As Nigeria prepares for 2019 general elections, an Islamic scholar, Saeed Salman, charged Muslim faithful to get involved in the political process toward contributing to nation-building.
Salman gave the charge on Friday at a pre-Ramadan public lecture organised by The Muslim Congress (TMC) at the Railway Community Central Mosque, Ebute Meta, Lagos.
Salman, who is a Senior Assistant Registrar at Yaba College of Technology, said that religion and politics go together, contrary to the notion of secularism being promoted by some Nigerians.
He traced the genesis of the idea of labelling Nigeria as a secular state to the colonial era.
“The colonial masters divided the world among themselves.
“These colonial masters, whenever they want to leave a colonised country, always leave behind the evil ideology of separating spirituality from governance.
“Such ideology as secularism, which means that there is no relationship between religion and governance of the nation, is alien to the history of Islamic society,” he said.
The Islamic scholar said that the colonialists left Nigeria with the myopic belief that whenever people worship God, it should be confined to the religious space.
“They insist that religion is personal between an individual and God, so you must take religion away from governance. This is the genesis of secularism,’’ Salman said.
According to him, Islam places a lot of responsibility on those who professes the religion.
Quoting relevant portions from the Holy Qur’an and traditions of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), the scholar said Islam revolved around all aspects of human endeavour.
“Faithfulness in God must manifest in all our dealings.
“All Muslims, who believe in Allah must always show perfection in whatever they do.
“Any Muslim that has strong faith will always strive towards doing well and reforming the society.
“Where there is a strong faith, there will be less corruption and there will be near perfect society.
Salman said a Muslim has responsibility to bring development to the society.
“It is when we take away God from our affairs that we are witnessing all the challenges facing our country.
“ We must return back to Allah, be faithful in all our dealings and get involved in politics to impact the society positively with our faithfulness.
The TMC medical team provided free medical check up and drugs for various ailments to over 500 members of the Railway community at the occasion.
Among the common ailments treated at the event were malaria and hypertension.