Thursday, 19 January 2012


I was checking through the divider and then I saw these award plaques. Inscribed on the plaque were my alma mater’s logo and the words 13TH ANNUAL AWARD NIGHT PRESENTED TO BEST NIGERIAN MIME ACT. The other award was for BEST NEW TALENT.  I travelled back in time and actually reminisced that social night. The mime act was STYL-PLUS’S CALL MY NAME but fast forward to present day Abdulmujeeb. Well now, music is a quondam for me (though it was one of the things I found very difficult to give up).
 ‘Are you are anti-social?’, he asked.
‘Me, ANTI-SOCIAL!’, I thought.  That question was like hitting me below the belt. Though it is not the first time I have been told that. Two times in a row I have been presented with the award (though no plaques) for ‘ALWAYS INDOORS’ in the hostel I reside in school. My younger brother has accused me of being a bore (when he saw the title I gave this piece, he acceded). Am I truly anti-social?. I do not see myself as a religious person (I try my best to fulfill the obligations in the deen) but even though does being religious mean being anti-social? I recall that some brothers in Darul Haqq would say I laugh too much and then when I am in some other gatherings I hear I am anti-social. No doubt we are social beings and nobody wants to be lonely. Little wonder prisoners are kept behind bars away from the society and the worst of them are placed in Solitary confinement. It’s all about keeping them lonely. Seeing people every day is one of those things we take for granted. You could ask those who remained in school after the Okada-Mopol incident in school last year. I am not in the category of those who think Muslims should go and live in the bush neither am I in the league of those who think it is okay to be around people all the time. There are times you need your ME time (you know those times you just want be alone). It is true many of what people call socializing are not Islamic values like clubbing, drinking and all that and this also confirms  Allah’s words:
‘O ye who believe! take not into your intimacy those outside your ranks; they will not fail to corrupt you. They only desire your ruin: rank hatred has already appeared from their mouths; what their hearts conceal is far worse. We have made plain to you the Signs if ye have wisdom.’ Q3:118
            Yet sometimes people see your trying to save yourself from being corrupt  like you are arrogant, anti-social or that you discriminate and I am not just talking about non Muslims some Muslims also feel that way. Sometimes you can’t blame them since some people truly behave in such manner(arrogant or discriminate) and at other times it’s so untrue. I recall when I noticed that there was this distance between a friend and I so I queried him and he replied that it was because of the new principles I had started from the Sharia. I had told him I was still a fun-loving person provided it was Halal (sign me up!). I was still me but now  come to think of it some of us truly shut down our fun loving sides because of some DON’Ts in the deen. Some of us never even joke, yes it’s true that we should not tell lies even if it is a joke but does that mean we should not have any sense of humor. Any ‘DON’T’ we know is in the deen it is incumbent we try to find the Halal substitute (though I know it’s not always easy to find one, even in some cases you might not find any) but then a good number of us just turn off completely and the only time we’re excited is when issues about the deen is discussed. I will grab a gamepad to play Pro Evolution Soccer (@ TAOFEEK ALLI, when are you going to accept my challenge?) or watch any TYLER PERRY produced Movie. In the end I am still me. I want to be a balanced person, I want to stick to the middle path because that’s the Sunnah, and though I might be anti-social to some nevertheless I don’t want to be boring either.

Wednesday, 4 January 2012


“Dance! Dance, Champ! Dance! ”
“He’s throwing combinations like God put a motor in his body, uppercuts, lefts and rights, whipping that sucker all over the ring!
‘’I’m calling to him: “Dance, Champ! Dance for the little children in orphanages don’t nobody want! Fight for them Champ! You the boss! Dance for the po’ people with no jobs , who got rent to pay! Dance for ‘em, Champ! Stick that sucker! Dance for them winos  sleepin’ in the gutter! For them people who got TB, cancer, for them prisoners locked in jails and ain’t fot no bail! Dance  for ‘em champ! Dance for them dope addicts everybody’s given up on! Dance for little pregnant girls who got  no husbands! Dance for em’ champ! Fight for ‘em! ”
“ Whip them suckers for ‘em! Shoeshine ‘em! Shoeshine ‘em! Fight for them people needin’ welfare, for old people who didn’t get no pension checks!  Dance for ‘em!  Go ‘head, whip that sucker’s…! Have no mercy! Dance for them tired old whores out there hustlin’! For all them lonely people drinkin’ in the taverns! In the pool halls! On the street corners! Dance for the sweepers, little people moppin’ up airport floors, train stations, bus depots, gas station! Fight for ‘em, Champ! For the maids in hotels makin’ up beds, cleanin’ toilets! Whip them suckers! Shorty told them to resurrect you, Shorty told them to dig you up out of the grave! Ain’t no Senators saved you, ain’t no Governors saved you, ain’t no President saved you! Ain’t no bankers saved you! Them people out there saved you. Them  people out there puttin’ new blood in your veins! Stick that sucker in front of you! Them people out there puttin’ new blood in your veins! Stick that sucker in front of you! Stick him all night long! Can’t nobody whip Muhammad Ali but Cassius Clay, and he ain’t here tonight! Dance, Champ, dance!”
The above words were what Bundini (one of Muhammad Ali’s aides) told the Champ in one of his first fights after his exile for not joining the US army in the Viet-Nam war. Though I do not agree with Bundini on calling God shorty and also for some people he said the Champ should dance for but I pretty much agree with the rest  except that I want to add a few.
‘Dance for em’ masses who don’t know the meaning of fuel subsidy removal  except that  they know life might just get really hard, Dance for em’ worrying and aging sisters who ain’t married yet, Dance for ‘em  students who got admission but got no money for tuition, Dance for them Champ! Dance! Dance for ‘em brothers who have tried hard to get married but hasn’t got someone to say YES or money is hindering them, Dance for ‘em strangers who want to be changers but the world puts in danger. Whip them suckers for ‘em, Dance for ‘em Champ Dance for ‘em lonely single mothers who want to fall in love again ”  but wait a minute they ain’t no champ I can tell  so who will dance for us? 

Sunday, 1 January 2012


My khushu was far from being high. It was Fajr prayer and I could hear him wailing. I wished he would stop but it only got louder. I guess the Imam felt the same way because the surah he recited was not long.
It was after exams and almost everyone had gone home for the break except for a few of us, particularly the graduating students.  She was a mother of three, a boy and two girls. I had never met their Dad so I cannot tell if he was dead or she had divorced him or worse he was just one of those men that left and never looked back.  I heard a door shut and then the boy said, ‘e kuku pami’. I could hear him sobbing as he walked down the passage. We all kept quiet in the masjid as if nothing had happened. After all we were just students and the mosque was situated by the house. I thought we were all weak. We were weak to see something wrong but not correct it. I knew she was struggling being a single mother with three children and one of them becoming a truant. I knew she tried so hard to make them all turn out right.  But I still thought she should not beat him like she was going to kill him. He needed his Dad, he needed a father figure there are issues a mother no matter how super she could be could not handle. I left the masjid pondering. We need help, I thought.
*** * **
I could hear her sobbing but what could I do? I was far away but I wanted to help her. How could he beat her and send her out late at night and she was pregnant! She did not deserve him and sometimes I thought she should pull out from the marriage. But later I realized it was not as easy as I thought. Umm Yousef, who is a survivor and DV(Domestic violence) advocate  said ‘The best explanation or metaphor that I came across over the last few years after I came to understand that what I had experienced in my marriage was, in fact, abuse was a YouTube PSA (public service announcement) that shows a woman slowly struggling and drowning in a tank of water, and just as she is about to drown the water gushes out and she gets a moment of relief, only to have the tank start filling up again. That is how the cycle of abuse works and feels…’ I ponder again but this time I try not to go asunder. Seriously we need help. The Ummah needs help and it is like we turn a blind eye to issues like this. Like it does not happen or like we do not know anyone that is going through such. I know talking about Tawheed, learning Fiqh are important issues but these things are also cogent and it is destroying our homes. It is destroying our very foundations. We need counselors, we need Muslim professionals not just the Scholars. I do not want to bear this burden anymore (at least not alone). So who’s with me?