By Yusuf Abdullahi
In the name of Allah who states “Among the believers are men who have been true to the covenant they made with Allah. There are some of them who have fulfilled their vow, and some who still wait, and they have not changed their condition in the least" Ahzab:24 Peace and blessings of Allah be upon His noble servant, our master Muhammad and his purified progeny.
Considering the incessant calls for action from the foundation in the trend, in the social media above all, the significance of supporting the martyrs’ cause cannot be overemphasized.
The piece for this week is on the above subject in view of numerous presentations in the Abuja Unity Fountain, with the regard to the extent affected by various fora of the Islamic Movement in the unfortunate December 2015th Zaria massacre, where a thousand innocent citizens, disciples of Shaikh el-Zakzaky were killed in cold blood. Consequently, the Shaikh and his wife who sustained many gunshot injuries were osubsequently detained almost incommunicado for over two years. The programme was organized by the coalition for human rights under the leadership of Concerned Nigerians. Beside the unanimous quest for justice irrespective of tribal, religious and geographical differences, it signifies unity of the countrymen and women on a just cause.
With the statistics made available by the Foundation, there are about four thousand dependents consequent to historic state aggressions on peaceful citizens, most notably, the Zaria. Ensuring the welfare of the high number of families affected, and related activities are very challenging. Out of credible and insightful leadership, the Shaikh established the Foundation consequent to the brutal attack by the police in Katsina after a peaceful protest against a blasphemy to the persons of Prophets Muhammad, Jesus Christ and Sayyida Khadija peace be upon them in 1991. The Movement lost Shahid Abubakar Shehu Madomawa in the event. Saddled with the responsibility of seeing to the general welfare of martyrs’ families especially in pursuance of moral and academic excellence and hitherto victims of oppressive attacks, the foundation receives humanitarian donations for the execution of its assignments.
A brief look at the Islamic Movement in Nigeria reveals that it started in the late 1970’s when its leader Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky was studying at Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. Greatly influenced by the Muslim Students Society of Nigeria, founded in Lagos in 1954, the sheikh was the society’s Secretary-General of the Ahmadu Bello University Main campus branch and later became the Vice-President in charge of international affairs of the main MSS body. Then, there was great ideological conflict between communism and capitalism and when the students were apparently yearning for change, they appealed to communism as it talked of social justice, but highly discouraged due to the negative perception of religion from the communist ideology. However, as the communism gained more ground, the victory of the 1979 Islamic revolution in Iran changed the thinking of many people in the struggle as religion was proved a very successful platform for dislodgement of tyranny and establishment of social justice on earth. Being very much concerned on the future of the country, the movement, then mainly in the campuses was engaged in intellectual exercises through lectures and symposia in tertiary institutions of higher learning on Islam and political development. The Movement steadily spread to towns, cities, villages and beyond the country, with people from different strata and walks of life. The dynamic growth of the movement kept great momentum despite the sheikh’s unjust imprisonments by successive Nigerian governments of about ten years in different times. Obviously, there is no group that means good for this country and its future than it. The apparent contribution of the Movement to the development and ethno-religious tolerance of Nigerians cannot be overemphasized. Despite its peaceful nature from inception, some in the ruling class considered a threat by some administrations. Thus, it has suffered series of attacks by the successive Nigerian governments! Allah states “And they ill-treated them For no other reason than That they believed in Allah, Exalted in power, Worthy of all praise! Q85: 8
The historic persecution differed from unjustified incarceration on various jail terms on the Shaikh and his disciples and killings at different times in about forty years of its existence. The three undergraduate sons of the Shaikh were part of the 34 people including a Christian, Julius Anyawu murdered in 2014 in broad day light for staging a peaceful protest in support of the oppressed Palestinians.
On periodic basis, the foundation organises programmes in honor of the martyrs with a grand annual, tagged "Day of the martyrs" in Rajab, the seventh month of Islamic calendar. Using this medium, I wish to reiterate the need for strict observance of the monthly Shuhada dues and generous contribution from all well wishers which is used to supporting the families of the martyrs on humanitarian ground. The day of martyrs was observed on 25th Rajab to coincide with the martyrdom of Imam Musa al-Kazem poisoned by the tyrannical Harun-led Abbasid regime after four years of imprisonment. Even his corpse was not spared from humiliation but for his devotees who managed to get it laid down at the popular Kazimiyyah area. Like his predecessors, the Imam attained martyrdom for refusal to submit to the oppressive. In contrast, he is greatly respected and remembered in the first order. Allah says “And do not speak of those who are slain in Allah’s way as dead; nay they are alive but you do not perceive” Q2:154. His shrine in Masshad, the second largest city and famous spiritual centre in Iran is an attracts millions of visitors across the world.
In the blessed memory of the Imam, the day was declared by the Shaikh in respect of the Movement’s martyrs annually. Before the event, the Chairman of the foundation officially registered as an orphanage draws the attention of the Shaikh’s disciples and well wishers on two significant aspects, namely Shuahada dues and their families’ general welfare. The monetary donation is used to support in moral upbringing of the martyrs’ families especially educational acquisition. Impressively, none of the martyrs’ child is out of school, in fact all that attain school age are taking lessons at various levels from primary to Universities. But for the foundation and the unrelenting effort of the committed followers of the Shaikh, some of the families might be equated to those in the IDPs camps. In view of the incessant remarks of the chairman and his lieutenants, I wish to emphasize the need for generously to the cause of these families in both cash and kind. Some of their officials could be traced at the Unity fountain or accessed through 0806 091 9154 or 0803 625 1758.
Looking at the unfortunate plight of the this Ummah especially in Yemen, Syria, Palestine and Northeastern Nigeria, the need for such humanitarian assistance is very pressing. The enemies of have identified its weaknesses and are strategically working around the clock directly and otherwise to undermine the Islam on their oppressive principle of end justifies the means.
While commending all efforts towards justice and humanitarian ground without borders, I use the medium, as usual to reiterate the need for the unconditional of release of Shaikh Ibraheem el-Zakzaky and his disciples.