A Muslim Students Association (MSA) was recently born at Nalikule College of Education (NCE) in Lilongwe. Our Correspondent RICHARD FOLOKIYA wanted to find out more from the association’s chairperson BROTHER IMAAM MSUME; Excerpts:
What is Muslim Students Association?
It is a grouping of Muslim students and, in this case, students at the Nalikule College of Education. But it does not mean that the Muslim students were not praying at the institution. There was just no organised union; hence, students elected us to help steer the movement of fellow Muslim students as is the case in most schools and colleges. We felt it imperative to launch the association at a function that was spiced up with poems, drama, Quran recitation, Hadith and some speeches.
What did the speakers tackle on?
As a chairperson, I talked about the history and birth of association, introduced the NCE-MSA executive members to the guests and the whole gathering while Brother Yusuf Sumaili, who is the publicity secretary presented NCE-MSA aims, objectives and goals.
The college’s dean of students, Lot Botha, hinted that Nalikule College of Education accommodates students from various religious beliefs and always encourages coexistence in line with the rules and regulations that govern the institution, the education ministry and the country as a whole.
A Muslim scholar, Dawah and counseling specialist Hafez Sheikh Daud Mkanje urged the Muslim students to also strive to master Qur’an and other Islamic fields of Tauheed [believing that there is only one God], Fiqhi [principles of Prophet Muhammad peace and blessing be upon him], among others.
Mkanje, who has authored several Islamic literature, newsletter and articles, also pointed out that possession of top educational papers such as degrees should not make someone disregard religion or Allah; hence, he encouraged us [students] to be performing five daily prayers, always be just and lead by example.
Brother Abdul-Salaam Faduweck, spokesperson of Hijab Task Force, encouraged female students to be wearing hijab as per the Islamic rule.
Overstone Khondowe, chairperson of African Union for Persons Living with Albinism, called upon all Muslim students to have a role and responsibility in safeguarding the lives of persons living with albinism.
Leaders from other Muslim associations also had a platform to share their respective experiences.
But was the launch necessary?
Yes, Muslim students started gathering as a family sometime back and a constitution was developed in 2017, so it was worthwhile to do the official launch after being convinced that we really needed Muslim Students Association at this institution.
Actually, the launch provided a platform for the executive and other Muslim students to learn how to make the association tick as presented by some of the invited guests and colleagues from already established Muslims associations.
The launch also served as a connection between the Nalikule College of Education Muslim Students Association and those from other institutions. It also offered a chance to other religious associations at the college to understand the Muslim faith better and also interact with many Muslims and leaders.
Who are those in the executive?
There is me [Imaan Msume] as chairperson and Alex Imaam as vice while Fatima Mustapher and Amina Mussah are secretary general and vice secretary general, respectively. Publicity secretary and vice are Yusuf Sumaili and Shabina Senga, respectively while the treasurer is Hawah Austin and Brenda Kamoto is the vice.
What is the objective of the association?
The core objective is to strengthen Islam by enhancement, promotion of fellowship, love among Muslim students fraternity and encouraging amicable coexistence with students of different religions and denominations. We are eager and ready to participate in all different activities with other Muslim institutions within Lilongwe and beyond. Our vision is to see an improved performance of Muslim students at national level to uplift brotherhood within Muslim students set up at all levels without overlooking the importance of secular education.
Any last word
It was a blessing to listen to what various speakers had during the launch and the expectation on how the association should run. We have learnt a lot and we shall strive to fulfill our mandate. To quote Brother Faduweck: “By choosing to launch a Muslim Student Association, we have chosen to be Islamic and we shall always be Islamic.”