Pray for our President … It is an obligation

Visit to the sick is enjoined by the Prophet in this tradition with one purpose in mind- supplication for him and offering admonition to the sick to bear his trials with patience and perseverance.

In the Name of the Almighty, the Beneficent, the Merciful

Brethren, he is indeed your real friend he who walks into and remain in your life at a time people are walking away. She, indeed, is your pillar in whose strength you can find succour and strength, she who robes you with kindness and compassion when others seek your death and annihilation. Contrary to the popular notion, trials and tribulations have their uses. They teach what you cannot learn in the lecture rooms. I have learnt this in life that nothing in our reality is appreciated until it is taken away. I have learnt this too – the lotus is the most beautiful flower in our world. In catching our fancy and attention, the lotus does not produce its flowers all at once. Rather its petals usually open one by one. But here is another subtle and perhaps the most solemn lesson – the lotus grows and blossoms only in the mud! Goldie Hawn says “in order to grow and gain wisdom, first you must have the mud … the obstacles of life and its suffering. The mud speaks of the common ground that humans share, no matter what our stations in life. … Whether we have it all or we have nothing, we are all faced with the same obstacles: sadness, loss, illness, dying and death. If we are to strive as human beings to gain more wisdom, more kindness and more compassion, we must have the intention to grow as a lotus and open each petal one by one.”

What I take away from the above is this: he who would enjoy the redemption and blessings of the Almighty must be prepared to grow through ‘the mud’; the child who would become a man must be prepared to have his phallus go through the blade. The “mud’ and the ‘blade’ of life and living are usually of various kinds and textures. Sometimes, it could be in form of loss of close relations, bankruptcy in business or failed expectations. The ‘mud’ of life and living could be in form of an illness. In other words, President Muhammadu Buhari is presently in the ‘mud’ of life. He is going through the ‘furnace’ of existence. Like the cloth in the laundry, he is undergoing ‘processes of refinement; like Prophet Ayuub (alayhi salaam), he is under divine revivication. Islam teaches us, as I have argued in this column before, that no matter their circumstance and situation, believers in the Almighty are expected to rejoice in the decree of the Almighty for them. We are expected not to complain our problems and challenges in life to other than He who brought the circumstance into reality in the first instance. Thus whenever a close relation or a fellow Muslim brother takes ill, brethren are reminded of their obligations to the former; that in sickness of the sick lies the opportunity for the infected and the affected to enjoin divine attention.

Thus in this sermon today, I wish to remind you of our obligations to our President and by extension, to others who are presently sick and ill-disposed. In a report by Abu Hurayrah, the Prophet, says: “the rights of the Muslim upon the Muslim are six: whenever you meet him, give him the greeting of peace; when he invites you to his abode or to rejoice with him, respond to his invitation; when he seeks your advice, advise him; when he sneezes and praises Allah, supplicate for mercy upon him; when he becomes ill, visit him, and when he dies follow him (i.e. his funeral)”

Visit to the sick is enjoined by the Prophet in this tradition with one purpose in mind- supplication for him and offering admonition to the sick to bear his trials with patience and perseverance. In the specific instance of our President, it is incumbent on you and me to constantly remember him in our five daily prayers and supplicate to the Almighty to grant him quick recovery from his ailment. But why is it that this President deserves our prayers and supplication?

Apart from the scriptural basis for this request, which I have hinted at above, Alhaji Muhammadu Buhari represents, at least for now, the conscience of this nation. Alhaji Muhammadu Buhari is like the Musa among the sons of Israel. Alhaji Muhammadu Buhari is like Prophet Muhammad who emerged to set Makkah free of the insuperable odour of corruption, of bestiality, of sexual despoilation and exploitation of women. President Buhari and Professor Osinbajo are our Moses and Haron; they are our torch-bearers in this extremely dark landscape where forces of retrogression are at war and are hell bent on dragging this country down the abyss of under-development and monumental failure. Brethren, if the conscience of the nation and culture is assailed, affected and plagued by illness, what else other than prayer and supplications would the ordinary masses put forward? Brethren, if indeed President Buhari and his Vice, Professor Osinbajo are now the salt of this nation, who among you would want them to become ‘water’ destined for ruin? If President Buhari and his Vice, Professor Osinbajo are the “honey” of this nation today, who amongst you would envision a day when honey would become sour on the tongue?

While I was putting this together, I was told that a group of Nigerians actually went to India to “pray” that President Buhari should die as a result of his illness. My immediate reaction was to pooh-pooh the news as one more rumour that usually thrive in situations such as we have found ourselves today as a nation. I equally pooh-poohed the rumour for one other reason- the power to give and take life does not belong to anybody but the Almighty. He it was who created Buhari; it is He who would cause him to die whenever the time comes. Brethren, I could not but wonder to what God did the iniquitous and soulless agents of darkness would have supplicated to? Was it to Cows, the god of Hinduism?

Brethren, there are copious supplications for recovery from illnesses and for health and healthy living in the Quran and the Hadith that may useful in situations like this.

For example, you can recite the supplication of Prophet Ayub (a.s) which can be found in Quran 21: 83-84. You could offer the following prayers too and request that the Almighty grant its acceptance as succour to our President, Alhaji Muhammad Buhari. It reads: Allahuma rabba-nas idhhab al-ba’s, washfi, antashafi, la shifa’ illa shifa’uka shifan la yughadiru saqama.

If you can, please recite the following too while having the President at heart: ‘As’aluka al ‘azim rabbal ‘arshil azim an tushifiya Muhammad Bukhari mimma bihi min saqamin wa maradin”. I ask you the Mighty, the Lord of the Mighty Throne, that you cure Muhammad Bukhari of his ailment and sickness. (You may want to repeat these seven times). If you were to have some prayer points during this month of Ramadan, supplications in favour of our President should be one of them. Remember an act of good deed or righteousness would be rewarded manifold by Him, the Almighty.

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