By: Aftab Ahmad Khan
“We should STOP calling them ‘Taliban’; they should be called ‘Khawarij’ or ‘Khwarji of Pakistan’. The Ayahs (verses) of Qur’an being violated should be given wide coverage. It is VERY IMPORTANT that the intellectuals, as well as electronic and print media should again take the lead to give moral and religious ascendancy to the soldiers that, they are fighting the enemies of Islam and
The killing of innocent people in Swat, Dir and other places in FATA and all over the country on the name of Shari’a or Islam, is commonly perceived to be linked with the militancy of religious fanatics, the aftermath of Afghan War against USSR and oppression of Islamists under the pretext of the war against terror after 9/11 lead by US and allies. The Drones attacks by US, resulting in to huge collateral damage have added fuel to the fire. While on the face of it, this perception can not be denied, there is a need to look at it deeper from another perspective. Inflexibility, the hall mark of all militants can also be linked with the ‘Cult’ phenomenon.
Let us analyze what the word ‘Cult’ stands for? According to Oxford dictionary ‘Cult’ means: “to inhabit, cultivate, and protect, honour with worship; Worship; reverential homage rendered to a divine being. A system of religious worship, especially as expressed in ceremonies, ritual, etc. Cult is the devotion or homage paid to a person or thing; especially a fashionable enthusiasm; a transient fad of an in-group.” The Cult leaders have different views form the majority and rigidly adhere to them. The scholars hold that one should be very careful to use world ‘Cult’ because while the word cult originally was intended to be neutral and innocent, since Jim Jones in 1978 provoked mass suicide among his followers, many have associated cults with killing. That assumption, state the scholars, is unfair to all those who belong to quite peaceful and harmless movements. Yet no one has settled on a satisfactory alternative term, though some speak of ‘New Religious Movements’.
Why do these cults exist? Human action, especially responses to leaders who invoke the sacred, the divine, is always complex. Cult followers tend to be people who are unsatisfied by the complexities, contradictions, and ambiguities of life including life as interpreted by the mainstream religions. They seek answers, and the modern world, with its pluralism and its rapid communications, can confuse them and undercut their belief systems and their "orthodox" communities. The cult leader offers a single answer, keeps the rest of the world at bay, and reinforces only “One Belief System” advocated and preached by them. The history of all the religions is full of ‘cults’, the most recent being ‘Doomsday Cults’ in Christendom.
The cult leader or leaders may be suffering from the psychological disorder like Paranoia syndrome, or mania. These disorders are usually restricted to just two abnormalities of mood depression and elation, or mania. (Mood is a predominant emotion that colours the individual's entire psychic life.) Mania is characterized by an elated or euphoric mood, quickened thought and accelerated, loud or voluble speech, over-optimism and heightened enthusiasm and confidence, inflated self-esteem, heightened motor activity, irritability, excitement, and a decreased need for sleep. The manic individual may become injured, commit illegal acts, or suffer financial losses due to the poor judgment and risk-taking behaviour he displays when in the manic state. The outlaws (commonly called Taliban) have been repeatedly advised by all the religious scholars of repute that; while their demands for the implementation of Shari’a are genuine, the methodology adopted by them to achieve their objectives through militancy was wrong because it challenged the writ of state, which may result in to anarchy (fassad fil ardh). But they have declined to compromise.
The term Taliban [plural of Talib, (the seeker of religious knowledge, particularly the Islamic knowledge, a student) is generally used for the students of Madrisah (religious seminary). The term ‘Taliban’ was started to be used for the militant group of students and religious leaders who established the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan in 1994-96 in order to end the lengthy civil war following the withdrawal of the Soviets from the region in 1989. Led by Mullah Omar, they promoted Islam as a moral, sable, and orderly alternative to civil war, ethnic divisions, and warring tribal chiefs. They followed strict, literal and conservative interpretations of Islam including the implementation of Hadud punishments. Influenced primarily by Wahabi (Deobandi) teachers and Pashtun tribal traditions. The regime was denounced by international human rights organizations for absolute segregation of women and violation of human rights. They were initially welcomed by the people of Afghanistan for restoring peace, however could not last long after 9/11, its now part of history. However they continue to oppose US and NATO forces in Afghanistan. The situation in Pakistan, a sovereign Islamic State is totally different to Afghanistan. Some ambitious and misguided local elements are being used by the enemies of Pakistan and Islam, against the state to weaken or dismember the sole nuclear Islamic power of 17 million dynamic people with strategic location and resources. Calling these criminal and misguided, semi literate people having no link with the basic teachings of Islam, as Taliban is a misnomer, which must be stopped forthwith. The Army and people are now fighting against them, the moral and religious aspect must be defined in clearest possible terms, because our soldier and people are devout Muslims, there should not be an iota of doubt in their minds that they are on right side fighting for the safety and security of Muslims and Islam. Let us see; what is the alternative?
In the Muslim history some Cults may be linked with the term ‘Fitnah’ (‘trial,’ or ‘test’, which refer to heretical uprisings, especially the first major internal struggle within the Muslim community (656-661 C.E), which resulted in both civil war and religious schism. During the reign of the third caliph, 'Uthman, certain rebellious groups accused the Caliph of nepotism and misrule, and the resulting discontent led to his assassination. The rebels then recognized the Prophet's cousin and son-in-law, 'Ali, as ruler but later deserted him and fought against him, accusing him of having committed a grave sin in submitting his claim to the caliphate to arbitration, they are called Khawarij. The word Kharaju, from which Khariji is derived, means "to withdraw" and Khawarij were, therefore, seceders who believed in active dissent or rebellion against a state of affairs they considered to be gravely impious.The basic doctrine of the Khawarij was that: “A person or a group who committed a grave error or sin and did not sincerely repent ceased to be Muslim”. According to them mere profession of the faith "there is no god but God; Muhammad is the prophet of God” did not make a person a Muslim unless this faith was accompanied by righteous deeds. In other words, good works were an integral part of faith and not extraneous to it. The second principle that flowed from their aggressive idealism was militancy, or Jihad, which the Khawarij considered to be among the cardinal principles, or pillars, of Islam. Contrary to the orthodox view, they interpreted the Qur’anic command about "enjoining good and forbidding evil"(Qur’an;3:104) to mean the vindication of truth through the sword.The placing of these two principles together made the Khawarij highly inflammable fanatics, intolerant of almost any established political authority.They incessantly resorted to rebellion and as a result were virtually wiped out during the first two centuries of Islam. Although till recently Chasidism has been considered essentially a story of the past, which left permanent influence on Islam, because of reaction against it. It forced the religious leadership of the community to formulate a bulwark against religious intolerance and fanaticism.
Who is Violating Qur’an?
No Muslim by the name will ever dare to reject the Commandments of Allah, clearly mentioned in Qur’an and Hadith, some are:
Mischief on land condemned by Allah: Allah says: “.. and do not seek mischief in the land, for Allah does not love the mischief makers.”(Al-Qasas;28:77) Allah says: “When it is said to them: “Do not make mischief on earth,” they say: “We make peace. Be aware! They are the ones who make mischief but they do not realize it.”(Al-Baqara;2:11-12 similarly also at 2:60, 206, 3:63, 7:56)
Killing of innocent human (Muslim or non Muslims) not permitted: Allah says: “..whoever kills a person, except as a punishment for murder or mischief in the land, it will be written in his book of deeds as if he had killed all the human beings and whoever will save a life shall be regarded as if he gave life to all the human beings..”(Al Maidah,5:32); Allah says: “You shall not kill anyone whom God has forbidden, except for just cause under the law. If anyone is killed unjustly, We have granted the right of retribution to his heir, but let him not carry his vengeance too far in killing the culprit through taking the law in his own hands, as he is supported by the law.”(Al-Israa;17:33)
Fighting permitted in self defence with in limits – No Transgression: Allah says: “Fight in the cause of Allah with those who fight against you, but do not exceed the limits. Allah does not like transgressors.”(Qur’an, Al Baqarah;2:190).
Kindness to Non Combatants: Allah says: “As for such of the unbelievers who do not fight against you on account of your faith, and neither drive you forth from your homelands, Allah does not forbid you to show them kindness and to behave toward them with full equity.”(Qur’an, Al Mumtahana;60:8).
Suicide is not Permissible in Islam : Allah says: “.. do not cast yourselves into destruction by your own hands…” (Al-Baqarah,2:195); Allah says: “..do not kill yourselves by adopting unlawful means….”(An-Nisa,4:29).Narrated Thabit bin Ad Dahhak: The Prophet said; “whoever commits suicide with something, will be punished with the same thing in the (Hell) fire”.(Sahih Al Bukhari Hadith Numbr:8.126). Narrated Jabir ibn Samurah: (The dead body) of a person who had killed himself with a broad-headed arrow was brought before the Apostle of Allah (peace be upon him), but he did not offer prayers for him.(Sahih Muslim Hadith. Number.486).
Killing by Burning Not Allowed: Narrated Abu Huraira: Allah’s Apostle said: It is none but Allah Who punishes with fire, so, if you find them (enemies), kill them (in combat).(Sahih Al Bukhari, Hadith, Number.4.259). Narrated Ikrima : Ali burnt some people and this news reached Ibn Abbas, who said, “Had I been in his place I would not have burnt them, as the Prophet said, ‘Don’t punish (anybody) with Allah’s Punishment.’...(Sahih Al Bukhari, Hadith, Number.4.260).
Mutilation of the Dead Bodies is Prohibited : Messenger of Allah (peace be upon him) prohibited to mutilate the dead bodies. (Sahih Muslim Hadith.804).
Prohibitions-of Killing Religious People, Women, Children, Aged, Sick People, Animals and Cutting Trees in Military Expeditions: Islam forbade killing of innocents. Narrated Abdullah: During some of the ghazawat of the Prophet a woman was found killed. Allah’s Apostle disapproved and forbade the killing of women and children. (Sahih Al Bukhari, Hadith, Number.4.257,258). Abu Bakr advised Yazid, the commander of Muslim Military Expeditions to Sham (Syria): “You will find a people who claim to have totally given themselves to Allah. Leave them to what they claim to have given themselves. You will find a people who have shaved the middle of their heads, strike what they have shaved with the sword. “I advise you ten things: Do not kill women or children or an aged, infirm person. Do not cut down fruit-bearing trees. Do not destroy an inhabited place. Do not slaughter sheep or camels except for food. Do not burn bees and do not scatter them. Do not steal from the booty, and do not be cowardly.” (Al Muwata Hadith, Number;21.10).
Freedom of Faith-No Compulsion: Allah says “Let there be no compulsion In religion: truth stands out Clear from error: Whoever rejects evil and believes In Allah hath grasped the Most trustworthy hand-hold, that never breaks. and Allah heareth and knoweth all things.”(Qur’an;2:256).
Disregarding the Ayaat :
Allah says: “Those whose all efforts in this worldly life had gone astray from the Right Way, but all along they were under the delusion that they were doing good deeds; they are the ones who are disregarding the Ayaat (revelations, verses) of their Lord and the fact that they will meet Him for accountability of their deeds in the Hereafter, so their deeds will become null and will not carry any weight on the Day of Judgment.”(Qur’an;18:104-105)
Parallels may be drawn between ‘Cultism’, Talibanisation and Khwarji due to the intolerance and militancy (including suicide bombing) being employed by them against fellow Muslims under the garb of enforcing their vision of Islam. It reminds the words of Eqbal Ahmad; “We are chasing an Islamic order stripped of its humanism, aesthetics, intellectual quests and spiritual devotions…. concerned with power not with the soul, with the mobilization of people for political purposes rather than with sharing and alleviating their sufferings and aspirations.” While the military operation against rebellious people is undertaken, there is need that the government should urgently undertake concrete short term and long term measures to fulfill the purpose of creation of Pakistan as envisioned by the founding fathers. State should satisfy the needs of morality, security, justice, social inequality and improve the economic conditions of people so that the unity of Pakistan and progress is not affected.
AS a first step we should STOP calling them ‘Taliban’, they should be called ‘Khawarij’ or ‘Khawarji of Pakistan’. The Ayas (verses) of Qur’an being violated here should be given wide coverage. It is VERY IMPORTANT that the intellectuals, as well as electronic and print media should take the lead to give moral and religious ascendancy to the soldiers that, they are fighting the enemies of Islam and Pakistan”. The religious scholars should also come forward in big way.”