Constitution Muslims article of faith: Deoband chief

February 26, 2009: The Indian Express

In a rare public comment, the Mohtamim or chief of the Dar-ul-Uloom, Deoband, the most respected Islamic seminary in India — rated next to only Al Azhar in Cairo — has used strong words to react to “questions¶ raised by certain groups on how Muslims in India view the country and whether they see it as Dar ul Harb (Land of apostates) or Dar ul Islam (Land of Islam).

In a written response to ‘The Indian Express’, Mohtamim Marghoobur Rahman, has said: “There is no question to call it Dar ul Harb. It is Dar ul Amn. So long as Indian Muslims enjoy protection according to Indian Constitution, they are bound to serve their motherland. We are patriotic Muslims and shall ever remain so according to the Indian Constitution…According to Indian Muslims, India is their motherland. They have been prepared and are still being prepared to serve their country in all possible constructive manners.¶

The Dharma Raksha Samiti, a group of religious leaders connected with the Vishwa Hindu Parishad, had written to Muslim organizations last week wanting them to declare India a friend of Islam and to declare war against India as un-Islamic.

Without referring to this, Rahman said: “Hindus and Muslims are two wheels of a cart; everyone in India enjoys religious freedom. Freedom of expression is the main theme of our Preamble of our Constitution. Secular ideas are the lifeline of our social life. It is wonder that such irrelevant questions are put forward just before the general elections for attaining vested interests¶.

He added: “Indian Muslims honour from the core of their heart the Indian Constitution and believe in it heart and soul.¶

On February 25 last year, in a fatwa in Deoband — the first such to be issued by any Islamic organization in the world — the Dar ul Uloom declared terrorism un-Islamic.

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