- The reason Islam has gone evangelical in South west Nigeria has been revealed
- The country is now seeing a growing number of groups practising “charismatic Islam” in response to the massive success of pentecostal Christianity in the country
Despite that Sunday morning is usually the preserve of Christian pastors in the Nigerian megacity of Lagos, a new form of worship is emerging to challenge the monopoly.
Vanguard reports that the country is now seeing a growing number of groups practising “charismatic Islam” in response to the massive success of pentecostal Christianity in the country.
NAIJ.com gathered that one of the movements, NASFAT now boasts hundreds of thousands of faithful, with branches not only in Nigeria but also in England, Canada, Germany and the Netherlands. It encourages both Islamic and “western” education.
“In NASFAT we teach the Quran and make people understand the message of the Quran. So at no time anybody could use the Quran out of context or behave contrary of the messages of the Coran,” says Kamil Bolarinwa, the president of NASFAT.
Despite their different approaches from other Islamic movements, the groups say they share the common goal of drawing people to Islam.
“They’re unique. They want to get every Muslim, men and women, educated, to enlighten them in order to take them out of poverty,” said Lateef Adetona, head of the religious studies department at Lagos State University.
“They think that the Salafists — a more conservative school — are discouraging people to turn to Islam.”
NASFAT hasn’t gained traction in the Hausa-speaking community in northern Nigeria, which represents the majority of Muslims in the country and dismisses the southwest school.
However, NASFAT says that despite their different approaches, they share the common goal of drawing people to Islam.
“We are going against the ones who give Islam a bad name,” said Chief Missionary Abdullahi Gbade Akinbode, arguing that NASFAT offers a better alternative than the hardline sectarian view of Islam espoused by Boko Haram jihadists.
“We organise summits against radicalisation, against Boko Haram, to educate our people,” said Akinbode.
The missionary discreetly passes a copy of the NASFAT prayer book. On the cover, the group’s slogan reads: “There is no help except from Allah.”
Watch this NAIJ.com video of Sanusi Lamido Sanusi, the Emir of Kano, lambasting the Nigerian leadership for not showing any evidence that it is fighting corruption.