SHAFAQNA- The representative of the World Assembly of the Ahlal-Bayt (A.S) in Sierra Leone stated, “70% of the population of this country are Muslims and 20% of the Muslims of Sierra Leone follow the Shia school of thought.” Sierra Leone is a 71,000-square-kilometer country in West Africa with a population of about 6 million people. The majority of the inhabitants of this country are Muslims, most of whom follow the Maliki school of thought, and some of them are also Shia.
The first Shia Muslims living in Sierra Leone were Lebanese immigrants who entered the country gradually from 1890. The first Lebanese school was established in Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone, in 1956, and Shia Muslims have been involved in cultural activities in Sierra Leone ever since, with a number of indigenous people gradually converting to Shia Islam.
Shia Muslims in Sierra Leone have several educational, cultural and religious centers, including the Islamic College of Freetown, the Zeinabia Mosque and School in Freetown, and the Ahlal-Bayt (A.S) Institute in the city of Bo. What follows is a brief conversation with Hujjat al-Islam Ahmad Tijan Salah. He is the representative of the World Assembly of the Ahlal-Bayt (A.S) in Sierra Leone. The conversation is about the situation of the country’s Shia Muslims.
Abna: Could you please introduce yourself first?
I am Sheikh Ahmad Tijan Salah, the Imam of the main Mosque in Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone. I am also a representative of the World Assembly of the Ahlal-Bayt (AS) in this country.
Abna: Would you please explain about your religious activities in Sierra Leone?
Every Friday, I lead the Friday prayers in the city of Freetown. This weekly congregational Friday prayer is attended by about 3,000 people.
Abna: What information do you dispose of about the Shia Muslims of Sierra Leone?
I know that 70% of the population of Sierra Leone is Muslim and 10% of the population is Christian. About 20% of the Muslims of Sierra Leone follow the Shia school of thought. There is no problem between Sunnis and Shia Muslims in this country, however there are some conflicts with Wahhabism.
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