By Musa Bah
President Adama Barrow put something beautifully in his address to Gambians in Turkey a few days ago. He said, ‘Suw kuu ta waati jumaale fo n’te nyoo suuteela? (When has the sun set that we will not recognize each other?) Indeed! The Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at is one of the very few organizations (religious or otherwise) that never bowed to the dictatorship in the past twenty-two years. Yes, never, not even once. It did not receive millions from ‘him’; it did not take part in praising the dictator (to an extent of comparing him with Annabillahi Yahya) or scoop the water (nasoo) sprinkled upon them by Yahya Jammeh.
The Ahmadiyya Jama’at stood on its principles of following the teachings of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (thousands of blessings be upon him). This is no secret and it is undisputable. Everyone knows that the Jama’at was not in league with someone accused of the brutal killing of hundreds of Gambians. Everyone knows that the Jama’at continued to portray the teachings of peace and love as taught to them by Seyyidinaa Muhammad, the Acme of Creation (SAW).
We know – all Gambians know this well – that some religious scholars were involved in singing the praises of the dictator and giving their blessings to everything he did. They gave him ‘religious legitimacy’ and told him that it was all right to lock up their fellow Imams and throw the keys in the dustbin. They told him that whichever Imam observed the Eid (Eid-ul-Fitr or Eid-ul-Adha) on a different day from the one he (Jammeh) approved was an enemy of the State and should be locked up. They blessed the occasions on which he held his beauty pageants where they knew that girls and young women will dress in lewd manners which contradict Islamic teachings. But all this was fine for them. They blessed and tacitly agreed with his witch-hunt in the Fonis and some other parts of the country.
Some Islamic scholars agreed to; and praised everything he did and thus took part in the persecution and killings of Gambians. In fact, they went ahead and vilified anyone who dared to stand up to him. They will use their religious platforms to declare such a person an unpatriotic citizen if he is lucky; and if he was not so lucky, he would be branded a ‘Kafir’. We have seen all these here. In fact, it’s not yet two years and some of those people now want to take that holier-than-thou attitude and accuse the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at of being non-Muslim. I mean come on! Their audacity baffles me! But even more baffling is the fact that after all these, some Gambian are still ready to listen to them and do their bidding.
The Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at is unapologetic in its stance that, “There is no god but Allah, and Muhammad is the Messenger of Allah (SAW). We believe that Allah, the Sublime, Creator of Heaven and Earth, is the only one Who has the right to accept or reject the faith of an individual. Just read this verse of the Holy Quran:
O ye who believe, when you go forth in the cause of Allah, make proper investigation and do not say to anyone who greets you with the greeting of peace, ‘Thou art not a believer.’ You seek the goods of this life, but with Allah are good things in plenty. Such were you before this, and Allah conferred His special favour on you; so do make proper investigation. Surely, Allah is well aware of what you do (Surah An-Nisaa: Verse 95)
Now, reading this verse some of them will say that we don’t actually believe in what it is saying, that we just quote it to deceive the people. Incredible! But, like the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW) who admitted that he cannot know what is in the heart of another man, we never say that so and so is a kafir and that he does not believe in what he is saying. Take a lesson from the following narration:
Hadhrat Usama bin Zaid (ra) relates that the Holy Prophet (pbuh) sent us to the oasis of Juhaina tribe. We caught them early in the morning at their water-fountains. An Ansari and I chased one of them and apprehended him. When we overpowered him, he exclaimed: La Ilaha Illallah (there is none worthy of worship except Allah) which caused my Ansari Companion to restrain his hand from him, but I pierced him with a spear and killed him. When we returned to Medina and the Holy Prophet (pbuh) came to know of the incident, he asked: “O, Usama! Did you kill him in spite of the fact that he had recited La Ilaha Illallah?” I replied: “O, Prophet of Allah! He was saying (these words) merely to ensure his safety.” The Holy Prophet (pbuh) kept on repeating his question to a point when I wished I had not become a Muslim before that day.
(Another tradition relates) The Holy Prophet (pbuh) said, “You still killed him, even though he had affirmed La Ilaha Illallah?” I clarified, “O, Prophet of Allah! He had said that because he was afraid of the weapon.” The Holy Prophet (pbuh) exclaimed: “Why didn’t you cut his heart open to make sure if he had said it from the core of his heart?” The Prophet of Allah repeated this remark so many times that I wished I had not become a Muslim before that day.”
(Bukhari, Book of Al Maghaazi, Chapter Ba’ath al-Nabi, Usaamah bin Zaid ilal Harqaat min al-Juhaina)
For deciding what is in the heart of another is not in the hands of man as shown in the above and many other sayings of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (SAW). That is the domain of Allah, the Sublime. So, if someone presumes to know what Ahmadis believe; that they say one thing but believe in another, such a one is usurping the right and position of Allah which is a sin.
But after all that is said and done, we are citizens of this country and we have every right, according to the laws of the land, to practice religion as we believe. We do not stand in need of the approval of any council whatsoever (especially a Council that stood shoulder to shoulder with a dictator when he brutalized our nation). All we need is the approval of Allah and His Messenger which we have received in the Holy Quran and the Ahadith of Muhammad (SAW).
Let him who has ears hear and let him who has a conscience reflect!
All praise is due to Allah, the Lord of the Universe!