MV: We expect so much from our Shayooks and Imams, yet we don’t even pay them right?
One of the great things about my not being a scholar is I can sound off on certain topics that real scholars can’t discuss out of their own humility and tastefulness.
An issue of concern is how our communities are compensating our scholars and teachers for their services. We want our scholars to be polymaths in religious and worldly sciences, but we want to pay them minimum wage to do 40 jobs? We want the miskeen imam to lead prayer, teach Quran to the kids, engage the youth, give khutbahs, give you fatwas of convenience, dynamically represent the masjid nationally, write books, be a marriage counselor, be a youth counselor… and oh yeah, save the ummah…but you want him to work for 25k, no health insurance for him and his family, and be available at 3 am for emergencies?
If we want the best & brightest to fulfill these roles, then we need to financially compensate them appropriately. Not only do we want our scholars to work “fi sabil lillah” we want them to work “free sabil lillah”.The ulema cant speak up because then #OverzealousGuy will be like “oh its dunya brother, work for Allah”. So someone like me has to do so.
I think if youre not paying the imam a median salary of your masjid congregation(plus dental/medical insurance,etc), then youre doing zulm. In most communities, this median salary will be something like 60-80k, which is a better start than some of the salaries that I’ve seen.
And when people go to scholars with personal issues and eat up 2-3 hours, they should give them something for their time. The other day, on a two hour drive to Chicago, I was on the phone counseling 3 different people on 3 different issues. Alhamdulillah, I was glad to help, and Allah has blessed me with my day job, but I thought to myself, “People eat up scholars’ time much more than mine and give them nothing.” You go to a therapist, he charges you $200/hr. You go to the Shaykh and want to give him nothing but a jazakallah khayr!
As we build people, we must invest in the positions and roles that we want those highly skilled people to fulfill. Otherwise it’s all talk. #EndOfRant
- Shaykh Abu Esa: Scholars Aren’t Saints (themuslimvoice.wordpress.com)
- Dr. Kamran Riaz: Building a Community before Building a Masjid (themuslimvoice.wordpress.com)