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Islamic laws are eternal: AIMPLB

Kolkata: The twenty-fifth, 3-day conference of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board’s executive committee started was held here during 18-20 November in which Muslims were called upon to rise above sects. Instead of emotionalism and passion, emphasis was laid on acting and moving forward with proper planning and strategy to solve all problems. Emphasis was also laid on proper and deeper study of Shari’at and importance of Islamic laws, their usefulness and to remove all misconceptions and misunderstaings among people about these laws. At the same time it was also decided to remove the misconceptions about Islamic laws about marriage, divorce and other family and social matters which even educated people, in the absence of proper and sufficient knowledge and many wrong practices and views of Muslims, considered as mistakes and faults of Islamic teachings despite the fact that Islam is perfect in all respects and its laws, teachings and practices are in accordance with human nature and needs. Objections which are raised about divorce are to a great extent due to failure to have a proper and correct understanding of the problems of marriage and divorce. This law is not man-made. Instead, it is ordained by Allah who is the Creator of all human beings and every thing else, Who knows best and understands the needs and difficulties of human beings, present as well as future.

The Conference was chaired by the Board’s President Maulana Muhammad Rabey Hasani Nadwi in which Board’s Vice President Maulana Kalbe Sadiq, general secretary Maulana Muhammad Wali Rahmani, Maulana Jalaluddin Umri, Maulana Abdul Wahab Khilji, Maulana Khalid Rashid Firangimahli etc were present. Other members of the executive fully supported the President’s address and praised the efforts of the Board under the prevailing conditions in the country and expressed their complete faith in the steps taken by the President and general secretary. Maulana Rabey Hasani said in his presidential address that Islam’s religious laws enjoy special importance that these are prescribed and laid down in the Heavenly Book, the Qur’an, and the Sirat of the Last Prophet of Allah through divine revelations. These laws are eternal, and because of being heavenly teachings and commands, are unchangeable and valid for all times to come. Hence it is in no way acceptable and permissible for Muslims to change, repeal, amend, remove or add anything in these laws or recommend the same to others. He said that Islam does not believe in imposing itself on the believers and followers of other religions by force. Hence it expects and demands others also not to impose their religion, views and practices on its followers who should have the freedom to  follow their religion without any restriction. The secular Constitution of India gives this freedom to the followers of all religions. He said that objections which are raised about divorce are mainly because of not properly understanding the problems of marriage and divorce. He said that divorce apparently has been considered an act of strictness but it also has been allowed as a protection against strong dangers. He said that in case of marriage, divorce, legacy, heritage, adoption etc there is more scope of benefits for women than men. He said that marriage in Islam has the status of a contract. There is no doubt that many Muslims ignore many things which creates misunderstandings because mistakes and lapses of Muslims are considered as mistakes and faults of Shariat which is wrong.

Board’s Vice President Maulana Kalbe Sadiq advised Muslims to work and behave sanely and cautiously instead of being emotional and reckless. He said that we need to think of ourselves as Muslims only, adding that problems arise because we consider ourselves more as Shi’a, Sunni, Deobandis etc. He said that problems are solved by acting with intelligence and planning, not by acting recklessly, shouting slogans and making fiery and provocative speeches.

The Board also said that the questionnaire issued by the Law Commisison is not only an attempt to interfere in sensitive issues but also indicates the Central governemnt’s malafide intention of abolishing personal laws of Muslims and other communities and introducing a uniform civil code for hundreds of communities, groups and sub-groups etc. Regarding polygamy, the Board while rejecting this accusation about Muslims, said that the rate of talaq and polygamy among Muslims is the least as compared to other religious and other communities.

A special feature of this conference of AIMPL Board was that women’s representation in the Board’s membership was increased in order to strengthen their voice in the Board and make their voices heard in the personal laws related issues. Thus nine more women were made members of the board. Now, out of a total membership of 250, women account for 54. Among the nine new women members are Ms. Nakhat Fatema of Lucknow, Ms. Aamna Rizwan and Ms. Azra Nikhat, Tabassum (Vijaywada) Fatema Muzaffar (Chennai) etc. There are 51 members in the Board’s executive committee of whom six are women.

Another special feature of this conference was that, according to Board’s secretary Zafaryab Jilani, on 20 November the Board decided to form a women’s wing to look into burning issues such as triple talaq, family disputes, education etc. The convener of women’s wing will be Dr. Asma Zohra. Women’s wing would launch an all-India Muslim women helpline, a toll-free call centre in Urdu, English, Hindi and eight regional languages to counsel and provide guidance to women on family disputes.

In this Conference Maulana Rabey Hasani Nadwi was re-elected Chairman of this Board for a second term.    

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

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