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Music: Between Shuyuk Dr. RijiyarLemo and Ibrahim Khalil 

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Ibraheem A. Waziri

Ibraheem A. Waziri 

In virtually all the variants of Muslim civilisations, Turkic, Malay, Arab and African;  Music as a profession and musicians are placed at a lower rank of the social ladder.

In Egypt the 20th century highly celebrated music diva, Ummu Khultum – whose compositions are acknowledged to have had great influence in modern American music – lost the green opportunity to be betrothed to a member of the Egyptian Royal family;  just because she was a professional singer/musician  and the Royal Family thought it below their pedigree to allow her admission into them despite her strong  certified moral credentials and religious piety.

This is also true with Northern Nigeria despite our deep historical connection with Sufi theology which seems to have given a  nod to music as a form of attaining closeness with the divine. Musicians and music are also thought to be less than honorable people or profession and no matter how they outwardly look otherwise. This should mean that it is not a thing of modern Salafism to discredit music and musicians touching them with a very long stick either.

Therefore, in this current wave of the debate, Dr. Sani RijiyarLemo can be a step closer to the reality of the definitions, and as far as the Muslim cultural paradigms are, than Shaykh Ibrahim Khalil. I like music and stand with the fatwa of the Egyptian Shaykh Qaradawi in it, but for long we only have proven to be exceptions  in this.

The fact and logic of the arguments do not seem to stand with Shaykh Ibrahim Khalil. He  needs to demonstrate why poetry, which the Prophet of Islam liked and listened to is not different from songs _ poetry accompanied by musical instruments. I think this is only what is missing in his recent takes.

Ibraheem A. Waziri is a public affairs commentator based in Zaria, Kaduna state.

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Opinion

Do justice to Hanifa’s parents, kill the killer of their daughter – Gusau

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Late Hanifa Abubakar

By Imam Murtadha Gusau

In the name of Allah, the Beneficent, the Merciful.

All perfect praise be to Allah, The Lord of the Worlds. I testify that there is none worthy of worship except Allah, and that Muhammad (Peace be upon him) is His servant and Messenger.

The Conventional Newspapers and social media had reported how Hanifah Abubakar, a five-year-old pupil, was kidnapped while on her way from Islamiyyah School in December and subsequently killed.

When he was paraded at the Kano Police Command headquarters on Friday, her school’s teacher Abdulmalik Tanko told journalists that he killed her with a rat poison that he bought for hundred naira (N100).

The sad incident involving the poisoning of late Hanifah to death by the so-called school proprietor will linger in the mind of her parent for some time. The villainous mindset and the parochial attitude of the monster involved can only be better imagined.

Man is by nature a part of a society. He has to live with other individuals in that society. This living together results in a give-and-take relationship. He then has some relation with them in all fields of life. So, he does not have absolute freedom to do whatever he desires as this goes against the freedom of others, resulting in endless disagreements and disputes that could lead to the extinction of the society.

For this reason, rules have to be established to limit this freedom and organise the relations among individuals to enable all members of society to live in peace and harmony, and indeed prepare the society for peace and its continued existence.

The tolerant Islamic Shari’ah was revealed by Allah to His Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) and the latter taught it to people. Indeed, this Shari’ah is complete. The Shari’ah covers all fields of life and all possible relations between people; i.e., between the person and his Lord, between the person and other people, between the person and the group, or between the group and other groups. Islam is a religion that governs all aspects of life.

The Islamic Shari’ah is valid for all times and all places. It never fails to address the people’s needs or their new affairs. The Islamic rulings are from Allah to govern man’s conduct until the Day of Judgement. Its punishment or rewards are to be applied in this worldly life and in the Hereafter.

The Shari’ah promotes the well-being of human society and wards off destructive tendencies of its members. Allah teaches us that the objective of the Shari’ah is to bring only well-being (good) to humanity living under its rule. The retributive punishments (Hudud) are to discipline, purify and for treatment, and not for revenge or quenching anger. These are gifts from Allah to His Servants. These Hudud also are for deterring others from falling in such bad deeds. They prevent the spread of evil and perversion on earth.

For this reason, the punishment of whoever intentionally takes the life of a person, is to have his own life taken when not forgiven by the closest relatives of the person he killed. This punishment will inhibit others from committing such act and will satisfy the relatives of the killed person. If the murderer is not killed according to the Shari’ah, the relatives of the murdered might avenge their death and more killings will undoubtedly follow, giving way to much destruction that could be avoided by applying the Shari’ah. Allah has made clear that the wisdom behind killing the killer who premeditated his act is to enable the society to live in harmony. Allah Almighty Says:

“And there is for you in legal retribution [saving of] life, O you [people] of understanding, that you may become righteous.” [Qur’an, 2: 179]

Perhaps, whoever thinks of killing and knows that he will be killed will undoubtedly think twice before committing such an abominable act and might not carry it out.

Failure in applying the rulings of Allah contributes to a great number of killings and other crimes in many societies, because they do not inflict on the criminal the punishment he deserves. Instead, they only jail him for civil reasons and pity him, and leave the victim who has lost his life without pitying him, his life or children who have lost their support in this life. They did not have pity on the society, which has become a dangerous place to live in. Everyone is in fear of his life because of these ruthless killers who do not think about the consequences of their acts or concern for their own lives as they are mindless and foolish.

Islamic law prescribes the death penalty for four crimes: murder, highway robbery involving homicide (what we would call “felony murder”), adultery by married people, and apostasy from Islam. Far from being a bloodthirsty code, the Shari’ah permits capital punishment but recommends clemency, either by payment of blood-money or forgiveness. The choice of punishment rests with the victim or his survivors, retribution being considered a personal right (although the requirements of modern life have diminished the ability of private individuals to exact penalties). The individual may, at will, waive his right to punish the culprit via the right of retaliation, mercy being deemed highly meritorious in the eyes of Allah.

Murder cases should be taken to court. The issue of killing someone must be referred to an Islamic court to study all its details, as it is more appropriate that a court looks into such matters.

May Allah continue to console the family of late Hanifah. May He, the Most High, place her under the care of Prophet Ibrahim (AS). May Allah continue to expose all the evildoers in our societies, and may He continue to protect us with his divine protection, ameen.

All praise is for Allah, Lord of all creation, who guided us to Islam and the Sunnah. May the peace, blessings and salutations of Allah be upon our noble Messenger, Muhammad, and upon his family, his Companions and his true and sincere followers.

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: gusauimam@gmail.com or +2348038289761.

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(Friday Sermon) honour, power, and glory belong to Allah, and to His Messenger, and to the believers!

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By Imam Murtadha Gusau

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Ever Merciful

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all creation. May the salutations of Allah, His peace and blessings be upon our Prophet, his family, his companions and his true and sincere followers until the Last Day – then to proceed:

Respected servants of Allah! Imams Al-Bukhari and Muslim reported from Abu Hurairah (RA) that Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) said:

“Allah has ninety-nine names, one hundred less one. No person memorises them except that he enters Jannah (Paradise). And Allah is Witr (The Single One) and He loves Al-Witr.” i.e. to end the night prayer with one (odd) raka’ah.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

And he (Peace be upon him) said in another version:

“The one who learns and comprehends them will enter Paradise (Jannah).” [Al-Bukhari]

And from the beautiful names of Allah is Al-Aziz. Imam Al-Qurtubi (rahimahullah) said:

“The meaning of the name, Al-Aziz is Al-Mani’, the invincible, unconquerable, unassailable, the invulnerable, the One who cannot be reached and cannot be overcome.” [Tafsir of Imam Al-Qurtubi]

Imam Ibn Kathir (rahimahullah) said:

“Al-Aziz is the One who has overpowered everything and subjugated it, He has overcome and conquered it all. He cannot be reached due to His might, His greatness, His complete power, His honour and magnificence.” [Tafsir of Imam Ibn Kathir]

There has never been a moment ever except that Allah has always been the Almighty, the Exalted, the All-Powerful, but when the wrongdoers, the unbelievers and pagans behave tyrannically and wreak havoc with the creation, Allah overpowers them, subdues them and humiliates them.

Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim (rahimahullah) stated that:

“Al-Izzah (might and honour) encompasses three affairs: (a) Izzatul-Quwwah (the might of power): So this points to His names, Al-Qawi (the All-Powerful) and Al-Matin (the Strong). (b) Izzatul-Imtina (the might of complete invulnerability): He is Al-Ghani in His Self, the Independent One free of all needs. He is not in need of anyone. The attacks of the creation cannot reach Him, and they cannot injure Him in any way. And there is no benefit or increase they can bring Him. Rather, He is the One who brings injury and harm to whom He wills, and He is the One who brings benefit. He is Al-Mu’ti (the Giver) and Al-Mani’ (the Withholder). (c) Izzatul-Qahar (the might of subjugation): that He overpowers and overcomes all of creation, all of it is under the subjugation of Allah, subdued and humbled by His might and greatness, it yields and submits to His will. Nothing that moves is able to move except by His strength and might.”

The name of Allah, Al-Aziz is mentioned in the Qur’an on ninety-two separate occasions. Allah the Almighty said:

“And know that Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise.” [Surah Al-Baqarah: 260]

And He the Most High said:

“And Allah is All-Mighty, All-Able of Retribution.” [Surah Ali Imran: 4]

And He the Most High said:

“That is the Decree of the All-Mighty, the All-Knowing.” [Surah Ya-Sin: 38]

The Effect on the faith (Iman) of a Believer due to Understanding and Comprehending this Name is Immense:

1. That Allah is the Mighty who cannot be overcome and cannot be overpowered. He is the giver of courage and firmness – because the meaning of this name is that our Lord cannot be prevented, and His command cannot be refused or rebutted. Whatever He the Most High wills, occurs even if the people do not wish it (or don’t want it) – and whatever He does not will, does not occur even if the people wish it (or want it). Look at the story of Prophet Musa (AS) and how Pharaoh (Fir’aun) tried to prevent this child from living and existing. He ordered the killing of all the male children of Bani Isra’il because he knew that a man would come from among them and destroy his kingdom and liberate the Children of Israel. However, Allah would accomplish what He willed and He would perfect His light, even if the disbelievers hate that. So Prophet Musa (AS) was born and raised in the palace of the Pharaoh (Fir’aun), in his own home, under his watch. And when he tried to kill Prophet Musa (AS), Allah destroyed him, and his army general Haman and the whole of his army.

2. The one who is aziz (honourable) in this life and in the Hereafter is the one to whom Allah has given honour. Allah the Almighty stated:

“Say: O Allah! Possessor of the kingdom, You give the kingdom to whom You will, and You take the kingdom from whom You will, and You endue with honour whom You will, and You humiliate whom You will. In Your Hand is the good. Verily, You are Able to do all things.” [Surah Ali Imran: 26]

So dear brothers and sisters! Whoever seeks honour should seek it from Allah who is the Lord of honour (Rabbul-Izzah). Meaning that the one who truly wishes to be honourable should cling to the obedience of Allah. One should never seek honour from other than Allah, and to be honoured by the disobedient, the enemies of Allah and the unbelievers. The more a person is obedient to Allah, the more he is given honour and is raised in the sight of Allah. Allah the Most High stated:

“Those who take the disbelievers for allies instead of the believers, do they seek honour, power and glory with them? Verily, to Allah belongs all honour, power and glory.” [Surah An-Nisa: 139]

With the increase in obedience comes an increase in honour and might. The most honourable of people are the Prophets, then those who came after them from the believers and those who follow them. For this reason, Allah the Most High stated:

“But honour, power and glory belong to Allah, and to His Messenger, and to the believers, but the hypocrites know not.” [Surah Al-Munafiqun: 9]

And Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) said to the Ansar:

“Were you not in a state of humiliation, and then Allah gave you honour and glory?” [Musnad of Imam Ahmad]

And Khalifah Umar Ibn Al-Khattab (RA) said:

“We are a people who Allah has honoured with Islam. And whenever we seek to be honoured through other than it (Islam), Allah will bring us humiliation.” [Al-Mustadrak of Imam Al-Hakim]

The Pious predecessors (Salaf) of this Ummah would supplicate to Allah by saying:

“O Allah! Give us honour through your obedience, and do not dishonour us through your disobedience.” [Al-Jawab Al-Kafi]

The person who is obedient to Allah is honourable and the disobedient one is humiliated and dishonourable (Zalil). For this reason, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“Allah has placed the humiliation and lowliness upon the one who opposes my commands.” [Musnad of Imam Ahmad]

Imam Muslim reported from Abu Hurairah (RA) that Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) said:

“The giving of sadaqah does not decrease one’s wealth. And Allah does not increase a person who forgives another except in honour, and one does not humble himself before Allah (in obedience) except that Allah raises him.”

Dear brothers and sisters! Islam is the only way to attain honour in this life and the next. And Allah will bring Islam into each and every home, just as the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“The affair of Islam will reach every place that the night and day reach – neither a house of mud nor fur will remain except that Islam will enter it bringing either honour or humiliation – honour to the one who honours himself with Islam and humiliation to the one who humiliates himself with disbelieve (kufr).”

Tamim Ad-Dari (RA) who was a Christian before embracing Islam, would say:

“I saw that in my own family. The one who entered Islam was bestowed with goodness, respect and honour. And the one who was an unbeliever was afflicted with dishonour, lowliness and jizyah.” [Musnad of Imam Ahmad]

Don haka, ‘yan uwana ma su girma, ya kamata mu fahimci cewa: Arziki da wadata da rufin asiri da kariya da zaman lafiya da kwanciyar hankali da tsaro da albarka, daraja, daukaka, izza, girma, mutunci da kwarjini da kuma buwaya duk daga Allah ne, kuma duk halittar sa ne: Wallahi, idan Allah ya ba ka duk duniya babu wanda ya isa ya dankwafar da kai, ko da kuwa ace duk duniya makiyankane, kuma sunyi maka taron dangi akan hakan.

Haka kuma idan Allah ya dankwafar da kai, ya kaskantar da kai, ya wulakantaka, ya tozartaka, to duk duniya babu mai iya daukaka ka, ko da kuwa duk duniya masoyanka ne, kuma magoya bayan ka ne. Don haka, mu nemi girma da daukaka, da arziki, da wadata, da tsaro da zaman lafiya a wurin Allah, ta hanyar bin dokokinsa, da bin umurninsa, da barin abin da ya hane mu, da kyautatawa bayinsa, da tsayar da adalci ga kowa da kowa, da raba arzikin kasa bisa adalci, da bayar da shugabanci ga wadanda suka dace, kuma suka cancanta; da bin hanyoyin da suka dace, kuma masu kyau wurin magance matsalolin mu. A cikin yin wannan kadai alkhairai suke. Sabanin wannan kuwa, wallahi babu alkhairi a ciki, hasali ma duk sharri ne da tashe-tashen hankula da fitintinu. Kuma duk wanda zai yi maka wani dadin baki, ya fada maka sabanin wannan, to mayaudari ne, wallahi yaudarar ka kawai zai yi. Don haka, ‘yan uwa, sai mu kiyaye!!!

And all praise is for Allah, Lord of all creation, who guided us to Islam and the Sunnah. May the peace, blessings and salutations of Allah be upon our noble Messenger, Muhammad, and upon his family, his Companions and his true and sincere followers.

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: gusauimam@gmail.com or +2348038289761.

This Jumu’ah Khutbah (Friday sermon) was prepared for delivery today, Friday, Jumadah Al-Thani 18th, 1443 A.H. (January 21, 2022).

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Opinion

Letter: Northern CSO’s ask senate to to override President Buhari, passes electoral bill

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Northern Nigeria's knot

18th Jan. 2022,

His Excellency, 

The Senate President, 

Distinguished Senator,

Dr. Ahmad Lawal,

Sir, 

REQUEST TO HEED TO THE DEMANDS OF THE NIGERIAN CITIZENS BY OVERRIDING PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI’S DENIAL OF ASSENT TO THE ELECTORAL AMENDMENT BILL 2021, IN THE INTEREST OF PARTICIPATORY DEMOCRACY AND SANITY IN THE NIGERIAN ELECTORAL PROCESS

Introduction

The Conference of Northern States Civil Society Networks is a forum of states based civil society networks operating in the Nineteen Northern states of Nigeria. The establishment of the platform was conceived in 2017, and inaugurated on 28th March, 2021 as a regional network of non-governmental, non-partisan, not for profit, non-ethnic and non-religious platform, with the sole objective of advocating for the best practices of democracy, accountable governance and increased development of Northern Nigeria and beyond through policy influencing, cooperation and team work.

The platform has over three thousand (3,000), affiliated individual civil society member organizations across the nineteen Northern States.

It has come to our notice that, President Muhammadu Buhari, has written to you conveying his decline to assent to the Electoral Amendment Bill, an action which apparently went against the yearnings and aspirations of the Nigerian citizens. We write to appeal to you to work closely with your colleagues and use the power of the senate to override the President and assent this important bill in the interest of participatory democracy and credible elections in Nigeria.

Sir, it could be recalled that the national politics in recent time has been subjected to serious debates by different stakeholders, public analysts and individual citizens concerning the practice of our democracy and democratic consolidation in Nigeria. The long clamor by the major stakeholders such as: political parties, civil society organization and professional groups across the country, calling for electoral reforms have continued unabated and have climaxed into the desire for electoral amendment before the 2023 elections in Nigeria. Therefore, the National Assembly under your watch has done the needful by reintroducing the said bill in order to consolidate and deepen the nation’s democracy which has survived over the last two decades.

The current democratic dispensation has been confronted with the challenges of internal democracy among the political parties and credible electoral process, which the bill seeks to address by introducing electronic transmission of results and direct primaries for all political parties. Therefore, the electoral amendment bill 2021 has the potentials to achieve the following objectives:

1. Sanitize the electoral process via electronic transmission of result.

2. Electronic transmission of results, the problems of ballot box snatching, as well as alteration and rigging of election results can be addressed.

3. Enhance popular participation by party members via direct primaries.

4. Eliminate money politics associated with the delegate system of voting in the indirect primaries.

5. Reduce political apathy by party members in particular and the citizens in general.

6. Decimate the overbearing influences of Godfathers as party members will be stakeholders and partners in the conduct of all party activities.

7.  It will strengthen political parties and democracy in Nigeria.

Sir, considering the above objectives and significance of the bill, reversing it would be a great disservice to the country, hence the need for the Senate to override the President and assent the bill without further delay in the interest of the people the distinguished members are representing.

Civil society groups want to remind the distinguished senate president and other distinguished senators that, overriding the president on the bill is a national duty not a party affair. So this is an opportunity to make history as Nigeria is still in a critical stage of her democratic experimentation. The nation is devoid of credible electoral process, voters’ apathy becomes the order of the day and political parties are turned into military establishments with a repressive structure. It therefore behooves on the leadership of the National Assembly to as a matter of public importance override the president and assent the electoral amendment bill 2021 owing to the fact that, the reasons given were not justifiable enough for president’s decline. This will strengthen our electoral process and further democratize our political parties by paving way for enhanced level ground where party members decide who their candidates become.

It is at this juncture, we wish to remind the leadership and the entire members of the National Assembly that they are the bastion of democracy, whose actions and words can project, preserve, and protect the nation’s democracy and save the citizens against all forms of dictatorship.

Finally, we wish to appreciate the distinguished members for driving the process this far, and appeal to you to use this golden opportunity to write your names in the political book of the country, by assenting the bill, so that you can  leave behind a legacy that you will be remembered for, in the history of Nigerian democracy.

Signed:

1. Amb. Peter M. Egwudah – Chairman, Network of Adamawa Non – Governmental  Organizations (NANGO), Adamawa State.

2. Jinjiri  J. Garba – Executive Director/State Chairman, Bauchi State Network of Civil Society Organizations (BASNEC).

3. Mrs. Shimenenge Kyaagba, Coordinator, Benue Network of NGOs (BENGONET), Benue State.

4. Comrade Bulama  Abiso – Executive Director, Network of Civil Society Organizations Borno. Borno State.

5. Amb. Ibrahim Yusuf – Chairman, Association of NGOs, Gombe State.

6. Muhammad Musbahu Basrika – Chairman, Network of Civil Society organizations, Jigawa State.

7. Ibrahim A. Waiya – President, Kano Civil Society Forum, Kano State.

8.       Emmanuel Bonet – Chairman, Concerned civil society, Kaduna State.

9. Abdulrahman Abdullahi – Chairman, Coalition of Civil Society organizations, Katsina State.

10. Hon. (Dr) Usman Buhari  Ali – Chairman, Coalition of NGOs in Kebbi State State (CONKS).

11. Mr. Idris Ozovehe Muraina –  Chairperson, Kogi NGOs Network (KONGONET), Kogi State.

12. Ade Bodunde – Chairman, Kwara Forum of civil society organizations, Kwara State.

13. Mr. Solomon Yakubu Enjola – Chairman, Nassarawa NGO Network (NANGONET), Nassarawa State.

14. Habila Muhammad Kudu – Coordinator, NGOs Forum Niger State.

15. Gad Peter – Rep. Coalition of NGOs Plateau State.

16. Ibrahim Abdullahi Shuni – Chairman, Coalition of NGOs in Sokoto State.

17.    Joseph Gimba  PhD – Chairman, Coalition  for civil society organizations in Taraba State (COCS OTS),

18. Alh. Baba Shehu, Executive Director/Chairman, Network of Yobe Civil Society Organizations.

19. Ambassador, Ibrahim Tudu – Chairman, Zamfara Coalition of NGOs (ZASCONS), Zamfara State.

Ibrahim Waiya

Chairman

Amb. Ibrahim Yusuf                       Secretary General

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