Muslims in the Gambia and the subregion today converge in Buiba in Jarra Central, Lower River Region, to mark one of the country’s biggest annual Islamic gatherings. The annual gathering was a legacy of the village’s God-gifted Spiritual Leader, Sheikh Jassong Touray of blessed memory. The man named Lang Touray at birth in 1911 at Jassong village in Jarra East died in August 1991.
After 40 years of searching for Islamic and spiritual knowledge in Soma town, Sheikh Jasong finally settled in Buiba. He had dedicated his life to worshipping Allah, teaching, curing diseases, especially mental illnesses and praying for the Ummah. The barefooted Spiritual Leader who led a noble and very simple lifestyle was known for being gentle, kind, honest, humble and pious Muslim who impacted so many lives through agriculture, education, health and infrastructural development. He had built more than a dozen mosques as well as settled many religious disputes in the Gambia and beyond.
Sheikh Jassong’s Buiba Caliphate is headed by his eldest son Sheikh Sadibou Touray who presides over the annual Islamic gathering that attracts more than 20 thousand people. This year’s gathering was better organised thanks to Sheikh Jassong Touray Foundation headed by Sheikh Bamfa Sanno, a Sufi-obsessed talibe of Buiba marabout. Ahead of the gathering, the Foundation solicited funds from the public, especially talibes of Sheikh Jasong Touray.
Like the previous gatherings, this year’s also is marked with daytime recitation of the holy Quran, preachings by renowned scholars at night and prayers in the morning. The sacrifice of a camel and distribution of meat to all seals the gathering.