Speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Femi Gbajabiamila, a prominent political leader in Nigeria, has said there cannot be enough emphasis on the importance of learning Arabic and Islamic studies in enhancing peace and unity in the country.
He made the call at Tuesday’s stakeholders national conference of the National Board for Arabic and Islamic Studies (NBAIS).
“The Role of Arabic and Islamic Education in Promoting Peace and Harmony in Nigeria” was the theme of the conference.
The Speaker is represented by his Chief of Staff, Hon. As Sanusi Rikiji pointed out, the conference is timely in this critical time of nationhood when extremism in religion has become rampant among the youth and has often led to violent conflict.
According to him, at the event organized by NBAIS and Al-Ansar foundation, this underscored the importance of looking within to find ways to improve understanding of the role Arabic and Islamic Education can play in advancing peace and harmony in Nigeria.
In Nigeria, the Arabic language and Islamic studies play a significant role in promoting peace and unity. Islam has made Arabic a language of administration, literacy, education, history, and legislation in the past, especially in northern Nigeria. The importance of the Arabic language in the development of Nigeria goes beyond religious spheres.
NBAIS plays a vital role in inculcating the spirit of trust, tolerance, patience, and religious cautiousness to our teaming students/youths to achieve peace and harmony in a multi-ethnic and multi-religious society like Nigeria. The vision of bridging the gap between Islamic and Western education will be realized in no distant future with the help of this type of conference.
According to him, the current situation in Nigeria requires a better understanding among ourselves, especially among young people of school age and above regardless of ethnic or religious orientation.
Assurances were given that the National Assembly and House of Representatives will continue to pass legislation promoting good governance, peace and harmony in Nigeria.
A lecturer at the Department of Arabic and Islamic Studies at the University of Ibadan, Prof. Afis Oladosu, said Muslims who understand Islam and the teachings of Prophet Muhammad would neither promote nor engage in violence that disrupts the peace of society.
The title of his paper was “Arabic and Islamic knowledge systems and the search for peace and harmony in Nigeria”.
A quarrelsome person would be the most hated person in the sight of Allah, while a true believer would be one from whom people’s lives and wealth would be safe.
Education should aim to develop a man’s total personality through the development of his spirit, intellect, rational feelings, and bodily senses.
We can achieve peace and harmony when the basics of life are provided for the masses when citizens become responsible and responsive to their responsibilities to themselves and their families when we stop playing politics with our religions and when we stop conflating the criminal with his tribe,” Oladosu said.
Furthermore, the Vice Chancellor at Al-Istiqama University, Sumaila, Kano State, Prof. Salisu Shehu, delivered a keynote address on “”The Role of Arabic and Islamic Education in Promoting Peace and Harmony in Nigeria” and Professor Bashir Galadanci of Bayero University, Kano, spoke on “The Role of Traditional Islamic and Quránic Schools for the Promotion of Peace and Harmony in Society.””.
To overcome the nation’s socio-economic challenges, I have stressed the importance of adhering to Allah’s injunctions.