The orthodox Islamic seminary Darul Uloom Deoband on Saturday issued a fatwa against Muslim women who performed ‘aarti’ on Diwali in Varanasi,  the Lok Sabha constituency of the prime minister narendra Modi. The seminary in its Fatwa pronounced that they can no longer be considered ‘Muslim ‘ if they worship any other gods except Allah. The fatwa has prohibited muslim men and women from worshipping any other god than Allah.

“If anyone worships any god except Allah, they don’t remain Muslim,” said Darul Uloom, spokesman referring to Muslim women who performed aarti on Diwali in Varanasi.  The edict comes days after a group of Muslim women performed aarti and dedicated prayers to Lord Rama on the eve of Diwali in Varanasi. The event was organised by Muslim Mahila Foundation and Vishal Bharat Sansthan to promote communal harmony.

“Shri Ram is our ancestor. We can change our name and religion, but how we can change our ancestor? Singing in praise of Lord Ram not only bridges the gap between Hindus and Muslms, but also reflects the generosity of Islam,” group leader Nazneen Ansari had remarked on the occasion.

Of late, the Darul Uloom Deoband has been on a fatwa-issuing spree. Earlier this month Darul Uloom Deoband had terming the use of social media by muslims as unislamic. It had decreed that Muslim men and women should not upload photos of themselves or their family on social media platforms like Face book and Whatsapp.

Earlier this month, the seminary prohibited women against shaping their eyebrows and cutting their hair, terming all such hair-grooming activities as “un-Islamic”.  The fatwa against plucking of the eyebrows was issued following a query by   a muslim man from Saharanpur to the seminary seeking to know if haircut and eyebrow doing were allowed in Islam. In a response to the query, Darul Iftaa said such acts violate Islamic laws.

Justifying the fatwa against the social media Shahnawaz Qadri of the Darul Uloom Deoband, had said that 0 ‘’Unnecessary uploading of pictures on social media is wrong and the fatwa of Darul Uloom Deoband is the need of the hour and appropriate.’’

A women activist questioned the recent spate of fatwa’s issued by Deoband saying “Darul Uloom is also becoming the part of world’s conspiracy against Muslims, where they are portrayed as extremists, terrorists and are believed to torture women.” She said that it is misrepresentation of Islam and shows it of carrying anti-women values. “Islam is not about putting restrictions on women but about empowering women,” she said adding Rs Rs  no one can decide for muslim women, they themselves are competent to take decisions’’.