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ISLAMIC SCHOLARSHIP, JALABISM, AND YAHOO+ ALFAS



By
Sanusi Lafiagi

Acquisition of knowledge in Islām is considered to be an obligatory duty upon every Muslim faithful. Knowledge is seen as the foundation and bedrock of sound faith in Allāh, His Prophets, His Books, His angels, as well as other articles of faith. A popular saying that many Muslims mistake for a hadīth is, فاعرفوني قبل أن تعبدوني. فمن لم يعرفني، فكيف يعبدني؟ “Know me before you worship me. For how will he worship me, the one who knows me not? With this statement, one can safely conclude that it is required of every Muslim to know the basic tenets and rudiments of Islām, with which he/she can worship Allāh and observe all other rituals of the Deen. These basics are otherwise known as المعلوم من الدين بالضرورة “Aspects of the religion that are known by necessity.”

Knowledge inculcates piety and deep sense of responsibility in the believer. Thus, Muslim scholars are, by default pious men of God, who not only impart knowledge to others but also serve as role models to them. They occupy an exalted position in terms of piety and nobility of character. Allāh declares, إِنَّمَا يَخْشَى اللَّهَ مِنْ عِبَادِهِ الْعُلَمَاءُ “Of all His servants, only such as are endowed with [innate] knowledge 20  stand [truly] in awe of Allāh: [for they alone comprehend that].”

In the past, Muslim scholars are known to play 8 major roles in society:

1. Organize public lectures مجالس الوعظ والإرشاد
2. Hold daily study circles where different Islamic literatures are taught الحلقات العلمية
3. Lead both daily and Jumu’ah prayers
4. Give Fatwah (legal verdicts) 
5. Speak against evils prevalent in society
6. Author beneficial treatises and books/Write commentaries on previous works
7. Officiate Islamic ceremonies and functions
8.  Provide spiritual help to people in need in form of herbs and “hantu”

Of the 8 issues mentioned above, the one that seems somehow controversial is the last one. And while the act itself is no doubt noble and permissible in Islām, there’s no doubt that the modus operandi of the majority of self-acclaimed Spiritual consultants clearly negates the creedal tenets of Islām. There’s hardly any of our scholar fathers that were not approached for assistance by those seeking spiritual solutions to their problems. They were seen as pious servants of Allāh who have closer ties with Allāh and possess the power of automatic “Istijābah”. 

In many cases, they engage themselves in fervent prayers and fasting on behalf of the distressed persons. Sometimes, they write verses, chapters or the whole of the Qur’ān on slates and wash it for use by the clients. In other times, they inscribe some Arabic writings and drawings on papers and wrap them with wool or sew them with animal skins, et cetera. It is worthy to note that even at that time, some of their actions were deeply rooted in shirk and kufr, as many of them fully deployed magic and jinns to full use.

Initially, spiritual consultation was seen as part and parcel of the duties of a Muslim scholar, rather than as a business. So naturally, anyone that is seen as an Alfa is expected to have “asiri” (السحر) and “kundi” (a compendium of diabolical writings). In fact, it looks strange, nay awkward to lay claim to scholarship without being in possession of such “Islamic charms”. Thus by default, students of knowledge at that time were compelled  by necessity and popular demands to learn the art of spiritual consultations from their alfas.

In the beginning, spiritual consultation was  ore or less free. Scholars of the past hardly request any financial reward of their clients, and in cases where they do, they were for paltry amounts which were usually for purchasing necessary ingredients needed for sihr/sadaqah. However, as demands grew, so also did the alfas become more covetous of wealth and other material possessions. Gradually, and with the passing away of those pious scholars, their progenies, who inherited all the compendia of spiritual and diabolical powers from them began to engage in unholy and criminal activities, contrary to what many of their fathers stood for, hence the birth of modern day Jalabiism.

Jalabiism has come to stay as a major source of income for self-acclaimed alfas in society.  It is the most lucrative fraudulent franchise clothed in the garb of Islām and Islamic scholarship. In the past, I have written very rich and thoroughly-researched articles in the evils of Jalabiism. Whoso is interested in reading them should visit my old account, Sirnucy Lafiagi. I hope that one day, my brother, Ibn Abdillah As-sudaisiy Al-Iloori would find time to republish those articles on his blog for people to read.

Majority, if not all of Jalabi alfas today engage in undiluted and unadulterated shirk and kufr and are criminals. They swindle and extort unsuspecting people of their hard earned fortunes. Here in Ilorin, there’s hardly any adugbo where these criminal elements are not found. Majority of these charlatans only hold elementary certificates in Arabic and Islamic studies, while a minute few have university degrees. It is also important to emphasize that while many can hardly recite the Qur’ān fluently or read and comprehend Arabic passages, some are well-verses in both and other aspects of Islamic sciences.

The proliferation of Jalabiism in today’s society gave rise to the flourishing of Yahoo+ alfas. This terminology (Yahoo+), in Nigerian parlance denotes internet fraudulent practices that are fully integrated with fettishness. In that wise, Yahoo+ alfas are those self-acclaimed Muslim clerics who are accused of using human body parts or even animals for fetish purposes.

There’s no gainsaying the fact that Ilorin is the headquarter of this evil that has now become one of the most dreaded criminal activities in Nigeria.  Over the past few months, so many alfas have been caught with different human parts, ranging from human skulls, to exhumation of corpses to being in possession of placentas of newborns.  

Today, I woke up to the news of yet another criminal Yahoo+ Alfa here in Ilorin who was arrested for conniving with a hospital attendant to steal the placenta of a newborn (http://thenationonlineng.net/muslim-cleric-hospital-attendant-held-for-stealing-placenta/). This and many more more unfortunate stories are all we read today about ‘Muslim clerics’. It’s no longer about display of exceptional knowledge and scholarship. It’s no longer about delivering soul touching lectures and admonitions. It’s no longer about authoring voluminous books and beneficial treatises. It’s now about using human parts for rituals.

Haaaaaaa, Alfaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!!

May Allāh deliver us from the evil of these criminals in the toga of Islamic scholarship. May Allāh continue to expose them all and their cronies and sponsors.


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