Lailatul Qadr observed

Monday, September 29, 2008
Muslims in The Gambia, Saturday night, joined the rest of the Islamic Ummah in commemorating Lailatul Qadr, the Night of Power. As is characteristic of Gambians, prayer and preaching sessions were held in almost all the mosques in the country. Three reporters from the Daily Observer joined worshipers in selected areas, as you can read in the following reports.

Amadou Jallow in Brikama
Activities during the Night of Power are normally characterized by recitation from the Holy Qur’an and total submission to the will of Allah. Various Muslim scholars, quoting the Holy Book of Allah, have described the night as better than a thousand years of worshiping. It is said to be a night when Allah (the Most Merciful) comes closer to man to hear his call for help and forgiveness. However, Allah has made this night secret from men, but it is said to be found within the last ten nights of the Holy Month of Ramadan. Thus Muslims are urged to observe the whole last ten nights of the month. With that, one might be lucky enough to get the bounties of the Lailatul Qadr.

Brikama and its outskirts joined the Muslim community in observing this peaceful and bounteous night with preaching and calling for the mercy and forgiveness of Allah, (the Most Merciful).

Ebrima Jah, a young Muslim scholar, while observing the night by preaching at the Brikama Police Line Mosque, praised and thanked Allah for giving Muslims the opportunity to observe the night once again. He informed worshipers that Allah (the Merciful) has mercy on them, especially the generation of the Holy Prophet Muhammad (Peace Be Upon Him).

He urged them to continue to observe the preceding nights so as to get the mercy of the lord. This night, he went on, is not meant for committing sinful activities. "Only good things are recommended to be done on this night," he told his fellow Muslims. Mr Jah called on worshipers to strive hard in order to have the mercy of Allah, noting that the Holy Prophet (SAW) has paved the way for this last generation. He said that before Muslims used to struggle to gain Allah’s mercy in a very difficult way. "Those were the Muslims who would be keeping fast and at the same time they would be fighting (Jihad) for the course of the Islamic religion," he said.

The young Muslim scholar then called on the youths to embrace the Islamic religion, reminding them to think of the imminence of death, as it never warns of its coming. He further informed Muslims that the month of Ramadan is going away, but Allah (the Merciful) will remain forever and that they should not do anything that might anger him.
Continuing his proclamation of Allah’s name, Mr Jah informed Muslims that anyone who intends to commit sinful activities after the month of Ramadan or unlawful activities to transgress Allah’s bounty, is endangering their own life; both on earth and in the hereafter.  

At other places, such as Brikama New town, Jamisa, Kembujeh Village, Serrekundanding and Mandinaba, Muslims came together, thanking Allah and seeking for his forgiveness, with some families hosting recitations of the holy Qu’ran in their homes.
A scholar at the Brikama New Town mosque told Muslims that prayers form the basic foundation in Islam, and that their absence in the activities of any Muslim would render all other deeds of theirs invalid.

Assan Sallah in Banjul

In Banjul, the Muslim community turned out in large numbers to observe the Night of Power (Lailatul Qadr) in their various mosques and on the streets. The Federation of Jamhiatou Ansarudeen also organized an Islamic conference as part of activities marking the night, at its head office in Banjul.

Speaking at the conference, Alhajie Bai Sainey Secka, the spokesperson of the Federation, thanked the invitees for honoring their invitations. He described the Night of Power as a blessing from the Almighty Allah, noting that it was worth celebrating.
The Ansarudeen spokesperson also revealed that the late Shiekh Ibrahim Niasse, otherwise called Bai Niasse, one of the world’s greatest Islamic scholars, had formed the Federation in 1950, and that it became a worldwide Federation in 1962. Since then, he went on, the federation exists in many countries around the world.

For his part, Alh Muntaha Faye, the Imam of the  Independence Drive Mosque in Banjul, said worshipping Allah on the Night of Power (Lailatul Qadr), as stated in the Holy Qur’an, is better than worshipping Allah for 1000 months (83 years and 4 months).
Imam Faye also spoke at length on the importance of the night, advising Muslims to worship Allah, especially during this night.

Cherno Alieu Mass Kah, the Imam Ratib of Banjul, thanked the Federation of Jamhiatou Ansarudeen for organizing such a conference, especially considering the significance of the night in question, when Muslims worship Allah throughout. The Imam Ratib dwelt on the importance of the night and urged Muslims to worship Allah. Imam Cherno Kah later proceeded to other areas in Banjul and Serrekunda where the Lailatul Qadr were being observed.

Baboucarr Cham, the managing director of City Limits Radio, who also provided a live coverage of the event, commended the Ansarudeen Federation for their efforts in organizing the Islamic conference. Mr Cham also thanked all the people who attended the conference as part of activities in observance of the Night of Power.

Sheikh Bai Marr, the deputy director of the Islamic Institute of Medina Bai in Senegal, who was invited as the special guest of the occasion, said the revelation of the Holy Qur’an was completed on the Night of Power (Lailatul Qadr). Sheikh Bai also dwelt on the importance of the night, the Sunnah, practice and ways of life of the Holy Prophet of Islam, Muhammad (SAW), and also delved on the brief history of Bai Niasse, commonly known as Sheikh Al-Islam. He called on the people to join the Federation of Jamhiatou Ansarudeen.

Hatab Fadera in Bakau

Commemorations in Bakau were no different from the rest of the country. Prayers and recitation of the Holy Qur’an were the order of the night. Speaking at an open Islamic forum (Gamo), held in Bakau Newtown, Oustass Sheikh Yankuba Sanyang, described the night as the greatest night, one that Muslims cannot avoid to miss. He advised worshipers to desist from quarrels.

 He explained that Prophet Muhammad (SAW) was informed about the actual day of the night, but on his way to tell the good news to his disciples, he met two people in a bitter quarrel. According to Oustass Sanyang, the Prophet’s intervention to settle the dispute resulted to his forgetting the actual date, but he was able to remember that the night fell within the last ten days of the Month of Ramadan.

Oustass Sanyang informed Muslims of the importance the Prophet (peace be upon him) and his family attached to the Night of Power, noting that the messenger of Allah and his family devoted their time in worshipping Allah in his mosque at the beginning of the last ten days of fasting.  He called on Muslims to follow the footsteps of the Prophet in worshipping Allah so as to receive his mercy on the day of resurrection.

Speaking at the Bakau Newtown Central Mosque, Oustass Dembo Jammeh, a veteran Islamic scholar, also described the night of power as a special offer from Allah to the Prophet and his entire Ummah.  He impored Muslims to be grateful to Allah, as he had offered a lot of opportunities in seeking his blessings.

Oustass Jammeh urged Muslims to nurture unity, good neighborliness and honesty, adding that Muslims should desist from deeds that contradict the teachings of Islam, such as hypocrisy, adultery, fornications, dishonesty, and self-centeredness.
While seeking blessings from Allah for the Muslim Ummah, Oustass Dembo Jammeh urged worshipers to continue nurturing the good deeds practiced during the month of Ramadan.

Author: by Amadou Jallow , Assan Sallah and Hatab Fadera