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World Hijab Day; People writes...

 

 

Majestically she walked pass

Romantically she was gazed at

Consciously she counted her steps

Intentionally not to cause chaos

Strong in Hijab she reminds herself.

 

Obeying her Lord's Commandments

Was never an issue to contend

From creatures who fail to be submissive

Just because they want to be attractive

Strong in Hijab she reminds herself.

 

What's the essence of life after all?

Am still going to wear the Hijab and all

It's never going to be a thing of choice

But a thing of no-choice in death after all

Strong in Hijab she reminds herself.

 

Since death doesn't differentiate the the old from young

Strong in Hijab I have to be from now

For I Don't know who is next

Strong in Hijab I have to be from now

For I know too well it isn’t an apparel of compulsion

Strong in Hijab she reminds herself.

 

@StrongInHijab.

 

 

 

STRONG IN HIJAB

 

Because I obey my Lord

I am strong in Hijab

Because I seek to please my Lord

I am strong in Hijab

Because I follow the pious women

I am strong in Hijab

Because my desires I suppress

I am strong in Hijab

Because I try to be my best

I am strong in Hijab

Though my society may stifle me

I am strong in Hijab

Because I try to Keep my faith

I am strong in Hijab

Because I stand for the right of my sisters’ too

I am strong in Hijab

Because we are Hijab Advocates

We are strong in Hijab

 

WHD 2018

Hijab Rights Advocacy Initiative

 

 

 

HIJAB: MY FREEDOM

 

To be liberated

Is to be free from longing eyes

That place me as an object of pleasure.

Hijab is my freedom!

 

I am free from the

Entangling webs of Shaytan.

That wish I accompany him

To the fire of regrets.

 

You say my dressing is barbaric,backward

But I wear not the leaves that unclad my nakedness.

What can be more modest than

The commanded modesty.

 

I am liberated for I am not

Subjected to the plague of civilization

That pull souls to the pit of disobedience.

Hijab is my success.

 

Hijab is my dignity, my uniqueness

I am different, made to stand out. Hijab

Grants me freedom in the righteous way

The armour that shields me from sins.

 

 

©Azeezah Olatunde (PenTalks)

MSSN to new Lagos appointees: Don’t live in luxury at masses’ expense

 

The Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN) has urged newly appointed cabinet members of the Lagos State Government to prioritise the welfare of the masses in their various ministries.
 
The Amir (President) of the MSSN, Lagos State Area Unit, Dr. Saheed Ashafa, gave the advice in a press statement to congratulate the newly appointed cabinet members.
 
Governor Akinwunmi Ambode had on Thursday announced a major cabinet reshufflings, dropping three cabinet members and appointing five new ones.
 
Dr. Ashafa, in the statement, asked the newly appointed cabinet members to see their appointments as a rare opportunity and a call to service.
 
He said, "Just as we congratulate the newly appointed cabinet members, we urge them to shun luxury and focus on service to humanity. They should always remember that this is a rare opportunity and a call to service considering the vision of the Governor and his drive to develop the state.
 
"The newly appointed commissioners should see this opportunity as an avenue to improve on quality service delivery which has been the bedrock of Governor Ambode's administration.
 
"They should render selfless service to the people of Lagos State and be conscious of transparency in governance and accountability to God, the creator, and the good citizens of Lagos State.”
 
Dr. Ashafa also appealed to the new appointees to ensure that they leave a legacy before leaving office.
 
"It is important for these new appointees to note that posterity will query their contributions to the development of Lagos State and their impact on the lives of Lagosians no matter how short their tenure in office,” he added.
 
The newly appointed cabinet members include Mr. Hakeem Fahm (Ministry of Science and Technology); Mr. Ladi Lawanson (Ministry of Transportation); Mr Segun Banjo (Ministry of Economic Planning and Budget); Mrs. Olayinka Oladunjoye (Ministry of Commerce and Industry) and Mr. Hakeem Sulaiman (Communities and Communications).

MSSN, IVC And HCDC: Challenges And Prospects

In 2010, the Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN), Lagos State Area Unit under the leadership of Alhaji Qasim Badrudeen moved the yearly Islamic Vacation Course (IVC) to its Human Capital Development Centre (HCDC) permanent site at Noforija, Epe. The decision was welcomed by its members, whose efforts had been thwarted repeatedly by the Lagos State policy banning the use of public schools for social functions.

The student body was jolted by the unprecedented and historic move, no thanks to former Governor Babatunde Fashola’s eight years of anti-Islamic policies, which made it difficult for religious institutions to access government-owned schools for their educational and spiritual programmes.

Paradoxically, the Muslim community of Lagos State lost hope completely under the administration of Governor Babatunde Fashola, whose Muslim name is Raji, meaning Hope or Hopeful. His reign saw, among others, the demolition of mosques, introduction and implementation of the cremation law, as well as compulsory autopsy for every corpse – practices that are diametrically opposed to the teachings of Islam – and the ban of the Hijab on school uniforms – a move that was challenged by the Muslim students’ body and Muslim Lawyers Association of Nigeria (MULAN) at the Lagos High Court and Appeal Court.

What an irony, what an antithetical scenario; losing hope under a nominally hopeful personality.

As a regular visitor to the IVC, I witnessed many of these ugly events as they unfolded. The unwholesome disposition of Mrs. Sarah Sosan, the then Deputy Governor, will forever linger in our collective memory and shall never be forgotten by Muslim students. In 2009, Sosan unceremoniously revoked the approval already granted to MSSN Lagos by the Lagos State Ministry of Education to use the Lagos State Model College, Badore for its IVC, barely three days to the commencement of the programme. Allah in His infinite mercies provided Queens College, Yaba as a ready alternative, albeit, not without excruciating efforts.

So, when the decision to move the male delegates to the HCDC permanent site finally came the following year (2010), it made a lot of sense. Apart from the continuous denial from the hostile authorities, an average of N500,000 regularly spent on securing of venues could be diverted into developing MSSN Lagos’ 10 acres of land at the Human Capacity Development Centre (HCDC), Epe.

I saw the beautiful master plan of the HCDC, which comprises a mosque, a functional library, classrooms, dormitories, a multipurpose hall, an administrative building, vocational training centres, recreational facilities, and clinics. When completed, it will serve not only the members of the society, but the entire community of Epe and environs.

In 2015, the female members of the society joined their male counterparts for the first time at the HCDC for the centenary edition of the IVC, which held simultaneously at the MSSN B-Zone Permanent Site on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway. The IVC was also held at the MSSN A-Zone IVC in the North. MSSN has members across the 36 states of the federation, including the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja.

 

The HCDC–IVC Challenges

After about eight editions over eight years, delegates at the just concluded 104th edition of the IVC, held between December 23, 2017 and January 1, 2018 were of the opinion that no significant structural developments have been recorded on site. They argued that the only visible structures are the toilets/bathrooms and the utility building, consisting of about five offices.

The general atmosphere of the venue during the camping programme, which held during the harmattan period, was barely conducive for delegates from secondary schools, higher institutions and the working class, who made huge sacrifices to attend the spiritual, social and moral classes of the IVC. They left their comfort zones to sleep in tents and on mats in search of knowledge, which, according to Islam, is mandatory for all Muslims.

“Many of us already made up our minds before coming (to camp). We knew the situation of the camp structure-wise, hence, we’ve prepared ahead”, some of the delegates said. Others admitted that the IVC afforded them the opportunity of sitting to learn from renowned Muslim scholars, many of whom they watch on TV or listen to on radio.

In his response, the Amir of MSSN Lagos, Dr. Saheed Ashafa, said, “To us, there are lots of developments. We are moving and progressing, though the pace is slow.

But to the delegates, there is no progress and I quite agree with them because they haven’t felt the development.

“For instance, between last year and now, we have laid the foundations of our kitchens, we have also laid the foundation of half of the mosque structure, which will contain 5000 delegates at once, among other infrastructural developments. These gulped huge resources, but the delegates will hardly notice them. Hopefully, insha Allah, before next year’s camp, we shall have good stories to tell”, he said.

The Chairman, Planning Committee for the HCDC project, Engineer Kaamil Kalejaiye, while speaking with INDEPENDENT said, though the project is to gulp N1.2 billion, about 10% of the fund that has been expended so far was secured through the members’ contributions.

According to him, “We have completed 50% of the foundation of the 5000-capacity Multipurpose Centre/Masjid. The next step is to complete the filling of the foundation and fixing the slab, stanchion and rafters, roof and block wall. We will also work on the toilet extension and female dormitory, among others.

“Our patronage of businesses in the area also impacts the community. For example we bought over 10,000 bags of sachet water; some sachet water companies do not sell this amount throughout the year”, he affirmed. 

 

The Spiritual Side of IVC 

The theme of the 2017 IVC was ‘In the Shade of the Qur’an’, and no fewer than 50 Muslim scholars spoke on different topics. Sheikh Isma’eel Busayri spoke on ‘The Greatest News’, Sheikh Dhikrullah Shafi’i on ‘Life of the Unseen in the Shade of the Qur’an’, Sheikh AbdulFattah Thanni on ‘The Key to a Happy Home’, Ustadh AbdulGaniy AbdulHadi on the Tafsir of Q. 2: 178-181 and Ustadh Sa’eed Salman on ‘Al- Qur’an: The Source of Civilisation’, among other prominent Muslim clerics such as Sheikh Thawban Adam Al-ilory and Ustadh Sulaiman Adewuyi, the Mudeer, Markaz IbaduLlah.

For most delegates, one of the high points of the camp was the joint Singles Seminar (for Brothers and Sisters) anchored by a seasoned marriage counsellor, Alhaji Sulaiman Dhikrullah, with the topic, ‘Nikkah: Between Facts & Fallacies’. A session for married couples, titled: ‘My Home: Between Fantasy and Reality’, which had panellists such as Imam Abdullahi Shuaib, Hajiyah Musliah Ajala Shuaib, Hajiyah Lateefah Muh’dAwwal and Hajia Bushrah Alli proved to be another interesting event.

According to the Society’s Public Relations Officer, Mr. Miftaudeen Raji, the delegates were divided into Da’wah Class I, II and III, with dedicated time for Adhkar (supplications), Mua’yasha, and Qaariyatul Arabiyyah – the Arabic Village, where Arabic was the exclusive language of communication. There were both separate and joint sessions (brothers and sisters) for all categories, from secondary school students to undergraduates and other categories. The kids, The Future Leaders (TFL), were camped at a conducive venue within the neighbourhood, due to their peculiar nature.

Dr. Ashafa and Engr. Kalejaiye called on the delegates to endure and assist in mobilising funds, assuring them that there would be significant improvement before the next camp (December 2018).

“I call on our members at all levels to be patient with us. We want to assure them that before next year’s camp, we would have put in place befitting structures, especially now that the foundation is in place. We believe that, if we all work at the pace with which we have worked at the beginning, especially in the aspect of fund generation for the lofty project, there shall be befitting structures for not only the delegates, but for the officials as well”, they assured. 

 

Reaching Out To Corporate Organisations/Government

It is therefore important for corporate organisations to extend their Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) funds to religious institutions, the same way they have shown unflinching support for the entertainment industry. In doing so, they will be contributing to the educational, moral and spiritual development of youths in various institutions in Nigeria.

They can do so individually or partner with the Lagos State government or Epe and Eredo local governments to provide additional infrastructural facilities such as classrooms, toilets, hostel buildings and good roads that will connect the centre to the community. More important is the provision of electricity, in order to reduce the money spent on fuelling generators.

If Lagos State government can sponsor and pump tax payers money into Eyo festival and Lagos Fiesta for years, they should also show support for student organisation programmes such as the IVC-HCDC project, to bring about a sane, crime-free and corruption-free society. Apart from the April and December IVCs, the MSSN also organises the Holiday Training Course (HTC) and other youth-oriented and educational activities.

In conclusion, it is high time the Muslim organisations rebranded their laudable programmes and reached out to government and corporate brands for the successful execution of their laudable activities. They must move beyond the traditional way of seeking sponsorship for their projects. Thousands of Halaal (lawful) establishments exist. Establishments such as telecommunications, non-alcoholic drink, food and beverage companies budget millions of naira for corporate sponsorship of different projects, but it is left to the Muslim organisations and Muslim student bodies in particular to search for such opportunities and make the best use of them.

Lagos hijab case lead counsel dies at 69, MSSN mourns

 

The Muslim Students' Society of Nigeria has expressed its heartfelt condolences over the death of the lead Counsel on the long-running hijab case in Lagos State, Chief Gani Adetola-Kaseem (SAN).

 

Adetola-Kaseem, aged 69, died early Monday morning at AB Specialist Hospital, Surulere after a brief illness.

 

Following the announcement of his death, hundreds of Muslims stormed the deceased residence in Lagos before his final burial in Ogun State, according to Islamic rites.

 

Sheikh Abdurazak Salaudeen , Chief Imam ijebuland and Wakilu Muslim of Yorubaland led a congregation of Muslims in a two-rakah janazah (special prayer for the deceased) at Egbe Central Mosque.

 

Speaking after his burial, the Amir (President) of the MSSN in Lagos State, Dr. Saheed Ashafa, described the late legal luminary as a promoter of justice and morality.

 

While sympatising with the family of the deceased, the Amir said late Adetola-Kaseem remained a hero among Muslim students in Nigeria whose right he consistently fought for before his death.

 

He said, “The persistent pains, harassment, embarrassment and humiliation suffered by female Muslim students in Lagos State and some states in Nigeria for using hijab would not have been this relieved if not for a rare personality like Adetola-Kaseem, whom Allah used for fighting the cause for us without collecting a dime.

 

“His rare magnanimity in assisting the oppressed and developmental works in the society stands him out. About 18 months ago, he emerged victorious in the hijab case at the Court of Appeal. We pray that Allah who granted him the might to put smiles on the faces of millions of Muslims will accept his sacrifice and grant him Al-Janat Firdaus (heaven).”

 

Ashafa however, urged Muslim members of the benchers to emulate the late icon, urging that his legacies must be sustained.

 

He said, "Baba (Adetola-Kaseem) will be remembered for advocating for the cause of justice and the rights of Muslim students and women to wear hijab. This is a great lesson for individuals that whatsoever we put forth in the cause of Allah remain in our record.

 

“Adetola-Kaseem's contributions to the struggle of hijab in Nigeria cannot be forgotten in a hurry. He stood by us throughout the litigation period on the case of hijab without collecting a dime as our lead counsel.

 

“Apart from the religious sphere, Nigeria and especially the legal profession have indeed lost an illustrious and enigmatic personality. Quite evident is the fact that in spite of all that he had been able to accomplish in his fulfilled life in the course of his practice as a lawyer and other selfless activities, he remained an epitome of modesty and humility, who never looked down on anybody.

 

“His passage is particularly painful for us in MSSN Lagos, for the roles he played in supporting actively our activities, including being a patron of the MSSN Lagos for more than ten years now. Adetola-Kaseem was an embodiment of morality. He never discussed schism but gives life-changing inspirational talks whenever youths were opportune to sit around him.”

 

The Muslim students’ leader subsequently sympathised with the entire Muslim community in Nigeria and Lagos specifically.

 

“Our prayers are with him and his distraught family. We pray that Allah accept him as his servant and admit him into Aljannatul Firdaus. Aamiin," he prayed.

Jerusalem: Trump’s declaration, a faulty personal opinion, to be ignored

The Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria has urged other world leaders to reject the United States’ President Donald Trump declaration of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.

In a statement by Lagos State Area Unit of the MSSN, the students asked world leaders to consider Trump’s statement as “a faulty personal opinion”.

The statement, which was signed by Amir (president) of the MSSN in Lagos State, Dr. Saheed Ashafa, described Trump’s statement as “ludicrous”.

The Muslim students’ leader said the statement by Trump further showed that US government  is not only biased but also anti-Islam.

It will be recalled that Jordan, Lebanon,Syria, UK and a host of other nations strongly condemned the declaration as the decision will aggravate continuous war and jeopardise the fragile peace process in the region.

He said, “We join other world leaders in the condemnation of US President Donald Trump for declaring Jerusalem the new Capital of Israel. It is a faulty personal opinion and we reject it. It should be ignored.

 

“This is an obnoxious decision by the US President. It is not only an injustice to the Palestinians but also a slap on the face of all Muslims in the world.”

 

Ashafa,  who will be hosting thousands of Muslim students in Epe, Lagos at the MSSNLagos 104th edition of annual Islamic Vacation Course (IVC) starting December 23, urged the UN to address the development as a matter of urgency.

Apart from challenging the UN, Ashafa also expressed worry over the silence of Nigeria’s President Muhammad Buhari.

 

He said, “Our President needs to join in this condemnation of injustice like his other contemporary world leaders. This is an injustice of the highest order. Jerusalem is the hub of Aqsa Mosque which is one of the Muslims’ three holiest mosques in Islam.

“United Nations Assembly must address the declaration as a matter of urgency, enough of maltreatment, denigration and all forms of injustice to the Palestinians who are the rightful owners of the land. The issue is not about religion only, but humanity and peaceful coexistence.”

 

Dr. Seheed Ashafa

Amir

Muslim Students Society of Nigeria

Lagos State Area Unit

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