Jobs @ MG
|INTERVIEW: Maulana Abdul
‘We will have to sort out problems’
differences blew up into the open recently. Though not new by any means, the
way it is going out of control in recent times has made everyone wonder as
to whether we realize the consequences of the silly games we are playing.
When the community is finding it hard to cope with numerous problems and
challenges confronting it in every field, maslaki tafriqa-bazi is simply the
last thing we should tolerate since this will eat us up from within.
With Ahl-e-Hadees and Deobandies fighting in the open, things are stretching
too far. The battered Muslim community cannot bear it. S Ubaidur Rahman of
the MG talked to Maulana Abdul Wahab Khilji, secretary general of Markazi
Jamiat Ahl-e-Hadees, which has felt agrieved at the sudden Deobandi attack.
|Why these maslaki differences
have come out in the open now?
We are being accused of calling names to sahaba. Deobandis have always
accused us for things which we never did or said. Has anyone ever seen
us indulging in such arguments. We have never uttered a word against the
It is a problem of shortsightedness and insistence on one’s argument
even if the argument is not true. They are not prepared to accept our
argument. Now they are indulging in open threats to us and organizing
conferences against us.
How the problem started?
These are not new issues. The issue has been confronting the
community for a very long time. There are some basic guidelines in Islam
which we have to follow. Qur’an and hadith are our basic sources. There
are small things where there is some ambiguity and here everyone is free
to do as he or she believes to be true. Raf’i-yadain and aameen bil-jahr
fall under this category.
Now the problem is aggravated with open threats and wild accusations.
People with some vested interests are doing it in order to drive
benefits for themselves. In their conferences they are openly accusing
us and our institutions in a way that cannot be tolerated. We have
always been an oppressed segment in the Muslim society in the country.
These people claim that they played a significant part in the war of
independence. Whenever we say that we too played a significant role in
that struggle, they come out to deny our claims with no basis. They
accuse us to be kafir. They say that salat behind an Ahl-e-Hadees imam
is not lawful. They say that a mosque should be cleaned if an
Ahl-e-Hadees enters it.
I will give just one example. We constructed a mosque in Saharanpur some
nine years back. Now a son of Maulana As’ad Madani goes there all of a
sudden and threatens the devout and says that now we will appoint a
Deobandi imam here. We have been facing these problems here and there.
When Muslims are demanding security in the country, they are not
allowing a segment of the community itself to live in peace and
The real problem is a book, Al-Deobandiyah. They claim that it has been
written by us. But the fact is that a Pakistani writer has authored it.
He has used arguments from their own books. He has pinpointed their
differences on various issues.
I accept that his tone is not correct I reject his style. We do not
favour him. But they should answer him in a reasonable way and come up
with arguments against him. It should to be tackled in an ilmi style.
Can’t you maintain silence over such outbursts?
We are not going out to organize conferences against them as they
are doing. You see, we are silent. We are ready to offer any sacrifice
for the unity of the community. We are ready to walk some extra miles to
achieve this target. But the way they are behaving is causing panic
among our people. They ask what we are doing for them.
A few years ago you gave an interview to an Arabic magazine [Al-Da’wah]
where you claimed that the only correct Muslims in India are the Salafis?
I never claimed so. I never gave that interview.
You call yourself salafi. But Salafis are actually the Hambalis, the
followers of Imam Ahmad ibn Hambal. So they too are muqallid?
Salafis and Hanbalis are different. Salafis are ghair muqallid.
Hanafis are rigid muqallids. Other sects are nearer to Ahl-e-Hadees (aqrab
Ahl-e-Hadees ulama and their institutions are publishing books and
pamphlets against Deobandis and distributing them free?
It might have happened a few years ago, but now no one is indulging
in such things.
Does such differences augur well for the community at the moment?
We have been trying to discuss all issues in ilmi style. With
education and openness more and more people are talking about these
issues and adopting a personal line on all these issues. People today
are more tolerant than they were a decade or half a century ago. Every
problem could be sorted out. It is better for the community when it is
facing insurmountable problems on all fronts. We will have to sort out
the differences for the sake of our survival as a community.