The Chairman, Muslim Community of Oyo State, Alhaji Kunle Sanni has said that about 99 percent of Muslim faithful in Ibadan followed the directive of the Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Muhammad Abubakar Sa’ad III on the commencement of Ramadan fast on Friday, April 24.
Alhaji Kunle Sanni made this disclosure in a social media post, saying that they didn’t fall for the earlier announcement of the council of Imam in Ibadan who had declared Thursday, April 23 as the beginning of the month of fasting.
The respected religious leader asserted that the Muslim Ummah in the state aren’t gullible to obey any individual or group other than the Sultan of Sokoto, who has the statutory authority to announce the date for the start and end of Ramadan fast.
According to Alhaji Sanni, “Those outside Ibadan are being misled that since the Chief Imam of Ibadan announced that Ramadan would start on Thursday, the Muslim Ummah just took it as a divine instruction and jettisoned the earlier directive to wait for the Sultan’s directive which is supreme. That is far from the truth. Muslims of today are not gullible.
“99% of people in Ibadan followed the Sultan in spite of their high respect for the Imam’s intellectual excellence.
“They know the rules concerning the commencement of Ramadan. The moon must be sighted on the 29th of Shaaban or we count Shaaban up to 30 before we commence the fasting. The Imam claimed Wednesday was 29th but in the afternoon of Wednesday announced the commencement of Ramadan would be Thursday. Can the moon be sighted in the afternoon? Emphatic No”, he noted.
On the Imam’s claim on basing the announcement on knowledge of Hisab, the Muslim Community Chairman upheld that such is baseless in the religion.
“Some people now went to challenge the Imam who laying claim to intellectual eminence of Hisab said they normally calculate 256 days after Muharram 1 to get the day Ramadan would commence.
“The question then arises, does this Hisab formula have any evidence in the Quran or the Hadith? No. With the Imam unable to convince anyone of where in Islamic jurisprudence he got his philosophy, the MUSWEN earlier directive to wait for the announcement of our leader the Sultan was the popular view in Ibadan or Oyo state in general.
“Ironically, the League of Imam and Alfas of Yorubaland is represented in the Fatwa committee that advised the Sultan to direct us to commence the Ramadan on Friday. The confusion becomes more pronounced when Sheikh Habibullah, a generallisimo of the League of Imam came with his own Hisab calculations which did not tally with that of the patron of The League of Imam and Alfas of Yorubaland that is the Chief Imam of Ibadan”.
He further called on all requesting for the Imam’s removal to desist from upholding that as such call is ignorantia and his knowledge is unalignable.
Alhaji Sanni however said, “I want those who are demonizing the Imam as lacking basic knowledge of Islam and even calling for his sack for his lack of Islamic intellectualism that they don’t know the Imam of Ibadan.
“He is highly knowledgeable and one of the most cerebral Imam you can find anywhere in the world. What the Imam probably lacks is harmonising his intellectual excellence with that of other equally knowledgeable intellectuals who are however less conservative.
“Calling for the sack of the Chief Imam is wishful thinking and like throwing the baby with the bathwater. I think after praying Eid in almost an empty Eid ground with this obnoxious Hisab calculations before and being under fire from all over the world for being a loner on this Hisab calculations, he would be more circumspect in future. He would surely put on his thinking cap and never jump the gun again or face the gargantuan storm”, he upheld.
Speaking further, he said “We would for our unity always go with the Sultan who does not lay claim to Islamic intellectual arrogance but relies on the authority in charge. The Fatwa committee under the hegemony of an internationally recognized Islamic guru, Sheikh Ibrahim Saleh Al Husseni.
“The league of Imam and Alfas of Yorubaland is represented by a member of the Chief Imam in Council of Ibadan land. Dr Bahri Adetunji an erudite scholar in his own right. Professor DOS Noibi another internationally recognized Islamic scholar who was honoured by the Queen of England with the enviable award of OBE for his contribution to Islamic scholarship is also a member of this Fatwa committee.
“May Allah cement the unity of our Ummah. This problem would one day find itself in the dustbin of history in shaa Allah,” he concluded
By Abdul Waheed Shotonwa
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