Friday 13th April, 2007 was a day that will hardly be forgotten by Muslims in Nigeria. Not because the day came with anything good worth remembering, but because of the saddest event of the year which accompanied it. It was a day that saw the unprecedented assassination of a great Islamic scholar in this country by some yet-to-be-identified assassins whose motives still remain unknown to everyone except themselves. Their victim was Sheikh Ja'afar Mahmud Adam, Kano, a famous Quran reciter and interpreter.
For years Nigerians have been accustomed to hearing cases of political assassinations in the country which have defied the capability of our security agents. But this was the first time a high profile assassination occurred within the circle of Islamic scholars. Surprisingly, the expected usual reactions, mostly of violent nature, that trail such unfortunate incidences did not happen thanks to strenuous efforts by our Islamic leaders for successfully cooling down the already heated temper of Muslim brethren.
On that fateful day, Sheikh Ja'afar was as usual leading dawn prayers at his Dorayi, Kano mosque when suddenly his killers broke into the mosque and, knowing well their target, opened fire at him in a manner similar to that of armed robbers but these with a totally different mission. He along with a follower were felled down by their killers' vicious bullets. Sheikh Ja'afar was killed for apparently no other cause than his persistence to preach Islam in a unique manner that touched the hearts of all who cared to listen. He called a spade by its name while preaching on whatever topic not minding whose ox is gored. Could that have been his crime Due to his eloquence, wisdom and mastery of Qur'anic interpretation, he was invited by Muslim youths to offer lectures in almost every nook and cranny of the North, a phenomenon that attested to his popularity and acceptability to a growing number of Muslim Ummah. His death, however, was indicative of the highly deplorable level of insecurity in Nigeria.
Mallam Ja'afar, as fondly addressed by followers, was born in Daura, Katsina State in 1962 but brought up and lived his life to death in Kano State. His entire life was devoted to Islamic learning and propagation to the extent that he so adeptly memorised the entire Holy Qur'an. His gifted wisdom, eloquence and proficiency in Qur'ainc recitation and interpretation had earned him love, admiration, respect and unequalled popularity. It must have been this God-given talent of his that drew the attention of Maiduguri people to him to a point that throughout his so-brief-but-well-spent life, he conducted his annual Ramadhan Tafseer at Alhaji Muhammadu Ndimi's mosque in Maiduguri.
The news of Mallam Ja'afar's death shocked the whole Muslim Ummah in Nigeria irrespective of our inherent denominational differences since his death meant a great loss to the religion of Islam as well as created a hard-to-fill vacuum.
Nigeria is a country so blessed with enviable resources in abundance, both human and natural, but at the same time endowed with plenty of the resources' mismanages. One of the foremost functions of government is the protection of lives and property of its citizens. But sadly here, the unspeakable level of insecurity is such that our lives are constantly exposed to danger at home, on the road, in the bank halls, in the markets and now even in the mosques. Our properties are left for us to take care of, hence the notices ' vehicles are parked at owners' risks' fixed at various public buildings. People of Mallam Ja'afar's calibre ought to be entitled to extra security vigilance in the society and this should be at the expense of government. And now that in his case the government has woefully failed security wise, its next responsibility is to find out his killers and we don't want to be made to believe that the government has also failed in this direction.
Some questions that need answers in this case are:
1. Who actually killed Sheikh Ja'afar Mahmud Adam, Kano
2. Who masterminded the killing
3. What was their motive
4. Why has the government failed in apprehending any suspect till date
5. Is the investigation really going on
6. If it's going on, at what stage is it now
Just late last year, the State Security Service (SSS) agents boasted of foiling al-Qaeda attacks in Nigeria and initiated court cases against some people suspected of having links with the organisation. But amazingly, despite this show of sophistication, they failed to abort such killings of people like Mallam Ja'afar Kano, Mallam Umar Dan Mai Shiyya, Sokoto, etc or even come up with satisfactory explanation on how far they have gone in their investigation.
The circumstances of Mallam Ja'afar's death have clearly vindicated the bitter truth he preached as well as people's thought about him. He attained, at death, some precious grades which every good Muslim so dearly longs for at the end of his life.
First Mallam Ja'afar was killed in the cause of Allah. In so many instances, he used to admonish followers against any temptation that could lead a Muslim to kill his Muslim brother or any other person without any just cause. To support this, he cited a Prophetic Hadith in which the Prophet (SAW) described a situation on the d Day of Judgement when the slain person will come forward before the Majesty of Allah (SWT) bleeding profusely from the wound he sustained, grabbing firmly the killer asking him, ' what did I do wrong for which you killed me' Ironically, Mallam Ja'afar will find himself in this situation, but luckily for him, he'll be the one dragging the killer for Allah (SWT) to judge between them.
Second, he died while starting his day with dawn prayers in congregation. The dawn prayer (Subh) is one of the two types of prayers, the other one being night prayers (Isha), which the Prophet (SAW) strongly enjoined us to attend in congregation even if we'll have to crawl because of their immense spiritual benefit.
Third, he died on Friday which is a day that has a special status in Islam. It's a day in which righteous deeds are more juicily rewarded. And it's hoped that if a Muslim dies on Friday with an unshakeable conviction in his faith, Allah will forgive his sins and admit him into Paradise.
Fourth, He died for what he lived for which is the propagation of Islam. Throughout his life, he strived to spread Islam and show people the actual path followed by the Holy Prophet (SAW) and his Companions (RA). He, like his mentor and teacher, Sheikh Abubakar Mahmud Gumi, kept emphasizing that Muslims should act in accordance with the Sunnah of the Prophet (SAW) which comprise his actions, sayings and silent approvals.
May Allah (SWT) accept Mallam Ja'afar's martyrdom and grant him Jannatul Firdaus. Ameen.
Culled from YMRIGASA.BLOGSPOT.com