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Kerala Sunnis battle over truth of ‘holy hair’

The plan of a prominent section of Kerala’s Sunni Muslims to build a huge mosque and museum at Kozhikode to keep what they claim is the ‘holy hair’ of Prophet Muhammad has run into a controversy with another Sunni sect launching a campaign questioning its genuineness. The foundation stone for the mosque is to be laid on Monday.

The mosque-museum project is being initiated by the AP Sunnis led by Kanthapuram AP Aboobacker Musliar, who claims to have acquired the ‘holy hair’ from the actual descendents of the Prophet while another sect (EK Sunnis) following the teachings of EK Aboobacker Musliar say that the hair is not genuinely holy.

The EK Sunnis allege that the AP faction is determined to exploit the believers spiritually by using the hair. At the same time, scholars belonging to Jama’at-e-Islami and Mujahids (Kerala Nadvat’ul Mujahidin) say that the “holy hair” project would only help in propagating superstitions which Islam does not support.

The dispute over the “holy hair” has acquired the dimensions of an open war of words with the EK Sunnis challenging the AP Sunni sect to prove the veracity of its claim that the hair is genuinely holy. But the AP Sunnis are countering it with a stronger religious argument saying putting the holy hair to tests to prove genuineness is against the tenets of Islam.

According to the EK Sunnis, even fire won’t destroy the hair if it is really holy and the AP faction should be prepared for this test. “Why should Kanthapuram worry about putting the hair to fire? If it is holy, it won’t burn. There is nothing wrong in subjecting it to such a test because it is to avoid betrayal of the faithful,” said an EK Sunni scholar.

But Kanthapuram rejected the challenge. “It is true that fire won’t destroy the “holy hair”. But it is not proper to subject such an article to such tests. We can’t do that. As far as the genuineness of the hair is concerned, there is no need for any doubt because we have thoroughly checked the history of the family from which we got it,” he says.

The EK Sunnis are not prepared to accept this argument. According to them, the hair will not produce a shadow when held against light if it is genuinely holy. “If Kanthapuram is so sure about its genuineness and if he is reluctant for the test by fire, he can very well go for this test. We challenge him to do it,” said the scholar of EK Sunni faction.

A senior leader of the Kerala chapter of the Jama’at-e-Islami alleged that both the Sunni factions were trying to fool the people by spreading superstitions that Islam had never supported.

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Posted by on Jan 30 2012. Filed under Kerala News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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