With all sense of honour, respect and humility, your Excellency, I humbly write this letter to convey a fundamental message (worth noting) to you and members of your executive council as well as other relevant stakeholders.
Your Excellency, as you know, Kano State is among the most consequential and venerated African lands. The state hosts international and influential clerics of high repute that promote Islam and the sunnah of our beloved Prophet Muhammad (SAW) to all domains in the north and beyond. Moreover, Kano has been the African commercial hub since the nineteenth century and the centre of learning and administration. For that cause, Kano is always at the front line of religious development and other aspects of human life. In addition, after the re-introduction of Shari’ah in early 2000, Kano embraced it in haste. Muslims have welcomed the development in good faith and unwavering conviction that if Shari’ah is appropriately implemented, life will become good and better in this world and have good fortune in the future existence.
Alhamdulillah! For the said development, the Kano state government established agencies to oversee Shari’ah affairs and ensure its implementation. Shari’ah commission was inaugurated as the apex body for Shari’ah matters and related business. Shari’ah courts were instituted and equipped. Well-trained experts were employed as Shari’ah judges. Zakah and Endowment (Hubusi) was founded and systemized to regulate the collection and distribution of Zakah wealth as stipulated by Allah and manage the waqf properties in the best interest of beneficiaries. The social reorientation directorate (Adaidaita Sahu) came into existence to ensure moral compliance by Muslims. The mighty Hisba Board was incorporated to complement the task of the Shari’ah Commission. The Office of Special Adviser on Religious Matters was created to support the Governor in dealing with Shari’ah functions. Above all, Shari’ah penetrates all government agencies and parastatals to the extent that it’s considered in all decision-making.
At districts and wards levels, the good people of Kano have cooperated. Groups of concerned Muslims constituted robust committees to compliment the government’s effort, namely Zauren Sulhu and its likes. They have significantly impacted the lives of ordinary people. Many such initiatives are in existence to this moment for their monumental works.
People believe that if such strategies are correctly implemented, they will bring sustainable socio-religious and economic development. It will curtail the ongoing bribery and corruption in civil service, robbery, burglary and phone snatching, immorality and other social vices. It will improve productive economic activities and reduce the high rate of poverty. It will promote Zakah awareness and boost the collection of Zakah wealth that, if used efficiently, will cater to the needs and demands of vulnerable widows and orphans as it did in history. This gesture will please Allah the Almighty; in return, He will bless Kano abundantly and ease the affairs of the state.
Your Excellency, the considerable success and giant achievements that Hisba is recording from its inception to date are commendable. Hisba is meeting its objective, mission and vision despite the factors hindering national progress. The support you are giving to the agency is laudable.
Your Excellency, what motivates and triggers me to write this letter is that the high poverty level, with over 55 per cent of the citizens being poor, is a matter of concern, according to the National Bureau of Statistics. Thus, it may not be a surprise that beggars are trooping and roaming the streets today, begging and occupying masjids and other public gatherings, pleading for assistance in various forms. In addition, radio and Television stations are becoming typical to hear the voices of people echoing for help due to poverty and other reasons for the financial predicament.
Besides, I am aware that the state government created a body responsible for looking after the vulnerable and impoverished per the saying of Allahu (SWT) in the Qur’an suratul Tauba verse number 103. The matter of contention is that; is the state government aware of this situation and giving all the necessary support and attention to Kano State Zakah and Hubusi Commission to execute its responsibilities, or is the commission just becoming worthless?
Your Excellency, it’s a known fact that in early 2022 your administration engaged about 600 people in civil service as tax collectors. It’s indeed a wise decision, for it reduces youth unemployment. However, one may wonder how many zakah workers were recruited to support the activities of zakah and consolidate it to achieve its overall objective.
Your Excellency, sincerely, Kano is lagging regarding zakah collection and distribution in modern times while its neighbouring states and emirates are thriving in this noble course. For instance, in Jigawa state, Dutse Emirate alone is mobilizing zakah wealth that eclipsed that of Kano in multitude. The narration is still correspondingly in Kazaure Emirate and Hadejia Emirate, among others. By extension, Sokoto State Zakah and Endowment Commission (SOZECOM) under Malam Lawal Maidoki, Sadaukin Sakkwato, is providing leadership in the country. In other countries, poverty and unemployment are reduced to the barest minimum. These exciting stories signify that Kano state could also join the race and achieve a lot, as it has immense potential.
Your Excellency, this is a gentle reminder hoping to reach you and praying to Allah to grant you the ability to use it and make it among your legacies. Undoubtedly, instrumental Islamic economic policy will help you lay a solid foundation for uplifting the well-being of the good people of Kano state. Zakah will be a panacea to poverty, unemployment, corruption and all forms of vulnerability in Kano state. I, therefore, wish to submit that our emirates have vital roles to play in the reformation. Moreover, collaboration with key stakeholders is necessary at this stage.
Last but not least, I applaud your efforts to improve security affairs in Kano State despite worsening scenes in the country and other neighbouring countries. May Allah guard and preserve our dear Kano State and Muslim communities in Nigeria and beyond. May Allah support you and grant you maximum success in your reign and beyond. Ameen.
Aliyu Ɗahiru Muhammad
Department of Economics
Bayero University, Kano