On the occasion of the fifth anniversary of the martyrs of Zaria, Nigeria, the chief custodian of Astan Quds Razavi has issued a statement.
The text of the message is as follows:
In the name of God, Most Merciful, Most Compassionate
And those who strive for Us— We will surely guide them to Our ways. And indeed, Allah is with the doers of good
And never think of those who have been killed in the cause of Allah as dead. Rather, they are alive with their Lord, receiving provision
From the vicinity of Imam Reza (AS) holy shrine, I would like to greet the pure souls of all martyrs, seekers of justice and righteousness, especially the honorable martyrs of Zaria. I pray to the Almighty God for the release and health of the leader of the Nigerian Shiites, Ibrahim Zakzaky, and I ask for the greatness of this peaceful, just, and eternal epic movement of these martyrs.
Honoring the martyrs of Zaria is one of the examples of respecting Islamic rituals, because martyrs and martyrdom are highly respectable to God and martyrs are the revivers of the culture of self-sacrifice, resistance and the flag-bearers of monotheism and justice in society, worthy of the praise and appreciation of freethinkers.
Along this path, the pure blood of the martyrs of Zaria has awoken Nigeria and a world sunken in unknowingness and negligence, and renewed the echo of the resounding voice of Abraham, and the spiritual voice of the Prophet Mohammed (pbuh) in inviting to brotherhood and empathy. They portrayed national unity in the eyes of the world, and it was a turning point in Nigeria’s contemporary history.
The Zaria massacre also brought to light dogmatism and intellectual petrifaction, violence, moral degeneration, and fighting human rights on the part of those whose hands are stained with the pure blood of these martyrs, and their only weapon is threatening, destroying, assassinating, looting and intensifying poverty. As the Holy Quran says: And they resented them not except because they believed in Allah, the Exalted in Might, the Praiseworthy.
But let them know that now in the third millennium of human history and thought, everyone has understood that assassination and murder, violence and rejection are signs of frustration and evidence of ignorance, in which there is no pride, but a stain on the black history of this trend. Of course, the foundations of this thinking and behavior are weak and in contradiction with common sense and pure human nature, and the hand of God the Almighty is out for punishment in defense of the oppressed people: Indeed, your Lord is in observation.
It is hoped that the Nigerian government will learn from history, stop killing innocent people, and restore peace to the Muslim nation and the Islamic community in Nigeria with the release of the oppressed Sheikh Zakzaky.
The spirit of Islamic Movement in Nigeria is based on moderate Islam, free from extremism, its language, dialogue and understanding of Islamic religions and avoidance of violence and armed conflict, its approach, national unity and cohesion and avoidance of ethnic, racial and religious divisions and its origins is the millennium of Islamism in Nigeria, whose Islam and religion have their roots in the first century AH.
The movement’s efforts as a phenomenon in Nigerian Islamism is directed to uphold Islamic rules and respect for Muslims in Nigerian law alongside followers of other religions, alleviate poverty in Nigeria and promote social and economic justice, replacing understanding and dialogue with assassination and takfir, application of social rationality and the spirit of reconciliation in dealing with Islamic sects.
Therefore, based on the social performance and statements of Sheikh Ibrahim Zakzaky, the most important guidelines of this movement are the following:
1. Cultural, political and social self-awareness at the national and transnational levels
2. Revelatory rationality in criticism and opinion
3. Cooperation and understanding among Islamic sects: Proximity of religions based on common knowledge and belief and avoidance of sectarianism, takfir and violence
4. Centrality of Quran in thought and strategy
5. Love of the Infallible Imams (AS)
6. Fighting oppression and spreading righteousness
7. Social unity and national solidarity
8. Avoiding armed conflict
9. Development of religious knowledge
10. Cooperation and social assistance
Based on these components, the Islamic Movement in Nigeria is a movement that has emerged entirely from within the great Muslim community of Nigeria and attributing it to others beyond the borders is shifting the blame and contrary to wisdom.
This movement, inspired from the spirit of Islam, is not a copy from any trend or revolution. Although being inspired by the great and just revolutions of humanity, and especially Ashura, is wise and evident in this Islamic movement, this should be considered the main secret of the purity and sanity of this movement.
Within the Islamic world, we see either indifference and cooperation with the arrogant powers against the Islamic world, or direct confrontation.
In the second category, one observes either extremism like ISIS, Boko Haram, and al-Qaeda, which commit any crime through Machiavellian spirit in the name of Islam and at the opposite side there is Sheikh’s approach which is seeking justice and morality and the avoidance of any extremism.
Hence, the Islamic Movement in Nigeria led by Sheikh Zakzaky does not pose a threat to the national interests of the Nigerian people and government. This means that all violence against it has been one-sided and the human casualties are all exclusively from the children of this movement.
The destruction of the symbols and bodies of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, the Baqiyatallah Husseiniyah and the gathering places of the movement’s followers, the assassination of the movement’s followers, imprisonment of the movement’s intellectual leadership, violation of national and international laws and making baseless accusations, all show fear and planned repression of this movement by seemingly mysterious forces which in fact are exposed for vigilant eyes.
The question is: Why is this force seeking to suppress the Islamic Movement in Nigeria? The answer is the fear that they are gradually tasting. This trend is the triangle of dogmatism, global arrogance powers and Zionism, which in the last century, has lined up against the genuine Islamic movements arising from the context of Saqaleyn, and its dirty hands are stained with blood and looting and killing of the followers of these movements.
The Zaria tragedy has already been repeated by this force in Qana of Lebanon, Gaza, Palestine, Yemen, and Syria, but certainly they were all fruitless. The most outstanding reasons for the fear of the Islamic Movement in Nigeria and its suppression can be listed as follows:
1. The formation of a faith-based and self-founded society arising from the genuine and popular movement of the Islamic awakening throughout Africa, influenced by the Islamic Movement in Nigeria, has severely disturbed the sleep of dogmatic colonialists seeking to weaken and exploit Muslims’ natural resources.
2. The call of the Islamic movement for rapprochement, understanding and avoidance of violence and takfir has disrupted their sinister plans in casting schism among the Islamic nation.
3. The growing tendency of Nigerian and African youth towards the ideals of this movement as its popular and influential support has shaken the evil triangle.
4. The intense concern of this triangle about the spread of culture transcendent, anti-oppression and promising teachings of Ashura and Mahdism in Africa and the Islamic world.
5. Fear of spreading the life-giving, revolutionary and irreplaceable ideas of Imam Khomeini as the only defiant figure in the Islamic world against the triangle.
In the end, it seems the best path is the dialogue between the Nigerian government and this movement. Moreover, in the dialogue between the government and this large and million-man domestic movement, mutual recognition of the two sides and grounds for understanding and solving these problems will emerge.
The Nigerian government should be aware that this movement is not seeking to fight it. The demands of the movement are purely humanistic and global, and the struggle is purely political, intellectual and social with the system of world imperialism.
The Nigerian government must also understand that in a country where Africa’s largest terrorist group, Boko Haram, the official ally of ISIS, is reigning peerlessly and shedding the blood of the Nigerian people unjustly with the approach of takfir and terror, dealing with a completely peaceful political trend is not a wise move, but rather an act against national security and a form of suicide.
The forces of the Nigerian government and security and military forces should be used instead for suppressing terrorism and supporting peaceful movements seeking national interests.
God has granted and will grant victory to all the oppressed and people suffering throughout history, which is an unchangeable divine tradition, and the Islamic Movement in Nigeria and its oppressed and suffering leader will be included in this tradition, God willing.
The holy city of Mashhad
Custodian of Astan Quds Razavi