Jobs @ MG
As a matter of fact
By Rizwan Ullah
|The Prophet of Islam (pbuh), and his
companions following him as Caliphs, whenever sent out campaigns against
the enemies of Islam gave strict instructions to the commanders to desist
from destroying their articles of faith and obstructing their religious
There is simple logic in it: so long as they do not interfere with your
Islamic practices do not interfere with their's. This is in accordance
with the Islamic principle of a balanced approach in all worldly affairs.
The Holy Prophet (pbuh) and the caliphs who followed him saw to it that
these Islamic principles were put into practice so that their
implementation could be demonstrated. Thus the Islamic armies conquering
Egypt did not destroy pre-Islamic idols there, the biggest being the
Sphinx which still stands tall in Cairo near Al-Fustat (‘the tents’)
where the first Muslim army led by ‘Amr ibn al-’Aas put up its tents.
This is true of the churches in European crusades. They were spared. They
became targets of the fury only when places of worship were used as hiding
places for armies. The most glowing example is that of Caliph Umar when he
entered Jerusalem and the city lay at his feet. He did not harm or damage
the churches there.
In view of the guiding principles of Islam in worldly affairs and the
historic evidences of their having put into practice let us look at the
clumsy method of clearing Buddha idols in Afghanistan under Taliban
regime. It is not only an instance of extremist interpretation of Islamic
principles but it is against the examples set by holy Prophet (pbuh)
himself, the sunnah, next only to what Allah has enjoined upon us. The
Prophet (pbuh) simply removed the idols from Ka'ba only because they were
worshiped by the people who were sworn enemies of Islam and its followers.
Those idols were not preserved there as articles of past heritage or
historic evidences. Here in Bamiyan or in Kabul museum Buddha idols or
stone carvings were neither worshiped nor is there any possibility of
their being worshipped for idol worship is not prescribed in Buddhism. The
teachings of Buddha lay emphasis and insist upon elevation. It addresses
the individual self with no reference to any extraneous article of
worship. This being the fact Buddha statues do not come under the
definition of idols to be worshiped.
Thus the Taliban method of disposing off Buddha idols could be a political
act of spite by the people who have been outcast and pushed to the wall by
the self-righteous civilized society by killing and plundering them for
decades, by devastating their orchards by sprinkling herbicides and
destroying their land already hit by draught and famine. Every third
Afghan child is disabled with gouged eyes or blown off hands or legs by
toy bombs and land mines sown in the millions throughout Afghanistan. The
number of Afghan widows or those dying from incurable diseases or by
simple hunger can never be known to the world or to Afghans themselves as
their women are thoroughly wrapped in the veil of darkness.
Nature wanted Afghanistan to cultivate poppy seeds to produce and provide
about three fourth of the world's requirement of opium used in many
precious medicines to sooth the strained nerves of the harassed and
nervous civilized society. The drug peddlers and traffickers of the East
and the west rushed like vultures on carcasses to grab the abundantly
available opium at a throwaway price to the Afghan growers and to turn it
into a heavily priced substance high in demand in the civilized society.
As a consequence the same society realized that it was reaching a
precipice very close to a deadly fall. Then instead of plugging its own
holes the society jumped upon Afghanistan, forced Taliban or whoever was
mismanaging the affairs of that unfortunate land of forsaken people, to
squeeze the neck of poppy growers.
Magas ko baagh mein jaaney na dijay
ke nahaq khoon pervaaney ka ho ga
(Don't let the bee enter the garden
For the moth will die in vain).
The analogy is obvious. When the Afghan rulers ordered the destruction of
all poppy crops the little hope of survival that Afghan farmers cultivated
was dashed against the rocks of Kara Koram. The civilized world neither
came forward with alternatives to offer to the Afghan growers nor
presented laurels to the Taliban administrators for their righteousness.
On the contrary the civilized society presented guillotine by taking
restrictive measures against them on one pretext or the other and expected
them to hang the noose round their necks gladly.
Do we not know that a person in intense and unbearable pain might bite his
own flesh? That is what Afghans are doing with excruciating pain and
anguish. If that is the case no one should expect any good from them any
more. Two generations of Afghans have witnessed only death and
destruction. They have become insensitive and impervious to it and they
are exporting the same along with the millions of refugees in neighbouring
territories. Due to the fact of their geographical location they are
capable of destablising stable societies in the civilized world. The
erstwhile Soviet Union experienced it. It is time for us in India to be
At the same time it is the bounden duty of the Muslim world to persuade
Afghans to see that Islam has always kept the doors open for a peaceful
settlement of all issues. So for the sake of buying peace they could throw
the idols out of their territory instead of crushing them. Those who
wanted to pick them up could do so without any obligation to the Afghans.