Darul Uloom Deoband Issues Fatwa Validating Ghazwa-E-Hind, NCPCR Orders Action

NEW DELHI: Darul Uloom Deoband, one of the largest Islamic seminaries in the nation, has reportedly issued a fatwa affirming the concept of ‘Ghazwa-e-Hind’. The seminary, through its website, has asserted the validity of ‘Ghazwa-e-Hind’ (holy raid of India) from an Islamic perspective, declaring those who become martyrs in this endeavour as supreme martyrs.

NCPCR Orders Action Against Deoband

However, the issuance of this fatwa has sparked controversy, with the National Commission for Child Protection (NCPCR) swiftly moving to address what it terms an “anti-national” stance. Chairperson Priyank Kanoongo has directed the authorities in Saharanpur to take immediate action, emphasizing the potential harm such ideologies pose, particularly to the impressionable minds of children.

In a strongly-worded letter to the senior superintendent of police (SSP) of Saharanpur District, Kanoongo expressed the commission’s grave concern over the dissemination of the fatwa, highlighting its alleged violation of Section 75 of the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015. Citing legal precedents and invoking Section 13(1) of the CPCR Act, 2005, the commission underscored the urgency of addressing content that could incite hatred against the nation.

NCPCR Expresses Concern Over Deoband’s Fatwa

The NCPCR’s stance stems from its commitment to safeguarding the welfare of children, with Kanoongo reiterating the commission’s previous attempts to address similar concerns with the district administration. Despite prior warnings, no action has been taken, prompting the NCPCR to assert that the district administration could be held accountable for any adverse repercussions arising from the circulation of such content.

Consequently, the NCPCR has directed the initiation of legal proceedings against Darul Uloom Deoband under the Indian Penal Code and the Juvenile Justice Act, 2015, demanding a prompt report on the actions taken in response.

Muslim Clerics Defend Fatwa 

While Darul Uloom Deoband has cited religious texts to justify its stance on ‘Ghazwa-e-Hind’, critics view this as a dangerous precedent. Muslim cleric Maulana Sajid Rashidi, while defending the fatwa, portrayed it as a hypothetical scenario, emphasizing that it pertains to a situation of conflict between Hindus and Muslims.

Understanding Ghazwa-e-Hind

Ghazwa-e-Hind, as per the Observer Research Foundation (ORF), signifies a war driven by faith rather than material gain. This concept, rooted in Islamic teachings, alludes to the conquest of the Indian subcontinent by Muslim warriors. However, extremist factions, such as Jaish-e-Mohammad (JeM), have exploited this notion to justify terrorist activities, falsely branding jihad against India as a holy endeavour.