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Like Sikhs, management of auqaf affairs should be given to Muslims

 New Delhi: A 2-day international seminar on ‘Auqaf in India:Challenges and Difficulties’ sponsored by Islamic Fiqh Academy was held in Dehi in the last week of August in which almost all the speakers in one voice demanded that complete administration and management of all waqf properties should be entrusted to Muslims and that in order to get the waqf properties vacated by illegal occupants, Waqf    Bill should be passed or got passed immediately. Renowned Ulama, jurists, experts and intellectuals said that the number of waqf properties in India is much more than in many Muslim countries but no worthwhile benefits and advantages from these have so far been derived because most of these waqf properties are under illegal occupation of central and state governments or their agencies or individuals and institutions. Jamiatul Ulama’s President Maulana Arshad Madni, while speaking about the efforts and struggles of his organisation since independence, for the protection of waqf properties said that auqafs are the properties of our forefathers and our demand that illegal occupation of auqaf by central and state governments and their agencies should be removed or vacated is all right and justified. In the background of the present political conditions he said in his presidential address that we should work and struggle with full confidence and determination to regain and recover Waqf properties. He emphasised the point that different state governments should be pressurised by the people so as to compel them to vacate waqf properties.

Earlier, Maulana Khalid Saifullah Rahmani, general secretary of Islamic Fiqh Academy in his introductory speech said that if Muslims get back their waqf properties they on their own can move forward on the road to progress. He highlighted important point that the activities and participation of Muslims in the management of Waqf affairs and properties is limited because government has constituted Waqf Boards in such a way that elected Muslim representatives are small in number but government representatives and nominees are in large number.

Former President of All India Muslim Majlis Mushawarat and editor of Milli Gazette Dr. Zafarul-Islam Khan said that among the problems of Muslims, that of Waqf is the most important. He said that ever since the arrival of Britishers in India the process of occupation of waqf properties started and the position today is that 60 to 70 percent waqf properties are under government occupation. He emphasised the point that Muslims should start a movement to make the demand that Muslims themselves should run and manage the affairs of auqaf. Giving the example of Sikhs he said that Gurudwara Prabandhak Committee itself takes care and looks after its religious places and properties in which government has no role of interference and added that Muslims also should demand the same. Former union minister K. Rahman Khan said in his message that protection of waqf properties is possible only when each and every member of the nation takes interest in its protection like his own property.

Among others who also expressed their views in this seminar included Dr. Obaidullah of Jeddah-based Islamic Research & Training Institute, Mrs. Amal Husain Al Dalal, representative of Kuwait’s Amanat Aamma Auqaf and Dr. Habib Al Namliti, a scholar from Bahrein. 

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 1-15 October 2016 on page no. 14

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