CAIRO – Thousands of Nigeria Muslims have attended the funeral of Nigeria’s leading Salafist scholar and prominent anti-Boko Haram preacher Sheikh Mohamed Awwal Adam Albani who was assassinated Saturday night while returning from one of his routine lectures.
"They thought killing us would deter us from preaching the truth. They don't know that they are encouraging us. Sunni scholars are always happy to be killed in the course of Allah,” Kano-based Islamic scholar Sheikh Aminu Ibrahim Daurawa was quoted by The Daily Trust on Monday, February 3.
“Therefore, the killing of Sheikh Muhammad Awwal Albani though painful, is an encouragement to us. We will continue to preach more truth so that they will kill us and we die as martyrs,” he added during the funeral of Sheikh Albani on Sunday.
Sheikh Albani was killed on Saturday night after a gang of armed men attacked him and his family, killing the scholar, his wife and son.
According to a family source, the sheikh, popularly known as “Albani Zaria” was killed when he was returning from his Tudun Wada school in Zaria, Kaduna State.
The scholar’s wife died on the spot, while Sheikh Albani Zaria was rushed to the nearby St. Luke’s Hospital where he was declared dead.
“What we can’t deduce is why he was trailed from his Tudun Wada school on his way to his home in Tudun Jukun area,” Mallam Muhammad Kabir, the imam’s family source, told Sahara Reporters on Monday.
“Albani was a peace loving man and was interested in deep knowledge and scholarship, who ran two schools, one is the Darul Sallafiya and another- Albani Science Academy, all in Zaria.
“He believed in the superiority of knowledge and research as a guiding light of Islam, contrary to some shallow doctrines,” he added.
Albani, his wife and son will be buried this morning by 10 am after prayers in their home before final rites are performed at a graveyard in Zaria.
During the funeral, sheikh Daurawa said that scholars’ death for their cause have helped in spreading their word.
“The killing of our scholars shows that we are making impact in changing the lives of our people, that is why we always become their target,” he told attendants of the funeral.
“When they killed Sheikh Ja'afar, many Nigerians became more conversant with our teachings and that led to the rise of many Islamic scholars.
“Now that they have killed Sheikh Albani, many Nigerians will understand us more and many scholars will come up. The more they kill us, the more our calling moves forward,” he said.
Another Muslim scholar, sheikh Musa Mai-Shawi, has cautioned against reprisal attacks following the assassination of the popular scholar.
“There are no two ways about it, everybody is aggrieved about this sad development. However, I urge you to take heart and leave everything to God. God Almighty be my witness and you people around here be my witnesses, that I have conveyed the message,” Mai-Shawi, who is the chief Imam of Darul Hadith, a school established by the deceased, was quoted as saying during the funeral by Daily Post.
He cautioned against revenge “by any means”.
“Malam is already dead and no action will bring him back. God knows who are behind his brutal killing and He knows how to deal with them,” he said.
Albani was founder of the Albani Science Academy and Darul-Hadith, both in Gaskiya area of Zaria.
He was an anti-government preacher who had repeatedly been thrown into jail for his fiery commentaries.
Albani was arrested and detained in 2011 following the violence that characterized the outcome of the country's presidential polls during which several persons were killed and properties destroyed.
He was one of the few northern Muslim scholars who combined their Islamic knowledge with solid western education and spoke flawless English.
In October, 2012, Albani, a fearless preacher, when asked whether he is not scared for his life with regards to his anti-Boko Haram stand, said, “We are not in any way afraid of any intimidation, we are only afraid of God. We have no any sinister plans against anyone in our minds and schedules; all we are doing is serving God and nothing more than that.
“We are not against anyone, but anybody that wants to intimate us should go ahead and see the wrath of God. We are not organization but just teaching and learning, you cannot compare us with those bothered about assuming leadership and followers. We do not have that in our setting.”
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