Skip to main content

'Followed Islamic tenets': Significance of Imam's presence at Ram Mandir ceremony

By Firoz Bakht Ahmed* 

Despite abusive calls and messages, and known to have received "sar tan se juda" threats in the past for calling RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat “rashtra pita”, a term used for Mahatma Gandhi, Imam Umer Ahmed Ilyasi recently remained unfazed, asking his detractors to follow the path of piety and humaneness suggested by Prophet Muhammad.
He said that by attending the Ram Mandir Pran Pratishtha (consecration), he had just carried the Islamic tenet that it is one of the worst sins in Islam to hurt a human heart.
Ilyasi believes that Allah will save him from any terror mongers, and the law of the land will protect him. He had received the most sought after invite to attend the Ram Mandir consecration. He took the decision to go to Ayodhya, as he knew that sections of his community would be after his jugular.
In the comity of Indian imams, Imam Ilyasi, connected with lakhs of mosques, took too bold a decision to attend the consecration of the most talked about Ram Mandir, attracting a positive response from sections of Muslim community, including clerics and Muslim organisations. The stand of the Imam is considered historic. It is being commended as a peace move towards interfaith dialogue.
Ilyasi is president of the All India Imam Organisation and is associated with more than half a million imams. He is one of those Muslim clerics who has repeatedly addressed the UNHRC, the European Parliament, the Canadian Parliament, the House of Commons, the House of Lords, and the Royal Institute International Affairs.
He is the recipient of the highest awards of UAE and Abudhabi and was honoured by the Pope in Vatican, the Israeli Chief Rabbinate, the Dalai Lama as well as the Imam-e-Haram in Saudia Arabia for his efforts for world peace.
Praising Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Ilyasi said that he has reached out to every community and sent a strong message that Ram Mandir belongs to the Rashtra (nation) and not Hindus alone. Hailing the RSS Sarsanghchalak, with whom he has old and intimate links, he said that, on that particular occasion, all the interfaith hearts gelled well like sugar and milk.
One who talks highly of Adityanath Yogi, the UP Chief Minister, about Lord Rama, the Imam said that He is the legacy of India and vision of Bharat. He added, the Constitution of India salutes His humaneness, adding, Lord Rama was for a discrimination free society based on a peaceful, progressive and prosperous society.
When asked how he had felt being amongst the seers of different faiths, he replied, “I was told by many seers that I have raised the stature of Muslims by attending the ceremony. Religion unites people, and to reduce differences, dialogue is the only way forward”, adding, the two communities have already “fought a lot” and this was the time to move on and work together towards nation-building.
*Former chancellor of Maulana Azad Maulana Azad National Urdu University, grandnephew of Maulana Azad



New Odia CM's tribal heritage 'sets him apart' from Hindutva Brahminical norms

By Bhabani Shankar Nayak*  Mohan Charan Majhi took the oath as the new Chief Minister of Odisha following the electoral defeat of the BJD led by Naveen Patnaik, who served as Chief Minister for twenty-four years. The new Chief Minister is the son of a security guard and a four-time MLA who hails from the remote village of Raikala in the Keonjhar district. He belongs to the Santali tribe and comes from a working-class family. Such achievements and political mobilities are possible only in a democratic society. Majhi’s leadership even in the form of symbolic representation in a democracy deserves celebration.

Sanction to persecute Arundhati Roy under UAPA politically motivated: PUCL

Counterview Network  Top human rights group, People’s Union for Civil Liberties, has demanded that the authorities should immediately withdraw the prosecution against top author Arundhati Roy and Dr Sheikh Showkat Hussain, a Kashmir academic, under the " unconstitutional"  Unlawful Activities (Prevention) Act  (UAPA), calling the Delhi  Lieutenant-Governor nod for the Delhi police move "politically motivated".

AMR: A gathering storm that threatens a century of progress in medicine

By Bobby Ramakant*  A strategic roundtable on “Charting a new path forward for global action against Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR)” was organised at the 77th World Health Assembly or WHA (WHA is the apex decision-making body of the World Health Organization – WHO, which is attended by all countries that are part of the WHO – a United Nations health agency). AMR is among the top-10 global health threats “Antimicrobial Resistance (AMR) is a growing and urgent crisis which is already a leading cause of untimely deaths globally. More than 2 people die of AMR every single minute,” said Dr Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, Director General of the WHO. “AMR threatens to unwind centuries of progress in human health, animal health, and other sectors.”

What stops Kavach? Why no time to focus on common trains meant for common people?

By Atanu Roy  A goods train rammed into Kanchenjunga Express on 17th June morning in North Bengal. This could have been averted if the time tested anti-collision system (Kavach) was in place. 

A Hindu alternative to Valentine's Day? 'Shiv-Parvati was first love marriage in Universe'

By Rajiv Shah*   The other day, I was searching on Google a quote on Maha Shivratri which I wanted to send to someone, a confirmed Shiv Bhakt, quite close to me -- with an underlying message to act positively instead of being negative. On top of the search, I chanced upon an article in, imagine!, a Nashik Corporation site which offered me something very unusual. 

Lip-service on World Environment Day vs 'watered-down' eco-safeguards

By Shankar Sharma*  Just a few days ago, the world remembered the routinely forgotten global environment on the occasion of World Environment Day, briefly though, maybe just for the day. There were reports of a few high profile ceremonies in different parts of the country, including a few in New Delhi. Prime Minister Narendra Modi reportedly asked the people of our country to plant one tree per each person as a mark of respect/ gratitude for our mothers.

Swami Vivekananda's views on caste and sexuality were 'painfully' regressive

By Bhaskar Sur* Swami Vivekananda now belongs more to the modern Hindu mythology than reality. It makes a daunting job to discover the real human being who knew unemployment, humiliation of losing a teaching job for 'incompetence', longed in vain for the bliss of a happy conjugal life only to suffer the consequent frustration.