Why to Blame Mulla!
The dark of night still prevails everywhere. This is the sweetest part of the night when everyone is busy in sleeping. There is utter silence everywhere which is sometimes disturbed by the crowing of a cock or rooster. In this part of night, it is very difficult for everyone to leave the warm and comforting bed. But then there is always present a person who leaves his bed, overcoming his intense desire to sleep and absorb the warmth of the bed and heads to the mosque. He performs his duty in the most regular manner and very rarely he forgets to reach to mosque on time. Whatever the weather outside maybe; cold, snowing, or raining, he ignores them all and does his job with utmost dedication and devotion. He is called the ‘Mulla’, a religious scholar who has the duty of leading prayers in mosques five times a day and also rendering the service of educating our children with the Islamic studies and knowledge.
He is the person who has silently been busy in educating our children from centuries and performs numerous other religious customs and rituals of religion which could have not been fulfilled without him.
Till the advent and success of modern educational system, he was very successful in sustaining and managing an educational system that not only transmitted religious education but also the contemporary studies needed for managing the worldly issues of its time. It was the work of Mulla and the madrasa (religious or informal schools) where Muslims got education that helped them remain ahead of other nations of the world. It was the madrasa system that brought about the scientists of their time and in no respect, they were less than the modern universities or educational institutes. Unfortunately, they were not able to change their syllabus and teaching methods with the changing world and later on became the centers where only religious prayers or worships were taught and practiced and knowledge and studies needed for advancement in the modern era were ignored, as a result, they gradually lost their importance.
The Mulla and madrasa once had strong influence in the Islamic society that gradually diminished with the passage of time and their role and importance in the society has gone behind the screen.
Recent decades witnessed a trend when everyone has considered it his right to criticize and talk against Mulla and madrasa. Majority of these even don’t know about the present problems and situations of Mulla and how much they are suffering.
Unfortunately, decline of Islamic societies started many centuries before and we can say that last century was the worst time in this regard. This general decline brought decline to people or professionals of all the fields of life. Leaders became traitors, guards became the thieves, doctors became the predators, politicians became the greatest of liars, and even a member of the inferior jobs like a sweeper did all his best not to perform his duty honestly. Students forgot the importance of hard work and mothers could no more bring up good sons and daughters. In such a situation, it would be irrational if we expect that Mulla should be the best person in society. He is also breathing in the same air and he is also getting effects from the sources or factors that are polluting our characters and conduct. In such circumstances, it is natural if Mulla has also left performing his duties honestly and has become the victim of our corrupt society. Anyhow, this doesn’t grant anyone a right to criticize them or talk against them, especially the good ones who are still there to serve.
It is necessary to be understood that Mulla is also one of our relatives so they need not to be taken or treated as a stranger or an opponent. They do have needs and requirements like all of us and they also strive to meet them nicely. They have families whom they want to provide with all the basic necessities. As a public, we are all responsible for our ignorance and laziness that we have committed regarding the needs of Mulla. When we are asked to spend money on medication, clothing, food, housing and other necessities of our children, we willingly spend large sums of money but when we are asked to spend a small part of it to those who are educating our children with extremely essential religious knowledge and education, we tighten our fists and at once remember so many other needs of our life. Unfortunately, there are many among us who spend thousands of Afghanis for stupid things like games, cigarette and other unnecessary things but when there comes an appeal of donating something for the renovation of mosque, we soon turn ourselves deaf and dumb.
It is necessary to realize that majority of Mullas are working in the most inappropriate conditions with meager salaries or income. Even then, majority of them are continuing this noble duty due to the importance of it and to earn the will of Allah. Mulla has been termed to be the successor of prophets who does the noble duty of preaching goodness to all the members of society but in return, we hardly come to realize their importance and give them due respect.
On the other hand, it is also necessary that one who decides to hold this noble post should make up his mind after realizing all the difficulties and taking any kind of worldly reward or appreciation out of his mind. He should be the person who should be the most intelligent, most polite and well-behaving and most pious among all the members of society so that he should appear as a role model for the rest of the members of society.
Similarly, he should be always working hard to increase his knowledge so that he should be able to address and affect the thoughts of every member of the society. He should not only be an expert in the religious knowledge but should be quite at home in all the worldly studies like science, mathematics, philosophy etc. so that he should be able to convey his message in the most effective manner.
They should not only help the people in the matters of religion but also guide them in the common issues of daily life.
In some developed Islamic countries like Turkey, a well-established and integrated system has been established where religious scholars are chosen for this important post after a thorough examination, are trained on how to perform their duties in the most effective manner and are given substantial salaries and benefits. This has regularized the whole system of scholars and their performance has increased a lot and thus they have slowly started regaining their lost dignity and respect.
Beside all these, it should not be forgotten that we owe a great deal to Mulla for his effort that he has worked to transmit the knowledge of Islam from generations to generations for more than 15 centuries. This is a great job which is more than enough to earn him our due respect. I am personally grateful to them for this and I hope the same would be your feelings.
Mahmood Hassan Quraishi is a permanent writer of the Daily Afghanistan Express.