Popular Islamic cleric, Sheik Muyideen Bello, says people engaging in the killing of others in the name of Allah are not true Muslims.
Bello made the remarks while delivering Pre-Ramadan Lecture organised by Nigerian Television Authority (NTA), Osogbo on Thursday.
The lecture was themed ‘Religious Harmony, Panacea for Political and Economic Development in Nigeria’.
Bello said that anyone who killed in the name of Islam could not be described as a true Muslim, adding that the religion is against killings.
While condemning those using God’s name to justify violence, Bello said Allah does not need anyone to defend his name by killing others.
“We cannot restore the dignity of man by killing innocent people.
“We should desist from anything that can make us be seen and regarded as fanatics, which we are not.
“Anybody who kills people while shouting Allah is non-Muslim and not a true Muslim and will go to hell,” Bello said.
Describing Islam as a religion of peace, the renowned Islamic preacher tasked Muslims on the need to always ensure peaceful coexistence in their communities regardless of religious differences.
Bello noted that Islam was a total submission to the will of Allah, adding that what Allah wanted from human beings was to believe in His existence, worship Him and regard Him as only one who can give and take.
Calling for religious harmony and tolerance amongst various religious groups, Bello said it would be out of the place for any Muslim to force non-Muslims to convert to Islam.
Bello said there could only be development where there is peace and harmony, urging all believers to see themselves as one and let God judge which religion is acceptable to Him on the day of resurrection.
In his remarks, Gov. Gboyega Oyetola described religious disharmony as a bane for social and economic development in the society.
Oyetola, who was represented by his Deputy Chief of Staff, Alhaji Abdullahi Binuyo, urged Muslims across the country to continue to promote peace and eschew anything that could provoke religious crisis.
The governor, however, enjoined Muslims to use the Holy Month of Ramadan to reach out to the needy and ensure they relate with non-Muslims harmoniously.
Earlier, NTA General Manager, Osogbo, Mr Abduwaheed Amusat, said the topic for the pre-Ramadan lecture became imperative because no country could develop in an atmosphere of religious disharmony.