I start by acknowledging Allah, the Most Gracious and the Most Merciful, and I unreservedly send prayers upon Prophet Muhammad (صلاللةعلىةوسلام), his household and all those who have chosen to thread his path until the end of time.
Undoubtedly, Sierra Leoneans especially Muslims across the country, witnessed a very blissful moment when one of the worlds’ most influential Islamic Scholar, Mufti Ismail Ibn Musa Menk, and one of the most outstanding Munsheeds( Islamic Singer), Zain Rashid Bhikha entered Freetown on Wednesday 4th March 2020.
Building Bridges Tour started with a visit to the Office of the First Lady at Spur Road where they discussed issues relating to Islam, National Development, National Cohesion among others. “Motivational Moments with Mufti Menk copies and Zain Bhikha’s 25th Anniversary compilation album were presented to the First Lady by the two Islamic personalities. The delegation then went to the President, Brig. Dr. Julius Maada Bio at State House of which the President expressed delight and appreciated them for their visit. Mufti Menk and Zain Bhikha gave him the same gift as aforementioned. Additionally, on Thursday 5th March, the team visited patients at the Chinese Hospital, Jui, and donated medical equipment and other items.
The Building Bridges Tour continues, as the team went to 6 Mile to sympathy with those who were affected in September 2015 flood. About Two Hundred households benefitted from a donation project supported by Abdullah Aid. The packages contain bags of rice, gallons of palm oil, onions and other condiments. The people appreciated the gifts and made supplications for the donors. In the evening at the hotel on that same day, Zain Bhikha engaged the Sierra Leone Anasheed Brothers of which they also had rehearsals ahead of the program.
On the 6th March 2020, ‘over 120,000’ converged at the National Stadium to listen to Mufti Menk’s Building Bridges lecture and Zain Bhikha’s Nasheed performance. Glaringly, their performances amazed the crowd. Mufti Menk addressed various areas in his speech _ he said “The first and most important bridge to build is to establish relationship with Allah”. He made confessions that “Sierra Leoneans are loving; Sierra Leoneans are clean and Sierra Leone is the first country where the President came to listen his lecture”. He further urged the people to be patient, hard working, and use social media wisely to gain Allah’s pleasure. He also said that a believer must always speak nicely but not to use abusive words. Mufti Menk later told the people about the importance of the Glorious Qur’an and urged them to attend the National Quranic Competition on 3rd May 2020 at National Stadium.
Conclusively, Mufti Menk made supplications for the country and its people, and pleaded to the crowd to allow him leave the stage peacefully.
Mohamed Simbi Koroma
Sierra Leone Islamic Web