Notable Imams and Alfaas in Lagos State gathered to brainstorm and chat a new course towards effective Islamic propagation.
Among several puzzling questions they will be finding solution at the One-day Seminar For Imams include but not limited to: “Who is an imam?” “What does it take to be an imam?” “What are the challenges hindering imams from performing their religious duties?” and “Why are the imams not accorded respects like their counterparts in other religions?”
These among other mind-blowing issues were the thrusts of the first sensational programme organised for the Imams and Alfas (scholars) in Lagos state.
The seminar, an initiative of Conference of Islamic Organisations (CIO) was attended by no fewer than 600 central and local imams across Lagos metropolis.
CIO, a conglomerate of Muslim organisations and scholars has been concerned with the promotion of unity, understanding and purpose among Nigerian Muslims since inception.
In his keynote address, the Chairman of the Muslim group, Sheikh Abdur-Rahman Ahmad, who also doubles as the Chief Missioner of Ansar-Ud-Deen Society of Nigeria, said the conference was timely going by the emerging challenging militating against Islamic propagation in Nigeria with our imams as a special focus.
According to him, Imams are the guide, teachers, defenders of the rights of the Muslims and the eyes of the Muslims when things look tough. They are the rallying point and a conscience of a Godly society.
Sheikh Ahmad, who was listed among the 500 most influential Muslims in the world for the year 2017 enjoined the participants to reposition themselves for the purpose of better service delivery to their followers as well as contributing meaningfully to the multifarious challenges bedeviling the country.
While speaking on the Theme: “Muslim Scholars in 21st Century’ Obligations, Challenges and Way out” the guest lecturer, Dr. Tajudeen Yusuf called on Imams to reposition themselves to take their rightful place in the 21st century and respond to issues, researches and other modern challenges.
The varsity lecturer and Islamic banking expert said: “As Imams, who are in touch with Muslims and members of the public every day, you need to nurture your followers to be good Muslims, reposition yourselves and possess the needed capacity to contribute meaningfully to the development of the country.”
He also advised on the need for specialisation in different areas of Islamic knowledge for a robust response to different challenges, just as he charged the Muslim scholars to begin the regulation of their affairs with a view to stopping unethical behaviours.
He also enjoined participants on effective Islamic Finance.
He said; “The era Muslim begging should be over, we should gather and put resources together for the benefit of the umah. The seminar witnessed over 600 Imams and Alfas from over 200 Islamic Organisations in the South West.
Other scholars who spoke at the event including Sheikh Imran Eleha, Sheikh Abdul-Majeed Ayinla and Sheikh Dhikrullah Shafii recounted the roles Imams played in the last three decades.
They urged the contemporary scholars to do better by making their presence felt in all areas of human life as well as making significant contributions to the development of the country through the mimbar (pulpits) and other spiritual activities.
Imams and Alfas must unite if they must succeed in their Islamic propagation.
– By Rasheed Abubakar