For muslims across Nigeria and Africa, this is a difficult time to profess belief in an all powerful, all merciful and compassionate Allah.
This is a moment that declaring faith in this revered deity, in asserting that Allah truly and certainly exists is challenging because there is every reason to entertain serious doubts and to disbelieve yet another of the Abrahamic gods. I am not a muslim and do not believe in Allah.
But it does not require being a muslim or professing faith in the Mohammedan deity to behold the obvious contradictions; the mental strain of believing in the Islamic deity that seems so unable. I think if the belief in Allah holds water in any manner or form, if it contains some credible substance, the whole construct is now falling apart, crumbling and melting away into the thin air.
The creedal hold on the minds of ‘Allahans’ is weakening, wearing out and fading into the horizon because Allah cannot evidently stand its ground; Allah cannot withstand the test, the ongoing trial that interestingly is emanating from within its own house and hemisphere – not from without or by outsider. Yes the ‘insult’ and assault against Allah is now from within.
The bomb explosions have shaken the foundations of Allah’s existence in a manner that an unbelieving passer-by and an outsider could easily track. The attacks have exposed the porous basis of the belief in Allah, and in its omnipotence in such a way that spotting and highlighting the gaps does not require being an insider.
Yes, the Nietzchean awakening expression that ‘God is dead’ which suitably reads “Allah is dead” is – I guess- painfully dawning on the minds of believers and piercing the creedal complex of confessors of this beleaguered deity despite the indoctrination of the earthly mortal bearers who are enjoined to resist such infidel musings and hold on to faithful fiction and falsehood in spite of facts, logic and evidence.
Actually what constitutes fidelity or infidelity in this case, under this circumstance is questionable? I mean what indeed can one regard as marks of faithfulness? Is it holding on to what is evidently true – which is that Allah’s existence is in doubt and the potency questionable? Is it to continue entertaining a mistaken idea and holding on to something which is patently untrue, the notion that Allah is a supreme and all powerful deity?
I mean where is the lure and meaning of the popular slogan, Allah Akbar, which muslims chant in the mosques and prayer grounds, at campaign rallies and protests to praise and acknowledge the superlative powers of their god? Allah Akbar. Where is the proof for Allah’s supreme power and might? Allah Akbar.
Even in Mecca, Allah has consistently failed to protect its own people? Allah Akbar. Is there any shred of evidence that Allah exists apart from what believers imagine in the first instance talk less being great? Allah Akbar. How does one continue to entertain these beliefs when Boko Haram militants explode bombs inside what is supposed to be Allah’s earthly enclave, the mosques, where Allah is supposed to be fully present and fully active; a place where the omnipotent details of Allah are in display and are supposedly deployed in full force?
How does one continue to describe Allah as supreme, merciful, benevolent when militants kill worshippers before ‘Allah’s very eyes’ right there on muslim prayer grounds when Allahans are believed to be in direct communication with their god; when muslims are slaughtered in a place where Allah is supposed to protect and shield those praying to it from attacks? Why has Allah failed to listen, to care or at least to show some modicum of benevolence, presence and might? In fact in Bornu state in Northern Nigeria, the mosque attacks have become so rampant.
Allah’s negligence has been so glaring. His woeful failure and inability to exercise the responsibility to protect ‘Allahans’ and secure its own house has forced a paradigm shift and has compelled some Allahans in Bornu to contract human guards to take over the security details of the mosques from Allah. Apparently Allah has been de-commissioned. Allah has been dethroned.
Yes the situation has become so bad that some now consider human guards as better protectors of mosques than the ‘almighty Allah’ ‘himself’. The notion before now was that these mosques and prayer grounds were holy places and were guarded by Allah and so no mortal militant could dare attack the place because Allah would strike the person dead even by mere fact of thinking such thoughts. But all that has changed.
Mosques have been easy targets for Islamic militant assault. Boko Haram mosque attacks have caused a rethink and a review of the security arrangements; a review of how muslims in these areas think about Allah in terms of security and protection. Yes the elders in Bornu have literally passed a vote of no confidence on Allah’s security regime and ability. These ‘Allahans’ are actually saying that if humans do not guard the house; if humans do not secure the mosques, nobody does, Allah does not, Allah has not, Allah will not, in fact Allah cannot.
This is the message that they have sent out by commissioning humans to guard the mosques. And if this new thinking about securing the mosques is not a reason for Allah believers and worshippers to pause, ponder and reflect on its purported existence and might? What else is?
Personally I have lost count of those brazen attacks on mosques across northern Nigeria but I would like to cite a few of them to illustrate my point. At least 50 persons were killed and not less than a hundred were injured in the latest mosque attacks by suspected Boko Haram militants during prayers in Yola and Maiduguri. Now think about it, is it not during prayers that Allah should guard its people?
At the mosque in Maiduguri, the suicide bomber joined other worshippers before exploding the bomb. And my question is this: if Allah was at this mosque, why didn’t he prevent the bomber from entering the mosque? If he could not block him from entering the mosque, why didn’t Allah stop the militant from exploding the bomb? Why didn’t Allah inform other muslims that there was a suicide bomber in the mosque?
If Allah could not communicate this important information openly to the praying audience, may be because of their sins, why didn’t Allah reveal this information to the Imam at the Mosque, or the Chief Imam of the state, the local emir or the Sultan of Sokoto, any of the Shiekhs or Ulama in the state or country? So Allah stood by and allowed these attacks to happen as an expression of his power, mercy or what? Or Allah was simply not there, he did not exist hence he could not intervene. And if he does not exist and cannot intervene to protect its people, then why do muslims worship him?
In July, Boko Haram gunmen attacked and killed men and young boys in mosques in northeastern state of Bornu. They also stormed the mosques and started shooting worshippers without restrain? If Allah exists and does not support these attacks by Boko Haram, why can’t he stop or prevent them? Why has he not stepped forward and end these savage onslaughts.
The militant attacks raise many questions about the being of Allah but also about the supposed omnipotency. They give us some food for thought by providing muslims and non-Muslims alike an opportunity to pause, question and re-examine a claim that is fundamental to the religion of Islam, a claim which has driven many to kill, main, behead, stone and amputate Africans over the centuries, that is, the assumed existence and potency of Allah.
By Leo Igwe