Apr 17, 2016

Meet the leader of unusual religious sect in Kaduna

Clement Ejiofor
NAIJ
April 16, 2016

 
 El-Rufai
According to El-Rufai, the new Islamic group may be worse
 than the Boko Haram sect.

  • Governor Nasir El-Rufai of Kaduna state has warned Nigerians over the appearance of the new Islamic sect, Gawsiyya, that may be worse than Boko Haram
  • Journalists’ investigation revealed that the spiritual leader of the sect is living in a remote village on the outskirts of Zaria and has supporters all over Nigeria and beyond 
  • Sheikh Isma’il Bn Sayyadi Yusha’u explained that the Gawsiyya sect is not a new one as they are adherents of the Tijjaniyya sect – He said that he was divinely anointed as Gawsiy, and Muslims all over the world are obliged to accept and give their allegiance to him
  • Local residents said that members of the sect have never exhibited any tendency for violence Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Whatsapp According to El-Rufai, the new Islamic group may be worse than the Boko Haram sect. 
Governor Nasir El-Rufai has recently raised the alarm over the emergence of a new Islamic group in Kaduna state that may be worse than the dreaded Boko Haram sect. 

After studying the group’s activities, the state government concluded that the sect should not be allowed to stay in Kaduna as they preach contrary to the teachings of Islam and recruite youth in the name of religion. 

Undoubtedly, the governor’s statement caused concern among not only residents of Kaduna state, but all Nigerians. 

Meanwhile, Daily Trust conducted an investigation that revealed that the spiritual leader of the sect is living in a remote village on the outskirts of Zaria and has supporters all over Nigeria and beyond. 

When journalists visited Makarfi for the first time, the leader of the sect in the area was not on hand to speak. On a second visit, Malam Salisu Abubakar declined to give any comments, saying that the right person to speak is the overall leader of the sect. 

In company of the Makarfi sect leaders, the journalists visited Madinatu Zaria, where the spiritual leader of the Gawsiyya sect resides. 

 

Madinatu Zaria is located between Zaria’s ancient gate of Kofar Gayan and Amana Mai Kasuwa town in Igabi local government area of Kaduna state. Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Whatsapp Gawsiyya Sheikh Isma’il Yusha’u (right) with Malam Salisu Abubakar, the sect leader in Makarfi.

Speaking with journalists, Sheikh Isma’il Bn Sayyadi Yusha’u explained that the Gawsiyya sect is not a new one as it was alleged by Governor El-Rufai and other Nigerians. 

He said that they are adherents of the Tijjaniyya sect, and their leaders are Prophet Muhammad (pbuh), Sheikh Ahmadu Tijjani, a 19th Century North African cleric, and Sheikh Ibrahim Nyass, a 20th Century Senegalese cleric.

“I am not an alien in Zaria. I was born and bred at Kaho Zaria to the family of Sayyadi Yusha’u and Sayyada Hindatu about 50 years ago. I started my Qur’anic education in Kaho in Zaria city and I completed my Qur’anic education in Igabi. I have been to many places in this country in search of knowledge of Islamic jurisprudence before I finally settled in the school of Sheikh Atiku in Sanka, Kano.” 

“After the demise of Sheikh Atiku, I met one Sufi (saint) by name Dalhat Bn Dahiru Al-Kanawee. It was in his school that I learnt many things about Tijjaniyya. After my sojourn in Kano, I returned to Zaria where I met Malam Usman Na Malam Na Iya. I learnt many things about Islamic jurisprudence, the science of Hadeeth and Qur’anic commentary (Tafseer) in Malam Na Iya’s school. After my pursuit for knowledge, I began teaching where I started with Tafseer and these continued up to the time I was divinely anointed as Gawsiy,” he said. 

According to Sheikh Yusha’u, Gawsiy is a divine anointment that usually takes place every century. He said that Allah chooses one of his servants to lead Muslims globally. He added that before his anointment as Gawsiy, the last one that the world had was Sheikh Ibrahim Nyass of Senegal.

Sheikh Yusha’u stressed that since Allah has anointed him as the new Gawsiy, Muslims all over the world are obliged to accept and give their allegiance to him. 

Commenting on the issue of coming up with a new religion, he said his background and the sect’s activities are proof to the fact that they are not introducing a new faith. 

“I teach the books that are known in Islam, like Sahihul Bukhari, Sahihul Muslim, Muwadda Malik, among many others. I have written many books on different aspects of Islamic jurisprudence, science of Hadeeth and Islamic poems. I just told you some of my teachers and where I was born, then tell me how our religion is new. If you want to know my actual creed, you can go to the books I wrote because they are in the public domain. We are not hiding anything.”

“All the people that are spreading these rumours are mischief-makers. If they are jealous about my position as the new Gawsiy, they are fighting Allah, because I was not the one that gave myself this position. It is not my power, age or wealth that gave me this position of Gawsiy,” he said. 

Sheikh Yusha’u said that he has followers not only in Madinatu Zaria, but all over Nigeria and beyond. 

He added that Makarfi is just one of the many branches of the sect. 

The cleric recalled that once he was invited to the palace of the Emir of Zazzau where he was given an opportunity to defend the position of his sect. He noted that scholars understood his position and what he believed in. 

When contacted, Alhaji Abubakar Ladan, the chief protocol officer to the Emir of Zazzau, confirmed that the cleric was invited to the palace for the Emir and scholars to have a clear understanding of what Sheikh Yusha’u preaches. 

Meanwhile, some local residents said that they do not have any problem with the group, as its members have never exhibited any tendency for violence.

Muhammad D. Shehu, the area commander in charge of Zaria police headquarters, said that the police are monitoring activities of the sect. He urged Nigerians to be vigilant on the activities of all religious groups and report any suspicious movement to the relevant authorities.
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