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School of Arabic Studies deserted, neglected, desolate

The School for Arabic Studies (SAS) located in the ancient city of Kano, is now in a miserable state and poor condition that of words…

The School for Arabic Studies (SAS) located in the ancient city of Kano, is now in a miserable state and poor condition that of words cannot explain the terrible situation the school is.

The SAS was established in 1934 to train Shari’a judges across Northern Nigeria. The aim that led to the establishment of the school have been achieved 100 per cent, seeing that, the school has produced most of the judges of the Shari’a courts across the 19 Northern states, including some judges of the common law courts.

In fact, the Emir of Kano, Alhaji Abdullahi Bayero (Sarki Alhaji), who was the founding father of the school, as well as who started building classes with his money, (which were shown to us during our visit), had a great vision in establishing the school and taking care of it and seeing to its development, as there was no other school that benefited Kano Province and other Northern Nigeria in terms of producing Shari’a court judges and even the common-law judges, amous Islamic scholars, lawyers and wealthy individuals, school teachers, government workers and other outstanding persons, who excelled in various fields of life, at home and abroad.

One Saturday in November, the alumni association of the school (Class 1981), organized a meeting to re-unite the members and honour some old students who championed and excelled in their areas of discipline. Among them is an outstanding Islamic scholar, Prof. Umar Sani Fagge.

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The occasion was graced by other scholars from all fields of studies, including Prof. Tijjani Naniya from Bayero University, Kano, who was the chief guest speaker.

One of the awardees, Prof. Umar Sani Fagge, made a speech entitled: ‘SAS, yesterday, today and tomorrow,’ while the third speaker, Alhaji Sa’idu Dattijo Adahama, made his speech on economy regarding Islamic perspective.

During our fact-finding we embarked on shortly after the occasion, we witnessed with our eyes the true picture of the poor condition of the school in terms of damaged classes, cracked buildings, lack of chairs, and other needed equipment in which about 85 percent of the classes are seen without chairs for the students, to the extent they use to sit on bare ground for lessons.

For this, we challenge all stakeholders, especially the 12 implementing Shari’a states, to put the school in the forefront, as their states benefited a lot from the school’s contribution in improving the affairs of the Shari’a legal system and common-law in their respective states.

They should not let the school collapse, because all the people in the North and the whole country have benefited from the school.

Mahmud Gambo Sani writes via [email protected]


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