In this turbulent time, the period when nudity is a proud symbol of civilisation, when poverty remains the major treasure of the masses, when abortion is a password to freedom, when music and pornography have become a sip of pleasure and fulfilment and when fornication has become the solace for flanked couples!
We have indeed reached an era when marijuana is an over-the-counter (OTC) product to agile youths, when youths prefer free WiFi to free books, when cyber crime is the password to exotic cars and expensive wears, when religion becomes a medium to promote enmity and media becomes a tool to mislead the public!
Where then lies the succour?
The tail-end of December is always a festive period when individuals merry and jolly. And in quest for happiness, many often delve into disobedience of their Lord by indulging in forbidden acts that cripple the faith of a righteous fellow. Whereas Allah says in Qur’an chapter 3 Verse 104 that:
وَلْتَكُن مِّنكُمْ أُمَّةٌ يَدْعُونَ إِلَى الْخَيْرِ وَيَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَيَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَأُولَٰئِكَ هُمُ الْمُفْلِحُونَ
Let there arise out of you a group of people inviting to all that is good (Islam), enjoining Al-Ma’ruf (i.e. Islamic Monotheism and all that Islam orders one to do) and forbidding Al-Munkar (polytheism and disbelief and all that Islam has forbidden). And it is they who are the successful.
It is in the quest of this that the Standard Bearers Islamic Organisation, an Islamic group for the youths, equipped with human and material resources, set out to rejuvenate the Ummah, return its faded glory and revive the lost heritage by using academic expertise, religious clerics and righteous business tycoons in order to to instil into Muslim youths, pristine Islamic values, thereby helping them to restructure their agenda for life and the life to come.
In the pursuit of returning the Muslim youths to their rightful position as vicegerents of Allah, the Standard Bearers tagged the last camp the Best Community in order to truly achieve the mandate as demanded by Allah:
Quran 3 Verse 110:
كُنتُمْ خَيْرَ أُمَّةٍ أُخْرِجَتْ لِلنَّاسِ تَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَتَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَتُؤْمِنُونَ بِاللَّهِ
“You are the Best Community evolved for mankind, you enjoin good and forbid evil.”
Subsequently, SB organised a five-day camping program between 22nd and 27th of December, 2017 in Ile-Ife, Osun state as well as other states in Nigeria. It was indeed an experience to behold!
The delegates were youths from various socio-economic and political backgrounds. Students from higher institutions and secondary schools in Nigeria besieged the venues with everyone having a spot to fit in the camp – married and single, professionals and non-professionals, civil servants and the self-employed, educated and non-educated, etc.
Camp opens vistas of opportunities
The camp truly opened a new corridor for the youths to have a rethink and ponder over their past, present and future. It also provided an avenue to ponder over their untoward past, repent from sins and worship Allah the One and Only. The youths having gone through the process of comprehensive rebirth resolved to be part of the glorious project of establishing the Best Community,
What a rare opportunity do they have with seasoned speakers endowed with deep Islamic knowledge and unblemished civilised thought who copiously served them with nourishing spiritual, intellectual and moral menu.
The Unique Sessions
One of the highpoints of the programme in Ile-Ife was a session on a mind charging and motivating topic Thinking Out of Poverty. The trio of a South African-based Engr. Rabiu Ademola, coupled with the two other resource persons: Engr Aliu Opeyemi of the Department of Chemistry, Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife and Dr Akeem Olawale Olaniyi of Kaduna State University, Kafanchan took the stage to benefit the audience with their wealth of entrepreneurial experience, agricultural skills and wealth creation in the halal (lawful) way, particularly within the complex society like Nigeria;
As Allah as said in the Qur’an 22 Verse 77:
وَابْتَغِ فِيمَا آتَاكَ اللَّهُ الدَّارَ الْآخِرَةَ وَلَا تَنسَ نَصِيبَكَ مِنَ الدُّنْيَا وَأَحْسِن كَمَا أَحْسَنَ اللَّهُ إِلَيْكَ وَلَا تَبْغِ الْفَسَادَ فِي الْأَرْضِ إِنَّ اللَّهَ لَا يُحِبُّ الْمُفْسِدِينَ
But seek, with that (wealth) which Allah has bestowed on you, the home of the Hereafter, and forget not your portion (of legal enjoyment) in this world, and do good as Allah has been good to you, and seek not mischief in the land. Verily, Allah likes not the Mufsidun (those who commit great crimes and sins, oppressors, tyrants, mischief-makers, corrupts).
Muslims are not ambassadors of poverty, they said! The youths were motivated to take their studies seriously, develop entrepreneurial mindset, invest in halal businesses, say no grumbling, mumbling or fumbling like those who have taken to Jahiliyyah. They were also thought to be spiritually inclined, trust in Allah and never to lose hope in Nigeria – the land of opportunities.
Another interesting session featured a renowned Media expert from Voice of the Nigeria (VON), Elder Yinka Salaam who explained why media and propagation of Islam are inseparable. ‘Its like fish whose survival is solely dependent on water’! Discussing the topic: ‘Media an Indispensable Tool for Da’wah’, he proclaimed: Daw’ah is media and media is Daw’ah.
The principal Admission officer of the Fountain University, Osogbo, Mr AbdulQadr Odelade was also on ground to analytically explain the veritable route to achieving high grades in examinations and how to excel in higher institutions. His counselling was worth a billion Naira!
Various questions ranging from Fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence), Seerah (History), Tawheed (monotheism) Tazkiyah (purification of the soul) and lots more were directed to Sheik Qamaruddeen Ballo in the segment of ‘Ask The Sheikh. It was a memorable night for all the participants on camp site. There, it was reaffirmed that Islam without knowledge is like a human being without oxygen; and a Muslim with wrong knowledge is like human beings with polluted oxygen and water.
The session on Ideologies of the Deviant Groups and Fiqh of Disagreements presented by Ustadh Taofeek Thanni Annawawi was a deeply researched presentation and mind blowing. Please find time to listen to the audio recording. Topics such as Fiqhus Sujuud, Students Activism and Islamic Da’wah, How to achieve Robaniyyah etc were expertly handled. Book review segment considered: ‘Palestine: An Obligation for All Muslims’ written by Dr Yusuf Al Qaradawi. The review was handled by Ustadh Haroon Akano. The Formal Opening was another high point of the event as Ustadh Sulaiman Ahmad x-rayed the characteristics of the Best Community. Video and audio recordings of these and other segments of the camp activities can be gotten from our website and Facebook page: at http://facebook.com/StandardBearersIO
Sports, competitions and other attractions
The camp had a segment for physical exercises and sports. These were given rapt attention that one would almost conclude that the delegates were being prepared for the Olympic games. Delegates from Owena/Akure axis were the champions for the football competition and got rewarded with a shining trophy.
Debate and Qur’an competition were exhilarating. Delegates from Osun State University came tops in the higher institution category. While the delegates from Ile-Ife outshone others in the Upper Class category, Osogbo delegates came out first in the Quran competition.
The cooking segment where female delegates were taught tantalizing dishes was a sight to behold. The session was novel and the aroma emanating from the event centre was world class.
Camping program, according to Sheikh Uthaymeen in his book ‘Sohwatul islaam’, page 72, Question and Answer 50; is roundly Islamic and could be engaged in to escape the atrocities of the turbulent times.
As Standard Bearers Islamic Organisation wrapped up the camping session, we use this opportunity to thank all delegates who attended the camp, especially the parents and guardians who gave out money and trusted us with their children and wards. We say Jazakumullahu Khairan. Please do ask your wards in Junior Secondary School for the report sheet obtained from the camp.
Insha Allah, April 2018 is another appointed time, let us do this again. May Allah preserve us all on good till then and beyond.
We pray Allah accepts it from us as an act of ibaadah and make the realisation of the Best Community a dream come true.
Once again, jazakumullahu khayran.
Media and Publicity Department,
SBIO (Osun State