– Death of Scholasticism, Old glory and surfacing of Shiites thoughts, Markaz Senior Alumni on call
Really, I had earlier dumped the idea of completing this article some weeks back not because the issue can ever be over flogged but because one thought that with the departure of Ramadan the issue will be laid to rest. However, with the senseless repetition and mimicking of some of the unfounded statements that emanated from Markaz Arabic and Islamic Training Institute, Agege, Lagos, one is forced to call unsuspecting Nigerian youths to beware.
Just like a friend thought, one’s first insight would be to pay no attention to the issue and encourage other students of knowledge to do so. However, discounting the issue became tricky not only because those tantrums are from the Director (Mudir) of Markaz but also from one who by accident of history is the Khalifah (successor) of the erudite, eminent and foremost Yorubaland Muslim scholar, writer, teacher, mentor, model and the 1989 winner of the Egyptian Medal in Arts and Sciences Shaykh Adam Abdullah Al-Iluriyy.
From the early times, Ramadan has always been activities-packed for the Muslims. This year was not dissimilar albeit, the Muslim community of the Yorubaland was troubled by the twist added by Christians Association of Nigeria (CAN) both through embarrassed response to the Hijab injunction in Osun State and the needless and highly politicised press release of the national body of the same CAN. Nevertheless, these actions were dwarfed by the attack on ‘Abd ar-Raḥmān ibn Sakhr ad-Dawsī (Abū Hurayrah); foremost Sahabah and the most prolific narrator of hadith in Sunni hadith compilations and Muhammad ibn Ismā‘īl ibn al-Bukhārī; the authored the hadith collection known as Sahih al-Bukhari, regarded by Sunni Muslims as one of the most Sahih (authentic) hadith collections by the director of the institute.
Though, one is not new to his controversies but, this year’s Ramadan episode pushed it too far and almost polarised the Muslim community. When one compares this year’s incident with the director’s prior analyses on deep-seated matters such as the status of Hijab in Islam, ruling on demolition of Mosque, imprudent statements about prominently regarded scholars like: Imam Taqi ad-Din Ahmad ibn Taymiyyah, Shaykh Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah bin Baz, Shaykh Muhammad ibn Saalih al-‘Uthaymeen, Shaykh Muhammad Nasir-ud-Dīn al-Albani, it would not be an exaggeration to conclude that he hardly appraises issues like an expert but only self-prides himself to be an authority in all vast fields of Islamic Knowledge.
One would expect a well-informed person to know the apt thing to do rather than turn himself to an authority in all fields. A man who does not possess either a degree in religious studies or modern disciplines would be expected to be careful when venturing into the field that foremost jurist like Ibn Taymiyyah, Professors of Hadith like al-Albani, great Muftis like al-‘Uthaymeen, prominence Scholar like Al Qaradawi would tread with caution.
Issues are best left to classroom
A civilised scholar in any field must realise that some issues are best left to classroom discussions, deep academic research or profound intellectual engagements, an endeavour which an intellectual weakling cannot withstand. This is the best approach for anyone that has genuine intention not to confuse the uninformed masses and his die-hard followers. In the director’s frantic effort to fight the Ahlu-s-Sunnah, he has inadvertently fallen into the wrong hands of the Shiites whose stock in trade is to run down and demean the respected Sahabah of the Prophet (SAW).
One is fully aware that Islam permits Scholars to have intellectual discourse but loathe intellectual rascality and hooliganism through reckless utterances and breeding confusion in the public. If truly one is interested in reformation and expansion of knowledge, one will take up the intellectual and not the masses.
Role of Scholars of Yorubaland
Scholars of Yorubaland should raise especially the Khulafa (Successors) of great Scholars of Yorubaland need to humble the director of Markaz with superior intellectual arguments. The council of Ulama should start doing something now before this man will accuse the prophet himself because the Shiites and Orientalists sources where Abu Hurayra, Imam Buhari and Sahih Buhari are discredited, have something in stock about the prophet. This man has repeatedly proved that he needs schooling through superior arguments with public mortification as he did to one of the most revered Sahabas and the foremost memoriser/scholar of the Hadith of the Prophet.
Although,it must be stated that the scholars of Yorubaland have done their best, I hope that the symposia organized by the likes of TMC, at Dawah Centre Ijesha, Darul Naaim and that of Ilorin will not be limited to one that will be used to respond to deviant thoughts alone but also to further the reawakening of Islamic revivalism in the country.
No doubt, scholars of Islam in Yorubaland have tried their best. From the Conference of Islamic Organisations’ public discussion and Darul Naaim lectures during Ramadan among others. In the same vein, Shaykh Eleyinla Ilorin (Islamic university of Madinah, Saudi Arabia), Shaykh Ahmad Nafiu Aljawhari (Director at-Taqwah centre for inheritance, Ilorin), Shaykh Qamarudeen Abu Afs al-Afidh (Darul-Arqam, Akure), Dr. Abdur-Rahman Ahmad Imam al-Kakuri (Senior lecturer al-Hikmah university, Ilorin), Dr. Abdul-Razaaq Abdul-Majid Alaro (Associate Professor University of Ilorin, Faculty of law and Head of Research, Studies and Translation Committee, Union of African Scholars, Bamako, Mali and a Member, Saudi Arabia Jurisprudence Association.) Dr. Abdul-Wahab Elesin (Senior lecturer Nasarawa state university) Dr. Sharafadeen Raji Gbadebo (Markaz Madeenatu Nabawiyyah Ogbomoso, ministry of Saudi Arabia), Shaykh Isa Akindele Salahudeen (Ibadan) Shaykh Tajudeen al-Adabiy Babalagbeni (Ibadan), Shaykh DhikruLlahi Shafi’ (Imam TMC), Dr. Sulaimon MT (Kaduna), Shaykh al-Fadhil Dr. Rashid HadiyatuLlahi (from Iwo, based in Ibadan, direct student of Shaykh bun Ba’s, with double BAs) have all made their positions on the issue in context, known,. Several other prominent scholars have also made their views on the issue known.
Whither The Morkaz Alumni
With the disturbing and distressing rate at which some of the former students of the institution are spreading the orientalist and Shiites thought, one would expect that well-regarded Sheikh Mustapha Sanusi Zuglul, Sheikh Moshood Ramadan and Professor Murtada Bidmus and others would have endeavoured to clear the name of their institution and guide the naive Alumni against as well as steer them away, from the deviant thoughts that are coming out of the institution and not watch as the integrity of the institution faded away.
Highly respected Sheikh Thaoban Adam Al Ilory and Barrister Abdullah Adam Al Ilory both need to take a stand and call your brother back to the path of guidance before the name of the institution that does not seem to presently enjoy its previous monopoly will be further tarnished. Doing this, will also ensure that the name of the family that has been a hedge in the positive history of Islam in the continent will not be totally marred by the display of haughtiness and ignorance by the director of the institute.
Director of Markaz has overrated the revered seat he occupies which used to be occupied by his late father. He seems to have a penchant for ridiculing all aspects of Sunnah such as: the beard, niqab, nikah, burial, etc. The Tafsir he recently had was degenerating to personalities and demeaning on other Islamic scholars as he termed them as “not being as knowledgeable as he is and his late father”. Many other libellous boasting and denigrating statements about the Companions came from your brother and the Alumni of the institution are expanding the thought to a ridiculous level.
At this rate, one would be fearful that he might soon attack the Prophet himself if he continues to read from the Orientalists’ and Shiites’ sources. The director has misused the esteemed seat of your father to spread his whims and if this continues, Shaykh Adam Al Ilori and Markaz may be the victims of public humiliation and reaction to all these atrocities. Need I remind you that knowledge is dynamic and keeps expanding all the time; it is probably high time you overhauled everything about your institution? The truth of the matter is that, the Director of Markaz needs to review his method of presentation and he should be made to understand that it is wrong to always give excuses that everyone misunderstands one on all matters.
Word of Caution
One is tempted to remind those who are too young to know about the late Shehu Jabar who reigned in the late 80s. Literally, Shehu Jabar was everywhere boasting of supernatural powers and claiming to be God. In the end, he died a miserable death. What became of Shehu Allahu who also lived in Ibadan? He walked naked on the streets of Ibadan and eventually ran mad. Blasphemy and or reckless utterances particularly against Allah and prophet Muhammad (SAW) is not something a true Muslim should indulge in.
Nevertheless sending threat messages to a Director of an Islamic and Arabic Institution (if one chooses to believe Mudir’s lamentation) because he took a different position on an issue that has been treated by Islamic scholars all over the world is wrong and not welcome in the prophetic manners. What is expected of the young and the old is their ability to make superior arguments and present unmatched intellects in order to counter whatever unacceptable statements that may come from the institution? Nigerians and indeed the entire world are very knowledgeable people and we live in the age of information where students of knowledge could contact reputable scholars around the world to verify the statement of your director, thus he may have to do more of research and less of condemnation