A Nigerian lady lost her husband in an accident. To stitch the pieces of her broken life back together, she left Nigeria for Ghana to spend time with her brother and look for a job to support herself.
As the hunt for a job became harder, she sat up one night to pray to Allah, her God. However, in the middle of the prayer request for a job, she stopped and wondered why she was praying. According to her Islamic belief, her destiny was documented about 40,000 years before she was born. She reasoned that her inability to find a job in Ghana was part of her destiny. So, she returned to Nigeria and later got a job at an orphanage.
The above story was lifted from Mrs Hadiza El Rufai’s new book, “Abundance of Scorpions.”
When I asked Mrs El Rufai whether she was taking a pot shot at her religion, she responded in the negative. But she quickly added that at some point in life, a matured mind ought to scrutinize his or her belief.
So, your destiny, who wrote the script? The moslems believe that whatever befalls them is the will of Allah. In other words, Allah wrote their destiny scripts?
On the other hand, some Christians who believe in destiny are a bit unequivocal about who wrote their destiny scripts. If it is not God, then who? Satan? Can Satan write a life time script for what he did not create?
If it is God or Allah, can he write a script for destiny and then prescribe laws to govern or regulate behaviour at the same time? Can an actor be faulted for acting exactly according to the script of a play? If a man, for instance, is condemned by the script of his destiny to be a serial killer, why should society or God himself try to regulate his ruinous behaviour or purnish such a fellow? Will such purnishment stand up to the basic principles of natural justice?
When a few years ago, some high school students traveling from Abuja to Port Harcourt perished in an air crash, a man of God while consoling their parents claimed that it was the wish of God and that God wanted the kids to be with him in heaven. In other words, that horrible death was their destiny. And a loving God snatched the kids from their parents so that he could spend time with them in heaven!
A man lost his dear sister and business partner in Kaduna sometime this year. One of his church members came in to console him. The first words the church member said was “It is well.” The grieving man told me he went berserk and asked the fellow to leave his house. If you read between the lines, you may see the seeds of destiny in the “it is well” comment. Otherwise, how can it really be well when a man has just lost a loved one.
That brings us to the question of destiny reversal. Can an Imam or Pastor reverse your destiny? Can you pray your way out of your destiny? Some claim that they can assist in getting their followers out of undesirable destiny traps. And some people have become beholden to such ones.
Related to the belief in destiny is the emerging and Christendom popularized issue of “generation curse.” Once you have inherited that curse by the incidence of your birth or family tree, you can not be free until an intervention by a spiritual father or guru. But then, what is the conclusive and irrevocable evidence that you are under a curse.
In the bible, you may find evidence of God cursing a man and his progeny. Years later, that curse can be referred to because it was documented.
Are these “generation curses” documented in any way or are they the figment of somebody’s fertile imagination? And when people are freed from such curses, who measures the outcome to prove that indeed they and their future generations have been freed? How would their children and grandchildren keep tab of how their lives have been shaped by their fathers and grandfathers? Or is such release just a matter of taking the word of a spiritual counselor as sufficient and live happily ever after?
As Mrs Hadiza El Rufai said in my encounter with her on several issues of religious beliefs raised in her book, it is unacceptable for humans gifted with an awesome power of reasoning not to subject certain beliefs to rigorous scrutiny. Otherwise, we are not any better than animals that often take things as they are.