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Lagos council of Imams harps on mosque’s importance

By Shakirah Adunola
26 August 2022   |   2:43 am
Towards effective management of Mosque activities, the Council of Chief Imams and Ulama (COCIU), Lagos State has organised a workshop on mosque management for chief imams and mosque administrators across...

Lagos Central Mosque

Towards effective management of Mosque activities, the Council of Chief Imams and Ulama (COCIU), 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 was the first in the series of regular programmes that the Lagos COCIU is planning to put in place for the benefit of imams.

Speaking at the event, the Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Olusola Sanwo-Olu, who was 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 to specifically improve the capacity of our Chief Imams and other mosque workers to effectively and efficiently carry out 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.”

The chief host and President, Council of Chief Imams and Ulama Lagos State, Shaykh Abu-Nola, while disclosing the purpose of the workshop, drew inspiration from the Quran, especially its 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 the southwest, we find that we are faced with numerous challenges from the economy, healthcare, to politics. We therefore must come together to chart a way forward and our takeoff point is the mosque.

“Our situation in the Southwest is a peculiar one as the Muslim-Christian population 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, Morocco, and 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 behooves us to look inward for possible solutions.”

The guest speaker, Professor Luqman Zakariyah, of the Department of Islamic Studies, University of Abuja, highlighted the role of the mosque in the growth of Muslims in both primitive and modern times.

According to him, the 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, the Professor of Islamic Jurisprudence listed public donations such as Zakat (the compulsory alms), 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 seamlessly.

The National Missioner, Ansar-Ud-Deen Society of Nigeria, Sheikh Abdur-Rahman Ahmad, who was ably represented by Sheikh Abdur-Rahman Adangba, decried the untoward attitude of some imams, which has affected the Ummah.

Sheikh Ahmad cited lack of leadership skills, materialism, ego and stinginess as few of the problems in the ranks of Imams and Islamic scholars that need to be urgently addressed.