With a population of 65 per cent Muslims, Deoband is home to one of the earliest Islamic revivalist movements in India.
Islamic seminary Darul Uloom Deoband has issued a fatwa asking Muslims to avoid families that raise 'haram' (illegitimate) money earned from a banking job and instead look for a "pious" family while considering marriage proposals.
The seminary gave its diktat to a query from a person in which he had stated that he had a few proposals for marriage from families where the father earned money from a banking job in India.
"Obviously, the family is raised on 'haram' money. Is it preferable to marry in such families?" he had sought to know from the fatwa section of Darul Uloom (Darul Ifta).
In its reply, the seminary's fatwa said, "Marrying in such a family is avoidable and not preferable. Those who are nourished with 'haram' (illegitimate) wealth usually they are not good in respect to instinct and morals. Hence, it should be avoided. One should find out a match in some pious family."
The Islamic Law or Shariat prohibits paying any fee for renting of money (called riba) for specific periods of time.
It also prohibits any sort of investment in businesses that are considered 'haram' or against the principles of Islam.
It is largely believed that these principles have been derived from the Quran and have been in practice since then.
In Islam, money has no intrinsic value; money, therefore, cannot be sold at a profit and is permitted to be used as per Shariat only.
Islamic banks work on the principles of an interest-free banking. Riba or interest under Islamic law basically means anything in excess - the investor should not make an undue profit from the hard work of the other.
The banks invest the money collected by them in something that is Shariat compliant, that is not haraam and does not involve high risks. Thus, businesses involving alcohol, drugs and war weapons as well as all other high risk and speculative activities are prohibited.
While Islamic Banking is prevalent and is common in Islamic countries, there are plenty of non-Islamic countries that are now opening Islamic "windows" in conventional banks.
These are departments within the banks and they offer Shariat compliant products to customers. China, United Kingdom, United States, Germany are some of the countries that offer Islamic windows.
In India, introduction of Islamic Banking was mooted by Raghuram Rajan in 2008 in his report on the Financial Sector.
As an honorary economic adviser to then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, he had recommended that interest-free banking techniques should be operated on a larger scale so as to give access to those who are unable to access banking services, including those belong to economically disadvantaged sections of the society.
The recent proposal of RBI for opening of an Islamic Banking window has received mixed reactions from many especially in the light of the recent Uniform Civil Code debate.