Nigeria : Islam in Nigeria

Sekhemu

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By Sam A. Aluko, Prof. of Economics

1.The Governor of Zamfara State, Alhaji Ahmed Sani Yerima, proclaimed and launched Sharia Law on Wednesday, October 27, 1999. at a mammoth rally in Gusau, the capital of Zamfara State. It must be remembered that Zamfara State is one of the newest states[created out of Sokoto State] and poorest of the six states created at the same time as Ekiti State was created out of Ondo State in October, 1996

2. His Excellency, Sani Yerima, declared at the said launching of Sharia that it marked a landmark, not only in Zamfara state but also throughout Nigeria which has a 'majority' of Muslim population. He berated the inactivity and docility of the Nigerian Muslims in the past and that the Muslim Umma in Nigeria had for long been dormant, inactive, and remained in a state of slumber and stupor which had given the impression that the Muslims were a silent Majority. The Muslims, Yerima continued, have for long yearned for the freedom to exercise their full rights since the period that they were invaded and colonisied by the British. He said that the Muslims only partially achieved victory with Nigeria's attainment of independence in 1960 but that their neglect of planning robbed them of the fruits and practices of Islamic Order. He declared that he has enthroned Sharia as the acme of the struggles started by the fore-sighted Muslim leaders, particularly the late Sir Ahmadu Bello, the Sardauna of Sokoto, who once proclaimed that the Muslims would not relent until the Koran was dipped in the lagoon and the Atlantic Coast in Lagos. It could thus be assumed that the Governor of Zamfara State was merely a forerunner to the real Sharia fundamentalists and that he floated the idea with a view to testing the pulse of the Nigerians of other faiths.

3.The Christian community across the country and the non-muslim, 'non-indigenes resident in Zamfara State have sharply denounced the action of not only Sani Yerima bua lso of the general and whole-hearted support which the action has received from leading Muslims, including the ambassadors of almost all the muslim countries in Nigeria. This is the more so, because of the majority of Nigerians, our Muslim brothers had been in control of the political and administrative leadership of Nigeria, and by extension its economic policy direction, for a disproportionate period since Nigeria attained independence 1960. If inspite of that leadership and control, Yerima now regrets the stupor and inanity of the Muslims to practice their religion in Nigeria.

We all have cause to worry. If care is not taken and the likes of Yerima are not checkmated, the fragile but holding peace, harmony and religious freedom that had existed in Nigeria will be in great jeopardy. The 'Muslim majority' may be out for a grand design either to Islamise Nigeria or throw it into a religious cataclysm that had wreaked havoc and disintegration in some multi-religious countries in some other parts of the world. We must realise that the Sharia is not just a legal system but also a way of life by which Muslim fundamentalists seek to regulate and control their entire religious, social, political, economic and cultural actions, interactions and reactions even with non-muslims.

4. Governnor Yerima has justified his actions with sections under our 1999 Constitution (Sections 6 and 380) He has been supported by eminent Muslim Lawyers even among us in South-Western Nigeria and from other states outside Zamfara. Since the Sharia issue has been with us since 1978 and it appears to be growing wings, the time is now for Nigerians to address the issue not only of what othe faithfuls consider as threats to their own religion but also by trying to understand the main tennets of Sharia and its cooperant legislations. I intend to concentrate only on the Sharia as it impacts on the economic lives of not only the Muslims but also on those who interact or live with them.

http://www.dawodu.com/aluko1.htm
 

Aqil

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Sharia in the Zamfara State

Ahmed Sani, the governor of Zamfara state, the first to implement Sharia, tells the BBC about how it has been working three years on.

What do you say to those who say Sharia sentences are not being carried out?

Sharia sentences are followed. The only area where we don't have any cases in court, is stoning to death. We had two amputations in the past. But you do not want amputations every time. People don't steal now in Zamfara.

Why are more severe sentences, like stoning to death, not being carried out?

Well you see, the essence of Sharia law itself is to deter people from committing offenses. That is why there a lot of provisions in the law for appeals, and if proper procedures are followed, you hardly find any people given such sentences.

I will compare this issue with the Ten Commandments of the Bible. The essence of the law is to insure that people fear God and know their responsibility to God, and to fellow human beings and the responsibility of the government. For example, it is the responsibility of the government and the society at-large to ensure the basic needs of the people are provided. And once you provide society with basic needs, you will hardly find anybody stealing.

Are you not worried some people in the state might think you are going a bit soft?

I am not worried at all because every Friday from 10 to 12 noon we enlighten people on what is Sharia. Before the introduction of Sharia in Zamfara, people did not understand what it was about. They thought that Sharia was like in the past - we behead people, we amputate people. But now they know what Sharia is all about and they are happy that we have Sharia.

What is the view in northern Nigeria on the abolition of the death penalty?

It's not only northern Nigeria that has the problem of abolishing the death penalty. It touches on the faith and belief of Muslims all over the world. Muslims believe that the holy crime is supreme and once there is any problem associated with the killing of a human being, the penalty is death for those who have killed other people. If you say that you are abolishing such sentences, it is as if as you are removing some verses from the Holy Qur'an.

What would happen if the Nigerian Federal State abolished the death penalty - would Sharia law have to comply with that?

It is not possible, because the majority of the members of the Nigerian national assembly are Muslims. Not only the northerners - we have a lot of southerners who are Muslims. So I never think of what will happen, because I know the law will not be passed by our national assembly.

Why are Muslims so in favor of the death penalty, when a lot of countries now think it is barbaric to kill somebody and have the state take revenge in that way?

Well, because we believe that if you have a society that allows the killing of human beings and just be imprisoned, you will find people ready to commit murder easily. But if you know that you are going to be killed when you kill, you will think twice before you kill anybody.

What about the adage that two wrongs don't make it right?

The definition of wrong is subjective. We have to define what is wrong and what is right. As far as I am concerned, it is not wrong to kill somebody who kills.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/3201339.stm
 

Sekhemu

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Aqil said:
Sharia in the Zamfara State

Ahmed Sani, the governor of Zamfara state, the first to implement Sharia, tells the BBC about how it has been working three years on.

What do you say to those who say Sharia sentences are not being carried out?

Sharia sentences are followed. The only area where we don't have any cases in court, is stoning to death. We had two amputations in the past. But you do not want amputations every time. People don't steal now in Zamfara.

Why are more severe sentences, like stoning to death, not being carried out?

Well you see, the essence of Sharia law itself is to deter people from committing offenses. That is why there a lot of provisions in the law for appeals, and if proper procedures are followed, you hardly find any people given such sentences.

I will compare this issue with the Ten Commandments of the Bible. The essence of the law is to insure that people fear God and know their responsibility to God, and to fellow human beings and the responsibility of the government. For example, it is the responsibility of the government and the society at-large to ensure the basic needs of the people are provided. And once you provide society with basic needs, you will hardly find anybody stealing.

Are you not worried some people in the state might think you are going a bit soft?

I am not worried at all because every Friday from 10 to 12 noon we enlighten people on what is Sharia. Before the introduction of Sharia in Zamfara, people did not understand what it was about. They thought that Sharia was like in the past - we behead people, we amputate people. But now they know what Sharia is all about and they are happy that we have Sharia.

What is the view in northern Nigeria on the abolition of the death penalty?

It's not only northern Nigeria that has the problem of abolishing the death penalty. It touches on the faith and belief of Muslims all over the world. Muslims believe that the holy crime is supreme and once there is any problem associated with the killing of a human being, the penalty is death for those who have killed other people. If you say that you are abolishing such sentences, it is as if as you are removing some verses from the Holy Qur'an.

What would happen if the Nigerian Federal State abolished the death penalty - would Sharia law have to comply with that?

It is not possible, because the majority of the members of the Nigerian national assembly are Muslims. Not only the northerners - we have a lot of southerners who are Muslims. So I never think of what will happen, because I know the law will not be passed by our national assembly.

Why are Muslims so in favor of the death penalty, when a lot of countries now think it is barbaric to kill somebody and have the state take revenge in that way?

Well, because we believe that if you have a society that allows the killing of human beings and just be imprisoned, you will find people ready to commit murder easily. But if you know that you are going to be killed when you kill, you will think twice before you kill anybody.

What about the adage that two wrongs don't make it right?

The definition of wrong is subjective. We have to define what is wrong and what is right. As far as I am concerned, it is not wrong to kill somebody who kills.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/africa/3201339.stm

The issue is not simply that of Shari'a Law being implemented in the Muslim North, but on non-muslims as well and over the entire nation of Nigeria.

Non-muslims have a right not to be subjected to Muslim laws in a democratic society. I'll revisit this point very shortly.
 

Sekhemu

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7. So, what Governor Sani Yerima has started and against which many Nigerians are protesting is the tip of the iceberg. What are to follow if he succeeds and if he spreads his idealogy to the other states of our country can only be imagined. the Sharia Economic Ethics and Economics are at times draconic and pervading.

Islamic Economic Ethics and Economics

8. For upwards of ten years, 1969-80, I had the opportunity to sever as one of twelve consultants to the World Council of Churches in Geneva in an organisation which we named "Advisory Committee on Technical Services (ACTS) Which has now been renamed "Action by Churches Together (ACT)". It was as a member of that organisation that some of us suggested that the time was ripe to intesify dialogues with our brothers and sisters of " other living faiths." One of the most prominent of the faiths is the Muslim faith. We had very close contacts with our Muslim brothers and, today, I have very important Muslim friends across the globe. I learn almost as much of the Koran as I learn and continue to learn about our Christian Bible. So, few Christians are as sympathetic to the Muslim religions as I am. Nevertheless. I never cease to let our Muslim brothers know that in the modern day and age religious fanaticism and the debasement of non-Muslim religious practitioners, including Muslim women, do more damage to the Muslim faith and the muslims than ever before.

The Two-Fold Nature of Islamic Economics

9. A grasp of the dualism inherent in Islam is essential for the understanding of the ideological basis of Islamic Economics and Islamic Economic Order.

(a) On the one hand, Islam is a monolithic religion which, like Christianity, is a set of doctrines which are supposed to be binding on the believer.
(b) on the other hand, Islam is also considered to be an official state ideology with the Islamic religion establishing the guidelines and the sets of values and thereby providing the legal basis for the entire political, social and eonomic spheres of the Islamic state. The Sharia regards Islam as a social order, a philosophy of life, a system of economic principles, a ruling order to which the Muslim belieiver must conform.

10. Muslims cannot, therefore, operate full Islamic law of Sharia, except in an Islamic State. So, Yerima is less than sincere, when, by launching Sharia, he denies declaring Zamfara an Islamic State. If and when the full Sharia Law becomes operational in Zamfara State in January 2000, we must accept that Zamfara has, ipso facto, become an Islamic state with the federal Republic of Nigeria. Zamfara State would then be similar to when Christians operated a Theocratic State by which its internal contradictions had to cease when the church and state became seperate and the "Protestant Ethics" ceased to be the dominant economic ethics of the modern state. The full Sharia advocates are still living in that 14-16th century period of the Theocratic State. Just as we Christians lost the battle for theocratism to secularism, I have no doubt that the Muslims will more than lose the attempt to re-enact their own form of Sharia State.

11. In the wake of the re-islamisation that increased, especially since the 1970's of Ayatollah Khomeini in Iran, Islam became more associated with the idea that the Capitalist and the socialist economic systems are alien to the presence of Islam and that a "third force" needs to be fashioned out, based on the Islamic concept of Justice, Fair distribution of economic resources, property rights, inheritance and the right of "Will" on the death of the Muslim. So Islamic economic salvation is being sought through obedience to the old traditional Islamic principles and orthodoxy. Economists have asked, and quite rightly, whether the economic backwardness of most Islamic countries today is not attibutable to their desire to return to traditional, outmoded and impracticable Islamic principles, given the increasing inter-dependence in the world economy and the increasing emphasis on fundamental human rights, particularly of the women vis-a-vis their men folks.

Basic Principles of Islamic Economics

12. A major factor hindering the spirit of modern economic development in the countries where Islamic rule is sometimes seen in the Islamic belief in the doctrine of pre-destination, and even in magic which crops up in Islamic suras of the Koran [Sura 2, line 102; Sura 7, line 117; Sura 10, lines 76-81; Sura 20, lines 37-49], though the highest authority in Islam subordinates magic to the will of God



cont'd
 

OmowaleX

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Sekhemu said:
7. So, what Governor Sani Yerima has started and against which many Nigerians are protesting is the tip of the iceberg. What are to follow if he succeeds and if he spreads his idealogy to the other states of our country can only be imagined. the Sharia Economic Ethics and Economics are at times draconic and pervading.

Islamic Economic Ethics and Economics

8. For upwards of ten years, 1969-80, I had the opportunity to sever as one of twelve consultants to the World Council of Churches in Geneva in an organisation which we named "Advisory Committee on Technical Services (ACTS) Which has now been renamed "Action by Churches Together (ACT)". It was as a member of that organisation that some of us suggested that the time was ripe to intesify dialogues with our brothers and sisters of " other living faiths." One of the most prominent of the faiths is the Muslim faith. We had very close contacts with our Muslim brothers and, today, I have very important Muslim friends across the globe. I learn almost as much of the Koran as I learn and continue to learn about our Christian Bible. So, few Christians are as sympathetic to the Muslim religions as I am. Nevertheless. I never cease to let our Muslim brothers know that in the modern day and age religious fanaticism and the debasement of non-Muslim religious practitioners, including Muslim women, do more damage to the Muslim faith and the muslims than ever before.

The Two-Fold Nature of Islamic Economics

9. A grasp of the dualism inherent in Islam is essential for the understanding of the ideological basis of Islamic Economics and Islamic Economic Order.

(a) On the one hand, Islam is a monolithic religion which, like Christianity, is a set of doctrines which are supposed to be binding on the believer.
(b) on the other hand, Islam is also considered to be an official state ideology with the Islamic religion establishing the guidelines and the sets of values and thereby providing the legal basis for the entire political, social and eonomic spheres of the Islamic state. The Sharia regards Islam as a social order, a philosophy of life, a system of economic principles, a ruling order to which the Muslim belieiver must conform.

10. Muslims cannot, therefore, operate full Islamic law of Sharia, except in an Islamic State. So, Yerima is less than sincere, when, by launching Sharia, he denies declaring Zamfara an Islamic State. If and when the full Sharia Law becomes operational in Zamfara State in January 2000, we must accept that Zamfara has, ipso facto, become an Islamic state with the federal Republic of Nigeria. Zamfara State would then be similar to when Christians operated a Theocratic State by which its internal contradictions had to cease when the church and state became seperate and the "Protestant Ethics" ceased to be the dominant economic ethics of the modern state. The full Sharia advocates are still living in that 14-16th century period of the Theocratic State. Just as we Christians lost the battle for theocratism to secularism, I have no doubt that the Muslims will more than lose the attempt to re-enact their own form of Sharia State.

11. In the wake of the re-islamisation that increased, especially since the 1970's of Ayatollah Khomeini in Iran, Islam became more associated with the idea that the Capitalist and the socialist economic systems are alien to the presence of Islam and that a "third force" needs to be fashioned out, based on the Islamic concept of Justice, Fair distribution of economic resources, property rights, inheritance and the right of "Will" on the death of the Muslim. So Islamic economic salvation is being sought through obedience to the old traditional Islamic principles and orthodoxy. Economists have asked, and quite rightly, whether the economic backwardness of most Islamic countries today is not attibutable to their desire to return to traditional, outmoded and impracticable Islamic principles, given the increasing inter-dependence in the world economy and the increasing emphasis on fundamental human rights, particularly of the women vis-a-vis their men folks.

Basic Principles of Islamic Economics

12. A major factor hindering the spirit of modern economic development in the countries where Islamic rule is sometimes seen in the Islamic belief in the doctrine of pre-destination, and even in magic which crops up in Islamic suras of the Koran [Sura 2, line 102; Sura 7, line 117; Sura 10, lines 76-81; Sura 20, lines 37-49], though the highest authority in Islam subordinates magic to the will of God



cont'd
Has there been a continuation of this post anywhere?

I checked a few message boards which dealt with this issue of Sharia's impact on non-Islamic cultures in Nigeria but nothing updated.
 

Sekhemu

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OmowaleX said:
Has there been a continuation of this post anywhere?

I checked a few message boards which dealt with this issue of Sharia's impact on non-Islamic cultures in Nigeria but nothing updated.
I've been away for a minute brotha Om. However I'll add some additional information to this thread in a day or so.

Ase
 

Amnat77

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Lol.


I hope you dont want me to open up any old wounds, don't wanna invoke Shango ;)
Lol...i was looking for your thread on spiritual baths when ran into too all these greats threads! you used to write ALOT what happened?
 

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