Ummah’s Scholars meet Afghan Minister of Hajj and Guidance in Kabul
As a follow-up to the series of meetings by the delegation of the Ummah’s scholars visiting Afghanistan under the leadership of International Islamic Fiqh Academy, the delegation met with a prominent religious leader in Afghanistan, H. E. Sheikh Mawlawi Muhammad Noor Saqib, former President of the Supreme Court and currently Minister of Hajj, Awqaf and Guidance. The meeting was held on Sunday 17 Safar 1445, corresponding to 3 September 2023, at the delegation’s residence in the Afghan capital, Kabul.
H.E. Prof. Koutoub Moustapha Sano, Secretary General of the Academy, delivered the delegation’s opening speech, expressing gratitude and appreciation for the warm welcome and hospitality, and congratulating the current authority for ensuring security and stability in all the provinces of Afghanistan.
The delegation also welcomed the Afghan authorities’ decision to open religious schools at all levels for girls and boys, having noticed that girls from primary, middle and secondary schools were walking the streets of Kabul with schoolbags on their backs. His Excellency explained that the delegation was looking forward to seeing female students resume their studies at university, in various scientific fields, as well as in Islamic studies, as education, in its religious and worldly aspects, at all levels, as prescribed by Sharia law, is a sacred right for women and men, and it is not permissible to deprive either of them of it under any pretext whatsoever, as education in Islam takes precedence over everything else, without exception. His Excellency affirmed the delegation’s confidence in the Honourable Minister to play this noble role of advice, guidance, and leadership, considering the Minister’s scientific and professional position and solid experience in religious and world sciences.
His Excellency pointed out that the suspension of girls’ and boys’ studies to prevent them from mixing and not wearing the hijab can be resolved by an educational system that is based on the separation of girls and boys, where boys’ and girls’ schools are separated, so that the causes of mixing are eliminated, just as the causes of non-adherence to the hijab are eliminated since, as is well known, it is not obligatory for a Muslim woman to wear the hijab in front of a woman, according to the four schools of law. His Excellency said that this system, based on the separation of women and men in schools and universities, is already in force in several Muslim countries, including Saudi Arabia and Kuwait, as well as in several scientific institutions such as Al-Azhar University. His Excellency concluded his speech by calling on the Afghan authorities to benefit from the experience and expertise of OIC member states in the field of educational programs that combine religious and worldly subjects, noting that discrimination between religious and worldly sciences is not based on Sharia law, as the Ummah needs not only religious scholars, but also scientists in worldly subjects. Accordingly, the scholars of the Ummah call on the current Afghan authorities to speed up the opening of universities to girls and women, and to teach scientific subjects alongside religious ones in schools, so that the Afghan people can prepare a fully-fledged generation capable of reforming the universe and achieving happiness in this world and the hereafter.
For his part, His Excellency the Minister expressed the Islamic Emirate’s great satisfaction at the visit of the delegation of scholars, thanking them for this second such visit in two years, as a confirmation and expression of the position of the Ummah’s scholars on the side of the Afghan people. May Allah reward them well. His Excellency then provided the delegation with further information on the Emirate’s achievements over the past two years in the areas of security, economy, and education. His Excellency also spoke of the difficulties and challenges facing the Afghan authority in various fields, particularly in education, given that the invaders have tried over several decades of occupation to brainwash the Afghan people into atheism and revolt against noble values and customs, fighting modesty and promoting immorality and decadence. This is why the Afghan authorities have temporarily suspended studies for girls, and did not eliminate it permanently, in order to prepare the atmosphere and develop programs that adhere to Islamic values and Afghan customs. His Excellency explained that the Afghan authorities are currently considering reopening studies for girls in certain necessary specializations, such as medicine and agriculture. The scholars of the delegation are therefore requested to understand the situation in Afghanistan, to continue to provide support and advice, and to repeat their visits. His Excellency also called on the Muslim world to support the Afghan people by providing help and support for the development of institutions, such as educational programs, textbook printing and other forms of support that enable the authorities to overcome financial difficulties after foreign aid was cancelled following the Taliban takeover.
A number of scholars were then given the floor to express their opinions, and they all appealed to the authority to act swiftly to enable Afghan girls and boys to receive an education, both religious and worldly, at all levels, in accordance with Sharia’s values and principles.
At the end of the meeting, His Excellency assured the delegation that he would safely convey the appeal of the Ummah’s scholars to the leadership of the Islamic Emirate, looking forward to a further meeting again with the scholars in the near future, in sha Allah.