Hyderabad: The Babri Masjid would remain a mosque till eternity and Muslims could never exchange the land of the masjid, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) said on Sunday, in what is viewed as a virtual rejection of any prospect of an out-of-court settlement of the Ayodhya title dispute.
In a statement issued on the concluding day of its 26th plenary in Hyderabad, the board also alleged that the "triple talaq bill" was a ploy by the centre to "put restrictions" on Muslims.
Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar had said an out-of-court settlement would be the best solution to the Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid dispute in Ayodhya and that he would talk to all the stakeholders in this regard.
"The Babri Masjid is an essential part of the faith in Islam and Muslims can never abdicate the masjid, nor can they exchange the land of the masjid or gift the land. The Babri Masjid is a masjid and it shall remain a masjid till eternity. By demolishing the Babri Masjid, it will never lose its identity as a masjid. And according to Shariah, it will always remain a masjid," the statement said.
AIMPLB chief Maulana Rabey Hasani Nadvi presided over the three-day meet, which was attended by 400 members and special invitees from different spheres of life, including ulemas (clergy), intellectuals, social and political personalities.
The meet discussed and decided to protect the Shariah (Islamic laws).
The board also asserted that the struggle for the reconstruction of the Babri Masjid would continue.
"Without any doubt, we make it clear that the struggle for the reconstruction of Babri Masjid continues and the appeal in the Supreme Court is being fought rigorously with all the resources available at the disposal of the board," the statement said.
The AIMPLB further said the country's topmost lawyers are appearing on behalf of Muslims in the top court in this case.
In the politically sensitive Ram Janmabhoomi-Babri Masjid case, the Supreme Court is currently hearing the final arguments.
In its September 30, 2010 ruling, the Allahabad High Court had ordered a three-way division of the disputed 2.77 acres of the Babri Masjid-Ram Janmabhoomi site, giving a third each to the Nirmohi Akhara, the Sunni Central Waqf Board of Uttar Pradesh and Ramlalla Virajman, the idol of child Ram.
On the triple talaq issue, the board alleged that the bill tabled by the centre in parliament to criminalise the practice was "anti-women" and against the shariah and the constitution.
The AIMPLB said it would launch a campaign to create awareness among the masses, particularly among the Muslims, on how the centre wanted to put restrictions on the community "under the garb" of the "triple talaq bill".
"The Talaq-e-Biddat bill moved by the central government is anti-women. It will create more difficulties for the women. It is against shariah and against the constitution," the statement said, adding that the board would continue to make efforts to stop the passage of the bill in the Rajya Sabha.
The AIMPLB would launch a countrywide awareness campaign against the bill and also coordinate with the opposition parties that were against the bill, it said.
The board also decided that state-level and district-level committees would be formed under the aegis of the central body for the purpose.
The Muslim Women (Protection of Rights on Marriage) Bill, 2017, which criminalises instant triple talaq and imprisons a Muslim man for up to three years if he follows the practice, has already been passed in the Lok Sabha. But it is yet to get a nod in the Rajya Sabha, where the BJP-led NDA lacks majority.
Addressing a press conference after the plenary, the AIMPLB members said instant triple talaq was "gunah" (sin) in Islam and that the board was taking several measures to stop the practice.
"The board has already prepared a modern nikahnama (Islamic prenuptial agreement) and awareness will be raised (on it). The bill is totally defective and the women have said that it is going to harm their rights and put them in a very difficult situation. The women need to show that they do not want this bill," they said.
The board members added that they would launch a countrywide campaign to raise awareness and understanding about the Shariah, so that Muslims could understand about "nikah" (marriage), "talaq" (divorce), inheritance and their execution as per the shariah.
AIMPLB general secretary Maulana Wali Rahmani presented the general secretary's report on the concluding day of the plenary and said the real strength of the community was in its unity.
"We have to save ourselves from disunity so that we remain as an honourable community of the country. The present environment in the country reminds us that at all costs, we must remain united, ignore our minor differences and adopt the path of moderation through our writings, words and deeds. We must create unity and peace in the country," Mr Rahmani was quoted as saying in the statement.