‘Our focus is consolidation of NASFAT accomplishments’
The newly appointed Chief Missioner of the Nasrul-Lahi-L-Fatih Society (NASFAT), Imam Maruf Onike AbdulAzeez has identified consolidation of NASFAT accomplishments in the over two decades of its existence as the preoccupation of Missionary Board under his watch.
The President of the society, Kamil Yomi Bolarinwa, announced AbdulAzeez’s appointment last weekend during the weekly Asalatu at Alausa, Ikeja. The congregation and members of the NASFAT Board of Trustees, including the Osun State Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, as well as members of other organs of the society, witnessed the announcement. He succeeds Alhaji Abdullahi Akinbode who voluntarily resigned his appointment as Chief Missioner last April 2017.
Responding to question on the immediate challenges of NASFAT, Imam AbdulAzeez said, “It’s a well-known fact that management of success is one of the most difficult aspects of human endeavours. NASFAT, having come this far with so many success stories such as ownership of a fully licensed university – Fountain University, Osogbo; empowerment of members and non-members through NASFAT Zakat and Sadaqah Agency which has disbursed not less than 100 million Naira to the less privileged; improvement of spiritual level of members through DIY (Do it Yourself) method of communication with Allah; unhindered access to Quranic and Arabic education, collaboration with other NGOs to ensure good interfaith relationship, peaceful co-existence and socio-economic development; establishment of a reputable tours and travels agency – Tafsan Travels and Tours; making religion of Islam attractive to the young ones among other achievements, it behoves of us as a society not to rest on our oars by building on the success recorded so far.”
And to sustain membership growth of the society, nationally and internationally, the spiritual head said, “by God’s Grace, we would do more to walk the talk concerning our mission statement, which is ‘to develop an enlightened Muslim society nurtured with truer understanding of Islam for spiritual development and welfare of mankind.’
“A lot of people don’t know they can relate with NASFAT through other means apart from the prayer sessions. For instance, we do exegesis of the Qur’an on Fridays, operate Qur’an and Arabic school, organise regularly, training programmes to clear misconceptions about Islam, seriously involved in human right activities, have various empowerment schemes (Zakat and Sadaqah Agency etc), you can drop your zakat with us and be sure of its judicious use, we operate hajj and umrah with ease, offering pre-marital counselling, liberalising learning of Arabic language, building a multipurpose gigantic Islamic center on Lagos-Ibadan expressway, which would be for the use of all Muslims.
“In fact, from December 29, 2017 to January 1, 2018, NASFAT and non-NASFAT women would be camped for one of our training programmes, “know your religion” popularly called train the trainers’ course in dawah, dialogue and Islam, the 8th in the series where women are taught on how to be confident to discuss Islam, every woman who wants to understand her din is invited.
“In essence, activities of NASFAT are not limited to Asalatu gathering on Sundays even though it is our hallmark. As they say, “so many roads lead to the market” any Muslim can join us by identifying with any of our activities mentioned above.
Imam AbdulAzeez corroborated NASFAT President’s submission on the credibility of the process leading to the emergence of the new chief missioner. “Al hamdulillah, the management of the society employed a method that has been adjudged to be transparent and fair to all concerned. Moreover, this is a no victor, no vanquised situation, all members are back on track to continue to make efforts at realising our society’s vision and mission, may Allah help us.”
At the unveiling last Sunday, Bolarinwa had told the congregation that AbdulAzeez’s emergence followed the series of rigorous interviews by the external and internal panels organised to screen the seven candidates who applied for the position.
He added that the board and the council of elders ratified the selection report based on the integrity of the panelists and the transparency in the selection process.
Prior to his new appointment, AbdulAzeez was the acting chief missioner for six months, in line with the constitutional provision. He joined NASFAT about 21 years ago and was the deputy chief missioner to the former chief missioner.
AbdulAzeez holds a first class degree in Islamic Studies and is currently a Ph.D candidate in Industrial Engineering at the University of Benin. AbdulAzez, who is in his early 50’s, is equally a certified trainer at the Islamic Education Trust/Dawah Institute of Nigeria with certificates in several courses at IET.He has attended several local and overseas courses, including empowerment and peace-building refresher course at the Tony Blair Faith Foundation.
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