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What Next for India’s Muslims After Deoband Meet?

The intention was to pass seven resolutions on various subjects in the two-day conference, though only four were ultimately adopted. Here is a brief summary of each:

Currently, there are multiple ongoing campaigns against various mosques across the country, including Gyanvapi and the Shahi Idgah of Mathura, which have damaged the peace, dignity and integrity of the country. These controversies are being used for political gains, but reviving these old conflicts won’t benefit the country in any way. Notably, the Places of Worship Act (1991) has already decreed that the status of places of worship as of 15 August 1947 will remain intact.

The Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind expressed concerns that a series of hate statements, articles and slogans are being spread in the name of Prophet Muhammad. This is clearly a result of a well-thought-out strategy. The Jamiat has demanded that the government pass a law that ensures respect for important entities of all religions. An appeal has also been submitted to the Supreme Court regarding this.

The third and most important resolution was regarding the Uniform Civil Code. It stated that regulations included in the Muslim personal law regarding marriage, divorce, inheritance, etc, have not been fixed by any society or individual, but rather come from religious orders taken from the Qur’an and Hadith and are very much part of a person’s religious freedom. Interfering in these will be the same as changing the basic tenets of Islam.

“We demand that the government issue instructions regarding the protection of Muslim personal law keeping in mind this basic feature and guarantee of the Constitution of India.”

The Jamiat has felt the need for a campaign to correct misconceptions about Islamic teachings in the country. It appealed to Muslims to post messages on social media that bring out the virtues of Islam and to ensure the provision of appropriate material to new learners. Meanwhile, efforts need to be made to inculcate Islamic knowledge among Muslim children. They proposed organising regular quizzes, etc, on the teachings of the Quran and the Prophet.

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