By Hasan Khurshid
18 March 2019
Islam is a true religion of peace, tranquillity and intellect. It prohibits violence and promotes peace and justice. The Quran says, “Prophet Mohammad was sent to the world as a mercy to mankind (21: 107).” It states categorically, “Allah abhors any disturbance of peace.” (2: 205). Since there is no provision of violence in Islam, why is terrorism across the globe carried out in the name of this religion and why are the so-called caliphs themselves the perpetrators of violence? The answer to this query is that 50 years after the death of the Prophet in 632 AD, the true essence of Islam had started yielding to virulent political power-wielders, who proclaimed themselves as caliphs, using the might of the sword. This began with hardcore terrorist Yazid-ibn-Muawiya, who hijacked Islam by force and assassinated Hazrat Imam Husain, the successor and grandson of Prophet Mohammed in 680 AD along with 72 members of his family in the desert of Karbala (Iraq), just because Imam Husain refused to pledge allegiance to him.
However, the current scenario of terrorism can be best explained through the words of British historian Charles Allen, who, in his book God’s Terrorists — The Wahhabi Cult and the Hidden Roots of Modern Jihad, writes, “Wahhabi is the guiding ideology behind modern Islamist terrorism. In the late 18th century a violently intolerant re-interpretation of Islam took root in the Arabian Desert. Its followers became known after their founder (Sheikh Muhammad Najdi ibn Abd-al Wahhab), as Wahhabi. The creed was then exported to India and its north-west frontier Afghanistan.”
Sheikh Najdi was born in 1702 in the desert of Najd, a rocky plateau of the Arabian Peninsula. About Najd, Charles Allen writes, “Indeed, for many Arabs Najd had only negative associations. There was a popular saying that ‘Nothing good ever came out of Najd’, and it was related in the Hadith that the Prophet had three times been called upon to ask God to bless Najd and had three times refused, answering on the third occasion, ‘Earthquakes and dissension are there, and there shall arise the horn of Satan’. In the years following the ministry of Al-Wahhab, there were many who argued that this prophecy had been confirmed.”
In 1744, Najdi ibn Wahhab, sidelining the preaching of true Islam by Prophet Mohammed, created a new version of Islam called Wahhabism. His ideology is enshrined in Kitab-al Tawhid (book of unity), which prescribes the forceful conversion of Muslims and others to his Salafi or Wahhabi ideology, wherein he manifestly says, “Follow my ideology, else get ready to be killed.” His ideology was strongly opposed by Muslim masses, including his father and uncle. So Wahhabism is nothing but pseudo-Islam. However, when the opposition mounted against his ideology, Najdi was shrewd enough to find a patron in Muhammad-ibn-Saud, a Bedouin tribal chief, who made use of his new vitriolic version of Islam for political consolidation. Ibn Saud belonged to the Zionist tribe of Anza Ben Wael. Islam is not the original religion of Saudi Arab rulers. Sheikh Najdi, also belonging to Zionist ancestry, not only made an alliance with Ibn Saud but also got his daughter married to Ibn Saud’s son Abd-al-Aziz Ibn Saud. Thereafter, the faith was of Sheikh Najdi and the sword was of Ibn Saud. A dynastic government was established as a result of this partnership, which is still continuing in the name of Saudi Arabia.
In 1766, Muhammad Ibn Saud was killed and his son Abd-al-Aziz took over as Emir (temporal leader). He introduced firearms in the holy war or jihad, replacing conventional weaponry. He accelerated his attacks in a spectacular bid to extend his territory and as Allen says, “He issued every holy warrior a Farman or written order addressed to the gate-keeper of heaven, requiring him to be admitted forthwith should he die in battle.” Since then it has been the common schismatic, fraudulent practice of terror operators to misguide and exploit the youth for recruitment with the promise of paradise.
The history of Wahhabism has been written with the blood of innocent people. On June 2, 1792, Sheikh Muhammed Najdi-ibn-Abd-al Wahhab died, leaving behind his 24 wives and 18 children. And his son-in-law Abd-al Aziz speeded up his violent actions and conversions. In 1802, he attacked Karbala in Iraq, desecrating the holy shrine of Hazrat Imam Husain. Lieutenant Francis Warden wrote, “They pillaged the whole of it and plundered the tomb of Hazrat Imam Husain, slaying in the course of the day, with circumstances of peculiar cruelty, above 5,000 of the inhabitants. A huge amount of booty was seized.”
In 1803, Abd-al-Aziz Ibn Saud obtained a visit permit from the Shareef of Mecca on the pretext of performing Hajj; whereupon his Wahhabi fighters laid waste in Islam’s holiest shrine (Ka’aba), like the accursed Yazid had desecrated it in 682 AD. According to T. E Ravenshaw, author of A Memorandum on the Sect of Wahhabis, “They robbed the splendid tombs of the Mohammadan saints, who were interred there; and their fanatical zeal did not even spare the Prophet’s Mosque (in Medina) which they robbed of the immense treasures and costly furniture to which each Mohammadan Prince of Europe, Asia and Africa had contributed his share.”
In 1804, a Wahhabi gang again crossed the great desert in the Hijaz and destroyed tombs of the Prophet’s family members at Jannat-ul Baqi, the ancient cemetery of Medina, and even despoiled the grave of Prophet Mohammed. In 1925, Wahhabis demolished the holy shrines of Hazrat Fatima Zehra, daughter of Prophet Mohammed, and his grandsons.
Again recently in 2014, a leading Saudi academic had proposed to destroy the tomb of the Prophet Mohammed in Medina, Islam’s second holiest site, and remove the remains to be interred anonymously in the nearby Jannat-ul Baqi cemetery. However, the nefarious plan to destroy the tomb under the custody of Saudi monarch King Abdullah was exposed by another academic hence could not be executed.
The pseudo-Islam of Wahhabis prescribes a unique type of Jihad al-Nikah (sexual holy war). Accordingly, in September 2013, hundreds of Tunisian girls/women travelled to Syria to comfort terrorists battling the regime there. “They have sexual relations with 20, 30, 100 terrorists and return to their country pregnant,” said Tunisian Interior Minister Lotfi Ben Jeddou.
So the Wahhabi/Salafi ideology should not be mistaken as Islam’s tenets. Its practitioners are so shrewd that they camouflage their real identity under the cover of Sunni Islam and associate the names of their terror groups with typical Islamic names. Wahhabism is nothing but religious intolerance. As such, there is a great need to separate the grain from the chaff. There is no part of the world which is not affected from the attacks of Wahhabi thugs. In June, 2015, then Prime Minister David Cameron told BBC and other media houses, “I wish you would stop calling ISIS ‘Islamic State’ because it is not an Islamic state. It is a poisonous death cult that is ‘seducing’ youth to fight for it.” Similarly, the Union Home Ministry, in November 2016, had suggested replacing the nomenclature of “Islamic State” with “Daesh” in all official communication pertaining to the ISIS. The reason cited was that calling the dreaded Jihadi outfit “Islamic State” is like giving legitimacy to its claim of representing a “borderless Islamic state”, encompassing Muslims across the world.
Killing terrorists is not a sufficient solution as the gullible are harvested in batches. The only way to defeat it is to undercut their ideology. Eliminating terrorists is the domain of our security forces, but eliminating the dreaded ideology is the domain of Muslim clerics, who should come forward to enlighten the Muslim youth about the nefarious acts of the real enemies of Islam. This can only be done through seminars, conferences, workshops and government-cleric interactions at frequent intervals. Or else Islam will be tainted forever.
Hasan Khurshid is a legal journalist