Thursday, February 20, 2014

Islamic Preachers Need to Strengthen the Foundational Islamic Principle of Moderation (Wasatiyyah)

By Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi, New Age Islam
19 February, 2014
A Welcome Initiative by Moderate Ulema
It was quite heartening to catch up with a recent story in the mainstream media detailing the Sufi-oriented organisation, the Pakistan Ulema Council’s gigantic task of dealing with contemporary issues and methods incorporated in the sermons of the Muslim clerics and imams. Recently, the Pakistan Ulema Council (PUC) has launched a comprehensive book to provide guidance and sophisticated counselling to the imams, preachers and other clerics of Islam. Indeed, the book should be seen as a welcome sign of moving forward and not remaining stagnant to the obsolete ways of preaching and unnecessarily emotional and fiery speeches that most of our traditional Ulema and even modern Islamic preachers and televangelists are accustomed to.
With our prophet’s historical sermon of Hajjatul Wida as an ultimate guide for imams to deliver Friday sermons, the contents in the book range from resolving environmental issues to the methods of dealing with moral problems by applying theological edicts. In a nutshell, the book is an instructive appeal to present day Ulema to concern themselves with inter-faith dialogue, inter-sectarian harmony, women’s rights, girls’ education, disassociating jihad with terrorism and other major contemporary issues to be sagaciously dealt with, in full synergy with the holy Quran and Prophetic traditions. 
At the very outset of his statement pertaining to the book the PUC Central Chairman Hafiz Muhammad Tahir Mahmood Ashrafi, a Sufi-minded Pakistani cleric, says: “mosques and seminaries have a pivotal role to play when it comes to guiding the public”, therefore, he avers, “the PUC aims to ensure that the preachers associated with mosques and seminaries keep an eye on modern-day challenges and problems.” This way, he opines, “a positive change can be observed in society.” 
Muslim Preachers and Their Sorry State of Affairs 

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