The Supreme Court's fatwa verdict today declaring that a Shariat court has no legal sanction drew sharp reaction from Muslim clerics who said that the Constitution allows them the right to work and act according to Muslim personal law.
Zafaryab Jilani, member of the Muslim Personal Law Board, said, "We are not doing anything parallel to the judicial system and we don't say that any order passed by a Qazi is binding on all. Our sole motto is to resolve a matter with the consent of two parties involved in accordance with Shariat."
Khalid Rasheed Farangi, a Muslim cleric, said that under the Constitution, Muslims have the right to work and act according to Muslim personal law.
"Indian Constitution has given us the right to act and work according to our Muslim personal law.
"One must also keep in mind that Shariat Application Act, 1937, has very clearly said that in those cases in which both parties are Muslims and the matter is related to nikaah, talaaq, zihar, lian, khula and mubaraat, the decisions will be taken in the light of the Muslim personal law," he said, adding that the verdict needs to be studied properly before a final statement can be given.
Maulana Mohammad Sajid Rashid, President of Kul Hind Imam Association, said the plea filed in the apex court is itself wrong as it is a religious matter.
"If a person is practising a religion, he/she has to follow its preachings. A Muslim who does not follow the Sharia is not a true Muslim," he said.
Maulana Anisur Rehman, member of Imarat Shariah, Patna, however, agreed with the apex court ruling, saying that the judgement is not wrong and it is not going to hinder the functioning of Shariat courts.
"For arbitration, when two parties or people consensually approach the Shariat court, it is lawful. The Supreme Court is not wrong, but I need to go through the entire verdict properly," he said.
Disapproving of a Shariat court issuing fatwa and order against a person who is not before it, the Supreme Court today said it has no sanction of law and no legal status.