We are still on the rampaging Coronavirus pandemic, bulldozing its way all over the world despite measures put in place to block its advance. May Allah continue to protect us from it and its siblings.
In an article dated December 1, 2009 (more than ten years ago), an Islamic writer Sister Aaminah Hernandez on www.islamicity.org restated this Hadith of Prophet of Islam Muhammad (peace be upon him) from 1440 years ago:
“One day the Prophet noticed a Bedouin [or desert Arab or, in Hausa, Bakauye] leaving his camel without tying it. He asked the Bedouin, ‘Why don’t you tie down your camel?’ The Bedouin answered, ‘I put my trust in Allah.’ The Prophet then said, ‘Tie your camel first, then put your trust in Allah.’ (Reported by Tirmidhi).
“This refers to the common sense and reasoning that Allah in His Infinite Mercy has bestowed upon the human intellect, so that we are able to take due precautions, plan and prepare for possible future events, and create a means of addressing those needs on our own. It seems to have become a common practice for people to say that preventative and preparative actions are unnecessary because they display a lack of trust in Allah for our sustenance, safety, or future plans.
“But if we do not bother to tie our camel, and it wanders off or is stolen, we have only ourselves to blame. Let’s increase our trust in Allah, but let’s do our part by first tying our camels!”
‘SO TIE YOUR CAMELS!’: And so it is with Coronavirus. We should continue trusting in Allah for protection against COVID-19 – AFTER doing all the necessary rituals and routines of tethering our camels, signified by regular handwashing, social distancing, taking hot lemon water, staying at home, et al…
PRINCE AND PRIME MINISTER: A reader quipped to me that COVID-19 seems to be elitist – ‘catching’ Prince Charles and British PM Boris Johnson. I agreed that it may seem so, but that it is a question of access to real testing equipment which may not available to us here. And even among the elite, aren’t others still ‘negative’ – for example US President Donald Trump?
GOVERNOR AND CHIEF OF STAFF: Another ‘evidence’ adduced by the reader about COVID-19 Elitism is that Bauchi Governor Bala Muhammad and Presidency Chief of Staff Abba Kyari have both tested positive. Add to them son of former Vice President Atiku Abubakar (my one-time boss). Some of them had travelled abroad and Corona followed them (evidence that this is NOT an African virus, thank God!) And may Allah cure them, and may He protect us.
AND OH, I’M NOT ‘THAT’ BALA MUHAMMAD: We do share the name Bala Muhammad with the Bauchi Governor and, eerily, he was also a journalist. For several years I have lived under the ‘shadow’ of that other Bala. For example, someone once approached my daughter to ask for ‘help’ in redeploying from an NYSC PPA (Place of Primary Assignment). Despite my daughter’s profuse ‘wallahi tallahi’ her father is another ‘Bala’, the friend never believed her; that she just didn’t want to connect them with the then FCT Minister. And when Namesake won Bauchi Governorship, I got tons of congratulatory messages – including, wallahi, from the Villa – and various offers of ‘menteeship’ (if you catch my drift). Alhamdu lilLah I’m no 419ner. And Allah Ya sauwake, My Namesake.
THANK YOU, BUA AND DANGOTE, BUT: As usual, the Kano Duo of Dangote and BUA (AbdusSamad Isyaka Rabi’u) have reached into their deep industrial pockets to donate to Nigeria. Dangote first donated Two Hundred Million Naira (with more to follow I believe). BUA came up with One Billion Naira, plus placing order for life-saving equipment. One can swear by wallahi tallahi some of these monies will be looted by many a thieving civil and public servant. May any thief of these donations test positi… (well, they say don’t wish it even upon your enemy). But let them not steal it, and may Allah protect ‘our’ money.
AS KANO LOCK DOWNS: Dangote and BUA, note that we, your Kano siblings, are under lockdown from 12 midnight last night and we need such magnanimity. You have to look home. Two Billion Naira (one from each of you) will go a long way as economic and social stimuli for the 20 million of us here (Jigawa stop salivating and giraffing – didn’t you get your ‘independence’ in 1991?) And FYI I know the right people to distribute such stimuli – and they are NOT at Government House, or the Emirs’ Palaces.
…ESPECIALLY THAT I’M TWO MONTHS SALARY-LESS: Academics ASUU members unregistered on IPPIS have not been paid February and March salaries. Even WITH the salaries, we run deficit budgeting regimes in our lives. Now without salaries, we are really at Ground Zero. For this, and for anything that happens to us socially or economically, blame, in this order, PMB, Finance Minister Zainab Ahmad, the Kano man Accountant General of the Federation Ahmad Idris (one-time avid reader of this Column) and ASUU National Chairman Biodun Ogunyemi. We are in lockdown, and our salaries locked up. Haba!
SO LET US PRAY: O Allah! You alone we worship and from You alone, we seek help. You know we have no access to ventilators and respirators and other life-saving equipment available to Princes, PMs, Governors, Chiefs of Staff, Sons of Excellencies, etc. Therefore, O Allah, do not cause us to be afflicted with COVID-19 and any ailment now, and forever. O Allah, You know malaria is enough trial, but they are even appropriating chloroquine from us. O Allah, there is no ‘light’ and the temperature in Kano is around 41°C (heading towards Ramadan). May this hot weather kill Coronavirus thoroughly and completely, and may cooling rain descend on us before, during and after Ramadan. O Allah, remove this affliction and throw it far away (and only You know exactly where, or who, is ‘far away’).