Travel Nigeria

Vol 3-Issue 2 Travel NigeriaNigeria is an interesting unexplored paradise. A country with vibrant diverse cultures, exciting festivals, rich history, equatorial forests, clean un-spoilt beaches, exotic landscapes, cascading waterfalls, towering rocks, rolling hills, ancient caves and hospitable people.


Although fast food is growing in popularity in Nigeria, most of the people prefer eating at home. Below are some of the most popular Nigerian dishes:

Obe Ata (pepper soup): this is a thick sauce made by boiling ground tomatoes, ground pepper, meat or fish, meat or fish broth (depending on whether you are using meat or fish), onions, vegetable oil or palm oil and other spices.

Obe Egusi (plain): made by grinding melon seeds and then cooking them with meat and spices. It usually ends up being yellowish-orange in colour.

Amala: dish made from yams. First, the yams are ground and dried to form a powder. This powder is then put into boiling water, and stirred / beaten, until it has a thick smooth form. The cooked product is dark brown in colour.


Markets are the most interesting places to shop. Special purchases include Adire (patterned, indigo-dyed cloth), batiks and pottery from the Southwest, leatherwork and Kaduna cotton from the North, and carvings from the East. Designs vary greatly, many towns having their own distinctive style.

Other purchases include herbs, beadwork, basketry, etc.


Nigeria is well connected by a wide network of all-season roads, railway tracks, inland waterways, maritime and air transportation.

Nigeria’s economy could be aptly described as most promising. It is a mixed economy and accommodates all comers: individuals, corporate organizations, and government agencies that invest in almost full range of economic activities. Since 1995, the government introduced some bold economic measures, which have had a salutary effect on the economy. This they did by: halting the declining growth in the productive sectors and putting a stop to galloping inflation; reducing the debt burden; stabilizing the exchange rate of the Naira; and correcting the balance of payments disequilibria.


New Yam Festival

New Yam Festival is one of the biggest festivals celebrated by the Igbos. The individual Ibo communities each have a day for this August occasion. Invitation to the new yam festival is usually open to everyone. What this means is that there is abundant food not just for the harvesters but also for friends and well-wishers.

Arugungu Fishing Festival

This is a leading tourist attraction in the area. The festival originated in August 1934, when the late Sultan Dan Mu’azu made a historic visit. Since then, it’s become a celebrated yearly event, held between February and March.

Vast nets are cast and a wealth of fish is harvested, from giant Nile Perch to the peculiar Balloon Fish. Furthermore, there’s canoe racing, wild duck hunting, bare-handed fishing, diving competitions and, of course, swimming. The festival marks the end of the growing season and the harvest.

Tourist Attractions

Yankari National Park

This can be reached by road from Jos airport through Bauchi state route. There are species of large mammals, such as elephants, hippopotami, lions, and about 153 known species of birds, fish, reptiles, and monkeys. It is also rich in ethno-historical and archaeological attractions.

Kainji Lake National Park

It can be reached through Lokoja, from Lagos through Ibadan, Ilorin, and Jebba. The park is full of diverse wildlife. Available in the park are chalets, restaurants, conference halls, and a waterbus for lake cruising.

Gashaka Gumte National Park

This park is regarded as the most scenic of all the parks in the country. It is full of natural scenery such as mountains, valleys, rivers, streams, etc. It comprises two sectors, each rich in its own unique flora and fauna species. The park contains some historic sites, one of which is the old German Fort at the Gashaka hill.

Farin Ruwa Water Falls

The Farin Ruwa Falls is one of the most spectacular natural features in Nigeria. The force of its gushing water is so torrential that from afar it could be mistaken for white smoke, which earns it the name.

Silicon Hill

This very important mineral deposit is found near the Nkpologu campus of the Enugu State University of Science and Technology (ESUT). The hill, which is more than 300 metres above sea level and almost half a kilometre long, has silica an important raw material for the manufacture of glass.

The surrounding environment is very captivating with hills, valleys, and plains so beautifully wrapped up that one cannot ignore the breath taking views and awe inspiring blend.

The Mambilla Plateau

This is a plateau of about 1,830 metres above the sea level. It has temperate climate within the tropical region. It has an undulating landscape free of insects. One can find here temperate crops, such as the avogad’s pear, strawberries, and coffee. The popular Mambilla Tourist Centre is located at Gembu in the high land.

Wase Rock

Located in the outskirts of Wase town about 216 kilometres south-east of Jos. Available records indicate that this beautiful massive dome shaped rocky inselberg is one out of only five in the world. It is one of the very few breeding places for white pelican birds in Africa. The remarkable rock, which rises abruptly to 350 metres above the plain of Wase town is a centre of attraction for curious geographers, geologists, mountaineers, and bird watchers.

The wonders of Allah’s (swt) creations are visible aplenty in Nigeria. If one simply wishes to witness serene untouched beauty of nature and the wild life, Nigeria comes highly recommended as a promising destination.

Islam in Nigeria

Contributed by Affaf Jamal

The spread of Islam in Nigeria dates back to the eleventh century. Islam was for quite some time the religion of the court and commerce, and was spread peacefully by Muslim clerics and traders. Later, a Muslim revival took place in western Africa, in which Fulani cattle-driving people, who had adopted Islam, played a central role. The Fulani scholar Uthman dan Fodio launched a Jihad in 1804 that lasted for six years, aiming to revive and purify Islam. It united the Hausa states under Shariah law. In 1812, the Hausa dynasties became part of the Caliphate of Sokoto. The Sokoto Caliphate ended with partition in 1903 when the British incorporated it into the colony of Nigeria and the Sultan’s power was transferred to the High Commissioner. However, many aspects of the caliphate structure, including the Islamic legal system, were retained and brought forward into the colonial period. Presently, Muslims constitute 50% of the population, whereas Christianity and other indigenous beliefs constitute 40% and 10% respectively.

Permitted and Prohibited Methods of Contraception in Islam – Part I

which_method-HUBBirth control or contraception, is any method used to prevent pregnancy. It is an often taboo; and controversial topic. Myths related to all ‘gynea’ issues are perpetuated among women! What the gynecologist doesn’t tell us, we seldom ask.

There are two positions regarding birth control in our society. One is completely or partially ignorant about related issues; the other is involved in predominantly western-inspired debates about women’s fertility rights. One considers mere mention of birth control as sacrilege and Haram; the other propagates campaigns driven by population control theories usually promoted by international NGOs. The result is a mostly blurred picture.

Our Deen asks for a rational middle direction. Contraception is not prohibited in Islam. It is permissible as long as it is reversible and doesn’t involve termination of pregnancy.

During the Prophet’s (sa) time the withdrawal method (known as Azl) was used, as is evident in several Hadiths.

Jabir Ibn Abd Allah (rta), the notable companion of the Prophet (sa) relates: “We used to engage in `Azl’ while the Quran was being revealed. Had it been something that was interdicted, the Quran would have forbidden it.” (Bukhari, Muslim)

The Prophet’s (sa) basic response, regarding the lawfulness of the practice was that individuals may do as they will, but if Allah (swt) intends for a child to be born she/he will be.

By correlation general acceptance of the Azl can be expanded to include most modern forms of birth control.

Imam Ghazali in his “Ihya’ Ulum al-Din” lists a number of legitimate reasons for practicing contraception: financial difficulty; emotional or psychological hardship of having many children; and even the preservation of beauty and health.

Faraz Rabbani ( sums up: “Contemporary Fuqaha state that contraception is permitted, if the husband and wife agree, as there is nothing in the Quran or Sunnah to prohibit it; rather, the Hadiths and practice of the companions of the Prophet (sa) indicate permissibility. This is said by jurists across the schools of Islamic law. Even jurists, who stated that it is disliked, mentioned that if there is a sound reason or benefit to engage in contraception, then it is not disliked. In our times, this would include reasons, such as having a manageable family size, when one does not have the support of extended families in raising the children; the desire to give the children the attention, education, and support they need in difficult times; genuine (physical or emotional) health reasons, and so on.”

The permissibility of contraception does not in any way contradict the Quran’s and Sunnah’s encouragement for procreation. The Messenger of Allah (sa) said: “Marry and multiply.” (Abu Dawood and Nasai)

Keeping the ethos of Islam in mind, it is clear what contraception is not meant for. Easing ‘safe-sex’ outside of marriage. Population control. Blurring the lines between preventing pregnancy and abortion.

Islam believes that every individual’s right to life is a basic human right. Hence, the life of a fetus is sacred. Abortion is allowed only under extreme circumstances, such as when the mother’s life is endangered.

Are the birth control methods available to us today preventing pregnancy or taking a human life? We must analyze them. First, how is a human being made? Only then can we fully comprehend why certain methods of birth control are prohibited in Islam.

Allah (swt) says in the Quran: “Thereafter We made him (offspring of Adam) as a Nutfah (and lodged it) in a safe lodging (womb). Then We made the Nutfah into a clot, then We made the clot into a little lump of flesh, then We made out of that little lump of flesh bones, then We clothed the bones with flesh, and then We brought it forth as another creation. So Blessed is Allah (swt), the Best of Creators.” (Al Muminun 23:13-14) (See also Al Hajj 22:5)

1400 years after Allah (swt) revealed to us His process of creation, science sheds light on it.

A woman’s ovary releases an egg every month, a process called ovulation. During this time, if a father’s sperm (released from his testes during intercourse) finds this egg in the fallopian tube of the mother, they fuse. This is called fertilization – the formation of a Nutfah.

After fertilization, the Nutfah burrows into the lining of the uterus: its safe lodging. This is implantation. Allah’s (swt) wonder is such that after ovulation hormones prepare the lining of the uterus to receive and nourish the egg, if fertilized and implanted.

Securely implanted, the outer cells of the Nutfah start connecting with the mother’s blood vessels to form the placenta. Then with Allah’s (swt) will, the process of creation continues till the baby is ready to be born after nine months.

When exactly does this mother’s egg and father’s sperm become another human being?

Dr Diane N. Irving, a Canadian human embryologist, gives scientific evidence for when life begins. “Before fertilization, the egg and sperm each have only 23 chromosomes. They possess ‘human life,’ since they are parts of a living human being; but they are not each whole living human beings themselves. They do not have 46 chromosomes -the number necessary and characteristic for a single individual member of the human species. The fusion of the sperm (with 23 chromosomes) and the egg (with 23 chromosomes) at fertilization results in a live human being, a single-cell human zygote with 46 chromosomes.”

She rejects the claims that “the product of fertilization is simply a ‘blob,’ a ‘bunch of cells’, a ‘piece of the mother’s tissues, etc.’

The commonly used term, ‘fertilized egg,’ is especially misleading, since there no longer is an egg, once fertilization has begun. What is being called a ‘fertilized egg’ is not an egg but a human being.

Any method of birth control that destroys the Nutfah at any stage of its development is prohibited in Islam, because it is akin to taking a human life.

Insha’Allah, in the next issue we shall analyze contraception options available today and their permissibility for Muslims.

Noting Down Lectures

Hafsa Ahsan discusses the art of taking notes during lectures

Lectures given by different teachers through the course of the semester hold a lot of importance. The vitality of these lectures lies in the fact that out of a broad based topic, it is only the lecture given in the class that determines the specific aspects you have to pay special attention to.

Now let’s be a little realistic here. Most of us would like to believe that our memories are extremely good, and that the main points in a lecture will be permanently etched in our brain the whole year around. Unfortunately, while this may be true for a very few people, it isn’t for the majority. As the semester proceeds and you cover a diverse range of topics, it is more than likely that you will forget what you learnt at the beginning of the semester.

This is where noting down lectures comes in handy. By noting down I don’t really mean that you act as a typewriter for your teacher, but that you jot down important points as reminders, so that at the end of the semester you know how to approach that specific topic when studying for exams.

When we talk of different skills related to studying, there are certain techniques for noting down lectures. The following pointers will definitely help you out in this area:

Keep a separate register for every subject

Now I know those of you, who have around five to eight classes per day, can’t manage such a load, especially if you have to take your textbooks along as well. The key is to either keep a thin register or college notebook of around 60 pages or, if that’s not possible, divide one register and use it for two subjects.

The reason behind this pointer is that it becomes very easy and convenient at the end of the day, if you have all your subject lectures in one place, instead of scattered around in two or more registers. Plus, it happens sometimes that teachers leave a topic unfinished at the end of the class hour. Then, when the topic is continued in the next class and you are using one register for all your subjects, things fall in place; but if you are using the same register for many, then it will only add to the confusion.

Write in short hand

I know I shouldn’t really write this, since this is a generally known fact. However, I have seen many people write full sentences, when they are taking down lectures, and because of this they miss out on a lot. When you’re writing down the lecture, use the same language that you do when sending an SMS or chatting.

Write phrases, not sentences

This follows from the above point. You shouldn’t be writing sentences, when you’re taking down lectures. For instance, the teacher says: “There are three states of matter. Number one is solids, number two is liquids, and number three is gases.” If you’re an astute note taker, then what you write should resemble this: 3 states of matter: solid, liquid, gas. The trick is to listen to the whole sentence of the teacher and then note it down in a phrase.

Make appropriate headings and subheadings

One of the most amusing things I have come across is that when the lecture is written in an essay-type or linear form; the notes made later out of those lectures are decorated with headings. Headings and subheadings are supposed to be made distinctly, when you are noting down the lecture and not later. Whenever the teacher mentions what she will be teaching that day, note it as a heading. Number your headings and subheadings clearly. Remember, you can always sort them out, rearrange, and renumber them later.

Leave spaces

It wouldn’t do to economize on the space in your register. It sometimes happens that you have no time to fair out your lectures. The best approach is to note down your lectures in a way that even if you don’t make separate notes, you can easily revise a topic from your lecture. That isn’t to say that you rely only on your lecture, but that you use it as a revision tool. And for that you must leave ample of space between the different headings, subheadings and points. Also leave spaces, if you are unsure of a point or you have missed a point.

Rely on your own lecture notes

Now you may think that noting lectures is one of the most boring activities in class, and you’d rather spend the time chatting with your friends and take the register of some other student later on for photocopying the stuff. But I will strongly advise you against such a shortcut. Firstly, something that you have written yourself will be easy for you to comprehend. Secondly, if the student who lends you the register has written in shorthand (and each student has his / her shorthand), it will take you ages to decipher what is written. And thirdly, what if she / he has written something you understand perfectly and skipped something you don’t (may be because she/he understood that part and didn’t feel the need to write it down?). So, instead of taking shortcuts, note down your own lectures and rely on them only.

I know most of the above was almost like stating the obvious. But it wouldn’t hurt to revise all this and keep some of these in mind, when you attend your next class. Happy note taking!