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March 18th, 2011

Sunni Muslims also against Blasphemy Laws

We have received the following message by e-mail which I have pleasure in reproducing below.

Dear Brothers, Sisters, Friends;
Asalam-o-Alakium (Peace be on to you)

It may help you to know that many ‘Sunni’ Muslims are also against the blasphemy laws as practiced in Pakistan & much of the Muslim world. I have spoken out against this injustice at the expense of personal safety, though I’m not an ‘Ahmadi’ or ‘Qadani.’

Please check out my blog on the Muslim Institute website UK. You are welcome to circulate it widely amongst friends & family. I reckon mullahs need to be challenged publicly and intellectually. It re-assuring to know that rational Muslim Scholars actually do exist in Pakistan & many parts of the world. Unfortunately with guns to their heads they are not given any airtime or column inches in Pakistan.

‘Shush if you dare speak’ cautions Amjad Hussain on the politics of blasphemy | The Muslim Institute

We all need to ascertain that; NO MULLAH or anyone for that matter should be allowed to pass an edict of disbelief or apostasy (takfir) against a believer who utters the creed [Kalama] and professes the faith. Judgement in this affair is the sole prerogative of Almighty Allah. We all make mistakes no one is infallible; according to the Holy Quran, the Sunnah and the Sharia all offences are pardonable and can be compensated in this world. Accept that against God for polytheism that carries retribution in the hereafter.

Regrettably with the filmiest of pretexts, it’s a common currency these days for one sect or another to incite aggression, hate and xenophobia. I urge scholars and leaders of all the parties that they must refrain from whipping up hysteria leading to a holy rage that pits brother against brother neighbour verses neighbour-this bloody conflict has to stop. Allah (swt) calls for mutual respect between brothers & all citizens.

The sura Al-Hujurat (49: 9) states, ‘And if two parties of the believers quarrel, make peace between them.’

(49:10) ‘The believers are brothers so make peace between your brethren, and keep your duty to Allah that mercy may be had on you.’
(49: 11) ‘O you who believe, let not people laugh at people, perchance they may be better than they; nor let women (laugh) at women, perchance they may be better than they. Neither find fault with your own people, nor call one another by nick-names. Evil is bad name after faith; whoso turns not, it that are the iniquitous.’
(49:12) ‘O you who believe, avoid most of suspicion, for surely suspicion in some cases is sin; and spy not nor let some of you backbite others. Does one of you like to eat the flesh of his dead brother? You abhor it! And keep your duty to Allah, surely Allah is Oft-returning (to mercy), Merciful.’

The teachings of the Holy Prophet (pbuh) reminds us that the life, property and honour of a person are sacred than the Kaaba and its precincts. Ulema therefore need to speak strongly against violence and condemn the mindless terrorist attacks that have claimed thousands of innocent lives all over Pakistan.

The Holy Prophet (pbuh) had warned the Companions [and thus all future Muslims & mankind], ‘Beware, do not become unbelievers after me, so that some of you should strike off the necks of others.’ [Bukhari 25:132]

Echoing this theme the Glorious Quran in Sura An-Nisa (4:92-94) states, “It is not for a believer to kill a believer (except) by mistake…..[verse 93] whoever slays a believer intentionally, his reward is Hell forever. Allah is angry with him and He has cursed him and prepared for him an awful doom. [verse 94] O you who believe, when you go forth [even in time of war] to fight in Allah’s way, make thorough investigation, and say not to anyone who offers you salutation (Salam, peace), that thou are not a believer.”

As far as both the Apostasy and blasphemy laws are concerned no favour can be found in the Holy Quran and Sunnah.

In fact (Sura 2:256) reads, “There is no compulsion in matter of faith. Distinct is the way of guidance now from error’ And in (Al-‘Imran 3:79) it is stated ‘No human has the right, even though God may have given him a ‘code of laws’ or the power to enforce it or even Prophethood that he should say unto mankind, Be subservient to me instead of God.”

In surah An-Nisa’ (4:137), states that “those who believe, then disbelieve, then believe again, then disbelieve, and then increase in their disbelief – Allah will never forgive them nor guide them to the path.”
Surah Yunus, (10:99) Allah says: “Had your Lord willed, everyone on earth would have believed. Do you then force people to become believers?”

In the Sunan of Ibn Maja, it is reported that the Holy Prophet (pbuh) said, ‘Do not carry out punishments and find ways to avoid them.’ A similar Hadith is report by Tirmidhi with a following emphasis, ‘better that a judge errs in forgiveness than for him to err in punishments.’ Whilst Ibn Rushd in Bidayat al-Mujtahid quotes a report that ‘in doubtful cases hudd punishments are suspended.’

No wonder that half of the Muslim-World, comprising 30 countries have already suspended capital punishments for all crimes. Due to my humble efforts solely exerted for the betterment of Ummuah, at the UN last year increasing number of Muslim countries, including the war ravaged Afghanistan voted with international community in over whelming way [107 to 38 against] for the global freeze on death penalty. This signifies the fact that human blood is so sacred not to be spilt so cheaply. With this spirit in mind, [after my tireless campaign] last year the government of Pakistan too declared moratorium on death penalty. [I have personally lobbied officials & party high ups, however a lot of work needs to be done & continuous behind the scenes]

A learned former Chief Justice of Pakistan, Dr Abdur Rehman in his book, ‘The Punishment for Apostasy in Islam’ notes that the subject of apostasy occurs 20 times-but the Holy Quran remains silent on death as the punishment.

The Holy Quran mentions that Arabs of jahilliyyah use to refer to the Holy Prophet (pbuh) by various (God forbid) nicknames. Despite their torment that was some times accompanied by physical harm; the Holy Prophet endured their insults with up most patience without ever cursing anyone [let alone death] reflects his noble character.

For instance:- Al-Anbiya (The Prophets) 21:5, Ya-Seen 36-69, As-Saaffat 37:36 [a poet possessed, ma’zalla], At-Tur 52:30, Al-Haqqa 69:41 and Al-Hijr 15:6, ‘They say: o thou to whom the message is being revealed! Truly thou art mad.’ [ma’zalla]. Al-Mumenoon 23:25, 23:70, Saba 34:36. About Prophet Moses (pbuh) 51:39, similarly against all Prophets 51:52. It is mentioned in Sura 61:5 that Prophet Moses was insulted, ‘O my people! Why do ye vex and insult me, though ye know that I am the apostle of Allah (sent) to you?’ Many Prophets were ridiculed and the Believers too & blasphemes uttered against Allah the Most Gracious. Such as in Al-Nisa (4:140) and in Sura Al-Taubah (9:79) it is said, ‘those who slander and ridicule the believers -Allah will throw back their ridicule on them and they shell suffer a grievous penalty.’

Ridicule of Prophet Noah (pbuh) and Prophet Hud in verse 11:38 is recorded. The Holy Prophet is ridiculed in Al-Anbiya 21:36, ‘When the unbelievers see the, they treat thee not except with ridicule…and they blaspheme at the mention of (Allah) Most Gracious!’ Also refer to Ar-Room (Romans) 30:10, Luqman 31:6, Saba 34:7, 37:12, 43:57, and Blasphemes against the angles are mentioned in Al-Baqara 2:102,
‘those who utter blasphemes…..would have no share in the happiness of hereafter.’

And the punishment is, ‘Hell is the abode of the blasphemes for those that utter lies against Allah.’ (Sura 39:32). In all the above verse no punitive retaliation is mentioned expect in the hereafter and despair of this world.

In addition to my day job, a detailed monograph on this theme is in progress and I will pass it on to the Government of Pakistan upon completion inshallah, with copies to all the relevant departments, ministries, including the Federal Law Division and the legislature.

Hope this helps.
Regards, Mirza Amjad Hussain

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