The Indian Herald

The Indian Herald

February 20, 2012

Ahmadiyyas no longer Muslims in India, Andhra Pradesh Waqf Board to consider them outside Islam

In a controversial decision, the Andhra Pradesh Waqf Board has declared that it will not considered any of the religious institutions belonging to Ahmadiyya community in the state as Muslim property, because the Ahmadiyyas are not Muslims.

Now the Ahmadiyya places of worship would not be officially considered as Muslim mosques and Qazis would not perform the nikah (wedding ritual) of the Ahmadi couples.

Though Pakistan and some other countries treat Ahmadiyyas as non-Muslim, till now there was no open rift between Muslims and Ahmadiyyas in India.

But there are fears that after AP Waqf Board's decision that it will consider Ahmadiyya control over Muslim shrines as illegal, and having openly declared the 'Qadiyanis' as non-Muslim, the Waqf Boards and clergy in other states might also take similar stand.

The influential Deoband seminary has welcomed the move. The Khatm-e-Nabuwwat movement has been insisting that Ahmadiyyas were declared non-Muslims. In Hyderabad, there was strong opposition to Ahmedis going to Haj pilgrimage recently. Muslims consider Ahmadiyyas' outside the pale of Islam.

The Ahmadiyyas are accused that they consider Mirza Ghulam Ahmad as a prophet, which is opposed to Muslim belief that Prophet Muhammad was the last apostle of God. Ahmadiyyas claim that Mirza Ghulam Ahmed, a 19th century, religious scholar was a revivalist.

In India, Ahmadiyyas have a minuscule presence. In Qadian town in Punjab, which was home to the movement before partition, a sizable Ahmedi population resides, apart from their presence in some other cities. Till now Qadianis said that they faced little persecution in India.

Though there was a movement against their missionary activity in Punjab and UP, chiefly led by Majlis-e-Ahrar leader Maulana Habibur Rehman Sani Ludhianvi, the schism and this discrimination with the Ahmadiyya minority hadn't been witnessed elsewhere in India.

The diktat may not affect the Ahmadiyya community at the ground level. There have been calls by Ulema for social boycott and ban on Ahmedi missionary activity earlier too. But the recent announcement by a state administrative body has far serious implications.

However, it can lead to growing clamour over similar actions in other states and hence lead to friction. India hasn't witnessed such violence unlike Pakistan, Bangladesh or Indonesia, and hence the recent decision might ignite trouble.

TIH Bureau

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