A Critical Analysis of Fatwas Issued on Muslim Women in India

A Critical Analysis of Fatwas Issued on Muslim Women in India

Shazia Sheikh

This project covers an extensive assessment of various Fatwas against Muslim women which have been issued by the Darul Uloom Deoband which is the highest Islamic seminary in India, next to the world renowned Al-Azhar in Cairo.

The main purpose is to highlight whether these Fatwas are in congruence with the Quran. The Quran gives absolute rights to women in a patriarchal society and has uplifted not only their social status but equipped them with several important rights, for example, right to education, right to work, right to choose a partner, right to get divorced, etc. In spite of this, Muslim women more often do not get these rights in practice and people attribute it to religion. However, it is vice-versa. The Quran gives absolute rights to women but a male dominated society deprives women of all the significant rights enshrined in the holy Quran.

In India, there have been some controversial Fatwas like the one against Taslima Nasreen, the exiled Bangladeshi writer pronounced by the Majlis Bachao Tehreek, one which offered unlimited financial rewards to anybody who would kill her or the Fatwa issued by a Maulvi in Midnapore (West Bengal) on the dress code of Sania Mirza, tennis star of India, which aroused the highest controversy and raised people’s doubts about the relevance of Fatwas in modern times. Is it just an opinion? Then why is it depicted as compulsory? What are the factors associated with this?

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