The Degeneration of the Generation

Bismillaah Ar-Rahmaan Ar-Raheem



(Being excerpts of a sermon delivered by the Chief Imaam, Fountain University, Osogbo, Sheikh Abdul-Hafeez A.A. Adedimeji, in the University Main Mosque on Friday, 22nd of Sha’baan, 1435 A.H. corresponding to 20th June, 2014 C.E.)

My dear muslim brothers and sisters! Prices of commodities are sky-rocketing! The women are walking on the streets half-naked! The mosques are empty! Allaah’s injunctions are not being implemented in the lives of people! Thieves, crooks and fraudulent people are being celebrated, appointed and nominated to occupy the exalted positions meant for men of impeccable character! The so-called honourables are, in fact, devoid of honour and integrity in their handling of affairs of fellow compatriots! The pious people are being castigated, ridiculed and called names that they do not deserve! The Mujaahiduuns are being molested, chained and imprisoned in most countries of the world all in the name of global war against terror!

What we notice is the fact that the leaders and the led are telling themselves what each of the two groups want to hear and not what they need to hear! Deceits, empty promises and exaggerated achievements (the so-called dividends of democracy) are the leaders are feeding the followers with while the followers pay them back with sycophancy, sabotage and double tongue! Our leaders are dealers in the trade of self-esteem and personal aggrandisement. They become elated when they are praised to heavens but they get stroppy when they are served with home truths they deserve to know about themselves! Generally speaking, people are shameless in the way they call others to act in their interests while Allaah’s injunctions and compliance with His dictates are being relegated to the background! Politicians and leaders in positions of authority are busy reminding us through campaigns, jingles and rallies that voting is our right and we should defend our votes on election day but fail to emphasise that wearing hijaabs and praying on time at schools and workplaces are our our rights and we should defend these natural and religious rights? Who is fooling who?!

Dear listeners! Fornication and adultery are gradually being accepted as realities of the modern time while the institution of marriage is being relegated to background as many people prepare to shun it! Women are being encouraged to abandon their traditional role of child rearing and home management in the name of women emancipation and sexual equality! (The international Beijing Conference of 1994 resolved that women worldwide should be giving 35% of public positions and various governments including our own are blindly complying with it not minding the social implications of abandoned children that will lack necessary home-training that all human beings need in other to be truly humane!) Indeed, in many countries, many states, many ministries, many agencies and many government parastatals of the world women are now piloting the affairs of men! I pity the present-day child who is either entrusted to the hands of ill-trained house-girls and nannies or forced on the day cares, nurseries and creches at the tender age of one or even younger as if he\she is motherless! The dictionary definition of the word “crèche” is amusing and annoying at the same time. According to A.S. Hornby’s Oxford Advanced Learner’s Dictionary, a crèche is “a place where babies and children are looked after while their parents are working, studying, shopping, etc.” For Allaah’s sake, is either working, studying or shopping much more important that looking after the special gifts of nature?!

Religiously speaking, any work, study or shopping that denies a child that is below two years of his\her mother’s company four hours does not worth the sacrifice. Allah has prescribed who and how to cater and shop for the nursing mother where He decreed thus: {233. The mothers shall give suck to their offspring for two whole years, if the father desires to complete the term, but he shall bear the cost of their food and clothing on equitable terms. No soul shall have a burden laid on it greater than it can bear. no mother shall be treated unfairly on account of her child} (Suuratul-Baqarah, Chapter 2, Verse 233). In the light of this verse, we can see that any woman nursing a child that is younger than two years and still being saddled with the responsibility of earning or shopping that will be detrimental to her interest and overall wellbeing of the child is being unfairly treated and subjected to shoulder a burden she cannot conveniently bear by nature. You will all agree with me that a child that enjoyed constant and breast milk at his tender age is more likely to be healthy, mentally stable and humane than the one deprived of this critical need. Modern scientists and psychologists have attested to this fact.

Nowadays, just because of the inordinate ambition to acquire material wealth and the urge to purchase all what we want and not necessarily what we need, we have orphaned children whose parents are still alive! The apathy of duty on the part of these parents is manifested in the fact that they do not have time for their children. These children are the real orphan sif we have to stick to the great Shaowqi’s definition of an orphan when he stated thus:

ليس اليتيم من انتهى أبواه من     همّ الحياة وخلّفاه ذليلا

إنّ اليتيم من حظّه أن رزق الحيا   أمّا تخلّت أو أبا مشغولا

Gradually and one-by-one, muslims’ countries are being occupied by foreign forces and their common wealth are being accessed by enemy governments!

Another worrisome manifestation of the degeneration of this generation is the fact that few rich people are getting richer while the overwhelming majority are groaning under poverty and some are either passing their nights either in uncompleted\dilapidating buildings, bridges or even living under scorning sun with no shelter and abode at all! Surely, the Signs of Yaomul-Qiyaamah and Amaaraatus-Saa’ are manifest for everybody to see and feel! Are we really progressing or retrogressing?!

Today, in our dear society, we see religious leaders who promote hatred and utter incendiary statements because of vain political expediency as we find teachers who connive with students and parents to cheat. In our micro-society, there are reports of lecturers who either extort money from students of sexually harass them or are guilty of both. We have lawyers who break the law and we know how criminally-minded people in high places decide to study law for the purpose of knowing how to how to break it with ease. We find journalists who misinform the public and media houses publishing rumours with some of them losing credibility and reputation in the process.

More specifically with our immediate environment, we remember at this juncture that our dear 400 Level students are completing their academic sojourn in this citadel of knowledge by next week Friday Inshaa Allah. After today, I may never have any opportunity of standing in front of them as a tutor or preach to them as the Imaam. It is based on this reality that I want to urge them to be good ambassadors of their parents and this university. You should know that it is not the degree or the class of degree that you bag that matters but what you do with it. Our beloved children, you should know that education acquisition is a means and not an end in itself. What is the essence of knowledge without piety and morality? The ultimate aim of any knowledge acquired by man should be the fear of Allaah that will translate to better dealings with human beings. Allaah the Omnipotent and the Omniscient stated this unequivocally thus : {28. It is only those who have real knowledge among His Allaah’s slaves that fear Him. Verily, Allâh is All­Mighty, Oft­Forgiving} (Suuratul-Faatir Chapter 35, Verse 28).

Brothers and sisters, it is noteworthy to meditate over a statement credited to the late American philosopher comedian, George Carlin, who lamented the contradiction while x-raying the paradox of modern live thus: “We have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider freeways, but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses but smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge but less judgement, more experts but more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.

“We have cleaned up the air but polluted the soul. We’ve conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We have learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever but we communicate less and less. These are times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days for two incomes and more divorce, fancier houses but broken homes….”

The purpose of education is self-development, character reformation and the attainment of a total man. The purpose of education is not just seeking employment. If one is employed by an organisation or government, it is good. However, it is wrong to assume that the only reward of education is material. Being educated and being rich are not always the same as being rich does not necessarily translate to being happy.

It is therefore desirable for our about-to-graduate students to think of what they can do with their education in terms of wealth creation, selfless service to others and spiritual rejuvenation. While the National Educational Curriculum caters for the first and second needs through the introduction GNS courses like Entreprenueral Studies and Skills Acquisition (GNS 202\204) and Citizenship and Conflict Resolution (GNS 206), the proprietors and designers of this university cater for the vital spiritual rejuvenation and Islamic integration by making Islamic Ethics and Culture (GNS 203), Beginners’ Arabic (GNS 105) and Arabic Conversation (GNS 204) for all students of this unique university. In other words, you have been given a balanced education that should enable you to swim in you in the murky waters of life. Perhaps, your earliest exposure to the wider world will be your service year where the corruption, nudity and favouritism that are orders of the day will stare you in the face. Please, do not join the bandwagon. Always remember the products of which university you are. Once again, try to be good ambassadors of this university and, more importantly, good representatives of Islaam, the religion that preaches peace, enjoins goodness and decrees decency.

Believing men and women, as the holiest month of Ramadhaan is fast approaching and knocking our doors, it high time for us all to repent, prepare to engage in good deeds fervently pray so that our world will be a better place to be and our Hereafter is blessed with Jannatul-Firdaos.

However, in accomplishing these tripod tasks of repentance, goog deeds and prayers, we should beware putting all our efforts in a Hollow Pocket!

What is a Hollow Pocket?

A Hollow Pocket leaks away the good deeds that are not well done.

A Hollow Pocket may manifest in various forms of good deeds are not rewarding because of some undesirable things attached to them. Take a look at these deeds and actions:

*Somebody performs ablution in the perfect manner but he\she wastes water in the process (A manifestation of a Hollow Pocket).

*Somebody gives charity to the needy people but he\she humiliates or causes inconvenience to them in them in the process (A manifestation of a Hollow Pocket).

*Somebody regularly observes superogatory prayers in the night (tahajjud), engages in non-obligatory in the day (Saowt-Tatawwu’) and obeys the Lord but he\she is irresponsible in his dealings with the relatives, (A manifestation of a Hollow Pocket).

*Somebody bears the self-denial of hunger and thirst in Ramadhaan but cannot restrain himself\herself from bullying, cursing and abusing others while fasting (A manifestation of a Hollow Pocket).

*A woman wears long garment hijaab that islamically ordained but either prefers the tight and shape-reflecting one or still uses perfumes while outside her home in other to tantalise men (A manifestation of a Hollow Pocket).

*Somebody cheerfully welcomes his\her guests and entertains them well but resorts to backbiting or condemning them whenever they leave and depart for their homes (A manifestation of a Hollow Pocket).

Please, for Allah’s sake, avoid putting your good deeds in A Hollow Pocket! Good deeds that you labour to do on one hand but that will be easily wasted by not earning their rewards on the other hand.

My dear listeners, we are in an era of many paradoxes in the lives in the lives of contemporary muslims. Here are some glaring examples:

*Somebody claims that he\she is unable to perform hajj because of huge financial requirements but he\she can afford to spend hundreds of thousands of naira or even millions on tourist travellings, “owanbe” or “aaremise” parties, lavish baseless ceremonies like “house warming”, political rallies and celebration of chieftancy titles. Don’t we realize that attainment of Allah’s pleasure and enjoyment of His stupendous treasure cannot come cheaply!

*Somebody cannot afford to buy “Ileya” ram because of its high price in recent times but he\she has enough money to purchase ipad phones, blackberries, laptops, et cetera in order not to be left in new vogue. Don’t we realize that attainment of Allah’s pleasure and enjoyment of His stupendous treasure cannot come cheaply!

*Somebody is so busy and committed to his\her job to the extent that there is no time to recite even just ten verses of the Glorious Qur’an in a day but he\she “manages” to get time to make dozens and scores of phone calls, hundreds of telephone chats and spends hours watching different television channels on either DSTV or STARTIMES devices every day. Most muslims are fans of either Manchester United, Chelsea, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Arsenal and the likes at the expense of religious knowledge and time management. In fact, it is claimed by some observers that ordinary football unites nowadays and religion divides! Should that be the case when Almighty Allaah has posited that Islaam is the grand unifier thus: {103. and hold fast, All of You together, to the Rope of Allâh (i.e. This Qur’ân), and be not divided among yourselves, and Remember Allâh’s Favour on you, for You were enemies one to another but He joined Your hearts together, so that, by his Grace, You became brethren (in Islâmic Faith), and You were on the brink of a pit of Fire, and He saved You from it. Thus Allâh makes his Ayât (proofs, evidences, verses, lessons, signs, revelations, etc.,) clear to you, that You may be guided} (Suuratu Aal ‘Imraan, Chapter 3, Verse 103). Don’t we realize that attainment of Allah’s pleasure and enjoyment of His stupendous treasure cannot come cheaply!

Lastly, I want all you to remember that you are muslims and your bodies and souls should be devoted to Islaam in the forthcoming special month of Ramadhaan. Do not allow yourselves to be distracted by which country qualifies for either quarter finals, semi finals or even final match of the on-going world cup tournament. Leave Messi, Ronaldo, Drogba, Odewinge, Onyeama et cetera and devote time for your Lord in these approaching weeks of blessing, forgiveness and salvation form hellfire. Once again, leave FIFA and deal with Allaah the Giver. If you have to be with FIFA at all, let your FIFA means: Fasting Is For Allaah and not: Federation of International Association!

O Lord! I pray that You guide and forgive me and my beloved ones who are the muslims worldwide so that we will stick to righteousness that leads to blissful life in this world and the Hereafter.

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