RALLYING AROUND MAN OF ALLAH IN KEEPING TO OBLIGATORY RIGHTS OF OUR RESPECTED MARTYRS!
Written By; Sheikh Muhammad Mahmud Turi.
In the name of Allah who states “Among the believers are men who have been true to their covenant with Allah; of them some have died and some (still) wait; But they have never changed (their determination) in the least” Q33:24.
Peace and blessings of Allah be upon His noble servant, our master Muhammad and his oppressed progeny.
As the 40th day prayer of our great martyrs fast approaches and people from all walks of life continuously troop to the residence of sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky (H) for condolence, the aspect I wish to discuss this week is the rights of these innocent brothers and sisters murdered after the International Quds day event and their predecessors in general.
To be oppressively killed for religious belief is commonly regarded as Martyrdom. A martyr therefore is a very responsible person that made a great sacrifice in the interest of Islam leading to loss of his or her dear life in the process. Yes there are other categories of martyrs such as those killed in defense of their persons, family or wealth. But most significant are those tyrannically murdered for their ambition to establish social justice and societal reform.
Imam Ali (as) said “Allah will bring forward the martyrs on the day of judgment with such pomp and splendor, that even the prophets if mounted, will dismount to show their respect for them. With such grandeur will a martyr appear on the Day of Judgment”. When the Imam was struck by Ibn Muljim, the terrorist assassin in the early hours of 19th Ramadan, he said: I have succeeded by the Lord of the Kaaba!
Imam Husain said; “my grandfather told me that I was destined to attain a very high spiritual position but that could not be attained except through martyrdom”
Thus, martyrdom is an honorable position that Allah gives to whom He likes. As an inevitable milestone, many prophets and rightly guided predecessors were honored in that way as they treaded the path of Allah in the cause of their revolutionary process.
Evidently, the struggles of Shehu Danfodio and Imam Khomeini (may Allah have mercy on them) were proven examples, just as it happens in the sheikh Zakzaky – led Islamic movement! Although Muslims have a different view on crucifixion, the Christians similarly, believe in the great sacrifice or martyrdom of Jesus Christ (peace be upon him) for the salvation of mankind.
MARTYRS OF THE ISLAMIC MOVEMENT
Although the 25th July merciless murder on the members of Islamic movement in Nigeria was not the first, but was the first of its kind. The first historic event in which the movement lost its member was in 1982 at Bauchi during the popular Islamic vocational conference (IVC) when mysteriously the police attacked the participants killing Brother Muhammad Bello.
The second popular event occurred in Katsina on the 19th April, where peaceful procession was staged to protest the blasphemy against the prophet and his wife sayyidah Khadijah by the fun times magazine in the days of Colonel John Madaki where Malam Abubakar Shehu Madomawa from Sokoto was martyred in 1991.
Persecution against members of this movement occurred at different times and places leading to additional loss of members. A remarkable number was lost in the oppressive rule of the dark – goggled Abacha before he was caught by the omnipotent. In the last seven years, no fewer than fourteen brothers were tyrannically killed by sponsored thugs and police in a deliberately attack in Sokoto under the present administration.
The attacks came despite the widely recognized contributions of the Islamic movement not only in the socio – economic aspect of the society but entire human endeavors. “And they ill – treated them for no other reason than that they believed in Allah, Exalted in power, Worthy of all praise! Q85: 8.
THE RIGHTS OF OUR RESPECTED MARTYRS
Generally, Mu’assasatus shuhada or martyrs foundation is charged with education, moral upbringing and related activities of the martyrs’ families. The foundation is a fully registered non – governmental organization which collects contribution from members and other well meaning individuals for its humanitarian activities. It was established by the insightful sheikh Immediately after the second brutal murder of a member, precisely on 1st January, 1992. The foundation has an intact record of all martyrs and their families in about forty years of the movement’s existence covering the circumstances and responsible culprits. Undeniably, the martyr as a human being deserves commendation for discarding all human desires absolutely preferring the pleasure of Allah the most High.
Allah says “Fair in the eyes of men is the love of things they covet; women and sons; heaped – up hoards of gold and silver; horses branded (for blood and excellence); and (wealth of) cattle and well – tilled land. Such are the possessions of this world’s life; but with Allah is the best of the goals (to return to). Say: shall I give you glad tiding of things far better than those? for the righteous are Gardens in nearness to their Lord with rivers flowing beneath; therein is their eternal home; with spouses purified and the good pleasure of Allah, for in Allah’s sight are (all) His servants” Q3:14 – 15.
In view of the firm faith, good practice and great sacrifice of the martyr, Allah honors him greatly in a special way here and hereafter. A prominent hadeeth al – Qudsy, says “I am the successor of a martyr in his family”.
Allah says “Think not of those who are slain in Allah’s way as dead. Nay, they live, finding their sustenance from their Lord, they rejoice in the Bounty provided by Allah; and with regard to those left behind, who have not yet joined them (in their bliss), the (martyrs) glory in the fact that on them is no fear, nor have they (cause to) grieve. Q3:169 – 170.
The points I want emphasize at this juncture are the following:
The first obligation towards our respected martyrs is prayers. We must always pray for them and their families. As the sheikh repeatedly emphasizes, we should pray to Allah to accept them and grant their wishes at least in our every night Witr. At the same time we should pray to Allah to give a befitting recompense on the culprits responsible for their martyrdom. Yes they deserve destructive prayers for their murderous action against the faithful. Allah says “If a man kills a believer intentionally, his recompense is Hell, to abide therein (Forever); and the wrath and the curse of Allah Are upon him, and a dreadful chastisement is prepared for him. Q4: 93.
No matter how long, the criminals will also die. A time will come when they will taste the death and account for their bad deeds. Some of those that killed our well mannered brothers in the fast have made a very bad end and remained accusable forever. “And do not incline towards those who are unjust, lest the fire touch you, and you have no guardians towards besides Allah, then you shall not be helped” Q11:113.
Regrettably, they do not think of their end at all and are ready to be used at will for bloodshed. Questions like these are very important; is death an end or a beginning? Why should I be instructed to kill? What is the wisdom behind it? Where do we go after it? What is the relation between the physical and spiritual aspects of human being? And what are the lessons to learn from the death of others we witness?
“He who created death and life, that He may try which of you is best in deed; He is the exalted in might, Oft forgiving” Q14:42.
2. SHUHADA DUES:
Secondly, we must pay more attention to the general welfare of the martyrs’ family. This could be achieved by utmost support and cooperation to martyrs foundation through prompt payment of Shuhada dues.
We must pay this due so that the honor of these great families is sufficiently protected more than we care for ourselves. This is the interpretation of the hadeeth above. In fact most Islamic scholars have interpreted the verse; “…..on them is no fear, nor have they (cause to) grieve” Q3: 170. They referred the fear to the destiny in the hereafter and grieve, regard to the family the martyr lefts behind.
So we must emulate the practice of the Leader of this movement that promptly pays the due for the welfare of the martyrs’ families. We should also learn to visit the martyrs’ families from time to time. Interestingly, all the martyrs’ children are at various school levels. Some are already running various courses within and outside Nigerian universities! This goes in line with what the sheikh maintains that as far as education is concerned sky is not even the limit but the beginning.
3. CONTINOUS REMEMBRANCE:
We must learn to remember our martyrs always. In line with this, we should learn to pay special visits for prayers to their graves. As we care for their children, taking care of their graves is also a duty we should respect. It is imperative to commend the effort of the foundation for renovating their graves in particular and cemeteries in general.
JANNAT AL – RAHMA or GARDEN OF MERCY is the prominent graveyard exclusively for our martyrs in Zaria. We have good lessons to learn especially from other countries where cemeteries are rehabilitated – cared and electrified- for visits, prayers and remembrance, unlike here where they are disrespected, irrationally feared and considered a home for ghosts! “O you who believe! Seek help with patient perseverance And prayer; for Allah is with those who patiently persevere” Q2:153.
REWARDS ACCORDING TO DEEDS
Allah is absolutely just. So He does not treat His creatures unfairly. Every soul is a hostage of its own deeds”Q74:37. Therefore the righteous and the wicked are rewarded accordingly. “But give glad tidings to those who believe and work righteousness, that their portion is Garden, beneath which rivers flow. Every time they are fed with fruits there from, they say why, this is what we were fed with before, for they are given things in similitude and they have therein spouses purified; and they abide therein (forever)” Q2:25.
Finally, as we re – appreciate the sympathetic concern and pledges of various groups to take legal action on the deliberate murder of the 33 members including the three sons of Sheikh Ibraheem Zakzaky (H) by the military in favor of the Islamic movement. The world reminds them and looks on earnestly to see the fruits of their faithful attempt.
Wassalamu alaikum warahmatullah.