In Quranic Islam, there is no place for priesthood or Mullaism. The word Maulvi, Mullah, and Maulana is not used with the names of companions of prophet. This means these titles are the invention in Islam after the death of Prophet and his companions.
Priesthood is strong arm of Zoroastrianism, Iranians/Persians of that time brought with them Mullaism and introduced into the Quranic Islam, during Abbasi period.
At present, If one carefully looks around, the newer sects are produced by these Maulvis, through the process of personality worship. Therefore, those madarsas that produce Mullahs should be curtailed and gradually abolished, so that further divisions in the Muslims can be eliminated.
HOW DID THE MULLAISM CREEP IN TO ISLAM ?
There is no ordained priesthood in Islam. Every Muslim can be an Imam and can deliver a sermon. No ceremonial attire is needed for the Imam or any special dress for the congregation. Who then is this Mullah and from where did he creep into our religion?
It obviously could not have been through trade and commerce interaction with earlier Christianity. Islam rather attracted large numbers of its early conversions from the ranks of Catholic Christianity who wanted to escape the straitjacket of the Church and its priesthood to a priest-free religion.
A majority of the historians agree on Zoroastrianism to be the genesis of Mullaism. Zoroastrians, a semi-migratory people from the fourth to the third millennium BC, forged a religious tradition, latter known as Zoroastrianism. This is considered as the oldest of the revealed world religions and has directly and indirectly influenced the other religions in the area, i.e. Judaism, Christianity, Islam and a host of other faiths.
Under the Abbasid and the Umayyad, Islam took root and flourished in Iran. A nagging problem remained though. Some verses in the Quran clearly disallow obedience to any man-made laws that are in conflict with the Quran. Consider the following;
3:79 It is not for any human being that Allah would give him the Book and the authority and the prophethood, then he would say to the people: “Be servants to me rather than Allah!” Rather: “Be Devotees for what you have been taught of the Book, and of what you have studied.”
As Islam in Iran had steadily grown more Zoroastrianized, to solve “this problem” the kings borrowed its priesthood which our Prophet had abolished. The new priesthood, consisting of scholars and muftis, obliged the kings by changing the core belief of Islam from “obedience to Allah” to “worship of Allah.” This mutually convenient combination of kingship and priesthood worked very well for the benefit of both the kings and the priests: the priests blessed the kings for exercising earthly powers; while the kings let the priests exercise divine authority over the people.
When Persian culture influenced the surrounding region, priesthood too moved into these areas. Iran, to this day, remains the hotbed of Mullaism. Towards West, it blossomed during the Ottoman Empire, where even an office of Sheikh-ul-Islam existed. Many historians cite this religio-political mix to have greatly contributed to the fall of that empire. Eventually, Mustafa Kamal Ataturk’s Cultural Revolution brought it to a bitter end in the later day Turkey.
Towards East, Mullaism crept into the sub-continent at the heels of Sufis and invaders from Iran, Afghanistan and Central Asia. It stayed in the background until the British wrested India from its Muslim rulers. The Mullah then sprang to the pulpit to sooth the bruised ego of a vanquished people with convenient doctrines. He convinced them that God always subdued people who allowed their souls to be tainted by the lust of worldly desires e.g. ruling dominions and empires. Mullah implored them to remain prostrate on their prayer mats and use this respite from the grueling task of ruling for cleansing their souls.
The Muslims flocked to the thousands of mosques scattered all over India straight into the welcoming arms of the Mullah. He gave numerous references from the Quran to obey God, His Prophet and the established authority.
HOW DOES THE MULLAH OPERATE?
Mullah uses Man Made Hadiths & Sunnah and promote the style of the Prophet by supporting a beard, putting surma in his eyes, an Arabic scarf on his shoulders and tying his shalwar/Thawb above his ankles yet does not inform his congregation of the other sterling qualities of the Prophet. The Prophet was not just an old man leading Salats in the mosque. He established an empire by uniting the various warring tribes, sent emissaries to other empires, received dignitaries in his court, signed at least one historic treaty (Hudaibya, A.D. 630), led armies in the battlefields, experienced numerous victories and also a defeat (at Uhad, A.D. 624), was a devoted father and a husband. The momentum that Prophet built eventually landed the Muslims in Spain in the west and India in the east.
The Mullah himself is mainly responsible for dividing the Muslims into Sunni, Shia, Ahle-Hadith, Ahle-Fiqah, Wahhabi, Salafi, Hanfi, Shafi, Malki, Hanbli, Deobandi, Barelvi and propagating mindless hate between these sects. He, therefore, never tells his followers God’s injunctions on sectarianism where He says;
6:159 Those who have divided their system (Deen) and become sects, you (O Muhammad) are not with them in anything. Their matter will be with Allah, then He will inform them of what they had done.
To keep his hold on his followers’ minds, Mullah professes that the Quran is an extremely difficult piece of divine literature to understand and to interpret by ordinary Muslims. He knows that many Muslims do not know Arabic and even if they did their skill in the language is not enough to literally interpret the language of Quran. He also knows fully well that many Muslims do not have the patience, time or the resources for learning Arabic. He, therefore, insists so much on the mastery of the Arabic language and culture.
Mullah takes advantage of people’s ignorance and pretends to be the sole agent of the Quran and its interpretations. He does not explain to these Muslims that the Quran was meant for every one. That they don’t require a Mullah or any one to intercede on their behalf. That Allah does not make his words so difficult that ordinary people have difficulty in understanding them. That they only have to make an effort and there are numerous ways to seek the truth themselves. Regrettably, the majority of Muslims either cannot, or would not, seek these answers on their own.
A glance at the contemporary world shows that the Buddhist monk is verifiably dormant. Some Christian neocons and Hindu religious bigots have, of late, begun to participate in the framing of political agendas. Yet, by and large, a vast majority of the Christian and Hindu societies remain unaffected by their militant fundamentalists. Because most Christians and Hindus do not consider their religious priests as their political leaders or even correlate these religious individuals with any state system. Two facts are noteworthy; the stupendous rise of the west since it broke free from the priestly hold of the Church and the horrendous decline of the Muslim world since the entry of priesthood into Islam.
Now there is a change in the wind, however faint. With the modern age of computers, internet and information a phantom has begun to haunt the Mullah. The truth is slowly, but surely being sought by enlightened minds young and old alike. Muslims are increasingly expressing their disgust and disdain for the irrationalities and backwardness of the Mullah. His grip is fading but he is not likely to give up just yet.
To his good luck, a faith system that is so deeply embedded into the minds of the Muslims is hard to wish away. Still harder is the task to disrupt the unholy alliance between hypocrite Muslim elites and the Mullah. In his final throes, he too is putting up a brave fight. He continues to issue endless fatwas and thinks that the fear of death sentence and the declaration of jihad would silence the voices of reason, logic and progress. In his desperation he is counter-attacking with every possible means. His chief weapons remain an outright incitement of his followers to kill his opponents for divine rewards, promoting senseless hate, intimidating and declaring his opponents as apostates and blasphemers and twisting quotations from the Quran towards that end.
For Muslims to join the universal quest for progress, efforts have to be made to seek the truth themselves rather than having to rely on the word of Mullah. They have to make a clean break from the past by disallowing and disowning the Mullah from being the de-facto leader of their communities.
There is a race for progress among all nations. The world is busy in development of human resource, mental enlightenment, sound technological growth and tangible prosperity for all. The Muslims have to wake up from their self-imposed slumber and join the global race.