The Anjuman Intizamia Masajid committee of the disputed site of Gyanvami mosque in Varanasi has asked people not to crowd the mosque for Jumma or Friday prayers today because the “Wuzukhana” and the toilet inside the structure has been sealed by the court owing to the pending lawsuit.
The Masajid Committee stated in a notice that “As you know that the case of Shahi Jama Masjid Gyanvapi Banaras is currently going on in Makami court as well as in High Court and Supreme Court and the Court here has decided to seal the toilet and the Wuzukhana. Every possible effort is being made to solve this issue…”
Uttar Pradesh | Anjuman Intizamia Masajid, Varanasi appeals to people not to come to the mosque in large numbers to offer Friday prayers today as the “wazukhana” has been sealed due to the ongoing case. pic.twitter.com/eyfjMnfaBm— ANI UP/Uttarakhand (@ANINewsUP) May 20, 2022
“…Due to this compulsion, it is appealed to all the people by the Anjuman Intizamia Masajid Committee Banaras to refrain from coming for prayers in large numbers and like every time this too offer Juma prayers in their own locality. Also, those who come for the prayer Juma should come after performing Wuzu so that they do not face any kind of problem and Masjid Intezamiya also does not have to face problems. We hope that you will fully cooperate with us,” the notice further stated.
The custom of Wuzu refers to washing pars of the body including face, hands and legs before offering namaz by Muslims. For this custom, mosques generally have a dedicated place called Wuzukhana, which includes a water tank or any other source of water. As the Wuzukhana in Gyanvapi has been sealed on court orders, the district authority has allowed the mosque committee to take two drums of 1000 litres each for Wuzu. Along with that, the administration has also arranged 50 mugs for use by the Namazis for Wuzu.
District Magistrate Kaushal Raj Sharma held a meeting with Muslim leaders and clerics regarding the arrangements for the Jumma Namaz in view of unavailability of the Wuzukhana and toilets inside the structure. In this meeting the Muslims demanded for arrangement of water, and accordingly, the DC agreed to provide 2 drums of 1000 litres of water and 50 mugs to the mosque committee, so that the devotee don’ face any difficulties in performing Wuzu. Moreover, extra security forces have been deployed at the site.
The District Magistrate also appealed the Muslim clerics to not deliver any provocative speeches during the Friday Namaz. The clerics were also told they are responsible for the security of the sealed Wuzukhana.
It is worth noting that the Supreme Court issued an order requiring the Varanasi DM to ensure that the location of the disputed Gyanvapi edifice where the Shivling is said to have been discovered is properly preserved. It further said that the injunction should not in any way limit or obstruct Muslims’ freedom to use the Mosque for religious purposes. The order was rescindable until the next hearing. The next hearing before the Supreme Court is scheduled for today.
Notably, former court-appointed commissioner Ajay Mishra has filed his findings in the form of a report to the Civil Judge’s court in Varanasi, claiming that there are stone sculptures of Hindu Gods and Goddesses on the north-western edge of the centre area, just beyond the barricading. According to the report, the Gyanvapi complex has historic stone buildings with Hindu symbols like the lotus and idols, which are certainly ruins of an older Hindu temple. According to Mishra’s assessment, there has been ‘newer’ building activity using iron rods and concrete around the old structures.