The consignment of the books was donated to schools and other institutes through the Gambia National Library Services Authority at a ceremony held at the state library’s head office in Banjul.
Dr Bilal Philips, the director of the Islamic Online University told The Standard on the sidelines of the event: “It is a pleasure to have been a part of this occasion in which Islamic books which have been gathered by the Islamic Online University have been donated to the central library of The Gambia. The idea is to increase the reading practices among people in The Gambia especially in the area of Islamic knowledge where there are only few books that are available. In many libraries there were no books at all and so we are trying to solve that problem by gathering books from around the world on Islam and donating them to the various libraries. I think the donation is very important especially in terms of setting a trend. We are trying to introduce and be the pioneers in this effort because this effort should come from government, private individuals, and institutions.”
The Jamaican-Canadian Islamic scholar said the vision of the Islamic Online University in promoting Islamic education will be actualised as such gestures would strengthen the education sector.
“So it should be a collective effort because it is for the benefit of the Ummah. Seeking knowledge as the Prophet [PBUH] is compulsory on every Muslim and so it is part of fulfilling a religious responsibility to read and to gain knowledge especially Islamic knowledge both here as well as the life to come. This is a donation and I reach out to the world through my website appealing to them to send books and they responded positively. This is a good Sunnah that we have started and we hope that others would also participate. We are targeting all institutions, even the prisons. We have reached out to schools, institutes and to other libraries. We intend to visit more because we do have more books to give out.”]]>