The Bold Voice of J&K

Fatwa; Muslim society should rise against reactionary forces

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R K SINHA
There appears to be no end to ‘Fatwa’ which keeps being issued one after another. It may stop only when the Muslim society in India rise against the reactionary forces represented by the Mullahs. The Muslim society is a silent spectator, so it appears. My be the society is afraid of the Maulvis and Mullahs who have succeeded in instilling a sense of fear in the Muslim society.
Latest in the series of ‘Fatwa’ has come against our Prime Minister Narendra Modi. The Shahi Imam of Tipu Sultan in Kolkata, Syed Md Nurur Rahman Barkati has issued a Fatwa promising a reward of Rs.25 lakhs to anyone who can smear ink at Modi’s face or shave his beard. Just see how dangerous is this fatwa. The Imam shares close ties with West Bengal chief minister Mamata Banerjee. It is known to everyone in Kolkata.
Now Shahi Imam Barkat is facing fatwa issued against him by his counterpart in Mumbai. The Imam of Madarsa Darul Ulum Mufti Manjar Hasan Khan Ashrafi Misbahi has criticized the Kolkata Imam and has rejected the fatwa issued against Narendra Modi. Not only that, the Imam in Mumbai has even questioned the right of Kolkata Imam to offer ‘Nawaz’. Misbahi says that Barkat is not a ‘Mufti’ and he should not use fatwa to serve his political interest. He is destroying the religious sanctity of fatwa in Islam, Misbahi said.
The deadly silence of middle class Muslim is indeed fearsome. I would like to mention here the words of Tariq Fateh from an interview he gave to a Urdu news channel. Fateh has said, “In India it is not Allah’s Islam, it is Mullah’s Islam that has nothing to do with Islam. Relgion is being used to push political agenda”.
Let us take the case of Deoband which is an important seat of Islam in the country. Some time back Deoband issued a fatwa saying men and women should not work together. May I ask in which century Muslim society is living? Sparingly, there was no protest or criticism of this fatwa. Deoband also says that it is only men who can give divorce to their wives and women have no right to divorce their men. Even when a woman gives divorce to her husband it is not valid.
In fact a Muslim had asked Deoband about his wife giving divorce by uttering “talaq, talaq, talaq”. The man said that eveequan after triple talaq given by his wife they were living together as husband and wife. Was it right, he had asked. Deoband had said that it is only a man has the right to divorce wife. Women don’t have any such right. When the world is doing everything possible to give women an equal status to women in the society, Centres like Deoband are hell bent upon keeping women as second class citizens in the society.
Take another example of Deoband school of thought. It was asked if blood and organ donations were justified in Islam. Deoband said that it was not.
Fatwa, as a matter of fact is nothing more than an advice or suggestion. Nobody is bound to follow fatwa. It is being abused by Imams to serve vote bank politics.
Come elections and you will notice that Shahi Imam of Delhi Jama Masjid start issuing fatwas that are political in nature. Though fatwas are not binding but it vitiates the social atmosphere.
I recall, some Imam in Kolkata issued a fatwa against Tennis player Sania Mirza saying that she should not play tennis wearing skirts. If she continues to play tennis in skirts she would not be allowed to play tennis in India. Fatwa further charged that Sania Mirza was corrupting the youth by playing tennis in short skirts and tight tops.
I return to the Imam of Tipu Sultan Mosque in Kolkata. He has been ranting his voice against demonitistion. Can someone ask the Imam if he understands the role of black money in the country’s economy? Without understanding the economic policy of the government the Imam has been attacking Prime Minister Modi for the note ban just because Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee is against demonitisation and fight against corruption.
(The writer is Member of Rajya Sabha and Chairman Hindusthan Samachar News Service)

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