Days after terming the Babri Masjid as “a blot on India’s landscape”, Shia Waqf Board chairman Wasim Rizvi has once again raked up the issue of Ram Janambhoomi. Rizvi on Thursday cited a fatwa by top Iranian shiite cleric Ayatollah Sistani to allege that a mosque on a disputed site is not permitted according to the principles of Islam.
Rizvi said that he had sought a fatwa from the cleric on whether Maulanas and Mauvlis can expel someone from Islam. He said that the Iranian cleric has clearly stated that Maulana and Maulvi have no authority to expel anyone from Islam. Rizvi said this while rejecting the last month’s announcement by a few Muslim clerics that he has been expelled from Islam for making objectionable statements.
According to a report in Aaj Tak, Rizvi had put up a question to Sistani whether a mosque can be constructed on a disputed piece of land. The cleric had responded saying, “As per the Islamic principles, it is not permitted.”
The development comes a few months after a Kanpur-based resident had claimed that he had asked Sistani whether the Waqf Board can give away the property owned by it to people of other religion for religious purpose. In his response, according to the Indian citizen, Sistani had said that “it is not possible”.
Rizvi said that Sistani’s fatwas are accepted worldwide and therefore, “Muslims should not comment on the Ayodhya issue now”.
Last week, Rizvi had said that it is a crime to call “that (Babri Masjid) blot a mosque”. He said that the ASI had during the excavation process found a platform of bricks underneath the pillars of the mosque. “The Babri Masjid was made using the rubbles of the temple.”
He also called on the involved parties to reach an agreement on the issue and let the Hindus construct a temple on the site. “There is still time… mullas of Babri should accept their mistake and follow practising the teachings of Prophet Mohammed,” Rizvi said.
This is not the first time when Rizvi has openly advocated for a Ram Temple at the disputed 2.77 acres of land in Ayodhya. On several occasions, he had publicly supported the Hindus and called for constructing of a temple in Ayodhya and a mosque in Lucknow. Last year, the Shia Waqf Board had even passed a resolution to extend support for a Ram Mandir temple in Ayodhya.
The Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid land dispute case is presently pending before the Supreme Court. The Allahabad High Court had in its 2010 judgment ordered a three-way division of the 2.77 acres of disputed land in Ayodhya.