which the individual undertakes his or her spiritual journey toward enlightenment. Indeed, the paths set down by the Brotherhoods are the very definition of innovation, as they have been fashioned deliberately to facilitate this passage. But it is not simply their re- jection of scriptural and legal specificity that outrages the Izala; it is also their veneration of saints. To many salafists, this verges on the heretical, as it seems to un- dermine or contradict the Oneness of Allah. For there can be no division of God’s glory or omnipotence and neither, on any account, should the faithful worship false idols.22
For the most part, then, the Izala’s grievances with the Qadiriyya and Tijaniyya are rooted in religion and theology. Yet clearly, it would not be so distressed if the Brotherhoods’ profiles in northern Nigeria were lower. Indeed, if their memberships were small, their influence insignificant, and their views of little con- sequence, it would be less concerned with what their followers thought and did. It is because they are im- portant that their perceived deviancy matters so much. The Izala’s opposition to the Qadiriyya and Tijaniyya, then, is motivated, at least in part, by what are essen- tially political considerations. Its concerns are kept alive by the closeness of the Brotherhoods’ ties to the Sultan and Emirs, as these links preserve their impor- tance and influence.
Indeed, the enduring strength of these relations has helped cement their positions within northern Nigeria’s establishment. While this has undoubtedly brought great benefits to both Brotherhoods over the years, it has also left them exposed to further criticism. They are associated with a socio-political order, which, in the very least, has failed to shield the northern Nige-