The Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), under the leadership of its President-General and Sultan of Sokoto, His Eminence, Alh. Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, CFR, mni, felicitates with the Nigerian Muslim Ummah and indeed the entire Muslim world on the auspicious occasion of the 1440 AH ‘Eidel Adha celebrations. We beseech Allah to grant us the opportunity to witness many more of it.
According to the Sunnah of the noble Prophet Muhammad (PBUH), Muslims who are not on pilgrimage in the Holy Land are encouraged to fast on the day of ‘Arafat and engage themselves in acts of worship and veneration to Allah, believing that with sincerity of intentions, He will forgive their transgressions and overlook their short-comings of the preceding and succeeding years as well as admit them to His Jannah. We, therefore, ask Allah to accept our ‘ibadat, increase our ‘iman and grant us protection, contentment and grateful hearts throughout the first ten days of this month and most especially on the Arafat Day.
Fellow servants of Allah, in celebrating this year’s ‘Eidel Adha, we must not lose sight of the moral and spiritual reasons for the Season. ‘Eidel Adhais a period of introspection and soul searching. It symbolizes sacrifice, which was sufficiently demonstrated by our patriarch – Prophet Ibrahim (PBUH).
Making sacrifice for the collective good of all and posterity (a key component that is missing in our national life, which is partly responsible for the quagmire we have found ourselves in) is one of the major themes for ‘Eid. Our patriarch was willing to let go (sacrifice) that which he cherished most – his only son, Isma’il -- as sacrifice in obedience to Allah’s dictates. (Q37:102)
In the same vein, the Council fervently appeals to our millions of brothers and sisters to continue to emulate the example of Prophet Ibrahim (PBUH) in making the needed sacrifice to keep the country united and to honour the labour of our heroes past.
The Council is worried that the security situation in the country has degenerated rapidly from a state of benign manageability to that of intractable malignancy in recent times. This situation, which seems to preoccupy the attention of the Federal Government at the expense of other issues in the socio-political and economic spectra, appears increasingly problematic.
The situation is further exacerbated by the political polemics and hate speeches by separatists disguised as statesmen, which have greatly undermined social cohesion and eroded our shared values as Nigerians.
The Council hereby calls on the Federal Government to be decisive in dealing with those who are bent on heating the polity with hate speeches in the country, no matter how highly placed they may be.
It is on this note that we urge Muslims in the country to be security conscious while they also remain very prayerful as they celebrate ‘Eidel Adha. NSCIA appeals to the relevant authorities to beef up security for all Nigerians especially in the places of worship and places of important events and gatherings during the Eidcelebrations.
The Council calls on all Muslims in Nigeria to be good ambassadors of Islam as we continue to promote peace, and eschew all forms of any anti- social behaviour that may be inimical to peace, national cohesion and stability.
Finally, we beseech Allah to restore peace and stability to all the troubled parts of our great country and the world at large. Also, we pray that Allah grant our President, Muhammadu Buhari, sound health and divine wisdom to lead our great nation to enviable heights.
Once again, ‘Eid Mubarak and taqabalaLlaahu minnaa wa minkum!
Prof. Salisu Shehu
Deputy Secretary General, NSCIA