Saharanpur, Apr 1 (PTI) Joining the debate over chanting 'Bharat mata ki jai', prominent Islamic seminary Darul Uloom Deoband has issued an edict asking Muslims to refrain from raising the slogan as it is "akin to idol-worship" which is against the tenets of Islam.
"We received thousands of queries on the issue so Darul Uloom Deoband has issued a 'fatwa' saying 'Bharat mata ki Jai' is not in consonance with Islam and we will not say it. But we love our country immensely and we can raise slogans like 'Hindustan Zindabad' and 'Madre Vatan'.
"It is not allowed in Islam to represent the country as a Goddess' idol and raise slogans hailing her," said Ashram Usmani, public relations officer of the seminary.
The fatwa states that only a human can give birth to a human, so how can the country be called 'mother'.
RSS Chief Mohan Bhagwat had stirred a controversy with his remark that the younger generation needed to be taught to hail "Mother India".
In apparent retaliation, AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi had said he would not chant 'Bharat Mata Ki Jai' as he was not obliged to do it under the Constitution and that he would not do so even if a "knife is put to my throat".
The issue triggered a political slugfest with the Shiv Sena, BJP and other parties slamming the Hyderabad MP over his stand. Maharashtra Assembly suspended an AIMIM MLA after he refused to chant the slogan, while the Madhya Pradesh Assembly passed a censure motion against Owaisi.
Amid the raging row, Bhagwat said just days ago that nobody needs to be forced to raise the slogan and that efforts should be made to build a "great" India that is hailed across the globe voluntarily.