The Grand Imam of Al-Azhar and the President of the Muslim Council of Elders Dr. Ahmed El-Tayeb has said that Al-Azhar Institution is looking forward to collaborate with the Nigerian Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs in the area of propagation of Islam and correcting the misconception people have of the religion.
He made this known at a Press Conference to mark his 3 day visit to Nigeria on invitation by Nigeria’s President Muhammadu Buhari.
Dr Tayeb said “This visit is an answer to a call by President Muhammadu Buhari and the aim is to enlighten people on the true message of Islam and correct the misconception people have of Islam. So far, our corporation with the Nigerian Supreme Council of Islamic affairs is mainly in the academic field but after this visit, we look forward to expanding it to cover other aspects”
The President of the Muslim Council of Elders, who is also considered as one of the highest Islamic figure in the world also spoke against terrorism in the name of Islam.
According to him “The Holy Qur’an has laid down a very clear policy of calling to Islam. Islam has prohibited using force or weapon against any person. Anybody that uses weapon against any people should repent because that is contrary to teaching of Islam. Islam has ordered that people should live together in peace”
Al-Azhar Institution deploys more than 50 Egyptian preachers to different Nigerian states to educate the Nigerian students in Arabic language and to enlighten the Nigerian society with the importance of co-existence between different religions which according to the Grand Imam is yielding positive results.
“We receive reports from the scholars we send to different countries including Nigeria and the reports have been positive even though there are rooms for improvement. We have been sending scholars to teach in academic institutions. We have set up a system where we depend on the locals Nigerians that have studied in Al-Azahar to be the voice of Al-Azhar in their countries in order to spread the message of peace to their communities.”
He also spoke on the need for African nations to unite with the aim of moving the continent forward.
“I am calling on the unity of all Africans because Africa is a very rich continent that deserves more that what it is having now therefore there is need for all of us to work together in other to move the on continent forward and attain peace and tranquillity.”
As part of his visit to Nigeria, the Grand Imam is to deliver a lecture organised by the Nigerian Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs in collaboration with the Embassy of the Arab Republic of Egypt in Nigeria on the topic “Islam, the religion of peace”.
He is also to visit the Internally Displaced Persons camp in Durumi 1 Abuja.
Al-Azhar Institution was founded in 970 (more than one thousand years ago) includes various educational and culture organs and is considered the oldest Islamic Institution in the world and the minaret for the tolerant values of Islam that urges the co-existence between religions.