|Sheikh Zakzaky addresses people in Lafia, closes seminar|
By Ibrahim Usman
Mu’utamar is a moral enhancement seminar organized by the Movement on regular basis, as a ground for moral training and self assessment. The seminar, which started on Thursday, 27th February, 2014, came to a close on Sunday.
As it is the tradition, the period provides a forum for Sheikh Zakzaky to visit some Islamic scholars in the area and deliver open lecture, a night to the close of the seminar. The open lecture took place at the premises of Emir of Lafia’s palace, Saturday night.
During the occasion, Sheikh Zakzaky took time to re-state the mission of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, which he had done during his visit to the city about 35 years ago. He however said, up to this time people are still having some misconceptions and misinterpretations regarding what the Movement stands for or is set to achieve. “We are no different from other Muslims, and at no point in time did we say other people are not Muslims. We pray behind every other Muslim with full conviction, and as well eat their sacrifices. We differ only in the level of commitment to practicalize Islamic laws, and struggle to ensure Islam governs our entire lives. Ours is a commitment to change ourselves and the society in our capacity”, he explains.
Sheikh Zakzaky stated that, man must be grateful to Allah for creating him a human being, and not an animal that can easily be devoured by other animals. “The status of creating us as human beings is the greatest favour to man worthy of appreciation by man to his Creator. Man is the highest status and sign of Allah”. He further stated that, being a Muslim is yet another greatest favour that man should be thankful of, adding that, man without a divine religion to regulate his life is no man at all.
The Leader said, Islam is a combination of three inter-twined manifestations: Internal conviction (from the soul), verbal utterance and practical demonstration (of the latter two manifestations). He further explained that, unlike ethnic or tribal belonging, in which a person belongs by virtue of birth or learning of some set of cultural norms, for one to become a Muslim he must confirm with the three related steps. “Unfortunately here, we confined Islam to a particular ethnic or tribal group. That way, we place Islam in a water-tight compartment, exclusive preserve of a particular set of people”.
Sheikh Zakzaky therefore warned of the dangers associated with the action. “Through this action, we deny other people the right to know and embrace the religion and attain salvation. Do you think we can go free before Allah in the hereafter, should Non-Muslims complained before Allah that we did not call them to the religion of truth and salvation?” He therefore urged Muslims to live up to their responsibility of calling others to the truth by putting into practice that which is enshrined in Islamic books.
He said, more dangerously is the present sad statements by politicians and even religious clergies that, all religions are the same without any difference, that people are worshipping the same God! “We do not have religions. We have only one divine religion, which is Islam! Any other faith professed and promoted as religion, apart from Islam, is man-made. Any professed religion apart from Islam is man’s deviant deviation and distortion on the path of truth. Tell me, should all the Prophets assemble now, will they follow different religions or will they take to one religion? Surely, they will follow one religion, and we are told in Islam the Prophets did assemble behind the Seal of the Prophets (Muhammad) in Baitul Muqaddis under the banner of Islam. All Prophets were sent by Allah to herald the coming of Prophet Muhammad (S) and his message of Islam as the only authentic religion stamped and approved by the Creator of the universe”.
Sheikh Zakzaky said, just as the Muslims are limiting the religion to a particular tribe or region, enemies have now come up with a strategy of branding Islam and Muslims as violent and terrorists. He pointed out that, it is a well calculated agenda to suppress the ever increasing awareness and popularity of Islam across the world. “They are apprehensive that Islam will rule as it did before. If they brand us as non-entity, then why should they be afraid the futile action of a non-entity? Surely, they know quite well, history will repeat itself. This is why they are constantly planning. Surely, it will come to pass, this religion will triumph, justice will prevail”.
At the close of the seminar (Mu’utamar) held at the Lafia Conference Hall, Sheikh Zakzaky explained the rationale behind the Mu’utamar, which he said was to instill in the participants moral training that is expected to serve as a guide toward genuine commitment to Islamic activity and decent living.
He examined the topics treated by scholars during the seminar, which said were appropriate and enriching and hope that participants will use the knowledge for better performance.
Sheikh Zakzaky said, in the cause of Allah people should try to give their utmost best without any reservation. “Do not give little when you have the ability to give more. Try as much as possible to give maximum utility, out of the little you possess, in the service of Allah, while you can”. He pointed out that, it is obvious people are not perfect, but man is imbued with some level of utility that he can render to the best of satisfaction. “Therefore, that little quality, which is an asset Allah has endowed in you, use it to the maximum service of Allah”, he emphasized.
According to the Leader, those in the struggle for the cause of Allah should regard their action as an obligation, not as volunteerism, contributory or even a business enterprise. “We should also go beyond the obligatory acts being practiced by other people, because we chose, with the help of Allah, to be different in level of commitment in the service of the Creator. One should be thankful to Allah for choosing him to serve Him”.
Sheikh Zakzaky cited a Hadith to buttress a point that, for one to attain special position before Allah, he should abstain from sin and bad deeds. He called on participants to use the lessons learnt for constant update of their faith and action.