Diversity is a deliberate creation of God, not Accident-Muslim Scholars
By RAZAQ BAMIDELE
London, May 2, 2019 (AltAfrica)-Two scholars have unanimously agreed that, diversity is never an accident but God’s creation for a purpose.
This was the submission of Professor Abdul Razaq Abdul Majeed Alaro of the Faculty of Law, University of Ilorin, Kwara State of Nigeria and Dr. Lukman Zakariyya of the Islamic Jurisprudent and Legal Theory, International Islamic University, Malaysia.
The two scholars spoke at the 25th pre-Ramadan lecture themed, ‘Managing Diversity: Whither the Muslims?’ organised by the University of Lagos Muslim Alumni (UMA) at the J.F. Ade Ajayi Auditorium situated within the University Campus in Lagos.
The first speaker, Professor Abdul Razaq Abdul Majeed Alaro submitted that diversity in any nation is made by God, supporting his assertion with quotes from the glorious Qur’an that, if God has the capacity to make the whole world a community of same language, same tribe, same tradition and same colour.
If God had wanted us to be of just only one race, according to the scholar, He would have decreed so, saying, what is reasonable and sensible for people to do is simply to abide by His decree because it is beyond them not to accept diversity and our being together.
“Unless we follow this way, we would all be losers,” Alaro warned, suggesting that, strong conflict resolution mechanism is required to handle disputes for national interests and global peace.
The second speaker, Dr. Lukman Zakariyya went a step further to proffer solutions to the problem of diversity by spelling out a few recommendations.
The Malaysia based scholar, who said diversity is not a curse if properly managed for the growth of the society suggested that, there must be an agreement among the people on how to manage their affairs through biding rules and regulations.
He added that creation of unifying culture where diversity would be assimilated for proper management is also required just as he also suggested putting in place, a political structure that would ensure sense of belonging among the various nationals within a community.
Zakariyya further stated that, educational institutions should be equipped with relevant instruments to teach proper management of diversity adding that dialogue is also an essential part of crisis resolution mechanism in any society.
Good leadership according to him will also go a long way in cementing the unity of any society
The Chairman on the occasion and Governor of the State of Osun, Alhaji Ishaq Gboyega Oyetola in his speech said the topic, Managing Diversity: Wither the Muslims? was a subject of grave spiritual importance and one that demands intellectual rigour and a deep understanding of tolerance in the face of diversity and differences.
“In light of recent violent killings at places where God is worshipped from the Synagogue in Pittsburgh America to the Mosque in Christchurch New Zealand to the churches and hotels of Sri Lanka, intolerance and the ignorance are a twin disease that could wipe out the real essence of humanity in us if we do not take heed of the words of Allah – our creator,” the governor said
According to him, “Allah’s dominion over a plurality of the world and diversity in creation is the first substantive truth we learn in the Qur’an, enthusing that the erudite lecturers invited would do justice to the topic.
In her goodwill message, Lagos State Deputy Governor, Dr. Idiat Adebule said Islam is a religion of peace, urging its adherents to ensure peaceful co-existence with believers of other faiths.
The deputy governor said: “To us all, as Muslims and all religious beliefs, we must continue to use religion as a tool to promote peaceful co-existence, tolerance and good neighbourliness.
Sultan of Sokoto and President, Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs, His Eminence, Sa’ad Abubakar described diversity as nature’s signature.
The nature, he said, is sustained only through its diversity.
“In other words, without diversity nature cannot be sustained and the world as we know it today would not be there… Of course, even within Islam there are diversities, of tribes, cultures, schools, interpretations and views. This intra-religious diversity should be even easier to manage because the fundamentals of the belief system and the ultimate goals are the same,” he said.
The Sultan of Sokoto added that “Islam recognises the reality of diversity. It accepts it and rises above it to show that what matters is not race which is geographical or colour which is skin-deep but the quality of human character. That the human being is defined not by where he comes from or what language he speaks or even what social class he comes from, rather what he believes in and what values drive his character and behaviour.
Paramount Ruler of Lagos, Oba Rilwan Akiolu, in his remarks described dishonesty as one of the major challenges facing diversity
Nigeria, he said, would develop if the larger population are honest in carrying out their duties.
He described President Muhammadu Buhari as rare among the politicians in the country.
According to him, the task of cleaning the country of mess is not for President Buhari alone, “it is for all of us.”
Earlier in his welcome address, the UMA President, Alhaji Shuaib Afolabi Salisu said, “indeed, the issue under focus this year’s edition is not just of national importance, it is of global interest, diversity, hence the theme Managing Diversity – Whither the Muslims.”
Also present at the event were, Vice Chancellor of the University, Professor Oluwatoyin Ogundipe, Chief Imam of Lagos, Sheikh Sulaeman Oluwatoyin Abou Nolla, UNILAG Chairman, Muslim Community, Professor Lai Olurode, National Missioner, Ansaru-Deen Society of Nigeria Sheikh Ahmad Olanrewaju Abdur-Rahaman.