Telangana: Waqf polls get a sectarian hue

As far as the issue of the elected members was concerned, the TRS and MIM have a friendly understanding.

Hyderabad: As the election to the Telangana State Wakf Board comes nearer, the TRS government is coming under intense pressure from two sects in Islam — Sunni and Shia.

As far as the issue of the elected members was concerned, the TRS and MIM have a friendly understanding. But the issue of nominated members has been troubling the TRS government with mounting pressure from the Shia and Sunni communities.

Dr. Lubna Sarwath, a Hyderabad-based socio-economic and environmental activist, has filed an application seeking to nominate her in the Board under the woman category. The government has decided to constitute the managing committee of the Board with 10 members.

As per the provisions of the Wakf Act 2013, six members have to be elected through electoral colleges of MPs from Telangana, Muslim MLAs and MLCs, Muslim members of the Bar Council and Mutawallis and managing committees of the Wakf institutions.

The state government also has power to nominate four persons. This includes two scholars in Islamic theology — one each from two sects. A professional among Muslims and a Muslim state government official, not below the rank of joint secretary, would also be nominated. Among 10 members, two members have to be women either by way of election or nomination.

Sources said several prominent Sunni Muslims belonging to different schools of thought seeking their nomination in the board. Sources said that the Tablighi Jamaat, a non-political global Sunni Islamic missionary movement and believes in the Deobandi School of thought, is demanding that the government include their scholar into the Board as it had supported the TRS in the 2014 polls in Karimnagar, Warangal and Medak.

Jamaat-e-Islami Hind and Jamiat Ahle Hadees and Ahle Sunnat, the other Sunni movements, are also lobbying with the government for inclusion of their members in the Board.

The law mandates that the Sunni scholar shall be a post graduate (Kamil) in Islamic studies and the Shia scholar will have to be be a Mujtahid which is the highest scholarly degree among the Shias and is granted by schools in Iran and Damascus.

Syed Faiaq Hussain, an expert among Shias, claims that scholars from Akbhari school of thought doesn’t need to hold a Mujtahid degree, while it is a must for those who follow the Usuli school of thought.

( Source : Deccan Chronicle. )
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