In an effort to promote reformation in society, the 2nd workshop for Chief Imams in the 16 Local Government areas of Kwara State was held at the Chief Imam of Offa Centre for Arabic and Islamic studies in Offa.
The workshop, attended by approximately 160 participants from across the state, aimed to highlight the critical role of Chief Imams in shaping the community.
During the workshop, an Islamic scholar, Dr. Yusuf Kolawole Jumu’ah, delivered a keynote address on the theme “Towards Reformation of the Society: Role of Chief Imams Highlighted.”
In a communique signed at the end of the workshop by the National Chairman of the Hijrah Islamic Organization, Prof. Badmus Olanrewaju and Hijrah Da’wah Committee, Engr. Yas’ar Remilekun, several recommendations and observations were made.
The participants highlighted the declining presence of Islamic studies and teaching in schools, attributed to the retirement of teachers. They appealed to the State Government to recruit more teachers of Arabic and Islamic Studies to fill the vacant positions in primary, junior, and senior secondary schools.
Recognizing the prevailing insecurity in the nation, the congregation urged the government to actively address the root cause of youth unemployment. They emphasized the need to lift the embargo on recruitment and employ qualified graduates in the public sector, thereby reducing poverty and social unrest.
The workshop also shed light on the traditional and customary approach followed by Imams in their sermons. Participants encouraged Imams to focus their reflections and sermons on contemporary issues to mobilize and spiritually uplift their congregation, while urging political leaders to prioritize good governance.
Additionally, concerns were raised about the misuse of social media platforms by religious scholars and bloggers, which often incited conflicts and hostilities among various groups. The participants urged caution and moderation in the use of new media, calling for religious group leaders to organize conferences that address the implications of social media abuse, quoting relevant verses from the Holy Qur’an.
Expressing their appreciation for the training and re-training workshops for religious leaders, participants acknowledged the significance of impactful sermons as a means to motivate and guide both leaders and the nation.
The workshop, however, stressed the importance of adhering to proper procedures for the establishment of Jum’aa mosques, to avoid unnecessary proliferation and closely located mosques within a particular neighborhood. They emphasized the importance of data collation and the fear of Allah in the appointment of Imams at any level.
The event, hosted by the Chief Imam of Offa, Imam Muhyideen Saliman Hussein, saw the presence of esteemed dignitaries including Prof. Badmus Olanrewaju, the National Chairman of the Hijrah Islamic Organization, Alhaji Nasir Ibrahim, Chairman Igbomina Ekiti Muslim Community, and Alhaji Isiaka Salawudeen, Chairman of the Muslim Stakeholders Association, among others.