Islamic moulvi (teacher) Syed Sha Atef Ali Al Quaderi of Calcutta/Kolkata, India has issued a fatwa (religious ruling) against nationally popular Bollywood pop star and singer Sonu Nigam.
That in and of itself would garner a rather large ho-hum from the average American, but the specifics of the row between the Islamic expert and the singer qualify to the Western mindset as at least “curious”.
As the good folks at The Tribune (of Chandigarh, India), report, the singer recently took to Twitter to rant against constantly being woken up every single morning by loudspeakers blaring the Islamic Azzan, which consist not only of the call to prayer, but also a lengthy sermon.
Nigam’s tweet push eventually degraded to Twitter shove when a fairly upset Syed Sha Atef Ali Al Quaderi issued his own fatwa against Nigam.
As the Islamic-centered Siasat Daily of India noted;
Terming it as ‘forced religiousness,’ [Nigam] tweeted, “God bless everyone. I’m not a Muslim and I have to be woken up by the Azaan in the morning. When will this forced religiousness end in India.”
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While the Muslim teacher’s fatwa was rather tame, no mention of decapitation or burning alive, for whoever would shave Nigam’s noggin, adorn him with a garland of dirty and worn out shoes (quite the insult in the Muslim World), then “parade him throughout the country” would receive a reward of Rs 10 lakh (1.5 million Indian rupees, roughly $15,000).
But wait, there’s more…
The contrite crooner called a press conference to clear the air as well as his scalp. The Tribune reported;
“I only spoke against the use of loudspeakers… I have the right to have an opinion and it should not be misconstrued. Loudspeakers are not a necessity, they are not a part of any religion,” he maintained.
“If I have done anything wrong, please forgive me. My intention was just to talk on a social topic and not a religious topic.”
It was then that before the national press Nigam had his head shaved. With cameras whirring, the Marine Corps Boot Camp hairdo may have fulfilled two of the four specifics Moulvi Atef proposed.
Yet there has been no public notice if Nigam has purposefully adorned himself with a garland of beat-up shoes, nor if he has collected on the Rs 10 lakh bounty.
But wait, there’s more…
Just when you’d think this was all said and done, that lil’ ol’ fatwa writer is now claiming that he’s received a death threat against not only himself, but the wife and kiddies as well.
It seems that Nigam has some very dedicated fans. As cited by Siasat Daily;
[Atef] has alleged that he received death threats from an unknown person on his phone and has written to the Kolkata Commissioner of Police for an investigation.
He claimed that he received a text message, threatening the life of his family, if he dares to speak anything against Sonu Nigam.
“How dare you to say anything against Sonu Nigam, whose is the pride of India. Listen carefully, if again you dare to speak like this to Sonu Nigam then I will shoot you and your family and no one can save you,” read the threat issued to the cleric.
He then proceeded to write a letter to the the Commissioner of Police, requesting him to order a thorough investigation and bring the culprit to justice.
While the notion of fatwas as somewhat alien to non-Muslims in the West, don’t all that shocked that find out that non-Muslims in the East find a number of them equally chin-scratching.
As the India Times reports;
1. Breastfeed male co-workers
In 2007, Dr Izzat Atiya, head of Al Azhar University’s Department of Hadith, issued a fatwa, or Islamic decree, saying that female workers should “breastfeed” their male co-workers in order to work in each other’s company.
According to the BBC, he said that if a woman fed a male colleague “directly from her breast” at least five times they would establish a family bond and thus be allowed to be alone together at work. “Breast feeding an adult puts an end to the problem of the private meeting, and does not ban marriage,” he ruled.
“A woman at work can take off the veil or reveal her hair in front of someone whom she breastfed.” (Source)
2. Bend it like Beckham, ahh
In 2015, a Saudi cleric issued a fatwa against women who watch football [soccer]. The cleric announced that women “do not care who wins the match, all they care about is watching the player’s thighs.” (source)
3. Opps Bananas are naughty, like really?
In 2011, an Islamic cleric residing in Europe issued a fatwa that women shouldn’t get close to banana or cucumbers in order to avoid sexual thoughts.
4. Having Sex Naked almost equal to a divorce!
IN 2006, Rashad Hassan Khalil, a former dean of Al-Azhar University’s faculty of Sharia (or Islamic law) issued a decree that indulging in sexual intercourse while being naked invalidates the marriage.
He said, “being completely naked during the act of coitus annuls the marriage”. (Source)
5. Pokemon is Zionist
In 2016, Abdul Aziz bin Abdullah al-Sheik, Saudi Arabia’s mufti or high priest, warned Muslim parents to “beware of this game.” He urged parents to prevent their children from playing with Pokémon cards and games in order to “protect their religion and manners.”
He said the Pokemon possesses the mind of the children and it promotes Zionism and gambling. (source)
6. Sitting on chair arouses women
In 2014 ISIS, issued a decree “banning” women from sitting on chairs. The fatwa said by sitting on chairs, women may move the wrong way and thus get sexually aroused. (source)
7. Their driving has always been under suspicion, now we know why
In 2013, Saudi Arabia’s Sheikh Lohaidan issued a fatwa that Women who drive risk damaging their ovaries and producing children with clinical problems, according to a conservative Saudi cleric.
“If a woman drives a car, not out of pure necessity, that could have negative physiological impacts as functional and physiological medical studies show that it automatically affects the ovaries and pushes the pelvis upwards,” Sheikh Lohaidan told the news website Sabq.org. (source)
8. Rapist father-in-law made husband
In 2005, In a particular case, a woman was raped by her father-in-law in UP and instead of punishing him, an Islamic court in Deoband issued a fatwa saying that because of the father-in-law’s act, she should now be treated as his wife, and hence, her husband would now be her son. (source)
9. Because it requires too much of mind
In 2016, Grand Mufti, Saudi Arabia sent shock-waves through the world of chess by issuing a fatwa that it is forbidden in Islam. (source)
10. Ho Ho Ho Santa cap is haram
In 2016 only The Indonesian Ulema Council issued a fatwa that people should respect Christians’ right to celebrate, including by wearing Santa hats, but should not join in because it is ‘haram’ i.e. not permitted in Islam. (source)
11. Buffets are haram
In 2014 in Saudi Arabia, A member of the Standing Committee of the Council of Senior Scholars, Sheikh Saleh bin Abdullah Al-Fawzan, said that buffets offered at restaurants are haram.
“One must not simply go to a restaurant that offers an all-you-can-eat meal for say SR 10 or SR 50 without mentioning any conditions…this is prohibited,” said Sheikh Fawzan. (source)