17th January, 2019
PRESS RELEASE: STOP MESSING UP WITH THE QUR’AN – MURIC TELLS POLITICAL PARTIES A Muslim group has issued a warning to Nigeria’s prominent political parties to stop messing up with the divine book of Islam.
The warning was contained in a press release issued on Thursday, 17th January, 2019 by the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC). According to the Islamic human rights outfit, a certain “prominent” political party in the country is fond of using the Qur’an in its political rallies without following laid down rules. MURIC described this as laughable, provocative and totally unacceptable.
“Our office has been inundated with a Tsunami of complaints about a prominent political party that has been abusing the use of the Qur’an in its political rallies. Such an attitude exposes the political party as a body that is insensitive to the feelings of Muslims. It is laughable, provocative and totally unacceptable.
“Exempli gratia, we are in possession of a video clip in which a notorious lawmaker cum comedian who is obviously a non-Muslim recited the Surat Al-Fatihah (chapter one of the Glorious Qur’an) wrongly in one of the party’s rallies about two weeks ago. The question is why was a non-Muslim allowed to recite an Islamic prayer using verses of the Glorious Qur’an in a political rally?
“We don’t want to be misunderstood. Anybody can pray but decorum must be applied when doing that in public. It is most unwise for a non-Muslim to venture into praying in Arabic when he is not sure he can do it well. A Muslim should offer the Muslim prayer and vice versa. Prayer is a serious spiritual exercise. It is communication between the creature and the Creator. It is not something you can trivialize. But what we saw on that day was the transfer of the usual parliamentary theatricals that has been associated with the National Assembly in recent times.
“In another trending video, a woman was seen struggling with the recitation of Surat Ash-Sharh (Qur’an chapter 94) at another rally of the same political party. She ended it all by mixing up the verses and wordings.
“MURIC is not just raising false alarm or sounding unnecessarily demagogic. The fact is that the implications of reciting a verse or chapter of the Glorious Qur’an wrongly in an attempt to offer prayers are very serious. An inexperienced reciter may end up raining curses instead of offering prayers due to errors of pronounciation, wording or incorrect reading of verses. This can be terrible in a rally organized by a political party because instead of actually praying for the country and the political party, the person may end up inadvertently cursing the party and the country (may Allah forbid that).
“That is why political parties need to have religious advisers among its officials. Such religious advisers must be made up of qualified Christian and Islamic clerics. They are the ones who should be called upon to offer prayers in public programmes, not parliamentary rascals whose only value lies in their capacity to constitute public nuisance.
“We like to place it on record for public awareness that the rules guiding the recitation of Christian and Islamic scriptures are different and the yardsticks of one should not be used to judge the other. For instance, a person wishing to recite any portion of the Glorious Qur’an must first perform ablution. The rule is that you cannot read the Qur’an if you are not pure. The Qur’an itself set the rule when it says ‘Only those who are clean can touch it. It is a revelation from the Lord of the Worlds’ (Laa yamusuhu ilaa al-mutaharuun, tanziilun min Rabbil-aalamiin, Qur’an 56:79 – 80).
“The recitation made by the woman at that political event is also contentious from another angle. Apart from the fact that she may not have performed ablution, she may not be clean. She may be in her menstrual period and Islam does not permit women to do such things in that state. That is one of the reasons Muslim women are not usually called upon to read the Qur’an in public. She does not have to make her condition public and this may happen if she is so invited.
“In conclusion, we charge political parties to demonstrate seriousness in spiritual matters. We also advise political parties to consult their religious advisers before taking any step that has spiritual implication. We urge all churches and mosques to pray for a peaceful general election and a stable polity thereafter”.
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)