Islamic Minister calls on state to withdraw all cases against religious scholars

Minister of Islamic Affairs Sheikh Mohamed Shaheem Ali has called on the state to withdraw all court cases filed against Islamic scholars during past administrations.

“The cases filed against scholars during past administrations often involve charges for preaching religious advice without permits,” Shaheem told local media SunOnline.

“There are some charges previously filed against certain scholars, for example Sheikh [Ibrahim] Fareed. The charges against him are for preaching without a permit. I have spoken with Sheikh Fareed about this matter. In my capacity as Islamic minister, I call on the relevant authorities of the government to withdraw cases like this. These are very hurtful charges. Such charges should not be allowed to be levied against university educated, capable scholars, especially not under the current constitution,” Shaheem said.

Shaheem said that in a time where freedom to preach religion is exercised so freely, it is the duty of scholars to “invite people to religion to the extent of their capabilities” and that they should be granted that freedom as long as they do not make any statement which goes against Islam.

“Now, if they start giving out ‘fatwa’s, giving out judgements on what is ‘haram’ or ‘halal’ and speaking against the principles of Sharia, then action against them can be taken under the Religious Unity Act. I, however, cannot agree that there must be charges against someone for simple religious preaching, like asking people to go pray or pay alms,” Shaheem stated.

Speaking about scholars who held different views on religious matters, Shaheem said that such differences should be sorted through peaceful dialogue, and not through jail sentences and torture.

The Ministry of Islamic Affairs has previously held meetings to resolve dissenting opinions on religious matters, under the name of ‘Scholar’s Dialogue’.

Shaheem was travelling and unable to speak at the time of press.


Maldives “on the tip of a dark cloud of hatred”, warns Sheikh Fareed

Prominent religious scholar Sheikh Ibrahim Fareed has given a sermon denouncing Friday’s planned protest, on the grounds that “it will be the blood of fellow Muslim brothers flowing down the roads.”

Islam did not preach unrest and violence, Sheikh Fareed said, and it was not honoring Islam if Muslims should clash with Muslims in the name of protecting it.

He said that the Maldives was currently “on the tip of a dark cloud of hatred”, and warned about aggressive activities that might take place during the December 23 event, calling on people not to destroy property, or damage the sanctity and good name of another Muslim.

Sheikh Fareed referred to 2;11,12 of the Quran which states: ‘’ When it is said to them: “Make not mischief on the earth,” they say: “Why, we only Want to make peace!” Of a surety, they are the ones who make mischief, but they realise (it) not.’’

According to Sheikh Fareed, Anas Radi allah Anha narrated that the Prophet [PBUH] said ‘’Be patient, there will come a time, where the time that comes after that time will be worse than the other, until you shall meet your god [judgement day].’’

He called not to give space for disputes and to try and make peace instead, and called for people to “protect our wives and children from danger rather than feeding wood to a burning fire.”

He said that everyone will have to be accountable to Allah, and reminded that there were two angels that keep writing all good and bad deeds including the words we say.

Sheikh Fareed said that this life was not eternal and that everyone has to believe that “we might have close our eyes for the last time at any moment.”

‘’Then comes the time you feel bad about how you lived and start crying, although you did not want to leave you had to. Then you will be amazed of the persons that come to question you. Indeed, with a strong voice they will question you,’’ Shaiekh Fareed said. ‘’The persons that encouraged you to destroy people’s property and to damage the good name of others will not be there.’’

He added that the deeds people committed in this world “will be the only thing they will have.”

Sheikh Fared further said it was regrettable to hear of the news that two Muslim groups were to confront with each other.


Sheikh Fareed claims judges are bribed

Sheikh Ibrahim Fareed has called upon judges to be fair when issuing sentences, reports Miadhu.

During a lecture entitled ‘To Whom Hellfire is Calling’, held on Friday night at the artificial beach, Sheikh Fareed alleged some judges were being bribed and ruling against their conscience despite overwhelming evidence.

Sheikh Fareed said that without a fair judiciary many social illnesses would be inflicted on society, which would result in punishment from God.

Sheikh Fareed also said talking about politics and ‘wasting time’ were useless, and that the time should be used for productive causes.