It was a beautiful morning in the city of Ibadan; even though the clouds are gathering, the rain on its mark, the splendor of the morning was not robbed. At best, both the cloud and the impending rain added color to the day. I was just some 5 minutes away from the house of my fashion designer at Bodija, my business of the day, when an accident scene caught my attention. Obviously, my journalistic instinct would not permit me pretend as if I saw nothing, so I paused to steal a look, albeit reluctantly. Needless say the scene was horrible, quite disturbing and puzzling. Typical of crowds, after many unprintable words we all dispersed, but I got angrier after everybody had gone and I suddenly remember I was carrying my digital camera, yet no shot. I was still on the nagging when, unexpectedly; I met the driver and the casualty in front of the house I was going! Trust me, I wasn’t going to miss this time so I quickly registered some shots, albeit secretly.
I’m sure someone is asking ‘what’s my business with that?’ I’ll speak in riddles no more; back at the accident scene something puzzling caught my attention. The driver ran over a lady’s leg, broke some bones in the toe, and just when it was time to take the lady to the hospital, emotions were triggered. The driver asked the lady to walk into the car, parked at about 30meters away from the accident scene, and obviously she couldn’t walk; so she demanded for a hand, which the driver refused saying “haram…” The lady got angry replying “I am also a Muslim, and I say carry me!!!” Trust Nigerians, the driver was mobbed. You should be there to see the shame and reproach boldly written on the face of the driver while carrying the lady into his car.
It was at this moment that a million dollar question appeared on my mind: At what point or stage does religion robs us of sanity? At what point does it rubbish the sanctity of human life? At what point should it make us inhuman and inhumane? That is if it should do any of these to us in the first place. And if it does, at what point does it permit us to be human and humane again?
What is haram when your fellow man, created by God as well, is dying and you are in the position to save his life? Perhaps, if the driver had been killed by the angry mob, he would have understood what truly haram is when he gets to meet God. As if I know nothing before, I had to go pick my encyclopedia to study religion and its sects (Christianity, Islam, Afrel et al), trying to see whether God permits a lot of things I never knew about. Gosh… it’s so painful that Man is at a loss on what his God requires of him; at a loss on what his purpose truly is, at a loss on the true order of life. I guess I have to halt the movement of my pen now, lest I instigate another ripple of extremism. With this I’d sign off however; the only haram there is, is the falsification and manipulation of truth. It’s time we break the shackles of religion, and live at peace with Man, Life, and God.
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