Muslims celebrate Islamic New Year today, demand holiday
Today, Nigerians will be joining Muslims worldwide to celebrate the new Hijrah 1442 A.H., also known as the Islamic New Year.However, reputable Islamic groups, the Muslim Media Practitioners of Nigeria (MMPN), The Muslim Congress (TMC), The Companion, the Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria and Nasrul-Lahi-l-Fatih Society (NASFAT), have rejoiced with Nigerian Muslims Ummah and congratulated them for witnessing another New Hijrah Year.
The MMPN reiterated its call on the federal and state governments in Nigeria to declare Muharram 1, the first day of the Islamic Hijrah Calendar 1442 A.H, a public holiday.
Its National President, Alhaji Abdur-Rahman Balogun, said such a declaration would be in line with the rule of law, fairness and justice to Muslims in Nigeria.
Balogun urged the Federal Government to give recognition to Muslim New Year in the interest of fairness as benefitted by the Christian brethren every January 1.
This gesture, he stressed, would give Muslims a sense of belonging in the polity.
“Muharram 1 is our own January 1. We want both the federal and state governments alike to declare it as such in the interest of religious harmony in the country,” Balogun said.He, therefore, implored the government at various levels to recognise the Hijrah calendar and use it side by side with the Gregorian calendar.
Balogun, while congratulating Muslims and non-Muslims alike for witnessing another new Islamic year, urged them to reflect on their deeds and activities during the past year.
He also urged Muslims to use the opportunity of the New Year to migrate from their evil ways in the past to renew their commitments in the New Year and pray to Allah to end the scourge of COVID-19 pandemic. which is ravaging the world.
The MMPN President, who also urged the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) to enter into dialogue with the government on the issue, implored Muslims to rededicate themselves to the cause of building an egalitarian society and join hands with other Nigerians in moving the nation forward.
He, however, commended state governors who had declared public holiday for Islamic New Year, especially in the northern part of the country, as well as Oyo and Osun states in the South-West, urging others to emulate their colleagues.
He described a series of attacks on innocent Nigerians by some insurgency groups as unIslamic and pleaded with the affected groups to ceasefire and stop violence as a demonstration of its readiness to embrace peace.
Balogun equally called for a stringent legislation against rapist in the country, saying it was getting too rampant because the culprits always get away with it.