Islamic Fatwas
Muslim women before mass marriage (nikaah).Reuters

Many Muslim clerics have objected to the recent ruling of the Supreme Court that barred them from issuing fatwas against those who allegedly violate or insult the Islamic Personal Law, saying it is their constitutional right to follow it.

The Supreme Court on 7 July declared Sharia Courts as unconstitutional, barring the Muslim Qazis or scholars to impose fatwas on an individual without their consent, and prohibited them to punish those who flout the fatwas.

However, clerics and members of Muslim Personal Law Board (MPLB) said the Indian Constitution allows the Qazis to order an ordinance to Muslims. Under the Sharia Application Act 1937, Muslims are bound to obey the Qazis' decision as per the Muslim Personal Law on nikaah, talaaq, zihar, lian, khula and mubaraat, they said.

"We are not doing anything parallel to the judicial system and we don't say that any order passed by a Qazi is binding on all. Our sole motto is to resolve a matter with the consent of two parties involved in accordance with Sharia," Times of India quoted an MPLB member Zafaryab Jilani.

While others had an open opinion about the SC ruling. Another Qazi, Zainus Sajidin, reportedly said that though consulting clerics for solutions to their problems from the Quran is not illegal, Muslims who do not wish to abide by the fatwas are free to approach the court.

Whereas, president of Kul Hind Imam Association, Maulana Mohammad Sajid Rashid, believes that Muslims who violate Sharia Laws are not true Muslims.

"If a person is practising a religion, he/she has to follow its preachings. A Muslim who does not follow the Sharia is not a true Muslim," he pointed out.

Some strange fatwas

  • In June 2014, Egyptian scholar at the Salafi Dawah Religious Association Yasser Borhami issued a fatwa against 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil. He reportedly said that the Muslims waste their time by watching it and the World Cup distracts them from performing their rituals during Ramadan.
  • UAE's General Authority of Islamic Affairs and Endowment (GAIAE) in February 2014 issued a fatwa against the Muslims going on the planet Mars on a mission by Mars One organisation to establish a human settlement. The GAIAE argued that the one-way trip to Mars involves threat to life and is similar to committing suicide, which is prohibited in Islam, according to news reports.
  • In April 2013, a Muslim cleric Salafi Sheikh Yasir al-Ajlawni said that the fatwa for Muslims, fighting to dethrone Syrian President Bashar Assad, to rape non-Sunni and non-Muslim women is legitimate, according to news reports.
  • There were also some strange fatwas issued against women by the Muslim Brotherhood and Salafis during the reign of President Mohamed Morsi, according to news report.
  • Women were prohibited from eating or touching vegetables like bananas and cucumbers. They believed that the women would be distracted to wrong paths, as these vegetables resemble men's sexual part.
  • Another one prohibited women from swimming as they considered sea to be masculine, so the moment a woman swim and the water touches her private parts she commits adultery, for which she is punishable.
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