THE UNSUNG MUSLIM HEROES
MUSA MUKASA KATUNGULU
By Haji Nsereko Mutumba
Musa Mukasa Katungulu was born in 1881 in Birongo – Singo
His father was Badiru Muganga of Njonge clan. His mother was Mwajibu from Masaka. She was a sister to Abdallah Jawaali the father of Hajji Muhammad Kitatta of Kyanjo and Idi Basajjabalaba of Mbarara.
The day Musa Mukasa was born was the day on which his father Muganga died after being attacked by a wild animal while hunting. He was thus named Musa Mukasa ‘Kitezi’ in respect of his father’s passion for hunting.
Following the death of his father, Musa Mukasa was taken by Muwalimu Musa Nkatusi to Kanywa from where he learnt Islam and became a very good Muadhin.
When Musa became a youth, his elder brother Laaliyo who was living in Luwawulo – Kalisizo wanted to take him away from Muwalimu Musa Nkatusi. However, Muwalimu Nkatusi refused to let go of Musa Mukasa fearing that if he stayed with Laaliyo who was a none Muslim, he would abandon Islam.
Laaliyo took the matter to Buwunga Sub-County Chief who ruled that Musa Mukasa should go with his brother.
Laaliyo took Musa to Serinya in Kibinge where he introduced him to more three brothers of him. These were; Amuli, Kasibaganye and Eleneewo.
Laaliyo convened a meeting of all the brothers and resolved that they would not make him leave Islam. This was in respect of his father who was a Muslim. He took him to Prince Nuhu Mbogo and briefed him about Musa Mukasa’s situation. Prince Mbogo put Musa Mukasa under his care. While under the Prince, Musa had the opportunity to study Islam. This is where he met Muwalimu Abdallah Zaake Jamba who taught him the Quran in 1907.
When Zayidi Kamulali the Muwalimu to the Kabaka’s Chief Amuli Kakembo of Mbuliire started his own family, the chief needed another Muwalimu/Imam.
He went back to Prince Mbogo and requested him for a new personal Imam/Muwalimu.
The Prince gave him Musa Mukasa, who went to Mbuliire to serve Chief Amuli Kakembo as a family Imam.
While in Mbuliire, Musa met Muwalimu Saadi Musoke of Kawoko and Muwalimu Asumani Byayi of Kibengo.
Amuli Kakembo gave Musa a large piece of land on which he grew onions (obutungulu), which he used to sell to Indians. This earned him the name ‘Katungulu’.
In Mbuliire, Musa together with Nyamayaalwo established a big Madarasa where he taught; Asumani Kasujja (the father of Haji Mahabuuba Ssemakalu, Aziz Kasuja, Faazili Kasuja etc) and Twayibu Ssemwanga among others.
Musa became very rich from onion farming and migrated to Kabigi where he had bought a piece of land.
He built a school in Kabigi in 1935. Many prominent Sheikhs, Mullahs (bawalimu) and many Muslims went through this school. It did a lot in propagating Islam and empowering Muslims.
Among those who went through Muwalimu Musa Mukasa’s school are;
· Sheikh Muhammad Ssemakula – former acting Mufti of Uganda
· Sheikh Twaibu Mukuye – Former Deputy Mufti of Uganda
· Sheikh Ali Kivumbi – Former Deputy Mufti of Uganda
· Sheikh Musa Abdul Hamiid Mukasa
· Sheikh Habiibu Kagimu – prominent business personality
· SheikhTwaha Luyimbaazi Katungulu
· Sheikh Hamiidu Kawooya
· Sheikh Abdunoor Ddamulira
· Shiekh Hamiidu Sserwadda
· Sheikh Muhammad Ndugga
· Sheikh Abdul Wahiidi Musisi
· Sheikh Haamidu Zaamunyu
· Sheikh Muhamuudu Kigozi
· Sheikh Nasser Naserenga
· Sheikh Ibrahim Ssebbaga
· Haji Asumani Jjunju etc
Musa Mukasa also bought land in different places and donated it to needy Muslims and non Muslims. For example he bought a mile of land in Kyangabatanyi which he used to give to Muslim converts. Each person used to get between 5 to 10 acres.
He educated his children and grand children who have also contributed a lot to Islam in Uganda.
His grand children include Shk. Ali Kivumbi, Shk. Yusuf Ssonko Katungulu, Abdu Swamadu Kaboggoza and Shk. Musa Abdul Hamiid Katungulu among others.
Musa Mukasa died on October 13th 1971 at the age of 90. He fathered 60 children, and at the time of his death, 32 were still alive.
Muwalimu Musa Mukasa Katungulu did not only convert many into Islam; he donated free land to the converts and taught them Islam, thereby fulfilling Surat Bakara 2:3 of the Holy Quran in which Allah praises those who give to charity.
In Islam, education or seeking knowledge is paramount. By learning Islam himself and teaching it to many people including his own children and grand children who eventually became very prominent personalities in Islam and the entire nation, Muwalimu Musa Mukasa fulfilled Surat Al Alaq 96:1 of the Holy Quran in which Allah commanded Prophet Muhammad PBUH to read.
This makes him a Muslim hero though unsung.