“As all our Muslim brethren celebrate Eid-el-Kabir, we urge them, as well as all citizens of this country, to apply the lessons of the season to our personal and public lifestyles. Surely, anyone who loves God must of necessity love his fellow human beings created by God. The world and our country are hurting and are desperately in need of healing. This is the greatest need of the moment and as the Holy Scripture says: Love God and love your brother as yourself”
Today, Muslims in Nigeria joined the rest of their colleagues around the world to celebrate Eid-El-Kabir, one of the holiest festivities in Islam, to commemorate the audacity of faith demonstrated by Ibrahim (Abraham) to sacrifice his son in order to honour God. This is what defined the faith in God: the willingness and readiness to please God above self, no matter the cost. In the same token, while declaring today and tomorrow as public holidays to enable Muslim brethren to celebrate this occasion, the Minister of Interior, Rauf Aregbesola, through a statement released by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Dr. Shuaib Belgore, made a passionate appeal to Muslims and citizens of this country.
According to him, “I call on Muslims to continue to imbibe the spirit of love, peace, kindness and sacrifice, as exemplified by the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon Him) and to also use the period to pray for peace, unity, prosperity and the stability of the country, considering the challenges of insecurity we face at the moment. These mainly are bandits in the North West and North Central, insurgents in the North East, kidnappers, armed robbers, ethnic agitators and sundry criminals in other parts of the country,” Aregbesola stated. Similarly, President Muhammadu Buhari, in his goodwill message to Nigerians, spoke against inhuman exploitation at the expense of others’ inconveniences. In his words, “Taking advantage of the celebration to exploit fellow citizens through outrageous prices of food and rams is inconsistent with fine virtues of Islam”.
He went on to add that, “As practising believers, we shouldn’t seek obscene profits by making life difficult and miserable for others. We should not seek happiness at the expense of others. Remember that Islam is a religion of charity that urges us to love our neighbour as we love ourselves”. He therefore urged “all Muslims to continue to live in peace and harmony with their fellow Nigerians of other faith in the spirit of peaceful coexistence. Let us pray for the progress of Nigeria at all times. Let us expose undesirable elements among us who are creating security problems for the country”, he added. In line with the above and other several goodwill commemorative messages hinges the crux of the matter, which borders on the lessons of Eid-el-Kabir.
It is expected that imbibing the lessons of the costly sacrifice made by Ibrahim, such a virtue ought to produce good citizenship with sound morals. However, more often than not, the opposite is the case in Nigeria. It is interesting that Nigeria is one of the most densely religious countries in the world. Religious sentiments largely shape our socio-cultural relations, yet, the country still wallows in corruption, mis-governance, killings of innocent citizens, inhumanity to man, religious and ethnic discriminations, racism, etc. From our politics, economy, education and social lifestyles, Nigeria and Nigerians do not reflect our over-zealous religious devotion. At the end, we are a country and a people too hypocritical to exemplify the spiritual virtues of our religious devotions, both as Muslims and Christians. Little wonder the country remains in the darkest abyss on all fronts today.
As all our Muslim brethren celebrate Eid-elKabir, we urge them, as well as all citizens of this country, to apply the lessons of the season to our personal and public lifestyles. Surely, anyone who loves God must of necessity love his fellow human beings created by God. The world and our country are hurting and are desperately in need of healing. This is the greatest need of the moment and as the Holy Scripture says: Love God and love your brother as yourself.
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