By: Adeola Oladele, Ibadan
As Muslims all over the world celebrate the beginning of the new Islamic calendar year Hijra 1439, Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State has called on Muslims faithfuls to embrace peace and go into the new year with a renewed spirit to do the will of Allah.
The governor made the call on yesterday at the Hijra 1439 celebrations with the theme, “Good Governance and Reccession Question: What Roles for Muslims?” held at Lekan Salami Stadium, Adamasingba, Ibadan
Ajimobi charged Muslims to exhibit the tenets which the Holy Quran preaches at all times, saying that they should bury their midemeanours with the outgone year and enter the new muslim year with a renewed vigour to serve Allah, which was the essence of Hijra.
While highlighting the significance of the Hijra calendar, the governor said said the 12 months in the Hijrah calendar is the one created by Allah in the Quran, saying that the calendar being celebrated generally is the one created by man noting that whoever follows the Hijra calendar will be counted as a true worshipper.
The Governor, who was represented at the event by his Special Adviser on Community Relations, Alhaji Abidemi Siyanbade, thanked almighty Allah for making it possible to witness the celebration of the Hijra year in the state, urged Muslims to make tolerance, goodwill, accommodation and joy be their watchword as they go into the new year.
He stressed the need for true faithfuls to shun vices that are capable of truncating the peace of the state and the nation at large, adding that the combination of all of the good virtues will lead to prosperity and happiness which brings about joy in every human being.
Ajimobi said Islam came to the world 1,435 years ago, and went further to explain that the celebration of Hijrah has been in existence over 1,000 years before the advent of the Europeans who confused and deceived the people thereby making a lot of people to forget about it completely.
According to the governor, Hijrah signifies the movement or relocation from one place to another sighting the relocation of Prophet Mohammed from Mecca to Medina as an example.
He charged muslims to pray fervently to be able to focus on the spiritual essence of Hijrah and not the physical since it is all about a spiritual rebirth where the old is dumped for the new so as to serve Allah fully to the best of the human ability of a believer.
Gov. Ajimobi enjoined Muslims to go into the new year preaching peace and tolerance everywhere they may be around the world since the teachings of Islam are built around the two key issues.
In his sermon at the event, Shaykh Habeebah Buhari charged Muslim faithfuls to abstain from any act likely to cause a breach of peace and thereby tarnish their own namee as a muslim and the image of Islam.
Shaykh Buhari, who stressed the importance of Muslims seeking knowledge all the time, added that nobody should be an island unto himself.
He observed that Islam is a religion that require knowledge and wisdom.
The Islamic scholar also sued for a spirit of forgiveness which according to him brings about the peace and unity among the people of state, just as he charged the Muslims faithful to fear Allah and live in unity, adding that they must embrace peace and do away with violence.
He appreciated the administration of Governor Ajimobi for declaring a public holiday to mark the new Hijrah year, while also urging him to focus more on agricultural sector in order to provide employment opportunities for youths.
Earlier in his address of welcome, the state coordinator of National Council of Youth Organisation (NACOMYO), Alhaji Dawud Afolabi, congratulated the governor for sustaining the celebration and the
declaration of Hijrah day as a public holiday for the people of the state even in the face of unrelenting criticism.
Afolabi urged other states and Federal Government to emulate the Oyo State in celebrating the Islamic new year in line with the principle of equity and justice as first of January of every year.
While reflecting on this year’s theme of the celebration, Alh. Afolabi stated that in Islam, good governance is the rule of justice, a just and ethical order and observance of rights and obligations in the society
He then called on Muslim faithfuls to desist from any act capable of tarnishing the image of Islam, while encouraging them to adhere strictly to all the teaching and tenets of Islam, promote peaceful and harmonious relationships with adherents of other religions to make our society a better place to live.
In his goodwill message, the Aare Musulumi of Yorubaland, Edo and Delta States, Alhaji Dawud Akinola admonished all Muslims to allow the lessons of the period manifest in their relationship with fellow being
such as that the love as preached by the Holy prophet Muhammed would reign supreme in their environment.
This year Hijrah celebration was special as faithfuls both old and young, men and women, members of the state executive council, thronged the stadium to thank Allah for witnessing another Islamic year.