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Now Shias stake claim to Taj
June 08, 2005 21:33 IST
Adding a new twist to the ongoing controversy over ownership of the Taj Mahal, the Shia community in Lucknow has claimed that the 17th century monument of love was a Shia property as Mumtaz Mahal in whose memory it was built hailed from that community.
"The Taj Mahal is a Shia waqf and we have ample proof to buttress our claim," senior member of the All India Shia Personal Law Board, Syed Mustafa Hussain Rizvi, said in Lucknow contesting claims that it is a Sunni waqf.
Rizvi claimed that Mumtaz Mahal, the wife of Mughal Emperor Shahjahan, was a Shia.
Although Shahjahan was a Sunni, he had been buried in accordance with Shia rites and the Sunnis had not offered the namaz-e-janaza for the Mughal emperor, claimed Rizvi.
Rizvi has moved an application seeking impleadment of the Shia community before the Sunni Central Wakf Board, after being informed of the petitions by Sunnis for registering the Taj Mahal as a Sunni Waqf Board property.
To substantiate his claim further, Rizvi said Mumtaz Mahal, who was also known as Arjumand Bano, was earlier buried at a different place and later on at the Taj Mahal.
This system of burying someone temporarily and later transferring the body to another place was prevalent among the Shias and not the Sunnis, he explained.
Rizvi claimed that there was a sign of palm on the minarets of the Taj Mahal, which was similar to the sign of palm used by Shias on the alams during the alam processions in Moharrum mournings.