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landmark exposition of verse 10 of Surah Rahman of the Holy Quran was done by
Khalif Hassan Jallow at the 36th Zirrah of Bansang.
It is that exposition that gives rise to a story headlined: Exploring verse 10 of Surah Rahman of the Holy Quran.
The story in its original form in the Tuesday 2nd May 2017 edition of the Point News paper was headlined: 36th Annual Zirrah of Bansang.
Verse 10 of Surah Rahman is the focus and it features prominently in that story and the true narrative of it is placed at the middle of it. In this story you are reading, verse 10 was brought further down to the end of the article. This was done for a purpose. A lot has been said that preceded the narrative about verse 10, all meant to prepare the reader’s mind that he is heading for information very critical and important to our existence and lives.
The understanding is that in Surah Rahaman, Allah (SWT) is giving a positive warning signal in verse 10 about how people should live and live happily. And if these exhortations are ignored, what will follow is anybody’s guess.
The author of that story in the Point Newspaper did not state a byline. Presumably he did not want his identity unveiled and has done that very skillfully. Even the language, the literary style helps in the cover-up game. The language is free from jargons of any particular area of learning discipline that may give him away. He manifested his skill in writing and level of education in the western and Islamic domain.
In the packaging of the relevant information about the pedigree of the Jallow family of Bansang and their guests at a zirrah ceremony, the writer squeezed every bit of information in the 2/ ½ column in page 7 of the Point Newspaper.
The information given prominence includes the background of the guests of the Jallow family who are the organizers and the principal actors. The story also names the Aleems and Ulamaas all scholars, citing their titles in the world of Islam and their places of residence from where they came, in particular distinguishing and naming those educated and graduated from the Bansang Learning Centre. The writer gives account of works and achievements of the old man Sheikh Alhagie Khalif Bubacarr Zaid Jallow (RA). The Khalif is described as a well known Islamic scholar, Imam, Tijanniyya, Khalif and community leader. The writer named the siblings of the Khalif one by one in order of seniority, starting with the eldest, Sheikh Alhagie Hassan B. Jallow, followed by Dr. Sheikh Ahmed Tijan Jallow, Mam Sait and Chernor Junadi Jallow all people of distinction who have all their teeth cut in the learning center established by their father.
The article in the Point Newspaper was about a religious gathering in our local parlance called “Zirrah”. That Zirrah, celebrated annually in Bansang began 36 years ago, and come rain or shine it is still observed without interruption. And it continues to attract people and participants yearly. This year’s event was held in April from the 24 – 25 in the town of Bansang. This was the residence of the Kalif where he, unaided, lunched his mission and rising by his own efforts. He once moved out of Bansang and stayed at Janjanbureh for a very short stint and then returned to Bansang where he stayed for the rest of his life.
Bansang is a small town with no known record of being traditionally warm to the sort of mission the Kalif has set himself to establish. Nonetheless, he chose Bansang as his base converting it as a center for teaching and learning of the memorization of the Holy Quran and the promotion of the Tijanntyya brotherhood. From this base the voice of the Khalif went out resonating all over the world and people thronged the streets of Bansang t o answer to his call.
Eminent Muslim scholars attended the 2017 Zirrah and most of them delivered sermons and religious songs. Adding to the illumination of the occasion, was the presence of all the four sons of the Khalif, each had a special role to perform. But the leadership of the ceremony was the responsibility of the eldest son who undoubtedly is the successor to the headship of the family, now presiding over the affairs of the family, the estates, the landed properties, legacies and the influence of the vast network of organizations and centers of learning in and out of the Gambia, encompassing Senegal, Ivory Coast, Benin, Mauritania, Guinea Bissau/Conakry, UK and USA. He also takes the Khalif title of the father, called Sheikh Alhagie Khalif Hassan Bubacarr Jallow (Now the spiritual leader of the Khaliphate built by his father). That’s not the end of it; he is also the Chief Justice of the republic of The Gambia. And author of the book of law accepted as authority in the High Courts of the Gambia.
In opening that Zirrah, Khalif Hassan set the tone, the order and business of the night. This was exclusively about Allah (SWT) as revealed in the Holy Quran, the Hadith of Prophet Muhammed (PBUH), the Tijannyya brotherhood and the genesis and history of the Bansang Zirrah. He then exhorted the adherence to hold fast to the three things left behind by the late father. According to him, these are the five pillars of Islam, the principle of the Tariqat and the bonds of kingship and good neighborliness. His second major address of the congregation came very near the end of the night after all night vigil and recitation of the Quran and recital of religious songs some of which were composed by his late father himself. This second appearance happened immediately after the Subh/Fajr prayer. It was the climax and the landmark brilliant exposition of the content of verse 10 of Surah Rahman of the Holy Quran. This verse the face of it reads: “And the earth He has spread out for all His creatures”. This verse is highly condensed and the language almost bland, only the scholars familiar with the language of the Quran and can give a very concise interpretation of it. Khalifa Hassan is very much familiar with the Quran as indicated by the way he handled the interpretation of verse 10 of Surah Rahman of the Holy Quran.
Khalif Hassan delves deep in the heart of the verse and explained how it relates to the world of yesterday, today and tomorrow.
Observers say that this sermon is a warning signal to the world as a whole and it is of special significance to Gambians. This verse is a positive warning to all mankind. It is the prescription of how man should live in the world.
In his address after the Subh/Fajr prayers, the current Khalif emphasized the importance of verse 10 of Surah Rahman of the Holy Quran in which Allah (SWT) says that, He has spread out the earth for all his creatures.
This verse, the Khalif said, “is a call to peaceful co-existence and the tolerance of diversity. Despite our differences in sex, tribe, race, religion, tariqat, wealth, etc, Allah has chosen to create only one earth for us.
“We must therefore learn to cohabit peacefully on this single earth despite our differences. The failure to observe the dictates of this verse according to the Khalif is the root cause of intolerance and of conflict in the world today”
“We must” he emphasize, “learn to live together peacefully and with respect, however different we may be in some aspects”.
Observers opined that the timing of the deliverance of this sermon is significant and important coming at the end of the ceremony when people were almost getting ready to disperse. It is believed that the sermon was meant to have an everlasting in-print on the minds of the audience.
This Fajr prayer sermon of Khaliff Hassan cannot be equated with that of prophet Muhammad’s (pbuh) farewell speech made at mount Arafat but it can be characterized as having a far reaching effect.