Lucknow/New Delhi, Apr 27 : The Islamic seminary Darul-Uloom, Deoband has issued an edict calling Muslims to refrain from cow slaughtering and beef eating if it is "prohibited under law."
"Muslims must refrain from cow slaughter, beef eating or trading in cow hide," the issued edict read.
Deoband's fatwa department chief Mufti Habibur Rehman says that meat eaters can eat buffaloes, goats, chicken and fish, adding that Shariat doesn't allow beef-eating if "it's prohibited under law."
Rehman issued the edict in response to a query filed by a Haji Mohammad Israr asking whether Islam permits cow slaughter, trading in cows, bulls and calves and use of its skin for business.
In his letter to the seminary, Israr had written that there were many beefeaters in Uttar Pradesh (UP) and butchers were making money out of this business despite the State Government banning cow slaughter.
"Cow slaughter, therefore, was "najayaz" even though Islam allows beef-eating," the fatwa said.
It further said that any deed that brings bad name to the Muslims or evokes possibility of imprisonment is "haram".
It may be recalled that the Central Government had banned cow slaughter in 1955. The UP Government issued an ordinance in December 2001 declaring cow slaughter as illegal. This was followed by Uttar Pradesh Prevention of Cow Slaughter Act 2002, making the offence punishable by imprisonment from seven to 10 years or a fine upto Rs 10,000.
Welcoming the edict, and describing it to be an important development for the Hindu-Muslim friendship, eminent activist Javed Anand said: "Muslims should respect Hindu sentiments and avoid cow slaughter. Influential seminary's fatwa would go a long way in ensuring this."
"The fatwa should have come earlier, but better late than never. It's a welcome move," he said.