The Muftis of the Islamic seminary Darul Uloom Deoband in the Saharanpur district of Uttar Pradesh have endorsed the fatwa issued by Bashiruddin Ahmad,the Grand Mufti of Kashmir. All India Jamat-e-Raza Mustafa, representing the Barelvi Sunni Muslim sect have also supported the fatwa against rock band Pragaash, formed by three Kashmiri girls. The Barelvi School has however condemned the threats being given to the girls and their families by the radical Muslim organisations.
“Shariat strictly prohibits dance and music. The support given to the rock band by Chief Minister Omar Abdullah is irrelevant, as he is no authority on Islam, and only a Mufti is competent to interpret the divine ordain enshrined in Shariat and we endorse the fatwa issued by the Grand Mufti of Kashmir”, said Mufti Arif Kasmi, a senior Deobandi cleric.
Maulana Shahbuddin, General Secretary of the All India Jamat-e-Raza Mustafa said, “Shariat mein auraton kaa naach, gaana, khelkud wahiyaat hai (singing, dancing and participation in sports by the women is nonsense and strictly prohibited in Islam). Whether one follows the code of conduct laid down in Shariat, or not, Mufti of Kashmir only said what is correct as per the Islamic jurisprudence.”
Quddus Jawaid, retired professor of Urdu at the Kashmir University and a resident of Jammu, however has a different opinion and condemned the fatwa against the rock band. “It’s a political issue and has nothing to do with religion. There are some forces in the valley who not happy with the peace and tranquility and are desperate for an opportunity to create trouble. A particular group of clerics is behind this sinister campaign and it’s not an issue between the two sects of Sunni Islam, the Deobandi’s and the Barelvi’s,” said Jawaid. Contesting the claim of Mufti of Kashmir, he added, “It’s a very regressive action of Mufti Bashriuddin; he is ignorant of the Kashmiri culture and its rich folk art and music. Music has not been termed as haram in Islam. It should not be seen as filthy and obscene. The girls and boys of Kashmir are now migrating to every part of India for better job opportunities and good career. They have a right to pursue a life style as they deem fit. What is wrong if the girls of Kashmir give a music performance on the stage.”
Asiya Andrabi, leading the Dukhtaran-e-Millat (daughters of the nation), a radical Islamic organisation in the Kashmir valley, condemned the Chief Minister of Jammu and Kashmir. “This issue is being blown out of proportion to malign the people of Kashmir and divert the attention of people from more pressing issues. Mufti Bashiruddin is a sarkari Maulvi, but the fatwa given by him is as per the tenets of Islam and Shariat. Dance and music has no place in Islam and there is nothing wrong in stopping the girls from performing on stage,’’ said Andrabi.
Andrabi wonders, “The issue of the three girls has suddenly hit the headlines in India; those girls are innocent and not aware of their duty towards deen (religious obligations) and no one knows who those boys were who posted hate messages on the social media sites, the girls were not attacked, yet there is a furor.”
Maulana Yasoob Abbas, a prominent Shia cleric of Lucknow also condemned the fatwa. “Such Maulvi’s and Mufti’s sponsor questions from their supporters to acquire identity in politics and get publicity in the media, create controversy and ultimately end up in maligning Islam”, says Abbas.
“If Mufti Bashiruddin is so concerned about preserving the purity of Islam, then why does he never speak against the film producers of Mumbai. They come to the Kashmir valley only to shoot dance sequences. He also never spoke against actors like Salman Khan, Shahrukh Khan, Aamir Khan, Dilip Kumar and many other Muslim artists in the film industry who sing as well as dance in films,” Maulana Abbas asks.