• Thursday, December 18, 2014

Freedom in the air

Chintito

'Hindu or Muslim' this Question Asked by Whom

Chintito
Photo: Anurup Kanti Das
Photo: Anurup Kanti Das

They ran in 1971, and they are made to run now.
Some have left their abode, or whatever was left of it, for this was not the first time they feared more for the chastity of their daughters than for their own life.
Many spent nights on midstream boats for fear of attacks by cowards belonging to political parties of shades as opposing as that adorning sheaves of paddy, the symbol of justice and boats that ply on those very waters.
Infiltrating in the shameful mayhem were apolitical chickens. They too had joined the labelled politicalmafi as in sporadic picnics to strike a personal vendetta or to grab land, sadly often in the guise of religious morality. We ask what religious morality?
The despicable attacks at several places across the country on the minority Hindu communities, living for centuries on their land, are reminiscent of similar violent assaults after the national elections of 2001. The blood thirsty scoundrels this time synchronised with the recent 2014 national elections their lust to burn houses, plunder property and terrorise an innocent population.
It is unfathomable why a bunch of zealots out of nowhere will think it proper to raid and set alight a village during election hungama. There can be no basis for such gutless attacks. Most definitely there is no promise of any reward from Allah swt or the possibility of any recommendation from Prophet Mohammad pbuh, if that be the secret agenda of the spineless attackers.
The poet who scripted in Bangla:


'Allah is my Lord, I have no, no fear
My prophet is Mohammad, whose praise is worldwide
What is my fear?
Quran is my drumbeat
Islam is my religion, Muslim is my identity'
also wrote in Kandari Hushiyar in Bangla,
'hindunaoramuslim?' oijiggashekonjon?
kandari! bolodubichemanush, shontanmor mar

('Hindu or are they Muslim' questions which person?
Say Captain, 'sunk have people, the children of my mother)
Author of the above lines, our national poet Kazi Nazrul Islam (1899-1976), who inspired Muslims of India against the British, sang songs of unification in the community when riots broke amongst Muslims and Hindus of India. In Manush in Bangla he lamented:
“Who are they– hating human beings?
Yet kissing the Quran, the Vedas, the Bible?”
There is no scope for religious hostility against peaceful non-Muslims as per Quranic law. Allah swt guides Muslims to tell non-Muslims in Chapter 109:
“O you who do not believe! I worship not what you worship, and you are not worshipping what I worship; nor am 1 worshipping what you wor­ship; neither art you worshipping what I worship. Therefore, to you your religion; and to me my religion!”
The holy Quran clearly says that reli­gion cannot be forced on anyone because “…there is no compulsion in religion…” (2:256)
When Prophet Mohammad transformed from a religious leader in Mecca to also a political leader on his migration to Medina, a constitution was installed, the first article of which stated that all the inhabitants of Medina, the Muslims as well as the Jews, Christians, and the idolaters who had entered the pact were recognized as citizens of one Medina nation regardless of religion, race, or ancestry. Divided among warring tribes as Medina was, the system that Prophet Mohammad established in Medina ensured the simultaneity of existing pacts of alliance between individual tribes, but all the tribes had to come under the purview of the Act that they all agreed to. So much so that any attack on another religion or tribe was considered an attack on the state and upon the Muslims as well.
Religious tolerance and harmony was rendered a dynamic dimension considered modern to the day. In pronouncing his vow to provide protection to non-Muslims in a Muslim society, the Prophet said:“Whoever kills a person who has a truce with the Muslims will never smell the fragrance of Paradise.” (Saheeh Muslim)
The Prophet strictly warned against any maltreatment of people of other faiths.  He said:“Beware!  Whoever is cruel and hard on a non-Muslim minority, or curtails their rights, or burdens them with more than they can bear, or takes anything from them against their free will; I (Prophet Muhammad) will complain against the person on the Day of Judgment.” (Abu Dawud)
Now the torch-bearers of anarchism let loose before, during and mostly after the elections to the 10th Parliament will say 'we have not killed any non-Muslim, we have not burdened them with what they cannot bear, we have merely burnt their houses and driven them away from their homesteads, hu-ha-ha-ha…' Let them be pricked by their conscience if they have any.
One of the finest examples of religious tolerance and indeed fraternity can be seen in a letter that Prophet Mohammad wrote to his emissary who met with the religious leaders of Saint Catherine in Mount Sinai; they had sought the protection of the Muslims, and he guaranteed them freedom of worship and movement, freedom to appoint their own judges and to own and maintain their property, exemption from military service, and the right to protection in war. The Prophet wrote:
“This is a message from Muhammad ibn Abdullah, as a covenant to those who adopt Christianity, near and far, we are with them. Verily I, the servants, the helpers, and my followers defend them, because Christians are my citizens; and by God!  I hold out against anything that displeases them.  No compulsion is to be on them.  Neither are their judges to be removed from their jobs nor their monks from their monasteries.  No one is to destroy a house of their religion, to damage it, or to carry anything from it to the Muslims' houses.  Should anyone take any of these, he would spoil God's covenant and disobey His Prophet.  Verily, they are my allies and have my secure charter against all that they hate.  No one is to force them to travel or to oblige them to fight.  The Muslims are to fight for them.  If a female Christian is married to a Muslim, it is not to take place without her approval.  She is not to be prevented from visiting her church to pray.  Their churches are declared to be protected.  They are neither to be prevented from repairing them nor the sacredness of their covenants.  No one of the nation (Muslims) is to disobey the covenant till the Last Day (end of the world).”
'On another occasion, the Prophet received a delegation of sixty Christians from the region of Najran, then a part of Yemen, at his mosque.  When the time for their prayer came, they faced the direction of east and prayed.  The Prophet ordered that they be left in their state and not harmed.' (Source: M Abdulsalam in , 2006)
Unfortunately for our nation, to those people who have taken the law and religion into their own hands time and again, let them be reminded by a verse in the Quran: “Fight in the way of God against those who fight against you, but begin not hostilities.  Lo! God loveth not aggressors.”(2:190)

Published: 12:00 am Friday, January 17, 2014

Last modified: 7:56 pm Saturday, January 18, 2014

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