Saturday, May 15, 2010
For women, eyes must be covered
The joyless world of Deobandi fatwas
Is it necessary for a woman’s eyes to be covered while in observance of purdah? Is it necessary for her hands to be covered while in observance of purdah? Is it necessary for her feet to be covered while in observance of purdah?
The best purdah for a woman is that the palms and no part of her body and adornments are exposed, ie, the whole body is covered from head to toe. If it is possible to see through the purdah, then the eyes also should be covered... (Fatwa: 1587/1330=L/1429)
Can women wear gents clothes? Is it permissible for women to wear jeans and T-shirts?
There are some Hadith that relate curse for such women who adopt the resemblance of men. Therefore, wearing clothes of men is not correct for women. (Fatwa: 771/730=B)
Can women use perfume or ittar because they get more sweating (pasina)? Can they use or Islam doesn’t give permission to use?
Women can use perfume provided they are not passing by non-mahram in this state. While going out of house using aromatic perfume is not lawful. One should avoid using such perfumes which contain alcohol. (Fatwa: 604/L=212/tl=1431)
Is it allowed for a Muslim woman to cut and colour her hair for her husband? Is it allowed for a Muslim woman to do such style as Western woman for her husband?
It is unlawful and haraam for a woman to cut the hair of her head (even) though for her husband. But, she can colour it with colours other than black. The dye should not be thick having layers which may prevent water to reach to the surface of the hair. Imitating the Western-styled women and adopting their resemblance in matters against sharia’h is unlawful. It is not lawful even for husband. (Fatwa: 1347/1347=M/1430)
I would like to know if it is permissible for a Muslimah to work as a translator for a tribunal.
It is not a good thing for women to do jobs in offices. They will have to face strange men (non-mahram) though in veil. She will have to talk and deal with others which is fitna (evil). A father is committed to provide maintenance to his daughter and a husband is asked to provide maintenance to his wife. So, there is no need for women to do jobs which always pose harm and mischief. (Fatwa: 691/636=D/1429)
Can Muslim women in India do Government or private jobs? Shall their salary be halaal or haraam?
It is unlawful for Muslim women to do job in Government or private institutions where men and women work together and women have to talk with men frankly and without veil. (Fatwa: 577/381/L=1431)
These are but a few fatwas issued by the learned muftis, the ulema, the scholars who teach young men with impressionable minds the real, true meaning of Islam and how it governs the daily lives of the faithful. And they have been issued by Darul Uloom, Deoband. More precisely, they have been issued by Darul Ifta, which according to this Islamic seminary at Deoband in Uttar Pradesh, the second largest in the world after Cairo’s Al Azhar, “is one of the most significant departments of Darul Uloom” to which “people from across the world pose questions on religious and social matters”.
We are further informed that “Darul Uloom has issued fatwas from its inception but when questions started coming in bulk and it was hard for the teachers to reply them in their part time, Darul Uloom set up this department (Darul Ifta) in 1892”. Darul Ifta has so far issued “more than seven lakh fatwas”. The department claims, and we have no reason to disbelieve the learned men (they have to be men as women are not deemed to be learned enough to decide on theological issues; they can merely ask and must abide by the response) that fatwas issued by Darul Uloom are held in “high esteem in and outside the country; besides the masses, the law courts in the country also honour them and consider them decisive”. In brief, they are not mere advisories but binding on Muslims. At least that’s what those issuing the fatwas believe, and would like us to believe.
It would be facetious to suggest and erroneous to presume that the more than seven lakh fatwas issued by Darul Uloom, Deoband, pertain only to how women should deport themselves and live their lives according to the tenets of Islam. From Islamic beliefs to world religions, from deviant sects and groups to innovations and customs, from the Quran to the Hadith and Sunnah, from purity to prayer, from death and funeral to business and industry, from international relations to penal code, and of course women’s issues, Darul Uloom, Deoband, has a firm view on almost every imaginable aspect of our lives, including whether it’s alright to use a razor to shave the most intimate parts of our body.
Seeking guidance from Darul Uloom, Deoband, a person asks: “Is it halaal to take a policy in LIC according to sharia’h in Islam?” The learned muftis answer: “LIC policy is unlawful due to being based on interest and gambling.” (Fatwa: 565/565/M=1431) Another person seeking enlightenment writes in: “At present I am working in a private limited company as an accountant. I want to know about bank jobs. Can a Muslim take a job in a bank or insurance company?” The scholars provide their considered reply: “The job of writing and calculating interest based work in conventional banks and insurance companies is not lawful for a Muslim.” (Fatwa: 466/466/M=1431) “Dear mufti sahab,” a person who wants further clarification writes, “Is it allowed in Islam to work as a life insurance agent?” Firm and unrelenting, mufti sahab sternly replies: “Life insurance contains interest as well as gambling and both these things are unlawful as per Quran and Hadith. Therefore, working as agent of life insurance is helping in sin, so it is prohibited by sharia’h.”(Fatwa: 762/571=L/1430)
Faced with a court order, a person seeks guidance: “I had a factory which was closed down because of sealing in Delhi. Now the court has ordered me to pay compensation (on which they have charged interest) to the non-Muslim labourers who worked there. Since my financial position is not very good, I would like to ask whether I can pay this amount from the bank interest that has accumulated in my bank account or out of zakaat?” To this profound query the muftis reply: “Interest amount of bank or zakaat cannot be given to non-Muslim labourers.” (Fatwa: 1178/1178=M/1430)
Such then are the views of Darul Uloom, Deoband, which are assiduously inculcated among those who study there. These views are then propagated at the tens of thousands of madarsas where Deobandi mullahs are employed to teach young children. It would be worthwhile to remember that the Government of secular India spends taxpayers’ money on funding these madarsas.