By T.H Shah
The recent suicidal attacks at Pearl Continental Hotel Peshawar on 10th June 2007 which led to series of bomb blasts on mosques in Pakistan raise many questions concerning love and affinity of Taliban to Islam. Taliban have been reported to have accepted the responsibility of these brutal attacks and sought justification on the premise that these places been centre of anti-Islamic forces, and that they will continue such attacks in future as well.
On delving deeper the main principles of Islam, not only Taliban leaders but every extremist Muslim need to put some of the basic questions before them and judge their actions on the touchstone of Quran, Hadiths, actions of the Pious Caliphs, as well as the golden sayings of renowned theologians (fuqahas). In suicidal attacks, apart from their main target, the large number of innocent people dies includes women and children. Quran explicitly says,
Wa laqad karramna Bani Adam
And indeed! We have honoured the son of Adam (Al-Quran)
Alfitna ashudo menul qatal
Commotion and riot are worst of all (Al-Quran)
Giving supreme value to human life, Quran says;
Take not life, which Allah has made sacred, except by way of justice and law: thus does He command you, that you may learn wisdom. ) (Al-An`am 6:151)
But whoever deliberately slays another believer, his requital shall be hell, therein to abide; and God will condemn him, and will reject him, and will prepare for him awesome suffering. [Surah An-Nisa 4:93]
In many of his Hadiths (golden sayings), Prophet Hazrat Muhammed (P.B.U.H) has disapproved killings of women and children even during wars;
During some of the Ghazawat of Allah’s Apostle a woman was found killed, so Allah’s Apostle forbade the killing of women and children.
Volume 004, Book 052, Hadith Number 258.
Narrated By Ibn ‘Umar : During some of the Ghazawat of Allah’s Apostle a woman was found killed, so Allah’s Apostle forbade the killing of women and children.
Volume 004, Book 052, Hadith Number 258.
“A man was inflicted with wounds and he committed suicide, and so Allah said: My slave has caused death on himself hurriedly, so I forbid Paradise for him.”
In Sahih Muslim, there is a chapter titled Abandoning of funeral prayers for him who committed suicide in which it has been reported that Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (P.B.U.H) personally refused to say the funeral prayer for a deceased who has killed himself.
So what kind of Islamic education Taliban been inculcated? If they themselves evaluate their acts in the light of Quran and Hadiths of Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (P.B.U.H) then where they will find themselves in a category of Muslims or heretics? Answer is crystal clear with the touchstone of these two strong and undeniable sources of Islamic Law.
This phenomenon brings to fore another ponderable facet concerning constantly increasing religious intolerance in Pakistan. Islam in itself evidently doesn’t proclaims extremist or intolerant tendencies, then how this mushrooming cancer is spreading in Pakistani society. From political perspective, India and Pakistan are historical rivals over Kashmir dispute and history has witnessed the Indian role in East Pakistan crisis. Same is the case of Pakistan if viewed within the perspectives of off the late Mumbai attacks and alleged involvement of Pakistani national Ajmal Kasab. The Kargil adventure is before us where each rival tried to subdue each other. It has been reported that using the land of Afghanistan, both Israel and India are involved in intrigues against Pakistan. Therefore, the current wave of terrorist attacks in Pakistan may have nexus to these factors as well.
But terrorist attacks should not be grasped in a narrow sense, as to perceive them is essential to take into account the prevailing social and economic circumstances in Pakistan. The country where the political institutions are unresponsive to public demands, unemployment constantly on rise, large fraction of population is compelled to lead deplorable life, then it becomes very easy for hawkish elements in any society to make people pawn at their hands so as to gain their vested interests. Everyday newspapers publish the stories of suicide by women where the mainspring always involves behind this inhumane act is unemployment of the husband, deprivation of their children even of basic necessities of life. When biological aspect of human life is not met, then man or woman can cross all moral boundaries of whatsoever kind. That is why Prophet Hazrat Muhammad (P.B.U.H) remarked:
Lo! Poverty and penury may lead you to apostasy.
It can rightly be said that Taliban know well the killings of human beings is an anti-Islamic act, and if they don’t, then it is their strategy to make people pawn to further their nest.
Another most important thing is misinterpretation of religious concepts, because very few scholars in Islam in general and Pakistan in particular have dared to go through the door of Ijtehad (System of fine-tuning Islamic teachings and principles in lines with changing circumstances. Unfortunately, those who tried to interpret the Islamic teaching in modern or scientific tendencies been labelled as heretics or strayed. In similar, it is common practice to in our society to understand religious concepts with emotional attachments rather than factual and philosophical consideration. On example before us is of the Shahre-e-Mushriq Dr. Iqbal whose poetry, by many is considered to be an exposition of Quran, but many Ulemas (Religious Scholars) mudsling his personality and call his writings anti-Islamic. Summarily, the writings of Maulana Ghulam Ahmed Pervez (Late), and Maulana Abdullah Yousif (Late) etc been severely criticised as they revolted against the stereotypical and conventional ways of understanding Islam. Such scholars whose revolutionary writings dress down obscurantist thoughts and admonish upon adoption of modern and philosophical outlook towards religious teachings have severely labelled as enemy to Islam.
The current muddrassas system (Religious Schools) is functioning on the principle of stereotypical methods of teaching and preaching Islam. The curriculum being taught in muddrassas has not even the remotest links to the modern sociological and political thoughts. Therefore the evil set in as the things which required fine-tuning from the perspective of Ijtehad remained unchanged and assumed the form of sacredness. So any voice again such concepts and thoughts is considered anti-Islamic. For substantiation, we have heard Mulla Sufi Muhammad flouting parliament, democracy, and supreme court of Pakistan and labelling them an anti-Islamic institution, while the word Shura (Political Consultative Body comprised of the elected representatives of the people) when translated in English become parliament. But it is unable for the person to understand to whom learning English, wearing paint and shirt is sin. Therefore, suicidal attacks by those who commit are thought to be a door to heaven. It’s not only same with Taliban but with other religious sects as well like Sunnis and Shias etc. I consider this to be the root cause of terrorism in Pakistan, and how to wriggle out of this quagmire is a challenge before social scientists, religious scholars and human rights activists.
(The Writer is associated with Press For Peace (PFP) as Director Research. He could be reached at: firstname.lastname@example.org )