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    Scholars declare poppy cultivation un-Islamic

    KABUL (PAN): Religious scholars from across the country on Thursday issued a fatwa, declaring poppy cultivation and the drug commerce as un-Islamic.

    More than 600 religious scholars concluded a three-day meeting in Kabul, discussing ways of preventing the cultivation of opium poppies in the country.

    At the end of the meeting, they issued a fatwa, which was read out by Mohammad Shoaib Saiqal, the Islamic Studies director at the Ministry of Education.

    The first part of the fatwa says poppy cultivation is forbidden by the Holy Quran, as well as Prophet Hazrat Muhammad's Sunnah and Hadith. Trade in drugs and their use harms a Muslim's faith, wisdom, life and respect.

    The second part of the religious decree says the cultivation and dealing in drugs contrary to Islam, because they push Muslim society to moral decay.

    "We, the religious scholars, call on the people of Afghanistan to stop the cultivation of the Shariah-prohibited crop," the decree said, urging the government to purge the country of corruption and drugs.

    Deputy Minister of Counter-Narcotics Mohammad Ibrahim Azhar said: "The scholars from across the country have issued a unanimous fatwa on the illegality of drugs and Afghan growers, therefore, should avoid cultivating the illicit crop."