[Sharia News Watch] Nigeria - Sharia evaluation
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The Sharia News Watch provides a weekly update of news quotes on
Sharia (Islamic Law) & related subjects, as appearing on the major
news search engines. All editions :
Last weekend the Weekly Trust (Kaduna) http://www.weeklytrust.com/
spent most of its pages on an evaluation of the formal (and informal)
Sharia States in Nigeria.
map Nigerian Sharia states
Jigawa: Effective Zakkat System, Poor Sharia Implementation - 26 Jul
http://allafrica.com/stories/200307280433.html [Weekly Trust - Kaduna]
Since the introduction of the Sharia legal system in Jigawa State
about three years ago, its implementation has been beclouded in
controversy. At times, outright condemnation between opponents and
proponents of the legal system.
Government introduced Sharia courts, appointed Sharia judges and other
paraphernalia associated with the conditions for the proper
implementation of the legal system. Governor Ibrahim Saminu Turaki in
October 2002 at the national da'awah rally reiterated his commitment
to enforce the law when a case of rape was established against one
Muhammad Sarimu, 56. The governor also established a new ministry to
ensure strict compliance and implementation of the legal system. There
was for the first time in any state the appointment of a nationally-
recognised scholar, Sheikh Yahaya Jingir as the special adviser to
Governor Turaki on religious matters, ala Sharia .
However, two years after the establishment of all these Sharia
paraphernalia, doubts are being expressed about the whole exercise.
First, it was a clash between the Hisba and members of the Dutse royal
concerted pressures began to mount on all the institutions that were
supposed to enforce the system in the state; the courts, police,
judges and even scholars being branded as either pro or against sharia
Moreso, the courts began to dismiss cases with impunity without any
recourse to the criminality of the case. For example case between the
state and Muhammad Sarim which was supposed to continue on 25th
December 2002 has not been brought up till today.
[an official at the state Justice Ministry] said the Sharia legal
system is not out to punish people but to ensure that they become
better. "In the discharge of the system, cultural, traditional and
even religious differences must be taken into consideration, hence the
need to tread carefully," he said.
In the last one year, immediately after the Hisba was disbanded,
prostitution outlets sprang up in major towns across the state. In
fact, "city wives phenomenon" has become a norm in the Jigawa where
immorality is displayed in daylight, and unchallenged. The
unseriousness as regards the implementation has led to a situation
where Sharia implementation in the state can safely be said not to
exist and beer parlours, prostitution outlets, and several vices are
now becoming more pronounced than ever before.
Investigations at various ministries related with the implementation
of the legal system revealed especially that the state has died down
with the elections of April 2003. Ever since, no issue concerning
Sharia could be said to have any relevance in the state. The only
aspect of Sharia left is the issue of Zakkat collection, distribution
While describing the Zakkat institution in the state as unique and a
successful experiment, the deputy imam [Dutse central mosque] revealed
that the ability of the institution to catch up gradually has become a
litmus test for other states to emulate. Ustaz Habibu disclosed that
several schools were open to ensure an educated society that
understands Islam and Sharia is established.
Kaduna: Beyond the Three-Legged Judicial System - 26 Jul 03
http://allafrica.com/stories/200307280437.html [Weekly Trust - Kaduna]
In Kaduna State, there are as many inhibitions against Sharia as the
prohibitions against certain practices that it, as a legal code, seeks
to entrench. There appears to be an equality in quantitative terms
between the clamour for and opposition against the introduction of
Sharia in the state as a result of which heads rolled and wealth
vandalised. The series of physical combats between pro-Sharia and
anti-Sharia folks to a considerable extent led to the disfigurement of
the political and social settings of the state.
The three-legged judicial system that provides for the establishment
of Sharia courts, customary courts and common law courts is supposedly
wide enough to accommodate the varying demands of the people in the
state. Convictions of the people are now the major determinants of
their own individual or collective choice of courts as and when the
According to the provisions of the law establishing the system, Sharia
is now enforceable in such areas where there is dominants Muslim
population. And local government councils in such areas most of which
are located in the northern part of the state are responsible for the
enactment of by-laws that will primarily prohibit the existence of
brothels and liquor stores.
However, a survey conducted by Weekly Trust has shown that Sharia is
either not sufficiently observed or is being observed in the breach.
In most of such areas, there still exist either brothels or certain
centres at which intoxicants, not necessarily wine, are sold and
consumed by youths who are the natural perpetrators of all sorts of
In such Muslim-dominated parts of Kaduna metropolis as Tudun Wada,
Badarawa, Anguwar Dosa, Malali and Rigasa, as well as other parts of
the state where a lot of brothels, beer parlours and even religious
places were demolished during the Sharia riots, there can still be
found groups of youths that indulge in the intake of intoxicants and
sexual misbehaviour. And there seems to be no agency that is charged
with the responsibility of ensuring that, at least, the basic tenets
of Sharia are observed.
Local government councils in the Muslim-dominated areas are largely
seen as the major culprits in the apparent failure to implement Sharia
properly. While some of the councils have not yet even come up with
the relevant by-laws on the implementation of the legal code, there is
also a noticeable laxity on the parts of those councils that have made
Sharia Not Active in Kano - Isa Waziri [Weekly Trust - Kaduna]
http://allafrica.com/stories/200307280629.html - 26 Jul 03
.. [interview] Sheikh Isa Waziri is the chairman, Kano State Sharia
Since the implementation of Sharia in Kano to date, I cannot point out
a single capital offence that was treated in the state despite the
fact that such criminal offences were everywhere in the state. No
single thief's hand was amputated in Kano, I have never heard such
cases in our courts. Does that mean we don't have such cases in Kano
where a thief's hand deserves to be amputated?
Killings are everywhere in Kano, but no single offender was found
guilty in Kano since the establishment of Sharia in the state. And all
these had happened because the Kwankwaso administration politicised
Sharia in the state.
the government should consider very important is the establishment of
a ministry that could take care of the religious affairs in the state
and the ministry should be handled by learned of trusted and lowest
people. Government also should be cautious while recruiting judges.
only qualified judges, trustworthy, honest and of good conduct should
be recruited to our courts.
Kano Govt. Failed to Support Sharia - Ustaz Rabo - 26 Jul 03
http://allafrica.com/stories/200307280587.html [Weekly Trust - Kaduna]
.. [interview] Ustaz Abubakar Rabo Abdul-Kareem is the secretary of
the Independent Shariah Implementation Support Committee
Sharia is very much functioning and working in Kano State, because the
people's consciousness, their moral and social lives have drastically
changed compared to their lives before the implementation of the
Sharia legal system.
Also issues regarding social problems within our communities are no
more going to the police or courts, because they are now being solving
at wards levels, at various levels in the state. This was done through
the Sharia Guidance and Councils, Da'awah Committees and through
Hisbah sub-committees in each and every ward, village and local
The former government was not giving due backing to Sharia at all,
particularly on the legislative backing for Sharia in the state. The
former governor, Dr Rabi'u Musa Kwankwaso politicised Sharia because
it truly seem to be played by. So the former government did not
support Sharia implementation in the state but we are hoping that the
present will support Sharia fully to take its due course, which is not
brutal or cruel.
We are also hoping that the present government will enact this
legislation that will back the machinery of the Sharia legal system
and if this machinery will be given the necessary support by the
government and the general public to win a 100% per cent peace in our
Sharia as a total way of life will not leave anything untouched. In
respect of any issue whether naming or wedding ceremonies, Sharia has
its own way of doing it.
We are not saying there should not be gatherings during ceremonies
within our communities. But rather, in what manner should such
activities be conducted? Islamically should such ceremonies should be
conducted according to the teachings of Sharia legal system. For the
non-Muslims, they should conduct their ceremonies in their private
environments and they shouldn't disturb peace in the society.
The way that we are interfering into such cases was to assign our
elderly people living in the area where such events take place to meet
the organisers of the ceremony for proper solution, and sometimes, we
just report them to the police. We are not taking laws into our hands
Two Years of Sharia in Kano: Shekarau's Humanist Approach - 26 Jul 03
http://allafrica.com/stories/200307280443.html [Weekly Trust - Kaduna]
When the wind of Sharia blew across northern Nigeria from Zamfara
State in the year 2000, Kano was thrown into controversy between a
willing populace and a reluctant government. The agitation for the
implementation of total Sharia took a heated dimension that the state
governor then, Dr Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso was sometimes openly challenged
in public by Sharia proponents while the government defenders insist
that Sharia implementation must be gradual in a cosmopolitan state
The division in approach led to the formation of an independent body
to mobilize the public and use constitutional means to achieve the
Sharia implementation in the state. The activities of these groups,
comprising mainly Ulama, Islamic preachers, scholars and various
Islamic sects, finally made the government to bow to the will of the
majority which wanted the full implementation of the Islamic legal
system as introduced in Zamfara State.
While the Ulama continue to accuse the government of inertia and
foot-dragging in the implementation following its refusal to provide
the necessary facilities, infrastructures and personnel to carry-out
the duties of implementing the system, the government of Dr. Rabiu
Musa Kwankwaso insisted that it is doing its best under the
circumstances, citing the inadequacy of qadis (sharia judges) and the
court facilities themselves as impediments.
Following the disagreement on the mode of implementation, the
Independent Sharia Committee established a Sharia vanguard called
Hisba, a voluntary body charged with ensuring compliance with Sharia
acceptable culture within the society. The government, and the police,
to a larger extent, saw in Hisba as a sort of Independent Law
enforcement body under the control of Ulama and other Sharia
die-hards. This led to many disagreements and sometimes skirmishes
between the police and the Hisba members in enforcing the Islamic
legal system in Kano.
The introduction of the Islamic legal law in Kano, despite the
problems in implementation between the government law enforcement
agencies and the independent law enforcers, however, brought about a
reduction in many vices in the ancient city especially in the open
consumption of alcohol in hotels and clubs within the metropolis. Even
the Southerners-dominated Sabon Gari area became jittery and sold
alcohol secretly at the initial stage of the introduction. Prostitutes
left the city in droves and for once, the red streets of Kano became
bare, free of pimps and hookers waving at motorists. Even the brothels
in Sabon Gari closed shop. And thank God, up till today, they remain
closed, ridding the city of an abominable practice condemned by all
religions. The fear of cutting off the hands of a thief further
reduced the number of burglary and petty theft in the city while the
irresponsible menace of 'Yan daba and 'yan daukan amarya subsided to
the barest minimum. Kano was experiencing a kind of Islamic cultural
revival at the inception of the Islamic legal system until the
independent Sharia Implementation Committee claimed that the
government was not being sincere with Sharia implementation in Kano.
Part of the accusations centred on the government's refusal to appoint
and train qadis [Sharia court judges], lack of Sharia reference books
and the inadequacy of the courts themselves became the bane of Sharia
implementation in Kano. The remunerations of the few Sharia court
judges itself became a problem as they were left without salary for
months exposing them further to corrupt court officials. The
Independent Sharia Implementation Committee was quick to point
accusing fingers at the government for the lapses while the government
continued to defend itself with gradual implementation policy.
When the heat became too much the government changed tactics. It
succeeded in winning over some of the Sharia die-hards within the
ulama and preachers who began propagating what became the "government
Sharia". They used strong Qur'anic Verses like Allah's injunction to
Prophet Moses [A.S] to use softer words in spreading the gospel to
Fir'aun and other powerful Hadiths while the proponents within the
Independent Sharia Implementation Committee continued with their stiff
opposition to anything but total Sharia in Kano.
The success of this divisive tactics worked for the government as the
momentum for Sharia implementation began to wane and Hisba's relevance
in the Sharia implementation also suffered a set-back thereby allowing
many vices that had hitherto been discarded to return. Gradually and
systematically, prostitutes began to return to Kano using the Islamic
Hijab [veil] as a cover in the dark streets of GRA. beer parlours in
Sabon Gari began to open again. Some hotels even began serving alcohol
in their bars, a situation that led the then deputy governor Dr
Abdullahi Umar Ganduje to lead a raid on some of the hotels at the
instigation of the Independent Sharia Implementation Committee.
Compliance with the Sharia laws began to diminish even as the police
continued to show resentment to Hisba's efforts to complement them in
enforcing Sharia in Kano.
Hisba's influence on the community in the implementation and the
enforcement of Sharia were further weakened when the state government
decided to have its own Hisba under the leadership of a renown Kano
Islamic scholar, Sheik Aminudeen Abubakar. The split of Hisba gave the
police the choice to accept cases brought to them only from the
government Hisba members and refused to recognise the independent one.
The former Kano State police commissioner Yakubu Uba, put it bluntly
then, "We only recognise the government Hisba, we don't know any
Sharia Implementation in Katsina, the Journey So Far - 26 Jul 03
http://allafrica.com/stories/200307280597.html [Weekly Trust - Kaduna]
Weekly Trust investigation revealed that one reason why Sharia
implementation is faced with a lot of set-back is the state's
"conflict of authority," as to who has the legal power to control and
supervise courts between the newly created Sharia Commission led by
the state Grand khadi and the already established State Judicial
Service Commission led by the chief judge of the state. Further
investigation revealed that this legal tussle had degenerated into
negative consequence whereby a grand khadi would send an order to the
court only for the chief to issue another letter asking the court to
disregard the order for the latter. The development led to the
resignation of some of the judges who could not withstand the
the conflict seems to be created by the enabling legislation made by
the state House of Assembly (Islamic Adoption Law 2000) vis-à-vis some
constitutional provisions especially Section 3(3) and Section 12, the
law which gives the chief judge the power to appoint and discipline as
well as investigate the courts while Section 9 of the law conferred on
the grand khadi the powers to make rules and regulations for the
practice and procedure of the Sharia courts.
Similarly, Section 277 sub-section 1&2, paragraphs 9-6 of the 1999
constitution restricts the jurisdiction of Sharia Court to personal
law while section 6(2b) allows for the establishment of Islamic courts
to run side-by-side with the common law courts that all the courts
shall have all the powers of a superior court of record.
[The chief imam of Katsina Central Mosque] added that of all the 86
judges that were heading the Sharia courts, only two are competent,
disclosing further that they recommend led the training of some but
the recommendation was never approved.
Similarly, the state chairman of the Supreme Council for Sharia
implementation in Nigeria and a renown cleric in Katsina, Sheikh
Yakubu Musa Hassan blamed the Katsina State government for
deliberately pulling down the structure it had earlier established,
relating to Sharia implementation particularly, he noted the
strangulation of Sharia enforcement bodies namely Hisba and Da'awah
committees whose power of apprehension of offenders were curtailed by
the government. He said the Katsina State government he said later
accused the Hisba of taking laws into their hands and issued a
directive to the courts to stop accepting cases from them, while
giving the police the exclusive right to apprehend and prosecute
Sharia offenders even without any constitutional mandate thereby
rendering the two committees useless.
The state commander, Hisba Committee, Ustaz Hamisu Abubakar Imam,
informed Weekly Trust that the government's action created problem
between them and some political thugs in town. The commander said
their role was only to meet and advise offenders on the consequences
of their actions and if they insisted, they report them to the
appropriate authority. And that only when such acts criminally
endangered public peace could they arrest and hand offenders over to
the police or Sharia courts.
[the secretary of the Sharia Commission] accused people of ignorance
of the operation of the Sharia legal system, which he said encompasses
only a preaching of what is wrong and what is right, adding that
Sharia implementation in the state has fared well so far while
asserting the role of the commission as only advisory, which will live
no stone unturned in its legal responsibilities to the government and
people of the state.
Yorubaland: Sharia Implementation Progresses Despite Constraints
http://allafrica.com/stories/200307280585.html - 26 Jul 03
.. [Weekly Trust - Kaduna]
One year after the implementation of Sharia began through private
initiative in Yorubaland, indications are that the Islamic legal code
has come to stay despite obvious constraints. The initial opposition
to the implementation of Sharia, especially by non-Muslims, seems to
have fizzled out, while the various independent Sharia panels set up
under the aegis of the Supreme Council for Sharia in Nigeria (SCSN)
continue to function without hindrance.
Expectedly, there has been increasing patronage of the Sharia panels
by Yoruba Muslims who had hitherto been patronising common and
customary laws. The Oyo State independent Sharia panel sitting at the
Oja-Oba Central mosque in Ibadan had reportedly treated about 500
cases since its inception in May last year.
In the same vein, that of Lagos State which was inaugurated last
December is said to have handled about 60 cases at its independent
Sharia panel sittings at the Abesan Estate Central mosque, Ipaja. the
Lagos State chapter of SCSN established another panel at the 1004
Estate Central Mosque, Victoria Island, last March.
In Ogun State, the official implementation of Sharia has not been
quite successful because of opposition from some notable imams in
So far, most of the cases being handled by the various Sharia panels
in the South-West relate to civil matters like divorce, contractual
disputes, inheritance, etc. However, the panel in Ibadan has had to
face the challenge of dabbling into criminal matters outside the civil
Sharia jurisdiction decreed for it by the state chapter of SCSN.
The eventual public caning of Shittu had attracted criticisms from the
opponents of Sharia who maintained that the panel had no legal
authority to adjudicate on the criminal aspect of Sharia since it is a
Even some Muslim scholars are of the opinion that the panel shouldn't
have carried out the 'hadd' punishment on Shittu. Their contention is
that only the government or its agents can carry out such fixed
punishments prescribed by Islamic law.
Following the controversy over the propriety or otherwise of the
Shittu case, Weekly Trust gathered that the Ibadan Sharia panel has
since decided to refer any subsequent criminal case brought before it
to Zamfara State for adjudication.
the panels have been largely unable to implement their rulings in all
the cases they have treated. They depend largely on the goodwill of
litigants to comply with their rulings. Apart from the absence of
statutory backing for the Sharia panels, litigants whom the panels'
rulings do not favour have no opportunity for appeal for now.
Despite these inevitable shortcomings of the Sharia panels, many
Yoruba Muslims still appreciate their existence, hence their
increasing patronage of the panels.
Interestingly, long before Governor Ahmad Sani relaunched sharia in
Zamfara State in the year 2000, there had been agitations by Yoruba
Muslims for the official reintroduction of the Islamic legal system in
For instance, as far back as 1923, the Lagos Muslim community had
petitioned the colonial administration for the creation of Sharia
courts. The Muslim communities in Ijebu-Ode and Oyo also demanded the
reintroduction of Sharia from the colonial masters in 1940 and 1944
respectively. The Nigerian Muslim Council (NMC) led by Senator Hassan
Fasinro had mounted vigorous pressure on the then military
administrator of Lagos State, General Buba Marwa, to create civil
Sharia courts in Lagos.
With the continued agitation for the creation of governmental civil
Sharia courts in Yorubaland, perhaps the state governments in the
region will accede to Muslims' request some day.
[Zamfara] No Misunderstanding Between Government And Ulama
http://allafrica.com/stories/200307280589.html - 26 Jul 03
.. [Weekly Trust - Kaduna]
(interview) Alhaji Mohammed Attahiru Bello, secretary to the Zamfara
Since the inception of Sharia in 1999, a lot of achievements has been
recorded. First and foremost is the sensitizing of the public to
conform within the Islamic legal system, what it preaches and what is
ordain by Allah. It is on record that Zamfara State has the lowest
number of criminal cases in the country. And we have generated
relative peace in the state despite provocations at different levels.
A lot of the populace have been empowered for self-reliance through
the Zamfara Poverty Alleviation Scheme (ZAPA) created by the
government. As part of the welfare package, loans have been disbursed
to stimulate trade and agriculture. In the public service, a
commission has been set up to fight corruption for the fact that
corrupt practices have been condemned by every religions especially
Well, to the best of my knowledge, the restriction on women has not
changed. There is still that prohibition. And as you know, at the
beginning, there were taxis specially for women passengers and that is
still in practice. And we had to appeal to the kabu-kabu operators to
carry only male passengers. Just last week, His Excellency gave out
vehicle loans for taxis in order to boost the number of taxis within
the town. And because the taxis are many, it was decided that they
should carry men or women only but they should not carry them
together. If a taxi driver picks a woman, the he should not pick a man
until he drops the woman. That directive is still in force.
It is the duty of the Hisba (the Sharia monitoring agency) to enforce
that prohibition. If for one reason or the other that cannot be done,
it must be a big mistake. And the government is now trying to give the
Hisba more powers. It will now be a commission for the implementation
of Sharia and monitoring. Already, a bill is in the House of Assembly.
That will give the Hisba more powers to enforce Sharia in the state.
And that takes care of the kabu-kabu who carry women.
As you knows the Hisba committee is composed of different groups.
Before the composition of the Hisba, they always went out and
performed their duty for the sake of Allah. This is what government is
reminding them. They have been doing their work even without pay. So
if for one reason or the other, there is delay in the payment of their
monthly allowance, they shouldn't be complaining and stop doing what
they are supposed to do. That doesn't mean also that he (governor)
will stop paying their allowances. This matter is in the constitution
of the Hisba which will soon be inaugurated. When it is inaugurated
and it gets the approval of the House of Assembly, all they need will
be given to them.
Appropriate actions were taken against whoever was found responsible
for confiscating lands or whatever. First of all, the land was
returned to the rightful owner. And if the issue is before the Sharia
court, it will depend on the judge to dispense with it as it should
be. So I cannot give you particular instances.
[Zamfara] Sharia: Yarima vs the Mallams [Weekly Trust - Kaduna]
http://allafrica.com/stories/200307280636.html - 28 Jul 03
For, as Governor Ahmed Sani, Yariman Bakura settles down to a solid
second term mandate, which was largely founded on Sharia campaign, a
disquieting cloud also darkens his relationship with the Hisba (Sharia
monitoring group) and the ulama (Islamic scholars) whose atonement
formed the bedrock for the launching of Sharia in 1999.
As it is, this rift, which culminated in a threat by Governor Sani to
deal with any scholar preaching anti-government sentiments has taken a
toll on the Sharia and aroused serious concern in the minds of the
over 50 million Muslim population in the country who hailed its
adoption four years ago.
Investigations by Weekly Trust revealed that the prohibition on the
free mixing of the sexes has drastically slackened, so that
motorcyclists now carry Muslim women passengers even as young men and
women could be seen hugging each other at night without the slightest
fear of apprehension by the now-reluctant members of the Hisba.
And in spite of the restriction of the sale of alcoholic beverages to
specified spots, drunks are seen these days roaming the streets of
Gusau virtually unhindered. As if this is not enough, a local brothel
also operates less than 50 metres away from the offices of the
Directorate for Sharia Implementation behind Labin-Labin Motor Park in
Gusau town. Reports of forceful acquisition of land and other
properties of the less-privileged by those in authority, particularly
village and district heads, have also reached an alarming proportion
around the state.
Evidently irked by what appeared as the ulama's political
miscalculation, Yarima allegedly hit back by shutting the gates of the
government house with all its prior 'magnanimity' to the scholars and
withheld the monthly allowances of N5,000 [EUR 34,-] to the Hisba
members. The upshot is that this storming rage has now turned into a
contest between different appeals addressing different constituencies
with attendant consequences on the future of Sharia implementation in
According to the ulama, a proper Islamic order requires that those
whose rights and interests are involved should have full freedom of
expression and should be kept informed about how their affairs are
being run contrary to what obtains in Zamfara, which is fast becoming
inclined towards authoritarianism as this reporter discovered. At one
such lectures held at the old market, the scholars were said to have
reminded people in the state of their rights under Sharia to protest
any inefficiency, negligence or error in the proper discharge of the
duties of leadership pertaining to their affairs.
According to the secretary to the state government, the administration
has embarked on the reconstitution of the Hisba to be transformed into
a statutory body with additional powers to enforce Sharia. He said
that the governor might have made the controversial threat out of
annoyance as the Hisba used to perform the enforcement work
voluntarily for the sake of Allah before they were even offered the
N5,000 monthly stipends.
Beyond the present situation in Zamfara, other sharia-implementing
states too have their peculiar problems that have clogged the smooth
running of sharia. For instance, in Kano State, reports indicate that
the implementation of sharia was no more than a sham as former
Governor Rabiu Musa Kwankwaso never backed its enforcement.
Commenting on this, Ustaz Abubakar Rabo Abdulkareem, the secretary of
the Sharia Independent Support Committee in Kano accused former
Governor Kwankwaso of merely politicising the divine order while he
never accorded it the required legislative backing. Another Islamic
scholar, Sheik Isa Waziri, the chairman, Kano State Sharia
Implementation Committee, categorically said that the system has not
been active in the state. He said that since the adoption of sharia in
the state, no capital punishment was awarded even in the face of
increasing rise in crime rate. "But we are hoping that the Shekarau
administration will support sharia in totality to enable people change
from bad to good," he said.
Similarly, in Gombe State, the administration of former Governor
Abubakar Habu Hashidu was said to have done very little to ensure the
success of Sharia in the state. Reports indicate that beyond getting
the Sharia bill passed into law, the system never even took off in the
state and is being further swept underground with the coming of the
present administration. Confirming this, Ustaz Muhammad bin Sulaiman,
said that the past administration had woefully failed on sharia and
called on the new governor to consider establishing the system, which
he said represents the essence of every Muslim's life on earth.
While the regime of legal reforms introduced by Governor Ahmad
Mohammed Makarfi following the series of bloody ethno-religious
clashes in Kaduna State does not appear to be working at all, in
Sokoto, it is the problem of poor monitoring that has hampered the
success of Sharia.
Observing this flaw, Sheik Isah Talatan Mafara said that in Sokoto
State, there is no recognised body like the Hisba that is responsible
for the enforcement of the system. "They (Hisba) are supposed to be in
place parading many corners of this metropolis to arrest and hand over
people to the police who will then introduce them to the judges for
appropriate punishment," he said. According to the scholar, the
weakness of the operation of the system in Sokoto could be attributed
to the non-introduction of the Hisba system of monitoring.
And in Borno State, a survey by Weekly Trust revealed that Sharia has
not been put in place at all as there is no enabling law before the
grand khadi that may enable the application of Sharia in the state.
But whereas the implementation of Sharia is said to be slow in Jigawa,
the state government is however on record as having put in place the
best machinery for the collection and distribution of Zakkat (poor
due) which is a basic step towards economic revitalisation.
On the whole, the implementation of Sharia in most of the states could
not be said to have overstepped the confines of partisanship given the
present trend and the adoption of the system may have been destined
for an early demise.
Poor Sharia Monitoring in Sokoto - Sheikh Isah [Weekly Trust - Kaduna]
http://allafrica.com/stories/200307280628.html - 26 Jul 03
When Governor Attahiru Dalhatu Bafarawa signed the Sokoto State Sharia
bill into law in February 2002, he promised to give all necessary
support to those responsible for implementing the system. Part of the
support he promised was the construction and equipping of court rooms,
recruitment and training of personnel, as well as guaranteeing the
liberty of non-Muslims in the state.
To achieve this, Governor Bafarawa constituted a high-powered Sharia
implementation committee and directed it to among other things
identify courts to be converted to Sharia courts and to liaise with
the judicial Service Commission in the recruitment of Sharia judges
and other judicial personnel. Three years after, the system could be
said to have achieved a lot. According to Alhaji Ibrahim Gidado, the
information commissioner in the state, achievements have been recorded
in the areas of crime reduction and moral upliftment.
In this regard it is argued that the implementation of the Sharia in
the state has so far been poorly monitored due to the absence of an
effective monitoring committee. In an interview, Sheik Isah Talatan
Mafara, the co-ordinator and proprietor of the Islamic Science
Institute, Sokoto, highlighted all the lapses that have hampered the
success of the system in the past three years.
[Isah:] there was the introduction of measurement in the market
places. There is increased building of mosques and Islamic schools in
the state by the government. There is a group that is "flogging" those
who commit adultery or found drinking alcohol, but this is not enough.
There should be the introduction of what we call Hisba, those who are
to be responsible for the arrest of those people who commit some of
these offences or vices. They are supposed to be in place parading
many corners of this metropolis and the state to arrest and hand
people over to the police who will then introduce them to the judges
for appropriate punishment. This has not been done in Sokoto.
You can see that nobody is responsible for arresting people who
contravene the Islamic penal code like before. Maybe they regard it as
no more necessary or they're playing politics. The weakness in the
entire issue depends on the non-introduction of Hisba or the aid group
like those in Zamfara and some other places. If Hisba is introduced in
Sokoto, Sharia would achieve more purpose than now.
[Isah:] We can say that if they introduce Hisba and in the council of
judges, they should ensure that good incentives are provided to
discourage them from looking elsewhere. Then the employment of more
Malams for teaching and further education of Muslims at all levels on
the intricacies of Sharia.
[Zamfara] Ulama Have Failed to Assist Sharia - Dogon Dabino
http://allafrica.com/stories/200307280440.html [Weekly Trust - Kaduna]
In this interview with Abdul-Azeez Suleiman and Salisu Zakari Maradun,
Sheikh Haruna Mohammed Dogon-Dabino, an Islamic scholar in Gusau said
that the Ulama in Zamfara have failed in their responsibility to
ensure the success of Sharia in the state.
Dogon-Dabino: Sharia as claimed to be practised in Zamfara is a set of
laid-down rules by Allah. Everyone is expected to be guided by them
because the book of Allah (the Qur'an) is a laid down criteria for
every Muslim to follow and the traditions of the Prophet interpret
those rules. We have been hearing on the media that certain Sharia
punishments have been awarded by the courts. The only snag is that the
Sharia of Allah is meant to be applied on everybody regardless of his
status in the society. Sharia cannot be enforced on a certain class of
the society to the exclusion of other classes. These are some of the
lapses of Sharia that we want to be corrected.
a council of ulama was set up with the task of assisting the
government. I am not a member of the council. What I don't know is
whether or not the council actually performed the duties assigned to
Dogon-Dabino: We should be grateful to the governor for what he said
concerning the ulama. it means he is attempting to sanitise
scholarship in the state. As I said, he has pleaded with the ulama to
alert him on any misdirection but most of the Malams have not raised
any corrections to him. Yet they go about making noise while they have
not done what was expected of them. The governor must have believed
that at least, he had treated the Malams fairly, why should they then
not return the gesture. It is really not proper for the Malams to
start making comments against the government, whereas they have not
advised it appropriately. Zamfara has not come into the limelight;
therefore, it should be a pace-setter. But if the ulama feel that the
government has treated them unfairly, they should come out openly and
say so and not go about spreading ungodly remarks against the
Dogon-Dabino: When the decision to separate the sexes was taken, I
knew it was going to be very difficult; stopping it completely cannot
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