Limbe Islamic Information Bureau (IIB) coordinator, Sheikh Ahmed Chienda has bemoaned lack of Muslim sisters visiting the bureaus in the country, and has attributed the problem to misconception and poor understanding towards the operations of the IIB.
Sheikh Chienda was reacting to the current allegations that the organization receives low turn of Muslim women at its offices in Limbe due to its seating plan which favours only men.
“Some women have been coming to my office complaining that they can not visit the IIB to read or acquire Islamic knowledge because there are no separations between where men and women seat. I personally made efforts to find a good room only meant for women but up to now not even a single sister has come to visit. This is very bad situation to us as an office because others believe the bureaus are for men only,” Chienda old our reporter.
However, on her remarks, International college of Business and management (ICBM) Director Hanifah Ndeketa said that it is hard for them as women to visit the bureau because of the set up of its seating plan and she expressed ignorance about the new system of seating at the Limbe IIB.
“Well, if they have changed the system I do not have any problem to visit the bureau,” she said.
Sheikh Chienda however promised that they will conduct some civic education on the new ladies room through their radio program called “Za ku Information Bureau” that is broadcast on Radio Islam Malawi every Sunday evening.
The Islamic information bureau is a department of Muslim Association of Malawi (MAM) established in 1999.
So far, it has 14 offices including one in Zambia. Other activities include civic education for various sectors of the society, capacity building programmes, Library services, media interaction, and alhaqq news letter produced monthly and distributed to over 750,000 readers.
Generally from my experience with the print media industry ladies tend to be lazy when it comes to picking a book or a newspaper and read.this is something that we need to work on together.This should start from homes.we need to have a reading culture in our homes.The common tendency among the youth is to read just to pass exams and not necessarily to gain understanding of a particular lesson or subject.and yet our prophet (SAW ) taught us that seeking knowledge is an obligation for every muslim be it male or female.so let us not relent on the acquiring of knowledge.May Allah increase us in knowledge.Ameen
This is not an encouraging story to hear, I appeal my sisters to pay more attention, this IIB was not intended for men only, if they had that problem of sitting plan, did they contacted the responsible for the problem, and what was the reply? I think when they (sisters) sensed about the problem they decided not to go to the bureau, that was bad conclusion, or I can say that there is no enough communication between the IIB and the patrons of the place. It’s high time we stop relaying on only what we gain from our school syllabus, general knowledge one can increase from IIB and alike. Self instruction is more important now a days, we are living in a period of information explosion, so always waiting somebody to teach you, this is not the approach of this era we are living. just give yourself one hour per day for only one topic, by the end of the week you'll have finished seven topics, then multiply them by four, by the end of the month you'll have finished a book of not less than 100 pages this is what is called self instruction (education). I humbly ask my dear sisters in Islam to reconsider their positions and revisit the IIBs more and more in their large numbers inshaallah.
I think the problem in not only in Malawi. We have that problem even here in Zambia. The reading culture is not there in women especially when it comes to reading religuous materials. There are a few women who really get time to read. And when it comes to visiting the Bureaus and other Islamic offices, i would say in most instances some of these offices are not women friendly just like some of the Masjid. This is because of a certain sect of Muslims who want to keep women out of Islamic affairs when Islam is actually for every muslim and not only men. Maybe if you involve women in more activities and make them feel wanted, there could be an improvement. Come up with a lot of women activities for women at the bureau and let follow women spear head with the help of the coordinator.
As'salaam alaikum wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh to all the visitors and commentators of malawimuslims.com.
Yes, women generally have a poor reading culture, especially our muslim women. They leave themselves in the deepest deep of ignorance especially on matters of deen and dunniyah. I know of some muslim women staying all by themselves and because of igorance, they travel some very good kilometers to go and have their chicken slaughtered by a sheikh or a little muslim boy, talk about they cannot slaughter an animal lest it becomes haram for consumption… What is this?!
Coming to the issue of IIB i think its a good developlment over there that a women's section has been put in place, and I am optimistic that when women are sensitized about it, they will develop one of the most needed cultures-Reading. We have a similar office (IIB) here in Zambia and I strongly think the brother (Japhally) working their needs to be supported as much as possible because I feel there is alot of potential here also. I have been to IIB zambia in Lusaka once and my first contact with the brother (Japhally) in-charge was something for the record, trust me. I walked away with a few literature but i needed more especially in comparative religion but there was not enough for free distribution. He needs to be fully supported even in terms of staff i guess… Even at our Lusaka branch i think there is need for re-structuring the office setup so that there is a women section because i did not see anything like that.
I agree with sister Amis on the awkward state of our masaajid in this country (Zambai), you will find beautiful masaajid in this country with all the luxuries but have no simple section for women, what is this? We have institutionalized ignorance over here… If a woman works in town she has to go back home to perform her Salah or leave it altogether…because for the most part she may not have a place at work to perform salah from, and yet there are Masaajid in town, she may hear the Adhan but its like that Adhan is for the MEN. Unfortunately that has played out well for the Kuffar who propagate false notions like "in islam women can't go and attend functions at mosques", because they see these things. Imagine, as big as EID-ul-fitr and EID-ul-Adha are, these mosques dont dare prepare a place for women to come out for eid salah, I say "what is this?" Institutionalized ignorance, Period! I think women should start coming out address these issues. For as long as they remain quiet, it will always be "business as usual scenario". Women on the other hand should embrace secular education besides DEEN education to the best of their ability and place themselves in positions of power thats enabling and befitting for them just as men.
May Allah make it easy for our women world over and make them seekers of knowledge of the deen and dunniyah like our mother, Umm 'Abdillah A'ashah Bintu Abu bakr As'swidiq. Aameen