But when the fruits of efforts began to bud, the love of enjoyment set in. Rulers began to revel in music and drink, creating bands of court attendants, adorning expensive robes and gold, hosting lavish banquets at the expense of their religious obligations. Scholars who tried to warn were either banished or imprisoned for their effrontery of trying to caution or correct the excesses of the royal courts. In this context, division arose in the body of the Ummah, between the supporters of the royalty, that is the court jesters and yesmen and the followers of the scholars and men of devotion. This division is still prevalent in the Muslim world of today.
Those who call to reform are branded as extremists. Unfortunately, this division is at the root of the hardening of stances, multiplication of notions and ideas of change, infiltration of the camps of muslims by hypocrites and exploiters. Not just the Muslim world is suffering from this crisis and division; the entire world is, as camps of supporters are erected behind the two groups all over the world. This is the reality of the contemporary international geopolitics as it affects the Muslim World. This is why the superpowers maintain military high commands in the gulf of Arabia; why the war against terrorism is uneding even when the countries of the Muslim world are trying to use their own initiatives to restore peace in their lands.
The example of Egypt is one case where the Ikhwan, a reform movement with offshoot in the early 20s was the most hounded with its leaders inflicted with worst punishment including hanging, exile, imprisonment and assassination of its activists. But the vanguards of corruption, oppression and exploitation shut all the doors of virtues in the society in the name of modernism and freedom, while promoting debauchery and licentiousness. Check out the circumstances of the war in Iran and Iraq, the invasion of Kuwait, the crisis in Afghanistan and other revolts in the Arab and the Muslim World.
The extent to which today’s muslims live according to the dictates of Islam, in ensuring justice and equity in the society as well as individual discipline and integrity, measure the depth of peace they enjoy and the goodness they spread to the rest of the world. This is the Islamiqueness I am referring to. So, if a country with a large muslim presence is not rich or developed, it is because the muslims there have not lived according to the precepts of Islam which emphasize integrity, hard work, morality, justice and peace. It is because they lack the islamiqueness of the early muslims. Today’s Muslims must therefore rise to advance the cause of peace, progress and development wherever they find themselves. This is a special call on Nigerian muslims as well. They must lead or participate actively in the process of inspiring CHANGE AND DEVELOPMENT in the country. This is an Islamic duty.