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Sunday, May 28, 2017

RAMADAN ON THE STREET OF ILE IFE

BY SODIQ LAWAL

Episode 1

From the way the ancient city is called, one could almost get the taste of what living in it would be like. The town  sounds sweet in the mouths of the elders and the young ones. It is  with a certain, deliberate thoughtfulness that could not be found in the way other towns  are pronounced especially with his cultural heritage.

Ile Ife  is an ancient city of  Yoruba, on the outskirts of Modakeke, close to the service road which linked traveling vehicles to the mainly road leading to Iwo, and subsequently several towns in Osun State. In this town, culture and tradition are well respected by every one.

On Saturday morning, despite the love of culture and tradition, the gate of most shrines were locked, only few attend to bar, the area boys in Iremo roads have fleed away... Oh I thought for a while, what causes all these within a day? A friend of mine wake me up, It is "Ramadan".

Every mosque full of people within the first day of Ramadan. Life goes on with serenity, and other than the frequent gentle, melodious voices of the muazzin making the adhan for the five daily prayers from the Central Mosque, and the church services that take place on Sunday mornings and Friday afternoons at the Christ Apostolic Church, there seldom is a break in its quietness .

The people have sat down quietly in the central mosque, some who were not opportune to be in the mosque were seen carrying and reading Quran all around.

The sun seems well equipped for that day and by 11am, it had already started to emit strong heat. At the mosque which people of different religion turned out, people outside the mosque feel the suffocating heat, and to temper the tepidness, they turned any paper they see to hand fan.  Even though it is hot, they enjoyed the lectures which witnessed major prominent people in the society. One questioner asked if it is permissible to shower during Ramadan, and the lecturer responds that it is permissible even of it is for the purpose of lessening hunger and thirst. Another asked if it’s m permissible to eat the food cooked by fiancé, the response is yes, but ones shouldn’t be living with a fiancé, he cautions. Do the marriage as fast you can, he encourages. Does injection nullify fast, asks a woman. No, it doesn’t, explains the lecturer. A man in brown ankara stands up, throws down his hand of his agbada,  says,  i have a questioned questioned to ask our lecturer. “In shaa Allah, ask.” The event coordinator, a dark, sturdy looking man in white buba and Sokoto's responds.

“What I want to ask is that some people said that nifsu-shaban that our fathers have been doing is not good. Our father got this thing from their Sheus and Imams. I mean bigott Imams who know the nooks and crannies of Islam, and we do it on the fifteenth of Shaban to pray to God. But now some people have comedy to say it is not in Islam. I will like the lecturer to shed some light on this issue which we have been doing and we find a lot of istijabah on that night.”

When the man finishes, he casts a gaze at a section of the audience before sitting down.

The lecturer receives the micro phone from the event coordinator. “Alhamdulillah,” he says, mopping his face with a white handkerchief. “What our father have asked is a very good question, and…” turning to the man, “Baba thank you for this question. E’seun.” He keeps quiet for a moment,  “nisf shaban,” he begins, “is an attempt of some scholars of the past to keep people busy with acts of worship, and to make people be content with asking only Allah for their needs. It is true that our fathers have been doing it for a long time, and we pray Allah reward them abundantly. But the thing around this issue is that it is an act of worship, a pure act of worship, and so should be instructed by Allah’s Book or we should find it in the Sunnah. If we look at it well, we will see that when talking about it, alfas usually bring stories of saints to support it but not the Sunnah.”

Silence fills the mosque’s compound and rejoices come upon the faces of some young people. “In any case,” the lecturer resumes, “we pray that Allah accepts our deeds and forgive our sins.”

The response to many people seems inconclusive. The inconclusiveness brings some kind of contentment to some of the listeners and enraged others. As for the man, he nods at the end, content with the mild reply.

When the program ended, it has almost got to the time for Iftar( to break fast and eat), every one was given an orange to drink.  So every one fleed away to their various houses.

The darkness of night had descended on Ile Ife  about three hours ago. The shops, cars and
Okadas – motorcycles- could be heard plying the road. Inside everyone
living room, people were eating, children were playing around various environment and people were full of laughter and joy on the first day of Ramadan.

WATCH OUT FOR EPISODE 2.....

For comment and clarification:
Whatapp: 07031357133
Email: lawalsodiq915@gmail.com

HAPPY RAMADAN KAREEM

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