Deoband ''excommunicates' Muslim women for doing 'arti' of Lord Rama

Deoband ''excommunicates' Muslim women for doing 'arti' of Lord Rama

A group of Muslim women, who had performed 'aarti' of Lord Rama and recited 'Hanuman Chalisa' (a holy book hailing Lord Hanuman) at Varanasi on the occasion of Deepavali, was ''excommunicated'' from Islam by prestigious Islamic seminary Darul Uloom, Deoband.

The seminary said that the women had performed an ''un-Islamic'' act, as in Islam none except the 'Allah' (Almighty) was worshiped.

''Islam does not allow worship of any other God, except Allah,'' said a senior cleric associated with the Saharanpur-based seminary, which is known for issuing 'fatwas' (religious decrees) on issues relating to the women and society.

The cleric, however, said that the women could return to their faith if they sought forgiveness from the Almighty.

The women said that they had not done anything wrong. ''We have been doing so for the past several years. It is a part of our composite culture. It is foolish to think that one leaves his or her religion simply by worshiping gods of a different faith,'' said one of the women.

The seminary had recently termed uploading of photographs on social media sites by women as ‘un-Islamic' and had issued a 'fatwa,' saying that women should not get themselves photographed unless there was some necessity.

Earlier, it had banned doing of eyebrows by women, saying that doing eyebrows and cutting hair were not in accordance with the tenets of Islam.

The seminary has created a record of sorts in issuing fatwas. Many of its diktats have come under sharp criticism from women's activists and Muslim organisations. The seminary, however, defended them, saying it merely answered queries on the basis of the 'Shariat' (Islamic law).

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