‘Are Muslims Ready?’ –

National Chief Imam, Sheikh Osman Nuhu Sharubutu

Muslims should be prepared to foot the bills of the man who
would take up the position of National Chief Imam of the country when the
current personality holding the top assignment is no more doing so.

Alhaji Baba Sheriff Abdullahi, an opinion leader in the
Islamic community and Chief Executive Officer of an influential Hausa radio
network with a large listenership in Accra and beyond Marhaba FM, was sharing
his thoughts about the subject with Daily Guide last Tuesday.

‘In the Christian faith the various denominations have their
internal arrangements for managing their office holders something which does
not exist in the Islamic community. One day when another person takes over the
position I wonder how the office is going to be operated considering the many
sacrifices the current man does to keep the office going including taking care
of himself’ he said.

Muslims should be prepared to contribute something towards
the maintenance of the Office of the National Chief Imam because the standards
Sheikh Osman Nuhu Sharubutu has set cannot be sustained in the future he  told Daily Guide.

In 1994 he recalled how the issue of holidays for Muslims
cropped up at the governmental level and the role Sheikh Osman Sharubutu played
in that direction. He said ‘the then acting Chief Imam Sheikh Osman Sharubutu
was invited by the late Justice D.F. Annan for a discussion on the matter of
which I was a part. The PNDC official said without a central authority for
Muslims it was going to be difficult for the holiday issue to be resolved. The
Chief Imam decided to rally round the regional chief imams for a meeting which
took place in Accra at his expense, accommodation, transportation and meals.
This is how much the man has sacrificed for Islam. Are we prepared to
contribute towards the running of the office?’ The meeting was held at the
Abossey Okai Central Mosque with the late Maulvi Wahab Adam of the Ahmaddiyya
Muslim Movement in attendance he said. ‘It was the latter who mooted the  idea of a Hilal Committee to discuss and
decide upon the sighting of the crescent and date for the commencement and
ending of the annual Ramadan fast’ he recalled how the Chief Imam commenced the
idea of bringing Muslims together to discuss common issues.

Muslims must be prepared to establish a Secretariat for the
management of their affairs as have the other denominations of the Christian
faith so as he put it ‘orderliness can give way to decent management of the
varied issues confronting the Islamic faith.’

Currently he noted there are no structures for the management
of the faith hence the occasional chaotic situations which arise within its
fold.

During a Muslim Ummah National Stakeholders Consultative
Forum on the 2020 Population and Housing Census in Accra, Alhaji M.B. Adam, a
representative of the Upper West Regional Chief Imam called for a national
dialogue on the succession plan for the seat of National Chief Imam to avert
conflict when the seat eventually becomes vacant.

He painted a gloomy picture of the aftermath of the seat becoming vacant without a succession plan and added ‘we are already seeing it in the smaller groups where there are fights all over the place over district and regional chief imams, so if there are fights at these levels that are not even nationally recognized, they how much more the position of the National Chief Imam.

BY A.R. Gomda

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