Imams urged to shun monetary influence, preach the truth
The President of Jama-at-ul Islamiyya of Nigeria, Taofik Agbaje has urged Imams to always preach the true words of God and shun favoritism and monetary influence in their religious leadership mandate.
Agbaje, who made the call recently at a public lecture organized by the Jama-at-ul Islamiyya of Nigeria in Ilupeju, Lagos, said religious leaders should avoid a situation where they would not speak the truth but dance to the tune of everyone who gave them money.
He said rather than give Imams money, donors could provide for the organisation, which would in turn cater to the need of the clerics.Besides, Chief Imam of the Mosque, Alhaji Muhammad Alfanla noted that the remuneration of an Imam should not be done on the basis of charity, but Muslim must come to recognize the position of the Imam as the leader of the Muslim Ummah in their organisation and pay them handsomely.
He also advocated that members pay money to the society rather than the Imam noting that the organisation is better placed to manage gifts coming from the members.
Alfanla observed that Muslim could still appreciate their Imams with gifts after such payment to the organisation.
He however warned that if the Imam is not well paid, he is being taught to look for other means.The cleric said: “And that boils down to the Imam trying to get much money from people for any sitting. This will eventually amount to wasting of time because they want to maximize what they are going to get for that period. But if they are well remunerated, they would do everything according to time. Because they know they do not need to fear for anything.”
A Professor of Islamic Eschatology, Prof. Ishaq Lakin Akintola has called on Muslims Ummah in the country to pay special attention to the welfare of the Imams who are the representatives of The Prophet (SAW).
Delivering a lecture titled “The Imam As An Ambassador of The Ummah”, Akintola who was the guest lecturer at the event observed that there is mass poverty among Muslim clerics in the country.
He said with the current economic situation in the nation where the average Nigerian live on less than one dollar per day, per capital income is less than three hundred dollar and more than eighty per cent of Nigerians impoverished, the faithful must remember the Imams also go to the same market to buy the same products for their households.
The Islamic scholar stressed that it is time Islamic organisations review whatever they are paying Imams who he described as the representatives of the Prophet (SAW).
“They are the physical symbol we see, therefore Muslims should respect them, take care of them and whatever the condition, it is high time their wages are reviewed,” he said.He also observed that while individual Muslims should give to the organisation, that should not stop them from giving money or gifts to Imams.