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Wednesday, January 13, 2016
Things you Should Know About The Shiite Group
On Saturday, December 12, the Shiite group with headquarters in Zaria, Kaduna state clashed with the Nigerian army in Zaria leading to accusations and counter-accusations from both sides. The Shiite sect is also known as the Islamic Movement in Nigeria (IMN) with Ibrahim El-Zakzaky as its leader.
It is morally wrong for any religious or pressure group in whatever name to constitute itself as threat to the security of lives and property in the society.
Several Muslim clerics have spoken in details about the religious group. It is highly important to state here that the Shiite group’s activities are not in conformity with the real teachings of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon his noble soul). This is because Islam brought by the Prophet of Allah never taught any Muslim to stand up against the authority of the state as far as the state allows for freedom of religion.
According to some residents in Zaria where the religious group members are heavily present, they said members of the group have constituted more than threat and nuisance in Zaria.
According to Sun newspaper of Saturday, December 19, 2015: “When the group started in the 1980s like Boko Haram, it had no regard for established political institutions. And like Boko Haram members, the early members of the group had to tear their academic qualifications.”
The man, Ibrahim El-Zakzaky
The name El-Zakzaky means the man from Zazzau, the name of an old city in Kaduna state. He was born on Tuesday, May 5, 1953 as Ibrahim Ya’qoob El-Zakzaky in Zaria city. He is the 5th child of his father.
There are 2 versions to the story of the lineage of El-Zakzaky. According to bregavatripod.com, his lineage was traced to Mali. It was stated that his great-grand father called Imam Hussain came from Mali to settle down in Sokoto during the jihad of Uthman dan Fodio. His grandfather’s name was Tajuddin, while his father’s name was Aliyu.
However, the second version from Sun newspaper of Saturday, December 19, 2015 had it authoritatively that El-Zakzaky is not a Hausa as he claimed. It was confirmed that he came from Kogi state from the Ebira tribe to settle in Kaduna state by making Zaria his home.
He studied at the School of Arabic Studies in Kano from 1971-1976. Later on he proceeded to Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria where he bagged BSc Economics First Class in 1979. El-Zakzaky was an active member of the Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN) as he held the position of Secretary General ABU from 1977 to 1978 and later Vice President of MSSN National body in 1979.
The Shiite group leader turned away from the true Islam of the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah when he went to Iran after his graduation and got indoctrinated with the militancy Shiite style of religion. He has spent a good part of his life in prisons in states and cities like: Sokoto, Enugu, Kaduna, Lagos, Port Harcourt and Abuja due to violent-related issues. He speaks Hausa, English, Persian, Spanish and Arabic. He lives in Kwarai quarters of Zaria before he was arrested by the military.
Some atrocities committed by El-Zakzaky
It was learnt in 1999 that one of the Northern governors was told by El-Zakzaky to set both the constitution and flag of the Federal Republic of Nigeria ablaze if he really believes in his brand of religion. This was totally alien and strange to the governor and to the true teachings of Islam which emphasise respect for constituted authority. One of the ingredients of a true Muslim’s faith is respect and obedience to his country and leaders as long as they do not force him to associate partners with his Creator.
Reports also had it that the former governor of Kaduna state, Muktar Ramalan Yero while on a visit in Tudun Wada area of Zaria was made to stop his convoy and asked his entourage to trek a long distance to their final destination all in the name of Shiite procession.
The governor then even personally begged the militant group, but thy refused as they humiliated the governor as he trekked the long distance, which further confirms one of the many barbaric acts committed by the group in the past.
The final straw that broke the camel’s back of El-Zakzaky was the threat of assassination on the life of the Chief of Army Staff, Lt General Tukur Buratai and a confrontation on the military on Saturday, December 12, 2015 which shows the highest level of disrespect the group has for the government and its agencies.
Islam’s perspective on the Shiite group
Chapter 2 verse 256 of the glorious Qur’an states that, “there is no compulsion in religion.” What does this mean? It means that the Shiite sect should not force anybody, be it a Muslim or anybody that belongs to another religious belief to abide by their rules no matter what.
The pattern of El-Zakzaky’s religion is not in tandem with the Qur’an and Hadith of the Prophet of Allah. Reasons for this statement include the fact that Shiite members have 3 official daily prayers instead of 5 observed daily by Muslims. They call the Adhan of Muslims’ 5 daily prayers differently. They engage in temporary marriage, which is a way of legalising prostitution and fornication. In addition, their main belief is that Prophet Muhammad was mistakenly given prophethood instead of his cousin Ali bin Abi Talib.
A good number of Muslim scholars believe that it is not justified for any group or body to constitute a threat to the lives of his neighbours or fellow citizens in the name of religion.
In the words of Sheikh Ahmad Mahmud Gumi in his letter to the Shiite leader, he said: “It is not too late for you (Ibrahim El-Zakzaky) to repent. What I fear most for you and your followers is Allah’s punishment.”
The Chief Missioner of Ansar-Ud Deen Society of Nigeria in the Sun newspaper of Saturday, December 12, 2015 said: “This country, the rule of law should be our guiding principle. The army should be cautious and the government should not radicalise the Shiite sect.”
In the reaction of a professor of Islamic Studies in Lagos State University (LASU), Professor Ishaq Akintola in the same edition of the Sun newspaper, he stated that:“Members of the El-Zakzaky sect often exhibit traits of excesses. I however believe that El-Zakzaky’s supporters and members of his sect should have been called to order even long before now because it had been reported that some of their actions like blocking roads had been causing inconvenience to others. Neither members of the sect nor their leaders can claim to be above the law. They must respect the law.”
Sheikh Imran Eleha, the proprietor of Daru Nai’m in Igando, Lagos state on Sunday, December 20, 2015 during his lecture opined that the sect has always demonstrated too much arrogance and disrespect for constituted authorities.
Reactions of Kaduna residents on the ban of the Shiite sect
On Tuesday, December 29, 2015 information gotten from Channels Television was on the reactions of the residents of Kaduna state said on the clampdown on activities of the Shiite group. All the residents who were interviewed agreed with government on the ban. They were happy with the government’s action.
Some of them earlier lamented that they have been living in difficulty because of the sect’s inhumane activities. Others bemoaned how they lost their properties like houses and lands to the terrorist group under the name of religion.