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Islam and Politics (10 Apr 2016 NewAgeIslam.Com)

Manipulative Nationalism: The Fatwa against Chanting Bharat Mata Ki Jai Is an Exercise for Hegemony within Indian Muslim Society

By Arshad Alam, New Age Islam

10 April 2016

Amid the cacophony of voices proudly proclaiming themselves as the true sons of mother India, nothing was more jarring than that of Yoga Guru Ramdev. Sadly, restrained by the law of the land, Ramdev had no compunction in announcing that left to himself, he would have cut off the heads of hundreds of thousands who refused to chant Bharat Mata ki Jai. One is at once reminded of the prophetic words of Ambedkar which warned us of the dangers of India becoming a Hindu state.

Ramdev is not the only one, though perhaps the most odious. Different leaders hailing from the ruling dispensation have been categorical in their assertion that anyone living in India must necessarily say yes to Bharat Mata ki Jai. One chief minister even suggested that those who did not want to chant this slogan were free to go to another country. Targeted on the Muslim minority, the statement came against the background of one Muslim MLA’s refusal to say Bharat Mata ki Jai. This became an excuse for the ruling dispensation to paint almost the entire Muslim community with the same brush and argue that most of them had a problem with saying Bharat Mata ki Jai. And the logical corollary was that since they refuse to chant this slogan, they do not love their country and hence they must be considered traitors.

But why is the BJP insisting on this slogan and keeping the embers of this controversy alive?  On the face of it, the controversy helps its very ideological foundation of portraying the Muslims as the Other of the nation. At its very core, the Hindutva ideology is built upon the assimilation of minorities into what is called the national mainstream. Of course this mainstream is defined by certain congeries of upper castes and their cultural lifestyles. However, keeping the controversy alive also serves another function. The BJP promise of delivering development to all has actually till now meant an empty promise. Owing to a combination of factors, the ruling dispensation has failed to deliver on its promises. The failure on the economic terrain is now sought to be compensated by the cultural and nationalistic turn which the BJP has taken. By plunging the country into mindless debate about Bharat Mata and Gau Mata, the government has successfully prevented any meaningful debate on its performance over the last two years. What is even more interesting is the way in which the opposition parties have been unable to see through this game and have responded to the agenda set by the government.

But till the time the opposition sets up and forces an alternative agenda, they are only playing a losing game. For in this age of bigotry, there cannot be a bigger champion of nationalism than the BJP. Far worse, in many ways, the intellectuals of this country have created such a discourse on nationalism that it will only help the Hindu Right forces in the country.

For long and perhaps even today, the intellectuals on the Left have been beholden to the idea of nationalism espoused by the Congress. In many ways and rather shamelessly, they can only be called as the intellectual arm of the Congress Party. And what is the position of the Congress on nationalism? Perhaps it does not know itself! The party which today opposes the application of sedition on JNU students applied very different principles when it was in power. One just has to think of the cartoonist Aseem Trivedi and the way in which he was hounded when the UPA government was in power.

In fact, there is not much to choose from between the nationalisms of the Congress, BJP and the dominant left parties in India. In the recent debate on nationalism in the wake of the JNU incident, there was nothing which could fundamentally critique the idea and practice of right wing nationalism, rather the debate was between which party was more nationalist or more truly nationalist. This is classic shadow boxing, where the real issue gets side-tracked through the conscious or unconscious participation of both the proponents as well as the opponents of nationalism.

But Bharat Mata is also used through her negation. The intransience of a section of Muslims, led by the Deoband and Jamaat-e-Islami is a case in point. The Deoband fatwa against chanting Bharat Mata ki Jai equated the slogan with idolatry which contravenes the principle of monotheism. Considered as the most important article of the Islamic faith, Tawheed, or belief in the oneness of God, is understandably the essential component of Islamic faith. The problem, however, is that throughout the Muslim world, Tawheed is understood and expressed in different ways. For example, within many Sufi traditions, Tawheed is also understood as the link which binds human beings to the Almighty through a very complicated scared cosmology.

The Ahle Sunnat wa Jamaat in India (popularly called the Barelwis) link the individual soul to the One through a very complex web of chains called the Silsila. So according to this rationality, bowing to the grave of a Sufi divine is not a negation of the principle of Tawheed, but its very affirmation. The act of Sajda near the grave of the Sufi is an occasion to remember the divine, to come closer to the Almighty. The act of bowing transposes the faithful into a sacred time, linking him or her to the Almighty through the grace of the Sufi.

But alas, for the Deobandis and other purist Salafi reformists within Islam, this beautiful imagination of spiritualism must be condemned as tantamount to associating partners to Allah. Scores have killed and others having a similar conception of divinity within Islam are under constant threat of being killed. Thankfully, in India, the followers of a mediated Islam have only been called un-Islamic but one shudders to think what would have happened to them if the purist Salafi Islam in India had as much clout as it has in the neighbouring countries like Pakistan and Afghanistan.

Thus it is important to understand that the fatwa against chanting Bharat Mata ki Jai is an exercise for hegemony within Indian Muslim society. In other words, it is more fundamentally a position within Muslim society which has the potential of erasing multiple religiosities of Muslim experience in India. As Hindutva uses the icon of Bharat Mata for its own exclusionary purpose, the reformist Islam uses the icon of Mata to extend its own hegemony through its own interpretation of Islam. What gets lost amongst this manipulative nationalism is the myriad other imaginations of the nation, which provides the real glue that binds this country together.

A newageislam.com columnist, Arshad Alam is a Delhi based writer.

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/islam-and-politics/arshad-alam,-new-age-islam/manipulative-nationalism--the-fatwa-against-chanting-bharat-mata-ki-jai-is-an-exercise-for-hegemony-within-indian-muslim-society/d/106936


  • O WAHHABIS! FEAR FROM THE TROMENT OF Allah before calling Muslims ‘Mushrik’. 

    “Refuting the charge of grave worship


    Wahhbi creed is clear cut about those who seek tawassul through the “dead” by calling upon them. Muhammad Ibn ‘Abdul Wahhab’s Nawaaqid ul-Islaam [the factors in which Wahhabis claim nullify a person’s Islam], p. 308 where Muhammad Ibn ‘Abdul Wahhab said:

    “He who sets up intermediaries between him and Allah, calling unto them and asking them to intercede on his behalf with Allah, and putting trust in them is an infidel [i.e. a Kaafir, a disbeliever] according to the consensus of the scholars”.

    This is exactly what Muslims do when we make tawassul through the Messenger of Allah . We “call unto them” addressing him with the vocative particle [harf an-nidaa] “Yaa Muhammad .  Wahhabis need an ‘Arabic lesson in al-Munaada .

    The Wahhabi cult teaches that calling unto [du’a] to other than Allah is worship, and they misuse the hadeeth which says “du’a is worship”, so when any Sunni Muslim is caught saying “Yaa Muhammad ” at his grave, he is then automatically accused of worshipping the Prophet by calling unto him, thus deemed a mushrik [a pagan] for doing so.

    Without any doubt, one is accused of calling unto other than Allah and deemed a Kaafir. To demonstrate this point further then let us return to the statement of Muhammad Ibn ‘Abdul Wahhab’s book Nawaaqid ul-Islam, Muhammad Ibn ‘Abdul Wahhab said in point number two:

    Man ja’ala baynahu wa bayna Allah wa saa’itaa yad’uwhum wa yas’aluhum wa yatawakkaulu alyhim. Kafara ijmaa’a”

    Now take special note that Muhammad Ibn ‘Abdul Wahhab used the imperfect verb “yad’u-hum” meaning “they are calling or will call upon them” this verb derives from the same root as du’a which simply means to call upon see p. 282 of the Hans Wehr ‘Arabic dictionary.

    The Sahaabah addressed the Messenger of Allah respectfully by saying “Yaa Muhammad , “Yaa RasulAllah and why? Take note of the following Qur’anic passage from Surah an-Nur [24] ayah 63:

    la taj’alu du’a ar-Rasul baynakum ka- du’a ba’dikum ba’da” Which translates as “Do not make the calling [du’a] of the Messenger between you like the calling  [du’a] of each other”

    Meaning address the Prophet respectfully! This is why they used “Yaa RasulAllah” in his very lifetime out of respect. But more importantly also notice that the Allah used the word du’a!

    Wahhabis make a distinction here. They argue that when the Messenger was alive, then its permissible to call upon him [du’a] using the vocative noun “Yaa” but now he is “dead”, calling unto him [du’a] is now considered as worship, thus calling unto the Messenger is nothing but pure shirk [i.e. idolatry].

    So according to Muhammad Ibn ‘Abdul Wahhab, to yad’u-hum [to call upon them] by saying “Ya RasulAllah” is indeed an act that is considered by the Wahhabi’s to take one out of the fold of Islam whether you are doing tawssaul, asking for Shifaa’a or istighathah. This can be further seen by the fact Wahhabi scholar Bilal Phillips wrote in his book Fundamentals of Tawheed p. 27-28:

    The Prophet Muhammad said in no uncertain terms “prayer (du’a) is worship…If somebody prays to the Prophet, to so called saints [remember Bilal Phillips means by this calling upon them]…asking for help or asking them to request help from Allah, they have also committed shirk [i.e. they have became a Kaafir Mushrik]”

    It is then clear that Wahhabis deem such tawaasul as calling upon the Messenger of Allah by directly addressing him “Yaa RasulAllah” as major shirk, regardless if we are asking for help, or for them to supplicate to Allah for us.

    However the big burning question here is this the stance of Muslim orthodoxy? Is this the position that the scholars of the Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’a hold?  Do the Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah believe that it is an act of idolatry to address the Prophet in his grave?

    According to Tafseer Ibn Katheer Surah an-Nisa [4] ayah 64 it is not shirk to call upon [du’a] the Messenger whilst he is in his grave.

    Before we go to Tafseer Ibn Katheer and look at the evidence [scans available] I would like to mention that this cannot be found in the ‘Arabic versions, nor is it translated in the Dar us-Salaam versions that are published by any Wahhabi publisher. It is purposefully whitewashed for the very reason that it defies the Wahhabi creed and they cannot have that as prove against them.

    So what they have done is they have put out “Saheeh Tafseer Ibn Katheer”, but when they say “Saheeh” they do not mean authentic, they mean that they have corrected Ibn Katheer’s tafseer as they deemed that what he mentioned was dalaalah [misguidance].

    This is one of the many reasons many new converts remain blind to the tricks of the Wahhabi organization. I have tried to tell them they are being deceived and they need to learn ‘Arabic so they can analyze these things for themselves, but I find that many Wahhabi converts are too huffed up with pride and are too far gone to even sincerely speak too. The once sincere conversation soon turns sour.

    However, it is my challenge to them to study the following in ‘Arabic and then turn to the Dar us-Salaam and ask themselves why do Wahhabis keep white washing Sunni texts which clearly display evidences against their own creed?

    Let us now quote from Tafseer Ibn Katheer:

    Ataabi raltes that he was sitting at the grave of the Prophet when an Arab came and said “As-Salaamu Alayka YAA RASULALLAH” then he quoted the related ayah about seeking forgiveness.” Tafseer Ibn Katheer, vol. 1, p. 328

    Before my readership starts calling me a misleading Barelwi prentending to be a Hanbali, let us look to the Hanbali scholars and see what they have to offer.

    There is no doubt to the authenticity of this narration used by Ibn Kathher as Imaam Muwaffaq ud-Deen Ibn Qudaamah al-Maqdasi also included this is his al-Mughni, vol. 3, pp. 599-601, The Shaafi Master, Imaam Nawawi also included this narration in his book al-Adhkaar pp. 218-221, The Maaliki Master Qadi Iyaad also documented this is his classical text Ash-Shifaa’a and other countless Imaams from the Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah have used this as an evidence as seeking a need.

    For example, the great relied upon Hanbali scholar Ibn Qudaamah al-Maqdasi wrote in his al-Wasiyyah

    When seeking for a need to be fulfilled from Allah ta’ala then perform the ablution and two units of nawafil prayer, relying on Allah ta’alaa and sending salutations on the Prophet and say the following ….“O Allah, I ask you and turn to you by Your Prophet Muhammad , the Prophet of Mercy. YAA MUHAMMAD!!! I turn by you to my Lord and your Lord aza wajjal for Him to settle my need for me”

    Imaam Muwaffaq ud-Deen then says after quoting this du’a

    The early Muslims [i.e. the Salaf] had their needs fulfilled by saying this”

    Imaam Muwaffaq ud-Deen Ibn Qudaamah’s work al-Wassiyah has been translated by Abu Ja’far al-Hanbali and is available for people to read here: thinkhanbali.files.wordpress.com/2009/11/word-of-advice.pdf and it has also been translated by Aisha Bewly.

    You will also be able to find this hadeeth in Sunan at-tirmidhi and Ibn Maajah, Imaam Suyuti classified this hadeeth as saheeh in his al-Jami us-Saghir hadeeth no. 1279; and again Imaam Ahmad Bin Hanbal testifies to this hadeeth in his Mansik: Kash-Shaaf ul-Qinaa, vol. 2, pp. 70-73.

    Now this is the interesting part, we can see from the above reference that Imaam Ahmad Bin Hanbal allowed tawassul through the Prophet by addressing the Prophet in his grave with the vocative noun “Yaa” as in “Yaa Muhammad” or “Yaa RasulAllah”. However, look what the Wahhabi scholar Albani had to say about this in the book Tawassul: Seeking a means of nearness to Allah By Nasir ud-Deen Albani, Al-Hidaayah publising. -p. 38:

    Imam Ahmad allowed tawwasul by means of the Messenger saaws alone,…However, WE (he means we as in WE i.e. the Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah, the Ahle Hadeeth) follow what is supported by proof and not the blind opinions of men.”

    Notice carefully how Albani used the pronoun “We” distinctly to differ from Imam Ahmad Bin Hanbal. Imaam Tahaawi and other great scholars of Islamic creed only used the pronoun “we” in reference to the Ahlus-Sunnah wal jamaa’ah and their methodlogy.

    Therefore not only does Albani demonstrate to us that Wahhabis are on a different path than Imaam Ahmad Bin Hanbal but it also demonstrates to us that the deeper implications reflect the Khawwaarij theology at work by differing from the Imaams of the Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaa’ah. Albani’s statement therefore reflects nothing but bad opinion towards the Imaam. Especially given the fact that he describes Imaam Ahmad’s ijtihaad regarding this issue as a “blind opinion”.

    Wahhabi’s should take special attention to what Imaam Tahaawi has to say in his al-Aqeedah ut-Tahaawiyah:

    The learned men of the first community and those that followed intheir footsteps – the people of virtue, the narrators of hadeeth, the jurists and analysts – must only be spoken about in the best way. Anyone who speaks ill of them, then he is on other than the path (of guidance)”. point no. 97

    In other words, the whole Wahhabi madh-hab is flawed as it teaches that every scholar, common Muslim, dog cat and mouse is a Kaafir, and the whole world is on the path of idolatry all except for them.

    There are many videos on youtube that have already demolished this false claim of the Wahhabis, so in reality I am not saying nothing new. I have compiled some videos from youtube below and compiled my own brief article after. Listen to this with heart, watch the videos, see the evidences. Are the Muslims who do such acts really grave worshippers? Have heart yaa Ibaad Allah”

    Ya Allah wahhabi shaitanism se Musalmano ko mahfooz farma!

    By Muslim - 4/15/2016 2:03:53 AM




    By Wahhabism; The true face of Terrorism - 4/15/2016 1:56:45 AM

  • Let me say hundred times that Wahhabi application of Shirk is not acceptable to Muslims. I can challenge your wahhabism on all accounts, and also tell you that the Shirk definition and understanding of wahhabism will make you too 'Mushrik'. in other words, in the same definition of wahhabism shirk, wahhabis will be no longer Muslims, as the wahhabis maulvis' definitions of shirk are based on jihalat and are far from what is actually in the Quran. Dahshatgard shaitaano abhi bhi sudhar jao, warna Allah ki maar tumhi logon par paregi. Tareekh tumhari shaitaniyat kabhi faramosh nahi karegi, wahhabi ISIS ke followers main tum se mukhatab hun, abhi bhi sudhar jao. kya smajhte ho, tum imamon ka qatl karke apni wahhabiyat ko failane me kamyab ho jaoge. To yaad rakh lo wahhabi shaitano, tum hamari jaan lekar bhi hum se hamara Islam cheen nahi sakte, hum se hamare buzurgon ka ihtram cheen nahi sakte..... Tum hume qatl ki dhamki dete ho, to sun lo shaitano, "Baatil se darne wale aie aasman nahi hum, Sau baar kar chuka hai tu imtihan Humara. Allah Laanat kare wahhabism of Isis aur Sachche Muslamano ko Wahhabi fitna se mahfooz kare.
    By Deman for ban on radical wahhabism - 4/15/2016 1:45:20 AM

  • The question is what is shirk. The biggest jahilism of your wahhabism has inspired ISIS to kill Muslims in the name of Shirk. The biggest violaters of Quran are your Wahhabi maulvis who call every muslim mushrik. 
    Your ibn abdul wahhab and ibn taimiyaah have taught ISIS shaitans the good lessons of shirk that is why these shaitan are killing every muslim who does not follow shaitanism of isis wahhabism. 
    Read the new issue of Dabiq issued by your shaitanism wahhabism followed by ibn abdul wahhab. The Indian government must ban such radical wahhabism as soon as possible, otherwise such wahhabism as according to isis shaitan is going to make attack in India. Read the newspapers of today, what planning the ISIS shaitans of wahhabism are making. 
    Teach your lesson of shirk in the same pockets of your so-called jahil wahhabi maulvis. you can be thankful for such wahhabi maulvis, Muslims have understood their chaalbaazi and bloody and killing events.  

    By Fight against terrorism of wahhabism - 4/15/2016 1:35:21 AM

  • Ref: Ghulam Mohiyuddin.
    Shirk is Shirk. If Maulvis ask not to indulge in them, we should be thankful to them. It cannot be considered to be to have followings. You have wrong idea. Kindly rectify. Allah is Rahman as well as an efficient Accountant of what we do in this world.

    By Dr. M.A. Haque - 4/14/2016 6:13:58 AM

  • Dr. Haque, Shirk-phobia is useful to maulvis to instill fear in their followers. It is based on the concept of a very jealous and punitive God.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 4/13/2016 2:32:09 PM

  • Ref: Mr. Ghulam Mohiyuddin &
    Mr. Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi:I do not understand how we can expect Allah to forgive us when we do something wrong deliberately. Allah has told that He will forgive only those mistakes which are not deliberate and not Shirk. But He has not given any guarantee. We have to ask for forgiveness. Praying at Dargah and doing Sajda etc. are as good as equating the dead person to Allah, which is Shirk.
    As far as Social Amity is concerned, people who are obscurantists are more liable to be communal. I know of many who visit Ajmer, Nizaamuddin etc. regularly. But when it comes to communal hatred, they are as good or as bad as the others. 

    By Dr. M.A. Haque - 4/13/2016 9:18:02 AM

  • Hindustan Zindabad is a beautiful slogan but what does it actually mean? How can Hindustan be Zindabad? 
    The problem is: We are fighting for the use of words, ignoring what is in fact the cause of making Hindustan Zindabad. 
    Our Hindustan can be all time Zindabad only when our people are prosperous, peaceful, tolerant and helpful towards one another. 
    This is all time best interpretation of Hindustan Zindabad. 

    By GHULAM GHAUS غلام غوث - 4/13/2016 7:26:54 AM

  • I have served 36 years in Army and never said Bharart Mata ki Jai. In Army we fight for our battalion's name and not for India (directly). Yes Hindustan Jindabad was commonly used phrase. Who is RSS and BJP to INSIST. Are they thekedar for all the Hindus and all the Indians. 
    By surender patwal - 4/13/2016 3:01:25 AM

  • Dr. Haque, Although I am not big on shrine visits myself, I see no harm in someone praying at a dargah as long as one does not equate the pir with God. Whether the dead person has the power of intercession or not is immaterial. If a young mother goes to Ajmer to pray for the recovery of her sick son, is God going to punish her? Instead of being literalists, we need to start believing in God's greatness, His mercy and His forgiving nature.

    By Ghulam Mohiyuddin - 4/12/2016 1:44:34 PM

  • @Dr. M.A. Haque

    I do not know what is the motive of Mr. Arshad Alam. You said that "he is aiming towards propagating the idea that Islam allows many things which are actually prohibited, irrespective of the fact that many "Muslims' indulge in them. For example I am taking only one example. His saying: "The act of Sajda near the grave of the Sufi is an occasion to remember the divine, to come closer to the Almighty. The act of bowing transposes the faithful into a sacred time, linking him or her to the Almighty through the grace of the Sufi." 

    Maybe this article will help allay the misconceptions regarding the visitation of Sufi shrines:


    By Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi - 4/12/2016 6:49:34 AM

  • The intriguing smile on the face of Mr. Arshad Alam (photo above) very well reflects his motive. He is aiming towards propagating the idea that Islam allows many things which are actually prohibited, irrespective of the fact that many "Muslims' indulge in them. For example I am taking only one example. His saying: "The act of Sajda near the grave of the Sufi is an occasion to remember the divine, to come closer to the Almighty. The act of bowing transposes the faithful into a sacred time, linking him or her to the Almighty through the grace of the Sufi."
    Qur'an says in clear words that a dead person cannot hear anything. Then how it is possible that the one in the grave can intercede? In other words he is negating the Qur'an itself. Then what remains to be done?

    By Dr. M.A. Haque - 4/12/2016 12:22:49 AM

  • Bawa Mohiyuddin, a great South-India Sufi said a very beautiful thing in this regard. I am producing an instant translation of his quote:

    There is nothing personal about tawheed nor spatiality nor is it bound by time. It is the non local unified field consciousness in which birth, death, sleep, wake, I and you are as stars dissolved in the sun. In fact, to identify it as a state is somewhat subtle as it implies. It is a personal perspective when in fact it is the clear realization of the real. Such a person feels all as himself. He becomes the mirror in which all faces are reflected. 

    By Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi - 4/11/2016 12:10:02 PM

  • Having read this article, I am reminded of a well-renowned thinker  who said very aptly that "a debate is a must. We have to breach the stagnation in Muslim thinking".

    Dear Mr. Arshad Alam, Thank you very much indeed, for stimulating this issue in a coherent and cogently intellectual manner. 

    It's a lofty idea to disseminate the common threads of peace, spiritual symbiosis and harmonious religious commonalities.

    But I dont think any cognizant Sufi-minded Muslim indulges in Sajdah or prostration in front of a Wali or Sufi.

    "The Ahle Sunnat wa Jamaat in India (popularly called the Barelwis) link the individual soul to the One through a very complex web of chains called the Silsila. So according to this rationality, bowing to the grave of a Sufi divine is not a negation of the principle of Tawheed, but its very affirmation. The act of Sajda near the grave of the Sufi is an occasion to remember the divine, to come closer to the Almighty. The act of bowing transposes the faithful into a sacred time, linking him or her to the Almighty through the grace of the Sufi".

    By Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi - 4/11/2016 12:06:13 PM

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