**Who is Pape Hane?**
My name is Macoumba Hane but people call me Pape Hane. I was born in Thies, Senegal. I’ll summarize my childhood by saying that I learned the Quran at a young age – my teacher’s name was Makhtar Cisse. I finished the Quran and then moved to Kaolack to learn “kham-kham” or knowledge beyond the Quran.
**Can you tell us a little bit about your journey to becoming an Oustaz?**
When I was 12, I was part of a dahira (congregation). I was the youngest in the dahira and often played around with speeches and listened to Ibou Sakho (Google him). I practiced preaching to my peers and taught them what I was learning. That was before I went to daara (Quranic school) to learn kham-kham so from an early age, I had the desire and just pursued it with the additional learnings required.
**Speaking of additional learnings, what does it take to become an Oustaz?**
You have to learn from different books after learning the Quran, such as Fiqh. Once you learn the many books, you must then learn how to interpret (firi in Wolof) so you can relay the message to someone who doesn’t speak Arabic or hasn’t learned those books. The process is hard but Masha’Allah when you have the love for it and the love for the Prophet (pbuh), it becomes easy.
**In today’s society, we hear that there is a “crisis of values” in Senegal, especially the youth. What is your take on that?**
Yes, it is a grave and sad reality. The way that people educate their children is not the same. The values have shifted and people care less and less about the well-being of the entire community so everyone is acting just on their own behalf. Nobody seems to be concerned about the next generations to come.
Kersa (Wolof word some modesty) is no more. Not in the way people talk, dress, or behave. In the old days, when a man tells a woman he likes her, she is shy or may smile coyly to say “I like you back” but today, everyone is bold and stares directly in the eyes of others and says whatever they feel. You used to be able to count the number of people who drink or smoke in one neighborhood but today, it’s widespread. The list of things goes on and on.
Another thing is that there is pressure today with time. Everyone is rushing and wants to make it overnight – there is a lot fraud going on to make easy money. The hardworking values are diminishing and worst of all, nobody does anything for the sake of Allah anyone, it seems. There is still good but a lot of bad indeed.
**How can we reverse this negative trend then?**
We have to back to the basics. Al-Quran and Sunnah (teachings of the Prophet (pbuh)) were given to us as a guide and we have to remember that Allah doesn’t care how you start, he cares how you finish. So let’s clean the hearts and love one another.
**Now, Oustaz, I have to ask you because people keep talking about it. What is Azhirou Zamane (end of the world) ?**
The prophet said: I won’t lay 2000 years in the ground.
1,441 years since his passing.
Do the math.
Now beyond the timing aspect of it, there are a lot of signs of Akhirou Zamane. The diminishing values I mentioned before is one sign, natural disasters is another, lots of discrepancy is another, and the list goes on. It’s essentially a time when things will be very complex and messy and it’s leading us to the end of the world as we know it. It’s not a decade long process – it’s centuries and centuries of signs all culminating to that fateful day when we arise from our graves and answer to our Creator.
Aissatou speaking mainly out of urgency LOL: I guess that means any day now for the end of the world. May Allah (God) guide as all back to him!
**Okay so now, I have to ask you some burning questions on the highly-debated, controversial topic of polygamy. What does the Quran say:**
First, the Quran says you must be able to do it. That means financially and being responsible enough to keep your household(s) in order. You need to yamalei (keep things equal). If you can’t keep things equal, then Islam has freed you of the burden of having multiple wives.
There is a way to do it and each situation is different so it’s important to seek knowledge and advice from those who have learned what the books say. Ignorance of any guidance is not an excuse.
** How can we work to maintain our deen while living abroad?**
Work hard. And not just in the professional sense but invest the time into your deen (faith) to learn more and act on the things you learn. It’s your ultimate responsibility and you will be questioned on the Day of Judgement.
A very special THANK YOU to Oustaz Pape Hane for this refreshing interview. I’m humbled and deeply motivated each time I hear you talk about the beautiful religion that is Islam and your profound love for our Prophet Muhammad (saw). Yallah na sa diam yagg Oustaz. Jerejeuf!