Historically, Islam is the first religion to land in Malawi (then named Nyasaland) though this history may encounter different deliberate manipulations by some unscrupulous individuals with the sole objective of trying to let Islam down.
As the name sounds, in its Arabic terminology AL-ISLAM means total submission to Allah and from it emanates a word, Salaam which means peace and it is an obligation of every Muslim to maintain peace at all costs and levels, since it forms part of the religion.
This is so because where peace prevails, prayers are comfortably performed, and that’s why Prophet Muhammad Peace Be upon Him (pbuh) advised Muslims to maintain peace among themselves by observing the peaceful greeting, Assalaam Alaikum (Peace be upon you) for his brings love, hence Muslims maintaining a peaceful co-existence with other society members.
Apart from co-existence, like any other citizens of Malawi, Muslims have immensely contributed to the development of the country in different forms, to the extent that a Muslim was once voted by people of all faiths in the land, to be country’s presidency mantle during the kinder years of multiparty democracy.
Some would argue why a man of faith would involve himself in politics, but Islamic faith teaches us to be engaged in activities which can offer us a worldly survival earning.
Qur’an 62:10 clearly says that once the prayers are done, one should go out in search of Allah’s favors; “And when the prayer is finished, then may ye disperse through the land and seek the bounty of God; and cerebrate. The praises of God often (and without stint) that ye may prosper”
The above jotted verse indicates that a Muslim can opt to venture into entrepreneurship, politics or any other adventure provided it is not contradicting the Islamic jurisdiction.
It is from this that many Muslims nowadays in the country are venturing into politics, not solely to get a survival but also contribute to the development of the country as the former head of state who manned the affairs of this country from 1994 to 2004 Dr Bakili Muluzi did.
In addition to that, this is influenced by the need to defend the interests of the Muslim community who are been oppressed in silence due to their low representation in Malawi’s legislative arm of government.
It therefore sound very unfortunate to learn that some people entrusted with some party responsibilities like that of the Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Eastern region governor, Mr. Julius Paipi, could dare to say that people should not vote for Muslims during the country’s next year tripartite elections labeling them as war mongers.
The sentiments by Mr. Paipi, does not only indicate that he is a political alien who doesn’t know the role Muslims have played in the country’s political system transition, but also been unable to appreciate the contributions made by Muslims in the country.
Above that, he also demonstrates that he is not conversant with the country’s supreme laws which guarantee a Muslim just like any other citizen a right to exercise such rights if he/she weighs him/herself fit or viable for political positions.
I surely find sentiments by such a regional governor as not only been based on political differences, but they are deeply rooted and that are aroused by religious differences, because no Muslim can injure a fellow Muslim because of politics as what he did.
This is evident by referring to what Prophet Muhammad (PBUP) said, “A Muslim is he, who other Muslims are at peace from his tongue and hand”.
The Hadith above cements the argument that, calling Muslims that they will bring war in Malawi once voted is not based on political differences, because we have seen Muslims running this country alongside those of Christian faith, for example the partnership of Dr Bakili Muluzi and Professor Bingu Wa Mutharika as Presidents and Dr Justine Malewezi and Dr Cassim Chilumpha as Vice Presidents of Malawi.
Qur’an comes in with a reminder that our fellow Christian counterparts will never be pleased with us not because of our worldly successes, political involvement or whatever, NO, but because of the faith differences as it is stated in Surat Albaqara.
Qur’an 1:120 reads; “Never will the Jews or the Christians be satisfied with thee thou follow their form of religion”
The Quoted verse clearly opens our minds that, our successes in any sector be it education, politics or economy is not always in good terms with our opponents in faith, and that they would always strive to find means of weakening our efforts.
Muslims should however understand that, even if they are oppressed or abused in any form, Allah will always provide means of uplifting the Islamic faith in any sector of the society.
This is evidenced by looking at how all Malawians jointly voted for a Muslim in 1994, and by how Muslims are emerging in different professionals in their large numbers.
Qur’an gives us confidence that if we invest our trust and hope in Allah, He will provide to us platforms to succeed.
Parts of verses 2 and 3 of Qur’an 65 say; “And for those who fear God, He (ever) prepares a way out, 3. And He provides for him from (sources) he never could imagine. And if Any one puts trust in God, Sufficient is (God) for him, for God will surely accomplish His purpose. Verily, for all things Has God appointed a due proportion.
In conclusion, Muslims should understand that, their image will always be tarnished, efforts weakened, and surely those who will be on the mantle of doing such things, their tongues or sentiments will one day cost them a lot.
Islam will remain strong and the fastest growing religion of the world, the more people tarnish the image of Islam the more people embrace and support it.
The views explained in this article are solely for the author and does not represent the views of this website nor editorial team.