By Prof. Is-haq O. Oloyede
Text of the Goodwill Message Delivered by the Secretary-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Prof. Is-haq O. Oloyede, OFR, CON, on the Occasion of the Special Jumat Lecture in Honour of the President-Elect of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Asiwaju Ahmed Bola Tinubu, at the National Mosque, Abuja, on Friday, May 26, 2023
VICTORY IS FOR THE BELIEVERS IN GOD, THE AL-MIGHTY
I salute you all in the best way of salutation by saying, “As-salaam alaykum wa rahmatullah”.
Kindly permit to start by noting that my remarks will comprise five points, which are: gratitude, prayer, lesson, advice and request. The best of days, Jumuah, has been well spent so far and it is not my intention to spend beyond the allotted time.
I begin on a note of gratitude to the Almighty Allah (i) for the life and presidency of His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari, may God accept his deeds and forgive his errors, and (ii)of our President-Elect and the Vice-President-Elect. Join me please to say Alhamdu liLLahi rabbil ‘aalamin. I also thank Him (SWT) for accepting our prayers and making today a reality not only for the ummah but also Nigeria, our beloved country. Allah is praise-worthy for what He has done and in praising Him, the cited verse in Arabic is relevant:
Say, “O Allah! The Lord of Power and Sovereignty. You give power to whom You wish. You strip off power from whom You wish. You grant honour to who You wish, and You humiliate whom You wish. In Your hand is all good. Verily, You have power over all things” (Q3:26).
Having thanked Allah for what He has done, I hasten to pray that He grant our President-Elect a successful tenure in good health, sound mind and divine guidance. May the Almighty Allah Who has granted our Asiwaju (the Leader) the victory of power not strip him off the garment of honour. This journey that is starting now shall be a successful one for the ummah and the Nigerians at large.
When he said Emi lokan, Allah accepted it because, “No group can on its own hasten its term (turn) nor can it (or any one) delay it” (Qur’an 15 vs 5 and 23 vs 42)
Your Excellency, we pray fervently as we have confidence in you that you will succeed. You have done it before at a level and you can do it again at this level. I wish to reiterate that the significance of prayer cannot be overemphasised and you should always remember that. It is said that prayer without effort makes one’s life half-empty and effort without prayer makes one’s life half-full. What guarantees ultimate success in life is prayer with effort. You know more than many others that your victory is prayer answered and effort well executed.
The third point is a lesson in the life of Asiwaju for him and the rest of us. There is a story in the authentic collections of Bukhari and Muslim in hadith literature. I summarise it thus, paraphrasing Abdullah ibn Umar who narrated it from the Prophet (SAW):
One day, it started to rain heavily while three men were walking. They decided to seek refuge in a cave in a mountain. Suddenly, a boulder fell over the mouth of their cave, blocking them inside. Then, one of them was inspired to tell the others, “Friends, mention the good deeds you have done for Allah that you may call upon the Almighty by them, perhaps He will relieve you.”
So, one of them said he had two old parents with his wife and a young child of his. After attending to his flock, he milked the cows and served his parents before his child. Another day, he went in search of fodder and did not come back until it was evening. Finding his two parents sleeping, he brought the milk and stood by their heads in order not to disrupt their sleep as he could not even serve his child before them. He continued to wait by their side till it was almost dawn. He said if he had done that seeking Allah’s countenance, He should relieve them. Immediately, Allah shifted the boulder until they could see the sky.
Another one said he had a lady he loved and he gave her the money she requested. But when he prepared himself between her legs, she told her to fear Allah. He said he left her right there and then. He said if Allah knew he did so truly to seek His divine pleasure, they should be relieved of their distress. Instantly, the boulder was shifted.
Then, the last person also called on Allah, saying he employed a worker for a portion of rice. When he man finished his work, he offered him his money but he didn’t collect it. So, he used his money to invest and amassed cows and flocks. Then, the man came one day and asked for his money and he told him to take all the cows and flocks. The man was surprised thinking he was being pranked but he told him everything belonged to him. So, he also said if Allah knew he did so for His pleasure, He should relieve them. So, what remained of the boulder was removed and they were all saved.
The implication of this story is for Asiwaju and the rest of us is that the good we do comes back to us in the moment of need one way or the other. You may go through some traumatic experiences but the end will be sweet. Here is the President-Elect who has been spending resources and energy on building others and sacrificing everything at his disposal to make people’s dreams come true. Allah does not betray the good doers. In this, there is a lesson for us that we should continue to patiently do good to the deserving and the underserving because as Allah says in the Quran, “And be patient, for surely Allah does not waste the reward of the good-doers”(Q11:150). The reward of your good deeds is here and we hope that everyone thoughtful would learn from you.
My brother and Vice President-Elect, Dist. Sen. Kashim Shettima (GCON) is cerebral, straightforward and patriotic performer. He too has demonstrated high impact capacity and we pray Allah to make your union beneficial to not only to the Nation but also both of you here and in the hereafter.
Your Excellencies, you are here with religious leaders and religion, as Prophet Muhammad (SAW) is about advice. There is no doubt that power intoxicates and leads people to arrogance. I advise you to be true to yourself and the values that have made you a magnetic personality, the Asiwaju of Nigeria and Jagaban extraordinaire. You have said you have will form a government of national competence, which is laudable. The government should unify the country also but not at the expense of Muslims, please. Do not allow Muslims and Islam to be marginalised. Pay good with good.
Our own leaders will only make themselves available to you if you welcome them, they won’t impose themselves on you because the grace of Allah is sufficient for them. Do not ostracise yourself from the ummah that staunchly stood/stand by you and behind you while you continue to make new friends. The irony of the Muslim condition is that when Muslims are in power, they are not often in power in the real sense since they want to please the world and when they are out of power, they are completely not in power. A census of Muslims in the positions of authority had been taken over some periods of time by the Council and the results of how we are marginalised, especially in the South, are shocking.
The last part is a request. There are certain areas of our national life that are dear to the hearts of Muslims and one of them is the education of our children. I speak the mind of the President-General of the Council and Sultan of Sokoto that there are many evils sneaking into Nigeria like a thief in the night. Homosexuality, lesbianism and sexual perversions are being deodorised as sex education and the evil is being surreptitiously introduced to our youth and children through the school system and the (social) media. In order not to jeopadise the future of our children, the Muslim ummah requests to retain aspects of our national life that engender education, information and spiritual wellbeing of the citizens.
I started with a verse of the Glorious Qur’an and want to end by drawing your attention to the chapter of victory, Qur’an Chapter 110. It contains just three verses and I recommend the recommendations of the Almighty Allah as you savour the joy of victory. Praising God and drawing near to Him in penitence and submission are sure ways to clear the fog.
May you continue to be victorious as you confront the challenges ahead with your characteristic courage and abiding faith in the Almighty Allah Who heard your inner prayers when you said, ‘Ẹ lọ fọkàn balẹ̀’!
Thank you very much for kind attention.