Emir Sanusi’s Christo-Islamic philosophy and true reflection of Kano tradition

Emir Sanusi’s Christo-Islamic philosophy and true reflection of Kano tradition



By Nadir A. Nasidi and Salisu Mubarak Muhammad
With the total disintegration of the Muslim rule in Spain in the 15th century and the downfall of the historic Ottoman Empire in the in the 20th century, confused Muslims around the globe began to bend Islam coercively to conform to Western civilization, modern science and philosophy. Among the major linchpins of this wayward struggle were Jamaluddin al-Afghāni (1839-1897), Muhammad Abdu (1849-1905) and Rashid Rida (1865-1935). To them, for the Muslin power which had been lost to be reinstituted, there is the need to look westward and to reconcile some fundamental Islamic teachings to certain Western values. Therefore, the present Emir of Kano is a student to this school of thought apart from his syncretic belief. Despite his present debates on limiting the common man to marry more than a wife, the issue of commanding women to slap their husbands whenever they are slapped, his recent utterances against the Nigerian leaders, we decided to remain mute because we are well acquainted with the emir’s oeuvres and philosophy. However, we now responded accordingly so as to tell the people of Kano and Nigeria at large his true Christo-Islamic ideology as the major thematic preoccupation of this paper.

To give a lucid, but striking example, the emir wrote an article some years back titled ‘Islam, Christianity and Nigerian Politics: A Tribute to Thomas Paine 1737-1809’ in which he clearly downgraded even the Islamic Shari’ah which he claims to have mastered by graduating summer cum laude in the Republic of Sudan and thinks cannot adequately solve the Nigerian condition except a so-called federalism. According to him, ‘This is not to dismiss positive aspects and valid arguments for Shari’ah in Nigeria. My view is that the issue “Nigerian condition” is best solved through the evolution of true federalism which allows constituent states to evolve and adopt laws that take full cognizance of…cultural peculiarities’.
Similarly, he argues within the same write-up that our religiosity must comply with that of Thomas Paine, or else, we may be tagged ‘bad, or incomplete Muslims’. According to him ‘Yet I must admit that in a very fundamental sense, any Muslim, or Christian who did not share Paine’s view of religion would find it difficult to call himself a good Muslim or a Christian. Paine reduced religion to “belief in one God, belief in the equality of man, doing justice, loving mercy and endeavouring to make fellow-creatures happy” ’. While Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) is our role model, the emir inclines to a Christian philosopher for his religious guidance to which he weighs our Imān (Faith) not by Islam. Before Thoman Paine, the Prophet (P.B.U.H) taught us to be monotheists, to love, to temper justice with mercy and to instill happiness into the hearts of believers.
Still transgressing the boundaries of Islam, the emir argues that our problems as Muslims will no doubt persist until ‘we make Tomas Paine’s religion the yardstick for judging our political leaders’. The question here is that, how can a person like this be the true commander of the faithful? Are his views not Christian and western in content and in outlook?
Additionally, the emir blindly added that ‘Every crusade launched by the Catholic church, or Jihad launched by an Islamic state has been accompanied by some religious justifications for hating and killing those who profess other creeds…hatred for those who do not profess our creed leads to aggression, war and oppression. None of these was taught by the founders of our religions’. However, this assertion proves to us his shallow understanding of Shari’ah and Islam. He equally forgot the Islamic concept of ‘Al-wala wal Bara’. Besides, for writing the word ‘religion’ in the plural form ‘religions’ we wonder how many religions he professes- ‘our religions’. If he is truly monotheistic not Christo-Islamic soaked in the ocean of syncretism, why saying ‘our religions’, Islam and Christianity? Never.
Based on the above mentioned facts from his writing others being ‘The Islamic Movement: The Real Issue; A Response, The Shari’ah Debate, Shari’ah and the Woman Question, etc.’, people will no longer be surprised or flabbergasted whenever he utters all sorts of non-Islamic belief though claiming the religion.
Even limiting the commoners to single wives has no base in Islam. Has the emir ever advised the Nigerian leaders to give the commoners their rights? Has he ordered for the closure of all brothels in Sabon Gari and other places in Kano metropolis?
Claiming that the poor man gives birth to many children which he cannot adequately control and thereby becoming vagabonds is nothing, but a complete hatred to the poor and the needy for he always defends the interests of the capitalist- the blood suckers. On the contrary, the children of the poor are more Islamic and responsible than that of the Nigerian elites who are taking all kinds of hallucinogens apart from fornication and lesbianism. Even when the children of the poor are sometimes found wanting, it is the children of the capitalists who supply them with drugs and fire-arms for violence. Even in our public universities the ‘commoners’ are the brightest students graduating with first class and upper second class honours. Probably, that was why the emir graduated from Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria with a lower second class honours in Economics.
To sum it up, our message to the pulverized emir is enough is enough. If he prefers philosophy, debates, and Christianity, he should step down from the emirship and go back to the university where all forms of ideas are discussed. It is on that basis that we will face him head-on for any intellectual debate not hiding in the regalia of Kano Emirship to which we have great respect. From all indications, what happened to Murabus will certainly happen to him. The true Kano tradition is that of the Holy Prophet (P.B.U.H) and that of Sheikh Uthman bn Fudi not any western scholar, or a Christian inclined ideology. Probably, that was why the emir was called ‘Bobuwa’ during his childhood due to his useless talks and wayward thinking.