By Haroon Balogun
A HAUNTING and powerful image in the Qur’an depicts a people who, on the Day of Judgment, perch on a barrier that divides the Paradise and hell. And so they engage in a conversation with the inhabitants of both abode.
However, Allah gave them a kind of soft landing, implying that they will end in the safer side of the barrier. It is not a joke. Check the Quran 7: 46-49.
“And between them will be a partition, and on [its] elevations are men who recognize all by their mark. And they call out to the companions of Paradise, “Peace be upon you.”
They have not [yet] entered it, but they long intensely. And when their eyes are turned toward the companions of the Fire, they say, “Our Lord, do not place us with the wrongdoing people.”
And the companions of the Elevations will call to men [within Hell] whom they recognize by their mark, saying, “Of no avail to you was your gathering and [the fact] that you were arrogant.” Allah will say], “Are these the ones whom you [inhabitants of Hell] swore that Allah would never offer them mercy? Enter Paradise, [O People of the Elevations]. No fear will there be concerning you, nor will you grieve.”
The apocalyptic scenario may be appropriate for depicting the dilemmas Nigerians faced before March 28, to choose between a big spender but with unbridled corruption and a disciplined no-nonsense elderly man as the captain of a sinking ship. But like the metaphor, Allah guided His people to the safer side of the barrier.
With the March 28 Presidential election, Nigeria stands on the threshold of history. Her people have been able to prove wrong critics world-over who had thought we could not get it right. We have been able to put our experiences over the years to bear, having recognised where we have faltered and knowing how to make amends.
We cried for change and with the help of Almighty Allah, with fervent prayers, resilience, determination, shunning all inducements to remain in the dungeon, we moved a step further for the much desired change.
We had slipped into a road we never knew where it would end. We had unconsciously descended into hopelessness, anarchy and despondency. The journey was like a purgatory of turmoil and darkness, one that was aptly described in one old school music of Sunny Ade, the Juju maestro legend: Esubiri biri ebomio; Iwa ju lo’loko yi wamilo, eyin ko lo’loko yi waamilo; mio mo.”
Even the younger ones, the future leaders had begun to despair. But like the At-bahaina Mukhaliseen, (faithful followers) in the mold of the Rashidun known as the disciples and sahaba of Prophet Muhammad, (s.aw) we followed our leaders with the believe that one day, and a day like this, there would be a change.
We prayed, fasted and trusted in Allah. We were conscious of Allah’s words that “Nothing shall ever happen to us except what Allah has ordained for us. He is our Protector.” (Q9vrs51) and in Him we put our trust. Other wholesome words of Allah are Quran 54: 22, 23.
“No disaster strikes upon the earth or among yourselves except that it is in a register before We bring it into being – indeed that, for Allah, is easy – In order that you may not grieve at the things over that you fail to get, nor rejoice over that which has been given to you. And Allah likes not prideful boasters.
When the hour came last Saturday, Nigerians recognised the golden opportunity and moved for a change. The manner of the change was also amazing at least to most of our critic; it came without bruises, it arrived without boo-boo. All these we give thanks, adoration, and exaltation to Allah.
O Allah, you are the peace, And you are the source of peace, you are blessed, O possessor of Glory and Honour, heal this country with Your touch of peace, make it great above other great nations in the world. Make our people serve you in truth, honesty and steadfastness. O Allah, we beg for your forgiveness of sins, we repent and turn to you our Lord and Sustainer. Unite our hearts with Mutual love, help us against our enemies.
Let your curse be unto those who want to destroy what we cherish; those who kill and maim and cause pain to fellow humans and give our army victory over them. O’ Allah make their treacherous plans come to naught. Send down your mercy, blessings and peace unto this country just as your peace and blessings continue to abide with Prophet Muhammad. Amin.
A lot of people have said glowing things about Buhari immediately after his acceptance speech, one of the lessons we would have learned was that Leadership is a position of trust and great responsibility, and should only be given to those who are capable of carrying that responsibility and fulfilling that trust.
Never again to those who even if they are sincere may not have the strong personality traits necessary for a person to be a successful and just leader. We rarely can make up for those years we have been dragged behind by past leaders and successive governments. Dear countrymen, we have learnt enough lessons.