True Lies & The Real Jihad

He: I demand justice for the minorities in Pakistan.

We: You didn’t speak when that Muslim was killed.

He: I did.

We: You paid Indian agent!

 

He: I stand with the people of Balochistan. We should give them their basic rights.

We: You never spoke for Pakistanis.

He: They are Pakistani too.

We: They are agents like you. They have sold themselves. You are all traitors! I wish you were all dead.

 

He: I will stand till Hazara victims get justice.

We: You didn’t stand for Muslims ever.

He: They are also Muslims.

We: You liberal fasadi agent!

 

He: We all should stand for missing people.

We: I knew you would say that Mr. Liberal in the limelight.

He: Today they are abducted. Tomorrow it will be us. We need to stand for justice and fair trial.

We: Not us. Only you. You should be abducted too, Ghaddar!

 

He: I will go to court to get justice for the molested child.

We: Yeah right! You just want to be an opportunist in fashion.

He: No I don’t.

We: You anti-state liberal, trying to defame Pakistan!

 

He: Islam teaches us differently. We need to stand for those who are wrongly accused in blasphemy cases.

We: You always speak against Islam.

He: No. I speak against injustice as Allah and Prophet Muhammad SAW has taught us.

We: We will kill you. You are a Kafir! Murtad!

 

He:

We: Where the hell are you now?

He:

We: I hope you are dead.

 

And “we” all shined on.

For another thousand years.

For another hundred wars.

Killing our own sons.

Killing our own generations.

Yet we remained victorious.

At least in our books.

جواب حضرت نصیح کو ہم بھی کچھ دیتے
جو گفتگو کے طریقے سے گفتگو کرتے

Forgotten Lessons – Our Ignorance is Our Pride

Hussain RA went against the ruler of His time.
He stood against injustice.
He stood for what He believed was right.
He embraced martyrdom on that path.

We cry every year on Muharram for the pain faced by Hussain RA.

Yet we are all like people of Koofa. Silent. Not doing anything. Not even realizing ‘wrong as wrong’ in our hearts.

And above all, we are proud of it.

Our ignorance is our pride.

The lesson from Prophets is to stand against oppressors.
To stand against unjust powers.
Moosa AS against Pharaoh.
So as others.

But today, I guess, paths of Prophets are too tough to follow. To even realize right thing at heart is tough. We think it’s bad to think ‘wrong as wrong’ today.

Ignorance. Taking us from all sides.

And after ignoring all our Islamic traditions, we think we are the right ones while those who actually take the Islamic path are wrong ones.

These silent blind followers are the most cowards ones.
Afraid to think.
Happy to accept.
Following whatever is accepted widely.

Yeh 10 crore hain
Jehal ka nachor hain
Inki fikr so gai

Revolution vs. Evolution (PTI’s November 2 Dharna)

Expectations:
Khoon bhi na niklay or inqilaab bhi aa jaye.

Reality:
Khoon bhi nikla or inqilaab bhi nahi aaya.

Some facts about revolutions:

1. A revolution is never bloodless. Evolution is bloodless.

2. If both the leaders of pro-revolution and anti-revolution ride the same vehicle, that isn’t revolution. (Helicopters in our case)

3. If team of the revolutionist is as shady as the team of ruler, that isn’t a revolution either.

4. If it is expected that police wouldn’t beat revolutionists, then it isn’t a revolution but a way to combat boredom perhaps.

5. If the army is expected to help the revolutionists instead of the government, perhaps another revolution is needed before this revolution.

No revolution in history sustained itself in the long run. The most famous one was “French Revolution” by Robespierre. Success followed by instant failure.

Another one, widely famous and copied, was by guerilla leader Che Guevara. It succeeded for a couple of years only.

Pakistan was made on evolution, with efforts of over half a century. Revolution was not adopted. Islam was spread through evolution, over 23 years.

When Jinnah lost the elections of 1935-36 by Nehru, he didn’t make a fuss. No dharna. He recollected himself. Took charge and made a national difference. He made new waves of ideology through consistent awareness methodologies. In the elections of 1945, he won decisively.

We put pictures of Jinnah almost everywhere. Most commonly, his picture is placed at the back of the sitting leader. So as to not follow him, and we don’t.

I am for evolution.
Not for blood. Not for corpses. Not for violence.
And not for revolution.

Book Review: After the Prophet: The Epic Story of the Shia-Sunni Split in Islam by Lesley Hazleton

 

after-prophet-epic-story-shia-sunni-split-in-lesley-hazleton-paperback-cover-art

Lesley Hazleton published a book named “After the Prophet: The Epic Story of the Shia-Sunni Split in Islam”. The book has focused on Sunni and Shia versions of the incidents on which there are differences among Muslims. But the main focus of the book can simply be seen as hate, which is evident throughout, along with biased opinions in the end. She has mentioned Quran as Word of God because of its beauty and divine message. She has also mentioned Prophet Muhammad PBUH as literally the Prophet from God because of the divine revelation of Quran on Him. It is highly regarded however I couldn’t understand is as she mentions herself as “Agnostic Jew” in a Ted Talk on Quran.

But apart from that, her study on Islam while writing on it was more than poor on various Islamic laws. She mentioned in Chapter 3 of the book:

For a wronged woman, there could have been no better outcome, yet the form of it would be cruelly turned around and used by conservative clerics in centuries to come to do the opposite of what Muhammad had originally intended: not to exonerate a woman but to blame her. The wording of his revelation would apply not only when adultery was suspected but also when there had been an accusation of rape. Unless a woman could produce four witnesses to her rate – a virtual impossibility – she would be considered guilty of slander and adultery, and punished accordingly. Aisha’s exoneration was destined to become the basis for the silencing, humiliation, and even execution of countless women after her.”

Here, like most of other Western authors, Lesley Hazelton has presented her weak knowledge and lack of study before writing the book. To come up with four witnesses is only in case of adultery or fornication. There is nothing like to present four witnesses when someone is raped. Some clerics in Muslim world, and recently in Dubai, have done as what Lesley Hazelton has mentioned, but these clerics and countries are not Islam. Islam is not what we are. Islam is Quran and Sunnah; and to judge Islam, one has to study Quran and Sunnah, not us.

The whole boot is written without citations and endnotes, making it more vulnerable. However the book is written in a balanced way like;

  • To praise the dimensions where Sunnis and Shias have no conflict.
  • To defame the dimensions where there are conflicts. The book is meant to present the differences, but not the hate and biased views.

Mood of the author also seemed to change frequently. On some stages it is felt as the author is angry with Islam, and on other sides her mind is blown away on the remarkable early successes. She is confused in certain areas, and makes this similar effect on the reader. But still, the overall book is a piece of knowledge. People who want to learn more can read Al-Tabari from where she has gathered material for her book mainly, however her personal opinions have ruined the tastes in various places, as well as made some beautiful points as well.

While presenting history, authors should be careful. At least they should be honest as a researcher, as well as a writer. They have the right to opinionate certain aspects, but they should have thorough grip.

In the end of the book, there are some current political scenarios mentioned by the author, which are strongly mentioned. These are lessons, messages and things to remember for Muslims. Some of these fragments are as follow;

Whatever balance there was would be changed utterly by World War I and the consequent partitioning of the former Ottoman Empire. Western intervention reshaped the Middle East, often in what seems astonishingly cavalier fashion. The British enabled the Wahhabi-Saudi takeover of Arabia, installed a foreign Sunni king over Shia majority Iraq, and shored up the Nazi sympathizer Reza Khan as Shah of Iran. After World War II, the United States took over as prime mover. Motivated by Cold War ideology, it helped engineer a coup d’état against Iran’s newly elected prime minister Muhammad Mossadegh and reinstated the autocratic regime of Reza Khan’s son, Shah Reza Pahlavi, under whom Iran first aspired to nuclear power—with American encouragement. Successive U.S. administrations backed the Wahhabi-dominated kingdom of Saudi Arabia not only for access to its oil but also as a bulwark against Nasser’s pro-Soviet regime across the Red Sea in Egypt. In the 1980s the United States joined forces with Saudi Arabia and Pakistan to fund the anti- Soviet mujahidin—literally jihad fighters, or as Ronald Reagan preferred to call them, freedom fighters—in Afghanistan, and in a rather stunning example of unintended consequences, these troops later formed the basis of the Taliban. In that same decade, the United States found itself arming both sides in the Iran-Iraq War, supporting Saddam Hussein in order to counter the fierce anti-Americanism of post revolutionary Iran, while also supplying Iran in the murky “arms for hostages” Iran-Contra affair.

Sunni and Shia radicals alike called on a potent blend of the seventh century and the twentieth: on the Karbala story and on anti-Westernism. By the 1980s such calls were a clear danger signal to the pro-American Saudis, who were highly aware that radical Sunni energies could come home to roost in an Arabian equivalent of the Iranian Revolution. Their answer, in effect, was to deal with radical Islamism by financing it abroad, thus deflecting its impact at home. The Saudis became major exporters of Wahhabi extremism and its bitterly anti-Shia stance, from Africa to Indonesia, countering a newly strengthened sense of Shia identity and power—“the Shia revival,” as it’s been called—energized by the Iranian Revolution. The Sunni-Shia split had again become as politicized as when it began.

 As the United States has at last recognized, with thousands of American troops killed in Iraq and Afghanistan, Westerners enter such a power struggle at their own peril, all the more since many in the Middle East suspect that Western powers have deliberately manipulated the Shia-Sunni split all along in order to serve their own interests. The chaos unleashed by the invasion of Iraq in 2003 may have resulted in yet another unintended consequence in American eyes, but it was not so unintended in Iraqi eyes. “The invader has separated us,” declared Muqtada al-Sadr in 2007. “Unity is power, and division is weakness.”

The Karbala story has endured and strengthened not least because it reaches deep into questions of  morality—of idealism versus pragmatism, purity versus compromise. Its DNA is the very stuff that tests both politics and faith and animates the vast and often terrifying arena in which the two intersect. But whether sacredness inheres in the Prophet’s blood family, as the Shia believe, or in the community as a whole, as Sunnis believe, nobody in the West should forget that what unites the two main branches of Islam is far greater that what divides them, and that the vast majority of all Muslims still cherish the ideal of unity preached by Muhammad himself —an ideal the more deeply held for being so deeply broken.

 

“Jinnah: India – Partition – Independence” by Jaswant Singh

Following are some fragments from book “Jinnah: India – Partition – Independence” of Jaswant Singh which created a lot of controversies in India.  Jinnah book by Jaswant

It was the turn of the century. Great Britain was at the height of its imperial glory, Queen Victoria reigned majestically supreme, the lords, the ladies and the sahibs who ruled on her behalf in India saw not a speck of cloud obstructing their imperial vision. Not a single troublesome dot. How in such a scenario socially very far from nawabs of India, not the inheritor of family wealth, standing or name, etch his name so boldly and so indelibly on the social and political firmament of India? That was Mohammed Ali Jinnah.

——————————————————————————–

Jinnah was a source of power. Gandhi … an instrument of it… Jinnah was a cold rationalist in politics— he had a one track mind, with great force behind it. Then: Jinnah was potentially kind, but in behavior extremely cold and distant. Gandhi embodied compassion. Jinnah did not wish to touch the poor.

For Jinnah, a secondary status was galling, what he had always sought and mostly attained was the centre stage.

(Page # 78)

——————————————————————————–

Both (Jinnah & Gandhi) born of Kathiawari trading communities… One shaped religion to his political ends; the other shunned it on grounds of principle. Gandhi, in a very real sense was deeply under the influence of Tolstoy. Jinnah recognized the political impress only of Dadabhai and Gokhale. Gandhi led his personal publicly. Jinnah led even his public life close to his chest.

(Page # 99)

——————————————————————————–

Nehru himself set the tone with his haughty remark in March 1937. “There are only two forces in India today, British imperialism and Indian nationalism as represented by Congress.” Jinnah was quick to retort: “No, there is a third party, the Musalmans.” History was to bear him out.

——————————————————————————–

Gandhi admitted failure in his quest… He (M. A. Jinnah) won Pakistan with the help of just a typewriter and a clerk. (Chapter # 2)

——————————————————————————–

We went always to Europe not to those great cities, the great centres of civilisation, our historical and cultural kin: Baghdad, Istanbul/Ankara, Cairo, Tehran.

(Page # 153)

——————————————————————————–

Answer to letter of Nehru;

When you said that “I am afraid I must confess that I do not know what fundamental points in dispute are”, I am only amazed at your ignorance.”

(Page # 247-248)

——————————————————————————–

The celebration of 23 March as “Pakistan Day” did not start before 1956. It was first celebrated as “Republic Day” to mark the passage of the first constitution and the emergence of Pakistan as an independent republic similar in importance as “26 January” for India. However when General Mohammad Ayub Khan abrogated the constitution and established martial in 1958, he was faced with a dilemma. He could not let the country celebrate a day commemorating the constitution that he had himself torn apart, nor could he cancel the celebration altogether. A way-out was found by keeping the celebration, but giving it another name: “the Pakistan Resolution Day”.

(Page # 272)

——————————————————————————–

Notes from Lord Wavell’s Diary:

August 27, 1946: “Gandhi said that if a blood bath was necessary, it would come about in spite of non-violence.”

August 28, 1946: “During the morning I received an abusive and vindictive letter from Gandhi… It confirmed the view I have always held of Gandhi, that his professions of non-violence and saintliness are political weapons against the British rather than natural attributes.”

(Page # 391)

——————————————————————————–

On 7th August, with Ahsan, the Naval ADC, Miss Jinnah, and the Quaid, we flew from Delhi to Karachi, in Mountbatten’s white Dakota. There were only a handful of people to see him offBefore leaving the house Jinnah had given me a cane basket full of documents to take to the aircraft. Before we took off, he went out to be photographed, but he did not speak. As we taxied out he made only one remark; he murmured, “That’s the end of that”, meaning, I supposed, the end of the struggle on Indian soil.

He was perfectly dressed, as eve, in a white sherwani, and his Jinnah cap. Dark glasses. Miss Jinnah sat in the front and I sat opposite the Quaid. He had an immense bundle of newspapers which he read immediately and during the entire flight. Only once, he spoke. He handed me some of the newspapers and said, “Would you like to read these?”

This was his only remark during a journey of 4 hours – all he said in what one might describe as the greatest hours of his life… We reached Karachi in the evening, and as we flew over Mauripur, Jinnah looked down and saw thousands of people waiting for him, including many women – waiting on the sand, to greet him… Even then there was no change in his expression and he did not say a word. He was the first to emerge from the aircraft, followed by Miss Jinnah. All the Muslim big guns were waiting for him. He shook hands with a few o them, and then got into the motor-car.

The thousands of people were cheering, “Pakistan Zindabad!” “Quaid-i-Azam Zindabad”, still he showed no signs of pleasure. He was very tired and he entered Government House, for the first time, without a word. After two or three days he changed his apartment from the left to the right side of the house.

——————————————————————————–

Retrospect by Jaswant Singh;

 

Pakistan and its citizens have doubtlessly suffered grievously in the six decades of an independent existence. A break-up into two, in the emergence of Bangladesh; four military dictatorships during these decades; on top of which came the civilian governments that did not exactly serve the land, all this has inflicted upon the citizens of Pakistan untold hardships. There were then these several conflicts with India, each draining the land of resources. Whereafter arrived extremism. The country is now ravaged by all varieties of sectarian and provincial divisions, extremism, violence. And yet, it demonstrates a great vitality, enormous natural creativity and exuberance and, of course, always an outgoing heart-warming hospitalityIn comparison so much of the past pales, for Pakistan has overcome many near impossible obstacles. However, the dream of the late Quaid and the current reality do not entirely harmonize, which is a saddening comment for the lad, for its people, in trust, merit so much more.

(Page # 522)

——————————————————————————–

Note: Page numbers are according book’s edition of 2009 by Rupa Publications, New Delhi.

image001