Imamship: A child of circumstance




‘God’s time is the best’. Allah (God) has never made a mistake of giving us a leader at this movement.  Thanks to Governor Yahaya Bello of Kogi state and His Royal Majesty, Alhaji Abdulrahman Ado Ibrahim, for their wisdom to handle this volatile situation like this, no evil action that can be ignored, because we may not know the end of it.

For instance, Boko Haram was mishandled by then governor of Borno state and see where we are today. As a chief security officer of Kogi state, the governor had chosen a right path in this dimension as a mindful leader that foresaw the future. But rumours making the rounds showed that the governor of the state has a candidate. This befouled me as a writer because history has shown that no position in is meant for inheritance as a republican.  

We always say that the North uses us for political reasons, is this how the North elects their imam? We should emulate the good aspect other people’s culture. Almost all imams in the northern part of the country, which we claim to belong, their positions are subjected to their chiefs (emir/sarkin) and almost all past imams were chosen by the Ohinoyi (Atta), Alhaji Ibrahim Onoruoyiza Atta, of blessed memory, why is this different?

The two prominent Islamic sects, Tijjaniya and Izala, since the death of the chief imam have been engaging in secret and now open confrontations over who should take over the leadership of the mosque.

The members of Tijjaniya sect are supporting the appointment of Alhaji Salihu Abere, who, before the demise of the chief imam, was the Naibi (second-in-command) just as the Izala set are rooting for Sheikh Luqman Abdullah, the son of the late Alhaji Musa Abdullahi Galadima.

Keen watchers of the unfolding events in the district, however, alleged that Sheikh Abdullah, the current chair of Kogi state Hajj Commission and a former lecturer at the Federal College of Education, Okene, has the backing of Governor Yahaya Bello as against the popular opinion of the Muslims in the district.

They are of the conviction that since Alhaji Abere has been occupying Naibi’s position for many years and had been deputising for the chief imam even when he led pilgrims to the Holy Land, he should be turbaned as the substantive chief imam of the land since he has met all the requirements of a chief imam.

As we look at qualification for the post of Imam according to Islamic law (Shari’a):

1. The person who wants to be an imam must be a Muslim.

2. He must be intelligent as it happened during Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) in a particular day three people came to Rasulullah (S.A.W), while he (S.A.W) was appointing a leader for them, he said; ‘The one that has more knowledgeable of the Glorious Qur’an should lead’ (Sahih Muslim Hadith 672. Check also ibn Mas’ud on this)

3. Character: the person must be of good character as one of questionable character is not qualified. That’s why any Hadith narrated by someone of questionable character is considered da’if.

4. Adult: although in Shari’ah there is not age of maturity just as we have +18 in the conventional law. So anyone who’s matured (balagah) and sane is an adult. Therefore, such person must be an adult and not minor.

Also knowledge alone is not enough to determine the quality needed in person to qualify him for the post of imam. You know why? Iblees was a knowledgeable one but pride, disrespect and arrogance turned him to be the head of satan today.

From a relievable Juma’at observer in the Okene central mosque quote the late imam to have said in his last juma’at prayer he attended. He read the Khutiba and asked imam  Salihu Abere to lead the jumma’at congregation prayer which he does adequately. After the prayer late imam Alhaji Musa Abdullahi Galadima of blessed memory said: ‘we thank Allah that we saw someone (Imam Salihu Abere) to handover to.

Ayinavo Raji Saidu, Kaduna

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