I Deserve to be a Mufti – Dr Shareef

    Dr Shareef: I deserve to be a Mufti

    Last updated: April 21, 2012 15:25 CAT

    Former Muslim Association of Malawi (MAM) Secretary General Sheikh Dr Imran Shareef says he has all what qualifies him to lead Muslims in the country. He says he did well in both secular and Islamic studies and that he was the best student in all schools he has attended.

    Dr Shareef said this in response to the allegations that him, among other his friends conspired to remove Mufti Abbas Cassim from chairmanship position.

    Currently, he is the Supreme Council of Ulammah in Malawi Chairman and Mufti Abbas, who was combining both as Chairman and as a Mufti is remained with the muftiship role.

    However, Dr Shareef told Malawi Muslims Official Website that all procedures were followed when replacing Mufti Abbas Cassim.

    “It was done normally. We met in Balaka on October 8 2011 and had representatives of big sheikhs in Malawi present there. It was a matter of restructuring because we saw that the Mufti was occupied as he was holding two positions. He was combining both as a Mufti and as a Chairman so he could leave the organisation dormant. It was also difficult for members to give different views to the mufti when he does something wrong because he was of much respect,” he said.

    Dr Shareef also revealed if Islamic principles were to be followed on how someone qualify to be a mufti then Mufti Abbas Cassim is not supposed to be one.

    “A Mufti should be a well learned person and is able to give Islamic juridical opinion more specifically using Quran, hadiths and all sources of Islamic law. All these I do qualify to become one. But as this Majilis issue, when we were electing a Mufti and especially Mufti Abbas it was different. We looked at various issues not necessarily modern requirements.

    “We took him as a man who has worked tirelessly and has taught many sheikhs in Malawi – those who taught us most of them were his students. So, in recognition and special respect we have in that man, we said nobody should be appointed as a Mufti but let’s give it to him.

    “However, it was also prudent for Ulamah Council to say we need to put a subcommittee called Ifta (verdict) of which I am the chairman so as deputising the Mufti. And this was done before I even became Secretary General of MAM.

    The Chancellor College’s Law lecturer however advised Muslims in the country not to compare Ulamah council’s affairs with MAM’s as they are different.

     Some people were suggesting fair elections would have been done when choosing a new chairman for the council.

    “In Islam, when electing leaders, we don’t do as it was with MAM elections – that was unislamic. I took part of course but because we were guided by the constitution and it was registered under the laws of Malawi. So, [saying] anything that is contrary people would have challenged against any procedure that would have been adopted. We don’t employ such same type of unislamic procedures in Ulamah Council when electing religious positions.

    “At MAM you can elect anybody. You don’t elect the best but the one who has money and more support as it happened. People elected the current chairman [Sheikh Idrissa Muhammad] because he was supported by then Democratic Progressive Party government through [Sidik] Mia and the former President [Dr Bakili Muluzi] through [Biton] Ajawa. They spent millions of kwachas.

    “[Unfortunately], people ended up electing sheikhs who are not in the first category of sheikhs in Malawi. In the first category, we have sheikhs only who knows the laws of Islam and the current MAM chairman comes in third if not fourth category as he only did well in dawah. He is a better preacher of course, but he cannot stand to give fatwa (ruling) because he is not qualified to do that. I am not trying to discard him, he has got BA and JCE but that position cannot qualify him to lead sheikhs in Malawi. He can only be accepted as a member but not as a chairman of Ulamah Council. We cannot accept a JCE man to lead us. That time is gone. But he can be a leader at MAM because there, even a standard 8 man can become a chairman provided he has got money and knows how to castigate and insult others,” he said.

    However, MAM Nantional Chairman Sheikh Idrissa Muhammad has since expressed his discontentment with Dr Shareef’s remarks.

    “I don’t understand why he is saying that because I have never said I want to become Ulamah council chairman. What I said is that I don’t recognise the current leadership because it was not legitimately elected. In my view, I still do recognise Mufti Abbas Cassim as the chairman for the council,” he said.


    1. i dont like sentiments displayed in this article. to me, its so bluffing and doesnt make sense why shud you sheikhs castigate each other on world wide web like this. this is not the right wayto bring your observations forward. Dr. Shrrif, you are respected, but remember, Prophet SAW said: (we do not give leadership mantle to the seekers). however, in your statement out of respect to your knowledge, are trying to tell people that the BA Sheikh Idrissah holds is equivalent to JCE? what on eaarth would you relate the two in the same par? BA is above JCE everybody knows and hence dont make a fool of yourself. even if i dont like the way our new leadership operates its political parameters, that has nothing to do with the type of education or BA he holds. that has to do with his personal capability to lead MAM which i think was long destroyed by his predecessors, i fear you may be amongst that batch. so please, stop discarding each other on this platform. learn to mutually consult or invite each other at a secret place and we dont need to know what transpired. thats between you guys and Allah is there seeing whatever you doing. we dont want no more politics.

    2. I conccur with Chembuje, Dr Sharrif has gone out of line here. If he is what he says he is,he should know better what the Prophet says concerning speaking ill of others. I believe there are avenues in Islam in Malawi on which to express one's displeasure about others especially that he is talking about the MAM chairman. It is possible to keep a million facts in one's head and still remain uneducated. The interview the Dr gave is unIslamic. Because he was backbiting and washing linen in public. I believe issues of positions is Allah who gives them and as a sheikh, he supposed to understand this better than planning the coupe way.
      My advise to the Dr and Muslims in general is please, let us acquire knowledge not that we should be given positions but that we use that knowledge for the betterment of our DEEN ISLAM and humanity in general. Not for personal fulfillment. No wonder when we have alot of these so called sheikhs, we end up having alot of confusion. Remember, SHAITAN thought he knew more than any other angels such that when he was asked to pay homage to someone he thought was junior to him, he refused.
      Let us be careful with the way we look at others. we might end up doing the opposite of what the very knowledge we hold teaches. Arrogance is very much hated in Islam because is the root of most of the problems. Mind you,leadership is not about how many degrees one hold, but Allah gives it to whoever He desires and the Dr should know this better. The question is why is the Dr ignoring all the knowledge he has concerning the issue of washing linen in public? Practically, what is he telling the people, does he practise what he learnt? Or that is not for him to practise?
      Please my fellow Muslims,let us not stand to destroy the beauty of this religion-ISLAM in the eyes of the people. With this type of language and behaviour, can other people be attracted to Islam by just our behaviour?
      Let each and every one of us Muslims ask himself/herself this question; are my actions as a Muslim, uplifting or bringing down Islam?

    3. Wow! Allah ta'ala Have mercy upon the Ummat of Muhammad (SAW), these fights are everywhere…Here in Zambia, same stories, we cannot all be leaders at the same time.

    4. Excuse me Mr. Editor.
      You had good intention of informing us, but this kind of information does not add any value at all.
      To both Sheikhs you know better how to resolve difference.
      Please spare us, this is typical nonsense.

    5. (Ulemu wanu masheikhs) plse dont wash linen in public,avoid castigating each other on the world wide web, remember islam is peace,find ways and means of ending ur differences

    6. I do think that this forum is another nyasatimes or Weekend Times. It is fast becoming another gossip corner. Where is is your editorial judgement Mr. Editor? Some of these comments are not printable, I suppose.

    7. Respected brothers & sisters let me use this simple English "When the head is big does not prevent boxing" (Mutu ukakula siulewa nkhonya) I have few questions in Chichewa to our sheikh:
      *Chinakupangisani ndichiani kuti mupikisane mu MAM elections?
      *Mukanawina MAM election mukanalankhula izi mukulankhulazi?
      *Ku Deen tizisankha bwanji?
      Brothers & Sisters in our community we have many sheikhs omwe ndi ophunzira islamic studies but sindinaoneko akuima pachulu kuzitamandila,this is very shameful  to us and for that matter castigate each other ee!!.Pamwamba pa ophunzira palinso ophunzira ask Nnabi Mussa.Udindo its gift from ALLAH lets preserve it.May Almighty ALLAH bless and guide us.

    8. Now I know muslims have really gone to school. Finally muslims in Malawi can argue and fight in English? Am proud of muslims in my country.

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