BY TAOFEEK LAWAL, Makkah, Saudi Arabia A total of about 81,200 Nigerian pilgrims will join over two million of their counterparts from around the globe that commences today. The chairman/CEO of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), Barrister Abdullahi Muhammad Mukhtar stated this at the pre-Arafat stakeholders conference which held at the Al-Raqiyyah Hall, Khhalidiyyah 2 in Makkah yesterday. The NAHCON boss said number was arrived at as 65,000 pilgrims came through the states' board's and 16, 200 came through private tour operators. He called on all stakeholders to put hands on deck to ensure a hitchfree hajj adding that no one should relent until the pilgrims carry out the haj rites and safely return to their families. He added that the commission will not rest on its oars in ensuring that all the pilgrims get the best services and attention during the exercise. He said the reforms carried out by NAHCON has...
By CHIKA IZUORA Saudi Arabia has to date welcomed 1.497 million pilgrims who have flocked to the country in preparation for the annual Islamic Hajj pilgrimage, which is due to begin on August 30, 2017. In total, around two million people from across the globe are expected to visit the Holy City of Makkah, Saudi Arabia, making it the largest annual international gathering, and which, for many Muslims, is the highlight of their spiritual lives. As one of the five pillars of Islam, the annual pilgrimage to Makkah, is mandatory for physically and financially capable Muslims to perform at least once in their lives. The rituals involved are intended to cleanse the soul and demonstrate the equality and solidarity of all Muslims, in their submission to God. The responsibility for organizing the pilgrimage falls on the government of Saudi Arabia, under direct supervision of the Custodian of the Two Holy Mosques, King Salman...
By ANKELI EMMANUEL, Sokoto Sokoto State governor, Aminu Waziri Tambuwal yesterday in conjunction with the Sultanate Council organised a special prayer session for President Muhammad Buhari’s health in  all Juma’at mosques across the state. The prayer session which was specifically offered to not only appreciate God for the health of the  President, but to also wish him permanent health. According to a statement issued on Thursday by Tambuwal’s spokesperson, Imam Imam, while the governor will attend a meeting of governors with PMB in Abuja, his deputy, Ahmed Aliyu, all top government functionaries will join the  Sultanate Council officials for the prayers to be held at the Sultan Bello Mosque within the metropolis. The governor also directed all Imams to lead prayers in their localities for continued good health of the President. Even as Tambuwal urged everybody across the state to devote Friday, 25th August, 2017 as special prayer day for the President. The statement...
The Catholic Bishops of Kaduna Ecclesiastical Province have urged the federal government to compensate churches and other victims of attacks carried out by insurgents on places of worship. Bishop Mathew Ndagoso, their spokesman, made the plea yesterday in Minna, in a briefing after a two-day Catholic Bishops of Kaduna Ecclesiastical Province plenary session, held at St. Michael Cathedral, Minna. “In the past six years, insurgents have attacked Churches and other Christian places in the north, but the Federal Government is yet to compensate the victims. “We want to inform you that the Catholic Church has not  received any support from the Federal Government for the Churches affected. “In Niger, the first terrorist attack was on St. Theresa Catholic Church, Madalla, on  Dec. 25, 2011. “Last year, some youths attacked the St. Philips Catholic Church, Bakin Iku, near Suleja, destroying properties valued at several millions of Naira. No one has even sympathised with us,” he...
BY TAOFEEK LAWAL, Medina, Saudi Arabia Nigerian pilgrims in Medina have called on President Muhammadu Buhari to hasten the recovery of the economy in order to make life more meaningful for the citizens. The pilgrims who expressed happiness on the safe return of the President to the country from a medical vacation in London said Almighty Allah has answered their prayers on Buhari who was away for 103 days. A pilgrim from Kaduna State, Alhaja Aisha Abu, said it is a thing of joy for the President to come back alive despite all the heresay about his health. The president's recovery she said has shown that it is only Almighty Allah who grants man good health whenever He wants. "His return has shown that Allah loves Nigeria. It is only agent of darkness and the corrupt elements who are not happy that the President is back. For us here in Medina, we'll continue...
BY TAOFEEK LAWAL, Medinah, Saudi Arabia The National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON) has said it has not recorded any death of Nigerian pilgrims since the beginning of the 2017 Hajj Operation in the last three weeks. The coordinator in charge of Medina Operation and Secretary of NAHCON, Dr Bello Tambuwal stated this while briefing journalists at the commission's office on Saturday in Medina, Saudi Arabia. Tambuwal said the 2017 Hajj was the best outing in the history of hajj commission in the last 10 years. According to him, since the beginning of transportation of pilgrims to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia which began on July 30, a significant progress had been achieved by the commission in many areas. He said that the challenges of transportation of intending pilgrims from Nigeria to Saudi Arabia was very minimal. He stated that pilgrims who were transported directly through Medina International Airport and those that arrived through...

The Hajj Season (3)

Ustaz Abubakr Siddeeq Muhammad Whoever performs Hajj after a break between umrah is called Mutamatti’, therefore he has to make an offering as part of his pilgrimage rites.  This is the type of Hajj that most pilgrims perform today, because of its ease and convenience. You start by performing Umrah in the days of Hajj, after which you resume your normal activities like any other person, enjoying everything, without observing the restrictions on a muhrim, one who is in a state of ihraam. Then on the 8th of Zul Hijjah you assume your ihraam a second time with the intention of performing Hajj, go out with the multitude of pilgrims to Minaa, taking part in all Hajj rites, and offer sacrifice on yaumun-nahr because of what you enjoyed between your umrah and hajj, which makes you a mutamatti’. but if he cannot afford it, He should fast three days during the hajj...
By Taiwo Ogunmola-Omilani As the 65th Annual Convention of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) with the theme, Halleluyah enters day fifth day, the General Overseer of the ministry Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye has revealed that his mother gave birth to him as her fifth child after she had initially stopped having babies, having gotten three females and a male. He disclosed this during his sermon tagged, 'Jericho must fall,' adding that his birth has brought many souls to Christ, including those who were at the deliverance service. "My mother gave birth to three girls and a boy and she said that she would no longer have any other child. But later, the only son my mother had died and she was persuaded to have one more child to try her luck if she could get another boy. She agreed and I was given birth to", he said. Pastor Adeboye, in his...

The Hajj Season (2)

Some of the scholars said ‘enter houses by the gates’ is a euphemism for having intercourse with women through the right entrance or opening, and not through the posterior opening of the alimentary canal. Some said, the meaning of ‘enter houses by the gates’ is when you ask question concerning religion, you should seek the opinion of Muslim scholars, the Ulemaa, and not the ignorant among people. The scholars have said a lot,  on the meaning of this part of the verse, even though a  clear meaning is discernible from the context of the entire verse. Hajj is the prince of devotion as it encompasses all forms of worship. In it is sallah, offering,  avoiding angry conversation, and fasting of one without sacrificial animal. In Hajj is zikr, du’aa; bodily, financial and spiritual worship are all embodied in Hajj. Allah has made Hajj obligatory from the time of Adam (AS). Adam had done...

Hajj Management In Nigeria (4)

There was mixup last week in the two documents I was working on for part 3 of this piece: the one was a speech that formed part of my presentation as a discussant in the paper delivered by Dr Usman Bugaje, and the other the template upon which this series is based. In haste to catch my flight from Istanbul to Abuja I put the last paragraph in the piece which even if I was able to present my prepared speech I would not have read that part since Alhaji Fola Adeola was absent at the occasion. I regret any confusion that might have created in the minds of my readers especially those who were present at the event. Hajj is a multi-billion naira sector of our economy. I am, however, more interested in refining its workings and processes. I am particularly interested in making Hajj operations comfortable, efficient and...