By Sheikh Aminu Aliyu Gusau.
The story of AbdulJabbar is that of fanaticism.
It is about the feud between the Izala and Darika in Kano and across the nation. AbdulJabbar’s over-zealousness, eventually, landed him into trouble. He is from the Qadiriyyah Sufi order, whose headquarters is in Kano, just as Kano is one of the headquarters of Tijjaniyyah. Lately, Kano also became one of the headquarters of factional Izala group, specifically the Salafiyyah.
AbdulJabbar grew up in the midst of an ongoing harsh and hot arguments between the scholars of Izala and that of Darikah. Thinking that he is knowledgeable enough to wade in, he dived into the arguments.
The fundamental aspect of the Izala argument, which secluded the title of “Ahlussunnah” to itself, is basing everything on the Qur’an and Sunnah based on the understanding of the first three generations of Islam. But they put more emphasis on hadith (sayings, actions and approvals of the Messenger of Allah) with a pedagogical approach. To display that he has an unmatched prowess in that kind of knowledge, AbdulJabbar ventured into the altercation head on.
That coincided with the emergence of Kano as one of the headquarters of the Shi’a sect, (with whatever you come to Kano, you will find someone/something better). The Darikah Ulama are divided into two, pertaining engagements with Shi’a. While many of their scholars are suspicious about them, some have embraced them for their (Shi’a) near similar stand on the status of the progenies of the Messengerof Allah. AbdulJabbar is one of those who were influenced by the doctrines of Shi’a. He started to turn to their books, which contained condemnation of the companions of the Messenger of Allah and rejection of what they reported directly from the Messenger of Allah. When he went to Iraq for studies, he met many adherents of Shi’a and, consequently, became influenced by their stand on the companions of the Prophet and Hadith.
Thence, AbdulJabbar decided to wage a war on Izala in an unprecedented way – through the condemnation and destruction of the entire Sunni school of thought- to which Izala held on tightly and proudly. Prior to this, no scholar have ever tried that. In addition, all the Darikah scholars believe that they are Ahlussunah, they have no problem with the sunnah of the Messenger of Allah (PBUH). Their problems with Izala is only that of definition, meaning or translation. The Izala, too, according to some scholars among them, agrees that yes the Darikah adherents are Ahlussunnah, in a “broader meaning”, while they (Izala) are the specific/real Ahlussunnah.
Another influence of Shi’a, specifically the Zakzaky faction, on AbdulJabbar, is the “heedless” confrontational approach. He decided to confront Izala in a “heedless” manner similar to the Zakzaky faction of Shi’a. He failed to decipher that Zakzaky faction only display “heedlessness” while confronting the government, but when it comes to the Shi’a doctrine, specifically on the companions of the Prophet, they apply the “Taqiyyah”. AbdulJabbar didn’t learn the wisdom behind Taqiyyah, because he thinks that if if he didn’t disrobe himself from the Sunnah he can’t say anything (to suppress Izala) when it comes to “knowledge driven discussions.”
He started by insisting that most of the Ibadat undertaken by Izala were not based on the Sunnah of the Prophet but based on innovations from his companions. He, then started discussing the “innovations of the Sahaba”, giving more emphasis on the second CalIph, Umar. This exposed how deep he was influenced by the Shi’a. He spent time discussing “the fifty innovations” that were smuggled into Islam by Umar.
The fundamental thing that AbdulJabbar failed to realize, when he started his “heedless” sojourn, was that he was invalidating the whole jurisprudence that were in practice by every Muslim who was not a Shiite. He failed to understand that he was, indeed, attacking every Muslim.
When he started this, the scholars at his home quickly realized where he was heading and the danger that lies ahead if their family is to be identified with what he was spewing. Therefore, they tried to stop him, an action that resulted in bitter disagreements between them. Consequently, he parted ways with them and started his own group for his kind of Da’awa.
The advent of Google search engine gave AbdulJabbar quick access to some writings by atheists, Muslim heretics and orientalists from the Christian scholars who satirize the Prophet and his companions. This emboldened him over his attack on Sunnah.
He immediately embarked into the process of invalidating Hadiths. His most important targets were Sahih Bukhari and Sahih Muslim, to be followed by the rest of Hadith books. His method was to establish that it was the companions who deliberately concocted those Hadiths in order to destroy Islam after the Prophet. The Prophet didn’t utter those Hadiths. He insisted that those who reported the Hadiths knew that they were lies, concocted by the companions, but they chose to conceal the truth for over a thousand years! This is exactly the stand of Shi’a on the Hadith believed by Ahlussunnah.
To prove that the companions were against the Prophet and that they were trying to destroy his religion, AbdulJabbar decided to quote the utterances of Shi’a scholars, heretics and that of the atheists, (everything said by AbdulJabbar on this subject was copied from elsewhere, he was not the one who discovered or hypothesized them, as he boastfully claims), that asserts that the companions have disrespected and ridiculed the Prophet, or that they (the companions) have invented some things into Islam that could never have been from the Prophet (PBUH).
This is what the scholars termed as challenging the “Dirayah” (the part of knowledge that ascertain whether or not the import or meaning of a hadith is in concurrence with the shari’ah) instead of challenging the Hadith from the angle of its authenticity or not, through observing the chain of reporters (Riwayah).
AbdulJabbar used both approaches, but he took an opposing stand to that of the scholars of Hadith’s principles that “a hadith couldn’t be faulted on the basis of the companion who reported it, because all the companions are deemed trustworthy and honest (specifically when reporting what the Prophet said)”. He, instead, selected the stand of Shi’a that asserted that the fault of a companion is also the fault of any hadith from him, notwithstanding who followed in the chain of the narrators.
Muslims in this country have been reading these books and other commentaries on them from the day Islam came into this country, they’ve never heard anyone interpreting them with such bizarre meanings as did AbdulJabbar. But he kept misinterpreting them – as the Judge said in his rulings – “without showing or pointing the exact words in the books, and it was not an interpretation with meaning (which is lawful) but that -as he (AbdulJabbar) claimed- it was an interpretation with a “Shubhul “Ma’na.”
Therefore, to all Muslims in this country, with the exception of the Shi’a, AbdulJabbar’s failure to point the exact offensive words he alleged were uttered by the companions, meant that those reprehensible words were his, and he is the one who invented those words against the Prophet (PBUH). This ignoble act, prompted all the Muslims in Kano that bear the name of Ahlussunnah, even if it is the “broader meaning” of Ahlussunnah, to merge in order to fight this menace which is simply Shiism in the garb of Sunnah.
The merger scholars were victorious in pressuring the government to prosecute AbdulJabbar. The judge sentenced him according to the Malikiyya school of thought, using the verdict from “As-shifa”, a book made famous by the family of AbdulJabbar for reading it always in public. It was disclosed that the stand of Imam Malik is that “anyone who report offensive comments on the person of the Messenger of Allah, and eventually failed to prove it, will be deemed as the one making the offensive statement, and is liable to be sentenced to death.”
When AbdulJabbar came out “heedlessly” to proselytize Shiism using the garb of Sunnah, in order to suppress Izala, he was oblivious of this statement from “As-shifa”. Eventually, the verdicts of the book have consumed him. He had also forgotten that, by so doing he will be fighting every segment of the Muslims who are not Shi’a. Now the merger has consumed him. He had also forgotten that though it is said that in this country everyone can say whatever he likes, due to Freedom of Speech, the shariah law is exercised in Kano. Now he is consumed by Shariah.
Overzealousness in sectarianism should be avoided by all, please.
Translated by Muhammad Mahmud.