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Varsity Don Harps On Importance Of Islamic Studies To Nation-Building



Prof. Yahya Oyewole Imam

The Federal government has been urged to quickly embark on legislation that will ensure that Islamic Studies is restored to its original status of being a core subject in schools across the country.

A Professor of Islamic Studies at the University of Ilorin, Yahya Oyewole Imam, stated this while delivering the 175th Inaugural Lecture of the University, describing Islamic Studies as the subject of God and humanity.

The don who commended the Federal government for giving Islamic studies a full-fledged status in the curriculum noted that, “this will go a long way in instilling appropriate morality in the youth and help them grow to become useful adults that will take the country out of the several immoralities that have enveloped it.”

In his lecture titled: “In The Service Of God And Humanity”, Professor Imam said: “It is high time the 60:40 ratio of Science to Liberal Arts be reviewed as envisioned by the NPE. This is necessary because a technologically advanced Nigeria devoid of decency will be counter -productive.”

According to him, “Teachers and students of Islamic studies should be
proactive at all times and ensure that they contribute meaningfully
among their peers without any complexities. A few of their fore
bearers who have demonstrated excellence in their jobs should be emulated.

“Islamic scholars should take portents from other professionals who not only express the desire that their children take after them professionally, but ensure their training in that direction by
encouraging some of their children to specialise in Islamic studies or related fields. If you do not value or know your worth who will?

“Concerted efforts should be made by government and non-governmental
agencies to implement recommendations made in their sponsored projects as well as other relevant researches.

While asserting that Islamic studies and those who study it have experienced one form of dislike, mockery or the other, the Inaugural Lecturer maintained that, “Quite a number of successful Islamists
today, yesterday had low estimation of themselves and felt inferior to their peers as we already stated.”

He further stressed that, “A few others have also relegated the subject to the background and treated those who choose it as a career with disdain. Despite this negative attitude, it has been demonstrated in this presentation that Islamic studies confers spiritual and mundane benefits to those who acquire it.

“Spiritually, it provides a correct understanding of Islam to those who acquire it and leads them to its proper practice. In the mundane sense, taking a career in Islamic studies provides meal ticket and helps to address numerous problems facing the society through researches that recommend Islamic solutions to those problems.

“Such competence has been acquired through critical and creative thinking skills that training in different subject areas of Islamic studies have inculcated in those who acquire it. Given these benefits that Islamic studies can confer on the individuals and the society, it
will not be out of place to state that it is a discipline dedicated not only to the service of God but also to humanity.”

The varsity don who disclosed that incessant industrial actions have
become perennial in Nigeria expressed sadness that “there is no tier of government that has not experienced one type of strike or the other noting that the latest of such strikes was the one declared by the Academic Staff Union of Universities (ASUU) Sunday, 13th August, 2017.

While explaining efforts made to control recurrence of strikes, Professor Imam disclosed that, “the reality on ground shows the ineffectiveness of such efforts. It is the ineffectiveness of the
earlier measures that necessitated the recommendation of the principles of Islamic labour relations that guaranteed industrial peace in the Islamic history.

“Such principles include ridding the country of usurious and other illegal transaction that have been taking toll on the nation’s economy therefore affecting cost of governance and ultimately preventing government from discharging its responsibilities; prompt payment of
correct and appropriate wages taking into account the reality of the time; routine consultation between labour and their employers to thrash issues of common interest and welfare of the labour in order to enlist their dedication to duty.”

Speaking further, Imam however confirmed that some of his research
recommendations on Moon sighting have been largely responsible for the
uniformity in the commencement and completion of Ramadan fasting in

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