Heed this fatwa
20 March 2006
The Daily Excelsior
Jammu: This is one fatwa against terrorism which deserves to be admired. For, if followed in letter and spirit it can usher in sanity in the present world. What is equally remarkable is the role played by the educated Muslim women of Varanasi in this behalf. They have actually taken the lead in securing this religious edict in writing. Their concern like that of every citizen in the country must have been stirred by the recent bomb blasts in the holy town. In response to their plea, Mufti-e-Banaras (old but still popular name of Varanasi) and Imam of Shahi Masjid Gyanavapi has quoted extensively from Quran in support of his three-page proclamation that thinks little of those resorting to violence and bloodshed. He has ruled that a person of any country or religion involved in act of terrorism goes against the teaching of Islam. Such persons could not be termed as religious-minded, as terrorists have no religion. “Islam not only restricts a person from doing wrong but also commands not to support evil as it is sin”, according to the Mufti. The fatwa says: “ Islam is synonymous with peace and protection of humanity. Allah has expressed unhappiness on those acts that breach peace.” It adds: “Allah says:Slaying an individual without any reason is a heinous crime and sin; if one kills an innocent person, it is the killing of entire humanity; and if one saves an innocent person it is an act of protecting the entire humanity”. Two women – Ms Qamar Jehan, former head of the Urdu department of the Banaras Hindu University and Ms Muniza Rafiqu Khan, registrar of the Gandhian Institute of Studies , had desired to know whether terrorism had any place in Islam. The former also wanted to understand the meaning of new terminology “Islamic terrorism” in the light of teachings of Quran. Mufti Maulana abdul Batain Nomani gave the verdict that all human beings of the world were members of the family of Allah. He stated that the safety of each individual was essential and there was no barrier of religion or geographical boundary. He referred to specific portions of holy Quran which strictly denounce the act of violence. “It is the duty of each and every Muslim to have good relations with all individuals irrespective of their religion”, he decreed.
Indeed it is heartening that for every voice in support of the terror there are at least two against it. There is turmoil in the Muslim world. It can’t be denied that extremists are going ahead with their crude version of jihad. But at the same time it is also true that the self-professed Islamic states (Saudi Arabia for instance) and the intelligentsia of the community almost all over are quite vocal in speaking up against the evil. Certain fatwas are blatantly discriminatory and ridiculous. There is one, for instance, in the neighbouring country which prohibits terrorism in Pakistan but justifies it elsewhere. It defies imagination that there should be two standards for measuring a wicked threat to the humanity as a whole. There can’t be any ambivalent attitude in this matter. Terrorism is a curse that has to be wiped out from the world. The latest message from Varanasi is very encouraging. Who can deny its relevance to this State?