The Good Old Days of Fatwas and Anita Ayub – by Dr. Shazia Nawaz


Molvis gave fatwas against Anita Ayub for questioning what women will get in Heaven?



I was reading an article the other day in which a female writer explains that how women too are going to get male virgins in heaven. While I found the article interesting and entertaining, it reminded me of Anita Ayub. Anita Ayub was a model and an actress in Pakistan in the late 1980’s and early 1990’s. She also worked in an Indian movie called ‘ Pyar Ka Tarana’. Legend has it that she fell in love with a Sikh, married him, and moved to India. I don’t know if there is any truth to this news or not. Anita was a beautiful, smart, and intelligent model with serious lack of talent. She said things those days that most Pakistani women were not allowed to say. She did things those days that most Pakistani women were not allowed to do.

She got quite a few Fatwas (religious condemnation to be killed) against her. It has been a hobby of our mullas to give Fatwas for centuries.  But things were not this bad in the 1990’s. I call those days “good old days of Fatwas”. When moulvi hazarat gave a Fatwa those days, few fanatics sent you death threats, you apologized, they forgave you. Everyone moved on and nobody got hurt.

Who knew that one day the Zia-ul-Haq era would be considered a relatively peaceful era!

Years ago when I was just a child, I heard that Anita Ayub had asked a very bad question, “If men are going to get hoors (virgins) in heaven, what are women going to get?”

I remember my mom commenting on Anita’s morality and mentality in a not so complementing manner.  My teenage mind was confused. The question did not seem that unreasonable to me. Risking judgment on my own morality and mentality, I asked my mom if  there was an answer to Anita’s question. My mom said very understandably that in heaven women would become hoors themselves. Asking any further questions meant asking for God’s wrath. This is where we are stopped. When you do not understand it, asking any further questions is a sin.

So, moulvis of Pakistan issued a Fatwa against her. Next week, Anita’s apology was published with the explanation that this is not what she meant. How could she possibly question the divine laws? The matter indeed ended.  Mullas put her episode of temporary insanity (or logical thinking) behind. So this is what I call good old days of Fatwas.  When you spoke your curious mind, few good moulvis actually tried to explain things politely, few gave Fatwa, you apologized, and you got to live.

Mercy no more my friends! Forgiveness no more. Asia Bibi has apologized a million times. Salmaan Taseer gave explanation after explanation that he did not mean to defend a blasphemer, but a weak and poor woman. They did not listen. They’re blood thirsty now. Now those good old days of Fatwas are over.

Rana Sanaullah has incited murder against Salmaan Taseer, now he is after Babar Awan

So, all you have to do these days in Pakistan is point at someone and yell, “Wajibul qatal!” and you seal their fate. Someone somewhere is going to find that person and going to kill that person for you.  In a situation like that, when a very corrupt person himself, Rana Sanaullah calls another opponent, Babar Awan openly “Wajbul qatal!”, it is easy to tell what’s going on.
Those good old days when our politicians hired people to get each other killed are over too. Now they just have to mark the target by calling him/her “wajibul qatal”, and some lunatic would hear the word and go shoot their political rival.

What things have come down to!
Not only our cheap politicians save money by not paying taxes, they also want to save a buck or two on a nice and well done murder!
Where are you going to take all that money Sanaullah? To your grave?
Why don’t you pay someone to get Babar Awan killed? You cheap b*****d!

17 responses to “The Good Old Days of Fatwas and Anita Ayub – by Dr. Shazia Nawaz”

  1. True mad dictator’s era seems “peaceful” to many particularly who were teens or in their early adulthood in 80’s and were living in urban areas of Punjab. However the reason for peace was not that mullahs were less blood thirsty or they had any humanity. No the reason as pretty simple nothing could be reported in those days , Zia’s era was as “peaceful” as Saudi Arab is.
    There was no possibility that anybody could report killing of Asia bibi in those days let alone her arrest.

  2. You must be right Peja Sahib. Media was controlled by Zia ul Haq, so, we saw nothing but peace around us.

  3. @Irfan Baloch,
    Questioning a prevalent folklore, mindset or myth can for sure lead you into trouble. A leading economist of Pakistan, whom I know personally, is an agnostic. I asked him why he is one. He said that while I was young, I used to question things and never used to get an answer. He once questioned “why does a lunar eclpise happen” and his father who was a business leader simply said “Allah kee marzi say” and then question after question left unanswered. That gentleman was asking the questions in the 60’s. If he was asking today, he would have been dead by now

  4. Shazia is so true about Fatwas then and now. An artist made a sketch for Bonanza’s ad campaign. Some molvi sahab in Mirpur Khas “saw” that the trouser’s fly looked like “MOhammad” and the shoe laces as “Allah”. He got a case registered against the artist and the advertising agency. The artist was arrested on blasphemy. However, after settling for Rs. 150k, he was allowed to go. This was 1990. Today, he would be dead by now and to retrieve his body, the family has to pay a million!

  5. What is the point in highlighting foto of mirza Tahir Ahmad and obaidullah Aleem on your website ? Does the site belong to Ahmdees ? If not why a tiny minority is being given so much importance ?

  6. In some respect I do agree with writer that the extremism is much more widespread than in 80’s. On the death of Salman Taseer I wrote that in those days I could be as bold as arguing with Dr. Israr in a masjid, or reading Mirza Ghulam Ahmed Qadiani’s book in front of my dad or read “The Idiot” in college lobby and even in 90’s I could say things in the lobbies of most conservative university of Pakistan without any fear.
    Things have changed now, whenever I go to Pakistan now I see young ones either having a beard and running to Masjid’s five times a day and preaching hatred or I see the young ones staying in front of their laptops spending time on facebook either trying to find a girl friend and at the same time “click like” on “Imran Khan” and posting and sharing hate messages against US…
    You never know now if your room mate or your cousin or neighbor is “Ghazi” Ilm Din Shaheed, but it seems to be a “muslim” phenomenon as I read that a Somali minister was killed by his niece.

  7. Enough of these fatwas after fatwas after fatwas. There are instances Mullahs who watch porn also issue fatwas. Fatwas infringes basic human rights hence issuing fatwas are to be banned through UN resolution. Let the Americans drones talk directly with those Mullahs who issue fatwas that has potential threat of inflicting physical harm to the recipients.
    This madness to be eradicated completely.

  8. Anita Ayub was bit of hypocrite herself, she married a Hindu Patel but asked him to convert before she can marry him and he did. She claims to be a good Muslim and her question wasn’t a rebellion against Mullahs but a sincere question?
    She apologized and moved on but I agree with the essence of this article, some one needs to deal with dumb Mullahs. I retard in Saudi Arabia issued a fatwa against multistory houses and building saying that true Momins must live on earth and that people shouldn’t dwell on top of each other.

    After this fatwa, real estate faced a lot instability as many high rises were left empty and people looked for new land to built single floor houses.

  9. A well written piece that highlights a number of issues, the random behaviour of Mullah’s and the consequences this has on societal growth in Pakistan, the undermining of Women in Pakistan and the Government collusion that allows the above to occur. Dissidents are intimidated and if not assassinated coerced into silence. I am Chairman of the British Pakistani Christian Association and have a grave story of deceit to talk about. Read more here:

    If you want to see equality and freedom for minorities why not join our protest:

    We will joined by an Imam, A nazi Holocaust Survivor, a Hindu Human Rights campaigner, a Sikh Human Righst Campaigner and Bishop Michael Nazir- Ali.

  10. when something going against our personal or political interest we label its as anti-Islamic, the only weakness of our illiterate and even some educated illiterate so-called Muslims country men..a man totally going against Islam in daily life become religious for their own interest…i don’t know what will be our status on day of judgment.. but currently we are going totally on the wrong way…we ve to think, we ve to judge our self 1st and then criticized other one…

  11. Judging from the comments made, one would think that there is no such thing as anti-Islamic; Their suggestion: don’t see evil and if you do, hush up!

    No one picked up on the fact that Shazia Nawaz got the meaning of the term “fatwa” wrong. Dead wrong indeed! She says:

    “[Anita] got quite a few Fatwas (religious condemnation to be killed) against her”

    Fatwa is merely an opinion expressed by a scholar based on the Quran and ahadith. It must be accompanied by the relevant verses of the Quran and ahadith, and must clearly and unambiguously support the fatwa. Even though it does not have the force of law.

    Would you guys be willing to accept that Islam has a certain ideology and certain requirements, and that certain things can be and indeed are anti-Islamic?

    • While you rightly explained what a fatwa is. …. I think you should appreciate that if I ask a clarity question…which actually islam promotes (see how people came to ask questions from learned scholars and caliphs all the way from Syria and Iraq .. often those challenging basic Islamic ideology) . A person came to Hazrat ALI RA and asked if taqdeer is there and has been written by Allah…why does he have to be punished for sins that he makes.

      Believe me he got a beautiful answer and not a fatwa.

      Why do our moulvis inhibit people asking questions? And why are they ready to condemn people to death if they ask something to understand things. Knowledge increases by asking and Caliphs understood that. . Scholars 1400 or even 700 years ago understood that. Not these moulvis

  12. Anita married an indian Saumil Patel who converted to islam and moved to newyork. She had a son Sherez Patel, but the marriage not lasted long. Aneeta then married Subak Majeed who is close friend of Murtaza Bhutto and now lives in karachi with him.