As Nigerian Muslims join more than 1.5 billion Muslims around the world to mark the birth of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him), the Federal Government has declared today, Monday 12th December, 2015 as a public holiday.
The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) felicitates with the Sultan of Sokoto and President-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Alhaji Muhammadu Sa‘ad Abubakar III CFR, mnion this august occasion. We also congratulate Nigerian Muslims and the entire Nigerian citizenry for witnessing this great day.
Today is a very special day because it marks the birth of the greatest man that ever lived. Prophet Muhammad was sent to the whole world (Qur’an 34:28) as a mercy from Allah (Qur’an 28:46-47), a mercy to believers (Qur’an 9:61) and a compassion to Muslims and non-Muslims alike (Qur’an 21:107). He was an exemplary leader (Qur’an 33:21) and the seal of all prophets (Qur’an (33:40).
Though he came in a period of oppression, he brought justice and equity. He replaced disorder with order, retrogression with progress, cruelty with kindness and hatred with love.
Despite the tornado of false accusations leveled against him by detractors and professional liars, a number of non-Muslim authors see him as the light of the world. Geo Lind-say Johnson called him “an advanced psychic as well as a true prophet of God”. Stanley Lane Poole said “Muhammad had mighty powers of imagination of the mind”. Marmaduke Pickthall affirmed that “Muhammad was a sincere man who gave many beautiful precepts for human welfare”.
La Martine said Muhammad was “a philosopher, orator, apostle, legislator, warrior, conqueror of ideas, the restorer of rational beliefs, is there any man greater than he?” To cap the edifice, Michael Hart in his book entitled The Great 100 picked Muhammad as the greatest of all men. This is the man we are celebrating today.
MURIC gives FG a pat in the back for recognizing this day and for declaring a public holiday to mark it. But this is not enough. FG must do something more pragmatic and more tangible to mark the occasion. Just as Prophet Muhammad was a champion of justice and liberty, we call on FG to demonstrate those great principles of fairness and equity by setting free all men and women who are languishing in Nigerian jails for no just cause.
Top on the list are the 54 soldiers who were imprisoned for refusing to fight Boko Haram insurgents with poor weapons. These 54 soldiers are the true heroes who exposed the $2.1 billion arms fraud. Next are thousands of awaiting trial inmates in Nigerian prisons all over the country. The Nigerian House of Representatives revealed last month (November 2016) that two thirds of the inmates of Nigerian prisons are awaiting trial. This is not only alarming but also disheartening. It makes a mockery of our system.
We are not unaware that Nigerians are praying fervently for their country yet we continue to go from bad to worse and from the frying pan into the fire. It seems all our prayers are in vain. We warn that the prayers of Nigerians from the churches and mosques are being blocked by the curses of the oppressed and the wailings of innocent ones held in prisons under severely inhuman conditions.
How can our prayers be answered when we are so wicked to our fellowmen? How can our prayers be answered when thousands of innocent men and women are in chains?
In conclusion, MURIC charges FG to immediately set the machinery in motion for a massive and radical decongestion of prisons. Let the innocent inmates go. Set our people free. Let the 54 soldiers go home to their families and loved ones. They are heroes, not criminals. They are patriots, not rebels. Purify the land and see what Allah will do for Nigeria.
Professor Ishaq Akintola,
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC)
Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC),
E-mail: [email protected]
Yahoo Group: groups.yahoo.com/group/muslimrights