Category Archives: Thotz

The Concept of Debt in Islam.

This post is dedicated to a friend, who passed away on the first day of Ramadan (Thursday 17th May, 2018). Please say a prayer for Sanusi Mukhtar. May the blessings accruing to me from the knowledge of those who read this article be transferred to him (A’ameen).

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While going through tributes for Mukhtar on Facebook, a particular one struck me. He was one who constantly remembered death while he was alive. A particular act of his was peculiar. Before he travelled, he cleared his debts. Only one who is knowledgeable enough about the deem would know the importance of this singular act.

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The Amasa Dialogue.

OLU: She didn’t want to be a lawyer in the first place.
KAYODE: Who?
OLU: The lady who refused to remove her hijab at the Call to Bar ceremony.

KAYODE: Oh! Why did you say that?

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Thank You, Dr Stella Adadevoh!

On July 21, 2014, I was in Calabar, peacefully engaged in the compulsory service to Nigeria. Meanwhile, hundreds of kilometres away, a certain woman saved me from getting infected with a deadly virus with a fatality rate of about 90%. In the year 30 AD, it is believed in Christianity that a man gave himself way to be killed so that many others, even those unborn, might be saved. The man’s name was Jesus Christ. In 2014, many centuries later in Nigeria, this doctor, with the knowledge of a possible infection and death, saved a nation from an epidemic called ebola. Her name was Stella Adadevoh. This viral outbreak had turned Liberia and Sierra Leone to pariah countries. Although, it is probable for this selfless act to get lost in the political wrangling between the state government and the federal government on who takes the credit for the eradication of ebola (who could blame them though it was an election season), but some of us choose to remember Dr Adadevoh’s as the singular person who even made the glory to be sought available in the first place.

Under pressure from an international government to release the patient zero, Patrick Sawyer, from the hospital, she stood her ground to save her countrymen and the most populous black nation on earth. Her great grandfather Herbert Macaulay had fought for Nigeria’s independence more than 50 years earlier. A country like ours would have been the most perfect breeding ground for the virus to fester. We come in contact with bodily fluids at every turn- the headrest on the danfo, the alabaru at Oyingbo brushing you with his sweaty arm, the ablution area in most mosques. The devastation would have been deadlier than Liberia’s. The health sector which had collapsed would never have been prepared. The strike embarked by doctors then proved to be a blessing in disguise as it ensured that Sawyer was not taken to the government hospitals which are always crowded, thus, risking more people getting infected. This makes Adadevoh’s act more prominent and heroic. Not a virologist herself, she could have run to save her life when Sawyer chose to deliberately infect others by spilling his blood and other body fluids in his room. But she chose to stay to restrain the patient- a decision which proved fatal. On August 19, 2014, she fell to the deadly virus.

Finally, in a society that fails to reward valiant actions, it is noteworthy to remember Dr Adadevoh on this anniversary of her death. Ma’am, thank you for saving us from an impending doom. Your sacrifice will not be forgotten in this corner.

Not all heroes wear capes; some are in lab coats.

Image sources: DRASA and naptu2

House of Cards- Terror Unleashed

‘We don’t submit to terror; we make the terror’- Frank Underwood, House of Cards S04E13

They think we’re cornered. Their champagnes are waiting to be popped. Conway thinks his youthful ebullience, budding popularity and his social media exploits can match our experience and combined will, Claire. Hammerschmidt believes his article will change the tide and put us down. Remy and Jackie, breathing each other’s breath after a romp, think they’ve gotten back at us.

They’re all mistaken. This is a battle of survival and we hold a chunk of the ammunition. First off, let’s start with terror. Let’s attack the people’s minds. They’ll have no messiah to run to. All they’ll meet is us, Claire. Oh! Do they think Jim’s slaughter would be a one-off? Nah. We’re at war. Enemies come at us from all sides- like wolves encircle a wounded prey. But this prey isn’t done living yet.

America thought she had seen terror. How naive! No, that was the preamble. The real terror is about to begin!

This is what I envisioned would be Frank’s words to Claire in the East Sitting Hall on the evening after watching the killing of the Jim Miller.
The Underwoods now have to fight like they have never fought before. All their experiences and links in Washington and beyond would be deployed. Season 5 will be premiered on May 30, 2017. I believe Frank in his full glory of ruthless pragmatism will be seen in this season.

Nigeria’s Underwood.

I can’t wait, fam!

Islam Awareness: If Not You, Who? 

Back in secondary school, I was asked a seemingly funny question by a classmate. He asked, ‘Why do Muslims worship the moon?’. Taken aback, I bursted into laughter and asked Victor why he would think that. His reply was that he had been told that numerous times and that is why Muslims have the crescent on their emblem. Years later, more matured and armed with life experiences, I realize that Victor is not to blame- he only echoed what he was being exposed to.

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In this age and time, the perception of Islam in the world is one in which a Muslim is not proud of. The perception of the deen as a violent, ignorant and backward religion permeates the polity. Right now, a Muslim, with his/her identifiable wear, is viewed with suspicion. Acts of terrorism taken in any part of the world have seen many innocent Muslims take a defensive stance. Many have been maimed and killed for being in the same religion with terrorists. The media has also not helped- with terminologies like Islamic terrorists and Islamic extremists, more people believe Islam is synonymous to a blood-thirsty monster.

According to Andrew Smith, people fear what they don’t understand and hate what they can’t conquer. Many of the people who antagonize Islam do so out of ignorance and few do it out of sheer wickedness. Using Smith’s quote, Islam can be seen as an unconquerable force that should be a source of pride for its adherents. However, despite this, it is still misunderstood.

The quest for changing mindsets about Islam should start with a conscious attempt at doing so. A working strategy should be in place. One of such is to embark on a massive intellectual discourse to change this notion. As it is widely held that it is the rain that grows flowers, not thunder, we need to raise our words and not our voice. It is not until one goes about shouting about how the deen is against all what it has been accused of that one reaches his desires.

In furtherance to this, one doesn’t need to be a conventional and professional writer for him to be able to make a difference. In this age of internet and the social media, a single blog post, tweet or status update can go a long way in educating the target audience. The social media has proven over time to be capable of influencing political and other important decisions. Moreover, this same internet have been used by enemies of Islam hiding under the guise of anonymity to misinform people about Islam. It will only be logical to use the same turf to elucidate what Islam really means.

It is pertinent to know that writing and informing people about Islam does not only target non-Muslims, Muslims and Muslimahs are also quite important target audience. The dearth of knowledge and/or laziness of the Ummah has greatly made many Muslims to be misguided. This unfortunate misguidance makes many to create innovations in the deen, thus, bid’ah is practised. The consequence of this is that even many innocent Muslims and would-be Muslims see these practices as being ordained by Allah and his Prophet.

Engaging in Islamic discussions geared at propagating pristine Islam requires each adherent to have a sound knowledge of the deen. Questions will be asked, both innocent and inciting ones. It is the knowledge that is reposited in the Islamic preacher that makes way for him in such situations. As Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) said ‘Searching for knowledge is compulsory on all Muslims and Muslimah’. Seeking Knowledge in order to propagate Islam is a vital aspect of a healthy eeman.

Finally, even though Allah will protect His religion from mischievous acts, we should remember that He is also going to question us on the Day of Recompense how we used what He gave us (time, intellect inclusive). So, instead of waiting for your Imam to preach on the mimbar during Jumu’ah, you should realise that you also can do more to preach Islam to where your Imam’s voice cannot reach.

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This post was written by me more than a year ago for an Islamic magazine but it went unpublished. Came across it minutes ago, lying in my Evernote.

Peep how this lady responded when asked why Muslims do not condemn terrorism. 

Image credit: equranforyou.com

Ooni, His Heavenly Father & Other Issues

Few nights ago, Twitter was agog with tweets about the Ooni. The Ooni had come under the radar after a video of him proclaiming Jesus Christ as his father had surfaced online. While some supported this, many others condemned it. I was indifferent until some tweets started springing up. These tweets caught my attention and pricked me. Twitter, being a conglomeration of people with different background, undermining, intentionally or not, of the king and/or the institution he represents was bound to happen.

His coronation about a year ago was greeted with much enthusiasm because as a modern and wealthy young man, he was more positioned to open to development, the sleepy, ancient town of Ile-Ife. His effort in unifying the Yoruba monarchs is immensely applauded. In an interview of his I watched, he claimed to have opened up hitherto sacred sites in Ile Ife for tourism. This will further open up the town to visits.

His travels around the world have raised concerns though. The monarch has visited quite a number of people including Atiku Abubakar and the Jagaban, Bola Tinubu; both of whom are politicians. However, his visit to footballer, Obafemi Martins seemed odd though. It raised a number of eyebrows. In the aforementioned interview, he admitted to be quite restless and a traveller when he was a private citizen, thus, giving the explanation for his bouts of travels.

PRESIDENT BUHARI RECEIVES OONI OF IFE

Columbus who?

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Social Media: Promises & Pains.

The 2015 elections have come and gone. But events that happened during the campaigns still make me think of how far we’ve gone. An aspect of the campaign that was rampantly used was the massive use of the social media. This is the first time that the virtual world would have a great influence on our electoral process. Even politicians that do not know anything about the internet created social media profiles.

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And why not?

With a sizeable number of the population classified as youths and a large percentage of such found on the internet, it was only logical to take the campaigns to their doorsteps, literally. For a few years now, the social media have influenced politics in the world (side eye to the Arab Spring). Here at home, the #OccupyNigeria protests can be referenced. The social media has also been used for meritorious and charitable causes. Funds have been generated via Twitter for those with medical and social needs.
With all these promises come side effects. During the electoral processes, the heavy use of the social media gave way for the use of propaganda. While propaganda isn’t a bad concept on its own, the use of same for misinformation evokes anger in me. Because of the wide reach of the internet, a tweet made in the corner of my mosquito-infested room in Iresa-Adu village in Oyo state can influence the thought process and decision of someone in her mansion in Eket, Akwa Ibom. Such is the power of the social media. This is in sharp contrast with the propaganda peddled at newspaper joints. That one is localized.
Then, there are the overlords. This is quite common on Twitter. These are tweeps with demagogic tendencies. During the 2015 electoral processes, they had minions who nod in approval to whatever they tweet.

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et tu, Nasir?

Their influence might be derived from their follower count (which runs into several thousands), number of tweets (usually into tens/hundreds of thousands), sense of humour et al. These are the ones that the politicians use in achieving their aims. Their ability to create trending topics make them useful tools for politicians.

Another source of misinformation today is because of the proliferation of blogs. Anyone, sane or not, with internet access is able to open a blog and fuelled by the quest for AdSense money, traffic must be generated at any cost, even on a platter of integrity. Thus, outrageous news items are formulated. My ‘homemade’ antidote to this is to before reading a news item check the source- a funny name & it’s off my reading list. The politicians now use the social media to control the narratives, so as to condition the mind of the people towards a direction. Thus, claims and rebuttals are norms here. It’s now difficult to trust the news I read online now. Or maybe my standards are high- justifiably so. If you’re in the business of informing people, you hold the power to shape their mindset.

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1- Armoured tank?? 2- Must be another Lagos.

Oh heck! You can create a mass hysteria. Thus, if I’m going to give you that power, it has to be deserved.

Looking for credible news in the myriad of blogs now seems like “looking for a needle in a haystack”. How do you find it?- Bring a damn magnet!

Social Media Bill?

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Problem is... @SegunObasanjo is a parody account.

Hakeem.