Deobandi ulema openly condemn terrorism
ISLAMABAD – Pakistani scholars adhering to the Barelvi and Deobandi schools of Islamic thought have found common ground, agreeing that suicide attacks are haram.
Majlis-e-Sautul Islam (MSI), a Karachi-based Deobandi organisation, held a two-day seminar March 10-11 at the conclusion of a one-year training session for some of its intellectuals. There, it openly opposed suicide attacks.
“MSI was not only the first to declare suicide bombings un-Islamic and haram, but we also announced disowning all those movements and individuals who are shedding the blood of innocent Muslims,” MSI Chairman Mufti Abu Huraira Muhiyuddin said. “They have nothing to do with Islam, Pakistan or humanity.”
Though several Deobandi scholars, such as the late Maulana Hassan Jan, in the past have opposed suicide bombings and the killing of innocents, the fresh commitment by the MSI is being lauded as a significant development.
The Barelvi school of thought also opposes suicide attacks and bombings and has openly declared them haram. But the Deobandi action is significant because the Taliban draw their ideology from the Deobandi school of thought.
In the past, militants killed some religious scholars, including Jan, for explaining what Islam says about such acts. Jan was assassinated in suburban Peshawar in 2007.
Support from religious scholars needed
Several government officials spoke to the newly trained scholars.
Those who addressed the seminar included Pakistan Muslims League Nawaz (PML-N) leader and senior politician Raja Zafarul Haq, Senator Talha Mahmood, Maulana Abdul Qayyum Haqqani, Maulana Fazlur Rahman Ashrafi, Dr. Yousuf Farooqi and Dr. Dost Mohammad Khan.
Religious scholars can play an important role in bringing an end to terrorism and ensuring peace, all the speakers agreed.
Federal Religious Affairs Minister Sardar Mohammad Yousuf also spoke and thanked religious scholars, especially MSI, and asked that they continue to promote peace and harmony in society through their sermons.
“They [religious scholars] can show that [true] jihad does not equal qital (killing of people),” Dr. Khadim Hussain, an intellectual and educator, said. “Scholars can put forward the discourse of secular democratic nationhood.”
“We have trained 3,000 religious scholars from all over Pakistan who will support any step by the government to restore peace in the country and oppose any kind of terror act,” Muhiyuddin said. “People are being killed all over the country, and we must play a role in improving the situation.”
“They will convey the real message of Islam, which is peace and love,” he added.
PUC joins Pakistan against terrorism
Just two days after MSI’s announcement, the Pakistan Ulema Council (PUC) announced its support for government efforts to restore peace.
Prime Minister Mian Muhammad Nawaz Sharif March 13 addressed a 10-member PUC delegation, saying that extremism could be curbed only by following the teachings of Islam.
Religious scholars should not only promote the message of peace in the society but also do their part to promote the positive image of Pakistan in the global community, The News reported Nawaz Sharif as saying.
“Those who are carrying out bombings must be dealt with strictly by the government,” PUC Chairman Allama Tahir-ul-Ashrafi said. “We will support the government in any action against terrorists.”
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
From Print Edition
ISLAMABAD: More than 300 Ulema from the Deoband school of thought on Monday termed suicide bombings Haram and said the teachers and students of seminaries invite Allah Almighty’s curse upon terrorism and its perpetrators.
This is probably for the first time that the Deoband school of thought has so openly declared suicide bombings as Haram. All groups of Deoband school of thought attended the seminar.The open condemnation of suicide bombings by the Deoband Ulema carries significance, as the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) also belongs to the Deoband school of thought.
The Deoband Ulema had also outlawed the armed struggle against the state of Pakistan around three years back duringa conference in Lahore. However, analysts had termed it a political gimmick.
Addressing a seminar here under the auspices of Majlis Saut-ul-Islam, the Ulema said just formal condemnation of terrorism was not enough and now was the time for them to come out and defend Madaris (seminaries) against the propaganda that these were the sanctuaries of terrorism.
PML-N leader Raja Zafarul Haq, Senator Talha Mehmood, Mufti Abu Hurera Mohi-ud-Din, Maulana Zahid, Maulana Abdul Qayyum Haqqani, Maulana Fazl-ur-Rahim Ashrafi, Maulana Muhammad Ishaq, Maulana Dr Yousaf Farooqi, Maulana Dr Tahir Hakim, Rabita Alam Islami Director General Abda Muhammad Ateen, Sheikh Zaid Islamic University, Peshawar Director Dr. Dost Muhammad Khan and others addressed the seminar.
Mufti Abu Hurera Mohi-ud-Din said they welcomed the National Security Policy but it was tragic that seminaries were also included in it.Later, certificates were distributed among the successful students.
KARACHI: Senior clerics of India’s top seminary whose version of Islam the Taliban claim to follow have denounced the actions of the hardline militia, saying the group does not qualify to enjoy affiliations with the historic madressah.
In an interview with a correspondent of the BBC Urdu Service, the rector and the head of faculty of Darul Uloom (Waqf) Deoband said attacks by ‘vigilantes’ in which innocent people died was not jihad but ‘individual zulm (oppression)’.
Seen in this light, attacks on shrines, barber shops and educational institutions were all un-Islamic. Maulana Saalim Qasimi went to the extent of characterising the Taliban regime in Afghanistan, which was ousted by the US forces in 2001, as ‘un-Islamic’.
He said the Taliban did not comprehend fully the tenets of Islam even though much was made of their ‘Islamic government’.
He said Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam leader Maulana Fazlur Rehman, who supported the Afghan regime, was not a religious scholar. ‘He is more of a politician than a scholar.’ ‘However, his father, Mufti Mehmood, was a scholar,’ he said.
Maulana Aslam Qasimi, great grandson of Qasim Nanotvi, the founder of the madressah, said the recent statement by Sufi Mohammad that judiciary in Pakistan was un-Islamic was based on misconceptions and ignorance.
He said that Islam embraced concepts like democracy. ‘The spirit of democracy is very much there in Islam, though concepts like democracy have been taking new shapes and forms.’