Tunde Akanbi, Ilorin
Islamic scholars from Saudi Arabia and their Nigerian counterparts on Tuesday gathered in Ilorin, the Kwara state capital to brainstorm on how to bring about peaceful propagation of Islam at a two- day conference.
The conference is themed, “Correcting the wrongs in the society: Its principles and skills.”were of the opinions that some Muslims had wrong perception about the concept of jihad in propagating Islam.
It is organized by Darul Ikhtab Wa Sunnah, Ilorin in collaboration with the Nayat Centre, Riyadh, Saudi Arabia, and its the fifth in the series as similar events had been held in Abuja, Lagos, and Ogun states.
The lead speaker at the conference, Shaykh Solih Ibn Ali Abu al-Khayl, of the Saudi Arabia Islamic Centre, advised those interested in propagating Islam to do it peacefully and in accordance with the dictates of the holy Qur’an and traditions of the holy Prophet Mohammed.
While reminding Islamic clerics saddled with the responsibility of propagating Islam(Dawah) that Islam abhors violence in whatever form and guise, said that acting in accordance with the dictates of the holy Qur’an will ensure peace among Muslim faithfuls and the adherents of other faiths.
In his own submission, the Proprietor of Darul Ikhtab Wa Sunnah, Dr. AbdulKadir Salman Solagberu, said that the conference was organized to acquaint Islamic scholars with the best ways of propagating Islam towards ensuring peaceful coexistence among people of various faiths.
He said there is a greater need for social interaction among human beings of various religious beliefs and this can only be achieved in an atmosphere of peace.
Solagberu also explained that Islam forbids acts of terrorism in all its ramifications, urging those who have embraced terrorism as a means of propagating Islam to desist from the ungodly acts.
Speaking on the sidelines of the event themed “Correcting the Wrongs in the Society: Its Principles and Skills”, which drew participants from Saudi Arabia, the founder, proposed Darul Kitab University, Dr Abdulkadir Salman Solagberu, warned against tagging Islam with terrorism.
Solagberu, who is also the Proprietor of Darul Kitab Wa Sunnah, said the workshop was conceived to acquaint the participants on way forward for propagation of Islam in a peaceful manner.
The don stated that the forum would also afford the scholars opportunity to be abreast of the need to be in peaceful coexistence with people of different faiths in the society.
Solagberu explained further that propagation in Islam was anathema to terrorism and any conduct that could oppose government policies.
“We gathered on a way forward for propagation of Islam in a peaceful way. We want to create peaceful coexistence among Nigerians; between Muslims and Christians and even the pagans as a way of creating good atmosphere for social life.
“Islam has nothing to do with terrorism; nothing to do with going against government policies and creating chaos here and there. Ours is just to propagate Islam. We have done same thing in Lagos, Abeokuta, Kano, Kaduna and Abuja. It is basically way of propagating Islam in a peaceful manner,” Solagberu added.
Also speaking, a lecturer in the Department of Religions, University of Ilorin, Dr AbdulHameed Badmas Yusuf, noted that Islam as a religion had been grossly misunderstood, maintaining that it opposed any terrorism related concept.
He described jihad, which was erroneously interpreted as an act of terrorism, as a of way engaging in self discipline in accordance with the preaching of Holy Prophet Muhammad.
“What we are doing is an act of correcting the wrongs in the society. The scholars from Saudi Arabia together with selected scholars from Ilorin, to think about ways by which Da’awah activities can be conducted, in a such a way that people in the society could be adequately corrected and guided.
“And this workshop is not about condemning people, which is very rampant in our society. Some Da’awah workers, whenever they observe any wrong doing in the society, will start calling people all sorts of names. So, this workshop is not about that.
“It is about finding peaceful ways and means by which we can be correcting people in the society. It is not about terrorism as well, and it is not about interference in the governance in the state or in the federal levels.
“It is quite unfortunate that Islam, as a religion, has been grossly misunderstood, not only by muslims but by non-muslims as well, especially the so called Da’awah workers. They do not have adequate information about Islam, that is why they go on misleading people in the society.
“So, one of the misunderstood concept in Islam is Jihad. Jihad is not limited to physical engagement. The scope of jihad is wider than what many people wrongly believed it to be. Jihad, for in stance, is about disciplining oneself,” Yusuf said.
A resource person at the conference, Dr. AbdulHamid Badmas of the University of Ilorin, urged Islamic scholars to engage in constructive criticisms while trying to correct the ills of the society or personalities, rather being combative or name calling.
The speakers cited many historical events such as the relocation(Hijrah) of the Prophet of Islam from his birth place of Makkah to Madinah, with the sole purpose of giving peace a chance between the Muslim faithful and the then unbelievers of Makkah.