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Poonch clerics issue fatwa: Don’t engage DJs at weddings

The fatwa, which is not the first of its kind to be issued in Jammu and Kashmir, has drawn flak from the community, with a member in Mendhar tehsil saying nobody listens to the clerics because the fatwas are not legally binding.

Written by Arun Sharma | Jammu |
Updated: January 7, 2022 7:57:19 pm
According to a video that went viral on social media, the fatwa was issued early this week by clerics from various mosques.

Muslim clerics in Poonch district of Jammu and Kashmir have issued a fatwa against playing music and engaging DJs during marriage functions in the community. They have said they will not perform wedding or death rituals for any family that defies the fatwa.

The fatwa also says that members of the community who engage in grass cutting in nearby forests should not allow beating of drums – a practice to keep the wild animals away.

The fatwa was issued by clerics from various mosques after a meeting at Jama Masjid, Sagra, in Mendhar tehsil early this week. Clerics and general public of villages such as Sagra, Mankote, Dabraj, Chowki and Balnoi among others participated in the meeting. A video of the announcement has gone viral on social media.

Poonch Deputy Commissioner Inder Jeet told The Indian Express that the video is being verified.

Announcing the decisions taken at the meeting, the clerics said no moulvi or imam will participate in the “namaz-e-janaza” (prayers offered at the death of a person), “khatam” (prayers for peace of the departed soul), “Gayarvi” (feast organised to pay homage to a pir after fulfillment of a wish) at a house whose family members on an earlier occasion engaged DJs at a wedding or organised drum beating during cutting of grass.

Describing the playing of DJs and beating of drums as un-Islamic, the clerics announced that they will also not perform nikah at such households who previously engaged in such activities.

They said anyone who defies the fatwa will have to publicly apologise at Friday prayers in the mosque and also pay a fine. Anyone who refuses to abide by it will be ostracized, they said, adding that no moulvi will visit their house on any occasion. In case a molvi visits such a house, all clerics and the people will initiate action against him, they added.

The fatwa, which is not the first in Jammu and Kashmir, has drawn criticism from the general public.

“They (clerics) keep on issuing fatwas, but who listens as these have no legal sanctity,” said a community member in Mendhar, who did not want to be named. A government employee from the community said that after some time the molvis too start ignoring these fatwas as they are dependent on people for their livelihood.

In October 2017, some clerics in Kishtwar district had issued a fatwa banning music during weddings and barring women from going out to markets and public events alone. They had also asked them not to interact with men on the streets.

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