaterally attacked the Muslims. The above verse does not convey the general principle of Islam. It was only giving direction to those Muslims who were persecuted, maimed and killed because they accepted Islam and Allah told them to stand up and defend their faith.
Again, the Quran was not revealed in the complete form in which it exists today. It was revealed from time to time, and under different circumstances, over a time span of 23 years. If this is divided into years of war and peace, the period of peace amounts to 20 years, while that of war amounts only to three years.
The revelations during these 20 peaceful years were the peaceful teachings of Islam as are conveyed in the verses regarding the realization of God, worship, morality, justice. Those who want to know will know while those who flunder their ignorance to cause mischief will only end up in hell. More text mesages. Thanks.
Delta Muslims beg Uduaghan to constitute Pilgrims board
The Delta State Muslim Council, an umbrella body for Muslims in the state has called on the Delta State Government to reconstitute the Muslim Pilgrims Welfare Board saying the continuous denial of the Muslims of the Board is tantamount to negating the principle for which the board was established and could be viewed as discrimination.
At a press conference in Warri, the secretary of the Council Alhaji Wasiu Udi noted that the governor in 2011, reconstituted the Christian Pilgrims Welfare Board but to this moment, the Muslims Pilgrims Welfare Board has not been reconstituted even though we share a common building.
Alhaji Udi noted that Governor Emmanuel Uguaghan has not created an enabling environment for Muslims in the state to justify the unflagging locality and efforts in its support adding that it is fundamental importance for us to appeal for to the governor as a matter of fairness, justice and equity to treat Muslims as he is treating our counterpart.
Alhaji Udi said due to the non reconstitution of the Muslim Board, during pilgrimages, Pilgrims from the state usually faced untold hardship during the 30 days exercise.
The Council also alleged hijacking of government sponsored pilgrims slots by non Muslims in position of authority who in-turn sell them to people from outside the state.
The Muslim Council called for urgent re-organization of the Muslim Board adding that apart from the secretary, all other workers in the Board are Christians. He noted that this negate our religious rites.
The press conference was attended by Muslim representatives from across the 25 Local Government Councils of the State including Heads of Islamic organisations in the State.
NASFAT charges Muslims on Shurah process
The Chairman of Lagos Zone 1 of Nasru-llahi-il-Fatih Society of Nigeria, NASFAT, Alhaji Taofeeq Adeseun has sad that the understanding of Shurah process in Islam will help all Muslim organisation in the selection of their leaders without rancour. He gave this admonition at the Quarterly Conference organised by Lagos Zone 1 of NASFAT held recently in Ikorodu, Lagos.
Alhaji Adeseun who is also a Pharmacist stated that the Shurah process as the erudite scholar, Alhaji Mustafa Bello delivered would give enough understanding on the issue and help Muslim organisations. “What we have also been able to establish is a dispute resolution mechanism.
We did that in one of the branches where there was dispute and we set up Shurah Review Panel and Alhamdullilah the result was good. So we want people to look beyound the selection process and give room for consultation which was a practice of Prophet Muhammad.(s.a.w)
On the quarterly conference, he said: “One of the things we did when we came on board was to carry out a survey to determine what the situation was before we came. One of the things we found out was that there was no regular meeting structure and we decided to put that in place both for the General House which is for Chairmen, Secretaries Financial secretaries and Women Secretaries on the one hand and the Zonal Executive committee on the other hand. So, having established that, we decided we should go the next step which is involving the Council of Elders, Youth Secretaries, Mission Boards Chairmen and Secretaries in a Quarterly Conference and I hope it will be regular,” he stated.