By Sumit Paul, New Age Islam
25 April 2022
Is it not a puzzling thing for a non-Muslim to know that 6.7 million Pakistanis are addicted to drugs (heroin, marijuana, amphetamine etc.) but not to alcohol? Because alcohol is forbidden, but not drugs in the Islamic scriptures. Though all man-made faiths are scripture-driven, Islam is particularly stubborn and completely unyielding on this count. What's written in the Quran and Hadees, must be followed in Toto is a typical mentality that almost all Muslims possess.
A couple of years ago in London, I was having dinner with an Oxford-educated ex-Muslim, whose highly educated parents migrated from Sargodha, (Punjab province in Pakistan) and settled in England. I asked him the reason why he left Islam and turned a Murtad (Arabic for an apostate). He told me that when his parents insisted that his (that ex-Muslim's) child must undergo Khatna (circumcision), he resisted and thought that it was the last straw on the camel's back. He had an English wife who willy-nilly converted to Islam. The couple realized that this religious insistence would go on so long as they were in the fold of Islam because before the insistence on circumcision, both were forced to have only halal meat as Jhatka meat was strictly forbidden at home and outside as well. They resented this religious totalitarianism and decided to relinquish not just Islam but all organized faiths, created and concocted by our troglodyte ancestors. They're now atheists and vowed never to tie themselves to the apron-strings of any damn faith and god, Bhagwan or Khuda. That's inconsequential. Point is: What does Allah have to do on Roz e-Hashr (The Day of Judgement) with your circumcision, halal meat and beard if you killed or hurt your fellow humans on earth and did all sorts of knavery while alive? Aren't you cheapening your Creator by relegating Him to the level of humans who tend to judge others on the basis of exceedingly petty issues of everyday interest?
That apart, if you strictly look at Islamic practices, many rituals in Islam percolated from the first and preceding Semitic faith, Judaism, though strangely, Islam and Judaism have been at loggerheads with each other right from the inception of Islam a little over 1400 years ago. Circumcision, halal (Kosher in Judaism) and abhorring pork are common practices that both the Semitic faiths share. Now you'll be surprised to know that barring the Orthodox Jews, a few Jews are not subjecting their male-offspring to circumcision. Nor are they insisting on having only Kosher meat. Though they may be few in numbers, at least the beginning has taken place, because breaking the ceiling is of paramount importance. But where's that beginning in Islam? Every Muslim child, however 'educated', 'enlightened' or 'evolved' his parents may be, has to undergo circumcision as an ancient Abrahamic practice and every Muslim will have to eat halal meat. Muslims (and followers of other faiths as well) don't understand that all ritualistic practices have their roots in geographical and circumstantial requirements of the times and climes their religion originated in bronze age.
Islam and also Judaism originated from places where there was a dire scarcity of water. Smegma (a white substance) is deposited under the prepuce (foreskin), if a man cannot bathe for long and clean that part (genitals). When drinking water was barely available, bathing was a luxury in the desert. So, to nip this persistent problem of the deposition of smelly smegma in the bud, foreskin used to be removed in a crude manner, resulting in frequent deaths. Na Rahe Baans(pun intended), Na Baje Baansuri! But now when water is available everywhere and one can bathe every day even in Saudi Arabia, the place of the origin of Islam, what's the need to remove the prepuce? But humans would rather be ruined than change their hoary-old religious practices, however silly they may appear in modern times and evolving circumstances. The same can be said about Kosher and Halal.
The pre-Semitic Pagans believed that blood of humans and animals carried all the impurities and curses of dead enemies. So, animals were koshered to drain out all the blood. Now, modern medical science has confirmed that meat, whether halal or Jhatka, gets hygienically edible when cooked at high temperature and washed properly. Dearth of water was again the reason for halal as washing the flesh of the butchered animal needed abundance of water.
Moreover, halal doesn't have an edge over Jhatka meat in taste and cleanliness. Ergo, there's no need to put a poor animal through excruciatingly painful Dhai-Chhuri(two and a half times slitting the throat), ironically reciting Kalma, La Ilaha Illallah Mohammad Rasoolullah. Muslims across the globe need to introspect to purge their faith of antediluvian practices, customs and rituals.
Lastly, though Islam prohibits alcohol, its scriptures tempt the followers with it in the heaven. Didn't an Urdu poet say, ' Jannat Ki Tahoor Bhi Aakhir Sharaab Hai/MujhKo Na Le Chalo Wahan Meri Neeyat Kharaab Hai' (After all, Tahoor, an imaginary wine available only in Jannat, is also alcohol. So, please don't take me there to test my piety). Not only that, according to the ridiculous subcontinental preachers of Islam, mostly based in Pakistan, Allah will himself serve wine to the inmates of Firdaus! If this is not blasphemy, what else is? Will any sane Muslim tell me?
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