AHMADIYYA MUSLIM JAMA’AT SIERRA LEONE RECEIVES THE PRESIDENTIAL MEDAL (GOLD) FOR ITS OUTSTANDING SERVICES
(Abdul Shafi Bharwana, Editor African Crescent published by Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at Sierra leone)
The article was published in “African Crescent” as an Editorial for June 2013 issue
hmadiyya Muslim Jama’at was founded by Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad Qadiani (as) under the command of Almighty Allah to revive the religion of Islam to its original foundations. Islam which actually means peace binds a Muslim to serve humanity to every possible extent.
The Promised Messiah Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (as) said:
“The teachings of the Holy Qurán can be divided into two major categories. The first being unity of God, love and obedience to Him. The second is to treat kindly your brothers and fellow beings, be kind and merciful to humanity always work for the good of mankind.”
He had a great compassion for mankind. He said, “Sympathy for all mankind is a moral obligation and a duty that religion is no religion which does not inculcate sympathy, nor does that man deserve to be called a man who does not have sympathy in him.”
His message continued after his demise and under the guidance of Khalifas (successors), the community progressed rapidly. Wherever it was established, it conveyed the message of peace and progress to humanity.
In Sierra Leone the Community was established in 1937 and since its inception it has contributed a lot to national development.
On 27th April 2013, His Excellency Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma (The President of the Republic of Sierra Leone) awarded the Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at with “Presidential Medal Award (Gold)” in recognition of its long and outstanding contributions to the nation in the fields of education, health, agriculture and humanitarian activities.
The investiture ceremony was held at State House where the Amir (head) & Missionary in-charge of Ahmadiyya Muslim Community in Sierra Leone Maulana Saeed-Ur-Rahman was invited to receive the honour. It is worth mentioning that amongst all other Muslim Organizations in Sierra Leone, Ahmadiyya Muslim Jama’at is the only one given a Presidential Award (Gold). Both Print and electronic media gave a broad coverage on this event.
Maulana Saeed-Ur-Rahman gave an exclusive interview on the occasion which was published in many papers. “Sierra Leone Express” wrote:
“In an exclusive interview with Saeed-Ur-Rahman, Amir and Missionary in charge, he disclosed that since he took over the Mission in 2004, the Mission has improved greatly in the areas of discipline, gentleness and decency, and has also tried to unite all sects of Muslims. He said that the constitution of the Mission does not allow anyone to go into hostility and demonstration, but to settle disputes with mutual understanding and friendly discussions. Though some Muslim scholars are hostile to them, they do not react in the same way. That is why the whole world knows their slogan, which is “Love for all, Hatred for none”.
Maulana Saeed-Ur-Rahman said the Mission has built over 300 mosques, mission houses and schools, and is now focusing on agriculture. The Jama’at can boast of huge cassava, groundnut and rice farms. They are helping thousands of students to further their education by giving them scholarships. The establishment of a radio station, Missionary Training College (to send the message of love and tolerance and preaching Islamic messages according to the Prophet (saw)) are among the latest developments.
He quotes…’ If we want to please the Creator, we should be kind to the creation’. This could be done through efforts to promote national peace for which the Ahmadiyya Mission is a member of the Inter-Religious Council and the Forum of Islamic Organizations. He added that he is appreciative of his Excellency’s gesture and on behalf of the community, expresses his thanks, and believes this will serve as a motivation for them to contribute to national development and peace. He disclosed plans for tertiary institutions; help for the needy, health services with three hospitals that are functional. The establishment of mobile camps has received several well-wishing messages from Muslims and non-Muslims alike.”
At the same occasion, two other Ahmadi brothers received Presidential Awards:
1) Professor Dr. Abu Sesay, the Vice Chancellor and Principal of the Njala University Sierra Leone, who was given a first class Award (Gold) known as the COMMANDER OF THE ROKEL.
2) Paramount Chief and Member of Parliament Honourable Muhammad Banya was also given Presidential Award (Gold) known as MEMBER OF THE ROKEL.
This is indeed a great manifestation of Allah’s favours and indication of the prominence gained by the Jama’at in Sierra Leone.