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Maulana Nizamuddin

“We prefer alliance to avoid split of Muslim votes”: says celebrated Muslim scholar Maulana Nizamuddin Islahi, founder of Rashtriya Ulama Council in an interview.

Where did you receive your primary education? And did you join any other religious educational institution after graduating from Madrasatul Islah?

I received my basic education at Chandpatti Primary School and learnt Nazira Qur’an at the hands of my mother. I joined no other educational institution except Madrasatul Islah.


What did you do after you completed your education?

Answer:  I was Nazim of Jamaat-e-Islami Gorakhpur (Deoria) from 1961 to 1963.


You have been a primary member, then a representative and a member of the Majlis-e-Shura of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind. Besides, you were Ameer-e Halqa of the Jamaat in various states of the country. In this way, you spent your whole life in the service of the Jamaat and millat. Then why did your leave the Jamaat during the last phase of your life?

I have always been interested in politics and whenever I got a chance to speak in Shura meetings, I pressed upon participating in elections. As the Jamaat-e-Islami, during its initial phase, considered politics as opposed to religion and Oneness of God, it avoided politics of elections. This forced me to quit the Jamaat and establish the Rashtriya Ulama Council.


Some people allege that in whichever circle you were the Ameer, the Jamaat split into two groups. How much truth is there in this allegation?

This is a baseless allegation.


Why the Jamaat people were removed from Madrasatul Islah?

The Jamaat people were sacked by the Nazim of the Madrasa, Badruddin Sahib. As he got a Zamindari mindset, he habitually took unilateral decisions. Once out of Madratul Islah, Jamaat people felt the necessity of establishing a Darul-Uloom. In order to implement this programme, I placed this proposal in the Central Majlis-e-Shura. The Jamaat had a rule that if any member puts up any suggestion, it must be discussed by the Majlis. The Jamaat accepted my suggestion and decided that the proposer should place an outline of the proposal in the next session of the Majlis-e-Shura. The next session of the Majlis was held at Rampur after eight months, on 14 December, 1961. It lasted till 18 December. In this session, I submitted an outline of the proposed Darul-Uloom which was to be named as “Jaamiatul Rashaad”. Thus we got a green signal from the Jamaat. We had already formed a committee, which included Jamaat office-bearers viz., Maulana Habeebullah Qasmi (Ameer-e-Jamaat, Eastern-U.P.), Maulana Abubakr Islahi (Nazim, Dist. Azamgarh), Maulana Mujeebullah Nadwi (Ameer, Azamgarh town and Nizamuddin Islahi (member, Majlis-e-Shura).

Then we established this darul-uloom as Jamiatur-Rashaad at Azamgarh town and Maulana Abdul-Haseeb Islahi was appointed as its first teacher by Maulana Mujeebullah Nadwi who was appointed as the principal of the madrasa by the above-mentioned committee. Meanwhile, Maulana Abdul-Haseeb Islahi left for Hajj and returned in 1961. As he was supposed to join Jamiatur Rashaad in Shawwal, he served for about five months as a teacher in a madrasa at Bilariya Ganj in an honorary capacity and then joined Jaamiatur-Rashaad. Although the Bilariya Ganj madrasa authorities were reluctant to relieve him, Maulana Abdul-Haseeb left it for the Jamiah as he had already promised Maulana Nadwi to join it. Thus, Maulana Abdul-Haseeb started his teaching assignment at the Jamiatur Rashaad and continued there till the establishment of Jamiatul Falah at Bilarya Ganj next year as we, the Jamaat people, wanted to establish an institution which would belong to the Jamaat and the responsibility of its expenses would be borne by the Jamaat. This is now before our eyes as a world-class institution, imparting reliious as well as literary education.


Rashtriya Ulama Council was established as a result of a particular need and occasion, i.e., arrests and encounters against Muslim youth. You are a responsible office-bearer of the Ulama Council. Can you tell us what positive steps you took to stop the arrests of these youth and for securing the release of those already in detention?

We always raised our voice to get them released. We also organise a ‘dharna’ every year on 19 September at Jantar-Mantar in Delhi. For the first dharna, we took two railway trains to Delhi. Many important Congress leaders admitted that the encounter of Atif and Sajid was fake. The Batla House encounter occurred on 19 September, therefore, we hold our dharna at Jantar Mantar on that day. 


People had great hopes from the initial steps the Rashtriya Ulama Council took but these hopes soured with the passage of time and people started to say that this organisation too is a means of earning like other political platforms.

Every organisation has its ups and downs and political parties experience more such changes during the election period.

The elections are round the corner in Uttar Pradesh and all Muslim organisations are busy as in the past. Ulama Council will also take part in the elections as in the past. Then, what can be said to counter the claim that this organisation too will be a source of benefit to the fascist forces? Unless we prepare a common election strategy, we shall continue to be devoured by our enemies. What do you think about this? 

We are trying to avoid the division of Muslim votes. We are sorry that this has been happening in the past. We shall try our best to forge an alliance with other Muslim parties.


What is your message to the people about the current political scenario of the country?

We shall expect from the people that in the interest of bigger challenges facing the country and Muslims, they would try to keep unity in their ranks in order to achieve a bigger purpose. The situation in the country is very hopeless at present and we fear a further worsening of the situation. Therefore, Muslims should keep their welfare as well as that of the country in mind and think over the situation with an open heart. (Jadeed Khabar, translated by MG staff)

This article appeared in The Milli Gazette print issue of 16-31 December 2016 on page no. 12

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