Tag Archives: Islam

All you wanted to know about Waqf – FAQ

A few headlines and article ignited this writer’s interest in waqf.

One was the statement that “India has the largest Waqf land in the world? As per estimation by Sachar Committee Report, 2006 there are about 4.9 lakh registered Waqf properties comprising of about 6 lakh acres of land, approximate market value of these properties is Rs. 1.20 lakh crore.” Source Maharashtra alone has 92,000 acres of land as Waqf properties. Source

Bar & Bench story said, “The Supreme Court recently held that in the absence of any proof of dedication or user, a dilapidated wall or a platform cannot be conferred a status of a religious place for the purpose of offering prayers or Namaaz (Waqf Board Rajasthan vs Jindal Saw Limited).” Source

Another recent Supreme Court order stated that, “Land dedicated to religious and pious purpose is not immune from being vested in the state. Waqf Board is part of State under Article 12. The Board had the power to declare a land as Wakf property but any such exercise required a thorough enquiry and hearing the other side. In the present case, no such enquiry was conducted as required under Section 40 of the Act and hence the notification was termed bad in law.” Source Hindustan Times

(All through the essay Hindus, Buddhists, Jains and Sikhs are referred to as ‘Followers of Dharma’. Wherever section numbers are given it means, unless stated, it is a reference to The Waqt Act, 1995).

At the outset must state that I am a Chartered Accountant, not a lawyer and subject expert. Errors if any are unintended and without malafide intent. Format of FAQ is question, answer and observations in blue. In case of any error please mail with references. The purpose of this FAQ is to provoke thought. One does not claim to know all.

Q1. What is the concept of Waqf?

A1.“Section 3(r) of The Waqf Act, 1995 defines ‘waqf’ as the permanent dedication by any person of any movable or immovable property for any purpose recognised by Muslim Law as pious, religious or charitable.” 3

This Indiatimes report explains, “In simple words, waqf is a property which is used for religious and charitable purposes. In Islamic law, a waqf property is permanently dedicated to Allah, and once a property is dedicated as waqf, it remains as waqf forever signifying that a waqf is perpetual, inalienable and irrevocable in nature.”

According to the Madhya Pradesh Waqf Board site, “Waqf is a Voluntary, permanent, irrevocable dedication of a portion of one’s wealth-in cash or kind- to Allah. Once a waqf, it never gets gifted, inherited, or sold. It belongs to Allah and the corpus of the waqf always remains intact. The fruits of the waqf may be utilised for any shari’ah compliant purpose.”

According to an Indian Express report, “The waqf is similar to a trust established under the Indian Trusts Act, 1882, but trusts can be set up for a broader purpose than religious and charitable uses. 2 (See Q23/24 for more on this).

Q2. How is Waqf created?

A2. “A waqf can be formed through a deed or instrument, or a property can be deemed waqf if it has been used for religious or charitable purposes for a long period of time.” Source IndianExpress

A non-Muslim can also create a waqf but the individual must profess Islam and the objective of creating the waqf has to be Islamic.

Section 3 (s) states, “Waqf deed” means any deed or instrument by which a Waqf has been created and includes any valid subsequent deed or instrument by which any of the terms of the original dedication have been varied.”

According to Section 36, it is mandatory to register all waqf at the office of the board. The application of registration shall be made by the mutawalli. 3

Q3. Can a piece of land (public or private) be declared Waqf property just because it is used for praying purposes for say 3 years?

A3. No, a piece of land (public or private) used for praying purposes for say three years cannot be construed as a Waqf property.

Q4. Who is a Waqif?

A4. Waqif is a person who creates a waqf for the beneficiary. Section 3 (a) of the 1995 Act states, “beneficiary means a person or object for whose benefit a (waqf) is created and includes religious, pious and charitable objects and any other objects of public utility sanctioned by the Muslim law.”

Q5 How are Waqf properties managed?

A5. Properties are managed by Waqf (equivalent of a Trust) and State Waqf Boards.

According to section 13 (3), “The Board shall be a body corporate having perpetual succession and a common seal with power to acquire and hold property and to transfer any such property subject to such conditions and restrictions as may be prescribed and shall by the said name sue and be sued.”

If conditions prescribed under the Act are fulfilled the state shall have separate boards for Shia and Sunnis. For e.g. West Bengal board site say it is a body corporate.

Q6. Is the Waqf Board a Section 8 company under the Companies Act or a Trust?

A6. Legal sources indicate it is neither a Section 8 company nor a trust? Was it then created by a special statute?

Q7. Who can be Members of the state level Waqf Board?

A7. According to section 14, members of the Waqf Board must be Muslims be it a MP, MLA, Member of the Bar Council, Expert in Town Planning or Management, scholar in Islamic Theology and not below the rank of the joint secretary. Simply put, being a Muslim is a pre-requisite. The State Boards shall have a Chief Executive Officer (only Muslim) appointed by the State government. A mutawalli will look after individual properties.

Q8. Can Waqf Board accept donations and issue receipts under section 80 (G) of the Income-Tax Act 1961.

A8. Legal sources say Yes..

Q9. Does the CEO of the State Waqf Boards have to be Muslim?

A9. Yes according to zakatindia site. ((Section 23 states the CEO has to be a Muslim). Members of the board also have to be Muslim. Of the 32 State Waqf Boards, 27 of the Chief Executive Officers are Muslims with 5 posts being vacant (accessed on 29.5.22 at 1.15 pm)

Q10. What is the Central Waqf Council?

A10. State Waqf Boards are also responsible to the Central Waqf Council of which a Union Minister is ex-officio Chairman. The Central Waqf Council presently has 8 members, all Muslims. See here Also see Q16 The Council’s expenses are paid for by the Waqf Board.

Is there a similar Central Council for managing Hindu temple and heritage properties?

Must a Union Minister be the Chairperson of a religious body in a so called secular (whatever that means) state?

Q11. When was the law on Waqf introduced?

A11.The Mussulman Wakf Act, 1923 was introduced by the British.

Note that the British first introduced The Madras Religious and Charitable Endowments Act 1925. It drew large protests from Muslims and Christians. Thus, it was redrafted to exclude them, made applicable to Hindus only and renamed as the Madras Hindu Religious and Endowments Act 1927. In 1925, the Sikh Gurudwaras Act was passed that brought gurdwaras under the control of an elected body of Sikhs. Independent India continued with these laws.

So the British had one set of laws for Hindus and another for the rest.

The Indiatimes report adds, “The Waqf Act, 1954 was the first of its kind. It underwent many amendments. Finally, The Waqf Act 1995 was enacted. This Act established the Central Waqf Council and State Waqf Boards.” The reformist Hindu Succession Act 1956 was passed for the Followers of Dharma.

Q12. Does the Waqf Act 1995 apply all over India?

A12. The 1995 Act states it is not applicable to the state of Jammu and Kashmir and Durgah Khawaja Saheb, Ajmer to which the Durgah Khawaja Saheb Act, 1955 applies. (Section 2)

Post abrogation of Article 370 the Act is applicable to the Union Territory of Jammu and Kashmir. However, there is a request for certain changes.

Q13. What is the origin of Waqf Land?

A13. Author Praful Goradia wrote in Daily Pioneer, “The institution began with a place called Khaybar in Arabia. It was the genius for turning a conquered property into an inalienable ownership. Another commentator, Ahmedullah Khan has recalled several properties which were brought under Waqf much earlier. For example, the dargah of Moinuddin Chishti at Ajmer Sharief as well as Nagaur in Rajputana.” 1

The Survey Commissioner (who undertakes preliminary survey of Auqaf) shall, while making any inquiry, have the same powers as are vested in a civil court. (Section 4 of 1995 Act).

Question:Does a surveyor of a Mutt, Temple, Gurudwara have similar powers?

According to Section 8, “The total cost of making a survey including the cost of publication of the list or lists of auqaf under this Chapter shall be borne by the State Government.”

Question:Should tax payer’s money be used for what is purely private property?

Q14. Can land and heritage structures owned by Muslim Rulers before Independence become Waqf property?

A14. Legal sources say both can become waqf property!

Q15. 200 acres of land were given by King Achyuta Deva Raya, younger brother of Krishna Deva Raya to Shahul Hameed Auwliya for the Nagore Dargah? Source

A15.Legal sources state, “As far as time is considered, for a land to be ascertained as waqf, it can be since the Islamic Law comes in picture.” This matter needs to be examined further.

Q16. What is the source of income of Waqf Board and Central Waqf Council?

A16. Under Section 72 mutawallis are liable to pay to the State Waqf Board 7% of the net annual income derived from waqf properties of which the net annual income is not less than 5000 rupees.

Section 10 (1) of the 1995 act states that every state waqf board should pay from its waqf fund annually to the council 1 % of the aggregate of the net annual income of the waqf.

Q17. All the funds received by the council from the state waqf boards and all the funds received as donations, benefactions and grants will be deposited in the Central Waqf Fund (section 10 (3). Source BlogIpleaders.in Is surplus of income over expenditure chargeable to income-tax?

A17. Legal sources state that a surplus of income over expenditure of the Waqf Board or Central Waqf Council is liable to income-tax.

Q18. How can Waqf Board income be used?

A18. The proceeds are typically used to finance educational institutions, graveyards, mosques and shelter homes.

Q19. Do educational institutions mean those providing secular or religious (madrassas) education?

A19. Legal sources say covers both.

Q20. Who is a Mutawalli?

A20. “A ‘mutawalli’ is appointed by a waqif, or by a competent authority, to manage or administer a waqf.”

According to Section 71 of the 1995 Act, the mutawalli of every waqf, whose net annual income exceeds Rs 5,000/ shall out of such income pay the Waqf Board a sum not more than 7% of such annual income.

Q21. Who pays the salaries of Mutawalli and other Waqf Boards employees?

A21. According to section 77 (4) of the Act, from the monies received by the Waqf Board and kept in the Waqf Fund shall be paid salaries and allowances of the officers and staff of the board.

Notwithstanding the above, whether Mutawallis; are paid by the state government or waqf board is not clear and may vary from state to state. For e.g. in Rajasthan, the Waqf board asked the state government for funds to pay employee salaries.

Q22. Can a Waqf Board give up its claim to any disputed site?

A22. Since waqf cannot be alienated unilaterally, any unilateral claims by the chairperson of the waqf will have no legal value or bind the Muslim community. Alienating waqf property without prior approval of state Waqf boards is an offence and special tribunals established under the Waqf Act have jurisdiction to deal with such disputes.” Source Indian Express

Q23. Does the Charity Commissioner have jurisdiction over Muslim Trusts?

A23. According to Maharashtra Waqf Board site, “Now Charity Commissioner has no jurisdiction to Register and decide any issue of Muslim Wakfs or Collect fund or taxes etc. after 1-1-1996. No Muslim Trust/Wakf should approach Charity Commissioner Office, nor they are supposed to pay any Taxes to them. All the issues of Wakfs will now be decided by Wakf Board.”

Q24. Comparing Trust vs Waqf!

A24. According to this article in Corpbiz.io some differences are-

Trusts: Religious intention is not obligatory for a trust. It must have lawful object.

Waqf: Must be religious motive behind generating a waqf. The purpose must be charitable, pious, or religious according to the Muslim belief. Property is inalienable, irrevocable, and perpetual.

Q25. Review of Telangana Waqf Boardwebsite (accessed on 30.5.22 at 4.15 pm)

A25. “In the erstwhile Hyderabad state, all religious matters including Endowments and Waqf Institutions were being administered and controlled by the Department of Ecclesiastical Affairs known as Umoore-Mazhabi. Under the provisions of Wakf Act 1995 the Waqf Board is a corporate body having perpetual succession.”

“Its objectives are Protection of Waqf Properties, Constructions and repairs to Masjids & Waqf Institutions and Maintenance of Haj House.”

Site has sections for issue of a Marriage and Divorce Certificate. According to a June 2022 report in Livelaw the Supreme Court opined, “Arya Samaj has no business giving marriage certificate. This is the work of authorities. Show the real certificate.”

Total income as reported is Rs 6 crores. Of this 1% goes to the Central Waqf Council and 6% as payment of salaries to staff and expenditure. E.g. of expenditure – facilities for devotees, ITI at Mahboobnagar, School at Nizamabad and in number of mosques morning shift schools to enable Muslims to get acquainted with Islamic studies.

Question:Conversely, Hindu Temples are controlled by the government. Does the law allow Hindu temples to teach Vedic studies?

Q26. Review of Madhya Pradesh Waqf Boardsite (accessed on 30.5.22 at 4.49 pm)

A26.Total Income in 2019-20 Rs 4.14 crs (previous year Rs 2.73 crores). Income includes government grant of Rs 2.58 crores and Rs 1.08 crs (increase of Rs 1.5 crores in 2019-20 is due to government grant).

The board owns hundreds of hectares of agricultural land across districts and invites proposals for commercial development of waqf land.

The West Bengal Waqf Board site shows objectives: registration/enrolment of waqf properties, distribution of scholarship to poor and worthy students, honorarium to Imams and Muazzins and development of auqaf properties. It is a corporate body.

The Uttar Pradesh Waqf Vikas Nigam was set up in 1987, “with the main objective of strengthening the economic condition of the Waqfs located in the state as well as working as a departmental construction agency.”

Comment:A reading of the above indicates that Equality before Law is a myth?

Q27. Who decides if a property is Waqf property?

A27. According to Section 40 when the board has reason to believe that certain property is waqf property it may, after making such inquiry as it may deem fit declare it to be a waqf property. Its decision is final unless revoked or modified by the Waqf Tribunal.

Where the Board has any reason to believe that any property of any trust or society is waqf property (section 40 (3)), “and if after such inquiry the Board is satisfied that such property is waqf property, it may ask the trust or society either to register such property under this Act as waqf property or show cause why such property should not be so registered. Provided that in all such cases, notice of the action proposed to be taken under this sub-section shall be given to the authority by whom the trust or society had been registered.” Thereafter, the Board may issue such orders as it may deem fit, which is final unless modified or revoked by the Tribunal.

Q28. Does the Waqf Board have to give a notice the general public and to conduct an open hearing to enable the affected persons or the persons having interest or title over the property to present their case?

A28. Legal sources state apparently NO. Appears rather unusual.

Q29. Implementation of decisions of Waqf Boards?

A29.According to Section 28 the 1995 Act, “Subject to the provisions of this Act and the rules made thereunder, the District Magistrate or in his absence an Additional District Magistrate or Sub-Divisional Magistrate of a District in the State shall be responsible for implementation of the decisions of the Board which may be conveyed through the Chief Executive Officer and the Board may, wherever considers necessary, seek directions from the Tribunal for the implementation of its decisions.”

Question:Does this imply that the District Magistrate has to implement the decisions of the Waqf Board, without asking any questions? This too seems rather usual and contrary to basic tenets of law, at least in a democratic nation.

Are Followers of Dharma allowed this privilege?

Q30. Do Civil Courts have jurisdiction over the Waqf Board?

A30.The Madras High Court came to the conclusion that civil court has no jurisdiction as per Section 85 of The Waqf Act, 1995 and all the issues related to waqf and waqf properties ought to be presented before the waqf Tribunals. SourceRead Controversies associated with the 1995 Act.

Q31. Where can one appeal against decision of Wafq Tribunal?

A31. Anyone who is unhappy with the decision of the Wafq Board can appeal to the Wafq Tribunal relating to waqf or waqf property (Section 83).

Section 83 (5) states that, “The Tribunal shall be deemed to be a civil court and shall have the same powers as may be exercised by a civil court.” Section 83 (7) states, “The decision of the Tribunal shall be final and binding and it shall have the force of a decree made by a civil court.”

Question:Is there a similar Tribunal structure for Followers of Dharma?

Section 83 (9) states, “No appeal shall lie against any decision or order whether interim or otherwise, given or made by the Tribunal.” However, a High Court may under certain conditions review the Tribunal’s decision.

Q32. According to the Waqf Act 1995, does income received from Waqf properties to be used for the benefit of Muslims only or benefit of all Indians.

A32.Legal sources state both (even foreigners).

Q33. Applicability of Limitation Act?

A33. Section 107 provides that the 1963 Limitation Act shall not apply to suit for possession of immovable property comprised in Waqf or possession of interest in such property.

Simply put, this section gives unlimited power to theWaqf Board to recover any property in the name of Waqf after any number of years. However, this Act includes of recovery of property belonging to Hindus Jains Buddhists and Sikhs. 4

What section 107 does is that Waqf Boards have been given free hand to recover any property even after 50 years but Hindus cannot recover their properties after lapse of limitation period.

Q34. Before 2013, in S. 8, there was provision that the cost of making survey publication of the list of Waqf shall be borne by all the mutawalli of the Waqf.

A34. But now Section 10 of the 2013 amendment reads: “The total cost of making a survey including the cost of publication of the list or lists of auqaf under this Chapter shall be borne by the State Government.”

Question:Why should the cost of survey and publication of private property be funded by tax-payers money?

Q35. What is National Waqf Development Corporation Limited (NAWADCO)?

A35. To fill the gap of development deficit NAWADCO was established with an authorized capital of Rs 500 crore and paid up share capital of Rs.100 crore, on 31st December, 2013 with a specific mandate to develop invaluable Waqf properties across India and to enhance the income of State Waqf Boards/ Waqf institutions for socio economic empowerment of the minorities.” Source

NAWADCO’s Board of Directors (accessed on 29.5.22 at 1.14 pm) consists of 3 IAS Officers, 1 IRS officer and two Independent Directors, 1 of whom is a CA and another a Muslim. Source

Its objectives are “To act as a specialized financial and developmental institution for the development of Waqf properties, To provide consultancy i.e. managerial, financial and engineering to the Waqf Boards/ Waqf Institutions and Mutawalli, To arrange financial assistance based on Islamic Shariah Principle, Guiding Waqf Boards/ Waqf Institutions and Mutawalli for the management and utilization of surplus income based on Shariah Principles.” Source

According to NAWACO site, “Agreement has been executed by and between NAWADCO & Haryana Waqf Board to develop land parcel at Panipat.”

Questions:Must a secular government arrange financial assistance based on Shariah principles? Does the government make such exceptions for non-Muslim communities?

Q36. Are Hindus denied Right to Equality because of Waqf Act?

A36. The special status given to Waqf properties violates Articles 14 and 15 of the Constitution. Article 14 guarantees equality before law and equal protection of law whilst Article 15 prohibits discrimination on grounds of religion, race, caste, sex or place of birth.

Trust and religious endowments of all communities are governed by the “Religious Endowment Act 1863, Indian Trustees Act 1866, Indian Trust Act 1882, Charitable Endowment Act 1890, Official Trustees Act 1913 and Charitable and Religious Act 1920.” 4

Q37. What is a Section 8 Company under the Companies Act, 2013?

A37. The Telangana and West Bengal Waqf Board sites say it is a corporate body. Thus, it can be a Section 8 company or a company created by a Statue.

According to an Institute of Company Secretaries of India booklet objects of a section 8 company must include, “promotion of commerce, art, science, sports, education, research, social welfare, religion, charity, protection of environment or any such other object.” Its profits have to be used for these objects and it cannot pay dividends.” For income-tax read on.

Q38. Do the activities of the Waqf Board fall within section 2 (15) of the Income-tax Act 1961, which defines ‘charitable purpose’?

A38. Legal sources say Yes provided their work is covered under 2(15).

Q39. What is Charitable Purpose under the Income Tax Act 1961?

A39. Under 2(15), “Charitable Purpose includes relief of the poor, education, medical relief, preservation of environment (including watersheds, forests and wildlife) and preservation of monuments or places or objects of artistic or historic interest, and the advancement of any other object of general public utility.” Source incometaxindia.gov.in

Q40. Can Waqf Board issues receipts, for donations received under section 80G of the Income-Tax Act?

A40. Legal sources say Yes.

Comment:However, it needs to be examined if Waqf/Board are registered as a religious charity and its charitable purpose is covered by section 2(15) stated above.

However, the word religious purpose is not defined in the Act so not clear if the work is considered religious or and charitable.

In comparison any trust that engages in religious preaching, or works for a particular caste or creed, is not eligible for 80G certification. According to a research paper prepared by CA Sunil Talati, “Normally the religious trusts are not allowed to be approved under section 80G. However, Section 80G (5B) allows for a charitable organisation to have a religious activity not exceeding 5% of the total income in that previous year.”

Comment:So, the basis on which Waqf Boards issue 80G certificates needs to be ascertained.

Q41. Do section 8 companies have to comply with Section 11 of the Income-tax Act 1961 i.e. income from property held for charitable or religious purposes?

A41. According to Section 11, income received from property under a trust or voluntary contributions with a specific direction that they shall form part of the corpus of the trust shall not be included in the total income provided the trust spends, for charitable or religious purposes, 85% of the amounts so received in the year of receipt. If such 85% is not spent, it can be accumulated or set apart, provided certain conditions are fulfilled, which shall in no case exceed five years.

Question:Does such a provision apply to Wafq income?

Closing observations:

1Clearly, there is no equality before law on Trust vs. Waqf matter!

2Should the law provide circumstances under which waqf property can be alienated?

3In a Constitution driven state can dedication of any property, waqf or otherwise i.e. part of India, be perpetual, inalienable and irrevocable in nature?

4. Should India to have a “Uniform Law for Trust and Trustees, Charities and Charitable Institutions, and Religious Endowments and Institutions?”

This article was first published in www.swarajyamag.com and HERE


1. A Historical perspective on Waqfs in India

2. How is a Waqf created and laws that govern such properties

3. Understanding Essential Provisions of the Waqf Act 1995

4. Petition in Delhi High Court dated 18.4.2022

5. No proof of existence of mosque: SC dismisses Rajasthan Waqf Board plea

6. Big Jolt to Waqf – Talk on May 1, 2022

7. FAQ on Section 8 Companies by The Institute of Company Secretaries dated August 5, 2016.

8. Mohammaden Trusts under Muslim Law (includes comparison of Trust vs Waqf)

9. NGO registration and legal procedure

10. Section 11 of the Income-Tax Act 1961

11. Section 12 of the Income-Tax Act 1961

12. Section 12A of the Income-Tax Act 1961

Credit: eSamskriti 

Demand for Prophet Mohammed Bill Amidst Rise of Ex-Muslims

By: K Sahadev

Muslim religious groups like Raza Academy and Tahaffuz Namoos-e-Risalat Board and Prakash Ambedkar-led Vanchit Bahujan Aghadi (VBA) have reportedly pressurised the Maharashtra state government to introduce ‘Prophet Muhammad Bill’. The aim is to bring an act to stop blasphemy against Prophet Muhammad and religious figures of all religions.

As per a report in the Times of India, though the bill is promoted as the ‘Prophet Muhammad Bill’, the draft bill prepared and submitted to the government has been titled ‘Prophet Muhammad and Other Religious Heads Prohibition of Slander Act, 2021’ or ‘Hate Speech (Prevention) Act, 2021’.

A group of Muslims in Mumbai has decided to fight provocative and blasphemous posts videos and cartoons through the legal route. Instead of hitting the streets and adopting a confrontational approach, they will counsel youths not to get violent and find remedies within the constitutional framework. Floating a legal cell under Tahaffuz Namoos-e Risalat Board Protection of the Honour of the Prophet Board, the group held its first meeting at Islam Gymkhana on 13 Feb and decided to counter blasphemous and provocative posts and videos in a peaceful and democratic manner.

It has often been seen that Muslim youths get agitated over blasphemous and provocative posts and hi the streets and clash with the police. This results in arson, rioting and then arrests and harassment.

In the recent past, there has been no instance of anyone making derogatory remarks against Prophet Mohammed, why this demand is being made? Could it be due to the rise of ex-Muslims in social media?


Till recently, critical analysis of Islam in Youtube/ Social Media was done mostly by Western scholars and ex-Muslims from Syria like Wafa Sultan who is now living in USA. Later on couple of Pakistani expatriates living in countries like USA/Canada/Europe started their own Youtube channels and started expressing their views / life experiences. Few of the popular channels are:
1) Haris Sultan
2) Dr. Fouzia Rauf ( Saraswathi Dasi)
3) Amina Sardar ( No Love for Islam)
4) Mahleej Sarkari.

In India, one of the earliest ex-Muslim YouTube channel was that of Pandit Mahendra Pal Arya, a Muslim cleric who converted to Arya Samaj. Youtube Channels like Jaipur Dialogues, Neeraj Atri conducted discussions on various aspects of Islam. Neeraj Atri has produced around 50 videos in a series labelled Islam for Dummies. In addition to discussions based on Quran/ Hadees with Sri Shankar Sharan evoked lot of interest and following. Simultaneously these channels started hosting Indian ex-Muslims. This paved the way for Indian ex-Muslims to open their own Youtube Channels. Few of them are:

1) Dystopia to Reason
2) Ex-Muslim Zafar Heretic
3) Azad ground ex-Muslim
4) Indian Ex-Muslim Sahil
5) Kali Dasi (Sarah Khan)

These channels started sharing their experiences of ex-Muslims – their life as Muslims, how they became ex-Muslims, reaction of family/society and life after leaving Islam. One of the channels started a series labelled ‘Islam se Insaniyat tak- story of ex-Muslim’ where ex-Muslims share their life experiences.


The quality of discourse in these channels underwent big change with the arrival of an ex-Muslim who calls himself ‘Sachwala’. According to him, from age of 10, he has undergone education in Madrassa and passed many examinations on Islam. He also had a passion for calligraphy. Later on, he went and worked in Saudi Arabia for around 18 years and there he acquired further in-depth knowledge of the Quran, Arabic and its various variants like classical Arabic. As he delved deeper into Islamic literature, the more he was convinced of various fabrications and interpolations. An article in Hindi on him Equipped with in-depth knowledge of Arabic and Islamic literature, he appears in various ex-Muslim YouTube channels with a specific question where people are invited to prove the same through Quranic verses alone. Some of the topics shook the basic foundation of Islam itself. A few of the topics are:

1) Prove that Quran was revealed to Prophet Mohammed
2) Is not taking of slaves, sex with slaves and sale/purchase of slaves by Prophet Mohammed against humanity?
3) Are declarations of Quran (Bayanat) against communal harmony?
4) Why should I be punished if Allah guides and misguides?
5) Is the present day Mecca the same as the one described in Quran?

These live debates which question the very basic structure of Islam last 3-5 hours and several Muslims come forward to put forth their point of view on above topics. It is worth noting that most of the callers are ordinary Muslims or those who are presently studying in Madrassas. None of the callers are well known figures of Islamic theology or scholars of Islam. Undoubtedly Sachwala has made a deep impact in the online ex-Muslim and Muslim community.

In channels run by women like Kali Dasi or Amina Sardar, women discuss how they became ex-Muslims, torture at hands of family members/ husband. While some have become Hindus after leaving Islam, many remain atheist.
In the course of various debates/ shows, many ex-Muslims join the discourse and they express their desire to discuss their own experiences with Islam. The hosts then include them in their ‘Islam to Insaniat’ series. Quite a few ex-Muslim women from India/ Pakistan who are now living elsewhere are also coming together and are on the verge of starting a separate ex-Muslim women’s channel. With Urdu being understood both in Pakistan and in India, these channels are having an impact in both countries.


In addition, the free and easy availability of the Quran in several languages, Hadees in English, books written by Ali Sina ( Understanding Mohammed ) etc. have spurred a big debate on Islam, its founder Prophet Mohammed, various wars fought in the course of the expansion of Islam, enormous suffering of humanity at the hands of Islam. Massacre of innocents in wars led by Prophet Mohammed, the capture of women and children as slaves particularly the battle with Banu Quraiza and capture of one of the wives of Safiya as a slave are being heard for the first time by Muslims. The marriage of 6-year-old Aisha with 54-year-old Prophet Mohammed is cited by women ex-Muslims as a prime motivator for leaving Islam.

It can be safely concluded that as critical analysis of Islam or open criticism of Prophet Mohammed in cyberspace has spurred Islamic clerics to put forth the demand for a Prophet Mohammed blasphemy law. Unable to counter threadbare discussion of Islam and Prophet Mohammed, through traditional methods like street protests, threats to life, Islamic clerics want to silence these channels through legislation. Such a demand was made in Pakistan and the Pakistan- Punjab assembly passed a resolution in May 2020 to this effect. A similar demand is being in India now.

(Author is Research Associate at ‘Center for South Indian Studies’, Hyderabad)

Partitioned Freedom – 5

(Read “Partitioned Freedom – 1” from this link – 1)
(Read “Partitioned Freedom – 2” from this link – 2)
(Read “Partitioned Freedom – 3” from this link – 3)
(Read “Partitioned Freedom – 4” from this link – 4)
(Read “Partitioned Freedom – 5” from this link – 5)

(Conclusion: Read “Partitioned Freedom – 6″  from this link)

Part 5

The Khilafat misadventure was not without consequences. It had set a trend, both in the Congress as well as the League. For the League, it was more demands, and for the Congress, more capitulation.

Moplah Rebellion:

The Khilafat movement had led to massive violence in the Malabar Coast of Kerala when a local leader, Variankunnathu Kunjahammad Haji declared himself as the Khalifa and also designated two tehsils as ‘Khilafat Kingdoms’. He instigated his followers against the British. The rebellion, famously known as the Moplah Rebellion or the Malabar Rebellion, was launched on August 20, 1921, and continued for four months.

Taken aback initially by the unexpected aggression of the local Muslims called the Moplahs, the British returned with greater force and brutally suppressed the rebellion. All its leaders, including Haji were arrested. As the British were suppressing the rebellion, the Moplahs turned their ire against the local Hindus, blaming them for not fully supporting the Khilafat cause. Houses and temples were destroyed, women were dishonored, and people were forcefully converted or burnt alive. The atrocities committed by the Moplahs shook the conscience of many leaders, including Dr Ambedkar and Annie Besant. While Annie Besant vividly described the brutality against the Hindus, especially the women, Dr. Ambedkar minced no words in condemning the massacres by describing them as ‘blood-curdling’ and ‘indescribable’. Gandhi’s close confidant C. Rajagopalachari was so distraught by the cruelty of the Moplahs that he shot off a letter to Gandhi stating that “the atrocities of the Moplahs have made men, women, and children lose faith in the concept of Hindu-Muslim unity completely”.

However, strange was the Congress reaction. When the AICC met at Ahmedabad in December 1921, the entire effort seemed directed towards downplaying the atrocities by the Moplahs. While the Servants of India Society led by Annie Besant reported that over twenty thousand Hindus were forcefully converted to Islam, the Congress claimed that as per their information, only three people were converted. The Ahmedabad session of Congress witnessed intense tussle between the Congress and League members over the Moplah incidents. All that could be said in the resolution was that the Congress “…is of the opinion that the…disturbance in Malabar could have been prevented by the Government of Madras accepting the proffered assistance of Maulana Yakub Hassan”.

Describing the events at the session, Swami Shraddhanand, a senior leader, wrote: “The original resolution condemned the Moplas wholesale for the killing of Hindus and burning of Hindu homes and the forcible conversion to Islam. The Hindu members themselves proposed amendments until it was reduced to condemning only certain individuals who had been guilty of the above crimes. But some of the Muslim leaders could not bear this even. Maulana Fakir and other Maulanas, of course, opposed the resolution, and there was no wonder. Nevertheless, it was most surprising that an out-and-out Nationalist like Maulana Hasrat Mohani opposed the resolution on the ground that — the Mopla country no longer remained Dar-ul-Aman but became Dar-ul-Harab and they suspected the Hindus of collusion with the British enemies of the Moplas. Therefore, the Moplas were right in presenting the Quran or sword to the Hindus. Moreover, if the Hindus became Mussalmans to save themselves from death, it was a voluntary change of faith and not forcible conversion—Well, even the harmless resolution condemning some of the Moplas was not unanimously passed but had to be accepted by a majority of votes only”.

All this for the sake of keeping the League as a bed-fellow. When Gandhi too downplayed the incident by commenting that the Moplahs were ‘brave and God-fearing, and were fighting for what they considered as religion, in a manner which they consider as religious,’ even Dr Ambedkar could not help but express his despair. He decried saying ‘Mr. Gandhi was so much obsessed by the necessity of establishing Hindu-Muslim unity that he was prepared to make light of the doings of the Moplas and the Khilafats.’

Vande Mataram (‘Partitioned’):

After the Khilafat and the Moplah rebellion, the Muslim League’s price went up further. It started insisting on rejecting the essential symbols of national unity as a price for its support to the Congress. The first to come in the League’s crosshairs was the song Vande Mataram. It became a regular practice since 1905 to sing it at all the important Congress events. But the League members in the Congress started raising objections to it.

The AICC sessions were held in Kakinada in Andhra Pradesh in 1923. Maulana Mohammad Ali was presiding over the Congress. Senior leaders, including Motilal Nehru, Maulana Abul Kalam Azad, Sarojini Naidu, Sardar Patel, and Kasturba Gandhi, were present along with over twelve thousand delegates. Gandhi was in prison and hence could not attend.

Like in the past, Pt. Vishnu Digambar Puluskar, a Hindustani musician from Maharashtra, was there to sing the song at the inaugural. When Pt. Puluskar climbed the dais to sing Vande Mataram, Mohammad Ali raised objection saying that singing the song would hurt the sentiments of religious Muslims. Seeing the silence of the leaders present on the dais, Puluskar took it upon himself to challenge Mohammad Ali and went ahead with its rendition. Mohammad Ali, in protest, walked away while the song was being sung. It may be worthwhile to mention here that on many earlier occasions, the Ali Brothers and other League leaders used to rise together with other Hindu and Muslim members of the Congress when the song was sung. The objection at the Kakinada session was thus more a part of the enhanced bargaining than a genuinely religious issue. To placate the League members, Congress introduced Mohammad Iqbal’s famous song ‘Saare jahan se Acchha – Hindustan Hamara’ in its sessions. Yet, the opposition to Vande Mataram continued.

In 1937, when the elections were held for the Provincial Councils, the Congress formed governments in several of them. The controversy over Vande Mataram was raised once again when the proposal to sing the song at the commencement of the sessions was opposed. A ‘committee’ had to be constituted to review Vande Mataram. Rabindranath Tagore, Subhash Chandra Bose, and Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru were made its members. The committee recommended that the song be truncated and only the first two stanzas be sung.

The national song was partitioned in 1937 to appease the Muslim League. Ten years later, the nation was partitioned.

(To continue)

(Courtesy: The article was originally published in Chintan, India Foundation on August 17, 2020).

Kerala Slides Into Medieval Intolerance

It should be realised here that the Nehruvian secularism and Marxism pampering fundamentalists is not mere vote bank politics. They both have ideological affinity to political Islamism and institutional Christianity. It is not uncommon for Muslim leftist intellectuals to become ideologues of Islamist movement when the latter becomes powerful. As early as 1942, a Muslim member of the central committee of the Communist Party of India asked its Muslim members to join the Muslim League in Punjab. One should understand that it was not opportunism. It is more because of the intuitive understanding of the synergy between Marxism and political Islam as totalitarian movements, which while making use of the existing freedom of speech for their expansion, strangle the same when they get their hands on power.

In Kerala too the same phenomenon got repeated. EMS Namboodiripad (1909-1998) carved out Malappuram district, after an explicitly communal demand made by the Muslim League, which would have disastrous consequences for not just communal relations within the state but also, over the decades, for national security itself. In 2006, the same year Kerala banned the movie Da Vinci code, Frederick Forsyth made an insightful observation on Kerala in his Al Qaeda-based thriller, The Afghan: “Once a hotbed of Communism, it has been particularly receptive territory for Islamist terrorism”.

In 2016, Kerala would notoriously lead other states in cases of radicalised Muslims being recruited for ISIS. Read More at Swarajya

3 From Telangana Arrested for Trying to Join ISIS

The Anti Terrorism Squad (ATS) has arrested three people from Nagpur airport for trying to join Islamic State (IS), according to media reports.

“The three men were planning to join ISIS. The three men are from Telangana and have been handed over to Telangana ATS,” said Maharashtra ATS in a statement.

This week, three Mumbai youth were suspected to have joined ISIS, but were traced near Pune. Two former Indian Mujahideen members are also suspected to have joined ISIS. A 16-year-old Pune girl was also on her way to join the group before being apprehended.

Read More at Source DNA India