May 16, 2010

Fatwa against living together before marriage

Last Updated: 17:39 IST(11/4/2010)

Tennis star marriage with Pakistani cricketer has sparked another row with some religious scholars issuing a 'fatwa' or religious edict against their living and mingling freely even before the marriage is solemnised.

Sunni Ulema Board, a group of religious scholars, said both the sportspersons were bringing disrepute to Islam and Muslim community through their actions.

The board issued a 'fatwa' terming their actions haram (forbidden) and asked Muslims to stay away from the April 15 marriage.

"The kind of actions the two are indulging in like living together and addressing media together are haram in Islam," said Moulana Haseebul Hasan Siddiqui, a religious scholar.

The Pakistani cricketer has been staying at tennis star's residence in Hyderabad for more than a week and television pictures showed them dancing and doing physical exercises together.

"Islam permits a man and woman to see each other only once before marriage and it does not allow them to live together and indulge in this sort of activities before marriage," he said.

He felt that all the actions of the both were bringing a bad name to Islam and the Muslim community and advised invitees to stay away from their marriage as men and women would mingle freely there in total disregard of Islamic principles.

"Muslims should stay away from such gatherings where men and women mingle freely in violation of Islamic principles," he said.

The religious scholar had also issued a 'fatwa' against tennis star for favouring pre-marital sex three years ago. He had opined that the tennis star committed a big sin by promoting 'zina' (fornication). The tennis ace, however, denied making the remarks.

The cricketer has already come under criticism from clergy for denying marriage with another woman even after admitting that he signed the 'nikahnama'. The Pakistani star last week divorced the woman after the latter filed a case of cheating against him.

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