New Delhi: Former MP Syed Shahabuddin today questioned the legality of Shahi Imam of Delhi's Jama Masjid anointing his son as his deputy and successor, contending that since Jama Masjid is a Wakf property, Shahi Imam Ahmed Bukhari cannot appoint his son as Naib Imam.
"The Jama Masjid of Delhi is a national monument of historic importance. Under the law, it is a Wakf property and come under the management of Delhi Wakf Board," the former IFS officer, who had been the President of All India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat, an umbrella organisation of different Muslim organisations, today said in a statement.
"The Board meets all recurring expenses including the salary as of the Imam, the Naib Imam, and the supporting staff. Major expenses on its repair and maintenance are met by the Central Government," he said, adding that the Wakf Board manages practically all Masjids in Delhi by appointing managing committees.
Shahabuddin claimed that Bukhari refused the formation of any such committee and appointed his own "advisory council", consisting of "his cronies and hangers".
"Imam of a Masjid in Islam is appointed by the authorities in consultation with eminent persons who pray regularly in the Masjid. Just as in the case of Khilafat, Bukhari's claim by virtue of descent has no religious basis. The Delhi High Court ordered him to accept board's authority and render full account of the income and expenditure of the Masjid to the board.
"But Imam Ahmad Bukhari has not done so. He has not informed the board of his interaction...The Masjid is not his family property," he said.