Monday, August 28, 2006

Shock & Awe …

The quintessential Shock & Awe is the Conquest of Makkah. It took the Makkans by such complete and utter surprise that there was no room available for resistance. It ushered in the Prophetic Revolution.

When Prophet Musa (alaihes salam) and his people were caught between River Nile and the Pharaoh’s army, Syedna Musa (alaihes salam) struck the Nile with his staff and the river split into two walls, thus creating a passage for Syedna Musa (alaihes salam) and his people to pass. When they had crossed the river in this dramatic fashion, they were followed by the Pharaoh and his army in blind pursuit, who never realized that this river would become their grave. What ensued was Shock & Awe in its most shocking and most awesome form. Think about two walls crashing upon each other and you will know what I am talking about.

At Pakistan Awami Tehreek (Pakistan Peoples’ Movement), Shock & Awe is the technique that will usher Pakistan into Quaid-e-Azam’s vision of the modern, Islamic welfare country. In my previous posts, I have affirmed that Islamic Renaissance cannot be achieved without regaining political supremacy for Islam. This is the thought process that underlies the creation of Pakistan and this is the thought process that calls for a political renaissance in Pakistan and eventual union of the Muslim countries into an Islamic Bloc. Given the stronghold of corrupt, feudal, sectarian, terrorist, and exploitative elements in the country, we are obviously heading towards a final countdown with these forces of evil. We are already rapidly approaching critical mass and it will not be long till when we will simply explode into a spectacular display of Shock & Awe.

Some people are skeptical. Some are downright cynical. My response to them is: Do you remember the raging infernos in the oil wells of Kuwait way back in the Gulf War? The Iraqis set the oil wells on fire because they probably thought there would be no way the Americans could extinguish such violent flames. Yet it took only one big dynamite explosion per oil well to nip the evil. The technique is simple, yet elegant: You surround the fire with lots of dynamite and you explode the dynamite. There is a big explosion, a lot of dust, and lo and behold! Liquid oil gushes forth with no evidence of fire whatsoever. How does the technique work? They say that when the dynamite explodes, it creates a momentary vacuum for a split second, thus robbing the fire of its much-needed oxygen for a split second, and that is enough to extinguish the fire.

If you can believe in the spectacular extinguishing power of dynamite, why can’t you believe in the revolution promised by Sheikh-ul-Islam? After all, it takes only a split second to kill a monster fire. You just need the right amount of dynamite.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

"Jinnah", the Movie ...

Few individuals significantly alter the course of history. Fewer still modify the map of the world. Hardly anyone can be credited with creating a nation. Mohammad Ali Jinnah did all three.
(Professor Stanley Wolpert)

Jinnah, the movie, begins with these words of eulogy in honor of Quaid-e-Azam, Muhammad Ali Jinnah, the founder of Pakistan. Jamil Dehlvi’s effort is a commendable one, partly because he brings forth a historically accurate picture of Jinnah and his times. Unlike Richard Attenborough’s Gandhi, which was a sadistic take on Jinnah, Dehlvi’s production presents its characters in a fairly balanced and neutral manner, seemingly guided by the principles of the man he seeks to portray, i.e. justice, fair play, and impartiality. Dehlvi presents the facts and events as they were and allows the audience to arrive at their own conclusions. However, this does not mean that Jinnah is a dry lesson in history. On the contrary, it is a very engaging account, with an element of fantasy sprinkled in the movie that not only serves to lighten the mood but also helps in eliciting Jinnah’s perspective.

The young Jinnah is convincingly played by Richard Lintern, who portrays Jinnah as the brilliant, self-respecting, and suave gentleman that he was. Dehlvi has skillfully balanced the cold, calculating, and astute Jinnah who dramatically dumb-witted his opponents in court and in politics, with the gentle and loving Jinnah who affectionately loved his sister and who dared a romantic escapade with the beautiful Ruttie. The elder Jinnah, played by Christopher Lee (again very convincingly), is shown to have matured into a statesman and a spokesperson for the Muslim community of India. As always, Jinnah is thoroughly self-respecting and will not settle for anything less than a separate country precisely because he believes it is the “only way” to self-respect. This perspective of Jinnah is effectively brought out in the following conversation that takes place between the viceroy, Lord Mountbatten, and the Quaid-e-Azam:

Mountbatten: Divide the country in two? Muslims on one side, Hindus on the other? Mr Jinnah and his madness!
Jinnah: No, Mountbatten. It would be equally insane to leave a Muslim minority at the mercy of a Hindu majority, many of who hate us. Now, if the English Parliament …
Mountbatten (cutting Jinnah short): The Prime Minister has given me full powers. I decide. That’s why I am here, as representative of the King Emperor.
Jinnah: Whom we respect. I am here as a representative of a Muslim nation whom you must learn to respect.

Some people have questioned the reasons for the creation of a separate Muslim state. They cite as arguments against the creation of Pakistan the genocides of 1947 and 1971, the secession of Bangladesh, the three wars fought over Kashmir, and the overall failure of successive Pakistani governments. Such spurious reasoning is the product of ignorance or sheer prejudice. Granted those are pathetic facts, but they do not serve as evidence against the creation of Pakistan. It would be dumb indeed to surmise that it would have been all flowers and sunshine if only we had remained part of a larger India. We should not forget Quaid-e-Azam’s incisive words in the conversation quoted above: “many of who hate us”. Yes, many of them hated us in the early twentieth century and many of them still hate us in the early twenty-first century. To be sure, it was this hatred that spurred the genocide of 1947; it was this hatred that conspired with the Soviet Union to incite the genocide of 1971; and it was this hatred that provided the ideological ammunition to fight three wars over Kashmir.

Though Quaid-e-Azam’s vision still lies in the future (albeit not-too-distant future – and that’s something which is the subject of my next post, insha’Allah), I would, for the moment, like to emphasize that Pakistan has the potential to spearhead the formation of an Islamic Bloc, a position it couldn’t hold if it were part of secular India. This alone is good enough reason for the creation of Pakistan, and woe to the disbelievers.

Who says that Pakistan is a failure, yet India is a success? For the record, allow me to mention that we are economically slightly better off than India (rates of abject poverty being significantly lower in Pakistan), we have very low prevalence of HIV/AIDS compared with India’s sky-high rates, and we have a cricket team that wins more often than it loses when it is in mortal combat with the Indians.

Long live Jinnah.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Terrorism Has No Religion ...

"Terrorism has no religion. It is a social and criminal phenomenon caused by various reasons. Islam is based on plurality rather than individuality. It demands harmonization and integration."
(Sheikh-ul-Islam, Professor Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri)

I just had to write this post, you know, just had to. You see, when proud lesbians become unflinching champions for Islam, then you know that something is amiss. Irshad Manji's latest trash is yet another pathetic attempt at making Muslims feel bad about themselves. I will not attempt to debunk Manji here coz she is nowhere near worth it, but one thing is clear: Such Islamophobic nonsense as hers does make an impact on the common Westerner (whatever a Westerner is). The acerbic responses to my previous posts on the topic of terrorism (1, 2) are evidence of this impact. The main thrust of my arguments in those posts was that it is hypocritical for the Western media to put the spotlight on Muslim terrorists when their own countries are committing terrorism of a far greater magnitude. But it seemed that my arguments were lost on the commentators at those posts. Evidently, they had bought into the story depicted by their media.

In connection with this mind-boggling phenomenon called terrorism, Sheikh-ul-Islam, Professor Dr Muhammad Tahir-ul-Qadri delivered an excellent lecture (what else could you expect from him?) at London in the post-7/7 scenario in the presence of the London police authorities. In the lecture, Sheikh-ul-Islam explained the Islamic viewpoint on terrorism, the Islamic punishment of the terrorist, the reason why a terrorist turns to terrorism in the first place (a.k.a. "Why do they hate us?"), and the terrorizing role played by the Western media in this whole story. The lecture is a must-watch for all people. Watch it!

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Pakistan: Mission Impossible? ...

And (remember) when your Lord said to the angels:
"Verily, I am going to place on earth generations after generations [of humans]."

They said:
"Will You place therein those who will make mischief and shed blood, - while we glorify You with praises and thanks and sanctify You?"

He said:
"I know that which you do not know".

(Qur'an, 2:30)

Pakistan turns 59 and Avari asks whether Pakistan was a mistake. Avari’s question is essentially the same question that the angels posed to the Lord. The angels were shown only one side of the coin, namely the ugly, base side of the coin. The flip side of the coin was a reality that the Lord kept for Himself to be unfolded when the opportune time came, so He mitigated the angels’ concerns with the timeless words, “I know that which you do not know”.

Pakistan’s history is indeed one of mischief and bloodshed. I will not go into the sordid details here, since you all know about the mischief and bloodshed that has taken place (and is still taking place) in the Pure Land. All I want to point out here is that Pakistan as a project is a continuation - and a reflection - of the Divine project that is called Man. The divine project, which sought for Almighty God’s vicegerent on Earth, started off on an apparently dissonant note, when one of the sons of Prophet Adam (peace be upon him) murdered his own brother in cold blood (Qur’an, 5:27-30). At that time, this did not mean that Project Man was a failure in any way. All it meant was that the project had yet to achieve completion.

The same is the case with Pakistan. Our bleak past in no way precludes our bright future. Impossible as it may seem to some people, the day is not far away when Pakistan will be a modern, welfare Islamic state that will serve as a modern-day role model for the other Muslim countries. We are a project held in abeyance, not a failed one. We are a homework placed on the desk that has yet to be completed.

Pakistan Zindabad!
(Long live Pakistan!)

Monday, August 14, 2006

That Elusive Tear ...

The tear that is shed in the middle of the night in the Remembrance of Almighty God is the most sacred liquid drop in the World. It is more sacred, indeed, than the drop of blood shed by a martyr. This elusive drop that is shed from the eye works a million miracles, if only we could know better:

· It creates a special secret bond between the Creator and the created that cannot be created in any other way.
· It breaks down the hidden conceit in an individual and makes one more humble.
· It tames the sexual beast.
· It is a source of Divine forgiveness.
· It foments a spiritual revolution that is followed by lifelong spiritual evolution.
· It causes endless goodwill in one’s family and society.
· It leads to a physically healthier human being.
· It is the most effective da’wah.

It is high time we searched for that elusive tear …

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Islamic Renaissance and Political Supremacy …

It is He who has sent His Messenger with Guidance and the Religion of Truth in order that He shows its superiority over all other religion, even if the idolaters detest it.
[Qur’an, 9:33 and 61:9]

Courtesy of Sunni Sister, I came across this article by Imam Zaid Shakir, which asserts that Islam is a religion, not an ideology. To the extent that Islam should not be reduced to only a political ideology, I agree with Imam Zaid, but I respectfully disagree with his contention that the Qur’anic verse quoted above is meant to be taken in a purely religious (meaning spiritual) sense and not in a political sense. To be sure, the word used in the sacred verse is diyn, which means system for conducting life and not merely system of belief and ritual worship. The very definition of the word diyn implies that Islam is a spiritual code as well as a political system. We can therefore conclude that the verse is saying that the purpose of Messengership is twofold:

1. Establishing supremacy of Islam’s spiritual code over all other spiritual systems
2. Establishing political supremacy of Islam over all other political systems

Indeed, this verse forms the most forceful and incontrovertible evidence in favor of the notion that a political renaissance in Islam is inevitable. One cannot undermine one meaning of the verse in favor of the other since both meanings are included in the verse. The worldly and the otherworldly are concepts that find their endorsement from the Qur’an and Sunnah, and both are important in their own right:

Give us a beautiful life in this world and a beautiful life in the Hereafter, and save us from the torment of the Fire. (Qur’an, 2:201; also a favorite prayer with the Holy Prophet, peace be upon him)

The Holy Prophet, peace be upon him, did get the best of both worlds. And if you are one of the skeptics and cynics, then allow me to repeat the words of a non-Muslim that I posted a few days ago:

[Muhammad] was the only man in history who was supremely successful on both the religious and secular levels.

It is no coincidence that the Prophets and Messengers were immensely successful political personalities who challenged the exploitative leaders of their times and invariably succeeded against them in this world. For example, Prophet Musa, peace be upon him, challenged the exploitative leadership of the Pharoah. Prophet Muhammad, peace be upon him, challenged the Quraysh and then the Byzantine and Persian Empires. Thus the prophetic mission is twofold: first, it is to deliver the Pristine Message; second, it is to deliver the people from oppression and exploitation.

Some people suggest in ignorant piety, “Oh well, they were the Prophets”, meaning that we cannot aspire to achieve similar results. Well, such defeatist piety is uncalled for in the Qur’an:

Indeed in the Messenger of God [Muhammad] you have a beautiful example to follow (Qur’an, 33:21)

The ideal political figure is thus the Prophet, peace be upon him, and the ideal Islamic State is the state established by the Prophet, peace be upon him. We will include the three-decade period of the Khulafa Rashideen under the banner of “ideal Islamic state” as is evident from the following hadiths:

The Khilafah in my Ummah will be for 30 years. (Tirmizi)
The Prophetic Khilafah will last for 30 years, then God will give it to whom He wills. (
Abu Dawood)
It is incumbent upon you to follow my Sunnah and the Sunnah of my Righteously Guided Caliphs. (
Abu Dawood)

Thus the first 40 years of the Islamic State (comprising of 10 years of State of Medina and 30 years of the Khilafa Rashidun) form the ideal period, while the subsequent 1,387 years form the less-than-ideal period. This less-than-ideal period has not been an even one. There have been relatively stable periods and sometimes the road has been rather bumpy, but it is a fact that 1200 of the past 1400 years have been marked by the political supremacy of Islam (notwithstanding the erratic behavior of some Muslim rulers). There are only two periods of time when Islam temporarily ceased to be a world power in political terms. The first of these two periods was a 52-year period from 1252 AD to 1304 AD when the Mongols swept through the Muslim empire and committed the bloodiest genocide of all time. The second period is the current period that could be said to start from 1914 AD when the Ottoman Empire disintegrated in World War I. This second period has also been marred by genocides (and we’ve talked about this in detail before). The common denominator in these two epochs is that Muslims took to dwelling on sectarian differences rather than dwelling on their non-sectarian similarities. Sectarianism and discrimination are the Muslim’s Achilles’ heel and have always been, and will always be, exploited by the enemy. We can conclude that while Almighty God’s promise to give political supremacy to His Diyn holds true, it is subject to the condition that we do not hold contempt for each other. This is the primary reason for the failure of many ostensibly Islamic parties, organizations, and movements (exceptions notwithstanding). God says,

Indeed, the party of God will dominate (Qur’an, 5:56)

This provides the answer to the question so many people ask, namely, “Has Islam failed to deliver?” The answer is that it is not Islam that has failed to deliver (it has delivered for more than a millennium!); rather, it is the lack of self-confidence (i.e. faith) that has failed to deliver. After all, contempt and faith are mutually exclusive terms.

They ask us whether Islam is more practical than communism, capitalism, fascism, individualism, and terrorism. My response is that Islam as a vibrant political power reigned supreme for a whole millennium. Which “ism” has this track record? As regards whether Islam is practicable in today’s world, I find no fundamental difference in today’s world and Ottoman Empire’s world (or for that matter, any other Empire’s world) that makes Islam less practicable, except our own complexes and insecurities. To sum up, Islam is the divine recipe for all times, whether you like it or not – wa lau karehal mushrikoon (and even if it is to the chagrin of the mushriks!).