At Eid –el – Maulud, Muslims urged to emulate Muhammad


• MURIC seeks pardon for 54 soldiers
• Lagos successes, prosperity due to prayers, says Ambode

As Muslims in Nigeria join their counterparts all over the world to mark this year’s edition of Eid –El – Maulud (birthday of Prophet Muhammad), the religious faithful have been urged to emulate the prophet.

Eid –El – Maulud is celebrated by Muslims all over the world. It is the 12th Rabiul-Awwal, which represents the birthday of Prophet Muhammad. It is often declared as a public holiday in many countries, including Nigeria.

The Minister of Interior, Lt Gen. Abdulrahman Dambazau (rtd.), in a message to the Muslims, had announced the declaration of today (Friday) as public holiday to mark this year’s Eid-El-Maulud.He urged all Muslim faithful and Nigerians to use the occasion to pray for peace, progress and unity of the nation.

The Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), has also congratulated the Sultan of Sokoto and President-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad, and the Nigerian Muslims on the occasion. The Director, Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC), Professor Ishaq Akintola, in a message, urged the Federal Government to grant presidential pardon to 54 soldiers who were imprisoned for refusing to fight Boko Haram insurgents with poor weapons.

Akintola said: “In the spirit of the Compassion Day which the Prophet’s birthday signifies, MURIC appeals to Mr. President and Commander-in-Chief of the Armed Forces of the Federal Republic of Nigeria to grant presidential pardon to the 54 soldiers.

“We call on civil society, particularly anti-corruption crusaders to speak out for the 54 soldiers. We also appeal to state governors and chief judges to use the occasion to visit prisons in their states with a view to setting free a large number of inmates particularly those awaiting trial.”

He said: “Federal Government may not realise it, but the 54 soldiers actually exposed the $2.1 billion arms fraud. They are whistle-blowers, not criminals,” MURIC said.The group premised its call on the belief that “the celebration of the Prophet’s birthday is, therefore, the recognition of compassion. It is the day of mercy, a day that deserves being declared as Compassion Day by world organizations like the United Nations.”

Reference is made to various passages of the Holy Qur’an to support this position. “According to the Glorious Qur’an, Prophet Muhammad was the seal of all prophets (Qur’an 33:40) and an exemplary leader (Qur’an 33:21). He was sent to the whole world (Qur’an 34:28) as a compassion to Muslims and non-Muslims alike (Qur’an 21:107).

Meanwhile, Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, has attributed the successes recorded so far by his administration and the prosperity of Lagos State to prayers offered by religious organisations such as Nasrul-lahi-li Fathi Society (NASFAT) of Nigeria. He called for more prayers from organisations like NASFAT.
According to the governor, the execution of projects across the state was possible because of peaceful co-existence among the different religious groups,  which is a product of the prayers by religious leaders and groups.

Ambode, speaking when members of NASFAT paid a visit to the governor, commended religious bodies in the state for exhibiting tolerance for each other, saying the peaceful atmosphere had made the economy of the state to continue to thrive.

Also, in his Eid-El-Maulud message, the governor enjoined Muslims to follow the exemplary leadership of the Holy Prophet by promoting peaceful co-existence and uphold his legacies of unity, integrity and love for one’s neighbour.
He said the celebration of the birth of the Prophet should renew the faith and bond of unity as one people and one nation irrespective of diversity.

“I want to seize this occasion to urge all Nigerians to commit themselves to making a greater effort to imbibe these qualities and values as they celebrate the Prophet’s birth.”

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