By Ishola Balogun
Alhamdullilah, I am a Muslim. In spite of the torrent of criticisms by mostly those who refused to learn and those who learned but refused to be guided by the truth; and allowed sentiments to obfuscate their judgement, I am proud to be a Muslim.
It is however unfortunate that the actions of some of those who profess to be Muslims have continued to typify acts that are at variance to the teachings of Islam and in a bid to concretise their egocentric actions, they illegally pronounce jihad killing and abducting innocent people.
By so doing, they help the ignorant non-Muslims to further distort Islamic ideals and paint Islam in an undeserving colour. Rather than the true philosophy of peace in this life and in hereafter, they ascribe different negative meaning to it. All over the world, we have seen cases of anti-Islamic movements by some groups with Islamic connotations.
But no matter how they try, what can never be distorted is the Holy Quran and the practice contained in the hadiths. Allah knew all these will happen before He said ‘He will guide and protect the Book from distortion and that is the joy and pride of every true Muslim today as it remains the only Book that has not been tampered with, revised or edited in history of man.
Few days ago, a curious guy asked about the position of Islam on kidnapping and killings suggesting that these evil acts are tickets to paradise.
Perhaps, it was as a result of development in the country, with particular reference to the kidnap of seven foreign workers which Al-Qaeda claimed were in the custody of Jamatul Ansaru as well as the monstrosity of the Boko Haram, killing of the innocent unarmed health workers among others; but we will continue to say this that neither the Quran nor Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) permits such devilish act and can never be a ticket to paradise.
I was very pleased to answer this question because it will help those who don’t know and sincerely want to know the teachings of Islam!
First of all, I would like to stress that Islam forbids targeting non-combatants by killing or by kidnapping or taking them as hostages, or inflicting any kind of injury on them. There are rules on how to deal with even those who wage war against Islam.
One of the rules of conduct of jihad in Islam that the Prophet (s.a.w) highly stressed is “Do not kill a woman, a child, an old man, or a monk in his monastery; do not cut down trees.” In another version of the hadith he is reported to have said, “…do not kill traders (businessmen) or farmers.”
These clearly mean that it is strictly forbidden to target non-combatants by killing or kidnapping or taking them as hostages, or inflicting any kind of harm on them.
Even if they are combatants, there are rules on how to deal with them. If a Muslim is defending himself or his homeland, he is supposed to be a noble fighter, and that includes fighting with courage and mercy at the same time, and preserving the rights of the defenceless people.
He is not permitted to harm anyone that is not armed. Even in the battlefield during the time of the Prophet in Badr, Uhud, Khandaq and others, Muslims didn’t raise their swords against anyone without a sword. It was not permitted. There are rules guiding the prisoners of war.
Allah Most High has told us in the Qur’an in Suratul Maidah (5:8-9):
O you who believe, be persistently standing firm for Allah, witnesses in justice, and do not let the hatred of a people prevent you from being just. Be just; that is nearer to righteousness. And fear Allah; indeed, Allah is Acquainted with what you do.
Allah has promised those who believe and do righteous deeds [that] for them there is forgiveness and great reward.
Those who take the law into their own hands are only desperados who use Islam to further their personal interest; they have nothing to do with Islam, they have not learned that from Prophet Muhammad who was sent as a mercy to all humanity, a light of guidance, and a model for mankind. Islam is a religion that is based on Divine Revelation which is encapsulated in the Holy Quran and the Hadiths.
It stands without doubt that these rules of conduct have been recorded in history as noble characteristics of Muslims. I have said it severally in this column that, the wars the early Muslims fought were essentially defensive as a result of persecution and threat to their lives. Islam has gained ground and widely accepted.
Besides; the promise of Allah to keep the religion will continue till the end of time. Today, the image of Islam and Muslims is been battered by the activities of these outlaws on the pretext of fighting for Islam. Every Muslim should be responsible for his action, you cannot use the action of the few to judge the majority.
The individuals behind such actions as kidnappings and killings in the country are motivated by their raw passions and not that of Islam. They may be Muslims but that does not mean their actions represent the ideals of Islam.
If Saudi Arabia some years ago in the wake of the Osama Bin Laden terror acts, could denounce the activities of the late leader of Al-Qaeda, then those who know little or nothing about Islam should better learn that acts of terrorism is not accepted in Islam.
Etiquette of Islamic marriage
By Harun Rasaq
In Islam, marriage is ‘aqd,a contract. And there are three conditions for the marriage contract in Islam: Both parties should be free from any obstacles that might render the marriage invalid, such as their being mahrams of one another, or where the man is a kaafir and so on.
There should be an offer or proposal (ijaab) from the walii or the person who is acting in his place, who should say to the groom “I marry so-and-so to you” or similar words. There should be an expression of acceptance (qabuul) on the part of the groom or whoever is acting in his place, who should say, “I accept,” or similar words.
The conditions of a proper nikaah are that: Both the bride and groom should be clearly identified, whether by stating their names or describing them, etc. They should be pleased with one another. The one who does the contract on the woman’s behalf should be her walii, because the Prophet (SAW) said: “Any woman who marries without the permission of her walii, her marriage is invalid, her marriage is invalid, and her marriage is invalid.”
There is no marriage contract except with a walii and two witnesses and it must be announced. In addition, there could be a celebration of the marriage but in accordance to shari’ah. It is disheartening that despite the wider acceptance of Islam in Nigeria and in Yoruba land in particular, a number of un-Islamic practices based on local customs are diffused into the Islamic concept of marriage.
However, I will make a particular reference to one conducted recently in Eti-Osa, Lagos. I commend Alhaji, (Hon.) Yahyah A. Dosunmu, the Seriki Adinni of Eti-Osa and Baba Adinni of Ajah Central Mosque, on the way the nikkah ceremony of his daughter, Sister Simbiat Bukola Dosunmu and Brother Abdul Ganiy was conducted.
It must be noted that the more the teachings of Islam are followed in the wedding ceremonies, the more blessed the union will be, the more love and harmony will be between the couple, and the less problems they will encounter in life as couple.