It’s that time of year again that I find to have so much meaning and beauty. Tomorrow, Monday 3th of May 2019, ushers in Ramadan 2019, the 9th month in the Islamic calendar (Hijri 1440). To me Ramadan is so much more than fasting from dusk till dawn or feasting during Iftar. Not only is it a time when I endeavor to increase my Taqwa/Iman, become more charitable and strengthen my knowledge of the Holy Qur’an, it is also a time that I become closer to Allah.
Many of us who celebrate Ramadan take journeys at this time of the year and this Ramadan I want to take a journey on how I can get the most benefit from the opportunity Ramadan affords me and I want to encourage anyone who wishes to come along on this journey in making this Ramadan one of great triumph and blessings.
In my Ramadan journey this year as always, I wish to, first and foremost, give top priority to knowing and understanding the true contents and message of the Qur’an.
The reward for reciting and completing the Qur’an is abundantly rewarding. Ibn ‘Abbas narrates, saying, “The Messenger of Allah (SAW) was the most generous person, and He would be at his most generous in Ramadan because Jibril would come to him every night and he would study the Qur’an with him. Additionally, Bukhari reports from Fatima that the Prophet (SAW) told her in the last year of his life, “Jibril used to revise the Qur’an with me once every year…” As part of my journey this Ramadan, I intend to complete reciting the Holy Quran.
TWO POSSIBLE WAYS OF COMPLETING THE QU’RAN DURING RAMADAN ARE AS FOLLOWS:
READ 4 PAGE AFTER EACH SALAT.
5 TIMES SALAT X 4 PAGE = 20 PAGE EACH DAY
20 PAGES = 1 PARA
1 PARA X 30 DAYS = 30 PARA
THE QURAN HAS 600 PAGES APPROXIMATELY. IF YOU DIVIDE IT INTO 30 DAYS, THAT’S 20 PAGES A DAY. THAT MAY BE DIFFICULT TO ACHIEVE FOR SOME. BUT IF ONE
DIVIDES IT ON THE 5 DAILY PRAYERS, RECITING IT GETS EASIER.
Furthermore, I wish to take a moment to reflect on which aspects of my life; my routine, attitude, personality or behavior I need to improve on and what my plans are for changing for the better and bringing myself closer to the Islamic standard.
An important part of this journey for me is to be as charitable as I can possibly be. When possible, every time I see people in anguish and poverty, every time my eyes fill with tears at the sight of senseless killings, blown up bodies, devastation and displacement of innocent people, I will open my purse and give charity. I will remember to forego some of my necessities in order to provide for those who are in more need than me. I will also opt not to spend money on frivolous things and luxuries so that those who are in more need than my family and I can be helped through my charity.
In sha Allah, in my journey, I will sleep early after praying Ishaa and Taraweeh and go to bed with a clear and conscious intention of fasting the next day. Then, I will get up well before Suhur time thanking Allah Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala for giving me life and then I hope to make special Du’aa for the mercy of Allah Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala on our Ummah. From the start and right to the end of Ramadan, I will try not to sleep after Fajr, but instead study the Qur’an. In the last ten days of the Ramadan, I will go to bed with the intention of getting up early for Tahajjud prayers.
Throughout the day, for the duration of the Ramadan, I will find time to revise and re-learn the Surahs and Aayaat I already know. Once that is completed, I will try to learn one Aayah a day from a Surah that I may not already know.
Insha Allah, I will be extra kind, understanding, accepting, considerate and supportive to my non-Muslims friends and neighbors. I will listen to them, carry them along and find ways to have them participate in the blessings of Ramadan by sharing my food and gifts with them. I will counsel myself on my temperamental nature and strive to become calmer. I will try very hard to be forgiving to all those who have offended my family, my community and I. I will clear my heart from anger, suspicion and grudges. And I will do a lot of prayer on cooling down my fiery temper.
For the full duration of the Ramadan, I will kick at least one of my bad habits and make a special effort to speak only to add value and to say only what is meaningful and useful. When I do not have anything useful to talk about, I will remember Allah Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala through the beautiful and peaceful words taught by the Rasul (SAW), while paying attention to their meanings and feeling the impact of the words in my heart, my mind, my thoughts and my attitude.
Ramadan is a spiritual cleansing month not only for the soul but also for the body. It is said in a Hadith that the Prophet (SAW) said we should leave 1/3 of our stomach for water, 1/3 for air, and 1/3 for food.
Therefore, this Ramadan, in addition to my spiritual journey, I will be going on a health and weight loss one as well. While I embrace Ramadan for its spiritual benefits and all the positives that it represents, it really is an excellent opportunity to shed some extra weight. It can be very tempting to devour anything and everything edible during Iftar, but the tendency of this is putting on more weight than one had to begin with and becoming unhealthier.
When we fast, we are already resetting our metabolism by the protracted, long overnight fast, as well as the daily fasting. Our metabolism resets and our body begins to change the way it operates. There is no need to consume excess food at Iftar, dinner or Suhoor, but we usually do. And when we do that, our body thinks it is in a state of famine and will store everything we eat as fat, because it is worried about food supply.
Furthermore, eating once a day scares our body and our body starts to shut down and slow down our metabolism. A diet that is less than a normal amount of food intake but balanced is sufficient enough to keep us healthy and active during the month of Ramadan.
I know for me personally, each Ramadan in the past, I have always had a tendency to over eat during Iftar. But this year, I want to be disciplined, eat healthy, eat slowly, and practice constraint by ensuring my diet consists of low fat food. Without a doubt restricting meals to low fat food for thirty days will make anyone loose weight, no matter how slow their metabolism is.
I know Ramadan is not about losing weight, but I would like to use this opportunity, to address my issue of gluttony and use control and constraint on what I eat.
However, while Ramadan is an excellent opportunity for overweight people to lose weight, please note that underweight or marginally normal weight people are discouraged from losing weight during Ramadan.
I also, Insha Allah, intend to dedicate my writing, articles and op-eds in the next four weeks of Ramadan fully to one subject, addressing an area that I wish to concentrate my prayer on. The 4-week series will be titled, ‘YA ALLAH, MY DU’A IS FOR…(FOLLOWED BY THE PARTICULAR SUBJECT TO BE COVERED IN THAT WEEK).”I am hoping that others will join me in my prayer and Du’a on this subject.
If, like me, you have decided to make this a meaningful and triumphant Ramadan by moving closer to Allah and identifying areas requiring improvement in your life, may Allah Subhaanahu wa Ta’aala assist you and bless you for taking this step in your life.
If one can succeed this Ramadan in living as planned by the true tenants of the Quran, one will be able to look back and rejoice and feel inner joy and true happiness knowing that their Eid day will be the day of celebrating rewards from Allah Subhanahu wa Ta’aala.
As we begin this journey for Ramadan 2019, I wish each and every person welcoming this Ramadan a blessed, fruitful, safe and peaceful month. Ramadan Kareem and Ramadan Mubarak!
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You’re A Shameless Politician, Okorocha Fires Back At Uzodinma
Rochas Okorocha, the outgoing governor of Imo state, on Sunday, replied Senator Hope Uzodinma,the governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC) in the last general election, and Senator representing Imo West Senatorial zone, over his recent media attacks against him.
Okorocha decribed Uzodinma as a “shameless” politician who is a pliable tool in the hands of some politicians within and outside the state who are bent on ruining his political career.
He said Uzodinma would do anything to please his political masters to be in their good books
A statement signed by Mr. Sam Onwuemeodo the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, read that, “within one week, Chief Hope Uzodinma, the governorship Candidate of All Progressives Congress (APC), in Imo State, has had series of interviews in almost all the national newspapers. And his target in all the interviews was Governor Rochas Okorocha. He has also invaded the social media with his insults on the governor.
“Interestingly enough, the kind of courage and boldness Chief Uzodinma displayed or exercised in all his media outings against Governor Okorocha only showed that he has no shame. And he could do worst things if he has the opportunity”.
According to the statement, “Chief Uzodinma contested the governorship election in the State with the ticket of APC and he could not win in his own Oru East local government. He could not win in any of the 27 LGAs in the State, and never came second or third in all the LGAs but only came fourth and he has the audacity to be granting interviews and talking balderdash.
“He has only confirmed that he was only used as tool to destroy Imo APC. And they have promised him Ministerial appointment and that is the reason behind his current media Campaigns and to be listened to, he has to be insulting Governor Rochas Okorocha.
“Chief Uzodinma and co told the world that governor Okorocha had finished politically, that they were the ones holding the ace of APC in the State. And today, Nigerians have seen or known who holds the franchise of APC in Imo and in the Southeast”.
It continued that, “at least, the outcome of the 2019 election spoke volume. It showed that like Governor Okorocha had said, Chief Uzodinma didn’t contest the 2019 governorship election in the State to win. He only came to be a tool in the hands of those who wanted to kill APC in Imo and South-East in general for reasons best known to them.
“The 2019 poll also showed that Ugwumba Uche Nwosu is loved by Imo people to a very large extent and he was the most popular governorship Candidate. He won the 2019 election with the real votes of Imo people but INEC decided to announce someone with fictitious figures winner.
“Chief Uzodinma could not produce even one House of Assembly member. But Ugwumba Nwosu produced about eleven House of Assembly members, two Federal House of Representatives members and one Senator for Okigwe zone on the platform of Action Alliance, (AA). And all those who won election on the tickets of APC are all Governor Okorocha’s men.
“The truth is that falsehood does not endure. But truth endures. Even at the moment, only Governor Okorocha has the capacity to rebuild APC in Imo and in the South-East generally with the support of the AA Chieftains led by Ugwumba Uche Nwosu.
“In case men like Hope Uzodinma do not know, Governor Okorocha will outlive them, outlive their mischievous politics and their gang up. In their effort to destroy Okorocha’s politics, they messed up the entire State with their Collaborators.
Uzodinma had on Friday in an interview he granted the Nation Newspaper fired a barb at Okorocha by calling him a saboteur.
SaharaReporters, New York
Mark My Words, I Will Become President Of Nigeria, Okorocha Vows
Rochas Okorocha, the governor of Imo State, has vowed that he will become the president of the Federal Republic of Nigeria come what may.
Okorocha made his conviction public on Sunday during his valedictory thanksgiving service held at the Government House Chapel in Owerri.
He said that his current political travails, particularly the seizure of his Certificate of Return as the Imo West senator-elect, were only strengthening him for the exalted presidential seat in Aso Rock.
The outgoing governor said the wishes of his political adversaries concerning him would not come to pass, saying “those who want me to go to prison will go to prison before me.”
According to him, the elite hated him because he decided to approach the affairs of the state differently.
Describing himself as “the most criticised politician” in the country, Okorocha said that all the ploy to stop him from going to the Senate will fail.
Okorocha said, “I tell you, I am the most criticised person in Nigeria today. I don’t know why the entire elite hate me with cruelty.
“My Senate ambition is still a battle. More than 30 people have joined the suit to fight me. All these, I will overcome.
“They are only preparing me for the glory ahead.”
“Mark it, I will be president of Nigeria. I said this on this altar so that the kingdom of God will rise against those fighting to stop me.
“Also, those who think they will put me in prison will go to prison before me.
“They don’t want me to be at the National Assembly, but I will be there. I know I am the last man standing, but I will not give up.”
He said that 95 percent of Imo indigenes did not understand him and his style of governance.
“Only a few of them later realised that I meant well for the state. I governed the state with passion. I broke protocols and bent the laws, but I never broke laws.
“When I took over the office eight years ago, I wasn’t unmindful that a lot of people will misunderstand me and try to distract me.
“But today, I have left the state better than I met it. I am the architect of the new Imo. I am a satisfied governor.”
SaharaReporters, New York
APC Is Responsible For Rising Suicide, Misery In Nigeria, Says PDP
The Peoples Democratic Party(PDP) has described the escalated despondency, depression and misery in the country as a national tragedy caused by the All Progressives Congress(APC) administration.
Lamenting what the party dubbed ‘rising social degeneration’, the opposition party urged Nigerians to show empathy and brotherly love to one another at this trying time . The party also ascribed the high incidence of suicide in the country to the depression and hardship foisted on the country by the Buhari-led administration.
PDP, in a statement by its national publicity secretary, Kola Ologbondiyan, said the “rising spate of suicides, slavery mission abroad, divorces, child abandonment and other social degeneration” are occasioned by the “worsening economic hardship, poverty, hunger and rising insecurity under the incompetent, corrupt, divisive and manipulative APC administration.”
According to the statement, the PDP said Nigerians became more despondent after the electoral heist that happened in February 23, 2019 when Atiku Abubakar, the party’s presidential candidate, was robbed of his mandate
“In the last few months, the news media has been awash with horrible reports of teenage suicide in our country.
“Banditry, insurgency, marauding, bloodletting and kidnapping with unmentionable ransoms, have almost become daily occurrences. Our citizenry is now battling with the worst kind of siege mentality.
“Constitutional violations, human rights abuses, arbitrary arrests, extra-judicial killings, assault on perceived dissenting voices and attempt at annexation of our institutions of democracy, particularly the judiciary, signposts a nation in dire strait. “Misery has set in. This is evident in the shrinking of our nation’s Gross Domestic Produce (GDP) to 2.1percent in the first quarter of 2019. “It is saddening that at the time Nigerians ought to be celebrating, they are rather forlorn, committing suicide and exiting the country in droves.
“Most Nigerians have become downhearted in the face of an administration that wrecked our once robust economy and divided our people; in the face of worsening joblessness, piling bills, hunger and diseases; in the face of incompetence, lies, and unfulfilled promises of free homes, monthly allowance to unemployed youth and the poor, bringing the naira to the same value as the US Dollar, creating of 5 million new jobs, ending of insurgency in three months and myriad of other false promises.
“Instead, what our nation has witnessed is an official entrenchment and elevation of incompetence, deceit, propaganda, failure and cabal mentality on the corridors of power; a situation where the only achievement is the foisting of economic recession and mortgaging of the future of our nation with the accumulation of N24.39 trillion debt, with no tangible project to show.
“It is instructive to state that the President Muhammadu Buhari-led APC administration has obstinately refused to allow any scrutiny of its books, knowing that they are catalogues of corruption, treasury looting, violations, impunity and acts that have brought our nation to its knees.”
SaharaReporters, New York
Trailer Crushes Female LASTMA Officer To Death In Lagos
Arogundade Remilekun, a female officer of the Lagos State Traffic Management Agency(LASTMA), has been crushed to death by a trailer.
It was gathered that the tragic incident occured in Apapa area of Lagos on Sunday morning
The late Remilekun was said to be from Apapa Zone 36 station base
It was gathered that the officer was at the back of the truck when the tragedy occurred.
The trailer crushed her to death as the driver was trying to reverse.
Eyewitnesses said the driver of the trailer was oblivious of the deceased’s presence.
She was said to have died right on the spot.
Her remains have been evacuated from the scene of the tragedy
SaharaReporters, New York
Lagos Task Force Officers Assault Journalist, Detain Him For Hours
Abdul-waheed Usamah, a journalist , was assaulted on Saturday by officers of the Lagos Task Force for confronting the officers to stop harassing innocent people.
The incident occured at the Police College in Ikeja during a victory party organised for the Lagos Governor-Elect Babajide sanwo-Olu on Saturday.
Usamah, who is the Managing Director of an online news portal called ‘The Guild’, was not just beaten black and blue but also bundled into a Black Maria and taken to the Task Force Headquarters in Oshodi. He was detained at the headquarters for two hours
According to Usamah, “I attended the Victory party organized for the Lagos Governor-elect, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, and his deputy, Dr. Obafemi Kadri Hamzat, by Sanwo-Olu’s ICG, and held at the Police College in Ikeja. During the event, I noticed how police officers attached to the Lagos State Task Force have been harassing and embarrassing APC party members and other guests who were trying to access VIP session of the party, and I drew the attention of the organizer and the ICG’s security to the men.
“During the process of trying to advise and made suggestions to the ICG’s security so as to save guests from the embarrassment coming from the police officers, one the officers, violently pushed me and we got into arguments, and others, including their superior started threatening.
“While I was trying to talk them out, one officer came from the crowd, and punched me in the face, and the next thing I knew, five of the officers started dragging me and forcefully pushed into the Task Force truck. I was kept in the Black Maria for an hour, and was later driven, inside the Black Maria to the agency’s office where I was kept inside cell.”
He explained further: “When we got to the agency’s office, I was handed over to the officers on duty who after, seizing my two phones, asked me to removed my belt and shoes, and locked me inside a cell where I met about 17 people in bad condition.
“After about an hour and half, one officer came in announcing my name and directed his colleagues to open the cell iron gate for me and led me to the Task Force Chairman’s office, where I met him. He ordered for my belongings in agency’s care and released me.”
SaharaReporters, New York
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