Groups move to empower Ulama

Amina Rasul, lead PCID Convenor, said there is a need to empower the Ulama since “they are our alternative leaders in times of politicians’ failed leadership.”

The Ulama are knowledgeable in Islam and get “high respect“ from Muslim communities.

Thirty six Ulama representing the provinces of Maguindanao, Shariff Kabungsuan, Sultan Kudarat, North Cotabato, Sarangani, Zambonga del Sur, and the cities of Cotabato and General Santos attended the consultative forum held at Sardonyx Plaza in this city on July 29.

Former senator Santanina Rasul, chair of the Magbassa Kita Foundation said, “There is a need to tap the Ulama for they are the people who are “well versed” in Islam and know the situation as well as the solution to Mindanao problem.”

“I am saddened by the failure of the government to consult the Ulama in solving the Bangsamoro problem and in policy-formulation geared towards peace and development,” she said.

The forum, she added, is a great venue for the  Ulama to “tell what they want” and to come up with good recommendations that will be submitted for government’s legislation. “Don’t expect others to help us solve the problem, we must do it,” she stressed.

After the workshop, the Ulama lamented how they are being tagged by authorities as supporters of terrorism and how there’s too little employment opportunity in the country for graduates of Islamic education and Islamic jurisprudence. 

Sheikh Salih D. Musa, country director of WAMY (World Assembly of Muslim Youth)  Philippines, spoke on the “Role of the Ulama in Islamic Education.” He pointed out that the Ulama, as learned men, have great tasks like to lead in the Dawah (preaching) and Tarbiyah (educating) Muslim constituents and must immerse in the community for the people to access them for consultation and give opinions in resolving various problems within the community. 

“Thus, the Ulama must be in the ‘front line’ in advocating peace and development,” Musa stressed. 

Dr. Hamid Barra, a Shariah lawyer from Mindanao State University tackled the “Importance of Unity in Islam.” He said Islam can be defined as universal, a complete way of life, and a mercy to mankind.

He also said that all Muslims are of one nation, of one brotherhood, required to unite, must help one another, and maintain love and connectivity with one another base in d Qur’anic injunctions and sayings of the Holy Prophet. (Gandhi C. Kinjiyo/MindaNews)