A 63 – year – old retired Permanent Secretary in Ogun State, Abdulfatah Opebiyi at the weekend alongside 39 others graduated from the Insight Institute for Islamic and Technical Studies in the state.
Opebiyi, who was honoured as the most discipled student of the Institute, said he was in the institute to further his knowledge of the religion.
The 63 – year – old man who retired about three years ago at the Ogun State Ministry of Information and Strategy said he was also at the Open University studying Islamic Studies as a way of killing ignorance about the religion.
He said, “One thing with us in this country is that most of the things we go into, we know little about.
“In the same case, I find myself as the Chief Imam of Ibara Housing Estate Mosque with little knowledge about the religion and I believe its incumbent upon me to learn about the religion so that I can practice very well.
“I have Masters but not in Islamic studies. If you don’t know, I am also a 400 level student of Islamic studies in Open University in other to learnt the religion fully so that I will not be practicing in ignorance like what many of our people do and mislead our people.”
Speaking about the convocation, the Director of the Institute, Dr Afees Oladimeji Musa distanced Islam from the spate of terrorism across the world, advocating the real knowledge as a panacea to the unrest nationwide.
The Director, while addressing the gathering lamented that anytime Islamic education is mentioned, what comes to people’s minds is terrorism, saying what Islam teaches is peace even with non Muslims.
According to him, whoever understands Islam will never engage in any action that will endanger the lives of other people regardless of their religious affiliation.
“To be a religious person, you have to be conversant with Islamic studies, what we try to do is to focus on Arabic and other technical knowledge which can aide the practice of Islam and to help them in what they want to do.
“Islam is a religion of peace and what Islam teaches is peace, peaceful engagement with non Muslims, peaceful co existence with non Muslims, whoever understands Islam will never engage in such activity that could endanger the life of the people, whoever understand Islam will find it easy to get along with people regardless of their religious conviction.
“I will encourage people to learn more about Islam, the more you know of Islam, the more you will realise that there’s nothing that can outdo the practice of this religion,” he said.