Fatwa is a religious dictate in Islam prohibiting, directing, instructing an individual or a community to follow the verdict so pronounced as from its head. Muslims give more weightage to such verdicts in comparison to the laws of the land. Fatwas include even death sentence like it happened in the case of Salman Rushdie who was awarded death penalty by the then Islamic Head Ayotullah Khoemani of Iran. Fatwas are also issued from time to time in regard to dress codes for men and women. A fatwa was issued some time back terming tattoos as anti Islam. Another fatwa has since been issued by Darul Uloom Deoband against dyeing hair black in both the cases of men and women. Dyeing hair, as they say, is anti Islam and is against Shariah. Exception is, however, granted to those who use henna for the purpose.
It is a matter of faith to follow such directions, but there has to be some limit to this. Directions in the matter of people’s routine life appear to be too much of a dictate crippling their rights to lead a free life with dignity and decency. Moreover, directions issued in the name of a fatwa should not be allowed to clash with the laws of the land.