Continued the conversation between Maher Abdallah and Shiekh Ahmed Katani on AL-Jazeerah regarding the topic of 6 million Muslims’ rejection of Islam each year in Africa alone is here. This was an English translation of a television interview that was transcribed.
The wealthy Arab either has little interest in these concerns at all or is more preoccupied with other matters. Do you know that a wealthy Arab constructed a seven-million-dollar palace in London? If this man had only given us a million bucks, we would have used it wisely.
Either there are wealthy Arabs who are focused on different issues; that is their right and a different issue. However, based on my conversations with Muslim missionaries in Europe and Africa, I get the idea that dealing with you on the construction of a mosque would be simple for someone of that kind. You might have a hard time persuading him to.
Ahmad stated that the affluent Arab constructs a mosque for either themselves, their parents, or a friend, but building a mosque is only the first step, my dear sir. The cost to construct an Islamic school in America is $5 million. Building a school in Africa that is of a fairly reasonable size only costs $50,000. Before building the mosque, construct the place of worship. Consider yourself as an example; you visit the mosque five times a day, and adding up all of that time would result in either an hour or, if you include the Friday prayer, two hours. You will respond that you spent years in middle school and years in high school if I ask you how long you attended school. Similar to the African, who visits the mosque, we could at least halt this perilous Christian missionary octopus if we built him a school where he could spend the majority of his time and supplied qualified teachers.
The noble Caliph Omar son of Khatab issued an order that was mentioned by Al-Tabari in his book “History of the Nations and Kings,” according to Ahmad Al Katani. Actually, this book is sometimes referred to as “History of the Nations and Prophets.” In his work “The Complete,” Ibn Kathir also made reference to this directive, which was made by Omar son of Khatab:
“I order the Caliph after me to treat the Arabs well, for they are the substance of Islam”
In other words, the Arabs are the ones who bring new ideas to the Muslim world. If you research the various Islamic sects—such as the Mu’tazilites, the Majerites, the Jaberites, the Materdites, or the Shiites—you will find that they were all founded by the Arabs and adopted by other Muslim communities. The Caliph understood this very well, which is why he declared that “The Arabs are the substance of Islam.”
You are well aware of the fact that there are numerous sects and groups nowadays that disagree with one another on the playing field.
This subject has grown tedious and dull to the point where I don’t want to explore it further. For instance, in Ghana, you probably already know that Africans are unable to grow beards since their facial hair grows very slowly overall.
Ahmad Al Katani adds, “A beard on an African face is quite uncommon, and if one were to be found, it would not be dense. Are you aware that a conflict erupted between two mosques in Ghana regarding the wearing of a beard? Has he recently started growing a beard or has he had it shaved? (People chatting among themselves) My dear Sir, 90% of the combatants that day were’ incapable of developing a beard. This is all a result of us. From our Arab field to the larger Muslim field, we transfer our differences to them.”
Abdallah stresses You understand the needs of an imam operating in Tripoli or Benghazi, both of which are Muslim Arab nations with ties to their own branches of Islam, more than I do. For an African, obtaining clothing to cover himself and eating is more vital than praying. Does your institution or other organizations take this into consideration while preparing Muslim missionaries to travel to Africa and propagate Islam?
Ahmad Al Katani: The institution I oversee is actually regarded as a pre-college setting. The Islamic Propagation Organization is in charge of luring and preparing specialist missionaries to bring them from their home countries to Libya in order to train them and send them back to their home countries. A number of classes from this organization have graduated, and some of the graduates held masters and doctoral degrees. These grads’ efforts were successful because they were able to draw individuals from their own countries and territories since they were fluent in their language and familiar with their culture.
According to Khatri, “An Indian missionary who was Muslim and fluent in Arabic claimed that during his nine years in Africa, namely in a country I can’t recall—possibly the Ivory Coast—the subject of short-term unions was difficult since Africans don’t understand it the same way we do. When a lady fell in love with a man, she would move in with him without making a formal agreement. In actuality, the ladies would move in with the man’s family for the holy month of Ramadan. When some locals who had been studying in various Arab nations returned home, the first thing they did was declare war on these families under the justification that these kinds of unions (weddings) are illegal and that any children born in such relationships are therefore not legitimate.
This would make their union legitimate because the lady who engaged in such a relationship is only with that man. So you can see that although being from the same country, these missionaries lacked the awareness that this is a genuine issue in their country.
We have never been told, read, or learned that the prophet—may Allah be pleased with him—ordered any of the companions to have their weddings performed again. He embraced them all, fully aware that their unions were consummated in accordance with the customs of the time of ignorance, some of whom had as many as ten wives, and some of whom would wed two sisters. In addition to asking any man married to two sisters to choose between them, the prophet forbade men from taking more than four wives and preserved existing marriages. Marriages that took place following the arrival of Islam are a different story. There exist laws, dowries, and guardianships, but prior to the advent of Islam, the prophet maintained the status quo.
Similar to those you stated, my dear sir, we appear to have two distinct mindsets. We are mistaken when we assume that a Muslim living in Botswana, the Congo, the Philippines, or Venezuela is the same as a Muslim living in Tripoli. Sensitivities exist, and they must be taken into account. My father and grandfather are both Muslims, and I live next to a mosque. However, these people live in different situations, and we must recognize this and take it into account.”
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