Liberal Maulana removed from Islamic seminary

Liberal Maulana removed from Islamic seminary

Internal politics and praising Modi forced him out of office

Maulana Ghulam Mohammed Vastanvi talks mediapersons at Deoband on Sunday. PTI

For a seminary, known for its frequent ‘fatwas’ (religious decrees) on issues affecting the common Muslims and its conservative outlook, Vastanvi’s appointment had signalled a move forward. The seminary has always been in news for issuing ‘fatwas’ even on trivial issues like wearing of jeans by Muslim girls.

One of its ‘fatwas’ by which it said that the income of the Muslim women is ‘haram’ (illegal) as they work with men in the offices without a veil, which was not allowed in Islam, had drawn flak from the progressive Muslims.

Things, however, did not go well for Vastanvi, who holds a management degree and runs several educational institutions in Maharashtra and Gujarat in which lakhs of students study, and he had to make an ‘unceremonious exit’ on Sunday after being voted out in the meeting of ‘Majlis-e-Shoora’, the top governing body of Darul Uloom.

Although Vastanvi was sacked for his controversial remarks praising the Gujarat Chief Minister Narendra Modi, according to the clerics associated with the seminary, he had become a ‘victim’ of seminary’s ‘internal politics’ reflected in attempt by the Jamiat to take control of the institute. The clerics also attribute his exit to the fierce opposition to the appointment of anyone, who is not a student of Darul Uloom, as its head. Vastanvi, who has a facebook page, is not a student of the seminary.

Vastanvi, who had offered to resign soon after the controversy erupted, had himself termed it as a “conspiracy” and said that he would not be able to “turn his plans for development of the seminary into action”.

Senior member of the AIMPLB, an apex body of the muslims in the country, Maulana Khalid Rasheed Firangimahali, who himself runs a seminary in Lucknow, also admits that Vastanvi may have been a victim of “internal politics”.

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