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Islam Invite to the Way of your Lord with wisdom and fair preaching, and argue with them in a way that is better. Truly, your Lord knows best who has gone astray from His Path, and He is the Best Aware of those who are guided." Holy Qur'an 16:125

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  #31  
Old Wednesday, May 07, 2008
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(1) إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَاهُ فِي لَيْلَةِ الْقَدْرِ

1 - ہم نے اس( قرآن) کو شب قدر میں نازل (کرنا شروع) کیا


(2) وَمَا أَدْرَاكَ مَا لَيْلَةُ الْقَدْرِ

2 - اور تمہیں کیا معلوم کہ شب قدر کیا ہے؟


(3) لَيْلَةُ الْقَدْرِ خَيْرٌ مِّنْ أَلْفِ شَهْرٍ

3 - شب قدر ہزار مہینے سے بہتر ہے


(4) تَنَزَّلُ الْمَلَائِكَةُ وَالرُّوحُ فِيهَا بِإِذْنِ رَبِّهِم مِّن كُلِّ أَمْرٍ

4 - اس میں روح (الامین) اور فرشتے ہر کام کے (انتظام کے) لیے اپنے پروردگار کے حکم سے اترتے ہیں


(5) سَلَامٌ هِيَ حَتَّى مَطْلَعِ الْفَجْرِ

5 - یہ( رات) طلوع صبح تک (امان اور) سلامتی ہے
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  #32  
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(1) اقْرَأْ بِاسْمِ رَبِّكَ الَّذِي خَلَقَ

1 - اے محمد) اپنے پروردگار کا نام لے کر پڑھو جس نے (عالم کو) پیدا کیا)


(2) خَلَقَ الْإِنسَانَ مِنْ عَلَقٍ

2 - جس نے انسان کو خون کی پھٹکی سے بنایا


(3) اقْرَأْ وَرَبُّكَ الْأَكْرَمُ

3 - پڑھو اور تمہارا پروردگار بڑا کریم ہے


(4) الَّذِي عَلَّمَ بِالْقَلَمِ

4 - جس نے قلم کے ذریعے سے علم سکھایا


(5) عَلَّمَ الْإِنسَانَ مَا لَمْ يَعْلَمْ

5 - اور انسان کو وہ باتیں سکھائیں جس کا اس کو علم نہ تھا


(6) كَلَّا إِنَّ الْإِنسَانَ لَيَطْغَى

6 - مگر انسان سرکش ہو جاتا ہے


(7) أَن رَّآهُ اسْتَغْنَى

7 - جب کہ اپنے تیئں غنی دیکھتا ہے


(8) إِنَّ إِلَى رَبِّكَ الرُّجْعَى

8 - کچھ شک نہیں کہ (اس کو) تمہارے پروردگار ہی کی طرف لوٹ کر جانا ہے


(9) أَرَأَيْتَ الَّذِي يَنْهَى

9 - بھلا تم نے اس شخص کو دیکھا جو منع کرتا ہے


(10) عَبْدًا إِذَا صَلَّى

10 - یعنی) ایک بندے کو جب وہ نماز پڑھنے لگتا ہے)


(11) أَرَأَيْتَ إِن كَانَ عَلَى الْهُدَى

11 - بھلا دیکھو تو اگر یہ راہِ راست پر ہو


(12) أَوْ أَمَرَ بِالتَّقْوَى

12 - (یا پرہیز گاری کا حکم کرے (تو منع کرنا کیسا


(13) أَرَأَيْتَ إِن كَذَّبَ وَتَوَلَّى

13 - ( اور دیکھو تو اگر اس نے دین حق کو جھٹلایا اور اس سے منہ موڑا (تو کیا ہوا


(14) أَلَمْ يَعْلَمْ بِأَنَّ اللَّهَ يَرَى

14 - کیااس کو معلوم نہیں کہ خدا دیکھ رہا ہے


(15) كَلَّا لَئِن لَّمْ يَنتَهِ لَنَسْفَعًا بِالنَّاصِيَةِ

15 - دیکھو اگر وہ باز نہ آئے گا تو ہم (اس کی) پیشانی کے بال پکڑ گھسیٹیں گے


(16) نَاصِيَةٍ كَاذِبَةٍ خَاطِئَةٍ

16 - یعنی اس جھوٹے خطاکار کی پیشانی کے بال


(17) فَلْيَدْعُ نَادِيَه

17 - تو وہ اپنے یاروں کی مجلس کو بلالے


(18) سَنَدْعُ الزَّبَانِيَةَ

18 - ہم بھی اپنے موکلانِ دوزخ کو بلا لیں گے


(19) كَلَّا لَا تُطِعْهُ وَاسْجُدْ وَاقْتَرِبْ
19 - دیکھو اس کا کہا نہ ماننا اور قربِ (خدا) حاصل کرتے رہنا
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  #33  
Old Thursday, May 08, 2008
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(1) أَلَمْ نَشْرَحْ لَكَ صَدْرَكَ
1 - (اے محمد) کیا ہم نے تمہارا سینہ کھول نہیں دیا؟ (بیشک کھول دیا)


(2) وَوَضَعْنَا عَنكَ وِزْرَكَ
2 - اور تم پر سے بوجھ بھی اتار دیا


(3) الَّذِي أَنقَضَ ظَهْرَكَ
3 - جس نے تمہاری پیٹھ توڑ رکھی تھی


(4) وَرَفَعْنَا لَكَ ذِكْرَكَ
4 - اور تمہارا ذکر بلند کیا


(5) فَإِنَّ مَعَ الْعُسْرِ يُسْرًا
5 - ہاں ہاں مشکل کے ساتھ آسانی بھی ہے


(6) إِنَّ مَعَ الْعُسْرِ يُسْرًا
6 - اور) بے شک مشکل کے ساتھ آسانی ہے )


(7) فَإِذَا فَرَغْتَ فَانصَبْ
7 - تو جب فارغ ہوا کرو تو (عبادت میں) محنت کیا کرو


(8) وَإِلَى رَبِّكَ فَارْغَبْ
8 - اور اپنے پروردگار کی طرف متوجہ ہو جایا کرو
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  #34  
Old Tuesday, June 03, 2008
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Post Islam And Terrorism

ISLAM AND TERRORISM



In the past and particularly in the aftermath of September 11, 2001, events, the Western Media and detractors of Islam have been trying to depict Islam as Synonymous with terrorism. Jihad unfortunately has been misinterpreted by certain Muslim scholars which has portrayed Islam as a blood thirsty religion. Islam takes the sanctity of the human being and confers equal rights upon all without any distinction of race, sex or color. Islam takes the sanctity of the human being and confers equal rights upon all without any distinction of race, sex or color. The Quran requires every Muslim to believe in righteousness of all the prophets who came before Muhammad (peace be upon him) and all the books sent by God on previous people. Thus Islam seeks to bring about reconciliation between the followers of different faiths and to establish a basis of respect and honor among them. They are all invited to unite on the basic principle which all of them are prepared believe in.

“Say, O People of the Book, come to an agreement on a principle common between us and you, in that we worship none but Allah and that we associate no partner with Him, and that some of us take not other for lords beside God’ (3:65).

God did not like social, economic or political exploitation and the people who have been doing that were destroyed by Him.

Concept of Justice in Islam

Sarojini Naidu, a famous poetess and respected Indian Leader, of India, had this to say on the Ideals of Islam, “Sense of justice is one of the most wonderful ideals of Islam, because as I read in the Qur’an I find those dynamic principles of life, not mystic but practical ethos for the daily conduct of life, suited to the whole world”. Justice is the basic foundation of Islamic society and all the prevailing socio-economic and political problems are the direct result of not adhering to these injunctions. Operation of this principle covers every field of activity. Islam places great emphasis on justice tempered with compassion. God commands men to be firm in justice with kindness.

·“O ye who believe! Stand out firmly for justice, as witness to God, even as against yourselves, or your parents, or your kind, and whether it be (against) rich or poor: For God can best protect both. Follow not the lusts (of your hearts), lest ye swerve, and if ye distort (justice) or decline to do justice, verily God is well-acquainted with all that ye do.” (4:135)

·“God does not like ill (of others) spoken about, except by him who has been wronged”. (4:148)

·“Permission is granted to those (to take up arms) who fight because they were oppressed. God is certainly able to give help to those”. (22:39)

Concept of Tolerance in Islam

Islam is a religion, which foster freedom of life, ideas and thought. It has forbidden tension and conflict among people, calumny, suspicion and even having negative thoughts about another individual. To force anyone to believe in a religion or to practice it, is against the spirit and essence of Islam. Religion is to be adopted with free will and conscience and nobody can be forced into Islam. Allah has commanded forgiveness and tolerance, ““You shall resort to pardon, advocate tolerance, and disregard the ignorant”. (Surah Al-araf). Indeed, the Muslims firmly believe that the tolerance practiced as commanded in the Quran can alone bring peace and well being to the whole world.

Sanctity of Human Life in Islam

Quran Says:

· “Whosever kills an innocent human being it shall be as if he has killed all mankind and whosoever saves the life of one, it shall be as if he has saved the life of all mankind.” (5:32);

· “You shall not kill – God has made life sacred – except in the course of justice. These are his Commandments to you that you may understand” (6:151).

· “Let there be no hostility except to those who practice oppression” (2 Verse 193).

Islam condemns the killing of the people merely because they believe in a different religion and mandates the absolute freedom of religion in a society. It does not allow restrictions on those who disagree on religious matters.

Co-existence between Minorities in Islam

“O Mankind, your God is one and you have but one father, you are all progeny of Adam, and Adam was made of clay. Lo! The noblest among you, in the sight of God, is the best in conduct, No Arab has any preference over a non-Arab save by his piety.”

The Prophet of God, Muhammad (PBUH) made this declaration on the occasion of his last Hajj before a congregation of around one hundred twenty thousand people. His announcement puts the seal on the twin principles of the Unity of God and the Unity of Mankind. Islam hence advocates in categorical terms the principal of Human equality; common lineage of high and low, white and colored and places all men and Women on the same plane of humanity. It was in Islam that the concept of equality was first proclaimed as human right, fourteen hundred years back, long before it was enshrined in the UN charter.

The concept of Jihad in Islam

The word Jihad does not mean “Holy War”. It means “Struggle” or striving”. In the Quran, the word “Jihad” and its derivatives occur 36 times in the context of a moral struggle. Thus the Quran speaks of the Jihad of the soul, of the tongue, of the pen, of the heart, of the hand, of the faith and of the morality. They together constitute what is known as the “greater Jihad”. The lesser Jihad is considered the Jihad of arms, but the Quran itself uses the word “Qataal” meaning fighting and its derivations (not Jihad) for the practice of warfare. The war is permissible in Islam, but only when other peaceful means such as dialogue, negotiations and treaties fail. Jihad can only be declared by the Imam, meaning thereby, the head of Islamic government and not the individuals or groups.

The war is permissible in Islam, but only when other peaceful means such as dialogue, negotiations and treaties fail. The basic rules of war in Islam are:

1. Be strong so that your enemy fear you and should not attack you.

2. Do not begin the hostilities. Work for peace as much as possible.

3. No collective punishment against non-combatants should be used.

4. Stop hostilities as soon as the other party is inclined to peace.

5. Observe treaties and agreements as long as the enemy observes them.

Terrorism is not Jihad, it is “fasaad” (mischief) and against the spirit and teachings of Islam. About those who twist interpretations of Quranic verses and present out of context, God has said, “When it is said to them: ‘Make not mischief on the earth’, they say: ‘Why, we only want to do correct things.’ Indeed they are the mischief doers, but they realize (it) not.” (Al-Baqarah: 11-12).

TERRORISM AND ITS ROOT CAUSES

No single and comprehensive definition of terrorism has yet been found. All the existing definitions have been coined according to the socio-economic and political milieu of the society. In 1973, the Ad Hoc Committee on the International Terrorism, formed by the UN General Assembly, made three sub-committees to come up with such a definition. Seven draft proposals were presented but the house could not reach consensus. The matter remained suspended till 1987, when the General Secretary called an international conference to define and distinguish terrorism from struggles for self-determination. The majority of the participants agreed that terrorism was crime and that struggle for self-determination was not terrorism. USA and Israel voted against this resolution. The State Department of the USA has given the following definition:

“The term “terrorism” means premeditated, politically motivated violence perpetrated against non-combatant targets by sub-national groups or clandestine agents, usually intended to influence an audience”

“The term “international terrorism” means terrorism involving citizens or the territory of more than one country.”

One of the main sticking point in this debate has been the question of legitimacy of the struggle of the people for their right of self-determination. In the post decolonization era, the principle of self-determination however, has lost some of its allure and now only a small number of countries including Pakistan insist on a distinction between terrorism and the acts of the people struggling for their right of self-determination. The Western World led by the US and joined by Russia, India and others appose a definition of terrorism, which seeks to distinguish between right to self-determination and terrorism, because if they think it will lead to disintegration in their own countries.

Similarly the question about some States allegedly supporting the independence or self-determination struggles abroad through financial and material support has become a contentious issue. The US has declared Iran, Libya, Syria, Sudan, Iraq, Cuba and North Korea as States sponsoring terrorism and has imposed sanctions against them.

During the Cold War era the US did patronize and install tyrant regimes on the developing world through its agencies. To quote a few examples Somoza, Batista, Pinochet and apartheid government of South Africa were close US allies. It was the US Government and its agencies, which helped install or bring Contras in Latin America and Afghan Mujahideen and Osama Bin Laden in Afghanistan. That is why; the US and her allies do not want a complete definition of terrorism. They would like to coin definitions which suit there interests from time to time.

Similarly from 1969-1990, according to the Western perceptions PLO carried the mantle of terrorism. The eminent U.S journalist William Safire of the New York Times repeatedly kept describing Yasser Arafat as “the Chief of Terrorism”. But then in September 1998 the once menacing Yasser Arafat was being photographed in the White House in the company of former President Clinton and former Israel Prime Minister Natenyahu.

A more glaring example of such changing stances of the major World powers is that of the pre-Israel Jewish leadership. The terrorist label was slapped on them for killing British Administrators in Palestine, Zionist leaders like former Prime Minister Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Shamir carried official head money of 100,000 pounds sterling each. But once the holocaust horror unfolded in Europe, the sympathy for the Jews among the allied powers during the World war-II, led these terrorists to be described as freedom fighters.

Terrorism requires a deeper analysis. The present approach of attacking the terrorists to eliminate them tantamount to cutting the branches or leaves of the tree rather than root of the tree of terrorism. The US and its allies should realize that the most of the terrorism in the present world is due to their flawed policies towards the Muslim world and that when a repressed group cannot win a traditional war, it resorts to terrorism, which is actually struggle for freedom.

Walter Lacquer, in his book ‘The Age of Terror’ describes terrorism as “acts of violence or repression carried out by the government against their own people”.

There is again disagreement on dubbing the acts of repression of the governments against their citizens, as state terrorism. But the Western democracies and organizations like Amnesty International and the Human Rights Watch consider it so, although in most of the governments of developing countries fall under this category. Similarly the question about some States allegedly supporting the independence or self-determination struggles abroad through financial and material support has become a contentious issue. The US has declared Iran, Libya, Syria, Sudan, Iraq, Cuba and North Korea as States sponsoring terrorism and has imposed sanctions against them.

During the Cold War era the US did patronize and install tyrant regimes on the developing world through its agencies. To quote a few examples Somoza, Batista, Pinochet and apartheid government of South Africa were close US allies. It was the US Government and its agencies, which helped install or bring Contras in Latin America and Afghan Mujahideen and Osama Bin Laden in Afghanistan. In 1985 President Reagan had proudly introduced to the media a group of Afghan Mujahideen in the White House as “the moral equivalent of America’s founding fathers”. However in August 1998 after attacks on the US Embassies in Nairobi and Dar-us-salam, unbeknown to them, those founding fathers including Osama Bin Laden, became arch terrorists and hence the Clinton Administration bombed them with cruise missiles. In September 1998, Yasir Arafat who was declared as a terrorist by the US government and political circles was the White House along with the Israeli Prime Minister and the same political circles were the advocates of awarding him the Nobel Prize.

Similarly, the pre-Israel Jewish leadership, labeled as terrorist for killing British Administrators in Palestine, Zionist leaders like former PM Menachem Begin and Yitzhak Shamir who carried official head money of 100,000 pounds sterling each, were described as freedom fighters after the holocaust.
Because of this dichotomy of perception envisaging ‘good terrorists’ and ‘bad terrorist’ has disillusioned the developing world and it is maintained that declaring some person or a state a terrorist depends upon involvement of economic and political interests of the super powers.

To be continue.......
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Post Remaining part of ISLAM AND TERRORISM

Remaining part of ISLAM AND TERRORISM

INTERNATIONAL CONVENTIONS TO WHICH PAKISTAN IS A STATE PARTY

I. Tokyo Convention on Offences and Certain Other Acts Committed on Board Aircraft, of September 1963.

II. Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Seizure of Aircraft done at The Hague on 16, December 1970.

III. Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against Safety Civil Aviation, done at Montreal on 23, September 1971.

IV. Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of crimes against Internationally Protected Persons, including Diplomatic Agents, adopted by the UN General Assembly on 14, December 1973.

V. International Convention against the Taking of Hostages, adopted by the UN General Assembly on 17, December 1979.

VI. Convention on the Physical Protection of Nuclear Material, adopted at Vienna on March 1980.

VII. Protocol for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts of Violence at Airports Serving International Civil Aviation, supplementary to the Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against Safety of Civil Aviation done at Montreal on 24, February 1988.

VIII. Convention for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Maritime Navigation, done at Rome on 10, March 1988.

IX Protocol for the Suppression of Unlawful Acts against the Safety of Fixed platform located on the Continental Shelf, done at Rome on 10, March 1988.

Pakistan has signed Convention on the marking of Plastic Explosive for the Purpose of Detection Montreal, 1, March 1991, but has yet not ratified it. Pakistan has not yet signed the following Conventions:

I. International Convention for Suppression of Terrorist Bombing adopted by the UN on 15, December 1997

II. International Convention for Suppression of the Financing of Terrorism.

MILITANT MOVEMENTS IN NON-ISLAMIC WORLD

The phenomenon of terrorism in the contemporary world is not unique to the
Islamic World. It is a scourge, which has proliferated and assumed new forms and manifestations in both Muslims and non-Muslim countries. Revolutionary Armed Forces of Columbia (FARC) and National Liberation Army (ELN) of Columbia were once impassioned ideological groups of the hardest Marxist-Leninist credentials. But they have now lost their old revolutionary “purity” by changing to new direction and becoming criminal cartels. They not merely live, but flourish, on hundreds of millions of dollars a year drawn from Colombia’s population and economy by means of extortion of cattle ranches, theft from mines and oil companies and taxation of narcotic dealers.

A list of such terrorist organizations on the US States Department records is given under:

· Basque Homeland and Freedom (ETA) of Spain
· Irish Republican Army (IRA)
· Loyalist Volunteer Force (LVF) of Northern Ireland
· Irish National Liberation Army (INLA)
· The Red Brigade of Italy
· Red Army Faction of Germany
· National Liberation Front Corsica (FLNC) of France
· Revolutionary People’s Struggle (ELA) of Greece
· Kach and Kahne Chai of Israel
· Japanese Red Army (JRA)
· Aum Shinrikyo (Supreme Truth) of Japan
· Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE) of Sri Lanka
· Party of Democratic Kampuchea (Khmer Rouge)
· Tupac Amaru Revolutionary Movement (MRTA) of Peru
· Sendero Luminoso (Shining Path) of Peru

Most of the above mentioned terrorist organization started as Leftist revolutionary movements but later got involved in terrorism and crime. The list given above is not exhaustive. In the United States Ku Klux Klan (KKK) has been terrorizing the black population for decades and is still active; Shiv Sena, Rashtaria Savek Singh, Bajrang Dal, Vishnu Hindu Parishad and a host of other Hindu extremist organizations in India have done the same to the Muslims, Christian and schedule caste Hindus.

The independence movements in Kashmir, Naga Land, Mizuram Manipur and East Punjab in India, Maoist insurgents in Nepal, Moros in the Philippines, Quebec autonomy seekers in Canada, Zapatista cessationists in Chiapa State of Mexico, Chechens in Russia and Uegurs in Xingjian China are all considered threats to the national integrity by the governments of their respective countries and are perhaps relevant in the context of studying terrorism or State sponsored terrorism in the non-Muslim World. The terrorism hence is an all-pervasive phenomena world over and is practiced by the believers of all kinds of religions, castes and creeds. The cold war between Russia and the US also gave impetus to terrorism because the Soviet Union supported various left inclined organization of students and labor throughout the world.

MILITANT MOVEMENTS IN ISLAMIC WORLD

Till the end of the WWII the Muslim world was itself a victim of terrorism and suppression at the hands of Jews and European powers. After the World War, struggle against colonialism, denial of right self-determination in Kashmir and occupation of Palestinians by Israel triggered the wave of militancy in the Muslim World. Western and American support to Israel further accentuated the situation and the Islamic world became apprehensive of the Western World. Since, the Soviet Union was a strong ally of India, Pakistan, despite lukewarm attitude of the US was forced to remain in the American Camp.

The Iranian revolution against the Shah, a staunch supporter of the US in the late 1970s, brought the first openly hostile Muslim government against the US, into being. It however, indirectly helped the US cause, as the Gulf region grew apprehensive of export of the Iranian style revolution from Tehran and the gulf countries, started developing closer ties with Washington. The US sold them latest armaments to beef up their defense forces and egged them on to fund Iraq’s war against Iran.

The Soviet invasion of Afghanistan brought the Muslim World even closer to the US. During the Afghan war, the US encouraged and funded participation of the Mujahideen from all over the Muslim World, in “Jihad” against the communist Soviet Union. Osama Bin Laden was brought to Afghanistan for the first time, in fact by the US agencies. This cozy relationship of the US with the Mujahideen of Afghanistan and with those of various other Arab countries as well as OBL, however, lasted only until the withdrawal of Russian forces from Afghanistan. Disintegration of the Soviet Union, led to the end of cold war which had been the main concern of the US and its allies. The US and its allies left the Afghan and Arab Mujahideen and millions of refugees in Pakistan and Iran to fend for themselves and did not do much to stop the ensuing civil war in Afghanistan. Thousands of battle hardened and staunchly religious Arab Mujahideen now found themselves stranded as the dictatorial, secular and in some cases monarchical governments of their countries did not want them back, out of apprehensions that they might get involved in the movements against their rule. A large number of these Arab Mujahideen were arrested and jailed by their respective governments on return. Most of them found their way back into the available sanctuary in Afghanistan.

The Gulf war of 1991, after which the US established its military bases in Saudi Arabia and other gulf countries can perhaps be considered the second land mark development after the Iranian revolution which helped bring to the fore the alleged militant movements of Islamic orientations and since then the nationalist and secular militant groups have gradually gone into the back ground. The new Iranian Government had declared the liberation of Palestine, as an important objective of its foreign policy and during the Lebanese civil war of the early 80s had helped form Hezbollah, a Shiite organization, alleged to have killed more US citizens than any other terrorist outfit in the recent years. Iran is also alleged to have been funding Hamas, Pakistani Shiite organizations, Hamas and even Al-Qaida.

ISLAMIC TERRORIST ORGANIZATIONS AS DECLARED BY THE US

· Fateh Revolutionary Council. Abu Nidal Organization (ANO)
· Democratic Front for Liberation of Palestine (DFLP)
· Alfatah Tanzim
· Palestine Liberation Force (PLF)
· Popular Front for Liberation of Palestine (PFLP)
· Al-Gama’a Al Islamiya (The Islamic Group) of Egypt
· Armed Islamic Group (GIA) of Algeria
· Hamas (Islamic Resistance Movement
· Hizbullah (Party of Allah formerly Islamic Jihad) of Lebanon
· Palestine Islamic Jihad of Syria
· Al-Qaida

THE MILITANT ORGANIZATIONS IN PAKISTAN

The advent of Afghan war against communist Soviet Union, the process of Islamisation of the State undertaken by the then Government, smuggling of huge quantity of weapons into the country, involvement of the gulf countries with Sunni organizations and of Iran with Shiite community and migration of Afghan refugee groups to urban centers particularly towards Karachi, had a negative fall out on Pakistan’s polity. With the Government’s patronage and foreign funds the religious parties and organizations established a powerful network of militant Madrissas, ostensibly for the Afghan refugee children but they soon turned into the breeding grounds of Mujahideen for the war in Afghanistan.

In Punjab the Deobandi militants formed the Anjuman-e-Sipah-e Sohaba (ASS) in the 1980 (it was later on renamed Sipah-e-Sohaba Pakistan-SSP) and started sectarian attacks against the Shiites. The Shias retaliated by forming Tehrik-e-Jaffaria Pakistan (TJP) to counter the Sunni militant groups. The extremist elements of these two organizations later on formed Lashkar-e-Jhangvi and Sipah-e-Mohammad respectively and the sectarian violence gradually spread to all parts of the country. These Sunni organizations not only had close links with the Madrissas but also with the Afghan Mujahideen and hence the perpetrators of sectarian violence in Pakistan got convenient sanctuary in Mujahideen controlled areas of Afghanistan.

The Afghan and Arab Veterans of Afghan war at the same time joined the Kashmiri Mujahideen groups based in Pakistan like Hizb ul Mujahideen, Harkat-ul-Ansar (later renamed as Harkat-ul-Mujahideen) and Lakshar-e-Taiba in their fight against Indian occupation of Kashmir. The religious political parties (Jamaat-e-Islami and Jamiat-ulma-e-Islam in particular) and some of the Wahabi and Deobandi Madrissas also supported and provided recruits to the Kashmiri Mujahideen groups, the number of which gradually increased to more than 25.

The present Government in Pakistan is the first Government, which has decisively moved against the sectarian and radical militant outfits by banning them as well as the main Mujahideen organizations like H.M, HUM and Lashkar-Taiba. After Pakistan’s decision to join the international coalition against terrorism, the religious political parties and militant groups tried to create a law and order situation in the country through a series of demonstrations by misconstruing the war on terrorism as war against Afghanistan and Islam.


CONCLUSION

Historically, a common motivation for terrorism has been political, not religious. Repression by the rulers and their refusal to redress just grievances has been provoking violence. Al-Qaida, no doubt organized the most heinous act of terrorism. But its leader Osama bin Laden was an angry dissident who used his wealth to pursue a political vendetta, in the name of Islam. The vast majority of the Muslim masses did not approve of his or Taliban’s brand of beliefs.

But, the fact remains that the dual standards and biased treatment of the US and her allies with the Muslim world has created a congenial environment for militancy and terrorism.

This however, does not license or legitimize the terrorist activities because Islam is a religion of peace, tolerance, diversity of thought and of respect for other faiths. Islam emphasizes the sanctity of human life. Islam is the only “Religion of the Holy Books” which recognizes the other such religions (Judaism and Christianity). The clerics with tunnel vision present Islam in wrong perspective by misquoting or quoting the verses of the Holy Quran and Traditions out of context.

It is heartening to note that in the wake of September 11, the Western political leaders have emphasized that terrorism should not be equated with Islam. The U.S President and British Prime Minister in particular took pains to quote from Quran to remind their compatriots that the killing of the innocents is equally despised by the Muslims. Another positive development being witnessed in the West is that the ordinary people are making deliberate effort to learn about Islam. This of course would help the cause of Islam only if the Muslim scholars stop contradicting each other and put forward the true humane, peace loving, tolerant and nonviolent interpretations of Islam to the non-Muslims.
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Post Was Islam spread by the sword?[

Was Islam spread by the sword?


There is a fundamental rule stated in the Qur'an. namely the right to choose one's religion: "let there be no compulsion in religion". [2/256] Accordingly, Islam emphasized that a person's belief in Islam or his rejecting to believe in it is a matter that depends upon man's free will and his sincere conviction. This is stated in the following Qur'anic verse: "Let him who will, believe, and let him who will, reject (it)". [18/129] God, in the verses of the Qur'an. drew the Prophet's attention to this fact and emphasized that he was only a messenger whose duty was only to convey the Divine Message and that he had no authority to force people into conforming to Islam. This is clearly expressed in the following Qur'anic verses: "Will you then compel mankind, against their will, to believe?" [10/99] "You are not one to manage (men's) affairs". [88/10] "If then they turn away, We have not send you as a guard over them. Your duty is but to convey (The Message)". [42/48] The aforementioned verses make it quite clear that the Glorious Book of the Muslims definitely prohibits forcing anyone to follow the Faith of Islam.

Islam has defined the course that Muslin's must follow when inviting people to believe in the Faith of Islam and the manner in which the Faith should be spread everywhere The manner in which Muslims should invite people to embrace Islam is stated in the following Qur'anic verses: "Invite (all) to the Way of your God with wisdom and beautiful preaching; and argue with them in ways that are best and most gracious" [16/125] and "Speak fair to the people." [2/83) The Qur'an contains no less than one hundred and twenty verses which emphasize that the basic rule to be followed, when Muslims invite people to believe in Islam, is to convince them calmly and graciously and then to leave them to decide for themselves whether to accept or reject the Faith. After the conquest of Makkah, the Prophet addressed its people saying: "You are free now", and he did not force them to adopt Islam inspite of his decisive victory.

The Muslims never forced a Jew or a Christian to adopt Islam and 'Omar Ibn AI-Khattab, the Second Rightly-Guided Caliph, assured the people of Jerusalem that their lives, their churches, and their crosses would not be harmed on account of his faith. The Prophet recorded in his first constitution for Al-Madina, after having emigrated from Makkah, 31 that the Jews were a nation living with the Muslims and that he acknowledged their right to believe in their faith.

In her book Allah is Completely Different, the German Orientalist, Sigrid Hunke refutes the accusations that Islam was spread by the sword. She wrote: "The tolerance of the Arabs played an important role in the spreading of Islam, contrary to what has been falsely people claimed that it was spread by fire and the sword. which is an unjust and unverified accusation against Islam." She also wrote: "Christians, Jews. Sabians. and Pagans embraced Islam of their own free will. It is a well-known fact that Muslim armies never invaded South Asia or West Africa, yet Islam spread and flourished in these countries after Muslim merchants traveled with their merchandise to these countries. Muslim Sufis with their peaceful attitude also impressed the inhabitants of these lands. The natives of these distant countries saw for themselves the conduct, morals. and dealings of the Muslims. and accordingly. embraced Islam of heir own Free will.(1)
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Post Were the Islamic Conquests a form of colonization?

Were the Islamic Conquests a form of colonization?


Islamic conquests were by no means a form of colonization. Colonization is based on plundering the wealth and the agricultural and in Industrial resources of the occupied country. It also neglects developing its economy, its culture. and its civilization. History bears witness that Muslim conquerors were never unjust and their rule was always based on equity and tolerance. Andalusia, which is an European county, flourished during the Muslim reign and prospered in all walks of life, and was superior to other European countries in every aspect as a result of the cultural and scientific progress introduced by the Arabs. The same applies to every country during the Arab rule. The relics of architecture and other manifestations of the Islamic civilization can still be seen.

The tribute imposed on the inhabitants of the occupied lands were taxes which they paid to be protected by the Islamic State against their enemies. Any person who enlisted in the ranks of the army was immediately exempted from this financial obligation.

Sir Thomas Arnold stated that the Christian tribe of Al-Jarajima that dwelt near to Antioch and was at peace with the Muslims, vowed to be their allies during peace and that in the event of war, they would fight side by side with them provided that they be exempted from paying the tribute. Fighting in the cause of God in order to acquire the spoils of war is prohibited in Islam and is considered a crime. The Prophet was once asked about his opinion of a person who fights in the cause of God in order to acquire the spoils of war. He answered: "He is denied the divine reward". He repeated this statement twice, thus uttering it three times in order to emphasize it.

The allegation that Muslim Conquests were an economically motivated form of colonization is an attempt to conceal the West's colonization of Islamic countries in the modern time. There is a great difference between the latter and the former, and the following example, among many others, should clarify this point. A peace treaty was signed between Khalid Ibn Al-Waleed and the inhabitants of the towns near to Al-Hira, which stated: "If we Muslims protect you from your enemies you will pay the tribute, otherwise you are exempted from it". When the Muslims were unable to protect these occupied Syrian towns during the rule of Omar Ibn Al- Khattab, the Rightly-Guided Caliph, after the Emperor Hercules had prepared a great army to attack the Muslims, Khalid Ibn Al-Waleed wrote to the inhabitants of the Syrian cities stating: "Since the Emperor Hercules has prepared a great army to attack us, we must face him and will not be able to defend you, so we return your money to you. Should God grant us victory, the terms of the treaty will remain.
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Post What was Islam's attitude towards the ancient civilizations..

What was Islam's attitude towards the ancient civilizations, and was Islam responsible for the burning of the Library of Alexandria?


The claim that Muslims do not respect the ancient civilizations is a false and unjust allegation. In fact they benefited from the positive aspects of these civilizations and translated many Greek, Persian, and Indian books into Arabic, solemnly believing that human heritage includes the skills, the experience, and the learning of different nations, all of which should be employed for the benefit of mankind. In this respect the Prophet said: "Seek knowledge even if it is in China". This means that one should seek to acquire knowledge even in a land that does not believe in one's faith and even if it were at the other end of the world, Since at that time China was considered the most distant place on earth.

The Muslim philosopher Ibn Rushd explained the Muslims' attitude towards the ancient civilizations in thc following passage. "The religion or Islam urges us to read the books of the civilizations that preceded us provided that their am was to guide people to the truth which our faith urges us to follow. This includes the use of our powers of comprehension and reasoning in studying all created beings". Ibn Rushd then added: "We must study and understand what they wrote in their books. It is then up to us to accept what is consistent with our beliefs and to be grateful to them. However, whatever is no consistent with our beliefs should not confuse us, but we should reject it, warn others about it, and not blame their in any way".

It is a historical fact the Muslims did not set fire to the Library of Alexandria. This unjust and unfounded accusation has been ascribed to the Muslims by the enemies of Islam who spread this rumor, which was confirmed in peoples' minds as if it were an established fact. This false accusation was spread during the thirteenth century A.D. as a result of the aggressive attitude of the Crusaders, and it is still repeated up to this very day in spite of the authentic proof of objective historians who have refuted it.

This false allegation states that Omar lbn Al-Khattab, the second Rightly-Guided, Caliph gave the order to set fire to the Library. He was also falsely accused of having said that if the books in the library contained what was written in the Qur'an, then they were useless and if these books contained any contradiction to what was written in Qur'an, then they must be destroyed. It has been proved beyond a shadow of doubt that 'Omar never made such a statement. Another accusation which is equally false and unjust is that the Muslim Arabs used the books in library as fuel for the public baths for six whole months.

Sigrid Hunke presented documentary evidence in her books Allah is Completely Different, proving that the Arabs entered Alexandria in the year 642 A.D. and that there had been no library in Egypt then, since the library had been burned and destroyed centuries before that date. She also added that there were no public baths in Egypt that era. Sigrid Hunke stated that the old library annexed to the academy founded by Ptolomy the First (Soter) about the year 300 B.C. was burned in the year 47 B.C. when Julius Caesar besieged the city. The library was later rebuilt by Cleopatra, who furnished it with books from Bergamun.

The third century A.D. witnessed the beginning of the organized destruction of the Library of Alexandria. Emperor Caracalla suspended the Academy, and religious Fundamentalists set fire to the library, which they considered to be a manifestation of Paganism. In the year 391 A.D. Patriarch Theophilos obtained the permission of Emperor Theodosios to destroy what remained of the Academy and to set fire to the annexed library, which at that time contained three hundred thousand scrolls, in order to found a church and a monastery in its place. Destruction of the library was resumed in the fifth century A.D. during the attack launched upon the Pagan men of learning and scholars and their places of worship in addition to the destruction of their library.

The aforementioned facts prove that the allegations concerning setting fire to the Library of Alexandria were spread in order to distort the image of Islam so that the Muslims would appear to be the enemies of learning and civilization, when in fact they were completely innocent of the crime they had been accused of.
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What is the truth regarding Muslim wars (jihad)?

The Western world has misinterpreted Muslim fighting against aggression as being a Holy War. The truth is that Islam does not acknowledge the term "Holy War". Islam regards wars as being either unjust or just. The word "Jihad" is derived from the word "Juhd" which means exerting one's utmost efforts, which are divided into two forms, the first is the effort made by one's soul and the second is the effort made in fighting a just and righteous war. The first strenuous effort that is made is titled the Greater Jihad by which one endeavours to repel all evil, temptation, and to purify one's soul from vice especially vice of jealousy, envy, and hatred, thereby deserving to be brought into the Grace of God. The other form of Jihad is known as the Lesser Jihad and it means fighting a just and righteous war.

A righteous, just war according to the laws of Islam is a war of defense, the aim of which is to repel the enemy's attack or assault, and the following Qur'anic verses permit Muslims to fight the enemy who attacks them: "To those against whom war is made, permission is given (to fight), because they are wronged". [22/39] Also: "Fight in the cause of God those who light you, but do not transgress limits, for God does not love transgressors". [2/190] This Qur'anic verse proves that despite the permission to fight in self-defense, the Muslims were warned not to go beyond defending themselves to the extent of transgression. The following Qur'anic verse permits the Muslims to attack those who attack them: "If then anyone transgresses the prohibition against you, transgress likewise against him". [2/194] Islam's extreme aversion to fighting and bloodshed is obviuos, and fighting in self-defence is the exception that is permitted, "Fighting is prescribed for you, and you dislike it". [2/216]. Thus beginning an attack on
others is not permitted in Islam.

Although Jihad means fighting in defence of the Faith and the Muslims, this Jihad is not limited to fighting in a battle. It includes Jihad with one's wealth, one's thought, or any other means which helps repel any attack or assault, in order to protect the Islamic community and the Faith in which the believe. Such a principle is the legitimate right of every nation and had been sanctioned by international agreements in modern times.

If the Muslim learn that their enemy desires peace and willing to cease all forms of aggression, Islam commands the Muslims to agree to their enemy's request. This is stated in the following Qur'anic verse: "But if the enemy incline towards peace, you (also) incline towards peace and trust in God." [8/61] Furthermore, Islam calls for peaceful coexistence with others and establishing good will with them provided that they do not attack the Muslims. The Qur'anic verses urge the Muslims to treat these people fairly justly and benevolently: "God forbids you not in regard to those who do not fight you for (your) Faith, nor drive you out of your homes, from dealing kindly and justly with them: for God loves those who are just". [60/8] thus the aim of Islam is to spread and establish peace and tolerance among people and to urge them to cooperate with each other for the welfare of mankind.

Therefore, the allegations you find in some international mass media that Islam is a religion which preaches aggression, extremism, fanaticism and terrorism are completely unjustified accusations, which have absolutely no foundation in Islam. Islam is, on the contrary, a religion of mercy and justice. We shall explain this in greater detail in our following expositions.
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Post What is the relationship between God and man in Islam?

What is the relationship between God and man in Islam?


God created man and established him as His vicegerent on earth and made the universe with its heavens and earth and all that lies between them subservient to him and instructed him to populate the earth. This indicates that God intended that man should be the master in this universe, but at the same time he should not forget that God created him. In this sense only is he a slave to God, his Creator whom he is expected to serve as one who worship Him and not as a servile or abject slave. God Almighty gave man the freedom of choice between obeying Him or disobeying Him, between believing in Him or rejecting His Faith and this is stated in the following Qur'anic verse: "Let him who will, believe, and let him who will, reject (it)". [18/29] Freedom of choice is the opposite of slavery Man has always been granted the right and freedom of choosing his way in life and is consequently responsible for his actions: "if any one does a righteous deed, it is for the benefit of his own soul; and if he does evil, it works against (his own soul). "[45/l5]

God has honoured man and preferred him to many of His creatures as is stated in: "We have honored the sons of Adam". [17/70] This honor with which God has blessed man is the exact opposite of servility, and when God created man and breathed into him of His spirit, he ordered the angels to prostate themselves before him: "When I have fashioned him (in due proportion) and breathed into him of My Spirit, fall down in obeisance unto him". [15/29] In this process of divine spiritual animation lies the intimate relationship between man and his Creator, and every human being retains within his soul the essence of this divine process which always assures him that he is in the Divine presence of God, wherever may be: "And He is with you where so ever you may be" [57/4]

The Qur'an also assures us that God Almighty nearer to man than his own jugular vein. [50/4] and that He is always near to him and that He answers the prayers of every person who invokes Him [2/186] and that His Mercy extends to all things [7/l56] and that He is Most Merciful, Although God Almighty has been described in the Qur'an as being All-Compelling once and as being the Supreme Controlling Power twice and as being Irresistible six times, He has been described as being the Most Gracious and Beneficent fifty-seven times and as being the Merciful one hundred and fourteen times, in addition to being described as the Most Merciful of the merciful four times. God Almighty has also been described as kind and affectionate and the attribute of His Mercy has been mentioned innumerable times.

The aforementioned verses all prove the intimate relationship between man and his Creator for it is a relationship of proximity, mercy and response to man's prayers and invocations. God Almighty is more merciful and compassionate to His creatures than a mother is to her child and this mercy is felt by every Muslim in the depths of his heart.
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