After due deliberations by a number of awqaf officials, lawyers, ulema, social activists and intellectuals on the issues of illegal occupation, encroachment, protection and development of awqaf and use of their income and resources for the benefit of Muslim community, the Seminar on “Awqaf in India” held during March 29-30, 2014 at Bangalore, India organised by Islamic Fiqh Academy (India) in collaboration with Islamic Research and Training Institute, Jeddah and Kuwait Awqaf Public Foundation unanimously adopted following resolutions and recommendations:
1. The waqf properties spread over the country should be surveyed as per the Waqf Act, 1995 by collaborating with reputed Muslim organizations and institutions. A committee consisting of experts of waqf affairs, lawyers, and ulema should be constituted for every state for this purpose.
2. A movement should be initiated for removal of encroachment and illegal occupation of all such waqf properties including mosques, maqaabir (mausoleums), Khanqahs, chilla khanas, Inam lands, etc which are in the possession of the government or private entities. Their possession should be restored to the concerned Waqf Board.
3. All such mosques and graveyards, which are in possession of Archeological Survey of India, should be identified and surveyed. A comprehensive list of such waqf properties should be prepared and concerted efforts should be made to have permission for offering prayers in such mosques and burial of dead in such graveyards so that wishes of the waqif may be fulfilled. Islamic Fiqh Academy appeals to all Muslim organizations to make organized and planned efforts for emancipation of all mosques under illegitimate occupation as they have been in case of Babri Masjid.
4. This seminar appeals to all state waqf boards to compile full information about the waqf properties whose disputes are pending before various courts of law, including waqf tribunals, and secure documents pertaining to these properties and diligently pursue these litigation.
5. This seminar appeals to the National Waqf Development Corporation to select and appoint experts of planning, law and social sciences for preparation of plans for development of waqf properties by so as to increase their income and to make them more beneficial. Further, the Corporation should prepare plans for investment for increase in income in a manner that issues of educational and economically backwardness of Muslim community can be addressed in accordance with the wishes of waqif.
6. This Seminar appeals to Muslim organizations and charitable institutions to prepare literature like booklets, leaflets, etc., for promotion of awareness about importance of waqf, both religious and social, their present situation, laws applicable to various aspects of this great Islamic institution, etc. so that spirit for creation of new awqaf is revived.
7. Efforts should be made so that the income generated from awqaf properties being used for tourism purposes is transferred to concerned waqf boards.
8. Efforts should be made for better management of all such mosques which are under control of state waqf boards so that welfare of muazzins and imams can be ensured so that role of mosques in the society for progress and stability of community and country may come to fore.
9. Representation of reputed prominent Muslim organizations in state waqf boards should be statutorily ensured.
10. Waqf Protection Committees, consisting of conscientious members of local Muslim community, should be formed in every city ofcountry the to keep a watch over the affairs of awqaf so that waqf properties are protected.
11. This seminar welcomes enactment of Waqf Amendment Act, 2013 by the central government and hopes that coming government shall continue the commitment shown by its predecessor government on issues of waqf and shall further strengthen and get the currently pending bill on eviction of illegal occupants of waqf properties passed expeditiously.
12. This seminar feels that Muslim community should become proactive and use all legal methods to ensure transparency and accountability of mutawallis and waqf boards.
13. The seminar demands that all gazette notifications and other documents concerning waqf properties should be digitized by scanning and should be made available to public. Further, all information concerning the survey of awqaf and waqf properties should be computerized and made available on internet.
Mohammed Obaidullah | April 01, 2014