Muslim students society
The Muslim Students Society of Nigeria is a large Muslim organization founded in 1954 in Lagos by Abdurrahaman Sahid, Babs Fafunwa, Tajudeen Aromashodun, Lateef Adegbite and a few other students. The society has branches at many higher educational institutions in Nigeria. The society uses the electronic media and literature to disseminates its beliefs. In the 1970s, it became affiliated with the World Assembly of Muslim Youths.
Lately, some of its branches as taken on cultism on university campuses.
The society was founded by some 14 secondary students with the inaugural meeting at a Ansar-Ud-Deen school in Lagos. The students wanted to find ways to seek greater religious freedom in schools, establish Islamic identity and community among students and to fight religious repressive in secondary schools in the country with their desire to acquire Western education.
In the mid 1970s, the leadership of the group decided to take on a more active and radical role in advocating pristine Islam with the rise to the society's presidency of Ibrahim Sulaiman and later by anti-innovation legalists under Aminudeen Abubakar, a student of Abubakar Gumi. A lot of the impetus for the change has to do with what was perceived by Sulaiman and co as the distortion and fabrication of European scholars on Islam and also a movement to support the implementation of sharia. The new found role gained more attention with the coming of Shehu Shagari to power in 1979 and the success of the Iranian revolution also in 1979. By 1980, dissension had risen among many of the society's members, some decided to reject the secular approach of the 1979 constitution, supported the establishment of an Islamic state and acts to stop the sale of alcohol in some Northern Nigerian universities notable Ahmadu Bello University, Zaria. The extremists groups were also linked with riotous acts in Kano during Maitatsine upheaval. (1) A group in opposition to the anti-innnovation group supported Sharia while seeking some accommodation within a secular state.
- (1)Raymond Hickey. The 1982 Maitatsine Uprisings in Nigeria: A Note, African Affairs, Vol. 83, No. 331 (Apr., 1984). p 2,5.