NEW DELHI: The Centre has made it clear that state waqf boards cannot declare members of Ahmadiya sect of Muslims to be ‘kafirs’ or non-Muslims and their mosques as non-waqf property.

The communication on Friday followed representation by Ahmadiya Muslims protesting against resolution passed by Andhra Pradesh waqf board, based on “fatwas” issued by Jamaitul Ulema, an organisation of Deobandi clerics, dubbing them non-Muslims.
Officials said the minority affairs ministry has conveyed to the AP chief secretary in a letter that under the provisions of the Act and as a body of the state government, the state waqf board can issue directions that are approved by the state government and “does not have any right to take cognisance of fatwas issued by any non-state actors”. The ministry is learnt to have said that the AP waqf board’s resolution “constitutes hate campaign against the Ahmadiya community at large” and that the waqf board neither has the jurisdiction nor authority to determine religious identity of any community, including Ahmadiyas.

The ministry has also asked the chief secretary of the state to look into the matter and submit a report at the earliest and cautioned the state authorities that the matter has “all India ramifications”. It has also been conveyed to the state that the Waqf Act 1995, is primarily a legislation for administration and management of waqf properties in India and does not confer any power to state waqf boards to make any such proclamations.
The Ahmadiyya community, in its representation to the ministry on Thursday, said the “waqf boards in certain states have been opposing Ahmadiya community and passing illegal resolutions”. They cited a resolution of the Andhra Pradesh waqf board issued in February, which said “the Quadian community” is proclaimed as ‘kafir and not a Muslim”.
It is further stated that the Andhra Pradesh waqf board passed a resolution declaring the entire Ahmadiya community as ‘non-muslims’ which was challenged in the AP high court which ordered interim suspension of operation of the resolution.
However, the representation said that despite the orders of high court, AP state Waqf Board has issued another proclamation under the signature of its chairman stating that “in consequent to the ‘fatwa’ of Jamiatul Ulema, the Quadian community is proclaimed as ‘kafir’.

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