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  November 11, 2012


In The Name of ALLAH The Almighty

The role of Mullas in our society

The discussion initiated by Mr. Zahoor Danish has really granted us a license to characterize Mulla according to our perceptions which is a fanciful topic especially for the westernized liberals. Mulla appears to them to  be a maverick creature, that nature has suffered to breathe on the world of civilized men. Western literature starting from Chaucer is replete with the denunciation of the clergy because of the negative role of priesthood institutionalized in Christianity. To quote Chaucer “ If gold rusts what shall iron do”. Similarly Morlove made fun of pope and priests in his epoch making drama Dr. Faustus. The clergy class of the Jews and Christians have been rebuked in the Holy Quran  with the name of Ahbaar and Ruhbaan for associating themselves in authority with Allah.  In Islam, there is no room for priesthood as every individual will have to carry his burden of deeds. No prophet, no saint, no religious leader can stand before Allah and man as a mediator or intercessor to recompense for the sins of their followers. According to the Holy Quran Allah is nearer to man than his jugular vein and man can have a direct spiritual contact with his creator every time. Therefore, everyone as a vicegerent of Allah is responsible according to his ability and knowledge and has to play his duty for the moral, spiritual, economical, and educational well-being of the society.

  Like all sensitive individuals, I also detest the obscurantist Mullah but at the same time every human being who forsakes his soul and abandon his reason falls from high moral ground of humanity to the lowest pit of beastly life. But exceptions do not make the rule. All cannot be termed obnoxious. Few should bear the brunt of general hatred. Mullahs representing the religious scholars are not the chip of the same block. Few of them do carry the blame but their majority play constructive role in the moral education of the society.

I have learned the holy Quraan with translation from the Mulanas of my village. My children and nephews are doing the same.   A long-lasting family  feud which could have broken my family was resolved by the instrumental role of Mulanas like  Mulana Habib ullah , Mulana Khaliq u zaman , Mulana Hafiz ullah, People listening to sermons  of Mualana Ismail are seen to abstain themselves from sins. We see that bereaved families are consoled by the sermons of the religious scholars. Delinquent souls adopt piety by their admonitions. Black-marketers   give up their illegal business. Young addicts of my own village abandoned using drugs on the instigation of Mulana Jamsheed ‘s sermon. In Chitral town, before noon prayer every day people throng to listen to the Quranic sermons of Mualana Sher Aziz, Maulana Hussain Ahmad, Mualana Mumtaz etc.

Even historically no one can deny the positive role played by late religious scholars like Mualana Mustajab of Ayun, Qazi of Mastuj, Qazi of Moroi, Qazi of Kari, Mualana Noor Shah Din, Maulana Shahabuddin, Qazi Nizam, Mufti Azam Abdu Dayyan, Maulana Abdur Raheem etc only to mention a few. No one has heard such scholars spewing hatred against any sect. they have helped in extinguishing the sectarian fire of 1982 and 1998. Few exceptions in the present time if play negative role in the society, the fault lies in our class based, parallel education system. It is the responsibility of the state to provide uniform, productive education freely to all its citizen in line with the ideological and national objectives but the irony is that the elites have their own educational system with their own curriculum. The middle class send their children to the public schools according to their own means and affordability. The Rest either go to the government schools or to the religious seminaries. More than ten lac students are given free of cost religious education in the privately sponsored Madrassas. To quote the ex-president  Gen(R). Musharaf “they make the largest NGO of  the country to be sponsored by private individuals. Our whole educational needs overhauling but those at helms, care a fig about it. The Fruit we reap in the form of societal chaos in our country.  Our products are of diverse nature.  The so called westernized liberal hailing from the elite and taking the rein of the government have  wrought havoc  with the administrative machinery of homeland for the last sixty five years.  The confused middle class is a mixture of contrasts, as compliant citizen can only lament the sorry state of affairs. The major bulk of our population fight the battle of daily bread and daily butter  driven by the insensitive elite. The media and other sources of education are again in the hands of commercial oriented and politically driven tycoons.  The masses of the villages have to give an audience to the religious scholars for the salvation of their restless souls. In the context of Chitral excluding a few Mullas the religious scholars communicate the message of Islam, according to the level of their understanding.  They certainly admonish the people to be God fearing, to  execute  justice, to be charitable, to be tolerant,  kind, affectionate and to abstain from all  kinds of social evils like corruption, embezzlement , cruelty , prejudice etc.  It is wrong to say that they do not talk about social evils because last Ramzan in most of the Musajeed of Chitral bazar they , even told the shopkeepers that their prayer would  avail them nothing  and eternal punishment of Allah could not  be thwarted unless they gave up hoarding and transitional  deceit. But if it fell on deaf ears it is not their fault .  Thus in our society the religious scholars have a vital role to play in the moral education of the masses. Most of them do it to the best of their level.  Few belonging to blacklist organization and graduating from extremist seminaries may try to plague the environment with their schismatic views but in our peaceful district such Mullas are spotted and spurned by the public therefore the majority cannot be blamed for the sins of few black sheep.

In spite of accusing the religious scholars we should see into our own selves as how much we are striving to understand the message of Holy Quraan, to act upon its injunction, to convey its universal message to other and to implement its principles of truth and justice. if the educated class come forward with the true message of the Holy Quran and sunnah, the menace of societal disintegration can be halted and social evils can be nipped for good.  On the other hand if we pick holes the gap will get widened by the  obscurantist few.  Let us focus our center of influence rather than focusing our center of concerns.

                                              Gr   tu  me  Khawhi   muslman   zeestan

                      Neest  mumkin  Juz  ba  Quraan  zeestun   (Iqbal)


Saeed ul Abrar



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