It’s elections week in our beloved country, Ghana. Everyone is on his toes. As much as everyone is excited about the elections, we are tightly praying for a positive outcome. Above all that, we are praying that peace continues to prevail and that unity remains one of the key marks that symbolize and represent Ghana. I can’t imagine any Ghanaian hoping for otherwise. Therefore, it’s important to remind ourselves of what matters in times like this.
Because we live in a very confusing time, politics, which elections are usually all about, creates more confusion amongst the ordinary citizens of any given country which experiences an election week. Therefore, I find the need to write the following.
One thing I’ve realized is that politics doesn’t make you a better Muslim. In other words, politics doesn’t make you a more righteous individual. But being a good Muslim, or a righteous person, makes you a good, if not a better politician .
Good politicians live and strive for the betterment of their countries and their people. They don’t focus on enlarging their personal bank accounts locally. Neither do they aim for establishing offshore businesses at the expense of the stability and development of their respective countries. They don’t undermine the survival and plight of the ordinary citizens who empower them and vote them into office.
Honesty and truthfulness are core characters in every good individual, and hence, good politicians do not compromise these qualities, for the sake of political fame or post.
It’s unfortunate that many of us, especially Muslims, lose our life compass, during election periods, in favour of politics. Thus, in many situations our failure to realize, or rather remember our mission on this earth and our destination hereafter, lead us to making blind choices. This means, it’s our emotions that determine our decision to support or oppose whom we support or oppose. Our choice is seldom based on sincere rationality and honesty. (Now a “typical politician” will tell me: politics is the ability to influence emotions, even if it’s by slandering and lying.)
To that effect, it’s no longer surprising to see Muslim brethren in bitter disagreements, most of which lead to enmity, quarrel, and in some cases; fight and killing. It’s good to die for a cause. But one should make sure the cause for which he dies is presentable before the Almighty One on the Day of Resurrection. Otherwise, what does it mean to be a Muslim?!
This is to say, whatever choice we make, regardless of how big or tiny it may be perceived, has an implication. In fact, it has several implications. These choices include our choices pertaining to supporting or opposing people, organizations or parties.
“… and do not let the hatred of a people prevent you from being just. Be just; that is nearer to righteousness” (Qur’an, 5:8).
A support and sacrifice, be it verbal, financial or physical, for an individual, an organization or a party has its implications, and so does opposing or slandering a person, an organization or a party has its set of implications. The positive or negative implications for whom or what you support or oppose is given. But its implication on you, as a witness is even more crucial. It is crucial because it’s only you who will bear the implication.
Islam has taught us, that whoever chooses to defend, support, oppose or fight someone or anything should do so with consciousness, evidence and rationality. For that serve as witness he shall bear on the Day of Resurrection.
“Here you are – those who argue on their behalf in [this] worldly life – but who will argue with Allah for them on the Day of Resurrection, or who will [then] be their representative?” (Qur’an, 4:109).
Here, it’s important to indicate, that our emotions are not criteria for the truth or righteousness . In fact, it’s our thoughts that determine such emotions. It is, therefore, important to ensure some level of rationality in our thoughts. We must also observe the intention to seek the truth. Only then, will our choices and, eventually, our decision be guided.
This is to say, what matters, is not whom you choose to support, defend, or whom you choose to fight for or against. Rather, what matters, is why you support, defend, fight for or against him.
This conclusion is achieved through honest and rational thoughts. It’s not achieved through unguided emotions. For your emotions are guided by your thoughts.
Knowing why you do what you are doing, and why you choose what you are choosing is an important factor in personal development and self-help. We must also remember, that we can’t contribute or be effective in national development if we lack personal development.
If you are living an election week, you have the chance to pass a self-help test through that experience. The test is: be honest to yourself… and vote wisely. I care, not for whom you vote, but for how you concluded to vote for him or her. Let the discussion continue, on Facebook and Twitter. To receive monthly updates from 1BabaSalam.com delivered to your inbox, please click here. If you want to ask me any question anonymously, you do so at Ask.fm/BabaSalam.