Law School: On Blasphemy and Islam By Hussaini Hussaini
Blasphemy against Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon him) has been a source of tension in Nigeria for long. It has cost the lives of so many people who for no apparent reason or for mere misunderstanding with other Muslim will go to the dangerous length of uttering abusive statements against the holy Prophet (PBUH). Daily Nigerian online Newspaper reported today, Sunday, July 22, 2018 that a Law School student, Madu Vitrus Sunday shared abusive and derogatory statement against Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) in the WhatsApp group(s) of the Nigerian Law School which caused a lot of tension. The question that will ring in one’s mind is what is the motive behind such provocation against Muslims? Is it because a Muslim abused Jesus Christ (May Peace Be Upon Him) or any of their sign of worship? Or is it because the non-muslims who partake in such unholy, detestable act are not aware about the value of Prophet Muhammad and all other Prophets to Muslims?
Taking the first question, no Muslim will spend the next second in Islam if he utters a derogatory statement against Jesus Christ (May Peace be Upon him) or Moses or any Prophet of God (i.e.one will lose his Islamic faith if he disrespect Jesus Christ). In fact, it is an article of faith to believe in all the Prophets of God as the same Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him) who is incessantly subjected to abuse by others stated in the Hadith of Jibril. Allah also stated in various verses of the holy Qur’an that Muslim should believe in Him and his Prophets (note the plural). In Qur’an 4:136 Allah says:
” O you who believe! believe in Allah and His Apostle and the Book which He has revealed to His Apostle and the Book which He revealed before, and whoever disbelieves in Allah and His angels and His apostles and the last day, he indeed strays off into a remote error”. In another verse, Allah the Exalted said that Muslims should refrain from abusing non-muslims so that they should not abuse Allah in return on ignorance in Qur’an 6:108 as follows:
“And do not abuse those whom they call upon besides Allah, lest exceeding the limits they should abuse Allah out of ignorance. Thus have We made fair seeming to every people their deeds; then to the Lord shall be their return so He will inform them of what they did”. This ruling I’m sure all Muslims irrespective of sect have fully complied with it. I have heard of no Muslim to the best of my knowledge who has ever wake up to abuse Jesus Christ (May Peace Be Upon Him) or Moses (PBUH) or any of the Prophets of God. So what’s the offense of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) against those who abuse him at will? If it’s because they hate him, the above verses should tell them he harbored no hate against them.
On the other hand, if the hate against Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) is because they don’t know his value to Muslims, this is it:
Allah says in Qur’an 33:6 “The Prophet has a greater claim on the faithful than they have on themselves…”. In other words, the life and honor of the Prophet is more valuable to Muslims than their own lives and honor. This is why a Muslim will have cause to understand a person who abused his parents but get totally different when the matter concerns the Prophet’s honor. But whatever the reason for such abuse is, it is clearly done with ulterior motive because the said Madu Vitrus Sunday chose to not only issue the abuse on a Single Muslim, but send it to law school WhatsApp groups in order to achieve his aim of inciting violence and unrest.
This bring us to the question whether this kind of person is fit and proper to be called to the Nigerian Bar.
By section 5 of the legal Education (Consolidation Etc) Act and Section 4 of the Legal practitioners Act, a person shall be entitled to be issued the qualifying certificate and called to the Nigerian Bar if he is of “Good Character” as further supported by the learned author, A. Obi Okoye in his book, Law in Practice in Nigeria (Second Edition) citing the case of Okonjo v. Council of Legal Education. It will be very risky and dangerous for the council of Legal Education and the Body of Benchers to clear this type of war monger to our Noble profession.
In conclusion, I call on the Nigerian Law School, the Council of Legal Education, The Body of Benchers and the respected Hon. Chief Justice of Nigeria to investigate and ensure that the likes of Madu, if found guilty, are not admitted to the Noble profession of law which holds the balance for justice against human sentiments and as a profession of love and discipline. My Lords and learned seniors and parents of this profession, the case of Kayode Bello (Kay-Bello) who was denied call and exams for alleged incitement in Abuja Campus in 2017 is still fresh. I also call on the Nigerian Police and the Department of State Security to also investigate and ensure the arrest and prosecution of Madu Sunday and his likes to avoid public unrest and lost of lives and properties if found wanting. I finally call on our parents and religious leaders to please stop teaching and preaching hate because it will be shameful to train or relate with any person that will go as high as the law school and exhibit hateful character.
May God bring peace to our country.
Hussaini Hussaini is a legal practitioner, based in Abuja can be reached via firstname.lastname@example.org
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