I write to commend Mr Muhammed Lamin Juwara for his brilliant article, Islam the perfect religion and the best way of life for all, published in your edition of Wednesday 18 June 2014. In my case, every time I see a blatant attack on our Prophet Muhammad (May the peace and blessings of Allah be upon him and all his brothers from previous prophets), my love of him increases.
Islam is not inherently violent as critics tend to make it look. Prophet Muhammad was at war with Quraish when he left Mecca. They made an assassination attempt on his life right before he left Mecca. In fact, they followed him wanting to kill him before reaching Medina. When his followers wanted to leave Mecca, the Meccans would strip them of their possessions. His followers [those who didn’t have clan protection] were tortured in Mecca. So Prophet Muhammad never initiated the war with the Meccans, it was already there. One thing the Arab avoided, even before Islam, is to be labeled as back-stabber. If Prophet Muhammad, as you claim, back-stabbed the Meccans, then they would have made sure to tell the world about it. They were after ruining his reputation since he started his call in Mecca and they would have loved such an opportunity. Yet you don’t find such evidence in history.
Now, this war lasted about 6 years after the migration to Medina. When the first opportunity to make peace presented itself, the Prophet rushed to make peace (known as the Treaty of Hudaybiyah), even though he had to make several reconciliations that were not in his favour. Many of his companions weren’t happy (by now Prophet Muhammad had a mighty army) but the Prophet insisted that the treaty would go forth. On that occasion, the Prophet said, “Woe to Quraish, they are consumed by their love of war. Why can’t they leave me to interact with the rest of the Arabs? [That shows that the Meccans never ceased to interfere in the Prophet’s affairs]“.
The following years were peaceful till the treaty was broken by Quraish [by attacking one of the allies of Prophet Muhammad]. This initiated the Conquest of Mecca. The Prophet and his Companions entered Mecca and they could have exacted revenge from their enemies. Yet, the Prophet FORGAVE everyone!! He was very powerful and he had full control over his enemies, yet he chose to forgive! Isn’t forgiveness in times of strength much more valuable than in times of weakness??
Is food self-sufficiency possible in The Gambia?
The world is so shabby that we don’t even know its original date of birth as well as its exact age. The elites both religious and conventional have almost lost faith in what they have learnt and always advocate for. A proof of it is the saying “Do as I say but not as I do”, and the excessive conflict of opinion. How can you lecture and discourage people from vices and encourage them to maximise acts of good conduct and chastity while your own actions are totally different. This innocent virgin earth has long over age cracked with heavy burdens of sins and fallacy and the proliferation of rudeness.
His Excellency, the President Yahya AJJ Jammeh has long understood that food is money but money is not food. This is why from the very first tick of the clock of his presidency, he had pronounced the statement “back to the land, back to the farm”. Every truth loving Gambian knows that Jammeh is a patriotic, conscious and straightforward leader who has never, and inshallah, shall forever be safe from uttering ambiguous statements or decisions. His presidential advice and warning about the need to reconnect and recommit ourselves to agriculture has freed so many people from hunger. He says we should grow what we eat and eat what we grow. He is practically demonstrating this by setting up huge farms all over the country and he spends his presidential holidays tilling the land. He is not doing it because he needed the income for himself but rather practically demonstrating what he believes in and what he lectures. Jammeh has locally and internationally articulated the need for a comprehensive and responsible study on how to carefully and prudently exploit our natural endowed resources.
In The Gambia, the threat of food insufficiency is showing its ugly face through the sky rocketing price of a bag of rice. Gambians, please let us understand that neither sorcery nor sacrifices or prayers will earn the Gambia food self-sufficiency. We will only do so by emulating Jammeh’s ambitious agricultural philosophy. As the Jola proverb says “if a grasshopper in the jungle chooses to be obnoxious, it shall only live one day and end up in the big belly of a mighty smart lizard’.
Lamin A Bojang
Teacher, Bakau Lower Basic School]]>