Salman Nadvi episode – Muslim Law Board acting dumb on Babri Masjid issue
By Abu Hasan
All India Muslim Personal Law Board’s top decision making body met recently in Hyderabad. The meet seemed to have political overturns from the word go as it was being hosted by none other than the willy chief of All India Majlis Ittehadul Muslimeen, Asaduddin Owaisi. There is no denying that he completely overshadowed the meet and used it to get the maximum possible political mileage from a completely religious event.
This was not the only highlight of the meet. During the Muslim Law Board’s conference Maulana Salman Nadvi, a renowned Islamic scholar who has been associated with the outfit for the last several decade announced that he had held parlays with Sri Sri Ravi Shankar on Babri Masjid issue.
The renowned alim, who is a grandson of Maulana Ali Mian and a respected teacher of India’s top seminary, Nadwatul Ulama, Lucknow, said he is of the opinion that as the temple already stands on the site of the Babri Masjid, Muslims should agree to swap the Babri Masjid land with a huge tract of land on Faizabad Lucknow highway where they construct a imposing mosque with a university for the community. He said this way peace will return to India and the right wingers’ wings will be clipped forever.
The Maulana had also said that a law should be passed as the part of the agreement that no other mosque, madrasa or mazar will be harmed in future and anyone indulging in it should be given tough punishment.
There is no denying that there are telltale signs that reconstuction of the mosque where Babri Masjid once stood is not going to be possible in near future. It is a foregone conclusion that the Supreme Court will also deliver the judgment on the dotted lines as was done by the Allahabad High Court, when the High Court bench said it was an issue of aastha or faith.
Several decades ago, Maulana Wahiduddin Khan had said almost the same thing that Maulana Salman Nadwi said the other day.
Muslim Leadership in India is dumb
There is no denying that Muslim leadership in India has reveled in emotional gimmics. It has been doing the same since the partition of the country. This is the reason that the Muslims of the nation have remained backward. Instead of working for the larger good of the society and the Muslim community in the country, these maulanas with huge bellys have tried to keep the Muslims backward so that their (mis)rule over the community continues. Anyone who questions them is made to look like a pariah. As the community is largely half-educated and illiterate, it continues to fall for every word that these people utter, taking every word of them as a religious edict or fatwa.
Muslim Law Board responsible for Triple Talaq bill
These are the people who should be held responsible for the bill on triple talaq that allows the local thanedar to arrest Muslim men for uttering triple talaq. This is going to be the easiest reason to arrest a Muslim youth if anyone has grudge against him.
Had they acted sensibly and not given this stick of the triple talaq to the BJP government at the center, it wouldn’t have been possible for the government to come up with the triple talaq bill. Their myiopic interpretation of Islam made it possible for the government to get a bill passed from the Lok Sabha making triple talaq non-bailable offense with three year imprisonment. Had the ulama and Muslim leaders acted sanely they would have asked the ulama to take triple talaq uttered in a single sitting or in a single tuhr as just one talaq like Ahle Hadith and followers of other fiqhi masalik do. But they continued to claim that it was an issue of life and death of Muslims in the country and that Islam will be lost if triple talaq is banned here. Now they are forced to make amends after the passage of the bill. The bill is expected to be passed in Rajya Sabha sooner than later.
Now it is like a sword hanging over the heads of Muslim men across the country. No one is responsible for it except the law Board and the clerics who sit on the podium.
The worse has been done in the case of Babri masjid. There is no denying that RSS and the saffron brigade have been trying to communalise and vitiate the atmosphere across the country. Muslim leadership, instead of fighting the case in courts, went for mobilization on the issue of the Babri Masjid, playing in the hands of the Sangh, who, through counter mobilization came to power at the center.
Muslim leadership, had it accepted Maulana wahiduddin Khan’s sane opinion and offered to hand over the land through negotiations or allowed the place to be divided between Hindus and Muslims, would have taken the air out of Advani’s whole anti-Muslim campaign. But it remained fool-hardy, oblivious to the fast changing political spectrum.
Eroding bargaining power
Muslims’ bargaining power has eroded substantially compared to pre-babri masjid demolition days thanks to Muslim leadership who seems to be living in a fool’s paradise. During those days, Muslims were thought to be king makers and everyone sought their votes to win elections. Now Muslims are no longer king-makers. They have been relegated to the margins and BJP is able to win one elections after the other with huge margins on anti-Muslim plank. Its vote share has been rising steadily and Congress has shrunk to a marginal player right now. Even Congress leaders feel ashamed to court Muslims. They no longer court Muslim leaders or visit their places of worship as they did in the past.
Muslim leadership should be blamed for this state of affairs. They have played in the hands of others oblivious to the fact that they are being used as pawns. It is about time that they realize that in the changing times, they need to change their tactics and not remain slave to the past.
Face saving formula
When mosques can be demolished and shifted to alternate place for expansion of roads and for the sake of public utilities in Muslim countries, why the Babri Masjid land cannot be swapped for mosque elsewhere. Moreso,when it also means saving the lives of Muslims in different parts of the country. What Maulana Salman Nadvi says is a respectable solution and it provides Muslims a face saving formula ensuring graceful co-existence of the Muslims in the country.
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