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‘New Year message’ from Ibn Al-Qayyim

By Afis A. Oladosu   |   06 January 2017   |   3:41 am
Members of Muslim Students Society of Nigeria (MSSN) with female executives of Muslim Media Practitioners during the yearly Islamic Vacation Course (IVC)

Members of Muslim Students Society of Nigeria (MSSN) with female executives of Muslim Media Practitioners during the yearly Islamic Vacation Course (IVC)

In the name of the Almighty, the Gracious the Merciful
“Verily, the number of months with the Almighty is twelve months (in a year)… (Q:36)

There was certainly in their stories a lesson for those of understanding. Never was the Qur’an a narration invented, but a confirmation of what was before it and a detailed explanation of all things and guidance and mercy for a people who believe. (Quran 12: 111)

What a contradiction, you might say. Yes. It might appear contradictory for us to suggest that the medieval scholar, polymath and author of many compendia on Arab-Islamic culture, Ibn al-Qayyim al—Jawziyyah’ would have thought and written about what has become known in the contemporary period as the New Year. Yes. What we refer to as the beginning of New Year in the Gregorian Calendar, i.e January the 1st, was named after Pope Gregory XIII. The calendar became effective in the year 1582. Before then, and in large parts of the Muslim world, the Gregorian calendar had been unknown. Muslims have always made use of the event of the departure of the Prophet of Islam from Makkah to Madinah in 622 AD to date the datable in their reality and history. Thus Ibn Qayyim would have pooh-poohed the existence of a calendar other than that of the Hijrah had such become known to him long before he bade this world bye in September 15, 1350 AD.

But I chose to seize upon the insightful advice deposited by Ibn al-Qayyim in human memory and history simply because some of them are extremely pertinent to the world we have found ourselves today. Our world, remember, can be divided into two: the world that we met at birth and the world that has caught up with us today.

Ibn Qayyim was born on the 7th of Safar in the year 691H (1292CE), and was raised in a house of knowledge and excellence. This offered him the chance to take knowledge from the senior scholars of his time, at a time when the various sciences of knowledge flourished. He studied under al-Nabilusi, al-Qadi Taqiyy -Din Sulayman, ‘Isa al-Mut’im, Fatimah bint Jawhar, among many others.

Many scholars have testified to his prodigious knowledge and piety. In one of his many writings he says: “A friend will not (literally) share your struggles, and a loved one cannot physically take away your pain, and a close one will not stay up the night on your behalf, so look after yourself, protect it, nurture it and do not give life’s events more than what they are really worth. Be certain that when you break no one will heal you except you, and when you are defeated no one will give you victory except your determination. Your ability to stand up again and carry on is your responsibility”.

He says further: “Do not look for your self-worth in the eyes of people; look for your worth from within your sub-conscious. If your subconscious is at peace then you will ascend high, and if you truly know yourself then what is said about you should not and would not harm you. Do not carry the worries of this life on your head because this is for the Almighty not you; …do not carry the anxiety of today over to tomorrow because that is in the Hands of the Almighty. Be concerned only with one thing: How to Please your Creator; because if you please Him, He would be pleased with you; He would fulfill your desires and enrich you.

Ibn Qayyim says again: “Sadness departs with a sajdah (placing of the forelock on the ground in prayers); happiness comes with a sincere du’a (supplication). The Almighty does not forget the good you do…nor does He Forget the good you did to others and the pain you relieved them from. Nor will He forget the heart which was in grief but which you turned to happiness. Live your life with this principle: Be good even if you do not receive goodness not because of other’s sake but because He loves the good doers”.

Brethren, while making sense of the above, my attention was drawn to another intervention offered by Shaykh Khalid Yasin. He says as follows: “Let not the people come to know of your happiness, and let them not see except your smile. If life becomes constricted upon you, then within the Qur’an is your orchard. If you feel curtailed and restricted, then to the heavens raise your call. And if they ask you of your affairs, then praise the Almighty and smile.

“If you see an ant on the path, then do not crush it, and seek the Face of Almighty thereby, so that He will have mercy on you like you had mercy on it, and remember that the ant also glorifies the Almighty. So do not halt its glorification by killing it. And if you pass by a bird drinking from the blessing of water, then do not pass close to it in case you startle it. Rather, seek the pleasure of the Almighty thereby, so that He grants you safety on the day when hearts shall reach the throat in pain. And if you come across a cat in the middle of the road, then avoid hitting it, and seek the pleasure of the Almighty thereby, so that He could, by that singular action, avert for you death in the most painful and violent way. And if you want to throw out food, then make it your intention that animals can eat from it and seek the pleasure of the Almighty thereby, so that He may continue to provide for you from where you do not expect. Do good, no matter how small it seems to you, because you do not know which good deed will make you enter into Paradise.

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  • Adekunle Olayiwola

    Build a mosque with N15,000
    BRIEF PROFILE OF THE MOSQUE
    • Alhaji Oba Alebiosu mosque is a 25 year old mosque located at 15 Oyewole Street Ilupeju. The mosque came into being because the founder realized that there was no single mosque along a stretch of about 3km road, from Kayode Onipanu through Coker Rd, Ilupeju . The mosque till date remain the only one along the road. The mosque is situated on close to a plot of land in a street which has now become a highbrow and a plot of land will cost nothing less than N10m ($25,000). The mosque, which started as an ordinary mosque has now grown to a full-fledged central mosque.
    RATIONALE FOR RENOVATION AND EXPANSION
    We are currently renovating and extending Alh Afolabi Alebiosu Central Mosque at oyewole Street, Ilupeju, Lagos due to the following reasons:
    1. The mosque is till the only mosque along that stretch of the road and there is need to accommodate the growing number of worshippers in the mosque. This will not only provide comfort for the worshippers, the mosque will be seen as law abiding by not causing road obstruction during Jummah Prayers. Areas such as ablution centre, toilets etc will be expanded to accommodate more people.
    2. The mosque also needs to have a look of a central mosque
    3. Some accessories in the mosque are very old and required to be changed because of dangers they portend if they are not changed urgently because of our kids who attend Modrasa in the mosque.
    PROJECT SCOPE
    The extension project will add atleast 5 rows downstairs for men and 5 rows upstairs for women and create the imam’s office. Renovation will involve ablution points, toilets, generator house, and replacement of tiles and roofing of the mosques.
    PROJECT COST
    Based on the expert projection, the cost to completion is N7,000,000 to give the mosque an entirely new look.
    BUILDING A MOSQUE IN YOUR LIFETIME MADE EASY
    As a way of breakdown, the mosque will cover 480square meter of land. Based on the project cost above, each square meter will cost about N15,000. We invite you to join hands with us in this onerous task of building a standard central by subscribing for at least one sqm. A sqm is more than convenient for an individual to pray every time. This is equivalent to building a mosque. This is a way to create a stream of passive reward from Allah because for as long as the mosque remains in use, every donor will be rewarded the full benefit of building a mosque. The reward is clear and it is simply Aljannah Fridaus. The messenger of Allah (pbuh) said “whoever builds a masjid in which the name of Allah is remembered, Allah will build for him a house in paradise”. Allah said: “And the likeness of those who spend their wealth in the search of Allah’s pleasure, and the strengthening of their souls, is as the likeness of a garden on the height. When the rainstorms strikes it, it brings forth its fruits twofold and if rainstorm does not strike it then a little shower is enough. Quran 2 verse 265.
    Please be inspired to take part in this and do also motivate others. May Allah continue to enrich your purse.
    Here is the mosque details
    A/c name: Alh. Oba Alebiosu Mosque
    A/c No. 3003414047
    First Bank.
    Jazzakumllahu Khaeran

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