By Farooq Sulehria
18 September 2014
I heard you talking to Junaid Jamshed during ‘Hayya al Falah’ aired by Geo TV (Aug 19). Once a star singer, this leading born-again Muslim often boasts of being your disciple. In the programme mentioned above, you also expressed pride in your disciple. I wonder what your opinion is about a few of your other star disciples playing less cricket and more spot-fixing. I am, in fact, not writing to you about your disciples. I am sending you this note in protest after ‘watching’ your Geo TV sermon. Asked about the flash floods, you cited a verse from Quran that meant Fasad, either on earth or oceans, was of man’s own making. Another verse you quoted suggested that a disaster befalling human beings was caused by their own actions. As expected, you advised the nation to go for Tauba Istaghfar (begging god’s forgiveness for one’s sins).
By the way, Maulana! Do you know floods can be controlled with better planning? I read a report that the Punjab government earmarked Rs 12 crore (120 million) to finance flood relief. I assume you know the proportion of Pakistan’s budget allocated to the army? By re-prioritising, we can easily fight floods. Similarly, by applying strict building standards in earthquake-prone areas, we cannot control the earthquakes but we can limit the damage. This was clearly demonstrated earlier this year when Haiti was fatally flattened by a seismic jolt, but Chile survived a more severe earthquake. Any Fatwa?
In your telephone harangue, you also enlightened us ‘sinners’ as to the fact that Allah’s mood is expressed through weather. According to your interpretation, Allah when pleased allows rains to fall on time and when Naraz (angry), withholds the rain. In the same breath you blamed the rulers for bringing into play the god’s wrath. If the actions of rulers cause droughts and floods, I wonder how you would explain the six-year-long drought suffered by Kabul when the Taliban were in power? Throughout the time that Mullah Omar was at the helm of Kabul, the Afghan capital received neither rain nor snow. Ironically, the day that US-backed former king, Zahir Shah, arrived in the post-9/11 Kabul, the city turned white with snow. It would be interesting to know your interpretation of god’s mood vis-a-vis political changes in Kabul from 1997-2001.
In the passing, let me also point out my confusion about god’s decision to arbitrarily punish poor folk for the misdeeds of their rulers. Are you attributing class-based fury to God? It will indeed be interesting to know your opinion about why floods, droughts, earthquakes, tsunamis and hurricanes all over the world hit the poor hard while the rich often escape the wrath of god. This must be because the poor are worse sinners than the rich.
Honestly, I will not even ask you about innocent children becoming collateral damage for the sins of their parents. Even as enlightened an Aalim as Allama Ghamidi was justifying the death of innocent children after the earthquake in 2005. Let me instead ask you for another explanation.
I know from a village mosque to your grand Tableeghi centre, all such projects depend upon donations (Chanda). I have never heard you or any other mullah ever saying that he would not accept any donation from an adulterer, alcohol consumer, bribe-taker, usurer (which taken literally would implicate all bank employees), tax-defaulter, corrupt individual, Baynamaz, Bayhaya (vulgar person) and so on.
Also, I am slightly curious to know the sources that finance your gigantic Tableeghi project. Before you criticise the corrupt rulers, it would indeed be reasonable that you be financially-transparent yourself. Most importantly, us ‘sinners’ might take you more seriously when we know that your Tableeghi mission has not accepted any dirty money from any ‘sinner’.
I am sure that doing a little heart-searching will make you think a couple of Tauba Istaghfars yourself before you insult poor, working class victims of a natural disaster next time.
An agitated ‘sinner’,
Original source: http://www.viewpointonline.net/2014/01/a-letter-to-maulana-tariq-jameel/157-a-letter-to-maulana-tariq-jameel