An investigative report has uncovered the activities of a Lagos Islamic cleric who engages in the use of the Tasbih in an oracular-like manner to defraud unsuspecting members of the public.
This was disclosed by the founder of the Foundation of Investigative Journalism, Fisayo Soyombo, who conducted the investigation.
As gathered, he visited a mosque named Iretioluwa in Oshodi, Lagos State where he met the cleric, Alfa Abdul Rasaq.
Soyombo had visited the Islamic cleric in the guise of seeking deliverance from his gay sexual orientation.
According to Soyombo, the cleric consulted the tasbih like an oracle and presented him (Soyombo) with concoctions during his various visits to the mosque with the promise of healing.
“Alfa Rasaq suspends his tasbih — a set or string of 33, 66, or 99 prayer beads used by Muslims as a counting aid in reciting the 99 titles of Allah and in meditation — into the air, and says thus: “The God that answers prayers, all the stress we will undergo for our brother if it will yield the desired result, let us know; if not let us know as well. If it will lead to our desired result, let the tasbih continue oscillating at a faster speed; if it won’t, let it remain static.
“Of course, there’s no chance the tasbih will remain static; it (a lighter weight) has been suspended in the air by a heavier weight (Rasaq’s right hand). It is simple physics.” Soyombo narrated
He (Soyombo) also revealed that he was made to pay several amounts of money as the cleric made a long list of items to be brought to facilitate his healing.
“The items to be bought, he explains, are ‘Mauliweed’ sold by the Laurubawa in Agege (three of them for N7,500 each), a Lagos suburb; frankincense (N2,100) and something else I don’t quite pick (N400).
“If we wanted to cheat you,” he says, “I’d have said we’d be travelling to Kano to buy these items, but we’re buying them in Lagos.” Soyombo narrated.
It was also gathered that the Cleric made several untrue claims and revelations about him(Soyombo) during the course of his various visits to his residence.
“Alfa Rasaq promises to heal me of “this plague”. He says the steps we need to take will cost us money but he stress. Afterwards, he starts to deceive us,” Soyombo stated.
Soyombo also revealed that during his subsequent visit to the cleric, the cleric made several attempts to manipulate them to pay more for the services rendered to them.
“Rasaq goes into a long whine about a jobseeker he once helped. The man had paid N5,000 for some concoction, and after his prayers were answered, returned with his friend to seek more help, asking him to name his price this time. Rasaq says he demanded N40,000 but, to his pleasant shock, he was paid N80,000 instead, because this person had landed a well-paid job at Globacom.
“When I did that work for them, they returned to give me an extra N200,000,” claims Rasaq. They said it was just for thanksgiving. They promised they would someday buy me a car and they eventually did; it was a Volkswagen Jetta. And when the car became old, they bought me a Toyota Sienna, a big one!” Soyombo narrated.
According to Soyombo, they severed all ties with the cleric when they realized that the Cleric had no intention of stopping his various ploys to exploit him.
“Rasaq says we should expect to hear from him soon on a concoction he is currently processing, but we leave no room for further exploitation.
“We blocked his number on all communication channels, seeing that future concoctions would be a rehash of current ones. We know it’s all a cycle, and we sense it’s the right time to bring it to a close,” he added.