Last week I share Imam Tajudeen’s lecture at the Unity of Imam’s Conference; and today, the Communique:
COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF A TWO-DAY COMMITTEE OF FCT IMAMS INITIATIVE (CFII) AT 17 DAWRAH WITH THE THEME: UNITY OF IMAMS AS FORTE TO THE UMMAH AND THE SECURED NATION, HELD ON THE 8TH AND 9TH DHUL DA’ADAH, 1442AH (19TH & 20TH JUNE, 2021) AT THE CONFERENCE HALL, MUSLIM COMMUNITY CENTRE, WUSE ZONE 3, ABUJA
The two-day Dawrah was organized by the CFII to deliberate on the ways to foster unity among the Imams as leaders of the Ummah towards achieving unity of the generality of the Ummah. The Dawrah was attended by representatives from all the nineteen northern States and FCT, Abuja. The Dawrah envisaged that, with a unified Ummah guided by vibrant spiritual leadership, the challenges facing the nation, especially the issues of insecurity, will be addressed.
From the papers presented and extensive deliberations during the Dawrah, participants suggested the following vital steps towards uniting the Ummah and securing the nation for sustained development:
As leaders and role models for the people, Imams have a great role to play in securing the nation. They should therefore preach peace and warn against all acts that are inimical to peaceful coexistence.
To be successful in the discharge of this great duty, Imams must possess the good qualities of fear of Allah, patience, braveness, self-discipline, dedication, justice and fairness to all, honesty, self-reliance, generosity, sincerity, knowledge upgrade, being current and prayerful.
The unity of the ummah relies heavily on unity among the Imams. Accordingly, the participants emphasized the need to have Imams fora similar to CFII in all the States of the Federation. This is with a view to providing avenues for learning, consultation and sharing of ideas among the Imams on issues relating to their duties and wellbeing as well as issues of State and national interest.
The fora should be financially independent through establishment of business outfits that will provide the needed financial capacity to sponsor its activities as against reliance on Government, other individuals or organisations.
The Fora should relate cordially with the authorities and relevant stakeholders in various States to facilitate collaboration on issues affecting the Ummah and the nation at large.
To ensure effective communication and collaboration between the respective State fora, a committee should be constituted to consider the possibility of having a National Council of Imams and recommend modalities for creating same.
Participants appreciate the significance of the Minbar (Pulpit) as a veritable tool for sensitizing and mobilizing the Ummah, an avenue for teaching Muslims about various aspects of their religion and a space for sending important messages to all categories of the Muslim Ummah. The need for judicious use of the Minbar for the purpose for which it is meant right from the time of the Messenger (PBUH) was therefore reiterated. The Minbar should not be used as a place for creating confusion or division amongst the Muslims, glorifying evil, promoting partisanship, praise singing of leaders, raining abuses, trading blames or avenues for disseminating fake/unverified news and inciting people against peaceful coexistence.
The Dawrah viewed governance from the Islamic perspective as a task centred on serving Allah through service to humanity in order to seek the pleasure of Allah and attain success in the Hereafter. Arising from this, it is incumbent upon those in charge of stirring the affairs of government to amongst others:
Establish Allah’s Law for the citizens, enforce judgement among contenders and resolve cases among disputants;
Provide both physical and dynamic security in the territory and fortification of borders against external aggression;
Ensure justice and fairness to the citizens in all aspects of governance;
Appoint honest and competent people to positions and personally supervise appointees and examine public affairs.
The relationship between the Imams as occupiers of the pulpit and the government towards solving national maladies should be a pragmatic and symbiotic one.
10.The government should on its part, positively engage the Imams for better appreciation of its policies and to update them on what it is doing to solve national problems; consult them and seek their scholarly advice on vital national issues like security and welfare of the citizens; be accessible to them for close door discussions at regular intervals or provide fruitful alternatives to that; and
respect, honour and love them for speaking the truth or conveying the feelings of the masses.
11.The Imams should on the other hand:
preserve their honour and repute by not stepping on the doors of government and its officials except for the purpose of enjoining good and forbidding evil or on invitation;
give sincere verbal or written advise in privacy except where those in authority are inaccessible;
not fear them when saying the truth or relegate themselves before them; not insult, curse or humiliate the leaders on the pulpit or incite worshippers against them; and
continuously pray for them and invoke Allah to guide and support them in the discharge of their enormous responsibilities.
- The Dawrah also urges Imams to dedicate part of the Khutbah for the next Jumu’ah to call on their congregations to engage in sincere prayer for the nation against insecurity and other challenges.