India’s top Muslim clerics have unequivocally asserted that Shariat is divine and hence no government or court has right to make any changes in it. When Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) had no such right, how Muslims can give that right to any government or court, they asked while speaking at the concluding program of Jamaat-e-Islami Hind’s nationwide Muslim Personal Law Awareness Campaign, held at Aiwan-e Ghalib here on Sunday evening.
The clerics categorically asserted that Muslim disputes over family matters are reaching courts because of ignorance or deliberate misuse of Shariat provisions, and so Shariat cannot be held responsible for it. Instead, there is strong need to educate the Muslim masses about Shariat, to impress upon them to follow it honestly and to open counselling centres and Shariat panchayats to resolve any disputes over family matters like marriage, divorce and inheritance.
“When Muslims were in power they never interfered in customs, traditions and personal laws of other communities and that is why the British regime respected Islamic Shariat and in 1937 the Shariat Application Act was passed to ensure that courts decide according to Islamic Shariat in family matters like marriage, divorce and inheritance if both parties are Muslim,” said Maulana Khalid Saifullah Rahmani, Secretary, All India Muslim Personal Law Board.
He urged Muslims to have full faith and belief in Shariat, acquire its knowledge and practise it fully and honestly. While applauding the initiative of Jamaat to run nationwide Muslim Personal Law Awareness Campaign, he referred to a system in Malaysia and urged Jamaat to hold workshops for newly-wed couples and the aspirants and also set up counselling centres in order to minimize cases of Talaq.
Maulana Fazlurrehman Mujaddidi, Secretary, All India Muslim Personal Law Board, termed the recent hue and cry over talaq and polygamy as part of a global conspiracy to target social and family system of Islam.“We have lost our political system and also economic system, and now there is a global conspiracy to target our social and family system. Islamic civilization and social system are being targeted as they are big impediment in the way of Western civilization,” said Maulana Mujaddidi at the program that was presided over by Jamaat chief Maulana Syed Jalaluddin Umari. “Talaq is a need of human society. When a husband and wife cannot live together for any reason, they can get separated through Talaq,” he said.
Maulana Ateeque Ahmed Bastawi, Convener, Darul Qaza committee, All India Muslim Personal Law Board said: “No government or court will be able to make any change in our Shariat if we Muslims remain firm on it. When we ignore Shariat, courts and governments get opportunity to interfere in it.” He also advised Muslims to avoid going courts on family issues and stressed on setting up of counselling committee in every Muslim locality in the country to resolve disputes of marriage, divorce etc.
Islamic scholar Dr. Zafarul Islam Khan said Uniform Civil Code (UCC) is one of 23 items mentioned in the Directive Principles of the Indian Constitution but only UCC is singled out by people with vested interests.“Some people demand Uniform Civil Code saying it is mentioned in the Directive Principles of the Constitution, but they forget that the same Directive Principles talk about 22 other issues also like Social Justice, Education, Prohibition, Drugs and Concentration of Wealth. But nobody is talking about them,” said Dr Khan.
He also said that Muslims should not make hue and cry over calls for UCC because it is impracticable in a country like India which has 200-300 personal laws.
“It is said there are 200-300 personal laws of different communities in the country. It is not the issue of Muslims alone. But the way we Muslims react over call for Uniform Civil Code, the government and media assume that it is only Muslim issue. They have not yet made even first draft of any such Uniform Civil Code. If they come, we will present Islamic Shariat and we are sure our Islamic Shariat will be accepted by the whole country,” said ex-president of All India Muslim Majlis-e Mushawart to the loud cheers of the crowd.
In his presidential speech, President of Jamaat Maulana Syed Jalaluddin Umari said: “During the campaign I addressed several events in different parts of the country. The huge number of people at those programs gave a clear message that Muslims are not ready to keep off Islam and Shariat and this should be clear to all.”Maulana Umari said that no injustice can even be imagined in any law framed by Allah.“A government, a community or a party or an individual can do injustice but this cannot be said about Almighty Allah that He would take side of any. So there cannot be injustice with any gender or group or individual in any law framed by Allah,” he said.
Earlier at the programme, Mohammad Jafar, National Convener of Jamaat’s Muslim Personal Law Awareness Campaign (23 April – 7 May) said that through thousands of programs during the campaign, around 100 million people were reached directly or indirectly with the message Islam and Shariat.
Major programmes were held in all capital cities besides special programs for women. Women cadres of Jamaat campaigned in towns and villages and educated people about marriage, divorce and inheritance. Some 84 press conferences were addressed by Jamaat’s women leaders while 1500 programs were organized only for women. Around 6 lakh booklets and 17 lakh pamphlets on women issues were distributed. About 32 lakh people were reached through personal contacts and 12,500 Friday sermons were used to educate the Muslim masses on Shariat.
All the leaders applauded the nationwide campaign of Jamaat and urged other organisations to come out to hold such programmes. They stressed that such campaigns, workshops and counselling sessions should be held regularly round the year and in all Muslim localities in the country.