By Sonnie Ekwowusi
Greeting: With the certainty that you live among us and often read this page, Oh! Boko Haram, I have decided to communicate you through this medium with the hope that the words of this letter, as poor as they may be, may not only penetrate the depth of your heart but may find a dwelling place in your inner being leading to the immediate release of the abducted Chibok girls and cessation of violence and killings in Northern Nigeria.
Boko Haram sponsors, supporters and sympathizers both in and outside government or in the Nigerian military, home or abroad, my greeting. This letter is equally addressed to you.
Know you brethren, that among the universal fundamental rights of humanity which Islam stipulates that must be observed and respected in all circumstances and at all times is sacredness of life. In Islam, human blood is sacred and cannot be spilled anyhow. The first and foremost basic right in the Holy Quran is the right to life. “Whoever kills a human being without justification like manslaughter or corruption on earth, it is though he had killed all mankind” (Holy Quran; 5:32). “Do not kill a soul which Allah has made scared except through the due process of law” (Holy Quran; 6:151). Islam abhors human slavery and abduction. In the words of the Prophet (blessings of Allah and peace be upon him), “There are three categories of people against whom I shall myself be a plaintiff on the Day of Judgment. Of these three, one is he who enslaves a free man, then sells him and eats this money”. The life, property and honour of non-Muslims (dhimmis) are to be respected and protected in exactly the same manner as those of Muslims. God Almighty has stipulated in the Holy Quran 4: 93, “Anybody who kills a believer deliberately will receive as his reward (a sentence) to live in Hell for ever. God will be angry with him and curse him, and prepare a dreadful torment for him”. According to the Prophet (blessings of Allah and peace be upon him) Muslims who kill non-Muslims (dhimmis) will not even smell the fragrance of paradise. The Holy Quran stipulates that, “there should be no coercion in the matter of Faith” (Holy Qu ran 2:256).
Although Muslims are enjoined to invite people to embrace Islam and spread Islamic teachings, they are not enjoined to do so by force or through terrorism or through abduction. It is the obligation and duty of Muslim community to enjoin its members to shun wickedness and evil (Holy Quran 3:110). Islam recognizes that all human beings are brothers and sisters. That they are descendant from one father and mother and therefore should not be killed. According to Holy Quran 5:3, “Do not let your hatred of a people incite you to aggression”. Islam teaches that no harm should be done to the civilian population during a war or conflict. The instruction of the Prophet (blessings of Allah and peace be upon him) on this is this, “Do not kill any old person, any child or any woman”, “Do not kill the monks in monasteries” and “Do not kill the people who are sitting in places of worship”. Once upon a time during a certain war, the Prophet (blessings of Allah and peace be upon him) saw a corpse of a woman lying on the ground and he said, “She is not fighting. How then came she to be killed?”. From this it could be easily deduced that civilian population who are not involved in war or any strife should not be killed.
From the foregoing, it is crystal clear that your killings and abduction are against the teachings of Islam and the Prophet. He who fights against Allah will incur the wrath of Allah the Almighty. My dear Boko Haram; fallen is Northern Region, a region once renowned for its touches for lighting up darkness, now becoming the dwelling place of demons. The sepulchral silence and mourning darkness that has eclipsed Borno State is so palpably intimidating and frightening. Maiduguri is now the “city of blood”, a beehive of every foul spirit and hateful bird, a citadel of horrendous crimes, evocative of the crimes that led to the downfall of Sodom and Gomorrah and the old Roman Empire. Among the sins which led to the downfall of Sodom and Gomorrah and the old Roman Empire were great harlotry, unbridled violence, killings of human beings and self-indulgence. However before the terrible punishment could befall Sodom Gomorrah and the Roman Empire the people of God inhabiting those places were told to flee them. In the same fashion, some Northerners including the Northern elites are fleeing the North today to escape the punishments that would descend on the North as a result of your idolatrous absolutism.
My dear Boko Haram; remember that one of the most powerful prayers that Allah answers quickly is the prayer of innocent children. Now the abducted Chibok girls are praying that the blood of children that has been split in the North would come back upon the North so that the North will know no peace and progress until the blood split in the North is avenged. Violence begets violence. Murder begets murder. Abduction begets abduction
Therefore to avert the incoming wrath, let the abducted Chibok girls regain their freedom forthwith. Then sheath your sword. Put an end to your violence. The obligation to avoid inflicting physical or psychological harm on others is a cardinal ethical principle in Islam. For the Prophet (blessings of Allah and peace be upon him) said, “He who causes harm will be harmed by Allah and he who acts in a hostile manner will be treated in a hostile manner by Allah”( Jami al-Tirmidhi, No. 1306)