PUC, Dar-ul-Ifta Pakistan issue Fatwa: No political activities allowed in Makkah, Madinah holy sites

Feb 28, 2024

Ashrafi applauds Saudi cooperation in Hajj arrangements, foresees stronger Pakistan-Arab ties

ISLAMABAD: Pakistan Ulema Council (PUC) and Dar-ul-Ifta Pakistan on Wednesday had jointly issued a religious decree (Fatwa) that any form of political activism, slogan chanting, banners, or flag waving in the holy sites of Makkah and Madinah was strictly prohibited.

This declaration was made during a press conference addressed by the PUC Chairman, and Dar-ul-Ifta Pakistan President, Hafiz Muhammad Tahir Mahmood Ashrafi, along with other prominent religious leaders.

Emphasizing on the sanctity of the holy sites, Ashrafi urged all pilgrims to devote their time to worship there instead of indulging in petty political activities.

He, expressing concern over attempts by some individuals to display banners and flags in the holy sites, stressed that such actions were unacceptable and could lead to disturbance of peace in the holy precincts.

He reiterated the importance of adhering to the directives and laws of the Saudi Arabian government for all visitors and pilgrims. Moreover, he emphasized that any violation of Saudi laws should result in appropriate action by the Saudi government.

Ashrafi highlighted efforts by PUC, International Tazeem-e-Harmain-e-Sharifain Council, and Hajj Organizers Association of Pakistan to organize educational sessions for pilgrims across the country. He said they were making efforts to involve representatives from the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah in these training sessions.

He acknowledged the completion of the government Hajj scheme and ongoing arrangements by private Hajj groups in accordance with Saudi instructions. He appreciated cooperation of the Saudi Ministry of Hajj and Umrah and the Saudi Embassy in Pakistan.

In response to a query, Ashrafi underscored the historical cooperation between Pakistan and Islamic countries, particularly during the tenure of the previous government of Muhammad Shehbaz Sharif. He expressed optimism that with the establishment of Special Investment Facilitation Council (SIFC), this cooperation would further strengthen in the future, anticipating enhanced collaboration with Islamic Arab countries under the upcoming elected government.

Ashrafi strongly condemned the harassment faced by a woman wearing a Kurta inscribed with Arabic script in Lahore. He said the woman was reportedly subjected to verbal abuse and harassment by individuals who objected to the Arabic script on her attire. However, he said investigations revealed that the script had no sacred connotations and was merely decorative, a common feature in clothing worn in many Arabic-speaking countries.

Ashrafi urged the government to take concrete steps to protect the rights and dignity of all citizens, regardless of their background as the outcome of this case would undoubtedly have far-reaching implications for the country’s reputation and its efforts to promote a more inclusive and harmonious society.

He also praised Syeda Shahrbano Naqvi, Assistant Superintendent of Police, Gulberg as a pivotal figure in defusing a potentially volatile situation surrounding the woman’s attire adorned with Arabic script.