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Islam and Sectarianism ( 12 Jun 2018, NewAgeIslam.Com)

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The Fatwa of Darul Uloom Deoband against Shias Violates the Spirit of Islam

By S. Arshad, New Age Islam

13 June 2018

The fatwa issued by Darul Uloom Deoband against attending Iftar parties in Shia houses by Sunni Muslims is against the spirit of the Quran and has driven another blow to the efforts to bridge the differences between the two communities. The fatwa came to a query posed to the Darul Ifta of Darul Uloom Deoband by one Sikander Ali a few days ago.  The fatwa allegedly said that Sunni Muslims should not attend Iftar parties in Shia houses. This will also imply that Sunni Muslims should not share food with Shias in their houses on normal days too or should not attend marriage ceremonies where food is served to the guests.

This fatwa is against the spirit of the Quran that enjoins all the Muslims irrespective of their sectarian beliefs to remain united and not to promote discord and disunity among themselves. About the food to be taken by Muslims, the Quran has given out clear injunctions. It has made clear to the Muslims what food is Haram or Halal that is, permissible and non-permissible. The Quran has declared the food served by even Ahl-e-Kitab to be Halal or permissible to Muslims. One verse of the Quran says thus:

“This day are (all) good things made lawful for you. The food of those who have received the Scripture is lawful for you, and your food is lawful for them.”(Al Maidah; 5)

It clear says that the food served by the Ahl-e-Kitab is lawful to the Muslims. How can then the food served by a sect of Muslims who believe in Allah and the Prophet (pbuh) be unlawful for another sect of the Muslims?

The fatwa is against the injunctions of the Quran that says that men should not decide on their whims as to what is Halal and what is Haram. Those foods declared Halal by Allah cannot be declared Haram by the men and vice versa and whoever does so commit a grave sin. The Quran says:

But say not - for any false thing that your tongues may put forth,- "This is lawful, and this is forbidden," so as to ascribe false things to Allah. For those who ascribe false things to Allah, will never prosper. (Al Nahl: 116)

Another verse is a little reprimanding those who declare Halal things Haram or vice versa on their whims and fancies. This verse says:

“Why should ye not eat of (meats) on which Allah's name hath been pronounced, when He hath explained to you in detail what is forbidden to you - except under compulsion of necessity? But many do mislead (men) by their appetites unchecked by knowledge. Thy Lord knoweth best those who transgress.”

The verses quoted above are relevant to the case in hand and the fatwa issued by Darul Uloom Deoband is against Islamic spirit and based on ignorance of the teachings of the Quran.  The fatwa stands null and avoid.

Initially the Vice-Chancellor of the Darul Uloom Deoband refused to comment on the fatwa strengthening the authenticity of the fatwa but later the representatives of the Darul Uloom came out denying any such fatwa issued by them. It creates doubts that the fatwa was issued by someone in the Deoband and when the issue came in the media, the Darul Uloom Deoband was compelled to deny it.

S. Arshad is a regular columnist for


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