Some troubling fatwas

This selection is an example of the regressive thinking on islamic theology that is being amplified through the Internet and social media.  Such narrations are attracting the disaffected and dysfunctional from around the world to go to the crucibles of violence in Syria, Iraq, Pakistan to perpetrate Inhumane acts of intolerance towards people and their cultural and historical legacies.  It is a prolonged struggle with enormous geopolitical ramifications.
Nasik Elahi
Sent from my iPhone
Begin forwarded message:
From: Salman Kureshi
Date: February 26, 2015 at 05:38:20 EST
To: undisclosed-recipients:;
Subject: Some Fatwas

The following is forwarded as received, without comment:

Fatwa, or religious edict, is an opinion or religious pronouncement delivered by a Mufti or Qadi. In modern times it is generally pronounced by Ulama (religious scholars) who claim or recognized by the Muslim community as jurists. In simple words it is a formal legal opinion of a religious scholar on a matter of Islamic law. Since Ulama claim that Islam provides a comprehensive guideline that covers all dimensions of life from birth to death, the need for Fatwa is an ever-increasing business in this rapidly changing world. However, some of the Fatwas given by Ulama are so ridiculous that it is hard to believe Muslim religious scholars delivered them. A few examples of these Fatwas are mentioned below:

  • Whoever dies in the land of infidelity could go to hell: Sheikh Abdullah al-Suwailem, part of Saudi Arabian Munasaha program which aims at the rehabilitation of imprisoned al-Qaeda expressed the fear that “whoever dies in the land of infidelity could go to hell”, al-Hayat, a London-based newspaper quoted him as saying. “Sharia forbids travelling abroad except in a case of necessity and with conditions,” he said. The first of these conditions is that a person has to be “a strong believer” and has to have religious “immunity” so as not to fall for “desires,” added al-Suwaleim. “Whoever fears that he might fall for the forbidden acts, such as consuming alcohol, should not travel abroad except when necessary,” he said. The preacher was also quoted saying that the act of Muslims living among “infidels” is “not loved by God” while it is “less undesirable” by God for Muslims to travel to other Muslim countries. The Saudi cleric went on adding that it is also forbidden to go to the “land of infidelity” even for business or education, unless it is extremely necessary.
  • Banning the right to use the word “Allah”: Malaysia’s highest court on Monday dismissed a bid by Christians for the right to use the word “Allah”, ending a years-long legal battle that has escalated religious tensions in the Muslim-majority country. Authorities say using “Allah” in non-Muslim literature could confuse Muslims and entice them to convert.

  • Not to use “Rest in Peace” for non-Muslims: Any advisory from the National Fatwa Council is binding on Muslims, Datuk Seri Jamil Khir Baharom said today, referring to the council’s reminder to Muslims not to use the phrase “Rest in Peace” when condoling a non-Muslim’s death.

  • Mouse is “one of Satan’s soldiers”: Sheikh Muhammad Munajid, a former diplomat at the Saudi embassy in Washington DC, was asked to give Islam’s teaching on mice during a religious affairs program broadcast on al-Majd TV, an Arab television network. He said the mouse is “one of Satan’s soldiers” and makes everything it touches impure. Thus, under Sharia, both household mice and their cartoon counterparts must be killed.

  • Emoticons are forbidden: According to Muslim Internet Forum Multaqa Ahl al Hadeeth, “Emoticons are forbidden because of its imitation to Allah’s creatures whether it is original or mixture or even deformed one and since the picture is the face and the face is what makes the real picture then emoticons which represent faces that express emotions then all that add up to make them Haram.

  • Muslims are forbidden from watching football matches in the World Cup: Vice-Chief of the Salafi Dawa Yasser Borhamy has issued a religious edict, saying that Muslims are forbidden from watching football matches in the World Cup as it could be seen as admiring disbelievers. In his edict posted on Ana Salafi, the official website of the Salafi Dawa, Borhamy said, “the World Cup matches distract Muslims from performing their [religious] duties. They include forbidden things that could break the fast in Ramadan as well as others forbidden in Islam like intolerance and wasting time. Football lovers like disbelievers of foreign teams’ players and others, which is rejected.”

  • To wear a tie is definitely haram: Hozoor Muftee-e-Azam Hind Aleh Rehma-tu-Rizwan [affiliated with Markaze Tarbiya Ifta of the Darul Uloom Amjadia in U.P. India] writes that to wear a tie is definitely haram (forbidden) and is a resemblance of kafir (disbelief or unbelief).

  • Wearing metallic band watch is not permitted in Namaz: To wear a metallic band watch and perform Namaz in it is not allowed. Alahazrat Imam Ahmed Raza Muhaddis-e-Barelvi wrote: Watch’s band of gold and silver for man is HARAM and of other metals is prohibited. To perform Namaz or do Imamat wearing prohibited things is Makrooh-e-Tehreeni (Ahkam-e-Shariat, Part two, page 170)

  • Women should not specialize in a field such as Chemistry, Engineering, Architecture, Astronomy and Geography: Women should not specialize in a field that is outside of her realm. She has the opportunity to pursue many fields that are suitable to her, like Islamic Studies or the Arabic Language. Fields such as Chemistry, Engineering, Architecture, Astronomy and Geography do not suit her. Women should choose what benefits her and that which benefits society. Furthermore, men need to establish institutions for women that will prepare them for those fields that they need to study, Gynecology and pre-natal care being important examples. Shaykh `Abdul-`Azeez Bin Baz
  • Protests are forbidden in Islam: Al Azhar Head of Fatwas says Protests are forbidden in Islam. Sheikh Saeed Amer, the head of the Committee on Fatwas at Al Azhar Institute, refused to consider protests a religiously acceptable method to express opinions, insisting that religious scholars are unanimously against anti-governmental protests that may turn violent, referring to Qur’an 2:27 ” and (who) make mischief in the earth: Those are they who are the losers.” He added, “It is haram.” In regards to peaceful protests, he stated that this method is also rejected in Islam

  • Women driving will cause much corruption: In a religious question asked to Abdul-Aziz Abdullah Ibn Baz on the ruling of women driving, he stated, “there is no doubt that it is not permissible, because women driving will cause much corruption, and according to Islamic law we should prevent corruption.” Muhammad Ibn Salehul Athimeen in this regard has also stated that, “It is not permissible because it will cause a lot of corruption.”