By Rauf Musa
IT’S no longer news that an Upper Shari’a Court sitting at Hausawa Filin Hockey in Kano metropolis has sentenced 22-year-old Yahaya Sharif to death by hanging.
Sharif, a Tijjaniya musician, residing at Sharifai Quarters was tried for blasphemy against the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) in a song clip that went viral on WhatsApp.
Already, this judgment has set the tone for divergent opinions with objective and subjective interpretations. For many people, justice is served, to most others, especially of the Tijjaniya sect; it is a travesty of justice.
While it is not clear whether the convict would appeal the judgment, what is certain, however, is that we are likely to see many more of such cases with the way religious sects conduct their activities in the ancient city.
To begin with, the Tijjaniya, which has the largest followership, due to lack of strong and centralised leadership, and the infiltration of scammers who diabolically use the religion for personal ends, has over time become infested with bands of fake and fanatical-pseudo-mysticians called Yan Hakika who, in their language and conduct equate themselves to Allah (SWA) and elevate their Sheikhs, especially Sheikh Ibrahim Niass, (Rahimahullah) above anyone created by Allah, even the Prophet Muhammad (SAW).
Hakika, in real sense, is a spiritual-cum-mystical odyssey one embarks on in form of prayers and supplications to attain Allah’s elevated position in spiritual and mystical realms. But some of these fake Yan Hakika dwell more on hedonism, concupiscence and any societal evils one can think up. It clearly shows that we’ve not sought for Allah’s spiritual realm.
I’ve interviewed many Tijjaniya followers on why they seem to be in a state of frenzy and go berserk at the mention of Sheikh Niass and don’t do that when Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was called. Their answers have always been: ‘you won’t understand.’
When confronted, their sheikhs would tell you it is part of over-zealousness of followers, but in secret, some of these sheikhs were the ones encouraging these deviations.
Then there are those followers of Qadiriyya and some pockets of Shia apologists who always counter the excesses of the unwarranted canonisations and elevated excesses of Sheikh Niass by these deviants.
These two opposing camps would, if a serious action is not taken, give rise to the new emerging conflict that will result to a serious bloodletting worse than Boko Haram in metropolitan Kano.
At least I’ve recently witnessed the near clash of these two camps in our area during Sallah celebrations. Each group, with not less 40 armed youths prowling at distance of not less than 100 metres between themselves.
What saved the day was the Vigilante Group of our area which insisted that one group must finish his Majalisi early and be made to follow a totally different route as their exit.
The Afakallahu ban is not effective and won’t work. And the current administration in the state if left alone to bring solution won’t do anything – politics has made Ganduje a scapegoat and literally a lame duck governor.
The Emirate Council, Kano Elders, State Government in conjunction with the Nigerian Police Force must summon all the known sects’ Sheikhs in Kano to counsel their followers on their utterances and conducts.
These new vagaries being exhibited by Tijjaniya followers of nowadays is alien to the one we knew while growing up in the 80s.
Each Unguwa should create Community Vigilante Committee to collaborate with the police and state government in order to monitor the activities of youths dwelling in that Unguwa.
State government should liaise with military authorities for the conscription of some of these boys, who out of joblessness become unwilling recruits by fanatical sects. At least there is ample trouble in North East or North West to engage them in.
AND OBASANJO . . .
The scathing condolence letter written by former President Obasanjo over the death of Senator Buruji Kashamu is uncalled for.
By breaking this African tradition of not speaking ill of the dead, his (Obj) family should wait for his elegies which will definitely come in torrents.
Picture above is of Yahaya Sharif. (Credit: Picture credit: https://gistvic.com/2020/08/yahaya-aminu-shariff-nigerian-singer-sentenced-to-death-for-blasphemy-in-kano/)
Musa, an indigene of Kano, lives in Kaduna. He can be reached by email at: firstname.lastname@example.org