MUSYO CHALLENGES MUSLIM STUDENTS TO WORK HARD IF THEY ARE TO SUCCEED
Muslim Sisters Youth Organisation (MUSYO) has stressed the need for Muslim students to work hard so that they can excel in their studies and become successful figures in the society. This was said on Saturday 26 March, 2011, at their first get-together to combine boys and girls, which was held at Kameza Training Centre in Blantyre.
Speaking to Malawimuslim.com, chair lady for the South, Sister Laika Bwanali said this was their first programme to involve both sexes from various Secondary Schools. Sister Bwanali said MUSYO has been organizing a number of programmes, all of which involved girls only. “Since we started our organization, we have never invited boys (Brothers) to participate in our programmes, but we have seen that sometimes we need to bring them together because they face similar challenges,” she said. “Our programme here mainly tackled issues of education, dressing, behavior, problem solving and HIV AIDS. These topics cannot be addressed to girls only. We invited prominent Sheikhs to deliver lectures on each of these topics and the response from the youth was very overwhelming. They enjoyed every bit of the speeches and participated throughout. These boys and girls face so many challenges in their respective schools. For instance, in most schools including privately owned ones, Muslim girls are denied their code of dress (Hijab), yet there is freedom of worship, not talk of freedom of dressing, in this country. Why is this happening? Are Muslims not subjected to enjoy the same rights?” Wondered Sister Bwanali.
“So at this gathering, we were looking at how we can assist them in such cases. They are also facing a lot of challenges in their families, but we have assured them of our moral support so that they can advance with whatever ambitions they have,” concluded Bwanali.
Guest of honour, Sheikh Dinala Chabulika, challenged the youth to jealously guard their morals in order for them to realize their potential. He said with education anything is possible including attaining higher positions in the society. Sheikh Chabulika underscored the importance of morals as the basis for every successful person. He observed that these days, young people are fond of western way of life which he said is the root cause of loss of cultural and religious values.
“As Muslims, you need to emulate the example of our noble Prophet (Muhammad) SAW. As a boy, he did not participate in any worldly pleasures despite the high degree of immorality in those days before the advent of Islam. Just like today, there was high gravity of evil in Mecca. But the prophet resisted and desisted from all this, hence he spent most of his time contemplating in the cave of Mount Hira. You are the people that can bring change. We would like to see a highly educated Muslim community and you are the people we give our hope to. We want to see you occupying big positions both in public and private sector, and we shall all be proud of that. Just concentrate in your studies and stay away from immoral behavior such as watching pornographies, drug abuse and alcoholism,” charged the Islamic Information Beaureau chief.
Sheikh Chabulika also advised the students to be responsible, by making good use of their energy and capacity to make notable achievements. He stressed that it is young people in any society who can make things happen. The Sheikh related the story of Ali, Prophet Muhammad’s nephew, who he said was young, brave and couragious as evidenced by how he risked his life by laying on the Prophet’s bed just to save him from enemies as he was emigrating to Madina. “This was a good cause of which the youth of today must emulate. You can only defend Islam if you are educated, both Islamically and academically,” said Chabulika.
Another renowned Sheikh who also spoke at the function was the charismatic Muhammad Silika whose entire speech was engaging and entertaining. The participants knew it was now time for counseling. Even those who were chatting could be seen closing in to take back their seats. His openness and teacher-kind of approach was enjoyed by the youth who kept on chanting cheers and takbirs. His lecture dwelt on dressing for boys and girls, cleanliness of the mind and body, as well as marriages.
On dressing, Sheikh Silika started by attacking boys whose dress code he said was very disgraceful and pathetic. He noted that most boys take famous people as their idols, instead of making Prophet Muhammad, their idol. He mentioned footballers, film actors and music artists, as people whose lifestyle leaves a lot to be desired.
Turning to the girls, Silika expressed deepest concern and described as shameful the tendency of Muslim girls who wear incomplete hijab, and make fun of Islam. “I see girls putting on tight jeans, short skirts and blouses and other clothes that expose their geographical (physical) appearance. I wonder if you realise that some of you have uneven physical structures on your bodies and Allah ordered you to put on hijab so that they are hidden,” pointed out Silika amid takbirs. “Allah wants you to keep your dignity as women but you chose to embarrass yourself. You are witnesses to the kind of humiliation these naked women suffer. Where in this good country of ours have you heard reports of a Muslim lady in hijab being a victim of rape?” He asked.
Sheikh Silika continued to say that every normal man would want to marry a woman of dignity and not somebody whose privacy has already been exposed. “Men have no any serious business with these half naked women and girls. Keep those bodies for yourself and the man who will marry you, period. You can even put on the Ninja face scarf, it is not only meant for Asian ladies as it is mostly perceived. My second wife is as young as you are. You should see how beautiful she looks in that attire. I wished she was present here so that you could see for yourself,” said the visibly happy and proud polygamous Silika. “I am yet to marry two more to make it complete, but at least in ten years time,” he joked.
Muslim Sisters Youth Organisation, MUSYO, was formed in 2006. Acoording to the vice charperson for the south, Sister Siphat Msusa, membership targets young married Muslim Sisters (Mothers), so that they can easily understand its ideologies. Sister Msusa said the group generally deals with Islamic and education issues.
Since its inception, the organization has so far carried out several charity activities. Among others, they cheered about 300 patients at Chiradzulu District hospital on Eid celebration and cheered inmates in prisons. Remarkably, MUSYO is on record to have organized successful Sisters’ Camps in Chadzunda, Lilongwe and Zomba. Meanwhile, plans are in the pipeline to conduct another camp in Blantyre. Siphat also recalled an incident where an entire village embraced Islam in Mwanza. “We visited the village to meet the new converts knowing how much they needed immediate assistance and support from the Muslim community. We are also sponsoring orphans at Mama Aisha Academy in Mangochi as part of our involvement in enhancing education. Some of the orphans we sponsor were identified when we visited this village in Mwanza,” she said.
As to how they get funding for their programmes, Sis Msusa told malawimuslim.com that the members normally make contributions towards their budget and appeal for the balance (if any) from other organizations. She was quick to mention some of the organizations that have given them a name such as World Assembly of Muslim Youth (WAMY), National Zakaat Fund (NAZAF), Albarakah Charity Trust and other individuals who do not want to be mentioned. “As individual members, what we actually do is that we make pledges of what each member feels can afford, and then we write proposals for the remaining part of the budget.
MUSYO’s vision is to see a well educated and God-fearing young Muslim society of women who could contribute to the development of the country. However, just like most organizations, MUSYO appeals to the general public and the Muslim community in particular, for more sponsorship so that it can intensify and extend its programmes for more people to benefit. Sister Msusa however bemoaned the cold attitude it gets from parents. She pleaded with parents to send their daughters to MUSYO’s programmes and at least provide them with money for transport and contingent purposes, saying they would lose nothing by doing so. She also observed that Muslim parents opt to do other non-Islamic petty issues over Islamic activities which she said are for the benefit of the girls themselves. “It is high time that we started treating our programmes with serious minds,” lamented Siphat.
The Kameza get-together drew over 200 students from Chirimba catchment area and other surrounding places such as Chileka and Ndirande. Apart from lectures, the programme was also spiced up with drama by the renowned Abdul Rahman Chitemwe, poems and live performances of nasheeds by a number of artists who included Zingwangwa based Shakira Kachule, Ishmail Katawala and the famous group ‘Mibawa kids’.