No going back on Vande Mataram fatwa, says Darul
Islamic seminary Darul Uloom on Tuesday said it had no plans to reverse its 12-year-old fatwa or edict, decreeing national song Vande Mataram as un-Islamic, a day after Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar claimed top clerics at the Muslim school had “softened” their stand on the issue.india Updated: Nov 10, 2009 23:44 IST
Islamic seminary Darul Uloom on Tuesday said it had no plans to reverse its 12-year-old fatwa or edict, decreeing national song Vande Mataram as un-Islamic, a day after Art of Living founder Sri Sri Ravi Shankar claimed top clerics at the Muslim school had “softened” their stand on the issue.
“Contrary to claims that we have changed our view, we clarify that there is no change in our stand on Vande Mataram,” Darul Uloom vice-rector Abdul Khaleque Madrasi told HT.
Darul Uloom in western Uttar Pradesh’s Deoband wields considerable influence over India’s majority Sunni Muslims, who account for over 90 per cent of the country’s more than 130 million Muslims.
Spiritual guru Ravi Shanker had visited Deoband on Monday and discussed the fatwa with top clerics, including Darul’s 101-
year rector, Maulana Marghoobur Rahman.
A statement issued by Art of Living had claimed the clerics had changed their stand following the meeting. “The ulema
(clerics) said they do not have any objection to the national song and have left it to the conscience of Muslims who should decide whether they want to sing the song or not,” the Art of Living statement said.
“We thank Sri Sri Ravi Shanker for visiting Darul. But this is a wrong interpretation. The fatwa was issued in the light of
Sharia or Islamic principles. We explained our position to him,” Madrasi told HT.
Madrasi, however, said a fatwa was merely a legal opinion on religious matters and Darul Uloom was in no position to enforce it on Muslims.
“Likewise, nobody should be forced to sing Vande Mataram,” the vice-rector said.
Clerics have often panned India’s national song on the ground that it enjoins Indians to worship their motherland, a concept that negates the core Islamic creed of worshipping Allah alone.
Jamiat Ulama-e-Hind, an organisation of Deobandi clerics, endorsed the fatwa in its November 3 conclave, setting off a fresh round of controversy.