Nigeria is not lacking scholars of vast Islamic knowledge and authority who have, and are making an impact in the world of Islam. Dr. Ahmad Gumi, however, stands tall and distinctive.

In the 21st century, scholars should be able to adroitly confront the emerging trends of the world without compromising Islamic principles. This is especially so, at a time whence the image of Islam is severely battered. Dr. Ahmad Gumi has thus far been a reference point to turn to, for unembellished ideas that exonerate Islam from the actions of some unscrupulous Muslims.

Without mincing words, Dr. Ahmad Gumi has thus far, stood out in campaigning against terrorism even when scholars shrink in the face of it. At the peak of Boko Haram, scholars trembled and scarcely raise a voice in condemnation, Dr. Ahmad, spoke; unambiguously, and vociferously against them even at the risk of his own life. He spoke against the handling of some crisis situations at that time, notably the checkpoints that wrought hardships on commuters and people of northern Nigeria.

Consequently, his convoy was attacked on his way to Sultan Bello for the Ramadan Tafsir. He became no friend of the then government owing to his dissenting voice, yet he could not back off, he trod on.

In 2014, he could not relent, he rented his voice to the political arena, and he succinctly conceptualized the political machinations ahead of the general elections. He advised that both Buhari and Jonathan step down for some younger and more nationally unifying forces such as Kwankwaso, El-Rufai, and Peter Obi amongst others. He foresaw a chaotic aftermath to the election should Buhari lose the election. He also bold-facedly made cases against General Muhammadu Buhari, he pointed to his unforgiving inclinations and obvious lack of strength in character. I, the writer of this article disagreed with him and joined others to vilify and throw jibes at him. I even wrote a rejoinder then; titled, ‘Dr. Ahmad Gumi, take a seat or take Responsibility’.

Jonathan and Buhari contested the election, Buhari won and the country was taken to the brink of war, but for the singular action of Jonathan in conceding defeat, the country wouldn’t have been the same today.

In his congratulatory message, Dr. Ahmad still caution Buhari against witch-hunting and settlement of old scores, he called on him to be responsible and stick to his promise of drawing the line on corruption. Alas! Buhari defied such advice and also his pre-election vow. His actions threw the country into chaos in the early days of his administration. Rich men became afraid and withdrew their finances from the capital market, a situation that led to the infamous recession.

The weakness, which Dr. Ahmad spoke of also became evident as Buhari deflate in the face of national crisis, mostly greeting serious issues with an ‘I am not aware’ cliché. Old age also became telling as he’s unable to lead from the front as is required of a modern leader.

In matters of religion, Dr. Ahmad has been the only regular voice who stands for justice not minding whose ox is gored. I can remember when he admonished Zakzaky and his followers against their habit of barricading of roads for people, he cautioned them on how unislamic such acts are. He told them that, were such actions to continue, there could be a bloody confrontation someday, and not only the children of the villagers will be killed. Shi’ites and their media lashed out at him even calling him a hunting dog of Israel. Not long after that, it happened, confrontations with soldiers that resulted in the deaths of hundreds including the sons of El Zakzaky their spiritual leader.

To depict how truthful he stands for justice, Dr. Ahmad spoke against the way and manner the Shi’ites were extra judicially executed, unlike many other scholars of different sects who celebrated and commended the government for what is an obvious barbarity. He do not stop there, till today, Dr. Ahmad Gumi frequently call for the release of Zakzaky. Shi’ites now respect and uphold his voice.

Today, when I see people castigating him, I shake my head, knowing fully well that someday they will realize his coded message.

One thing am certain is, Dr. Ahmad Gumi will not cow down out of fear of what anyone will say or think.

Alhamdulillah for having such a Scholar in my lifetime.

Bukar Ali writes from Abuja and can be reached at Bukar493@gmail.com
Whatsapp 08034844166.

Bukar Ali.

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