India’s largest Islamic seminary, Darul Uloom Deoband, has issued a fatwa stating Muslims should refrain from chanting the slogan ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’ as it was against the basic tenets of their religion.
The fatwa states that chanting the slogan was against “tauheed”, or the “oneness of Allah”, which forms the core of Islam. The seminary has also argued that the Constitution provides the right to all citizens to practice their own faiths in their daily life.
In the fatwa, the seminary stated that there was no doubt that India was their nation and that all Muslims love their country. “But we cannot worship the country. Muslims cannot worship anyone other than (God). In that slogan, Bharat has been called equivalent to a goddess,” the fatwa stated.
When contacted, seminary spokesperson Ashraf Usmani confirmed that a fatwa has been issued regarding the chanting of ‘Bharat Mata ki Jai’.
The fatwa was issued by a two-cleric bench — ‘Mufti-e-Karam’ — constituted by the seminary following several queries from Muslims in different parts of the country.
In 2009, Darul Uloom Deoband had issued a similar fatwa stating that the lyrics of the song Vande Mataram contained some couplets that went against Islam.
RSS chief Mohan Bhagwat had sparked a nationwide debate last month by saying that the younger generation “needed to be taught to hail Mother India”.
Later, the Shiv Sena, BJP and Congress joined hands in the Maharashtra Assembly to support the suspension of an AIMIM MLA for refusing to chant the slogan. Bhagwat later toned down his remark during a recent visit to Lucknow, saying nobody needed to be forced to raise the slogan.