Ilhan 728×90
Ilhan 728×90

Time to reinvent our systems of engagement in religious matters

By Abdulkarim Taraja

Muslim leaders in Kisumu County with Kisumu Governor Jack Ranguma at past event.

Muslim leaders in Kisumu County with Kisumu Governor Jack Ranguma at past event.

The stability of Islamic religious issues across the country and most probably in the rural areas is on the verge of disintegration following the unending feuds of leadership. Masjids in the rural place are marred by leadership wrangles and uncouth acts by those in the noble duties that are tearing the strength and growth of Islamic monotheism.

I should not appear judgmental on Imams and Chairmen of various mosques but very concern of the situations as we mould our imaan. My local masjid has had issues for years including physical fights and continuous departure of the imams. The maamuma have been left wandering and wallowing in the shallow knowledge of the religion and their imaan declining with every day of their existence for lack of religious role models.

The global unfolding and behavior change is suggesting what the Qur’an and Hadith of the Prophet (PBUH) on the leads to the day of Judgment. There is scarcity of honest, scarcity of role models in religious matters, scarcity of knowledge on Jihad and scarcity of time to devote to noble duties. Despite the fact that we can no longer take care of our own personal Jihad, we have dedicated time to fighting the outsiders with too little knowledge of Jihad.

Our lives are full of desperation. We have been infected by adultery, affected by fornication, effected by internet to forget about daily supplications that are more relevant to fight for order instead of fighting others minding their business.

My local masjid leadership has for a long time a disappointment to the Muslim Community who is cultivating their level of imaan. Some converts have reverted back to their former status due to the state of confusion exhibited by those we look upon to nurture and instill us religious knowledge. The behavior of madrassa teachers preying on young girls yearning for both secular and religious education will not only cause chaos amongst the parents but also the followers who look upon the Maalim to offer guidance in building religious behavior.

I am raising this concerned to share the state of Islamic institutions in most rural areas in the country and a concerned father of a daughter. The behavior is portraying the much respected conservative Islamic monotheism in the villages in a bad picture and scares away potential convertees with the recipe of al-shabaab attacks. It is this behavior that we need to dialogue so that Allah will not judge us harshly for keeping numb while our future generation is shattered.

All of us, young and old, occupying any religious influential position or possess an inch of religious knowledge has the responsibility speak up and offer direction. All the organizations in line of religious affiliation has a role to play and will be questioned one day about their voice in the society. Time to salvage our future religious neatness and sanity in a much turbulent and confused world; world that shame is a vocabulary and sin is advertised.

It is time for Council of Imams and Preachers of Kenya (CIPK) and Supreme Council of Kenya Muslims (SUPKEM) to conduct frequent workshop and trainings to Imams and madrassa teachers to impart new knowledge in a more changing world. Time to assume someone is learned is gone and even in those in leadership are gone through workshops and training. This way, will motivate the teachers and offer guidance in a more informed and technological environment. We cannot pretend everything is okay when internet is spoiling not only our young people but also the entire generation.

The writer is young Social Transformation Program Ambassador in Kenya by the Interreligious Council of Kenya (IRCK).

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