Ramadan: Make Nigeria your number one prayer point, clerics urge muslims
As Ramadan commences globally, Muslim faithful are expected to eschew all forms of violence, sin, impurity, and get closer to their Creator. What should be the focus for Nigerian Muslims during this period, especially in the light of socio-political instability in the country? CHRIS IREKAMBA reports.
‘Purpose Of Ramadan Fast Is For Muslims To Learn God’s Consciousness And Do His Will’
(Professor Dawud O. S. Noibi, Executive Secretary/CEO Muslim Ummah of South West Nigeria (MUSWEN)
The purpose God requested that Muslims should fast, is stated in Qur’an chapter 2:183, where God made it obligatory for Muslims to fast, just as He made it obligatory on Prophet Mohammed’s followers. The reason is for Muslims to learn to be God-conscious; learn to bring themselves under self-control and learn to appreciate the fact that we are here on earth to do God’s will, as the angels do in Heaven. Ramadan is obligatory because it is given so that Muslims can learn to deepen the God-consciousness that is supposed to be in them and guide them in everything they do in life. Be it personal, communal, family, political economics and whatever.
They should become so God-conscious that they do everything in accordance with directives that come from God. There is no aspect of an individual or community’s life that is not clearly stated in the Qur’an as guidance or manual, if you like. The Qur’an is like a manual that guides Muslims as to how they should live on earth, just as you and I would follow the manual that comes with a handset to ensure that we use it properly and in a manner that it will be useful to us. What makes it even clearer is in the next two verses, 184 and 185, where Allah draws attention to the fact that it was during the month of Ramadan He revealed the Qur’an through Prophet Mohammed, as the last dispensation of guidance that would come from Him to all mankind. So, there is a relationship between fasting and following the content of the Quran, which directs Muslims to live peacefully within their families, communities, country and humanity generally.
Muslims must never be aggressors, as God says He does not like aggressors. Muslims must not take the life of any human being, because Allah says in the Qur’an that whoever takes another’s life has taken the life of all humanity. And whoever saves the life of just one human being is as though he has saved the life of all humanity. Even when you have to defend yourself against an aggressor, it is clearly stated that as soon as the aggressor stops in his/her aggression, you must also stop. You must not go beyond defending yourself. And if you are defending yourself in the enemy’s territory, nobody must kill women, attack children or people of other faith, who are in their places of worship, worshipping God in their own way. Again, the Prophet says you must neither cut down their trees nor kill their animals. So, how can any one claim to be fighting for Islam while, breaking these laws that came from God and His messenger?
Therefore, Ramadan period should be an occasion when Muslims and non-Muslims in Nigeria should appreciate the fact that those who have destroyed other people’s properties or killed people can never be regarded as fighting Islam cause, because what they are doing is exactly the opposite of Islam teaching.
Again, in chapter 9 verse 6 of the Qur’an, God says even when idol worshippers come to you for protection against their enemy, as a Muslim, you should grant them protection. You should not allow the enemy to attack them. Although when they are with you they would listen to God’s word, you are not to force them to accept Islam. And whenever they want to leave, you must ensure that you protect them until they get to safety. This is stated in the Qur’an.
Firstly, people should know that those who attack others in the name of Islam are only doing that on their own; they have no justification whatsoever in Islam.
Secondly, Muslims must use the occasion to assess themselves to see whether they are actually following the guidance that came from God. They should ask the question: “To what extent am I preparing to give a positive account of myself before God on resurrection day, especially as angels attached to me are recording everything I do on earth, will give evidence against evildoers on that day?”
Lastly, the lessons of Ramadan, which include self-restraint and God-consciousness, must be obeyed, as we prepare for 2019 elections. After all, it is God that gives and takes power, and no matter what any person might do to get to power, if Allah does not permit it, he/she will not get there and would have lost everything both here and in the hereafter.
‘In This Month Of Prayer And Fasting, Faithful Should Ask God To Bless And Restructure Nigeria’
(Ustaz Taofeek Yusuf Eniafe, Chief Imam of Anu Oluwapo, Orile, Oshodi, Lagos)
WE are expecting so much from Almighty Allah, especially at this month that has been designated as special for all Muslims. I believe we are going to beseech Allah with special prayers from different mosques and Muslim organisations. And if we all devote our time and prayer to Almighty Allah concerning Nigeria, I think we will get solution to the myriad problems plaguing our country. So, we are going to focus our prayers on the economic development and security challenges, which can only be changed through prayer and fasting. I know that politicians don’t ever take anybody’s advice, but my warning to them is that they should remember that though many of them were sworn in at one time or the other, only few are alive today. So, they should learn from this and not behave as if there is no tomorrow. Those who have died today never expected what happened to them, so they should bear that in mind that Judgment Day is coming. And if they truly fear God, they should turn to the right path. They should know that power is transient.
My counsel to Nigerians is that we are witnesses to what is happening in the country today, and we cannot claim to be ignorant of the type of politicians we have today. On that strength, they should decide on how to use their PVCs properly, come 2019. They can use their votes to change the country’s present situation; the power is in their hands. Today’s politicians have made us to realise that we can determine who comes into power in 2019. I advise them to use their votes wisely, though only Almighty Allah knows who will be there in 2019. There is a verse in the holy Qur’an that says they are planning their own, while God Almighty is planning His own. Only God is the Master planner. So, politicians can plan their own, but let Nigerians face God and hold on to their PVCs and with prayers, they can choose the best leader for Nigeria come 2019. They can do so much with their PVCs.
I believe the people killing farmers and other Nigerians are not the real herdsmen I used to know. The real herdsmen have been living in peace and harmony with farmers before now. What is happening is that government wants to use the situation to divert people’s attention from governance. They do not want Nigerians to know government’s real agenda. They don’t want us to know what they are really doing for the masses. That is why you hear that over there, they have killed 40; and another 30 people in another place, all in attempt to divert our attention from the main issue. The Fulani have been living peacefully with the farmers for many years, so why would things suddenly change over night? These people who are going about killing innocent Nigerians dress like herdsmen and when they strike, people blame the real herdsmen, who know nothing about it.
As we observe this year’s Ramada fast, I urge all Muslims to make Nigeria as their number one prayer point. Americans wake up on daily basis after their morning communion and would say ‘God bless America.’ Nigerian Muslims should be able to wake up every morning during the 29 or 30 days prayer and fasting period and ask God to bless Nigeria and restructure our country. This is possible.
‘We Should Pray For Security And 2019 Election’
(Arc. Taofeek Wunmi Agbaje, National President, Jamatul Islamiyya of Nigeria / Overseas)
OUR focus during this period of Ramadan fast will be centred on prayer for the country, because Muslims believe that Ramadan is a serious month and a special fasting. It is fasting that has been ordained by God for that very particular month. Also, our belief is that as we fast, Almighty God would listen to our prayers. So, I believe Muslims should focus their prayer on the country, because we are presently going through a critical situation. We have security challenges: herdsmen killings and Boko Haram activities, which are yet to abate. So, there should be special prayers going on, particularly for our country, as it prepares to transit to a better nation come 2019. We are going to offer special prayers, so that Almighty God will guide the affairs of this great nation.
The challenges we have in this country stem from politicians and as such, we need to have special prayers for all leaders. We believe you don’t curse your leaders; rather, you should pray for them, lifting them up before the Almighty God to help them do the right thing. When they do so, it is more beneficial to you and the country, as well as I. So, during this Ramadan fast we expect that serious prayers should be going on in all our gatherings, as Almighty God has promised to shower us with His favour. This is because it is the only period, when Heavens door is open for God’s people to be showered with favour. We also urge Nigerians to use their PVCs wisely during 2019 elections. We also expect government to do the right thing, and organise forthcoming elections with justice and fairness.
On herdsmen activities, government should take decisive action against the culprits. We’ve been told that they are from foreign land, but wherever they might be coming from, the point is that the issue of security is part of government’s responsibility. There should not be any excuse whatsoever. To me, that is even the more reason they should tighten our borders and make it inaccessible; it is their responsibility to protect us. If they are coming from other countries, why are they not being prevented from doing so? They must pay special attention to those areas. After all, these people are not spirits; they are human beings. So, government needs to reinforce security at those porous borders.
Unfortunately, our police force is underfunded. They don’t have enough officers to march the huge population. So, police force must be funded, so that they can protect us adequately, apart from what God is doing for us in that regard. We don’t care where the herdsmen are coming from; our prayer is that they should be stopped.
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