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Pitfalls of a Religious National Identity

Hadith Oliyankara Juma Masjid
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There is myth in the public politics of the nation that underwrites the political narrative of religious political parties. It is a myth of a sacred and unsullied past. The common belief is that if the nation could, somehow, retrieve and emulate this idealized past then all our problems will be solved. Surprisingly, no one actually explains or streamlines as to how a future Islamic Pakistan will function: the future is posited as a natural outcome of a turn to religion.

Now, we know that even at the height of its symbolic and political power, Islam was by and large a very pragmatic political system. As the Muslims conquered the persian and Eastern Roman empire, their approach to governance was based in tolerance and acceptance: they accepted and appropriated the differences that they could appropriate, but also allowed their non-Muslim citizens a fair degree to fluidity and freedom in practicing their particular religions.

This, sadly, is not the case with the religious-minded political parties in Pakistan. Yes, they pay lip service to the rights of minorities, but the system that they envision creates a national space divided between those considered full citizens–Muslim men–and those not so equal. A national imagination underwritten by this view of the real has its inequalities pre-inscribed in this narrative. There are, of course, material causes for the rise of Islamist politics in pakistan: The Islamists, at least, promise a restructuring of the Pakistani public sphere,which the neoliberal system absolutely cannot. This future restructuring–in which the least shall, they are told, will be the first–can be very seductive as it is revolutionary and not reformative in nature.

In true sense though, even if this future were to be realized, would it not create a nation at the mercy of only one dominant group? Can we have a viable nation if it is divided between has and has beens not on the basis of material resources but in terms of their pure, immanent ontological being? Can there be a just system if people in a nation are considered ontologically unequal?

Religion, in my humble opinion, will fail to solve our problems and would rather fracture the nation even more. We know what happened when a certain group with a certain specific view of Islam came to power: Afghanistan became a death world. If we continue on this path of unreflective Islamization of the public sphere we will also become such a death world.

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Categories
Commentaries Religion

Pakistani Ulama and Their Rhetoric (4): Maulana Mumtaz Kalyar

(From Mashal books)

Speaker: Maulana Mumtaz Kalyar
Location: Jamia Masjid Hanafiya, Jaranwala, Faisalabad.
Sect: Deobandi
Language: Urdu
Time: June 2010

Audio:

[audio:http://www.thepakistanforum.net-content/uploads/2011/01/Maulana-Mumtaz-Kalyaar1.mp3|titles=Maulana Mumtaz Kalyaar]

Trascript:

You who say things against Deobandi sect cannot show me scholars on your side equal to one-fourth of the Deobandi ulema. You call the soldiers of religion kafir and write pamphlets against them and accuse of them of being insulters of the Prophet PBUH. O Muslims of Jaranwala, come to your senses! I will not quote from books but these Barelvis have scholars who have written books that show them as kafirs.

Founder of Barelvism Ahmad Raza Khan stated that Islam will not be found in the Quran and Hadith but in the books that he had written. You tell me if anyone says that his religion is not found in the Quran and Hadith can he be called Muslim? The Quran has called such Muslims as munafiq (pretender) and kafir. You call me Kafir and I don’t care what you say but you have also called the Companions as kafir which is unforgivable.

Hazrat Abu Bakr believed that Allah was present but not the Prophet PBUH. Umar, Usman, Ali, Talha and Zubair believed that Allah was present in life but not Muhammad PBUH. This is the belief of Husain Ahmad Madni. The saint Abdul Qadir Jilani whom the Barelvis take as their saint and celebrate the date of his anniversary also believed the same. But the Prophet PBUH did not believe in returning abuse for abuse. If Abu Jahl abused him, he returned not abuse but hope that the enemy would convert. If Abu Lahb was interested in throwing stones at the Prophet PBUH he was returned the gesture.

We believe that from Adam to Christ and from Christ to the end of the world no one is bigger in greatness than our Prophet PBUH. If Shah Waliullah was not a Deobandi then what was he?

Shah Abdul Qadir and Shah Rafiuddin who wrote the hadith and exegesis of the Quran were all in fact Deobandi. The prisoner of Malta Shaikhul Hind Mahmudul Hasan was a Deobandi too. Similarly, Imam Bukhari the collector of hadith and Maulana Ghulamullah Khan and Maulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi were all Deobandis.

Commentary:

To Follow.

Compare:

Maulana Asmatullah

Maulana Raza Saqib

Maulana Syed Shafaullah

Categories
Commentaries Religion

Pakistani Ulama and Their Rhetoric (3): Maulana Syed Shafaullah

(From Mashal Books)

Speaker: Maulana Syed Shafaullah
Location: Jamia Masjid Muhammadiya, Phalia, Mandi Bahauddin
Sect: Deobandi
Language: Urdu
Time: June 2010

Audio:

Partial Clip: [audio:http://www.thepakistanforum.net-content/uploads/2011/01/Maulana-Shafaullah1.mp3|titles=Maulana Shafaullah]

(Go Here for Full Audio Clip)

Transcript:

Allah told His Prophet PBUH in the 14th section of the Quran: O Prophet PBUH to you the message of Allah is that you will follow the religion of Abraham. Therefore we Muslims are bound to walk the path of Abraham. When Allah explained the high status of Abraham He explained the tests Abraham was put through. When Abraham succeeded in all of them Allah told him that he was the leader of the coming nations of Muslims. And those who come after you will have to follow the way you will show. So Prophet Muhammad PBUH too was told by Allah to tread the path of Abraham.

We call ourselves Hanafi. Some people allege falsely that the Hanafis instead of Quran and Hadith follow only Imam Abu Hanifa. There is no Hanafi in the world who will ever say that he does not follow Quran and Hadith. The truth is that we accept Imam Abu Hanifa as our Imam and follow his teachings in imitation (taqleed) because compared to other imams he has understood better the tradition of Abraham.

I will refer to just one case. Imam Hanifa used to say if you go to the mausoleum of the Prophet PBUH then you must say darood (blessing on Prophet) and namaz and ask for blessings but while doing so never face the mazar which you should keep either to your left or right. This you must do to indicate that you are not asking directly from the Prophet PBUH instead of Allah. Pray facing the Kaaba instead. This is the message of Imam Hanifa. The exegesis titled Ruh Al Maani says that other imams say darood and face the mazar of the Prophet PBUH but not Imam Hanifa. The Hanafis believe so intensely in the Oneness of Allah that no one will ever think that he is asking for something from the Prophet PBUH.

The Hanafis form the nation of Hanafis which could be called also Haneefis. And this nation or millat is the millat of Ibrahimis. And the belief of the Hanafi is that once someone is dead and buried he can’t hear and can’t give you anything you ask. When someone goes to the tomb of a saint he asks in very low voice; and that is traced back to a hadith which tells us that Prophet PBUH called on Hazrat Saad and said Salam Aleikam to which Saad replied with Wa Aleikam Salam meaning that he will open the door to let the Prophet PBUH in. But the Prophet PBUH would not enter because did not open the door – till this was done three times.

After three times the Prophet PBUH turned around and began to walk away. On this Saad opened the door and said O Prophet PBUH why are you walking away. He replied because you did not reply and did not open the door.

Hazrat Saad the great Companion did this to prove that even a living Prophet cannot hear a low voice across a wall, how can he listen to the supplication of a visitor to his tomb?

Commentary:

To Follow

Compare:
Maulana Asmatullah
Maulana Raza Saqib

Categories
Commentaries Religion

Pakistani Ulama and Their Rhetoric (2): Maulana Raza Saqib

(From Mashal Books)

Maulana Raza Saqib

Speaker: Maulana Raza Saqib
Location: Jamia Masjid, Ahle Sunnat wal Jamaat, Rawalpindi
Sect: Barelvi
Language: Urdu
Time: June 2010

Audio:

[audio:http://www.thepakistanforum.net-content/uploads/2011/01/Maulana-Raza-Saqib1.mp3|titles=Maulana Raza Saqib]

Transcript:

When Muslim refugees arrived in the court of Negus in Abyssinia, King Negus asked them: what was the Prophet PBUH like before he announced his prophethood? They said we used to call him sadiq (truthful) and amin (trustworthy). Negus replied that if he was true yesterday, he is true today.

People were puzzled as to why the Prophet PBUH was ignorant about his prophethood for 40 years. Then angel Gabriel clarified the matter that the Prophet PBUH knew that he was the Prophet PBUH, but he did not tell anyone. What if he had announced in the lap of his mother that he was the Last Prophet PBUH? The non-believers would have denied his prophethood. What was needed was a witness. We should admire the Prophet PBUH for waiting for 40 years before announcing that he was the Prophet PBUH.

Allah wanted his Oneness proved. For that a proof was needed. The West wants this proof to be weakened after which people will forget the fact by reason of the proof becoming weak. That is why we the Barelvis go around the world raising the flag of the proof of the prophethood of Muhammad PBUH.

Hazrat Hassaan bin Thabit says that the Prophet PBUH had no human flaw. But the cartoons that are printed against him PBUH cannot even come close to imagining what he was in reality. Allama Iqbal says that the Prophet PBUH is like a mirror whose copy will not be found in any shop of the world. Someone asked Abu Hurrayra: was his face like the full moon? Hassaan bin Thabit added that he was a man without parallel because Allah had broken the mould in which he had made him.

This is the miracle of Allah. If you want Allah’s Oneness proved then come go to the threshold of Muhammad PBUH, but some mistakenly think they can prove the Oneness of Allah without recourse to the Prophet PBUH. But no one can believe Oneness unless he goes through the Prophet PBUH. Allama Iqbal was grieved by the passing away of Nietzsche and Goethe because they had tried to reach Allah on their own. He wished that they had taken the guidance of Mujaddid Al Thani. They would have achieved their objective had they gone through the door of the Prophet PBUH. The Prophet PBUH would have held their hand and taken them to Allah.

Imam Hasan al Shuabi (a pupil of Imam Abu Hanifa) came to Basra and he was a handsome man while the Christians and Jews waited to engage him in polemics and defeat him. But when they took a look at his face they were so overcome by the shining of his face that they started reciting the kalima of acceptance of Islam. The Muslims asked them as to what happened. They replied: when we saw the face of this small Muhammad we thought what would the face of the big Muhammad PBUH be like; and therefore embraced Islam.

We Barelvis are usually accused of dwelling too much on the Prophet PBUH but we are looking for beauty and if beauty becomes overpowering all purposes are achieved. And proof of the Oneness of Allah is automatically produced.

Commentary:

To follow.

Compare: Maulana Asmatullah.