Monthly Archives: March 2007

Muslim Nationalist!

Can a Muslim be a nationalist? Can a Muslim harbor a certain pride in being born in a particular place? Is it possible that a Muslim thinks that he is superior to another just on account of his/her color, language, nationality?

Look back at the definition of a Muslim (that is defined very clearly by the Quran & the Sunnah – way of the Prophet (s.a.w.)), and you would realize it is impossible for a Muslim (in the true sense) to be nationalistic. Just like you cant be a capitalistic communist, you cant be a nationalistic Muslim.

And that is exactly where tragedy strikes the self-proclaimed Muslims today. I say self-proclaimed because I am not so sure whether we are really worthy of being called Muslims… especially when the highest standards of morality have been laid down by the blessed Prophet (s.a.w.).

Anyway, the issue that we are looking at today is Nationalism. An ideology that has seeped right into the Muslim societies – breaking the social infrastructure, causing rivalries where none should exist. While all Muslims would say, yes all humans are equal as it has been clearly outlined in the Quran, there is much to be achieved when it comes to the practicalities.

O mankind! Behold, We have created you all out of a male and a female, and have made you into nations and tribes, so that you might come to know one another. Verily, the noblest of you in the sight of God is the one who is most deeply conscious of Him. Behold, God is all-knowing, all-aware. Quran 49:13

Muslims exist all over the world – from the wild wild west to the Javanese tropical rain forests. And the vast majority identify with a certain nationality and take pride in it. Some hollow pride at being born in a certain place (I say hollow because nobody chooses what place he/she is born in). And yet we cling on to this identity – which is accentuated by a distinct culture and way of living.

While all Muslims do know that the reply of “Assalamualikum” will be “Waalikumassalam” – wherever the other Muslim is from, somehow they don’t appreciate the overwhelming implication of it. While the Muslim leaders oft speak of “Ummah” – or a body of Muslims across all nations, there is a stark contrast when selfish, nationalistic interests actually make them make decisions against that very Ummah. What they don’t realize is that whatever is beneficial for the Ummah as a whole, trickles down and is beneficial for every Muslim in every part of the globe.

The issue where I really see the confused muddle of ideologies is where the word ‘Jihad’ is used. Muslims have used ‘Jihad’ to label any struggle that they make, for whatever reasons that they are making it. Kashmiris for e.g. call their struggle Jihad, while at the same time what has been going on for the past 18 years is a mixture of so many things. Islam is ‘hot’ and using it to fuel a struggle makes things easy for many. But strangely, if Islam was the reason for the struggle, the Muslims in Kashmir wouldn’t and shouldn’t have any issues with Muslims who happen to be Indians. Supposing Kashmir was “independent”, would it be ready to embrace the Indian Muslims who wish to migrate to this ‘supposed’ Muslim land?

Even when it comes to Palestine, an issue that all Muslims hold very close to their hearts, there are certain factions whose concern with Palestine is purely on nationalistic interests.

For that matter think of Pakistan – a state that was established in the name of Islam — how Islamic was it, that a part of it had to ask for separation on basis of a different language? Or how Islamic were the Muslim nations when United States went against the whole entire world community, without any proof and bombed Afghanistan?

There is a serious need for introspection, at the level of an individual to that of statehood. Where does the priority of Muslim nations lie? If nationalism drives them, then they prove without any doubt that they are Muslims just in name. If nationalism affects their decision making process, then ‘ummah’ is nothing for them, but just a word to lure the masses. If they think that their nationality, race or language makes them superior to any other human being, then Islam or submission to God’s will is something that they haven’t really understood.

And while I ask others to introspect, I need to question myself…. I claim to be a Muslim first, then a Kashmiri… but does it reflect in my thought and deed? Loving the place where you grew up is a natural emotion, but letting that cause biased opinions, leaving aside the ‘Muslim’ identity is where many of us have gone wrong….

The wrongs need to be put right. And right actions start from right thinking.

Are we thinking right?

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Who fancied what a pretty sight?

Another beautiful poem by Wordsworth:

Who fancied what a pretty sight
This rock would be if edged around
With living snow-drops? Circlet bright!
How glorious to the orchard ground!
Who loved the little Rock and set
Upon its head this coronet?

Was it the humour of a child?
Or rather of some gentle maid,
Whose brows, the day that she was styled
The shepherd-queen, was thus arrayed?
Of man mature, or matron sage?
Or old man toying with his age!

I asked – ‘twas whispered; the device
To each and all mightwell belong:
It is the spirit of Paradise
That prompts such work, a spirit strong,
This gives to all the self-same bent
Where life is wise and innocent.

– William Wordsworth

In search of a leader…

In Kashmir everything is in a confused and shocked state. I live here, but I really can’t connect and look up to anyone here as a leader of Kashmiris. So what I did is run a quick google search on “Kashmiri leaders”, and as expected I see the following names:

1 – Mirwaiz Umar Farooq, chairman of the Hurriyat’s moderate faction
2 – Syed Ali Shah Geelani heading Hurriyat’s hardline faction
(Hurriyat is the main Kashmiri separatist alliance, encompassing about two dozen political factions, some of them hardliners who want to merge with Pakistan.- source: BBC website)
3 – Muhammad Yaseen Malik of the JKLF
4 – Shabir Ahmad Shah of the DFP Democratic Freedom Party
5 – Omar Abdullah of National conference
6 – Gulam Nabi Azad, the current CM from Congress
7 – Muftis (father & daughter duo) of the PDP
8 – Sallahudin (leader of Hizbul Mujahideen)

I ask around and I heard some names including Tarigami, Ali Sagar, Sakina Yatto, Bhim Singh, Muzaffar Beg, but then lets just leave them alone for a while, because not even one of them stands out as a leader to me.

Leader – a person who can actually be a person people look upto, with charisma that makes people want to believe in him. Does any one of these have anything that would make them stand out as a leader?

Why dont we have leaders in kashmir… where is this leaderless crowd going? Who is heading this herd?

Men’s rights in Islam.

Moved to http://sakooterspeaks.com/muslim-issues/mens-rights-in-islam/51/

NEW!!!

I have just added another page to my blog – The Photography Page. Here is a collection of some of the photographs I have taken. 🙂

Hope you enjoying looking through them.

Also, there is a Downloads page where you can download a collection of items. Will try to keep adding to it. So come back often to see what I have to share.

PS: You can view these by clicking at ‘The Photography Page’ and ‘Downloads’ link at the top of this page.

A minute with a butterfly!

Spend a minute with the butterfly as it dances about:

CLICK HERE

Normalcy ahoy!

I see todays newspaper…

Alleged molestation of a young woman by the paramilitary CRPF personnel sparked massive demonstrations at Nowpora here on Monday.

GK

A man was crushed to death and two others critically injured by a speeding paramilitary CRPF vehicle at Hyderpora on the city outskirts on Monday evening. The incident sparked off violent protests by the people after which police seized the CRPF vehicle and arrested its driver.

GK

Curfew was relaxed for three hours in Mendhar area of Poonch district on Monday.

GK

Incensed at the security forces’ beating of a student and two women, hundreds of people staged angry demonstrations in Pattan today and blocked traffic on the Srinagar-Muzaffarabad road as a mark of protest.

KO

No judge has yet been found by the Jammu and Kashmir government to head a probe into the alleged staged killings by security forces in the state almost seven weeks after a judicial inquiry was announced.

KO

These sure are signs of normalcy in Kashmir.

And the paramilitary forces sure are behaving like “security” forces…