HARARE – By Sheikh Duwa – I thought it prudent to write this article and clarify our position as a religion that is existing in Zimbabwe. Islam is a religion of peace, tolerance and co-existence among humanity; everybody was born a Muslim meaning a peaceful person but people change as they grow.
And in Zimbabwe there is freedom of worship provided people do not infringe the laws of the land for example engaging in criminal activities. We also honour the laws of God. Our national constitution is very clear on freedom of worship meaning every religion is free to practice its religion without any fear or infringement.
We as Zimbabwean Muslims do not impose or force people to join Islam. The Holy Quran states that we should not force people into our religion. God (Allah) is the only one the merciful the beneficent and we worship God alone. Therefore we do not force people to come to Islam because we don’t have power of giving them blessings (Thuwab).
But it must be noted that Muslim in Zimbabwe have a duty to contribute towards the development of the nation by building public infrastructure like schools, hospitals and universities. And even start businesses that can also create employment, like what our Christian counterparts are doing. For example Africa University was built by United Methodist, in Harare there is the Catholic University, Seventh Day Adventist runs Solusi University in Bulawayo and the recently opened ZEGU University in Bindura.
They also have schools and hospitals but this doesn’t mean that services offered at these institutions are only meant to benefit people of their same faith. Can one then say Christians have compelled or turned people to their religion No! So why can we then conclude that Muslims will turn people into Islam because they have built schools.
Our Holy book the Quran clearly states that if you are a minority in a county follow and obey the rules of that country. We know this is not an Islamic state but we are Zimbabweans hence we must meaningfully contribute to its development. I would like to make an appeal to those who still have a stereotype about our Islam to research or ask before making utterance which can mislead people.
Remember as Zimbabwean we have traditions for instance as Zezuru or Isindebele to maintain, a religion to worship and above all a country to develop. Sheikh Duwa is the national chairperson of the Supreme Council of Islamic Affairs in Zimbabwe