By Anwarulhaq Baig
NEW DELHI—Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) vice-president Maulana Waleeullah Sayeedi Falahi has said that Prime Minister Narendra Modi holding a constitutional post and representing India’s secular democracy should not have associated himself with inauguration of the Ram Temple built on the site of the demolished Babari Masjid in Ayodhya. He made these remarks in his Friday sermon at the Ishaat-e-Islam mosque here last week.
Maualani Falahi pointed out that PM’s participation in the event seemed to be motivated by the 2024 general elections to be held anytime between April-May this year. He said that it was because of the political nature of the programme that several opposition party leaders refused to attend the programme. The same was the case with four Shankaracharyas, the highest religious leaders of the Hindu faith, who declined to attend the programme despite having received invitation from the Ram Janmabhoomi Teerth Kshetra Trust.
The JIH leader also raised the issue of hatching conspiracies to capture Gyanvapi Masjid in Varanasi and Shahi Idgah Masjid in Mathura on the pattern of the conspiracies in the Babari Masjid case. He criticized the permission for survey of the Gyanvapi’s wuzukhana (ablution tank), expressing the fear that Muslims may not get justice as happened in the Babri Masjid case.
Maulana Sayeed raised a question: “Can a country function on oppression, injustice, and ‘might is right’ policies?”
Further highlighting the concerns, Maulana Falahi mentioned the case against Mathura’s Eidgah and the plans to demolish 22 Delhi mosques, including the iconic Sunehri Bagh Masjid near the Parliament House. He questioned the motives of those in power, including a judge who delivered Babri Majid verdict and was then nominated to Rajya Sabha, suggesting political agendas behind these actions. He warned that the majoritarian policies of the government are inflaming tensions among communities.
Reminding that the temple is being built over the debris of the 16th-century mosque demolished by a violent Hindu mob on December 6, 1992, Maulana Falahi noted that Muslims offered namaz at Babri Masjid for over 500 years since its construction in 1528 during the reign of Mughal Emperor Babur. However, in 1949, Hindu radicals clandestinely kept idols inside the mosque, laying the ground to demolish it later.
Maulana Falahi pointed out that the demolition of Babri Masjid in full public view despite government assurances to protect it, showed the “rule of might makes right, not the rule of law” in India. The whole world watched helplessly as rioters razed a 500-year-old protected monument. It shattered India’s democratic foundations.
He recalled the Supreme Court’s final verdict in November 2019 that had clearly stated that there was no evidence of a temple under Babri Masjid. The court’s observations were based on excavation report of the site by the Archaeological Survey of India. The apex court also acknowledged the mosque’s demolition was illegal. However, the SC awarded the mosque land for a temple based on Hindu sentiments. Maulana Falahi questioned the justice in handing over the mosque land for the construction of a temple, citing the Quran’s emphasis on speaking the truth and doing justice.
Maulana Falahi said while Muslims accepted the apex court verdict in the Babri Masjid case, they continue to see it as unjust, wrong, and contrary to all evidence in Babri Masjid’s favour. He asserted that reality does not change merely by judicial pronouncement. The truth will always remain the truth.
Refuting the claim of the Hindu party that the Babri Masjid was built on the site of a demolished Ram Temple, he said that a masjid cannot be constructed over a piece of land illegally occupied. He asserted that a mosque can be built only on a land acquired through legitimate means. In this context, he cited Prophet Muhammad’s example of building the Masjid-e-Nabwi (prophet’s mosque). Maulana Falahi said the land belonged to two orphan children who wanted to gift the land for the mosque but the Prophet took the land only after paying compensation to the two owners on the then prevailing market rate.
Maulana Falahii said, “Though both children were happy to donate the land, the Prophet paid them a market price to build Masjid-e-Nabawi. Islamic law requires obtaining the consent of property owners before building a mosque, as mosques cannot be built on occupied land. Any prayers offered in a mosque built on occupied land or another religion’s places of worship are considered invalid.”
The JIH leader said when the Muslim army captured Baitul Muqaddas, the present day Jerusalem from Christian powers, the Muslim Caliph Hazrat Umar declared safety of all Christian and Jewish places of worship, equal rights for all, and no religious discrimination or injustices committed against minorities.
The Christian bishop, pleased with the Caliph’s assurance of religious freedom, proudly showed him the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. As they toured the sacred site, the call to Islamic prayer echoed through the city. The Bishop, in a gesture of hospitality, offered Hazrat Umar the opportunity to pray within the Church. However, Hazrat Umar respectfully declined. He stepped outside the Church and prayed on the open land instead. When Bishop questioned him about his decision, Hazrat Umar explained his reasoning: “I fear that if I were to pray inside the Church, future generations of Muslims might misinterpret my action as claiming ownership of this Christian holy place. I want to ensure that no one can use my prayer as justification for harming this Church or disrespecting the Christians who worship here.”
Maulana Falahi stated that scholars and Hindu brothers were present when the Babri Masjid was built and even though centuries passed, no objections arose until recently. He accused unruly elements, who thrive on sowing discord and hatred, of exploiting this issue for their political agenda. These elements, Maulana Falahi declared, have no concern for employment, poverty, justice, or a harmonious society. Their sole purpose is to incite religious friction and further their political goals through division. He acknowledged that many non-Muslim Indians recognize this manipulation. They understand that both the Babri Masjid’s demolition and the temple construction are acts of injustice, and ultimately serve a political agenda aimed at the 2024 elections.
What should Muslims do in these trying times?
Drawing parallels with early Muslims facing persecution in Mecca, Maulana Falahi urged Indian Muslims to be patient against provocations. He emphasized patience and acting with wisdom. He reminded that Prophet Muhammad and his followers patiently tolerated idol worship at Kaaba for 13 years in Mecca and even after migrating to Madina for several years, until the victory of Mecca later.
The JIH leader stressed the importance of cleansing hearts and minds through the teachings of Islam. He pointed out that despite Israeli aggression against Palestinians, people across the globe are embracing Islam, recognizing its true message. Muslims, he said, must uphold faith in justice and avoid agitation or protests. “Miscreants who demolished Babri Masjid lacked faith in the judiciary,” he noted.
Maulana Falahi Muslims to reach out to people with love and understanding, following the Prophet’s example in conveying Allah’s message through service and kindness. He acknowledged the negative influence of “a 20% saffron group” while assuring that the nature of “80% of our Hindu brothers” remains untainted. Muslims, he said, should meet all people to spread Islam’s true message, fulfilling their duty as believers.
Maulana Falahi cautioned against falling into the traps of organizations like Muslim Rashtriya Manch, an RSS affiliate. He advised to avoiding any participation in temple-related activities. “Followers of Islam cannot bow before any person, oppression, ruler, majority, or force,” he declared. “We must remain patient, avoid such activities, and remember that Allah is watching us.”