Man is naturally predisposed to be in needs, worldly as well as heavenly.
The worldly needs could be physical, psychological, socio-economic, or political.
Needs could also be personal or collective, However, man could ruin the dream(s) of his needs if he fails or refuses (as in the case of the foolhardy) to immobilize greed and desperation with strong ‘chains’ of faith in destiny.
Greed and desperation are two eccentrics that easily lead to misfortune, and sometimes, extensive ruins or fatal devastations.
A destructive consequence of greed could be seen in the self-destructive tendency of the white ant.
One of the basic nutritional needs of the white ant is sugary or sweetened foods and plants, whether in solid or liquid form.
The white ant would desperately follow every sweet item to its destination in order to have a taste of it; no matter how air-tight it is packaged or wrapped.
I wonder how the white ant sometimes gets into covered bottles.
Of course, that’s a show of desperation.
The white ant never attempts to control its greed especially when it has unhindered access to ‘mouthwatering’ substances.
For instance, a sweet substance such as sugar and honey that is left open is always a place to find dead white ants.
Instead of sucking to survive, the white ant sucks to die because it found a surplus of what is dear to it.
The problem with the ant is that it will continue to suck, suck and suck until it is too satiated and weak to stay alive.
It subsequently dies from overfeeding.
That’s the bane of the white ant.
For us as human beings, ingratitude to Allah (SWT) leads to greed and desperation for the worldly things that the eyes of men covet.
Ungratefulness leads to discontentment. When an individual is ungrateful, he misses out of the belief in destiny.
The consequence of this loss of faith is that such a stray individual would be misled into ascribing his successes to human or material factors.
As a result of this false perception, some ungrateful persons find pleasure in taking refuge in the pranks of some supposed ‘Malams’ who prompt their clients into believing that they can protect or provide for their clients’ needs.
Alas! Such “Malaman Tsibu” (as they are called in Hausa) are liars, dupes, cheats, hypocrites, slanderers and sorcerers.
They are crafty, tricky, and fraudulent.
These hypocritical ‘Malams’ have circuitous ways of making their clients believe in the most fallacious tale.
I once heard of a story of a ‘Malam’ who hoodwinked a former Nigerian Vice President (VP) in to his ‘snare’.
I wouldn’t know whether the story is true or not. It was said that the ‘Malam’ used his connection with the protocol unit of the Government House of the State the VP was visiting to be part of the VIPs hat would line up to receive the visiting guest.
Soon after the special guest came down from the aircraft, the state governor led him to where state officials and other dignitaries had line up.
The governor began to introduce his cabinet members to the guest who shook hands with them, one after the other.
When the VP got to the ‘Malam’ who saw the event as a golden opportunity to win the heart of the guest, he hanged his long thread of beads in the air, shook hands with the VP, and then took back his beads from where it was hanging.
It actually worked out for the ‘Malam’ because the VP, it was said, sent an aircraft after his return to Abuja to pick the ‘Malam’ for a special interactive session.
All these maneuvers are tricks. Such ‘Malams’ could make an amulet to disappear in to thin air; make an object to appear upside-down in the eyes of the watcher; and dig the earth to pick amulets that were never buried at a place.
All these are deceptive forms of sorcery employed to exploit blockheaded clients.
No one should ever make the mistake of accepting these illusions as divine virtues (called Karamah in Arabic).
Believers should be able to distinguish between sorcery and divine virtue.
No one, not even the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) has any prerogative powers to effect any good or evil for or against anyone except as Allah wills.
This fact is contained in Qur’an 7:188 “Say: I have no power over any good or harm to myself except as God willeth.
If I had knowledge of the unseen, I should have multiplied all good, and no evil should have touched me: I am but a Warner, and a bringer of glad tidings to those who have faith”.
These fake ‘Malams’ just play on the intelligence of their materialistic and desperate clients.
As Muslims, let us shun greed, materialism, and desperation in every matter.
Let us express gratitude to God in words, actions and in our hearts.
This can be done by appreciating the blessings and favours of Allah upon us.
Do not think that because you are poor, you lack everything for which you need to thank your creator.
Until you lose any of your senses or limbs, you may not realize that your eyes, hands, nose mouth, tongue, legs or ears are individually worth the wealth in this world.
Ponder over the life of a leper, dumb, deaf, and the insane.
You will have every cause to be grateful to Allah (SWT).
We attain contentment when we appreciate some of these intangible favours of Allah upon our existence.
With this brand of contentment, we shall achieve our dreams according to what and how Allah (SWT) has designed them for us. Qur’an 14:7 “And remember! Your lord caused to be declared (publicity): If ye are grateful, I will add more (favours) unto you; but if ye show ingratitude, truly my punishment is terrible indeed”.
Allah (SWT) states in Qur’an 59:9 “…And those saved from the covetousness of their own souls are the ones that achieve prosperity”.
Let us not be like the white ant as we go after the comforts of this life.
Let us also not be deceived by the shenanigans of those who are as helpless as ourselves in our desperation for power, wealth, marriage, children, and position.
May Allah (SWT help us to overcome human as well as satanic devils, amin.