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2019 and the menace of political posters in Kano

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By Bala Nasir

Once again politics is in the air in the country.

As the general election is coming up in less than a month, flag-bearers of respective parties are gearing up to get people to vote for them.

As usual, politicians are perfecting moves that will cajole voters to vote in their favour.

One of these moves is by printing posters and pasting them on all available spaces they could.

Though candidates do not directly paste the posters, they are the ones who mandate their supporters to paste on walls and other available spaces in and around cities, towns and villages all over the country.

In Kano, such bills have already start dotting almost everywhere in the city especially government buildings which by way of our attitude are considered ‘no man’s land’ hence the reason for de-facing them by all manner of posters.   

These posters that are usually printed in various colours and sizes, compete to outdo each other in capturing the attention of passers-by and for the most curious among them to want to read the inscription.

That is why the posters were mostly placed on the most vivid locations on highways, major streets and even in towns and villages.

The desperation in our politicians is expressed clearly in some of the pictures as some posters portray candidates raising their hands implying supplication to God who is the giver of power to whoever He so wishes.

Some are seen with rosaries in a public display of their level of devotion to God so that it could fetch for them voters’ sympathy which may translate into votes for them.

The most astonishing aspect of these posters is the amount of money spent on them going by the expensive nature of printing in the country.

Meanwhile, according to the law of demand and supply, when demand is high, supply will be low and therefore, price increases.

As such the cost of printing all these posters is better left to the imagination as some candidates print more than one type of poster.

One other thing is that these posters that dotted spaces in and around cities, towns and villages can be an eye-sore especially as they are pasted unprofessionally, as such, they are not properly pasted or arranged.

Also, the youths usually entrusted with the pasting of the posters are the ‘JAGALIYA’ type that are doing it for the sake of the money involved and nothing else.

“But it is high time this poster craze is brought to order with a view of sanitizing the environment from the filth usually associated with them in our cities, towns and villages.”

Usually the posters are pasted deep in the night by the youths who do not care about the eye sore they are causing as their pre-occupation is to finish with what they are given and move forward.

There is also the issue of de-facing structures like walls, sign-posts, public structures and even stationary vehicles on streets.

Sometimes the wind blows off these posters from the walls or other surfaces and the papers litter streets, making the environment filthy and forcing either government or the community to bear the cost of cleaning the streets.

Some posters produced in an elaborate size by way of bill boards are erected at various strategic locations in and around city centres depending on the constituency of the candidate.

In addition, supporters of various candidates are in the habit of defacing or tearing the posters of their opponents to express their disapproval.

Even the bill boards are not safe as some youths are wont to go up there and cut the pictures to shreds.

But it is high time this poster craze is brought to order with a view of sanitizing the environment from the filth usually associated with them in our cities, towns and villages.

An enabling law should be put in place to ensure this as in Jigawa where posters are disallowed in the state.

This is where the Kano State House of Assembly comes in because the legislature is responsible for making such a law.

Bala Nasir, journalist and public affairs analyst writes from Kano.

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Opinion

(Friday Sermon) honour, power, and glory belong to Allah, and to His Messenger, and to the believers!

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By Imam Murtadha Gusau

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Ever Merciful

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all creation. May the salutations of Allah, His peace and blessings be upon our Prophet, his family, his companions and his true and sincere followers until the Last Day – then to proceed:

Respected servants of Allah! Imams Al-Bukhari and Muslim reported from Abu Hurairah (RA) that Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) said:

“Allah has ninety-nine names, one hundred less one. No person memorises them except that he enters Jannah (Paradise). And Allah is Witr (The Single One) and He loves Al-Witr.” i.e. to end the night prayer with one (odd) raka’ah.” [Al-Bukhari and Muslim]

And he (Peace be upon him) said in another version:

“The one who learns and comprehends them will enter Paradise (Jannah).” [Al-Bukhari]

And from the beautiful names of Allah is Al-Aziz. Imam Al-Qurtubi (rahimahullah) said:

“The meaning of the name, Al-Aziz is Al-Mani’, the invincible, unconquerable, unassailable, the invulnerable, the One who cannot be reached and cannot be overcome.” [Tafsir of Imam Al-Qurtubi]

Imam Ibn Kathir (rahimahullah) said:

“Al-Aziz is the One who has overpowered everything and subjugated it, He has overcome and conquered it all. He cannot be reached due to His might, His greatness, His complete power, His honour and magnificence.” [Tafsir of Imam Ibn Kathir]

There has never been a moment ever except that Allah has always been the Almighty, the Exalted, the All-Powerful, but when the wrongdoers, the unbelievers and pagans behave tyrannically and wreak havoc with the creation, Allah overpowers them, subdues them and humiliates them.

Imam Ibn Al-Qayyim (rahimahullah) stated that:

“Al-Izzah (might and honour) encompasses three affairs: (a) Izzatul-Quwwah (the might of power): So this points to His names, Al-Qawi (the All-Powerful) and Al-Matin (the Strong). (b) Izzatul-Imtina (the might of complete invulnerability): He is Al-Ghani in His Self, the Independent One free of all needs. He is not in need of anyone. The attacks of the creation cannot reach Him, and they cannot injure Him in any way. And there is no benefit or increase they can bring Him. Rather, He is the One who brings injury and harm to whom He wills, and He is the One who brings benefit. He is Al-Mu’ti (the Giver) and Al-Mani’ (the Withholder). (c) Izzatul-Qahar (the might of subjugation): that He overpowers and overcomes all of creation, all of it is under the subjugation of Allah, subdued and humbled by His might and greatness, it yields and submits to His will. Nothing that moves is able to move except by His strength and might.”

The name of Allah, Al-Aziz is mentioned in the Qur’an on ninety-two separate occasions. Allah the Almighty said:

“And know that Allah is Exalted in Might and Wise.” [Surah Al-Baqarah: 260]

And He the Most High said:

“And Allah is All-Mighty, All-Able of Retribution.” [Surah Ali Imran: 4]

And He the Most High said:

“That is the Decree of the All-Mighty, the All-Knowing.” [Surah Ya-Sin: 38]

The Effect on the faith (Iman) of a Believer due to Understanding and Comprehending this Name is Immense:

1. That Allah is the Mighty who cannot be overcome and cannot be overpowered. He is the giver of courage and firmness – because the meaning of this name is that our Lord cannot be prevented, and His command cannot be refused or rebutted. Whatever He the Most High wills, occurs even if the people do not wish it (or don’t want it) – and whatever He does not will, does not occur even if the people wish it (or want it). Look at the story of Prophet Musa (AS) and how Pharaoh (Fir’aun) tried to prevent this child from living and existing. He ordered the killing of all the male children of Bani Isra’il because he knew that a man would come from among them and destroy his kingdom and liberate the Children of Israel. However, Allah would accomplish what He willed and He would perfect His light, even if the disbelievers hate that. So Prophet Musa (AS) was born and raised in the palace of the Pharaoh (Fir’aun), in his own home, under his watch. And when he tried to kill Prophet Musa (AS), Allah destroyed him, and his army general Haman and the whole of his army.

2. The one who is aziz (honourable) in this life and in the Hereafter is the one to whom Allah has given honour. Allah the Almighty stated:

“Say: O Allah! Possessor of the kingdom, You give the kingdom to whom You will, and You take the kingdom from whom You will, and You endue with honour whom You will, and You humiliate whom You will. In Your Hand is the good. Verily, You are Able to do all things.” [Surah Ali Imran: 26]

So dear brothers and sisters! Whoever seeks honour should seek it from Allah who is the Lord of honour (Rabbul-Izzah). Meaning that the one who truly wishes to be honourable should cling to the obedience of Allah. One should never seek honour from other than Allah, and to be honoured by the disobedient, the enemies of Allah and the unbelievers. The more a person is obedient to Allah, the more he is given honour and is raised in the sight of Allah. Allah the Most High stated:

“Those who take the disbelievers for allies instead of the believers, do they seek honour, power and glory with them? Verily, to Allah belongs all honour, power and glory.” [Surah An-Nisa: 139]

With the increase in obedience comes an increase in honour and might. The most honourable of people are the Prophets, then those who came after them from the believers and those who follow them. For this reason, Allah the Most High stated:

“But honour, power and glory belong to Allah, and to His Messenger, and to the believers, but the hypocrites know not.” [Surah Al-Munafiqun: 9]

And Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) said to the Ansar:

“Were you not in a state of humiliation, and then Allah gave you honour and glory?” [Musnad of Imam Ahmad]

And Khalifah Umar Ibn Al-Khattab (RA) said:

“We are a people who Allah has honoured with Islam. And whenever we seek to be honoured through other than it (Islam), Allah will bring us humiliation.” [Al-Mustadrak of Imam Al-Hakim]

The Pious predecessors (Salaf) of this Ummah would supplicate to Allah by saying:

“O Allah! Give us honour through your obedience, and do not dishonour us through your disobedience.” [Al-Jawab Al-Kafi]

The person who is obedient to Allah is honourable and the disobedient one is humiliated and dishonourable (Zalil). For this reason, the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“Allah has placed the humiliation and lowliness upon the one who opposes my commands.” [Musnad of Imam Ahmad]

Imam Muslim reported from Abu Hurairah (RA) that Allah’s Messenger (Peace be upon him) said:

“The giving of sadaqah does not decrease one’s wealth. And Allah does not increase a person who forgives another except in honour, and one does not humble himself before Allah (in obedience) except that Allah raises him.”

Dear brothers and sisters! Islam is the only way to attain honour in this life and the next. And Allah will bring Islam into each and every home, just as the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“The affair of Islam will reach every place that the night and day reach – neither a house of mud nor fur will remain except that Islam will enter it bringing either honour or humiliation – honour to the one who honours himself with Islam and humiliation to the one who humiliates himself with disbelieve (kufr).”

Tamim Ad-Dari (RA) who was a Christian before embracing Islam, would say:

“I saw that in my own family. The one who entered Islam was bestowed with goodness, respect and honour. And the one who was an unbeliever was afflicted with dishonour, lowliness and jizyah.” [Musnad of Imam Ahmad]

Don haka, ‘yan uwana ma su girma, ya kamata mu fahimci cewa: Arziki da wadata da rufin asiri da kariya da zaman lafiya da kwanciyar hankali da tsaro da albarka, daraja, daukaka, izza, girma, mutunci da kwarjini da kuma buwaya duk daga Allah ne, kuma duk halittar sa ne: Wallahi, idan Allah ya ba ka duk duniya babu wanda ya isa ya dankwafar da kai, ko da kuwa ace duk duniya makiyankane, kuma sunyi maka taron dangi akan hakan.

Haka kuma idan Allah ya dankwafar da kai, ya kaskantar da kai, ya wulakantaka, ya tozartaka, to duk duniya babu mai iya daukaka ka, ko da kuwa duk duniya masoyanka ne, kuma magoya bayan ka ne. Don haka, mu nemi girma da daukaka, da arziki, da wadata, da tsaro da zaman lafiya a wurin Allah, ta hanyar bin dokokinsa, da bin umurninsa, da barin abin da ya hane mu, da kyautatawa bayinsa, da tsayar da adalci ga kowa da kowa, da raba arzikin kasa bisa adalci, da bayar da shugabanci ga wadanda suka dace, kuma suka cancanta; da bin hanyoyin da suka dace, kuma masu kyau wurin magance matsalolin mu. A cikin yin wannan kadai alkhairai suke. Sabanin wannan kuwa, wallahi babu alkhairi a ciki, hasali ma duk sharri ne da tashe-tashen hankula da fitintinu. Kuma duk wanda zai yi maka wani dadin baki, ya fada maka sabanin wannan, to mayaudari ne, wallahi yaudarar ka kawai zai yi. Don haka, ‘yan uwa, sai mu kiyaye!!!

And all praise is for Allah, Lord of all creation, who guided us to Islam and the Sunnah. May the peace, blessings and salutations of Allah be upon our noble Messenger, Muhammad, and upon his family, his Companions and his true and sincere followers.

Murtadha Muhammad Gusau is the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’ah and the late Alhaji Abdur-Rahman Okene’s Mosques, Okene, Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached via: gusauimam@gmail.com or +2348038289761.

This Jumu’ah Khutbah (Friday sermon) was prepared for delivery today, Friday, Jumadah Al-Thani 18th, 1443 A.H. (January 21, 2022).

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Opinion

Letter: Northern CSO’s ask senate to to override President Buhari, passes electoral bill

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Northern Nigeria's knot

18th Jan. 2022,

His Excellency, 

The Senate President, 

Distinguished Senator,

Dr. Ahmad Lawal,

Sir, 

REQUEST TO HEED TO THE DEMANDS OF THE NIGERIAN CITIZENS BY OVERRIDING PRESIDENT MUHAMMADU BUHARI’S DENIAL OF ASSENT TO THE ELECTORAL AMENDMENT BILL 2021, IN THE INTEREST OF PARTICIPATORY DEMOCRACY AND SANITY IN THE NIGERIAN ELECTORAL PROCESS

Introduction

The Conference of Northern States Civil Society Networks is a forum of states based civil society networks operating in the Nineteen Northern states of Nigeria. The establishment of the platform was conceived in 2017, and inaugurated on 28th March, 2021 as a regional network of non-governmental, non-partisan, not for profit, non-ethnic and non-religious platform, with the sole objective of advocating for the best practices of democracy, accountable governance and increased development of Northern Nigeria and beyond through policy influencing, cooperation and team work.

The platform has over three thousand (3,000), affiliated individual civil society member organizations across the nineteen Northern States.

It has come to our notice that, President Muhammadu Buhari, has written to you conveying his decline to assent to the Electoral Amendment Bill, an action which apparently went against the yearnings and aspirations of the Nigerian citizens. We write to appeal to you to work closely with your colleagues and use the power of the senate to override the President and assent this important bill in the interest of participatory democracy and credible elections in Nigeria.

Sir, it could be recalled that the national politics in recent time has been subjected to serious debates by different stakeholders, public analysts and individual citizens concerning the practice of our democracy and democratic consolidation in Nigeria. The long clamor by the major stakeholders such as: political parties, civil society organization and professional groups across the country, calling for electoral reforms have continued unabated and have climaxed into the desire for electoral amendment before the 2023 elections in Nigeria. Therefore, the National Assembly under your watch has done the needful by reintroducing the said bill in order to consolidate and deepen the nation’s democracy which has survived over the last two decades.

The current democratic dispensation has been confronted with the challenges of internal democracy among the political parties and credible electoral process, which the bill seeks to address by introducing electronic transmission of results and direct primaries for all political parties. Therefore, the electoral amendment bill 2021 has the potentials to achieve the following objectives:

1. Sanitize the electoral process via electronic transmission of result.

2. Electronic transmission of results, the problems of ballot box snatching, as well as alteration and rigging of election results can be addressed.

3. Enhance popular participation by party members via direct primaries.

4. Eliminate money politics associated with the delegate system of voting in the indirect primaries.

5. Reduce political apathy by party members in particular and the citizens in general.

6. Decimate the overbearing influences of Godfathers as party members will be stakeholders and partners in the conduct of all party activities.

7.  It will strengthen political parties and democracy in Nigeria.

Sir, considering the above objectives and significance of the bill, reversing it would be a great disservice to the country, hence the need for the Senate to override the President and assent the bill without further delay in the interest of the people the distinguished members are representing.

Civil society groups want to remind the distinguished senate president and other distinguished senators that, overriding the president on the bill is a national duty not a party affair. So this is an opportunity to make history as Nigeria is still in a critical stage of her democratic experimentation. The nation is devoid of credible electoral process, voters’ apathy becomes the order of the day and political parties are turned into military establishments with a repressive structure. It therefore behooves on the leadership of the National Assembly to as a matter of public importance override the president and assent the electoral amendment bill 2021 owing to the fact that, the reasons given were not justifiable enough for president’s decline. This will strengthen our electoral process and further democratize our political parties by paving way for enhanced level ground where party members decide who their candidates become.

It is at this juncture, we wish to remind the leadership and the entire members of the National Assembly that they are the bastion of democracy, whose actions and words can project, preserve, and protect the nation’s democracy and save the citizens against all forms of dictatorship.

Finally, we wish to appreciate the distinguished members for driving the process this far, and appeal to you to use this golden opportunity to write your names in the political book of the country, by assenting the bill, so that you can  leave behind a legacy that you will be remembered for, in the history of Nigerian democracy.

Signed:

1. Amb. Peter M. Egwudah – Chairman, Network of Adamawa Non – Governmental  Organizations (NANGO), Adamawa State.

2. Jinjiri  J. Garba – Executive Director/State Chairman, Bauchi State Network of Civil Society Organizations (BASNEC).

3. Mrs. Shimenenge Kyaagba, Coordinator, Benue Network of NGOs (BENGONET), Benue State.

4. Comrade Bulama  Abiso – Executive Director, Network of Civil Society Organizations Borno. Borno State.

5. Amb. Ibrahim Yusuf – Chairman, Association of NGOs, Gombe State.

6. Muhammad Musbahu Basrika – Chairman, Network of Civil Society organizations, Jigawa State.

7. Ibrahim A. Waiya – President, Kano Civil Society Forum, Kano State.

8.       Emmanuel Bonet – Chairman, Concerned civil society, Kaduna State.

9. Abdulrahman Abdullahi – Chairman, Coalition of Civil Society organizations, Katsina State.

10. Hon. (Dr) Usman Buhari  Ali – Chairman, Coalition of NGOs in Kebbi State State (CONKS).

11. Mr. Idris Ozovehe Muraina –  Chairperson, Kogi NGOs Network (KONGONET), Kogi State.

12. Ade Bodunde – Chairman, Kwara Forum of civil society organizations, Kwara State.

13. Mr. Solomon Yakubu Enjola – Chairman, Nassarawa NGO Network (NANGONET), Nassarawa State.

14. Habila Muhammad Kudu – Coordinator, NGOs Forum Niger State.

15. Gad Peter – Rep. Coalition of NGOs Plateau State.

16. Ibrahim Abdullahi Shuni – Chairman, Coalition of NGOs in Sokoto State.

17.    Joseph Gimba  PhD – Chairman, Coalition  for civil society organizations in Taraba State (COCS OTS),

18. Alh. Baba Shehu, Executive Director/Chairman, Network of Yobe Civil Society Organizations.

19. Ambassador, Ibrahim Tudu – Chairman, Zamfara Coalition of NGOs (ZASCONS), Zamfara State.

Ibrahim Waiya

Chairman

Amb. Ibrahim Yusuf                       Secretary General

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Opinion

(Friday Sermon) Zamfara killings and the question of self-defense in Islam

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Bashir Tofa's mosque

by Imam Murtadha Gusau

In the Name of Allah, the Most Gracious, the Ever Merciful

All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of all creation. May the salutations of Allah, His peace and blessings be upon our Prophet, his family, his companions and his true and sincere followers until the Last Day – then to proceed:

Dear brothers and sisters! As reported, an estimated over 200 people were killed and 10,000 displaced in attacks by armed bandits in the northwestern Nigerian state of Zamfara following military air raids on their hideouts last week.

More than 10,000 people were displaced when their homes were razed by the armed bandits while scores are still missing.

The military conducted air attacks on Monday on targets in the Gusami forest and west Tsamre village in Zamfara, killing more than 100 armed bandits including two of their leaders.

More than 300 gunmen on motorcycles stormed eight villages in the Anka local area in Zamfara on Tuesday and started shooting sporadically, killing at least 30 people.

The Attackers also rampaged through 10 villages in Anka and Bukkuyum districts on Wednesday through Thursday, firing at residents and looting and burning homes.

The latest attacks on innocent people by the armed bandits is an act of desperation by mass murderers, now under relentless pressure from the Nigeria’s military forces.

Northwest Nigeria has seen a sharp rise in mass abductions and other violent crimes since late 2020 as the government struggles to maintain law and order.

Last year, armed bandits made international headlines with a series of high-profile attacks on schools and colleges where they kidnapped hundreds of pupils. Most were released but some of those students are still being held.

Bodies were still being recovered in Zamfara and some appeared to have been mutilated or burned beyond recognition.

Nigeria’s armed forces said last week they killed 537 armed bandits and other criminal elements in the region and arrested 374 others since May last year, while 452 kidnapped civilians were rescued.

Bandits loyal to notorious gang leader Bello Turji suffered heavy losses last month in ground-and-air raids on their forest-based camps.

Angered by this, and perhaps by the fact that they were facing certain death, [they] decided to move to other locations and in the course of this they seem to be conducting these dangerous attacks.

Nigeria designated armed bandits as terrorist groups, allowing for tougher sanctions under the terrorism prevention act for suspected shooters, their informants, and supporters such as those caught supplying them with fuel and food.

Separately, gunmen on Sunday released 30 Nigerian students who spent nearly seven months in captivity.

The students of Federal Government College in Kebbi, northwest Nigeria, were abducted on June 17 when gunmen stormed their school in Birnin-Yauri.

Officials did not provide the exact number of those missing but residents had said there were more than 70.

Respected servants of Allah! Protecting oneself and one’s honour, mind, wealth and religion is a well-established basic principle in Islam. These are the five essentials which are well known to Muslims.

A person has to defend himself; it is not permissible for him to consume that which will harm him, and it is not permissible for him to allow anyone to harm or kill him. If a person or a vicious animal etc attacks him, he has to defend himself, or his family or his property, and if he is killed he is counted as a shahid (martyr), and the killer will be in Hell.

If the harm that will result from this aggression is little and he gives up defending himself for the sake of Allah, then undoubtedly Allah will compensate him for that, so long as this does not cause any increase in the wrongdoing against him or anyone else.

Dear brothers and sisters! The act of killing a person and ending his/her life is the task of the judiciary.

No one can kill a person or end one’s life claiming that he/she deserves death, judging by his/her own criteria and opinion. If she/he does, she/he becomes a murderer and deserves the punishment for that murder. She/he is treated as a murderer both in the world and in the Hereafter. She/he undertakes the sins of the person she/he killed and compensates for it by going through severe punishment.

However, there are some obligatory situations, in which resisting becomes lawful due to obligation and killer can be freed from punishment. Let me list some of those exceptional situations:

1. If one takes action to kill another and the other person cannot escape though he has tried every possible way and eventually has to kill the aggressor; neither retribution nor blood money is necessary.

This is because the murdered person took the first action to kill the other and there was no other option which could dissuade him from killing; and here the obligation of self-defense emerged. However, if it was possible to send the aggressor away by shouting and calling people around for help and the person killed the aggressor without trying this option, it is not self-defense but murder.

2. If an armed conflict occurred while someone was fighting a man who entered his shop, his house or a store where he kept his possessions with the purpose of burglary and the owner killed the burglar who wanted to steal his possessions, it is called the right to defend one’s property. The owner of the property who killed the burglar is not considered a murderer; he is regarded to have made a lawful defense of property. It requires neither retribution nor blood money. The burglar shed his blood for nothing.

3. If a person resists someone who tends to rape his/her honour in his/her house or somewhere else and kills the aggressor while trying to protect his/her honour, it does not require retribution or blood money as defending one’s honour is a lawful defense. This is because she/he had no other choice than killing the aggressor in order to defend his/her honour.

It is an indisputable right of everyone to defend their life, property and honour. If one kills the aggressor while defending those, she/he is not murderer and if she/he is killed by the aggressor, she/he is considered a martyr.

My Dear people! In Islam, if someone is attacked, then he should defend himself, but he should avoid hitting the face (according to some scholars) as much as possible because of the Hadith which was narrated by Abu Hurairah may Allah be  pleased with him and in which he related that the Prophet (Peace be upon him) said:

“If one of you were to hit, he should avoid hitting the face.” [Bukhari and Muslim]

Another narration reads:

“If one of you were to fight his brother, he should avoid hitting the face.” [Muslim]

Some scholars said that this prohibition applies even to repelling an aggressor. Imam Al-Iraqi in clarifying its meaning in Tarh At-Tathrib, said:

“The meaning is that if fighting occurs between two parties, even when repelling an aggressor and the like, he should avoid hitting his face.”

Imam An-Nawawi, when interpreting Sharh Muslim, said:

“This is an explicit statement about the prohibition of hitting the face, because the face is delicate and carries all beauty; its parts are gentle and precious, and the face includes most of the senses. Hitting the face may cause defect to the senses or impair them, and it may even cause deformity to it. Deformity in the face is a significant matter because it is visible and cannot be concealed. When the face is hit, it is hardly spared from suffering deformity.”

Defending oneself against an aggressor should be done with the least severe method before the more severe; so if the aggressor is not repelled except by hitting his face, then there is no harm in doing so in this case, because if he is not repelled except by killing him, then he is killed, so it is with greater reason that if he is not repelled except by hitting his face, then he should be hit in his face, since killing is more serious than hitting the face. The Fiqh Encyclopedia reads:

“The aggressor is repelled with the less severe method first, so if it is possible to repel him by speaking to him or by calling people for help, then it is forbidden to hit him; or if it is possible to repel him by hitting him with the hand, then it is forbidden to use a whip; and if it is possible to repel him with a whip, then it is forbidden to use a stick; and if it is possible to repel him by cutting one of his body parts, then it is forbidden to kill him…”

The Fiqh Encyclopedia also reads:

“It is also a condition that repelling should be done in a gradual way; what can be repelled with words should not be repelled by hitting, and what can be repelled by hitting should not be repelled by killing…

Dear servants of Allah! In Islam, self-defense is not just permitted; it’s encouraged. Muslims are encouraged to train and become stronger. Prophet Muhammad (Peace be upon him) said in a Hadith that a strong believer is more beloved to Allah Almighty than a weak believer.

During the Khilafah of Umar Ibn al-Khattab (RA), he used to encourage the Muslims to train and he severely condemned obesity (as a result of overeating).

You have read the Hadith but you need to understand it. Yes, in Islam, Muslims are not supposed to hit people in the face. This is in normal scenarios. For example, you’re sparring with someone, and you’re punching each other in the face. This is not permissible. Another example: You go in for professional boxing, and punch people in the face and get punched in the face. Not permissible. You are causing harm to others and being dealt harm yourself, and it’s uncalled for. The situation is not hostile. You are not being attacked.

If you are being attacked, on the other hand, then you can punch wherever you need to. The situation calls for it. If you can put down the assailant without punching in the face, well and good. But if you can’t, then just do what you need to do.

So it is like this: in normal, non-hostile situations, avoid punching people in the face. This is the reason boxing is not allowed in Islam as a sport. In a hostile situation, it’s different.

The Qur’anic verses on this are very clear. Allah Almighty repeats, “do not aggress”, multiple times. Only if attacked, is one permitted to fight back. If the other party refrains from aggression and offers one peace, we are told to stop fighting. Allah Almighty says:

“You may fight in the cause of Allah against those who attack you, but do not aggress. Allah does not love the aggressors.” [Qur’an, 2:190]

And He, the Most High says:

“You may kill those who wage war against you, and you may evict them whence they evicted you. Oppression is worse than murder. Do not fight them at the Sacred Mosque, unless they attack you therein. If they attack you, you may kill them. This is the just retribution for those disbelievers.” [Qur’an, 2:191]

“If they refrain, then Allah is Forgiver, Most Merciful.” [Qur’an, 2:192]

“You may also fight them to eliminate oppression, and to worship Allah freely. If they refrain, you shall not aggress; aggression is permitted only against the aggressors.” [Qur’an, 2:193]

All fighting is regulated by the basic rule in Qur’an, 60:8-9. Fighting is allowed strictly in self-defense, while aggression and oppression are strongly condemned throughout the Qur’an. Allah Almighty says:

“O you who believe, do not prohibit good things that are made lawful by Allah, and do not aggress; Allah dislikes the aggressors.” [Qur’an, 5:87]

“If they resort to peace, so shall you, and put your trust in Allah. He is the Hearer, the Omniscient.” [Qur’an, 8:61]

” … if they leave you alone, refrain from fighting you, and offer you peace, then Allah gives you no excuse to fight them.” [Qur’an, 4:90]

The Qur’an also reminds the believers that they should not be provoked by past animosity into committing acts of aggression (Qur’an, 5:2). Additionally, Allah Almighty insists that believers must be absolutely sure before striking in the cause of Allah (Qur’an, 4:94). Anyone who offers one peace, cannot be attacked.

“O you who believe, if you strike in the cause of Allah, you shall be absolutely sure. Do not say to one who offers you peace, “You are not a believer,” seeking the spoils of this world. For Allah possesses infinite spoils. Remember that you used to be like them, and Allah blessed you. Therefore, you shall be absolutely sure (before you strike). Allah is fully Cognisant of everything you do.” [Qur’an, 4:94]

Therefore Islam is a religion that allowed a person to protect himself and his family against any form of attacks.

We call the Nigeria’s Governments at all levels, Federal, states and local governments, to assist the people to acquire weapons in order to help the security agents and to defend themselves, and if anyone die in the course of protecting himself, he die a martyr.

Islam has justified fighting those who fight you, or aggress against your honour, or seek to disrupt and divide you in religion, or repel you from your homes, or block the path of the Islamic mission (da’awah) and violate your right to spread Islam through proof, argument and clarification or kill your missionaries.

Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi raaji’uun! Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi raaji’uun!! Inna lillahi wa inna ilaihi raaji’uun!!!

Dear brothers and sisters! It is with sadness that I announce the death of our dear Shaykh, Dr. Ahmad Muhammad Ibrahim Bamba from the city of Kano, in Nigeria, who passed away on Friday 7th of January 2022. Shaykh was born in 1940, which means he was 82 years old.

He was originally from Ghana but settle in Nigeria after graduating with a BA from the Islamic University of Madinah. He taught at the Bayero University Kano (BUK), where he also attained his Phd. He would deliver classes and sermons at the university’s Mosque since 1991. After that, he resigned from the university to focus on Da’awah and teaching in the traditional way. He inaugurated the Darul Hadith.

The Shaykh (rahimahullah) had a passion for Hadiths and their chains to the extend that he was nicknamed “قال حدثنا – Qala Haddathana” (ie It was narrated to us by …) which, for those who know is the trademark of the people of Hadith.

The last class he delivered was the 100th sitting on the book Sharhus-Sunnah of Imam Al-Baghawi (whoever knows this book can easily make the connection with the nickname).

Subhanallah, during that last sitting, the Shaykh said:

“In Shaa Allah, next week we are going to take a break.” (And you can hear the students telling him that is the 100th sitting).

He was a thorn on the necks of the enemies of truth. In 1986, he became well know for a debate he had with a deviant who came to Nigeria from Sudan, claiming that the Northen Nigeria authorities, it’s people and scholars where kuffars (disbelievers), and the people had to accept Islam again, fight their government or make Hijrah to another land.

Shaykh Ahmad leaves 3 wifes, around 30 children and a countless amount of students.

His funeral prayer was attended by a very large number of people from different places, from them, the likes of Shaykh Dr. Sani Umar Rijiyar Lemu, also a Phd graduate from the Islamic University of Madinah, expert in Hadith and Tafsir, a mountain in and off himself حفظه الله.

Imam Al-Hasan reported that: Ibn Mas’ud, may Allah be pleased with him said:

“The death of a scholar is a great loss that cannot be replaced for as long as the day and night alternate.” [Shu’ab al-Iman, 1590]

May Allah have mercy on those who passed away from our scholars, from wherever they may be. And may Allah preserve those who are alive and allow us to benefit from them, from wherever they may be. Ameen.

All praises and thanks are due to Allah alone, Lord of the worlds. May the peace, blessings and salutations of Allah be upon our noble Messenger, Muhammad, and upon his family, his Companions and his true and sincere followers.

Murtadha Muhammad Gusau is the Chief Imam of Nagazi-Uvete Jumu’ah and the late Alhaji Abdur-Rahman Okene’s Mosques, Okene, Kogi State, Nigeria. He can be reached via: gusauimam@gmail.com or +2348038289761.

This Jumu’ah Khutbah (Friday sermon) was prepared for delivery today, Friday, Jumadah Al-Thani 11th, 1443 A.H. (January 14, 2022).

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