‘Waqf property responsibility of every Muslim’,
declares National Seminar on Awqaf in India
July 25-26, 2015 at Hotel The Lalit Ashok, Bangaluru –Karnataka
Organised by K.K. Educational & Charitable Trust, Bangalore
in association with
Institute of Objective Studies, New Delhi
Dr. M. Manzoor Alam, Chairman, Institute of Objective Studies delivers welcome address.
Bengaluru, July 26: A national seminar on Awqaf in India, jointly organised by KK Education and Charitable Trust (KKECT), Institute of Objective Studies (IOS), New Delhi and Karnataka State Board of Awqaf, was held on July 25-26, 2015 at hotel Lalit Ashok here. The delegates included chairmen and CEOs of wqaf boards from states, intellectuals, muthawallis of waqf institutions, senior legal experts, former judges and advocates, ulema, intellectuals, financial experts, community leaders and media representatives.
The seminar appeals to all the stakeholders, particularly the Muslim community and waqf boards, to implement the provisions of Waqf Act for the development, management and protection of awqaf in India. It is needless to state that after Waqf (Amendment) Act 2013 sufficient legal provisions in Waqf Act 1995 have been provided to protect and develop the waqf properties for the development of Muslim community. The following 18-point Bengaluru Declaration was issued at the end of the seminar:
Waqfs are created for the overall benefit of the Muslim community and are the prime Islamic institutions, as divinely ordained asset. Therefore, protecting and utilising it for its purpose is the fundamental responsibility of every Muslim of India.
Once a waqf is created it remains a waqf always, eternally, and cannot be alienated by anybody, because the properties are owned by Allah SWT.
The waqf institutions, waqf boards and the muthawallis are the trustees or the managers of the waqf properties and are accountable to Allah SWT and the Muslim ummah and they earn reward from Allah (SWT) for their efforts.
No muthawalli shall claim a hereditary right and the waqf boards shall frame the guidelines and qualifications for appointment of muthawallis.
The entire Muslim community should get involved in the survey and identification of waqf properties conducted by survey commissioners in their respective states.
Any Muslim occupying a waqf property illegally, encroaching waqf property, or occupying property without a lease agreement, or not paying fair or legally fixed rent, such an act should be considered as sin and shall be construed as a criminal act. The community should bring moral pressure on such persons to prevent such actions.
Waqf boards are statutory and autonomous bodies established under a statute for management of awqaf and regulate them, and government should ensure its autonomy.
Like any other statutory body the entire expenditure of the waqf boards has to be borne by the state and provide adequate staff for the smooth functioning of the waqf board.
Every state should create a task force to take action to vacate the illegal occupation and encroachment of waqf properties.
Data related to all waqf properties and the entire waqf administration should be digitised and the information on awqaf should be made available online in a time bound programme.
Every waqf institution which has excess of income after meeting its expenses for the objective of the waqf should contribute a portion of its income for education and socio-economic upliftment of the Muslim community.
Within six months all the states should establish Multi-Member Tribunals to deal with matters relating to awqaf.
Every state should establish an Ombudsman or Arbitration Council headed by a retired Muslim judge of High Court to resolve waqf property disputes out of court wherever possible, particularly about the misuse of waqf properties by the muthawallis and others.
Seek guidance of religious scholars to segregate unused portion of the land in burial grounds to prevent their illegal occupation and develop these waqf properties for the betterment of the community.
The Muslims of India should invest in shares of NAWADCO as it provides a Sharia-based investment opportunity and make NAWADCO a vehicle for the development of waqf property.
Educational institutions and hospitals established on a waqf property should reserve 25% of their seats and free treatment should be provided in such hospitals respectively for poor and economically weaker sections of the Muslim community.
A national-level NGO shall be established to create awareness among the Muslim community and to retrieve the encroached and illegal occupation of waqf properties and also to assist the Waqf Boards in implementation of the Waqf Act 1995 and to work as a pressure group of the community in waqf matters. The responsibility to coordinate in forming a national NGO is entrusted to Dr K Rahman Khan
Till the NGO is set up problems faced on awqaf matters may be sent to Dr K Rahman Khan at his email: firstname.lastname@example.org, Mobile: +919845044122
In his presidential address of the inaugural on July 25, former Minorities Affairs Minister K. Rahman Khan explained that to make the deliberations focused and productive a system of group discussions by participants had been devised. Four such groups of participants were assigned 20 subjects related to Waqf maintenance and development to be discussed by them. The participants discussed these issues in three sessions over two days in what was described by Mr. Khan as a brainstorming format.
For each group a chairman and a rapporteur were assigned. The findings and suggestions emerging from these sessions were to become the basis for a Bengaluru Declaration to be issued at the valedictory session of the seminar. Thus there were fewer speeches and papers read than usual.
Earlier, the programme began with a recitation of the holy Quran. In his welcome address, Dr Mohammad Manzoor Alam, Chairman of IOS, one of the three organisers of the seminar, made an impassioned plea to all stakeholders “to assess, ascertain and identify waqf properties in the country; identify the waqf properties which have been encroached upon in various states and Union Territories and suggest ways to retrieve the properties; identify the waqf properties illegally gifted, transferred, mortgaged, leased or sold etc. and suggest ways to fix responsibility and to retrieve the property; suggest ways and measures for proper utilisation of waqf properties; ascertain the status of implementation of the Waqf Act 1995 as may be considered necessary, so as to achive its objectives, including the retrieval of waqf properties encroached upon; to examine the functioning of the Central Waqf Council and suggest suitable measures for making it effective; to look into the working of state waqf boards and suggest ways for their proper functioning.”
The group discussion sessions that followed immediately after were conducted by highly competent individuals from the community. For instance, the first day’s pre-lunch session Group A (which discussed Waqf Amendment Act 2013 and Waqf Properties [Eviction of Unauthorised Occupation] Bill 2014 was chaired by Mr Justice Jawad Rahim and the rapporteur was the eminent lawyer from Mumbai Mr Yusuf Muchala. The first day’s Group B that discussed “Survey identification and notification of waqf properties and encroachments on and illegal occupation of waqf properties” had Liaquat Ali Khan, IPS (retd.) in the chair and Abdul Reyaz Khan as the rapporteur. Group C (on improving financial performance of wqaf boards and waqf institutions and bringing transparency and accountability in management of awqaf as well as deployment of waqf resources in service of community) was chaired by Kamal Faruqui, FCA, and the rapporteur was Abdul Raqeeb. Group D, that discussed NAWADCO and resource raising for development of waqf properties had Prof. Akhtarul Wasey in the chair and Rakesh Mohan as rapporteur. The Group A after lunch (discussing issues of waqf properties under ASI and Shariah issues in waqf properties management) was co-chaired by Prof. ZM Khan and Prof. Afzal Wani with Dr. Javed Jameel as rapporteur. The same high caliber of participation and conducting was managed throughout the two days.
The inaugural address was delivered by Karnataka minister of municipalities, local bodies, minority affairs and awqaf, Qamrul Islam. The valedictory address was delivered by Karnataka minister of law, human rights and parliamentary affairs, TB Jaichand. Minister of infrastructure, development, information and Haj, Roshan Baig was the guest of honour in the valedictory session.
The programme concluded with an elaborate vote of thanks by chief coordinator Ubaidullah Sharif, in which he took care to thank every dignitary, participant and volunteer from Bengaluru and Delhi, often by name.
The two-day proceedings were compered by Agha Sultan, except the valedictory session, which was admirably compered by the young Agha Sultan Jr. The seminar was jointly organised by KK Foundation, Karnataka Waqf Board and Institute of Objective Studies.
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