Union Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi, some might say in keeping with the “composite culture” of India, offered prayers at the historic Rathaunda Temple in Rampur Uttar Pradesh:
Union Minority Affairs Minister Mukhtar Abbas Naqvi offered prayers at a Shiv temple in Rampur. pic.twitter.com/Ny0Ei6Ac0B
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Here on the eve of Mahashivratri, Naqvi offered milk and did an Aarti of Lord Shiva:
Before taking Darshan, Naqvi had inaugurated the 15 day Rathaunda fair, where he was also honoured with a ceremonial sword.
Such a gesture by Naqvi though has irked a senior Muslim cleric from Deoband who has asked him to repent his actions. As reported, the Mohtamim Saalim Ashraf Kasmi of Darul Uloom Ashrafia has dismissed this exercise by Naqvi as a political gimmick.
The cleric has stated that its extremely wrong to deviate from one’s religious teachings to adopt the practices of a different faith. He also claimed that its illegitimate to pray to anyone except Allah, and he as a result asked Naqvi to seek repentance for his actions.
Ironically, this historic temple was constructed about 200 years ago on the directions of then Nawab – Hamid Ali Khan, when an idol of Lord Shiva was uncovered in a village field.
Over the years, this temple has increased in popularity with lakhs of devotees attending the annual Rathaunda fair and the Jalabhishek of Lord Shiva, which is carried out in the Hindi month of Phagun.
It might not come as a surprise to many that the diktat asking Naqvi to repent has come out of Deoband.
As reported just yesterday, a Deoband cleric had issued a fatwa against Muslim women seeking the help of male shopkeepers to try out bangles, as it involves touching the woman’s hands.
It was also reported that Deoband clerics had issued a fatwa against life insurance, as they claimed that Life and death are in the hands of Allah and no insurance company can guarantee a man’s longevity.
Besides this a cleric associated with the Darul Uloom Deoband university issued a fatwa against women watching football games, as watching men playing with bare knees is forbidden for women.