Karnataka: Muslim man, father to four, to be made pontiff in Lingayat mutt

"Nobody asked me to do it, the Almighty came and intervened my thoughts to guide me towards taking this step. Everyone around has been very supportive and cooperative in helping me come here and take charge," Sharief said




In a first, a 33-year-old Muslim man is set to be made pontiff of a Lingayat mutt in Gadag district of north Karnataka. Diwan Sharief Rahmansab Mulla, who will be incepted on February 26, is said to be influenced by 12th Century reformer Basavanna’s teachings since childhood.

“Nobody asked me to do it, the Almighty came and intervened my thoughts to guide me towards taking this step. Everyone around has been very supportive and cooperative in helping me come here and take charge,” Sharief said.

“Today, Rahman’s son has become Diwan Sherief. My parents donated their ancestral property of two acres for the upliftment and welfare of the society, upholding the Basava values of equality open to people across faith,” he added.

Incidentally, the to-be seer is married and is father to three daughters and a son. Sharief used to run a flour mill in a neighbouring village as he preached Basavanna’s philosophy of life and his Vachanas, a form of rhythmic writing in Kannada which flourished during the 12th century.

Meanwhile, Sri Murugharajendra Koraneshwar Shivayogi, the seer of Koraneshwara Sansthan mutt in Khajuri village (Kalaburagi) who took the decision, said he was inspired by Jagadguru Murugharajendra Brihan Mutt of Chitradurga, which is known for practising Basava philosophy, to take such a decision

“Basavanna was never against a married person becoming a seer. He (Diwan Sharief) has made arrangements for his family to lead a good livelihood. From now, he will be among us to head the Shantidhama. The village residents have welcomed the decision wholeheartedly,” Shivayogi said

He further said, “An individual is not born into a religion but faith is chosen later. Regardless of manmade restrictions of caste, one will pick the path of welfare and sacrifice once the Almighty appears to the person.”

The priest also explained that both Sharief and his father had taken Linga Deeksha (a ritual done to become a Lingayat) before the latter’s death after which the family donated their land to Falahara Shivayogi mutt in Astuti where Sherief will be ordained next week

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