Jamiat’s efforts to unite Muslim sects gathers pace from Khwaja land

By Brajendra Nath Singh 

Ajmer, (IANS): The BJP’s stunning victory in Uttar Pradesh and the elevation of firebrand Hindutva leader Aditya Nath Yogi as state Chief Minister appears to have lent an added urgency to efforts to unite different sects of the Muslim community, from the land of Sufi saint Khwaja Muinuddin Chisti.

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Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind, one of the biggest Muslim organisations in India, on Saturday accelerated its unification efforts by inaugurating a medical relief camp for “zaireens” or pilgrims arriving here from different parts of the country and world for the 805th Urs festival in Ajmer, that began on March 2.

This move by the Jamiat is being viewed as a very important initiative to unite different Muslim sects, as the organisation had stopped providing such service since 1970.

However, leaders of the Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind say this effort is not aimed against any particular community or any government, but to create a “conducive atmosphere” in the country where everyone can live together with harmony and peace.

Inaugurating the medical relief camp, Secretary of Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind Maulana Hakimuddin Qasmi said the organisation decided in November last year to organise more than 100 conferences focusing on unity of different sects of the community.

“Despite ideological differences all the communities working on different platforms should join hands to solve their ‘necessary’ issues,” Qasmi told the gathering.

He said the holding of medical relief camps during the Ajmer Urs festival is “a beginning” towards unification efforts.

“Due to some reason we could not hold the relief camps, but now to create an atmosphere it has become necessary,” Qasmi said.

For the past 150 years, Islamic sects of Deobandi and Barelvi have been at loggerheads over ideological issues including bowing of the head at Dargahs.

Besides, the doors of mosques of both the sects are closed for each other, and even burials of each sect cannot be held in the other’s cemetery.

Qasmi said the unification move shouldn’t be seen as an effort against any community.

“This move is to counter the current situation of the country where communal hatred is being spread by some fringe elements,” Qasmi told IANS.

However, another leader of Jamiat, who didn’t wish to be named, said that unification efforts had started last year but they felt the need to accelerate it after Yogi took the reigns of Uttar Pradesh.

Haji Sayed Wahid Hussain Chisti Angara, Secretary of Dargah committee Ajmer, welcomed the move of Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind.

“Sufism and its teachings have played a great role in the fight against communal forces. Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind has taken an initiative against it and also to unite the community. It’s a welcome move and we would help them as and when required,” Chisti said.

Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind’s General Secretary Maulana Mahmood Madani in his message expressed hope that the “efforts to unite various groups will be materialised one day”.

“Our intention is not only to provide human services but to bridge the gaps between two great sects of the Indian Muslims,” he said.

Jamiat leaders also welcomed Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s decision to offer chadar at the Ajmer Sharif Dargah. They also hailed the Prime Minister’s promise of “Sabka Sath Sabka Vikas”.