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Opinions of Wednesday, 18 May 2011

Columnist: Mahama, Abdul Wahab

Politics And Religion: Democracy Vs. Theology

Politics has over time been defined as per the orientation of a particular person, the general standpoint in contemporary times is; a phenomenon with something to do with governance and leadership of the masses.

However, relative to the topic as stated above two definitions stand as relevant in the general scheme of events. As per the dominant political system operated in the world and Ghana for that matter (democracy), “a game of numbers” is no stranger in the definition of politics.

With respect to religion, philosopher Karl Marx defined it as being “the opium of the masses,” without probing into his postulation; we might safely conclude that Marx was cognizant of the fact that religion was another social facet that people associated with.

To this end, both definitions – admittedly for purposes of this piece – converge on the consensus that a basic similarity between politics and religion is the fact that both phenomena need people to operate.

In the very religiously cosmopolitan society that we live in, there is no doubt that Ghana is a typically secular community; a slice through the religious strata would reveal dominant religions as Islam, Christianity and the long standing African Traditional religion.

Both concepts (religion/ politics) involve the interpretation of laws; whereas religion via the Imam, Pastor, and traditional priests transmit laws to do with divinity; politicians however deal with making laws for the people over whom they superintend.

Religion is perhaps the biggest member of civil society and has over the years had representations on state commissions and boards; the Peace Council, the National Reconciliation Commission, the National Youth Council and the National Media Commission just to mention a few.

More often than not, whenever society is faced especially by some morally degrading occurrences, religious leaders have been the first point of call – say in the case of same sex marriages and lately the involvement of the youth in videoed sexual bouts.

During election 2008 for instance, the clergy were called upon time without number to call to order politicians whose statement were seen as inimical to social cohesion and overly inflammatory as to erode the peace that the country was enjoying.

Politicians have also left the clergy with no option than to speak on what clearly are ‘effusions’ that do not auger well for social bonding, “There are many ways of killing a cat,” (as postulated by National Democratic Congress (NDC) Chairman Kwabena Adjei)

How can anyone forget, “All die be die,” as part of supposed exhortations by flag bearer of the largest opposition New Patriotic Party’s (NPP) presidential aspirant, Nana Addo Danquah Akuffo Addo to party faithful to resist intimidation?

Whiles all of this transpires, note must however be taken of how religion has always being at the centre of state functions, with Muslim and Christian prayers being offered at most state functions save for the neglect of traditional rites and the attendant debate it has sparked some months back.

Politicians take to the platforms and make all manner of statements, true or otherwise, reconciliatory and divisive, plain and muddled; all for the simple reason of rallying people around their bid to become leaders for the simple reason that; political power rested in the bosom of the masses.

A clear danger however is the all too obvious fact that religious congregations (be it in the mosque or church) are as cosmopolitan as are the general Ghanaian society and for which reason the religious leader must stay clear of open campaigning.

An Anglican Priest became the center of political vitriolic and aspersion in the wake of pronouncements perceived as being tainted by political colours. So bad and scathing was the attack that it raised questions about what good if any there was in the clergy wading into partisan party politics.

Then at other times, a section of the populace via the help of the media; for reasons best known to them set out to link members of the clergy politically; failure of clear the air on the allegation invariably lending credence to it.

The leader of Ghanaian Muslims, the National Chief Imam, Sheikh Dr. Osmanu Nuhu Sharubutu, has had reason to clear up such perception in a Ghanaian Times Newspaper publication in the middle page of the Wednesday February 23, 2011 edition titled “I am not a politician, says Chief Imam.”

The learned sheikh amongst other things stated thus; “I am neither a politician nor a public figure sponsored by any political party in Ghana or elsewhere, I am a religious leader whose primary role is the promotion of Islam as well as the development and welfare of Muslims and Ghanaians at large.”

The Chief Imam by the particular publication was putting across an obvious fact, which is that the clergy must rise over and above partisan politics as a member or the other within any congregation is likely to belong to one party or the other.

Indeed there are the group of people who might be under the ‘floating voters’ banner but who are very particular about their spiritual leaders making political overtures in the course of their discharge of the gospel whenever they ascend the pulpit.

I guess I need not remind us of calls by politicians on Civil Society, especially on the clergy to unreservedly condemn political pronouncements seen as inimical to the stability of the country.

The BARE TRUTH the clergy must know and appreciate (that is if they already do not know) is; statements on party political pronouncement must as much as possible be measured and if possible issued as a group, (by which implication several perspectives would have been explored en route to arriving at a particular stance).

The clergy stands by far as the single most respected member of civil society whose effect on the larger masses of Ghanaians (one or the other of whom belongs to a religious entity) extends to the very heart of obeisance of divine and social standards.

My very small socio political appeal to the clergy is a SUSTAINED CRUSADE against the scourge of homosexuality and lesbianism and more importantly the very crude, unwarranted pornographic display in the media as currently pertains.

Whether the voice from the pulpit is a shout of Hallelujah; a divine glorification of Allahu Akbar (Allah is the greatest) or a call unto the forefathers as priest/priestesses scream, party politics could be a slippery ground for which reason I guess religious politics must stand firm and be as circumspect as possible; can I hear somebody yell Aaaaamen!


Address: P.O. Box GP14002 ACCRA E-mail:
Tel: 024 0583222 (President)/ 024 4131272 (Secretary) Facebook: Hamdaniyya Dawah.



Hamdaniyya Dawah Committee (HDC) extends to you the Islamic greetings and felicitations of peace and of Allah’s grace and mercies; As Salaamu Alaikum!

HDC by this letter hopes to serve you notice of a full years’ (two semesters) scholarship granted to your ward …………………………………………………………......, this comes as part of an award package for his/her participation as a member of the winning team in a quiz competition organized by the Committee on Sunday April 17, 2011.

We hereby wish to invite you as parent/guardian to the above named student, to an official meeting with the school administration to accept the scholarship, the scheduled date is Sunday June 5, 2011 between 9 – 11:00 am.

If for any reason, your ward has already paid their first semester fees, the school would duly credit their account for subsequent fees or a refund if need be. A reminder of the July 5 meeting would be transmitted in due course either through a phone call or text message as the date approaches.

Thanks in advance for your support as we team up to make better future leaders of our youth, may Allah aid, guide, protect and reward our every effort; Was Salaamu Alaikum!

Very sincerely yours,

(President, HDC)

cc: The Director Hamdaniyya Islamic School

a. Yunus Iddriss/Form 3
b. Aiman Shamun/Upper 6
c. Salma Ismail/Five B
d. Zahra Zuraq/Five A


Hamdaniyya Dawah Committee (HDC) as part of its activities aimed at visiting inmates of the Nsawam Prisons is encouraging all STAFF and STUDENTS to help our efforts at raising funds and preparation towards the May 25, 2011 visit. (May day holiday)

Dawah Committee is currently in need of the following items;
• Milk
• Sugar
• Rice
• Tinned tomatoes
• Canned fish and meat
• Soap and Washing powder
• Toilet Rolls
• Clothing for men and women
• Cash Donations etc.

As is indicated above, after reading tell the message to other relations, donate the little you can and help to generate needed items and cash amounts.

(President, HDC)

As Salaamu Alaikum,
Hamdaniyya Dawah Committee (HDC) is a sub-committee of Hamdaniyya Islamic School, tasked with religious outreach activities in and out of the school.

As part of our activities the group has arranged a visit to the Nsawam Prisons come May 25, 2011 (Africa Union Holiday)

We are consequently soliciting cash donations and items like; Milk, Sugar, Rice, Toiletries (Soap, Washing powder and Toilet Rolls), Clothing for men and women; Cash Donations are all most appreciated.

Thanks in advance for your cooperation, Was Salaamu Alaikum.

(President, HDC) 024 0583222

Address: P.O. Box GP14002 ACCRA E-mail:
Tel: 024 0583222 (President)/ 024 4131272 (Secretary) Facebook: Hamdaniyya Dawah.


Hamdaniyya Dawah Committee (HDC) by this note officially grants a full years’ scholarship for ……………………………………………………….. of class …………………

The scholarship being part of an award package for the above mentioned students’ contribution to the winning team (Al Ihsaan) during a quiz competition organized by HDC.

The Committee is acting only as disbursers of the award which is singlehandedly funded by member of the Dawah Committee and quizmaster during the April 17 competition; Ustaz Ismail Brimah.

Attached herewith is a receipt, with number ……………….. for the full amount of bursaries amounting to fifty-two Ghana Cedis paid in cash to the school’s coffers.

Our prayer is for the Almighty to grant you and us of HIS infinite knowledge, sanctify our every intention and duly reward us in this world and in the hereafter; most importantly … may Al Mujeeb (The Answerer) answer our supplication(s).

Very sincerely yours,

(President, HDC)

Address: P.O. Box GP14002 ACCRA E-mail:
Tel: 024 0583222 (President)/ 024 4131272 (Secretary) Facebook: Hamdaniyya Dawah.


Dear Sir/Madam,


We the executives and general membership of Hamdaniyya Dawah Committee (HDC) extend our greetings of peace and tranquility to you, Salamu Alaikum.

We would by that like to put in an official request to visit inmates of your facility (the Nsawam Prisons) to share with them the message of Islam and to fraternize with fellow Muslims under detention there.

Our visit would also afford us the opportunity to donate some clothing and other items to the inmates as part of our social contribution as a body.

We have slated Wednesday May 24, 2011 (African Union holiday) to undertake this program and sincerely hope our request is given the green light from your outfit, despite the very short time of our notification.

We hope to hear from you soon as the date draws closer each passing date as we wait to contribute to reforming at least spiritually residents of our correctional facilities.

Thanks for your audience.

Very sincerely yours,

(President, HDC)
024 0583222

OTABIL PAINTS MOSQUE: Why, How? And so what?

The painting of a place of worship should ordinarily not create any

People mentioned between 1958 and 1960
Alhaji Sulley Na Alhaji Amadu Baagayah (AMBUH) (aka Alhaji Sulley Mei Geemu Mahawchi)
Alhaji Ibrahiml
Alhaji Norgah
Mallam Amadu Fulani
Alhaji Mam-mah Aduguloo
Dr. Sheikh Ali
Abubakar Suleiman (Baaba Bala)
Mei Wadaa.

People mentioned between 1962 and 1965
Hajia Angulu
Mallam Sha’ban
Students at the time; Abeodu
Baba A-wise
Baba Zimbo
Abdul Kareem

Teachers at the time; Mallam Mumuni and Dr. Sheikh Ali

1966 – 1969
Hajia Aishatu Mei Swakora (AMBUH) (aka Mma mei Swakora)
Mallam Garba assisted by Dr. Sheikh Ali who left to study in Saudi
Mallam Kataki
Some of the students then included;
Abdul Kareem
Mallam Mumuni and
Mohammed Awal (Ana) – who was a student and a pupil teacher at the same time.

Sheikh Yusifu Musah Akpopirebo with support from Mallam Innua

1970 - 1971
Mallam Mohammed Awal (Ana) returned to open the school
Mallam Murtala, son of Mallam Shaban
Students at the time;
Booya (headmistress of Al-Banaat Islamic School)
Mariam Hussein (Mma Naa)

1972 – 1976
Second school anniversary was held
Male students at the time included; Sufyan Ahmed Labaran
Mallam Barri
Hussein, Abu etc.
The female students were the likes of; Booya
Mariam aka Mmanaa
1977 – 1978
School headed at this time by Alhaji Ahmed
Teachers at the time; Suraj
Baba Billy Porsh

1980 – 1991
1986 school still under Alhaji Ahmed with teachers like Mallam Toure
Mohammed Sani
Hussein Shardow
Tunde Abaaji

1991 and beyond
Student – teachers stepped in;
Mallam Swallah
Mallam Ibrahim
Mallam Sulley
Mallam Abdul Wahab
Mallam Sulley
Mallam Ma’az
Sister Hamdiya
Aishatu Habib (Maalama Mma)