ASH-SHEIKH MUHAMMAD AUWAL ADAM ALBANIY ZARIA
Born: 6th Rabuinith Thani, 1379 A.H. equivalent to 27th September 1960
Died: 01st February, 2014 (Aged 53)
Denomination: Sunni Salafiy
Main interest(s); Hadeeth studies & ICT
It was the desire of his mother that he becomes a cleric and as such he abandoned his desire of becoming a journalist. Sheikh Albaniy started his educational career in a missionary school in Sabon Gari, Zaria and attended government commercial secondary school, Barewa college and Demonstration secondary school all in Zaria. He attended Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria, Bayero University, Kano, the University of Jos, Federal University of Technology, Yola and Digital Bridge Institute, affiliated to the University of Nigeria Nsuka.
Academic Qualification: Diploma in Islamic and Shari'a Law (ABU), Diploma in mass communication (UNIJOS), BSc Information and Communication Technology (FUT YOLA), A+ / A Plus, N+/ N Plus, MCSE, Linux, MCSA, MCP, MCT and CCNA Certificates.
Profession/Occupation: Islamic Scholar, Tailoring, Journalism, IT Specialist (Certified A+ / A Plus Professional, Certified N+ / N Plus Professional, Certified Computer Networking Technician by NIIT, Certified Computer Repairing and Maintenance Technician by NIIT, Certified Microsoft Engineer by Microsoft Company of America, Computer Scientist, Telecommunication Engineer & Information and Communication Technologist).
Influenced by: Muhammad Nasiruddeenil Albaniy, Sheikh Abubakar Mahmud Gumi, Sheikh Abdulazeez Bn Bazz, Sheikh Salih Al-Uthaimin, Fauzanul Fauzan, Uthman bn Fodiyo, Imamuz-Zahabi, Sheikhul Islam Ahmad Ibn Abdelhaleem Ibn Taymiyyah & Muhammad ibn Abd al-Wahhab
Indigenous Islamic teachers; Mallam Mato, Alarama Mallam Abubakar, Sheikh Muslim Khan, Dr Aminuddeen Abubakar Kano (RH), Mallam Sani Yakubu Zaria, Mallam Shehu Umar, Alkali Mallam Haruna Ishaq Zaria.
Non Indigenous Islamic teachers; He studied from prominent scholars like Sheikh Salih Bn Salih Bn Uthaimin, Sheikh Zarban Al-Gamidy, Sheikh Muslih Al-Harithiy, Professor Samir Amin Az-Zuhayri, Sheikh Abdullahi Bn AbdulRahman Alu Bassam, Ash-Sheikh Tuwaijiri, Addoktur Assuhaimi, Sheikh Ali Nasir Al-Faqihi, Dr Muhammad Amin all in Saudi Arabia.
Influenced/Students; Dr Abdur-Rafi'i AbdulGaniyy, Dr. Kabir Abubakar Amin Al-Asgar, Sheikh Musa Umar Al-Minshawiy, Sheikh Dawud Ibrahim Az-Zahiri, Sheikh Umar Mustapha, Sheikh Auwal Abubakar Mai Shago, Sheikh Musa Sahabi, Late Sheikh Bawa Mai Shinkafa, Dr. Jamilu Yau. The former executive Governor of Kaduna State, Mukhtar Ramalan Yero, the wife of the former Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Hajia Amina among others.
Awards; Sheikh Abubakar Mahmud Gumi prize at Gaddafi's special intervention programme on Arabic literature from BUK in 1985.
Muhammad Auwal Adam Albaniy Zaria (Sept 1960 – Feb, 2014) was a Nigerian Islamic scholar who specialized in the field of Hadith. Islamic Law, Mass Communication, Telecommunication Engineering and ICT. He was a Tailor at his earlier stage of life of which he usually called himself 'kwararren tela (Specialized Tailor). He was the first scholar to ascribe the word "Salafiyah" to the generation of scholars and students of Islamic denomination in Nigeria. Albaniy was considered by many contemporary Nigerian scholars as the greatest Salafi scholar the country had ever produced.
HIS EARLY LIFE.
Sheikh Albaniy was born into the family of Malam Adamu and Malama Saudatu in the city of Zaria north western part of Nigeria in 1960. In Zaria, Albaniy started and completed his early Islamic education in the field of Qu'anic recitation initially taught by his first teachers Malam Mato and Alaramma Malam Abubakar. In the meantime, he earned a modest living as a student of knowledge before joining his father as a tailor. Muhammad Auwal Adam uses the Acronym "Albaniy" as his nickname and this was borne out of his love and passion for the famous 20th century Muhadith in the person of Sheikh Muhammad Nasiruddeen Al-Albaniy. He began to specialize in Hadith studies in the 1970s and by the age of 20, he started to re-surface in the field of Islamic propagation. He followed this with a series of influential lectures and the teaching of so many Islamic books in his first mosque by name Aljami'us Salafiy in Muchia, Sabon Gari, Zaria-Nigeria.
HIS STRUGGLES AND ORDEALS
Sheikh Albani was faced with several tribulations at the very early stage of his career as a cleric. It started at the very tender age of 18 when he was sent out of his father’s home in 1978 as a result of his quest for religious knowledge and commitments. Within the same period of time he bought a bicycle with the sum of fifty naira (N50) and a sewing machine with the sum of one hundred naira (N100) to help him move around and also earn a source of livelihood haven't learned tailoring from his father. The bicycle and the sewing machine were both confiscated in an attempt to frustrate him and make life very miserable for him.
He was offered a room in his mother’s personal house in the same neighborhood but his family connived with the local authority (mai anguwa) and threatened that the house will be sold.
He was offered an unoccupied bungalow apartment which has been vacant for 17 years but also confiscated. All his clothes were also confiscated and he was only left with a single set which was the one he was wearing. The authority of Barewa college where he was studying was contacted and demanded he be expelled from school. At that point, no means of transportation and source of livelihood (bicycle and sewing machine confiscated) Sheikh Albaniy resorted to hawking kola nut. Sheikh Albaniy was treated as an outcast and only received support from his mother who has been a source of inspiration to him.
Some times in 1995 he was attacked by unknown mobs at his tailoring shop where attempt was made on his life but survived it. Armed military and police were deployed at his Jumu’at mosques in Muchia in 1997 simply because he observed Jumu’at prayer at the early morning hours of nine O’ clock. This was a violation of his religious freedom by local authorities who connived with some debauched Islamic clerics who always envy Sheikh Albaniy because of his popularity among students. Being a peace loving man, Sheikh Albaniy suspended the prayer indefinitely not put the life of his followers at risk even though he presented evidences from the Holy Qur’aan and authentic Sunnah of the Holy prophet (SAW) that supported his action.
In 1999, the Emir of Zazzau connived with the same debauched clerics under the umbrella of Jama’atu Izalatil Bidi’ah in Zaria and confiscated his popular preaching mosques called “Qudus” in Maje road, Tudun Wada, Zaria, Nigeria. The Emir even threatens that he will send him on exile out of Zaria. The said mosque has remained closed to date.
The former Vice President of Nigeria during the Goodluck administration offered him a huge amount of money to help him and his party during the 2011 presidential campaign which he declined. According to the students of Sheikh Albaniy, this was the genesis of his arrest by the men of the Nigerian Police under the leadership of the Inspector General of Police, Hafizu Ringim and later imprisoned. The students of the late cleric in an open letter written to the then President, Goodluck Ebele Jonathan, they accused a prominent top politician in the Nigerian leadership of being behind the arrest and detention of Sheikh Albaniy. In a retaliatory letter, some people who claimed to be supporters of the then Vice President came out openly to deny that the Vice President, Architect Muhammed Namadi Sambo was not responsible, an idea which made people to be convince that he was really behind the arrest and detention.
After the unlawful arrest and detention, the police went in search of reasons to present to court and the general public that will justify the arrest and detention but they could not find any. They compiled hundreds of his tapes and videos and listened to them repeatedly whether they will hear any misleading and implicative comment made by him but still to no avail. He was labeled as a terrorist by security agents on orders from that top government official and was charged with non bailable offences so that he can be prosecuted and executed. The police went to his house for a thorough search after which they wrote as an outcome of their search ………."nothing was found and nothing was destroyed". But only for them to re-arrest him at the prison gate upon his release on bail and wrote in their First Information Report (FIR) that a cache of arms was found in his residence. This they used to send him back to prison. His students rushed back to the court to apply for bail, the Honorable Judge who granted the first bail was threatened by the government and therefore refused the bail. He spent 45 days in prison before another Honorable Judge (iron lady) granted him bail despite all the threats she received from top government officials. At the end he was acquitted of all charges and the Nigerian Police was asked to pay him a ransom for violating his human rights.
In 2013, the Emir of Zazzau again invited him to his palace as a result of complaint by some depraved Islamic clerics, and some members of the emirate council because of their grudges with him on the issue of polio vaccine. Sheikh Albaniy was treated unjustly by the Emirate council under the Emir of Zazzau. He was denied the right to express himself and quote references to justify his actions. Rather the Emir used his veto power to sanction the action of Sheikh Albaniy. The Emir was insisting that Friday prayer should be stopped at mid-day and never observed again at that particular time while Sheikh Albaniy keeps on repeating that it was done by the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) while the Emir keep on insisting also against the teachings of the Holy Prophet. This event was recorded and the video is online.
Sheikh Albaniy took this as a violation of his religious right and ignored the Emir. According to Sheikh Albaniy, the Emir of Zazzau is not the custodian of Islam and since he is not learned he cannot tell them when to observe their prayers. Even if he reverted from Islam the Emir has no business with that.
HIS AUDACIOUSNESS AND GENEROSITY
Sheikh Albaniy while in prison emancipated many individuals from prison by paying their ransom to the respective courts of law that ordered their detention. While in Police custody at the Gabasawa police station in Kaduna, Sheikh Albaniy was the one feeding close to 90 inmates in police cell for the period of 10 days he spent there.
Part of his boldness, he preached against injustice and bad governance in the presidential villa in Abuja during the military regime of Late General Sani Abacha. He took a bold step to caution the Executive Governor of Kaduna State, Architect Namadi Sambo on the dangers of accepting the offer of the office of the Vice President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria. This he did one-on-one. The same Governor offered him a plot of land in the new Kaduna city, an ultramodern city proposed by the Governor that will look like any top city in the world but Sheikh Albaniy declined the offer.
Sheikh Albaniy was at the forefront of the struggle that emancipated Sheikh Bello Yabo from prison after he was detained for almost eight years by the then Governor of Sokoto state for selfish reasons. Sheikh Albaniy hired a lawyer and sued the state Government in a competent court of law and he was eventually freed.
Sheikh Albaniy was the proprietor of Daarul Hadeethis Salafiyyah, Zaria Nigeria. An institution which he built solely with hundreds of millions of Naira. He established a secondary, pre-nursery, nursery and primary schools under this institute which he named Albaniy Science Academy and Albaniy Foundation. Currently there are about eighty (80) orphans and less privilege children in Albaniy Science Academy under the scholarship of Albaniy Foundation. He left a handwritten will that all he left behind that bears the names "Albaniy Science Academy, Daarul Hadeethis Salafiyyah, Albaniy University of Science and Technology, Albaniy Orphanage" are all endowments for the sake of Allaah and therefore they are not his personal property meant for inheritance
Late Sheikh Albaniy returned from Yola where he studied ICT in 2006 and told his disciples that all he has done before were just introduction and that he will just commence his Da'awah and the teaching of Islamic religion to the his students and general public. He devoted all his life to the cause of Islam after his imprisonment in 2011. He centered his Da'awah in the premises of his school, Daarul Hadeethis Salafiyyah and Albaniy Science Academy where he do have daily lectures from morning till evening. He also maintained his Da'awah at Markazus Salafiyyah, located at Maje Road, Tudun Wada, Zaria. Sheikh Albaniy was fond of telling his disciples that he will soon rest and therefore they should be prepared to take over from him. This he was saying continuously a couple of weeks before he was murdered. Sheikh Albaniy had a session with the general public where he teached a book named "Daariqus Salihin Ila Rabil-Alamin" in the morning between 9 am and 11 am, in the afternoon the same day, he taught the popular "Saheehu Muslim" between 4 pm and 6 pm all at Daarul Hadeethis Salafiyyah located on No. 59 Emir Road, Gaskiya Layout, Zaria. The same evening he taught the most valuable book to Muslims after the Holy Qur'aan "Saheehul Bukhariy" at Markazus Salafiyyah between 8.30 pm and 10.30 pm. After this last session he was on his way back home that he was met with his death. Some few meters to his residence and his school, he was attacked by gun men. Bullets were sprayed on his van using AK47 rifle. He was the one driving the van in the company of his wife, Ummu AbdulBarri, his children, Abdullahi, AbdulBarri, AbdulHaleem and AbdulHaq. Also together with him were some of his disciple among whom was Bello Nakaka the present Principal of Albaniy Science International Academy. Immediately, his wife, Ummu AbdilBarri and his son Abdullahi were killed on the spot while Sheikh Albaniy died shortly at the Saint Luke Anglican Hospital, Wusasa, Zaria. This ugly incidence happened on the 1st February, 2014. His funeral was witnessed by hundreds of thousands of people from different part of Nigeria and the neighboring countries. Markets were closed and traffic was brought to a halt in Zaria metropolis as a result of his death. According to elders like the Dan Isan Zazzau, the District Head of Tukur Tukur, Zaria has never witness such a crowd in history. It was an irreparable loss to the generality of Muslims and Nigeria as a country. He was survived by three wives and 22 children. May his gentle soul rest in perfect peace, amin.