–Ram Madhav, Spokesperson, RSS
We welcome this small initiative taken by the Ulema of Darul Uloom, Deoband asking Muslim community to refrain from killing cows and its progeny during festivals like Id. They have issued this fatwa with a rider that it applies to those states where the anti-cow slaughter laws are already in place. It is a good step. Although, as citizens those people are already supposed to obey the law, nevertheless the Ulema thought it prudent to advise the Muslims not to violate the law. At the same time we are happy that they have recognized the fact that sentiments of Hindus are also linked with this issue. Their stand is to be appreciated and implemented by one and all in letter and spirit especially in Muslim community.
We would have been happier had they come out openly against this practice of cow slaughter because during our conversation with several Muslim groups we have come to know that killing of cows has nothing to do with Islam. It is also a question of common sense that Islam has originated from the Arabian region where the bovine population was not in plenty to kill them. It is essentially a practice that has taken roots after the spread of Islam in the Asian region where the bovine population is in plenty. If this attitude of Muslim leadership, especially of keeping the Hindu sentiments in mind before taking any decision, is continued, in coming days I am sure it will have definitely a good impact on the future of Hindu-Muslim relations in the country.
On November 7, 1966, when a huge crowd of sadhus demonstrating under the aegis of Arya Samaj, at Parliament Street was brutally lathicharged and some of them were killed in police firing, no such fatwa was issued. This strengthened the wrong notion of a section of Muslims that cow slaughter has Islamic sanction.
With the change of time, the meaning of sacrifice on the eve of Id-ul-Zuha (Bakr Id) has changed. Islam never allows sacrifice or slaughter of any other animal except a goat or a sheep. But some persons have made it a practice to sacrifice the other animals like cow, buffalow, ox or camel.
On reading the Romance of the Cow by D.H. Jani, Gold Medalist (1935), I came across the extracts of facsimile of Muslim rulers, including Hakim Ajmal Khan, a physician and renowned Muslim scholar of times, who had all praise for the cow. A fatwa passed by the Jamiat Ulema-e-Hind last year went down the drain. During the Khilafat movement, which united Hindus and Muslims against the Britishers in the 1920s, minority community leaders had on their own passed a resolution advising against cow slaughter. Barring Bengal, Kerala, Andhra Pradesh, Jammu and Kashmir and Northeastern States, other States have banned cow slaughter. The present fatwa was in response to appeals from Muslims in western Uttar Pradesh, who felt it would go a long way in dispelling misgivings of Hindus.
– R.B.L. Nigam