Somaliland:Top Islamic Scholar Expelled from Religious Body for Instigating Gender Debate

By Goth Mohamed Goth

The Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention of Vice(CPVPV) Chairman Sheikh Mohamed Mohamud aka Xiiray has being dismissed from his position after the scholar hard-pressed his case on the issue of gender equality on the amount of manslaughter blood money.

More than 20 Islamic clerics converged at the ministry of religious where they issued a joint statement on the renowned Somaliland scholar in which they dismissed him as the chairman of Committee for the Promotion of Virtue and the Prevention because he refused to retract his views on the issue hence being in contradictions with the teachings of Prophet Muhammad’s peace be upon him

For almost 20 day today, Sheik Xiiiraye is said to have unwaveringly urged with fellow Islamic clerics based in the country regarding the in which he said to have challenged fellow to either prove him wrong or otherwise seek the intervention of other Islamic scholars based outside the country since to him they seemed not to have sufficient knowledge on the issue but instead his fellow scholars decided to expel him in a widely publicized press conference aired live on Somaliland national Television and some even went to the extent of accusing him of Blasphemy during the live transmission others likened him to the late dictator General Mohamed Said Barre and so forth.

On the other hand Chairman Sheikh Mohamed Mahmoud in a private press conference yesterday just few hours after his expulsion began by reading a recitation from the holy Quran  

We have prescribed for thee therein ‘a life for a life, and an eye for an eye, and a nose for a nose, and an ear for an ear, and a tooth for a tooth, and for wounds retaliation;’ but whoso remits it, it is an expiation for him, but he whoso will not judge by what Allah has revealed, these be the unjust.[1] Surat al-Ma`idah 5:45

After reciting the verse he went on to clearly state that there is no evidence backing that the compensation paid for mistakenly killing a woman should be half that for a slaughtered man.

“No evidence in the Noble Qur’an support s such arguments on discrimination drawn between men and women in that regard.”quoting Sheikh Qaradawi’prominent Muslim scholar, who is also head of the International Association of Muslim Scholars (IAMS)

Sheik Xiiraye went on to say , ” i have been modarete in my teaching those in the 10 years i have been living in the country and thats why they want to see me go, i have numerous times in the past urged them not to teach young children how to be come radicals in their religious schools but instead to teach the youth to be tolerant to others and because of such believes i have earned many enemies along the way.

The Islamic Scholar added, “Those against me have their own agendas and that’s why they have ousted me today but still I shall stand firm in my  believes.

Here is a similar case which took place in the Islamic nearly a one decade ago

DOHA, (IslamOnline.net) – Prominent Muslim scholar Yusuf al-Qaradawi pressed for gender equality on the amount of manslaughter blood money.

Qaradawi said during a forum in Qatar’s Supreme Council for Family Affairs on Wednesday, December 22, that there is no evidence backing that the compensation paid for mistakenly killing a woman should be half that for a slaughtered man.

“No evidence in the Noble Qur’an supports such arguments on discrimination drawn between men and women in that regard.”

The prominent Muslim scholar, who is also head of the International Association of Muslim Scholars (IAMS), said earlier generations of scholars such as Ibn Alia and Al-Aasam used to pay equal blood money to compensate the families of those killed regardless of their gender.

Not as Inheritance

Sheikh Qaradawi further rejected that the blood money issue should be dealt with as that of inheritance – where women get half that offered to men of the legacy of their dead relatives.

“Still, there are many inheritance cases in which women are paid equally as men.”

Sheikh Qaradawi refuted claims that men are paid double the amount presented to women due to men’s responsibility for their families.

“Islamic Shari`ah doesn’t state this. Rather, we see a little kid is paid equally as to an old man, and a porter as a professor – with no discrimination whatsoever.”

Known for his moderate edicts and widely-respected views, Sheikh Qaradawi maintained that reconsideration of the women’s share of blood money would be an honor for women.

He called on the government of Qatar, where the Egyptian scholar now stays, to put his recommendation into action.

Agreement

Sheikh Qaradawi’s call was welcomed by a host of prominent scholars attending the forum.

Chief among them are Qatari participants Sheikh Abdul Kadir bin Muhammad al-Amari, the former deputy chief of the Appeal Court, professor Aisha al-Mannaa, the dean of the Shari`ah faculty of Qatar University, and her colleague professor Mohamed Othman Shber.

Al-Mannaa said review of women’s share of bloody money would be seen as an effort to promote women rights.

Shber concurred, saying these days are completely different from earlier eras when opinions on women’s blood money share were given.

Salem Rashid al-Marrekhi, member of the national human rights committee in Qatar, hailed the scholars’ stance on equalizing women’s share of blood money as a boost of human rights in the Islamic world.

“Human rights laws don’t strike a difference between between males and females.”

Disagreement

However, a cohort of Muslim scholars voiced opposition to equalizing men and women on the blood money share.

“The four madhhabs (religious schools) have agreed on paying half share of blood money to women,” said Saleh bin Jassem Al Muhanadi, head of the first class court.

He urged to take into account men’s financial burdens when tackling the issue of women’s blood money share.

“Men pay dowry and are totally responsible for their families, burdens that women are exempted of.”

More Studies

Other Muslim scholars pressed for conducting more studies on the issue of women’s share of blood money.

Dr. Thaqeel bin Sayer al-Shamry of the Court of Cassation said the issue requires deep examination, warning against hasty decisions on what he calls a thorny territory.

Shamry believed that scholars advocating equal blood money to men and women have used weak hadith (Prophet Muhammad’s sayings).

The forum comes following mounting calls to introduce amendments to the Qatari law on women’s blood money share which states that families of killed women are paid half that to killed men as a settlement to potential disputes over the killings.

The Supreme Council for Family Affairs which hosted the lecture was established in 1998 under the presidency of Sheikha Mozah bint Nasser Al-Misnad, Qatar’s First Lady.

The Council has been a scene of several gatherings on family issues, latest of which was the Doha International Conference for Family, held on November 29-30.

 

 

 

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