Nigerian Finds Islam After Buhari’s Win

SHAFAQNA - A Nigerian Christian university graduate who recently reverted to Islam has said he is now fully settled into his new religion and “deeply happy” after his mother finally consented to his choice of worship and went ahead to greet him in Islamic greetings.

“My greatest worry after I joined Islam was the fact that my mummy was very unhappy with me. She is a Christian.  She is a leader of evangelism in Anglican church in Owerri (in Nigeria’s southeast Imo state),” Chukwuma Austin Dike, who has now taken the name Muhammed Mustapha, told in an exclusive interview.

“But I prayed to Allah to make her see reason since I don’t want to make her perpetually sad. Now she has accepted my choice and she even greets me with salam alaekum each time we speak.”

Mustapha’s journey to Islam started last December during an argument with some of his Muslim friends who he said affirmed that then candidate Muhammadu Buhari was going to win the election against the then incumbent President Goodluck Jonathan.

“They said God is powerful and would make Buhari win. I told them if that happens especially as you link everything to Allah, then I will become a Muslim.  It was like a joke. I even told some of my family members about it and they felt I was joking.  So when on March 28 Buhari won the election I told my friends I would join Islam the day Buhari is sworn in, and that was it,” according to the new convert.

Mustapha insisted he has “no regrets becoming a Muslim particularly after getting to know Islam better”, saying he has in fact “memorized Suratul Fatihah, Ikhlas and Nas” with which he observes his prayers.

“This Wednesday I am starting my full hifz class with a tutor. I got converted at an Izala (Jama’atu Izalatil Bid’ah Wa’ Iqaamatis Sunnah) mosque in Gboko and the brothers there have been wonderful.  They assist me a lot.  They teach me a lot about the deen.  I downloaded an online Qur’an reciter and it was through it I have memorized those three surah (chapters) but now I am starting a full class,” he said.

Not cowed by threats

The first child of his family, Mustapha said his siblings “being well educated and exposed” do not have problems about his choice of religion.

But he complained that friends and members of extended families were discriminating against him “because I joined Islam but I am not disturbed since I put all my trust in Allah and became a Muslim on conviction.”

Mustapha is currently serving as a member of the Nigerian youth service corp. in Gboko town of north central Benue state where he reverted to Islam on May 29, 2015 after President Muhammadu Buhari was sworn in.

“I have always loved and fascinated by everything Islam but, given my background, I lacked the courage to join,” he said, explaining how he finally reverted to Islam.

Mustapha said he has received many threats to his life, both on phone and physically, but insisted that “my life is definitely not in any body’s hand but in the hands of Allah who created me.”

“If anything happens to me, it is because my creator wants it so. No one can do a thing to me,” he asserted, claiming to have once been accosted by two men who warned him to either renounce Islam or get killed by December this year.

“I was taking a walk one evening here in Gboko when two men on motorcycle accosted me. They asked if I was the fellow who left Christianity for Islam and I said yes. They threatened me that I have between then and December to return to Christianity or I will be killed,” he said.

Asked what his response was, he said: “I was very terrified.  I didn’t say a thing but God forbid that I will ever renounce my faith for anything in this life. I have been guided and I am contented. I have peace of mind and I am satisfied with Islam. I am definitely not going to denounce Islam, no matter what any mortal does.”

Mustapha also said he was not perturbed by “propaganda” that Islam encourages terrorism, insisting that “my understanding of Islam and what I have read of the prophet’s life and of early Muslims are not in tandem with the actions of terrorist movements like Boko Haram who kill people including the innocent.”

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