There is a rampant tendency in many Muslim societies that the voice of truth should always face a fierce and severe opposition. I remember very well the question that was posed by one prominent Muslim in the country who wondered in a response to the open latter which was addressed to the ijtimah committee through Malawi Muslims Website a couple of weeks before the event, he said“…..mpaka kulemba open letter…abale…?”showing his dissatisfaction with the critiques launched against the way ijtimah funds are utilized.
Reflecting from the adage which goes ‘Galu wamkota sakandila pachabe’ we can systematically argue that what many Muslim youth and best wishers of Islam in Malawi foresee about the ijtimah has now finally proved their assertions true. What other people believed to be as castigation against those organizing the ijtimah, is no longer in that nature now, because reports have it that the ijtimah organizing committee has misappropriated funds.
Now, the simple question is; what should be done?
Before I try to answer the posed question, let me remind readers who usually visit this website that ,if you recall very well I did indicate in one of my articles that the large amount of the total ijtimah budget goes into the pockets of the organizing committee.
According to what I have learnt from reports; quarter (and I believe that more than quarter) of the 2012 ijtimah budget was pocketed as allowances of the committee members and others who did not even give a hand on this occasion. If it is true, then it’s a very sad and a disgraceful development. Due to such kind of mismanagement of funds, many Muslims in Malawi suggested that this event though it’s a historical program, should face a natural death.
Those who insist to carry on organizing this function claimed that the event is Islamic and it is organized based on Islamic principles. Following the same argument, now we can answer this question, what should be done, and what is the way forward?
I should first congratulate MAM for dissolving the entire committee. However, that should not be the end of it all. There is a paramount need to institute the independent investigation committee which should be comprised of the people who have no connections with the accused committee or any relationship with the accused people for better results of the investigations.
If need be, even non-Muslim experts can be hired to systematically investigate the matter. Once the truth has been established, and if it shows that the committee indeed mismanaged the resources, those involved should be brought into the book and accounted for their evil deed which is a sin before Allah. As a matter of fact, and without casting any doubt, the Islamic constitution which is the Qur’an provides the best answer to this question.
The Qur’an stipulates in Surah Al-Mā’idah verses 38-39 “[As for, the thief, the male and the female, amputate their hands in recompense for what they committed as a deterrent punishment from Allah. And Allah is exalted in Might and Wise]”. “[But whoever repents after his wrongdoing and reforms, indeed, Allah will turn to him in forgiveness. Indeed, Allah is Forgiving and Merciful]”.
Repentance in this context means the culprits should give back what does not belong to him, in plain words; the stolen items.
Concurring with the Qur’anic decree on this matter, the constitution of Malawi also prohibits mismanagement of organization funds, and that the perpetrator should be punished. Thus, there is no safe haven for the thieves under any law.
Many people ignorantly believe that a Muslim cannot be charged when he or she misuses the resources. This myth which has been evolving in our society for decades. But now Muslims should understand that it is not true and it is a sin to have such evil belief. Islam and poor Muslims in the country have been victimized by as a result of such myth.
I believe that if the perpetrators are punished accordingly, this will send a tone of warning to others, hence trim down chances of stealing organization funds. Let’s be aware and careful that every Amanah (trust) is accountable before Allah in the day of Qiyammah.
By Sherrif Abu-Bakar Kaisi