By Mahama Ibrahim Watara
Information reaching this group indicate that consultation are on going for the selection of one person to occupy the office of the regional chief Imam for the Savannah region.
Question is: what is the criteria for making this appointment?
Should it be based on traditionally laid down protocols which means that the Yagbum chief Imam automatically stepping in to the shoes of the regional Imam position or better still should this appointment be based purely on islamic scholarliness or Quranic knowledge. And if so what are the mechanisms put in place to measure how knowledgeable one is in comparative analysis. These are the questions that lingers on the minds of the islamic U”mma in the newly created region.
Our opinion of peace and tranquility with regards to this selection process should be transparent, reflective of a regional balance, fair, just and above all acceptable to the Islamic Umma in the region. It is our home that these consultations leading to the selection process would not be shrouded in secrecy or opaque to the ordinary muslim on the street of the Savannah region but made transparent and opened according to the dictates of the Holy Qur’an.
We also recommend that in future, selection of persons to represent the Islamic U”mma as a regional chief Imam,should take the form of a consultative Assembly.
There should be formed a Regional Islamic Consulate comprising of all the recognised imams in the various districts in the Savannah Region, a body that would be put in charge of appointing the regional chief Imam and mediation when ever there is a vacancy.
The Regional Islamic Consulate if possible would cast ballots to elect the rightful person based on majority vote cast to occupy the office.
We believe that if this measure is put in place and approved at the national level in recognition of the existence of the newly constituted body, all issues of conflicts and conflict of interest would be weeded out of the selection process.
This would promote not only peace in the region but also facilitate unity among all the islamic sects located in the Region.
It is very disappointing to note that anytime issues of Imamate is put in to discussion to promote and project Islam in its context, some brothers and sisters misconceive out opinions to mean an attack on other people’s interest.
Even though unfortunate as it is to state, we always hope that such passions with which such descents are expressed could be channeled in to sometime positive and progressive attempt to add to the propagation of Islam in every nook and cranny of the region, we call that Islamic Evangelism.
No one man own Islam, Islam is owned by the Almighty Allah. No man owns a mosque, every mosque is owned by the Almighty Allah. No one tribe owns Islam, Islam is owned by every tribe created by the Almighty Allah.
It is therefore very prudent for every Muslim to strife to save his own soul and that of many others in the hereafter against the wrath of the Almighty Allah on that day we called Judgement rather than always war your fellow man for earthly dominion.
It is very important to take pride in how many souls you won for Allah rather than take pride in how many souls you have destroyed this is your deen.
Our messages of peace should not be mistaken for a message of sowing discord and flexing of muscles as some of you our audience seek to interpret sometimes.
We are not calling for men in to arms for the seek of leadership of the Imamate of Gonja rather we are calling for dialogue and progressive thinking through opinions in a more tolerable atmosphere to foster an effective and positive propagation of Islam in the Savannah region where by we can be able to influence and solicit funds and fund raising seminars to mobilize resources that would go in to digging boreholes for certain deprived communities in the Savannah region whose sources of drinking water are mud instead of portable drinking water.
It is also our prayer that through Dawah we can be able to build clinics for some of these communities in the name of the Imams of Gonja which are all part of our goals to give Islam it’s proper definition in the Savannah region.
It is true that we can not take islamic traditions in the local context away from Islam itself in this part of our country but we can brighten the prospect of Islamic evangelism using these islamic traditions in the local context to provide schools blocks, libraries, toilet facilities, ICT centers and Vocational training centers to help left the image of the youth in the Savannah region therefore making Islam very attractive in the sense of its true meaning of peace to every living soul.
It is therefore a clarion call on you out there to support this association or group ,so that together we can carry the jihad of the pen and intellectualism to smoothen all Islamic discourse in a healthy environment devoid of rancorous characters.
Our aim is to make the Savannah region an Islamic hub capable of influencing islamic tourism such as we had in Timbuktu in the early seventeenth century. We hope to make Laribanga the Timbuktu of Ghana.
To be continued…
22nd April, 2021.