Kaduna-based Islamic scholar, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, the Supreme Council for Shariah in Kaduna and the State Police Command, have been forced to react as residents protest after a Muslim man allegedly slaughtered and shared dog meat with his sect members.
Bellnews learnt that the event happened in the Nasarawa community of the state on Tuesday, causing an uproar among the Muslim believers.
It was gathered that youths of the community went all out in protest and attempted to attack the man at his house and Islamic school. The Muslims expressed disappointment with the man’s action, which, according to them, was against the teachings of Islam.
Speaking on behalf of the sect, one Ismail Abubakar Rijana reportedly countered the belief that eating dogs was prohibited in the Quran.
“We are Muslims and followers of the Quran only. We believe in the Quran as a religious book. However, the way we practice Islamic religion is different from how others practice it.
“Nigeria’s constitution gives us the right to practice our belief. So, based on our knowledge of the Quran, no verse prohibits the eating of dogs. But we are ready to change and seek God’s forgiveness if we are convinced with verses in the Quran that we are wrong,” Daily Trust quoted Rijana as saying.
Some of the residents confirmed that dog meat was used to prepare soup which was shared among the students of the school.
Adam Muhammad, counsellor of the area, also confirmed the incident but said the community had become calm as security personnel were deployed to maintain law and order in the community.
Dogs Among Animals Forbidden For Meat In Islam
Reacting to the controversies, the Kaduna State chapter of the Supreme Council for Shariah, condemned the sect’s action, saying their action was intended to stir commotion among the Muslim Ummah.
The council said dog is among animals forbidden as meat in Islam by the teachings of the Prophet.
For further clarifications, the council reminded the Muslim community of the sources of Islamic Law, which include: “The Qur’an, which is the word of Allah (SWT); The tradition of the Prophet (SAW), which includes his sayings, actions, and silence (on something done in his presence); and the Ijma’, which entails the consensus of Ullama, where rulings are not found in either of the aforementioned.”
In a statement released in the public domain, the secretary of the council in Kaduna, Abdulrahaman Hassan D, emphasized that all Muslims must believe in and abide by these basic Islamic principles of jurisprudence.
He explained that for true Muslims who believe in the Qur’an and the Sunnah of the Prophet (SAW), the following should be noted: Allah (SWT) said in Suratul Ma’idah Verse 1, “Oh you who believe! Fulfill your commitments. Livestock animals are permitted for you, except those specified to you…” (Qur’an,5:1).
“The verse clearly shows the animals allowed to be eaten in Islam, while the ‘exceptions’ mentioned in the verse can only be found in the Sunnah of the Prophet (SAW).
“It was narrated by Abu Hurairah (RA) that the Messenger of Allah (SAW) said: ‘Every animal that has fangs is haram.’ (Muslim). Also, Abu Tha’labah Al-Khashni (RA) said: ‘The Messenger of Allah (SAW) forbade the eating of every carnivore that has fangs.’
“Considering these facts from the above sources, it is clear that eating dog meat is not allowed in Islam. Unfortunately, the people involved seem not to have much regard for the Sunnah of the Prophet (SAW), forgetting the fact that Allah (SWT) has said: ‘It is not fitting for a Believer, man or woman when a matter has been decided by Allah and His Messenger to have any option about their decision: if anyone disobeys Allah and His Messenger, He is indeed on a wrong Path.’ (Qur’an, Ahzaab:36).
“We call on all Muslims to shun away from controversial issues that may affect their Iman (faith). For those people who indulged in this act, they should fear Allah and know that whatever a person does, he will be held accountable,” the statement reads.
The council also called on the youth to desist from taking the law into their own hands, adding that if there is any observed anomaly within the society, the same should be reported to the constituted authority, Naija News understands.
Sheikh Gumi’s Reaction
Also reacting to the protest, a renowned controversial Islamic scholar based in Kaduna, Sheikh Ahmad Gumi, said Muslims are only permitted to eat four animals for religious rites, which include camel, cattle, sheep or goat.
According to him, any other animal aside from these is forbidden for religious sacrifices or consumption for the Muslim Ummah.
He noted that there are two rulings on the issue of eating dog meat because the prophet prohibited the eating of all animals that hunt or have canine teeth, which dogs have.
“So it is haram (prohibited), but in another madhab (school of thought) as practised around the Iraq region, it’s makruh (disliked).
“But the ones we follow, the prophet forbade eating dogs, so literally, people don’t eat dogs here. So when you come and introduce such a different practice, it will create reactions, especially when associated with Islamic rites like naming ceremonies.
“This is because Islam only permits four animals for religious rites: camel, cattle, sheep, or goat. Any other animal, even if it’s halal, like a hen, or ostrich, is not allowed to be used for religious sacrifice.
“So their actions are un-Islamic and provocative. They provoke the general Ummah of Malik School of thought, which says it is haram (forbidden) to eat dog meat,” Sheikh Gumi reportedly said.
The cleric, however, urged the protesting youths to shun violence and avoid taking the law into their hands.
He said they can only preach to people to make them understand that those who believe whatever is in the hadith is not authentic are faulty because the Quran has said that the prophet is an example for Muslims to follow.
Sheikh Gumi said most half of Islamic law is from the hadith, and “if you remove the hadith from Islamic law, you will be left with only one-quarter of the law.”
He urged the authorities not to play with such issues, especially considering the background of such sect members.
Police Commences Investigation
Confirming the chaotic situation, the State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), ASP Mansir Hassan, told the publication that the command is informed of the situation and has since commenced investigation.
He said the accused person denied slaughtering the dog for a naming ceremony.
He warned the residents from taking laws into their own hands, saying the command was doing a background check on the sect members.