Emir Sanusi Lamido Sanusi : Shiite or Sunni?, By Mikailu Ibrahim Barau
The Emir of Kano Is Too Learned to Be Shiite Or Sunni in The Modern Political And Economic Garment of The Sects; An
Excerpt From His Article In April 2007 Testifies This…
“…In theology, the ethical rationalism of the Mu’tazilites and Shiites accounts for their emphasis on the principle of ‘Adl, or justice. Politically, this was reflected in their attitude toward unjust rulers, and specifically the Umayyads, including key figures like Yazid b. Mu’awiya and Hajjaj b. Yusuf. This was markedly different from the Sunni consensus against rebellion, (a position that Ibn Taimiya, remarkably and to his credit, did not fully subscribe to). The question is also linked to the question of free will (qadar)and the extent to which humans are responsible for their actions. Indeed, many of those accused in the early days of Islam of the Qadarite( or “free-will”) heresy were subversive political activists who insisted that unjust rulers, and not God, were responsible for the injustice and corruption in the Caliphate.
In contemporary Muslim political thought, the most exemplary writers in defence of justice and the ethical foundations of the state have been, on the Shiite side, the Iranian intellectual Ali Shari’ati (particularly in his collection ‘An al-Tashayyu’ wal Thawra)and on the Sunnite side the Egyptian martyr Sayyid Qutb, not in Milestones, but in an earlier, more profound work, Social Justice in Islam (al- ‘Adalah al-Ijtima’iyyah fil Islam). Any one familiar with the above works of Qutb and Shari’ati will understand that for them, Islam is about delivering justice, and not a simple politics of identity. The major problem is that when Muslims read Qutb, they read his late work, Milestones, which he wrote while traumatized on death row, a book that has become the handbook of destructive fanatics on the lunatic fringe, such asal-Jihad and Takfir wa Hijrah. His main work on social justice has also suffered because of his condemnation of the Umayyads as a group of power seeking, cruel rulers who established corruption and nepotism in the Muslim world. This does not sit well with many Sunnites. Among the Shiites, the long running debates between Shari’ati and establishment clerics, has beclouded the profundity of his revolutionary thought. The later condemnation of Shari’ati by clerics close to Khomeini, such as Murtadha Mutahhari, has served to divert attention from his essential message, that what Muslims need is not a new dictatorship or autocracy or theocracy by any name, but a political system founded on principles of justice and equity. Many Shiites who accept the condemnation by clerics of Shari’ati on theological grounds fail to see that his political views were not only subversive to the monarchy, but a warning against the dangerous tendency and potential of an “Islamic revolution” to be hi-jacked by bazaar-owning scholars and turned into some sort of clerical despotism or “Islamic” capitalism.
In one of my earlier papers, “Shariacracy in Nigeria: The Intellectual Roots of Islamist Discourses”, I had stated my partisanship for the ethically grounded conception of Islam and Shari’ah propounded by Qutb and Shari’ati. Over the last few years, Ja’far has on various occasions made me the personal subject of his Friday sermons and radio preaching sessions in a desperate attempt to incite the population of Kano against me, labeling me a hypocrite, lover of Christians and enemy of Shari’ah. My first crime was to let Muslims know that the conviction of Safiya Hussaini and her sentencing to death by stoning was not Islamic-nor even Maliki Law-but a complete travesty thereof. Scholars like Ja’far who kept defending the judgment as consistent with the Law were not happy that I published references from authoritative sources-the Mukhtasar of Khaleel, the Mughni of Ibn Qudamah, the Muhalla of Ibn Hazm-showing them up as being either ignorant or diabolical. The problem, of course, is that ignorance and cruelty are not Shari’ah, and a man who fights them by whatever name is not against Shari’ah.
If a governor starts a legal and political project and calls it “shari’ah”, and is able to recruit some scholars who support him, that does not make what he is doing to be Shari’ah. To conclude, let me restate here my position on these issues, which has been and will remain consistent come what may. I do not accept what is happening in some northern states today, where poor thieves are amputated and poor women are harassed for adultery by incompetent and thieving politicians to be Shari’ah, I will never defend it, and I will not stop criticizing it until the governors change. I do not believe that every Muslim minister is good and every non-Muslim minister is bad, or that we will have a good government if we fill it with Muslims. In any case I doubt that many Christians consider Obasanjo or many of the Christians around him as good examples of Christianity. I believe Obasanjo’s government has failed the nation in many respects, and that it deserves serious sanction; but I do not believe it failed because it has a majority of Christian ministers. Each person is an individual with personal virtues and vices, and we must be fair in our judgment of fellow human beings.
And a final word, for those who care to listen. There are people who can be cowered, bamboozled or intimidated by glorified almajirai. I am not one of them. Period.”
By Mikailu Ibrahim Barau
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