By New Age Islam News Bureau
TWO separate news items of interest to Muslims appeared in English newspapers on Wednesday, and were reproduced on NewAgeIslam.com as well. ‘Educate Muslim girls, urges latest fatwa’ was one, followed by
‘Two held for attack on Sunni cleric in Lucknow’.
It turns out that the Sunni cleric who was attacked, Khalid Rasheed Firangi Mahali, is the same who issued the fatwa to educate Muslim girls.
The shooting happened on Monday evening. From the reports, it is not clear when the fatwa was issued, but Firangi Mahali is unlikely to have issued a significant fatwa immediately after escaping an unnerving murderous
attack, although he escaped unhurt.
It is therefore logical to assume that the fatwa was issued earlier, and the attack—carried out by at least two people, both with Muslim names—was a fanatical response to the progressive edict.
The fatwa by Firangi Mahali, who belongs to Darul Uloom Farangi Mahal, came soon after Darul Uloom Deoband’s fatwa that it was un-Islamic for women to work in close proximity to men in offices and for her family
to accept her earnings.
Firangi Mahali’s fatwa said it was not just important but mandatory for Muslim girls to be educated. “Education is mandatory for every Muslim, whether male or female,” he said, quoting Hadith and Shari’a.
The fatwa stated that “man has come into this world for enlightenment and for spreading knowledge in society”.
“A man who gets his daughters and sisters educated, teaches them etiquette, treats them well and marries them off would go to heaven,”it added.
The fatwa said Islam not only promoted education for your own children, but even for servants. “As the mother is close to her children, being educated is very important for her,” it said.
It said the Hadith quotes make it evident that Islam gives much importance to the issue of women’s education. “It is mandatory for every Muslim to ensure proper education to his daughter at any cost,”
The fatwa was issued in reply to a query posted by Huma Khwaja seeking clarification on girl’s education.
It obviously didn’t go down well with so-called Muslims who only want to misuse Islam for justifying their inherent prejudices and their regressive mindset.
Mahali was shot at near Aishbagh Idgah, Lucknow’s main mosque at which he is Naib Imam, just as he was coming out after offering evening prayers. Two attackers, Aftab and Abuzar, have been arrested on
charges of attempted murder, while the police are hunting for two of their aides.
One can only hope that this incident does not portend a larger trend. We have seen Muslims killing Muslims inside mosques in the name of Islam, in Pakistan, Afghanistan and Iraq.
India has thankfully been spared—until now. It is up to us Indian Muslims to learn from the mistakes of our brethren elsewhere and make sure these horror stories don’t start haunting us now.
It is gratifying to note that in case of Hindu Dalits, the Hindu priests in India are known to have only purified the idols having been allegedly polluted by the sight of illustrious Hindu Dalit Union Ministers like late Babu Jagjiwan Ram and certain judges are alleged to have similarly purified the court chairs earlier used by Dalit judges.
Such mindless fanaticism exhibited by both the Hindu and Muslim diehards are the biggest threats to peace in South Asia.
I have been highlighting the weaknesses of Hindu religion through my published works and writings, since mid-seventies of the nineteenth century AD, in the light of my own very long experimentation spread over a period of about 78 years. The Hindu religious leaders have been either ignoring my writings or some interventionists have been ending up by restating the same values which ha been demolished by me, while expressing their indignation against my disclosures.
Why can't the clerics afford to be reasonable in their thinking and behaviour?
Dr. S L Dhani IAS (Retd.)
21 May 2010