By Abdul Hafiz Lakhani,
Maulana Sayed Muhammad Rabey Hasani Nadvi, president All India Muslim Personal Law Board was recently in Ahmadabad. During his two-day stay, he took part in several functions and inaugurated three buildings of Shama School and laid foundation of an ITI in Vatva area of the city. All the educational institutions were founded by the Gujarat Sarvajnik Welfare Trust, which is an NGO striving to promote education among Muslims and to uplift their economic condition. The Trust is run by founder trustee Afzal Memon.
On the occasion, Ahmadabad-based Gujarat Siyasat’s editor Abdul Hafiz Lakhani had interviewed Maulana Rabey Nadvi, who is also the Mohtamim (Reactor) of Darul Uloom Nadwatul Ulema, Lucknow.
Here are the excerpts of the freewheeling interview with Maulana Rabey Nadvi.
Q: Modi government is conspiring to do away the minority character of the Aligarh Muslim University and also targeting the Jamia Millia Islamia. How do you view these developments?
Rabey Nadvi: The recent decision of the government opposing the minority character of Aligarh Muslim University and Jamia Millia Islamia has shaken the confidence of the Muslim minority. It is a clear attempt to undermine the fundamental and constitutional rights accorded to the minorities by the Constitution of India. It is no secret that the Aligarh Muslim University was founded by the Muslim Community and they have also made huge sacrifices to keep it vibrant and robust. This historic institution is an embodiment of sacrifices offered by Muslims and no governments can dare to tinker its historic character. The present government’s latest attempt also reflects its shaky commitment towards the diversity of the Nation. It is part of saffron agenda. It is politically motivated. However, we will fight against all odds.
Q: If Modi government does not desist from anti-minority posturing, then what will be the response of Muslim Personal Law Board?
A: As you very well aware that since its inception AIMPB’s main objective is to protect Sharia laws in the country. AMU’s case is a different issue. It has legal and political dimensions. We will form a joint platform of Muslim organizations like JUH, JIH, AIMMM and Milli Council for protecting minority character of AMU and Jamia Millia.
Q: How do you view the growing atmosphere of intolerance and fear among Muslims and other sections of the society as communal popularization gaining momentum since the communal forces came to power?
A: Yes, the situation is alarming but we are watching closely every moves of the government. Attempts are being made to push minorities into the grip of insecurity. We are analyzing each and every actions of the government. We have very strong constitution. It has given so many rights to minorities. Secularism is the essence of the country. Saffron elements have raised their ugly head, but I still believe that the Indian Constitution protect minorities, Dalits and all weaker sections of the society. Polarization is enemy of progress and prosperity of the nation.
Q: Once again Ram Mandir issue is being raked up to whip up communal cauldron in the country as assembly elections in UP is round corner. Subramanian Swamy and other BJP leaders are making provocative statements. How do you see the unfolding situation?
A: The Babri Majid title suit case is being heard in the Supreme Court. We don’t take such inflammatory speeches seriously as these have no bearing on the case. We have full faith in the judiciary. Nobody can influence the judiciary. Swamy and other Hindutva elements now want to influence the judiciary but they won’t succeed.
Q: You are here for educational purpose. What is your assessment of educational progress of the community after Sachar Committee report?
A: The 21st century is century of Knowledge. Quran first word is IQRA. In the past Muslims had attained the pinnacle in every faculty of knowledge but unfortunately they lost in the midway. It is heartening to see that they are now once again trying to regain lost ground. Islam gives utmost importance to education and it’s only through education we can succeed and lead the world towards enlightenment. The people of this era have far greater responsibilities than those before them. “Allah has tasked us with mission of spreading the light of knowledge. Responsibility is given only to those who have the ability to perform it. We have the example of our Prophet from whom we can learn as to how we can spread education.”
Q: There were reports in the media that PMO had tried to arrange a meeting between you and Prime Minister Narendra Modi. What is the truth about it?
A: It was not correct. These are baseless reports. No initiative was taken from any side. We are watching. Right now the Board has no plan of meeting any top functionaries of the government. Constitution and judiciary is the cornerstone of the great country.
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