Seven years after the split, there are indications that the two factions of Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind — led by uncle-nephew duo Arshad Madani and Mahmood Madani, a former Rajya Sabha member — could unite.
Mahmood Madani and Dhubri MP Badruddin Ajmal, who is also a senior Jamiat functionary, met Arshad Madani on Wednesday with a “peace proposal”. The two sides will now work on the contours of the reconciliation.
The peace overtures were formally approved by the Jamiat working committee on the same day. Later in the evening, Mahmood Madani and some of his associates attended an Eid Milan hosted by Arshad Madani in Delhi. Sources said Mahmood Madani embraced his uncle Arshad Madani.
“This is a serious attempt at reconciliation. Jamiat general secretary Maulana Mahmood Madani, Maulana Badruddin Ajmal who is a member of our working committee, our president Maulana Qari Usmani and others met Maulana Arshad Madani and told him that they wanted the differences to end. Maulana Arshad Madani told them that he was willing to accept the peace offer provided the reconciliation happens as per the constitution of Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind. We agree to that. There will now be future meetings to chalk out the contours,” said Niaz Farooqui, a senior functionary of the Mahmood Madani faction.
Arshad Madani, who is travelling to London, was not available for comment. “It was a very good meeting between Maulana Arshad Madani and Bhai Mahmood. Maulana sahab told them that the peace proposal is welcome but the reconciliation will have to be as per the laid down rules and procedures,” said his spokesman Fazlur Rehman.
While Farooqui ruled out any political connotations of the possible reunion, Samajwadi Party chief Mulayam Singh Yadav is reported to have deputed MLC Ashu Malik to resolve the differences between the two factions. The SP has the support of Arshad Madani, but not Mahmood Madani. “We have been trying to get the two factions to come together… I held talks with both the clerics… It is only a matter of time now,” said Malik.
Differences between Arshad Madani, who has considerable influence in Assam, and Ajmal, whose All India United Democratic Front is the second largest party in the Assam assembly, are widely believed to be rooted in politics. Arshad Madani is perceived to be close to the ruling Congress party. Despite repeated calls and messages, Ajmal was not available for comment.
This is not the first time that attempts have been made to unite the two Madanis who belong to the most influential family of Deoband. Arshad Madani is a senior teacher at Darul Uloom Deoband and Mahmood has had dalliances with political parties in the past — he was sent to the Rajya Sabha by RLD.
The main contention between the two factions is likely to be the post of Amir-e-Jamiat — president of the organisation. Currently, Arshad Madani heads his unit while Mahmood’s unit is headed by Qari Mohammad Osman Mansoorpuri.
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