We often don’t pay attention to the things we say. Though trivial these things might appear to be, we don’t realize the impact they have on our surroundings, the tensions that they create in our society, and the mindsets they give birth to. Though clean our intentions may be, the listener doesn’t always interpret things exactly the way we see them.
A while ago, I finished praying Fajr. My sister pointed out that I was a bit (which was a few minutes only) ahead of schedule and that I had prayed according to Shia timings. I answered simply that they are Muslims too, and I think that was the most reasonable answer. The Azaan may be a bit different but it serves the same purpose. The method of praying may be different but it serves the same purpose. The interpretations of religion may be different but the Quran is exactly the same. We all fulfil the criteria to be called Muslims.
The other day, I was casually talking about how I wanted to marry an Irani girl. Dad said, “Well then she would be Shiite,” implying that she didn’t qualify to be called Muslim. I am a fairly conservative Muslim but hearing a person say (or imply) that Shias aren’t Muslims is as offensive to me as a westerner saying that Islam supports violence just because some maniac decided to blow up the Times Square.
When we create such mindsets and promote such beliefs, we only create more and more distance between us. It doesn’t take a genius to figure out why there’s no such thing as ‘Muslim Brotherhood’.
I use the university shuttle service to travel between home and campus. On my way home, I’m always so tired that I involuntarily fall asleep in the bus, no matter how hard I try to stay awake. Today, I managed to stay awake for a longer duration than usual (though I almost always eventually give in) and had an opportunity to observe my surroundings.
It was time for the Maghrib prayer. Only one guy prayed in the bus.
I felt ashamed, not only for hardly ever turning towards God but also judging the guy’s faith from his looks earlier on.
In Pakistan, a person who prays to God 5 times a day, recites Holy Quran every morning, minds his own business, helps the poor, and earns his living with honesty, is generally considered to be a good Muslim. Or maybe, this was the case when we were kids. At school, we were taught to love the humanity, and be tolerant. “Islam is a religion of peace” was the word back then. I remember the lessons from my Islamic Studies books, in which we learned how tolerant Prophet Mohammad (peace be upon him) used to be. Everyone of us remembers the story of a woman who used to throw rubbish at the Prophet (pbuh) whenever he passed through the street, and how he kept ignoring her. And when the woman once became ill, the Prophet (pbuh) himself went to her and took care of her illness. She was so inspired that she instantly converted to Islam.
I am sorry to say, that we are not following the path, that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) showed us; the path that was of peace, of tolerance, and of humanity. Today, we have made laws, that we call Islamic, but they are destroying our very image. The reality is that these laws aren’t Islamic at all. These laws do not showcase the tolerance that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) taught us. But we call them Islamic just because we are misguided by the misleading statements by the crazy mullahs who aren’t even properly educated.
What happened yesterday, was not Islamic in any sense. It was not something that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) would have recommended. There is no way in which Salmaan Taseer’s murder can be justified in an Islamic sense. Now a lot of people would start thinking that I was a supporter of his, but let me just make it clear, that I agree with the fact that he was a corrupt politician. But what he said was true, that the blasphemy laws need to be completely eliminated from Pakistan’s constitution, and that these laws are “black laws”. All of it has already been explained above.
But there are people out there who are celebrating Salmaan Taseer’s murder. They think that he deserved to be killed. Are they mentally retarded, or just mislead by the crazy mullahs? It could be both. God bless Pakistan.