lalmasjid.JPGI would like to prelude our friend Irtiza's thoughts on this issue (below my notes) with some food for thought:

Instead of approaching the issue in terms of whether the vigilante actions of the masjid people prior to the government action was justified or not, I would instead raise a few questions as to the consequences (benefits vs. harms) of what transpired and people judge for themselves whether ultimately the goods trumpeted the nags or vice-versa. At the same time, I condemn the loss of life and the hard-handed techniques of Musharraf, who continues to establish himself as Pakistan's new Ataturk. I have to add that I don't know what the alternative technique could have been… but where there is a will, there is always a way.

I think the consequences speak for themselves:

The “Benefits”:

  • A few (1?) spots for immoral activities shutdown and possibly others afraid to enter this “service”
  • People asking more questions about Islam and who “runs” Islam as Irtiza highlights below.

The “Harms”:

  • Public boost in image for Musharraf, who was otherwise faltering significantly and deservedly in terms of public opinion due to his handling of the Supreme Court Chief Justice.
  • The fact that this became a boost for Musharraf's image also is pointed, in that most of Pakistan's population seems to be supporting the government action.
  • “Mullahs” who already suffer terrible credibility and image among Pakistan's masses (a lot of it deserved), have had their image crushed yet again. The action of the chief-Mullah of the Lal masjid, who tried to escape in a burqah, has caused this Mullah and clerics in general to become the laughing-stock for the average person. This of course is extremely dangerous because you take away the respect of the people of knowledge from the hearts of the people, ultimately you will also take away their respect for the knowledge itself.

 

maulanaaziz-in-custody.jpg

 

  • The use of the burqa to attempt escape also further tarnishes the image of the burqah/niqab, etc. in world opinion. It will be quite justifiable for someone in UK to assert that the burqah is a security concern due to its use for such brazen escape attempts
  • Images flashing around the world were of men in beards carrying weapons and women in burqas brandishing sticks. Hmm… is there a more frightening and stereotype-strengthening visual than this?
  • A center that seemingly was teaching Qur'an and other Islamic studies to thousands of students may forever be closed and hopefully, transferred into the hands of education-minded authorities. Of course, based on the actions of the students, it seems that there was more than just seminary education being imparted. So, this significant “harm” would result if the seminary was closed completely, or it could turn into a positive if the education curriculum was shifted into being more religious and less political.

——————————————–

Irtiza sends the following thoughts:

In the US Muslims are often disappointed when they see anything about Islam, Muslims or events involving Muslims on television. Sometimes, this is because the Muslim watching television at home is sick of his fellow Muslims doing terrible things to make the breaking news update, and other times probably more often the Muslim watching television at home feels stereotyped and attacked by what has been shown or said about his/her religion and fellow people.

Been there, seen that.

Watching this current Lal masjid fiasco on television here in Islamabad has been quite interesting for me. Firstly it has raised many questions and issues ranging from the common man in Pakistan to the elites who are the movers and shakers here:

1) Is violent rebellion against the government permissible?

2) Who represents the Muslims in a city, in a country, in today's world?

3) Who can decide when Jihad is to be declared, and against whom and which people have to participate in that?

4) What is the role of Muslim woman in Islam, in their community and in politics?

These are all old questions which have old and new answers. The problem in Islamabad was that nobody was even asking questions like these before. The problem now is finding the answers which people are trying to do… mostly by means of books, television, talking to an elder in the family, discussing the issue with the “Maulvi sahib” (imam) or anyone who attends the masjid regularly… and of course there is the internet!

As a Muslim I believe there is something good, some blessing in everything that happens, and while I may not be able to understand it or comprehend it, I know that what happens or the result of what happens will always have some good in it. I wanted to contemplate on that “good” in light of the Lal masjid debacle and I believe at least one of the blessings from this tragedy is that people are now discussing these Islamic issues.

Now we need to work on a way to help them get answers… maybe I will suggest Munnajid's Islam Q&A website.

———————-

Is it Permissible to Cross-Dress to Escape from the Authorities?
I knew from this episode sooner or later someone would ask about the “permissibility of cross-dressing to evade authorities during a hostile stand off” and it happened today, sort of…

So ”Maulana” Abdul-Aziz appeared on PTV (Pakistan's pro-government TV station) today and he was still in the burka actually (at least the robe, he had remove the niqab) and the reporter asked him (in Urdu):

“You try to convince so many young people to go for martyrdom (shahaadat) and to sacrifice their lives and yet you tried to escape pretending to be a girl in a cowardly fashion. How can you justify that? Was this reasonable for you to do?”

He said (a bit surprised perhaps from the question), “What I did, wearing the burka is permissible (jaa'iz) since I was trying to escape out of fear for the lives of so many of our students and young people.”

A researcher at the International Islamic University says, “Maybe in his mind it was some sort of daroorah (necessity) where he thought saving those student's lives really was at stake and the ultimate purpose of the shariah would be to protect them so dressing like a woman for a short while would be acceptable.

These people (Lal masjid) clearly have lots of issues and him dressing as a woman is probably not the biggest of them, but it will make nice pictures for the media, and it is rather funny too.”

It should be noteworthy that there have been massive demonstrations against Lal masjid in Pakistan, the biggest in Karachi earlier this year.

I think one local imam in Islamabad said it best, “We tell people about the Shariah under Abu Bakr and Umar and about justice and tolerance and how great it was. Sometimes they look at us as if they do not really believe us, and you can see that people hate even the mention of this word today (shariah) because of people like the ones at Lal masjid.”

69 Responses

  1. Hassan

    If Maulana Abdul Aziz was concerned for lives of students, he should not have bragged for months of his power and tried to confront authorities to start with. Even if he did that, he should not have tried to escape in burqa, rather than just given up (if it was to save lives of women and children inside). Moreover, government is already saying, let women and children leave, so whose lives he was trying to protect.

    Its plain sad events, but as Irtiza said, there may be some good out of it.

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  2. Abu Muhammad

    Just some thoughts:

    1. Those who we sometimes see as scholars are not really so. They may have rote memorised principles of fiqh and other sciences in a madrasah but have no real knowledge as they are drowning in blind imitation, not knowing how to apply Islam to the current age.

    This is just a general observation of the Pakistan madrasah system. Not really aimed at one person.

    2. No understanding of reality?

    How on earth do you intend to establish sharia within a state with its own leader and army?

    3. Self deception. Delusions of grandeur perhaps?

    4. Obviously the secularists got their goals out of this situation.

    5. Can we go back to Tasfiyyah and Tarbiyyah now?

    When we deserve a state of Sharia, Allah will bless us with it. But we should forever remain in our call to the worship of Allah alone.

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  3. AnonyMouse

    I’ve found this whole issue pretty confusing and sad…. in fact, I’m afraid I’m not quite sure what the basis of this whole issue is!
    I know that some people (allegedly from the masjid/ madrasah) were going around attacking others for not being “Islamic” enough, but other than that I have noooooo idea.

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  4. Yasir Qadhi

    One of the main problems of the ulama in many parts of the world, and in particular India/Pakistan, is that they are typically from lower social and economic classes. This results in them behaving and acting (and giving fatwas) in a manner that those of higher classes simply cannot connect to, and, in all honestly, look down upon. It also means that most of the time such ulama are disconnected from world reality and simply do not understand the ramifications of their actions in the eyes of the international media. They have no understanding of their public image and how it is misused to cast a negative light on all ulama, and thus on the religion of Islam.

    On the flip side, some ulama who really are intellectually above most others are simply not understood by most of the ‘average’ ulama and the masses that follow them. When a scholar does indeed start thinking outside of the box, this leads to great consternation amongst his supposed peers. There are some perfect examples of this in the fitna that occurred in the ranks of the Saudi ulama a decade ago – one could really state that a certain group were more in tune with the world situation and another group were still clinging on to an older, more constricted vision of the world…

    The dire need for educated, intelligent ulama is become more and more apparent in every situation the ummah finds itself in.

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  5. abdul

    Please stick with your American Muslims, you have alot of work to do there. Pakistan does not need your opinions and ignorance. You live in a Kafir land, helping the kuffar increase in resources to kill us, so what Iman do you have anyways?

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  6. Hassan

    Abdul, your molvi Abdul Aziz seems to be of very high imaan, not only he is keeping beard, he is also wearing hijaab. Masha’Allah

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  7. Omer

    Assalamualaikum

    This article (and some comments) seems a little harsh and disrespectful. There isnt a need to make such a huge issue of the burka incident.

    Sh. Yasir explained it best.

    These maulanas at the lal masjid demanded that shariah be established in Pakistan. Their cause is noble, but the means to it arent. They created a state within a state and thats what led to what happened.

    Were their actions right? Was Government’s reaction just? There’s right and wrong on both sides. Allahu Alam.

    Unfortunately, blood of our brothers and sisters was shed. May Allah forgive them and have mercy on them. ameen.

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  8. DrM

    This whole fiasco is Mush’s latest political power play. Many of you are simply misinformed about the Lal Masjid scenario. The tinpot tyrant has been using them for months to claim that he is the only thing stopping them from “taking over” Pakistan. All they ever did was shut down a couple of brothels, which bribed the local cops to look the other way. Next thing you know, the usual suspects claimed that the Taliban was taking over Pakistan.
    Mush also ordered attacks on the press, and weakened the judiciary by firing the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court.

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  9. Amad

    Dr. M, as I mentioned in my post, unfortunately what happened in the mosque ultimately strengthened the tinpot tyrant’s hand. Busharraf likes to play politics with peoples’ lives… he let the situation brew and cook for months, and the clerics in the Mosque became his willing pawns… it was like he was holding these cards, ready to play them when the opportune time came. As the Chief Justice problem started to creep in, and the Red Mosque admin. had done enough damage to their own public reputation, it was the perfect storm for Busharraf to ride, and so he did!

    How unfortunate to have bloodshed in the Mosque. What a precedent for the rest of the world to witness. Next time, any other occupation army wants to storm a Masjid because of alleged militants, they can always point to Pakistan, a “Muslim” country that did so. Of course we cannot take away the blame for this from the tinpot tyrant, as you aptly describe this machiavellian dictator, but we cannot forget that the Masjid admin. had a huge role in leading to this fiasco.

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  10. Suhail

    Yeah it was unfortunate. May Allah have mercy on those who died and may Allah give musharraf what he deserve.

    Jazakallah Khair
    Suhail

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  11. Yasir Qadhi

    I JUST read that Maulvi Ghazi was killed, along with fifty others in the masjid.

    Subhan Allah – how sad. I simply cannot understand how Muslim soldiers can attack a masjid and fire weapons upon the people trapped inside it.
    May Allah forgive all those who were killed in this dastardly operation – even if we disagreed with the methods of those Muslims, there is no doubt that such violence from the Musharraf government was totally uncalled for.

    For me, the saddest part of this whole operation is not that these people were killed (hopefully their reward is with their Lord), or that the government attacked the masjid (worse has indeed occurred in our history!). No, what is really and truly sad – pathetic actually – is that it appears that Musharraf’s ratings have soared due to this incident, and his popularity renewed.

    What a sad state of affairs, when barricading and then storming a masjid in a Muslim land, and massacring the people inside, actually makes you more popular….

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  12. abu ameerah

    This attack makes WACO look like a field day. Even, then Attorney General Janet Reno, gave the Brach Davidians 51 (yes 51) days before making the decision for a final assault on their compound.

    NOTHING the Administration of the Lal Masjid did warranted such heavy handed military action on the part of Pakistani Government. The Masjid was already under seige. Why not just wait ‘em out?

    I wonder if all of the “hijab” and “burqa” jokes are funny now?

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  13. Amad

    From Joy to despair
    Seems that there was a negotiated settlement at hand, but just like Bush did with Iraq, Busharraf did not want to let the opportunity of free publicity pass by, so he went in doing the “macho” thing, killing people within the Masjid. Apparently, much of what I have read in the news argues that Musharraf’s biggest benefit out of this would be his image in the West. So that the West can continue to ignore his excesses and his non-democratic government. Image and power over spilled blood… what an evil choice to make!

    A tragedy indeed.

    P.S. I maintain though that the people of knowledge have to measure the benefits and harms of any action. They cannot allow themselves to be put in a situation where the opportunist evil-doers like Busharraf can take advantage.

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  14. Niqaabis

    Inna lillaahi wa inna ilayhi raji’oon

    May Allaah shower His mercy upon the deceased aameen

    really saddening news…

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  15. Salafiya

    Assalam Alaikum Wa Rahmatullah

    That was not cool…mocking the hijaab….(or not the hijaab, but making jokes about it).

    There have been reports that Abdul ‘Aziz was not trying to escape, rather he was told to wear the burqa by the army so that they could make it seem like HE was the one who tried to escape. Think about it…why would he leave his students in there, not to mention his mother and brother?

    And yeah, I’m not trying to defend any mistakes that they (Jami’ah Hafsa) made, but I’m getting sick of people just attacking them and making them seem worse than the Pakistani army.

    And I think the death tolls are in their hundreds. 50 people is a gross understatement.

    My mom was saying that the Lal Masjid (Red Masjid) is truly red now (because of the blood that marks it)

    Anyhow, may Allaah grant them shahada, Ameen.

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  16. Salafiya

    *When I mentioned the escaping part, I’m not saying it’s necessarily true….but my point was to give excuses and not be so rude towards the brother. Even if they made mistakes, they are still our brothers and sisters. Nothing they did justifies them being killed by other Muslims.

    Allaahul Musta’an.

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  17. abdul

    I find it praiseworthy to be attacked by westerners who believe think they have Islam. Keep in mind you Western “Muslims” are also part of the problem and we see you people as our enemies who have betrayed Islam and Muslims.

    You call us ignorant yet we are the one’s who are fighting to liberate the Muslim countries and bringing the Islamic state back inshallah soon. You live in haram, you have no wala wal bara, you work to destroy the islamic state and mock the Muslims who are out in Allahs way.

    You dont even know how to give dawah the right way, so what do you criminals equal to the zionists O Amad and Hassan do? Do you mock our sincere while we chose to die instead of living in kufr like your people do? Are you enjoying the stolen resources from the Muslims? Do you enjoy paying tax money to kill Muslims? Or is it “my intention is not that” yet your actions are the opposite?

    You will be disgraced inshallah if you dont support Islam with your sword, tongue and wealth.

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  18. ...

    its interesting that soldiers who are dying are being called ‘martyr’…i dont think if either side would be martyr in this case since its muslims killing muslims and the whole things sounds political rather then religious

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  19. Amad

    Our friend, Abdul, has already put us among the enemies, i.e. an underhand “takfir”. The comment reminds me of the Khawarij-style… The rhetoric is so self-grandizing, self-righteous, and ultimately self-deceiving that it almost refutes its own self. For now I’ll just add this:

    “Brave” Abdul is so brave that he decides to anonymize his comments, sitting behind a proxy… so what are you so afraid of?

    About IP 85.195.123.22

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  20. Hassan

    Salafiya, I truly repent to Allah if I crossed my limits.

    You must see I did not make fun of hijaab at all, I was replying to Abdul who doubted our imaan in the post, and yet you did not defend us either, and later he called me and Amad kafir. Anyway, this is sad. I have to worry now, this is first time somebody did takfir against me, may Allah give me death while I am on state of iman and muslim, and worshipping none but Allah alone.

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  21. Salafiya

    Ameen to your du’aa

    I didn’t say you made fun of the hijaab itself. Actually, notice I put in parenthesis “(not the hijaab, but making jokes about it)”

    And by ‘making jokes about it’, I meant making jokes about the brother who came out in the burqa (and none of us knows the reason).

    I didn’t read Abdul’s whole comment. Actually, all I read were his first two sentences…something about western Muslims I think. Also, I didn’t even know who I was replying to when I said that it wasn’t cool to mock. I thought there were a couple of other comments about it, which is why I got so angry because it’s the brother who is being attacked, not Musharraf. Though AbdulAziz may have been wrong in several things, he is still trying to do good. What’s Busharraf trying to do?

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  22. Amad

    One suggestion to everyone: please read the information and comments carefully, if you have a specific issue to reply to. Don’t be hasty otherwise you may say something that you wouldn’t have if you had read the information properly.

    I found Hassan’s comment very humorous… it was tongue-in-cheek and was a justifiable response to abdul. How anyone could assume that to be mockery of hijab is beyond me. Salafiya, your point on mocking the man is well-taken.

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  23. Salafiya

    How anyone could assume that to be mockery of hijab is beyond me.

    ( )…again, they’re ‘( )’ there for a reason.

    maybe I should’ve clarified what I meant by “it” in my first comment, but I thought it was pretty self-explanatory since I immediately said “or not the hijaab.” If anyone still hasn’t figured this out, I meant the situation (AbdulAziz in a burqa) when I said ‘it’.

    anyways, I think I am done. barakAllaahu feekum.

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  24. Amad

    May Allah forgive me if it came out as mocking of the Imam. We got caught up in the brazenness of Abdul’s comment. And Abdul, if you wish to engage with us, I am sure we can do that in a moderate, gentle manner. The Prophet (S) was kind and gentle even with those he disagreed with.

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  25. nuqtah

    [quote]One of the main problems of the ulama in many parts of the world, and in particular India/Pakistan, is that they are typically from lower social and economic classes. This results in them behaving and acting (and giving fatwas) in a manner that those of higher classes simply cannot connect to, and, in all honestly, look down upon. It also means that most of the time such ulama are disconnected from world reality and simply do not understand the ramifications of their actions in the eyes of the international media. They have no understanding of their public image and how it is misused to cast a negative light on all ulama, and thus on the religion of Islam.

    [/quote]

    This is a brash generalization. Actually it really is a slap in the face of muslims in Indo-Pak by our brothers residing cosily in the west, who like to gloat about how educated they are. In fact this is quite a deep rooted phenomena, people in west tend to look down upon Ulema in the east, but this is a topic for another time.

    Getting back to the point, this point is actually quite irrelevant in the context of Lal masjid clerics. Because, Maulana Abdul rashid Ghazi was actually well educated, and was fluent in english. In fact he was once seen as a moderate compared to his older brother. He was pursuing degree in International Studies when his father was assassinated and he was appointed assisstant Khateeb at Lal Masjid. It is said this where he started radicalizing.

    As for the Lal Masjid scenario, I can honestly say that I never expected it to turn violent. It seems that both the govt. and the extremists who later besieged Lal Masjid (it is said they had also besieged Maulana Abdul rashid) saw an opportunity to further their agenda. I think this was the crucial factor in turning the situation bloody.

    The demands of establishing Shari’ah were valid, and I do believe that the poor students of Jamiah Hafsa and Jamiah Faridiah were sincere. However, their approach was erronous and degenerated into violence.

    Having said this, I fully agree with what Dr. M said.

    And Allah knows best.

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  26. Osman

    assalaamu`alaikum all

    im a bro from singapore, born and bred here. akhee abdul – the muslims in the west are doing alot of good and i admire them for that. the zeal they have is something those in muslim countries should emulate. i understand where you are coming from and that is subject to further discussion – about muslims leaving the west and returning ‘home’. they are sincere and concerned about the situation of the ummah, as we all are. Muslims everywhere should correct their approach in doing things and brother, on your part, you should open your arms and ask Amad and Hassan to return, where is your magnanimity, instead of asking them to be disgraced.

    Hassan – your comment absolutely cracked me up!

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  27. Amad

    One of the main problems of the ulama in many parts of the world, and in particular India/Pakistan, is that they are typically from lower social and economic classes.

    There is nothing brash about this, Nuqtah. It is well known that back home (I am from there, my parents still live there) that the non-bright (in secular studies) students are usually sent to memorize Quran and become moulvis. And having been there, I saw plenty of proof of that. That is why you have so much ignorance and so much innovation as well such as grave-worshipping, etc. As you said, that is a matter for another time.

    Of course, there have been stars and will always be stars and beacons of light that emanated from the sub-continent. Sh. Syed Sabiq, Shah Ismail Shaheed, Sh. Mawdudi, Sh. Thanvi, Sh. Zaheer Elahi, Sh. Abdul Ghaffar Hasan and his sons, Sh. Taqi Uthmani and so on. A general statement does not preclude many exceptions to it.

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  28. nuqtah

    [quote]There is nothing brash about this, Nuqtah. It is well known that back home (I am from there, my parents still live there) that the non-bright (in secular studies) students are usually sent to memorize Quran and become moulvis. And having been there, I saw plenty of proof of that. That is why you have so much ignorance and so much innovation as well such as grave-worshipping, etc. As you said, that is a matter for another time.

    Of course, there have been stars and will always be stars and beacons of light that emanated from the sub-continent. Sh. Syed Sabiq, Shah Ismail Shaheed, Sh. Mawdudi, Sh. Thanvi, Sh. Zaheer Elahi, Sh. Abdul Ghaffar Hasan and his sons, Sh. Taqi Uthmani and so on. A general statement does not preclude many exceptions to it.
    [/quote]

    If you or anyone has lived in Pakistan and are impartial and sincere in their observations, it is not hard to realize that in the sub-continent there’s a fine difference between an ‘aalim and a ‘maulvi’. While it is literally possible for anyone to be a Maulvi, it is not exactly true for an ‘aalim. It also shows the ignorance of actual curricula thought in the madressah, it includes mantiq and literature (urdu and farsi). Even if we suppose that most scholars are backward Jaahils (wal iyadhubillah), it would be quite hard to digest that they didn’t change their mentalities and manner of thinking after learning the noble sciences of fiqh, mantiq, and even literature.

    Anyway, as long as you dont have empirical data to back up your claim, you have no proof.

    Let’s suppose even if most of the Ulema (not just ‘maulvis’) come form lower class of the society? What is being implied here? Are you suggesting that people from lower class lack critical thinking abilities? This is yet again another insidious implication without a basis.

    Really it is quite easy for you or me, who have had the ‘honor’ of living in West to condemn Muslims of Indo-Pak as being backward, grave worshipping mubtadee3s.

    As if we are suggesting that they failed to see the true light of Islam when it had been present in Subcontinent for centuries. Yet, us being in West for 20 years? 30 years? 40 years? Were able to see the ‘true’ Islam.

    I hope you realize how absurd this sounds.

    In all honesty such comments are quite insulting (especially when Ulema are implicated), and smell of arrogance and a snobbish attitude.

    (btw Sayed Sabiq was egyptian).

    Wassalam.

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  29. ibnabeeomar

    “What is being implied here? ”

    the answer (as was posted by sh. yasir) is:

    [quote]This results in them behaving and acting (and giving fatwas) in a manner that those of higher classes simply cannot connect to, and, in all honestly, look down upon. It also means that most of the time such ulama are disconnected from world reality and simply do not understand the ramifications of their actions in the eyes of the international media. They have no understanding of their public image and how it is misused to cast a negative light on all ulama, and thus on the religion of Islam.[/quote]

    that’s the REALITY of the situation. i dont see from this that he is ‘dissing’ their intellectual abilities, its just that they operate in different circles and thus there is a disconnect.

    br. nuqtah please tone down your comments and try to be a bit amiable as br. amad mentioned, if you keep up with the acerbic/condescending stuff we will moderate the comments.

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  30. Mujahideen Ryder

    “ATol: Maulana Abdul Aziz has been arrested. Many people believe the way in which he was arrested does not match the actions of a person who preaches to others to sacrifice their lives for the cause.

    Aziz: This is all government propaganda. The night Maulana Abdul Aziz was arrested and brought to [state-run television] PTV, I had just finished a talk show and was on the way out with Ejazul Haq [minister for religious affairs] and the anchor of the program. I saw Maulana Aziz along with security officials. He hugged me, but only touched fingers when Ejaz tried to shake hands with him.
    He immediately told me that he had been deceived. He said he was called by a senior official of an intelligence agency with whom he had been in touch for a long time. Since the official could not enter the mosque to meet him [to save his cover and identity] he asked Maulana Aziz to come to Aabpara police station [in walking distance of the mosque] and asked him to dress in a burqa to avoid being identified. [Aziz admitted that he and his brother Ghazi had done this many times before when they were declared wanted by the government]. But as soon as Maulana Aziz left the mosque he was arrested. ”

    Source: http://www.atimes.com/atimes/South_Asia/IG07Df01.html

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  31. Hassan

    Funny, there are people in world who claim that Indo-Pak aalims are awsome because islam was there for centuries, yet they hate ulama of Saudi Arabia, the birthplace of islam. I smell racism/sectarianism.

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  32. Yasir Qadhi

    Salam

    Br. Nuqtah you have read your own prejudices and misconceptions into my statements. I believe IbnAbeeOmar has tried to clarify what my post so clearly says – hence there is no need to go in circles.

    Also I was not referring to any one particular person, but rather the general trend in our countries. Children who go to the best schools and univeristies typically do not end up as scholars, whereas those of lower social backgrounds disproportionately make up the ranks of those studying in madrasahs and seminaries. I am honestly surprised if you believe this trend is otherwise.

    What that translates into is that those from higher social backgrounds (and it is indeed these people who typically end up in positions of power, politics and media) simply cannot connect with the mentality of many religous leaders (both maulvi and alim). Not all, but many…

    I believe scholars need to come from all backgrounds. Someone educated in the West, regardless of how much he knows of Islam, would be a terrible person to put in charge of an average masjid in the East, and vice versa.

    It is the Sunnah of Allah that He sent prophets to the people of their civilization and culture (with some very few exceptions); the elite of Pakistan, for the most part, do not have an alim of ‘their’ mentality that they can truly look up to and admire.

    It is for this simple reason that some modern figures, such as Dr. Hashimi, have had such a powerful impact on certain circles in Pakistan. Its not that these individuals are ‘more’ scholarly than those trained in madrasahs or seminaries, its just that they know how to connect to the people and teach them matters that are of more relevance to them, in a manner that is more condusive to their psyche.

    And BTW, I have spent ten years in one of the most prestigious seminaries in the world. I can assure you – from first hand observation – that a mere exposure to Islamic sciences does not automatically convert anyone into an intellectual genius. In the end of the day, all you need to do is pass the exam to move on, and as we all know, taking and passing an exam is an art that is typically semi-independant of the subject matter actually being tested :)

    Yasir

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  33. Hassan

    Mujahideen Ryder, you are right, and I respect all ulama regardless of race, as long as they are talking from Quran and Sunnah. But I have seen an attitude rampant among Pakistanis (I am Pakistani, so i deal them with more, I do not know about arabs) that they say, forget that scholar he is an arab, what does he know! May be there are arabs who would just reject truth just because its not coming from an arab mouth, I do not know, since I do not know arabic, and I hang out with Pakistanis mostly.

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  34. A non mouse

    FYI:

    The Ghazi brother who was killed was not a Maulana or an Alim or a Mullah or a scholar of Islam. He graduated from the university in Islamabad. He had a masters. He never graduated from any Madrasah. The Lal Masjid became what it was after he took over.

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  35. nuqtah

    Perhaps I did read into your words, no harm intended though. I have no hidden agenda.

    [quote]It is for this simple reason that some modern figures, such as Dr. Hashimi, have had such a powerful impact on certain circles in Pakistan. Its not that these individuals are ‘more’ scholarly than those trained in madrasahs or seminaries, its just that they know how to connect to the people and teach them matters that are of more relevance to them, in a manner that is more condusive to their psyche.

    [/quote]

    I do agree with this bit. Jzak Allahu khair.

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  36. Yus from the Nati

    In my experience, what Sh.Yasir says is what I hear all the time from the older Indo-Pak crowd. Meaning even some of the “progressives” (hate labeling but don’t want to write a thesis of some people’s views) are saying that it’s sad that the Islamic education over there is the default or secondary when it comes to the secular education. Meaning you fail your tests and do bad in school, can’t pay for school, WHATEVER…your DEFAULT is the “madrassas”/ “Islamic education” etc. In general I guess that’s where the class-sim / disconnect starts. UNFORTUNATELY, there’s always 2 extremes to the situation. Both ends seem to forgo many crucial Islamic ideologies/rulings due to ignorance. (We got to meet somewhere in the middle)

    It comes to the point where you’ll have discussions over here of “why believe in hadith”, “you don’t have to do this or that (fast all the days, pray 5 times a day if you work)”, “Quran is open for EVERYBODY’s interpretation” May Allah guide us all.

    I feel because of the Islamic education being taught as a “default”, the other enders want to reevaluate Islam since they’re academically smarter/educated.

    These ideas have had such an effect on many families in my community. I mean my own father thinks I’m going to blow myself up or get arrested and locked up for life because I have a beard and long hair.

    I mean yesterday my dad said that I’m an extremist and should go to the “Lal Masjid” because I said it might be better for him to perform wudu before handling the Quran. (Really I didn’t even know what the Lal Masjid fiasco was until I looked on this post). The view of Islam has just been SO distorted among so many Muslims (forget Non-Muslims)! It’s like everybody is just wandering doing their own thing it’s crazy! This post is probably not making any sense, I think I’m just heated.

    PS Sh. Waleed Basyouni told us a funny story of Siddiq Hasan Khan and Jinn.

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  37. Yus from the Nati

    Forgive me for the details because I’m going from memory but it goes like this (paraphrased)….

    One day a snake appeared in his house. So he asked it to leave 3 times (b/c of the Hadith) It didn’t leave so he killed it. So later that night he wakes up finding himself being carried to a “Jinn court”! There was an actual Jinn judge and everything. So the judge was telling him “you killed one of us” etc. Siddiq Hasan Khan responded with “I only did what I heard from a Hadith in Bukhari” And I guess they were disputing whether or not the story was true (meaning there is a hadith of asking a snake 3 times, etc.) So then the Jinn bring out an OLLD OLD “man”, so old that the Jinn were carrying him. And the Judge asked whether or not this is true. And the “old man” responded “Yes! I heard it from Abu Hurayrah” (meaning that’s one super old jinn)

    THE END

    Ok maybe this story wasn’t so funny but more so interesting as hell. He told us other Jinn stories/magic stories as well. If you’re interested you can hit me up.

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  38. Ibrahim

    I live in the US but wasn’t born or raised here and am very much in tune with what goes on in Pakistan. The problem with Lal Masjid is that they allowed their students to take the implementation of shariah in their own hands, and as far as I know, there is ijema of scholars that this cannot be done. Shyakh Yasir Qadhi please correct me if I’m mistaken.

    SubhanAllah, I wanted to make a very similar point that Shaykh Yasir Qadhi made, but didn’t because I was afraid of slandering the scholarship of ulema if I chose the wrong words. Please correct me if I say something wrong. The point Shaykh Yasir Qadhi made is very true. But, I want to clarify or add to what Shaykh Qadhi said. It is not the lower economic status and not really “social” either. The fact is that in every single Muslim country, and this has been documented in speeches I’ve heard, for the past few centuries the scholarship has come from village or village-like environment (yes this would include lower economic and social status but not necessarily)—from cocoon-like thinking per se. And, this “cocoon-like” is a word a scholar used in his speech.

    As shaykh Qadhi said the problem is disconnect between scholars who come from different background and those who are urban. And, the fact of the matter is this distinction between city dwellers and ‘arabi (villager) has always been there, and I deliberately used the word ‘arabi for people who have knowledge. For example, the dawah that started from Saudi would have been not as effective or good had it not been that Saudi society would generally become “worldly” due to money and force scholars there to become worldly as well. I used Saudi example because people here would be generally aware of them. You take the same scholars, ibn Baz or ibn Uthaymeen, place them in pre-1950’s Saudi Arabia and see the results, Allahu A’lam. And, this won’t detract from their scholarship. It’s about being savvy and not if someone is a great muhaddith or faqih or not.

    As Yasir Qadhi mentioned, this problem is more so in Pakistan, and it is mainly due to the fact that Pakistan is much more poorer and “backward” than most other Muslim country (check income pre capita—I think only Yemen, Sudan and Mauritania would have lower numbers but this is my guess). And, I am talking about “backward” in terms of economy and social awareness only—not intellect or religious scholarship. Secondly, unlike most Muslim countries Pakistan has never had a very strong central government/dictatorship. And, although there is a lot of benefit in this (like no restriction on doing a talk after a salat unlike Saudi and other places) there are cons as well such as any, literally any, Tom, Dick and Harry can open and run a madrassah if he can raise funds. There is no quality control of madaaris. And, although I’m not endorsing al-Azhar, at least they provide uniformity in Egypt because its awqaaf controls much of religious education (which has its own pros and cons). On top of that, almost all such dime-a-dozen madaaris are run by semi-literate mawlanas with no ijaazah and ‘arabi thinking/ways of implementation.

    You take the ground realities in Pakistan, economic and political, and export it to another country, Saudi or otherwise, and you will have the exact same results, Allahu Alam.

    So, for people to think that ulema’s village-based background and not being worldly has nothing to do with anything (Nuqtah), then that’s very wrong. And, similarly for some to think that it is due to generally no real scholarship in Pakistan (some others), then that is extremely wrong too.

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  39. Ibrahim

    Shaykh Qadhi, Musharraf’s popularity soared among the elite liberals who run the newspapers, blogs and forums. Ground realities are much different. Most are cursing him. I’m assuming your info is through internet and thus liberal sources??

    As br. Amad said, these people should know what type of people rule over them. The situation is somewhat similar to what the Saudi government did to Juhayman al-Utaybi and al-Jama‘ as-Salafiyyah al-Muhtasiba, but that was more serious as that involved Kaa’ba.

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  40. Mercy towards the Believers

    Asalamu alaykum to all.

    Instead of commenting on the Lal Masjid issue, i just want to comment on the comments i have read here.

    I think it is really said that it seems that people do not think before they speak. From Yasirs writing a comment

    “One of the main problems of the ulama in many parts of the world, and in particular India/Pakistan, is that they are typically from lower social and economic classes. This results in them behaving and acting (and giving fatwas) in a manner that those of higher classes simply cannot connect to, and, in all honestly, look down upon.”

    And then trying say that he was not speaking of the Lal Masjid issue by saying later “Also I was not referring to any one particular person, but rather the general trend in our countries.”

    Well Yasir, when you write statements like these in response to a certain article about a certain Masjid and imam, what are people supposed to think? And then of course you find out that you are blatantly wrong contradicted yourself when you posted the article from counterpunch

    “http://www.counterpunch.org/khan07072007.html”.

    Well, I think more people read your first comments where you seem to attack Ghazi and an ignorant Maulwi who has no foresight and knowledge of present issues, and of lower class.

    And then of course other people attacking Abdul-Aziz when he wore the burqah, and making disgracing comments, only to find out they have been wrong about what actually happened?

    Let me ask this,,, how many people who were so bold to write actually knew what was going on other than what they heard on Big Brother’s News?

    Shame on you! At least I would have expected better from some of the Bloggers here, as they claim to have such knowledge.

    And of course, instead of trying to focus on the many valid points on Abdul, you choose to attack his statements which may have been wrong. What a good way to justify a persons on guilt and wrongs.. attack the other!

    And the article in itself.. Since when is the writer of the main article now qualified to write about advantages and harms! As if he is a mujtahid. Have you read their opinion of the masaalih and mafaasid? SubhanAllah! We seek Allah’s protection from ghuroor and from being amongst the ruwaiybidah.

    How sad it is to see that some Muslims, turn their back on our brothers. I am not saying that you have to agree to what happened, if it did the way the news portrayed it, but read the comments and see how many people attacked our brothers and sisters who died, on contrast to how many even dared to speak on the evil of Musharraf and the hukm of what he did… of course the sin of what he did, if it is not kufr, is definitely worse that what the Lal Masjid did (if it was a misjudgment).

    Remember the following points:
    1) Verification of news before speaking on the issue
    2) Protecting the honor of our brothers and sisters, especially those who have given their lives for Allah (even if they may have been mistaken)
    3) Being qualified to speak on issues and not taking it upon themselves to speak ion these issues when they may not even know many of the basics.
    4) Trying to address all issues to a post, and not merely hiding behind labeling others as “khawarij”

    It would have been so much better if we had made duas for those who were affected by this ordeal, and to stick to those issues which everyone is sure of.

    I have so much more to say. but the sorrow I feel in my heart now from these comments is blurring my ability to write.

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  41. Mercy towards the Believers

    “And of course, instead of trying to focus on the many valid points on Abdul”

    Meant “by Abdul”

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  42. Naeem's Blog

    Lal Masjid Postmortem…

    …Muslimmatters also provided a good post with some very insightful comments (Sh. Yasir Qadhi gave his thoughts also) on the root causes and the overarching consequences of these types of dilemmas……

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  43. Suhail

    really it was heart aching the whole incident. May Allah shower his mercy on the shuhadaa and give busharraf what he deserves. This guy busharraf goes one step ahead in his excesses towards the muslim whenever he gets a chance. I am amazed at those liberal secular muslims who are supporting busharraf and backing him on this. I mean what goes on in there mind when they are happy about this kind of operation. This incident is indeed tragic.

    Suhail

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  44. nuqtah

    Subhan Allah,

    Hamid Mir’s article has put everything in perspective.

    Inna lilahi wa inna ilayhi raji’oon.

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  45. Hassan

    Yeah it truly did, may Allah have mercy on shuhda, and may bring something positive out of it for muslims.

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  46. Amad

    For those who don’t read urdu of w/great difficulty, can someone summarize Hamid Mir’s article in English??

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  47. Ibrahim

    Allahu Akbar, can’t believe at the timing. The day Abdur Rasheed Ghazi died, his wife gave birth to his son, who was named after his father. I think this most probably is his second wife because his first wife Umm Hassaan, I believe, was in the masjid and was arrested, Allahu Alam

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  48. Abu Osman

    I think that the issue is that the self appointed Attaturk of Pakistan wanted to destroy this madarsa which had over 6000 students, a huge security risk for the modern Pakistani state. Who know who started the fiasco, but no one deserved to be killed for allegely not following the process and takings the law in their own hand. Pakistani autorities had full capability to simply arrest these people and try them in a court of law but as I said earlier, they did not want to resolve this issue peacfully. If you look into the details, you will see that very high level government officials were advicing the mullahs also. As far as the issue of “escaping” is concerned, I think that you guys have been watching too much TV and paying way too much attention to what media spins. Why can’t we believe the “mullah” who said he was invited by some very influential people for discussions? Do you know that senior fedral minister has agreed to take care of the family of the deceased mullah? Any chance this close associate of Mush was advicing the mullahs?
    Bottom line is that this who incident is sad and unfortunate and will create problems for all of us especially the bearded/niqabi ones.
    Mush and the Pakistani autorities deserve 200% of the blame for the operation as they had the ultimate control and made the final call.

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  49. Osman

    There are numerous reports in the media about Ghazi grave having a perfume smell. A couple of days ago at the graduation cerenomy at Jamia Usmania in lahore I met two people who swore by Allah that they went to the grave and it had a sweet smell to it. I make this declaration by Allah that I asked both those people to swear by Allah as to this being true.

    Any ways regarding Abdual Aziz making state within a state is in accurate. I had a discussion with a prominent mufti about it. He said the method was doubtful. Then I asked him that when you look at it, the lal masjid people never implement the hadud laws i.e. never gave punishement. At most they did was do amar bil maruf wa nahi al munkar with power so how could that be wrong? And mufti said to me that when you put it that way, there was nothing wrong with their methodology.

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  50. Sameera

    Assalam,

    Does anyone believe in that boy’s story who told the press that he “escaped” from Lal masjid and “they” were not letting anyone out of the mosque. And, if anyone tried they shot him??
    I find this very suspicious since all the other Talibaat are saying that they were there on their own will. And this boy has just disappeared after that day.

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  51. Osman

    I read in the News newspaper that most of the reporters on the scene did not believe the kid. His clothes were in pretty good shape considering being in there.

    Pakistani govt is prone to lying and propogando, let alone the open kufr they do.

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  52. Sameera

    here is a very enlightening article on this issue (in urdu)http://www.ummat.com.pk/Report.ummat.com.pk/09082007-Misc_Reports/InterweuSyeedAhmedAbbsi-09082007.html

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