Would you want your son to be a Mullah?

I know a man who has studied Islam extensively. He has trained at the Binnoria Madressah in Karachi and has an M.A. degree in Islamiat from there (the degree is recognized by the government). But the poor chap doesn’t earn enough to support his family (he has two children after eight years of marriage). He teaches at an Islamic school which pays him only Rs. 4,500 p.m. (although the government recently increased the minimum wage to Rs. 6,000 p.m.). He is paid Rs. 3,500 for leading prayers in a small mosque, and he earns another Rs. 2,000 by teaching children how to recite the Holy Quran. But out of his total income of Rs. 10,000, he has to pay rent of Rs. 5,000 every month. That leaves him with only Rs. 5,000 for feeding his family, transportation, electricity and gas bills, etc. Obviously he cannot survive for long. His wife has left him and gone back to her parents because she cannot go on washing clothes and dishes herself every day while raising two children.

The poor man is therefore helpless, and is constantly asking friends and relatives to help him. There must be thousands of people like him in Pakistan. Knowing all these facts, would any man reading this want his son to be trained as a Mullah?


10 thoughts on “Would you want your son to be a Mullah?”

  1. But I guess you have just blown your own horn. The fact that you helped him or gave him charity (albeit not zakat) takes away as much from my original assertion as the statement “I’m not racist, I helped raise money for Colin Powel.” It’s neither here nor there.
    As for which trades make one independent of others, I’m afraid there are very few, including welding. You could also feel sorry for the fledging and failing artist, but you didn’t feel the need to write a derogatory column about such a person.
    To each his own, though I know how hard it is to admit one is prejudiced.

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  2. Mr. Urooj, I did not want to say this before (since one should not brag about one’s charity to others), but let me tell you that I have helped this mullah a lot. I will not say how much I have given him, or how much I’m still giving him, so please don’t jump to conclusions. And I’m not giving him zakaat, because he says he is not entitled to it. I admire this guy, but I still feel he should have learnt some other trade, like welding for instance. That way he wouldn’t have been dependent on others.

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  3. I’m amazed at how much hate you have for the poor chaps. They are like us, living in a world where not only is it hard to make ends meet, but people look down on them (people like you for instance). Rather than sitting here talking about how you don’t want your child to be a Mullah (and everyone knows you use it in a derogatory way), and how the Mullah would’ve fathered ten children cos that’s what they do (again quite “unbiased” of you), try to get rid of your prejudice and do something to help make this society a more tolerant one.
    Even doctors can’t make ends meet (not all that is) so why not proclaim the futility of becoming one? Lawyers, ditto. Teachers, ditto. What’s your point any way? Other than of course degrading this poor man’s choice of becoming a “mullah”?

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  4. Mr. Hussain, it’s not practical to shut down all the madressahs right away, but the government should slowly close them one by one. The madressah students should by given practical training by employing them in factories (a certain quota of all factory workers-say 5%-should be reserved for ex-madressah students). Providing religious education should ultimately be the responsibility of the state, which should introduce a uniform syllabus for all students (this was the practice when I was a student in the fifties).

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  5. So Mr. Lakhani, I agree with you that no “practical” subjects are taught at madrassahs. So what do we do? abolish madrassahs? regulate them? force them to teach practical skills in addition to religious subjects? What do you think?

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  6. Studying in madressahs is responsible for poverty, because madressahs don’t teach any practical subjects. Madressah graduates are good only for talking about religious topics, they can’t do anything else.

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  7. There are millions of people in Pakistan who are living under poverty line and have social problems, they are not mullahs.
    So please don’t relate studing in islamic madrassas to not earning well.

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  8. People don’t become mullahs because their parents want them to.

    Due to sheer poverty, parents are forced to put their children in madrassas that offer free food.

    I’m glad he only has 2 children

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