Exclusive: Brothers feud over the control of Ajmer Sharif 

One of the most revered Sufi shrines of the subcontinent, Dargah of Khwaja Garibnawaz Moinuddin Chishti of Ajmer, is making news but for all the wrong reasons. The crisis erupted during the ongoing Urs of Hazur Gharib Nawaz over contentious remarks of the Dargah Dewan Sharif, Zainul Abedin Ali Khan. In the aftermath, his younger brother Syed Allauddin Alimi, claims to have “sacked” Abedin purportedly backed by family support and has appointed himself as the Sajjadanashin of the Dargah.

Newsd has an exclusive video of an angry Allauddin Alimi seen expressing his anger on Zainul Abedin. Watch the video below:

Zainul Abedin had recently criticized the practice of Triple Talaq. On Monday, Abedin along with the heads of Sufi shrines, supported the beef ban and urged Muslims to completely stop the consumption of beef to promote communal harmony. These remarks drew his brother’s ire who has declared  Abedin as ‘non-Muslim’, and his statement on Triple Talaq as ‘anti-Quran’.

According to Alimi, Zainul Abedin’s statements are blasphemous and anti-Islamic. “He has no right and authority to remain the Sajjadanashin. I called an urgent meeting of the family and went to the Khanqah and declared myself as the new Sajjadanashin on the seat of the Dewan,” said Alimi.

Significantly, Zainul Abedin shot to fame in 2013 when he boycotted Pakistani PM Raja Pervez Ashraf’s visit to the famous dargah to protest the 2013 attack on Indian soldiers near the Line of Control in Jammu & Kashmir.

Zainul Abedin also ascribed his decision to boycott the Pakistani PM and the delegation to the “continuing atrocities against minorities” in Pakistan and lack of measures for protection of their places of worship.

“As the first person to welcome the heads of countries, I have decided not to ask for an entry pass for the dargah,” he said in a statement just before the day of the visit of Pakistani PM.

However, the current controversy around the post of Dewan is not as simple as what Allaudin Alimi in the video is suggesting. Such major decisions can’t be taken within the family.

“The government appointed Dargah Committee, which was created in the light of Durgah Khawaja Saheb Act, 1955, has procedures and strict guidelines for the appointment of Sajjadanashin on the seat of Deewan,” said M.A. Khan, the current CEO of the committee.

“This is a dispute between two brothers and the Sajjadanashin cannot be sacked or removed by such a move,” he added.

The current Sajjadanashin was appointed on the verdict of Supreme Court in 1987.

Similar views were expressed by the chairman of the Dargah committee Shekh Alim. “As per the provisions in the Act, when the post falls vacant, the Dargah committee notifies the vacancy and after approval of the Governor, the new Sajjadanashin is appointed with his permission,” he said.

Wahid Chisty, secretary of Anjuman Committee (Association of Khadims or Clerics) also backed Zainul Abedin saying, “legal procedure cannot be mocked by anyone in such a manner.”

On the other hand, Zainul Abedin has expressed his displeasure over his brother’s conduct. “My younger brother has no right to declare himself as the Sajjadanashin. He is neither empowered nor eligible for this act which is totally illegal and illegitimate and I’m seeking a legal opinion for taking action against him,” said Zainul Abedin.