Shia board cites Iraqi fatwa to back ban on cow slaughter

THE ALL India Shia Personal Law Board has asked the central government to enact a law to ban triple talaq and declared its support for a ban on cow slaughter across the country. The board has also endorsed the Supreme Court’s suggestion to settle the Ayodhya dispute out of court amicably.

These were among the resolutions passed during a meeting in Lucknow Wednesday of around 150 executive members of the board from across the country .

A board member said that the support for a cow-slaughter ban was based on a fatwa issued by a Shia cleric in Iraq, Maulana Ayatollah Basheer Najafi.

“We got that fatwa from Iraq, according to which cows should not be killed because the issue concerns the religious sentiments of Hindus. Hence, a prohibition on it should be implemented effectively,” said Maulana Ejaz Athar, speaking on behalf of the board.

Athar said that the board members will take measures to spread awareness among the Muslim community about the fatwa.

“A similar fatwa against cow slaughter had been issued by a Shia cleric in India as well, around 40 or 50 years ago. As per the resolution passed at that time, a person should follow the laws of the country where he lives,” he said.

On triple talaq, Athar said, the board resolved to ask the Centre to enact a law to prohibit the practice so that married Muslim women and their rights could be protected. The board will present its opinion in the Supreme Court, too, said Athar, while claiming that there was no mention of triple talaq in the Quran.

Besides, he said, the Shia board welcomed the recent observation of the Supreme Court that described the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri mosque dispute as a “sensitive” and “sentimental” issue and suggested that the issue should be settled amicably.

Athar said the board will appeal to both parties in the case to hold talks to resolve the issue peacefully.

When it was pointed out that the board’s resolutions appeared to favour the stance adopted by various Hindutva groups on these issues, Athar said the Shia body has been raising them for several decades.

“The meeting was called to discuss these proposals because triple talaq and cow slaughter are burning issues these days and the board wanted to communicate its opinion to the masses,” said Athar.

“The board also decided to demand that the central government form a separate commission to prepare a report on the economic, educational and political condition of Shia Muslims in the country, on the lines of Sachar Committee for Muslims,” said Athar.

“The board’s view is that the rights given by the Centre to Muslims as minorities do not reach the 5 crore members of the Shia community,” he said.

According to Athar, the board has expressed happiness over the Yogi Adityanath government in Uttar Pradesh inducting a Shia Muslim, Mohsin Raza, as minister.

The board further demanded representation to Shia Muslims, according to their population, on the boards of madrasas, said Athar.

Another demand raised by the board was that the Central Haj Committee should arrange Shia clerics for Shia Muslims going for Haj, he said.

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