Afghan Biographies

Ansari, Mujibur Rahman Mawlawi


Name Ansari, Mujibur Rahman Mawlawi
Ethnic backgr. Pashtun
Date of birth 1984
Function/Grade Head of Herat’s Gazargah mosque
History and Biodata

3. Biodata:
Mawlawi Mujib Rahman Ansari Maulana Mujeeb Rahman Ansari Mullah Mujeeb ur Rahman was born 1984 in Herat Province. He is the head of Herat’s Gazargah mosque. Mawlawi is a title meaning Islamic scholar is venerated by many followers as a descendant of a revered 11th-century Muslim Sufi saint, Abdullah Ansari of Herat, whose tomb is near the cleric’s mosque. Mawlawi Ansari installed billboards insisting that women wear hijabs and called on men to control their women.The billboards have sparked reactions in Herat, especially among women's affairs activists who reacted about the billboards. Herat residents said that the activity of the center that installed billboards challenged the authority of the government. The billboards have gone up in the Afghan city of Herat saying a woman without hijab is a “disgrace to her man.” They have sparked a fierce debate.(20200124)

Though he says he is not affiliated with the Taliban, Mawlawi Ansari’s edicts are an echo of that movement’s harsh Islamic codes — and perhaps a portent of what could come as the insurgency negotiates a power-sharing deal with the government. In a sermon in 2019, Mawlawi Ansari suggested chopping off the hands of thieves and stoning accused adulterers. He bars women from his news conferences. He has cowed the local government with his music ban, though officials did take down his billboards.

Asked about the peace talks going on with the Taliban, Mawlawi Ansari said he would support any government based on Shariah law, whether or not it included the Taliban.

But he said he condemned Taliban suicide attacks and maintained no militia himself — only bodyguards who carry assault rifles and have government-issued weapon permits. He approves of girls attending schools and universities, he said, but separately from male students. Tariq Nabi, a prominent Islamic scholar, said Mawlawi Ansari had created a worrisome parallel government based on the ultraconservative Wahhabi interpretation of Islam learned during his studies in Saudi Arabia. He said other extremist clerics have imposed similar versions of Shariah law in other Afghan provinces. (20201023)

Last Modified 2020-10-23
Established 2020-01-24