Its common knowledge that many communities not more than 30 miles from Kampala cannot perform Juma prayers unless a sheikh from the city come to their rescue.
One would have thought that with thousands of Saudi-Libya-Sudan-Egypt-Etc Trained sheikhs, we would be in a better position to fight this Islamic ignorance upto the last muslim in the village. Surprisingly this is not the case.
I believe this strategy of training a few (mainly city-based) students in Islamic studies ; sending them to Saudi Arabia and expecting them to come back to Uganda to teach the Deen in the villages needs to be changed or enhanced for a number of reasons;
- Most students after graduating in Islamic studies are more concerned about their financial wellbeing (thus end-up in Kusuubula) than teaching Islam
- Most of these Islamic Graduates are born or brought up in the city and therefore feel more comfortable preaching in the city than settling in rural settings under uncomfortable conditions far away from “home”.
- Even those that would be willing to settle in the villages and teach the Deen, the rural communities cannot raise their salaries and upkeep for them to do their job comfortably.
The above and other reasons have thus isolated the rural Muslims and kept them in Islamic Ignorance even on the basics of Islam. The above reasons are a result of a lack of proper Islamic institutions and structures to cater for the needs of the would-be Daawa workers.
What Can We Do About It?
I think we can focus on equipping the Rural Staff (Imam and Muazin) with Islamic Knowledge so they can teach their people.
We can have the Village Imaams/Muazins brought to the nearest central place(e.g. Islamic School in the Area) and they undergo a residential refresher training in the basics of Islam(Aqeeda, Fiqh, Language) so they can go back and their people.
For the sake of enhancing their incomes, we can also give them basic business management skills. Other skills may also be imparted depending on the community needs.
How Can We Finance This Kind Of Project?
As we all know there is no money in the UMSC Treasury to finance such activities. So the money will have to come from us (individual Muslims), wellwishers and other Muslim-owned organisation. This needs serious Kakuyege to collect.
In addition to the little we can collect, we also need to creatively use the available infrastructure and resources.
For instance, we can schedule the training during general school holidays so we can utilise the structures of a given Islamic School in the area (these are allover the country). The trainees can sleep and study in the school classrooms/dormitories depending on availability.
We can also mobilise Volunteer trainers (we have lots of willing professionals in Islam/Shariah, management + other fields) to lecture during the workshop.
Food(rice, beans, etc) can be collected from Individual Muslims/Homesteads within the hosting community or from where the Trainees originate.
Other activates that require money (like transport refund, logistics, etc) can be mobilised from sympathetic Muslims from within the community or wellwishers from without.
With some bit of the above effort, we can be able to enable Islaam trickle down to the last Muslim using our meagre resources and ingenuity to empower the disadvantaged to solve their own problems.
I know I have made this look too simplistic but I think Members can advise on how best we can pull this off in our different communities.
Bottom-line is, we have to do something about this Islamic ignorance in rural places.
Dear Members, we are waiting for your comments…………..
May Allah Enable us to Extend the Beauty of ISLAM to All Humanity <Ameen>
UMBS VETERAN MEMBER