From her home in the Indian city of Bhopal, Safia Akhtar listens in on her neighbors’ most intimate dramas.
As often as three times a week, women pass through her door to complain of deceitful husbands, evil in-laws, abandonment, and abuse. Akhtar, a grandmother, hears from both sides of each dispute before dispensing justice, according to the teachings of the Quran.
She is a female Sharia judge.
Hazrat Mirza Ghulam Ahmad is accused of being a British agent because he declared that fighting the British rule in India was not Jihad, as defined by Islam. The reason he gave for this was that the British allowed every religion freedom of worship and preaching and Jihad is only allowed where these are prohibited by a ruler.
One further reason he gave was that Jihad can only be declared by a Muslim ruler or government. So let us see what Muslim rulers were doing while the British destroyed the Mughal rule over India. Continue reading
When people hear the word Jihad these days they still tend to think of men with long beards sitting in caves with rocket launchers resting on their shoulders. Or men strapped with explosives around their chests trying to walk into buildings or busy market places.
So when the historian S Irfan Habib visited Chennai, India to give a speech on the subject of Jihad it was almost cancelled by people worried about the nature of the speech.
He was in the city to delivery a lecture organised by the Islamic Forum for the Promotion of Moderate Thought. Mr Habib is a historian of science and political history at Delhi’s National University of Educational Planning and Administration.
So ingrained is the fear of the word that my lecture in Chennai almost got cancelled after some people raised concerns over jihad being the topic. S Irfan Habib
However people did not need to worry as the 60-year-old who has authored several books on the history of science quoted from the Quran, gave the Lahore-Ahmadiyya interpretation of Jihad and Ijtihad saying;
..the text primarily promoted independent thinking. “Ijtihad — independent thinking and reasoning — was given priority, but over the years radicals have conveniently buried this term and pushed for collective thinking, which continues to be the way of life for many who follow the religion.
Everything is a jihad — pursuit of education, earning a living and fighting your egos. But, now, it is the most misunderstood concept of Islam
Muslims are now realising that they have to adopt the Lahori-Ahmadi interpretation of Islam for it to survive in the modern age as a viable force.
This brings to mind a prophecy of the Promised Messiah where he said that after three generations have passed away people will begin to accept his interpretation of Islam whether they accept his claim to being the Promised Messiah or not.
In September and October 1948, soon after independence from the British Empire, tens of thousands of people were brutally slaughtered in central India.
Some were lined up and shot by Indian Army soldiers. Yet a government-commissioned report into what happened was never published and few in India know about the massacre. Critics have accused successive Indian governments of continuing a cover-up.
The massacres took place a year after the violence of partition in what was then Hyderabad state, in the heart of India. It was one of 500 princely states that had enjoyed autonomy under British colonial rule.
When India was divided into India and Pakistan there was a lot of communal killing. What has now come to light is that the Indian army carried out mass killings of Muslims in the state of Hyderabad. This has now been highlighted by recent historical research and is a sad reflection on man’s inhumanity to man.
Original Source: BBC News Magazine
Preetam Das is a good doctor with a hospital job and a thriving private clinic, yet all he thinks about is leaving Pakistan, terrified about a rise in killings and kidnappings targeting Hindus.
A successful professional, he lives in Karachi with his wife and two children, but comes from Kashmore, a district in north of Sindh. His family has lived there for centuries, and in 1947, when the sub-continent split between India, a majority Hindu state, and Pakistan, a homeland for Muslims, Das’ grandparents chose to stay with the Muslims. They fervently believed the promise of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah that religious minorities would be protected. Sixty years later, their grandson says life in Kashmore had become unbearable.
“The situation is getting worse every day,” he says. Two of his uncles have been kidnapped and affluent Hindus are at particular risk from abduction gangs looking for ransom, he says. Continue reading
Indians, Muslims and non-Muslims alike, must learn from the sectarian developments in Pakistan, and make every effort to stop any expression of sectarian prejudice in public contexts.
A few days back a small headline in the Urdu daily Munsif (Hyderabad) caught my eye: “The Worst Attempt at the State Level to Declare the Qadianis Muslim.” The text went on to report on what the dignitaries of an organization called Majlis-iKhatm-i-Nabuwwat Trust, Andhra Pradesh had said in the way of denouncing the Mayawati government in Uttar Pradesh. However, only one sentence in the report running to 18 lines communicated any sense of what the alleged “attempt and conspiracy” was: “In the textbooks for high schools the Qadiani sect has been included in the account of the many sects among the Muslims.” Then I received a mailing that brought to my attention a long note by Sultan Shahin entitled “Muslim Juhala threaten Mayawati government over Ahmadiya issue.” ) It included the full text of an item published in Hamara Samaj (New Delhi; 25 August 2010) that provided the information I needed:
“It is to be noted that on page 30 of Samajik Vigyan of Class X, in the chapter titled “Ahamdiyya Andolan”, the sect has been linked to Muslims terming it as a reformist sect. Not only that, on page 29, in the essay titled “Muslim Andolan” an attempt has been made to present Muslims as divided into various sects as Wahabi Andolan( Movement), Deobandi Andolan and Aligarh Andolan. It is to be noted that Mirza Ghulam Ahmad was born in mouza Qadian in Gurdaspur district of Punjab (India) in 1839. He claimed to be a prophet in 1899 and died in 1908.”
Clearly, the only questionable feature in the report is the use of “Andolan” for “sect.” Continue reading
Thirty-three Muslims burned alive when building was set alight during bout of communal violence in Gujarat state
A court has sentenced 31 Hindus to life imprisonment for killing dozens of Muslims by setting fire to a building during one of India’s worst rounds of communal violence nine years ago.
Judge ST Srivastava acquitted 41 others of murder for lack of evidence.
Those convicted at the Mehsana district court can appeal against the verdict in a higher court.
Since partition of the subcontinent into India and Pakistan after independence from Britain in 1947, there have been sporadic bouts of violence. The worst recent violence erupted in 2002 in Gujarat state. More than 1,000 people, most of them Muslims, were killed by Hindu mobs after a train fire killed 60 Hindus returning from a pilgrimage. Muslims were blamed for the fire.
During rioting, the suspects set a building on fire in a village in Mehsana district, nearly 25 miles (40km) north of Ahmedabad, the main city of Gujarat. Thirty-three Muslims, including 20 women, who had taken shelter there were burned alive.
Two suspects died during the trial that was expedited by orders from India’s top court, the supreme court.
Muslims account for about 14% of India’s population of 1.1 billion but lag far behind the Hindu majority in most social indicators, from literacy to household income.