Last week we published an article condemning the glorification of assassination of Governor of Punjab in Pakistan. In the aftermath of the incident, many a vocal supporters of the assassin have hailed this murder as a great example and reaffirmation of the revival of Islamic era of middle ages. Some even commented on this site. However a small minority of moderate Muslims have also condemned the murder as against spirit of Islam.
On Jan 10, 2011, Maulana Wahiduddin Khan published an article Blasphemy and the Islamic way in Times of India that asserted that “Blasphemy law has no basis in Islam”. We offer our sincerest accolades to Maulana for his attempt to delineate Islam from intolerance and cold-blooded fanaticism. In spirit of Vedic tolerance, the peace-loving Maulana claims that “To use abusive language against the Prophet or to praise him are both a matter of one’s own choice. Whatever the choice, it is in God’s domain to pass judgment on it. Muslims have nothing to do in this situation except try to remove the misunderstanding and then leave the rest to God…..Islam suggests capital punishment for only one offence, and that is murder.”
We pray for long life of such peace-loving Muslims. However if his assertions are indeed true, then there is something grossly wrong with Islam as it is known, practiced and propagated in entire world. We would like Maulana to share his thoughts (clear and unambiguous) on following:
a. There is hardly a Muslim dominated country that does not have a blasphemy law. Does the Maulana imply that ALL these countries and ALL the representatives of Islam in these countries are following a wrong Islam or are NOT Islamic at all?
b. If that be true then the claim of Islam being the fastest growing religion is also wrong. Because when Islam stands for peace, how can anyone supporting blasphemy law amounting to death of non-believer be a Muslim in first place? Will the Maulana state his clear views on this?
c. Zakir Naik – the latest prophet of Islam (here from Islam we mean the ideology which Zakir and his followers claim to follow. We should call it rather Zakirism, a new sect within Islam which glorifies Yazeed, which advocates apostate killing, which copy the content from Qadiyani books without acknowledging and so on..), who is considered essential by many to understand the Prophet of Allah – has clearly divergent views on blasphemy. He states (refer http://www.islamicvoice.com/April2006/QuestionHour-DrZakirNaik/ ):
“The punishment for blasphemy in most of the major religions is death. It is stated in the Old Testament of the Bible, which is the authority for both the Jews and the Christians: And he that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him: [Book of Leviticus 24:16]
Moreover, if we read Manusmriti, the Law book of the Hindus, it says: “If a man born of a lower class intentionally bothers a priest, the king should punish him physically with various forms of corporal and capital punishment that make men shudder.” [Manusmriti 9:248]
Regarding the punishment for blasphemy in Islam, it is mentioned in the Glorious Qur’an: “The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger, and strive with might for mischief through the land is: execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land: that is their disgrace in this world, and a heavy punishment is theirs in the Hereafter;” [Surah Al-Maidah 5:33]. In Islam, a person who has committed blasphemy can either be killed or crucified, or his opposite hands and feet can be cut off, or he can be exiled from that land. On the other hand, in other religions there is no other option except capital punishment. Islam at least has four options of punishment for an act of blasphemy.”
As with all of Zakir Naik’s works, this work is also full of blatant loopholes and errors. Let us review that:
– He claims in last sentence that except Islam, all religions propose only death sentence for blasphemy. However the verse from Manusmriti that he gives suggests corporal and capital punishment. Corporal means physical punishment like beating and caning not amounting to death or permanent damage to organs. Thus he himself proves that his claim on Manusmriti is wrong.
– Further, what he has presented is a verse from adulterated Manusmriti which is neither followed nor considered authentic by any scholar. We very clearly reject the verse as against Vedas and baseless. Will Zakir Naik adopt the same standard for the verse from Quran that he presented by rejecting it?
No, he will not. Because he is among those fanatics who justify death for blasphemy.
– His views on Old Testament may be right. After all Testaments were also brutal texts and hence not followed by Christians and Jews themselves today! And we believe that it has been source of intolerance in world today. But can he cite even a single verse of this nature from Vedas – the sole authority for Hindus?
– Zakir says that “Islam at least has four options of punishment for an act of blasphemy”. Just gauge the heights of his perversion. Of the 4 options – two are crucification and killing. This is like saying two options are murder and assassination! The third option is even worse than death – cutting all the limbs. The most humane option is to exile him in hot desert and allow nature to kill him!
But the bottomline is that Zakir Naik believes that some sort of punishment MUST be given for blasphemy which if not death is worse than death.
Coming back to Maulana, will he clearly and unambiguously condemn Zakir Naik for his stand which is completely opposite to humanistic stand of Maulana? Will he warn Muslims to not follow Zakir if they want to follow Islam? We would request Maulana to do so if he is sincerely dreaming of a peaceful Islam.
d. Maulana states that: “In the Islamic scriptures, the Quran and the Hadith, there is no such injunction to deliver physical punishment to one who commits blasphemy.”
Now what would be Maulana’s stand if we indeed show such verses in Quran and Hadith? And we shall show for non-believers in general.For example:
– One verse has been presented by our Zakir Bhai himself as mentioned above. This is Quran 5.33.
Now some more:
– Sahih Muslim Book 19, Number 4292: Ibn ‘Aun reported: I wrote to Nafi’ inquiring from him whether it was necessary to extend (to the disbelievers) an invitation to accept (Islam) before meeting them in fight. The Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) made a raid upon Banu Mustaliq while they were unaware and their cattle were having a drink at the water. He killed those who fought and imprisoned others. On that very day, he captured Juwairiya bint al-Harith. Nafi’ said that this tradition was related to him by Abdullah b. Umar who (himself) was among the raiding troops.
– Book 19, Number 4293: This hadith has been narrated on the authority of Ibn ‘Aun and the name of Juwairiya bint al-Harith was mentioned beyond any doubt.
– Book 19, Number 4321: It is reported on the authority of Sa’b b. Jaththama that the Prophet of Allah (may peace be upon him), when asked about the women and children of the polytheists being killed during the night raid, said: They are from them.
– Book 19, Number 4322: It is narrated by Sa’b b. Jaththama that he said (to the Holy Prophet): Messenger of Allah, we kill the children of the polytheists during the night raids. He said: They are from them.
– Book 19, Number 4323: Sa’b b. Jaththama has narrated that the Prophet (may peace be upon him) asked: What about the children of polytheists killed by the cavalry during the night raid? He said: They are from them.
– Book 16, Number 4154: ‘Abdullah (b. Mas’ud) reported: Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) stood up and said : By Him besides Whom there is no god but He, the blood of a Muslim who bears the testimony that there is no god but Allah, and I am His Messenger, may be lawfully shed only in case of three persons: the one who abandons Islam, and deserts the community [Ahmad, one of the narrators, is doubtful whether the Holy Prophet (may peace be upon him) used the word li’l-jama’ah or al-jama’ah), and the married adulterer, and life for life.
The definition of Islam is given in an earlier hadith:
– Book 16, Number 4152: ‘Abdullah (b. Mas’ud) reported Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) as saying : It is not permissible to take the life of a Muslim who bears testimony (to the fact that there is no god but Allah, and I am the Messenger of Allah, but in one of the three cases: the married adulterer, a life for life, and the deserter of his Din (Islam), abandoning the community.
– Sahih Bukhari, Book 38, Number 4390: Narrated Atiyyah al-Qurazi: I was among the captives of Banu Qurayzah. They (the Companions) examined us, and those who had begun to grow hair (pubes) were killed, and those who had notwere not killed. I was among those who had not grown hair.
– Quran 9:5: Then, when the sacred months have passed — that is, [at] the end of the period of deferment — slay the idolaters wherever you find them, be it during a lawful [period] or a sacred [one], and take them, captive, and confine them, to castles and forts, until they have no choice except [being put to] death or [acceptance of] Islam; and lie in wait for them at every place of ambush, [at every] route that they use (kulla, ‘every’, is in the accusative because a [preceding] genitive-taking preposition has been removed). But if they repent, of unbelief, and establish prayer and pay the alms, then leave their way free, and do not interfere with them. God is Forgiving, Merciful, to those who repent. (Jalalyan)
– Quran 3.28 forbids Muslims to trust non-Muslims. It says: “Let not the believers take the disbelievers as Auliya (supporters, helpers, etc.) instead of the believers, and whoever does that will never be helped by Allah in any way, except if you indeed fear a danger from them. And Allah warns you against Himself (His Punishment), and to Allah is the final return.” How can then words of a Muslim in a non-Muslim country be taken at face value?
We have only provided a small sample. The modern Quran and Hadiths are replete with such references. And mind you, we have not created these translations. These are the ones published, circulated, propagated by various Muslim bodies themselves, including Zakir Naik.
Thus, will the Maulana assert that,
1. He rejects these verses of Quran and Hadiths as false and believes that there is no place for such verses in Islam
2. He asserts that these verses have been wrongly translated. In that case, the translators of these verses have done greatest damage to Islam.
In the 2nd case, should he not lead a movement for ban on such translations of Quran? (these being perhaps the ONLY translations of Quran and Hadiths available in market today) Note that it is these translations that are causing greatest damage to cause of ‘peaceful’ Islam. Would he condemn all those people and publishers who endorse these translations?
Our stand is clear:
We appreciate the peaceful vision of Maulana. But mere words would not suffice. he should now take a step ahead,
clearly condemn likes of Zakir Naik,
clearly reject either objectionable verses of Quran and Hadiths, or their translations as available today
present alternative translations in case of latter,
and condemn all the countries and people who justify blasphemy laws as anti-Islamic.
We would like to join the Maulana in this noble mission.
One more issue, before we end the article:
e. Maulana states that: “This law was only made during the Abbasid period and is an expression of the imperatives of that period. At that time, the Muslims had established their empire and were in political supremacy. Due to their sense of pride at having accomplished this, they made such a law. But it was a clear innovation. And according to the Hadith, every innovation in the religion of Islam must needs be rejected.”
Would he also explain the following:
– If Blasphemy law was only made during Abbasid period, how come all the first few Caliphs who came at least 200 years before Abbasid dynasty killed in name of peaceful Islam? And how could dynasty of killer of the grandsons of Muhammad be allowed to lead Islam for 200 years? If killing of every other person in name of Islam was legitimized since the very first Caliph, how can one assert that specific law of against blasphemy was made only 200 years later. Especially when Quran and Hadiths also clearly mention it?
To know more about murders of almost all the initial Caliphs and relatives of Muhammad, refer http://agniveer.com/3270/foundations-of-islamic-terrorism/. In summary, Muhammad himself is suspected to be murdered by his wife. Second Caliph Umar was also murdered. Then caliph Uthman who had the Quran compiled and given its name for first time was murdered by son of Abu Bakr while he was reading Quran. Then Ali, next Caliph, was also murdered. Some scholars say that Aisha – arch enemy of Ali and wife of Muhammad – was also murdered. Hassan, son of Ali and grandson of Muhammad was murdered. Then his brother Hussain was murdered in battle of Karbala. Even the innocent Sakina was not spared and killed ruthlessly. The killers started the Umayed Caliphate dynasty which then represented Islam. Thus actual Islam, as we know today, began only after all the closed ones and relatives of Muhammad was murdered one after another. Even the original Quran (compiled 20 years after Muhammad’s death) is not available today.
– In such a situation, how can one even trust the current Quran to be true and same as what Muhammad (supposed to be illiterate by Muslim scholars) wanted to give? [Please visit http://agniveer.com/3118/miracle-islam/ to know that how Quran was compiled]. Of course, nowadays, all intellectual scholars completely reject the Hadiths (deeds of Muhammad) as fraudulent texts. But fanatic Muslims swear by its name because only Hadiths give the stamp of intolerance that modern Islam is famed to have. And moderate Muslims fear to take panga with the fanatic perverts!
We thus request Maulana, to shed light on these critical issues so that he can lead the utterly victimized Muslim population – disgraced by deeds and words of their fanatic Mullahs and popular representatives like Zakir Naik – towards respect and trust they truly deserve. And in process display that Maulana stands for truth and truth alone, and would be always eager to reject falsehood immediately in true spirit of humanity.
We would also like to see how many mainstream Islamic schools – like Darul Uloom Deoband and Islamic research Foundation – condemn the killing in name of blasphemy and logically explain the issues raised in this article in unambiguous terms (assuming they have the caliber and intent to use logic). If they do not, they are simply fooling the Muslim population for their selfish and perverted desires. And turning world into hell in process.
May all those beliefs and believers go to Hell who believe that all non-believers will go to Hell…forever!
And all peaceful forces of world unite together to promote religion of universal humanism regardless of whether we are Hindu, Muslim, Christian or anything else.