Monday, June 1, 2020

Common-sense Accepts the Existence of a Creator of Universe That the Scriptures Too Concur, And That There Is Benefit in It for Mankind.

By Rashid Samnakay, New Age Islam

01 June 2020

Over the years in mankind's search as to who created the universe and how the Creator relates to mankind, many ancient and recent scriptures with their related religions have sprouted searching for the answer. The search still goes on.

In the domain of these religions, the believers are blissfully content to accept the existence of a Creator, the Supreme Being/God. Therein also is a belief that god or gods performs all functions at will and so have created the universe.

Broadly speaking, followers of religions are classified as Polytheist who believe in multiple gods, Atheist do not believe in any, and Agnostics are not convinced either way. Worshippers of unitary god are classified as Monotheist.

Muslims, Believers of the scripture Quran are classified as Monotheist, and worship the one Supreme Being. The religion in general is called Islam, though there are variations in theology based on its translations and on external canonised documents which gave rise to factions. The common creed in Arabic is “Laa-Ilaaha-IllallaahMuhammadurrasoolullah” - There is no god but God Muhammad is God's Messenger.

Here, questioning God's existence is considered taboo. All other religious and faiths are excluded and treated with antipathy, although many of them subscribe to monotheism. Sikhism being one of the purer one. Its creed expresses unadulterated monotheism: “Ik Onkar- One and only Creator” for short. However, there are divisions in there too.

Based on general knowledge the Quran referenced here. Therein are numerous verses that argue, that is, 'reason' on intellectual basis for the existence of one Creator. The fact that it reasons with the readers– eg. The Pen 68, verse 36: “... What is the matter with you, how do you judge?” indicates that the scripture credits its readers with capacity to 'reason' and argue, thus rejecting the above religious constraints. This separates the Islam based on religion from that based on Quran. Given that liberty, one can then ask some questions:

Why Has There Got to Be Such A Creator?

Philosophically this question has been pondered over for ever as is obvious from the numerous religions that have evolved, contradicting and confronting each other in contesting the answer. Hence the search continues.

Common-sense based on human knowledge accepts that if the universe came into existence from nothing, at some point in time, an external force took the 'action' for this to happen. Hence, there was an action taker to bring about the change from nothing existing to something existing. This is just human observation of nature's workings as argued below and not rocket science. Based on that, one concludes that there is a Creator, from inception with the ability to create something from nothing, like the universe.

This the Quran argues as:

22:73- … ….Indeed, those of you that call on others besides God can never create even a fly, even if they all gathered together for that purpose. … .

Common-sense accepts this, because Mankind has not as yet– not in millions of years of its existence created from inception an atom nor an amoeba and cannot create anything without using seminal element existing in nature, and it seems that it does not possess this ability. Therefore, it is acceptable that there is a Creator.

Why There Cannot Be More Than One Creator?

With the foregoing premise, the universe that mankind with its sight and intellectual vision observes, it is logical to accept that this Creator has the ability to manage what it has created, since it has not perished as yet. Although it may do so, as mankind's experience shows that everything created does perish eventually under nature's laws.

By extension therefore it is acknowledged that the Creator is in control of His creation, which operates under some laws. Hence humans, His creation too are obliged to obey the laws of the Creator/Master; not only as animals with biological instincts but also can independently act on application of choice of its own. The above further separates religious Islam from Quran based Islam.

If then there are more than one Masters to obey, reason dictates that humans are not designed with many limbs and dexterity to serve more than one master simultaneously; again a common human experience. This simple argument is also made in few places in the Book, for example:

39:29- God sets forth a parable; a man (servant) belonging to two partners deferring in opinion with one another and a man belonging wholly to one master; are the two alike in condition (of service)...?

It is also argued there that multiple god-masters, if accepted as partners in the creation of the universe, each would claim jurisdiction, possession and control over the portion they have created:

23:91- God has not taken for Himself a son (to share authority), nor is there with Him any other god (to dispute with); in that case each god would have taken away what they created, and some would have overpowered others...!

Common-sense accepts that in such “what is mine is mine” conditions, is a recipe for conflict that must eventuate. Inevitably the followers of these gods, would inherit the conflict in divided loyalties. A perfect environment of conflict for followers of these gods as well. This is common experience, as such conflict conditions existed and exists in human world too. Hence the obvious negative and drawbacks of multiple Masters, polytheism.

Gods come in many shapes and sizes. The gods of religions as well as all the other isms; militarism, nationalism and innumerable others. Ideologies and competing and confronting forces have been applied to divide and overpower others. Conflicts is the order of the day making the entire environment uncomfortable for life to exist, and so it struggles to progress and advance in peace and harmony, that is cherished by intelligent humanity.

It seems therefore, that mankind throughout the ages and through the sages, apostles and reformers concluded that in the unity/only-ness of the Creator lies the unity of mankind -including women-kind- under the guidance of one Head of Human family. And that is the expressed purpose of monotheism.

Quran has many verses on this:

2:153- Mankind is a single nationSo, God raised prophets as bearers of good news and as warners and He revealed to them the Book with truth... Refer also,10:19, 23: 52 etc.

Importantly, in many verses like the one above, expression of disappointment is evident, that mankind has sadly chosen for itself an acrimonious environment instead of harmonious one to live in. This reveals the Creator's concern for its creation. The statements also indicate that choices were given to mankind, and so it should exercise its intellectual capacity to choose the right one, but alas it does not! This concern for the welfare of mankind sets this Creator apart from the religious god(s) in whose name humanity is divided into 'Them and Us'.

Common knowledge shows that there were periods in times when communities existed in peace, albeit for short periods at a time and made positive progress then on many levels. These right choices were often made under the tutelage of a wise leader, perhaps even benevolent ones.

What Are the Benefits of The Only-Ness of The Creator of Universe?

If this tutelage of all pervasive Supreme Being who created the universe, perhaps with a Big Bang, and benevolence as His prominent character was accepted, it could be the answer to mankind's woes. In the Unity/Only-ness of Supreme Being lies the unity of mankind and an environment for peace and positive progress, something like communal nirvana. That is mankind's experience and so it makes good sense.

But there is the stumbling block. Common-sense is so very uncommon. The conceptual, invisible, intangible, gender-less and benevolent Creator is therefore unfathomable. There is no doubt however that this concept raises many questions on the nature of the Creator! Hence mankind's unending quest to grasp the infinite goes on.

Quran acknowledges these endeavours but cautions with simplistic worldly example that mankind cannot fathom even if: If all the trees in the world were pens and the seas with seven more were ink... ...31:27- The pen and ink being the symbolic tools for obtaining knowledge.

Common-sense argues that there has to be a Creator of the universe as He took the action to create it from nothing. And that, in His only-ness there is unity and benefits to be gained by mankind.

Quran too concurs with the above. However, it opines that it is beyond mankind's intellectual capacity to imagine an infinite being that is the Creator; just as it has been elusive to date for mankind to grasp Infinity.

A regular contributor to, Rashid Samnakay is a (Retd.) Engineer

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Zaira Wasim Showcases What Is Wrong with Muslims

By Arshad Alam, New Age Islam

31 May 2020

Zaira Wasim tweeted a Quranic verse which talks of God’s wrath on ‘sinful’ people. The verse in question is 7:133 which reads,

So We sent upon them the flood and locusts and lice and frogs and blood: Signs openly self-explained: But they were steeped in arrogance, A people given to sin’.

 This verse talks about how God punished the people of Egypt for disobeying his commands. The story and the context within which it is set is common to Islam, Christianity and Judaism. But to quote this verse in a context when locusts are actually devastating crops in many parts of India is to say that God is sending them to punish Indians who are not just arrogant but also knee-deep in sin.
Zaira Wasim has quit Twitter and Instagram after receiving flak for her tweet about locust attacks.

Zaira would have us believe that the farmer whose crops were laid waste by swarms of locusts is only himself to be blamed because despite clear signs and warnings from God, he did not mend his ways. It is pertinent to recall that that the young actor recently quit Bollywood after discovering that Islam does not allow her to work in such a profession. Ever since, she has been tweeting verses from the Quran and narrations from Hadees with the zeal of a new convert. 

Since most Indians are Hindus, this particular tweet of Zaira is insulting because it is basically telling them that they are in sin as they do not worship the one true God and do not walk on the path shown by Islam. In an atmosphere where religious tolerance is the need of the hour, this tweet of hers will only add fuel to the fire.

Nearly eight decades ago, Gandhi blamed the practice of untouchability for the devastating earthquake of 1934, which brought death and destruction in Nepal and Bihar. Gandhi suggested that the earthquake was ‘a divine chastisement for the great sin we have committed against those whom we describe as Harijans’. It was certainly wrong of Gandhi to invent religious reasons for a natural phenomenon and was rightly chastised by Tagore. Yet, he had a higher purpose for doing so: eradicating a social evil which had plagued Hinduism for centuries.

Zaira’s tweet serves no such higher purpose. Rather, it makes fun of millions of Hindus just for having a different religious orientation.

This problem is not limited to Zaira Wasim. Many Muslims share her position. While some rightly called her out, most ended up supporting her, arguing that the attacks on her are only the latest example of Islamophobia in India. Some even went to the extent of saying that it is her freedom of expression to do so. Certainly, freedom of expression should be absolute and should also mean the freedom to offend, but most Muslims do not understand that those critiquing her are also exercising their freedom of expression.

Even when Muslims realise that a certain Quranic verse is problematic, they end up justifying it because they think that critiquing the Quran is blasphemous. The Muslim belief that each and every word of the Quran is true and eternal is partly the reason why we see even sane Muslims justifying the stance of Zaira and many others like her. As the ‘uncreated’ word of God, the Quran becomes coeval with the Almighty Himself and therefore finding faults within the Quran becomes tantamount to finding faults with God. It was this blind deference to this religious text which a group of Muslim philosophers called the Mutazilas were trying to challenge but which eventually did not succeed. They argued that the Quran was ‘created’, which could have paved the way for revisions or the development of critical hermeneutics of the text.

The Christians were able to make this possible because they believe that the Bible is inspired by God but is not the literal word of God. In taking the position that the Quran is word of God, Muslims have tied themselves up, as this position does not allow any criticism of this text.

Immanuel Kant argued that Enlightenment, which changed the face of Europe, was not possible without the praxis of criticism. Critique is fundamental to the progress of knowledge, it opens up newer perspectives of looking at the self and the world, which unfortunately is in short supply in much of the Muslim world. Our intellectual stagnancy can be linked to our reluctance of not being critical towards some of the core assumptions in Islam.

Till the time we do not ask some tough questions related to our religious tradition, Muslims like Zaira Wasim will continue to write in a language which is insensitive and ignorant, to say the least. The really unfortunate part though, is that they will continue to do so in all earnestness, without realising that they are doing immense harm to the society in which they are living.

Arshad Alam is a columnist

Saturday, May 30, 2020

Jihad, The Most Abused Term of Islam, Used by One and All to Justify and Legitimize Their Actions

By Mushtaq Ul Haq Ahmad Sikander, New Age Islam

22 May 2020

The Truth about Jihad
Author= Yahya Noamani
Publisher= Furqan Publications, 90 B Hanley Road, London, United Kingdom
Translated and Edited by Dr Yoginder Sikand
Pages= 128, Price= Not Mentioned

Jihad is the most abused term of Islam. It has been abused by one and all ranging from rulers to clandestine cults to justify and legitimize their actions all in the name of Jihad, and observing commandments of Islam. The mainstream corporate media has used it to reinforce the stereotypical image of Muslims as violent people for whom still the sword is the dominant force. The imperialists and neo colonialists under the garb of spreading Democracy in the world as well as carrying the civilizing mission of Globalization to every nook and corner of the world have intervened in each such country directly or secretly where some cults claim to be carrying ‘Jihad’ and they intervene to carry out the greater Jihad and free people from the obtrusive activities of these ‘Jihadis’ resulting in greater violation of rights of the common masses. Thus as a result the world has become a violent place to live in.

The present book under review deals with the sensitive issue of Jihad, where striking balance midst the claims and counter claims seems quite an uphill and difficult task though the author a young scholar, Yahya Noamani is able to come out quite successful in his maiden attempt, which clearly is a great feat. The book originally in Urdu has been rendered in English by the versatile scholar and prolific writer Yoginder Sikand. In his Preface to the book Sikand writes, “This book struck me quite distinct. Written by a young scholar trained in a traditional madrasa, it seemed to appeal to Muslims as well as Non-Muslims alike. It was equally critical of portrayals of Jihad by Islamophobic scholars as being alleged akin to terrorism as it was of radical self-styled Islamists, who believe it to be a license for indiscriminate slaughter of Non-Muslims as well as Muslims who do not subscribe to their vision of Islam”. The book keeps the promise which Sikand enumerates.

In his Foreword, the author Yahya Noamani, opening the gates of Ijtihad regarding Jihad writes, “The changing times and conditions of the world and the transformation of global scenario have created the urgent need for fresh interpretations of the concept of Jihad and to formulation of new regulations covering its crucial aspects. Many rules governing jihad depend on the prevailing international context and the conditions of human civilization. The views about Jihad of many classical Islamic jurists or fuqaha and the Muslim Caliphs may have been appropriate for their own particular historical context, but today when the entire structure, international relations and global scenario have undergone tremendous changes; it has become difficult to understand those rules in today’s context. I hope this book will be considered a balanced contribution in this regard”.

It is the essence of this need which many rigid theologians, jurists and scholars don’t understand and try to impose those medieval Muslim connotations and rules of Jurists of that period and society to our present one which results in Clash and makes Muslims seem violent, exclusive and reluctant to accept the realities of changed circumstances and Times.

The book is divided into seven chapters, and a section of the book is devoted to reforming the contemporary extremist ideology regarding Jihad. This author rebuts the wrong notion of Clash of Civilizations as well as rebuffs the erroneous claim that the Muslim World should be at war with the rest of the world, though this erroneous belief is reinforced by the ongoing imperialist and neo colonial offensives of the Western Powers.

Defining Jihad Noamani writes that “It must be remembered, mere fighting in defense against oppression does not constitute legitimate Jihad. Rather, jihad must be governed by a host of spiritual and moral principles and laws, observing which alone can qualify it to be truly called struggle in Allah’s path or Jihad fi sabil Allah”. (P-19) This aspect is frequently neglected by those who claim to be Allah’s soldiers. Noamani breaks fresh grounds in Jihad studies, which were a part of pristine Islam but were neglected and shaded in oblivion like making distinction among the oppressed on basis of religion and community, hence confining Jihad to Muslims only while Islam being universal in spirit, Jihad too is meant for the liberation of all, not only Muslims. Continuing in the same vein, Noamani deliberates about the Offensive Jihad, abiding treaties with people of different faiths and now in the present context between different countries, and his novel exposition of the related things to Jihad like Maal e Ghanimat (spoils of War), Prisoners of War (POW) and making POW’s slaves, and he critically rebuts the offensive Jihad unless there is no severe persecution of people at the hands of State or other community, and explains that No Pre emptive attack is legal and legitimate in the eyes of Islam.

Noamani vociferously maintains that Jihad is only meant for putting an end to the persecution (Fitna), and not for gaining wealth, material assets, land and expanding or maintaining hegemony or Supremacy of a Nation and deliberates that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) and his Caliphs never indulged in Jihad for these petty vested interests, but later on Muslim rulers exploited the connotation of Jihad for serving their own selfish interests at the cost of Islam and Jihad. Noamani also criticizes the actions of some Muslims who indulge in killing of people who abuse Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) through their writings or caricatures and incriminate against Islam, because they label these individual attempts of murder as Jihad though they break all the conventions of Jihad during their heinous murderous acts.

Noamani also speaks against those exclusivist Ulema who are incumbent on their stance of describing and inculcating hate of Non-Muslims as an essential part of Muslim belief, and describes these acts of spreading hatred against Non-Muslims, as a heinous crime which is against the very spirit of Islam, which seeks to build a Peaceful world inculcating love, fraternity and harmony among all the creatures of the universe, and writes, “It is thus obvious and needs no explanation that a Non-Muslim of good character is much better to have as a friend than a person who is Muslim in name alone and is actually a hypocrite and an opportunist”. (P-124)

Overall, the book is a welcome and rare addition to the burning topic of Jihad and helps clear various stereotypes and myths associated with Jihad. The author deserves our appreciation for bringing out such a unique and novel book on the most misunderstood term of Jihad. The book is a must read for anyone who wishes to understand the application and implementation of Jihad in present context and distinguish Non-Jihad from Jihad. The translation is lucid and the book is available in attractive Paperback with no printing or grammatical errors.

An occasional columnist for, M.H.A.Sikander is Writer-Activist based in Srinagar, Kashmir


Friday, May 29, 2020

Significance of the Most Beautiful and Holy Names of Allah(Asmaul Husna)

By Kazi Wadud Nawaz, New Age Islam

27 May 2020

The Holy Quran provides substantial information on the Attributes of Allah. Allah conveys to mankind His multifaceted Attributes and power through the Holy Quran. Every Attribute mentioned in the Quran is Unique to Him. Each Attribute adds to His glories and greatness and amply clarifies Allah’s Strategy of Creation and Modus operandi of Divine governance. Divine Attributes as mentioned in the Holy Quran are all inseparable from His Essence (Zaat) and perfectly befitting to His Status as RabbulA’lamin. He and only He and none other than He deserves to be adorned with all these divine ornaments having great Scientific and Spiritual Significance. The following Verses of the Holy quran bears a clear testimony to the fact.

Verse: 18:109-110

Say: “If the ocean were ink (where with to write out) the words of thy Lord, sooner would the ocean be exhausted than would the words of thy Lord, even if we added another ocean like it for its aid.”

Verses: 59:22-24

“He is the Creator, Evolver, Fashioner and Bestower of Forms. To Him belongs all Beautiful names:

“He is Allah: there is no god but He; the Knower of the unseen and the manifest, He is the Most Merciful, the Most Compassionate. He is Allah: there is no god but He: the King, the Holy, the All-Peace, the Giver of security, the Overseer, the Most Mighty, the Overpowering the All-Great. Exalted be He from whatever they associate with Him, He is Allah, the Planner, Executer and Fashioner of creation. His are the names most beautiful. Whatever is in the heavens and the earth extols His Glory. He is the Most Mighty, the Most Wise.” (59: 22-24).

Verse: 17:110

Say: “Call upon Allah, or call upon Rahman: by whatever name you call upon Him, (It is well): for to Him belong the Most Beautiful names. ---“

He creates what He likes:

Verse: 28:68

“Thy Lord does create and Choose as He pleases: no choice have they (in the matter): Glory to Allah! And far is He above the partners they ascribe (to Him)

He is the Beginner and Repeater of Creation:

Veers: 10:34

“Say: “Of your ‘partners’, can any originate creation and repeat it?”Say: It is Allah Who originates Creation and repeats it: then how are you deluded from the Truth?”

He is Far above human imagination and cannot be represented by anything: Verse: 2:263

“------He cannot be represented by anything. He is far above human imagination. He alone can have Ego. Ego is the Prerogative of Allah and none else can have that. Every description of the Attributes of Allah is of the highest order, unmatched, supreme and unique to Him.”

All Divine attributes as described in the Holy Quran are simply unmatched and Unique. These collectively unify to focus on a Unique Singularity that manifests in the Doctrine of At-Tawhid as divine governing System of physical and spiritual universe. God’s Infinite Variety of Names are manifested in the diversity of nature that includes our complex intertwined material and spiritual life. The unbelievers and Atheist scientists might deny the very existence of God. But it’s an undeniable truth that neither Logical Arguments nor modern science can prove or disprove His Existence. But the Case is different with the Believers and Theist Scientists. Incomprehensible diversity, orderliness and beauty of the nature and Universe and fine tuning of Cosmic Realities towards emergence of life and consciousness on earth as divine signs might trigger uneasiness for the Atheist Scientists but are enough for the Believers and Theist Scientists as conclusive proof of the Existence of  God as Ultimate reality. Deepening understanding and realization of the existence of the ultimate reality through observation, meditation and analysis of the causal interrelation of the objective world as manifestations of Divine Attributes certainly strengthens the Knowledge-base of the Faith of the Believers.

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Sunni Hatred of Shia Must Stop: Shia Sunni Divide Is More of a Political Issue for Which Theological Justifications Were Invented Later On

By Arshad Alam, New Age Islam

28 May 2020

Recently in London, a Muslim woman, Aya Hachem, was killed in a drive-by shooting. Some Muslims got together to raise funds for the family of the deceased but as soon as they found out that the woman in question was a Shia, they cancelled the fundraising. Muslims who were behind the fundraising tweeted that they were helping the woman without knowing that she was a Shia and that they now feared for their fate on the Day of Judgment. Imagine this: till the time they were not aware of the identity of this girl, they were helping her family as fellow Muslims. Once they became aware of her identity, they even forgot their humanity. What is it about Shias that make Sunnis so full of hate that they will not hesitate to condemn a person even after her death? While it is true that most terror incidents end up killing Muslims, we should not forget that they are at the same time sectarian killings within Muslims. The recent killing of Hazaras in Afghanistan and many such similar attacks in Pakistan and Iraq on the Shias are testaments to the regime of hate that we have internalized within the Muslim community. 

A particular image of the Shia has been constructed through various means amongst the Sunnis. An earlier generation cautioned their children not to eat or drink in Shia homes. Reasons were many but the most ridiculous was that they spit in your food and drink before serving you. Sunni children were also told to avoid going near the Karbala during the month of Muharram. The reason given to them was that during this month, Shias kidnap and kill one Sunni child and that this practice was essential to their religion. The initial image of the ‘brutal Shia’ thus gets constructed within the Sunni household. This misrepresentation of the Shia is so widespread that it nearly borders as being the common sense of Sunnis. A very well-meaning gentleman once told me in Srinagar to be on guard against the Shias. This extremely mild manner man cautioned me to be on guard against the Shias since they were like termites, making the Muslim community hollow from inside. Every time I hear the words Tthook jihad’ or ‘termite’ from within the right-wing Hindu eco-system, I am painfully reminded that such hateful discourses exist within Muslims also. While there is rightful indignation amongst Muslims against attempts by right wing Hindus to vilify them, sadly there is no effort to stem the slanderous sectarian divide within the community.

While it is true that such anti-Shia feeling is learnt within Muslim families, it is the Ulama and their institutions on whom ultimately the blame must lie. It is their orotundity, carried through print and visual media which ultimately spread this poison. In the Indian context, it is important to recall that Deoband gave a fatwa in 2018 which ‘advised’ Sunnis not to participate in any social gathering (such as iftar or marriage) organized by Shias. Although Deoband was quick to deny the fatwa but it must be remembered that one of the first fatwas given by Deoband after its establishment in 1865 delineated the conditions under which a Shia can become a Kafir. The fatwa lists a number of conditions and does give a number of caveats before pronouncing Shias as Kafir, but these caveats are useless. The main use of such Fatawa is that they become registers of legitimation for anyone wanting to kill a Shia.

Not to be left behind, the Barelwis have emerged as the most virulent anti-Shia pedagogues. Partly owing perhaps to the similarity of their doctrines of venerating religious icons, the Barelwis tried hard to distance themselves from the Shias. Indeed, Ahmed Riza Khan, the ideologue of the Barelwis believed that most Shias of his day were apostates because they repudiated the necessities of Islam. As we all know, the dominant narrative within Islam is that apostates are to be killed by any believing Muslim.

There was a time when Shia Sunni marriages were common in the subcontinent. But today we have a situation where people in Pakistan are hell bent on proving that Jinnah was not a Shia. How did we get here? The reasons for this are both religious and political. In Islamic theology, the Shias have been the ‘other’ which has arisen out of hair-splitting debates regarding the succession of the Prophet. Indeed the ‘election’ of caliphs within Islam has been largely been political affairs. The Shia Sunni divide is more of a political issue for which theological justifications were invented later on.

Currently, it is the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, through its various ministries at home and abroad, who is the fountainhead of anti-Shia rhetoric. In contest with Iran for the leadership of the Muslim world, Saudi government tries to discredit the belief system of the Shias through various means. One such way is to call them Rawafidh/rejectionists (a usage becoming worryingly common in India) in order to stigmatize their beliefs and practices. Saudi Arabia’s former grand mufti, Abdullah bin Baz, condemned the Shias in his various religious rulings. His Fatawa and other writings on the Shia are publicly available. They remain influential and are often relied upon in Saudi courts. Since the reach of Saudi Islam is widespread (and not just in Muslim countries), it is worrying that its anti-Shia polemic is not being called out even in countries which have significant number of Shias.

What should be done to prevent such negative stereotypes about Shias amongst Sunnis? The possible answer comes from the Muslim world itself. In 2016, the venerated seat of learning, al Azhar, issued a fatwa making Shia theology part of Islam. The fatwa called Shiism as the fifth school within Islam. I wonder if a similar fatwa can come in the Indian context and can initiate a healthy debate within the Muslim community.

Arshad Alam is a columnist with

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Maulana Arshad Madani, Maulana Mahmood Madani, Asaduddin Owaisi and Kanhaiya Kumar May Be in The Kill List of The ISIS in India

By New Age Islam Special Correspondent

27 May 2020

Recently some news reports of emergence of the ISIS in India have created anxiety among the secular minded- Muslim community and have alerted the security agencies. The terrorist group had declared the establishment of its Caliphate in Mosul, Iraq in June 2014. Subsequently, they killed Christians, Jews, Yazidis, Shias, and even killed Sunni Muslims who did not agree to their version of Islam. Some Islamic scholars and Muftis also supported the ISIS believing that the Caliphate of ISIS was the extension of the Khilafat-e-Rashida and on their call thousands of young men and women from the Muslim majority countries, even from European countries joined the ISIS. Some youth from India (Maharashtra) also joined the terrorist outfit only to get disillusioned later with them after seeing the bloodshed and killing of innocent people by it there.

A section of the Urdu press in India also glorified the ISIS and criticised those who opposed and condemned the ISIS. The glorification continued till February 2015 when the Indian government banned the ISIS in India. Earlier, New Age Islam had demanded a ban on it. (India Should ban the JSIS, September 2014)

The ban suddenly stopped publication of articles glorifying the ISIS in India.

The ISIS was routed in 2019 by the forces fighting it and after that it revealed its real identity of a terrorist organisation by conducting terror attacks in New Zealand, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan and elsewhere. It has recently fixed its sight on India as the reports of the publication of its mouth-piece, Voice of Hind suggests.

The publication of the Voice of Hind and an analysis of a portion of its contents as mentioned in media reports indicates that:

1. Voice of Hind is being compiled by its ideologues in India. It means that the supporters of the ISIS had gone underground after the government ban on it. They were waiting for an opportune time to emerge with their violent agenda.

2. The magazine is being managed by the group opposed to Maulana Arshad Madani and Mahmood Madani. Maulana Arshad Madani is known for being close to the Saudi government which causes a lot of heartburn to another group of Islamic scholars.

3. The group running VOH may also be the pollical and ideological opponents of Jamiat-e-Ulema Hind. The magazine has appealed to the Indian Muslims not to be carried away or influenced by the peaceful and secular ideology of Jamiat and particularly the ideas of Maulana Arshad Madani, Maulana Mahmood Madani, AIMIM leader Asaduddin Owaisi and Communist leader Kanhaiya Kumar. It does not include Maulana Jalaluddin Umri of Jamat-e-Islami in the list of its 'secular' (apostate) personalities. Does that mean that JIH fits the ISIS's scheme of things in India?

4. The ISIS prepared a list of liberal and secular and Sufi minded Muslims who preach peace and present a multicultural version of Islam. The list is called the 'kill list'. In the past, some Sufis featuring The list have been killed. An imam in Raqqa in Syria was killed as he was in the kill list of the ISIS. Shaikh Kabbani was also in the kill list. The mention of four political and religious leaders of India in the VOH raises the fear that these four personalities apart from some others, may also be in the kill list of the ISIS in India. In 2016, a Sufi called Mohammad Shahidullah was killed by a youth influenced by the ideas of the ISIS in Bangladesh. The VOH also preaches such individual acts of terror against the government of India and against the Hindus. There should not be surprise if in future, sufis or secular political and religious leaders are attacked by fanatic youths.

5. The magazine gives an account of incidents of mob lynching of Muslims by Hindus and also of protests against NRC, NPR and CAA in India and tries to convince the Muslims that the time to take revenge has come. This indicates that the editors of the magazine are from India and well aware of the issues of the Indian Muslims and of the psychological state of Indian Muslims.

The ISIS through VOH is trying to unleash the same kind of violence and mayhem in India which it did in Iraq and Syria in 2014-2019 in the name of Khilafat. In India it tries to win the support of Indian Muslims by highlighting the injustices done to them but they executed atrocities against the minority communities of Iraq and Syria like the Christians, the Shias, the Sabians, the Yazidis, the Shabaks etc who were not harming the majority Muslim community. They conducted suicide attacks on Churches and monasteries of Cairo and Alexandria to name a few and killed hundreds of innocent Christians; they conducted suicide bombings on Shia congregations in their controlled area because they thought Shias followed a false Islam; they attacked Sinjar and killed more than 5000 Yazidis because they believed the Yazidies were infidels. The ISIS terrorists captured thousands of Yazidi women as young as 9 years old and held them as sex slaves and concubines. The mouth-piece of the ISIS said that keeping infidel women as concubines was a firmly established part of Shariah. In India they want Indian Muslims to revolt by taking up arms because Muslims here are being oppressed by the majority community and the government but what justification does the ISIS have for its bloodshed in Iraq and Syria where the governments were run by Muslims and the Muslims were in majority.

The bloodshed by the ISIS in Iraq and Syria turned millions of Muslims of the Middle East into refugees living in Turkey, Jordan and European countries for the last five years. There are another millions of Muslims who are internally displaced. Majority of Muslims have become strangers in their own country only due to the ideology of violence preached and propagated by the ISIS. After destroying the Muslims of Middle East, it now wants to destroy the Muslims of India. The Indian ideologues who are definitely extremist religious scholars should sit back and introspect what kind of society they want to create by supporting and promoting the ideology of the ISIS which justifies the rape of women and slaughter of innocent people. Should they stoop so low out of ideological opposition and political jealousy.