Happy New Year
By Femi Abbas
The look of the title of right now’s article (HAPPY NEW YEAR) on this column as soon as in a 12 months usually seems unusual and even sounds odd to most Nigerian readers as a result of it doesn’t come up in January. In Nigeria, like in most different African international locations south of the Sahara, the thought of ‘New Year’ is ignorantly believed to be peculiar to January which is the primary month of Christian Gregorian calendar. That is the impact of colonial scar on the graceful physique of the African continent.
From whichever angle it’s considered, European colonialism has a thick Christian colouration that also portrays African tradition in a rainbow of colonial Christian faith and custom.
Public Holidays in Nigeria
It is a well-known undeniable fact that out of the 109 days of official non secular holidays in Nigeria right now, Islamic faith enjoys solely 5 days as public holidays (two days for Eidul-Fitr, two days for Eidul-Adha and at some point for Mawlidun-Nabiyy). The remaining 104 days are for Christianity.
At least, it’s undisputable that in each one of many 52 weeks in a 12 months, two days (Saturday and Sunday) are conceded to Christianity as non secular holidays. From the colonial period till 1972, the official non secular holidays in Nigeria didn’t exceed 57 days. It was in 1972 that General Yakubu Gowon, the then Christian army Head of State, gave Saturday, which was then an official working day, to the Seventh day Adventists, (a Christian denomination), with fiat, as further Christian worship day. The whole inhabitants of the Seventh Day Adventists in Nigeria, in that 12 months, was nearly 700,000 out of Nigeria’s inhabitants of 58.67 million individuals.
Yet, when the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), was fashioned 4 12 months later (1976), its first project was to irritatingly embark on a malicious tune of ‘Islamization’ of Nigeria with loud voice, particularly every time a Muslim assumes workplace as President.
Even on the State degree, that monotonous bitter tune of ‘Islamization’ usually will get loudest every time a Muslim is elected as Governor. And, the hatchet job is invariably completed by the Christian dominated media. Incidentally, this media irredentism usually originates largely from the Southwest of the nation the place the principle hub of Nigeria’s media Islamophobia is predicated, regardless of the demographic majority of the Muslims in that a part of the nation.
Why this Article?
The occasion that motivated the publication of this text right now will come up on the Liberty stadium, Ibadan, this coming Sunday in sha’Allah. That occasion is the celebration of 1443rd Hijrah 12 months, which frequently comes up on the primary day of Muharram, the primary month of Islamic 12 months of Hijrah calendar. That is an event that’s yearly celebrated by about 1.8 billion Muslims world wide, in commemoration of Prophet Muhammad’s triumphant entry into the town of Madinah because the climax of his emigration from Makkah, for security, following a plot to kill him in his start place by the pagans of that metropolis, in 622 CE.
The celebration of that occasion has been heading in the right direction for nearly one and a half millennia.
NACOMYO’s Frontline Role
Thus, with the start of 1443rd Hijrah 12 months, the National Council of Muslim Youth Organizations (NACOMY) can be celebrating the victorious day on Sunday. This is with out minding the malicious cancelation of that public vacation in Oyo State, for 2 consecutive years (2019 and 2020) by the Christian Governor of the State, Engineer Seyi Makinde, who’s now vigorously championing a campaign towards Islam within the State. This improvement reminds us of the need to recollect the fast previous Governor of the State, the late Senator Ishaq Abiola Ajimobi who graciously granted Hijrah vacation, formally, on the precept of equity and fairness. We pray the Almighty Allah to repose his soul in everlasting bliss. Amin!
In a rustic like Nigeria, celebration of recent Hijrah 12 months is sort of a coin with two sides. A deformation of 1 facet on that coin neither debases the coin nor renders it invalid.
While, on one facet of the proverbial coin, the celebration of this pageant brings victorious pleasure to Muslims, it sarcastically attracts unhappiness to the antagonists of Islam. But unknown to these sadists, Islam is just like the Sun which aids the air flow of oxygin to all dwelling organisms and photosynthesizes all crops within the atmosphere. Any blind particular person might declare to not acknowledge the existence of the Sun due to his/her incapacity to see it attributable to blindness. But such an individual can’t deny the scorching impact on his/her head every time that celestial object absolutely bulges out of the orbit.
Besides, any honest observer will discover that this divine faith, known as Islam, is sort of a practice. The barking at it by over one trillion canines can by no means halt its unstoppable surge.
The Fastest rising Religion
Despite all odds, intrigues, blackmail and evil machinations being always and surreptitiously erected on its approach, by its antagonists, Islam continues to wax stronger even because it stays the quickest rising faith on the planet right now. Alhamdu Lillah!
Throughout the 99 years of the British colonial rule in Nigeria (1861-1960), the Southern Muslims have been by no means granted any public vacation to rejoice their festivals. It took Nigeria’s first and solely Prime Minister, Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa, to handle that malicious injustice by granting non secular holidays formally to Islamic festivals at nationwide degree after independence in 1960. Hitherto, the acknowledged non secular festivals that have been granted as public holidays by the British colonialists and their fast Nigerian successors within the Southern a part of the nation have been Easter, Christmas and the primary day of the so-called New Year. That was along with the weekly vacation each Sunday at the moment.
It takes well- educated Muslims to grasp the information acknowledged right here and relate them to their non secular lives. It is such training that prompted the previous Governor of Osun State, Ogbeni Rauf Adesoji Aregbesola to be the primary Nigerian Governor to declare a public vacation for brand new Islamic 12 months in Osun State in 2013.
That historic declaration by Ogbeni Aregbesola was not solely an exhibition of sound Islamic understanding and civility on his half, it was additionally a transparent proof of dispensation of justice which had for lengthy, been denied to Nigerian Muslims in that State regardless of their demographic majority. And, was he not frontally attacked and known as all kinds of names within the Southwest media for declaring that vacation which he did statutorily? That is Nigeria for you so far as faith is worried.
Islam has its personal calendar known as Hijrah calendar. And, like in different calendars of the world, there’s a starting and an finish for each Islamic 12 months which consists of 12 months. However, in contrast to these different calendars, the Islamic calendar, in any other case generally known as Hijrah calendar, is divinely ordained as a result of it originated from the Almighty Allah who created the universe and sustains it. This is confirmed in chapter 9, verse 36 of the Qur’an as follows: “Surely, the number of months ordained by Allah when He created the heavens and the earth is twelve. Therefore, do not wrong yourselves in them….”.
That verse can also be a affirmation of Islam as Allah’s divinely authorized faith.
Significance of Hijrah Calendar
The first day of the Hijrah month (1st of Muharram) is likely one of the most important days in Islam. Without ‘the great Message of Islam’ Prophet Muhammad (SAW) wouldn’t have had any trigger emigrate from Makkah to Madinah.
It was that Great Message that compelled him emigrate to Madinah for security, an incident which ultimately paved the way in which for him to grow to be the best man that ever lived.
Benefits of Hijrah Calendar
Basically, the Prophet’s migration (Hijrah) from Makkah to Madinah, institutionalized three vital elements of Muslim lives in that metropolis. These are social, financial and political elements of life. When the Qur’anic revelations began coming to the Prophet (SAW), in Makkah, in 610 CE, he devoted a interval of twelve (12) years to the incubation of the ideas of Islam and their implementations within the minds of believers at a time when no sample of a collective life, primarily based on any true non secular idea, may very well be offered to the world. As a consequence, the standing of the person Muslims in Makkah at the moment gave rise to the misperception that Islam, or fairly, believing within the mission of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was a private affair which involved solely the Hereafter and had nothing to do with individuals’s collective life within the current world.
It was solely after the Prophet’s migration (Hijrah) that individuals started to see Islam clearly as a complete lifestyle which paid consideration to, and reformed each aspect of human existence. It then grew to become evident that Islam was the divine faith that gave mankind instructions relating to nearly each second of a believer’s acutely aware life. Hijrah additionally enabled the Arabs, specifically, to see what a Muslim’s matrimonial dwelling must be in a Muslim society as towards what it was within the days of ignorance. Hence, it was solely after the Prophet’s migration that the world might see the side of human social decency and decorum prescribed by Allah via Islam.
More particulars about Hijrah calendar can be printed on this column in a foreseeable future in sha’Allah.
HAPPY NEW YEAR!