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Islamic preacher labels Navratri as ‘Kufr’, advises man to divorce his wife for fasting during the Hindu festival

Assim Al-Hakeem is a prominent figure in the Islamic world. A Saudi Arabian by nationality, he conducts Islamic programmes in both Arabic and English for TV and radio.

On Sunday (October 10), a Saudi Islamic preacher by the name of Assim Al-Hakeem had denigrated the Hindu festival of ‘Navaratri’ as an act of Kufr (infidel) and recommended Muslim men to divorce spouses for participating in the celebrations of other Faiths.

A Twitter user (@maulanaUfkani) had asked, “Salaam. My wife wants to keep fast in Navratra and want to celebrate Durga Puja. Is it permissible?” He further explained that his wife had been fasting for the past 4 days and sought a quick redressal. “Inshallah, I’m waiting for your response. It’s been 4 days she is doing fast. What’s the cure of this? How to stop her, is beating permissible?” he inquired.

Screengrab of the tweets by @maulanaUfkani

In all seriousness, the Islamic preacher responded that celebrating Hindu festivals amount to Kufr. “If these are Hindu festivals and religious rituals, you should call her back to Islam and tell her that this is kufr,” Assim Al-Hakeem said. He recommended Muslim men to divorce such wives instead of staying with them. “If she is adamant and insisting, divorce her and never look back! You can’t stay with a non-muslim like her,” the Islamic preacher emphasised.

Screengrab of the tweet by Assim Al-Hakeem

Hindus are currently celebrating the Navratri festival which honours the divine feminine Devi (goddess). Devotees observe fast, celebrate with feast and dance to worship the goddess in different parts of the country.

Assim Al-Hakeem is a prominent figure in the Islamic world. A Saudi Arabian by nationality, he conducts Islamic programmes in both Arabic and English for TV and radio. He claims to teach the authentic sayings of the Quran and the Hadiths during his appearances on Huda TV and Zakir Naik’s Peace TV. He holds a BA in Linguistics from King Abdul Aziz University and a diploma in Islamic Studies from Umm al-Qura University. He has been working as an Imam at a Jeddah mosque for the last 20 years.

Zakir Naik with Assim-Al-Hakeem, image via Twitter

In June last year, he had sparked controversy by claiming that protesting is ‘haram’ in Islam. “It is not permissible to protest in Islam,” Assim-Al-Hakeem had remarked amidst widespread protests in the US in the aftermath of George Floyd’s murder. In 2018, he had claimed that bitcoin and cryptocurrency are ambiguous and haram under Islamic law. He asserted that it was being used to make drug purchases and money laundering.

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