Is Deoband Fatwa Against ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ justified?

by Swarajya Staff - Apr 2, 2016 06:20 PM +05:30 IST

Is Deoband Fatwa Against ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ justified?

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Snapshot
  • We love our country, but we do not think it is our God, says Darul Uloom.

    Mata in Indian collective conscience is mother. Of course, she is god to most of us.

Scholarships lies in evaluating an issue and then guiding ordinary people. But the scholars of Darul Ifta, fatwa department of Islamic seminary Darul Uloom of Deoband, seems have acted in a narrow sense of scholarship while issuing a fatwa against ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’.

Mata in Indian collective conscience is mother. Of course, she is god to most of us if we can generate that kind of respect and feeling for her.

“India is without doubt our country. We and our ancestors were born here. We love our country, but we do not think it is our God,” Darul Ifta said in its statement.

Darul Ifta has issued a fatwa against chanting ‘Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ in response to queries of people sent to the seminary. The fatwa was issued on 19 March but became viral on social media on Thursday evening. It says that Islam does not allow Idol worship therefore Muslims should restrain themselves from chanting ‘ Bharat Mata Ki Jai’.

Ashraf Usmani, spokesperson of the seminary, said that that idol worship is not permissible in Islam hence in light of the teachings of holy Quran and Hadees followers of Islam can’t say Bharat Mata Ki Jai, which has been portrayed as a Goddess carrying a trident in one hand and clad in saffron clothes.

Islam, unlike Hinduism, is a monotheistic religion, i.e. it believes in the idea of one God whose idol or picture cannot be made. “Bharat Mata, according to a section of Hindus, is a goddess and they worship her. For Muslims, participating in the worshiping of that goddess would be apostasy and against Islam,” Darul Ifta said.

The scholars should understand difference between reverence and worship. A nation, which provides us with respectability and identity, deserves reverence. One need not have to worship it.

The Deoband fatwa is further justified under the Indian constitutional guarantees of right to freedom of religion to all its citizens. “No government or organisation can force such unlawful activities on other people if it contradicts their faith,” it said.

RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat had stated that youngsters in India should be taught to chant the slogan. He had recently modified his remarks. Every country needs a national ethos and Bhagwat may have intended to develop an ethos with Bharat Mata Ki Jai’ slogan.

India needs an unifying cry. If someone gives it, take it or else find an alternative. 

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