IOS Eleventh Qazi Mujahidul Islam Memorial Lecture on “Ahd-e-Haazir ke Chand Aham Samaji Masail aur Islami Taalimat”
New Delhi: The eleventh Qazi Mujahidul Islam Memorial Lecture on Ahd-e-Haazir ke Chand Aham Samaji Masail aur Islami Taalimat (some important social problems of modern times and Islamic teachings) was organized online by the Institute of Objective Studies on November 6, 2021.
Presided over by the Head of the Department of Islamic Studies, Maulana Azad National Urdu University (MANNU), Prof. Md. Fahim Akhtar Nadwi, the lecture was delivered by the Secretary, Jamat-e-Islami Hind, Mohammad Raziul Islam Nadwi.
The lecture commenced with the recitation of a verse from the Holy Qur’an by Hafiz Athar Husain Nadwi. Introducing the topic, the in-charge of Urdu section, IOS, Maulana Shah Ajmal Farooq Nadwi, briefly focused on the life and times of Qazi Mujahidul Islam. He said that the Qazi had expertise in Islamic jurisprudence and wrote extensively on it. Dr. Mohammad Manzoor Alam, IOS Chairman, was closely associated with him. The Qazi died in 2002, and the lecture in his memory has been organized since 2003. He also introduced the speaker to the audience.
Speaking on the subject, Dr. Md. Raziul Islam Nadwi pointed out that Qazi Mujahidul Islam was one of the highly respected Islamic scholars of India. He admitted that organizations like Islamic Fiqh Academy (IFA), Imarat-e-Shariah, Bihar, All India Milli Council (AIMC), etc., could not achieve the goal for which they were set up. He said that rights were secured after several movements. Similarly, movements were launched to get rights for women on par with their male counterparts. He explained that feminism had European roots as women had to spearhead movements to raise their voices against the excesses of the Church. With the concept of family as an institution becoming non-existent, social values had disappeared. Pre-marital sex and live-in relationship or sex without marriage have become common these days. What was surprising was that on March 23, 2010, the apex court ruled in favour of it. According to the decision, consensual sex between man and woman was decriminalized. Meaning thereby, it did not fall under the category of rape. He said that in Denmark, Sweden and Norway, homosexuality and lesbianism had been legalized. Now, the demand for same-sex marriage was being made, he added.
Dr. Raziul Islam held that the Delhi high court in June 2009 decriminalised homosexuality under Article 21 of the Indian Constitution. It was upheld by the Supreme Court in 2018. Surrogate motherhood was another aspect of today’s culture that allowed women to rent out their wombs in exchange for money. Sperm banks were dotting the cities where human sperms were preserved to develop embryos and deliver test-tube babies. In this case, the Supreme Court granted legal status to commercial use of surrogacy. Cases of feticide were on the rise, and the current rate stood at 51.96 percent in terms of males and 48 percent in terms of females. Commenting on the old-aged person, he said that today, they are treated as useless, and old age homes have become the last refuge for them. Currently, as many as 728 old age homes are functioning throughout the country, with Kerala accounting for the maximum number of them. Alluding to another problem, he said that sex mafias are very active these days. They were engaged in exporting poor and young girls to other countries for being used as sex objects. Poverty or the urge for earning extra income forced these girls to walk into the trap laid by the sex mafia. The children born out of illicit parenthood remained uneducated and without progress. Today’s woman was not dependent on man due to the equal status granted to both of them. Man tried to dominate woman, which led to an increase in the cases of domestic violence against women. According to a UN report, violence against women had become a universal phenomenon, he said.
Referring to the spurt in the cases of forced rape or separation, he said that it resulted from the usurpation of the right of the spouse. Nature had punished for these crimes in the form of the diseases like AIDS and HIV. Crores of dollars were being spent on the prevention and treatment of such deadly diseases every year. According to a survey, about 37 million people were affected by AIDS around the globe. As far as India was concerned, it had about 27.49 lakh positive cases of AIDS and HIV. He observed that the institution of marriage in Islam legitimized conjugal relationships. Extra-marital relationship under Islam was disallowed. He said that an individual was not the master of his or her body. They were only its custodian. Thus, commercial use of the body was a sin. Followers of Islam were required to take care of their parents. If the Muslims strictly followed the teachings of Islam, they would not have to come across such problems. Islamic teachings were neither imaginary nor philosophical. Only the Islamic way of life could spare humanity of today’s crisis, he concluded.
In his presidential remarks, Prof. Md. Fahim Akhtar Nadwi said that the topic of the lecture was very important in the context of the prevailing situation. He held that Dr. Raziul Islam had been regularly writing on the subject. Efforts to solve the problems of the community were moving in the wrong direction. He endorsed Dr. Raziul Islam’s view that these problems could be solved as per the teachings of Islam. He suggested that the feminist movement should be discussed threadbare. Care for old-aged parents was another issue that had turned into a major social problem. These issues were a product of a western culture where ethical and social values had vanished. People in that part of the world enjoyed rights, but now they were demanding absolute rights. This concept grew in India too and developed into a philosophical movement. He urged the IOS to take stock of social evils prevalent in western society. He blamed novels, cinema, and social media for the present state of affairs. These could, however, be used in a positive manner. He asked the experts and social scientists to study the damage caused by same-sex relationships, surrogacy, consensual sex socially, psychologically, and medically. The findings of the survey should be compiled and made public to understand how they affected society and children. He also called upon the Islamic scholars to explain the provisions of Islamic law in this regard. Referring to Qazi Mujahidul Islam’s observation that the social issues should also be brought under the purview of the interpretative Islamic law, he said that he spent about 40 years in Darul Qaza and delivered rulings on the issues referred to it for opinion in the light of Islamic jurisprudence. He ruled that the expenditure on treatment of divorce be included in the maintenance allowance. Qazi Mujahidul Islam also ruled in favour of women who were erroneously divorced and made it mandatory for the husband to bear her expenses, he said.
Prof. Fahim Akhtar Nadwi stated that Qazi Mujahidul Islam also wrote on social problems. He had a broad vision of the issues confronting Muslims. He stressed that like IOS, which was engaged in study and research in intellectual, social, and economic fields, others institutions should also come up to give a fillip to these activities.
Maulana Shah Ajmal Farooq Nadwi, who conducted the proceedings, informed that all the lectures of the series would be published in book form shortly. The lecture ended with a vote of thanks by him.