SPEECH DELIVERED BY SENATE PRESIDENT, DR ABUBAKAR BUKOLA SARAKI, CON, PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE, CHAIRMAN, NATIONAL ASSEMBLY AND TURAKIN ILORIN ON THE OCCASION OF THE FORMAL CLOSING CEREMONY FOR THE 31ST NATIONAL QURANIC MEMORISATION COMPETITION ON SATURDAY, 11TH FEBRUARY 2017.
1. Ahusu Billahi Minna Shaiton Rajiim. Bismillah Rahamon Rahim. All praises be to Almighty Allah, the owner of today, the owner of yesterday and the designer of our tomorrow. May His blessing be on our Holy Prophet Muhammmed, his companions and members of his family. Assalam Alaekunm Waramotullah Wa Barakatuhu.
2. The Protocols….
3. I am happy to join members of the Ulammahs and dignitaries across our country to celebrate these learned men and women from the 33 states of our country who have memorised the holy book. I congratulate all the participants for coming this far in this competition. For those of you who are winning prizes today, I am happy for your accomplishment. It is good to also remind those who are unable to clinch prizes that there is joy in participating. Almighty Allah will reward all your efforts.
4. The knowledge of the holy book is one of the best ways to spread the words of God. And I am convinced that if we all forget about religion and look at the rationality of the words contained in the holy books, our world will be better. The holy books of the two major religions, the Quran and Bible, teach morality, justice, equity, love, compassion, respect for elders, making money through just and fair means and many other virtues which if we all imbibe them, there will not be war, disease, poverty, squalor, deprivation, crime and injustice.
5. The holy books talk about the responsibility and burden of leadership. The books say those of us in position of leadership will have a lot to account for before Allah. Also, It is true that all of us are in one position of leadership or the other. We are leaders at various levels and we will be held accountable. Even as a follower, we will be held accountable on whether we have played our role in making our leaders lead with the fear of Allah.
6. More importantly, I want to enjoin those of you who have proven to be experts in the memorisation of the Quran to please help preach the words of God to the high and low in a peaceful manner. Use your knowledge of the holy book to spread love, peaceful co-existence, understanding, tolerance, unity, compassion and genuine fear of Allah.
7. Use your knowledge of the Quran to let the world know that those who discourage people from acquiring education are not good Muslims. Let the world know that those who obstruct the peace of the world do not represent Islam. Let the world know that Our holy Prophet lived peacefully with Christians and Jews. He taught us to even emulate him. That is the essence of Hadiths. If we have taken to the words of Prophet Muhammmed (saw), there would have been peace and development in our country and the world over.
8. Let me at this point thank the organisers of this event for a befitting event. I want to advise that this competition should be taken to the next level. We should continue to improve on it every year. We should use all the opportunities offered by the new technology, new media and the new age of knowledge to further promote the memorisation of the Quran.
9. Insha Allah, it is my prayer that next year’s event will be a big improvement on this year’s and that all of us who witness this year’s event will be around in good health to play better roles.
10. Let me use the opportunity of the gathering of distinguished members of the Ulammahs to ask that you all pray for our President, Muhammadu Buhari. MayAlmightyAllah continue to give him good health, the wisdom and know how to lead this country in peace and to prosperity. Also, pray for our country to have peace, unity, economic prosperity and political stability and general development.
11. I also want to assure you that the Senate in particular and the National Assembly in general will not enact any law that will stifle the freedom of worship. We will always work to ensure that people can freely practice their religion without fear.
12. I thank all of you for coming here and wish you safe return to your respective destinations. Asalaam Alaekunm, Waramotu Llahi, Wa Barakah tuhu.
Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki, CON.
President of the Senate and Chairman, National Assembly