Muslim intelligentsia distances from `Vande Mataram` fatwa

Last Updated: Sunday, November 8, 2009 - 12:06

Lucknow: Distancing itself from the
`fatwa` against Muslims singing `Vande Mataram`, a section of
the intelligentsia on Sunday said there was a need to educate the
community about the actual meaning of the lone "objectionable"
word `vande` in order to remove doubts over its rendition.

Last week, Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind at its annual meet in
Deoband opposed singing of the national song by Muslims.

Vice President of the All India Muslim Personal Law
Board and eminent scholar Maulana Kalbe Sadiq called for a
debate among Hindi litterateurs to define the word `Vande`
used in the song which forms the basis on which it has been
termed been as being against their religion.

Sadiq said that he was ready to accept the
contention of Minority Affairs Minister Salman Khursheed that
the National Song had been approved by Maulana Azad on whose
suggestions some words were removed.

"If the word vande stands for respect and showing
reverence to the motherland, then Muslims have no ground to
object to it and it is for the litterateurs and knowledge
persons of Sanskrit, Urdu and Hindi to sit down and debate
over it so that the misconceptions about the same can be
removed," Sadiq said.

He stressed that if the word stands for "worship" it
is technically unacceptable for Muslims who cannot worship
anyone other than the almighty.

Sadiq said there were important issues like
illiteracy, unemployment and poverty which need to be taken up
by everyone, including the ulemas.

Echoing similar views, president of the All India Shia
Personal Law Board, Maulana Mirza Mohammad Athar also
questioned the timing of the fatwa which he claimed could
ignite communal passions.

"It is time that experts of Hindi and Sanskrit
determine whether the word in question is `vande` or `bande`,"
Maulana Athar said, adding that perhaps it is the former
which means showing respect and it is in keeping with the
tenets of Islam.

"It needs to be told to the Muslims that vande is
other than worshipping the motherland as they have been made
to believe all these years," Maulana Athar said.

Chairperson of All India Muslim Women Personal Law
Board Shaista Amber alleged the issue has provided fodder to
communal and reactionary forces who are out to use it to bash
the community.

"The National Song is in the praise of the motherland
and all Muslims love their country and those who are attaching
its rendition to patriotism are on the wrong path," she said
questioning whether all those who sing it are patriots and had
never done anything wrong.

"Muslims should also not react to forces who aim at
their loyalty to the country as they do not require any
certificate from anyone," Amber said recalling as to how the
same Deoband and Imarate Shariat in Bihar had issued a fatwa
for independence of the country.

Maulana Abdul Kayoon, adviser to the Muslim Women
Law Board also called for not paying importance to issues
which could create chasm in society.

Sadiq said the community should rather focus to
redress the problems faced by it.

"Reciting a word or not is not as important as these
major issues which could bring them in the mainstream of
development," Sadiq said, adding on a personal basis he was
ready to recite or read any thing if the community`s welfare
can be achieved.

Bureau Report

First Published: Sunday, November 8, 2009 - 12:06

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