Muslims should participate “wholeheartedly” in the electoral process and support the best candidates, noted Islamic scholar and chief rector of the Darul Uloom Theological School, Lucknow, Maulana Rabey Hasan Nadwi, said on Sunday.

“All that I can say is that Muslims should participate wholeheartedly in the electoral process. They should support the best candidates and hope for the best. They will suffer if they remain aloof from the political system,” Mr. Nadwi told PTI in an interview in Aligarh.

Urging Muslims to introspect and fathom the “deeper malaise which is troubling the community”, the Maulana said that he did not wish to stir any political controversy on the issue of the Muzaffarnagar riots because he was an apolitical person.

“But I feel that the time has come for Muslims to realise that at its roots Islam is a very humane religion and Muslims should search their hearts as to why they have suffered,” he said.

The Maulana, who also heads the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB), said the community members should now reach out to others and win over their hearts through message of human brotherhood (paigham-e-Insaniyat).

“Muslims should articulate their demands before the government of the day but they should not be totally dependent on the state for the fulfilment of their needs,” he added.

The religious leader said Muslims have fallen prey to social ills like extravagance in personal habits and lavish spending on social occasions such as weddings.

“If instead of such wasteful spending they empower the poor sections of the community then the issue of educational backwardness and poor health services could be mitigated to some extent,” the Maulana said.

On the deteriorating plight of Urdu, the Maulana said Muslims always looked at the state for promoting the historical language. While their expectations from the state were justified they have failed do fulfil their own obligation to this language which is the repository of their own culture, he added.

“Most well-to-do Muslim families do not bother to teach their children Urdu then how can they expect the state to shoulder the entire responsibility of promoting Urdu,” he said.

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