By Haroon Balogun
The Holy Quran sees human beings as vicegerents of God on the earth. Among these representatives are also those whom Allah has placed in various positions of authority or chosen to direct and lead the affairs of other humans. This is in recognition of the fact that every human being needs a unifying and driving force for success which is placed on the shoulders of the leaders among them. It is on that premise that the progress and development of any nation rest upon the stature of its leaders.
Therefore, it is behooves on whoever has become a leader to strive always to do what is right, guide and direct people to the path of glory and of course warn them against impiety. These set of people must have the necessary skills, principles and tools to lead their lives and others to glory.
Politics and religion
In Nigeria today, unfortunately, we have found ourselves at the threshold of misgovernance, insecurity and poverty merely because of bad leadership. The politicians linger in their ride of corruption, looting with impunity and squandermania just as they expose us to dangers of insecurity. The Imams and Pastors that would have helped to salvage what is left from our honour have also compromised their positions.
As the hullabaloo about the N6billion gift to some pastors is yet to fizzle out, the President continues to tour churches, campaigning for votes. The Pastors have also failed to tell him the gospel truth. Instead, the houses of worships have not only become abetment to the myriads of lies being churned out to Nigerians but have also become a place where our leaders whip religious sentiments to override the common destiny of our people.
If Boko Haram wants to take over Nigeria, it is enough to be a campaign issue only in the Churches so that all Christians will see it as a religious duel. No doubt, this is another political gaffe from a President of heterogeneous and multi-religious Nigerians. I donft know when it has become the duties of these religious bodies to endorse candidates in standing for election? What message would that convey to the Muslims?
Although many of us are not unaware of the machinations of the non-Muslims to continue to press for leadership based on faith inclination. In Lagos recently, the CAN campaigned for a Christian governor and they ensured they have them in the two major candidates contesting for the seat. They followed up with a visit recently to one of the candidates fanning the embers of religion and attempting to redefine how people choose their leaders which were hitherto devoid of religious sentiments.
When the results of all these horseplay and shenanigans to put to the front burner, religious consideration in our affairs begin to manifest in its negative sense, they will be held responsible. The Prophet of Islam warned that: ”Each of you is a shepherd, and all of you are responsible for your flocks.” (Saheeh Al-Bukhari, Saheeh Muslim). The Bible in Jeremiah 23: vrs 1 says ”Woe to the shepherds who destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture, declares the Lord.”
Both the cleric and political leaders order righteousness of the people and yet they do a different thing. The Quran Chapter 2 vrs 44 was apt in admonishing these kinds of leaders. Do you order righteousness of the people and forget yourselves while you recite the Scripture? Then will you not reason? A cleric is expected to command the authority of those who wants the presence of God and benefit graciously from his conduct and whole life.
In addition, a cleric or Imam is one whose personality, already in this world, has a divine aspect; his dealings with God and man, his implementation of all the devotional, ethical and social precepts of Godfs religion, furnish a complete pattern and model for imitation. It is the cleric who guides the movement of men toward perfection.
Glory and power
The Quran says whoever desires glory and power, – to Allah belong all glory and power. To Him mount up (all) Words of Purity: It is He Who exalts each Deed of Righteousness. Those that lay Plots of Evil,- for them are a Penalty terrible; and the plotting of such will be void (of result). (Quran 35:10) Another chapter of the Holy Quran says:hSay: O Allah, Lord of power! You give power to whom You please, and You remove from power whom You please. You give honor to whom You please and
You disgrace whom You please. In Your hand is all Good. Indeed, over all things You have power.h (Qurfan 3:26) Allah instructed us to fulfill our pledges, our promises and commitments. If we make a promise, we have to fulfill it. In Surah Al-Mufminun (The Believers), Allah says “Those who are faithfully true to their trusts and to their covenants; and those who strictly guard their prayers. These are indeed the inheritors who shall inherit Paradise.” (Qurfan, 23:8-11)
We should remember that our beloved Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w) was called ”Al-Amin”: The Trustworthy. He fulfilled all of his promises from his childhood until his death. He never betrayed anyone, and he never lied in his life. While those who are in positions of authority are enjoined to rule with the fear of God, truth and fairness to all, all religious leaders should live by what they preach, practice the tenets of the religion as espoused in the scriptures and not according to their whims and interest. This is the only way of not incurring the wrath of God.