Imam Or Image-maker?

Ebou GayeBy Ebou Gaye

Imam or Image-maker?
I am fully convinced that you are well versed in Islamic Studies,
But I very much doubt your sincerity as an Islamic scholar
People ask whether you are really an Imam or an Image-maker,
Based on your recent sermon which many of them see as propaganda
You have apparently swerved to the wrong path,
And hence the need to draw your attention
Khalipha Umar Ibn Khatab (may Allah be pleased with him) once said that a leader and a learned person who are not righteous are a menace to society
This saying befits you and your master
A crooked leader is dangerous in that he abuses his power,
As your master does on daily basis
The danger with an unrighteous learned person is that he deliberately distorts facts,
And can easily influence and mislead people using his knowledge,
As evidenced by the cheers you received from the congregation while delivering the aforementioned sermon
But the latter is more dangerous and worse than the former,
Because his impact is long-lasting
The former is less dangerous to society,
Because he endangers his own life through his misguided acts,
As your master is doing daily,
And ends up perishing or dying miserably,
As is the case with most dictators

Imam or Image-maker?
You expressed your disapproval over a question related to the assassination of a journalist asked by his colleagues,
Saying that those who ask the question should also ask questions about crimes committed by others
Thinking that your argument would prove your master innocent
You have clearly shown your lack of mercy through your utterances
What is expected of you is to pray for the soul of the victim to rest in perfect peace,
And call for justice in that wicked crime
I put it to you that your argument is weak,
Both from the Islamic and constitutional points of view,
And thus beg to differ with you
According to our prophet (may peace be upon him), everybody is a shepherd responsible for what is entrusted to him- KULUKUM RA-IN WA KULUKUM MAS-ULUN AN RA-YATIHEE,
And that an Imam is a shepherd at the mosque, and a landlord a shepherd in the house
It therefore goes without saying that Islam regards the leader of a country as a shepherd responsible for the security and welfare of his people
Your master has sworn by the Holy Qur’an to serve his people without fear or favour, affection or ill-will as enshrined in our constitution
Thus, his reluctance or refusal to track down and punish the perpetrators of the crime can be interpreted as “ill-will” and “fear”,
Violation of oath,
And total disrespect for the Holy Qur’an and the constitution
You cannot prove your master innocent by reminding us that other people have committed crimes,
And the fact that other people have committed crimes does not give your master the licence to commit or condone crimes as you implied
A crime is a crime irrespective of who has committed it,
But it is worse when committed or endorsed by someone who is expected to combat or prevent it like your master
Those who try to know the killers of the journalist or dig out information on the issue are well justified
It is proper for the members of a profession to sympathize with each other,
And fight for the rights of offended or victimized colleagues

Imam or Image-maker?
You insinuated that journalists who criticize your master are sponsored by the West,
And that they refrain from criticizing the West in order not to lose money
My response to you in this regard is that not everybody is materially-minded,
Like you who blatantly defend injustice for material gain,
And your master who is engaged in chequebook diplomacy to line his pockets,
Befriending countries that dish out money without conditions attached,
Unlike the US and the members of the EU that demand respect for democracy and human rights,
Which your master finds extremely difficult to meet
Journalism is not a lucrative or plum job
It involves more sacrifices than material gains
It is very risky due to the intolerance of leaders like your master

Imam or Image-maker?
You praised your master highly for changing the work schedule of the public sector making Friday day off using Islam as justification,
Citing the Qur’anic verse that urges people to close business and hurry up to the mosque in remembrance of Allah when the call is made for prayer on Friday,
As a way of defending the unpopular declaration of your master
Your master’s decision was a rash, unilateral one,
For which reason he had to make amendments twice exempting some government institutions and departments
Your master’s behaviour contradicts the Glorious Qur’an which encourages consultation,
As in the verses “Consult them in the matter”- SHAAWIRHUM FIL ALRI,
And “They (the Muslims during the time of the venerable prophet) conducted their affairs based on consultation- INA AMRAHUM ASHAWRAA
The verse you quoted to back your master’s decision does not say that Friday is a rest day in Islam,
As it has mentioned the closure of business when the time is up for Friday prayer,
Indicating that people are allowed to conduct business as usual before and after Friday prayer
Islam recommends that we strike a balance between work and worship, As substantiated by the saying “Work hard for your benefit in this world as though you will live for ever, and work hard in preparation for your life in the next world as if you are going to die tomorrow”- IMAL LIDUNYAAKA KA-ANAKA TA-ESHU ABADAN, WA IMAL LI AAKHIRATIKA KA ANAKA TAMUUTU GHADAN
Evidently, it is improper, imprudent and irresponsible for your master to make such a decision under the guise of Islam
His act is hypocritical
He would not persecute Imams if he was genuinely interested in the practice of the teachings of Islam as he wants to make us believe

Imam or Image-maker?
You called on people to treat your master with respect,
Lamenting that they insult him,
Cautioning them to desist from insulting him,
Saying that those who insult their leaders are bound for hell fire
Respect is reciprocated but not earned merely by virtue of position or status,
Nor can it be forced as your master believes,
Therefore, your master should respect people if he expects them to treat him with respect
I do not approve of insulting,
But I understand that those who insult your master do it in reaction to his derogatory remarks, foul language and other forms of oppression
Your master can save himself from insults by addressing people in a polite, diplomatic manner,
As our prophet urged us in his saying “A nice word is charity”- KALIMATUN TAYIBATUN SADAQATUN,
Treating them with justice,
And avoiding oppression in all its shapes and forms
People who insult your master may meet him in hell fire if they go there,
As he is undeniably an oppressor,
And Allah has said plainly in the Holy Qur’an that a very severe punishment awaits oppressors- ASDHAALIMUUNA A-ADA LAAHU LAHUM ATHAABAN ALEEMAN

Imam or Image-maker?
You thanked your master and prayed to Allah to bless him
I thank Allah and pray to Him to guide you and your master
I also pray to Allah to bless our country as a whole and shower His mercy on the victims of your master in particular
Stop glorifying and mystifying your master,
And always remember the Islamic saying that the best Jihad (fight in the cause of Allah) is to tell the truth in front of a tyrant
Bear in mind that your master has imposed himself on his people by staging a coup d’état to mount power,
And that we have been told in Islam that Allah curses a person leading people who do not like him
On a final note, I exhort you to abide by the Islamic principle that we should not be loyal to a creature (human being) to the extent of being disloyal to the Creator (Allah)- LAA TAA-ATA LIL MUKHLUUQI FI MA-ASIATIL KHAALIQI

NB: This piece was first published on 10 February 2013


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *