A group, Alkawthar Foundation, has expressed concern over what it called the ongoing fuss among some Islamic scholars in the South-West, noting that the situation is propelled by ego and not the interest of Islam.
The naibul amir of the foundation, Alhaji Muhammad-Awwal Abdulwahab, bemoaned the rancour which he said had caused disunity among the ummah.
“This unfortunate development has caused serious damage to the clerics’ reputations and misled their followers. In fact, it has polarised and disunited the Muslim ummah of the South-West.
He noted that there had been instances of name-calling and outright condemnation of one another. Some even resort to the cursing and condemnation of others’ progenitors.
According to Alhaji Abdulwahab, the history of Islam depicts disagreements among Islamic scholars of the past on issues but these did not degenerate into name-calling or condemnation.
“Muslims were left to decide which views or schools of thought to follow without any animosity. They coexisted in peace and harmony. This was responsible for the giant strides achieved in the spread of Islam and the expansion of the Islam state,” he said, noting that many challenges are impeding the growth of South-West Muslims.
“Today, there are so many challenges confronting Muslim ummah in the South West. We are still dominated by mushrik (idol worshippers) who control the apparatuses of the states in the region.
“We are still backwards educationally. There is no single Muslim hospital of repute in the whole region. No single standard Muslim library. No truly Islamic university, polytechnic or college of education.
“The professionals among us are too few. No single Muslim industry. Muslims populate the below-poverty-line population and yet our scholars engage in a destructive war of words,” Abdulwahab lamented.
He urged clerics to emulate the sayings and deeds of Prophet Muhammad.
“Enough of this bickering; it is not good for Islam and the Muslim ummah. It is rather a disservice. Our Islamic scholars should learn to respect and refer to one another. None of them is an embodiment of all knowledge. They should take lessons from university professors who always respect and refer to one another even when they disagree. This is the only way they can redeem their battered image and restore dignity to Islamic scholarship.
“As emphasised by Mustafa Muhammad (saw), the body of Islam is one. Whenever any part suffers, the other parts feel the pains. We cannot afford to be disunited in this era of so much conspiracy by the enemies of Islam who want to obliterate it from the surface of the earth,” he added.
“Allah (swt) says: ‘And hold fast, all together, to the rope of Allah and be not divided among yourselves, and remember with gratitude the favour of Allah on you for you were enemies and He joined your hearts in love, so that by His grace, you become brethren; and you were on the brink of the pit of fire, and He saved you from it. Thus has Allah make His signs clear to you that you may be guided. (Quran 3:103).
“This verse of the Holy Qur’an is instructive to the contemporary Muslim ummah in the south-west of Nigeria, going by the recent rumpus among Islamic scholars in the region,” he added.
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