Andalib Akhter / New Delhi
In a bid to dispel misconception about marriage, Talaq, Halala and other civil matter in Muslim society, the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) has decided to launch an Awareness Campaign across the country.
The campaign, ”Muslim Personal Law Awareness Campaign (MPLAC)” will be launched from the 23rd April to May 07, 2017.
During the fortnight campaign, Jamaat will reach out to both Muslim masses as well non Muslims in order to remove ignorance and misconceptions about Muslim Personal Law and teachings of Islam on family issues like marriage and divorce.
During the campaign, Jamaat plans to reach 4-5 crore people, said Mohammad Jafar, national convener of the campaign.
700 public meetings and 8000 Friday Khutba sermons will be used. Besides cities and towns, the campaign will cover 20,000 villages.
Talking to media persons in New Delhi today, the chief of Jamaat Islami, Maulana Syed Jalaluddin Umari said that programme is meant to ‘equip Muslims with authentic knowledge about Muslim Personal Law for reforming Muslim society and for educating the people of country at large’.
“It must be recognized that the primary reason for violation of Shariat is large scale ignorance of Muslim masses and lack of sincere commitment to Islamic norms. A large segment of Muslim society does not even know the basics of Islam. Many Muslims do not know the rules and instructions which would guide them in matters of marriage, divorce, inheritance and the like.Hence, there is an imperative need to educate, uplift and morally reform the Muslim society, as a whole,” said Maulana Umari.
He however said that the current debate in media and political circles is to divert attention from real issues of the community.
“Quran gives answer to all questions; so no problem has occurred in practicing the Shariah laws. Women’s rights are all reserved in the Muslim Personal Laws. The present atmosphere is to divert attention from the real issues of Muslims,” said Maulana Umari who is also Vice President of All India Muslim Personal Law Board.
Jamaat leader was also critical of the way the judiciary, legislature and media have been interfering in Muslim Personal Law.
“Courts of the land often pass judgments contrary to the position of Islamic Shariat on disputes related to Muslim Personal Law and then these judgments become legal precedents. Legislative bodies also interfere in it while the media portrays a one sided image of Muslim Personal Law. They are seldom aware of real teachings of Islam; rather they are usually misled by the faulty conduct of Muslims themselves, which presents a distorted image of the Islamic law,” said Jamaat chief.
When asked how two laws (Islamic and Indian) can be run in the country at the same time, Jamaat leaders categorically said that Muslims in India have constitutional right to practice Muslim Personal Law.
“Indian constitution has given us right to practice our religious laws. It is our constitutional right,” they said.
“The Shariat Application Act was enacted in 1937 on the insistence of the Muslim community. After Independence, the Indian Constitution continued to recognize the legal status of Shariat because it counted freedom of religion among fundamental rights. Freedom of religion obviously implies the freedom to follow Muslim Personal Law, because the latter is derived from the Qur’ān and Sunnah themselves. No individual or group has the authority to amend the Divine law,” said Jamaat chief.
He was accompanied by top leaders of the organization including Nusrat Ali (Vice President), Mohammad Salim Engineer (Secretary General), Mohammad Ahmed (Secretary for Community & Political Affairs), Mohammed Jafar, national convener of the campaign and Atiya Siddiqua (head of Jamaat’s women wing).