Nov 5, 2012, 10:59 AM
President of the Gambia Supreme Islamic Council, Imam Alhaji Muhammed Lamin Touray, has blamed the observance of the holy month of Ramadan on different days on what he called ignorance and cheap popularity.
"Everything in Islam is unique and guided by principles, either from the Qur'an or Sunnah and the suggestions of eminent scholars in Islam. Those who bring confusion in the minds of the Muslims, as to when we start and end Ramadan are merely looking for cheap popularity or are totally ignorant," Touray said in an interview with this reporter.
According to Imam Touray, many people mislead people, hiding behind the names of prominent Islamic scholars in our communities.
"We must do away from the concept of 'this is the way we found it from our scholars and forefathers'. In fact, in many situations, people use those great scholars who are no more in our societies to cover themselves in their desires by misleading people," Touray added.
Noting that there is no single difference in worship as far as Islam is concerned, Touray blamed some people for being what he called just ignorant and arrogant, and who want to popularise themselves by using the religion.
For him, this is not something new in the religion, because even in the days of the shahabas (followers or companions of the Prophet), some people alleged things on the Prophet which he has never said or done.
He emphasised that they (the Islamic Council) will never lead people astray, even if some people start giving them names.
"We will stand by the principles of Islam in order not to mislead people even if they call us names. The Prophet (Pbuh) was called so many names for his stance for the religion. So who are we not to be insulted or given names, because we are trying to correct the system. We will never mislead the people even if we are given names," he emphasised.
The GSIC President stated that they at the Supreme Islamic Council are conscious of the fact that everything they do or say will be accounted for. "We know it is a severe responsibility to lead people in Islam because you are monitored by God in everything you direct, encourage or discouraged in Islam. He is the all seer, the all knower and the wise," he added.
He noted that the Prophet (Pbuh) has once said that "we must fast if we see the moon." However, he added that we must be very careful because the remark of the Prophet has no boundary.
"This has made it an obligation on all Muslims around the world to fast if one Muslim country confirms seeing the moon," he further stated.
He went on to warn those whom, he noted, go around town, on radios, and conferences misleading people to desist from it, as they are doing something very sinful.
"The moon is unique and it appears only once, so when it appears and is confirmed by other Muslims, which moon are you waiting for again,? he queried.
Imam Touray also revealed that the email for the GSIC newly established Zakat Centre is gsic0708gmail.com and the account number is 211601-62305-017 The Gambia Supreme Islamic Council (Endowment).