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They only announced Monday as public holiday for October 1. But allow me, readers, to announce that it is also Islamic New Year 1438! And,…

They only announced Monday as public holiday for October 1. But allow me, readers, to announce that it is also Islamic New Year 1438! And, loud and clear, let’s say Happy New Year to all! Therefore, for this 1st October Holiday and Islamic New Year Holiday (at least in Kano and Osun States who have recognised the agitation of their Muslim citizens) we shall celebrate with a theme about THE EFFICACY OF DU’A, interspersed with a few anecdotes to brighten the day. Enjoy!
DU’A: In a story which Shaikh Ali At-Tantawi narrates, he says: “I was a judge in Syria, and it so happened that a group of us were spending the night with one of our friends when I suddenly found it difficult to breathe and felt severely suffocated. I sought permission from my companions to leave but they insisted that I stay the night with them. But I couldn’t, and told them I would take a walk and inhale some fresh air. I left them, walking by myself in the dark, whereupon I heard the sound of someone weeping and praying, coming from behind a small hill. I looked and found a woman who appeared to be in distress and misery. She was crying effusively and praying sincerely to Allah.
“I approached her and asked, ‘What is it that is making you cry, my sister?’ She replied, ‘My husband is a harsh and unjust man. He threw me out of the house, took my children and swore I will never see them again, and I have nobody and no place to go to.’ ‘Why don’t you take this to a judge?’ I asked. She continued to cry profusely, ‘How can a woman like me approach a judge?’
The Shaikh completed the story, crying, “The woman says all of this but does not realise that Allah had dragged a judge (meaning himself) by the neck to take him directly to her! Glory be to Allah Who ordered him to leave his comrades in the darkness of the night and stop directly in front of her with his two feet and ask her, he himself (as a judge), about her needs? What supplication did this simple, poor woman make to have it answered with this speed and in this manner?”
ANECDOTE: The Mayor of the town appealed for funds to build a wall around the graveyard. Mullah Nasruddin, who was also present, got up and responded: “There is absolutely no need for any wall around the graveyard!” When the Mayor asked why, the Mullah responded: “Because those who are inside cannot escape and those who are outside would not like to go there. So why waste money?”
DU’A: It is related that Imam Ahmad bn Hanbal, one of the greatest of the pious predecessors (may Allah be pleased with him), was once travelling and needed to stay somewhere overnight. When he went to the mosque, the guard (not recognising him) denied him entry. The Imam tried numerous times, but the guard did not acquiesce. Frustrated, Imam Ahmad resolved to spend the night in the masjid courtyard. The guard became furious and dragged him away, despite the seeming old age and frailty of the Imam.
A baker, whose shop was nearby, watched this scene and took pity on the seemingly poor, homeless wayfarer, not knowing who it was. He invited the Imam to stay with him for the night. While there, the Imam noticed that the baker continually made istighfaar (asking for Allah’s forgiveness) while working. In the morning, the Imam eagerly asked his host about the latter’s continuous seeking of forgiveness. The baker said it had become like second nature, and Imam Ahmad then asked whether the man had experienced any reward from this practice.
The baker answered, “By Allah! No du’a (supplication to God) I have made except that it was answered, except one.” “And what is that unanswered du’a?” asked Imam Ahmad. “To be able to see the famous Imam Ahmad bn Hanbal!”
Shocked, Imam Ahmad responded, “Allahu Akbar! I am but Ahmad bn Hanbal!” He then went on to add: “By Allah! I was dragged to your place so that you can have your du’a answered!”
ANECDOTE: Asmaee, one of the pious predecessors, relates that a bedouin (village Arab) went for Hajj and entered Makkah before the people. Holding onto the cloth of the Ka’ba, the Bedouin said: “O Allah! Quickly forgive me before there is a rush!”
DU’A: The only survivor of a shipwreck was washed up on a small, uninhabited island. He prayed feverishly for God to rescue him, and every day he scanned the horizon for help, but none seemed forthcoming. Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect himself from the elements, and to store his few possessions.
One day, after scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames, and soon there was nothing left. The worst had happened, and everything was lost. He was stunned with disbelief, grief, and anger. “God, how could You do this to me?” He cried.
Early the next day, he was awakened by the sound of a ship approaching the island. It had come to rescue him. “How did you know I was here?” the weary man asked his rescuers. “We saw your smoke signal,” they replied.
ANECDOTE: Someone said to Mullah Nasruddin: “I heard a loud noise coming from your house.” He replied: “It was the sound of my falling shirt.” The man exclaimed: “The sound of your falling shirt making such a loud noise?” The Mullah replied: “When I was inside the shirt, would I not have fallen with it?”
So there…we are in this Shirt of Recession! And our shirts have fallen with a loud noise! And we are inside the shirts!
This new Islamic Year means one thousand, four hundred and thirty eight years have passed since Prophet Muhammad (upon whom be peace), the greatest person to walk on this Planet Earth, the one person who is the most beloved of all to Allah, left his hometown Makka (Mecca) to Madina (Medina). The exact date is said to have corresponded with July 16, 622 in the Christian Calendar. This journey is a history in itself and in it is a message of historical proportions for mankind.
Now, when this Senate comes round to re-amending the 1999 Constitution, it will be apt, and deserving, to insert Muharram 1 as National Public Holiday, at par with January 1. That will be justice. That will be equity. The Nigerian Supreme Council on Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) and the Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI) must see to this.
May the New Year be a harbinger of glad tidings to all! Happy New year to the entire Muslim Ummah! Kullu ‘aamin wa antum bikhayr!”
And may our shirts fall alone!

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