By Paighambar Naugawanvi
(Translated from Urdu by New Age Islam Edit Bureau)
I can never forget this threatening phrase. How I can forget. Finally a Muslim was prevented from performing Namaz inside the mosque. On Feb 14, 2017, having appointed me as a Presiding Officer in the UP Assembly election, the Election Commission of India sent me to a village of Amroha Assembly Constituency “Patai Khalsa”. A day before the election scheduled to be held on Feb 15, 2017, we were sent there in order to review and complete the arrangements of the polling station. Therefore, I had to spend the night at the polling station.
Having completed all the arrangements, I went to a mosque of the village to offer Namaz. When I finished praying, a person—possibly the imam of the mosque, who was engaged in conversation with some other people in the courtyard of the mosque—called and said to me, “Where have you come from?” I replied, “From Naugawan Sadat”. That person said, “This mosque belongs to Ahle Sunnat Wal Jama’at with Maslak-e-Ala Hazrat Barelvi. Muslims from other sects are not allowed to enter this mosque. I have informed you so that later you cannot blame me for insulting. Do not come to this mosque.”
I was very painful to hear the Imam of a mosque and started thinking how far Muslims have gone from the principles that the Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) established for the welfare of Muslims. People such as this are developing the program of enemies of Islam. They are those who are not well-educated. However, with their appearances, they pretend to be like the well-educated in order to mislead the common people and thus they harm Islam.
After all, I came back quietly. I could make the imam of the mosque speechless. But I was on the government duty. The Election Commission had strongly commanded me to arrange the peaceful and impartial election. Therefore, I did not like taking any risk at the night of election, as the polling station was very sensitive. As far as the Imam was concerned, he was ignorant but not illiterate. Instead he looked stubborn. He had no knowledge of history. He had only memorized the Quran and Hadith. With no awareness of philosophy of Hajj and greatness of Jama’at, he was also not familiar with the ongoing political confusions and problems of Muslims. If I had argued with him, he would not have accepted it, but instead, he would have been my enemy pointing out my faults.
If this Imam had been familiar with the history of Islam, he would have been aware that the hypocrites used to inflict severe sufferings on the prophet (peace be upon him) but he never stopped them from entering the mosque. The opponents of Hadrat Abu Bakr, Umar and Uthman would also come to the mosque, but they never prevented them from entering the mosque, nor did they ever turn anyone away from the mosque.
Ameer ul Mu’mineen Imam Ali would lead the prayer in Kufa. From his worst enemies, “Khawarij”, a man namely “Ibn al-Kawwa” used to disturb him in the congregational prayer. Despite that, Imam Ali (May Allah be pleased with him) did not drive him out of the mosque nor did he stop him from entering the mosque. Well known as Banu Umayya and Banu Abbas are for their extremist attitude against their opponents, but they never hindered them from entering the mosque.
In the present times, the children of Saud who do not describe anyone other than themselves as Muslims, but they do not turn non-Wahhabi Muslims away from the Masjid-e-Nabawi and Masjid ul Haram, nor do they stop them from entering these mosques. Then why do the above mentioned Imam and other responsible people or imams, disallow other Muslims to enter their mosques? If someone enters, why do they drive him out? From where have they learnt it?
If the imam had studied the Quran and Hadith, he would have known those verses and traditions in which Muslims have been commanded for unity and integrity. I challenge all those who drive Muslims out of the mosques that they will not be able to present any single verse of the Quran nor even the weakest Hadith which calls for turning any Muslim away from the mosques. Where will they present from? This sort of sectarianism and ignorance started after the era of the prophet (peace be upon him) in the biggest form of innovation (bida’t).
Islam has tried to unite Muslims on every occasion, whether by the daily congregational prayers in mosques of any area or by Friday prayers in the mosques of any city, or annual prayers on the days of Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha or by the gathering of Muslims during the pilgrimage [Haj]. O that, the Muslims driving other Muslims out of the mosque, had been aware of the blessings of the meetings, perhaps they would never do so!
In the same village, I stayed as a strange guest. Neither did the imam of any mosque inquire about my condition or whereabouts or my meals. On the contrary, they strongly warned me; which is not usually a Muslim’s habit. One of the philosophies of Namaz-e-Qasr is that whenever a Muslim finds anyone perform Namaz-e-Qasr, he should regard him as a traveller [Musafir] and treat him in the same manner as stressed in the Islamic teachings.
The reason of building mosques and performing Namaz inside is that Muslims come closer to one another; otherwise the Namaz can also be performed in the house as well. Those who turn Muslims away from the mosques are unfamiliar with the reason of building Mosques. Mosque is neither Shia, nor Sunni, nor Barelvi and nor Deobandi. The division of Masjid as such is a great Bida’t. If the above mentioned Imam had gained the knowledge of Islamic jurisprudence (Fiqh), he would have known that the person who gets a mosque built on his own can also not have any sort of authority over hindering any one from offering Namaz, then how anyone can drive other Muslims out of the mosque built by the donated money.
(Courtesy: Roznama Sahafat, New Delhi, 21 March 2017)