The Council of Chief Imams and Ulamah, Lagos State has organised a workshop on Mosque management for Chief Imams and Mosque administrators across the local governments under the five divisions in the state: Ikorodu, Badagry, Ikeja, Lagos Island and Epe.
The workshop, held at the Lagos Central Mosque, Nnamdi Azikiwe Street, Lagos Island, was the first in the series of regular programmes that the Lagos COCIU is planning to put in place for the benefit of the Imams.
Muslim News gathered that apart from the workshop expected to hold quarterly, other programmes of the Council include Annual Seminar for Imams, Harmonized Lagos Zakat and Sadaqah Initiative, establishment of new cemeteries across the five divisions in the state, Uniform Jumu’ah Sermon etc.
Declaring the workshop open, the Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, who was ably represented by his deputy Dr. Abdulkadir Obafemi Hamzat, said: “Let me express my joy and satisfaction with the President, Council of Chief Imams and Ulama, Lagos State, His Eminence Shaykh (Engr.) Sulaimon Oluwatoyin Abu-Nola, for inviting me to this workshop to declare it open.
“I wish to specifically commend the Council for initiating this workshop on the theme, ‘Mosque management: the Role of Individuals’. I know that this workshop is being organised with the objective to specifically improve the capacity of our Chief Imams and other mosque workers to effectively and efficiently carryout the responsibility of managing the affairs of the mosque in line with Islamic guidelines. Therefore, management of the mosque is essential as it is a rallying point for all Muslims.”
In his welcome address to the august gathering, the Chief Host of the occasion and President, Council of Chief Imams and Ulama Lagos State, His Eminence, the Grand Chief Imam of Lagos State, Shaykh Sulaimon Oluwatoyin Abu-Nola disclosed the purpose of the workshop by drawing inspiration from the Quranic injunction on the importance of Shura (mutual Consultation) among believers and the Prophetic tradition: “Wisdom is a lost property of a believer; he is most deserving of it wherever he finds it”.
He said: “When we look at our present situation in Lagos State and other parts of southwest, we find that we are faced with numerous challenges from economy, healthcare, to politics. We therefore, must come together to chart a way forward and our take-off point is the Mosque.
Our situation in the southwest is a peculiar one as Muslim-Christian population in the southwest is in the region of 50-50. This is different from what we have in Northern Nigeria where Muslims are above 75 percent. In the Arab-Muslim world like Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Morrocco, Syria, Da’wah activities and charitable projects are placed under the Ministry of Endowment and Islamic Affairs. But here, the government is not showing any interest in this regard. So, the responsibility to generate funds is left for the individual religion to handle and since all affairs relating to the Mosques start and end with our Imams, with no commensurate welfare package, it behoves us to look inward for possible solutions.”
In his lecture titled; “Mosque management: Generating Funds from members of the Mosque” the first Guest Speaker, Professor Luqman Zakariyah (Department of Islamic Studies, University of Abuja) highlighted the role of the Mosque in the growth of Muslims in both the primitive and modern times.
According to him, management of mosque funds is to achieve protection of Muslim wealth, provision of general capacity for the Islamic finance industry and active promotion of Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) etc.
On the big question of how to generate funds for the Mosque, the Professor of Islamic Jurisprudence listed public donations such Zakat (the compulsory alm), Sadaqah (charity) and Waqf (endowment) as potential fund generating schemes for Mosques in Nigeria.
He went further to give practical illustrations of how funds can be generated from personal donations of members of each Mosque across the state in a seamless manner.
Sheikh Abdur-Rahman Ahmad, the National Missioner, Ansarud-Deen Society of Nigeria, who was ably represented by Sheikh Abdur-Rahman Adangba decried the fact that the untoward attitude of some Imams has brought the Ummah to the point they are today.
His lecture addressed welfarism of the Chief Imams and functionaries of the Mosque.
Sheikh Ahmad cited lack of leadership skills, materialism, ego, stinginess as few of the problems in the ranks of Imams and Islamic scholars that need to be urgently addressed.
Also featuring at the event were brief talks by experts and professionals on health, security and legal matters affecting the mosque as well as short admonitions from the Chief Imam of Nigerian Air Force, Lagos, Col. Aliu Yusuf; Chief Imam of Nigerian Police Force (Zone 2), Lagos, Imam Jamiu Raji; and vote of thanks by Alhaji Abdulwasiu Nola.
– By Idris Alao
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