‘Had he known Kashmiri Muslims are so divided within, he would never have visited’
Srinagar: Ismail ibn Musa Menk, also known as Mufti Menk, a Zimbabwean Islamic Scholar, has said that he did not visit Kashmir to divide the people or to solve any political matter or interfere or even comment.
A statement said that with the type of comments, abuse and threats received, he doubted he would ever consider visiting Kashmir again.
“Mufti Menk is not Kashmiri. While we all stand for the rights of Kashmiris since we were born, we are not aware of the finer details of Kashmiri politics or even the names and details of current or past politicians and what they do or the reputation of each one,” a statement issued here reads.
“Mufti Menk did not have a close relationship with any Kashmiris before his visit. He was simply asked while in Dubai if he would come over to officiate a Nikah. He immediately thought it would be a good opportunity to meet with Ulama and Muslims of Kashmir and get to know more about the conditions etc. He has visited many places in the same way. It is impossible to visit most places for Islamic lectures, due to local authorities etc, so a wedding ceremony is the next best thing in many cases.”
“He asked if the Nikah would be held in accordance with Islamic rules and it was confirmed. He flew for one and a half days at his own expense to Kashmir and immediately met with Ulama and as many members of the public who had previously emailed him on religious matters but based in Kashmir. This happened in an orderly fashion and people were very happy,” it said.
“There was some murdering of teachers that happened the day the Mufti Menk arrived so he didn’t go out at all. The next day too he met with some Ulama and members of the public. In the evening, he was taken to officiate the Nikah and didn’t spend much time there. He said a few words of advice and left immediately,” the statement said.
He spent a few hours that evening too with some Ulama who had come to see him, the statement said, adding that thereafter he left early in the morning. “Just as he flew out, he was told that there are some negative comments about why he visited the wrong people in Kashmir.”
Mufti Menk met more than 350 ordinary Kashmiris approximately and he hardly knew anyone, it added. “We still don’t know what the internal squabble is among the Muslims and definitely don’t know names of every politician and what he or she is accused of. Had he known in advance that Kashmiri Muslims are so divided within, he would never have visited.”
“With the type of comments, abuse and threats received, I doubt he would ever consider visiting Kashmir again. May Allah Almighty have mercy on the Ummah and guide those who are astray. There was no need to swear at our Mufti online and degrade him. People could have simply highlighted that our Mufti was totally unaware of who’s who in Kashmir and the reputation of each one, which is a fact.”
“Mufti Menk did not visit to divide the people or to solve any political matter or interfere or even comment. He simply wished to meet the Ulama and some members of the public to hear from them about their situation etc. May Allah Almighty protect us from Kashmiri gatherings. You never know who might be sitting next to you and the whole of Kashmir will begin to swear at you. And by the way, not a single penny was given to Mufti Menk. He doesn’t charge and doesn’t take money. He flies at his own expense. He has done the same with hundreds of poor families and he has sponsored many of their marriages.”