Conflict in Ibada and Public Service tenets


Ali G. Macabalang

There seems to be a conflict between ibada (ideal deeds in Islam) and career service principles.

Ibada-related feats should be kept between the doers and Allah (s.w.t.) and not heralded, lest the divine rewards for the good acts will vanish. On the other hand, the government’s transparency policy obliges public servants to unveil to the public all their activities that involved public funds.

The issue may appear trivial. But for the officials of the Bangsamoro autonomous region’s transitional governance, this stands as an imperative matter to ponder on, especially in pursuit of their commitment for moral governance. The public – comprising skeptics, critics and supporters – closely monitor the BARMM operation as to whether or not the commitment is going to be realized. 

In two occasions, BARMM executive Secretary and Environment Minister Abdulraof “Sammy Gambay” Macacua had confessed to journalists including me about their mixed feelings in conveying through the media their initial feats in the context of Islamic tenet on ibada.

.”Apart from regular programs and thrusts, we are also embarking on humanitarian activities such as providing cash aids and relief materials to needy constituents. Initially, we thought of keeping the grants of assistance untold for fear that the barakah (Divine rewards) will be eroded,” Macacua said.

But in one of the occasions, I argued with Macacua that abiding fully by their fear is affront to government policy for transparency in all state-funded undertakings.

Besides, I said that a public official should opt for niyat (intention) that heralding the delivery of goods and services especially in ideal fashion is meant to inspire other people to follow suit or replicate.

Similar fate

The incumbent chancellor of the Mindanao State University-General Santos campus, Dr. Anshari Ali, similarly faces the dilemma.

Before we crossed paths last December, I had been hearing many feedbacks about unprecedented improvements and reforms his almost two-year administration has achieved in a fashion that earned for him citations as exemplary educator from local and foreign entities, including the UNNESCO.

The accolades reportedly came one after another as subordinate officials and workers of the MSU-GenSan campus publicized Dr. Ali’s feats in their official publications and website. The satellite campus’ website is accessed regularly by dozens of searchers, possibly including the entities that awarded him in separate ceremonies.

It was during my personal meeting with Dr. Ali last Dec. 8 that I learned a lot of human interest stories about his reign that I deem worth drumbeating for the purpose of inspiring other government officials to replicate.

Of course, I know that Dr. Ali knows more about the intricacies of the relationship between Philippine government’s policies and Islamic philosophes in Islam. He is a post-graduate degree in Islamic studies and, in fact, a Sha’riah Law practitioner and professor. Allahu alam [only God know]. AGM

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