The Chief Imam of Lekki Central Mosque, Imam Ridwan Jamiu has said it’s not appropriate for anyone to tag the participation of Muslims in Nigeria’s politics as un-islamic.
Muslim News gathered that an immeasurably small Muslim group have been discouraging the larger Muslim community from participating in the forthcoming elections, saying it is evil and kufr (disbelief).
The revered Muslim scholar, however, described the notion as a form of barbarism and extremism, noting that politics is a worldly affair, as such, it is left to discretion, but is guided by general Islamic principles and values.
In a short admonition which was released on Monday, February 20, Imam Jamiu advocated for choice of competent leaders in Nigeria in the forthcoming elections which begins on Saturday, February 25, with the presidential and National Assembly polls.
He said: “It is incorrect to assume that Muslim participation in Nigerian politics is un-islamic. It would sound like believing that Boko (Western Education) is Haram: an extremist and destructive ideology! Politics is a worldly matter which the Shari’ah gives guidance about but whose practice is largely left to our discretion and pragmatism, being guided by general Islamic principles and values.”
He urged Muslims to fulfill all righteousness either as electorates or candidates and to epitomise justice and value.
“Please vote honestly and stand to be voted for if you have the competence, capability, community and character. Let your goal be righting the wrongs and promoting justice, welfare and value. And remember the Day of Accountability.”
He noted that the style of choosing in the country is suitable for a heterogeneous, multiethnic and diverse society like Nigeria and that it goes in tandem with consultation as said in Q42:38
“It’s ordinarily a permissible political means of electing leaders, as opposed to monarchy, aristocracy and dictatorship. The selection of the four rightly guided Caliphs was somewhat democratic in nature. Being Nigeria is a pluralistic society, the system that may suit her heterogeneous mixtures is perhaps democracy; it’s though flawed in practice as any system controlled by the corrupt can be flawed. General Shari’ah cannot be applied on all Nigerians in this context and you won’t be held liable for that. It’s the personal aspects of the Shari’ah that you would be sinful if you do not apply on self, family and relationship.”
“Democracy may not be Kufr; it is a means, not a goal, and one of the ways of applying the Islamic principles of Shura (mutual and collective consultation in the determination of matters of collective and public concern) enunciated in the Qur’an, (Q42/38). Its ruling depends on its application.”
On a close, he stressed the fact that Muslims’ abstinence from political matters will give room for their rankshift within the society.
“If we cannot achieve it all, then we shouldn’t leave it all. It would constitute a collective sin for Muslims to fold our arms, stand akimbo and disregard voting in the general elections when the Christians are working doggedly to gain influence and political control. We may have to wait till eternity if we desire a complete Islamic political system before we participate in politics. In the meantime, the Christians would have built a political empire in Nigeria that would treat the Muslims as a minority or nonentities.
“If they gain the upper hand over you, they would be your ˹open˺ enemies, unleashing their hands and tongues to harm you, and wishing that you would abandon faith.” Qur’an 62:2.”
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