Diwali Celebration: Pakistan Muslim League Style

Posted on October 31, 2006
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Minorities, Politics, Religion
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Adil Najam

Ordinarily, I might have just posted this photograph below as a comment on yesterday’s post on Diwali celebrations in Karachi (also here). But please, just look at the people in this photograph; its way too interesting to be relegated to a comments section.

The occasion is a Diwali celebration at the Islamabad Headquarters of the Pakistan Muslim League, standing (and clapping) extreme left is Syed Mushahid Hussain, Secretary General of the Pakistan Muslim League, next to him is Ijaz ul Haq (Minister of Religious Affairs, and son of Gen. Zia ul Haq), fourth from left is Tariq Azim, State Minister for Information.

The Daily Times (31 October, 2006) provides more details of the event:

Members of the Hindu community from across the country participated in the event where they performed their religious rituals and traditional dances in candlelight to mark the event… A number of office bearers of the party and ministers, including PML Secretary General Mushahid Hussain Syed, Minister for Religious Affairs Ijaz-ul-Haq, State Minister for Information Tariq Azim, Minister for Minorities Affairs Mushtaq Victor and members of the National Assembly (MNAs) Bindara, Donia Aziz, Akram Masih Gill and others were present on the occasion. Officials of the Indian High Commission also participated in the event.

Hussain said that Quaid-e-Azam had envisioned a Pakistan where all the religious minorities enjoyed equal rights. He underlined the importance of inter-faith harmony for the greater prosperity of the nation and announced that the PML would also celebrate the birthday of Baba Gurunanak next week. He said that the minorities played a vital role in building any nation. He said that the present government was allocating high importance to giving all minorities’ equal. Hindus are playing a leading role in country’s economic development and the present government will leave no stone unturned to ensure their safety and well being, he added.

This is, of course, a political gesture – some might even say a gimmick. But if so, let us have more such gestures and gimmicks. They will, in time, hopefully help change our perceptions and treatment of religious minorities in Pakistan.

77 Comments on “Diwali Celebration: Pakistan Muslim League Style”

  1. October 31st, 2006 11:04 am

    I should add that a reader had alerted us to this picture last night and the post was written then and times for appearance today. Overnight, reader YLH posted the news item as a comment on yesterday’s Diwali celebrations post.

    We are greatful to both, and thank readers who send us story ideas…. please keep them coming (you may also use the About ATP tab to send in suggestions on this or other issues related to the blog).

  2. Owais Mughal says:
    October 31st, 2006 11:13 am

    A very positive step in my opinion.

  3. Yahya says:
    October 31st, 2006 11:35 am

    Hate to be the cynic all the time but…

    Positive step indeed but what brought about this change? Sadly 9/11 and the subsequent blame on Muslims for being extremists/terrorist etc. Is it not possible to do something good on our own just because it is the right thing to do? What about women rights for example? Do we need for world to pressurise us into accepting it too? Can’t we think for ourselves, do right and feel good about it that we did it on our won and not because someone told us?

  4. Kabir says:
    October 31st, 2006 11:44 am

    Indeed a positive step. It shows that we are about peace, tolerance and diversity all signs of good Muslim leadership.

    Funny thing about the picture is that Mr. Ijaz ul Haq seems like doing some kind of ‘pooja’ while in fact I think he is just clapping…lol

  5. Yahya says:
    October 31st, 2006 11:53 am

    [quote comment="6180"]…we are about peace, tolerance and diversity…
    [/quote]

    Ahem…isn’t it too early to jump to that conclusion on just one event?

  6. Daktar says:
    October 31st, 2006 11:58 am

    Dear Yahya, if I might please disagree on this one. It is probably a political stunt as the post says. But better to have stunts like this than the ones in the opposite direction of burning and breaking things. I don’t think anyone is pressuring the govt to do this, they are probably doing it for a better image. I say, good. Lets do it for the wrong reasons as long as it is the right thing.

    On women’s right, I know, that the real pressure is not coming from outside (unfortuntaly too little is), it is coming from Pakistani activists who have faced great hardships to put that pressure. So let us not undermine their efforts by taking the easy route of the ‘faaran hand’. But even if it was, would you rather that we keep doing the wrong thing?

  7. Daktar says:
    October 31st, 2006 12:02 pm

    I agree with Yahya’s second comment. One photo-op – even if it is a good start – does not make a society of “peace, tolerance and diversity”

  8. MQ says:
    October 31st, 2006 12:52 pm

    [quote ]

    “Funny thing about the picture is that Mr. Ijaz ul Haq seems like doing some kind of ‘pooja’ while in fact I think he is just clapping…lol”
    [/quote]

    If pooja would help save his job, Ijazul Haq would have no qualms in doing it five times a day plus more. Anyway, I am not against this gesture by these Qs even if we know it’s a political gimmick.

  9. Nagaraj Naidu says:
    October 31st, 2006 4:25 pm

    The article on Diwali is the perfect example of what the world does not know about Pakistan. I think, Pakistan media should increasingly portray this secular image, which will help people turn their minds a full 360 degrees when they talk of Pakistan especially in India. That includes me.

  10. Farrukh says:
    October 31st, 2006 4:31 pm

    Nagraj, I hope the purpose of such steps is not to change how the world looks at Pakistan, but at how we Pakistanis ourselves look at Pakistan and the various communities that make up its citizens.

  11. Adnan Ahmad says:
    October 31st, 2006 4:37 pm

    A nice gesture but we all know too well the crooks seen in the picture. Why does Ijazul Haq have this job by the way? Does any one know? He is not even a political need. Sadly, at one point I had respect for Mushahid husain but he too has become a spineless ass. To quote Cawasjee on these ministers.. “where do they find these people?”

  12. Sridhar says:
    October 31st, 2006 5:23 pm

    Leaving aside the political aspects of this story/image, it is interesting to me to see the cultural aspects of Diwali celebrations in Pakistan and specifically in Sindh. If this is an accurate representation of how Diwali is celebrated by Sindhi Hindus, it seems from the image that Diwali celebrations there incorporate elements of the Ramlila theatrical form, which at least as far as I know, is not associated with Diwali in India but is associated with Dusshehra.

    The above image shows two actors dressed up like Ram and Sita, just like in the typical Ramlila. Does anybody happen to know if this is characteristic of Diwali in Sindh?

  13. Nagaraj says:
    October 31st, 2006 9:28 pm

    Sridhar,

    Coming from a land where history has been less documented and transferred more by way of mouth (No wonder Bollywood has songs)…I can very well understand your question. Among the oft repeated 1000 stories as to why Diwali is celebrated, the 999th story says that Diwali was celebrated for the first time when Ram returned victorious from Lanka with Sita. This victory of good over evil was celebrated by the burning of fire crackers (I don’t know if the Chinese had invented fire crackers by then. Probably mighty Hanuman must have jumped to Beijing to get some….who knows).

  14. Sridhar says:
    October 31st, 2006 11:24 pm

    I am fully aware of the diversity within India of why Deepavali is celebrated. I have grown up celebrating Naraka Chaturdashi early in the morning with my South Indian family, Lakshmi Puja in the evening with my Bania friends, then celebrated Kali Puja in the night with my Bengali friends and lit lamps and burst crackers after that with my family and North Indian friends to commemmorate Rama’s return to Ayodhya. I was fortunate to grow up in multiple parts of the country and to live in extremely multicultural (Govt.) housing estates, so am fully exposed to the rich diversity of India’s culture.

    My question was specifically about a potential new flavour to Diwali in Sindh that I have not seen anywhere in India. Perhaps somebody who actually knows about it will respond to my original question.

  15. November 1st, 2006 1:26 am

    glad PML is mending its ways and thoughts about white part of pakistani flag
    earlier post proud pakistanis
    we need to be proud of pakistani multicultural multi religious and multi ethenic identity, Hindu community and specially sindhi hindus have contributed a lot to welfare of Pakistan. first minority minister Goginder nath mandal, famous crickters Anil dalpat,danish kaneria, snooker champion navin parwani, international Designer Deepak perwani, International film maker satish anand and everready pictures, shabnum and music director roben gosh, first pakistani to swim across english channel(cannot remember the exact name) many famous judges in lower judiciary, adhoc chief justice of Pakistan Justice Bagwan Das, famous thakar of sind Rana chander singh, Human rights and political activist sobogyan chandani.
    Hindus are proud Pakistanis but some people have always doubted their loyalities to Pakistan

  16. Asma says:
    November 1st, 2006 1:33 am

    It’s a Positive step … I guess It’s nothing but a Political Gimmick .

    The way minorities and majorities in Pakistan are killed every day in some nook of the country … it’s just a public stunt … nothing worthy off … !

  17. TURAB says:
    November 1st, 2006 2:56 am

    Even if it is a gimmick,,,, let us cherish and celebrate the positivism for the moment

    PS: Zia ul Huq ki rooh to tarap gayi hogi

  18. Talha says:
    November 1st, 2006 5:28 pm

    I think it will be better to give them respect instead of just acting like them, or dressing like them for a couple of minutes!

    And after that, respect[like love] begets respect!!!

    Just my 2 cents!!!

  19. Mariam says:
    November 2nd, 2006 12:00 am

    Pakistan is always run by similar people only front leadership changes every now and then.

  20. Ahmer Khan says:
    November 2nd, 2006 1:46 am

    This audio lecture by Sheikh Feiz is about celebrations forbidden by Islam such as Birthdays, Easter, Christmas, Halloween , Valentine ..ETC. Sheikh Feiz talks about the history of these useless and unislamic occasions and also talks about how to deal with people who celebrate these occasions.

    Born in Australia, Sydney, Feiz Muhammad travelled to Medinah seeking knowledge from several Scholars of Islam. After having spent 4 years studying in the Islamic University of Medinah, Sheikh Feiz travelled back to Sydney to live his dream – to call to the path of Allah. His unique style of speech attracts a wide range of listeners, and is very beneficial and interesting to listen to. At current, he is completing his Doctorate degree in Islamic Law in Malaysia, and we ask Allah (swt) to accept all of his work.

    Audio : Mp3
    Size : 10 MB
    Quality : Excellent
    Duration : 1 hr
    Comments : Not 2 b Missed

    Download:
    http://rapidshare.com/files/1495366/Sheikh_Feiz_-_Forbidden_Celebrations.mp3

  21. November 2nd, 2006 7:03 am

    I agree that even if it’s a political gimmick, it’s something positive.

    It would be nice if Sangh Parivar leaders in India would take a cue from this. I’d love to see an LK Advani or a Praveen Togadia hosting an Iftaar!

  22. Rashogulla says:
    November 2nd, 2006 9:05 am

    [quote]“Sheikh Feiz talks about the history of these useless and unislamic occasions and also talks about how to deal with people who celebrate these occasions.”[/quote]

    Ahmer Khan,

    I must say, the mullahs are the only people I have seen who denounce the festivals of other religions. I never heard a Christian, Jew, Hindu, Sikh or Budhist doing that.

    About Sheikh Feiz receiving his scholarly insights during his 4-year stay in Medina, did you hear the Persian saying: “Khar-e-Isa choon ba Mecca rawad …”?

    And, by the way, why are these mullas suddenly
    converging on Australia? Is it because there is
    plenty of “uncovered meat” there?

  23. Sridhar says:
    November 2nd, 2006 9:57 am

    Sidhusaheb:

    The BJP leaders have been regularly hosting Iftars for some time. Some of them can even be seen wearing skull caps and Saudi-style checked red/white scarfs on their shoulders. Such gestures are meaningless, unless they are accompanied by a real commitment to minority welfare. The Muslim League has historically been the Pakistani equivalent of the BJP (with similar ideological histories for the first half of their lives and similar shifts to a ‘grab and retain power at any cost’ ideology later in their lives).

    That is why I find the cultural aspects of this story much more interesting than its political ones.

  24. Habib says:
    November 3rd, 2006 6:19 pm

    The point has already been made well. Better to do the right thing for the wrong reasons than not do it at all.

  25. Samdani says:
    November 2nd, 2006 1:40 pm

    Sridhar, I follow Indian politics closely reading multiple Indian newspapers daily and following Indians commentatros, etc. very much. However, it would be inappropriate and interfering of me to comment on Indian politics, and I do not feel that this gives me the credentials to discuss the finer details of Indian politics and a website on Pakistan is probably not the place to do that either. So, I will leave that for you and your fellow Indians to discuss elsewhere.

    However, on your point about the PML and BJP, my sense is that the analogy is misplaced. For its early years the Muslim League was comprable to the Congress in that it was also a nationalist party (Muslim nationalism) and its biggest opponents outside of Congress were religious Islamic parties (which actually sided with the Congress). But that is ancient history now, and irrelevant to the modern day PML. Over the years it has become more of a king’s party and a collection of people who want to retain power with little or no ideological leanings. [Again, maybe like the current Congress?] Niether its supporters nor its opponents would ever accuse it of being a religiously inspired party, despite the Muslim in its name (having a religious name in your title does not make you a religious party, e.g., Christian Democrats in Europe; nor does not having it necessarily make you secular). It is today, merely a ‘party of convenience’. If you do wnat to draw anologies to the BJP, maybe it will be the JUI in Pakistan that is a better fit for that comparison.

    On your larger point, I totally agree that there is a degree of meaninglessness about these gestures to minorities like holding these photo-ops like here, or placing them in ceremonial but largely ineffetual posts and then using that as a publicity device to demonstrate one’s secular credentials (its like companies in the US that make sure they have a minority and a female Board member so that they are not accused of bias, but make no real changes to their behavior). I also agree that all across our region we all need to seriously start demonstrating real committment to minority welfare rather than just these photo-ops or ceremonial apppointments and rhetoric. However, I am slightly less cynical about this because I think these symbolic gestures are at least a start (just like those Board appointments)… although certainly not enough.

  26. Owais Mughal says:
    November 2nd, 2006 1:53 pm

    PML of today is as secularist of a party as it can be. I don’t see any right leaning in them. It is also splintered into more than 6 groups. Most of them joining hands with whoever is in power.

  27. Yahya says:
    November 2nd, 2006 2:20 pm

    [quote comment="6699"]PML of today is as secularist of a party as it can be. [/quote]

    Don’t know about that. PML N and PML Q always seem to side with Mullahs on issues like Hudood ordinance and their reluctance to oppose it proves it.

  28. Owais Mughal says:
    November 2nd, 2006 2:23 pm

    PML sides with right wing parties only to remain in power. That is the only reason it has to compromise and backtrack on bills which they themselves bring on the assembly floor.

  29. Sridhar says:
    November 2nd, 2006 2:35 pm

    Samdani:

    There is often an oversimplication of complex histories. I may often be guilty of that too. However, I completely disagree with your analogy for various reasons.

    As far as the BJP is concerned, it would be incorrect to term its ideology religiously inspired. It is not (the VHP is different, though once again its agenda is entirely political). Advani is a self-declared near-atheist, who has not visited a temple in years (and shares many other traits with Jinnah sb. – personally incorruptible, articulate and convincing in his arguments, a liberal in his personal life etc.). Praveen Togadia (the public face of the VHP) is not even a Hindu – he is a Jain. The BJP is a communitarian party (i.e. the interests of one community is its overriding political concern, even at the cost of interests of all others or general wellbeing of society) just as the AIML was.

    And people often forget that the AIML aligned itself with the Barelvis – so to claim that the religious elements aligned only with the Congress is not the full truth. Yes, many Deobandis did align with Congress due to the influence of Maulana Azad, but if you see their reasons for doing so, they are ones any liberal would be willing to embrace. It was a better phase (and face) of these religious elements. And the Barelvis who aligned with the AIML showed the worst face of the religious elements, shamelessly exploiting religion to create mass hysteria and violence.

    The PML of today, as the BJP in recent times, has power as its overriding concern. If pandering to religious extremism gets it to power, it would use it (like it did during the Zia, IJI and “Brute Majority of Mian sb” days). If, on the other hand, showing a liberal face is the need of the hour, it will do that too, just as the BJP tried in 2004 under Vajpayee (with the funny spectacle of a campaign in his favour led by the Shahi Imam of the Jama Masjid in Delhi). The credibility of these parties when they show a liberal face, is low, to say the least. The Congress of today is not very different, though there is less willingness to pander to religious extremism (the willingness is not zero in the Congress case either).

    Anyway, sorry about this digression into history (which happens to be a favourite subject for me). I think we can all agree that there is much to be done to promote minority welfare in the region. Though the situations are different in the different countries, there is much distance to be traversed in each of them before they can claim to be societies that are just and provide equal opportunities to all communities.

    I can buy your argument that these gestures do make a difference, at least in atmosphere. But they are baby steps nonetheless. Real steps will involve solving day-to-day issues faced by the minorities, whether it is overt or subtle forms of discrimination, or economic marginalization. I can certainly say that in India, these real steps need to be taken before we come anywhere close to the ideals we claim to have set for ourselves.

  30. Owais Mughal says:
    November 2nd, 2006 2:41 pm

    Dear Sridhar
    I couldn’t find any literature on whether Diwali in sindh includes Ram-Leela. I did find this link though which talks about some of the Sindhi Diwali traditions. You may have to scroll down on the link.

    http://www.sydneysindhi.com/diwali.html

  31. Owais Mughal says:
    November 2nd, 2006 2:49 pm

    Sridhar
    Here is a news from 2003 Diwali in sindh and it talks about some of the ceremonies held in mandirs across sindh
    ——–
    Diwali celebrated

    HYDERABAD, Oct 25: The Hindu community in the interior of Sindh celebrated Diwali, the religious ceremony of lights, with traditional enthusiasm and religious spirit on Saturday.

    Bhajan and Kirtan were held in temples of Hyderabad, Dadu, Thatta, Badin, Mirpurkhas, Tharparkar and Sanghar districts where Pundits highlighted the importance of the ceremony.

    In their speeches, the Pundits also called upon the community members to forge unity among their ranks and play their due role in the prosperity of the country.

    Special prayers for the integrity and solidarity of the country were also offered.

    Thousands of people exchanged greetings and distributed sweets and dishes, specially prepared to celebrate the occasion.

    Torchlit and fireworks display were also the key parts of the celebrations.â€

  32. Sirat-ul-Mustaqeem says:
    December 20th, 2006 3:19 am

    Bhai Ibrahim sahib, I appreciaet the effort you are making but I do wonder = why are you so fascinated by naked people; men and women?

    Even if they were naked (and I have no idea or interest in whetehr they were or not), so what? What difference does that make to any point? I am sure Adam (Hazrat Adam to some) was also roaming about naked? [And who his sons must have had to marry would raise interesting Fruedian questions too. But why would any of this be important or relevant to anything?]

    And why is any of this religius disuccssion at all relevant to this post or to this blog, which is about PAKISTAN and how Pakistani Muslims treat Pakistani non-Muslims. Let us please leave what Arabs did to other Arabs, whether clothed or not, hundreds of years ago to Arabs. Let them worry about that. The focus here is Pakistan today and Pakistanis today.

    By the way, you ask in one of your many long comments: “Why do you guys not understand what I’m saying?” I cannot say exactly, but maybe it is because what you are saying just does not make sense!
    I am afraid even to post this, because I really do not want you to answer any of the questions; they are rhetorical. But if you have to, please answer in the context of what this blog and this post is about which is PAKISTAN. I am sure that those who seek tabligh can find it on many other places on the Internet.

    Yours, with great respect.

    Sirat-ul-Mustaqeem.

  33. Sirat-ul-Mustaqeem says:
    December 19th, 2006 3:24 am

    Ibrahim, you are just sooo very wrong on sooo many fronts. This talk of putting things under ‘strict limits’ stems from insecurity and leads to a death of freedoms. Niether can be good. It is a mark of people unsure of their own faith taht they become scared of coming into contact with anything else. In fact, most Islamic ‘celebrations’ and rituals are pre-Islamic (Hajj and Eid, for example) and build on existing celebrations and rituals. In that sense, Islam is inclusive and not inclusive of others.
    Why not? Are we Muslims so fragile and insecure in our own beliefs that we cannot be happy in someone else’s happiness. And by the way what is a ‘non-Islamic’ activity? Is typing on the computer ‘Islamic’? If it is not, then it must be ‘un-Islamic’!

  34. November 4th, 2006 3:32 am

    Talha mian, Siyasat boht kutta cheez hay, baray baroun ko kutta banadeti hey =)

    p.s: sorry for using the word “kutta” but that sound most appropiate word for politics and politicians :> no vulgarity intended=)

  35. YLH says:
    November 6th, 2006 4:53 am

    Sridhar,

    I am afraid you are overlooking one important difference … which changes the nature of ideologies of the historic Muslim League and the BJP.

    Pre-1947 Muslim League was made up of dissident ex-Congressmen and secularists… and represented a Minority community. A US Analogy would be that references to “Black power” and “Black solidarity” is a reaffirmation of pride in one’s community but “White Power” and “White soldiarity” would obviously be racist …

    BJP has never represented a minority community nor has it had similar membership. After 1958 however… the Muslim League has only been reinvented to give legitimacy to military dictators. In this as well… the ML resembles more the erstwhile Unionist party or even the ML pre-1936 than anything else.

  36. YLH says:
    November 6th, 2006 5:08 am

    PS: Anyone who has studied the differences between Barelvi and Deobandi Islam… knows that Deobandi Islam is much more religious fanatical than Barelvi religion can ever be. Other supporters of the Muslim League were Shias, Aga Khanis, Ahmadis etc.

    Secondly Barelvis were part of the Muslim League… but religious parties Jamiat-e-Ulema-Hind, Jamaat-e-Islami, Majlis-e-Ahrar-e-Islam all stood against the League… these were the real forces of theocracy it must be remembered and taliban were ultimately recruited from the Deobandi Islam.

  37. Sridhar says:
    November 6th, 2006 9:44 am

    There is a difference between “puritanical” and “fanatical”. The Deobandis have always been more puritanical, but they have not uniformly been more fanatical either over time or across geographies. There is a world of difference between Deobandi scholars based in India today, and those based in Pakistan. There worldviews of an Indian Deobandi scholar like Maulana Madani and the Taliban are worlds apart. And as I said, the Deobandis of the 1940s were the best that we have seen of the religious movement in decades. The statement issued by the JUH where they explained their reasons for supporting the Congress is something any liberal today would embrace.

    Secondly, a minority which is 1/3rd of the population is no minority, but one of the main majorities. This 1/3rd was not monolithic, but the same was the case with the so-called 2/3rds majority. The identity of a pre-1947 Indian was complex – based on language, caste/biradari, sect and of course religion. A monolithic definition of all Muslims in India as a monolithic “minority” was politically convenient, but as inaccurate and fictional as the definition by the BJP of a monolithic Hindu majority today.

    It is my conjecture that just like the BJP’s narrow political definition could achieve success temporarily but eventually had to retreat (though it is not fully defeated yet), the AIML’s political definition would have had to retrait if not fail, if events had not been pushed along by a variety of factors unrelated to India, most important of which was the end of World War II and Britain’s inability/unwillingness to hold on to its colonial possessions. But of course, that is my conjecture and there is nothing I can present in the way of support for this, except perhaps to point to the disintegration of the AIML once its two strongest personalities were gone as tangential support.

  38. November 6th, 2006 1:20 pm

    Sridhar sahab,

    I am afraid I cannot agree with this view at all. Here are my views:

    1. Maulana Mufti Mahmood was the father of Maulana Fazlurrahman, the Kingpin of Deoband Movement and the “father of Taliban”. Maulana Mufti Mahmood was Maulana Madni’s main man in NWFP and was against the Pakistan Movement and his son to this day – and I appreciate his intellectual honesty in this matter- always distances himself from the Pakistan Movement. So your purported difference may just be a difference of opportunity. In 1980s, the same deobandis were coopted by CIA and ISI (much in the Congress fashion) to fight against Russians. You will find that there were no Barelvis involved in that.

    Your view that the deobandis of the 1940s were the best is – my friend- very honestly simply a matter of convenience. The same deobandis attacked Jinnah’s personal life and abused him for marrying a “kafira” i.e. Ruttie Petit Jinnah. So much for composite nationalism… One should be unbiased in one’s analysis. Maulana Madni’s “composite nationalism” aside…. I am sure you will appreciate that it was this unholy matrimony between the religious “Puritanical” right and Congress Party that even today plagues Muslim progress… was it not to preserve this old vote bank, that the Congress Party overturned the Shah Bano judgment of the Supreme Court of India?

    You continously view the whole thing from an all India angle… but what were these deobandis’ views on women and their empowerment? Indeed- this was the original sin. Coopting them in the Khilafat movement – against wise counsels of Mahomed Ali Jinnah- was Gandhi’s first and biggest mistake vis a vis the Independence movement. Pakistan Movement was a massive rebellion of sorts by the Muslim masses against the clergy. The leadership of the Pakistan Movement was almost entirely worldly and unconcerned with religious theology. Infact… only by keeping religious theology away, did Jinnah manage to unite the deeply divided Shias, Sunnis, Ahmadis, Aga Khanis and others as one Muslim people…

    2. I reject your contention that because Muslims were 1/3rd (actually their demand was 1/3rd representation – they were 22%-25% of the total population… it was always 3 to 1… ) they did not constitute a minority. Instead they constituted a significant minority that could change things when voting enmasse. The fact that this minority constituted a majority in 5 or 6 contigious provinces gave it a prima facie claim to right of self determination for a national homeland (given that British India itself was not one unified state) within or without India.

    3. There is no comparison between BJP’s ideology which is essentially a majoritarian nationalism (and by definition fascism) … and Muslim League’s minoritarian nationalism which was essentially the best foot forward to meet Congress on its own ground. This new trend of equating pre-1947 Muslim League to BJP is easily rejected when one considers that Congress and Muslim League- with the mask off- simply represented the Hindu and Muslim Bourgeoisie interests respectively. BJP on the other hand represents only a section of the Hindu bourgeoisie and shares the lime light with the Congress Party. Here again the distinction between Majoritarian nationalism and minoritarian nationalism is important.

    Here the most important distinction is that League pre-1947 was more a movement than a party… which is why it had the left, right, center and all sections of Muslim society.

    4. I reject your contention of the causes behind Muslim League’s decay… ideally what should have happened- and for a while it looked like it would- that Muslim League should have been transformed into a Pakistan League … (which essentially the current Muslim League is) … and for a while it seemed like it would in post 1947 phase. However.. on 17th December 1947… a strange turn of events occured… whereby Muslim League did not change itself into Pakistan League and instead Jinnah resigned at its leader (because he opined as the head of the state he could not be associated with a “Muslim” League) passing the leadership to Khaliquzzaman.

    However.. the subsequent bumbling of events has more to do with how long Muslim League had been going. Muslim League was founded in 1906 but in reality remained more or less an annual conference/platform type thing till 1936 … with the brief intervening period of 1927-1929 when it was itself divided into two factions pro-Congress Jinnah League and pro-British Shafi League. In 1936, after his return from England… Jinnah began to reorganise the Muslim League on Congress lines as a political party with an organisation and a hierarchy and a manifesto …. Hence as a proper political party, Muslim League only really was 11 years old when Pakistan came into being. 11 years is hardly any period to develop proper second tier leadership and after Jinnah, there were a few brilliant charismatic men and women but no one was as uncontroversial as Mahomed Ali Jinnah… Subsequently … we see that major political parties of Pakistan…

    Awami League, Pakistan Peoples Party and even sections of the National Awami Party (which also had old Congress elements) all emerged out of the Muslim League. Similarly the Punjabi and Sindhi landowners and others- late entrants into the Muslim League… fashioned their own Muslim Leagues… Thus one cannot conclude that PML+ PML-N+ PML-F = Erstwhile Muslim League. Infact these three groups PML, PML-N and PML-F actually are more or less the old Unionist Party that had made its way into the Muslim League. Just to give you an example… the Tiwana Family is today gungho PML-Q …

    This flip flop is not unique to the subcontinent… read the history of the United States and you’ll find a rather interesting flip flopping and twisting and turning there. For example… I am sure you are aware that in the 19th century it was the republicans who essentially led the emancipation of black people and Southern Democrats were the biggest proponents of slavery.

  39. Sridhar says:
    November 6th, 2006 1:51 pm

    Thanks for the response. There is a lot of content in your latest post and it will take me some time to digest it. Also, today happens to be an especially busy day. I therefore reserve comment (and will comment only if I think there is a need to respond to something).

    I will only say this much for now – that there are several historical details that can only be inferred and for which there is no concrete objective evidence. Hence, at the end of this discussion, there may still be multiple viewpoints on historical events. I don’t think that is necessarily a bad thing.

  40. YLH says:
    November 7th, 2006 3:00 am

    Dear Sridhar,

    I agree that historical facts can be interpretted in many ways. Ultimately we must accept that it all depends on our point of view and perspective.

    I look forward to your comments and a civilised debate on this issue.

  41. YLH says:
    November 8th, 2006 12:29 am

    http://www.time.com/time/asia/2006/heroes/nb_jinnah.html

    Mohammed Ali Jinnah
    Pakistan, the nation the Quaid-i-Azam founded, needs him and his values more than ever
    By Mohsin Hamid

    My earliest memory of Mohammed Ali Jinnah, Pakistan’s Quaid-i-Azam, or Great Leader, is from my childhood. The electricity had gone because of load shedding, and I was doing my homework despite my grandmother’s insistence that this was bad for my eyes. My textbook was part of the curriculum assigned to all primary-school students in Pakistan, and it described Jinnah as a young boy, himself reading a book by candlelight at his home in Karachi, a hundred years earlier. I had heard of Jinnah before, of course; his name was ubiquitous in Pakistan, a country otherwise unsure of its heroes. But it was the small miracle contained in the notion that heâ€

  42. Adnan Ahmad says:
    November 8th, 2006 10:42 am

    Sridhar, My friend, There is something inherently wrong in your comparison of Advani of present day BJP with Jinnah of AIML. Parties, the way they are, define their leaders and with that inference today’s “grab and retain” BJP, led by Advani, does not compare with “Jinnah’s” AIML. Also, this analogy implies intrinsic weakness on Advani’s part to not only stick with such a party but to actually lead it to its goals (and that makes it worse). This weakness alone effectively takes him out of any comparison with Jinnah. Think about it.

    As for ML of after 1947, others, including yourself, have written accurately about it.

  43. Sridhar says:
    November 8th, 2006 1:00 pm

    Adnan:

    I did not in any post compare the BJP of today directly with the AIML of yesteryears, except to the extent of saying that both represent(ed) the interests of one community to the exclusion of and sometimes to the detriment of all others. As to the comparison of Advani and Jinnah, the points I noted are facts, not opinions. It was not to say necessarily that Advani and Jinnah sb. are alike in every way. It was merely to make a point that the BJP’s politics is not ‘religious’ but political (albeit communal). I pointed to how Advani in his personal life resembles Jinnah a lot simply to provide an analogy to make this point clearer (that politics can be ‘communal’ without being ‘religious’; in fact I do believe the converse that politics can be ‘secular’ even with its proponents being deeply religious, but that is a different discussion).

    In any case, we cannot compare politics of then and now. Even at that time, who knows how events would have turned out if Jinnah sb. had lived longer. Who knows what would have happened to politics if the British were not in such a hurry to scoot at any cost and politicians who had spent years and sometimes decades in prison were not in a hurry to take charge at any cost, and indeed others who knew that they didn’t have time on their side were not in a hurry to achieve their goals lest time and political realities swept them aside.

    Lastly, I think this discussion is straying far from the original topic. I thank other participants for responding to points I made and promise to give their views full consideration. But I am not sure that there is much life left in this discussion.

  44. YLH says:
    November 9th, 2006 11:56 pm

    Dear Sridhar,

    I think I have already addressed the purported (apparent)similarities between AIML and BJP in my longish post above. Needless to say on academic level, it just does not seem accurate.

    Now as far as addressing the Advani-Jinnah similarity is concerned… I am afraid I’d have to disagree on this one as well. For one thing in order to establish a similarity, you would have to show us where for 35 years did Advani champion the cause of Hindu Muslim Unity, like Mahomed Ali Jinnah did ? Advani spoke for Hindus from day one unlike Jinnah who only spoke for Muslims after he thought Gandhi was hinduizing the Congress. Even in the hey day of his Post 1940 Muslim Nationalism, he carried along with him other communities and made it abundantly clear that the planks of his politics were minorities and constitutional law. On the converse side, you’d also have to establish where in his 42 year career, Jinnah did anything that even remotely resembled Advani’s push for Babri masjid demolition? If anything, Jinnah is known to have contributed to Hindu temples from his personal pocket, and the first religious service he attended in Pakistan was a christian one. Furthermore, once in the majority all his efforts were mainly directed to the protection of Hindus which he did so quite well in Karachi and for which historians do give him a lot of credit.

    The only thing you seem to base your “comparison” on is that Advani is not a believing Hindu or is an atheist. I don’t know what the truth is in that, but in Jinnah’s case we know, his lifestyle was inspired by his admiration for western civilisation and John Morley’s radical liberalism…Jinnah modelled himself as a typical British barrister who was also a fabian socialist … added to this was the fact that the Islamic sect he belonged to was no where near as strict as the mainstream sunni Islam when it came to dietary observation etc.. to suggest that Jinnah was not a believing Muslim is merely a conjecture, when we know that in his personal life he was quite strongly Khoja Shia Muslim… it is quite another story that he did not interpret Islam the way our mullahs do.

    So there to the similarity falls flat on its face. Hope this helps.

  45. Mariam says:
    November 10th, 2006 12:49 am
  46. Sridhar says:
    November 15th, 2006 3:06 am

    Miriam:

    Thanks – I have read both these books. I would suggest, that for completeness, you look at the following books too.

    1. The Man who divided India, by Rafiq Zakaria
    2. India Wins Freedom, by Maulana Abul Kalam Azad
    3. The Great Divide, by H.V. Hodson

    What is somewhat different about these books is that they have been written with a contemporary view of events, even if they were written later. The authors were either participants in or close observers of the events they wrote about and hence did not have to depend on British intelligence reports or guesses/conjecture.

    Lastly, there is nothing like understanding a historical personality through his/her own works. Jinnah was quite reticent in expressing his thoughts unlike some other leaders of his time, but there is still a considerable amount of his works – speeches in the Central Legislative Assembly in earlier years, speeches at public meetings and finally his speeches as GG of Pakistan. Of course, these suffer from the fact that they reveal the public personality without necessarily revealing his inner thoughts , but they are useful nevertheless. I have not read all his collected works, but have read every speech of his from 1947 onwards (I don’t remember the name of the compilation I read but remember that Shahid Javed Burki edited it). I would recommend this compilation to others too.

  47. Sridhar says:
    November 15th, 2006 12:46 pm

    BTW, I just came across a brand new biography of Jinnah’s by Ian Bryant Wells. It is titled Jinnah. I have not read it yet, though I borrowed it from the library yesterday. I have only skimmed through the introduction, which seems to make the case that previous biographies have tended to focus on the period after 1934. By contrast, this biography focuses on the period before that. It seems to be take a position sympathetic to Jinnah. It was published in India (Seagull Books, Calcutta) in 2006.

  48. Sridhar says:
    November 16th, 2006 2:50 pm

    A correction. The compilation of speeches and statements of Jinnah that I read was not edited by Shahid Javed Burki, but by S.M.Burke.

    The exact citation is

    “Jinnah: speeches and statements – 1947-48″, ed. S. M. Burke, Oxford University Press, Karachi, 2000.

    I would recommend it to those who have not read it.

  49. Rajput says:
    November 30th, 2006 10:51 am

    Greetings from India. I wish we can all and everywhere respect each other. thanks for this website.

  50. Greywolf says:
    December 19th, 2006 1:17 am

    Sridhar mian,

    Excellent suggestions- except Rafiq Zakaria’s book which was thrashed internationally (by people like Patrick French and Najam Sethi) for being extremely one sided and agenda driven.

  51. Ibrahim says:
    December 19th, 2006 2:34 am

    This is a baseless gesture and completely against Islam. When the most right opinion is that celebrations such as Eid Melaad-un-nabi cannot be celebrated then how come these things be allowed?

    Rashogulla, you are talking with little knowledge. No one is criticizing other religions’ celebration. What Ahmer is criticizing is Muslims celebrating non-Islamic activities. Other religions might not consider it to be wrong to celebrate just about anything but in Islam celebrations need to come under strict limits. Also, you might want to read things more closely, Shaykh Feiz was BORN in Australia. He is not “converging” in on Australia. Kudos to Ahmer Khan for his comments…JazakumAllah khair Ahmer.

  52. Greywolf says:
    December 19th, 2006 3:01 am

    Ibrahim,

    Are you saying minorities should not be allowed to celebrate?

    And who determines this “right” and “wrong”?

  53. Ibrahim says:
    December 19th, 2006 3:08 am

    Greywolf

    I’m surprised you’re asking this question. Please read my comments again. I’m saying that Muslims shouldn’t celebrate or participate in non-Islamic activties. I didn’t say a word about restricting non-Muslims from celebrating their festivals in Pakistan.

    “And who determines this “rightâ€

  54. Greywolf says:
    December 19th, 2006 3:59 am

    Well in Pakistan we’ll do what the Quaid-e-Azam (Mr. Mahomed Ali Jinnah) did… and the first religious service he attended after the creation of Pakistan was a Christian Church service…

    I’ll take my cues about right and wrong from there instead of your “highly respected” scholars. It is my prerogative.

  55. December 19th, 2006 4:13 am

    [quote post="393"]Why not? Are we Muslims so fragile and insecure in our own beliefs that we cannot be happy in someone else’s happiness. And by the way what is a ‘non-Islamic’ activity? [/quote]

    I wonder what made you to declare yourself follower of “Siratul Mustaqeem” by spoofing orignal alias. Greeting and celebration are two different things. as a Muslim, I am allowed to Greet my non-muslim friend but I am not allowed to participate in their festivals/customs.

    The prophet[saw] clearly instructed in hadith about celebrating non-muslim festivals.

    Whoever imitates a people is one of them

    and it has come in Sahih and Sunan Dawood.

    Why do you forget that Islam came to kill all pre-Islamic customs. Ever pondered why the first Qiblah was changed from Baitul Muqaddas to Ka’aba? Just because that it’s holy for jews as well and jews as munafiq used to bow infront of first Qiblah to pretend as “Muslims”. It tells how Islam is cautious for not giving any reflection other religions.

    Your hajj example is entirely baseless. THe practise of Hajj pre and post Islamic law is very different. I think you re ne of those who consider tawaf, circling aroung a blackbox and hajj to perform various physical exercise while in reality tawaf is all about seeking Allah and Hajj is obeying Allah’s order and remembering the efforts made by Abraham[AS] and His family[AS]. Also remember that every Prophet on earth has performed tawaf of Ka’aba and other practise whch later packaged as “hajj” so technically Hajj is not a “Unislamic” custom because we as muslims believe that every prophet from Adam[AS] to Muhammad[AS] was a muslim,submitted to Allah. No Islamic practise was introduced for Physical stunts , they are rather to give strength spiritually. A chritian perform his body movement in namaz style will NEVER gain any benefit a muslim gains while performing namaz.

    According to your theory, I can participate in Hindu pooja[worshipping an idol] so would it be according to Islam and not violate my religon.

    [quote post="393"]And by the way what is a ‘non-Islamic’ activity? Is typing on the computer ‘Islamic’? If it is not, then it must be ‘un-Islamic’![/quote]

    I can sense your source of following a “Siratul Mustaqeem” ;)

  56. Greywolf says:
    December 19th, 2006 4:20 am

    Sirat-e-Mustaqeem,

    Well said sir. You are indeed a voice of reason to elicit such long winded hogwash from certain ungainly quarters.

    Islam is not an intolerant faith. It is a tolerant faith which places a lot of capital in according women, minorities and children their rightful due.

    The Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)… the greatest man to walk the earth… opened the masjid-e-nabvi to christians for worship.

    With such great examples, why are we stuck in such a quagmire?

  57. MQ says:
    December 19th, 2006 8:09 am

    Well said, Siratul-Mustaqeem. It’s always heartening to hear a voice of sanity in this insane world.

  58. December 19th, 2006 8:28 am

    [quote post="393"]The Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH)… the greatest man to walk the earth… opened the masjid-e-nabvi to christians for worship.[/quote]

    Well the question arises, did Christians pray according to MUSLIM style? you gotta eleborate it.

    Second, Alcohol was halal in early islam era during the life of Muhammad[SAW]. Now some Jiyala Alcoholic comes up and say Sharab is halal in Islam because it was allowed in early days. People do give such reasons to justify alcohol in Islam. I already gave a genuine example of changing of Qibla.

    It also happened that several times Prophet[saw] suggested His companions to refer Old Testament and new to verify ancient incidents but He also instructed not to follow things which contradicts islamic teachings. Now some one says that Muslims SHOULD follow OT and NT because Prophet[saw] did. Every muslim knows all shariyah prior to Islam was cancelled by Allah.

    Scholars of early age had involvement with chritians and jews than modern days this is why there were several non-muslims had entered into Islam.

    Islam is an easy religion but don’t take advantage of it to twist the orignal teachings by picking irrelevent examples. When something clearly mentioned in Hadith then I have no reason to produce my interpetition to fullfill my desire.

  59. Akif Nizam says:
    December 19th, 2006 9:54 am

    [quote post="393"]Why do you forget that Islam came to kill all pre-Islamic customs[/quote]

    They complain about being discriminated against all over the world, yet their vision for their own societies is one where the minorities are held hostage as second-class citizens and their customs are systematically (or randomly) “killed”.

  60. Akif Nizam says:
    December 19th, 2006 10:58 am

    [quote post="393"]“And who determines this “rightâ€

  61. Ibrahim says:
    December 19th, 2006 11:07 pm

    Salamalikum,

    Sirat-ul-Mustaqeem: This strictness doesn’t stem from insecurity; And Allah knows what’s in people’s hearts. Rather, it stems from the fundamental point in Islam that as Muslims we DO NOT believe in relative truth. We believe in absolute truth, and the absolute truth being that Islam and only Islam is the correct way. Relative truth is what is commonly heard today that “your religion is right and my religion is right”. This is completely against basic Islamic understanding. So when I say that Muslims shouldn’t participate in non-Muslim activities, then it’s due to my belief in absolute truth. This point is just another way of saying what is meant by the hadith quoted by Adnan Siddiqi.

    You have to talk from a point of knowledge if one is to talk about anything, let alone Islam. When you say that Hajj is a pre-Islamic festival, do you know that in the times of jihalat (pre-Islamic times), the hajj was performed naked, both by men and women? Do you know that they used to come for hajj to pay tribute to the thousands of man-made statues that were in Kaa’ba at that time? Do you know that one of their main purposes of coming to Makkah was to do business with other tribes rather than just come for religious purposes? So just saying that Hajj is pre-Islamic is a wrong statement. Secondly, I highly doubt that Eid is a pre-Islamic activity because there was no Ramadan (Eidul Fitr) and I don’t think Eidul Azha used to be practiced. Also, if any “pre-Islamic” activity was carried on in Islam then it was from the order of Allah and his prophet. Even if you can bring one pre-Islamic festival that Islam kept, that doesn’t give Muslims today a license to go about including other non-Islamic activities because there is no prophet and Allah’s book is complete (i.e. no one is getting a wahee (message)).

    “And by the way what is a ‘non-Islamic’ activity? Is typing on the computer ‘Islamic’? If it is not, then it must be ‘un-Islamic’!”…This is such a childish, immature comment that I’m not even going to answer it because, I hope, every one can see how odd and out of whack this comment is.

    Greywolf: What you conveniently missed is that these highly knowledgeable scholars are not making judgments for personal reasons…rahter, they base their rulings in deep knowledge of Quran and Hadith and Fiqh. So, when you say that you’ll take your cue from Jinnah and not from these scholars, what are you really rejecting?? Greywolf, you should take cue from prophet Muhammad (saw) rather than Jinnah. Adnan Siddiqi has mentioned the haidth so stick to it rather than following Jinnah’s “sunnah”.

    Why do you guys not understand what I’m saying? Allowing non-muslims to worship and joining them in their worship is two completely different things. I never said not to allow Hindus their Diwali festival in their temples. So Akif, no one is suggesting to abuse or suppress non-Muslims in Pakistan. Akif, are you saying that if tomorrow someone dies you will know and make the decision on your own as to how to distribute the inheritance? You won’t need to contact a respected, knowledgeable shaykh (I’m not talking about politicians like Fazlur Rahman and Qazi Hussain) who would know what is said in Quran and Hadith more than you and I? Or would you take matters in your own hand and satisfy yourself by doing whatever you find ok?

    The bottom line is this: in my original post I never said a word about suppressing others. People like Greywolf, knowingly or unwittingly, changed the subject and tried to make out my comments as intolerant and somehow advocating suppression. But, I will say it clearly again that it is wrong to join the Hindus and celebrate Diwali with them.

  62. Saif says:
    December 19th, 2006 11:47 pm

    Mr. Ibrahim,

    I have read your sermon. There are too many holes in it. I don’t want to get into them. However, I would like to comment on one of your statements when you say that in pre-Islamic era “the hajj was performed naked, both by men and women”. As Americans would say, this is total hogwash. No responsible Muslim historian — from Tabari in the 9th century to Syed Amir Ali in the 20th century has mentioned it. You must have got this information from a semi-literate maulvi in Pakistan. Please verify your facts.

  63. Malanga says:
    December 21st, 2006 11:01 pm

    mandar Dha dhay, masjid Dha dhay,
    Dha dhay jay kucch dhainda aye,

    par kissi da dill na dha-ween,
    soona rab dillaN which rainda aye.

    Break down the Mandir, Break down the Masjid
    Break down whatever you want

    But do not break anyone’s heart,
    because God lives in people’s hearts.

  64. Ibrahim says:
    December 20th, 2006 2:31 am

    Salamalikum,

    Saif, I like your post. From the sound of it, if I can prove it inshaAllah, then you’ll agree that people used to come to Kaa’ba for tawaf naked. Right? I didn’t learn it from a “semi-literate maulvi”. Rather, I learned it in my house and through books. This is a “fatoor” of your mind that you think this way. I don’t know who Syed Amir Ali is but have you read ash-Shaykh ibn Jarir at-Tabari’s Tareekh ar-Rusool wa al-Muluk (Tareekh at-Tabari)? If not, how do you know he hasn’t written that? Plus, I won’t be surprised that it might not have this thing about hajj because the tareekh is not exactly a seerah on Rasoolullah (saw). Rather, it’s history of prophets and kings and he might not have mention things commonly found in seerah books.

    I want to just demonstrate that people doing hajj naked in pre-Islamic time is very well known fact. So, in one hour or so since I’ve read your comments and started writing my comments, and Allah would have it that I had some time, I was able to find some sound references. Note that I’m no scholar and I don’t have all the knowledge and books. Otherwise, one can easily find I would say 20-30 references, time permitting. Now, you can be like a toddler and still not agree or believe. If so, I can’t do much for you, Saif. May Allah show me and you the right path, inshaAllah. Here’re the references:

    * It’s narrated in Sahih Bukhari that Abu Hurayrah said:”Abu Bakr (may Allaah be pleased with him) sent me as an announcer on that Hajj [which the Prophet (saw) appointed Abu Bakr to lead in 9 AH], to announce on the Day of Sacrifice in Mina that after this year no mushrik might perform Hajj and no one might circumambulate the House naked”. Brother Saif, this should be plenty but I’ll give you some more.

    * In the famous book of seerah “Al-Raheeq Al-Makhtoom” orginally written in Arabic and re-written by the auther himself in Urdu(also translated in English as “The Sealed Nection”), and its authenticity has been proven time and again and from every corner of the world, ash-Shaykh Safiur Rahman Mubarakpuri writes (page 64, Makatabah as-salafiyyah, Lahore print–I’ll first write in Urdu and then translate):”aik bidat ya bhi thi kay inhooN (Quraish) nay bayroon-e-Haram kay bashindooN ko hukum day rakha tha kay wo Haram maiN anaiN kay baAd tawaf humms say hasil keyay huway kaproon hi maiN karaiN. chunacha agar inn ka kapra destiyaab na hota tou mard naNgay tawaf kartay aur aurtaiN apnay saray kapray utaar kar sirf aik chota saa khula huwa kurta phenlayteeiN….Allah taala nay iss kharafaat (bidaat) kay khatmay kay leeya farmaya [the author writes the ayat in arabic then translate it]“”aay aadam kay baytoo! har masjid kay pass apni zinat ikhtiyaar kar leeya karo…”" (Al-Ahzab (chapter no. 7, ayat 31)”
    In English, Mubarakpuri writes:”Another bidat (innovation) was that they (Quraish) would order people who lived outside of Haram (approximately Makkah) to do the first tawaf in the clothes that they bought/got from Humms (a name which means brave that Quraish had given themselves).

  65. Ibrahim says:
    December 20th, 2006 2:45 am

    [For some reason the comment was being cut-off...may be too long; here's the rest, continuing from above]

    So, if someone couldn’t get clothes from Humms then men used to circumambulate fully naked while women used to take off all their clothes and wear a short open-front top (semi-naked…I wrote this in the parenthesis) only….To abolish this practice Allah said:”"O Children of Adam! wear your beautiful apparel at every time and place of prayer…”"(Al-Ahzab (no. 7, ayat 31).”
    I got the English translation of this ayat from Yusuf Ali. Brother Saif, this should be plenty but I’ll give you some more.

    * “Abu Bakr Leads the First Hajj Journey in 9 A.Hâ€

  66. Formerly Yahya says:
    December 20th, 2006 4:41 am

    [quote comment="18141"]Salamalikum,

    Saif, I like your post. From the sound of it, if I can prove it inshaAllah, then you’ll agree that people used to come to Kaa’ba for tawaf naked. Right? [/quote]

    Ibrahim talking of strict Islam over which you seem to have a monopoly, you DO NOT accuse anyone *before* you get a proof. This makes one a liar, a fasiq and a hypocrite. This phenomenon is fairly common among the religious fanatics however so no surprise there.

  67. December 20th, 2006 5:01 am

    [quote post="393"], you DO NOT accuse anyone *before* you get a proof. This makes one a liar, a fasiq and a hypocrite. This phenomenon is fairly common among the religious fanatics however so no surprise there.[/quote]

    you proved yourself a person which was explained in your own words “fasiq and hypocrite” by accusing Ibrahim. Preach which you can act yourself first.

  68. Akif Nizam says:
    December 20th, 2006 11:47 am

    Ibrahim, I was responding to Adnan’s statement who opined that Islam came to kill all other customs. If a muslim believes that to be true, then is essence he/she believes in suppressing non-muslim customs.

    From your comments, it seems that you are a religious person and well-versed with historical anecdotes. Given that I’m not, there is no way for me to converse on your level. My opinion, however, is that if we keep insisting on maintaining the same laws that applied to tribal societies of thousands of years ago, then we’ll continue to be a tribal society stuck in the seventh century. Democracy and a parliamentary system exists to keep up with the current demands of changing environments. If we believe in static laws that are good forever, then we don’t need democratic institutions or debate. Islam is what Islam is and all we need to do is to ask the maulvi what to do.

  69. Ibrahim says:
    December 20th, 2006 3:47 pm

    Salamalikum,

    Yahya, may be I’m not smart enough. Please explain how I “accuse anyone *before* you get a proof”. Saif decided to announce to the world that “no responsible historian…has mentioned it”, and I decided to put the record straight. How’s this accusing anyone?

    I’m not a least bit surprised by comments like Sirat-ul-Mustaqeem’s. When people have nothing more to say, they end up saying childish immature things like: “why are you so fascinated by naked people; men and women”! By Allah, the only reason I wrote a detailed response to this issue was the way Saif proclaimed that no responsible historian has mentioned it[naked men/women doing tawaf]. This is playing with historical facts, and I thought I will make it clear.

  70. Greywolf says:
    December 20th, 2006 11:52 pm

    Ibrahim

    To each his own. Cease and desist from telling me what you think the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet is. Atleast don’t unload your own hang ups on that great man.

  71. Ibrahim says:
    December 21st, 2006 3:57 pm

    Salamalikum,

    This would be, inshaAllah, my last post on this issue because what needed to be said has been said. It’s funny–while I’m providing facts and references in my comments in return I’m only getting baseless accusation without any support like “Atleast don’t unload your own hang ups on that great man” by Greywolf. It’s in your head, Greywolf, that even after looking at my references of Haidth (Sahih Bukhari) and Quran (Al-Ahzaab surah) you think that I’m painting Rasoolullah’s (saw)Sunnah with my ideology. This is a very serious accusation to place on a Muslim. As they say, housh kay nakhun leegiyay!! Allah knows best.

  72. pankaj khanna says:
    January 14th, 2007 5:35 am

    hi

    i m happy to see a diwali picture from pakistan. that show pakistan is multicultural country where freedom of speech, freedom of worship prevails. from sydney and from western world we see pakistan is a terrorist country.but it is not true. at present world is viewing all muslim as terrorist.
    one or two people can be wrong not the whole community. i belong to hindu family from sydney and background is from punjab (india)o.i have so many friends from pakistans.we live together eat together there is no anoymity between us.we live like brothers.
    my message to all pakistan i spread the friendship, and people of the world should see wat our culture is .
    may god bless u
    pankaj khanna

  73. Vikram says:
    January 18th, 2007 7:39 am

    Hi neighbours

    Very enlighting conversation/s. Thanks.

    I too had many pakistani friends when abroad. We are soo similar. I pray to God that we all live in peace as brothers.

    Regards,
    Vikram, Delhi

  74. YLH says:
    February 7th, 2007 2:49 am

    Sign the Petition for THE RESTORATION OF THE CIVIL RIGHTS OF AHMADIS

    http://www.petitiononline.com/Greywolf/petition.html

  75. July 5th, 2007 4:15 am

    Stupid Attitude for Money and Power they can go any limit this is nothing but at least they have to show their dignity that they are belongs to a Republic of a Islamic country’s ruler group they sot to suppose to make them self a part of Hinduism as Guest they can attend but not to lose the Islamic dignity…ok

  76. Siddhu says:
    July 6th, 2007 1:50 pm

    When I should have been studying for an exam, I spent an hour reading the comments here. And honestly, it was quite illuminating – starting from the AIML/BJP discussion, down to the theological discussion. I do not comment on the latter, for as a non-Muslim, I do not think I have the right to air my views on the same. :)

    I would however like to echo what some of the other Indians here said. I’ve many Pakistani friends myself (more than the number of Indians I know here, strangely enough), and I feel we get along splendidly. Peace to you as well!

  77. June 3rd, 2015 8:06 pm

    [...] is openly celebrated in the political party offices in Pakistan, once even with Muslim politicians dressed up as [...]

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