Statement on the Violent Clashes between Muslims and Christians in Nigeria

Praise is due to Allāh, Lord of the worlds, may the blessings and peace be upon our master Muḥammad, the last of prophets, on his family, and all his companions.

The Secretariat of the International Islamic Fiqh Academy has reviewed with great concern the painful events of the fighting between Muslims and Christians in Nigeria, which has gone as far as bombing mosques, churches and various state institutions, resulting in the death of dozens of citizens, young and old, children and women, without heeding the calls, made by Islamic scholars and scientific and religious bodies, for their cessation.

Many Nigerians were the first to convert to Islam in the first century of the Hegira/ninth century CE. For centuries they co-existed in peace and security, their Muslims and Christians, and tolerance and acceptance of the other prevailed among them, and they respected religious peculiarities of all kinds, and now they were to continue as they were; Committed to the principle of the Qur’an : (No compulsion in religion!) [verse 256, Surah al-Baqara],

« Indeed, Allah orders justice and good conduct and giving to relatives and forbids immorality and bad conduct and oppression. He admonishes you that perhaps you will be reminded. » Al-nahl -90

The Almighty says to the people of Islam: « « Allah does not forbid you from those who do not fight you because of religion and do not expel you from your homes – from being righteous toward them and acting justly toward them. » Al-Mumtahina 8

It is known that kindness is the highest degree of good treatment, and equity is the highest degree of justice.

There is no doubt that the aggressive practices that are currently taking place are leading to great evils and seditions and opening the doors to those who are stalking this important country of the African continent to implement their plots that harm all its citizens. The International Islamic Fiqh Academy, based on its Islamic position and sense of duty of the advising scholars, condemns these crimes and calls for their immediate cessation in order to preserve the blood and souls that Allah Almighty has protected and forbidden, and recalls the prohibition contained in the killing of non-Muslims of the covenants and trustees, as narrated by Abdullah bin Amr, may Allah be pleased with him, who reported what the Prophet, PBUH, said: “Whoever kills a wedding ring will not smell of Paradise, and its fragrance is at a distance of forty autumns” [reported by Bukhari]. And whoever enters the lands of Islam safely should be safe until he returns to his own country, and Allah Almighty said: « And if any one of the polytheists seeks your protection, then grant him protection so that he may hear the words of Allah. Then deliver him to his place of safety. » At-Tawba -6

In the hadith, it is proved that killing those who pledge and trust is a major sin and the punishment is heavier. It is also not permissible for a Muslim to help anyone to shed the blood of innocent non-Muslims, as this is considered complicit in sin and aggression. If a non-Muslim citizen commits aggression or a crime, he should be brought to justice, not for ordinary Muslims to kill him and inflict punishment.

Based on the guidelines of the Holy Qur’an and the Sunnah, the Academy further affirms the following:

First: It is not permissible under Sharia law to kill a non-Muslim who is settled or a trusted expatriate who enters the country or lives there in safety.

Second: Everyone is called upon to unite against the attempts to provoke conflict and tension between Muslims and Christians, which obliges Islamic and Christian authorities to intervene by doing everything in their power to stop this bloody and dangerous series, from which neither side will win, and neither side will gain anything, and by working to eliminate all religious tension and sectarian conflict among the people of Nigeria.

Third: All Nigerian citizens, Muslims and Christians, leaders and people, village chiefs and residents, elders and tribal members, are legally bound to give priority to the supreme interest of the Nigerian people, to protect them from dangers, to assume their responsibilities and to make every effort and perform the religious and national duty of reconciliation between the warring parties.

Fourth: The Academy calls on Muslim countries, brotherly countries and concerned organizations to help Nigeria emerge from its crisis and resume its desired role.

And may Allah’s blessings and peace be upon our Prophet Muhammad, his family and companions.

Prof. Ahmed Khaled Babeker

Secretary of IIFA

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