As a Muslim, if you know the rights non-Muslims may have over you if you fail to deal justly, then you will be more careful about your standing before the Almighty Allah, the Creator of all, on the judgment day.
Pay attention to the following warning from our dear Prophet Muhammad (SAW);
The Prophet (SAW) is reported to have said, “On the Day of Resurrection, I shall dispute with anyone who oppresses a person from among the People of the Covenant, or infringes on his right, or burdens him beyond his strength, or takes something from him against his will” (Abu Dawud).
“Anyone who kills a person from among the people with whom there is a treaty (mu‘ahid) will not smell the fragrance of Paradise, even though its fragrance extends to a walking distance of forty years” (Bukhari).
The above applies to Dhimmis i.e. Christians and Jews who, as citizens of an Islamic State enjoy the protection of the State) and Mu’ahid (a person with whom a treaty or covenant has been concluded). Nigeria is an Abode of Covenant (Dar al Ahd) where the 1999 Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria is the covenant between Muslims and non-Muslims.
Killing a non-Muslim who is alleged of blasphemy without recourse to legal action, is clearly unislamic and no amount of emotional gra gra will legitimise jungle justice in the Sharia.
Finally, the burden of proof in Islamic criminal law is proof beyond a reasonable doubt. Where there is a doubt, it is resolved in favour of the accused person.
From the available English translation of Deborah’s audio, especially the last part, there is every reason to believe She probably meant another thing, as attested by Many Hausas who have taken their time to listen the second time and more attentively. But sadly, the opportunity for Deborah to clear the air is not there anymore, because she was lynched contrary to law.
We really need to deepen our understanding of Muslim and non-Muslim relations.
Many people erroneously believe Christians, whom we live together as indigenous people and citizens of the same country, are infidels living under Islamic authority.
Nigeria is not an Islamic State (Dar al Islam). It is not an Abode of Disbelief (Dar al Harb). Rather, it is an Abode of Covenant (Dar al Ahd). The 1999 Nigerian Constitution represents the covenant between all peoples of different religious and tribal affiliations in the country.
Killing a non-Muslim unjustly will only earn perpetrators doom and perdition on the day of judgment.
Know this and know peace!
- Idris Alao, lecturer, Department of Islamic Law, wrote from Fountain University, Osogbo