ISHAQ AKINTOLA: Professor of Islamic Eschatology, Muslim Activist, Human Rights Activist, Social Commentator, Advocate of Dialogue.
MY PHILOSOPHY: I remain oppressed until the hungry are fed, the naked clothed,the sick healed and the homeless sheltered.
BIRTH AND CHILDHOOD
Ishaq Akintola was born in Obaloran Compound, Ile-Ife. Ishaq’s mother died when he was just three years old. From the very tender age of five years, crowds used to listen to Ishaq as he recited the Qur’an at the Ile-Ife Central Mosque, Enuwa where he was placed on top of a table for all to see. He finished the Qur’an at the early age of nine years. He also learnt more Arabic under Ustadh Abdul Rauf (Ketefe) at Ojoyin, Ile-Ife.
HIS EDUCATION AND PROFESSIONAL CAREER
He was soon overtaken by his childhood love for Islamic education and he left his hometown, Ile-Ife, for the famous Ma’had Arabic Institute of Nigeria in Ibadan.
His university education began with a Certificate course in Arabic and Islamic Studies at the University of Ibadan where he excelled and got a Distinction plus the Arab League Prize. In 1975 he traveled to Cairo, Egypt, where he studied Simultaneous Translation (Arabic/English/French) at the Al-Azhar University which is the first university in the world. He returned to Nigeria in 1979 and obtained his Masters in Arabic and Islamic Studies as well as Master of Philosophy at the University of Ibadan in 1981and 1983 respectively. He bagged his doctorate degree (Ph.D) at the University of Ilorin in 1990.
Ishaq Akintola worked as a teacher of Arabic at the Oshowusi Memorial Grammar School, Iloko, Ilesha (1972 – 1974), and at the Islamic High School, Orita-Bashorun, Ibadan (1980 – 1984). He became a lecturer at the Lagos State University (LASU) in 1984.
HIS JIHAD AND DA‘WAH ACTIVITIES
Is-haq Akintola is a born jihadist. Even as a young student in the Arabic Institute, Ibadan (Ma’had), he led fellow students in a protest. In Cairo, he led students of al-Azhar University to confront science students who mocked and cheated students of Arabic and they won their freedom. After returning to Nigeria, he joined Dr. Beko Ransome Kuti, Femi Falana and others in the Campaign for Democracy to confront military dictators.
He established two Islamic organizations: the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) for the protection and promotion of the rights of Muslims in Nigeria and beyond and Tele-Dawah for the preaching of Islam on television, radio and through public lectures and tracts. Today he is the Director of the Muslim Rights Concern, Ambassador of Tele-Dawah and Coordinator of Muslims Against Aids (MAIDS). Is-haq Akintola is always in the news either on television, on radio or on the pages of newspapers. Akintola is, no doubt, an icon of great treasure, a jihadist of repute.
Ishaq Akintola led Nigerian Muslims in the agitation for a work-free Friday. He also featured prominently in the struggle to establish Shari’ah by engaging Christians in debates on radio and television. His deep knowledge of the Bible enabled him to defeat all his opponents. He has led Lagos Muslims to demonstrate against Israel and to protest against hijab restrictions. Akintola’s boldness knows no bounds. He is a friend of the oppressed, a champion of the masses.
HIS CONTRIBUTIONS TO PEACE AND RELIGIOUS TOLERANCE IN NIGERIA
Dr. Akintola has used the two Islamic organizations established by him, namely, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC, an Islamic human rights organization) and Telly Dawah (a preaching outfit) to promote peace and religious tolerance in Nigeria. Through MURIC, Akintola organized several workshops and seminars to enlighten fellow Muslims and Nigerians in general about the peaceful nature of Islam. MURIC has repeatedly condemned terrorism and all forms of violence.
The press statements of MURIC which are broadcast on radio and television as well as published in newspapers have been able to douse tension in the country on many occasions. Dr. Akintola’s weekly appearance on television since the early nineties and his other personal appearances as guest on other programmes and on different television channels have contributed immensely to bridging the gap between Muslims and adherents of other religions in Nigeria. His second organization, Telly Dawah, has organized several programmes where both Christian and Islamic scholars engage one another in friendly discussions to promote interfaith understanding. Tele-Dawah has also printed tracts for free distribution to Nigerians particularly on the thorny issues of ethnicity and religious bigotry.
HIS SOCIAL LIFE
Akintola is a warm and friendly person. He is an extrovert to the core. His strong sense of patriotism motivated him to participate in virtually every progressive activity in his vicinity. In recognition of his commitment to the healthy growth of his immediate community, he was made the Chairman of the Community Development Association (CDA) of the Frontline Zones of Victory Estate, Iba, in Lagos State where he resides. His keen interest in ensuring success in the fight against crime led him to join the Police Community Relations Committee (PCRC), Ojo Division, Lagos State where he became the treasurer and later Vice Chairman.
HIS FAMILY LIFE
Dr. Akintola is happily married with children.