Ajmer Dargah chief sacked over beef, triple talaq remarks
Ajmer, April 5: A day after making remarks over beef consumption and triple talaq, the Ajmer Dargah chief Syed Zainul Abedin Ali Khan was sacked on Wednesday, April 5.
Expressing dissent over his statement, Khan was removed by his brother Allaudin Alimi and he announced himself as the new diwan of the Ajmer Dargah.
"I am the new deewan. I have the support of the entire (Chishti) clan," Alimi told a news agency, alleging that Abedin was an "apostate because he had spoken in violation of the Islamic law".
"I am not interested in salary. He (Abedin) can have the money. Buy I won't allow him to enter the shrine now. Whatever he has said is blasphemous. I have spoken to muftis (Islamic scholars who interpret sharia) and we will be issuing a fatwa (decree) against him. He is no longer a Muslim."
Abedin has been the deewan of the shrine since after the Supreme Court 1987 order, ruling him as the most direct and eldest descendant of the sufi priest.
In an attempt to honour Hindu sentiments, the diwan of the shrine had advised Muslims to give up beef. The statement was made on April 4 on the occasion of the 805th death anniversary of Khwaja Moinuddin Hasan Chisty, in the presence of religious heads of various shrines from different parts of the country.
Interestingly, Khan's message was supported by various clerics, but with scepticism.
The spiritual head of Ajmer dargah had said, "The government should put a ban on the slaughter of all bovine animals as well as the sale of beef to promote communal harmony in the country."
He also said that Muslims should take initiative to stay away from slaughter of bovine animals and not consume beef so that a good and positive message could be communicated in the country.
He had announced that he and his family members will not eat beef now onwards and said that the government should declare cow as the national animal.
"The government should widely impose ban on slaughtering of all bovine animals and sale of beef, which is one of the prominent reasons for communal hatred. Muslims should become an example by taking resolution to not consume beef in the interest of communal harmony in the country," he had said.
Welcoming the Gujarat government's move to enact a law with the provision of life sentence for those found guilty of cow slaughter, the Diwan had said that the central government should declare cow as the national animal if the government wants to protect it.
"Cow is the symbol of religious belief. Not only the government, but it is also the duty of every follower of the religion to protect them," he had said.
What Khan said on Triple Talaq?
On the practice of 'triple talaq', Khan had said that it is not only irrelevant today but against the sentiments of the Quran. He had said that while practising justified divorce, the side of the woman should be considered equally and detailed dialogue with her should also take place.
The Diwan also said that there are several provisions in the Quran to ensure self-respect and dignity to women in the society, while adding that saying 'talaq' three times in one sitting is not a religiously valid practice and there should be a period of time between repeating 'talaq' thrice for divorce.
The religious heads of various sufi shrines from various parts of the country including Uttar Pradesh, Karnataka, Delhi, Andhra Pradesh, Gujarat, Bihar among others were present on the occasion.
(With Agency inputs)