Muslim body split over challenging SC’s Ayodhya verdict
The Jamiat Ulama-i- Hind (JUH), one of the largest Islamic religious organisations in India, had joined the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) last Sunday in opposing the unanimous SC decision favouring the construction of a Ram temple at the 2.77 acre site in Uttar Pradesh’s Ayodhya town.Updated: Nov 22, 2019 06:16 IST
A top Muslim body appeared to be divided on Thursday over filing a review petition challenging the Supreme Court’s verdict, delivered earlier this month, in the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid title suit.
The Jamiat Ulama-i- Hind (JUH), one of the largest Islamic religious organisations in India, had joined the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) last Sunday in opposing the unanimous SC decision favouring the construction of a Ram temple at the 2.77 acre site in Uttar Pradesh’s Ayodhya town.
The two bodies had also rejected the offer of five acres of land for the construction of a mosque.
But on Thursday, a faction of the JUH said it viewed the filing of a review petition as a futile process. “…filing a review petition against the Ayodhya verdict will not be beneficial to Muslims,” read a statement of the group, which is headed by JUH general secretary Maulana Mahmood Madani.
The decision to oppose the review petition was taken at the national working committee meeting of JUH faction in New Delhi that continued late into the night on Wednesday.
But the rival faction of the JUH, led by Arshad Madani, dismissed the statement and confirmed that it was going ahead with the review petition, which must be filed within 30 days of the verdict.
Arshad Madani said his faction was a party to the case, and not the one led by Mahmood Madani.
“He (Mahmood Madani) has every right to differ on the issue but there is no change in our stand. In fact, I have already signed the necessary papers required for the review and our advocate Ejaz Maqbool would be moving the apex court with the petition any day,” said Maulana Arshad Rashidi, the Uttar Pradesh unit chief of the JUH and one of the original litigants in the Ayodhya case. Rashidi has backed Arshad Madani on the issue.
The issue of a review plea has roiled Muslim groups since November 9, when a five-judge SC bench, led by former Chief Justice of India Ranjan Gogoi, unanimously set awarded the title of the land to Ram Lalla, the child deity. It also ordered the government to set up a trust to oversee management of the site and the construction of a temple, and awarded five acres of land at an alternative site for a mosque.
One of the main Muslim litigants in the case, the UP Sunni Central Waqf Board, has already ruled out any review petition. Another litigant, Iqbal Ansari, has said he is opposed to any such move. The AIMPLB was not a litigant in the case but said it will rope in three litigants – Mohammad Umar Khalid, Misbahuddin and Mehfusur Rehman -- to file the review petition.
The differences spilled out in the open on Thursday when a prominent Islamic scholar claimed he was denied an extension of his teaching position at a top seminary because he was opposed to the filing of a review plea.
Prominent Lucknow cleric Maulana Salman Nadwi said he was denied an extension by the Darul Uloom Nadwatul Ulema, where he taught, because the Ulema’s rector Maulana Rabey Hasani Nadwi is a member of the AIMPLB and favoured a review petition.
The institute rejected the charges and said Nadwi’s services were discontinued because he had attained the retirement age of 65. “There are teachers who are more than 80 and 85 years old and are still teaching in the college,” said Salman Nadwi, rejecting the institute’s statement.