When Muslims should solidify relationship with other faiths
The Chief Missioner of Nasru Llahi-l-Fatih Society of Nigeria (NASFAT), Imam Abdul-Azeez Morufu Onike re-echoes this at the inauguration ceremony of the Toronto, Canada Branch of the Society.
Onike said Islam as a religion with all intent and purposes enjoins Muslims to relate with all people with birr (righteousness; goodness) and taqwa (piety; God-consciousness) regardless of their faith, race, language, social class, and culture.
He said friendliness to people of other faiths is permitted in Islam, while in some cases more intimate relationships may be extended to Christians and Jews, who are described in the Qur’an as “Ahl al-Kitab”
According to Onike, Muslims are enjoined to relate with Non-Muslims amicably, with kindness and with justice, unless they are hostile, persecute nor drive Muslims out of their homes. He further reaffirms that Muslims should not even engage them in an argument “except in a most kindly manner”
To buttress his points, he alluded to the fact that Muslims are allowed to form alliances, partnerships with organizations which cooperate with non-Muslims for the attainment of the common good, that is why Islamic Countries are members of Regional and International organisation such as African Union, United Nations, etc.
Onike in his paper at the inauguration of the Canada Toronto Branch explained further the spiritual basis for the interrelationships between the Muslims and people of other faith.
The Prophet (SAW) said: It is better to be alone than in bad company, and it is better still to be in good company than to be alone. It is better to speak to a seeker of knowledge than to remain silent, but silence is better than idle words.
He said: “Muslims are allowed to visit non-Muslim associates and neighbors, accept invitations from non-Muslims, and host non-Muslims in their homes, its good for Dawah and relationship building.
Meanwhile, Onike, has warned against the attempts by some Nigerians to plunge the country into unnecessary crisis.
Onike, who gave this warning during the 10-year anniversary of the Nasfat Alakuko branch in Lagos, called for cautions, urging the Muslims to always enjoin what is right and forbid what is wrong.
According to Imam Onike, some people are attempting to set the nation on fire through the insinuation that the government is promoting a particular ethnic group.
“Recently, some people are deliberately distorting the fact by referring to the “cattle rearing symbol” on our International passport as an attempt to “fulanise” Nigerians, whereas, a look at pages of the passport will reveal that symbols representing major ethnic groups in Nigeria are all drawn therein, moreover, this same set of people intentionally ignore the same symbol drawn on #200 (two hundred naira notes) Nigerian currency denomination. Onike said
“Of what profit shall it be any Nigerian, if the country goes on fire”, he asked.
He also advised members of NASFAT worldwide to always be guided by the mission statement of the organisation “to develop an enlightened Muslim Society, nurtured by the true understanding of Islam, for spiritual development and welfare of Mankind, as was drawn from Quran 3 verses 104 and 110 “
He said: “The import of any celebration is to attempt to move closer to Allah by means of thanksgivings and resolving to do more so as to contribute to humanity.
“In as much the religion is not against Islamic-oriented anniversaries, the ones that comply with Islamic etiquette and principles as Allah makes mention by implication, of prayer that could be done when one reaches the age of forty years,” he said.
The Chief host at the event, Engr Kamil Yomi Bolarinwa, advised the branch to set the machinery in motion for the establishment of a standard nursery and primary school, in order to achieve the strategic objective of the society set for NASFAT branches, in the area of human capacity development.