February 21, 2011 Leave a comment
This post is in response to Mr. Ansar Abbasi’s Column He wrote on 21st February.
Cannot hide from reality
February 21, 2011 Leave a comment
This post is in response to Mr. Ansar Abbasi’s Column He wrote on 21st February.
January 10, 2011 35 Comments
A few days ago, I was watching a recorded program called “Faisla aapka” recorded on 8th January 2011 by Samaa News. The topic was tolerance, two participants of religious views and two participants of liberal views were invited to debate on the after math of the incident of 4th January 2011. One of the clerics while defending blasphemy law justifies it from the Holy Qura’an quoting verses from Chapter 33 (Surah Al-Ahzaab).
I was shocked to see that Mr. Paracha (from one of the politico-religious parties) was so confident when he was distorting the verses and the audience was applauding him for that, while the show host and the other cleric (from Sunni Tehrik) was backing him up referring to Chapter 9 of the Holy Qura’an. Let me explain to you what Mr. Paracha was referring to from the Holy Qura’an:
[33:56] Allah and His angels send blessings on the Prophet. O ye who believe! you also should invoke blessings on him and salute him with the salutation of peace.
[33:57] Verily, those who malign Allah and His Messenger — Allah has cursed them in this world and in the Hereafter, and has prepared for them an abasing punishment.
[33:58] And those who malign believing men and believing women for what they have not earned shall bear the guilt of a calumny and a manifest sin.
[33:59] O Prophet! tell thy wives and thy daughters and the women of the believers that they should draw close to them portions of their loose outer coverings. That is nearer that they may thus be distinguished and not molested. And Allah is Most Forgiving, Merciful.
[33:60] If the hypocrites, and those in whose heart is a disease, and those who cause agitation in the city, desist not, We shall surely give thee authority over them; then they will not dwell therein as thy neighbors, save for a little while.
[33:61] Then they will be accursed. Wherever they are found, they will be seized, and cut into pieces.
— Surah Al Ahzaab
As you can see here, clearly Mr. Paracha is deceiving the crowd and imposing his views of the Qura’an. What he does is, read the first two verses and then joins verse 61 with verses 57 and 58, which ofcourse changes the entire context of the message. Allah (God almighty) is clearly saying that He alone is the one to punish those who malign Allah and Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him). To understand the rest of the argument one must know the pretext of this chapter(Surah Al Ahzaab). It deals with the vicissitudes through which Islam had to pass during the early years of the Prophet (peace be upon him) in Medina. The Jews of the surrounding tribes gave a hard time to the Muslims, even those tribesmen who were included in the pact of Medina didn’t leave any opportunity to create mischief. Those are being referred to as hypocrites. The main weapon in their armory against Islam, was spreading of false news to friendly tribes. This was an act of treason not blasphemy, the punishment for treason was capital punishment.
Now let us see what is written in Chapter 9 (Al-Taubah) to which the second cleric is referring to.
[9:12] Will you not fight a people who have broken their oaths, and who plotted to turn out the Messenger, and they were the first to commence hostilities against you? Do you fear them? Nay, Allah is most worthy that you should fear Him, if you are believers.
[9:13] Fight them, that Allah may punish them at your hands, and humiliate them, and help you to victory over them, and relieve the minds of a people who believe;
— Surah Al Taubah
Again, if viewed in context of the verse number 12, it makes total sense. It isn’t directed towards blasphemers, it is clearly saying about those who break their, oaths, these were the Jewish tribes which were included in the pact of Medina. No where in the above two verses does Allah (God almighty) asks the Prophet (peace be upon him) to kill any blasphemer. None of the Muslims try to research the references these clerics give out. This points out to two things, Muslims lack knowledge of the Holy Qura’an and Islamic History and two, they blindly follow what the mullah tells them. It was for times like these the Prophet (peace be upon him) predicted.
“There will be a decline in religious faith and nothing would be left of Islam except its name and nothing would be left of the Holy Qura’an except its text. Mosques though full of worshipers will be empty of guidance. The religious scholars will be the worst creation under the canopy of Heaven”.
(Mishkat-ul Masabih, p.88 & Kanaz-ul Ummal, vol.6 p.43).
December 25, 2010 6 Comments
Dearest Father of the nation,
May your soul rest in peace. Today on your 134th birthday, I wish I could give you something. I know what you wanted from your nation, but I am sorry we as a nation have let you down. I know we didn’t live up to your expectations as much. I understand, the Pakistan today isn’t what you dreamed of. I am sorry about that.
I am sorry we made corrupt people as our leaders, who robbed us and took everything away. I am sorry we didn’t find any leader like you in the past 62 years, so we had to settle for the feudal ones. I am sorry for the fact that we failed to ensure security of each and every individual living here. I am sorry we failed to preserve the rights of the minorities, instead we persecuted them. I am sorry we don’t have any Pakistanis here, but we do have Sindhis, Punjabis, Pushtoons, Saraikis, Baluchis, Mahajirs etc. I am sorry we don’t have any Muslims here either, but we do have Sunnis, Shias, Deobandis, Barhelvis etc. I am sorry we failed to develop like India or China, but the good thing is (I hope you will be thrilled to hear that) we still have IMF supporting us.
I am sorry we cannot reduce poverty, hunger, illiteracy and lawlessness because we have to spend the money we have on our leaders, parliamentarians and the military. I am sorry we let our talented youth go to waste due to our ignorance. I am sorry we let the illiterate religious leaders use us for their interest, sorry that we have to follow those who called you an infidel and Pakistan an abomination. I am sorry no place of worship is safe here and I am dearly sorry that we are now listed among the top 10 dangerous countries in the world. I am sorry that this country which was meant to be the fort of Islam, is a disgrace to the very cause.
Dear Quaid-e-Azam, on your 134th birthday, I am sorry we are even worst than what we were, back when you gave us the most cherished gift of all, ‘freedom’.
I am sorry.
December 15, 2010 1 Comment
THE LIFESTYLE OF TODAYS MUSLIMS NOT TRULY ISLAMIC
That is one area of difficulties. But there is another very important area of difficulty: That is, the life‑style of the Muslims in most countries is not truly and profoundly Muslim.
You see, you do not require a law of Shariah to say your prayers five times. You do not require the law of Shariah to make you behave honestly. You do not require the law of Shariah to be imposed to make you speak the truth and to appear as witness in court ‑ or, wherever you appear as witness ‑ honestly and truthfully. A society where robbery has become the order of the day, where there is disorder, chaos, usurpation of others rights, where the courts seldom witness a person who is truthful, where abusive language is a common place mode of expression, where there is no decency left in human behavior, what would you expect Shariah to do there? How the law of Shariah would genuinely be imposed in such a country, this is the question.
SUITABLE ATMOSPHERE REQUIRED FOR THE IMPOSITION OF SHARIAH LAW
Lets put it in a different form. The question is that every country has a climate and not all the flora can flourish in that climate. Dates flourish in deserts but not in the chilly north. Similarly, cherries cannot be sown in the desert; they require a special climate. Shariah also requires a special climate. If you have not created that climate, then Shariah cannot be imposed.
Every prophet ‑ not only Prophet Muhammad (peace and blessings of God be upon him) ‑ every prophet first created that healthy climate for the law of God to be imposed, willingly not compulsorily. And when the society was ready, then the laws were introduced and stiffened further and further, until the whole code was revealed. That society was capable of carrying the burden of the law of religion, whether you call it Shariah law or any other law.
In a society for instance, where theft is common place, where telling falsehood is just an everyday practice, if you enact Shariah law and sever the hands of those who steal, what is going to happen? Is that the purpose of Shariah? It’s not just a question of sentimentality about religion. God’s Will be done no doubt, but it will be done in the orderly way as God wishes us to do.
SHARIAH LAW USED AS A PRETEXT TO SEIZE POWER
It is not the love of Islam which is urging them on to demand Shariah law. It is just an instrument to reach to power, to capture power and to rule the society in the name of God. Society is already ruled by corrupt people, by cruel people but that is done in the name of human beings; that is tolerable to a degree. But when atrocities are committed in the name of God, it’s the worst possible, the ugliest thing that can happen to man.
So as such, we must think many, many times, before we can even begin to ponder over the question whether anywhere in the world, the law of religion can be imposed as a legal tender? I doubt it.
December 14, 2010 2 Comments
All religions split up into sects with time
But that Is not all: Every religion, at the source is one and single and non-splittable, but as you pass along in period of time, the religion begins to diverge and split within and multiply and become more and more in number, so that the same faith which, for instance, at the time of Jesus Christ (peace be on him) was one single Christianity, turned into many hundreds of Christianity. Looked from the vantage point of different sects, the one single source appears to be different in color. Different‑colored eye‑glasses are used by various followers of various sects. The same is true of Islam. It’s not just a question of Sunni Islam and Shia Islam and how they interpret the Shariah.
Within Shia Islam there are 34 sects whose interpretation of Shariah differs with each other. Within again, Sunni Islam there are at least 34 sects whose interpretation of Shariah differs with each other. There are issues on which no two scholars of different sects agree. Not superficial issue; even the fundamental ones. How to define a Muslim?
If thirteen centuries, plus some years are not enough for you to be able to define the very fundamentals of Islam ‑ what is a definition? ‑ how much more time would you require?
This is a very grave issue. If the Shariah interpretation of one sect is imposed, then it will not just be the non‑Muslims who will be dispossessed of the fundamental right of participation in the country’s legislation, but within Islam also there would be many sects who would be deprived of this right.
The Interpretation of which sect is to be imposed on Shariah Law?
Again there are so many other problems: For instance, according to some Shariah concept, the punishment for a crime is so much different from the concept of another sect, that Islam would be practiced in the world so differently on the same issue, that it would create a horrible impression on the non‑Muslim world. What sort of faith that is which advises one punishment for the same crime here and another there. And in some other places it is just the very thing to do and it’s no crime at all.
These and many such issues make the question of imposition of Shariah almost impossible.
Moreover, the fundamental rights of other sects are also tampered with, or trampled upon, in many possible situations. For instance on the question of drinking of alcohol. Alcohol is forbidden in Islam, alright; but, the very question of whether it is a punishable offense and whether the punishment, if any, is imposed by man in this world, is a fluid issue. It is a controversial issue and has not yet been agreed upon by all the people involved. What is the punishment of drinking? The Holy Quran does NOT mention any punishment. This is a fundamental law, the Book of law and it is inferred from some Tradition, by some scholars, that; that should be the punishment. But that inference is far‑fetched and the Traditions themselves are challenged by others not to be authentic.
So, will a large section of not only Muslim society, but also a large section of non‑Muslim society, be punished for such reasons as in themselves are doubtful. Whether it’s valid or not, this is the issue. Yet there are extremists, everywhere and particularly those who go for Shariah to be imposed.
You will find many extremist who are totally intolerant of others opinion. Consequently, such gray areas also will be taken as No Doubt areas by the extremists. They will say, ‘Yes, we know; it’s our opinion. It’s the opinion supported by a medieval scholar or our thinking. And that is law’.
December 13, 2010 2 Comments
Naushad Valiyani was detained on Friday following a complaint by a medical representative who visited the doctor in the city of Hyderabad.
“The arrest was made after the complainant told the police that Valiyani threw his business card, which had his full name, Muhammad Faizan, in a dustbin during a visit to his clinic,” regional police chief Mushtaq Shah told AFP.
“Faizan accused Valiyani of committing blasphemy and asked police to register a case against the doctor.”
Shah said the issue had been resolved after Valiyani, a member of the Ismaili community apologised but local religious leaders intervened and pressed for action. – Express News
This is what I have been bragging about. This is exactly why blasphemy law is not Islamic. A fine example how in Pakistan, one can cause distress to their foes on the basis of blasphemy law. This will be one of the many cases as the name ‘Muhammad’ is very common in the Islamic world.
What’s more alarming is that there are many manufacturing industries which are named Muhammad. Let’s assume for a moment there is a candy manufacturer named as ‘Muhammad industries‘, now a kid who is going to eat that candy from ‘Muhammad industries‘ and throw the wrapper away (which has the name of the company printed at the back), doesn’t know he is going to be accused of blasphemy and will be put into confined prison for God knows how many months.
Does Islam allow such lunacy and shallowness? All those who are for the blasphemy law “Do you still think it is Islamic?”. It doesn’t bring any glory to Islamic traditions, rather it deteriorates the image of a peaceful and tolerant religion.
December 11, 2010 3 Comments
The Shariah law is an extremely hot debate among Muslim countries and now this debate is taking place in countries where Muslim population is on the rise. It is understood generally that if the majority of a country constitute with Muslims, then the Muslims have the right – rather, an obligation ‑ to enact Shariah law. It is argued that if they believe in the Holy Qur’an and if they believe also that the Holy Qur’an is a comprehensive Book which relates to every area of human activity and directs man as to how he should conduct himself in every sphere of life, then it is hypocrisy to remain contented with those claims. They should follow the logical conclusion and enact Shariah law and make it the only law valid for the country.
Now, this is what’s being said on the one side. And on the other side, many difficulties are pointed out ‑ such as proposed legislative problems ‑ very serious constitutional problems as well as very serious problems in almost all sphere of the enactment of Shariah. So, lets first see, why Shariah law cannot be exercised or imposed on people, who practically, as far their normal way of life is concerned, are not the ideal Muslims, much to the contrary. In those areas where they are free to practice Islam, they fall so much short that one wonders when they willingly cannot exercise Islam, how could they be expected to do it by coercion and by force of law. This and many others are the areas where debate is being carried on and pursued hotly, let us try to understand all the sides of this issue.
Shariah is the law and there is no doubt about it; the law of Islam; the law for Muslims. But the question is how far can this law be transformed into legislation for running a political government. On top of that many other issues get involved in it. For instance, if a Muslim country has the right to dictate its law to all of its population, then by the same reasoning and logic, every other country with the majority of population belonging to other religions would have exactly do the same right to enact their laws.
The entire world would become a world of not only political conflict but also of a politico‑religious conflict, whereby all the laws would be attributed to God, yet they would contradict each other diametrically. There would be such a confusion that people would begin to lose faith in God Who speaks one thing to one people and another thing to another people, and Who tells them to enforce this law on the people or ‘they will be untrue to Me‘.
As such, you can well imagine what would happen in India for instance, if the law of the Hindu Majority is imposed on the Muslim minority. As a matter of fact, a large section of the Indian society is gradually being pushed towards this extremist demand ‑ by the way of reaction, I suppose to what is happening in some Islamic countries. What would happen to the Muslims and other minorities in India? Moreover this is not a question of India alone. What if Israel enacts the law of Judaism ‑the law of Talmud ‑ it will be impossible for any other non‑Jew to live there, normally and decently.
In the same manner Christianity has its own rights and so has Buddhism.
PARTICIPATION IN LEGISLATION
The next consideration is the very concept of the state: This is the most fundamental issue which has to be resolved and addressed by those who are concerned with politics or international law. The question is that anyone born in a state has the right to participate in its legislation.
In the secular concept of the running of governments and legislation, everyone born in a given country, whatever be his religion or color or creed acquires the basic fundamental civic rights. And the most important among these rights is the chance at least, to participate in the shaping of the legislation.
Of course, parties come and go; majority parties today may turn into minority parties tomorrow. Everybody’s wish is not fulfilled or carried out. But in principle, everybody has a fair and equal chance to make his say heard at least by the opposition, on matters of common principle. But what would happen if one Shariah or one religion is imposed as the law of that country? If Muslim law were imposed in a country, all the rest of the people who are inhabitants of the same land, would have to be considered as second, third or fourth rate citizens of the same country with No say whatsoever in the legislation. But that is not all the problem is further complicated within Islam itself: Because Islam has a Book revealed by God and the Muslim scholars claim that it is their right to interpret the Book.
LEGISLATIVE BODY SUBORDINATE TO RELIGIOUS SCHOLARS
On issues of differences of opinion, the legislative body stands subordinate to the scholastic opinion of such scholars who specialize in understanding the Holy Qur’an; or who CLAIM to specialize in understanding the Holy Qur’an. What would be their mutual relationship. A body is elected to legislate. They legislate and you might come across some scholars of Islam disregarding the legislation dubbing it un-Islamic.
Whose voice should be heard? On the one hand, it would apparently be God speaking behind those people; but only apparently. On the other hand, there will be a voice of the majority of people of the country. So the dilemma becomes almost impossible to be resolved.