Remembering Imam Ratib

Friday, April 11, 2008
Alhaji Abdoulie Jobe (1910-2004)

The late Alhaji Abdoulie Jobe Imam Ratib of Banjul and the acclaimed chief patron of 26 Islamic organization throughout The Gambia died in the hands of his immediate family on Monday 10th June 2004.He was 94 years old and lived at 39 Lancaster street in Banjul. A renowned scholar in the field of Islamic studies, Alhaji ABDOULIE Jobe did his primary and secondary school education in Banjul from 1917-1930. He also attended various Quranic school and pursued private studies to broaden his knowledge on the Holy Quran and Islamic and Arabic studies. In 1931, Imam Jobe joined the public service and served at the then post and telegraph department in various capacities for a period of 34 years. He retired as district postmaster and inspector of post in 1965. During the period under review,Alhaji Abdoulie Jobe relentlessly engaged in researches and over seas correspondence courses, earning himself a respectable proficiency in Arabic language and religious sciences .He intensified his pursuit of knowledge of The Holy Quran and Arabic studies by addressing himself to a life -long ambition of writing a concise book on the life of the Holy prophet (may the peace and blessing of Allah be up on him). "This desire was reinforced by close interactions with muslim youths, and western educated Muslims anxious to acquire greater insights and understanding of the values and practices of Islam. The misconceptions entertained on Islam and on the true message of The Holy Prophet, the many questions privately addresses to me, strengthened my conviction that a work of this nature would be of great service to the Muslim community of The Gambia and to the Muslim Ummah at .large", disclosed Imam Jobe. He said "the driving forces for undertaking a task of this magnitude has been the deep-seated desire to seek the pleasure of Allah, the Most Gracious, Most Merciful and to serve the Muslim Ummah at large". The same year Imam Abdoulie sought and obtained a Royal visa from his Royal Majesty, the late king of Saudi Arabia, king Faisal Ibn Abdul Aziz which legitimized his stay in Madinah AI-Munawarah for a period of two years (1967-1968). During this time, Imam Abdoulie produced his first monumental work on Islamic studies. This period was one of remarkable enrichment and widening of Imam Abdoulie's spiritual education and experience. He had access to authentic material on Islam, and to eminent Saudi and international scholars. Imam Abdoulie succeeded in producing a 56 paged documented work on Islamic religions sciences -RAUDHA T AL-MUASIRIN written in Arabic in Medina AL- Munawarah. This book is in the Royal library of the Islamic university of ALMadinah and the Rabit. It has also been widely distributedin many parts of the Islamic world, particularly in Africa. Imam Abdoulie is a prolific writer who has written the following books-: 1. ETHICS from the Holy Quran and Hadith for Gambian schools-1956 (now out of print).

2. A collection of 500 Hadith of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and his four rightly guided companions, primarily designed to encourage exemplary character-building in Gambian schools (Book is still in manuscript).

3. English translation of RAUDHAT AL-MU' ASIRIN- THE Garden of my contemporaries (In manuscript). .

4. RAUDHA T AL-MU' ASIRIN in Arabic.

5. A Diwan of poetic verses on various Islamic subjects including history, the miracle of the Holy Quran, ethics, exemplary life of famous spiritual leaders and Islamic Sufism.(in manuscript-Diwan comprises over 2000 poetic verses).

6. THE IDEAL PROPHET (completed in December 1995).

7. Ethic on the pilgrimage to Mecca in both Arabic and English ( In manuscript).

8. A number of papers and pamphlets including a general time-table for prayer and fasting hours to last for several years particularly designed for Muslims in the Senegambian Region (printed by the Government printer of The Gambia)

In his book 'The Ideal Prophet' Imam Jobe charts the course of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) through childhood, youth, ordination to prophet hood, proclamation of the call, facing the wrath of his people, migration and ultimately leaving behind a community of Muslims united and imbued with a degree of faith capable to inspiring and illuminating the hearts of contemporary and future generations. This book lays special emphasis on the transcendent dignity of The Holy Prophet's position among the divine messengers of Allah. An attempt is made to demonstrated how his brilliant personality, his unique prophet hood, the resounding success of his divine mission, the wisdom and practicality of his eternal message entitled him to the unique position of the seal of the prophets as described in the Holy Quran - the last of the long line of prophets arid apostles of all ages. His Book - The Holy Quran is also designated the last repository of The Shari'ah laws, which categorically abrogate almost all previous divine laws given to the Prophets before him. The book examines two distinct subject areas. The first four chapters essentially seek to narrate the major events and episodes of the Holy Prophet's life, (a)the pre-prophet hood period,(b )the Makkah phase,( c )the period spent in Medina,( d)the jihad he waged, (e )the pilgrimage he performed and (f)his demise. The remaining chapters demonstrate the exemplary nature of his unique character, and the functionality and viability of the institutions he left for the Ummah. It is not possible to describe and analyze all these institutions in the pages of the book. We have only concentrated on few of them which we believe, are of profound interest to our audience and which are often subjects of distortions. The institutions presented in this book Cover (1) marriage, (2) the economic and social systems of Islam and (3 )Islamic political values and concept of sovergnity. The final chapters present the greater miracle of the Holy Prophet (PBUH)- The Holy Quran- its characteristics and attributes, and also provide a synthesis of The Holy Prophet's character and his eternal message. It must be mentioned that from 1962 to 1987, the author made the pilgrimage to Makkah eight times and travelled extensively in West Africa, the Middle East, different parts of Asia and Europe and attended many international conferences on Islamic subjects. As Imam Ratib of the City of Banjul, Alhaji Jobe serves in various capacities in many Islamic, social and philanthropic organizations. He has served in the Central Mosque Executive Committee from 1964 up to his appointment as IMAM RA TIB in 1983. He is the acclaimed Chief patron of 26 Islamic Organization throughout the Gambia. He is a patron to the Gambia supreme Islamic council and serves in the law Reform commission of the Ministry of Justice and in the Gambia Population Commission.

IMAM JOBE was appointed Justice of the Peace by Her Majesty The Queen Elizabeth II in 1948. He was decorated with the insignia of Officer of the National Order of The Republic of The Gambia -ORG in 1989 by the first President of The Gambia Alhagie Sir Dawda Jawara. In October 2000, he was appointed to the rank of commander of the National Order of The Republic of The Gambia (CRG).

Author: Compiled by Mam Sait Ceesay