India: Muslim cleric maintains that reciting Islamic prayers for non-Muslims is ‘haram’ but claims he didn’t say it in referance to PM Modi’s mother

Maulana Shahabuddin Razvi

On Sunday, the president of the All India Muslim Jamaat, Maulana Shahabuddin Razvi, stated that any Muslim reciting prayers for a departed non-Muslim’s soul is ‘haram’. The cleric was responding to a question about the organisation about a condolence meeting in Moradabad by members of the Muslim community for PM Modi’s mother Heeraben, who died on Friday.

The cleric had said, “Those who have organised the condolence meeting and participated in it, need to seek forgiveness from Allah”. He had termed the act ‘haram’ (that which is prohibited in the holy Quran and thus a sin for Muslims). 

The Maulana added that the recitation of prayers by a Muslim for a departed soul, was only acceptable when the deceased was a Muslim. “It is essential to be a Muslim for this right. To pray for a non-Muslim deceased is najayaz (unauthorised) and should not be done”, he had said. 

However, after facing harsh criticism for his words, the Maulana on Monday released a video in which he stated that his remarks were misunderstood to make it appear as if they were made for the PM’s deceased mother. Though he did not retract his remarks, he claimed that they were not directed at Prime Minister Modi’s mother.

“It was a local matter on which I spoke. I request that my statement not be used in connection with the PM’s mother”, he said.

Heeraben Modi, the mother of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi, breathed her last on Friday (December 30) at the UN Mehta Institute of Cardiology & Research Centre in Ahmedabad. She was 100 years old. She was hospitalised on December 28 after her health situation deteriorated, and while she had started to recover initially, she passed away on the next day at 3.30 AM. Condolence messages from world leaders poured in for Prime Minister Narendra Modi after the demise of his mother.

PM Modi had paid tributes to his mother on Twitter, saying that he always felt the holy Trinity in his mother, which included the journey of an ascetic, the symbol of a selfless Karmayogi and a life committed to values. ‘A glorious century rests at the feet of God,’ he said. After carrying out his mother’s cremation in the morning, PM Modi was back to work on the same day.

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