Popes of Pakistan by Abdul Quayyum Khan Kundi

God has instructed us in Sura Al-Asr:

By time, Indeed, mankind is in loss, Except for those who have believed and done righteous deeds and advised each other to truth and advised each other to patience. 

But it seems this guidance is not as easy to implement. It is because truth has to be found through deliberate effort. To help humanity God sent books and Prophets to fulfill His promise to Prophet Adam (AS) to guide us on the right path. Differences between various faiths are understandable but fights within followers of same faith suggest ego and hypocrisy are still dominant. Faizabad dharna was nothing but a fitna and a political event to make the state succumb to religious intolerance and distortion of the message and tradition of Prophet Mohammad PBUH. Let’s try to explain this point from a perspective of a politician using some key events from the tradition of the Prophet.

First is signing of the Charter of Medina. In this document nowhere was it proposed that the State of Medina will have a religion. The Prophet mentioned himself as leader of Muslims but did not propose that those who do not accept him as the Prophet will have no rights or will be treated differently than his followers. There was complete freedom of religion, association or expression for all citizen. No one was asked to file a certificate that they believe in the finality of the Prophet PBUH to be considered a Muslim.

The second was the signing of the treaty of Hudaibiya when Muslims went to Mecca to perform Hajj. They were prevented to do so which resulted in a dharna that ended with the signing of the treaty of Hudaibiya. In this treaty when the representative of Meccans Suhail ibn Amr objected that he does not approve of the religious office of the Prophet PBUH. He accepted to remove that from the text and signed the agreement as leader of Muslims. This meant that he understood that there will always be people that will not accept him as a Prophet PBUH but establishing peace to preserve the community was more important than imposing a faith over people against their will.

The third was the demolition of Masjid al Dirar when verses were revealed to the Prophet PBUH that a mosque of hypocrites cannot be allowed to exist.

(Sura Tawba verses 107-110: And [there are] those [hypocrites] who took for themselves a mosque for causing harm and disbelief and division among the believers and as a station for whoever had warred against Allah and His Messenger before. And they will surely swear, “We intended only the best.” And Allah testifies that indeed they are liars. Do not stand [for prayer] within it – ever. A mosque founded on righteousness from the first day is more worthy for you to stand in. Within it are men who love to purify themselves; and Allah loves those who purify themselves. Then is one who laid the foundation of his building on righteousness [with fear] from Allah and [seeking] His approval better or one who laid the foundation of his building on the edge of a bank about to collapse, so it collapsed with him into the fire of Hell? And Allah does not guide the wrongdoing people. Their building which they built will not cease to be a [cause of] skepticism in their hearts until their hearts are stopped. And Allah is Knowing and Wise.).   

This was a historic event as it clearly suggested that not every mosque is sacred and that mosques can be used by hate mongers and those that divide the community to pursue their own political agenda using religion as a tool. This situation is prevalent in many Muslim majority countries today and has to be fixed if we want the Ummah to unite and progress. Mosques should become centers of community, spirituality, and learning rather than platforms for promoting religious intolerance and pursuing one’s political ambition.

Fourth is the inheritance of a religious gaddi from a spiritual healer and guide. Sufi saints have played a pivotal role in spreading and establishing Islam as a major religion not only in South Asia but also Africa and South East Asia especially Indonesia and Malaysia. But can the sons of these saints claim to have inherited the spiritual title of their forefathers? Stories from Quran makes it clear that even sons of Prophets can pursue the wrong path. Son of Noah (AS) is one example. Same is true for 11 sons of Yaqoob (AS) that conspired to kill their brother Prophet Yousuf (AS). There are many other stories that clearly suggest that being a son of a spiritual person is no guarantee to be on the path of salvation. The prophecy of Prophet PBUH ended after his departure as this title is bestowed upon a person by God himself. As for his political position as head of state Prophet PBUH left it to his Ummah to decide about it.

All those Makhdoms and Pirs that are presenting themselves as a bearer of thespirituality of their forefathers and protector of Islam are basically holders of a political title that they are using in the same manner as used by Pope in the West. Similarly, Khadim Hussain Rizvi’s conduct during Faizabad Dharna was in direct violation of the tradition of Prophet Mohammad PBUH. He used galian in his speeches, hindered day labor to earn their living, created hurdles for an ambulance and sick to reach hospitals and burned public property. Khadim Hussain Rizvi presented himself as protector of khatam e naboowat but actually did everything to tarnish the image of the beloved Prophet PBUH around the world. The astanas and shrines of these sons of Sufi Saints seems to be no-go areas as they do not file tax returns, declare source of their funding, and accept regulation of their activities by the State. Even the Sufi Saints themselves will disapprove of this situation and admonish their gaddi nashin for such behavior.

Now coming to the oath of a person to be a believer in the finality of the Prophet PBUH. I personally fail to understand how can religious belief in the Prophet PBUH be converted into a legal document. Can we guarantee that the person signing the oath has the same intention? Did the country progress & prospered despite being ruled by those that signed an oath of the finality of the Prophet PBUH? Will the person be presenting the oath he signed to God in the afterlife? Matters of faith are between a person and God and no oath can become a replacement for it. I am sure many will call me a rejecter of the finality of Prophet PBUH and a conspirator to undermine Islam. I did receive messages of hate and threats after my last piece on this subject. But God instructed us to speak up and present views that we believe in. I am a firm believer in the finality of the Prophet Mohammad PBUH but cannot accept some worldly authority encroach on what is in the domain of God. I have to speak up even if it means losing my own life in the process. I am not against parliament impose a condition on a person to sign an oath about the finality of Prophet PBUH but to consider it a guarantee of one’s faith is unacceptable. Matters of faith are only for God to decide.

Not just Prophet PBUH the rightly guided caliphs fought many wars with those that challenged the authority of the state and instigated fitna to divide the community.

I am presenting my views as a politician and always seek guidance from Quran and Prophet Mohammad PBUH tradition to form my political views. I implore our religious scholars to come forward and educate the nation about the true message of Islam and defeat the hypocrites that are causing hate, intolerance, and divisions in the Ummah. These hypocrites are weakening the State which only serves the purpose of those that want to seek Muslims remain colonized and enslaved.

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