2012 GOODBYE 1433

ZAHARADDEEN GETSO: My hands are humbly raised in prayers for you. May ALLAH (SWT) protect your wisdom. May He grant your god wishes and aspirations. After reading this column, I felt there is nothing in this world that will make me sad again. May Allah reward you and Dr. Al Qarnee abundantly for this.

Two ‘old’ years are exiting: the Islamic year 1433 (since the year Prophet Muhammad, upon whom be peace, left Mecca for Medina) and the Gregorian year 2012 (since the birth of Prophet Isa, Jesus son of Mary, upon whom be peace). Muharram, the first month of the Islamic calendar, has ended and we are in Safar, the second month while Muharram’s counterpart, January, the first of the Gregorian, is about to begin. May Allah intervene in our affairs, and make our lives secure, and safe. Amin.

RABI’U HAMZA: Yes, Baba! The situation in Nigeria calls for more “INNA LILLAHI WA’INNA ILAIHI RAJI’UN!” Another One Trillion Naira has gone the way of fuel subsidy (including the latest N161 billion appropriated by the National Assembly), but there’s still no fuel at N97 per litre anywhere. We buy it at N150 and more. Have you noticed that there’s no petrol in ANY NNPC mega-station anywhere outside Abuja? This time, they don’t need to announce the removal of subsidy. It’s already removed. On Otedollars, nothing will come out of that probe. Nothing. This is Nigeria!

In Nigeria, New Year Resolutions have mostly been overtaken by Old Year Lamentations. We the citizens have one top New Year Prayer: “O Allah, O God, Give Us Peace”. Forget about electricity; forget about poverty (though of course unforgettable); the most pressing problem now is security of life. And forget security of property when talking about life. For us Nigerians, 2012 is leaving mostly bitter memories, and may Allah not repeat such a sad year for us. May we be blessed as other nations, with peace, unity and progress. Amin.

MUSTAFA ADAMU: Assalamu Alaikum Mallam. The topic of last week’s column has been one of my favourites. I guess Mallam must have read the peerless Dale Carnegie’s priceless book “How to Stop Worrying and Start Living” from where Dr Al-Qarnee got the idea of “La Tahzan” and quoted from it in many places in the book. Even all the headings of the excerpts you gave us were directly Carnegie’s. I think the credit Dr. Al-Qarnee deserves is the Islamic references he links to the topics. Imam Shafi’i’s poem “Da’il ayyama taf’al ma tasha….” [‘Leave the Days to Do as They Will’] is also one of my best consolation pieces which I hope one day you will present it in your “readable” way. Have a nice a weekend Mallam.

But even as I write this Column (Thursday), I could hear military sirens blaring in my neighbourhood. My daughter called from another area, not too far off, to say the military patrol including tanks and other armoured vehicles, was all over. Then we heard shots. I told the children, who are home for the holidays, not to venture even as far as the gate. After some time, silence. Later in the day, my son (15 years, in SS2) received a call that his classmate’s father had just been shot dead, not too far from our area. Inna lilLahi wa inna ilaiHi raji’un!

DANLADI M. ZAKARI: May Allah bless you for lifting my day with your column.  I just returned from London after an open heart surgery, feeling down. Then my driver of almost 30 years, whom I have always regarded as my brother, fell down when he went to the toilet to perform ablution for the morning prayers! Before reaching hospital, he was gone. They went to bury him without telling me because of my condition. I got to know it much later in the night. I reminisced on it and felt really sad. Even though I believe strongly in Allah, our Creator and the Only ONE, I felt everything was closing on me. But after reading that column, I felt reinforced that ‘the past is gone forever’. That Allah will take care of tomorrow. Thanks for the inspirational, enlightened thoughts. May Allah continue to guide us. Amin.

For us Nigerians, this year is leaving memories; sweet, sour, mostly bitter. Wicked people, working on behalf of the Devil himself, continued to unleash mayhem and bloodshed on this nation. The poor people of Maiduguri and Damaturu, and Potiskum and Kano, continue to live under virtual siege. Innocents are killed daily, for no other reason than that they are where they are. And recently, for us here in Kano, targeted assassination has taken over. Again, Inna lilLahi wa inna ilaiHi raji’un!

AMIRA DIKKO: Allah says: “…Whoever slays a soul, unless it be for murder or for mischief in the land, it is as though he slew the entire Mankind; and whoever keeps it alive, it is as though he has kept the entire Mankind alive…” (Qur’an 5:32). Killing an innocent soul for whatever reason is wrong. Lives are sacred in Islam; not only Muslim lives but all living things, even a tiny creature like an ant. Killing an innocent soul is like killing the whole of Mankind.

But then the hate! There is so much hate in this country! It is as if we are the only nation on earth that each religion (and tribe and ethnic group) appropriates God for itself and the Devil for all others. If our children read what has been written on various issues recently, I am afraid they will not look kindly on children from other beliefs and ethnic groups. When the late Governor of Kaduna State Sir Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa died along with others in a helicopter crash, the venom of hate so manifested and smelt to high hell: some blaming others for doing it; others claiming God is on ‘their’ side.

IBRAHIM D. GARBA: How do you even make your religious expressions and practice attractive to others without accommodating them? And how could it be that these two major religions that unite tribes and ethnic divisions, and that also stress good neighbourliness, without a mention of preference in religious affiliation, rather become so intolerant of each other and within itself to separate from humane considerations for conflict? Go through news commentaries and responses, you find attacks on characters for hate, making this beautiful place so disorganised, rowdy and insecure. What legacy can hate leave behind, than continuous strife?

Therefore, let this country look inwards. I think we have lost our way. We are so blighted. The government steals from us, the militants and the security forces kill us, and we turn around and hate each other. Einstein once said “The definition of stupidity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” We continue to make the same mistakes over and over again.

And let me thank all friends for another fulfilling year. For, as Prophet Muhammad, upon whom be peace, has said: “He who does not thank people, does not thank Allah.” I therefore thank you all, and thank Allah with alhamdu lilLah. And for Nigeria, “Inna ma’al usri yusra!” (With every hardship, there is relief!) In sha Allah!

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