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Posted Online on Saturday 2, July 2005 02:25 IST

"Deoband Fatwa"

To give a fatwa, particularly on a delicate matter (affecting the lives of at least one woman and her five innocent children), the alim or ulema must ascertain the facts on which their fatwa is based. In this case, the first thing is: was the woman actually, definitely raped? Dr Zafarul-Islam Khan has written that it was only an "attempt to rape" and the matter was blown up by a journalist black-mailer.

A reasonable, responsible mufti should not issue a fatwa, and that too in such a sensitive case, without a proper 'reference' being made to him setting forth all the relevant facts. First of all, the mufti should question the person making such a 'reference' to ascertain and to verify the full facts. Is the person seeking the fatwa is authorised to so seek the fatwa? For instance, in this case, Imrana could have made the 'reference' seeking a fatwa. Did she? Or, her husband could do so. Did he?

Had anyone made a 'reference' to any mufti and requested a fatwa? If yes, who? Was he/she authorised to seek the fatwa? By whom? Was the 'reference' in writing? Or, just oral?

No responsible mufti should issue a fatwa in such a matter without a written 'reference' duly verified by the concerned woman and / or her husband. The facts stated in the 'reference' are most important. No fatwa can be issued on hear-say or on piece-meal news-items published here and there.

To me it seems that some persons are only ever-ready to get their names published in the press or to come on the TV, pretending to know all about the Shariat and give needless opinions and only make confusion worse confounded. 

Ahmad Rashid Shervani
(Member, National Commission for Minorities)

Read Also:

- Imrana case: Rape by Media

:: Imrana on video - no rape

- Muslim Political Council's report on the Imrana episode

- Text of the Question and fatwa on Imrana

- Statements on Imrana case



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