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Insecurity: Sultan, Islamic group declare fasting and prayer in North

Worried by the incessant killings in the country, the Sultan of Sokoto and president-general of Jamatul NasiI Islam (JNI), Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, yesterday called on Muslims across the country to engage in special supplication against what he called incessant and horrific killings

He also urged governments at all levels to live up to their duty protecting Nigerian from terrorists and bandits.

The Sultan said the call became imperative as human lives have continued to be wasted unchallenged as was witnessed in Benisheikh, Kaga local government area of Borno State and Gidan Bawa of Isa local government area in Sokoto State.

LEADERSHIP recalls that the Benisheik attack by Boko Haram terrorists was a gruesome massacre that occurred on September 18, 2013 in Benisheik, Borno State, during which about 161 people were killed, including dozens of soldiers. The Gidan Bawa attack in Sokoto State, the Sultan referred to, is a recent incident of last week in which bandits set blaze a bus carrying over 40 travellers and watched all of them burn to death.

While he prayed for Nigeria’s enemies to be destroyed and their plans to backfire on them, he reiterated his call on governments, at all levels, to brace up to the daunting challenges of providing good and responsible governance.

In a statement issued yesterday by JNI’s secretary general, Dr. Khalid Abubakar Aliyu, Sultan said, “May the enemies of the Nigerian state be destroyed and their plans be disseminated on them. Amin.

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“Lastly, we once again reiterate that government at all levels should brace up to the daunting challenges of good governance, knowing fully that there is the Day of Reckoning before the Lord,” he said.

Urging special prayers over the security situation in the country especially in the Northern region, the Sultan said:  “Du’a denotes supplication and invocation to Allah, the Most High. It is the greatest weapon of a believer, as well as an important, veritable means in reaching Allah, the Omniscient and the Omnipotent, with complaints, requests, needs and intervention at difficult and trying times, for indeed nothing whatsoever overpowers Allah, the All-knowing.

“To the Muslims Du’a is sine qua non in all circumstances of our lives, especially in moments of grief, which we have now unfortunately found ourselves in Nigeria, as a result of our misdeeds, corruption and political recklessness cum arrogance.”

He added that the call for prayer had become necessary as nothing is more honourable before Allah (SWT) than for His servant to be humble and submissive through prayers to Him, adding that whomever the door of prayer is opened to will have his prayers answered.

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“Owing to the above, His Eminence, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar uses this medium to call on the Nigerian Muslim Ummah to engage in sustained supplications/prayers at this moment of grief, through Qunootun-Nawazil (special prayers at calamitous periods in the last Raka’at of each obligatory prayer and non-obligatory prayers),” the statement added.

He further implored the faithful to fervently and faithfully resort to Allah in the face of these calamities by engaging in: (i) Al-Qunoot in the last Raka’ah of each obligatory and non-obligatory prayers, specifically to seek intervention from Allah (SWT); (ii) observance of Adhkar (remembrance of Allah); (iii) supplications in Sujood (prostrating position) in all circumstances and (iv) Du’a (prayers) at all times, particularly as there is seeming anxiety and palpable fear that has elicited many citizens’ minds in recent time.”

The Sultan further called on all Imams, Majaalis (knowledge seeking gatherings), Halqas (study circles), Madaaris and Makarantun Allo (Islamic schools), as well as the leadership of all Muslim organisations/societies in Nigeria to commence special prayers in calamitous situations and trying times (Qunootun-Nawazil), and seek Allah’s compassion for Nigeria and the North in particular.

“Muslims are as well urged to be introspective and should embrace more Dhikr (remembrance of Allah), through glorification of Allah, Istighfar (seeking Allah’s forgiveness) and ceaseless Du’a (prayers and invocations), for ease and relief in these trying moments.

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The Muslim Ummah are also called upon to intensify ‘Adhkar’ (calling on Allah with the tongue), especially the prescribed morning and evening ones.

He further urged Muslim faithful to eschew all forms of disobedience to Allah (SWT), repent and go back to the ways of the Lord of the universe.

The Sultan added that Imams must not relent in recommencing the QunootunNawazil and seeking Allah’s intervention for an end to these repeated sad situations.

“This call has become inexorable because prayers remain the most powerful instrument upon which we beseech Allah (SWT) for His intervention in dealing with evil plotters, as well as Satan himself.

“Therefore, we call on all Muslim brethren to see it as a point of duty to always pray against kidnapping and/or abduction, Boko Haram cum ISWAP insurgency, political rascality and all forms of criminalities during each supplication to Allah, the Most Knowledgeable.

“May Allah, the Most Merciful, forgive all victims of the killings and bless them with ‘shahadah’. May He console their respective families and strengthen them to bear the loss. May He also assist, direct and energise those in authority willing to discharge their first responsibility of protecting lives and properties. Amin,” he concluded.

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