By Abdulla Gaafarelkhalifa
On January 5, 2022, Muslim clerics in the Jama Masjid in Jammu and Kashmir's Poonch district, India, issued a fatwa (a ruling on a point of Islamic law given by a recognized authority) against playing music at weddings or any marriage function.
"Those who defy the fatwa will face a social boycott from the community, and no cleric will offer prayer in any function of their family, be it marriage, funeral, or any other occasion," said clerics in the video.
According to the fatwa, "Those who defy the fatwa will have to publicly apologize at Friday prayers in the mosque and also pay a fine. In case a molvi (cleric) visits such a house, all clerics and the people will initiate action against him."
Although the impact of the fatwa is limited in the Hindu majority country, this story has only escalated tensions between Muslims and Hindus in the Sub Continent. BJP leader, Yudhvir Sethi, speaking to The Times Now, asked why fatwas were not issued to ensure that the children of Jammu and Kashmir, "drop guns and pick up laptops" and get an education and well paying job. "Why do they have a problem with those who work as DJs etc., and earn a living?"
The prohibition against music has been a rising trend in the Muslim world. Recently, Jordanian-Palestinian artist/singer, Adham Nabulsi, announced his retirement from music to “worship God and obey his commands.”
In India, however, similar incidents with separating music from marriage ceremonies have been increasing. In 2018, local Islamic scholars issued a similar Fatwa regarding music in Uttar Pradesh, along with the groom demanding dowry from the bride's family and fireworks during weddings.
The Fatwa from the Poonch district also banned the banging of drums, not just for weddings, but also to scare away animals.