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As the year 1440 draw to a close, and on the eve of the New Year 1441, it is incumbent upon us to offer thanksgiving to Allah who has ushered us into the New Year and reminiscing on the sad events that took place during the killing of the Prophet’s Grandson, Imam Hussain (as) in the year 61H. Hence we congratulate the Muslim ummah on the advent of the New Year 1441H.


The fact that if one looks back into the year 1440, he might not be oblivious of the fact that he has missed someone close to him is enough to ginger him up in total obedience to his Creator Allah the most high in the incoming New Year. Remember Allah (T) said in the holy book Quran, “Every soul shall have the test of death.” This is a testimony that we shall also join our dead ones in the great beyond.


Also a cursory look at what befell the Muslim ummah in the year 1440 across the globe, especially here in Nigeria will reveal the tremendous hardships and tribulations the Ummah was made to grapple with. In the Far East, China, millions of Muslims in the region of Xinjiang of ethnic Uighurs are camped in various camps under a re-education policy of the Chinese government bent on forcing them to abandon Islam as their religion.


It is also the same story in India, where Modi’s government has made sporadic arrest of Kashmiri Muslims, so that the revoked special status the Kashmiri region enjoys will get a foothold in the region. A blockade has been imposed by the Indian military in the region, where internet services are suspended, just to prevent the outside world to hear the atrocities committed by the Indian Army.


Moreover if the gory pictures emanating from the Middle East are re-visited, especially the genocide perpetrated by the Netanyahu’s government in Gazza strip and the Lebanon border, the life suffered by the Palestinians is beyond description. These is not to talk of the illegal sanctions imposed by Trump’s administration on Iran unilaterally just to strangle Iran economically, which, Allah willing will not happen.


And if we look back at what is happening to the Muslim Ummah in Nigeria the story is not different from what is happening in other Muslim countries. Terror attacks is gaining momentum in the Borno, kidnapping and bandit attacks is becoming a daily occurrence in much of the North. Travellers in major highways of the North don’t feel secure.


As for brothers and sisters of the Islamic Movement, the year 1440 is the worst year wherein they suffered the highest casualty in terms of loss of human life since 2015 of the infamous Zaria genocide; over a hundred were killed by the security agents of Buhari administration this year alone. To cap it all, they obtained a court order banning the Islamic Movement, which is now being challenged in the same court.


Indeed the inglorious events of 1440 do indicate the tough challenges that await the Muslim Ummah in general in the New Year, especially to those in Nigeria. Therefore it is worth noting for the brothers and sisters of the Islamic Movement to reflect on the various discourses given by Sheikh Zakzaky, especially the serial lectures on the martyrdom of Imam Husain, which culminated on the day of Ashura, when the Imam himself was killed in the worst horrible way and 72 of his esteemed followers.


Since the ill-fated return of our leader Sheikh Zakzaky from the aborted medical treatment trip to India, after obtaining a leave grant from a Kaduna high court, it has become clear that the federal government did all that it could using its federal might and frustrated the trip, in the end denying the Sheikh and his wife Malama Zeenah Ibrahim the right to attend to their health before anything else. Therefore it is incumbent upon all the brothers and sisters in the Islamic Movement to brace up for the difficult challenges ahead in the incoming New Year towards the total freedom of Sheikh Zakzaky, especially regaining his right to medical treatment abroad.