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The Many Lessons Muslims Must Learn From Ramadan – Sheikh SIRAJUDEEN AKANNI ASUKUNA

His name is a big one in the Islamic world, especially across the South-West. Just mention the name Sheikh Asukuna and you will be told how big he is. Let's tell you more. Sheikh Sirajudeen Akanni Asukun a is the National Chief Missioner & General Overseer of Hizbullah International. He is the Amir Zaakireena of Oyo State.

A few days back, City People met this slim built and stylish Islamic Scholar at a Ramadan Lecture hosted by Alhaja Mutiat Amoke Nosiru in remembrance of her mum. It was held at Ebute Metta (East). Sheikh Asukuna was the Guest Lecturer.

We asked him for his assessment of this year’s Ramadan season and he smiled. “We thank God for this Ramadan. Alhamdulillah. Though the country is tough and things are very hard, at the same time, the blessings of Almighty Allah in the month of Ramadan have made things easier for us. So people are trying. Like where we are today now. We have come to celebrate with a woman who is honouring her mum with a Ramadan Lecture. If she looks at her pocket or what the market prices saying she might not even want to host this lecture. But we have implored her to continue to do the lecture annually. She should try and try as much as possible because it comes with a reward. When the reward comes, she will even be in a position to thank God. Despite the economic hardship in the country, still, yet we give thanks to Almighty Allah, for his mercy on every one of us.

At the same time, as the Ramadan comes to an end, we are praying to Almighty Allah to leave us with the mercy of Ramadan so that we would continue to enjoy the blessings of Almighty Allah even after Ramadan”.

During his lecture, he condemned the recent attack on Sheikh Muyideen by someone in society. He said as an African and a Yoruba person, the upbringing of the Yorubas and our culture is hinged on Respect. In the Yoruba race, if you were born yesterday and another person was born today they will make sure you respect the person as your brother or your sister, talk less of someone who is old enough to be your grandfather, and you are now abusing him for nothing sake. It is a way to seek attention. Such a kind of thing will not take a long time to dwindle. There was no need for it. It is very very unacceptable.”

He also talked about the ongoing construction of the mosque of his group. “By the grace of Almighty God, we started the building of our Mosque, just last year June 3rd. The land is in a kind of waterfront. so we did a solid piling foundation that gulped a lot of money, still yet Allah did his wonders.

As we are talking now, we are at the 4th-floor decking of the mosque. It is the Grace of God. When we came here, at Ebute Metta, last year Ramadan, the land was just open land. We hadn’t even done anything about it. But now we thank God for the stage at which we are now. Its all due to the support of God, philanthropists and the people of God. Both Muslims and Christians.  Faith is what matters. It is the faith in the oneness of God, to show love by contributing or donating to the project. The mosque is situated at No 2 Freeman Street, Oyingbo, Ebute Metta in Lagos. We don’t mind any form of support. If it is material-wise, we don’t mind we would appreciate tiles, wall tiles, floor tiles, AC, and toiletries. It is a very big Mosque that can accommodate a lot of people. We have a hall there that can contain nothing less than 1,000. We have the ground floor for men, the 1st floor for women, the 2nd floor is a hall for weddings, and naming ceremonies and we have classes there for Arabic school children. So, it is a very big project”.

What makes his Hizbullahi International group so unique to stand out among other Islamic societies? “The uniqueness is because we are so liberal in the society. We always preach Peace & Harmony & Love, even with other religious sects.

We don’t discriminate. We don’t segregate. We relate with others. I do go to churches to preach to them if I am invited or to pray for them. We don’t tolerate fanaticism in our society. When we argue, we argue peacefully, no fight. Those are the things we are doing and with God, on our side, we have succeeded”.

With  Ramadan winding up, what are the lessons you feel Muslims around the world can take from this year’s Ramadan? “One of the lessons is that the way we are so benevolent in Ramadan, we need to keep it up, even after Ramadan. We should not take it that it is only during Ramadan that you have to be good to people, that it is only during Ramadan that you have to do charity. Nooo. The lesson is that even if there is no  Ramadan, we have to let that spirit follow us beyond Ramadan so that we will imbibe the spirit of doing good things. In Ramadan, everybody loves each other, we go to each other's house, if we continue doing this, the Love and Harmony we are preaching will become more solid and we can live in peace in this country.

So, I implore all Muslim brothers & sisters to please let the spirit of Ramadan continue to live with us. We should not go back to all the bad habits that all of us have dropped. All the bad attitudes and behaviour which all of us have dropped before Ramadan, we shouldn’t go back and pick them up, because Ramadan has gone and then say I will go back to it.

What many don’t know is that you might not be so lucky to witness another Ramadan in life. It is not a curse or anything. So, many of us might not be so lucky to witness another Ramadan in life. My advice to everybody is that let us be as Pure as we are in Ramadan and remain so after Ramadan.

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