Muslims all over the world started the annual 29 or 30 day fasting today, Saturday, June 28. The beginning of the fasting in Nigeria was heralded late last night by the President of the Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (SCIA) and Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammed Sa’ad Abubakar III, following the siting of Ramadan moon in different parts of the country.
History taught us that before the coming of Muslim fasting through Prophet Muhammad, fasting was also prescribed for their forerunners through different Prophets of Allah. The modes, methods and timing differed from one Prophet to the other, but the spirit behind it was the same: peace!
God, who created us as human being knows and, of course, was said to have been warned by devil, that we were going to cause troubel in the land. That, perhaps, explained why God, on insisting to create humanity, placed many cautions and restrictions on them.
In Islam, month of Ramadan is regarded practically as sacred, Holy and, the one in which good Muslims are expected to aspire to be closer to God.
There is a narration that during the period of Jihad in Saudi Arabia, between Prophet Muhammad and the unbelievers, he (the Prophet) would ask his fellow fighters, his ardent followers, to suspend the war, attack and killing of ‘enemies’ in the Month of Ramadan. Indeed, sheding of blood, any blood is forbiden in this month.
This goes to show that the Ramadan is a month of peace, a month of reconciliation, a month of sobber reflection, a month of give-and-take.
It is within this context that good Muslims would locate their attitude to life, because the Prophet said that those who restrict themselves and work according to the words of Holy Qur’an (the words of God) and practice the way he (the prophet) conducted his life are of him and will be products of Paradise.
It is on this basis that we in Greenbarge Media and Communications Limited, Publisher of Greenbarge Reporters, are appealing to members of Boko Haram who pride themselves as good Muslims, the Fulani herdsmen and other groups to lay down their arms. At least this will signify their respect for the practice of the Prophet who ordered his followers to lay down their arms in this Holy month.
It would be abhorent and unIslamic for anybody who says he is a Muslim to allow a pint of blood of fellow human being to drop through his action and or inaction in this month.
We urge Boko Haram members to reconsider their philosophy which is that western education and democracy are unacceptable to them so that a window of dialogue with the authorities would be opened.
We also make a passionate call on the federal government to find ways of entering into genuine dialogue with the insurgents, if not for nothing, at least, to save the lives of innocent Nigerians that are being slaughtered daily for no fault of theirs. This is not the right time for government to flex muscle, talk tough and remain obstinate while the house is on fire. Especially when such posture produces the direct opposite result.
We wish Muslims a highly rewarding Ramadan fasting; Christians, peace of mind and Nigeria as a fast growing nation, the much sought-after peace and unity, in diversity.