By Dr.Aslam Abdullah
Pakistan has more than 235,000 cases of COVID-19, with almost 5,000 deaths. Yet, the Muslim religious leaders, rather than working to deal with the crisis, have imposed a new controversy that is likely to raise questions about Islam’s claim to be a tolerant religion.
In June, this year, the government of Pakistan approved about $70,000 to construct the first Hindu Temple in Islamabad to serve the religious needs of some 3,000 Hindus in the city.
The Lahore-based Jamia Ashrafia called the decision as un-Islamic and issued a fatwa (religious decree). Founded by Mufti Muhammad Hasan in 1947, the Muslim theological seminary follows scholars of the Deobandi school. Others joining the chorus include JUI-F, Markazi Jamiat Ahle Hadith, and those affiliated with Lal Masjid and other seminaries of the capital.
Mufti Ziauddin of the seminary’s Lahore chapter said in his religion that it was Islamic to retain and maintain the existing places of worship of the minorities. However, in an Islamic state, permitting them to build new places of worship or to rebuild an abandoned area of prayer is un-Islamic. It is equivalent to aiding in a wrong deed, which isn’t permissible.”
Does Islam deny non-Muslims to construct their houses of worship?
The decree contradicts itself. On the one hand, it recognizes the right of non-Muslims to worship in their houses of prayers, while on the other, it denies them permission to build new places of worship.
The Quran recognizes the differences of faith among people. It acknowledges their religious practices and their religious institutions. It does not say that non-Muslims cannot build new houses of worship or expand their religious practices. It allows them freedom in matters of faith.
The Quran says that divisions based on faith are eternal and would continue to exist. “AND [know that] all humankind was once but one community, and only later did it begin to hold divergent views. Had it not been for a decree- that had already gone forth from thy Sustainer, all their differences would indeed have been settled [from the outset].” 10:19
It further elaborates that diversity in views is divinely approved. “And had thy Sustainer so willed, He could surely have made all humankind one single community: but [He willed it otherwise, and so] they continue to hold divergent views.” 11:118
It endorses the right of people to have diversity in their belief system. “Verily, [O men,] you are deeply at variance as to what to believe.” 51:8
It speaks against compelling people to renounce their belief system. “And [thus it is:] had thy Sustainer so willed, all those who live on earth would surely have attained to faith, all of them: dost thou, then, think that thou couldst compel people to believe.” 10:99
Finally, it urges believers to defend everyone’s right to worship. “Of those driven from their homelands against all right for no other reason than their saying.”Our Sustainer is God!” For, if God had not enabled people to defend themselves against one another, all] monasteries and churches and synagogues and mosques – in [all of] which people extoll the name of God – would surely have been destroyed [ere now]. And God will most certainly assist him who succors His cause: for, and certainly, God is most powerful, mighty, ( 22:40)
The Quran recognizes the differences in people’s concept of God and his message and believes in their right to practice the belief system in their places of worship. The Quran also recognizes people’s right to physical mobility. People take their belief system with them wherever they go and build houses of worship to practice it.
Muslims in the West have built thousands of their houses of worship in the last few centuries, despite the hurdles bigots and fanatic opponents pose. It is common sense that if others decide to settle in countries where Muslims are in the majority, they will build their houses of prayers. It is the responsibility of the state and the Islamic religious community to stand for their right. While the government of Pakistan has lived the spirit of the Quran, some theological seminaries and leaders have chosen to defy God in this matter. They need to understand that the construction of a Hindu Temple in the city known as Islamabad will not diminish Islam or Muslims. Instead, it will provide living evidence of Islam’s respect of other religions.
This is nice news paper
Our beloved nation India has the most beautiful country with good but gullible people ; but has misfortune of WORST CORRUPT FASCIST hate-brigade LEADER !
Our partitioned-neighbouring country Pakistan now has BEST LEADER EVER but stupid narrow-minded uncivilised people who cannot focus on goal of success, but continuously excited and distracted by small issues!
Result : Disaster, Both nations are in soup!
A leader of a democracy needs to be educated, civilised, wise, brave and then be assertive to keep dumb-asses in order!
CAPTAIN and TEAM both matter!
The controversy over construction of a Hindu temple in Islamabad, where a considerable number of Pakistani Hindus live, is contrived, unjustified and a sign of bigotry. Pakistani Hindus are entitled to pray and follow their religion in terms of their personal laws according to their faith and to do this they must also have their own temple(s), shamshan-ghats, gurukuls, etc. They are original inhabitants of the land and have every legal right allowed to others in matters of religion, personal laws and culture.
Dr Zafarul-Islam Khan
Chairman, Delhi Minorities Commission
Well-said Dr. Zafarul-Islam Khan sahab!
It is the religious and moral duty (Raaj-Dharma) of any Democratic or even Muslim country to look after it’s minorities well and allow them personal space of freedom of religion and moralistic spititual rights within real of Constitution (without any noise or air cracker pollution/dancing/immoral revelry nuisance to human beings in general)!
That’s why educated Hindus get most peaceful life in Europe and Gulf countries!
Hats-off Dr Aslam Abdullah for this short and important article based on reasoning and referenced Shariah!
The temple need not be built using Government money!
Maximum temples in India are financed by government since independence by soft-Congress and now hard-majoritarian fascists.
How many musjids are constructed and financed by government in India?
You can maybe count on fingers, if any!
Govt Money should be used for free healthcare and job opportunities, gardens and libraries, better roads, etc.
If Hindus money can be used for muslims Haaj yatra.. why can’t muslims money be used for building temple?
Who told you temples are funded by government, on the contrary temples are taxed and Churches and mosques are exempted, moreover Haj subsidy around 7 billion rupees is given to the muslim community. S
There are around 20 haj houses built by Government of India, I hope you have 20 fingers.
If constructing Kartarpur is not against Islam then why building temple is against it?
What a pity situation of Hindus in Pakistan.. The land from Afghanistan to Indonesia is the part of Akhand Bharat.. and these mullas are opposing our temples.
Because Sikhism is not worshipping false crores of different idols, they are a part of montheistic faiths just like Islam.
Guru Nanak was associated with an Sufi Shaykh scholar in Mecca for about 4 months, before he returned to Kartarpur and established the principles of Sikhism.
Hence Sikhism and Islam cultures have a lot in common.
Who are you to enforce montheistic religion? If you are tolerant then you should accept any religion as it is.
Basically building temples with muslims money is against Islam.. this is the true face of Islam.
Entire land of Pakistan is the part of Akhand Bharat… and these muslim beggers are opposing temple construction.. what a shame..
No brother what u think is not the true face of Islam…hope you haven’t read the article above…please do read.
we can not bring classical ideas of imams on this matter.
imams spoke when the Islamic empire was dominant in the world;…now all chanhed..
we live in a world where most Mullah do not understand the context of the modern world.
we have texts but we should know how to apply texts into context.
there is no point in mesmerising or memorying texts without knowing context of our world..
we should know our strengths and weakness .
Mullah think as if they have Vito power of claiphate in their hands.
classical ideas are not viable to today .
so; in this matter of buidling temple should allowed on the Basis of the Quran too.
Quran tells people to believe in Allah by free choice..
not by force..
freedom of choice is basic for faith..
if Allah gives freedom to believe in Him or not ; why can not we freedom for them to have a place of worship.
except Makkah and Madina ; all other lands are equal to all.
There are thousands of manidirs in Pakistan and around 10 in Islamabad and rawalpindi that are joined to each other. Pakistan is a “Nation State” not an “Islamic state”. In the constitution of Pakistan everyone has equal rights. They have been building manidirs all the time in the areas they live in. The land was given in 2017. No one said anything then. Then BJP made a video song that said that after ayodia Modi will make a mandir in Islamabad that irrated these people. Both sides have hot heads. They will cool down in a few weeks. By then the plans will be passed too. The Ummayads state was an Islamic State, the minorities there had even more rights, they could even use their own laws https://quran.com/5/47 “And let the People of the Gospel judge by what Allah has revealed therein.” Have their own elected leaders and pay less taxes so that they could use some of the money on their places of worship. Look at the constitution of Madina. They only contributed towards the external defence of Madina. They had a split tax system and legal system. When the 17 year old Muhammad bin Qasim first came to what is now Pakistan 1300 years ago he was tolerant and extended these rights to the Hindus, Buddhists and Jains and other religions in India and Pakistan. They have been building mandirs for 1300 years look around you. The Hindus loved him and over time the ancestors of the Pakistanis became Sufi Muslim. He never interfered with the Mandirs and aloud the existing Hindu government administration to function as before.
With in 30 years the Ummayads governed from Spain to Pakistan and dominated the Mediterranean with the their navy manned by Christian sailors. They absorbed the Roman troops from Syria and the Persian cavalry from Iran. Their forces incorporated people of different faiths. That is how the constitution of madina was formulated. They all shared the defence. Look at the history books and go and visit the forts and the cities that they built. They created a safe tolerant society, where the people were happy and the economy grew and their empire grew. In many cases the Ummayads state grew through contracts with cities. Cities saw the economic benefit of joined their free trade zone with secure trade routes, and they could continue to administer their own cities and use their own laws. These were their rights protected in the Quran and the constitution of Madina. They had a welfare state and looked after the poor.
Cities like multan continued having a Hindu administration during and after Mohammad bin Qasim time. They continued building temples. They only contributed towards external defence/army only. In their cities they could do anything and had their own laws. In Egypt the Muslims army built fursat a town outside Cairo so that they can not interfear with the people.
Now I hear some people in Pakistan criticising Mohammad bin Qasim too. For 1300 years the Muslims have adhered to these contracts. https://youtu.be/fBWdS4ltlT8 Like the Muslims have contracts with the Christians in Jerusalem that they adhered to. These contracts are written in the blood of those who came before them, who protected these people against the Mongolians and others. RSS is distorting and rewriting history and they have started listening to them. They can’t read arabic or farsi and many of the old books are in the British library, SOAS and the University of London library.
In later periods the Muslims and the non muslims paid similar taxes. So the Mughals rebuilt and repaired temples for the Hindus when required too. Even Auranzeb gave lands to the Hindu community where they built Mandirs in Lahore. They were citizens and paid taxes too.
Quran 2:256 “There shall be no compulsion in religion.” In Sindh the Ummayads and the Abassids and the many other Muslims rulers, one after another ruled for 1300 year ruled but never interfered with the Mandirs and imams more knowledgeable that us were with them on this.
People in Pakistan need to learn Arabic and read the history books. Now they are saying that Islamabad is like the Kabah and that the same rules should apply there, next year they will be saying that people should go on hajj to Islamabad. Islamabad is not Makkah or Madina or Masjid Al Aqsa in Jerusalem.
When Jinnah, the Dalits and the Christians in Pakistan were trying to set up Pakistan to escape RSS, these Imams opposed them.
Their government and the Parliament said it is going ahead.
Jinnah promised them equal rights. The public is with the Hindu community and they will honour their contracts (Quran 5:1). They can not break the word that Jinnah gave them and the rights that muslims rulers for 1300 gave them. In 1947 the Hindus in Sindh voted for the Muslim League because they wanted to remain in Pakistan and did not want to split Sindh like it happened in punjab. Many of the Hindus in Islamabad are from Sindh. They are extremely proud Sindhs.
And this is not the first mandir in Islamabad, they have been there for thousands of years.
This is not about the Mandir. Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi currently has a corruption case against him https://tribune.com.pk/story/2215824/1-chaudhry-brothers-challenge-nab-chief-authority
So now he is in conflict with Imran Khan and trying to do everything to save his skin. Pakistan has a lot of historical manidirs that need repairs and he wants the money spent on them. The government of pakistan has a project for maintaining historic manidirs and recently returned 400 historic manidirs to the Hindu community. Some of them are protected and will need specialist craftsmen.
Allah says “Jews won’t have a land of their own”. True or untrue? Hindus have India. Who are these people in Islamabad? Why would you name Islamabad? The word Islamabad doesn’t even show up in the wholly Quran. It is Aslama or Aslaam so why romanization? These minorities, could they actually be a majority? Have they reverted? Let’s look at circumcision certification registration of 1960’s. Muslims of all races have a nation of their own promised by Allah so they won’t feel lonely. If we combine all their minorities, they stole our majority vote, just look Kohistan, it used to be called Kafirstan on the Pakistan military map. So no Muslim sharia can claim we have built a Muslim country and its constitution for just secularism and minority groups. Nor are we to make ally with them. Idol worship was the reason why Muslims religion came and idolatry was considered Jahil practice by prophet Muhammad pbuh. Check why this religion came about in the first place. What are you Imams toking on? Muslim families are starving and you are spending on Sinhdu temples. Shame on Islamabad, I wonder how many RAW they produced in the capital of a Muslim nation? Know your sovereignty and why you built it!