In this explosive encounter with the chief imam of Oriwu Central Mosque, Ikorodu, Alhaji Yahaya Oshoala Ajagbemokeri Assamadaani, readers of the SECURITY MONITOR will understand the meaning of Jihad in islam as the retired teacher and former secondary school principal of notable secondary schools in Ikorodu, now an Imam dissociates Jihad from war and terrorism. Yahaya whose late father, Alhaji Ajagbemokeferi was historic to the foundation of Islam in the ancient city also urges Islamic leaders from all over the federation under the Sultan of Sokoto led Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs, SCIA, to do more for the eradication of militancy in Nigeria.
THERE ARE MANY GROUPS IN THE WORLD WAGING WAR AGAINST THE PEOPLE AND THEIR GOVERNMENT S UNDER THE BANNER OR ISLAMIC JIHAD. WHAT IS JIHAD IN ISLAM?
Jihad is an aspect of Islam, even though some people do misconstrued the meaning of Jihad. Many practice Jihad in its opposite meaning, Jihad as we have in the Quran is a must for all Muslim if done as prescribed by Almighty Allah. Jihad means struggle, stiffing, working for the progress, the establishment, the betterment, the understanding of the religion of Islam. Jihad is a unique aspect of Islam, the holy prophet Muhammad was asked to mention things that can be done to win the favor of Allah and enter Al-Janna (paradise). The first thing he mentioned was upholding the oneness of Allah, A good Muslim is the one who always bear in mind the existence and supremacy of one God.
Prophet Mohammed listed as number two that the Almighty God is always pleased with anyone who performs his obligations with his parents. What next, the holy prophet said; JIHAD! That is struggling in the cause of Allah.
Jihad, according to holy prophet is different from war. In other words struggling in the cause of Allah is not synonymous to waging war. Jihad simple means act of struggling to please God.
HOW WOULD YOU STRUGGLE IN THE CAUSE OF ALLAH?
Thanks you. If you go to Arabic school or to any Islamic teacher to seek for knowledge about Islam, you are doing Jihad. If you take care of the needy, orphan and teaching people on how to live in peace. You are a Jihadist; someone who usually calls people to prayer is a Jihadist. Trying to know more about God, learning the Quran, Hadith (the teachings of Prophet Mohammed) or go out to preach the gospel of Allah are all parts of struggling in the cause of Allah. Campaigning against evil, injustice, corruption like President Buhari is doing at the moment is Jihad. Anybody doing all these is Jihadist. That is not war. War is different from Jihad. War can only happen when there no other option. When all means to secure peaceful co-existence is exhausted, when you have being attacked without committing any offence against God or authority of the society. A good Muslim doesn’t just wage war but can only be on defensive. As a Muslim, you can defend yourself if war is waged against you and not to wage war against innocent or harmless people. If you are attacked, then you can prepare for war to defend your selves. Anybody that first attack is against the will of Allah. It is clearly stated in the Quran, God says” if they attack you then you can attack them” let look at the life of holy prophet as example. He was born in Mecca and when God raised him up as the seal of all messengers. The people of Mecca wanted to kill him; they blackmailed him, stoned him and persecuted him. One of his teeth got removed by the stoned hauled on him. The holy prophet then never fight back instead he always said; Oh Allah you sent me, please illuminate the heart of these people. Guided them to the right path because they didn’t know what they are doing. That was the holy prophet who brought the region of Islam. So, Muslim doesn’t retaliate. When the torture was too much the holy prophet flew from Mecca to Medina, when he got to Medina he never prepared to fight until his enemies came again from Mecca to Medina. He foresaw that his enemies from Mecca are coming to destroy Medina and he did not want innocent souls in Medina to surfer. He then moved out of Medina to defend the people. Prophet Mohammed did not wage any war. All the wars he was involve in was defensive war. Even during the defensive war, you must not injure or attack the children, female, pregnant women and animals and even you are not permitted to cut trees. That is why I affirm that there is no Jihad in the world again. All the people fighting in the name of any religion are doing so for selfish interest, not for Islam. However we have been made to understand that many of those wars are sponsored by the enemies of Islam.
WHO ARE THE ENEMIES OF ISLAM?
The ignorant, if you are a Muslim and you don’t know what the religion permits you to do and what it does not, you are an ignorant as you can easily be a tool to the destroyers of the religion. Asides, the non Muslims seem to be envious of the spread and glory of Islam. I saw a video clip where Hilary Clinton says that the notorious ISIS was first created in America. According to Mrs. Clinton in that video, the ISIS used to be Israelite Secrete Intelligence Service. I saw the video myself where Mrs. Clinton affirmed that ISIS was a product made in America and if you take a close look at Boko Haram in Nigeria you will discover many suspects arrested bears none Muslim names. One of the four suspected Boko Haram arrested recently bears Moses. Ironically, Islam is a religion coined from the word Salam meaning peace. Anything that goes against peace is anti Islam. The people waging war in any part of the world are not Muslims. If they are Muslims they will be peaceful that is why in Islam you exchange greetings with the words “May the peace of God be upon you” and you respond the same. A good Muslim must be at peace with God, with his family and friends and even with oneself. A violent being is never a Muslim, Islam don’t harbor violence or tolerate criminalities.
WHAT CAN ISLAMIC LEADER IN THE COUNTRY DO TO CLEAR THE MINDS OF IGNORANT MUSLIM OFF VIOLENCE TEACHINGS?
What is unfortunate is that Muslims are not all that organized. We have not seen ourselves as one entity. Today if we are not deceiving ourselves, sultan of Sokoto is our leader but remember we have four groups. The orthodox, the societal, we have those who against innovation and the Sufi, those who only go after God alone, they want to please God and know more about Allah.
These four groups never co-operate with one and another. They are claiming superiority over one and another. My plea is to appeal to sultan of Sokoto who is the President of Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs to strengthen the Islamic body and make the body all encompassing. He should allow it to have branches at the local levels so that the people at the grassroots can have a sense of belonging and be carried along in it affairs. Let there be state chapters, Local government and ward chapters and by doing so we would be able to speak in one voice to eradicate anti-Islamic teachings and elements that are seizing the cracks among us to perpetuate evils.
HOW DO YOU THINK MUSLIM SHOULD REACT TO PEOPLE WHO TEACH VIOLENCE IN ISLAM?
They used to say that they will be rewarded with Heaven and virgin if they were killed in such war. Honestly, that is not true. If you put bombs in your body and kill innocent souls and you die you will be punished by Almighty Allah. Unfortunately, many parents are after material things and they don’t have time to teach their children the way of God. It is a must for all Muslim parents to inculcate the fair and the teachings of Allah in the minds of their children. Any parent who fail in this regards is not a good Muslim.
WHAT IN YOUR OWN VIEW COULD BE DONE TO WIN AGAINST TERRORISM?
We are practicing democracy; government of the people, by the people and for the people. If everybody plays his or her role accordingly the society will be at peace. For example, the current president Mohammed Buhari is doing a lot especially as regards fighting corruption and indecency in government. What he is doing is what we called Jihad in Islam. This is an act of enjoining people to do the right things and forbidding them from doing the wrong things. This is an act of Allah. President Buhari is a Jihadist. But only the President can not do it all. We must support him. We must all play our parts. Imagine now that we are talking about economic recession and the Senate is talking about buying exotic cars with millions of scarce naira. Are these people for us, I doubt it. But God will soon catch up with them.