Last year, the leadership of NASFAT issued a release wherein branches under it were directed to put a permanent stop to their annual crossover (December 31st) tahajjud, stating that the act was alien to Islām. This gesture, in my humble opinion, was praiseworthy and accolade-deserving given that other societies wherein such is still obstinately done are worrisomely innumerable. It’s my prayer therefore that Allāh opens the hearts of NASFAT’s leaders to the other correctable shortcomings of the society and corresponding amendments done.

Since the declaration till now, I am yet to see anyone label the organization extremist and/or its leaders fanatical, whereas those from whom same had been done before them were adjectivised with names unbearable to even animals. When the prophet was quoted, they turned deaf ears, but immediately their scholars saw what had long been seen and repeatedly echoed by some people, they accepted wholeheartedly and heeded instantaneously. Anyway, to Allāh be the glory.

One would have thought that the laudable example set by NASFAT given its popularity within the Nigerian Muslim folk would be replicated by other sister-societies, but rather than Madam Witch’s wickedness relinquished, all she keeps bearing of offspring are females.

The alien act took a new, repackaged turn when an organization was seen jingle advert for special tahajjud come Thursday December 31st, 2020. The kind of energy exerted and the resources splurged on the heresy showed that du’āt have a lot of work to do to cleanse Muslims of the filthy remains of jāhiliyyah. Anyway, government directive banning crossover assemblies due to the second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic may truncate that from rearing its ugly head, except the organizers will improvise and have it virtually conducted.

When are we going to graduate from a peripheral Islām to a pristine one? When exactly will our whims be dropped for Allāh’s will? When will our clerics stop hiding under the cocoon of ‘ibādah to fatten their pockets? أَلَا يَظُنُّ أُولَٰئِكَ أَنَّهُمْ مَبْعُوثُون (Do they not think they will be called to account). Surat Al-Mutaffifin 4

If the last night of the year was anything to go by, wouldn’t Allāh through His apostle have legalized it? After all, He did recognize the fact that there are twelve months. Why didn’t He make special prayers worthy in the last night of the year? He forgot? Or He didn’t know what was good for us? You know better, right?

The only special Night with a chapter scripturally dedicated to it is Lailatul Qadr, and it is worth the value of 1000 months – an equivalence of eighty years and more. So I ask: what’s the scriptural place of the December 31st wherein tahajjud is innovated? What reward is accruable to the acts of worship done in it?

It does perturb too that Muslims led by imāms, alfas who should know better could join in the annual noise pollution wherein people’s night rests are largely disturbed. It’s not only callous but criminal to shout on top of one’s voice praying at a time when others are far asleep. This, without mincing words, can never be Islām.

In summary, the night of Dhul-Hijjah 29th/30th or December 31st is like any other night of the year. Therefore, there is no harm praying tahajjud in it as one would ordinarily do in other nights. What is however alien to Islām which is the focus of this piece is the intention and belief specially attached to it. And we should remember that two things guarantee the acceptability of worship: sincerity and obedience to the prophet.

Sanni Kay Yusuf


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