Don Provides Alternative to Management of Inheritance
Professor of Islamic Law University of Ilorin, Prof. Abdulqadir Ibrahim Abikan, has canvassed an immediate paradigm shift in the way and manner inheritance, particularly among Muslims, are administered to make the resultant wealth more enduring and beneficial to its beneficiaries and the larger society.
Prof. Abikan canvassed this position while delivering the institution’s 206th Inaugural Lecture, entitled “Not Without the Owner’s Manual: Your Right To A Share of the Global Wealth”, at the University Auditorium.
Prof. Abikan, who is also the National President, Muslim Lawyers Association of Nigeria (MULAN), explained that the call became necessary in order to effectively check the current mishandling of inheritance in Nigeria, which he said promotes the destruction of the deceased’s estate instead of perpetuating and making it enduringly beneficial as intended by the Almighty Creator.
The renowned scholar of Islamic Law said that the immediate distribution of inheritance among the heirs to a deceased, many of whom lack the acumen and wherewithal to manage the sudden wealth placed before them has led many of those beneficiaries into excoriating poverty so soon after cornering stupendous wealth courtesy of the estate left behind for them by their parents or benefactors.
The foremost Muslim rights activist, who is also the brain behind the popular Al-Burhan Multipurpose Cooperative Society at the University of Ilorin, suggested that the better approach should be for the estate to be entrusted in a holding company and that the return from such an investment shared at an agreed periodic time based on the Islamic injunctions among the beneficiaries.
Prof. Abikan also proposed the adoption of the Islamic equitable wealth distribution mechanism like Zakat, which he said shares wealth rather than the income of the rich. He explained that doing so would lead to a remarkable reduction in the magnitude of poverty and distrust in the country.
The distinguished academic, who is also the Director, School of Preliminary Studies, University of Ilorin, also canvassed the embracement of endowment by the rich in order to ensure that their wealth is beneficial to the needy and become a source of the perpetuation of their names in the annals of the society as common in the western world. He encouraged scholars of Islamic Law to take up the challenge by working hard to popularise the institutionalisation of endowments among wealthy Muslims to boost the achievements already recorded in the Islamic financial system.
Prof. Abikan also enjoined people to insist on better wages for their labour, which he said is used in the creation and accumulation of wealth. He explained that this can be achieved by ensuring that wages are measured, to a fair extent, by the quantum of labour devoted to the creation of the wealth.
The don, who is also the founding Dean, Faculty of Law, Al-Hikmah University, Ilorin, also called on all the global non-governmental and humanitarian societies to exert reasonable and consistent pressure on different national governments to eschew interest systems in their regional, national and international financial engagements.
Prof. Abikan also charged the Tertiary Education Trust Fund (TETFund) and other educational funding agencies in the country to stop what he called “apartheid against faith-based research and researchers”. He urged those organisations to adopt inclusive funding for all, saying that Islamic financial system has proven that those areas of knowledge have a strong capacity to impact positively on humanity.
He also enjoined religious leaders to stop prompting divisive tendencies to ensure that Nigeria evolved into a virile and stronger nation. He explained that many of those religious leaders used their pulpits to promote private business in the name of God by way of attacking every idea that comes from other religious groups no matter how laudable such an idea is.
Prof. Abikan recalled the attack on Islamic banking in Nigeria by Christian leaders seven years after it was institutionalized in Great Britain and the lack of evidence of islamisation since then, saying that the development exposed how misleading religious leaders could be on issues of great significance to humanity. He contended that the level of suspicion against religious affiliated ideas is injurious to nation building.
The former Head, Department of Islamic Law, University of Ilorin, also asserted that it was high time Nigeria embarked on a holistic reorientation across ethnic groups, religions and ages to reverse the widespread craze for materialism and get rich quick syndrome.
He explained that the success of the reorientation would inculcate in the emerging leaders the need to stop stealing the wealth of the nation and the youths the desire to engage in productive economic activities in earning their wealth and generate substantial wealth for equitable distribution.
Prof. Abikan also contended that Nigerian and global land and environment administration systems should be recognised to make a share in the wealth created from the economic use of their inalienable human rights.
The lecture, which was presided-over by the institution’s Chief Executive, Prof. Sulyman Age Abdulkareem, was graced by scholars, jurists, legal practitioners and colleagues as well as relations, friends and students of the Inaugural Lecturer from far and near.