Jul 11, 2011, 11:50 AM
The Lebanese Community in The Gambia, through the Ahl Albait Islamic Association, at the weekend distributed 500 bags of 25kg of rice and sugar to Muslims in the country, as part of their annual Ramadan gesture in the country.
Speaking on the occasion, held at the Lebanese mosque in Pipeline, the Imam of the Lebanese Community, Imam Sheikh Rabitl Farhat, said the annual Ramadan gift is a tradition and a goodwill gesture from the Lebanese community in The Gambia to their Gambian brothers and sisters.
“The organisation usually receives contributions every year from the Lebanese community here to give it out to their fellow Muslims, as an obligation bestowed on them. We were told by the holy Prophet as Muslims to care for and give out charity to those in need,” he said.
In his earlier address to the beneficiaries, Imam Farhat told them that the gesture was not a charity to them; rather it was an obligation on the giver.
He maintained that Muslims should always help, support and care for one another. “Giving is always good, especially during the holy month of Ramadan,” he said. “I am a Muslim and my organisation is an Islamic body and that is why we are meeting our obligation.”
According to him, they hold very fast onto the holy Qu’ran’s teaching of caring and extending a helping hand to fellow Muslims.
Speaking on the importance of Ramadan to Muslims, the Lebanese imam used the opportunity to in advance felicitate President Yahya Jammeh and the Gambian people on the feast of Koriteh. He also commended President Jammeh for his support to the poor and needy in the country.
Deputising the president of the Gambia Supreme Islamic Council, Imam Sheriff Malick Badjan thanked the Lebanese community for the humanitarian gesture, describing it as timely.
He also preached on unity and mutual understanding among Muslims in the country and beyond, saying peace and unity should be promoted.
Other speakers on the occasion included Alhagie Ousman Jah, Imam Baba Leigh and Oustass Muhamed Lamin Sanuwo. They all thanked the Lebanese for the annual gesture.
Among this year’s beneficiaries were imams, scholars, widows, and local Muslim charities.