Muslims in the country this year alone may witness three Ijtmas – one for women and two for men only, Malawi Muslims Website can reveal.
This comes in after revelations by Supreme Council of Ulamah in Malawi Chairman Sheikh Dr Imran Shareef that his organisation is going to organise the event this year following Muslim Association of Malawi (MAM)’s failure to hold the event last year.
Last year, MAM cancelled the Islamic gathering called ijitma which was initially scheduled to take place in October citing financial constraints.
Some traditional donors were reluctant to fund the function due unconfirmed reports that suggested the organizing committee approached Malawi’s former state President Bingu wa Mutharika to sponsor the event. Hence, the committee’s effort to source fund hit a snag after it managed to source three hundred thousand Kwacha only for the event which its budget amounted to 7 million kwacha hence putting the staging of the gathering in jeopardy.
However, Sheikh Shareef said from this year his organization would be responsible in terms of organizing Ijtimah.
And in interview with Malawi Muslims Official Website on Sunday, Dr Shareef said his organization was really upset with the MAM’s failure to stage the annual gathering last year and said they will still go ahead with their plans of holding the event this year.
“We still maintain our stand that we are going into organising this year’s Ijtmah. We are optimistic because we have the resources and we know where we can ask for funds to hold such gathering,” said Dr Shareef.
When asked what will happen if MAM will also decide to have theirs as they use to do every year, Dr Shareef had this to say:
“Then we will have two. But I doubt their capacity to hold such gathering because their association has no money.”
However, last year, in response to the Dr Shareef’s remarks, Sheikh Idrissa Muhammad said the national Islamic Ijtima which was established a couple of years ago is under MAM and will still to be so – which concludes that the association will also organise the event, apparently ending up in having two Ijtmahs for men only.
The MAM Chairman previously served as the leader of the committee, which since its establishment Ijtima has been so attractive than before when the whole process of organizing the event was marred by controversies such as money swindling and poor organization.
“I was once the chairperson for that committee and one should know that the committee is independent. It has its own bank accounts and only approaches MAM for guidance,” said the chair.
He added that suggesting detaching the committee from MAM is very unfortunate.
Ijtmah is annual Islamic gathering that pools together Muslims from all corners of Malawi and across the borders aimed at spiritual upliftments and fostering development among the Muslim society.