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23.04.2019 Feature Article

The Mosque Visits The Church

National Chief Imam of Ghana, Sheikh Dr. Osmanu Nuhu SharubutuNational Chief Imam of Ghana, Sheikh Dr. Osmanu Nuhu Sharubutu

And they cried:

"Why did he choose or go to the Church and not the Mosque?"

And I say: Why worry about your neighbour's shining light, if you cannot make yours shine?

You chose to hide it, so darkness will eclipse our world. But he chose to keep his lamp on top of the mountain that the whole world can and will see the light.

The National Chief Imam of Ghana, Sheikh Dr. Osmanu Nuhu Sharubutu was seen at the Christ The King Church in Accra last Sunday 21 April. The Imam's choice of where to worship or celebrate his landmark centenary anniversary has got many talking in the capital and beyond.

In fact, what makes the visit symbolic isn't just his mingling with the flock in the Catholic Church but also the day he chose to pay this historic visit.

Yes, it wasn't an ordinary day. It was the Resurrection Day of our Lord Jesus Christ.

And I'm pretty he enjoyed the Homily.

A flower bouquet was given to the revered Sheikhl to mark his 100 birthday anniversary, amid felicitations.

The eyes beheld him from the four corners of the chapel, as he shook hands with the young flower girl, virtually awe-struck and consumed by the aura that surrounds him.

Is this real she must've wondered!

Her eyes glowed, open-mouthed.

The tiny sparrows had also witnessed the historic event from the attic, where they'd sought refuge.They were elated, because it's rare. Many across the world don't see eye to eye with them.

And thank you to the noble priest who nobly hosted this august guest. Truly, the Chief Imam has done something that would stay with this generation for so long. Something so remarkable.

"If we see the miracle of a single flower, clearly our whole life would change," Buddha.

But here comes his venomous critics, murmuring and griping.

I call them the extremists.

Why did he choose to worship in the Church and not the Mosque?

Virtue is light, when it shines darkness has no hiding place, says this author.

And I think Confucius said it best:

"Virtue is not left to stand. He who practices it will have neighbours."

You might've seen the video on social media.The front row vintage style dark pews had men of different faith occupying it.

They're men of Sunni faith--Muslims.

Some wore long beards.

But it appeared their leader's beard was longer than all of them. Unmatched!. It was as white as snow. Also there was none as old as he, I observed. His age validates that. Still racking up the numbers..

He carried Tesbih (rosary).And his white long cloth (Agbada or Batakari) was just like the friar's frock. His turban (headgear) and the neck scarf-- Kaffyeh looked unfamiliar to the hosts. The Mosque has visited the Church!

Indeed his visit to this setting seemed strange and somewhat odd to many in the Christendom not only his critics.

But in the oddity dwells unity, humility and purity.

Remember, it's our hearts and not our pretentious act of piety or santity that will get us to see our Father, if indeed there's heaven.

No doubt the spectre had won admiration of many across Ghana and even beyond.

See, sometimes it doesn't matter where and how we grow our beards--- gotie, long or short.

I believe, if we learn to be tolerable and engage harmoniously with people of different faith, different race, colour or creed, we will make our world more peaceful and safer to live in.

Remember, the problem is not the Church or the Mosque. The problem is not the Synagogue or the Temple. The problem is the people who professed to be saints and worship in these buildings or structures.

Gordon Offin-Amaniampong
Gordon Offin-Amaniampong, © 2019

This author has authored 268 publications on Modern Ghana.
Author column: GordonOffinAmaniampong

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