Muslim clerics in a district of Bihar in the north east of India, have decided not to lead or offer namaz-e-janaza (funeral prayers) for drunkards. This decision was taken at a meeting on Saturday evening by a group of Imams of Bihar's Nalanda district.
"It is a historic decision not to offer funeral prayers of the drunkards who die. We hope that it will send a strong massage among Muslims not to consume liquor," Hafiz Maulana Mahtab Alam Makhdumi said. Makhdumi, who presided over the meeting of the Anjuman Faizane Mustafa Committee at Biharsharief, district headquarters of Nalanda, about 100 km from Patna, said that liquor is prohibited in Islam.
He said it was decided to first socially boycott those drinking liquor in public places. "We have urged people that drunkards should be socially boycotted but even after that if they fail to end their habit, we will not lead their funeral prayers," he said. Makhdumi said that after much deliberations they took a final decision to end increasing trend of drinking among Muslims. "It is a tough decision as there is no other method left to warn the drunkards," he said.
The Muslim community has welcomed this move. "It will help discourage consuming of liquors and sereve as a warning for drunkards," said Nayiar Fatmi, a Muslim activist in Patna. Makhdumi said that after this decision is successfully implemented in Nalanda, they would request Imams of other districts across Bihar to start similar campaigns.