Islam has always held a position of immense respect and influence in Ilorin emirate and Kwara State as a whole. Ilorin, as the forerunner and bastion of Islamic education in the Southenermost Northern Nigeria, with close affinity and ancestral ties with the South western Nigeria, boast of generation of clerics, who can be confidently referred to as custodians of Islamic faith and spirituality.
Thus, Islamic clerics of Ilorin extraction have played and continue to play a crucial roles in guiding the community and State at large towards spiritual growth and moral values.
However, recent events in Ilorin have indicated that some of these esteemed religious figures are becoming entangled in the treacherous realm of politics, particularly regarding the renovation of Kwara Hotels.
The following are the potential consequences of such involvement and ultimately implores the Islamic clerics in Ilorin to remain steadfast in their religious duties, detached from political influences;
1) Preservation of Religious Integrity
First and foremost, it is paramount for Islamic clerics to preserve the integrity and sanctity of their religious roles. Their primary responsibility lies in guiding the faithful towards a deep understanding of Islam’s teachings, nurturing spirituality, and fostering unity within the community.
By prioritizing political interests over their core religious duties, clerics risk losing the trust and respect of the communities they serve. The religious pulpit should never be used as a platform for partisan agendas, which can create divisions and distract from the core values of Islam.
2) The Danger of Political Entanglement:
Political involvement inherently brings forth a host of ethical and moral dilemmas. By aligning themselves with politicians, clerics risk compromising their independence and impartiality.
Moreover, political associations can lead to the perception of impropriety, causing a loss of faith in the religious leaders themselves. Engaging in political debates and actions can lead to personal biases, diminishing the ability of clerics to offer objective guidance, and inadvertently compromising their standing within the community.
3) Fanning the Flames of Social Discord:
Succumbing to political pressures can inadvertently contribute to societal disharmony and discord. Ilorin, like any other community, already faces various challenges that require the wisdom and guidance of Islamic clerics. Yet, the association of religion with politics can divide communities along religious and partisan lines, leading to animosity and tension among the people. It is crucial for clerics to carefully navigate the volatile landscape of politics to ensure that their actions promote harmony and unity, rather than exacerbating existing societal divisions.
4) Role Models for Future Generations:
Islamic clerics hold a significant responsibility as role models for future generations. Their actions and words have a profound impact on the minds and hearts of young individuals looking for guidance. By stepping into the world of politics, the clerics risk confusing and disillusioning the younger generation, who may perceive religious leaders as mere pawns or agents of political factions. Instead, they should focus on shaping future generations through spiritual mentorship, education, and moral guidance, emphasizing the importance of integrity and ethical standards.
5) Creation of artificial Division amongst the Clerics: It’s glaring partisan politics has a way of creating sharp ideological or selfish divide amongst the players. This, trend although normal within political circles, can stain the white garment of the Islamic clerics dragged into such murky waters.
Islamic clerics in Ilorin play an invaluable role in guiding and nurturing their communities. It is essential for them to remember their higher purpose and prioritize their religious responsibilities above political endeavors. By dedicating themselves to preserving religious integrity and staying clear of the murky waters of politics, they can continue to serve as the moral compass for their communities, inspiring unity, harmony, and spiritual growth. The continual separation of politics and religion will ensure the preservation of faith and the long-lasting positive impact of Islamic clerics in Ilorin.
Abdulrasheed Akogun can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org