Babri Masjid: Faith Over Justice

Babri Masjid in Ayodhya being demolished on December 6, 1992.

On the day, when Kartarpur opened its arms to welcome people from all over the world to worship in the newly rebuilt birthplace of the founder of Sikh religion, the land where once stood the Babri Masjid in the north Indian city of Ajodhya for almost five hundred years was shut for Muslims forever.

One of the oldest disputes over the ownership of land finally came to an end when the Supreme Court in a unanimous decision decided to rescind the Muslim right over the land and handed it over to Hindus to reconstruct the Temple under the supervision of the Ramjanambhomi Trust. It is an irony that while Pakistan announced the decision to renovate 400 Hindu Temples in Pakistan, India's highest court decided to take away the Babri Masjid from Muslims.

The Supreme Court explained that its decision is based on the basis of law, and not on the basis of belief and traditions. Yet, the decision exposes the biases and the reliance on traditions and beliefs. This is how the Court's biases become clear.

Ram Lalla was the only part whose right to the land was acknowledged and accepted. It is part of the belief system and traditional accounts. It is not a historical fact as there are scores of places that claim to be the birthplace of Ram.

The Sunni Waqf Board that has managed the mosque for centuries was not considered a legitimate body to contest the land ownership, yet the Court awarded five acres of land to the board to reconstruct a new Masjid elsewhere.

Nirmohi Akhara was not considered a party to the land dispute, yet the newly formed Trust was asked to include its members on the board.

The Court acknowledged that no temple was demolished, but the Babri Masjid was not built on vacant land.

The Court relied on the Archeological Survey of India's recommendation that said that the mosque was built on the structure that did not look like an Islamic structure, yet did not prove beyond doubt that the structure mentioned above was part of the Hindu Temple.

The Court failed to establish that there stood a Temple dedicated to Ram, yet decided to accept the traditional belief that a Temple existed on the land where the Babri Masjid was built.

The Court described the demolition of the Masjid in the 1990s unlawful, yet failed to restore the mosque to Muslims.

The Court claimed that its decision is based on law, but failed to present any legal document in support of the belief that the land was the birthplace of Ram.

The Court failed to explain the existence of the Masjid for almost 500 years as a place of worship.

The Court claimed that the mosque was not used as a place of worship until the beginning of the 19th century, yet restored the right of worship to a Hindu claimant in the Masjid land where there was no proof of Hindu worship.

The court decision is based on politics and is not unbiased. But it is a decision of the highest legal institution of India. Muslims have announced their intention to accept the claim. But the acceptance does not mean that injustice is accepted. History would always record the decision of the Court a political one rooted in majoritarianism.

There is no need to lament and no need to cry foul over the Indian Supreme Court's decision to award the land of the Babri Masjid to Hindus to construct the Ram Temple. There is also no relevance to accept the five acres of land elsewhere to rebuild a new Masjid. Injustice is done, and injustice should be resisted and fought back.

We know the reality that under the present government, every state institution would serve the interest of the political elites, belonging to upper-caste Hindus who believe in a militant and resurgent interpretation of Hinduism

We know that there would be many more Muslim places of worship that would be taken away and awarded to upper-castes under the pretext that their gods and goddesses were born there.

We also know that the government institutions would be used to create a narrative of history to negate the Muslim presence in India.

We also know that the Court succumbed to the political demands of Upper-caste Hindus despite the fact that it could not prove that there was a temple on whose land the Babri Masjid was built. The Court said that there was a structure under the mosque, but it did not say that the structure was that of a temple. There is no evidence that after the demolition of a temple, a mosque was built. On the basis of what archaeological insight can court decide that after 500 years. But the fact is that the court decided to favor Hindu's claim to build a Temple on the land where the Babri Masjid once stood and destroyed by the fanatics.

We must realize the fact that the Supreme Court is not the ultimate agency of justice. There is an authority higher than every human authority that imparts justice to all those who are forced to accept injustice. That authority has yet to implement its verdict over this Court injustice. Until that happens, the believers in Him must not lose hope and work harder to make their lives meaningful.

But the resistance must go on, and we must fight back the injustice.

How to fight back the injustice is the issue?

To educate every Muslim and empower each one with an understanding of faith that leads them to make their existence relevant to society and the time they live in.

It is the only way forward.

Mosques are symbols of Muslim's commitment and dedication to one God and the Guidance He has given to humanity. But the education and using it under the guidance of God to serve humanity are the real manifestation of our true faith.

We need to think outside the box to rejuvenate our community. We need to take steps to inspire ourselves for a future that is meaningful to us and others.

Not only in India but elsewhere, we must organize ourselves to ensure that no Muslim child remains uneducated in modern sciences. Simultaneously, we must also ensure that each Muslim child receives a basic religious education to empathize with humanity as part of a commitment to God.

To achieve, we must create educational and social funds to finance higher education as well as to create institutions such as schools, colleges, hospitals, and orphanages, etc. We must also develop a religious and social curriculum that liberates us from focusing on non-issues and empower us with the capabilities of serving all the people around us to improve their living standards.

It is possible only when our youth take the leadership role in our organizations and institutions. It is possible only when we think critically and challenges every tradition that has shackled us for centuries.

It is time to build the present and the future rather than curse the past. We have to change the reality for ourselves, and we can no longer depend on anyone else other than God and his guidance to show us the path and the path of God is the path of progress.


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  1 Comment   Comment

  1. killerkohyar

    Salam alekum and Peace to all the none muslim readers of this article. Masha Allah the last part of this article is very good calling for muslims to rely on Allah and to educate themselves religiously and in science and society. On the other hand wouldn't it be better to challenge the supreme courts ruling on the Mosque site? The article its self says there was no proof that the site was a former Hindu temple. Without violence wouldn't it be better for the muslims to challenge the ruling to try to keep the rights to the land and rebuild the mosque. I am not familiar with how to challenge a Indian supreme court ruling but for the brothers from India who are is it possible and if so right to do so? If possible it seems right to me but what are some of your guy's thoughts on the ruling?