Sha'aban: Ramadan's Curtain Raiser

Muhammad Jamiu Mubarak

Few minutes after the Adhan(call to prayer) had rattled the crest and trough of the edifice (Mosque), The Imam, Prof Abdul Rahman Oloyede, as to his custom, was ready to benefit the faithfuls with his weekly spiritual diet; one which centres around Sha'aban and the fast rate at which Islam is growing across the globe.

Prior to opening ground for the discuss, his eminence gave adorations to the lord of the worlds and subsequently sought salutations on Allah's honourable apostle.

He began the discourse by quotting a prophetic narration saying "Rajab is the month of Allah , Sha'aban is my month , and Ramadan is the month of my Nation".

To further emboss the significance of Sha'aban the spiritual leader highlighted some of the verses revealed in the month of Sha'aban; first on his list is the popular verse compelling every Muslims to constantly seek blessing and salutation on the messenger of God ( Suratul Ahzab, Q33 Vs 56 )

"Allah sends His Salat (Graces, Honours, Blessings, Mercy, etc.) on the Prophet (Muhammad SAW) and also His angels too (ask Allah to bless and forgive him). O you who believe! Send your Salat on (ask Allah to bless) him (Muhammad SAW), and (you should) greet (salute) him with the Islamic way of greeting (salutation i.e. AsSalamu 'Alaikum)".

Another verse that was highlighted is the revelation that mandated the Muslims to seek a Qiblah redirection from Jerusalem to Makkah
(Suratul Baqarah, Q2 Vs 144)

"Verily! We have seen the turning of your (Muhammad's SAW) face towards the heaven. Surely, We shall turn you to a Qiblah (prayer direction) that shall please you, so turn your face in the direction of Al-Masjid- al-Haram (at Makkah). And wheresoever you people are, turn your faces (in prayer) in that direction. Certainly, the people who were given the Scriptures (i.e. Jews and the Christians) know well that, that (your turning towards the direction of the Ka'bah at Makkah in prayers) is the truth from their Lord. And Allah is not unaware of what they do."

Some of the lessons learnt from the above verse was made know; some of which include: laying of emphasis on being steadfast in the path of guidance while shunning the embrace of other people's religious rites. Also, it serves as a fore notice to the legislation of Hajj (pligrimage) to gather every Muslim across the globe while facing a similar direction (Qiblah) i.e Kaabah.

At this juncture, divergent rays was shone on the whole discuss as the sage made reference to a recent media post which is hammering the fact that Islam happened to be the fastest growing religion in the world. Border lines were quickly drawn as to the part of the world which the post is addressing, where the Imam made it revelant that it is applicable to foreign countries ranging from Europe to Asia as these set of nations are built upon knowledge. A resultant effect of the rapid growth experienced by the Islamic creed, Unlike Africa, Nigeria as a case study, where miracles and superstitions are banked upon to salvage their unending woes. The spiritual father later summoned natives to rise up to the challenge by equipping themselves and children with intensive efforts on their young girls with beneficial knowledge, as the battle of this epoch has gone beyond physical combat, rather Intellectual war , one strictly based on evolving knowledge.

As the sermon encroaches tale end, surprises expressed by people of other faiths to the rapid growth of Islam ,even without a missionary body saddled with capturing hearts and minds for God was made known by the Imam who inturn summarised the reasons in the verses below (Suratul Saff, Q61 Vs 8).

"They intend to put out the Light of Allah (i.e. the religion of Islam, this Quran, and Prophet Muhammad SAW) with their mouths. But Allah will complete His Light even though the disbelievers hate (it)".
Without much ado, curtains were drawn and the Jummah congregational prayer was observed.

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