Funtua Declaration Speech by Shaikh Ibraheem Zakzaky

Delivered by Sheikh Ibraheem El-Zakzaky on 5/5/1980.


In the name of Allah the destroyer of the oppressors,

Dear Brothers and Sisters!

Assalamu Alaikum wa Rahmatullah.

A hadith narrated from Sayyidina Ali ibn Abi Talib (AS) said, “Oh You people, surely the Messenger of Allah said; ‘whoever sees any government that takes injustice as her motto, that transgress the laws of Allah, and despise the Sunnah of the Messenger of Allah, that is oppressing the slaves of Allah, in such a situation, whoever fails to use his hands and mouth to fight this government, should know this, that Allah will make his abode same as that of the tyrant leader.”

Not only do the rulers of this country take injustice and oppression as their only motto, in fact their whole system is built on basis of injustice and oppression. It is not only that they transgress the laws of Allah, they have disregarded it wholly and replaced it with man-made laws. It is not that they only transgress the bonds of Allah, they do not even have any regard for such bonds. They have rejected the covenant of Allah, and in its place they have accepted the covenant set by transgressors. They are not only unjust and oppressive, they make tyranny and oppression the norm.

And certainly it is not that we only failed to use our hands and mouths to confront this pervasive injustice and oppression, we ourselves have given them the go ahead to oppress us. We voted for this unjust government with our own hands, and we are the ones supporting the government with our tongues. Surely it is we who offer them the chance to oppress us, give them the chance to do away with the laws of Allah  and substituted them with man-made laws. We give them the chance to transgress the bonds set by Allah, we give them the opportunity to be unjust and to even make their transgression legal. We did not only fail to confront them with ourselves, we are even encouraging them in their transgressions.

Alas, dear brothers and sisters, if the above quoted hadith says that those who fail to confront the unjust tyrants with their tongues and actions are doomed to the same abode as the transgressing rulers, what will our situation be? It means that not only will we be doomed together with the transgressors but we are also the transgressors. Yes of course, that is what we are, why will I not say so? We vote for these tyrants ourselves, and we regard them as our own government. We even consider them to be the ‘government of the people, by the people, for the people.’ If we are the people, we are the same thing as the government. And if that is so how can we say only the ruling class is unjust, and we are clean of all their misdoings? We and the Chairmen, Governors and heads of State are all transgressors, and we all are sinners!

Almighty Allah perfected our religion and He sent down to us the Holy Qur’an, but we rejected His wish, and opted for the constitution of Nigeria? The handiwork of only 50 people, who we have chosen as our representatives, to act on our behalf? Allah wished Islam to be the system governing our lives, but we reject that and take democracy in place of Islam. Allah’s commandment is that we follow what He has chosen for us as our way of life but instead we opted for the commandments of Englishmen! After all what Allah commands us to seek is the Hereafter, but we seem to be contented with this world as if this is our final abode. Only Allah is worthy of worship, but we are worshipping the country instead.

Dear brothers and sisters! You may be confused by what I am saying, but by Allah I am saying the truth! You may not believe me, but the truth is we are living in a state of disbelief. There is nothing like Islam in this country! Islam here is practically non-existent, it is not even up to zero here. We have a corrupted version of Islam which is full of traditional beliefs of our forefathers, and system of colonial invaders, and it is the same as nothing. The state of Islam in this country of ours is that of a crashed airplane that has been burned to ashes. Its debris will not form another airplane.

Some time ago Sheikh Usman dan Fodio and his followers established Islam in this land, after them some wicked traditional rulers started deviating from the path of Islam; at last colonial invaders (staunch enemies of Allah) invaded the land and did away with everything of what remained of Islam. Surely the Europeans destroyed Islam in this land, and they replaced it with their traditional values, values of ignorance. They made sure to train their puppets who in turn form their own replacements from among us. They handed the established system of disbelief to them and we are now the offspring of those trained by the colonial invaders, always doing their bidding by furthering their system of disbelief.

In reality we are living in period of modern ignorance and we are helping to further all its causes. We are even worse than the Muslims that refuse to confront the unjust system. Our current situation is that of the Muslims who have accepted to live in the system of disbelief. What do you expect to be our destination? Which excuse will we give Allah on the Day of Judgement?

Based on all the things I have mentioned above, I am declaring this before you, and Allah (SWT) is my witness that I rebelled against the constitution of Nigeria, the whole system and its leadership! I accepted none of it! I am therefore affirming my firm belief in the Book of Allah, His Law and the leadership of His Messenger (SAW).

.., I have a glad tiding for you, There is a hadith of the Messenger of Allah (SAW) that says; “Allah will bring someone to revive your religion in beginning of each century.”

Alhamdulillah we have just entered a new Islamic century (15th). That’s why we have chosen the theme of this gathering to be the 15th century. Actually this gathering is the 25th of its kind and the second gathering in this new century. The theme of the previous gathering was ‘Faith: the weapon with which we will destroy disbelief.’ And our hope is to see the reviver promised to us by the Messenger of Allah (SAW).