Is This Islam, Asks A Crying Peshawar Mother: This Is Not Islam, Say Indian Clerics, But What About Maulana Islahi’s Justifications Of Indiscriminate Violence; Will They Throw Him Out Of Islam?

Is This Islam, Asks A Crying Peshawar Mother: This Is Not Islam, Say Indian Clerics, But What About Maulana Islahi’s Justifications Of Indiscriminate Violence; Will They Throw Him Out Of Islam?

By Sultan Shahin, Editor, New Age Islam

17 December 2014

A woman in Peshawar asked yesterday: Is This Islam? She was crying over the blood-spattered dead bodies of her school-going children. The proud killers of 132 innocent children and scores of female teachers were the Pakistan Taliban. The Taliban are student of Islamic madrasas, supposedly well-versed in the teachings of Islam. They proudly kill in the name of Islam; to glorify Islam, they claim; to help establish the domination of Islam in the world, to establish the sovereignty of God over the planet, they say. So the question was natural. Is this Islam, indeed?

India’s Muslim clerics have decided to answer the question. According to a report in the Indian Express, they called the Peshawar attack an act against the very tenets of Islam. Perpetrators of such violence, they said, have nothing to do with religion and there is no justification for the killing of children.

Former MP and Jamiat Ulama-e Hind general secretary Maulana Mahmood Madani  told Express correspondent: “The way young children have been slaughtered needs to be condemned in the harshest words. Neither Islam nor society has any place for such people because this is anti-Islamic.”

Syed Ahmed Bukhari, Shahi Imam of Delhi’s Jama Masjid, said in targeting children the terrorists have not only denigrated the religion in whose name they did it but also scarred the survivors for life. “Such incidents keep happening in Pakistan periodically. This is an attack against humanity, against Islam… There is something more vicious this attack may have done. I saw a child injured in hospital, saying on TV, ‘If I survive, I will take revenge all my life’. They are sowing the seeds of violence, the place has become a citadel of terror. Taliban have defamed Islam,” Bukhari said.

People who think Islam permits such dastardly acts are mistaken, said Jalaluddin Umri, chief of the Jamaat-e-Islami Hind. “Revenge is a natural response. But what wrong can possibly be avenged by killing so many little children? If your brother was killed by somebody, what revenge is it that you go out and kill somebody’s child — so many of them? They misunderstand Islam.”

“They have violated Islam and should be condemned,” said Maulana Arshad Madani, a teacher of Darul Uloom Deoband who also heads a faction of the Jamiat.

Unexceptionable sentiments. I couldn’t agree more. But the question doesn’t go away. How come if such dastardly violence is a violation of Islam, why are Islamic madrasa students, well-versed in Islamic tenets, perpetrating such atrocities almost every day for years now practically wherever they can. More importantly, how come maulanas like Abdul Aleem Islahi of Hyderabad justify indiscriminate violence of civilians and continue to be revered members of the maulana community. Will the maulanas now come together and expel this man from the pale of Islam?

I am giving below a translation of some selected portions from an essay  Maulana Abdul Aleem Islahi wrote in reply to Dr Nejatullah Siddiqi’s essay on Islam and violence in which he essentially expressed the kind of sentiments that the maulanas quoted above are now expressing following the Peshawar terrorist violence. Maulana Islahi’s refutation of Dr Siddiqi’s essay amounts to justification of Talibani violence.

None of the above quoted maulanas or even Dr Siddiqi himself, to the best of my knowledge, has rebutted Maulana Islahi yet, not to speak of turning him out of the pale of Islam. Indeed, there has been no dilution in the respect and reverence he commands in the community of clerics. He continues to run his madrasa and indoctrinate his Taliban, many of them girls. He has inspired a generation Indian Muslim terrorists in the meantime. He is now known as the ideological father of Indian Mujahedeen. Will the maulanas care to explain why they have no opinion in the matter of Maulana Islahi’s Jihadi literature. Are they waiting for an Indian version of Peshawar to happen to condemn the Indian Taliban who are being inspired by Maulana Alimuddin Islahi?

Use of Force in the light of Quran by Abdul Aleem Islahi:

A critique of essays by Dr Nejatullah Siddiqi and Dr. Fazlur Rahman Afridi

Published by Maktaba Al-Aqsaa, Saeedabad, Hyderabad


Page No. 4

The summary of whatever Dr Saheb (Dr Nejatullah Siddiquee) has written is that no matter what actions the US is taking and no matter what the gravity of these actions, taking steps against them is neither permissible nor in the interests of the Muslims.

Similarly, no matter what the flag bearers of Hindutva may do, taking any step against them or confronting them with the use of force will be wrong from the point of view of Shariah and harmful for the Muslims.

Page No. 10-11

Jihad is not violence

 In the light of the Quran and hadith, calling punishment for crime violence is very wrong. It is an un-Islamic idea. In fact, the punishment that is given for preventing the criminal from committing crimes is not violence and atrocity but a benevolent act and a blessing. However, whatever meaning the word ‘violence’ may convey, calling violence permissible only in two situation by Dr (Nejatullah Siddiqui) Saheb is also extremely erroneous and is akin to striking a hard blow at the purpose of the prophethood of  the holy Prophethood. Please see Surah Tauba verse No. 29:

“And fight against those who do not have faith in God and in the Day of Judgment and declare haram what God and his prophet have delared halal, and among those people of the Book do not accept the true faith until they pay the Jizyah with their own hand and are subdued.”

In this verse, fight has been ordained against those under three conditions until they pay jizyah:

They do not profess faith in God and Day of Judgment

Do not accept as haram what God and his prophet have declared haram

Do not accept Islam as their religion.

“La ikraha fiddin”. There is no compulsion in religion (Deen). This is an established fact. But it is related only with accepting or not accepting the belief. This does not mean that ahl-e-Kufr, (infidels) should be left totally free on earth with their un-belief and should not be made accountable. If this were true, what do we mean when we say that the religion (Deen) of God has been revealed to dominate the world?

“It is He Who has sent His Messenger (Muhammad sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) with guidance and the religion of truth (Islam) to make it superior over all religions even though the Mushrikoon (polytheists, idolaters, etc.) hate it.” Surah at-Tawbah 9: 33

What will this verse mean then and what relevance will the obligation of jihad have?

Page No. 12

It is the duty (of Muslims) to struggle for the domination of Islam over false religions and subdue and subjugate ahl-e-kufr-o-shirk (infidels and polytheists) in the same way as it is the duty of the Muslims to proselytise and invite people to Islam. The responsibility to testify to the Truth and pronounce the Deen God has entrusted with the Muslims cannot be fulfilled merely by preaching and proselytising. If it were so there would be no need for the battles that were fought.

“And fight them until there is no fitnah (mischief) and [until] the religion, all of it, is for Allah. And if they cease – then indeed, Allah is Seeing of what they do.” Surah Anfal 8:39)

Jihad has been made obligatory to make the Deen (religion) dominate and to stop the centres of evil. Keeping in view the importance of this task, the significance of Jihad in the name of God has been stressed in the Quran and Hadith. That’s why clear ordainments have been revealed to Muslims about fighting all the Kuffar (infidels).

“United, fight the polytheists as they fight against you.” (Surah Tauba:36)


Page No. 17

Let it be known that, according to Islamic jurisprudence,  fighting the infidels (kuffar) in their countries is a duty (farz-e-Kifayah) according to the consensus of ulema.

And farz-e-kifayah means that if only a group of people suffice to carry out a duty, the entire community will be spared the responsibility but if all the people shun jihad, all will be sinners.

Page 24/25


Limitation to the use of force

 Dr (Nejatullah Siddiqui) Saheb says: “Still, it must be noted that in Islam the use of violence, whether for punishment of crimes or for the protection of Islam and Muslims or for upholding the right of people to freely choose their faith, is allowed only to the limit necessary for the purpose, because violence more than that required for a particular purpose is impermissible.”

It is being said that qital (killing, violence, armed struggle) and use of force were confined only to “survival and protections and restoration of human rights” whereas the main purpose of qital is rooting out mischief and making Deen of God an effective force. In a sense it can be said that the jugular vein of the philosophy of jihad has been slashed and fighting and killing and armed struggle with the purpose of attaining the domination of Islam has been called atrocity and transgression and it is claimed that it has been strictly prohibited.

I can say with full conviction that qital (killing, violence, armed struggle) to uphold the Kalimah (declaration of faith) has neither been called atrocity or transgression nor has it been prohibited. Rather, qital (killing, violence, armed struggle) has not only has been ordained for the purpose of upholding the Kalimah (declaration of faith) but also stressed and encouraged in the Book (Quran) and the Sunnah (Hadith). Muslims have indeed been encouraged and motivated to engage in qital and they have been given good tidings of rewards for this.

Page 25

 This is such a common knowledge that even the illiterate Muslims know this but the intellectuals of the present time try to falsify it.


The reason for this wrong assertion is a superficial study of the verses No. 191, 192, 193 of Surah Baqarah (Sura No. 2). It would be appropriate here to explain the verses.

“And fight in (the) way (of) Allah those who fight you and (do) not transgress. Indeed, Allah (does) not like the transgressors..” (Baqarah 2: 90)

Superficially, the verses seem to convey the meaning that Muslims have been ordained to fight only those who fight them and fighting those who do not fight has been called transgression and has been prohibited.

Some people consider this verse obsolete because it is proved from various verses like Surah Baqarah (2:193), Surah Anfal (8: 39), Surah Tauba (9: 29) that the last ordainment that was revealed was that it was obligatory for Muslims to fight against Mushrikeens (polytheists).

Fight them until there is no [more] fitnah and [until] worship is [acknowledged to be] for Allah . But if they cease, then there is to be no aggression except against the oppressors. Surah Baqarah (2:193)

And fight them until there is no fitnah and [until] the religion, all of it, is for Allah . And if they cease – then indeed, Allah is Seeing of what they do.

Surah Anfal (8: 39)

Fight those who do not believe in Allah or in the Last Day and who do not consider unlawful what Allah and His Messenger have made unlawful and who do not adopt the religion of truth from those who were given the Scripture – [fight] until they give the jizyah willingly while they are humbled.

Surah Tauba (9: 29)

But some others say that this verse is not obsolete (revoked). ‘Do not transgress’ does not mean what has been understood on face value. Actually, by ‘Do not transgress’ (La ta’tadu) is meant that ‘Do not make the first move in fighting within the confines of Kaabah’. If you make the first move, it will be a transgression. Or it can be said that ‘Do not transgress by fighting those with whom you have an agreement (of peace), or that ‘Do not fight without giving an invitation (towards Islam) or that ‘Do not kill women and children in a battle.’

In short, nobody has called fighting for the purpose of upholding the Kalimah (declaration of faith) a transgression or oppression. On this basis, La ta’tadu (Do not transgress) has been regarded as revoked or has been interpreted in way that it does not clash with the ordainment of qital (armed struggle, fighting).

Violence and Terrorism

Page No. 28/29

 Under this heading, “Violence and Terrorism,” Dr (Nejatullah Siddiqui) Saheb says that whenever any action will be taken against established governments, Muslims will have to do what Islam has prohibited and Muslims will have to tread the thorny path Muslims have been told to abstain from. For example, a distinction cannot be made between a combatant and a non combatant. Women, children, the old and the disabled of the adversaries will also be killed. Property and wealth will be destroyed. Trees will be cut. Populated land may be destroyed whereas Islam prohibits all this and calls this mischief on earth (fasad fil ardh).

Activists will have to commit all these acts because the governments have police and the army and fighting them head on is not possible. They have arms and ammunition while the fighters don’t even have ordinary weapons, leave aside armaments as much as the governments have. Due to these reasons, the fighters are compelled to launch secret operations whenever and howsoever they find an opportunity to strike at the enemy.  That’s why they cannot adhere to the limitations Islam ordains for them. Therefore, whenever force is used against the state violence and state terrorism, it will naturally take the form of terrorism that is considered by Islam mischief on earth and is prohibited. Therefore, actions of some Muslim groups against their governments or against the US, the UK, Russia, France etc during the last 20 years were based on clear transgressions on the limits set by Islam.


Page 32

If today, any group establishes its den in any forest, mountain or any other place and targets the enemies of the Deen and the Millat (Muslim community), how can it be wrong?

P 33

A group of Muslims can form a front against the enemies anywhere in the world. For this, a government based on Sharia headed by an Amirul Mumineen or Caliph of Muslims is not necessary.


Pakistan: Jama’at-ul-Ahrar: Obsessive Pursuits




By Ambreen Agha

November 24, 2014

On November 21, 2014, two Security Force (SF) personnel were killed and two others were injured in a bomb attack targeting SFs vehicle on Warsak Road in Mathra Bazaar area of Peshawar, the provincial capital of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) Province. Ehsanullah Ehsan, the ‘spokesman’ of the Jama’at-ul-Ahrar (JuA, Group of the Free), a breakaway faction of the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP), while claiming responsibility for the attack said that the attack was revenge of one of their members who was killed in an operation by the army. He further warned, “We will continue to target the Pakistani military in the future.”

On November 18, 2014, two Policemen were killed and another was wounded in a targeted hand grenade attack in the Shabqadar tehsil (revenue unit) of Charsadda District in KP. Ehsanullah Ehsan the ‘spokesman’ of TTP-JuA claimed responsibility for the attack.

Earlier, on November 2, 2014, a suicide bomber blew himself up in the parking area, at least 500 meters from the Wagah Border with India, on the Pakistan side, killing 60 persons and injuring more than 150. One of the injured died later. Soon after the attack, three terrorist groups claimed responsibility for the attack. These included al Qaeda-affiliated anti-Shia group Jandullah, TTP’s Mahar Mehsud faction, and JuA. In order to establish its role in the attack on the Wagah border, JuA, however, went on to release three photographs of the suicide bomber involved in the attack. “Brother Hanifullah” the email sent by Ehsan to The Long War Journal read, “carried out successful martyrdom operation on Murtad [a Muslim who rejects Islam] Army in Wagah Lahore.”

On September 26, 2014, two activists of an anti-Taliban peace committee were killed and another seriously injured in an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) blast in the Dawezai area of Pandyali Tehsil in the Mohmand Agency of the Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA). JuA ‘spokesman’ Ehsan, claiming responsibility for the attack, warned that the peace committee members were targeted for fighting and spying against the ‘Taliban’, and that such attacks would continue on ‘pro-government paid people’ as they were the enemies of the Taliban.

Significantly, the announcement of the formation of JuA was made on August 26, 2014. Maulana Qasim Khorasani, the former head of the TTP-Swat Chapter, was appointed emir (chief) of TTP-JuA and Ehsanullah Ehsan its ‘spokesman’. Declaring the formation, Ehsan stated, from an undisclosed location, “the new group only wanted the Sharia’h system to prevail in the country.”

Other leaders of the JuA included a top TTP ‘commander’ from Mohmand Agency in FATA, Omar Khalid Khorasani, who was the former emir of the TTP-Mohmand Chapter. TTP-JuA’s Shura (council) includes other important commanders, including Mansoor Nazim Shura and Maulana Haidar from Orakzai Agency; Maulana Adbullah from Bajaur Agency; Qari Ismail from Khyber Agency. It also boasts of ‘commanders’ from KP, including, Qari Shakil Haqqani from Charsadda District; Mufti Misbah from Peshawar District; and Maulana Yasin from Swat District.

Even before the formal creation of JuA, Omar Khalid had demonstrated his capacities by executing attacks on SF personnel and pro-government peace members living mainly in the tribal areas of the country. On June 10, 2014, for instance, cadres of his faction mounted an attack on a security check post near the Airport Security Force (ASF) Girls’ Hostel outside the Jinnah International Airport in Bhitaiabad locality of Pehlwan Goth area in Gulshan-e-Iqbal Town of Karachi. A Twitter account allegedly operated by Omar Khorasani, in a tweet, claimed the attack on the check post. Significantly, the TTP had claimed responsibility for the attack on Karachi Airport on June 10, 2014 – the second attack following the June 8-9, 2014, attack at the Karachi Airport in which 24 people were killed. The then Omar Khalid faction of the TTP, on May 13, 2014, killed Safi peace committee leader Subidar Safi’s nephew Jahangir Khan and injured his driver in an IED blast in the Safi Tehsil of Mohmand Agency. Much earlier, on February 16, 2014, Omar Khalid issued a statement claiming that his group, which was running under his name, had executed 23 abducted Frontier Corps (FC) personnel in ‘revenge’ against the Government continuously killing their men in different parts of the country, including Karachi (Sindh), Peshawar and Swabi Districts (KP). He warned that if the Government did not stop killing TTP supporters, they would also continue to kill the SF personnel, and further, that that the killings were in response to the peace negotiations going on between TTP’s Mullah Fazlullah faction and the Federal Government. The FC personnel had been abducted after an attack on a check post in Mohmand Agency on June 14, 2010.

The much-hyped ‘peace deal’ with the Mullah Fazlullah faction became the bone of contention between the two TTP leaders, leading Khorasan to finally distance himself from the parent outfit in August 2014.

Indeed, TTP has currently split into three groups – the Fazlullah faction, the Said Khan or Sajna faction and the JuA. Most of the former TTP allies have joined or pledged allegiance to one or other of these three groups. Reports suggest that over 50 per cent of senior ‘commanders’ of the Fazlullah-led TTP from the Mohmand, Bajaur, Orakzai, Khyber and Khurram Agencies of FATA, and from Swat and Charsadda District of KP, have already joined JuA. Though the TTP split is a blow to the main umbrella outfit that once encompassed all the three forces, the ideological threat that these breakaway factions pose cannot be underestimated.

In this context, the threat from JuA is significant. On October 16, 2014, JuA released a video of a renegade former Pakistan Army officer, introducing him as Captain Dr. Tariq Ali (also known as Abu Obaidah Al-Islamabadi among Jihadi circles), asking military officers and soldiers to join JuA in their goal of implementing the Sharia’h and establishing the Islamic system. Speaking first in fluent Urdu and then in English, Ali addressed the “Junior and Middle ranking officers of the Pakistan Army”:

“So many events have gone by since 9/11, 2001, in front of your eyes and so many atrocities in Pakistan have been committed either by yourself or in your name by the Americans. Becoming frontline ally of the Kuffar (infidels), invasion of tribal areas, kidnapping of Aafia Siddiqui, arrest of thousands of Muslims and handing them over to the Kuffar, massacre of Muslim men, women and children inside Lal Masjid, martyrdom of great Mujahid Sheikh Osama bin Laden, dropping bombs on civilian population of tribal areas and Swat, assisting the Kuffar to kill the Muslims, drone strikes, and there is a long list of crimes that have been committed by your Army since 2001…How on earth can somebody with an iota of Imaan (faith) in his heart remain in this Army…? So you still have time to leave this Army. If somebody is really keen to fight, he should come and join an organisation that is fighting to implement the Sharia’h and establish Khilafa (Caliphate)… In the end, I would say a few words of advice to the generals although I don’t see much hope there. But I must fulfil my duty of reminding you… I believe that you generals are responsible for every misery in Pakistan. You people do not implement the Sharia’h, in fact you fight against the one who wants to implement Sharia’h in Pakistan. I urge you [the generals], as a member of TTP-JuA, to get out of the way and let us implement the Sharia’h in Pakistan. But if you choose to fight us, by Allah, we shall come along with our men who love death more than you love this worldly life and you won’t be able to fight us, with an army of Khilafa (Caliphs) behind us.”

This statement comes at a time when the Pakistan Army has launched two operations in FATA, the “most dangerous place” in the world according to Pakistani journalist Shuja Nawaz. Operation Zarb-e-Azb ([Sword of the Prophet]) in North Waziristan Agency was launched on June 15, 2014; and Operation Khyber-I in Khyber Agency, launched on October 16, 2014. Both Operations are intended to weaken the ‘domestically oriented’ terrorist groups, but would have no impact on the broader environment of terrorism that the Pakistani state have allowed to flourish. The internal power struggles between terrorist formations and their sponsoring agencies and political supporters, and the splits within the larger TTP framework is only going to compound the threat.

Islamabad has failed to escape its conventional rhetoric and the dynamic that it has created through the selective support to terrorism, and to engage in a sustained ideological battle against the extremist Islamist ideology. This ideology has gripped the country with complete obduracy, and, despite the trajectory of individual groups and organisations, continues to be restructured and reorganized under different banners. This ideological backdrop has now been impacted by the even more virulent creed of the Islamic State (IS, formerly Islamic State of Iraq and al Sham, ISIS) and organizations sympathetic or affiliated to it, which claim to be the guardians of the ‘Islamic cause.’

TTP-JuA has clearly identified itself with the imminent establishment of a global ‘Islamic Caliphate’ and advocates the Islamic dominance of a broader Khorasan movement, echoing the extremist IS ideology. On March 20, 2012, Khalid Omar Khorasan released a propaganda video in which he had enumerated five “important goals”: overthrow Pakistani institutions; release both Pakistani and “foreign” fighters currently under state detention; impose Sharia’h law; obtain a nuclear weapon; and establish a global caliphate. These are objectives that JuA shares with a wide range of other Islamist extremist organizations, including many that continue to be supported by Pakistan’s state establishment. It is abundantly clear, today, to all but the puppeteers of the Pakistani state, that the blowback of the Janus-faced policies they have pursued will eventually and cumulatively threaten the very existence of that state.

Ambreen Agha is a Research Assistant, Institute for Conflict Management

Source: South Asia Intelligence Review