Sa’ad Abubakar, the Sultan of Sokoto, on Friday advised Muslims against fighting even when they are provoked.
Abubakar, who is president-General of the Nigerian Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs, warned Muslim clerics against preaching about hate and also urged them to “not force anybody to join Islam”.
Speaking in Ilorin, Kwara state, during a conference organised by Da’wah Co-ordination Council of Nigeria, he implored Muslims to only defend their faith “when somebody or a group or some other nations decide to stop us from performing our religious obligations”.
“We must never take laws into our hands. We must not be law officers. We do not do that in Islam,” he said.
“We do not force anybody to join Islam. There is no compulsion in Islam. Our good deeds, good actions and good interactions as Muslims will give that very bright light to everybody what Islam is and that is what brings people to join us.
“Those who do not want to come as Muslims are free to stay with us and continue working with us to make this country a much better place.
“Whoever wants to fight you, do not fight him; leave him alone. Be very patient. The only thing that will make me to act or ask you to act is only when somebody or a group or some other nations decide to stop us from performing our religious obligations. That is the only way we can fight somebody.
“But if I am allowed to pursue my religious obligations, say my prayers and pay my zakat and so many other things, I have no problem with anybody. To you, your religion and to me, my religion.”