Now kite flying is being dubbed as sin among Muslims. An appeal to this regard has been issued by a low profile Islamic organization Assaqafatur Razaviya of Satranjipura. The organisation has initiated an anti-kite flying campaign to dissuade Muslim youths from the ‘vice’. As part of the campaign, the organization, that draws its ideology from Barelvi movement, has pasted posters outside several masjids across the city beside spreading the message through discourses.
During winter, especially in December and January, kite flying becomes rampant across the city. Every year, activists run campaigns to create awareness about the ill-effects of manja, especially the Chinese or nylon one, used for kite flying. Earlier this month, the National Green Tribunal (NGT) had imposed a nationwide interim ban on the use of glass-coated manja for kite flying.
But, Assaqafatur Razaviya has added religious dimension to the issue. Though the posters directly target Muslims and cites the works of Barelvi scholar Ahmad Raza, president of the organization Maulana Ateeque-ur-Rehman sought to promote it as a social campaign. In the poster, the organization states “Kite flying is illicit and a sin. Muslims must overcome the vice and take to the road of progress. Spending money on prohibited acts only brings bankruptcy. Islam doesn’t allows acts which create problems for others.”
The only social message it gives is the pictures of injuries caused to human and birds along with the caption “patang aur manje ki qatilana tabahi (disasters of kite and manja)”.
“We have been doing social work, taking up healthcare initiatives as well as working for the welfare of Muslim community. Anti-kite flying campaign is not limited to the community because it is a social issue. There are already court orders banning the use of manja. Right now, we are publishing posters and discourse. We have received good feedback from parents too,” Rehman said.
Rehman added that they were also concerned about the threat to citizens from manja. “If someone gets injured and dies, it would be nothing but murder.”
The organization has based its views on Ahkamat-e-Shariat, a book by Ahmad Raza. The campaign has found support from other thinkers and followers of the religion who don’t conform to the Barelvi movement.
“This is a good initiative. Kite flying distracts one from worship and is a waste of time,” says an imam who belongs to Deobandi movement.
“They may have considered it as laghviyat, meaning acts which have no personal, spiritual and social use. Islam’s base is remembering the lord and serving humanity. Only three sports having specific purposes are allowed in Islam — horse riding as it was means of transport, archery because of defence, and swimming because of health. Even I don’t’ subscribe to the idea of flying kite,” said Ayub Khan, professor of English at Women’s College of Arts and a member of NGO Jamaat-e-Islamic Hind.
Quranic scholar Abdul Gafoor Parekh said, “Kite flying is a kind of social custom and shouldn’t be connected with religion. It should be left to personal choice. But, yes, it is wrong if it causes harm to human beings. “