1430/ 2009

The “Boko Haram” Tragedy
Frequently Asked Questions
Responses to 26 of the most commonly asked questions regarding the “Boko Haram” crisis and tragedy

Da’wah Coordination Council of Nigeria (DCCN)

THE “BOKO HARAM” TRAGEDY

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

Responses to 26 of the most commonly asked questions regarding the “Boko Haram” crisis and tragedy

Da’wah Coordination Council of Nigeria (DCCN)

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Da’wah Coordination Council of Nigeria National Headquarters PMB 229. Phone: +234-806 577 4427 Email: ndccsecretariat@yahoo. Niger State.com Page | 3 . Minna. Nigeria.© Da’wah Coordination Council of Nigeria. 1430/2009 All rights reserved: No part of this book may be reproduced in any manner except with written permission from the publisher. Ilmi Avenue.

Makurdi 9. Bauchi 13. Kano 18. Abuja 37. Jama’atul Muslimeen. Al-Amin Foundation. Islamic Trust of Nigeria (ITN). International Islamic Charitable Organisation (IICO). Abuja Page | 4 . Kano 30. Warri 26. Abu Sheriff Islamic Organisation. Council for Dawah and Welfare of Converts. Zaria 34. Minna 38. Kaduna 28. Zaria 27. Islamic Foundation. Third World Relief Agency. Islamic Missionaries Association of Nigeria (IMAN). Council of Ulama of Nigeria (CUN). Minna 19. International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT). Abuja Muslim Forum(AMF). National Association of Teachers of Arabic and Islamic Studies (NATAIS). Islamic Forum of Nigeria (IFN). Kano 8. Abuja 2. Islamic Medical Association of Nigeria (IMAN). Muslim Corpers Association of Nigeria (MCAN). Kano 20. Association of Muslim Professionals (AMP). Centre for Islamic Legal Studies. Abuja 35. National Council Of Muslim Youth (NACOMYO). Gombe 14. Adabiyyah Kamaliyah Society. Saha Development Initiative. Islamic Education Trust (IET). Sokoto 29. Mallam Mamman Foundation. Ibadan 10. Federation of Muslim Women’s Associations in Nigeria (FOMWAN). Minna 24. El-Kanemi College of Islamic Theology. Kaduna 5. Ansarul Islam Society of Nigeria. Kano 23. Abuja 17. Association of Muslim Social Scientist(AMSS). Council of Da’awa and Irshad. Ilorin 3. Munazzamah Al-Da’wa Al-Islamiyyah. Ilorin 25. Benue State Da’awah Centre. Sokoto 12. Port Harcourt 7. Ilorin 4. Minna 36. Ilorin 6. Kano 15. Muslim Sisters Organization (MSO) . International Islamic Relief Organization (IIRO). Centre for Islamic studies(CIS). Centre for Islamic Information. Kano 33. Kaduna 22. Maiduguri 16. ABU. Kano 31. Jama’atu Nasril Islam (JNI). Islamic Propagation Centre (IPC). Minna 21. Abuja 32. Muslim World League (MWL).Da’wah Coordination Council of Nigeria (DCCN) Member Organisations: 1. Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN). Zaria 11.

Lagos Page | 5 . Women In Daawah.39. UNN Muslim Ummah. Abuja 41. Nsukka 40. World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY).

.............. 12 9.......................................... 15 15................................ 21 17........................................................... 10 3.............. What did Islamic scholars do to prevent the BH crises? ........................................................................................ 14 ON BOKO AND ISLAMIC ALTERNATIVES .................................... Is fighting BH a Jihad? ... Where did the name “Boko Haram” come from? ......................................................................... How did the response of Muslim scholars affect the BH group? ........................................................... What are Muslims doing to help Nigeria? ........................................ How do BH members regard other Muslims? ......................................... 13 11...... What is Islam’s position on Western education (boko)? ..................................................... 14 14....... 11 6............................ 11 7.... What is the fate of Muslim security personnel who were killed in the conflict? ............... What punishment does Islam prescribe for killers among the BH members? ... 15 16............. Are the BH members to be considered as Muslims? ........................................ 10 2............................... 12 8................................................... What is the BH alternative to Western secular education (boko)? . 10 1................... 22 Page | 6 ............ How do people view BH? ... What is the fate of those killed among the BH members?...................................................................................................................... 22 20... 20 ON THE “BOKO HARAM” CRISIS AND TRAGEDY ........................ Do BH members deserve an Islamic burial? .................. 14 ON THE BOKO HARAM IDEOLOGY .......................................... 22 19.................................................................................. Did other Muslims and security forces over-react?............................ 11 4..................................................................................... 13 10..................................................................... What is the organizational structure of the BH group? ............................................Contents PREAMBLE .................. 14 12................................... What does the “Boko Haram” group call itself?............ 10 OPINIONS ON THE BOKO HARAM TRAGEDY . 8 ON TERMINOLOGY ......................................... 14 13............................................................... 11 5.......... what are other BH concerns? ............................................................................. Besides Western education (boko)........... What about Police persecution of non-BH members? .......................... 21 18.................. What is the meaning of the word “boko”?....

............................. 23 22..... 23 21....................................... What are our responsibilities to existing BH members? .............................................. What are the expected effects of the BH tragedy on da’wah in Nigeria? ............... 24 23.............................. How should we face or resolve the BH challenge? ........ What is the reaction of the global community to the handling of the BH crises? ............................... Why do some scholars speak against both the BH group and Western Secular education?....ON CHALLENGES FROM THE “BOKO HARAM” CRISIS & TRAGEDY .. 28 Page | 7 ........................ 25 25...... 26 26............. Why is Northern Nigeria predisposed to the emergence of groups such as BH? .............. 25 24.............

Borno. a group of nearly 40 men and women from a number of Islamic organizations under the Da’wah Coordination Council of Nigeria (DCCN) met at the Da’wah Institute of Nigeria. and were well acquainted with the history. their ideology and perspectives. Minna. Page | 8 . Islamic Education Trust. ideology. Niger State. THE MOST GRACIOUS. and knew the Late Muhammad Yusuf and some of his key followers personally. and Yobe. The group met to discuss among other things. To help the Muslim Community leaders with qualitative responses to the arguments presented by the “Boko Haram” group to defend their ideology and perspectives. The first was meant to update everyone in the meeting on the “Boko Haram” group. The third session was to prepare and present responses to the questions and arguments raised in the second session. The second session was to prepare a list of important expected and commonly asked questions about the “Boko Haram” group and the crisis. That is treated in another document titled THE ‘BOKO HARAM’ ARGUMENTS: Responses to the Ideology of the ‘Boko Haram’ Group. This document contains the responses to 26 of some of the most expected and commonly asked questions regarding the Boko Haram (BH) crisis and tragedy. Some of those in attendance were very well acquainted with the “Boko Haram” movement. THE MOST MERCIFUL PREAMBLE Between the 1st and 12th of August 2009. The objective of the research workshops was two-fold: 1. various aspects of the “Boko Haram” crisis and tragedy that erupted at the end of July in some of the North-eastern States of Nigeria – particularly Bauchi. the similarities and differences between them and other Muslims. Others still were Muslim youth leaders who had a good understanding of Islam and Islamic movements and could contribute significantly to the quality of the discussions. The meetings were split into roughly 3 broad sessions. activities and evolution of the group. Others had been involved in dialogues and debates with “Boko Haram” members for some years. The participants at these discussions were selected individuals from some of the DCCN member organizations including the Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN). and compiled into the present document. and also a list of the main arguments used by the group to support and defend their ideology and perspectives. the Da’wah Coordination Council of Nigeria (DCCN). These responses were discussed. documented. and the Da’wah Institute of Nigeria (DIN) – Islamic Education Trust (IET). To help the general public and Muslim youth leaders provide accurate answers to commonly asked or expected questions about the “Boko Haram” crisis and tragedy.IN THE NAME OF ALLAH. the National Council of Muslim Youth Organisations (NACOMYO). This document has been reviewed by leaders of the member organizations of the Da’wah Coordination Council of Nigeria (DCCN) along with some selected Muslims scholars and community leaders. It does not focus on the responses to ideological basis and arguments presented by the Boko Haram (BH) group in defense of their position and interpretation of Islam. 2.

No literary work of any human can be perfect. DCCN) Page | 9 . and to forgive us all for any errors that it might contain. but the consensus of majority. We pray Allah blesses the efforts of all those who have contributed to this humble document. it should be borne in mind that the views presented in this document do not necessarily represent the opinions of each and every member organization of the DCCN or the individual consulted. We also request that if you the reader notice any errors that might have escaped us. Wassalamu alaykum Muhammad Lawal Maidoki (National President.However. we request you kindly bring it to our notice as soon as possible. and we take all responsibility for our mistakes.

While “Boko Haram” may therefore be interpreted as meaning that the Western secular education is islamically prohibited. it could also be interpreted to mean that evangelism deceptively camouflaged as Western education is islamically unacceptable. Western education was therefore seen by some local Muslim scholars as deceptive. During the Colonial period in Nigeria. This is sometimes a feature in the traditional Hausa wedding where a grandmother usually dresses up like the bride as part of a practical joke played on the groom. Where did the name “Boko Haram” come from? The popular name “Boko Haram” has its origin in media and public/community coinage. 3. also referred to as Western secular education. along with anything it is associated with. “bride of deception”. most of whom used their schools to also propagate Christianity and convert Muslim children.THE “BOKO HARAM” TRAGEDY: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS ON TERMINOLOGY 1. most of those promoting Western education were Christian Missionaries. which means “fake bride” or literally. Others consider the word “boko” as a corruption of the English word “book”. in line with the earliest generation of Muslims”. Page | 10 .seen as evangelism in the guise of Western education. It means islamically unacceptable. The word is also used to refer to Western education in all its ramifications. The word “boko” in classical Hausa language literally means deception or deceit.and in some quarters. is still . What is the meaning of the word “boko”? The word “boko” in Hausa is popularly used to refer to the formal public or private educational system in Nigeria. which means: “People of the Way of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) and the Community (of Muslims). What does the “Boko Haram” group call itself? The group calls itself “Ahl as-Sunnah wa al-Jama’a ala Minhaj as-Salaf”. 2. This name has a positive meaning that is acceptable to nearly all Muslims. “Haram” is a Hausa word adopted from Arabic. as used in the Hausa term “amaryar boko”. forbidden or prohibited. which was associated with Western education. It was .

The Prophet (pbuh) had said: “To abuse a Muslim is (an act of) transgression (fusuq) and to fight him is (an act of) unbelief (kufr). verily Allah forgives all sins: for He is Oft-forgiving. are the BH members to be considered as Muslims? Even though BH members hold some extreme views that are misconceptions and misinterpretations of Islam. if anyone saves a life. especially their attempt to assassinate some Muslim scholars. Muslims should therefore be cautious not to quickly denounce other Muslims as unbelievers. who even followed them in prayers. a deviant and extremist group who were called the Khawarij committed acts against other Muslims that were far more hostile than what the Boko Haram did. or to excommunicate them from Islam. Most Just. Most Merciful. In view of their actions against Muslims. 6. BH members. and the covenant of the Messenger of Allah. Each person will be judged by Allah according to their intentions and actions. who are not nearly as bad as the Khawarij. we would not have fought them”. of those of their members killed in the cause of BH? Only Allah can decide the fate of anyone in the Hereafter. Yet the Khawarij were considered Muslims by the Sahabah.” (Sahih Bukhari).OPINIONS ON THE BOKO HARAM TRAGEDY 4. they are still considered Muslims. The Prophet (pbuh) is reported to have said: “Whoever offers prayers as we do and turns his face to our Qiblah (direction faced in prayer) and eats the animal slaughtered by us. 5. Most-Wise. The Khawarij considered other Muslims as unbelievers (Kuffar) and even killed many Companions of the Prophet (pbuh) including Ali ibn Abi Talib.” (Qur’an 39:53) Page | 11 . What is the fate in the Hereafter. Ali bin Abi Talib is reported to have said of them: “Had they not fought us. Also. What punishment does Islam prescribe for killers among the members of the BH group? The seriousness of taking the life of any innocent human being is described by Allah in Qur’an 5:32 – “If anyone kills a human being – unless it be (in punishment) for murder of for spreading corruption on earth – it shall be as though he had killed all mankind. no one has the right to limit Allah’s mercy on any of His creatures. and Most Merciful. is indeed a Muslim for whom is the covenant of Allah. are therefore Muslims. He alone is All-Knowing. And Allah knows best. whereas.” Allah the Most Merciful however also says: “Oh my servants who have transgressed against their own souls (in sin)! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah. so do not violate Allah’s covenant” (Sahih Bukhari) During the times of the Companions or disciples (Sahabah) of the Prophet (pbuh). it shall be as though he had saved the lives of all mankind.

Fighting anyone should always be the last resort.In the Hereafter. his reward is due from Allah. Did the deceased among the BH members deserve an Islamic burial? Yes! They are Muslims and therefore have the right to be given a full Islamic burial. The jihad (striving) of self-restraint and patience (jihad bin nafs) is the first priority. Page | 12 . the courts. and Allah has prepared a great punishment for him. Allah says in Qur’an 5:45: “We ordained therein for them: "A life for a life. an ear for an ear. i.Zarqani in Sharh al-Muwatta’) He also said in another narration: “No man would remit from any injury inflicted upon him. If a group of Muslims initiates aggression against another group of Muslims. imprisonment or any other discretionary punishment (ta’zir).or any other categories or sub-categories of these. would enter Paradise. terrorism or banditry (hiraba). sometimes in consultation with the family of the victim would decide what to do – whether to punish with equitable retribution (qisas) or death sentence. or to forgive (al-‘afw). homicide by mistake (al-qatl al-khata’). a nose for a nose. Allah says: “As regards the one who kills a believer intentionally. the decision as to what would be a just and appropriate punishment is to be decided by the Islamic legal experts or judge (Qadi) based on the law of evidence specific to the case. an eye for an eye. and unless Allah forgives. is that a Muslim should follow his funeral.” (Az. semi-intentional homicide (al-qatl shibh al-‘amd). . The Prophet (pbuh) said that among the 6 (and in another version 5) rights of a believer from another believer. (Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim) 8. And if any fail to judge by (the light of) what Allah hath revealed. but Allah would elevate his position and forgive his sins. Depending on whether it is considered a crime against the state or not. whether it is murder (al-qatl al-‘amd). Is fighting BH a Jihad? A Muslim is not permitted to initiate conflict with groups such as the BH. a tooth for a tooth.” (Sunan Ibn Majah) 7.” (Qur’an 4:93) In this world however. it is an act of atonement for himself.” (Qur’an 42:40) The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said: “Whoever forgives the retaliation from the killer. They are to decide what category of killing has taken place in each. paying of blood money (diyyah). and a (similar) retribution for wounds.” (See also Qur’an 2:178) “The recompense of an injury is an injury thereto: but if a person forgives and makes reconciliation." But if any one remits the retaliation by way of charity. even if it is justified. rebellion (bughah). as with any other case of taking the life of a human being. this other group should try and find peaceful ways to reconcile their differences.e. they are (no better than) wrong-doers. etc. He has incurred Allah’s wrath and His curse is on him. the punishment for intentional murder is severe. brigandage. wherein he shall abide. his recompense is Hell.

What is the fate of Muslim security personnel who were killed in the conflict with BH members? A Muslim who is killed while trying to save the lives of innocent people is a martyr (Shaheed) and will. it shall be as though he had saved the lives of all mankind. behold. but do not cause aggression. Allah says: “But (remember that an attempt at) requiting an evil may too. To save the life of innocent humans is one of the most meritorious deeds a Muslim can do. for Allah does not love the aggressor. this.” (Qur’an 5:32). Whoever is killed is defense of his life is a martyr (Shaheed). (Nasa’i. his reward rests with Allah – for. become an evil: hence whoever pardons (his enemy) and makes peace. by Allah’s grace be granted Paradise. its security personnel and the rest of the Muslim community. Actions of all people are judged by their intention and motives. He does not love evildoers. if one is patient in adversity and forgives. so that you might be graced with His mercy. but if one of them transgresses beyond bounds against the other then fight you (all) against the one that transgresses until it complies with the command of Allah. or in defense of his religion. Yet indeed. for Allah loves those who are equitable. or of his family”. offending against all right: for them there is grievous suffering in store! But verily.” (Qur’an 2:190) This permission to fight back however should never be allowed to deteriorate into any injustice against them or anyone else. as for any who defend themselves after having been wronged – no blame whatever attaches to them: blame attaches but to those who oppress (other) people and behave outrageously on earth. but if it complies then make peace between them with justice and be equitable. Allah says: “If two parties (or groups) among the believers fall into fighting. Allah knows best. then they should be forcibly brought under control. How do people view BH? People have differing views of the BH group and how their case was handled by the leadership.If however they persist in their hostility and are violent. “… if anyone saves a life. The believers are but a single Brotherhood: so make peace and reconciliation between your two (contending) brother: and remain conscious of Allah. and such fighting (qitaal) is a jihad. is indeed something to set one’s heart upon!” (Qur’an 42:40-43) 9. then make peace between them both. Tirmidhi) Fighting against the aggressive members of the BH group is islamically ligitimate.” (Qur’an 49:9-10) “Fight in the cause of Allah those who fight against you. and Allah knows best the true motives behind everyone’s decisions and actions. The Prophet (pbuh) said: “Whoever is killed in defense of his wealth is a martyr (Shaheed). Abu Dawud. Page | 13 . verily. 10. if done with the intention of self-defense or protecting the community and its scholars from being attacked by them.

” (Sahih Muslim) Allah says: “O you who believe! If a divisive (or wicked) person comes to you with news. 14. such as Soldiers and Police. And Allah knows best. From the perspective of the BH group.the economic. The Prophet (pbuh) said: “It is enough to make a person a liar if he keeps repeating to others all that he hears (without verification). However. legal and social systems. and their assessment of that information from their own perspectives and values. or live with uncertainty. what else are their concerns? They have grievances regarding any aspect of life . Some people are sympathetic towards the BH group. They also organized themselves according to various roles. instead of speaking about what we have no knowledge of. what is their alternative to Western secular education (boko)? Their only acceptable alternative to Western education is another system of education based purely on the teachings of the Qur’an and Sunnah as understood by the earliest generations of Muslims (Salaf). and from their interpretation of the Qur’an and Sunnah. Each State (where they exist) has its own Amir (Commander/Leader). It is therefore difficult. .The views people hold about any group depend on how much they know that is true. ascertain the truth. and some others treat every issue related to BH with extreme emotions or skepticism. How do BH members regard other Muslims who do not share their ideology? From the explicit contents of the lectures and debates of their leaders and some of their preachers. etc. He has 2 deputies (Na’ib Amir ul-Aam I & II). a curriculum for this alternative system of education seems to be non-existent. lest you harm people unwittingly and afterwards become regretful for what you have done” (Qur’an 49:6) 11. 13. What is the organizational structure of the BH group? The Commander in Chief (Amir ul-Aam) is the leader of the entire group (Late Muhammad Yusuf). etc. One should either search for people of character and integrity who have reliable information about the group. Below the Local Government Amirs are the remaining followers. and each Local Government Area also has an Amir. Page | 14 . Other than Western education (boko).that is not in accordance with their interpretation of Shari’ah. they regard nonmembers to be kuffar (disbelievers. when listening to different people talk about BH to know the truth. political. others are antagonistic towards it. ON THE BOKO HARAM IDEOLOGY 12. those who deny the truth) or fasiqun (wrong-doers).

and the higher objectives of Shari’ah (maqasid ash-Shari’ah). administration and management. and legislation. Any aspect of Western secular education (boko). anything that does not fall under the ibadaat is categorized under mu’amalaat. transportation. secular. discouraged (makruh) or forbidden (haram). It includes those areas related to the collective life of society such as agriculture. Boko belongs to mu’amalaat. The details for the performance of these have been stipulated in the Qur’an and Sunnah. marriage. while respecting the methodology and principles of Islamic jurisprudence (Usul al-Fiqh).Some knowledge which is essential for the survival needs of a just society is essential and its acquisition is a collective religious obligation (fardu kifaya) on Muslims. Aqeedah. In order to ascertain the position of Islam regarding anything. technology. articles of faith and Islamic theology).ON BOKO AND ISLAMIC ALTERNATIVES 15. and go by the best in it” (Qur’an 39:18) On the Methodology of Islamic Jurisprudence (Usul al-Fiqh) Scholars of Islamic jurisprudence have categorized all issues and actions requiring an Islamic verdict (fatwa) into 2 broad categories: Ibadaat and Mu’amalaat. which refers to creed. whether foreign. These include ritual purification rites (taharah). In Islamic jurisprudence. that knowledge or education could be considered as either an obligation (fard or wajib). (Other scholars would add a third category. communication. politics. Mu’amalaat include all social transactions. healthcare and medicine. What is Islam’s position on Western secular education (boko) from the perspective of the majority of Muslims? “Boko” is used here in its present popular sense to mean Western secular education as promoted by the Federal Ministry of Education of Nigeria. education. matters of business and commerce. any education. or modern. Muslims must refer to the Qur’an and Sunnah (practice of the Prophet – pbuh). Ibadaat refers to prescribed acts of worship and devotion to Allah. defense and security.” In Page | 15 . The ruling principle or maxim of Usul al-Fiqh that applies to mu’amalaat is: “al-asl fil ashya’ al-ibaahah. recommended (mustahab). not ibadaat. merely permissible (mubah). inheritance. Briefly. and every other aspect of life outside prescribed worship.” meaning “the fundamental premise of everything is permissibility. which considers things that are islamically wrong and prohibited (haram) as if it were right and permissible (halal). fasting (siyam) and pilgrimage (hajj). Allah praises “those who listen to what is said. Depending on the position of Islamic jurisprudence on a specific subject and the purpose of studying it. are to be identified and corrected. almsgiving (zakat). that is useful and which does not go against the explicit teachings of the Qur’an and Sunnah is permissible (halal). prayer (salat).

other words. The Qur’an and Sunnah encourage Muslims to seek useful knowledge in all fields of human endeavor. Page | 16 . and not upon those who claim a thing is permissible. ‘This is halal and that is haram’ in order to fabricate a lie against Allah. Islamic jurisprudence does not classify information or knowledge on the basis of its geographical or cultural origins. but on the basis of whether it contradicts the Qur’an or Sunnah or not. geography. “And do not say concerning the falsehood which your tongues utter. if anything in the contents and method of Boko does not contradict the clear teachings of the Qur’an and Sunnah. those who fabricate a lie against Allah will not prosper. therefore. or the objectives (maqasid) of Shari’ah.” (Qur’an 16:116). benefit. Every generation of Muslim scholars adds new insights and interpretations to the commentaries of Qur’an and Sunnah by acquiring new knowledge in the fields of history. On the Geographical Origin of Knowledge The truth. biology. etc. everything is permissible except what is clearly prohibited from an explicit (qat‘i) text (nass) of the Qur’an or authentic (sahih) Hadith (report about the actions and words of the Prophet. However. going by the clear teachings of the Qur’an and authentic Sunnah.42:21. Hausa or Igbo. i. scholars consider it an act of shirk (attribution of divine authority to something besides Allah) to make prohibited (haram) that which Allah has not prohibited. Otherwise it may be considered on its own merit. The responsibility of providing evidence for a ruling on issues of mu’amalaat rests upon whoever claims a thing is prohibited. is halal except what may be haram within it. the task before Muslims or scholars is to identify any aspect of the contents and methodology of Boko that is prohibited. Indeed. This is because an act of mu’amalaat is automatically considered permissible unless proven otherwise. To say it differently. 10:59. Greek or Japanese. Boko. See also Q. assuredly. and Islam encourages the search for useful knowledge. psychology. Knowledge. Arab or Persian. 6:119 and 9:31. falsehood. while respecting the methodology of Usul al-Fiqh and the higher objectives (maqasid) of Shari’ah. then it cannot be regarded as haram from an Islamic perspective. and its consonance with the objectives of Shari’ah and the common good (maslaha). education or boko cannot therefore be prohibited (haram) simply because it is modern or new. Thus. or to make permissible (halal) that which Allah has prohibited. of the Sunnah). Some of these will be listed below. On Modern Knowledge The search for knowledge yields new knowledge. whatever is not prohibited is in fact permissible. ecology. African or European. If it contradicts the Qur’an and Sunnah then it is rejected. Eastern or Western.e. It has to contradict the clear teachings of the Qur’an and Sunnah before it can be considered prohibited (haram). economics. or otherwise of information and knowledge about mu’amalaat is not assessed on the basis of whether such information or knowledge is indigenous or foreign. astronomy.

Medicine. scholars (of Usul al-Fiqh) maintain that what is a pre-requisite for the performance or realization of an obligation (fard) itself becomes regarded as an obligation (fard). physics. that are essential for the public benefit (maslaha) and general survival or absolute necessities (i. Accounting. namely: the absolute necessities (daruriyyat). If the study and practice of Agriculture and Medicine are Fardu Kifaya (collective societal obligations). language. and the scientific method of rational analysis. Agriculture. In fact those fields such as Medicine. Communication and Information Technology. mathematics. Security. geography. Education. then their prerequisite subjects such as chemistry. in that their knowledge is not derived from religious scriptures. important essentials (hajiyyat) Page | 17 . not spiritual or religious education. To neglect these aspects of life is a harmful evil (mafsada). are regarded as secular or worldly subjects. where knowledge gained is derived from observation. For example. biology. professions like Medicine and Agriculture would cease to fulfill their functions effectively in modern world. Mathematics. which the community (or its leaders) will be held accountable for by Allah. become regarded as Fardu Kifaya. how many people would starve to death if we did not have enough farmers growing food crops? What would be the consequences of there being no business people transporting essential medicines and food to places where they are needed? What sort of plagues and epidemics would result if we did not have enough people handling sanitation and managing waste? How many would suffer if no one was ensuring the availability of pure drinkable water? What would society be like if we did not have anyone performing the role of police and security personnel? What chaos would result if we had no one was teaching the next generation any education? In addition. Defense. experimentation. and not from religious sources or divine revelation – i. daruriyyat) of a good and just society. Muslim scholars however do not classify these subjects or fields as secular or irreligious as distinct from spiritual or religious knowledge. It does not take a lot to imagine the disastrous consequences of not having enough qualified people in one of these essential Fardu Kifaya fields.e. Commerce. Linguistics. but a societal or collective obligation (Fardu Kifaya) that must be studied.On Secular Knowledge and Mu’amalaat The term “secular” when applied to knowledge or education is used to refer to worldly (dunyawy). Engineering. without these basic subjects. are not just considered permissible (halal). Agriculture. The same principle of Islamic jurisprudence also applies to other professions that belong to the 3 general hierarchical categories of the Objectives of Shari’ah (Maqasid ash-Shari’ah). They are classified under the category of mu’amalaat where every innovation and new knowledge is permissible.e. This is because. or material education. except what is authoritatively prohibited. For instance.

disregard for the superiority of explicit Divine injunction over human judgments in Law. Public Administration and Government. everything is permissible except what is prohibited from an explicit text of the Qur’an or authentic Sunnah. Some of these Islamically reprehensible (makruh) or unacceptable (haram) teachings found in various subjects include: the disregard for Allah as the ultimate Source and Cause of Creation in especially the Natural Sciences. In the Shari’ah of Islam. etc. The preservation.” (Qur’an 28:77) “Whoever rallies to a good cause shall have a share in its blessings. the mind. their society and family. (Qur’an 4:85) “The best among mankind are those most useful to others” (At-Tabarani) On the Challenge of Boko The challenge Muslims face with some aspects of Western secular education (boko) is that some specific topics and practices are presented as acceptable or morally neutral. policies. material. Ethics. the promotion of interest or usury (riba) as an instrument of financial dealings and profiteering from debt creation. Some subjects therefore would belong to the daruriyyat. and whoever rallies to an evil cause shall be answerable for his part in it: for. and part of the religious and spiritual obligations and responsibilities of a Muslim. gambling and speculation in financial markets. and the same principle will apply to hajiyyat and tahsiniyyat. these subjects. are not regarded as purely worldly. Some are societal requirements of the Ummah. fields of knowledge or professions belonging to the mu’amalat (as opposed to “secular”). the Home of the Hereafter. for their own legitimate (halal) benefit in this life and the next. irreligious. or secular. For example. protection and enhancement of these daruriyyat are the primary objectives of Shari’ah. Whatever is necessary for preservation of an “absolute necessity” (darurah) is itself treated like a darurah. some aspects and interpretation of the theory of evolution in Biology. They form part of a true Muslim’s service in the Cause of Allah towards humanity. hoarding and creation of artificial scarcity as ways of maximizing profit in Business Studies and Economics. nor forget your portion in This world: but do good. lineage/family. obligations. under the “absolute necessities” (daruriyyat) are all the prohibitions. regarding mu’amalat such as education or boko. personal property. indeed. The importance of a profession to the survival of the community and its core values will determine which of these 3 categories a profession will belong to. As mentioned earlier. various forms of cruelty to livestock in Page | 18 . Allah watches over everything”. “But seek. and seek not (occasions for) corruption on earth: for Allah loves not those who do corruption. faith/religion. with the (wealth) which Allah has bestowed on you.and the luxuries or embellishments (tahsiniyyat). jobs and efforts directly aimed at the protection and preservation of human life. whereas from an Islamic perspective they may be reprehensible/disliked (makruh) or even prohibited (haram). as Allah has been good to you. hajiyyat or tahsiniyyat depending on how important they are as prerequisites to a particular objective of Shar’iah.

They should also be taught the Islamic perspectives to these. etc. in general. and subsequent generations (inter-generational injustice) as offered in various branches of Engineering. sexual lewdness and immorality as means of advertising and entertainment in Arts.1/310.Agriculture. These are all products of the secular ideology that comes with some aspects of the modern Western education. The knowledge of what is haram and how to avoid it is an obligation (fard/wajib) on Muslims. and give us the ability to keep away from it” (Tafsir Ibn Kathir. Al-Wasit li Sayyid Tantawy vol. the disrespect of most indigenous institutions. other species. It is also prohibited to regard what is haram to be halal. and ensure Muslim students (and the general public) are enlightened as to what is wrong and harmful about these teachings. some natural remedies. and the wisdom and practicality behind the Islamic alternatives. as well as psycho-spiritual healing in Medicine. dismissal of all forms of alternative medicine. and Psychology. to identify those specific teachings in any particular subject that are Islamically unacceptable. knowledge and wisdom in preference foreign and especially Western alternatives. Pharmacy. but also educationists. and vice versa. rather it is the utilizing of such knowledge for a prohibited purpose. etc. vol. Tafsir Ruh al-Bayan vol. Knowledge of what is prohibited (haram) helps the Muslim know his or her limits and what to avoid. Knowledge of what is permissible (halal) helps the Muslim know his freedoms and what he or she is permitted to do.8/386. Allah also praises “those who listen to what is said. and give us the ability to follow it. and show us falsehood (and help us identify it) as falsehood. It is important that a Muslim is able to identify and distinguish the two from each other in any situation. and I used to ask regarding evil (sharr) so as not to be a victim…” (Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim) Knowledge of both the lawful and the prohibited (al-halal wa al-haram) in Islam is essential for every Muslim in their correct submission to Allah. policy makers. Islamic organizations and institutions.1/366. parents. and the superiority of interests over values and ethical principles in Political Science. On the Importance of Knowing both Halal and Haram Muslims are taught to pray Allah to “Show us the truth (and help us identify it) as truth. 1623) “Hudhaifa bin Al-Yaman said that people used to ask the Prophet (pbuh) regarding what was good (al-khair). Page | 19 . It is not the acquisition of the knowledge about what is haram that is prohibited. Media Studies and Marketing. and go by the best in it” (Qur’an 39:18) On the Responsibilities of Muslims to the Educational System It is therefore the responsibility of Muslim scholars in particular. socio-economic discrimination and apartheid-like systems of Urban and Regional Studies and Management. numerous manipulative and unethical practices. environmental pollution and destruction to the detriment of people. extra-marital and homosexual relations as acceptable alternative family systems in Social Studies and Law.

and preventing conflict. and are actively involved in corruption and oppression at every level. Other initiatives pioneered mainly by the International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT) have been developing the idea of. while others are fighting HIV/AIDS. Among them are the richest and poorest. and members of the Association of Islamic Models Schools (AMIS) in Nigeria have already taken initiatives in this regard by introducing “Islamic Perspectives” as a subject taught to students which focuses on countering the purely secular or unislamic elements of the educational curriculum. Though many aspects of the nation have deteriorated. 16. Many are involved in improving intra-faith and inter-faith relations. Some are running faith-based. Some are optimistic while others are.It is also the duty of Muslim leaders. Some are part of the problems of Nigeria. like every other group of people. Some try to give talks to dissuade others from corruption and immorality by being more Godconscious. Allah knows best. and the law abiding. or school. the most educated and uneducated. while some have contributed to nation-building and deservingly received National Honours Awards. Alhamdulillah some private Islamic Schools. the most ethnocentric and the most cosmopolitan. What are Muslims doing about the current state of Nigeria? Muslims. Islamic organizations and Muslim activists are doing a lot towards improving the Nation for the benefit of all. while others focus on the more peculiar needs of Muslims. etc. the most humble and the most arrogant. etc. Some are part of the solutions and are actively fighting corruption and doing a lot of good at every level of the society. Others are establishing educational institutions. and working in every segment of the society. Many are in advocacy work trying to secure Muslims’ rights to take a little time off from work for their daily prayers. schools and orphanages. businesses. They are a diverse community living in every state. over the decades many Muslims have seen some significant improvements in their freedom to practice Islam and establish institutions that will help provide more Islamic alternative lifestyles for Page | 20 . while others are trying to get more freedom to be ruled by Islamic law. Some are establishing hospitals and clinic. and others. parents and Islamic da’wah organizations to develop and provide effective and qualitative education and orientation on various aspects of Islam to complement and supplement what students learn in the classroom. pessimistic about the future of Nigeria.. Others focus on issues of gender and social justice. the most generous and the most selfish. and producing literature on the “Islamization of Knowledge” and “Islamization of Disciplines”. the most disciplined and the most undisciplined. Some do not care and are apathetic. non-faith-based community development and welfare organizations. Among them are the best and worst leaders in Nigerian history. or dress islamically at work. unfortunately. the criminal. Some are working within the government to bring positive change while others are working from without in NGOs. are not all the same. A growing number of members of the Muslim Students Society of Nigeria (MSSN) have been taking orientation courses in “Islamic Perspectives” with the aim of spreading the contents to the much larger audience of public educational institutions.

to the exclusion of others. The intra-faith conflicts among Muslims have reduced. “Beware of the crisis (fitna) which does not befall only those among you who do wrong. Nigeria is a large. this is closest to being God-conscious. beard and trimmed moustache. good leadership is key! ON THE “BOKO HARAM” CRISIS AND TRAGEDY 17. And though there is a relative scarcity of good Muslims scholars of Islam. This often includes wearing a long dress. if they are ready to better cooperate with each other. The Prophet (pbuh) said “It is better for a leader to make a mistake in forgiving than to make a mistake in punishing. there are also more Muslim scholars than ever before. There are far more qualitative Islamic educational institutions now than ever before. This has naturally made it almost impossible during the BH crisis for security personnel to easily distinguish or identify a BH member from their appearance.themselves and their children. It requires numerous holistic and specific solutions by as many sincere cooperating people as possible from all faiths and walks of life. It is worth calling to mind the words of Allah: “… never let hatred of anyone lead you into the sin of deviating from justice.” (Tirmidhi) In other words it is better to err in letting a guilty person go free than to err by letting an innocent person be punished. more respectful and effective interrogation methods could reduce cases of wrong allegations and betrayal of justice. While good followership is essential. and know that Allah is severe in retribution” (Qur’an 8:25) This victimization and persecution is unjust and unacceptable. because of their Muslim appearance? As with many committed Muslims. diverse and complex society. trousers showing the ankles. a hat or turban. As a result many innocent Muslims have been victimized by the security services and even other members of the public.” (Qur’an 5:8) Page | 21 . verily. Be just. God is aware of all that you do. BH members dress and groom themselves in ways that try to visually distinguish them as Muslims. There is more recognition for Islamic law. Everyone is innocent until and unless proven guilty. More registered Islamic financial institutions have been established and the patronage and interest in these is growing. This makes it very difficult for anyone to visually differentiate a BH member from any other committed Muslim. at least in the northern States. Better. What is our response to Police persecution of non-Boko-Haram members. Muslims are also appreciating the greater freedoms they have to modify and establish alternative Islamically acceptable institutions in Nigeria. And remain conscious of God.

What did Islamic organizations and scholars do to prevent the BH crises? A number of prominent Muslim scholars. mistrust and hysteria during the incidence. or to dissuade others from joining them. 19. However. Unfortunately. sudden fear. These personal attacks therefore often emboldened the group and won them more sympathy. During such a crisis. Muhammad Awwal Adam “Albani” (Zaria).18. They were aided in identifying these BH members by some of their secret agents and some members of the general public. Did Muslims who were not BH members over-react in their cooperation with security forces? There have been reports that some security personnel killed many unarmed members of the BH group. Page | 22 . This was sometimes counter-productive as it gave some the impression that there was no effective and authoritative intellectual opposition to the BH ideology. and those found guilty held accountable. A number of Islamic organizations including the Muslim Students Society of Nigeria (MSSN) and the National Council of Muslim Youth Organization (NACOMYO) had on a number of occasions informed and warned some traditional leaders of the impending problems they expect from the BH group including the potential militancy of the group. Ibn Uthman (Kano). Mallam Isa Ali Fantami (Bauchi). activists. The extra-judicial killings and police/military excesses should be looked into by the authorities concerned. some scholars would focus their attack on the personality of Late Muhammad Yusuf instead of his arguments. These unfortunately did not result in much. and Late Sheikh Ja’far (Kano). A few traditional leaders however did have dialogues with some of the BH members. due to the trauma. Imam Gabchia (Borno). Some of the more prominent of these scholars include Sheikh Abdul-Wahab (from Kano). and da’wah workers from various organizations had been involved in dialogues and debates with the leadership and followers of BH group in order to either convince them of their wrong position. in some of the debates. A number of scholars also called Muslims to boycott and disassociate themselves from BH functions and members. How did the response of Muslim scholars to the BH affect the group? The dialogues and debates with members of the BH group did convince some people to reject their ideology. they were not taken seriously. killing of innocent non-combatants and non-critical collaboration is unjust and is condemned in the strongest of terms. Unfortunately. This frustrated some BH members and might have contributed to some of them going to further extremes in some of their ideological positions. the anger and paranoia of some members of the public is understood. etc. 20.

Do not.” (Qur’an 39:53-54) ON CHALLENGES FROM THE “BOKO HARAM” CRISIS & TRAGEDY 21. Allah says in the Qur’an: “O you who have attained to faith! Be ever steadfast in your devotion to God. And turn to your Lord in repentance and submit to His will. their actions and motivations come from their faith-based ideology and interpretation of Islamic religious texts. How should we face or resolve the BH challenge? The BH challenge is more an ideological challenge than a technical or military one. behold. bearing witness to the truth in all equity. And remain conscious of God. or other such materialistic or non-ideologically motivated crimes. Though the use of force may have a role to play. God is aware of all that you do. Members are usually morally upright people of integrity with wrong interpretations about important issues in Islam. then. even though it be against your own selves. Allah says: “And help one another in goodness and virtue. the killing of an innocent person is one of the gravest sins in Islam (Qur’an 5:32). follow your own desires. Be just. after which you will not be helped. Most Merciful. God is indeed aware of all that you do!” (Qur’an 4:135) As for those who might have done wrong. like many other religious extremist groups is not out to commit robbery. for Allah is severe in punishment. Be conscious of Allah. Whether the person concerned be rich or poor. Allah the Most Merciful also says: “Oh my servants who have transgressed against their own souls (in sin)! Despair not of the Mercy of Allah. bearing witness to the truth for the sake of God.” (Qur’an 5:2) A Muslim should never allow feelings of hatred towards anyone lead them to injustice. or your parents and kinsfolk. before the penalty comes. rape. lest you swerve from justice. An ongoing intellectual and ideological engagement with such extremists or fanatics by Muslim activists. but who are convinced that they are absolutely right and others are wrong. Consequently. Page | 23 . ‘former fanatics’ and the scholars they respect can dissuade those who are prone to violence as a way of furthering their religious interests. verily. verily Allah forgives all sins: for He is Oft-forgiving. and never let hatred of anyone lead you into the sin of deviating from justice. it could make things worse in the long term. the BH group. this is closest to being God-conscious.As discussed earlier. God’s claim takes precedence over (the claims of) either of them. for if you distort (the truth). So also is aiding anyone in such injustice. From all indications.” (Qur’an 5:8) “O you who have attained to faith! Be ever steadfast in upholding equity. but do not help one another in sin and transgression.

but with misguided sincere people who believe their actions are divinely sanctioned. because reducing such extremism requires advocating a more balanced ideological discourse from within the framework of Islam. some consider it too elitist.The rationales for religious violence therefore cannot be addressed effectively by the existing law-enforcement agencies. “… and never let hatred of anyone lead you into the sin of deviating from justice. Where. “Whoever sees something wrong. sensitivity training for security personnel by Islamic organizations would be useful and very important. such extremist groups also have very little knowledge and appreciation of fields such as the Principles and Methodology of Islamic Jurisprudence (Usul ul-Fiqh) and of the Higher Objectives and Intents of Islamic Law (Maqasid alShari’ah). culturally insensitive and imperialistic. more training than enlightenment. it is important that security personnel and agents are enlightened enough to know they are not dealing with gangsters and selfish criminals. To be credible. charismatic but misguided personalities. this is closest to being God-conscious. Apart from being irreligious or agnostic. They are also unfortunate victims of eloquent. We must also appreciate the fact that such extremist groups do not emerge out of a vacuum.” (Qur’an 5:8) Every member of the society has the duty to contribute their quota in the development and the promotion of peace in the society in accordance with level of their authority and influence. and who can respect the bridge-building Ethics and Etiquettes of Disagreement in Islam (Adab al-Ikhtilaf). And remain conscious of God. In this regard. then with his heart: though that is the weakest of faith (iman)”. As a rule. urban-biased. Without such an intellectual and ideological engagement with such extremists (even though sincere). then the use of force while respecting the rule of law by the security services may be the last resort. oblivious to indigenous Page | 24 . conformist. But here too. God is aware of all that you do. the use of brutal force can only temporarily silence or frustrate such groups. top-down and prescriptive. environmentally damaging. then with his tongue (speech): and if he is yet unable. Be just. non-creative. lives are threatened and such intra-faith dialogues are for some reason unproductive. verily. Why do some scholars speak against the BH while still being critical of Western Secular education? Many Muslim (and non-Muslim!) scholars are critical of formal Western secular education for various reasons. however. and in some ways products of a history of failure in leadership. reductionist and non-holistic. Force often makes them become more fanatical and go underground where they are more difficult to monitor and engage. such advocacy must be faith-based and involve distinguished Muslim scholars who have the patience to deeply understand their particular extremist positions. (Sahih Muslim) 22. should correct it with his hand (authority): and if he is unable. who can quote extensively from well-respected traditional authorities.

unnatural and competitive. Some are calling for Muslim preachers to secure various forms of Preaching Licenses before they can say anything in public about Islam. While this may have some well-intended benefits. the easier it becomes for parents to decide what is in the best interest of their children in accordance with their values and priorities. The purpose of each educational system or institution will determine its curriculum and teaching method. based on needs of the past Industrial Age and therefore outdated. it could give too much power to government officials who could easily abuse it.  The crisis has tragically added more misconceptions about Islam especially among non-Muslims. With every choice of an educational system. Muslim schools and educationists have been developing and experimenting with various alternatives and modifications that will be relevant to the present globalised reality of the world today. The BH tragedy has also exposed further some of the fatal inefficiencies in the systems by which Nigerian leadership has often sought to arrest or even prevent such recurrent civil crises. The major challenge for any constructive critic or reformist in any field is to convincingly articulate a more practical alternative or modification that is better than the existing system when all important factors are carefully considered.  The Northern Governors’ Forum (NGF) has resolved that member States employ legislation to regulate the public preaching of Islam. amoral. which kills open debate that ensures better public enlightenment. 24. What is the reaction of the global community to the handling of the BH crises? A number of organizations from other countries. including their leader. Muhammad Yusuf. rigid and age restricted. while they are critical of the present educational system. It could also prevent the survival of the best and most authoritative arguments and evidence (hujjah) to prevail over the Page | 25 . they are also critical of the BH group. relativist. These Muslim scholars and educationists however disagree with the BH group regarding what to do about it and what the alternatives are. etc.knowledge and context. It allows governments to “legitimately” silence its critics. The more choices available. including Amnesty International criticized the numerous instances of human rights violations in the handling of the BH crisis. or reformation of one thereof. What are the expected effects of the BH tragedy on da’wah in Nigeria? Some effects of the BH tragedy are already noticeable. 23. These included the extra-judicial killings of some arrested BH members. There are also a number of other reasons scholars have for criticizing the BH ideology and methodology. there are bound to be trade-offs and undesired side-effects. So.

There is also the need for effective mass enlightenment and open discussion on the position of Islam on the modern Western secular education (boko). This is an opportunity for many to give more assistance. “You may dislike a thing that is good for you and you may like a thing that is bad for you. adding more strain on the meager resources of Islamic welfare organizations. that in time people forget.  The heavy blow dealt by government to the BH group is a significant setback to the movement. activists and financiers have either been killed or imprisoned. It is Allah alone Who knows. And Allah knows best!  In the aftermath of the BH tragedy. their alleged plans to assassinate some Muslim scholars in Bauchi have made them even more unpopular among the people. many orphans and widows have been left in need of support. The ideological challenge of BH is still very much alive. There is the need for careful and disciplined research to come up with an appropriate and authoritative response to the BH ideological challenge. Many members of the group are still in hiding. and a new generation will come along.” (Qur’an 2:216) 25. In addition.government or “official” position. The authorities should consider other ways of handling the abuse of religion and free speech. Cassette tapes and booklets carrying the arguments and ideology of BH will remain in local circulation. Northern Nigeria has been a region Page | 26 . waiting for another charismatic leader to champion the cause without repeating mistakes of the past. It could allow a few scholars who have the ear of the government to monopolize the discourse on Islam. many Muslim scholars have preferred greater independence from government. as many of its leaders. Imagine young Muslim scholars and activists having to seek permission from some corrupt governments to speak about Islam! This itself may be sowing the seeds for another crisis! This is why traditionally.  It is important to remember. It is also why Imam Malik discouraged a Caliph from making his book (al-Muwatta’) the official book on Islamic jurisprudence (fiqh). even if in hibernation. deviant fanatical groups such as the Maitatsine and the so-called Nigerian “Taliban” have appeared in northern Nigeria. Why is Northern Nigeria predisposed to the emergence of groups such as BH? In the past. In countries where governments decide who speaks about Islam. sympathizers and associates. they have as a rule always abused that power to the detriment of Islam and Muslim scholarship. The Security Services seem to have struck tremendous fear into the hearts of their surviving members. This would contribute to making it difficult for the BH ideology to become a serious threat in the future. and it is you who do not know.

Unfortunately.  The breakdown and failure of the educational system in northern Nigeria has made it difficult for the system to prove its worth and value to the majority as it has done in other Muslim countries such as Malaysia and Iran. and its relationship with Islam and other religions. Today. from the Federal to the Local Government and Ward level.  It is a sad fact that Northern Nigeria has the highest level of poverty and socioeconomic hardship in Nigeria.  Corruption and the selfish interests of some religious figures have also added to the mutual mistrust between the religious figures. and the absolutely unregulated public preaching of Islam.  The religious authorities in many communities are divided. There are also very few welllearned and exposed Muslim scholars of Islam. many within the Almajiri system of education express dislike for boko with the support of a significant number of local scholars and preachers. there have been (until recently. the government. have made it easy for fanatical groups to gain uninterrupted momentum and spread in predominantly uneducated societies.) no regulations or minimum qualifications required in northern Nigeria for anyone who wants to speak about Islam. through appropriate consultation. etc. purpose. have resulted in wide-spread apathy.susceptible to groups such as BH for a combination of reasons. Leaders. methodology. religious authorities and the government could help in early detection of potentially dangerous groups and Page | 27 . Some of these reasons may also apply to other regions. cynicism and pessimism regarding government and traditional leadership. would have to carefully weigh the advantages and disadvantages of various forms or regulation before deciding what to do. contents.  There are minimum qualifications and standards of education required by law before a person is allowed to practice Medicine or Pharmacy or Law.  Due to the unimaginably high levels of corruption and political manipulation within most of the northern governments. the political leaders have lost the respect of the majority and the religious authorities in particular. and has the highest levels of unemployment.  Many Muslims in northern Nigeria are poorly educated and very ignorant about Islam from its authentic sources. This makes it easy for some charismatic personalities to abuse the freedom of expression.  The general crisis in leadership. Improving respectful cooperation between Islamic organizations. weak and have very poor networking relationships with each other.  There are many stereotypes and misconceptions about the Western secular educational system (boko) as practiced in Nigeria – its origins. Some of these have existed since the early Colonial period. It is home to about 70% of the poorest in Nigeria. the high level of corruption and breakdown of the Rule of Law. and even the followers of these religious leaders. This absence of any minimum standards in the competence and character of preachers.

or regret. Thus it is important that they exercise their freedom of speech in appropriate and effective ways that may not be regarded as criminal behavior or incitement to violence. Preaching. and consult them in affairs of leadership: and when you have decided upon a course of action. 26. Many of these may need assistance in order to continue to survive with dignity. There are also many bereaved parents. respect the freedoms of speech of every citizen. they need the love.the development of wiser faith-based approaches to preventing and managing faithbased challenges. (Qur’an 16:125) Government must also. “And it is by the mercy of Allah that you were gentle with them: for had you been harsh with them. (Qur’an 3:159) It is only by the mercy of Allah that the situation in northern Nigeria has not gotten worse than it is! We acknowledge and appreciate the laudable efforts of those within the government. brothers and other family relations and friends of killed BH members. traditional and religious authorities. thoughtfulness and brotherhood. The Prophet (pbuh) said: “None of you has attained to faith until you love for your brother what you love for yourself” (Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim). So pardon them. “But (since) goodness and evil cannot be equal. anger. humiliation. But this requires a lot of sensitivity. understanding. guilt.” (Sahih Muslim) There is also the duty to educate and try to reform existing BH members. But more importantly. Muslim scholars and activists have significant influence in our communities. they would have dispersed from you. and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious”. Many may understandably harbor feelings of hurt. prayers and support of their fellow brothers and sisters in Islam and in humanity. Also. and exercise restraint in dealing with critics of its policies and positions. if not done with the necessary wisdom (hikma) may become counter-productive. maturity and wisdom. who by the grace of Allah are working tirelessly for the common good of all. contempt. repel (evil) with something that is better: then will He between whom and yourself was hatred become as it were your true and intimate friend! (Qur’an 41:34) Page | 28 . resentment. sisters. What should our responsibilities be to existing BH members? Many orphans and widows have been left behind by killed members of BH. and you will not complete your faith till you love one another. The best form of preaching may be through words and deeds of compassion. place your trust in Allah: for verily Allah loves those who place their trust in Him”. “Invite all to the way of your Lord. with wisdom and beautiful exhortation. on its own part. and seek forgiveness for them. that “You will not enter paradise until you have faith.

Page | 29 . and that if they do wrong.” (At-Tabarani) ABOUT THE DCCN The Da’wah Coordination Council of Nigeria (DCCN) was established in the mideighties to enhance cooperation and coordination between member organizations in their da’wah activities and capacity-building. and not to do wrong. if they do evil. but accustom yourselves to doing good. and that of the nation in general. its welfare. The DCCN aims to enhance peaceful dialogue with leaders of other religions. saying that if others treat you well. while asserting and defending the constitutional rights of Muslims to freedom of religious belief and observance in Nigeria. you will treat them well. if people do good. It serves as a forum for discussion on matters affecting the Muslim Ummah. you will do wrong.“Do not be people without minds of your own.” (At-Tirmidhi) “The best among mankind are those that are most beneficial to others.

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