The Sultan of Sokoto and the President, Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III, yesterday enjoined Muslims in the country to work very hard towards making things better.
The royal father, who stated this while inauguration a central mosque built in the premises of The Wings Schools, Iwo, Osun State, said the attitude of a few was being used by people to judge the religion, thereby turning it into the object of bashing.
He said the notion of holding religion responsible for the misdemeanor of an individual is making Islam a “bashing boy” and enjoined Muslims to work with a common goal to endear the religion to more people.
Abubakar said: “Our religion is becoming the bashing boy because people hold it responsible for the misdeeds of a few individuals. Don’t pretend, you can’t afford to be lazy, work for this religion and be peaceful. People should know that an individual’s attitude cannot be used to determine what a religion is.
“We must henceforth separate the behavior of a few individuals from what our religion stands for, because if an individual is bad, religion should not be held responsible. An individual is an individual while religion will always be separate.”
In his remarks, Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Rasheed Adewale Akanbi, demanded from adherents of Islam a Jihad of love, urging them to shed all acts that could discourage people from embracing the religion.
He said the visit of the Sultan was significant and would further cement North/South relationship, which will in turn help in promoting peaceful coexistence of people from different parts of the country.
Oba Akanbi who argued that centering of Islamic preaching on Sharia of punishment and killing has caused a lot of set back, segregation and dis-harmony among Muslim faithful in the country, affirmed that it is only Sharia of love that could promote peace in the circle.
He opined that many qualities, like tolerance, endurance, peace, harmony, mutual understanding, sacrifice among others are embedded in love and expressed optimism that if love reigns supreme in the Islamic circle, remarkable progress would be more recorded and appealed to them to always embrace love in their various dealings.
The traditional ruler therefore remarked that any given society where love is missing, there would be retrogression and backwardness, and charged them to right all wrongs concerning this.
In his contribution, the National Commissioner, South-west of the Independent National Electoral Commission (INEC), Profeasor Lai Olurode, advocated better understanding and promotion of knowledge and more dialogue between religions in the country.
Professor Olurode stressed that: “We need to understand and appreciate the values of others in order to concede to them a measure of respect as humans.”
He also urged everybody to show practical commitment to the promotion of cultural literacy and particularly it’s religious component as a basis for knowing values which others live for and which guide their social landscape.