Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Pulling Quaid-e-Azam every which way – PART 2

Small-minded bigots distort history and religion.

All my attempts to reason with MAN 1 came to nothing as he proceeded to attribute all kinds of views to me and to support his rants by digging up “evidence” from the “scriptures” in a manner which distorted the Message. He said:

“Following Comment are for those “who talk of Islamic Republic of Pakistan” and accept that Pakistan was came into being in the name of Islam. I will not mince my words nor I would take the cover of Moderate Islam [if you talk of Islam and Quran]
Since you “believe” that Pakistan was attained in the name of Islam and if that is so in reality then Islam doesn’t allow any Non-Muslim to be appointed on a Key Position and that too a Foreign Minister.. [Hazrat Omar [RA] had sacked one such governor who appointed a Non-Muslim on a key position – Reference: Tafsir Ibn-e-Kathir and History by Tabari]…. Proof from Quran that Non-Muslim cannot be friends of Muslims [Quadiyanis are Non Muslims] and they cannot be trusted and we cannot be sure that they are sincere. Allaah says
وَالَّذينَ كَفَرُواْ بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلِيَاء بَعْضٍ إِلاَّ تَفْعَلُوهُ تَكُن فِتْنَةٌ فِي الأَرْضِ وَفَسَادٌ كَبِيرٌ
English Translation:
And those who disbelieve are protectors one of another – If ye do not so, there will be confusion in the land, and great corruption. [ AL-ANFAL (SPOILS OF WAR, BOOTY) Chapter 8 Verse 73]
وَالْمُؤْمِنُونَ وَالْمُؤْمِنَاتُ بَعْضُهُمْ أَوْلِيَاء بَعْضٍ يَأْمُرُونَ بِالْمَعْرُوفِ وَيَنْهَوْنَ عَنِ الْمُنكَرِ وَيُقِيمُونَ الصَّلاَةَ وَيُؤْتُونَ الزَّكَاةَ وَيُطِيعُونَ اللّهَ وَرَسُولَهُ أُوْلَـئِكَ سَيَرْحَمُهُمُ اللّهُ إِنَّ اللّهَ عَزِيزٌ حَكِيمٌ
English Translation
And the believers, men and women, are protecting friends one of another; they enjoin the right and forbid the wrong, and they establish worship and they pay the poor-due, and they obey Allah and His messenger. As for these, Allah will have mercy on them. Lo! Allah is Mighty, Wise. [ AL-TAWBA (REPENTANCE, DISPENSATION) Chapter 9 - Verse 71]
قَدْ كَانَتْ لَكُمْ أُسْوَةٌ حَسَنَةٌ فِي إِبْرَاهِيمَ وَالَّذِينَ مَعَهُ إِذْ قَالُوا لِقَوْمِهِمْ إِنَّا بُرَاء مِنكُمْ وَمِمَّا تَعْبُدُونَ مِن دُونِ اللَّهِ كَفَرْنَا بِكُمْ وَبَدَا بَيْنَنَا وَبَيْنَكُمُ الْعَدَاوَةُ وَالْبَغْضَاء أَبَدًا حَتَّى تُؤْمِنُوا بِاللَّهِ وَحْدَهُ إِلَّا قَوْلَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ لِأَبِيهِ لَأَسْتَغْفِرَنَّ لَكَ وَمَا أَمْلِكُ لَكَ مِنَ اللَّهِ مِن شَيْءٍ رَّبَّنَا عَلَيْكَ تَوَكَّلْنَا وَإِلَيْكَ أَنَبْنَا وَإِلَيْكَ الْمَصِيرُ
English Translation
There is a goodly pattern for you in Abraham and those with him, when they told their folk: Lo! we are guiltless of you and all that ye worship beside Allah. We have done with you. And there hath arisen between us and you hostility and hate for ever until ye believe in Allah only – save that which Abraham promised his father (when he said): I will ask forgiveness for thee, though I own nothing for thee from Allah – Our Lord! In Thee we put our trust, and unto Thee we turn repentant, and unto Thee is the journeying. [ AL-MUMTAHINA (SHE THAT IS TO BE EXAMINED, EXAMINING HER) Chapter 60 Verse 4]
It would be better if we all do away with double policy i.e. Riding Two Boats [Islam and Democracy] at the same time. Policy should be very clear. This confusion has resulted in Trouble and will created more Trouble if we didn’t separated Religion from the Business of State [Like Jinnah had said on 11 August 1947 Speech]”

“I can only speak for myself. I cannot give you answers for your generalised queries directed at people who believe one thing or another.

The original idea of ‘Pakistan’ was one of a semi-autonomous homeland for the Muslims of India, to enable them to achieve economic independence from the Hindus and to organise their lives in accordance with their distinct Muslim culture. In the face of Hindu obduracy this idea hardened into one for an independent country to be named ‘Pakistan’. I am, therefore, highly sceptical when people claim that Pakistan “came into being in the name of Islam”. The truth is that an overwhelming proportion of Muslim religious leaders opposed the creation of Pakistan. What they are claiming now is a claim made with hindsight and, possibly, it is designed to support their hidden agenda of taking control of political power (e.g. Jama’at-e-Islami).

A bizarre claim you have made is: “Islam doesn’t allow any Non-Muslim to be appointed on a Key Position and that too a Foreign Minister”. In support of this statement you first mention “Tafsir Ibn-e-Kathir and History by Tabari” and then three quotations from the Qur’an, 8:73, 9:71 and 60:4.

You are obviously unaware of the reality of “Tabari bin Rustam” and the scholarship of Ibn Kathir. I will avoid getting into a long, fruitless discussion about these gentlemen here. I will refer you to Dr Shabbir Ahmed’s website,, where you can learn a great deal. For example, you might like to read “The criminals of Islam” and “The reality of Karbala”.

As for your quotations from the Qur’an, they are largely irrelevant to this discussion and you have failed to explain the context in which they occur. The first deals with a situation where the Muslims are in a state of confrontation, the emigrants from Makkah having found refuge in Madinah. The correct translation would be:
“Those who reject the Divine Message are protectors of one another. If you do not help the immigrants, there will be chaos in the land and great corruption”.

The second quotation is telling you how Muslim men and women should behave towards each other. It says nothing about non-Muslims.

As for the third quotation, where did you get your stern translation from? Here is one from ‘The Qur’an as It explains Itself’ by Dr Shabbir Ahmed:
‘Indeed there is an Excellent Pattern for you in Abraham, and his companions. They said to their folk, “Certainly, we stay clear of you and of what you worship instead of God. We denounce you and between us and you has arisen distance and aversion until you believe in God alone”. The only exception was Abraham’s saying to his father, “I will indeed pray for your forgiveness, although I have no power to achieve anything from God on your behalf.” Then he prayed, “Our Lord! In You we place our trust, unto You we turn, and unto You is the Final Destination”.’

The context of this particular aayat concerns people who are in a state of confrontation with Muslims – please read the preceding aayaats leading up to this one. This Surah is, in fact, about showing kindness and compassion towards all human beings. Here is aayat 60:8:
‘God does not forbid you from being kind, and fully equitable to those who do not fight you on account of Religion, and do not evict you from your homelands. Indeed, God loves those who lead a just, balanced life’.

What you have omitted to do is to quote Quraanic passages which deal with “consultation” – democracy – and the fair treatment of all human beings (as, for example, 60:8 above). Are you unaware of the existence of such passages? Would you like me to put up more of them here?

Please avoid making selective extracts from the Quraan. The mullahs are particularly adept at using this unpleasant trick.

Jinnah knew his Qur’an better than most mullahs. He had thought hard over the Quraanic Surahs and come to his own conclusions (do re-read the quotations I have previously given from Quaid-e-Azam’s speeches and talks). The Qur’an explains Itself clearly enough by shedding light on a single topic from different angles. We must reflect on ALL relevant passages of the Qur’an if we are not to end up drawing the wrong conclusions.”

A new person intervened, MAN 3:

“’I know a great deal about Quaid-e-Azam. Though he was born into an obscure Shia sect, his greatness lies in the fact that he disowned all sects and declared himself to be just a Muslim who was neither Shia nor Sunni.’ It was just bcoz he was not a practicing muslim….”

ME (to Man 3):
“Kindly define what a ‘practising’ Muslim is. A man whose integrity is legendary, whose courage is beyond description, who goes around with a copy of the Qur’an and reflects deeply on what he reads, remembers Allah often, is not a ‘practising’ Muslim!! You must have some odd mullahistic conceptions of Islam.

The only criterion for judging whether or not a person is a good Muslim is the Qur’an. Thus, for example, when Quaid-e-Azam responded to a question about his being a shia or a sunni, the answer he gave was in accordance with the Quraanic injunctions. Our army of mullahs, who head up scores of religious sects, are the ones who are defying Allah’s commandments. I wonder if you are some sort of mullah with an axe to grind?!”

MAN 1:
“I know Dr Shabbir Ahmed and his work very well rather we have been exchanging mails with each other since last 4 years. The tragedy with cut and paste is this that it stops you from independent Research and that’s what just happened above. Not everything Tabari wrote was correct and similarly not everything Tabari wrote was wrong. Mind you there are two Tabaris.
1 – Abu Ja’far Muhammad ibn Jarir ibn Yazīd a-abarī أبو جعفر محمد بن جرير بن يزيد الطبري of Tarikh al-Tabari (History of the Prophets and Kings) and Tafsir al-Tabari. [which I quoted]
2 – Muhammad b. Jarir b. Rustam al-Tabari Shia Scholar of Khabar [Hadith]You would have to read and research a lot to even defend Jinnah through Quran.

English Translation I used was of Mohammed Marmaduke Pickthall [AS Muslim] and I don’t need crutches of Dr Shabbir Ahmed’s Translation to undertsand Quran. Every verse of Quran has the background context i.e. 1400 years old [if that is your logic] then May Allah help us because if we apply your above logic then there is no need to consult Quran any more.
What is “Distinct Muslim Culture” please explain your above written “Jargon” in the Light of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan and other Muslim Scholar’s Rampant Racism against the fellow Muslim.”

ME (to Man 1):
“I am glad that you are familiar with Dr Shabbir Ahmed’s books. I hope you will also have read Allama Ghulam Ahmad Parwaiz’s books – he is one of the greatest religious thinkers our nation has produced.

So, having put paid to Tabari and Ibn Kathir, I take it we are both in agreement that it is the Quraanic Guidance which must determine whether a particular course of action is permissible or not.

I understand that you disagree with Quaid-e-Azam’s decision to make use of Sir Zafrullah’s talents in the service of Pakistan. While you are certainly entitled to your personal likes and dislikes, you should exercise care not to invoke the Qur’an in support of your prejudices. As I said in my last post, you are simply beating about the bush, coming up with quotations from the Qur’an which have no bearing on the subject we are discussing. You have also ignored numerous injunctions where mankind is told to live by principles of justice and fair play irrespective of a person’s background – religious, social, racial, whatever.

When I ask you not to take Quraanic aayaat out of context, all I mean is that the linkage between one aayat and another should not be ignored. Quite often the essence of a particular command is spread over more than one aayat, which means we must consider all connected aayaat as one whole.

You ask about ‘distinct Muslim culture’. I used this phrase in the context of the Indian society where Hindus and Muslims were living side by side. You must, therefore, understand this phrase in relative terms. May I request that you spare an hour or so of your valuable time to read Mumtaz Mufti’s essay “Ram Deen”. This will open up your eyes to the stark reality of life for Muslims living in a Hindu dominated society.”

MAN 1:
“To understand Quran I don’t need Pervaiz or Shabbir’s help and if you ask my personal opinion then I understand Quran through Quran and then Authentic Hadith. Pervaiz was Hadith Rejector and not a Hujjat [Proof] for me but I have read him. I have read Shabbir’s work but I also have original books from where Shabbir have quoted and Shabbir often present only side of view which supports his point of view. Yes, every Quranic Verse do have the context [Shaan-e-Nazool] and every Quranic Verse have the general meaning and commandment for day to day affairs [no time bar most of the Quranic Verses are valid till the Judgement day].

Please don’t tell me as to how to understand Quran because by the Grace of Allah when I read Quran I read it like it should be read and understood not through the lense of Pervaiz, Shabbir, Iqbal or Pakistan Ideology.

I am least bothered if Jinnah would have appointed a Devil Worshiper a Chief Mufti of Pakistan because my point of view is this that Policy should be clear because when you talk of Islam then Sources of Islam [Quran and Hadith] would be consulted not Jinnah’s personal understanding of Islam.

Again you are quoting a book of Mumtaz Mufti on Culture of Undivided India, I am just asking a simple question what is “Muslim Culture” and please explain it in the light of Quran and Hadith.”

“A little humility would become you!

No one, not Iqbal, Parwaiz, Shabbir, or anyone else for that matter (I would leave out the Messengers as the world they inhabit is beyond my comprehension), can comprehend the Qur’an in its entirety. Why? Because the Qur’an deals with the universe as a whole, there is the world we can comprehend with our senses and there is the one which lies beyond our earthly experience (I have touched on this aspect of the Qur’an in my article on Islam which, judging from your comments, you have considered it unnecessary to read). In my entire life you are the only person – other than a mullah – who claims to have understood the Qur’an.

There are two things you need to bear in mind. One: the particular dialect of the Quraish in which Al-Qur’an was revealed some 1500 years ago was different from the Arabic spoken elsewhere, and it bears little resemblance to modern Arabic. Thus, when Arabic scholars take it upon themselves to “translate” the Qur’an, quite often they are simply regurgitating someone else’s translation and ideas about what the Qur’an says. I do have a copy of Pickthall’s translation, which I never finished – let us just say that it is “traditional” and leave it at that.

Two: Al-Quran, being the revelation of the Creator of the Worlds, cannot contain contradictions or anything that defies established scientific facts. Thus, for example, the mention of movements of the planets, the conception and gestation of a baby in the mother’s womb, the evolutionary processes, etc probably made little sense until the discoveries of modern science. Being aware of latest scientific research will also be helpful in strengthening your understanding of the Qur’an. In fact, the Quraanic definition of an ‘aalim’ is closer to that of a scientist. The widely understood meaning of an aalim as someone who has read an awful lot of “religious” books and sets himself up as a “spiritual guide” is not supported by the Qur’an.

You have obviously not read Parwaiz or you would not use words like “Hadith rejector” for him. He simply repeated what Al-Quran says, namely, that we must not accept anything blindly – if we do, we lower ourselves to the level of cattle. The Knower of all the worlds that exist doesn’t want us to have blind faith in His Book: we must use our minds, all the faculties we possess, to understand His Message before we accept it. Blind faith has nothing whatsoever to do with Islam. The same criterion applies to hundreds of thousands of stories attributed to Muhammad Mustafa, Rehmatul-lil-aalameen – many utterly disgusting and pornographic. Allama Parwaiz simply says that we have to use our intellect to judge these stories in the light of the Quraanic Guidance given to us.

Regarding Jinnah, you have failed to prove that Jinnah’s understanding of Islam was faulty. So, what exactly are you objecting to?

Regarding the difference between Deen and culture, let me tell you a story. Many years ago I knew a young Welshman whose name was Glyn. He was attracted to Islam and his conversion ceremony took place in our local mosque. The imam gave him the ‘Muslim’ name Dawood. Thereafter, he was always ‘Dawood’ to people at the mosque. He complained to me that in his own language, Welsh, the word ‘glyn’ meant a brook, a flowing stream winding its way through a valley, and he couldn’t see why he needed to abandon that beautiful name simply because he had accepted Islam as his Deen. I laughed and said he was absolutely right. Needless to say he was ‘Glyn’ to me and ‘Dawood’ to other people at the mosque. You see, Islam as Deen is wide as the ocean, it gives you tremendous freedom to live your life within very wide boundaries. However, where those boundaries are going to be threatened, and people’s lives are made miserable, then you have to do something about it. It is a pity you refuse to learn from other people’s knowledge and wisdom. Mumtaz Mfti’s “Ram Deen” would have answered many of your questions. This post has become quite long and I have to stop, I am afraid. By the way, you might also find Mufti’s “Talaash” useful.

The West has given me education, information and cleverness, for which I am grateful. However, such knowledge and wisdom that I possess, has come to me from rummaging in the treasure trove in my own backyard.”


Thereafter, Man 1 filled page after page with quotations from the Qur’an and went to great lengths to let me know what Islam meant to him, embellishing his narration with lurid tales from what he claimed were the “ahadees”. He continued to claim that the Qur’an was very simple to understand, which he fully understood and needed no help from anyone. As Quaid-e-Azam was no longer the subject of our discussion it is not necessary to present that part of the discussion.

Except, perhaps, a part of the very long reply I gave him? I may present this in my next post. Again, it would be helpful if you would let me know if you have found this post helpful and whether you would like to know what I said to Man 1 on aspects of Islam. While I appreciate face-to-face conversations and receiving e-mails or an occasional telephone call, I would appreciate it more if you would write a brief comment directly in the blog’s ‘comments’ section. 


Lost-in-cyberspace said...

This second part is more about religion than Quaid-e-Azam. What you have said is excellent but why do you waste your time debating with foolish people?

Sakib Ahmad said...

Well, well. Those who appear "foolish" to you are actually quite influential in Pakistan. If you find it difficult to believe, just take a look at the highest level of government in Pakistan: the cabinet is riddled with not just "foolish" people but, quite literally, ex-criminals as well - headed by Z who, as the party chairman, will probably continue to exercise immense power even after he is cut down to size as president.

To save their skins these bandits-in-government (also known as National Robbers' Organisation) have launched a vicious attack on Pakistan's Supreme Court.

Sakib Ahmad said...

Sorry, if my brief reply was not very clear.

Right now, Pakistan's self-styled political masters are playing a dirty trick on the nation. Under the guise of the otherwise quite good "18th amendment to the constitution" they are scheming to revoke the clause that requires political parties to hold elections. If the 18th amendment is passed in its present form the way will be clear for the likes of Zardari and Sharif to become party leaders for life, passing on the succession to members of their families.

So long as the constitution allows Zardari to continue to be both president and party leader, I doubt if the 18th amendment will make much practical difference in the short term. Read Asif Ezdi's "Constitutional Deception", published in The News today:

Below are two links to articles in Urdu, which overseas Pakistanis will find very interesting. The first one, by Haroon-ur-Rasheed, is full of hope, looking towards a bright future; in the second article Hasan Nisar presents the ugly face of Pakistan today.

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