Deoband ulema term all Taliban actions un-Islamic

Deoband first: A fatwa against terror

NEW DELHI: For the first time ever, Islamic seminary Darul-Uloom Deoband issued a fatwa against terrorism on Saturday, stating Islam had come to wipe out all kinds of terrorism and to spread the message of global peace. The Darul-Uloom had denounced terrorism for the first time in February, but had not issued a fatwa so far. (Watch 

Saturday’s fatwa, signed by Darul-Uloom’s grand mufti Habibur Rehman, asserts that “Islam rejects all kinds of unjust violence, breach of peace, bloodshed, murder and plunder and does not allow it in any form”. 

Citing the “sinister campaign” to malign “Islamic faith…by linking terrorism with Islam and distorting the meanings of Quranic Verses and Prophet traditions”, Mahmood Asad Madani, leader of Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind, had wanted Deoband to spell out the stand of Islam on world peace. 

 

The fatwa, issued before a huge gathering of Muslims in Delhi’s Ramlila Ground for the Anti-Terrorism and Global Peace Conference, went on to say, “It is proved from clear guidelines provided in the Holy Quran that allegations of terrorism against a religion which preaches and guarantees world peace is nothing but a lie. The religion of Islam has come to wipe out all kinds of terrorism and to spread the message of global peace. Allah knows the best.” 

The conference was addressed by Jamiat chief and Darul-Uloom’s deputy rector Hazrat Maulana Qari Sayed Mohammed Usman. 

He called the conference historic as Muslims of different sects and ideologies — including Nadwatul Ulama Lucknow, Jamaat-e-Islami Hind and All India Muslim Personal Law Board — ratified the fatwa against terrorism. 

The exclusively-male turnout that read an “oath of allegiance” to the fatwa cheered most lustily as speakers attacked the US. 

Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind leader Madani, an MP, stated that the fatwa should be welcomed by the entire Islamic world. 

“Killing of innocent people is not compatible with Islam. The biggest challenge faced by us today is terrorism (which) threatens to strike at the very root of the secular structure of our society besides causing irreparable loss,” stated Madani. 

 
Notwithstanding the caveats like “unjust” and “innocent”, which may make it appear falling short of an 
unequivocal condemnation of terrorism, the fatwa is viewed by many as a significant step forward towards rallying the public opinion against terrorism. 

Coming after the February 25 denunciation, it is seen as reflective of the growing recognition on the part of clerics to counter misgivings about interpretations of scriptures. 

Deoband has lately been under intense focus because many of the terrorist groups — from Taliban to Jaish and Harkat — are widely perceived to be Deobandi in orientation. 

However, it was when the deputy rector of Deoband, Usman, came down heavily on “the dual policy of America” that the massive crowds cheered the most. “Whenever Christian and American interests are hurt in any part of the world, they take prompt action to set things right even at the cost of human lives. They maintain silence though when Muslims are the victims,” he said, further criticizing the US for its support to Israel. 

According to Usman, Jamiat recently held a series of conferences and meetings with madrassas in Lucknow, Ahmedabad, Hyderabad, Kanpur, Surat, Varanasi and Kolkata to carry forward the anti-terror movement which was initiated at Deoband in February. Usman said that many people, especially in the West, were carrying out a propaganda that terrorism was synonymous with jehad. 

He said that while terrorism is destructive, jehad is constructive. “Terrorism is the gravest crime as held by Quran and Islam. We are not prepared to tolerate terrorism in any form and we are ready to cooperate with all responsible people,” he said.

 

Senior clerics of India’s top seminary whose version of Islam the Taliban claim to follow have denounced the actions of the hardline militia, saying the group does not qualify to enjoy affiliations with the historic madressah.

In an interview with a correspondent of the BBC Urdu Service, the rector and the head of faculty of Darul Uloom (Waqf) Deoband said attacks by “vigilantes” in which innocent people died was not jihad but “indivi- dual zulm (oppression)”.

Seen in this light, attacks on shrines, barber shops and educational institutions were all un-Islamic.

Maulana Saalim Qasimi went to the extent of characterising the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, which was ousted by the US forces in 2001, as “un-Islamic”.

He said the Taliban did not comprehend fully the tenets of Islam even though much was made of their “Islamic government”.

He said Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman, who supported the Afghan regime, was not a religious scholar. “He is more of a politician than a scholar.” “However, his father, Mufti Mehmood, was a scholar,” he said.

Maulana Aslam Qasimi, great grandson of Qasim Nanotvi, the founder of the madressah, said the recent statement by Sufi Mohammad that judiciary in Pakistan was un-Islamic was based on misconceptions and ignorance.

He said that Islam embraced concepts like democracy. “The spirit of democracy is very much there in Islam, though concepts like democracy have been taking new shapes and forms.”

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