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Let me state that I stand to be corrected on any issue in this article.

1. Under the Hausa Islam established by the Arabs, before the advent of Usman Danfodio ‘Jihad’, the Almajiri System of Education in Hausa land was Tsangaya. Under Tsangaya system, children attended Qur’anic schools within their neighborhood and returned to their family homes on daily basis. The upbringing of the children was influenced by both the parents and their mallams(teachers).

There was emotional bonding between parents and their children. There were no expandable children or suicide volunteer Muslim Children and Youths. Societal ills were prevalent on the land, just as they are known today.

2. Then came ‘purified’ Islam under the leadership of Usman Danfodio and his family: with his ‘brand of Jihad’ supposedly to cleanse the Hausa land of the sins of Nepotism, Political Tyranny, Corruption and Moral Indiscipline; deemed to be contrary to the ideals of the Islamic faith, belief and practices. A novelty was added to the Almajiri educational system: a Directorate was established under the supervision/purview of the Emirs in whose districts the  schools exist. Another novelty was permitted, in which mallams(teachers) and  Almajiri(pupils) can freely relocate from one place to another,  without the children ever returning home to their family/parents. Children were detached from their parents for life. Consequently, emotional ties between the parents and children were severed/broken. Character moulding of the children were rested entirely on the mallams. Their mentality was vulnerable to manipulation and abuse. An ‘army’ of expendable children and suicide volunteer Muslim children/youths  were created by default or intent. According to some Muslim scholars, “this is contrary to the ‘Magasid’: the higher intents, objectives, purposes, goals and the two principles of Shariah : (1) Promotion and preservation of the common good and benefits. (2) Avoidance and protection from harm on all (including children)”. They said further, ” the Disciples who relocated (Hijirah) with the Prophet to Medina are called Al-Muhajirun”. And that, “there is nothing that relates Muhajirun with the Hausa version (ie the current version) Almajiri in reports attributed to the Prophet (Pbuh)”. And so, they contend that; ” to eject a child at a very tender age to learn the Qur’an, as an act outside the provisions of the Qur’an and the precepts of the Prophet of Islam, amount to a personal desire of such a person”.

In the course of learning, the Amajiri are taken through the stages and concepts of Jihad (ie to Strive) which compose of :-

1. Jihad Al-Nafs: you strive against yourself, to believe and accept in totality, and act accordingly without doubts, the teachings of your mallams, Qur’an and Hadiths.

2.  Jihad Al-Shaytaan:  you strive against anything; animate and inanimate that inspire personal doubts, desires and corruption, contrary to the concepts in item (1) above.

3. Jihad Al-Kuffaar: you strive against Disbelievers(non Muslims) :  by the heart, tongue, hand and sword or as some contend; it is a continual war upon non Muslims until they repent and accept Islam or else pay jizya (polltax).

4. Jihad Al-Munaafiqeen: you strive against the Hypocrites of Islam;  Muslims whose belief and commitment to the faith is incomplete,  as of the the concepts in items  (1-3) above.  You rebuke them by  words amongst  other measures.

From items (1-4) above, it is believed that a complete Muslim is one who completes all the four stages/aspects of Jihad. The Almajiri pupil, (though anyone who learns the Qur’an/Sahih Hadith and teaches them  is also an Almajiri), having been so taught, indoctrinated and inspired, it is just natural that he strives with enthusiasm and vehemence, to fulfill his obligations as a Muslim under Jihad (as expressed and demonstrated: as seen in the viral video of the killers of Deborah Samuel). If he dies in the process, a place in paradise is sure for him. And if he  succeeds in the process, he partakes in share of ‘Ganima’ (booty or spoils of war) and the life hereafter are rewards for his enjoyment, as historians of Danfodio Jihad put it.

In a secular country like Nigeria, Islamic matters of grave concerns to non Muslims, is the jihad Al-Shayataan(Devil)  and Al-Kuffaar(Disbeliever). For one to be Disbeliever is considered Grievous Enough, and Blasphemy against Islam or the Prophet, qualifies one as the ‘Devil’ . Jihad against the  Disbeliever would therefore take it’s course. The jihad against the disbeliever is said to be, an obligation binding on a Muslim community, and not on the individual Muslim. It therefore requires leader of the Muslim community to call his men to take such action.

According to Muslim scholars,  Islam is not just a Religion,  there is no distinction between the Religion, Politics, Economics and Law(Shariah). In effect therefore,  this qualifies Islam as a government. Hence the social and political structure of the present day Nigeria has continued to be structured by the consequences  of the Danfodio Jihad. Therefore, it is more or less impossible to know what the intentions   of Muslims (particularly of the Danfodio stock), are all about over any matter of common concerns or interests, involving non Muslims.

The Emirs as Leaders of their Muslim communities and/or supposedly Directors of the Almajiri system of education, have a duty to ensure that, application of the jihad against the unbeliever (particularly such that may take one’s life -like blasphemy) is administered by due process, so that somebody takes the responsibility, and guard against mob-action (like in the case of Deborah and many others in the past).

The absence of this control/regulatory authority, unleashes on Nigerians, an indoctrinated mob-army of northern Muslim children and youths: parading themselves as jihadists with ‘divine power’ to kill or maim any Disbeliever, considered or perceived as the enemy of Islam or the prophet, while their sponsors remain in the  shadows.

In today’s Nigeria, 218 years after Danfodio jihad and 62 years after Independence from British Colonial Rule, the Directorate of the Almajiri system of education is defunct. We are  left to contend with northern Muslim jihadists  wielding self arrogated absolute power: the power of life and death. They go on rampage at will; to kill, murder, maim and plunder,  and in all of these,  nobody takes responsibility because the control and regulatory authority is defunct for unknown reason(s).

Some have argued that the advent of the colonial masters regime stripped the Emirs of their authority and power over the Almajiri educational system. But in retrospect, it has been 62 years since the colonial masters left Nigeria and surrendered governance to Nigerians.  Why didn’t the Emirs and Sultan revert to the status quo ante ?

To underscore the propriety and  relevance of this question,  let’s consider the  following:-

1. Usman Danfodio legacy : the Sultanate and Emirates have remained intact .  The Sultan remains the supreme authority over  the Emirs, and matters of  shariah in all the 12 shariah states of northern Nigeria (and Nigeria as a whole).

2. Also, there is on records the British/Emirs/Chiefs Protection Treaty entered with the colonial masters, which amongst other things read in  parts as follows : that, “Africa National Company (Limited) bind themselves not to interfere with any of the Native Laws and Customs of the country …” And, “The said Africa National Company bind themselves to protect the said king and Chiefs from attacks of any neighboring tribes”.

The above cited treaty absolves the colonial masters of responsibility for the collapse of the defunct directorate of the Almajiri educational system.

3. Respectfully,  the Sultan is the Life President of Nigeria Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs (NSCIA) and Jama’atul Nasril Islam (JNI). Every thing Islam, Shariah, Muslim Groups and Organizations/Interests etc are under him. He is  also the life Chairman,  Traditional Rulers Council of Nigeria . Nigerians of all Traditions,  Cultures, Tribes and Religions are therefore under him.

4. From the foregoing, there is no doubts that, the Sultan has  the power, authority, and influence to restore the Directorate of Almajiri Educational System so that,  Emirs would resume full control and accountability for the conducts of Almajiri, Muslim Children and Youths in their respective Emirates, and revert to the very original system (the Tsangaya Almajiri System of Education). Such that the northern Muslim parents can resume full responsibility in the proper upbringing of their  children or wards, without detaching them permanently from the family, to itinerant/roving mallams (teachers).

This measure will prevent mob-action   (like it was done on Deborah and many others before her), and enthrone due process and accountability, in the application of Jihad Al-Kuffaar,  in compliance with the said ‘Magasid’ (the ideals of Shariah) .

Comrade: SK TABARA

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