The Dargah-e-Ala Hazrat, the most revered shrine for followers of the Barelvi sect of Sunni Islam, has issued a fatwa (Islamic decree) against the augmented reality game Pokemon Go. The decree terms the game anti-Islam and “one which promotes violence and the devil’s schemes”.
The fatwa was issued after followers of the Dargah sent questions regarding the game from several places. “We also received questions from Mauritius and Durban. A maulvi from Mauritius asked about the Islamic validity of the game after which we decided to look into the matter,” said Mufti Salim Noori, spokesperson for the dargah, who issued the fatwa.
The mufti said that he learned about the game from various sources and found three anti-Islamic factors related to it. “Firstly, the player puts his life in danger while playing the game. Secondly, the actors (Pokemon) in the game keep moving from one place to another which breaches the privacy of other people and lastly the players get so involved in the game that they forget about their duties. All these aspects are against Islam and Islamic ideology,” said Noori.
The mufti further claimed that the game is a potential threat to the security of the country.
“I have come to know that pictures and other information are taken about the area where the player is located. This can be used by our enemies to get information about our strategic installations, posing a threat to our national security,” he said.
The mufti said he never tried to play the game himself before issuing the decree. “The game is not released in India yet, so I couldn’t try it myself. But, I tried to gather as much information about the game before issuing the decree,” he added.