What is Boko Haram?
Boko Haram’ is a combination of Hausa and Arabic words. The word”Boko’ in Hausa, means Western Education’, while the word ‘Haram’ in Arabic, means ‘Unlawful’. So, the literal meaning of ‘Boko Haram’ ? is Western Education is unlawful. But how many knows the meaning of Boko Haram?
I put the above question to a cross section of world and this was their unanimous answer: ‘Boko Haram means Jihad in Hausa planted in the minds of many by our politicians
That fact is that know body really sense to understand why our Government misinterpreted ‘Boko Haram’ as Jihad: Boko Haram’s first bomb attack took place in a Church at the outskirt of Suleja. I will discuss that later.
Meanwhile, like a coin with two different sides, Boko Haram has two different sides: Ideological side and Insurgent side.
Boko Haram As An Ideology
Today, only a few people are aware that ‘Boko Haram’ dates back to the late fourties. The ideology which tagged Western Education as anti-Islam and therefore harmful to Muslim communities in Northern Nigeria, started long before late Sir Ahmadu Bello of Sokoto, late Sir Abubakar Tafawa Balewa of Bauchi, Maitama Sule and Mallam Aminu of Kano, were sent to Primary Schools at different dates and locations.
The major occupation of early Hausa-Fulani tribesmen was farming and cattle, sheep and goat rearing. Hence, parents needed large number of male children to help them on the farm. Ignorant of Western Education’s mechanized farming that produces large quantity of grains, they depended on the labour of children and got scanty harvest.
From sun rise to sun set, the old, adults, youths and children bent down with hoes tilling the earth Tilling the earth with hoes was so severe that, the average farmer twice older than his or her real age.
And because the farmers worked hard from sun rise to sun set, they had little time to study the Holy Qur’an. The few who dedicated time in reading and writing the Qur’an were called Aramas.
Who are the Aramas?
The Aramas we’re reckoned as God fearing people who had no desire for worldly things.
Piety is an invisible vehicle that drives the soul to God’s palace. Aramas were considered pious men. Thus, farmers consulted them for prayers to overcome their socio-economic problems.
Ironically, the Aramas were miracle performers, and for this reason, they were highly respected by the community. It was the Aramas who held the key to Isamic education, and parents gratefully sent their wards to them.
Islam offered the Hausa-Fulani tribesmen polygamy; though limiting the number of wives to four per husband. But Christianity denied them polygamy and ordered husbands to stick to one wife. They chose Islam and polygamy.
Since Western Education was introduced by Christian Missionaries, the Hausa-Fulani tribesmen quickly distant themselves from Western Education.
Then came a time to test Western Education: the first set of Hausa-Fulani children were sent to Primary Schools in different parts of Northern region.
They moved from primary school to college. College was boarding and run by European Missionaries. Some of these European Missionaries were gays in cassocks. Hence, gay Reverend Fathers enticed weak minds into sodomy.
The first set of College graduates climbed the rungs of Western education until they reached the height of greatness: they became teachers, headmasters, principals, nurses, doctors, bankers, cashiers,accountants, accountant generals, auditors, auditor generals, court clerks, lawyers, judges, clerical officers, secretaries, permanent secretaries, police commissioners, inspector general of police, lieutenants, captains, brigadier generals, generals, district officers politicians, premiers, prime ministers and presidents.
In a short time, the teachers and headmasters indulged in fornication with school girls, principals of male boarding schools lured innocent and defenceless boys into sodomy, court clerks took bribe to bend the hand of justice, permanent secretaries, district officers and politicians stole public funds and lavished their loots on different brands of imported shoes, suites, neckties, wrist watches, alcohol and cars.
The eroding of piety and the spread of vice by educated elites was what compelled unhappy Hausa-Fulani parents and communities to conclude with heavy hearts and troubled minds that, ‘Boko’ [western education] was ‘Haram’ which means unlawful.
The ideology which drives the actions and inactions of Boko Haram is well known to me. The mistaken notion that Western Education is unlawful or anti-Islam has lived long in Northern Nigeria. In fact, as a matter of fact, most of today’s Hausa-Fulani Muslim adult grew with the belief, that Western Education is anti-Islam; the simple reason why many Hausa-Fulani Muslim adults are illiterates.
I can say without doubt in my mind that, the words ‘Boko Haram’ has its root ancient Hausa-Fulani Muslim resentment of Western Education
Kicking against Western Education is not new in the North What is completely strange is how agents of Satan in Islamic dresses are using anti-Western education to terrorise people in the North.
Is Islam truly anti-Western Education?
The first revelation of the Holy Qur’an began with a command: ‘Read’!Meaning that, Islam is about Education. Little was known about wstern Education in the inception of Islam. However, there is a popular Hadith in which Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) encouraged the early Muslims to go China and study; an indication that, if today’s West was as popular and important as ancient China, the Prophet would have encouraged Muslims to go to America and Europe.
Western Education gave brains to men and women to change iron-ore into metal, metal to engine, and engine to car, ship and airplane. As a matter of fact, airplane carries Muslims across rivers, seas, mountains and deserts to Makah in fulfilment of the Fifth Pillar of Islam [Hajj).
If Western Education is Haram, then the airplane it produces is also Haram, and of course, the Hajj too is Haram. Lest I forget, it is Western Education that gave brains to men and women to produce the machine guns, bombs and armour tanks we see with Boko Haram Insurgents In
Muslim Dad’s elicit and eloquent explanation of Boko Haram threw the audience into the wildest excitement. They were so delighted with the subject that everybody was whispering to the other, ‘who is Muslim Dad? Is he an indigene of Kano?’
Directly in the centre of the audience, Muslim Dad saw Christian Mom holding their lovely son in her arms. How beautiful she looked. Beside her was a lady usher.
Muslim Dad beckoned on the usher to bring his family to him. When the family of three were seated, an elderly man stood up and said, ‘on behalf of the audience, I would like Muslim Dad and his wife to tell us about their states of origin, how and where they met each other to become this enviable husband and wife’.
Muslim Dad surveyed the faces of the large gathering of people staring at him and obliged to do the bidding of the elderly man.