A call has gone to Muslims in Nigeria to divert their savings for the performance of the 2020 Umrah (lesser hajj) to assist vulnerable Muslims affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Saudi Government announced the cancellation of this year’s Ramadan Umrah following the outbreak of the Coronavirus disease in the kingdom.
In response to this development, a media expert, Alhaji Jamiu Folarin instituted a project that will influence Muslims who intended to perform the 2020 Umrah to channel the funds to assist those whose socio-economic wellbeing are affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Alhaji Folarin who is also a researcher and producer of two radio Ramadan radio programmes in Abeokuta, the Ogun State capital, expressed optimism that donors would get rewards from Allah far greater than performing Umrah if they divert the funds to put smiles to the faces of the vulnerable.
The project which is being promoted on social media platforms and radio stations, is with the hash tag #RamadanUmrahChallenge.
In an exclusive interview with Muslim News, Alhaji Folarin said since the project was initiated about a week ago, it has received support and collaborations of individuals and corporate organisations.
“The #RamadanUmrahChallenge project is receiving the blessings of individuals when I made the details of the initiative public on Facebook yesterday.
”I have the highest assurance of friends near and far to help preach the doctrine as notable Non-governmental Organisations such as Zakat and Sadaqah Foundation, Rights and Freedom Advocates (RIFA) have adopted the project to make it a huge success.
‘We also have media partners such as Germane Concepts, Sweet 107.1 F.M and Roots 97.1 F.M that have provided the platforms to give the initiative a wide publicity.
“In fact, the first donation is coming from a Christian who read my Facebook post and she promised to further mobilise others for the project”.
The initiator of the project, Alhaji Folarin had in a Facebook page, given a background of what propelled him to push further on the project after an initial setback.
Find below the Facebook post:
“HELP! HELP!! HELP!!!
The Humanity In Me Is Dying
Since my phone number was made public as the producer of two distinct Ramadan Radio Programmes, I have been bombarded with barrage of requests for assistance. Ranging from health to economic challenges on the park of the callers, my phone keeps ringing, pleading that I should assist in whatever ways I could.
“Due to the pressure of the logistics involved in managing the programmes, I shunned many calls, bang the phones on these vulnerable Nigerians, pay no attention to their plea for help and concluded even before the requests were made that there is no way I can help.
“Today, I received another phone call from a patient admitted at the Federal Medical Centre (FMC), Abeokuta immediately after today’s programme, I had to let her cut her story short and I repeated the rhetoric of how I lack the capacity to assist. I promised to reach out to Nigerians whether they can assist.
“Yesterday, my co-presenter, Sekoni-Dairo Jamiu Olalekan narrated how those in Correctional Facilities in Ogun State are lamenting that unlike previous years, they do not receive support during Ramadan.
“All I do is to wave away all these requests and do little or nothing with the justification that the situation in the country is so hard during this lockdowm due to COVID-19 pandemic.
“I just finished my Iftar (breaking of fast) with my family just like you reading this message, the requests for help from the patient of FMC strucked me and I was some how depressed that what happened to my humanity that I can not go extra miles to assist the poor, less privileged, and the vulnerable?
“I inititiated a project at the commencement of Ramadan tagged #RamadanUmrahChallenge and I have shared on air the need for Muslims who have saved money for this year’s Umrah (lesser hajj) to commit it to this project to address economic challenges resulting from COVID-19 and lock down.
“Many Nigerians are finding it difficult to feed their family, some could not take care of their health challenges, lot of people have lost their jobs and many businesses have collapsed. The future is blink.
“Many Nigerians Muslims have saved millions of Naira for the Ramadan Umrah project. However, the Saudi Government has announced the suspension of Ramadan Umrah this year due to Coronavirus pandemic. I therefore initiated this project to mobilise this fund to address the peculiar challenges of Nigerians during COVID-19 pandemic. This will be equivalent and more rewarding than going for Umrah. (In Sha Allah).
“I am therefore using this platform to appeal to Nigerians to support the poor, elderly, and other vulnerable Nigerians through the #RamadanUmrahChallenge and help revive the humanity in me which is presently at the Intensive Care Unit (ICU).
“May Allah overlook my shortcomings and give me the strength to remain committed and passionate about this course.
“For inquiry please send a message to my in box.
By Alhaji Jamiu Folarin,
Producer, Waqtul Barakah – Asiko Alubaraki (Sweet 107.1 F.m); Usoolu Islam – Gbongbo Islam (Roots 97.1 F.M)
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