Awareness CREATION and Sensitization OF ULEMA
13th to 14th June 2012, LUCKNOW
The Muslim Clergy, Mullahs and Moulavis, are often
blamed for the backwardness of the Muslim community. It
is held that not all the Mullahs and Moulavis are
well-versed in the religious aspects of Islam. However,
there is nothing to restrain them from issuing fatwas on
all and sundry matters, without realising the adverse
impact that such fatwas may have on the persons/families
seeking religious guidance. Not all the problems of the
modern times have answers in the Qur'an
and Hadith. It is for the Muslim Clergy issuing fatwas
to consider the issues carefully before handing out
their opinions on a given matter. The challenges before
the Muslim community are not only numerous but also
varied. The community is in need of a proper guidance so
that it does not find itself mired in further
complications by heeding to fatwas that are not well
thought of. The main purpose was, therefore, to invite
discussions of the socio-economic issues than delve into
is in the above background that the Centre for Study of
Society and Secularism has been thinking of organising a
workshop for Mullahs and Moulavis, with a view to
bringing to their notice the various social challenges
before the Muslim community; to sensitise them to the
need of the hour. However, it was difficult to make them
agree to participate in such a workshop as the general
feeling among them was that they do not need to be
educated by anybody. With the active coordination of Dr.
Mohammed Arif, an academician and social activist of
Lucknow, the CSSS could finally organise a workshop on
13 and 14 June 2012 at the Management Development
Centre, Indira Nagar, Lucknow, in collaboration with the
Centre for Peace and Harmony, Varanasi.
There were 35 participants representing various Muslim
religious organisations, Clergy, Madrassa teachers,
Islamic Scholars and social activists from the Muslim
Community. It was ensured that the religious figures
belonged to the different schools of thought.
Keeping the sensitivities of the participants, the
workshop did not follow the usual pattern of
presentations by resource persons on pre-determined
topics. The idea was to allow issues come to the fore as
the socio-economic and other challenges
the Muslim community were taken up for discussion.
Generating open discussion on issues of concern to the
community was considered the best option.
Dr, Muhammed Arif welcomed the participants and resource
persons to the two day discussion on the socio-economic
problems faced by Muslim community in India. This was
followed by an introductory talk by Dr. Asghar Ali
Engineer. He briefed the objective and rationale of the
programme. The reason for social backwardness of Muslims
in India in the contemporary society and the role of
‘Ulema’ was the major concern in his talk.
Maulana Kalwe Sadiq, a well know Shia Theologian, who
spoke next strongly felt that science and technology
will not drive the people away from religion. He opined
that religious leaders need not take a stand against
Science and technology. He urged the Muslims to develop
a new perspective to solve the social and political
problems of the community. Maulana Hizbul Rahman from
Nadwa presented his views on the issue.
The open discussion that followed the three
presentations provided an opportunity for all the
participants to express their views on the various
problems faced by the
community. The main points were:
give wide coverage to the ‘negative’ news related with
Muslim community such as fatwa, triple talaq etc.,
whereas, achievement and other ‘positive’ news are not
given sufficient coverage.
across the world should try to enter the field of Media
so that they could project the positive aspects of the
Community should give more importance to secular
education for social upliftment.
The quality of syllabus in Madrassa should be improved.
curriculum of science subject in Madrassa should be
modified in such a way that students should be able to
develop scientific temper. Syllabus should be in
compliance with modern educational theories.
As even poor Muslims want to send their children to
English medium schools, the community should set up
English medium schools. Muslim managements should to
start schools for technical education.
Zakat should be collected by the Zakat Board should be
used for education and
The text books used in Madrassa are translated from
Hindi, and there are lots of mistakes due to poor
translation. Students who only have madrassa education
are less likely to get government jobs.
Islamic world also should try to establish universities
like Oxford and Cambridge.
Community leaders and organisations should take
initiatives to start IAS and IPS training centres for
youth in the community, which would result in changes in
the level of policy making in the long run.
Gender based discrimination and violence within the
community at the family and society levels should be
Muslim women are not getting proper religious education
Microfinance can be used for the development of
Though the discussions did not bring about any concrete
solutions for any of the problem discussed, the workshop
opened the closed doors even by a small crack through
debate and brain storming. The most important
achievement about the discussion is that it brought
people belonging to various sects in a common platform.
The two day programme concluded with the promise that
all of them will continue the discussions with the
objective of the socio economic welfare of the