The Supreme Council of Ulamah in Malawi Chairman Sheikh Dr Imran Shareef who also happens to be the former Muslim Association of Malawi (MAM) Secretary General has trashed the meeting that MAM and other council’s executive members held last Sunday in Blantyre describing it as ‘illegal and useless’.
On Sunday, some sheikhs led by MAM National Chairman Sheikh Idrissa Muhammad met at Blantyre Lodge where they agreed to dissolve the current Ulamah Council’s executive committee which is chaired by Dr Shareef saying it was illegal.
The meeting agreed to fire Dr Imran Shareef from the council and that Mufti Abbas Cassim be reinstated as a Chairman until elections are held.
They also agreed that Dr Shareef should never contest in any position in future.
However, in an interview with Malawi Muslims Official Website, Dr Shareef described the move taken by his fellow sheikhs as laughable saying those people who were present at the meeting had no mandate to fire him from the council as they were not present when the committee was established.
“That meeting is useless. Those people have no mandate to remove me because the elections were done in a normal way. We met in October last year in Balaka where prominent sheikhs like Sheikh Hanif Kazembe and others were present. It was a matter of restructuring the whole organisation,” he said.
When asked to which committee now he is chairing since most of the members who were in the committee are the ones who agreed to dissolve it, Dr Shareef said those people went there ignorantly without knowing the agenda of the meeting. They only discovered the agenda during the proceedings and they did not agree with what was proposed.
“I met with some of them and they said they are not part and parcel of what was agreed there. So, I can say that all positions still exist as they were before.”
[pullquote align=”right”]“I have everything which qualifies me to become a Mufti. But people underestimate me. They don’t respect me, instead they go and castigate me in the media. I am the most educated person among the Sheikhs in Malawi. I am the only person who graduated in both Islamic and secular law.”[/pullquote]
He also added that he is going to answer them at a meeting which is scheduled to take place this coming Saturday.
However, efforts to talk to Sheikh Hanif Kazembe proved futile as his phone was out of reach while Sheikh Chabulika who was the Publicity Secretary in the dissolved ‘cabinet’ said he was travelling.
Typically, Supreme Council of Ulamah is known as MAM’s entity, the thing Dr Shareef described as ‘untrue.’
“Ulamah Council is independent just like Qadria Association of Malawi (QMAM) and MAM. QMAM has got its own Mufti [Shamiuna], MAM has also got its Mufti who is Abbas Cassim likewise Supreme of Ulamah Council who happens to be myself,” claimed Dr Shareef.
Dr Shareef therefore expressed worry that other people in the community do not recognise him despite having everything to enable him receive respect he deserves.
“I have everything which qualifies me to become a Mufti. But people underestimate me. They don’t respect me, instead they go and castigate me in the media. I am the most educated person among the Sheikhs in Malawi. I am the only person who graduated in both Islamic and secular law,” said Shareef.
However, when contacted MAM Chairman insists that according to the records, the council belongs to the association.
Dr Shareef has been accused of conniving with other members to grab ulamah council’s chairmanship from Mufti Abbas Cassim.
Reporting by Robert Kumwenda, Official Correspondent for Malawi Muslims Official Website in Blantyre