‘Sufi’ group rejects Deoband fatwa against celebrating Prophet’s birthday

By Faisal Fareed, TwoCircles.net,

Lucknow: A prominent Muslim ‘Sufi’ group refused to accept the recent fatwa by Darul Uloom, Deoband in which the Islamic seminary had termed the birthday celebrations including that of Prophet Mohammad as un-Islamic.

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Rejecting the fatwa, the All India Ulema and Mashaikh Board (AIUMB)- an umbrella organisations of ‘sufi’ Muslims, claimed that Deoband seminary is imposing foreign ideology of Saudi Arabia.

“We in India are peace loving. We express our joys by celebrating birthdays of our loved ones. Prophet Mohammad’s birth day on 12th Rabi-ul-Awwal is celebrated by muslims as Eid-Miladun-Nabi to show their love. There is no harm in celebrating the birthdays,” said General Secretary, AIUMB, Maulana Syed Mohammad Ashraf Kichauchhawi.

The cleric who was in the city on Thursday claimed that Deoband seminary is imposing Saudi Arabian ideology while most of the Muslims are liberal and adhere to Sufism in India.

The cleric even cited from Islamic scriptures for substantiating his claim. He also stated that Muslims everywhere in the world rejoice on Prophet’s birthday while 54 muslim countries have declared it as a holiday. “Only Saudi Arabia and Israel do not allow such celebrations and do not observe holiday,” he said.

The AIUMB during its recent Mahapanchayat at Moradabad has openly opposed Deoband’s functioning and its hardline approach towards Islam.

Voices of dissent against Deoband seminary are also being raised by several other organisations. One such organisation, All India Mohammadi Mission too has rejected the decree. “The fatwa by Deoband is a move to divide Muslims. The issue is immaterial as muslims have been celebrating Prophet’s birthday since ages,” said president of the organisation, Syed Ayoob Ashraf.

The controversy cropped up when country’s biggest Islamic seminary, Darul Uloom, Deoband at Saharanpur, in reply to a question by a student
of Aligarh Muslim University (AMU) termed the birthday celebrations as un-Islamic. The AMU student had filed the querry over the birthday celebrations of AMU’s founder Sir Syed Ahmed Khan at the university.