Sheikh Ismail bin Musa, the Mufti of the Muslims in Zimbabwe, of Yemeni origin speaks Arabic and English fluently. He was born and raised in Zimbabwe, reviving the lives of the people of this country and familiarizing themselves with their customs and traditions and touching on the most important problems and challenges facing them, especially Muslims.
Sheikh Mohammed has played a prominent role in the field of Islamic da’wa there. He has faced the Christianization operations which spread throughout the African continent and tried to limit the spread of AIDS spread through the teachings and methods of Islam that urge chastity and purity. We learned from him about the situation of Muslims there through this dialogue.
The number of people in Zimbabwe is between 10 and 12 million. The proportion of Muslims was almost 1 percent of the population and now 20 percent in 20 years. They were 100,000 and they became 500,000 Muslims.
He pointed out that the call for Islam in Zimbabwe continues, and we have some programs to cooperate with other religions, and we have Islamic centers to teach the sons of Muslims who have recently recognized the principles and methods of Islam and try as much as possible to show them the matters of their religion because many people enter Islam and they know nothing about Islam, Sometimes people despair and are not satisfied with entering Islam because they do not know the teachings of Islam and the detailed provisions. Therefore, we try to show the new Muslims the things of their religion through the training and educational courses and try as much as possible to help people, especially in the difficult circumstances experienced by many people there.
He pointed out that the economic and political crisis worsens the living conditions of many, noting that large numbers of people can not find what to eat, we try to provide humanitarian and relief assistance to Muslims and non-Muslims.
The habit of Marriage after pregnancy:
- We know that the rate of AIDS in Zimbabwe is one of the largest in the world, to what extent are Muslims affected by this disease?
AIDS in Zimbabwe kills 3,000 people a week, Despite this, Muslims do not suffer from AIDS and praise be to God as a result of the commitment to the teachings of Islam, which forbids adultery, which is the main cause of the spread of the disease, especially since it is the custom of some tribes there, that marriage is not done on a woman unless she is pregnant, and after giving birth to her child if the man agrees with him, and then he marry her or he may leave her, and they tried to get rid of this habit and now they realized the damage and this is one of the biggest reasons for the spread of AIDS there.
The officials of the blood bank appreciate the fact that Muslims are observing the teachings of their religion and therefore they do not get sick, so they are looking for Muslims to donate blood, one of those responsible for the blood bank asked me to show people in mosques, “We need Muslim blood because it is the purest blood there.”, if you ask a man there about his religion and said that he is a Muslim, you do not find him carrying diseases, especially AIDS. As religious scholars, we have a duty to help them and show them that even if they lose the world, they should not lose their second life.
- Your work and your closeness to Muslims allow you to identify the most important and most serious problems and challenges facing Muslims there. Can you tell us about them?
One of the most important problems facing Muslims in Zimbabwe is poverty and lack of education, and we try to bring as many scientists as possible to people, especially since many Zimbabwean scientists after graduating from Arab and Islamic universities leave Zimbabwe and go to South Africa for economic reasons and because their salary is not enough and therefore there is a large deficit in schools.
He adds that poverty in Zimbabwe is so great that many people can not buy bread but with the formation of a coalition government of all parties, including the Islamic, there is the great hope for solving our economic problems, most of which are due to political problems.
The Call Activities :
- Do you find that Islamic centers and mosques is an outlet for teaching Muslims about their religion?
The largest Islamic institution in Zimbabwe «Council of Scientists» and there is also the House of Fatwa and it is also affiliated to the Council, and this institution is recognized and has a good relationship with the state, and we have educational centers, mosques and modern Islamic schools, there is a large Islamic center in the capital Harare called «Dar Al-’Elm» and includes students from all cities of Zimbabwe, We brought them to teach them in «Dar Al-’Elm» all the matters of the Islamic religion. When they graduate after 4 or 6 years, according to the course they joined, they return to their areas and teach the people there the Islamic religion.
In addition to this, there are the call convoys that we prepare and we go out every week to the villages, there is also a mobile preacher who roams the cities, which is 10 cities. In every city, an advocate who takes his instructions from the Council of Scientists in the headquarters goes to the villages and tries as much as possible to gather the largest number of Muslims, especially on Sunday of each week. Residents to give them lectures and religious lessons and distribute some food and gifts.
And for some people who are physically unable to contribute to the cost of transportation so that they can come to us for two weeks to study and ensure their residence and food and we do not have a certain age for those who accept to study the curricula of Islam comes to us from the age of seventy years of men and women and so far more than 15 thousand of The people of Zimbabwe got these courses.
We do not need money :
- Are there external aids that you rely on in your call to Islam?
There is no foreign aid from Islamic and Arab countries at all except for some scholarships and this is directly benefiting students. We do not need to ask for money from abroad because the people of the country trust us and give us what we need as much as they can.
And we rely on our call to Islam on many means and the most important media through radio and newspapers because many Zimbabweans do not have televisions, which led us to the famous newspapers to write articles that show and clarify the teachings of Islam and explain the prophetic traditions, especially that the meaning of all people and not only Muslims, Such as the talk of “who is ruthless will not have a mercy from any one “, we need to teach people that the religion of Islam religion heaven came down the right, thank God With the publication of such articles in the newspapers entered many people of Zimbabwe Islam.
As well as we have TV programs dealing with the teachings of Islam and many people who have televisions and receivers receive satellite programs watching Islamic programs, whether in Arabic or English and find answers to their questions, We also have a Web site. Zimbabweans have 95% of them who speak English. So many people in the country have been able to learn a lot about Islam, so the number of Muslims there is 500,000.
Western Finance :
- Are there other challenges facing Muslims in Zimbabwe?
Although Zimbabwe has not officially declared it a Christian state, the operations of Christianity in Zimbabwe are many and intensive and funded by the major Western countries, working day and night for that and come to our homes until they came to my house I, and try to discuss with us, especially with regard to the Prophet Muhammad peace be upon him and we can not stop these campaigns, and many times we set with them and talk to them to know what they say and how they think. There is a difficulty in facing the campaigns of Christianization because there is no funding to face these campaigns because most of the funding of the Islamic call there depends on the country’s Muslim traders only.