Ulemas object to Sania-Shoaib pre-marriage ‘proximity’


Lucknow : Indian tennis star Sania Mirza’s “physical proximity” with her fiance Pakistani cricketer Shoaib Malik has come in for strong disapproval from the Islamic clergy.

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The Lucknow-based Darul-Uloom Nadwatul-Ulama and the Deoband-based School of Islamic Studies have said that Sania and Shoaib’s proximity before marriage went against the tenets of Islam.

“Physical proximity between a bride and groom before the marriage is not acceptable in Islam. As such, the fact that Sania Mirza and Shoaib Malik were living under a common roof does not have sanction under the Shariat,” Lucknow’s Naib Imam Maulana Khalid Rasheed told IANS Friday.

The Maulana, who belongs to the Nadwa school of Islamic thought and was also the head of Lucknow’s oldest seminary, Firangi Mahal, said: “It would be appropriate if Shoaib did not reside in the same house as Sania.”

The Deoband Islamic School too has serious objections against Sania and Shoaib occupying the same roof in Hyderabad, where the cricketer is living in his would-be wife’s home.

“The Holy Quran does not permit a bride and groom to be living under a common roof before their nikah (wedding),” said Mufti Ashraf Farouqui of the fatwa department at the Deoband School.

“Sania and Shoaib have clearly violated the tenets of Islam by living in the same house without getting married, and what is worse is that even Sania’s parents have not cared to prevent that,” he said.

“Islam strictly bans private meetings, chatting or mingling of the opposite sexes unless the male and female were marries couples,” he pointed out.

Farouqui was firmly of the view that Shoaib and Sania had no business to be mixing around in public “until they were declared husband and wife”.

Significantly, even the All India Muslim Personal Law Board for Women has disapproved of the Sania-Shoaib pre-wedding proximity. “Islam does not believe in double standards, so there cannot be a separate law for celebrities like Sania Mirza and Shoaib Malik. They ought to abide by the tenets of the Quran,” a spokesperson said.