‘Why heritage of seeking knowledge should be preserved’
As a reputable Islamic organization, Jama-At-Ul Islamiyat of Nigeria has urged Muslims across Nigeria to preserve the cherished heritage of seeking knowledge through which their obligation as Muslims can be better delivered.
National President, Arch. Taofeek Agbaje offered this admonition during the 95th anniversary celebration of the group. He asserted that all Muslims, irrespective of their denominations, have benefitted immensely from the peace revolution championed by Jamat-ul Islamiyya of Nigeria and its leaders since its existence nearly one century ago.
He said as the group is approaching the significant milestone of 100 years, it is pertinent to cast mind back to the progress made so far and use the experience gained to project a better and sustainable future for the Jamaat in line with the aspiration of the founding fathers.
He noted that in the area of education, the Jamaat has remained faithful to its founding principle by aggressively promoting education of Muslims at all levels.
He recalled that educational activities of the Jamaat started with the founder in 1916 when Muslims were denied admission to Christian missionary schools and those who were admitted were forced to embrace the Christian faith.
“Augusto felt the missionaries were justified in their action as their main objective, for coming to Nigeria, was to convert people to their faith. The only remedy therefore was for the Muslims to establish their own schools where they would be free to bring up their children according to their faith.
“Consequently, Alhaji Augusto established the first Muslim Grammar School Known as Islamiyya Grammar School in 1916 and among the foundation students of the school was the retired Commissioner of Police, the late Chief A.S.E. Agbabiaka.
“He managed the school for some years but as a result of certain government regulation, he had to close it down. Meanwhile, he had blazed the trail by putting into practice his belief that Muslims must establish their own schools. This effort by Alhaji L.B. Augusto in 1916 led to the proliferation of hundreds of Muslim primary, secondary and teacher training institutions in Nigeria today by various Muslim organisations, including the Jama-at-ul Islamiyya of Nigeria.”
The guest speaker, Imam Shakiru Ayinde Gafar (a.k.a. Mofesaiye) said any nation that refuses to follow Allah’s commandments will continue to spend huge sum of its commonwealth on security rather than development.
“Islam enlightens us on how to raise our children so that we can have not only a peaceful but egalitarian society where everybody will accept and promote social equality, engage only in lawful activities and also have the fear of God (Allah) in them.
“All these good characters are enshrined in the Holy Qur’an chapter 31:13 – 19 (Suratul Luqman), where Islamic parenting style is exemplified for us to emulate from Luqman; where admirable and adorable characters and general discipline are instilled in our wards from their early stage.”
He said that irrespective of race, religion, language and colour, Allah (SWT) commands that humanity should fear and obey Him by tolerating and loving one another.
“It is of great concern to me that people don’t segregate the food they eat, the cloths they wear, the vehicles they ride and their other means of life enjoyment by the religions of who made or invented them, yet they fight ‘blindfolded’ religious wars. It is high time we stopped all forms of intolerance that are ravaging our brotherhood as mankind.”