In Ramadhaan of last year (1439), it was reported that some Christian missionaries from South Africa had settled in group Chikuluma area (Ntaja / Machinga) where they were given free land on which they are farming and have erected structures in order to teach pupils. It was said about 1,000 families had left Islam due to the teachings of these missionaries.
Ameer Adams on a visit to one of the Masjids in Chikuluma
IFFD deployed a fact finding team to the area after Ramadhaan (1439). They found and established that 200 local people were employed at the farm run by the missionaries. They are given free food - raw maize after harvest. On daily basis, lunch is prepared and given to the workers and anyone visiting the property. A strategy used is to pray (in the Christian way) before partaking of the meals - other Christian teachings were also being taught to the community.
Ameer Adams interacts with the Community
The missionaries recruited over 70 pupils for their mission school; 30 of them are orphans and stay at the mission whilst the other 40 operate from their homes. A dangerous strategy.
Our team found that out of the seven villages surrounding Chikuluma, five had 100% Muslim families while two of the villages had 80% Muslim population.
The team also found that Muslims in the area are very poor hence their rush for free food. Religion in that case did not matter.
Their main source of income is subsistence farming, in times of drought or poor rains, the community gets nothing from this exercise. Another challenge for the area is that children start school at a very late stage: most start grade 1 when 11/12 years old. As a result there is lots of school drop outs and early marriages.
In addition to being poor, these villagers lack ilm (knowledge). They don't know a thing about Islam; hence are easily influenced and overcome by non Muslim strategies.
This is one of the sources of water for the community
In its quick responce to these challanges being faced by our Muslim brothers, IFFD put up a Madrasah at Nawanga village by employing a full time Sheikh to teach and conduct Da'wah in the area. The Madrasah is located about 300m to 500m away from the mission. The Madrasah structure is in such a bad shape, and there is no accommodation/house for the Sheikh. The villagers had agreed to putting up grass walled and thatched classroom for the Madrasah. However, the structure that was provided was neither ideal nor conducive for learning. Hence pupils learn under a tree.
Learning under a tree has a number of challenges for the children, e.g. when rain seasons starts this October/November 2018.
Alhamdulillah, since our last report, we have had some response from other Muslim organisations and individuals that had pledged to constructing boreholes and Masjid in the area. We are hoping these interventions from the Muslims all over will come to fruition. However, work required in the area is mammoth.
Two boreholes (in two villages) have already been dug by our brothers at African Aid. This assistance has alleviated the water scarcity issues in the villages. Africa Aid will be digging two more boreholes, Insha Allah. Wellwishers have sent over 40,000 bricks ready for construction of the Masjid in one of the villages. Africa Aid have again promised to construct the Masjid, Insha Allah.
IFFD appeals to all people of goodwill to spare a moment and visit the area. It will give hope and encourage the community to remain steadfast on Islam amidst the onslaught and the Fitnah around.