The views expressed herein are entirely mine and I take full responsibility for any errors or miscommunication in expressing them. I am an Ahmadi Muslim, but most importantly a Gambian citizen.
Imam Fatty felt Ahmadi scholars are a threat to his status. So he took a swipe at Ahmadis to make the headlines. Good for him because his interview made the headlines as planned, and most concerned Gambians home and away are talking about it. Be he can rest assured that no Ahmadi scholar has an eye on his insignificant status. Choosing a controversial topic like this, an issue that can destabilise the peace that The Gambia is known for isn’t a good idea at all. He got it wrong. If he understands the philosophy of Islamic teachings, he would have known better how to communicate with people who do not share the same religious beliefs with him. The Holy Prophet (SAW) set a better example than what Imam Fatty did in dealing with people of different faith or beliefs. Imam Fatty should not let non-Muslims laugh at the beautiful teachings of Islam as banning and expulsion of a minority people from their land was not the practice of Prophet Muhammad (SAW).
Islam has been branded violent by many especially in the West, because people like him claim the centre stage and propagate things that are beyond human comprehension. Sadly Imam Fatty always claims to do it in the name of defending Islam, a religion that is established on peace and total submission. It is okay to express one’s opinion, but in doing so one should not undermine the laws of our country. Propagate for peace and love, not hatred or things that can initiate violence and disorder in the country. As Gambians, we all share the same fundamental constitutional right to freely practise our faith of choice peacefully. As Muslims, we are expected to obey the rules of the land so long as they do not contradict our faith, contribute to national development, and be representative of peace and stability in our country. His choice of words, at least during the Standard interview as reported, seems to undermine peace in The Gambia.
I have not been the best listener of his sermons and most of his center stage activities. The Standard interview has very clearly shown how knowledgeable he is regarding the philosophy of the teachings of Islam. I have come to realise that after all I have not missed out much, for I have been blessed with the opportunity to listen to great imams of this generation who claim center stages all around the world and propagate love for all and hatred for none. His interview irritated me as a Gambian and an Ahmadi Muslim, but I am only expressing my annoyance as a Gambian citizen, because I know for certain he and your like-minded people cannot stop the spread of Ahmadiyyat. The Ahmadiyya Muslim Community is a God protected community and if a response is presumed necessary to your interview, it will come from the right auspices in due time. I am convinced that the moral state of majority of Gambians: be it Shi’ite, Sunni, Anglican, Catholic and the like will not allow his unjustifiable claims to ban Ahmadis. I believe we have all seen, at least on TV, what violence and disorder that stemmed from religious differences has done to other countries.
Imam Fatty had referenced the Holy Prophet (SAW) regarding the division of his followers into 73 sects. Again if he understands the philosophy of Islamic teachings, he would have known that all claims of the Holy Prophet (SAW) will come to fulfillment. Thus Ahmadiyyat as a sect in Islam should not anger him to the extent of calling for their expulsion from The Gambia. He should rejoice as this is a manifestation of that 73 sects. The Holy Prophet (SAW) was not referring to non-Muslims, he was referring to his followers (Muslims) that are to be divided. Choose the sect that best fits your knowledge and understanding and leave the judgement to Allah Tala. Ahamadiyyat is here to stay for good, nothing will change that, let him get over it.
Let me also take this opportunity to remind him that Pakistan is not the only country in world to brand Ahmadis as non-Muslims. He probably mentioned Pakistan because that’s the only country he knew that persecutes Ahmadis. Take a good look at Pakistan, look at what has become of that country since they branded Ahmadis as non-Muslim and continued to persecute them. When the rest of the world are nurturing their young and talented ones, Pakistan destroys its most talented and educated people simply because of difference in faith. Is this what he really wished for The Gambia? What has happened to the fundamental peaceful teachings of Islam that he claimed to have studied? One commonality among the countries that persecute Ahmadis is the lack of peace, keep that in mind. I humbly request for him to look into the lives of individuals who used their stage time and status to strike against Ahmadis and called for their expulsion, they all have a similar commonality.
Since the Promised Messiah (AS) made his claims and founded the Ahmadiyya Muslim community in 1889, many individual so called scholars due to lack of knowledge about Islamic philosophy branded Ahmadis as non-Muslims. It is no surprise to me that Imam Fatty did just what many so called scholars have done for the last 100 plus years. Some of these so called scholars have come to pass and some are still living, yet Ahmadiyyat continues to flourish, reaching corners of the earth as the Promised Messiah (AS) claimed. Insallah by the grace of Allah Tala, the seed of Ahmadiyyat will continue to flourish, people like you can only watch from a distance. It’s not unusual for people like you to take a strike at Ahmadis. What took you so long?
Your efforts cannot uproot a tree that is blessed and protected by Allah. If you have a personal grudge against Ahmadis, face them at an intellectual level, better still use your wisdom and knowledge to defend your stand. Propagating for something that can lead to violence and disturbance in a peaceful country is contradicting to the true teachings of Islam. May be you are better off revisiting the constitution of The Gambia and adhere to that and worry about your own salvation. Just in case you lost count, we still don’t have 73 sects in Islam. Its 125 years and counting, Ahamdiyyat is spreading faster than ever before, winning the hearts of those who seek knowledge of the true Islam. By no means do I want you to slow down your anti Ahmadiyya efforts, but with all due respect don’t undermine peace in doing so. Ahmadiyyat is here to stay, get over it. Don’t undermine peace.
Abubacarr FS Drammeh