A respected doyen of Islamic law of banking and finance in Nigeria, Professor Abdur-Razaq AbdulMajeed Alaro has called on Muslim youths to show more interest in the pursuit of knowledge, saying seekers of knowledge have better opportunities to contribute to the development of their communities.
Prof. Alaro gave the advice while speaking exclusively with Muslim News, Nigeria’s most authoritative Islamic Newspaper on Monday, June 20, shortly after his return to the country from the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
The revered Islamic scholar was among the top 10 most outstanding alumni of Islamic University, Madinah, who were honoured on Wednesday, June 15 at the institution’s 58th graduation ceremony.
No fewer than 1,742 students from different countries, including Nigeria were among the fresh graduates celebrated during the end of the 1443AH academic year ceremony, where Prof. Alaro received Award of Excellence as one of the top 10 Most Outstanding Alumni of the institution since its establishment in 1961.
The remaining nine alumni, who were also selected from different countries for the honour include, Dr. Ibrahim Jalo, current Ambassador of Sierra Leone to Saudi Arabia; Dr. Dhul-kifl Ibn Muhammad Bakr, current Malaysian Minister of Religious Affairs; Ustadh Muhammad Bousitsh, the current Ambassador of Bosnia and Herzegovina to Saudi Arabia; and Ustadh Muhammad Shahim Ali Sa’eed, former Minister from Maldives.
Others are Ustadh Abdus Satar Ahmad. (Pakistan); Dr. Ali Samoo. (Thailand): Dr. Ali Misry Simajaan (Indonesia), Dr. Muhammad Habeebullah Siy and Dr. Muhammad Ahmad Loh, both from Senegal.
The pictures of Prof. Alaro receiving the Award of Excellence was widely shared by many Muslim netizens on social media last week.
In one of the pictures, the Shari’ah expert was being presented with a plaque by the Governor of Madinah Region, His Royal Highness, Prince Faisal bin Salman bin Abdulaziz, while the President (VC) of the Institution, Prof. Mamduh Bin Thanyan Aal Su’ud, looked on with admiration.
Another picture also showed Prof. Alaro, a member of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s Financial Regulation Advisory Council of Experts, sitting in the midst of the Nigerians who just graduated from the University. They were filled with joy and excitement.
“I feel grateful to Almighty Allah to be selected among the best 10 of the University Alumni from inception”, Prof. Alaro told Muslim News in a telephone chat on Monday, saying, “the recognition is a way of appreciating the mercy, kindness of Allah on us. We must always be grateful to him at all times.”
The professor of Islamic Law at the University of Ilorin, Kwara State, said it’s not easy to be among the top 10 of the University that has been in existence since 1961, and has produced graduates from over 200 countries across the world.
“Alhamdulillah, I am one of the top 10 And the only Nigerian to be selected. I am grateful to Allah,” he noted.
He therefore called on the youths to prioritise knowledge saying “Seeking knowledge is highly recommended in Islam, especially the knowledge of Almighty Allah. I studied Shari’ah in the University. So, it’s something that is highly recommended in Islam and any other form of beneficial knowledge.”
“With beneficial knowledge, you have better opportunity to contribute to the development of your society and again, if the knowledge you have acquired has to do with the knowledge of Shari’ah, you become somebody that is more aware of his duties towards his Creator. Lastly, you will be aware of how to be successful not only in this life, but also the hereafter. May Allah make us successful”, he added.
Born in Ilorin, the Kwara State capital,
Prof. Alaro studied Shari’ah at the Islamic University and graduated with first class honours in 1993.
Earlier, he had his basic Islamic and conventional (Western) education at Muhyideen College of Arabic and Islamic Studies, Ilorin, under the visionary leadership of Shaykh Abullahi Jibril Sahban.
Prof. Alaro also bagged his Masters and Doctorate degrees from the same University in 1997 and 2002 from the same University where he studied Islamic Theology. Interestingly, he also graduated with first class Honours.
Alaro had co-reviewed the Yoruba translation of the Glorious Qur’an, with Dr. Ibrahim Abdulbaqi Muhammad (May Allah have mercy on him), as a Masters’ student at the Islamic University with the project completed in 1997.
After his Ph.D in 2002, the thought of coming back home pre-occupied his mind, but this didn’t materialize until 2008 when he joined the services of the University of Ilorin, as a Senior Lecturer, at the Faculty of Law. It was a unique opportunity for the University to tap into his rich academic profile and international exposure, after all the beauty of a university lies in the caliber of its researchers.
Realising the need to obtain further post-graduate and professional certificate in law in good time, and in accordance with the extant law on legal education in Nigeria, Prof. Alaro swung into action to attend Bar I and Bar II vocational training programme at the University of Abuja and the Nigerian Law School, which saw him admitted into the Nigerian Bar as a Barrister and Solicitor of the Supreme Court of Nigeria in 2016.
Earlier, he earned his LL.M and Ph.D, specializing in Islamic Law of Banking and Finance, from Omdurman University, Sudan, in 2006 and 2013 respectively. Both his dissertation and thesis were recommended for publication by the panel of examiners.
On the legal research plane, Prof. Alaro had written widely in both local and international reputable journals. As at 2017 when he was appointed a Professor at the University of Ilorin, the respected don had written well-researched original learned articles in Arabic and English in reputable academic outlets within and outside Nigeria. He has also attended learned conferences in Europe, Asia and Africa.
He is a Shari‘ah Advisor, Consultant and Accredited Arbitrator on Islamic Banking and Finance; Head, Committee on Research, Studies and Translation of the Union of African Muslim Scholars, Bamako, Mali; Member, Advisory Council of Experts, Non-Interest (Islamic) Banking, Central Bank of Nigeria; and Member, Takaful Advisory Council, National Insurance Commission.
He is also a member of the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, United Kingdom, Fellow, Institute of Islamic Finance Professionals and scholar-participant at the International Shari’ah Scholars Forum of the International Shari’ah Research Academy for Islamic Finance (ISRA), Malaysia.
– By Rasheed Abubakar, with additional information from Barrister Idris Alao
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