FEATURE ARTICLE

Monday, March 23, 2020
ijebujesa@yahoo.co.uk
Ijebu-Jesa, Osun State
RELIGION IS NOT A MAN'S PROBLEM, MAN IS THE PROBLEM OF RELIGION

"Religion is not a man's problem, man is the problem of religion." - Ayodele Oyewole Adabale

"Common sense is expected to be in high demand but it's very limited in our world. Only those who have it are in short supply" -- Yahaya Balogun

ye the religious bigots; adherents but ungodly, the first basis for your deliberate ignorance is in this verse from the Holy Quran: it is self-evident and self-explanatory:

"O you who have faith! Obey Allah and obey those vested with authority among you.
Q:1 vs 159!"

Isaiah 26:20-21 King James Version (KJV):

20: "Come, my people, enter thou into thy chambers, and shut thy doors about thee: hide thyself as it were for a little moment until the indignation (of plague) be overpast."

21: "For, behold, the Lord cometh out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity: the earth also shall disclose her blood, and shall no more cover her slain."

In a nutshell, Coronavirus as an existential threat to humanity, this menace seems to be an instructive message to the world. The world is thriving in self-hate, iniquities, deception and antisocial norms! Hate, resentment, and indignation are social norms ravaging our socialization. This writer is not a priest but a pragmatic Muslim with no dogmatic stance on religion. Religion is common sense. Faith is also a common sense. Man's selfish interpretations of religious books are more contagious than coronavirus or other debilitating diseases in the world. In our subconscious minds, God has given us the grace to discern good from the bad. But man out of selfish motives has given way to worldly affairs.

What is motivating people to be lawless and wanton in blasphemy in Africa? Quran and Hadith explicitly enjoy us to obey the authority in times of crisis! No matter how bad our leaders might be, we are obligated to listen to their advice and directives! Flagrant disobedience to authority is not only a sin, but it's also blasphemy against the Almighty Allah! How some Nigerians wanton in blissful ignorance and deliberate indifference to other people's health and lives is terrifying, appalling and very disheartening!

Meanwhile, with the evolving revelation, religion is not the problem of the world, man is the culprit despoiling religion. Man makes religion a cannon fodder to do evil things. The easiest way to cunningly thrive in any society is to use religion as a catalyst to achieve odious objectives. Blessed are for the pious people like the late Professor Pius Adesanmi. He was a literary prophet among the literati. The erudite Professor once espoused, and I will like to rephrase his words: man's psychology is his deadliest enemy. All you need is to rewire the already wired psychology. Once you shout "in the name of God/Allah" into the psychology of pseudo-religious man, every other thing you want shall be added unto the vulnerable brains.

The good news is that religion shall not perish from the surface of the earth but the imminent fine-tuning of religion is inevitable! At that time, if we are still alive, it will bring understanding and amity to the beleaguered world. No one will be able to manipulate others to follow him or her sheepishly with no common sense to worship God/Allah. In the human's existential parameters, religion will be a means to an end but not an end to itself!

Time is of the essence of any test. We should all stand for the test of time in our individual and collective decisions. Some Nigerian religious leaders are in the test of time! How these shepherd commands their gullible flock or sheep to obey the constituted authority during national and international emergencies defines who they are! The sanctuary of Almighty Allah resides in our (brains) minds and souls. We can worship Allah in our mindfulness without being agents or carriers of blighted virus or disease! Coagulation of followers for "Assalatu" in whatever form in Nigeria is not only idiotic but senseless, irresponsible and insensitive to rational norms and other people's lives.

The best way to stop the spread of any mild and contagious diseases anywhere is to observe "social distancing" and take necessary and precautionary measures to save other people's lives. What is motivating some Nigerians to flagrantly disobey common-sense directive is beyond imagination! Africa is indeed in a quandary of self-destruct and deliberate ignorance!

To those who want to listen:

  1. Listen to stakeholders' instructions on COVID-19.

  2. Wash your hands regularly, hourly and intermittently to prevent the spread of COVID-19.

  3. Observe social distancing, this is not the time to physically socialize irresponsibly!

  4. Self-isolate or quarantine yourself if you feel you have socially interacted with suspected carriers of COVID-19.

  5. LET'S DO SAFE ASSALATU, CHURCH ACTIVITIES AND PRAY RESPONSIBLY!

Instructively, all activities at the Ka'aba and Mosques in Saudi Arabia have been suspended pending the curb to the Coronavirus menace ravaging the world. The Vatican has also closed all Mass activities in Rome. More than a dozen priests have died in Italy from Coronavirus! Why are Nigerians and Africans more saint and pious than the sainthood of Rome and the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia respectively? Religious leaders are more accountable to Allah in the hereafter. Religious leaders will give account on how they've (mis)managed and (mis)interpreted the words of God to their followers in times of existential crisis and plagues threatening the world. Religions are not culprits, some bigots that practice religions are the culprits!

The pertinent question is that who will save the beleaguered continent of Africa? A million-dollar question!

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