How well should the contemporary forms of “religious organisation” and the link between youth exuberance and religion be explained? How can we bury our whims and caprices for the development of Islam? In what ways can our emotions be subservient to the sincerity of our intentions? How detrimental are these to us, as Muslims, and to Islam, as a religion?
This shouldn't be taken as a response to the ignominious post of a certain Muslim lady, @aisha_muxtapha on twitter, nor as a rebuttal to her irrelevant conclusion and faulty generalization. Rather, a usual way of identifying issues affecting students on campus and proferring solutions to them. There are stereotypes against the society and this editorial is aimed at looking thoroughly into them.
The MSSN can be understood as an organisational framework of Western educated Muslims that illustrates one of the new forms of religiosity which began in the second half of the nineteenth century among the “Yoruba Muslims”, with the aim to bring all Muslim students in closer union and inculcate in them the true Islamic spirit of brotherhood and absolute faith in Allah as the only basis for the achievement of peace among mankind. It is an alternate club for Muslim students to join.
As a 'consummate' platform for students to understand religion at its pristine form, hone valuable skills- leadership, writing, management, and imbibe good moral and character, MSSN has contributed to the lives of students in plethora of ways.
Today, MSSN is perhaps entering an unprecedented era of change; one which the reappraisal of its aims and objectives is necessary. Some students have lost the trust in the society as a result of faulty generalizations, insincerity of intentions, misconception, stereotypes, and hatred for the pristine call to Islam. Many students still believe in the toxicity of the society.To some, MSSN has 'Ahlu Sunna' ideology, segregates among Muslims, and propagates 'early marriage.'
Unarguably, there exist many faith ideologies in Islam. The foundation of Muslim Students' Society of Nigeria isn't in line with any sect or organization other than the ideology to bring Muslim Students under one umbrella and speak with one voice.
As time went bye, Islamic knowledge became more accessible to the members of the society and they tend to dump some of the acts that were not in accordance with the teaching of Islam. With this new development, people started ascribing the ideology of the society to that of Ahlu Sunnah. Indeed, this has caused many problems across member institutions and had led many people out of the society.
To you as a Muslim, it's highly recommended for you to seek the knowledge of the religion to know the do's and dont's. With this, you would be an embodiment of knowledge and wisdom and be able to understand the stance of the society. Muslim Students' Society of Nigeria is not a sect based society; it encompasses all across all islamic ideologies, inasmuch as one believes in the oneness of Allah and the Messengership of Muhammad (SAW).
As for all these claims, once one has a good moral, perfect reasoning and sound Islamic knowledge, if at all, an individual or some sets of individuals are passing some toxic beliefs, the knowledge one has is a shield and will guide one through.
Let sincerity and honesty be our guide everywhere we find ourselves. University of ibadan is an institution of learning where we came in at a particular time and will leave at a particular time. It's upon us to uphold the unity of Islam and strengthen the society to speak for the Muslim students with one voice.
To err is human; if any misdeed is spotted in the activities of the society, it is upon you to call them to order and avoid any form of ignominious act. We are all prone to mistake. We are all Muslims and Islam being our identity is enough.
Once again, the importance of knowledge of the religion cannot be overemphasized. If you have sought it, uphold it; if not, seek it!
Here's a call to the society: MSSN has to understand the new era- an era that is different from the one that prompted the establishment , and how to be proactive towards the challenges being encountered. The aims and objectives of the society should be revisited. Listen attentively to the criticisms in the air and make necessary corrections where needed. But, do ensure , no matter what happens, the pristine Islam the society preaches should not be compromised.
MSSN needs to understand the mindset of Muslim students if they still want to be relevant in their lives.
It is a trust on you to cater for the generality of Muslim students on campus, irrespective of their attitudes towards the society.
The society is not abstract; it comprises people- who work to uphold the name. These people are the ambassadors of the society, and are responsible for everything being labelled against it. Let there be a flawless selection of the members of the executive; they are the society and their decisions are regarded as that of the society.
Lastly, in the interest of the ummah, the society should reach out to all Muslim students' organizations on campus and call for cooperation. There exist few of this set on the campus of University of Ibadan, which some of their members are , with their best, indifferent to the society; and their worst, against the society.
Once again, without any measure of doubt, MSSN of yesteryears will come to live!