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Silent On Suicide Bombings, Deoband Declares Shias Kafirs and Ahmad Raza Khan Bareillvi Gumrah (Deviant)



By S. Arshad, New Age Islam

December 3,  2012

On November 24, 2012, Darul Uloom Deoband reiterated its fatwa declaring Shias kafir and Murtad (infidels and apostates) in response to a query from a Muslim in Pakistan. The person had put the question:

“If someone claims that he is a Shia but does not specify any Shia denomination, for example, if one of my friends who is obviously a Sunni but jokingly says he is a Shia, will he become kafir because of his assertion though some of the Shia denominations are Muslims.”

Darul Uloom Darul Ifta replies:

“If your friend is a Sunni he will not become a Shia if he says so jokingly but if on inquiry his beliefs are proved to be like those of the Shias, he will be judged as such. The Shias found in India and Pakistan are asna ashri (twelvers) and therefore undoubtedly Kafirs and Murtads (non-believers and apostates) because their beliefs are against the ordainments of the Quran.

In reply to an earlier query in April, 2011, the Darul Ifta says that all Shias are not Kafirs. The query was:

“Are all the Shias non-Muslims?”

The reply was:

“All the Shias are not kafir. Only those Shias are kafir who believe in the following:


·         That Hazrat Gebriel (the angle) mistakenly put revelation to Prophet   Muhammad

·         (Sallallahu Alaihi Wasallam) instead of Hazrat Ali.

·         Who believe that Hazrat Ali (Razi Allahu anhu) was a god

·         Who blame Hazrat Ayshah (Razi Allahu anha) of adultery

·         Who believe corruption in the Holy Quran

·         And who deny the companionship (Suhbat) of Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddique (Razi Allahu      

·         Anhu) (Fatawa Shami, 4/135)

But the Shias who believe only that Hazrat Ali was better (Afzal) than other companions and do not have other Shiite beliefs then they will not be considered as kafir.”


Since serious rifts exist between the Sunnis and the Shias in Pakistan and other Muslim countries, our muftis are providing the sectarian militants a religious basis and justification for bloodshed and violence in the name of Islam. The Darul Ifta does not only declare them kafir but Murtad (apostate) and according to some Hadiths, apostates are to be killed though the Quran does not prescribe death for apostates. The Sunni radical outfits use these Hadiths to justify the killings of Murtads. Can the attack on the school buses carrying Shia children be justified or conducting suicide attacks on the Shia procession in Pakistan, Iraq and other Muslim countries be justified? The answer is a firm ‘no’. But this is exactly what happens the whole year and particularly during the Ashura every year in these countries. And these religious perverts use such fatwas to justify their killings.


In one of the two Fatwas, Darul Uloom accepts that some Shia groups are not kafir, how can then one identify a Shia who is a kafir and the one who is not. The killers do not carry an identification parade to distinguish between a Shia Muslim and a Shia kafir/Murtad before killing him. They will just use the fatwa to kill them. Shouldn’t our muftis and ulema abstain from giving such fatwas to avoid schism and bloodshed among Muslims? The Quran does not even allow killing or persecution of the peace-loving non-Muslims even if their beliefs are in opposition to the Quran’s. How can the different beliefs of a sect of the Shias be a basis of their being wajibul quatl (deserving to be killed)?


Surprisingly, to a query on suicide bombings, the mufti of the Darul Ifta had refused to give his fatwa, though the entire Islamic world has declared suicide bombings haram and unjustifiable in the light of the Quran and the Sunnah. A person from Pakistan had asked the following question in May 23, 2007:


“I want to ask a question on jihad. How justified is conducting suicide attacks against the non-Muslim army?”


Instead of giving a firm reply declaring it Haram on the basis of Quranic verses and Hadiths, the mufti of the Darul Ifta parried the question saying, “Please consult the ulema of your country on this issue”. This should be seen as a very irresponsible behaviour on the part of the Darul Ifta since it did not remove the misconception of a Pakistani youth about suicide bombing. It should be mentioned here that last year the eminent Islamic scholar Professor Tahirul Quadri and other Islamic scholars of the Muslim world had declared suicide bombings and suicide attacks on anyone, be it Muslims, Shias, Ahmadis or Hindus etc Haram and un-Islamic. Did the mufti have an opposite view on the issue which it did not want to give for the fear of criticism from the Hindu majority in India? It is an irony that the Deoband readily comes up with a fatwa of Kufr and irtidad (apostasy) against the Shias but eschews the most important question of suicide attacks which is anti-Islam according to the majority of the scholars of Islam.


Again to a query on the religious head of the Bareillvi sect, Ahmad Raza Khan Bareillvi, the Darul Uloom says that though the fatwa of kufr is not issued against Ahmad Raza Khan with conviction as a precaution for various reasons but he is a deviant person (gumrah) and so he is only excluded from Ahle-sunnah wal jama’at as he disagrees on some of the basic principles.  Though his disagreement on such issues does not qualify him for a fatwa of kufr but it renders him deviant (gumrah) and excluded from ahle-sunnah wal jama’at. (Fatwa issued on 31 July 2012)


The question is: Is exclusion from ahl-e-Sunnah wal Jama’at synonymous with being declared kafir? If not why is the fatwa of exclusion from ahl-e-Sunnah wal jam ‘at issued against him in the first place? The fatwa itself says that Ahmad Raza Khan disagrees on some basic religious issues but this disagreement does not tantamount to Kufr but in the view of Deoband School of jurisprudence, his views on certain issues of the Quran are deviance. So if someone differs on certain points or issues of the other, he should be a deviant and excluded from the fold of Islam. This is the intolerant approach our Deobandi ulema have and this intolerance has been promoting hatred and acrimony among the Muslims.

S. Arshad is a regular columnist for