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Education and empowerment challenges to Muslim youths in Nigeria (2)
(Continued from last week)
Ignorance of the parents on the value of education. What was the educational qualification of Baba Ashiru Olona during his life time? Was he not successful? No money to waste. Primary education is alright. Just know how to read and write.
These are just few statements credited to some of Muslim parents. To them, education is not worthy suffering any inconveniency about. They prefer to give much attention to their family business. They prefer to ride exortic cars, dress extravagantly, attend parties and spend famboyantly on ceremonies while all these are done to the detriment of their children education. Once again, our Imams and Ustadh, you are called to the task. Preach the importance and v.alu.e of education to these parents. Let us look at Ondo State, there is no doubting the fact that they have the highest numbers of professors and doctorate degree holders. This is reflecting in the national arrangement. How many Muslims are appointed as minister, permanent secretary, directors and the likes. Anyway, we thank God that we have the likes of Professor Taoheed Adedoja, Babs Fafunwa, Prince Bola Ajibola and others.
Primitive attitudes towards women education
This is one of the greatest challenges facing the youths in their quest for education. It is still the general belief that less should be invested in women education. Some of the parents count it as waste because the women will go elsewhere to marry. Hence. they prefer spending on male child. This is an injustice. Some erroneously belief it is irreligious to send female child to higher institution of learning. Where is their proof? Anyway, if you don't want'male doctor to touch your wife's private part train your female child to become a medical doctor.
Poor Attitude Towards Investment In Education
Most of our elites and affluent prefer investing their money in what will bring quick returns. They count investment in education as low profit earning investment. This has in 'no small way form one of our challenge$' in the education of Muslim youths. May Allah bless the soul of Alhaji Ashiru Balogun (Alhaji Eleja) for unforgettable roles he played during his life time as per education. Go and ask about Nawair-ul-deen Primary School (NUD) and Muslim Grammar School, you will definitely pray for him on what he has done successfully in facin.g the challenges posed by Muslim youths education.
Although things are changing fastly as per investment in primary schools and colleges. However do the counting of numbers of private universities. in Nigeria, how many are owned by Muslims?
Now to. the second section of empowerment. What is empowerment? Empowerment is a process' by which individual and groups gain power, access to resources and control over their lives. In doing so, they gain the ability to achieve their highest personal and "collective aspirations and goals. In Islam, every individual is expected to be empowered economically. He should not rely on anybody for his living. It is by so doing that his religion and honour are protected. Before delving into this section further, let us look at the saying of our Prophet (SAW).
A man of the Ansar came to the prophet and begged from him, he asked: Have you nothing in your house? He replied: Yes, a piece of cloth, a part of which we wear and a part of which we spread (on the ground) and a wooden bowl from which we drink water. He said: Bring them to me, he then brought these articles to him and the prophet took them in h,is hands and asked: Who will buy these? A man said: I shall buy' them for one dirham, He said twice or thrice: Who will offer more than one dirham? A man said: I shall buy them for two dirhams.
He gave these to him and took the dirhams and giving them to Ansari, he said: Buy food with one of them to feed your family/and buy an axe and bring it to me. He then brought it to him. The Apostle of Allah fixed a handle on it with his own hands and said: Go, gather firewood and sell it and do not let me see you for a fortnight. The man went away and gathered firewood and sold it . when he had earned ten dirhams, he came to Prophet. He bought a garment with some of them and food with the others.
The Apostle of Allah then said: Tbis is better for you than that begging should come as a spot on your face on the day of judgment. Begging is right only for three people: One who is in grinding poverty, one who is seriously in debt, one who is responsible for compensation and find it difficult to pay. From Anas Ibn Malik (Sunnah Abu-Dawud-9: 1637).
From the above saying of the prophet, it will be apt to say Islam lays emphasis on the importance of economic empowerment. Let us however, look around, from Lagos to Ibadan, Maiduguri to Sokoto, Kano to Abuja, Iseyin to Saki to mention but few. All the streets are lined with Muslims begging passers - by for money. Tnis act has been taken as prQfession and they are at peace with what prophet has discouraged us from involving in.
Some are advanced beggars, they put on good attire and move from one place to the other, mosque to mosque, offices to offices searching for cheap and easy cash. For how long shall we. continue to condone this. Why can't we take the same approach of the best among the creation of Allah (SWA).
That is the essence of today's discussion. We must discourage begging or laziness. In the light of this, I would make some suggestions on hoWe can solve this challenge.
Firstly, Nacomyo should establish a center for skill acquisition for various trades and ventures. This is within the reach of this umbrella organization for the Muslim youths. The body should organize training in various fields of endeavous like fish farming, snail rearing, grass cutter rearing, rabbitry, poultry farming, knitting and dyeing and lots' of money spinning business. It will only take an individual a little time, little money and little energy to be empowered economically if he knows how well to cultivate a wet or swampy land and plant cucumber, carrot, cabbage, wate"r melon and various vegetables. It is one of the secret of success; do you know you can become a millionaire by doing this? Self aggrarfdishment will debar you from doing this. We should rise above this urgly sentiment and face reality.
Secondly, this body should create a business environment and economic culture which will address the absence of entrepreneurial know how among Muslim youths. Various seminars should be organized. for the youths, which will expose them to various business opportunities around. Soap making business, ice cream, candle and chalk making business and host of other similar businesses should be exposed to the Muslim youths.
Not only these, creative imagination, talent and curiosity of our youths in the pursuit of development and excellence should be 12ncouraged. Once again, our programmes should not be spiritual alone all the time. Time should be apportioned to this as well. This body should find a way of sponsoring people to learn carpentry,_ furniture, iron bending (Welder), phone and computer repairs, web-site design, paiflting and decoration and lots more. If this body could support our brothers,even married, to learn these, economic empowerment would have been an accomplishment for us.
However, when talking about economic empowerment, there are other empowerment as said above, that should be ir:lculcated to make things work. The youths need psychological empowerment. They should be made to develop necessary confid~nce in facing the challenges posed by the modern business. After reliance on Allah, they should believe in themselves. They should never accept defeat. Their watch word should be YES I WILL MAKE IT.
Emotionally, they should be empowered, they must no~ be hot tempered. The youths should have good human relation. It 'goes a long way in determining success. The youths needs the most important of all, spiritual empowerment. Any youths that fail spiritually will never succeed. Trustworthy should be the watch word. It is this that will give the Muslim youths :he upper hand in facing the challenges posed by 'economic empowerment conclusivelyMuslim youths should know that this presentation is not an invtation to worldly gains at the expense of the here after. It is just to encourage the youths to seek more perfection to their religion. The youths should be able to differentiate between complacency and contentment. While the latter is good the former is abhorred. We should never remain impervious. May Allah purify our intention and count this as an act of Ibadah.Share