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This Islamic website offers facts about Islam and Muslims, Islam way and Islamic ideology. Online Islam - Latest Islamic World News, Articles on Radical Islamism & Jihad and Islam, Terrorism and Jihad
     
Islamic Ideology
25 Jan 2011, NewAgeIslam.Com
PAKISTAN’S BARBARIC LAW OF BLASPHEMY

By Dr. Shabbir Ahmed 

Dictionaries define blasphemy as:

In simple terms it means insulting someone or something considered sacred or inviolable by a community or group of people.

These days, Pakistan is gripped by the hysteria of blasphemy, particularly about insulting the exalted Prophet Muhammad or the Holy Qur’an. This situation is fast creating a national divide which spreads hatred against each other based upon what they believe and others believe. Every sect then considers itself right and all others wrong. The divergent beliefs thrust them to a massive enmity to the extent of absolute intolerance. The fanatics among the religious people have no hesitation in killing their opponents. Pakistan could possibly be heading towards a civil war.

30:32 Those who split up their religion becoming sects, each sect delighting in whatever beliefs they have. [3:104, 6:160, 23:53, 42:13. Sectarianism is invariably based on taking humans as ‘authorities’]

Pakistan is the country with the harshest laws on blasphemy. Any reported incidence of blasphemy against the Prophet or the Qur’an is punishable by death. A confirmed blasphemer has to be irrevocably sentenced to death. Unfortunately, the majority of Pakistanis, even the educated ones, are under the influence of despicable Mullahs.

Wikipedia: Defiling the Quran merits imprisonment for life. Defaming Muhammad merits death with or without a fine.

Religious scholars and lawyers, who have unequivocally supported the blasphemy law in its existing shape, said that similar laws that carry capital punishment for blasphemers are being practiced in hardly five Islamic countries out of 54.

All of those interviewed affirmed such laws exist at least in two Islamic countries: Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, but were not certain of the exact number of countries governed by such stringent legislation as one of them said it is also being practiced in Iran, Sudan and Afghanistan.”

BLASPHEMY: The Qur’an prescribes no punishment for blasphemy.

Who doesn’t know the most widely published verse of the Qur’an? LA IKRAHA FIDDEEN. (There is absolutely no compulsion or coercion in Religion.)

2:256 (Although this message has been sent down by the Almighty) there is absolutely no compulsion or coercion in Religion. The right direction has been made distinct from error. So, whoever rejects false gods (such as the clergy, human ‘authorities’) and attains conviction in God, has grasped the Unbreakable Support. God is Hearer, Knower.

[No compulsion in matters of religion - This Rule shall have no exceptions since Right has been distinguished from Wrong. 2:148, 2:193, 2:256, 4:88, 5:48, 6:104, 6:107-108, 7:177-178, 10:99, 12:108, 18:29, 22:39-40, 27:80-81, 39:41, 56:79, 73:19. At-Taaghoot = Those who, in rebellion to the One True God, claim to have Divine powers or try to portray themselves as His representatives = Sufis, mystics, priesthood, clergy, tyrants. Tagha = Rebellion. Idols of stones cannot rebel and therefore, they cannot be At-Taaghoot]

If we think and reflect, the exalted Prophet Muhammad is beyond reproach, insults or denigration. Allah has given him the highest certificate: RAHMATILLIL’AALAMIN (Grace for all people, nations and all creation). Can any human being throw a blot on a Divine Certificate? Can anyone blacken a shining sun?

SUNNAH: Some Mullahs maintain that the Prophet (S) forgave people for all their assaults, but it was his attitude. How can we bear any insults hurled upon him? But, how do they forget the noble SUNNAH (example) of the exalted Prophet?

SUBLIME MORALS: The Qur’an says:

68:2 You (O Messenger), by the grace of your Lord, are not a madman. 
68:3 And yours will be an everlasting reward. 
68:4 For, you have sublime morals.

Did anyone contradict this statement or the following?

7:184 Has it never occurred to them that there is no madness whatsoever in their fellow-man? He has lived a whole life among you (10:16). He is only a plain warner.

Let us present here only a few examples.

UMM JAMIL: Umm Jamil, the wife of Prophet Muhammad’s Uncle* Abi Lahab, used to spread thorny bushes on the doorstep of the Prophet. One morning, he found the doorstep clean. Instead of being happy, he became concerned and asked about her well-being. Upon learning that she was sick, he visited her house and inquired about her condition and any needs she might have.

‘AQABAH BIN MU’EET: This staunch enemy of the exalted Prophet used to place camel’s viscera on him. At times even the Prophet’s beloved little daughter Fatima would remove the garbage from his person. A noble companion asked permission from the Prophet to kill him but taking revenge for personal assault was beyond the greatest man’s moral discipline. He said, “I forgive him.”

MIGRATION – HIJRAH – HARBINGER OF PEACE: Madinah is a town about 210 miles north of Makkah on the western coast of today's Saudi Arabia. The Prophet (S) had advised some Makkans to migrate to Ethiopia (615 CE) and later to Madinah. Ethiopia's Christian King Negus (Najashi) was a kind-hearted man. He saw the common grounds, sheltered Muslims and soon embraced Islam. During the past 12 plus years, some people of Madinah also had embraced Islam. The Muslims of Madinah had been inviting the exalted Prophet to move to their town. It was in the year 622 CE when Muhammad (S) made his move to Madinah. This was the most influential migration in history since it was to change the future of humanity. Traveling 210 miles on camel back usually took more than one week. The exalted Prophet rode to Madinah on camel back with Hazrat Abu Bakr as his companion. The people of Madinah welcomed the Prophet with great joy. Men, women and children all were extremely delighted. The Day of Hijrah or Migration marks the beginning of the Islamic calendar. The exalted Prophet brought peace to Madinah. He ended tribal warfare and signed peace treaties with the local tribes, the Jews and other groups. The previous name of this blessed township was Yathrib. From this point on, it came to be known as Madinah-tun-Nabi (Town of the Prophet).

AN ORDINARY LABORER: When the Masjid Nabawi was being built in Madinah, the noble companions requested the Prophet (S) to take rest and supervise the construction. However, the Prophet (S) continuously worked with his companions like an ordinary laborer picking stones, bricks, and wood.

FORBEARANCE: The Prophet went to meet with a group of people and preach Islam. The infamous hypocrite Abdullah bin Ubbi rudely said, “Do not come to us to preach even the truth.” The young and strong companions became furious, but the exalted Prophet told them to calm down and not react. He then calmly turned back.

NO DISFIGUREMENT: Suhail bin Umro used to deliver fiery speeches against the Prophet. He was captured at the Battle of Badr. Some companions suggested that his frontal teeth be extracted in order to impair his speech but the exalted Prophet strongly forbade them saying, “I fear Allah’s law of requital.” He added that no person or dead body, not even an animal, would be disfigured after the advent of Islam.

ABOLITION OF SLAVERY: Seventy opponents were taken captive at the Battle of Badr and none of them was killed or enslaved. The rich ones paid ransom and the poor would be released by way of compassion. The educated among the captives would only teach 10 Muslims to read and write in order to attain freedom.

47:4 If you meet the disbelievers in battle, strike at their command centers, until you have subdued them, then, bind them firmly. And thereafter, there must be an act of kindness or ransom when the battle lays down its weapons. If God willed, He could punish them Himself, but that He may let you be tested by means of one another (as to which people remains vigilant.) As for those who are slain in the way of God, He does not render their actions vain.

MAGNANIMITY: A man was arrested for trying to ambush the Prophet. He told the companions to set him free. The Prophet never took revenge for verbal or physical attacks on his person.

COMPASSION FOR WOMEN: Hindah bint Waleed, wife of Abu Sufyan, was a sworn enemy of Islam and the Prophet. During the Battle of Uhud, Hazrat Abu Dajanah had his sword raised over the heavily armed combatant Hindah’s head, but the Prophet (S) gestured to him and Hazrat Abu Dajanah withdrew his sword from her. "We hurt no women", said the Prophet.

FORGIVENESS: Muhammad (S) went to Taif for conveying the Message to the residents of the town. The leaders told the youngsters to mock him and throw stones at him. The Prophet was bleeding and the blood trickled and clotted in his shoes. Whenever he tried to sit down in weakness, the scoundrels made him stand up and walk again. The Prophet’s adopted son, Zaid bin Haarisa, asked him to pray against the Taifites. The Prophet (S) refused, saying, “If not these, their generations will come to believe in the Truth.”

PRAYING FOR AGGRESSORS: The Makkans came back in 3 AH to avenge their defeat at Badr in 2 AH. During the hard-fought Battle of Uhud when both sides were suffering heavy casualties, the exalted Prophet was heard praying, “O My Sustainer! Forgive my people since they know not.”

POISONING: A Jewish woman of Khyber, Zainab w/o Sallaam bin Mushkam, invited the Prophet and some companions to dinner but added poison to the meals. The Prophet ate one morsel and quit. She was arrested and feared for her life. The Prophet asked her why she had done it. She responded, “In order to kill you.” The Prophet forgave her since he never used to avenge for personal reasons. A noble companion, Bashar bin Barar, ate his fill and died of the poison the next day. The woman was then executed according to the law of just recompense.

ADI BIN HATIM TAI: He was a Christian leader and came with a delegation. A poor woman intervened and asked the Prophet to listen to her in privacy. He immediately stood up, asked people to be excused, and then listened to her with patience. Adi said, “I had come to see if Muhammad was a king or a prophet. Now I know that he is a truthful prophet of God.” Adi embraced Islam right there.

UNITY OF MANKIND: From the very beginning, the Prophet (S) had declared that all humans are equal regardless of color, ethnicity, tribe, and geography and that every child of Adam is worthy of honor.

17:70 Surely, We have conferred dignity on children of Adam (as a birth right, regardless of where the child is born), and provided them with transport on land and sea and given them decent things of life. We have favored them over very many of those whom We have created.

The FUNERAL procession of a Jew passed by and the Prophet stood up in respect. Some people reminded him that it was the funeral of a non-Muslim. He said, “So what? He was a human being.”

COURAGE: One day, the Prophet was resting under a shady tree in an isolated little valley. An opponent came and un-shielding his sword, said, “O Muhammad! Tell me who can save you from me.” The Prophet calmly replied, “Allah!” The man got stunned and started trembling. The Prophet (S) picked up his fallen sword and asked, “Now who can save you from me?” The man said, “None.” The Prophet asked, “Why don’t you say what I had said?” The man remained dumbfounded for a few moments and then uttered the ‘Shahadah’ (There is no god but God and Muhammad is His Messenger).

The FUNERAL procession of a Jew passed by and the Prophet stood up in respect. Some people reminded him that it was the funeral of a non-Muslim. He said, “So what? He was a human being.”

HUDAIBIYYAH: This famous peace treaty between Muslims and the Makkans was under way when some Makkans tried to assassinate the Prophet’s ambassador, Hazrat Khirash bin Umayyah, and killed the Prophet’s camel he was riding. Then the Quresh sent an armed party towards Muslims but the Muslims arrested them. When they were presented before the exalted Prophet, he unconditionally forgave them.

EVEN BLOODY AGGRESSION IS FORGIVEN – Ghatfaan: Zi Qru was a grassy land where the camels of the exalted Prophet and his companions used to graze. Several men from the Ghatfaan tribe raided the pasture, killed Hazrat Abu Zar Ghaffari’s son who was standing guard and abducted his wife and 20 camels. Hazrat Salma bin Ukoo’, an expert archer followed the aggressors and he, along with his men, captured and bound the assailants. Then he rushed to the Prophet with the report that he had the aggressors in custody right on the pasture keeping water supplies out of their reach. You can imagine what such cruel aggressors would expect? The exalted Prophet told Hazrat Salma bin Ukoo’, “When you overcome an enemy, let forgiveness take the lead.”

MUHAMMAD, THE VICTOR: Some argue that this was the Prophet’s conduct in Makkah but not so in Madinah when he was in authority, but once again facts show that nothing could be further from the truth. We all know about the kind of treatment Abdullah bin Ubai extended to the Prophet. He was known as the Raeesul Munafiqeen (the leader of the hypocrites) in Madinah. He deserted the Muslim army along with 300 followers in the Battle of Uhud, and with his attitude and words hurt the Prophet (S) grievously yet, when he was dying, this is what happened: The Prophet (S) visited him in his illness and found that the imminence of death had changed him. He asked the Prophet to give him a garment of his own in which he could be shrouded and to accompany his body to the grave...he spoke saying, ‘O Messenger of God, I hope that you will pray at my funeral and ask forgiveness of God for my sins’...and after his death (the Prophet (S) did as he had promised. Particularly interesting is his answer to Hazrat Umar when the latter protested that the Prophet (S) should not bestow such grace on a hypocrite. The Prophet (S) replied, “Stand behind me Umar. I have been given the choice and I have chosen. It has been said unto me, “Ask forgiveness for them, or ask it not though you ask forgiveness for them 70 times, yet will not God forgive them,.” – “And if I knew that God would forgive him if I prayed more than 70 times, I would increase the number of my supplications.”

Another outstanding example of forgiveness is that of the poet Ka’b ibn Zuhair ibn abi Sulma who used to write satirical verses against the Prophet (S). His brother, Bujair, who was a Muslim, urged him to go ask for the Prophet’s (S) forgiveness in the following words, “He slays not him who comes unto him in repentance.” The poet approached him after the conquest of Makkah and said, “O messenger of God, if Ka’b, the son of Zuhair came to you in repentance...would you receive him?” As the Prophet (S) answered that he would, the poet said, “I, O Messenger of God am Ka’b, the son of Zuhayr.” Then he recited an ode in praise of the Prophet (S) and the emigrants. Upon his finishing, the Prophet (S) took off his striped Yemeni cloak and gave it to Ka’b. This robe is enshrined in the Topkapi museum in Turkey, a testament of the Prophet’s (S) magnanimity and the relish with which he accepted his former enemies wholeheartedly without rancor and grudges.

GENERAL AMNESTY MATCHLESS IN THE ANNALS OF HISTORY, THE CONQUEST OF MAKKAH JAN 630 CE, RAMADHAN AH 8:

During the previous 2 years of relative peace, Quraysh, the pagans of Makkah, were closely watching the long strides Islam was making. Willfully and repeatedly they violated the Treaty of Hudaibiyyah, attacked small bands of peaceful Muslims and ultimately revoked it in writing. As Head of the State of Madinah, the Prophet had no choice, but to attack Makkah. With 10,000 soldiers, he marched to Makkah in 630 CE. Please note that in that blessed era, every able-bodied Muslim man and woman used to serve as a soldier in the defense of the Islamic State. There was no standing army as such. The Makkans were taken aback! The city was captured without any bloodshed. The exalted Prophet rode on his camel through the gate of the city while his opponents trembled in fear. Instead of showing royal pride, he was very humble and kept his head bowed in humility. Then he immediately declared amnesty for all, "This day there is no blame on you. All of you are completely free." Upon hearing this, everyone was stunned in amazement! Almost instantly, all of Makkah embraced Islam.

Among those Makkans, there were people who had driven Muhammad (S) and his family and companions out of their homes. There were those who had looted their property and killed many Muslims. They had severely persecuted the Prophet and Muslim men and women. They had tried their utmost to destroy Islam and Muslims. Yet the merciful Prophet tells them, "This day there is no blame on you. You are free to go about." All of human history will fail to cite one example of clemency like this.

For further details, you may watch my Urdu/English U-Tube videos.

ENGLISH:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RC0CY03wOe0 - 1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=geqR2ga_rlM - 2

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Fr87YvQHB7k - 3

URDU:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1i7jhP9mUN0 - 1

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Va2Q1mJk9Z4 - 2

URL: http://www.newageislam.com/NewAgeIslamIslamicIdeology_1.aspx?ArticleID=3995

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COMMENTS
1/25/2011 11:31:59 AM Manzurul Haque

(They will not let us be in Peace!!!)

 

While I was busy handling the issue of ‘Murtid Ki Saza’, this blasphemy thing has surfaced. I have a ‘lughat’ (Urdu dictionary) and I tried to look for an equivalent Urdu word, but couldn’t find one. I have a lurking fear that this most exotic word ‘blasphemy’ may not have any equivalent in the Islamic world –Urdu, Persian or Arabic.  True somebody has suggested that it was only Muslims who were supposed to be targeted (under law of apostasy) by the Muslims on the issue (for turning abusive against Islam) because the non-Muslims were expected to be abusive anyway. 

But it seems General Zia has used to the hilt (his pet phrase) the power of the State to tame humanity.

Fight with the infidels in the times of war is understood, but how can an infidel be held responsible for ‘speaking about God or sacred matters in a disrespectful or rude way’ when he does not believe in god or sacredness of the matter in hand?

Besides how does capital punishment come into picture? Those within Christianity who invented the law of blasphemy derived it actually from the law of libel. It was thought that the honour or reputation of the dead prophets or of the living God needed to be defended and every Christian had the right to defend the same in a court of law. A similar extension has been given in Indian law to the idols who are considered juristic persons to hold the property. If at all General Zia or general Muslims wanted to extend the law of blasphemy to Islamic sacred symbols they should have followed the same line of reasoning as a necessity of modern life. Obviously these matters could be dealt by dishing out some minor and proportionate punishments without resorting to the punishment of death. But the other day Dr. Zakir Naik was citing something about four kinds of punishment for something like this but I am not sure what. With his ability to quote scriptures I am afraid to take ‘panga’ with him, but would quietly like to examine what he had to say.

On my part I was doing some sort of research on ‘Murtid Ki saza Maut’ and had come to some very tentative but balanced conclusion which I would like to share some day. And presuming that I would not be pitted against the hard quotes of Dr. Naik, I was contemplating that it was General Zia’s trick to mix (either because of mischief for playing to the hilt,  or because of ignorance)  the law of blasphemous libel with the ‘Murtid Ki Saza Maut’ .  If there has been a genuine mistake, I think the Muslim scholars in Muslim countries could think of lightening the law of blasphemy in its application to non-Muslims and restricting this law only for the non-Muslims as a simple civil law.

 The Muslims have however to be dealt by another similar law which would be the law of 'apostasy' or rather some other name describing ‘enmity against Islam’. This law will have to be necessarily complex because it will have to deal with the simple retractable blasphemies of the Muslims as well as hard core enmity of the enemies of Islamic religious order – who could be any one, but are largely likely to be dedicated Munafiqs.   Some head-scratching on these issues is needed even from the Muslim point of view. 

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