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Bhopal Masajid Committee website launched

By Pervez Bari, TwoCircles.net,

Bhopal: A website of the Bhopal Masajid Committee was launched here at a simple function. The website address is www.masajidcommitteebhopal.in. Bhopal, the capital of central Indian state Madhya Pradesh, is known as the City of Lakes and has a number of mosques especially dotting the walled city which is administered and managed by the Bhopal Masajid Committee.

Madhya Pradesh Minister for Backward Classes and Minorities Welfare Antar Singh Arya was the chief guest while Bhopal Nayab Shahar Qazi Syed Babar Husain Nadwi presided over the function. Member of Parliament from Bhopal Alok Snajar was the guest of honour on the occasion here on Tuesday.

Madhya Pradesh Minister for Backward Classes and Minorities Welfare Antar Singh Arya pressing the keyboard to launch the website of Bhopal the Masajid Committee.
Madhya Pradesh Minister for Backward Classes and Minorities Welfare Antar Singh Arya pressing the keyboard to launch the website of Bhopal the Masajid Committee.

It may be pointed out here that Masajid Committee in the erstwhile Bhopal State was constituted at the time of merger of Bhopal State into Indian Union. Then an Agreement (Merger Agreement) was signed on April 30th, 1949 between Nawab Hamidullah Khan of Bhopal State and the Indian Union. The gazette notification was issued in May 1951. Under this Agreement it was decided to continue financial assistance to Masajid, Mandirs and other religious institutions. A committee was established in 1950 for disbursement of salaries to Imams, Moazzins and maintenance of Masajid of Sehore, Raisen and Bhopal districts of the Bhopal State. Grant is being given to this committee which is still continuing. Normally the committee is constituted for two years and it is extended as per requirements.

Meanwhile, the 300 years old institutes of Darul Qaza and Darul Ifta, being religious institutions, were also transferred under the Bhopal Masajid Committee. Furthermore, the management and maintenance of Hamidia Islamia High School is also the responsibility of this Committee. The Bhopal Masajid Committee is functioning under the Backward Classes and Minorities Welfare department of the BJP ruled Madhya Pradesh Government.

Speaking at the launching of the website the state Welfare Minister Antar Singh Arya exhorted Muslims to make education their top priority and ensure education of their wards at any cost. He said there is no dearth of talent in the Muslim community which should be tapped by extending them opportunities at the right moment, he added.

Arya said Prime Minister Narendra Modi and state Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan want that Muslims should prosper and move forward. The Prime Minister desires that the flag of Muslim and Hindu unity should flutter atop and becomes fine example of communal harmony for the world at large to see.

Nayab Shahar Qazi Syed Babar Husain Nadwi, while lauding the launching of the website, said the role of Darul Qaza is not that of a parallel court against the Indian judicial system as it is being visualised in some quarters. In the Darul Qaza only family matters of Muslims pertaining to Nikah (marriage), divorce, inheritance etc. are settled as per the Shariah law (Muslim Personal Law) in the light of the Holy Quran and Hadith, he explained.

Alok Sanjar, the Lok Sabha member from Bhopal, expressing his views said the time has come now that Muslims should hold Quran in one hand and a laptop in the other to make progress in all walks of life. If Muslims take up education seriously and educate their wards then the community could provide several APJ Kalams to the country, he remarked.

Yaser Arafat, Mohtamim (Office Superintendent) of the Bhopal Masajid Committee, while welcoming the guests said the website would provide official information about the working of the Masajid Committee. Besides this news related to Darul Qaza and Darul Ifta would also be uploaded on the website along with the activities of Hamidia Islamiya High School run by the committee.

At the outset the staff of the Masajid Committee welcomed the guests by presenting bouquet and garlanding them. The programme was conducted by poet Arif Ali Arif with aplomb.

Nayab Mufti Qari Jasimdad, Raisen Shahar Qazi Maulana Zaheeruddin, the former Office Superintendent of Masajid Committee Zafar Naseemi, BJP Minority Cell leaders Mohammad Nasir, Riaz Bhai, Molvi Mohammad Anas, Syed Mahmood Ali, Sheikh Shakir Ali, Hafiz Junaid Ahmad etc. were also present amongst others on the occasion.

Meanwhile, it may be mentioned here that central Indian state Madhya Pradesh capital Bhopal, which was the second largest Muslim princely state after Hyderabad under the British rule wherein Nawabs and Begums lorded over, has had the legacy of Dar-ul-Qaza court and Dar-ul-Ifta for the last about 300 years. The city has seen a rich history of Shahar Qazis with illustrious Maulana Syed Sulaiman Nadwi being the last of the pre-Independence era. There is a locality known as Qazipura in the walled city. Before India’s independence Shahar Qazi had the powers of a judge. All matters whether civil or criminal were brought to Qazi, whose decision was final and binding. This post was looked upon with much awe as the person occupying the seat of Shahar Qazi was considered to be very pious and dutiful. They gave decision including that of death sentence and pardon.

Bhopal state, which was founded by a Mughal soldier Dost Mohammad Khan in 1723 (Islamic year 1121 Hijri), who assumed the title of Nawab after declaring his kingship. He had the first Shahar Qazi as Qazi Mohammad Moazzam Sambhali. Since he hailed from Sambhal in Uttar Pradesh, “Sambhali” was added to his name. After him during the reign of Nawab Faiz Mohammad Khan Qazi Mohammad Moallim “Sambhali” was made the second Shahar Qazi. He continued during the reign of Nawab Wazir Mohammad Khan as well. After his demise Qazi Mohammad Yaqoub was made Shahar Qazi.

Nawab Qudsia Begum’s rule witnessed two Shahar Qazis, first Qazi Anmad Ali and then Qazi Hussain Ali. Mr. Syed Shareef Hussain was the Shahar Qazi during Nawab Jahangir Mohammad Khan’s tenure. Qazi Zainul Abedin (from Yemen who settled in Bhopal) was made Shahar Qazi during the rule of Nawab Sikandarjahan Begum.

Madhya Pradesh Minister for Backward Classes and Minorities Welfare Antar Singh Arya speaking at the launching of website of Bhopal Masajid Committee.
Madhya Pradesh Minister for Backward Classes and Minorities Welfare Antar Singh Arya speaking at the launching of website of Bhopal Masajid Committee.

The rule of Nawab Shahjahan Begum and Nawab Sultanjahan Begum witnessed four Shahar Qazis each. During Shahjahan Begum’s tenure Qazi Mohammad Bashiruddin Usman, Qazi Sheikh Mohammad Jafar, Qazi Mohammad Ayub and Qazi Mohammad Abdul Huq were anointed Shahar Qazi respectively.

During Nawab Sultanjahan Begum’s tenure Qazi Mohammad Yahya was made Shahar Qazi followed by Qazi Siraj-ul-Huq, Qazi Mohiuddin and Qazi Mohammad Yahya once again. Last ruler Nawab Hameedullah Khan tenure had two Shahar Qazis viz. first Qazi Mohammad Hasan and then Maulana Syed Sulaiman Nadwi from 1946 to 1950. Bhopal merged with the India to be part of Madhya Pradesh in 1949.

Meanwhile, in post-Independence era who have served as the Bhopal Shahar Qazis are: Mohammad Rizwanuddin (1951-1955); Qazi Mohammad Shoeb (1955-1960); Qazi Abdul Hadi Khan (1960-1961); Maulana Syed Abid Ali Wajd-ul-Hussaini (1961-1990), Qazi Abdul Ali Siddiqui (1990-2002); Maulana Abdul Lateef Qasmi (2002-2010) and Maulana Qari Syed Mohammad Fazil Qasmi (April 2010-December 2011). And now the new incumbent who has been appointed Shahar Qazi is Maulana Syed Mushtaq Ali Nadwi.