Shahi Imam's successor anointment ceremony to be held today
New Delhi, Nov 22: A day after the Delhi High Court refused to stay a ceremony at the Jama Masjid, the son of Shahi Imam Syed Ahmed Bukhari is set to be anointed as the Naib Imam of the mosque.
Over 100 religious leaders from India and abroad are scheduled to attend the ceremony.
On Friday, Ahmed Bukhari who welcomed the Delhi High Court's decision refused to comment on criticism against the event, saying that "I would respond to all the criticism in court."
The Central Government and the Waqf Board on Friday told the court that the anointment of Naib Imam was "illegal" and had no legal sanctity.
The two-and-half-hour ceremony will begin at 5.30 pm. Among those expected to attend are Muslim leaders from Tunisia, Egypt, Malaysia, Indonesia and South Arabia.
"Besides, thousands of Muslims will be present. There will be religious speeches," Bukhari told media persons.
Shaban Bukhari, 19, is pursuing his bachelors in social work at Amity University. The post of Naib Imam will put him in the line to become the Shahi Imam of the country's largest mosque.
Ahmed Bukhari said: "Shaban needs to be groomed. I was appointed the Shahi Imam in 2000, which was 27 years after I became the Naib Imam."
Ahmed Bukhari refused to say if Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif had accepted his invitation to attend the event - to which Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi has not been called.
The Bukharis, originally from central Asia, have been the traditional custodians of the Jama Masjid since it was built during the Mughal era in the 17th century, facing the Red Fort.
(With agency inputs)