Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Deoband fatwa Website goes offline

Kanchan Gupta / Note / May 13, 2009.

In my post of Tuesday, April 07, 2009, headlined 'Taliban in India: They are already here!', I had reproduced some of the fatwas listed at Darul Uloom Deoband's fatwa Website, wwww.darulifta-deoband.org, designed and maintained by a Muslim living in the US -- or so the site claimed. The Darul Ifta Deoband site was hyperlinked to Darul Uloom Deoband's official Website www.darululoom-deoband.com. Madarsas which are inspired by Darul Uloom Deoband, and are known as 'Deobandi madarsas', are the most prolific breeders of Taliban in Pakistan.
I have just received an e-mail alerting me that the Darul Ifta Deoband Website cannot be accessed. I tried to access it, but the browser kept on returning a 'not found' message.
It is possible that the site has been shut down for routine maintenance. But it is also possible that Darul Uloom Deoband has decided not to place its fatwas in the public domain, lest others get to know of what it has to say about women's 'place' in society, the 'duties' of a good Muslim, the 'importance' of covering a woman in a burqa before letting her step out, if at all, of her home, and other such theological issues of great importance.
Just in case the latter is true, I have decided to paste below a statement from the main Darul Uloom Deoband Website, before it 'disappears', denying that the great centre of Islamic learning ever issued a fatwa against cow slaughter. It may be recalled that 'secular' media and their patrons in India's political establishment had gone to town claiming that Darul Uloom Deoband had issued a fatwa against cow slaughter. Here goes the Darul Uloom Deoband statement:

News (Darul Uloom - Deoband)

Darul Uloom Denies the Fatwa About Cow Slaughter Published in Newspapers

Darul Uloom Deoband: 26/04/1429 H

Mufti Habibur Rahman Sahib, the head of Darul-Ifta Darul Uloom Deoband, has refused explicitly the so-called fatwa published in newspapers explaining that he had issued no such kind of Fatwa which pronounced slaughtering cow, selling and eating its meat as haram.
The Mufti Sahib declared the news published in Dainik Jagran on 26 April 2008 as baseless and false.
Making it clear, he said that a person from Muzuffarnagar (UP) had asked over the phone weather the act of those slaughtering cow secretly and eating it was Islamically lawful or unlawful. He replied him over the phone saying: "In the light of the shari'ah, eating meat of cow is permissible but people of the States where cow slaughter is banned should avoid it as slaughtering cow and eating its meat stealthily is unsuitable and wrong."
He said that the mediapersons should have rightly understood the context of my reply but they instead misinterpreted it and blamed that slaughtering cow and selling its meat was haram. They overlooked the legal prohibition to which I referred.
Actually, it is the habit of the media persons not to present news in its original context but they add to it ifs and buts on their own. This mentality of them is reflected here as well. I request them to present the news in a right way and also mention the legal prohibitions according to which it is absolutely wrong to violate the law; slaughtering cow and selling its meat is legally unlawful.

Issued by:

Office of Mohtamim

Darul Uloom Deoband.

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