When Islamic international donors respond to a charity, their main aim is to help improve the livelihood of the Muslims in need in the country.
Most of the times, such donations, which is normally in monetary form, do not go directly to those in need instead, it is channeled through other local Islamic organizations that are doing the same initiatives to avoid redundancy.
This is done by nothing but on trust.
However, as Stephen King once said that “The trust of the innocent is the liar’s most useful tool” – in Malawi, some Islamic organizations have taken advantage of this trust and start behaving in unislamic manner by lying in the name of Islam.
Malawi Muslims Official Website has found that the Muslim community in Malawi has started losing potential donors that would have helped in several development aspects because of dishonesty, lack of accountability and transparency in some Islamic organizations.
No wonder, the community still lags behind in terms of structures such hospitals, universities as well secondary schools.
International donors are now finding it hard to trust Islamic organizations in the country by giving funds directly and some have been forced to put strict measures in order to trace their money by requesting expenditure receipts as well as other relevant supporting documents, the thing that was never before.
This is said to be aimed at ensuring that the resources are used for the intended purposes.
This website can reveal and confirm that a certain Islamic international organization (name withheld) vowed not to channel their donation again to Malawi, expressing dissatisfaction with the conduct of a local organization it was dealing with during their first visit in the country.
The organization came to Malawi for a Qurbani program last year but after suspecting that there was some dishonesty in the people they were dealing with, they lost trust and stressed never to come back.
One of the donors, Muhammad Amin from Turkey confirmed of the development saying he has also noted with a concern that there is some dishonesty and untruthfulness in how other Islamic organizations in the country are conducting their affairs.
Amin told this publication that it is only when Muslim organizations start conducting their affairs transparently and honestly, more donors will be coming in to help for the betterment of the Muslim community.
“There are a lot of organizations in the country doing great work for Islam, Alhamdulillah! But when you look at the work on the ground you can see that theoretically is easy to say but practically it is difficult. Therefore, it is high time the Islamic organizations to start being accountable by producing receipts on any expenditure as well as using the money for its intended purpose,” he said.
And Amin, a well known Islamic Scholar with 30 published books, 70 under publication on research and other fields said donors are human beings hence they get suspicious if something goes wrong.
“What they must know is that donors are also human beings who can get suspicious if they see that something is not working the way it is supposed to be. That is why you will see that other donors are reluctant and even not willing to release their money because they don’t like to associate with dishonest people,” said Amin.
However, according to Amin, all is not lost for the Muslims to get the trust back from the international donors.
He suggested the establishment of the Supreme Council which would act as an umbrella body like what their counterparts in Zambia did as one way of rectifying the problem.
“Then this mother body would establish other organizations specialized in different fields such as health, education, dawa, agriculture, etc. So, the donors with different missions will be helping these organizations through that established body.
“The body (Supreme Council) will be disbursing the funds into its subsidiaries activities to be carried in a professional manner. The subsidiaries will be reporting to the body on every step they take for transparency and accountability to prevail. So, instead of the donors dealing directly with each subsidiary, it will be dealing with the umbrella body,” he said.
Amin also bemoaned a tendency of other Muslim leaders who like ill talking of others.
He said donors get irritated to come to Malawi and start hearing gossips instead of concentrating their mission they have come for.
“Donors have also discovered that there is disunity among the Islamic organizations in the country. When you meet this organization will tell you all bad things about their colleagues and vice versa. This is not good for Islam. Donors have no time to hear gossips instead concentrating on their mission,” he stressed.
On his two visits in the country, Amin has built two Mosques (Issa bun Maryam in Dedza and Muft Abbas Cassim’s Al-Rahman Mosque in Mangochi.)
He has also been involved in other charity works like recent MK500, 000 donation to a Zomba based Muslim Sisters Youth Organisation (MUSYO) which was used to buy several items like clothes, soap distributed at Zomba Prison on Monday November 4, 2013.
The Turkish national also bought about 68 sewing machines which were distributed to vulnerable Muslim women through MAM and other Islamic organizations in the country.
Apart from that, he has also been involved in distributing maize seed to farmers as well as carrying out dawa activities in different parts in the country.
It is Amin (who does this on his personal capacity)’s dream to embark on programs that will see the needy Muslims such as farmers benefitting directly.
Reporting by Marshall Dyton, News Analyst