Ulema ask govt to devise mechanism for issuing fatwas

Updated January 07, 2019

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People of no sect of Islam could be declared infidel, says religious scholars. — File photo
People of no sect of Islam could be declared infidel, says religious scholars. — File photo

ISLAMABAD: Religious scholars, clerics and caretakers of various shrines in the country have decried the practice of recklessly issuing fatwas (religious decrees) by some religious leaders and urged the government to devise a mechanism which could streamline the practice.

These observations were made at the ‘Seerat-i-Rehmatul Aalameen Con­fe­rence’ held here on Sunday under the aegis of the Pakistan Ulema Council (PUC).

A joint declaration issued at the conference underlined that people issuing decrees against the state institutions, the armed forces and the chief of the army staff were causing harm to the country. It termed such decrees a threat not only to the country, but also to Islam.

Titled Islamabad Decla­ration, the joint declaration said 2019 would be observed as the year to eradicate terrorism, extremism and sectarian violence from the country.

It said no political or religious party in the country should be allowed to do politics on the issue of the Finality of Prophethood.

The declaration pointed out that killings on the pretext of religious belief was against the teachings of Islam. It said all religious groups and sects denounced decrees for killings and the extremist belief of some sections of society.

It said people of no sect of Islam could be declared infidel. No one — Muslim or non-Muslim — can be declared as punishable by death. Only courts could deliver a death sentence, it added.

According to the declaration, people belonging to all religions and sects in the country have equal constitutional rights and they can live in the country as per their cultural and traditional norms.

Speakers at the conference said that leaders of all religious groups had condemned decrees issued against security agencies and their leaderships, adding that they termed such decrees against the teachings of the Quran and Sunnah.

The speakers urged the government to devise a mechanism for putting a check on the practice of recklessly and immaturely issuing decrees, particularly those decrees which are related to some serious issues, such as the Finality of Prophethood.

Published in Dawn, January 7th, 2019