Tehran, YJC. Activist says that African Muslims need help against the growth of Wahhabism.
Diallo, Director of Jannat Ahlul Bayt in Mali in interview with Nedaye
Enghelab provided comments on the status of Muslims in his country and said "The
African Shiite need help against the growth of Wahhabism.”
" Since 1958, the wahhabism, strongly sustained by the Saudi Arabia, has gradually gained more ground. In addition thousands of wahhabits from Pakistan, Qatar, Kuwait, and so on contribute also much to spread the wahhabism in Mali. The fact is that, nowadays, the wahhabits are building everywhere mosques and other worship places, coranic schools namely for the progression of their faith. They are everywhere, in any city and in any village."
that his coreligionists need support against Wahhabism.
The complete interview with Mr. Diallo follows:
1- In Mali, Islam is induspitably the biggest religion. According to the most old sources, namely the writings of the famous erudite Ahmed Baba from Timbuctu (region in north Mali), Islam entered in the country when it was called ‘’Bled as Sudan’’ –translated as "the Country of the Blacks” - (Republic of Mali at present) as early as the 1st century of the Hegira. Ahmed Baba (who, the Sultan of Morocco had abducted for his vaste erudition to maintain him near himself) wrote that, early in 61th year of the Hegira, there were 12 mosques in the Republic of Mali independent from the French colonization since 22 September 1960. It’s useful to remember that the 61th year of the Hegire is the year during which our Master Al Hussain has known the martyrdom in the desert of Karbala, the 10th Muharram.
More than 14 centuries later, Islam remains the biggest religion in Mali, with more than 90% of believers. But it’s an Islamic religion dominated by ‘’Tariqas’’ (Tijaniya, Khadriya, Malikiya and much others sunnit voices).
Since 1958, the wahhabism, strongly sustained by the Saudi Arabia, has gradually gained more ground. In addition thousands of wahhabits from Pakistan, Qatar, Kuwait, and so on contribute also much to spread the wahhabism in Mali. The fact is that, nowadays, the wahhabits are building everywhere mosques and other worship places, coranic schools namely for the progression of their faith. They are everywhere, in any city and in any village.
With the Islamic Revolution triumphally led by Ayatollah Khomeyni in Iran in 1979, the Shiat Islam made its appearance in Mali. Some young Sheikhs who studied in the Iranian "haouzas”came back to preach the precious teachihngs and spiritual treasures transmitted by the Ahlul Bayts (as) through centuries. If some former erudites admitted the well-founded of the Islam from the ‘’purified Persons from the holy Mansion of the Prophet’’, nevertheless old practices last again. The Shiat Islam is progressing thanks to actions led by some Islamic organizations which recognize and develop the teachings of the Ahlul Bayts (as). These organizations are: the Iranian Cultural Center in Bamako, the Zahara Center, the Ahlul Bayt Association, Thaqalayn Association, the Zahara Association, the Shia students Movment of Mali (S.S.M.-Mali), Association of Shia Young people of Segou (a region in center of Mali), the Hizb Rahaman Association, and the Agency "DJANNATOU AHLIL BAYT” (Communication and services of Islam). This latter edits the shiat french speaking news paper ‘’La Sakina-Achoura’’. Today we can reasonably estimate that the Shiat Islam, in Mali, counts some thousands followers. That is to say the Islamic Schools Ja’afarite holders have to do ‘’Tabligh’’.
There are favorable old facts for Shia Islam. First, almost everybody admits that it is the first Islamic School which appeared in the country. As witness the proliferation of some first name like Ali (which is met most of the time in Alou, Aliou, Badra Aly ’’Ali the Lion”) Al Hassan (which becomes Lassina, Lassana, Lancina, Lassiné, Sina, and so on), Al Houssaïn (becoming Fousseyni, Alfousseyni, Loucéni, Locéni, and so on), Fâtimah (becoming Fatoumata, Fanta, Binta, Fati, Fifi, Fatim, Timtim, and so on). Moreover, in former Islamic handwritings well preserved in Timbuctu since centuries, one find mention of speeches and some teaching fragments and sciences of Ja’afar çôdigh, Ali Zaïnoul Abidine, and so on. In this part, there is in Hombori (Region in the Noth) a hill whose peak is named « the hand of Fatimah ».
2- We think of having lightly touched the second question in the first. We want to underline that the shiat practices are having now the same manners of ablutions and prayer, the commemoration of Ashura is now perceived as day of bereavement for the supreme sacrifice of Imam Al Hussein (as) in Karbala and not as a day of feast as the Sunnits wanted. The Shiat Muslims celebrate also the ‘’wiladat’’ and the ‘’wafat’’ of the 14 infallible members from the noble prophetic Mansion; they do invocations sessions known as ‘’douaous’’ Komeyl, Nudba, Cimat, and so on. Mali is likely to have a bit more than 1.240.000 km2 of surface and counts more than 14 million inhabitants (survey of 2010). Among this population, we don’t know exactly the number of the Shiats. Some, with exaggeration, speak of 3 to 4 million. Personally, it seems us honest to speak of some thousands (less than twenty thousands). Those who, by inadvertence, mention millions of shiats, are mistaken, because, if all the Malian Muslims say they believe in the Ahlul Bayts (as), very few of them follow their teachings.
3- First we think it’s necessary to put a stress on the fact that the strength of the Shiat Islam lies in the clarity and the coherence of its doctrine. Contrary to the sunnit masters, we find no contradiction between the Ahlul Bayt Imams (as). But the limits of the Shiat Islam are obvious in Mali due to: the material poverty of the followers, the very obvious ignorance of organizations which are in charge to spread it, the personal enmities between some Sheikhs who have a respectable level of studies, their excessive attachment to the money and materials (what push them most of the time to tell lies and to behave dishonestly for money) and the weak level in instruction of the young teachers trained in the country. In fact, these last ones didn’t have more level than the baccalaureate after 3 or 3 years of learning in different formation centers. But this situation is shyly changing since many young people are registering in faculties to access to an higher level.
4- In Mali our organization (‘’DJANNATOU AHLIL BAÏT’’) has the particularity to be the single professional structure when it comes to Islamic communication. Our formation in journalism led us to create this structure. We go toward intellectuals arousing the debate. We began first with the creation of the shiat news paper ‘’La Sakina-Achoura’’ which is now well known in the country. It is even sent in PDF format to shiat followers abroad. Generally the readers are satisfied with the content, but we are aware of the necessity to improve it. Our Agency organizes shiat traditional ceremonies: Ashura, ‘’wiladat’’ and ‘’wafat’’ of purified members from the noble prophetic Mansion, anniversary of the death of Ayatollah Khomeyni (since 2009), anniversary of Imam Ali Ibn Tolib’s victory won against the Jews in Khaybar in 7th year of Hegira (24 RaJab), World Day of al-Qhods, and so on. In addition, we organize sportive competitions with trophies on behalf of our Ahlul Bayt Masters and other shiat leaders: (Fâtimat-Zahra football cup, Imam Khomeyni football cup, Sayyid Ali Khamenei, Sayyid Hassan Nasrallah, and so on). We publish also Magazines which are made up of texts of conferences that we often host (about Ashura, Ghadir, the problem of Palestine during the World Day of al-Qhods, and so on). We have also to add that our Director Amadou Diallo has been chosen since July 2011 by the Shiat Students Movement of Mali (S.S.M.-Mali) as President of honor. He is also the representative of the Lebanese Islamic french speaking review ‘’Le Débat…’’ in Mali and in West Africa. Moreover, The Holy Hussaini Shrine of Karbala choses also our Agency to be the agent and the distributor of its publications (in French and Arabic) in Mali.
Interviewer : Mostafa Afzalzadeh