Sheikh Dr. Ahmad Abubakar Gumi, the Saudi Arabia-based Nigerian Islamic scholar, stated this evening that there is no compulsion on non-Muslims to convert to Islam. Mr. Gumi made the assertion in his ongoing Ramadan sermon at the historic Sultan Muhammadu Bello Mosque in Kaduna.
The teaching came against the background of a recent statement by the militant Islamist group, Boko Haram, demanding that President Goodluck Jonathan convert to Islam.
A source who attended the Ramadan teaching at the mosque said the cleric also warned Muslims to remain focused and deeply committed to true Islamic doctrines and teachings in order to avoid the wrong application of their faith.
The source said, “Mallam [Teacher] made it clear today that there is no compulsion and forceful conversion to our Islamic religion. He explained that enemies of Islam and some misguided Muslims are responsible for creating confusion and division among Muslim Ummah.”
The source disclosed that Sheik Gumi also said that there were deliberate plans by some to present Islam in bad light. “He made it clear that Muslims are not against Christians or any religion, but wondered why it is that whenever the talk about Sharia comes up, some lie and throw up all kinds of falsehood that there is a plot to Islamize Nigeria.”
Our source said Mr. Gumi contended that there was considerable evidence that Sharia law had helped to reduce moral vices in Zamfara State and other areas. He wondered why Muslims come under unnecessary attacks from certain quarters in the course of practicing their beliefs. He then enjoined Muslims to remain law abiding and to embrace good religious knowledge for the reduction of ignorance.
The source added that Sheik Gumi extolled his audience as well as Muslims to work towards ensuring that only right and moral leaders are elected henceforth. The cleric argued that the election of such leaders would address many challenges in Nigeria.
Sheikh Gumi disclosed his agreement with another fellow who argued that democracy was anti-Islam and should be avoided. “Malam told us that democracy should be embraced to ensure equality, justice and fairness. He said it is not possible to follow some teachings in Egypt and other countries whose situations are not the same as ours.”
In concluding his talk, Sheikh Gumi implored Muslims to seek knowledge in order to know what they are doing and to follow Allah accordingly.