5. Yusuf Ibrahim Chuphi Mackinnon, Kenya
When Chief Joseph N'galaa Chuphi of Mackinnon entered into the fold of Shi'ism, it was entirely because of the good influence which the religiosity and good behaviour of Kassamali Gulamhussein and his brothers, Mohammadhussein and Mohammadali, had on the Chief who was in continuous business contact with them. He describes this aspect in his article. When .finally he decided to become Muslim, a group of the Shia leaders from Mombasa (consisting of Mohsin A.M Jaffer (Hon. Secretary, Bilal Muslim Mission of Kenya), Mulla Abdur Rasul H. Khaki, Mohammad Jaffer K. Gulamhussein, Gulamabbas H. Janmohamed and Late Sayyid Mohammad Mahdi Shustari (Bilal Muslim Mission of Tanzania) went to Mackinnon Road where the Chief with 23 of his family members entered into the true faith. It was on 7th October, 1972.
The Chief name was changed to Yusuf Ibrahim Chuphi.
During coming months, hundreds of the Duruma tribe followed suit.
A mosque, a primary school, a boarding house and a madrasa were built in record time, thanks to the generosity of M/S Kassamali Gulamhussein.
Now the Chief is retired (Chiefship in Kenya is a government post.) Now he is a Councillor for a wider area.
Yusuf Ibrahim Chuphi
My original name was Joseph N'galaa Chuphi.
I am the Chief of Samburu district in Kenya (East Africa), known as Mackinnon, about 90 kilometers from Mombasa. The population of this village is about 500 people. We have been followers of Christian religion of Catholic sect.
During the last four or five years, I have been in touch with the family members of M/S. Kassamali Ghulamhusein of Mombasa. I have been in close touch with them since they have been regularly coming to my district on business. I have often seen them disengaging themselves from business work in the afternoons and evenings to say prayers and remember God. I have learnt from them that in Islam, drinking liquor is strictly prohibited; whereas it is permitted in Christianity and even the Christian priests freely enter bars and drink heavily in the name of religion. Moreover, it is a strict practice in our district as well as other areas that meat would be sold and bought only from the cattle slaughtered by the Muslims according to Islamic rituals.
All these things about Islam have deeply impressed me and day by day I became attracted towards this religion. I told my above named friends that I would like to be converted to Islam and accept that faith; but they advised me not to be hasty in this matter. When I was deeply attracted to Islam and fully convinced of its truth, I made my firm decision. Finally on Saturday 7th October, 1972, together with my 23 family members whole heartedly, and without any worldly temptation, we embraced Islam and recited the holy Kalemah, La Ilaha Illallah, Muhammadur Rasoolullah, Aliyun Waliyullah, in presence of the religious representatives of Bilal Muslim Mission.
Since then a further forty members of my family and relatives have willingly joined me, and I am confident that many more members of my tribe will join us as they come to know of the truth of this faith.
We are already learning to say our daily prayers and are fasting during this holy month of Ramadhan.
On bearing that I have changed my religion, some of my people came to me to find out the reasons. I explained to them the truth of Islam and they were satisfied. I told them that this worldly life is useless if we do not recognize and follow the right path of God. What is the use of our saying that God will help us if we were faced with any hardship, when we do not understand Him properly and do not remember Him and do not find out what He wants us to do in this world.
As we did not wish to become Muslims in name only, we asked for a teacher. We are grateful to Bilal Muslim Mission who promptly came to our help by posting a religious teacher in my village. I am hoping to find a suitable piece of land in our village and build a mosque and a school there. I am also confident to convince all my people that Islam is the true religion.
(The Light, Dec, 1972)