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Reminiscences of Sheikh Dr. Ahmad Muhammad Ibrahim Bamba during my days as a young undergrad

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Dr. Ahmad Muhammad Ibrahim Bamba

Professor Salisu Shehu

حَدَّثَنَا إِسْمَاعِيلُ بْنُ أَبِي أُوَيْسٍ، قَالَ حَدَّثَنِي مَالِكٌ، عَنْ هِشَامِ بْنِ عُرْوَةَ، عَنْ أَبِيهِ، عَنْ عَبْدِ اللَّهِ بْنِ عَمْرِو بْنِ الْعَاصِ، قَالَ سَمِعْتُ رَسُولَ اللَّهِ صلى الله عليه وسلم يَقُولُ  ” إِنَّ اللَّهَ لاَ يَقْبِضُ الْعِلْمَ انْتِزَاعًا، يَنْتَزِعُهُ مِنَ الْعِبَادِ، وَلَكِنْ يَقْبِضُ الْعِلْمَ بِقَبْضِ الْعُلَمَاءِ، حَتَّى إِذَا لَمْ يُبْقِ عَالِمًا، اتَّخَذَ النَّاسُ رُءُوسًا جُهَّالاً فَسُئِلُوا، فَأَفْتَوْا بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ، فَضَلُّوا وَأَضَلُّوا “‏. قَالَ الْفِرَبْرِيُّ حَدَّثَنَا عَبَّاسٌ قَالَ حَدَّثَنَا قُتَيْبَةُ حَدَّثَنَا جَرِيرٌ عَنْ هِشَامٍ نَحْوَهُ.

    

Narrated `Abdullah bin `Amr bin Al-`As:

“I heard Allah’s Apostle saying, “Allah does not take away the knowledge, by taking it away from (the hearts of) the people, but takes it away by the death of the religious learned men till when none of the (religious learned men) remains, people will take as their leaders ignorant persons who when consulted will give their verdict without knowledge. So they will go astray and will lead the people astray.”

My first sight of Dr. Ahmad Bamba was 37 years ago in 1984 in the UMMAH MOSQUE at the Old Campus, Bayero University, Kano where I just got registered as a pre-degree student and had begun to familiarize and acalamitize with the people, routines, events and the environment in the University. Although the Central Mosque in Bayero University, Kano would always be the first sight of any visitor or newly arriving student to the University, having been strategically located near the Main Gate, the Ummah Mosque may be the first place of worship for the new resident (on campus) student because, in its own case, it is sandwiched between the hostels and the two major and oldest Faculties of the University- The Faculty of Arts and Islamic Studies ( FAIS) and the Faculty of Education. Because of its lively nature and vibrancy-series of nasihas, ta’alims, Qur’anic study circles and Tajweed, Arabic classes and even sometimes, very hot intra-faith dialogues and debates that may sometimes prolong from Isha to Fajr Prayer time, the Ummah Mosque therefore, would always easily capture every newly arriving young Muslim student who might have arrived the University full of curiosity as well as,  enthusiasm and zeal to learn. We, therefore, easily got hooked up to the Ummah Mosque. We would only be seen at the Central Mosque, most surely on Fridays for the Jumu’ah prayer.

It was quite rare to see non-students’ faces at the Ummah Mosque except during Zuhr and Asr prayers when some visitors and some lecturers might be around to join the congregation. There was however, a non student face that was very familiar in the Ummah Mosque most especially, during Zuhr prayer and seldom during Maghrib. That was Dr. Ahmad Muhammad Ibrahim Bamba. He would certainly be the first lecturer students that used to regularly attend congregational prayer in the Ummah Mosque would be familiar with because of his regular presence. Of course, another very regular face was Professor M. D.Sulaiman of History Department. As it were, and as earlier stated, the Mosque was very close to the Faculty of Arts and Islamic Studies where Dr. Ahmad belonged. He would easily come down to join the students’ prayer congregation and there was never an instance that he made any attempt or overtures to lead the prayer or say a word. The nasihas, the ta’alims, and sometimes the debates would be taking place in his presence and to his hearing but he would not utter a word. The situation in the Mosque could actually sometimes be rancorous but it would never stop him from coming. He would, certainly however, observe his nawafil, and would make his way out. I had a feeling, but was unable to ask him, that perhaps his regularity in the Ummah Mosque was not just for the purpose of observing the regular prayer but also to keep close contact and relationship with the students for the purposes of Tarbiyyah h. It was later, when I became an Imam in the mosque that I realized that  he used to invite or approach imams/leaders in the Mosque to make corrections politely or offer some advice/suggestions, as the case may be.

My first countenance of Dr. Ahmad in the Ummah Mosque reminded me of my first IRK Teacher in the Teachers’ College -Sheikh Yahya Abdul’Azeez, a fully bearded Pakistani Sheikh who was to teach me again -Kitab al -Tauheed, Bulugh al-Maram and Al-Nahwu al-Wadhih in Gwallaga Mosque in Bauchi in 1984, after he transferred his services to Bauchi College of Arts and Science (BACAS). That was shortly before I got admission into Bayero University, Kano. The two were the two fully bearded Sheikhs I first met in life. On my first sights of Sheikh Dr. Ahmad in the Ummah Mosque the memories of Sheikh Yahya Abdul’Azeez suddenly came back to my mind. At that time, Sheikh Dr. Ahmad was certainly in his late 40s while I was just beginning the third decade (early twenties) of my life as a young undergrad. More strikingly however, the sights of the two gentlemen presents to the heart a mien of piety that sometimes made you think of the countenances of the Sahaba, or so we used to think as young people that still had some elements of naivety in our thoughts.

Our admiration of Sheikh Dr. Ahmad was ceaseless whenever he came and prayed with us in the Ummah Mosque and left. But our interaction with him was no more than the Salam and typically, he would wave at you and made his way out or extend his hand for a shake when you happened to be very close to him. The first time I ever had a conversation with him or heard him spoke to me was when I was appointed as an Imam in the Mosque, which was later to become my class where I taught Tajweed for about three years up to graduation in 1988. I was certainly the youngest of the Imams, a second deputy after Sheikh Sani from Zaria. With the benefit of early background in Qur’anic learning from home, one’s mastery, so to say,  of reading the Qur’an could easily be discovered. So, right from my first year I got appointed as one of the deputy Imams. The substantive Imam then, was the late  Malam Usman Muhammad, the Chief Imam of Laranto, Jos, who was undergoing the Diploma in Arabic, Hausa and Islamic Studies.

Still with the vestiges of adolescent exuberance and obsession for fashionable and smart appearance, my wardrobe had more of the fashionable shirts and trousers of the time (TOBI shirts/jeans and HARA trousers) than kaftans. Invariably therefore, the Imam in me would most of the time lead prayers in the said kinds of fashionable shirts and trousers in the Ummah Mosque. I led the Maghrib prayer one day. After the prayer, Sheikh Dr. Ahmad Bamba called me and held my hand to the outside of the Mosque. In his typical  gentle manner and way he said, “Liman, yaya kokari”. I replied, “Alhamdulillah” , with a mix exciting  and nervous mien. He then said to me, “Toh liman ga karatu mai kyau, amma kuma kullum ana mana sallah kai babu hula?”. With a sigh of relief, I said, ” Nagode Mallam, in sha Allah, za a gyara.”. It was both an awesome and joyful moment for me. But what was most instructive was the fact that that simple and gentle counsel not only made me appreciate that I was no longer just an ordinary student on campus but I was treading the path of spiritual leaders, it also changed my life in terms of personal dispositions and appearance on campus and beyond.

A second experience with Sheikh  Dr. Ahmad Bamba made me a witness to his magnanimity. It was in the case of attending his Hadith class for students offering  Islamic Studies as Special Honours. I was not one, so I could not register for that course. I offered Islamic Studies as a subsidiary course , but I was interested in attending his Special or rather advanced Hadith class. All my friends and classmates- Professor Salihu Lawal Malumfashi (present Dean of the School of Continuing Education and one of the Darul Hadith Imams), Alhaji Bashir Sheshe (now a Permanent Secretary, Ministry of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja), Dr. Ahmad Maigari Dutisin -ma (Department of Islamic Studies, Usmanu Dan Fodiyo University, Sokoto), Professor Usman Sani Abbas (Department of Islamic Studies, BUK) to mention just a few were all encouraging me to just enter the class and that they were sure Malam would not send me out. On the second or third lecture day, I joined some of these mates while being very scary. I  sat in the class with some bit of nervousness. Sheikh entered the class, conducted his lesson and alhamdulillah , he did not send me out. He definitely saw me, and he definitely knew that I was not duly registered for that course because it was a small class of less than 15 students. Later, I want to believe that one of those classmates of mine approached him and spoke to him about me, and Malam graciously permitted. By virtue of my Imamship in Ummah Mosque, I was already a familiar face to him. With a deep sense of appreciation, I must say that, that opportunity was my first experience with not only some of the basic and essential rudiments of Ilm al-Hadith but was also the greatest inspiration for deeper and more advanced study of the field.

After graduation in 1988 and having left for the national youth service scheme to far away Bendel State (now Edo and Delta) I did not only cease to benefit from the Special Hadith class of Sheijh Dr. Ahmad but also lost sight of him for about a couple of years. I got intellectually and personally reconnected with him when I returned to Bayero University, Kano in 1991. I came back to pursue Masters in Educational Psychology. Graciously, that presented yet another opportunity for, in a way, to continue to drink from the fountain of the knowledge of Hadith that Sheikh Dr. Ahmad Bamba personified. That was the year Sheikh Dr. Ahmad Bamba started his very awesome, weekly/weekend Hadith Ta’alim Sessions, beginning with Sahih al-Bukhari in the BUK Central Mosque, a teaching cum admonishment exercise that he continued to conduct uninterruptedly with a great sense of passion, vigour, consistency and rare faith and commitment for THIRTY (30) SOLID YEARS up to the end of his life. Although I was not opportune to be present at the first and second sessions, I would want to remember that I was there in the third session.

In the Hadith Ta’alim Sessions, we did not only learn the texts of the Hadiths and elements of Mastalahul Hadith but we also learnt to be much more committed to Sunnah in terms of faith and practice. Quite instructively also, we learnt lots and lots and lots of the Aqwal ( wise or sayings) of the salafs, many aspects of Usul al-Fiqh (Islamic Jurisprudence) , Qaw’id al-Fiqh (Jurisprudential principles and maxims) and many Islamic  religious and Jahiliyyah poetries (Qasa’id and Shu’ara’ al-Jahiliyyah). I would not therefore, end this paragraph without recalling one stanza of a poem that Sheikh Dr. Bamba used to quote very frequently, in his constant admonishment on the obligation to hold and cling tenaciously to the Sunnah of the Prophet (صلي الله عليه وسلم) . That is: “دعوا كل قول عند قول محمد فما ءامن في دينه كمغامر

It would be pertinent to mention here, perhaps also to inform those who might not know that Sheikh Dr. Ahmad Bamba did not only contribute to the knowledge of Hadith through the Ta’alim Sessions. He also  contributed to it through authorship. Within the first three years after the commencement  of the Sahih al Bukhari lessons one of his very scholarly Hadith works was released. That was his Takhreej and Tahqeeq work on Imam al-Bukhari’s “Juz al-Qira’ah Khalf al-Imam. It was a book that I unhesitatingly bought a personal copy and ‘voraciously’ read cover to cover within a couple of days.

For Sheikh Dr. Ahmad Bamba, it was a life well spent. Thirty solid years of uninterrupted teaching the Hadiths of the Prophet (s.a.w) was not just a monumental intellectual and scholarly contribution but was an evidence of true love of and for our Beloved Prophet Muhammad صلي الله عليه وسلم. This reminds me of the saying of one of the Hadith scholars, quoted by the late Sheikh Muhammad Nasiruddeen al-Albani in his Sifat Salat al-Nabiyy that: اهل الحديث هم اهل الرسول وان: لم يصحبوا نفسه أنفاسه صحبوا.

The death of our most honourable Sheikh Dr. Ahmad Muhammad Ibrahim Bamba is certainly a tragic loss to the world of knowledge and Da’awah as rightly and as clearly alluded to in the Hadith above, with which we opened this tribute. Our closing words would only be fervent and sincere and hearty prayers for him.

إنا لله وإنا إليه راجعون

 إنَّ للهِ ما أخذ وله ما أعطى وكلُّ شيءٍ عنده بأجلٍ مسمًّى.

اللهم اغفر لدكتور احمد، وارفع درجتَه في المهديين، واخلفه في عقبه في الغابرين، واغفر لنا وله يا ربّ العالمين، وافسح له في قبره، ونوّر له فيه

وآخر دعوانا ان الحمد لله رب العالمين

All praise is due to Allah, Lord of the Worlds. May His Peace and Blessings be upon our Beloved Prophet Muhammad صلي الله عليه وسلم.

Sunday: 6 Jimada Thaaniyah, 1443 ( 9 January, 2022): 5.07 am

Professor Salisu Shehu
Vice Chancellor,
Al-Istiqama University, Sumaila, Kano State
08069693033
08091420505 (WhatsApp)

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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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Opinion

(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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