LAGOS - Nearly two million Muslims have joined a special prayer for establishing peace and promoting unity in Nigeria, a country ravaged by militant attacks.
"We pray to Allah to give us peace, enrich our wealth in agriculture and the general economy of the country, Malam Ahmad Inyass, who led the congregation, told Nigeria News Agency.
Inyass led a special prayer attended by nearly two million Muslims at Dutse Triangle square on Saturday, June 8.
The prayer concluded a five-day event marking the 27th birthday of Sheik Ibrahim Nyass, a famous leader of the Tijjaniya Islamic movement.
Inyass prayed to Allah for peaceful co-existence the Nigerians for sustainable social and economic development in the country.
The imam appealed to Muslims to be upright, honest and dedicate themselves to the worship of Allah in accordance with the teachings of Islam.
He also counseled Muslims to be guided by the teachings of the Qur'an and traditions of Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings be upon him)
The special prayer drew attendants from across Nigeria as well as neighboring countries including; Burkina Faso, Cameroon, Chad, Ghana, Niger, Senegal and Republic of Benin.
The event was also attended by key government officials as the Speaker of the House of Representatives, Alhaji Aminu Tambuwal; Governor Sule Lamido of Jigawa and his deputy, Alhaji Ahmed Mahmoud, and Emir of Dutse Alhaji Nuhu Sunusi.
Others renowned Muslim scholars were also present including; Alhaji Isiyaku Rabiu and Sheik Dahiru Usman Bauchi.
Nigeria's Muslims have held special prayers for peace and unity in their country.
In January 2012, nearly 200 Muslim and Christian leaders gathered at a mosque in the palace of Kano's emir to pray for peace and stability in Nigeria following attacks by the radical group Boko Haram.
A week later, another prayer was called by the Nigeria Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) to denounce the Boko Haram attacks.
Nigeria has been ravaged by repeated attacks by Boko Haram in recent months.
The group says it is fighting enemies who have wronged its members through violence, arrests or economic neglect and corruption.
The prayer was also attended by Lagos most Rev. Adebayo Akinde, the Anglican Archbishop of Lagos Province, who urged Christians to pray for solving their country's challenges.
"Prayer is the solution to the national problem as well as for individual inadequacies, Akinde said during the prayer.
"With faith in God and fervent prayers, everything in the sight of God is possible. There will be no problems, especially those that were as a result of human error.
"As a nation if we are serious about getting solution to our national problems, we need to turn from our wicked ways."
Akinde blamed Nigeria's problems for what he said high level of sins and unrighteousness in the land.
"Nigeria still falls short of what is required for the full manifestation of the glory of God, he said.
"In a land richly blessed with abundant resources, yet there are problems of unemployment, hunger, crisis, pain and frustrations," he said.
Nigeria, one of the world's most religiously committed nations, is divided between a Muslim north and a Christian south.
Muslims and Christians, who constitute 55 and 40 percent of Nigeria's 140 million population respectively, have lived in peace for the most part.
But ethnic and religious tensions have bubbled for years, fuelled by decades of resentment between indigenous groups, mostly Christian or animist, who are vying for control of fertile farmlands with migrants and settlers from the Hausa-speaking Muslim north.
Reproduced with permission from OnIslam.net