One of the renowned sheikhs in the country Sheikh Muhammad Uthman has denied allegations that he was booed at the 2013 Muslim women Ijtmah.
On Saturday, reports emerged that the sheikh was humiliated by some Muslim women as he was about to deliver his assigned second topic.
Our source who witnessed the drama unfolding at the annual event which took place at Lunzu in Blantyre said:
“After few minutes he took over the podium, the women started singing songs with some saying achoke! Achoke! I am sure the women were not happy with the heavy presence of men there and most likely the politics topic the sheikh brought on the religious event like that. But the most surprising thing is that it happened before the sheikh said anything on his topic.”
However, in an exclusive interview with Malawi Muslims Official Website Sheikh Uthman said from the information he has gathered, the booing was not necessarily meant for him. He said the noise came from other ‘disgruntled’ women suspected to be from the Mangochi’s newly formed Muslim Women Association (MWA) who came to disrupt the event which was organised by their fellow counterpart Muslim Women Organisation (MWO).
“I was assigned to deliver two lectures. One was about Marriage and Divorce, which I delivered around 18:30 hrs and the second one was about Religion and Politics, which I was supposed to deliver around 20:00 hrs.
“For the Marriage and Divorce topic, I was able to do it with no problem though there was still some noise from the participants. But the problem came when I was trying to deliver the second sermon. Some women started shouting saying they wanted females only on the topics to be delivered during night.
“I tried to reason with them that I was asked to deliver that topic at that time but it didn’t yield anything and the women started coming closer to the podium where I was while singing different songs. After I saw that things were going out of hand, I just stopped. I didn’t even touch anything on my topic,” he said.
The sheikh further said after finding out the whole story, it emerged that it was Muslim Women Association members who caused all that commotion in order to disturb the event.
“MWO women came yesterday to my house to apologise on everything that happened that day. They said, after their research they identified a group of MWA from Mangochi who came to spoil the event,” said Sheikh Uthman.
But chairperson of MWA sister Hawa Shaibu distanced her group from the incident before describing it as regrettable.
“It’s not true that we were behind the booing and jeering of the sheikh. I wonder why some are saying like that. All of us (MWA) members dressed in Black robe and white scarf had to sit at the back because our presence was not officially recognized by the organisers.
“Even me as a chairlady, I have just learnt this sad development in the morning. Therefore, it is really very unfortunate that our grouping is accused of this malpractice at this ijtima which we suffered most including being denied access to necessities such as food,” said the chairlady.