Darul-Uloom Deoband, the leading Islamic seminary in India, on Friday issued a fatwa to Muslims saying that chanting "Bharat Mata ki jai" was against Islam. The seminary said Muslims should not chant the slogan because it goes against “tauheed”, or the concept of monotheism in Islam, reported The Hindu. The fatwa said that forcing people to chant the slogan goes against the Constitution, which allows Indian citizens to practice their own faiths. The Bharatiya Janata Party criticised the fatwa, with Union minister Sadhvi Niranjan Jyoti saying that the seminary was behaving "like a hardliner".

This comes amid a raging controversy in the country over chanting the slogan. It all started nearly a month ago when Rashtriya Swayamsevak Sangh chief Mohan Bhagwat said that young Indians must be taught to chant “Bharat mata ki jai”. Following this, All India Majlis-e-Ittehad-ul Muslimeen leader Asaduddin Owaisi said he will not chant the slogan even if a knife is put to his throat. He later clarified that he was only against using the slogan as a test of loyalty to the country, adding that the Constitution does not mention it. He also alleged that it was a message to Muslims to accept Hindutva. On March 16, the Maharashtra Assembly AIMIM legislator Waris Pathan after he refused to say "Bharat Mata ki jai".