Ustaz Abdul-Lateef Adekilekun, the Waziri Muminina of Yorubaland, says killing for blasphemy is not Islamic.
Speaking with the News Agency of Nigeria on Friday in Ede, Adekilekun described Islam as a religion of peace and not of violence.
The cleric was speaking against the backdrop of the killing of Usman Buda, a butcher stoned to death on Sunday in Sokoto State after he allegedly blasphemed against the Holy Prophet Muhammad during an argument with another trader in a market place.
According to the cleric, although blasphemy is not encouraged in Islam, there are laid down procedures to deal with a blasphemer rather than killing.
Adekilekun, who noted that ignorance was one of the reasons why people kill others for blasphemy, stressed the need for more awareness and enlightenment on how Islam wanted a blasphemer to be treated.
“I remember, I read a book and I was taught in the class exactly 61 years ago where they said anyone who accused Prophet Muhammad should be beheaded.
“But that book is neither the Qur’an nor hadith. It is just a book written by a self-styled jurist. Our problem in Nigeria is ignorance.
“Blasphemy in Nigeria is mainly from the northern part of the country and the cause is ignorance.
“You rarely hear of such in the southern part of the country where enlightenment and awareness is more pronounced,” he said.
Adekilekun, however, commended the Federal Government for its effort in blending Islamic-oriented education with Western Education through the National Board for Arabic and Islamic Studies for proper understanding of religion.
The cleric said that government was trying its best in making sure that the Arabic schools are streamlined in line with the 6-3-3-4 system of education to reduce the number of out of school children.
“Before President Muhammadu Buhari left office, he signed a bill seeking to create a Commission to cater for Almajiri and out-of-school children. I want to advise the present administration to encourage awareness on this.
“Islam is a religion of peace and it is very rich. In Islam, you can learn history, arithmetic, among others, but for those who lack adequate knowledge of Islam, they always rely on hear say in making judgments,” he said.
Adekilekun, who is also the Grand Mufassir of Edeland, described the installation of another Waziri of Yorubaland by the Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdulrosheed Akanbi, as illegal.
He said he was the Waziri of Yorubaland installed and recognised by the League of Imams and Alfas in Southwest Nigeria. (NAN)