Points to Ponder

I am not a scholar of Islam, but in the events that are taking place now a day, certain things seem obviously wrong. As I resumed work partially today, I could not keep these thoughts out of my mind and decided to pen down all the confusion and resentment inside me.

In the times of oppression of Muslims by the Quraish, Muslims persisted patiently and continued to strengthen their Emaan. When they were persecuted in Makkah, they prayed and learnt Quran whilst they faced oppression. Ties were cut down with the Muslims and they had to literally starve for three years. They were exiled from their home and went to live away in another land as muhajirs. They continued to grow with their Emaan and belief in Allah, till they strengthened themselves so much that that regained Makkah back. And at that point the Prophet displayed mercy to the people of Makkah who had persecuted them, so much so that they all entered the fold of Islam.

Before Muslims actually reclaimed Makkah, all that while they kept learning and seeking knowledge and excelling themselves in all fields and building up a strong economy. They trained themselves to fight the enemy by putting their faith in Allah and living on the principles of Islam. Among them were some who were reserved and unwilling when war was waged on their community. The Prophet (PBUH) never forced them to join the way and allowed them to stay back. His never imposed his will on other people, although his companions would do anything for their beloved Prophet (PBUH) if they ever got a hint.

According to a Hadith, “I heard the Prophet (PBUH) saying, “Any man whom Allah has given the authority of ruling some people and he does not look after them in an honest manner, will never feel even the smell of Paradise.”Sahih Muslim – Volume 9, Book 89, Number 264

Our separatist leaders have quite some following, both paid and unpaid. But they are our so called leaders, since they don’t represent the mindset of the majority on majority occasions.  By calling these strikes they are not being honest to their people. They are not looking after their people. Though they are not officially our leaders yet and they do not comprise our government, but they are governing people more than the actual government is. And, if they are going to be our future leaders, then they are going to prove worse than the present government because of the apathy they are already showing towards their wards.

By saying they are governing the people already, doesn’t mean that people are willingly allowing them to govern them. Last Wednesday when they had called for sit in protests, many private vehicles were plying on the roads, many business establishments opened, local shops wanted some business and people needed their daily stuff badly. Things went on normally when the next day their hired goons and other similar mindset people ransacked shops and broke cars and set ablaze some vehicles. Some of these “goons” (no other word can describe them better) threw away food stuff like meat etc on the roads and forced people to shut down their businesses. And when nothing worked they broke cars and were questioning people who claimed to be sick and needing medical attention. So much so they were checking their prescriptions and the dates. A normal human being can infer that people wanted to resume normal life, but they were not allowed to. Didn’t this give a signal to the leaders that people were sick of strikes and wanted to resume normal life? Yes definitely it did! And that is why these goons forced people to get confined inside their houses and not even take out their cycles on the roads. Why was the force required? It was simply because people did not want to observe strikes and were against what was being imposed on them unjustly by our so called leaders.

When we protest, our slogan is “Allah-o-Akbar” and “Islam zindabaad”, but are the above actions justified in Islam? If Prophet (PBUH) were here with us, would he let his Ummah do such things? Would he let them make their own brethren suffer? Would he let them cause damage to other Muslim property? Did any of our so called leaders condemn breakage and shop ransacking? Or did it serve their purpose of imposing their will on the people, no matter whether they agreed or disagreed. Where is the Islamic counsel before releasing this strike timetable? Isn’t there one complete Surah dedicated to consultation?  Allah says in the Qurah, “And those who answer the call of their Lord and obey Him (in His orders and prohibitions), and establish the Prayer in conformity with its conditions; and whose affairs are by consultation among themselves; and who spend out of what We provide for them (to provide sustenance for the needy, and in God’s cause).” ( Al-Shura, 42:38). Consultation is important for reaching the right decision. Our decisions are reached without due reflection or proper consultation and that is why they always fail. There are individuals in our society at each level who depend only on themselves and are disconnected from others and unconcerned about the opinions of others. These people want to impose their will and thinking on the rest. Just like our leaders and some people who are imposing their thinking by hook or by crook.  Such people, even if they happen to be geniuses, are at considerable risk of error, as compared to those who exchange opinions and arguments.  And this is not me who is saying all this, this is right from Allah (swt).

Another interesting part of the protest in the last month has been the protests conducted in the local Mosques, at least in my area. In earlier days people would raise slogans from the Masjid speakers and ask people to come out and protest. Now we have gone high tech! There are patriotic songs being played on the Masjid speakers, “Pak sar zameen”, “sarhad paar”, “al-jehaad” etc, that essentially use musical instruments that have been classified as “haraam” in Islam. Whatever the lyrics are, the music is “haraam”.  And look at us! We are playing this haraam music from the Masjid speakers. This is our level of Islam, we justify our actions islamically as long as they suit our needs. And we justify this music by concluding the music session with, “Allah-o-Akbar”.

When Muslims were being oppressed, did the Prophet ask them to stop working or to stop learning? In fact he encouraged learning and trade. And learning is what made them strong and excel in their Emaan and helped them in their worldly life and ultimately in the next life. By stopping learning and trade out here, where are our leaders leading us to?

“The Prophet(PBUH)is reported to have directed his companions: “Do not be eager for confrontation with the enemy and seek peace and security from Allah. But when you happen to be confronted by the enemy, be steadfast.” (Al-Bukhari)

The Prophet (PBUH) categorically prohibited pillaging or plundering even in war times.  He said:  “Plunder is no better than carrion.” (At-Tirmidhi)

The Prophet (PBUH) was asked: “What about one who goes forth in the cause of Allah, but also thinks that he will derive some worldly benefit too?”

He answered: “Such a one will earn no merit,” and he repeated this thrice. (An-Nasai)”

Allah says in the Quran, “Fight in the way of Allah against those who fight against you, but begin not hostilities. Lo! Allah loves not, aggressors.”(Al- Baqarah 2:190)

Now a day the trend here is to begin the hostilities by stone pelting till the situation gets out of control. If there was no stone pelting on the 11th June when Tufail Matto died, the series of events would not have started. That does not mean that the killers are exonerated, that means that our society needs introspection at the root level. We are ready to die for Islam, but going to the mosque five times a day is difficult for us. Our economy is floating in haraam money, its there everywhere but the name given to that money is slightly polished and sounds refined. We need to first rise as a Muslim at a personal level and then rise as an Ummah and see how Allah will help us in our cause InshahAllah.

“And O my people! Give full measure and weight in justice and reduce not the things that are due to the people, and do not commit mischief in the land, causing corruption.” (Surah Hud 11:85)

Abdullah ibn Mas’ood (RA) used to say:  “Whoever aids an oppressor or taught him an argument to nullify the right of an ordinary Muslim, has drawn upon himself the anger of Allah.”

We are indeed a community that has drawn on itself the anger of Allah by our corrupt means in all fields of life. May Allah protect us and guide us all to the straight path. Ameen

Of Hurriyat and Strikes…

Writing is always a good way of venting out your feelings. Since the strikes started in Kashmir in May my resentment against the Hurriyat leaders kept brewing up. It was nothing new, but the calls were getting more and more irrational every day, with a fifty hour strike for an eight hour election depicting the irrationality. Boycott does not necessarily mean that we go for strike, close our schools and businesses. Boycott could have been by way of carrying out our regular chores and ignoring the fact that election is taking place at all. But if we would have done that, how would people around the world know that Hurriyat leaders like Geelani existed? So we were asked to go for strike, making the presence of separatist parties like Hurriyat felt. We did go for strike in the state elections as well and strikingly we had the highest voter turnout in the last few years.

So strikes kept irritating me and wondering at the irrationality of our post- freedom leaders who are supposed to get us freedom and lead us from there, apparently with no vision and plan at all. All these feelings of resentment are not only built up inside me. Everyone else I knew, at home, at work, family, relatives and friends shared the same feelings. Everyone wanted to know the rationale behind such irrational strikes. How could our leaders put their own people to trouble, loss and suffering? How could they snatch away the daily wager his only source of income and support to his family? Does such a leader deserve to be actually called a leader?

All our leaders forget that Islam is not based on dictatorship; it’s based on council and a mutual decision making. We all believe that strikes are not the only way of registering protest, but still we are forced to close down our schools and businesses and sit back at home. Where is the mutual council? Whom does Hurriyat consult? Citizens in an Islamic state have the right to participate in the affairs of the state. We are not a declared Islamic state, but we are all followers of Islam. Everyone has the right to have a direct say in the affairs of the state or by a representative chosen by them and others. Geelani or Hurriyat are not representatives of all of us, so they do not have the right to decide how we should live or how we should protest. Let them have a poll which is free and fair and ask people how they want to live and how they want to protest.

Our leaders are now giving reasons and explanations. They want people to endure all of the loss and suffering due to strikes because it is a sacrifice for the nation. The same people who asked people to send their young guns to join the “tehreek” , while they sent his own children to study abroad. They want people to go out and reach the poor and the daily wagers and provide them with money and basic amenities. Can anyone ask them how? The daily laborers and workers do not live in civil lines so that we can just walk over to them to help them. They stay in faraway places. How do we go there amongst stone pelting when even ambulances and emergency cases are also not spared from it? These are all ways to justify their irrational strike calls, because they know that public resentment is building against them for such unending strike calls, which incidentally are made during the peak season in Kashmir.

Why do not these leaders ask us to protest without violence? Why does Hurriyat provoke all the youngsters to come on to the streets and go berserk? All those people who died during tear gas shelling could have been saved if these leaders opted for other ways of protest. If they died, they died because our leaders who provoked them to come onto streets, while they sat house arrested at home. These leaders are also responsible for their deaths because they are the ones who pay a group of people to start stone pelting. These same people burn tires on roads, just to give the visual effect to the violence they want to spread. This all results in retaliation from police and army that leading to injuries and deaths. Once this happens, people get provoked on the basis of violence against innocents. This creates this chain of events again. People protest, and then there is stone pelting, followed by tear gas shelling and beating up of protesters by the police. Not that police and army is clean in the whole act, but like they say “ taali ek haath sey nahi bajti”. We are responsible for creating such situations as well. This all starts because our leaders cannot find other ways of protesting. They cache on violence to highlight Kashmir in the international arena. They use the sentiments of people to make their point and in this process cause deaths and injury of so many innocent civilians. If at all they would lead protests in a different manner, the situation would not be as violent as it is in Kashmir now a day.

There was a time when Yasin Malik went on frequent hunger strikes. At least he had some guts to do that. On the other hand the leaders now would rather see people dying of hunger and basic needs, than to give up their irrational ways of protesting. While people suffer they sit comfortably inside their houses, apparently under house arrest, but with all the comforts surrounding them. How can they eat when so many people are surviving on bare minimum and who knows on nothing at all?

We could protest with candlelight vigils in mosques. We could file petitions, wear protest bands on our wrists, banners on our vehicles, but not stop working. Why can we not show our resentment by other means rather than go for indefinite strikes? How can we protest by sitting idle at home, probably watching cricket, discussing politics or what is going to happen next? When we close down our businesses, schools, what effect does it have on anything? Who cares for it? Does the government care? Do people outside the state care? Does anyone on the international arena care? I guess they have better issues to address than to think why Kashmir is shut down for so many days. And it’s very foolish to think that the oppressors are going to be affected by these strikes. How can we harm or affect them by shutting down schools and businesses? We incur suffering and losses on ourselves and expect the oppressors to react or rectify their misdeeds? Isn’t this an ideal situation for them, to have more sufferings inflicted on people they have made to suffer all these years?

People argue, freedom does not come without sacrifice. Freedom and development cannot be expected together. In that case we should wait till everything is razed down to ground in Kashmir, till Kashmir gets freedom and till we get real leaders to rebuild the nation. If we want freedom and think that it can only come if we incur more suffering on ourselves, then we should stop complaining about lack of proper roads, lack of power, lack of proper health care, proper infrastructure and proper management.

Kashmiris sit here and watch the crème of the nation settling outside Kashmir just because they are not creating situations favorable for people to return and settle and invest in Kashmir. Then they have problem of unemployment, for which the same oppressing regime is blamed. If the situation is like how it is now a days, why would someone working outside Kashmir come and spoil his career in this strike ridden state. So many people plan to come back and do something in Kashmir, but how can they do it when the conditions are like this? Do we necessarily have to break the bone of our economy and our people, raze everything down to ground and then get freedom? When India and Pakistan were formed, did they do it by way of strikes? They did it by way of movements and by way of leaders who struggled in the cause of freedom. I do not believe that protesting like this would give us freedom. Neither do I believe that if we shut down work and sit idle at home are we helping our minds. We are rusting ourselves sitting at homes, rusting the minds of our children, helping them continue the legacy of laziness that Kashmiris are well known for.

When something happens in the Muslim world, we are the first ones to go for strike, probably because we have no other way of showing protest. But what do the same people do when something happens in Kashmir? Do they close down their businesses and sit at home? We are not only affecting ourselves economically, but we are hampering our future generation from what is rightfully theirs, the right to education. We are denying proper medical care to those who are sick. We are denying many people with basic requirements to survive while we think that we are protesting for a good cause.

Government employees get their pay at the end of the month. No wonder government jobs are so much in demand in Kashmir. You sit and home and earn for nothing you did practically. Imagine if the government cuts the pay of employees for all these days of strike, the scene in Kashmir can turn upside down. Even our leaders who were MLA’s at one point of time are getting pension at the end of the month. Pension can at least be qualified ‘halaal’, but what about other employees?

All those people who got killed as a result of human rights violation in Kashmir have not got justice till now. There are over one lakh cases of deaths and disappearances. Did we go for indefinite strike for them? If that is the basis of protest, than we should not have had any working day since the nineties. So many people disappeared over these years. Their parents assemble and protest in peaceful ways, they do not call for shut down. Even if they did, that would have been more logical than the strike calls that Hurriyat makes. The point is that so much has happened in Kashmir, so many cases of human rights abuses are unresolved then why don’t these leaders raise a voice against that. Why is that they have these sleeping periods and they wake up only after fresh incidents take place. They wait and watch and as soon as something happens they capitalize and politicize the issue for their own personal interests. They entice people to protest and sometimes pay them too. Have they forgotten the one lakh Kashmiris, for whom, according to their logic we should strike forever? Or is it that a new incident only helps them to reassert their presence and control over the people.

People come on roads; they pelt the army and police with stones. They obviously face retaliation, resulting in killing or injury to someone. Then that killing or injury becomes a valid reason to protest again, and the cycle continues. All the Fridays since last year have been witness to stone pelting and the same cycle of events. Jama Masjid was closed for many Fridays for the same reason, to avoid this vicious cycle to start. I thought it was an attempt to restore normalcy and probably save many from getting injured or killed in the retaliatory action. But it was also politicized as an attempt to stop holding religious activities in the mosque. Imagine! You create trouble by stone pelting and in an attempt to stop that you are stopped to gather at one place. It is presented as hindrance of observation of religious duties and is used to entice people again. People are made to see that they are not allowed to pray there, and asked to protest. But why can’t these people see the truth behind it. Do they ever ponder as to why it is done, who is the culprit and what is the reason?

As I write this, I wonder what actually goes on their minds as they call for strikes. What are they thinking? Do they have a heart for the poor and needy? Do they actually think that these indefinite strike calls will make India withdraw its forces and grant them freedom? Do they think that the same country that rejected talks with them will oblige to them just because Kashmir closes down on their strike calls? Did the uprising in early nineties, where people would protest in thousands and with real fervor and patriotism give us anything? Did the armed struggle help us? Now this violent and self inflicting style of demanding things from India is leading us to loss and depression. But at the same time it is also showing us what our leaders are actually worth!

A hadith of the Prophet says: “You see believers being merciful among themselves and showing love among themselves and being kind, resembling one body, so that, if any part of the body is not well then the whole body shares the sleeplessness and fever with it”.

We share the pain of every Kashmiri who had to bear the brunt of the unrest that started since nineties. There are incidents that send shivers down the spine, and tears rolling down from our eyes. It pains to hear what happened in Shopian. No one was against the first strike for this cause. Everyone genuinely sat back to protest. But what followed was not genuine, it was forced upon us. Nowhere in the hadith or nowhere in the lifetime of the Prophet did he prevent people to do their business or prevent people to go in search of knowledge. We need real leaders, not those who have no rationale and vision. We need to learn from our past mistakes instead of repeating them over and over again.

Discriminated, Who?

Amarnath Land row surfaced completely different demands in Kashmir as well as in Jammu. While in Kashmir it reignited the azadi agitation, revocation of the special forces act etc. In Jammu people started their protest against their discrimination in the state set up.

Talking about discrimination, personally I see Jammu as more developed and prospering compared to Kashmir. Atleast you can see infrastructural change in Jammu, Kashmir is literally the same except for the fly over which is not even half a mile. I do not know the facts so I would not comment on that aspect. But one aspect of discrimination that is clearly evident is being ignored by everyone.

When Jammu closed for around 40 days, with people defying curfew and roaming on the streets with swords, no one fired at them. But when fruit growers marched on the roads with their fruits, they were showered with bullets. 2 days and 40 people died in Kashmir. Add to that an additional 8 people that were killed in the initial land transfer agitation. Past few days around 8 more were killed including women. That takes the tally to 56 roughly with scores with bullet injuries still suffering.

So firing in Kashmir and not even proper lathi-charge in Jammu, isn’t that discrimination? I saw visuals of people blocking the highway and the police personnel were literally hugging the people away, with lathis nowhere in the scene. And the same day in Kashmir we already hear about 4 casualities. Isn’t this discrimination? The day of Muzaffarabad march around 8-10 army men were beating up one man with “lathis”, poking it in and making sure it breaks the bones of the captured unarmed civilian. While in Jammu police men got injured, banks were burnt down, people were seen chasing away the police, but not a single bullet was fired on them.

Jammu people are crying over the word discrimination. When the special forces act is applicable to the state of J&K, so why this discrimination?  Who has given them this special license to kill in Kashmir? We are killed, we receive bullets and they are crying over discrimination? Aren’t we discriminated when our protestors who hardly have a stone in their hand are showered with bullets and Jammu protestors with swords are let away just like that?

Jammu cable was banned, but it opened up after hours when people beat up some policemen. There are no newspapers in Kashmir, local channels who show the truth and cover what exactly happens in Kashmir are banned. Why?

When peaceful rallies like “Pampore Chalo” and “Eidgah Chalo” were carried out, with lakhs joining the processions and no violence, why this curfew? What is India scared of?

This is just a note for those who can reflect. Just reflect.

Count the casualities in Kashmir and in Jammu and then tell me who is discriminated on humanitarian grounds? Just think !

Sign of Normalcy, or Abnormality ?

Check this Out !


Alcohol consumption increasing in the valley, with even school kids buying it. And that is considered as a sign of normalcy? There are still people languishing in jails for no fault, still people disappearing and being killed for no fault, but seems like that all can be covered up yet again by the mere show that everything is normal in Kashmir. And this time interestingly by the sale of liquor in the valley! Seems like opening up of alcohol shops is the biggest sign of normalcy, likely to be the end of all the woes of Kashmiris, isn’t it?

Muslims selling and Muslims buying alcohol.

Speechless !

Yet another tale of torture and harassment.

GKMangwalpora(Handwara), Feb 20: Mangwalpora has been named as a Model Village by the government. It witnessed one of the longest military sieges in the past 18 years of political struggle. The eight-day siege ended this morning. People are recovering from the psychological trauma induced by the siege, which they say was a tactic used by the soldiers and police to “break our will so that we would give false information about militants.”

“But we are proud that we didn’t give up, and defeated their nefarious intentions,” said Bashir Ahmad. The soldiers dug out the floors of rooms in his house.
The soldiers of 30th battalion of Rastriya Rifles and personnel of Special Operation Group (SOG) also dug the houses of several other people in search of “ammunition and hideouts.”
The search operation in Mangwalpora, having a population of 350 people, was the longest in Kupwara and one of the longest in the Valley.
According to the Bashir, the search operation was “collective punishment and mental torture” by the troops of RR and Special Operation Group of Police.
“They thought we would name or blame somebody. But we stand by our unity, besides this is a peaceful village,” Bashir said.
Yesterday the people rejected the eatables brought and offered by the army.
Muhammad Shafi, another resident said, “My house was searched more than 30 times by the troops. In fact there is not a single house which wasn’t searched by troops less than 20 times. But they found nothing. That shows they wanted to harass us.”
He said the troops even snapped the electricity supply to the village on the first day of siege. “They took electric bulbs from the verandahs of our houses and electric poles; it was dark everywhere. We were even deprived of water during the first two days of operation and we used snow,” Shafi added.
Ghulam Muhammad, a resident, said the army choppers made several sorties “quite close to the ground to create fear among people especially the children and women.”
Locals alleged they were detained in two houses during the first three days of the siege. “Men and women were kept in separate houses. We have never witnessed such harassment by troopers. Even an expecting mother was not allowed to be taken to hospital in time. Even after a caesarian, the baby couldn’t survive,” said Muhammad Maqbool Wani..
The troopers had allegedly restricted the villagers from offering prayers in the mosque during the siege. “We were not allowed to call the prayers (Azaan) in the mosque during these eight days and even not allowed to offer the Friday prayers,” Wani added.Two kilometers away from the town, the troops, along with sniffer dogs, were still encircling the town, and frisking everybody who comes out of the village.
Many villagers fear the reprisals by army and SOG.

Courtesy : Greater Kashmir

Those of you who can make it….

CampKashIT 24 Feb '08

This is for them🙂 Good to see such efforts!

All the best guys!

Invitation for me, Invitation for you!

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