It Hurts Deep
Bringing ridicule to Islam and Muslim civilization pains
MEHMOOD UR RASHID
The person of ‘Grand Mufti’ and his latest fatwa represent the trivialities of present day Kashmir. They can at best produce the revulsive cacophony in the studios of Indian TV channels. And Indian TV channels are the handmaiden of Indian state when it comes to Kashmir. That is the reason why the fatwa of a person who hardly matters to Kashmir’s religious landscape becomes such a grand debate, in fact a ‘national issue’, as one of the wonderful news-actors so fumingly puts it. It is an outright insult for a well-meaning person to engage with such a non- sense; even condemning it would mean contributing to silly.
Then why write this column?
My reason for writing this column is deeply personal. I, as a member of the Muslim community, as a part of Muslim civilization, as an ordinary student of Quran, and like millions sharing an emotional bond with the Prophet of Mercy and Knowledge (S.A.W), am deeply hurt when my prophet’s name is invoked in an undesirable context. When Islam gets associated with ignorance and coercion I feel an agonizing twitch in my heart. I could not sleep the whole night when Asia Andrabi made it look like as if my Prophet – the prophet of Knowledge, Freedom and Mercy (S.A.W) – wanted the group of three little girls to be chased away so mercilessly. I thought my heart was about to explode when my Prophet was portrayed as someone who actually wanted these three little girls to be denounced, the way they were denounced by those who denounced them. Whatever little I know of my religion and my prophet, my heart says that in the kind of an atmosphere created by unknown facebookers, male-moralists, decree-makers, and all the “compulsive representatives of Islam”, the only refuge would be the mercy of my prophet(S.A.W). And this mercy doesn’t exclude those three little girls either.
Music and Islam may be an academic engagement but Prophet and Mercy is not. The two are inseparable, inalienable and indisputable. Misfortune has struck us in the form of unscrupulous brokers of religion, and the “compulsive representatives of Islam”, who so menacingly have barged into the territory of Islam leaving Knowledge, Mercy, Ethics, and Freedom in a state of mourning. My prophet (S.A.W) had nurtured these values with his blood and tears. Seeing the compound of my beloved prophet vandalized this way, I cry in pain. Not for any political or academic reasons, but for this personal pain, I yell out condemnation for those who – knowingly or otherwise – become the reason for people to believe that Islam sands in the way of human freedom or the expressions of art.
Leave aside ‘Grand Mufti’, he hardly matters. But the “compulsive representatives of Islam” is a concern. And what do we mean by that. Just some days back I spent a whole night with some of my friends discussing things that so effortlessly invoke interest in Kashmir. I logged onto to Youtube and opened a video. I had heard the speech earlier as well, and thought fit for the occasion to replay it. This was Ahmed Javed speaking on the topic Nifaz-e-Shariat: Kya, Kiwn aur Kysai (Establishing Sharaiah: What, Why and How), in a function organized by Late Dr Israr Ahmed’s Tanzeem-e-Islami. A brilliant mind equipped with an indescribable command over language, and a harming articulation, Ahmed Javed explains how law, even if it is Islamic, is essentially coercion, if it doesn’t turn into an individual and collective value. To Ahmed Javed, the person of Prophet (S.A.W) is the locale where law becomes ethics and that is why Islam is nothing but the conduct of prophet – Mizaje Rasool (S.A.W). And then he goes on to say that the display of coercion and terror in the name of Islam has nothing to do with Mizaje Rasool. I have never seen Ahmed Javed turn so emotional as when he says that “In the name of establishing Shariah, the way aggressive conduct is nurtured, hardheartedness is displayed, and a lower form of mind is imposed, I shall be committing treason against the Apostle of Allah if I don’t reject it with all the force at my disposal.” He then goes on to identify the forces that he calls as “the compulsive representatives of Islam”, and hammers home the point how they are singularly damaging the image of Islam, and how they are committing disrespect towards the Prophet of Allah – Muhammad - May Peace Be Upon Him. An unending shower of peace from Almighty on our Prophet, the prophet of Mercy, Knowledge and Freedom (S.A.W). He is the Prophet of us all, and our little girls are a part us and no one has the right to negotiate compulsively their relationship with the Prophet (S.A.W). Our little girls have the ability to discover their relationship with the Prophet of Mercy (S.A.W), and no Mufti’s domain it is to broker that relationship.
Last, I feel sorry for Jam’at-e-Islami. Jam’at-e-Islami of Syed Maududi, and in Kashmir, of S’ad-ud-Din. Syed Maududi and S’ad-ud-Din are not just an academic enquiry or a political anxiety for me, they are a part of my emotional being. On seeing this organization come to this pass, I feel hurt. Putting its weight in favour of wily brokers of religion, and contributing to a merciless presentation of Islam I whisper to myself, in a state of disbelief - this can’t be Jama’t e Islami.
Lastupdate on : Wed, 6 Feb 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 6 Feb 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 7 Feb 2013 00:00:00 IST
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