January 3, 2016 – Sheik Gumi Says God Used Nigerian Military To Punish Zakzaky, Alleges Shiite Muslims Are Terrorists
After studying medicine at Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria, Dr Ahmad Abubakar Gumi joined the Army and rose to the rank of major. Afterwards, he retired and proceeded to Saudi Arabia to study Islamic Studies up to doctorate degree. Right now, Gumi is lives in Kaduna, where he gives his weekly sermons. In this interview with IBRAHEEM MUSA, the Islamic scholar spoke on the genesis of the Shiite Islamic sect, their activities in the last 40 years and the recent bloody clash between the sect and soldiers in Zaria
There is a news item which has gone viral on the internet, where you reportedly condemned the actions of soldiers over their recent clash with members of the Islamic Movement of Nigeria, otherwise known as the Shiites. Did the story emanate from you?
I have never said or written anything like that. In fact, on the contrary, what happened to Ibraheem El Zakzaky and his people was a divine intervention and punishment.
Nobody can exactly explain how the incident happened, like lightening and with the magnitude of an earthquake. Not even the soldiers that were involved can explain to you what happened.
Not even El Zakzaky that woke up that morning thought that such thing could happen. Not even the President or the governor was doing anything in anticipation of what happened. I can only say that this is divine. I have been for many years, telling them that in Islamic jurisprudence, when you are killed by the authorities, then your blood has been spilt uselessly. But Islam forbids sects fighting or killing each other. But if the killing is done by constituted authority, then you have no argument, for it is given power to maintain peace and order no matter what it costs. So, I have been warning the Shiites for so many years.
Exactly a year before the last incident, I wrote a letter to their leader, saying that there is a prescribed manner by which his followers should conduct themselves in public. In Islam, you cannot force anyone to believe in anything; you cannot enforce any creed or religion on people. But you should do your acts of worship without harming other people.
I gave them this advice when I saw them blocking roads and punishing innocent, ignorant Nigerians by bringing them out in these hard times, to trek distances with their children to Zaria. By so doing, they blocked roads which is a big abomination in Islam.
The life of somebody may be at stake and you block the road where he or she will get succour. A woman can be in a dire medical need and she is being rushed to the hospital. Somebody may have an urgent trip to make. Then you block the road, for what? No religion on earth says that you should block road or that you should undertake such a long trek with your family, all in the name of worship.
But don’t you think that the army overreacted by killing over 300 people for just blocking the road when the Chief of Army Staff was being expected at the Nigerian Military Depot, Zaria?
Blocking the road was just the tip of the iceberg. You don’t know what else transpired and that is why there is a need for an investigation which government has promised.
The Shiites have been embarking on military training, producing cadets and soldiers. They were operating a state within a state. The Islamic Movement of Nigeria does not recognise the corporate entity of Nigeria. The group is not registered. They operate above the law and they get direct foreign aid.
The late President Umaru Yar’adua told me that there was a massive importation of ammunitions and weapons. He mentioned the South-South, where some of the militants surrendered their arms following the amnesty programme, then you have the North-East, just before this Boko Haram became so serious.
And he said that in the North-West, Iran has been supplying things to Shittes. So, I see the clash between them and the army as a divine intervention to prevent us from a catastrophe like that of Boko Haram. It came suddenly and powerfully to eradicate and uproot any plan that they had to harm the society.
Why are you justifying the military action against the Shiites?
It is not a matter of justification. It has happened. And pre-destination is part of the article of faith in Islam. It has been decreed and it has happened. So, I’m not justifying but explaining what happened.
How it happened and why it took that dimension is another study for those who are probing the matter. But do you think that the army was justified to raze down the home of Zakzaky and his Hussainiyya Centre just because his people blocked the Army Chief from passing through Sokoto road in Zaria?
You are just looking at the symptom rather than the disease. A cancer that is afflicting a patient may appear as a scratch on the skin. So, if that kind of patient goes to the hospital with that scratch, you will think that he will be given an ointment and asked to go home.
Then you hear that he is in the theatre. Don’t forget that Zakzaky created a state within a state. And the Army has been fighting Boko Haram. This Chief of Army Staff was ambushed by Boko Haram. With this psyche, his guards are battle ready coming out of the battle field and they suddenly saw the same scenario, what do you expect?
I have been one of the most vocal critics during the Goodluck Jonathan administration that they should remove the Army from cities because the Army is just trained to take away life on orders. So, they are not suitable for internal security. So, coming to argue with people with this kind of mentality, when the Army has a file of all your secret dealings, then you trigger them when you yourself are not ready Wallahi it was just Allah that made what happened to happen. No sensible person will block the way of a fighting Army.
Doesn’t El Zakzaky have brains? How can his people block the Army? Even if your house is blocking their firing range, you should desert it and let them finish the enemy. Then, you become the stumbling block?
Will I be correct to say that you are expressing esprit de corps for your former comrades at arms for their high handedness, seeing that you are a retired army officer?
It is not about being an ex military officer. The military has rules of engagement. They don’t kill someone who is unarmed; they don’t kill women and so on. In the past, I have spoken against the military when I saw film clips of some soldiers beating Boko Haram suspects. When I saw soldiers asking them to slaughter each other, I criticised it.
But then, I was looking at one side of the story. When I saw the other side, I then understood the psychology that led our soldiers to do what they did. I saw several films of Boko Haram atrocities where they lined up boys like a bridge and the insurgents will be walking on their backs with pistols and shooting their heads one by one.
I have seen them slaughtering an officer. When I saw the decapitations, I then understood why the Army sometimes, behind back doors, has to take those extra-judicial measures because if they follow the rules of the game they will be cheated.
I then remembered the Prophet (SAW), when he spoke about the evils of these young men who will appear during the last days. He said that if I meet these young men who will come and be reading the Qurán upside down, I will kill then the way the people of A’ad were annihilated. So, what the Army is facing is an unconventional war. It is an inhumane war and it has no boundaries. So, if it is the only language that they understand, sometimes it becomes necessary to do so.
Why did the Americans detain terror suspects at Guntanamo Bay? Because detaining these atrocious young men in mainland America will be problematic because of their human rights laws. The coming of these kinds of sects was prophesied in the books of Islam. These young men are deceiving nations and causing mischief.
With all our under development, economic backwardness and ignorance, how can you create a state in a state? El Zakzaky does not recognise Nigeria and he has his own caliphate. I challenged one former Governor of Sokoto State that he is a Shiite. He swore to me that he is not. Then I asked him that how come that it was written in the newspaper that the governor went to their shrine? He told me that for more than three years, he had been flying to Abuja and had never been to Zaria by road.
It was later that we understood that they were referring to the Shiite governor of Sokoto State in that publication! (Laughter). So, which nation will allow this? Some people are of the view that you are opposed to Shiites because of the rivalry that exists between your Sunni sect and them…
(Cuts in) No,no, no. I’m not opposing them because of any sectarian division. We Ahlus Sunnah are living peacefully with the Christians and the Jews and everybody. This is what Sunnah is. Did you know that Prophet Muhammad (SAW) had to mortgage his shield to a Jew at one time, in order to feed his family?
The Qurán says you can marry Jews and eat their food. So, it is not enmity but to call them to the right path in the best of manners. Shia is one of the sects that adopted the methodology which Islam does not agree with. In fact, all the reasons why Islam had had to use the sword are on them. Islam uses the sword to protect people.
Now that there is no Islamic government, which the Prophet (SAW) prophesied also, the government will find it necessary to fight and suppress them in that same manner because if they are left to become strong, they will cause havoc. The prophet (SAW) described their characteristics when he said “overzealous young men will be faking religion and trying to attack other Muslims in pretense,” not that they are religious.
After the testimony of Shahada in Islam, the second pillar that is the strongest is prayer. And this prayer is said at the Masjid or mosque. If you are a true Muslim, should you need to build another shrine? The fact that they built a shrine shows you that these people are not worshipping God.
You mean their Hussainiyya is a shrine?
Yes, it is a shrine, where they sing the praise of Hussain and seek for his intercession. This is un- Islamic. So, the Prophet (SAW) once said that whoever becomes an enemy to my own friends, then you should pronounce my war against him, Allah fights him. And when Allah fights, He will subjugate you to forces that you have never seen. So what happened in Zaria is from God; nobody can explain how it happened.
Is it true that the Shiites criticise the companions of the Prophet (SAW)? If so, what is their reason for doing so?
They don’t just criticise; criticism is allowed in Islam. They abuse the companions of the Holy Prophet (SAW) in a manner which you shouldn’t even abuse an enemy.
They were denying it before but it is now on YouTube. They abuse the companions and even Aisha the wife of the Prophet (SAW). What is their grouse against the companions and wife of the Prophet (SAW)? You know that they are a very pretentious people. The whole religion to them is about display, whereas religion is about inner self; the faith in God, to worship God. The Persians have been looking for a way out, because they were conquered by the Muslim Arabs.
The people of Iran whom the Shiites draw their inspiration from, have this tradition of enmity. The Persians have been fighting the Romans and when Islam came, it became the natural enemy but they were overpowered. So, one of the two daughters of Kisra was given to Hussain, the grandson of the Prophet (SAW).
The other was given to another companion of the Prophet. So, the Persians concocted a theology around these half Persian children of Hussain. Before the coming of Islam, their kings were the gods. So, they now turned around to say that the children from this woman are the right heir of leadership in Islam.
In Islamic jurisprudence, God said that man’s worldly affairs should be handled by consultations and consensus amongst people. Nobody is an anointed in Islam. People should just select their leaders. The Qurán is 100 per cent clear that leadership is by Shura that means consensus amongst people.
But that is democracy…
Yes, it is but if I mention democracy some of these half-baked people will start a new augment. So, let’s forget about the word ‘’democracy’’ and call it the Shura that it is (laughter). In Islam, leadership is not inherited.
People elect their leaders and not select them. The Sunnah of the Prophet shows that whoever, after the death of a leader or Khalif, pronounces someone the new leader without consulting other Muslims, such person and the man that agreed to be called the new leader should be condemned to death.
When the Prophet died, the three practical leaders that succeeded him, historically, were Abubakar who was commanding the army. After him, Umar took over then Usman succeeded him. God swore that He is going to protect the Qurán and these three leaders that I have mentioned were those who were in charge of compiling and protecting the Qurán. So, if they were not chosen by God to rule, will He allow them?
The Ali that Shiites are making noise about was the fourth Caliph and when he emerged, there was division among the Muslim Ummah. The same companions that were 100 per cent behind Abubakar, Umar and Usman divided into four when Ali took over.
Have you ever met El Zakzaky in order to discuss the fundament difference between your two sects in order to unite Muslims?
I have not sat down with this man. The only communication that we have had was through email. But I have never met him face to face, despite the fact that we were both at Ahmadu Bello University (ABU) Zaria about the same time.
But my brothers have been interacting with him. Allah has not given me that fanatical streak and I was studying medicine and I didn’t have time for campus agitations and rioting for ‘’Islam only.’’ I didn’t see the need for that ‘’Islam only’’ riots when almost all our professors were Christians.
If you want to be good to Islam, be a professor of Medicine, Engineering or any discipline. But you came to the university as a poor ignorant fellow and destroying the structures that were built with your parents’ taxes and you are saying ‘’Islam only.’’ They don’t even know Islam.
But El Zakzaky has been operating in the last 40 years but this kind of thing has never happened to him Muslims know his danger. And his activities against Muslim leaders are more. When a Muslim leader is elected, that is when his activities start. But when we had an interlude of Christian leaders, they pampered and empowered him. That is when he gets his money and recognition. President Shehu Shagari imprisoned him. Look at what Sani Abacha did to him.
What is the way forward for the Muslim Ummah?
Wallahi, if these two forces – Boko Haram and Shia- are not eradicated from northern Nigeria we are gone. No investor will sacrifice his money when there is either Boko Haram and Shiites in an area.
So, development will elude us. The strife and unnecessary blocking of roads and shouting slogans on the way increase the tension in the North. The Shiites even inflict injuries on themselves during some of their celebrations. So, they have to be contained.
[Reported By Ibrahim Musa, Sunday Telegraph]