Hyderabad: Over 350 Haj
pilgrims selected for free accommodation in the 'rubath'
(buildings) of the former Nizam of Hyderabad in Makkah are caught
in a fight between the property's caretaker and the Wakf Committee
over the right to choose the beneficiaries.
Mohammed Hussain Al-Shareef, 'nazer' or caretaker of the two 'rubath'
in the Saudi Arabian holy city, last week conducted an online draw
of lots to select 367 pilgrims from Andhra Pradesh, Karnataka and
Maharashtra. The two buildings can accommodate 408 pilgrims but
the caretaker has set aside 10 percent for the Nizam's family
The Nizam's Wakf Committee has, however, refused to accept the
draw conducted by Al-Shareef, saying he has no powers to do so. As
in the past, the committee plans to go ahead with manual draw of
lots this month to select the pilgrims for the upcoming Haj
While Al-Shareef claims to draw authority from a Makkah court
order to provide accommodation to pilgrims, the Wakf Committee
argues that it alone has the power to select pilgrims.
The Central Haj Committee of India has still not taken a decision
on the issue, leaving the pilgrims selected in the online draw
The Haj Committee has asked the selected pilgrims to pay for the
accommodation like the other pilgrims but has promised to refund
the amount if their selection is found proper.
The fifth Nizam, Afzalud Dawlah Bahadur (1857-1869), had acquired
some properties in Makkah and since then they have been used to
provide accommodation to poor pilgrims from the then Hyderabad
Most of the buildings, however, vanished during last two decades
due to expansion of the Masjid Al-Haram or the Grand Mosque.
The family members of the Nizam are unhappy over the current state
"It is the poor Haj pilgrims who are suffering because of all
these controversies," Najaf Ali Khan, grandson of the last Nizam,
The president of the Nizam Family Welfare Association laments that
the ongoing controversy was affecting the very purpose of his
forefathers acquiring properties in Makkah.
Najaf said the Wakf Committee alone had the power to select the
Haj pilgrims as it was appointed in 1980 by Mukarram Jah, scion of
the royal family and 'mutawalli' or custodian of the properties.
Al-Shareef, however, argues that the committee has no authority
over the properties in Makkah since they belong to Saudi Arabia.
He claims the Saudi government has given him permits for providing
accommodation as he is the 'Nazer'.
Al-Shareef is the son of Shareef Mohammed, who was appointed the
caretaker by the last Nizam, Mir Osman Ali Khan, in 1967. After
Shareef Mohammed's death in 1996, the royal court of Makkah
appointed Al-Shareef as the caretaker. Najaf, however, says that
as a caretaker, Al-Shareef has limited powers.
Najaf blames the negligence of the 'mutawalli' for the present
"The mutawalli, chairman and members of the Nizam Wakf Committee
should take the responsibility as they could not stop Al-Shareef
from allotment of Haj permits," said Najaf.
He also condemned the proposed move to fix a limited quota for
family members of the Nizam.
Najaf also wants them to look into the issue relating to 42
properties purchased by their forefathers in Makkah and Madina and
also the compensation paid by the Saudi government for acquiring
buildings near the Grand Mosque in the 1970s.
According to him, the compensation runs into millions of rupees
which can be used to purchase new buildings to accommodate 3,000
to 4,000 pilgrims from the districts of the erstwhile Hyderabad
(Mohammed Shafeeq can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)