BY MALAM YUSUF ABDULLAH. In the name of Allah who states “those to whom We have given The Book study it as it should be studied; they are the ones that believe therein; those who reject faith therein, the loss is their own” Q2: 121 Peace and blessings of Allah be upon His noble servant, our master Muhammad and his purified progeny. The piece for this week is on the Qur’anic recitation competition. This is not unconnected with the fact that we are in Ramadhan, the month of Qur’an. Secondly, such competitions are organised in many countries by schools and organisations. Before I draw the attention to the most important point in this regard, however, it is imperative to glance at the Shi’ah belief regarding the Noble Quran as recorded in Aqa’idul Imamiyyah by Sheikh Muzaffar -a great Islamic scholar from a prominent home of letters in Iraq- translated by a group...
By Winifred Ogbebo, Abuja The Nigerian Christian Pilgrimage Commission (NCPC) has called on church leaders to set up pilgrimage committees in their various churches. Speaking at a meeting of key church leaders and pastors in Abuja, recently, the executive secretary, NCPC, Rev Tor Uja said with the committee in place, it would be easier to liaise with them on pilgrimage matters. Stressing that the committee members should be made up of committed men and women in the church, he also canvassed that some of the church leaders should serve as Pilgrimage Action Committees (PAC) which would soon be set up by the commission across the country. Uja equally tasked the church leaders to consider setting up a Christian Pilgrimage Operators in their churches which would be registered with the Commission so that they could participate in the pilgrimage process. He further enjoined them to participate fully in all the pilgrimage programmes of the commission. He...
BY MIDAT JOSEPH, The Paramount ruler of the Gbagyi ethnic nationality, Dr. Danjuma Shekwogaza Barde has observed that no society can progress where ethnic, tribal or religious segregation thrives. He made the observation during the maiden edition of the Maraban Rido Community Peace Festival organized by the Global Peace Foundation Nigeria in Maraban Rido community of Kaduna State as part of its 'One Family Under God' Campaign held at the weekend. The occasion which had the theme “Celebrating our Unity in Diversity” drew over two thousand people from within and outside Maraban Rido Kudansa community. The Gbagyi ruler advised the people to learn to tolerate each other’s cultures, traditions and beliefs. He commended the foresight of GPF Nigeria in working to remind the people of what unites rather than what divides them and urged other well-meaning individuals, groups and politicians to borrow a leaf and always carry the message of peace and tolerance in...
BY CHIBUZO UKAIBE After a three- year leadership legal tussle, the 83- year- old Assemblies of God Church finds peace with the Supreme Court judgement.  For members of the Assemblies of God Church, Nigeria, friends and stakeholders, the era of crisis in the church is over; now is the time for unity and reconciliation after the  leadership crisis that had rocked the church for a long time. For three years, the church had been turned apart between the suspended general superintendent of the  church, Reverend Paul Emeka, and the general council of the church represented by elected General Superintendent, Reverend Chidi Okoroafor a development which had pitched members loyal to both leaders among themselves. But with the recent Supreme Court judgment which reportedly favoured Rev Chidi Okoroafor as the authentic leader of the 83-year- old denomination, members are now calling on the other group to put the past behind them and join...

Ramadan Kareem

LEADERSHIP EDITORS Ramadan, the ninth month in the Islamic calendar, is here again. A month that is highly revered by Muslim faithful, Ramadan is marked by a month-long period of prayers, supplications, acts of charity and chastity. The most outstanding feature of Ramadan is that Muslim adults who are not infirmed by either age or ill health are obliged to abstain from eating or drinking from dawn to sun set. As has been the practice since the advent of the Islamic religion several centuries ago, a significant segment of the Nigerian population will be joining Muslim faithful the world over in the observance of this Holy Month. It is significant to Nigeria in several ways: it is important to note that a huge number of our compatriots will be engaged in this act of spiritual rejuvenation. Beyond this fact, this year’s Ramadan is coming at a time when the country is...

Ramadan Fast Begins Today

BY ANKELI EMMANUEL, Sokoto The Sultan of Sokoto and President General, Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III yesterday affirmed the sighting of a new moon signifying the commencement of the holy month of Ramadan fasting today. The Sultan urged all Muslim ummah in Nigerian to commence fasting today Saturday May 27, 2017 following reliable reports received from various Muslim leaders and organizations across the country. The Sultan, while speaking in his palace in Sokoto, noted that the new Moon of Ramadan, 1438 AH was sighted in many states of the federation as confirmed by the National Moon Sighting Committee. ‘”In accordance with Islamic law, we have the pleasure to announce that today, Friday, 29th day of Shahban 1438 AH of the holy prophet (SWA) which is equivalent to 17th May as marked the end of Shaaban and the beginning of the new month of Ramadan which has been...
Last week, I stopped at the third allegation of Ibrahim Sulaiman Yusuf’s group; the Nigeria Arewa Foundation against the Executive Chairman of the National Hajj Commission (NAHCON). Today, we shall examine more of the allegations before looking at the other related allegations from another group. The motive seems quite related, but I digress. The fourth allegation was that in the last two Hajj Operations, the Chairman of NAHCON misled some State Pilgrim Welfare Boards (SPWBs) to pay money meant for the hadaya (animal slaughtered on the 10th Day in the month of Hajj) into “a particular bank Account with Jaiz Bank under the pretext that his led Commission would make the sacrifices on behalf of the Pilgrims and that the meat would be preserved and transported as donations to Nigeria internally displaced Persons”. They went further to allege that only a few States revolted against the Chairman as most states...
Last week, I dwelt on the first allegation by the Nigeria Arewa Foundation of Makkah, Saudi Arabia against the Executive Chairman of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), Barrister Abdullahi Mukhtar Mohammed. The allegation was baseless, considering the enabling laws establishing the Commission and the fact that those deductions were approved by the President, Commander in Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. The deductions were not only statutory; they have been in force since 2007 and the same petitioner has been acquiescing to them under the previous leadership of NAHCON without any objection. It is curious that the objections came only when the current Chairman was appointed. The amounts have not changed, by the way. Today we will examine the second allegation from the Nigeria Arewa Foundation. They allege that the Chairman, without the consent of the State Pilgrims’ Welfare Boards, is unjustifiably negotiating...
Ustaz Abubakr Siddeeq Muhammad Last week, I hinted that the piece would be a lengthy one running into series. I also mentioned the issue of petitions written against the leadership of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON). There have been two prominent petitions I am aware of. Both petitions got a lot of attention from media outlets. Both had one thing in common; request for the removal of the current Executive Chairman, Barrister Abdullahi Mukhtar Mohammed. Their reasons for demanding his removal are also similar. Let us examine the petitions and what they say. This week I will begin with the petition of a group called The Nigerian Arewa Foundation, which is based in Saudi Arabia. The petition says they are “a Saudi based Nigeria Business Community lawfully registered under the corporate Acts of Saudi Arabia whose main occupations are the provisions of accommodations, catering and other Pilgrims welfare services to...
By Ustaz Abubakr Siddeeq Muhammad This will likely run into a series, I should warn from the outset. It will also contain some bitter truths. The objective is not to let you taste the bitterness but to take the truth, regardless of its taste. I will also start by making full disclosure: some of the people I will mention here are well known to me; friends, even. The Executive Chairman of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), Barrister Abdullahi Mukhtar Mohammed was my school mate; we both studied Law. At one point, as juveniles are wont to do, we were ‘enemies’. That was many years ago. In Abuja, after we met again, in his capacity as the Commissioner, Operations of the Hajj Commission, maturity overruled all that and we became friends again. Not close friends, but friends enough to visit each other once in a while in private capacities. Another disclosure...