‘How redefined Muslim identity can change societal ills’
Muslims across the world have been urged to emulate the characters of the noble Prophet Muhammed (SAW), as scholars emphasised that wearing a virtuous Muslim identity enhances the achievement of individual and collective aspirations in life. Reputable scholars who gathered at the 2019 Convention organised by the Guild of Muslim Professionals (GMP) in conjunction with Muslim Public Affairs Centre (MPAC) in Lagos, bemoaned the current identity associated with Muslims as well as all forms of intimidations and name-tagging.
The Chief Imam, University of Abuja, Professor Taofeeq Abdul-Azeez, who spoke on the topic, “reclaiming the Islamic identity”, said while wearing a Muslim identity, there are tendencies that one would be victimised and oppressed, but Muslim identity is rather valuable.
He said: “Our Identity is not what we think about ourselves, but what they think about us. They have given us all sort of names, but we are the best of mankind, so we have to prepare to surprise them and to be surprised by them” he said. Abdul-Azeez enjoined Muslims to create wealth rather than seeking employment, noting that creating wealth will liberate the Ummah from poverty.
According to him, Muslims must portray good characters, contribute meaningfully to societal growth, while those in position of leadership should uphold equity and fairness as watchword.“We must clean our Muslims in politics of unislamic actions, battle ignorance and initiate a leader that will unite all faithful across the geographical boundary of the country,” he emphasised.
Director, Media and Strategic Communications, MPAC Nigeria, AbdulWarees Sholanke, said the Muslims should improve the quality of representation and contributions to the polity so that they can hold grip and make key decisions that will shape the society to the benefit of the faithful.
Founder and Chief Executive Officer, Islam Channel, Mohammed Ali Harrath said for the Ummah to tackle Islamophobia, it need to pay attention to the media, education and end poverty.He urged Muslims to emulate the holy prophet and display good characters that would automatically present them as good personality.
Executive Director, Hijab Rights Advocacy Initiative, Mutiat Orolu-Balogun, said Muslim ladies should be bold and confident to present their personal identity in order to earn the desired respect.“You should be determined and focused to achieve your goal in life, leave other things for Islam. The religion must not be compromised. Allah will be with you and you will be among the winning team,” she said.She decried the spate of intimidation on Muslim women because of hijab.
An Associate Professor from the University of Lagos, Dr Tajudeen Yusuf, said wearing a quality Islam identity enhances the achievement of personal and professional aspirations in life.He said Muslims have to give artisans three things because everyone patronise them: training on honesty; time management (work ethics;) and be retrained so that they could acquire state of the art knowledge.He added that everyone should preach and depict fairness, honesty and integrity, in their professional endeavours.
“You don’t need to be a Muslim scholar to preach Islam, you can use your Muslim identity to prpagate Islam when you create a good impression about Muslim identity,” he stated.
Chief Finance Officer, MTN Nigeria, Modupe Kadiri, said, “the identity crisis came about because of the belief that Muslim identity will inhibit your progress, rather it’s the other way round. You only need to have good character, good manners, professional ethics and be committed to what you are engaged in. Being a Muslim will never inhibit you from getting to the top.“Maintain your identity, practice your deen irrespective of what anybody says and you will definitely achieve your goal in life,” he said.