Friday, 4 March 2016
The Sharing Group Discussion on Mumtaz Qadri's Murder of Salman Taseer
بِسۡمِ ٱللهِ ٱلرَّحۡمَـٰنِ ٱلرَّحِيمِ
The following are two threads on The Sharing Group about the hanging of the murderer of Salman Taseer, Mumtaz Qadri, and the shameful behaviour of a large section of the Muslim community, particularly those of Pakistani extraction.
The background of the issue is this. Asiya Bibi, a Pakistani Christian, was falsely accused of blasphemy by her Muslim neighbour. These false accusations are a common feature of Pakistan, a far cry from what Hadhrat Muhammad Iqbal (r.a.) envisioned, and now, one of the most corrupt and morally bankrupt nations in the world. Salman Taseer, the governor Punjab and a member of another minority, the Qadiani sect, rightly pointed out that these blasphemy laws were problematic.
At the incitement of rabid preachers, Barelvi mullahs, the bodyguard of Salman Taseer, Mumtaz Qadri, murdered him in cold blood. This occurred six years ago. On the 29th of February, Mumtaz Qadr was executed by Pakistan in secret. Thousands of Pakistanis took to the streets hailing the murderer as a martyr. The Pakistani diaspora, including prominent British Pakistani scholars in the UK hailed him a hero. The roll of shame is long. In the meantime, these same ‘defenders of the sunnah’ have been conspicuously silent on the fate of people like Asiya Bibi, who languish in prison or summarily executed by mob violence.
Brother Abdulkareem C Stone posted on The Sharing Group, on the 29th February, 2016: “I must admit to being shocked at the response of many ‘ulama to the execution of an armed soldier who turned his gun on the one he was commissioned to protect. They are giving him titles of glorification and honouring him as a martyr.”
Sister Jonae Cope: Who are you referring to?
Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: You have to give a background here, brother. Most of us are, thankfully, insulated from that nonsense that passes off as Islam in Pakistan. Essentially, Mumtaz Qadri, a bodyguard of the Governor of Punjab, Salman Taseer, killed the governor after Salman Taseer was accused of blasphemy by Mufti Hanif Qureshi and Qari Ishtiaq Shah, extremist Barelvis. His ‘blasphemy’ was daring to suggest a repeal of the maligned blasphemy laws.
The Barelvi ‘sect’, an offshoot of the Hanafi madzhab, is full of extremists and deviants. Thankfully, they are limited to the Indian subcontinent and parts of the Indian diaspora in places like the UK.
Brother Abdulkareem C Stone: I would not go as far as to say that about the Barelvis, but after today, I do not really know what to say.
Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: Consider the long litany of people that they make takfir against, from Shaykh Ninowy to Shaykh Tahir ul-Qadri to Shaykh Abdal Hakim Murad, can they be anything other than deviant? They have some extreme theological positions regarding the Prophet (s.a.w.) and accuse all others who do not adhere to them of kufr and ‘blasphemy’, and then they incite their followers to kill them. They are nothing more than another face of the Khwarij.
Brother Syed Zohaibullah: I was shocked sometime back as to why these people, who called themselves, Ahl as-Sunnah wa al-Jama’ah spoke vile things about Shaykh Tahir ul-Qadri. Why this extreme stand?
Brother Sardar Anees Khan: Problem 1: the ‘Barelvis’ are not a sect or offshoot of the Hanafi madzhab. It is incorrect to refer to them as a sect, then say they belong to the Hanafi madzhab; is a clear juxtaposition.
Problem2: Mufti Hanif was not the only one who announced Salman Taseer to have made such remarks. In fact, excluding Shaykh Tahir ul-Qadiri, all of the major scholars of the Ahl as-Sunnah made this judgement.
Problem 3: This is a muswlahah of fiqh based on ‘aqidah.
Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: And what was the blasphemous remark he made?
Brother Sardar Anees Khan: Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis, this is completely incorrect. I had a lot of respect for you and considered you well researched. I am absolutely appalled at your ignorance on this issue and then speaking on it.
Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: Firstly, like anything to do with the Barelvis, this charge of blasphemy is spurious. There is no basis in any of their hysterical denunciations.
Secondly, they have no authority to demand or facilitate the murder of any person. There is no actual blasphemy law in the Qur’an. This is an innovation in and of itself. Imagine, if the ummah had such a law, we would all takfir ourselves to death. And that is exactly what is wrong with Islam in places like Pakistan. The inmates have ruled the asylum.
Thirdly, it is a testament to the weak understanding of ‘aqidah of the Barelvi ‘sect’ that they imagine they are defending the Prophet (s.a.w.). Our Prophet (s.a.w.) has Allah (s.w.t.). He does not need degenerates and fools to defend him. We have, as an example, the story of ‘Abd al-Muththalib (r.a.) and Abraha, when he told Abraha, the Ka’bah has a Master and He will Protect it. The Prophet (s.a.w.) has a Master, and that Master has Stated Explicitly that He will Protect and Exalt him. So did these village mullahs of the Barelvi forget how to read sirah? Or is it because they do not know the Qur'an? To make a martyr out of a murderer is disgusting.
Thank God, the Barelvi ‘sect’ is confined to a small geographic area and we do not have these mad men running around the rest of the ummah. As it is, they are trying to bring their brand of ‘Islam’ to the rest of the world, like rats leaving a ship. I had the distinct displeasure of meeting one of them in Singapore, and I told him, we do not want this ‘Islam’. We do not need troublemakers coming here to make takfir of our ways.
Also, in Hanafi fiqh, Imam Abu Hanifah (r.a.) stated that blasphemy laws do not apply to non-Muslims. And in the case of such an accusation against a Muslim, then the accused is to be brought before the qadhi to defend himself. And if required, given an opportunity to repent, upon which, there is no penalty. Did all your scholars forget Hanafi fiqh? What sort of Muslim claims to be defending shari’ah by going against the Qur’an and the Prophet (s.a.w.)? And what sort of Muslim claims to follow a madzhab by ignoring it? Let us admit it and call it what it is. This is nafs. This is zhulm. This is kufr.
Brother Ahsan Razvi: Even within Barelvi, there are fractions who are way extreme and Hanif Qadri is one example. The ameer of Dawat e-Islami has unequivocally condemned and rejected Mumtaz Qadri’s act. Dawat e-Islami do relate themselves as Barelvis. I, myself, do not agree on many issues with Barelvis but we cannot brush all of them with the same colour.
Brother Mansoor Rizvi: Can anyone explain the history and the differences between the Deobandis and the Barelvis? I always had the impression that Deobandis were similar to Wahhabis, although technically they are more like austere Hanafis. The Taliban were Deobandis as far as I know. Are the Barelvis in any way shape or form connected to Sufism?
Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: Technically, they can be said to be followers of the noted scholar, Imam Ahmad Ridha' al-Qadri (r.a.). However, over time, factions of them fell into an extreme form of taqlid such that they took their scholars at Bareilly and their sub-madzhab to be pre-eminent over all others, rejecting ikhtilaf.
They claim to be Sufi, but aside from the thuruq of the Indian subcontinent, the Naqshbandi, the Jisty and the Qadri, they are hostile towards other Sufi others, and even other branches of the same Sufi order out of the Indian subcontinent. So the ‘Naqshbandis’ of Bareilly consider the Naqshbandi Haqqani of Turkey and other sub-branches in other parts of the world to be either false or fake.
They claim to be Hanafis but they make takfir of every Deobandi, even though technically, the school of Deoband is also Hanafi. And they do not recognise the Hanafi scholars out of the India subcontinent.
They claim to be Sunni, but they regularly make takfir of almost every Sunni scholar out of the Indian subcontinent, labelling them ‘gustakh’, roughly translated as blasphemer. They are extremely anti-Shi'ah, and violently so. They do not recognise the rulings or fatawa of other madzahib, and certain factions insist that to marry one of their kind, a Shafi’i, or even another ‘type’ of Hanafi, must ‘convert’ to ‘their’ Islam.
In a nutshell, they make Wahhabis look sane. For the crazy side of the Barelvis, their scholars regularly incite their followers to murder with cries of blasphemy.
Brother James Harris: I am surprised that you are shocked, Brother Abdulkareem. This attitude is absolutely typical among religious leaders in the Indian subcontinent. Did you not know?
Brother Ahsan Razvi: As the saying goes, empty vessels makes the most noise. These are the empty ones who get the most media coverage. For example, in India, we allegedly had 5 or 6 young people going to join ISIS, but the media portrayed as if all Indian Muslims are joining ISIS. Even for the sake of argument, let us say these people did join, even then, they would not constitute 0.001% of the Muslim population. The same way these people do not add up to 0.1% of the Muslims living in these countries.
Sister Shahbano Aliani: Well said, Brother Ahsan Razvi. These so-called ‘ulama are problematic. They actually misinformed and confuse people. They do not guide. They take people back to Jahiliyyah. and the media gives them airtime. The media are also problematic. Some people speculate that some footage of rallies against the execution or showing support for the executed man, may be doctored.
I, for one, do not consider him a ghazi or a shahid, and I am not proud of what he did. And there are many other Pakistanis who feel the same way. Salman Taseer only said the law needs to be reviewed. That is not blasphemy. and his murder is not the way of our beloved Prophet (s.a.w.). Those who claim to love him should try to follow his example of love, compassion and peace rather than trying to show their love by accusing and attacking poor Christians and Ahmadis, and anyone who disagrees with them. Where is the honour or the love for the Prophet (s.a.w.) in hatred and violence?
I have just seen a few posts lauding this man’s efforts against insults to the Prophet (s.a.w.). It is absurd how people can be manipulated into thinking that speaking against the blasphemy law is equivalent to insulting the Prophet (s.a.w.). The illogic! Where do we even begin to address all the problems with this argument?
Brother Abdulkareem C Stone: This is the sermon: Mufti Hanif Qureshi's Sermon which Incited Salman Taseer’s Murder.
Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: In all the history of Islam, have we ever seen any of the pious predecessors incite the nafs of the people in the name of Islam and the Prophet (s.a.w.)? Consider the sirah, after all the Quraysh did, after all the non-Muslims did, after al-Fath al-Makkah, the Prophet (s.a.w.) came with 10,000 of the best of the ummah, and he forgave them. Not a man, a woman or a child was harmed. That is the true legacy of Muhammad (s.a.w.), not this. He who claims to defend the sunnah and then violates it is a hypocrite.
What sort of ‘mufti’ is shouting like a mad man, hopping around and throwing his sarban with such disrespect, and inciting murder? What sort of people would follow such a person and think they are following Islam? What sort of Muslim would celebrate murder and make a martyr of a murderer?
Brother Sulayman Bates: It shocked me as well, and found it disturbing
Brother Abdulkareem C Stone: There are young scholars who have appeared on TV here in the UK, denouncing terrorism, yet the support terrorism in Pakistan. They attend conferences on peace yet praise somebody who openly murdered a government official.
Brother James Harris: This reveals a deep sickness in the culture of those ‘scholars’. They support murder undertaken outside of any legal system, to achieve a political end. Terrorism by any definition of the word.
Brother Abdulkareem C Stone: I did not realise just how deep it was. I am worried as I had a good impression of the above scholar and thought he was doing a good job in explaining to the youth that extremism is no solution. Our position as Muslims is precarious and these scholars have become public figures but are still holding onto ridiculous loyalties.
Brother James Harris: From what I can see, ‘Islam’ is some kind of political party to many of those people. One can use any dirty trick in the book as a means to keep getting votes or followers.
Brother Ahsan Razvi: Thanks, Sister Shahbano Aliani. One of the problem we face these days is we oversimplify and see it through a black or white prism, and we forget the nuances. These ‘ulama are a result of that process. I think the eruption of such a mind-set has a lot to do with the system in place. The followers of these ‘ulama are mostly alienated people. Consecutive governments have failed to assimilate them into the mainstream. There is a failure of law and order, a failure of the judiciary to provide justice, inequality in society. I think these people must be exposed but there is a necessity to also expose the root cause and things that add up to move people to towards such extremes. Lastly, we also should not make the mistake of over simplifying these things.
Brother Martin Harrison: I have been shocked by the support this murderer has received from people I respect. I do not recall the same people praising those who attacked Charlie Hebdo.
Brother Marquis Dawkins: Frankly, this entire thing is baffling to me. Why are people praising the killer and calling him a hero and shahid? I am actually finding it offensive personally even though I am as far removed from Pakistan and its politics. I just do not understand how anyone can defend this.
Sister Shahbano Aliani: Brother Marquis Dawkins, my husband nailed it when he said that the blasphemy law is a powerful political tool for the mullahs who never garner any significant power through elections. They can attach this label to anyone and bray for their blood. The scholars who do not share this political agenda, like Shaykh Javed Ahmed Ghamidi and some others are clear and sane on the issue. The followers are being misled and confused by the ‘ulama. Many people actually cannot think clearly and logically. They cannot distinguish between the blasphemy law, the diyn and the person of the Rasul (s.a.w.). People are also stuck in binary, oppositional identity politics and are defending indefensible positions because that is the position of the group they belong to. Some are going with the current around them without thinking for themselves. Lastly, some young men in rallies, I am sure, are out there just for entertainment. And Allah (s.w.t.) Knows best.
Brother Abdulkareem C Stone also shared, on The Sharing group, Lovers of Awliya Allah’s post, on the 04th March 2016. He said, “This is shocking beyond belief. From supposedly Sufis. These have nothing to do with the awliya’.”
This is the post in question reproduced in full:
Question: Please kindly clarify the ruling on Mumtaz Qadri, given that there are some parties who oppose what he did.
Answer: Salman Taseer, due to his actions and words, become a murtad, and was no longer deemed a Muslim; this is in accordance with the fatwa from the scholars of Pakistan, and this then meant he was no longer protected as a citizen in an Islamic state. Therefore, this now classified him as mubah ad-dam, it is permissible to kill such a person.
The author of al-Hidayah, under the chapter of murtad, states: “So if he [the murtad] is killed before being propositioned with Islam, it is disliked, and there is nothing upon the killer.”
It is worth noting here that disliked, makruh, refers to leaving a mustahabb action, and it is well established that the opposite of mustahabb, recommended, is not makruh; rather it is khilaf awla, undesirable.
Salman Taseer continued to speak in the same manner, even after the fatawa were issued against him; the speeches and lectures of the scholars of Pakistan are sufficient evidence of this. From this, we can ascertain that the responsibility for the punishment for Salman Taseer was with the Pakistan government, and the actions of Mumtaz Qadri, which took the law into his own hands, were liable to ta’zir, non-obligatory punishment, by an Islamic judge.
In no shape, way, or form - in correct accordance with the shari’ah - should there have been a conviction for the death penalty for Mumtaz Qadri, and it is the Pakistan government that has failed to act in accordance with Islamic Law; this is what the fatwa is upon in accordance to the Hanafi School.
The love that the majority of the ummah has for Malik Mumtaz Hussain Qadri (Allah Shower His Mercy upon Him) is sufficient enough for us; he is an honourable martyr, and an accepted hero for the ummah.
Brother James Harris: Does this man regularly call for extrajudicial killings based on his ‘love’? Has he done it before?
Brother Abdulkareem C Stone: I am not sure who he is actually.
Brother James Harris: I do not recognise the religion he preaches.
Brother Abdulkareem C Stone: If that is Islam, I would murtad.
Brother James Harris: Same here.
Brother Abdulkareem C Stone: This is his page: Shaykh Mufti Wajid Iqbal.
He is British, from Bradford. This is incitement to commit terrorism.
Brother Brandon Tan: To declare oneself as murtad is one thing. To declare another is unimaginable. As I understand, even the scholars are very careful with that. Very specific conditions need to be fulfilled.
Sister Shahbano Aliani: He was not a murtad and Pakistan is not an Islamic state. It is a Muslim-majority country. I do not think there has been an Islamic state since Hadhrat ‘Ali’s (k.w.) caliphate. so, the whole premise of the argument is flawed. All that is stated later about murtad and so forth is based on false premises. Allah (s.w.t.) have Mercy and Guide these people. I am truly amazed by this. The facts are quite clear if anyone would bother to review them.
Brother Terence Helikaon Nunis: A person does not become a murtad by his action. This, in itself, is an innovation. A person may engage in an act of kufr, such as Mumtaz Qadri committing murder in this case, but that still does not make him a kafir. Irtidad is only valid when it pertains to an explicit denial of the shahadah, meaning by saying it, and not implicit by act; or when a person subscribes to a belief that negates the shahadah or the accepted creed of the Muslims. Imam ibn Hajr al-‘Asqalani (r.a.) and others defined this well. An example would be the Qadiani sect in their denial of the finality of prophethood; or the Qaramatiyyah in their denial of the valid act of hajj and ‘umrah as shirk; or the Wahhabi in their denial of the Oneness and Unlimitedness of God. And even then, there is ikhtlaf. It has to be an explicit credal issue where there is no doubt.