Hyderabad: In response to the recent surge in petitions targeting mosques, the All-India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) has strongly appealed to the Union government to uphold the Places of Worship (Special Provisions) Act, 1991. The board, representing Indian Muslims, emphasized the need to prevent new disputes and specifically mentioned the Gyanvapi Masjid in Varanasi and the Shahi Eidgah Masjid in Mathura.
During its Executive Committee meeting on January 18, AIMPLB, led by Moulana Khalid Saifullah Rahmani, expressed deep concern over developments in lower courts related to the Gyanvapi and Shahi Eidgah cases. The Supreme Court’s stay on the survey of Shahi Eidgah granted by the lower court was also noted.
The board stressed that the legislative intent, as reflected in the 1991 law, prohibits any modifications to the status of places of worship. It raised apprehensions that communal forces might exploit legal avenues to create fresh disputes if not properly addressed.
Addressing the Shahi Eidgah matter, the AIMPLB highlighted a 1968 agreement between Shahi Eidgah and the Krishna Janmabhoomi Trust, which had resolved the conflict. The resolution expressed expectations that the apex court would ensure no room is left for new disputes to maintain peace and the rule of law.
Additionally, the board raised concerns about the New Delhi Municipal Council’s plan to remove Sunheri Masjid near the parliament house, along with six other mosques in the Lutyens zone, citing traffic problems. The board emphasized that these mosques, listed among the 123 Waqf properties with a court stay, are heritage structures, and any attempt to tamper with them damages the country’s heritage.
On the Uniform Civil Code (UCC), AIMPLB reiterated that India’s diverse cultures and religions did not warrant such a law, and any attempt to implement it would contradict the spirit of the Constitution. The board strongly opposed discussions on UCC implementation by certain BJP-ruled states, deeming it completely unacceptable.
Addressing controversies surrounding the Waqf legislation, AIMPLB denounced any efforts to revoke the Waqf Act. The board called for strengthening Waqf laws and empowering Waqf Boards to eliminate encroachments. The meeting emphasized the misuse of Waqf properties and advised against attempts to repeal the Waqf Act.
The board also urged adherence to Sharia in social and familial contexts, suggesting dispute resolution through Darul-Qaza for marital issues. Expressing concerns over women’s rights and dignity, AIMPLB criticized the inadequate action by the government and stressed the need for more comprehensive measures. The board called for Muslim women to play a leading role in societal transformation, addressing issues like talaq and fostering amicable relationships.
Lastly, AIMPLB condemned Israel’s aggression in Gaza, describing it as a genocide against the Palestinian people. The board criticized world powers for supporting Israel and Muslim nations for their silence, urging the Indian government to maintain its longstanding support for Palestine.
Notable members present at the meeting included Moulana Mohammed Fazlur Raheem Mujadiddi, Vice President Syed Sadtaullah Husaini, Secretaries Moulana Umreen Mehfuz Raehmani, Wali Faisal Rehmani, Moulana Dr. Yaseen Ali Osmani, and Treasurer Professor Riyaz Omer, among others.