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Nigeria: The Exemplary Life and Times of Imam Malik Ibn Anas

Nigeria: The Exemplary Life and Times of Imam Malik Ibn Anas

Seeking inspiration as part of the search for workable solutions to the numerous problems confronting African and third world nations, especially Muslim communities, the IIIT Nigeria went gold digging into history. It instituted the Imam Malik Lecture series, the first one focused on the intellectual giant after whom the series is named. Mustafa Ibrahim, Director Publication at IIIT Kano Office, reflects on the lecture by the eloquent Dr. Bashir Aliyu Umar, Director of BUK’s Centre for Islamic Civilization and Interfaith Dialogue (CICID) on the trail blazing leader of an Islamic school of thought and author of the pioneering jurisprudential masterpiece, Al Muwatta.

Most of the third world nations are in a deep crisis over values. Societies especially ours in Nigeria, seem to have lost their balance, due to abandonment of sacred values. We are unsure at what point we lost the way and how to climb out of the hole. Perhaps that was why scholars narrowed the challenge to looking into our intellectual heritage for inspiration and light. The think-tank International Institute of Islamic Thought (IIIT), Nigeria Office, is boldly spearheading the search for intellectual anchor that will arrest our drift and engineer solutions to contemporary problems through knowledge creation and dissemination.

It was therefore not surprising that the 1st Imam Malik Lecture Series instituted by the IIIT Nigeria Office attracted dignitaries and audience from Accra in Ghana and within Nigeria from diverse places such as Lagos, Lafia, Gombe Maiduguri, Zaria, Bauchi and Kaduna. Also, in attendance were Deans of Faculties of Law from   neighbourign universities, Provosts of College of Islamic Legal studies from states all over the northern states and Shariah Court Judges from the many same states.

The highly stimulating lecture was delivered on 18th January, 2020 by the popular Dr. Bashir Aliyu Umar, Director CICID, Chief Imam Al-Furqan Masjid and specialist on Hadith and Fiqh. The venue was the spacious Mahmud Tukur Theatre, Bayero University Kano. By the end of the lecture it was clearly hinted that most of the confusion and even crises snowballing into violence in the Muslim world arose out of abandonment of well laid intellectual tools. The tools clarify the Muslim values that should be upheld, for communities to ensure justice and balance to all their constituent parts, thus ensure a peaceful and prosperous society. It was clearly inferred that the lone ranger mentality, of people (read “radicals” and their instigators) picking randomly on aspects of Islam and its culture and blowing them out of proportion based on their “personal opinions” is far from the mainstream intellectual tradition of Islam and represent a deviation from the norm. That Islam is a path of Divine guidance for humanity revealed to Prophet Muhammad in Makka and Madina; after him there flourished an intellectual tradition of knowledge generation and civilization, that upheld sacred values in the service of humanity and could also guide it out of its present day confusion, if diligently adhered to, the way the ancient scholars did.

The Reason for the Lecture Series

Prof. Salisu Shehu, immediate past Dean School of Continuing Education (SCE) BUK, and Deputy Secretary General, Supreme Council for Islamic Affairs (SCIA), as the National Coordinator (NC) IIIT Nigeria, welcomed the guests to the lecture. He explained that the activities of IIIT as an intellectual and cultural organization, “centre on intellectual issues and knowledge creation”. Such as organising national and international seminars and conferences or promoting and sponsoring researches and publishing scholarly works are part of its mandate of serving the immediate community, the nation and humanity to live in peace, harmony and prosperity. He explained that the Imam Malik Annual Lecture Series should logically take-off with a discussion on the person of the Imam himself – hence the topic The Life and Times of Imam Malik Ibn Anas, Imam Darul Hijra (abode of refuge).

“Our intention” said the NC, “is to create a platform for intellectual discourse and knowledge development. Especially intellectual discourse on Islamic jurisprudence (Fiqh) and the application of laws and how laws can be extracted on issues that are emerging; on the basis of fundamental principles (Usul Fiqh) of Islamic jurisprudence.”

The occasion was chaired by Prof. Ibrahim Na’iya Sada, one time National Ameer of the Muslim Students Society (MSS), former Deputy Vice Chancellor (DVC) and one-time Director Centre for Islamic Legal Studies, Ahmadu Bello University (ABU), Zaria. Prof. Sada said that the lecture topic had been an area neglected in research and academic studies. “Nigeria and even most of North and West Africa are followers of Imam Malik”, he noted, adding “Nigeria should have been leading in maliki scholarship but Morocco has taken  that honour”. “In our courts it is specifically stated that we are followers of Maliki school of law” he said.

The Law Professor recalled that “as students, we used to feel Imam Malik was so strict and little more conservative but we later came to appreciate that he was the most practical and functional of them all. His ideas are not only clearer they are easier to operate than some of the other three schools. We came to know that he never even agreed to answer a hypothetical question. If it happens then a solution would be given to that particular problem, because law is practical, it is not supposed to be an intellectual exercise”. He cautioned that, “jurists have to be careful to give a judgment that can be implemented, if a judgment cannot be implemented then you are putting the law into ridicule.”

What Qualifies Dr. Bashir to Talk on Imam Malik

The speaker, Dr. Bashir Aliyu began his talk by clarifying his familiarity with the subject of the lecture as a student of Hadith at University of Madina. Therefore contact with Imam Malik and his fiqh (jurisprudence) was part of his student life. “But my great interest in Imam Malik was sparked in 1983” he recalled, “when Prof Muhammad Babangida was at Jami’at Ummul Qura, and we attended with him, a dars (study circle) given in masjidul Haram (Holy Mosque) in Makka, by Shaykh Muhammad Alkattani, the pioneer scholar who wrote on Mu’aujamu fiqhul salaf, a compendium of the fiqh of the pious generations, at that time he was teaching in the Haram Tajribul tablid of Ibn Barr which was presenting Al-muwatta according to the teachers of Imam Malik, and it showed how Imam Malik joined together hadith (traditions and practices of Prophet Muhamamd, peace be upon him PBUH) and fiqh”.

The presenter was opportune to keep company with one of the famous scholars of Maliki fiqh in Madina, Shaykh Mahmoud Wur Zaidan, Rahmatullahi alaihu (May Allah have mercy on him), who died in 1992. That scholar was acclaimed to be the most knowledgeable of the mazhab (school of law) of Imam Malik in Madina. Shaykh Mahmoud migrated from Mauritania and settled in Madina. He declined an invitation to become the grand Khadi of the Maliki practicing region of Saudi Arabia, saying he came to Madina as a migrant to die there, that he was not looking for a job. “I had the opportunity to stay with him and read the Marathus-Suud of Shaykh Abdullah Shinithy on Usul of Imam Malik and also complete the Tuhfakul Hukkam of Mukhtasar Hadith”, Dr. Bashir said.

Explaining further on the fount from where he took his knowledge, the Director CICID recalled that, a friend Dr. Umar Farouk Abdallah who wrote on the concept of Amal in the Usul of Imam Malik at Michigan State University came to Madina in 1991: “for nine days we were going to Shaykh Mahmoud Wur Zedan and we read all the Butul malikiyya, not for him to comment but to know the actual narration given the mistakes in the printed copies, even after being checked by experts; because of his vast knowledge he was able to point out the errors”.

The Three Objective of the Speaker

Dr. Bashir Aliyu explained that his talk had three objectives rolled into one: “My aim is to connect us with the life of Imam Malik to see the strength of the roots of Islamic ethos we have in this part of the world and to motivate us towards a commitment to producing Fuqaha in our society. And to see also how the previous scholars, the first generation, how they addressed the challenges of their time and so we can learn from their practice; finally, so that we will have the benefit of the descent of the Mercy of Allah Tabaraka wataala, as Sufyan ibn Uwayna, a contemporary of Imam Malik used to say, the remembrance of the pious predecessors brings about the descent of rahma (mercy) amongst the people doing the remembrance”.

Times of Imam Malik – Onset of the Golden Age of Islam

The Speaker explained to the audience –which included those educated in the western systems and those who had undergone the traditional madrasah Islamic education – that in talking about the biography of Islamic scholars, “we talk of their times since they were a product of the times and what influence the time had on them and what influence they had on their era”. He proceeded to follow this formula.

According to him, Imam Malik was born in the year 93 After Hijra in the Islamic Calendar (AH) or 711CE, to Anas Bin Malik (not the famous Sahabi (companion) of the same name who in fact died that same year). So, Imam Malik belonged to the generation called Tabi’un tabi’in. That is the third amongst the generations in upholding the highest moral and ethical values that the Prophet SAW testified about their excellence as follows: “the best generation are my generation, that is the Sahaba (companions), then those that followed them, the tabi’un (followers) and those who followed them, the tabi’u tabi’in (generation after the followers). Imam Malik never saw any of the Prophet’s companions, but he had seen those that saw them. That was why when scholars talk of the best isnad (chain of transmission of knowledge) which is Malik, from his teacher Al Nafi’u, and from Ibn Umar it is just like lifting the curtain to see the Prophet PBUH talking. Malik was amongst the pious generations.

The Speaker also said, Malik was the second amongst the Aimmatul Mathahib (vanguards of schools of thought). Imam Habu Hanifa was amongst the Tabi’un and Imam Malik Tabi’u tabi’in. He was born the year the year Anas Bin Malik died, this was during the reign of Caliph Alwalid Ibn Abdulwalid. He lived about 40 years of his life during the Umayyad era. From the time he was born in 93 AH to the time of the revolt of the Abbasids leading to the fall of first Umayyad Caliphate was about 39 years. He died during the Abbasid era at the age of about 84 years (in 177 AH / 795 CE) that is 1,225 years ago. He was buried in Madina in the famous Baqiyya cemetery near the Prophet’s masjid. So he saw the latter part of the Umayyad era and the beginning of the Abbasid era.

The political climate was one of stability during his lifetime, as the Muslim Empire expanded increasing the lands of Islam. During the latter part of the Ummayads it reached the shores of Southern Europe. To the East it reached China. The increase in cities meant increase in manufacture, expansion in agriculture, commerce and expansion of interactions and creation of new cities. New social issues and economic issues rose and a Faqih or scholar was needed to answer questions as new issues arose in all spheres of life. The Abbasids because of their of kinship considered themselves custodians of the deen (religion) and they brought Ulama (religious scholars) close to them. New cities were created, such as Bagdad 1036 AH. Madina and Makka were nerve centres of knowledge – attracting scholars and students, the one reason Imam Malik never travelled out of Madina except to go to Makka for pilgrimage. Malik believed all he needed in terms of learning was in Madina.

His time witnessed polemics especially on belief. When people came to argue with him on issues of Aqidah (belief) he used to say “as for me I am on clear guidance from my Lord. As for you find someone who is in doubt like yourself and engage him”. It was time of ilmul kalam – talk of disputation. When the time of compilation of hadith started, Caliph Umar Ibn Abdulaziz directed it. Imam Malik was impacted by it. Someone told him “why are you writing the AlMuwatta (meaning smooth-path) when everyone is writing similar?” He said “only the one written for the sake of Allah will remain”. Today they have all disappeared except his. It was time of the birth of a rigorous methodology on muhaddithun (narrators of sayings and deeds of the Prophet PBUH) in protecting the Prophet’s legacy by screening the true narrators and disqualifying those that need to be rejected. He was amongst the outstanding and a pioneer who did this. It was also a time of specialization in knowledge by cities: Basra specialised on aqidah, zuhd and qasus – it produced saints like Rabiatul Basriyya and students of Hassan al-Basri; Kufa was for arra’ayi and Madina was famous for the sunnah. The general belief was fiqh schools were spilt between Makka and Madina on one hand, and Iraq on the other. It was time of schools of hadith, that started with the Sahaba RA but reached fruition in times of tabi’un. It was said that the seven leading Sahaba taught the teachers of Malik and it was as if all the knowledge was concentrated in him. Malik became symbol of the Madina school.

The Person of Malik Ibn Malik

According to the paper presenter, Imam Malik had been described with various accolades for his outstanding qualities. His father was from Yemen, an Arab, not a freed slave. He came from a family of knowledge. His uncles Abu Suhail and Abu Uwais were narrators of hadith and his grand father was a tab’i – he had seen Sayyidna Umar RA and had narrated hadiths from other sahaba. Imam Malik was tall with a big head. Very light in complexion and was bald in the middle of his head and had grey hair. He was wide-eyed and his presence commands respect. He had a long, thick and wide beard that grew unto his chest. Had a moustache used to twist the two ends, emulating Sayyidna Umar. He held that shaving moustache was a mutilation. He loved and wore beautiful clothes. He died leaving many shoes. He held  the view that the cloth of people of knowledge needs to be commensurate with the position they are occupying. When someone saw Malik he used to call him “akil”, the intelligent and sensible one. Abdulrahman Ibn Mahdi one of his teachers from Iraq used to say “I kept the company of four scholars, Sufyan althauri; Shuuba ibn Hajjaj, Malik and Ibn Mubarak, Malik was the one with the greatest intellect from amongst them”. Caliph Harun Al Rashid said “I had never seen anyone more sensible and intelligent than Malik”. Ahmad Ibn Hambal said, “Malik never kept company of fools”.

In terms of etiquette he was best to his family – he used to say doing so is for the pleasure of Allah, it increases wealth and lifespan, as inferred from a particular hadith. Young Malik started seeking knowledge at an early age. His mother used to put a turban on his head and send him to the scholarly circle of  Rabia Ibn Abi Abdulrahman to learn etiquette, even before learning from his knowledge. As a young boy he was rose to the status of a scholar fro mthe testimony of his teachers such as Nafi’a and Ibn Shuaib, due to his sharp memory and diligence in learning. He was named as repository of knowledge. He willingly spent his wealth on seeking knowledge, even selling his dismantled roof at one stage to finance his education. Later he became wealthy. He was very choosy in selecting only the best scholars all round as his teachers. Malik refused to narrate hadith from Amr Ibn Dinar because he saw people writing hadith from him while standing, to him that violates etiquette of learning and is a show of disrespect to hadith. He said: “I have seen 70 people in Madina who we hope if they raise a hand and pray for rain, Allah will answer them because of their devotion and piety. I never narrated any hadith from them because they do not know this affair (that is, they are not hadith scholars)”.

He had several teachers. It was said the whole hadith of the Prophet was in hands of 3 or 4 people – Ibn Shihab al Zuhri, Abdullahi ibn Zakwan ibu Zinar, Yahya Ibn Said Ansari and Bukhail Ibn Abdullah Ashshaj. With exception of Bukhail who went to Eqypt they were all his teachers.

Amongst his famous teachers was Ibn Zurmus, full name Abdullahi Ibn Zaid alAsad. He is almost unknown and not mentioned among hadith scholars. Malik said: “I stayed with him for 13 years and he made me swear an oath that I will not be mentioning him”. And Malik never mentioned him in the AlMuwatta. At this point, Dr. bashir Aliyu asked: “If Allah is not their goal why should they do this? He knew who Malik was, everybody was coming to him and yet made him swear not to mention him”. Ibn Zurmus never used to answer anybody’s fatwa, he would only answer Malik and Abdulaziz ibn Majishu. He used to say, “you do not know but Malik and Abdulaziz are scholars, if I fall into error they would not follow me in error but will correct me and they will not follow me in a way that will change the deen (religion)”.

Malik’s Position Amongst Scholars

There is a hadith narrated by Abu Huraira: “It will be very near when people will stretch their camels in search of knowledge, but they will not find it but in Madina”. Durign the time of Malik he was alone as a shining star of scholarship; during earlier times there were several like him. The hadith foretold coming of Imam Malik. Malik said “I never gave fatwa (religious ruling or guidance) until 70 people of Madian testified that I should do so”. He was elevated by Allah not due to his ibadah (devotions) but due to something unique he devoted his life to, if there is sincerity, perhaps a lot of fasting and prayer is below the vocation of spreading knowledge.

Ibn Mubarak said, “if I were asked to choose for the Ummah an Imam, I would choose Malik for them”. Imam Ahmad Ibn Hambal, one of the leaders of the four schools of thought, said: “Imam Malik was a Master amongst the masters of ilm (knowledge), he is an imam in hadith and fiqh”. It was the opinion of the paper presenter that: “His tremendous respect for knowledge, for the Rasul (Prophet PBUH) and for the hadith gave him this high esteem”. Malik never taught a hadith except in a state of purity; students have come for hadith studies he will take bath, put clean white clothes and come out and sit down for the lesson. An incident that demonstrates his patience and extraordinary endurance happened during a study session. He was giving lessons seated and Ibn Mubarak saw him turn red in the face and was sweating profusely. Then after the lesson he was asked what was the problem? It was found that a scorpion had stung him in 16 different places yet he said “I became patient out of respect and awe of the hadith of the Prophet PBUH.” 

His Relationship with Rulers

He used to say it is incumbent upon every Muslim who has been given knowledge of fiqh and understanding to go to the rulers and command them to do good and refrain from evil. So when he used to enter into presence of rulers he used to counsel on what is good for Muslims and the polity. His exceptionally high intellect was demonstrated when Caliph Al Mahdi told him he wanted to take down the foundation of the Holy Ka’aba and rebuild it as the Prophet PBUH directed and as Abdullahi Ibn Zubair did. Malik said: “do not do it – do not make it a plaything in the hand of rulers – this will take away the awe and respect of people for it”. Again ,Caliph AlMahdi wanted to hang a copy of Al Muwatta on the ka’aba and decree that across the Muslim Empire everyone should only work with AlMuwatta as a code of law. Malik said no, “the Companions of the Prophet have spread far and wide and in every town they left their legacy – if you tell people to leave that which they have adopted by force it will create fitna (conflict), leave them with what they have”. This is wisdom and foresight that saved the state from needless turmoil unlike today.

One of Imam Malik’s most well-known difference is with Imam of Misr (Egypt) Laith Ibn Sa’ad who was respected by Malik so he wrote to him, that he heard he is giving fatwa against the practice of the people of Madina. He elaborated about the excellence of the people of Madina and importance of emulating their deeds – this Risala (threatise) is cited by maliki Fuqaha (scholars) as proof on reliance of people of Malikiyya (followers of the Maliki school of law) on Amal (actions/deeds) of Madina.

In another instance Abu Yusuf was grand Khadi during the time of Caliph Al Mansur. When he came to Madina with Al Mansur he wanted to argue with Malik in front with the Amir Al Muminun (Commander of the believers). Malik was silent, the Amir asked why? He said this is not how to treat people of knowledge. Then Abu Yusuf asked a genuine question: “why are you not taking zakat (religious tax) on vegetables? Malik answered: “this is the practice in Madina”. And Malik called some people that own orchard and asked how they acquired it and if they pay zakat on its produce. The person said: “I inherited it from my father who inherited it from his grandfather who was a companion of the Prophet PBUH – the non-payment of zakat on its produce has been the practice”. Then Abu Yusuf said I am satisfied this is a continuous practice. Then he asked “why are you not using the mudd, the measure of Amir?” Again Imam Malik asked people to bring bring their mudd that date from time of sahaba that they used to measure zakatil fitr and zakat. Abu Yusuf left his teacher Abu Haneefa and agreed with Malik. These are instances when Malik demonstrated his reliance on the conduct of people of madina for his judicial rulings.

Lastly the paper presenter talked about the tribulation of Malik before the death. Dr. Bashir Aliyu said it is the custom of Allah Lord of Majesty and Power to test people that achieve the position of leadership, so Malik too was tried. The cause was a case of talaqul mukra (divorce under coercion). Malik said it is not valid. People took the story to Governor of Madina and used the opportunity to create animosity between the Governor and Malik – people said to the Governor that since Malik said divorce under coercion is not valid,  therefore the oath of allegiance taken by the Abbasid rulers also is not valid. At that time it was the time Muhammad Ibn Abdallah Ibn Hassan took up arms in rebellion in the year 1046/7 AH. The Wali (Governor) of Madina was Ja’afar Ibn Sulaiman Ibn Ali Ibn Abdullahi Ibn Abbas, a cousin of Abu Jafar Almansour. He asked Malik to be brought and they stripped him of his cloth allowing only his inner garments, they tied him to two poles and this caused one of his arms to be dislocated out of his shoulder sockets. They whipped him 70 times. They created scars on his skin. For each lash Malik prayed: “Oh Allah forgive my people, for they do not know”. After this he became seriously ill, unable to attend congregational prayers, so he used to pray with his students at home in congregation, as for Jummuah he used to pray alone at home for over 20 years. When Caliph Al Mahdi came for hajj and said “I am going to do qisas (demand same be inflicted on the Governor as compensation) on Ja’afar Ibn Sulaiman”,  Imam Malik said: “no, I pardon him because on the day of judgement I do not want the Messenger of Allah PBUH to see that I have a case with a near relative of his”. Despite that, it was said Ja’afar Ibn Sulaiman later moved to Basra as Governor. When he was sick Hammad Ibn Zaid one of the imams of Basra went to him – Ja’afar was  telling him I had a dream that disturbed me. He asked Ja’afar what did you see? He said: “I saw Malik in my dream and on greeting him with salaam he refused to answer. I greeted him again and he answered there is going to be an affair between me and you in front of Allah. From that time I could not sleep”. So Hamamd Ibn Zaid said there is nothing for you to do except do a lot of istgfar (seek Allah’s forgiveness) and free slaves – so he freed 70 slaves equal to the number of lashes he gave Malik. Malik died in year 117 in Rabiul Awwal on a Sunday after 52 days of illness. He was washed and prayed on by Abdulaziz the Gov of Madian at that time.

Legacy of Imam Malik

The presenter of the pioneer Imam Malik Lecture Series considered the several legacies of the learned sage, including the fact that he left numerous highly learned students all over the Muslim world: in Makka there was Iman Shafi’i and in Egypt Ibn Qasim.

Second amongst the legacies was the legal compendium Al Muwatta, regarded by Shafi’i as the most authentic book after the Qur’an, this was before the scholars Buhari and Muslim compiled their collections. Malik had other famous books in his legacy: Alummahaq and other basic books of Maliki fiqhAlmudawwanaAlwathia, Almawaziyya and Almutbiyya; the other two being Almujmua of Ibn Abdus and Muqsud of Ijmaiyya. These 6 books expound the fundamental of Maliki fiqh.

Third amongst the legacies, over and above all he left a mazhab – a school of thought, and the lecture presenter was of the opinion that Malik “is amongst the scholars that you cannot say anything bad about them”.

According to Dr. Bashir Aliyu, scholars named each of the four schools after the Sahaba. Mazhab of Malik is fiqh of the second Caliph Umar Bin Kattab, Shafi’i is fiqh of first Caliph Abubakar Siddique, that of Ibn Hambal is of third Caliph Uthman Bin Affan and fiqh of Abu Haneefa is that of fourth Caliph Ali Bin Abi Talib. Mazhab of Malik was called Umariyya because of predominance of fatwa of Umar in it as it was established in Hijaz – Makka, Madina, Basra and Egypt. When Andalus was under Umayyads, it was under mazhab of Auzai but when the Al Muwatta was introduced people left it for that of Malik – from there it got to Afriq (Tunis), Morocco and West central Africa. It also went East up to Korasan through Yahya ibn Yahya. It was in Bagdad through one of his students Abdulwahab Albagdadi, one of the outstanding students of Imam Malik.

Outstanding Features of Malikiyya

Before concluding the lecture, the Maliki Scholar discussed the two most outstanding features of the school of thought, as mention by Azahbi, who was not even a maliki follower: the defacement of ruses or tricks to avoid obeying the sharia and that it works with the maqasidul shariah (fundamental principles). These two according to the presenter, make it relevant to the modern age.

According to him, the Mazhab of Imam Malik has served the Muslim world in solving many of the new occurrences in modern times especially in the field of Islamic finance. The principles  of al-inzam bil wa’ad, when you make an undertaking, it has to be enforced and it is enforceable by law is the basis of what Islamic banking organization are using as murabaha – they relied on this position of Malikiyya that when you make a commitment that has a financial implication then it becomes legally binding upon you. For instance, you tell someone: “go and get married and the dowry is upon me”. If the person goes and finds a wife and gets married then the dowry sadaq is incumbent on the first person who promised to pay. If he refuses to pay the judge can enforce compliance and make him pay. Also, the qa’ida of saddul zhari’a. That is the concept of means  that lead to impermissible acts. This is something that is finding a lot of application in preserving the shariah so that it does not become too fluid, as to make people leave the deen entirely or leave the practice of the deen and take any practice that comes as permissible. Also ,the questions of imtibarul masalih, giving due consideration to benefit, which is working with the maqasid of shariah. So these principles of shariah which is a legacy of Malikiyya school, according to the presenter, makes it very relevant to our age or times in solving a lot of our new problems.

A final beauty of the legacy according to the scholar was the tolerance exhibited by Imam Malik in accommodating of dissenting scholarly opinions and moderating his advice to the rulers. Despite knowing how he had faithfully gathered knowledge from the city of Madina where the Divine revelation was witnessed, he allowed people to differ with him. He did not allow political power to be used to impose his own mazhab on the whole Islamic state of that time or to impose his Al Muwatta to muzzle future scholarship.

Comments on the Lecture

The lecture was well received by the audience as reflected in the constructive comments that followed. Chairman of the Kano State Council of Ulama, Shaykh Ibraheem Khalil drew the attention of contemporary scholars to the visit of Imam Malik to rulers to advise them without becoming a sychophant. He demonstrated that scholarship is indeed at a higher pedestal than political power. Shaykh Khalil also pointed out how adherence to the principles of the Shariah enabled Malik to demonstrate the wide latitude and tolerance inherent in the shariah, noting that narrow mindedness by poorly educated self-appointed “scholars” on insignificant issues lead to turmoil and many of the troubles our society now face.

Associate Prof. Mohammed Tanko Aliyu, Federal University Lafiya, Ag. HOD, Dept of Islamic Studies, suggested that our scholars and legal minds need to collaborate with centres of Maliki scholarship and engage in academic exchange with say Morocco and other countries.

Prof Muhamamd Babangida Muhamamd, Director, Centre for Qur’anic Studies (CQS) said the Muslim world is in a lot of crisis and the way out of it is reform of the Muslim mind through reform of Islamic education. He said the lecture is one easy of way reversing the decline of Muslims beause it showed the significance of knowledge as basis for Muslim greatness. He advocated the need to exploit avenues including education model of Timbuktu /Zaure model and integrate it with formal university system to solve the crisis in the education system.

Prof Muhammad Tabiu from the Faculty of Law, BUK noted that the mazhab of Imam Malik “islamises the amal of the people”, so this allows it to flourish and expand. The Malikiyya school, according to him, focus on purpose and objectives enables it to solve contemporary problems and Imam Malik is an example in character and etiquette not just in knowledge but modesty, because he answered the questions he does not know with: “I do not know the answer…”

Dr Mala Musa, a judge of the Shariah Court of Appeal, Jigawa State called on Muslims in Nigeria to seek to expand the remit of the Shariah application beyond family law into commercial transactions and land matters. At the moment even when Muslims choose to take their case to Shariah courts, on appeal their judgments are nullified and cases tried afresh according to English law in magistrate courts, a clear violation of the fundmantal right to justice, of Muslim citizens.

Representative of Sarkin Kano, Dan Majen Kano, Alhaji Yahaya Abba, District Head of Gwale invited scholars of Maliki jurisprudence to come and study the archives of the Kano Emirate, where records of cases dating back 200 years are archived. He called for experts to be employed to preserve and digitize the records, now threatened by age and elements.

Finally, Dr. Bashir Shehu Galadanci, founding IIIT National Coordinator and West Africa Coordinator, represented by Director Administration and Finance (DAF), Dr. Saidu Dukawa announced the intention of IIIT Nigeria to launch the Abdullai bin Fodoyi lecture series in March 2020.