THE POLITICAL tussle among the Shia Ulema (clerics) has taken a curious turn in Lucknow. While the All India Shia Personal Law Board (AISPLB) is at loggerheads with People’s Democratic Front (PDF) president Maulana Kalbe Jawad, principal Sultanul Madaris Syed Mohd Jafar Rizvi, a renowned theologian, on Thursday called upon the community to be cautious about the new political outfit.
The immediate provocation of the row between Kalbe Jawad and Jafar Rizvi was a violent clash at a religious congregation at the Sultanul Madaris on June 30. Both sides registered FIRs against each other. While Jawad announced he would court arrest tomorrow after Friday prayers in support of one group, in a pre-emptive move Jafar Rizvi on Thursday offered himself for arrest to protect the rival faction. The police officers rushed to Sultanul Madaris to stop Jafar Rizvi marching to Wazirganj police station. He was stopped at the entrance of the institution.
However, the genesis of the widening rift between the two Shia clerics had been Sultanul Madaris, which is a prominent centre of theological learning in the country. The Jawad camp is upset about the Sultanul Madaris turning into a centre of anti-Jawad activities. The AISPLB has already organised several conferences, including the recent Ahle Bait conference, at the institute. Jafar Rizvi also assailed his rivals for propaganda against the AISPLB-sponsored Ahle Bait conference.
Giving a political colour to the situation, Jafar Rizvi alerted the community not to be misled by the new political outfit. In fact, formation of the PDF has sharply divided the Shia Ulema in Lucknow, which is the hub of Shia activities in the country.
Associated with the AISPLB since its establishment, Jafar Rizvi is also opposed to Jawad’s bid to take over the Hussainabad and allied trust, which controls this institution also. The issue is already pending in the High Court. The well-entrenched community in the city is caught in the war among the clerics. Jawad is scheduled to launch his month-long court-arrest programme from July 10 in protest against encroachment of four mosques.