Opinion: Sheathe Thine Sword, a Call on Ridiculous Critics of Katsina Emirate – By Abubakar Abdulkadir (PhD)
Further to my rejoinder; vindication after half a century earlier published by Katsina post on 16th June, 2017, wherein I undertake an objective assessment of the allegations of pogrom directed against Katsina emirate by some writers such as; Prof. Agwu; allegations that were based on information sourced from the grapevine, I feel it is necessary to respond to some critics who fault his highness (Dr) Abdulmumini Kabir Usman’s declaration concerning Katsina emirate’s resolution to protect Igbos residing in Katsina at the wake of the 1st October, 2017 ultimatum issued by the Kaduna based Arewa Youth Forum asking Igbos to leave the North.
These critics based their arguments on a laughable premise; that when the Hausa community was attacked at Ile-Ife earlier this year, his highness did not condemn the killings, let alone move to defend them. But what they fail to understand is that it is not in his highness’ nature to make policy statements especially on issues outside his area of jurisdiction in the open, for he prefers to reach out to the authorities concerned formally, instead of putting up those statements in the public domain.
True to his institution as a portrayer of the pristine Islamic image, his highness does not need to descend so low by going on the air to rain condemnations about the killings as though he lacks the muscle to effect a change directly. Here, his role is that of a personality who has the leverage to advice, and suggest a course of action that best suits the situation in Ile-Ife. The messenger of Allah (S.A.W) said; “whoever perceives a wrong among you, should correct it with his hand, and if he could not bring about a change with his hand, then with his tongue.
However, if he still could not right the wrong with his tongue, then he should dissociate himself from the wrong, by hating it in his heart”. Hence, every right thinking person knows that his highness’ power in this regard, and in consonance also with the preceding hadith derives from the first step provided in the prophetic guidance on righting a wrong earlier stated.
Sheer ignorance of the Islamic principles on strategy was largely responsible for the actions of those who rain condemnation on his highness over his “silence” on the Ile-Ife massacre by taking to the social media to criticize him over they call his resolve to protect “southerners” in whose land “Northerners” are being slaughtered! Be that as it may, those critics sound ridiculous, for in Islam, a religion they are always quick to claim to be its true lieutenants, wrong is never righted with another wrong. Succinctly, evil cannot be fought with more evil.
Thus, it would have been strategically wrong for his highness to take to the air to make any electrically charged comments on a very sensitive issue like the Ile-Ife massacre, especially at a time when the atmosphere was still tense. Given the disturbing images spread via the social media which show the video footages of the killings, and the experience of the incessant reprisal attacks against southern ethnic minorities in the north in the event of attacks against northerners in the south, any attempt from his highness to cry foul over the killings on the air, would trigger unnecessary emotional sentiments that will pave the way for opportunists to seize the moment to wreck havoc on innocent southerners in order to loot their property.
Thus, his “silence” over the Ile-Ife massacre was from a position of strength, ditto his policy statement on his resolution to defend minority’s right to life, private possession, and dignity, which constitute his primary responsibility as emir, was also from position of strength, and not weakness even if those affected did not oblige by showing appreciation. His highness is free from blame as he moves to defend a people that sharia charges him to defend, his reward lies with Allah, he needs no body’s appreciation even though the affected persons ought to thank him; “whoever does not appreciate a gesture, does not appreciate Allah”. And for those who trivialize the magnitude of the inherent danger of the ultimatum issued by the Kaduna based Arewa Youth Forum, particularly the Muslims among them, I would like to bring your attention to the maqasid al-shariah (the higher purposes of Islamic law).
Within the purview of the maqasid’s five levels of necessities which include; protections of religion, life, right to procreation, safeguarding mental health, and protection of individuals’ property, sharia builds a comprehensive law of minorities in Islam. A law that covers those five levels of necessities earlier mentioned. Therefore, an attack on any Nigerian residing in the north, on account of his ethnicity, is an attack on sharia.
The prophet (PBUH) said; “whoever kills a mu’ahid (a non-Muslim who hold a daman from the sharia on account of citizenship etc), I will be his (mu’ahid’s) lawyer on the day of judgment”. In another hadith he says; “whoever kills a mu’ahid will not smell the fragrance of al-jannah, and its fragrance is be perceived in a distance of five hundred years”. By this, I call on the critics of his highness to beat their swords into their plowshares, and to join me in saying to the Kaduna based Arewa Youth Forum; don’t join me in your brigandage.
By: Abubakar Abdulkadir, PhD.
Umaru Musa Yar’adua University, Katsina.