Kolkata: Imams and ulemas from West Bengal got a chance to learn entrepreneurial skills at a workshop
conducted by the Maaeshat Foundation, in collaboration with Tarbiyah Cambridge International School, in Kolkata.
The day-long workshop held at the Indian Science Congress Auditorium saw West Bengal Minorities’ Commission chairman Ahmad Hasan Imran, interact with the religious leaders during the interactive session.
“In Muslim community, imams play a significant role. In West Bengal, imams and ulemas are financially weak. We need to do something to make them financially strong.
Their salary is very low. The objective of this workshop is to make the imams and ulemas learn the business skills. This will help them to start their own business and earn their livelihood,” said Ahmad Hasan Imran.
He pointed out that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) had also asked to give importance to business.
Referring to the neighbouring country, Ahmad Hasan Imran said: “In Bangladesh, there are Islamic institutions which give different types business training to imams.
In India, Islamic organisations give different types small business training to religious leaders. For example, Maaeshat Foundation is conducting entrepreneurship workshop for imams and ulemas to learn the trade of tea, either, dates and items.”
During the workshop, businessmen talked about basics of business. The clerics also clarified their doubts with business experts during the session.
Mr Huzaifa Arshad, Propritor of Natural Shine (who deals in the trading of tea) urged that businessmen (doing trade in tea or dates) to come forward for the noble cause. “It should be done keeping in mind the Akhirat. There are two types of human beings in the world. The first type of human being is the one who live for his children, wife and family. The other type is the one who thinks about the society and do good deeds for the society for the sake of Allah (God). They do for sadqah jaria. Businessmen should contact Maaeshat for this purpose.”
Mr Md Arif of Dania Dates International, pointed out that there is hesitation or phobia among imams that they will suffer loss in business. This hesitation or worry should be erased. It is not that that dates should only be purchased from me.
There should be awareness among imams about so that they earn livelihood themselves and not dependent on others.
Situation of minorities in West Bengal
Referring to West Bengal Minorities’ Commission chairman Ahmad Hasan Imran, who is former Rajya Sabha MP and Editor in Chief of Bengali Daily Newspaper Puber Kalom,
Danish Reyaz, Managing Director of Maeeshat Media Private Limited, said: “For the development and upliftment of minorities, West Bengal needs people like Ahmad Hasan Imran, who is former Rajya Sabha MP and Editor in Chief of Bengali Daily Newspaper Puber Kalom. Apart from this, he was appointed as West Bengal Minorities’ Commission chairman two days ago. He has both – the ability of understanding the problems of the minorities as well as taking the issues to administration through his mouth piece (Bengali Daily Newspaper Puber Kalom).”
On the occasion, Tarbiyah Cambridge International School director M Azizur Rahman said: ” Tarbiyah Cambridge International School is trying to promote entrepreneurship along with education. Keeping this in mind, the school authority has arranged many such events in the campus. Tarbiyah Cambridge International School, along with Maeeshat Foundation, is conducting workshops for imams because they are play a vital role in our society.
They play important role in bringing positive change in the society. We have joint hands with Maeeshat Foundation to help imams and ulemas. We have conducted workshops for imams and ulemas in Maldah and Kolkata.
On March 12, 2023, Maeeshat Foundation, in collaboration with Tarbiyah Cambridge International School organised a day long workshop on entrepreneurship for Ulemas and Imams at Tarbiyah Cambridge International School Auditorium, Badanagar, Danga, Jalalpur, Malda, West Bengal.
Reyaz pointed out that the goal of the Maeeshat Foundation is to provide religious leaders with the education and training they need to do business anywhere in the country. “We want they (imams) not have to rely on the pay provided by the Masjid committees for their basic needs, but rather develop their own sustainable sources of income,” he said.
The ‘Madina Basket’ is a collection of goods meant for distribution to mosque clerics and imams. It consists of items like attar (non-alcoholic fragrances), dates, Honey, caps, handkerchiefs, etc. The total retail value of the goods in each “Madina Basket” is between Rs 25,000 and Rs 30,000.
In connection with Tea business, Natural Shine’s propeitor Huzaifa said: “We want to promote Madina Basket because it’s a noble concept. It is my previledge to be part of it Madina Basket and this intitiative (community change programme). We want to sell our product (Tea) at a reasonable price to imams and ulemas. They (imams and ulemas) can purchase our tea (suppose 5 – 10 kg) and then re sale it. They will earn some money after re selling it.
Concluding the workshop, Reyaz said: “The goal of conducting training programmes and entreneurship workshops here (West Bengal) is that. It is the belt where such workshops are needed the most. We will find that the there is huge population of ulemas and imams in West Bengal. They go to other states and carryout imamat. Poverty here is more than in other states. The salary of imams is also very low in West Bengal. They are being utilised the politicians to influence the masses. We want that they should not get utilised, become financially strong and lead a life with dignity. Madina Basket or the Maeeshat’s programme is trying to solve this issue.”
He pointed out that Maeeshat is working on this for the last few years and it has now become successful in bringing awareness among people.