Author Archives: Uganda Muslim Brothers and Sisters

About Uganda Muslim Brothers and Sisters

Uganda Muslim Brothers and Sisters (UMBS) was started as a discussion forum in 2010 by a Ugandan Muslim, Abbey Semuwemba, based in the United Kingdom. The main aim at the time was to encourage all Muslims to come together and discuss anything on their minds. It was started with only about 200 members but gradually, however, membership expanded to more than 6000 people in different countries, and so the need arose for formal operational guidelines. UMBS is building itself to become the national umbrella organisation dedicated to the common good, to the betterment of the Muslim community and country. It was formed after several years of wide-ranging consultation and careful planning by a group of Muslims that discussed Islamic affairs online regularly. It intends to bring together all representatives of different Muslim organisations in Uganda to meet up on annual basis to discuss the affairs of Muslims in Uganda. The need to coordinate efforts on wider issues of common concern became apparent in the course of the feud that developed between Muslim leaders after the sale of Muslim properties in Uganda. This created a climate of distrust and non-cooperation between many diverse groups in the country.

The People who made the current UMSC Constitution

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UGANDA MUSLIM SUPREME COUNCIL, P.O BOX, KAMPALA
PROCEEDING OF THE EXTRA-ORDINARY GENERAL ASSEMBLY MEETING OF THE SUPREME COUNCIL HELD AT U.M.S.C HEADQUARTERS FROM 4/12/86 AT 2:30 P.M TO 5/12/86 AT 11:59 AM
MIN. 1/2/86: OPENING OF MEETING:

(a) The meeting started at exactly 2:53 p.m with a recitation form the Holy Qur’an by Sheikh Abbas Kyambadde
(b) COMMUNICATION FROM THE CHAIR
In his opening address, the Chairman thanked the participants for having accepted the invitation to come and attend this important General Assembly meeting despite so short a notice and the apparent rumours that the Assembly would not be held. (The list of the Names of attendants plus that of the Chairman and his Deputy is attached to this Minute as Appendix “A”

He commended the Interim Administration of the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council for the important task they had so far rendered to ensure a successful convening of the General Assembly – let alone having carefully looked after the property of the U.M.S.C
He reminded the members of the historic meeting that took place at Mecca which culminated into the Mecca Agreement.

The chairman later introduced, in absentia Dr. Bahfuzullah from the Muslim World League who, he said, had travelled from Saudi Arabia together with Sheikh Attas the Deputy Secretary General of the Muslim World League. These two high ranking officials came along way to attend the General Assembly Meeting in order to witness its successful implementation of Mecca Agreement.

After his opening address the Chairman called upon each member to introduce himself to the gathering there present. Following the introduction by each; a point of order was raised as to whether co-opted members were supposed to sit along-side the Councilors in the General Assembly. Other members also wondered why some of the councilors were omitted and instead had been replaced by others.
The Chairman then ruled that as for the co-opted members; they will only assume observer status; in otherwise, they will take part in the discussion but would have no rights to vote. As for the new members in the General Assembly; the Chairman explained that they were allowed – in as replacements for the members who had since passed away! Inna Lilahi Wainna illayhi rajiuun.

MIN. 2/12/86: MINUTES OF PREVIOUS MEETING:
A member proposed that minutes of the previous meeting should be read item by item which proposal was unanimously taken. However since the minute had been recorded in English, Hajj: Rwakaikara was therefore called upon to translate it in Swahili-which was later adopted as a correct record of the previous meeting of the General Assembly.

MIN. 3/12/86. MATTERS ARISING:

With the exception of a minor amendment to item (1) C that a comma be inserted immediately after the word “Success”; all members were otherwise agreed that there was nothing more to add to the pervious minute of the meeting.
(c) On a general note, the majority of members once again expressed concern that members who had been co-opted as observers should not, at the same time, be allowed to sit alongside the Councilors.

(d) On a serious note, the Chairman warned members to be serious while in the meeting since it was almost the end of the struggle. He strongly warned Councilors that whoever was not a member must move-out of the seats intended for Councilors. He also said that he would use his power to send out any member who starbonly did not respect ruling by the Chair.

(e) On a question of whether ex-officio members should not also sit on the observe side. The chairman ruled that ex-officio members should remain in their seats which were previously ear-marked for them and continue to follow the proceedings of the meeting as in the past. The Chairman’s ruling was unanimously agreed. On a point of order, a member asked the Sec. General to give his report. The Sec. General however replied that since this was an extra-ordinary General Assembly called purposely to discuss the Draft Constitution it would be more appropriate for him to give his full report in the next General Assembly; which explanation was accepted by the majority of members.

MIN. 4/12/86: VIEWS AND SUGGESTIONS ON THE DRAFT COPY OF THE UMSC CONSTITUTIN.

When the meeting was called upon by the Chairman for members to submit their views and suggestions on the draft copy of the constitution- one member suggested that items (5-6) and (7-8) be reduced to two items only; since they were complimentary to each other. However, the proposal was not taken.

At this juncture another member then proposed that a sub-committed be formed as it was approaching night in order that they should report back their findings to the General Assembly the following day in a summarized from. This proposal too was not taken.

The Chairman of the constitutional committee later explained that a constitutional committee be allowed to give members guidelines so that it would be easier for them to understand the background leading to the proposed amendments. The suggestion was, however, opposed by some members. Instead members unanimously agreed on a proposal that the proposed amended constitution be discussed Article by Article the following day i.e. 4/12/86.

Before the meeting was adjourned the Chairman informed members that the chief Kadhi, who had gone to Mecca for the meeting of the Islamic University being built in Uganda had come back. He then called upon the Chief Kadhi to say a few words. The Chief Kadhi welcomed all the members who had come for this meeting and wished them success in their deliberations- Ishaallah.

Just before the adjournment some members complained about their feeding and accommodation in the Hotel where they had been booked; to which the Chairman instructed the Secretary General to seriously look into this matter. The meeting was adjourned at 6:35 p.m. after members had unanimously agreed that it would resume the following day at 9:00 p.m.


OPENING OF ASSEMBLY MEETING THE FOLLOWING DAY

(i) The following day 4th Dec. 86, the meeting was opened by Ayah from the Holy Qur’an which was recited by Sheik Abbas Kyambdde.
(ii) The Chairman then called the meeting to order at 10:00 a.m. He said that the day’s business transaction would center on the Draft Constitution as presented by the constitutional committee and that each Article and/ or paragraph of the Draft constitution would be examined scrupulously as was agreed upon the previous day. Any amendments, deletions, insertions would thoroughly be discussed before any final decision was taken.

He said that it was important that since each member had been sent a copy of the Draft constitution a month earlier; he was sure all members had had enough time to study them carefully. He then invited the Chairman of the constitutional committee to introduce the subject.

The chairman of the constitution committee explained that the memorandum, which sets-out the aims and objectives of the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council were left intact as in the case of the 1972 constitution; but that three new paragraphs were inserted to cover new field of activities the Council would engage in; which are as thus:-
Paragraph (m) to establish and carry-out all or any of the businesses of dealers and workers in cement, lime, plasters, clay gravel, stone, bricks, blocks, spin, concrete pipes, sanitary fittings and builders requisites and quarry dioners, builders general contractors and carriers.

Paragraph (n) to construct, erect, maintain and / or alter any buildings, machinery, plant or works necessary or convenient for the purpose of the council’s projects or assets.

Paragraph (o) to carry on any other business whether financial, manufacturing or otherwise, which may seem to the Council, of any such benefit or calculated directly to enhance the value of or render profit to any of the Council’s assets. To do all such other things as may be deemed incidental to or connected with or conducive to the attainment of the above objects or any of them

The Chairman of the constitutional committee then appealed to members that they should refer to their Report which explains the draft constitution in detail

ARTICLE 2: COMPOSITION AND REPRESENTATION:
For the purpose of these Articles Uganda shall be divided into twenty six Muslim Districts as against the proposed fourteen.

1. Kampala
2. Luwero
3. Masaka
4. Mubende
5. Mpigi
6. Mbarara
7. Kigezi
8. Mbale
9. Busoga
10. Sebei
11. Teso
12. Lango
13. Acholi
14. Karanoja
15. Arua
16. Madi
17. Toro
18. Bunyoro
19. Bukedi
20. Rakai
21. Palissa
22. Bushenyi
23. Rukungiri
24. Iganga
25. Mukono
26. Nebbi

(I) The first 19 districts indicated above shall be represented on the General Assembly by five representatives and the rest shall be represented by three each.
(II) After a lengthy and free discussions of paragraphs of each Article, the following amendments were made:-
ARTICLE 2 Paragraph (5) subsections (b). This was deleted. Paragraphs (5) sub-section (c) inserts “Uganda” and a comma thereafter, so that the sentence would read “A representative to the Assembly shall be a Ugandan, mature, respectable, good practicing muslim who does not violate the norms of Islam and is able to write and speak one of the following languages:- English, Swahili and Luganda.

Paragraph (7) should read “The life of the assembly shall be ‘five years’ and the Chairman and members there of shall be eligible for re-election”

Paragraph (10) insert between the words “misses three” and meeting the word “consecutive”

ARTICLE 3 Paragraph (4) inserts “majlis al-ulama” after the words Executive committee

ARTICLE 5 (i) paragraph (1) delete the word “spiritual”
(iii) Delete paragraphs (4) and insert: There shall be Deputy Mufti who shall act in the place of the Mufti in his absence or inability to perform his duties in all respects.

ARTICLE 6 Paragraph (c) should read” A degree in Sharia or its equivalent from a recognized Islamic University “

ARTICLE 7 (1) Delete the words “Chief Kadhi shall be appointed by the Mufti on the advice of the Majlis al Ulama” and insert” The Director of Sharia shall be appointed in the same manner as other secretaries heading different departments of the council”
ARTICLE 8 Paragraph (1) Section (c) should read” 17 learned Sheiks from the four regions of the country on equal basis including one from Kampala, and so is the Deputy Mufti, making a total of Twenty Members”.

ARTICLE 10 Paragraph (1) Section (a) should read”Three representatives each; from Buganda, Eastern, Northern, Western regions and Kampala elected by the Assembly from the entire Muslim population of Uganda. At least one of the three representatives from each region shall be a Sheikh”

Paragraph (1) section (b) Insert after “Secretary General” the word “Deputy Mufti”

ARTICLE 13 Paragraph (7) Delete the word “ten years” and insert “Seven years”

Paragraph (7) Delete “a working knowledge of the Arabic language will be an advantage”

Insert in paragraph (g) “If he is convicted of a criminal offence and / or if in the eyes of the Joint Session, his name is tarnished beyond redemption

4) Delete the words “The Secretary for Finance and planning or”
ARTICLE 17 Paragraph (10) Insert at the end “any co-opted member shall have no rights to vote”
Article 19 Paragraph (1) Delete “District imam” and Insert “District Kadhi” whenever they appear.
Paragraph (2) (d) delete “county Imams” and insert “county Sheikh”
Paragraph (5) section (a) delete “65 years” and inserts “70 years”.
MIN. 6/12/86:
RESOLUTION “1”
Be it resolved that the Draft Constitution presented to the General Assembly and amended as per MINS. 4/12/86 to 5/12/86 be adopted, and it was hereby resolved and adopted on the 5th Day of December, 1986.
RESOLUTION “2”
Be it resolved that a committee of five members namely; Haji Ishaq Kamoga; Yonusu Mpagi, Abu Mayanja, Makafu and Doka be instituted to work with the constitutional committee to ensure that all the amendments adopted by the Assembly were included in the final Draft, for presentation to and registration by the Registrar of companies, which resolution was unanimously adopted.

RESOLUTION 3 ELECTORAL COMMISSION

The following were elected to the Electoral commission as provided for in
Article 3 as amended
1. Hajj Uthuman Kitunzi -Western Region
2. Hajj Ishaka Magezi -Western Region
3. Hajj Abaasi Mukasa -Buganda Region
4. Hajji Musa Mukiibi -Buganda Region
5. Hajj Hussain Mabuya -Eastern Region
6. Hajj Nsereko Salim -Eastern Region
7. Hajj Ramathan Amaku -Northern Region
8. Hajj Jaffali Salim -Northern Region
9. Hajj Twaha Senyondo -Chairman
RESOLUTION “4”- SETTING – OUT DATES FOR GENERAL ELECTIONS
1. 5th December, – 28th January, 1987 -Arrangements for the elections
2. 7th February – 28th February, 1987 – Election throughout the Council starting with Juma Mosques
3. 7th April, 1987 – New General Assembly meets to form the appropriate committee
4. 1st May, 1987 – installation of new office bearers of Uganda Muslim Supreme Council
MIN. 7/12/86:
The Chairman in his concluding remarks thanked members for the good spirit they had shown throughout the period while deliberating on the new Draft constitution.
There being no more other business to transact, members of the General Assembly thus resolved as follows: “we note with appreciation the achievements of the constitutional committee and the remarkable smooth manner in which the Interim Administration carried-out it’s duties to- date and having thus accomplished its work that had started almost six (6) years ago; we do hereby on this 5th Day of December, 1986 dissolve the General Assembly.”
……………………………………….. ……………………………………………
CHAIRMAN SECRETARY

DATE:…………………………………….

N.B. Attached as Appendix “a” is a list of Councilors who attended the Assembly meeting.

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UGANDA MUSLIM SUPREME COUNCIL
P.0.BOX 1146,
KAMPALA
LIST OF MEMBERS WHO ATTENDED THE EXTRA-ORDINARY GENERAL ASSEMBLY MEETING OF THE SUPREME COUNCIL HELD AT U.M.S.C HEADQUARTERS FROM 4/12/86 TO 5/12/86

1. Haji Prince Badru Kakungulu -Chairman
2. Haji Asumani Mbubi -D/Chairman & Member
3. Haji Zaidi Wakinyankali -D/ Chairman & Member
KAMPALA DISTRICT
NAME ADDRESS
1. Abdu-Kadir Mbogo (D/K) (Sheikh) -Kampala
2. Skeikh M. Mukongo (C) -Kampala
3. Haji Muhamad Kateregga (C) -Kampala
4. Hajj Eriyasa Sseviiri (C) -Kampala
5. Haji Younus Mpagi (C) -Kampala
6. Hajj Muhammed Katalaga (C) -Kampala
7. Hajj Kadu Serunkuma (C) -Kampala
8. Mr. Y. Nsubuga Nsambu (C) -Kampala
9. Hajj Sulaiman Mutumba (C) -Kampala
MASAKA DISTRICT
1. Sheik Uzairu Kiruta (D/K) -Masaka
2. Hajj Hussein Sengendo -Masaka
3. Hajj Dauda Bukenya -Masaka
4. Hajj Rashid Waligo -Masaka
5. Hajj Is-haq Kamoga -Masaka
6. Hajj Aziz Kasujja -Masaka
7. Hajj M.K.Semakalu -Masaka
BUSOGA DISTRICT
1. Sheikh Zakaria Kezaala (D/K) -Busoga
2. Hajj Zubairi Kalange -Busoga
3. Hajj Mustapha Bidi -Busoga
4. Sheikh Adam Wantante -Busoga
5. Hajj Zaidi Wakinyankali -Busoga
BUGISU DISTRICT
1. Sheikh Hussein Walukuli (D/K) -Bugishu
2. Hajj Kassim Ssebanobe -Bugishu
3. Hajj Hassan Makafu -Bugishu
4. Hajj Salim Mukuwa -Bugishu
5. Mr. Hussein Wanyaka -Bugishu
BUKEDI DISTRICT
1. Sheikh Twaha Kifude (D/K) -Bukedi
2. Hajj Mustapha Muluya -Bukedi
3. Hajj Alimansi Khasiyo -Bukedi
4. Hajj Hussein Mabuya -Bukedi
5. Hajj Edirisa Ddumbulu -Bukedi
BUNYORO DISTRICT
1. Sheikh M. Ausi Katuramu (D/K) -Bunyoro
2. Hajj Ahamad Kitakule -Bunyoro
3. Hajj Ausi Rwakaikara -Bunyoro
4. Hajj C.K. Kitunzi -Bunyoro
SEBEI DISTRICT
1. Sheikh Shaban Muhammed (D/K) -Sebei
2. Haji Muwalim Ahmad Suwari -Sebei
3. Hajj Haruna Chemisto -Sebei
TESO DISTRICT
1. Sheikh Ahmad Sheir Muhammad (D/K) -Soroti
1. Sheikh Ahmad Sheir Muhammad (D/K) -Soroti
2. Abdallah Aziz Engwedu (C) -Soroti
3. Salim Ejiet -Soroti
ANKOLE DISTRICT
1. Abdu Noor Kaduyu (D/K) -Ankole
2. Haji Ishaq Magezi (C) -Ankole
3. Haji Yasin Bilaali (C) -Ankole
4. Hajj Abdu Kalibala (C) -Ankole
5. Mr. Hamidu Musoke (C) -Ankole
LANGO DISTRICT
1. Sheikh Adam Ayo D/K -Lira
2. Mr. Moses M. Angir (C) -Lira
3. Moses Odongo (C) -Lira
4. Mr. Aziz Swaleh (C) -Lira
EAST ACHOLI DISTRICT
1. Sheikh Ibrahim Okeny D/K -Kitgum
2. Ali Nanga (C) -Kitgum
3. Sheikh H. Abdallah (C) -Kitgum
4. Sheikh Abdu Okech (C) -Kitgum
KIGEZI DISTRICT
1. Sheikh Ja’afar Bakaki D/K -Kabale
2. Mr. Ahamada Bujara (C) -Kabale
3. Mr. Ayubu Juma (C) -Kabale
4. Haji Ibrahim Banyenzaki -Rukungiri
MADI DISTRICT
1. Sheikh Ramadhan Juma Bale -Moyo
2. Sebbi Longa (C) -Moyo
3. Shaban Noor (C) -Moyo
EAST BUGANDA DISTRICT
1. Sheikh Habib Lukyamu D/K -Nagalama
2. Sheikh A. Sendege (C) -Nagalama
3. Haji Asumani Kiyaga (C) -Zirobwe
4. Sheikh Twaib Mutyaba (C) -Lugazi
WEST NILE DISTRICT
1. Sheikh Muhamed Rizigala D/K -Arua
2. Haji A.K. Abuduhaliq (C) -Arua
3. Haji Doka Ali (C) -Arua
4. Haji Zakaria Risasi (C) -Arua
5. Adris Ally (C) -Arua
APPENDIX “A”
A. SIGNATORIES TO THE MAKKAH AGREEMENT
1. Abdul Razak Matovu
2. Qasim Mulumba
3. Abdu Obied Kamulegeya
4. Zubair Kayongo
5. Juma Yousuf Walusimbi
6. Sulaiman Mutumba
7. Anas A.N. Kaliisa
8. Isa Khalifa Lugwago
9. Asuman Mbubi
B. MUSLIM WORLD LEAGUE FOLLOW-UP COMMITTEE
1. H.E. Ameen Aqeel Attas – Deputy Secretary General/ W.M.L.
2. Dr. Ahmad Bahafzallah – Chairman, Constitutional Committee.
3. Dr. Hamidullah –Member
4. Dr. Ahmad Kisule – Member
5. Sheikh Muhamad Kamoga – Member
6. Muhamad Obeid Kigozi
C. EX. OFFICIO MEMBERS
1. Sheikh Abdu Razaq Matovu
2. Sheikh Qasim Mulumba
3. Sheikh Abdu Obeid Kamulegeya
4. Sheikh Anasi Kaliisa
5. Mr. Abdu Juma Biramahiire
6. Haji Suleiman Masaba
7. Mr. Ibrahim
8. Al- Haji Abdu Khaliq Abdallah (Chancellor for West Nile District)
9. Isa G. Kyemwa
D. THE UMSC INTERIM ADMINISTRATION STAFF
1. Sheikh Hussein Rajab Kakooza – Chief Kadhi
2. Sheikh Saad` Luwemba – Deputy Chief Kadhi
3. Sheikh Yusuf Issa Byekwaso – Ag./ Secretary General
4. Sheikh Musa J. Mayanja – Assistant Secretary General
5. Sheikh Ahmad Mukasa – Secretary for Religious Affairs
6. Sheikh Mahdi Kakooza – Deputy Secretary for Religious Affairs
7. Dr. Hamidullah – Secretary for Treasury
8. Sheikh Issa Musa Iga – Assistant Treasurer
E. IN ATTENDANCE:
1. Sheikh Muhamad Semakula – Advisor to the Chief Kadhi
2. Sheikh Alli Kulumba – Advisor to the Chief Kadhi
3. Hon. Alhaji Musa Kigongo
4. Mr. A. Kasujja
5. Dr. Sulayiman Kigundu – Governor
6. Haji Zakaria Bukenya – Member


UMBS is devoted to matters of interest to Ugandan Muslims. To donate to UMBS activities deposit money on UMBS Bank A/C at any branch of Bank of Africa: 07074320002.

Salaatul Jum’ah in the National Cathedral, Washington DC

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Just wondering if this was really necessary. Please see link and share your take.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/arabic/multimedia/2014/11/141115_us_cathedral_islam_prayer

We have our own designated places of worship i.e. mosques. We could use open fields if we can’t find a place. This kind of trend will only breed confusion and squabbles. Another day Christians will ask or demand to use a mosque for prayers. This is another eye opener to the challenges we face today. I wonder what tomorrow will bring.

America (USA and Canada) being what it is one can understand. The type of Islam being propagated in that area is spearheaded by a certain sect of Islam which is highly organized, sophisticated, hides in the shadows and blends some Jewish or Christian messages with Muslim ideas. The very messages that have been at a point of departure for ages are what the sect tries to blend. If you interact with very good Muslims of Ugandan origin who live in that continent you can readily pick their disorientation in Islam. I must say that the same sect has achieved a similar goal in several European countries where they own most of the mosques.

My appeal goes to the Muslim parents in the diaspora to create sometime and pay attention to what kind of Islam their area Imams or schools are teaching their children. Before you know it our children may be brainwashed to belong to another sect while we the parents also belong to another sect. The challenge then is introduced of reconciling our beliefs. The fact remains that some of these differences in beliefs between Muslim sects may be irreconcilable untill judgment day. That is why I don’t waste my time on these differences. What is important is to have your children belong to where you would wish them to belong.

And by the way such incidents are not innocent as they may appear on the the surface. They have an agenda. As already pointed out they may be organized by those claiming to Muslims yet sleepers (non-Muslims) planted to destroy Islam or at least dilute or pollute the Islamic principles. We can not claim that the organizers are misguided Muslims. I want to believe these are people with an agenda …..

The timing of the incident is also suspect. Why lead an unsuspecting group of Muslims to pray from a Cathedral at this point in time when on another part of the globe people are fighting for a holy Mosque. What I try to read from this is simple. The organizers are trying to tell the world that if it is OK for Muslims to pray from a cathedral in Washington, then it is OK for Christians or Jews to pray from Al Aqsa Mosque in Jerusalem. They want the holy Mosque to be shared out between the Muslims, Christians and Jews. When you read statements like the custody of the holy Mosques being in the wrong hands, then you know where we are heading to: pollution of Islam, dilution of Islam and eventually to a bottomless pity. That incident is a cause for worry for those with far vision. One who wants to destroy you pretends to accommodate you first.

That is the message I can read from this prayer incident in Washington. I know I have opened a Pandora box. But trying to open up people’s is not crime nor a sin.

If a believer tries to call upon brothers and sisters to purify their Islam and worship ALLAH (SWT) in the true sense of the word “worship”, it would then be wrong to refer to such an individual as not being open minded or being extremist. This just puts you in a western stereotype which I know several disoriented claimants to the Muslim faith admire a lot. Other cadres like Pastors, Rabis call their sheep to their perceived purity on a daily basis and they are never labeled as being closed minded or extremist. Islam is in danger because of people who are planted in its rank and file and proudly identify themselves as Muslims all the time but perform acts that put Islam into disrepute. While other perfom violent acts that put Islam into disrepute others use unpalatable ideas and incorrect theories to discredit Islam. I personally put all them in the same boat. And such people are heavily funded by those opposed to Islam. In my thinking there should be no opposition to any religion. And there should be no opposition to any places of worship. And I am record to have supported the preservation of all places of worship (Bhudists, Muslim, Hindu, Jewish, Christian e.t.c) where ever they may be. That position on preservation of the places of worship as you can recall was challenged on this same forum but I stood my ground. I still hold that view. That is what the The Prophet (PBUH) practiced. He did not destroy any place of worship. He also commanded his followers never to do so.

I am not a supporter of those loaded with money who buy other places of worship (such as churches and synagogues) and convert them into mosques or places of prayer for Muslims. It would also make me sad to hear of a rich man who buys a Mosque and converts it into a church or synagogue. Are we short of buildings in the world? Hell noooo. Every day new buildings are constructed in their millions. If we can not build our own mosque we are better of performing prayers in an open place, field or our homes. That is better than igniting simmering tensions. Performing prayers in other people’s designated places of worship should be a no go zone as far as I am concerned.

I think you saw that woman in the link who was demonstrating the Muslims presence in her cathedral. She went ahead to preach about “Jesus” before she was restrained. She was only one in view. But I am sure the incident stirred similar emotions in others. People who support such unpalatable arrangements can only work against Islam. Can you imagine a scenario where Christians go to a Mosque and say or celebrate their “service” or “mass”. I don’t think that situation would pass without an incident of violent proportions. I am sure some Muslims or some youths would mobilize to attack those people. After that they would then be labeled extremists, radicals or fundamentalist or any derogatory term you can think of. Please note in the video no one labeled that lady as extremist. If it had been a Muslim demonstrating the media would “correctly” label that one a Muslim extremist. It is only Islam that teaches that if one sees something wrong (or a sin) he or she should remove it with his or her hand, tongue or hate it with a passion (but hating a sin without removing or curtailing it is considered the weakest of faith). I am not sure what other denominations preach, after all that is not my business. The choice is among the three on how a Muslim would react to provocative situations. A Muslim will choose an option depending on his knowledge, physical strength or position in the Muslim society. Encouraging such unfortunate incidents of crossing to other denominations’ places of worship will only breed confusion and intolerance in long run. I am of the strong opinion that such behavior should not be encouraged by us the Muslims. I wonder whether other places of worship even face the Kaaba in their construction. Of course I am aware of some Muslim sects who think that building Mosques facing the Kaaba should not be the issue (I find those confused arguments but I don’t wish to dwell in that); the issue should instead be erecting a building. Possibly it is such Muslims who will encourage us to perform our prayers in churches and cathedrals.

The pillars on which Islam is built are simple and very clear and familiar to both Muslims and non-Muslims:

1. To testify by your mouth and heart (read mind or soul) the oneness of ALLAH and that MUHAMMAD is his Prophet
2. Establishing regular prayer
3. Fasting
4. Paying Zakat
5. Visiting the Kaaba (only for those who are able) at least once.

Observing the above pillars is what should define who a Muslim is. Starting with those pillars and one can then add on the several prescriptions from the Quran and Hadith. What you add on is then what should define one’s level of faith in Islam.

But look at what the other sects (with ideas that pollute Islam) tell us to do:

1. Observe other Prophets (messengers) came and are yet to come after Muhammad (PBUH)
2. Prayer or know prayer does not make a difference and does not matter. As long as you go to the Mosque after your day’s toil in the evening that is enough. In essence they are negating the five daily prayers a day and substituting it with one single prayer in the evening (very much like what other denominations, Jews or Christians do)
3. Fasting or no fasting does not matter; it is not an issue as long as you know your God.
4. The beneficiaries of Zakat are well categorized in Islam, but some sects suggest to their followers to pay the Zakat to only their relatives diluting the essence of Zakat.
5. They have so many theories about the Kaaba even to the extent of suggesting that one should not strive to visit the Kaaba. With such weird suggestions somebody would not be doing anything else except polluting Islam because that is debasing Islam.

Beyond the debasing of Islam from her pillars: these people of such sects claiming to be Muslims go on to suggest the following:
– wearing a Muslim cap or veil is not part of Islam. It is instead something in the Arabic culture. They encourage us to wear the way we like (possibly suits and ties) and the women the way they like. They are not in agreement with any proper way of dressing in Islam
– having a mark on your forehead as a sign of establishing regular prayer to them it is described as the devil’s sign
– no need to separate between sexes during prayer; all that matters is between you and your ALLAH.

For lack of time let me cut short my list. All we can see is a people bent on diluting Islam if not destroying it from our hearts. These people are by the way very, very well educated and form part of the lobbysts in Washington. They are the ones who share with the global political players what Islam should be and what Islam should not be. They very much fall in the category of a people the Prophet (PBUH) described: those people will “follow the Christians every where they go so much that they even follow them up to the smallest niches.’ But even if you please them (the non-Muslims) they will never like you. If you negate all the foundation on which Islam is built is not better for you to be called a Christian or Judaist? But such people will vehemently disagree with you. They will claim to be the perfect Muslims and will even amplify it for every one to hear. Looking at their lifestyle there is nothing Islamic about them from the way they eat to the way they conduct themselves in society. They dress like Christians and want to hide among them. They eat everything including pork, they don’t fast and they don’t establish regular prayer. They go on to claim all the time they are the best among the Muslims. They deserve this, they deserve that. Their theories never end.

Once again my appeal to the brothers and sisters in the diaspora, please take time off to pay attention to the kind of religious knowledge the Imams or Islamic teachers out there are teaching your children. They may be teaching them to become pastors. By the time you wake up it may be too late. The basic or primary knowledge a child gets while the brain is still empty plays a very big role in shaping the child’s personality and level of faith in future. I am not saying that all Imams are a problem. But certainly several Imams or Islamic teachers we find in the developed countries have many issues. I personally do not understand the kind of Islam they teach our children. All I can say is that they teach a form of Islam that is unknown to me. That would not be a problem if they came out in the open and told me what they want to teach our children. Unfortunately, they don’t. I would be happy to know what you believe in and allow to teach that to my child or not. Hiding is just being dishonest. And dishonesty is for the disbelievers not for the properly guided ones.

Sorry for being long winded. Allow me to conclude by saying that we Muslims should live other people’s places of worship alone like the Prophet (PBUH) did during his lifetime. Let them (non-Muslims) to their religion and do not antagonize them. Let the Christians go to their churches and cathedrals. Let the Jews or Judaists go to their Synogogues. And let us Muslims go to our Mosques. Have not even the slightest attraction to other people’s places of worship. Live and let live. Stay away from stirring up confusion. Should places of worship fall to disuse let them become artifacts or Museums of the respective religions. Please don’t take them over.

May THE ALMIGHTY ALLAH have mercy on us.

May ALLAH (SWT) guide us all.

Kind regards,

Dr.Ibrah Ssendagire
USA

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Brother Ibrah, With abundance of salam to you, all in the family, I do not think we need to be strict on the matters of sects as these are not clearly delineated nor desired for being a muslims who are increasing in numbers with the grace of Allah SwT across the globe. What sect should I have chosen when I found the debate in village. I just examined all. Now, I realise the futility of Wahabism and KUFR embedded in the name of call of PURE Tawheed. I find Shia Ismail Imami perfect in obedience. What does it mean to me on a day to day basis. I am regular in salaat, missing the salaat in the luminous hours, appreciating the giving of USHR and Sadaqa. I need to be racing in virtues and obedience in the light of verse 4:59. In the global comity muslimeen recognising all to be the posterity of Adam PBUH and HF, I think ,I need to be just humble in accepting personal deficits in obedience. If we realise this, we would be able to ensure our children receive the best learning and foundations of the standards that a muslim upholds or s/he should be upholding.

We are using Kaaba that was cleaned and therefore, there is no harm if the synagogues and churches are being used for salatul Juma in locations where there is nothing that would provide a place for Wudhu.​ We also need to recognise the verse where protection of masajids, churches, synagogues, monasteries are assured by Allah SwT. We need to know that Jesus PBUH and Moses PBUH and HF and all are receiving salam of us. More and more people are learning on the value of being a muslim. More and more people are learning the value of righteousness that muslims espouse. I think, till such a time when, masajids are built , use of cathederal as a place where there is much rememberance of Allah SwT is perfect. Many of the churches have been transformed and many churches that were lying defunct have been given to muslims. Muslms have offered Jews place for prayer and so have been the case of Jews. The places where muslims are a micro minority having no masajids of their own need to have space for mandatory Jumaa salaat. At the same time, there are instances, when Synogogues are made open for muslims. Allah SwT is witness to all we do. With best prayers for having more and more inclusive masajids and Jamaatkhanas globally with hopes and prayers for all to have the grace for being on the path of blessed ones.

May be ,I am wrong, but at this stage, we need to be most open and clear without being rigid on matters where there is no clear decree.

Dr.M.Mukhtar Alam
+91-9968345380
New Delhi,India

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Jazaak Allahu Khairan, Br. Ibrah
You have hit the nail on the head in your analysis of the reality faced by Muslims in the Diaspora. I really wish we could all take a moment and think about the concept of “Live and let live”; for if we did, I trust there would be very few conflicts among mankind.
It goes without saying that I fully share your view that holding Salaatul Jum’ah in the Washington National Cathedral (WNC) was not necessary. Those familiar with the city would note that the magnificent Islamic Centre of Washington is less than 10 (ten) minutes away from the WNC. Additionally, there are many small and medium-size prayer areas around DC, including church basements rented out to Muslims for the same purpose (and mostly due to logistical challenges).

I should be the first to acknowledge lack of full background information regarding the exact context in which the Jum’ah in question was held, however, I couldn’t help but notice how small the number of congregators was for the function and venue. In terms of Muslim ethno-racial diversity that I have always known, it was a bit disheartening not to see much of it at the Cathedral Jum’ah. One would understand if we were not talking about DC, but to have a Jum’ah congregation there (in the name of Islam and Muslims) with virtually no black faces around is mindboggling.

A low level of participation could be indicative of lack of local Muslim community leadership buy-in for this type of Jum’ah. On the other hand, this could have been a ‘by-invitation-only’ congregation, which flies in the face of the spirit of Jum’ah as we know it. I have checked out the Cathedral’s website and found a blurb on this first-ever Salaatul Jum’ah in one of DC’s major architectural marvels: http://www.nationalcathedral.org/events/Prayers20141114.shtml). The write-up seems ordinary in approach, but we may need to think about the implications of the last paragraph therein, which you have intuitively spotted and addressed in the 5th paragraph of the response to Br. M. Mukhtar Alam. Based on current indicators, it may not be farfetched to anticipate a request for permission to celebrate an international, interdenominational Sunday mass in Makkah; after all, the argument would go, we have accommodated Salaatul Jum’ah in our cathedrals and similar places of worship in the West and elsewhere. The majority of Muslims would most certainly object to the invitation, but that is exactly the point. Indeed, the objection would be all grist to the mill when it comes to intensifying Muslim bashing, especially Sunni Muslims for that matter.

In conclusion, I recall one brother on this forum who, quite some time back, reminded us not to confuse conformity for uniformity. In our current context, all I can say is that a handshake could be for all, a hug for some, and a kiss for the very special ones. Any time the fine line between is blurred, we are most likely headed for serious confusion, if not trouble outright.

Wassalaam Alaikum,
Yunus
Links fyi:
1) Key Masjids and Prayer Areas in Washington, DC:

http://blogs.law.harvard.edu/wasim/2009/06/09/jumma-prayer-dc/

2) The Islamic Centre – Washington, DC

https://maps.google.ca/maps?rlz=1T4RNWN_enCA314CA314&um=1&ie=UTF-8&fb=1&gl=ca&q=2551+Massachusetts+Ave+NW,+Washington,+DC+20008,+USA&sa=X&ei=3aFoVNrzEoWEyQTC8oC4BA&ved=0CB4Q8gEwAA&output=classic&dg=brw

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Yunus Lubega
Ottawa-Gatineau, Canada

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Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Assalam Alaykum.

I have taken at least one hour trying to follow the discussion by all contributors on this issue, in addition to watching the video. I must say that I have been highly enlightened by the posts from Br. Ibrahim Ssendagire and Br. Yunus Lubega, particularly regarding the existence of a particular sect with a questionable approach to teaching and practicing Islam as well as the general Muslim environment in the United States.

My humble contribution is to put before the readers on this forum, a message from the Qur’an which was revealed to address circumstances similar to what is before us now. I have relied on the Tafsiir of Qur’an by Sayyid Qutb, known as (Fi Zilaalil Qur’an which means In the shade of the Qur’an), and meanings of the Qur’an given by “the noble Qur’an”. First, I begin with a brief background;

When Prophet Muhammad (SAW) started to propagate Islam in Makkah, the Arabs raised all sorts of excuses to reject the new faith (you can refer to the books on seerah). Particularly, when he (SAW) declared his religion to be the religion of Ibrahim (AS), the idol worshipers argued that there was no reason for them to forsake their beliefs and follow Muhammad (SAW), since they too were followers of the same religion.

In the meantime, they sought a sort of compromise with him (SAW), proposing that he should prostrate himself before their deities in return for their prostration to his God, and that he should cease denouncing their deities and their manner of worship in reciprocation for whatever he (SAW) demanded from them. They thought that an agreement was somehow possible to allow the two camps to co-exist in the region and by granting him (SAW) some personal concessions.

To clear up this muddle, to cut all arguments short and to firmly distinguish one form of worship from the other and indeed between one faith and the other, the surah (al- Kafiruun) below was revealed in such a decisive and assertive tone. It was revealed in this manner to demarcate monotheism (tawhid) from polytheism (shirk) and to establish a true criterion allowing no further vain arguments.

I do not think that there is any need for us to face difficulties in understanding the current issue. It is obvious. Someone wants to strike a deal with you (Muslims), in exactly the same way as the idol worshipers sought to enter into agreement with the prophet (SAW) on matters of worship. Allah gave us the answer to all such schemes from the disbelievers. Like our brothers have already observed, if they invite for Jumah prayers in their cathedral today, you may (blindly) think that it is “good” for whatever reasons you may wish to justify your actions, but the day they seek to conduct their “own prayer” in your Masjid, will you think of it as a “good” idea? Please see what Allah has to say:

Say O disbelievers (1) I do not worship what you worship (2) Nor are you worshipers of what I worship (3) Nor will I be a worshiper of what you worship (4) Nor will you be worshipers of what I worship (5) For you is your religion and for me is my religion (5).

Twaha Ahmed Kasule

Amin’s Speech on UMSC in 1972

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ADDRESS BY HIS EXCELLENCY THE PRESIDENT, GENERAL IDI AMIN DADA ON THE INAUGURATION OF THE UGANDA MUSLIM SUPREME COUNCIL, AT THE UGANDA INTERNATIONAL CONFERENCE CENTRE ON THURSDAY, 1ST JUNE, 1972, AT 4:00 p.m.

Your Eminence the Chief Kadhi of Uganda,
Distinguished Religious Leaders,
Your Excellencies,
Members of the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council,
Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would like, first of all, to extend a most hearty welcome to our distinguished guests from Egypt, Mecca, Lybia, Pakistan, and Sudan, who have graced this occasion with their presence. Their presence here, exclusively to join their brothers and sisters in witnessing the inauguration of Uganda Muslim Supreme Council, and the installation of the first Chief Kadhi of Uganda, is an expression of a new and most cherished relationship between Uganda and the countries and organisations they represent. I am confident that this new relationship will be seen to grow from strength to strength.

To-day I am filled with that kind of joy that can only be felt rather than adequately expressed. For today we are witnessing a re-kindling of the Islamic light in this country. That light, which was first lit in Uganda more than 100 years ago, has been in danger of facing ultimate extinguishment. For whereas the Muslim faith was the first of the modern religions to be introduced in this land, its growth has been by far the slowest, and its impact, by comparison with other religions, quite unimpressive. The reasons for this draw back are not far to seek. They can be found in the fragmentation of our religion, with various sects and factions, each one of the others. Such sects and factions have had only the Koran in common. They have had separate leaders, separate Mosques, and separate programmes.

In the process, too many Sheikhs have been created, since there has been no central authority establishment in accordance with the teachings of Islam to control their creation.

Worse still, a category of Moslems have been barred from holding prayers in certain Mosques. The various sects and fractions have even had disputes over such matters as the date on which the Idd-El_ Fitri is due. The decline of our religion has further been evidenced by Moslems fighting in Mosques. Such fights have, on one or two occasions, resulted in loss of lives. The most puzzling aspect of such disputes is that they have not been sparked off by any differences in the interpretation of the Koran or the featherings of the Holy Prophet Mohammed (S.A.W). The hard truth is that a number of so-called leaders have sought to use our religion for the promotion of their own personal, political, tribal, or sectional ends, to the exclusion of the welfare of the Muslim faith as a whole in this country. This has led to the absences of a central organization to provide facilities for the Muslim faith in Uganda, to generally and methodically administer Muslim affairs, and to control and distribute finances for the benefit of all Moslems in Uganda.

For the First time in the history of Islam in this country, Moslems of various sects are joined together in a single organization that will ensure the advancement of Moslems in Uganda. Let no one under-estimate the importance of the role that will be played by the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council. For the first time, and hopefully for all time, there will be a channel through which important Islamic matters will be processed for the benefit of the followers of our Prophet Mohammed (S.A.W). Disputes and other mis-understandings will be settled through this central authority. Various national programmes intended to be of benefit largely to Moslems will be undertaken through the Supreme Council. Pilgrimages to the Holy land will be organised through the Supreme Council. Previously, such pilgrimages have been organised in a most unsatisfactory manner. Various sects and factions have been separately dealing with airlines or travel agents; but pilgrims undertaking the journey have paid different fares. Some pilgrims have been cheated in the process. Because of the absence of a central body to organise such pilgrimages, a most unfortunate incident involving a Uganda lady happened in Saudi Arabia earlier this year. That lady arrived in Jeddah only to find that the leader of the faction that organised her pilgrimage had missed the plane. She had money. The leader of another Uganda faction who had arrived in Jeddah with her on the same plane brutally turned her away from his group, leaving her to starve. She became destitute. Being illiterate, she could not speak any language that could be understood by anyone. After a number of weeks she was presumed dead. Her relatives and friends in Uganda were told of her demise. It is only by the grace of God the Almighty that in such circumstances she survived it all and was escorted back to Uganda after she had spent a night- mare of more than two months. It is only a miracle that this lady is still alive and safely back home. She could have died, like so many Ugandans have died over the years while fulfilling this important tenet in our faith. I cannot but conclude that the lives of at least some of the pilgrims who have died could have been saved had we an organisation, such as the Supreme Council, to look after the interests of Moslems undertaking the pilgrimage. Now that the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council has been established, those Moslems who intend to undertake the holy pilgrimage can look forward to it with hope and confidence.

During my travel abroad, I have been in contact with various Muslim organisations. Many of them have expressed the desire to assist their Muslim brothers in Uganda through scholarships and in other ways. As we have had no central body to deal with such matters, we have been unable to benefit from such generous offers. With the establishment of the Supreme Council, we shall now be able to take advantage of them. This will inevitably lead to a strengthening of our relationships with our Muslim brothers throughout the world. We must also admit the fact that, generally speaking, the Muslim community in Uganda are lagging behind other religious communities in matters of secular education. The reason for this can also be traced back to the absence of a central organisation charged with the responsibility to plan and implement programmes for upliftment of the educational standards of Moslems. I expect the Supreme Council to devote much of its effort in not only co-coordinating the activities of the existing Muslim organisations in Uganda in this regard, but also in working out schemes that will augment existing facilities in order to accelerate the rate of the education advancement of Moslems in Uganda.

Perhaps one of the most serious aspects of the confusion in the Islamic movement in Uganda has been the existence of different schools of thought in the teachings of the Prophet Mohammed (S.A.W), which has made Moslems to be divided by power seekers. This has been the result of unqualified or semi-qualified people being entrusted with the task of teaching the Koran. It is for this reason that I welcome a suggestion which was made at the religious conference last year to the effect that an Institute of Islamic studies should be established. Such an institute will put right a lot of thing that have gone wrong, since I expect that they will probe all institutions in which Islamic studies are undertaken with a view to their improvement.

I am aware that a number of people are not entirely satisfied with the manner in which the present Supreme Council has been established. Others are not satisfied with the composition of the Council. I would like to recall that one of the recommendations that were made by the committee on Muslim affairs at the Conference of Religious leaders last year was that the Supreme Council should be composed of three persons from each District, including the Sheikh Kadhi of that District. When I was closing the conference of religious leaders, I pledged Government support and assistance in the establishment of the Council. Arrangements were made for elections to be held throughout the country in accordance with the recommendations I have referred to above; but unfortunately a number of so-called Muslim leaders took it upon themselves to campaign so as to have their own supporters elected to the Council. Not only were such so-called leaders re-introducing politics in Uganda, but also they were trying to make it impossible for the entire cross-section of the Muslim community in Uganda to be represented at the council. I was left with no alternative, but to cancel the elections, and I made an announcement to that effect. I also realized that, at least in the initial period of its existence, the supreme council would not be adequately represented by only three people from District. Moslems are scattered all over the country, throughout all Districts and countries. It would be unrealistic to expect three persons to be adequately aware of the views and requirements of all Moslems in their respective Districts. I considered it necessary to ensure that Moslems in each county should have a representative, through whom they would draw the attention of the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council to their problems. I therefore arranged for each District to have eleven representatives, bearing in mind that the supreme council itself may, in accordance with the recommendation submitted at the religious conference, vary the numbers of its own members as it sees fit. Just before you came to this Council meeting, I called upon you to submit a list of the names of some ten well- educated Moslems from your various districts. I did this with a view to assimilating some of those educated Moslems into the council. The response to my call has been very encouraging. You have yourselves removed many of the persons who were originally selected, and replaced them with younger and educated Moslems. It is encouraging to note that some of the ‘wazeyi’ have voluntarily given way to younger blood. The council membership is now a blend of leading Sheikhs with masses of useful experience in Muslim affairs, and relatively young and educated Moslems with a modern outlook. But I am also aware that there are a number of people who, having been left out of the council, think that they had any claims to represent Moslems in their Districts. Such people must know that the Government will not tolerate any-one who tries to frustrate the work of the Supreme Council. If the Government becomes aware of their activities against the supreme council, it will be forced to take drastic measures to ensure that the supreme council is not disturbed in any way.

In one of his briefing sessions with me, Mr. Nkambo-Mugerwa, who chaired your meetings last year and last month, referred to dissatisfaction in certain quarters about the outcome of the elections of your leaders. It has been alleged that one Muslim faction triumphed at the elections over certain others. If anyone or any Muslim organisation or faction considers the results of the elections as an individual triumph, then I am afraid we have not yet achieved complete national unity among the Moslems of this country. A look at the composition of the supreme council, however, reveals that all Muslim organisations, and all factions within such organisations, are effectively represented on the council. This augers well for the future of Islam in Uganda. It is now the duty of the council as a whole, of all leaders that the council has freely elected, and all individual members of the council to ensure that dissident elements are convinced of the total good to Islam in this country for which the council, and its various committees, have been established.

Mr. Nkambo-Mugerwa also referred to various problems and requests submitted during the course of your meetings. Such problems and requests can only be considered by the Government within the context of what will benefit the country as a whole. It is with such context that the Government will continue to interest itself with any matter that may be brought to its attention by the supreme council or its leaders. It is quite likely that at least some of the requests will be granted after the Government has given them the consideration that they deserve. If, however, some of your requests are not granted, I ask you to understand that whatever decision that the Government may take will be for the national good, including your own good.

I have had the opportunity of reading the constitution that you have drawn up to control and direct Muslim affairs in Uganda; and I have noted with immense satisfaction the committees that have been set up within that document. It is a fine document which came into being as a result of hard work, dedication to the Islamic cause in Uganda, and goodwill on the part of all the persons that have participated not only in this council meeting, but also in the religious conference of Kabale and Kampala last year. It is for this reason that I would like to pay special tribute to my minister of Justice and Attorney General, Mr. Nkambo-Mugerwa, for the singular enthusiasm and dedication with which he has guided Moslems in their various meetings right from May last year. He has done a wonderful job.

One of the recommendations which were made during last year’s conference was that the Government should help in the establishing of the Uganda Muslim Supreme council. The Government obliged, and this has now been done. Another recommendation was that Government should help with this establishment of a national Secretariat for Moslems in Uganda. The Government was also asked to provide land in which the headquarters, hosing the national Secretariat, would be built in the Capital city. The Government is willing to do all it can to help the national movement of Islam in Uganda. As a demonstration of Government willingness, I am happy to announce that the Government has donated Shs.100, 000/= towards the realization of these national Muslim projects. I hereby present a cheque in that amount to the Chairman of the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council.
On the matter of disputes within the Islamic movement in Uganda, and attempts that have been made to try and settle those disputes, my attention has recently been drawn to some historically interesting piece of information which I would like to share with you. In the year 1924, during the role of Governor Archer, the late Sir Daudi Chwa, as the reigning Kabaka of Buganda, convened a meeting of leading Muslims in an attempt to settle a dispute that had brought about divisions among Moslems, arising from the holding of Juma and Zukuli prayers. He did not succeed in settling the disputes. In the year 1927, the protectorate Government tried its hand in the matter settling that dispute. The Government invited Haji Ibrahim, a Kadhi from Zanzibar who held a meeting with Muslim leaders. That meeting was held in exactly the same place where the late Sir Daudi Chwa had met Moslems on the same subject, Haji Ibrahim’s ruling was not accepted; and the dispute persisted. It was not until the year 1944 that a decisive ruling was received from Mecca. The late Sheik Muhamad Lubowa, representing one side of the dispute, and the late Sheik Abdalla Sekimwanyi and Sheik Ahmad Nsambu, who is here with us both of whom represented the other side to the disputes, who had gone on a pilgrimage to Mecca, were the bearers of the Mecca ruling . They jointly announced that ruling, which was that Juma prayers must be held five times during the day, but that it was not necessary to hold Zukuli prayers as well during the Juma day. The joint announcement was made amidst a very large gathering of supporters of both factions to the dispute only a few yards from the actual place where Moslems had been met by the late Sir Daudi Chwa, and Haji Ibrahim of Zanzibar. To commemorate that happy occasion, Asian Muslims in Kampala built an arch, which is still standing today, near that place. That place was the top of Old Kampala Hill, only a few yards from the spot where Captain Lugard first hoisted the British flag. Old Kampala Hill, therefore, is doubly significant in the history of Uganda. Not only is it the place where a foreign flag was flown on Uganda soil, but it is also the place where attempts were first made to settle disputes within the oldest of all recognized religions in this country.

The top, and undeveloped area, of Old Kampala Hill, which I have personally inspected, covers an area of 12 acres. I do not want the spot where Captain Lugard first raised the British flag to be disturbed in any way, because it is historically very important, and I so direct. Subject to this direction, the Government has donated the whole of the twelve acres of land on Old Kampala Hill to the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council. This will enable the supreme council to build its Headquarters there, housing the Secretariat of the council, and the offices, and perhaps residences of its national leaders, I would also like to have on this land a Mosque and a Jaamiu-Esalaamia which is the highest institution of learning in the Islamic faith, and which I hope in time have braches in other parts of Uganda. The standard of this institution is equivalent to that of a university. This institution will be open to persons from other parts of the world, especially Africa, Asia and Latin America. There are many things to construct on a mere 12 acres of land, but I am sure by constructing buildings of several stories those objectives can be achieved. The Supreme Council will need a good deal of money in order to have these projects realized. Given good organisation, the willingness of Muslims and other persons in Uganda to donate generously, and possibly, assistance from friendly countries, I am sure it will not be too long before we see all these things standing in Old Kampala Hill.

I have played my part in trying to put religious affairs in order. I have done it for the church of Uganda and I have done it for the cause of Islam in this country. With the establishment of the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council, I say to all Moslems in this country; it is all yours. Do not let slip the wonderful opportunities that are to present themselves through the activities of the supreme council. I wish the Uganda Muslim supreme Council all the best in whatever they will do for the benefit of Muslims in Uganda.

This gathering here today is historic, since it unites people in the Muslim faith who could not sit or eat together, or even talk to one another, the Moslems in Uganda were in the past so divided that they cannot do anything but thank God for this brotherhood and unity. All this has been possible because of the power of God, and we must all do everything to maintain this unity in the Moslem faith.
Thank you.

THE 90 MOST INFLUENTIAL MUSLIMS IN UGANDA?

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WHO ARE THE 90 MOST INFLUENTIAL MUSLIMS IN UGANDA? This is the list so far generated from from Ugandan Muslims under the Facebook platform, UMBS, allaihamudulilah.

1. Sheikh Mufti Shaban Mubajje.
2. Supreme mufti Kayongo.
3.Imam Idi Kasozi.
4. Imam Sentongo, Makerere University masjid
5.Dr. Badru Kiggundu, Chairman Electoral Commission.
6.Hajjati Aisha Kabanda, RDC Kampala.
7.Hajji Moses Kigongo, Vice chairman NRM
8.Dr.Ssengendo, Rector IUIU
9. Hajji Abaasi Kawaase Mukasa, former headmaster Kibuli S.S
10. Prince Nakibinje Kakungulu, son of late prince Badru Kakungulu.
12.Sheik Muhamad Musa Daaya, Secretary Elgon Region/ Lecturer at IUIU
13.Erias Lukwago, Lord Mayor Kampala City
14.Sh.Nuhu Muzata
15.Ismail Sulaiman Masaba, NRM Entrepreneurs league. Vice chairperson, Eastern.
16.Sheikh Rajab Kakoza
17.Hajat Hadija Nabukenya, working at Bukedde Tv
18.Sheikh Anas Kaliisa
19.Shiek huzairu kiruta
20. Sheikh Abdulrahman buyundo
21.Muhamadi Yunusu Kamonga
22.Shiek IBRAHIM ASANTE of fast uganda,TORORO
23.Sheikh Walukagga,
24. Muhammand Nsereko
25. Ibrahim Ssemujju Nganda.
26.Sheik issa kato of Arua Masjid
27.Mu’alim Abdallah – Arua,
28.kazibwe Bashir Mbaziira – Pearlfm,
29.Prof. Kiyimba Abbas,Makerere University
30. Sheikh Rwamahe – in Kanungu District
31.HAJJAT AISHA LUBEGA, headmistress Nabisunsa girls school
32.Hassan kirya,
33.Imam kyeyune,
34.shekh Gugwa,
35.Swaleh kigundu,
36.,siragye kawoya
37.Hajji Kibirige BMK
38.Sheik OBED KAMULEGEYA
39.sheikh Abdul Noor kaliisa of pearl fm
40.haji Kisiki Lubyayi, NRM C/M Bukomansimbi district.
41.Shk Amri Hamad,
42. Shk Twaha Lugega In Bwera-kasese, Rwenzori Saad Islamic Inst.
43.shk Kyeswa Ali,
44.shk Mayambala Muhamad,
45.shk Aiman Hussein Katongole
46.Hon. Hussein Kyanjo,
47.Muhammad Mayanja Kibirige,
48.Hajj Ssentongo A.M Kyamundu.
49.ALHAJJI NASSER NTEGE SSEBAGGALA
50.kirunda Ali kiveijinja
51.Namakula Aisha
52.Hajji Aziz Kasujja ,
53. Hajjat Sophia Nantongo ,
54.AlHajji Baswale Kezala, Mayor Jinja
55.H.E Dr Yahyah Semudu
56. LATIFU SEBAGALA,
57.HAMUZA MUWONGE
58.Dr Abdul Kadir Balonde
59.Hajji hassan basajjabalaba
60.Mr Anasi Sssessimba
61.Hajj Ali mugaaga- former hm gombe currently in lubiri ss
62.Hajjat AMINA MAKUMBI,
63.HAJJAT SADAH KASORO
64.Gen.Moses Ali,
65.sheikh Mahad Kakooza
66.sh,khatim nuuman of bugembe islamic
67.sh.sinaan zaid wakinyankaali who is the director theology ,
68.sh.Suphian Muguluma, who is the principal Kakiri Bilal Islamic institute.
69.sh.sekkadde-proprietor of Umar b.a
70.Sh.Amri Hamad.
71. Hajj Mickdad Saad.
72.Hajji Imaam Edirisa Mukakaala
73.Abbey Kibirige Semuwemba, FOUNDER OF UMBS
74.Hajji HARUNA KAAYA MASWANKU -C/M UMSC KAMPALA AND TUTOR KABUKUNGE P.T.C
75.Sheik Nuhu mbogo
76.Asuman Basalirwa— JEEMA president.
78.Hajji Abdukadir Balonde
79.Dr. Ziyadi lubanga
80.Dr Lubanga Mubaraka
81.Shekh Zakaria Wamala,
82.Pendo Sale,
83.Sheikh Zakaria Manzi Sale,
84.Hajj Kitalemire Ayub,
85.Mzee Ibrahim Kitalemire,
86.Imam Mahamood Bwera main msq.
87.Hajji muhammad matovu kankalange ,sembabule
88.sh. Fahad matovu
89.Gen.Jeje Odongo
90.Prince Khalifan Kakungulu

Hajat Azena Kitimbo Balunywa:Sister to Kivejinja and wife to late Balunywa!

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Hajat Azena Kitimbo Balunywa

Hajat Azena Kitimbo Balunywa


By Haji Nsereko Mutumba

Hajat Azena Kitimbo Balunywa was born in 1927 in Bunyantore – Bugweri. Her father was Prince Salim Wandira Munulo and her grandfather was Prince Ibrahim Munulo – one of the eleven Basoga chiefs who ruled what is now Bugweri County in Iganga District.

Her mother was Azeda Matama – Daughter of Mr. Muyirima, son of Baingiire of Baiseigaga (Buffalo) clan in Buyirima – Bugweeri.

Education:

She first went to a sub-grade school in Buniantore and before joining Buseesa Primary School.

She later joined Bhemdha Barclay High School in Iganga. This school had been established purposely to educate Princesses and other girls from well to do families. It was here that she was given a name Mary to match with the Christian environment in which she was studying.

At this stage, a suitor (Mr. Ali Balunywa) from a very prominent family which produced the first Sheikh in Busoga, identified her (a Princess from the Busoga royal family) through family contacts.

In 1945, Azena (the most educated girl in Busoga by then) got married to Mr. Ali Balunywa (the most educated young man in Busoga by then) who had just finished teacher training in Mukono Teachers Training Institute.

Ali Balunywa was a teacher who later became a Town Planning Officer before assuming the powerful office of Administrative Secretary.

Children

She was blessed with eight children:

Four boys and five girls – Muhammad Ndifuna being the eldest

In 1972, Ali Balunywa was picked from the District Commissioner Office in Jinja town by soldiers, put in a car boot and he has never been seen since then.

Hajat Azena recounts her experiences after the disappearance of her husband saying that her brother Kirunda Kivejinja made all attempts to locate the person or the remains but failed. Therefore the late A.W.K Balunywa has no grave.

She says immediately after his disappearance, people were sympathetic but feared to associate with the family and very soon, the family was left on its own.

She had to assume the responsibility of looking after all the over 36 children, both biological and foster including those of her co-wives.

With such a big family, Hajat Azena together with her ‘sisters’, worked very hard to provide for the family and maintain its honour as a family that welcomes people. She is grateful to her brother Kirunda Kivejinja for paying school fees for the Balunywa orphans.

With patience and hard work, Hajat Azena’s efforts paid off when the children started graduating one by one. Today, the family has over twenty eight graduates.

Through her efforts, the family never ran short of food and it never stooped welcoming people in the house.

From the time her husband disappeared, Hajat received and hosted international guests from America, Japan and Europe in her home. She refused to speak English and always communicated with her visitors in lusoga and they were able to understand one another and bond.

According to her brother Hon. Kirunda Kivejinja; “The visitors were interested in knowing more about the two most powerful and influential families in Busoga, especially the people behind them.”

Ali Balunywa’s father by the names of Shk. Juma Waiswa Kinyiri was the first Muslim to be ordained a Sheikh (1947) in the whole of Eastern region.

On the other hand, Hajat Azena was from the family of Prince Ibrahim Munulo, the first person to embrace Islam in Busoga (founder of Islam in Busoga).

Hajat Azena loved children and always spoke out openly to anyone who did wrong regardless of their age. Every child thought he/she was the only one Hajat loved. Her grandchildren and great grandchildren enjoyed living with her. Before she became weak, everybody believed that leaving a child with her was the best thing because she provided both food and discipline.

Hajat was a member of many social groups in which she provided leadership and guidance. Some of the groups were; Mupende Mupendaaje – Njagala Nkwagale (Love me and I love you) and Basooka Kwavula (you first crawl before you walk). These two groups provided her with an opportunity to interact with people and use her knowledge to continue to serve others.

Balunywa Foundation

Among the activities that were in the Balunywa home were youth training activities under the Balunywa Foundation. The foundation was established by young people in the area who said they had been touched by the family under the guidance of Hajat Balunywa.

Every fortnight, the members come to the family compound and undertake some family activities and these included training others in various activities.

Through her initiative, the foundation would also train women and children. Hajji Abdallah Balunywa former LC3 Chairperson has been providing leadership to the young people.

Hajat Balunywa always welcomed this group in the home and she endlessly served meals to them.

Comments

1. Rt. Hon. Kirunda Kivejinja:

“After the disappearance/death of her husband, Princess Hajat Azena was still young and energetic but she never abandoned her husband’s children for another suitor. She instead became a pillar of unity and inspiration in the family. She worked hand in hand with relatives and family friends in efforts to educate and look after all her husband’s children. Her efforts paid off because today, the family has over 28 graduates”

2.Ms. Edith Basalirwa:

Hajat Azena loved and trusted her God. In most of her statements, she would always refer to her God. This teaches us to always love and trust our God.

3.Shakirah Nagujja Kalyango (Grand Daughter)

My Daada (Grandmother) taught me the value of religion. She never missed a prayer at least for the time I have known her. In all that she did, she made sure that Allah came first before anything else.

Balunywa family

On August 23rd 2014, about two weeks before her death, she collected her sisters and they went to have a Dua in Prof. Balunywa’s home in Entebbe. She gave out clothes to her sisters. She also took time in the week before to visit other relatives. She was bidding farewell to them. It was four days later when she fell after Wudhu (Abolution) for the Aswir (Early evening prayers) and breathed her last on 5th September 2014.

Conclusion:

Hajat Azena was a woman of courage and inspiration who loved Islam, respected the institution of marriage, valued her family and welcomed all people.

Despite being a Princess and getting married at a tender age, she co-existed with her co-wives and they lived together in harmony for 42 years as widows.

With her efforts, the family has produced over 28 graduates including professors, doctors and other prominent personalities. One of the most known is Prof. Wasswa Balunywa, the Principal of Makerere University Business School (MUBS). Wasswa Balunywa also served as the Katwikiro of Busoga.

Basing on the above narrative, Princess Hajat Azena to me is a special personality who qualifies to be a Muslim heroine though unsung.

May Allah the Almighty reward her with Janat Firdawusi; Amiina.

The writer is the Public Relations Officer – Uganda Muslim Supreme Council

Tel: 0701409504 or 0772409504

Email: pro_umsc@yahoo.com

MPUGWE SHARIAT ISLAMIC PRIMARY SCHOOL

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Assalaam Alaikum Brothers and Sisters,

Am posting this on request of Brother Jagwe Muhammad.

All former pupils of Mpugwe Shariat Islamic Primary School are called upon for a planning meeting of your reunion day scheduled for 29th Nov. 2014 (Reunion day).

The Planning meeting will take place on 9th Nov. 2014 at Hotel Africana at 2:00pm.

Pliz inform other colleagues.

For more information please contact Jagwe Muhammad – your Chairman on 0772-188120, 0701-033993 or 0752-610660

Will Muslim Leaders ever Survive Political/External Interference?

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By Haji Nsereko Mutumba
Unlike their Catholic and Protestant counterparts, Muslims in Uganda have witnessed their leaders rising to power only to go down as a result of political or external influences like regime changes.
The pace was set during the colonial days when the colonial masters confirmed Prince Nooh Mbogo as the head of Muslims in Uganda yet they were very well aware that his popularity was only in Buganda (Read Abaasimba Obuyisiraamu Mu Uganda Pg. 59-60) by Prince Haji Badru Kakungulu and Dr. A.B.K Kasozi.

When Prince Mbogo tried to exercise his leadership as far as Bunyoro, his official known as Palapande was rejected by the local Mullahs Sadiki and Adam. When the issue reached the office of Omukama Kabalega, he intervened in support of Sadiki and Adam.
Prince Mbogo wrote to the colonial masters seeking their intervention, but the Provincial Commissioner declined referring to the matter as a purely religious issue. Here, we witness the very people who confirmed Mbogo as the leader of Muslims in Uganda denying him the right to administer areas outside Buganda (Bunyoro).
“After Mbogo’s death (1921), the Kabaka, Sir Daudi Chwa, took immediate steps to make sure that the community was put into capable hands. He also moved fast to enable Kakungulu become the leader of the Muslims, taking the initiative to see that the Lukiiko (Parliament of Buganda Kingdom) proclaimed him as such” (Read “The Life of Prince Badru Kakungulu Wasajja” Pg. 62 by Dr. A. B. K Kasozi).

However in 1966, when Mengo Palace was invaded on the orders of Obote, Prince Badru Kakungulu lost his position as leader of Muslims in Uganda because he was seen as part of King Mutesa’s establishment that was threatening Obote’s political ambitions.

Sheikh Swaib Semakula (Sheikh Mukulu) under NAAM was then selected as the Mufti of Uganda with the backing of Obote’s political might.
Sheikh Mukulu’s leadership also lasted as long as the Obote I regime did. When Field Marshal Idi Amin Dada overthrew Obote’s civilian regime through a coup d’etat in 1971, Shk. Mukulu who was supposedly pro Obote abandoned his office.

Amin created the department of Religious Affairs in the President’s Office in order to monitor the activities of religious leaders. He ordered religious leaders from the Islamic, Roman Catholic and Anglican Protestants to go for a conference in Kabale – Kigezi which he said was aimed at resolving all internal differences within these organisations.

In Kabale, it was resolved that there should be a Supreme Council made up of three Muslim representatives from each district to form an organisation that would unite all Muslims in Uganda. As per the conference’s resolutions, Uganda Muslim Supreme Council (UMSC) was created and Sheikh Abdulrazak Matovu was elected as the Chief Kadhi of Uganda.

In 1974, Amin fell out with the UMSC administration and Sheikh Abdulrazak Matovu together with his deputy Shk. Ali Kulumba were dismissed by a commission chaired by Mr. Noah Muhammad on the orders of Amin himself.

At this point, the administration of Islam shifted to State House, Entebbe.
Amin later appointed Sheikh Yusuf Sulaiman Matovu deputized by Shk. Anas Abdunoor Kalisa to replace Maulana Abdulrazak Matovu’s administration.

However, in 1977, an attempt was made on Shk. Yusuf Sulaiman’s life through a suspicious dubious accident. Amin forced him to resign shortly after. It is believed that his comments on the death of Archbishop Janan Luwum angered Amin.

Following this development, Amin took control of Muslim affairs. By 1979, UMSC headquarters had only two defacto leaders in the names of Al Haji Mufanjala and Shk Ahmada Mukasa who were the Secretary General and Secretary for Religious Affairs respectively, and they were acting as Mufti and heads of the entire Muslim administration.
When Julius Nyerere’s Bakombozi (soldiers) overran Amin’s soldiers which resulted in his over throw, Al Haji Mufanjala and Shk. Ahmada Mukasa who were holding key offices at UMSC headquarters also fled leaving a vacuum in Muslim leadership.

To fill this Vaccum, Paul Muwanga together with Shk. Ali Senyonga went to Prince Kakungulu who appointed Sheikh Kassim Mulumba as Ag. Chief Kadhi of Uganda with Shk. Muhammad Ssemakula Shk. Ali Kivumbi as his deputies. This was under the leadership of President Yusuf Lule, Godfrey Binaisa and then after the military commission which was headed by Paul Muwanga who used his influence as the chairman of the military commission to support Kassim Mulumba’s leadership
When UPC won the controversial elections of 1980, the military commission handed over to the elected President by the names of H.E Dr. Milton Apollo Obote. Kassim Mulumba’s leadership also ended with the military commission.

During Obote II regime, Shk. Obeid Kamulegeya was elected by the UMSC General Assembly which sat in Makerere as a Chief Kadhi,deputized by Shk. Anas Kinyiri. Maulana Abdulrazaak Matovu became the Mufti, replacing Sheikh Kassim Mulumba who was a Chief Kadhi/Mufti of Uganda. This leadership had the support of Obote, Chris Rwakasisi, Luwuliza Kirunda and many UPC stalwarts. Historically, NAAM and UPC had a strong bond.

When Tito Okello overthrew the Obote II regime in 1985, the then entire leadership of UMSC ran in disarray leaving all offices empty.
On 26th January 1986, NRA/NRM led by President Museveni took over and found an ongoing reconciliation process which was initiated by the World Muslim League (WML) based in Makkah Saudi Arabia. This reconciliation initiative was being chaired by Mubarak Gasamallah Zeyid, representing WML and they were in their final implementation which was to be done in Makkah. Both representatives of the two opposing groups i.e. one led by Shk. Abdu Obed Kamulegeya and the other led by Shk. Qasim Mulumba had left for Makkah Saudi Arabia at the Headquarters of WML in Makkah on 25th January 1986.

Among the prominent members involved were; Mauwlana Abdulrazak Matovu, Qasim Mulumba, Abdu Obed Kamulegeya, Shk. Abdu Noor Kaliisa, Shk. Isa Khalifa Lukwago, Haji Sulaiman Mutumba, Shk. Zubair Kayongo, Haji Juma Yousuf Walusimbi and Shk. Asumani Mbubi.
They came back with a famous Makkah Agreement which ushered in an interim leadership led by Shk. Hussein Rajab Kakooza as the Chief Kadhi and Shk. Saad Ibrahim Luwemba as the Deputy Chief Kadhi.
Here, we witness a UMSC leadership ushered in not by Muslims of Uganda but by external (Saudi Arabia) influence.

The interim leadership which was put in place by the Makkah Agreement was supposed to last for only one year after which elections were to be held between 7th November and 28th November 1986.
Between 22nd February 1986 and 18th September 1986, UMSC Interim leadership was supposed to amend the 1972 UMSC constitution and to have a new democratically elected leadership put in place in line with the UMSC new amended constitution.
Although Shk. Luwemba was constitutionally elected in the 1987 UMSC elections, he was denied to take over office by the interim leadership led by Shk. Hussein Rajab Kakooza.
Sheikh Luwemba took the matter to court and after a long court battle; he won the case and took office as the Mufti of Uganda in 1991deputised by Shk. Muhammad Semakula. In other words, Shk. Luwemba assumed leadership with the mandate of the Supreme Court.
In 1993, Prof. Kanyeihamba’s commission with support from government tried to bring in Shk. Ahmad Mukasa as the Mufti of Uganda deputized by Shk. Zubair Kayongo – under the Mbarara Declaration. However, this ended in a fiasco.
Sheikh Saad Luwemba held on to the position of Mufti of Uganda until 1997 when he passed on.
His deputy, Shk. Muhammad Ssemakula assumed the position of Ag. Mufti until the year 2000 when nationwide elections from the Mosque level to the national level were held, in which Sheikh Shaban Ramadhan Mubaje was unanimously elected as the universal Mufti of Uganda without any external/political pressure. We thank Hajat Anuna Omar Special Senior Adviser to His Excellency the President on political/Director of Muslim affairs for taking a lead in soliciting for funds from various Muslim organisations and other sources to facilitate the elections. She did all this without vested interests in the elections. Bravo to Hajat Anuna Omar and NRM government.
Sheikh Shaban Ramadhan Mubaje has remained unchallenged as the constitutional head and leader of Muslims in Uganda up to date as stipulated in article 5 of the UMSC Constitution.
It is only the current Mufti who came into office following a formal and historical handover ceremony presided over by President Yoweri Kaguta Museveni on 6th January 2001.
Bravo to NRM government under President Museveni for its clear policy of noninterference in religious affairs and freedom of worship.

In 2012, the current UMSC administration under the leadership of Shk. Shaban Ramadhan Mubaje was able to successfully hold countrywide elections for UMSC structures without any external pressure. This never happened in previous UMSC administrations which were always under political/external pressure.

The duty is now on all of us Muslims to ensure that our leadership does not fall victim to political/external influence or regime change. This can only be achieved if we stick to the teachings of the Holy Quran, Hadith and UMSC constitution, and avoid thinking that external forces can solve our problems.

We have to value discipline within our fraternity, because indiscipline breeds disorder, disorder breeds disorganization, disorganization breeds conflict, conflict breeds chaos. Any chaotic society will never attain development neither will it ever be united.

The writer is the UMSC Public Relations Officer
He can be reached on
Tel: 0701409504 or 0772409504
Email: pro_umsc@yahoo.com

Meet Sheikh Ahmad Mukasa: the man entrusted with the will of Prince Badru Kakungulu!

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Sheikh Ahmad Mukasa Mwasansimbi

Sheikh Ahmad Mukasa Mwasansimbi



By Haji Nsereko Mutumba

Background
Sheikh Ahmad Mukasa Mwasansimbi was born on 25th October 1934 at Kiruruga village, Kakiri Sub Country in Busiiro County (current Wakiso District).

His father was Muwalimu Imam Haji Adam Kasule Salongo of Mende-Bbuga village, Mituba IV parish, Mumyuka Sub County in Busiiro County. He belonged to the “Ngeye clan”. He was the Imam of Mende – Kalema Memorial Mosque.

His Grandfather was Silimu Kalungi Mwamula. He was Prince Nuhu Mbogo’s special laundry man who was superb in scrubbing the Prince’s clothes until they were spot free and bright. This earned him the name Mwamula (brightener).Shk. Ahmad Mukasa’s mother was Amina Namayanja of Mamba (Lung Fish) clan.Sheikh Ahmad Mukasa was born in a family of 8 children; four sons and four daughters. One son died and they remained seven as listed below:

Shk. Ahmad Mukasa, Haji Musa Luzzi – Imam Mende Mosque, Haji Kibirige Mayanja (Founder and Chairman of Justice Forum), Mastula Nalule – Wife to Shk. Muhammad Ismail Matovu (O.B to Shk. Ahmad Mukasa), Aisha Nanfuka, Khadijah Nabunya and Fatuma Nakitto.

His first teacher was his father Muwalimu Imam Adam Kasule. He taught him the Holy Quran and gave him other Islamic lessons.
At the age of six, Ahmad Mukasa had read and covered five Juzus (sections) of the Holy Quran courtesy of his father.

In 1946, he joined Sekabaka Nuhu Kalema Memorial Primary School (Where King Kalema was buried) and he was placed under the supervision of Shk. Ali Kulumba who was the then Twale Sheikh of Busiiro County (Now Wakiso District).

In 1948, he finished reading all the chapters of the Holy Quran and Shk. Ali Kulumba is the one who performed the prayers for completing the Quran (Oku’Khatimisa/Kufumba Quran) which involved slaughtering a goat. The young Ahmad Mukasa also received Hijaza (blessings) from Shk. Ali Kulumba.

In 1950, Ahamad Mukasa finished primary six and immediately joined Katuumu Madrasatul Nahwa Al-Islamiyya founded by Shk. Swaib Semakula (Shk. Mukulu). His principle teachers were Shk. Buruhan Semakula and Shk. Mahmood Katende.

In 1954, he reached the level of Muwalimu (Islamic Teacher) and he started teaching at Mende Kalema Primary School and serving as the Imam Mende Kalema Memorial Mosque concurrently.

In 1958, he was appointed atwale Sheikh for Busiiro County.
In 1961, he together with 46 fellow students were ordained Sheikhs at a colourful function presided over by Prince Badru Kakungulu the then Muslim leader.

They were ordained (Okusibwa Ebitambaala) by Shk. Sharif Haddad of Nakasero, Shk. Swaib Semakula and Shk. Muhammad Yakuubu Lubowa at Kibuli Mosque.

Among those ordained on that day were: Shk. Muhammad Ismail Matovu of Ttamu – Singo, Shk. Jafer Bakaaki of Busoga, Shk. Muhammad Wamala of Kooki, Shk. Ibrahim Sebirumbi of Kirwazza – Bulemezi, Shk. Zubair Bakari, Shk. Abdumajid Norman of Namasumbi etc.

In 1964, Shk. Mukasa was spotted as a brilliant Islamic theological teacher by Prince Badru Kakungulu Patron UMEA, Ramadhan Gava Secretary General UMEA and Haji Juma Babinsibire who was UMEA schools Inspector, and appointed to teach at Kibuli S.S.

Between 1958 to 1966, we see Shk. Mukasa as an Imam of Mende Kalema Memorial Mosque, a teacher at Mende Kalema Primary School, a supervisor of Muslim schools in Busiiro Twale, a Twale Sheikh as well as an adult student of Katuumu Madrasatul Nahwa Al-Islamiyya pursuing studies to qualify as a full Sheikh and a teacher at Kibuli S.S.

Between 1964 and 1968, among the students he taught at Kibuli S.S were Badru Kateregga (Now Professor and Proprietor of Kampala University) and Munyagwa (now Medical Doctor – Dentist).

He was appointed the Imam of Kibuli Mosque by Prince Badru Kakungulu and he served in this position from 1966 to 1972.

On 1st June 1972, Sheikh Ahmad Mukasa was appointed Secretary for Religious Affairs in the newly formed Uganda Muslim Supreme Council thereby becoming the pioneer officer in this position. He served in this position from 1972 to 1993 thereby becoming the longest UMSC Secretary for Religious Affairs under leadership of Maulana Abdul Razak Matovu who was the first chief Kadhi to Mufti Shk. Ibrahim Saad Luwemba.

Meanwhile, while teaching at Kibuli, he enrolled for an English correspondence course at Makerere University until 1980. He attained an equivalent of Senior IV.

When the liberation war started in 1980, Shk. Ahmad Mukasa migrated to Nakaswa in Mukono where he stayed with Shk. Obeid Kamulegeya until 1986 when the war was over.

He returned and resumed teaching at Mende Kalema Secondary School until 1993 when he was elected Interim Mufti of Uganda in the Mbarara unity conference chaired by Prof. George W. Kanyeihamba, a decision which was challenged by the then Mufti of Uganda Shk. Ibrahim Saad Luwemba who was at the UMSC Headquarters Old Kampala and Sheikh Mukasa with his management established his headquarters at Kibuli.

He served in this capacity until the year 2000 when he handed over to the duly universal elected Mufti of Uganda Shk. Shaban Ramadhan Mubaje.

Sheikh Mukasa is the one who swore in the Mufti of Uganda Sheikh Shaban Ramadhan Mubaje and handed over the keys of office to him on 1st January 2001 at a colourful ceremony presided over by His Excellency the President of Uganda Gen. Yoweri K. Museveni.

In 2001, Sheikh Mukasa was one of the four man delegation that met the then Libyan Leader Col. Gaddafi in Sirti and Benghazi to negotiate the construction of the National Mosque. The delegation was led by His Eminence the Mufti of Uganda Shk. Shaban Ramadhan Mubaje. The other members were Haji Serugo Kasenene and Shk. Anas Sesimba.

In 2013, he was elected Chairman of Kibuli based Muslim Community. Early this year (February 2014), Shk. Ahmad Mukasa was elected Shk. Islam by Kibuli Muslim Community members led by Prince Kassim Nakibinge.

Sheikh Mukasa once served as the Young Men Muslim Association Deputy Asst. Secretary General. This youth group of elite Muslims is based at Kibuli with its Patron Prince Badru Kakungulu.
He is a signatory to the constitution of the recently registered Uganda Muslim Community of Kibuli.

Achievements:
After completing his studies at Katuumu, Shk. Ahmad Mukasa embarked on constructing a new Mosque and New Classrooms at Mende. He later established Mende Kalema Muslim Secondary School.

During his tenure as Twale Sheikh of Busiiro County, Shk. Ahmad Mukasa over saw the establishment of a Mosque and a School in each of the eight Sub-Counties in Busiiro Twale (County).These Include Kyebando Muslim Primary School and Mosque, Entebbe Kitubulu Muslim Primary School and Mosque, Kasanje Primary School and Mosque, Kambe Muslim Primary School and Mosque (at Naddangira), Kyengeza Muslim Primary School and Mosque, Kiroro Muslim Primary School and Mosque, Kajansi (Bweya) Primary School and Mosque among others.

These schools and Mosques have given birth to many others in different parts of Busiiro County, Buganda, and Uganda at large.
As a parent, Shk. Ahmad Mukasa put into action what he preaches by educating both his sons and daughters to higher levels.

He also paid school fees for his young brother – now Haji Muhammad Kibirige Mayanja Founder president of JEEMA and currently chairman of the same party.

Sheikh Mukasa was entrusted with the will of Prince Badru Kakungulu which he kept for more than 13 years.He was also appointed one of the Guardians to Prince Kassim Nakibinge alongside Rev. Polycarp Kakooza, Abubakar Kakyaama Mayanja, Dr. Sulaiman Kiggundu, Shk. Muhammad Semakula and others.Surprisingly, the will we have talked about was a single copy which was never challenged by anybody.

A Darasah which he started in 1980 in the Mosques of Bwaise, Alidina, Wakiso and Mende have produced very articulate and renowned Sheikhs. One of them is Sheikh Edirisa of Mulago. This Darasa is now concentrated at his home in Mende.

While serving as Interim Mufti, Shk. Ahmad Mukasa held several meetings aimed at uniting Muslim leaders in Uganda.“In 2000, I defied my colleagues who included Shk. Obeid Kamulegeya, Shk. Zubair Kayongo and Shk. Kulumba and decided to endorse the 2000 UMSC Elections as well as officially handing over to the duly elected Mufti of Uganda Shk. Shaban Ramadhan Mubaje. I made this painful decision in the name of Muslim unity in Uganda” Shk. Ahmad Mukasa told the author.

Another special attribute about Shk. Ahmad Mukasa is that he focused on developing his home area, something that many Muslim leaders have failed to do.

Comments:
1.Sheikh Shaban Ramadhan Mubaje (The Mufti of Uganda):
Sheikh Ahmad Mukasa is someone who respects his age and status. I have never heard him utter any word of abuse whatsoever, be it against me or any other person. I must also add that he is the one who swore me into the office of the Mufti of Uganda. Shk. Mukasa is indeed a role model.
2.Mr. Kibirige Mayanja:

Shk. Mukasa has been the pillar of our family for all the time. He is the one who educated us his brothers and sisters right from primary to university. He also educated children who are not family members. This was all in addition to his biological children who are over 30 in number.He has been a devoted teacher in various schools which include Mende Islamic Primary and Secondary and Kibuli S.S.
At Kibuli, he was not only a teacher but also at the forefront of formulating the National Syllabus for Islamic Religious Education for O and A level classes.

The syllabus became examinable by the East African examination council and the then Uganda National Examination Board.
He has devoted much of his life to Muslim education. He is one of the few Sheikhs if not the only Sheikh who decided to upgrade his own secular education and religious education. He can now be compared to someone holding a master’s degree.

He inspired me, taught me at home, paid my school fees at Taamu Madrasa school belonging to Shk. Muhammad Matovu his OB at Katuumu where I stayed for three years and then taught me in class at Kibuli from S.I to S VI.

He is a very hardworking man and he has been successful in all activities that he has involved himself in.He is a successful farmer and he personally takes part in digging and looking after his animals.He is one Sheikh who has devoted his life to teaching and self-education. He loves education very much to the extent that he was able to learn English and sharpen his Arabic language through self-education.

While serving as the Twale Sheikh for Busiiro County (Wakiso), he traversed the whole county using a bicycle as his means of transport.

3.Sheikh Abubakar Musoke (Former Private Secretary to His Eminence Chief Kadhi of Uganda 1972-74, former principal of Bilal Islamic Institute, a holder of 1st class Sharia Degree from Madina University, a master’s degree student of peace and conflict resolution – IUIU as well as a prominent Muslim Cleric).

‘Sheikh Ahmad Mukasa has always been a straight forward person. He respects himself and his adherents. Despite serving in various capacities, he has no dark spot. He is an educationist.

4.Shk. Nkangi Ibrahim (former District Kadhi – West Buganda, one of the founder members of UMSC and currently Senior Special adviser to His Eminence Mufti)
Sheikh Ahmad Mukasa is the one who initiated me into Muslim leadership. This happened when he was the Twale Sheikh of Busiiro County. He put me in charge of Muslim education in the whole of Busiiro County (Wakiso District).

He is also my teacher. I attended his Darasas and I benefited a lot as a Sheikh and Muslim leader. He still conducts Darasas at his home.
He loves education a lot and he has educated most of his children to high levels.

When he was the UMSC Secretary for Religious Affairs, Shk. Mukasa was a very good administrator to the extent that he efficiently handled issues brought my District Kadhis without bothering the Mufti.

He is someone who eats out of his hard work. He gets hold of a hoe and goes digging in alongside his family members. He is very disciplined, gentle, straight forward and diplomatic in his approach. He respects himself and others.

Marital Status:
Sheikh Ahmad Mukasa is married with four wives listed below:
· Sauda Nasuuna – 1954
· Sarah Namakula
· Madina Nalwadda
· Madina Nakyobe

Children and Grand Children
Sheikh Ahmad Mukasa has over 50 children, Grand Children and Great Grand Children.He ensured that his children get proper education. Those who heeded to his call got the required education.Some of them are listed below with their education qualifications.
1. Hajji Muhammad Mayanja Kibirige
2. Hajat Hawa Nakubulwa
3. Hajat Aminah Nakalitta Namayanja
Remarks:
My father is a progressive man. At a time when, to most parents, male children were superior to their female counterparts, Dad ensured that his daughters were as well if not better educated than his sons. During the war when funds were scarce, he halted the progress of our brothers’ education but never the girls.
“Educate a girl/woman educate a nation”
May the Almighty Allah Grant him and his family the best in life and the hereafter.
(Janah Firdaus Ameen)
4. Hajji Noordeen Mpanga Kalule

Remarks:
He has always been there for me, for us all without discrimination. We discuss everything with him. In fact we call him Chairman. He is a wonderful Dad. The best gift he has given to all of us his sons and daughters is education. I see him not only as my father but a friend.
My father is one of those special people who eats what he grows by his own hands. In other words, he eats from his sweat. He is a very hardworking and foresighted father who weighs every word that he utters. Above all, he does not ask for favours.

5. Ass. Prof. Dr. Umar Ahmed Kasule

Remarks:
Dad is an orderly, principled, patient and dedicated person who taught me hard work with patience.

6. Mayanja Muhammad Junior

7. Ibrahim Kakande Mukasa

8. Hindu Namuga

9. Nakande Leillah

10. Idrisa Kalungi Mukasa

11. Mustafa Ahmed Kawooya

12. Rashida Nakayiza Ssejjoba

13. Hajji Hamza Ssebunya

14. Hajat Hajarah Nantaba Walusimbi

15. Nalule Masitula

16. Twaha Ahmed Kasule

17. Aidah Bamboola Mukasa

18. Hadijah Nabunya Mukasa

19. Hajat Faridah Nakawooya Lukwago

20. Abdallah Ahmed Kasule

21. Ahmed Kabuye

22. Nattabi Mariam Mukasa

Remarks:
The Holy Qur’an says that every child should appreciate his parents every hour. SURA AL-ISRA. Our beloved Dad we appreciate you every hour of how you groomed us. And I pray to the Almighty Allah to reward you abundantly

23. Hanifah Nagayi Mukasa

24. Adinan Ahmed Gayi

25. Counsel Kalule Ahmed Mukasa

26. Nakito

27. Joweria Rahma Nakubulwa

28. Mpanga Yasin Bin Ahmed

29. Sheikh Ismael Kibirige

30. Nakalitta Jauhara Mukasa

31. Sheikh Kasim Mwasa

32. Erias Mukasa

33. Zubedda Nabayimbazi

34. Hussein Kafero Mukasa

35. Noor Naluze Mukasa

36. Hamza Sali Mukasa

37. Uthman Buyungo

38. Sheikh Mahmood Serwanga

GRAND SONS AND GRAND DAUGHTERS OF SHIEKH AL-ISLAM AHMED MUKASA

1. Ahmed Ssempebwa Kakyama

2. Eisah Kakyama Mayanja

3. Sauda Mayanja Kayama

4. Nakayiza Rashida

5. Umar Sozi

6. Huzaifah Kasule

7. Nanfuka Aisha

Sheikh Al Islam Ahmad Mukasa Mwasansimbi is retired at his home in Mende. He has continued to be an active farmer. He has two Eucalyptus forests comprising of over 12000 trees. This is in addition to coffee plantations, banana plantations and many other food crops.

During my last interview with him, he prepared for me Matooke and beans (Akatogo) which was very delicious. All these came from his garden.

He and his family were busy constructing a family mosque which they want to complete before his 80th birthday which falls on 25th October 2014.

Conclusion
I conclude by saying that Sheikh Ahmad Mukasa is a gentleman and a dedicated religious leader. He preaches in a wise and well measured manner. He is among the few Sheikhs who have never used abusive or vulgar language in his preaching. I first had his preaching in 1971on radio Uganda following the overthrow of Obote I. I found his preaching very educative and inspiring.

One of the factors that held back the progress of Muslims in Uganda was illiteracy. Sheikh Mukasa realized this and throughout his life, he believed in education and promoted it starting with himself and his family.

According to a Turkish Muslim scholar Fethulla Gulen, ‘real’ life is possible only through knowledge, those who neglect learning and teaching are considered “dead” even though they are still alive for we were created to learn and to communicate what we have learned to others.

Basing on the above statement, Shk. Ahmad Mukasa Mwasansimbi is not among the dead. He is alive by his deeds.

This distinguished Sheikh will clock 80 years of age on 25th Oct 2014. Happy birthday to you Sheikh Al Islam Mwasansimbi and many happy returns.

He is a Sheikh worth his title and an elder worth his age. Indeed Sheikh Ahmad Mukasa is a Muslim hero though unsung.

The writer is the Public Relations Officer – Uganda Muslim Supreme Council
Tel: 0701409504 or 0772409504

“The Graduation Party Last Night”:Some lessons for Muslims inishallah

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Abbey Kibirige Semuwemba

Abbey Kibirige Semuwemba


Assalamu alaikum. I suppose it would be nice to begin at the beginning but I’m not really sure where that would be. Last night I went to a party here in the UK thrown by a mutual doctor-friend. At home before the party, I showered away the day’s stress and began changing clothes. I wanted to look a bit nice for the occasion because you never know when you will be called to speak to people.So I pulled out a new shirt-sweater I recently bought from NEXT and my good slacks. A little styling gel for my short hair and a splash of cologne and I felt like a Kibuli S.S student again.

It took me a few minutes to find my shoes; it always does.They needed a good polish but I knew I was probably taking too long as it was so I headed out the door.

I got in a taxi i had called earlier since i didn’t know where i was going. As we pulled in to the parking lot of the hall behind the big church where the party was taking place, it seemed odd that the space wasn’t full of cars. Usually when this Ugandan doctor throws a party the whole block is full. Instead only two or three cars were there. I wondered if perhaps I wasn’t so late after all. Yes, most Ugandans never keep time, for some reason.I could hear muffled music from inside. So, i wandered inside the hall way.

I smiled to myself as I saw my long time friend,Johnson, whom we went together to the same university for both undergraduate and postgraduate, pulling some chairs and doing last minute touches for the expected visitors.Johny, as i usually call him, always was a little strange, but we call each other ‘brothers’ despite the fact that he is not a Muslim and we aren’t blood related. The fact is he is so loyal to almost all his friends, and i admire him for this.

After a few moments, my doctor-friend saw me, rushed to greet me at the door and ushered me in. He immediately got me a Mirinda drink since they all know that I’m a Muslim and I don’t drink alcohol.

“Abbey, buddy! Good to see you. We were starting to wonder if you’d make it.”

“Yeah,I had to do some little bit of baby sitting,” I lied. “But I’m here now. My better half wont come because she’s at work.”

The party was more like a big gathering of a lot of educated Ugandans(PHDs and whatever), and it didn’t take long for my Doctor-friend to introduce me to almost all the guests. Some people I knew from previous parties. The rest I assumed were work acquaintances of the doctor. He particularly introduced me to one Ugandan who is a member of Ugandan at Heart(UAH) forum, and I’ve always loved his arguments on Facebook, called Rev. Amos Kasibante.

A strange smile came over his face when he was told that I’m Abbey Semuwemba.

‘Are you sure this is Abbey Semuwemba?’, he asked

I said,’ I’m the one, Reveland……what did you expect?’, I hastily reaffirmed.

‘My God, I thought Abbey Semuwemba was an old and very tall man based in Kampala. You don’t write like a young man,ssebo’,………..you stopped writing for newspapers,why?”, he was asking all sorts of questions.

The doctor left us and then returned to his drink as a work buddy called him over. I continued talking to the Reveland for a while. Amos has done quite well for himself.He is tall and slender with the kind of features that land you on magazine covers if you are lucky. At first glance he appears to be an old skinny weakling,but one handshake will convince you otherwise.His picture on Facebook makes me him look a bit young, though.

He knew about the Muslim online forum, UMBS, and he was envious of how Muslims fill up their mosques to the full on Fridays here in the UK compared to the young Christians in this country. He told me how he came to the UK; how he studied law with the likes of Mr.Robert Kabushenga(Newvision) and Mr.Jacob Olanya(Deputy Speaker) at Makerere university before he got a scholarship to come to the UK, and how he is surprised that they are now working for the government they hated so much at the time. He told me about the student protests that Mr.Olanya was involved in while still at campus that almost made him a cripple.

We talked about education in Uganda and how its a shame that the standards in Kibuli S.S have declined recently. He asked me what Muslims are planning to do about it, and my answer was a big ‘I don’t know’.

Because his churches are almost empty on Sunday, they are planning to have various activities taking place there. He didn’t tell me the exact activities, but he confirmed that both the two churches he runs have got halls attached to them for conferences or big occasions(which isn’t the case with our mosques here and in Kampala). He asked me to help him get people to hire these halls.

This made me a bit sad because we recently posted information on UMBS forum about the planned first conference in Kampala, with a budget of averagely shs.9m. But to my surprise, only two people have so far wired mobile money totaling just shs.2,4000 to the lady in Kampala:00256-757521376.We wish the conference to be held in December this year but few members here are even enthusiastic about it. Nobody has pledged anything at all, and that is mind boggling, to say the least!

Most of you here are capable of contributing at least shs.100,000 to help this event take place almost every year. Please contribute money, after all, its not technically ‘your’ money but Allah’s. He can take it away from you if he wants. Let me leave you with a food for thought from caliph Ali.

“Four things in life kill the soul; incessant sinning, arguing with fools, excessive dallying with women, and keeping company with the dead. Who are the dead, command of the faithful? Ali’s companions asked, all those mered in luxury, he answered.”

Luxury which is generally defined as extravagant living is closely tied to being materialistic. Being immersed in materialism is a disease of the heart because one tends to put their material possessions and physical comfort over their own spiritual values. It becomes even more difficult as you earn more money in your life.One is more susceptible to become arrogant as he/she falls into a higher socioeconomic status.

Anyway, as my grandfather used to say: ‘ekiisinga obulungi mubigambo. Kyeyo ekiiba nga kiitono naye nga kiiyina amakulu gekiitegeza’. Wassalam



Abbey Kibirige Semuwemba

Stalk my blog at: http://semuwemba.com/

Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/semuwemba

Join me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/abbey.k.semuwemba

HOW TO MAKE THE UMBS YOUTH CONFERENCE A REALITY?

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Assalamu alaikum.

All ideas(conference, mosque meetings, camping) so far gathered on the forum are good, not bida and well explained. What we need now is to make them happen. This is the challenge and its gonna need some people to stand up to be counted. One of the biggest weaknesses we have got on this forum is that we conceive ideas but fail to bring them to reality.One of the key characteristics about people who are movers and shakers in this world is they identify an opportunity and they take act on it right away(they don’t waste time). Not necessary monetarily (for profit), but because they understand that if no one else in the world does it then mankind is potentially at a huge loss.

We all get ideas from somewhere, and this reminds me one of the quotes of Imam Bukhari (R.A), one of the greatest hadith collectors in the history of Islam:

“There was once a time during one of our sessions when my teacher Ishaaq Ibn Rahway remarked it would be appreciated if someone could collect hadith which held strong and reliable testimonials and wrote them in the form of a kitaab.”

That’s a perfect example of someone who heard an idea and was able to execute on it. Imam Bukhari didn’t just sit around and let the opportunity pass, there was intense work ethic and determination throughout his life. He invested his time and energy to reach that goal. Which is why his collection called Sahih al-Bukhari is one of six major books on hadith till this day. He was blessed with amazing memory and that obviously played a role. He worked on the final collection for over 16 years! Subhan’Allah.

Now transitioning to the bread and butter of this post, I think a UMBS youth conference should be our starting point. What we need are the following, and we need people to make pledges as soon as Brother Ahmed Wetaka posts the budget. I know I will pledge some items inishallah, and it will be good to see the budget sorted out by us here on the forum ASAP:

1.A committed Ahmed Wetaka team in Kampala is obviously needed;

2.Speakers: what speakers have you go in mind, how do we approach them? I have already suggested some names in the previous post, but its up to the Wetaka team;

3.Financial:The Wetaka team should make and avail the budget to UMBS members inishallah. Added 10% contingency? Who is looking after the supplier payments/contracts?

4. Delegate Information: They will need to have information to send to the delegates to ensure they know where the event is being held/the timings/brief outline of the day/delegate registration and importantly what are they leaving with the delegates to ensure they remember the day. This is where the idea of UMBS t-shirts, online video, and DVDs come in.

5. Warm-up Sessions: Many events start with a warm-up session to break the ice/introduce the day. Who will chair the session/how will it be facilitated?

6.Technical Equipment: Will they order all the necessary technical equipment? Will we need power point?

7.General, and this may include:

- catering

- delegate registration

- accommodation information( if anybody from abroad is coming as one of the speakers)

- audio visual facilities

- decoration

- break-out room requirements, e.t.c

Now, I presume we have all got the INTENTION, TIME, DEDICATION, PASSION…..What is remaining is to listen to the people here who are WISE to get their ideas out of them. If you are ready to step up to the plate and fill a void in society then make moves like a Museveni on a 7th term. Just make sure those moves land you in Jannah! insh’Allah.

I will end with some lines from the Quran:

{ Those who spend their wealth (in Allâh’s Cause) by night and day, in secret and in public, they shall have their reward with their Lord. On them shall be no fear, nor shall they grieve. } Qur’an 2: 274

Wa’salaam Yo.

Abbey Kibirige Semuwemba
abbeysemuwemba@gmail.com

Dubai Produces World’s First ‘Halal’ Wine

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Responding to demands of the Gulf Emirate luxurious residents, a Dubai company has announced the launch of the world’s first ever “halal” fizzing wine that includes a “24-carat edible gold leaf” with zero alcohol.
DubaiProduces-Worlds-First-Halal-Wine

Lussory Gold is “an alcohol-removed halal sparkling wine” – and that the gold leaf “rises and falls in rhythm with the wine’s bubbles,” Lootah Premium Foods was quoted by Emirates 24/7 newspaper.

The wine, from the vineyards of La Mancha, Spain, is “made in the exact same way as regular wine or champagne,” the food and drink firm said.

“Lussory is a 100 per cent halal product with 0.0 per cent alcohol content.”

Islam takes an uncompromising stand in prohibiting intoxicants. It forbids Muslims from drinking or even selling alcohol.

The general rule in Islam is that any beverage that gets people intoxicated when taken is unlawful, both in small and large quantities, whether it is alcohol, drugs, fermented raisin drink or something else.

Saudis risk new Muslim division with proposal to move Mohamed’s tomb

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One of Islam’s most revered holy sites – the tomb of the Prophet Mohamed – could be destroyed and his body removed to an anonymous grave under plans which threaten to spark discord across the Muslim world.The controversial proposals are part of a consultation document by a leading Saudi academic which has been circulated among the supervisors of al-Masjid al-Nabawi mosque in Medina, where the remains of the Prophet are housed under the Green Dome, visited by millions of pilgrims and venerated as Islam’s second-holiest site. The formal custodian of the mosque is Saudi Arabia’s ageing monarch King Abdullah.

tomb

When I mentioned this issue of the plans to redesign the Mecca and Medina mosques a few months ago on this forum, it raised a lot of dust on this forum. I was challenged to produce the evidence that the “arrogant” Saudi Arabia leadership was planning to tamper with the resting place of our beloved Prophet, I gave up. How on earth can one expect a soul so many miles away from Saudi Arabia, and moreover not even a sheikh to be in possession of such evidence?

My argument then and now still remains that no one should take up the right to destroy any evidence of our religion. I find the argument put forward by our Saudi Islamic scholars to remove the Prophet’s body from his resting place so as to prevent believers from committing shirk very shallow and ill-intentioned. It is as if ALLAH has given these people the power to look into other people’s mind and see who performs shirk or not. In my simple mind I think those scholars are mad and need psychiatric help.

Anyone who has been to Medina during Umra and Haj can bear witness what kind of feeling overwhelms you even by mere entering the city of Madina al munawara. This feeling is partly due to the anticipation of visiting the tomb of the greatest man who ever lived on earth, The Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). I would not agree for even a second that such an overwhelming feeling amounts to shirk. If get something feeling before meeting a President of a country, what about the greatest man of all times?

The Saudi Arabia authorities should only concern with themselves what is physically manifest. They are already doing enough to prevent any Muslim from praying near the tomb or besides the tomb. Everything is already camouflaged that a lay Muslim can not even spot where the grave is. What more do they want from the Muslim global community? And it is not for the Saudis to be the controller of mankind. Soon those “self-styled all knowing” will be suggesting that people are praising the Kaba instead of ALLAH so let us destroy the Kaba to prevent people from committing shirk. Sometimes our scholars take the argument of shirk too far that they end up delving into gray areas that they themselves don’t understand and the knowledge of which is with ALLAH. Hope those guys are not in cohorts with those who want to destroy the Al-Aqsa Mosque. Something just does not smell right here.

I don’t think that the most holy or knowledgeable persons about Islam are only found in Saudi Arabia. By not consulting other Muslim scholars all over the world is taking Muslims for granted and abusing the trust, and by the way which trust nobody gave them in the first place. They should should appreciate/accept that man’s understanding/knowledge has a limit and leave our Prophet rest in peace. If they want they should cordon off the area around his tomb but leave ALLAH’s Prophet alone untill ALLAH decides to call an end to this world.

Our Prophet is our number one evidence of our religion. Other religions such as Christianity and Judaism don’t have this kind of powerful evidence.

ALLAH knows bests.

Typos, omissions and errors expected; please correct them.

-DR.IBRAH SENDAGIRE

Look out for the “UMBS T- shirts” at the Camp!

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Salam brothers and sisters,

This year we would like UMBS members to organise some kind of camping or hanging out for our youths on the forum. We all have heard over our lives from our parents and from elders whom we respect that “the youth are the leaders of tomorrow” and essentially they are the driving force to the contribution of making a better society.

Since I live in the UK, we are hoping that Brothers Ahmed Wetaka and Kawumah Muhammad would help us form a team to steer this inishallah. We will contribute some few crates of sodas inishallah after seeing the numbers that have registered. Their contacts are:

Ahmed Wetaka: awetaka@yahoo.com.
Kawumah: kawumah.muhammad@facebook.com, +254 704 277684

They can organise the registration, venue and all the things they think will take our youths to another level inishallah. Actually it would be a good idea if we could do this every year inishallah.

I have a few ideas in regards to this year’s theme: “REFOCUSING THE ISLAMIC IMAGE”. But I will leave it to you, members, and the Wetaka team to fry your brains over this inishallah. However, In this day and age, almost every individual has heard about Islam, whether it is from the news, newspaper, or from the internet, we see it being talked about at different mediums but clearly the image has been distorted. Much work must be done to revitalize the message of Islam and collective responsibility from all Muslims must be considered.

The idea of camping is to get you, guys, away from home, release your stress with over a hundred brothers, go pray in the middle of the forest or anywhere you will choose, go crazy, but keep it halal, be a man, and oh ya, we want you to have a good time.

The organisers should make this hot, avail their programs to the members in advance, probably organize a football game at the end of the camping. Invite Muslim companies to serve them halal entertainment, food,……… for the whole duration of the camping.Yes, we want only halal stuff…In a narration, the Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him & give him eternal peace) described the consumption of Haram food as the main cause for the non-acceptance of supplications (dua).

He (Allah bless him & give him peace) mentioned a man having journeyed far, is dishevelled and dusty and who spreads out his hands to the sky (saying): O Lord! O Lord! – While his food is Haram, his drink is Haram, his clothing is Haram, and his nourishment is Haram, so how can his dua be answered! (Sahih Muslim).

We should organise to have tons of prominent scholars to speakers such as imam Kasozi, Lord Mayor Erias Lukwago, Prof. Abasi Kiyimba,Dr.Nasur Muwonge(about health), and others, to speak to the youths inishallah.

Then finally, someone should upload the whole thing online for those who can’t make it this year.

I also suggest that we find a way to sell UMBS T-shirts to the youths attending. The money for the T-shirt should be part of the registration fees inshallah.

I don’t know how you wanna do it with the sisters being part of it………..but the most important thing here is to watch out for shataan movement, put your haraam radar on, and be prepared to look down.As our beloved Prophet Muhammad(saw) said ” The Messenger of Allah (Allah bless him and give him peace) told us,“Allah is Pure, and accepts only the pure.” [Related by Muslim and Tirmidhi]

Inshallah Allah swt help guide us and help us in this pig society and give us the strength to become better Muslims.

PLEASE THROW SOME IDEAS ON THIS AND MAKE IT HAPPEN SOON INISHALLAH!

Haji Eng. Younus Balitema Kajubi Mpagi:one of the founders of the Banakyewa (Volunteers) Group during Shk. Kassim Mulumba’s reign!

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Haji Eng. Younus Balitema Kajubi Mpagi

Haji Eng. Younus Balitema Kajubi Mpagi


By Haji Nsereko Mutumba
Younus Mpagi was born on 15th April, 1937 at Mikoni Village Sabaddu in Buwunga Sub County, Masaka County (District). His father was Muwalimu Ali Kajubi of Nsenene (Grasshopper) clan, and his mother was Hajat Nalongo Aziza Nagujja of Njovu (Elephant) clan. In his early days, he got Islamic education from his father who was a prominent Muwalimu. He managed to read and complete the Holy Quran and other relevant Islamic books. He was therefore a knowledgeable Muslim. He first went to school at Bwaala Primary school where he studied from P. 1 to P.4 before joining Kabukunge Primary School for P.5 and P.6. He then joined Kibuli for Jr.I and later Aggrey for Jr.II. He joined King’s College Budo in 1955 with the help of the late Prince Badru Kakungulu and in 1957; he completed the Cambridge School Certificate. He went to Howard University, Washington, D.C where he graduated in 1966 with a BSc. Degree in Electrical Engineering. He did his Industrial Training in 1968 at AEI, Trafford, Manchester and Gravesend – UK.

Other Courses Attended:
• Financial management and Tariff course sponsored by World Bank – 1987
• Project Planning and Management sponsored by U.N – 1987

Eng. Younus Mpagi a Civil Servant
In 1968-69, Younus Mpagi served as an Assistant Engineer in Uganda Electricity Board (UEB), responsible for the supervision of work on the Kampala District’s 132KV, 33KV, 11KV and low voltage networks. From 1969-71, Younus was appointed the UEB Kampala District Manager responsible for the management of the Board’s largest District in the country. During this period, he also served as Acting Regional Engineer UEB Northern and Western Uganda. He later became the Regional Engineer in charge of Central Region comprising of the Districts of Kampala, Lugazi, Bombo, Entebbe and Mityana. He was also responsible for the 132KV Kabulasoke Primary Sub-station controlling Masaka and Western Region feeders. He served in this position from 1971 to 1972. From 1972 to 1994, Eng. Younus served as the Chief Commercial Engineer/Project Coordinator – UEB before being appointed UEB Deputy Project Manager – Owen Falls Dam Extension Project, a position he held until the year 2000.

Other Responsibilities
• Vice President: Uganda Institute of Professional Engineers (1977-90)
• Member, Board of Governors: Uganda Polytechnic – Kyambogo (1981-91) • Chairman, Building and Sub-Committee: Uganda Red Crosss (1981-89)
• Chairman, Standards and Regulations Committee: UIPPE (1988-90)
• Council Member: Uganda National Bureau of Standards (1988-89)
• Member: Engineers’ Registration Board (1988-91)
• Chairman: Kampala District Land Board (2004-2010)
• Member, Board of Directors: Public Procurement and Disposal Authority (2003-2010)
• Member, Board of Directors: CBS (2002-2008)
• Member, Technical Committee: CBS (1995-2008)
• Chairman, Board of Directors: Uganda Motors Limited (1980-83)
• Member, Board of governors: Uganda Technical College – Masaka (1988-95)

Contribution to Islam
Haji Eng. Younus Mpagi served Islam in different capacities and different institutions as follows;
• Deputy Chairman: National Mosque (UMSC Headquarters – Old Kampala) Construction Committee
• Member, Executive Committee: UMSC (1980-2009)
• Vice Chairman, Board of Governors: Kibuli Teacher Training College (1970-77)
• Deputy Chairman, Board of Governors: Nabisunsa Girls School (1972-81) • Deputy Chairman, Founder Committee Member: Islamic University in Uganda Project (1980-88)
• Chairman Board of Governors: Kololo High School (1980-90)
• Member, Board of Governors: Kampala Muslim Primary School (1986-90) • Member, University Council: Islamic University in Uganda (1988-2010)
• Member, Estate Planning and Development Committee: Islamic University in Uganda (1988-2010)
• Committee member: Kibuli Mosque
• Member: Young men Muslim Association (One of the founder members)

Comments by Colleagues:

Sheikh Abdulkadir Mbogo
According to Shk. Abdulkadir Mbogo (one of the signatories on Eng. Younus’ Will), he (Eng. Younus) was honest in all his endeavors and dedicated to his religion, country, Kingdom and family. He did a lot in connecting the elite Muslims to Muslim youth as one way of inspiring them. He was one of those who played a key role in the formation of Uganda Muslim Supreme Council (UMSC) and later supported initiatives aimed at uniting Muslims in Uganda under one umbrella organisation – UMSC. “He took the middle position when it came to the Muslim wrangles in the country and for this; he was respected by all conflicting Muslim leaders” said Shk. Mbogo. He was an arbiter in family issues especially those involving young Muslim couples who had no experience in handling family matters. Eng. Younus was very close to the royal family at Kibuli and he was respected and loved by people regardless of their age, ideology and status in society. He was one of the founders of the Banakyewa (Volunteers) Group during Shk. Kassim Mulumba’s reign as the Mufti of Uganda. He was also the adviser to Mufti Kassim Mulumba. In Masaka, he single handedly extended electricity from Masaka to Kabubbu – Buyoga Village in Bukomansimbi Masaka where his mother lived.

Eng. Dr. Badru Kiggundu – Chairman Electoral Commission
Eng. Mpagi was exemplary in his service, disciplined and a patriot who served across regimes. He delivered results in all the offices and responsibilities that he held. In all these, you cannot trace even an iota of corruption.

Dr. Serugo Kasenene – Former UMSC Secretary General

Haji Eng. Mpagi was objective in his approach. He gave credit where it was due and discredit where it was necessary. He was an independent minded and constructive figure.

Haji Nsereko Mutumba (Author and Nephew to the late)

Eng. Younus Mpagi was a very considerate person. When he was the Chairman of Uganda Motors Limited in the early 1980s, he allocated four brand new car tyres with tubes to me. This was a time of scarcity in the country and the government had resorted to the allocation policy, and commodities like tyres were only allocated to the special ones, mostly senior government officials. Here is a person who knew very little about me yet he treated me in a special way without asking for anything in return (kitu kidogo). Eng. Younus detested corruption with all his heart. He was transparent in all his public and private transactions. He never shied away from his Muslim identity. He was always proud of his Islam and showed it even in his office. He had a lot of respect for Sheikhs and in return, he earned their respect. His Red Land Rover marked UEB was very visible on Muslim ceremonies because to him, such ceremonies gave him an opportunity to interact with Muslims from different backgrounds.

Rtn.Sanyu Sharifah – Eng. Mpagi’s Nephew

He was a Rotarian, from the Rotary Club of Mengo which meets at Pope Paul Memorial Hotel-Rubaga every Monday starting at 12.45pm. Rotary Club of Mengo is a member Club of Rotary International whose Headquarters are in Evanston, United States of America. Rotarians are neighbors, friends, professionals and community leaders who come together to create positive, lasting change in our communities and around the world. Haji Eng. Rtn. Mpagi was a very active member who stood by Rotary International’s motto of “Service above Self” He followed Rotary International’s 4-Way Test which considers the following questions in respect to thinking, saying or doing:
• Is it the truth?
• Is it fair to all concerned?
• Will it build goodwill and better friendships?
• Will it be beneficial to all concerned?
The object of Rotary is to encourage & foster the ideal of service as a basis of worthy enterprise and, in particular, to encourage and foster:
1. The development of acquaintance as an opportunity for service;
2. High ethical standards in business and professions, the recognition of the worthiness of all useful occupations, and the dignifying of each Rotarian’s occupation as an opportunity to serve society;
3. The application of the ideal of service in each Rotarian’s personal, business, and community life;
4. The advancement of international understanding, goodwill, and peace through a world fellowship of business and professional persons united in the ideal of service. This objective is set against the “Rotary 4-way Test”, used to see if a planned action is compatible with the Rotarian spirit.

Some of the Rotarians of Rotary Club of Mengo:
Rtn.owekitibwa Nelson Kawalya, Rtn.owekitibwa Mansoor Simbwa Bunnya, Rtn.James Kalibala, Rtn.Israel Mayengo, Rtn.Arthur Bagunywa, Rtn.TS Mukasa, Rtn.Noordeen Kyewalyanga (Deen Establishment –Tents), Rtn.PJK Kaggwa, Rtn.Lawrence Mukiibi (St.Lawrence Schools & Colleges), Rtn.G.William Ssemivule (Former Headteacher Mengo S S S), Rtn.Joash Muhumuza.

Family

Eng. Younus Mpagi was married to Hajat Hasipha Nampewo of Mamba (Lungfish) clan, daughter of Haji Buruhan Ttonda (of Mamba Clan) in September 1972 and together, they had 11 children, four daughters and seven sons.

They are all well-educated as outlined below:
• Kajubi Muhammad Ali – Lawyer
• Sebatta Alia – Doctor from Mbarara University
• Haji Jamil Sewanyana – MBA. MUK.
• Abubakar Sendawula – Air Condition Expert
• Jenah Kirabo Nyende – B. COM. – MUK.
• Faez Malinzi Mpagi – Mechanical Eng. – Graduate (Algeria)
• Aisha Wanyama – Business Studies Graduate (India)
• Younus Mpagi Jr. – ICT Graduate (India)
• Nkangi Ali – Businessman (Buyoga Masaka)
• Sophie Kisitu – Nurse Graduate (USA)
• Alison Fox – Eng. Industrial and Designer Graduate (USA)
• Etc

Haji Eng. Younus Mpagi died in 2010 of heart disease leaving behind a widow, 11 children, over 30 grandchildren and great grandchildren. Haji Eng. Younus Balitema Kajubi Mpagi had a big heart. He lived his life fully and he lived by principals which won him many friends. He was unbelievably tolerant, faithful, transparent and extremely patient. He always wore smiles on his face; a characteristic of a true Muslim who wished every person Salaam (peace). Indeed he was a peaceful person, very loving especially to his entire family and his Muslim brothers, sisters and all Ugandans thereby qualifying him to be a true nationalist. Unless you have untreatable vendetta, you cannot resist crowning him a Muslim hero. To me, Haji Eng. Younus Balitema Kajubi Mpagi is a Muslim Hero though unsung. May Allah the Almighty bless him with Janah, Amina

The writer is the UMSC Spokesperson.
He can be reached on – Tel: 0701409504 or 0772409504
Email: hajinsereko@gmail.com

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Indeed Haj Yunus Mpagi is a Muslim Hero. He was always close to Prince Badru Kakungulu and contributed immensely to the Young Men Muslim Association (YMMA). In many ways he was of Kibuli from UMC to his personal residence at the hill- at UEB his home was Elizabeth Avenue, Kololo.

Haj Mpagi, often quietly/in the back ground, was instrumental in the shaping the Unity of Uganda Muslims from the 1970s.

I personally witnessed his instrumental role in the Qusamallah Mubarak-Mecca Agreement 1 and he encouraged me bjoin the delegation that travelle to Mecca to sign the Mecca Agreement of 1986 that so many muslim leaders stand aside, rewriting the 1972 consistitution and holding of elctions of a new general assembly with a promise of new leaf to the muslims of Uganda. We had gone through warngles since 1980-1986. Unfortunately this did not last.

Again I saw Yunus Mpagi Haj playing vital roles at the last Unity meetings at Hotel Africana helping to usher in a leadership that for sometime ended wrangles that had streched from 1987.

Eng. Mpagi sorrounded himself with upcoming young muslim introducing them without inhibition to the community at various functions, meetings and to dignatories. I was among these young men. Others included TS Mukasa, Munyagwa Rashid…

May Almighty Allah reward for these endevours

Juma Yusuf K. Walusimbi

COMMENTING RULES FOR UMBS MEMBERS

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Assalamu Alaikum.

Please consult these rules when commenting on this forum. These rules outline what is acceptable and unacceptable content on UMBS. Note that these rules are subject to change at any time:

1.Language:

Don’t use swear words or profanity of any sort. Please refrain from insulting other members, everyone is entitled to their opinion and just because you shout the loudest, doesn’t make you more correct or valid in your point of view. All insulting or offensive comments will be reviewed, and members risk being banned from the forum if they continue insulting others.

2.No libel or other abuse:
At no point should you be making comments which are:

-defamatory, false or misleading;
-insulting, threatening or abusive;
-obscene or of a sexual nature;
-offensive, racist, sexist, or discriminatory against any fellow Muslims or other groups of people.We have an absolute zero tolerance policy on this.

3.Report abuse:

If you see a comment not adhering to rules 1 & 2 please email abbeysemuwemba@gmail.com and this comment will be reviewed by moderators. Please don’t openly complain about a comment on the forum- just do it privately if you can.The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon) instructed us to give naseeha (sincere advice) to others privately. We should try our best to not putting people on blast, or so the phrase goes in the streets.

Each of us have an ego and shaytan exploits the spiritual diseases of the heart such as arrogance. I’ve noticed many times that relationships never go anywhere because there’s ineffective communication between two individuals.

4.No third party promotion:

The forum is here to let UMBS members talk about the matters affecting them in and outside Uganda, not to allow people to sell or push products. Any comment found peddling a third party will be immediately reviewed, and the member who posts it risks being banned forever.

5.No linking or copyright infringement:

You must not insert links to websites or submit content which would be an infringement of copyright.

6. Criticizing others on the forum:

There’s a thin line between deflecting the blame and calling for equal accountability in both professional and personal life. One behavioral pattern I’ve seen evident from working at companies here in the UK, and among family relations is that not everyone is necessarily open to criticism, including myself. Imam Shafi was once asked “How did you attain such good character”, he responded by saying “I listen to my critics and take their criticism seriously”.

Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (s) gave us a prescription in treating anger, which was to recite “Audhu billahi minashaytan nirajeem” which means “I seek refuge in Allah from shatan the accursed”.

7.Play the game/Respect the game

Please respect these rules when commenting on all UMBS sites and forums; people will disagree from time to time but please try to see each other’s point of view before getting all worked up, that helps no one.

I’ll end with another quote from Imam Shafi (R) “Never do I debate a man with a desire to hear him error in his speech, or to expose the flaws in his argument, and thus vanquish him. Whenever I face an opponent in debate I silently supplicate, ‘O Lord, help him so that truth may manifest itself in his heart and on his tongue. If it be that the truth is on my side, may he follow me; and if the truth be on his side, may I follow him.”

For more about the UMBS rules in details , please visit our website http://um-bs.com/about-umbs/. Wassalam



Abbey Kibirige Semuwemba

Stalk my blog at: http://semuwemba.com/

Follow me on Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/semuwemba

Join me on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/abbey.k.semuwemba
‘“Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world would do this, it would change the earth.” ― William Faulkner


UMBS is devoted to matters of interest to Ugandan Muslims. To donate to UMBS activities deposit money on UMBS Bank A/C at any branch of Bank of Africa: 07074320002.

LET US NOT JUDGE FELLOW MUSLIMS LIKE BEBE COOL OR SARAH KAGINGO JUST BSE THEY AREN’T LIVING AS PURELY MUSLIMS:

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Friends,

Assalamu alaikum. We have noticed a trend on this forum where some Muslims, like Bebe Cool(Bidandi Ssali’s son), are bashed openly just because they are engaged in something unislamic. Yes, Bebe Cool is a member of UMBS on Facebook. It’s very easy to pass judgement upon others when we see they’re outwardly committing sins, or not actively participating in Islamic matters.

What’s disturbing however, is the fact that each of us at some point and currently are struggling to fight our own demons in some way shape or form but become blind to our own faults. Yes, it’s true that we all have skeletons in our closet and we will do anything to keep them there, but ALLAH knows everything about them.

Being caught up in the cycle of identifying flaws in others is something we’re all guilty of; myself first. And even if we perceive another brother or sister to be lesser in their commitment to Islam (outwardly), who’s to say that they won’t change and Allah (swt) will grant them a means to come closer to him?. With Allah, all things are possible. Let’s not forget, most of the Sahaba’s were converts to Islam.

“Do not look down upon any Muslim, for even the most inferior believer is great in the eyes of God.” – Abu Bakr

There is, for instance, an OG of mine from Kibuli S.S who I learnt a couple of years ago through friends on UMBS that she had converted to x-tianity after her degree at Makerere University. I later saw a post on UMBS about her and how she was being paraded by ‘Balokole’ as a trophy in their conferences. My initial reaction was ‘shock’ because we used to be close at school, but then i realized that it was my turn to do more to use our friendship to get her back to Islam in the long run. And the only way i could do that was to keep her as an interactive friend for a long time. Unfortunately, she didn’t give us a chance as she immediately blocked and unfriended me on Facebook after hearing that she had become a focal point of discussion on the UMBS platform. Her immediate assumption was that this was only possible on my command.

The point I’m trying to make is that each of us have had moments in our life where we were lost. Let’s not assume others can speed up. Allah (swt) has a plan for each of us, trust in his timing. Allah can change anybody even after years.Prophet Nuh gave da’wah for over 1,000 years.

Let us also bear in mind that the rank you’re at today can easily be replaced by another believer tomorrow.

“Have you not seen that Allah created the heavens and the earth in truth? If He wills, He can do away with you and produce a new creation.” – Qur’an 14;19

As one scholar from Morocco,Imam Ahmad Zarruq, said, and i quote: ”Watch your eye, should it ever reveal to you the faults of others, say to it: ‘O my eye, other people have eyes too.’”

Approach is the key here when it comes to daawa or helping a Muslim brother or sister that has lost it. Often times, your tone or approach in talking ends up driving them further away from doing what is right. it’s from the Sunnah to tell people their faults in a 1:1setting. For instance, there is nothing wrong with approaching a disturbed youth with the following words:” salams yo…..do u wanna do some prayers first with us before u go out”, instead of the usual banter: “abana Mwe …..enjaga ebagana okusaala naye………”

Let me wrap this up with one verse from the Qur’an before I bounce back to my “Kyeyo” -

“Invite to the way of your Lord with wisdom and good instruction, and argue with them in a way that is best. Indeed, your Lord is most knowing of who has strayed from His way, and He is most knowing of who is [rightly] guided.” – (Surah An-Nahl, Ayah 125).

Byebyo ebyange banange, and please put me always in your prayers inishallah.


Abbey.K. Semuwemba

UK

How I remember Idi Amin in my primary school days

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Hi guys and ladies,

Here is my beautiful encounter with Idi Amin (RIP). In the late 70’s on our way from the pre-primary school (which by the way had no name and was located in someone’s garage) this big bird we then called “olcopter” flew over our heads. Me and my friend quickly decided that going home could wait. We quickly ran to the field where this “olcopter” would land. The field was just behind our flat in the centre of Masaka Town. Guess it was not a proper airfield or air strip. But helicopters landed there several times. In the house where I lived we were never allowed to venture downstairs and out for even a second. On this God given day, I got an opportunity to follow the big bird. Although the noise was ear wracking, the rotating thing on top of the bird was most exciting. The big bird was hovering in the air for some time. I don’t know whether the pilot was just worried that the two kids were in the way of the copter or he was still enjoying the air. Possibly his fears were unfounded, because the more the bird lowered the more we ran farther away from that terrible noise. Soon the noise reduced in intensity and we drew nearer to see this magnificent “olcopter”.

A small door was flung open and a very tall, heavy set military man climbed out. He came towards us smiling and laughing. He lifted us in turns and threw us high in the air. But even after this exhilarating throw in the air our eyes remained on the “olcopter”. So beautiful and attractive was this machine but also very scaring to approach. We did not even pay attention to the jeeps and other cars that came and picked the man who was already happily walking towards the town centre. All our attention was on the “olcopter”.

Don’t ask what time we left for home. All I remember is that we remained at the field untill the “olcopter” took off. It lifted off without the tall man it had brought. When it disappeared we also decided to go home. I didn’t know what was waiting for me at home. It now dawned on me that we had spent half the day at the field and they had looked all over the place for me. The only place they had not checked was the field where the big bird had landed.

What followed needs no explanation to an African. I never like to remember how many strokes of the cane I got on my body that day. The canes were followed with the mentoring to repeat the “words never to go near the President ever again”. What started as an exciting experience with the big bird ended in tears and mentoring not go near a person called President. From that day and the years of my life that followed, I thought the word “President” was that tall man’s name. I learnt my lesson well. Up today I don’t like being near people they call Presidents. Presidents are supposed to be bad people. If Presidents were good people why then was I punished for having taken the honour of receiving the President of Uganda at that field in Masaka town on that beautiful sunny day???? Hahaha! Later on in life l came to learn that the man who gave me that exciting throw into the air was by then the President of the Republic of Uganda. Despite that realization I still do not associate with green cars, green copters and people who were green uniform; because if I do that would mean that the sticks I got as kid were not enough (emigo tegyanoga). Presidents are to be avoided. They cause one problems. May the ALMIGHTY ALLAH forgive our brother and parent, Idi Amin for his shortcomings and grant him Jana in the life after death.

Dr.Ibra Ssendagire.
USA

Jesus: Is He God in Human Form?

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Jesus is a great Prophet and Messenger of Allah. He like all prophets before him taught people about Allah, His existence, His Beautiful Names and show people by words and deeds how to be moral.

He is not neither a god nor son of god. He is a man but infallible and righteous. He made miracles like all Allah’s prophets. I remind you also that he was born miraculously without father. He was also called in the Qur’an Jesus son of Marry. He neither said that he was god nor son of god.

In his cradle, he talked to people who accused his mother of fornication and testified that his mother was absolutely pure. He is not a Son of God in any sense and he no other being fathered him. He is a spirit from Allah and a word from Him that came to Mary, and he was directly created by the power of this word. He is a spirit from Allah in the sense that, unlike other humans, his spirit was given to Mary before his body. That is why Allah calls him a spirit from Him.

Allah cannot take a shape or any form of substance; nothing in His creation is similar to Him. He is above time and space, shape or physical qualities. If we say that Jesus was the Son of God, we would do something totally against our mind and reasoning and we would totally ignore the very nature of God. God has not got a wife or any carnal and intimate relationship with any of His creation, nor any kind of physical touch. To say Jesus is the Son of God is to say that Mary was the wife of God and no one accepts this. Since no one accepts this, it is against our reasoning and intellectual persuasive.

If Jesus was created without a father, this does not mean that God is his father, simply because of the difference in nature between Jesus and God. Jesus was born in time and in a certain place; he grew up from babyhood to adolescence to maturity. The description of Jesus we have in the four Gospels and in the New Testament is a description of a man, not of God. Jesus cried, felt tired, suffered and became fatigued. Like all humans, he sought rest and comfort. He felt hungry and searched for food and even got angry because of his hunger, as in the Gospel when he went to the fig tree to find some fruit to eat and when he did not find any, he hit the tree and cursed it. Jesus once felt very tired and some ladies came and massaged him and anointed his feet with perfume. He felt fresh and satisfied as any human. He suffered sickness and even when, according to the Gospel, he was taken by the Roman soldiers to the cross, he was totally unable to carry his own cross. When he was hanged, he cried loudly: “My God! My God! Why have You have forsaken me!” He did not say, “My father.”

Again, according to the Gospel, before he was taken to the cross, he prayed to God to save him from this plight. But finally he surrendered himself to the will of God. What we are telling is taken from the four Gospels. We ask again why should God beget a son? And why one son only? And why not a daughter as well? And how did God send His Son Jesus to be treated inhumanely and let people mock at him and spit in his face? One may say that he was sent and underwent all of these actions in order to release us from the bondage of the original sin committed by Adam and to take our sin away and to reconcile ourselves to our Creator. Unfortunately, there is no direct statement by Jesus himself that he came to fulfill this mission. He was very clear to tell people that God is my God and yours. He used to pray to God and ask Him for support and comfort. He never said, “I am God” or “I am the Son of God.” Rather, he was called several times in the Gospels “a prophet” and “a mighty prophet”. He was also called “the servant of God” like Prophet Muhammad after him. People used to shout, “Here a prophet has risen among us” and repeated this phrase whenever Jesus performed a miracle in front of people.

In the Gospel, he is also called the son of man. “Man” here could be a reference to Mary or Mary’s father, as an indication to trace Jesus’ genealogy to his mother since he has no father. The Christian theologians understand very well that it is beyond reason to prove the that Jesus is a Son of God or that Jesus is divine; but it is very easy and straightforward to prove the manhood and the prophethood of this great Messenger of God.

We hope we do not offend anyone. We are in an age of discovering facts and exchanging views and experiences with full respect to everyone’s human dignity.

Going to Beaches in Summer

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Going to beaches for recreation is permissible for any Muslim. Practicing Muslims are not to be denied this right. Practicing Muslims, like anyone else, are free to enjoy the fresh air of the sea.

Almighty Allah permits Muslims to enjoy the lawful things He gave to them. Among these lawful things is sightseeing and enjoying the beauty of the universe. Almighty Allah says: (Say: Who hath forbidden the adornment of Allah which He hath brought forth for His bondmen, and the good things of His providing?) (Al-A`raf 5:32). But this should be within the prescribed limits, not to fall into that which is haram.

In Islam, we are warned against sins of nudity, promiscuity, and permissiveness that corrupt the soul as well as the mind. They all lead to temptations, which lead to sins, and sins eventually lead to Hellfire and eternal perdition.

It is therefore imperative that, while enjoying summer at the beach, we specifically avoid areas associated with the above and find locations or times where we will be staying clear of the above completely.

While enjoying summer at the beach as a group, we are not allowed to practice indiscriminate mingling of sexes, nor are we allowed to expose our `awrah to others. Remember `awrah includes all parts of the body that we must keep covered from others (except our lawful spouses).

Finally, while enjoying summer activities we must never forget our Prayers or other essential Islamic duties of worship.

You can assign different areas of the beach for males and females for activities such as swimming, or divide the time by making schedules for them.

For as long as the above mentioned factors are taken into consideration, there are no restrictions on enjoying summer at the beach.

Allah Almighty knows best.

The Last Supper of Jesus According to Islam

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The last supper is well detailed in Christianity; according to Islam, we have a similar incident that is mentioned in the Quran, specifically in a chapter called “Al-Maidah”, translated as “the feast” or “the table spread”, and it means “a table spread with food”. At the end of this chapter, Allah mentioned the following:

{When the disciples said: O Jesus, son of Mary! Is your Lord able to send down for us a table spread with food from heaven? He said: Observe your duty to Allah, if you are true believers. (They said:) We wish to eat thereof, that we may satisfy our hearts and know that you have spoken truth to us, and that thereof we may be witnesses. Jesus, son of Mary, said: O Allah, our Lord! Send down for us a table spread with food from heaven, that it may be a feast for us, for the first of us and for the last of us, and a sign from You. Give us sustenance, for You are the Best of Sustainers. Allah said: Lo! I send it down for you. And whoso disbelieves of you afterward, him surely will I punish with a punishment wherewith I have not punished any of (My) creatures. And when Allah said: O Jesus, son of Mary! Did you say unto mankind: Take me and my mother for two gods beside Allah? He said: Be glorified! It was not mine to utter that to which I had no right. If I used to say it, then you would have known it. You know what is in my mind, and I know not what is in Your Mind. Lo! You, only You, are the Knower of Things Hidden? I spoke unto them only that which You commended me, (saying): Worship Allah, my Lord and your Lord. I was a witness of them while I dwelt among them, and when You took me You were the Watcher over them.} (Al-Maidah, Chapter 5, Verses 112-117)

To understand the full context, verses before and after have to be also taken into consideration starting from verse 110 until verse 120. In verse 110, Allah starts with the great miracles that He favored Jesus (peace be upon him) with.

Many people expect miracles to believe; however, a true believer is able to see the truth without experiencing any miracles.

Note the Prophet Muhammad’s companions did not ask him for any miracles; it was only the disbelievers of Quraish who asked for miracles and when the Prophet (peace be upon him) showed them miracles that Allah favored him with, they still did not believe.

So here Jesus’s disciples saw great miracles from Allah, such as raising the dead, yet they dared asking for another miracle; therefore, the response of Jesus (peace be upon him) “Ittaqullah”, meaning “fear Allah” and translated in the above verses as “Observe your duty to Allah”.

Unfortunately the translation does not convey the proper appreciative meaning. This is an expression of blame, where Jesus is blaming his disciples for requesting such a miracle; therefore, the following statement “If you are true believers”.

Jesus (peace be upon him) feared the consequences of this trial upon his disciples and asked them to depend on Allah for their provision.

When the disciples insisted, Jesus (peace be upon him) supplicated to Allah to bring forth the miracle. However, Allah warned them that whosoever disbelieves, shall receive the most severe punishment.

So disbelieving after experiencing divine miracles is one of the worst sins since knowing by seeing is different than knowing by hearsay.

The following verses are not only a warning but also imply that some of the disciples must have claimed the divinity of Jesus and his mother (peace be upon them); therefore deviating from monotheism.

Micheal Hart in his book “The 100, a Ranking of the Most Influencial People in History”, states that:

“Jesus did not preach any of Paul’s sayings, and Paul is considered responsible for Jesus’ Divinity.”

Allah is blaming those who invented a lie against Him and His messenger, making a rival, wife and son for our creator. Allah is far above what they attribute to Him; therefore verse 118: “If you punish them, lo! They are your slaves and if you forgive them, You are the All-Mighty, All-Wise”

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) used to repeat that verse (5:118) over and over, while weeping during his night prayers, wishing that Allah guides his people and does not punish them.

Allah will eventually question and judge everyone; those who worshiped Allah alone and did not associate anyone with Him shall receive a great recompense; Gardens under which rivers flow. Indeed, it is a great triumph.

So the story is not a diversion like the crucifixion, but the true purpose of such a feast is not clearly mentioned in Christianity even though there are more details. The Quran gives a concise story, explaining that it was a trial of faith for Jesus’ disciples; whoever passes shall receive Paradise otherwise a great torment.

4 Reasons Why I Wear the Muslim Headscarf(By Aaminah Hernandez)

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I have never written anything personal on the subject of hijab because it seems like an overdone issue. Sometimes I think so much focus is put on this one little aspect of being a Muslim woman, to the detriment of more important Islamic knowledge and practice.

Because the headscarf is such a visual symbol of the Muslim woman, many non-Muslims are the ones who make a large issue of it, spout ill-informed opinions, or ask questions in an attempt to understand. This has been answered to by so many Muslim women, and even Muslim men, that I did not feel the need to throw my opinion or feelings out into the fray.

Lately I find I am being asked many questions, even by other Muslim women who choose not to wear hijab, and by non-Muslims who know other Muslim women who choose not to wear hijab. So, the following is my answer to the many questions that have been coming up.

My intent is only to give my own opinion and experience. I do not mean to be judgmental of those women who struggle with the issue of covering or to suggest that only one form of covering is acceptable. I can only tell you what I think and feel about the headscarf. If you want to know why someone else does not cover, or covers less or more fully than I, you would have to ask that person to share their experience with you.

The most common question I have been asked in the past seven years since I became Muslim is “Why do you wear that thing?”

“That thing” is a headscarf. I have worn many different styles from bandana coverage all the way to a full khimar, which is a very loose and long head-covering, with a face veil. I enjoy playing with my head cover to match the style of my clothing and to find more comfortable styles.

Right now my favorite style is very loose and draping. I tend to dress more multi-cultural than most American women. In fact, many immigrants who have taken to the American dress code even look at me in surprise that I like to wear many traditional clothing styles. My headscarves reflect my overall style.

The reason I began to wear hijab was simply that I believed (and still believe) it is mandated in Islam. When I first became Muslim I lived in a town that was full of Muslims, most of whom dressed in the traditional ways. Putting on a headscarf (and at that time even a veil) was not a hardship. It was the norm where I was, and I understood it to be required.

There are verses in the Quran and in the collected words of the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him), as well as collected norms and behaviors of the wives of the Prophet and his Companions that show clearly that covering of the entire body and head was enjoined upon and practiced by the early Muslim women.

Like most women, I have at times struggled with the issue of covering, but never because I did not believe it was required. There were points in my life where I did not wear it either because of jobs that did not allow it (it is a legally guaranteed right here in the U.S. and your employer must allow it) or because I was tired of being so “different” all the time. But I always felt guilty not wearing it and knew that I must go back to it.

Besides the simple answer that I am Muslim and believe that the headscarf and covering are required in Islam, many people want to know more detail about why I actually wear it and what the purpose or point of the covering is, particularly if they know other Muslim women who do not wear it.

I cannot speak to why so many Muslim women do not wear it and what their state of mind or opinion on the matter is. I refuse to judge them for being in the stage they are in and I do not know what their personal circumstances may be. I can only answer to what I believe the purpose and benefits of my headscarf achieve.

1.Modesty. When dressed in a covering way, I am not showing my physical attributes (or perhaps lack of) to anyone. People are forced to judge me by my actions and speech, by how well I do my job or how I interact with others, rather than by whether or not I am “good looking” and interest them.

2.To that same end, my beauty is then saved for my husband’s full enjoyment and he knows he does not share me with anyone. I am not out getting a lot of attention from others that may make him feel insecure or that is disrespectful to me.

3.I am noticeably different, a Muslim. Most people respect that. They can clearly see that I am not the kind of woman that you whistle or cat-call at, nor am I going to agree to meet you in a bar or club, nor can you proposition me on the street or in the office. There is a level of respect that men give me whereby they do not treat me in the same way they might treat other women they meet and believe they can “get with”. In fact, in my case, I find that many men (yes, non-Muslims) are more gentlemanly with me in general. I have more doors held open for me, paths cleared for me, more assistance when needed, and an overall respect given to me.

4.Wearing the head covering works to remind me of my duties. I am more likely to be a better person when I am covered because the headscarf is a potent reminder to me of what type of behavior and attitude is expected of me. I am less likely to lose my temper, more likely to be kind and forgiving, in difficult situations.

In my experience, the hijab or headscarf is beneficial to me. Not only do I have the security that I am following a mandate set by God and thereby pleasing God, but I also experience great comforts in this life because of my coverage.

Contrary to what many think, I am not forced to wear it (I chose it for myself while still single, and as a convert I am not being forced by family to wear it), it is not an obstacle or a discomfort to me, and it does not in any way impair my opportunities or abilities.

I am an independent American woman with a high degree of personal freedom and fulfillment. The headscarf has never stood in my way of doing or achieving anything, but has instead made me more comfortable as I interact in society and my community.

Jinja Mayor’s experience at Ummurah in Ramandhan this year

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Idi Amin was a human being like all of us.May Allah forgive him where he could have gone wrong and grant him janna.In the just concluded Ramathan,I was on Umra with my wife and 3 other Ugandans one of whom was our guide and as we lined up to be cleared by the Saudi immigration officials at medina airport which was crowded,two Saudi officials came and asked if there were any Ugandans and upon answering in the affirmative,we were asked to live the long quee and advised to get service from the counter for the non Umra visitors which had become less congested.

I later on learnt that there was a Ugandan boy of Somali origin speaking fluent Luganda who was responsible for this courtesy as he works at this airport.How ever,what amused us were the pilgrims for west Africa.before we were sent to the special counter,we were given the opportunity to overlap those infront of us and Infact my wife was third last and I was second last while our colleagues were slightly ahead of us .

The pilgrims from west Africa who were ahead of us did not object only that I remember them wondering with smiling faces and with a statement that “is it because Idi Amin was your president”,yet they were fairly young men in their late 30s and early 40s which meant that Idi Amin was appreciated and respected by even people who were not of his generation and more or so from other parts of the continent.May Allah reward him for his good deeds and forgive him where he could have errored.

Muhammad Baswari Kezaara
Member of UMBS in jinja.

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Muhammad Baswari Kezaara was born in Budondo, Bujagali village. Went to Mainstreet primary sch, joined Jinja ss where he was Uganda Muslim Students Association(UMSA) chairman 1982-1986. Studied ‘A’ at Nkumba College where he was chairman UMSA 1988-1989. He was Elected secretary finance jinja Municipal youth council 1994-1996. He was Elected chairman Uganda Young Democrats(UYD) 1995. He was National chairman UYD 1996-2005. He was elected councilor Jinja Central Division 1997-2001. He was elected Chairman LC3 Jinja central division 2002-2006. He was elected Mayor Jinja municipality council 2006-2011. He is the 1st ever Re-elected Mayor Jinja municipality 2011-2016. He was Vice president Democratic party Eastern Region 2005-2009. He is National chairman Democratic party 2011 to date.

Mohammad Most Popular Name in Oslo

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A new count of the population of Norway’s capital city Oslo has revealed that Mohammad, the name of Islam’s Prophet, is the most common name for the first time ever in the European capital’s history.The survey was made by SSB for the male names in Oslo.The results found that 4,801 boys and men are named Mohammed or variations of Mohammed as their first name.

Therefore, Mohammed has passed both Jan (4,667) and Per (4,155).

The name has spent four years in a row at the top of the list of baby names in Oslo, but this is the first time that Mohammed tops the men’s name list for Oslo.

Similar results were revealed in Britain after statistics found that the name Mohammad, or its variations, has topped the list of the baby names.

The estimates showed that the Muslim name was the most multi-cultural London and the West Midlands, while Oliver came out top in the South East, South West and Wales.

Norwegian Muslims are estimated at 150,000 out of the country’s 4.5 million population, mostly of Pakistan, Somali, Iraqi and Moroccan backgrounds.

There are nearly 90 Muslim organizations and Islamic centers across the northern European country.

CONGS TO DR. KARIM SSESANGA AT ISESCO AND HAJAT REHMAH KASULE

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Hajjati Rehmah Kasule

Hajjati Rehmah Kasule

Asalam Aleikum brothers and sisters,UMBS is applauding two of its members for the achievements they have got.We applaud our brother Dr.N.A.Karim Ssesanga, former Director IUIU Kampala Campus who has been appointed a Higher Education Specialist by the Islamic Education, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (ISESCO) based at its headquarters in Rabat Morocco.He will join a team of specialists at ISESCO to offer technical advice to Universities in ISESCO member states.

We also applaud our sister Owek. Hajat Rehmah Kasule, the author of the book “From Gomba to the White House” a book she wrote when she met President Barack Obama in 2010. She is the Founder and Presidednt of CEDA International www.ceda-uganda.org, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4pyR6IZmTwM

Rehmah is an Award Winner of The International Alliance for Women 2011, and this year, she is one of the two recipients of the Goldman Sachs & Fortune Global Women Leaders Award in recognition of her work in women empowerment. This Award goes with funding for her project and also she will travel to this year’s fortune Most Powerful Women Summit in Laguna Miguel California to accept the award to be presented in October the summit.

We thank ALLAH for enabling them reach such international heights and pray for HIS guidance.

Bravo Karim former ‘RAT’

Bravo Rehmah former ‘BOXER

Shamim Namuddu Ssebaggala
On behalf of The
Ex – Mumsa Walk in Team

EBOLA VIRUS DISEASE FACT SHEET

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EBOLA VIRUS DISEASE FACT SHEET

What is Ebola Virus Disease?

Ebola Virus Disease is a highly infectious and deadly disease affecting humans and animals such as monkeys, gorillas, Chimpanzees, bats, birds, reptiles, amphibians, arthropods. The disease is caused by Ebola virus and it occurs in sporadic outbreak.

Where is Ebola Virus Disease found?

Though the natural habitat of the Ebola virus is unknown, Ebola virus is normally found in an animal host that is native to the African continent.

Where do cases of Ebola Virus Disease occur?

Outbreaks of Ebola VD have been mainly restricted to Africa. Confirmed cases of Ebola VD have been reported in Africa such as Liberia, Sierrea leone, Guinea, Ghana, Nigeria, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Gabon, Sudan, the Ivory Coast, Uganda etc. Ebola VD is usually spread within a health care setting. However, sporadic isolated cases may occur unnoticed.

How is Ebola Virus Disease spread?

The manner in which the Ebola virus first appears in a human at the start of an outbreak has not been determined. However, Ebola VD could be spread through the following:

1. Direct contact with an infected animal or human;
2. Direct contact with the blood and or secretions of an infected person especially within families;
3. Contact with contaminated medical equipment such as needles;
4. Reuse of unsterilized needles in hospital;
5. Eating or handling of the carcass of infected animals;
6. Inhalation of contaminated air in hospital environment;
7. Use of infected non human primate/bats as food source;
8. Non implementation of universal precautions.

What are the symptoms of Ebola Virus Disease?

The incubation period for Ebola VD ranges from 2 to 21 days. The signs and symptoms of Ebola VD include:

1. Fever
2. Headache
3. Diarrhea
4. Vomiting
5. Chest pain
6. Stomach pain
7. Cold
8. Cough
9. Joint and muscles pain
10. Sore throat
11. Weakness
12. Depression
13. Confusion
14. Red eyes
15. Internal and external bleeding

Who is at risk?

1. People exposed to and handling wild animals;
2. People depending on wild animals such as bats as a food source;
3. Mortuary attendants;
4. Health workers caring for Ebola VD patients;
5. Health workers in hospital settings with poor basic hygiene and sanitation practices;
6. Family members of an infected patient;
7. People that go to hospitals with poor hygiene and sanitation practices;

How is Ebola Virus Disease prevented?

1. Avoid contact with the blood/secretions of Ebola infected animals and humans or dead bodies by:

a) Maintain good hygiene and sanitation practices in hospitals;
b) Isolate Ebola infected patients;
c) Dispose of dead bodies of Ebola patients properly in a safe manner;
d) Avoid local traditional burial rituals such as embalming for Ebola patients;

2. Health workers and visitors caring for Ebola patients should:

a) Wear proper personal protective equipment such as disposable face mask. Gloves, goggles,
b) and gown always;
c) Use disposable needles;
d) Avoid reuse of needles or use of inadequately sterilized needles;
e) Avoid embalming of a deceased Ebola patient;

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Champs Are Christians Only: German Muslim Told

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In a blow to Muslim integration in the German society, a Muslim father has been asked to abandon his title as shooting champion in a western Germany town for not being “Christian”.

“It is completely incomprehensible to me that we are having such a debate in the 21st Century,” Mithat Gedik, the Muslim father who was crowned Shooting King, told The Local on Monday, August 4.

“We didn’t want to provoke anyone, we just wanted to celebrate a wonderful shooting festival.”

The 33-year-old Muslim champion was named as Schützenkönig (shooting king) by his local club on July 18.

Yet, the father of four kids was asked later to return back his title by the Bund der Historischen Deutschen Schützenbruderschaften (BHDS) (Historic German Shooting Federation), because he is not Christian.

“It should be obvious to anyone who can read. They didn’t read their own constitution,” Rolf Nieborg, a spokesman for the BHDS said.

“No one has probably asked him about his religion because he is so well integrated.

“They made a mistake and should correct it. They could ask him to abdicate.”

Gedik, a German Muslim who was brought up in Werl, North Rhine-Westphalia by his Turkish parents, works for a Mannheim-based company and volunteers at the fire department besides being a board member of his local shooting club.

As the BHDS states that it is an “association of Christian people”, the Muslim champion may be moved to Sauerland Shooting Federation that allows non-Christians members.

Germany has Europe’s second-biggest Muslim population after France, and Islam comes third in Germany after Protestant and Catholic Christianity.

It has between 3.8 and 4.3 million Muslims, making up some 5 percent of the total 82 million population, according to government-commissioned studies.

Germans have grown hostile to the Muslim presence recently, with a heated debate on the Muslim immigration into the country.

A recent poll by the Munster University found that Germans view Muslims more negatively than their European neighbors.
According to a 2010 nationwide poll by the research institute Infratest-dimap, more than one third of the respondents would prefer “a Germany without Islam.”

Recognize Hamas’ Legitimacy: Jimmy Carter

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Joining a world chorus condemnation for the Israeli war on Gaza, the former US president Jimmy Carter along with the former Irish president Mary Robinson have called for recognizing Hamas as a “legitimate political actor”.

“There is no humane or legal justification for the way the Israeli Defense Forces are conducting this war,” Carter and Robinson wrote for Foreign Policy magazine.

“Hamas cannot be wished away, nor will it co-operate in its own demise.

“Only by recognizing its legitimacy as a political actor — one that represents a substantial portion of the Palestinian people — can the West begin to provide the right incentives for Hamas to lay down its weapons.”

These views have been expressed in an article the US 39th President co-wrote with the former Irish president for Foreign Policy magazine.

The duo western leaders have accused Israel of spoiling the formation of the unity government between Fatah and Hamas, besides destabilizing the region.

Deploring the humanitarian catastrophe in Gaza, the pair said that “war crimes” against civilians should be investigated.

“There is never an excuse for deliberate attacks on civilians in conflict. These are war crimes,” the leaders said.

Condemning the blockade of Gaza, Carter said that the international community should push for the “full restoration of the free movement of people and goods to and from Gaza through Israel, Egypt and the sea”.

Under the auspices of Carter, Egyptian President Mohammad Anwar El-Sadat and late Israeli Premier Menachem Begin have signed Camp David Accords peace treaty in 1978 that left dozens of Palestinian families scattered across both sides of Rafah.

Israel has been launching relentless airstrikes against Gaza since July 8 where hundreds have been killed and thousands injured.

Israel has claimed that its new war on Gaza, under the title Operation Protect Edge, was a response to the rocket attacks being carried out by Hamas.

Israel occupation forces started a ground invasion of besieged Gaza, home to two millions civilian, on Thursday, July 17.

Health officials in Gaza said 1,868 Palestinians, most of them civilians, have been killed and nearly 10,000 injured since Israel launched its war on the besieged strip.

A total of 67 Israelis, all but three of them soldiers, have died.

On Tuesday, August 5, Hamas and Israel started a 72-hour ceasefire with Hamas mediated by Egypt as a first step towards negotiations on a more enduring end to the month-old war.

Messi defends rights of Gaza children

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Barcelona's Lionel Messi carries his son Thiago during the Spanish league first division trophy celebrations at Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona
Popular Argentinian footballer Lionel Messi has defended rights of children in conflict areas, especially in the Gaza Strip where a month of fighting has claimed nearly 1,900 Palestinian lives.

“As a father and a UNICEF Goodwill Ambassador, I am terribly saddened by the images coming from the conflict between Israel and Palestine, where violence has already claimed so many young lives and to injure countless children,” Messi wrote Thursday on his official Facebook page, which is liked by 68,043,913 fans as of Friday.

Messi, who currently plays for Barcelona, added that: “Children did not create this conflict, but they are paying the ultimate price,” and urged that “this cycle of senseless violence must stop. We must reflect on the consequences of military conflicts and children must be protected.”

HOW COME NONE OF THE AFRICAN COUNTRIES HAVE CLOSED THEIR TIES WITH ISRAEL?

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Unlike the US, many countries are moving in the opposite direction and shying away from importing or exporting military equipment with Israel.

On Monday, Spain imposed an arms embargo on Israel and the United Kingdom said it would review all of its multi-billion pound military contracts. The French president has called the situation in Gaza a “massacre,” while this week, the US State Department condemned an Israeli bombing on a school as “appalling.”

And last week, five Latin American nations – Ecuador, Brazil, Chile, Peru and El Salvador – withdrew their ambassadors from Tel Aviv. Other countries suspended free-trade talks and Bolivia canceled a visa-exemption that was popular with Israeli backpackers.

The withdrawal of Brazil’s ambassador now threatens key arms sales as the biggest customers of Israel’s arms industry – the sixth largest in the world – are the US, India, and Brazil, according to Shir Hever, a leftist Israeli economist.

Britain is also a prominent military trading partner and its announced “review” could imperil government-approved exports to Israel worth more than $13.1 billion, according to a report by a parliamentary committee last month. These include the sale of body armor, drone components, and missile parts.

An American Female Finds Islam:Amazed By Muslim Women’s Dress

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I am an American who grew up in a strict religious Christian family. By the time I was 16 I became very devout and religious myself. The church was like a home away from home. I enjoyed it thoroughly.I had read and studied the Bible on a regular basis. All the while I was noticing many errors in the Bible. Many conflicting stories. So I would ask my grandmother or the pastor of the church about it, but would never get a solid answer.

I was told to just brush it off and not worry about these little details that weren’t adding up. So for a time I did.Later on in my early 20s I was appointed as Youth Pastor at my local church. It was during this time that my biblical studies had become intense. The more I studied, the more questions I had.

Due to the lack of answers I was not getting from the church, I decided to enroll into Bible College. “For sure I would find my answers there,” I often thought to myself. Again, no such luck.

Nothing could ease my mind and so I decided to step down from “Youth Pastor”. I felt I could no longer lead the youth since I was confused and doubting things myself. I was the one in need of a leader. My heart was crying out to find some peace in all this confusion.

One night I turned on the TV and happened to flip straight to CNN. They were reporting straight from Iraq. Then, there in the background I saw the most beautiful woman I had ever seen.

She was adorned only in black from head to toe. She was so modest, and to me that made her so beautiful. I knew that she was a Muslim but I didn’t know what the religious beliefs of Muslims were.

I was more caught up in her clothing attire. It sparked my interest more than anything. My heart immediately desired to be like the woman. Pious and modest. So this is where my search began.

I immediately got online and searched “Muslim Woman Dress” & “Muslim Woman Face Veil”. This is when I came across the words “Hijab” and “Niqab”. Wikipedia also referred to the women who wore it as Hijabis or Niqabis.

These hijabis and niqabis were my newly-found role models. So I immediately changed all my online nicknames to “hijabi” or “niqabi”. It had not occurred to me to investigate the beliefs of Islam yet. But it was soon to come.

One afternoon my neighborhood was having a community cookout. I was setting next to my closest neighbor and we somehow got on the subject of religion.

He said “You know us Christians will probably be in trouble when we stand before God?”

I just nodded in agreement but not really sure where he was going with this.

He said, “Yeah, you know those Muslims pray 5 times a day faithfully and we Christians can barely make time to pray once a day.”

I immediately excused myself and ran back to my home. I opened the Computer and began searching the Internet about Muslim beliefs. I was amazed at their beliefs as it seemed to fit in line with mine.

But I wanted to be sure there were no surprises hidden in their beliefs; you know nothing that was going to throw me for a loop if I choose to convert.

The following weeks I drove to the closest mosque, which happened to be 50 miles away, requesting information. I searched the Internet into the wee hours of the morning reading all about Islam.

After a couple of months of researching and reading, I decided that I want to convert. I drove back to the mosque and took the Shahadah!

A peace entered my heart and soul like never before. Subhanallah!

Was Eve made from the rib of Adam?

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First of all, Allah in the Quran explained how He created Adam (peace be upon him). He states in different verses that he had created Adam from clay.

{Behold, thy Lord said to the angels: “I am about to create man from clay:}-Surah 38 Verse 71

{The similitude of Jesus before God is as that of Adam; He created him from dust, then said to him: “Be”. And he was.}-Surah 3 Verse 59

The Quran also clearly states Allah also created Hawa (Eve) by His Hands from the same nature of Adam.{O mankind! reverence your Guardian-Lord, who created you from a single person, created, of like nature, His mate, and from them twain scattered (like seeds) countless men and women….}- Surah 4 Verse 1

Hence, the Quran does not state that Eve was created from Adam’s rib. Yet, there is an authentic Hadith of the Prophet (peace be upon him) which uses the metaphor of the shape of a rib to describe women.

The authentic Hadith says that the Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:

“Treat women kindly. Woman has been created from a rib and the most bent part of the rib is the uppermost. If you try to turn it straight, you will break it. And if you leave it alone, it will remain bent as it is. So treat women kindly.” (Al-Bukhari and Muslim)

Another version adds” ..if you wish to draw benefit from it, you can do so despite its shape.”

Some scholars perceived the Hadiths in their literal meaning and accepted the idea that Eve was created from Adam’s rib. Yet many scholars, on the other hand, totally rejected this interpretation. They based their argument on the fact that in Arabic, the words “created from” do not necessarily refer to the substance of creation; they can also refer to the nature of something. These scholars sustain their argument with an example from the Quran in which Allah says “That man has been created from hastiness”. Of course, this does not mean that man’s substance is hastiness; it only refers to man’s nature and behavior.

The Hadith then means that if a man wants to be happy with his wife he should not attempt to re-shape her character, but accepts her the way she is and try to be happy by understanding her habits and her personality.

The Theory of Evolution and the creation of humans by Allah

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Allah says what means:*{Allah has created every animal from water. Of them are some that creep on their bellies, some that walk on two legs, and some that walk on four. Allah creates what He wills, for truly Allah has power over all things}* (An-Nur 24:45)

This verse endorses the scientific theory that life first appeared in the ocean, by leave of Allah, but humans are the special creatures of Allah by a specific command from Him.

The theory of evolution rests on the twin concepts of “the survival of the fittest” and “natural selection”: The species “with the best characteristics will survive, and that is decided by a process of “natural selection”.

The problem with this theory (as well as with most scientific theories) is the assumption that all events take place accidentally, that is, without a supreme being to oversee them.

For instance, consider the expression “natural selection.” It means that new species come into being “naturally,” that is to say, as a result of prior causes, which in their turn were the results of events before them and so on, in an infinite regression. It is also stated that these causes if traced back will not lead us to “a first cause.”

Obviously, this idea contradicts the belief that God is the Creator of all things and beings, while the Quran emphatically and repeatedly exhorts us to ponder over the phenomena of nature so that we can logically reach the truth that Allah Almighty is the Creator of all things and beings:

*{Say: “Allah is the Creator of all things: He is the One, the Supreme and Irresistible.”}* (Ar-Ra`d 13:16)

*{See they not how Allah originates creation, then repeats it: Truly that is easy for Allah. Say: “Travel through the earth and see how Allah did originate creation; so will Allah produce a later creation: For Allah has power over all things.”}* (Al-`Ankabut 29:19-20)

*{He has created the heavens and the earth in just proportions and has given you shape and made your shapes beautiful: And to Him is the final Goal.}* (At-Taghabun 64:3)

The above verses clearly speak of Allah as the Originator and Creator of everything in the universe, irrespective of any man-made theory that states the contrary view.

To Use or Not to Use Nuclear Power? Should Uganda or Muslim countries be investing in Nuclear power? Have Your Say

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Nuclear-Power
Humankind has been living since the 1950s with nuclear powered electricity generation.Proponents argue that nuclear power is a sustainable energy source which reduces carbon emissions and can increase energy security if its use supplants a dependence on imported fuels. A Stanford study found that Fast Breeder Reactors have the potential to provide power for humans on Earth for billions of years, making this source sustainable.Nuclear Reactors generate 16% of global electricity, but provide 6.3% of energy production and 2.6% of final energy consumption.

Meet the Egyptian Scientist Who Saved Japan and the Pacific

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Water pollution is one of the most common forms of pollution we see around us every day, and it has evidently become a dangerously growing environmental issue.Following the 2011 tsunami which hit Japan in March of that year, the Fukushima Nuclear Power Plant in east Japan was subjected to several equipment failures and accidents which have led to the discharge of radioactive materials in the surrounding area, starting on March 12th.

Statistically, it is proved to be the largest nuclear catastrophe since the Chernobyl disaster of 1986, releasing an estimated 10 to 30% of the radiation of the Chernobyl accident. It is estimated that 520 tons of radioactive water leaked into the Pacific Ocean, which in turn initiated a wave of huge negative effects on the marine life in the Earth’s largest ocean and concurrently the quality of drinking water in many areas.

In the aftermath of this tragic environmental event, scientists from all over the world worked to fight off the growing danger of contaminated water, since it can cause all kinds of natural disasters and incurable diseases.

Among the most dangerous contaminators of drinking water is arsenic, which can reach drinking water through erosion of natural deposits and runoff from glass & electronics production wastes.

Arsenic is mostly used in paints, dyes, metals, drugs, soaps, and semi-conductors, and it can cause skin damage or molecular, biochemical and clinical disorders within the circulatory system, and increase the risk of getting cancer.

Prof. Dr. Sherif El Safty, an Egyptian born-and-raised chemist and expert in Nanotechnology, developed a Nano-material which enables simple, quick and efficient detection and removal of arsenic from drinking water.

El Safty obtained his Ph.D. in the year 2000 and worked as a lecturer at the Chemistry Department in the University of Tanta in Egypt, and in 2005, he was also appointed as an Associate Professor. In 2008, he became a Senior Researcher at the National Institute for Materials Science (NIMS) in Japan, leading an independent group of passionate researchers who actively support the goal of creating nano materials for use in environmental clean-up systems.Egyptian-Scientist-Who-Saved-Japan-and-the-Pacific

He has worked in Japan for more than 10 years and has about 20 licensed inventions registered under his name. He also has published more than 190 papers in advanced materials and related chemistry journals and received over 16 awards worldwide.He is leading a group of research at NIMS. His research interests focus on the Multiple Nano dynamic Designs that provide efficient, one site, broad range processes in the same time. These processes are in demand for security monitoring in the global world. He established low cost extraction system based on nanoscale HOM (High Order Mesoporous Monolith) materials of rare earth metals from urban concentrate as secondary resources in Japan. He successfully designed simple, easy to use, and reliable nanocaptors for decontamination of radioactive elements in Fukushima Diaiichi, Japan from water and wastewater.

His technique, which relies on nanotechnology to capture contaminators and reduce them from drinking water, has made him, formally, one of the most eligible scientists to win a 2013 Noble Prize in Chemistry.

NAZI TACTICS BEING EMPLOYED BY ISRAEL

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In a post on his Facebook page, Dr. Yasir Qadhi, co-founder and blog writer for MuslimMatters.org, draws a comparison between the tactics currently used by Israel to dehumanize Palestinians and those employed by the Nazis:

”Modern textbooks on Europe, even those studied in high-school, all demonstrate how the Nazis successfully dehumanized the Jews of Germany so that they could then persecute them with impunity. The Nazis propagated the most obvious myths and lies about Jews, claiming that they ate Christian babies (the infamous ‘blood-libel’), controlled all evil forces in the world, and were hell-bent on destroying anything and everything they could, merely because they were inherently evil. As we read such statements in our times, we wonder how anyone could have believed such anti-Semitic drivel.

It will only be a matter of a few decades, if not sooner, when history books will mention how Israelis attempted to dehumanize all Palestinians, claiming that mothers pushed their own children forward in front of missiles to act as ‘human shields’, and that the evil, demonic ‘Hamas’ actually wanted to kill its own citizens so that people would sympathize with them, and how all religious Muslims were somehow interlinked with al-Qaeda and hell-bent to destroy the modern world. Listening to Israeli politicians, or Fox News, or any pro-Israeli outlet, one sees precisely the same tactics employed by Joseph Goebbels, who was Hitler’s right-hand-man in spreading anti-Jewish propaganda amongst the Germans.

It is truly sad that a people who went through such suffering seem to be so blinded in their love of a ‘homeland’ that they fall into the very same tactics and techniques that caused their own destruction and Holocaust barely a century ago. It is encouraging to see more and more Jews are speaking out against Israel, but still, a large majority of them are such ardent supporters that, from a religious perspective, one can say they have taken this state as an idol besides their G-d, such that it must unconditionally be supported, as it can do no evil, and anything and everything that opposes it must be vilified and destroyed.

“O Children of Israel! Recall all of the blessings that I bestowed upon you, and that I had chosen you over all other nations. And also fear the Day on which no soul shall benefit another, nor will any intercession be accepted, nor any recompense, and nor will any be helped.” [Surah al-Baqara; 37-8].”

GAZA:Dr. Yasir Qadhi, co-founder and blog writer for MuslimMatters.org, responded to a controversial statement made by the Saudi Mufti

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Dr. Yasir Qadhi, co-founder and blog writer for MuslimMatters.org, responded to a controversial statement made by the Saudi Mufti about protesting and demonstrating for Gaza that resurfaced recently stirring much debate. In an interview with a Saudi newspaper in 2009, the Saudi Mufti reportedly answered a question about the benefit of staging demonstrations in support of people in Gaza saying that there is no good in demonstrations and that they are merely chaotic and useless acts.

Disagreeing with this view, Dr. Yasir Qadhi posted this comment on the fatwa in his Facebook page:

I personally, with utmost respect to the Mufti, completely and totally disagree with his opinion. In fact, this is an example of one of my criticisms of the Salafi movement… a lack of political awareness and an assumption that one’s own isolated culture must be extrapolated to encompass all of Islam. Perhaps in some societies protesting on the streets might be considered chaotic (or, as the Mufti puts it, ‘ghawgha’); however, anyone who understand the dynamics of media and politics in the West realizes that public protests are one of the primary mechanisms of spreading and popularizing one’s grievances. It is because of this that the founders of America actually have a clause in the Constitution that prohibits the government from prohibiting public demonstrations!

Protests and demonstrations are a cultural matter whose benefits and harms (and hence Shar`i ruling) will vary from time, to place, to culture, to issue. The Mufti has his opinion, based on his own background and culture; many others, myself included, respectfully disagree.

Can a Reverted Woman Bear Her Husband’s Name?

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It should be clear first of all that a new Muslim should keep good relations with his or her family. Islam calls for good ties with all people. Though a wife may bear her husband’s last name, she should keep her biological father’s name. Islam doesn’t change people’s lineages.

It should be known that even if people converted to Islam, this should not cancel their line of family. Allah Almighty says, “Call them by the names of their fathers. This is the right course in the sight of God.” (Al-Ahzab 33: 5)

We also have a hadith that the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him) said, “Whoever is lined to a father other than his, and he is aware of such, but has committed (an act of) kufr.” (Al-Bukhari)

How Long Can a Husband Stay Away from His Wife?

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we’d like to state that in Islam the marriage of a man and a woman is not just a financial and physical arrangement of living together but a sacred contract, a gift of God, to lead a happy, enjoyable life and continue the lineage. The main goal of marriage in Islam is the realization of tranquility and compassions between the spouses. For the attainment of this supreme goal, Islam defined certain duties and rights for the husband and wife.

The maximum limit a husband is allowed to be away from his wife is four months, or six months according to the view of the Hanbali scholars. This is the maximum period a woman can endure separation from her husband.

Commentators of the Glorious Qur’an narrate the following incident in support of this opinion.

One night Caliph `Umar ibn Al-Khattab (may Allah be pleased with him) was making his rounds of Madinah when he heard a woman singing:

The night is long, darkness all around me;

I am sleepless, for I have no friend to play with.

By Allah, had there been no fear of Him,

This cot would be shaking from side to side.

Upon investigation, `Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) found that the woman’s husband had been on a military expedition for a long time. He then asked his daughter, Hafsah, a widow of the Prophet (peace and blessings be upon him), “How long can a woman endure separation from her husband?” She replied, “Four months.” As a consequence, he decided that he would not send a married man away from his wife for a period exceeding four months.

However, if a wife agrees to give up this right for more than this period, then it is lawful and there is no wrong in this.”

GAZA:SIGN AND SHARETHE PETITION PLEASE!

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We, the undersigned members of Uganda Muslim Brothers and Sisters(UMBS), hold that silence about the latest humanitarian catastrophe caused by Israel’s new military assault on the Gaza Strip—the third and most devastating in six years—constitutes complicity. Member state of NATO which mounted an air war on Libya ostensibly to protect civilians in Benghazi have been by and large quiet about the fate of civilians in Gaza. World governments and mainstream media do not hold Israel accountable for its violations of international law. We, however, as a community of Muslim brothers and Sisters in Uganda have a moral responsibility to do so.

Neither the violation of international law nor the destruction of Palestinian life in Gaza, however, began or will end with the current war[1]. The suffering of Palestinians is not limited to Gaza: the occupation and dispossession in East Jerusalem, the Naqab (Negev), and the West Bank; the construction of walls and fences around the Palestinian population, the curtailment of Palestinian freedom of movement and education, and the house demolitions, all have long histories that will have to be addressed.

As Muslims who value humanity and what the word itself entails, we have a particular interest in and responsibility to respond to the obstacles to the right to higher education that the Israeli state has created for Palestinians both inside Israel and in the occupied territories. In the past two months alone, Israeli forces have raided Al Quds University in Jerusalem, the Arab American University in Jenin, and Birzeit University near Ramallah[2] In the current attacks, Israeli aerial bombardment has destroyed the Islamic University of Gaza. More generally, the Israeli state discriminates against Palestinian students in Israeli universities;[3]and it isolates Palestinian academia by, among other tactics, preventing foreign academics from visiting Palestinian institutions in Gaza and the West Bank[4]. We are also alarmed by the long history of confiscations of Palestinian archives and the destruction of libraries and research centers.[5]

The ongoing Israeli massacres in Gaza have been ghastly reminders of the complicity of Israeli academic institutions in the occupation and oppression of Palestinians. Tel Aviv University, the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, Bar Ilan University, Haifa University, Technion, and Ben Gurion University have publicly declared their unconditional support for the Israeli military.[6]More generally, there are intimate connections between Israeli academic institutions and the military, security, and political establishments in Israel.[7] To take but one example: Tel Aviv University is directly implicated, through its Institute for National Security Studies (INSS), in developing the Dahiya Doctrine,[8]adopted by the Israeli military in its assaults on Lebanon in 2006 and on Gaza today. The Dahiya Doctrine advocates the extensive destruction of civilian infrastructure and “intense suffering” among the civilian population as an “effective” means to subdue any resistance.[9]

We applaud the few dozen Israeli academics and individuals who have protested against their government, and the several dozen who signed a petition calling for an end to Israel’s bombardment of Gaza.[10]Alarmingly, they have faced disciplinary measures from their own universities.[11]We stand by these academics and support them.

We feel compelled to join the growing number of academics in Israel and around the world who support the Palestinian call to boycott Israeli academic institutions or any products supplied by Israel around the world. This call responds to Palestinian civil society organizations’ long-standing appeal for the comprehensive implementation of boycotts, divestments, and sanctions (BDS) of Israel, and is supported by the Palestinian Federation of Unions of University Professors and Employees (PFUUPE).

Following in the footsteps of the growing number of US academic associations that have endorsed boycott resolutions,[12]we call on our colleagues in Uganda and everywhere in the world to boycott Israeli academic institutions, and we ask all Ugandans(Muslims and non-Muslims) not to collaborate on projects and events involving Israeli institutions, not to teach at or to attend conferences and other events at such institutions, and not to publish in academic journals based in Israel. We call for doing so until such time as these institutions end their complicity in violating Palestinian rights as stipulated in international law, and respect the full rights of Palestinians by calling on Israel to:

1.End its siege of Gaza, its occupation and colonization of all Arab lands occupied in June 1967, and dismantle the settlements and the walls;

2.Recognize the fundamental rights of the Arab-Palestinian citizens of Israel and the stateless Negev Bedouins to full equality; and

3.Respect, protect, and promote the rights of Palestinian refugees to return to their homes and properties as stipulated in UN Resolution 194.

For more information, please contact: UMBS admin at: abbeysemuwemba@gmail.com.UMBS is a registered organization devoted to matters of interest to Muslims in Uganda.

Here is the link to the petition:

http://www.thepetitionsite.com/188/615/274/uganda-muslims-solidarity-with-palestines/

What do you think is the best way to resolve the Middle East crisis?

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My Esteemed Brothers and Sisters:

What do you think is the best way to resolve the Middle East crisis,specifically the Palestinian-Israeli dispute both in the short and long terms,?

If you were sitting as a mediator in Cairo, when the peace talks finally resume what concessions would you demand of:

1) the Republic of Israel

2) the Palestinian leadership on behalf of their people?

What is the best road to peace in terms of its probability to succeed?

Do you accept the Hamas and the Islamic Jihad’s demands or wish that the state of Israel must be wiped off the face of the earth? What are the chances that this wish will come true considering the following Geo-political realities in the world?:

a) when all the chips are down and no matter which party is in power or who is serving as the President, the USA will always support Israel. Ditto for most of the western world inclusive of Great Britain, France, Germany etc,

b) the countries of the Middle East are unlikely to ever collectively prevail in any major war with Israel even if they places their entire military resources on the side of the Palestinians? With the exception of Egypt and Qatar which are trying to play a mediating role, have you noticed the deafening silence from Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Syria, Yemen, UAE, Turkey and other Middle East and Islamic countries?

c) even though she is not a friend of Israel, Russia the other major non-western Super power is unlikely to support the Palestinians and the Arabs as it had always done in previous Middle East conflicts?

Unless the world is willing to continue witnessing intermittent human sufferings such as the carnage that is currently going on in the Gaza, which also has the potential of spreading to West Bank and the rest of the Middle East, I believe it is time for the rest of the world to condemn Israel’s actions in the Middle East.

Do you think that If the Palestinians and the Arabs of the Middle East had accepted the boundaries in 1948, there would have been no need for the subsequent military conflicts that have taken place in the Middle East in 1967, in the 70’s, 80’s and in the current century? The Palestinians and the Arabs have lost significant portions of land to Israel with each subsequent war including the Gaza strip–later returned to Egypt by the state of Israel, The West Bank and the Golan Heights.

The question we must ask of the Hamas and other Palestinian and Islamic organizations who are opposed to the two state solution in the Middle East is why they keep on making the same mistakes–doing things the same way and always expecting a different result.

As I wrote in an earlier piece, my sympathies remain with the Palestinian people–who have suffered a great deal since 1948.

UMBS ADMIN