Qadria Muslim Association of Malawi (Qmam) has said it will discipline sheikhs who recently announced at a press briefing in Zomba that the association has endorsed the proposed Termination of Pregnancy Bill.
Addressing journalists last week, Qadria Muslim Ulamah Council vice-chairperson Sheikh Omar Jimu Sulaimana said there is need for the country’s Constitution to stipulate exceptional instances where safe abortion can be administered to women and girls.
But, in an interview last Saturday, Qmam publicity secretary Sheikh Jaafar Kawinga said they met last Thursday and agreed to summon Sulaimana for the remarks he made.
“That stand does not represent Qmam. In fact, we are meeting on Thursday to discipline Sulaimana and his friends,” he said.
In a press statement signed by Qmam secretary general Osman Karim and issued last Wednesday, he states that Islamic teachings are against abortion.
“Abortion remains a major sin which one should repent from and seek Allah’s forgiveness. Allah Almighty says in the Qur’an ‘And do not kill the soul whom Allah has forbidden except by right,” reads the statement, in part.
But when Nation on Sunday sought his reaction, Sulaimana insisted that he stands by what he said in Zomba.
“We take this stand guided by the Islamic principles which, among others, is the doctrine of necessity that makes something lawful which was otherwise prohibited, including removing injury,” he was quoted as telling journalists last week.
The Termination of Pregnancy Bill was supposed to be tabled in the last sitting of Parliament, but was postponed to February next year because, according to Parliamentary Committee on Health chairperson Matthews Ngwale, most legislators did not understand it.
The Penal Code criminalises abortion, only permitting it as a remedy to save the life of the mother.