Religious debate on stone pelting rages in Kashmir

April 2nd, 2009 - 3:55 pm ICT by IANS  

Amarnath Shrine Srinagar, April 2 (IANS) Is stone pelting by mobs permissible in Islam? Religious and separatist circles in Jammu and Kashmir are busy debating the issue these days.
A statement by Maulana Showkat Ahmad of the Jameet-e-Ahle Hadis last month said stone pelting was not allowed in Islam. He had advised the local youth not to resort to stone pelting. He had also quoted a saying of the Prophet against stone pelting.

Now Syed Inayatullah Andrabi, an Islamic scholar and chairman of Mahazi Azadi, has asked Maulana Showkat to “apologize for his quoting the Prophet’s sayings (Hadith) out of context”.

In a statement issued here Thursday, Andrabi said: “Let us note that what the most revered Prophet has said in the Hadith cited by Maulana was basically regarding the ineffectiveness of a small stone to deliver the desired result when it comes to hunting or taking on an enemy.”

Andrabi said all the Hadith said was that “the small stone would not produce the desired result, it would only harm the person or the animal”.

Senior separatist leader and chairman of the breakaway Hurriyat group, Syed Ali Geelani, had also said that stone pelting could not been regarded as “an anti-Islamic act in a situation where harsher measures were being resorted to by the security forces against the protesters”.

Police and security forces have been facing severe stone pelting mobs, especially in the old city areas of summer capital Srinagar ever since the land row protests broke out over the allotment of forest land to the Shri Amarnath Shrine Board (SASB) in July last year.

Hundreds of protesters and security men have been injured across Kashmir during these protests and shutdowns. Typically, these situations see mobs indulging in heavy stone pelting at the security men who respond with batons and tear gas shells and in extreme situations even open fire to quell the mobs.

Srinagar senior superintendent of police, Afadul Mujtaba, had quoted verses from the Holy Quran in December last year saying that stone pelting was against the tenets of Islam.

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