On January 15, 2023, Kerala Governor Arif Mohammad Khan criticised the practice of ‘fatwas’ and said it is being used as a political tool or weapon by politicians. He said that all fatwas of kufr (apostasy) were political, and Islam had no place for it.
Governor Arif Mohammad Khan was speaking at an event on January 15, 2023, organised to mark 75 years of the weekly publication named Panchjanya in Delhi. He said, “Kufr fatwas are actually only given for political reasons and have been used as political weapons. In Islamic history, fatwas were given to weaken the opponents.”
While responding to a question on the role of Maulvis and Ulema in fostering a sense of ‘superiority’ in the minds of Muslims, quoting Islamic ‘Kaul’ (Sayings), Khan said, “Violence is born out of fear. People become enemies even of those whom they do not know. Fatwas of Kufr are issued to stop those who do good deeds. Fatwas have also been issued against me several times.”
“The first fatwa for kufr in Islam was not against a non-Muslim. It was against the man who had been brought up by Prophet Mohammed and who was also his son-in-law, Hazrat Ali. And he was murdered. There are at least 200 instances in Quran where it is said that right and wrong will be decided when people die and meet their creator. No human being, not even the Prophet, has been given the right to decide this according to Quran,” Governor Khan said.
The Governor narrated incidents of Fatwas issued against him during his time in Congress. “I was not part of the BJP. I used to make my speeches in Hindi. In those days, even for using Hindi words you could get kufr fatwa. Dara Shukoh had to also suffer kufr fatwa and was murdered. But the one who got him murdered also buried him beside Humayun. So if Shukoh was Kafir, why was he buried beside Humayun? So, kufr fatwas are actually only given for political reasons and have be used as political weapons. This happened because unfortunately, under the Muslim law that was written, the rights of Muslims and non-Muslims are not the same. So, to deprive others of their rights, these fatwas are given,” he said.