Osun state was the first to declare the 1st day of Muharram of Hijrah ( the Lunar Calendar) as a public holiday to commemorate the historic journey of the Holy Prophet from Makkah to Madina.
Later, the Oyo State Government under the late Sen. Abiola Ajimobi also followed suit.
This year, Gov Ganduje of Kano State also declared the 1st day of Muharram as a public holiday.
It must be pointed out that these states are dominated by Muslims in terms of population.
In Oyo State, the incumbent Gov Seyi Makinde while canvassing for the votes of the Muslims during the 2019 campaigns assured the Muslims that they would continue to enjoy those rights and privileges granted to them by the previous administration.
It’s unfortunate that the Governor has either forgotten or deliberately reneged on those campaign promises he made before the election. The Muslims reminded him but he chosed to ignore the reminders.
While the Muslim groups in Oyo state, particularly MUSLIM COMMUNITY and NACOMYO were discussing the restoration of this public holiday, those who have chosen not to think outside the box but to stay within the narrow confines of their limited worldview have come up with lilliputian argument that the Muslims should forget about securing that day as a public holiday in the ground that it was neither found in the Quran or the Sunnah.
Then, we wish to ask them few questions and then remind them of the Hadith of the Holy Prophet on the virtue and benefit of keeping silent if you don’t have anything good to say.
We wish to appeal to them not to oppose those who wanted a public holiday as it’s not compulsory for them to observe it if the state government decided to restore the day as a work free day. Does that pacify them?
Brethren! Please use the day to sleep if you or your group don’t want. After all, when it was observed in Oyo state, just like the public holidays declared for Eidul Fitr, Eidul Adha and Maulud Nabiyy, there was no report that some Muslim or Muslim groups went about enforcing every Muslim to remain at homes or to prohibit the Muslims from trading or earning money. Please if Hijrah public holiday is granted and you don’t like it, use the occassion to sleep or do your private business. If you are a civil servant and you don’t like the Hijrah holiday, you can ask the government to open the Secretariat for you to be working on the files.
Did you reject good Friday and Easter Monday Holiday. Did you reject Christmas holiday and January 1st? Why is it that some Muslims don’t guard their utterances? We live in a plural society where we rival one another with Christianity and some people are thinking in an anachronistic way. Even the Eidul Fitr and Eidul Adha public holidays that you have accepted and always enjoyed, where is it written in the Quran or Hadith that you must or cannot work or make money on those days?
I don’t know how some Muslims think? Where is it written in the Quran and Sunnah that you should not go to work on Saturday and Sunday? Why are you people not rejecting those days as public holidays?
Do you know the implications of your attacking the request of the Muslims for declaration of 1st Muharram of Hijrah calendar as a public holiday? Abeg, if you can say better things, it’s better you keep mute.
When and where 1st Muharram of Hijrah calendar was declared a public holiday, did any Muslim attack you for going to work? Can’t you use it to sleep if you have nothing to do.
See the use and the extent to which Muslims have maximised Sundays for various usrah, adhkaar, halqoh, asalatu and society meetings for better learning and teaching of Islam. Why didn’t you reject it?
Next topic please!
©️ Abdul-Waahid Lawal
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