A top cleric for the Barelvi sect of Sunni Muslims has issued a fatwa ordering followers not to offer the “namaz-e-janaza”, or the last prayer before burial, for terrorists and those found helping terror-accused.
The directive was issued by Mufti Saleem Noori of Bareilly-based Aala Hazrat Dargah’s Manzar-e-Islam to “distance the community from terrorism”.
The dargah is the religious headquarters of Barelvi Muslims, and Mufti Noori heads one of the oldest centres authorised to issue fatwas on its behalf.
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“Any terrorist who claims to be Muslim is acting against the tenets of Islam. The religion does not propagate violence and shedding of blood of innocents, including children. Thus, such people cannot be treated as Muslims as they are violating Islamic principles,” stated the fatwa, which was announced after Saturday’s Eid prayers.
“In no way does Islam allow terrorism and killing of people. No Imam or any other person should offer their namaz-e-janaza after their death. Muslims should stand up and raise their voice against such terror activities as it is bringing a bad name to their religion. When their namaz-e-janaza will not be offered, their bodies cannot be buried in graveyards too. In other words, it is disowning terrorists from the Islam religion,” it added.
However, another prominent Barelvi Muslim leader Maulana Tasleem Raza Khan said his “personal interpretation” of the fatwa would exclude from its ambit those retaliating against “atrocities” committed by the United States.
“Terrorists belong to other sects as Deobandi, Wahabi and Salafi, we have already expelled them from Islam. So there is no question of offering their namaz-e-janaza and even our graveyards will not be used for burying their bodies,” Maulana Tasleem said.
“But bearing with atrocities is equal to committing atrocities. One has to retaliate. If the US is bombarding us with explosives, we will also do the same and cannot be termed as terrorists. Only terrorists killing innocents are specified,” he added.
Maulana Tasleem is the younger brother of Maulana Subhan Raza Khan who heads the Aala Hazrat Dargah.