The name of Darul Uloom Deoband has surfaced again after the National Commission for Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) sent a letter to the Saharanpur District Magistrate requesting that action be taken against Darul-Uloom Deoband for issuing controversial fatwas and making illegal assertions about the rights of children under Indian law.
The move followed after a complaint was lodged against the Islamic seminary over their often problematic and even illegal opinions on subjects related to children and their education.
Darul Uloom Deoband has a lengthy history of releasing contentious Fatwas. Deobandi Islam is reported to be the most prevalent kind of teaching in both Afghanistan and Pakistan, with many prominent Afghan and Pakistani Taliban leaders having attended Deobandi seminaries. A huge number of inquiries on the website of Deoband’s Darul Uloom seek answers from the Deobandi school on queries regarding family, health, marital relationship and others. Here are some of the most often asked and followed questions on the website. One should take a look to find out what the Muslims across are most concerned about.
Visiting abandoned Churches as tourist is ‘non-sense’
A person has asked if he can visit Churches in Goa that are abandoned and holding no Christian prayers at present. He was answered that it is nonsense to visit such places. “It is mentioned in hadith that the good effect of one’s Islam is that he gives up nonsense things.” the last sentence of the answer read.
‘Honesty and piety have no value if the person with such virtues does not follow Islam’
A person sought a response to his question regarding the lifestyles of non-Muslims who are devout and honest in character. He was told that if one’s honesty or piety does not have Islamic roots, it lacks credibility. Also, it is due to people’s ignorance that they do not convert to Islam despite knowing about it. Everyone must believe that Islam is the sole religion and that Allah is the one God, the replay said.
Cadbury chocolate is Haram!
A very minor but intriguing topic arose: is it legal to eat Cadbury chocolate knowing that it lacks Halal certification? The answer was straightforward: avoid consuming anything that does not have confirmation of being Halal.
Sin bigger than Kufr and Shirk
Another inquiry was, ‘Is there any sin that will take a Muslim to hell other than kufr and shirk. In response, it was mentioned that there can be no bigger sin than Kufr and Shirk. Kufr in Islam refers to ‘non-faith’ and Shirk refers to ‘allegiance to multiple gods.’
Eating with a Hindu allowed in Islam?
The question here needs to be quoted verbatim. “Is eating with a Hindu (office colleague) allowed in Islam? (1) Sitting on one table eating own food (2) Food cooked by a Hindu (I am sure not allowed to eat as I heard it from Dr Zakir Naik) But my friends still want to re-confirm from the authentic scholars.” The person was answered that one will be rewarded if one eats own food in a way that the Hindu is attracted to Islam. Furthermore, he was advised not to eat anything prepared in a Hindu household because it may have been prepared with ‘haram’ ingredients and may have been ‘offered to their gods’.
Difference between Islam and Hinduism
A query came up on the difference between Hinduism and Islam if both Worship black stones, the Hindus – the Shivling and The Muslims – the black stone in Kaba. The query was responded admonishing that one should never equate these two things together. The stone in Kaba is in the periphery and is not worshipped the way Shivling is worshipped. “You are wrong; Hajr Aswad (the Black Stone) is installed on the outer wall of Ka’ba, not inside it. The inside look is just like a room of masjid. The Hindus worship Shiva Ling while Muslims neither worship the Ka’ba nor of Hajr Aswad (the Black Stone), rather they worship only Allah and consider Him alone worthy of worship.” the answer read.
‘Women reading news is un-Islamic‘
A question that most people would term misogynistic came up on the website that whether one can listen to news dictated by women through radio. The answer was that women have been prohibited to speak loudly and with men who are not their ‘mehram’ and it is not right for them to speak on public broadcast. The Darul site further says that a woman’s voice is something that should be ‘hidden’ and it is wrong for her voice to be heard by men who are not her ‘mehram’.
Darul Uloom Deoband is an Islamic seminary (Darul Uloom) in India that is the birthplace of the Sunni Deobandi Islamic movement. It is situated in Deoband, a town in Uttar Pradesh’s Saharanpur district.
The NCPCR has raised objection to Deoband’s content regarding the issues of child rights, adoption and education of children. Over several issues, Deoband has been found to be propagating views that are illegal under Indian law and negatively affect the safety and wellbeing of children.