Re: IS "Zongolism" Islam?

Sun, 27 Oct 2013 Source: Yahaya, Tanko Ali

It's a rude irony that Islam signifies peace and total submission to the will of God, but the Zongo Community which is predominantly Islamic is notorious for intolerance, violence and lawlessness.

The teachings and practices of the Prophet of Islam, Muhammed (S.A.W), which we bored witness to uphold contradicts our way of life, and is an indictment on each and every one of us.

We as Zongorians tout the Zongo Community as a beacon of Islam in Ghana; we greet one another with "assalam" which literally means "peace", but we have even failed to co-exist peacefully, and harmoniously.

A double principle is always a contradictory principle. And the earlier we live the talk, by abiding by our greetings of "assalaam" (peace), in making the Zongo Community a peaceful and a tolerant Community, the better.

We need to emancipate the psyche of a Zongorian youth, for the development of peace and tolerance in our Community, with the sense of cordiality,civility and responsibility, as the "programme" to which the opinion leaders, tribal Chiefs, and the Islamic scholars and Imams must be dedicated to, in order precisely to uplift our sinking Image,and prevent the future generation of the Zongo from this negative psyche. It is said that mankind is more cruel and unfair to himself than to any other being.

The Islamic principles teaches that " your own self clearly has a certain rights over you, as well as the rights of others upon you". Islam encourages man to utilize all healthy,hygienic, clean and useful things. It also enjoins man not to deprive his body of hygienic environment and clean meals, for man's body has a right on himself. The crux of this matter is that Islam instill in the psyche of man that his/her own person and himself possess some rights, and it's compulsory to discharge those rights to the best of his/her ability. Surely, man needs to be true and loyal to his own self.

To borrow the words of Harriet Tubman, "I freed a thousand slaves; I could have freed a thousand more if they only knew they were slaves".

If we critically examine the state of hygiene and the sanitary condition of the Zongo Community, it leaves much to be desired about, and it's needless to say that it's nothing to write home about. The poor sanitary conditions in our Zongos ontradicts the Islamic principles that encourages good hygienic practices and cleanliness in general. No wonder, some people have labelled the Zongo a squalor. We purify our body through ablution to worship God, and paradoxically shirk our responsibility to make the environment we dwell in, a tidy place.

Refuse is dumped indiscriminately in our surroundings, and are even dropped irresponsibly and clandestinely on road side and at the back yard of our neighbours.

Is this attitude "Zongolism" or Islamic? Before Zongo there was Islam; "Zongolism" is "Zongolism", and Islam is Islam. "Zongolism" has got nothing to do with ISLAM.

I'm not trying to encourage an utopian dream of making Zongo develope like East Legon and Trasalco valley in Accra or Nhyiaeso and Ahodwo in Kumasi, for I know that we lack the financial power to improve the Zongo to the level of those Communities for now, but we can still make a conscious effort to improve the level of our sanitation and hygienic practices in our Zongos with discipline, collective efforts, and communal spirit, coupled with radical change to our attitudes towards our surroundings and environment in general. Poverty must never be an excuse for our poor sanitary conditions and improper hygienic practices in a Community like the Zongo which is touted as a Citadel of Islam in Ghana.

Islam encourages cleanliness, and yet still, Zongo is perceived as a squalor. How can I accept "Zongolism" as Islam?

Islam frowns on fallacy in any shape, form or size because of it's harmful effect on the people and it's menace to our society in general. Islam forbids theft, forgery, bribery, cheating etc, which man gains only after causing a loss and injury to others.

The Cyber fraud popularly known as "sakawa" which has gain grounds in Nima and Maamobi is an indictment on us, as Community. It's baffling to see some of our elders shielding and encouraging cyber criminals in our midst.

Where's morality when people who acquire wealth by causing pain to others are glorified by those who should know better. Hypocrisy and sycophancy is a threat to the dignity and progress of a society.

Our opinion leaders must wake up from their leadership slumber and break the shackles of Derision, mediocrity, hypocrisy, sycophancy and negativities of Zongolism .

For how long can we continue to tarnish the image of our religion and our community, by our actions and in actions? we must do something about our unfortunate situation.

Tanko Ali Yahaya

Independent Minded Zongorians,


Columnist: Yahaya, Tanko Ali