Tuesday, 21 August 2012


No doubt we must have noticed that the Sun has not been friendly recently. The temperature of the earth surface is sky rocketing. One of the colossal challenges we are facing in this century is global warming and there needs to be a global warning.  A severe warning to be given by scientists and religious scholars on the need to save the earth, to save our home.  Though it may seem there is awareness about it since even celebrities are going green like Leonardo Di Caprio who was involved in the documentary, the 11th hour but on the whole people are still in the dark about this menace.
But how did it all begin after all Allah (SWT) says in the Qur’an:
‘...On earth will be your dwelling place and your means of livelihood for a time.’Q2.36
And also Allah says
 ‘He it is that has made you inheritors in the earth.’ Q 35: 39

From the above verses we can see there in the evidence that earth is meant to be our dwelling place, our home and not the Moon or Mars or some other planet. The earth was not like this some centuries ago so who messed things up?  We, humankind did. We that Allah put in charge. We that the creator made the inheritors of the earth. Is this how we will act if we inherited a company from our parents? We are all guilty of making the earth what it is today.  Scientists have laid down the root cause for this situation as the increase in the amount of carbon dioxide let out to the atmosphere by our industries and automobiles. Our fast cars, our luxury life our excessive love for this dunya all brought us this catastrophe. Allah says in the Qur’an:
Mischief has appeared on land and sea because of (the meed) that the hands of men have earned that (Allah) may give them a taste of some of their deeds: in order that they may turn back (from Evil)’ Q 30:41
 If the global warming situation continues the drastic climatic changes would cause devastating results in seasonal winds, melting of polar ice caps, and rise in sea level and land inundation especially in crowded areas. New diseases would spring up which may be challenging to the medical world.

As described in an article in Science Human domination of Earth’s ecosystems, ‘‘Between one-third and one-half of the land surface has been transformed by human action; the carbon dioxide concentration in the atmosphere has increased by nearly 30% since the beginning of the Industrial Revolution; more atmospheric nitrogen is now fixed by humans than by all natural terrestrial sources combined; more than half of all accessible surface fresh water is put to use by humanity; and about one-quarter of the bird species on Earth have been driven to extinction . . . All . . . trace to a single cause, the growing scale of the human enterprise. The rates, scales, kinds, and combinations of changes occurring now are fundamentally different from those at any other time in history; we are changing Earth more rapidly than we understand it. In a very real sense, the world is in our hands and how we handle it will determine its composition and dynamics, and our fate.”
Presently, we are already feeling the impact and effects of this situation. It is not an issue of the scientist alone; every individual has to join hands on saving the earth from global warming. Though it is really going to be tough to save our home,

The Causes
Practically all kind of motor vehicles including cars, buses, airplanes, ships, and off-road vehicles, Chemical and petroleum refineries, Manufacturing facilities, Commercial operations such as dry cleaners, bakeries, and garages. Plants that generate electric power by burning coal or oil are not left out. They all cause global warming since they produce green house gases as the population grows, consumption per individual grows. Technologies are becoming larger too. Thus, the scope of all the activities just mentioned grows too. Without concerted effort to prevent it, pollution and other forms of environmental degradation will also grow.
Visible Effect of Global Warming:
·         Increase in earth’s temperature
Climate models developed by scientists indicate that the Earth’s oceans will warm before the Earth’s atmosphere. This is resulting in sagging roads, sinking pipelines, and rapid multiplication of insects that feed on the state’s spruce forest. Africa’s highest mountain is in Kenya, Mt. Kilimanjaro with its famous ‘‘Snows of Kilimanjaro.” As compared with a 1912 survey, 82% of the icecap has melted. If current rates continue, melting will be complete between 2010 and 2020.Also mountain glaciers in places as far apart as Peru and Tibet are also melting shows Peru’s Qori Kalis. This glacier shrank
33 times faster between the years 1998 and 2000 than it did in 1963 to 1978.
            Another visible effect is the ozone layer depletion. This will be discussed in details later.
Carbon dioxide- More than just a greenhouse gas.
CO2 is the major greenhouse gas accounting for more than 50% of the current warming when all greenhouse gases (except water vapor) are added together. CO2 does not powerfully absorb infrared radiation. However, its concentration at 370 ppm is much higher than other
Greenhouse gases. It is also persistent, with an atmospheric lifetime of over 100 years. Human activities emit more than 6 billion tons (5.4 billion tones) of CO2 into the atmosphere each year.
Carbon dioxide sources
Worldwide the major source of CO2 is fossil-fuel combustion (coal, petroleum, and natural gas), contributing about 80% of anthropogenic CO2. Coal has the greatest carbon content among fossil fuels, and emits more CO2 when burned than petroleum does. Natural gas emits the least CO2. Coal-burning electric power plants are the major CO2 sources in many countries from the United States to China and India. Petroleum-burning motor vehicles contribute about 25% of the CO2 in the United States.  Deforestation contributes too because when felled trees are burned, their stored carbon is released as CO2. At the same time, deforestation leaves fewer trees to take up atmospheric CO2. Trees that are grown on a sustainable basis make no net CO2 contribution. In sustainable growth, as much tree biomass is grown as is harvested on an ongoing long-term basis.  Natural CO2 sources include releases from oceans and land, and plant respiration.CO2 is a waste gas respired by animals, plants, and many bacteria. Some people sometimes express belief that an increasing human population breathing out CO2 is the reason that atmospheric CO2 levels are increasing. This is not true.
            The major reason for increased CO2 is fossil-fuel burning and, secondarily, deforestation.  CO2 is also an acid precursor. In the presence of atmospheric moisture, part is transformed to carbonic acid. CO2 reaching water bodies is converted into carbonic acid, bicarbonate, and carbonate. Carbonate accumulates in shells and coral, and eventually in ocean sediments.
There is concern that, because oceans are such a large sink for CO2, the pH of ocean water may eventually decrease enough to damage ocean life. This is an area of active investigation.
·         Methane (CH4)
Methane (CH4) is a simple hydrocarbon gas accounting for about 20% of the greenhouse effect. It is second in importance only to carbon dioxide. Its atmospheric concentration is only 1720 ppb or 1.72 ppm. This is a level more than 200 times lower than that of carbon dioxide but molecule for molecule, methane has almost 25 times greater ability to absorb infrared radiation from the Earth than carbon dioxide. Fortunately, it has a much shorter atmospheric lifetime, about 12 years.
Methane sources
Agriculture is a major anthropogenic source of methane. Domestic ruminant animals, especially cattle and sheep, emit about 15% of all methane. Rice paddies produce methane too. Landfills produce almost as much methane as agriculture. The anaerobic bacteria within landfills degrade organic wastes such as food, paper, wood and plant debris. By themselves
Other sources are methane leaks during coal mining, and flaring of natural gas from oil wells. _ Natural methane sources include Arctic tundra and wetlands where anaerobic bacteria break down organic material. Tropical termites release methane as a result of their symbiotic relationship with microorganisms; so do millipedes, cockroaches, and scarab beetles. Tropical insects or those living indoors, for instance, cockroaches, produce especially large amounts.
Other greenhouse gases
The synthetic chemicals, CFCs, are potent greenhouse gases, but the Montreal Protocol has banned CFCs, and they may become insignificant as greenhouse gases. The per fluorocarbons (PFCs) are byproducts of aluminum smelting and are also used in semiconductor manufacture. Some other industrial chemicals are potential greenhouse gases but these are under control.
The Ozone layer
The lower 10 km of our atmosphere is called the ‘‘troposphere.” It is the atmospheric layer within which we live. The troposphere contains about 90% of all air molecules. The stratosphere lies just above the troposphere, 10 to 50 km above Earth. Although it contains but 10% of the atmosphere’s air molecules, it has 90% of its ozone. Only 10% of ozone is in the troposphere. Stratospheric ozone absorbs more than 95% of the sun’s UV radiation, which would otherwise reach and damage human, animal, plant, and microbial life. In the stratosphere there is an ongoing natural cycle in which ozone is formed, destroyed, and reformed.
Reaction 1. The energy of the sun’s ultraviolet (UV) radiation breaks diatomic oxygen (O2) into single oxygen atoms (O).
O2 + UV radiation → O + O (oxygen atoms)
Reaction 2. An oxygen atom reacts with O2 to form ozone (O3).
 O + O2 → O3
Ozone Depletion
CFCs, halons and related chemicals are released at ground level, and later reach the stratosphere. There, the sun's ultraviolet (UV) light breaks them down releasing chlorine and bromine atoms. Chlorine and bromine lead to stratospheric-ozone destruction. Less ozone means more UV radiation reaches Earth. More UV light increases the risk of adverse effects on:
• Plant growth on land and phytoplankton growth in oceans and other waters;
• Animal skin, eyes, and immune system.
Figure 8.2
Reaction 3. UV radiation dissociates an O3 molecule into O2 and one oxygen atom.
 O3 + UV radiation → O + O2
Reaction 4: Remaking ozone.
 O + O2 → O3
Destroying ozone with CFCs
CFC-12 (Freon) is the best-known CFC. Its formula is CF2Cl2. Below are reactions that result in ozone destruction.
Reaction 1.
            CF2Cl2 + UV radiation → CF2Cl + Cl (single chlorine atom)
Reaction 2a.
Cl + O3 → O2 + ClO (chlorine monoxide)
Reaction 2b.
ClO + O → Cl + O2
Net reaction of 2a and 2b is:
Reaction 2c.
 O3 + O → 2O2 (the ozone has been destroyed)
One ClO molecule can catalyze the destruction of many thousands of ozone molecules. Chlorine is eventually converted to a water-soluble chemical such as hydrogen chloride (HCl), which can then be deposited from the stratosphere.The ozone depletion observed so far, is due to only a small fraction of the CFCs already in the atmosphere. Even when-and if-production of CFCs is completely stopped, their maximum effect will be felt decades in the future. They are waiting up above us like a time-bomb.

Making your Deen Green
Muslims have ignored this part of their deen.  Our emphasis in schools, khutbahs, lectures, Islamic courses is primarily on rituals, on spiritual growth at the expense of this very practical aspect of Islam. If we believe that everything belongs to Allah and that we are just transiting then we have to treat the earth as His amanah – a trust of which we are the guardians, the khulafah. We need to approach science with Tawheed.
 Abu Sa’id Khudri reported that Allah’s Messenger said:
The world is sweet and green and verily Allah is going to install you as vicegerent in it in order to see how you act.”(Muslim)
So many hayat of the Quran are devoted to reflecting on nature. If we cannot take care of the gardens of earth, how can we aspire to live in the garden of Jannah?

Look at our state today? We have become so caught up in the consumerism, in gratuitous consumption, that we do forget that we will be held accountable in front of Allah for all our deeds.  We look for convenience over doing what is right.  This has caused disequilibrium in the balance that Allah has created and we see the consequence is the excess in the developed world and the deprivation and hunger in other parts of Allah’s world. Have we forgotten this verse?
‘O children of Adam! Wear your beautiful apparel at every time and place of prayer: eat and drink: but waste not by excess for Allah love not the wasters’ Q 7:31
According to a hadith narrated by Tirmidhi, “The worldly comforts are not for me. I am like a traveler, who takes a rest under a tree in the shade and then goes on his way.” So let us use the symbolic tree for shade, to nourish our self, but let’s also follow the Sunnah and leave the symbolic tree intact so that the next traveler can use it. What are we going o leave for the unborn generations?
When man acts, instead of a trusted custodian and architect of the earth, as its most dangerous destroyer, driven by greed rather than need. Then the result is havoc. We are obliged not to do injustice to the rest of creation.  These will be witnesses for or against us on the Day of Judgment.
Dr. Soumaya Pernilla Ouis, a senior lecturer at Lund University, Sweden, coined the phrase Islamic eco-cosmology.  The idea is that nature in itself is Muslim; that we look around us and recognize every organism as our Muslim fellow being. That really changes the relationship, doesn’t it?  We know that everything from thunder to ants hymn the glory of Allah, all beings therein, declare His glory. Allah says in the Qur’an:
There is not a thing but celebrates his praise: and yet ye understand not how they declare His glory. Q17:44
If we look back at our heritage, the principles of reuse, recycle, clean energy are NOT new – “Muslim potters heated their kilns by burning fruit husks, fruit stones, pine-cones and vegetable waste. Millers ground their corn in mills turned by the wind. Both windmills and animals were used to lift water into irrigation channels.”  The industrial uses of tidemills and watermills in the Islamic world date back to the 7th century.  As Muslims let us not make the same mistakes that some developing countries are making. This is the importing inappropriate technology, setting up industry without studying the environmental ramifications.  We have the opportunity to inculcate Islamic injunctions into eco-consciousness, and to be leaders saving our planet, our home.
The book ‘RECYCLE’ by Soumy Ana is a must read for environmental conscious Muslims. She tells us how to save our home in a story format. In a way we can relate to. The major themes involved in earth’s protection are Conservation and efficiency. Measures in conservation include encouraging electric utilities to use ‘‘co-generation” to allow more of the energy that they produce to be used, and developing more energy-efficient industrial motors and household appliances. Many simpler measures are important too. One is improving appliance circuits so they don’t draw current even after they are turned ‘‘off.” Developing more environmentally compatible energy sources is also critical. In addition, because trees sequester carbon we need to prevent further deforestation and promote the planting of additional forests.
Surely the ingenuity that has produced all this substances that has caused these problems can devise ways of disposing the waste they create: the problem is neither of science nor technology but of sociology and ultimately of Politics. Let us save earth because it is the only home we have.

P.S. This write-up was published in the maiden edition of KNOW! magazine, a publication by Pure and Applied Sciences Muslim Students Association. Other contributors to the write-up include OLAYIWOLA MUSTAPHA , KHALEEL ADEYINKA and MIFTAUDEEN ODELEYE 

Saturday, 11 August 2012


 So here is the sequel to CRYING IN THE RAIN


                I do not like it when I have to fight a battle with an old enemy especially when that battle fought in the past was really tough.  That enemy for me is MUSIC. You would inevitably listen to the Most Useless Subject in Class (MUSIC) and no doubt you would be affected. The OBS (ORIENTATION BROADCAST SERVICE) is the source of most of the music you’ll get to listen to in camp. A lot of us refuse to join the OBS crew because of the fitnah of music (remaining in the comfort zone) without realizing we only make things worse. May Allah bless Abdul-Hafeez Oyeniran (SCHOLAR) wherever he is. He was the only Muslim in OBS in our camp in Asaya, Kogi state. Though I tried to join but the guy in charge of recruiting was a non-Muslim and I knew he realized the effect of having me and scholar on board so he just kept telling me to come back. I didn’t need anyone to tell me that I wasn’t going to be a member of OBS crew though ‘Scholar’ needed me badly and he wasn’t shy to admit it. When in a ‘sticky ‘but necessary job for Muslims like being in the OBS it is important that at least you are two. So you can strengthen each other. I remember the first Friday in camp when I met the guy in charge of OBS and sent him some Nasheed from my phone. The guy said this will be the first an Islamic song was played in Asaya camp, can you IMAGINE! Whereas you would constantly hear their songs being played on air every day of the week even during solah. There was one Friday that the whole camp hardly knew that that day was a Friday (Everyday looks practically the same since it is the same routine except Sundays). I myself was almost late for Jumah. I was in PET (Peer Educators Training) class and our facilitator had not rounded up the class. There was practically nothing on air played by the OBS to signify that it was a Friday, whether a Nasheed or even an announcement that Jumuah starts by 1.30pm. I was wondering what ‘Scholar’ was doing I knew things were not that easy for him at the OBS being the only Muslim but then I realized the PRO hindered him.  He was playing a Nasheed and suddenly the guy in charge of recruiting OBS crew members came in to the studio in a rush and suddenly stopped what was playing. He said the PRO was close to the studio and she had often called him to stop playing Muslim songs in the past. That guy was practically scared of her. I know there were a lot of things scholar did for us, the sacrifice he made for us. He was among the few brave ones to leave the comfort zone even when he knew the risk involved and it was no surprise when many Muslim officials in camp wanted to meet the only Muslim in OBS crew. The events made me recall ATA (Alli Taofeek Adewale) and MAKO (Abdul-Malik Olanrewaju Mudathir). Those of us who are avid attendees at Wednesday, Al-Ushra program know these guys are regular newscasters. I wondered if they had any idea how important and useful was their duty to the deen.
                The population of Muslims in my camp was not up to 200 out of a total of over 2000 corps members deployed to Asaya camp. Do you know what that means?  That means from all the higher institutions in Nigeria; LAUTECH, ABU, MAPOLY, KADPOLY, UI, OAU, UNAD, UNAB, FUTY, UNIBEN, FUTM, ETC.  LESS THAN 10% ARE MUSLIMS!  in Asaya. I cannot find a word to qualify how sad this fact is and how VERY IMPORTANT every Muslim who is in a higher institution, no matter how upright in the deen the individual is, that person is VERY IMPORTANT TO ISLAM’S DEVELOPMENT.
                From the second week in camp, you’ll be having social nights every night, Miss hot legs, Mr. Macho, Miss NYSC and the popular CAMP FIRE NIGHT. Well may Allah bless the individual who thought of the name PARADISE NIGHT; there could not have been a better name.  Well it is best to avoid all the social nights particularly the fire night. Not to worry MCAN would organize a better substitute, with Qur’an / Quiz competition. Games anything Halaal and fun and about item 7, don’t bother yourself with what they would serve in camp fire night. Any Muslimah is a better cook than a non- Muslimah (Ask anyone who had is orientation in Asaya, Kogi state).It is important that you avoid watching live porn on your way to your hostel after the fire night and you will be fortunate if you have a camp commandant that has sense and wouldn’t allow evil reign like my camp commandant, Capt. Tumaka, who said to potential porn stars, ‘SEPARATE YOURSELVES’, yet they were reluctant to obey the command.

                Even though, I am grateful that I am a graduate, after all many of my colleagues are still in school doing extra. I do not think I have once thought of it has a great feat. (It is not like I’m a Hafiz or a Muhadith) It is ridiculous how arrogant some of us can be, we are pompous to the soldiers, to our fellow corps members (I attended a University, you attended a Polytechnic, Do you know how many years I spent in Med. School?), to NYSC officials. I don’t know why all of a sudden we just grow wings. Sometimes we can be proud in a good way or say we’re graduates jokingly but it is so annoying when we are serious about it. It is bad to look down on others.
Narrated AbuHurayrah: ‘The Prophet said… No, pride is disdaining what is true and despising people. (Sunan Abu Dawood);

                The fact that there are few Muslim corps members is enough worry. It is suicidal when a lot of us decide to stay in the comfort zone.  We are afraid to step into the rain not knowing we are just paving the way for a storm, a storm that even the shelter can NOT protect you from.  By the second week in camp there would be many activities to be involved in. Don’t be passive, from the skill acquisition to other groups like the MDGs, PET, ICPC, CBN, etc. It is paramount we join one of these groups and use it to contribute our quota. I would particularly want to emphasize on the PET and MDGs program. That is where I think Muslims are most needed, at least for now. The MDG helped Abdulatif Olaide Osinubi become one of the best corps members in Oyo state during the just concluded P.O.P.
PET (Peer Educator Trainers)
                The PET program is the National RH & HIV/AIDS Prevention & Care Project through the NYSC. A lot of corps members are always happy when PET facilitators come. The mentality that they’ve come to share condoms is there and somehow you cannot blame people for thinking like that. That’s mostly what HIV/AIDS program teach. The concept of being chaste for Allah’s sake is lost and it is the fear of STIs that people are worried about.  I was reluctant to join the PET program. I didn’t want to leave the comfort zone but then I thought of the Idea of Islamizing the knowledge I would gain there.  I thought of Dr. Muhammad Al-Rafi, his book ENJOY YOUR LIFE was a practical example of Islamizing mundane knowledge. He Islamized the book HOW TO WIN FRIENDS AND INFLUENCE PEOPLE by Dale Carnegie. The PET program is a five day intensive training program and I mean INTENSIVE. You will need to sacrifice and be patient. You will learn some things as opposed to the principles of Islam. You will have to deal with issues like female circumcision as opposed to FGM, Teenage pregnancy, but also you would learn Life skills like negotiation skills, Decision-making skills, and Goal-setting skills. Etc. Do not let the rumor that those who join PETS are sent to the village scare you.

The Millennium Development Goals has two components. The FACOR and the MAC components. I would advise you join the FACOR component because that is where one deals with family matters and that is where we really needed Muslims.

  It is no news that Muslims are the endangered species and as a Nigerian Muslims with the advent of BH. It would be very unwise not to practically no anything about your deen and also update yourself with current events. In Asaya a lot of things happened that made me realize the journey ahead is long. Engr. Abass Alade was right. You see the Nassara in terms of planning they are light years ahead of us. From the parade ground to the trainings they are the dominant factor and you feel like you were in primary school again where you were forced to recite and memorize those hymns instead of the Qur’an or Ahadith. The soldiers might come and disturb you about you shaving your beard, or mock you seriously, whatever you do DON’T LOSE UR COOL and do NOT compromise provided you are not disrespectful NO ONE CAN DO YOU NOTHING. Your platoon members come and ask you that is true it is in your Qur’an that if you kill a non-Muslim you would be given seven virgins Here your brain needs to be working right. Remember don’t lose your cool, no matter what. It would be a great help if you have a good phone with applications like the Qur’an pro. The verse ‘There is no compulsion IN RELIGION…’ Q2:256 is a verse you should never forget and do not start finding faults in Christianity (it doesn’t really get you anywhere). Tell them about the Islam the media never told them. Tell them about Islam based on the Qur’an and the Sunnah and with the understanding of the righteous predecessors and you never can tell someone might accept Islam through you.
                The issues of pictures is another challenge you would face and sometimes you would be seen as an extremist (even among Muslims) if you do not take pictures.  Funny enough all photographers were banned from all camps in the second week. One thing one has to remember is that Allah is AL-HAKIM, so it is wrong to apply your logic here on the benefits of Photography though sometimes you might find yourself in very sticky situations just do the best you can. But then, there’s a Halaal substitute, MAKE A VIDEO (except you are Abu Naasir) instead if you are really concerned about keeping those memories.
                 It is important one understands this verse:
‘O mankind! We created you from a single (pair) of a male and a female and made you into nations and tribes that ye may know each other (not that ye may despise each other). Verily the most honored of you in the sight of Allah is (he who is) the most righteous of you. And Allah has full knowledge and is well acquainted (with all things).’ Q49:13
No doubt we are from different backgrounds and even sometimes making a decision would prove more difficult than usual but then avoid the concept of Yoruba Muslims, Hausa Muslims, reverts, and all that crap. We’ve already got more problems that we can handle don’t create more problems.

May Allah bless Muhammad Bashir a corps member from an earlier batch. He has that effect of talking to you and you feeling touched. A lot of us who are posted to villages where there is no electric power, no network, no basic amenities. We all activate Ghost kopa mode. WE RUNAWAY! Muhammad Bashir made me really wish to be posted to a village because I envied him so much. I thought of the rewards he was gaining. The Jihad one could do during eleven months could surpass all the struggles you ever did while in school. I imagine it has been your peak period like a graph if your scales of good deeds where plotted.  A sister in Kogi state single-handedly built a masjid, can you imagine the reward she would be earning. The village Muhammad Bashir is having his PPA is a place where the inhabitants are fetish but Alhamdulillah, Allah is changing that place through him. The mosque they had was a place for cattle to go and defecate since no one prayed but now people observe their solah and whenever he is not around the resident of the village cannot wait for him to return. Some of his students have become Muslims through him. He even saved a woman from losing her marriage when she refused to heed to her Husband’s call because she was not in the mood even though she admitted loving her husband. He followed her home and explained to her husband.  Some moments later the couple came to his house to show their appreciation and I tried to imagine the smile when the husband said, ‘Now I know my wife loves me. ’. When you are posted to the village you are practically treated like a god. No doubt there are challenges like my friend Muhammad Bashir was brandished with a sword by a man who said Muhammad must marry his daughter since she had decided to become a Muslim. My friend is not interested in marrying the man’s daughter but in her becoming a Muslimah.  I beef those who are posted to the villages because they have great dawah opportunities. A whole community could practice the religion just because of you. Imagine the REWARD! But then, there is usually the problem of continuity, many a time someone like Muhammad Bashir comes to make that change but then after their service year, that is the end no one to continue the good job and before you know it the people are back to their old evil ways and that is one major problem the MCAN is facing. We have three batches in a year. If we sit down to plan well we can proffer a solution to this problem. No doubt it is a great challenge to serve where there is no power, no network, no standard bathrooms but that is the sacrifice we have to make and if one is posted to that place and you are alone, one’s mind begins to think of crazy things and it would not be a surprise if you hear that someone who you had seen as a pious brother impregnated a girl in the village, or a sister got pregnant. I would be very real here No doubt the MCAN has the power to influence PPA, what we ought to do is pair brothers who are compatible it’s better if they are from the same institution and send them to the same place. That way they can both make the necessary positive change and also be a watchdog for each other’s Imaan most times if you send someone to a single place. You are putting his faith in jeopardy and you are most likely going to make things worse than they appear. How will it sound if the community start saying, ‘don’t mind those Muslim brothers all they know is how to impregnate our girls’. The same can be applied for sisters. 
                It was after Fajr Solah and also the last day of camp. Most of us where in our khaki already. Some of us where worried about where we would be posted to after all today was another ‘day of judgment’. Amir Jamal stood in front of us and told us that there was a revert amongst us and he was going to take the shaadah. My eyes lit up, I was excited so I was going to witness someone take the shaadah, first hand, right here in my presence. ‘KINGSLEY OTAMINI’, that is a name I do not want to ever forget. I heard him repeat after the amen the beautiful words ‘Ashhadu an la ilah illallahu wa ash-shadu anna Muhammadan rasululllah’. Kingsley Otamini is from Rivers state and he read Estate Management from Rivers State University of Technology, (RSUST). I felt elated when that I taught him to say walaykum salaam, I wish he was posted to Ladoja  but his PPA  is in Kabba. I know he would meet wonderful Muslims there to teach him the deen. Amidst all the joy felt at witnessing someone taking a shaadah. I knew a lot us do not know how to deal with reverts. When Kingsley said his name, immediately a lot of people where asking for his Muslim name. ‘Gosh! The guy just became a Muslim, give him some space’ and I don’t know where we got the impression that everybody must choose a new name, did Umar bn Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) pick a new name when he became a Muslim?   I flashed back to when I was in the shelter, I cannot  recall an  Al-Ushra program where the topic was on how to deal with the reverts. A lot of us that morning were eager to collect Kinglsey’s number I wondered how many of us would truly follow up that call. How many of us would truly be there for him when he would need us the most. 
                I pray Allah forgives me and makes this write-up useful and help us to serve Him by serving the nation.

Thursday, 2 August 2012


                I can recall looking at the clouds thinking they were solid ice floating in the sky. I thought the Sun would melt the clouds which in turn lead to rainfall. That was me, some few decades ago.  That was me before learning the water cycle in school.  Me, when I was carefree.  Me, when the challenges I had did not last more than a few days. Me, when I was innocent. I now understand why Peter Pan never wanted to grow up. The hardest thing I have ever done (and I am still doing) is growing up.  I had an idea of what happened to people when they left the shelter and I nursed the fear of what might happen to me when I leave.
                The first time I left the shelter was during my IT; one good thing about IT is that you get to return to the shelter. There were three people that were my great companions during my IT; they helped me survive via their lectures within that brief period in the rain, that brief period outside the shelter. They were Sheik. Bilal Philips (How to be a better Muslim), Sheik. Jamal Zarabozo (Means of sticking to the right path) and finally Sheik Yasir Qadhi, whom I borrowed the concept of calling the school the shelter. (The piece of the puzzle). But now, I have left the shelter and this time around unlike the first time it’s most likely I don’t return (at least not as an undergraduate). My companions during my IT, served as my raincoat but now I need something better than a raincoat, something that would last much longer. I do not want to cry in the rain cause apart from getting wet, nobody knows you are crying if you are in the rain. Nobody knows the difference between your tears and the rain drops. Why didn’t the shelter prepare me well and then I realized why some of us never try to step up while in school. They must have asked themselves the rhetorical question, ‘What is the point of becoming a better Muslim in school and losing it all after leaving?’ 
                So we have left the shelter, most of us left much unprepared. Truly a lot of us  don’t want to leave the comfort zone. You know when it is raining and you do not have something to protect  you from the rain like an umbrella, or a raincoat and yet you must leave the shelter, you must go out in the rain. A lot of us decide to stay by the side of the shelter thinking the roof of the shelter would protect us. We want to stay in the comfort zone not knowing that that would not stop the rain from beating us. Most of the time we only make things worse by remaining there.
                ‘Why didn’t they tell us?  Why weren’t we told much about MCAN, We came here (NYSC camp) UNPREPARED! ’, I thought. I felt hurt that my predecessors  did not orientate me well even though I had asked a few of them for naseehah.  Most of them had given a one-sided advice and to survive in the rain, to avoid crying in the rain one needs a BALANCED ADVICE. That is what I intend to do with this piece (and I hope I achieve that).  I have decided to tell this in a ‘storo-article’ form and so we begin….
                One of the greatest lessons I have learnt from the NYSC so far is that it contains some events that reminds you of the Day of Judgment and just like Waliyullah Abdusalam said, receiving your call-up letter reminds you of yaomul-qiyamah. No doubt that day would be a VERY HARD DAY because if collecting just a small piece of paper which is not really a letter can make people cry (I mean CRYING, WITH SERIOUS TEARS), can make people run helter-skelter, can make some people smile or laugh. can make a sister say she wish she was married( I heard a sister say this on convocation ground that Friday, even though then I did not really understand why), you did not even remember to ask where some of your friends were deployed to. You are so concerned about yourself, there is no doubt that THE DAY OF JUDGMENT WOULD BE A VERY HARD DAY (May Allah make it easy for us) and let those who think everything ends in the world REFLECT. Imagine what would happen when we collect our records on THAT DAY, a record that did NOT LEAVE ANYTHING of what we have did here in this dunya.  TRULY THE DAY OF JUDGEMENT WOULD BE A DIFFICULT DAY cause true is the words of Allah.
‘And what will explain to thee what the Day of Judgment is? Again what will explain to thee what the Day of Judgment is’ Q 82: 17-18.
For Allah, to repeat it twice then it is a serious matter.  But then, if you know someone  who can assist you and you have good reasons  for hat as regards your state of deployment then do it but remember that  Allah’s will would take place in the end what you’re doing is just striving. It is paramount to know that someone who would truly assist you would not ask you to go and bring any fee but then if things go as planned it is good to always show appreciation. You would come to find out that many people who tried to process theirs did not get what they desired.  When you get your call-up letter and it is not what you had hope for please BE PATIENT and say Alhamdulillahi ala kulli haal (Praise is to Allah in all circumstances).  Try to find out someone you know that is also posted to the same states as you that makes you feel better especially if you’re close to that person. It gives you great relief and you can say, ‘I’m not alone’.  Posting your state of deployment on groups you have joined (like MGS class or Chemistry class...) will greatly help in locating people you know who have been deployed to the same location as you. But before collecting your call-up letter, it is wise to have prepared for camp as regards material things you would need. I personally recommend the list below.

Below  is a list of items that are relevant to your stay at the orientation camp in two categories. Items in Category A must be taken along from home. YOU MUST NOT FORGET THEM. Items in Category B necessities – they make your life more comfortable in the camp. It is advisable that you take these items also along from home else you may have to pay exorbitant prices to buy them at the ‘Mami Markets’ in camp.
Category A
S/N Item
... 1 Original notification of result (or To Whom It May Concern Letter) from your school
2 NYSC Call Up letter
3 At least 8 copies each of 1 & 2 above.
4 At least 12 passport photographs
5 School ID card
6 Medical certificate or marriage certificate and evidence of change of name. (If you want to apply for redeployment)
Category B
S/N Item
1 2 white shorts(make sure it covers your knees very well for the brothers) & 2 white T-shirts
2 Waist pouch/bag (To hold your valuables e.g. phones, wristwatches, etc. during parades)
3 Cup, food flask & Cutleries
4 Mosquito net (very important)
5 Torch and batteries
6 Pen and writing materials
7 Stapler and pins
8 White tennis shoes (preferably a water proof one)
Please note that you do not need to take along more than 2 muftis as you will be required to wear your shorts and T-shits most of the time. Don’t take along expensive personal effects like laptops for security reasons – it may be stolen. Try to ensure everything you have packed can fit into one bag. You can pack all you want when you are going to your place of primary assignment. Above all, hold cash that can last you at least two weeks – you won’t be paid your ‘allowee’ immediately you arrive.

 If you get to be posted to another geo-political zone, then you would have no doubt that NIGERIA, no be small country and realize it is a miracle that we’re one nation because we’re very DIVERSE. You would be on the road for hours unending and if you used to fall sick while travelling by road, I would advise you try to board a plane if you can afford it but travelling by road helps you know places though the situation of our roads might be very discouraging but then it is all part of the experience. It is advisable to travel along with someone you know, that should have been gotten from info through Facebook or any other means of communication. That way you do not get bored or scared during the journey. It is advisable to be in your state of deployment a day before camp resumes. As to where to spend the night, you could go to your camp location, they would welcome you and if not try to locate the MCAN lodge in that state. (This is one good reason why the MCAN and the MSSN need to collaborate especially with the graduating students of a school, a list indicating addresses of MCAN lodge and phone numbers of some MCAN officials should have been known to prospective corps members before they are deployed, this is very important because one could lose one’s deen just because of accommodation for one night. The MGS executives should work with the MCAN officials in their state and organize a proper ORIENTATION or include it as a special topic during any of the MGS program, THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT).

  In school we often complain of lack of manpower, we whine about our 10 people are assigned to a committee and only two people show up. Well school is much better, at MCAN level things are… From the camp gate you already see the non-Muslims helping you with filling your forms, stapling them, the way they act as if they had memorized Dale Carnegie’s HOW TO MAKE FRIENDS & INFLUENCE PEOPLE. Before you know it they invite you and a lot of people are thrilled by their hospitality and then you ask ‘where are the Muslims?’ Well, I know where the Muslims are, they are on their beds still sleeping and I pray they wake up soon before things get out of hand( I think things are out of hand already). It is not as if MCAN is not there but the man (& WOMAN) power is SO LOW that such little things which would have great effect is lost.  I think it is important that I state here lest I forget that if you’ve gotten an admission for a post graduate program somewhere and you do not intend to go for it. DO NOT RESUME CAMP, DO NOT EVEN COLLECT YOUR CALL-UP LETTER, and do not worry when you return you would come and serve Nigeria. If you try to ‘sort things out ’,  by running your service year concurrently with the program well ,let me put it this way don’t let the sacrifice of a year make you have a long time regret.

                He turned away; he did not want to see her like that. He did not want to remember her like that. He wanted to remember her the way he had known her in school, the way he had seen her while they were in the shelter. He wanted to remember her in her Jilbaab and not her wearing trousers. “So this is the fitnah of the NYSC”, He thought.  That was what happened to my friend. I don’t know the sister in question but then I understood what my friend felt and then I thought of my sisters back in the shelter and then I could not just imagine them going through this.  There must be another way. I recalled Abu Nassir’s answer to a question regarding the NYSC. He had advised that it  is better one  evaded the NYSC but one has to have it in mind that you would not work in any government parastatal or even further your education here in Nigeria but it would be a grave mistake if all the Muslims evade the NYSC.  We will be indirectly killing ourselves but there’s another way (at least for the sisters ) is to have a Marriage certificate(and we both know this certificate is the only certificate in the world that you are given before you attend the institution as opposed to the normal certificates we have).  So how does marriage save the sisters, well this is the plan. Immediately after your opening ceremony in the camp this takes place one day after camp closes, The PRO would announce that all married women should GO HOME! How cool is that but it is not compulsory because you would still see some married Women who don’t want to miss out from the ‘fun’ things in camp. I recall my bunkmate (a graduate of No Venna University) telling me about a lady in our platoon he intended to go and woo only to find out that she was MARRIED! The guy was disappointed but at least I was glad he had the sense to let her be, but you know some other guys would not do so as the Yorubas will say. Nkan to fe je ni ko je ko gbon (what he wants to eat did not make him smart).  So if you are married it is advisable to try and process your posting to the state you reside in, resume late to camp so preferably on the last day so at least you would not spend more than 48 hours in that camp. To my sisters you would really wish you were married before going to camp especially if you value your deen, ask Ruqoyyah Abdusalaam to confirm my statement.

                 I recall visiting the blind center alongside some members of MSSN LAUTECH’S Welfare committee, I think then Abu Abdullah was the welfare officer. (Even though a lot of us know him as Abu A’ishah but Abdullah is the confirmed one) in Ogbomoso. I envied the Muslims amongst them. It was such a wonderful sight to see them learning how to read the Qur’an using the Braille system but then I envied them. I envied the fact that they would not account for what they have seen, their eyes would not testify against them. ‘How fortunate they are’, I thought. In camp you would see evil, it is practically inevitable and I don’t mean dressing in terms of tight fitted clothing (that one is constant K on parade ground). I can’t count how many times it was announced over the public address system that the ladies should not take their bath outside (in most camps toilet and bathroom facilities are not available. I know someone who tried not to answer the call of nature throughout his stay but on the eight day in camp he had to give in).  Even in the clear day light some people would take their baths outside totally nude. Is it compulsory you take your bath?  Where is the modesty, the shyness? Or did going to school make us MAD?  I don’t know how true it is but I learnt a lady asked a male passing by while she was taking her bath to help her pass the soap, I know it sounds bizarre but after what I have seen in camp I do not doubt it’s possibility. Where did we put this hadith, Narrated by AbuHurayrah:

Allah's Messenger (peace be upon him) said, "Modesty is part of faith and faith is in Paradise, but obscenity is a part of hardness of heart and hardness of heart is in Hell." (Ahmad & Tirmidhi).

 Well if you were a day student  in your secondary school and also attended a non-residential University like LAUTECH, then you might be at a disadvantage in adapting to the hostel life but nevertheless you will survive insha Allah. You room might be overcrowded and then your bunk mate and your bunk neighbors are people you practically do not know, They could be cultist, doing drugs, ‘breweries’, smokers of ‘igbo’ , they could be doing anything just brace yourself and try to be smart. Be up very early like around 3a.m. to take your bath in the very limited number of bathrooms. If your camp has a Mosque (I didn’t want to imagine what KSK was going through in Benue), then know you are blessed. The only thing you should do in the hostel is to sleep most especially if you’ve got crazy roommates and no doubt you will have them. I recall my Bunkie saying ‘Mujeeb we no dey see U, where U always dey  go sef?’. I replied I was in the mosque. After all Allah says:
‘And keep thy soul content with those who call on their Lord morning and evening seeking his Face; and let not thione eyes pass beyond them seeking the pomp and glitter of this Life; nor obey any whose heart We have permitted to neglect the remembrance of Us one who follows his own desires whose case has gone beyond all bounds’ Q 18:28.
Endeavor to keep your belongings safe, if it is possible to move the very important ones to the mosque do that.

After having said mostly the challenges in camp in this piece. Inshaa Allah the part two of CRYING IN THE RAIN would concentrate on the benefits that the NYSC has to offer to us has Muslims, which sadly many of us were not told or are too afraid to leave the comfort zone to try. Till then inshaA Allah.