Stealing a Life …

Paris attacks are harrowing. Brings a shiver down my spine. I am not exaggerating my state of mind. Whenever innocents die I am forced to recall the words from my favourite book “The Kite Runner”:

“…there is only one sin, only one. And that is theft. Every other sin is a variation of theft…when you kill a man, you steal a life…you steal his wife’s right to a husband, rob his children of a father. When you tell a lie, you steal someone’s right to the truth. When you cheat, you steal the right to fairness…there is no act more wretched than stealing…a man who takes what’s not his to take, be it a life or a loaf of naan…I spit on such a man. And if I ever cross paths with him, God help him…”

A horde of Muslims have been concerned about how the horrendous attacks in Paris will bring a bad name to Muslims, again. I am not sure how to answer this. More or less the same number of people are concerned about how western media is actively reporting the Paris carnage and how Facebook is sympathising with the French community by rolling out an application that can merge your profile picture with the French flag to become a unique profile picture on your profile. They are arguing that such a sympathising gesture is only bestowed on the western people and the terrorism affectees from Afghanistan, Pakistan, Palestine, Syria, Iraq and others are always snubbed and which is a discrimination and selective-sympathy. It is true. But I guess it is more true that Muslim states are so feeble and incompetent today that their internal differences owing to sectarianism and weakness owing to corruption have led them to this situation and because of that Muslim community is given little or no significance in a world dominated by western democracy, culture and economy. Nature has it that only the strong survives. Justice is subjective and the mighty rules.

I find it sound to put a French flag (even though I haven’t put one on my profile yet but I support those who have) on the Facebook profile and sympathise with the French community ignoring any ifs and buts here. I mourn on the loss of innocent lives in Paris and my heart bleeds for every single soul lost in Paris attacks and all such terrorist attacks anywhere in the world.

Power comes with the responsibility and responsibility requires courage to befit the position you are responsible for. It would take courage for Muslim community to enjoy the pinnacle of the same power western world is enjoying today without being irresponsible.

I don’t know if this terrorism anywhere in the world will ever stop. It unfortunately doesn’t seem to end. I though certainly hope for the terrorism to be dealt with at least more responsibility!

Of Shahzeb’s Killers Getting Pardoned

As the nation is embroiled in a debate on whether or not the pardoning was a right choice, the most ignored fact is that victim’s family may not have any choice. Either they did it because they were too much on the spiritual side, or they did it to keep their existence intact in the society dominated by the feudal and influential. As the news suggests, it is the latter.

And the Judge may have followed the Islamic principle of “Qisas” while adjudicating the case, that has upset the “liberal” lot for it relates to Islam. So, again the ignored fact is that the same principle of Qisas — regardless of right or wrong, as it remains a debate in modern times — has served as a blessing in disguise for the aggrieved family. Had they not pardoned Jatois and Talpurs, they would most certainly have been haunted throughout their lives by the feudal and influential families of the murderers. With that, would the “liberal” lot — I am addressing them primarily because I am sick of being learning that Islam has to be invited in ever social phenomenon — have successfully saved the family of Shahzeb from the wrath of Talpurs and Jatois? Simple answer is: No!

This is perhaps the best we could have as a verdict today. It truly reflects the culture and norms of our society; it is compatible with it eventually. Break the dominant feudal power in the society and then abolishing the concept of Qisas from the justice system might actually work in favor of poor as well for there would be no agent of fear left to be worried about for the aggrieved and not-so-influential victim(s).

Imam Taymiyyah on Fighting With Infidels

Before I begin, I want to assert that reproducing someone’s work on this blog doesn’t necessarily mean endorsing or propagating any idea or belief. This blog post should only be considered as academic in nature. And as a reference to this blog it should only be reproduced further for academic purpose only.

Professor Abu Zahrah of Egypt in his book “Imam Ibn Taymiyyah” (the Urdu translation of which has been produced by Naib Hussain Naqwi) summarieses the opinion of Imam Taymiyyah on fighting with infidels in the following terms:

On the first question as to whether it is permissible to fight the disbelievers on the ground of their disbelief or on that of their tyranny and transgression, the Imam refers to two schools of thought among the Ulema. The first school holds that according to Imam Malik, Imam Ahmad bin Hanbal, Imam Abu Hanifah and others, and the majority of of Ulema and Aimmah, fighting with disbelievers is allowed only if they are bent upon oppressions and tyranny. From this opinion it follows that waar with infidels is not permissible in any other circumstances.

Consequently, fighting can be resorted to as a defensive measure or in response to aggression, even if it turns out to be a case of emergency. But in such a fight only the active comatants or their inciters will be killed, and women, achorites, and disabled or old people, who neitherparticipate in the fighting nor exhort others to do so, will not be slain, In brief, the disbeliever who does not take up arms, does not urge others to fight and is not guilty of any hostile act in connection with the war shall not be put to death.

The second school is of the opinion that war with the disbelievers is grounced on their disbeliever. That means that fighting is obligatory with them simply because they are infidels not because they are inclined to turanny. This is to be creed of Imam al-Shafi. Therefore, under this principle, every disbeliever who has attained majority and discretion would be deserving of capital punishment, irrespective of whether he is capable of fighting or not, whether he is himself on the war path or not and whether he is actively assisting his comrades (the disbelievers) to pursue the fight or not.

In this regard, Imam Ibn Taymiyyah considers the first opinion, viz., the opinion of the majority, to be correct and, in support of his position cities authorities from the Quran and Sunnah.

Source: Punishment of Apostasy in Islam, by S. A. Rahman (former Chief Justice of Pakistan)

How to Sharpen Your Memory Without Losing Wits?

There is this story on how to sharpen your memory without losing wits. Probably unseemly, but it pictures the efforts made by students in Abbasid’s era of caliphate to sharpen their memories out of keen interest for learning.

During the Abbasid’s era of caliphate the education flourished. Throughout the whole curriculum the memory work was especially emphasized. Notable scholar of Islam Professor Philip Khuri Hitti writes in his book “History of the Arabs”:

An eminent teacher from Nizamiyah — an institute of higher learning established during the time of Abbasids in 1065 – 1067 — whose name was Baha-al-Din, and who was also the biographer of Saladin Ayubi, tells in his reminiscences, as reported by Ibn-Khallikan, that to sharpen their memories a group of students once drank such a heavy dose of an infusion of anacardia kernels that one of them lost his wits entirely and came naked to the class. When amidst the laughter of the class he was asked for an explanation, he gravely replied that he and his companions had tried the anarcardia infusion, which made them all insane with the exception of himself, who had happily kept his senses.

Life of Jews Under Abbasids Caliphate

Philip K. Hitti writes in his book “History of the Arabs” a short account of life of Jews under Abbasid Caliphate ( 750 – 1258):

As one of the “protected” peoples the Jews fared on the whole even better than the Christians during the Abbasid era of Caliphate, and that in spite of several unfavorable references in Quran. Jews were fewer and did not therefore present such a problem. In 985, al-Maqdasi found most of the money-changers and bankers in Syria to be Jews, and most of the clerks and physicians Christians. Under several Caliphs, particularly al-Mu’tadid (892-902), we read of more than one Jew in the capital and the provinces assuming responsible state positions. In Baghdad itself the Jews maintained a good-sized colony which continued to flourish until the fall of the city. All Jews owed allegiance to the Baghdad Caliphate.