The Imam Development Program has embarked on a project to empower Islamic clerics economically and socially.
Imam Development Program Director Billai Ismail announced this on the sidelines of a capacity building workshop on financial matters, public speaking and modern techniques in information dissemination for Sheiks in Salima.
Ismail said noting the low income most sheiks are earning in the country, his organisation has started an initiative of giving stipend of about 1500 South African Rands (about K95 000) on top of sheikhs’ salaries.
"As Imam Development we have started supporting few imams with extra financial support and engaging them in other activities just to empower them. However there is need for communities to join hands and start supporting Imams financially or in Kind," he said.
Ismail, therefore urged Muslims in the country to embrace the culture of supporting their clerics financially or in kind as many are wallowing in poverty.
He said sheikhs in Malawi do not receive enough salary hence the need for communities to start supporting them.
Sheikh Ismail Kazembe an Imam from Makanjira said most sheikhs struggle to make ends meet as they receive peanuts as their salaries which is not, he said does not tally with their workload.
"Imams have huge responsibilities such as leading congregations to conducting five times prayers every day, teaching at Madrassa, leading communities in funeral service, conducting wedding ceremonies among others. Looking at the tight schedule of sheikhs on their day to day activities it's difficult to leave their work and look for piece work for an extra earning," lamented Sheikh Kazembe.
The Imam Development Program was launched in April 2014, as a subsidiary project of Mercy Mission, with the aim of supporting currently employed Imams with the tools necessary to assist their communities more effectively.