Clerics in the habit of issuing a fatwa a day may have to go slow.
Upset over the fatwa-for-money controversy, Islamic seminary Darul-Uloom Deoband is looking at the possibility of getting authorised clerics to issue religious edicts. Which means, not every local mufti and maulana can issue fatwas.
Clerics at the seminary are working on a proposal to set up authorised centres for releasing fatwas.
If it works out, it will be difficult for, say, someone even in the Darul-Ifta (the fatwa department) of the Darul-Uloom to release fatwas without permission.
After the Imrana episode — where a cleric of the Darul-Uloom issued a fatwa asking a woman to marry her rapist father-in-law — the seminary has constituted a board of muftis and maulanas to release fatwas but has done little to check other clerics from issuing edicts.
The proposal was floated by Professor Kazi Zainussazidin, general secretary of the All India Old Boys Association of the Darul-Uloom.
The seminary has agreed to his proposal “in principle and a positive result may come about soon,” said the Kazi, adding that such initiatives would help restore the sanctity of fatwas.
The Kazi said he had set up a fatwa department at the Meerut Jama Masjid. “I did this to discourage people from getting personal favours in the name of Islam.”
The Kazi said people have to be careful while acting on fatwas. He said no mufti or maulana could issue fatwas in their personal capacity.