From Noah Ebije, Kaduna
IN KEEPING with the injunction of the Qu’ran, which obligates Muslim faithful, to do works of charity, exhibit servitude, restraint, patience and dedication to Allah, Kaduna State Governor, Malam Nasir El-Rufai and his friends have fed about 120,000 less privileged Muslims during their ‘Iftar’ feeding programme since the Ramadan fast commenced.
It would be recalled that the governor had on assumption of office last year abolished the practice of distributing rice and other foodstuff and gifts to privileged individuals and organisations during Ramadan. The governor described the practice as waste of public funds.
The Project Coordinator, Hajia Maryam Sani, said that the feeding programmes is solely sponsored by El-Rufai and his friends as part of their personal assistance to needy Muslims during the month of Ramadan.
According to Hajia Sani, the food programme is coordinated on behalf of the governor and his friends by Ummul Khair Foundation across the state.
Speaking while distributing packaged cooked rice and soft drinks to beneficiaries at Kano Road, in the heart of Kaduna metropolis Wednesday evening, Sani said the programme was targeted at reaching 360,000 needy Muslims by the end of Ramadan fasting.
Her words: “We started the programme since the first day of Ramadan. The programme is sponsored by the governor of Kaduna State, Malam Nasir El-Rufai in his personal capacity and with contributions from his friends.
“They contracted our foundation to handle the project for them, because they were keen at ensuring that the food got to the real less privileged people. And as you can see, the people we just distributed the food to now are people who really need this help.
“The distribution is going on simultaneously in 15 local governments areas and everyday, we prepare food for 12,000 people in all these local government areas.”
“With this number, not less than 120,000 people have so far been fed. And by the end of the 30th day of Ramadan, 360,000 less privileged Muslims would have been fed,” Sani said.
One of the beneficiaries, Amina Musa, a beggar prayed for Governor El-Rufai and all those involved in sponsoring the Ramadan feeding programme.
In the same token, Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI), has called on state governments and wealthy Muslims to extend benevolent gestures to the millions of internally displaced persons (IDPs), across the country, stressing that the IDP really need such assistance now.
JNI also urged fasting Muslims to use the period to pray for better Nigeria and sound health for President Muhammadu Buhari.
Secretary-General, Dr. Khalid Abubakar Aliyu said in a statement that Muslim faithful should pray for Allah’s intervention in uplifting the dwindling economy.
The statement read in part: “JNI as usual uses this medium to implore the Muslims to appropriately utilize the spirit of Ramadan by being more God-conscious, through frequent recitation of the Glorious Qur’an and being punctual in the observance of the five daily prayers in congregation, Taraweeh (the night recommendable congregational prayers), and to give a lot of alms to the needy and the poor, especially now that the price of food and other commodities have skyrocketed beyond the purchasing power of the poor.
“In the same vein, Muslim faithful are called upon to fervently pray for Allah’s intervention in uplifting Nigeria’s dwindling economy and grant the President quick recovery from the illness, relieve us of poverty and provide the wherewithal for state governments to pay salaries and grant sustainable peace, stability and security in our dear nation, Nigeria.”
On the plight of internally displaced persons (IDPs), the Islamic body said: “State governments and wealthy Muslims are called upon to extend benevolent gestures to the million IDPs spread across the country and beyond. This is the time that they really needed such assistance more.
“Certainly, Ramadan is a month of charity, servitude, restraint, patience and dedication to Allah, the Most High, therefore we must individually and collectively do so to earn Allah’s forgiveness and mercy in this blessed month.”
“Considering the imperative for Nigerian Muslim scholars to unite, by extension the Ummah, and to foster peace, unity and security in the Nigerian federation, His Eminence, the Sultan of Sokoto and President-General, JNI, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar, urged all to be decorous in behavior and utterances in Ramadan and beyond.
“Ramadan being the month of Tafsir (Qur’anic Exegesis), respected Mufassirun (scholars engaged in Qur’anic Exegesis) are urged to abide by the JNI Tafsir Guidelines. In addition, they are implored to fear Allah, the Most High and conduct their respective Tafsir sessions in line with the Qur’an and Sunnah of the noble prophet (SAW), using courteous language and kind words.
“Bearing in mind, that they will account before Allah (SWT) for their respective actions and inactions. They should as well shun bad preaching during the Tafsir sessions. Once more JNI wishes all Muslim faithful an accepted Ramadan fast.”
In a similar development, Nasri llahi Fatih Society of Nigeria (NASFAT), Kaduna State branch over the weekend began feeding no fewer than 5,000 Muslims particularly the needy.
NASFAT chairman in the state, Engr Muhyideen Alimi Yusuf, who stated this while feeding a set of 250 needy at Nuruddeen Mosque, Hadijah, by Kaduna Central Market, Kaduna, noted that the feeding would continue all through the Ramadan month.
Engr. Yusuf said the deliberate programme tagged, “Feed the Needy Programme” was rolled out to assist the less privileged who are in dire need of the food as well as strengthening them to carry on with the act of ibadah (fasting) as expected of them by the religion.
NASFAT leader in Kaduna further added that 500 less privileged had already benefited since the commencement of the programme.
He said, “We started the feed-the-needy programme, which we normally do in the month of Ramadan. Some days ago we started with feeding of 250 less privileged and day two we fed another 250.
“Our target is to feed about 5000 less privileged by the end of the holy month of Ramadan. We target at least 250 persons in each mosque where we carry out the exercise.
“We were inspired to do these by the teachings of the Holy Qu’ran that during the month of Ramadan, this is the best period you get bountiful rewards for every good deed.
“Again, we all know the level of poverty in our society which is unprecedented and this is the little way we can offer assistance to the less privileged during the iftar. And we all know that during the month of Ramadan it is advisable that we do more of charity,” Engr. Yusuf stated.
On plans to also reach out to the internally displaced persons (IDPs), the chairman said NASFAT was in the process of gathering materials from its members, assuring that as soon as they were ready, they would extend the good gesture to the IDPs.
Deputy Missioner of NASFAT, Muhdkabir Usman, appealed to the wealthy individuals in the society to spend in the course of Allah by coming to the aid of the less privileged, who are in dire need in order to have strength to carry on with the fasting in the month of Ramadan.
The Imam in charge of Nuruddeen Mosque, Alhaji Abdulrauf, expressed gratitude on the kind gesture and called on other Muslim ummah and organizations to emulate the gesture by NASFAT.