Hyderabad: A leading Islamic seminary in Hyderabad has issued a fatwa asking Muslims to desist from un-Islamic practices like playing music, singing and dancing on Milad-un-Nabi, the birth anniversary of Prophet Muhammad.
The Jamia Nizamia has asked community members to avoid excess revelry and ostentatious expenditure during Mawlid, which falls Feb 5. It has advised people not to put up flags with the names of Allah and the Prophet Moahmmed written on them as the flags may fall down, which will amount to showing disrespect.
The 125-year-old Islamic university, located at Shibli Gunj in the old city of Hyderabad, has termed as "un-Islamic", the installation of models of the Kaaba, and Masjid-e-Nabavvi (the mosque and resting place of the Prophet in Medina). It also said youth applying "chamki" (glitter) on their faces is un-Islamic.
The fatwa has been signed by seven religious scholars, including the Jamia Nizamia`s Mufti Moulana Mohammed Azeemuddin and the Imam of the historic Mecca Masjid, Moulana Abdullah Qureshi Al-Azhari.
They said while the birth anniversary of the Prophet was a moment of rejoicing for Muslims, the celebrations should not violate the Sharia law. The fatwa made it clear that singing, dancing and playing "naats" (poems in praise of the Prophet) on the tunes of film songs is against the Sharia.
It asked Muslims to desist from playing "naats" at a high volume as it causes inconvenience to others. The scholars pointed out that even the recitation of the Holy Quran loudly is not allowed if there is apprehension that it can disturb others.
The edict has come amid concern in some sections of the community over the un-Islamic way in which Mawlid celebrations are being organized in the city for the last few years.
They feel the pomp and the manner in which Mawlid is being celebrated has no religious sanction and is setting a bad precedent.
"Instead of highlighting the message of Islam and the teachings of the Prophet on this occasion, the youth are resorting to acts which are against Sharia," said Mohammed Anwar Ahmed, an associate professor on Quranic interpretation at Jamia Nizamia.
The fatwa is also expected to help the city police as it was concerned over the likely law and order problems due to the celebrations, especially tying of flags, banners and other decorative items in public places.
Police Commissioner AK Khan had recently called on Moulana Mufti Khaleel Ahmed, head of the Jamia Nizamia, and had expressed the view that the Muslims should spend the day in prayers rather than indulging in extravaganza.
Police is already concerned over the increasing number of religious processions and the competition among various communities in the celebrations during their festivals.
Three persons were killed and over 150 injured in the communal clashes that broke out in the city two years ago. The riots erupted after one group was replacing flags tied during Mawlid celebrations with its own flags.