In what appeared to be a veiled attack on his adversaries, Mubaje used a Qur’an recitation event to tell Muslims to be humble after losing out on something.
“There can only be one Mufti of Uganda.If you are not Mufti, it doesn’t mean that you are useless, you need to be humble,” Mubaje told a packed hall at GNS hotel, Old Kampala, where 53 contestants competed to represent the country at the continental finals later this month in Morocco.
He made the remarks on Thursday, April 14, as he closed this year’s edition of the annual Qur’an competitions organised by the Mohammad VI Foundation of African Oulema (FM6AO) Uganda chapter.
Mubaje’s remarks came a day after his Kibuli based rivals distanced themselves from efforts towards ending power wrangles within the Ugandan Muslim community superitended over by President Yoweri Museveni.
On Tuesday, the presidency released a video of Museveni claiming to have united the Muslim community following a meeting he had at State House Entebbe with Sheikhs Mubaje, Siliman Kasule Ndirangwa (former Supreme Mufti), Mahmood Kibaate (former Deputy Supreme Mufti), Yunus Kamoga (Amir Ummah) and Abdu Obeid Kamulegeya among others.
The Kibuli group promptly denounced the talks with its spokesman, Dr Muhammad Kiggundu Musoke saying that none of the Sheikhs at the Entebbe meeting represented the Office of the Supreme Mufti.
Later, Museveni’s deputy press secretary, Faruk Kirunda said in a tweet that the President did not unite the factions but “only witnessed the reconciliation of Sheikhs that were central in disagreements that were affecting the unity of the Muslim fraternity.”
Abdul-Basit Kibirango, Abdul Hafiz Kabiito and Bashir Sa-eed emerged winners in Tajwid, Hafs and Warsh categories respectively.
The trio will represent Uganda at the 3rd edition of the memorisation, recitation and psalmody of the Qur’an competitions.
Sheikh Mubaje hailed King Mohammed VI of Morocco for bankrolling the competitions which he said had waived part of responsibilities on the part of Muslim leaders to preserve the Qur’an.
He then made a demand for the Qur’an to be taught in all government aided schools.
“It should not only be in Madarasahs or Muslim founded schools; we want the Qur’an to be taught in all schools with Muslim students,” Mubaje said.
“Whether they are Church founded schools but government aided, so long as they have Muslim students, the Qur’an must be taught there. Their [Muslim students] freedom of worship must be respected. Muslim parents have other reasons for taking their children to such schools, let’s allow them to get it and at the same time not lose their Adeedah (Islamic creed),” he added.
Sheikh Ebraheem Ssali, the president of the FM6AO Uganda chapter reported an improvement in the quality of participants at this year’s competitions compared to the previous year.