Recently, eminent Urdu poet Munnawar Rana has written to Prime Minister Narendra Modi to ask for a hospital to be constructed on the five-acre land allotted to the Sunni Central Waqf Board by the Uttar Pradesh state government in pursuance of the Supreme Court verdict on the Ayodhya title suit.
Munnawar suggested that the hospital, once built on the five-acre land in Dhannipur village, be named after Dashrath, father of Ram, and readily offered his own land in Rae Bareilly for the establishment of the Mosque.
He requested further, for a reconstitution of the Waqf Board, which is currently on an extension, pending new elections that will be organized once the pandemic situation improves.
In the letter, Rana’s contended that – “any land given by the state government or that which is acquired by force, is not fit to build a mosque.” So, Dhannipur cannot be the site of the new mosque.
“Land for the mosque was thrown away in a far off area in Dhannipur. It is better then that instead of igniting more hate between hindus and Muslims, Raja Dashrath hospital be built on the said land. People should see what Muslims did. In any case mosque are not built on government lands or those usurped by force.”
Rana’s views were greatly disregarded by Athar Husain, the spokesperson of the Indo-Islamic Cultural Foundation (IICF), which has been constituted to build the mosque and other utilities at the land. He argued why Rana, or any other Muslim individual or body, failed to make any such offer during the court-monitored mediation process which went on from March 2019 to October 2019.
Husain, then pointed out, “The one voice during the process was that whatever decision the SC made would be acceptable by all. To raise issues about that decision is akin to not honouring the wisdom of the SC.”
He further added that there was no fatwa on offering the namaz on a piece of land owned by the government and quoted that “Do people not offer namaz at airports and railway stations? It is the sajda (the obeisance) that goes to Allah and this has nothing to do with the place where it is offered.”
He then said that Mr. Rana is one of amongst the finest contemporary poets but does not have political acumen. The statement, therefore, has no locus standi and stated that now that things are settled, what was the point of raising such issues.
As far as Rana’s offer of land is concerned, “It would be beneficial for the people of Rae Bareilly,” said Husain. He stated that the establishment of a mosque on the land offered by Mr. Rana, would improve the public approach to regional places of worship and is an act of extreme kindness and devotion.
This news has been written and submitted by Ms. Mansi Batra during her course of internship at B&B Associates LLP. Ms. Mansi is a third-year law student at the Fairfield Institute of Management and Technology, Kapashera, New Delhi.