Rediff India Abroad
 Rediff India Abroad Home  |  All the sections


The Web

India Abroad

Sign up today!

Article Tools
Email this article
Top emailed links
Print this article
Contact the editors
Discuss this article

Home > News > Report

Backward Muslims protest denial of burial

Anand Mohan Sahay in Patna | March 06, 2003 02:58 IST

A section of Muslims in Bihar are up in arms against the more affluent and powerful section of Muslims for denying them entry into graveyards on the grounds of lower caste status.

In the last one-year, a few cases have surfaced where the backward or lower caste Muslims faced trouble over easy entry for burial in graveyards and in two or three cases they were not allowed to bury. They finally resorted to burying the body outside the graveyard.

The Pasmanda Muslim Mahaz and All India United Muslim Morcha, both based in Bihar and being the socio-political front of backward Muslims, have threatened to launch a movement against the powerful upper caste Muslim elite on this issue.

Mahaz president Ali Anwar has expressed deep concern over the denial burial rights at different graveyards in the name of cast in more than six districts in Bihar.

AIUMM president Dr M Ajaj Ali, who had championed the cause of backward Muslims in Bihar in the 90s and whom he termed as 'Dalit Muslims', first raised the issue about the denying of burial rights.

He that disallowing of a particular Muslim burial in a graveyard on the grounds of caste is against the basic tenants of Islam. "Where is the caste system in Islam, there is no basis of caste in Islam, but it is being practiced and creating trouble in social harmony," he said.

Anwar claimed that some people have been denied access to a graveyard despite having vasiyatnama [validity for entry] in Jahanabad district a few months ago. "Some powerful people disallowed burial of Salim Ansari in the graveyard on the ground of caste," he said.

He has decided to stage a dharna [protest], along with a team of his Mahaz. "We have recorded instances in which people belonging to lower Muslim caste have been stopped from burying their dead," he said.

Both leaders in separate statements have urged the All India Muslim Personal Law Board to intervene into the matter before it is too late. "I would like to appeal to Board to leave the political issues in the hands of politicians and instead take religious issues related with Muslim community like this to resolve it," Ali said.

Though the number of such cases of denying entry for burial in graveyard is still rare, the issue raised by leaders of backward Muslims has added a new twist to the entire issue.

Usually, there is a common graveyard for all Muslim in a Muslim village or mohalla where all of them have being burying their dead for ages. But there still are a few villages where the backward Muslims are forced to create a separate graveyard for them.

In Bihar, backward Muslim leaders have demanded job quotas for backward Muslims claiming they are equal to Hindu backward community.

They claim that over 75 percent of the Muslim community comprising backward Muslims, including the Ansari, Kunjra, Churihara, Dhobi and Halalkhor.

The upper caste Muslim comprises of Syed, Sheikh, Pathan [Khan] and Mallik.

More reports from Bihar
Read about: Satyendra Dubey Murder Case

Share your comments

 What do you think about the story?

Read what others have to say:

Number of User Comments: 11

Sub: Kabrastan problem

Hello Sir, This problem should be taken seriously and root cause should be found and eliminated. My personal opinion is they should learn from Hindus ...

Posted by Manoj

Sub: Islam's other name can also be called as Equality

It is very shameful to hear Muslims fighting against each other on the basis of caste or class. Islam has always taught the world the ...

Posted by Umar

Sub: burial

Islam is a religion of equality. It is exemplified in the namaaz where the high and the lowly prostrate befor Allah in unison. Denial of ...

Posted by Sujith Kr Sen

Sub: All Muslaims are brothers

It has been very common for convert muslims to retain the local culture of the land in which they have lived. However in the process ...

Posted by Saif

Sub: SO there is caste in Islam

There you go , people who say , Islam is monolithical and that caste is a bane of Hinduism only . There exists caste in ...

Posted by ace of base



Copyright 2006 India Limited. All Rights Reserved.