Menk landed at the Lungi International Airport on Thursday, 21 September on the invitation of the Foundation of Islamic Information Sierra Leone (FOISIL) and held an inspirational lecture at the jam-packed National Stadium on Friday and at the Freetown Central Mosque at Rokupa.
The renowned scholar who entered Freetown through Port Loko, started his mission with a visit to President Ernest Bai Koroma at his State House Office on Friday 22 September, where he explained the purpose of his visit and sought his blessing and permission to accomplish his mission in the country.
Presenting Mufti to the President, the Minister of Social Welfare, Gender and Children’s Affairs, Dr. Silvia Blyden started by introducing the team of the Sierra Leonean Muslims who invited Mufti Menk to Sierra Leone and formally presented the Mufti to the president as his guest.
In his statement to the president, Mufti Ismail ibn Musa Menk said that he was overwhelmed by the kind of reception he got from Sierra Leoneans upon his arrival.
He continued that part of the reasons why he has visited the country was to sympathize with the victims of the August 14th Mudslide and Flood disasters and also pray for those who lost their lives, as well as for the country.
He said that he had already spent half of the night praying for the country and ended his speech to the president by presenting him a book containing his lectures.
Responding, president Koroma began by thanking Mufti Menk for thinking of Sierra Leone and its people, especially at a time when the country is going through so many difficulties.
The president continued that the visit was necessary and timely as the country needs prayers at a time like this. He assured the Mufti of his safety and security in the country.
Mudti Menk proceeded to the Voice of Islam Radio where he granted a fifteen-minutes radio interview on his mission and the Africa Young Voices Television, where he was also interviewed on his mission, during which he cautioned the Government and people of Sierra Leone to maintain peace and stability, especially as the country approaches the 2018 National Elections.
Mufti Menk praised Sierra Leone as a beautiful country with so much religious tolerance. He prayed for goodness and mercies for the country and further encouraged all to strengthen their love for each other.
“We must tolerate one another and respect everyone’s view irrespective of one’s religious, political and ethnic background”, he said.
He cautioned Sierra Leoneans against violence and urged them to remain peaceful at all times. He also urged the Government to do all in its power to ensure that the peace the country is enjoying is maintained.
He then proceeded to the Hill Station Mosque where he performed the Friday Juma Prayer and proceeded to the National Stadium where he will deliver an inspirational lecture to the people of Sierra Leone.
Delivering his lectures to more than 50,000 people in and around the National Stadium, Mufti Menk noted that the audience didn’t only go to the Stadium because of him, but for Allah (God) and expressed gratitude to them ‘for answering the call of Allah’ .
He prayed for God to reward them for that.
The Mufti in his lecture focused on love for one another. He said that, we should not only live for ourselves but for one another as that can go a very long way in developing our nation.
He urged all to be always ready to reconcile with those we have hurt or those who have hurt us, as it is only through that we can develop as a nation. He admonished Muslims to always put on smiling faces, as a smiling face always brings encouragement, confidence and hope to everyone, including children in the midst of difficulties and pains.
Mufti continued by admonishing all to be very honest and hard working as they are the key virtues to success in this world and hereafter.
“We must be honest, sincere and hardworking if we want to gain Aljanatu Firdous (desire to go to heaven)”, he stressed.
Speaking on the right to marriage, Mufti Menk admonished parents to make marriage easy to achieve for their children according to the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet Mohamed (Peace and Blessings be upon Him).
He stressed that any parent who makes marriage difficult for his or her child or children would be doing that against the will of God.
He went on to say that we should always be ready and willing to ask for mercy from Allah and He is always ready to forgive our sins for as long as we are ready to repent.
He ended by stressing the importance of being united as a nation and therefore encouraged all to love one another as that is the only way we can develop as a nation.
On Saturday 22nd September, the Mufti payed a visit to site of the August 14th Mudslide disaster and few holding centers to offer prayers and make donations to affected persons.
He then participated in a congregational prayer and public lecture at the Freetown Center Mosque, Rokupa, popularly known as the Gadafi Mosque, in the Eastern part of Freetown.
Mufti Menk left the shores of Sierra Leone yesterday, Sunday, 24 September.
His visit to Sierra Leone has been described by many a blessing, and it is hoped that his teachings will be replicated by the country’s local Islamic scholars and adhered to.