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Rediff.com  » News » Lucknow's leading Islamic cleric under fire for running down Mecca mosque Imam

Lucknow's leading Islamic cleric under fire for running down Mecca mosque Imam

May 26, 2014 08:58 IST

Well-known Islamic scholar and cleric Maulana Salman Hussain Nadwi is under fire from different quarters for attempting to run down the Imam of the Islamic world’s most revered Mecca mosque.

In an interview to ‘Arabian Times’,  Nadwi, who heads the faculty of Shariat at the Lucknow based  internationally known Darul Uloom Nadwatul Ulema (widely known as Nadwa seminary), had claimed that he kept Imam-e-Mecca Sheikh Khalid Bin Ali Al Ghamdi totally under him own sway, while the latter was on a visit to Lucknow.

During his visit to Lucknow in April 2012, the Mecca Imam was escorted by Nadwi, who was also his official interpreter. “I misinterpreted the speeches of Imam-e-Mecca. I did that on purpose. I made him do whatever I wanted. In fact, I added my own views to his speeches during the interpretation. The idea was to prevent him from spreading the message of Saudi Arabia and the Saifi sect. He was fully in my grip,” Nadwi told the monthly.

Significantly, Nadwi is the grandson of the late Maulana Ali Mian, former rector of Nadwa, who was widely revered for his lineage to none other than Prophet Mohammad himself. In fact Maulana Ali Mian was among the very few Islamic clerics to be entrusted with the key of ‘Kaaba’ and to be honoured by the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.

An official guest of the Kingdowm of Saudi Arabia for nearly half a century (until his demise), Maulana Ali Mian was also a founder-member of the advisory council, Islamic University of Madinah and chairman of the Islamic Centre, Oxford as also winner of the King Faisal Award.

The interview has kicked up a storm in Islamic circles and top Islamic scholars have taken string exception to the Maulana’s remarks, which tend to belittle the Imam of the world’s most highly-revered mosque.

Among Muslim clerics who have lambasted Nadwi, was Maulana Ahmad Bukhari, the Shahi Imam of Delhi’s Jama Masjid.

“A person who himself says that he has kept Imam-e-Mecca at his disposal and make him do things just the way he wanted puts a question mark on such a Maulana’s  reputation,” Maulana Bukhari  told Arabian Times.

Well known Deoband scholar Maulana Arshad Madni who was also member of Mecca based Rabita Islami, observed, “The comments were deplorable.”

Reacting to Nadwi’s interview, Maulana Fazlur Rehman, the Imam of Lucknow’s historic ‘Tiley Wali Masjid’ , termed it as “shameful.” He further flayed Nadwi for issuing appeals in the name of certain political parties during the recently concluded Lok Sabha election. Nadwi’s illustrious grandfather, the late Ali Mian would never utter a word that could be even remotely seen as political.”

While Lucknow’s  Imam-e-Idgah Maulana Khalid Rashid, who also heads the city’s oldest seminary, ‘Firangi Mahal’ declined to make any comment  on the issue, well-known Urdu journalist and Jadid Markaz  editor-in-chief Hisam Siddiqui sought to term the  misinterpretation of the speeches by the Mecca Imam as a “blatant act of forgery and fraud, for which he deserved to be booked”.

Sharat Pradhan in Lucknow