Sukuta Imam's attack:
“Mashalas are lazy Muslims. There are too many Mashalas here, especially
among the youth. I don’t support them. They don’t act according to our ancestors’
ways. That is why I reject them. They don’t know anything about Islam. When we
accept their ways, misunderstanding will enter into Islam. That is why I send them
away when they come to the mosque in Sukuta (…). A child should obey an elder, a
son should obey his father, and the Muslim congregation should obey its imam. But they don’t show any respect for the imam.
These small boys are now provoking the elders. That shows that they are not true
Muslims but hypocrites (...). If someone is more knowledgeable in Islam than you,
why do you reject him? The Mashalas are ignorant; they only want to mislead
people (…). Life in this world is very short. We should try to inquire into Islam
before we die. You are welcome any time you wish to discuss more about Islam.”
( Comments above was by the Imam of Sukuta against the local Masalas: Ismaila Baye)
The above statement is stereo typical of some local Imams against Tabligh Jamat members. The fear is that, the youthful religious Masalas will take over their Mosque and bring down their influence. Some of the Mosque committee react angrily whenever a young Masala youth wants to talk about religion.
They usually shout them down with unnecessary rebuffs. However, this only strengthens the convictions of these young believers. The Imam couldn't’t help himself without referring to them as ignorant, lazy etc.
The Masalas in fact engage mostly in reading and spreading what they learn. They follow the six points... I shall God Willing explain that concept later. There spiritual conducts are more rigorous than most the Imams who mainly recite their Tijani or qadiria Wirds which exclusive to the Tariga. You can find some the keen Tijanis not speakin during this process whilst the Masalas never fail to speak to brothers in any place.
The act of standing in a crowded Mosque and preaching the basic tenet of Islam is hard enough. The Imams actually follow methodological forms of preaching whilst the Masalas routine unconventional training in unfamiliar environment prepared them to stand and speak in any crowd or under every circumstances. This is what actually scares the Imams.
De-mystifying the misconception against the Masalas:
Jenson through his research found out that:
“...in The Gambia the majority of Tablighis had a modern, secular education. They are referred to as ‘English students’ in local idiom, and
are to be found particularly at Gambia College, the University of The Gambia, and also –
somewhat paradoxically – at Nusrat High school, the school run by the Ahmadiyya Mission.”
The fear from certain Imams or community leaders is also base on this issues. Secular educated Gambians have become more religious than religiously educated Gambians. Secular educated Gambians are openly living Islam whilst religious educated Gambians even graduates are trying to copy the secular live style of dress; suit and tie whilst secular educated Gambians are doing the opposite. This contrast of paradigm is causing many parents to rethink the old adage that, secular educated Gambians are likely to live a western live style which may include alcohol drinking and relax sexual habits. The myth of the Imams against secular Gambians have collapse and the Masalas from Gambia College have led the charge.
Mahsala live style and Mannerism:
“Every Thursday Tablighi men gather in Markaz to perform their prayers, immerse
themselves in constant remembrance of God, listen to sermons, recite the Quran and other
religious texts, talk about the faith, even spending the night there.” Jenson
It is true that, the members visit Marakaz in Bundung every Thursday night for sermons and spend the night there. This is followed by going out and visiting local Muslims, reminding them of their purpose in live, this process is referred to as 'gaz'.
Then on a Friday Night, a group that intends to travel to distant localities park their belongings and depart. No one pays for anybody. The food, drink and other basic needs are burned by the volunteer. And at the designated Mosque, the group is headed by the Ameer ( leader). He will take advise from the group and then the group will be split into parts (those in charge of food, cleaning, visiting houses and those that stays in the mosque is put in place).
The impression this organise routine has on new members cannot be over emphasised. The concept of (kidmat) appeals to many new and old members.
To be continued Insahalah.