I shared this post from Sumayya B Willaimson's timeline...
Please read and forward it to all Muslims Who ask for gender equality.
Question posed By Sister Sarah was:
*On March 18, 2005 Amina Wadud led the first female-led Jumu`ah Prayer. On that day, women took a huge step towards being more like men. But, did we come closer to actualizing our God-given liberation?*
Thank you for your inspiring question!
Well, answering your question, I can say that I don’t think so.
What we so often forget is that God has honored women by giving them value in relation to God—not in relation to men. But as Western feminism erases God from the scene, there is no standard left but men.
As a result, the Western feminist is forced to find her value in relation to a man. And in so doing, she has accepted a faulty assumption. She has accepted that man is the standard, and thus a woman can never be a full human being until she becomes just like a man—the standard.
When a man cut his hair short, she wanted to cut her hair short. When a man joined the army, she wanted to join the army, and so on. She wanted these things for no other reason than because the “standard” had it.
What she didn’t recognize was that God dignifies both men and women in their distinctiveness, not their sameness. And on March 18, Muslim women made the very same mistake.
For 1,400 years, there has been a consensus of scholars that men are to lead prayer. As a Muslim woman, why does this matter? The one who leads prayer is not spiritually superior in any way.
Something is not better just because a man does it. And leading Prayer is not better just because it is leading.
Had it been the role of women or had it been more divine, why wouldn’t the Prophet have asked Lady `A’ishah or Lady Khadijah, or Lady Fatimah—the greatest women of all time—to lead?
These women were promised heaven and yet they never led prayer.
But now, for the first time in 1,400 years, we look at a man leading prayer and we think, “that’s not fair.” We think so, although God has given no special privilege to the one who leads. The imam is no higher in the eyes of God than the one who prays behind him.
On the other hand, only a woman can be a mother. And the Creator has given special privilege to a mother. The Prophet taught us that heaven lies at the feet of mothers. But no matter what a man does, he can never be a mother. So why is that not unfair?
When asked who is most deserving of our kind treatment? The Prophet replied “your mother” three times before saying “your father” only once. Isn’t that sexist? No matter what a man does, he will never be able to have the status of a mother.
And yet even when God honors us with something uniquely feminine, we are too busy trying to find our worth in reference to men, to value it or even notice it. We too have accepted men as the standard; so anything uniquely feminine is, by definition, “inferior”.
Being sensitive is an insult, becoming a mother is a degradation. In the battle between stoic rationality (considered masculine) and selfless compassion (considered feminine), rationality reigns supreme.
As soon as we accept that everything a man has and does is better, all that follows is just a knee jerk reaction: if men have it, we want it too. If men pray in the front rows, we assume this is better, so we want to pray in the front rows too.
If men lead prayer, we assume the imam is closer to God, so we want to lead prayer too.
Somewhere along the line, we’ve accepted the notion that having a position of worldly leadership is some indication of one’s position with God.
A Muslim woman does not need to degrade herself in this way. She has God as a standard. She has God to give her value; she doesn’t need a man here.
In fact, in our crusade to follow men, we, as women, never even stopped to examine the possibility that what we have is better for us. In some cases, we even gave up what was higher only to be like men.
Fifty years ago, we saw men leaving the home to work in factories. We were mothers. And yet, we saw men doing it, so we wanted to do it too. Somehow, we considered it women’s liberation to abandon the raising of another human being in order to work on a machine.
We accepted that working in a factory was superior to raising the foundation of society—just because a man did it.
Then after working, we were expected to be superhuman—the perfect mother, the perfect wife, the perfect homemaker, and have the perfect career. And while there is nothing wrong, by definition, with a woman having a career, we soon came to realize what we had sacrificed by blindly mimicking men.
We watched as our children became strangers, and soon recognized the privilege we’d given up.
And so only now—given the choice—women in the West are choosing to stay home to raise their children. According to the United States Department of Agriculture, only 31 percent of mothers with babies, and 18 percent of mothers with two or more children, are working full time.
And of those working mothers, a survey conducted by Parenting Magazine in 2000, found that 93 percent of them say they would rather be home with their kids, but are compelled to work due to “financial obligations.”
These “obligations” are imposed on women by the gender sameness of the modern West and removed from women by the gender distinctiveness of Islam.
It took women in the West almost a century of experimentation to realize a privilege given to Muslim women 1,400 years ago. Given my privilege as a woman, I only degrade myself by trying to be something I’m not, and in all honesty, don’t want to be—a man.
As women, we will never reach true liberation until we stop trying to mimic men and value the beauty in our own God given distinctiveness.
If given a choice between stoic justice and compassion, I choose compassion. And if given a choice between worldly leadership and heaven at my feet, I choose heaven.
I hope my words answer your question. In case you have any comment or you need more about the topic, please don’t hesitate to contact us again.
Thank you and please keep in touch.
_Muhammadullah Khalili Qasmi
This is the tragedy of our time that our youths are bent on accepting every glitter of the modern era as fashion and symbol of progress. There are many things that, at first sight, seem odd, strange and indecent, but with the gust of advertisements, media coverage and competitions of commercial institutions it is made in to a popular fact. In recent years, a new phenomenon has spread among the youths - males and females alike – to celebrate Valentine’s Day, a holiday dedicated to lovers. This celebration was rarely known by any Indian youth some decades ago, though it might have been celebrated in western world.
St Valentine’s Day is celebrated on 14th February by sending greeting cards or gifts to express love to one’s beloved. The cards are generally designed with hearts to symbolize love. Now, the craze of celebrating St Valentine’s Day is increasing year by year in Asian countries, especially developing nations like India. As the Valentine’s Day approaches nearer florists pile up love cards, gifts and bounties of flowers, the general stores sell Valentine chocolates, cakes and other gifts. The barbers cut hearts into men's head hair, restaurants promote Valentine's Day dinners. Newspapers publish romantic and flirting messages. The satellite channels are not lagging behind even an inch; they present special features and organize love-letter competitions. Internet dating services enjoy a rise in surfing and telecommunication companies record high surge in outgoing and incoming calls.
This phenomenon is spreading many unholy things and in our society as well the mind of younger generation. Of course, love is a natural feeling and valuable asset of human life, but not the love that spoils their life and involves many other wrong aspects.
Baseless Historical Background
There is a lot of debate and disagreement among scholars about the origin of Valentine’s Day. However, this is certain that this is celebrated in the memory of some Valentine. Also, this is another historical fact that there have been more than one Valentines who were martyred in early centuries of Christianity.
But, as far as the matter of its origin is concerned it goes back to ancient Rome before the Romans embraced Christianity. In ancient Rome, there was celebrated a holiday on February 14th in the honour of Juno Fructifier, Queen of the Roman gods and goddesses. The other day on February 15, they celebrated the feast of Lupercalis which was originally a festival of shepherds, and was primarily for the purpose to secure fertility for the fields, the flocks, and the shepherds themselves. There were many myths associated with this festival and many dirty rituals were performed.
When Christianity spread in Rome, the celebration of the pagan festivals persisted among them. The Christian Romans continued to celebrate these festivals, until came Pope Gelasius I who abolished Lupercalis and declared in 496 that the feast of St. Valentine would be on February 14. Thus, the ancient Roman Lupercalis festival was replaced by a new Valentine’s Day.
Who was this Valentine; there is no specific information about him. There was more than one person in Rome with similar name who existed during the early years of the church, two or three of whom were martyred. It was said that there were two of them, or that there was only one, who died in Rome as the result of the persecution of the Gothic leader Claudius.
But, why was he killed, this question also remains deprived of a clear-cut answer. It is also said that Saint Valentine advocated love and peace, therefore he was martyred. It is also said that the Roman emperor Claudius II sentenced St Valentine to be executed because of his opposition of government order that prohibited soldiers to marry. It is also perceived that Valentine fell in love with the jailer's daughter. The emperor offered him to pardon and make him one of his closest confidantes if he forsook Christianity, which Valentine refused and preferred martyrdom. He was executed on 14 February 270 CE, on the eve of February 15, the festival of Lupercalis.
Thus, the pagan Roman festival of Lupercalis was transformed into Valentine’s Day and was called the Feast of Lovers, and Saint Valentine was considered to be the patron saint of lovers.
Irrelevance of Valentine’s Day
However, whatever the reality may be, but one thing seems clear that none of the narrations appears to have much to do with love or romance that we see is observed on Valentine’s Day. If the Christians celebrate this day in the memory of their martyr, then it is something that looks sound, but what the Muslims and other people of faith have to do with this? Not only it is nonsense for Muslims and others, but also for Christians as well, because today’s Valentine’s Day has no relation to the sacrifice for truth that was offered by St Valentine, as they claim.
And, if it is historically true that Valentine was killed in punishment of having love affairs with a girl, then the entire story takes a U turn and instead of being ‘a cause of pride’ becomes ‘a matter of shame’. Being a saint he commits such kind of act. And, more shameful is the act of those who celebrate this day in his remembrance.
The Valentine’s Day celebration is entirely based on groundless historical myths. How surprising it is that if an unmeaning and baseless ritual is celebrated by other people of faith it is taunted as ‘mythology’ and ‘orthodoxy’, but if it is practiced by the western world it becomes a symbol of progress and intellectualism!
In the society we live, every thing is based on commercial foundations. Why only education, even the human parts and human dignity is a saleable commodity. The culture of celebrating ‘Days’ is actually the invention of the Capitalism, which primarily aims at devouring the common man’s wealth and amassing it up. The commercial companies give push to ‘Celebrations’ and ‘Days’ in order to boost their products. They do not miss even a single opportunity to take out money from the pockets of people. Schemes are announced, concessions are declared and the public is seduced to achieve it in order to be in pace with the world and to be called progressive, whether they are not able to afford it.
The Muslims’ history is full of such personalities who bravely sacrificed their lives in order to guard their mission and religion. But, Islam is a natural and simple religion, it did not like to burden the people with the loads of continual festivals and celebrations as it slows down their march to spirituality and affect the common man financially.
We Indians, especially Muslims, instead of imitating the West should be proud of our own culture and social order where the foundation of love, affection and relationship is far deeper and stronger than in the West. Why to fall in inferiority complex, be proud of your own invaluable asset that is quite perfect and matchless!
Published in Milli Gazette (Delhi) and Eastern Crescent (Mumbai).
Darul Uloom Deoband
There are repeated requests from within India and outside that Darul Uloom Deoband should express its view regarding the Ruju (revocation) of Maulana Muhammad Saad from his comments about the Prophet Musa (peace be upon him).
It is hereby clarified that as far the Ruju of Maulana Muhammad Saad from this particular issue is concerned it is somehow satisfactory, but the ideological divergence of Maulana Muhammad Saad to which Darul Uloom Deoband has pointed out in its Stand cannot be ignored at all; this is because even after so-called Ruju he continues to make several other statements wherein he adopts the same innovative style, baseless conclusions and unwarranted application of Islamic resources (nusus) to his peculiar ideology of Dawah. This is the reason that not only we (the servants of Darul Uloom Deoband) rather the other Ulama-e-Haq are very much worried due to the overall ideological approach of Maulana Muhammad Saad.
It is our assertion that the least diversion from the path of Akabir (pious predecessors) is immensely harmful. Therefore, following the footstep of the predecessors, Maulana Muhammad Saad should be cautious enough in his statements and should stop the personal deductions (ijtihadat) from the Quran and Hadith; since his innovative deductions and interpretations denote as if he is bent to formulate a new group which will be different from the way of Ahl al-Sunnah wa al-Jama’at and Akabir. May Allah keep us firm and steadfast on the track of our pious predecessors, Amen!
Those who turn to us in this regard are once again reminded that Darul Uloom Deoband has distanced itself from the internal dispute of Tablighi Jamat and it has declared its impartiality clearly from the beginning. However, whenever people approach Darul Uloom for its views about wrong ideologies and thoughts, Darul Uloom always strives to guide the Ummah considering it its religious duty.
(Maulana Mufti) Abul Qasim Nomani
(Maulana Mufti) Sayeed Ahmad Palanpuri
(Maulana Syed) Arshad Madani
Date 13/05/1439 AH / 31/01/2018
Muhammadullah Khalili Qasmi*
There is much hue and cry about a fatwa of Darul Uloom Deoband regarding bank employment in national electronic and print media. The social media were also abuzz with comments and remarks on the issue.
The whole issue is that a youth submitted a question in Darul Uloom Deoband’s Darul Ifta saying that he has some proposals for marriage and one of them is from a daughter of bank employee, what should he do? The Mufti of Darul Uloom replied him that it is not preferable to accept the proposal from bank employee, rather he should prefer proposal from religious and pious families. It was a kind of advice to the person concerned who asked the question. This answer can be applicable for those who have the same case and want to follow the fatwa.
The second misconception is that each fatwa is taken as diktat and general injunction, and it is not understood within its confines. Sometimes a fatwa given as advice or directive principle, but it is taken as command for all.
In order to understand the issue in its entirety, we have to understand some basic principles of Islam. The first and foremost thing is that interest or usury is categorically prohibited in Islam with the Quran declaring it is as unlawful in several verses (2:275, 2:276, 3:130, 4:161 and 30:39) and while one verse regards it tantamount to declaring war against Allah Almighty and His Messenger (peace be upon him) (See: al-Quran 2:278).
Interest is forbidden in Islam, as it disturbs the proper circulation of wealth in the society and badly affects the poor people. There are several Hadiths regarding the prohibition of interest. One Hadith says that Allah’s curse visits one who consumes interest, the one who gives it to others, the one who writes it down and the one who bears witness to it; they are all the same. (Sahih Muslim, Hadith No. 1598)
This is the reason that interest is the big factor in economics and financial issues as per the Islamic Shariah. A Muslim must avoid a deal, transaction or work which involves interest in any way. Thus, having a job in bank is also primarily not allowed as one working in bank may not avoid involvement in interest-based dealings by writing the interest based dealing or in some other way. However, if one has a job in bank which is free from any involvement in writing interest or bearing witness to interest, then his job is allowable.
Therefore, if any Muslim is seeking job, he is advised to avoid bank job which may get him involved in interest-based work. However, if one is already in the bank job, he is advised not to leave it immediately rather look for some lawful and pure income source while continuing to seek forgiveness from Allah due to involvement in interest. Moreover, such a person should give the amount of salary in charity (to a poor) which he earned against the interest based work.
Second important thing to remember is that Islam has attached much importance with regard to purity of income and its consumption. Abstaining haram and acquiring halal is as much necessary for the Muslims as the observance of Salah and payment of Zakah. Unlawful and impure income can lead a Muslim to many troubles and punishments in this world and the Hereafter, while halal and pure income helps him progress in faith and perfect his spirituality. Income earned through unlawful sources like gambling, bribe, interest, theft etc must be avoided as the Quran says that those devouring the wealth unjustly are as if they are filling fire in their stomach. (4:10) Moreover, Hadith says that the flesh grown out of unlawful income deserves to be thrown in Hell Fire (Sunan al-Tirmidhi, Hadith No. 558), while another Hadith says that the prayers and worships of haram consumers will not be acceptable to Allah. (Al-Mujam al-Ausat, 6:311) Therefore, purity of income is one of the most important teachings of Islam.
There are many misconceptions in people even regarding many issues related to interest which must be clarified. The first doubt is that interest received bank is not the usury (riba) prohibited in the Quran. It is to be pretty much clear that the interest given by conventional banks falls under the category of riba (prohibited interest) according the Muslims jurists (Muftis and Ulama) and Fiqh academies of India and Islamic World.
Some people object if banking system is not approved by Islamic Shariah, then opening bank account and depositing money in banks is also contribution to banking system and thus it should be unlawful. It should be clear enough that opening accounts in banks and keeping money therein for safety is alright and it carries no prohibition. But the interest earned in the account may not be used in personal needs, rather should be either given in charity to the poor or paid in income tax etc.
It is also objected that the banks or the government gives salaries to their employees from interest or haram money, thus every government job must be unlawful. It should be noted that the salary of an employee becomes halal or haram on the basis of his own work irrespective of government income source; if his work is halal then his salary will be halal and if it is otherwise then his salary will be haram and unlawful. If his work is combines both halal and haram work, then the portion of income earned against haram work will become haram and impure.
Finding a life partner is one of the important steps of life that needs much care deliberation. The Hadith also says that a woman is married for four reasons; her wealth, her family status, her beauty and her religion. So you should marry the religious woman, otherwise you will be a loser. (Sahih al-Bukhari, Hadith No. 4700)
In the light of the abovementioned Quranic verses and Hadith references, you can decide whether the respected Mufti was right in advising the young man to avoid a proposal from bank employee and look for marrying in a pious family. Darul Uloom Deoband and other madrasas and Islamic institutions take it as their utmost responsibility to guide Muslims in the light of the Quran and Hadith.
 For instance, you can refer to the decisions and resolutions of Islamic Fiqh Academy India (http://ifa-india.org/index.php?do=home&pageid=economic) and International Islamic Fiqh Academy of World Muslim League (http://www.iifa-aifi.org/1990.html)
* Coordinator, Online Fatwa Dept, Darul Uloom Deoband
By M. Burhanuddin Qasmi
It is not realistic that a fight or a contest will be won by both or all the contesting parties simultaneously. The stronger, the better fighter and the one with better strategy always wins and the winner is one. What is important is the fight or contest itself. The contesting parties must fight with all and best of their abilities. Their spirit of fight must be visible for the audience out of the arena.
We have seen very recently that the Congress has given up in Himachal Pradesh but put a tough fight in Gujarat elections against BJP. Every genuine critic has recognized that although Congress lost Gujarat in numbers but it was able to put challenges on face of BJP street by street which may help the Party in upcoming days, if it remains intact with the people of Gujarat.
The recent Triple Talaq Bill passed by the Lok Sabha is actually a bill against Islamic Talaq as a whole and not only Triple Talaq. The definition of Talaq-e Bid’ah in the Bill is ambiguous and utterly confusing. It covers all forms of Talaq which is enforceable with immediate effect. It means one Talaq Baien and one Talaq Ra’jie given in the monthly period time of a woman (which is also Talaq-e Bid’ah) comes under vigorous punishment and fine. Thus the Bill is entirely against the Qur’an and all juristic schools of Islamic Shariah including Ahle Hadith denomination. It is against Islam and practices of all Muslims in the world.
The Bill is passed in the Lower House with unexpected ease on 28 December 2017 and will be passed in the Upper House of Parliament too. 160 million Muslims of India could not put a fight before the ruling party is a fact and history will put it on record. Muslim Indians need to analyze it with cool minds and realistic attitude.
To me, there are three groups from Muslims who happen to be responsible for not putting even a tough fight on this very crucial issue. One, the apex body of Muslims, the All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) which came in to being in 1971 to legally protect and safeguard Muslims’ interest and ensure protection of Muslim Personal Laws within constitutional framework. It has been a responded party in the Supreme Court on Triple Talaq Case. The organization failed to mobilize mass supports which it got during signature campaign. It looks the organization is headless now. It is not that there are not able people within the organization but it is because that a division within upper hierarchy is clearly visible. They are not able to plan things well and when planned they are not able to execute them at ground level at right time with right strategy.
The second one is the premier Muslim organization Jamiat Ulama-e Hind (JUH). Jamiat has also been a responded party in the Supreme Court in the Triple Talaq Case. Jamiat is a better organized nationalistic body with mass appeal and a pan India membership. It appears that the Jamiat could not figure out how things were turning following the Supreme Court verdict in the Triple Talaq Case. Thus it virtually did nothing or very little to stop this Bill in Lok Sabha or help put a strong opposition against it by using its resources within political parties.
Both the AIMPLB and the Jamiat could not directly talk to non-BJP parliamentarians before the bill was presented in the Lower House, which this humble writer has suggested at least two weeks ago. Instead leaders of both the organizations were out of Delhi when a very serious Bill was being debated and passed in Delhi. AIMPLB called its meeting in Lucknow instead of Delhi to discuss about Triple Talaq Bill and resolved to shoot an open letter to Prime Minister Modi asking him not to present the Bill in the Parliament, as if Government was waiting to hear from them to make an important move. On the other hand, I have no information about any fractions of Jamiat even holding a serious meeting among themselves, let alone with others, to discuss and plan anything about this bill in last 10-15 days.
The Muslim law makers both in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha are also equally responsible for this debacle as the third group. Politicians are supposed to be the visionaries of the nation. They knew the Bill was coming; they had excess to the draft bill before hand. They could read it, plan among themselves and suggest their respective public bodies to put pressure on other politicians. Some of them are respectable members both in AIMPLB and Jamiat. But they found to be unprepared or very poorly prepared. Badly divided among parties or with personal political interests at a time when they must have stood as a single Muslim body.
Mr. Assaduddin Owaisi, Hyderabad MP, came out as a lone hero following the debate on 28th December. He is defeated, he was taunted in the Parliament by his rival MPs from BJP but he stood alone bravely and fought alone like a lion of religion – the meaning of his name Assaduddin. The Sher (Lion) of Hyderabad has done his part and today every single Muslim man and woman is rightly praising him. Either one politically likes him or not but this credit cannot be taken away from him.
However, let’s be realistic. All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) MP from Karimganj (Assam) Mr Radhesham Biswas, Indian Union Muslim League MP from Ponnani (Kerala) Mr. E. T. Mohammad Basheer and AIADMK MP from Ramanathapuram (Tamil Nadu) Mr A Anwar Raja have also strongly opposed this Bill up to their highest strengths. They were though not best speakers in Hindustani language thus spoke either in English or in Tamil yet their first sentences were, ‘I stand here to strongly oppose this bill’.
This Lok Sabha consists two sons of Darul Uloom Deoband too, who are also members of its supreme and governing body – Majlis-e Shura. We Muslims Indians missed their voices on 28th December in the House when an utterly irrational and a completely against Qur’anic principles piece of law was being enacted in the Indian Parliament. They may have their explanations or justifications. AIUDF President Maulana Badruddin Ajmal, Dhubri MP from Assam, have put his reason stating Assam’s tense communal conditions owing to NRC draft publication on 31 December 2017 which demanded him to stay with the people of Assam and monitor situations sitting there. We are yet to get an explanation from Maulana Asrarul Haq Qasmi, the Congress MP from Kishanganj, Bihar. People may agree with their explanations or not but hearing them before passing a judgment is a must.
It is time; Muslim Indians need to have some reality checks. It is yet never too late to fix things and make orders within house. AIMPLB and Jamiat are our strong and mass based organizations. This time they might have not performed well due to various internal and external reasons but earlier they did perform extremely well. We cannot undo their dedicated and extraordinary volunteerism for the betterment of this nation and Muslims just because of one or two failures. They need to take these failures as lessons and bounce back for the upcoming battles. Maulana Ajmal and Maulana Qasmi’s contributions to the society and the nation also cannot be undone just because of their one day absence from the House.
Similarly Mr. Assaduddin Owaisi is credited today but ‘secular’ Congress has smartly backstabbed Muslims in the Parliament. For, it’s MPs like Sushmita Dev, MP from Silchar (Assam) spoke so well against the Bill but didn’t dare to demand for a floor test in the House, thus as per parliamentary system it favoured the Bill. Yet Indian Muslim politics cannot go with Mr Owaisi alone. Secularism has to revive and secular forces like Congress, TMC, RJD, Left, BSP, SP, AIUDF, AGP, BJD, YSR, TDP, DMK, AIADMK, NCP, JDU, RLJP, RLDP, et all are the future of Indian politics. Muslims will have to stand with them strategically to protect India from gallows of disastrous communalism.
All India Muslim Personal Law Board (AIMPLB) and Jamiat Ulama-e Hind (JUH) need to sit together sooner than later and draft genuine short term and long term plans. They also need to discuss their concerns with political forces from all parties including BJP. Dialogues are the best ways in a democratic system. It is notable that politicians will visit your doors only at the time of elections, now you need to step out and knock their doors.
Indian Muslims are sorry that they are losing grounds one after another but they are very sad that their leadership is not able to make a genuine fight. A challenge to those who are about to destroy India’s unity, integrity and its communal harmony is a must. Fight for the right cause, even if you are defeated, history will count you like a hero else be buried like a coward. Choice is yours.
The author M. Burhanuddin Qasmi is Editor of Eastern Crescent magazine from Mumbai. Views are personal.
By Shaykh-ul-Hadīth, Hadrat Mawlānā Muhammad Saleem Dhorat hafizahullāh
Once, I was reading an article wherein the author had stated that from among all the favours of Allāh ta‘ālā, for every one of them there can possibly be something that may substitute it, to some extent if not fully, apart from the favour of time, for once passed, no amount of effort can bring it back neither can anything substitute it. Take the example of the favour of sight. When lost, its restoration is not totally inconceivable. Even in the state of blindness, perception, to some extent, is possible with the help of other physical senses.
So a bounty whose value excels that of others in every respect deserves to be expended carefully and in worthwhile activities. Yet we witness that carelessness shown by people in the bounty of time is more than in any other favour of Allāhta‘ālā.
Every moment that passes by takes away a portion of our lives. The more we grow in age the less becomes our expectancy of living further in this world. Time is the only possession of this life, which decreases constantly and with precise regularity, yet in a very unnoticeable manner.
An Urdu poet has stated that the passing of time in every man’s life is as quiet and (yet) as certain as the melting of ice.
So it is of extreme importance that we utilise our time in fruitful and rewarding pursuits and not waste it away as we usually tend to do. Let us learn to value time in the forthcoming holidays, and then, if Allāh ta‘ālā wills, we will gradually become accustomed to it and maintain the attitude throughout the year.
The easiest method of preventing yourself from wasting time as well as gaining most from it is to prepare a timetable for yourself. This is not dissimilar to making a budget in the domain of economics. If one wishes to increase in one’s savings one will have to make a budget, thereby defining the limits of expenditure. On the contrary, if a person walks around with his entire income in his pocket, without any allocation of money, and continues to spend as the need arises, far from saving up any further, he will end up resorting to and depleting the original savings. So as we manage our finances for economical reasons so should we manage our time and maintain the same economical attitude here too.
Now as far as wasting time is concerned, there isn’t obviously a single way to do that. People will naturally waste time according to their respective inclinations or dispositions. Some may resort to completely meaningless activities and others may prefer to just sit idle and laze around. Moreover, some may become victims of overindulgence or fall a prey to perpetual self-satisfaction. Whichever the case, what is important to remember here is that the worst form of wasting time is to indulge in sinning and displeasing Allāh ta‘ālā. The displeasure of Allāh ta‘ālā is caused by the mere wasting of time too, but sinning will call for His extreme anger and invite His wrath. This is another point, which we need to earnestly reflect upon. For some temporary enjoyment we readily sacrifice our eternal abode of pleasure. For some trivial materialistic pleasure we are prepared to displease our Creator, the One Who has provided us with a vast array of bounties and different forms of lawful satisfaction of desires. Indeed He is the One Who has given us this very strength and capability which we are using to commit sins. How can we possibly displease Him?
My brothers, in reality, there is hardly any sacrifice in refraining from sins. Many of us feel that it is extremely difficult or almost impossible to abstain from sins. This is nothing but an illusion from Shaytān. Even the little discomfort we may experience in restraining ourselves from fulfilling unlawful desires is caused by Shaytān. We should make a habit of keeping ourselves aloof from all sinful areas. It would be difficult to control and subdue the desires once having slipped. For instance, one should always keep one’s gaze down when walking the streets, as it would be difficult to avert the gaze once it falls on the opposite gender. According to a Hadīth, the gaze is a poisonous arrow from among the arrows of Shaytān. One who safeguards his eyes only due to the fear of Allāh, (far from being painful) he will find the sweetness of Īmān in his heart. (At-Targhīb)
To conclude, I would like to emphasise that in the coming holidays, and afterwards, we should manage our time and desist from wasting it, and in particular, refrain from committing sins and thereby displeasing Allāh ta‘ālā.
(Extracted from ‘Time - A Valuable Asset’ published by the Islāmic Da‘wah Academy)
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Written by Mohammad Najeeb Qasmi, Riyadh
Translated in English by Nehal Anwar Qasmi, Najran
Sheikh Muhammad Mustafa was born in Mau, Uttar Pradesh, India around 1930A.D (1350A.H). He graduated from a well-known Islamic seminary of the Indian subcontinent Darul Uloom Deoband in 1952A.D (1372A.H). Afterwards, he moved to Egypt and got the “Certificate of Alimiyat with permission to teach" from Al- Azhar University in 1955A.D. The same year, he went to Qatar where he taught Arabic to non-Arab students and later became a librarian in the National Public Library there. As he had deep interest in the science of Hadeeth serving in the library helped him to work on various manuscripts of Hadeeth.
In 1964A.D, Sheikh joined Cambridge University, UK for PhD under the guidance of A.J. Arberry and Prof. R.B. Serjeant. His topic was "Studies in the Early Hadeeth Literature". After completing doctorate he returned to Qatar and served as the director of the National Public Library for two years there.
In 1968, Sheikh was appointed as Associate Professor at Ummul-Qura University, Makkah. In 1973 he joined King Saud University as Professor of Hadeeth sciences. He remained there until his retirement in 1991. From 1968 upto his retirement, Sheikh oversaw many research works on different subjects of Hadeeth which were carried out by the students of both Ummul-Qura and King Saud Universities. He also served as member of various educational and research institutions across the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia.
Other honorary posts:
Beside being Associate Professor at Ummul-Qura University and Professor of Hadeeth sciences at King Saud University, Sheikh has also held other honorary posts in Saudi Arabia and abroad as follows:
1. Chairman of the Dep. of Islamic Studies, College of Education King Saud University.
2. Visiting Scholar at the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan (1981-82).
3. Visiting Fellow of St. Cross College, Oxford, England (1987).
4. Visiting Scholar at the University of Colorado, Boulder, Colorado, USA (1989-91).
5. King Faisal Visiting Professor of Islamic Studies at Princeton University, New Jersey (1992).
6. Member of Committee for Promotion, University of Malaysia.
7. Honorary Professor, Dept. of Islamic Studies, University of Wales, England.
In 1980, Sheikh received the prestigious King Faisal Award for his following works on Hadeeth:
1. Diraasaat fil-Hadeeth Nabawi wa Tarikh-e-Tadweenihi (دراسات في الحديث النبوي وتاريخ تدوينه): Arabic translation of his doctoral thesis. In this book Sheikh has answered all the questions generally raised by the Orientalists to challenge the traditions of the Prophet (PBUH).
2. Saheeh ibn-e-Khuzaymah (صحيح ابن خزيمة): This book has been compiled by Ibn-e- Khuzaymah (RA). It consists of the authentic Ahadeeth which were included by the authors of both Saheeh Al Bukhari and Muslim. Sheikh edited this book and got it published in four volumes.
3. Computerization of the text of Ahadeeth: One of the Sheikh’s important achievements is that he is the first who computerized the Arabic texts of the books of Ahadeeth.
Scholars of the Indian subcontinent have the privilege to contribute to the science of Hadeeth in all possible ways. That includes teaching Ahadeeth, writing commentaries and books to defend their authenticity and transforming them into computerized books.
By editing books of Ahadeeth and answering the objections of the Orientalists regarding the compilation of the Holy Qur’an and Hadeeth, Dr Muhammad Mustafa Azmi has served Islam at such a high level that even non-Muslim scholars of the world acknowledge his deep knowledge and insight into the science of Hadeeth.
Although Sheikh Azmi has lived in Saudi Arabia with his family for decades, yet he has not forgotten his mother land. He still keeps visiting India as his health permits and contributes in all the possible ways for the betterment of the people of his area. Sheikh has a daughter named Fatima Mustafa Azmi. She has completed M.Com and PhD from America and now she is an Associate Professor at Sheikh Zaid University. He also has two sons Aqeel Mustafa Azmi and Anas Mustafa Azmi. The elder one Dr. Aqeel has completed Master's degree in Engineering and PhD from America and now he is an Associate Professor at King Saud University while the youngest son Dr. Anas holds a Ph.D from the UK and works in the King Faisal Specialist Hospital.
Brief introduction of Sheikh’s academic services:
1. Studies in early Hadeeth literature: It is the doctoral thesis of Sheikh Muhammad Mustafa in English language and is included in the syllabus of various universities in the eastern and western countries. The first edition of this book was published in Beirut in 1968 and the second and third in America in 1978 and 1988 and still continues to be published. It was translated into Turkish and Indonesian languages in 1993 and 1994 respectively.
2. دراسات في الحديث النبوي وتاريخ تدوينه : It is the Arabic translation of his thesis and consists of 712 pages. Both books deal with the history of compilation of Hadeeth and assert that the process of compilation of Hadeeth began in the life of the Prophet PBUH not in the second or third century of Hijri as many people allege.
3. منهج النقد عند المحدثين نشأته وتاريخه : As name suggests in this book Sheikh deals with the methodology of Scholars to measure Hadeeth’s authenticity and non-authenticity. It proves that the criteria which scholars of Hadeeth set to authenticate the collection of Ahadeeth is of such a high level that has no example even in the present world to validate any thing. This book is in Arabic language and is included in the syllabus of Islamic University, Al-Medina Al-Munawwarah. Its first, second and third editions were published respectively in 1975, 1982 and 1983 in Riyadh and is still being published by different publishing houses.
4. Studies in Hadeeth methodology and literature: This book deals with the method and literature of Hadeeth that helps comprehend the Ahadeeth properly. It also replies to all the questions of Orientalists regarding authenticity of Ahadeeth. Sheikh has divided the book into two volumes. First volume discusses the methodology whereas, the second one concentrates on Ahadeeth from literary perspective. This book also is a part of syllabus in many universities and has gone into several editions.
5. The history of the Qur’anic text from revelation to compilation: This book is one of the significant works of Sheikh Muhammad Mustafa in which he describes the history of compilation of the Qur’an and highlights its authenticity over other divine books after making detailed comparison between their methods of compilation. He also gives elaborate account of the way Hazrat Zaid bin Thabit (RA) adopted to give final shape to the Holy Qur’an. Unfortunately this book has not yet been translated into Arabic or Urdu due to declining health of Sheikh. But during my meeting on 8th February, 2013 he expressed his desire that somebody should come ahead to translate it.
6. On Schacht’s Origins of Muhammadan Jurisprudence: This book presents detailed analysis and critique of the book of the noted Orientalist Joseph Schacht and gives convincing answers to all the questions raised by the author regarding the Islamic Jurisprudence. This book also is a part of syllabus in various universities and has been translated into Turkish, Arabic and Urdu languages.
7. كتاب النبي : Historians in general count 40 to 45 companions of the Prophet (PBUH) who were assigned to write on behalf of the Prophet, but Sheik Azmi has recorded with historical evidences in this book over 60 companions who used to write for the Prophet. The first edition of this book was published in Damascus in 1974, in Beirut and Riyadh in 1978 and 1981. Now it has been translated into English and published.
8. المحدثون من اليمامة إلى 250 هجري تقريبا : There are many books available about the scholars of Hadeeth from different cities of the world. But it is the only book dedicated to highlight the scholarly services of the scholars from the city of Yamamah.
9. موطا إمام مالك : It is one of the most reliable books of Hadeeth which was written by Imam Malik (RA). Sheikh edited it and published it in 8 volumes. He has also worked on the Ruwat (narrators of Hadeeth) .
10. صحيح ابن خزيمة : As mentioned above, it is one of the important books of Hadeeth by Ibn-e-Khuzaima which comprises the most authentic Ahadeeth after Saheeh Al-Bukhari and Muslim. This book has vanished for a long period, even some people believed that it no longer exists in the world. It was Sheikh Muhammad Mustafa who first discovered the book and worked on it. Now it is available in 4 volumes. The first edition was published in Beirut in 1970, second and third in Riyadh and Beirut in 1982 and 1993 and still continues to be published.
11. العلل لعلي بن عبد الله المديني : A book on the Rijaal of Hadeeth has been edited by Sheikh Muhammad Mustafa.
12. سنن ابن ماجة : A book of Hadeeth which was edited and computerized first by Sheikh Muhammad Mustafa. The idea of computerizing the books of Hadeeth came to Sheikh’s mind when he was doing his PhD in Cambridge University. And he even worked on some of them there.
13. مغازي رسول الله صلى الله عليه وسلم لعروة بن زبير برواية أبي الأسود : Hazrat Urwah bin Zubair the renowned Tabi’ee was the first to write a book on the Prophet’s biography named Maghazi Rasoolullah. This book was published in Riyadh in 1981 after Sheikh’s critical review and analysis of the book. Maghazi Rasoolullah is also an obvious proof that the scholars of Islam started writing Prophet’s biography just after his death. Idarah Thaqafat Islamiah, Pakistan published Urdu translation of that book in 1987.
14. Manuscript of Saheeh Al-Bukhari : Sheikh Muhammad Mustafa has the honor of editing the manuscript of Saheeh Al-Bukhari with additional footnote by various scholars which was prepared in 725A.H and discovered from Istanbul in 1977A.D.
In short, Sheikh Muhammad Mustafa’s services toward Hadeeth are very profound. They surround almost every aspect of the science of Hadeeth. The most important of them is his work on Hadeeth literature and methodology, critical analysis of Schacht’s Origin of Muhammadan Jurisprudence, history of the Qura’nic text from revelation to compilation, scholarly reviews and editing of various collections of Ahadeeth that would have otherwise remained unknown to the world and computerization of Hadeeth texts. Most of his books are available online for free download. May Allah grant us success in benefitting from his works and enhance our knowledge of Hadeeth Science, Amen!
Jesus (Pease be upon him) is not the son of God,he is the chosen Messenger and Prophet of Allah.
(Not permissible to congratulate saying Merry Christmas)
Mohammad Najeeb Qasmi
The overall Code which is made by Allah, the Exalted, for the birth of mankind i.e. a man getting married to a woman and have intercourse with her, thereafter by Allah’s command, firmness of pregnancy and giving birth of a child. Under no circumstance, Allah Almighty has also created some humans by not following this Code. Allah Almighty created Adam in such a way in which He involved neither a man nor a woman. Since Eve was created from Adam's rib, so, somehow, a man was involved in her creation, but there was no involvement of a woman. Similarly, Allah, the Exalted, created Jesus without a father, only from the mother (Mary daughter of Imran) through His power, in the city of Bethlehem, Palestinian. As, Almighty Allah said in the Verse 59 of Surah A’al Imran (Indeed, the example of Jesus to Allah is like that of Adam. He created Him from dust; then He said to him, "Be," and he was.)
In the light of Quran and Hadith, all Muslims believe that Jesus Christ is the chosen Prophet and Messenger of Allah. In the holy Quran, almost at 25 places, the name of Jesus Christ is mentioned and he was not hanged/crucified, but he was lifted into the heavens and a person similar to him was hanged. As, Allah Almighty has stated in Surah An-Nisa Verses 157 & 158 (And (for) their saying, "Indeed, we have killed the Messiah, Jesus, the son of Mary, the messenger of Allah." And they did not kill him, nor did they crucify him; but (another) was made to resemble him to them). Furthermore, Allah, the Exalted, explicitly explained that Jesus Christ was not hanged/crucified, but he was lifted up. The full detail of this event is elaborated by the holy prophet PBUH and can be found in Ahadith. It is also mentioned in Hadiths that before the day of Resurrection, he will be descended from heavens to the white minaret in the east of Damascus. Then, all nook and corner of the world will be ruled by Muslims under his patronage.
No certain date of Jesus birth is found in any religious authoritative book, even in the book of Christians, it is not mentioned that he was born on 25th December. Without any evidence, they recognized 25th December as Jesus date of birth. Although, what is estimated from texts of the Quran, Hadiths and the Bible is that Jesus was born in the summer season. As per Bible (chapter 2 verse 8), when Jesus was born at the night, at that time the shepherd was grazing his sheep outside. In the last days of December, it is snowing heavily in Bethlehem that no one can dare to go out of his house. And Bible says that the shepherd was grazing his sheep outside. In the month of December, due to heavy snowing in Bethlehem (Palestine), it is impossible to graze sheep outside at night. The holy Quran (Surah Mariam Verse 25) says that immediately after the birth of Jesus, Allah, the Exalted, told Marry “And shake toward you the trunk of the palm tree; it will drop upon you ripe, fresh dates. So eat and drink and be contented.” The whole world knows that the dates become ripe in the summer season, not in winter. Besides, there are more evidence that denote that Jesus was born in the summer season.
Christians believe that Jesus is given birth by Allah Almighty (Allah forbid), i.e. Jesus is the son of Allah, the Exalted. This was strongly denounced by Allah, the Exalted, in Surah Mariam: “And they say, "The Most Merciful has taken (for Himself) a son." You have done an atrocious thing. The heavens almost rupture there from and the earth splits open and the mountains collapse in devastation. That they attribute to the Most Merciful a son. And it is not appropriate for the Most Merciful that He should take a son.” In Surah Ikhlas, Almighty Allah has explicitly said: Say, "He is Allah, (who is) One, Allah, the Eternal Refuge. He neither begets nor is born, nor is there to Him any equivalent”. Thus, in the light of very open instructions/teachings of Quran and Sunnah, all Muslims believe that Jesus is not the son of Allah, the Exalted, but he is a man and there is no compromise in this matter at all.
Christians celebrate Merry Christmas on 25th December with the belief that Allah Almighty has given birth of Jesus on 25th December (Allah forbid). We don’t want to interfere in their religion, but it is our religious obligation that we should not participate in those religious parties/celebrations are being convened on this occasion, and also do not congratulate anyone saying Merry Christmas. As this sentence is totally averse of Quran and Sunnah. Yes! In case, your neighbour or friend is a Christian and he congratulates you on this occasion, then you have to withdraw yourselves by saying other words such as (thanks, etc.) As, the base/belief on which the Merry Christmas celebrated, is quite contrary to Quranic teachings. You could be thoughtful about your neighbour or friend, but on the other hand, there is also the issue of God's wrath and His severe punishment. So, it would be said to them openly that our belief is that Jesus besides being a chosen messenger and prophet, he is not Allah’s son at all. So that, I’m sorry to participate in the celebrations convened on this occasion.
There is substantial difference of opinion among Christians and Muslims on their belief in Isa (Alaihis Salam)
1) Nasara (Christians) believe that Isa (Alaihis Salam) is son of Allah, the Almighty, while in the light of Quran and hadith the whole Muslim Ummah (Nation) believes that Allah has no son or daughter, as Allah, the Almighty has repeatedly clarified this in the holy Quran. In Surah Al-Ikhlas also this has been clearly asserted that Allah, the Almighty neither begets nor is He begotten. Allah, the Almighty had created Adam (Alaihis salam) without any role of a man and woman, and Eve (Alaihas salam) was created without any role of a woman merely by with Allah's command. Allah, the Almighty created Isa (Alaihis Salam) by a woman (Maryam –Alaihas Salam) without any role of a male. Christians do not believe in Adam and Eve (Alaiham Assalam) as son and daughter of Allah, despite the fact that Allah, the Almighty had created Adam (Alaihis Salam) without any role of man and woman and created Eve (Alaihas Salam) without any role of a woman, then how come that Isa (Alaihis Salam) who was created without a man (in similar circumstances), is believed to be Allah’s son? Our intellect also demands that it is not befitting to the Almighty Allah Who is the Creator, Lord and Sustainer of the whole universe that He begets nor is He begotten.
2) Christians believe that Isa (Alaihis Salam) shares Allah's right of being worthy of worship. Trinity is an integral part of Christianity, which means three in one or one in three. Christians believe that Allah is one but includes three entities in one; god father, god son, the holy ghost. The Christian till to date stick to this belief. As for Islam, there is no place of trinity in it. Hundreds of verses of the Holy Quran refute this belief. According to Islamic creed Allah is one and nothing is like unto Him neither in His self nor in His attributes. In Surah Maryam, Allah strongly refutes this belief saying it is such a terrible evil thing whereby the heavens are almost torn.
3) Christians believe that Jews had crucified Isa (Alaihis Salam). However, in the light of teachings of Quran and Hadith, the whole Muslim nation is unanimous that Isa (Alaihis Salam) was neither killed nor was he crucified, but rather he was ascended to heaven prior to his crucifixion and a person resembling him was crucified in his place. He will descend down on the earth prior to the doomsday. He will spend his life following the Shari’ah of Muhammad (PBUH) and will enforce the teachings of the Holy Quran and Hadith.
4) Christians believe that the last Messenger Muhammad (PBUH) who is from the descendants of Ismail (Alaihis salam) the second son of Ibrahim (Alaihis Salam) born in Makkah is not a Messenger of Allah, the Almighty and anyone who believes in Muhammad (PBUH) as a messenger of Allah exits from the fold of Christianity. On the other hand, in the religion of Islam besides believing in Muhammad (PBUH) as the last Messenger it is also necessary to believe in Ibrahim, Musa, Isa (Alaihim Assalam). Now, the reader can easily decide as to which religion subscribes to extremism.
Summary: To exchange greetings on the occasion of New Year is a practice of non-Muslims. However, the rituals and functions organized on this occasion are not motivated by a specific religion’s ideology and it has now become a social norm. Therefore, though it is not unlawful to exchange greeting on such occasion, however, the Holy Quran and Hadith are replete with teachings of not adopting the non-Muslims’ rituals. Therefore, we should avoid exchanging such greetings, because the leader of all prophets Muhammad (PBUH), his companions, mufassireen (Quran commentators), muhadditheen (scholars of Hadith) and other scholars of Islam, none of them has been reported to have exchanged greeting on the occasion of New Year even at the beginning of Hijri year. But to exchange greeting by saying “Merry Christmas” is a pure religious matter. The belief with which the people celebrate Christmas day saying “Merry Christmas” is absolutely contrary to Islamic teaching, for Christians believe that Isa (Alaihis Salam) was born on 25th December and fathered by Allah, the Almighty. In addition they also believe in trinity, i.e. they believe that Allah, the Almighty instead of being one entity is comprised of three entities; god father, god son and the holy ghost. This belief is very dangerous and contrary to Islamic teachings. It is a matter of great sorrow that some Muslims initiate greeting each other saying “Merry Christmas” which has no room in the religion of Islam. Therefore, Muslims should not exchange greeting on this occasion. Those Muslims residing in Western countries or studying with Christians or employed with Christians or doing business with Christians should not proactively greet them on this occasion. However, if they are greeted by Christians they should say other words of prayer to them. It is worth mentioning that not a single reliable religious book even the bible itself having thousands of copies, mentions that Isa (Alaihis Salam) was born on 25th December.
Justice Rajindar Sachar
The guilt of fiendish murder of Junaid can not be sidelined by Hindu Majority under the slogan of “Not in my Name”. In fact Hindu majority will continue to be held guilty so long such devilish acts continue. These acts are a shame on our constitution and this challenge has to be met frontally.
The recital in the preamble to the Constitution that India is a secular state means that no religious group (including Hindus) can claim any special dominant position or status in the country.
Secularism does not signify Anti-Religion. In India people fervently believe in their respective religions and overwhelming number of persons of all communities give equal respect to the religion of others. Secularism signifies giving equal dignity and respect to all religions. Of course it goes without saying that Indian State has no religion of its own, nor for that matter can any religion claim superiority over another religion as by resorting to false premise that any religion in the Country is indigenous while others are foreign. This is heresy not permitted by our constitution, which gives equal reverence to all the religions practiced by various communities of India.
As put expressed succinctly by Lord Acton as follows: “A state which is incompetent to satisfy different races condemns itself; a state which labours to neutralize, to absorb or to expel them is destitute of the chief basis of self-government”; we need only substitute minorities for races to in the above quotation to apply the test in India.
Supreme Court when it said; [Dr. Ismael Faruqui Vs. Union of India, 1994 (6) SCC 360]
“It is clear from the constitutional scheme that it guarantees equality in the matter of religion to all individuals and groups irrespective of their faith emphasizing that there is no religion of the State itself.”
Posing the question what is the purpose it referred with approval to the test laid down by Lord Scarman of House of Lords UK;
‘The purpose of the law must be not to extinguish the groups which make the society but to devise political, social and legal means of preventing them from falling apart and so destroying the plural society of which they are members.’
Thus inclusive development in India and for that matter in any country alone is the path to prosperity. It is an undeniable truth and needs to be irrevocably accepted by all in India, namely that minorities, Muslims and Christians are not outsiders. They are an integral part of India. Let me quote what Swami Vivekanand (who even worst of RSS idealouge will not deny that Swami Ji was one of the greatest spiritual personality of India) has to say of the intimate connection between the spirit of Islam and Hinduism thus, “He also told Hindus not to talk of the superiority of one religion over another. Even toleration of other faiths was not right; it smacked of blasphemy. He pointed out that his guru, Sri Ramakrishna Paramhansa, had accepted all religions as true. Swami Vivekanand in fact profusely praised Islam and in a letter to his friend Mohammed Sarfraz Hussain (10 th June 1898) without any hesitation wrote “therefore I am firmly persuaded that without the help of practical Islam, theories of vedantism, however fine and wonderful they may be are entirely valueless to the vast mass of mankind. For our own motherland a junction of the two great systems Hinduism and Islam – Vedanta brain and Islam body – is the only hope……. the future perfect India.”
There thus can be no real progress in India which does not include minorities, Muslims, Christians as equal stakeholders. It needs to be emphasized that development and growth in the country has to be all inclusive – the mode of development must necessarily take into account the needs and sensitivities of Minorities, Dalits, Tribals in India. This was reaffirmed and emphasized recently by the Socialist party (India) which is inspired and follows the philosophy and programme of Shri Jaya Prakash Narain and Dr. Ram Monohar Lohia, thus; “that they must be treated as a special trust and there is an urgent need to attend to their problems immediately.”
The report of U. N. Human Right council, Forum on Minority issued on December 14 th , 15 th , 2010 has mandated as follows;
“The Council emphasizes; “Consequently, the right of minorities to participate effectively in economic life must be fully taken into account by governments seeking to promote equality at every level. From implementing non – discrimination in employment and enforcing protection laws in the private sector to developing national economic development and international development assistance schemes.”
The basic task is to reconcile the pluralism which then exists in that State, and the need to respect the identity of the various groups, with the overall concerns of non-discrimination, equality, national security, territorial integrity, and political independence.
The Minorities especially the Muslims have been the ignored factor by all Central Governments. It is not understood why since Prime Ministers High Level committee Report was given in November 2006, and which had recommended the establishment of Equal Opportunity Commission as an instrument to prevent discrimination against Minorities in the private sector like housing, employment, (since courts can not interfere in discrimination in private sector) this recommendation has been inexcusably violated and also remained in cold storage.
Thus inclusive development in the country alone is the path to prosperity. It is an undeniable truth and needs to be irrevocably accepted by all in the country that minorities, Muslims and Christians are not outsiders. They are an integral part of India. There can be no real progress which does not include minorities, Muslims and Christians as equal stakeholders in the country. I can not put it better than what Sir Sayyed Ahmed Khan, one of the greatest leader of our country had to say over a century back. Gandhiji repeated it in 1921, and also in another prayer meeting at Rajghat on 24 th March 1947 thus; “In the words of Sir Sayyed Ahmed Khan……I would say that Hindus and Muslims are the two eyes of mother India just as the trouble in one eye affects the other too, similarly the whole of India suffer when either Hindu or Muslim suffer.”
This puts a sacred obligation on the majority to fight for justice to minorities like Junaid.
I can do no better than end with a quotation from the well-known Italian author Dante namely; “the hottest spot in hell is reserved for those who see injustice and do nothing.”
By Muddassir Ahmad Qasmi*
It was not merely a communal insurgency, which claimed hundreds of innocent Muslim lives across India; rather it was a big blow to Muslims’ religious identity. It was also a blatant attack on the secular ethos of the country and the two communities have been at loggerheads ever since the masjid was brought down. About 24 years back on 6 December 1992, evil forces demolished the historical Babri Masjid for political gain, and in doing so they broke the hearts of about 200 million Muslims which always beat for Indian democracy. It fissured and ruptured the uneasy calm and harmony between the two communities and gave rise to animosities that are still to be doused.
And now after 24 years of waiting, the Supreme Court of India has called for a consensus to end the dispute. The Supreme Court, offering its mediation to arrive at an amicable settlement, said "These are issues of religion and sentiments. These are issues where all the parties can sit together and arrive at a consensual decision to end the dispute. All of you may sit together and hold a cordial meeting," The observations came after controversial BJP leader Subramanian Swamy raised the matter, as it is his wont, seeking urgent hearing of the issue.
No doubt it is a sincere effort from the apex court, but in reality it is impractical owing to the several failed attempts of the past. Long experience shows that whenever an effort is made for reconciliation, the Hindu parties (in the dispute) tried their best to persuade Muslims to leave the Babri Masjid land for Ram Mandir and construct a Masjid in another place. How ridiculous it is that they talk of reconciliation but force Muslims to hand over them the controversial land. If this is their intention then surely such kind of attempt is useless.
Muslims have made it clear, time and again, that the High Court verdict of September 30, 2010, was not acceptable to them as it was based on faith and not on evidence. Judgement upholds the faith of one community over the other while ignoring evidence. The observation of Indian Muslims was that the HC judgement suffered from a number of infirmities and, therefore, it was the obligation of the Muslims to challenge it in the apex court, which they did.
Though the legal battle over the ownership of the Babri Masjid will continue, it needs to be noted that the concern of the Muslims with regard to the Babri Masjid stems from their desire to protect their places of worship in accordance with the rules of the Shariah, and not from any identification with or support for Babar or from association with a particular bit of land. That is why Muslims cannot surrender their claim on Babri Masjid, because the commandments of the Shariah cannot be ignored. The Shariah has clearly stipulated that as soon as a place becomes a Masjid its ownership is wholly transferred from out of the hands of human beings. Once a place becomes a Masjid, it remains so forever, even though it might become dilapidated or is no longer prayed in or even if no Muslims live any longer in its vicinity. Even in such conditions, it cannot cease to be a Masjid, and no one can change its status.
The last and the final question in this issue is that if the Supreme Court gives a verdict against Muslims, will it be acceptable for them? The answer is quite clear that after going through the concrete evidence in support of Muslim claims, most hopefully, the verdict will come in the favour of Muslims but in the case it is otherwise, Muslims will accept it, though actually it will be a mere compromise.
However, the sorry legacy of the Babri Masjid demolition cannot be wished away even on the insistence of the well meaning statements by some members of the majority community for it has ripped apart the social and cultural cohesion that had bound the two communities and it will, unfortunately, continue to bedevil the peaceful co-operation and relations between the two communities. Therefore, we appeal to the Supreme Court of India for a speedy judgement so that political mafia would not continue to play their political games with the sentiments of the people in the name of religion.
*The writer is assistant editor of Eastern Crescent, Mumbai.
Muhammadullah Khalili Qasmi
Renowned Islamic scholar and an accomplished Hadith Professor of Darul Uloom Deoband, Maulana Shaikh Abdul Haq Azami, passed away in Deoband after a short illness on the eve of December 30 at the age of 88. On his death a wave of grief and sorrow struck the circles of Ulama, students and the common Muslims across the world.
Shaikh Abdul Haq Azami was engaged in imparting Hadith in Darul Uloom Deoband for decades. He was a prominent and celebrated scholar of Hadith in the present era. More than forty thousand students have benefited immensely from him and completed the Aalim and Fazil courses. With his demise an era of Hadith studies came to an end.
Birth and Education
Shaikh Abul Haq Azami s/o Janab Muhammad Umar was born in Jagdishpur, Dist Azamgarh (UP) in 1928. He acquired his primary at local seminary and then moved to Madrasah Baitul Uloom Saraimir for secondary Arabic education. Thereafter, he was enrolled in Darul Uloom Mau and studied till 7th Arabic Class (Haftum).
Shaikh Azami was nourished and nurtured by his stepfather Hadhrat Maulana Muhammad Muslim Jaupuri who was a great scholar of his time and was known for his keen interest and expertise in mantiq (logic) and philosophy, he was a celebrated disciple of Hadhrat Maulana Majid Ali Manwi, the disciple of Hadhrat Maulana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi and a great Muhaddith of his time.
Then he joined Darul Uloom Deoband and completed his graduation in Hadith and Islamic sciences in 1955 at the hands of various scholars of his time, especially Shaikhul Islam Hadhrat Maulana Husain Ahmad Madani. Later he benefited from Shaikh al-Hadith Maulana Zakariya Kandhlawi and Maulana Habibur Rahman Muhaddith Azami.
After the completion of his studies, he served as lecturer at different Madaris and held the posts of Shaikh al-Hadith and Sadrul Mudarriseen (head of teaching staff), particularly in Madrasah Matla'ul Uloom Banaras (Varanasi) and Darul Uloom Mau. He spent 16 years in Varanasi and 14 years in Mau imparting Hadith to students and discharging duties of Sadrul Mudarriseen.
It is worth noting that he taught Bukhari in Mau in a time when the world renowned scholar of Hadith, Maulana Habibur Rahman Azami, was residing in the same city. It indicates to his high position in Hadith and the reliance of Ulama upon him.
In 1982 he was invited by Darul Uloom Deoband to teach Hadith and was assigned to teach Sahih Bukhari (vol. 2) to the students of highest class. Along with Hadith, he taught the books of Tafsir such as Tafsir Madarik, Tafsir Mazhari and Tafsir Baidhawi as well as Fiqh books such as Hidaya and al-Ashbah wa al-Nazair.
Among his famous students are Maulana Habibur Rahman Azami, Mufti Muhammad Rashid Azami, Maulana Noor Alam Khalil Amini, Mufti Anwar Ali of Mau, Mufti Salman Mansoorpuri, Maulana Mahmood Madani etc.
He was invited for sermons and speeches among the people. His speeches were very simple, but immensely touching and warming the hearts due to his infused piety and engrained righteousness and austerity. Specially his prayer session after the end of speech were highly popular owing to his submissive supplications and sincere beseeching to Allah, the Almighty.
Specialization in Hadith
Shaikh Abdul Haq was a prominent scholar of Hadith in our time. He was associated with teaching of Hadith for five decades. As he taught many books of Hadith, besides other books of Islamic sciences such Fiqh, Tafsir etc, but he was a distinguished teacher of Sahih Bukhari, which is believed to be the second truest book after the Book of Allah due to its fantastic parameters of Hadith narration and narrator’s investigation. Shaikh Abdul Haq taught Sahih Bukhari for nearly 50 years starting from Mataul Uloom Banaras and Darul Uloom Mau where he spent nearly 30 years and then he was called to teach Bukhari in Darul Uloom Deoband in 1982.
According to an estimation, he taught Sahih Bukhari to more than forty thousand students during his longest tenure in Hadith teaching. This is such a great feat of him that is seldom shared by any scholar of his time. During his tenure as ‘Shaikh al-Hadith’ Darul Uloom Deoband alone produced around thirty five thousand graduates who learnt Bukhari (vol 2) from him.
He was the most prominent scholar from India who earned fame as ‘Shaikh al-Hadith’ and was invited by scores of madrasas in India and abroad to start the Bukhari class and then to complete it at the end of academic session.
Contribution to Fiqh
As he was a great muhaddith he served as Mufti also in Mau and Varanasi. He used to write responses to Islamic queries directed to him with utmost care and expertise. Though he was not formally trained in fatwa writing but he studied the fiqh so thoroughly that the madrasa management relied upon him and gave him the charge of ‘Mufti’ during his stay in Darul Uloom Mau.
He served as Mufti for thirteen years and wrote more than 13000 fatwas which are preserved in several voluminous registers. His son in law, Maulana Ubaidullah Qasmi Azami, is compiling the compendium and shall soon see the light of the day in-sha-Allah!
Salient Qualities and Features
Shaikh Abdul Haq Azami possessed a very imposing and lovely personality. At first he used to have an astonishing effect on the onlooker due to his heavy and encompassing figure, but he was very humble, naïve and innocent as per his inherent nature. He won the hearts of people and enjoyed popularity among them due to his humble behaviour and down-to-earth instinct.
He never thought ill of any body and never ever was heard to backbite people. He discharged all his responsibilities very well and in time and never approached the administration for salary hike and asking for facilities. He spent his last thirty five years of his life in a two tiny room set of semi-flat beside Chhatta Mosque in Deoband with his family and children. Though he travelled thoroughly in India and abroad and had a wide range of contacts ranging from the affluent to politically powerful personalities but he never exploited these relations for the good of this world.
He kept himself aloof from affluent people and never was impressed by them. Thus he was able to speak the truth even at odd times. He never hesitated to say what is right even in the face of worldly loss and material disadvantage.
He was an embodiment of piety, knowledge, simplicity and humility. Due to his humbleness and modesty, he was popular amongst Ulama and the common people.
He was invited for sermons and speeches among the people. His speeches were very simple, but immensely touching and warming the hearts due to his infused piety and engrained righteousness and austerity. Specially his prayer sessions after the end of speech were highly popular owing to his submissive supplications and sincere beseeching to Allah, the Almighty.
Though he grew weaker and was not feeling well for quite some years due to old age, but his death was very unexpected as he did not have any serious health issue. However, his time for this world was over and he breathed his last on 30 Rabi al-Awwal 1438 corresponding to 30 December 2016.
The funeral prayer was led by Maulana Syed Arshad Madani, the President of Jamiat Ulama-i-Hind and the Professor Hadith in Darul Uloom Deoband, and was performed in the Daar-e-Jadeed campus at 3:30 pm. He was laid to rest in Qasmi graveyard in the presence of thousands of scholars and students.
Shaikh Azami survived a wife and twelve children; seven sons and five daughters. His eldest son is in his sixties, while his most capable son Maulana Abdur Bar Azami, a graduate and Mufti of Darul Uloom Deoband, is teacher of Hadith in Madrasa Baitul Uloom Saraimir in Azamgarh.
May Allah shower the purest nectar of His endless mercy and blessing to the departed soul and make it reside in the highest abodes in Jannat, Amen!
6 Rabee’ul Awwal 1438/6 Dec 2016.
Due to the letters and questions regarding some of the incorrect ideologies and thoughts and the questionable Bayaans of Janaab Moulana Saad Saheb Kandhelwi received from within the country as well as from beyond, with the signatures of senior Asaatizah Kiraam and the panel of Muftis, an official stance has been taken.
However, before releasing this document, it was brought to our notice that a delegation wishes to come to Darul-Uloom and discuss matters on behalf of Moulana Muhammed Saad Saheb. Hence, the delegation came and delivered the message on behalf of Moulana Muhammed Saad Saheb that he is ready to make Rujoo’ (retract). Therefore, the unanimous stance was sent with the delegation to Moulana Muhammed Saad Saheb. A reply was then received from him, however, Darul-Uloom Deoband was not satisfied with his reply completely, upon which some explanation was sent to Moulana Muhammed Saad Saheb in the form of a letter.
In order to protect the blessed effort of Tableegh started by the Akaabir Ulema of Darul-uloom Deoband from becoming mixed up with incorrect ideologies, to keep it on the pattern of the Akaabir and also in order for its benefit and to keep the reliance of the Ulema-e-Haq upon this effort, it is regarded as a Deeni responsibility to present our unanimous standpoint to the Ahl-e-Madaaris, Ahl-e-Ilm and the unbiased people. May Allah Ta’ala protect this blessed effort in every way and grant all of us the ability to remain ideologically and practically on the path of truth.
بسم الله الرحمن الرحيم
الحمد لله رب العالمين، والصلاة والسلام على سيد الأنبياء والمرسلين، محمد وآله وأصحابه أجمعين. أما بعد:
Recently a request has been received from many Ulema and Mashaaikh that Dar-uloom Deoband present its stance regarding the ideologies of Moulana Muhammed Saad Saheb khandhelwi. Very recently, letters have been received from the reliable Ulema of Bangladesh and some Ulema from our neighbouring country (Pakistan), together with which various Istiftaas [requests for Fatwas] have come to the Darul-Ifta at Dar-uloom Deoband from within the country.
Without getting involved in the disagreements within the Jamaat and the administrative matters, we wish to say that since the last few years, the ideologies of Moulana Muhammed Saad Saheb khandhelwi were received in the form of letters and Istiftaas. Now, after investigation, it has been proven that, in his Bayaans, incorrect or unfavourable explanation of the Qur’aan and Hadeeth, incorrect analogies and Tafsir bir Raay[interpretations based on self-opinion in conflict with Qur’an and Hadith] are found. Some statements amount to disrespect of the Ambiyaa’ (alayhis salaam) whilst many statements are such, wherein he moves beyond the bounds of the majority and Ijmaa’ of the Salaf.
In some Fiqhi matters also, without any basis, he contradicts the unanimous Fatwa of reliable Darul-Iftas and emphasises his new view upon the general people. He also stresses upon the importance of the effort of Tableegh in such a manner that other branches of Deen are criticised and belittled.
The method of doing Tableegh by the Salaf is also opposed, due to which the respect of the Akaabir and Aslaaf is lessened, rather, they are belittled. His conduct is in stark contrast to the previous Zimm-e-Daars of Tableegh, viz; Hazrat Moulana Ilyas Saheb (rahmatullahi alayh), Hazrat Moulana Yusuf Saheb (rahmatullahi alayh) and Hazrat Moulana In’aamul Hasan Saheb (rahmatullahi alayh).
Hereunder are some of the quotations we have received from the Bayaans of Moulana Muhammed Saad Saheb which have been proven to have been said by him:
* “ Hazrat Moosa (alayhis salaam) left his nation and went in seclusion to engage in Munaajaat with Allah Ta’aala, due to which 188 000 individuals went astray. The Asl was Moosa (alayhis salaam), he was the Zimme-Daar. The Asl was supposed to remain. Haroon (alayhis salaam) was a helper and partner.”
* “Naql-o-Harkat is for the completion and perfection of Taubah. People know of the three conditions of Taubah, they don’t know the fourth. They have forgotten it. What is it? Khurooj! [i.e. coming out specifically for Tabligh]. People have forgotten this condition. A person killed 99 people. He first met a monk. The monk made him despair. He then met an Aalim. The Aalim told him to go to a certain locality. This killer did Khurooj, therefore Allah Ta’aala accepted his Taubah. From this it is understood that Khurooj is a condition of Taubah. Without it, Taubah is not accepted. People have forgotten this condition. Three conditions of Taubah are mentioned. The fourth condition, i.e. Khurooj is forgotten.”
* “There is no place for getting Hidaayat except the Masjid. Those branches of Deen where Deen is taught, if their connection is not with the Masjid, then, by the oath of Allah Ta’aala there will be no Deen in it. Yes the Ta’leem of Deen will take place, not Deen.”
(In this quotation, by connection with the Masjid, his intention is not going to perform Salaah in the Masjid. This is because he said this while talking about the importance of the Masjid and talking about Deen only after bringing a person to the Masjid. He said it while speaking about his specific ideology, the details of which is in the audio. His ideology is thus: to speak about Deen outside of the Masjid is contrary to the Sunnah, and contrary to the manner of the Ambiyaa’ (alayhis salaam) and the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu anhum))
* “To teach Deen for a wage is to sell Deen. People who commit Zina will enter Jannah before those who teach Qur’aan for a wage.”
* “According to me Salaah with a camera phone in ones’ pocket is invalid. Get as many Fatwas as you want from the Ulema. Listening to and reciting Qur’aan on a camera phone is a disgrace to the Qur’aan, there will be no reward for it. A person will be sinful by doing so. No reward will be attained. Because of doing so Allah Ta’aala will deprive one from the ability of practising on the Qur’aan. Those Ulema who give the Fatwa of permissibility in this regard, according to me they are Ulema-e-Soo, Ulema-e-Soo’. Their hearts and minds have become affected by the Christians and Jews. They are completely ignorant Ulema. According to me, whichever Aalim gives the Fatwa of permissibility, by Allah Ta’aala his heart is devoid of the greatness of the Kalaam of Allah Ta’aala. I am saying this because one big Aalim said to me: “What is wrong with it?” I said that the heart of this Aalim is devoid of the greatness of Allah Ta’aala even if he knows Bukhari. Even non-Muslims may know Bukhari.”
* “It is Waajib upon every Muslim to read the Qur’aan with understanding it. It is Waajib. It is Waajib. Whoever leaves out this Waajib act will get the sin of leaving out a Waajib act.”
* “I am astonished that it is asked: “With whom do you have Islaahi Ta’alluq?” Why is it not said, that my Islaahi Ta’alluq is with this effort? My Islaahi Ta’alluq is with Da’wat. Have Yaqeen that the A’maal of Da’wat is not just enough for reformation, rather, it guarantees reformation. I have contemplated deeply, this is the reason why those involved in the effort do not stay steadfast. I am saddened over those people who sit here and say that six points is not complete Deen. The person who himself says his milk is sour cannot do business. I was completely shocked when one of our own Saathis asked for leave for a month saying that he wanted to spend I’tikaaf in the company of so and so Sheikh. I said that until now you people have not joined Da’wat and Ibaadat. You have spent at least 40 years in Tableegh. After spending 40 years in Tableegh a person says that he wants leave because he wants to go for one month I’tikaaf. I said that the person who requests leave from Da’wat in order to do Ibaadat, how can he improve his Ibaadat without Da’wat? I am saying it very clearly that the difference between the A’maal of Nubuwwat and the A’maal of Wilaayat, the difference is only that of not engaging in Naql-o-Harkat. I am saying it extremely clearly that we do not make Tashkeel to merely go out to learn Deen, because there are other avenues of learning Deen. Why is it necessary to go out in Tableegh only? The object is to learn Deen. Learn in a Madrasah. Learn in a Khaanqah.”
Some quotations from his Bayaans have also been received from which it becomes apparent that Moulana Muhammed Saad Saheb khandhelwi regards the vast meaning of Da’wat to be confined to the current form present in the Tableegh Jamaat. Only this form is expressed as the manner of the Ambiyaa’ (alayhis salaam) and the Sahaabah (radhiyallaahu anhum). Only this specific form is regarded to be Sunnah and the effort of the Ambiyaa’ (alayhis salaam), whereas it is the unanimous viewpoint of the majority of the Ummah that Da’wah and Tableegh is a universal command, regarding which the Shariah has not stipulated any specific form, which, if left out, will equate to leaving out the Sunnah.
In different eras Da’wat and Tableegh took on different forms. In no era was the divine command of Da’wat completely ignored. After the Sahaabah (radhiyallahu anhum), the Taabi’een, Tab-e-Taabi’een, A’immah Mujtahideen, Fuqahaa’, Muhadditheen, Mashaaikh, Awliyaa’ of Allah and in recent times our Akaabir made an effort in different ways to bring Deen alive on a global scale.
In order to maintain brevity we have only mentioned a few things. Besides these, many other points have been received that go beyond the scope of the Jumhoor Ulema and have taken the shape of a new ideology. These things being incorrect is very apparent, therefore, a detailed treatise is not required here.
Before this, on numerous occasions, attention was drawn to this in the form of letters sent from Darul-Uloom Deoband. It was also brought to the attention of the delegations from “Bangla Wali Masjid” on the occasion of the Tableeghi Ijtimaa’. To date no reply to the letters was received.
Jamaat-e-Tableegh is a purely Deeni Jamaat, which cannot be left to operate in a manner that is ideologically and practically apart from the majority of the Ummah and the Akaabir (rahmatullahi alayhim). The Ulema-e-Haq can never be unanimous nor can they adopt silence over disrespect to the Ambiyaa’ (alayhis salaam), deviant ideologies, Tafsir Bir Raay and whimsical explanation of the Ahaadeeth and Aathaar, because, these types of ideologies will later on cause the entire group to deviate from the path of truth as has happened to some Deeni and Islaahi Jamaats.
This is why we consider it our Deeni responsibility to inform the Ummah in general and the Tableeghi brothers specifically in light of these points that:-
Moulana Muhammed Saad Saheb khandhelwi Saheb, due to a lack of knowledge has strayed from the path of the majority of the Ulema of the Ahlus Sunnah Wal Jamaa’ah in his ideologies and his explanation of Qur’aan and Hadeeth, which is undoubtedly the path of deviation. Therefore, silence cannot be adopted regarding these matters, because, even though these ideologies are those of a single person, they are spreading with great speed among the general masses.
The influential and accomplished Zimme-Daars of Jamaat who are moderate and composed also wish to turn our attention that an effort needs to be made that this Jamaat which was established by the Akaabir be kept upon the pattern of the majority of the Ummah and that of the previous Zimme-Daars. An effort also needs to made so that the incorrect ideologies of Molvi Saad that have spread amongst the general masses may be rectified. If immediate action is not taken, there is fear that a great portion of the Ummah, which is affiliated to the Tableegh Jamaat will succumb to deviance and take on the form of a Firqah Baatilah.
We all make Du’aa that Allah Ta’aala protect this Jamaat and keep the Jamaat-e-Tableegh alive and flourishing with Ikhlaas upon the manner of the Akaabir. Aameen. Thumma Aameen.
Note: These types of inappropriate statements were made previously by some individuals connected to the Tableegh Jamaat, upon which the Ulema of that time, for example, Hazrat Sheikhul Islam (rahmatullahi alayh) etc. cautioned them after which those individuals desisted from such statements. Now, however, the Zimme-Daars [i.e. the leaders of Tabligh Jama’at] themselves are saying such things, rather, even worse things are being said, as is apparent from the above quotations. They were cautioned, however, they did not heed the caution, due to which this decision and Fatwa is being approved, in order to save the people from deviance.
END OF STATEMENT FROM DARUL ULOOM DEOBAND
The original Urdu version is available at this link:
On this 24th anniversary of Babri Masjid demolition, we appeal to the Supreme Court of India for a speedy judgement so that political mafia would not continue to play their political games with the sentiments of the people in the name of religion.
By Muddassir Ahmad Qasmi
It was not merely a communal insurgency, which claimed hundreds of innocent Muslim lives across India; rather it was a big blow to Muslims religious identity. It was also a blatant attack on the secular ethos of the country and the two communities have been at loggerheads ever since the masjid was brought down. About 24 years back on 6 December 1992 evil forces demolished the historical Babri Masjid for political gain, and doing so they broke the hearts of about 180 million Muslims which always beat for Indian democracy. It fissured and ruptured the uneasy calm and harmony between the two communities and gave rise to animosities that are still to be doused.
Babri Masjid demolition also resulted in bloody riots in several major cities of the country and Mumbai and Surat riots in December and January 1992-93 surpassing all previous limits in brutality, killing and raping. By any account, Babri Masjid's demolition and subsequent riots remain a shame for modern secular India.
A well-known Islamic scholar of India, the president of a fraction of Jamiat Ulama-e Hind, Hazrat Maulana Syed Arshad Madni use to say in his speeches that the root of all the post-1992 communal violence is the demolition of Babri Masjid.
Thus, it is clear that the polarization of the two communities by nefarious elements for short-term political ends was not only political chicanery as it instigated the Hindu gullible masses to see the destroying of an icon as a false template of a resurgent Hindu identity. This Hindu resurgence was created to correct the so-called wrongs of history in which benign Muslim leaders were presented as those who trampled on the religious ethos of the majority community. The masses were lured by obscurantist ideas and they saw in the 'present moment of the past' a dubious and dangerous way of claiming their religious legacy.
The razing of the Babri Masjid marked a watershed moment in India's cultural history as it tore the social fabric and the peaceful co-existence of Hindus and Muslims giving birth to widespread riots. It gave rise to a “paroxysmic cry from the midnight heart” and the festering wound on the community's psyche has still to be healed.
Indian Muslims never feel ashamed on their decision not to leave India in 1947 and this was because Indian constitution confers on them full rights to enjoy their freedom of religion. On the contrary, a number of Pakistani Muslims still mourn their decision of adopting Pakistan as a separate country and the reason is obvious. But alas! A handful of communal minded people in India have always been trying to shatter the concept of one nation theory and consequently this insistent attempt to bait the Muslims (wrongly) for dividing the country compels Muslims to be on the defensive.
But seers in the Muslim camp have seen this battering of their religious identity as an act of Almighty Allah to rouse them from their slumber so that they become proactive and true Muslims and do the work of dawah to make their mark on the wishy-washy beliefs of the other communities. The demolition of the Babri Masjid was the part of a political conspiracy to ascend to the throne of Delhi and in reality it has no connection with Hindu belief. It was a propaganda that Babri Masjid was built on the birthplace of Lord Rama and gradually this false theory was attached to common Hindus sentiments. A religious belief is not something floating about in the air. To be considered a religious belief it must be specifically and clearly mentioned in a religious text.
The claim that Hindus believe that the spot occupied by the Babri Masjid is the precise birthplace of Rama does not find any such textual reference or support in the Hindu scriptures. Half a century after the construction of the Babri Masjid, the biggest devotee of Rama, Tulsi Das, who lived in Ayodhya, wrote numerous books, including the Ramcharitmanas, but he made no reference at all in any of his writings to any temple standing on the spot occupied by the Masjid or to support the claim that the spot marked the birthplace of Rama. Nor did he claim that a temple had been destroyed to build the Masjid.
There is a million dollar question that can a masjid be built on a wrongly occupied land. The answer is so easy that an illiterate Muslim will also say “NEVER”. A renowned Islamic scholar Maulana Abdul Hameed Nomani of Jamiat Ulma-e Hind wrote in his well-researched article that till date, no compelling evidence has been provided to prove that the Babri Masjid was built after destroying a temple. It is a shariah duty binding on Muslim rulers to build masjids for their Muslim subjects to pray in. Accordingly, Babar arranged for the Babri Masjid to be built in Ayodhya under the supervision of Mir Baqi. According to the shariah, a masjid cannot be built on land owned by someone else. That is why the land where the Babri Masjid stood must either have been bought from someone or else built on empty land or land that had no legal private owner and that, therefore, was technically owned by the state. In either case, Babar's decision cannot be said to be un-Islamic or erroneous.
The masjid stood on that spot for centuries, and this itself is proof as to who its rightful owner is. For centuries, Islamic worship was offered there, and that itself is sufficient evidence of it having been a masjid. To back this claim, there is no need for additional evidence, such as a written will, the names of those who had given the land in waqf for the masjid, and so on. Rather, it is for the opposite party to prove that the masjid was not built on state land and that, instead, the land actually belonged to someone else that was, as they allege, forcibly taken by either Mir Baqi or Babar in order to build the masjid.
After going through the above mentioned facts and analysis, even a layman will conclude that the judgment of the Lucknow bench of the Allahabad High Court in Ayodhya title suit, which was delivered on September 30, 2010, is not acceptable for Muslims. The three-judge bench - comprising Justice S U Khan, Justice Sudhir Agarwal and Justice D V Sharma - ruled in a majority judgment 2:1, that there be a three-way division of the disputed land - one-third for the Sunni Waqf Board, one-third for the Nirmohi Akhara and one-third to the party for 'Ram Lalla'. Each of the three judges gave a summary of his own.
Muslims had made it clear that the High Court verdict was not acceptable to them as it was based on faith and not on evidence. Judgement upholds the faith of one community over the other while ignoring evidence. The court judgment violates basic values of the Constitution - as it sacrifices the principles of secularism on the altar of dubious faith. The observation of Indian Muslims is that the HC judgement suffered from a number of infirmities and, therefore, it was the obligation of the Muslims to challenge it in the apex court, which they did.
Muslims cannot surrender their claim on Babri Masjid, because the commandments of the shariah cannot be ignored. The shariah has arranged that as soon as a place becomes a masjid its ownership is wholly transferred from out of the hands of human beings. Once a place becomes a masjid, it remains so forever, even though it might become dilapidated or is no longer prayed in or even if no Muslims live any longer in its vicinity. Even in such conditions, it cannot cease to be a masjid, and no one can change its status.
There are some so-called Islamic scholars and peacemakers in India who try to convince Muslims to leave the Babri Masjid place for the sake of mutual harmony. This is one of several attempts by those who pose to holier-than-thou and hanker to be part of the mainstream. It is ridiculous that on the one hand the opposite party is not ready to leave even an inch of the so-called temple where Babri Masjid was standing for centuries and, on the other hand, Muslims are forced to compromise by giving up the claim and, instead, forced to take a new piece of land in place of the masjid.
Let us take into account the status of the masjid in Islam. In the well-known fiqh compendium Shami it is mentioned that if people no longer live in the vicinity of a masjid and, therefore, this masjid is no longer in use, even then the masjid remains a masjid, and will remain so till the Day of Judgment. Fatwas have been given based on this principle, which argument has the backing of the leading figures of the established schools of Muslim jurisprudence, including the Imams, Abu Hanifa, Mailk, Shafi and Ahmad Bin Hanbal.
In other words, it can be said that there is a consensus or ijma among the Muslims on the matter. Accordingly, the noted Muslim jurist Allama Hafiz Ibn Hamam wrote in the Fateh al-Qadeer that it is a duty binding on Muslims to protect, as far as they possibly can, even an unused and dilapidated masjid. This point is mentioned in numerous other important books of Muslim jurisprudence, such as Al-Bahr al-Raiq, Al-Durr ul-Mukhtar ma Radd-il Muhtar, Fatawa Alamgiri, etc.
An individual or an organisation does not own a masjid, and that is why it cannot be transferred to anyone else's control or ownership. Nor can it be bought or sold. In short, according to Muslim jurisprudence, once a piece of land becomes a masjid this status cannot be changed in future.
Though the legal battle over the ownership of the Babri Masjid will continue, it needs to be noted that the concern of the Muslims with regard to the Babri Masjid stems from their desire to protect their places of worship in accordance with the rules of the shariah, and not from any identification with or support for Babar or from association with a particular bit of land. That is why to seek to counterpoise Rama against Babar is a mischievous conspiracy to scuttle the real issues that are central to the ongoing controversy.
The last and the final question in this issue is that if the Supreme Court gives verdict against Muslims, will it be acceptable for them. The answer is quite clear that after going through the concrete evidence in support of Muslim claims, most hopefully the verdict will come in the favour of Muslims but in the case it is otherwise, Muslims will accept it, though actually it will be a mere compromise. When the wider interest of public peace and harmony is at stake, it is advisable not to rake up issues that can lead to greater 'fitnas'.
However, the sorry legacy of the Babri Masjid demolition cannot be wished away even on the insistence of the well meaning among the majority community for it has ripped apart the social and cultural glue that had bound the two communities and it will, unfortunately, continue to bedevil the peaceful co-operation and relations between the two communities. On this 24th anniversary of Babri Masjid demolition, we appeal to the Supreme Court of India for a speedy judgement so that political mafia would not continue to play their political games with the sentiments of the people in the name of religion.
By *M. Burhanuddin Qasmi
The article 25 of India’s constitution is a fundamental right which reads: “… all persons are equally entitled to freedom of conscience and the right freely to profess, practice and propagate religion.”
The article 44 of the same constitution is a directive principle which reads: “The State shall endeavour to secure for citizens a uniform civil code throughout the territory of India.”
A directive principle, a suggestion or an optional act cannot outdo a fundamental right of a citizen, and this is common sense. An effort to make changes in the Muslim personal laws from outside has always been considered interference in the religion and religious practices by the Muslim Indians in general and thus is totally against the constitutionally guaranteed fundamental right.
The recent affidavit by the BJP government in the Supreme Court seeking abolishment of triple talaq and polygamy from Muslim personal law is unwise, uncalled for and an electioneering gimmick. Likewise the questionnaire issued by the Law Commission of India is poorly prepared, biased about Muslims and is received by the minority communities and Dalits as part of a conspiracy to implant differences and impose a Brahmanical law in the guise of Uniform Civil Code (UCC).
India is a secular state. No particular religion or the religion of the overwhelming majority has been made the religion of the state. Articles 29 and 30 of the constitution also ensure religious and linguistic minorities the right to establish and manage educational institutions of their choice.
Triple Talaq and Muslim Society
The government and some of our media houses are sensationalizing the matter of triple talaq and polygamy in ways that it looks as if triple talaq and polygamy are widespread practices among Indian Muslims only, whereas the facts suggest otherwise.
According to Census 2011 data on the marital status of Indians; among all divorced women, 68 percent Hindus and 23.3 percent are Muslims. Census 2011 further reveals that 5.5 in 1,000 Hindu couples tend to get separated, including cases of wives being abandoned by husbands, one among them should be famous Jashodaben Narendrabhai Modi, the wife of India’s present Prime Minister. Thus, both legal divorces 1.8 plus separation among Hindus amount to 7.3 per thousand women. This fact brings the Hindu divorce and separation rate to be quite higher than that of the Muslim divorce rate which is 5.63 per thousand women in 2011 census, wherein separation or abandonment is not a significant factor due to easy divorce and notorious use of triple talaq.
Unfortunately the media houses in India prefer to run after myths while creating a sensation since it suits their TRPs and boosts them as ‘jehadists’ against ‘orthodox’ Islam.
In fact, the triple talaq in one go is forbidden and severely condemned in Islam. Through its strictures, Islam neither appreciates triple talaq nor polygamy. These practices are not common in Muslim society too. The survey says that very few people choose the way of triple talaq and they do it out of ignorance. But triple talaq if committed and proven will affect a couple’s lives as wife and husband.
A myth is being well propagated with all pomp and show by some neoliberal and anti-Islam ‘Khans’, ‘Akhtars’, ‘Taslimas’ and ‘Zakias’, who all are but not Muslims, save their Arabic worded names; they claim that triple talaq is neither in the Qur’an nor it is in Islamic Shariah, and ill-fated ‘mullahs’ have invented it; whereas the glorious Qur’an says:
“Divorce is twice. Then, either keep [her] in an acceptable manner or release [her] with good treatment…” [Surah Al-Baqarah, Ayat 229].
It clearly directs that up to two talaqs only a husband may keep his wife back through the raj’at or should leave her to complete her period and thereafter permanently release her with good treatment. The Qur’an goes on describing the importance of keeping relationship and being fearful of Allah while delivering the rights of women till the end of this long Ayat (No. 229). The next Ayat unequivocally mentions the third talaq and the only option, available in extreme cases, for coming back together, if they choose so. Thus, the Qur’an says:
“And if he has divorced her [for the third time], then she is not lawful to him afterward until [after] she marries a husband other than him. And if the latter husband divorces her [or dies], there is no blame upon the woman and her former husband for returning to each other if they think that they can keep [within] the limits of Allah . These are the limits of Allah, which He makes clear to the people who know.” [Surah Al-Baqarah, Ayat 230].
In one of my articles previously ‘Talaq, talaq, talaq: is a crime but it kills’ I detailed how triple talaq has been applicable since Prophet Mohammad’s (saws) lifetime. The Prophet (saws) though was angry owing to misuse of talaq and not following the spirit of Islam by some of his companions, yet he had enforced separation following triple talaq in one go on more than one occasion.
The first caliph Abu Bakr (ra), the second caliph Umar bin Khattab (ra), who although introduced punishment against the defaulter of using instant triple talaq but enforced the outcome. Similarly all following Caliphs, Imams, scholars of Hadith and Islamic jurists, and all four major Sunni Islamic schools of thoughts – Hanafi, Shafie, Maliki and Hambali have been following it in the same way till date.
Those who are beating empty drums repeating falsehoods under the arc lights of the media, are but evil mongers. They are utterly ignorant about Islamic sciences and its civil and criminal law processes. They are of course tools of entertainment for some media houses around the world – Muslim masses have always been out-rightly rejecting them on their faces.
Here it is also noteworthy that some of India’s ‘shouting’ TV anchors and fanatic ‘bhakts’, including the law ministry have been claiming that many Muslim countries have banned triple talaq. This is just one more false propaganda. It cannot be banned by Muslim – groups or individuals. It can only be one or three applicable talaqs – an existing difference of opinions within Muslim scholars. Some Muslim countries in conditions consider triple talaq as one talaq and most of them made use of it illegal but they declare it effective, as the constitution of Saudi Arabia reads: “Triple talaq is illegal but effective”.
The matter was discussed in a conclave of Hai’atu Kibaril Ulama (The Council of Senior Theologians) of Saudi Arabia and after due deliberation they declared that in the light of the Qur’an and Sunnah three talaqs pronounced at one go shall have the effect of three talaqs. [http://islamtoday.net/bluetooth/artshow-32-6230.htm]
The constitution of Pakistan reads:
Pronouncement of triple divorce is final and binding until intervening marriage. [Law of Divorce and Khula in Pakistan, page: 8: by Barrister Ali Shaikh]
However, it does not make sense for Indian Muslims what and how people in other Muslim majority or Muslim minority countries are practicing Islam. Indian Muslims and their scholars have been torch bearers in practicing ‘moderate’ Islam throughout the world, and some of them have been accepted as authoritative references on Islam for centuries. They have piles of works on Islamic theology – and the world is being benefited till date. They should remain so as independent as they have been being within the parameters of Shariah.
The triple talaq is a terrible use of law. It is an abuse of legal dispensation by some Muslim males. They should be held responsible and punished to minimize the misuse. Along with them all those who oppress women should be punished too; including those who without offering divorce remain separated from their wives and torture them both physically and mentally throughout their lives. Abolishing triple talaq or changing the Islamic personal law is not the solution. Sensitizing males about the rights and respect of women is the best solution.
Islam does not appreciate polygamy
In Islam polygamy is allowed with strict conditions which are difficult to fulfill. That is why polygamy is not widespread in Muslim society in the whole of Indian subcontinent. Very few Muslims get married to more than one wife. Sometimes it is even done as per the wish of the first wife or at least with mutual desire.
Some of them do so because of the need, such as first wife is suffering from chronic disease or because of the wish of having either a child or a male child while a very few of them practice polygamy with wrong intention too. It is not a fault of law but it is their personal crime if they oppress their first wives after getting married to other women.
It is important to note that those who are not allowed constitutionally to practice polygamy are more polygamous than Muslims. How many Indians are actually polygamous?
Exact data on the subject is hard to find today, primarily because the 1961 census was the last one to look at marriages by religion and community. That survey, in fact, found that incidence of polygamy was the least among Muslims, with just 5.7 percent of the community likely to practice it. Hindus actually had a higher incidence rate of polygamy, at 5.8 percent, although other communities, including Buddhists and Jains, were proportionally even more likely to practice polygamy. 7.9 percent of Buddhists and 6.7 of Jains were polygamous. At the top were tribals, 15.25 percent of whom were polygamous.
Notably, article 25 of the constitution of India describes Sikhism, Jainism and Buddhism as parts of the Hindu religion, though these religions are fighting to constitutionally get separate religious identities. Explanation II of sub clause (b) in clause 2 of the article 25 says: “the reference to Hindus will be construed as including a reference to persons professing the Sikh, Jaina and Buddhist religions …” Thus if you club together the constitutionally defined Hinduism, then the rate of polygamy climbs among Hindus to as high as 20.4 percent excluding Sikhism, as we do not have data available for it in hand.
The takeaway, as per the 1961 census data thus stands that 5.7 percent Muslims and 20.4 Hindus are polygamous.
Contrary to the claim by the government of India and a few ‘feminist’ mockers that “polygamy is unIslamic” and the Qur’an does not permit it, the glorious Qur’an says:
“And if you fear that you will not deal justly with the orphan girls, then marry those that please you of [other] women, two or three or four. But if you fear that you will not be just, then [marry only] one …” [Surah An-Nisa, Ayat 3]
Precisely, polygamy is a conditional option but allowed in Islam. However a recent survey was conducted by a team of journalists from ummid.com in Malegaon, Maharashtra in India to fact-check the hotly debated so-called prevalence of polygamous cases among Muslims on the ground zero level. Malegaon is a Muslim majority city with 7 lakh population and 78.95 percent Muslims. The report reads:
“The quick survey conducted by ummid.com amidst the ongoing debate on the subject following pleas in the Supreme Court by the Modi government and some women activists seeking a ban on polygamy also showed that there are just 02 men in this hugely Muslim populated city who have three wives.” It further goes on “…just 151 men in Malegaon – a city of more than 05 lakh Muslims, have two wives,.. and none with four wives” the latest survey showed. [http://ummid.com/news/2016/October/17.10.2016/ummid-dot-com-survey-on-polugamy-malegaon.html]
Incisively, Malegoan has 5 lakh Muslim populations, consider 50 percent of them are females, thus 2.5 lakh are males. Further make a deduction of 40 percent as they are either not married or children, thus total number of married men stands to roughly 1.5 lakh. Now the total number of men having more than one wife is 153 out of 1.5 lakh that is an astonishing 0.10 percent only.
This latest survey in Malegaon and the census data from 1961 are clear indications that banning polygamy will not make any difference and will not stop polygamy or oppression upon women. For, most of the polygamous males in the country are those who are not permitted by law to practice polygamy.
Why UCC is not possible in India
Diversity is beauty of India. The Indian constitution ensures “justice, social, economic and political” to all citizens. It has adopted measures for the protection of the rights of the religious and ethnic minorities and of the socially and economically disadvantaged classes such as the scheduled castes (SC) and scheduled tribes (ST). As, different kinds of flowers add to the beauty of a garden, in the same way people with different cultures and colours are the beauty of this awesome country. This is the sole idea of India.
One country one law is not possible here. Adivasis have their own customs and cultural mores. A man can have many wives and a woman can have many husbands too. They have different ways of marriage and also different rituals for burying the dead. A large section of Hindus practices different religious customs in different places.
A comparative study of the personal laws of Hindus, Muslims and other minorities will reveal that the sheer diversity of these laws, coupled with the dogmatic zeal with which they are adhered to, cannot permit uniformity of any sort in personal laws. In fact, the heterogeneity of Hindu law itself is such that even the possibility of a uniform Hindu code is ruled out.
Talking of marriage alone, under the Hindu Marriage Act 1955, marriages may be solemnised in accordance with the rites and ceremonies of a variety of people who come under the definition of a Hindu. For instance, according to the saptapadhi form of marriage that is followed mostly in northern India, the marriage is deemed to be complete and binding when the couple take seven steps of rounds with the sacred fire – known as saath phere.
On the other hand, in the south suyamariyathai and seerthiruththa forms of marriage are followed. Under these, the marriage is valid if the parties to the marriage declare in the presence of relatives that they are marrying each other, or if they garland each other, or put a ring on each other’s fingers or if the groom ties a thali or Mangalyam around the neck of the bride.
Likewise, in southern India, a Hindu man can get married to his cousin and even to his niece but in other parts of India, Hindu men cannot get married to their cousins and nieces.
Also, for a marriage to be valid under Hindu law it has to be solemnised in accordance with the customary rites and ceremonies of at least one of the parties. Thus, if a Jain marries a Buddhist by performing the rites of a Sikh, the marriage is invalid. [Sakuntala v Nilakantha 1972, Mah LR 31, cited in Family Law by Paras Divan]
It, therefore, needs to be asked if it is possible or practicable to reconcile these divergent laws and formulate a uniform or common code that is acceptable to all communities.
India already has an optional civil code in the form of the Special Marriages Act 1954. This, read with similar acts such as the Indian Succession Act of 1925, provides a good legal framework for all matters of marriage, divorce, maintenance and succession for those who may wish to avoid the religion-based laws.
The Uniform Civil Code in India is an illusion, and a political claptrap. It is illogical as well as impossible to bring all jumping chickens in one narrow basket. So why this government is creating a hysteria among common men through Law Commission of India, is better known to Mr. Modi and people sitting in the realm of RSS headquarters in Nagpur.
If Prime Minister Mr. Narendra Modi really wants to empower Muslim women in India, as he bawled in his Lucknow speech recently, then he should come out with three doable policies. (a) He may bravely enact proportionate reservation for Muslim women in job and education; they will be gradually empowered in real sense. (b) He may restrain misuse of drugs which is a major cause of oppression for all women including Muslim women. (c) He should urgently endorse a law on prevention of communal riots where Muslim women are proven to be the worst victims time and again.
Will Mr. Modi and his government reflect about even any one of them?
*The author M. Burhanuddin Qasmi is Editor of Eastern Crescent and Director of Markazul Ma’arif Education and Research Centre, Mumbai.
By Muddassir Ahmad Qasmi*
In modern India, in spite of moral decline in different spheres of life, contemporary educational centers are talking about new heights in the educational field; they are trying to keep pace with the world in high technology and above all equal opportunity in education is given top most priority. In addition to it, there have been hot debates about modernization of madrasas in recent days, but there is a distinct difference between modern and religious scholars in the concept of modernization of madrasas. On the one hand Ulama are of the opinion that there should be some minor changes in madrasa curriculum as per the demands of the present age and, on the other hand, modern intellectuals expect complete modification in madrasa syllabus by adopting modern technology.
The important question is that who will decide the boundaries of madrasa curriculum? Will it be those who had studied at madrasas and later on have been rendering their services for the same madrasas or those who had acquired knowledge from modern institutions and thereafter they have been offering their services for the same modern institutions or there are some other people or groups for this purpose. The easy answer of the above question is that it is only the madrasa authorities who are responsible for bringing about changes in madrasa curriculum as per the need and demand of the hour. Yes, it is also necessary that modern intellectuals and new technology experts must also be provided a chance to present their ideas so that a precise and concise syllabus may be prepared.
Here it should be kept in mind that modernization of madrasas does not mean converting madrasas into schools because both the systems have different purposes and benefits. From an Islamic prospective the purpose of establishing madrasas is to propagate and protect Islam whereas the aim of modern educational institutions is to meet worldly needs and aspirations.
The common trend is that people from every background seem to advocate modernization of madrasas, although covertly they have different motives behind this intention. We will not present here a critical analysis about different ideas and motives and will only try to shed some light on the practical ideas in the modernization of madrasas.
1. The existing syllabus should remain intact except a little changes including a few modern subjects such as English language, basics of mathematics and sciences and they should be incorporated in such a way that on the one hand they do not weaken mainstream Arabic subjects in the least degree and on the other hand students become capable of speaking and writing in English, acquainted with mathematical principles and be aware of basic science.
If this idea is materialized, it will be an additional successful step in fulfilling the purpose of madrasa establishment. Moreover, students of madrasas will be saved from running pillar to post for further education in universities. Let me confess here that these modern subjects are already in the educational system of some madrasas but they are only a part of syllabus for the sake of syllabus' sake but they do not benefit students in any degree of usefulness.
2. We also support those religious scholars who are of the opinion that there should be no ruffling of feathers by inflicting extra subjects during the period of Fazeelat course and the reason behind this rigor is to make students proficient in religious subjects. Surely we cannot ignore their sincere intentions because we also need a group of ulama who have full command on Islamic learning and science and are attuned to the spirit of Shariah.
Here I want to make it clear that regardless of different syllabi of madrasas, every madrasa without exception teaches modern subjects in elementary classes. Our concern is here only secondary and higher classes. Thus, those madrasas that do not teach modern subjects in secondary and higher classes, should teach their students the prescribed Arabic syllabus with full attention so that they become experts in their field. Later on after completion of Fazilat course some of them may join such institutions which have designed especial courses for madrasa graduates to attain higher levels of pedagogical skills in English, computers and modern subjects.
For this especial purpose madrasa graduates can pursue a two-year Diploma in English Language and Literature (DELL) course that was introduced by Markazul Ma'arif Education and Research Center and now has a dozen centers across India teaching this course.
Though the graduates of madrasas have full command on Islamic subjects and are duly capable to lead the Ummah but to maximize their benefits and equip them with the polish of English-language skills this DELL course was designed. This would enable them to face new challenges with full confidence and defend Islam with renewed energy.
3. It should be kept in mind that whenever we talk of familiarising madrasa graduates with higher modern education, we intend to cover not all graduates but a selected number from them. It is noteworthy that more than one century ago our ancestral Ulama had already declared that English language is a must for madrasa graduates. According to the history of Darul Uloom Deoband, its governing body in 1318 A.H. had decided to give scholarships to madrasa graduates for further studies in universities and it was also planned that college students will be taught Arabic in its premises but due to lack of funds that dream did not come true.
Therefore, a selected number of madrasa graduates should also join universities but the first and foremost condition for them is that they should not compromise with their Islamic identity in the least degree because they go there to gain something not to lose something. If madrasa graduates change their original religious colour in universities then no one will allow them to do so because it will becloud their main mission.
4. One of the aspects of modernization of madrasas is that some of the subjects may be taught with modern style and technology. For instance, teachers should make a lesson plan for every session as it will surely help students to understand subjects in a comprehensive manner. Likewise history and geography may be taught by the help of projectors and lessons may be illustrated by computer graphics. Surely, no one can deny the importance of abovementioned methods of teaching.
5. From time to time, the government also shows its interest in madrasa modernization and tries to come up with new ideas but it is not acceptable for madrasawalas. The reason has been explained in the abovementioned points. However, if government is sincere about madrasa modernization, firstly it should take care of those governmental madrasas in UP, Bihar, Bengal and Assam which are in pathetic condition in every sense of the word.
Though the purpose of madrasa education is not getting simply governmental jobs. This is done with an eye to serve the nation, country and community which is a constructive and positive step which is encouraged by farsighted Ulama. Graduates of madrasas can prove their best ability in schools, colleges, universities via Urdu, Arabic and Persian teaching and also in some other governmental departments such as embassies etc. Now if the government is serious enough about madrasa modernization, it should recognize leading madrasas' certificates and grant jobs for madrasa graduates in various departments without additional degrees from universities.
To sum up, madrasa modernization is not an unsolved enigma and therefore we should not make a hue and cry for that from sunrise to sunset. The only thing we have to do is that religious scholars should discharge their duty, modern intellectuals should play their role and the government should fulfill the basic needs of the people. I am not only hopeful but also sure that in this way we can reach our desired destination.
*The writer is an assistant editor of Eastern Crescent, Mumbai
Mumbai, 23 February: Markazul Ma’arif Education and Research Centre (MMERC), Mumbai is going to organize its 2nd Inter-DELL National Elocution Competition- 2016 on Saturday and Sunday, February 27 and 28, 2016 at Markaz-e Islami Education and Research Centre, Ankleshwar, Bharuch, Gujarat.
MMERC has 8 affiliated institutes across India which are following its DELL (Diploma in English Language and Literature) course in letter and spirit. They are Markazul Ma’arif Education & Research Centre (MMERC), Mumbai; Markaz-e Islami Education & Research Centre (MIERC), Ankleshwar, Gujarat; Jamia Islamia Jalalia, Hojai, Nagaon, Assam; Mahadud Dirasatil Ulia (Institute for Higher Studies) Jamia Nagar, New Delhi; Al-Maahadul Ali Al-Islami, Hyderabad, Telangana; Islamic Study Centre, Ebrahim Bawani ITI, Vadodra, Gujarat; Fazlani Centre for English Language & Literature (FCELL), Lonavala, Pune, Maharashtra; Islamic Study Center for English Language and Literature (ISCELL), Betia, Champaran, Bihar.
In this national event, 3 finalists from each 8 institutes will demonstrate their public speaking skills in English on different social, religious and current topics. The top three individual performers and collectively the best performing institute will be awarded with certificates and trophies.
DELL course promoted by Markazul Ma’arif Education and Research Centre (MMERC) is a brainchild of Maulana Badruddin Ajmal who took this unique initiative in 1994 to hone the skills of madrasa graduates in English language and communication technology. Today, this course has gained considerable acceptance in its attempt to bridge the gap between ulama and modern intellectuals. MMERC and its affiliated institutions’ alumni are performing marked services for the sake of religious, educational, social and cultural upliftment of people here in India and abroad.
Maulana Muhammad Burhanuddin Qasmi, the director of MMERC, stated in his press note, ‘Last year in the first national program it was decided that every year the competition will be hosted by one of the MMERC affiliated institutions in rotation, that’s why this year MIERC, Ankleshwar is hosting the program where all the arrangements have been made by the host and we are happy that our preparation is complete.’ ‘Maulana Qari Rashid Ahmad Ajmeri, Shaikhul Hadith Jamia Islamia Ashrafia, Rander, Gujarat will preside over the program and Maulana Syed Mehmood Madni, General Secretary Jamiat Ulama-e Hind, Maulana Badruddin Ajmal, MP and president All India United Democratic Front (AIUDF) and Maulana Asrarul Haque Qasmi, MP and president of All India Talimi Milli Foundation will be the guests of honour’ He added.
Maulana MB Qasmi also added that it is a unique programme, prominent national and international guests along with local schools and colleges principles are expected to be present in the valedictory session from 10 AM on Sunday, 28th Feb.
Book Title: Life and Thoughts of Hujjat al-Islam Imam Muhammad Qasim al-Nanawtawi
Author: Atif Suhail Siddiqui (Ph.D.)
Publisher: Deoband Institute of Islamic Thought (DIIT) Deoband
YoP: Jan 2016
The new year 2016 dawned at us with a unique gift that was much awaited of its kind from the intelligentsia of Deoband School of Thought around the globe. This year Darul Uloom Deoband is entering into its 150th anniversary. Established on 31 May 1866, Darul Uloom Deoband became the centre of Islamic educational and intellectual revolution led by Imam Muhammad Qasim al-Nanawtawi (1831-1880 CE). This movement reinstated the legacy of Shah Waliullah Muhaddith of Delhi (1703-1762) and thus became the of seat pure and higher Islamic education, hub of Islamic heritage as well as a school of thought representing the pristine Islamic beauty.
Imam Muhammad Qasim al-Nanawtawi is the towering personality of the Post-Mughal India who is the torchbearer of Islamic renaissance in the subcontinent that later spread across the world. He was the most influential Islamic philosopher, theologian and reformer in the Indian subcontinent after Imam al-Hind Shah Waliullah of Delhi as he was the last bearer of the intellectual legacy of Shah Wali Allah. Al-Nanawtawi is revered as a Mujaddid and having a title Hujjat al-Islam stands on the third step in the process of Islamic revivalism after Mujaddid Alf-Thani (1564-1624) and Shah Waliullah of Delhi.
The Qasmi philosophy and literature is among the most precious hidden treasures of Deoband which needs to be brought to the world intelligentsia in beautiful attire and different international languages. I congratulate Dr Atif Suhail Siddiqui to produce this worthwhile work to introduce the philosophy and legacy of Imam al-Nanawtawi to world in English language.
I hope this work will be followed by other works of value under Deoband Institute of Islamic Thought (DIIT).
Muhammadullah Khalili Qasmi
Darul Uloom Deoband
By Manzar Imam*
Muslims today are faced with a number of challenges many of them being the result of a narrow understanding of Islam as much by others as it is by Muslims themselves. The road ahead therefore is tough. However, the tougher the task and circuitous the journey, the better and more satisfactory could be the outcome. This is how I can summarise a thought-provoking lecture of Dr. Ataullah Siddiqui who said, “The biggest challenge for Muslims today is to present the life of Prophet Muhammad as a compassionate human being, a well-wisher of humanity”.
A Reader in Religious Pluralism and Interfaith Relations at the Markfield Institute of Higher Education, Leicester, the United Kingdom, Siddiqui was speaking at a symposium that revolved around the theme to identify reasons of hatred for Muslims and Islam in the West and to seek their solution in a broader framework of history, arts, events and changing circumstances. The symposium was organized by Islamic Fiqh Academy (IFA), India on Friday, 8 January, 2016.
Dr. Siddiqui who is also a visiting Fellow in the School of Historical Studies, University of Leicester traced the genesis of the West’s general indifference to religion as a result of which the Enlightenment Movement had started off in Europe in a period in which reason was given prominence and religion was conceded “outdated and irrational”. He said that the entire map of Europe was then understood as the “Body of Christ” in which anything alien including Islam was considered an attack on it. Thus Christianity and Crusade went together for sometime in Europe.
With injustice and corruption becoming rampant in Europe especially in the churches, there arose against it a movement called The Enlightenment which rejected religion outright. “Reason is the centre, revelation has nothing to do with us,” became the hallmark of the movement. Several works like Immanuel Kant’s “Religion within the Limits of Reason Alone” argued that religion would be taken only to the extent that mind [reason] would conform to. This led to a general indifference to religion. Success of the Enlightenment Movement gave rise to colonization, freemasonry and control. This also gave birth to Orientalism, he said.
Despite religion being pushed away during the Enlightenment, the general notion about Islam in the post-Enlightenment period remained the same as it was before. After sixteenth century Islam was simply termed as “Turks” that is that there is nothing like Islam and all that is there is the Turks which meant that Muslims were a notorious, uncultured, uncivilized people.
Crusade was considered superior and religious laws were considered dangerous. Many art works of that period showed Islam to be alien which needed to be crushed.
Sharia in Europe has been understood as something like a voluminous book, which has many clauses and sub-clauses, whose laws need strict implementation. A group of Muslim youth also keep feeding to that by their own [mis]understanding of the term. Siddiqui quoted several examples that explain how Islam has been misconstrued due to failure of Muslims to convey its real meaning to young Muslims and even to new Muslims and non-Muslims. He then questioned, “Why this hatred for Muslims?”
The first reason of hatred for Muslims is rooted in history, said he. The second reason is media, which is not a “free entity” and is “controlled by its proprietor”, he said adding that a section of the media is involved in “creating doubts” so that people do not know the truth. Media also creates complications because of its nature of unaccountability. It cannot be held responsible as it gives right news. However, it makes the news complicated by “twisting”. Media connects the present with the past. Even literature creates and contains hatred. There is an aspect of literature which although does not name Islam, as it calls it “the Arab culture”, but means the same that is Islam.
Islam in the West is being taught for long. As a subject, Islam is taught in the United Kingdom in Oxford since 1632. And, it is not because they want to understand it but because they need to produce diplomats for which they study Islamic art, culture, history and society.
Against the historical backdrop of Christianity, Crusade, the Enlightenment and the prevalent conditions in Europe as also in other parts of the world, the first thing for Muslims to be taken as a challenge is that they (Muslims) themselves understand then explain and tell others the seerah (biography) of the Prophet because “the biggest attack in the West is made on the seerah of the Prophet”. That the Prophet as a human being was a well wisher and mercy for all human beings needs to be understood and this has to be done through original Arabic sources with good command of English. “Unfortunately this is not being done”, he said. “Translations will not suffice.” As a human being, the Prophet needs to be understood as “compassionate and forgiving”.
The second thing which is most important is the diffusion of misunderstanding about the Quran which is considered sort of a collection drawn from religious books and traditions of Jews and Christians.
The scholar also warned against an ongoing effort in the West to “rethink the Quran”. They wish to “separate culture from the message”. They wonder how culture has become part of religion. They say that the Quran “might be a word of God” but how come culture be part of it. He further said that the message of the Prophet was to create a ‘believers community’ which would include Muslims, Christians and Jews which was stalled later.
The third important thing is to understand Sharia. Even many Muslims have a flawed understanding of sharia, for instance taking fiqh completely as sharia. In several states of America sharia is banned but they don’t know what sharia is and what they are banning. Many of our military dictators introduced sharia with Hudood like flogging and cutting of hands. This conveyed a wrong meaning of sharia. This has happened because of misunderstanding and misinterpretation of sharia by some Muslims themselves who think that sharia means that certain things like full dress need to be implemented.
The fourth thing calling immediate attention of Muslims is “the status of women in Islam”. We need to tell that “men and women have equal status and equal responsibility in society”. We ourselves need rethinking on that, he said.
The “image of woman” not like an “entity” but like a “slave” still exists in a vast body of literature, which needs to be clarified. There is a difference between the status a woman is given in Islam and how it is applied by Muslims. That woman is a “social pillar” is not taken so in Muslim society. Therefore many women in the West object to this Muslim culture citing the Quran which gives them rights. Women scholars’ opinions are not given same importance and they are not accepted with similar ease as men scholars’. However, he said that some good works are underway which acknowledge women’s contribution.
Siddiqui, who has been a Vice-Chair of the Christian Muslim Forum and a Senior Research Fellow at the Islamic Foundation, suggested that Muslims must understand different “power points” and make their presence felt in different spheres of influence. For instance, Muslims should have deep understanding of different subjects of arts, humanities, and sports, etc because power is not concentrated only in politics.
He regretted that due to malpractices, sectarianism and un-Islamic practices of Muslims, Islam gets wrong name. In that context he drew attention of Muslims to providing education and training to converts lack of which cause many of them revert to either their old beliefs or become atheists.
While answering a question about certain conspiracy theories, he said, “Everything can’t be dismissed as conspiracy” because Muslims also need to find allies within the existing system. There is need for introspection rather than dismissing everything as conspiracy as it sometimes diverts attention from reality which can be bitter. “We need to help people beyond religious considerations.”
The noted Muslim academic also suggested to introduce some changes in the syllabus of madrasas and asked to think what kind of leadership needs to be provided to society today. He also asked to immediately respond to the negative or wrong reporting in the media.
New generation wants certainly, the search for which sometimes leads to wrong approaches, alerted he. Today, the ISIS has changed the notion of Islamic state which was altogether different five years ago. So, language also needs to be checked and made relevant. He also suggested to include skill development and communication skill development programmes in madrasa curriculum to equip madrasa graduates with required skills.
Amin Usmani, Secretary of IFA; Prof. Ishtiaq Danish of Jamia Hamdard’s Department of Islamic Studies; Dr. Mohammad Ishaque, Director, Dr. Zakir Husain Institute of Islamic Studies, Jamia Millia Islamia; Asad Mirza, editor and advisor at the British High Commission, Delhi; Dr. Abdul Qadir Khan; Dr. Mufti Obaidullah Qasmi; Safi Akhtar of All India Milli Council; ulama, intellectuals and media persons participated in the discussion and shared their views.
It may be noted here that IFA, a pioneering institute known for its tremendous services in the field of research and translation, has conducted several dozens of seminars, workshops, training camps and interfaith dialogues to debate and discuss issues pertaining to Islam in contemporary contexts.
(A graduate of Darul Uloom Deoband, Manzar Imam is a journalist based in New Delhi. He can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org)
Dated: 3rd December, 2015
Assalamu Alaikum Wa Rahmatullahi Wa Barakatuh!
We hope and pray that you all are in good health.
1. On the national level, the incidents of growing intolerance and a spate of communal attacks against Muslims in the country are being carried out by the extrimists and Hindutvadi brigade, anti-national elements and fascist forces, who are actively promoting anti-Muslim hate crimes to get their planned conspiracies materialised and destabilise the peace and unity of our loved country India. These fanatic forces are also trying to malign the image of all Madrasas including Darul Uloom Deoband by maliciously labelling them as centres of terrorism and hates; saffronizing the education system of the country and forcing Muslim children in schools to chant 'Sarasvati Vandana’- the worship song of Hindu goddess etc.; attacking the religious beliefs, ethos and cultural identity of the Muslims of this country. Frustrated over the atmosphere of the rising religious and cultural intolerance and incidents of communal attacks, Muslims of this country, especially the youths, are feeling angry, downed and suffocated.
2. On the international level too, the situation of Muslims is going from bad to worse. Hundreds of innocent children, women and elderly people are being killed everyday by the bombing and shooting of the anti-Muslim forces - terrorists or so called anti terror forces. As a result, the entire Muslim world is red with the blood of innocent Muslim civilians. The incidents of Islamophobia are painfully on the increase world over.
3. In this critical hour and time of crisis both on national and global levels, Muslims of this country and especially we, the hundreds of the graduates of Darul Uloom Deoband, Markazul Ma'arif and similar institutions are looking with hope towards Jamiat Ulama-e Hind. We are constantly keeping our eyes on national and international incidents and media reports about Muslims in India and abroad. Under the influence of extreme anguish and restlessness, we humbly request you to unite Jamiat Ulama-e Hind, the premier Muslim organisation founded by the pioneering nationalist Islamic scholars of this country. To us, only the unity of Jamiat can somehow ensure a stronger leadership and a louder voice for common Muslim masses in India to successfully fight for our identity and Indian unity.
We also urge you to immediately launch a countrywide campaign and protest against persons or organizations who abused and insulted our loved Prophet Mohammad (saws) from the united platform of the Jamiat Ulama-e Hind and to demand from the Government of India to take prompt and exemplary action against Kamlesh Tiwari of Hindu Mahasabha for his highly inflammable, provocative and blasphemous press statement against the Prophet of Mercy and Peace (saws). We rightly hope and pray to Allah (swt) for the unity of Jamiat and the regaining of the lost honour of Muslim Indians. It is an urgent call, let's unite for the sake of Allah and His loved Messenger Mohammad (saws).
With the best wishes and high regards!
Alumni of Darul Uloom Deoband
NB: This letter is written by over 200 Islamic scholars educated both at Darul Uloom Deoband and Markazul Maarif Education & Research Centre etc. living in India and abroad, like various Gulf countries, UK, US and South Africa.
حضرت والا دامت برکاتہم
السلام علیکم ورحمۃ اللٰہ و برکاتہ
امید کہ مزاجِ گرامی بخیر ہونگے.
ملکی سطح پر مسلمانوں کے خلاف ہندوتوا کے علمبرداروں, ملک دشمن اور فاشسٹ طاقتوں کی طرف سے بڑی تیزی کے ساتھ عدمِ رواداری اور فرقہ وارانہ حملوں کے واقعات انجام دیئے جارہے ہیں اور اس خطرناک رجحان کو منصوبہ بند سازش کے تحت پورے ملک میں فروغ دیا جا رہا ہے. دارالعلوم دیوبند اور دیگر مدارسِ اسلامیہ پر دہشت گردی اور طرح طرح کے بےجا الزامات لگائے جارہے ہیں. ملک دشمن عناصر کی طرف سے ملک کے نظامِ تعلیم کو بھگواکرن کی کوشش کی جارہی ہے, سرکاری تعلیمی اداروں میں مسلمان بچوں سے بھی سرسوتی وندنا کرایا جارہا ہے اور مسلمانوں کے مذہبی عقائد, اخلاق اور تہذیب پر شدت کے ساتھ حملے کیئے جارہے ہیں.پورے ملک میں بڑھتے ان واقعات کی وجہ سے ملک کا مسلمان انتہائی خوف و ہراس, پست ہمتی اور مایوسی کا شکار ہوتا جارہا ہے اور سخت گھٹن محسوس کر رہا ہے.
بین الاقوامی سطح پر بھی مسلمانوں کے حالات بہت خراب ہیں. شام, فلسطین, عراق اور دوسرے متعدد اسلامی ممالک میں روزانہ سینکڑوں کی تعداد میں معصوم مسلمان, بچے, عورتیں اور بوڑھے لوگ اسلام دشمن طاقتوں کے بموں اور گولیوں سے قتل کئے جارہے ہیں. پورا عالمِ اسلام معصوم مسلمانوں کے خون سے رنگین ہوچکا ہے. اور اس طرح کے حملے گھٹنے کی بجائے مسلسل بڑھتے جارہے ہیں.
مسلمانوں کا ہر دو ملکی و بین الاقوامی سطح پر بحرانی دور سے دوچار ہونے کے مہیب ماحول میں ملک کے مسلمانوں کی نگاہِ امید اور بالخصوص علماء کی نگاہیں ,جن میں مرکز المعارف اور اس طرز کے دیگر انگریزی مراکز کے فارغ سینکڑوں نوجوان علماءِ دیوبند کے علاوہ دیگر بہت سارے دردمند علماء شامل ہیں, جمعیۃ علماء ہند کی طرف جاتی ہیں. مرکز المعارف وغیرہ سے انگریزی تعلیم یافتہ ہم سینکڑوں فارغینِ دار العلوم دیوبند ملکی میڈیا اور مسلمانوں کے حالات اور ان سے متعلق انگریزی میں شائع ہونے والی ملکی وغیرملکی خبروں کے پیشِ نظر بہت بے چینی اور اضطراب محسوس کرتے ہوئے آپ حضرات سے بہت درد کے ساتھ مشترکہ طور پر درخواست کرتے ہیں کہ اکابر کی قائم کردہ ملک کی سب سے بڑی مسلم تنظیم جمعیۃ علماء ہند کی ہوئی تقسیم کو ختم کرکے اسے متحد کیا جائے تاکہ جمعیۃ کی قیادت مضبوط ہو اور اس کی آواز میں طاقت پیدا ہو, اور اس پلیٹ فارم سے پیغمبرِ انسانیت کو گالیاں دینے والے کملیش تیواری کے خلاف فوری طور پر تحریک شروع کرکے, طاقتور ریلیاں نکال کر حکومتِ ہند پر دباؤ بنایاجائے کہ اسے عبرتناک سزا دی جائے. ہم آپ حضرات سے امید کرتے ہیں اور اللٰہ تعالٰی سے دعاء کرتے ہیں کہ جمعیۃ متحد ہوجائے اور ملک کے مسلمانوں کی کھوئی ہوئی آبرو واپس آجائے! آمین
مورخہ 20 صفر 1437 ہجری مطابق 3 دسمبر 2015 بروز جمعرات
وضاحتی نوٹ: یہ درخواست مشترکہ طور پر 200 سے زائد نوجوان فضلاءِ دار العلوم دیوبند کی طرف سے ہے جن میں مرکز المعارف اور اس طرز کے دیگر اسلامی انگریزی اداروں کے فارغین شامل ہیں اور ہندوستان کے علاوہ بیرون ممالک بشمول عرب ممالک, برطانیہ, امریکہ و ساؤتھ افریقہ میں مقیم ہیں.
By: Khursheed Alam Dawood Qasmi
The man of principle, Hafiz Ismail Munshi Sahab (Rahmatullah Aleih), popularly known as “Hifz Sahab” among his dear and near ones, passed away at 12:15, on 14th November 2015. Till yesterday, observing his humbleness, firmness, piety, modesty, principle, splendid character and wonderful services of Deen, we used to value and appreciate him. From today, discussing about him and his remarkable works, we will pray for him to Allah, may He accept his services and grant him the best abode in Jannah!
Hafiz Sahab (RA) was suffering from heart problem since 2008. His health condition was not good since a month ago. He used to visit the hospital frequently for checkup. When the chest pain increased and was unbearable, he was admitted in the Fairview Hospital, Lusaka, the capital city of Zambia, on Friday morning, 13th November. In the night of 13th November, he suffered from the heart attack and the heart stopped working normally. Just then he was shifted in the ICU (Intensive Care Unit). On Saturday, 14th November, at 10: 23 am, on a WhatsApp group, a message of his sad demise was sent. But just after 8 minutes, at 10: 31 am, it was rejected by the sender with regret. Once again at 12:20, we received the message that he passed away at 12:15. This was accurate and final.
Hafiz Sahab (RA) was a well-known personality in whole Zambia. After completing his studies from Darul Uloom Falahe Darain, Tarkeshwar, Surat, Gujarat, India, Allah had destined him to serve in Zambia, a tiny African country with the population of 1,54,08,479 people as of 1st January 2015. He arrived in Zambia in 1969, when he was a 20-year young boy. After coming to Zambia, he started serving the small Muslim Community in the country by teaching the children in Jama Masjid, Lusaka for a small period of time that was just one year.
Real works of Hafiz Sahab (RA) began when he started working in a village Kawere, near Petauke Town of Zambia. While serving in Kawere, he established an association namely “Petauke Kawere Muslim Association”, in 1973. Under this Association, he founded an Islamic school known as “Anusa Secondary School” and a Madrasa namely “Madrasa Anwarul Islam” where about 370 downtrodden, destitute, poor and orphans pupils and students are being equipped with both the Islamic and secular educations under a roof through the guidance of 15 qualified and hardworking teachers who impart knowledge among them. Apart from the school and Madrasah, there are dozens of Makaatib, where hundreds of children are learning basic of Islam, in Petauke area which are run under the “Petauke Kawere Muslim Association” as well.
Though he was a Hafiz, but the passion for serving of Deen was so high that he played a pivotal role to preach Islam in the country in whichever way maybe. Just after his arrival, he learnt English and Nyanja (a local language) languages. He translated about nine Urdu books of our Ulama into Nyanja. The translation of “Taleemul Islam” (Urdu) into Nyanja language, for the little starts of the Muslim Community, is one among his famous translated books.
Commonly people don’t know anything about Tablighi Jama’at and they start pointing finger at those who are connected with the Tablighi Jamat. This author heard many people speaking against Chhe Baten (Six Points= the common activities of the brothers who go in Tablighi Jama’at). The people say: “Is it complete Islam? Why do they force on these Six Points only?” It means, they want to say that it’s not complete Islam. I mostly argue with such peoples, as I heard once from one of my honourable teachers saying, “Yes, Six Points aren’t complete Islam, but without Six Points, Islam is not complete as well.” It means we must know “Six Points” to know Islam. Cutting the long story short, reading the mind of the common people regarding Tablighi Jama’at, Hafiz Sahab (RA) translated “Chhe Baten” into local language. So that the people will learn and realize that what is learnt, taught and practiced in Tablighi Jama’at.
In 1996, Hafiz Sahab (RA) left Petauke and settled in Makeni, Lusaka. After leaving Petauke, he resigned from every post he had been holding to rest. But he remained as mentor and guide for his whole life for his founded Association and his words were final regarding any decision of the Association due to his services and personality. For the very reason he used to visit Petauke frequently to check the works on the ground and the activities of the school and Madrasa. The teacher and students were very happy with him. Whenever I talked to my colleague, Mufti Abdul Qavi Qasmi and my friend, Maulan Zakiur Rahman Qasmi, who are working in the School and Madrasa of the Petauke Kawere Muslim Association, founded by Hafiz Sahab (RA), were always full with his praise due to his kindness, sincerity and generosity.
I travelled to Petauke, in January 2012, for 3 days on the invitation of Mufti Abdul Qavi Qasmi, who recently has returned after performing Hajj and Umarh with his family members. When I visited the School and Maradsa, I was overjoyed to see the Christian pupils and students clad in Kurta, Pajamas and Topi and reading 30th part or so of the Holy Quran with correct pronunciation and caring fully the rules of Tajweed. Hafiz Sahab (RA) had made it compulsory for all students of his School to participate in the periods of Islamic Studies. It doesn’t matter, either some of them are from Christian Faith. As my colleague, Mufti Abdul Qavi Qasmi informed me that in this manner many students themselves embraced Islam without any invitation, Al-Hamdulillah.
Hafiz Ismail Munshi Sahab (RA), along with being a mentor of Petauke Kawere Muslim Association, he was one among the senior trustees of Moon Rays Trust, which is one of the largest trusts of the country – running separate schools for boys and girls from Nursery to Senior Secondary, one Madarsa for Aalimiyah Course and 45+ Makaatib and Masajid in the country for the welfare of the Muslim Community. He has the best relation with the trust and those who are related to it. He was completely aware of the ground reality in the country, so he used to suggest running the trust accordingly. His cooperation and suggestion was totally constructive and productive for the trust. On some junctures, his suggestion used to be the final and concluding.
Initially Hafiz Sahab (RA) took the oath of allegiance to Hazrat Maulana Maseehullah Khan (RA), one of the Khulafaa of Hakeemul Ummat Hazrat Thanvi (RA). After his death, he joined Hazrat Maulana Sayyid Abrar Ahmad Dhulyavi (ex-Sheikhul Hadeeth: Darul Uloom Falahe Darain, Tarkeshwar) for his spiritual guidance. Following his demise, he attached himself with Sheikhe Tariqat Hazrat Maulana Qamruz Zaman Sahab (May Allah protect him!) in 1995 and was blessed with Khilaafah in 1998 by the Sheikh. He was one among the leading Khulafaa of the Sheikh.
Hafiz Sahab (RA) was born on 22nd June, 1950 in Tankariya, a village in Bharuch district of Gujarat, India. He was blessed with three sons, (Late) Mr. Salim Munshi, a pilot, Mr. Muhammad Zahir Munshi, a businessman and Dr. Abdur Rahim Munshi, a medical doctor and two daughters. In 2008, Mr. Saleem (RA) passed away on his Umrah trip. After performing Umrah, he reached Madianh Manawwarah, where he died on the spot in a car accident and was buried in Jannatul Baqee’, a graveyard in Madinah. Hafiz Sahab (RA) suffered the heartbreak of losing his elder and youth son and it affected him badly.
The Messenger of Allah (Sallallahu Aleihi Wa Sallam) said, "When a man dies his deeds discontinue, save three things (which he leaves behind): Permanent charity, or a knowledge from which people can take benefit or a righteous son who prays for him." (Sahih Muslim) Now, Hafiz Sahab (RA) is no more with us. His deeds have discontinued with his death definitely according to the saying of the beloved Prophet (SAWS). But, Al-Hamdulillah, the knowledge which he imparted, his permanent charity in the form of his works and services as well as his righteous sons are alive among us. The people will remember his vibrant services and tireless works. They will pray for the elevation of his ranks In Shaa Allah. On top of that, I hope that his Record of Deeds would be full with good deeds and he will be rewarded for that by his Maker and Creator In Shaa Allah. May Allah shower His mercy on his grave and grant him Jannatul Firdaus! Aameen!
(The author is a Darul Uloom, Deoband alumnus and presently teacher of Moon Rays Trust School, Zambia, Africa.)
By E ISLAM TEAM
IMPORTANCE OF FIRST TEN DAYS OF ZIL-HIJJAH
The first ten days of Zul Hijjah are among the most magnificent days in Islamic calendar. The Messenger of Allah, Sallallaahu Alayhi Wa Sallam said: "There are no days in which righteous deeds are more beloved to Allah than these ten days." (Hadith -Bukhari)
Almighty Allah Ta'ala says, (By the dawn; by the ten nights) (Quran-Al-Fajr 89: 1-2). Ibn `Abbas, ibn az-Zubayr, Mujahid and others of the earlier and later generations are of the opinion that this refers to the first ten days of Dhul-Hijjah. Ibn Kathir said: "This is the correct opinion." (Tafsir Ibn Kathir, 8/413)
The Messenger of Allah, Sallallaahu Alayhi Wa Sallam, has said, "One fast during these days is equal to the fasting of one complete year, and the worship of one night during this period is equal to the worship of "Lailatul-Qadr".(Hadith-Tirmizi)
Every Muslim should avail oneself of this wonderful opportunity by performing as much Ibadah (acts of worship) as he or she can during this period.
THE TAKBEERAAT OF TASHREEQ
It is Wajib (incumbent) for every adult Muslim male to recite the Takbeeraat of Tashreeq after every Fardh Salaat-performed with Jamaat or individually from the Fajr of the 9th of Zul-Hijjah to the Asr of the 13th of Zul Hijjah. The Takbeeraat should be recited once only. The words of the Takbeeraat of Tashreeq are as follows:
اللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ اللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ لَا إلَهَ إلَّا اللَّهُ وَاَللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ اللَّهُ أَكْبَرُ وَلِلَّهِ الْحَمْدُ
Transliteration: Allahu Akbar, Allahu Akbar laa ilaha illallahu wallahu akbar. Allahu Akbar walillaahil hamd.
Translation: “Allah is the Greatest, Allah is the Greatest. There is no deity besides Allah and Allah is the Greatest. Allah is the Greatest and all praises belong to Him Alone.”
NB. Men should recite this Takbeer audibly whilst females should do so softly. FASTING ON THE DAY OF ARAFAH (9 ZIL HIJJAH) It was reported from Abu Qutaadah that the Messenger of Allah(peace be upon him) was asked about fasting on the Day of 'Arafah ( 9 Zil Hijjah). He said, "It atones for the sins of the previous year and of the coming year." (Hadith-Muslim)
QURBANI / UDHIYYA
Hazrat Zaid bin Arqam (R.A.) reports that the Companions of Rasulullah (Sallalaho alihe wassallam) asked him:
" Oh Prohpet of Allah (pbuh), what is this sacrifice?" He said: "It is the way of your forefather Ibrahim(AS) ." They asked:"What (reward) is for us therein?" He replied: "There is a reward for every hair (i.e. the reward for meat and useful parts of the animal's body will be very lofty in merit, but there will also be a great reward for the parts which are useless and thrown away such as the hair)." They asked: "For the wool, Ya Rasulullah?" He replied: "There is one reward for every strand of wool." (Hadith:Ahmed, Ibn Majah)
For an informative article on how to benefit and not miss out on these blessed days of Zil Hijjah please visit
Muhammadullah Khalili Qasmi
Around one hundred and fifty thousand humans die every day around the globe, but there are only few who leave eyes in tears and hearts shocked cutting across the lines of family, caste and region. One of such personalities was Maulana Abdur Rahim Bastawi who passed away on 09 Sep 2015 Wed morning in Deoband.
Maulana Abdur Rahim Bastawi, Professor of Hadith, Tafsir and Islamic sciences in Darul Uloom Deoband, was in his eighties and was ailing seriously since the last June.
Maulana was a teacher of generations in Darul Uloom and taught thousands of students from across the country and even abroad. Maulana was well-known in academic and teaching circles for his keen interest in Philosophy and Logic. The students called him imam al-mantiq wa al-falsafa due to his expertise and command over the subjects.
Maulana Abdur Rahim was born in Daryabad Dist. Basti UP in 1929. He acquired the primary education at his native place and then went to Madrasa Noorul Uloom Bahraich in UP where he completed the middle stage of Islamic education. In 1951, he joined Darul Uloom Deoband for higher Islamic education and graduated in 1955 under Shaikh al-Islam Syed Hussain Ahmad Madani, the Shaikh al-Hadith and Principal of Darul Uloom from 1927 to 1957. Maulana Abdur Rahim bagged the honour of being a disciple this great Muhaddith, the last row of his students in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh is vanishing swiftly and those who remain alive can be counted on fingers. Darul Uloom itself now enjoys only three professors who studied at Shaikh al-Islam Madani.
After graduating from Darul Uloom, he was appointed as teacher in Umri Kalan, Dist. Basti where he rendered his services for four years. Then, on the behest of his teachers in Darul Uloom Deoband, he joined Madrasa Shamsul Uloom in Andhra Pradesh where he stayed nearly for two decades. In view of the bad religious conditions of the Muslims in southern India, he did not confine himself to teaching in the madrasa, rather he rose to reform their beliefs, practices and thinking through the pulpit of mosques. He was a popular orator of the area and due to his sincere efforts scores of Muslims repented superstitious practices and un-Islamic customs.
In 1982, Maulana Abdur Rahim was selected for a teaching post in Darul Uloom Deoband. He taught different subjects from the secondary to middle Arabic classes till the last session ended in Sha’ban 1436/June 2015. His field of expertise was the logic and philosophy.
Under his supervision, the students in Darul Uloom founded Sho’ba-e-Munazara (debate section) where they held weekly programme by forming two groups; one favouring a contentious issue while the other opposing it. This helped immensely to develop oratory and dialogue skills of the students who prepared themselves to defend Islam and Muslims in odd times. He also went out in Tabligh tours and thus helped Jamat Tabligh to establish in the region. He took first Jam’at to Mysore in 1959. He had been state President of Jami’at Ulama of AP since 1975-1980.
Maulana survived thousands of his disciples and several sons whom he adorned with Islamic and modern Education. His son Dr Shamsul Huda is Associate Professor of Maulana Azad National Undu University Hyderabad, his elder son Maulana Noorul Huda Qasmi is rector of Jamia Farooqia Deoband, while his another son Mufti Najmul Huda is following the footsteps of his father in dispensing the wealth of knowledge to students. The collection of his speeches in UK are published with the title Khutbat-e-London, Khutbat-e-Birmingham. His some other treatises are: Shab-e-Bara’at, Shab-e-Me’raj, Pandrah Naflein. He also wrote his autobiography which is unpublished. He was also given khilafat by Maulana Altaf Hussain of Bangladesh who is khalifa of Sufi Hafiz Ji Huzoor, the famous khalifa of Hadhrat Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanwi in Bangladesh.
Maulana’s funeral prayer was attended by a large crowd and he was laid to rest in famous Qasmi graveyard after Isha Salah. The next day Mufti Abul Qasim Nomani, delivering a condolence speech in Darul Uloom, mourned the great loss caused by his demise and shed light on the finer qualities of the deceased.
May Allah shower His exclusive mercy on Maulana and may He grant him the highest abode in Paradise, Amen!
Hello, I am Brijendra Singh; I have done my PGDM course from I.I.S.E Business School Lucknow. I am not a student of history but I like to read history due to my interest. In this article I have tried to provide some facts related to Emperor Aurangzeb. His image as a person and as a ruler is negative among the Indian citizens, but I am sure when you will go through this article your attitude will change towards this ruler.
Aurangzeb Alamgir was the sixth & the last great mughal emperor of India. He ruled India from 1658 to 1707 AD. He was one of the greatest mughal emperors & lived a very simple life. He lived on a small quantity of food, he used to write the quran with his own hand & sell them to earn extra wage. If he wanted, he could have lived a life of extra-ordinary luxury as the, emperors, kings, nawabs, rajas, maharajas did in those days.
He was a well-read man; he kept up his love of books till the end. He wrote beautiful Persian prose. A selection of his letters (Ruq’at-i-Alamgiri) has long been a standard model of simple but elegant prose. He understood music well but he gave up this amusement in accordance with Islamic injunctions.
Emperor Aurangzeb is considered as the greatest of all the mughal kings. The mughal state reached its height under his leadership. The state has 29.2% of the world population under its flag (175 million out of 600 million in 1700 AD) & was one of the richest states the world had ever seen, with a world GDP of 24.5% ($ 90.8 billion out of $ 371 billion in 1700).
Of all the Muslim rulers who ruled vast territories of India from 712 to 1857AD, probably no one has received as much condemnation from western & Hindu writers as Aurangzeb. He has been castigated as a religious Muslim who was anti-Hindu, who taxed them, who tried to convert them, who discriminated them in awarding high administrative positions, & who interfered in their religious matters. This view has been heavily promoted in the government approved text books in schools & colleges across post partition India (i.e., after 1947). These are fabrications against one of the best rulers of India who was pious, scholarly, saintly, un-biased, liberal, magnanimous, tolerant, competent & far sighted.
Fortunately, in recent years quite a few Hindu historians have come out in the open disputing those allegations. For e.g., historian Babu Nagendranath Banerjee rejected the accusation of forced conversion of Hindus by Muslim rulers by stating that if that was their intention then in India today there would not be nearly four times as many Hindus compared to Muslims, despite the fact that Muslims had ruled for nearly a thousand years. Banerjee challenged the Hindu hypothesis that Aurangzeb was anti-Hindu by reasoning that if the latter was truly guilty of such bigotry, how could he appoint a Hindu as his military commander -in –chief? Surely, he could have afforded to appoint a competent Muslim general in that position. Banerjee further stated: “No one should accuse Aurangzeb of being communal minded. In his administration the state policy was formulated by Hindus. A number of non-Muslims including Hindus, Sikhs, Marathas & Jats, were employed by him in his court. He did not compromise on the fundamentals of Islam, which are infact the moving spirit of every faith. Historical facts must be interpreted in their true & objective spirit & not subjectively as expressed by the Hindu writers.
Dr. BISHAMBHAR NATH PANDE’S VIEW
The late scholar & historian, Dr.Bishambhar Nath Pande’s research efforts exploded myths on Aurangzeb’s rule. They also offer an excellent example of what history has to teach us if only we study it dispassionately. Mr. Pande was ranked among the very few Indians & very fewer still Hindu historians who tried to be a little careful when dealing with such history. He knew that this history was ‘originally compiled by European writers’ whose main objective was to produce a history that would serve their policy of divide & rule.
In his famous Khuda Bakhsh Annual Lecture (1985) Dr. Pande said: “Thus under a definite policy the Indian history text books were so falsified & distorted as to give an impression that the medieval (i.e., Muslim) period of Indian history was full of atrocities committed by Muslim rulers on their Hindu subjects & the Hindus had to suffer terrible indignities under Muslim rule and there were no common factors (between Hindus & Muslims) in social, political & economic life.”
Therefore, Dr.Pande was extra careful. Whenever he came across a ‘fact’ that looked odd to him, he would try to check & verify rather than adopt it uncritically. He came across a history text book taught in the Anglo-Bengali College, Allahabad, which claimed that “three thousand Brahmins had committed suicide as Tipu wanted to convert them forcibly into the fold of Islam.” The author was a very famous scholar, Dr.Har Prasad Shastri, head of the department of Sanskrit at Kolkata University. (Tipu Sultan (1750-99), who ruled over the South Indian state of Mysore (1782-99), is one of the most heroic figures in Indian history. He died on the battle field, fighting the British.)
Was it true? Dr. Pande wrote immediately to the author & asked him for the source on which he had based this episode in his text-book. After several reminders, Dr. Shastri replied that he had taken this information from the Mysore gazetteer. So Dr. Pande requested the Mysore university vice- chancellor, Sir Brijendra Nath Seal, to verify for him Dr. Shastri’s statement from the gazetteer. Sir Brijendra referred his letter to Prof. Srikantia who was then working on a new edition of the gazetteer. Srikantia wrote to say that the gazetteer mentioned no such incident and, as a historian himself, he was certain that nothing like this had taken place. Prof. Srikantia added that both the prime minister & commander-in-chief of Tipu Sultan were themselves Brahmins. He also enclosed a list of 136 Hindu temples which used to receive annual grants from the sultan’s treasury.
It inspired that Shastri had lifted this story from Colonel Miles, History of Mysore, which Miles claimed he had taken from a Persian manuscript in the personal library of Queen Victoria. When Dr. Pande checked further, he found that no such manuscript existed in Queen Victoria’s library.
FALSE HISTORY PROVIDED BY BRITISHERS
British historian Sir Henry Elliot remarked that Hindus “had not left any account which could unable us to gauge the traumatic impact the Muslim conquest and rule had on them?” Since there was none, Elliot went on to produce his own eight-volume history of India with contributions from British historians (1867). His history claimed Hindus were slain for disputing with ‘Mohammedans’, generally prohibited from worshipping and taking out religious processions , their idols were mutilated , their temples were destroyed , they were forced into conversion & marriages , & were killed & massacred by drunk Muslim tyrants. Thus Sir Henry, & scores of other empire scholars, went on to produce a synthetic Hindu verses Muslim history of India, & their lies became a history.
Lord Curzon(Governor General of India 1895-99 & Viceroy 1899-1904(d.1925) was told by the secretary of state for India, George Francis Hamilton , that they should “ so plan the educational textbooks that the differences between community & community are further strengthened.” Another Viceroy, Lord Dufferin (1884-88), was advised by the secretary of state in London that the “division of religious feelings is greatly to our advantage ’’, & that he expected “some good as a result of your committee of inquiry on Indian education & on teaching material ’’. “ We have maintained our power in India by playing – off one part against the other’’, the secretary of state for India reminded yet another viceroy, Lord Elgin (1862-63), “& we must continue to do so. Do all you can, therefore to prevent all having a common feeling?”
MYTH RELATED TO DESTRUCTION OF TEMPLES
Some of the Hindu historians have accused Aurangzeb of demolishing Hindu temples. How factual is this accusation against a man, who has been known to be a saintly man, a strict adherent of Islam? The Qur’an prohibits any Muslim to impose his will on a non-Muslim by stating that “There is no compulsion in religion.”(Surah al-Baqarah 2.256). The Surah al-Kafirun clearly states: “To you is your religion & to me is mine.” It would be totally unbecoming of a learned scholar of Islam of his caliber, as Aurangzeb was known to be, to do things that are contrary to the dictates of the Qur’an.
Interestingly, the 1946 edition of the history textbook Etihash Parichaya (introduction to history) used in Bengal for the 5th & 6th graders states: “If Aurangzeb had the intention of demolishing temples to make way for mosques, there would not have been a single temple standing erect in India. On the contrary, Aurangzeb donated huge estates for use as temple sites & support thereof in Benaras, Kashmir & elsewhere. The official documentations for these land grants are still extant.”
A stone inscription in the historic Balaji or Vishnu temple, located north of Chitrakut Balaghat, still shows that it was commissioned by the emperor himself. His administration made handsome donation to temple of Pandharpur – seat of deity Vitthal. Historian the late D.G Godse has claimed that trustees of Vitthal temple were more worried about marauding Maratha armies than the mughal one.
The proof of Aurangzeb’s land grant for famous Hindu religious sites in Varanasi can easily be verified from the deed records extant at those sites. The same textbook (Etihash Parichaya) reads: “During the fifty year reign of Aurangzeb, not a single Hindu was forced to embrace Islam. He did not interfere with any Hindu religious activities”. Alexander Hamilton, a British historian, toured India towards the end of Aurangzeb’s fifty year’s reign & observed that everyone was free to serve & worship god in his own way.
The Mughal emperor Aurangzeb is the most reviled of all the Muslim rulers in India. He was supposed to be a great destroyer of temples & oppressor of Hindus, & a ‘fundamentalist’ too. As chairman of the Allahabad municipality (1948-53), Dr. Bishambhar Nath Pande had to deal with a land dispute between two temple priests. One of them had filed in evidence some firmans (royal orders) to prove that Aurangzeb had, besides cash, gifted the land in question for the maintenance of his temple. Might they not be fake, Dr. Pande thought in view of Aurangzeb’s fanatically anti-Hindu image? He showed them to his friend, Sir Tej Bahadur Sapru, a distinguished lawyer as well a great scholar of Arabic & Persian. He was also a Brahmin. Sapru examined the documents & declared they were genuine firmans issued by Aurangzeb. For Dr.Pande this was a ‘new image of Aurangzeb’, so he wrote to the chief priests of the various important temples, all over the country, requesting photocopies of any firman issued by aurangzeb that they may have in their possession. The response was overwhelming; he received copies of firmans of Aurangzeb from the great temples of Mahakaleshwara, Ujjain, Balaji temple, Chitrakut, Umanand temple Gauhati, & the Jain temple of Shatrunjai & other temples & gurudwaras scattered over northern India. These firmans were issued from 1659 to 1685AD. Though these are only few instances of Aurangzeb generous attitude towards Hindus & their temples, they are enough to show that what the historians have written about him was biased & is only one side of the picture. India is a vast land with thousands of temples scattered all over. If proper research is made, I am confident; many more instances would come to light which will show Aurangzeb’s benevolent treatment of non-Muslims.
Aurangzeb did not indiscriminately destroy Hindu temples, as he is commonly believed to have done so, & that he directed the destruction of temples only when faced with insurgency. This was almost certainly the case with the Keshava Rai temple in the Mathura region, where the Jats rose in rebellion & yet even this policy of reprisal may have been modified, as Hindu temples in the Deccan were seldom destroyed. The image of Aurangzeb as an idol – breaker may not with stand scrutiny, since there is evidence to show that, like his predecessors, he continued to confer land grants or jagirs (large parcel of agricultural lands) upon Hindu temples, such as the Someshwar Nath Mahadev temple Allahabad, Jangum Badi Shiva temple in Varanasi, Umanand temple in Gauhati & numerous others. He did not harm to the famous Alura temples (a huge complex of Ancient temples) in his conquest of Deccan.
DEMOLITION OF KASHI VISHWANATH TEMPLE
Dr. Pande’s research showed that Aurangzeb was as solicitous of the rights & welfare of his non-Muslim subjects as he was of his Muslim subjects. Hindu plaintiffs received full justice against their Muslims respondents &, if guilty, Muslims were given punishment as necessary.
One of the greatest charges against Aurangzeb is of the demolition of Vishwanath temple in Varanasi. That was a fact, but Dr. Pande unraveled the reason for it. “While Aurangzeb was passing near Varanasi on his way to Bengal, the Hindu Rajas in his retinue requested that if the halt was made for a day, their Ranis may go to Varanasi, have a dip in the Ganges & pay their homage to Lord Vishwanath. Aurangzeb readily agreed. “Army pickets were posted on the five mile route to Varanasi. The Ranis made journey to the palkis. They took their dip in the Ganges & went to the Vishwanath temple to pay their homage. After offering puja (worship) all the Ranis returned except one, the Maharani of Kutch. A thorough search was made of the temple precincts but the Rani was to be found nowhere.
“When Aurangzeb came to know about this, he was very much enraged. He sent his senior officers to search for the Rani. Ultimately they found that statue of Ganesh (the elephant – headed god) which was fixed in the wall was a moveable one. When the statue was moved, they saw a flight of stairs that led to the basement. To their horror they found the missing Rani dishonored & crying deprived of all her ornaments. The basement was just beneath Lord Vishwanath’s seat.”
The Raja demanded salutary action, & “Aurangzeb ordered that as the sacred precincts have been despoiled, Lord Vishwanath may be moved to some other place, the temple be razed to the ground & the Mahant (head priest) be arrested & punished.”
EMPLOYMENT FOR NON-MUSLIMS
Aurangzeb has often been accused of closing the doors of official employment on the Hindus, but a study of the list of his officers shows this is not so. Actually there were more Hindu officers under him than under any other Mughal emperor. Though this was primarily due to a general increase in the number of officers, it shows that there was no ban on the employment of Hindus.
In his administration the state policy was formulated by Hindus. Two Hindus held the highest position in the state treasury. Some prejudiced Muslims even questioned the merit of his decision to appoint non-Muslims to such high offices. The emperor refuted them by stating that he had been following the dictates of the Shariah (Islamic law) which demands appointing right persons in right positions. During Aurangzeb’s long reign of fifty years, many Hindus, notably Jaswant Singh, Jay Singh, Raja Rajrup, Kabir Singh, Arghanath Singh, Prem Dev Singh, Dilip Roy & Rasik Lal Crory, held very high administrative positions. Two of the highest ranked generals in Aurangzeb’s administration, Jaswant Singh & Jay Singh, were Hindus. Other notable Hindu generals who commanded a garrison of two to five thousand soldiers were Raja Vim Singh of Udaypur, Indra Singh, & Achalaji & Arjuji. One wonders if Aurangzeb was hostile to Hindus, why would he position all these Hindus to high positions of authority, especially in the military, who could have mutinied against him & removed him from his throne?
Most Hindus like Akbar over Aurangzeb for his multi-ethnic court where Hindus were favored. Historian Shri Sharma states that while Emperor Akbar had 14 Hindu Mansabdars (high officials) in his court, Aurangzeb actually had 148 Hindu high officials in his court (Ref : Mughal Govn.). But this fact is somewhat less known.
If Aurangzeb was so ferocious a communalist, why is it, some historians have asked, that the number of Hindu employed in positions of eminence under Aurangzeb’s reign rose from 24.5% in the time of his father Shah Jahan to 33% in the fourth decade of his own rule?
JIZYA AND OTHER TAXES
Now let us deal with Aurangzeb’s imposition of the Jizya tax which had drawn severe criticism from many Hindu historians. It is true that Jizya was lifted during the reign of Akbar & Jahangir & that Aurangzeb later reinstated this. Before I delve into the subject of Aurangzeb’s Jizya tax, or taxing the non-Muslims, it is worthwhile to point out that Jizya is nothing more than a war tax which was collected only from able-bodied young non-Muslim male citizens living in a Muslim country who did not want to volunteer for the defence of the country. That is, no such tax was collected from non-Muslims who volunteered to defend the country. This tax was not collected from women & neither from immature males nor from disabled or old male citizens. For payment of such taxes, it became incumbent upon the Muslim Government to protect the life, property & wealth of its non-Muslim citizens. If for any reason the Government failed to protect its citizens, especially during a war, the taxable amount was returned.
It should be pointed out here that zakat (2.5% of savings) & ushr (10% of agricultural products) were collected from all Muslims, who owned some wealth (beyond a certain minimum, called nisab). They also paid sadaqah, fitrah & khums. None of these were collected from any non-Muslim. As a matter of fact, the per capita collection from Muslims was several fold that of non-Muslims. Further to Aurangzeb’s credit is his abolition of a lot of taxes, although this fact is not usually mentioned. In his book Mughal administration, Sir Jadunath Sarkar, foremost historian on the Mughal dynasty, mention’s that during Aurangzeb’s reign in power, nearly 65 types of taxes were abolished, which resulted in a yearly revenue loss of 50 million rupees from the state treasury.
Other historians stated that when Aurangzeb abolished 80 types of taxes, no one thanked him for his generosity. But when he imposed only one (jizya), & not heavy at all, people began to show their displeasure.
While some Hindu historians are retracting the lies, the textbooks & historic accounts in western countries have yet to admit their error & set the record straight.
SOME IMPORTANT POINTS RELATED TO CHARACTER OF AURANGZEB
Just think a man such, character, caliber that cares and concern for public can be unjust, cruel. Just imagine a king such cruel & unjust to the majority could rule a huge country, for about 50 years, where high majority members serving highest position & comprising 80% in the military.
He was so pious best character person noble & just. You cannot find a single one in the present leaders.
His personal piety however is undeniable. He led an exemplary simple pious life. He cares for the royal treasury as public treasury & for public. The present leaders considers public treasury to personal treasury.
Unlike his predecessors, Aurangzeb did consider the royal treasury as a trust of the citizens of his empire & did not use it for personal expenses.
He was Subedar in Deccan & Gujarat. He didn’t destroy any temple. His period was peaceful & prosperous, called golden period.
Despite more than two decades he campaign as subedar in Deccan & Gujarat there is no record of temple destruction in the region. He continued to confer Jagirs to Hindu temples. His period was golden period & relatively peaceful, prosperous in his tenure.
He was maligned that he was against art & music. He was the accomplished musician playing VEENA. The largest numbers of books on classical Indian music in Persian were written during Aurangzeb’s reign. He banned all nude dances.
Aurangzeb cruelty as mere rumors or at best lies invented by Hindu bigotry & British historians who wanted to weaken India by their divide & rule policy. Bankim Chatterjee, who served his whole life to British government, was a tool of this conspiracy and dividing.
He was so concern about duties; he did not miss prayer during the ongoing war.
He spread his prayer rug & prayed in the midst of battle ground, brought him much fame. He stopped all bad things, which today everybody want. Why government banned bar balayien, dances of Rakhi Sawant & Mallaika. Why sattabazi is illegal?
Today we pay more than 66% of our income as taxes. The present government is worse than Aurangzeb’s.
He forbade sati, drinking, gambling, prostitution, devadasies, dancing in brothels, ashrams & mutts. He put jizya to Dhimmis (non-believers) which around 2.5% like Muslim pay their Zakat, 2.5% eligible person should pay. The old, women, children were exempted. Only the young man who didn’t want to serve in the army should pay the jiziya. Indian parliament still hung the bill of Lok Pal, whereas Aurangzeb the only ruler who appointed Lok Pal to control corruption in Judiciary, Finance & other departments.
He appointed Muhattasib (lok pal) censors to control injustice & atrocities. The Brahmans & higher caste Hindus now found themselves facing Islamic law courts for the atrocities on lower castes Hindus.
He was best knowledgeable & brilliant administrator. He never tolerates injustice. He was a brave soldier & best commander in the field. He was the only who control Deccan & Bijapur dynasty. Under his leadership, in particular, he led Mughal forces in the conquest of the Deccan, seizing first the Golkunda & Bijapur Sultanates, & then attacking the Maratha chieftains. He annexed all the Maratha territories. He left Shivaji because he was no threat to his kingdom.
These are the few evidence of his greatness. The Brahmans & higher caste were subject to Aurangzeb justice. They maligned & created, invented, fabricated these & all other baseless stories.
This is all about emperor Aurangzeb. I am confident that when you will go through all these facts & figures your perception towards this Mughal emperor will change. Our medieval history consists of various false stories. Our nation had never seen an emperor like Aurangzeb. I need your feedback about this article. What should I do to change the perception of people? I want to know merits, demerits, area of scope & any suggestion related to this article from your side.
By Dr. Habib Siddiqui
Of all the Muslim rulers who ruled vast territories of India from 712 to 1857 CE, probably no one has received as much condemnation from Western and Hindu writers as Aurangzeb. He has been castigated as a religious Muslim who was anti-Hindu, who taxed them, who tried to convert them, who discriminated against them in awarding high administrative positions, and who interfered in their religious matters. This view has been heavily promoted in the government approved textbooks in schools and colleges across post-partition India (i.e., after 1947). These are fabrications against one of the best rulers of India who was pious, scholarly, saintly, un-biased, liberal, magnanimous, tolerant, competent, and far-sighted.
Fortunately, in recent years quite a few Hindu historians have come out in the open disputing those allegations. For example, historian Babu Nagendranath Banerjee rejected the accusation of forced conversion of Hindus by Muslim rulers by stating that if that was their intention then in India today there would not be nearly four times as many Hindus compared to Muslims, despite the fact that Muslims had ruled for nearly a thousand years. Banerjee challenged the Hindu hypothesis that Aurangzeb was anti-Hindu by reasoning that if the latter were truly guilty of such bigotry, how could he appoint a Hindu as his military commander-in-chief? Surely, he could have afforded to appoint a competent Muslim general in that position. Banerjee further stated: "No one should accuse Aurangzeb of being communal minded. In his administration, the state policy was formulated by Hindus. Two Hindus held the highest position in the State Treasury. Some prejudiced Muslims even questioned the merit of his decision to appoint non-Muslims to such high offices. The Emperor refuted that by stating that he had been following the dictates of the Shariah (Islamic Law) which demands appointing right persons in right positions." During Aurangzeb's long reign of fifty years, many Hindus, notably Jaswant Singh, Raja Rajrup, Kabir Singh, Arghanath Singh, Prem Dev Singh, Dilip Roy, and Rasik Lal Crory, held very high administrative positions. Two of the highest ranked generals in Aurangzeb's administration, Jaswant Singh and Jaya Singh, were Hindus. Other notable Hindu generals who commanded a garrison of two to five thousand soldiers were Raja Vim Singh of Udaypur, Indra Singh, Achalaji and Arjuji. One wonders if Aurangzeb was hostile to Hindus, why would he position all these Hindus to high positions of authority, especially in the military, who could have mutinied against him and removed him from his throne?
Most Hindus like Akbar over Aurangzeb for his multi-ethnic court where Hindus were favored. Historian Shri Sharma states that while Emperor Akbar had fourteen Hindu Mansabdars (high officials) in his court, Aurangzeb actually had 148 Hindu high officials in his court. (Ref: Mughal Government) But this fact is somewhat less known.
Some of the Hindu historians have accused Aurangzeb of demolishing Hindu Temples. How factual is this accusation against a man, who has been known to be a saintly man, a strict adherent of Islam? The Qur'an prohibits any Muslim to impose his will on a non-Muslim by stating that "There is no compulsion in religion." (surah al-Baqarah 2:256). The surah al-Kafirun clearly states: "To you is your religion and to me is mine." It would be totally unbecoming of a learned scholar of Islam of his caliber, as Aurangzeb was known to be, to do things that are contrary to the dictates of the Qur'an.
Interestingly, the 1946 edition of the history textbook Etihash Parichaya (Introduction to History) used in Bengal for the 5th and 6th graders states: "If Aurangzeb had the intention of demolishing temples to make way for mosques, there would not have been a single temple standing erect in India. On the contrary, Aurangzeb donated huge estates for use as Temple sites and support thereof in Benares, Kashmir and elsewhere. The official documentations for these land grants are still extant."
A stone inscription in the historic Balaji or Vishnu Temple, located north of Chitrakut Balaghat, still shows that it was commissioned by the Emperor himself. The proof of Aurangzeb's land grant for famous Hindu religious sites in Kasi, Varanasi can easily be verified from the deed records extant at those sites. The same textbook reads: "During the fifty year reign of Aurangzeb, not a single Hindu was forced to embrace Islam. He did not interfere with any Hindu religious activities." (p. 138) Alexander Hamilton, a British historian, toured India towards the end of Aurangzeb's fifty year reign and observed that every one was free to serve and worship God in his own way.
Now let us deal with Aurangzeb's imposition ofthe jizya tax which had drawn severe criticism from many Hindu historians. It is true that jizya was lifted during the reign of Akbar and Jahangir and that Aurangzeb later reinstated this. Before I delve into the subject of Aurangzeb's jizya tax, or taxing the non-Muslims, it is worthwhile to point out that jizya is nothing more than a war tax which was collected only from able-bodied young non-Muslim male citizens living in a Muslim country who did not want to volunteer for the defense of the country. That is, no such tax was collected from non-Muslims who volunteered to defend the country. This tax was not collected from women, and neither from immature males nor from disabled or old male citizens. For payment of such taxes, it became incumbent upon the Muslim government to protect the life, property and wealth of its non-Muslim citizens. If for any reason the government failed to protect its citizens, especially during a war, the taxable amount was returned.
It should be pointed out here that zakat (2.5% of savings) and ‘ushr (10% of agricultural products) were collected from all Muslims, who owned some wealth (beyond a certain minimum, called nisab). They also paid sadaqah, fitrah, and khums. None of these were collected from any non-Muslim. As a matter of fact, the per capita collection from Muslims was several fold that of non-Muslims. Further to Auranzeb's credit is his abolition of a lot of taxes, although this fact is not usually mentioned. In his book Mughal Administration, Sir Jadunath Sarkar, foremost historian on the Mughal dynasty, mentions that during Aurangzeb's reign in power, nearly sixty-five types of taxes were abolished, which resulted in a yearly revenue loss of fifty million rupees from the state treasury.
While some Hindu historians are retracting the lies, the textbooks and historic accounts in Western countries have yet to admit their error and set the record straight.
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- Islamic Websites
Books & Articles
- DELL Entrance Test 2019
- Book Sellers in Deoband
- Translation Centre
- Quran Online
- Tablighi Jamat and Darul Uloom