HUMAN LIFE IS SACRED; ISLAM SAYS NO TO MASSACRE By Lan Rey Hassan
I met him at Agege, Lagos, many months ago. He was supposed to be the guide on the coaster bus departing for Kaduna that night, but in Nigeria, there are only conductors. I arrived at Agege a few minutes past 7 pm; an hour later than the fixed time for the bus’ departure -hoping to send a phone to a friend in Kaduna who was in dire need of it. The phone, I learnt, could not stay another Twenty Four hours in Lagos so it had to, at all cost, travel with what happens to be the last bus that day.
Luckily for me, something delayed the bus for over an hour that night, affording me (the phone) the chance to catch it.
He was Hausa, obviously, but his reaction when I said the tesleem to him was haughtier and colder-eyed than any to which I had ever been at its receiving end, not even from a Non-Muslim (For i naturally presumed him to be Muslim).
Later, while we haggled over the price to be paid for conveying the phone to Kaduna, I realized that he had no respect whatsoever for me, despite my flamboyantly Islamic dressing. That was a typical example of most Hausas.
Later the next day, while trying to track the bus down, I called the number he had given me the previous night, albeit with a squeezed face, and realized through the Truecaller app that his name was Joshua; Joshua from Plateau. That was enough hint to decipher the code.
That is all the religiously fuelled feuds in the northern part of the country has successfully achieved; less respect, and more hatred for one another Nigerian but from what the most recent massacre in Kaduna portrays – is now an asylum for those seeking protection from sanity. If your vocabulary is encompassing enough, you can call them fugitives, from sanity.
We all went to school and learnt what is there to be learnt; Mungo Park discovered Niger, Ghana is just above Nigeria, and of course, we all learnt to hate maths. But, be it is hard as it may be, comprehending maths questions is by far an easier task than understanding why even an insane person would engage in a war which at the end of it: no land is gained, no slaves captured, no adherents of the opposing religion converted. The only gain, is burgeoning hatred for each other. And yet, history is a failed student in that part of the country; it will repeat itself. For now, they will live in peace, then they will quarrel, then fight, then maim one another, torch houses, kill scores, render dozens homeless, take selfies, then go back to living in peace.
This, is a totally incomprehensible lifestyle to a Muslim who has as a guide, the teachings of the Prophet.
The prophet, in his farewell sermon, during which he told the companions that he might not meet them again (and he didn’t) had this to say:
” Verily your blood, your property are as sacred and inviolable as the sacredness of this day of yours, in this month of yours, in this town of yours. Behold! Everything pertaining to the Days of Ignorance is under my feet completely abolished. Abolished are also the blood-revenges of the Days of Ignorance. The first claim of ours on blood-revenge which I abolish is that of the son of Rabi’ab al-Harith who was nursed among the tribe of Sa’d and killed by Hudhail.”
If the prophet considered abolishing blood revenges so important that he could shoehorn it into his farewell speech, then we, as Muslims should understand, that should we die fanning the sparks of such massacres to a roaring flame, then that would be of the greatest disrespect to the prophet’s commands.
© Lan Rey Hassan
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