Jihad should be the last response of a Muslim to persecution – Islamic Scholars

Islamic scholars have cautioned Muslims against inclination to the doctrines of violence as espoused by extremist ideologues and fringe sects noting that Jihad should be the last response of a Muslim to unceasing persecution and as a self defence mechanism.

Making the position during a three day workshop organized by Dar Al Andalus, in Yola, Sheik Nuru Lemu and Dr. Mansur Isa drew copious inferences from Quran and authentic traditions of the prophet (SAWS) to drive home their points urging Muslims to strive for knowledge, as it is the only weapon against elements with extreme views.

In their various presentations, the two Islamic scholars noted that in order to justify their sadistic proclivities for violence and spillage of blood, extremists are in the habit of distorting, misinterpreting and misrepresenting the Quran and traditions of the prophet to uphold their narratives.

The scholars noted that unfortunately, such extremists found easy recruits in the mass of disenchanted people who were conquered by illiteracy, poverty, massive corruption, economic and social exclusion and other litany deprivations that have become pervasive in the land.

In his presentations, Dr. Mansur Isa noted that extremists thrive through misinterpreting, misapplication and misuse of Islamic texts, doctrines and scholarship.

According to him, they also use early Islamic history, local history, the socioeconomic situation of their recruits and the politics of emotion and victimhood to promote a bipolar vision which sees others as enemies worthy of death.

Mansur noted that the groups’ worldview revolves around five key themes; Takfir, declaring a Muslim an infidel, declaring Conventional education and civil service under a secular government as forbidden and pronouncing democracy as disbelief and upholding jihad against non-believers as a sacred religious duty.

“The ideologues of these groups quote verses from Quran, traditions of the prophet (SAWS) and juristic opinions to justify their arguments.

“The groups cite references out of context, interpret verses of the Quran and traditions of the prophet in an ahistoric way that conflicts with understanding of the salaf (pious predecessors) and misquote Muslin jurists. This has brought them into conflict with the majority of the Muslims, Nigerian christians and regional governments,” he said.

While offering alternatives to the hard posture of the extremists, Mansur said contrary to the extremists viewpoint, Islam encouraged knowledge both religious and otherwise just as it encourages dialogue and peaceful consistence with adherents of other faiths as prophet Muhammad (SAWS) himself lived side by side with non Muslims both in Mecca and Medinah and has also established diplomatic relations with non Muslim nations.

Also in his presentations, Sheikh Nuru Lemu urged Muslims to always follow the mainstream and reliable Islamic doctrines as against the fringe teachings which are self opinionated and slanted.

Lemu who also identified societal deprivations as some of the key drivers of indoctrination noted that research and findings have shown that a significant percentage of those in extremist groups are in such enclaves either to settle scores or because of other grievances but not on account of Islam itself.

He noted that only 9.2 percent of Boko Haram elements said they were in the struggle on religious grounds adding that 70 percent said they were either on a revenge mission or because of other societal grievances.

Lemu urged Muslims to always stick to the teachings of mainstream Islamic teachings that has no prejudice against modern civilization.

The session also saw presentations on humanitarian, peace journalism and reporting during election.

In their separate presentations, Dr. Abubakar Alhassan and Aliyu Dewobe presented tips on ethics of journalism and the best practices during electioneering period and humanitarian situations.

Commending the Dar Al Andalus center, participants consisting of adherents of Islam and Christianity said they are well enriched.

A participant, Austin Ajayi noted that he was positively impacted with vast knowledge about Islam and also the dangers that fringe sects and extremists cause to humanity.

He promised to step down the knowledge learnt to peers and colleagues because of its immense benefits to the society in general.


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