Unity of the local Ulama imperative

By Masiding Noor Yahya

“And hold fast, all of you together, to the Rope of Allah (i.e. this Quran), and be not divided among yourselves…” Al-Imran 103

The Ulama in Lanao is among the most divided sectors in the Bangsamoro region. They are bickering on aspects of spirituality. Perhaps, this is one reason why they are also dissolutely divided on politics.

They are running for local elective posts against each other giving them no chance of winning against the strongly rooted traditional politicians. One cause is, unsurprisingly, people don’t vote for those whom they think are losing.

On aspects of spirituality, they don’t agree on when to start the fast during the month of Ramadan or when to break it. They bicker on whether celebrating Mawliden Nabee is allowed or not. They differ on many other religious views.

The discord among the Ulama is a sad reality. It teaches the Muslims to be disunited that contradicts tawhid (Unity) as a basis of Islamic faith. “And hold fast, all of you together, to the Rope of Allah, and be not divided among yourselves…” Al-Imran 103

Furthermore, it contributes to the impediment of development and progress of the Bangsamoro people, especially in localities of which majority are Muslims like Lanao. The Ulama is said to be representatives of Prophet Muhammad and serve as models for emulation.

Now there is an attempt by a new member of Parliament (MP) of the Bangsamoro government to help unite the Ulama in Lanao in order to strengthen their role for both spiritual and economic upliftment as prerequisite to the development of their homeland.

Newly appointed MP Abdulazis Amenoden told the Philippine Muslim Today news that with the support of his colleagues in the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA) as well as other fellow Ulama and professionals, he will try to help in uniting the Ulama in Lanao.

MP Amenoden said the Ulama should stop disputing with each other. “They should set aside differences and unite to work for the common good of the Ummah as they are enjoined by Allah swt,” he added.

MP Amenoden is an aleem himself who completed his Islamic studies abroad. He was appointed by President Ferdinand Marcos Jr. as a new member of the extended BTA representing the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) headed by its founding chairman, Prof. Nur Misuari.

The attempt of Aleem Amenoden is a noble effort. If he succeeds in uniting the Ulama in Lanao, it is a big boost for fostering unity among the Bangsamoro sectors, especially the leaders, that may fast-track development in the region.

It is expected that the convergence among the local Ulama for the aspired unity is expected to be held in November or December this year. Let’s pray for its success; for its success is a success of our people. (MNY)

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