Image via Wikipedia"If ALLAH were to hasten to people the evil they defy Him to pronounce upon them, as they hasten in asking for good, their doom would have been determined already. But we leave those in rebellion, who do not look to the encounter with Us, in their insolence, wandering blindly on". Qur'an. (Yunus, 11)
Recall to mind how Somalia was at one time a haven of peace and the city of Mogadishu the cleanest in Africa; recollect the role Somalia played in international affairs in the past; and picture to yourself how Somalis of the eighties rejoiced as a nation. Remember the abundance of fruits and vegetables that was available in the markets and the millions of wildlife and livestock that roamed the countryside.
Reflect the beautiful beaches we had and the vast untouched forests scattered north and south of the country producing nutritious fruits, medicated roots and tubers and the glistening and encasing toxic-free environment solely created to benefit every Somali-sane and insane. That is why the Pharaohs referred Somalia to as the "Land of Aroma" or the “Land of Gods” not because of the abundance of Myrrh or Frankincense but because of the diverse creatures that emitted entertaining aroma acceptable to every living thing that inhabited it.
In Somalia, before the advent of modern war machines and before the eruption of the civil war in 1990, the scent of rain could be felt from a far because nature remained in complete obeisance to the environment regardless of regional geography or landscape. Unfortunately, with the erosion of law and order, cantankerous warlords and the Mafiosi discovered ways of dumping nuclear wastes along the coastlines and in to the interior of the country ultimately increasing child mortality rates, depriving the soil of its vital nutrients, and wrecking havoc to all kinds of life.
In the absence of putrid and nauseating smell of petrochemicals, hazardous wastes, and noxious emissions from cars and factories, in the olden days in Somalia, one could inhale nature's true scent as the fecundating winds majestically dispersed heavenly aroma known in Somali as saxansaxo-a nourishing element that resuscitates living organisms.
Now, from Islamic perspective, let's deeply explore together Somalia's past and figure out the exact causes of the twenty years of indiscriminate killings, displacements, failed reconciliation conferences, deliberately imposed imperialism and occupation, warlordism, plunder, and exodus of our people from their land.
It is common for humans to point fingers at others for their own quandaries and ridiculous disappointments. Was Somalia's failure as a state engineered by foreign powers and malodorously cantankerous Somali individuals whose aim was to impose hegemony and create discord for selfish gains? If that is what you believe, then, it is my strongest conviction that you are wrong beyond reasonable doubt.
When a nation disobeys Almighty Allah by employing decadence to speed up its immaterial selfish aims and objectives, then, the resultant expectations as admonished in the Glorious Qur'an and scriptures that preceded it, is divine destruction that does not differentiate the pious from the sinner.
Somalis have harmoniously copied the evil doings of the people of Ad, Thamud, Iram; Aikat etc. to an extent sermon from mosque pulpits fell on deaf ears as majority became engrossed in un-Islamic acts and Satanic exploits that incessantly seeped through all sectors of society.
How often have you reflected the negative practices of our nomads selling milk in the streets of our major towns and villages? One thing I've noted is that the steatopygous pastoral Somali girl or woman whose day started at dawn to venture out into the milk selling business strolled backbreaking kilometers loaded with heavy milk containers with one thing in mind: to lure and cheat town dwelling customers with contaminated milk diluted with water or powdered milk. The deceits they applied were so intricately rehearsed to the detriment of the unsuspecting customer and herself. With two milk containers by her sides, the unsuspecting customer was given pure milk from a container reserved for tasting only while the ultimate transaction implied a separate container with diluted milk. These garrulous milk sellers were known to swear until they exhausted their energies. Likewise, canteens known as bibitos and restaurants played a great role selling diluted milk.
The most destructive business ventures that brought Somalia to her heals could be found among shops and butcheries that manipulated the scale and the balance. Butchers sold meat with tremendous speed and drive simply because their lack of refrigerators meant disaster for their business undertakings as meat is known to perish within hours without preservation. They unprofessionally and deceitfully sold ligaments, tendons, glands, and bones instead of steak to their unsuspecting customers.
The speed at how shop owners dislodged the weight before it came to its right position and the removal of some vital parts from the balance meant customers were getting poor service. Another debilitating anecdote was how farmers sold their products. Sesame sellers splashed water on to sesame seeds so they could add more weight to their products and generate cash money during retail or wholesale transactions. Sesame seeds are visibly lighter and absorb water profusely. By soaking the sesame seeds in water, farmers felt assured that they would strike hefty profits. Grains sellers employed scoops with bulging bases for purchases, whereas, when selling, the scoops had upward-punched bottoms.
Remember, Allah destroyed the people of Madyan after they betrayed Prophet Shu’ayb. Despite being good at business, the people of Madyan were so selfish that they manipulated the weight or measure. In the olden days when Somalia had an effective central government, businesspeople preferred or entrusted their daughters to running their businesses, perhaps, because they were adept at attracting customers.
Prostitution is the second oldest tradition so goes the saying. The proliferation of prostitution conglomerates in the city of Mogadishu saw sprouting of brothels flourish in all suburbs with girls as young as fifteen becoming targets for officials and business magnates stashed with cash meant to lure them. Government officials emptied state coffers through malpractices; military officers hoarded provisions meant for their juniors, promotions were not based on merit but on favoritisms and tribal affiliations; foreigners played seek and hide games in attempts to fulfill their sexual desires; qaad sessions bloomed with middle-aged women known as xusul baruur acting as go-betweens or playing the pimping mistress roles; the consumption of marijuana and alcohol became unregulated and uninterrupted; for women to attract men they resorted to outfits known as iga-dhex-arag or see-me-through while others went about their businesses in western outfits including skirts, trousers, T-shirts and shorts; women wore make-ups, heads were uncovered; barbers welcomed all sexes into their evil haircut adventures; cinema-goers watched explicit movies while video dens played pornographic contents even for school children. Minority clans felt the excruciating pain of stratification and marginalization. A fraction of women dressed in gareys-a kind of gown exclusive to nomadic women-where one breast remained exposed for all to see.
Somalia of old experienced tremendous proliferation of boarding and lodgings that readily accepted unmarried partners consequently indulging in fetishism, fornication and adultery. Asxaabul-Zio, smooth-talking parasites constituting high school drop-outs, social rejects, contumaciously malevolent youth whose source of income was shaxaad-a meticulous method of begging without attracting resentment-kept night vigils along streets, around corridors, beneath verandahs, and in patios obstructing pedestrians while rehearsing the same old chorus: “abbaayo, muraayad aan kaa dhex arkay, no” to every passing by female they found appealing. Assumingly, these armies of youthful social rejects broke the virginity of many young girls and could also shoulder the blame of impregnating many others. On the other hand, they might have had a hand in the implosion of uncontrolled sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) like gonorrhea and HIV/AIDS.
A famous distillery in Jowhar produced a kind of rum that was awarded “international Africa Award”. Perhaps, many apathetic alcoholics may have met their sudden deaths or suffered cirrhosis of the liver after consuming Somalia’s “Kill Me Quick” concoctions. Bear in mind the assortments of western brands of beer sold at Lido Beach, Baar Gember, al-Uruba, Juba, and Taleex hotels and the host of barefaced alcoholics who scrambled for a bitter taste of “elephant urine” known among locals as “kaadi maroodi”-the likes of Budweiser, Carlsberg, Breda, and Heineken. Budweiser was known in Somalia as “Badda Weysa” which literally translates to oceanic ablution. Rewind yourself to the slapdash deals in Ceelgaab that included distribution of marijuana and alcoholic beverages. Sinai, an accursed market in Mogadishu served as a melting pot and an epicenter for seekers of gerasheys-informal qaad-chewing sessions involving runaway wives, Mademoiselles, calamites, and pederasts engaged in adult plays often kicking-off their satanic practices after midnight and running up to the wee hours of the morning without feeling any sense of trepidation or reprehension.
Poets used poetry to relay imprecations, deliver messages of discontent to the ruling elites, and as a crying call to rally the mass. With Somalis being a nation of poets and “a fierce and turbulent race”, a few hate-filled and antagonistic elements acting as successors to the ancestors of old British explorer and orientalist Sir Richard Burton referred to as poetasters, poetitos, and poetaccios in his 1854 visit to Somalia, grasped the opportunity to disseminate tribal hatred, fallacious propaganda and deceptive nationalistic aspirations that transformed into an inferno engulfing their own abodes, the Somali nation, and the entire Horn of Africa region.
Consequently, the few remaining adherents and religious leaders entrusted to the propagation of Islam became thunderstruck after noticing the abrupt reduction of devotees, abandonment of mosques, and desertion of religious centers.
What followed next became history. Somalia's predominantly Muslim nation was headed for destruction. The formation of guerilla movements up north led to the overthrow of the corrupt government. Driven by revenge, greed, and power, these guerilla movements further plunged the already morally corrupt and bankrupt nation in to tribal divisions and cantons. The ensuing two-decade civil strife accelerated genocide whose victims include the elderly, women, and children. The strong stuck to their guns; academia left the country enmasse, and nations with a stake in Somalia’s fragmentation jostled for influence and occupation.
Anyhow, having unearthed some of Somalia's past wrongdoings and premeditated transgressions, I beseech the reader to dissuade pointing fingers at others and kindly reflect the propensity of immorality that was Somalia before its initial collapse.