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Opinions of Saturday, 16 April 2016

Columnist: Al-Hassan, Al-Amin

Another low in the politicization of our faith

Al-Amin Al-Hassan (Hassan)

In a bizarre desperation for political power the Brong Ahafo Regional Minister Eric Opoku in a meeting with NDC functionaries, Imams and chiefs in the Asunafo South constituency has elected to preach to OUR IMAMS on divisiveness; he is reported to have stated that all Muslims who align to the NPP are fake Muslims, asserting that Suratu al-Fil (Quran 105) advises Muslims to stay clear of the elephant [Atinka FM, 13/04/2016]

Is it not an indictment on our values as a people that a politician (a non-Muslim) has found space on the altar of politics to preach to Muslims on who is a true Muslim and who is not? How unfortunate! How low could it get before we realised as Muslims that we could not be divided by political gerrymandering by a bunch whose interest is in our votes not our livelihoods nor the advancement of our communities?

In this shabby display of vacuous nonsense and disrespect to the Muslim it beggars the question: And what did our Imams do or say when the bedrock of our faith was being twisted for party political capital? Did they leave the scene thinking the minister was right or did they confront him? Pathetic!

Suratu al-Fil, translates as:
Bismi Llaahir Rahmanir Raheem
• Seest thou not (have you not seen, oh Muhammed PBUH) how thy Lord dealt with the Companions of the Elephant?
• Did He not make their treacherous plan go astray?
• And he sent against them Flights of Birds,
• Striking them with stones of baked clay
• Then He make them like an empty field of stalks and straw (of which the corn) has been eaten up

The historical narrative behind this chapter (sababi nuzuul) as established in Islam is the incidence when Allah (SW) decimated the army of Abrahah (a Yemeni regent of the King of Abyssinia - Ethiopia) when Abrahah marched to destroy Kahbah. He had built a magnificent cathedral in Yemen and sought to have Arabs make pilgrimage to the cathedral rather than in Mecca, with the objective of maximising trade and benefits to Yemen, which angered the Arabs. Abrahah’s army of 6000 strong and 13 elephants were pelted by birds with petrified clay.

This was an early Meccan Surah (surah al-Makkiyah) whose import was to pre-warn the neo Meccan objectors to Prophet Muhammed (PBUH) and Islam that if they (the ojectors) intend to supress the Prophet’s call to Islam through force, they should remember what Allah has done to Abrahah’s army.

So, WHERE IN THIS CHAPTER AND ITS BACKGROUND AS GIVEN, DID ALLAH ADMONISH US MUSLIMS TO STAY CLEAR OF THE ELEPHANT?

Clearly, the NDC has succeeded in mixing too much politics with the national economics. They are now charting new frontiers in religion beginning with Muslims; they claim to be pro Muslim but actually diluting our values. In fairness to all, the party that has presented Muslims with a vice president of the state is the NPP (Alhaji Aliu Mahama, late). The closest the NDC had come to producing a Muslim vice presidential material is to nominate Alhaji Muhammed Mumuni as a candidate who they quickly dropped following one electoral defeat. The NPP boasts a consistent faith in a Muslim vice presidential candidate for twelve years. In Dr Mahmudu Bawumia they have not only a Northerner but a fully blown practicing Muslim, adjudged by all Muslims (including members of the NDC) the Muslim political personality of the year 2015.

As Muslims we have to be wary of cheap politics. We need a new socio-political framework which recognises that not only are we interested in our politics but that we are individuals with rights to choose. It is one thing doing politics with zongocentrism; it is a completely different ball game seeking cheap political points via dilution of Islam, a faith that defines our very existence.

Calling all Muslim sympathisers of the NPP fake by virtue of a politically desperate and perverted interpretation of the Holy Quran is the lowest any sane individual could descend. It is wrong; it is contemptible; it is vile; it is completely condemnable.

Al-Amin Al-Hassan
Nasara NPP UK