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Hajj 2019: Why Saudi declared new measures for Nigeria, others

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Hajj 2019: Why Saudi declared new measures for Nigeria, others

 

Saudi Arabia has declared that it gave new measures to regulate the movement of pilgrims from Nigeria and other countries around the Holy Ka’aba (tawaf) during the 2019 pilgrimage (hajj) to help in crowd control similar to the recent innovation in symbolic stoning of the devil (jamarat)..
Hitherto, pilgrims, Riyahd said, were expected to proceed to the jamarat for the stoning ritual from Musdalifa.
However, following the Mina stampede of 2015 in which thousands of pilgrims lost their lives, the authorities introduced a turn by turn arrangements for pilgrims whereby each country is given a time to carry out their stoning ritual.
Also, pilgrims normally proceed to the Holy Mosque to carry out their tawaf as one of the important rituals during hajj after the stoning ritual.
From 2019, the authorities say they will introduce a timetable for countries to carry out their tawaf.
This was revealed in Makkah by the establishment in charge of African Non-Arabic Speaking Countries, popularly known as muassassa at a meeting with officials of National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON).
Also, according to the spokesperson of (NAHCON), Fatima Usara, authorities of the kingdom also revealed tough penalties await people who overstay in Makkah and their collaborators.
Some Nigerian pilgrims often overstay their hajj or umrah visas.
To this end, NAHCON told the Saudi officials that it has ”laid out plans on this issue and was supported by the establishment pledging to offer the commission all necessary backing in doing so.
”Both sides agreed to introduce collaborative measures that will bring visa/immigration violation to an end, ” she said.
Mrs Usara, in an email to PREMIUM TIMES, said representatives of Nigeria’s Licensed Tour Operators, who’s pilgrims were most culpable in the act, also pledged that their organisation will not tolerate any member trying to soil their name and business.
NAHCON also took advantage of the meeting to demand that Nigerians pilgrims tent at Mashair should have air conditioners instead of desert coolers.
The manager in charge of Jamrat operations under Mu’assasa, Abdallah Lashkuri, assured that the request will be given consideration.
”Relevant papers on terms and conditions were signed legally binding the two sides in a contractual agreement,” she said.

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Islam

Zakat: LEMU Lifts 203 indigents with N50 Million

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Zakat: LEMU Lifts 203 indigents with N50 Million

The Lekki Muslim Ummah, (LEMU) has lifted  no fewer than 203 indigent Nigerians with N50 million, just as it called on well-meaning Nigerians to take the issue of charity with all the seriousness it deserves in order to address  the problem of falling living standards of most Nigerians.

New Telegraph gathered that over 300,000 applicants applied for empowerment from the faith-based organization  but a total of 203 comprising the poor, the needy, the sick and the less privileged in the state and beyond benefitted from the Zakat distribution.

Speaking during the distribution ceremony held at Vice Admiral Jubril Ayinla Multipurpose Hall, Lekki, the Zakat Committee Chairman,  Alhaji Yunus  Saliu said that LEMU made a remarkable progress in its Zakat collection efforts in year 2018/19. He said that total collection for the period was over N50 million compared to aboutN40 million in the preceding year, an impressive increase of 20%.

He explained that the recipients of the disbursements fall into five distinct categories to reflect of the nation’s economic situation, adding that the list of applicants was extraordinarily longer than the previous years.

According to him, a total of 79 were uplifted with cash under the poverty alleviation scheme while 62 were assisted under the economic empowerment category with 32 people given Scholarships and Educational Support. He added that 26 residents were assisted in the areas of Health and Well-being, while LEMU offset debt of   for N770,000 for 4 persons.

Saliu added that items such as tricycles, motor cycles, deep freezers, Sewing Machines were also given out to various people in need of tools to become financially independent.

On his part, LEMU’s Vice President Dr. AbduGaniy Labinjo urged the beneficiaries not to sell or misuse whatever was given to them, saying that Zakat was meant to empower and enhance their status so that they could also pay Zakat in the near future.

He urged wealthy Nigerians to emulate the culture of giving charity to the needy in accordance with the commandment of Almighty Allah, saying that zakat purifies wealth in the sight of Almighty Allah.

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Spiritual warfare: Muslim group supports military against Boko Haram

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Spiritual warfare: Muslim group supports military against Boko Haram

The Muslim Congress (TMC) has declared readiness to be part of the plan by the Nigerian Army to use re-orientation, prayers and other “spiritual” means to starve the Boko Haram terrorist organisation of members.

The group offered to support the agenda of the military to adopt a ‘spiritual’ approach to combating the terrorist organisation, Boko Haram.

The Chief of Army Staff, Lieutenant-General Tukur Buratai, had said at a recent seminar that the military would adopt “spiritual warfare” approach in tackling the menace of Boko Haram, a comment that had been met with antagonism from different quarters in the country.

The waali (coordinator) of the Ogun State chapter of TMC, Dr. Ibrahim Ogunkoya, in a statement, said the organisation was ready to be part of the army’s plan to use re-orientation, prayers and other “spiritual” means to starve the terrorist organisation of members.

Ogunkoya said: “It is sad for people to read negative meaning into innocent comments of our public officials. What the TMC understands by the Chief of Army Staff’s statement on spiritual approach to combating the Boko Haram is an attempt to prevent continuous indoctrination of vulnerable Nigerians to join the group or be sympathetic to its cause.

“This will encourage the spread the pristine Islamic message that is devoid of violence. This approach has our full supports as innocent Nigerians will not be brain-washed and manipulated to be part of the devilish Boko Haram agenda against the sovereign State of Nigeria.

“Nigerians should support this spiritual approach rather than criticise it if they are truly patriotic.

“By this development, The Muslim Congress (TMC) will intensify its drive towards enlightenment, re-orientation and spread of knowledge about the pristine Islam so that Nigerians, especially the youths, will not be indoctrinated by the Boko Haram.

“The Muslim Congress (TMC), therefore, wholly supports the spiritual approach of the military towards tackling religion-related crisis and insecurity in Nigeria.

“We implore Nigerians as individuals and groups to support this lofty idea with open mind and appreciate the ingenuity of the military in tackling the menace of Boko Haram ravaging the North Eastern states of the country.”

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Embrace integration to promote unity in diversity, Cleric tasks Nigerians

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Nigerans have been charged to embrace integration to promote unity in diversity irrespective of our Tribal, Ethnic and Religion differences.

Founder of Morkaz Salam, Ojokoro, Shaykh Moshood Ramadhan Jubreel Al-ketuwy, who declared this in a special sermon also underscored the need for the Federal Government to tap on natural resources that Nigeria is blessed with, especially Agriculture for economy to boom.

Shaykh Moshood made the call during Friday sermon in commemorating the 59th, Independence Anniversary of Nigeria.

He used the medium to draw the attention of Federal Government of Nigeria on the need to shift their Concentraion from crude oil and make advantage of other gift of nature like : lime stone, Gold, Iron among others.

He urged Buhari- led administration to make use of the country’s good weather and span of arable land all over the country to intensify effort in making Agriculture practicable for Nigerians both on food and cash crops for exportations.

He tress further that Nigeria being the most populous nation and giant of Africa , 59 years is not a joke, he enjoined all Nigeria “to reflect deeply on this anniversary to change our ways, improve on the labour of our fore fathers not to put their effort in state of shamble.”

Shaykh Moshood also cautioned leaders to do away with all forms of vices; Corruption, Hate-speech, Electoral fraud, Selfish interest, Assassination, among others while Nigeran people were admonished to be more prayerful and stop committing sins : Kidnapping,Ritual killing, Violence attack, Hatred among others.

“Nigeria is full of bounties , one of the best country in the world , but what we are witnessing is a state of reverse direction , refrence was made to Qur’an 29 v 40 where people were purnished based on their iniquities,” he said.

He continued; “Our country is business friendly, the present administration is urged to create a more enabling atmosphere for investors to come to  Nigeria by improving on infrastructures such as good road network, Stable electricity, Adequate Security for lives and property, and Good portable water.

“All these if properly put in place will definitely boost our economy,” he said.

A special prayer session was held after the Juma’at service for the People in Government for Allah’s direction and to Nigerians as a whole in order to attain a greater heights in no distance future.

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Stakeholders demand religious freedom in schools

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Stakeholders demand religious freedom in schools

The Muslim Stakeholders Forum has asked the Kwara state government to enforce the rights of all students in the state to religious freedom, irrespective of the original ownership of their schools.

The forum is made up of Muslim organisations like the Ansar-Ud-Deen Society of Nigeria, Young Muslim Brothers and Sisters of Nigeria (YOUMBAS), Muslim Lawyers Association of Nigeria (MULAN) as well as retired public officers, university lecturers and clerics.

Speaking to newsmen in Ilorin against the backdrop of a recent judgment of the Court of Appeal won by the state government against owners of some faith-based schools in the state, the chairman of the Muslim group, Malam Is-haq Abdulkarim, appealed to Christians in the state to allow peace to reign in schools and, indeed, throughout the state.

“You will recall that recently, there was about to be a religious crisis in the Ilorin metropolis as a result of actions pointing to a claim that being proprietors of faith-based schools already taken over by government, they still have full ownership.

“This made them (the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN)) to take the state government to court; from High Court to Appeal Court, where they lost.

“With this judgment of the Court of Appeal which affirmed the earlier one delivered in 2016 by the Ilorin High Court, we hereby call on the Kwara State government through the Ministry of Education and Human Capital Development to enforce the religious freedom of all students in all schools in the state, irrespective of the so-called original proprietors.

“We seize this opportunity to appeal to peace-loving Christians in the state to advise their brethren to allow peace to reign not only in our schools but throughout the state.

“We are concerned by this matter because our children in some Christian secondary schools originally owned by the Christian missions have been facing intimidation, harassment and denial on the basis of their faith – Islam. This is worrisome in a state with over 80 per cent Muslim population, of which 14 out of its 16 local governments have overwhelming Muslim majority,” he said.

Malam Abdulkarim also said that the judgment of Appeal Court on the matter implied that management and control of all grant-aided schools belonged to the Kwara State government and under the control of the governor.

“To insist that Muslims in all grant-aided schools must dress, pray and sing in Christian ways amounts to denial of their rights and such must not be allowed,” he added.

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Cleric underscores virtues of prayers

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Cleric underscores virtues of prayers

Muslim cleric, Ustaz Abdul-Rahman Adegboyega-Lawal, has underscored the virtues of prayers and commitments to Allah in the life of every Muslim.

The cleric, who doubles as the National President of Islamic Progressives Association of Nigeria (IPAN), also urged Muslims to seek ceaselessly, the favour of their Lord and be conscious of Allah at every point in their lives.

Sheikh Adegboyega-Lawal, in a statement, lamented that many Muslims today were so preoccupied with worldly affairs that they do not have time to “answer the call of their Lord.”

He implored people to always remember that “the strength, investment, wisdom and intelligence, which you put in into the business that you devote your time protecting does not belong to you.”

The cleric underscored the need for Muslims to always engage in dhikr (remembrance of Allah), a devotional act which, according to him, involves the verbal mention of the divine names of Allah and which, he said, holds solutions to all human problems.

“Allah provides everything and if He wills, He withdraws it. Human beings have no control over their affairs, so we must prioritise Allah over all things. If the essence of our creation is to worship none other than Him, why then should we spend our time chasing vanities?”

“There are however, various ways in which Muslims can remember Allah. Some of these ways are observing solat and supplication, which entails the glorification of the beautiful names of Allah.

“Names that are most beautiful and honourable belong to Allah and these are to be recited by Muslims for all problems. There are different names with different usages, depending on the nature of the problem. But common to all modes of remembrance are conditions that must be fulfilled by the worshipper.

“These are a clear conscience and intention, patience and humility, because Allah is unseen and must be revered accordingly. He should not to be addressed in prayer as if you are talking to your fellow human or your blood relation.

“Allah says in Quran 7:55, ‘Call upon your Lord in humility and privately. Indeed, He does not like transgressors.”

“Which of the 99 names of your Lord do you know? Seek its usage and never let it waste away. There are one thousand and one uses of these names, if only you know them. What you need do is to seek its formula from your Alfas and Imams and deny yourself some sleep at odd hours. With patience and perseverance, Allah is sure to honour your call.

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Waziri: Oluwo, South-West Imams’ league bicker over right to give Islamic title

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Waziri: Oluwo, South-West Imams’ league bicker over right to give Islamic title

The installation of two respected Muslim individuals supposedly for the same position has caused bickering between the Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Rasheed Akanbi and the League of Imams and Alfas in South West Nigeria.

The title of Waziri of Yoruba was conferred on Sheikh Yaqub AbdulBaqee last year by the Oluwo of Iwo while the Wazirul Mumineen of Yoruba was conferred on Ustadh AbdulLateef Ahmed Tijani Adekilekun by the League of Imams and Alfas in South West, a report by Muslim News showed.

“Alhaji Adekinlekun, who was announced as the Wazirul Mumineen by the League of Imams earlier September, formally received the staff of office at a grand reception held on Sunday at the Nelson Mandela Freedom park, Osogbo, the Osun state capital,” the report read.

This has however sparked an uproar on the social media.

Advancing his opinion,  one Adewale Omo Olubo Muhammed posted on Facebook, “Waziri (of Yoruba) again after Oluwo (of Iwo) appointed Sheikh Yaqub AbdulBaqee, son of Sheik Baagi Oluko Agba? why are we (Yoruba Muslims) always divided ourselves (sic) with common title or money? Before the appointment  of Sheikh Yaqub by Oluwo, I haven’t heard anything on Waziri title in Yoruba land since I was born until when Oluwo did so.”

Nurudeen Emiloju, in his contribution to the debate averred that the question you should ask is that who is the appointing authority for religious titles  in Yorubaland? A monarch or League of Imams and Alfas of Yorubaland? The historical record that predates the  enthronement  of this present Oluwo supports the fact that it is the league of Imams and Alfas that appoint people into religious positions in Yorubaland.

Another contributor, Dawood Iyiola Ajetunmobi, in his post, wrote, “Don’t also forget that when Oluwo appointed his own waziri, there was a protest letter from the League written to him, telling him that he (Oluwo) was acting beyond his authority but in Oluwo’s usual character, he defied the letter.”

Quoting a frontline Muslim leader, Liad Tella, Muslim News, however reported that the controversy that has ensued from this development is unnecessary given the fact that there is a clear distinction between both titles.

Tella, an Iwo-born veteran journalist was quoted to have said that the Waziri title conferred by Oluwo is not an Islamic title, but rather a palace title.

“One, the Waziri title is not an Islamic title. It is a palace title. And that is what it is in the Northern part of Nigeria where the Waziris are appointed by most palaces in the emirate,”he said, adding that, “Iwo land is not an emirate, but the Obaship system is based on the principle of Islam. Before anybody can be crowned as the Oba in Iwo, he would first of all, be turbaned as Ameerul Mumineen of Iwo land. It is after the turbaning as the Ameerul Mumineen of Iwo land, that  he wears the crown.”

The former senior Research Fellow at the University  of  Ilorin further said that the Oluwo, being an Ameer has the right to honour anybody with the title of Waziri of Yoruba land.

According to him, “… If Oluwo says he is Ameer, he is right. Ameer is a title, which also means Emir in Hausa-Fulani language. So, Oluwo has the right to appoint the Waziri of Iwo land. And if he extends it to Yoruba land, it is his own choice. We have powerful ancient Obas that also have enthroned people with different titles and there was no conference of Obas at any time before these titles were conferred.”

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Freedom of Speech: Ahmadiyya underscores peaceful co-existence

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The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community has underscores peaceful co-existence among people of different Faiths.

The group, which did this at this at its annual Peace Symposium in New Zealand, dissected the effects of hate speech on attacks among adherents of different religions in the World.

“With an increasing scrutiny of what constitutes freedom of speech, the theme for this year’s symposium has been chosen as ‘Free Speech or Hate Speech – Where Do You Draw the Line?’” the group said in a statement.

At this year’s symposium, Three Kings, Auckland, speakers and scholars discussed the chosen theme in the light of current issues.

In a statement, the Ahmadiyya community said a panel of speakers featuring Labour Member of Parliament for Mt Roskill, Honourable Michael Wood, Journalist Paula Penfold (Stuff Circuit Investigative Unit), Dr Rob Kilpatrick – Director of Traidmission, and Imam Mustenser Qamar, Minister of Religion, would try and tackle what may be considered appropriate and what may constitute stepping over the line.

The annual peace symposium is a regular event in the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community’s annual calendar, bringing together people from all walks of life representing different faith groups.

By discussing topical and sometimes controversial issues, the symposium aims to address the difficulties faced by individuals in the society.

Similar symposia are organised by the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community the world over, with an aim to bring communities closer, and to encourage dialogue for peaceful coexistence.

“Since we held our last peace symposium a year ago, New Zealand has faced one of the biggest challenges in the life of this young nation – namely the extremist attacks on innocent people in Christchurch,” said the president of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in New Zealand, Mr Bashir Khan.

“The diversity that is our strength has been tested to its extreme by a faction of the society we didn’t think existed. It is in this backdrop that we as a community decided to discuss this controversial topic – namely what freedoms can one enjoy in the modern world without endangering the peace in the society,” Khan said.

The New Zealand branch of the Ahmadiyya Muslim Community was established in 1987 and is a registered charitable organisation that endeavors to be an active and integrated community within New Zealand society.

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IRK, Arabic teachers’ shortage rocks South-West schools

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IRK, Arabic teachers’ shortage rocks South-West schools
  • NACOMYO demands fairness in religious teachers’ employment

 

The public primary and secondary schools in South West states of Nigeria are being rocked with the dearth of teachers for Islamic Religious Knownledge (IRK) and Arabics.

Apex body of Muslims youth in Nigeria,  National Council of Muslim Youth Organisations (NACOMYO), which declared this, mentioned Lagos, Ogun, Oyo, Ondo, and Ekiti as the affected states.

This came just as the Ogun State government has said that plans are underway to address dearth of Islamic Religious Knowledge (IRK) and Arabic teachers in public primary and secondary schools in the state.

Odun state coordinator of NACOMYO, Dr. Solih Amolegbe, who lodged the complaint during the Hijrah 1441 AH celebration in Abeokuta, maintained that the issue of imbalance noticed in the employment of IRK and Arabics teachers should be address in the spirit of fairness.

Meanwhile, the Ogun state governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, stated that his state had commenced action to address the issue.

The governor, represented at the event by his deputy, Mrs Noimot Salako-Oyedele, said the issue had been brought to the attention of the concerned stakeholders like the Teaching Service Commission (TESCOM) and State Universal Basic Education Board (SUBEB) and it was being looked into.

“Most of your requests as the National Association of Muslim Youth Organisations (NACOMYO) are already known to us since we took office. I can reliably tell you that the concern that you have with the IRK and Arabic teachers is being looked into by TESCOM and SUBEB to make sure that we have equitable distribution of dividend of democracy,” he said.

The governor hinted at the Okowo-Dapo, a scheme that would give interest-free loans to grass-roots women across the state for business purposes which, he said, would be launched in a few days.

The programme, according to him, is a replica of the Federal Government’s Trader Moni programme and will give a start-up loan of N10,000 and then N100,000 if the applicants are faithful in payment.

“In the next few days, different sectors would start to register in order to take part in this programme,” he said.

Governor Abiodun congratulated the Muslim faithful on witnessing the start of Hijrah 1441 and solicited for support, especially in prayers, in order to achieve his good governance policies.

Earlier in his welcome address, the state coordinator of NACOMYO, Dr Amolegbe, had noted the significance of Hijrah in the lives of Muslims, saying it was an occasion to remind the faithful of the period of steadfastness during the migration of the early Muslims under the leadership of Prophet Muhammad in the face of tribulation of Makkah’s pagans.

He  said NACOMYO, as the apex body and rallying point for all Muslim youth organisations in the state and the country at large, called on Muslim youths in the state to eschew violence and be law abiding citizens so as to enable the government to achieve its statutory responsibilities.

Speaking on the theme of the New Year celebration, “Historical Value of Hijrah on International Integration,” the guest lecturer, Dr Saheed Olurotimi from the Department of Foreign Languages, Lagos State University, emphasised the need for re-education, reorientation and rededication for the achievement of national unity and development.

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Hijrah connotes migration from sin to righteousness –NSCIA

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Hijrah connotes migration from sin to righteousness –NSCIA

The highest body of Muslims in Nigeria, Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), has declared that Hijrah connotes migration from evil to righteousness.

Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar, who is the leader of the NSCIA, declared this in a document in which he reiterated that the significance of the New Hijrah Year is the opportunity it accords a Muslim to turn a new leaf, set his priorities right and evaluate himself as a way of preparing for the Judgement Day.

As a matter of fact, Hijrah, Abubakar said; “connotes migrating from what is evil and despicable to what is good and righteous. This should be the resolve of every Muslim as the New Year begins.”

He continued: “This year’s Hijrah New Year message is anchored on the theme, “A FRESH START”, with the hope that it will engender a positive paradigm shift from disbelief to belief, hypocrisy to sincerity, lethargy to activeness, conflict to peace and ma’siyah (sinfulness) to taa’ah (obedience) among us. The hope is that Allah will bring about positive changes in the affairs of Muslims and the whole country at large.”

Meanwhile, Allah has unequivocally averred that He would not change the condition of a people until they change their own condition or attitudes (Q.13:11), he said, adding that it therefore behooves Muslims to return sincerely to Allah with a view to making themselves better than they were before now. It is also an opportunity for the faithful to renew their faith in Allah, in spite of the plethora of challenges facing the Ummah, because as Allah says in the Glorious Qu’ran, “Surely, with difficulty is ease” (Q94:6).

“While we appreciate the military and the security agencies for the sacrifices they are making in serving and preserving our dear country, we use this medium to urge them to nip our security challenges in the bud by focusing more on intelligence gathering and engaging more in functional inter-agency synergy, instead of what appears as unhealthy inter-agency rivalry. There should be a firm commitment by them to stamp out banditry and kidnapping and extirpate terrorism and other forms of insecurity from our land. They should make a fresh start in this regard and engage in deep soul-searching,” he added.

Also, the Council calls on the new Ministers especially those handling economic portfolios to focus on policies and programmes that will translate to reality the economic and social objectives of the Economic Recovery and Growth Plan of the Federal Government, in a way that will impact positively on the lives of the ordinary Nigerians.

“As leaders, they, just like our Governors and legislators, should appreciate that their core responsibilities lie in protecting people, promoting their wellbeing and providing for them,” the NSCIA said.

Muslims in particular and Nigerians in general must, according to the group, continue to be patriotic and loyal to the country as Nigeria is the only country that we have. We must be committed to making Nigeria work not just because of today but also because of the future of our children. The ship of Nigeria must not sink and it is our collective responsibility to play our parts in this regard.

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Clerics advocate genotype, HIV/AIDS tests for intending Muslim couples

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Clerics advocate genotype, HIV/AIDS tests for intending Muslim couples

Council of Islamic Scholars has advocated genotype and HIV/AIDS tests for intending Muslim couples in Nigeria.

The group particularly urged the government of Kastina state to enact law, which would compel intending couples in the state to know their health status before being joined in holy matrimony.

The Katsina State Council of the scholars said this through its secretary, Alhaji Shehu Adoro, when the council paid a courtesy visit to Gov. Aminu Masari in Katsina.

Many couples, he said, have become victims of HIV/AIDS scourge because of the absence of such law.

“Kano and Jigawa states have enacted such law which now forces intending couples to carry out the test before being joined together,” he said, adding that the “states are already reaping the fruits; they have succeeded in reducing the cases of HIV/AIDS among couples.”

The law should, according to Adoro, also mandate intending couples to undertake genotype to prevent rising cases of sickle cell in children.

Governor Masari had, earlier, urged the council to work with his government to modernise the “Almajiri” (Islamic) system of education.

He particularly expressed concern over the lack of shelter for such “Almajiri” children, and regretted that most of them sleep on bare floors around street corners.

The governor said that his administration was ready to work with Islamic scholars to provide water and other necessary facilities for such children to improve their living standards.

He also urged the council to regulate the activities of Islamic preachers so as to avoid conflicts and breakdown of law and order.

The Kaduna state had earlier toe this line and ever since the announcement of a proposed bill by the state government some citizens across the nation have condemned the bill, with many describing it as obnoxious.

The bill, currently before the Kaduna state House of Assembly, has also drawn the anger of religious bodies and religious leaders within the state.

Barnabas Bala, the deputy governor of Kaduna state, said the bill aims to protect the state from religious extremism and hate speech.

According to him, the Kaduna state government is always committed to ensuring that religion can be practiced in a safe and secure climate.

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