Poverty not part of Islamic culture —Oladosu

•As LMDF presents grants, scholarships to women, students

MUSLIMS should strive to avoid poverty and frequent begging because such a state and habit are not in consonance with their faith.

A lecturer at the Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies, University of Ibadan, Dr Habeebah Oladosu, stated this on Wednesday in Ibadan, Oyo State, at the 2019 presentation of scholarships to students and grants to women in small scale businesses by the Lateefaah Moyosore Durosinmi Foundation (LMDF).

At the event, scholarships and grants were presented to 33 students and 12 women who were drawn from across the six states of the South West – Oyo, Lagos, Ogun, Osun, Ondo and Ekiti. Assistance was rendered to three additional women in terms of equipment.

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Dr Oladosu, speaking on the topic “Women Empowerment: A Panacea for Poverty,” called for greater support for women to be able to develop and have confidence to support themselves, their families and contribute to the development of the society at large.

According to her, where women are neglected, there can never be development.

Muslim women, she said, particularly required to be empowered educationally and financially to be able to function optimally within the family system and carry out such religious duties as payment of zakat and performance of hajj.

“If you empower women, you are indirectly building the nation, because the prophet of Islam said if you educate a woman, you have educated an entire nation but if you educate a man, you have only succeeded in educating a single soul. That is why the empowerment of women is very important. In fact, it is a sine qua non for the development of our nation.

“We are closer to the children; we give them everything they need. But if you are not empowered, if you don’t have, what can you give? It is what you have that you can give. So, if women are empowered educationally and economically, they will be able to help their husbands and children.

“Women, especially Muslim, need empowerment to be able to carry the religious duties. Muslims should actually strive to avoid poverty, because such a state is not in consonance with our faith.

“In Islam, habitual begging is not part of our culture but we must also know that giving is an important virtue. Muslims must constantly give. Apart from the payment of zakat, which is one of the pillars of Islam, sadaqat, giving voluntarily, is also a virtue that we must imbibe.

The don described the LMDF’s project as admirable and worthy of praise and further support from government and wealthy individuals in the society,” she said.

In the same vein, wife of the deputy governor of Oyo State, Dr Amdalat Olaniyan, described “proper” empowerment of women as capable of improving the prospects of a society.

“We all know the importance of women in the family and in the society generally. By nature, women are kind-hearted; we are compassionate and we are good managers of people and resources, so if women are properly empowered, definitely, families and the whole society would be the better for it.

“I am very delighted about today’s event. We all know the government cannot do it alone, so if we have foundations like this and kind-hearted, public-spirited individuals like Dr Durosinmi, definitely, things would be better for generality of the people,” she said.

In a remark, Dr Lateefah Durosinmi, in whose honour the foundation was established, said the initiative was designed to help struggling women and indigent students.

Dr Durosinmi, a former Amirah (president) of the Federation of Muslim Women’s Associations in Nigeria (FOMWAN), lamented that many women with plans to start off something in order to be able to feed themselves and their families continue to struggle on a daily basis due to lack of economic empowerment but she expressed happiness that the foundation was able to help a few of them.

“I feel very happy today. I am very eager to help people. So, I feel fulfilled that I have something to assist people with. We all should do whatever we can to assist our fellow human beings, indigent, underprivileged people around us. And then we must assist our youths to realise their talents,” she said.