Shia ulema at odds over shrine control

  • HT Correspondent, Lucknow
  • |
  • Updated: Apr 10, 2006 00:55 IST

THE SHIA ulema (clerics) of Lucknow are once again at loggerheads. This time, the bone of contention is the multi-crore Mazar-e-Shahid Salis in Agra.
On the instructions of the High Court, the Shia Waqf Board has issued notices to prominent Shia clerics Maulana Agha Roohi Abaqati and Maulana Shozab Jarwali to appear before the board on Monday to settle the matter.

The tussle over control of the Shia shrine has been going on for a long time. It took a curious turn when the anti-Agha Roohi lobby among the ulema of Lucknow last year succeeded in dislodging the mazar mutawalli (keeper) Azadar Hussain.

They appointed Shozab Jarwali, son of the legendary Tahir Jarwali, in his place. Roohi then moved court, which asked the board to listen to both parties to settle the matter.

Maulana Roohi told Hindustan Times on Sunday that while removing Azadar Hussain from the mutawalliship, the board members had acted against the Waqf deed of Haji Dawood Nori Nasir Bagh, which was part of the mazar.

He said the Mazar Shahid Salis was under this waqf deed, which had made it clear that a member from the family of Maulana Nasirul Millat would be patron and mutawalli of the Mazar.

Agha Roohi said as per the deed, which was approved by the Shia Waqf Board, no outsider could be appointed as mutawalli.

The anti-Roohi lobby, while appointing Sozab Jarwali, had taken the plea that he belonged to the family of Nasirul Millat. But, like Agha Roohi, he is not a direct descendant, as envisaged in the waqf deed.

Sources said after the court order, there was pressure on board chairman Mukhtar Anis to hand over the case to member Akhtar Rizvi, who was instrumental in the removal of the mutawalli. Rizvi, as a member of the board, is in charge of waqf properties in Agra district.

 However, the plea was rejected on the ground that Rizvi himself was a party in a High Court case and could not adjudicate on the issue. Thus, the full board will meet on Monday under the leadership of Anis to decide the matter.

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