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Opinions of Friday, 15 July 2016

Columnist: Alhassan, Ahmed

Where is the Ahlussunna Wal-jama’a endowment fund ?

Baba Amadu “Speaks” I never realized the profundity and the true meaning of the prophet’s (SA) statement; “Wisdom is the lost property of the believer and wherever he finds it, he is the most deserving of it”, until the day I decided to spend some time with this old man.

As most children, growing up kept my attention uninterrupted with captivating stories filled with nuggets of wisdom and knowledge. Seeing this old man always sitting quietly in the house, I decided one day to go have an interaction with him and from that pivotal point he became my friend until he had his soul divorced.

This man inherently has an innate knack to relate stories that depict our living as people. I remember so vividly when I asked him to tell me something about patience. He recounted to me a life-time experience that served as an embodiment of the word, ‘Patience’.

One thing that adhesively kept me to this man was his ardent zeal to live up to the precepts of the Islamic faith. His love for the Islamic religion is reminiscent of the subject I want to touch on.

One Friday after the Ahlusunna waljamaa movement of Ghana launched its Waqf (endowment) foundation, the National Imam of the group, Sheikh Umar Ibrahim visited the mosque at the Islamic Research and Reformation Center which happens to be the birthplace of the movement, to explain why the congregants need to subscribe to this noble cause since it was going to be in the best interest of the Muslim Umma.

This man, been a subservient and a committed member of the Ahlusunna Waljamaa was caught frozen when the National Imam invoked and quoted verses and ahaadith (traditions of the Prophet, SA) pointing to the benefits one is entitled to attain both in this world and the hereafter.

The front look and the inner part of the contribution card right after the heart-warming delivery by the noble Imam, this man immediately went for his contribution card. He came back home anxiously looking for me to throw more light on the feasibility of the whole concept to him.

I took my time to explain the aims and objectives behind such a supposed noble cause. Although living on his petty pension earnings, he pandered to it and vows to give a cedi as his monthly contribution to this cause. This man has never failed to contribute his one- cedi contribution until death came to him. I know we have thousands of Baba Amadu in Ghana who have trusted and remained committed to the system.

These people make sacrifices in their very small ways to ensure that the goals and objectives the ASWAJ WAQF Foundation seeks to achieve becomes a reality so that the younger generation will benefit from this noble cause. They have on their own traversed on a genuine path towards seeking Allah’s pleasure and never will Allah render their efforts into futility as He said in Quran Chapter:Verse “We (Allah) will never render the work of the believer in vain”

Years have gone by since the inception of this brilliant cause and the great question, I ask rhetorically: what has happened to the Waqf (endowment)?

Rhetorically because everyone is aware of the fact that the Waqf was killed prematurely with its aims and objectives, and its name was submerged in the darkest bowls of history. But one thing the authorities of Ahlu Sunna Waljamaa Movement must not fail to acknowledge is that POSTERITY will never let go with impunity, which I pray is never the case.

Just behind the contribution card, the aims and objectives that motivated the adherent of the ASWAJ movement to fall flat for this cause has been stated categorically.

The first of these aims was to build houses for rentals, so that proceeds from the rentals will be used in entering into partnership with owners of dilapidated buildings who do not have the capacity to develop them to develop their properties for rentals and some percentage will be accrued to the Ahlusuna account, to help Islamic scholars to further their knowledge.

The second is to build schools, mosques, wells and other projects that will benefit the community at large, and also assist the needy in the society. Which of these aims and objectives was achieved?

With this kind of system, how do you achieve such aims and objectives? With this kind of leadership, how can you realize these ambitions? Encapsulated in the aims and objectives of the Waqf foundation was to build schools and clinics. Very funny!

The Ahlusuna movement has existed for more than three decades in Ghana, and how many schools were built by this movement? How many clinics were built by the Ahlusuna movement? Even managing a basic school at the headquarters has been and will forever remain a problem.

The institute of the Islamic Studies is a school situated right in the heart of the ASWAJ headquarters. The school’s prospects are nothing to write home about. Students from the school are known for terrible grades after the BECE examination.

If you can’t manage a school in your own backyard with a workable system, how then do you expect to expand or grow? And quite ironically and unfortunately, despite your previous failing endeavors, you still give birth to additional fantastic initiatives with the nicest brand, glorifications and all utopian aims and objectives.

The Waqf (endowment) foundation which is devoid of synergy and accountability is a typical example and can only be said to be an idea to further your nest at the expense of the ordinary Muslim. This system of Waqf is nothing but a disguised hyena placed in a flock of sheep, and we know what the hyena does to the sheep.

As part of the aims and objectives of the Waqf foundation to help Islamic scholars further their studies which appear very funny and unrealistic, the hundreds of people who have had the full scholarship to study in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar and other countries in the Arabian peninsula who were supposed to come teach their people the true meaning of the Islamic faith have turned themselves into founders of NGO just to enrich their nest in the name of Islam.

There is no point taking money from the poor followers to help people (Ulamaa) who are supposed to be of benefit to them rather to become inimical and detrimental to their progress.

People like Baba Amadu and the likes will forever be remembered for their unflinching support to such a supposed noble cause and Allah will never render their strenuous effort in vain. But those who were entrusted with the responsibility of protecting the treasure of the Umma and they mismanaged it will forever have the proverbial albatross on them.

Ahmed Alhassan is a student of the university of Ghana.