The spiritual head of Ajmeer dargah, who had supported a ban on the sale of beef, was on Wednesday “sacked” by his brother.
On Monday, Syed zainul Abedin had also urged the government to ban the slaughter of all bovine animals to promote communal harmony in the country.
However, his support has not gone down well with his brother who on Wednesday “sacked” him for the “blasphemous” support and declared him a “non-Muslim”.
Syed Alaudin Alimi claimed he had the support of the family in sacking Abedin and anointing himself as the new “deewan”, spiritual chief, of the Khwaja Moinuddin Chisti mausoleum in Ajmer — one of the most famous Muslim shrines visited by millions of devotees from across the sub-continent every year.
The post is hereditary and belongs to heirs of the 12th-13th-century Sufi priest. Deewan has no control over the management of the shrine but gets a monthly remuneration from the management committee, which is appointed by the government.
“I am the new deewan. I have the support of the entire (Chishti) clan,” Alimi told news agency IANS, alleging that Abedin was an “apostate because he had spoken in violation of the Islamic law”.
“I am not interested in salary. He (Abedin) can have the money. Buy I won`t allow him to enter the shrine now. Whatever he has said is blasphemous. I have spoken to muftis (Islamic scholars who interpret sharia) and we will be issuing a fatwa (decree) against him. He is no longer a Muslim.”
Abedin had been the deewan of the shrine since after the Supreme Court 1987 order, ruling him as the most direct and eldest descendant of the Sufi priest.
He sparked a controversy on Monday by asking Muslims in India to stay away from the slaughter of “bovine animals” and to stop consuming beef for communal harmony in the country.
He read his message during the 805th annual function at the shrine that was also attended by religious heads of various shrines from different parts of the country.
Abedin also announced that he and his family members “will never eat beef now”.
“The government should widely impose a ban on slaughtering of all bovine animals and sale of beef. This is one of the prominent reasons for communal hatred in India. Muslims should become an example by taking a resolution to not consume beef in the interest of communal harmony in the country,” he had said.
He had also welcomed the Gujarat’s move to enact a law with the provision of life sentence for those found guilty of cow slaughter, saying that the central government should declare cow as the national animal if the government wants to protect it.
“Cow is the symbol of religious belief. Not only the government, but it is also the duty of every follower of the religion to protect them,” he had said.
On the practice of ‘triple talaq’, he had said that it is not only irrelevant today but against the sentiments of the Quran.
He said that while practising justified divorce, the side of the woman should be considered equally and detailed dialogue with her should also take place.