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Published in the 16-31 Jan 2005 print edition of MG; send me the print edition

Gujarat has its first Darul-Qaza 

By Abdul Hafiz Lakhani

Ahmedabad: After long and untiring efforts of Muslims in Gujarat they have now the first Darul Qaza, Shariah court, for speedy delivering of justice and save time and money of the litigants. The Darul Qaza ensures justice without causing any heartburn. 

After successful functioning in Bihar, Orissa, Assam, Uttar Pradesh and other states it has now been set up in Gujarat by the All India Muslim Personal Law Boad (AIMPLB), the apex body of Muslims for the protection of the Shariah. Darul Qazas decide matters in the light of Shariah on the issues like marriage, divorce, inheritance and maintenance. 

"There should be no misgiving among the public about its role. It is not a parallel system of dispensing justice like regular courts. On the contrary, it will serve as Lok adalats and therefore will be complementary to them," said Mufti Ahmed Devalvi of Jamia Uloomul Qur’an, Jambusar, who had come to attend the inaugural function.

"Being believers of the faith, it enjoins upon Muslims to accept Shariah in resolving disputes", he added.

Mufti Ubaidullah Al Asadi is a reputed cleric and heads Jamia Arabiah Islamiah, Hathora Banda. He said that the justice system of Islam demands Muslims that they should approach the Shariah court for the settlement of their disputes and accept the verdict without any reservation as rules applied in such courts are of divine nature not mundane. "If one wins a case in a regular court through wrong means he is a loser in the eyes of Shariah. On the contrary, if one loses a case in the Shariah court he is also a winner in the eyes of Shariah as he follows the edict of the Almighty," he said.

The convener of the Darul Qaza committee, Maulana Ateeq Ahmed Bastvi, who teaches at Nadvatul Ulama, Lucknow, administered oath of office to Mufti Abdul Qayyum Jaipuri as the City Qazi of Ahmedabad. He said that they have set up Darul Qaza in Gujarat under the instruction of AIMPLB for the benefit of people and save their valuable time, money and effort. A Muslim is a Muslim no matter wherever he lived in the world and in certain things he is bound to follow the Shariah particulary domestic life and interpersonal deals, said Maulana Bastvi.

A Qazi of the Shariah court should not bow to any kind of pressures, accept bribe, favour relatives, and come under the influence of vested interests, he added. He shoud not care about public opinion as long as his verdict is in line with the Shariah and he must control his emotions while delivering verdict. He must not accept any gift in any form or give secret audience to any of the two litigating parties as this may lead to suspicion about his integrity, Maulana Bastvi said.

Mohammad Shafi Madni President of Jamiat-e Islami Hind, Gujarat, welcomed the launching of Darul Qaza. He said that this would fulfill a long felt need for speedy delivery of justice at a time when getting justice from regular courts takes long time and burns deep holes in the pockets of litigants.
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