Mar 2, 2011


Khaliqur Rahman

Muslims, in India, are either Sunnis or non-Sunnis. Amongst non-Sunnis are Shias, Bohras, Khojas and Bahais. Amongst Sunnis, some are Wahabis. A smaller percentage amongst Sunnis has embraced one or the other Silsila while the rest have refrained from doing so but go to Durgahs.
Historically speaking, amongst the Sunnis, there are four Silsilas: Naqshbandiya, Shurwardiya, Qadariya and Chishtiya. Add to these the later-on off-shoots like Chishtiya-Nizamiya, Nizamiya, A’bul U’lai, Warsi, Suhagan and perhaps finally, Deobandis and Barelvis.
All the Muslims think that they are lucky to be born of parents who follow Islam. Most of them believe that non-followers of Islam are Kafirs. They have their eyes set on Jannat because they are assured of celestial wine and women (sharab-t’ahoor and hoor).
The question is: if a child born of medical doctors is not a doctor unless it grows and takes a degree in Medicine, how come, a Musalman’s son is Musalman and a Brahmin’s son, a Brahmin? And, is it not funnily astounding for a Muslim who has had a full share of life in this world to still crave for t’ahoor and hoor in Jannat?
If all of them claim to live life in pursuit of God and believe in truth and love (which are the two basic tenets of religions of the world, anyway) why should they choose to quarrel?
After Independence in India, many Muslims thought their place was in Pakistan. Those who could not go because of various constraints had their hearts in Pakistan because their near and dear had crossed over. Some of them chose not to leave the Mother Earth of Birth. Come, what may! I think now, that these people, knowingly or unknowingly, had the heart and mind of Amir Khusro who is the example at the top of those who are faithful to the land, the language of the land and the ruler of the land.
Let’s now look at the lifestyles of Muslims in India these days. Some are very astute and pray five times a day, recite Quran regularly and observe fast during Ramadan. Some of them do it quietly and some demonstrate it. Sunnis, who think they are not Wahabis, go to durgahs. Some durgah-goers have become mureeds, therefore, have a Peer or Murshid. Most Muslims are not properly educated to understand mundane things of life, let alone the basics of religion they follow. It is, therefore, understandable they follow religion only socially and ritualistically. The educated Muslims are either led into blind faith or rigid dogmas because of the literature they’ve read or the company they keep. Some of them do go to durgahs but keep themselves away from Peeri-Mureedi. But they do go to astrologers and/or Alims with mundane problems of life; some of them openly, others, otherwise.
In a situation like this, it is prime time for half-baked, semi-learned Imams, priest heads, peer sahibs and qadims, of mosques, madrasas, halqas and durgahs to exploit the illiterate and semi-literate masses to their own advantage.
In my view there is nothing wrong with any religion but everything seems to be wrong with not all but some of the followers in every religion who represent it to be rigid and dogmatic and thus denying it its very basic value: love. This trend, call it religious activism, is noticed to be very unfortunately growing amongst the youth of all religions. Here, I’ll try to look at the Muslim youth. They are taught to believe that:
Christians are ‘wrong’ because they claim Christ to be the Son of God.
Hindus are Kafirs because they are idol-worshippers.
Most Muslims who go to Durgahs and follow a Peer are Mushriks.
Let’s take Son of God and compare it with similar expressions like the son of the soil or the son of the Mother Earth. If soil or earth is Mother, do you think of the Father? It’s a way of saying, isn’t it? It is certainly not an issue.
And, who is a Kafir? A Kafir is a non-believer, not of Islam but of God. In Quran, in my view, only Firaun(Phaeroah) is a Kafir because he claimed himself to be God.
Who is an idol-worshipper? Don’t we all worship a moving idol in the form of our own body much more than, we think, we worship God, if at all, we worship God? Khudparasti hi butparasti hai, says Hazarat Khwaja Moinuddin Chishti.
Aren’t we, then, Kafirs and also Mushriks, ourselves? As long as the combination of the animal, the Satan and the Ego is alive in us, aren’t we guilty of Kufr and Shirk?
O God, the most Merciful, forgive us our sins and our ignorance. ASTAGHFIRULLAH! Taubah Taubah Taubah!!!



Khaliqur Rahman

Qayaam, Rukuu’, Sajdah and Qa’dah are the four postures in a namaaz corresponding to Standing, Bending down, Touching the ground with forehead and Sitting down, all, as if before God.
While I was in CIEFL (Central Institute of English & Foreign Languages) Hyderabad, I’d go for Friday Prayers, if I was able to, without affecting my work. On the way to the mosque is a mazaar of two Muslim Saints. After the prayers, I’d stop to offer my homage to these saints. My way of doing this is to bend down at the ‘feet’ of the grave and kiss. Since these graves were low set, I had to kneel down and then bend.This posture would resemble that of a Sajdah and because this mazaar is just by the side of the road and without walls and roof, all this was in clear view of the passers-by.
That Friday, as I was going to my room after lunch, the Arabic Department scholars were standing in front of their rooms, waiting…
I understood. They wanted to teach me a lesson after what they must have seen me doing at the mazaar. I had a lot of work to do, so I didn’t want to waste time on the forthcoming discussion that I knew would be of no avail. But adamant as they were, they asked me to refrain from offering a Sajdah ‘to the Mazaar for a sajdah must be “done” to “One and only One”, and that is God’. They told me that what I did was shirk – an unpardonable sin.
Squeezed and cornered thus, I didn’t know what to do. I closed my eyes and ‘remembered’ (assumed ‘tasavvur’ of) my peer-o-murshid (whose mazaar is in Ratlam). I can’t say how the thoughts came and found words through my mouth. I asked one of them if he was married and wrote letters to his wife. The dialogue went something like this:
‘Are you married, Rasheed Sa’b?’ “Yes” ‘Do you write letters to your wife?’ “Yes” ‘How do you send the letter to your wife?’ “I put it in an envelope, write the address on it and drop it in the mailbox” ‘Does the mailbox keep it?’ “Silly question” ‘No, it is NOT’ I went on…
According to Quran the Wali-Allahs are alive. The Quran warns us against taking them for dead. If they are alive, will they ‘keep’ my Sajdah, if it was a Sajdah? Even if it was a Sajdah that I ‘did’ to the saint which I should have ‘done’ to God, will he keep it or get angry at the ‘deed’? I think he will look to God and say: this ignorant person who is ‘blind, deaf and dumb’(Quran) has ‘put’ the Sajdah here…O God You are all Merciful, forgive him…I’m ‘redirecting’ the Sajdah to you…Please accept…Rasheed Sa’b, my Sajdah, thus reaches God…Where does yours go?...Next time you write a letter to your wife, don’t put it in the mailbox…just throw it in the air…DIRECT…!
They rejected it as a specious argument
After more than 25 years when I look back, I find that my sense of gratitude towards my ‘murshid’ is simply beyond measure. Those thoughts had come to me very first time after ‘remembering’ him.
Now, to make things clearer still, I can say, a sajdah cannot be performed in a vacuum. It has to be here on this solid earth with a wall or an Imam or another namazi in front. Do we then, in any of these situations, ‘send’ our sajdah to the earth, to the wall in front, to the Imam or a namazi in front?
A sajdah is like a crossed cheque. No one else can cash it.
The other thing that needs to be understood is: God asked Satan to ‘bow down’ before Adam. Satan didn’t because he thought he was made of Fire and Adam was made of Earth…Satan did not realise that God was everywhere including within Adam.
The other thing that we don’t very clearly understand is: Man is a queer ‘mix’ of shaitaniyat, haiwaniyat, admiyat, insaniyat and lillahiyat. To wash off Shirk, a person needs to get rid of everything except lillahiyat. In other words one should ‘die’ before death (Quran).
To ‘kill’ the Shaitan, the ‘shaitan’ in ‘me’ must ‘bow down’ before the ‘god’ in my murshid !