AIMPLB President Maulana Rabey Hasani Nadvi on Saturday made it clear that no interference in Muslim Personal Law will be accepted as the community enjoys the Constitutional right to follow and practice Islamic Shariat.
Addressing the plenary of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), which is discussing among other issues a bill currently pending in Parliament to ban instant triple talaq, he told board members from across the country that the government is trying to impose restrictions on Muslims in the matter of talaq.
The apex body of the Indian Muslims is strongly opposing the bill by citing several flaws. It also alleged that the government's real intention is to ban the system of talaq.
The three-day plenary, concluding on Sunday, will evolve a strategy to get the flaws removed.
Stating that the Islamic religious laws are divine guidelines, Maulana Nadvi said they can neither be repealed nor changed. "Amending them or suggesting amendments to them is unacceptable. As India's Constitution is secular, we have the right to practice our religion and not to accept any interference," he said.
The eminent religious scholar said in personal matters like 'nikah' and 'talaq', Muslims have the right to follow the Islamic Shariat. "We will not give up our right under pressure from any majority or minority," he said.
"In a multi-religious country, it's not good that the majority community stops a particular community from following their religious guidelines. This could create uneasiness among citizens and may prove detrimental to the country," he added.
Maulana Nadvi said that Islam is a complete way of life and Muslims can neither change the Shariat at their will nor can allow others to do it.
He said 'nikah' is a mutual agreement between husband and wife and it has religious sanction. If the husband and wife, after exhausting all means of conciliation, feel they can't live together they have the right to terminate the agreement and the process prescribed for terminating this agreement can't be changed.
He stressed the need for unity in the community to counter attempts to bring changes. "As empowered citizens of this country, we should do whatever is practical to tackle the situation," he said.
He noted that for 46 years the board kept all schools of thought united as despite differences they feel protection of Shariat is their combined duty.
The President also touched on the campaign being run by the board for community reforms, to explain the Shariat laws in matters like nikah, talaq and inheritance and to call for their strict adherence.
He noted that objections to Shariat was mostly from those who don't know it and hence the board is also working to explain the Islamic family laws and clear the misunderstandings.
On Babri Masjid, he said for centuries it stood as place of worship for Muslims and changing its status and demolition through "majoritarian force" and the "will" of those in power was an open act of terrorism. Since Muslims and their representative Personal Law Board could not have remained silent over this lawlessness, it is carrying on a legal battle.