Shahi Imam has no right to pick his son as successor: Delhi High Court

Syed Ahmed Bukhari

New Delhi, Nov 21: The Delhi High Court on Friday said that Shahi Imam of Delhi’s Jama Masjid, Syed Ahmed Bukhari, has no right to pick his son as successor. The High Court, however, refused to stop the annointment ceremony scheduled on November 22.

The Shahi Imam, Syed Ahmed Bukhari, in the last week of October announced his 19-year-old son Shaban Bukhari as his successor.

Bukhari created a controversy by sending out invitation to Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif to attend the ceremony, but avoided his own Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

Shahi Imam, however, sent out invites to several ministers, including Rajnath Singh and Dr Harsh Vardhan, besides inviting Congress president Sonia Gandhi and her son Rahul Gandhi, Samajwadi party chief Mulayam Singh and Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister Akhilesh Yadav.

According to reports, Shahi Imam has invited several Indian and foreign political leaders, nearly 1,000 religious leaders from across the world, and others for the ceremony.

For not extending invitation to Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Bukhari had reportedly said that Indian Muslims have still not been able to relate themselves with PM Modi, who has been accused of playing a role in the 2002 Gujarat riots but has been exonerated by various courts and investigating agencies.

It may be noted that Shahi Imam’s successor is pursuing Bachelors in Social Work at a private university in Delhi. He will be anointed as the ‘Nayab Shahi Imam’ (Vice Imam) at the ceremony on November 22.

Shaban was reportedly picked for the post due to his “strong inclination” toward humanities besides his religious capabilities.

Shaban will be groomed under his father, who will remain the “Shahi Imam” for his life. Shaban will then take over the mantle from his father.

From nearly 400 years, Imamat of the Jama Masjid has been continuing in the same family from generation to generation.

(With Agency Inputs)

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