By Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi, New Age Islam
20 June 2017
On 17th Ramazan, an Islamic battle of defensive nature known as Ghazwa-tul-Badr (or Jang-e-Badr) was fought by Prophet Mohammad (pbuh) against the Meccan oppressive pagans who wronged and harshly tortured him along with his followers, denied them the basic freedom of religion and inflicted great injuries upon all those who stood by them.
The significance of the 17th day of Ramazan was not commonly known to Indian Muslims. It is only after the wave of Islamic messages spread across the social media that they began to talk about the victory that Muslims achieved in the battle of Badr [on 17th Ramzan]. But deplorably for Muslims, the warmongers in Kashmir have chosen to celebrate this occasion as an ‘anniversary’ of Ghazwa-e-Badr by peddling their terror strikes.
Shakeel Shamsi, senior journalist and editor of noted Urdu newspaper, Roznama Inquilab has the temerity to point it out. He writes in his article entitled “Ghazwa-e-Badr aur Dahshat Gard: “Regrettably, the terrorists actively engaged in south Kashmir have celebrated the anniversary of Ghazwa-e-Badr with the ghastly terror attacks in six different places”.
While Shamsi has lamented this sorry state of affairs in Kashmir in his editorial dated June 15, the theological justifications for striking terror on the ‘anniversary’ of Ghazwa-e-Badr are strongly worded in many Pakistani Urdu dailies such as Nawa-e-Waqt of Lahaur (source: nawaiwaqt.com.pk/mazamine/13-Jun-2017/617446) and websites like Daily Urdu Point (daily.urdupoint.com/livenews/2017-06-10/news-1077541.html) and the official website of Hizb-ut-Tahrir.
Regrettably, even some gullible editors of Delhi's Urdu dailies like Roznama Sahafat published sycophantic articles on Ghazwa-e-Badr. Apparently, they tend to overlook the extremist rhetoric that the jihadists make out of this first Islamic battle which occurred on 17th Ramadan.
In fact, this peculiar form of jihadist atrocity on 17th Ramazan is not an isolated phenomenon in Kashmir’s history. Previously, it occurred during the Kashmir unrest in the 90s as well as in the early 2000s. In those days, there used to be more brutal attacks on the 17th Ramazan as compared to the recent massacres in south Kashmir. Former BBC correspondent, Yusuf Jameel, who covered Kashmir’s armed militancy in the nineties, also recounts how the 17th Ramazan stood out as the ‘bloodiest’ in terms of the militant attacks in Kashmir. “The scale of attacks back in the ’90s was much greater. There were a number of incidents during the nineties on a given day. The scale was much larger than this”, he said.
Another senior journalist who has covered the armed uprising and unrest in Kashmir through the 90s and into the 2000s is also of the same view. He opines that the attacks carried out in different parts of South Kashmir on June 13 were not haphazard or coincidental. “I think the attacks were meticulously planned on this day to remind the people of the armed struggle of the nineties…Every year in the early nineties, the day 17 Ramadan was chosen for widespread attacks on government forces… “Called ‘action’ in those days, the militants would make it a point to strike on this day, their way of commemorating the battle of Badr”, he told Kashmir Reader.
Now it should not be difficult to fathom as to why the jihadists in Kashmir chose to wreak havoc particularly on 13th June—the 17th Ramazan, the eve of Ghazwatul Badr. They launched a nefarious series of six multiple attacks on the same day in different parts of south Kashmir. Apart from the innocent people suffering the torment of these terror attacks, many government troops were shot dead and many of them were critically injured in this wave of six terror attacks launched by the jihadists in different parts of south Kashmir. This is how they have marked the anniversary of Ghazwatul Badr with their obnoxious actions and extremist designs.
In fact, the event of Ghazwa-e-Badr, popularly known in Kashmir as Youm-e-Badr (the day of Badr) was very specifically celebrated by the ISIS and its ilk on every 17th day of Ramazan in Raqqa and Mosul. According to Kurdish news source Rudaw, while ISIS terrorists celebrated the 17th Ramazan, they frowned upon every other Islamic festival like Eid-ul-Fitr and Eid-ul-Adha. They warned the residents of their occupied lands to shun the celebration of Eid. ISIS scholars’ opinion is that such a practice never existed during the time of the prophet Mohammed (pbuh) and that it was later coined by ‘misguided’ Muslims.
But at the same time, the inspiration to mark the 17th day of Ramazan with mindless atrocities also emanates from the ISIS ideology. According to the radical Islamist ideologue, Abu Mus’ab Zarqawi, the military expeditions of the Islamist fighters on the day of Ghazwat ul Badr or 17th Ramazan is attributed with divine intervention. Going by Islam’s historical accounts like Sirah Ibn Hisaham, the first military expedition in Islam was the Ghazwa-tul-Badr which took place on the 17th Ramazan in 624. After eight years, Muslims achieved the victory in Mecca during Ramazan. Therefore, not only the 17th Ramazan, rather the entire holy month which marks Muslims’ quest for complete peace and tranquillity along with cultural festivity is taught as ‘time for terror and calamity’ in the ISIS theology. Much against the spiritual sanctity attached to this holy Islamic occasion, to an utter horror, jihadist goons including in Kashmir have turned Ramazan into a month of horror and calamity.
If truth be told, the jihadists mark the entire month of Ramazan as ‘a month of calamity’, because this belief results from an extremist underpinning of Ghazwa-e-Badr which is antithetical to the actual reading of this historic event in Islam. After Prophet (pbuh) and his companions achieved victory in their defensive battle against the oppressive forces in Mecca, he proclaimed general amnesty, without any revenge. Even when a few of his companions, overjoyed with conquest, shouted in Arabic: “Al-Yumu Yumul Malhama” (today is the day of retaliation), Prophet (pbuh) strongly rebutted it. He said: “La, Al-Yaumu Yaumul Marhama” (No, today is the day of mercy).
This is the dichotomy between the Prophet’s peaceful struggle in Badr and the virulent warmongering of the self-styled jihadists in Kashmir. More to the point, Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) achieved the bloodless victory in Makka without retaliation against the bloodthirsty Meccans who attacked him, plotted to kill him, stoned him, made his teeth to bleed, cracked his jaw and split open his blessed face, peddled hate against his faith, murdered his beloved companions, deformed the dead body of his blue-eyed uncle, Ameer Hamzah, and even eaten his liver in a beastly manner. Contrary to the Prophet’s defensive battle of Badr and peaceful victory in Makka, the militants’ war in Kashmir is calming the innocent lives, mutilating the dead-bodies of Indian army officers, demeaning their women and thus destroying lives and properties of both Muslims and non-Muslims alike.
Thus, the 17th Ramazan event of Badr is actually misconstrued and twisted by the self-styled Islamic ideologues with an aim to provoke global Muslims to revenge on their supposed enemies. The mainstream Muslims particularly those in Jammu & Kashmir have to remind themselves of the Islamic ideal of Marhama (mercy) in place of Malhama (retaliation or war).
As we are winding down to the end of the sacred month of Ramazan, a note of caution is desperately required in the context of Kashmir unrest. Just as there was similar increased violence during the month of Ramazan which had got heightened after Eid-ul-Fitr in the wake of Burhan Wani’s killing, regrettably, much damage could be seen ahead.
Ghulam Rasool Dehlvi is a regular columnist with www.newageislam.com , scholar of classical Arabic and Islamic Sciences, cultural analyst and researcher in Media and Communication Studies at Centre for Culture, Media & Governance, Jamia Millia Islamia.
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