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Born in the Struggle; Died in the Struggle

By Buhari B. Jega
Human history may be seen as a record of the eternal struggle between right and wrong, virtue and vice, good and evil, and righteousness and wickedness. This struggle was decreed by God when Adam, an earthly creature, was sent to earth to engage in this eternal battle.

It is through this struggle that human beings can earn their eternal bliss in the Gardens of Paradise, or their eternal punishment in the Fire. In the history of nations this struggle often attains universal significance as that moment of the struggle can speak to all subsequent times and situations. Thus the Qur’an urges us over and over again to ponder the end of those who were before us, and how God dealt with them.

 In every case, moreover, a prophet or messenger of God was rejected by his people and killed or driven out. In this sense, therefore, the struggle is in the end between God and humankind, between truth and falsehood, and between right guidance and manifest error. The Prophet was asked: ‘who among men are those afflicted with the greatest calamity?’ He replied: The prophets, then the pious, everyone according to the degree of his piety. A man is afflicted according to his faith (din); if his faith is durable, his affliction is accordingly increased, and if his faith is weak, his affliction is made lighter. Afflictions continue to oppress the worshipful servant until they leave him walking on the face of the earth without any sin cleaving to him. For one who is not familiar with the struggles and patience of the leader of Islamic Movement in Nigeria Shaikh Ibraheem Zakzaky (H), it will sound like an exaggeration, when i conclude the above tradition of the Holy Prophet (S) best qualified Shaikh Ibraheem Zakzaky (H) throughout his struggles and achievement so far in reviving and protecting Islam from containment, adulteration and facing extinctions in the life of Muslims in Nigeria and Africa in general.

It was a struggle that has lasted for almost 40 years now, and in between those years, it has been a life of struggles, intimidation, imprisonment, threat of death, patience, steadfastness, courage and dedication to serving Allah and reviving His precious religious. A struggle and determination that lead to a marriage to a dedicated helper, sister, wife and mother Mallam Zeenaatul Ibraheem Zakzaky; who gave birth to unique, morally and intellectually sound children; the delight of every parent, and a hope of every onlooker. Indeed, marrying the right person especially with special attributes of been a helper, fearless, courageous steadfastness, pity, patient and determine to assistant at the right time is the biggest victory of life especially to an Islamic revivalist and revolutionary. The life and struggle of an Islamic scholar, revivalist and revolutionary not only comes with its own unique challenges, threat and frightening circumstances especially in a society that had long forgotten about Islam and its beautiful attributes, but, the chances of survival is almost 50/50.

It is naturally, for every supposedly future partner to think twice before venturing into such long partnership, struggles and journey, but, Mallam Zeenatul Ibraheem Zakzaky, a woman of steel; mother of martyrs, not only damned the consequence, but, gave her 100% allegiances to first her teacher, then her leader and later her husband; thereby becoming the earliest dedicated and courageous sister and followers of Sayyeed Ibraheem Zakzaky (H). Indeed in the courageous life and dedication of Mallama Zeenatul Ibraheem Zakzaky can one draw inspiration of what it takes to be a dedicated, courageous, determining helper, follower, wife and mother in the history of Islamic Movement in Nigeria.

Interestingly, the blissful marriage between Shaikh Ibraheem Zakzaky (H) and Mallama Zeenatul Ibraheem Zakzaky bears the beautiful fruits of 9 lovely children, the sunshine of every parent, the hope of every generation and the future of every society. Interesting, almost all these lovely children were born at the peak of Islamic struggles against unjust and clientele Nigerian state, under the leadership and guardianship of Sayyed Ibraheem Zakzaky (H). The life and time of children especially during their infancy is the most important period in their life, but, for the love of Islam and humanity most a time these lovely children had to do without their lovely and spiritually guided father, due to imprisonment, arrest or one harassment or threat from the Nigerian state.

Indeed, the households of the Sayyeed Ibraheem Zakzaky (H) have witnessed and experienced the hardship of what it means to be a wife, son or daughter of Islamic revivalist and resistance leader and guardian. They did not only witnessed harassment, intimidation, humiliation, absence and painful separation of father and husband to his wife and children, but, imprisonment and attempted assassination become a daily hallmark that hooves around their households. However, these beautiful family members never surrendered, bungled, compromised nor begged for mercy from the hopeless Nigerian state against what have befall them and their followers, as they left everything in the hands of Allah, the maker and shaper of man’s destiny. The reality is that, it not every family that can survive all this hardship, except one in which Allah Has destiny for a special assignment, as reported and explained in the above hadith of the Holy Prophet (S).

It is within this pristine, one situation the lives of these great, young and energetic martyrs and biological children of Sayyeed Ibraheem Zakzaky (H) Shaheeds Sayyeeds Ahmad, Hameed and Mahmud into context. They were indeed born into the struggle and Islamic resistance. The period of their births coincides with the heydays of Islamic struggles, resistance and propagation as well as intimidations by the clientele Nigerian state against their father and members of Islamic Movement in Nigeria. The period intensifies the persecution in Zaria and across the country of Shaikh Zakzaky (H), followers and sympathisers and Muslims in full vigour and activity. Shaheeds Sayyeeds Ahmad, Hameed and Mahmud observed how their father was painstakingly energising, motivating, conscientizing, travelling, mobilising, preaching, protecting, preserving, changing and reforming the words of Allah as thought and practice by Allah’s greatest servant Mustafa Muhammad (S).

Shaheeds Sayyeeds Ahamd, Hameed and Mahmud were witness to the various injustices and humiliation suffered by their father Sayyeed Ibraheem Zakzaky (H) and his followers; from invasion of their homes by men of the Nigerian police force at the slightest so called provocations; to overnight refusal of landlord to renewal their rent; to painful separation and imprisonment of their father during their tender age and when they needed his guardians; to equally testing the walls of police cells, when they and their mother were arrested and push into a police cell; to daily threat of assassination and conspiracy around their households. They equally watched in dismay how the teachings of Islam were been abandoned or ignored, and how its grip was methodically slackened. For children who were born in the struggles and Islamic resistance, testing the four walls of police cell appealed to them for the sake of Allah, more than the comfort of their home. This was narrated by Mallam Zeenaatul Ibraheem Zakzaky during the 100 days anniversary of the martyrdom of these beautiful children and 31 others. She informed us, that, during the evil days of General Sani Abacha, when she was arrested with the children and imprisoned in police cell, these lovely and courageous children never showed any sign of discomfort or hopelessness, as they continue to have fun in police cell, to the extend when they were finally released, the children were crying to go back to their police cell instead of their comfortable home. The dirty and smelling cell for the sake of Allah is far better than the comfort of their home. Indeed this is one lesson one draw from this beautiful pride of parents and all of us. Only in the households of chosen servant of Allah can you find this great sacrifice, steadfastness, beautiful attributes and stories. Shaheeds Sayyeeds Ahmad, Hameed and Mahmud have been prepared right from young age for the struggle ahead, resistance for the sake of Allah and martyrdom for the sake of Islam and reviving the true religion of Allah in this land of lost opportunity called Nigeria.   

With the job load and various challenges and intimidations the home front was never forgotten by the moral and spiritual conscience of Africa Sayyeed Ibraheem Zakzaky (H). That, is why amidst all these challenges and experiences, the love and affection between and showers on these beautiful children (Shaheed Sayyeed Ahamd, Hameed and Mahmud) by their father, reflects unity of purpose between the soul of their father and his sons; a unity not simply of blood alone, but also of spirituality and acceptance in the side of Allah (SWT). They were not only the beautiful images of their father and family, but, physical and moral pillars of support to Islamic Movement in Nigeria, resistance struggles, neighbours and friends alike. They were very creative, energetic, and passionate about the struggles and resistance against injustice, unbelief and unjust Nigerian state, as seen in their participation in all processions and threat to the movement. They never shy away from their responsibilities; nor do they become arrogant because they came from the pious household of Sayyeed Ibraheem Zakzaky (H), the leader and guardian of the largest Islamic Movement in Sub-Sahara Africa; nor do they disrespect and arrogate knowing it all mentality to themselves like we see in others common creatures. They were indeed humble, hardworking, creative, energetic and a source of inspirations to the children, youth and old alike both within and outside the Islamic Movement in Nigeria. Their actions spoke before their words. They were humbly gracious and generous to the poor and those in need. Used to support what is right and fight what was wrong. People always noticed such attributes in their conduct and behaviour as perseverance, forbearance and magnanimity.

They were humble, pious and God-fearing. There simplicity and determination to assist their father and Islamic Movement in Nigeria was seen in their participation in the early stage of building of Hussainiyya Baqiyyatullah. They were not only part of the builders and labourers, but, spend almost all their times and days in ensuring the wishes and hope of Sayyeed Ibraheem Zakzaky (H) celebrating the Holy Ghadir Celebration in Hussainiyya Baqiyyatullah that year was realised. Not even the Eid Fitr celebration could deter them from continuing with the work; while some of us were busy celebrating and having merry making, these leaders of today and tomorrow were in the scorching sun mixing cement, sands and other jobs to ensure the movement moved finally to the new Hussainiyya Baqiyyatullah. This is rather unanticipated in the history of Islamic struggles and families indeed. Reflecting on our society today, even the son of Chairman of a local government cannot be seeing doing this odd job; but, these are just few examples of humility and spiritual fulfilment of the pure bloodlines of Fatima Zahra (a).         

Shaheeds Sayyeeds Ahmad, Hammeed and Mahmud were shining examples to all humanity. However, even though coming from the same womb of a mother, but, each can be distinguished by their unique character and behaviours. For Shaheed Sayyeed Ahmad he is father and brotherly figured to all the youths and children of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria and beyond. He is energetic, hardworking, always thinking and coming up with ideas of how to move and sacrifice for the sake of Allah and the movement. He is eager to be told to do something by his father and leader. He sees his father beyond the bloodline of son and a father, but, he sees him as his leader and the true representative of Sahibul Zaman Imam Mahdi (as). Even the joke of his father is a command to this young man that symbolised beauty, role model, motivator and support to his father, the Islamic Movement in Nigeria and millions of youths and children. We always look up to him with admiration and prayers for growth and creative ideas. In the spiritual realm he is a son and leader among unequal. For someone who grow up in the house of spirituality, he never let us down, unlike what we sees in other households, where a name tagged which is often equated to some characters such as “Dan Mallam Yaki Hali Mallam”, but, in his own case is “Dan Mallam Mai Halin Mallam Sak”. He knows no fear, nor does he run away from a battle to safety during attacks by the clientele Nigerian state.

Shaheed Sayyeed Hameed Ibraheem Zakzaky (H), the General and Commander as his friends and admirers call him; gentle, intellectually sound, humble, reserved and quiet all the time, and the creative barometer of all seasons among unequal. To many, he remains the unsung hero and creative young man who could have built aeroplane due to the depth of his intellect, knowledge and research ability. I met this young man in various occasion and i was amazed with his humbleness and reservation. The first time i met him was during the first visit of former President of the Islamic Republic of Iran Mahmud Ahmadinejad in Abuja. He was active in organising and participating and waited with us for hours for the arrival of former President Mahmud Ahmadinejad. Indeed, Hameeed is a light to his generation; he could have thought us how to remain humble and creative in society that cherish none. He could have guided us and provide security tips on how the Fadhal Abbas foundation could continue to protect the leadership and followers of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria. He is called General and Commander due to his vast reserviour of knowledge, strategies, pragmatism and clear direction to his colleagues and us the onlookers. He is indeed the shadow General and Commander to us all. We have indeed lost a realm gem which is simply irreplaceable.

For my teacher and my future Ayotollah Mahmud, first of all i join other millions of admirers and well wishes to wish you Allah’s mercy and acceptance of your deeds on your birthday that was just celebrated on Friday 20th March, 2015. Mr Gentleman or Shehu or my Ayotollah as i called you, you are the spiritual barometer of the households and youth and children. He is always shy to fixed his eyes or gaze with yours, as he lowers his gaze the moment his eye catches up with yours. When i had the news of you taking a different path from other siblings, by taking the course of Hawaz learning, i pray for the day, you become an Ayatollah, a prayer which never saw the light, as Allah gave you an honour more superior than what we wish for you. My last encountered with Mr Gentleman was the last Ghadir celebration. I was seating close to Mr Gentle while he tried and did everything within his knowledge to power the internet to live stream Sayyeed’s lectures, but, unfortunately, internet was not fair to him. I could see disappointment in his face, when Maulana Sayyeed Ibraheem Zakzaky (H) asked him, if there is any luck? Which he nodded in disappointment; equally Sayyeed quoted a hadith, Shehu quickly search for the hadith with clear reference; i was fascinated and full of admiration for this humble and quite young man, whose future could have reminded us about a marriage of continence and conveniences between intellectualism and spiritualism, which is the best success for anybody.    

No doubt, Shaheeds Sayyeeds Ahmad, Hameed and Mahmud were shining examples of what it means to be born, growing up contributing and died in the struggle and resistance movement under the leadership and guardianship of Islamic revivalist, teacher, mentor and revolutionary Sayyeed Ibraheem Zakzaky (H). Indeed the curtains of darkness and hopelessness were drawn on the family, members and humanity when these three (3) energetic, creative, humble, hardworking intellectually sound, pragmatic and spiritually guided lovely children, members, brothers and friends of ours were gruesomely murder by the Nigerian Military under the command of Lt Col S.O Okun on the 25 July, 2014 during the International Quds Day procession. The manner in which they were killed tells you about their courage, convictions, faith and uncompromising disposition against unjust and clientele Nigerian state. Not even the beating, stabbing with knives and bullets of the Nigerian military could make them to bungled up and plead for mercy or regret their actions. They died with happiness of resisting and uncompromising their belief and stand against the unjust and corrupt system of the Nigerian; they wanted Islam to guide their live and for the sake of that Islam they gave their lives and bloods to the fullest.  We take solace in ahadith of the Holy Prophet (S) where he is reported to have said: “For every virtue, there is another higher one except when man sacrifices his life for the sake of Almighty Allah. In that case, there exists superior than that”. For our martyrs, our heroes, they overlook everything belonging to them- their lives, and surrender their entire existence to Almight Allah with absolute sincerity. They close their eyes from wealth, power, position, future wives and children and relatives and suddenly surrender their soul to Almighty Allah.   

In conclusion, their blood and sacrifice indeed has finally watered the tree of victory against the enemies of Islam. No doubt, the religion has been revival and safeguarded by the purified blood of our martyrs and our future. They attained martyrdom the dream of every believer. Attaining this exalted and prestigious position is the biggest victory for the households of Sayyeed Ibraheem Zakzaky (H), because never in history was a leader of Islamic Movement and Resistance struggles lost three children in a day. We condolence and celebrate with Sayyeed Ibraheem Zakzaky (H), Mallama Zeenaatul, the family and millions of members of Islamic Movement in Nigeria across the world, for this unfortunate event and success and elevations among unequal.

You have attained seven (7) distinguished positions bigger than any other. In ahadith of the Holy Prophet (S), he was quoted to have said that: “Almighty Allah bestows upon a martyr seven (7) blessings: (1). When the first drop of blood comes out of his body, all his sins are pardoned; (2). After martyrdom, his head is placed upon the laps of two heavenly maids who clean off dust from his face and say “welcome” and he too responds; (3). They dress him in heavenly clothes; (4.)The storekeeper of Paradise presents him different kinds of perfumes and good smells so that he may select whatever he desires; (5) At the time of martyrdom, his place in Paradise is shown to him; (6) After martyrdom, his soul addressed, “you are free to move in Paradise wherever you desire; (7) A martyr is allowed to witness God’s beauty that brings a special sort of comfort for every Prophet and martyr (Wasa’il al-shiah Vol. 11, pp9). What a best way to celebrate our martyrs, our heroes and our hope. Even though, you are not physically present with us, we know you are still alive with us, because you are not death, but still alive, as promised by Allah, when He cautions us that “Think not of those, who are slain in the way of Allah, as dead. Nay, they are living, with their Lord they have provision”.

For Shaheeds Sayyeeds Ahmad, Hameed and Mahmud, you have left an indelible mark in our lives. You have indeed came and ended in circle. You were born in the struggle, grow up in the struggle, sacrifice everything for the struggle and died in struggle. Indeed, in your lives and time does a soul draw a celestial and interesting inspiration and directions for the future. May Allah accept all your sacrifice and commitment for the course of Islam and humanity in general. For the lazy bones and unstable one likes us, may your inspirational life and time continue to be lessons and path for us to follow. We are praying to Allah for his protection, good health and more wisdom on our leader, guardian, teacher, mentor and spiritual guide Sayyeed Ibraheem Zakzaky (H). May we be of help, support and assistance to him just like you did, in this journey of salvation, felicity, difficulties and Islamic revivalism in this land of lost opportunity called Nigeria. Rest in peace our martyrs, our heroes and our hope, until we join you very soon. Indeed there is no substitute to martyrdom which you have achieved on that faithful day of July 25th, 2014 during the International Quds Day for the good, spirited and belligerent people of Palestine.


Bukhari Muhammed Bello Jega

Is a member of Academic Forum of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria