Sultan Shahin, Founder-Editor, New Age Islam
New Age Islam has received a number of letters expressing a variety of views on this issue. The most heartening is from former Cabinet Secretary Moosa Raza. He writes:
“I have known Justice Katju and I believe that he is a staunch secularist and is totally averse to all forms of radicalisms both Hindu and Muslim. I agree with his views that a minority educational institution can make any disciplinary rules to maintain its character. It can prescribe a uniform; prohibit the wearing of a particular dress etc. If anyone does not like such rules he is free to go elsewhere but he cannot ask for the rules to be changed. For instance a Muslim institution can prescribe a cap to be worn by all students. That would be well within its jurisdiction. By doing so it may lose many prospective alumni. That is a necessary consequence of its exercising the discretion. This discretion is not available to state-run institutions.”
I hope Muslims who are trying to drum up an issue where there is none, will take note and take heed.
Sultan Shahin, Founding Editor, New Age Islam
Supreme Court of India and Muslim Beard
From: Moosa Raza
Sent: Tuesday, 31 March, 2009 7:07:09 PM
To: Sultan Shahin Editor@NewAgeIslam.com and others
Subject: SC rejects Muslim's plea to sport beard, says no 'Talibanisation of India' - The Times of India
I have known Justice Katju and I believe that he is a staunch secularist and is totally averse to all forms of radicalisms both Hindu and Muslim.
I agree with his views that a minority educational institution can make any disciplinary rules to maintain its character. It can prescribe a uniform; prohibit the wearing of a particular dress etc. If anyone does not like such rules he is free to go elsewhere but he cannot ask for the rules to be changed. For instance a Muslim institution can prescribe a cap to be worn by all students. That would be well within its jurisdiction. By doing so it may lose many prospective alumni. That is a necessary consequence of its exercising the discretion.
This discretion is not available to state-run institutions. MR
Date: Wed, 1 Apr 2009 13:31:02 +0530 [01:31:02 PM IST]
From: Kasim sait`` <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: Sultan Shahin Editor@NewAgeIslam.com and others
Mr. Moosa Raza has very rightly pointed out the secular credentials of Justice Katju who is also one who passionately reacts to many socio economic issues always providing the necessary historical context.
This information is necessary to keep in mind for the community because some sections are bound to react in a way they did in the Shah Bano controversy in which the Govt of the day reacted by wrongly making legislative changes in a hurry. To balance this act and equally appease Hindu sentiments, it also opened the Babri Masjid Pandora's box by opening the gates of Ayodhya temple which had been closed for ages. The turmoil which followed and created the communal Frankenstein is a recent historical experience which can be overlooked by only the most humanely irresponsible.
Taking all these factors into consideration, it is pleaded that narrow emotional reactions to the judgement be entirely avoided and this would encourage and strengthen the large responsible secular section of the majority community which is continually carrying on the relentless struggle against the communal poison spewing sections.
From: <KHALEELUR RAHMAN
To: Sultan Shahin Editor@NewAgeIslam.com and others
Sent: Tuesday, March 31, 2009 10:16 PM
Subject: Re: SC rejects Muslim's plea to sport beard, says no 'Talibanisation of India' - The Times of India
We agree with what Mr. Moosa Raza sahib says. It is not proper to ask any minority institution to change its rules by any other minority student. Once admission is given, it is the duty of the students to follow the code of conduct. The student who went to the court on the issue should have got admission elsewhere instead of unnecessarily creating a problem to the institution, himself, judiciary and the community to which he belongs. It was undoubtedly not proper on the part of the student to make it a big issue forcing the judge to use the unparliamentary word "talibanisation".
Mr. Moosa Raza sahib has done well in expressing his well thought out opinion about this issue. The Muslim community will not support anyone who wants to rake up the old Shah Bano controversy and connect it to the present one to divide the people on religious grounds.
Date: Wed, 1 Apr 2009 11:32:04 +0530 [11:32:04 AM IST]
From: abdul hannan
SUPREME COURT OF INDIA AND BEARD
Supreme Court’s decision
Supreme Court’s rejection to allowing Muslim students to sporting beard in convent school and quashing school’s rule on an application filed by Mohammed Salim, a student of Nirmala Convent Higher Secondary school in Madhya Pradesh and apex court’s comment “not Talibanisations in India” was a decision taken very quickly without studying and knowing that Islam what says about beard.
Justice Markandeya Katju said to speaking a bench headed by Justice Raveendran, “we don’t want to have talibans in the country; tomorrow a girl student may come and say that she wants to wear a burqa, can we allow it”.
There are concerns to disallow Muslim student to having beard in convent school, but Linking beard, which is any important subject in Islam and which is the Sunnah of all Prophets and the Messengers of Allah, with Talibanisation and saying, that it cannot allow “Talibans” in India is objection able matter and a very shocking decision received by the entire Muslim community across the country. If such comments passed by RSS or by any other party or by any Institutions, no matter of worries and Muslims lessen it with patience. But such comment passed by a Highest Judicial Institution of the country, a matter for great concern for all Indian citizens. Linking beard with Taliban, indicates the respected Justice Markandeya Katju has no knowledge about beard and its importance in Islam, as well as it shows that counsellor of this case was also not has any knowledge to how present correct information and right knowledge before the judge.
Beard in Islam
"What Allah has bestowed on His Messenger (and taken away) from the people of the townships,- belongs to Allah,- to His Messenger and to kindred and orphans, the needy and the wayfarer; in order that it may not (merely) make a circuit between the wealthy among you. So take what the Messenger gives you, and refrain from what he prohibits you. And fear Allah: for Allah is strict in Punishment." (Quran 59:7)
"O ye who believe! give your response to Allah and His Messenger, when He calleth you to that which will give you life; and know that Allah cometh in between a man and his heart, and that it is He to Whom ye shall (all) be gathered."(Quran 8:24)
"O ye who believe! Obey Allah, and obey the Messenger, and those charged with authority among you." (Quran 4:59)
"O ye who believe! Obey Allah and His Messenger, and turn not away from him when ye hear (him speak)." (Quran 8:20)
Above Qura’anic verses clear indicate that the path of the Prophets of Allah is the correct path and those who obey and move on their direction, in real, they are the Momin, true believers in Islam.
A Hadieth reported by Ibn Abbas “Anyone who shaves has no claim to the mercy of Allah””
Imaam Aboo Haneefah, Imaam Maalik, Imaam ash-Shaafi’ee and many other Imaams have declared the shaving of the beard unlawful. (al-Mishkaat (no. 38)
A Hadieth reported by Hazrat Abu Darda (R. A) in Muslim sharif says that the Prophet Mohammed (Pease be upon Him) said “I have no connection with one who shaves, shouts and tears his clothing eg. In grief or affication”
Shaah Waliyyullaah ad-Dihlawee says in, “Its cutting, meaning the beard, is the way of the Magians, and it is the altering of Allaah’s creation.” (Hujjatullaahil-Baalighah1/152)
Four well-known Caliphs, Aboo Bakr, ’Umar, ’Uthmaan and ’Alee, all had large beards. As mentioned in Tabaqaat Ibn Sa’d (3/114),
Nobody can reject the importance of beard in Islam, if some Muslims shave their beards, they are the sinner in the eye of Allah, and they are moving in the direction not stated by any Messenger of Allah and it is not meaning that it is a rule, as the Justice Katju said “but you don’t sport a beard”, pointing towards the clean shave defender counsellor B. A. Khan.
Above given the references from Qura’an and Hadieth are just an example on the importance of beard in Islam, there are thousands of books, references, and hundreds of thousands of sites on internet can be easily searched and get the information about beard.
In above context linking the beard with Taliban, and describing entire Muslim community in India with Taliban, is not correct at any manner.
One thing we should want to say to respected Judge of Supreme court that he read and study once again on the importance of beard that what are the instructions about beard in Islam and our Prophet Mohammed (Peace be upon him) what said about it. May be he could change his decision, if he does not do, study brings only light and knowledge.
After all, the Supreme court’s judgment and its linking beard with Taliban is totally wrong and it would not be accepted by Muslims, what Muslims and the religious scholars react on this decision, remain to be seen, we can ask the Muslims to play their jobs and duty as the Qura’an says:
Invite (mankind), O Muhammd) to the Way of your Lord with wisdom and fair preaching, and argue with them in a way that is better (Surah al-Nahl -125)
ABDUL HANNAN, JEDDAH, SAUDI ARABIA
Muslims protest SC judge's beard remark
1 Apr 2009, 0203 hrs IST, Mohammed Wajihuddin, TNN
MUMBAI: Muslim organisations have expressed displeasure over Supreme Court judge Markandeya Katju's observations that growing a beard was akin to
promoting `Talibanisation' in the country. The judge had made the remark while rejecting a Muslim student's plea that he be allowed to sport a beard to his school.
"This is a shocking remark and has hurt the sentiments of community members. We are planning to file a plea against the verdict,'' Rajya Sabha MP and Jamiatul Ulema-e-Hind leader Maulana Mehmood Madni said. "Indian ulema are vehemently opposed to Taliban and its dangerous agenda. The verdict may affect our efforts to quell misconceptions about Islam.''
Muslims are now worried that the verdict may be used to harass Muslims in the future.
All-India Muslim Majlis-e-Mushawarat president Zafarul Islam Khan called Justice Katju's remarks "unfortunate''. "Growing a beard is not mandatory, but part of the Muslim faith. Our organisation will approach the court against the verdict,'' Khan said.
"Muslims who don't sport a beard accept that they are wrong because growing a beard is part of the Sunnah (Prophet's traditions). Talibanisation and growing a beard are poles apart," Maulana Mahmood Madni of the All-India Ulema Council said. "The court should not have made such a sweeping remark which could only create problems for Muslims.''
SC rejects Muslim's plea to sport beard, says no 'Talibanisation of India'
30 Mar 2009, 2302 hrs IST, PTI
NEW DELHI: Rejecting the plea of a Muslim student that he should be permitted to sport beard in his convent school, the Supreme Court on Monday observed secularism cannot be overstretched and that "Talibanisation" of the country cannot be permitted.
"We don't want to have talibans in the country. Tommorow a girl student may come and say that she wants to wear a burqa, can we allow it," Justice Markandeya Katju speaking for a bench headed by Justice Raveendran observed.
Asserting that he was a secularist to the core, Justice Katju however said religious beliefs cannot be overstretched.
"I am secularist. We should strike a balance between rights and personal beliefs. We cannot overstretch secularism," the judge known for his incisive remarks said.
Justice Katju passed the obsesrvation while dismsissing the petition of the student. Mohammad Salim of Nirmala Convent Higher Secondary School, a government-recognised minority institution in Madhya Pradesh, has sought quashing of the school regulation requiring students to be clean-shaven.
Challenging a Madhya Pradesh High Court verdict that had earlier dismissed his plea, Salim submitted that every citizen was entitled to follow his religious principles and that no one should restrain him from doing so in a secular country like India.
Salim's counsel Justice (retd) B A Khan argued before the bench that sporting beard was an indispensable part of Islam.
But Justice Katju was apparently not impressed with the argument and quipped "But you (Khan) don't sport a beard?" the judge asked the counsel.
The apex court then said that a minority institution has its own set of rules and rights provided by Article 30 of the Constitution and the same cannot be breached by any person.
"If there are rules you have to be. You can't say that I will not wear a uniform I will only a burqa," the bench observed.
The court further said if the student was not interested in following the rules then he has the option of joining some other institution.
"You can join some other institution if you do not want to observe the rules. But you can't ask the school to change the rules for you," Justice Katju observed.
Appearing for the student, senior advocate B A Khan said that Article 25 of the Constitution guaranteed protection to Salim to pursue his religious practice of keeping a beard and the regulation providing for shaving it off was violative of this provision.
He said the act of the principal to force the student to leave the school for keeping a beard was against "his religious conscience, belief and custom of his family".
Pointing out that Sikh community members were allowed to keep a beard and sport a turban, Salim alleged there was a clear discrimination on part of the school to force him to be clean shaven and this rule was violative of his fundamental rights.
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