In the name of Allah, the beneficient, the merciful. Peace be unto you. To my understanding, as our leaders and fellow Muslims, I believe that their proposal is well intentioned. Like Prophet Muhammad(SAW) said, if a Muslim moots an idea or proposal or reveals his intention on an issue, a fellow Muslim should not read ill motives into it unless he proves otherwise. If that happens, then it is expected that the fellow should be counseled. The governors’ intention to screen preachers or to make traditional rulers to monitor and sanitise their activities, in my view, is what they were supposed to have done since. The nation is a secular state but it is wrong to misinterpret that to mean that all tiers of government should hands off religion completely.
How should the governors go about it?
In spite of the proliferation of sects, Muslims should come under one umbrella, under Jama’atu Nasril Islam. Both followers of Izala and Darika are under Jama’atu, it does not discriminate against sects. It should set up a committee, comprising representatives from Izala and Darika, that will set exams for prospective preachers. The sultan of Sokoto is the overall head of JNI and in every state in the north, the first class emir deputises for him. In every state, the emir should constitute the committee on behalf of Jama’atu a to periodically asses would do tafsir (Qur’anic translation), hadith(Prophet Muhammad’s[SAW] traditions) and fiqh(Islamic jurisprudence). In addition, the committee should ascertain the would-be preacher’s area of specialization before giving him the right to commence preaching. Fairness will be achieved if this is done and there will be sanity. It is un-Islamic to think that this is not possible and for us to remain without regulating the activities of charlatans who parade themselves as preachers.
Are you saying that before I can sermonize on a verse or two I must be cleared by a committee?
Let me give you an example. If your wristwatch is faulty, will you repair it yourself or you will take it to a watch repairer? So also, if your car develops a fault, you will take it to the mechanic. The problem we are facing is that every Muslim thinks he is a preacher. This is a mistake.