The Sultan of Sokoto, Alhaji Sa’ad Abubakar III, has said that Islamic education is robust and not backward as some people say.
Abubakar said this at the centenary celebration of Sheikh Adam Al-Ilory, held at the University of Lagos on Monday.
He said, “We cannot allow people to bring our heads down and say we are useless. We are highly educated. We need to take this challenge up and ask ourselves, ‘Why do people look at us Muslims as illiterates?’ I don’t understand how someone who is very fluent in the Quran, who can recite it off-heart be called an illiterate because he doesn’ speak English.
“Islamic education is perpetually an entity of self-discipline, which involves physical and spiritual training of man. It is the balanced growth of man through training of intellect. The bulk of Islamic education is meant to facilitate the proper growth of the total personality of man. It is a way of life. When we are talking about Islamic education, don’t think we are being backward because it is the making of a total human being and when you become one, you would shun corruption and avoid illegal dealings.”
Al-Ilory was the founder, Markaz Agege Centre for Arabic and Islamic Studies, Lagos and a renowned Islamic preacher still acclaimed even after his death in 1992.
The Sultan described Al-Ilory as a preacher and a prolific writer who communicated his thoughts and ideas not only to his contemporaries but also to the younger generations.
In his speech, the Governor of Ogun state, Ibikunle Amosun, said there was no better way to tell the Islam story than through education.
He said, “Markaz Campus will be established in Abeokuta and this will be with the support of the Sultan of Sokoto. We will support the growth of Islam with whatever we have because Islam is a religion of peace.”
The Senate President, Dr Bukola Saraki, appealed to the audience to continue to do their best for education to ensure it work.
Saraki said, “For those of us who have been opportune, we will ensure that a place like Markaz continue to grow.”
The Pro-chancellor of the University of Lagos, Dr. Wale Babalakin, said that for Markaz to complete its university it would need more funds.
He said, “I am aware that Markaz needs to expand its premises and needs to buy neighbouring properties but there is no feasibility to do that apart from the opportunity we have now at this gathering.”
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