Courtesy Call On NAHCON Chairman, (1),
The Supreme Council for Shari’ah in Nigeria (SCSN) paid a courtesy call on the Chairman/CEO of the National Hajj Commission of Nigeria (NAHCON), Alhaji Zikrullah Kunle Hassan, on Tuesday, March 17th, 2020 at the Hajj House, Abuja.
The delegation which comprised of ulema and imams of various Jumu’ah Masaajid (mosques) from all over the country was led by Sheikh Abdur Rasheed Hadiyyatullah, the Deputy Chairman of the Council. In a speech he delivered at the meeting, Sheikh Hadiyyatullah informed the NAHCON Chairman and his team that the SCSN was established two decades ago under the leadership of Dr Ibrahim Datti Ahmad with the purpose of unifying the Ummah for the defence of its legitimate rights and interests. SCSN, he affirmed, “has remained the umbrella body of all Muslim organisations,” and is the “rallying point of all mainstream groups, Muslim leaders” “irrespective of ethnic group or sect.” According to the Deputy Chairman, SCSN is “engaging political leaders to ensure good governance, and justice for all” as well as “addressing persistent injustices to Muslims. The Council has been “playing significant roles in the emergence, at party levels, and at subsequent victories at the polls, of the present administration at the Federal level, and at some states.”
On the purpose of our visit, Sheikh Hadiyyatullah said the courtesy call is “not to congratulate you but to remind you of the huge Amaanah (trust) with which Allah has saddled you.” We are here, he said, because of the importance of Hajj as the fifth pillar of Islam. “The regime you succeeded” he continued, “has recorded some level of successes in terms of Hajj administration…” We urge “you to continue with the good policies of your predecessor, and make amends to those you feel will improve and simplify the hajj exercise.”
Sheikh Hadiyyatullah also commended the effort of the NAHCON Chairman “in trying to reduce the Hajj fare, in order to make it more affordable but that should not compromise the quality of services rendered to the pilgrims.” He concluded his address by advising the Chairman to leave his “doors open for complaints concerning Hajj activities as this will help you and your lieutenants in achieving greater heights in no small measure.” He hoped that “this will not be the last meeting with” the Chairman as “the ulama and Islamic organisations are indispensable partners in any effort” towards enhancing Hajj activities in Nigeria.
After the head of the delegation had spoken six scholars were given the opportunity to counsel the NAHCON Chairman.
1- Sheikh Muhammad Ben Usman was the first to speak. He advised Alhaji Zikrullah as Chairman of NAHCON to use his good offices in changing the time for departure to Minaa for Nigerian pilgrims. Leaving Makkah for Minaa on the 7th of Zulhijjah according to Ben Usman is not in line with the Prophet’s teachings who instructed people to follow his example in Hajj rites. “Our pilgrims should be allowed to leave for Minaa on the 8th of Zulhijjah.” He ended his naseehah praying Allah to quicken the end of COVID 19 and to use Alh Zukrullah in making Nigerians have Hajj Mabrur (acceptable) which is according to the Sunnah.
2- Sheikh Ishaq Yunus Muhammad al-Madany, who is also a lecturer at the Kaduna State University admonished the NAHCON Chairman to put his trust in Allah as His bondsman, and beseech Him to assist him in this new billet. “One only deceives themselves if they think they will be able to do anything without His assistance”, he said.
3- Sheikh Muhammad Nasir Adam, Imam Isiaka Rabiu Mosque, kano offered four pieces of advice to the NAHCON Chairman: (i) that the Chairman should know that he sits on a throne that is under Allah’s surveillance because Hajj is the Muslims’ united nations general assembly where pilgrims converge annually from around the world, “so beware”; (ii) that Nigerian civil servants are masters in policy formulation but executing such beautiful plans to fruition is their Achilles heel. Alh Zikrullah will only succeed if he monitors all plans to the point of execution; (iii) that pilgrims must be trained on Hajj rites; (iv) not all private tour operators have pilgrim guides on their team; NAHCON will do well to include such pilgrims in its Hajj enlightenment programmes. Sheikh Muhammad Nasir supplicated Allah for the success of Alh Zikrullah at NAHCON and that He takes away COVID 19 from His creatures.
4- Sheikh Adam Idoko wanted the NAHCON under Alh Zikrullah to use the Establishment Act of the Commission in creating awareness among Muslims, not only Hajj on the rites of Hajj that should actually be extended beyond a few months before Hajj but on other aspects of knowledge – Tauheed, Imaan, Shari’ah, ibaadaat etc., since one cannot have Hajj Mabrur without imaan Mabrur. “I want NAHCON under your leadership,” he said to the Chairman, “to have offices in all geo-political zones so that Muslims, wherever they are, will feel its presence.”
5- Yours sincerely said that NAHCON is not like any other government office; it is one that is attached to the pillar of our religion. Whatever we do in it, I said, we do seeking Allah’s Countenance and recompense. I called on the Chairman to deemphasise the issue of what board does what; it is not about boards; it is the Commission. Whoever succeeds, it is the Commission that has succeeded, not an individual. It is for the benefit and advancement of a pillar of the Deen. I drew the attention of the Chairman that as he himself said, he is at NAHCON to represent the Muslims, not a sect or an ethnic group. I urged him to continue with whatever he meets of the work of his predecessor as continuity is key in the success of Hajj operations. To err is human; thus, if there is any need to alter a precedent let him reach out to those who initiated it on why they chose a cause of action. If the reason is cogent let him refrain from such alterations, as NAHCON is about Hajj and not any personage. I made du’aa for his success as Chairman of NAHCON and concluded by saying:
“Mr chairman you will succeed. Allah will not disgrace one who has come with an open heart to learn and to effect corrections. Allah has given you members of staff who are well-trained, have been here to a long time, and who have been working behind the curtain and during Hajj operations. Whatever success was recorded here they worked for it even though hardly will the name of any of them be mentioned because it is not about individuals; it is about Islam and Hajj which a pillar of our religion.”