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THE SHARI`AH AND THE FUTURE OF NIGERIA[1]
by
Professor Dahiru Yahya[2]
(CEO), Institute for Contemporary Research (ICR) Kano
(dyahya2000@yahoo.co.uk)
Kano, Nigeria
2001



 

The current mass movement for the restoration of the Shari'ah, the Islamic socio-legal system, in Nigeria has swept across the politically troubled and socially untidy Nigerian landscape like a torrential rain. It brings hope to the ummah (the Muslim community), who believe that it is God's mercy that is at last descending on a drifting, corruption-ridden society. They proclaim that it is God's will that justice and moral life will now triumph in the country. They enthusiastically rally in millions around the movement. The Christian churches and the secularists, gripped with the fear of the Shari`ah, say it is a social conspiracy against the government and the existing order. They make tireless efforts in assembling strategies with like-minds at home and abroad, to foil the conspiracy. They agitate and unleash terror on innocent citizens in Kaduna and other places, but to no avail. Secularists may be defined, in this particular respect, as to include all those individuals, irrespective of their religious persuasions, who exclude moral and religious considerations in their explanation of the motives and ends of conduct and seek human improvement by material means alone. Others include those who propose the limitation of human knowledge and human interest to the material sphere. The Koranic (al-Qur`an) variation of the secularist is the mutrafun[3] that is those elites who are materially comfortable and who will fight any move that will likely threaten their established positions and privileges in society.

The battle line has now been drawn. But it is an old war, which began ever since man became conscious of his social existence and decided to improve it. He ultimately began to sacrifice himself for the establishment of a just and decent human society. That was the destiny of Moses and the mission of Jesus. It is the message of Muhammad. That was what the philosophers and ideologues in secular European societies sought to do in their own peculiar ways. It is a battle that cannot be stopped and a war that has never been decisively or permanently won, one way or the other. Therefore, whether the Shari`ah movement is God's will or a social conspiracy, it is necessary to isolate the passions and the surface disturbances so as to reach the crux of the matter. Social conspiracy is a tardy way of explaining and wishing away a problem. It is a social theory that does not actually work. It certainly does not apply to this movement. Hardly anyone would wish to restore a system that will destroy all vestiges of one's privileges. Few influential people apart from clerics, identified with the Shari`ah movement when it was first launched in Zamfara in October 1999. However, many other influential people found it necessary, by the time it was launched in Kano in June 2000, to join it because not to do so would make them irrelevant in the social and political process. God's will, will be done. But God's will depends primarily on human efforts; for God does not change a society until it is willing to change its inner self[4].

It is possible to establish with a reasonable degree of certainty the circumstances of the movement, the meaning and purpose of the Shari'ah and the intellectual chemistry of its proponents and opponents with a view to understanding and handling the sharper edges of the crisis. Let us first ask ourselves what the ummah is and what Islam is in the context of this movement. The ummah may be defined as a community of believers who follow the broad and liberal[5] path of Islam, which contains several tendencies ranging from recluse mysticism to active politicking, from which an individual Muslim is free to choose and pursue according to his intellectual level. Islam, on the other hand, is a combatant moral force that cannot be eliminated by its enemies. It is a religious, judicial and political faith that cannot be questioned by its followers and a mass ideology that cannot be erased from the mind of man by state power. Since the beginning of its history, Islam has been in perpetual conflict on all its territorial and intellectual frontiers on account of the broadness of its claims. For almost one thousand and four hundred years, Islam is locked in war with Hinduism in the Indian sub continent, with Chinese in Western China and South-east Asia, with the Slavic world in Russia and the Balkans, with Latin Christendom in Western Europe and North Africa, with animistic tribalism in sub-Saharan Africa and with secularism at its home base[6]. Islam has won and lost many battles in these encounters, but it has never lost the war. It is the only civilization and religion that has not been brought to its knees by modern civilization[7] and has managed to always to be on the rise. At the beginning of its history Islam expelled and confined the Roman Empire to a corner of Europe and destroyed and replaced with itself the Byzantine and Persian empires and earned for itself permanent enmity from the Latin and Hellenist successors. It up-rooted Christianity from its home base in the Middle East and pushed it to an alien environment in secular Europe where it was finally destroyed with now less than 5% church attendance where marketing strategy was not applied[8]. Islam has recently pushed France out of Algeria, Russia out of Afghanistan and the Caucasus and the USA out of Iran. It is necessary to understand that the worldwide Muslim ummah acts in unison throughout history. Whatever happens in Nigeria, even though the cause and character may be distinct, has a universal dimension.

The present movement for the restoration of the Shari`ah is similar to the Islamic movements that took place in the early 1800s, early 1900s and mid 1960s. All the four movements began in the northwestern zone of the present day Nigeria. The 1800s and the present day movements were proclaimed in Zamfara by Shaykh Uthman b. Fudi (henceforth Shehu Usman Danfodio) and Ahmad Sani, the Governor of Zamfara State, respectively. The 1900s movement was triggered by the (hijrah) flight of Sultan of Sokoto, Attahiru Ahmadu while that of the 1960s known as Araba (secession) by the assassination of the Sardauna of Sokoto, Ahmadu Bello. The real causes of these movements are however, traced to a combination of two factors: external threat by non-Islamic forces to, and internal weakness of, the ummah. A little known factor, which seemed to have widened the scope of the first movement was the capturing of Muslims from the hinterland by the powerful Oyo Empire whom they sold to their slave-trading network on the coast[9]. Rulers of Kebbi and Gobir (Sokoto) states had earlier made unsuccessful attempts to check the Oyo intrusion. It was only after the first mass movement that the Oyo Empire was destroyed and a successful process of Islamisation of the Yoruba people was launched, this time from Ilorin. The first mass movement became, as we shall see, a catalyst for social and ethnic harmony and integration[10] in the sub-region and paved the way for the future Nigerian agenda.

The second movement was a response to the British Christian conquest of the Sokoto Caliphate. The rulers of the Caliphate could not successfully resist the British. There was division in Sokoto between the Sultan Attahiru Ahmadu, who advocated continued resistance against the British and the waziri (prime minister) Bukhari, who thought it was wiser to surrender with honour than be destroyed[11]. Both positions were Islamically justified. The masses of the ummah supported the Sultan. The Caliphate establishment, which finally triumphed, was on the side of the waziri. The ummah was made aware[12] by Yoruba Muslims from Lagos of the detrimental consequences of Christian missionary activities, therefore insisted and won the most important victory of far reaching significance. The British banned Christian missionary activities among the ummah. It is of interest to note that this British-Muslim agreement was to be vindicated when Pope Paul VI said it was wrong for Christians to carry evangelical activities among Muslims. He said only extremist Christians would seek to convert Muslims who already knew God[13]. The ummah won a second victory when the very popular manifesto of Sultan Attahiru, called An-Nasara (The Christians), which predicted the now unmistakable fall of humanity under Christian rule, reactivated the latent awareness in the mind of every conscious Muslim[14]. This development laid the basis for the tradition of opposition in Northern politics. It was under that radical political tradition that the NEPU/PRP/SDP political tendency was established with a base in Kano thus giving Northern politics its bipartite tenor. The NPC/NPN/NRC with base in Sokoto represented the establishment tendency[15]. The third victory of the second mass movement was that the ummah within the Sokoto Caliphate was for the first time politically united with ummah in Borno Caliphate and with the ummah in the rest of Northern Protectorate.

The rise of the Ibos in the 1950s and early 1960s, as an energetic group, equipped with economic and military ascendancy, western educational prowess and a near masculine Christianity, constituted a formidable political factor in Nigerian politics. The Ibos saw the ummah, characteristically, as an obstacle to their domination of Nigeria. The Ibos are, however, people with peculiar politics. They struck with all their ephemeral ascendancy eliminating the leaders of the ummah and their allies, dismantling the regions, declaring a unitary government, opening up the regional civil services and insisting that the ummah should convert to Christianity, through house to house evangelization, a position from which the British were wise enough to shy away. The ummah felt exposed and rose en masse for the third time hitting the Ibos directly with consequent elimination of Ibo threats[16]. Nigeria was restructured back to a federation, but of smaller and politically ineffectual administrative units.

Materialist[17] scholars attempt to explain this mass movement for the restoration of the Shari`ah with economic and social statistics in order to prove that such uprisings are occasioned by poverty. It is in the nature of materialism to be trapped by a single aspect of reality and interpret everything in terms of that category. It is necessary to digress a little in order to shed some light on this misleading assumption which reduces Islamic and non Islamic societies to the same ideological paradigm and prompts governments to put in place wrong policies. It is true that the worldwide ummah is at the receiving end of the economically unequal world, principally because it is a Third World community. This is especially so in the case of the ummah in Nigeria where it has not been positively incorporated into the modern economic system as to derive sufficient benefit from it. The point that has not been made is the fact that the ummah has been fortified by the Shari`ah psychologically and schematically against poverty where there is adequacy and against the consequences of poverty where there is deficiency.

Taking off from a realistic paradigm, the Shari`ah assumes that man will be unequal in material possession for whatever reasons, not necessarily profane. It therefore insists on a realistic formula in the form of zakkah[18], the sanctification of gross wealth for equitable distribution under state supervision in order to maximize efficiency. Other measures are put in place to exact more from those who have more, to give to those who have less, than their normal needs. The child almajiri, who should not have been a refugee from his normal abode of residence in pursuit of learning and who begs in the street and in private residences, does not consider himself, neither does the ummah consider him, a common beggar. He does not carry the stigma of the conventional beggar. It is recognized that he is asking for his legitimate share from the excess wealth one may have in order to support his education which ought to have been free, but for the colonially decreed non application of the social aspect of the Shari`ah by the state. In the case of the handicapped almajiri, he is demanding the support promised to him by the provisions of the Koran. The Koran insists that both categories of beggars must not be harassed[19]. The Koran stipulates that in addition to the zakkah and sadaqah[20], every Muslim who comes by an extraordinary legitimate earning above his usual income, must pay khums[21] or twenty percent of the excess earning promptly on receipt "to God and His Apostle" for the welfare of the less privileged members of society. Shi'ah Muslims emphasize Khums. The almajiri symbolically cries out- "Give me God's share! Give me the Prophet's share!" Although Islam tilts towards the Gospel's "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the Kingdom of Heaven", it has, however, not made, outside its mystical dimension, poverty into a cult as in the case of Catholic Christianity[22]. It nonetheless inculcates the incident of poverty into the Muslim so as to remind him that the principle of well-being as far as the Shari`ah is concerned, is not a maximum, but a minimum, of comfort. Hence the prayer of a Muslim is always never "O God grant us the goodness in this world" without the corresponding prayer for the "goodness in the next world"[23]. The desire for the comfort of the next world is meant to moderate the desire for the comfort of this world.

The virtue of a Muslim is always not to despair; for divine bounty is boundless[24]. The Prophet said poverty is his pride. Fatimah, the daughter of the Prophet is a symbol of poverty to the ummah just as Mary the mother of Christ is to the Roman Catholics[25]. `A`ishah, the wife of the Prophet reports that it would occasionally take a month before they could light a fire under their cooking stove. Islam thus prescribes fasting on every Muslim in order to fortify him against the ravages of hunger and the urges of the flesh and instill in him positive consciousness; for it is out of poverty that the quality of courage, tenacity and generosity emerges. The Shari`ah penalizes the defaulting Muslim with the feeding of a specific number of the needy in lieu of a single fast defaulted. In a nutshell, it means that poverty itself is not without its merit, although worldly comfort should be desired. Both prohibitive and desirable measures are put in place by the Shari`ah to control natural human tendencies. Moderation in behaviour, consumption and dress are encouraged so as to remove any bad blood that economic cleavages may engender within the ummah, even though, it is God, to think with the Koran[26], Who grants abundant sustenance or gives it in scant measures. The ummah is therefore psychologically prepared to resist the temptation to rise on account of its economic condition, against the state or a class. Obedience to God, to the Prophet and those in authority is decreed[27] while civil strife (fitnah) is outlawed in the Koran[28]. However, this provision should be understood in the context that while obedience to God is absolute and obedience to the Prophet is relative to one's ability, obedience to those in authority is conditional. Muslims in authority, who do not fulfill their obligations towards the ummah, are nevertheless in the habit of invoking this provision to accuse Muslims of fitnah in order to persecute them. The Koran descends equally heavily on those who did not desist from persecuting the faithful[29]. Hopes of the eventual, final and lasting victory of the Shari`ah keep the ummah afloat.

The ummah is however moved to rise on account of anything that runs the risk of harming others such as injustice, immorality and public nuisance and above all on account of any fundamental threats to its overall interests. Shehu Usman Danfodio has given us a vivid picture of the social conditions, which gave rise to the first mass movement he proclaimed[30]. Those conditions were virtually identical with the ones that, I believe, gave rise to the current mass movement. The Shehu decried the issues that could be translated today as the imposition of public officers by manipulation and running government without consultation on matters of common concern. Another issue was willful destruction of life and property. The Shehu was also concerned about public officers taking of bribes and gifts and misusing of public properties. He was also opposed to unjust labour policies, incurring and refusal to pay public debt and imposition of unwarranted and exorbitant taxes by government. The social vices of the period included the exploitation and denial of education to women, children and the weak members of society[31] and flagrant immorality at the base of the society encouraged by elites. Ideologically, Shehu Usman Danfodio was also opposed to reliance on foreign input and practices in matters of social reconstruction[32]. The ummah saw possible solution to these problems in the candidature of Olusegun Obasanjo on the grounds that his well-advertised qualifications seemed to agree with the criteria of leadership expounded by Shehu Usman Danfodio[33]. According to the Shehu, a leader must be free from tribalism, sectionalism, nepotism, conceit, breach of promise, oppression and toleration of sycophancy. A leader must also associate with learned intellectuals who are imbued with social courage. He must be open, tolerant and appreciative of criticisms. He must, through research and extensive study, be conversant with the conditions of the people so as to be able to put in place a correct policy. He must also have keen insight into public affairs so as to be able to settle disputes between different interest groups.

Danfodio`s ideals for leadership are certainly good for all times and President Olusegun Obasanjo must have some of them to gain such a widespread confidence at the polls. But, in a situation where the question of value system is still unsettled, there will be no consensus as to what is ideal and what is contingent. At any rate, democracy, unlike Islam, has no intrinsic quality. It has only a neutral value. It is admired because it guarantees self-assertion and therein lies its vulnerability, especially in a plural society. It releases forces, which if not tamed or properly managed, may consume the democrats and the democracy itself. Some of the forces our young democracy has released may have already entangled President Olusegun Obasanjo. These forces include the trinity of resurgent tribalism, political Christianity and the return of the West to Nigeria on the one hand, and the political Islam with the Shari`ah as its concretized expression on the other hand.

The more concessions the President makes to his tribesmen, probably in order to tame them or so as to redeem himself from the past "sins" he committed, as head of state, against them, the more intransigent they become and the farther away he goes from the esteem of other Nigerians. His new religiosity, occasioned by his spectular rise from prison to presidency by Divine Grace, is over exploited by the Nigerian highly politicised Christian clergy, who are progressively undermining his status as the president of a multi-religious or even the secular state they often wish Nigeria is. His service to democracy has endeared him to the West and their applause has convinced him to open for them too wide the doors of Nigeria, which could be detrimental to the independence of this country. His ambivalence on the Shari`ah issue may have been based on the rather difficult conflict between the constitutionality of the Shari`ah, the legitimacy and force of Muslim demand for it and the increased peace and stability in the states that have adopted it as against the increased crises and terrorism in some of the states of its major opponents on the one hand, and the Islam phobia, that is the fear and hatred of Islam, found in the hearts of Christians, secularists, the government and of course, the Western world. Probably, for President Olusegun Obasanjo to disentangle himself from these forces he should stand by nothing other than the democratic process and the defense of the constitution and the rule of law, including the Shari`ah.

The ummah has now launched the Shari`ah as its rallying ideology to meet, inter alia, the challenges posed by this trinity of forces. It is characteristic that after each mass movement a new policy was evolved to reflect the mood of the ummah and meet it at a certain level. The jihad compromised its stand on the traditional structure it had opposed but retained it with new ethos to sustain momentum. Leadership changes occurred to reflect competence in the new ethos and Fulani scholars largely replaced non-Fulani traditionalists. The second movement retained the traditional structure, but replaced leadership with Western educated traditionalists and unity was sustained under the rallying policy of Northernisation. The third movement replaced the traditional structure with a quasi-modern structure and leadership was widened in scope to include greater number of professional, ethnic and non-Muslim Christian elements at the apex of the state. The third movement did not produce any rallying philosophy. The "one nation one destiny" motto of the NPN, an echo of the civil war verdict, could not have developed with the phenomenon of personal enrichment at the expense of the state, launched by the military. There are, of course, the ever-growing tribal sentiments from the South. After the first movement there was a steady decline in the doctrines of social responsibility leading to the present social unaccountability.

The ummah is fully conversant with Koranic ruling on leadership. God gives leadership to whomsoever He wishes and removes it from whomsoever. He wishes[34]. Shehu Usman Danfodio implied that it was not the religious affiliation of the ruler that could sustain the state but his conduct because state could be sustained with unbelief but could not be sustained with injustice[35]. The expectation of the ummah from any leadership in this country, judging from current declarations in the mosques and elsewhere, is the recognition that the ummah is now free and completely decolonised. It expects its worldview, which is completely different from the inherited Western colonial worldview, to be respected, guaranteed and promoted within the overall Nigerian system. For the ummah that is the meaning of justice. To understand the worldview of the ummah, it is necessary to understand what the Shari`ah stands for.

The Shari`ah is the mode of the practical application of Islamic precepts in their legal and social dimensions. Islamic precepts provide the individual Muslim in his solitary and social capacities with the will and power to live and guide him to attain happiness here on earth and salvation hereafter all at once. The Shari`ah derives its force primarily from Koranic provisions and the guidance of the Prophet Muhammad whom the Koran appoints as the Universal Exemplar[36]. The secondary sources of the Shari`ah include consensus (ijma) of opinion of the ummah, analogical deductions (qiyas) from primary sources, intellectual reasoning (ijtihad) of people of learning and character, public interest (maslahah) and customs and traditions (`urf) of a particular community. With this broad foundation the Shari'ah sets to regulate both the personal life of the individual Muslim and the public affairs of the ummah with a concretized frame of reference. Like all ideologies, Islam demands loyalty from its adherents. Islam, however, exacts a total loyalty (tawhid) and does not subordinate its loyalty to, or shares it (shirk) with, that of a tribe, or a nation or a race or to any other value system (ism). It nonetheless recognizes the utility of smaller human formations such as a nation or a tribe for practical purposes only. Hence tribalism, racism, nationalism, socialism, liberalism as a system of belief are rejected by the Shari'ah. This is in order to preserve the integrity of the tribe, the nation, the society and the liberty of the individual, for blind beliefs lead to self-righteousness and hatred of and by others. The interests of the individual and the interests of the society are balanced in such a way that the interests of the society over-ride those of the individual without effacing them. The Shari`ah upholds for the individual the freedom of conscience, the freedom of choice, the right to privacy and the right to private property. Islam recognizes as well the emotional and biological needs of the individual and guarantees him the right to enjoy life to the full subject to the provisions of the Shari`ah. Thus the morality of the individual is not improvised, hypocritical or idealistic. It is realistically placed within the orbit of biological and physical necessities. The Shari'ah strikes a balance between the demands of the spirit and the urges of the body and thus solves from source Christianity's problem with the flesh. To maintain the divine axis, Islam weaves into the life of the Muslims the consciousness of its ideology. On his birth and on his deathbed the testimony of the ideology is proclaimed to him. It governs his table manners, his eating habits, his sexual activities and his social interactions. It regulates his daily routine and builds his personal hygiene, his leisure and his physical exercises into his daily worship. Ideological formulas inaugurate his actions and terminate them. They are there to remind him of his ideological commitment to Islam in times of triumph or distress, and in activity or in sleep [37].

It is necessary to explore the mentality of a free Muslim before the widely acknowledged and proven deep relationship that exists between him and the Shari`ah can be understood; for the Shari`ah creates that mentality and defines it. The Shari'ah does not reconcile itself to a mentality that is not totally free. A Muslim is not free if he is under a coercion that may dispossess him of his free will. The coercion may be on account of a political office he may hold, a privileged economic position he may enjoy, a life style he may relish or someone he must obey. Coercion may in fact come from a colonial power or super state that may be in control. The Shari`ah demands on the Muslim a total liberation from all disabilities. Until that liberation is actualized a Muslim may assume, under certain circumstances, a dissimulation or prudent consciousness (taqiyyah) in order to protect overriding interests. Yet the Muslim is encouraged to seek his intellectual level and act accordingly. Those who find dissimulation intellectually unacceptable may abstain as a protest, in a physical or moral sense (hijrah), from participation in the corrupt order. However, to die on account of liberation is to die for Islam. To die for Islam is to die a martyr (shahadah). To die a martyr is to live forever. [38]

With such a broad and profound base built on spirituality, biology and contingencies of history, the Shari`ah is bound to invade the spheres that particularistic ideologies lay claim to. Christians and secularists are bound to have difficulties in understanding the mission of the Shari`ah, especially as to its claims to govern both personal life and public affairs. In the traditional Christian teaching, religion is a personal communion with the Unseen Creator. Its goal is the inculcation of a true and pure spirit that will guide the faithful in good conduct to achieve salvation for the soul through Jesus Christ. [39] All worldly concerns, should be left to Caesar to whom, according to a statement credited to Christ, it rightly belongs [40]. Secular ideologies triumphantly agree with the Christian position. Islam disagrees with the notion that anything can belong to Caesar; for Caesar himself belongs to God. Worldly affairs should, as a matter of course, be conducted according to divine principles. Islam agrees, but only to a certain extent, with traditional Christianity on the role of religion as a personal communion with the Unseen Creator. However, it is significant to note that Christianity's insistence on inner purity is made, in Islam, characteristically contingent upon the outer or hygienic cleanness. In as much as Islam does not separate the inner from outer purity, it does not separate the spiritual from the temporal issues Islam considers erroneous the belief current among some Christians, which must have been a later development, that mere belief in Jesus Christ without complimentary good work ensures salvation [41].

Muslims are often baffled by the hostility of the churches in Nigeria towards the Shari`ah. Muslims expect at least a token of solidarity in this fight against the temptation of the flesh even though there is no bridge from Christianity to Islam as there is one from Islam to Christianity. It is the understanding of Muslims that Jesus Christ won the world over through love and sacrifice, but Churchianity, to use Adetoro`s terminology [42], seems to be losing Nigeria through permissiveness and campaign of hatred. The beneficiary of Christianity's position is crass materialism against which Jesus Christ himself fought violently [43]. The Muslim thinking is that Christ's Sermon on the Mount was not intended to abrogate the laws of the Old Testament but to fortify it [44]. Muslims believe that Christ himself will not sanction the intemperate utterances of those who call themselves Christians directed against a religious community who so much revere him and are striving to uphold the principles of the law that he said he had not come to destroy. [45]

Secularists, on their part, wonder why should a religion, with spiritual concern, intrude into a secular world that is ruled by positivist knowledge that is founded upon the experience of this life and can be maintained and tested by reason. The secularists fear that the proclamation of the independence of the secular truth will be jeopardized by the claims of the Shari`ah [46]. The ideological certainty of the Muslim makes him yet the most formidable foe of the secularist. The proof of his certitude is the apparent fall of humanity. Crass materialism, intellectual dishonesty and subjective truth have destroyed all objective values. The Shari`ah seeks to sanctify wealth and therefore makes the rich accountable. It empowers the learned intellectuals and makes them the guardians of integrity. It declares the truth to be absolute and eternal and emphasizes its divine nature. It also throws some other challenges to the secularist. It makes women almost semi-divine and accords them dignity and economic independence. The Shari`ah fixes[47] for them from source inheritance from their deceased husbands, parents, children etc. They may have, under certain guarantees, the custody of their children. The exploitation of women in whatever manner or form and for whatever reason is prohibited. Women are not work of art to be publically admired or object of pleasure to be enjoyed. This is the reason why the Shari`ah insists on modesty in the dressing of Muslim women. Secular ideologies and states are therefore at best unfriendly to Islam. In the Western philosophical reservoir democracy seems to be the only friend Islam recognises. This is true for the fact that democracy empowers the downtrodden that find in the Shari`ah the solutions to their predicament. Democracy also resembles the more profound Islamic doctrine of shura or the attainment of consensus in all matters of common concern [48].

There are other levels of fundamental disagreements between Islam and secularism. The secularist believes that his happiness depends entirely on the efficiency of his external world. He therefore sees the extraordinarily efficient Western world as his model, the source of his intellectual nourishment and his liberator from his primitive past. He apes the West and, like his Western mentors, he sees the Shari`ah as an obstacle to his personal liberty and self-realisation. With all the deference of the Westernised elites and governments to Western powers, Nigeria is yet to be inundated with Western investors in basic industries outside the offshore oil sector. Ironically, it is the Muslim states of Indonesia, Malaysia and Iran that are showing interest in investing in Nigeria in spite of its infrastructural difficulties. Core capitalism is not a sentimental proposition; it is a calculated venture based on realism. With Nigeria's poor record of electricity power and water supply not many a Western entrepreneur will invest in this country. The intemperate journalism is another obstacle. Any sensitive investor who browses through the websites of our leading newspapers and journals will think that Nigeria is engulfed in religious wars. A stereotype Westerner is uncomfortable with, if not scared by, militant Islam. It is said that the worst harm that colonialism had wrought on African society is the psychological destruction of the African mind and so the journalist has been placed on the disastrous path of destroying his country, his society and his government with his pen, a tendency that is completely absent in the Western media[49]. While the Western world may disapprove of the rising tide of militancy in Nigerian Islam, the criminal records of our Southern Christian compatriots in the West may not recommend them much to their hosts either. Many Nigerians who frequent the West are usually associated with crime [50]. The Nigerian secularist is as well likely to be looked down upon by his Western model on account of his subservience.

The Muslim on the other hand, believes less in economic indices and more in his ability to derive happiness from the inner peace he can generate for himself and for others around him, even if it is in the form of kindly words. He looks, through the Shari`ah, for a moral existence which must occasionally include patience in adversity and perseverance in time of distress [51]. He regards the West and all that it represents with great suspicion. The colonial past and the neo-colonial present have for him memories of great pain and tribulation. He sees himself as a victim of the enormous technological achievement of the Western world as well as its backward social thinking, its destructive weapons, its pollution and impulsive consumption of natural resources, its exploitative institutions such as the IMF and of course, its morally subversive sub-culture spread through its all powerful media. He believes that the Western World can only exploit the Third World in order to feed its greedy appetite. The Muslim therefore looks inwards. He sees the solution to his problems in the Shari`ah, his path to personal tranquility and his vehicle for social transformation. He believes that the Western colonialists limited the scope of the Shari`ah because of its egalitarian qualities that contradicted the principle of colonialism. He identifies himself with the Third World where he rightly belongs. He shares with the rest of the Third World whatever tribulation the existing World Order, as dictated by Western powers, presents to them. The representatives of Nigerian Muslims meet during the annual pilgrimage in Mecca with the representatives of other Muslims from the Third World extending from Morocco to Western China and from Chechnya to Indonesia. From the impeccable organisation and discipline of Muslims from other Third World countries, he has every reason to despise the indiscipline of his native Nigeria controlled by a corrupt secular establishment.

To the delight of the Nigerian Muslim, he realizes that the ummah outside Nigeria has made tremendous progress in spite of the fact that it was a victim of colonialism. This he sees as a vindication of the veracity of his value system in spite of the strains and stresses it is being subjected to. He was made to understand that Jeddah, a Muslim city of under 2 million people, produces 4000 mw of electricity power for its consumption, while Nigeria, with a population of more than 120 million, can only produce presently 1,600MW. The optimum capacity of Nigerian production cannot exceed 5000MW. Tunisia, a poor African Muslim country, of about 9 million people has over 1 million telephone lines while Nigeria's 120m have only 750,000 lines many of which are not operational. Morocco, a Muslim country without oil, runs an efficient network of road and rail transport with well furnished subsidised hotels for travelers at some stations. Dubai, a tiny Muslim emirate, has the largest gold market in the world and has recently become a business "Mecca" for many Nigerians. Many Nigerians depend for their clothing and especially of their children on the textile industries of the Third World Muslim countries of Indonesia, Malaysia and Pakistan. Pakistan, a Muslim country without natural resources, is now a nuclear state with a satellite in space. Nigeria's premier University, the University of Ibadan, as old as Pakistan, does not have a single well-equipped science laboratory. In the 1960s the Late Sardauna of Sokoto presented seeds of palm kennel to a brother Muslim prime minister of Malaysia to experiment. Subsequently, Malaysia became the world largest producer and exporter of palm oil to Nigeria. Malaysia used the resultant wealth to form an oil prospecting company, Petronas. Younger than NNPC, Petronas has now built a refinery in South Africa refining Nigerian crude to sell to Nigeria. Petronas is also prospecting petroleum in the neighbouring Chad Republic.

The progress recorded in the Third World Muslim countries is not only technological and economic; it is a balanced progress by which the level of the social consciousness of the people has been raised high. Their society is virtually AIDS free. They have the lowest level of crime in the world. With the application of the Shari'ah the society becomes cleaner. The distribution of wealth becomes more equitable and the leadership more responsive. The citizenry also become more responsible. Since the Shari'ah was restored in the Islamic Republic of Iran, after the 1979 Islamic Revolution, much social progress has been recorded. The Islamic Republic of Iran does not only address the problems of its hitherto impoverished people but has a social programme in Nigeria to support the education of Muslim orphans. It should be noted that no government in Nigeria has a programme for the support of the education of ordinary Nigerian orphans. Who and what are then retarding Nigeria and its progress? Certainly the capacity of the Nigerian ummah to initiate ideas that are nationally integrative and that could have universal consequences has been demonstrated. The Sardauna of Sokoto, Ahmadu Bello and General Murtala Muhammad initiated the idea of the now famous and well-endowed World Muslim League and the worldwide Igatha Muslim Relief Organisation and made the first financial contributions for their establishment respectively. [52] From whatever angle one looks at Nigeria, there is a problem of image. The country has refused to die and has refused to live either.

Nigerians must collectively face the crisis of choice. The choice is whether or not Nigerians can build a virile happy country with a legacy of possibilities to pass to posterity. The social and ideological landscape superimposed on the substantially mixed ethnic and political structure of this country cannot easily give way for the emergence of more stable independent sovereign states. The strength of Nigeria lies in the weaknesses of its component parts including the three major groups, which predominantly inhabit separately three out of the six geo-political zones; the Hausa in the Northwest, the Yoruba in the Southwest and the Ibo in the Southeast. The other three geopolitical zones of the North-central, North-east and South-south contain smaller proportions of these major groups and a collection of several other irreconcilable ethnic groups with or without linkages with the three prominent groups. The major weakness of the Hausa is his sense of vulnerability. For the Yoruba it is ideological instability and the Ibo represents a peculiar political attitude. Each of these three groups reacts to its weakness differently. The Hausa cultivates an amazing political dexterity to ensure his security. The Yoruba insists on tribalism to force unity on his group. For the Ibo to make up for his political peculiarity he embraces the market. The controversy over the restoration of the Shari`ah and the fever it generates in the Nigerian body politic can best be understood within the context of the weaknesses of these groups, outside the traditional conflict between Western and Islamic values. For the Hausa, the introduction of the Shari`ah offers him an opportunity to examine the present political trends in relation to his security. It has become necessary in view of the near complete social collapse of his society under the impact of prolonged abuse and the present unfriendly dispensation. The Shari`ah will enable him to break new grounds. For the Ibo people and the Yoruba Christian establishment, the Shari`ah is a nightmare. The moral strictness of the Shari`ah strikes directly at some aspects of Ibo economy in the Northern zones. In reality, however, the Ibo does not face any danger of economic strangulation in the northern zones since he has established there a seemingly impregnable tribal monopoly over certain strategic goods. It is an irony of Ibo politics that he could pick up unprovoked quarrels with his most important trading partners. As for the Yoruba Christian establishment, only the Shari`ah has the capacity, on account of the restive and significant Islamic presence among the Yoruba people, of destroying the basis of tribalism, thus rendering those who feed from it irrelevant in Yoruba and national politics.

The rivalry between these three prominent groups from which Nigeria draws both its strengths and its weaknesses may be reduced to North-South bipolar politics. The movement for the restoration of the Shari`ah upsets this equation in a special and permanent way. The restive and politically disoriented Northern Christian minorities, who cannot be distinguished culturally from their Northern Muslim counterpart by their religious brethren in the South are placed in a dilemma. The assertive Southern Yoruba Muslims on the other hand, seem to welcome the new development. The movement also brings to light and, in fact, to sharper focus, the underlining intellectual misunderstanding that propels the North-South dichotomy. The underestimation of Muslim consciousness by the Yoruba Christians that extends to many other Southern Christians is a serious intellectual misunderstanding. They assume that the parsimony of Muslims in the modern sector is a reflection of Muslim lack of consciousness. They also think that the Muslim's chain of command corresponds to the social hierarchy that is apparent in the traditional set-up in Muslim society and can therefore be exploited to serve their interests. They thus apply pressure on government using Muslims in government, to take unilateral decisions in their favour on fundamental national issues. The danger of misconception is that it leads to unpleasant surprises and invariably to wrong conclusions. The Christian South is always taken unawares by the Muslim North on major national issues. And because of this misconception the South is always the loser in a political combat with the North.

Before the state of consciousness of a given society can be determined, it is imperative to know the intellectual chemistry and the major determinants of consciousness in relation to that society. The factors that combine to make up the social psyche of a society are the first major determinants. Secondly, the locus of the charismata of the society must be properly established. Finally, the degree of exposure to universal environment and universal norms is a major derivative of consciousness. Intellectually, the Nigerian Christian society and the ummah are poles apart. The Nigerian Christian society is a quasi-modern society. It has not yet fully cut off its umbilical code from its pristine tribal past. Furthermore, it has neither properly imbibed the sublime ethos of Christianity nor clearly understood the subtlety of modernity. It is therefore exclusionist and particularist. The psyche of the Nigerian Christian is characterised by an emotional temperament, presumptuousness and sensationalism. These manifest themselves in the utterances of their intellectual and political elites, which are often reported in the print and electronic media they dominate. It is an emotion that is derived from an incongruous combination of tribal sentiments and a secularised Christian passion. In such a situation the margin between truth and falsehood can be very narrow. The overall victim is enlightenment. Therefore, most of what the Southern press carry about the Shari`ah and Muslims generally is false and therefore necessarily offensive. The ummah is, on the other hand, traditional, certain but cautious. It may be dazzled but certainly not puzzled by contemporary civilization for the Prophet has given a graphic picture of modernity [53]. The ummah is open ended and eager to admit and oblige. In public dealing, a Muslim does not seem to attach much importance to ethnic or religious considerations. The Muslim psyche presents a different perspective as well. It is grave, inscrutable and to the modernist, often frustratingly slow. It draws from the meticulousness of Islam and its content of analysis and contemplation [54]. Islam is not a religion of passion or haste. It is a religion of placing things quietly in their proper place and in their proper order [55]. For Nigerian Muslims action replaces noise and for the Christians noise is an end in itself.

The charismata of the ummah are placed in its larger body [56]. The ummah itself is guided by a system of verification as provided by the code of the Shari`ah. The society, like the individual, gauges itself and adjusts according to the contents of what is considered as acceptable, tolerable or objectionable. Everyone is expected to conduct oneself accordingly. Everyone is an interpreter of the code. The more learned one is the better one is to expound or conform to it. Informed reflection therefore forms the basis of the charismata among Muslims. For the political, religious and social elites as for the generality as well as for the state, the norms apply equally and indiscriminately. Everyone is expected to conduct oneself accordingly. The Prophet did not intend that Islam would have a church-like organization [57]. Incidentally, Jesus Christ before him did not establish a church either. Neither of them sanctioned priesthood. Both the church and priesthood are therefore disallowed in Islam. It is going to be a community of absolute equality before the law, but before God, the most God-conscious will have the highest rank [58]. The law of existence is therefore open to everyone with the capacity to know. And it is incumbent upon every Muslim to acquire that capacity. Whoever violates it, the community is the judge. For the Nigerian Christian, the charismata are placed in the village elders and the clergy representing the tribe and church respectively. Village elders and the clergy make the decision on behalf of the members of the tribe and the laity. Accepted opinions and conclusions on national matters of tribal or religious concern are passed through the network of periodic tribal and church meetings. The deliberations of the tribal elders and church leaders are guided by information passed to them from various channels and taken in the light of tribal and church interests.

Education is a major source of exposure and consciousness. At the formal level two types of education, Christian and secular, were introduced by the British to Nigeria. Eastern Nigeria received Scottish system of education and Western Nigeria received English system of education [59]. Both systems are Christian religious in orientation. A select class of Northerners received secular education. Christian missionaries were funded, fully or partially, by colonial and postcolonial governments to provide education to non-Muslims in Northern and Southern Nigeria and to Muslims who were ready to comply with the laid down procedures, which might include conversion to Christianity. The post colonial Northern Regional Government continued the policy of subsidizing Christian missionary schools. Kano State government continues to subsidize missionary schools to date. The vast majority of the Nigerian political and educational elites received Christian education while a small minority of Muslims and few Christians received secular education. Naturally, the overwhelming majority of Western educated Nigerians are Christians, hence their preponderance in the modern sector.

The Christian education produced a zealous crusading personality while the secular education produced a disinterested neutral personality. The zealous Christian crusader makes sure, by hook or crook and in line with colonial principles, that the Nigerian military, para military, civil and security services and educational institutions are overwhelmingly manned by Christians. It does not matter to him that non-Christians too have a right to a fair share in the governance of the country. It does not matter whether or not his action creates tension or instability in the body politic of the country. In his colonially inspired mentality, he believes that man can be suppressed permanently by use of coercive apparatus of state. He is always frustrated because he has placed himself on a course, the principle of which is unethical and the goal of which is unattainable. The widely reported trend of purging of Muslims from Nigerian military and the lop-sided admission into military schools to their disadvantage does not seem to take into cognisance lessons from recent history which would suggest that moral power always triumphs over brute force and greed. The defeat of the most powerful British Empire in India by passive resistance led by an unarmed physically weak Ghandi, the failure of the Soviet power machines in the face of resistance by disparate mujahidin in Afghanistan and the collapse of apartheid in South Africa in the face of poorly equipped African resistance inspired by an imprisoned Mandela, to mention the most recent examples, proved the futility of the suppression of man by use of economic, political or military power. Nigerian Christians should be aware that they drink from the same philosophical pond with the British, the Russians and the white South Africans.

The indifferent Muslim secularist does not do any good service for the future of Nigeria as well. He closes his eyes to the activities of the Christian crusader. His interest is limited to maintaining the system at all cost; for that is what the British instilled in his consciousness. The Muslim secularist is a congenial personality as well. He prays at the five appointed times a day. He may even have a mosque in his official residence with an imam. He fasts Ramadan and perhaps on every Monday and Thursday as well so as to imitate the Prophet. He conducts his personal life according to the Shari`ah even though he may not occasionally conform to the code of the Shari`ah in some aspects of his social life or in his acquisition and disposal of wealth. He makes sure he acquires adequate Islamic knowledge for his daily worship and gives his children privately as much. He may even decorate his living room or office with Islamic religious books or calligraphy. But he completely bans Islam from his public life and official duties[60]. Since he has no authoritative moral or ideological guidance he may become corrupt and may even fall. He is not inspired by anyone and he inspires no one in his community [61]. Both the Christian crusader and the Muslim secularist are loyal admirers of Western civilisation. They trust the Western system and listen only to their Western advisers. We are bound to agree with Dr. M. K. Mbadiwe that the Western education Nigerians receive is puny and unimaginative [62].

There exists in Nigeria as well the Islamic system of education, which has predated the British system of education. It is a living education, which is sought not as a means to an end, but as an end in itself. It is an education, the Greek philosophers would say, for a step not an education for a kobo [63]. When the British system of education was introduced Muslims, especially from the North, boycotted it for the fear of its potentially corrupting tendencies. The British made concessions to the Muslims by injecting some doses of Islamic instructions into the secular curricula. However, this concession was not meant to, and did not, stop the anticipated damage to the mental state of the Western educated Muslims. Attempts were therefore made by concerned Muslims to establish Islamic schools on modern model. Many Nigerian Muslims also travelled to Arab and Muslim countries to acquire higher Islamic studies. Some Islamic schools are also affiliated to Muslim Universities abroad. Returning Islamic students from abroad become teachers and rallying points of Islamic consciousness and solidarity. Islamic education regulates the life of the Muslim and guides his conduct. In short, it gives him the reason for living. As it is universal, it connects him in the past, in the present and in the future to the rest of the Muslims in Nigeria and abroad and guarantees him a sense of belonging to an international community with whom he shares common hopes, aspirations, fears and anxieties. Whatever happens to Muslims in Afghanistan, Bosnia Herzegovina, Chechnya, China, Iran, Iraq, Kashmir or Philippines is not a distant event, but a living reality, which attracts the prayers of the Nigerian Muslim in private and in public. The prayer for the triumph of international Islam against its enemies is a daily routine. Muslim and Islamic leaders such as Nasser of Egypt, Khomeini of Iran, Saddam of Iraq, or Bin Ladin at large are heroes of Nigerian Muslims at one time or another. Their photographs are displayed on vehicles and other places especially when there was a crisis with Europe.

Information is a crucial source of exposure and consciousness. The official government media in Nigeria suppress information and the powerful private and mainly Christian controlled media falsify it and do immeasurable harm to their Christian readers and listeners whose perception it mutilates with incorrect and sensational reporting, thus constituting for them obstacles to national understanding. They also make the Muslim readers intransigent. The Muslims supplement their sources of information with foreign media, which have direct interest in their environment. The Hausa services of the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC), Deutschewelle of Germany and Voice of America (VOA) supply information on international and Nigerian domestic affairs. Some of them have also programmes on social issues or even Islamic religious instructions directed to their listeners who include the Muslim Hausa speaking Nigerians. The Hausa speaking Muslims can also supplement and balance their information with Hausa broadcast from the Russian Federation, People's Republic of China, Arab Republic of Egypt and the Islamic Republic of Iran which supply other dimensions of information. The Nigerian Muslims are thus placed on a very high ground in terms of exposure to universal values. An average Northern Muslim cannot hide his surprise with what he may consider as a poor intellectual delivery of the most renowned Southern Christian educational and intellectual elites, especially if he can trace in it an element of tribal prejudice, for tribalism is a ridiculously inadequate representation of their remarkable geniuses.

In an ever shrinking world of universal ideas, tribalism is not only self-deluding but a travesty. Those who succumb to it cannot extend their influence beyond the confines of their tribal homesteads. They may even consume themselves. Tribalism has already divided the Yoruba against themselves on fundamental issues and repelled from them virtually all-non-Yoruba groups. The marriage between Yoruba tribalism and the adopted European traditional religious bigotry has added an unhappy dimension to Yoruba politics. In early 1800s the Alafin of Oyo Majotu ordered the extermination of many Muslims in Yorubaland[64]. In 1958 Chief Obafemi Awolowo protested that the creation of Yoruba Muslim League was "a cankerworm that was aimed at destroying the unity and solidarity of the Yoruba people" [65] even though Yoruba Christians belonged to different church organizations. In 2000 Chief Abraham Adesanya, the Afenifere leader, declared that any Yoruba Muslim who opposed the Southern Christian stand on the Shari'ah issue was "an hypocrite (sic)" [66]. It is the naivety of tribalism that a tribe that wishes to unite itself should subject Islam, an authentic Yoruba religion, to insult. An insult that cannot, however by the teachings of the Shari'ah, be retaliated.

It would appear that tribalism is a passing phase among the Yoruba people since they have voluntarily accepted to enter into the liberating fold of a universal faith and a universal ideology. With a strong Islam and heavy investment in Islamic education all over the world, the Yoruba people will have to find their destiny as agents of ethnic and social integration in Nigeria and beyond. Incidentally, Yoruba is the only Nigerian language used by Saudi Arabian Hajj broadcasting service. Yoruba Muslims have always demonstrated their loyalty to universal Islam at critical moments. For example, they were partly instrumental in shaping the Muslim attitude towards Christianity in the North when Madam Tinubu and the Epes alerted the Caliphate about their bitter experience of Christian missionary brutality against Yoruba Muslims [67]. Dr. Lateef Adegbeti was emphatic about the Islamness of the Yoruba on the Shari'ah issue.

The Hausa people present another dimension of Nigeria's development. By the conspiracy of geography and history the Hausa came to develop a vulnerability syndrome. Hausaland has a flat, fertile and attractive topography. There are no mountains, rivers or forests to provide defensive frontiers. The Hausa people were subjected to invasion from stronger armies from all directions; Songhay, Tuareg, Borno and Jukun more especially. The topography of Hausa land is equally suitable for the movement of man, goods and ideas. There is therefore always an influx of adventurers, fortune seekers and ideologues. In 1500s they accepted Islam as a frame of reference[68]. Islam brought with it literacy, expansion of trade and diplomacy and of course external respect and membership of a universal community with all the attendant liberating influences. The Hausa people invariably became cosmopolitan and developed the love of trade and industry and provided markets to merchants to and from all directions. As traders, the Hausa are obsessed with security, which they see in participation with others. They therefore devise strategies to attract other peoples, which include the adoption of an open worldview and a system of inter-ethnic harmony and integration. They love inter-ethnic marriages to the point that there is hardly a prominent Hausa family without a woman from another ethnic group. Many Hausa elites are children of non-Hausa mothers. The Hausa also foster cultural understanding and intellectual democracy.

Ethnically based identity is rejected in favour of civilization based identity in which many ethnic, racial and religious groups make appropriate contributions to the different facets of that civilization and regard it collectively as their own. The Hausa themselves made contributions in the economy and political institutions in the last of which they ultimately cease to superintend. They surrendered political initiative, public policy, administration of justice and scholarship to Kanuri, Fulani, Nupe, Igbira, Igala, Jukun, Sahelian and other groups with interest and relevant competence. They entrusted military power and state security to the small ethnic communities, with special inclination who inhabited the highlands to the south. While the Hausa themselves become disinterested in political, civil service or military appointments, they dominate commerce and industry. Financial empires such as Dantata`s, Dangote`s, Isyaka Rabi`u`s, Chanchangi`s and Kabo`s are exclusively Hausa owned. The Jihad of 1800s and the British intervention of 1900s made possible greater expansion of Islam into non-Hausa areas of North-central, Northeastern, Southwestern and parts of South-southern zones. Both the Jihad and the British colonialism created many important Hausa and Fulani towns in non Hausa territories such as Bauchi, Nassarawa, Keffi, Lafia, Kafanchan, Yola, Gombe, Jos, Lokoja, Minna, and Jalingo, among others. This common civilization spread to include prominent states that were not incorporated into the Caliphate. They now play important role as defenders and promoters of this civilization. Symbolically and temperamentally, one can hardly distinguish the Sultan of Sokoto from the Attah of Igala, the Ohinoyi of Igbiraland from the Emir of Kano and Shehu of Borno from Och'Idoma except that they speak different languages at home with their respective peoples.

Equality of opportunities is a principle of intellectual democracy. It provides an important basis for the Northernisation policy. Intellectual democracy itself is built on the foundation of the Koranic doctrine of personal liberty and freedom of choice [69]. Personal liberty transcends religious affiliation, for the Shari'ah itself is built upon the condition that there will be no coercion or compulsion in matters of conscience or faith [70]. Muslims and non-Muslims are entitled to the equality of opportunity and, in fact, the Koran has a positive discrimination in favour of friendly non-Muslims; for they are to enjoy a special relief reserved for certain categories of Muslims in special need [71]. In the social relations of Islam, actual and potential Muslims people the world. It is through exemplary conduct of Muslims towards non-Muslims and Divine Grace that that potentiality can be turned into actuality. Being a Muslim or a non-Muslim is by Koranic suggestion, a question of chance [72]. This informal method of power sharing is in the nature of intellectual democracy. No individual or group should aspire to dominate more than one source of power. The people with the greatest political influence on both divides of Northern politics such as Ahmadu Bello, Aminu Kano, Sultan Abubakar and Abubakar Tafawa Balewa lived scarcely above poverty line. It can be observed in the recent trend that the leaders who violated this very important socio-political and ethical code and acquired wealth when holding political appointment or have misused riches to acquire political power are not favourably rated by public opinion and are responsible for the serious setback in Northern politics. Some would wonder why the murder of Ahmadu Bello released hell while that of Shehu Musa Yar`adua did not raise a dust in the public opinion of the North. The greatest names in history are actually the poorest in material possessions.

Allow me to conclude this paper by making an observation. The Shari`ah movement has mobilised the ummah and sharpened the intellectual perception of the individual Muslims. It has made tremendous recruitment at the base of the society, especially among women and younger persons who see the Shari`ah already having positive impact on family life. There is an unprecedented rise in educational pursuit particularly in the sphere of rights and duties as prescribed by it. Attendance to evening schools for women and girls has soared. Several non-governmental organizations (NGO) devote time and energy to its promotion. There is also widespread self-imposed compliance even as self-appointed promoters and defenders of the Shari`ah keep watchful eyes on the general security of the ummah.

Three events which took place in Kano in rapid succession may give insight into the extent of the impact of the Shari`ah on the mass society, the political class and the intellectual community of the ummah. The launching of the Shari`ah in Kano attracted millions of local Muslims and representatives of the Muslim communities from all parts of the Federation. The level of emotion and enthusiasm and sense of self-fulfillment was very high. Unlike the previous launching in Zamfara and Niger States, the one in Kano attracted virtually all highly placed elites in the sub-region with everyone trying to be recognized by the public. Similarly, the mammoth crowd at the 50th anniversary of the defunct NEPU turned out to be a gathering of all political leaders of the North with Ibo representatives of the defunct NCNC. All former Northern civilian and military Heads of State and Presidents, except General Abdulsalam Abubakar, were in attendance. The leaders who made public their support for the Shari`ah movement, such as Shehu Shagari and General Muhammadu Buhari, were cheered. Leaders who opposed the movement such Lawan Danbazau or who were lukewarm such as General Ibrahim Babangida and all members and friends of the Shari`ah unfriendly Federal Government who were at the occasion were jeered. The subsequent Ali Mazrui lecture at Bayero University, finally gave a mark of intellectual legitimacy to the movement. He described it as a legitimate and timely self-assertion of the Muslims, which would promote the overall interests of the ummah in Nigeria.

It would appear, therefore, that the Muslims in Nigeria are all set to reclaim their distinct identity, which has been suppressed since the colonial conquest. Fundamental changes will in fact, have to be effected in the values and institutions of this country in order to accommodate them along with or in place of the present Euro-Christian value system that has been in operation since the foundation of this country by the British Empire. The harder the state tries to suppress the will of the people, the greater their determination to assert themselves. It is an established fact of history that the will of the people is invariably stronger than the coercive apparatus of state. The way to a peaceful co-existence, especially in a multicultural and multi religious state such as Nigeria, is the promotion of the divinely ordained freedom of choice, that is the right to be and the duty to let others be as well.

Thank you.

 



[1] Public Lecture at the Nigerian Institute for International Affairs, Lagos on the 7th September 2000.

[2] Professor of History, Bayero University, Kano.

[3] Al-Qur'an: 34: 34, 43: 23, 56: 45, 17: 16, 23: 64.

[4] Al-Qur'an: 13: 11

[5] Al-Kanemi, M. 'The case against the Jihad in Muhammad Bello', Infaq al-Maisur in Vodgkin, T Nigeria Perspectives An Historical Authology, Lord 1975, pp.261 - 264

[6] Rodinson, M. 1979, Muhammad, The Conclusion.

[7] Gellner, E. 1992, Postmodernism, Reason and Religion London pp. 4-5

[8] Thompson, K. 1992 'Religion, Values and Ideology' in Bocock, R. and Thompson, K. (eds) Social and Cultural forms of Modernity London p. 335.

[9] Uthman b. Fudi, 1802, Masa'il Muhimmah, Uthman b. Fudi, Tabban Hakika in Wakokin Hausa Zaria 1957, Hiskett, M. 1963 Tazyin Waraqat by Abdullah b. Muhammad Ibadan, Hiskett, M. 1973 The Sword of Truth New York, Muhammad Bello 1951 Infaq al-Maisur Fi Tarikh bilad al-Takrur Ed. C. E. J. Whitting London. Kenny, J. 2000 The Spread of Islam. Lagos p. 215

[10] Ajayi, J. F. A 1980 Milestones in Nigerian History p. 5

[11] Adeleye, R. A. 1968 'The Dilemma of the Waziri: the place of the Risalat al-Wazir ila ahl ilm wa'l tadabbur in the history of Sokoto Caliphate,' Journal of the Historical Society of Nigeria, 11 June.

[12] Ayandele, E. A. 1967 'The Missionary Factor in Northern Nigeria' Journal of Historical Society of Nigeria III: 3: 505

[13] Pope Paul VI at the "Islamic-European Dialogue" a conference held at the Vatican, which was attended by Christian Clergy and the 'Ulama from the Muslim World. See Yamani, M. A., 1997, 'Islam and the West: The Need for Mutual Understanding, American Journal of Islamic Social Sciences 14:1: 94.

[14] Abdulkadir, D. 1979 Wakokin Da da Na Yanzu, Nelson, pp. 43-66

[15] Yahya, D. 1989 'Kano Intellectual History: Mapping the Intellectual Landscape' Barkindo, B. M. (ed) Kano and Some of Her Neighbours ABU Press.

[16] Muffet, D. 1982 Let the truth be told Zaria

[17] Mohammed A. S, Adamu S. H., and Abba, A. 2000 The Living Conditions of the Talakawa and the Shari'ah in Contemporary Nigeria Zaria

[18] Al-Qur'an, 2: 43 and in thirty-one other places in the Qur'an.

[19] Al-Qur`an 51:19; 70:25; 93:10

[20] Al-Qur'an 9: 60 and in seven other places in the Qur'an.

[21] Al-Qur'an, 8: 41

[22] Schoun, F. 1976 Islam and Perennial Philosophy London World of Islam Festival Publishing Company, 1976 p.30

[23] Al-Qur'an: 2: 200-201

[24] Rodinson, M. 1971 Muhammad trans. By A. Carter. P.300

[25] Schoun, F. Dimensions of Islam, Allen and Unqin, 1969.

[26] Al-Qur'an 2:191 and twenty nine other places in the Qur`an

[27] Al-Qur`an 4:59

[28] Al-Qur'an 85: 10

[29] Al-Qur'an 13: 26

[30] Uthman b. Fudi, Kitab al-Farq. Hiskett, M. 1960, Bulletin of the School of Oriental and African Studies, XX, III: 3

[31] Uthman b. Fudi 1807-1808 Nur al-Bab Hodgkin, T. Nigerian Persepectives pp. 254-55

[32] Uthman b. Fudi, Accana'en, trans. Alhaji Garba Saidu in Y. B. Usman 1979 Studies in Sokoto Caliphate ABU Zaria

[33] Uthman b. Fudi 1806, Bayan Wujub al-Hijra ala al-Ibad ed. El-Masri 1968 (PhD Thesis University of Ibadan)

[34] Al-Qur'an 3: 26

[35] Uthman b. Fudi 1806, Bayan Wujub al-hijrah 'ala al-Ibad.

[36] Al-Qur'an 33: 21

[37] Schoun, F. 1976 Understanding Islam trans. D. M. Matheson, London pp. 66-67

[38] Al-Qur`an 3: 28, 4: 97, 2: 154

[39] Mathew 22: 21

[40] Matthew 22: 21

[41] See Wilson, Ian 1984 Jesus: The Evidence London p. 129

[42] Adetoro, 1984 'Churchianity' presented at Interdisciplinary Endeavour: National Conference on Moral Education, Department of Psychology and Curriculum Studies, University of Benin.

[43] Matthew 21: 12 -13

[44] Matthew 5: 3 - 10

[45] Matthew 5: 17

[46] Yahya, D. 1978 'Secularism: Its Challenge to Islamic Education and the Muslim Society' Nigerian Journal of Islam, Vol. 3. No 1-2

[47] Al-Qur`an: 4:12

[48] Al-Qur'an 42:38 for political implications see Muhammad Asad, 1980 State and Government Dar al-Andalus, Gibraltar

[49] New African July/August, 2000 p. 24 citing The Economist.

[50] Andrew Young in an interview on the NTA on the advent of President Clinton's visit to Nigeria.

[51] Al-Qur'an 2: 177

[52] Gumi, A. M. with Tsiga, I. A. 1992 Where I Stand Ibadan

[53] For an amazing Scientific interpretation, of the Qur`an and Hadith in relation to modernity see Ahmad, Tahir, Revelation, Rationality, Knowledge and Truth, Islam international Publication,Survey 1998 pp. 567 - 630.

[54] Bronowski, J. 1976 The Ascent of Man BBC pp. 165-166

[55] Schoun, F. 1976 Understanding Islam trans. D. M. Matheson, London p. 25

[56] Kregg The Mind of the Qur'an, London

[57] Lewis, Bernard 1989 'State and Society Under Islam'

[58] Al-Qur`an, 49:13

[59] C. O. Taiwo, The Nigerian Education System Past, Present and Future, Nelson, Lagos pp. 10-54, Yahya, D.1992 'The Crises of Identity and of Choice: Colonial Education and Post Colonial Nigeria' in Issues in Nigerian Education Faculty of Education Bayero University, Kano Text and Leisure Publishers.

[60] Smith, A. 1978 'Islam in Contemporary History'. International Islamic Seminar on Education, Kano.

[61] Danbazau, L. 1995 The Dilemma of Western Educated Elites in Hausa Society, Kano.

[62] Dr. K. O. Mbadiwe quoted in Ahmadu Bello 1962 My Life Edinburg p. 126

[63] Bronowski, J. 1976 The Ascent of Man

[64] Kenny, J. 2000 The Spread of Islam p. 204

[65] Kukah, M. H. 1993 Religion Politics and Power in Northern Nigeria Ibadan: 168-169 footnote 132 where he cited H. O. Danmole: Religious Factor in Nigerian Politics: Awo and the Muslims 1957-1983 p.24

[66] Thisday July 23, 2000.

[67] Ayandele, E. A. 1967 'The Missionary Factor in Northern Nigeria', Journal of Historical Society of Nigeria III: 3: 505

[68] Muhammadu Rumfa - Kano Chronicle 1463 - 1499: Palmer H. R. 1928, Sudanese Memoirs, Lagos pp. 111-112.

[69] Al-Qur`an, 18: 29

[70] Al-Qur`an, 2:256

[71] Al-Qur`an, 9:60

[72] Al-Qur`an, 20:44

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