Divided Muslim opinion on Ayodhya: Build a college or a library, say some 

Muslim public opinion is divided on the 5 acres of land offered by the Supreme Court in lieu of the Babri Masjid. Some would like to pay for the land, others favour a college or a library to be built

Divided Muslim opinion on Ayodhya: Build a college or a library, say some 

Biswajeet Banerjee

The Supreme Court verdict on Ram Temple has left the Muslim opinion divided over whether to accept the five acres of land offered by the Supreme Court by way of ‘moulding of relief’ in lieu of the Babri Masjid. There is also no unanimity on how to use the land if att all the Sunni Waqf Board were to accept the land.

The award, which hurt Muslim sentiment, has left some sections fuming. And they have been vocal in saying that they expected ‘justice’ and not ‘charity’. Others. even while favouring acceptance of the land, believe that a mosque should not be built there.

Some Muslim organizations and clerics have suggested that the Board should not take the land for free but pay money for that land. While others  advocate building educational institutions like College of Islamic Studies or set up even a library there.

UP Sunni Waqf Board has declared that it will accept the government land while Chairman of UP Shia Waqf Board has announced a donation of Rs 51,000 for construction of the Ram temple. But the final decision will be taken on Sunday during the meeting of AIMPLB in Lucknow.

Following are the suggestions from the Muslim organisations:

Ittehad-e-Millat Council (IMC): The organisation that wields considerable influence among Muslims in Bareilly. “We respect the court’s order but a mosque cannot be built on donated land. The Waqf Board must pay for the land to the government before building a mosque because a mosque can only be built on a property whose ownership vests with it.”

All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB): It has convened a meeting at Nadwatul Ulema in Lucknow on Sunday to take a call on whether to file a review petition or not against the Ayodhya verdict. The Board says that it will also decide on whether to accept the land or not. There are different views among the members with some holding that Muslims should not accept the land while others saying that AIMPLB should file a review petition.

Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind (JUEH): Maulana Arshad Madani of JUEH said the Sunni Waqf Board should not accept the five-acre plot. WE are of the view that Waqf Board should not accept the land. If we need to build a mosque at Ayodhya we will build it with our own resources, he said.

Chowk Jama Masjid: Secretary (mutawalli) of the mosque Colonel (retired) Sayyad Abrar said there could be no better verdict on the issue than the one pronounced by the apex court. Muslims should accept the land and proposed construction of a library where books on all religions should be available for study. A massive library with books on all religions and subjects will benefit people of all communities.

Imam-e-Juma of Shia Jama Masjid: Syed Hasan Raza Zaidi of this masjid said as the Supreme Court verdict mentions five acres of land for construction of a mosque, the order should be respected and only a mosque should be constructed on the land. The court is specific in its order and we should honour the order, he said.

Dara Shikoh Foundation in Aligarh: President of this foundation Aamir Rasheed has written a letter to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, seeking naming of the mosque to be built on five-acre land after Mughal Prince Dara Shikoh who, he said, was a champion of secular values.

“Both Hindus and Muslims have welcomed the decision by Supreme Court. To strengthen unity among Hindus and Muslims, the mosque should be named after Prince Dara Shikoh who had translated 50 Upanishads from Sanskrit to Persian and had great respect for Sikh gurus. The trust entrusted with construction of mosque should have representatives of all sects of Muslims,” Rasheed said.

“If the Muslim Personal Law Board or the Sunni Waqf Board declines the land, then our foundation is ready to take the responsibility,” he said.

Uttar Pradesh Aman Committee: Chairman of the Committee Munawwar Ali said the land for a mosque needs to be purchased or can be built after collection of money. “As such, if land is allocated by government in compliance with the Supreme Court directive, the same can be utilised for a social cause. A hospital or garden can come up there,” Ali said.

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