Released almost two months ago, the craze for Pokémon GO hasn’t faded one bit till now. However, along with the vogue of the fans that it attracted, the augmented-reality game app also pulled a lot of negative attention. Governments around the globe have already been rooting to put a stop to the Pokémon GO menace, and now the Dargah Aala Hazrat has issued a fatwa against it in India. Also Read - Holi Special Offer 2021: Garena Free Fire, Call of Duty, Free Fire, Ludo King celebrate festival of colours
The religious body pronounces the fad as a source of danger. The clerics at the Dargah Aala Hazrat believe that while players wander around being glued to their phones looking for Pokémons, they put their lives at an unnecessary risk. Along with that, they are worried that given the ‘demonic’ looking characters, the augmented reality game app may be un-islamic. Also Read - Niantic announces India-exclusive Festival of Colours for Pokemon Go: Here are the details
“As gamers stare at their mobile screens, they live in a virtual world and forget about their real surroundings. This is extremely dangerous and has caused several accidents in many places across the world. There are chances of a distracted player being hit by a speeding vehicle. It is unsafe and playing it is forbidden in Islam,” Mufti Mohammed Saleem Noori, spokesperson of the Barelvi seminary Dargah Aala Hazrat and the cleric who issued the fatwa told TOI. Also Read - Pokemon GO adds remote raids to encourage playing from home
“Moreover, an addicted player’s family members might also suffer. There is also a possibility that players might enter religious shrines while prayers are going on. It might create law and order problems,” Noori added. The decision was taken after “two residents of Mauritius contacted Maulana Qamar Raza, a Port Louis-based cleric, to know whether playing Pokémon Go is un-Islamic,” said Noori.
Pokémon players in India, on the other hand, hold a different point of view than the religious clerics. BGR India spoke to some of players of the game who argued the fatwa saying that it may demand more caution but it is not worthy being banned.
A Goa-based ardent Pokémon GO fan, Siddharth Singh, believes that getting too involved in the game may cause accidents, which it has in the past, but that does not call for a ban or fatwa, yes, may be some precautions that players could take. “I play the game too, and even I have run into walls sometimes, but I am still conscious of where I am, I may walk aimlessly looking for Pokémons in my house, but I wouldn’t do that on the roads. But for once, considering the mishaps, this could still be believed a reason worthy for passing a religious decision, but the game being ‘un-islamic’ is beyond my understanding,” Singh said.
Vikash Yadav, another fan thinks that Pokémon GO “is just a source of recreation and entertainment, and people need to take things easy. The fatwa seems quite uncalled for.”
However, Delhi-based gamer (who refuses to be named), seems to have a very understanding view of the entire scenario. He says, “It cannot be denied that Pokémon GO is causing hundreds of accidents across the world. And about the game being unreligious, I am sure the clerics know what their religion demands, and people should just accept the fatwa if it hurts any religious sentiments.”