Muslim Forum for Democracy and Peace (Musford-Peace) has called upon Muslims in the country to be united and avoid castigation in the public.
Since Muslim Association of Malawi (MAM)’s 2011 polls, which saw Sheikh Idrissa Muhammad grabbing the national chairmanship role with a landslide victory, there have been disagreements between MAM leadership and those who were not elected.
There has been an exchange of bitter words between the current MAM National Chairman and Sheikh Dr Imran Shareef Mohammed whose bid also to become the Muslims’ leader did not materialise.
Dr Shareef who now controversially leads Supreme of Ulamah Council in Malawi has been rebuking the new MAM Chair that he is not qualified to lead the council saying he is not in the first category of sheikhs in Malawi .
He has also been accusing the MAM leadership of failing to organise last year’s Muslims annual gathering (Ijtmah). Dr Shareef told Radio Islam that his organisation was very saddened with the failing of last year’s event and stressed that his organisation would be responsible for organising the event from this year.
This means that Muslims in Malawi may witness two ijtmahs for men only if MAM will organise the event as its tradition.
However, Musford-Peace Chairman Sheikh Jafar Kawinga said his organisation is shocked to see the well-learned sheikhs castigating each other over leadership positions.
“It is very sad to see sheikhs who were supposed to be exemplary doing things which are contrary to the teachings of Islam. They are the ones who are supposed to unite us all but not being the source of divisions in our Muslim community.”
On Dr Shareef’s sentiments on the incumbent MAM leader, Sheikh Kawinga said, “Yes, we know that some of them are well educated in both secular and Islamic studies but that should not be an element of castigation. What these people were supposed to do is to discuss on how they can convince the government of Malawi so that it should start accepting our qualifications.’’
Sheikh Kawinga further said, “If we don’t do this and instead start discarding each other, we are giving a bad picture to our future leaders that Islamic qualifications is nothing if we do not do well in secular side as well. Some of them will start shunning away the religious education and concentrate on secular side because they will think that they might end up suffering – posing a great danger to the future of our religion because at the end of the day, we will have very few Muslim scholars in Malawi.”
Commenting on the Ijtmah, Sheikh Kawinga said that there is no problem for organisations to be organising Ijitima as much as they can but said this should not be done as a mode of competition.
He then feared for lack of financial support towards these events since most organisations depend on the same Muslim donors. So, it will happen that other sector will fail to hold the event because some donors will not be able to contribute twice hence making another organisation to fail staging the event.
Musford-peace is an organisation, which was formed three years ago. It is aimed at making sure there is unity among Muslims, ensuring religious coexistence, promoting justice and fighting for democracy in Malawi.
as per what we know, ulama council is under MAM.how come those that lost elections went on to cause disruption at Ulama Counsil through contraversial ousting of Sheikh Abbas Kassim?they did this for competition after losing the elections.while we need to unite, we must not tolarate those bringing divisions.if Majlisilulama is under MAM, they should do things with MAM's awareness.after all we have heard that they want to register Ulama council, thus taking it away from MAM.are muslims so sleeping to let greed do that?if the Ulama council indeed is of good intention, they should have delt with Abass Kassim in an Honest way.and MAM should have been informed.but it was anger after losing the elections which provided the impulse.i heard sheikh Abbas Kassim on radio islam some time on the ulama counsil issue.indeed they didnt inform him of the impending meeting they held and distributed posts among themselves.and i wonder whether the amir of the faithful, the chairman of MAM, was informed.this is bad.it's all about power struggle.after elections let's all support the winner.and when we find him doing injustice, lets be truthful to him by constructive criticism.if we dont like him, we should wait for the next elections.but we are about to divide Muslims forever through the attempt to register Ulama council.even the christians will not fear us.the MAM chairman doesnt give fatuawa.the ulama council does.so what is their problem?other countries lack the unity of leadership we have under MAM.and these brothers want to take us retrogressively.
indeed, how can you remove a chairman from his position in absentia?if other people conive and remove brother Shareef from the chairmanship of Ulama counsil like he did to Sheikh Abbas Kassim, will he concede?likewise, our leader Sheikh Muhammad İdrissa's recognition of Sheikh Abbas Kassim as the lawful leader is right.i am not saying that Sheikh Abbas still clings on.he is a good person.he knows there is no Baraka in such fights.in any organisation, you can never make changes without the man at the top.who gave them powers to do so?who are they that they can do so? was Sheikh Abbas Kassim their employee that they woke up one mornning to remove him?only to claim that we informed him after all was done.now we understand that he was chairman at all for all these years.this religion seems to belong to certain people only.for any changes that take place in an organisation, the leader does it.and before the said meeting, Sheikh Abbas was the leader.you just bypass him and get away with it.this is why Allah(SW) isnt blessing us Muslims.We should have all condemmed such from happening.we shouldnt have recognised those that did so.
Position are created and abolished at any given time.
They are man made status for convenience. They are not absolute.
Leadership is God given. We are all leaders in our own capacity of which Almighty Allah will hold us accountable on the day if Kiyamah.
I humbly appeal to the respected sheiks to do introspection upon themselves and go back to the supreme source to find their answers.
May Allah guide us all – Ameen
Lastly let me beg Mr Editor once again to give us information that will add value to our life.
This dispute between Imran, Idris and Salimina does not do us any good, no matter who is right or wrong rather damaging our image. All Islamic organizations operating in Malawi represents Muslim at large of which they are not part of your personal differences and eventually becomes casualties in the process.