The Sultan of Sokoto and President-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA), Alhaji Muhammad Sa’ad Abubakar III has called for a peaceful coexistence between Muslims and Christians in Nigeria, saying there’s no problem between Islam and Christianity in the first place.
He made the disclosure on Wednesday, April 28 at the formal unveiling of the book titled, ‘Islam in Yorubaland’ written by Muslim Ummah of South West Nigeria (MUSWEN).
The book Launch, held in Lagos had in attendance, prominent Muslim scholars in the Southwest, captains of industries, traditional rulers, politicos, including state governors, notably, Nigeria’s Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, among other dignitaries.
Alhaji Abubakar III, in his goodwill message as monitored by Muslim News, said deep understanding between Muslims and Christians will engender peaceful coexistence, while also emphasising the need to be good adherents of both Islam and Christianity.
According to him, “The next thing I want to talk on is peaceful coexistence. We find out sometimes when there are fightings here and there, there is always a very deep misunderstanding. I can say there is no problem between Islam and Christianity but there is a problem between Christians and Muslims, which I think is normal because husbands and wives have problems in their homes but they resolve such problems. The main thing is, we know who we are, Muslims and they know who they are, Christians. In the realm of peaceful coexistence, we need to understand each other.”
The Sultan further said coming together of Muslim brothers and sisters through faith can be harnessed to bring the nation together without the need to necessarily Islamize or Christainize the country.
“I call on the Muslims to do what is right according to the Islamic tenets. Also, if all Christians do what is right according to their tenets, then there will be no problem in the country. If a Muslim is a good Muslim and a Christian is a good Christian, then there is no need to fight.”
The Sultan, who is the leader of the Nigerian Muslim Ummah, also spoke on the importance of equipping oneself with the knowledge of history, noting that it helps in making informed decisions about people and issues, which further builds peace and confidence among different groups of people in the society.
According to him, many of those spreading hate messages and calling for the division of the country have poor understanding of history.
“I want to speak a bit about history because when you write about history, it means there is a reason why people should know about such history.
“First, history provides us with a good understanding of ourselves, our contributions to the development of our communities and our place in the larger society. If we don’t know all these, we cannot establish our identity and find a place among nations and other communities.
“Secondly, history allows us to understand others and how they may have influenced us and how we may have influenced them, understand their culture and therefore know how to communicate better. Without understanding people’s culture, we cannot fully understand their words or even their silence and you may not be able to communicate effectively.
“History also affords the understanding of the complexity of the society and the dynamics of these complexities, and the changes that take place in the society overtime. It also brings about the production of informed individuals that take informed and independent decisions. Informed decisions bring about peace and order in the society, while uninformed decisions do exactly the opposite and this is what we can see all over the country and beyond.
“Many of those citizens who today express hatred towards others and call for oppression and advocate for division of our great country are largely uninformed citizens whose understanding of our history is very poor, if they have at all. It is our hope that Nigerians in the Southwest will take time to read this book. They will be more informed and will take more informed decisions on matters affecting our great country.”
Going down memory lane, the Ameerul Muslimeen said MUSWEN which was established 13 years ago has been doing well and is waxing stronger, acknowledging the important roles its members play, working with him on moon-sighting and many others to the benefit of the Ummah.
“I was there at Ibadan about 13 years ago when MUSWEN was put together and AlhamduliLlah, today, it’s waxing stronger. They have worked tirelessly to get the organization to where it is today and to benefit the Ummah through it. A lot of people don’t know what processes we go through, especially in the case of moon-sighting. It is not a personal decision that I would just wake up and make like most people think. This position I am in and whatever position we all are in, Allah will ask us about it and on the day. Allah will ask me about my being the Sultan, it will be only me and Him and I will answer my questions on my own. Whatever we do, we should always pray to Allah for guidance and after He has guided us and we make decisions, we should say Alhamdulillah. This is what Allah wants and He knows that which is in our hearts.
“MUSWEN, you have been doing well and I believe we still have a lot to do when it comes to the welfare of Muslims. I also want us to pray for our dear brother, Arisekola Alao, who was the strongest pillar of MUSWEN when he was alive. He gave all his financial and moral support for MUSWEN.
“Finally, I’ll love to thank Almighty Allah for bringing us to this point and urge MUSWEN to do this. After today’s programme, don’t go back to sit in your offices in Ibadan, rather, set up a small committee, follow up with the leaders – Christians and Muslims, and see what they can do regarding your goal to raise the money you want to raise which is for the benefit of humanity. When you build a school, hospital or any other facility, everyone will use it whether Christian or Muslim or others who don’t even believe in God. So, don’t relent.”
By Abdullahi Abdulganiy
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