5.0) Next important matters to focus on: –
(i) Action plan for the unity of Muslims: – Many here will recall that in 2009, a conference was held at the National Mosque with the theme “Muslims and Democracy”, which brought all major Muslim groups, organizations and leaders under the chairmanship of the Sultan. At the end of the conference, it was resolved that Muslims needed to have their own equivalent of CAN, (in compliance with Allah’s command in suratul Anfaal—Q8; V73 “wallaziyna kafaru, ba’aduhum awliyaa’ ba’adh, illaa taf’aluh takun fitnatun fil ardi wa fasaadun kabeer”) through an independent Umbrella organization to speak and represent the whole Ummah, on all matters. A committee was set up as a first step to prepare the groundwork for its actualisation. A few months later, the committee invited representatives of major Islamic organizations to Ibadan to present its recommendation. At the end of that meeting, it was resolved that a new legal entity should be incorporated, to which all interested Islamic organisations would subscribe. Since then, the idea has remained in the cooler, if not dead and buried! This noble and important idea is even more urgent and necessary today and should be revived towards its actualisation.
(ii) Continuation to the conclusion of a comprehensive Muslim Agenda and the future of Islam in Nigeria: – This was the brainchild of the Council. In collaboration with other groups, work has already commenced with a committee working on the harmonisation of ideas/preparation of a draft for further discussions. This effort will require a secretariat and resources for its realisation, as it is a continuous process given the ever-changing dynamics in society.
(iii) Pursue the idea of a fresh approach in the recruitment or emergence of leaders by at least minimizing, if not eliminating, the toxic influence of money and godfatherism in politics. This idea is predicated on the plan to expand the concept of Shurah in the selection of a leader, initiated by Umar b Khattab and based on the Qur’anic injunction— “wa amruhum shurah bainahum”. We should remember that leadership is the most critical consideration in the affairs of mankind. The society’s arrangement on the system of the emergence of leaders will guarantee their character, credibility and support of the citizenry.
(iv) Learn from and work to correct recent avoidable political mistakes in Nasarawa, Lagos, Osun, Oyo and Kaduna states, where Muslims suffered setbacks as a result of complacency.
6.0) Messages/Important matters for dissemination during the month of Ramadan: –
The council wishes to appeal to all of you, as the Ulama, inheritors of the Prophets, to take advantage of the blessed month of Ramadan to: –
(i) Appeal to all Muslims to be peaceful and shun any act of violence in the aftermath of the Presidential elections and the second leg of elections for the offices of State Governors and Members of State Houses of Assembly. Nobody should kill, harm or be harmed or be killed to settle political scores because of allegiance to a political party or in support of the political ambition of any person. Leaders and parents should be urged to restrain their supporters, their children and the youths from all acts capable of disrupting public peace and order.
(ii) Admonish Muslims on the fear of Allah (SWT) and walk the talk of the message and spirit of Ramadan with Taqwah, charity and Ibaadah. We should make an extra effort to assist the poor, needy, orphans and IDPs in this challenging period of economic deprivation.
(iii) Engage tenaciously in prayers to Allah for peace, security, the prosperity of our country, the success of our new leaders and Allah’s protection.
(iv) Urge Muslims to get more involved in the electoral process as we prayerfully hope and explore alternative avenues to minimize the evil aspects of our democratic process.
(v) Mobilize and sensitize Muslims of all ages about the importance of the forthcoming National Census exercise, slated to begin on 6th May 2023. The active involvement of Muslims in the census will in Shaa Allah, put to rest all the lies and propaganda on the population of Muslims vis-a-vis Christians in Nigeria. It is important also to note that the census has a direct correlation with the current and future elections.
7.0) As we disperse to return home in preparation for the blessed month of Ramadan, let us remember to: –
(i) Take advantage of the Tafsir gatherings to enlighten our brethren on the above important issues, imbibe the fear of Allah, and be guided by the spirit behind the obligatory fasting in Taqwah, prayers, and be our brothers’ keeper through charity.
(ii) Elevate the Maslaha of Islam and the Ummah in all our actions as leaders of the Ummah.
(iii) Pray plentifully for Allah’s mercy, gratitude for His victory, unity of the Ummah, peace, security, protection, prosperity and guidance of our leaders to the path that pleases the Almighty.
(iv) Appeal to all Muslims to take the electoral success of a Muslim/Muslim ticket as a victory for Islam, not a party, region or individual.
Finally, to our incoming leaders, as we all pray for their success and Allah’s guidance, we should keep reminding them to take the issues of security of lives and property more seriously and create opportunities to alleviate the present excruciating hardship of ordinary Nigerians.
Subhanakal laahumma wa bihamdika, ash’hadu an laa ilaaha illa anta, astaghfiruka wa atubu ilaika; Wassalamu Alaikum wa rahmatul lah wa barakatuh.