Monthly Archives: September 2011

Western Democracy – A Perspective from a Uganda Muslim


Assalaam Alaikum, Brothers and Sisters,

I realise it is normal for a discussion group to be full of political statements, among other things. However, as Muslims, I think we should always do our best to remain objective in the way we support our arguments, especially when dealing with key issues such as democracy and what it means in the West.

I find it hard to accept the commonly propagated reductionist image of Western democracy as a system that somehow revolves around sex and sexual deviance. Yet this is the image that many people, especially in the Middle East, tend to want to discuss with you as soon as they find out that you live in the West – as if there is nothing else about life in Western democratic societies. I suppose Hollywood has not made things any easier for the innocently uninformed!

But seriously, to the brothers and sisters living under Western democratic rule, is this the image you have of the city where you live? Are the women in your city walking around naked? And what about the men?

My observation of life in the West in general, and in Canada in particular, is that democratic societies are more complex than some reductionists would like us to believe. It is true that Western democratic societies are not perfect, but neither are their counterparts elsewhere for that matter. However, if you honestly take the time to look closely at the fundamental values that govern Western societies, you would be surprised to find how much they have in common with Islamic values. But before you start, I would encourage you to skip the chapter on sex and sexual deviance; for it has this incredible power to cloud people’s view of the very societies they are trying to understand.

Quick examples of Canadian values that do not necessarily clash with Islamic values include: Democracy/Freedom; Rule of law; Multiculturalism/Respect for cultural differences (including allowing us to build mosques and Muslim schools to teach our religion freely, etc.); and Commitment to social justice. These are some of the values I know Canadian children grow up with regardless of their ethno-cultural affiliation. They are reinforced through school curricula in a number of ways, including children’s stories. In such stories, for example, the sly fox, or even Wakayima, never wins! Why? Because to allow him to win is to implicitly promote deceit over truthfulness. Simple as that. (Would the sly fox win in Muslim children’s literature? I don’t think so!)

Now, nobody should have an unrealistic image of Canada because of what I have written. Canadian society, like any other on this planet, is not perfect, however, it presents many verifiable indicators of being on the right track – One may not even need to look them up in the annual UNDP Human Development Report.

It is true that bad, religiously unacceptable things happen in Western societies, but they cannot be blamed entirely on democracy in my view. In fact, it could be argued that anything we consider religiously unacceptable in democratic countries does exist in non-democratic countries as well, including countries where Muslims are the majority. The key difference, perhaps, is that some societies choose to be open about everything and anything in the name of freedom of expression, while others simply do bad things without broadcasting them. (I leave the task of expanding on this up to the readers.) One thing to keep in mind for Muslims who do not live in the West is that so many haraam things do exist in Western democratic societies, but one has to go after them; and no one can force haraam on the unwilling party without being held criminally responsible in some way or another.

Lest I am misunderstood on my defence for a democratic system as we live it, I would like to point out that I’d love to see a purely Islamic society running on the principles of Qur’an and Sunnah. But until it is found and opens up equal citizenship to all regardless of racial or ethnic roots, I am of the opinion that we, Western Muslims, should make an honest effort to also see the good in the system under which we are governed.

Muslims and non-Muslims that benefit from social services in the West such as free housing, medical and dental care, free education for all their children, protection of one’s human rights and dignity, etc., need to begin from the premise that credit must never be withheld where it is due, regardless of who it belongs to. Goodness is goodness. And bad, unacceptable behaviour is bad regardless of where or who it comes from. Sheikh Kassim Kayira, as a daa’i in the message below, clearly communicates this and reminds us of the importance of being grateful to those who treat us with respect, dignity, and kindness. Can anyone tell us that ‘annaas’ in the hadiith is restricted to Muslim ‘good-doers’ only? Certainly not; it refers to all humans, including those in Western societies, hence the need to show gratitude to them as well. That is part of the true Islamic behaviour.

Surely, we must not shy away from pointing out the evils in our societies both in the West and elsewhere. Indeed, it is the right to point out such things without fear of societal reprisal that has, among other things, made Western democratic rule what it is today. But pointing out wrongdoing without suggesting corrective measures remains mere talk, which in the end changes nothing. In order to be useful, our talk needs to be fashioned in a way that is constructive and makes people receptive to the message of ‘doing good and preventing evil’ even where we might be disliked for whatever reason. Those in the teaching profession would agree that teachers who focus more on the good in their students tend to be more successful than those who do the opposite. Likewise, if we are to criticise the societies in which we live, we should honestly make an effort not to lose sight of the good in them.

On the Shari’ah debate, one key thing to note about what the Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr. Rowan Williams, said about the need to accommodate it in the UK is the context: He was not calling for Shari’ah to entirely replace British law, but rather to enable British Muslims that choose to settle some of their disputes via Shari’ah to do so. After all, Churches and Synagogues are allowed to offer adjudication services to their followers. But criminal law is left to the state to enforce.

On judging society, I agree that societies are habitually judged by the behaviour of the majority. But I beg to disagree with the implicit generalisation that the majority of Western people do mostly bad things. If that were the case, we would be seeing virtually no Muslims passing by Muslim-majority countries to cross either the Mediterranean or the great Atlantic and Pacific to settle in Western societies for whatever reason. The truth is that the majority of Western people, like their Muslim counterparts, agree neither with transgression nor with violation of fundamental principles of decency and morality. Our neighbourhoods in North America and the UK should be testimony to that. In them, we see the majority of families striving to make an honest living without resorting to cheating the system or criminal activities. We see them volunteering their time and sharing their resources through neighbourhood or community associations to make life better for all. We see them volunteering on parent-teachers associations for the benefit all. We see them encouraging their youth to do volunteer work at churches, mosques, synagogues, temples, and at hospitals to raise them as responsible and caring leaders of tomorrow. Those are the people who would participate in Gulu Walk fundraisers not because they had ever been to Uganda, but because they had learnt there was human suffering there and it was immoral to just look the other way. Those are the good citizens that have built Western democratic societies, and certainly, not the punks, and what one of my African American professors at Al Azhar used to call ‘people who have turned themselves into spooks’!

Finally, on the issue of “exporting democracy”, I agree with all brothers and sisters that have expressed their opposition to the concept. Exported democracy is imposed democracy, and it has never worked anywhere. (I know some scholars have argued that it has worked in Japan following WWII, but that could be a discussion for another day.) Imposed ideologies are bound to be resisted by the people they are ostensibly supposed to work for. Can anyone explain why, after 10 years and billions of dollars spent, not to mention the hundreds of thousands of lives lost, we still have very minimal indicators of democratisation in Afghanistan? And what about in Iraq? The answer could be that neither Afghan nor Iraqi societal ‘buy-in’ has been secured. Like with most forms socio-cultural development, people have to want to change in order for democracy to take root in their society. [I recall a sister on UMBS sharing this very concept in a quote appended to an announcement and attributed to the late Al Hajj Abubakar Kakyama Mayanja, (May Allah have mercy on his soul), where he says that democracy does not reside in constitutions but in the hearts and minds of the people. If you have the publication electronically, please forward me a copy!]

Wassalaam Alaikum
Yunus Lubega
Ottawa-Gatineau, Canada

How to perform Salat-Tahajud



(By sheikh Muhammad Al-Jibali, Albaani and others).

Qiyaam means “standing” and “Qiyaam layl” means standing at night. In sharia both terms refer to the same thing namely, the voluntary night prayer whose time extends from after Isha prayer to until dawn. It is described as “standing” because it involves long standing in which long potions of Quran are recited.

Other common names for it are Salat ul-layl(the night prayer), Tahajjud (from hajada Remaining awake at night or sleeping and waking up for the night prayer), and Tarawih (resting).

Witr in particular has Two different meanings in the Sunnah. I usually refers to the last one or the three Raka’t of Qiyaam, but sometimes it means the whole of the night prayer.

Some people thing that all those names mean different type of prayer but it is not true they all refer to the same voluntary night prayer and others think that it is only done in Ramadan but the messenger Peace be upon him prayed it every day after it was revealed on him and the same amount of raka’t 13.

Please know may Allah have mercy on us to understand that although many people refer to Tarawih to the voluntary prayer in Ramadan, there is only one nafl (voluntary) prayer at night.

It should be noted that Tarawih was used to refer to the resting of the in between every two raka’t because people were tied and it became a novel name but its true name is Qiyaam.

The benefit

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “Jibreel came to me and said: ‘Oh Muhammad: Live as you wish for you will die. Love whom you will for you will be separated. Do as you will for you will be recompensed for it. Know that the most honored of the believer is his standing at night, and his prestige is in not needing
anything from the people ” [Narrated by AlHaakim and AlBaihaqi. It has been graded hasan by AlMundhiri and AlAlbaani]

He (peace be upon him) said: “Whoever stands at night and recites ten ayaat is not recorded among the heedless. Whoever stands at night and recites one hundred ayaat is recorded among the pious. Whoever stands and recites one thousand ayaat is recorded among those who received a huge quantity of good deeds .” [Narrated by Abu Dawood and graded saheeh by AlAlbaani]

Someone told the Prophet peace be upon him) about a man who slept the night until morning time. He said “That is a man in whose ear the Shaytan urinated! ” [Agreed upon]

The Prophet (peace be upon him) said: “The best prayer after the obligatory ones is night prayer” [Narrated by Muslim]

Night Prayer of the Prophet Peace Be Upon Him ! 

Allah the Most Exalted ordered His Prophet to perform night prayer in the following:

“O you who wraps himself [in clothing], Arise [to pray] the night, except for a little – Half of it – or subtract from
it a little. Or add to it, and recite the Qur’an with measured recitation.” [Holy Quran 73:1-4]
And He said:
“And from [part of] the night, pray with it as additional [worship] for you; it is expected that your Lord will
resurrect you to a praised station.” [Holy Quran 17:79]


Aisha, may Allah be pleased with her, said: “The Prophet would stand at night until his feet became cracked. I said to him: Why do you do this oh Messenger of Allah, while all of your sins past and future have been forgiven? He said: Shouldn’t I be a thankful slave? ” [Agreed upon]

This proves that thankfulness is not only by the tongue. It is only done by the heart, the tongue, and the limbs. The Prophet (peace be upon him) established the duties of worship in the most complete manner, and in the most perfect form. He did all of this despite the fact that he had to spread the Islamic Aqeedah, teach the Muslims, exert himself in the path of Allah, and fulfill the duties of his family and children.

How to perform the night prayer


Author: Imaam al-Albaani
Source: Qiyaam Ramadaan (pgs. 28-30) (trans. Masjid Ahl ul-Quran was-Sunnah Association, NY, USA)


I spoke in detail about this subject in my book Salaat-ut-Taraaweeh (pg. 101-115), so I felt that I should abridge that discussion here in order to make it easy for the reader and to remind him:


The First Manner:

consists of thirteen rak’aat, which is commenced with two short rak aat.  According to the most correct opinion, these are the two rak’aat of Sunnah prayer offered after ‘Ishaa, or they are two specific rak’aat by which one begins the Night Prayer, as has been stated previously.  Then one prays two very long rak’aat (after that).  Then two more rak’aat are prayed, and then another two rak’aat are prayed.  Then two more rak’aat are prayed and another set of two rak’aat are prayed.  Then witr is made with one rak’ah.


The Second Manner:

 consists of thirteen rak’aat.  There are eight rak’aat within them, in which one makes tasleem after every two rak’aat.  Then witr is made with five rak’aat and one does not sit nor make the tasleem except in the fifth rak’ah.


The Third Manner:

consists of eleven rak’aat, in which one makes tasleem after every two rak’aat and then prays witr at the end with one rak’ah.


The Fourth Manner:

 consists of eleven rak’aat, in which one prays four rak’aat and makes one tasleem after the four.  The he prays another four in a similar manner and ends it with three rak’aat (for witr).


Would the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) remain in the sitting position after eveyr two rak’aat, when praying a unit of four rak’aat or a unit of three rak’aat?  We do not find a clear answer for this, but remaining in the sitting position (for tashahhud) while doing a unit of three rak’aat is not legislated (in the Religion)!


The Fifth Manner:

 consists of eleven rak’aat, in which one prays eight rak’aat and does not sit in any of them except for the eighth rak’ah.  While sitting (in the eighth rak’ah), he makes the tashahhud and sends Salaat on the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and then stands up again without making the tasleem.  Then he makes witr with one rak’ah and when finished, he makes the tasleem.  This consists of nine rak’aat.  Then he prays two rak’aat after that while in the sitting position.


The Sixth Manner:

 One prays nine rak’aat, in which he does not sit except after the sixth rak’ah. Then he makes the tashahhud and sends Salaat on the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) and then stands again without making the tasleem.  Then he makes witr with three rak’aat and when finished, he makes the tasleem, etc. (the rest is the same as the previous manner)


These are the manners in which it is reported that the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) performed the Night Prayer.  It is possible to add other types of manners to it, by subtracting what one wishes from each set of rak’aat until he cuts it down to one rak’ah, acting on the previously mentioned hadeeth of Allaah’s Messenger (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam): “So whoever wishes, then let him pray witr with five rak’aat, and whoever wishes, then let him pray witr with three rak’aat, and whoever wishes, then let him pray witr with one rak’ah.”


So if one wants, he can pray these five rak’aat or three rak’aat with one sitting and one tasleem, as is stated in the Second Manner.  And if he wants, he can make tasleem after every two rak’aat, as is stated in the Third Manner, and this is preferred.


As for praying the set of five rak’aat or three rak’aat by sitting after every two rak’aat and not making the tasleem, then we did not find any authentic report that the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) used to do this.  The asl (foundation) is that it is permissible, but since the Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wasallam) forbade us from praying witr with three rak’aat indicating the reason for that by saying: “And do not liken it to the Maghrib prayer.”


 [1]  So then anyone that prays the witr in three rak’aat must not liken it to the Maghrib prayer.  This can be done in two ways:


1. Making the tasleem between the even and odd number rak’ah (i.e. between the second and the third rak’ah). This is what is more strong and preferred.


2. One does not sit between the even and odd number (i.e. he prays three rak’aat straight with one tasleem), and Allaah knows best.



[1] Reported by At-Tahawee, Ad-Daraqutnee and others.  See At-Taraaweeh (pg. 99 & 110)
Article courtesy of

compiled by

May Allah guide us

 Musa  Mukwaya

Matovu Abdallah: When West donates drones in Horn of Africa


Matovu Abdallah: When West donates drones in Horn of Africa
September 19, 2011
In this piece, I am arguing that for its own good and image building, the West has to clean its approach of handling every issue with an iron fist, especially in the Muslim world.

The simple example is on Somalia and its regional neighbours, an area called the Horn of Africa (HoA). While a number of Muslim countries are competing to donate cash, food and medical assistance, some in the “very powerful” West, are busy sending drone planes or picking the bill for their proxy countries fighting the Al Shabaab opposition: Burundi and Uganda. Forget that these two countries are in Somalia under the aegis of the African Union.

Remember, the cash raised from anywhere by anyone has to be vetted by the UN’s Financial Tracking Service (UN FTS) “lest it goes in the hands of terrorists.”

Anyway, the Al Shabaab opposition fighters were not lucky like the Libyans, for the former were simply designated a terrorist group by the USA, UK and of course the UN. This is not to insinuate that aid that goes to Somalia is intended for the Al Shabaab, but it is for the Somali people – many of them are living in Al Shabaab controlled areas.

You need to pause here and reflect on three issues. One, those who donate have to be almost grilled for their donation while the beneficiaries are at the mercy of those who vet donations, the UN FTS.

Two, the trapped Somalis who are in need but in the areas controlled by Al Shabaab have either to starve to death or the donors have to be escorted by the partial “peacekeepers”, Burundi and Uganda who abuse all the rules in the books of peacekeeping under the guise of “clearing the way.” Meanwhile, fighting continues.

Three, can’t there be a solution to this stalemate? It is possible, that is by having the International Community (read the US and the UK) swallow their pride and engage the Al Shabaab opposition fighters into negotiation. It took them ten years to resort to the same with the Taliban in Afghanistan. It is not too late to save over seven million people from dying of hunger.

What I am writing about here is political morality as opposed to political correctness. The Founder and President of the UK based Humanitarian Forum, Dr Hany Al Banna, shares my view.

“The Al Shabaab fighters should not be labelled terrorists. We [humanitarian agencies] can deliver where the government has failed to deliver if we take a neutral and positive approach. We should advocate negotiation.

“What we need is culture and wisdom to stay as permanent players in areas such as Somalia, Chechnya or Kosovo. We need the West’s wisdom and art of negotiation but not money because that we can raise.”

Doesn’t this approach tally well with what the UN Under Secretary General in charge of Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) also Emergency Relief Coordinator, Valerie Amos, noted on Sept.12?

“2011 has been an extraordinary year, presenting aid workers with unprecedented challenges – many of them in the Islamic world,” she told aid agencies from the Middle East and the Muslim world who were sharing information for better humanitarian action in Kuwait City.

“Effective partnership means working closely together to identify needs and determine ways to best meet them for the benefit of the affected communities.” So, the affected communities in Somalia are not interested in hearing more drones sent to them, but aid that reaches. It can only reach when there are peaceful political steps taken.

Unfortunately, like Abraham Maslow observed, “If you only have a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail,” the trapped Somalis have little chance of surviving hunger even in the presence of food because the opposition fighters are still viewed as “terrorists unworthy to negotiate with.”

Forget that the current President of the “Interim government of Somalia”, Ahmad Sharif, is among the founders of Al Shabaab which metamorphosed from the Union of Islamic Courts (ICU) which, when still in charge of the country, a foreigner could peacefully drive throughout Somalia. The ICU’s problem before the International Community was: it was too Islamic and “wanted to rule by the Islamic law” in a country where 100 per cent are Muslims.

Now Sharif switched to the interim government, he is a good guy. Again never mind that, like the Eritrean Consul General in Dubai told The Gulf Today in August; “Somalia is for all the Somalis. It does not start and end in (the interim government-controlled capital city of) Mogadishu.” Surely, Al Shabaab has to be brought to the negotiating table when there is still life to protect.

The author is of Ugandan origin and a UMBS forumist

9/11 – The Day I became a Muslim


Robert Salaam

9/11 is a day of reflection for me for several reasons.

On 9/11 I found out that:

1. I really was a Marine

2. I was willing to die for my country

3. Islam is in fact not only a religion of peace, but the truth

Most people have no problem with 1 and 2 when I ordinarily re-tell this story, but number 3 is always met with hostility. Without going into the story again as I have a thousand times, I just want to cover the main points.

1: When I joined the Marine Corps in 1998 it was a different world per se. Most of my peers joined the military as an alternative to staying home or not going to college. Many like me joined the Marine Corps simply to be part of the best miliatary organization on the planet (sorry Army). However, that was it in a nutshell. There were no dreams of war and combat no matter how much warrior training I had. It was good stuff to know, it felt good to know I could if I wanted to, but I was content behind my desk and flying with President Clinton to the Harley David factory in Pennsylvania or to South Beach, Miami. That was the extent of my career until 9/11. That day, I found out that I truly was a Marine, that day the warrior in me came alive and I wanted nothing more than to fight the scum that dared attack the USA the greatest nation on Earth!. That day I found out that even a bunch of spoiled, Presidential, airwingers, were still Marines and we were ready to go and do what Marines do. That day that Eagle, Globe, and Anchor took over and the true warrior that I didn’t even know existed came alive. That day more than any other day, I was a Marine!

2: Given the gravity of the day, I knew something had to be done. I didn’t know what, but I knew it had to be something. I began to think of all the medal of honor winners who gave their lives in the service of others. I never truly understood that, but on 9/11 something came over me. I knew that if fanatical killers were willing to do this, than I had to be equally willing to do whatever it took to defeat them. I didn’t know what to think, but I knew one thing, if I had to die, I wanted it to be in the service of my country. I never felt that way before, on 9/10 I wore a uniform, but it was just a “job” to a degree, but on 9/11 I swore by that uniform and what Marines have lived and died for and was ready to join their ranks if need be. I remember around 10 am before the base phones shut down calling my mother and she answered crying, the most I could muster was “Mom I love you, tell everyone I love them, but now I have to do what I get paid to do” right there out of no where in one line I told my mother that our conversation may have been the last, and in that moment of clarity there was peace. I knew what had to be done and I truly didn’t care about the costs, as long as America won.

3. This has always been the most difficult thing to explain and it still is. On 9/11 we were on “standby” for more than 14hrs. We didn’t see any “action” and we just hurried up and waited, and waited, and waited, and then it was 9/12. As things started to develop and get sorted out after that horrible day, I began to reflect. Mostly about 1 and 2 but then I began to ask myself questions: Who were these people that did this? Why would they do this? Are their beliefs that crazy that they are willing to kill themselves and many others for it? I asked myself these questions over and over. My only solution was research. I wanted to know my enemy so that I may be better prepared to kill them. As a devout Christian, lay leader, bible study leader, etc. I wanted to see this murderous book for myself so that I may be able to inform my friends, group, and congregation. I never met a Muslim in my life all I knew was the church, so I decided to go straight to the horses mouth…the Quran.

As things were eased on the base in the following days, I decided to go to the bookstore and I bought it a Koran. My first one it was in complete English no arabic in sight. So with a scornful look and disdain in my heart I began to read…The very first thing I read was:

The Opening

In the name of God, the Most Gracious, the Most Merciful:

Praise be to God, the Lord of the Universe.

The Most Gracious, the Most Merciful.

King of the Day of Judgment.

You alone we worship, and You alone we ask for help

Guide us to the straight way;

The way of those whom you have blessed, not of those who have deserved anger, nor of those who stray.

In the name of God, the Most Gracious and Merciful! What in the world! I thought I’m supposed to be reading about killing Christians in the name of some other god or something. Where’s all the violence and advocation of such against America? This opening, sounded much like my prayers, so I began to read on…

As I read on I learned many things like God is One, fighting is only ordained in self-defense against oppression, respect for others religions and places of worship, Muslims believed in the Prophets of the Bible and in Jesus albeit a little differently, but heh there were Christians that believed the same things about Jesus too! In other words I found none of what I expected, I found no smoking gun, what little so-called violence I did find was nothing more than historical happenings, that didn’t shape the larger context of the books call for patience, prayer, and balance. It didn’t read purely as a historical book although there was history in it, it didn’t read purely as a book of dogma, although there was dogma in it, to me the most remarkable thing to me was that the author seemed to be speaking directly to me and not through 3rd and 4th parties. For every question I asked there was an answer, for every answer given, the text itself asked me a question. The book forced me to think, challenged me, and reasoned with me. This was a book of reason, this was a book of discussion, this book made me stronger in my desire for God. Any book that could do that in of itself, without the aid of a person reading it to me had to have divine Origins!

Of course, this began to baffle me. Emotions began to be confounded at times, I didn’t know what to think, but I knew one think, I believed in this text and I wanted to be part of those who did. Obviously those murders couldn’t have read the same book! We must be reading two different things.

I began to care less and less about the murderers and what they got out of the text and more and more about what I got out of the text. Somehow they got murder and intollerance, I got love for God, man, and peace. No more did I have to believe that those who didn’t believe as I did were bound to hell, now I could believe in the unity of faith, I could believe that all of mankind was destined to God and God loved everyone not just an elect group!

Naturally, all of this shook me at my foundation my core, so the best I could do was share these thoughts with my mentor and pastor, my grandfather. I expected him to chastize me and tell me satan was confusing me, but instead, he said he believes Islam to be on the same path as Judaism and Christianity, he believed that they all have a central Origin and a central destination. He believed that while the family of Abraham (pbuh) didn’t always agree on many points, they are still family nonetheless. At that point, slack jawed, I realized that my new ways weren’t a hinderance or some kind of satanic confusion, but another path and journey God had put me on, He knows what he is up to.

This all happened within weeks of 9/11. Imagine the surprise to all those I knew when I told them I was converting to Islam. Imagine the surprise when I had my dog tags and records changed from “Christian” to “Muslim”. Many didn’t take it well, and many don’t today. But faith is like that. We don’t often have as much control as we would like to believe. If we truly believe then we will be able to carry our cross no matter what.

And talk about a cross to carry! I have been called it all: Naive, Traitor, fake, etc. I have been told that I never was a Christian or good Christian to begin with and that’s how I left so “easily” as if they know! I have been asked how I could change to the enemies religion while my country was under attack, my service has been questioned, my loyalty, etc. etc.

The problem is many can’t or won’t seperate the religion from the people, unless of course the religion is Christianity or Judaism!

Never mind that I served another 3 years honorably in the Marine Corps as a Muslim. Never mind that I have worked for this nations highest office as a Muslim, nevermind that since the Marine Corps I have worked and served in agencies many other Americans only dream about, can only see on the outside, and in many instances don’t even know where they exist! All this as a Muslim.

But I digress…All these years, not much has changed. Many still hate Islam and Muslims, many Muslims still defend their faith and themselves, and many Muslims still commit the actions that help fuel the flames of this hate. I just pray on this day of reflection, that we as Americans, that we as humanity begin to reflect more on our similarities then our differences. I pray that we overcome our prejudices and ignorance and learn to work together. I pray that we come together to destroy radicalism and extremism in all it’s forms. I pray that we realize that it is our differences that not only make God Great, but give us a reason and drive to want to get to know one another.

“O men! Behold, We have created you all out of a male and a female, and have made you into nations and tribes, so that you might come to know one another. Verily, the noblest of you in the sight of God is the one who is most deeply conscious of Him. Behold, God is all-knowing, all-aware.” [Quran 49:13]

A diagnosis of conflicts and factions among the Ugandan Muslims


By Nkonge Ally Cheune


This paper aims at examining the various conflicts and factions that have existed in the Muslim Community in B/uganda from the time Islam was introduced in 1844 to the present day (2009). It will Endeavour to investigate the causes of conflicts at the level of both professed and non professed motives, the means and attempts made to resolve conflict in each case, the results, and the overall effects to the Muslim community in B/Uganda. It is important to note that in a period of 175 years that Islam has existed in B/Uganda, 143 years have been characterized by conflict and friction between factions, with small spells of peace and unity once in a while.

Islam was spread to the various parts of the World following Prophet Mohamed’s tradition which compelled each of his companions to transmit even a single word heard from him to the rest of the communities. This tradition became very instrumental for each Muslim to transmit the message to others regardless of the level of knowledge one had attained. Nevertheless, the companions always respected those members of the society whom they considered more knowledgeable among themselves and hence the less knowledgeable could never oppose their superiors.

During the time of Prophet Mohamed, any conflict or doubt among Muslims was straight away referred to him for guidance. It became a tradition that after the death of the Prophet, the first two caliphs were taken as the points of reference in carrying forward his mission. The Muslims, however, knew that the caliphs were not prophets and therefore could be opposed in case of difference in opinion. Hence in the reign of Uthman, the third caliph, opposition emerged which symbolized the beginning conflict in the early Muslim Community in Arabia.

Islam in B/uganda

Kabaka Suuna II as a Muslim Leader

Islam reached B/Uganda about 1200 years after the death of Prophet Mohamed (PBUH), when some minor differences in the interpretation of the Qur’an and Hadith had already emerged, and different approaches in spreading Islam were being applied. Differences in opinion on some minor issues had developed to the extent of creating sects in the Muslim community. The first conflict that erupted among the Muslims in B/Uganda was based on the differences in the approach of spreading Islam.

Ahmad bin Ibrahim led the first group of Arabs who reached the Buganda Kingdom in the year 1844 A.D. during the reign of Kabaka Suuna II. They found the kingdom with a strong culture and a well established political system that rotated around the Kabaka. They identified some strong cultural aspects which were opposed to the teachings of Islam but could be tolerated. Among these was the belief that Kabaka’s blood can never be shed. It implied that the Kabaka could not undergo the rite of circumcision and yet it represented one of the major principles of Islam. Ibrahim and his group considered it possible for a person to embrace Islam without undergoing circumcision. This group of Muslims was able to tolerate Kabaka Suuna II to lead prayers when he was not circumcised.

Mutesa I as the leader of Muslims

After the death of Suuna, Mutesa I inherited the throne but he also remained uncircumcized. He, like his father, learnt the recitation of the Qur’an, performed the five daily prayers, observed the fasting of the month of Ramathan for ten years and eventually declared Islam the official religion of the kingdom. Mutesa I himself was both the Kabaka and the leader of Islam (chief khadhi or mufti). He used to lead all prayers performed in his presence and he ordered all animals for human consumption to be prepared (slaughtered) as per Islamic teachings. Mutesa’s status as Imaam matched with the traditional status of the Kabaka whereby no one in the kingdom could be contemplated to be superior to the Kabaka.

Conflict and Factions

In 1876 a group of Muslims entered B/Uganda from the Sudan. Their approach in spreading Islam was different from that used by the first group. They criticized the first group for having accepted the Kabaka to lead prayers when he was not circumcised. They considered it unIslamic for any uncircumcised person to lead prayers or slaughter animals for human consumption. As the Muslims refused to be led in prayer by the uncircumcised Kabaka, which act was regarded as a rebellion, the consequence was the execution of 140 Muslims on the orders of the King.

This rebellion made Mutesa I skeptical of Muslims and the Arabs who had introduced the faith. It was around this time that Mutesa I got contacts with the Europeans and wrote a letter to the Queen of England, requesting her majesty to send people to teach his people how to read and write. The outcome of Mutesa’s letter was the coming of the first Anglican Church Missionaries in 1877, followed by the Catholic White Fathers in 1879. The arrival of these Missionaries marked the beginning of a formal system of education and organized missionary work in Uganda as seen today.

The missionaries came with strong weapons which Mutesa thought were vital for the expansion of the kingdom and the consolidation of his authority which the Muslims had attempted to challenge. As a consequence, he made the Christian missionaries his close allies, eventually replacing Islam with Christianity as the state religion. The efforts by the Muslims to regain their good relationship with the King met stiff resistance from the Christians who were now increasing in numbers and eventually the Muslims were expelled form the palace. Although Mutesa did not denounce Islam by the time of his death in 1881, there was no longer any close relationship between him and the rest of the Muslim community apart from his step brother prince Nuhu Mbogo.

The cost of the conflict to the Muslims in B/uganda

140 Muslims executed.

Islam lost the status of a state religion which it had attained.
Muslims were expelled from the palace and influence to the Kabaka was lost.

Mutesa I was succeeded by his son Mwanga II who, after accepting the influence of Christianity in the kingdom for some times, fell out with the Missionaries and executed their followers. He was removed from the throne and the Muslims were quick enough to enthrone his brother Mutebi-Kiwewa, whom they thought would be a better ally. This was at a time when Muslims still had the upper hand and still controlled almost all big positions in the palace. Mutebi’s performance did not measure with the challenging situation of the competition between the Muslims, on the one hand, and the Christians on the other. He was consequently replaced by his brother Kalema who was courageous enough to become the first King who accepted to be circumcised.

Kabaka Rashid Kalema as the leader of Islam.

After the Muslims had installed Kalema, Islam was brought back into the mainstream and a Muslim katikiro Abdul Kadir Kyambadde was appointed to make Islam appear a state religion once again. This turn of events hurt the Christians of the two denominations to the extent that the Catholics, the Protestants and the traditionists united and fought the Muslims. The result of the war that followed was the expulsion of Muslims from the palace and the prominent ones exiled from Buganda. Prince Nuhu Mbogo ran to Bunyoro with a number of Muslims who elected him as the “King” for the Muslims in exile. Other Muslims scattered to different parts of Uganda, a process that facilitated the spread of Islam to the rest of Uganda.

Prince Mbogo as the leader of Islam.

In 1890, the Imperial British East African Company (I.B.E.A.CO.) was formed, and B/Uganda was declared a British protectorate. Captain Lugard, who was sent as the representative of I.B.E.A.CO., came with the intention of promoting Christianity in this part of the world. He thought that, as “King” of the Muslims in exile, Prince Mbogo would be a threat to the colonial leadership. Lugard therefore persuaded Mbogo and Kalema’s surviving son to surrender. When Mbogo surrendered, he was detained, an act that annoyed the rest of the Muslims. After then, the Muslims were highly segregated to the extent that no single Muslim was appointed to any principle office.

In the effort to regain power and political influence, the Muslims reorganized and planned to stage a coup using troops from Sudan and Egypt. When the British authority realized that Mbogo’s influence was intolerable, even when under detention, they decided to exile him to Seychelles Islands.

By 1900, much as the Muslims were being marginalized, their presence and influence in the National affairs could not be completely ignored. In the 1900 B/Uganda agreement, out of the twenty counties that made up Buganda, Muslims were allocated only one county of Butambala and Prince Nuhu Mbogo was released and recognized as the leader of Muslims but not a Kabaka. He was given a pension of 250 pounds while 24 sq. miles were allocated to him on behalf of the Muslim community. When Mbogo died in 1921, prince Kakungulu, his son, succeeded him as the leader of Muslims in B/Uganda.

Prince Kakungulu as the leader of Islam

After the death of Mbogo, Muslims had already known the importance of being in leadership, especially in regard to the Muslim Community, the Kingdom of Buganda and the country Uganda which was still in the making. Some politically minded people thought that they would use the demise of the Prince to separate Muslim leadership from the royal family. Around 1923 a dispute erupted between Taibu Magatto and Kakungulu’s supporters over the issue of leadership in the Muslim Community.

Taibu Magatto was the county chief of Butambala, the only county given to the Muslim Community by the Imperial Government. He argued that Kakungulu did not have any qualifications in religious studies and therefore was not fit to be the head of the faith. He was supported by a prominent Muslim Sheikh Sekimwanyi. Kakungulu went all the way to getting instructors from Zanzibar to teach him the religion but these efforts were not enough to win him support from his opponents. Instead, they developed another distinguishing factor based on doctrinal differences. It was on the basis of these doctrinal differences that all the emerging groups founded their organizations.

A close examination of the trend of Muslim leadership wrangles in B/Uganda indicates that even when the issues professed by the complainants are addressed, the leaders of the factions invent other sources of differences, however minor they may be, to justify their continued separate leadership. On the other hand if the leader of a faction eventually manages to join what is considered the mainstream organ, he ends up doing exactly what he had been criticizing of his predecessors.

The following examination of the factions and conflicts will only indicate the professed points of differences but the hypothesis is that the non professed motive is the leadership issue whereby individuals manipulate fellow Muslims to assess leadership positions.


When Islam was first introduced to B/Uganda, the teaching was that Juma prayers replace the Zuhur (zukuuli) Prayers on Fridays. However, as people read literature from different sources, there came up a view that both Juma and Zuhur were Faradha (compulsory) prayers and that none of the two could replace the other. This view created antagonism within the Muslim community, to the extent that the matter was referred to the Tanzanian Muslim leaders, as they were regarded as superior in Islamic knowledge. The judgment given did not satisfy the conflicting groups and the matter was then referred to Mecca.

The results of the Mecca appeal recommended that the two groups should coexist. The juma-zukuuli would perform Juma and add Zuhur, while those who believed otherwise would do with Juma alone. The leader of Juma-Zukuuli was Abdullah Mivule whose headquarters were at Kawempe. The rest who subscribed to this belief remained sharing the same mosques with other Muslims, but would organize themselves and perform Zuhur after Juma Prayers.


Another dispute arose when one group of Muslims rejected emphasis on Hadith and playing Mataali on Muslim functions. The split was between Juma Nkadde and Juma Mpya. Juma Nkadde disagreed with those who put great emphasis on the importance of hadith. They also rejected mataali which they regarded unislamic. On the other hand Juma Mpya encouraged the translation of khutuba into local languages during Juma Prayers. They also allowed their follower to use the Calendar to decide the beginning of the month of Ramathan as well as Idd day. They would perform adhan in the grave before powering soil into the grave during burial. Juma Nkadde had their headquarters at Bukoto Nateete and the prominent Sheiks in this sect were Sekimwanyi, Abdul Kadir Mbogo, Mukongo, and Mugenyi Asooka. Under Mugenyi Asooka’s leadership, this sect became known as ‘the African Muslim Community Juma sect.


This sect became known as Kibuli Jamiatil Islamia with its headquarters at Kibuli. Its difference from Juma Nkadde was the acceptance of the use of Mataali on Islamic functions, the application of hadith in the interpretation of the Qur’an and as guidance on other Islamic Issues, and waiting for the sighting of the moon to start fasting during the month of Ramadhan and celebrating Idd. The leader of this sect was Prince Badru Kakungulu with Sheik Muhamad Ssemakula as one of the prominent sheikhs. This group was the closest to the political leadership because of the royal family connection.


The Kikabya Qur’an Society was under the leadership of one Kalijaata although it did not gain prominence. Its main teaching was that during Friday khutuba, nothing was supposed to be said other than reciting the holy Qur’an. It considered sunna and hadith unnecessary. It became unpopular because it taught that bathing the whole body (ghusul) after ceremonial intercourse was not obligatory.


When Uganda gained her independence in 1962, Mutesa II, the Kabaka of Buganda doubled as the first president of the whole of Uganda. The fact that Juma mpya was led by prince Kakungulu, a member of the royal family, made the sect more powerful than the rest of the sects that had existed up to that time. Juma mpya (kibuli jamiatil Islamia) now became known as Uganda Muslim Community implying that it was to cater for all the Muslims in Uganda. It is important to note that up to that time, all prominent persons in Muslim leadership positions in the various factions were Baganda.

When Obote fell out with Muteesa and subsequently abolished all Kingdoms in Uganda, he badly needed to divert the loyalty of the Muslim Community from Buganda to the ruling party. He therefore devised a plan of using the educated non Baganda Muslims to form an association which would match with the ruling system. This is how NAAMU came into existence.


The main professed motive of this association was to provide Muslims with leadership based on knowledge of Islam rather than inheritance as it seemed to be with the Uganda Muslim Community. This idea sounded attractive to the sheikhs who were not close to the royal family of Buganda and to the educated Muslims who were in the ruling UPC party. The prominent sheikhs included Swaibu Ssemakula, Obedi Kamulegeya and Abu Bakar Matovu. The educated UPC group included Adoko Nichon, a cousin to president Obote, Abasi Balinda, Ishak Magezi, Mustafa Kupa and many others from different parts of Uganda.

NAAMU became the Muslim wing of UPC and by 1968, President Obote had appointed many of the NAAMU members as sub-county and county chiefs. UMC, on the other hand, remained attached to the royal family and the support of the elderly and the un-educated Muslims. The political rivalry between Buganda and the rest of Uganda was directly transferred into Islam as UMC vs NAAMU, and since UMC was older than NAAMU, all mosques in Uganda were assumed by the majority of Muslims to belong to UMC, an idea that was unacceptable to NAAMU members. The consequence of this controversy was a tour of the country by NAAMU leaders in a bid to register more support for their faction.

UMC members staged resistance in some places but NAAMU had the government support that created a power imbalance. The consequences of these struggles were the shootings at Kemishego, Kajara in 1968, during which Idd Kawaganya (father to Imam Kasozi) and Dauda Moshi (son of Mutasa) were killed. Present at the scene of the incident doubling as a government official and NAAMU member was Abasi Balinda and it was Rwakanengere, the commander of police (a non-Muslim) who ordered the shooting.


Loss of lives such as those lost in Kajara.
Muslims missed the opportunity to bargain for more land and to get land titles during the colonial times.


1. Sheikh Abdul Razak Matovu as Chief Kadhi.

When Idd Amin took over power in 1971, as a Muslim, he was aware of the need for streamlining leadership in the Muslim Community. He started by consulting Muslim opinion leaders on what should be done to empower a community that had been left behind in almost all aspects of life. Whether he wanted to use the community as a political base, the outcome was a community under one leadership called the Uganda Muslim Supreme Council.

In a meeting held in Kabale Town in 1972, UMSC was formed as an umbrella organization for all Muslims in Uganda. Unlike the various Muslim groups that had existed hitherto, UMSC made a written constitution and was registered as a company. This constitution exists but unfortunately very few Muslims have bothered to read and internalize it. The highest office in the leadership structure as per the constitution was the office of the chief kadhi. At the same meeting, Sheikh Abdul Razak Matovu was elected chief kadhi while Sheikh Ali Kulumba was made the deputy. Other office bearers were also elected, putting into consideration regional representation, as earlier instructed by the President.

2. Sheikh Sulaiman Matovu as Chief Kadhi.

In 1973, Abdul Razak Matovu fell out with Idd Amin and Sheik Sulaiman Matovu was chosen to replace him. It is, however, not clear whether Amin followed the constitution in effecting this appointment, but since he was the founder of UMSC, a Muslim and a military leader, no one could dare query the appointment.

Sulaiman Matovu (commonly known as Sheik Mukulu) remained chief kadhi until 1978 when he resigned. This is the time when Amin was engaged in a stiff battle with UNLFA supported by the Tanzanian army and he had no time to attend to other issues until he was overthrown on 11th April 1979. Haji Mufanjala, who was the Chairman of the UMSC under Sulaiman Matovu’s leadership, headed the council until the fall of Amin’s government.


1. The formation of UMSC provided an umbrella organization with a national character.
2. Idd Amin enabled Muslims to acquire property which included buildings, land, and factories.
3. Muslims acquired their first unifying headquarters at Old Kampala, independent of Kibuli which had a historical attachment to the royal family of Buganda.
4. Uganda became a registered member of the Organization of Islamic Conference, the result of which is the I.U.I.U.
5. Idd day was celebrated on the same day throughout Uganda as opposed to the past when each faction could celebrate it on a different day.
6. Through UMSC, scholarships could be secured for Muslim students throughout the country and many of the Muslim professionals in Uganda today were beneficiaries of the scheme.
7. Islam and the Muslims at large begun to be revered which resulted in many conversions to Islam.

3. Sheikh Kassim Mulumba as Chief Kadhi.

When the UNLF took over power, the leaders wanted to reconcile with the Muslims for the atrocities done during the war. They needed a leader through whom they would reach the whole community. The UNLA leadership approached Prince Badru Kakungulu as a Muslim opinion leader for consultation about the Muslim leadership. Prince Kakungulu forwarded the name of Sheik Kassim Mulumba as a suitable candidate to be acting chief kadhi in the interim until the Muslims would be able to elect their leaders.

During the war that overthrew Amin, many innocent Muslims had been massacred at Kiziba in Bushenyi, but because of having no central leadership the incident had remained unknown to the world. Immediately Mulumba took office, he organized a Mauled in Mbarara during which he made public all the massacres before government representatives. He asserted that Muslims had not been liberated and challenged government to take action. Without such central leadership, it was impossible for the Muslims to forward their grievances.

4. Two Chief Kadhi- Mulumba and Kamulegeya; and Mufti Matovu.

In 1980 Prince Kakungulu called upon Mulumba and advised him to organize general elections since his coming to office was not through the constitutional procedures and was only meant to serve for an interim period. When Mulumba turned down the advice, Kakungulu organized a meeting at Makerere University where another team of leaders was appointed, with a new headquarters at Kibuli. A position of Mufti was created and the Muslim leadership crisis went back to the days before Amin came to power.

The office bearers elected at Makerere were: Abdul Razak Matovu as Mufti, Obed Kamulegeya as chief kadhi and Badru Kakungulu as chairman. It is not clear whether these leaders were elected constitutionally, but they claimed to be the rightful office bearers as opposed to Mulumba’s group. This was another beginning of having two sets of leaders, claiming to be heading the same organization at the same time.

The confusion that followed led the matter to be referred to the Muslim World League (MWL) in 1982. In a meeting chaired by Qasamallah, the two groups agreed to merge into one with the following positions: Abdul Razak Matovu as Mufti, Kassim Mulumba as chief kadhi, Obed Kamulegeya as deputy chief kadhi, Badru Kakungulu as chairman and Isa Lukwago as Secretary General.

On realizing that the new team was dominated by his opponents who had been elected at Makerere, Mulumba submitted his resignation letter to the Mufti on medical grounds. When he got a second thought to withdraw his resignation, it was too late as his position had already been taken up by Kamulegeya. Mulumba declared himself again as the chief kadhi of UMSC and put his headquarters at Masjid Noor, William Street. Kamulegeya, being a close associate of Obote because of the UPC/ NAAMU connection, forced Mulumba out of Masjid Noor and the later shifted his headquarters to Lubaga Road Mosque.

The period that followed gave Obote and his henchmen the opportunity to apply his method of divide and rule. While Obote and some of his strong men recognized Kamulegeya and his group as the official leaders of the UMSC, his vice President Paul Muwanga and others sided with Mulumba and his group and provided them with all the necessary support as the official leaders of the UMSC. The government officials who were prominent in this fracas were Chris Rwakasisi, Minister of state in the office of the President, Luwuliza Kirunda, Minister of Internal affairs, Ambassador Ali Ssenyonga, and Tito Okello the Army Chief.

5. Sheikh Hussein Rajab Kakooza as Chief Kadhi.

When Bazilio Okello and Tito Okello turned against Obote in a military coup, Mulumba also staged a coup and chased away Kamulegeya and his group from old Kampala headquarters. This turn of events was made possible by the personal relationships of the people involved. Muwanga and Mulumba were old friends from the 60s when Muwanga was Uganda’s Ambassador in Cairo while Mulumba was a student there. On the other hand Kamulegeya was a close ally of the Obote government because of his link with the UPC party.

Kamulegeya appealed to the Muslim World League for help and in a meeting chaired by Dr. Umar Nassif, the secretary general MWL, it was agreed that both Kamulegeya and Mulumba should step aside for new leadership. This was the Mecca agreement which proposed the election of an interim leadership of UMSC composed of people who had not been involved in previous conflicts. The new interim leaders were Sheikh Hussein Rajab Kakooza as chief kadhi, Sheikh Ibrahim Saad Luwemba as deputy chief kadhi and Ntege Lubwama as Secretary General. Ntege Lumwama failed to take up the office and it was taken over by Yusuf Isa Byekwaso.

6. Two Mufti – Kakooza and Luwemba.

Sheikh Hussein Rajab Kakooza organized the national elections for the community leadership as per the Mecca agreement where both the incumbent Chief Kadhi and his Deputy were among the contestants. The final results had Sheikh Ibrahim Saad Luwemba as Mufti and Ali Senyonga as Chairman. This turn of events was unexpected to some Muslims who thought that the Muslim leadership still had to be attached to the Buganda royal family.

Prominent Muslims in support of the Kakungulu group and led by Haji Abubakar Mayanja proposed that the elections should be nullified, claiming that they contained irregularities and that Luwemba had no qualifications for the position of Mufti. Kakooza and his group refused to hand over office to Luwemba and the matter ended up in the courts of law as Luwemba put up his headquarters at Lubaga Road to go ahead with business as usual.

Eventually Court made its judgment in favor of Luwemba, basing on the argument that the UMSC constitution allowed one to become a Mufti if he had an equivalent of a degree in Islamic Law. Luwemba was in possession of a certificate from Libya which Court considered the equivalent of a degree in Islamic Law. Consequently, Luwemba took over the headquarter office at old Kampala. Kakooza’s group considered the judgment unfair and moved their headquarters to Kibuli where they kept claiming to be the rightful leaders of the community. It is important to note that during Luwemba’s tenure of office, some property that had been left by the Indians under the custody of UMSC was returned to the Indians following the guidance of the central Government. This move did not auger well to some Muslims to the extent that it widened the rift between existing factions. It was this time that some Muslims started to query the whereabouts of the money for the completion of the headquarter mosque which had been pledged by the Iranian President when he visited Uganda. Whether the pledge was fulfilled or not still remains a question.

7. Two Mufti- Luwemba and Mukasa.

The Muslim Unity and Reconciliation Conference that was held in Kampala on 10th May 1993 under the stewardship of Professor George Kanyeihamba, was an attempt by the Uganda Government to intervene in the Muslim dispute. Funding was acquired from the Muslim World League, represented in Uganda by Dr. Mohamed Ahmad Kisuule, who was a sympathizer of the Kakooza group at Kibuli.

Sheikh Luwemba was skeptical of Kisuule’s neutrality and, as a consequence, he refused to participate in the follow-up meeting in Mbarara that saw Sheikh Ahmad Mukasa elected as another Mufti. The event ended Kakooza’s claim to the office and started off another rivalry between Luwemba and Mukasa that culminated into an embarrassing episode when the two Muslim leaders were separately invited to officiate on a public function and had to fight over the microphone! The rivalry went on even after the death of Sheikh Luwemba, who was succeeded by Sheikh Muhamad Semakula.

8. Sheikh Shaban Ramadhan Mubajje as Mufti

The situation of double leadership in the UMSC continued until 2001 when the Mukasa and Semakula groups agreed to hold elections which would usher in a unifying and seemingly neutral leadership. Thanks to the efforts of Eng. Muhammad Sewajjwa Kyeyune who mobilized the two groups using mediation techniques and eventually convinced Haji Ishak Magezi to play his role of the chairman electoral commission for UMSC. The elections that were held in 2001 brought Sheikh Shaban Ramathan Mubajje’s administration into office and for about 7 years, the Uganda Muslims witnessed a relatively peaceful period similar to that experienced in Amin’s time of 1972-1978.


1. With the help of Major General Moses Ali, the then 3rd Deputy Prime minister and Minister of Trade and Tourism, combined with Eng. Muhamed Sewajjwa Kyeyune’s mediation skills, UMSC was able to secure a land title for its old Kampala headquarters.
2. The construction of the National Mosque, with the help of the Libyan President Col. Muamar Kadhafi, was completed and it is now a point of reference and a source of pride to the Muslims of Uganda.
3. The open war between the Tablig and the other Muslims subsided and both groups accepted to live side by side.

9. Mufti and Supreme Mufti- Mubajje and Kayongo

Discontent about Sheikh Mubajje started in 2006 when some delegates to the UMSC complained about the sale of Muslim property without the consent of the Council. The matter ended up dividing Council members into two groups and others like Sheikh Mahd Kakooza being expelled. As tension mounted further, the Chairman of the Council was forced to resign, allowing his Vice Chairman Hassan Basajjabalaba to take his position. The implicated persons in the sale of UMSC property included the Mufti, Sheik Mubajje, the Secretary General Dr. Edris Kasenene, and now the Chairman Haji Hassan Basajjabalaba

In a move to find a solution for the rising discontent, a commission of inquiry was set up to investigate the matter. Dr. Muhammad Mpezamihigo was elected chairman to the commission whose offices were housed at Hotel Africana and funded by Haji Basajabalaba.

As the inquiries progressed, Sheikh Nuhu Muzaata Batte, ‘the Imam of Imams’, as he had been nicknamed, produced a recorded tape on which he had declared Mubajje a thief, an act that became a catalysis to the conflict and made the situation worse. Kasenene and Basajabalaba, were among the people who went to the commission but Sheikh Mubajje refused to go to Hotel African sighting insecurity as the major obstacle.

Sheikh Mubajje further argued that the Commission had been turned into Court instead of gathering information about the sale of the properties. He said that he was dismayed by being proclaimed a thief by his subordinates and putting the matter to the press before hearing from him. He wondered why he was not being accused of putting up structures at UMSC headquarters and mocked Muzaata who referred to the structures as toilets. The members of the Commission, on the other hand, insisted that they could not go to the Mufti’s office for the information they needed so badly, sighting their rules of procedure which they had laid down at the beginning. The Commission, therefore, went ahead and concluded its inquiries without hearing from Sheikh Mubajje, as if the rules had been cast in stone to risk the outcome of the whole exercise. After spending a lot of time and money, they went ahead and made their report with observations and recommendations.

Sheikh Haruna Jjemba, one of the delegates to the UMSC General Assembly and a lecturer at Makerere University, Hassan Kirya, another delegate, and Sheikh Abdul Hakim Sekimpi, a leader of a Tablig faction and popularly known as Amir Daula, took the matter to court. The accused were Sheikh Mubajje, the Mufti, Dr. Edris Kasenene, the Secretary General, and Haji Hassan Basajabalaba, the Chairman, accusing them of selling Muslim property without authority. It is not clear whether this action was one of the recommendations of the commission.

At court, the case went through two stages, the first one determining the second. The first stage was to determine whether the accused three had any case to answer. The judgment was that the three had a case to answer, and this verdict pleased the complainants. The second stage was to find out whether the accused three sold UMSC property, and that if they did, to find out whether they had a right to do so.

As a matter of procedure, Mubajje denied having sold Muslim property personally but as the hearing went on it was proved that Mubajje as the Mufti had sold the property which was permissible according to the UMSC Constitution. In the final ruling, it was pronounced that Mubajje had lied to court by denying having sold Muslim property but he had not violated any constitutional provisions by selling the property as the Mufti.

The final verdict which exonerated Mubajje and others led to further discontent among the majority of Muslims and in the subsequent meeting at Hotel Africana, a group of Sheikhs disassociated themselves with Mubajje as their Mufti. It was after this meeting that the dissidents met again and elected Sheikh Zubair Sowed Kayongo as Supreme Mufti of Uganda and Sheik Abdul Hakim Sekimpi, up to then Amir Umma, as the deputy Supreme Mufti.

Some district kadhis and Imams declared their support to Kayongo, in most cases ending up being sacked by Mubajje’s administration. Sheikh Mubajje went further to sue Kayongo for claiming to be the Mufti of Uganda and using Mosques that belong to UMSC. On the other hand, Kayongo intensified his visits to various mosques to register support with the intention of finally uprooting Mubajje and his administration from UMSC.



Tablig started as a group of young Muslims aiming at spreading Islam through voluntary service in the early 1980’s. The group later came to be known as SPIDIQA which was an abbreviation for ‘Society for the propagation of Islam and distraction of Qadianism’. It was started by Sheikhs who included Umar Mazinga and Kizito Ziwa who had acquired some influence from Pakistan. Their preaching appeared to be very revolutionary and appealed mostly to the Muslim youth who were in and around Kampala at that time. When the gospel reached Nakasero Mosque, the hitherto society turned into a new faction independent of the then existing factions. They elected their leaders with Sheikh Edris Lutaaya as the Mufti and Sheikh Kizito Ziwa as the Chief Kadhi. Sheikh Zubair Bakar was another prominent Sheikh in the administration of the Tablig sect.

As time went by, Ziwa started applying a more radical approach in his preaching which caused discomfort among the group. At this time Lutaaya decided to pull out of the sect quietly and soon after, Ziwa was also expelled from the group. It was alleged that Ziwa had started challenging the views of respected and well-known Imams like Imam Shafii and Abu Hanifa. There were also other allegations like the use of alcohol and disregarding other fundamental principles of Islam in a manner that was unacceptable to the community.


After his expulsion from Nakasero Mosque, Sheikh Kizito Ziwa formed another group and put his headquarters in the neighborhood of Nakasero Mosque. Ziwa went on preaching and periodically producing written sermons which aimed at showing his superiority over the rest of the Sheikhs in the country. He was later forced out of the building near Nakasero Mosque, as his support could not match that of Zubair Bakar, who had more influence in the government of the day. Ziwa moved his group to Kisenyi, where they have lived in a low profile to the present day.

The main Tablig group that remained at Nakasero Mosque was under the leadership of Sheikh Muhamad Kamoga. The group eventually became more intolerant to the UMSC leadership as they blamed them of being hypocrites who knew the truth but preached the contrary. The UMSC style of preaching followed the strict categorization of acts into Faradha/ Wajib (compulsory), Sunna (optional but necessary), Karaha (undesirable), Harram (forbidden), Mubaha/Batil (neutral) and Urf (culture). On the contrary, the Tablig put a lot of emphasis on sunna to the extent of turning some sunna acts into Faradha. The hadith about Bidi’a (innovation) was exaggerated to the extent that all Batil/Mubaha and Urf acts looked Harram to the followers. As a result issues such as Mauled, Shaving of the Beard, Shortening trousers, pronouncing Tasmia aloud before Surat Al Fatiha and utterance of Niyat (intention) before the acts became major issues of contention. In the words of Sheikh Abdallah Kalanzi, who used to preach on Radio Uganda, Tablig was meant for both Daawa and Erishaad which meant preaching addressed to non Muslims for conversion, and preaching to the Muslims to correct what was perceived to be wrong respectively.

In order to bridge the widening gap between UMSC and the Tablig, Sheikh Kakooza’s administration decided to utilize some sheikhs from the Tablig sect. Under this arrangement Sheikh Abdallah Kalanzi was appointed district kadhi for Kabale and Kisoro, and probably Sheikh Mubajje also became the district kadhi of Mbale under the same arrangement.

This approach did not stop the remaining Tablig under Kamoga from using a radical approach. On one occasion Kamonga led his group to take over Old Kampala headquarters in a coup and managed to seize the mosque for some days. They, however, failed to get willing Sheikhs to take over the leadership of UMSC. Sheikh Uthman Alonga, then a lecturer at Makerere University, was approached and he turned down the offer. The coup failed after some days, with minimum casualties.

The second attempt was led by Jamiru Mukulu in the early 1990’s. Mukulu is a product of Tablig preaching efforts during the time of Sheikh Lutaaya as Mufti. After joining Islam, Jamiru Mukulu was facilitated to learn Arabic and Islamic Studies and within a spell of five years he was being addressed as ‘Sheikh Jamiru Mukulu’. Using this popularity, Mukulu led a group of Tabligs to take over the old Kampala UMSC headquarters. When the government tried to intervene using the Police, the Tablig youths killed a policeman and two police dogs, and many of the Tablig youths were arrested including Mukulu himself. Meanwhile Muhammad Kamoga exiled himself to Kenya.


After the above incidents, Sulaman Kakeeto was elected leader of the Nakasero based Tablig. He came with a more liberal approach than his immediate predecessors and he concentrated more on Daawa and Erishaad rather than the antagonism that had been the focus of Ziwa, Kamoga and Mukulu. Kakeeto still continues to be the leader of the Tablig with the headquarters at Nakasero Mosque. His title is Amir Daula and he has regional and district Amirs under his administration throughout Uganda.


Meanwhile Jamiru Mukulu utilized the time in prison to indoctrinate the semi-illiterate Muslim youths in prison with his radical and militant views. When Mukulu and his group came out of prison, they refused to be led in prayers by those who had not been to prison because they considered them to be with less Iman (faith) basing on some Hadith. They also refused to eat meat of animals slaughtered by anybody who did not belong to their group. They formed a faction of the Tablig called Salaf and started regarding other Muslims as non believers. They could neither give Salam nor answer it to the rest of the Muslims. Jamiru Mukulu visited some Mosques in some parts of Uganda and wherever he registered majority support, the minorities were chased out of that Mosque. Itendero Mosque in Bushenyi and Kyazanga Kitooro Mosque in Masaka are some of the examples that went through that experience for some time.

Finally, Jamiru Mukulu mobilized some Muslim, semi-illiterate youths among his followers and formed a rebel group against the government of Uganda. Whether the youths were convinced that it was incumbent on them to fight any government headed by a non Muslim, or they were deceived that they were being organized to be taken abroad to get good employment, the outcome of Mukulu’s mission was a disaster. Many Muslim youths, mainly from Itendero and Kyazanga are believed to have died in that insurgency.

Another group of Muslim youth was intercepted by the government forces at Buseruka as they were still waiting to be dispatched. These were taken to Luzira but Jamiru Mukulu escaped. Since then Mukulu’s where about is unknown. There is a school of thought that Mukulu had converted to Islam with a hidden agenda of collecting and selling Muslim youths to rebel groups for his livelihood.


Disagreement in the approach led to the development of another faction within the Tablig sect. This splitter group has been led by Amir Umma Sekimpi till he recently became deputy Supreme Mufti.


1. The concerns exhibited by the Muslims over issues that relate to governance and their property as a community should be taken seriously.
2. The current situation in the Muslim Community, however, should not create too much excitement as similar situations have happened before among the Muslims of B/Uganda as already shown in this paper.
3. Extra care should be taken when seeking solutions for the current problem to avoid being entangled in more complicated situations like before.
4. It is important to remember that fighting over mosques may result into deaths like those at Kemishego in 1968.
5. The recent government cabinet reshuffle in which Hon Haji Ali Kirunda Kivejinja became Minister for Internal affairs and Hon. Haji Abu baker Jeje Odong became Minister for Security may have a bearing on the prevailing disputes within the Muslim community.

6. The titles ‘Supreme Mufti of Uganda’ and ‘Mufti of Uganda’ are technically two different titles, just like having Amir Umma and Amir Daula co-existing, with none interfering with the other, although this is not to justify multiple sets of leadership.

7. The issue of Masjid Noor, among the sold properties, needs to be handled with great care. Calculated steps can be taken to reclaim the mosque like what was done in Kabale in 1992. A fund raising drive was made to collect money to pay off those who had wrongfully bought plots that belonged to the Muslims and by the end of the exercise the plots were claimed back. Similarly, funds can be raised to pay off Dick without a prolonged battle. As the saying goes, “first chase away the fox and then warn your chicken against roaming in the bushes”

8. Much as Col. Besigye’s attendance of the last funeral rites for the late Dr. Sulaiman Kigundu had some historic bearing, his pronouncements against the Mubajje Administration and the responses from Mubajje thereafter could have far reaching implications. The rivalry between Kibuli and Old Kampala should not be translated into FDC vs NRM politics, whereby Kayongo would be seen to represent Buganda and FDC, while Mubajje would symbolize NRM and the rest of Uganda. The three incidents when Kayongo’s vehicles were pelted in Arua on 30th April 2009, then burning of tents and the subsequent fighting at Nyamitanga when Kayongo was visiting Mbarara, and the breaking into the offices of the Masaka district kadhi are enough indicators that the Kemishego history of 1968 is already taking centre stage.

9. The Mubajje court case is not the first one in the history of Islam in B/Uganda. The first case was between Mugenyi Asooka and Nsambu in 1951 while the second one was between Kakooza and Luwemba. If court rulings have not addressed the leadership problem for the last three times, is it not time to employ an alternative method?

Instead of waiting for problems to emerge and start looking for solutions, can the Muslims put up a mechanism that can technically protect the leaders from falling victims of circumstances? Is the problem emanating from the UMSC Constitution whose review may be long overdue? Can there be another peace and reconciliation process with better results than the previous ones?


Do Muslims in Uganda pay zakat to the UMSC?
Are the leaders in the UMSC including District kadhis, county Sheikhs and mosque Imams paid salaries?
Why is it that there are many Hijja Committees in Uganda today when there used to be only one in the past? What is the effect of this situation to the Muslim welfare in Uganda?
What is the effect of Muslim marriages being regulated by the different factions?
What is the effect of Muslim disunity in Uganda to the donor community?
Where does the UMSC administration get resources to run its business?


Anderson J.N.D, (1954) Islamic Law in Africa.

Kasozi. A. B (1986) The spread of Islam in Uganda, Oxford University press.

Kanyeihamba George (1998) Reflection on the Muslim Leadership Question in Uganda, Fountain Publishers, Kampala, Uganda.

Mudoola Dan (1993) Religion, Ethnicity and Politics in Uganda, Fountain Publishers, Kampala, Uganda.

M/S Nsambu & Luganda Advocates, The Companies Act, The Memorandum and Articles (Constitution) of Uganda Muslim Supreme Council Memorandum. Kampala.

Uganda Muslims are divided and lack commitment towards religious affairs


Brothers and sisters,

The only reason I can think of why the UMBS website project and others proposed on this forum have proved to be difficult for us to implement is because we lack total commitment towards our religious affairs. We are more like every man and woman for himself, unlike the Christian fellows. In otherwords, we are so selfish and divided.

For example, I recently met a x-tian lady here in the UK at some function. She is a Zambian-British by nationality who came to UK to pursue her studies in nursing. She is now working as a nurse but she is also doubles as a pastor(part time) for one of the Light House churches here in the UK. Light House have got a big church in Uganda too.

When she learnt that I’m a Muslim who is trying to do something for my Muslim brothers and Sisters, she spent almost 1 hour convincing me to convert to her faith. Obviously I listened to her because listening is always good but there is no way anybody can comprise me on my religion. She basically told me about the history of the Lighthouse Chapel international and how the founder turned it into such a big project with over 1200 churches all over the world. They have got over 90 branches in the UK. The latest one they have bought here in the UK has cost them over £1m.

So I asked her how the founder who is such a young man based in Ghana- managed to turn this project around. She provided me with the founder’s personal website and contacts. I read a lot about it and discovered that this young man started this project when he was only 24 years old. As soon as he finished his internship in his degree in medicine, he started on this project which is now worth billions of pounds and it is benefiting millions of x-tians all over the world. The Christian elders in Ghana and all over the world never under minded him because of his young age or background. Instead, they were very supportive of him. Both thre rich and poor in Ghana basically did everything possible to support his ideas. They facilitated his travels and endeavors to turn LIGHTHOUSE CHAPPEL into a success.

Basically, the founder would not have done it without the support and commitment from his followers and the people he is working with. For instance, here in the UK, most of the followers of LIGHT HOUSE CHURCH have committed part of their salaries to this project on a monthly basis but how many Muslims who are working are willing to do this for us. Some don’t even bother to reply to the personal messages we send to them for reasons best known to themselves.

I hope this kind of attitude among Muslims in Uganda changes as soon as possible because it is costing us so much. I really hope Muslims also do the same ( as x-tians so towards their projects) , out of self conviction, as soon as we register UMBS. It will definitely make what we intend to do very easy if everybody was very committed and supportive of our projects inishalla.

Anyway, we are going to try our best to create a website for UMBS as soon as we get the money we need. We shall also register UMBS in Uganda and other parts of the world. We shall form a committed team to work with at both national and international level. We shall do everything we are supposed to do to give UMBS a good foundation, and then we leave the rest to Allah- for he knows better. It will be a slow process but we shall make it inishallah.

The means to contribute to UMBS projects have been set up wherever Muslims live in the world. We shall obviously do more to make it easier for people inishallah.

Byebyo ebyange. Wassalamu

Abbey Semuwemba

Organisation of Islamic Conference Press Release


OIC – Press Release, 13 september 2011

The spokesperson of the OIC General Secretariat today said that OIC was taken by surprise at the remarks of Prime Minister Stephen Harper of Canada in an interview with CBC News on the commemoration of 2001 9/11 terrorist attack, in which he categorized “Islamicism” and “Islamic terrorism” as being “major threats” to world security. The spokesperson said that it was unfortunate that such wordings from a head of government of a sovereign state were misleading and could create controversy adding that the terminology of “Islamic terrorism” is as much erroneous as it would be in the case of “Christian terrorism” or “Jewish terrorism”.

The OIC spokesperson said Islam was a religion of peace and compassion and reiterated the OIC’s principled position of combating terrorism and extremism in all its forms and manifestation were inspired by Islam’s rejection of terror and violence. He further added that the OIC countries have paid a heavy price in combating terrorism both in terms of human life and damage to life for their resolute stand against terrorism and extremism. He said that OIC had, on different occasions made it abundantly clear that terrorists do not have any scruples or respect for human life and cannot claim to be followers of any faith, particularly when all religions uphold human dignity and the right to life.

He said Prime Minister Harper’s remarks could only serve to accentuate the misunderstanding and suspicion between the West and the Muslim World and impede on the international community’s collective goal of addressing intolerance and hatred between religions and diverse cultures.

Sister Aisha Nambooze is UMBS Deputy Treasurer in Kampala


بِسمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحمٰنِ الرَّحيمِ ﴿١﴾ الحَمدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ العٰلَمينَ ﴿٢﴾ الرَّحمٰنِ الرَّحيمِ ﴿٣﴾ مٰلِكِ يَومِ الدّينِ ﴿٤﴾ إِيّاكَ نَعبُدُ وَإِيّاكَ نَستَعينُ ﴿٥﴾ اهدِنَا الصِّرٰطَ المُستَقيمَ ﴿٦﴾ صِرٰطَ الَّذينَ أَنعَمتَ عَلَيهِم غَيرِ المَغضوبِ عَلَيهِم وَلَا الضّالّينَUganda Muslim Brothers and Sisters “(UMBS),* is a free-to-join, non-profit making e-mail discussion forum that is devoted to matters of interest to all Muslims in Uganda


بِسْــــــــــــــــــــــمِ اﷲِ الرحمن الرحيم  

Assalamu Alaikum,

Donate to UMBS and support our work to bring Uganda Muslims together, empower,unite and help them to know their rights.Contribute something to help us build a well spaced and secure website and other developments that will make this job a bit easier. Some of your contributions will be used to maintain the website( if developed).Your contributions will make a real difference. They will also enable us to keep updating with better Islamic stories inishallah.

You can donate securely online using your PayPal account, just click on the ‘’donate’’ by PayPal button BELOW, or sign up for a free PayPal account

Please also use this chance to listen to Surat Yasin before you donate anything. Allah will reward you for both acts:


Please support our work by donating whatever you can afford by clicking on the link below, and then follow the instructions.


Click here:


The following are the bank details for those who want to either do online banking or depositing money on the account:

BANK NAME: HALIFAX BANK:  Headrow Street Branch,Leeds, UK

ROLL NUMBER: D/51000310-9

SORT CODE: 11-10-41





Please write a USD cheque to: Abbey Semuwemba. I will provide you with the address once you are ready to send the cheque. Email us at:  to get more details

For Western Union or Moneygram, send payment to: Abbey Semuwemba.

Western Union can be found in any country in the world and it takes less than 2 hours for one to recive the money. Moneygram can be found on any post office branch in the world. In the USA and Europe, it can also be found on so many travel agencies. Several Travel agencies tend to offer this service in most developed nations.

Please keep your receipt in case you use any other method other than directly depositing money on the account. This is done to avoid future misunderstandings that can rise between the sender and recipient of funds.

Alternatively, you can directly email Abbey Semuwemba at:  if you need further clarification.

Thank you for your donation.


Assalamu Alaikum,

I would like to take this opportunity to announce that Sister Nageeba Hassan is acting temporarily as our official UMBS treasurer as we try to fundraise for several causes on this forum. What this means is that she is now responsible for collecting any donations we may receive from Muslims based in Kampala.

She can be contacted at:

 Nageeba Hassan

+256 772 443 261

We intend to use her for other causes that may necessitate fundraising on this forum. Nageeba is well known in Muslim circles in Kampala and I have known her as my OG (Kibuli S.S.) for a while. So I trust her completely. Your money will be in safe hands inishallah. Allah knows better.
I have privately emailed Sister Nageeba her responsibilities as a treasurer as we strategically build UMBS into something inishallah. Please support her in the new role as she is voluntarily doing this for us. The guidelines i have sent her are meant to keep her name intact incase of any malicious accusations arising from anybody though i hope it doesn’t happen.

Deputy Treasurer

Nageeba is being deputised by Sister Aisha Nambooze who can be contacted at: 0776963871,0702963871,or 0752963871. Please if you send them mobile money, please let them know your name such that they can keep records of this. Also bear in mind that some charges are incured in the process of sending money to us using any means listed.

For the purposes of transparency, please email me at: whenever you give something to either Aisha Nambooze or Nageeba Hussein.

At the moment, we are fundraising for both the construction of the UMBS website and UMBS registration but we are so short of our target. So for those in Kampala who may find it difficult to send us money using means such as: PayPal, money gram, western Union, bank transfers, ……….. please give your money to either of the two sisters inishallah.

Thank you

Abbey Semuwemba











£ 1772.38

(rate 4200)


$ 3101.67

(rate 2400)

▪   160 – 200 persons

▪   They are going back to their religions because no one is teaching them

▪   Islamic NGO ready to construct when we buy land




▪   Sawing machine

▪   Sawing full kit

▪   School fees

▪   Up keep

250,000/= MACHINE

130,000/= KIT

600,000/= TRAINING

1,000,000/= START IGA

200,000/= UPKEEP

▪   Defiled at 13 by a muslim man

▪   Homeless orphan with a baby now.

▪   She is living with a good Samaritan who can’t manager any longer






▪   I don’t have the costs as yet but whatever comes will do the basics first



  Youths from Northern Uganda need to study theology to help their communities with Madrasa ▪   Scholarships to join Noor Islamic Institute ▪   Per term its about 850,000 (tuition. Requirement, transport and upkeep)

▪   REC Coordination fee 100,000/=

The youth from this region have been through a lot with the 20 year war and they need a lot of support
  REC Resource center ▪   Land

▪   Construction of center

▪   Furnishing the center

▪   30,000,000/=

▪   40,000,000/=

▪   30,000,000/=

It we get land it can be easier to get funders for the construction (careful not ones with unlawful conditions)






Date: 3rd August 2011

Our Ref: REC/RM/005/2011

Your Ref: …………………….




Dear Sir,

A salaam Aleikum,


Warm greetings from Restoring and Empowering Communities (REC)

Congratulations for having completed the Holy month peacefully and thank you for all the work you did especially in this time of the high inflations providing people with food and other items.

REC does a lot of community work depending on the needs of the people in a particular community. Recently I was in Kitgum and among the many problems the people here have they don’t have a mosque in one whole sub county called Orom. This place has new Converts to Islam who don’t even know how to ready the alphabets in Islam. They were converted to Islam by a group of brothers from Pakistan.

They don’t have anyone to teach them. Orom is 79km from Kitgum and the volunteers need means of transport to go help them. They had a small mad-grass thatched mosque on someone’s land who asked them to leave his land.

REC is trying hard to lobby and raise money to get the land and maybe motorbike and bicycles and looking for support for the construction of the mosque and the borehole. Attached are the details of the Orom people and some of their needs

The purpose of this communication therefore is to humbly appeal to your esteemed organization to come to these Muslim brothers and sisters rescue and enter a partnership with REC to construct a mosque for them and a bore hall. REC gets the land and MDI constructs for them. REC will only need a copy of the title for filing an accomplished project and for feedback to whoever will have contributed to this project.

Your continued support is highly appreciated and may Allah reward you abundantly for the difference you make in people’s lives.

Yours Sincerely,

Hajat Nageeba T Hassan


Executive Director REC



Plot 96 block 205, Fatuma Road, Nansana West II zone P.O. Box 71934 Kampala. Tel: +256 200900542, 0772 443 261/ 0702 443 261

E-mail:  /

(Everyone is Special and Unique)


I was in Kitgum Muslim district between 15th – 24th August 2011 sensitizing the Muslim leaders; (District Khadhi, Sheikhs, Mullahs, Shababs (youths), Amirats and women leaders) on some of the polices used in the UNCEIF project. These included ECD, OVC, NSPI, HIV strategy, GBV, Islamic parenting, WASH, C4D, Child protection among others.

I met a group of REVERTS (Converts to Islam) from a sub-county called OROM. This is about 79KM from Kitgum. Kitgum is about 400KM from Kampala. We held several meeting to get possible solutions to their problems before I left.

Problem statement

A group of Pakistan brothers had gone to Orom and preached for a few days and they converted about 160-200 persons in this region. They had not learnt much but requested for space to have a small prayer place. A Christian man offered a portion of his land and they constructed a one mad-grass thatched mosque. He has however asked them to stop using his land and move their mosque.

The other issue is about a teacher (Mullah or Mualim) to teach Islam and Quran to them. They are willing to learn but they don’t have anyone to teach them. The only sheikhs to help are from Kitgum. These are ready to help but don’t have means of transport.

Another aspect is about the Islamic literature probably in English for now as we work out something for them and a temporary place to worship from and maybe discuss community issues as they think of possible solutions.

The biggest problem is that they are Muslims only by names and very Vulnerable to a lot. They are having mixed marriages and others backsliding into their former religion which they seem to understand.

Proposal description

Restoring and Empowering Communities (REC) is lobbying for support for these brothers and sisters in Orom Sub County in Kitgum. REC is aware that most Organizations are not allowed to buy land for people and we are taking care of this through friends, relatives and well wishers to raise some money to get the land, motorbikes and bicycles to support them. REC will partner with Muslim organizations to have a mosque put in place.

REC feels that if the Orom people get a mosque it will not only give them a sense of belonging but also has several advantages. They will have a place of worship, it will be used as a discussion venue for the women, men and the youths, it will also be a school for the adults and the children (Madrasa) and for other developmental trainings like health issues, hygiene, HIV/AIDS, PMTCT, there is the ECD (early child development) center and they will benefit from the trainings that are being carried out, the Mosque will have a bore hole or tank that could be used as an income generating project to maintain the mosque and or even fuel for the sheikhs volunteering to come teach them.

The motor bike will help the sheikhs from Kitgum to come teach the people and children in Orom and if they used it as boda boda (take people from place to place in Kitgum at a fee) they could be able to get fuel for the transport needed weekly to visit and teach people in Orom.

The bicycles if given to the people of Orom, they would be able to mobilize the people to come for the different sensitization, workshops, madrasa and trainings


Project Beneficiaries

The Mosque will benefit the current Muslim reverts and all that will embrace Islam later. It will benefit the men, women and children in both the spiritual and developmental aspects. It would also benefit non Muslims who will come for developmental workshops.  It will benefit the community for as long as it stands.


Item Unit cost Quantity Total Cost Remarks
Land (Plot 15metres X 30meters) 1,500,000 1 1,500,000 REC will buy this identified land and hand it to the Orom community. (with a disclaimer from ever reclaiming it from them now or in the future)
LCs and 2 other witnesses 100,000 3 300,000
Motorcycle 3,000,000 1 3,000,000
Bicycles 250,000 2 500,000
Mats 30,000 20 600,000
Qurans 30,000 20 600,000 If we don’t get them in kind then we need to buy
Transport to Orom (2 persons) 100,000 2 200,000
Accommodation (2) 52,000 2 104,000
Meals (2) 20,000 2 40,000
Air Time 100,000 1 100,000
Coordination (documentation and indirect cost) 500,000 1 500,000 This basically to cover the lobbying aspect with concept papers, proposals and follow ups.
Grand Total     7,444,000.£ 1772.38 (rate 4200)

$ 3101.67 (rate 2400)


REC Request

REC is kindly requesting your esteemed organization to support the people of Orom with any of these items;



Water tank



Islamic Literature

As soon as we get them land your organization can take over the construction and all that is needed. All we need after is a copy of the title just to file the accomplished project in the REC file and make a report to all those who will have contributed in one way or the other.


In conclusion Its my prayer and hope that we shall be able to make a difference in our brothers and sisters lives in Orom by achieving our seemingly high set goals for this community. Please whoever can contribute, anything, towards this noble cause will be highly appreciated and may Allah reward you all in your endeavors.

Yours Sincerely,

Hajat Nageeba T Hassan

Executive Director


+ 256 772 443 621






Date: 5TH AUGUST 2011

Our Ref: REC/RM/006/2011

Your Ref: …………………….





Dear Sir,

A salaam aleikum,


Kind regards from Restoring and Empowering Communities (REC)

Restoring and Empowering Communities (REC) is a community based organization (CBO) registered with both Government registrar of documents No: 4988 and with the Wakiso District No: WCBO/242/10. Restoring and Empowering Communities (REC) operates in Wakiso and Nansana but does any community work in other areas or districts in Uganda. REC is governed by a local Board of Directors and a very hard working team of qualified men and women. REC partners with other organizations, government and NGO/CBO plus the community to bring services to the people.

REC got several achievements especially with schools, OVC, PHAs, youths and the elderly in the community. We have sent youths for vocational trainings, top ups for school fees, school clubs, teachers trainings, community sensitizations, donated Qurans, Islamic literature, English story books, book shelves, mosquito nets, home packs for the needy, Iftar food staffs, scholarships, referrals, celebrate with the community different international days like AIDS, Culture, book days and we have brought to the community HCT, CHCT and VCT. We also connect the community to organizations that could help solve some of their problems that REC may not be able to manage.

All this has been possible for REC to accomplish because of small donations we get from friends and relatives. We however face many challenges like printing our work at cafes and hiring halls for trainings, hiring cars for collecting donations and distributing them. We don’t have many things to ease our community work as yet.

The purpose of this letter is to humbly request your esteemed organization to support REC in this community effort to have a water tank for the disabled in Kallitti Wakiso. This will help them earn a living and also provide water to the community.

Your continued support is highly appreciated and may Allah reward you abundantly and help you achieve all you plan to do too.

Yours sincerely,

Hajat Nageeba T Hassan


Plot 96 block 205, Fatuma Road, Nansana West II zone P.O. Box 71934 Kampala. Tel: +256 200900542, 0772 443 261/ 0702 443 261

E-mail:  /

(Everyone is Special and Unique)



REC is working with 2 schools at Kallitti in its programs safe schools for children.  Kallitti in Wakiso Sub-County is composed of seven Villages-it is found in Wakiso District in Uganda. Kallitti Parish is estimated to have 48,500 people, 6,060 households with an average of about 8 persons per household and 20,470 adults in total. The entire Parish has about 58 persons in its local leadership.

Like other parts of Uganda, poverty in Kallitti Parish is a major problem that is manifested by low levels of household productivity, poor income, and food insecurity, low education based on poor education system in the area, diseases, and low income activities. This has led to poor health, low levels of education, poor housing and a life expectancy that has decreased to less than 58 years.

According to the Uganda Bureau of Statistics, over 85 percent of Uganda’s population lives in rural areas where agriculture is a major contributor to their livelihoods. In addition, the agriculture sector contributes 58.4 percent of the national GDP as of the past financial year, because it employee about 77 percent of the total active labor force in the rural areas – hence, its centrality in improving livelihoods of the poor.



Malnutrition and food insecurity remain significant issues, with over 43 percent of deaths of children fewer than 5 years in Uganda, only 40 percent of the people have access to safe water, with dirty water a major cause of ill health. As a result therefore, this community development program seeks to bridge knowledge and capacity gaps in the areas of health, water and sanitation and sustainable income activities.

This Parish has limited sources of safe water and there are two types namely spring and boreholes. While householders having a safe access to safe drinking water are as follows: borehole is 29.2 percent, and the well is 70.8 percent. Residents have to move an average distance of about a kilometer to reach the water source that is not clean.

The majority of the Parish engage in subsistence agriculture, leaving no means of earning money to purchase high quality protein to supplement the diet. Hunger results in high susceptibility to disease, lack of energy, and in extreme causes lack of full development of the mind and body.

Therefore, this project seeks to provide clean water to improve health and reduce hunger in Kallitti Parish, Wakiso district in Uganda. The main objective of this project is to improve the livelihoods of the community through increased awareness on the causes of the problem and to design mechanisms of reducing the burden of poverty. It will provide the community with some of the basic tools to lift themselves out of poverty through access to clean water.


To increase awareness in sustainable water conservation. To increase the community awareness about health and environment by preventing diseases associated to hygiene. To address the water and sanitation issues through rainwater harvest and protection. (Establish domestic water harvesting). And finally to sensitize the community in basic health care and WASH campaign



To establish a domestic water harvesting tank Crest tank, cement, plastic gutters, gutter holders, universal canner, bard white,



Local purchases River and lake sand, blocks, labor, hard core, collecting and training the management committee




          GRAND  TOTAL  



Crest Tank 10,000 litres


1 tank






Plastic gutter




Gutter holders




Universal canner




Bard white




1,000 CLAY BLOCKS (@180)




Hardcore (Big Stones)


1 trip


 Lake Sand


1 trip


River Sand


1 trip






Transport for collecting Materials on the Invoice


I trip


Training Project Management Committees






REC Project Coordination 10% of total



















Project beneficiaries

The people in Kallitti parish especially the d11isabled persons.







Plot 96 block 205, Fatuma Road, Nansana West II zone P.O. Box 71934 Kampala. Tel: +256 200900542, 0772 443 261/ 0702 443 261

E-mail:  /

(Everyone is Special and Unique)






Names Amount Item Other
Mrs. Mariam Yakub 60,000
Mrs. Amina Simmons 45,000
Fatma Nuur 60,000
Shk Muzzamil 30,000
Hanifa Nakiryowa 30,000
Nageeba (HCP) 25,000
Salim Abdul Noah Car Fuel
Saudi cultural Center Islamic literature and Qurans
Total 250,000 cash 132 books  



Actual Budget


Description Unit cost qty Total cost Sub Total
Mats 11,000 3 33,000
30,000 3 90,000
8,500 5 42,000
5,000 6 30,000 195,000
Air time 10,000 1 10,000 10,000
Boda boda 5000 3 15,000 15,000
Fuel 3,300 20ltrs 66,000 66,000
Driver 30,000 1 30,000 30,000
Grand Total       316,000/=

This mosque is stuck at this level because someone who was helping passed on. If possible lets join hands and help complete this mosque for the bombo community.

Make More Donations to UMBS immediate causes Please


Uganda Muslim Brothers and Sisters(UMBS) Marhaban مرحبا

بِسمِ اللَّهِ الرَّحمٰنِ الرَّحيمِ ﴿١﴾ الحَمدُ لِلَّهِ رَبِّ العٰلَمينَ ﴿٢﴾ الرَّحمٰنِ الرَّحيمِ ﴿٣﴾ مٰلِكِ يَومِ الدّينِ ﴿٤﴾ إِيّاكَ نَعبُدُ وَإِيّاكَ نَستَعينُ ﴿٥﴾ اهدِنَا الصِّرٰطَ المُستَقيمَ ﴿٦﴾ صِرٰطَ الَّذينَ أَنعَمتَ عَلَيهِم غَيرِ المَغضوبِ عَلَيهِم وَلَا الضّالّينَUganda Muslim Brothers and Sisters “(UMBS),* is a free-to-join, non-profit making e-mail discussion forum that is devoted to matters of interest to all Muslims in Uganda


بِسْــــــــــــــــــــــمِ اﷲِ الرحمن الرحيم  

Assalamu Alaikum,

Donate to UMBS and support our work to bring Uganda Muslims together, empower,unite and help them to know their rights.Contribute something to help us build a well spaced and secure website and other developments that will make this job a bit easier. Some of your contributions will be used to maintain the website( if developed). We need £2634 for website development. Your contributions will make a real difference.

You can donate securely online using your PayPal account, just click on the ‘’donate’’ by PayPal button BELOW, or sign up for a free PayPal account

Please support our work by donating whatever you can afford by clicking on the link below, and then follow the instructions.


Click here:


The following are the bank details for those who want to start donating straightway:

BANK NAME: HALIFAX BANK: Branch: Headrow,Leeds, UK

ROLL NUMBER: D/51000310-9

SORT CODE: 11-10-41



The account is in my names because UMBS is not registered yet but we are in the process of registering it inishallah. When it is registered, we shall open up an official account for UMBS inishallah. So just bear with us at the moment


Please write a USD cheque to: Abbey Semuwemba. I will provide you with the address once you are ready to send the cheque. Email us at:  to get more details

For Western Union or Moneygram, send payment to: Abbey Semuwemba

Please keep your receipt in case you use any other method other than directly depositing money on the account. This is done to avoid future misunderstandings that can rise between the sender and recipient of funds.

Alternatively, you can directly email Abbey Semuwemba at:  if you need further clarification.

Thank you for your donation.


Assalamu Alaikum,

I would like to take this opportunity to announce that Sister Nageeba Hassan is acting temporarily as our official UMBS treasurer as we try to fundraise for several causes on this forum. What this means is that she is now responsible for collecting any donations we may receive from Muslims based in Kampala.

For the purposes of transparency, please email me at: whenever you give something to her.

At the moment, we are fundraising for both the construction of the UMBS website and UMBS registration but we are so short of our target. So for those in Kampala who may find it difficult to send us money using means such as: PayPal, money gram, western Union, bank transfers, ……….. please give your money to Nageeba Hassan. She can be contacted at:

 Nageeba Hassan

+256 772 443 261

We intend to use her for other causes that may necessitate fundraising on this forum. Nageeba is well known in Muslim circles in Kampala and I have known her as my OG (Kibuli S.S.) for a while. So I trust her completely. Your money will be in safe hands inishallah. Allah knows better.
I have privately emailed Sister Nageeba her responsibilities as a treasurer as we strategically build UMBS into something inishallah. Please support her in the new role as she is voluntarily doing this for us. The guidelines i have sent her are meant to keep her name intact incase of any malicious accusations arising from anybody though i hope it doesn’t happen.


1. About Uganda Muslim Brothers & Sisters(UMBS) And How To Join The Forum

2. Election OF UMBS Representatives In Different Countries


Thank you and Wasalamu

Abbey Kibirige Semuwemba

All Muslim Leaders in Kampala should join us on UMBS


Assalamu Alaikum,

Muslim factionalism in Uganda is gonna be part of us for a while but we should all try to find various ways of uniting the Muslims in Uganda. For instance, I received a phone call recently from someone close to some of the factions in Kampala and this person was basically saying that we are trying to create another Muslim faction called UMBS. I labored to explain to this person what UMBS is all about but I still sensed confusion in his voice, but I still tried to explain. Actually, we should all try to explain to people who have got the same fears that UMBS is for all Muslims regardless of the factions, race, tribe, gender or anything like that.

Every time we suggest something here, some brothers and sisters look at it as a ‘cancer’ to their individual projects, and this is becoming a big problem for us.This is the reason why we have failed to raise the £2634 needed to construct a modern UMBS website here in the UK. But we are not going to give up easily like that because of factionalism. At least, with UMBS forums, Muslims are now openly discussing their problems and this will ultimately lead to solutions inishallah. Muslims will eventually find solutions to their problems.

I would love the Muslim leaders in Old Kampala, Nakasero, Kibuli, e.t.c- all to join us here to see if we can find a common ground on certain issues. I don’t have contacts for Brother Shaban Mubajje, Sheikh Kayongo, and others, because we should find a way to solve our own problems instead of always referring them to President Museveni and others. If I can get their phone numbers or email addresses, it will be great- as we wanna engage almost everyone. On this note, I have been particularly impressed by Imam Kasozi and the way he engages people at various levels. I wish all Muslim leaders do so instead of keeping themselves in a cage.

By the way, contrary to what some of you are saying, president Museveni enjoys the factionalism among Muslims. Actually, most politicians do. So anybody who says that the president is tired of the factionalism among Muslims, just ignore them. Obote loved dividing Muslims, So is Museveni. It was only Amin who unsurprisingly tried to unite Muslims. Actually, Amin tried to unite almost all the religions in Uganda. He summoned an inter-religious conference to establish a dialogue between catholic, protestant and Muslim leaders. I think this conference was held in Kabale. He even claimed two of his own sons were to be trained as catholic priests though it never happened.

So please, if we want to find a way forward, it is better we tell Muslims the truth regardless of our political affiliations. There is no point spinning off for president Museveni in matters like these, please. Could someone get me contacts for Muslim leaders in Kampala please. Thank you

Nze bwendaba banange

Abbey Kibirige Semuwemba


Members, we should revive the reading culture in our homes


Dear Brothers and Sisters,

Asalam Alaikum. I thought it important to raise the issue of the reading culture in our homes (lives)!

I appeal to you and myself to get habituated to reading Islamic books. What has become of us nowadays that we only rely on results from Internet search engines when it comes to Islamic matters? Indeed the hundreds of results returned by these engines (e.g Google) only benefit those with some prior knowledge to what they are searching for. Much as there are numerous authentic Islamic websites, there are equally hundreds of websites with unimaginable fabrications regarding the true message of Islam.

It is high time we bought some Islamic books and add them to our home Libraries. I have many younger friends who argue that they read Novels and other English literatures in their free time for the sake of improving their English, but my reply to them is always that by reading Islamic books (translated in English language) instead, one will get a double reward-the Islamic knowledge as well as proficiency in English language. The reading culture is a culture that we should revive in our homes. We should be mindful of what books our children read for what they get from these writings affects their fitrah (natural and innate way) a lot and in most cases negatively let alone making them too lazy to seek the knowledge of their Deen.

I am not saying we should do away with Internet websites that propagate the message but rather emphasizing that this cannot be and should not be seen as a perfect substitute to reading Islamic Books especially for most of us with weak Islamic backgrounds. For those of us who can’t do without a PC we could create an e-Library and enrich it with these authentic books but preferably we should get used to reading the hardcopy books since we are always multi-tasking when using the PCs which results in failure to concentrate on a particular thing.

May I suggest some books that we may not miss in our home libraries?

1. “Tafseer Ibn Kathir” (The Abridged Volume)..Published by Darussalam Publications

2. “Sahih Muslim (Arabic and English)” by Hafiz Abu Tahir Zubair Ali Zai

3. “Stories of the Prophets” by Ibn Kathir

4. “Riyadh-us-Salehin” by Imam an-Nawawi (ra)

5. “The sealed Nector (Ar-raheq Al-Makhtoom)”…it’s history of Islam from pre-Islamic Arabia

6. “Healing with the Medicine of the Prophet (saw)” by Imam Ibn Qayyim

7. “Biographies of the rightly guided caliphs”-prepared from the works of Ibn Kathir and other historians by Tammir Abu As-Su’ood Mohammand and Noha Kamal Edin Abu Yazid

8. “Fortification of the Muslim through remembrance and supplication from the Quran and the Sunnah” compiled by Sa’eed Ibn Ali Ibn Wahf Al-Qahtaani.

9. “Fiqh us-Sunnah” by As-Sayyid Sabiq

10. “Weakness of faith” by Shayk Salih Al-Munajjid

11. “Dangers that threaten the home” by Shayk Salih Al-Munajjid

12. “Funeral rites in Islam” by Dr.Abu Ameenah Bilal Philips

13. “The sciences of The Quran (for children)” by Darusalam Research Division

14. “Rulings pertaining to Muslim Women” by Shaikh Saalih al-Fowzaan

15. “The Muslim Home 40 recommendations” by Shaykh Salih Al-Munajjid

16. Etc….You can add others

And of course we can always consult those with Knowledge (scholars) as it stated in the Quran “So ask the people of the Reminder if you do not know” [al-Anbiya’ 21:43]

Wa Salam Alaikum,

Umar Y

ISLAM AWARENESS BOOTH- Lugogo International Trade Fair [Oct.4th-10th 2011]


Dear Muslim Brother and Sisters

Last year we managed to Exhibit and show the people o Uganda what Islam stands for.
The ISLAM Booth as seen in pictures below was sponsored by Muslim Brothers and Sisters on this forum.
We received over 1000 visitors (Both Muslim and Non-Muslim) everyday. During this event, we gave out more than 8,000 copies of Islamic literature (including Books and Leaflets).
All in all, the Islam Booth Project was a BIG Success- atleast those that visited the booth can testify. 

Now we would like to repeat this Success by running another ISLAM Booth Project this year in October- InshAllah:
Below is our Tentative Budget:



Lugogo Exhibition Hall Stall(Space) Hire:


Furniture and Booth Branding + Signage


Leaflets (2 sets, 5000 pcs each) at 80/= per copy


Attendants Allowances

(4 attendants at 15,000/= per day or 7 days)


Fuel and Logistics


Misc. Expenses




Just like last time, we are calling on all Islam loving brothers and Sisters to contribute generously to this beautiful cause

To make contributions or inquiries, kindly contact Hajat Zuhr Mulumba on 0704-008026 or even better send your contributions to her MTN Mobile money Number 0784-05 02 14.

May Allah (SWT) enable you to contribute to this cause and reward you abundantly for all your contributions

Kind Regards

AbdulRahim Mbabazi

Co-ordinater- ISLAM Booth Project