Special Correspondent

CHENNAI: Prince of Arcot Mohammed Abdul Ali has appealed to the Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to consult ulemas, religious scholars and intellectuals in Muslim community before offering Haj subsidy to pilgrims.

In a letter to Dr. Singh, he said subsidy for Haj pilgrims was un-Islamic and against the principles of Shariat. "Haj pilgrimage is one of the obligatory duties to a Muslim, who can only afford it, but not acceptable on somebody's obligation." No country in the world, including Muslim countries, offered the subsidy. Clerics of Saudi Arabia, Muslim high dignitaries and intellectuals had objected to the subsidy.

If the Government really wanted to help Muslims, the subsidy amount could be used for the community's constructive and meaningful welfare measure.

"There is a need to create opinion among Muslims that going on Haj pilgrimage with Government subsidy is against the tenets of Islam," he said in a press release.