he fact that the clergy class which teaches us the various injunctions in Quran and explains the meaning of sayings of prophet Muhammad (SAW) to us in the vernacular language is an underpaid class as their salary is invariably in the four digits ranging from 4000 to 7000 rupees. This at a time when even a class fourth is employed in government service at a much higher salary is a matter of great concern. According to today’s expenses, the remuneration is too less for an Imam, who mostly have no other means of livelihood to take care of his family. To make things worse, the concept of Hadiya (gifts) to Imams has also dried up in the society, making them entirely dependent on the salaries, which is mainly decided for them by the mohalla committees. Usually the members of the Mohalla committee are very political people who come across as saviors of the funds and give least minimum salary for these imams. On Fridays, mohalla committee members collect huge donations besides every Masjid has a few associated shops or rented property to it as a source of permanent income. Why are they keeping Imams (clergy) lowest on their priority list is a matter of great concern.
It must be borne in mind that an Imams invests many years of his time in religious seminaries to earn the requisite degrees which would qualify them as Imams. Our Mohalla committee members think he is just an illiterate person who has read a few books on Islam and thus pay him a meager salary. It is good that few organizations have started “Imdad” which provide stipends to Imams during jobless days. More needs to be done in this regard by the society, religious bodies and definitely by the Masjid Intizamia committees. To curb various social evils we need to engage Imams in a more proactive way. Increasing their salary to at least a five digit number is something that should boost their morale. Let us come together to pay our respect and regard to clergy in monetary form as well.