Lucknow: The chairman of the UP Shia Waqf Board, Waseem Rizvi, has been ‘excommunicated’ from Islam for not accepting the fatwa issued by Iraq’s top Shia cleric Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani against handing over Waqf properties for the construction of a temple of shrine. Senior Shia cleric Maulana Kalbe Jawwad announced Waseem Rizvi’s ‘ouster’ from the Shia community, following the controversy over his offer of disputed land at Babri Masjid site for Ram Temple construction.
Later, talking to reporters, Maulana Kalbe Jawwad said Shias all around the world were ‘embarrassed’ by Rizvi’s pro-temple stand. “People like Waseem Rizvi are working against Islam, either under pressure or just to please their masters. On my recent visit to Iran, people were asking me questions and I am answerable to them on the kind of things he is doing here”, he said. Maulana Jawwad also said that since Waseem Rizvi was “not a Shia anymore”, he must be removed from the post of Shia Waqf Board Chairman.
“A fatwa from Ayatollah Ali Al-Sistani cannot be rejected. Anyone who opposes his fatwa has no right to be called a Shia anymore. Hence, I have asked the government to remove him from the post. We have already said that whatever the court decides will be acceptable to us, but Waseem Rizvi seems to be in a hurry. How can he donate land of which he is not even the owner? He is just the caretaker. He is fooling the entire nation by saying that he is donating the land. He can donate his own house if he wants, but he cannot donate land which does not belong to him”, the Maulana said.
Meanwhile, Mr Rizvi rejected ‘excommunication’ and said, “Maulana Kalbe Jawwad is a witness in the Babri Masjid demolition case, which is why he is trying to put pressure on the Shia Waqf Board. Nobody has the right to throw anyone out of Islam, no matter how big the cleric is”.The controversy began some months ago when Mr Rizvi announced that he would offer the disputed land at Babri Masjid site for the construction of Ram Temple in Ayodhya. A Kanpur-based educationist, Dr Mazhar Naqvi, had posted a query on the legality of the announcement and Ayatollah Ali Al Sistani’s fatwa was in response to this query.