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Interview: Sufi Mohammad of TNSM, Swat

Posted on March 19, 2009
Filed Under >Adil Najam, Law & Justice, People, Politics
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Adil Najam

As the politics of intrigue and rumor heats up, even more, in Pakistan and after the recent dramatic political events, the news of Pakistan’s most important existential battle – against the extremism of the Taliban and their ilk – seems to have slid off the front pages.

Yet, a news item in The News reminds us that the murderous militants are now setting their eyes towards District Dir, after gaining control of Swat. One got a better glimpse into the mind of one of the key players in the Swat saga, Sufi Mohammed, in an interview given to Daily Times’ Peshawar Bureau Chief Iqbal Khattak. Speaking in Mingora, the 74 year-old father-in-law of militant leader Fazlulah gives many important glimpses into his own thinking and priorities.



Here is the interview published in Daily Times:

You said in a 2005 interview with us that what Al Qaeda and the Taliban are doing in Pakistan is haram. Are Fazlullah’s activities over the last sixteen months also haram?
Sufi Muhammad: Yes, I said that about Al Qaeda, but not about the Taliban. Let me say…that debate on past happenings is disallowed in Islam. A hadith sharif says, what has happened in the past should not be discussed.

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But how can we proceed without debating the past?
The hadith sharif says a Muslim should not discuss past happenings because he may not remember all the [details] and, therefore, he may…sin by not speaking the truth.

A majority of Swat residents do not think the peace deal recently signed between the TNSM and the NWFP government will last long.
God Almighty does everything; he builds and destroys countries.

Residents also doubt whether peace is possible in the presence of armed Taliban.
Everyone keeps weapons. People in Peshawar have weapons with them.

You support keeping weapons?
Yes, you can keep weapons with you.

Did you ask Fazlullah to surrender weapons after the sharia law deal?
Keeping weapons is halal in Islam.

President Zardari said recently that force would be used if the Taliban do not surrender weapons in Swat.
His statement is childish…immature.

With sharia law in Swat, there will be a complete ban on music and girls’ education, and people will be forced to grow beards?
There are five subjects — judiciary, politics, economics, education and the executive. The judicial subject will be with us, the rest is beyond our control.

The Taliban are kidnapping government officials and killing soldiers, yet you still hold the army responsible for ceasefire violations.
Kidnapping cases are taking place all over the world. The military violated the ceasefire.

The military says some of its soldiers were shot dead while bringing water.
No. This is not the case. The soldiers were not killed near any stream.

Are soldiers moving freely in Swat after the peace deal?
No. The military cannot move freely unless peace is restored.

After peace is restored, will the army leave Swat?
This is Pakistan’s army and Swat is within Pakistan’s borders. I will have no objection if a military cantonment is established here.

Locals say innocent people have been killed. Will the aggrieved families be able to get justice?
I have told you already: we will not discuss what has happened in the past. Sharia law does not allow this.

If a court summons a key Taliban commander, will he appear before the court?
If Caliph Umar (RA) can appear before a court, then why can’t others?

So Fazlullah will also appear in court if summoned?
If he does not… he will be acting against the sharia law.

What you did in Malakand in the 1990s and then in Afghanistan in 2001 you called ‘jihad’. Are Fazlullah’s activities over the last 16 months in Swat also jihad?
I do not want to speak on this.

What are Fazlullah’s plans after the peace deal?
He will support imposition of sharia law.

You have termed democracy ‘infidelity’. But Maulana Sami-ul Haq, Maulana Fazlur Rehman and Qazi Hussain Ahmad are taking part in the democratic process.
Democracy is not permissible in sharia law. I will not name [these leaders] but they are taking part in infidelity. I will not offer prayers if one of [these leaders] is leading those prayers.

Do you intend to export sharia law to other parts of Pakistan?
If people help me, I will. Otherwise, no.

67 comments posted

Comment Pages: [9] 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 » Show All

  1. AHAMD says:
    May 3rd, 2009 6:37 pm

    ACTUALLY SOFI MUHAMMAD IS PURE,FUNDAMENTLIST AND TRUE SCHOLAR OF ISLAM.AND EVERY TRUE MUSLIM SHOULD KNOW ISLAM HAS LOVE TO GOOD PEOPLE AND BITTERNESS ON EVILS.EVERY SO CALLED MUSLIM(EVERY PERSON WHO KALIMA COSIDER HIMSELF AS A MUSLIM -WHILE IT IS NOT TRUE.WHICH MUSLIM LEARN AND FOLLOW AT LEAST BASICS OF ISLAM IS ORIGINAL MUSLIM) ACCEPT LOVE OF ISLAM BUT DENY BITTERNEES TO HIS EVILS .BECAUSE HE WANT TO LIVE ACCORDING TO NON-ISLAMIC SOCIAL LIFE.
    AND THESE TYPE OF PEOPLE IN ALL OVER THE WORLD (AFTER KHILAFAT COLAPSE) REMAIN MORE THAN ORIGINAL MUSLIMS.AND THEY DENY ISLAM ,NOT WITH STRAIGHTFORWARDLY BUT WITH DENYING BASICS OF ISLAM LIKE ACCEPTING “SHIRK”(NOT-ACCEPTING ISLAMIC RULES) AND DENYING TAWHEED OF ALLAH.THEY NOT DENY THEM WITH THERE WORDS BUT DENY TAWHEED WITH THERE DEEDS.SO IT IS KUFR AND CONVET A MUSLIM TO KAFIR AGAIN.THESE TYPE OF DAMOCRATE PEOPLE ARE TALKING BAD ABOUT SOFI MUHAMMAD……….

  2. Md. Salahuddin Khan says:
    April 20th, 2009 10:54 pm

    It is reported that the great companion of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) Hazrat Abuzar Ghaffari (rz) once requested the Prophet to appoint him Governor of some province. Prophet Muhammad politely replied O!Abuzar, you should decline the leadership of even two persons if at any time it is offered to you. Hazrat Abuzar was the great Sahabi (companion) and was very close to Prophet Muhammad. He was simple, pure and austere in his life style and remained steadfast with Islamic zeal and fervour till his death. Even with these praiseworthy qualities of Hazrat Abuzar, the Prophet declined him granting governorship due to lack of qualities required for managing the complexities of a civil society. When Prophet appointed one of his companion as Governor, the Prophet asked him to be soft to the people and not harsh, to take low quality in tax and not the good, to provide easy options and not the difficult one to the people.
    When Hazrat Umar was conferred with the responsibility of Khilafah, the simple Islamic State of Medinah has expanded to the a very large territory bordering with the then civilised worlds of Iran and Rome. New challenges arose to manage the complexities of a vast State with diversities of cultural groups. Hazrat Umar applied his creative mind, consulted with intellectual Sahaba, adopted methods of other civilizations with necessary modification as per Islamic spirit. During famine period, he softened the implementation of Shariah law of theft. Not only Hazrat Umar, all the righteous Khalifa Hazrat Abu Bakr Siddiq, Hazrat Usman Ghani, Hazrat Ali (rz) applied their creative mind to implement the Shariah in changing situation with the basic formula that ‘Shariah is not a burden, it is actually meant for liberating the individual and the society from burden. It is the basic principle of Fiqh “to provide ‘yusr’ (easiness) and NOT ‘usr’ (hardship)”.
    Irrational attitude in applying the Shariah shall lead to great misunderstanding about Islam and it would be an ‘un-Islamic’ act in the garb of ‘Islam’. Sufi Muhammad, despite having good intention, would be accountable for the act of harshness, irrational behaviour and fatawas inconsistent to the spirit of Islam as contained in Quran and Sunnah. No doubt the present social, economic, judicial and political system in Muslim countries are aped to the Western civilization – something good, something to be modified and something to be discarded. But the processes of change needs democratic institutions, mass education and adoption of accepted norms of a civil society. If God commands that Prophet is not a ‘dictator’ to impose the revealed Islamic life-system on people without their willingness, no one should adopt the method of coersion to impose Islamic shariah on people. May Allah guide us all including so-called Islamic zealots to understand the true spirit of Islam.

  3. April 20th, 2009 2:07 pm

    I think Sufi Muhammad is pure in his faith although not a prominent scholar .Such prominent scholars always proved themselves a hurdles in the way of implementation of Islamic Shariah as it was in direct conflict their vested interets one example is Mulana Faizulr Rahman.So according to the surveys conduccted by impartial media forums majority of people not in swat or NWFP parts but also in Punjab supported Sufi’s movement as the common man needs speedy justice which he can not expect from the prevvailing system of Pakitan

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