Vice President John Dramani Mahama, on Tuesday, appealed to Muslims throughout the country to contribute regularly to their newly-established Zakat Fund for catering for the poor and needy, to attract other donors.
“Although it is not mandatory, it is one of the five pillars that every Muslim must respect and contribute some amount of money for the upkeep of the underprivileged in society,” he said. Vice President Mahama, who was addressing the Ahlussuna Wal Jama’a Muslims during their Eidul-Adha prayers at the Efua Sutherland Children’s Park in Accra, said the Fund would not only help them to initiate development funds, but also help pay school fees of brilliant but needy Muslim children.
The Zakat Fund is a Muslim Fund, established throughout the Muslim world to cater for the needs of the aged and the poor, and also to undertake development projects that would benefit the entire society.
It cuts across all the Muslim sects, and serves as a relief and common fund that the various groups rely on in times of need. Vice President Mahama called on Muslim parents to inculcate good and universally accepted morals into their children, for them to grow up to become morally upright and useful citizens.
“If a child loses her way and becomes wayward and morally bankrupt, God will punish the parents for their negligence, and I urge you all to take care of all the needs of your children to avoid such punishments.”
The Vice President, once again, apologised to all Muslims who could not perform the Hajj this year, and gave the assurance that they would be in the first batch of pilgrims for next year’s Hajj.
Vice President Mahama said although the government had made adequate provisions to avoid the perennial problems associated with the Hajj, it was unfortunate that over 300 prospective pilgrims could still not make it.
He promised that the government would make more projections that would cover all prospective pilgrims next year.
Sheikh Omar Ibrahim Iman, National Imam of the Ahlussuna Wal Jama’a, in a sermon, called on Muslims to prioritise the education of their children, as it was the best way to fight against illiteracy, disease and poverty.
He condemned the rise in armed robbery, drug addiction and homosexuality among Ghanaian youth, and appealed to all Muslim organisations to use their educational programmes against the menace.
“There can be no gainsaying the fact that these problems cannot be solved by government alone,” he said. “The tackling of the problem should be the collective efforts of all of us. Religious institutions and parents have a greater role to play.”
Sheikh Iman appealed to Muslim scholars to organise frequent education programmes against all evils of society, to “uproot” the moral decadence that has, over the years, bedevilled Muslim youth. – GNA