Fatwa on beauty parlours not a relevant debate, say Muslim women

The latest fatwa (religious decree) issued by the Darul Uloom Deoband — that Muslim women cannot run beauty parlours — is being viewed sceptically by women who feel that it is not a debate of relevance in this day and age.

The seminary, in response to a query, said that the Sharia (Islamic law) did not allow Muslim women to run beauty parlours on the ground that adornment is not allowed in the Sharia. By extension, it also means that women cannot even go to parlours for what is regarded as “adornment”, though the fatwa relates to the running of parlours.

Maimuna Fathima, an engineering graduate, said that she remembers adults telling her as a child they should not tamper with facial hair or apply nail polish. “But these were things that were taught, not followed. Most young Muslim girls I know are beauty conscious and regularly visit beauty parlours. In fact, in my town in Kerala which is predominantly Muslim, there are many beauty parlours, all frequented by Muslim girls,” said Ms. Fathima.

The former Minister Nafeez Fazal said that it is not a relevant question in 21st century when there are larger questions to debate and a large number of women are bread winners in the family. “We should remember that Islam is a progressive religion that gives rights to women,” said Ms. Fazal.

Concurring with this, Seema Mohsin, the first woman member to be nominated to the State's Wakf Board, said: “I think such fatwas on trivial issues are unnecessary. People who approach the ulemas for such trivial issues are to be blamed for this. It is unfortunate that the ulemas, who are supposed to be guardians of faith, are using their intellect on issuing such silly fatwas.” She felt that there was nothing wrong in going to a parlour as long as there is no violation of the guidelines prescribed in the Koran and Hadees. The former Deputy Mayor Shahtaj Khanum said that it was wrong to prevent women from adorning themselves. “How can anyone put pabandi (restrictions ) on a woman's efforts of beautifying herself?” she asked. “In fact Islam propagates equality. We all respect the Darul Uloom Deoband but such fatwas are wrong.”

Meanwhile, religious clerics in Bangalore, reacting to the fatwa issued by Darul Uloom Deoband, said Islam does not allow Muslim women to “apply nail polish, shape their eye-brows and even cut their hair”.

Vice President of Karnataka unit of All India Milli Council Maulana Khadeer Ahmed Ada Ul Umri, however, said here is no bar on applying oil to hair and combing it. He said the fatwa issued by Darul Uloom Deoband was perfectly Islamic and applicable to all Muslim women.

His views were also endorsed by Khateeb O Imam of Masjid E Charminar Maulana Aijaz Ahmed Nadwi. When asked what would happen to Muslim women, who reject the fatwa of steering clear of beauty parlours, the Maulana said “The Islamic point of view has been brought to their notice. It is their personal matter whether to follow it or not. Islam does not force it,” he added.

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Printable version | Jan 16, 2021 10:32:52 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/karnataka/fatwa-on-beauty-parlours-not-a-relevant-debate-say-muslim-women/article3286827.ece

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