The Case of Mumtaz Qadri: A Matter of Perception

The recent demand by PTI MNA to release Mumtaz Qadri literally made headlines and came as a shock to most of us. Once again it became a hot topic and everybody started condemning not only the draconic action taken by Mumtaz Qadri of murdering the person whom he was actually supposed to provide security, but also the MNA Mujahid Ali for passing such an irrational statement in the National Assembly.

The case of Mumtaz Qadri reminds me of a similar incident occurred in the Indo-pak subcontinent back in 1929 in which Ghazi Ilm-ud-Din – a 19 year old belonging to a poor Muslim family – stabbed a Hindu Rajpal to death. This guy Rajpal had published a book “Rangeela Rasool’ containing blasphemous content keeping the author’s name unrevealed which led to hurting sentiments of the Muslim community. Ilm-ud-Din was later arrested and awarded death sentence.

The surprising part is the role played by Dr. Allama Iqbal and Jinnah in this regard. Our Quaid was the defence lawyer of Ilm Din and Allama Iqbal actively participated in arranging for the funeral. He was not only deeply saddened over the death of Ilm Din but also said “This uneducated young man has surpassed us, the educated ones.” One would wonder, how could such great personalities like Iqbal and Jinnah support a murderer’s actions? A big question to ponder! Today we all disapprove of the way Mumtaz Qadri is supported by his proponents. It sounds quite logical too; because we do not support violence or insane behavior of any individual which can become a direct threat to the peace and harmony of any society.

Iqbal was neither a mullah, nor had he been educated in any madrassah – rather had had his higher education in Europe. He did not even belong to any Jihadi or fanatic group. Then why would such a scholar stand up for Ilm Din? The reason could be his love for Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) that is also depicted in some of his literary works:

He who cherishes love of Mustafa (pbuh),

Controls everything in the seas and lands

It is love for him that gives life

And prosperity in the universe to community

(Payam-i M’ashriq)

Also, Iqbal described the misery of modern Muslim as follows:

In his heart there is no burning fire,

Mustafa (pbuh) is not living in his heart

(Javed Naama)

 

Now that makes one think about the do’s and dont’s in context of love for Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). There isn’t any clear guidance available but we have this Hadith narrated by Anas (RA):

The Prophet (pbuh) said “None of you will have faith till he loves me more than his father, his children and all mankind.” (Ref. Bukhari Volume 001, Book 002, Hadith Number 014)

The Hadith says a lot; yet it does not imply that one can go about and kill anyone who fails to show his/her love and respect for the Prophet (pbuh). Islam surely is a religion of peace and tolerance. What Ilm Din and Mumtaz Qadri did was their way of showing love for Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) as declared by them. Both did not feel guilty of what they did. Similarly, the great thinker and intellectual Allama Iqbal’s favor for Ilm Din was actually the reflection of his love for Prophet (pbuh). In that context, it is necessary to figure out as to what is right and what is wrong in the light of Islam because there seems to be a very fine line in certain very crucial matters. It is the job of the religious scholars to declare that keeping in view the rights of all human beings while securing the dignity of religions.

Mr. Taseer could have survived had he used a softer tone while criticizing the blasphemy law. Using words like “Kala Qanoon” was a bit too harsh on his part (that too in a country having Muslim majority of 97%) leading to hurting the sentiments of many die-hard believers. After all, a public figure holding an important position in the government should be very careful while using his right of ‘freedom of expression’. Otherwise, serious repercussions can follow.

Pakistan is an Islamic country therefore, we cannot completely rule out the fact that Pakistan’s law would remain to be based on Islamic values; whether the human rights activists and liberals like it or not. At the same time, if the law does inculcate the true essence of Islam, in no way would it harm the sentiments of any section of the society.

On the one hand, the act of Mumtaz Qadri is considered to be a natural reaction of an Aashiq-e-Rasool, and on the other hand, the human rights activists call it a sheer act of extremism and religious intolerance. This clash of perspectives on blasphemy issues can only be resolved if all the concerned groups/parties are wholeheartedly willing to sort out the conflicting aspects involved. It is hard to comment on what the law should or should not include and whether the current blasphemy law is accurate or not. The leaders, lawmakers, Ulema and activists must work together on it and have a consensus which is the need of the hour as well. To start with, the pre-requisite would be open-mindedness and ‘respect for all’.

May Allah guide us all towards the right path – the path of peace, prosperity and harmony; and keep our faith intact!

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One thought on “The Case of Mumtaz Qadri: A Matter of Perception

  1. The law is correct, its the responsibility of people to use it wisely and politicians to keep their words in check, how many of us accept the disrespect of our parents, friends, families or even beloved country/fauj? It’s the matter of prophet Muhammad saww, no one should be allowed to speak ill. Things can always be resolved with soft manners and respect. Differences aside, we all should be held responsible for our own deeds or words, Asia by herself has accepted in front of court and Taseer was a public figure, he was indeed responsible for his own doing.

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