Darul fatwa asks Sunnis to avoid Iftar hosted by Shias
A fatwa issued by Islamic seminary Darul Uloom of Deoband, asking Sunni Muslims to avoid attending Iftar parties thrown by Shias during Ramzan, has caused consternaion among the two communities.
The fatwa by scholars of the seminary’s Darul Ifta (fatwa department) came in response to queries raised by one Sikander Gaur of Badjia Ulhak locality in Deoband.
He sought to know if it was “permissible for Sunni Muslims to attend Iftar parties organised by the Shias during Ramzan”. His second query related to eating food during marriages in the Shia community.
To these, a team of the fatwa department, including Mufti Zainus Islam Kasim, Mufti Fakrul Islam and Mufti Mufti Waqar, opined that Sunnis should avoid attending parties thrown by the Shias, whether it was an Iftar or a marriage.
Reacting to the fatwas, a young Shia entrepreneur Syed Ali Bin Hadi, said, “They had given a similar fatwa a few years ago, but we believe that the Shias and the Sunnis are like brothers and such fatwa will have no effect.”
Another Shia businessman Syed Ahmad Ali Zaidi said the Shias’ one of the most reverted grand ayatollahs Syed Ali Sistani in Iraq had in his sermon declared Sunnis as brothers. “Therefore, such a fatwa is wrong and has no meaning.”
A retired government employee, Zafar Abbas said such fatwas were against humanity. “How can one avoid attending celebrations and parties of each other?” he questioned.
A senior official of Darul Uloom, on condition of anonymity, explained that the fatwa should be seen in the right perspective as it had not banned, but only suggested “parhez” (avoidance, if possible) for the Sunnis.