Our democracy and insecurity
We usually shower oceans of praises on heroes of democracy of our country during special times.
Today, designated as Democracy Day by the Federal Government, is likely to witness torrents of such encomiums for our heroes past and present.
Unfortunately, this year’s democracy day is being celebrated amidst unprecedented degeneration of security situation in the country.
Yesterday, a brother who is well known on Facebook, Barr Shettima Dan’azumi forwarded a suggestion that we should use the day to call the attention of our leaders towards the seemingly endless insecurity and unfortunate massacre of people in our country.
Buhari goofed on June 12 – Junaidu Muhammad
The northern part of Nigeria where I come from and coincidently, the constituency of President Muhammad Buhari GCFR, is the worst hit.
I instantly agreed, without even having a second thought, as the issue has been disturbing me for a while and I have been looking for the perfect time to express my immense grief.
Worse than COVID-19
Nigeria was, at a time, the giant of Africa when it comes to the issue of tackling insecurity.
The exploits of our troops in Liberia, Sierra Leone and other parts of the continent are well known.
Nonetheless, it is now a national consensus that, that commanding image of the past has almost faded completely.
Yet, I am still optimistic about a positive turnaround during difficult times.
I strongly believe that we are more than capable of overcoming this epidemic.
The high rate of insecurity in our country has done more damage and cost more Nigerian lives than the recent outbreaks of diseases, including Lassa fever and COVID-19.
Living in fear
It is alarming to see that the situation has kept escalating and more terrorist and notorious groups are emerging by the day.
From armed robbery to Boko haram, kidnapping, cattle rustling and banditry, these terror groups have caused enough destructions through their barbaric activities.
It is time the governments at different levels doubled efforts with a view to curbing the crises before the impacts and strength of these groups become insurmountable.
Our people in the north are living in fear.
Nobody knows the next the target of the terrorists.
They are insidiously taking over the north before our very eyes.
Time to act
I therefore call on the government to look into this issue seriously. Many people are now homeless, while many have been orphaned all because of insecurity.
We are gradually becoming another Somalia or Afghanistan.
The government, therefore, has to tackle this matter from its roots. Restructuring of the country’s security architecture can certainly help bring us out of this mess.
More youths have to be recruited into the system.
Our internal security agencies like the Police and Civil Defence should be more engaged in tackling the internal problems as the military is clearly over stretched.
These agencies must be properly trained and equipped with the modern weapons to do their job.
God bless the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Muhammad, a young, passionate and patriotic Nigerian writes from Abuja
Gov. Abba Kabir Walk the Talk
By Abdulmalik Suleiman
The ongoing rebuilding and remodeling of Kano metropolis have triggered a positive and interesting reactions among the residents and Nigerians.
Immediately the governor was swore-in few days ago, he didn’t waste time in formulating policies to adopt, he immediately commenced work by hitting the ground running, he made some key and vital appointment that very day, Secretary to the State Government, Chief of Staff, Chief Protocol, Chief Press Secretary and others.
Gov. Abba didn’t leave anybody in doubt about his readiness and preparedness to govern and once again to put Kano state on the track of development and growth after eight years of kleptomaniac, corrupt and disingenuous administration of former governor, Abdullahi Ganduge, a man of many controversy and frauds.
Already, the new governor has started fulfilling some of his campaign promises especially in area of education, which is one of the core values of Kwankwassiyya movement.
He has opened the over twenty (20) technical and vocational institutions of higher learning in the state that were shutdown by Gov. Ganduge for no other reason than pettiness just because they was established by former governor Kwankwaso.
Those institutions were established by Sen. Kwankwaso administration to train the youths for self reliance, create wealth and to reduce unemployment in the state in order to bring about sanity and security in the commercial city.
Another area that the governor hasn’t disappoint is the area of illegal structures on public areas. The new action pack governor has commence reclaiming and remodeling of the city, demolition is ongoing in this public area places that were sold or illegally taken and distributed to former governor Ganduge’s cronies.
The once beautiful and sprouling commercial city became an eyesour of itself, reserved area spaces including schools, prayer grounds, cemetery, even one time FIFA accredited Sani Abacha world stadium were all converted to plazas and shops.
Other areas he has touched or shown interest are hospitals, Water work, Transportation etc.
The claims by opposition that the humble and gentle governor is on a revenge mission is untrue but total false. The governor is only doing what the people of Kano state voted him to do, take back the public properties, reform education, creat job opportunities and reconstruct the entire state is in comatose.
One can simply say “No time to waste”: Abba ‘gets right to work’ After Inauguration. He has walk the talk in less than a week.
Kwankwaso has now proved many wrong especially the opposition of the choice of Abba as governor to lead the state at this material time.
History: List of dethroned, reinstated Kings/Emirs in Kano
Jamilu Uba Adamu
“History is an echo of the past in the future; a reflex from the future on the past” -Victor Hugo (1802-1885).
George Hegel adds, “we learn from history that we do not learn from history.”
Meanwhile, it was Karl Marx who said that history repeats itself, first as tragedy, then as farce. You don’t have to be a historian to be a student of history. Just Listen, observe and reflect.
Recently, I exactly did that with an elderly friend, an aristocrat, history buff and an author, Malam Adnan Bawa Bello.
Between Kano’s kingdoms indeed sultanate and now emirate there have been various vicissitudes, turbulent and uncertain moments, from the first-ever dethronement of Sarki Guguwa Dan Gijimasu in 1247-1290, down to Kano civil war (Yakin Basasa) from 1893-1895 and the British Conquest in 1903 and up to the recent dethronement of the Emir Sunusi II on 9th March, 2020 by the outgoing Governor Abdullahi Umar Ganduje.
The second Sarki to be deposed in Kano after the one literally named as “The Storm” was, Dakauta Dan Abdullahi Barja in 1452. He held sway over Kano for just a day.
Third, Sarki Atuma Dan Dakauta was also deposed. He reigned for only 2 days in the year 1452;
Sarki Yakubu Dan Kisoke was dethroned in 1565 after ruling over Kano for four months and 29 days. He was reinstated later but declined the offer.
Dauda Abasama was also dethroned in 1565 after ruling Kano for only 50 days.
The pious Sarki Abubakar Kado (1565-1773) to the legendary Sultan Muhammadu Rumfa was dethroned after ruling Kano for 8 years and five months only.
Sarki Alhaji Dan Kutumbi (1643-1649) was deposed and settled in exile at Danzaki village in Gezawa. Sarki Soyaki Dan Shekarau ruled for only three months and was sacked from the throne of his ancestors in 1652. Muhammad Kukuna who reigned from 1651-1652 (ruled for only one year) and dethroned, he was reinstated after one year, and ruled from 1653 to 1660.
After the dethronement in 1653, there was a relief and interval of 250 years of the dethronement of Sarki’s in Kano until 1903, when Sarkin Kano Alu Mai Sango was deposed by the British, consigned to Yola and later Lokoja where he died in the 1920s.
Again, in 1963 Sarkin Kano Sunusi I (1953-1962) was deposed. He was taken to Azare and later relocated to Wudil where he died in 1991.
With the current political trend in Kano and the swinging of the electoral pendulum there are expectedly a fundamental question: would the Sarki Yakubu Dan Kisoke or the Sarki Kukuna Dan Alhaji scenario repeat itself in Kano?
Both were dethroned, the former was later was offered and asked to return he declined, while the latter was returned and reinstated.
Lest we forget as pundits of American politics would say, “Roosevelt proved that a man could be president forever. Truman proved that any man could be president. Eisenhower proved that we didn’t need a president at all.”
Heads or tail, no doubt one of the above scenarios may likely repeat itself in Kano.
Listen, observe and reflect.
Jamilu Uba Adamu
can be reached via 0803 320 8489
Salat: The Distinction Between Muslim And Non-Muslim
By Imam Murtadha Gusau
In the name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful
All praise be to Allah and peace be upon the Messenger of Allah (Peace be upon him). I bear witness that there is no god but Allah alone who has no partner, and I bear witness that Muhammad is His Servant and Messenger.
Dear brothers and sisters, know that Islam dignified Salat (Prayer) and raised its status as the greatest pillar of Islam after the Kalimatush Shahadah (Testimony of Faith). Ibn Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) narrated that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:
“Islam is based on (the following) five (principles): 1. To testify that none has the right to be worshipped but Allah and Muhammad is Allah’s Messenger. 2. To perform the (compulsory congregational) Salat dutifully and perfectly. 3. To pay Zakah (i.e. obligatory charity). 4. To perform Hajj. (i.e. Pilgrimage to Makkah) 5. To observe fast during the month of Ramadan.” [Bukhari and Muslim]
Dear servants of Allah, Salat (Prayer) is the major form of worship that a Muslim offers five times a day regularly. It is an obligation upon a Muslim and a Muslim is to offer no excuse when it comes to offering Salat. The offering of Salat in addition to representing the submission of Muslims to their Lord also has other benefits as well which are highly cherished by every Muslim.
The establishment of Salat is one of the major topics upon which Qur’an has emphasised more than anything else. In the Noble Qur’an Allah Almighty has stressed upon Muslims to learn to offer Salat regularly and with mentions of offering Salat Allah has also mentioned its benefits with it as well.
Although there is no constraint upon a Muslim on how to invoke Allah Almighty, however, Salat (prayer) is the preferred means of doing so as when a person worships Allah he or she develops a connection with Allah and any invocation within that or after that connection is bound to be accepted by Allah more compared to invocation done in any other circumstance. In the Noble Qur’an, Allah Almighty says:
“O you who have believed, seek help through patience and Salat (prayer). Indeed, Allah is with the patient.” [Qur’an, 2:153]
Therefore, a Muslim must use Salats (prayers) as a means of invocation and ask Allah Almighty for help and assistance in any difficulty or worry.
Piety (Taqwah) or righteousness is the prime objective which a Muslim has to achieve in this life. All the instructions, constraints, freedom, rights and education provided by Islam are with the objective that a Muslim becomes pious and moves on the righteous path. In this regard, Salat (prayer) has a great role to play as it promotes Taqwah or piety in the follower. In the Noble Qur’an, Allah Almighty says:
“This is the Book in which there is no doubt, a guidance for those who have Taqwah: who believe in the unseen, and who establish Salat, and spend out of what we have provided for them.” [Qur’an, 2:2-3]
Therefore, in addition to giving charity and believing in the unseen, a Muslim must also establish Salat in order to move towards Taqwah (piety).
Every deed, whether good or bad that a Muslim undertakes in this life, he or she will have to be answerable for it in the afterlife. Although all the deeds get rewarded in the afterlife, however, the actual reward of Salat will truly be realised in the afterlife when Allah Almighty will shower special blessings on that person. In the Noble Qur’an, Allah Almighty says:
“Indeed, those who believe and do righteous deeds and establish Salat (prayer) and give Zakah will have their reward with their Lord, and there will be no fear concerning them, nor will they grieve.” [Qur’an, 2:277]
Therefore, Salat (prayer) is not something that ends in this world, rather the real reward of it will come to surface in the afterlife.
Muslims who realise that Allah Almighty is their Lord and the Giver of everything, they try to develop a relation with Him and wish to stay connected with Him as much as possible so that their relation grows strong. Salat (prayer) can effectively help in achieving so, as Allah says in Qur’an:
“And when you have completed the Salat (prayer), remember Allah standing, sitting, or [lying] on your sides. But when you become secure, re-establish [regular] prayer. Indeed, prayer has been decreed upon the believers a decree of specified times.” [Qur’an, 4:103]
Therefore, performing Salats (prayers) is a means of developing a connection with Allah Almighty and when a Muslim does so five times a day, then the consequent relationship is to naturally grow strong.
Respected Muslim brothers and sisters, shaitan (satan) is an open enemy of believers and all what he tries is to make people go stray from the path of righteousness and go down in the path of oblivion and darkness. Shaitan (Satan) tries to tempt a person in all the possible ways and when a person once listens to him, he gradually lures him or her down further into the pit of darkness. Therefore, seeking protection from shaitan (satan) is also imperative for a Muslim. In the Noble Qur’an Allah Almighty says:
“Shaitan (Satan) only wants to cause between you animosity and hatred through intoxicants and gambling and to avert you from the remembrance of Allah and from prayer. So will you not desist?” [Qur’an, 5:91]
Therefore, not offering prayer is actually falling into the prey of shaitan (satan), whereas those who try to offer and establish prayer are actually resisting his temptation and when these temptations are resisted for long the result is one not falling prey to shaitan (satan) ever again on any forefront.
In life, a Muslim gets exposed to all sorts of environments and people, all of which have a direct impact on the personality of the person. There is no denying the fact that the current plight of the people of the world is miserable where they are more prone towards ills and lewdness compared to goodness, thus if a Muslim starts being like other people, he or she goes down the road of darkness. Thus, in order to prevent one’s self from all the lewdness that is common in the world of today, a Muslim must find refuge in Salat (prayer) as it will help in combating lewdness, as Allah Almighty says in the Noble Qur’an:
“Recite, [O Muhammad], what has been revealed to you of the Book and establish Salat (prayer). Indeed, prayer prohibits immorality and wrongdoing, and the remembrance of Allah is greater. And Allah knows that which you do.” [Qur’an, 29:45]
Therefore, a Muslim must consider Salat (prayer) as an effective weapon when it comes to fighting lewdness and evils of all sorts.
Respected brothers and sisters, Salat (prayer) is an act of worship. It is not a custom. It is not a ritual. It is very special. It has no equal. It has no alternative. There are no excuses, even when you are ill, on a journey or even in a war.
Salat (prayer) is the second and most important pillar of Islam. Salat is a practical sign of obedience to the commands of Allah Almighty. It is the practical proof of our faith (Iman) in Allah and Islam.
Salat is the only distinction between a Muslim and a non-Muslim. Salat reminds you of Allah Almighty, when you get up in the morning, it reminds you three more times when you are busy during the day, and once again before you go to bed.
Salat (prayer) is a direct contact or link between the worshipper and Allah Almighty with no earthly intermediaries. It is the Mi’raj of a believer.
Salat builds a strong defense against evils which exist around us. It is said in the Noble Qur’an that, surely, Salat keeps you away from indecency and evil. This is why the prayer is described as “remembrance” to Allah Almighty.
Salat (prayer) wipes out our sins. Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) once asked his companions: “Tell me if there was a river at the door step of one of you in which you washed 5 times a day would any of your dirt remain?” When he received the reply that none of it would remain he then said “That is like the 5 times Salat, with which Allah Almighty wipes out sins.
Salat (prayer) was the last will of the Prophet (Peace be upon him). As his soul departed he said with his last breaths: As-Salah, As-Salah (Prayer, Prayer).
Salat is the first thing that a person is judged by on the Day of Judgement. If it was good, the rest of all his deeds will be good. But if it was poor, the rest of all his deeds will be poor.
This narration sets a clear declaration as to how we will be judged on the Day of Judgement. We are given a clear message: [get your Salat in good order, and it will take care of the rest… Lose your Salat, and you are in big trouble]; Very simple message, but very powerful, and very direct.
That is how important Salat (prayer) is. It was the first command in Islam, it was the last will of the Prophet (Peace be upon him), and it is the first act that we will be judged by on the Day of Judgement. Therefore, we need to know why it is so important, and how can we uplift our prayers and make our Salat in the manner that will give us the reward in this life and in the hereafter.
The knots “in the rope of Islam” will be undone one by one. Every time a knot is undone, people will adhere strongly to the next. (By undone, we understand that people no longer act by this aspect of Islam). The first knot to be undone is living by the law of Islam, and the last to be undone is Salat. What we take from this Hadith, is that when a Muslim community gives up Salat, it will be the last act in giving up their Islam. We have seen this happening across the world and across the generations. This is also why we see that when a Muslim community wants to hold on to Islam, and wants to be recognised as faithful, people make that extra effort to return to Salat.
In this society, we can look at Salat in Islam as our last line of defence. We hold on to it, we preserve ourselves as Muslims, and Allah willing, we preserve our children and their children and so on, as Muslims. If we lose Salat, Allah forbid, we lose everything, in this life and in the hereafter. That is truly a disaster.
This is what the Noble Qur’an says about those communities who gave up their Salat:
“[But after them there followed future generations who lost the Salats (prayers) and followed after lusts. Soon, then, will they face destruction].” [Qur’an, 19: 59]
The following are just a few more verses from the Noble Qur’an to cast away any further doubts about the rule of establishing Salat in Islam. Allah Almighty says:
“[And establish regular prayer and give Zakah and obey the Messenger, that you may receive mercy].” [Qur’an, 24: 56]
“[And be steadfast in prayer; give Zakah and bow down your heads with those who bow down ‘in worship].” [Qur’an, 2: 43]
“[They are those who, if We establish them in the land, establish regular prayer and give Zakah, enjoin the right and forbid the wrong. With Allah rests the end (and decision) of (all) affairs].” [Qur’an, 22: 41]
Dear brothers and sisters, there should be no doubt in our minds and hearts about the need to establish regular Salats (prayers). It is vital for our present community, and it is vital for our future generations.
We cannot instil in our children the need to establish regular prayers if we do not act as an example. We cannot understate this point. We have to act as an example to our children. We are asked to encourage our children by age seven, and we are asked to enforce prayers by age ten. There is no doubt as to what the instructions are. We are responsible for our children. We may feel happy that we have been able to establish regular prayers ourselves, and that we have preserved Islam in our community for this generation, but what about the next, and what about the one after. There is no room for leniency here, and we need to be very vigilant. Indeed, there is a Hadith that states that between the person and Kufr (wilfully renouncing Allah) is abandoning Salat (prayer) on purpose. This was narrated by Muslim and by Ahmad, and it is also agreed by the Sahabah (Prophet’s Companions).
Respected servants of Allah, Islam encourages the Congregational prayers (Jama’ah prayers). In an agreed Hadith, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) states that the Jama’ah prayers (Congregational prayers) is worth 27 times the prayers of a person by himself. There is always more reward when we pray together.
In another Hadith, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) states that the prayer of the man in Jama’ah is worth 25 times his prayers alone. When he performs good ablution, and leaves his house for the sole purpose of prayers, with every step he takes his status is uplifted, and a sin is forgiven. As he prays, the angels will continue praying for him, saying, Allah bless him and Allah forgive him, until he finishes his Salat. This is the reward for establishing Congregational prayers (Jama’ah prayers).
In another Hadith, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) mentions that if three Muslims are present in a community, they need to establish Jama’ah prayers, or shaitan (satan) will get to them, as we are weakened by being separate, and strengthened by the Jama’ah.
In fact, establishing Congregational prayers (Jama’ah prayers) is a definite Sunnah, to the extent that we are informed in another Hadith, that if we leave the Jama’ah prayers, we are actually abandoning an established Sunnah of the Prophet (Peace be upon him).
The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said who ever attends the Mosque and returns, Allah prepares for him paradise on every occasion he attends and leaves. The Prophet (Peace be upon him) also says when you witness a person that regularly attends to the Mosque for prayers it is a testimony of his faith (Iman). Allah Almighty says:
“[The Mosques of Allah shall be visited and maintained by those who believe in Allah and the Last day, and establish regular prayer].” [Qur’an, 9: 18]
The Prophet (Peace be upon him) said; Shall I guide you to what wipes away the sins and lifts up your status.
The Mosque is the home of every pious person. Allah will look after this person with mercy and guides him along the straight path to paradise.
Dear brothers and sisters, we all know that Salat (prayer) is compulsory, but even with this pillar there are important issues that we need to address.
The most important for us, for the community in anywhere, is that we should encourage ourselves to attend the Mosque for Jama’ah prayers more and more. Not just the Juma’ah prayers, but for most Jama’ah prayers if we can.
There is a great reward when Salat is offered in Jama’ah.
Salat gives us both Worldly and Spiritual benefits. In the congregation, rich and poor, high and low, all stand shoulder to shoulder. It is the best scene of mankind’s equality.
In this Salat all have one intention (Niyyah), one language and identical actions. All kneel together, all go to Sajdah together.
This teaches us the lesson that we, as Muslims, should be united at all times.
People meet with one another in the Congregational prayer (Jama’ah Salah). They know the hardships and worries of one another and try to help each other. New things are known there. Mutual love develops. Circle of friendship is widened. We get an opportunity to perfect our life in the light of others experiences.
While offering Salat in Jama’ah we stand in rows, follow the Imam of Jama’ah and practice obedience to Allah, this forces discipline in us, which is the essential feature of a community’s life.
Our Mosques remain thriving – due to Salat in Jama’ah. It enhances the prestige of Muslims, and the Unity of Muslims affects greatly the enemies.
Allah has put a big reward for Congregational prayer (Jama’ah Salah). Our beloved Prophet (Peace be upon him) has laid great emphasis on Jama’ah Salah.
Therefore we should offer Jama’ah Salah as often as possible. We should also know that if there are more than 10 people in Jama’ah, then nobody can estimate its limitless reward except Allah.
My last point is that we must all strive to maintain and protect our Mosque, for it is this establishment that will hopefully look after our children and their children. Please invest in the Mosque, both financially and with your efforts. This is where our community starts, and this is where we maintain our faith (Iman).
In a nutshell, those who learn and read Qur’an on regular basis are familiar with the importance of Salat (prayer) and how strongly has Allah Almighty emphasised on it and explained its importance to the people in the Noble Qur’an. A Muslim must realise that above anything, Salat is an obligation and every Muslim has to fulfill his or her obligation.
Lastly, I ask Allah, the Most High to grant us success and enable us to be correct in what we say and write.
All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all creation; may Allah extol the mention of our noble Prophet Muhammad in the highest company of Angels, bless him and give him peace and security―and his family, his Companions and all those who follow him correctly and sincerely until the establishment of the Hour.
Murtadha Muhammad Gusau is the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’ah and the late Alhaji Abdur-Rahman Okene’s Mosques, Okene, Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached via: firstname.lastname@example.org or +2348038289761.
This Jumu’ah Khutbah (Friday sermon) was prepared for delivery today, Friday, Shawwal 29, 1444 AH (May 19, 2023)
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