Sierra Leoneans in Saudi Arabia pray against Ebola
Under the supervision of the Embassy of Sierra Leone in Saudi Arabia, the Sierra Leone Nationals’ Union (SLNU) in Riyadh, in collaboration with the Dawa and Guidance Committee, made it a point of national duty to converge at the Chancery on all the four Fridays of the holy month of Ramadan. They met to listen to lectures on the Islamic teachings and to to offer most heartfelt supplications beseeching Allah the Almighty to bless the concerted efforts of His Excellency, President Ernest Bai Koroma and his Government aimed at eradicating EBOLA, this deadly scourge that is menacing the nation in its entirety.
It is worthy to note that, since its formation by former Ambassador Umaru Bond Wurie in 1993, the SLNU has invariably taken it upon itself to pray for Sierra Leone’s stability, security, development and prosperity. It is important to inform that during the senseless rebel war in the 90’s, the Union converged at the Chancery on every Friday and recited the holy Quran several times and prayed for the war to come to an end and for peace and security to prevail in Sierra Leone. Undoubtedly, it is a firm belief of this Union that those fervent and nationally motivated supplications significantly contributed in bringing that brutal war to an end.
Under the circumstances, the President of the Sierra Leone Nationals’ Union, Mr. Uthman Mohamed Kargbo and the Dawa and Guidance Committee Chairman, Sheikh Omar Bah, and members of their executives and the entire Sierra Leone community are fervently appealing to the Government of His Excellency, President Dr. Ernest Bai Koroma, the medical community and all the masses to have all hands on deck to fight against EBOLA with the steadfastness and tenacity required to ensure that this epidemic is appropriately taken care of once and for all.
The Sierra Leone community in Saudi Arabia is calling upon all the forces on the ground to consider putting a definitive stop to this plague as a national priority. It would also like to make it abundantly clear that EBOLA is a blind disease that knows no tribes, no regions, no religions, no classes and no political parties in Sierra Leone. Hence, if effective measures are not taken to contain the plague, everyone (may Allah forbid) will be prone to acquire the virus, which, if not diagnosed and cured at its initial stage, would turn out to be fatal. This is not the time for making political scores by eliminating political opponents; this is no time for running behind political gains of whatever nature. Rather, now is the time to make concerted and sincere efforts to arrest the situation before EBOLA infiltrates into the densely populated areas and cities in our country.
The SLNU in Saudi Arabia hereby salutes the physicians, nurses, paramount chiefs, volunteers and the media apparatus for their patriotic stances as far as rendering the needed services to the EBOLA affected patients is concerned. They have proven that in such trying times there should be no room for futile political bickering. Instead, every well-meaning Sierra Leonean should heed the clarion call made by President Koroma a couple of weeks ago in which he officially informed that EBOLA is now a reality in Sierra Leone and that it is everyone’s responsibility to help stop the spread of the menacing epidemic by all affordable means. That act of President Koroma is highly commendable because he did what every concerned and responsible leader ought to do when a threat of such magnitude as that of EBOLA is forcefully looming through the nation affecting and killing at such an alarming rate.
Also, the Union wishes the souls of those compatriots who have fallen dead due to this scourge to rest in perfect peace. By the same token, it wishes the affected ones to be cured and save the entire nation from the deadly disease.
On the other hand, this epidemic should be enough cause for countries of the Sub-Saharan African counties, especially the three Mano River Union countries-Guinea, Liberia and Sierra Leone- that have been so far affected by the EBOLA epidemic to ponder over the root cause of its emergence this time around. Indeed, it might not be that easy to pinpoint a certain cause for this scourge simply because people have almost certainly ceased to deem the possibility of the divine hands being responsible for inflicting this plague upon these impoverished countries. History reminds us that whenever people totally deviate from the path traced for them by Allah, He punishes them by plagues unknown to them so that they would refrain from committing sins against Allah the Almighty and deist from committing atrocities to their fellow humans. Some people may consider this reading as hilarious or unthinkable.
However, what everyone, irrespective of their religious beliefs, should be aware of is that we, mankind, were not created to oppress and suppress our fellow humans as we so wish; we were neither created to commit crimes and offend others at our free will simply because we believe in the law of the jungle where might is believed to be absolutely right.
Rather, it should be clear to all and sundry that the divine purpose of our creation is, first of all, to worship Allah the Almighty. How should we worship God? Apart from the known rituals that we perform in the mosque and church, we should fear Allah in the open and in secret by doing the things that God has either enjoined upon us or has ordered us to do towards our fellow human beings, and to refrain from perpetrating all the things that Allah has forbidden. The Torah, the Bible and the Quran are all full of stories of nations that were annihilated and destroyed by various methods when those nations totally deviated from the right path and got engaged in committing crimes and wrong doings without the least fear and thought of God and without the least pinch of the conscience. A food for thought!
On a separate development, a couple of months ago, the Sierra Leone Muslim community in Riyadh woke up in one bright morning to hear the good tidings that a new member has reverted to the Islamic faith. The person who declared her embracement of Islam is Mrs. Marion Mabinty Dura, the wife of the Minister Counselor/Head of Chancery at the Embassy of Sierra Leone in Riyadh, Mr. Umaru Sesay Dura.
Upon hearing these good tidings of having a new member in their Muslim fold, the Sierra Leone Nationals’ Union headed by Mr. Uthman M, Kargbo and the Dawa and Guidance Committee headed by Sheikh Omar Bah, and the Sierra Leone community in Riyadh saw it as a befitting Islamic tradition to formally welcome their new sister in Islam. To demonstrate their joy and to express their appreciation, the Union and Dawa and Guidance Committee invited Mrs. Marion Mabinty Duran to attend a congregational meeting of her brothers and sisters at the Embassy of Sierra Leone on the second Friday of Ramadan (July–, 2014.
During that meeting, the Sierra Leone community under the leadership of Mr. Uthman Kargbo warmly welcomed Mrs. Dura and gave her valuable and precious gifts in appreciation of her free volition to revert to the Islamic faith, wishing her steadfastness and all the best in her direction.
By Ibrahim Sillah, Saudi Arabia
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