Archive for the ‘Blashphemy Law – An Islamic Perspective’ Category
Source : Express Tribune
Aasia is a Christian woman who was sentenced to death after being convicted by a lower court. She is currently being held at the Sheikhupura jail.
The SCBA body, in the resolution, called alleged government initiaives to amend or repeal the blasphemy laws “a shameful effort being made under a foreign agenda, which is strongly condemnable”. The text of the resolution read, “In no circumstances, any amendment encouraging or creating any effort to defile the sacred name and personality of Hazrat Muhammad (pbuh) can be brought in the statute book.”
The committee, through a unanimous vote, warned the government and members of the Parliament to refrain from implementing any such proposal.
The SCBA and the legal fraternity will never accept any such pardon or amendment and would resist them, the resolution carried by the SCBA body added. The members also expressed concern over Punjab governor’s attempts to get a presidential pardon for Aasia while an appeal is pending before the high court.
The resolution was passed in a meeting chaired by the SCBA president and former chairperson of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, Asma Jahangir. Sanaullah Zahid, the SCBA Finance secretary moved the resolution.
When Zahid moved the resolution, the president pointed out that it was not on the agenda to which Zahid said, “There have been times when you have moved resolutions not on the agenda”. Jahangir was then told by the finance secretary that she had the right to dissent “though it will be carried by the majority”. The president chose not to exercise the right.
The meeting was attended by SCBA secretary, Qamar Zaman Qureshi; Sindh vice president (VP), KA Wahab; Punjab VP, Zubair Khalid; Balochistan VP, Jahanzeb Khan Jadoon; finance secretary, Sanaullah Zahid; additional secretary, Muhammad Saleheen; and 16 members of its executive committee.
The Lahore High Court Bar Association (LHCBA) has already carried a similar resolution. A group of LHCBA members is also holding daily protests in front of the Lahore High Court building against any moves to amend the blasphemy laws.
Published in The Express Tribune, December 19th, 2010.
“None of you will have faith till he loves me more than his father, his children and all mankind.”
You see, it is a matter of Faith! When you commit a blasphemy against my beloved Muhammad Sallallahu Elaihe Wasallam, your act hurts my faith, my values, my beliefs and my spirit. Additionally, you commit a kind of a spiritual mass-murder, because Muslims have a duty to love him more than all the mankind, and Faithful believers do just that, conscientiously.
And then you ask forgiveness? Tell me, if you commit genocide, would that be repairable? forgivable?
How are the people who commit murder dealt with in the world? Aren’t they either put to death or held prisoner for the rest of their lives. Even people who are held guilty of attempted murder get 84 years imprisonment in the largest democracies in this world. Here, we are talking about killing the spirits of atleast 300 million or more human beings, because it is a global issue, whenever someone commits blasphemy, all Muslims are hurt.
Would we let you go? NO! you will become the ilk of Tasleema Nasreen and Salman Rushdi if we let you go! You can’t just keep killing the spirits of the whole Muslim fraternity! And unfortunately for you, you have become the icon of blasphemy, if you are spared, there would be no stopping to this violation of Human Right.
Can the President forgive you? NO, it is not his prerogative; it’s nobody’s prerogative except for Allah! Our commandments are clear, blasphemy should be rewarded with death penalty only. Can the assembly pass a bill to amend this law, they can, but that would not save you or anyone who does commit the same crime! I see many unjust murders in the wake of this bill passing from the assembly, but what can be done? the bill is about to be passed, and it would allow popular conscience in Pakistan to take the law in their own hand! Another threat to you and your ilk! Sorry for that, but your buddies called for it!
Our religion teaches us respect and mercy? Yes! But so does yours! ours asks us in certain conditions to overthrow mercy and become brutal; and you know what! the condition applies here. You plead that our prophet (sallallahu elaihe wasallam) was a merciful man, so we should be compassionate with you? You commit blasphemy against him and then take his shelter, How Convenient! Yes! Muhammad (sallallahu elaihe wasallam) was a merciful man, yet all those who committed blasphemy publically against Muhammad (sallallahu elaihe wasallam), after establishment of a Muslim State, were put to death, by the orders of Muhammad (sallallahu elaihe wasallam); we follow his path, and will keep following him (sallallahu elaihe wasallam). Why this was done is no mystery; Allah knew that people like you would keep coming and keep hurting Muslims this way, and will keep trying the patience and faith of believers. Thus, as a blessing and a pre-emptive hurt-control measure for the Muslims, this right has been given to us as an obligation.
Muhammad’s (sallallahu elaihe wasallam’s) prophethood is the basic pillar of Islam. We are connected to him in a way you would never be able to appreciate, unless you were a Muslim. We have an obligation to love him more than we love our mother, our father, our children, our spouse and any other human being who could be loved! In our culture, our mothers are the most respectable amongst the people for us, and we would kill anyone who hurts them. Your crime exceeds that, you have been proven by our courts to have disrespected someone who is a part of our belief. You have committed a crime worst than murder.
Apology not accepted!
People who have come across the news of struggle of Asia Bibi who was sentenced to death on charges of blasphemy, insulting Islam, might think that blasphemy law has no basis in Islam and Islam stands against such laws and punishments because media writes like this on advice or under influence from so called Muslim moderate intellectuals who wish that Islamic doctrines and laws still remain esoteric.
Despite the attempts of the media and Muslims to gloss over anachronistic laws such as prescribing death penalty for apostasy, leaving Islam to another religion, and blasphemy, criticism of Islam and saying anything negative about Islam and its founder Prophet Mohammad, people increasingly all over the world, if not India, are learning that these laws are part and parcel of Sharia Law and have roots in Koran and deeds of Mohammad. These people are even understanding the end purpose of having such laws.
The roots and foundation of this blasphemy law, killing people who criticize Mohammad and Koran, tap in to what Mohammad did or ordered his followers to do.Biographies of Prophet of Islam, written by pious Muslims like Ibn Ishaq, Tabari and Ibn Sa’ad, mention many incidents where Mohammad, as he was becoming powerful politically in Medina, orders killing of people, Jews and idolaters, for simple reasons that:
1. They criticized him, his ways and acts as he was sending armed groups to raid caravans for the purpose of looting and taking people as captives for ransoming for money later; or some times as slaves.
2. They questioned him, his religion and his teachings; more importantly questioned his claim of prophet-hood. Even they understood that no God’s prophet would raid caravans.
3. Some of them lampooned him by writing satirical poems.
At the end of this post, I will be presenting two of such incidents from authentic Islamic sources. Apart from deeds of Mohammad, Sunna, blasphemy law also exists in Koran as Koranic verses 9:64-66 say that any Muslim mocking or questioning, or even doubting, Mohammad, his prophet-hood, Allah and verses in Koran amounts to reverting to disbelief from belief in Islam. That is, such Muslims are declared apostates and punishment for apostasy is death penalty.
It is based on these primary sources (Koran and Deeds of Mohammad i.e. Sunna) that Sharia Law describes what is blasphemy and prescribes death penalty as punishment for it (one can read about sharia law on blasphemy from here; chapter 8 and section 7 (o8.7) for Muslims; Chapter 11 and section 10 (o11.10), clause 5 for Non Muslims.). All four major schools of Sunni Islam support death penalty for blasphemy and also hold the view that apostates must be killed. Shia branch of Islam also supports this blasphemy law; all one has to do is to recall famous fatwa on writer Salman Rushdie for writing novel,Satanic Verses, by father of Iranian Islamic revolution, Ruhollah Khomeini.
When ever Muslims come across news that is unfavorable to idea of Islam as moderate, tolerant, non violent or inclusive, they reflexively resort to negating sharia law saying that it is man made i.e. written by men and Koran and Sunna do not support instruments in questions e.g. like blasphemy law. They simply try to detach, sometimes willfully, Sharia law from Koran and Sunna as if later two are furthering just cause. Unfortunately, this view of falsehood on sharia is bought by main stream media and is passed on to its gullible readers. But irrefutable fact is that Sharia is explicitly based on Koran and Sunna. Some ordinary Muslim people might be ignorant about true Islamic history and what Islam teaches but those who write in media are just dissembling real motives of Islam and its followers.
As I stated earlier in the post that Mohammad ordered his followers to kill people who lampooned him by writing satirical poems; following are two such incidents (of course one can come up with many names, but the topic here is blapshemy that is why I am restricting myself.).
Case 1. 120 year old Jew, Abu Afak.
Abu Afak was one of the B. Amr b. Auf of the B. Ubayda clan. He showed his disaffection when the apostle killed al-Harith b. Suwayd b. Samit and said:……….. (Ibn Ishaq mentions poem supposedly composed by Abu Afak, which I am not producing here.). The apostle said, “Who will deal with this rascal for me?” Whereupon Salim b. Umayr, brother of B. Amr b. Auf, one of the “weepers”, went forth and killed him. (The life of Mohammad, Ibn Ishaq, Page 675)
Ibn Sa’ad, see note below, also mentions this incident, in his work, but tries to reduce the blame of Mohammad by writing that he was instigating people against Islam and Prophet which is nothing but preposterous.
Then occurred the “sariyyah” (raid) of Salim Ibn Umayr al-Amri against Abu Afak, the Jew, in the month Shawwal in the beginning of the twentieth month from the hijrah, of the Apostle of Allah. Abu Afak, was from Banu Amr Ibn Awf, and was an old man who had attained the age of one hundred and twenty years. He was a Jew, and used to instigate the people against the Apostle of Allah, and composed (satirical) verses (on Mohammad).
Salim Ibn Umayr who was one of the great weepers and who had participated in Badr, said, “I take a vow that I shall either kill Abu Afak or die before him. He waited for an opportunity until a hot night came, and Abu Afak slept in an open place. Salim Ibn Umayr knew it, so he placed the sword on his liver and pressed it till it reached his bed. The enemy of Allah screamed and the people who were his followers, rushed to him, took him to his house and interred him. (, Kitab Al Tabaqat, Vol. 2, Ibn Sa’ad, Page 31)
Case 2: A woman, Asma Bint Marwan.
ASMA’ D. MARWAN She was of B. Umayyya b. Zayd. When Abu `Afak had been killed she displayed disaffection. `Abdullah b. al-Harith b. Al-Fudayl from his father said that she was married to a man of B. Khatma called Yazid b. Zayd. Blaming Islam and its followers she said:……
When the apostle heard what she had said he said, “Who will rid me of Marwan’s daughter?” `Umayr b. `Adiy al-Khatmi who was with him heard him, and that very night he went to her house and killed her. In the morning he came to the apostle and told him what he had done and he [Muhammad] said, “You have helped God and His apostle, O `Umayr!” When he asked if he would have to bear any evil consequences the apostle said, “Two goats won’t butt their heads about her”, so `Umayr went back to his people. (The Life of Mohammad, Ibn Ishaq, Pages 675, 676)
Then (occurred) the sariyyah of `Umayr ibn `Adi Ibn Kharashah al-Khatmi against `Asma’ Bint Marwan, of Banu Umayyah Ibn Zayd, when five nights had remained from the month of Ramadan, in the beginning of the nineteenth month from the hijrah of the apostle of Allah. `Asma’ was the wife of Yazid Ibn Zayd Ibn Hisn al-Khatmi. She used to revile Islam, offend the prophet and instigate the (people) against him. She composed verses. Umayr Ibn Adi came to her in the night and entered her house. Her children were sleeping around her. There was one whom she was suckling. He searched her with his hand because he was blind, and separated the child from her. He thrust his sword in her chest till it pierced up to her back. Then he offered the morning prayers with the prophet at al-Medina. The apostle of Allah said to him: “Have you slain the daughter of Marwan?” He said: “Yes. Is there something more for me to do?” He (Mohammad) said: “No. Two goats will butt together about her. This was the word that was first heard from the apostle of Allah. The apostle of Allah called him `Umayr, “basir” (the seeing). (Al-Tabaqat, Vol. 2, Ibn Sa’ad, Page 31)
These are the earliest biographies of Prophet Mohammad. Many modern biographers also mention these but in a twisted way. But, In “23 Years; A Study of the Prophetic Career of Mohammad”, by an Iranian, Ali Dashti, (Mazda Press, 1994), Dashti also references the murders of Abu `Afak and `Asma’ b. Marwan. He wrote:
Abu Afak, a man of great age (reputedly 120 years) was killed because he lampooned Mohammad. The deed was done by Salem b. ‘Omayr at the behest of the Prophet, who had asked, “Who will deal with this rascal for me?” The killing of such an old man moved a poetess, Asma b. Marwan, to compose disrespectful verses about the Prophet, and she too was assassinated. (page 100)
Prophet Ordering his people to kill those who criticize him points to his intolerance and intellectual bankruptcy that too when he claims he was sent as a mercy to entire mankind; yes, Koran says this. Other noteworthy thing from above passages is how he says that it (murdering those who criticize him) was for sake of Allah. Lets also recall that when he was in Mecca, he himself was abusing Pagans, their gods, their ways of life, their fore fathers and also how he refused to stop reviling Pagans and their customs when Meccans called for respecting all religions. One can easily see parallel in present day Islamic world after all, they all have learnt from their prophet. Prophet can abuse others but when others protest and wants an end to it, Muslims call it persecution. But when others abuse Islam, Islam authorizes that those people be killed for sake of Allah. Readers themselves can make the judgement on such ideology.
Note 1: I referred to http://www.answering-islam.org. It is from here that I quoted Ibn sa’ad’s work.
Note 2: The biographies I constantly refer to are:
1. Sirat Rasul Allah by Ibn Ishaq. This was translated in to English by A. Guilaume under the title The Life of Mohammad. It is this English translation I refer to by pointing page numbers.
2. Al-Tabari is another one I refer to, though not here in this post. He is easily considered as the greatest historian of all biographers. His work is Tarikh al-Rusul wa al-Muluk or in short, Tarikh al-Tabari (In English, History of the Prophets and Kings). This was also translated in to English and it is from this translation one refers to.
3. Ibn Sa’ad wrote books under direction of Waqidi; he is popularly called scribe of Waqidi. The name of his work is is Kitab Tabaqat Al-Kubra. In short it is called Taqabat. It was translated in to English under the title ‘The Book Of Major Classes.’
Last two run in to many volumes (Ibn Sa’ad’s in to 8 volumes while Tabari’s in to 40 volumes.)
Another thing I must confess is I only own one book i.e. ‘The Life of Mohammad’ by Ibn Ishaq. But I point to other works as I have noted these references from various works.
Source : http://knowing-islamic-doctrines.blogspot.com/2010/12/blasphemy-law-it-is-very-much-true.html
By Mirza Faraz Baig
A few years back there was a huge uproar in the Muslim communities around the world over the Danish cartoon controversy. Protests in some parts such as Pakistan turned violent and angry mobs damaged private property apart from burning effigies of the culprits. This scribe had written a piece- in fact a series of articles- back then urging people to just ignore these insults as, in my opinion back then, that’s the only suitable reply. Apart from that, the series also tried to prove from the Seerah of RasooluLLAH (s.a.w.) and Sahaba (r.a.) that they always dealt with blasphemous behavior in the same way.
Well, I have to confess, I was ignorant of our history and I was foolishly wrong!
I guess now that I’ve read and heard a bit of our history (still not all of it obviously), I can tell you that there’s overwhelming evidence that the only suitable punishment against blasphemy to RasooluLLAH (s.a.w.) and all the prophets of ALLAH (s.w.t.) is death, and a swift one at that! Not only there’re instances that Sahaba (r.a.) killed blasphemers but they did so with the approval, and in some cases orders, of RasooluLLAH (s.a.w.).
Ka’b ibn Ashraf, Abu Rafay, Ibn Khatal and his two slavegirls, a jewish woman in Medina and lots of others are such criminals that were slain by Sahaba (r.a.) and, as is reported in numerous Hadith, with orders or approvals of RasooluLLAH (s.a.w.). Some were set up, some ambushed, some immediately killed, some properly executed.
The fact that such an important part of Seerat un Nabi (s.a.w.) is one of the most obscure ones is a mind-boggling phenomenon. We’ve been taught in our schools and colleges and higher levels that Islam is a religion of tolerance, that RasooluLLAH (s.a.w.) always fought when war was thrust upon Muslims and that RasooluLLAH (s.a.w.) pardoned each and every one of his enemies – even the killers of Hadhrat Hamza (r.a.)- on the day of Fath Makka,.
It turns out that we’ve been told only partial truths!
The history that we have been studying in our course book has been contorted; the Truth has been misconstrued. The roots of the current science-centric education system that we are following in Pakistan, can be traced back to two major movements historically: a) Malthusianism and b) the Ali Garh movement. It was with the efforts of Sir Syed Ahmed Khan that Muslims started studying the sciences and English language and his services can’t be denied. Yet, it was also largely due to his influence that Muslims, early after, adopted the already corrupt and infected education system set by British East India Company.
The advent of this modern education in Muslims became the main cause of promotion of a more docile version of Islam. A docile, rather toothless, version of Islam that practices non-violence to the core and goes to war only when war is thrust upon it. While that’s not entirely untrue, it’s not the whole truth either. There are countless examples when the offensive was taken by Muslims and took the Kuffar by surprise. Ghazwa Badr was well and truly the first proper battle between Muslims and Kuffar but what’s not told to us is that there were as many as eight military expeditions sent or led by RasooluLLAH (s.a.w.) before the battle of Badr. Each of those expeditions paid dividends and a large area in Hijaz which was earlier under allegiance with Quraish either became a Muslim ally or became neutral. Also, there’re a lot of examples of preemptive strikes out of which the famous battle of Khyber and the battle of Bani Al-Mustaliq are famous. Reading our history in this way casts a totally different light altogether to how we should go about our religious duties. But by and large, these incidents have been obscured by our education system and either inadvertently or intentionally created breeds after breeds of apologists whose life’s work is to deny such important elements of our history.
Some glaring examples can be found in response to the recent case of Aasia Maseeh, the woman convicted of blasphemy against RasooluLLAH (s.a.w.). While there are liberal fascist making raucous noises to repeal the blasphemy law altogether, there are also some apologists, senior opinion-makers in the print and electronic media, who are trying to remind us of the tolerance in our religion, that a mother of 5 children – one of which is disabled- should be pardoned, especially after she says she’s sorry. There are also such daft columnists who see Salman Taseer’s hasty visit with his family to the convicted woman in prison and conducting a press conference there as an act out of empathy. It’s beyond words how disgusted the people of Pakistan are with the efforts of the ruling class to have a convict of blasphemy pardoned, that too on the orders of Pope Benedict, while the same ruling elite is tightlipped over the abduction and illegitimate trial of Dr Aafia Siddiqui.
But even if we assume that the government will go the whole nine yards to get Aasia removed to some western country, it seems appropriate at this point to see if pardoning Aasia Maseeh is within the power of the government or not.
Apologists claim that RasooluLLAH (s.a.w.) pardoned everyone who ever said anything foul to him. They give the examples of the women who threw garbage on RasooluLLAH (s.a.w.) daily, whom he (s.a.w.) had visited when she’d fallen ill. They also give the examples of conquest of Makka (Fath Makka) when he (s.a.w.) pardoned everyone in Makka. They also claim Aasia Maseeh said she’s sorry and has hence repented. They also say that Aasia is a non Muslim and Muslim capital punishment is not applicable to her. They say she’s a women and she’s poor so she should be pardoned. That we should pardon her to show goodwill towards west and thus pave the way to Islam’s preaching.
First of all, the amnesty on the day of the Fath Makka was for everyone, except there was a black list. A list of those who were to be slain even if they were found hanging with the curtains of Kabba, the most sacred of sacred places on earth. Ibn Khatal, as it goes, was found exactly in this situation and still was executed. There were two slavegirls of Ibn Khatal who used to sing absurdities against RasooluLLAH (s.a.w.) and they were also in that list. It’s important to note that they were also women like Aasia, they were also non-muslims like her, they probably were also poor, in fact they were slaves and hence had no free will, still they were executed. Ibn Taimiyah says that it shows that blasphemy against RasooluLLAH (s.a.w.) is an even greater crime than murder.
Secondly, even if we agree that RasooluLLAH (s.a.w.) pardoned some when he found it appropriate, it should stand as his prerogative and that’s it. Now we can’t pardon anyone on his behalf. Neither the government, nor the complainant.
Thirdly, even if she’s sorry for what she did doesn’t make her crime any milder. It’s similar if a murderer on the death row says he’s sorry, doesn’t absolve him of his crime. After all we’ve just seen that the crime that was perpetrated here was bigger than murder. It’s the verdict of scholars new and old, that the perpetrator of blasphemy should be killed immediately and not to be given a chance.
Lastly, we shouldn’t pardon her to just show our goodwill towards the west. Just to show how tolerant we are. That’s the most absurd excuse to do something equally absurd. If we had dealt with blasphemers in the way of Sahaba (r.a.) lately, our outlook would be a lot more different from it is today. It’s because of this tolerant behavior that any tom, harry or dick could say or write what he likes about our sacred personalities. If Salman Rushdi had been slain back then in the eighties, or Tasleema Nasreen back in the nineties, or the perpetrators of the European newspapers controversy had been killed back then, we would be a lot better off than we are today. Every time something like this happens, our response has grown weaker. And now it has come down to the point where our government is trying to dodge its public to provide safe passage to a convict of blasphemy. I seek refuge with ALLAH (s.w.t.) from the day when our public would be trying to save such a criminal from punishment.
As an afterthought, we probably should agree with the liberal fascists on one thing. That the blasphemy law should be repealed altogether. As it happens, having a law for a crime makes the punishment predictable. And when something is predictable it’s all the more defendable. If there’s no blasphemy law, then public would do justice on its own. The anticipation of punishment would be all the more painful for the perpetrators as the punishment itself.
There would be a Ghazi Ilm Deen Shaheed on every street, every city!
 Malthusianism refers to the political/economic thought of Reverend and indirect employee of British East India Company Thomas Robert Malthus, whose ideas were first developed during the industrial revolution. It follows his 1798 writings, An Essay on the Principle of Population, which had a great impact on the way British East India Company managed India; it had a great impact on economic\political\education policies of Great Britain.
 Aligarh Movement was the movement led by Sir Syed Ahmed Khan, to educate the Muslims of the Indian subcontinent after the defeat of the rebels in the Indian rebellion of 1857.