HYDERABAD: At a time when the ruling government is pushing a Bill to eradicate practices like instant triple talaq to support the fight for liberation of Muslim women, a fatwa issued by a seminary which regards the practice of bangle sellers touching hands of women to help them wear bangles as a sin has triggered a debate among Muslims in Hyderabad. The fatwa issued by seminary Darul Uloom Deoband in Muzaffarnagar on the query of a Deoband resident read, “The women can bring bangles from shops run by men and wear them on their own.
However, if they let the male shopkeeper touch their hands, it is ‘haram’ (prohibited).” Calling the age-old tradition of bangle sellers helping women wear bangles as `unislamic,’ a minority rights activists said, “I support the fatwa as I believe it is about their respect. In Islam, a man who is not the woman’s mehram or relative is not allowed to touch her. Nobody is prohibiting them from buying bangles but why allow a stranger to touch them anyway.” Where many Muslim scholars in Deoband have supported the fatwa, the clerics and scholars in Hyderabad stayed away from expressing any reaction on the issue hinting that after the expulsion of Salman Nadvi from AIMPLB on the pretext of sharing his view on Babri Masjid issue.
However, a few Muslim women said they are not going to take the fatwa seriously. Humera, who is among the founders of Lamakaan said, “I believe this fatwa like other fatwas is not to be taken seriously. Why should these men impose such restrictions on us? I have the freedom to live my life the way I want. The point that such fatwas get attention only reflects lack of literacy among Muslims.”