Muslims in Nigeria have been advised to move out of their comfort zones to change the sociopolitical and economic narratives in order to be a brand Ambassadors of Islam.
The charge was dropped yesterday, at a Ramadan lecture organised by Nasirul-Lahi Li-Fatih Society of Nigeria (NASFAT) titled: “Moving Out of Your Comfort Zones” and delivered by Mr Taopheek Babayeju at NASFAT Islamic Center, Utako Abuja.
Babayeju describes comfort zone as “A psychological state, in which things feel familiar to a person and they are at ease and in control. A settled method of working that requires little effort and yields only barely acceptable results.”
He explains further: “Though the comfort zones are comfortable, predictable and less susceptible to change but nothing great happens in the comfort zone.
“Naturally, human beings are all the same, we want safety; comfort, we are afraid to leave the known for the unknown, afraid of change and taking risks.
We want the best of life and hereafter but we don’t want the sacrifices that come with it. But Allah did not promise us ease without pain.”
The lecturer went down historical to liking the topic of the day to the experiences and sacrifices made by some of the prophets of Allah. According to him, “we observe hajj today, we tawaf (circumambulate) around the Kaaba but forget the sacrifices of the prophet who was set on fire for destroying the idols.
“Issa (Jesus) – there won’t be the injeel (gospel) today without the son of Mariam, who was born without a father, suffered betrayal and persecutions. “Musa (Moses) – suffered greatly in the hands of Firihaun (Pharaoh) and Mohammed – we have Islam and we are enjoying the grace of Ramadan today because of the numerous pains suffered by Rosululah including the loss of wife and his children.”
Babayeju challenges Muslims to strive for excellence to change the perception in which Muslims are being looked upon, he asked, how many of us have been told that “You don’t look like a Muslim”?
He said: “Because you are seen or perceived in a certain way, they don’t expect some level of excellence from you. It is as a result of the image that we have created consciously and unconsciously. Now, let us take a look at Islam as a religion and the Muslim mind-set.
He pointed out that, “Islam is the total submission to the will of Allah. Therefore, as Muslims we believe in the will of Allah, destiny (Qadar), also that whatever happens to us is destined and the will of Allah.
“However, some of us have taken destiny (Qadar) as an excuse not to take responsibility for our decisions, thereby attributing the consequences of our action and inaction to destiny. However, let us explore the concept of destiny and human decision.”
The young Entrepreneur emphasised the need why Muslims must get out of their comfort zones. Qouting from the glorious Quran Al-Rad Q13: 11: “That He will not change the condition of a people unless they change themselves.” He said, this affirms the fact that mankind has the responsibility to himself as much as Allah does.
To him, change is inevitable for growth, adding that “to become better, so we need to leave our comfort zones.”
Babayeju maintained that: “The world has changed and as Muslims we need to adapt positive change that will further perfect our religion. Even though Allah stated in the Quran Al – Maaida Q5:3 that “On this day I have perfected your religion for you and completed my favour unto you, and have chosen for you as religion al-Islam” should we then go to sleep? He quarried.
The Chief Executive Officer, I-Central stated further that, “As Muslims, we need to be deliberate about our development, not only spiritually but also economically, politically, socially, academically, technologically and in all spheres of life.
“If you desire a harvest, you must sow. If you want a child, you must experience pregnancy and childbirth. If you want to win a game, you must play the game. If you want to be as wealthy as Dangote, you are advised to get out of the comfort of salaries.
“If you want to be a scholar, the learned, you must get out of the comfort of mediocrity. If you want people to embrace Islam, you need to influence the society, preach peace, and is courage any form of extremism. If you want to a better Nigeria, you must get out of the comfort of complaining, get involved in nation building, vote and be voted for.”
He laments the image and name being tagged Muslims world over, “Being a practicing Muslim in the era is not comfortable, the image the world has about an average Muslim is bad, thanks to our brothers with extreme views of Islam. He said.
Babayeju however enjoins the wealthy Muslims to take interest and invest in media, he said the richest man in Africa is a Muslim and yet Muslims cannot boast of one Islamic TV station, he added that Muslims occupy a very small media space in Nigeria, saying that Muslims cannot compete with their Christians counterpart when it comes to media space.
“We need to adopt both traditional and social media to spread the message of Islam and what Islam stands for.”
In his submission, “Nothing is easy in this life, except that which Allah makes easy. Therefore, it is safe to say that for us to grow, we need to embrace change. However, to change ourselves we have to change our mind-sets. But we need to understand that pain and discomfort is part of change process. This is evident in Quran Surah Ash-sharh Q 94:5 “But lo! With hardship comes ease”. He concludes.
The zonal missioner and Chief Imam NASFAT Mosque Abuja, Imam Sharafudeen Abdulsalam Aliagan appreciates and prayed for the speaker for doing justice to the topic. Aliagan however charged Muslim to move out of their comfort zone to achieve greatness in life.
He said: “Holy Prophet Muhammed too moved out of his beloved home-state Makkah (his comfort zone) to Medina (Hijrah) before the Islam we are all enjoy today becomes known and being practice worldwide. He advised Muslims to take the full advantage of the lecture to turn a new leaf. He said.