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New fatwa: Don’t work in banks, avoid liquor firms
Published on 15 May. 2010 12:46 AM IST
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A day after the Darul Uloom, Deoband —the country’s foremost Islamic seminary—came out with a clarification about a fatwa asking Muslim women not to work alongside men, it issued another fatwa: that Muslims should not work in banks or have any association with liquor companies.
Interestingly, Uttar Pradesh, where the seminary is located (in Saharanpur), has a Muslim excise minister (Naseemuddin Siddiqui). “It is haram (forbidden) to work in a bank which involves writing interest.
Income thus earned will be regarded unlawful. Ask your friend to look for lawful and halal (acceptable) sources of income and leave the bank job,” reads Thursday’s fatwa, displayed on the seminary’s website.
According to DNA, the fatwa was a reply by the ‘mufti-e-karam’—a three-cleric bench—to a question from a Muslim about a friend whose family refuses to accept his salary as it came from ‘sood’ (interest money). Accepting and paying interest is considered ‘haram’ in Islam.
Another fatwa displayed on the website says Muslims should only buy or sell shares of a company not “involved in unlawful things like (an association with) an interest-based bank, an insurance company and a wine company”.
Last week, the seminary had decreed that women should not work alongside men without a veil. The fatwa described a woman’s earnings as ‘haram’. While many Muslims say such fatwas are ridiculous and best ignored, some clerics blame the media for misleading the people about fatwas by writing about them without perspective.
“The muftis and maulanas are making a laughing stock of themselves by issuing such fatwas,” said Shia cleric Kalbe Jawwad. He said fatwas are advisory in nature and not binding.
Sunni cleric Maulana Abul Irfan Firangi Mahali said the media should report about fatwas responsibly.
“There is great misunderstanding in the media about fatwas.
A fatwa is just an answer by a mufti to an individual’s question about what is right or wrong under Islam,” the cleric said.
“The fatwa tells one what one has to answer for in the afterlife, at Allah’s doorstep,” the cleric added.

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