Is a place.
In West Africa.
It is a republic, a type of ruling system. In Malaysia, the government practices the democratic system.
of all the information we should know about Benin...do you know what is the most important information of all?
That is; it is one of the OIC (Organization of Islamic Conference) members since 1983.
I'm not sure of the criteria to apply as OIC member states, but I'm guessing that from the name itself (Organization of Islamic Conference), one of them could be the presence of Muslims in the country.
In other words, some of our brothers and sisters live in Benin.
This is the African continent, the blue part is Benin
Benin, benign and malignant
You may have heard of a benign tumor, which is not dangerous to health; not recurrent or progressive. A benign tumor is a tumor which does not spread to the rest of the body. In simple terms, it is a harmless tumor.
A malignant tumor, on the other hand, is the type of tumor which grows uncontrollably, and will endanger a person's health.
Today' edition of al-jazeera's People and Power programme is not about Benin's population being struck down by a cancerous plague.
Benin is conquered by something worse than that.
A plague of the mind.A plague of tradition.A plague of belief.
Believe me, belief or mindset is harder to change, or cure than a cancerous malignant tumor.
Benin's malignant culture
This is the first time I've known about a country that still holds strong to the belief of witchcraft and sorcery. So forgive me for any misled facts.
I am...just saddened to hear of this story, even more so when I think that there may be Muslims in Benin, my own brothers and sisters.
You can watch the whole story on the video above, courtesy of al-jazeera newscrew, but perhaps I may brief you a little bit on the...serious situation (in my opinion) that is currently happening, and will continue to happen...in Benin.
The people in Benin believe very strongly in spirits and sorcery. In everyday lives they think the spirits somehow influence their actions or fates.
And the worst part is that, it is the children who get most of the blame.
As you will see in the video, the people believe that babies born feet first, had their mother died during their birth, or had their first tooth grow from the top, ARE CONSIDERED WITCHES.
They will try to cure these 'witches' of the 'evil spirits' that they believe possess the child's body, by taking them to village 'healers', who speaks or chants mantras and use certain techniques, such as using a sacrifice and reading from shells (as in the video), with the hope of curing the child.
And, if they 'fail' to cure the child, do you know what is the solution?
.....They...would prefer to KILL the child, in order to protect their families from the 'dangers' the child pose...
Allright. I am not going to dispute their cultures.
What I do want to highlight is their beliefs.
I mean...subhanallah. I actually...don't have the words to express this.
How could a mother allow her own child to be killed, with the belief that the family will be protected from the evil spirits?
(if you noticed in the movie, there was one part which said, "even though it is so painful during giving birth, the mother would still put her hand inside (her vagina) to check whether how the baby is born (feet first or head first). If the baby is born feet first, then the mother herself will inform the village elders that her child is a witch." )
how could a child...be a monster?
A child who have only begun to take his first breath in this world, is evil?
How could a child, who has come to live in this world, be sentenced to death?
What did he do?
"Did he stole cattle, or sheep? Did he stab his mother to death on his way out (of the womb)? Did he shoot somebody down with a gun?"
No. He just...cried. And cried. And cried.
I do not understand..and I cannot understand...
Perhaps, the child's cries makes them deaf?
I think, they are deaf from the start. They are deaf...to the cries of life...
If they are deaf, then we are...
Blind. Deaf. as well as Mute.
Because we have failed to teach them the solution.
Because we, have failed to show them the way out.
Because we have failed to embed Islam properly in their lives.
We are blind to the urgent need of dai's in African countries.
We are deaf to the cries of the children who are murdered, because their parents do not know about the value of life, the value of children, as in Islam.
We are mute, because the voices of Islam are still not properly heard, even it is 1400 years after Allah Taala sent prophet Muhammad saw with Islam.
How can we blame them...how can we blame anyone for not valuing life, as we do, simply because Allah Taala gives His hidayah to us?
How can we continue to get angry when they know little about the religion we so 'proudly' say we adhere to?
Christianity in Benin
As seen in the video, the people of Benin have churches there. Which means the religion that they believe in is Christian. (perhaps most of them)
If there are christian missionaries there, why don't Muslims also send dai's there?
If they are shown the real advice that Islam carries, I'm sure they would accept it. Insya-Allah.
They need a way out right now. I' sure they loved and valued their children, but because they see no way out, they know no other way out, that they continue to practice what their forefathers have practiced.
Let's put a stop to this
Already the elders are teaching the children of Benin to be successors of this practice. Somewhere along the way, someone has to put a stop to this.
Let's you and I, the young adults of Muslim generation, be those people.
But first, we need to arm ourselves.
Not with guns, Not with swords.
But with knowledge.
Knowledge of Islam. About solat, zakat, fasting, and hajj. And about the many inspiring stories of the Prophet's Sahabahs and Sahabiahs (male and female companions of Muhammad saw), so that this will be the practice and belief of future generations of Benin. (and other countries as well)
When we are ready to teach (when we are skilled and have the proper knowledge), then they will be ready to accept. Insya-Allah.