Imam Onike Abdul-Azeez

The Chief Missioner of Nasrul-Lahil-l-Fath Society (NASFAT), Imam Onike Abdul-Azeez, yesterday, urged Nigerians to promote religious harmony and peaceful coexistence, irrespective of their faith for national development.

Abdul-Azeez told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that Nigeria, with its huge potentials, could only achieve greatness when the citizens imbibed the virtues of tolerance, forgiveness and peace-making.

He urged Muslims to be dedicated and obedient to authorities as demonstrated by Prophet Ibrahim, adding: “Patience, submission to constituted authorities, humility, tolerance and promotion of peaceful co-existence are some of the lessons to be taken away from this festival.”

While listing enhancement of interfaith relations, maintenance of law and order and self-discipline as some of the other lessons, he said the willingness of Prophet Ibrahim to sacrifice his son in obedience to the will of God, which Eid-el-Kabir commemorates, should be emulated.

“Islam, as a practical religion, gives reasons for some of the acts of worship that its adherents must carry out. For example, fasting is in order for us to be conscious of God.“Prayer (Salaat) keeps us away from bad habits and lewd activities; Zakat strengthens brotherhood, alleviates poverty and instills humility.”

“Eid-el-Kabir is not only for merrymaking; it is to relive the lessons from the submission of Prophet Ibrahim and his son, Prophet Ismail, to the commandment of their creator.

“The Almighty Allah is not in need of blood or animals meat; the spirit behind Eid-el Kabir is the most important,” he said.Abdul-Azeez called on Nigerians to vote for credible leaders next year and avoid enticement by politicians so as not to mortgage their future, saying: “As we approach the election year, we must take our own destiny in our own hands by not selling our birthright for a pot of porridge

“Whoever sells his vote has one way or another contributed to the woes of this nation. We need to “shine our eyes” by voting credible people into power,” he said.The cleric to prayed God to strengthen Nigeria’s leaders and sustain its peace and unity.

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