We start by offering our felicitation to the Nigeria Muslim Ummah on the annual Eid el-kabir celebrations. We wished them the guidance and blessings of Allah during this important holy season. As we all know, this act of slaughtering rams emulate the ultimate sacrifice of Prophet Ibrahim (AS) to offer his son Prophet Ismael, only for Allah to substitute the life of his Prophet with that of a ram. Hence the most important lesson to be learnt during this season is sacrifice in the cause of Allah.
On this Eid, Muslims who can afford to offer sacrifice of an animal are required to do it. And it is recommended that while sacrificing the animal one should put it in his mind that he is making a sacrifice in the name of Allah and is ready to obey the commandments of Allah, whatever it is, be it his life, children and wealth. Allah has said it categorically in the holy Qur’an that he accepts that which is in the hearts. And even if you are not opportune to make the sacrifice of a ram on this auspicious day, it is demanded of you to remember the sacrifice of Prophet Ibrahim, and make a solemn pledge to sacrifice your life, family and wealth in the path of Allah.
Everybody is aware of how difficult life is daily becoming to ordinary citizens in this country, especially in the last few years. Those whom the masses assumed to be their saviours turn out to be their oppressors. It is fast becoming glaringly clear to all that following the path of Allah is what can avert this country from the trajectory of failure it is fast gliding. But following the path of Allah entails sacrifice from all and sundry. It is therefore incumbent upon everybody to gird his loins to make sacrifices because of Allah so that his commandments will be the supreme guide of the nation and the world in general.
At this juncture it beholds us to impress on the importance of unity along this path, it is indeed the cornerstone of any struggle, let alone that which is on the path of Allah. We should however remember that whenever unity is mentioned it doesn’t imply that one should leave his religious school of thought and understanding and follow another one. It means we understand the viewpoints of others and work hand in hand in defence of Islam and its way of life without wrangling on our differences. If we choose to become united in the path of Allah, surely the help Allah has promised his steadfast servants will come our way.
This Sallah gift will not be complete without mentioning the difficulties facing Muslims in most of the Muslim countries worldwide. Showing concern for their tribulations is obligatory upon us as commanded by the Messenger of Allah when he said a Muslim is a brother to another Muslim. Very few Muslim countries escaped the senseless killings planted in their midst. The Muslims are today facing two prong evils of killings in the hands of national governments and terror groups. In both cases it is the innocent lives of Muslims that are lost on daily basis. Nigeria is unfortunately saddled with the same problem.
History will never forget the worst genocide ever undertaken in this country when soldiers of the Nigerian Army decided to annihilate Sheikh Zakzaky and the Islamic Movement in Zaria in December 2015, and the continued illegal detention of the Sheikh and his wife Malam Zeenah Ibrahim despite a valid court order on their freedom since 2016.
From whatever prism one view this flagrant abuse of fundamental human rights of the Sheikh and his followers, one is forced to show his concern and feel it affects him directly. We therefore once again reiterate our demand of five years that Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife be freed immediately and unconditionally. Indeed the inhuman treatment meted to our leader and the Islamic Movement is enough to cause the wrath of Allah to descend on this country. Hence freeing the Sheikh is another way of atoning the evil perpetrated by this regime. We will not relent in our call for the government to drop its spurious charges against Sheikh Zakzaky and his wife and let them free.
SHEIKH ABDULHAMID BELLO ZARIA