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Maliki Jurisprudence and Boko Haram ideology versus Nigerian nation building: need for pluralism in Islamic praxis

Ikenga K.E. Oraegbunam


There seems to be an area of intersection between Boko Haram ideology and Maliki jurisprudence. Both are radical and fundamentalist oriented Islamic convictions. Boko Haram seeks to hatch a pure hard core Islam devoid of any outside, especially, Western influence, a project which resembles, to say the least, those of ISIL (Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant), Al-Shabab, and on a global level, Al-Qaeda. In the same vein, Maliki School of Islamic law is a strict jurisprudence desiring to resuscitate Medinan practices that are deemed uncorrupted and seen as remaining as they were in Muhammad’s days. The Maliki regime governing the whole of North Africa and West Africa is the underlying Islamic legal framework operative in Nigeria even if not fully. Yet full implementation of its tenets remains a goal to be achieved and which Boko Haram appears to be assiduously working towards. No doubt this aspiration is consistent with the sect’s recent rechristening of itself with the term ‘Islamic State of West African Province (ISWAP)’. This paper aims at exploring the common thread connecting Boko Haram philosophy to Maliki thought in the light of the multifarious ways of practicing Islam as exemplified in Pakistan,Indonesia and Malaysia. The study finally examines the effects of the discussed ideological mindsets on Nigerian nation building.

Keywords: Maliki Jurisprudence, Boko Haram, National Development, Islamic Law, Nigeria

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