By Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi, New Age Islam
21 September 2016
“Muslims must not attend the festivals of
non-Muslims”, said Shamsudheen Fareed, a Salafist Islamist preacher in
Malappuram, who has now been charged with hate speech. Last week, the Kasaragod
police registered a case against Shamsudheen Fareed, also called Palath, a
Salafist preacher associated with a mosque at Pallipram, The Hindu reported.
The 48-year-old influential Salafist cleric
allegedly urged Muslims to stay away from non-Muslims and migrate to the
Islamic countries. He also declared that Onam and Christmas are Haram (strongly
forbidden in Islam). He used to deliver sermons (Khutbas) in a Salafi-oriented
mosque at Pallipram, Kannur. A few months ago, Fareed said, “there is nothing
wrong for a true Muslim to feel comfortable in a Muslim ambience than in the
company of non-believers." According to this report, Shamsudheen also
serves as the unofficial spokesperson of the fanatic outfit which calls itself
“The extreme Salafis”. The outfit is suspected to have played a major role in
radicalising Muslims in Kerala. Though Shamsudheen denies his outfit has
anything to do with the Islamist radicalisation in Kerala, he admits that the
missing youth of Malabar may have been ‘ideologically influenced’ by teachings
similar to his.
Fareed has delivered various speeches – all
of them filled with the extremist, xenophobic religio-fascism that is the
hallmark of Salafism – that have been circulated on social media. He has been
charged under Section 153 (A) of the Indian Penal Code for religious
hate-mongering because his speeches have been seen as a deliberate attempt to
undermine the prevailing peace in society.
A government pleader and public prosecutor,
Shukkur lodged the complaint to Kasargod Police Chief Thomson Jose, District
President of the Indian Union Muslim League-affiliated Kerala Lawyers’ Forum C.
He submitted to the police CDs of Fareed’s two speeches, in which the hate
preacher called upon Muslims not to keep relations with non-Muslims and avoid
coming into any type of contact with them.
Notice any resemblance between Fareed and
star Salafist preacher in India, Dr Zakir Naik? Through his Peace TV and in
other so-called Islamic Da’wah programs, he’s done exactly what Fareed has.
Just as Fareed misled ordinary Muslims of Kerala, the controversial
televangelist Naik has misguided common Indian Muslims who are either gullible
or oblivious to the threat he poses to the tolerant Indian Islam.
Naik recently wrote a four-page open letter
to Indian Muslims, entitled “Five Questions and an Appeal”, in which he said
that “action against him would mean action against 20 Crore Muslims”. In this letter, released through his public
relations officer, he lamented about being targeted and labelled a “terror
preacher” in India. Naik asked as to what he did to earn the tags of “Dr
Terror” or “Hate Monger”. “Of 150 countries where I’m respected and my talks
are welcomed, I’m being called a terrorist influencer in my own country. What
an irony. Why now, when I’ve been doing the same thing for over 25 years?” he
That last part is actually a valid
question. Why now indeed? Of course, he should have been taken to task for
preaching the medieval Salafist theology of suicide bombing, sex slavery, child
marriage, xenophobia, intolerance and exclusivism since January 21, 2006 when
Peace TV was launched. Since then, Naik has been on record preaching this
virulent medieval ideology which is not compatible with our progressive and
pluralistic ethos in the 21st century, particularly on the Indian soil.
Naik could have been booked when the Indian
Mujahideen safe houses were raided in October, 2008 and the Indian police found
pro-Taliban videos and speeches by Naik defending Al Qaida and its chief
leader, Osama bin-Laden. Naik has said on record that, “since Islam is the only
true religion, the people of other religions have no right to preach, and they
can only practice from their homes as they will not be allowed to build their
temples and churches”. With statements like these, Naik has violated Article 25
of our Constitution, which directly challenges all ideological infringement on
a universal right — that to profess and
practice one’s religion and build places of worship. While the Indian
Constitution equally confers it upon all the citizens, Naik and his ilk are
antithetical to this constitutional right.
Consequently, Naik’s amazement at this
delayed action of the Indian government against his anti-pluralism and
communalisation is indeed logical and understandable. Emboldened, he has
remarked in his latest letter that the action is not just against him but on
"Indian Muslims" in general who, Naik believes are adherents of his
strain of Islam. He also calls the action on his movement ‘an attack against
peace, democracy and justice’.
The question arises: do the hardcore
Islamist preachers like Naik and Palath speak for the crores of Indian Muslims?
Is their exclusivist and supremacist theology not antithetical to the syncretic
Muslim culture which flourished in India with an inclusive Islam for ages?
Indeed, it is deplorable to see many
self-styled Sufi-Sunni scholars and even those who claim to be liberals come
all out to advocate for Naik. They endorsed the legality of what Islamic
Research Foundation conceived by Zakir Naik has done. Even a noted Sunni
cleric, Maulana Yaseen Akhtar Misbahi debunked the serious charges against
Naik, tagging them as ‘political ploy to book all the Islamic preachers’. His
premise is that if, today Zakir Naik is taken to the task, tomorrow any Islamic
cleric or preacher including those who subscribe to the Sunni-Sufi denomination
might land in trouble. To buttress his point, he took pains to write a lengthy
opinion piece in the latest issue of a popular Sunni Islamic magazine in India,
the Urdu monthly Kanzul Iman. Notably, Maulana Misbahi was in the news for
having been picked up by the Delhi police for questioning in the
pre-Obama-visit security sweep of Delhi. See More at:
Is a Religion of Peace and Security, Says Sufi Scholar Maulana Misbahi Who Was
Recently In the News for Being Questioned By the Delhi Police
When such leading Sunni scholars in India
speak for Zakir Naik, while at the same time disassociating themselves with his
radical Salafist views, it is pointless to protest. A few Sufi Dargahs like the
Hazrat Nizamuddin Aulia did take out a procession against Naik’s hate speech
and the freedom accorded to his ilk. But it will have no effect in the
community, given the fact that top Sunni clergy deny the impact of radical
venom spewed by the extremist preachers.
No wonder then, the largest Sunni
conference in Chechnya has not received the media attention it deserved. The
world’s 100 top Sunni Ulema and scholars unanimously excluded the Takfirists
and Salafists, who claim to belong to 'Sunni' Islam, from among the Ahlus
Sunnah (the Islamic terminology for the Sunni Muslims in the world). It was
indeed one of the most underlying news emanating from the Muslim world. But
many experts on the contemporary Islamic world, including the global media,
took it just as another anti-terror Islamic conference that doesn't confront
radical “ISLAMISM" per se.
This is a tough time for introspection on
part of the Indian Ulema and Islamic scholars. Merely organising large
anti-terrorism conferences will do no service to the community. Time they combat
the exclusivist, xenophobic, misogynistic and anti-plural religious
underpinnings, be they embedded in Salafism, the Saudi state religion, or any
other strain of Islam. Radical Islamism, in any form or fashion, is not
compatible with the secular, pluralistic and democratic Indian ethos.
Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi is a scholar of Comparative Religion, Classical
Arabic and Islamic sciences, cultural analyst and researcher in Media and
Age Islam, Islam Online, Islamic
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World News, South
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Muslim News, World
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in America, Muslim
Women in West, Islam
Women and Feminism
‘Futuhat Al-Islamiyya’ in Arabic written by Shaykhu-l-Islam Ahmad Zayni Dahlan
al-Makki ash-Shaf'i, Chief Mufti of Mecca al-Mukarramah (may Allah be pleased
with him) talks about kharijite face of Wahhabism. In this book, the author
sign of the Khawarij (the first deviant sect that appeared during the time of
the Companions of Prophet Mohammad –peace and blessings of Allah be upon him)
concerning the shaving of the head (he was referring to a famous Hadith of
Prophet Mohammad –peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) was not found in
the Khawarij of the past, but only in the Najdis [the Najdi refers to the
follower of wahhabism] of our time"
“Ash-Shihab As-Saqib” in Arabic authored by Shaikh
Hussain Ahmad Al-Madani s goes on to say, (see Page 42),
Abdul Wahhab arose in the beginning of the thirteenth Islamic century in Najd.
His thinking was false, and his beliefs were corrupt; on these grounds he
opened the way for killing of Ahle Sunnah”.
contemporary view on the Wahhabism has been expressed by Abdul Hakim Murad in
the Journal Islamica (Page - 9).
Abdul Wahhab, however, went far beyond this (Ibn Taymiyya). Raised in the
wastelands of Najd in Central Arabia, he had little access to mainstream Muslim
scholarship. In fact, when his Da'wah appeared and became notorious, the
Scholars and Muftis of the day applied to it the famous Hadith of Najd: Ibn
Umar (RU) reported the Prophet (SAWS) as saying: ‘Oh God, bless us in our
Syria; O God, bless us in our Yemen’. Those present said: ‘And in our Najd, O
Messenger of God!’ But he said, ‘O God, bless us in our Syria; O God, bless us
in our Yemen’. Those present said, ‘And in our Najd, O Messenger of God!’ Ibn
Umar said that he thought that he said on the third occasion: ‘Earthquakes and
dissensions (Fitnah) are there, and there shall arise the horn of Satan
(Qiranish Shaitan)’ (Sahih Al-Bukhari). And it is significant that almost
uniquely among the lands of Islam, Najd has never produced scholars of any
scholars have noticed the extreme tendencies in Salafis for lack of respect for
the Imams of Islamic Jurisprudence – Hanafi, Shafe’i, Maliki and Hanbali. They
also noticed the extreme tendencies in their Islamic beliefs and untenable
juristic positions they have produced. These scholars came to the conclusion
that Salafis look like Neo Kharijites in their behavior and attitude towards
other Muslims. This is because they seem to have certain traits which were only
found amongst the Kharijites of the past. One of the most striking things
noticed in these Neo Kharijites, is their direction of Quranic verses that were
revealed specifically for the unbelievers. They use these verses on Muslims.
This was a well known practice of the past Kharijites.
Neo Kharijite nature of Salafis makes them intolerant of all other forms of
Islamic expression. Since, they do not have any coherent Fiqh, they reject the
four prominent Imams of Islamic Jurisprudence. They try to derive the Shari'ah
and the Aqidah (belief) from Quran and the Hadith by themselves. And they do
not consider it necessary to study Quran and Hadith under the watchful eyes of
Ulama and Shuyooks of Ihsan. The results are there for everyone to see. Look at
the state of affairs of Muslims throughout the world. Look how the Muslim
society is divided today. Look at the horrendous state of divisions and
conflicts which has mutilated salafi Islamist movement in the world today. New
groups of Salafis are coming up in every part of the world. New sub divisions
are emerging on weekly basis. A few of their prominent sub divisions are, Ahle
Hadith, Dev Bandis, Jama’at-e-Islami, Muslim Brotherhood, Tablighi Jama’at,
Talibaan, Lashkar-e-Taiba, etc. These divisions are splitting the Muslim
society into bits and pieces. This has resulted in abuse of Muslims in the
hands of selfish people in power in many countries. Look at how they are being
treated around the Globe. Look how Muslim countries are falling prey to anarchy
one after another.
a clear indication that Allah Almighty and His beloved prophet Mohammad (peace
and blessings of Allah be upon him) are angry. We need to think about these
facts and correct ourselves and seek Allah’s forgiveness for the wrong faiths
and deeds that are unchecked and uncontrolled in our society.
(1). Can Zakir Naik defend ideas of his ideological mentor, Ibn Abdul Wahhab?
I am presenting
some Arabic books of the prominent Scholars and Ulemas of Arab that categorically
refute ideas of Ibn Abdul Wahhab, quoting a considerable number of Quranic
verses. The readers interested in knowing the face of wahhabism can use these
books, the name of which given below;
book “Kitab Radd’ Ad-Dalala wa Qam Al-Jahala” authored by the Egyptian scholar
Ibn Ahmad Barakat Al-Shafe’i circles
round refuting Ibn Abdul Wahhab’s ideologies, quoting a considerable number of
Arabic book “Fasl Al-Khitab fi Radd Dalalat Ibn Abd al-Wahhab” written by Ali
Al-Shafe'i al-Basri Al-Qabbani discusses unmistakable judgment in the refutation
of the delusions of Ibn Abdul Wahhab.
Arabic book “Kashf Al-Hijab an Wajh Dalalat Ibn Abdul Wahhab” written by Ali
Al-Shafe'i al-Basri Al-Qabbani Lifts the veil from the face of the delusions of
Ibn Abdul Wahhab.
famous book ‘Hashiyya Radd Al-Mukhtar’ (Vol. 3, Page 309), Muhammad Amin Ibn
Abidin who is a prominent scholar of Ibn Abdul Wahhab’s time, writes;
“In our time Ibn Abdul Wahhab Najdi appeared
and attacked the two noble sanctuaries (Makkah and Madinah). He claimed to be a
Hanbali, but his thinking was such that only he alone was a Muslim, and
everyone else was a polytheist! Under this guise, he said that killing the Ahle
Sunnah was permissible”.