Preacher Tawheb Al-Dubaie to Yemen Times”The brave fatwa is often faced by the old guards, but these fatwas manage to go on at the end.” [Archives:2005/867/Reportage]

August 11 2005

By Abdulrahman Al-Ahamidy
Yemen Times Staff

He is not only a preacher, but blood donation is the practical aspect of the life of preacher Tawheb Aldubaie. He established a blood bank that contributed to resolving problems of many of the patients with 350.000 cc of blood up to now.

He is a brave preacher, who displays his opinions in a manner that many of his peers lack. He thinks that the Islamic nation is in need of a brave modern jurisprudence to face the traditional fanaticism that refuses modernization.

Here, he is interviewed on his project of the blood bank and other sensitive family affairs.

Q: You established a blood bank in Taiz, which furnishes free blood to patients, how did you come to carry out that project?

A: The idea crystallized through a step by step effort. After a year and a half the project was declared and donators rushed in, to register their names, their blood groups and telephone numbers. Patients came to the mosque where there was a youth committee that was formed for coordination with patients, donors and hospitals.

Relief for the Governorates

Q: What are your motivations for establishing this project?

A: There are the car accidents that are on the rise and spread of blood diseases. There is also the difficulty of access to blood which many patients couldn't afford to pay for. This is a free humanitarian relief project aiming at offering assistance to those who have economic difficulties.

Q: Is it still limited to Taiz only or is it going to be extended to other towns?

A: The bank has extended its services to several governorates (Sana'a -Aden- Ibb), and also to districts of (Alqaeda- Hajdah- Al- Rahedah-Sabr)

– Do the cases that receive the blood contact you personally, or do hospitals ask for certain amounts and groups of blood, for needy patients?

– In the future we are going to form a communication channel with hospitals, as for now; it takes place through direct contacts with patients; but there are cases that come to the charitable society of Hail Saeed, which are passed over to our center by Mr. Abduljabar Saeed the famous benevolent man.

We have rare groups

Q: Are you sure that your project is a success?

A: The incoming cases are increasing; we receive about ten cases a day. What we achieved so far is as follows:

35000 cc of blood is the donated amount; most of it is of the rare groups (negative), with (1330) donors registering for the project. Depending on these figures, we could call it a success.

Q: You furnish even these rare groups?

A: As I told you that most of the donated groups of blood are of those which are rare ones. They are not available even in the hospitals, besides, only small numbers of people have these types of groups. They are groups (-A, -B, +AB, -AB, -O). Even the ablest could hardly have access to such groups.

Towards democracy

Q: Your blood bank took a trend of an establishment feature; it has got offices and employees.

A: Establishment is a source of success. If we get rid of bureaucracy and centralization, so that decision- making would not be in the hands of the founder, we are sure to achieve success.

Q: What about financing?

A: 98% of the financing depends on the donors. We depend on the human resource.

Q: During your election campaign, you said that you would open a service office in constituency 30, is this blood bank your promised service office?

A: The service office is an electoral program. Now it is the concern of other persons not me. I think anyone of the residents of the constituency who have the ability to open a service office should do that at once. It shouldn't necessarily be the duty of the successful candidate.

Poverty is devastating

Q: Through your practical experience, with the Yemeni community, what is the main problem of the Yemeni family?

A: Poverty is the main problem. The dominance of traditions, illiteracy and lack of appreciation of education are also to blame. For example you find a girl who is a university graduate, and she is still shackled by tribal traditions.

Q: Has poverty a great influence on family relations?

A: Scarcity of resources is the inlet for bad things.

Q: Poverty is a disaster?

A: Yes it is a disaster that is depriving the community of its values. We see now noble families who were compelled to go to the street to beg. There are also children who are compelled to work all the day. There are also children who leave schools because of poverty.

Family secrets

Q: Some families impart their secrets to mosque preachers; don't you think that these secrets will be exploited by those preachers to pressure these families?

A: I think it is a religious and humanitarian duty of preachers to contribute to solving family problems. You can't solve a problem without knowing the details, including family secrets. As for families, they trust mosque preachers.


Q: As preachers, you are accused of mixing traditions with religion, and sometimes you generalize fatwa of some of the Ulamas on all people and all communities.

A: Not all the preachers. This could have been true sometime before now. The fatwa nowadays is witnessing strong debates on the field of the gender issues, especially the issue of how a modern woman could be trustworthy and an active participant in her community without being beleaguered with those fatwas.

Q: Is the area of liberty wide enough for the new Ulamas to say their ideas openly?

A: Had not been to their bravery, the Muslim community wouldn't have evolved. The brave fatwa is often faced by the old guards, but these fatwas manage to go on at the end. We have now brave jurisprudential Ulamas like Dr. Al-Swedan and Al-Garadhawi.

From poor to rich

Q: The imminent mechanism of zakat doesn't solve the problems of the poor. Instead of giving the poor a small sum, why shouldn't you help him to find job?

A: This is a question that constitutes half of the Sharia law. The state should be involved in that matter, and we are ready to help. I have already presented a suggestion to some rich merchants in a certain town to form a committee from merchants to categorize the poor into disabled that could be directly paid and those who could be given a capital to start a work.

Q: If this suggestion is applied, would it cover all the poor in the community?

A: If it is applied two thirds of the poor will convert into zakat payers instead of receivers.

Advantages of interaction

Q: Why shouldn't the Ulamas interact with the community instead of secluding themselves in a small circle?

A: The lack of interaction is attributed to the wrapped sense of mind of those preachers and also the limited social culture. A preacher, who isolates himself from the problems of his community, will make his speeches cold and boring.

Q: As a preacher, could you have a joint activity with a singer?

A: Because of the culture that is deviated away from religion, we classified our activities into religious and non- religious. I believe that any activity that is for the good of virtue is a religious work.

Marriage qualifications

Q: If someone who is good a mannered man proposed to a girl, without psychological, educational harmony, has she got the right to refuse to marry him?

A: A woman has the right to choose her husband for the sake of a stable marriage. Nothing compels her to accept a husband that she doesn't love.

Q: A woman who has been married to a man for forty years and she helped him to be a wealthy merchant then he divorced her, hasn't she got a right in his wealth?

A: Even if she isn't the reason for the wealth he collected, she has a right as a wife.

Q: How is that?

A: In Islam, a divorcee has the right to live at the same level she used to live in with her ex-husband or even better. (He opened his personal computer and showed me a fatwa that consolidates this point of view from a book called Al-Kurtabi). The husband has to pay to his divorcee a sum not as alms but as a right.

Q: Is a woman's blood money half of that of a man?

A: It is a debatable matter, but I personally prefer their being equal as Abu- Hanifa says.

The mask and the uncovered face

Q: What's wrong with those who have no masks?

A: It is something left to discretion and the social tradition. A mask doesn't mean chaste and a woman without a mask doesn't mean the opposite. The prophet didn't order a woman to put on a mask and didn't prevent a masked woman to take it off.

Q: If your wife chose to throw away the mask, will you agree?

A: In pilgrimage my wife asked me if she could walk about without a mask, I told her that the prophet (peace be upon him) prohibited wearing a mask in pilgrimage.

A lift of a ban

Q: You used to accompany Amr Khalid when he visited Yemen, What are his impressions?

A: He was surprised at the warm welcome he received here, even the children recognized and hailed him when he visited an area in Sana'a. When he went back to Egypt, I contacted him. He told me that they lifted the ban that used to be imposed on his speeches, because of his visit to Yemen and his meeting with President Ali Abdullah Saleh.

A poet

Q: In honoring the winners of Al-Saeed's prize this Year, you presented a poem, how did it happen that you became a poet?

A: I used to have some efforts in composing poetry, though I sometimes find myself unable to tell one even if I stayed all night long. Due to certain sufferings I wrote some verses that reveal my feelings.