One of the world’s most reputed Islamic seminaries, Darul Uloom Deoband, has issued a fatwa, a religious ruling, on chanting of ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’, saying the slogan went against the tenets of Islam.
If we go through Islamic texts, Qur’an and sayings of Prophet Muhammad, they teach the entire humanity to be fair, love each other, display compassion towards your mother-land but at the same time they strictly prohibit depiction of any personality or even your mother-land as a deity or goddess.
What people must understand is that Darul Uloom doesn’t issue a fatwa on its own. For a fatwa to be issued, it first needs a Mufti (expounder of Islamic law) or a group of Muftis who thoroughly reflect upon the issue.
These scholars go through religious texts and issue fatwa to the one who sought for it. In other words, Darul Uloom usually doesn’t issue a fatwa on issues highlighted by the politicians unless someone goes to the seminary for seeking a ruling.
Blaming Darul Uloom for issuing the ruling is futile as one must have gone there to seek Islamic view point over the ongoing controversy. After the fatwa has been issued it’s up to Muslims to follow it or not. Darul Uloom, unlike other pseudo-nationalists, doesn’t force people to accept its ruling.
One can easily understand the Fatwa doesn’t prohibit saying ‘Hindustan Zindabad’ which means ‘Long live India’ rather it specifically prohibits chanting ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jay’ because therein ‘Bharat Mata’ is taken as a deity, a goddess. That is how simple it is.
Darul Uloom is the same institution, which during freedom struggle had declared ‘Jihad’ against the Britis. You may have not read this in history books but it is among those institutions that raised the call for India’s freedom struggle.
Khan Abdul Ghaffar Khan, known as frontier Gandhi, had once said, “We used to make plans, sitting in Darul Uloom, for the independence movement as to how we might drive away the Britishers from this country and how we could make India free from the yoke of slavery of the English”.
Fatwa, the seminary issued, must be taken positively as it caters to the beliefs of Muslims. Suppose, if a Muslim living in Pakistan, Saudi Arabia or in any Muslim majority country depicts his motherland as goddess, Islamic ruling would prohibit that act too.
This is why, Darul Uloom humbly says, “India is without doubt our country. We and our ancestors were born here. We love our country, but we do not worship it”.
Ayaz Farooqui is a Delhi-based journalist. Views expressed here are the author’s own. www.jantakareporter.com doesn’t necessarily subscribe to them.