In the distant past, different nations were perished by Allah for various sins; in some cases, for a single crime. For example, Qur’an 7:80-84 tells us how the people of Prophet Lut (Alayhi s-Salam, AS), were destroyed with showers of brimstone for homosexuality. Qur’an 7:59-64 tells us how the people of Prophet Nuhu (AS) were seized with flood for rejecting the message preached by him. Qur’an 7:65-74 explains how the Aad people were perished with a severe blast of wind for calling Prophet Hud an imbecile and a liar. Qur’an 7:73-78 narrates how the Thamud people were seized by a dreadful earthquake which buried them because they killed the she-camel of Prophet Salih (AS).
Qur’an states that the people of Madyan to whom was sent Prophet Shuaib (AS) were destroyed by a midnight earthquake for their own sins. According to Qur’an 2:65, Ayilah people were turned into apes for defying the divine order that prohibited fishing on the Sabbath day. Qur’an 2:50 recounts how Pharaoh and his followers were drowned in the red sea for arrogance and transgression. Allah summarizes all these incidences in Qur’an 29:40 and says, “Each of them we seized for his crime: of them against some we sent a violent tornado (with showers of stones); some were caught by a (mighty) blast; some we caused the earth to swallow up; and some we drowned (in the waters); it was not Allah who injured (and oppressed) them but they wronged themselves”.
However, contemporary man’s foolhardy transgression against Allah’s laws seems to have overtaken all that we knew of the sinful nations of the past. Many things we never imagined their occurrence even two decades ago have almost become a way of life in many modern societies including Nigeria; a country that qualifies as a frontline nation in many ‘cutting-edge’ aberrations. Some sins of yester-years have become fashions today. While heinous crimes are replacing industriousness as sources of livelihood, that which used to be taboos even in African culture are becoming acceptable norms; with many people including religious leaders and scholars turning their eyes away from these abominations. The worry of the righteous amongst today’s believers is not the huge and complex transformations that have taken place in the modern world. They are actually most frightened by today’s very bizarre happenings that have become stranger than fiction.
Day after day, newspapers carry incredible stories as if the blood, flesh and brain in contemporary man were from sources other than Adam (AS)! For example, the Daily Trust edition of September Wednesday 22, 2021 carried the story of a man who sold one of his kidneys in 2011 in order to get money to buy iPhone 4, which he desperately desired. The young man who was 17 years old when he sold the kidney for $3,200 has since then been on permanent dialysis because of complications that arose from the procedure carried out at a quack hospital.
The recent arrest by personnel of the Kwara State Command of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) of a Beninese woman and her son over alleged incest relationship that has produced three children (A-Uzu Bi-llah) appeared inexplicable. The same newspaper (Daily Trust) on September Tuesday 21, 2021 carried three different but very inconceivable stories; all on page 20. The first is the case of incest, which though an abomination is becoming a daily occurrence. It was the case of a 45-year-old man that was arrested by the police in Ogun State for allegedly raping and impregnating his 19-year-old daughter, Subhana-llahi! On interrogation, the suspect confessed to the police that he committed the crime but said he was used by the devil.
The second story on the same page of the same newspaper is that of a woman who sued her husband at a Shari’ah Court in Magajin Gari in Kaduna State to seek divorce because the husband says, “she eats too much”, and therefore, beats her. The husband could have a case against the wife if she were to be wasting his food. How does ‘eating too much’ justify beating? Again, one wonders how a wife could be ‘eating too much’ in her matrimonial home when feeding constitutes a basic responsibility of the husband? Maybe, there are other underlying problems. It would be ridiculously weird if the beating was actually for ‘eating too much’. The third story still on the same page is a coldblooded one as a 16-year-old girl who was sent by her parents to buy kuli-kuli (groundnut cookies) was killed and had her head and hands cut off. In the course of investigations, a suspect claimed to be in possession of the head and the two hands.
Recently too, the Kogi State Police Command arrested four suspected kidnappers and armed robbers with two human skulls. The state Police Public Relations Officer, DSP William Aya, who confirmed the incident said the arrests followed credible intelligence about the suspects who had been terrorising residents of Bassa Local Government Area and its environs. While the suspects made confessional statements on their criminal activities in the area, two other criminals were arrested at a Kaduna cemetery with human skulls.
While two verses (Qur’an 17:23-24) both enjoin children to show absolute obedience, respect and care to parents, some children send theirs to the grave. It was shocking to read the story of a 21-year-old man, Muhammed Yusuf, beat his septuagenarian father, Alhaji Ibrahim Yusuf, to death. The incident which was reported in the Daily Trust of September 10, 2021 happened in Lokoja, Kogi State. This is even as those whose parents have died wished, for many reasons, they had a way to bring their late parent(s) back to life.
If Allah were to visit our present societies with punishments proportionate to the crimes we commit, many generations would have since become history but for the respite granted by Allah to Prophet Muhammad’s generation. Unfortunately, modern man neither appreciates nor takes advantage of the respite. Ours is sadly a weird world with impunity and when the world gets weird, the end of time may have long begun. May Allah (SWT) save us from the critical price of the end of time, amin.