Distancing itself from the 'fatwa' against Muslims singing 'Vande Mataram', a section of the intelligentsia on Sunday said there was a need to educate the community about the actual meaning of the lone "objectionable" word 'vande' in order to remove doubts over its rendition.
Last week, Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind at its annual meet in Deoband opposed singing of the national song by Muslims.
Vice-president of the All India Muslim Personal Law Board and eminent scholar Maulana Kalbe Sadiq called for a debate among Hindi litterateurs to define the word 'vande' used in the song which forms the basis on which it has been termed been as being against their religion.
Sadiq told PTI that he was ready to accept the contention of Minority Affairs Minister Salman Khursheed that the National Song had been approved by Maulana Azad on whose suggestions some words were removed.
"If the word Vande stands for respect and showing reverence to the motherland, then Muslims have no ground to object to it and it is for the litterateurs and knowledge persons of Sanskrit, Urdu and Hindi to sit down and debate over it so that the misconceptions about the same can be removed," Sadiq said.
He stressed that if the word stands for "worship" it is technically unacceptable for Muslims who cannot worship anyone other than the almighty.
Sadiq said there were important issues like illiteracy, unemployment and poverty which need to be taken up by everyone, including the ulemas.
Echoing similar views, president of the All India Shia Personal Law Board, Maulana Mirza Mohammad Athar also questioned the timing of the fatwa which he claimed could ignite communal passions.
"It is time that experts of Hindi and Sanskrit determine whether the word in question is 'Vande' or 'Bande'," Maulana Athar said, adding that perhaps it is the former which means showing respect and it is in keeping with the tenets of Islam.
"It needs to be told to the Muslims that vande is other than worshipping the motherland as they have been made to believe all these years," Maulana Athar said.
Chairperson of All India Muslim Women Personal Law Board Shaista Amber alleged the issue has provided fodder to communal and reactionary forces, who are out to use it to bash the community.
"The National Song is in the praise of the motherland and all Muslims love their country and those who are attaching its rendition to patriotism are on the wrong path," she said, questioning whether all those who sing it are patriots and had never done anything wrong.
"Muslims should also not react to forces who aim at their loyalty to the country as they do not require any certificate from anyone," Amber said recalling as to how the same Deoband and Imarate Shariat in Bihar had issued a fatwa for independence of the country.
Maulana Abdul Kayoon, adviser to the Muslim Women Law Board, also called for not paying importance to issues which could create chasm in society.
Sadiq said the community should rather focus to redress the problems faced by it.
"Reciting a word or not is not as important as these major issues which could bring them in the mainstream of development," Sadiq said, adding on a personal basis he was ready to recite or read any thing if the community's welfare can be achieved.