By Cyprian Musoke and Umaru Kashaka
TOP Muslim clerics have condemned the ‘duwa’ (Islamic prayers) held over the weekend by the Kawempe Mayor Mubarak Munyagwa and a group of politicians, extolling for the downfall of President Yoweri Museveni’s government.
In separate interviews, early this week, several clerics said the action was tantamount to ‘devil worshipping’ in the holy month of Ramadhan.
On Wednesday, Munyagwa accompanied by an unidentified Sheikh and the Kawempe North MP hopeful Muhammad Ssegirinya and the councillors of Bwaise 1 and Kyebando East Rashid Sserunjogi and Musa Lukwago respectively accused Museveni of leading Uganda into abject poverty, an injustice which they said Allah does not permit.
They lit bonfires, sprinkled them with pepper and prayed that the President ought not to stay in power any longer.
Munyagwa and group claimed that by secluding themselves in the forest and burning peppered incense in the full glare of the media is a normal Islamic prayer intended to cause downfall to the person to whom it is directed.
Clerics, however, said, Munyagwa and group had tarnished the image of Islam.
“There are principles governing making supplications and extolations (dhikir) in Islam and what they (the group) did was outside the Islamic teachings. It was total Katemba (drama) that ridiculed Islam and brought it into disrepute,” the leader of Tabliqs, Sheikh Sulaiman Kakeeto, told New Vision on Tuesday.
Sheikh Muniiru Sebintu, an officer in charge of Daawa at the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council (UMSC), said Muslims should ignore Munyagwa’s acts because he is neither a sheikh nor an Imam.
“We were not surprised by his acts because he is a politician and not a sheikh. Sheikhs or Imams know the right things to do and the right place and time to do them. Du’a, for example, is said at times of calamity with words that are appropriate to the situation. As in their case, they were supposed to ask Allah to guide the leader (the president) onto the right path if they believe he has gone astray, but not to curse him,” sheikh Sebintu said.
“You ask God for goodness and not evil. You shouldn’t invoke the curse of Allaha, or His wrath” Sebintu added.
The UMSC head of ceremonies, Sheikh Anas Sesimba, said Munyagwa was more interested in playing to the gallery than praying.
“That is drama. Let’s deal with important matters and not what they did. In other words commenting on their acts will be promoting them,” he said.
The Imam of Nakasero Mosque Sheikh Swaleh Kiggundu said; “they mixed a lot of things in the supplication which I don’t understand. For us we either gather in the mosque or homes to pray for anything. My superiors should help explain this,” he remarked.
Renowned Muslim Cleric Shiekh Muzaata “apologised” to the people of Kawempe Municipality on behalf of the Muslims for recommending Munyagwa to be elected as Mayor.
“I don’t know how he even became a Muslim. We sincerely apologise to the people of Kawempe whom we asked to elect him because he misled us that he is a true Muslim,” he said.
The Spokesperson of Uganda Muslim Supreme Council Nsereko Mutuimba said; “That man was merely playing politics with the Koran”.
“In Islam, we don’t curse leaders, that’s what Allah says. We Muslim leaders are not party to this drama, because a Duwa is not read in the bush. Even mosques are not full so how does someone go to the bush? I can even now doubt whether he is a true Muslim,” Nsereko said.