In a well scripted and meticulously timed sermon to mark the end of Ramadan Fasting last year Sheikh Surajo Kankia poured scathing remarks on the Masari administration that was then barely one-year-old. Just a little over a year now, another coruscating sermon was delivered by yet another ‘Sheikh’ Muhammadu Husamatu on the administration. What is of interest is the similarities in the Khutbahs; both delivered on the same prayer ground, of the same mosque, almost the same contents- vituperative and on the same pulpit. The only remarkable difference is the fact that the two sheikhs differ in their political persuasion. While Sheikh Surajo is a sworn PDP apologist, the other ‘Sheikh’ Muhammad is an APC card carrying member who helped the party to clinched power from the PDP in 2015.
With these sermons and many that came years earlier indicate that this pulpit is being infested by a group of debilitating thorns that at a simple misunderstanding the Khutbees will descend on the government. Many of them have become relentlessly personal, attacks on every aspect of leader’s character and behavior are all fair play, adding to the rising levels of incivility to the already antagonistic sentiments between the political parties in the state. It happened during the reigns of Late Governor Ummaru Musa Yar’adua and we condoned and even celebrated it during the defunct administration of former Governor Shema albeit some of us have cautioned of the danger inherent in the approach.
What is even more poignant is the fact the Khutbees have put to the background the purpose of Khutbahs which ordinarily should be to improve the congregation’s relationship to Allah and His deen, should be based on verifiable facts and references from the Quran and Sunnah and of course, should not promote personal causes or any group’s activities at the expense of peace and unity of the Ummah.
These are the essential points that could be used to ascertain whether the two sheikhs are doing all that is expected of them to create and inspire a reverential atmosphere and to establish a setting that will contribute to the efficacy their Khutbahs.
For instance, listening to the 17mins 8secs audio Khutbah delivered on Friday at the GRA Eid prayer ground by Muhammad Husamatu, one would not find it difficult to recognize the import of his unguarded pronouncements. Of course, he has shown clearly that he is not competent enough to speak on any one of the issues raised as such for me to react to them here amounts to giving credence to him. However, it will suffice to say, His Excellency has made it unequivocally clear that nobody is going to intimidate or coerce him into doing anything that is not in the interest of the state.
For he is going to be judged by 3; the people to whom he has entered into a covenant, posterity and will stand before the Almighty to give account of his stewardship. So for anyone to climb the rostrum and be on vengeance mission for being denied of a favor and thinks the government will dance to his tune he better thinks again. If truly they have anything to say to the leaders in form of advises there are ways in which they can convey their concerns without having to do it in the open. One Prophetic Hadiths that readily comes to mind about this is the one from the Messenger of Allah and reported by Yaad bn Ghusm which says ‘whoever desires to advise the one with authority then he should not do openly…’
It is unfortunate that such a noble place that is supposed to be for sober reflection, repentance has been turned into a place where hate speech thrives. No wonder of all the time spent on the pulpit he didn’t have cause to quote from the Hadith or the Quran he was too busy on trivialities. I think the time has come for a change of these Thorns on the Pulpit. If they can’t adhere to the norms and ethics of Khutbahs they surely have no reason mounting on the pulpit.