In July of this year, the National Commission for the Protection of Child Rights (NCPCR) took action on a complaint lodged by the child education-focused social organisation ‘Manushi’ against the Darul Uloom Islamic organisation. Manushi alleged that Darul Uloom was using books and religious rulings to impart teachings to children that condoned inappropriate conduct with minors, deceased individuals, and animals. Following a comprehensive investigation into the matter, the Commission summoned the District Magistrate (DM) and the Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP), resulting in the removal of all such religious rulings from the official website.
In an official statement, the Commission disclosed that they had received a complaint concerning the religious rulings issued by Darul Uloom Deoband. One of the rulings referred to a book titled ‘Bahishti Zewar’ by Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi. The complainant also provided excerpts from the book that were cited in the religious rulings posted on Darul Uloom Deoband’s website. The book contained objectionable and unlawful content regarding children. On initial examination, the content presented in the complaint appeared to contravene legal provisions.
A notice was issued to the District Magistrate and the Senior Superintendent of Police in Saharanpur on July 14, 2023. They were requested to thoroughly scrutinize and investigate the content on the organisation’s website and promptly remove any objectionable material. Additionally, they were urged to restrict access to the website until the inappropriate content was removed and to provide the Commission with the curriculum, books, and other educational materials used for children in madrasas for further evaluation.
In January 2022, the Commission alerted the District Administration to a significant number of religious rulings on Darul Uloom Deoband’s website promoting unlawful activities. They urged a thorough examination and immediate removal of such content. An interim response indicated that a Committee had been formed to address the matter. Due to a lack of further information from the District, the District Magistrate (DM) and Senior Superintendent of Police (SSP) in Saharanpur were summoned to appear before the Commission on October 19, 2023.
During the hearing at the NCPCR office, the ADM (East) and SP (Rural) of Saharanpur submitted a report, along with the curriculum followed by Darul Uloom Deoband in Madrasas. The report indicated that a four-member Committee had been established to investigate the matter. All the religious rulings highlighted by the Commission were subsequently removed from the website. Additionally, the book ‘Bahishti Zevar’ was taken off the curriculum. The Commission is conducting further inquiries, and a fresh set of information has been requested.
It’s important to note that the report against Darul Uloom was filed by social activist and renowned author of the book ‘A Girl from Kathua,’ Madhu Kishwar. Kishwar presented a few illustrative excerpts from ‘Bahishti Zevar’ and ‘Peculiar Personal Problems of Men and Women,’ offering a glimpse of the explicit content in these two texts, particularly concerning child rights. These books were authored by Deobandi ideologue Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi, who has a significant following among Indian Muslims and also within the global Muslim community, including groups like ISIS, Taliban, and Al-Qaeda.
Apart from the books some of the references include fatwas in Urdu by Darul Uloom Deoband. The most worrisome part of these teachings and Fatwas were that sexual perversions, which invite rigorous jail terms as they are heinous crimes in most civilized societies, are sought to be normalised through rituals. Rituals such as ‘gusl’ (taking a bath after the act) or keeping extra fasts are recommended if the said acts are committed during the month of Ramzan.
Some of the excerpts from the Bahishti Zevar textbook are listed below:
A mere bath after sexual intercourse with a minor girl can legitimise the act. The excerpt reads, “If anyone has sexual intercourse with a minor girl, then bath is not obligatory for her, but in order to make her used to bath she may be required to take bath.” (Page 55)
“If a man indulges in sexual intercourse with a minor girl, a bath will not be obligatory if there is no seminal discharge. (Page 58)”
The book legitimises that a mere bath after the following bizarre form of sex is enough. The book says, “If a man inserts his penis into the naval of a man or woman and there is no seminal discharge, then bath will not be obligatory.”
The cleric even legitimised sexual intercourse with a dead woman, minor girl or animal. The book says, “If anyone committed sexual intercourse with a dead woman or with a minor girl who does not excite passion or with an animal or embraced or kissed anyone or masturbated and in all such cases semen came out, then the fast will be disrupted but recompensation will not be due.”
Thanvi declares that sexual activity for anal pleasure with self is perfectly acceptable and does not disrupt the fast. He said, “…a man inserts something in his excretion hole and it remains out, then the fast will not be disrupted..”.
About sexual intercourse by a woman with a minor or an insane person he wrote, “If a woman subjects herself to sexual intercourse with a minor or an insane during a fast, then compensatory fast and recompensation both will be due.”
To legitimise anal sex the cleric wrote in this book, “If a man enters his penis in the back part (hole) of someone and its top has entered, then fast of both is lost and compensatory fast and recompense becomes due on both.”
The Hindi translation of Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi’s ‘Bahishti Zevar’ (pages 719 and 720), provides the standard simple way to legitimise men having anal sex with men, women or impotent persons – “go have a bath after the act! If the partners in the sex act are both adults, then both need to have a bath or else only the person on whose body semen is discharged needs to have a bath!”
Page 720 also advises that if a sexually aroused woman indulges in sex with an animal, or a reluctant male or uses an external object (such as a wooden stick) for self-pleasure, she need not feel guilty if she has a bath after the act. However, as per real Islamic ethos, even a simple bath is not necessary if the semen of the animal does not enter the woman.
Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi’s ‘Peculiar Personal Problems of Men and Women’ brazenly declares that sexual intercourse with an animal, dead person, or a minor girl is perfectly legitimate and even a bath is not necessary, if semen has not been discharged. He wrote, “If the male organ is inserted into the private part of an animal or a dead person or a minor girl who is not fit for sexual intercourse, then bath will not be necessary without discharge of semen.”
He legitimised the rape of a woman during fasting hours by saying, “If someone committed sexual intercourse forcibly with a woman, then the woman is liable to compensatory fast and not recompensation, but the man is responsible for both.”
Another bizarre statement in the book says, “If anyone commits sexual intercourse with an animal or a dead body or committed sexual intercourse outside the vagina and it caused no seminal discharge, then the fast is not disrupted. But if there is seminal discharge in such conditions, then the fast will be disrupted and a compensatory fast will be due on him, but recompensation will not be due.”
Back in July 2023, Organiser did a detailed report on this, readers can go through it here.