Considering the problems and difficulties faced by the lmams of mosque all over India Hazrat Maulana Jameel Ahmed llyasi.pledged himself to the cause of Imams and Muslim Community some twenty years ago and resolved to unite and organise the lmams on all India basis. After prolong tours, consultations and discussion on the subject with other concerned people, scholars and lmams from every corner of the country, it ws resolved that to over come the problems and handicaps, it is the need of the hour to establish an organisation of lmams on an all India level. After giving due consideration a meeting of lmams and Islamic Scholars was called at Curzon Road (Kasturba Gandhi Marg) Masjid in 1974 and an organisation called 'All India Organisation of ]mams of Mosques'was permanently established. The presidentship and other related responsibilities were entrusted to Hazrat Moulana Jameel Ahmed llyasi sb. In the capacity of President of all India Organisation of ]mams of Mosques, Moulana Jameel Ahmed flyasi took the case to Smt. lndira Gandhi the then Prime Minister of India and apprise her of the problems of ]mams, Mrs. Gandhi sympathetically heard the problems and gave assurance of all. sorts of help to Moulana.
As a result thereby Smt. Gandhi while keeping her promise, issued a circular to all state governments in 1974 recommending for exemption of all the wakf properties from Rent Control Act, which may increase the income of wakf and as a result salaries and stipends to the beneficiaries may be met. It was the first move of the organisation to. bring to the notice of government the realities and plights of 1mams in the country. The political situation during the period did not allow the government to pay required attention and follow up action in this direction, in the years 1997 Congress lost the power.
During the Janta Party regime Organisation continued its efforts at al levels but efforts could not materialise and remained hanging because of government's mutual misunderstandings and lack of will to handle it. Meanwhile the organisation s4cceeded to expand its boundaries by approaching the people, scholars and distinguished Islamic Jurists herein and abroad inviting their views guidance and co-operation in the matter.
In the years 1980 the Congress returned to Power and congress Ministry headed by Smt.Gandhi formed the government, once again a delegation of the organisation under its President Moulana Jameel Ahmed flyasi approached 1.@, t it. Gandhi at her residence. In the meeting which lasted for about three hours views were exchanged, debated discussed and finally it was decided that the organisation shall be given representation in Central Waif Council and in all the wakf boards of the states for the better. management of wakf properties which will increase the income of Wakf Boards and in consequence to increased income, it will help to solve the problems of lmams.
Again in the year 1984 an all India meeting of the Organisation was held at'Bachchon ka Ghar'Darya Gunj, New Delhi and Shri Rajiv Gandhi the then Prime Minister was pleased to be the chief Guest. In his address to lmams, he assured the lmams to solve their problems and take personal interest in the matter. He expressed very profoundly his views regarding the salaries of lmams in the following works: " 1 will.not make a mention about the meagre salaries, the 1mams are getting now a days but 1 also feel ashamed to mention the demands in this respect. Now the wakf boards are not ours, you will havp, Boards afterthe election ,in the near future and your problems will be solved".
As a sequence to above referred assurance when the members of DelhiWakf Board were elected.The President of organisation Moulana Jameel Ahmed llyasi was nominated as the representative of the organisation. In the capacity of President of organisation Moulana llyasi Sahab was appointed Chairman of Masajid Committee of Delhi Wakf -Board.
In the capacity of member of Del 'hi Wakf Board and Chairman of Masajid Committee of Delhi Wakf Board Moulana llyasi Sahab utlized the opportunity and succeeded to get the salaries of Imams increased for Rs. 75-125 to Rs. 500/- per month w.e.f. April 1986. It was not a smooth sailing for Moulana Sahab he was open to all sorts of accusation and oppositions from the persons who felt scared of the achievement and unity of lmams.
After the increase in salaries Moulana suggested for an annual increment to the salaries of lmams in the capacity of Chairman of Masajid Committee the proposal was approved by the Committee and Delhi Wakf Board had to sanction Rs. 25/- per annum in September 1986.
It is necessary to mention here that Delhi and Punjab are the only Wakf Boards in India which release the salaries of the lmams when the attention of PunjabWakf Board was drawn to the increase of salaries of Imam in Delhi they also took steps after considering the matter.
The organisation in.its efforts to solve the problem of residence for the lmams took the matter to the concerned authorities and to some extent he succeeded as the land was allotted for the colony of Imams. But due to opposition of some vested interests who were feeling threatened by the success of organisation the scheme was thwarted all efforts went in vain for non compliance of formalities within stipu ate time.
The Supreme Courtof India and the problems of payment of salaries to lmam!Muazz'ins etc.
the All India 'Organisation of lmams of Mosques under the Presidentship of Hazrat Moulana Jameel Ahmed llyasi left no,stonln unturned in orderto achieved the status for the Imam@ which@should be in accordance with what is ordained by the Shaeiah. All efforts of the organisation at executive level did not yielded the expected results. It is common knowledge that if the wakf properties are,properly administered and managed by the Boards, they are capable of yielding billions of rup.pos annually which may provide financial assistance to the orphans a,-id other needy persons of the Muslims community according to Shirt.
It is no secret that wakf properties are subjected to loot by the vested interests and maj'or,portion of these properties are under illegal possessions and controls for Mafia's and the Boards all over have miserably failed to protect and administer these properties sincere y. honestly and faithfully. As a result, all those needy and deserving people failed to get benefits and the dreams of lmam-ul-Hind Moulana Abdul Kalam Azad and Mujahid-e-Millat Moulana Hifzur-Rehman which they had in the form of the wakf Act. 1 954 is shattered.
Keeping these facts and circumstances in view a general body meeting -of the organisation was called in July 1989 at Masjld Curzon Road@ New Delhi and it was agreed that for the proper protection of Mosques and Tombs and for increasing the salaries of lmams and Muezzins whether they belong to urban area or rural area who are lookina after the mosques and performing the duties of, lmamat all over India whether Abadi' area or non Abadi area the Supreme Court of India should be approached and as a consequence a writ petition under article 32 ot the Constitution of India Captioned as.,-Writ petition /Civil) No@ 715/90, Ail India Organisation of lmams of mosques and others vs Union of India and others was filed Mr. Mukesh S. Giri advocate Supreme Court, when contracted assured Moulana Saheb a,Ii possible legal aid and look, personal interest and helped the organisation to achieve its goal. The organisation engaged the best legal brains in India and after three and half years of legal battle and with the grace of Allah the Almighty succeeded in establishing its claim for a payment of salaries to ]mams and Muezzins by the respecting Wakf Boards. Without going into the details of the Judgement delivered by the Hon'bie Supreme Court of India and reported in AIR 1993 Supreme Court 2086, the details of the Judgement will be dealt separately
After said Judgement Moulana llyasi Sahab continued his efforts to the implementation of the Judgement which declared that under Article 21 of the constitution of India lmams are entitled to a dignified life and the plea of lack of resources shall not come in the way of releasing salaries to lmams. Moulana Sahab approached the then government and Shri Sita Ram Kesari the then Social Welfare Minister Govt. of India, for implementation of the said judgement by preparing a scheme as directed by hon'bie Supreme Court. 1 may make it clear that when the Apex Court put its seal and declared that lmams are entitled to receive salaries from the funds out of wakf Boards some vested interest did not like it and again they misguided the community alleging that the ]mams will become the slaves and agents of the government. Shri Sita Ram Kesri invited the Islamic Scholars from forty Oadeemi Islamic Heads of Madras's to know their Jurists opinion on the point and in the meeting under the Chairmanship of' Shri Sita Ram Kesri, it was unanimously declared by these shoals that it is absolutely Islamic to receive sala 'ries from the funds of wakf boards which are ultimately the properties of Muslim Community.The then Government of shri P. V. Narsimha Rao constituted a High Power Committee under the chairmanship of the then Minister social welfare for preparation of a scheme as directed by the Hon'bie Supreme Court. After tireless efforts of Hazrat Moulana Jamil Ahmad llyasi scheme for remuneration to lmams/Muezzins was prepared. It was efforts and persuasions of MoulanaJamilAhmad llyasi SahabthattheNewWakfActl995came into existence. Which was hanging for the last twenty eight years.The Act contains certain provisions which are of far reaching consequences in the management and administration of wakf properties wherein it is provided that Special Court shall be constituted and Jurisdiction of civil courts is limited to a large extent. It can be said without fear of contradiction that Moulana Jamil Ahmad llyasi Sahab's more than thirty years efforts bore fruits in bringing out:the said Act, which will prove to be a mile stone in the field of consolidation preservation and management of thewakf properties , which in return generate millions of repees and if Utilized honestly and with a definite plans it will go a long way in providing the required finances.
In the last 1 may apprise you of the latest developments and where do we stand today? As discussed above a scheme was prepared and was submitted for the action of the government in the year 1995. Maulana continued his efforts during the United Front Government which did not bear fruits and ultimately once again the organisation knocked the doors of the Hon'bie Supreme Court of India through I.A. No. 1 1 in the writ,petition (civil) No. 715/90, All India Organisation of lmams of Mosques and other vs Union of India and others. On 22.08.1997 this petition was called on for hearing and thereafter the representations were made to all the fifty three respondents inclu ing oar s o all the states to implement the above referred Judgement and consequences thereof including the release of the salaries of the lmams & MuazzinsThe organisation after waiting for reasonable time to receive the reply of representation sent to respondents has served them with legal notice that in case they fail to take positive steps in the direction of releasing the remuneration's the organisation would be left with no other option but to proceed with the contempt of Hon'bie Supreme Court proceedings. Let us hope and trust that all concern respondents shall act to abide by the judgement and the order of the hon'bie supreme court.
MASOOD AHMAD KHAN
ADVOCATE SUPREME COURT
Tel. 6284416, Fax. 6228518
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