The Diary of Mai Tantaki: My Personal Reflection

By Buhari B. Jega Human history may be seen as a record of the eternal struggle between right and wrong, virtue and vice, good and evil, and righteousness and wickedness. This struggle was decreed by God when Adam, an earthly creature, was sent to earth to engage in this eternal battle. It is through this struggle that human beings can earn their eternal bliss in the Gardens of Paradise, or their eternal punishment in the Fire. In the history of nations this struggle often attains universal significance as that moment of the struggle can speak to all subsequent times and situations. Thus the Qur'an urges us over and over again to ponder the end of those who were before us, and how God dealt with them. In every case, moreover, a prophet or messenger of God was rejected by his people and killed or driven out. In this sense, therefore, the struggle is in the end between God and humankind, between truth and falsehood, and between right guidance and manifest error. Nowhere is this struggle placed in sharper relief than in the life of the Prophet Muhammad, (S) and the lives of the people of his House (a). The life and witness of the Imam Husayn in particular, has acquired special significance in Muslim piety. This is because he has provided a model for all martyrs in the way of God, of all time. He (a) is the prince and sunshine of martyrdom; inspiring and challenging people to rise against oppression, injustice, immorality and reviving the true teachings and practices of Islam. The sacrifice of Imam Hussain (a) will not only always continue to reawaken people, but, has finally nailed the coffins of injustice, oppression and immorality in governance and religious practices forever. This why, this year’s symbolic trekking around the globe surprises everyone; and so far, Yaumal Arba’en is the largest gathering around the world. For some of us in this land of lost opportunity called Nigeria, we were grateful to Allah for extending our lives to witness yet another 40 days commemoration of the martyrdom of Imam Hussain (a), family and companions at Karbala. As a tradition, we were all waiting anxiously for the takeoff date, to be with our brothers and sisters across our zone, as we match to the Hussainiyya Baqiyyatullah in the ancient city of Zaria. Journey to Zaria, is like, trekking to Karbala in the real sense especially for the rest of us, that, are unable to financed our journey to Karbala this year. It is a symbolic trekking, to commiserate with the true representative and grandson of Imam Hussain (a) in Africa Sayyed Ibraheem Zakzaky (H). No doubt; in our contemporary reality in Africa, Sayyeed (H) is the moral and spiritual conscience of the African people irrespective of their religion, ethnic, regional and country of origin. This is because, in the history of Africa, no man, has change the intellect and direction of huge community of faithful like what Sayyeed (H) did within a shortest period of time, with the assistance of Allah and his sincerity of purpose. As a participate observer, it is interesting, to say, this year’s Tantaki was a huge success and seriously extended the frontiers of peoples’ perception and understanding of the events of Karbala and the sacrifice of Imam Hussain (a), if the general enthusiasm and prayers and supports of the various people we met in various towns and villages is anything to go by. For me, reminiscence of last year’s Tantaki, which i wrote about with all the passion and commitment. This is because, last year was significant for me, because, for the first time of my life i came close to what i was found of reading and make reference to in my sojourned as student who studies the theories of revolution in my Political Economy and Development Studies class. Last year was simply amazing and remind me about the great match of Chairman Mao Zedong to Beijing that lead to the foundation of Modern China and end of tyranny; it equally reminded about the great match of Mahatma Gandhi of India, that gave Indians their independence from the British; it remind me about the great match of Africa nationalists like Comrade Robert Mugabe of Zimbabwe; Comrade Amilca Cabra Guinea Bissau ; Samora Michel of Mozambique; Patrick Lumumba of Zaire; Nelson Mandela of South Africa and the great sacrifice in fighting guerrilla warfare against the agents of oppression and tyranny (Colonialists). Last year’s Tantaki kept me completely reflecting about the sacrifice, suffering and determination of the households of the Holy Prophet (a) to safeguard and refined this great religion, that some of us are playing with. However, this year’s Tantaki (Symbolic Trekking) came with two challenges for me. One is in last year’s Tantaki i came without a car, because, i had none then, but, this year Allah in His Infinite mercy and blessing for the love of Imam Hussain (a) gave me one. Secondly, i was not married then, and this year, am a responsible man, because, am married. These were challenges, because, i really didn’t know what to do with the car, because, i really want to trek. As for sister she has joined other sisters already and they are busy walking, while for me am held up there with security arrangement and all the protocols which to me was very fantastic. In this moment of reflection and challenge, i decided to follow the procession, but, it was not interesting kam. Finally, i did the unthinkable, I saw some brothers looking for car to convene some items, and i just gave them the car without really knowing them as such. This gave me the freedom to join the procession and count my blessing and reflect over this historic event that changes the life of humanity. The first thing that came to my mind, during the initial trekking before Mararaban Jos, is, if anybody, has any doubt on who the leader of Muslims in Nigeria and by extension Africa is, then, he need to see the symbolic trekking to really understand and reflect where the beauty and true Islam is; not, all this facebook or twitter noises, that, we engaged alot of our friends in. Here is a group of Muslims, who are trekking from Kaduna to Zaria to commiserate and show their allegiance to Imam Hussain (a) and the leader and the true representative of Imam Hussain (a) Sayyeed Ibraheem Zakzaky (H). This is historic events and interesting; because it is the manifestation of Allah’s support and acceptance of the prayers, sincerity, foresight, courage, patience, determination of Sayyeed Ibraheem Zakzaky (H) in reviving and restoration of our Islamic heritage. This Allah’s support and acceptance have united the body and souls of brothers and sisters in showing solidarity, commitment and sacrifice in taking this symbolic trekking for the love of Imam Hussain (a) through the moral and spiritual encouragement, guardianship, and support of a pragmatic leader, guardian, energies, motivator, and the light of Allah in Africa, Sayyeed Ibraheem Zakzaky (H). The procession was peaceful and in an orderly manner. However, one remarkable difference with last year’s symbolic trekking (Tantaki) is the number of brothers and sisters in attendance. This year’s Tantaki is more than four time that of last year. This is a great achievement and historic because, it shows the growing number of acceptance and understanding of the unfortunate event of Karbala and the sacrifice of Imam Hussain (a). This is because; this great sacrifice affected humanity not only the so called Shiates according certain people. For me, i was sandwich between various formations, because, we were busy interview people; so, one can say, i am privilege to see the beginning and the end of brothers and sisters in the symbolic trekking. The eulogised, rendition and songs been air was simply amazing; songs and eulogises that, narrates the story of events of Ashura and Imam Hussain (a). For a believer, it really depresses one soul, that one does not feel the pains or distance of the trekking. It equally reminds one about the pains and sufferings of the Households of the Holy Prophet (a), for the sake of Islam. For one, we are just imitating and following the footsteps of their followers and leaders, but, really one cannot quantify or understand what it was like during the trials and tribulation of the tragedy of Karbala and its aftermath. Watching, some brothers and sisters, resigning and some been attended to by the medical officials, made one to ask, the silent question, during such trauma and disillusion in Karbala, who attended to the Households of the Holy Prophet (a)?; did they resigned, or they were forced to walked such a long distance without food, water and under chains? Seriously, is just a kind of sober reflection for me and i think for others, because, here we are without any traumatic experience or under any difficulties of hunger, thirst and under chains or been wiped, but, people are already collapsing and getting aid from medical personnel. This is enough justification for me, to understand and appreciate the fact that, the Islam we are practising today, was won through struggles, courage, determination and sacrifice with tears, sweat and blood of pious servants of Allah; then, why playing around with this bonus given to us? For me in my moment of reflection during the symbolic trekking, i came to the understanding and appreciation of the fact, it is Allah’s Benevolence, Mercy, and Blessing that he created me a Muslim first; then made me among the generation of the Prophethood of Muhammad (S) and gave me the Wilayat of Imam Ali and his eleven (11) pious and guided Imams (a) under the beautiful, strong umbrella and guardianship of Maulan Sayyeed Ibraheem Zakzaky. For me this is the greatest blessing and mercy and benefit of my sojourned in this temporary and immoral world. In this moment of reflection, i finally realised that we have reached Jaji already our first resting place. Jaji hold a lot of promise for me and other members of last year’s symbolic trekking. Because, it was a community that open its doors and amenities for the wayfarers to used for the love of Imam Hussain (a), as told by an old woman. I really remembered the old woman, because, last year she gave us water for ablution and praying mats with smiles and fulfilment in her eyes. This year we finally located the house and behold Ya Allah, the old woman was seating in front of her house ready with all the items needed. This is interesting and almost shed tears, because, here is a widow, whose worldview is within the locality where she stayed, but, have accepted to assist the loves of Imam Hussain (a). This is time around, while we are resting, the old woman came with cooked Dankalin Hausa (what is popularly refers to as sweet Potatoes) for all us. She said something that stroke me, “that she is always happy if she sees us in this fashion and she pray for Allah’s safety, support and blessing for this great sacrifice for the love of the Households of the Holy Prophet (a).” She equally urged us to pray for the reposed of her late Husband and for her good ending. This one prayer we hope all of us we will continue to give to this pious woman. Interestingly, all the women in that community came out to welcome the lovers of Imam Hussain (a) and assisted in great measure in comforting us seriously. The journey from Jaji to Corner Farakwai, was slow but very interesting kam. Interesting, because, i remember last year, the bones and muscles were seriously affected, but, miraculously this year’s symbolic trekking (Tantaki), was just like normal walking to friend house or market or somewhere else. The stress and pains suffered last year was not visible in the eyes and body of most of us that, undertook last year’s trekking. Reaching Corner Farakwai in the night was interesting and challenging especially against the backdrop of women and children in our midst. Corner Farakwai, just like Jaji, is a village a chose as my mine because of the hospitality of the people to the lovers of Imam Hussain (a). The people opened up their city and houses for the lovers of Imam Hussain (a) to rest for the night. I remember walking all night making arrangement and finalising where the sisters will laid their heads. The amazing hospitality and support of the people of the city was simply beyond explanation. I remember all the husbands relocating from their houses and bed so that lovers of Imam Hussain (a) can sleep comfortably. Equally at around eleven (11) o’clock, i remember meeting an old when i was coming from my wife’s camp, asking if there are sisters that have not secured accommodation, to come take her places in her house. The city accommodated all the sisters and brothers. For us, a shop owner gave us the inner side of his shop to sleep. For me, this is the highest trust anybody can give to strangers, especially in Nigeria where trust and honesty is hard commodity to get. And finally got my car from the brothers full of praises; this to me is an important lesson, for me, as a member of Islamic Movement in Nigeria under the leadership of Sayyeed (H). For blessing and support of Allah, Sayyeed (H) is building a distinct community of faithful, whose love and admiration for one another is simply amazing. Equally the issue of trust and having confidence in your brother is one issue, that, have unite the followers, because, everything is to get and enjoy the blessing of Allah. Morning and the final push to the city of Zaria; melting ground of civilization and birth place of future of Nigeria. Procession started in Ernest, with members locating their various formations. Here again am stuck with blessing from Allah (my car). But, this time around, i really had to drive because, i have casualties mostly sisters, because, of the stress of yesterday. So, i decided to follow, the Abuja formation and entertained them with various renditions and eulogises of Imam Hussain (a) and the event at Karbala. But, due, to security concerns, we were stopped from following the procession, and requested to follow the procession from behind, which i obliged the organisers, when all pleas for change of strategy was not accepted. This is because; our job then mostly is pick and Assisting women and children. It was interesting once again watching the process coming to past. It was an interesting episode, because, i saw the numbers of trekkers doubling more than what we saw yesterday. Arriving second resting place, but, we came late, because, we were made to line up behind the last formations. Before, we could finish prayers and finding something to eat, the process is on. But, this time, i was determined to push to Zaria, without my car. My prayers was answered, when i saw the same brothers still looking distress, i asked, then, do you need car again they said yes please, and i then said you can have it once again; they were happy and i was happy because, that, has free me to join the symbolic trekking and pushed finally to the city of Maulana Zakzaky (H). Approaching Zaria, seriously ignited passion and incitement by brothers and sisters with the tune of the songs changing to “Gamu nan zuwa baba; Gamunan Zuwa Baba (We are coming father)”. This a reflection of fatherly figure Maulana Sayyeed (H) have become for all of us. Sometime, one is not mistaken, that, what Sayyeed (H) did to this generation of ours, is more, than, what our parents have done to. In a deeper reflection, for someone to direct your energy and actions towards Allah, His Messenger (H) and uncovering the secret of following the Households of the Holy Prophet (a) is the great achievement to one’s life and offering the key to Paradise. Seriously, looking at the number of youths who answers and bear their allegiance to Sayyeed (H) and the successes and Allah’s felicity they attained; one can only wonder, if the light of Allah was not raised in this land of lost opportunity, what will become of this generation; if the agonies of intellectual display of bunkum and perfidy by the so called various Sheikhs and ulamas around is anything to go by. No doubt; looking at all this energetic, committed, passionate and courageous young men and women, gave one the sense of fulfilment that the future belong to Islam. Arriving Zaria was fulfilling for yet another success and achievement for making it’s this year again. Fulfilment because, I knew alot of people we did Tantaki with last year and today they are late. Achievement, because, with all the evil mechanization of the oppressors and their Zionists godfathers no casualty was recorded; which is a manifestation of Allah’s support and blessing for all lovers of Imam Hussain. Camping at Kwarkwaji close to Kofan Kuyanbana was equally interesting for me especially, because, that, was the first time i was able to explore the inner city of Zaria city. What a city indeed. But, unfortunately, the people of Zaria city were not as hospitable as the people Corner Farakwai, especially around were the camp of brothers and sisters are. Unfortunately, we had a terrible encounter with some members of some households; who disagree with one of their brother for giving us accommodation. It was a house of inheritance, while some brothers agreed to our accommodation, other opposed such gesture. It was really surprising, because, here are guests, but, someone is fighting not to accommodate them, because, he shares in the inheritance. I then asked, if he was not the first person i asked for a favour; but, referred me, to the person that finally gave us the permission? Then i told, him, if he knew the joy and satisfactions the owner of the house is having in his grave wallahi, he will even give us, the most comfortable part of his house for the love of Imam Hussain (a). I finally, urged him to travel out of this comfort zone and be a man and build his own house, not; this shenanigan of reapingwhere he did not sows. We were told to finally settle down and sleep; i toldthen categorical wallahi this place is cursed for us to sleep; we left, withthe brothers begging us; in that moment of reflection; the spirit of ImamHussain (a) send some pious souls and they gave us a comfortable accommodation until the call for subhi prayers. Morning greatest and the finally push to Hussaniyya Baqiyyatullah to see the most beautiful face that gives one, peace and tranquillity whenever, one look at Sayyeed. Brothers and sisters in beautiful formations; flags with various inscription “Ya Hussain; Ya Shaheed” in their different colours (Red, black and green) just amazing to the delight of people of Zaria city; women, men, married and unmarried, boys and girls; who came out of their houses, to watch the unbelievable scenario in their city. One important fact, that strokes me, is the fact, that, the people of Zaria city look ancient in their thinking and understanding of contemporary realities. Unfortunately, while the ocean that lighten our path of understand and appreciation of the world around us, (Sayyeed (H)) came from them, but, yet, we answers the call, but, yet they (the people of Zaria city) are still looking to the past. Then i remembered that this is the sunnah of all Prophets and pious servants of Allah. The Prophet (s) that brought civilization and knowledge to humanity was chase and almost killed by his people. Then, I said, it is sad for the people of Zazzau, kam, in this unfortunate arrogance and stubbornness. We are really proud of Sayyeed (H) and we are happy to say it, we are his followers. I was sharing this observation with a brother from Zaria city, and he told me my observation was right and is only Allah that can change the people of the city, especially towards their understanding of Sayyeed (H). It is really sad for me and hopes Allah felicity and Rahman as he gave to us, will descend in the hearts of the people of this great city to understand and appreciate the great gift they have and the benefits it will bring to their life. We finally, arrived Hussaniyya and couldn’t believe my very eyes, because, the whole of Polo field was filled with brothers and sisters from various parts of the country. The number of people, in this year’s symbolic is five times more than that of last year. The polo field was filled up, to the extent that, the main road leading to Samura was blocked and people can still be see up to Unity Bank Plc close to PZ. This is amazing wallahi kam, We can only thank Allah for giving us the opportunity and courage to be among the lovers of Imam Hussain (a) and sincere followers of Sayyeed Ibraheem Zakzaky (H). Seeing Sayyeed taking to podium finally brought my sense and relaxes my muscles and souls. I always, prayed for opportunity, to at least within a month to see Sayyeed (H)in flesh and blood, because, it’s renews my faith and commitment to the course of Islam. Seeing one mentor, guardian, leaders and conscience, reenergises and challenge once subconscious mind. We pray for good health, protection, and fulfilment of all desire of Sayyeed (H) as he led us to salvation and restore of our Islamic heritage and identity in this land of lost opportunity. We equally pray for Allah’s mercy, protection and support to hold unto the rope of Allah and His Messenger (S) and his households (a) no matter the difficulties and challenges of life. Oh Allah strengthen our hearts, souls and body to follow the teaching and guardianship of Sayyeed (H) as he lead us in this difficult time and makes us among the volunteers and helpers of Imam Mahdi (AJ) Illahi. This is the diary of Mai Tantaki, we hope Allah accept our insignificant contribution in the course of Sayyeed’s mission and vision in reviving and restoring our Islamic heritage. Bukhari Muhammed Bello Jega Bukharijega12@gmail.com Participated in this year’s symbolic trekking under the guardianship and leadership of Sayyeed Ibraheem Y. Zakzaky (H) on the 29-31st of December 2013, from Zaria - Kaduna