I thought the first rejoinder to the insinuations of the Emir of Kano, Muhammad Sanusi II, on the brutal Zaria massacre by the Nigerian Army will suffice but I received various rejoinders to that piece of which a particular one from a leading Professor in Nigeria is the most longest! Most of those rejoinders were hammering on “insults” of the Sahabas (Companions) & this piece will first address this issue.
To address the issue of the companions I will quote Emir Sanusi himself in a lecture he delivered on 3rd December, 2000 at the Auditorium of Law school, Victoria Island, Lagos on the topic: “Probity and Accountability in Islam”. He had this to say about Banu Umayya in general and the third Sunni Caliph Uthman in particular:
“The truth and the truth be said, is that no discussion of accountability and probity in Islam and how Muslims Ummah lost these values, is complete without a discussion of reign of Uthman and more profoundly the rule of his clan, the Ummayit over Muslim world. Uthman became caliph in old age and lasted for twelve years. The first six years were in keeping with sunna of the Messenger, Abubakar and Umar. Then old age set in and some of his strengths became his weaknesses. He loved his family and in old age became hostage to them. He was generous in spirit and in old age allowed profligacy with public funds. He held that as imam he had the right to give public fund as gift and allowances. When Haris bn Hakam married Uthman’s daughter, the latter gave the former 200,000 Dirhams from the public treasury leading to a showdown with and removal of Zaid bn Arham from his position as a treasurer. Uthman gave Zubair 600,000 Dirhams one day, and Dalhat 200,000 and presented his cousin, Marwan bn Hakam one-fifth of land tax of the entire Ifrikiyya. The companions expostulated with him but he insisted that he had to take care of his relatives and kinsmen. Abu-Sufyan, the prophet arch-enemy who refused to accept Islam until the defeat of his forces in Mecca, and who even joining Islam he had nothing but contempt for Islamic values, especially the high esteem in which early companions whom he considered slaves, like Bilal, Salman and Suhaib were held, was still alive like the mother-hen, he gathered his flock around him. He guided his son, Mu’awuya, his nephew, Uthman and Marwnan bn Hakam and other ummayyit like Hakam bn Al’as who had been expelled but rehabilitated by Uthman. Marwan had unlimited control of the treasury. Abu-Zar, the prophet’s companion was exiled for his strident criticism of the prodigality. At the end of the day, exercise of Uthman appointees led to fitnah in which he was sadly killed. But the seed of corruption was already sown.” – Sanusi Lamido Sanusi
In this part of the world, most Muslims are ignorant of Islamic history because the major books of Islamic history were written in Arabic language & to us here Arabic is the language of the Scholars & our scholars encapsulate such historical occurrence from people so as not to make them lose respect for some of these companions. What Emir Sanusi stated above are facts of history that most Nigerian Muslims are ignorant of. One of the marked deviations of Caliph Uthman was allowing his kinsman Haram bn Al’as to return from exile with his two children, Haris & Marwan. It was the Prophet (sa) that sent Hakam to exile due to his evil machinations among Muslims. And both Abubakar & Umar maintained that exile despite all intercessions by the Banu Ummaya clan. Caliph Uthman not only rehabilitated this evil tree but gave them important positions in the caliphate including marrying his daughter to Haris.
A famous saying says: “Those who failed to study history are condemned to repeat it’s mistakes & blunders”. Unfortunately, Caliph Uthman was categories among “The rightly-guided Caliphs” in Sunni Islam. The direct implication of this is that all his actions are source of guidance & emulation. The current tyrannical dictatorial regimes found today in the Arab world give the rule of Caliph Uthman to justify their nepotism of appointing only members of their families to key government positions & their lavish & extravagant use of their country’s treasury. For the sake of Wahda (Unity) I will limit this discuss on this issue.
Another issue raised in those rejoinders is that Shias “insult” companions of the Prophet (sa). First & foremost companions of the Prophet (sa) are Muslims like all Muslims & there are no separate laws for companions in Islam. The laws & conventions that govern all Muslims apply to companions. The above quotation by Emir Sanusi proves that not all companions of the Prophet (sa) are righteous worthy of emulation. Hakam bn Al’as & his two children were companions of the Prophet (sa) but the Prophet exiled them due to their evil. When Caliph Uthman brought them back, history is awash with their evil.
Secondly, Shia Muslims in Nigeria do not insult companions of the Prophet (sa). All Nigerian Shia Muslims follow the great religious reference Ayatollah Sayyed Ali Khamenei of Iran & his famous Fatwa against the personalities respected by Sunni Islam is there for all to see. But Shia Muslims will not follow Abubakar, Umar, Uthman & Umm Mu’meneen Aisha & take them as role models because we have personalities who were superior to them & these personalities acknowledged this superiority during their life time. For example during the time of Caliph Abubakar when the issue of punishing a homosexuality arises everybody was confused as there is no clear ruling on homosexuality in the Quran & no one was punished by the Prophet (sa). Caliph Abubakar asked that Imam Ali (as) be summon. When he arrived the issue was presented to him & he have a verdict on the issue & all those present were satisfied. The second Caliph Umar said in a famous narration that “without Ali, Umar would have perished!”.
In Sunni Islam, Aisha is the ultimate symbol of womanhood but in Islam Fatima bnt Muhammad (as) is the ultimate symbol of womanhood. God have not created any woman that have more merit than Sayyeda Fatima (as), she is the practical perfection of womanhood. A Sunni poet once said that if a female “Prophet” will ever exist then it must be Fatima.
Another issue raised by Emir Sanusi was blocking of roads during processions by the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN). In all programs and activities of IMN both women & children actively participate & that results in huge crowd. This further debunk the fraudulent propaganda that IMN is “violent”. If one want to engage in violent activities, one will not be that foolish to take his wife & children along. The fact that women & children also participate in all activities of IMN underlines the peaceful posture of IMN. There is no Muslim or Christian denomination that do not block roads in Nigeria during their national programs & activities. And despite huge crowds in IMN programs, the traffic is always moving. The Volunteer Aid group that manage traffic always make sure that the inconveniences is reduced.
My last advice is to the people of Northern Nigeria. From available statistics today Northern Nigeria is among areas in the world that have high cases of extreme poverty. Another statistics that is frightening is that more than half of the children in the world that are out of school are found in Northern Nigeria. Such rampant poverty and ignorance in Northern Nigeria is not from God, it is man-made due to the actions & inactions of the corrupt Northern elites. These corrupt Northern Nigerian elites in order to cover for the misery they inflicted on their people intermittently create distractions that will occupy the minds of the oppressed people of Northern Nigeria. There was a time they created a fake Sharia during the Presidency of Olusegun Obasanjo as a distraction & sadly many innocent lives were lost. Today the distraction they chose of occupy the minds of people is “Shia Islam” but their main target is the rising followership of Sheikh #Zakzaky & IMN. This is an agenda given to them by their Western Imperialist masters. It is important that people understand this agenda & not act as tools of these Imperialist hunting dogs.
Peace be upon all followers of Truth & Justice!