Public Face of Islam in Kumasi

By Gracia Clark

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Aluminum Casting

Date: July 2009

Aluminum casting has no logical connection to Islam, but has become an occupation identified with Muslims in Kumasi. Decades ago, the VALCO aluminum refinery at the Volta Dam produced quantities of scrap metal from its smelters and manufacturing processes. Northerners predominated in recycling cardboard, paper, and other metal scrap, so they became expert in recycli  Show More

City Parade

Date: August 2011

Video Footage Scene Comments Start (00:00:00) Families returning from the noon prayer at Kumasi Central Mosque on Eid-al-Fitr, 2011. 00:00:12 The followers of a popular local teacher surround him and his family, as the last vehicles allowed pass. 00:01:16 Note hawkers with head loads and pushcarts as the street clears. Pairs of young men and sets of   Show More

Vulcanizer

Date: 2014

Modest craftsmen like this man, who repairs car and truck tires, appear along all the major streets in Kumasi. His main investment is the vulcanizing machine itself, but his reputation for reliable workmanship ensures a steady clientele. Although he and his young son are Muslim work in a predominantly Muslim neighborhood, they look no different from other street sid  Show More

Alternative Eid

Date: August 2011

Since the 1970s, a faction has been growing in Kumasi who adhere to more fundamentalist visions of Islam that condemn “unnecessary’’ prayers and rituals added to those prescribed by the Koran. Among those criticized are senior leaders in the Sufi brotherhoods, who offer special blessings and protections to their devout followers. Most of the established famil  Show More

Pageant Enacting the Haj

Date: November 2011

Several months before it was time to start on the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca, members of this mosque in Kumasi who had made the pilgrimage decided to stage this reenactment of the various stages of the ritual, so that those going that year would know what to expect. Since the pageant took place inside the mosque itself, its degree of realism was limited, but the coordin  Show More

Modern Wedding

Date: March 2012

Weddings are some of the most important family ceremonies in most cultures, and especially for Muslims because their religion calls for relatively simple funerals. In Ghana, as in much of West Africa, the bride and her mother demonstrate and bolster their social status by accumulating an impressive array of cloth and household items which the bride takes to her marit  Show More

Ramadan Class for Bantama Women's Group

Date: September 6, 2009

Mallam Zacharia Rahmen tells two stories. The first is the story of Lot and his wife at Sodom. God sent his angel to warn Lot that he was going to destroy the earth because of the promiscuous behavior going on. He warned Lot to leave with his family and not look back, but when Lot's wife turned around, she turned into a pillar of salt. Mallam uses this story to preach  Show More

Muslims Do Not Behave Like That

Muslims Do Not Behave Like That

Date: 2006

"You are supposed to live in mutual respect and kindness with your neighbor, if you have one, whether that neighbor is a believer or a non-believer."

A Spare Parts Dealer

A Spare Parts Dealer

Date: August 26, 2009

"We should take more business, but the money is small. That is why we cannot do what we would like to do."

Zacharia and Yakubu Discussion

Zacharia and Yakubu Discussion

Date: September 6, 2009

"As a Muslim, your hands do not bother anyone, your mouth should not hurt anyone, your legs should not bother anyone, don't cheat, don't beat anyone, don't kill anyone, you see, this is what we call Muslim."

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