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LEMU trains Imams on funeral rites in Islam

By Shakirah Adunola
17 June 2022   |   2:37 am
The Lekki Muslim Ummah (LEMU) has provided Muslim scholars in Lagos State with adequate knowledge about funeral rites so as to correct and discourage forbidden innovations (Bidah)

The Lekki Muslim Ummah (LEMU) has provided Muslim scholars in Lagos State with adequate knowledge about funeral rites so as to correct and discourage forbidden innovations (Bidah) introduced to a funeral procession.

Speaking during the seminar, the Chief Imam of LEMU Mosque, Sheikh Ridwan Jamiu, said the yearly Imams conference is a sort of ‘train the trainer’s programme’ meant to enhance the knowledge of Imams and also foster unity among Muslim religious leaders.

Vice Chairman, LEMU BOT, Capt. Abdulateef Lawal; Chief Imam of Lekki Central Mosque, Imam Ridwan Jamiu; Vice President, Lekki Muslim Ummah (LEMU); Dr. Sola Labinjo; Sheikh Tajudeen Abdul Kareem Al-Adaby and Chief Imam of Lagos, Sheikh Sulaimon Abou-Nolla during LEMU Yearly Imams Conference

He added that the programme also seeks to promote cooperation and fellowship among the Muslim ummah.

According to him, “the programme has held about five or six series since its inception. It has always been well attended and applauded by people.

“It is an avenue to promote knowledge among Muslims. It creates a platform through which Muslim scholars can have cross-fertilisation of ideas and get to know more about each other, creating friendship and other benefits that accrue to it.

“The Imams are drawn from all parts of Lagos State: Ibeju-Lekki, Eti-Osa, Mushin, among others. We usually cooperate with the Lagos State Central Mosque whose Imam would instruct them to send delegates. We then provide buses in areas where we have a conglomerate of Imams attending.”

He said their expectation from the programme is for Muslim leaders to be on the same page regarding funeral rites in Islam, and then go to their congregation to extend knowledge.

“We have so many practices that are inimical to Islamic tenets and are contradictory to the Sunnah of the Prophet (SAW). We have been sensitising people about it from our own end. But if other Imams do not have that level of awareness about the Sunnah, whenever one Imam says something, somewhere and another Imam contradicts it, it creates confusion in the minds of our audience. But when Imams come together and see the true guidance on the matter, everybody is convinced about it and imbibes it. It, therefore, means that our congregation will hear the same thing when it comes to funeral rites and practices.

“Our expectation from the participants is to be convinced of the message and have open minds so that the message can be beneficial to them. And whenever they go back to their masjid, they should impart and disseminate this knowledge to them. Their congregation will also understand Islam better and these practices that are alien and dangerous to our faith can be abandoned.”

Lecturer Al-Hikmah University, Ilorin, Prof. AbdulGaniy Agbarigidoma, said death in Islam is not a call to wine and dine. Saying that prayers should rather be offered for the deceased than throwing up wasteful parties and celebrations.

According to him, “The Prophet (SAW) said we should be mindful of death. It is part of the remembrance of death to return the entitlements of people, seek forgiveness of Allah and observe voluntary prayers. We should have a record of people’s belongings at our disposal. Almighty Allah made reference to death at 140 various places in the Qur’an. This points to the fact that He wants us to be mindful of death.

The varsity lecturer explained how to take care of sick persons in Islam and established that the sick can use different medications inasmuch as they are halal (lawful/permitted) in Islam. He also sensitised the participants most of whom are imams from their respective mosques on how to perform the Islamic rites, comprising ritual baths, shrouding, and prayers, among others, at the point of death.

“There are consequences for not properly treating the deceased in Islam. Allah says in the Qur’an that believers should wholeheartedly practice the religion of Islam. So, Islam has ethics guiding the birth of a child just like for the demise of a soul. These ethics must be followed. When we observe them, it is rewarding. But when we fail to, it bears consequences for us and the deceased (if he is negligent about these rites).

The Chairman of the occasion, President Muslim Community of Lagos, Professor Tajudeen Gbadamosi, explained that the desire to satisfy cultural pressures and extort material gains are some of the reasons alien practices have been introduced to funeral rites among some Muslims.

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