Elections and our moral bankruptcy!
The moment I started writing on this topic, I was not getting the exact starting line then I just flipped the pages of Nahjul Balagha where I came across the following sermon of Imam Ali (A.S.).
“O people! Certainly this world is a passage while the next world is a place of permanent abode. So, take from the passage (all that you can) for the permanent abode. Do not tear away your curtain before Him, Who is aware of your secrets. Take away from this world your hearts before your bodies go out of it, because herein you have been put on trial, and you have been created for the other world. When a man dies people ask what (property) he has left while the angels ask what (good actions) he has sent forward. May Allah bless you; send forward something, it will be a loan for you, and do not leave everything behind, for that would be a burden on you.”
I also came across the story of Hilal Mir in Huffington Post in which he has defined the role of Shias in elections. Briefly speaking, he is telling his readers that Shias vote to those parties whom their religious leaders direct to vote. Here is the catch. The job of religious leaders is to preach Islam not to direct people to choose their MLAs and MPs.
There is no issue people choosing their MLAs and MPs for the developmental purposes but why use religion for the same purpose. Why divide people in the name of Shias and Sunnis for the vote bank politics. Why divide Shias in Aghas and Ansaris just to win elections.
Religious leaders make us morally perfect not bankrupt. They teach us the difference between Halal (permissible) and Haram (forbidden) as per the Holy Quran and Islamic traditions. They encourage us to perform rightful things and prevent us from performing unholy acts. They don’t use religion to satiate their materialistic desires but prepare us for the life hereafter. They never create fissures in the Ummah but work for unity and peace in the community.
But here some religious leaders in the pursuit of power are making mockery of the Islamic principles. They are indulging in wrongful acts and the irony is they do so in the garb of being religious leaders. Males and females can be seen dancing in their election rallies despite knowing dancing and singing is prohibited in Islam.
Na-Mahram can been seen hugging and kissing them despite knowing it’s not permitted in Islam. Islamic slogans are raised in their electioneering notwithstanding that they are just to choose MLAs and MPs which will do no favour to Islam. Money is distributed, promises of jobs and desirable transfers are being made, just to woo voters despite knowing it’s at odds with a religious leader who sits on pulpit to preach Islam.
People now are awake. They are asking questions. Religious leaders need to make a choice. Either choose pulpit or the Assembly. Choice is yours. We won’t allow you to sell the dignity, honour and prestige of Shia community just for the sake of your power. We won’t allow you to trample upon the Din-i-Islam for which our Prophet Mohammad (SAWW) and Ahlulbayt (A.S.) have sacrificed everything. You do whatever you desire but don’t do it in the garb of Islam. Let you raise your flags and slogans in your election events but don’t raise the slogans and flags of Islam. Let you criticize your opponents but don’t divide Muslim Ummah in Shias and Sunnis or Aghas and Ansaris.
We are neither Agha nor Ansari. We are all followers of Prophet Mohammad (SAWW), Ahlulbayt (A.S.) and our Rehbar Imam Khamenei who always stresses on unity of Muslim Ummah so don’t ever try to divide us for your electoral gains or power. Let you become MLA, MP or whatever you like but don’t present yourself as a Shia or Sunni leader. You are leaders of your chosen party not of our community.
May good sense prevail in all of us. Ameen!
(The author is a freelance writer and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)