Gambian cleric has advised Muslims to strive hard to better understand their religion. Only this can save them from craving in the darkness in search of light where it does not exist.
Momodou Ceesay, the Chief Resident Imam of Detroit Islamic Center in Michigan, said one effective way to know and understand Islam is to “learn or ask those who know.”
Imam Ceesay is appreciative of people who forward their religious questions or comments to Kairo Radio’s question and answer session [Karantaba]. In a recent Karantaba program, Imam Ceesay was asked about the Islamic concept of a stranger. One listener put this this way: “who is a stranger in Islam? The concept of a stranger needs to be clearly understood because this is one area our people don’t understand.”
Imam Ceesay first cited a hadith [the wise sayings and doings of Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)]. The Prophet said “whoever believes in Allah, his messenger and the day of judgement should honour a stranger. This tells you about the importance of a stranger in Islam,” Imam Ceesay said. “But it must be understood that one ceases to be a stranger after three days. Islamic teachings advise us to ask strangers the reasons of their trip and for how long they want to stay. The host is obliged to have a contract with the stranger if he/she intends to stay longer. This spells out every vital issues, including taking good care of the house, likes and dislikes or the dos and don’ts.”
Imam Ceesay however said it is un-Islamic for strangers to be a burden on their hosts. “In the Gambia it may not be a big deal to host a stranger but it is a different story in the diaspora. Allah dislikes anyone who becomes an unnecessary burden on another person,” he said. “As Muslims, we have to be mindful of doing to others what we don’t want them to do to us.”