India’s leading Islamic seminary, the Darul Uloom, issued a fatwa (a religious decree) declaring that watching cartoons on television is un-Islamic, and a violation of sharia law, according to a report issued Aug. 27.
Senior cleric Mufti Arif Quasmi explained the ruling bysaying: “[A] cartoon is a picture. Besides, it is not for the children. It should not be watched.”
Islamic teachings on the depiction of animate objects vary, with the most strict Muslim clerics banning animation completely on the basis that it imitates Allah’s acts of creation. Other clerics, however, permit photography, video, and even cartoons.
Some are not happy with the ruling. All India Shia Muslim Personal Law Board convenor Maulana Yasoob Abbassaid the Darul Uloom was “misleading” Muslims and handing out fatwas “on anything and everything, making a mockery of Islam”. He said Islam was a tolerantreligion, but the Islamic seminary had brought a bad name to it by giving out “irresponsible and impracticable” fatwas.
According to reports, the seminary has “created a record of sorts in terms of the number of fatwas issued.” In the past, the Darul Uloom has declared it to be unlawful for women to use perfume containing alcohol; wear tattoos, jeans, or “Western hairstyles”; take part in modeling; wax “from knees to navels”; and be appointed as receptionists; calling it “illegal and against the Sharia.”
As per another report from BBC:
Clerics have declared a fatwa – or decree – banning the watching of cartoons, it seems.
Religious leaders at the Darul Uloom seminary, in Deoband, declared that viewing animations – even those featuring comedy characters – was against the tenets of Islam, reports the Bangalore-based Deccan Herald. It quotes senior cleric Mufti Arif Quasmi as saying: “[A] cartoon is a picture. Besides, it is not for the children. It should not be watched.” There are many interpretations of Islamic teachings on the depiction of animate objects, with the most strict banning it completely on the basis that it imitates Allah’s acts of creation. Other scholars, however, permit photography and video.
The Darul Uloom ruling was criticised by one member of the All India Personal Law Board for “making a mockery” of Islam. “I don’t think the muftis who issued the fatwa have any knowledge of the subject or have applied their mind to understanding the art of cartoons at all,” the senior Imam told Mumbai-based broadsheet DNA. It’s not the first ruling by the seminary to cause controversy. In the past, it’s reportedly declared it unlawful for women to use perfume containing alcohol, or to wear tattoos, jeans or “Western hairstyles”.