I wrote about the Prophet on this page last week. As if it was an inspiration, I will have to continue with the same theme. Though my initial plan was to discuss a different thing entirely, but I don’t know how not to put my weight behind the Prophet (SAW). Really, we live in a country where issues fall upon issues; as we can see, the fugitiveness of Igboho is ignorantly liken to the migration of our noble Prophet (SAW).
I think it is impossible for a columnist (at least in Nigeria) not to have what to write on. He may, however, be stuck in confusion on choosing what to write on in the midst of arrays of issues. So when the news of this extremely opposing comparison—of an idolater with the noble monotheist—broke out, I quickly made a U-turn and jettisoned all other thoughts. The personality of the Prophet (SAW) and his essence is essentially essential. Thus, it is beyond comparison.
My caring Muhammad who is sent as a mercy to all creatures cannot be compared; he is uncomparable and incomparable to all the Igbohos of this world. The mentality of Igboho is divisive, disuniting, disintegrating, chaotic, nihilistic, atavistic, and it is the best recipe for any peaceful union/polity/federation who covets disintegration. How can this be compared with the Prophet whose mentality George Bernard Shaw, (a British playwright) unprejudicedly admitted that the world is in the utmost need of? He said: “The world is in the utmost need of a man with the mentality of Muhammad”. This comparison is too outrageous.
Let it be known to Afenifere that Muhammad is the greatest man that ever lived. This truth may be uncomfortably bitter; but it has to be said using the clearest language—no matter how discomforting it is to Afenifere. In his justification of ranking Muhammad as the most influential man of the 100 influential persons in history, Prof. Michael Hart (an American Christian and white separatist) writes; Muhammad “was the only man in history who was supremely successful on both religious and secular levels”
Igboho? Haha! Someone who covers himself with the mantle of fetishism in his tribal idolatry cocoon is compared with the Prophet? This is the height of absurdity. Alphonse De Lamartine (the great French poet) in his book ‘History of Turkey’ apparently awed by the personality of the Prophet asked: “if greatness of purpose, smallness of means and astounding results are the three criteria of human genius, who could dare to compare any great man in modern history than Muhammad?” Only the uninformed of course. Afenifere, though out of ignorance, dared comparing Igboho with the Prophet. It is high time they broke their shackles of ignorance and read about this great man (Muhammad).
As if Annie Besant (a British socialist) had the Afenifere and their ilks in mind when she said in her book ‘The Life and Teaching of Muhammad’: “It is impossible for anyone who studies the life and character of the great Prophet of Arabia,…, to feel anything but reverence for that mighty Prophet, one of the messengers of the Supreme.” I hope those who denigrate women as senseless beings can see the sense in Annie’s observation. Afenifere lacks this sense of understanding the greatness of our noble Prophet (SAW).
On a lighter note, Afenifere should mention any known feature of Igboho (in comparison with the Prophet) aside from what looks like the extra large tiger inflicted wound on his cheek which the Yorubas called tribal marks. Oh! I am a Yoruba too, apology all Yorubas carrying (or rather wearing) tribal marks. This is unlawful and seriously frowned at in Islam. Because Islam is neither tribalistic nor is it nationalistic, tribal marks that distinguish one tribe from the other is antithetical to the universalistic and humanistic outlook of Islam.
In my last week column titled ‘Dreaming of the Prophet: A Unique Case of Dr. Muhsin Khan’, I wrote: “the Prophet is unique in the sense that none of the great people of the past had their physical features so preserved like that of the Prophet (SAW)”. If anything would be preserved in Igboho; that should be his tribal marks.
In fairness to Ighoho, he has never, as far as I know, compared himself with the Prophet. And his freedom fighting campaign as far as I am concerned is also not against democracy—a system which inherently tolerates agitation for separation and even makes provision for it. It is the reason why I am not enthused to write on secessionists and their agitations. What they are actually agitating for is what is called (if we fine tune it) nationalism. Though this concept has always been associated positively with figures like Awolowo, Azikwe, Balewa etc as nationalists, it is nevertheless a nihilistic concept—from the Islamic perspective.
Frankly, nationalism, and allied concepts, is the sole reason why the Yorubas continue to think they are better than the Hausas and the latter think they are better than the Ibos and vice versa. Every major ethnic group thinks it is better that the minor ones. This thinking is not only unscientific, it is ‘stone aged’ and primordial which should not be associated with any schooled persons (and the unschooled people) who are capable of thinking.
I said Ighoho never compared himself with the Prophet but Afenifere to which he is a strong member did. How can Afenifere compare an animistic, demonic idolater with the Prophet whose mission is to sanitize the world from all fetishist traits and traces?
Note that Igboho and Afenifere have their constitutional rights to bow (in adoration) before their self made wooden or rocky idols which they normally lace with assorted dirt and red oil that ooze out a strong stench; and surrounded by maggot-ridden-left-over-foods which are not palatable—even to dogs. This is one of the ‘beauties’ of democracy. The right the Constitution does not grant them is to compare such idol worshipping freedom fighter with the person of the Prophet and anything the Prophet stands for.
The Prophet with whom Igboho was compared was never disappointed by his Creator. How do you describe the seriousness of the disappointment of a fugitive whose idolatry power to magically disappear failed him all of a sudden? The Afenifere should have sued their idols to court. The court should have been presided over by Orunmila, assisted by Justice Ogun, Shango, Oya, Obatala to seek Justice for Igboho for the disgrace and untold hardship their inability to make him disappear caused him in Benin Republic. If they cannot do this, then they should bury their heads in shame rather than making a comparison that is not it.
Delving into some of the dissimilarities between Ighoho and the Prophet would mean regurgitating what Sanusi Lafiagi and Rasheed Abubakar wrote in their rebuttals. These, in my assessment, are topnotch refutations. My regret—and I hope Allah will forgive me—is mentioning the Prophet’s name on the same page with Igboho. O Allah, please forgive me and other writers in the same camp—it is just to educate the Afenifere.
Is it even Afenifere that should take all the blame? What of our leaders whose corrupt sense of justice that manifests itself in the nepotistic manner in which they steer the affairs of this country? If the OGA at the TOP had ruled with justice and equity, people like Igboho or Afenifere would not grow wings. We pray to Allah to guide our leaders who could not make the terrorists (who kidnapped our Islaamiyah kids) cry like babies for about two months on Nigerian territory. But they boast to have captured the crying-like-a-baby’s Igboho in a foreign land. What a shame!