Otumfuo Osei Tutu II
The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, has traced the relationship between the Zango community in Kumasi and Manhyia Palace to 200 years.
Evidence of his mastery of the history of his Kingdom was not in doubt when he spoke to a high-notched delegation of Imams from the Zango community last Saturday during a visit to the Manyhia Palace, Kumasi.
At the head of the delegation of Muslim clerics was the Ashanti Regional Chief Imam, Sheikh Abdul Mumin Harun.
The delegation was made up of the Council of Ulama, Imams and all 47 Municipal and District Imams whose mission was to offer special prayers for the King and by extension Ghana.
He told his stunned guests that during the reign of Otumfuo Osei Kwame Kyeretwe, Imams visited and prayed for Asanteman. Continuing, he said, they brought with them “rubutu” special prayers and names of God written on slates with special ink made from vegetable material and washed with water and drank for spiritual fortification and God’s protection.
The prayers for the King and Asanteman by the Islamic clergy constitute a convention at Manhyia which has continued to date, the King said.
He told his guests that he has observed it annually too by inviting Ohenekramo and his team of imams as was done 200 years ago.
The Imams prayed for good health and long life for the occupant of the Golden Stool and thanked him for his fatherly love and care for the Zango communities in the Ashanti Region.
The imams recited the contents of the whole Holy Quran thrice and followed it up with Khutbah, a special accompanying prayer and sermon which was led by the Deputy Regional Chief Imam, Sheikh Abdul Rahman Zakariya. The recitation of the Holy Quran are mainly about the exaltation of the attributes of God whose therapeutic and intercessory powers are immense.
Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, in acknowledging the work of the Zango Peace and Reconciliation Committee under the auspices of the Regional Chief Imam, mandated the committee to ensure that all conflicts and disagreements within the Zango communities are settled amicably. The reports from the mediation, he demanded, should be presented to him.
The Zango communities in Kumasi is bedeviled with pockets of conflicts and the Peace and Reconciliation Committee is currently engaged with addressing these.
The Chairman of the Committee, Sheikh Mohammed Ridwan, who is also the CEO of Alpha Radio, a community radio station in Kumasi, and members of the committee were introduced to the King by the Ashanti Regional Chief Imam.
The Imams left Manhyia Palace with assortment of gifts among them prayer mats, kettles for the performance of ablution and tasbihis or rosary-like counters used by Muslims for prayers. The gifts were in appreciation of the King to the Imams for their gesture.
The history of the great Ashanti Kingdom was recorded in Aljami, Arabic letters, by Muslim literate clerics engaged for the purpose by the Palace.
By A.R. Gomda