New Delhi: Senior Islamic scholar and Delhi Minority Commission chairman Dr Zafarul Islam Khan has come forward in support of Maulana Salman Nadwi saying Nadwi’s statement on Ayodhya dispute is correct and logical.
Delhi-based Khan, who is a former president of All India Muslim Majlis e Mushawarat, an umbrella body of over 40 Muslim organisations, in a piece he penned on Saturday published on News 18 Urdu, backs Nadwi for making efforts to end the dispute but disagrees that Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravishankar will succeed in convincing Hindu organisations to accept the formula.
“Maulana Salman Nadwi’s suggestion is logical but who will listen to Sri Sri Ravishankar? Involve the SC, the government or the RSS and other parties and take them on board,” he said. Defending Nadwi, he said he has known him for the last three decades as a learned person. “I have differed with him but never doubted his integrity,” he said. “Maulana Nadwi capitulated to pressure but I will not,” he added.
Last month, Nadwi stoked a controversy for suggesting that land for a mosque and a university away from the disputed site in Ayodhya could be an option for Muslims. The aftermath costed him his position in AIMPLB although on March 2, he retracted from his stand on Ayodhya dispute.
Khan, an alumnus of the Cairo-based famous Islamic seminary Al-Azhar further said that some Muslim political and religious leaders harp profusely that a mosque will always remain a mosque till eternity, but there is no textual (Quran or Hadith, the Prophet’s traditions) to support this claim.
“Different Muslim countries have various examples wherein mosque was shifted to new location from old place. Even during early Islam some mosques were shifted in Madina (Saudi Arabia). There are thousands of mosques in our country occupied by the Archaeological Survey of India, non-Muslims or even Muslims but formula of ‘Once a Masjid, always a Masjid’ does not apply here!’’
Khan also questioned, “Will the order of Supreme Court change the deposition of a religious affair? As our leaders has announced that they will accept the SC order even if it goes against the Muslims!”
“It is better to assume that the place of mosque can be changed in order to protect the innocent lives and to safeguard the objectives of the Muslim community”, Khan said.