Islam and African Culture.

You know it’s really appalling how people, especially parents react after learning that their son or daughter has converted to Islam. They castigate them, hate them, marginalize them and some go to the extent of cutting off family ties with them.

I knew these things are real even before i started working at our revert centre, but interacting with these stories every single day has made me appreciate or rather acknowledge its drastic effects. I have seen people break down into tears, recounting how their parents beat them up and kicked them out of the house. I have seen firsthand the confusion of someone not knowing where to go or what to do and all they can trun to is strange Muslim brothers and sisters who open their hearts and homes to them.

Am not much into our traditional cultures but the much i know is that it (culture) has a very minimal effect, negligible even, that would frown upon one becoming a Muslim. This is largely due to the fact that all Kenyan cultures, and African as a whole had monotheistic religions prior to the advent of Christian missionaries.

Take the Gikuyu culture for instance, of which i come from. They worshipped Mwene Nyaga (possesor of light) facing Mt Kenya which is said to have been Ngai‘s (God’s) resting place on earth. Ngai had no son or helper in His divinity and creation, He revealed His laws to particular people in the Gikuyu community called Arathi (wisemen) who would then consult or advice the elders on what to do.

There were particular signs which indicated the presence of God, like Thunder and lightening. Thunder was said to happen when God was crossing over from one resting place to another and if someone was struck by lightning it was said that he must have looked up while Mwene Nyaga was cracking his joints and knuckles in preparation for His daily chores!

Am not making this stuff up guys, if you want you can read the late Mzee Jomo Kenyatta’s book Facing Mount Kenya.

All in all, our traditional cultures called to the worship of One God, so it comes as a surprise when someone converts and he is hated on while all he is doing is worshipping One God.

{isa (Jesus) said}: “And verily, Allah is my Lord and your Lord. So worship Him (Alone). That is a straight Path.
Quran (Mariam) 19:36

The Greatest Commandment [Mark 12:28-30]

28One of the scribes came and heard them arguing, and recognizing that He had answered them well, asked Him, “What commandment is the foremost of all?” 29Jesus answered, “The foremost is, ‘HEAR, O ISRAEL! THE LORD OUR GOD IS ONE LORD; 30AND YOU SHALL LOVE THE LORD YOUR GOD WITH ALL YOUR HEART, AND WITH ALL YOUR SOUL, AND WITH ALL YOUR MIND, AND WITH ALL YOUR STRENGTH.’…

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