The Council of Ulama and the Dynamics of Muslim Unity in Jigawa State (Download)

    Shu’aib Mukhtar Shu’aib, ,

    Abstract: When it came to public knowledge that Governor Ibrahim Saminu Turaki (1999 – 2007) was going to constitute a council of ulama (Muslim clerics) to help facilitate a successful implementation of the newly promulgated shari’ah law in the state, the idea was simply dismissed as a political ploy to contain the pressure of the influential ulama class of the state. To be sure, this might be the real motive given the caliber of members appointed into the body and its rather nominally advisory role. Nevertheless, it could be contended that the council has managed to serve as a forum where prominent clerics representing all shades of opinion in the state come and work together and get to know one another better, a thing that was hitherto unthinkable. It is against this background that this paper is set to explore whether this symbolic unity is translated into mitigating acrimonious disputes and mutual distrust that often characterize the relationship between various Islamic groups. In achieving this, the paper relies primarily on relevant official documents and interviews with stakeholders.