NMCL Hails Liberian Muslims
-For Demonstrating Prayer Day Unity
By Varney M. Kamara
The National Muslim Council of Liberia (NMCL) has hailed Muslims in Liberia for heeding to its unity call during the just ended colorful celebrations marking this year’s Eid-Al-Adaha (Abraham Day) observance in the country.
In less than 24 hours to the Eid Mubarak prayer, more than 20,000 Muslims in Liberia on Tuesday (August 21, 2018) assembled in the open air at the famous Antoinette Tubman Stadium (ATS) in central Monrovia for prayers in observance of the Eid-Al-Adaha, the first time in decades to see the country’s Muslims heed to prayer calls in such unison and under one Imam, something that demonstrates strength and cohesiveness.In an exclusive interview with this news medium on Thursday, August 23, 2018, the Chairman of the National Muslim Council of Liberia (NMCL) Sheikh Omaru Kamara expressed his deepest appreciation to fellow Muslims in the country for obeying the leadership’s call for unity among Muslims; something he said is also approved by the Almighty Allah (GOD) in the Holy Quran.
“I am very happy that we Muslims in Liberia, were able to come together and pray together under one umbrella on the occasion marking Ed-Al-Adah (Abraham Day) at the ATS.
Contrary to what people say that Liberian Muslims are deeply divided, and cannot come together as a unit, Tuesday’s unity at prayer however points to those who are still pessimistic about our unity and cohesiveness, that they are going with the wrong impression,” the NMCL Chairman noted.
Sheikh Kamara also warned detractors who are bent on spreading misinformation, and purporting to be leaders of the country’s Muslim community to immediately desist from such ugly tendency.
He added: “We are also aware that some people are purporting to be Muslim leaders of the country, and they are the only ones who can best represent Islam in Liberia. We want to state here clearly that the unity we demonstrated during Eid Mubarak prayer sends out a message of trust and confidence in the country and shows the council’s ability and capability to speak and ably represent all Muslims in this country everywhere. Hence, other than those elected as heads of the National Muslim Council of Liberia, no one should make any false impression out there that they are the leaders of Muslims in Liberia.
“The problem with us in this country is that no one sees his friends as brothers, as everyone are just fighting everyone in this country, this is time that we bring back the spirit of peace, national unity, and reconciliation in this country, not only among Muslims and Christians, but among all Liberians for that matter. The only way we can achieve peace and development in this country is for us to unite as one people, because, even the Holy Quran and Prophet Muhammad spoke of unity.”
The renowned Islamic-cleric also made a wakeup call on all Liberians to rally around George Weah’s Government, and that to promote national unity among Liberians, and to promote peace and development.
“If Liberians agree to unite, Sheikh Kamara notes, “The benefits would be plenty, because more investors will be encouraged and happy to come and invest in our country. On the other the hand, if we do not mend our fences as Liberians-we will not get what we want as Liberians-and that’s why we are praying for the President and the Vice President for this government to succeed.”
“The program was good. It brought together all Muslims from different locations across Liberia. Muslims came from all over the country including Cape Mount, Bomi, Gbarpolu, Margibi, Montserrado, and other counties. We are also getting reports that similar gatherings took place across other parts of the country, and this is very good news for the Muslim unity in Liberia,” averred SheikhArkibu Sheriff, Secretary General, National Muslim Council of Liberia.
Asked to explain the secret behind the latest call for Islamic unity in the country, Sheikh Sheriff replied that: “The call for Muslim Unity was made because, during the last Eid- al-Fitr prayer, we saw people praying in separate locations and in their fashion, which was not good for us as Muslims. Even the Holy Quran talks about how we should unite in Islam hence, we thought it wise to change things around for the better, and that Muslims will come together in order to make Islam move ahead in this country. All we want to say here is that we Muslims are together and we will continue to hold together,” Sheikh Sheriff emphasized.
A Rallying Call for United front before Abraham Day (Eid Al-Adaha) Celebrations, Tuesday, 21 August 2018
Unlike previous celebrations in the country, Tuesday’s (August 21, 2018) ‘Eid Mubarak’ prayer began with a glaring call to Muslims across the country for them to unite in the nameof Islam and national unity.
The unprecedented step to unite Liberian Muslims came as leaders of the country’s supreme Islamic institutions met in a unity meeting and decided to speak with one voice in a message that was resoundingly echoed in Mosques and some radio stations across the country ahead of the Eid-Adaha prayer.
Heads of the National Muslim Council of Liberia (NMCL), the body that directs and oversees all Islamic activities in the country, including the National Imam Council (NIC), the National Supreme Council, the National Council of Elders, and the office of the Grand Mufti of Liberia, the highest Islamic clerical arm in the country, agreed in the one day Islamic unity conference that this year’s Eid Mubarak should be held at the Antoinette Tubman Stadium (ATS-15,000 capacity)under one prayer, which was led by luminary Islamic scholar Imam Lamin Bilo Kally.
“In the interest of unity, we the Muslims of Liberia have decided, following a unity meeting that brought together heads of the National Muslim Council of Liberia (NMCL), the Imam Council, and the office of the Grand Mufti of Liberia, that we should have a unified ‘Eld-Al-Adaha’ prayer at the ATS on Tuesday, 21 August 2018,” Imam Ali Krayee, Chief Imam of Liberia, announced to a team of journalists in Monrovia during an exclusive interview following the conclusion of the Muslims’ togetherness meeting.
“We have today agreed to pray the ‘Eid Al-Adaha’ on Tuesday at the ATS under one Imam, and he’s no one else but Imam Lamin Bilo Kally, who is expected to lead us into this time of prayer,” Deputy Grand Mufti Abdullah S. Kromah also confirmed the body’s decision to pray in one accord.
Sheikh Kromah also announced that buses would pick up worshipers and drop them to the stadium for that singular purpose.
“There will be buses on the road and at various designated places to pick up people and carry them to the ATS for the prayer. For those who will not have the chance to go with those buses, we are asking our brothers and sisters to put their vehicles on the road to help transport people for the prayer,” Sheikh Kromah announced further.
In most of the Muslim world today, Eid Mubarak marks (Eid Al-Adaha) a day when the faithful celebrate the second of two major holidays in Islam. The day begins with morning prayers. The celebrations continue with visits to friends and family, exchange of gifts and feasts. Those who can afford it also slaughter an animal, like a cow or sheep, and share the meat with the less fortunate.
Defined as EED al-UHD-huh, the Holiday is also known as the Feast of Sacrifice. It is one of two Eid holidays observed by Muslims. The other is Eid al-Fitr, which follows the conclusion of Ramadan, the month of fasting.