THE World President of the Tijaniyya Sufi Order, Sheikh Ahmad Tijani Ibrahim Niass, has appealed to adherents of the different religions across the world to shun divisive tendencies and embrace peace.
Sheikh Ibrahim Niass made the appeal while speaking to journalists during a two-day visit to Ilorin, Kwara State.
He had been received by a crowd of members of the Tijaniyya Movement at the Ilorin International Airport, from where he moved to Bode-Saadu, Moro Local Government Area, to attend a programme hosted by Sheikh Bello Saadu.
According to the cleric, Islam is a religion that preaches and promotes peace and anyone acting to the contrary has “clearly” deviated from the noble path. “A most essential part of faith in Islam is the message of peace and fraternity among all mankind”, he said.
Sheikh Ibrahim Niass called on all people around the world to understand the religion they profess, saying he was sure that no religion preaches violence or war.
He emphasised the need for people to seek knowledge about religion as this would go a long way in preventing threat to peace posed by the teaching of wrong doctrines.
Insurgences, killing in the name of God, according to him, are antithetical to the dictates and the true spirit of the religion of Islam.
“The best way to prevent wars and cruelty to fellow humans and to also ensure we have peace in the world is by making legitimate knowledge and genuine education available.
“Weapon cannot and will not be the cure for weapon. Killing also is not the solution to killing. Ignorance acts as vehicle for war and only knowledge stands as the potent cure for ignorance. It is not open to debate that the virtues of harmonious coexistence, mutual respect for each other’s faith in a multi-religious and diverse society like ours must be sustained”, he stated.
The religious leader, who expressed happiness that the people of Kwara State have lived up to expectation as a ‘State of Harmony’, urged the people to, irrespective of religious or tribal backgrounds, to see to it that the existing peace is sustained.
He commended leaders of communities for ensuring that peace reigns in the state while also urging people in parts of the country where there have been records of incessant violence purge themselves of divisive traits and give peace a chance, as prescribed by the religion of Islam.
“Violence can never be the means to permanent peace and tranquility anywhere. It rather has a way of doing outrage to the souls of those who opt for it. We must work for peace. We must ensure we don’t stand as agents of war, crisis or divisions as all our deeds would be accounted for on the Day of Judgement”, he submitted.
The cleric commended the activities of a group founded 50 years ago, the Jam’iyyatu Ansarideen Attijaniyya, and urged the members to keep their support for the order.
The Secretary General of the group, Mallam Sayyid Al-Qasim Yahaya, described the visit of the world president of the group as historic and auspicious.
“His coming has no doubt heralded blessings at a time when people in the country are facing the biting effects of recession. What is required of us is to put the affairs of the country in the Hands of God and the Sheikh is a man of God whose presence illuminates light anywhere he goes.
“More importantly, however, we should take to his advice and ensure peace reigns in the country as there is clearly no alternative to peace”, he said.