Lagos unveils directory for mosques, Imams
Determined to ensure that all Muslim clerics and mosque in Lagos State are captured, the Grand Chief Imam of Lagos State, Sheikh Sulaiman Oluwatoyin, has composed a directory, which includes the exact data of all Imams and Mosque in the state.
The Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu, commended the laudable initiative, noting that with the aid of the directory, it would be easier for the government to get across to all Imams in the state.
Speaking during the launching of the directory, Sanwo-Olu, who was represented the Lagos State Commissioner for Home Affairs and Culture, Mrs. Uzamat Akinbile-Yusuf, commended the religious institution for endearing partnership with the state government on peaceful coexistence and religious harmony, which has translated to development and progress of the state.
She noted that the state government is already working on a portal that would include virtually all religious houses, bodies and leaders in the state.
According to her, the directory would help the state government to have the exact data of all chief Imams in the state.
“ If we don’t have data it will be very difficult for us to execute so many projects. There is nothing the government can do if they don’t have data,” she said.
Akinbile-Yusuf appealed to all the Imams that are yet to be captured in the directory to ensure they are captured. “Whatever programme we want to offer to Muslims, majority will come through the directory.
“If you are not included in the directory, it means you are not in Lagos State. Let’s endeavor to be listed in the directory so that it will be easier for the government to know the exact Muslim cleric to meet” she said.
The Grand Chief Imam of Lagos said the document is geared towards advocating unity among Muslims in the state.
“It is a framework to facilitate quality initiative, higher quality information management and the desire to approach matter concerning Muslims within Lagos State better.
“The way the directive is being designed will serve so many purposes in projecting the course of Islam in the country. It will also assist in getting to know the right spiritual fathers, Imams Ratibih and Chief Imams to contact at the state as well as local council level when the needs arises,” he said.
He appealed to the state government, most especially the commissioner for home affairs to assist in working with the details contain in the directive whenever the needs arises.
He disclosed that the mosque directory is strategized to have harmonise Zakat collection, distribution for Lagos state and also a single Khutbah guideline for Jumah services (Friday worship) across the division on a weekly basis.
“Innovations such as this are still coming up, as we’ve identified many areas at which we can solve many challenge facing Muslims today,” he said.
He appealed to the state government for support towards equipping Imams with regular seminar, conferences.
He however, appreciated the immense contributions of divisional Imams in Lagos State as well all stakeholders who have invested their knowledge and ideas towards the completion of the project.
The Guest Speaker, Prof AbdulAfeez Oladosu, speaking on role of Imams in the society, said to be a religious leader (Imam) is not by birth but by Allah’s ordainment.
“Before people get to the stage of Imam, some go through tribulations, while others become Imams by praying,” He said
Oladosu said, an Imam is a person who is considered to be knowledgeable and wise, man of God par excellence “When we said someone is an Imam, it means the person have perfect understanding of Islam and he must have complete knowledge of the Quran, Islamic faith, spiritual and religious laws.
“Members of the Islamic faith look to the Imam for answers and guidance, so knowledge is critical for an imam. The imam must have complete knowledge of the Quran and Islamic faith and of spiritual and religious laws.
“He must understand the practices of Islam, the hidden and internal meanings of the teachings “he said
He noted that people believe that imams are chosen by God to be perfect examples for the faithful and to lead all humanity in all aspects of life.
“These imams are chosen by God to be perfect examples for the faithful and to lead all humanity in all aspects of life. They also believe that all the imams chosen are free from committing any sin”.
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