Dear Followers of Sheikh El-Zakzaky,
It is not matyrdom to instigate trouble just so you will die and be called a matyr of your Islamic faith. On the contrary, that is suicide, or at best, reckless endangerment of your life and the lives of other humans sharing your faith.
Islamic legal doctrine is well-documented in books written by Islamic scholars and historians. So even if we are not scholars, we can learn from the words of scholars, make deductive reasoning and discuss the subject to the best of our understanding, with Allah (S.W.T.) being our Guide. If I’m right, in principle at least, then any objection to this letter from your side is null and void.
Your group, the Islamic Movement of Nigeria (IMN), has engaged in conflicts with the Nigerian state since the 1980s, many of them violent but avoidable. To recount a few, the government of Gen. Babangida had cause to detain your leader, El-Zakzaky, in the interest of pubic peace, while Gen. Abacha not ony detained him but also demolished your Zaria mosque after your clash with policemen and soldiers claimed many lives.
Under President Jonathan, three of El-Zakzaky’s children died in a clash with Nigerian Army troops sent to disperse your illegal procession and blockage of a major highway that is second to none in sustaining the economic welfare – and by extension the security – of northern Nigeria and its residents.
And under President Buhari, when Boko Haram was bombing Zaria and had attempted to assassinate the Inspector-General of Police, you blocked the convoy of the Chief of Army Staff who was on military duty. With daggers, swords and clubs in hand, you threatened the CoAS and his escort, and refused all entreaties to open the road – all captured on video.
Only you and the army know what happened next. We only know that over 300 of you died in another clash, that government demolished your buildings and charged Zakzaky in court for murder, and that residents of Zaria have haiied their freedom from that day. Meanwhile, you still block roads, burn police vehicles and assault soldiers with stones. And when they react, you die and claim to be matyrs.
That is not matyrdom in Islam or in Christianity or even in common sense.
[To be continued].
Dear Followers of Sheikh El-Zakzaky 
Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W.) has explained who is a matyr (Shahid) in several Hadiths reported by the Imams al-Bukhari, Muslim, Ahmad, Abu-Dawud and An-Nasa’i. Taken as a whole, these Hadiths recognize eight types of matyrs: Those who die in Allah’s cause, those who die from plague, pneumonia, abdominal disease, drowning, a fallen buiding, a fire, and women dying of childbirth”. (see Sahih Al-Bukhari, Vol. 4 page 63).
In view of the above, I challenge you followers of El-Zakzaky to show a Hadith or a Quranic verse saying death from rebellions against the state is matyrdom. Show me where a Muslim can provoke conflicts with other Muslims and, when he dies in the process, he becomes a ‘matyr’.
You are mistaken to think that “dying in Allah’s cause” includes dying from a needless conflict which a Muslim incited with his own words and deeds. On the contrary, that phrase refers to peace-loving Muslims, such as the Prophet’s Companions tortured to death for their beliefs (such as Sumayyah, mother of Amar, R.A.A.), those who died in legitimate wars (such as Hamza, R.A.A.), and those who died defending their property and freedom (even today).
Don’t be misled with the concept of individual freedom. Islam limits human freedom when it is blasphemous or has the potential to create social unrest. The Quran and Hadith attest to that, such as the rights of God over humanity through acts of worship and devotion (Quran, 51: 56-58), and the Prophet (S.A.W.) saying that “a perfect Muslim is one from whose tongue and hands mankind is safe. . .”, and “the proud will not enter paradise, nor a violent speaker”.
But I have seen videos of Zakzaky telling you to lure unsuspecting soldiers into a trap and fight them to death. I have experienced your road blockage, which altered my travel plans and cost me an extra night on my journey. And I have seen you, members of IMN, assaulting government troops with stones and machettes, and when they respond legitimately with their weapons, you die and claim to be matyrs.
If you didn’t know it, know today that you have departed from Islamic teachings with your permanent attachment to violence. Know that the politicians, libertarian Muslims and bigotted Christians singing your praises don’t really value your lives. Christianity too has its matyrs, and libertarians are strong in convictions. Have you wondered why none of them hailing your cause has died with you at Karu, Zuba, and Zaria?
Dear Followers of Sheikh El-Zakzaky 
Search your souls with sincerity and you won’t find justification for your habitual blockage of roads and highways. If you protested Zakzaky’s detention in Zuba and Wuse 2, you also blocked roads in Zaria and other cities before Zakzaky’s arrest in 2015, thereby causing hardship to travellers and disrupting the transportation of goods – from which many citizens earn daily livelihood.
And you deny sick people quick access to hospital, such as a child having seizures, a bleeding accident victim, a woman with obstructed labour, or a diabetic patient in coma. I have seen your road blocks trapping cars in traffic for over four hours, so it is likely that some patients have died at some of them. If so, you caused those deaths, for which you will answer to Allah (S.W.T.).
The Friday Prayer which you liken to your protests and road blocks is not the same. Prayers are held inside towns and there are alternative routes when one route is blocked. Prayers last 15 minutes at most, not four hours. And prayer is a pillar of Islam even for you followers of El-Zakzaky, but a protest is not. There is no basis for comparing the two.
Let me end this letter by quoting the same Quranic verse which a Shi’a quoted today while defending your violent behaviour and condemning government crackdown on your members.
“And do not kill the soul which Allah has forbidden [to be killed] except by [legal] right. This has He instructed you that you may use reason.” — Qur’an, 6:151
If you are Muslims, as I believe, that verse applies as much to you as to other Muslims. Why then do you block roads and interstate highways to cause the deaths of sick people rushing to hospital? Why do you attack policemen and soldiers with stones and petrol bombs when you know that can kill them? Why does El-Zakzaky preach sermons urging you to lure government troops to deadly encounters?