“I can’t marry you, because you work in a Bank”. Imagine being rejected by a boy/girl for the reason stated above. This is not a part of a script taken out from a senseless comedy film, but a real life diktat by a senile Islamic body. The strong use of words has been rationalised and elaborated for the readers understanding. The Dar al-Ulum or as is popularly known the “Darul Uloom Deoband” recently issued a fatwa giving directions to its followers on factors to be considered before finalising on a prospective bride/groom.
What is a Fatwa and who can issue one:
Fatwa means a ruling on a point of Islamic law given by a Mufti (recognized authority to interpret or expound Shariah- Islamic Jurisprudence, stretching from Beliefs and Prayers to Social Affairs, Transactions and Dealings).
The quest for totalitarian control:
In its quest to control the life of its followers to the T, the Quran, the Hadis and the Fatwas, all together reflect the one point agenda of establishing a hold over its followers and endeavour to create a comprehensive system which would govern even their most private of affairs.
These acts range from performing prayers during a woman’s menstruation cycle to that of waxing her hands and legs. Irrespective of how ridiculous it may sound, such Fatwas are/have been issued by the Darul Uloom Deoband for more than a century now but there has never been any opposition/resistance from the liberal and progressive class against this archaic practise. The sources quoted below are links to a few of those fatwas issued by the Darul Uloom, published in English on their website.
History of Darul-uloom deoband and other Fatwas which would make people cringe:
After the fall of the Mughal Raj at the hands of the (East India Company) British, a few resolute and fortunate few Ulamas in hope to preserve the Muslim honour and Islamic heritage started a madrasa in Deoband as a centre of their activities with public contributions and co-operations. 30th May, 1866 went down as one of the most important days for Islam’s propagation in India for that was the fateful day when the Darul-Uloom Deoband was established.
Established during the reign of the Britishers and the ruins of the Mughalia Raj, the Darul- Uloom was profoundly Anti-West and orthodox (anti-modern) in nature. While the institution initially inclined itself with only providing Indian Muslims with direct access to original sources of Islamic learning and help Muslim men to take ahead the missionary agenda, but because of the flocking of people from all corners of the sub-continent seeking directions on various issues governing their private & personal life, a separate department for issuing of Fatwas was created in 1892.
The Darul-Uloom, Deoband, is today a renowned religious and academic center in the Islamic world. In the sub-continent it is the largest institution for the dissemination and propagation of Islam and the biggest headspring of education in the Islamic sciences.
Haraam to marry a person employed with a Bank:
Quran states that while trade is permissible, Interest is Haram and all those consuming Interest would not be able to stand on the day of resurrection and would become companions of Fire.
The Fatwas issued by the Darul Uloom have been in continuation and furtherance to what has been stated in the Quran. Placing strict guidelines, the fatwas which run into scores of pages give clear dictats on the prohibition of consumption of RIBA (Interest).
The current Fatwa issued was also against a query asked by a follower on whether it would be considered Haram if he married in a house where the Father was a Bank Employee.
While the world moves ahead in this era of digitalisation, the Darul-Uloom has taken a stand to take itself and its followers back to the 7th Century. Sitting somewhere in the comfort of their Madrasah, the Ulama seem to be far away from reality to have issued such ridiculous fatwas.
Who reads these fatwas:
A bare perusal of the list of Fatwas on the Darul-Uloom Deoband website showed that not only Indians but scores of people from across the globe, be it from Pakistan, Afghanistan, Canada, United States, Indonesia, Africa followed and wrote to the Ulama seeking for directions on various things. This very fact made it amply clear that not only Indians but followers of Islam from all over the World followed the directives issued by Darul Uloom Deoband.
These fatwas although lack legal binding, have great and far reaching effects in the Muslim community. While many in the cities may not follow or pay much heed to these Fatwas, there are millions (both inside and outside India) who follow the directives of the Darul Uloom sincerely without questioning the rationale or interpretation (Ijtihaad) behind a particular ruling.
Absence of any opposition to these fatwas from eminent Muslim luminaries
While movie producers, directors, actors, activists and liberals alike gang up to make movies and mock various practices amongst Hindus, there is not one, not a single person amongst the whole liberal brigade who has the guts to stand up to these Ulama’s and Mulana’s. Not a single movie has been made in the last 70 years which has managed to question the anachronistic practices of polygamy, Triple Talaq or the dictatorship of Maulanas/Ulamas.
Established during the reign of the Britishers and the ruins of the Mughalia Raj, the Darul- Uloom was profoundly Anti-West and orthodox (anti-modern) in nature. While the institution initially inclined itself with only providing Indian Muslims with direct access to original sources of Islamic learning and help muslim men to take ahead the missionary agenda, it started a seperate department for issuing fatwas in 1892 due to the increasing queries/requests of people seeking directions from ulamas on ways to conduct their day to day affairs.
While the world moves ahead, the Islamic community at large is staring at complete darkness. The Deoband Ulama who issued this fatwa could have used his discretionary power to issue a fatwas giving strict instructions to Muslim brethren to not marry into families whose members indulge in Anti-India activities.
The mass following that the Darul Uloom Deoband commands signifies its importance amongst Muslims across the world. And issuance of Fatwas on such petty issues only highlights the insecurity of the Ulama’s that they seek to control even the most private and intimate activities of its followers. Unfortunately for non-Muslims, any one questioning such practices is immediately brushed off as an illiterate Kafir.