Religious scholars symposium concludes with consensus on contentious issues

A first-ever symposium for local religious scholars organised by the Ministry of Islamic Affairs concluded last night with participants reaching consensus on a number of longstanding religious disputes and points of contention in Maldivian society.

Among the contentious issues deliberated and agreed upon by the 80 scholars were reciting Qunooth (invocation) during dawn prayer, the exact time of Friday prayer (12.35pm), the number of rak’ah for Tharavees prayers during Ramadan and reciting Bismillah aloud during prayers.

The scholars also opposed authorising Israeli national airline El Al to operate in the Maldives and decided to ask the authorities to remove controversial SAARC monuments in Addu City as they are considered an offense to Islam.

The religious scholars also decided to back Islamic Minister Dr Abdul Majeed Abdul Bari’s request to parliament’s National Security Committee that the airline not be allowed into the Maldives.

On the issue of Qunooth – an invocation offered in times of adversity – a majority of scholars concurred that the practice was not a bid’ah (heretical innovation). Sheikh Ibrahim Fareed Ahmed of the Islamic Foundation of Maldives (IFM) and Sheikh Ilyas Jamal however insisted that the invocation was an innovation when the issue was put to a vote.

Moreover, a majority of scholars could not agree that praying in front of pillars in mosques was an innovation.

On the optional Tharavees prayers during Ramadan, the scholars agreed that the number of rak’ah could exceed 20 or end at a lower number.

The decisions made during the symposium also included forming of an association of religious scholars to raise awareness among the public and assist the Islamic Ministry in “responding to those who deny or cast doubt on the Sunnah.”

Seven papers were presented by prominent scholars at the two-day symposium that took place at the Islamic Centre while participants were divided into three discussion groups. In addition to Islamic Minister Dr Bari, the papers were presented by MP Dr Afrashim Ali of the Progressive Party of Maldives (PPM), Sheikh Mohamed Giyas, Sheikh Abubakur Ibrahim of IFM, State Minister for Islamic Affairs Sheikh Hussein Rasheed Ahmed, Sheikh Nasrulla Musthafa and Sheikh Ahmed Saleem Hussein.

The papers focused on points of conflict and disagreement among scholars over issues of ambiguity.

Speaking to press at the conclusion of the symposium last night, Dr Bari said the event was a success and noted the absence of serious disputes among Maldivian scholars.

Dr Bari observed that disputes were more common in the public than among religious scholars.

As a measure to reduce misunderstanding among the public, said Dr Bari, participants at the symposium agreed to issue fatwas only after reaching consensus among all scholars.

Following the success of the symposium, Dr Bari added that the Islamic Ministry was considering making the gathering an annual event.


23 thoughts on “Religious scholars symposium concludes with consensus on contentious issues”

  1. All earth shaking issues no doubt. With these solutions behind us we can now face the technological advances of the 21st century.

  2. I can only laugh!!! Are these the so called contentious issues in this country!

  3. Man!!! all these Mullahs got together to come out with this Earth shattering results.

    These Religious Scholars must have wracked their brains last two days to make these decisions.

    No mention of pork, alcohol or spa's. I can see these are not really religious issues, El Al is.

  4. This is madness! Where are the laws which would allow us to implement Islamic Shariah in its full form? Amputating limbs, flogging and stoning should take place in our country! Would you rather go to hell by following man-made laws, or attain Jannat with those beautiful big-eyed Houris by following the laws of our creator, Allah SWT? I think the answer is obvious! We shall suffer the punishment of hell if we do not implement these laws!

    I really enjoyed this event by the way. The most pious men from the country attended, and we shall do whatever it takes to make sure everyone leads a life, similar to what our Prophet Muhammed SWT led in the 7th century inshallah.

  5. Finally the conclave is over. Why do these medieval old men need laptops and mobile phones? Why not papyrus and quills? Lock them all up in the Hukuru Miskiyy and when they come to terms they can let out white smoke through a key hole.

  6. Please note that these "mullahs" as all of you now love to call them were sponsored by a government department.

    The Conference and every edict issued by the Ministry of Islamic Affairs is government action.

    As MDP and Maldives National Congress and the Social Liberal Party are the only ones remaining in the ruling coalition they will have to take responsibility for Baarees agenda.

  7. I have to admit this is a terrible waste of time. Let's get back to the all important business of attacking democracy!

  8. Is this where we are now? The number of rak'as in tharaaveeh, the recitation of bismi and qunooth are decided by a simple majority in a vote? What next? Campaigning? These goons will do anything to stay on the frontpage.

  9. Will the forum send representatives to Palestine and Israeli peace talks. It appear they are more concerned about Muslims in Palestine. What about the Muslims killed in Syria, Somalia and Egypt. Why not we ban airlines from other countries who are killing Muslims. It is funny when we allow Israelis and Jews as our guests in our hotels, so long as they use another airline.

  10. I have Palestinian friends who intend to travel to Maldives. The only airline they can travel is El Al. Are we going to deny Muslim Palestinians to visit Maldives as well.

  11. Lost for words here too. After spending thousands of dollars for their education and many years at it, is this all we can get out of these guys?

    One can only wish for a time when real Islamic scholars advanced the frontiers of medicine, astronomy, mathematics and much more. The ones we've got seem to have come out of stone age Madhrasaas.

    I can only assume that this is due to the fact that those who go on to study "religion" have already failed in the more traditional areas of study, hence, are already in the lower quartiles in terms of IQ. Their brains seem to be no match for the more complex questions of matters of relevance.

    I'm really shocked...

  12. When is Mullahs symposium about how to fart, yawn, poop, have sex, cough and blow jobs? Do we call these moron scholars what a shame education…..?

  13. Phew! so glad we have that covered, answers a lot of questions that has been worrying me of late.

  14. "This is madness!" is a famous line in the movie 300, where the character who said this was brutally kicked into a dark pit for making a fatal mistake. The mistake was to not accept reality, being intolerant and try to impose upon others by making unreasonable demands.

    It is a good idea to promote amputations flogging. When half this country goes handless, maybe the robberies so audaciously and openly committed will stop.

    Also if alcohol, drugs are prohibited, why is it that the youth of this country are so depressingly addicted to the same? Is it a release from the overbearing intolerant atmosphere advocated by unthinking fundamentalists? Maybe it is.

    To all those indulging in "Jew" calling and "garroting on the spot". Sirs, not only do you betray your ignorance, you also drive away all those who respect humanity, who would help and and respect you when you are in trouble without thought to your religious leanings. You also drive away all those who may be interested in the beautiful religion of Islam, at least in this country. Why would anyone give his life to an interpretation that makes enemies of the world, at the cost of commonsence, logic , growth and development?

    Everytime you harangue and shout, you destroy your own future. And the repercussions will be seen on Maldive's economy soon. Any idiot can see that.

    And let me tell you now, that the idiots who claim to protect the values of this country will shout even louder and more nonsense in their mindless panic, because they shut their eyes, and refused to understand the problems of this country long ago.

    There are many who want to help this country, and it is help given gladly, in the interest of humanity. While religion is important, it is not the only thing which tells us the difference between right and wrong.

  15. No courage to call Isreal flight to stop
    No courage to call n bane alcoholic in maldives
    No courage to call n bane spa's in Maldives.

    oh my god. sheikhs are already BEETHAADU.

  16. We should elect or appoint an Adhaalatullah Maumoonie as the leader of the pack. This position can be replaced by new Adhaalatullas in time.

  17. And that's when the quran began to be legally edited and abrogated, just like the christians did in the dark ages.

    The end.

  18. They didn't discuss about bringing religious freedom in the Maldives. I think that was a more contentious issue for the country than saying Qunooth on morning prayers.

  19. Much like how the church fought against science, here we see a bunch of scholars denying the obvious facts about what islam religion is today in our society.

    Why aren't they addressing the issue of extremism and our disturbing connections to pakistan.

    Why are maldivians being taken to be recruited as terrorists.

    What does it really mean to be moderate or medhu min as our president is proposing.

    Why is there so much wide use of alcohol, child abuse and adultery amongst us even when we practice religion.

    Instead of addressing these issues and any other issue of concern, scholars talked about qunooth, facing a pillar while praying???

    how lost are these scholars and out of touch from reality?

  20. I want to repeat one comment here "I can only laugh!!! Are these the so called contentious issues in this country!" LOL

  21. @ shaikh imran abdulla, maa majaa lhai eh dho thee. You think you are very funny.


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