THE QUESTIONS: On Governor el-Rufai’s New Fatwa “Bill”


The new religious bill by governor el-Rufai of Kaduna has sparked public reactions and outcry. A bill that says next to nothing about the promotion of hate, terrorism and recruitment into Takfiri terror, the bane of Nigeria’s north; and also has no comments on instigation of public hate-deadly riots, the bill rather focuses in weird and targeted ways on controversial goals.

I will like to ask the governor the following question on a particular aspect of the bill: its prohibition of “religious abuse.”

Prohibition of “religious recordings in which abusive language is used against any person or religious organisation or religious leaders (past or present).

What is religious abuse?

Will Christians risk being sent to jail if they preach that you are condemned and will burn in eternity if you do not follow the blessed Jesus?

Is the recitation or preaching based on the following hadiths and Quranic verses now banned?

A’isha (radi Allahu anha) said that the Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said, “Allah has cursed the Jews and the Christians, (for) they took the graves of their Prophets as places of worship.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

What if the Christian or Jew reports you for just cursing him?

How about this:

The Prophet (sal Allahu alaihi wa sallam) said, “Allah has cursed the male and female grave digger.” [Even if not used to refer to the Army and State government’s recent exhumation]

Or these:

And among those around you(Prophet Muhamamd-S) of the Arabs, and [also] from the people of Madinah. They have become accustomed to hypocrisy. You, [O Muhammad], do not know them, [but] We know them. We will punish them twice [in this world]; then they will be returned to a great punishment. Quran 9:101

And the related:

‘My sahaba will be taken to the fire [of hell], whereupon I shall plead: “O Lord! But these are my sahaba!” It will be said to me, “You do not know what they innovated (in religion) after you.” I will say, “Then perdition should be the lot of all those who altered after me.”‘(Bukhari, Vol. 7, p. 209, in a chapter dealing with the Poor [of al-Kawthar].

What if an Imam or other Kaduna resident tells another these verses stating that some companions of the Prophet of Islam are condemned, and it affects the recipients’ sensibilities, the person risks going to jail for violating your Fatwa?

How about this, banned?:

When `Ali sent `Ammar and Al-Hasan to (the people of) Kufa to urge them to fight, `Ammar addressed them saying, “I know that she (i.e. `Aisha) is the wife of the Prophet (ﷺ) in this world and in the Hereafter (world to come), but Allah has put you to test, whether you will follow Him (i.e. Allah) or her.”
al-Bukhari 3772: Book 62, Hadith 119

One person may feel the mention of that hadith disrespected their sacred figure.

Also what will happen to someone who praises someone else who curses or killed an important religious figure to some?

For instance, the praise of Yazid or his father Muawiyyah known for killing and curses against some people’s figures:

Narrated Sa’d Ibn Abi Waqqas: Muawiyah, the son of Abu Sufyan, spoke to to Sa’d, and told him: “What prevents you that you are refraining from cursing Abu Turab (nickname of ‘Ali)?” Sa’d replied: “Don’t you remember that the Prophet said three things about (the virtue of) ‘Ali? So I will never curse ‘Ali.” -Muslim, Chapter of Virtues of Companions, Section of Virtues of ‘Ali, Arabic, v4, p1871, Tradition #32.

To some, the reverence of those who curse their revered is equal to cursing them and their Prophet by extension, family of the revered.

Thanks (ironically) to the Zaria massacre, I have since re-studied religion and found that it is not clear-cut and black and white as I was raised to believe.

In my humble view, religion as an entity has its sacredness and this includes the very things it calls itself and believes which may not be co-palatable. You can simply ban religion rather than subject it to government revision and control.

Bill Fails To Address Deadly Religious Extremism

The singular item the bill or fatwa should address is Takfiri fanaticism and the preaching of religious violence and intolerance, including by popular mobs and State agents. Hundreds of thousands of Nigerians have died in the north from this religion-related aberration. This most important bane of northern Nigeria is however surprisingly conspicuously missing from the bill as publicly advertised. Is there a reason why?

And while we are on the topic if I can’t preach publicly in Kaduna, can I invite people to the club?

Dr. Peregrino Brimah @EveryNigerian