In a startling development, a leading cleric in Uttar Pradesh has declared listening to Pakistani terrorist Hafiz Saeed’s speeches ‘haraam’ (un-Islamic) and has urged Muslims in India to “stay away from such people”.
In a ‘fatwa’ issued on Thursday, Mufti Mohammad Saleem Noori of the Dargah Aala Hazrat in Bareilly has said, “Those who consider terrorists their representatives or leaders are not a part of Islam.”
The seminary belonging to the Barelvi sect has dubbed Saeed, founder of the Lashkar-e-Taiba and carrying a $10-million bounty on his head, as an “outcast” from Islam and declared that following him or considering him as Muslim is “illegal”.
The ‘fatwa’ was issued in reply to a question asked by one Mohammad Moinuddin of Jaipur, who had mentioned in his query that Saeed considered those writing against Allah and Prophet Muhammad as Muslims.
A ‘fatwa’ is a legal pronouncement in Islam which is given by a mufti, a Muslim scholar of a recognised authority, who is an interpreter or expounder of Islamic law.
Noori has appealed to the Indian Muslims to refrain from listening to Saeed’s provocative speeches. “People like Hafiz Saeed are a disgrace to Islam and the Prophet’s teachings. They only talk of hatred and bloodshed,” he said.
The ‘fatwa’ adds that it is ‘haraam’ even to pray with or talk to such people. “Therefore, it is compulsory for every Muslim not to follow him and keep away from his ideology,” it said.
Saeed, chief of Pakistan-based Jamaat-ud-Dawa, is wanted by the Indian government for masterminding the 2008 Mumbai attacks, India’s worst terror incident ever, in which 169 people were killed.
The fatwa against the 66-year-old terrorist comes on the heels of him asking the Pakistan Army Chief General Raheel Sharif to send troops to Kashmir to “obey” the pending order of Pakistan’s founder, MA Jinnah.