The World of Fatwas


Below is what I found in review.... Quite upsetting :-)

Arun Shourie discusses at length some quite hilarious and often crass cases that the Muslim clergy give direction on. For instance, (a) a mouse falls in water, is the water OK to drink? or can it be used to wash? What if it was a fly in butter? (b) a she goat has been abused by a man, is the meat of this goat Halal (like Kosher)? (c) under what circumstances can a man remarry a woman after he has divorced her? (d) if a man says "Talaaq, Talaaq, Talaaq" three times to his wife, is this form of divorce irrevocable? etc. Shourie also goes on to expose the narrow, sectarian, male dominated ideologies that drive these law makers.

This is the height of Philosophical discourse to which the intellectuals of Islam rise. The book is excellently researched in that it makes copious use of original references from the Islamic catalogue of "religious literature". Admittedly, the focus is on the Islamic ideology of the various schools of thought (surely a misnomer) of the Indian Subcontinent, but then no one in the rest of the Islamic world has come forward to say that this literature is not representative. Even more serious is the vitriol and venom that the various Islamic groups pour on each other. This is only exceeded by their utter contempt for the "unbelievers". This is an excellent book - it is a MUST READ, especially in conjuntion with Ibn Waraaq's "Why I am not a Muslim".
· January 13


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