02/08/2012

Akbarabadi Mosque of Delhi

The news released by the media, especially the Urdu media, that there is a dispute on the rehabilitation and reconstruction of Akbarabadi Mosque situated in the eastern foot of Delhi’s Jama Masjid, has spread all over the country and abroad as well. This mosque was built by the wife of Emperor Shahjahan, Aizazunnisa, who was known as Akbarabadi Begum, about four centuries ago. This historical mosque also had been the centre of the Martyrs’ Movement (tahreek-e-shaheedain).  Hadhrat Shah Abdul Qadir stayed here for years together and it was here that he wrote his Tafseer Mauzhul Qur’ān. During the 1857 Revolt also, this mosque served as the centre of the fighters seeking independence from the British imperialism. At last, for this very “crime”, the British government, having got this mosque demolished, raised a park there after the name of some British official. Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, in his book Aasarus Sanadeed, has mentioned this mosque in great detail. The mosque was demolished but the Muslims of Delhi had been reposing it in their hearts for a century and a half. The efforts to rehabilitate it were made in the past also but in the last few years these efforts were given a practical shape. After contacts with authorities, the efforts to get it excavated succeeded. Its remains were discovered. Reconstruction was also started.
This zeal and enthusiasm of Muslims

But, as it happens on such occasions, some mischief-mongers come to the fore, administration and police also adopt double-dealing, and the case is referred to courts. This happened here too. The case of Akbarabadi Mosque was referred to the court. – But here the talk on the mosque dispute is not the objective; what is to be analysed here is the zeal and enthusiasm, religious fervor and community concern which the concerned Muslims of Delhi did exhibit on this occasion. The news of discovery of the relics of Akbarabadi Mosque and its reconstruction caused great commotion among the Muslims. They started reaching in throngs Edward Park to have a glimpse of the site of Akbarabadi Mosque. Friday Prayers were offered there for the first time on July 13 in which thousands of people participated. But the Friday congregation of July 20 was historic and the people’s bubbling emotions were worth seeing. The eyes of media did record this scene. Most of the people had reached there leaving aside their daily chores. It was a clear message that even at this worst time this Millat is alive, conscious, active and has the basic qualities of facing the issues.

 But it would have been better if…

But it would have been better it this zeal and enthusiasm, religious fervor and community concern had been displayed in the issues of fundamental value – the issues with which the entire Muslim community stands affected today. The biggest issue is that of unprecedented arresting of Muslim youth, leveling baseless charges of terrorism, extremism and spying against them. People do protest such arrests, stage protests in New Delhi but neither the number of people nor the zeal and enthusiasm is seen there as it was seen in the case of Akbarabadi Mosque. The only reason is that Muslims do understand very easily the issues of rehabilitation of mosques and protection of the sanctity of the Qur’ān and Prophethood; this is very good and necessary as well. But they fail to comprehend the anti-Islam conspiracies behind the allegations of terrorism, riots, arrests, and baseless propaganda against Islam though Muslim organisations as well as certain political parties and human rights groups do draw the attention of people towards the serious acts of arresting Muslim youth and the objectives lurking behind it. The enthusiasm of the community for rehabilitation of a mosque, old or new, is indeed worth praising and pleasant. But even if half of this zeal and enthusiasm is pressed into service against these arrests, it can yield the desirable results.

01/ 08/12 khabar-O-Nazar by Parwaaz Rahmani, sehrozaDAWAT, translated by: Abu Yusuf

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