30 June, 2022


Conundrum: ACJU & Its Self Proclaimed Authority

By Mohamed SR Nisthar –

Mohamed SR Nisthar

The above religious entity (ACJU) is said to be the oldest one for the Muslim populace in Sri Lanka. Selecting or electing its members are none of the people’s business. There is no transparency in their activities and accountability for their decisions. The title, Ullema ( scholars/ intellectuals) they carry, given by Madrasa (local Arabic Qur-an/religious schools) or in some cases through qualifications obtained in the sub continent or Middle-eastern Madrasas or(religious) Universities give them some sort of unregulated authority on the people’s religious affairs.

Unfortunately from the Mu’atheen (person who calls for prayers and deputises the Imam (conductor of prayers) to the Mufti (authorised person to deliver Fatwa (religious edict) all are regarded as Ullema by lay people. In this context what a (fake) Aalim (scholar) needs is to memorise some verses from the holy Qur-an and a few Hadeeth (compiled practices and sayings of Prophet Muhammad) regardless of Sunnah (actual practices, sayings and permission given by the Prophet) to earn a living, maintain fame and manipulate innocent people. So getting a certificate as an Aalim is good business for fake Ullema.

However, it’s a fiduciary duty for real Ullema, who enthusiastically learn Qur-an, Sunnah, Hadeeth, jurisprudence along with philosophy and other areas of knowledge, to do research, constantly quest for knowledge and guide society in the right path. Does the ACJU discharge this imperative task to the acceptable standard? My answer is No. My observations are:

While applauding the ACJU for tipping off the authorities in 2014 about the possible threat by extreme elements within the Muslim community and the very recent appeal to the possibly remaining culprits to surrender to the police, this cannot be taken as exoneration for the ACJU’s wrong doing.

ACJU’s political involvement: the ACJU were taken to a United Nations Human Rights session in Geneva by Rajapaksa regime with the support of the Muslim political parties stating that these non native Arab speakers could assist the Arab diplomats in the HR conference in Geneva. As we all know Arab diplomats are capable of speaking English and if they aren’t then in an international conference there are simultaneous translation facilities in place. Therefore the presence of these non native Arab speakers Is futile.

The conference was not to see whether the democratically elected government (?) of Sri Lanka or the Tamil tigers were right during the bloody civil war. It was purely to see whether there were any alleged breaches of Humanitarian law, human rights violations, war crimes, genocide claims by Tamil citizens of the country and to find a reconciliation mechanism. Therefore the ACJU went to Geneva for revenge against the Tamil tigers for the atrocities they did to Muslims. There was a failure to distinguish the difference between Tamil tigers and Tamil citizens of the country and the long time consequence of political ill feeling between Tamils and Moors (religiously Muslims).That was the threshold for me to point the finger at ACJU. I’m still respectfully asking the ACJU to say “sorry” to the Tamil community as this will heal a lot. Until that point the ACJU is meaningless for me.

The holy Qur-an says, if you are entrusted to deliver justice then do justice, even if it is against your parents, your children and you, the judge. You failed blatantly by attending HRC in Geneva.

ACJU’s financial activities: the ACJU without any expertise knowledge got involved in investment/savings banking in the past and miserably letdown the investors to their unrecoverable financial detriment.

ACJU’s Halaal(religiously permitted) certification on food and other commodities (?): this (ethical) business model has been in operation from America via Europe to the far East with the approval of respective governments or regulating authorities. But in Sri Lanka ACJU went overboard issuing Halaal Certification for broomsticks and soap! They failed humiliatingly

ACJU’s usual duty of Moon sighting: the HORIZON space probe has been travelling beyond planet Pluto with preset speed and time. No miscalculation. Following the precise calculations of NASA, Islamic organisations have been printing calendars for years and years to facilitate lunar based religious activity. Tracking past, current and next year’s lunar movements making life easy and there is no room for error. But the ACJU still sit for hours and after almost all their sittings confirm that there is no Moon sight therefore there is no fast and or no Eid (festival).

Just 23 km away from the Sri Lankan coast, the crescent Moon was seen in Tamil Nadu. This was not acceptable, because Tamil Nadu is not Sri Lankan territory, which is an appalling scholarly stance. What will happen if the territory beyond Vavunia is Tamil Ealam and below Vavunia is Sri Lanka. The border village of Vavunia will be in limbo if the Moon is sighted in Tamil Ealam. Failed again.

ACJU’s controversial MMDA reform: this piece of legislation was not Islamic nor totally religious. It was the practice of the coastal area Muslims since before the Portuguese colonised the area. And when the Dutch took control of the area they made it a legal document named “Mohamedian Code”, like Kandian Law and Thesawalamai, all are customary laws.

Therefore reform is a must to reflect the day and age like the Islamic jurisprudence was developed not by holy Qur-an or Prophet, but by the great scholars on the basis of Qur-anic guidance. So it is the present day duty of the scholars to develop it. The ACJU is a blockade to any development. In short they are not fit for the purpose.

ACJU’s would-be leader: who is the person in waiting to grab the chair of Mufti Rizvi, the head of ACJU? Mr. Ahgar Muhammad, who has positive views about our national flag, importance of cohesion among all citizens and respecting multi–culturism etc. However, his background is questionable. He is from Jamath-e-Islami. This organisation, among other things, provides free catarrh clinic for all citizens free of charge, encourages people to donate blood, offers vocational training for early school dropouts etc. But his former boss was one of the “Caliphate” promoters and possibly anti Western , regardless of whether what the West is doing is a good thing or bad. For him the West means an anathema, which is the mindset of “Boko Haraam” of Nigeria. And to get financial support , including for Catarrh clinics and free nose glasses, they keep changing allies. From Iran to Egypt to Turkey to Qatar. The respective countries’ political view is the view of this organisation, Jamath-e- Islami. A dangerous game inviting unwanted troubles.

The main concern for me is this group’s backdoor political ambition. The former chief of this religious organisation, Jamaath-e-Islami, Uzdhaath (teacher) Rasheed Hajjathul Akbar while condemning SLMC (Sri Lanka Muslim Congress ), ACMC (All Ceylon Makkal(people) Congress) and other fringe Muslim political parties, even though these parties deserve to be criticised from all angles, does not allow equally nefarious “new kids in the ring”, the NFGG (National Front for Good Governance) to be praised beyond limit before they are proved to be worthy for any credit. .

NFGG: surprisingly the National Organiser/General Secretary of the NFGG, Mr. Najaa Mohamed, has been an important member of the Jamaath-e-Islami and closely connected to Uzdhaath Hajjathul Akbar. The NFGG has not reached the majority Sinhalese or major minority Tamils. They place their horse on the Muslim (political) race course. I demanded them to openly declare if the NFGG is the (political) proxy of Jamaath-e-Islami. No direct response, but Jamaath-e-Ismami made the point that any citizen may have political affiliation of their own choice regardless of their religious belief. While accepting the above my question deserves a definite and concrete answer. Yes or No. The people’s right to know override your right to hide (in a private capacity). So the ACJU’s future hangs in the balance.

SLMC: from the inception of the party, a replica of former TULF – Tamil United Liberation Front, I have been a critic of the party simply foreseeing more chaos than solutions not only to the Muslim community, but to the whole country. However, before the pre meditated assassination of its leader late Mr. Ashrof, by a helicopter crash caused by an alleged technical fault, he offered a more mature political view of forming an inclusive NUA(National Unity Alliance). Unfortunately it has not materialised yet. Hence SLMC is a burden to the Muslim society.

ACMC: no actual or apparent difference from SLMC. The leader of the party is screwed by all types of people with vested interests. I only respect him as he confronted a TV presenter saying, “ I’m a minister of the Sri Lankan State and not a minister for Muslims. If anyone has a concern then go to the authority and make a complaint, let them investigate and bring charges against me.. If I’m found to be guilty then let the law does its duty. Until that point you media people behave responsibly”. I’m behind you Minister to find the truth, nothing but the truth.

My dear (Muslim) youngsters! you are our country’s future leaders and if you behave like our current clueless leaders you won’t see a stable country. Sri Lanka is going to be in the list of fragile states. How can you contribute to our motherland?

Stop listening to fake Ullema. Your reach to the wider world is in your hands. A smart phone can do all that is necessary. Stop participating in five star hotel Iftar (breaking fast), beach Iftar, swimming pool Iftar, high way Iftar etc. This Iftar nonsense (arranged by political parties for Muslims and non Muslims who do or don’t fast) can be observed by Donald Trump at the White House. Stop longing for free Saudi third class dates, tell them we have our Malwaane Peni Ramuttan or Kuttan Karrupity of Jaffna or pure water would do the job. Stop spending millions on rolls and “Kanchgi” for breaking fast. Divert the money to the churches demolished by the suicide bombers and send the money to the needy survivors and children affected.

Finally, youngsters for your 21st century problem we need 21st century answers. The below are the preferred list of committed Ullema, even though thousands upon thousands of ullema are in the arena from China to Argentina and North Pole to South pole, try my list. I’m not their agent or promoter but I found them to be credible for the job.

1. Mufti Abu Layth ( voice of reason) (based in the UK) he has answers to your questions from cosmos to quantum , same sex marriage to marital rape, your niqqab wearing to tattoo wearing, your mortgage to interest, cyber crime to suicide bombing, your religion to someone else religion and your democratic government to utopian Caliphate.

2. Uzdhaat Nouhman Ali Khan (based in America) interpretation of holy Qur-an. He will tell you real stuff simply and precisely. No confusion.

3. Dr. Sabir Ali (based in Canada), academic style preaching through decent exchange of knowledge with other religious prominent people.

4. Uzdhaat Mansoor (based in Sri Lanka- native Sri Lankan) very good in Sri Lankan context.

5. Pro. Thariq Ramadan (Oxford Uni. UK) bit philosophical, but relevant to the day and age

6. Aalim Akram Nadvi (based in the UK) practical solution provider.

7. Mufti Ismail Menk ( from Zimbabwe ) interesting, but most of time conventional.
And last not least and commendable for his memory of verses from Vedas, Scriptures – Old and New testaments- and holy Qur-an. He can give you snake oil to grow shiny hair on the head, but cannot give any warranty for not losing your teeth. He is

8. Dr. Zakir Naik (not my cup of tea anyway)

Try this every carefully tailored list for your religious guidance. You will see the difference and won’t be misguided by any fake Ullema.

Related posts:

Part – 1 – Conundrum: Caliphate & Killing Spree! 

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Latest comments

  • 6

    The author seems to be an enlightened Muslim and I commend him for that!

    • 3

      Mohamed SR Nisthar,

      RE: Conundrum: ACJU & Its Self Proclaimed Authority

      “The above religious entity (ACJU) is said to be the oldest one for the Muslim populace in Sri Lanka.”
      “The title, Ullema ( scholars/ intellectuals) they carry, given by Madrasa (local Arabic Qur-an/religious schools) or in some cases through qualifications obtained in the sub continent or Middle-eastern Madrasas or(religious) Universities give them some sort of unregulated authority on the people’s religious affairs.”

      According to one of the great Islamic Jurists, Scholar, Judge and Philosopher, Ibn Rushd, aka Averroes, the Ulama are NOT the People of Knowledge. What did the Ulama do? Prosecute Ibn Rushd using the rulers, and got the Philosophy books burned.

      Ibn Rushd in his darkest hour

      In all the struggles endured by free thinkers in which they were either killed or exiled, we find the same elements of decline no matter the time or place. This includes the time and place of the struggle of Abul Walid Muhammad Ibn Ahmad Ibn Rushd (1126 -1198), or Averroes in the Latinised form of his name.

      However, when talking about the philosopher Ibn Rushd in the 12th century it is important to remember attacks on rational science, especially logic, began in Abbasid Baghdad under caliphs who were parrots in cages in the 10th century.

      A final reason offered was Ibn Rushd’s book The Incoherence of the Incoherence, in which he responded to the fallacies of Abu Hamid al-Ghazali’s The Incoherence of Philosophers. He did this despite knowing Ghazali was the master of the Almohad dynasty who were in power, and believed the earth was located between the horns of a bull.

      Belief is not knowledge, not evidence.

      Dan Barker | God does NOT exist


      Dan Barker gives his argument against the existence of God.

  • 4

    Mr Nisthar,

    I appreciate the effort and time taken by you to do this. However, it doesn’t address the problem of Islam. You have urged young Muslims to follow a list of people, some of which are very questionable. You have clearly avoided the work of

    Australian, Imam Mohammed Tawhidi,
    twitter handle @Imamofpeace

    And Maajid Nawaz and his organisation Quilliam.
    twitter handles @MaajidNawaz @QuilliamOrg

    These are a few of the most important voices today that actually care about your religion.

    I agree with you that 21st century problems need 21st century answers. The answer to the problem of Islam however is not doubling down or saying “it’s not us, it’s them”.

    REFORM is the only answer and, until this happens we will always be defending against Islamic barbarism.

    • 1

      Aft an Ahmed,

      “Defending against Islamic Barbarism”

      What is Islamic Barbarism?

      What is Islam? That means submission. Those who submit to God claim that they are Muslims. They also claim that they love God. They are Sufis.

      Then there are others who love God and fear God. They also claim they they are Muslims. They all submit to God.

      Then there are those who submit to Satan, Devil, Iblis. Even though Islam means submit, they in fact submitting to Satan, Iblis. They are called Satanis, Iblisis.

      Who are they? Wahhabiis, Salafies and their clones, ISIS, Al Quesadilla, Taliban, Boko Harams, Tauheed Jamats etc. From their actions, they are doing Satan’s work, even though they claim they are Islamic, they are in fact submitting to Satan, and doing what Satan desires, killings and terrorism.

      Ref. Hadith of Najd.

      Is the Earth spread out like a carpet? Is the Sun going around a stationary Earth? Was Adam the first man, and Satan refused to bow to Adam, due to His Ego, and the Satanis causing, all this calamity, or just a Fable? What does the Theory of Evolution say? The Fable is incorrect?

      Why do humans have 46 chromosomes, and the chromosome # 2 was formed by the fusion of 2 primate chromosomes?

  • 4

    I am not sure what the purpose of the writer is, but most of the criticisms are valid and many already known.
    I wonder why he is rather soft on the leader of the ACMC, whose reputation is not very shiny.

  • 5

    Dear Mr.Nisthar,
    Thanks for the second part of your write up. Yes we should not blindly follow what our self declared Ulama say. It is our responsibility to learn and explore holy Qur-an. The Aalim business and other things all come from sub -continent. I don’t see at the time of prophet Moulavi , Aalim and Mufti qualifications were offered. If I’m wrong please correct me.

  • 6


    [Fallacy No 1] All Ulemas are pious, devout, righteous Muslims.
    Ulemas constitute a body of Muslim Scholars recognized as having specialist knowledge of Islamic sacred law and theology. The mere fact that an Alim has acquired specialist knowledge of Islamic laws is not a guarantee that he is a pious individual.

    [Fallacy No 2] The Ulemas are Islamic Priests.
    Unlike the other major religions, Buddhism, Christianity and Hinduism, Islam does NOT have a priesthood. No one can be consecrated or ordained as a ‘Priest’ in Islam. The Ulemas should not be referred to as ‘Clerics’ either, since this word very often is interpreted to mean ‘Priests’. It is a matter of deep regret that the Buddhist, Christian and Hindu Clergy, the Politicians ( non-Muslim as well as Muslim), the Journalists (non-Muslim as well as Muslim) and the Media refer to and treat the Ulema as Priests.

    [Fallacy No 3] The ACJU represent the Muslim Community.
    In much the same way as we have an Association of Doctors (GMOA), an Association of Lawyers (BASL), Associations of Engineers, Teachers, Architects, etc, the ACJU should not forget that they are simply an Association of Islamic Scholars. They do NOT represent the Ummah.

    [Fallacy No 4] The ACJU are the Enforcers of Islamic Law in Sri Lanka.
    The primary responsibility of the ACJU is to GUIDE and ADVISE the Muslim community on matters pertaining to Islamic Jurisprudence, which is the area of specialization of it’s members. They have absolutely no authority or mandate to ENFORCE the implementation of such laws or to INSIST that Muslims abide by such laws. Unfortunately, for the community, the ACJU have arrogated to themselves the power to have the final word on all matters Islamic in Sri Lanka.

  • 3

    Totally agreed on everything, perfectly stated.. except for the porridge distribution during Ramada. We are not a rich country and not all Muslims are wealthy and there are many families depend on porridge to break their fast, so I don’t suggest to put a stop for that, but I don’t know about rolls being distributed… I think you must have mixed up during a visit somewhere they might have said the porridge is from the Mosque and along with it they served you the rolls and you assumed it both came from the Mosque.. :) I love if both being distributed.

    This is what Tawheed Jamath was doing correcting the misconception and on the belief (Tamil Version of all of them combined you highlighted) which was blindly followed for centuries …but god knows what happened to them. They are supposed to just educate with evidence instead they went on debates where they made enemies instead.

  • 1

    Written by a coconut to show his alligence to non Muslims.
    Faking the issue

  • 0

    Well said MN.

  • 3

    Dr. Zakir is undoubtedly a learned scholar, in his “International Islamic School” he is producing budding kids of quality in Islamic studies & other disciplines, to the extent, there is stiff competition among Indian parents to admit their kids to this school. The language & oratory skills of a 6 or 7-year old kid from this school are simply amazing.
    Sri Lanka is reportedly having more than 1600 Madrasas, even if all these are put together they cannot create “one” such kid.
    Recently I heard one of these Lanka Madrasas trained fellow speaking about Women Issues, it was so obnoxious as he described in an obscene manner the women undergarment and said a wife is not for bed only, it was so disgusting if this is the kind of Moulavis Lanka Madrasas are producing and throwing out into the public, what can one expect? ,

  • 2

    The ACJU are no different to any other common or garden parasitic priests – all self appointed and claiming to have special knowledge of God’s plan

  • 1

    What this author tries to say except criticising everyone. ACJU is bad, JI is bad and every movement is bad for him. I accept ACJU is made a blunder when they went to Geneva but the timing of this criticism is what worrying me. We all know Mr Nisthar’s agenda, he is the paid pawn of Global Tamil Forum. Mr Nisthar, whilst criticising everyone, why can’t you come clean and tell that you are colliding with GTF.

  • 0

    I herd Thawheed Jamath Began as a Tamilnadu Organization and as soon as they began it, On behalf of Sri lankan thawheed Jamath, Tamilnadu Muslims had beaten a buddhist at the station. they beat him and made him run for life. Wahhabis are that Kind of animals.

  • 0

    The author fails to realize that most Muslims are Tamil educated. He writes with the presumption that everyone is trying to educated as he is trying show he is. Please don’t bash the ulama. Of course, there are always few spoilt grains in the lot.

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