By Yusuf Abdullahi
Unarguably, justice is the key to peace and stability of all nations. A popular adage says justice delay is justice denial. And injustice anywhere isa threat to justice everywhere. The seven lettered word is the central philosophy behind the establishment of all authorities. To buttress the point, we can cite the principle (Chapter 1, article 1) evident in the creation of League of nations which transformed into United Nations; to maintain international peace and security, and to that end; to take effective collective measures for the prevention and removal of threats to the peace, and for the suppression of acts of aggression or other breaches of the peace, and to bring about by peaceful means, and in conformity with the principles of justice and international law, adjustment or settlement of international disputes or situations which might lead to a breach of peace.
The widespread bloodshed and infringement onpeople’s honors across the world were obviously borne of injustice making the world difficult to live.
The word intifada literally means shivering. From the technical point of view however, it refers to resistance and up riseagainst oppression. In his recent article in the electronic intifada;why I must oppose, smears against Israel’s critics in Germany, Adri Neuhoffsaid I have to speak out against the smear campaign waged in Germany against Farid Esack, a professor of Islamic studies from South Africa. The world could remember the level of hatred demonstrated against his personality when offered a teaching opportunity at the University of Hamburg on baseless allegations. The Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats, the right-wing populist party, the Green Party’s Volker Beck, Katharina Fegebank and Israeli diplomats spread the said anti-Semitic rumor.
He is also credited with the statement"I have to speak out because my parents suffered under the German occupation of the Netherlands. One lesson I learned from their past is that I should never remain silent when the rights of others are trampled upon. That is why I supported the South African people in their fight against apartheid and that is why I defend the rights of the Palestinians today. I am deeply disturbed about how academics such as Eleonora Roldan Mendivil, Farid Esack and Noman Finkelstein have come under attack in Germany because they criticize Israel’s violations of Palestinian rights. The pro-Israel lobby is waging smear campaigns against defenders of Palestinian rights, with a view to excluding them from German universities. He added "I have known Farid Esack since the 1980’s when I worked with the Holland Committee on Southern Africa. Our committee organized boycott, divestment and sanctions (BDS) campaigns against South Africa and provided political and material support to the liberation movement, the African National Congress (ANC). Esack fought apartheid as a leading member of the Call of Islam organization and the United Democratic Front (UDF)founded in the 1980s – at a time the ANC was banned by the apartheid regime. It brought together trade unions with various grass root organizations, including the Call of Islam. The aim of these organizations was to make South Africa ungovernable by mobilizing people in campaigns to defy the apartheid regime. For example, Esack was among the organizers of 1989 peace march in Cape Town. Around 30,000 people took part in that protest, defying the state of emergency". A similar development in support of justice to quote from The Jerusalem Post"Esack helped raise funds for the popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine".In the conclusive end of the 6th international conference in support of the uprising, the leader of Islamic revolution, Ayatollah Sayyid Ali Khamne’i says "Muslim countries have a responsibility to support Palestinian resistance which should be a source of unity in the Islamic world. The issue of Palestine can and should be the pivot of unity for all Islamic countries.The top priority of the Islamic world and all those fighting for freedom across the world is the Palestinian cause and unity to support that cause".
Of the apparent achievements of the conference was the placement of the issue of Palestine and creation of an atmosphere of harmony and unanimity as the first priority of the world of Islam and freedom fighters across the world to ascertainjustice.If unity is an unavoidable tool for the attainment of all organizational goals. Then why should the Muslims divide? No doubt, all persecution, humiliations, disgrace and extreme poverty befalling the Ummah are nothing but resultant effects of its divisions. A good example is the most disturbing problem that Imam Khomeini repeatedly pointed out; invasion of Palestinian land and creation of Israel in its place, subjecting its defenseless and rightful citizens especially women and children in an untold persecution for over seven decades!Obviously, the greatest challengebefore theUmmah is Takfiri movement which abuses and attack other Muslims ignoring all atrocities of the unbelievers. The Takfirists are no doubt, working in the interest of enemies of Islam whether they accept it or not. We pray to Allahto bring an end to their devilish acts! Unity as the central focus of mauludgives greater emphasis on the need for all Muslims to be united and shun trivial issues. Yes, I call them being neither fundamentals nortangible branches of the religion.Allah states “And hold fast, all together, by the rope which Allah (stretches out for you), and be not divided among yourselves” Q3:103. In the light of the above verse, Imam Suyuty in his tafseer -Durrul Manthur-quoted a prominent hadith from Musnad Ahmad“O people, I leave amongst you two things which if you follow you will never go astray. They are the book of Allah and my Ahlul bait – family”
It is pertinent at this point to express the Islamic principle for the protection of the Ummah as a whole. Allah states “Be not like those who are divided amongst themselves and fall into disputations after receiving clear signs; for them is a clear chastisement” Q3:105The prophet (S) has said “the believers are like one man; if his eyes suffer his whole body suffers; and if his head suffers his whole body suffers” Lamentably, the Muslim – ummah is besieged with increasing problems that are not unconnected with the way it ignores the honorable message. This no doubt is the root cause of all humiliations experienced in different parts of the world such as Palestine, Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Bahrain, Afghanistan, and Central African Republic among others. So also, the unfortunate situation in Nigeria with increasing poverty, fear, confusion, general insecurity, killings, and other forms of persecution especially in the North.
Generally speaking, unity week is one of the significant legacies of late Imam Khomeini who set aside twelfth to seventeenth of Rabi’ul – awwal for the Muslims to come togetherto analyze their situation vise a vise the prophetic guidance. This emphasizes the need for strict obedience to the noble Qur’an and the utmost need for unity under the common testimony of faith. The Imam set the week as the enemies use division as a tool to destroy the Ummah with the help of misguided Muslims. That is why those committed to the true cause of Islam are devotedly concerned on the unity.On the need for the Ummah to remain unconditionally united, Allah warned“Be not like those who are divided amongst themselves and fall into disputations after receiving clear signs; for them is a clear chastisement” Q3:105.Theprophet(s)saidin a hadith narrated by Muslim on the authority of Nu’man bn Bashir “the believers are like one man; if his eyes suffer his whole body suffers; and if his head suffers his whole body suffers”.
Beside the Imam’s legacy on unity, Shaikh Ahmad Shaltut’s historic fatwa as quoted in Risalatul Islam, Dar Al-Mazahibul Islamiyyah, Cairo; Second edition is still enlightening “Islam does not oblige any of its followers to obey a certain religious school. Every Muslim can follow any of the religious schools, which have been handed down without distortion and the ordinances of which have been recorded in their unique texts. Any follower of any of the four common Sunni schools can convert to any other school. The Ja’fari school, alsoas the Twelver school, is one of the schools the following of which is permitted in religious laws just like following of the Sunni schools. All Muslims are, therefore, advised to admit this truth and to refrain from undue fanaticism and from unjustified prejudices about other religious schools. This is because the Shari’ah and the religion of Allah are neither dependent on nor unique to any specific school”
In line with this, Dr. Muhammad al-Dusuqi, a professor in Qatari University remarked “approximation in the schools of thought is, in principle an attempt to break the vehemence of party spirit and unite the word of the Ummah on the principles of its doctrine and the basic of its religion”Issues of transfer from one school of thought or jurisprudence to another are easily traced in our history books like the famous “Irshadul Ummah Ila Tayseeril Millah” by Shaikh Bn Fodio.On the other hand, the holy Qur’an advises Muslim to approach the people of the bookin a cordial discuss with a view to drawing them towards Islam. “Do not argue with the people of the book except in a most kindly manner” Q29:46.
While drawing the attention of the world on the need to dislodge injustice generally, I call for the unconditional release of the leader of Islamic Movement Sheikh Ibraheem el-Zakzaky (H) and all his disciples.