Sunday 9 PM Candlelight at Nadwa, Residence of Maulana Firangi Mahli Sparks Row
What I did has nothing to do with faith, I did it in national solidarity: Maulana Firangi Mahli
There is no doubt that whatever happened at Nadwa was regrettable but to target a reputed institution like Nadwa on the basis of that act is not proper: Maulana Wali Rahmani
Mumtaz Alam | India Tomorrow
NEW DELHI, APRIL 7— At the call of Prime Minister Narendra Modi, millions of people across the country switched off lights in their homes and lit candles, diyas (earthen lamps) or switched on mobile flashlight on Sunday night (April 5) in a show of solidarity with the nation’s fight against the Coronavirus pandemic. India’s esteemed Islamic seminary Darul Uloom Nadwatul Ulama and Lucknow’s renowned cleric Maulana Khalid Rashid Firangi Mahli also switched off their lights and lit candles. Their act, however, has sparked row among a section of Muslim social media users.
It is said that Maulana Mohammad Rabey Hasani Nadwi, Chancellor of the seminary, and also President of All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), issued a statement calling the act of the Nadwa management wrong and dissociated himself from it. In response, Maulana Sayeedur Rahman Azmi, Principal of the seminary, wrote a letter to a close aide of Maulana Rabey. The letter went viral on social media and consequently, a section of social media users launched aggressive debate on the differences between the two leading clerics.
Talking to India Tomorrow, Maulana Khalid Rashid Firangi Mahli, also a key member of AIMPLB, said whatever he did has nothing to do the faith and he did it in show of national solidarity. He also denounced the social media debate over the issue.
“Whatever is being said on social media regarding our act is foolish. I do what I think good. I did it in national solidarity. This has nothing to do against Islam. If light also gets linked to religion, then people should stop using electricity in homes. Allah has talked about light in Quran,” said the Maulana.
He further asked the critics what their stand would have been if such appeal had been made by Dr Manmohan Singh or Nitish Kumar or Mulayam Singh.
“Prime Minister of a country is Prime Minister of all people in the country, not of one community. I want to put a question before the critics: if the same appeal (done by PM Modi) had been done by Dr Manmohan Singh or Nitish Kumar or Mulayam Singh, then what would have been their stand? My act was in national solidarity, must not be linked with religion,” said Maulana Firangi Mahli.
Some graduates of Nadwa, however, said the seminary did it to “remove the pressure it has been under for some time.”
“There has been some pressure on Nadwa for a long time on different incidents. The management of the seminary has done this lighting to remove that pressure and also to show that they are not against the government decision. They are aware of the style of working of the Yogi government,” said Mahmood Asim, a graduate of the seminary.
Meanwhile, some people approached Maulana Mohammad Wali Rahmani, General Secretary of AIMPLB and Ameer-e Shariat, Imarat-e Shariah Bihar, to issue an appeal to put the row to an end.
Talking to India Tomorrow, Maulana Rahmani said some concerned people approached him in view of the row on social media and urged him to issue an appeal to all people to end the debate over the issue.
In a statement issued on Tuesday evening, Maulana Rahmani said: “Lots of things are being written about Nadwatul Ulama on social media. There is no doubt that whatever happened at Nadwa was regrettable but to target a reputed institution like Nadwa on the basis of that act is not proper.”
He also demanded an inquiry.
“Both (Maulana Rabey Hasani Nadwi and Maulana Sayeedur Rahman Azmi are our seniors and respectable personalities. Both have devoted their lives in teaching and protecting Shariat. To open mouth about such selfless Ulema and criticize them is not correct in any way. To question their intension is a big mistake also. We hope they and administration of Nadwa will order inquiry into the incident,” said Maulana Rahmani.
Maulana Rahmani also asked the graduates of Nadwa and all people not to make it an issue of debate on social media and respect the esteemed Ulema.
Day before the nationwide candlelight event, Maulana Rahmani had issued a statement wherein he had criticized the move of PM Modi for switching off lights for nine minutes and lighting candles or diyas instead. While asking people to remain indoors during the on-going lockdown, Maulana Rahmani had asked people to remember God in their own ways, help the poor and distressed in their locality, follow directions of the government and district administration and appreciate the commendable job of doctors and nurses.
“To put off lights and light lantern or mobile torch would be a strange act, this would be like going from strong to weak situation and PM is expert in it. He has taken the people of the country from better to worse situation through some of his acts like demonetisation, wrong implementation of GST, increase in unemployment, ignoring the condition of farmers and bringing NPR for poor, landless and little literate people,” said Maulana Rahmani in his statement on April 4.
He further said: “Darkness and dark age could be hobby of PM but it is not good for the health of the country. Electricity department has said that if lights were switched off it can affect power grids and will take one week to restore them, which will consequently affect the treatment of Coronavirus patients.”
Maulana Rahmani charged that PM maybe spreading Hindu religious customs through such announcements. He categorically said such acts have no religious sanctity in Islam and other religions.
“It maybe PM made the appeal of April 5 blackout and earlier for clapping and utensil beating in the context of Hindu religion and he may have wanted to spread those customs, but such acts have no religious sanctity in the religions of Islam, Christianity, Sikhism, Buddhism and Jainism. Those who believe in such acts can do but there is no need for Muslims, Christians, Sikhs, Buddhists and Jains to follow it. There is no space in Islam for such kind of superstition,” Maulana Rahmani had said.
He called upon people to stay indoors, help the needy, appreciate the great work of doctors and follow the directions of government and district administration in regard with fight against Coronavirus.
“I am in support of spreading light and think it right that people should remain indoors and remember God in their own ways, help the poor and distressed in the locality and neighbourhood, follow the directions of district administration. Doctors and their associates are doing their hard work and risking their own lives to save the patients, their invaluable work must be appreciated, and they should be supported wherever necessary. People should pray from their homes for the safety and security of the country and recovery of the patients,” Maulana Rahmani had said.