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Eat with Hindus, it's ok: Deoband fatwa

Lucknow, Sanjay Pandey, Sept 8, 2013, DHNS:

Decree issued in response to query from Pak

Amid rising incidents of communal clashes in the state, this new fatwa by the prestigious Islamic seminary at Deoband in Uttar Pradesh comes as a ray of hope.

The fatwa was issued in response to a query by Darul ifta (department of fatwa) of the seminary, a couple of days back, says that there is nothing wrong in having food with
‘Hindu brethren’.

The questioner, a resident of Pakistan, had sought the opinion of the clerics on whether it was permitted in Islam to have food with Hindus. He said he had been visiting relatives in Kenya, who had several Hindus as their friends and acquaintances and wanted to know if he could have food with them.

He had also wanted to know if it was proper to visit the house of a Hindu if invited.
In their response, the clerics of the seminary said it was perfectly proper to have food with the Hindu brethren as per the needs and requirement.

The fatwa has come at a time when there was communal tension in several districts in the western region of the state. At least, six people have been killed and several others injured in the communal clashes at Muzaffarnagar and Shamli districts. The situation was also tense at Saharanpur district where a Dharam Sansad was held on Saturday to discuss the situation.

Several prominent Hindu leaders including the Vishwa Hindu Parishad (VHP) leader Ashok Singhal were arrested while trying to reach the meeting venue.

Earlier also, the seminary had issued fatwas on several issues, especially those pertaining to women. The seminary has, in fact, created a record of sorts in terms of the number of fatwas issued by it.

Many of its fatwas, particularly those dealing with the women’s issues, have been criticised by progressive Muslims and even Muslim clerics.

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