Moulana Kalbe Sadiq, known for his liberal outlook has expressed views on issues such as triple talaq, co-education and moon sighting, which may trigger off fresh debate in the AIPMPB.
BY PUJAA AWASTHI
DH NEWS SERVICE, LUCKNOW:
The cracks in the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), already reeling under the onslaught of the formation of competing boards by the Shias and Barelvis, became further pronounced on Sunday with Kalbe Sadiq, renowned Shia cleric and vice president of the board admitting that the AIMPLB had lost some of its pre-eminence among the community for its failure to take up important issues.
“We cannot stop those who want to form other boards”, Sadiq, the only Shia member in the AIMPLB executive body, maintained, while pointing out that though the Shias had found representation on the board, their failure to take up issues had led the community to believe that they had no voice in it.
“The Board’s purpose is to protect our personal laws from government onslaught. Beyond that different sects can have differing perceptions on a number of matters”, he said, while emphasising that the differences could be worked out. “It is important that a negative image of Indian Muslims is not portrayed to the world because of these differences,” he added.
Commenting on the Board formed by the Barelvis under the chairmanship of Maulana Tauqeer Raza Khan he said that even before the formation, differing voices could be heard and that Raza himself did not enjoy the unreserved support of the entire sect. He also denied that competing boards would in any way be a menace to the unity of India’s Muslims.
Sadiq, a liberal and progressive scholar whose views have often raised the hackles among the more conservative, was also critical of the Board’s General Secretary Abdul Rahim Qureshi’s statement that birth control was abhorrent to Islam. “Since the time of the Prophet, various methods of birth control have been used. It is permitted in Arab and Islamic countries. It is the need of the hour and we need to change to move with the times”, he said, whilst stressing that Islam did not permit abortion, which was different from birth control. To a poser on whether he would raise the issue at the general body meeting of the AIMPLB scheduled to be held in Bhopal in March, his response was that he would not like to do so as his was a minority voice on the issue.
On the triple talaq issue too, he illustrated the differencing interpretations among the Shias and the Sunnis. “Talaq uttered thrice in a single go is taken as one utterance among the Shias while it is valid among the Sunnis”, he explained. He further pointed out that among the Shias the rules and conditions attached to giving a talaq automatically denied validity to talaqs given over email or sms.
He also spoke of the need to rely on scientific astronomical calculations instead of human sightings of the moon to decide on when to celebrate Eid and the need for co-education among the community pointing out that if co-worship was permissible during the Haj there should be nothing to deny co-education provided that the moral values of the students were taken care of.
Muhammad Fazel Lankarani
Sighting of the moon.
Sightings of the moon, by means of calculations are not religious criteria for determination of moon’s starting day. The criterion for such determination is sighting with unassisted eyes, even if the place is determined by modern equipment.