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Waqf land can’t be used for temple: Shia cleric

Al-Sistani issues fatwa against giving Shia Waqf land for Ram Mandir

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The attempt by Dr Waseem Rizvi, chairman of the Uttar Pradesh Shia Waqf Board, to hand over disputed land in Ayodhya to Hindus for construction of Ram temple suffered a major setback after Iraq’s top Shia cleric Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani issued a fatwa against construction of any temple or other shrine on properties belonging to the Shia waqf.

In response to a query raised by Dr Mazhar Abbas Naqvi, a resident of Kanpur in Uttar Pradesh, the Shia cleric ruled that it was against Islam and shariat to hand over any property belonging to Shia waqf for the construction of a temple or any other shrine.

Al-Sistani, who heads Shia seminary in Najaf, Iraq, is considered the the most revered cleric of Shias across the world. His fatwa came at a time when the UP Shia Waqf Board had been spearheading a campaign to hand over the disputed land in Ayodhya to Hindus for the construction of Ram temple.

Dr Rizvi has already submitted an affidavit in this regard in the Supreme Court, which is hearing the Ayodhya land dispute case. Dr Rizvi had submitted an agreement reached between the board and Hindu religious heads for handing over the disputed land to Hindus and construction of mosque in Lucknow to resolve imbroglio.

Reacting to the fatwa from Iraq’a top Shia cleric, Dr Rizvi said on Tuesday that there was an international pressure on the board to support the litigants of Babri Mosque. “The fatwa is nothing but part of the international pressure tactics to stay away from the dispute,” he said.

“We will not go by the fatwa from Iraq, which was obtained after misguiding the cleric on the issue. Shia Board will continue to work for the peaceful solution of the dispute,” Dr Rizvi said.

MAJOR SETBACK

Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani, who heads Shia seminary in Najaf, Iraq, is considered the the most revered cleric of Shias across the world. His fatwa came at a time when the UP Shia Waqf Board had been spearheading a campaign to hand over the disputed land in Ayodhya to Hindus for the construction of Ram temple.

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