New Delhi: Hazrath Mannan Khan Razvi Barelvi, the leader of the section of Muslims generally called Barelvis, has declared Kantapuram AP Abubacker Musaliar, general secretary of All-India Sunni Jamiyyathul Ulama, as the grand mufti.
After receiving the title, Kantapuram said that even if governments change, religious laws cannot be changed, and that Muslims will accept diversity in fiqh (rules and methods of religious practices) as a reality.
It is for the first time that a religious leader from the south of India is conferred this title by the north Indian Barelvis. The declaration regarding grand mufti was made at the gareeb nawaz peace conference organized jointly by All-India Tasneem Ulama-e-Islam of Barelvis and SSF National Committee. The new title empowers Kantapuram to decide on religious issues among Barelvis and to issue fatwas (religious injunctions).
Kantapuram said on the occasion that while staying firm in one's position related to matters of faith, Sunni Muslims should not find diversity of views on fiqh as an obstacle to unity. Although Sunni Muslims follow different streams of thought, their stream is one in articles of faith. Therefore, all Sunni Muslims of the country should come to a common platform. He also reminded that it is the responsibility of everybody to take the backward and weaker sections of the community to the mainstream.
Top leaders and scholars of Barelvis also spoke on the occasion.