Over the years, we’ve seen fatwas being issued over the most bizarre things: over posting pictures on Facebook and Whatsapp, to playing Pokémon Go! For the uninitiated, a fatwa is a legally non-binding decree issued by an Islamic institution or a mufti which carries authority. While usually issued for things that are deemed ‘haraam’ or un-Islamic, there’s no denying that fatwas lately have been getting weirder. In fact, the latest is one for food for thought, literally.
According to a recent fatwa issued by a Muslim seminary Jamia Nizamia of Hyderabad, Muslims should not be eating prawns, shrimps and crabs!
The fatwa, issued on Jan 1st, by Mufti Mohammad Azeemuddin, advises Muslims against eating prawns, shrimps and crabs as they do not belong to the category of ‘fish’ but instead are arthropods (insects).
Islam classifies food into three categories: Halal (lawful), Haram (prohibited) and Makruh (abominable). Azeemuddin has classified prawns as makruh tahrim, i.e. strictly abominable.
This isn’t the first absurd fatwa to come from Jamia Nizamia. The 142-year-old institution had issued another one in 2016 against Muslims chanting Bharat Mata Ki Jai, deeming the implied worshiping of a female Goddess as un-Islamic.
In fact, this isn’t the first absurd fatwa that 2018 has seen. Only a couple of days ago, prominent Islamic seminary Darul Uloom Deoband had issued one that directed Muslims to not marry into families that earned their living through banking jobs!
Yep, that’s true! According to Zee News, a person had come forward with a query about marrying his daughter to a man whose father worked in a bank. He was told by Darul Ifta that any earnings obtained through interest and investment is considered ‘haram’ and therefore un-Islamic.
Fortunately, on Friday, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) expressed its displeasure over this decree, stating that since there were several Muslim families involved in banking careers, such an edict was cause discord amongst the community.
Looks like sea-food loving Muslims’ dreams of gorging on prawns, shrimp and crabs could go fish!