As the countdown begins to the globally acclaimed #MNAwards2020 celebrating Muslim achievers in different professions, the national leadership of two Muslim professional bodies, Muslim Lawyers Association of Nigeria (MULAN) and Islamic Medical Association of Nigeria (IMAN) have commended the organisers, Muslim News Nigeria, for what they consider a ‘great and brilliant initiative’.
In separate statements issued on Wednesday, January 20, the two Muslim professional bodies described the Muslim News Award as a welcome development, expected to serve as motivation for the prospective winners to do more for Islam and the Muslims both in their professions and the ummah in general.
They also urged corporate organisations, Muslim brands and wealthy individuals to rally support for the team of young Nigerians behind the Awards — running into its third edition, saying that the beautiful religion of Islam encourages rewards for good deeds done by man to fellow man.
It’ll serve as motivation for the winners to do more — Prof Oreagba
The President of Islamic Medical Association of Nigeria (IMAN), Professor Ibrahim Oreagba applauded the inclusion of the health sector in the categories of this year’s award, saying that it is coming at a time when the efforts of Muslim health workers are much more significant than ever.
He said, “It’s a good idea to give recognition to outstanding Muslim medical practitioners considering the various health challenges ravaging our nation, ranging from inaccessibility to primary/basic healthcare and basic medications.
“So, if there is a personality that is ensuring that there is access to quality healthcare, basic medications and is also at the forefront fighting against the emergence of diseases like the COVID-19 pandemic, lassa fever and the likes, such personalities definitely deserve this award to serve as motivation for others,” he said.
Prof Oreagba, the Head of Department, Pharmacology, Therapeutics and Toxicology, College of Medicine, University of Lagos, Idi-Araba, appreciated the management of Muslim News, Nigeria’s most authoritative Islamic newspaper, for the initiative, which started in 2018.
He described the publication as a blessing to the Muslim Ummah, noting that, “It disseminates timely news that concern the Muslims. It has been dynamic and has a national outlook. It is a very commendable initiative which has placed the Muslims on the same page in the aspect of news.”
It is a great initiative that must be supported — Prof. Abikan
On his part, the President of MULAN, Professor. Ibrahim Abdulkadir Abikan lauded the organisers of the awards, noting that a recognition like this is a welcome development.
According to him, “Recognising Muslims who have done well for the masses or their professions is part of the teachings of Islam, aims at encouraging rewards for righteousness. Islam is in fact about rewards. Allah says His mercy is wider than the consequences of evil actions of man, because He is oft-forgiven, most merciful.
“That’s why He said the reward for good is in manifold while sanction for being evil is punishment. Islam encourages reward and appreciation of good deeds. It is a good development that our members, including Muslims in other professions are being recognised by Muslim News,” he added.
Muslims and the Media
Prof Abikan revealed that his first encounter with the Muslim Newspaper was during the Barrister Firdaus Amasa’s Hijab crisis in 2018 with the Nigerian Law School.
He said, “I have read about Muslim News and as a matter of fact, I remember there was an edition that was dedicated to Firdaus Amasa, in which I was featured. I think, that was in 2018, during her Hijab debacle at the Nigerian Law School. That was my first encounter with the publication.
The MULAN President said coming up with a publication for the Muslims is a very good idea, adding that, “If there is any set of people that are either underreported or misreported in the media, it’s the Muslims. “Over the years, we haven’t had the opportunity of having deserving presence in the media, and that has been used against Islam for a long time,” he added.
Citing an example of media misrepresentation of Islam, Prof Abikan said, “I was reading a post just about yesterday (Tuesday) where a white man accepted Islam and his first journey to an Islamic environment was Egypt. On getting there, he was amazed by the civilisation and development in the country. He was surprised because all he had heard or read about Islam and Muslims were about killing and terrorism. He didn’t meet killers and troublemakers, like the international media has profiled every Muslim, rather, he met beautiful and friendly people who are Muslims.
“So, that the Muslims didn’t have the ownership of enough media houses has always been to our disadvantage. That’s why I commend the effort of Muslim News, for not only giving us objective Islamic news but also celebrating our achievements. It’s a great da’wah, I pray to Allah to reward and assist the brains behind it.”