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The War Within Islam

The Misconstrued Concept of Hijrat and the Position of Indian Ulema
Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi, New Age Islam
The Misconstrued Concept of Hijrat and the Position of Indian Ulema
Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi, New Age Islam

No Indian Islamic cleric denies the significance of Hijrat (migration) in the early period of Islamic history. But to some clerics, Hijrat is mandatory (Wajib) even today for the Muslims living in the democratic countries. For liberal democracy is akin to Kufr in their view. Such toxic notions of the Hijrat are actually political tools which the extremist outfits use to further their political ends. Highlighting the Muslim marginalisation in countries like India, the extremist Islamist preachers indoctrinate the gullible Muslim youth mostly belonging to poor Muslim families who can be unconsciously trained to serve their political agendas….

Built around a tribal accord, Misaq-i-Madina, citizenship required only that an individual submit to the authority of the Holy Prophet (PBUH). Perhaps anticipating that his followers would someday spread beyond the oases of Makkah and Madina, he very wisely left unspecified which territories constitute Dar-ul-Islam....

Also Read:

Naya Pakistan or the Same Old Bigoted Pakistan?

Why Imran Khan’s Invocation of Medina is Deeply Regressive

Imran Khan’s offer to India in his victory speech to negotiate on Kashmir and willingness to trade is being seen in many quarters as a possible opening. But the door remains as shut, as it was in the past. Khan’s team will have to work out the contours of negotiations with the military establishment that was resentful of trade in the past on the grounds that Nawaz Sharif was more keen to discuss trade than resolving the Kashmir issue....

 

Alternate realties are the stuff of dreams. They often require an enemy, real or imagined, and the ideal world is one where the enemy has been vanquished. Powered by blind belief, legends are created and heroes are born. The case of the Tehreek-i-Labbaik (TLP) is about a common alternate reality that is shared by many people — at least 2,234,265 of them according to the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP), making it the fifth largest political party in the country....

 

Religious-ethnic violence has dominated the Pakistani landscape for several decades. Every now and then, when an identity crisis of national significance surfaces extra measures by otherwise liberal leaders, sweep in to woo support from the masses. While this clause bodes well with the Islamic Republic of Pakistan, the state-backed persecution or the silence thereof for the said crimes isn’t warranted....

 
How the Brutal Murder of Jamal Khashoggi Exposes the Naked Interest of Many
Arshad Alam, New Age Islam
How the Brutal Murder of Jamal Khashoggi Exposes the Naked Interest of Many
Arshad Alam, New Age Islam

The criminal act of the Saudi state should have led to a larger debate about the absence of an atmosphere of liberal critique in much of the Arab and Muslim world. But then the tragedy is that most Muslim leaders themselves are so knee deep in this malice that they can only use the incident to earn some political points for themselves....

Indeed, the growing electoral support for the extremist outfit whose politics is based on animus against other religious groups and that justifies violence in the name of faith is worrisome; yet it is not likely to change the power matrix in the country. The rout of the top leadership of the MMA came as a huge surprise in the elections, and so has the expansion of the TLP’s popular base. ...

 

Among them the more striking one includes the crystallisation of the electoral power of the Barelvi school of thought in the shape of the remarkable performance of the Tehreek-e-Labbaik Pakistan.  The party has won just two provincial assembly seats. However, the truly exceptional aspect of this party has been its candidates and their vigorous modern campaigns that included all modern platforms that any party anywhere in the world in this day and age uses for wider reach....

 

This adjustment between the secular ruling elite and the Deobandi scholars had evolved over decades and it survived close to two centuries. Both classes had a lot in common and both were entrenched in the system. The new religious parties bring new social dynamics to the political arena. Khadim Hussain Rizvi and his party has found resonance with a section of Pakistani society that had been left untouched by the political activism of the PTI and were discontent with the patronage politics of other parties....

 

There have been clear recent indications of this difference. The Crown Prince has recognized Israel's right to exist and was reported as saying the Palestinians should either "shut up" or makes peace with Israel. Pushing back, King Salman reiterated "the kingdom's steadfast position towards the Palestinian issue and the legitimate rights of the Palestinian people to an independent state," and lately declared that U.S. President Trump's peace plan had to include East Jerusalem as the Palestinian capital....

 

But if Khan is a genuinely popular leader who has surged into office because of a truly national following built on his cricket celebrity and appeal as an anti-corruption crusader, we can expect that he might want to be his own man and possibly stand up to the military. But even then, he must be very afraid to go the way of many former prime ministers before him: removed in a coup or marginalized using a combination of media and courtroom trials over corruption and sundry charges. In both scenarios, Pakistani democracy and Khan seem to be in imminent jeopardy....

 

Pakistanis drained after the drama of electoral vigils, delayed results, and allegations of rigging and meddling, will likely cleave to the promise of Faiz’s poetry. They console themselves by believing that they’ll one day “see that day that has been promised” them. That they do not have a united vision for this future day seems not to be of Imran Khan’s—or anyone’s—concern....

 
Of Salafis, Deobandis and Barelwis in Kashmir
Mushtaq Ul Haq Ahmad Sikander, New Age Islam
Of Salafis, Deobandis and Barelwis in Kashmir
Mushtaq Ul Haq Ahmad Sikander, New Age Islam

All these discourses of Salafis, Deobandis and Barelwis are quite alien to Kashmir. All these schools of thought are extremist in their outlook and rabidly sectarian and if provided with hospitable environs violent too. These groups have carried out violent acts against each other and different other sects in the recent past. Earlier they engaged with each other through writing diatribes, pamphlets and books denouncing each other and describing them as deviated and charging them with heresy. The sectarian mosques were used to hold debates against each other. Also the co-option and annexation of shrines by Barelwis who wrongly masquerade as Sufis has done a severe damage to the syncretic and plural message of Kashmiri Rishis....

Related Article:

Kashmir Is Too Diverse, Too Multicultural A Land To Turn Into A Radical Islamist State


Take the example of Brigadier Ijaz Shah, formerly of the ISI, who served as Musharraf’s hatchet man and was even named by Benazir Bhutto as one of the persons trying to have her killed. Shah was most likely the covert handler of Jaish-e-Muhammad’s Masood Azhar and Omar Saeed Sheikh when they were arrested in India as terrorists. Sheikh, lest you forget, is currently in prison after being convicted of murdering Wall Street Journal reporter, Daniel Pearl....

 

Islamist violence marred the election and is a constant threat to Pakistan. Meanwhile, the regional situation grows trickier, with rivalry between America and China, and China and India. That comes on top of rocky relations with America itself, the festering sore of war-torn Afghanistan to the north-west, and Pakistan’s age-old and bitter animosity towards India....

 
How Imran Khan Will Set Up Medina-Like Islamic Welfare State?
Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi, New Age Islam
How Imran Khan Will Set Up Medina-Like Islamic Welfare State?
Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi, New Age Islam

The concept of Ummat-e-Wahida (“one nation”) through the terms of the Madina constitution clearly shows that the Muslims and non-Muslims whether from Makkah or Madinah were one community. Thus, this Prophetic principle recognized the “nation” for the first time in the history as a one indivisible unit, moving from the individual or the tribal life to the life of the single nation. It is not characterized by any particular religion, racism or tribalism. It rather ended racism and discrimination on the basis of religion:“The Jews shall be responsible for their expenses and the Believers for theirs…...

So, while the sensible voices mourned the demise of democracy, I could see a much bigger problem. The intolerant, harsh, ritualistic, extremist label had been successfully achieved. We were already being called a failed state by even Bollywood actresses. Yes, Imran got what he wanted but at the price of everything we held dear. As my 21-year-old daughter followed the race for power in dismay, she remarked, ‘ignorance is bliss, I wish my hope had not been taken away’.

 

“Pakistan has accepted billions of American dollars, and used those funds to provide safe havens for the Taliban and other jihadist groups. Pakistan is directly responsible for the killing and wounding of thousands of American and allied soldiers.” You’ll recall that Osama bin Laden found refuge in Pakistan until U.S. special operators arrived unannounced at his villa. The claim that no Pakistani authorities knew he was in Abbottabad — a garrison town not far from Islamabad, Pakistan’s capital — is risible....

 
Why Imran Khan’s Invocation of Medina is Deeply Regressive
Arshad Alam, New Age Islam
Why Imran Khan’s Invocation of Medina is Deeply Regressive
Arshad Alam, New Age Islam

The prime minister of Pakistan has to believe in the ‘unity and oneness of Allah, the books of Allah, the Quran being the last of them, the Prophethood of Muhammad as the last of the Prophets and that there can be no Prophet after him, the Day of Judgment, and all the requirements and teachings of the Holy Quran and Sunnah’. Now if this is the oath that the prime minister takes, then it is understandable why Medina would continue to appeal. After all, the first experiment to establish Islam took place in Medina and the first country which got created specifically in the name of Islam was Pakistan....

As Pakistan braces for the next phase in its polity, there are lessons to be learnt from countries like India and the US where fear of change has led to the emergence of similar ‘strongman’ leadership. Those who voted for Narendra Modi or Donald Trump are not all bigots, misogynists or racists. Many are just ordinary people desperate for “better days” and to make their country “great again”. This is not too dissimilar from Imran’s supporters seeking “change”....

It needs no understanding of individual psychology or of Khan’s personal profile and proclivities to assert that these promises will be betrayed. Through history, leaders have never been able to escape the logic of the dynamic that propelled them to power. Pakistan’s founder, Mohammad Ali Jinnah, who harnessed religious polarization and the idea of jihad to engineer India’s Partition, and then sought to transform his fledgling country into one where “religion or caste or creed” would have “nothing to do with the business of the State”, is a glaring example of leaders who become prisoners of the means that bring them to ascendancy....

 

India and Pakistan, can work together, towards the development of their respective nations. Many avenues are open to forge a healthy alliance between the two nations in the field of education, health services, technology and the media, for instance. Being immediate neighbours, India and Pakistan cannot afford to remain antagonists; rather, they should strive to forge cordial relations in all possible spheres in order to lead the two nations onward, along a parallel path of development!...

 

Admittedly, the Miltablishment has stitched up an extraordinary political dispensation in difficult times. But, unlike Nawaz, the person they have chosen to lead it is strong-willed and unpredictable. In fact, Nawaz was eminently pliant. Yet, after a while, he felt compelled, given the nature of power, to try and be his own man. But this was unacceptable and he had to pay the price for even thinking such rash thoughts. Imran Khan, on the other hand, is a different kettle of fish....

The result of Pakistan’s 25 July election was foretold. The pre-polling environment had been muddied by the blatant meddling of the country’s all-powerful military, assisted by a judiciary eager to please the generals. The results – a disputed victory for cricketer-turned-politician Imran Khan and his Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaaf (PTI) party– won’t make a dent in Pakistan’s reputation as a ‘crisis state.’...

 

Mr. Khan, till now the vitriolic candidate and opposition leader, will have to mature to be a more sobering influence on government and on his many first-time, overly enthusiastic Ministers who are inexperienced in governance, much like himself. Probably the considerable influence of the military and the judiciary on him will go a long way in helping this. Or, perhaps, the current Mrs. Khan’s visions will now guide his and the country’s future....

 
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