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Saturday, 12 February 2022

RE: Interim leadership of the Central Mosque Ebira...."A Dlibrate distortion of Facts or being Handicap with Facts in Issues"



We read an article authored by one Prof. as indicated, while posted via social media and online account with the captioned "why this oppression, marginalization and maltreatment to Sheikh Alh. Muhammad Salihu Abere.......interim leadersship of the Central Mosque of Ebira is a colossal mistake and a destructive undertaking " we were compelled to write a rejoinder because of the inaccuracies it conveyed and noticed a deliberate intellectual mischief.

The article only succeeded in exposing the author's ignorance of true story of what has been happening, what's the position of Islam on this matter and it seems there is a deliberate attempt from his article to ignore some historical facts.

Indeed, It is obvious that the article wanted to attack the best and peaceful approach, by the Authority and State Council of Ulama, but it ended up with bunch of contradictions and lack of Islamic scholarship.

We cannot hold brief for the authority on alleged oppression, marginalization and maltreatment to Alh.Salihu Abere, because, that is the figment of the imagination of the author, but it was the same Alh Salihu Abere the leader of one group that involved in the tussle once benefited from the authority arbitrary decision after the broke out crisis at Ebira Central Mosque as it was reported by Leadership Newspaper of 5th May 2019 that "Governor Bello cautioned the people of Kogi Central who are interested in the Imam position to remain calm as the government cannot afford to elect a new Imam at this critical point in time and as such, the acting Imam should continue in the acting capacity." Then, who is being oppressed, marginalized and maltreated?  

 Secondly, you wrote that "Interim leadership and Administration in Islam is not Islamic and founded no where, it has no justification, it is Bidi'ah of the highest order, not acceptable in all ramifications."

Ans: Permit us referring whoever was behind the misguided article to  a multi-volume commentary on the Hadith collection Sahih al-Bukhari named
"Fatḥ al-Bari fi Sharḥ Ṣaḥiḥ al-Bukhari" composed by Ibn Hajar al-'Asqalani in its volume: 7 page :78
Also in "Al-Bidayah wan Nihayah" by the renowned Imam Ibn Kathir; volume:7 page 156 both stated that  Khalifah umar Bin Khattab(R.A) after constituting six members panel among whom a khalifah will emerge, he choose Suhayib bn Sinan to lead prayers for 3days  before the emergence of  new khalifa (Successor).

There is no doubt that the four rightly-guided caliphs which Umar is one of them were very pious and very knowledgeable. Thus, their opinions should be highly respected. The authentic Hadith reported that: "The Messenger of Allah (SAW) said, "Certainly, the one who will live among you will see lots of differences. So stick to my Sunnah (“habitual practice) and the Sunnah of the right-principled and rightly-guided successors. Bite onto that with your molar teeth." 

Islamicaly speaking, the interim Imam step by step approached taken by Kogi State Council of Ulamah and the Authority,  and in due course, the appointment of substantive Imam deserved commendation not condemnation.

We also historically have it on record that the Residents of Lokoja on the 5th July,1960 appointed an acting chief Imam, pending a directive from the Northern Government in Kaduna while on Friday, 8th July, 1960, Jummah prayer was observed amidst Nigeria Police protection.
It was as a result of attempt to prayed two Jummah services in the same Mosque (Ebira Central Mosque Okene) by different groups; pro Sheikh Ahmad Rufai and pro Chief Imam Abdulrahim Tajudeen followers. It was reported that both party engaged themselves in a free for all fight which led the Residents of Lokoja and the authority to have appointed an acting Imam and later, the Northern Government in Kaduna sent Sheikh Abubakar Gumi and Sheikh Haliru Binji for the fact finding, and appointed Imam Musa Galadima as Chief Imam after he was screened and interviewed.

Thirdly, You said that: "Sheikh Alh Ahmad Rufai Abdulkareem Anuhi prayed (juma'ah) in the same Central Mosque of Ebiraland behind the late Chief Imam Musa Galadima for several  years not until when the late Chief Imam Musa Galadima have started in a wrong address note of castigation, dehumanizing the personality of Sheikh Ahmad Rufai, he became sarcastic with blasphemous ultrances, canterkerous with prodigality, defaming his Islamic Knowledge with propaganda by outright open castigation and demeaning the presence of late Sheikh Ahmad Rufai and what did he do, he quietly left the Mosque for the late Chief Imam, Alh Musa Galadima to established his own Mosque at Idoji opposite his house without any fight, rancour, disorder and known and unknown hidden war against the late Chief Imam, Alh. Musa Galadima,."

Ans: We had read it from Ebira Tao heritage authored by S.S Salami why Sheikh Ahmad Rufai opened his own Jumaah Mosque at Idoji. It was as a result of crisis that broke out during the Jummat prayer in Okene Central mosque between Pro Imam Abdulrahim Tajudeen and Pro Sheikh Ahmad Rufai that left many worshipers injured in attempt to resolved the misunderstanding, which however proved abortive,
then Pro Sheikh Rufai began to boycott the Jumaat prayers in the Okene Central masque, and later opened his own Jummuah Mosque at Idoji Okene."

In an interview with Ebira online news, late Chief Imam, Sheikh Musa Galadima said: "Sheikh Ahmad Rufai also prayed behind me at Okene Central Mosque for three consecutive Friday Jummuah Prayers, later re-opened his own Jummuah Mosque at Idoji Okene."

So, Sheikh Ahmad Rufai prayed behind Imam for three weeks not several years stated in your article. 
likewise, Sheikh Ahmad Rufai did not opened his own mosque as a result of Imam Musa's wrong address note of castigation, dehumanizing the personality of Sheikh Ahmad Rufai. As we have his political associates people like Alhaji Ismail Obansa, Alhaji Umaru Adabara, Alhaji Abdulsalam Bello, bluntly refused to patronize the re-opened Mosque at Idoji for Jummuah Prayer.
Even Alhaji Abdulrahman Naib who is also the student of Sheikh Ahmad Rufai and being his nominee for the position of deputy Imam (Naibi) jointly maintained and piloted the Ebira Central Mosque Okene affairs together with Chief Imam Musa Abdullah Galadimah since 1960 without friction.

We are still trying hard to pin our head around any book or ever heard story over your allegation that late Imam wrong address note of castigation, dehumanizing the personality of Sheikh Ahmad Rufai but what we found in a book titled "Sheikh Ahmad Rufai; The Heritage in memory of an Islamic icon" authored by Suleiman S. Abdullahi stated that: "...Imam Musa Galadima had always regarded and treated Shaykh Ahmad Rufai as his elder, and also as one of the the first Islamic scholars in Ebira land.
Indeed, the two scholars so respected each other that Imam Musa Galadima paid good attention to Shaykh Ahmad Rufai in Mecca when he fell ill. On their return from pilgrimage, Shaykh Ahmad Rufai, along with a number of his followers, paid a thank you visit to Imam Musa Galadima at his residence in Iruvucheba Quarters Okene.
In fact, whenever these two scholars meet at a given public function, Imam Musa Abdullah Galadima had always wanted Shaykh Ahmad Rufai to coordinate as a sign of respect for him, despite he is the chief Imam. Shaykh Ahmad Rufai had always recognized and respected Imam Musa Galadima as chief Imam of Ebira land:"

Gaskiya (sincerely speaking)! We didn't expect the author of this piece to be so dishonest, unpatriotic, and ungodly in writing, just to seek an appeal to Public fallacy against the late Imam, that was so humbled and adopted a servant's heart to the last day of his life on this earth.

Lastly, you wrote that: "That we are all tired of Alh Lukman and his group let them go to their respective and various Mosque across Ebiraland to observe their prayers on Friday to forestall peace and let us leave in peace."

Ans: But you failed to addressed Salihu Abere Tijaniya group to go to their respective and various Mosques to  observe their Prayers on Friday in the name of peace or is it no more  what's good for the goose is good for the gander!

Ebira Central Mosque Okene was built for Ebira Muslim community not particular sect and that is why we have different activities from different group such as Tijaniya Wazeefa service on every Friday evening in the mosque. Nasrul-lahi-li Fathi Society of Nigeria known as NASFAT holding her Sunday morning weekly prayer activity in the mosque as well as "The Federation of Muslim Women's Association of Nigeria (FOMWAN) weekly activity while Dawah preaching on Sunday evening by ANSAR ISLAM at the same Mosque.

A true Muslim can never be said to have tired of Sheikh Luqman for his effort in guiding the Muslims on how to practice Islam according to the Qur'an and the Sunnah. The man trained and engaged his students in Da’wah and teaching the Ebira Muslims and beyond about best practice of this religion.
​Or could Anebira be said to have tired of a man sponsoring (both welfare and education) of  orphans from cradle to higher level of educational after the lost of their parents?

 True Muslims instead of been tired will prayed and applaud Sheikh Luqman for the facts stated above, and for stand by: that, as far as Islam is concern, the process of appointing Chief Imam is strictly based on merit with particular preference for virtues, and values. Such a person must have distinguished himself by the quality of his knowledge in the Quran, Hadith and Fiqh. These are the prerequisite qualifications to fill in any vacancy created by the death of an Imam, and in this context, the Chief Imam of Ebiraland.

On other issues raised and uncomplimentary remarks about the person of Sheikh Luqman Bin Imam Musa Abdullah Galadima are of no significance to us compared to Meccans onced attacking our noble Prophet and some of Salaf Saliheen (pious predecessors) with the most invidious insults as a designed to undermine their mission and spread of the message, then who is Sheikh Luqman for not expecting same treatments.

What Sheikh Luqman is looking for again, nothing except the pleasure of Allah because he has got a Knowledge, a voice, eloquence, charisma and suppose character. He has as well got class and selfless possession to have successfully taught his students to know that knowledge is what gives them value in the society, and not the Arab word that Hausas refer to as Jahilci (ignorance).
Our prayer is that May Allah lead Sheikh Luqman Bin Imam right and may his will for true practice of Islam prevail, Ameen!

~ AISNA Media Team


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