By Allah’s grace, we are once again at the close of anther Islamic Year, 1439AH, which is due to end in a few days’ time. Its end shall mark the beginning of the 1440th year After Hijrah (AH), the historic migration of the Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and his companions from Makkah (the Prophet’s birthplace) to Madina. The beginning of every Hijrah Year brings us closer we are to our graves even though the pursuit of the comforts of this life prevents many of us from realizing this singular truth.
In spite of all the challenges that may be confronting us as individuals, communities or nations, we have every reason to be grateful to Allah (SWT). Whether it is success or failure, only the living laments or celebrates. Some of those who witnessed the beginning of 1439AH are not alive to see the close of it. For those who are healthy, good health which is enormous wealth is also another favour from our creator. Most importantly, we are alive. It is important that we appreciate this privilege. We must consider this privilege as a respite for us to repent from our sins and seek Allah’s guidance in all matters.
And as the New Year begins in the Muslim world, it is time again for us to check whether our al-Kafan (the white sheet for shrouding the dead) is still intact or may require to be replaced. For those who have not provided themselves with one, it is time to do so.
So many things, some good and others painful to remember, took place in the past 365 days. Some of Allah’s favours which we enjoyed as Nigerians in the past one year may include a blessed raining season, few industrial actions by various labour unions, absence of long queues at filling stations. There are several other reasons for which we must give glory to Allah (SWT). However, most people naturally find it easier to recall sad moments; pushing the remembrance of the favours received from Allah (SWT) to the sub-conscious. Our ability to acknowledge Allah’s blessings will surely offer us additional privileges for accessing greater favours. Allah (SWT) states in Qur’an 14:7 “… if ye are grateful, I will indeed add more (favours) unto you…”
The beginning of a new Hijrah Year equally marks the beginning of a new fiscal year in Islam. It is therefore important for us to get acquainted with monetary Zakkat figures worked out for 1440AH. According to figures published recently, the minimum taxable amount (Nisab) upon which 2.5 percent is payable as Zakkat in 1440AH is put at N1, 075,070.00 only, which is the current value of 20 pieces of gold (dinar). Minimum dowry (Sadaq) which is the naira value of a quarter of dinar payable before a marriage can be contracted is N13, 440.00 only. The same amount (N13, 440.00 only) is the naira value of the least theft of property that can attract amputation of hand.
Based on the current cost of dinar, compensation for manslaughter, which should be the naira value of one thousand pieces of dinar; stands at N53, 753,300.00 only for the year 1439AH. Nonetheless, the actual amount applicable for Nisab, manslaughter, minimum sadaq and haddi shall have to be verified whenever the need for such payments arises because of fluctuations that are relative to the price of dinar and the exchange rate of the Naira to other currencies.
While we thank Allah (SWT) for keeping us alive to witness another circle of the earth’s orbit, we fervently pray that He (SWT) redeems us and resolves all our individual and collective challenges including poverty, kidnapping (which has refused to disappear from the Abuja-Kaduna highway), banditry (which has become endemic in Zamfara state and Birnin-Gwari area of Kaduna state). May Allah (SWT) touch the heart of governors to settle all outstanding pension and gratuities owed retired workers; help our troops to bring insurgency in northeast Nigeria to a final end. While we pray against carrying any of these burdens and jinxes into 1440AH, we also ask Him (SWT) to lead us as a country through peaceful and fair general elections in 2019 such that only honest and altruistic aspirants who would work for the interest of Nigeria and Nigerian masses would emerge as leaders, ameeeeeeen.
As believers, let our New Year resolutions include renouncing corruption, injustice, hypocrisy, rumour mongering and all other actions that are tantamount to dishonesty, betrayal, hatred, malice, intolerance, envy, impatience, ingratitude, arrogance and pride. O Allah! Accept our repentances and forgive our acts of unrighteousness; Give us the ability and the capacity to good at all times and in all places. Let our happiest moment be the moment we meet you. Give us refuge against all evils. While we pray to Allah (SWT) to guide and protect us through 1439AH, we ask Him to also give our leaders the wisdom and piety to kill corruption permanently; dislodge insurgency forever, and strategically tackle poverty, unemployment, disease and insecurity, amin. Happy New Hijrah Year!
Fasting on Tasu’ah and Ashura days:
The Prophet (SAW) recommends the observance of voluntary fast on the 9th (Tasu’ah) and 10th (Ashura) of the first month, Muharram, of the Islamic Year. The six authentic compilers of hadith relate on the authority of Ibn Abbas (RA) that the Prophet (SAW) fasted on Ashura (day) and he instructed that believers observe (voluntary) fast on that day. Abi Qatadah (RA) reports that when the Prophet (SAW) was asked about fasting on Ashurah (day); He (SAW) said, “It vitiates for (the sins of) the previous year”. Similarly, the Prophet (SAW) exhorts Muslims to observe voluntary fast on Tasu’ah (day). Imam Muslim relates on the authority of Ibn Abbas (RA) that the Prophet (SAW) said, “If I am alive till next year, I will surely observe (voluntary) fast on Tasu’ah (day)”. May Allah accept our devoutions, amin. Once again, Happy New Hijrah Year!
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