Destitution before dishonor! For the women, that is — not for the drafters of the fatwa. “Deoband fatwa: It’s illegal for women to work, support family,” by Pervez Iqbal Siddiqui for TNN, May 12 (thanks to Puneet):
LUCKNOW: Darul Uloom Deoband, the self-appointed guardian for Indian Muslims, in a Talibanesque fatwa that reeked of tribal patriarchy, has decreed that it is “haram” and illegal according to the Sharia for a family to accept a woman’s earnings. Clerics at the largest Sunni Muslim seminary after Cairo’s Al-Azhar said the decree flowed from the fact that the Sharia prohibited proximity of men and women in the workplace.
“It is unlawful (under the Sharia law) for Muslim women to work in the government or private sector where men and women work together and women have to talk with men frankly and without a veil,” said the fatwa issued by a bench of three clerics. The decree was issued over the weekend, but became public late on Monday, seminary sources said….
The fatwa, however, drew flak among other clerics.
“Men and women in Sharia are entitled to equal rights. If men follow the Sharia, there is no reason why women can’t work with them,” said Rasheed, the Naib Imam of Lucknow’s main Eidgah Mosque in Aishbagh.
Mufti Maulana Khalid Rasheed of Darul Ifta Firangi Meheli — another radical Islamic body which also issues fatwas — criticized the Deoband fatwa as a retrograde restriction on Muslim women.
The fatwa was in response to a question whether Muslim women can take up government or private jobs and whether their salary should be termed as `halal’ (permissible under the Sharia) or `haram’ (forbidden).
Well-known Shia cleric Maulana Kalbe Jawwad, however, justified the fatwa. “Women in Islam are not supposed to go out and earn a living. It’s the responsibility of the males in the family,” he said. “If a woman has to go for a job, she must make sure that the Sharia restrictions are not compromised,” he added, citing the example of Iran, where Muslim women work in offices but have separate seating areas, away from their male counterparts….