APC Presidential Candidate, Tinubu Can’t Recite First Chapter Of Qur’an, Raises Doubts Among Northern Nigerians About His Muslim Faith

0
14
APC Presidential Candidate, Tinubu Can’t Recite First Chapter Of Qur’an, Raises Doubts Among Northern Nigerians About His Muslim Faith – US Scholar, Prof. Kperogi
APC Presidential Candidate, Tinubu Can’t Recite First Chapter Of Qur’an, Raises Doubts Among Northern Nigerians About His Muslim Faith – US Scholar, Prof. Kperogi

He said that the conversation about the same-faith character of the Tinubu-Shettima ticket appeared to be shifting to questions about whether, in fact, Tinubu is a Muslim.

A Nigerian-American professor and newspaper columnist, Farooq Kperogi, has questioned whether the All Progressives Congress, APC’s presidential candidate, Bola Tinubu, is actually a Muslim in the real sense of it.

Farouq in an opinion article published on Saturday, titled: “From “Muslim-Muslim” to “is he really a Muslim?”, hinged his comments on the inconsistency of the APC candidate to recite Sūrat al-Fātiḥah, the first chapter of the Qur’an.

He said that the conversation about the same-faith character of the Tinubu-Shettima ticket appeared to be shifting to questions about whether, in fact, Tinubu is a Muslim.

He noted that Tinubu’s multiple stumbles with reciting Sūrat al-Fātiḥah, the first chapter of the Qur’an were evident when in one instance, he said “bismillahir rahmanir rahim” before saying “auzubillah minashaitan ni rajeem” instead of the other way around.

The media scholar stated that Tinubu had another instance, said “auzubillah minashaitan ni rajeem, bismillahir rahmanir rahim” and couldn’t proceed to the next verse. In confusion, he attempted to translate the verse from Arabic into English but bungled it and even ended up saying “God, the father of all,” which is both an incorrect translation of “Alhamdu lillahi Rabbil ‘Alamin” (which actually translates as “Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Universe”) and a doctrinal outrage in Islam.

Farouq stated that the APC presidential candidate’s call of Allah “father” during an address to Muslims in Kaduna had stirred the question from much Muslim faithful to question his Muslim faith.

According to the article, the trending video shows him straining excessively hard—and failing— to recite “Alhamdu lillahi Rabbil ‘Alamin,” the second verse of Sūrat al-Fātiḥah, which he had erroneously translated as “God, the father of all” in a previous mishap.

Kperogi said, “Not since 1993 when MKO Abiola chose Babagana Kingibe as his running mate has the religious complexion of a presidential ticket excited the passions of Nigerians as much as Bola Tinubu’s choice of Kashim Shettima as his running mate. It at once got some Christians enraged and some Muslims engaged.

“For a long time, Muslim clerical investment in the Tinubu-Shettima ticket, at least in the Northwest, was proportional to the amount of Christian opposition to it. For instance, in late 2022, an audio recording of a northern Christian, which went viral on WhatsApp, said the victory or defeat of the Tinubu-Shettima ticket in 2023 would be a referendum on the numerical strength of Christians and Muslims in Nigeria.

“Of course, that was a supremely shallow and simplistic, not to mention reductionist, religionization of voting behaviour. Many people vote for reasons other than religion. Peter Obi, whom the audio touted as the “Christian” candidate, will get many Muslim votes, and both Tinubu and Atiku will get many Christian votes.

“But that audio—and several others like it—inspired a backlash of reciprocal religious particularism from previously politically aloof Salafist Muslim clerics in the Hausaphone North who now preach that the success of the Tinubu-Shettima ticket—or, as they call it, Musilim-Musilim ticket—is a religious imperative and that Muslims should support it to signal the supremacy of Islam in Nigeria. That’s also a silly, superficial drivel that ignores the complexity of voting behaviour and the multiplicity of impulses that propel people to vote.

“Anyway, the conversation about the same-faith character of the Tinubu-Shettima ticket appears to be shifting to questions about whether, in fact, Tinubu is a Muslim. This discursive shift is instigated by Tinubu’s multiple stumbles with reciting Sūrat al-Fātiḥah, the first chapter of the Qur’an. In one instance, he said “bismillahir rahmanir rahim” before saying “auzubillah minashaitan ni rajeem” instead of the other way around.

“In another instance, he said “auzubillah minashaitan ni rajeem, bismillahir rahmanir rahim” and couldn’t proceed to the next verse. In confusion, he attempted to translate the verse from Arabic into English but bungled it and even ended up saying “God, the father of all,” which is both an incorrect translation of “Alhamdu lillahi Rabbil ‘Alamin” (which actually translates as “Praise be to Allah, the Lord of the Universe”) and a doctrinal outrage in Islam.

“Well, my own sense is that Tinubu is a cultural Muslim. His hometown of Iragbiji in Osun State is predominantly Muslim, particularly when he grew up there in the 1960s. Like most kids in the town, he attended ile kewu (which Hausa speakers call makarantar allo), that is, an informal school for Islamic learning. The way he says “auzubillah minashaitan ni rajeem, bismillahir rahmanir rahim” clearly shows that he was born into Islam and learned to say it from an impressionable age.

“I suspect that after leaving Iragbiji for Lagos (and later for the United States), he ceased to be an observant Muslim, but hasn’t given up his Muslim identity. His trip-ups with reciting the Qur’an first chapter, in my opinion, don’t indicate that he isn’t a Muslim; they only indicate that he hasn’t been praying for most of his post-Iragbiji life.

“Tinubu, as I pointed out in a previous article in 2022, is an effectively non-religious but nominal Muslim. He chose a northern Muslim running mate for precisely that reason. Until recently, Tinubu didn’t identify with Islam publicly, is married to a pastor, and all his children are Christians. He sees himself first as a Yoruba man before he is a nominal Muslim.”

By – US Scholar, Prof. Kperogi

Disclaimer: 

The opinions and views expressed in this write-up are entirely that of the Writer(s). They do not reflect the opinions and views of the Publisher (Nze Ikay’s Blog) or any of its employees. The designations employed in this publication and the presentation of materials herein do not imply the expression of any opinion whatsoever of the Publisher (Nze Ikay’s Blog) or its employees concerning the legal status of any country, its authority, area or territory or concerning the delimitation of its frontiers. Equally, the sketches, images, pictures and videos are gotten from the public domain.

LEAVE A REPLY

Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here