Lai Muhammed delivering his speech at the occasion in Abeokuta on Sunday
A former Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Muhammed, has urged Muslim leaders and communities across the country to ensure adherence to Islamic injunctions in conducting funeral rites.
Muhammed gave the advice on Sunday in Abeokuta at the Ogun Mass Asalatu Prayers and Launching of N500 million CASOB Muslim Cemetery, National Secretariat and Halal Event Centre.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the theme of the programme, organised by Sa’adatul Abadiyya Organisation of Nigeria (SAON), was: “Islamic Perspective to Nation Building.”
Muhammed, who is the Grand Patron of SAON, stressed the need to educate Muslims on the implications of deliberate violation of Allah’s injunctions, adding that cultures and traditions should never be placed above the dictates of religious guides.
“Shari’ah (Islamic religious law) calls for burial of the deceased’s body, which should be preceded by a simple ritual of bathing and shrouding the body, followed by Salatul Janazah (funeral prayer),” he said.
The former minister described Muslim funeral exercise as a means of seeking Allah’s forgiveness for a deceased.
He, therefore, advised that such funeral services should be modest and not turned into a jamboree in order to avoid the wrath of the Creator
“It is the way, not only for the successful attainment of our community objectives of having the forgiveness of God on our deceased persons, but also to save them from the agony of unnecessary or destructive practices.
“There is, therefore, the need to educate Muslims in the country, particularly those in South-West, on the Islamic injunction that encourages them to invest in their hereafter and the imperative of building burial grounds for their communities.
“One cannot think of any enterprise worthy of investing in our lives than getting our final abode ready and comfortable.
“This is done only by ensuring that we have our own separate Muslim burial grounds during our own lifetimes on earth.
“Thus all Muslims must come back to the guidance of Islam, especially funeral/burial exercise,” he said.
Muhammed urged Islamic communities and organisations across the nation to build permanent Muslim burial grounds for their members.
He pledged to stand by SAON in ensuring successful completion of the projects.
Speaking on the theme of the programme, the Guest Lecturer, Alhaji Ismail Abdul-Lateef, advised the Federal Government to step up measures at ensuring nation building.
According to Abdul-Lateef, if Nigeria must fast-track the process of nation building, leaders must build patriotic citizens and ensure justice and equitable distribution of the commonwealth.
Speaking at the symbolic foundation-laying ceremony after the launch, National President of SAON, Alhaji Abdul-Ghaneey Omotosho, noted that the Halal event centre, to be situated behind the mosque, would accommodate 1,800 people at a go.
He said that the practices, which were not permitted by Islam, such as smoking and drinking of alcohol, would not be allowed in the hall.
The president added that the hall would also offer accommodation to Muslims who might be stranded at any point in time.
According to him, the cemetery will be situated at Idi-Ori area of Abeokuta in Abeokuta North Local Government Area.