DO WE NEED ULAMA SUMMIT?

Abdul Hannan M. Tago

Muslim scholars “Ulama” have been playing pivotal role in shaping moral, peaceful and harmony society of a community and nation. They have a great influence on the youngsters and enjoy high respect of the people. The Almighty Allah S.W.T has placed them on a high level and status among mankind.

He said:

“Allah will raise those who have believed among you and those who were given knowledge, by degrees” (Mujadalah 11).

According to a Hadith, Ulama are the substitutes of the prophets as rule models not only for the youth but also for the matured including professionals who wish to seek knowledge on religious affairs.

In this context, they should maintain and reflect a high level of their educational background and wisdom. Yet, new graduates among them are more vulnerable to the influence of today’s state and current environment where competition is essential part for a certain goal including power, job opportunity or even to have more followers on a certain platform on social

New graduates returning from abroad find themselves jobless after obtaining degree abroad that opens the door for them to engage in religious debate on simple and sensitive issues that only senior scholars can tackle using (new graduates) social media platforms in their hatred exchange of comments.

Unfortunately, some of their argument goes beyond the tolerable edge. In many occasions, they became more personal attacks as we have seen recently on social media tarnishing their own reputation and what they represent, unfortunately our very own religion.

This has been a great concern of the senior Ulama and the society because of the increasing negative impact of those acts on the image of the religious leaders and the Muslim communities as followers. As such, open dialogue in decent and serious brotherly conference is needed to address this problem.

Lack of job opportunities also ignite new graduates (Arabic and Western education) to engage in a suspicious activity not necessarily knowing the political agenda behind it and the source of fund. Another important matter to be addressed is the extremism as a result of insufficient knowledge on the Islamic principle on tolerance and coexistence. As mentioned lack of opportunities where they can spend their time is a big

factor making them soft target for the extremism influence.

Mindanao State University (MSU) is the ideal place to host such important conference where modern knowledge, coexistence and tolerance are being in place.

The university where housing the King Faisal Islamic and Arabic Studies is a neutral venue for such important event. MSU has been part of the global peace advocacy while teaching moderate discipline and curriculum meant to produce highly educated, moral and peace-loving generation.

The summit should deal with the new graduates’ differences: Its roots and reason behind it, extremism and its solutions, coexistence and tolerance. It should also address the unemployment issue.

The summit shall identify the very cause of the subject matter and recommend sustainable solutions.

Strengthening and revisit the normal understanding among scholars with special focus on new graduates differences.

To establish a unified entity that would handle and organize a yearly or twice a year forum on the same issues.

To coordinate with relevant departments that would create training, job opportunities and livelihood for the youth and fresh graduates particularly Arabic-speaking graduates.

ABDUL HANNAN TAGO

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