Title Suit or Issue of Faith: The saga continues since 1992

A. Faizur Rahman’s article “The essentiality of mosques” says that the Supreme Court needs to reconsider the Ismail Faruqui verdict, in which it stated that a mosque is not essential to Islam. Instead of arguing his case, Mr. Rahman blandly states: “A reading of the Koran and authentic traditions of the Prophet make clear the significance of the mosque in Islam.” This is, at best, a circular argument and, at worst, a terrible obfuscation.

Misreading the Constitution 

It is also a misreading of the Constitution of India to state, as the writer does, that Articles 25 and 26 guarantee Muslims an unfettered fundamental right to pray in a mosque. Fundamental rights in our Constitution are not absolute, and are subject to reasonable restrictions of morality, health, and public order. And for a moment even if I agree to it then it exposes their hypocrisy as we all are aware of the Sabrimala verdict.

It is now established that Babri Masjid was a structure constructed by invaders, and after demolishing a pre-existing temple. The Supreme Court in 1994 had directed the Allahabad High Court to verify this by scientific methods.

The High Court then asked the Archaeological Survey of India (ASI) to determine and verify this fact. A team of two top archaeologists, B.B. Lal and K.K. Mohammed, in 2002 deployed the most scientific tools and unanimously concluded that there was indeed an extensive temple complex in ruins under the site where the Babri Masjid structure had stood.

The High Court accepted this finding and relied on the same in depth in its 2010 judgment of 1,000 printed pages, now available in three bound volumes. It is this judgment that the Sunni Waqf Board has appealed against in the Supreme Court.

Before the Supreme Court today are two sets of petitions being considered. The first is a civil suit appeal against the High Court judgment, viz., on questions of who the “disputed” Ayodhya site belongs to. The second is writ petition by Subramanian Swamy seeking enforcement of  fundamental right to pray at the site where Rama was born. Many devout Hindus believe that Bhagwan Sri Rama was born at a particular spot in Ayodhya, the then capital of a flourishing kingdom of the Suryavamsa dynasty.

Imam-e-Hind

Rama is regarded as Maryada Purushottam and worshipped by Hindus in the north as an avatar of Vishnu, while some Tamil saints known as Nayanmars and Alwars composed many hymns and songs dedicated to his divinity. In that sense, Sri Rama was the first truly national king of India, supra region, supra varna or jati. That is why the poet Mohammed Iqbal called him ‘Imam-e-Hind’.

The exact spot of the palace where Rama was born has been — and remains — firmly identified in the Hindu mind and is held sacred. This is the very area where stood, from 1528 till December 6, 1992, a structure that came to be known as Babri Masjid, put up by Babar’s commander, Mir Baqi.

And thus I believe that building of grand Ram Mandir is inevitable because what Mecca is to Muslims, Vatican is to Christians, Ram Mandir at Ayodhya is to Hindus. Therefore, this must not be misunderstood as a title suit but this is the question of faith at Ayodhya.

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