K. Alikkutty Musliyar and Bahauddin Mohammed Nadvi, general secretaries, Samastha Kerala Jamiyyathul Ulema, have claimed that Kanthapuram A.P. Aboobacker Musliyar has not been conferred the title of Grand Mufti of India. The duo told media persons here on Monday that they had been authorised by the Jamath Raza-e-Musthafa, the Uttar Pradesh-based supreme organisation of Barelvi Muslims, to convey the message to the people of Kerala. They claimed that Mufti Asjad Raza had been appointed the Grand Mufti as a successor to Mufti Akhtar Raza Khan on April 1. The Musliyar said the followers of the Kanthapuram Musliyar had even visited other countries parading the latter as the Grand Mufti.
Mr. Nadvi claimed that the Kanthapuram Musliyar was ineligible for that title. “A section of Sunni Muslims in Kerala and others have been misled by certain vested interests. Those who are ignorant of the procedure of the appointment of the Grand Mufti may have been carried away by the campaign launched by the Kanthapuram Musliyar,” he said. Mr. Nadvi said the Samastha might think of a legal recourse soon.
The Kanthapuram Musliyar, general secretary of the All-India Muslim Scholars Association, was reportedly declared the Grand Mufti at an event held in New Delhi in February last week by Muhammed Mannan Raza Khan Qadiri. The Grand Mufti is the top authority to give opinion and advice on Islamic jurisprudence and religious practices of Sunnis in the country.
Mr. Nadvi pointed out that Mr. Qadiri had issued a release claiming that he had not conferred the title on the Kanthapuram Musliyar. “I strictly refute the lie being attributed to me,” Mr. Qadiri said in the release to the media. Mr. Nadvi alleged that the attempts to unite the Sunni factions in Kerala had not been successful because the Kanthapuram faction “continued to exploit spirituality” “commercialise religion” and come up with “bogus claims”.
Source: The Hindu