By Ibrahim Usman At the close of a seminar organized by the Business Forum (Ahlul Duthur) of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria in Kano, Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky says the effect of an ailing economy is negatively affecting all facets of existence of average Nigerians, and charged people to be awakened and take control of their affairs.
According to Sheikh Zakzaky, “The ailing economy in Nigeria has destroyed health, education and business sectors, thereby eating deep into all fabrics of the society and rendered the people inept”.
He pointed out that, in the past when public service was good, businesses flourished smoothly as public servants were adequately paid and civil servants were putting their best for their country. He added that, traders were also dependant on the timely and reasonable salary paid civil servants for their businesses to flourish.
He however laments that, with the current non-monetized and unstable economy, public servants now take pride in unnecessary accumulation of money without corresponding delivery of goods and services, taking a leaf from the corrupt leaders.
“Money is only but a means of exchange with which goods and services are valued. Nigerians now want money without the corresponding services in exchange. This is disservice. This is also why there is no effective service delivery, there is only mad rush for accumulation of money, and rush for oil. Everyone in Nigeria is now an oil merchant, and the leaders destroy the country by siphoning money in an unprecedented manner. This is why so much money is printed haphazardly and is in circulation, but amidst poverty”, said Sheikh Zakzaky.
The Leader however said, though the revival of the present economic situation is beyond individual effort, all hope is not lost and therefore charged people to initiate extra effort in taking control of their economic affairs in the little way they can. “From a single step, one can extend into a giant stride. We have to start somewhere”, he stressed.
He cited the example of the charitable acts in the Islamic Republic of Iran, which started before the Islamic revolution and perfected after the ousting of the despotic Shah.
Sheikh Zakzaky further explained that, the first step towards emancipation from economic slavery and wealth creation is lawful earning (Halal), and “not rush for accumulation of money but selfless service to the community. Do not focus on what you can accumulate, but what you can contribute towards community development through legal means”, he added.
Expounding further on the importance of lawful earning, he explained that striving towards legal (Halal) money is a great act of worship, like any other acts of worship such as prayer. “In our perspective, prayer cannot be accepted before Allah with a stolen or illegally acquired water of ablution or prayer mat. Prayer conducted with illegally acquired water for ablution nullifies the ablution and the prayer. Same applies with ritual bath. In fact, Legal means of acquiring any wealth is a prerequisite to acceptance of act of worship”.
He charged members to engage in lawful earning, "not necessarily the kind that brings alot of money, but the kind that benefits the society and acceptable before Allah".
In Nigeria, Sheikh Zakaky further explained, people are terrorized before their money is stolen. The government, he pointed out, terrorizes the citizens to steal their wealth and money. “The annoying part of this is that, they engage in terrorist acts in the name of a particular religion that must be fought at all fronts. The more fear, the more security situation and the more money is released. Foreign companies are gaiing alot out this so-called insecurity in Nigeria. They also kill to sell a newspaper that lost readership and market. Terrorism is now a business enterprise. There is nothing like security challenges in Nigeria, but an enforced and manufactured insecurity by insecurity operatives to actualize an agenda”.
He also said, the security system in Nigeria has woefully failed, and should best be banished.