Just Who Is Not A Kafir?

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  1. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Just Who Is Not A Kafir?

    “Labelling others infidel has become a preferred task of mullahs. The Quran is wrongly used to disprove others’ faith.”
    The broad Sunni-Shia division does not explain all of it

    Most Sunnis adhere to the Hanafi school of jurisprudence. Only 5 per cent of the country’s population belongs to the Ahle Hadith sect or Wahabis.
    The Sunnis are subdivided into the Barelvi and Deobandi schools of thought
    The Deobandis and Wahabis consider the Barelvis as kafir, because they visit the shrines of saints, offer prayers, believe music, poetry and dance can lead to god
    Barelvis constitute 60 per cent of the population. Deobandis and Wahabis together account for 20 per cent
    Another 15 per cent are Shias, again considered kafir and subjected to repeated attacks
    Since 2000, the Sunni-Shia conflict has claimed 5,000 lives
    Others considered kafir are the religious minorities—Christians, Ismailis, Hindus, Sikhs, Parsis, Ahmadias, etc, who account for 5 per cent of the population
    So, 20 per cent of the population effectively considers the remaining 80 per cent as kafir
    ***


    When two suicide bombers exploded themselves in the shrine of the revered Sufi saint Hazrat Data Ganj Baksh in Lahore, the ensuing devastation—in which at least 50 people were killed and scores injured—rendered meaningless the promise of Pakistan founder Mohammed Ali Jinnah to the Constituent Assembly on August 11, 1947. Jinnah had said, “You may belong to any religion or caste or creed...that has nothing to do with the business of the state. You are free, free to go to your temples; you are free to go to your mosques or to any other place of worship in this state of Pakistan.” These stirring words were then perceived as an explicit assurance to the religious minorities of their rights in a country where Muslims constitute over 95 per cent of the population.

    Six decades later, as Pakistan remains trapped in the vortex of violence, even the Muslims are in desperate need of assurances such as Jinnah’s. Mosques and shrines of saints are targeted regularly, votaries of different Muslim sects are subjected to suicide bombings, and just about every mullah seems to enjoy the right of declaring anyone who he thinks has deviated from Islam an apostate, a non-Muslim, whose killing is religiously justifiable. In the darkness enveloping Pakistan, it won’t be wrong to ask: who isn’t a kafir or infidel, beyond even the religious minorities of Christians, Sikhs and Hindus?

    Shrapnel from every explosion strains the social fabric, tears its rich tapestry, and undermines the traditional forms of devotion inherited over generations. Take the twin suicide bombings of the Data Ganj Baksh shrine of July 1, which has been blamed on the Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) even though it has vehemently denied its involvement. This Sufi shrine defines the spirit of Lahore, which is often called Data ki nagri (Data’s abode). Here lies buried Syed Abul Hassan Ali Hajvery, popularly known as Hazrat Data Ganj Baksh, whose shrine is mostly visited by members of the Barelvi sect of Sunni Muslims. The shrine, famous for mystical dancing by devotees, is a Lahore landmark.

    However, the adherents of the Deobandi school of thought, to which the Taliban belongs, are opposed to the idea of Muslims visiting Sufi shrines and offering prayers, a practice known as piri-faqiri. The Deobandis deem piri-faqiri to be heretical, a gross violation of Islamic doctrine; ditto mystical dancing. The Deobandis, therefore, consider the Barelvis as kafir whose neck can be put to sword, no question asked.

    A week before July 1, the TTP had sent a letter to the Data Ganj Baksh administration threatening to attack the shrine, claiming its status was equivalent to that of the Somnath temple in Gujarat, India. The symbolism inherent in the comparison wasn’t lost—the Somnath temple had been repeatedly raided by Sultan Mehmood Ghaznavi, ‘the idol destroyer’, who believed his marauding attacks would sap the fighting spirit of the Hindus. The attack on the Data Darbar was, similarly, aimed at demoralising the Barelvis, besides striking at the root of Lahore’s religious and cultural ethos. The Daily Times pointed out, “For 1,000 years, the city has been sustained by the cultural openness and tolerance that Data gave us. For 1,000 years, the shrine has fed Lahore’s hungry, clothed its naked and given shelter to the shelter-less. All that was brought to a halt when the night jackals in straitjackets struck like the cowards they are. Pakistan’s Islamic pluralism is now the target.”

    This isn’t the first time Barelvi Muslims have been targeted. On April 12, 2006, for instance, a Barelvi conference organised to celebrate the perfectly orthodox occasion of Prophet Mohammed’s birthday at Nishtar Park, Karachi, witnessed a suicide bombing that claimed 70 lives. Last year, the Taliban attacked the shrine of the 17th century Sufi saint-poet, Rehman Baba, who is said to have withdrawn from the world and promised his followers that if they emulate him, they too could move towards a direct experience of god. He also believed god could be reached through music, poetry and dance. But then music and dance are unacceptable to the Deobandis, and the Taliban extensively damaged the shrine of Rehman Baba with explosives. Soon, they used rockets to ravage the mausoleum of Bahadar Baba, and then directed their wrath against the 400-year-old shrine of another Sufi saint, Abu Saeed Baba, both located near Peshawar.
    Renowned Islamic scholar Javed Ahmad Ghamidi, a member of the Council of Islamic Ideology (CII), which furnishes legal advice on Islamic issues to the Pakistan government, laments, “Labelling others infidel and kafir has become a preferred task of the mullahs. It’s clear that every sect considers others heretical, kafirs and dwellers of hell. Even verses of the Quran are wrongly used to disprove others’ faith and sects.”

    In a way, a minority of Pakistan’s population has taken to declaring the rest as kafir. Look at the figures—95 per cent of the Pakistani population are Muslim, of which 85 per cent are Sunni and 15 per cent Shia. But for the five per cent belonging to the Ahle Hadith (Wahabis), the Sunnis prescribe to the Hanafi school of jurisprudence. They are further subdivided into the Barelvi and Deobandi schools. Most agree on the following composition of Pakistan’s population—60 per cent Barelvis, 15 per cent Deobandis, 15 per cent Shias, 5 per cent Ahle Hadith, and the remaining 5 per cent constituting Ahmadis, Ismailis, Hindus, Sikhs, Christians, Buddhists, Parsis, etc. This means only 20 per cent of Pakistanis (15 per cent of Deobandis plus 5 per cent of Ahle Hadith) strictly consider the remaining 80 per cent as kafir, even willing to subject them to death and destruction.

    Renowned Pakistani writer Khaled Ahmed points to the irony: “Within Sunni Islam, the Deobandis and the Barelvis are not found anywhere outside India and Pakistan. The creation of these two sects was one of the masterstrokes of the Raj in its divide-and-rule policy.” He says the Deobandi school took roots in India in 1866 as a reaction to the overthrow of Muslim rule by the British. This school believes in a literalist interpretation of Islam, and apart from Wahabis, considers all other sects as non-Muslim who must be exterminated. “That’s why they work side by side, from politics to jehad,” says Ahmed, adding that though the Barelvi school of thought is the dominant jurisprudence in Pakistan, “it is not as well politically organised as the Deobandi school.”


    It was the Deobandi-Wahabi alliance, says Rehman, which pressured President Gen Zia-ul-Haq to declare the Ahmadis as non-Muslims. At a stroke of the pen, thus, a Muslim sect was clubbed with other religious minorities. Under the Constitution, they can’t call themselves Muslim or even describe their place of worship as a mosque. Wary of disclosing their identity publicly, the Ahmadis were dragged into the spotlight following devastating attacks on two of their mosques in Lahore that killed over a hundred people.

    But ‘Muslim’ status doesn’t insulate even mainstream sects from murderous attacks. Ask the Shias, whose Muharram procession in Karachi was bombed in December 2009, killing 33. The Deobandis regard Shias as kafir, claiming their devotion to the clerics and grant of divinely inspired status to them as heretical. The history of Sunni-Shia conflict is as old as Islam, but this has become increasingly bloody in the last decade—over 5,000 people have been killed since 2000—because of the war in Afghanistan. Since Iran had backed the Northern Alliance there, the Deobandis have taken to retaliating against the sect in Pakistan. They also accuse the Shias of assisting the Americans to invade Iraq.

    Says historian Dr Mubarak Ali, “One consequence of the war in Afghanistan is the fracturing of Pakistan’s religious patchwork quilt. Whereas once the faultlines lay between the Shias and Sunnis, these have now spread to the Barelvis and Deobandis, who are both Sunni.” Since the Barelvis are moderate and against the Taliban, the Deobandis look upon them as the state’s stooges, who as heretics should be put to death anyway, Ali argues.

    Perhaps the complicity between the state and the Deobandis deterred the latter from targeting the Barelvis till now. Lawyer and columnist Yasser Latif Hamdani says, “There is this potent mixture of Pashtun nationalism and Deobandi Islam. Somehow, there is something intrinsic to the very nature of Deobandi doctrine which the Pakistani military establishment is promoting to advance its so-called geostrategic agenda.” Yet, simultaneously, under US pressure, the state had to crack down on the TTP, which, in pique, has taken to wreaking vengeance on the hapless Barelvis.

    As long as powerful sections in the establishment persist with their goal of bringing the Pashtun Taliban back to power in Kabul, they will continue, says columnist Imtiaz Alam, “digging the grave of a democratic Pakistan”. Sectarianism and jehadi terrorism will be its consequent wages, he insists. No doubt, the enraged people of Lahore took to the streets protesting against the attack on the Data Darbar, but what’s of greater urgency is that the state must do some really deep thinking.
     
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  3. nitesh

    nitesh Mob Control Manager Stars and Ambassadors

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    So does it mean now 20% people know what to do with 80%?
     
  4. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    The Brutal Consequences of the Misuse of Takfir

    The marked tendency of several Islamic groups and movements to resort to takfir or branding other Muslims as apostates, often misusing it as a tool to settle scores with personal or ideological opponents, has had a brutalizing effect on the wider Muslim society. It has contributed in a major way to promoting extremist and exclusivist thinking, and has further widened intra-Muslim divisions and conflicts.


    In India, takfiri tendencies are apparent in ongoing and longstanding Deobandi-Barelvi controversies and in harangues between the Ahl-e Hadith, on the one hand, and the Sunni Hanafis, including both the Deobandis and the Barelvis, on the other.

    In Pakistan, these conflicts also exist, as do conflicts between Shias and Sunnis, which have assumed violent and very bloody forms in recent years. In that country, sectarian strife has led to bombings of mosques and other religious institutions of rival sects, causing much wanton loss of innocent life. Lamentably, there has been no serious effort in both these countries to bring the ulema and other leaders of these different Muslim sects together to engage in meaningful and productive dialogue.


    Fierce sectarian rivalries, instigated by sections of the ulema of different groups, have had a profound effect on relations between ordinary Muslims belonging to different sects. Numerous cases have been reported in India of Barelvi Muslims forbidding Deobandi Muslims from mosques controlled by them. In some cases, Deobandis who enter Barelvi-controlled mosques are forcibly expelled from them, after which the mosques have to be ‘cleaned’ in order to ‘purify’ them. Recently, a case was reported from Moradabad, in which when some Barelvi men prayed behind a Deobandi imam at a funeral service, a Barelvi maulvi issued a fatwa declaring the marriage of these men to their wives to have been annulled thereby, because, the Barelvi maulvi argued, by praying behind a Deobandi they had ceased to be Muslims and so could not be married to Muslim women. According to this Barelvi maulvi, Deobandis are not Muslims at all, but are, actually, kafirs. This is a widely-shared view among the Barelvis.


    The mass media, ever on the prowl for sensational news about Muslims, routinely highlight such cases in their reporting—with unconcealed glee. Obviously, such cases of naked obscurantism prove a blessing, and also a source of perverse amusement, for elements that thrive on mocking the shariah and the ulema. Further dividing Muslims among themselves and playing into the hands of those who miss no opportunity to mock Islam are thus among the most alarming consequences of the wielding of the sword of takfir.

    In some Muslim countries, violent groups have resorted to takfir to engage in war against their own governments. These groups brand their governments as ‘agents of the West’, and, on that basis, declare them to be ‘kafir governments’ against which armed jihad is, so they claim, a binding religious duty. This obviously never-ending war, needless to say, is only leading to the further destruction of Muslim countries, besides further tarnishing the image of Islam and Muslims in the eyes of others.


    Given the bloody and devastating consequences of takfiri tendencies, how should we Muslims, seriously committed to our faith and our people, seek to combat them? This is a critical issue, for which we must seek guidance from the Quran and the practice of the Prophet.


    In this regard, it is pertinent to note what the Prophet’s own stance was on the matter. In a well-known hadith contained in the Sahih al-Bukhari, the Prophet declared, ‘ [if someone] engages in takfir of a true believer, it is as if he has killed him’. He also said, ‘If someone calls his brother (fellow Muslim) a kafir, then either of them is a kafir.’


    On this issue, the noted classical Islamic scholar Imam Ghazali writes in his acclaimed Faisal al-Tafriqa Bayn al-Islam wa al-Zandaqa (‘The Decision Regarding the Difference Between Islam and Disbelief’):


    ‘The basis of faith are three: faith in God; faith in the Prophet; and faith in the Hereafter. Besides this, [all else] are minor branches (fur‘u). One should know that takfir [of anyone] cannot be engaged in on the basis of the minor branches except in one matter, and that is if a person denies any aspect of the principles of religion (usul ud-din) that has been continuously transmitted from the Prophet.’


    In the same book, Imam Ghazali argues that there is danger in engaging in takfir, while there is no danger in ‘remaining silent’—that is to say, in refraining from engaging in takfir of others. In another of his works, titled Al-Iqtisad fi al-Itiqad (‘The Moderate Position in Matters of Faith’), Imam Ghazali contends, ‘To mistakenly release a thousand infidels is a lighter [sin] than to spill the blood of a single Muslim.’ In a similar vein, Allama Taftazani, another accomplished classical Islamic scholar, explains in his Sharh ul-‘Aqaid al-Nasafiya a basic principle of the Sunni school, according to which one should not engage in takfir against any person from among the ahl-e qibla, that is people who pray in the direction of the Ka‘aba—which is to say, any Muslim. The well-known Hanafi text Sharh Mawaqif relates that Imam Abu Hanifa, putative founder of the Hanafi school, never engaged in takfir against any one belonging to the ahl-e qibla. The Imam is also said to have opined, ‘If there are 99 reasons to declare a person a kafir and only reason not to do so, takfir shall not be engaged in against him.’ Likewise, another noted classical Islamic scholar, Allama Tajuddin Subqi, argued, ‘Till such time as a person believes that there is no god but God and [that] Muhammad is the prophet of God, it is difficult to engage in takfir against him.’


    According to the noted Indian Deobandi scholar Maulana Husain Ahmad Madani, a leading ‘alim of the Deoband school Maulana Rashid Ahmad Gangohi, was of the view that even if there are 999 aspects of kufr in a person from among the ahl-e qibla, takfir should not be engaged in against him. Yet, despite this clear stand, some Deobandi ulema have committed enormous blunders, not sparing noted Islamic scholars such as Maulana Hamiduddin Farahi and Maulana Shibli Numani from the unsheathed sword of takfir.


    The attitude and behaviour of the ulema of the Barelvi school is even more extreme in this regard. They openly declare all Deobandis and followers of the Ahl-e Hadith sect to be kafirs. The leading light of the Barelvi sect, Ahmad Riza Khan Barelvi, issued a fatwa claiming that if any person even doubts the ‘infidelity’ of the Deobandis, he, too, is a kafir. He was of the view that all Deobandis were kafir in the full sense of the term. Accordingly, in various fatwas he argued that Barelvis must desist from treating them as fellow Muslims in any manner whatsoever.


    From all these details, it is amply clear that takfiri tendencies have today become a deadly disease that is eating away at the very vitals of Muslim society. It has divided the entire Muslim society against itself. It has also given a tremendous boost to extremism in influential Muslim religious and political circles. It has thus now become imperative for Muslims seriously concerned about and committed to their faith to deal with this monster, and to seriously work together to seek a solution to this menace.
     
  5. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Seems thats going on now in pakistan...20% of them imposing their ideology on rest 80% by intimidation through suicide bombings.
     
  6. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Religion and murders

    By Kunwar Idris
    Sunday, 11 Jul, 2010

    MUFTIS and maulanas as well as political leaders while condemning targeted or mass murders, usually add that the gunmen or suicide bombers “cannot be Muslims” though they know well that they are.

    The religious belief of a killer or of his victim is not relevant. It is one human being killing another. The enormity of the crime and loss of life therefore must be weighed on the scales of humanity.

    Mufti Munibur Rehman, head of a federation of madressahs, referred to Surah Maida, Verse 32 in his comment on the suicide bombing at Lahore’s Data Darbar. (“We decreed for the children of Israel that whosoever killeth a human being for other than manslaughter or corruption in the earth, it shall be as if he had killed all mankind, and whoso saveth the life of one, it shall be as if he had saved the life of all mankind.”)

    But why did leading religious scholars not consider it appropriate to condemn the massacre of twice as many Ahmadis in the same terms only a month earlier in a gun-and-grenade attack lasting four hours? The victims in their opinion may not have been Muslims but they were surely human beings. And why could the prime minister and the Punjab chief minister not muster enough sympathy or spare enough time to visit a larger number injured in hospital?

    In answer to these questions lies the explanation for all the deprivations and sufferings of the country and its uncertain future. Pakistan’s human triumphs and tragedies, good and wicked deeds, are all viewed in the light of politics and then tend to take on a provincial, ethnic or sectarian colour. More damaging and spreading faster are religious divisions. Schisms have given birth to numerous schools of thought — each with its own doctrine and political identity.

    The achievements of Abdus Salam in the field of science found only grudging public recognition. Abdus Salam got no support from Ziaul Haq for his research programmes in the country. The services of Zafrulla Khan for the cause of Kashmir, Palestine, Jordan, Morocco, Tunisia, etc. are gratefully remembered in those countries but not in his own. Abdus Salam’s house in Jhang, given gratis to be preserved as a national heritage, is in decay. The explanation for this neglect too lies in his being an Ahmadi.

    Gen Ziaul Haq decreed (unofficially) that no Ahmadi would rise beyond the rank of brigadier though before that some of the finest generals including Akhtar Malik, Iftikhar Janjua, Abdul Ali Malik, Zafar Chaudhry (air force chief) and his own personal surgeon-general Mahmudul Hassan were Ahmadis.

    Schisms dividing Indian Muslims had initially obstructed the creation of Pakistan. Since independence the very Islamic groups who had then opposed the secular Mr Jinnah have been subverting the country’s political institutions.

    However, it was not the religious leaders but a general who had the last word on politics. Ziaul Haq reduced parliament to a consultative council, made the polity intolerant by expanding the range of offences relating to religion and declared jihad a pillar of state policy. The origin of extremism that has nurtured terrorism can be traced to his hate laws and his adventurism in the name of Islam. His real aim was to prolong his personal rule.

    Currently, as the politicians, ex-generals and intellectuals discuss how to pull the country out of the morass of hate and violence, it keeps sinking deeper into it. The prime minister’s idea of a roundtable of politicians, clerics, divines, etc to consider sterner laws, improved intelligence, reinforced security, patronising some Islamists and outlawing others, appears stillborn.

    Already the Jamaat-i-Islami has rejected it as a diversionary tactic and Mufti Munibur Rehman has said that Punjab Governor Salman Taseer and Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif are the real patrons of the extremists.

    It is hard to imagine how the Punjab administration, howsoever vigilant and strengthened, would fare better if gunmen or bombers were again to strike at a shrine or a mosque. At Data Darbar it was all over in a few minutes. The gunmen at Garhi Shahu’s Ahmadi Baitulhamd situated in the heart of Lahore were on a killing spree for four hours. All along the men injured or dying in the mayhem were in contact with their dear ones through cellphones but the authorities did nothing to save them. The solution lies not in defeating the terrorists (which even our half-a-million-strong army backed by the air force and US drones has not been able to do in the borderlands over the last eight years) but in creating a national environment of moderation and trust.

    I have often wondered how the Muslims of Bangladesh have been able to shed their religious prejudices since 1971 while over the same period here prejudices have bloomed into terror. The answer may be found in Prof Yunus’s Grameen Bank and Sir Fazle Hasan Abed’s BRAC. Their micro finance and development programmes involving rural women and idle youth, besides making the community economically self-reliant, are changing social attitudes and promoting education in villages and urban slums. The Aga Khan’s programme led by Shoaib Sultan Khan made a similar impact in the mountainous north in less than a generation.

    I have no doubt that if the billions sunk every year in Pakistan Steel, PIA, railways and other state ventures, the money doled out to lawyers and donated to Hafiz Saeed’s madressahs and the salaries paid to thousands of non-existent school teachers were diverted to rural micro finance and development, Pakistan’s next generation might not adopt secularism as a pillar of state policy, as Bangladesh has done, but would certainly reject extremism.
     
  7. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Islam vs murder




    Sunday, July 11, 2010
    S Iftikhar Murshed

    Religion is not the opiate of the people, as the Marxists believe, but, if misinterpreted, it ignites the flame that destroys society. The twin suicide bomb attacks at Data Darbar in Lahore on July 1 were yet another tragic episode in Pakistan's unending nightmare of extremist violence. A little more than a month earlier, the slaughter of scores of Ahmedis as they congregated for prayers shamed the entire country as much as it appalled the international community.

    Extremist groups have repeatedly targeted respected religious scholars, shrines and places of worship. Thus, in September 2007 Maulana Hasan Jan was killed, as was Dr Sarfraz Naeemi in June 2009. The tomb of Pashto Sufi poet Rahman Baba (d. 1711), celebrated as "the Nightingale of Pakhtunkhwa," was destroyed on March 5, 2009. Later that month, a suicide bomb attack on a mosque in Jamrud killed more than fifty worshippers. These are only a few examples of the savagery.

    Admittedly, the military operations against the Taliban-Al Qaeda combine in Malakand Division, South Waziristan and some of the other tribal agencies have been fairly successful. But this could turn out to be a Pyrrhic victory unless the false ideology of the extremist groups based on the distortion of Islamic tenets is effectively exposed.

    This is the core around which a counter-radicalisation strategy, so desperately needed to defeat extremist violence, must be built. Unfortunately, the formulation of such a strategy does not even seem to be on the anvil in Pakistan. The initiative has been taken by the religious scholars of other countries with the support of their respective governments.

    On March 27-28 leading academics and theologians representing the diverse schools of Islamic thought--from Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Yemen, India, Senegal, Kuwait, Bosnia, Iran, Morocco, Mauritania and Indonesia--convened in Mardin, a historic fortress city in south-eastern Turkey. The primary purpose was to discuss the famous fatwa of Taqi-ad-Din Ahmad ibn Taymiyyah (1263-1328). Issued from the same city after the Mongol invasions, it supposedly authorised violence against unjust rulers.

    The importance of this edict in the context of the contemporary era is that it has been repeatedly invoked by Osama bin Laden and his cohorts for terror strikes against Muslim leaders and people living under their rule.

    The conference, from which Pakistan was conspicuously absent, adopted a widely publicised declaration stating: "Anyone who seeks support from this fatwa for killing Muslims or non-Muslims has erred in his interpretation… It is not for a Muslim individual or a Muslim group to announce and declare war or engage in combative jihad...on their own."

    The scholars were also unanimous that: (i) the actions of terrorist groups are not jihad but arbitrary murder; (ii) ibn Taymiyya's Mardin fatwa has been misinterpreted, and in no circumstances can it be used to justify terrorism or violence; (iii) the religion unequivocally forbids indiscriminate killing and murder; and (iv) the terrorists are destroying their own faith and disparaging the honour of Islam.

    The outcome of the conference was summed up by its spokesperson in the following words: "This historic and important summit made it clear that ibn Taymiyya, and the Mardin fatwa in particular, cannot be used to justify terrorism. This summit made it clear that neither did ibn Taymiyya take such a position nor does orthodox mainstream Islam allow for such a position to exist. This summit drew together scholars and theologians from different persuasions within Islam. But united they stood: Islam condemns terrorism and indiscriminate murder."

    Ibn Taymiyya has been demonised by the West while the likes of Osama bin Laden have misquoted and misinterpreted his writings. This has been conclusively proved by reputed scholars such as Sheikh Abd-al-Wahab, former professor at Al-Imam University in Riyadh. According to Abd-al-Wahab, the only known manuscript of Ibn Taymiyya's fatwa is archived at the Zahiryyah Library in Damascus. Mardin at the time was under Mongol occupation, and though the Mongols had superficially converted to Islam, their rule was marked by severe persecution of Muslims.

    Ibn Taymiyya was specifically asked whether Mardin was the land of peace or war, and, furthermore, should those Muslims who did not emigrate be considered to be assisting the enemies of Islam and therefore apostates to be fought against. The corrupted copy of the fatwa reads: "The non-Muslims living there outside the authority of Islamic law should be fought, as this is their due." The original word is yu'amal (should be treated) but has been rendered as yuqatal (should be fought). This is the error that has changed the meaning entirely and has been exploited by Al Qaeda and its associates.

    Furthermore, ibn Taymiyya was a follower of Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal (d. 855) who prohibited rebellion even against unjust authority, as that would spur anarchy and bloodshed. It is therefore doubtful whether ibn Taymiyya would violate the teachings of his own school of Islamic jurisprudence.

    The Mardin Conference, which was inadequately reported by the Pakistani print and electronic media, demonstrates the importance of involving the ulema, and there is no dearth of such learned scholars in the country, in the exposure of the false doctrines on which extremist ideology is based.

    This has to be the starting point for a counter-radicalisation strategy. Furthermore, Pakistan should involve itself and interact with the Mardin process to build international support for its counter-radicalisation initiative. Lastly, popular opinion has to be galvanised towards a nationwide surge against terrorist violence, and this will only be possible if a strikingly moderate message of Islam is presented to the people.
     
  8. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    The article from Amir Mir relies heavily on the Pakistan scenario. For example, in India although there are theolgoical differences between Deobandis, Barelvis or Sunnis and Shias, by and large they have been peacable. Infact, Deobandis in India whcih were thir main tradional location is have never given out a fatwa declaring a particular group as Kafir. However, in Pakistan the situation is compounded with power politcs and hence quite different as well
     
  9. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    The Grand Deobandi Consensus


    Khaled Ahmed

    The Friday Times
    February 4-10, 2000

    The civil war in Afghanistan and the jehad in Kashmir have gradually veered to a Deobandi consensus. The dominant Hizbe Islami of Hekmatyar, a flag-bearer of modernist-Islamist thinking of Maududi and Hasan al-Banna, lost favour with the Pakistani establishment in the mid-1990s. In its place, the Taliban of Mullah Umar, trained in the traditional Deobandi jurisprudence, enjoy popularity in Pakistan. In Kashmir, Jamaat-e-Islami's Hizbul Mujahideen has been eclipsed by Harkat-ul-Ansar (Mujahideen) of Deobandi persuasion.

    In a parallel development, the Wahabi or Ahle Hadith warriors have gained strength. The most effective jehadi outfit based in Lahore is Lashkar-e-Tayba, functioning as a subordinate branch of Dawat al-Irshad, an organisation with contacts in the Arab world, collecting jehad funds among the expatriate Muslim communities in the West. It has training camps in Afghanistan and Azad Kashmir and is arguably the most resourceful militia fighting in Kashmir. It has contacts in Central Asia through its training camps in Afghanistan. Osama bin Laden has strengthened the old Wahabi connection with the Deobandi Taliban rulers. Some American sources claim that the Taliban amirul momineen, Mullah Umar, has married Osama's daughter.

    The third strand of fundamentalist movement which seems attracted to the Wahabi-Deobandi combine in Afghanistan, is the Naqshbandiya. Most of the Muslim-populated North Caucasian region in Russia follows the shrine-worshipping mystical order of the Naqshbandiya. The uprising in Chechnya and its incursion into Dagestan is turning the Naqshbandi followers to the more strict orthodoxy of the Saudi-based Wahabi order. Russian onslaught in Chechnya is transforming the mystical faith into a militant one.

    Afghanistan has become the retreat of Central Asian Islamists fighting against their ex-communist leaders. Juma Namangani and Tahir Yuldashev have staged a fundamentalist revolt against Uzbekistan's president Karimov and have sought shelter with the Taliban government after being accused by Karimov of trying to assassinate him in Tashkent. In 1999, Kyrgyzstan experienced a commando assault from these radicals along its borders in which some Japanese technicians were made hostage by them. Central Asian Islam has been traditionally Hanafi sunni with strong mystical colouring provided by the Naqshbandiya school of sufis.

    In Afghanistan, the naqshbandi faith is represented by Sibghatullah Mujadiddi, Afghanistan's first president chosen by the mujahideen in exile in Peshawar in 1989. Mujaddidi is a descendant of Sheikh Ahmad of Sirhind (d.1624), also called Mujaddid Alf-e-Sani, who led a mystical movement of purification under Emperor Jehangir and was greatly admired by Islamic revivalist movements in India. It is a measure of the greatness of Sheikh Ahmad that the Naqshbandis of Afghanistan, Central Asia, North Caucusus and Turkey are all Mujaddidi today.

    All three movements, the Deobandi, the Ahle Hadith-Wahabi, and Naqshbandi-Mudaddidi (in India), are against bidaa (innovation) in Islamic rituals. They oppose the eclecticism that developed among Muslims under the Mughals and wished to separate local accretion from the pure Islamic faith. The founder of the Naqshbandi order, Shaikh Ahmad, compelled the Mughal king Jehangir to persecute the Muslim mystical orders that had developed a spiritual consensus with Hindus and Sikhs.

    The other preoccupation of the Naqshbandis in India was opposition to the Shiite faith developing in the South of India and in the northern province of Oudh. Shaikh Ahmad had decreed that the Shiites were apostates and had to be put to the sword. Central Asia has been historically Hanafi and anti-Shiite, particularly because the rulers of Iran were mostly conquering Turks from Central Asia and did not favour its conversion to Shiism which they thought heretical.

    Deoband is in district Saharanpur in the Uttar Pradesh province of India. The Darul Uloom seminary established here in 1879 by Maulan Abul Qasim Nanotvi concentrated on the instruction of the Quran, realigning the mystically inclined Muslim population with the basic teachings of Islam. Deobandi scholars adopted Shah Waliullah (1703-1762) as their spiritual patron. Shah Waliullah is probably the most revered Islamic thinker among the Muslims of South Asia and Afghanistan. His ability to interpret the Quran and adjudicate among the various strands of Islamic jurisprudence was such that he declared himself a qayem al-zaman, a semi-divine personality given the mission by Prophet Muhammad PBUH himself to reform the faith. He travelled to Hejaz (Saudi Arabia) to learn the jurisprudence of Imam Malik and the other great jurists of Islam.

    A renowned Deobandi scholar Maulana Ubaidullah Sindhi in his book Shah Waliullah aur unka falsafa quotes Shah Waliullah as writing that Prophet Muhammad PBUH ordered him in person that he should 'bind' all the schools of sunni fiqh together and not reject hadith. The great reformer then set out to combine the teachings of Hanafi, Maliki, Shafei and Hanbali Islam without denigrating any one of the schools. He was averse to accepting hadith, but in obedience to the Prophet PBUH, he selectively permitted the validity of hadith.

    In Mughal India, this was tantamount to a revolution. S.M. Ikram in Mauj-e-Kausar explains how, from the progeny of Shah Waliullah, a new movement against bidaa (innovation) sprang up in early 19th century and was mistaken for Wahabism by the generality of Muslims of India. Shah Waliullah's grandson Shah Ismail (1781-1831 AD) was attracted to Ibn Taimiyya (1263-1328 AD) whose teachings were also to inspire Abdul Wahab (1703-1792 AD), the spiritual guide of the House of Saud. This 'confluence' gave rise to a new strict fundamentalism in India.

    Annemarie Schimmel in Islam in the Indian Subcontinent tells us that Shah Waliullah in his youth was greatly inspired by the anti-innovation, anti-Shiite thought of Sheikh Ahmad Sirhindi. It seems that the antecedents of Shah Waliullah were derived from a Naqshbandi inspiration while his followers were inclined by his teachings to Wahabism. This sowed the seeds of a tripartite deobandi-wahabi-naqshbandi alliance that has now come into being.

    In Pakistan, only one armed religious outfit called Tanzeem al-Ikhwan is active under the aggressive leadership of Maulana Akram Awan. Based on the mystical teachings of Shaikh Ahmad, the madrassa run by him in Chakwal is said to have close links with the army. In the investigations that followed the 1995 unsuccessful military coup in Pakistan, led by Islamist officers, his name is said to have cropped up in the list of the accused, but was allegedly removed from the findings because of his close army connections.

    Asta Olsen in her book Islam and Politics in Afghanistan explains the historical Afghan connection with Darul Uloom of Deoband. The Afghan cleric was discouraged by the Khanate of Bukhara's oppression to seek religious training in Central Asia. He sporadically sought training in Saudi Arabia and Egypt, but the most convenient source of learning for him became Deoband with its doctrinal closeness to the strict Islamic observance of the Arabs. Many Afghan rulers invaded India and headquartered themselves in the region now included in Peshawar and the Tribal Areas in Pakistan - the region claimed by Afghanistan as Pakhtunistan in 1947 after challenging the 1893 Durand Line.

    Many Afghan princes fled civil war at home and sought refuge in British India, thus renewing contacts with the followers of Shah Waliullah. Peshawar and Nowshehra just outside Peshawar gradually became home to the most famous Deobandi seminaries after Deoband, training clerics for Jamiat-e-Ulema-e-Hind, the Congress ally that helped form a pro-Congress government in the NWFP in 1947, challenging the Muslim League of the Quaid-e-Azam.

    The clerics trained in these institutions are now powerful leaders of the two factions of Jamiat-e-Ulema-e-Islam (JUI), led by Maulana Fazlur Rehman and Maulana Samiul Haq, claiming strong links with the Taliban government in Afghanistan. In his book Unholy wars: Afghanistan, America and international terrorism, John K. Cooley reveals that Mullah Umar and Osama bin Laden first met in 1989 in a Deobandi mosque, Banuri Masjid, in Karachi, and presumably formed an alliance based spiritually on the traditional closeness of the Deobandis, who follow the Hanafi school, with the Wahabis, who accept only hadith under Imam Hanbal and Abdul Wahab. Thus the protection offered to Osama by the Taliban, and the threats delivered by Pakistan's JUI leaders to American citizens in support of Osama bin Laden, seem to spring from a historical interface between the two schools of Islamic fiqh.

    The non-Pakhtun population of Pakistan is predominantly Barelvi, following the Hanafi fiqh of Ahmad Raza Khan (1876-1931 AD) who led a successful revolt in India against the stringent teachings of Deobandi-Wahabi school of thought. The stronghold of Barelvism remains Punjab, the largest province of Pakistan in terms of population, but increasingly the state-controlled mosques are being given to Deobandi khateebs. Because of the rise of the Deobandi militias, and their funding by the Arabs for their anti-Shiite doctrine, the province is rapidly losing its Barelvi temperament. The Tablighi Jamaat which holds its annual congregation in Lahore has become a powerful influence favouring a Deobandi point of view. It gathers 2 million people in its congregation but it is important to note that over 90 percent of its attendants are Pakhtun from Peshawar and the Tribal Areas bordering Afghanistan. The President of Pakistan, Muhammad Rafiq Tarar, is a Punjabi Deobandi. The High Court of Lahore, influenced by the Deobandi-Wahabi school, followed the Maliki doctrine in one of its verdicts in 1997 to deny the Hanafi practice of allowing girls to marry without the consent of their fathers.

    The Afghan war pushed over 3 million Afghan refugees into Pakistan, which accommodated them in the Pakhtun-dominated areas of the NWFP and Balochistan. The Afghan youth trained in the Deobandi seminaries in these two provinces for over ten years later became the Taliban warriors of Mullah Umar. In their war with the Northern Alliance, the Taliban armies are constantly 'replenished' by fresh Taliban from Pakistan, many of them now Punjabi. According to Ahmed Rashid in Foreign Affairs, over 80,000 Taliban have gone to Afghanistan to fight the Deobandi war against the Northern Alliance of Ahmad Shah Massoud. Recognition of the Taliban government by Saudi Arabia and Pakistan can be seen also in light of the 'confluence' of historically anti-Shiite Deobandi-Wahabi spiritual coalition. This has pitted a Shiite Iran against them. After the Naqshbandi addition to this equation, the Central Asian governments too have joined the anti-Taliban reaction, with Russia at their back, and America inclining in favour of this formation because of Osama bin Laden.
     
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  10. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Deobandi and Ahle Hadith Rivalry and The Saudi Connection: A Look at History. Along article....

    Ulema Rivalries and the Saudi Connection

    Yoginder Sikand


     
  11. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Deoband's battle for survival


     
  12. nitesh

    nitesh Mob Control Manager Stars and Ambassadors

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    Well here is the catch how you can say that so called 80% don't want this ideology?
     
  13. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Coz these 80% are the silent people who are swayed which ever force is strong.Look back in history Ahamdi and shia were at forefront of riots against sikhs and hindus but then those were the days of identities of being muslim and bein pagan(hindu /sikhs etc).Ahamadi were even at the forefront of organizing kashmir invasion in 1947-48 period.Now fast forward it to 1970s with Ahamdis declared as non muslim.What has happened here is that definition of muslim identity narrowed to sunni and shia hence ahmadi suddenly found themselves with minorities whom they themselves persecuted.And same thing happened with shias in zia and post zia period with the advent of groups like Sipah-e-Sabah groups.And today its happening with Sufis.

    The thing is no one knows in pakistan today when their sect will be declared as some munafiq or qayadin group by just one fatwa.There is lot of confusion anyone who think other as less-pious is being eliminated.
     
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  14. thakur_ritesh

    thakur_ritesh Administrator Administrator

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    slightly off topic, excuse me for that. do sunnis in pakistan consider shias and the rest also as non-muslims just the way they consider ahmedis as non-muslims. now i am aware no such law has been passed in pakistan but what are the underlying currents?

    also do wahabis consider rest of the muslims as non-muslims, what does the saudi royal family and their appointed clerics have to say on it?
     
  15. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    ^^not by law but sure by ideology.
     
  16. ejazr

    ejazr Stars and Ambassadors Stars and Ambassadors

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    Wahabbi, deobandi, barelvi, are all school fo thoughts within sunni fold. Then there are shia school of thoughts as well. But overall as long as aperson believes in one god and the finality of the prophethood of Muhammed he is by consensus consicdred a muslim. Now there are extremists elements in each school of thought who may call people Kafir. TheTakfiriideology actually gained prominence under Syed Qutb and Maududi but was used with devastating affect in post 80s Afghanistan and Pakistan.

    But by and large the moderate elements of each school of thought are suppose to respect the differences but not indulge in Takfeer. For example, there has been no official fatwa from Dar-ul-uloom Deoband declaring Barelvi or shias Kafir. Similarly, Shias, BArelvis e.t.c. all are allowed entry to holy cities of Mecca and Medina by the Saudi Arabia where non-muslims are not allowed any access. Infact, the Saudi King has even went a step ahead and started a much needed shia-sunni dialouge within Saudi Arabia.

    Those clerics that have had extremists views under the Fahd regime (aka the playboy king) have been sidelined and more moderate and accomodating clerics have been put in their place. But even during theFahd regime, shias and other muslims had free access to the Mecca and Medina.

    Briefly you can very broadly specify the differecnes as follows:
    Shias: Believe that Ali (RA) and those related to the Prophet Muhammed by blood are the rightful caliphs and guides for muslims

    Sunnis: Believe any companion of the Prophet as long as he is higher in piety can be the rightful Caliph and guide for Muslims

    Wahabbis: Strict unitarians, also tend to be anti-modernists similar to Mormons for example. They also deny and spiritual or sufism aspect of Islam (Tsawwuf). They are against Wilayah or intercession using saints or prophets and believe in direct access to God without anyone in between. Also not all Saudis are Wahabbis, thereare Shias, Sufis and other school of thoughts as well. Wahbbisare confined traditnally in the areas around Riyadh

    Barelvis: Along with belief in monotheism, they believe that Wilayah is an important concept. They don't believe in saint worship as is wrongly construed by some and indulged in by many at Dargas. They follow and belive that they need a Sheikh or a person who can bring them closer to God. Strong proponents of sufism and tsawwuf.

    Deobandis: Fall in between Wahabbis and Barelvis in their advocation of Sufism. They don't believe in the need for Wilayah but consider Tasawuf an important part of their spiritual upliftment. Sheiks are required for guidance butnot as necessary to gain closeness to God as the Barelvis for example.


    These are just a brief synopsis on the theological aspects.
     
    Last edited: Jul 11, 2010
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  17. DaRk WaVe

    DaRk WaVe Regular Member

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    Oee Hello, Who the hell said you that Sunni in Pakistani consider SHia's non Muslim, You are talking about most of the Pakistanis not Taliban? :emot0:
     
  18. Zaki

    Zaki Regular Member

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    @topic
    Poor article with a lot of errors
    Some Sunni's does EmO jee, both Bralevi's and Deobandi's consider Shia's as Kafir. Its not about Pakistan i have met indian scholars who too always declared them as Kafir
     
  19. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Thats the very thin line which gets blurred with ideological thinking.yes i'm talking about the taliban and the pakistanis who just get swayed by the stronger force of the time right now its taliban who has common pakistani's sympathies.
     
  20. Zaki

    Zaki Regular Member

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    oh yaar almost everybody is now fed up of talibans now. We are not in 2005, its 2010. Small % of Taliban supporting community do not represent the whole of Pakistan
     
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  21. ajtr

    ajtr Veteran Member Veteran Member

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    Main Reason i think being proper understanding of religion where it can be hijacked by the people for their narrow gains as happened with Ahmadis during Zulfikar butto's rule and with shia during zia rule.and once it got ingrained these thing became part of religion with confused people and are exploding like malignant tumor in present times.
     

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