Sharif’s statement on Ahmadis angers clerics

Express June 07, 2010

ISLAMABAD: Top leaders of an organisation representing Deobandi madrassas across the country have reprimanded PML-N chief Nawaz Sharif for calling members of the Ahmadiyya community as “brothers” of Muslims.

“Sharif should be ashamed of calling them brothers of Muslims,” said a statement issued by the Wafaqul Madaris al Arabia (WMA).

Sharif said in Lahore on Saturday that Ahmadis were as important citizens of Pakistan as people from other religions and called them an asset.

He made the statement to express solidarity with the Ahmadiyya community following last month’s two synchronised attacks on their places of worship in Lahore which claimed more than 80 lives with many more injured.

In a statement issued here on Sunday, leaders of the Wafaqul Madaris al Arabia – an umbrella organisation of more than 12,000 Deobandi madrassas – called Ahmadis “traitors”.

WMA leaders Maulana Salimullah Khan and Qari Hafeez Jahalindri urged Sharif to retract his statement and advised him not to “defy religion for petty political gains.”

The statement termed the Ahmadis as “infidels” and said that they could not be brothers of Muslims until they convert to Islam again.

Ahmadis were declared a minority under the 1973 constitution – a move that some people believe intensified hatred against Ahmadis.

Published in the Express Tribune, June 7th, 2010.

UPDATE: Leaders of Muttahida Tehrik-e-Khatm-e-Nabuwat said that the Lahore attacks were a conspiracy to repeal laws against Ahmadis.


Ghulam-e-Ali | 11 years ago | Reply First, on the **mullah v. anti-mullah debate:** I think it is best not to engage in this debate IN THESE TERMS. It's not that the spectrum of issues which this debate touches upon is insignificant or not worth discussion; the problem is that it the term 'mullah' or 'moulivi' is used in so many different, often contraditory, senses that very often both sides are talking about very different things and the whole exercise does not yield any greater understanding... This term is used by some as a lable which helps dismiss the views of others without having to engage in scriptrually-based dialogue with them. It is by others for themselves in hope of parochializing a message which God had intended to be universal. And there's a whole range of other things that could be implied by it, some as unintellectual as the length of someone's facial hair and his sartorial fashion. In other words, as an analytical concept 'mulla' or 'maulvi' is a vacuous concept and is best avoided by sincere discussants. Two, on the question of **whether Ahmedis are brothers of Muslims and whether Muslims should publicly share in their grief.** On this question, I must refer to two traditions of great wisdom narrated from the Holy Prophet (pbuh) - and judged authentic by the tradition of Sunni hadith scholars: *"Kullukum min adam, wa adamu min turab"* (You are all from Adam and Adam was from dust (mitti). The other is a famous Hadith which I heard in a lecture of the famous contemporary scholar Zulfiqar Ahmad Naqshbandi. This hadith can be looked up in Sahih Al-Bukhari. Two companions of the Prophet (pbuh) were asked about why they stood up when the funeral procession of a non-Muslim passed by them, in al-Qadisiyyah. They said, "A funeral procession passed in front of the Prophet and he stood up. When he was told that it was the coffin of a Jew, he said, "A laysat Nafsa (Is it not a living soul)?" The first hadith has been relied upon by scholars, amongst them the famous Al-azhari shaykh Muhammad Al-Ghazali and Shaykh Yusuf al-Qaradawi, in conjunction with the various verses of the Quran which refer to all people as "*Bani Adam*(the Tribe of Adam), as proof of the point that Islam establishes a fundamental brotherhood between all of human beings (bani adam), regardless of distinctions of faith. The analogy of a 'tribe' which Allah has chosen to describe human beings in the Quran should not taken lightly; it should be understood fully in the context of the first adressees of the Quran - the Arabs - who knew of no stronger form solidarity than that of the tribe. In the light of this, I do no find it incorrect to say that non-Muslims are "Brothers" of Muslims. However, in construing this last statment, the interpreter must bear in mind the proviso that brotherhood has various levels; and the brotherhood between belivers and non-believer, although an undeniable and divinely-sanctioned fact, is of an order different from, and lower than, the brotherhood amongst belivers. The second hadith which was referred to by Shaykh Zulfiqar Ahmad Naqshbandi while expounding the concept of human rights in Islam, should be examined closely. In fact, it should be imagined. Whey the Holy Prophet was sitting with his Companion and when a funeral procession of the Jews passed by, and the Prophet stood up, what prompted the blessed Companions to remark “But it was a Jew!” Perhaps the same intuitive sense of unease that many Muslims even today have in admitting their human feeling of grief at the death of a group of non-Muslims, who rejected Islam in the very face of the Prophet (pbuh). Yet, what did the Holy Prophet say? He posed to the the rhetorical question: “Wasn’t ‘it’ a person too?”, emphasising the commonality that all human beings have: that they are members of the family of Adam and Eve, and carry with them the human sould which is the breath of the Divine. With this context in mind, I will leave you to judge for yourself whether Mr. Sharif’s statement is anything but in line with the teachings of this religion. That said, I state all which I have stated with the humbling consciousness that this opinion of mine is not an authority over others, but is merely my sincere understanding of the matter. If others, particularly those whose understanding of religion exceeds mine by far, hold a different view, that view too is worthy of respect by all and obedience by those who find it convinicing. I also pray that if my understanding is flawed, may He guide me to a better understanding.
Prof Fawad Khawaja | 11 years ago | Reply it has to get worst... before it gets any better. We will never learn before loosing millions of lives in a bloody civil war, just like any other civilization at peace today. We still have to go through our crap inevitably. So sit back... relax... and count your dead!
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