'Fatwa' terms 'tight' burqa 'un-islamic'

'Fatwa' terms 'tight' burqa 'un-islamic'

Wearing "tight" and "fashionable" burqa is against the tenets of Islam, according to the Islamic seminary Darul Uloom, Deoband.

A fatwa (religious decree) issued by the seminary  - based in Uttar Pradesh's Saharanpur district  - about 500km from here, said Islam did not permit women to do anything that was unnecessary and might attract the attention of the men.

"Tight and fashionable burqas expose women's bodies and attract men... the women must avoid them," the fatwa, which was issued in response to a query, said.

The Darul Ifta (Department of Fatwa) of the seminary said in the religious decree that the objective of wearing a burqa was to "hide" the body and avoid attention  from men.

The clerics of the seminary said women should not even venture out of their homes unnecessarily.

"They should cover their bodies in such a way that no portion of it is exposed," the fatwa said.

The fatwa evoked a mixed reaction from Muslim women. While a section of them agreed with it, others said that there was no need for such a fatwa.

"What the fatwa says is right. Tight and designer burqas should not be worn," said All India Muslim Women Personal Law Board chairperson Shaista Amber.

Women's activist Naish Hasan, however, said there was no need for issuing such a fatwa.

She said that it was an attempt to divert the attention of the community from important issues it was facing.  

Other fatwas have been issued by the Darul Uloom in the past.

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