Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky Symbolized The Unity of Humanity

El-Rufai during condolence visit to El-Zakzaky July of 2014


Yesterday being the 1st of May, we celebrated the “International Labour Day” to honor all workers the world over. But some of us also commemorated the martyrdom of one of the greatest writer, thinker and philosopher of our time, Ayatollah Murtadha Mutahari. He was a student of Imam #Khomeini and his intellectual son and also one of the pillars of the 1979 Islamic Revolution in #Iran, he was brutally assassinated on May 1st, 1979 by agents of Western imperialism that just lost Iran then. He wrote extensively on political, social, moral, economic etc aspects of human endeavors, I recommend all his work to all those who follow my work.

Concerning the issue of calling non-Muslims “Kafir”, Ayatollah Mutahari said:

“There is a great misunderstanding about the word ‘#kafir’. Literally, ‘#kafir’ means one who #refuses. Generally, people take it as an equivalent of non-Muslim. This is incorrect. To think that those who are not Muslims are kafir is a wrong notion. According to Islam, everyone is simply ‘#insaan’ or human being. There are hundreds of times when the Quran addresses people with words such as ‘an-naas’ or ‘#al-insan’. So, everyone is basically a human being. The Prophet of Islam was born in Mecca and then migrated to Medina. At that time there were some #Jewish tribes in Medina. One day the Prophet saw a funeral procession passing through a street in Medina. The #Prophet was seated at that time. On seeing the funeral, he stood up in respect. One of his companions said, ‘#O Prophet he was a Jew, not a Muslim.’ The Prophet replied: ‘#Was he not a human being?’ Thus the Prophet discovered a commonality between himself and the non-Muslim. This is the true spirit of Islam.”

Zakzaky, far left
Zakzaky, far left

After the brutal #ZariaMassacre by the Nigerian army that killed close to 1000 defenseless and unarmed Nigerian civilians, the Nigerian regime launched a massive smear campaigns of calumny and demonization against the peaceful Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) under the leadership of His Eminence Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky. The Nigerian regime tried with no success to brand the #IMN as a “violent extremist group” like the murderous #BokoHaram. These well sponsored and well funded campaigns of calumny failed because the IMN have been in existence for more than 37 years with no single record of violence, killing or harming anybody.

The Nigerian regime that is desperate to justify it massacre of defenseless Nigerians rented various mushroom “human rights groups” to attack the IMN and demonize it as a “violent extremist group” and this is a different front from the massive anti-Shia campaigns by Saudi – sponsored Wahhabi/Salafi groups that have the full backing of the Nigerian regime. Out of desperation the Nigerian regime recently recruited a “Shia” group that does not have 3,000 membership in Nigeria to excommunicate Sheikh Zakzaky from Shia Islam.

Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky is not a sectarian fanatic that thinks that it is only through Shia Islam that one can practice Islam, he believed that the Shia school is one of the schools of thought within Islam. And that is the reason why despite the fact that he has millions of followers within and outside Nigeria he prohibited his followers to build their own separate Mosque, he asked them to always pray in the available Mosques that are led by Sunni Muslims. And all the schools of IMN are labeled “Fudiyya” in honor of a great Islamic revolutionary and reformer in the West African sub-region Sheikh Uthman Ibn Fodio (ra). The narrow – minded sectarian Shia will definately not be happy with this and that is why like their Wahhabi cousins they both celebrated the brutal Zaria massacre that killed 800+ innocent Nigerians.

Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky is not a religious bigot either and that was why his home in Gyellesu was the refuge of Southern Christians during the 2011 post-election riots that engulfed Northern Nigeria. He does not believe in the Wahhabi concept that “Muslims should hate Christians”, he believed in the famous saying of Imam Ali (as) that said:”Humanity is either your brother in faith or your equal in creation”. It is a fact that the IMN is the only Islamic organization in Nigeria that invites Christians to all its programs and activities to enhance mutual respect and peaceful coexistence. A proponent of violent extremism will never have such tolerant beliefs as tolerance is the exact opposite of extremism.

Sheikh Zakzaky have always preach the true spirit of Islam as stated by Ayatollah Mutahari above, the spirit that respect and accommodate all despite tribal, religious and sectarian differences. When he was Sunni he always called for unity with Shia Muslims and when he became Shia he alway call for unity among all Muslims. On all occasions of the birth anniversary of the Prophet (sa) Sheikh Zakzaky use to invite all Muslims to celebrate “Unity Week” and discuss on how Muslim unity can be achieve.

It is important to note that the true spirit of Islam is not only found in Shia Islam, it also exist in Sunni Islam but the Wahhabi contamination encapsulated such spirit. Check this #Sunni_Hadith:

“A disbelieving Bedouin (village Arab) urinated in the Mosque, and the people rushed to beat him. Allah’s Apostle ordered them to leave him alone, let him finish and pour water over the place where he has passed urine. The Prophet (sa) then explained to the Bedouin calmly, ‘This is a place of worship, in it is the worship of God and the reading of Qur’an.’ After the Bedouin had left, the Prophet (sa) then said to his companions, ‘You have been sent to make things easy (for the people) and you have not been sent to make things difficult for them.'”
(Source:Sahîh Bukhârî, Sahîh Muslim)

This is the spirit of true #Islam, if it is today’s Wahhabi contamination of Sunni Islam they will cut-off his head and display it as a trophy of victory. Sadly today some people who call themselves “Muslims” measure victory by the number of the innocent people they slaughtered. Islam is not the hatred, intolerance, extremism and terrorism that followers of #Wahhabism are displaying today, Islam is the love, mercy, compassion and tolerance that was acted and preached by #Prophet_Muhammad (sa) and the Imams of AhlulBayt (as) from his family.

On a last note, Muslim must revive this true spirit of Islam that is devoid of hatred, sectarian division and respect for all humanity. Hating Christians will never force them to become Muslims, hate Shias will never force them to become Sunnis and hating Sunnis will never force them to become Shias. Humanity must coexist and this is very important, violent extremist ideologies like #Wahhabism that reject coexistence with others should be condemned and rejected as humanity is one.

Harun Elbinawi
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