Fatwa against Indian Idol singer Nahid Afrin from Assam is not a fatwa at all

Suparno Sarkar
Nahid Afrin

Indian Idol junior runner-up Nahid Afrin from Assam has been in news after it was reported that a fatwa has been issued against the 16-year-old singer as singing is "against Sharia law." This news created a lot of hullabaloo, but it appears that a fatwa was never been issued against Nahid.

It has been reported that 46 Muslim clerics in Assam issued a fatwa against Nahid and warned her not to perform in public. She is supposed to perform on March 25 in a musical event at Udali Sonai Bibi College in Lanka, Assam.

Reports had claimed that a fatwa in Assamese was issued against the Class 10 girl for performing in public, and it was circulated across Hojai and Nagaon districts of the state. Soon, the incident started garnering strong reactions from all ends, including celebrities and politicians. Assam Chief Minister Sarbananda Sonowal even condemned the reported fatwa against Nahid and assured to provide adequate security to her.

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However, it appears that there was never a fatwa against Nahid at the first place. The leaflet, reported to be fatwa, that was circulated does not anywhere bear the name of Nahid. Signed by 46 Muslim clerics, the leaflet did mention the musical event, where Nahid is supposed to perform, but the young girl's name is not mentioned in it.

The leaflet primarily asked people not to attend the event claiming that "anti-Sharia acts" like musical nights on grounds surrounding mosques, madrassas and graveyards "will make Allah angry." "Things like magic, dance, music, theatre, dance, etc., are against Shariat," it added. The message in the leaflet is primarily about the musical event on March 25.

Moreover, the leaflet bears the word "gohari" on the top, which means request or appeal. Even the concluding lines in the leaflet clearly say that it is a request to the people not to attend the event. "It is a humble request to restrain yourself and others from such anti-Sharia events," the leaflet said.

fatwa against nahid afrin

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International Business Times, India, tried to contact Assam State Jamiat Ulama, which is one of the signatories on the leaflet, over phone but no one answered. We dropped a message on the organisation's official Facebook page as well, but again no response came.

The appeal on the leaflet is much toned down to be a fatwa.

Talking to Scroll.in, Assam State Jamiat Ulama's secretary Maulvi Fazlul Karim Qasimi denied any fatwa being issued against Nahid saying, "Is this how a fatwa is issued? On a piece of paper?"

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"The appeal simply states that people might as well avoid the event since there have been instances of people getting drunk and vitiating the atmosphere in the past," he added. The publication also quoted him saying that the appeal has nothing to do with Nahid in particular.

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