Muzaffarnagar (UP) (IANS) Amid a raging controversy over the use of alcohol-based sanitizers at religious places, the well-known Islamic seminary Darul Uloom, Deoband has issued a fatwa saying alcohol-based sanitizers can be used to clean the mosque premises.
"There is nothing wrong in using alcohol-based sanitizers in mosques. Even it can be sprayed on mosque's walls and floors to sanitize the place of worship," read the fatwa (edict) issued by Darul Uloom.
The fatwa was issued in response to a query put up by a resident of Karnataka.
"The alcohol, which is used in medicine and sanitizers, is produced from vegetables, sugarcane juice and, hence, can be used. Even if the sanitizer has a high quantity of alcohol it is also valid. It can be used to sanitize mosques and also after the 'wudu' -- the practice of washing one's face, hands and feet before namaaz. The sanitizer can be applied on hands too," the fatwa read.
A senior cleric, Mufti Asad Qasmi, said, "There are two types of alcohol. One is used for making medicines or sanitizers while the other is used to make liquor which is not allowed in any manner."
Deoband spokesperson Ashraf Usmani said, "Several mosques are reopening now and the fatwa will dispel doubts, if any."
Just three days ago, the Dargah Aala Hazrat - a revered Barelvi shrine -- had asked followers and mosque heads to avoid using alcohol-based sanitizers.
"A mosque will become impure if alcohol-based sanitizer is used for cleaning the premises. We cannot make God's home impure. Namaaz cannot be offered at an impure place. I have appealed to Imams of mosques and mosques' committees to refrain from using alcohol-based sanitizer," Mufti Nashtar Farooqi of Sunni Markaz Darul Ifta, Dargah Aala Hazrat had said.
Farooqi also asked Muslims to properly wash their hands and mosque campus with soap, detergent powder and shampoo.
The government had earlier asked all the religious places to sanitize the premises with alcohol-based sanitizers.