The Muslim Lawyers Association of Nigeria congratulates all our brothers and sisters in faith on the successful completion of this year 1441 Ramadan fasting.The uniqueness of this year Ramadan will never be lost in the anal of history as it is a testimony to the fact that all powers belong to Allah the Creator. All the world powers and acclaimed first world nations are humbled by a mere unseen virus otherwise deadly which has sent over 200.000 people to the grave across the entire world. That we are saved during this pandemic and observed our Ramadan is a great blessing. We have sufficient reasons to thank Allah and to glorify Him.No doubt our professional practice has suffered greatly due to the economic meltdown occasioned by the deadly Pandemic. In the past four months some of our colleagues are already out of job while many have had their incomes highly plummeted. No thank to COVID 19.
Notwithstanding this our diverse sour experiences I want to remind all of us that the main essence of Ramadan and its accompanying lessons include Perseverance, Endurance and keeping faith with the Almighty. Allah indeed promises us in the Quran that after hardship there is ease. We appreciate the kind gestures displayed by our Senior Advocates and elders in the profession who rolled out palliative programmes and rendered assistance to the younger ones in the profession during the unfortunate lockdown.
This is commendable and it is a Godly act. They are encouraged to keep it up. However itis to be borne in mind that in line with our religious injunctions we do not need towait for the time of serious national need to extend our hands of help to our fellow colleagues. We are enjoined to expand our practices in a way that younger ones will be comfortably accommodated. This can be achieved by such gestures like increment in salary that commensurate with the economic reality and sponsoring them to attain and improve their professional status in a manner that will enhance better professionalism as well as advancing the development of law. All these types of kind gestures will be most welcome as the next phase of intervention in this moment of economic uncertainties.
Unfortunately we have been inundated with reports of some big chambers slashing the salaries of their staff while those younger ones who are in the chambers doingthe National Youth Service Corp have their salaries and allowances reduced drastically. This, to us, is highly detestable especially at this period where the younger ones have no other places to run to practice the profession. It is our position that instead of those ugly adjustment and measures those firms concerned should encourage this category of practitioners by maintaining a healthy salary structure for them and retaining them as well as sustaining their take homes.
Doing that in itself will be an act of charity which is more rewarding in the sight of the Almighty Allah than a one off palliative or assistance. It is our prayer that Allah increases your individual provisions and expand your coast to be able to do this. To all our Muslim brothers and sisters, we advise that Ramadan should not be seen as an end itself but as a mean to achieve many ends. In terms of the Quranic injunction the essence of fasting is to attain piety therefore the lessons learnt in Ramadan should be reflected in our professional practices, our social life, economy and other worldly endeavours. We are all enjoined to continue to practice restraint with respect to our earnings by shunning haram (the unlawful) and embrace only the Halal or lawful dealings and transactions. In the same vein we should always remember that the unity of Nigeria is key to any meaningful national development and therefore we urge members and all other Nigerians to do away with any act or speech that could further threaten the fragile peace in the country.
Rather wes hould see every other compatriots as a brother or sister irrespective of religion,tribe, creed, social status, political or ideological leanings. In all let us always embrace this noble idea of Unity in diversity. Finally we urge all our members and other compatriots to continue to support the government in its efforts at curtailing the on-going pandemic by our strict adherence to all the laid down Rules and Regulations including the protocols put in place to stem the tide of the deadly Virus.
We felicitate with the entire Ummah and wish you all a happy Eid celebration.
Sincerely yours, Prof. F.A.R Adeleke