Ajmer dargah head urges Muslims to stop eating beef

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Ajmer dargah head urges Muslims to stop eating beef

Spiritual head of the Ajmer Sharif dargah on Monday called upon Muslims to give up beef eating and said triple talaq is against Sharia.

The dargah is considered to be among the holiest Muslim shrines in India.

“On the occasion of the 805th Urs (death anniversary) of Khwaja Moinuddin Hasan Chisty, who all through his life strived for peaceful coexistence of Hindus and Muslims, we (Muslims) should give up eating beef to honour the religious sentiments of our Hindu brethren,” said Zainul Abedin Khan, the diwan of the shrine.

He also took a vow on the occasion not to eat beef. “My family and I have taken a pledge on this day that we will never have beef for the rest of our lives,” he said, in a statement.

Khan is the direct descendant in the 22nd generation of Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti, the Sufi saint.

His appeal comes amid the ragging controversy over cow slaughter with many Indian states coming up with stringent laws to prevent killing of cows and eating its meat. The bovine is considered sacred by many Hindus.

Khan supported the Gujarat government’s recent legislation announcing life sentence for those found guilty of killing cows. The Gujarat assembly had last week passed a bill enhancing the punishment for cow slaughter from seven years to life imprisonment.

“This (Gujarat legislation) would be a great deterrent for those involved in killing cows for meat and other products”, he said and called upon Prime Minister Narendra Modi to declare cow as national animal.

The diwan condemned the practice of triple talaq, saying the Quran and Sharia do not permit it.

“As it is inhuman, anti-Islamic and against the gender equality, it should be shunned without any further delay”, he said.

Triple talaq, as it is commonly called, is a controversial Islamic practice where a man divorces a woman by saying the word talaq, the Arabic word for divorce, three times.

Narendra Modi-led government at the Centre is advocating for a ban on the practice, though many Muslim organisations are against such move.

“Why some people in the community are reluctant to give up the practice which Quran and Prophet Mohammed never approved, is beyond the comprehension of a reasonable section of Muslim”, he said.

“Time has come to eschew the practice that victimises our sisters and daughters”, Khan added.

A five-judge constitution bench of the Supreme Court will start hearing from May 11 petitions against the Islamic divorce practice that is said to be biased against women.