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Published in the 1-15 Jan 2005 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

New Personal Law board

By Masood Hasan

Lucknow: The announcement of the formation of a parallel All-India Muslim Personal Law Board (Jadeed) by Maulana Tauqir Raza Khan of Barellvi sect came in for sharp criticism from all sections of Muslim society and clerics. The clerics termed the move as a deep-rooted conspiracy to divide the Muslims. This correspondent who contacted a number of religious leaders but not even a single Muslim religious leader has supported the move of Maulana Raza. Even Imams of the different masjids condemned and advised him to abandon the idea for the sake of unity among the Muslims.

It may be recalled here that Maulana Tauqir Raza Khan who has a large following among Muslims and the followers are called Barellvi’s — this sect of Muslims has announced formation of a new All India Muslim Personal Law Board (Jadeed). He justified the formation of the new Muslim Law Board because he felt the old All India Muslim Personal Law Board did not represent all sections of Muslims.

The Naib Imam of Eidgah Maulana Khalid Rashid of Firangi Mahal has made it clear that the announcement of the formation of new Muslim Personal Law Board would weaken the Muslim community and would create more confusion instead of resolving them. The old Muslim Personal Law Board was set up in 1972 with the sole intention of fighting for the cause of the Muslims, he said adding that AIMPLB did commendable work for the welfare and betterment of the community and enjoyed utmost trust and popularity among them. He has strongly contradicted the statement of Maulana Tauqir Raza Khan that the AIMPLB does not represent all sects. He told this correspondent that there was a concerted move since decades to form a parallel Board with clear intention to damage the old AIMPLB but the move had never succeeded because of stiff opposition by the clerics and intellectuals of the community. The old Board has four vice-presidents who belong to every sect. He said " I see some conspiracy in its announcement and Maulana Khalid Rasheed predicts that it would die before it comes into existence. Citing an example, he said that Maulana Obaidullah Azmi had taken an initiative in this regard but later he gave it up thinking that it might affect the trust of Muslims. He told this scribe firmly that the old Law Board had never allowed any government to interfere in Islamic Jurisprudence.

The renowned Shia cleric Maulana Kalbe Jawwad said the move of Maulana Tauqir Raza Khan to form a parallel Muslim Law Board was only to create disturbances in the community. The community will suffer a lot if it comes into existence he pointed out and added that he sees the move to form the parallel Muslim Law Board as a ‘politically motivated intention' and a futile effort.

The vice-president of the All India Muslim Personal Law Maulana Kalbe Sadiq felt that the formation of new Board is politically motivated that would create more problems. The Imam of Telelwali masjid Fazlur Rehman described the old All India Muslim Personal Law Board as an institution. He asked a question to Maulana Tauqir Raza Khan whether he has succeeded in getting support from all sections of Ulema that prompted him to announce such a Muslim Law Board. 
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