Of Mullahs & Mullahism

“Say, [O Muhammad], “Shall we [believers] inform you of the greatest losers as to [their] deeds?

[They are] those whose effort is lost in worldly life, while they think that they are doing well in work.”

(Holy Quran 18: 103-104)


Mullah is derived from the word Mawla. The term mullah is primarily understood in the Muslim world as a term of respect for an educated religious man.

It is sometimes used in a derogatory and humorous form, to mock religious men who themselves don’t seem to be acting upon the religion.

The term has not been used without reason as I have highlighted in the blog. The description here is not about true & righteous preachers (Maulana/Ulema Haq). Here the Ulema Soo/Mullah and their blind followers are addressed:

“The Holy Prophets (PBUH) said that the people will see a time when Islam will remain only in name and the Qur’an will be found only in writing. The mosques will seem to be occupied but they will be bereft of guidance. The Ulama will be the worst of all people under the sky and mischief will emanate from them and return to them.” (Mishkat)

1. Spreading Sectarianism

Many of us have been at their sermons, sowing the seeds of sectarianism; calling each others as Kafir (disbelievers), biddati (innovators), Mushrik and what not. They will continue to give countless references throughout in proving their point and even raise slogans in this regard. Only their own sect is supposedly Muslim while all others are disbelievers.

They are barelvi, deobandi, shia etc and then there are further sub-sects of each of these. Some are also divided based upon which group or party they belong to or represent (Tableeghi Jamaat, Jamaati Islami, Sunni Tehreek, Tahreek Jaafria etc)

They even go the extent of inciting to kill one another!

2. Arguing & Fighting over Petty Issues

They continue to argue over small matters e.g. what should be the correct length of the beard, the shalvar should not hang below the ankles, taraveeh should be 8 or 20 in number, should one wear a cap in prayer or not, and countless other minor issues. Many end up issuing fatwas, that your prayer has not been accepted etc, as if it was their God-given right to decide such a matter!

Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said that the difference of opinion in my Ummah is a blessing.

And this is not the time to be fighting over such petty issues at a time when the Muslim Ummah is faced with much bigger crisis. History has seen that Muslims were defeated and taken over while they were busy fighting over such small issues.

3. Fatwah factories

After having learned a few Quranic verses & Ahadith, they now become eligible to give any Fatwah (Islamic judgment over an issue).

They can issue any Fatwah as they please whenever & wherever they want and most of the time according to their own whims, based upon the very limited knowledge they have of Islam & its teachings.

4. Become the Thekaydar (Supreme owners, guardians) of religion

Ultimately they become the thekaydar (supreme owners) of the religion; that no one can overrule them no matter what the proof he gives and no matter how more knowledgeable the other person may be.

No other person except them can issue a ruling or a Fatwah /judgment on any issue

5. Monopoly over mosques

These people have full monopoly & control of their mosques basically divided on sectarian bases. Often boards or signs are displayed outside the mosque that this mosque belongs to ………… sect. This often means only followers of that sect are welcome and/or the person should pray accordingly.

Sometimes they also fight, argue & eventually capture each other mosques.

This is because they get to have full liberty of use of the mosques & its loudspeaker to spread sectarianism & their agenda to divide the masses. This is also for other purposes including collecting funds for various activities which again are often sectarian-based.

Hate literature is distributed outside the mosques against other sects.

6. Spread radicalism, extremism, religious fanaticism

They sow seeds of extremism and fanaticism in their followers through their emotionally charged speeches. They are very rigid in their beliefs. They and/or their followers become so much radicalized that they are willing to lay down their lives for paltry reasons without looking, assessing or analyzing the situation or the religion themselves.

The ‘Yankee Jihad’ in Syria is an example of this fanaticism, then TTP and now ISIS, which was formed by the Zionists, has been to some extent successful in recruiting such religious extremists misguided by such mullahs.

7.  Spread intolerance, hatred, disunity

They incite their followers to hatred & intolerance. They are intolerant, use abusive language, abusive of their ‘opponents’ who also ‘unfortunately’ happen to be Muslims according to state laws, otherwise God knows what they would do with them.

They often give hate sermons & spread disunity. This is often based on the assumption that they and only they are right and all others are wrong. They believe they have been given this duty to correct all the other sects or at least keep their own followers ‘rightly guided’ so that they don’t go ‘astray’. As mentioned they also spread hate literature among their followers.

They and their sermons incite ignorant masses to take the laws into their own hands, for example killing people for blasphemy without trial; now any Tom, Dick or Harry or group of lunatics can go about and kill anyone they wish with the label of blasphemy, without any legal trial.

Blasphemy should be punishable but there are certain conditions (e.g. intentional, repetitive, un-repenting etc) and order should be passed and carried out by courts!

This has been expressed several times. Read blog below for details:


They even have no unity among themselves. One sect makes a demand while others remain quiet, and next time another sect make the same demand while all others remain quiet.

7. Willing to die for Islam but seldom practice Islam themselves

Most are ‘willing’ to lay down their lives for the Holy Prophet (PBUH) & his companions (RA) but few of them act according the lives of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) and his companions.

Many believe that love for the Prophet (PBUH) & his companions is enough to earn salvation & that whatever else they do is irrelevant & will be forgiven. Often this is the message conveyed to their followers as well.

8. Embarrassment for Muslims

Often because of their illiterate & immature activities, they cause an embarrassment to Muslims in Pakistan and around the world; especially when they are doing it in the name of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) & his companions (RA).The Islam that they sometimes represent is quite contrary to true Islam which is a religion of peace, love & tolerance.

And of course it gives some point scoring for the liberal seculars and something to laugh at about Islam & Islamists.

9. Jealousy

Some of these preachers are simply jealous of one another and try to put down others, do leg pulling & backbiting etc just due to jealousy of other scholars of other or even same sect.

10. Look down upon women

Many of these people judge women by the dress they wear. They don’t let them out of their homes even when it is absolutely necessary.


a) Lack of modern education (English, scientific, computer, civics, economics etc)

b) Lack of sufficient Islamic knowledge:

As famous scholar Sheikh Imran Hosein would put it: These clergy are busy ‘eating Daal, Roti  & Channa’ or eating Halva as we say here.

Our religious scholars were unable to recognize the evils of the Brettonwoods agreement, the Petrodollar & paper money

They don’t know criteria for revolt against a Muslim ruler and get   themselves and/or their followers involved in wrong methods of registering protests as was witnessed at Lal Masjid in Islamabad and this time around at D-Chowk

Plus they also wrongly guide people, so that their followers join TTP, ISIS etc

They incited people to take the law in their hands not knowing that evidence is required in Islamic jurisdiction

c) Political & personal gains

It is believed and often confirmed that many of these mullahs, especially at higher level, are being used for political purposes by political parties and/or funded by western  or other anti-state agencies to spread havoc, chaos through sectarian divide & spreading intolerance or through TTP & ISIS.

d) Poverty; corruption; easily bought; collecting funds (chanda)

e) Unaware of politics/political Islam

f) Sectarian upbringing and prejudiced since birth

g) Misuse of loudspeakers


a) Education: Minimum BA/MA qualification should be set to become a preacher in a mosque

It is not surprising that the biggest & world’s most renowned Islamic scholars since the last century have mainly been educated intellectuals e.g. Maulana Maududi, Sayyed Qutb, Sheikh Hassan-ul-Banna, Sheikh Ahmad Deedat, late     Dr. Israr Ahmad, Dr. Zakir Naik, Mr. Imran Hosein, Dr. Bilal Philips, Mr.Nauman Ali Khan, Mr. Yasir Qadhi etc

b) Mandatory workshops to be attended to give the message of unity & education about politics & political Islam including about TTP & ISIS.

c) Punishment for spreading hatred, sectarianism, extremism, intolerance

d) Lay down certain standard criteria for Friday sermons

e) Forbid use of loudspeakers for spreading hatred, sectarianism & intolerance

f) Auditing of where the money given by the public to containers in mosques or directly to these preachers is spent. This is to ensure money is not being spent on illegal, political, anti-state or even personal purpose beyond that is necessary.

g) They should be checked for their extracurricular activities including political affiliation or for any links with foreign or anti-state agencies

h) Society should try to become independent/less reliant on these clergy: 

Every Muslim especially those who go regularly to mosques should know how to give the Azan (call to prayer) &how to lead prayers. Some may also be able to give the Friday sermon.

Similarly all Muslims should be able to themselves teach the Quran to their children instead of calling the clergy who are often reported of grievous offences (including sexual) against the innocent children

We should be able to know how to say Azan in new born baby’s ears, how to make dua at various occasions & we should all be able to recite a few verses of the Holy Quran when required at functions, gatherings etc. Every Muslims should also know how to lead the funeral prayers.

Holy Quran & different interpretations of Holy Quran & and all the authentic books of Ahadith are available online. Similarly vast amount of Islamic knowledge is available online from renowned scholars e.g. Dr Zakir Naik, Sheikh Imran Hosein, late Dr Israr Ahad marhoom etc

There are many other ways in which we can decrease our reliance upon the clergy.

Also read:

Hold Fast to the Rope of Allah

Wa ma alaina illal balagh ul mubeen.


2 thoughts on “Of Mullahs & Mullahism

  1. Dr. Sahib can you make this blog in Urdu also that will be more effective to bring your message to a majority of people neither can read English nor ready to remove this hurdle.

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