Rise Above Sectarianism And Serve Humanity
By Kashoo Tawseef
28 April, 2015
In the words of Nelson Mandela, to deny people their human rights is to challenge their very humanity. In contemporary world, its is high time to raise the voice of voiceless innocent people being mercilessly kidnapped and killed around the world in the name of Islam and particularly in South Asian and Middle Eastern region. As someone has very well said, if you see oppression and you remain silent and didn’t raise your voice; you are no different than oppressor. The barbaric killings and kidnappings in recent years, in cold blood and on camera, by the self-styled Islamic people have provoked widespread outrage and condemnation as this has no relation to Islam. Holy Quran in chapter-5; sūrat l-māidah says, if you kill one person you killed the whole humanity; and if you save one person you saved the whole humanity.
How can you kill someone just because he doesn’t agree with you or he/she doesn’t practices same faith as your- that’s just insane. Let us remind ourselves that Islam is humanity and humanity is Islam. Aljazera Journalist, Mehdi Hassan, in his recent article mentions that whether Sunni or Shia, Salafi or Sufi, conservative or liberal, Muslims – and Muslim leaders – have almost unanimously condemned and denounced killing not merely as un-Islamic but actively anti-Islamic. In the context of humanity, Mahatma Gandhi once said: you must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.
We should rise above the sectarianism and work for the cause of humanity and that way we are helping in spreading the true message of Islam. What is meant by working for humanity can be understood from the letter that Hazrat Ali (peace be upon him) sends to Maliki al-Ashtar, after appointing as a governor of Egypt: know people are of two types: he advised him that the people are either brothers in faith or equals in humanity. Letter mentions: be it known to you, O, Malik, that I am sending you as Governor to a country which in the past has experienced both just and unjust rule. Men will scrutinise your actions with a searching eye, even as you used to scrutinise the actions of those before you, and speak of you even as you did speak of them. Let your mind respect through your actions the rights of God and the rights of man, and likewise, persuade your companions and relations to do likewise. Which Kofi Anan, former secretary general of UN declared greatest letter of the government ever written by human being.
No matter what are the differences and how much are the differences; hate and killing is not a solution or answer to solve those trivial differences. Islam teaches us tolerance: why that tolerance evaporates in air when it comes to listening to other point of view. If you look at the history be that Kuwait war or Iran-Iraq war in 90’s and now Yemen war; more Muslims are being killed by fellow Muslims, just because of some of difference of opinions. Islam is a binding force for unity and humanity and whatever is happening in the Muslim world has no relation with Islam whatsoever. Islam is a religion where non-Muslims should feel protected but unfortunately when you look at the current state of affairs of Muslims, it bleeds our heart.
Islam is being misrepresented, misinterpreted and misquoted. As one of the leading Islamic scholar recently in his letter to the youth highlighted that people should go to the actual source of Islam and consult learned scholars to have a proper understanding of Islam rather than superficial fanatic interpretation. Whatever is happening now in the world in the name of Islam and particularly in Muslim world has nothing to do with Islam, he added.
The current killings and wars are purely serving political and power games played by some vested interested to malign the image of Islam. Question arises: if it was for Islam then why a Muslim would kill Muslim? Why? We need to act sensible and cool headed and understand these games and most importantly the challenges that Islam is facing and various ill efforts that are being used to malign the image of Islam. We need to be careful and not to fall trap into their hands for their nefarious designs.
Let us reiterate that Islam talks about equality, justice and freedom, when you snatch these fundamental and basic rights from a nation, you are not following Islam and as a result opposing voices will be raised; and if some tries to crush such voices; he is not helping Islam but hurting. We need to understand this especially when it comes to countries like Iraq and Yemen. The so called leaders deny such basic rights to the people and then give it Islamic and sectarian colour to secure their power. We need to think out of box and stand for right voices and for voiceless people; say wrong is wrong and not bring Islam in it, which actually gives emphasis on equality, justice and freedom. Poet of East, Allama Iqbal, says in context of equality in Islam:
Ek hi saf mein khadai ho ga yai mehmood-o-ayaz
na koyee banda raha aur na koyee banda nawaz
“Mahmood the king and slave Ayaz, in line, as equals, stood arrayed,
The lord was no more lord to slave: while both to the One Master prayed.”
Kashoo Tawseef : Born in conflict area, Kashoo Tawseef is a student of Media Studies and political science. His articles and essays have appeared in the Greater Kashmir, Kashmir Times, Rising Kashmir, Etalaat and in other media journals. His paper about the resolution of a Conflicts and a way forward won a journalism and research award in the United Kingdom. You can record your viewpoint at k dot tawseef at the rate gmail.com
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