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AR Rahman deserves honour, not your fatwa!

Fatwa has now become a misguided missile to draw cheap publicity! The least AR Rahman deserves from these so-called Islam scholars is some respect and recognition for his rhythm which has healed millions of souls in the last two decades

Fatwa

AR Rahman via YouTube

So a fatwa against music director AR Rahman by some Muslim outfit in Mumbai has grabbed all the attention! More so because Rahman has given strong reply to the diktats! The fatwa is aimed at him because he has composed music for the renowned Iranian director, Majid Majidi’s film Muhammad: The Messenger of God.  Set in the 6th century, it is the story of Islamic Prophet Muhammad and since it is a Majid movie one is assured that he has worked diligently for the film with many historians and archaeologists.

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But none of this should matter to the set of fatwa-issuers. Logic or reasoning is never their forte. According to the organisation, they are worried that the title of the film will be misused by people and that will insult the Prophet. The fatwa-issuers are worried that some actors may have dubious characters so how can Islam possibly allow such things. And now the outfit will also meet the home minister to seek a ban on the film in India.

Their concern for Islam may be well-intended but how can a movie possibly act as a miscreant? It is such a misguided missile to be used for nothing but publicity. How can the religion be hurt or Prophet be insulted if a movie on his life is made. For anything it will just educate more people about the religion and its messenger. And what exactly has Rahman done to deserve the fatwa?

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I had to use Google to figure out what exactly fatwa means. Not just go with the vague definition that I have had in mind since I first heard about fatwa, when it was issued against author Salman Rushdie for his book Satanic Verses. So I get to know that a fatwā is not by definition a pronouncement of death or a declaration of war (this is what most of us would think what it would be). A fatwa is an Islamic legal pronouncement, issued by an expert in religious law (mufti), pertaining to a specific issue, usually at the request of an individual or judge to resolve an issue where Islamic jurisprudence, is unclear. The fatwa is not based upon the mufti’s own will and ideas, but rendered in accordance with fixed precedents from the sources of Islamic law.

So why issue a fatwa against Rahman who just composed music on a film about Prophet’s life? Your guess is as good as mine. This is the month of bans and more bans. The fatwa is just the cherry on the cake. Let’s just outrage a bit more and move on. For tomorrow is another ban!

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AR RAHMAN’s reponse:
“What, and if, I had the good fortune of facing Allah and He were to ask me on Judgement Day: I gave you faith, talent, money, fame and health… why did you not do music for my beloved Muhammad film? A film whose intention is to unite humanity, clear misconceptions and spread my message that life is about kindness, about uplifting the poor, and living in the service of humanity and not mercilessly killing innocents in my name.”

Fatwa

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