Srinagar, Oct 30 (UNI) A controversial 'fatwa' (edict) by a member of the scientific council of Istanbul University, Mohammad Nour Dughan, cutting Islamic prayer requirements from five to three times a day, has evoked sharp reactions from religious leaders here.
In a statement here, the official Grand Mufti of Jammu and Kashmir, Mufti Bashir-ud-din Ahmed, strongly criticised the 'fatwa', terming it provocative and uncalled for.
''The fatwa is unacceptable. There is absolutely no question of changing the prayer schedule of Muslims. Five-time prayers a day form one of the five basic fundamentals of Islam. And these fundamentals cannot be changed,'' he added.
Describing Professor Dughan as a ''mentally sick'' person, the Mufti said the 'fatwa' should be condemned in the strongest terms.
Prof Dughan recently issued the edict, allowing Turkish Muslims to pray only three times a day instead of the usual five - without fear of committing a sin.
The fatwa allowed Muslims to pray three times a day, especially when they are heavily committed with work or personal issues.
The move provoked widespread debate as well as opposition from orthodox Imams or Muslim clerics.
Several other religious leaders and organisations have condemned the 'fatwa', saying it was unacceptable to cut prayers.