Deoband Madrassa Declares Muslim Leader ‘Apostate’ for Offering Prayers at Hanuman Temple

A Sunni Islamic seminary in Deoband has declared the BJP MLC Bukkhal Nawab as `Murtid’ (apostate) for paying obeisance to Sri Hanuman at a temple in Lucknow, the Daily Pioneer has reported –

“Bukkhal Nawab, a Shia Muslim, had visited the temple on Tuesday after filing his nomination papers for the election to Legislative council. Maulana Salim Ashraf Qasmi, the head of the madrasa Darul Uloom Ashrafia at Deoband said that the BJP leader Bukkal Nawab has been ostracized from Islam and the Muslim community for offering prayers to ‘a Hindu God’.

“Islam forbids idol worship. Any Muslim paying obeisance to any other God other than Allah ceases to remain a Muslim. It is not Islamic act and such a person should be thrown out of the Islam and Muslim community,” said Maulana Qasmi.

Maulana Qasmi said that Bukkal Nawab should repent his anti-Islamic acts by seeking an apology from Allah. “He will be welcomed back to Islam after he purifies himself by offering an apology to Allah and reading the Kalma thrice,” the Maulana added.

Bukkal Nawab, former Samajwadi Party MLC who had joined the BJP last year, had offered prayers and gifted a heavy brass-made bell at famous Hanuman temple in Hazratganj on Tuesday after he was nominated by the BJP to the Upper House.

Earlier, he had advocated construction of Ram temple at the disputed site in Ayodhya and had offered a golden crown worth Rs 10 lakh to Lord Ram. Reacting to the fatwa issued by Deoband, Bukkal Nawab said that he was not bothered.

“Besides being Muslim, I am also a devout Hanuman Bhakt. Like Lord Ram, Lord Hanuman is also our ancestor. Under the Constitution of India, we are free to practice any religion. I am not worried about any such fatwa which is aimed at dividing members of the two communities,” he said.

Earlier, a similar fatwa was issued from Darul Uloom Deoband against BJP Minister Mohsin Raza when he had offered prayers at a Hanuman temple on Hanuman Jayanti on March 31 along with his family members. Former Union Minister Salman Khurshid was also ostracized from Islam after he was caught offering prayers to a Hindu God.”

Incidentally, Maulana Salim Ashraf Qasmi was inducted into Congress’ minority wing in the run up to the 2014 Lok Sabha elections. The madrasa headed by Qasmi is part of the Deobandi school, considered the second most important centre of Islamic teaching and research after the Al-Azhar University, Cairo. Some of the other fatwas passed by Deobandi schools – illegal for women to work, photography is un-Islamic, music and dance are un-Islamic etc.

It remains to be seen if any member of our vocal liberal-secular intelligentsia & other proponents of composite culture (aka Ganga-Jamuna tehzeeb) will question this Maulana or the ‘secular’ parties who have provided him a platform.

Apostasy in Islam

Apostasy is the formal disaffiliation from, or abandonment or renunciation of a religion by a person. As per mainstream Islamic sources, apostasy in Islam can be divided into four categories:

(a) Apostasy in beliefs, such as associating others with Allaah, denying Him, or denying an attribute which is proven to be one of His attributes, or by affirming that Allaah has a son. Whoever believes that is an apostate and a disbeliever.

(b) Apostasy in words, such as insulting Allaah or his Prophet Mohammed.

(c) Apostasy in actions, such as throwing the Qur’an into a filthy place, because doing that shows disrespect towards the words of Allaah, so it is a sign that one does not believe. Other such actions include prostrating to an idol or to the sun or moon.

(d) Apostasy by omission, such as not doing any of the rituals of Islam, or turning away from following it altogether.

Regarding the punishment for apostasy, the same traditional sources say –

“If a Muslim apostatizes and meets the conditions of apostasy – i.e., he is of sound mind, an adult and does that of his own free will – then his blood may be shed with impunity. He is to be executed by the Muslim ruler or by his deputy – such as the qaadi or judge, and he is not to not be washed (after death, in preparation for burial), the funeral prayer is not to be offered for him and he is not to be buried with the Muslims.

The evidence that the apostate is to be executed is the words of the Prophet: “Whoever changes his religion, execute him.” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 2794). What is meant by religion here is Islam (i.e., whoever changes from Islam to another religion).

The Prophet said: “It is not permissible to shed the blood of a Muslim who bears witness that there is no god except Allaah and that I am His Messenger, except in one of three cases: a soul for a soul (i.e., in the case of murder); a married man who commits adultery; and one who leaves his religion and splits form the jamaa’ah (main group of Muslims).” (Narrated by al-Bukhaari, 6878; Muslim, 1676)”

13 Muslim majority countries criminalize public apostasy – Afghanistan, Iran, Malaysia, Maldives, Mauritania, Nigeria, Pakistan, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Somalia, Sudan, United Arab Emirates and Yemen – punish apostasy or blasphemy with death.

Bharat is also witnessing the emergence of a movement of ‘ex-Muslims’, although it is far less organized than similar movements in North America and Europe. Most young Muslims leaving Islam across towns of Bharat tend to remain anonymous as they live in fear of local Islamic clerics. While it is not legal to kill apostates from Islam in Bharat, the support for such sharia-laws remains strong among Muslim clergy and community leaders.

In a Dec 26, 2014 article, the leading Indian Urdu daily Roznama Urdu Times published an article, written by Muhammad Najeeb Qasmi Sanbhali, who quoted verses of the Koran, hadiths (sayings and deeds of Prophet Muhammad), as well as sayings and practices of the Righteous Caliphs (the first four caliphs of Islam: Abu Bakr, Umar ibn Khattab, Usman ibn Affan, and Ali ibn Abi Talib) to justify that the apostates, i.e. Muslims leaving Islam, are justified to be killed.


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