Judges were required to clear the "innumerable landmines" in the disputed site in Ayodhya "where angels fear to tread" but decided to take the risk despite some saner elements advising us not to attempt it, says Justice SU Khan.
Giving some insight into the complex issues before the judges, he said they had decided to address it but not rush into it like "fools".
"Here is a small piece of land (1,500 square yards) where angels fear to tread. It is full of innumerable landmines. We are required to clear it."
"Some very sane elements advised us not to attempt that. We do not propose to rush in like fools lest we are blown. However, we have to take risk. It is said that the greatest risk in life is not daring to take risk when the occasion for the same arises," he wrote in the prelude to his 285-page judgement.
"Once angels were made to bow before man. Sometimes he has to justify the said honour. This is one of those occasions. We have succeeded or failed? No one can be a judge in his own cause," he said.
Justice Khan along with Justices Dharm Veer Sharma and Sudhir Agarwal on Thursday gave separate judgements running into over 8,000 pages. The court held that two parts of the disputed site of 2.77 acres of land will go to Hindus and the remaining one part will go to Muslims.
The court held that the place where the makeshift temple of Lord Ram exists belongs to Hindus, paving the way for the construction of a temple there.
Justice Khan was of the view that the verdict has given Indian Muslims a good opportunity to spread to the world the teachings of Islam.
Noting that Muslims here have been rulers of the land, also being ruled over and currently share power, he said Indian Muslims are in the best position to spread the teachings of Islam in the present time.
"They (Indian Muslims) are not in majority but they are also not a negligible minority. In other countries either the Muslims are in huge majority which makes them indifferent to the problem in question or in negligible minority which makes them redundant," he said.
"Indian Muslims have also inherited huge legacy of religious learning and knowledge. They are, therefore, in the best position to tell the world the correct position. Let them start with their role in the resolution of the conflict at hand," he noted.
Justice Khan bluntly told the parties in the dispute that the nation may not be able to rise again if the incident of December 6, 1992 (when the Babri Masjid was demolished) is repeated.
He also recounted the virtues of sacrifice of Lord Rama and the compromising nature of Prophet Mohammed.
"Under the sub-heading of demolition I have admired our resilience. However, we must realise that such things do not happen in quick succession. Another fall and we may not be able to rise again, at least quickly. Today the pace of the world is faster than it was in 1992. We may be crushed," Justice Khan said.
He said the judgement delivered by the High Court is not the final word in the dispute. Any of the parties who feel aggrieved can move an appeal in the Supreme Court.
"The one quality which epitomised the character of Ram is tyag (sacrifice).
"When Prophet Mohammed entered into a treaty with the rival group at Hudaybiyah, it appeared to be abject surrender even to his staunch supporters. However, the Quran described that as clear victory and it did prove so. Within a short span there from Muslims entered the Mecca as victors, and not a drop of blood was shed," Justice Khan said.
In his verdict, Justice Dharam Veer Sharma held that the entire disputed site of 2.77 acres of land in Ayodhya is the birth place of Lord Ram. He said the "place of birth is a juristic person and is a deity."
The other two judges said only the area under the central dome where the make-shift temple exists is the birth place of Lord Ram according to the "faith and belief" of people.
"The spirit of divine ever remains present everywhere at all times for anyone to invoke in any shape or form in accordance with his own aspirations and it can be shapeless and formless," Justice Sharma said.
He said the structure constructed by Mughal Emperor Babar was against the tenets of Islam and cannot have the character of a mosque.
He said the disputed structure was constructed on the site of the old structure after its demolition. The Archaeological Survey of India has proved that it was a massive Hindu religious structure, he said.
He said the idols of Lord Ram were placed in the middle dome of the disputed structure in the intervening night of December 22-23, 1949.
The judge held that the Sunni Central Board of Waqfs, UP and another main petitioner Nirmohi Akhara were barred by time for claims for title.
He said it is established that the property in suit is the site of "Janmabhoomi of Ram Chandraji and Hindus in general had the right to worship Charan, Sita Rasoi, other idols and other objects of worship that existed on the property in suit."
It has also been established that Hindus have been worshipping the place in dispute as Janmasthan and visiting it as a sacred placed of pilgrimage "as a right since time immemorial", Justice Sharma said.
After the construction of the disputed structure it has been proved that the deities were installed inside the disputed structure on 22-23.12.1949.
"It is also proved that the outer courtyard was in exclusive possession of Hindus and they were worshipping throughout and in the inner courtyard also they were worshipping," he said.
Taking a different view, Justice Khan said both Muslims and Hindus were using and occupying the disputed premises in Ayodhya for several decades and so are declared to be joint title owners.
Justice Khan said, "It is not proved by direct evidence that premises in dispute including constructed portion belonged to Babar or the person who constructed the mosque or under whose orders it was constructed. No temple was demolished for constructing the mosque," he said in the gist of findings.
Khan said even though for the sake of convenience both Muslims and Hindus were using and occupying different portions of the premises in dispute, still it did not amount to formal partition and both continued to be in joint possession of the entire premises in dispute.
He said that for some decades before 1949, Hindus started treating or believing the place beneath the central dome of the mosque to be the birth place of Lord Ram.
"That idol was placed for the first time beneath the Central dome of the mosque in the early hours of 23.12.1949.
Justice Sudhir Agarwal, who had written the lengthiest judgement, began by quoting extensively from the Rig Veda with verses referring to the destruction and the subsequent creation of the universe.
"During the Dissolution, there was neither existence nor nonexistence, and at that time neither Lok (world) was there nor was anything beyond the space. What encompassed all at that time ? Where was the abode and of whom? What was the unfathomable and deep water?," he quoted from Vedic text in the beginning of his judgement.
Justice Agarwal, whose judgement ran into 21 volumes and more than 5000 pages, further quoted, "None knows and none can tell as to from where and how the Creation took place, because even the scholars or those having foresight, were born after the Creation. Hence, none knows the source of this Creation."
"At that time there was neither death nor immortality, and there was also no knowledge of day and night in absence of the Sun and the Moon. In that stage of vacuum, Brahm (the Supreme Being) alone was imbibing life from His own power. There was nothing beyond or distinct from Him," he said.