Aug 18, 2009, 6:16 AM
Imam Muhammad Lamin Touray, the President of Gambia Supreme Islamic Council, who also doubles as the deputy Imam of Gunjur has called on leaders to be responsible in their various disciplines.
Imam Touray was addressing thousands of Muslims from across the country, who assembled at the annual Islamic Congress in Gunjur Kombo South last Saturday.
He said, "Responsible leadership is an order from Allah and his prophet. It is mandatory on every leader to lead with good examples, and to show correct guidance for the good of the society."
He added: "Every parent, Alkalo, Chief, Governor, Minister, President, king or whatever position you are handling, where you have people under you, you will be questioned and held accountable for everything they do, if you don't guide them and show them the straight path towards Allah."
He went on, the Prophet (SAW) was quoted as saying "everyone of you is a watchdog and every watchdog will be questioned on how you guided and protected your subjects."
"It is not enough for you to do good, while your subjects are only doing wrong and offending Allah, the creator of the universe."
In Imam Touray's view, many Gambians are Muslims but failed to guide their children in the straight path. He said "anybody who prays, keeps the fast, gives out zakat, has visited Alqaabah for pilgrimage, and believes in Allah as the only living God has a responsibility to guide all those working under him."
The erudite Imam added that for responsible leadership to prevail seeking knowledge is a crucial matter and an obligation.
"You can only guide, protect and serve if you know, and this is only possible if you learned how to. This was why the first verse to the Prophet was 'to read', because he is coming to take up leadership responsibilities."
The head of the GSIC further dilated on the lifestyle of many youngsters in The Gambia, describing it as disgusting and unacceptable.
"How can we call ourselves Muslims when we still neglect some of our responsibilities? The way and manner in which our children dress and behave in our communities is terrible and unaccepted.
"We must all take note that from the day you are matured, the day you get married, the day you have your first child, then you have become an Alkalo of a village, an Imam, Chief, Governor, Minister, President or whatever position you might be handling, your responsibilities are marked. And you shall be held accountable for both your deeds and that of those under you," he declared.
"Our children, especially girls, seeing the way they dress and our boys with all kinds of intoxicants and criminal behaviours are crucial issues that every parent should be prepared for, and get ready for answers on Judgment Day. These children will leave our houses at night going out for picnics, to the club and all sorts of programmes, and none of the leaders ranging from parents upwards says a word to stop it; yet we called ourselves Muslims," he stated.