By Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi, New Age Islam
30 May 2018
The first part of the article displayed the destructive agenda of Zakir Musa and refuted his ideas of establishing so-called Islamic rule on the land of Kashmir. It first analyzed Zakir Musa’s threatening message in which he warned Hurriyat leaders about chopping off their heads if they continue to term the Kashmir freedom struggle as a political one instead of a religious one to establish Islamic rule. Then it theologically refuted his threatening message. Now in this second part, we will theologically refute Zakir Musa’s another threatening message directed to the Kashmir’s separatists in which he says he will “hang those moderates who support a secular state” and that “If we get freedom for secularism, we will have to start another battle against them”.
The main objective of this refutation is to reform Zakir Musa and his likes who are unfortunately brainwashed by the growing influence of Al-Qaeda network. The recurring motif of this refutation specifically revolves around moderation, secularism and Islam, as Zakir Musa says, “He will hang those moderates who support a secular state”. It is therefore necessary for the gullible Muslims to understand the notion of coexistence between secularism and Islam and the relation of moderation to Islam.
Coexistence between Indian Secularism and Religions Including Islam
The definition of secularism varies from country to country. Secularism is often used to describe the separation of public life and government matters from religions or simply the separation of religion and politics. Most of the so-called developed countries do not recognize religions, thus granting no special value to any particular religion. The beauty of India’s secularism lies in its taking a completely different course from them. India’s secularism means equal treatment of all religions by the state. With the 42nd Amendment of the Constitution of India enacted in 1976, the Preamble to the Constitution asserted that India is a secular nation. Though neither the constitution of India nor its laws define the relationship between religion and state, India recognizes each and every religion and ensures to give them equal respect. The citizens of India are allowed to enjoy their respective religions such as Hinduism, Islam, Christianity, Jainism, Buddhism, Sikhism etc. with full freedom.
Secular fundamentalist Mani Shankar Aiyar writes in his book, “Indian secularism cannot be anti-religious or irreligious, for the bulk of our people are deeply religious. Unlike in Christendom, where the word originated, secularism in India is not about pitting the state against the religious authority but about keeping matters of faith in the personal realm and matters of the state in the public realm” (Aiyar 2004: Confessions of a Secular Fundamentalist).
Since Indian secularism gives every citizen to enjoy his or her respective religious obligations, it will be futile to view this secularism as anti-religious or anti-Islamic. Zakir Musa must acknowledge this fact that Indian secularism does not prevent Muslims from fulfilling their basic religious obligation as mentioned in the Quranic verse which reads, “And I did not create the jinn and mankind except to worship Me”(51:56). Indian secularism gives him and other Muslims including Kashmiri Muslims full freedom to worship Allah Almighty. Yes they can fulfil all the religious obligations such as adopting Taqwa and achieving spiritual development. There is no one to stop Indian Muslims including Kashmiris from performing acts of worship—five-time prayers, fasting, Hajj, Zakat, spiritual meditations, doing Zikr [remembrance] of Allah and attaining spiritual perfection? Then why to view Indian secularism as anti-religious or anti-Islamic? Why not to remain Kashmir as the part of India? It is also the point of consideration for the Kashmiri separatists.
A number of Islamic scholars and clerics regard secularism as compatible with Islam. For example, Abdullahi Ahmed An-Naim, a professor of law at Emory University the author of ‘Islam and the secular state: negotiating the Future of Sharia’ says, “enforcing [sharia] through coercive power of the state negates its religious nature, because Muslims would be observing the law of the state and not freely performing their religious obligation as Muslims” [Islam and the Secular State…Cambridge Harvard University press 2008]
From the above-mentioned discussion, Zakir Musa’s statement about hanging “those moderates who support a secular state” proves to be anti-Islamic. His act of hanging will be unjust for which he will have to be accountable to Allah Almighty on the Day of Judgment.
Moderation and Islam
From the threatening message of Zakir Musa, two questions appear; 1) Is the supporter of a secular state liable to be hanged? 2) What does Islam say about moderation? In the above mentioned discussion, we have acknowledged that the one who supports a secular state that gives religious freedom is not liable to be hanged and thus Zakir Musa’s statement is tantamount to imposing lie on Shariat. Now we will see the relation of moderation to Islam.
Kaniz Fatma, an Islamic scholar [Aalima and Fazila] in her article “Teachings of Moderation and Balance in Islam” posted on newageislam.com writes,
“Moderation means to adopt a middle path between two extremes in all walks of life. Islam stresses moderation and balance in all aspects of life; in beliefs, worship, conduct, relationships, ideas, customs, transactions, daily activities and human desires. Principled moderation has been reiterated in the Quran whether explicitly or implicitly as a good character in Islam.
Allah Almighty said:
“Thus, We have made you a justly balanced community” (2:143).
The Arabic words “Ummataw Wasata” have been used in praise of this Ummah. The word ‘Wasata’ is commonly translated as moderate. Therefore the characteristic of this Ummah is moderate behaviour in all aspects, whether of character or action. They are people who do not sway to extremes; neither are they negligent in acts of worship nor extremely ascetic like those who discard the world to live in mountains.
Imam Razi comments on this verse 2:143, saying: The justly balanced (Wasat) in reality is the furthest point between two extremes. There is no doubt that the two poles of excess and extravagance are destructive, so to be moderate in character is to be furthest from them, which is to be just and virtuous. (Tafsir-e-Kabir by Imam Razi 2:143)
In his classical Arabic dictionary Ibn Manzur writes;
“Every praiseworthy characteristic has two blameworthy poles. Generosity is the middle between miserliness and extravagance. Courage is the middle between cowardice and recklessness. Humanity has been commanded to avoid every such blameworthy trait.” (Lisan al-Arab 15/209)
Wahb ibn Munnabih, a Yemenite Muslim traditionalist of Dhimar in Yemen, said, “Verily, everything has two ends and a middle path. If you hold one of the ends, the other will be skewed. If you hold the middle, the two ends will be balanced. You must seek the middle ground in all things. (Hilyat Al-Awliya 4818)
It is reported that Hadrat Hudhaifa (May Allah be pleased with him) said, “O people, remain straight upon the path and you will have taken a great lead, but if you swerve right or left then you will be led far astray.” (Sahih Bukhari 6853, Grade: Sahih)
Hadrat Ibn Mas’ud reported: The Messenger of Allah (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) drew a line with his hand and said, “This is the straight path of Allah”. Then the Prophet drew lines to the right and left and said, “These are other paths and there is not a path among them but that a devil is upon it calling to its way.” Then the Prophet recited the [Quranic] verse, “Verily, this is the straight path, so follow it and do not follow other paths. (6:153) (Musnad Ahmad 4423, Grade: Sahih)
We should implement the teachings of moderation and balance in all walks of life, whether with regard to duties of faith or the duties of worldly life.
Allah Almighty said,
“Seek the home of the Hereafter by that which Allah has given you, but do not forget your share of the world.” (28:77)
Hanzalah Al-Usayyidi reported, I said,
“O Messenger of Allah, when we are in your presence and are reminded of Hellfire and Paradise, we feel as if we are seeing them with our very eyes, but when we leave you and attend to our wives, our children, and our business, most of these things slip from our minds.”
The Prophet said,
“By Him in whose hand is my soul, if your state of mind remains the same as it is in my presence and you are always occupied with the remembrance of Allah, the angels will shake your hands in your beds and roads. O Hanzalah, rather time should be devoted to this and time should be devoted to that.” (Sahih Muslim 2750, Grade: Sahih)
Therefore in accordance with this teaching, we should be moderate in our acts of worship such as prayer, fasting, and even charity. For instance, our prayers should be recited in a moderate voice, neither too loud nor too soft.
Allah Almighty said,
“Do not recite too loudly in your prayer nor too softly, but seek a way between them” (17:110)
It is reported on the authority of Hadrat Abu Musa that he said, “We were with the Prophet, peace and blessings be upon him, during a journey when the people began to exalt Allah loudly. The Prophet said:
“O people, be gentle with yourselves for you are not calling upon one who is deaf or absent. Rather, you are calling upon the Hearing, the Seeing.” (Sahih Bukhari 3910)
Hadrat Jabir ibn Samurah reported saying,
“I was praying with the Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, and his prayer was of moderate length and his sermon was of moderate length.” (Sahih Muslim 866, Grade: Sahih)
With regard to voluntary acts of worship, the Prophet [peace be upon him] asked his companions on many occasions to limit their extra worship so that they could perform their duties towards their families as well as maintain their health.
It is reported that Abdullah ibn Amr said, “The Messenger of Allah, peace and blessings be upon him, said to me, “O Abdullah, I am told you fast all day and pray all night.” I said, “Of course, O Messenger of Allah.” The Prophet said, “Do not do so. Fast and break your fast, pray in the night and sleep. Verily, your body has a right over you, your eyes have a right over you, and your wife has a right over you.” (Sahih Bukhari 4903, Grade: Sahih)
Hadrat Salman Al-Farisi, (may Allah have mercy upon him) said,
“You have a duty to your Lord, you have a duty to your body, and you have a duty to your family, so you should give each one its rights.” (Sahih Bukhari 1867, Grade: Sahih)
The similar message is found in this Hadith which says,
“The best of your religion is the easiest.” [Ahmad]
The Prophet (peace be upon him) said,
“He who desires that his life be prolonged and he be granted more provisions and to be protected from the evil end, then let him fear Allah and maintain good ties with kinship”. (Al-Haakim)
He also said,
“O’ people spread greetings, feed people, keep kinship ties and pray at night while people are sleeping and you will enter paradise safely” (al-Hakim)
Islam teaches Muslims to be moderate even when are doing charity. It calls Muslims to spend enough to help the needy; but it also asks them to retain enough to take care of their families and ourselves.
Allah Almighty said:
“They are those who, when they spend, are neither extravagant nor miserly, but follow a middle way between them.” (25:67)
Thus we should also be moderate in our relationships with others. We should love for people what we love for ourselves but we should not exceed the limits so much that we endorse their wrong activities.
Hadrat Umar (may Allah be pleased with him) said,
“Let not your love be infatuation and let not your hatred be destruction.” It was said, “How is this?” Hadrat Umar said, “When you love someone, you become infatuated like a child. When you hate someone, you love destruction for your companion.” (Al-Adab Al-Mufrad 1322, Grade: Sahih)
Ibn Hibban suggested Muslims to have a middle path when dealing with non-Muslims and said, “Do not exceed the limits in seeking nearness to them, nor be excessive in seeking distance from them.” (Tafsir al-Mawardi 60:8)
Ibn Hibban wants to say that Muslims should not adopt what is against Islam while seeking nearness to non-Muslims and similarly they should not seek distance so much that they develop any sort of hatred or insecurity.
The Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) said:
“By Allah, he is not a believer, he is not a believer, he is not a believer,” It was said, "Who is that, O Allah's Apostle?” the one who could not provide peace and security to his neighbours." (Sahih Al-Bukhari, Volume 8, Number 45)
In this Hadith the word “neighbours” include both Muslims and non-Muslims.
Some more Ahadith which encourage good relationship with Muslims and non-Muslims are as follows;
“Do you know what is better than charity and fasting and prayer? It is keeping peace and good relations between people, as quarrels and bad feelings destroy mankind.” (Al-Bukhari & Muslim)
“Whoever is kind, Allah will be kind to him; therefore be kind to man on the earth and He Who is in heaven will show mercy on you.” (Abu Dawud and Tirmidhi)
Islam has taught Muslims to be moderate in all activities of their daily life. They should avoid any type of extremism pleasing to Satan that leads them astray from the right path. With this teaching of moderation and balance, Muslims can counter the growing tides of extremism that threaten both Muslims and non-Muslims.” [End of quote]
[The above excerpts have been taken from Kaniz Fatma’s article “Teachings of Moderation and Balance in Islam”- newageislam.com]
To sum up, this article calls hardliners like Zakir Musa to acknowledge the fact that Indian secularism guarantees religious freedom and equal treatment of all religious people. In other words, Indian secularism is not anti-religious, but rather it is compatible with religions including Islam. They should also learn that moderation is integral part of Islamic teachings. Therefore Zakir Musa’s threatening statement that “He will hang those moderates who support a secular state” stands as an unjust and extremely anti-Islamic statement.
May Allah Almighty save the gullible Muslims from such brainwashing ideas!
A regular Columnist with NewAgeIslam.com, Ghulam Ghaus Siddiqi Dehlvi is an Alim and Fazil (Classical Islamic scholar) with a Sufi background and English-Arabic-Urdu Translator.
Part One of the Article:
Refutation Of Kashmiri Militant Zakir Musa’s Recent Statement Threatening To Chop Off The Heads Of Hurriyat Leaders From An Islamic Standpoint - Part 1