The Founder and Missioner of Ahbaab Li-Islam Society of Nigeria, Ustaz Habeebullah AbdulGaniy Arikewuyo has said that the poster of his organisation’s Islamic programme “Laylatul Qadri” showing Celestial Church Pastor, Israel Ogundipe as a guest speaker was a printer’s error.
Ustadh Arikewuyo made the clarification while speaking exclusively to an online Muslim News, Nigeria’s most authoritative Islamic newspaper on Saturday.
The controversial poster has seen tongues wagging since it appeared on social media over the week, with many Muslims condemning it, describing it as a “gradual descent into spiritual and moral anarchy”, and an ‘innovation far from Islam’.
Ustadh Arikewuyo, who is equally the Chief Host of the event said the information presenting the pastor as guest lecturer was a printer’s error, explaining that he was only invited as a special guest of honour.
He said, “I was actually not at home when the poster was made. The designer sent it to some of my students who immediately shared it on social media without necessarily double checking and seeking my approval. The misinformation is very unfortunate. And we’ve since told the designer to update and correct it.
“For clarification purpose, it is Sheikh Sulaiman Sarumi we have invited as Guest Lecturer and not Pastor Ogundipe. The respected Pastor was only invited to serve as a special guest of honour at the event and we didn’t see anything wrong in inviting him to honour the event,” the scholar explained.
Ustaz AbdulGaniy however expressed disappointment over the attitude of Muslims who shared and passed negative comments about the poster, saying that, “They could have called him for clarification since his contact numbers were written on the poster.”
He urged social media users to always fact-check information before passing snide remarks or issuing misguided commentaries.
Muslim News findings revealed that the two religious groups, Ahbaab Li-Islam Society of Nigeria and Markazu Ahbaab Uloomudeen had reportedly invited the cleric to their Laylatul Qadri, (Night of Majesty) event slated for Friday, May 7, equivalent to the 25th day of the ongoing Ramadan fast.
According to the information displayed on the poster, Prophet Israel Oladele Ogundipe, General Overseer, Genesis Global will be the guest lecturer alongside other Muslim clerics, at the event which will be hosted by Ustaz Habeebullah AbdulGaniy Arikewuyo Raji, the founder and missioner of the organisation
BlazeNewz gathered that Pastor Ogundipe who was invited to the event has been very controversial, he was recently released on bail over a charge of fraud.
It was also learnt that the programme which is expected to hold at Iju-Ishaga area of Lagos will feature various artistes who will entertain attendees.
The controversial poster quickly drew reactions from a cross-section of Muslims who expressed shock and disbelief when it first surfaced online during the week.
Several online media, blogs, including BBC Yoruba have also reported the reactions that trailed the invitation of Pastor Ogundipe to a programme organised to mark the Muslims’ Night of Majesty.
Mallam Sanusi Lafiagi, a don at Al-Hikmah University, Ilorin, who shared the poster on his social media handle, called the development a gradual descent into spiritual and moral anarchy.
Sanusi said he was not shocked upon seeing the poster, noting that it’s expected when people believe the Sunnah (way of life) of the Prophet (SAW) is not enough to take them to paradise.
“I can see a lot of people expressing shock and disbelief about this shenanigans, but I’m not. In fact, there’s no point being shocked. Bid’ah (innovation) and Kufr (disbelief) are relatives.
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“Whoever says the Sunnah of the Prophet is not enough to take them to paradise (by Allah’s favour) until he introduces into Islām matters that are not a part of it, you shouldn’t expect anything short of a gradual descent into spiritual and moral anarchy! Very soon, they will invite a pastor to lead the Jumu’ah and ‘īd prayers!!! Hasbunallāu wa ni’mal wakīl,” the University don wrote.
Also commenting on the issue, a social media user identified as Abdulquddus said the event was in clear violation of the Sufism (mystical form of Islam) which the organisers identify with.
He noted that anyone who abandons the Shari’ah can never be a Sufi.
“Sufism is following the Qur’an and the Sunnah. Sufism is in worship, in Prophetic character, in the remembrance of Allah, in service, and in completely practicing the religion.
“Anyone who abandons the Shar’iah can never be a Sufi, no matter their lineage, their clothing, their appearance, their dreams, the number of people who promote them, their supporters, or anything else.”
On her part, Lateefat Shomuyiwa sought Allah’s aid over the matter.
“Night of miracle. Miracle will happen there that night. Singing and clapping won’t carry last because Mr Pastor won’t show alone. Awon dancers inu ijo naa will attend plus the azakhira. Everything go turn to night of dance. Allah’s aid is earnestly sought,” she wrote.
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