Sheikhs Demand Money for Officiating Nikahs: “That’s Unethical”- Ulama

    A paid service?

    Malawian Muslims who want to get married will now have to dig deeper into their pockets as some sheikhs in the country have started demanding money for officiating nikahs, Malawi Muslims Official Website has established.

    Confirmed reports reaching this website indicate that some sheikhs in the country’s commercial city of Blantyre are charging as high as K5, 000 per Nikah.

    The investigation has also found that other sheikhs are demanding K20 or K30 for slaughtering a chicken.

    One of the victims who spoke on condition of anonymity confirmed the development in an interview with Malawi Muslims Official Website.

    “Yes it is true. In my case, at first the sheikh said I should pay K5, 000 so when I tried to negotiate with him he reduced the amount and I paid K3, 000. But I was very shocked and I asked myself, how could someone charge me such huge amount for Allah’s work?” said the source.

    The tendency is mostly common in villages where life is hard and they take this as a remedy to ease their economic hardship since the salary they get can’t help to run away from abject poverty. However, it is surprising to see the malpractice spreading in the urban areas where things are better off compared to the remote areas.

    However, some people say that the problem of low salaries is not only applying to the sheikhs of remote areas but also those living in town.

    Sheikhs are the very lowest paid people in Malawi regardless of the amount of services they render in their respective workplaces and communities.  This website understands that most of the sheikhs’ salaries are in the range of K6, 000 to K15, 000 per month.

    In either way, Malawi’s council for Muslim theologians (Majilis Ulama) has strongly condemned the malpractice.

    Publicity Secretary for Majilis Ulama Sheikh Dinala Chabulika has described the development as unfortunate and unethical.

    “That’s unethical. Sheikhs are not supposed to charge this kind of services. It is something that should not be entertained because by the moment you choose to be a sheikh, you sign a contract that you will be giving your spiritual services for free,” he said.

    Sheikh Chabulika however said there is nothing wrong with giving sheikhs a token of appreciation for their services but that should not be compulsory.


    1. so sheikh Dinala Chabulika did not know that even one sheikh from his office does charge for these services , the it is unfortunate

      • Salam ! My brother there is no way u can invite someone to do something for free .Look at all your Nikah Programme you are involving people of different activities to be paid koma chifukwa ndi Sheikh kumuonera mmaso .We dont want to be beggers at your Nikahs to give someone something is not asin as atoken of apreciation .Koma kucharger ndi Nkhani ina Bambo.Akhristu amalemekezatu ma azibusa awo koma ife too much talking we refuse to be taken as second class citizens . Ijuma Yambone .

    2. that reflects the minds of our leaders so money hungry kungonganiza mabenefits apano padziko, Allah aalam.. May be the ummah should be educated on the duties, responsibilities and rights of our sheikhs in our societies

      • Sister is not like that the way we Muslims think towards our sheikhs there is a lot to be desired .To charge is not ethical ,But to give as a token of appreciation is not a sin either.Look how our fellow christians treatt their bishops So lets be clear with ourselves there is nothing of greed here. Because you have to enjoy your world like wise your akhira so watch your mouth sister the sheikh does not need more than what you need He is not asecond class citizen Ijuma Yambone .

    3. In as far as we condemn these sheikhs for demanding a pay for the services they render, we should also be reasonable enough to understand that these people also have families with needs like anyone else. The employers of these people should understand that the only way they can make our sheikhs dignified is to make sure that the salaries these people are being given atleast can enable them pay for the cost of living. Failure to pay them the minimum wage that can enable them have atleast two meals a day, is equivalent to subjecting these people to life of begging and this in the long run will demotivate even those who would have wanted to join these jobs.
      Even the Majlis Ulama, should share part of the blame. What is it that they are doing to make sure that our sheikhs in Malawi are not living like they are at a boarding school. Failure to look into their plight, will force these people to find means and ways to earn an extra income to supplement their so called Lillah services as sheikh Chabulika would want to put it.
      If we do not want these people to be compromised in their duties, let the people responsible for the welfare of these sheikhs in the country, take their plight seriously or else, the Muslim community will continue to be a laughing stock when it comes to the  way we manage these institutions.
      May Allah give imaan to all the Muslims world wide to withstand the trials of this duniya. Allahuma ameen.

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