As Nigeria prepares for 2019 general elections, an Islamic scholar, Saheed Salman, has charged Muslim faithful to get involved the political process and contribute to nation building.
Salman gave the call at a pre-Ramadan public lecture, jointly organised by The Muslim Congress (TMC), Lagos Mainland Local Government and the Nigeria Railway Muslim Community, held at the Railway Compound, Ebute Meta.
He dispelled the notion that religion and politics are separate entities that do not go together, which he said, led to labelling Nigeria as a secular state.
Salman, who is a Senior Assistant Registrar at the Yaba College of Technology, Yaba said that religion and politics go together, contrary to the idea of secularism being promoted by some Nigerians.
He traced the genesis of the idea of labelling Nigeria as a secular state to the colonial era.
“The colonial masters divided the world among themselves.
“These colonial masters, whenever they want to leave a colonised country, always live behind the evil ideology of separating spirituality from governance.
“Such ideology as secularism, which means that there is no relationship between religion and governance of the nation, is alien in the history of Islamic society.
“When they were leaving Nigeria, they left us with the myopic belief that whenever you worship God, it should be confined to the religious place.
“That religion is personal between an individual and God, but when it comes to governance, don’t bring religion into it because religion is the opium of the masses, according to Khal Max.
“So you must take away religion away from governance. This is the genesis of secularism,’’ Salman said.
According to him, Islam has placed a lot of responsibility on whoever professes the religion.
Quoting relevant portions from the Holy Qur’an and traditions of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), the scholar said Islam revolves around all aspect of human endeavours.
“Faithfulness in God must manifest in all our dealings.
“All Muslims, who believe in Allah must always show perfection in whatever they do.
“Any Muslim that has strong faith, it will always push him to be doing well and crave to always want to reform the society.
“Where there is a strong faith, there will be less corruption and there will be near perfect society.
“Whoever believes in Allah, Allah will give him power and all things that trouble people will not trouble such a person.
“Our responsibility as Muslims, therefore, is to bring development to our society, to bring development to our nation with our faith.
“Do not say Allah has nothing to do with your worldly affairs.
“It is when we take away God from our affairs that we are witnessing all the challenges facing our country.
“ We must return back to Allah, be faithful in all our dealings and get involves in politics to impact the society positively with our faithfulness.
Earlier in the day, the TMC medical team had organised a medical caravan, through which more than 500 residents of the Railway community were treated and given free drugs for various ailments.
By Our Correspondent