COMMUNIQUE ISSUED AT THE END OF A TWO-DAY EXTRAORDINARY DAWRAH (CONFERENCE) ORGANISED BY THE COMMITTEE OF FCT IMAMS INITIATIVE (CFII) @ 18 WITH THE THEME: “UNITY OF IMAMS FOR NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT,” HELD ON THE 3RD AND 4TH RABI’UL AKHIR, 1444AH (29TH & 30TH OCTOBER, 2021) AT THE CONFERENCE HALL, MUSLIM COMMUNITY CENTRE, WUSE ZONE 3, ABUJA
The CFII is an umbrella body for all the Imams in the FCT Abuja, established 18 years ago with the aim of uniting the Muslim Ummah through the Imams as spiritual leaders.
Having made tremendous achievements through weekly lessons, monthly general meetings and quarterly seminar in the FCT, the body deems it necessary to extend the good initiative to other states of the Federation.
In view of this, the CFII organised an extraordinary conference last year for Imams from the Nineteen (19) Northern States of Nigeria and the FCT, to deliberate on the ways to foster unity among the Imams as leaders of the Ummah, with a view to achieving unity of the generality of the Ummah for a secured nation.
This year’s conference targeted Imams from the seventeen States (17) of Southern Nigeria and the FCT Abuja. The choice of the theme “Unity of Imams for National Development” was predicated on the belief that with purposeful and unified spiritual leadership through the Imams, the Muslim Ummah will become united, focused and committed to the activities that will guarantee sustainable national development.
From the presentations and exhaustive deliberations at the various sessions of the Dawrah, participants suggested the following pragmatic steps towards uniting the Ummah through the Imams with a view to attaining a sustained national development:
Imams are leaders and role models to other members of the community, who, as a result, have very important part to play towards national development. As such, they should enjoin virtuous acts and warn against corruption and other acts that are inimical to national growth and development.
Imams should possess good qualities such as: fear of Allah, patience, braveness, self-discipline, dedication, justice and fairness to all, honesty, self-reliance, generosity, sincerity, knowledge upgrade, being current and prayerful.
The Dawrah observes that the unity of the Ummah is dependent to a large extent upon the unity of the Imams.
Imams should actively engage in one business or another with a view to attaining an appreciable level of economic independence that enables them convey the message of truth to the Ummah without fear or favour.
Imams should encourage their followers to venture into lawful activities in all sectors of the economy to contribute their quota to national development.
Imams should know that by issuing Islamic verdicts, they represent Allah and His Messenger (S.A.W). They should therefore beware of so doing without facts from the Qur’an and authentic Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (S.A.W), lest they mislead and destroy the Ummah.
Accordingly, the participants emphasised on the need to have Imams’ fora similar to the CFII in all the States of the Federation. This is with a view to providing avenues for learning, consultations and sharing of ideas among the Imams on issues relating to their duties and wellbeing as well as issues of state and national interests.
The proposed fora should be financially independent through establishment of business outfits that will provide the needed financial capacity to sponsor its activities as against relying on Government, individuals or organisations.
The fora should relate cordially with the authorities and relevant stakeholders in various States to facilitate collaboration on issues affecting the Ummah and the nation at large.
Participants acknowledged the significance of the Mimbar (pulpit) as a veritable tool for sensitising and mobilizing the Ummah, an avenue for teaching Muslims about various aspects of their religion and a means of sending important messages to all categories of the Muslim Ummah.
In the light of this, the need for judicious use of the Mimbar for the purpose it is meant for, right from the time of the Messenger of Allah (S.AW), was seriously reiterated. It should not be utilised as an avenue for creating confusion, division amongst the Muslims, glorifying evil, promoting partisanship, praise singing of leaders and other notable personalities, raining abuses, trading blames, disseminating fake/unverified news and inciting people against peaceful coexistence.
To achieve Unity, Islamic Organisations have been advised to be sincere in their Islamic propagations and shun competition for relevance, which result in disunity among Imams/scholars and by extension, disunite the Ummah.
The relationship between the Imams and the government towards addressing national issues should be a pragmatic and symbiotic one:
The government should on its part:
positively engage the Imams for better appreciation of its policies and to update them on what it is doing to solve national problems;
consult them and seek their scholarly advice on vital national issues such as: security and welfare of the citizens;
be accessible to them for close door discussions at regular intervals or provide fruitful alternatives to that;
respect, honour and love them for speaking the truth or conveying the feelings of the masses.
The Imams should on the other hand:
preserve their honour and repute by avoiding visits to government officials and rich individuals for personal gains, except for the purpose of enjoining good and forbidding evil or on invitation;
give sincere verbal or written pieces of advice in privacy except where those in authority are inaccessible. Imam should neither be discouraged nor take it personal in case his advice is not considered;
not entertain fear when saying the truth or belittle themselves before them;
not insult, curse, humiliate the leaders on the pulpit or incite worshippers against them; and
continuously pray for them for Allah’s guidance and support them in the discharge of their enormous responsibilities.
For the unity of the Muslim Ummah in Nigeria to be all inclusive, the Imams should support the Muslims in the South-South and South-East in view of their peculiarities and being minorities. This should be pursued through well-coordinated and sustained efforts.
The Conference also urged the Imams to dedicate some of their sermons and various interfaces with their respective congregations to call on them to engage in sincere prayers for the nation for all forms of goodness and advancement, a successful/hitch free 2023 general elections inclusive. They should as well pray for the nation against all forms of insecurity and other challenges.
Noting the recent announcement from the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) of redesigning N200, N500 and N1,000 notes, the Conference urges that the Ajami inscriptions should not be tampered with. Likewise, necessary measures should be taken to ensure that Nigerians are not exposed to unnecessary hardship in the process of accessing the redesigned notes.
Imam Tajuddeen M.B. Adigun PhD. Imam Is’haq Y. Zango
Chairman/Ameer Secretary General