By ROCAYA SUMNDAD OTICAL YAHYA
MARAWI CITY, Lanao del Sur – Over 200 Ulama (Islamic scholars) of Lanao have convened here recently to strengthen cooperation and solidarity among themselves and become better partners for peace and development towards a prosperous Bangsamoro.
Attending the “First Consultative Conference for Cooperation and Solidarity among Ulama of Lanao” held on Saturday, Nov. 26, the religious leaders and scholars coming from different municipalities in the province have also vowed to exert efforts to be of help to the Bangsamoro government.
The conference was held under the auspices of the Office of Member of Parliament (MP) Alim Abdulaziz M. Amenoden, a new member of the Bangsamoro Transition Authority (BTA), representing Nur Misuari’s faction of the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF).
It was facilitated by a technical working group (TWG) composed of independent Ulama led by Dr. Anwar Radiamoda, director of the Mindanao State University (MSU) Sharia Center.
In an interview, MP Amenoden said the valuable contribution of the Ulama sector in the Bangsamoro governance is less recognized for some impediments which he hoped to be alleviated. He said they should be informed about the essence of unity in developing the region of BARMM.
Amenoden cited, among others, the civil service eligibility that many Ulama do not possess.
“Despite having completed good education from renowned universities or higher educational institutions abroad, and even locally, they could not qualify for government employment due to lack of eligibility,” he stressed.
He said the Ulama have special expertise beneficially needed in running the affairs of governance in such matters as Islamic banking and finance, Zaqah and Awqaf, and other Islamic concerns, among others.
Amenoden said they intend to hold similar conferences of Ulama for the Maguindanao provinces, the island provinces of Basilan, Sulu and Tawi-Tawi and the areas outside BARMM where there are also a considerable number of Ulama.
When asked on where to get funding for these activities, Amenoden said there is a specified amount for consultation allotted from his monthly budget as MP. He said he would spend this amount for Ulama consultations. Amenoden is an Ulama himself having completed his Islamic education in Jordan.
“This way, we do not only hear their sentiments and aspirations but also their suggestions as learned in Islamic religion and way of life to make a better Bangsamoro,” the MP said.
“We want to help our Ulama to fully participate in the BARMM to benefit from their valuable knowledge, wisdom, experts and experiences,” added Amenoden.
Madaris education Director General Taher G. Nalg of the Ministry of Basic, Higher and Technical Education (MBHTE) personally graced his presence as guest speaker of the consultative conference.
DG Nalg promised his support for the development of traditional madrasah in the Bangsamoro region and other concern in Islamic education and is glad for the initiative of Amenoden. “MP Amenoden is one of the pillars of unity in Bangsamoro,” he added.
The Technical Working Group (TWG) who facilitated the event include as its members Dr. Anwar Radiamoda (lead convenor), Dr. Abdussalam Disomimba, Shaykh Taib Pangca, Shayk Abdurrahman Abdussamad, Shayk Grand Imam Abdulmajid Diamla, Shayk Hassanor Alapa, and Prof. Paladan Badron, among others. (With story from Masiding Noor Yahya/PMT)