The real blasphemers

Published: January 2, 2011
How are we, as Muslims, meant to deal with blasphemy?

How are we, as Muslims, meant to deal with blasphemy?

The issue of Aasiya Bibi’s alleged blasphemy became one of the hottest topics for debate in 2010. At a very basic level, the question that everyone sought to answer is this: How are we, as Muslims, meant to deal with blasphemy?

This question has a simple answer: we should ignore people who are accused of blasphemy and tell them that the great man whom they are supposedly targeting in their acts of blasphemy was the one who taught us to ignore their actions and focus on more positive things in life.

There are several passages in the Quran which mention acts of blasphemy committed against the prophet and the message of Islam, three of which are more important than the others. None of these passages contains any indication that those found guilty of blasphemy ought to be killed. If there was a punishment for blasphemy in Islam, it should have been clearly mentioned in the Quran, especially in the passages where occurrences of it during the prophet’s lifetime are mentioned.

In the first passage that refers to blasphemy, the Quran informs us that hypocrites used to attend the Prophet’s (PBUH) gatherings intending to tease him. They used to say “ra‘ina” (please say it again), twisting their tongue to prolong the vowel sound ‘I,’ so it sounded like they were saying a different word which meant “our shepherd”. Instead of condemning the perpetrators to a punishment, however, the Quran said: “Believers, don’t say ra’ina; instead say unzurna and listen carefully (so that you don’t need to ask the Prophet to repeat his statements),” (Quran; 2:104). The word unzurna, like ra’ina, served the same purpose.

Another passage says: “Believers, don’t make such individuals from amongst the people of the book and the disbelievers (of Makkah) your friends, who tease and make fun of your religion. And fear Allah if you are true believers. When you are called for prayers, they make it an object of ridicule. This they do because they are a group of people who don’t know (the truth),” (Quran; 57-58). Had the intent of the divine law been to kill those who made fun of religion, this passage would have been an appropriate occasion to make this fact unambiguously clear. Instead, the believers were asked to ignore ‘blasphemous remarks’ and were told to refrain from befriending these people.

A third passage in the chapter titled “Hypocrites” talks about the designs of the leader of the hypocrites and his followers, who, during one of the expeditions of Muslims beyond Madinah, blasphemed against the Prophet (PBUH) and his companions in the following words: “They (the hypocrites) say ‘When we shall return to Madinah, the honorable shall expel the mean from there’, even though honour is for Allah and His messenger, and believers, but these hypocrites are unaware,” (63:7-8). Indeed what Abdullah Ibn Ubai’i, the leader of the hypocrites, and his followers said was blasphemy. The message of God, however, only clarified the truth in response to the blasphemy they had uttered. Abdullah Ibn Ubai’i later died a natural death in Madinah. Despite the fact that he was living in the very city that was ruled by the Prophet (PBUH), he wasn’t put to death nor did he suffer any lesser punishments in retribution for the act of blasphemy he and his companions were guilty of committing.

If the Quran does not sanction specific punishment for blasphemy, why then are Muslims bent upon demanding death for blasphemy? The answer is that according to some Hadith, some disbelievers were killed for being guilty of blaspheming against the Prophet (PBUH) during his lifetime.

The reality is that, as has been clarified above, there is no punishment for blasphemy in Islam. The only exception is this: according to divine law, those people who directly received the message of God through His messengers were destined to be killed if they rejected and condemned it. This was a law that was specific to the direct addressees of the prophet only. It has been clarified in the Quran that such people were destined to receive the punishment of death, in one form or the other, after a certain God-ordained deadline was reached. That deadline had already arrived for the disbelievers of Makkah thirteen years after the prophetic mission had started, at the time when the Prophet (PBUH) and his companions were forced to migrate from the city to Madinah. The first phase of that punishment took care of the entire leadership of Quraish, the clan that ruled Makkah, two years after the migration in the Battle of Badr. That process continued for different people on different occasions. When the people of the book, the Jews and the Christians, denied the Prophet’s (PBUH) message, they too became eligible for the same punishment. However, in their case the punishment was relaxed: they were forced to live the life of second-rate citizens and pay Jizya, the non-Muslim tax (Quran; 9:29). Only those Jews and Christians who had not only denied the Prophet’s (PBUH) message but had also gone on to tease, insult, and threaten his life, were considered worthy of being killed like their counterpart polytheist disbelievers of Makkah.

Clearly, such punishments were meant to be applicable only to a certain group of people living in a particular era. Their crime and the rationale for their punishment have both been mentioned in the Quran. Their punishment wasn’t based on a Shari’ah law; instead it was based on God’s own direct intervention. For the rest of the people, the general rule mentioned in the Quran states that blasphemers are meant to be ignored- this was meant to continue to remain applicable for all times to come.

According to the Quran, only two types of criminals can be sentenced to capital punishment: those who are guilty of murder, or those who create mischief on earth. Anyone who took the life of another soul for reasons other than these two, according to the Quran, would be as if he killed the entire mankind. (Quran; 5:32) The law stipulating capital punishment for the act of blasphemy therefore is clearly against the Quranic message of the verse referred to above.

Of course, one could say that blasphemy is a form of ‘creating mischief on earth’ — but this argument is not valid because ‘creating mischief on earth’ has been described in the Quran like this: “Those who wage a war against Allah and His messenger and strive to create mischief on earth.” That crime is committed when an individual or a group commit murders, burglaries, or rapes and cause the life, property, and honour of innocent citizens to be harmed. Indeed, making profane remarks about the prophet is a crime, but the one committing it neither declares a war against Allah and His messenger nor does he struggle to create mischief on earth.

Islam’s message is of peace and tolerance. Bigotry, aggression, and extremism have nothing to do with it. Those who promote the latter evils in the name of Islam are the real threat to the propagation of its message.

The author is the Dean of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences, University of Central Punjab.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 2nd, 2011.

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Reader Comments (350)

  • Syeda Shah
    Jan 2, 2011 - 2:53PM

    It is indeed true that the punishment for those committing blasphemy have been mentioned in the Qur’an, but it is, at the same time, also true that it is the authority of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) to interpret what that is in the Qu’ran. The Hadith of Prophet of (SAW) clearly state how and what should be done with the blasphemous, which is, in all clear terms ‘death’. Recommend

  • Shahzad
    Jan 2, 2011 - 3:08PM

    Chaa gayay o sir jee… fully agree to what you said :) Thanks for having guts to write this…Recommend

  • Jan
    Jan 2, 2011 - 3:16PM

    Great article. More insight from Dr Khalid Zaheer in this interview:

  • Actually
    Jan 2, 2011 - 3:29PM

    In the case of Aasiya Bibi, we also need to ask: why did the Muslim women who accused her of blasphemy refuse to drink the water she brought them? It is their act that is obnoxious, and the real blasphemy in this episode.

    This entire notion of Christians being ‘unclean’ has led to a culture of oppression where (Pakistani) Christians have long been considered to be a class fit for such ‘dirty’ tasks as janitorial work and such. THIS is the real filth of mind that needs to be addressed. This is the attitude that needs to be questions. This social mis-casting is what is to be challenged. Recommend

  • moazzam
    Jan 2, 2011 - 3:33PM

    i agree with the writer’s views and add further that blasphemy or TOHEEN is a subjective subject which varies according to the personal interpretation of religion.

    For example ,for a muslim like me all the non believers or non Muslims are committing blasphemy by not accepting the true religion but should I announce that all those people are liable to capital punishment.

    What Quarn has directed us is to spread message of Islam in an attractive way by using he best available technology.

    Imagine if every religion keeps a wall of blasphemy around it, how can it be spread.Recommend

  • Ahmad
    Jan 2, 2011 - 3:34PM

    Blasphemy according to Bible :

    And the LORD spake unto Moses, saying … he that blasphemeth the name of the LORD, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him. Leviticus 24:13-16
    If you cause others to blaspheme, God might kill your child, like he did to David and Bathsheba’s baby boy.
    Because by this deed thou hast given great occasion to the enemies of the LORD to blaspheme, the child also that is born unto thee shall surely die … And the LORD struck the child that Uriah’s wife bare unto David, and it was very sick … And it came to pass on the seventh day, that the child died. 2 Samuel 12:14-18
    If you blaspheme against the Holy Ghost, God will never forgive you. ( Holy Ghost!)
    All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven unto men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Ghost shall not be forgiven unto men … whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come. Matthew 12:31-32
    But he that shall blaspheme against the Holy Ghost hath never forgiveness Mark 3:29

    so why they have problems with ISLAM ???? and why they want Blasphmer in Islam should be forgiven ??Recommend

  • Hamy
    Jan 2, 2011 - 4:05PM

    Very enlightening article, and a testimony to the fact that saner voices haven’t been silenced thru the so-called nationwide protests. The Blasphemy law needs to be amended, and brought in accordance with the teachings of the Quran. Love for the Prophet (P.B.U.H) can certainly be demonstrated in more positive and pro-developmental ways. Recommend

  • omer
    Jan 2, 2011 - 4:34PM

    at last some sane comments on this issue of blasphemy. Totaly agree with each and every word.
    People who commit blasphamy should be ignored, as ofcourse they would be punished after death.
    An interesting thought here..
    Our mullah brigade is hell bent in killing the one commiting blasphamy but dont even utter a word over the great acts of taliban and co ???Recommend

  • Zubair
    Jan 2, 2011 - 4:40PM

    Excellent piece of writing…I was also thinking of these line after listening to Juma address of Imam who proved through examples that, punishment of blasphemy should be death..I totally agree that Islam is religion of love and peace and extremism and bigotry has nothing to do with Islam.Recommend

  • Noor Lodi
    Jan 2, 2011 - 4:43PM

    Excellent article and well researched. I think I time has come for a major overhaul of our understanding Islam and how God intended it to be. We must revisit ‘every’ hadees and validate or reject, purely based on Quran and logic. Not on, he said, she said, like how it is now.

    I fully believe that a very large of number of hadees’ are simple not true, twisted or do not apply in the current times

    It is time that the educated Muslims take the lead on research of the true Islamic spirit and lead the way. Islam as it stands is very dangerous in the hands of a typical ‘Mullah’

    We have to protect our religion from our own people who are twisting and exploiting it.

    Best regards.Recommend

  • Usama Zafar
    Jan 2, 2011 - 4:50PM

    Excellent article!! Thank you Express Tribune for publishing this!!Recommend

  • Iqbal + Khan
    Jan 2, 2011 - 5:04PM

    A great article that serves as a slap on the faces of Mullah Brigade and their numerous sympathizers whose very aim is to murder minorities and purge society in the name of barbaric and distorted version Islam. Well done for writing the truth !!!!Recommend

  • Kaffur
    Jan 2, 2011 - 5:44PM

    In reply to the quotes from Christian bible about blasphemous speech. Our laws in west sit above religion specifically to allow multiple faiths to exist with a common system fair to all. Nobody has been killed for blasphemy in west for hundreds of years. Except by Jihadists killing civilians by intention.

    Islamists are killing the idea of coexistence in western world. If Islam cannot live with Christian, Jew, Hindu, atheist, Buddhist, etc We shall just decide to live without you.

    In 10 years Jihadists have turned Islam from a religious choice of our ethnic immigrants to no.1 problem of defense.

    Everyday another reason to remove Islam from western world explodes on our TV news only targeting women, children, shoppers, commuters. Never targeting military.

    When 9/11 happened we were all shocked and look at the response, trying to police Iraq & Afghanistan costing billions and thousands of lives.

    We are now angry the next response will not be trying to control problem, it will be to eradicate problem. Do not fool yourself that a few missile launchers and AK47s will destroy USA. They do not even feel threatened but when they do it will be no more humanitarian mission and become defensive. The last time the USA felt threatened was by Japan in world war 2.

    Religion is a personal choice for each persons soul. Let us not fill our respective heavens so quickly.
    You do not make peace with people who agree with everything otherwise their would be no conflict, we all must compromise before a global war erupts.Recommend

  • fatima
    Jan 2, 2011 - 6:12PM

    excellent piece!Recommend

  • Mir
    Jan 2, 2011 - 6:18PM

    Mister Noor Loodi. You are absolutely correct. Majority of Ahadees are treated like amendments to the already complete book. This is absolutely not true. These were politically motivated statements that were compiled in a book going down through history. Many people would disagree but I would disagree with them when they try to defend it. I will not sanction them to die, but I would just disagree.Recommend

  • American
    Jan 2, 2011 - 7:47PM

    @ Ahmad and “Blasphemy according to Bible”, and “so why they have problems with ISLAM ????” :
    The books were written (or told) centuries one is finding fault with what is (was) written 2000(Bible) or 1300(Quran) years ago.
    Our problem is how “today’s” followers are behaving.
    We see jokes, cartoons, TV, movies, and plays, and comedians being “blasphemous” about Bible and Virgin Mary… but no one is being hanged or killed for it.
    Since you compared Islam/Quran and Bible, it is a legitimate question to ask: Why Muslims have such a problem with Blasphemy (real or accused) in 21st Century ?
    Why kill and burn in Karachi and Lahore if Cartoons appear in far away in Copenhagen ?
    What are you trying to accomplish, other than burn, kill, and destroy your own homes with your own hands ? It would be funny, if it is not so tragic. Recommend

  • Ata ur Rahman
    Jan 2, 2011 - 7:53PM

    Very well article .congratulations to the writer and also to Tribune.keep up the good work
    Ata ur RahmanRecommend

  • Stephen
    Jan 2, 2011 - 10:07PM

    @Ahmad, you are in error. You have quoted the old testament. The coming of Christ ended the laws of Leviticus. Christians were instructed to leave judgment to God, in as much, the directives of Leviticus call on the Jews to judge whether a man has blasphemed, or not, which is overwritten by the directives of Christ. Simply put; This is an invalid argument based on either ignorance or wanton stupidity.Recommend

  • Cautious
    Jan 2, 2011 - 10:52PM

    Pathetic. Muslims killing people for nothing other than verbal offenses which they find offensive – they can’t find justification for this absurd behavior in the Quran so they did up references in the Bible. Recommend

  • Umayr Masud
    Jan 2, 2011 - 11:12PM

    Mr. Zaheer will have his effigies burning soon .. Great work and great courage.. Recommend

  • junaid
    Jan 2, 2011 - 11:34PM

    There is nothing that says Dog is haram to eat in the Quran. So go and eat Dog and say the same thing you said in this article. Not every thing is mentioned in Quran because its not an ordinary book written by some one like you. always remember Its Kalamullah, and Allah does not go in details. for details you have to reference the hadith. One example of that is the constitution made by the kings and the presidents, it lists every thing at highlevel, but you to go in the bylaws book to reference it.Recommend

  • Mubarak
    Jan 2, 2011 - 11:45PM

    @ Ahmad
    Well done by leaving Holy Quran and sticking to Holy Bible as source of your enlightenment. Since no body can convert to Judiaism, your only recourse is to accept Christanity and be a more practical believer to practice death penality for blasphemy.Recommend

  • mwk
    Jan 2, 2011 - 11:46PM

    A much needed article that needs to be read by every single person who has the ability to alter this barbaric law. Recommend

  • Fahad
    Jan 3, 2011 - 1:05AM

    This is a very good article. I am a Muslim and I think that there should be no punishment to blasphemy in Islam. The Quran never mentions what we as Muslims should do to anyone that leaves Islam, so why should we humans judge them, let Allah deal with them not us. None of the verses in the Quran on blasphemy or apostates mention that Muslims should do anything to them.Recommend

  • Yousaf Khan
    Jan 3, 2011 - 1:32AM

    sir a very insightful article indeed. Recommend

  • Hassan
    Jan 3, 2011 - 1:35AM

    First of all, we should inquire into the matter that why “Bibi” utter such Blasphemous remarks?
    Is it that we gave them the chance to say something against our religion ‘Nauzubillah’…..The answer is yes….In your opinion what Islam teaches regarding good social values…We dont even talk righty to the minority what to talk of good social relation, not to include other discriminations. Now we should have impressed the Non-Muslims through our way of dealing not only for the sake of converting them but also as an envoys or reps of Allah.
    Lets move yourself to their angle, imagine Muslims as a minorty living elsewhere, how would you feel if you get the same treatments from Christians and Hindus….Find the answer in yourself….
    I am Alhamdullillah a staunch Muslim though I have not supported my post with Quran and Sunnah but just think logical (and Islam is the most logical religion, no doubt) that we(the Muslims) have given them chance to speak against us……
    Instead working for the develpment of the country in general and Islam in particular, we have wasted thousands of hours in rallys and discussions. What will be the end result? If Bibi is hanged, all the people will go home and keep on talking this incident as a gup shup for the rest of their lives. Pakistani’s are the best people who knows how to waste their time and they are the most logically illogical. Sorry to say but being Pakistani myself, we could have been a better nation but we dont want to prosper…we like the way things are…….Sorry but its true…..Recommend

  • anam
    Jan 3, 2011 - 2:14AM

    You are right on the money!! I wish the mullahs could read this!Recommend

  • saleem muhammad
    Jan 3, 2011 - 2:21AM

    Excellent!. thanks to the writer and the publisher. Recommend

  • Ahmad
    Jan 3, 2011 - 2:40AM

    In my opinion the action of this woman should be judged on her intentions, she should be given a chance to reject her actions and if she does so, she should be set free with a condition that she should refrain from contacting the media, who create all these non issues.Recommend

  • Noor Lodi
    Jan 3, 2011 - 2:52AM

    Death is a very serious matter, not to be taken lightly. Short of Quran Sharif being explicit about it, nothing can be taken as the word of God on this subject.

    These are the same Mullah’s who are insisting that the woman accusing someone of rape must bring four eyewitnesses. Can someone please explain when was the last time anyone raped any woman in front of four eye witnesses. We clearly have it wrong. These people do not understand Quran, neither they want to. When Allah talks about that he has sealed their hearts and eyes with curtains, he is talking about these Mullahs as well, who refuse to think and listen to anyone but what they believe.

    We need to stand-up to these people and fight. Alternative is very scary!Recommend

  • Jflossy
    Jan 3, 2011 - 3:36AM

    The definition of blasphemy according to a dictionary is as follows;

    n. pl. blas·phe·mies
    a. A contemptuous or profane act, utterance, or writing concerning God or a sacred entity.
    b. The act of claiming for oneself the attributes and rights of God.
    2. An irreverent or impious act, attitude, or utterance in regard to something considered inviolable or sacrosanct.

    These laws obviously need amending so that innocent people are not convicted, but removing death penalty in a conservative Muslim country like Pakistan won’t happen. Recommend

  • VancouverTheory
    Jan 3, 2011 - 9:01AM

    Great Article Khalid! Blasphemy Laws are so Ancient past, it’s time to move forward. I am Non-Religious and wouldn’t even know if I was being Blasphemous, the first time I saw the Muhammad cartoon I was clueless to who that was supposed to be in the first place until the Riots drew attention to it.

    Protesters seem to draw attention to things that would have been un noticed before. All the terrorist attacks and murders have been due to battling Blasphemy, every day the Religion of Islam is dragged thru the mud by these guys. If these groups really care about their faith maybe they should focus on Charity and not Jihad. The body count coming out of this battle is getting rather high and both sides are getting nowhere.

    With multiple faiths comes multiple Blasphemy, every Prophet had to be blasphemous to the Religion it replaced or it would have never got anywhere. I feel sorry for Pakistan’s Government that has this issue dumped on it. This sounds more like a witch hunt to be honest. Anyone can accuse the other of being Blasphemous, it’s misuse can be ridiculous.

    In closing I would say that it would be nice if Pakistan would focus on improving it’s PR and less about Blasphemy or Jihad, it would be a shame for it to get sanctioned again.Recommend

  • Shakil Ahmed
    Jan 3, 2011 - 9:29AM

    The Nation of Pakistan has clearly stated that there would be only Death Punishment of blasphemers in last Friday’s strike, after such a strenght responce, this type of column is a Extremeism Towards the Wishes of your fathers.

    What happend to the Muslims? I recall the history of Islam where the Friends of Prophet Peace Be Upon Him was arount Him with their Sould and Bodies. They were the people who set the trend to Die for the sake of Muhammad Peace Be Upon Him. I recall a Blind Sahabi, who killed a man of often made some blesphamy statements against Muhammad Peace be upon him.

    No Doubt, Islam is the relegious of peice, but on the name of peiece we do not allow anyone to talk any thing about our Prophet.

    If one is trying to search the Quran for the punishment of the Blasphemy, they must also search the Quran for the prayer times, prayers styles, Hajj Style, Zakat Rates, and so many other things. They will come to say the we have decide these things from the LIfe of Our Beloved Muhammad Peace Be Upon Him.Recommend

  • Ehtisham+Rizvi
    Jan 3, 2011 - 10:23AM

    So why is wrong to call an african a nigger? or to call a homosexual a fag? why is wrong to tell the jews that there was no holocaust? and yet you guys are saying that it is ok to blaspheme against virgin mary, Jesus Christ and Hazrat Mohammad (S.A.W.W)? or that we should just ignore it?

    Suppose I come to your house and say nasty things against your father, what will you do? did you see the reaction of PMLN and MQM when their leaders were verbally targeted? I am not the kind of guy who blames everything on the jews but ‘somebody’ castrated the christines especially in America and now they just listen to people blaspheming against their prophet, as a result their youth is more inclined towards atheism now, should we show no self respect whatsoever and just keep our heads down while our Prophet’s honour is at stake? thankfully, the nation has decided against it.Recommend

  • Jan 3, 2011 - 10:34AM

    Dear Syeda Shah and Junaid

    Thanks for your comments. I respect them, but please read my article carefully again. I am not denying anything mentioned in ahadith. All I have done is an attempt to bring them in line with the Qur’an. When we find an apparent conflict between and hadith, there are three ways to deal with the problem: We reject hadith; we allow hadith to override the Qur’an; or we interpret hadith in the light of the Qur’an. My understanding as indeed that of most Muslims is the last one. What I have mentioned in the article is exactly in line with that approach.

    We don’t eat dogs, Junaid, because our nature abhors it. The prophet, alaihissalam, condemned it because he not only explained the Qur’an but human nature as well. Islam wants us to follow our God-given nature as well as the Islamic Shari’ah.

    Khalid Zaheer Recommend

  • Sandy
    Jan 3, 2011 - 11:02AM

    Finest article i have ever read . Recommend

  • Robin
    Jan 3, 2011 - 12:11PM

    Even if there is a slight suspicion or just an accusation of Aasiya Bibi’s blasphemy, then according to Pakistani laws she would be killed. The religious parties in Pak would of course love it and 97% of Pak Muslims including Ahmaddiyya will have to support it. And the best thing after that is – Paki Muslims can stop immigrating to Christian countries and stay and practise Sharia at homeRecommend

  • Hasan
    Jan 3, 2011 - 12:58PM

    You forgeting something Mr Zaheer.
    QURAN Is not everything. “”THE LIFE OF PROPHET SAW”” also has great importance after Quran. You can get some instances in the life of Prophet SAW. He ordered to kill the blasphemers.
    Ok , Lets make the QURAN for everything. Please tell/show me WHERE IS WRITTEN IN QURAN ABOUT SALAT i.e How many RAKATs, How Many FARZ, What To recite etc etc. Surely NOT, You find it in the LIFE OF PROPHET SAW. Everything is Not written in Quran. We do follow life of Prophet SAW as well.
    And I have also heard that NEAR KAYAMAT People will follow only Quran & will forget Life of Prophet SAW and Hadiths etc
    Dont betray people Mr Zaheer.Recommend

  • Kashif
    Jan 3, 2011 - 1:34PM

    Mr. Khalid Zaheer, PLEASE LET THE ELIGIBLE / QUALIFIED PEOPLE Which Includes (ULMA, Sheikh-ul-Tafseer, Sheikh-ul-Hadees, Mufti Hazrat) give Verdict on Such sensitive Issues, You have NO Proven Research on Islamic History. My Dear Brother IF I Abuse You Father or Mother the minimum thing You would do is have Hatred Feeling for me and You will ensure to cut off all possible contacts with me….. Imagine Some one doing simillar or even worst thing for Our Beloved Prophet, or Holy Quran… What and How will you react to that….!!!! Trust Me NO ONE can Tolerate Abuse or simillar for their Parents, than how can we TOLERATE or IGNORE Blasphemy against our Religion, Quran or Holy Prophet who is more beloved and respectful to us than our Parents… THIS IS THE IMAAN OF MUSLIM.Recommend

  • Kashif
    Jan 3, 2011 - 1:40PM

    Another Part of Your Article states about Crimes (Rape / Theft etc…) QURAN and HADEES Clearly states the Verdict of Strict ISLAMIC Punishments and that also to be executed in PUBLIC… UNFORTUNATELY in PAKISTAN we do not FOLLOW SHARIA Completley other wise see what happens in Saudia after Friday Prayers…!!!! ITS OUR SHORTCOMING that we do not Implement and Follow Sharia Laws…. Trust me if we start the Sharia Law there will be no Thefts / Bulglaries and Women Abuse including Rape….. !!!!! (at least the numbers of such crime will reduce significantly). Why in Tribal Areas where still strict Islamic laws are practiced such hidious crimes are almost next to zero… think about it.Recommend

  • faraz
    Jan 3, 2011 - 1:49PM

    Regarding punishment for blashphemy, Imam Abu Hanifa clearly differenciated between muslims and non-muslims. He argued that a muslim who commits blashphemy becomes an apostate so he should be killed. But a non-muslim can never become an apostate so he cannot be killed for blasphemy.

    Death is the highest form of punishment and Quran prescribes no punishment for insulting the Prophet (PBUH). There is no punishment even for insulting the God.

    Quran asked us to offer prayers; Prophet (PBUH) explained how prayers are offered. Did Quran ask us to kill blasphemers? No. Recommend

  • K Abbas
    Jan 3, 2011 - 2:06PM

    **@Kashif**, you are right. There also won’t be an economy. It will be perfect if you are planning on living in tents.Recommend

  • Sohaib Chorawala
    Jan 3, 2011 - 3:03PM

    We are demanding final punishment for AASEYA because ‘the sayings of Mohammed (peace be upon him) has clearly signified that the consequence of blasphemy is only ‘death’ without any objection over the issue. Recommend

  • Asad Shairani
    Jan 3, 2011 - 3:20PM

    Very nicely written Zaheer Sb.Recommend

  • Jan 3, 2011 - 3:21PM

    Dear Shakil Ahmed, Ehtisham Rizvi, Hasan, and Kashif

    The strike in favour of Blasphemy law was a success. I don’t know if this claim is correct. But I take it on its face value. I know people who were forced to go on strike. Don’t forget that the issue of blasphemy is all about threats and fears. If I am disagreeing with the majority view I am not being an extremist in doing so. I am exercising my right to disagree on the basis of the arguments of Qur’an and Sunnah. Is it being an extremist?

    Salat wasn’t learnt through hadith. It was said by first generation Muslims by looking at the companions of the prophet, alaihissalam. Hadith wasn’t even available to everyone in the first few generations of Muslims.

    If people react at the insulting statements against their revered personalities, it is understandable. What I am claiming is that God has taught us to control our emotions in such situations. The love of our prophet, alaihissalam, demands that we behave according to the message he brought. What I am pleading is that the message requires us to be tolerant and not react on the occasions when someone is making negative remarks about our religion. Great Muslims like Umer and Khalid, Allah’s mercy be on them, were converted to Islam after they were staunch enemies of it as a consequence of the tolerant behaviour of prophet, alaihissalam, and his companions.

    Those who want the head of blasphemers are following the opinion of Imam Ibn Taimiyya and rejecting the opinion of Imam Abu Hanifa.

    Finally, are the people who study in institutions where their religious point of view is decided for all times to come even before they enter their premises qualified to speak for Islam and those who have decided to not be biased about any one view disqualified? Are not the Qur’an and Sunnah the ultimate authority in Islam? Does God demand from us blind acquiescence (taqlid) of those who are described as ulama, no matter whatever they say? And what should one do if the very same ulama keep saying things which contradict each other.

    Khalid Zaheer Recommend

  • Kashif
    Jan 3, 2011 - 3:37PM

    @ Dear K Abbas, I would suggest that YOU PLEASE READ Islamic History, The Duration of Khilafat (All four Khalifa) had Sharia Law and the Economy and Public ruling was the BEST…. and by the way this so Called Democracy of today was ACTUALLY Practiced during the Khilafat where even Qazi (Judge) had to be Accountable on simple civil complaints on any bias decision or wrong doing….!!!!! Trade, Commerce, Development was at peak during Khilafat and that is proved in History……. After all having Democracy under Gillani / Zardari or Nawaz Sharif is off NO USE….!!!! What ever is in Quran and Demonstrated as Sunna by our Prophet (PBUH) is the Guide Line to live our lives and it is valid till Qayamat. Recommend

  • Jan 3, 2011 - 3:57PM

    Salam Sohaib

    What happens to Aasia is not my immediate concern. My concern is that my faith is not after the lives of people; instead, it is after their hearts and minds. So long as I am convinced about it, I would like have the right to speak it out. Of course, others have an equal right to say and write what they think is correct.

    Khalid Zaheer Recommend

  • Kashif
    Jan 3, 2011 - 4:01PM

    A point to Ponder…. Has Ever any MUSLIM / Aalim Found Guilty for Naozobillah (May God Forbid) stating any Negative thing about any of the True Holy Books or Those respected Messengers of Allah who were honoured with those Holy Books… Never BECAUSE ALL MUSLIMS have Faith on Allah, Holy Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) and all the messengers of Allah sent in different timings starting from Adam till the Last Prophet and Muslims respect the TRUE preachings of other Three Holy Books including Bible. Even today we condemn Jews or Israel but NEVER state any thing wrong about any of the Messengers even for Bani Israel as stated in Quran. Sir Try to Understand Muslims with True Believe in Islam are the MOST TOLERANT People on Earth. (Allhamdulillah)Recommend

  • Jan 3, 2011 - 5:13PM

    Khalid sahib- I fully endorse your point of view. I think “Blasphemy Law” should have provisions to punish those who come up with wrong interpretetion of Quarn and Hadith just to spread hatered and chaos in the society. For me this is the “real blasphemy” against our beloved prophet Muhammad (SAW) who is “Rahmatalil Aalimeen”. Recommend

  • maitre
    Jan 3, 2011 - 6:27PM

    @Ahmed. Those who talk about the Blasphemy Law’s amendment, ask them to read Surat al Hujurat 49:2… and 48;2… and read what Alllah Almighty has ordained for those who raise their voises above the voce of Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) as punishment, let alone Blasphemize him. After knowing the divinely accredited status of the Prophet of Islam (pbuh), the debate on Blasphemy Law’s amendment will be burried for ever.Recommend

  • Khan
    Jan 3, 2011 - 6:36PM

    Islam was completed when the Koran was revealed in its entirety and with the death of our Holy Prophet (PBUH). The rest is in actuality the history of our religion. While we all revere the four Khalifas, they are in fact a part of our history and not our religion. And we should not forget that three of them were assassinated by brother Muslims – which may suggest that acrimonious politics had entered our Muslim history not soon after the death of our Holy Prophet (PBUH).

    The Hadiths were compliled by the four imams after a gap of many years. The Divine Koran supercedes any thing that was a creation of men, no matter how learned they were and no mater how much trouble they took to compile the Hadiths.

    Please correect me if I am wrong!Recommend

  • Junaid Manzoor
    Jan 3, 2011 - 6:37PM

    There was a Lady who used to throw dirt on Prophet’s (PBUH) head while he was passing through her house. She used to do it daily. One day the Prophet (PBUH) passed through her house but she was not there. Same happened the next day. The Prophet (PBHU) got worried and asked about the lady. People told him that she was sick. Prophet (PBUH) left everything and went to inquire about her health.
    This is the character of Muhammad (PBUH) and this is what he expects from us. Recommend

  • Hassan
    Jan 3, 2011 - 7:11PM

    When I was a child, I was told a story about the Prophet Mohammad (SAW) and since then there have been many occasions when this story was repeated to me by many people. This is how it goes: The Prophet (SAW) used to pass through a street everyday and an old woman would wait for the Prophet (SAW) to pass by so that she can throw her garbage on him…everyday. One day when the Prophet (SAW) was passing through the same street and the garbage was not thrown, the Prophet (SAW) asked where the old lady is today? The Prophet (SAW) was told that the old lady is very sick and in bed. The Prophet (SAW) immediately went to her bedside, and the old lady was shocked to see him. The Prophet (SAW) prayed to God for her recovery and soon enough she not only completely recovered from her illness, but also accepted Islam as her religion.
    I would like to know how many of you Muslims have heard this story and secondly…can anyone please tell me what am I suppose to learn from this story? Does this in anyway describe the blasphemy law?Recommend

  • Jan 3, 2011 - 7:52PM

    Salam Ahmad

    Thanks for bringing in the mention of surah al-Hujurat. That’s precisely what I have mentioned in my article: The Qur’an mentions serious consequences for the blasphemers in the hereafter but doesn’t mention any punishment in the worldly life. Look at what verses 4 and 5 of the surah says. It mentions no punishment for the perpetrators of the crime. It simply urges them to behave..

    Khalid ZaheerRecommend

  • Mohsin
    Jan 3, 2011 - 9:51PM

    Sir Try to Understand Muslims with
    True Believe in Islam are the MOST
    TOLERANT People on Earth.

    …and Gojra incident with burning of churches, bibles and Christians, with no prosecution for perpetrator is a testimony to that. Where is the respect for bibles and all the prophets whose names are mentioned in it?

    It’s easy to make up something; it’s difficult to substantiate it with evidence.Recommend

  • Mohsin
    Jan 3, 2011 - 9:57PM

    Sir Try to Understand Muslims with
    True Believe in Islam are the MOST
    TOLERANT People on Earth.

    Muslims don’t tolerate fellow Muslims (numerous attacks on various sects is a testimony to that) how are they going to tolerate anyone else?Recommend

  • Junaid Ali Khan
    Jan 4, 2011 - 6:23AM

    Dear khalid zaheer. I raed ur article and comments. Very good and pious thoughts. Hope majority underdtands meanings of tolerance. Ignorance and lack of exposer to other religions is the cause, I think. Recommend

  • Naz Ebr
    Jan 4, 2011 - 11:12AM

    If we keep ignoring the blasphemers, I am sure the other day we will be having a caricature of Prophet Mohammad (PBUH) in our local newspapers and joke SMS targeting our holy book and the Prophet (PBUH)
    If someone think death is barbaric and cruel panishment for the blasphemers, why don’t they bash the blasphemers who commit the provacative act in the first place? Recommend

  • Abu Abdullah
    Jan 4, 2011 - 11:38AM

    Dear Hassan,
    Quran is Deen and Hadith is the narrated record of what other people said about the Messenger of Allah (pbuh) and his companions.Quran is complete, comprehensive and detailed about what Allah wants us to do. Therefore criminal is the one who says Quran is short of this and that. Are you ready to say that ‘ Quran is not complete and detailed’ as claimed by Quran itself?Recommend

  • Jan 4, 2011 - 12:02PM


    Some people are lead believe that Qur’an contains all the details of religion. It is a very serious claim. Where exactly is it derived from? Probably the wordings tafsilalli kulli shai in the Qur’an has been erroneously translated as “details of everything”. The fact is that the Qur’an mentions the details of everything important that was needed for guidance at the time it was revealed. That is what the correct translation of the words mentioned in verses 6:154, 7:145, and 12:111is. Otherwise how could one get the way of doing Hajj from the book? It takes the Hajj happening at that time as given and desires certain amendments in it. See 2: 196-204.

    Khalid ZaheerRecommend

  • Jan 4, 2011 - 12:11PM

    Salam Naz

    We must decide first whether we are giving religious arguments or expressing our fears and desires. If it’s a debate involving the latter, I am not interested in it. However, if we are making a religious point, we must come forth with arguments from the text. Let’s not mix the two.

    Contrary to your apprehension, my understanding is that many people in the West resort to such acts of foolishness because they know that no sooner they would do it, a large number of Muslims would start destroying their own assets in reaction and protestation. That is exactly what pleases them.

    Khalid ZaheerRecommend

  • Sohaib Chorawala
    Jan 4, 2011 - 12:23PM

    Being a muslim, I consider it my first and foremost duty to correct ‘anybody’ who is either speaking wrong about ‘hadiths’ or have misconception about ‘hadiths’. I found your words in favor of ‘aasia’, who is undoubtedly culprit in the eyes of Islamic belief. That is why I wrote, and I firmly believe that every muslim never ever want anybody, regardless of either belief, to talk in favor of what is wrong according to ‘QURAN’, ‘SUNNAH’ or ‘HADITH’
    Hadith is not which is followed whenever one want and ignored whenever we like. These are recorded for our own benefits and ‘must be’ followed in any case. Recommend

    Jan 4, 2011 - 1:28PM

    if the govt reduce the punishment the people will do this by self as its the duty of every Muslim to obey Quran and do what is directed by the God, no matter what the states decision is… what if the govt pass the law to bann all the mosques….. and stop people going to the mosque.. what people will do, do they stop… no way… the Authority of God is Absolute…. Obey is our duty, Govt must have to stop doing this sort of mistake.. Recommend

  • Abu Abdullah
    Jan 4, 2011 - 1:45PM

    KZ Sb,

    If “Qur’an mentions the details of everything important that was needed for guidance at the time it was revealed.” then why Allah has left other DETAILS OF IMPORTANT of our Deen on historians and did He took responsibility of safeguarding? Recommend

  • Jan 4, 2011 - 1:56PM

    Salam Pervaiz and Abu Abdullah Sahiban

    Killing is not allowed to anyone except the state, according to the Qur’an, and that too for two reasons only. Killing a blasphemer hasn’t been allowed by God despite the fact that He has mentioned them in the Qur’an. If an individual is going to kill another, he will take the blame on himself of killing the entire mankind. In that case the killer will not follow God’s law; he will follow the opinion of the present-day scholars who are following Ibn Taimiyya’s point of view.

    Qur’an gave important information needed for the time when it was revealed. What historians have done is not God’s revelation. It is their efforts which need to be accepted or rejected on merit. The most important criterion while deciding that merit is the question whether the information is consistent with the Qur’anic text or not.

    Khalid ZaheerRecommend

  • Jan 4, 2011 - 6:32PM

    Excellent article.

    How many times have we been told story of Jewish women throwing garbage on Prophet(PBUH). What did Prophet do in response? You answer’s right there.

    Blasphemy laws are not part of Islam. Full stop.Recommend

  • Yassar Khattak
    Jan 4, 2011 - 8:02PM

    Is the Dean a Mufti too?Recommend

  • Sleepless in Karachi
    Jan 4, 2011 - 8:03PM

    Moderate voices all over Pakistan and the world support this writer. Well done. Thank you for your courage and for speaking for all of us.Recommend

  • Asim
    Jan 4, 2011 - 8:38PM

    Dear Khalid Zaheer saheb and others:

    I read all the comments and noticed that the similar points were appearing from both sides…. and this confusion and lack of clear direction is very understandable. There are many things contributing in hunderance of rectifying the situation. Here are only few:

    The overall literacy rate: People are bound to follow (taqleed) even in matters where Islam wants them to think (words like Illa-talamoon, la-tafakroon, illa-la-taqaloon – invite people to initiate thinking). Tauheed, Prohethood, Day of Judgement, Justice (adl) etc. are only few examples. This lack of ability to think natually ripe the ground for corrupted minds to lead the rotten minds.
    Various mazahibs (sects) – The differences in the interpretations of the islamic laws based on different shariats: As there is no single large majority of shariah followers (as there is in Iran or in Saudi Arabia) no specific sharia can be implemented in Pakistan, and you can not have a single amalgamated Islam to impose as a unified consented shariah.
    Our own immoral ways to live our lives: Our immorality is the hinderance in looking the things clearly. Zulm (injustice) is part of our lives and we cannot survive without becoming a zalim (cruel). For example, we have to pull the water from the main line to get the water for our house, or use the kunda to get the electricity for our kids, and argue with shopkeepers (plain thalaywalas) to get a good deal otherwise we would feel as cheated.

    All of these things has distorted (muskh) the real face of humanity – let alone the Islam – in us.

    The faces of the tyrants mullahs are our real face now. How loathsome we feel about their faces – we are like them from inside.


  • Huda
    Jan 4, 2011 - 10:08PM

    Please publish this in Urdu press, where a voice of reason is more direly needed.Recommend

  • Shariq Noor
    Jan 4, 2011 - 10:21PM

    If there was a punishment for blasphemy in Islam, it should have been clearly mentioned in the Quran, especially in the passages where occurrences of it during the prophet’s lifetime are mentioned

    If the Quran does not sanction specific punishment for blasphemy, why then are Muslims bent upon demanding death for blasphemy?

    that is stupid logic my friend. Shariah Law is not derived solely from Quran. By your logic, I can also now say, that if Quran wanted us to offer Salat, then it should have clearly mentioned the method of offering Salah. Does that sound right to you? I hope not.Recommend

  • Omar
    Jan 4, 2011 - 10:27PM

    I agree with the article completely. Islam is not Christianity so please those who are quoting the Bible try to understand that Islam is better. The Quran is the ultimate authority when it comes to Islam and no hadith is to be taken over the Quran. Those who quote hadith which prescribe the death penalty are the actual blasphemers and THEY should be punished the way they want to punish others. Allah forgives and Allah has the only right to punish anyone in this regard and Allah knows best.Recommend

  • Omar
    Jan 4, 2011 - 10:53PM


    you should read 48:2 and 49:2 again. where does it mention the punishment? it says its better to forgive.Recommend

  • Syeda Bibi
    Jan 4, 2011 - 11:51PM

    Save Islam,before its too late.Dont let it go in the hands of those who are taking Islam in a different direction.These mullahs should be denounced as Kafirs and should be given examplary punishment from the courts of Pakistan.We love our religion and do not accept their new religion they want to impose on us.Recommend

  • Jan 5, 2011 - 12:52AM

    We are not to be judges of others. God tells us he is “Master of the Day of Judgement” we are not. For us to presume to judge what is in another’s heart is absurd and truly blasphemous. We do not have that power. God tells us in his Quran that we are to forgive those who repent, and to be merciful. How does this case give either the opportunity for repentance, or show the court’s mercy?

    Regardless what punishment may have been defined in Quran and Hadith for blasphemy, we are in no position to judge it, unlike the prophet who had the benefit of divine guidance. Recommend

  • Asad Ahmad
    Jan 5, 2011 - 1:04AM

    Excellent article. Dr. Khalid Zaheer is one of the few sane, rational and enlightened voices among religious scholars. May Allah protect him and increase his knowledge.Recommend

  • Adnan jamali
    Jan 5, 2011 - 1:16AM

    @ Syeda Shah

    PROVE IT, if you are truthful.! Recommend

  • Adam Winter
    Jan 5, 2011 - 1:37AM

    I would prefer to take the opinions of the likes of Abu Hanifa, Malik, Shafi’i, Ahmad bin Hanbal, Sufyan at Thawri, Qadi Iyad, Ahmad Rida Khan, who were either mujtahid mutlaq or mujtahid fi’l madhhab and not this Dean of University of Punjab for Arts and Social Sciences. All of the ummah is in consensus (when we refer to ‘ummah’ we are speaking about the ulema of the ummah at a specific time period) that the one who insults the messenger salallahu alaihi wasallam is killed. Read the shifa of Qadi Iyad who clearly states this. This is the ruling in all four madhhabs. The one who denies this has gone against ijma and needs to repent from going against consensus and recite his shahaada again.

    To say the blasphemer has not been killed in the west is ill informed. In fact, in the UK and USA, the one who commits treason is put to death. In Islam, the apostate and the one who insults the messenger salallahu alaihi wasallam are traitors to their state and deserve to be killed. To say the Prophet never asked for the ones who insulted him to be killed is erroneous. When he conquered Makkah with 10,000 sahaba behind him, he asked ‘who will defend my honour?’ and asked for those who used to insult him to be killed. Some of the kuffar ran to the Ka’ba and clung onto it but were still killed. The reason for not killing the munafiqs previously was explained… at the time the muslims were weak, they were small in number and a minority. The Prophet Salallahu alaihi wasallam did not want people to say ‘Muhammad Salallahu alaihi wasallam kills his companions’.

    A man came to sayyiduna Umar and asked him a question. Sayyiduna Umar asked him whom have you asked this question before me. The man replied, Abu Bakr and the Messenger of Allah Salallahu alaihi wasallam. Sayyiduna Umar took out his sword and cut off his head. Why? Is the Prophet’s answer not enough that you ask Umar and Abu Bakr (radhi Allah anhuma)? This was clear disparagement of the Messenger Salallahu alaihi wasallam and thus he was killed.

    In an Islamic state, the khalifa is required to kill the apostate and one who reviles the Messenger of God Salallahu alaihi wasallam. Pakistan has the same rulings. It is an Islamic State, although the leaders are corrupt. It is their duty to kill anyone who reviles the Prophet Salallahu alaihi wasallam as this opens up doors for others to insult him Salallahu alaihi wasallam alsoRecommend

  • Jan 5, 2011 - 2:26AM

    the blasphemy law in Pakistan needs to be repealed!!Recommend

  • Salman
    Jan 5, 2011 - 2:42AM

    It good to having own opinion regarding any stuff.. But the thing you asked for in your Article. You can get your answers from here. Masha’ALLAH you are well educated and mature then me.
    In just few minutes i gathered these links. Hope you can find more if you bit searched after hearing news.


  • Waqar
    Jan 5, 2011 - 2:43AM

    I believe its a very senstive issue and not as simple as many people talking about.
    My openion regarding this issue is, we muslims should have unanimious decesion about the person who does blasphemy act (muslim or non-muslim). The decision must be very clear so that no innocent person becomes its culprit.

    All the examples mentioned are related to Prophets life. When he ws alive then its up to him, weather forgive or give punishment. we have both examples in hadith books.

    If i agree with general openion about no punishment to blasphemr then what do think about Denmark Caricatures……????? Why whole muslim world is bycotting it???? It mean they are innocent????

    If we let the blasphamers as such then very hallerious picture may come in future. I believe every body has seen caricatures (which is normal in west) of Hazrat Issa and hazrat Marium and some times poeple make their caricatures in very vulgar manners. They also behave in simialr fashion in poetry.

    I believe no one can bear such type of things about Prophet Muhammad (PBUH). Quran and hadith has given us the flexiblity of “ijetehaad” . I think current law requires little review but if “Ulema” are not satisfied then go for Ijethehhad. But in my point of view there must be punishment for it so no body muslim or non muslim do it deliberately. Recommend

  • Tabish
    Jan 5, 2011 - 2:52AM

    @ Ahmed Blasphemy punishment in Bible (Old testament) is against the person who blasphemes against God.
    No prophet is God and no such punishment is mentioned in the Bible against any person who blasphemes against any mortal man.

    Dont compare God with menRecommend

  • mann
    Jan 5, 2011 - 4:06AM

    Those who believe a blasphemy law should exist would they care to explain how killing salman taseer is justified with in the scope of that argument. For however sane your argument there are some who have made you all nothing but blood mongers. he who shalt kill one innocent human it is as if he killed the whole of humanity. ( Innocent until proven guilty before a Qazi). who is the blasphemer here i guess those who flaunt the Law of God to create strife and misery. The day we muslims started using our hearts more then our heads was the day we started losing them, as history is witness. we who claim to love our Prophet (p.b.u.h) , we who would die for his honor , we who would kill for his honor have forgotten the first rule to love, which is to follow in His footsteps. Recommend

  • Imtiaz
    Jan 5, 2011 - 5:01AM

    Real blasphemy in my opinion is for Muslims to act in contravention of the traditions of Hadhrat Mohammad (pbuh). We call our selves believers yet do not obey or respect, yet we expect the non-believers to respect, what a strange concept. This can only happen in Pakistan under the illustrious guidance of the illiterate mullah brigade. Muslims and especially Pakistanis, proponents of such laws, should be careful when the rest of the world turns around and start using the same tactics on us things will get ugly.Recommend

  • talat
    Jan 5, 2011 - 5:13AM

    “کسے خبر تھی کہ لے کر چراغے مصطفوی
    جہاں میں آگ لگاتی پھرے گی بولہبی”

    Allama Iqbal

    In my view killing in the name of ‘hurmat-e-rasool’ the human beings to save whom from the fire the Prophet, Rehmatulaalimin, was

    sent by God, is the worst kind of blasphemy. Our nation has now proved to be the

    nation of Nooh, Loot or Yazid which deserve to be punished by God himself.

    What else we can expect from a huge number of students coming out of Mad-

    rissahs fired with Ilam Dini lynch culture to unleash ‘fassaad-fil-arz’ (rampage on the earth)

    and that too in the sacred name of the Prophet, called ‘Rehamatul-Aalimin’

    (Mercy for all the worlds), which is no doubt the worst kind of blasphemy.

    I think we, have no alternative left now, but to appeal to the UN to save the

    mankind from the scourge of the mad mullahs who want to turn Islam, a religion

    of peace, into a lynching cult of the Kali Devi.Recommend

  • Waqar
    Jan 5, 2011 - 5:26AM

    If general openion of house is agreed then, what to say about Denmark’s caricatures ???

    Why whole muslim world is against them?????????Recommend

  • Shahab Raza
    Jan 5, 2011 - 5:52AM

    I’m afraid for all those capable of reading this, this is a case of preaching to the choir.Recommend

  • Jan 5, 2011 - 5:59AM

    Salam Adam Winter

    Thank you for a very eloquent mention of your point of you. Kindly consider the following points.

    There is no unanimity (ijma) on what ijma means. Imam Shafi’I, Imam Ahmad Ibn Hanbal, Imam Ibn Hazm, Imam Razi, to name a few, have crtiticised the concept the way it is understood in its conventional sense.

    The incident of Umer, may Allah be pleased with him, is not reported in any authentic book of hadith. It is being irresponsible to quote such incidents. The incident of conquest of Makkah happened after the deadline for the disbelievers had reached. The enemies of all Rusul were taken to task likewise. Such incidents are not a part of Shari’ah but examples of God’s punishment on the enemies of the messenger, alaihissalam, who received message from him directly.

    Mawlana Wahiduddin Khan, a Mufti from India, wrote a book on blaspjemy which is now banned in Pakistan because the Muftis of Pakistan didn’t like it. I know a Mufti in Pakistan who was beaten up in a Masjid by some fellow Muftis because he dared to form opinions different from theirs.

    Khalid ZaheerRecommend

  • Jan 5, 2011 - 7:09AM

    A very enlightening piece and comments by Khalid Zaheer.

    It is interesting to note that from 1928 till 1980 — the time when Zia incorporated the Blasphemy law — there was not a single FIR lodged against any such blasphemy offence (neither before partition nor after it took place).

    People started misuing the law once sections 295(B) and 295(C) in the PPC were introduced by Zia. Then, there were around 118 cases reported out of which 90 suspected offenders, the non-Muslims, were actually innocents and who had wasted 9 years of their lives behind the bars for no darn reason!

    Mullah lobby and emotional awaam with discriminatory behavior against the minorities have always misused the blasphemy law — the law that is actually deduced by the theekedaaran-e-Islam in Pakistan.

    Today I see that the same theekedaaran-e-Islam have made Malik Mumtaz, the murderer, a hero.
    Ask those emotional fools about “any” Jihaad they are doing honestly except Jihad-e-Bera Gharq-e-Islam!!Recommend

  • Noor Lodi
    Jan 5, 2011 - 8:13AM

    @Maitre. I read both the surah’s. No where it talks about the death penalty. Please don’t add things to the religion. That is a bigger crime then blasphamy. Do not add to the Quran. No one is condoning insulting the Messenger of God or any other prophets or sahiba. But you cannot punish people to death of they do. Recommend

  • Noor Lodi
    Jan 5, 2011 - 8:18AM

    Can someone please enlighten the readers that when was the first Hadith recorded? After how long the Prophets (PBUH) death? No one is arguing that we should not follow Hadith. What is in question is how many hadith’s are actual vs. not? Recommend

  • Mrs. Khan
    Jan 5, 2011 - 9:00AM

    I highly doubt that a poor Christian village woman such as Aasiya Bibi would dare to say anything against Islam or Muslims or our Beloved Prophet (saws), considering her underprivileged minority status. It is clear that the Blasphemy law is a tool to persecute religious minorities in personal disputes, and that her fellow villagers have used the blasphemy accusations as a revenge tactic. The law itself is an evil law and a shame on Pakistan and all Muslims. Even if any person were to commit blasphemy, it is only words. Thanks for this article in which you provide clear evidence of the issue of blasphemy according to the Quran, and thanks to other commenters for providing ahadith to show what the Holy Prophet (saws) did in events when he was verbally attacked (responded in a peaceful and compassionate manner). It is really hard for me to understand from abroad why so many Pakistanis support this clearly evil and illogical law and are after Aasiya Bibi. The country is in a deep ideological crisis. Brave Salman Taseer lost his life for such a good cause, may Allah have mercy on him and ease the pain of his loss for his loved ones. I pray for the safety of all those who are fighting for what is right in Pakistan, and I pray that this nonsensical Blasphemy law is repealed or seriously ammended. God bless Pakistan and steer her out of this dark time.Recommend

  • Usman
    Jan 5, 2011 - 9:04AM

    I love this stateent of Kahlid Zaheer

    “Salat wasn’t learnt through hadith. It was said by first generation Muslims by looking at the companions of the prophet, alaihissalam. Hadith wasn’t even available to everyone in the first few generations of Muslims.”Recommend

  • Aniqa
    Jan 5, 2011 - 9:26AM

    we are the follower of Muhammad (PBUH) the Orphan who changed the world not from his wrath but from his kindness… Do we have the right to punish when Muhammad (PBUH) himself forgave thoes who threw garbage on him and stonned him until he bled? Do we have the right??!Recommend

  • Rana Taimoor
    Jan 5, 2011 - 9:49AM

    Completely disagree what you have said right in the beginning ///// Completely Ignore ///// If u look at the life of Holy Prophet (S.A.W)/// It has two phases //// The life of Mecca and the Life of Madina. In the life of Mecca, he completely ignored any act of personal disgrace but things were not that simple in Madina. History shows Prophet Muhammad (S.A.W) send troops and army to kill and brought the man to justice who acted in a way that may falls into Blasphamy. Islam do promotes peace and harmony but when it comes to Quran and Holy Prophet or any of the 124,000 messengers, its an emotional issue and should be dealt with emotions but should never lost ones own mind.Recommend

  • Syed
    Jan 5, 2011 - 10:12AM

    excellent article. If anyone opposes give proof.

    I dont agree with one point though, about nonmuslims being second class citizen becauseof jazia, muslims are required to pay zakat nonmuslims jazia, just the difference of nomenclature.Recommend

  • Tyrone
    Jan 5, 2011 - 10:36AM

    Someone quoted the Bible, the first text is about when God’s people were preparing to enter a pagan land and also on their journey from Egypt. There are innumerable laws about lepers not being allowed in the community, women being unclean in the time of the period, what to eat, dealing with adultery. These laws were given to safeguard the Israelites from falling into sin and turning like the pagans they were going to live among.
    What happened next? They over a period of time turned away from God and worshipped false gods and blasphemed -God punished them by sending enemies to conquer them.
    The next text you’ve conveniently quoted deals with King David’s greatest sin- he saw a woman , who was married to his officer, took her had sex with her, she becane pregnant and then when he found out he tried to get her husband to go home to her, to cover up, the loyal man refused. Next see what he did he had this man Uriah the Hittite killed in battle to make it look as if it was not by his hands and then took the woman as his wife. You would do well to read how God opened his eyes through Nathan a lovely story.
    David realised his wrong and repented, he prayed to God for the son to live but the child died, he then had another son by the woman Baathsheba, who became Solomon.

    You’ve quoted the Bible but there’s other passages in the Old and New Testament that talk about peace, love and forgiveness and sin etc why not quote those? One where Jesus tells the Jews that the old rule of an eye for an eye is no longer valid, and also about adultery- “If a man looks at a woman longinly he has committed adultery with her in his heart”
    Then there’s the very famous song on Love in St Paul’s letter to the Corinthians.
    If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.
    And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.
    If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned,a but have not love, I gain nothing.

    ‘Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful;it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth.
    Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

    I would advise you not to quote from texts of which you don’t know the context or the background. You make the mistake many Christians make of quoting at random to prove a point.Recommend

  • Angela Y.
    Jan 5, 2011 - 11:30AM

    Jazak’Allah sir for efforting to bring in some logic and food for re-thinking some concepts that many of us tend to lap up as and where we find convenient.. I wish you all the patience in the world at the same time :p to be able to continue what you’re doing with the same zest :)

    @ Sohaib Chorawala
    Hadith is not which is followed whenever one want and ignored whenever we like. These are recorded for our own benefits and ‘must be’ followed in any case >>>>> precisely sir, same’s the case with the way we should treat the Koran.. however, in either case one should sit down and understand the background in which an ayat or hadith was stated – and additionally check for the authenticity of the hadith – before believing what is said and not shut your mind and accept whatever anyone else claims the Koran or the hadith says… even if i blindly go along your concern… i am sure few including yourself, would deny the authenticity of several incidents where the Prophet (pbuh) won over hearts thru his patience and love (his main weapon) even in the face of torture and utter disrespect and insisted everyone around him do the same.. And that he would only wage war or distance himself from those that Allah asked him to… How about we try NOT ignoring THOSE hadiths there haan? …..

    So many of us also tend to be selective in showing our aggresiveness.. why don’t we go kill all those who ever drew cartoons of Hazrat Essa (pbuh) or Hazrat Nuh (pbuh) etc? .. kill the one who shows disrespect to your father.. kill the one who showed disrespect to anyone you idealize.. kill anyone or everyone who angers you, afterall we were born into royalty (muslim families – Allah se kehlwa ke apni murzi ki family main paida huey afterall) and have the divine right to judge others and kill them … let’s all ignore what God requires of us and play God’s role instead… kill kill kill.. dharti se bojh bhi kum hojayega aisay nahi

    P.S. it’s much easier to hate and criticize when you’re not in the other person’s shoes.. condemn what is said wrong of anyone or anything.. and then show those in the wrong, the right path (after understanding what the right path is yourself ofcourse)… THAT is the purpose of a muslim’s life. Recommend

  • Jan 5, 2011 - 11:33AM

    Salam Waqar

    If you read the Qur’an carefully, God has already decided the issue for us: When people make fun of our religion, we are expected not to be a part of them and when they stop doing it, we can rejoin them. Unfortunately, people are not interested to know what the Qur’an says. They want to base their religious opinions about life and death either on incidents reported by individuals or opinions of scholars. Even in case of incidents and scholars they are partial and make false statements confidently. What is going to happen to the image of God’s religion is not their concern.Recommend

  • Jan 5, 2011 - 11:53AM

    Salam Rana Taimoor

    You have every right to disagree with everything I have written. That’s the beauty of a decent debate. You disagree without hating each other. In fact you learn more while disagreeing. None of us is an angel.

    Al-Baqara, Al-Munafiqun, and Al-Maidah, the surahs from where I have quoted, are all Madni surahs. In fact, Al-Maidah is one of the very last surahs revealed.

    My thesis is not that we can’t have a law against blasphemy. Instead, my understanding based on Qur’an is that God hasn’t given any law on it. Moreover, if we come up with a law, it can’t stipulate capital punishment, which is only allowed against two crimes only.Recommend

  • Muhammad Irfan
    Jan 5, 2011 - 12:32PM

    As a Muslim, truly speaking, blasphemous acts will hurt me because i love my religion, i love Allah and i love Muhammad PBUH, So, if anyone talks against any of these listed above, simply it will hurt me very badly and also i know that it will hurt everyone who believes in islam, so there are much chances that will lead to bloodshed. so to avoid such types of bloodshedding events, one should take care while commenting for religious matters, and also to avoid such incidents blasphemy law is well and good in it’s present shape and should not be amended



  • Jan 5, 2011 - 12:40PM


    The first book of hadith that came to the market was Mauta Imam Malik in around 150 Hijrah. Before that, ahadith were pieces of scattered information either transmitted verbally or written in various forms but not universally available. It was only in the third century hijrah that research on their authenticity became more serious and well known when Hadith Imams like Bukhari, Muslim etc came up with their works.

    What we are doing is not preaching. It is a serious discussion. And I am learning a lot through it. The choir, if any, is not consistent. I would say at least twenty percent of the sounds are not in harmony with the rest. But those too are helping in furthering our understanding.

    People are worried about what would happen if more caricatures are created. I on the contrary am worried more about what would happen if we draw away people, both non-Muslims and some Muslims, because of our attitude. Can we imagine which of the two worries would have concerned the prophet, alaihissalaam, more? It goes without saying that it pains when someone tries to insult our religion.

    Are we aware of the fact that because the way we are presenting Islam, not only many non-Muslims are drawing further away from our faith, some of our very own Muslims are also moving towards apostasy. does it not worry those who love the prophet, alaihissalaam? Recommend

  • Omar
    Jan 5, 2011 - 12:52PM

    I am glad to see that the overwhelming majority of people who read this article are sane and logical Muslims…makes me feel we still have hope. Still we do have a serious problem on our hands and that is how to deal with the so called scholars who preach intolerance and rigidity. How do we get rid of the mullahs?

    I was tempted to use this same blasphemy law against a mullah last Friday when while giving his sermon at the Kh-e-Mujahid mosque in Defence he claimed that Hazrat Omar once killed a woman over blasphemy and that Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said he did the right thing. These are the kind of dangerous and false hadiths used by the mullahs to further their cause. A week before the same mullah was trying to say that the Quran cannot be understood by laymen and one needed a scholar’s guidance. In the Quran Allah clearly states that He has made the Quran easy for us to understand and here is this mullah contradicting Him.

    I am ready to fight a jihad against such mullahs but we need a good, honest, learned leader to lead us to so we can get rid of this mullah culture before it ends up destroying Islam. Mullahs are a cancer and we need to find the right cure very soon.Recommend

  • Adi
    Jan 5, 2011 - 3:17PM

    Allah be with you Khalid sb. Its good that you have presented this other side of the debate. I would love to read the book written by the Indian Alim to understand the “other” side of the issue better. Recommend

  • Jan 5, 2011 - 3:23PM


    It really hurts when someone blasphemes against our prophet, alaihissalam. We love him. However, we must understand what are our obligations as his followers. One of the things the message he brought expects from us is that we be fair to all under all circumstances. I know that many Muslims of my country who are eager to demand the head if blasphemers find it a part of their moral obligation to use insulting language against a revered personality of a minority group. This is clear contradiction in behaviour.

    We don’t want to get rid of conventional scholars by force. If we desire that we too are going to fall into the same evil ways as some of them are doing. Instead, we want to offer to Muslims the alternative point of view which is both moderate and genuine. It is genuine in that it is based on the Qur’an and Sunnah.Recommend

  • Sunil
    Jan 5, 2011 - 4:05PM

    One who doesn’t question is not human. We are superior to all other living species on this earth for the reason that we look for rationale behind every thing instead of blindly excepting anything which is told or sold to us.
    Religion is a set of guidelines not to be comprehended without brains and open eyes. When religion is followed with eyes closed and brains turned off, this results in that is happening there in paksitan now.
    ‘Dark letters in a book are no greater and no better than one’s wisdom(by the virtue of his/her brain)’Recommend

  • GH
    Jan 5, 2011 - 5:13PM

    Well If you are living in Pakistan you have to obey the Law of Pakistan, and Blasphemy act is part of Law in Pakistan.
    Why Mr Late Taseer indulge himself into this issue, is he a scholar? He want popularity and gave such statements for the sake of his popularity. I am not Defending the Assasin, but I’ll defend the Law of Blasphemy, whatever West think of us, it is part of Our Religion. And you can’t ammend your religion with passage of time. Recommend

  • Khalid Zaheer
    Jan 5, 2011 - 6:25PM

    According to Awn al-Ma ‘bud by Shams al-Haq Azimabadi, which is an interpretation of Sunan of Abu Da’ud, a famous book of hadith, there is a difference of opinion in case of a blasphemer if he is a zimmi, non-Muslim. Shafi is of the opinion that he shall be executed and his zimmah shall stand absolved and Abu Hanifa said that he shall not be executed because he is committing the greater sin of polytheism (for which he is not punished in this life).Recommend

  • AS
    Jan 5, 2011 - 6:33PM

    GH: I am not aware of what Salman Taseer said or did. The laws of Pakistan are not carved in stone. Laws are there to help people with different opinions co-exist peacefully. If the laws are not working for people or they are misused, then they need to be amended. The blasphemy law, just like hudood ordinance is misused often and creates more chaos in the society (you may have a different opinion here). If significant part of the population thinks it is time to review the law, the legislature should by all means review the law.

    Now, about the law of blasphemy being based on Shariah. It is perhaps time to gather ulemas of Pakistan and let them review the punishment for blasphemy. I am sure we have very well-educated ulemas in Pakistan that can review the shariah law and make recommendations for the law in light of today’s circumstances. Based on ulemas’ opinion, the legislature can amend the law. This way, we’ll bring the nation together and not stand divided.

    Many things in Shariah law are based on opinions and interpretation. With changing times, we can take a less hard-lined approach with the help of the Quran and Sunnah.Recommend

  • Jan 5, 2011 - 8:24PM

    Someone commented that you can’t amend your religion with the passage of time, but I would argue that is precisely what must be done. Even in the Prophet’s own lifetime, he changed certain parts to deal with a changing situation. God does not tell us we must be rigid or unprogressive, in fact we are encouraged to seek new knowledge and to move toward any goal in small steps.Recommend

  • Jan 5, 2011 - 8:31PM

    How does it hurt us if someone blasphemes the prophet? How does it hurt our faith? Really, do you need the respect of the unbelievers to have steady faith? That is the most ridiculous commment I have ever heard. Look to the example of the Prophet and his companions, were the unbelievers in Mecca respectful to them? No, they were not, they harassed them, ridiculed them, tortured and killed them, but was their faith shaken? No. Are we so weak in our Din that we cannot abide the meaningless and empty taunts of non-believers? Did any of you hear “sticks and stones can break my bones but words can never hurt me.” when you were children?Recommend

  • Angelos
    Jan 5, 2011 - 8:43PM

    There are many things which are not mentioned in Quran. It is ridiculous to say that if not mentioned in Quran only, we accept it. We also need to take Sunnah/Hadiths into account and author has not mentioned anything from it. And there are Hadiths which point towards blasphemy punishment. Like this one, Sunnan Abu Dawud 38:4348, Sunnan Abu Dawud 38:4361 and one or two others.Recommend

  • Asim
    Jan 5, 2011 - 9:49PM

    @ Ash meer

    True. When a religion is for the rest of the time and will end at the day of judgement, then that religion must have the ability to mould and change with the changing times.

    Again, this is for the ulemas and mujtahids to guide the ummat in the absence of the Prophet. This is our supreme responsibility as a muslim to make our channels right to get the correct interpretations. This is what we are not doing and that is why we have so many mullahs and so many preachers.

    Identifying the correct channel becomes easy if we raise our own level of mazhab related teaching (by reading, comphrension and logical approach) we will be far more better of. Islam proclaims to be a muzhab of fitrat. So if we go back to our nature (not the distorted nature but the innocent nature) we will find Islam within us. And as human nature adapts with changing times, our religion will adapt too. Recommend

  • Jan 5, 2011 - 10:07PM

    Someone above mentioned Prophet killing his enemies after conquering Makkah – Really? Have I studied different Islamiat or what? Conquest of Makkah is considered epitome of forgiveness. This is what Prophet said:

    ‘There shall be no reproach against you this day, go, you are free.’

    He even pardoned 12 or 13 of those who ha been excluded from the general pardon.

    Do you know what he did to those who threw stones at him at Taif? Forgave them, and prayed for them.

    We, Muslims, derive our Islamic knowledge from clueless maulvis. That’s, according to Shah Walliullah, the most important reason behind he problems Muslims have to face. That’s the reason why he translated Quran into Persian(language of an educated Muslim back then).

    Regardless of what these mullah tell you, Quran isn’t difficult to understand. It was sent as a guidance for all mankind.

    Emotions hinder rationality. Use common sense. What you believe in your heart is more important than what others say about you or your religion. Why can’t we let God be the judge, for once?Recommend

  • mohua
    Jan 5, 2011 - 10:30PM

    thanx for this excellent piece of writing..this kind of law is really not only against islam but also against humanity..islam is a religion of peace and harmony..v should always remember this..this law should really be amended..we are nobody to kill anybodyRecommend

  • Imtiaz Ahmad
    Jan 5, 2011 - 11:01PM

    First of all one thing should be cleared and should be stated very loudely to every pakistani and rest of the world that this law is not against the non-muslims. This is a law valid for all people living in paksitan, muslims and non-muslims. So it should not be questionable by western world and indians as a law agaisnt minorities. So first of all this propoganda should be stopped.
    Secondly this a religious law and not every literate person or scholar or leader of any sect or group has the right to say what ever he wishes in public. As this is also provoking people against something. He should keep his openions with his reference group. It should be discussed only between the people who are eligible for this and between people who know the law and its implications.
    Becasue it is a matter of people’s sentiments, so why we are playing with the sentiments of people, and provoking them for killings. This is bad at both ends.
    We should not say law is kala or it is the most sacred law. It is a law and it should be delt in its perspective only by the authorised people under the constitution of Pakistan. .
    To me bringing such sensitive issue in public creats unrest in the society. The reason is simple this is a nation which is highly sensitive towards religion and is highly illetrate. And we are in the habit of playing and being played with the sentiments. So I request all people who are more knowledgeable and literate, ” try to find a better way to make this nation aware” rather creating unrest and more grey area by talking on the issues on which you are not a knowledgeable person. So let the civil engineers do their work and others keep away from this work, or your home will not a liveable ”
    May ALLAH Grant hidayat to all of us.

  • Sara
    Jan 5, 2011 - 11:06PM

    Very Good.Recommend

  • Imtiaz Ahmad
    Jan 5, 2011 - 11:11PM

    I agree with the Ash Meer comments ” move towards the goal with small steps ” So society should be made good and tolerate by making changes in small steps and not by breaking the mind of people but bending them with knowledge and love.Recommend

  • Imtiaz Ahmad
    Jan 5, 2011 - 11:31PM

    Just to avoid any confusion. I am truely in the openion of keeping this law, As without Mohammad (pbuh) and his Sanctity there is no meaning of religion Islam. So keep this law but make better amendments in the procedure of this law as it should not be missued by anybody for anybody. No distinctions of muslim or non-muslims for this law. It is the procedures of this law and the propoganda of western world that is creating this issue. Otherwise there is no big deal in this law, that peopel are making hue and cry.Recommend

  • Minhaz uddin
    Jan 5, 2011 - 11:39PM

    Pakistan is a barbaric country,nothing new.Recommend

  • jamali
    Jan 6, 2011 - 2:26AM

    xcellent Recommend

  • KKal
    Jan 6, 2011 - 2:30AM

    Woh Nabioun Main Rehmat Laqab Paaney Wallay ….

    Rehmat al il Alaameen

    Mercy for all the worlds

    Taught us forgiveness peace and love

    Insaan e Kamil. The perfect human.

    Forgave his tormentors when he was victorious over them.

    Humanity is fortunate as God sent Mohammed PBUH as a mercy to humankind

    Guide us to the right path almighty God and have mercy upon us.Recommend

  • thinking_tom
    Jan 6, 2011 - 2:40AM


    Thanks for having the guts to do this, I hope to follow in your footsteps one day.Recommend

  • Arslan
    Jan 6, 2011 - 5:11AM

    I’ve asked this question to many people and I’ll Quote their Exact responses.

    If someone abuses your parents in front of you, what would you do ?

    Reply was and would be:

    scream and shout! might hit
    would hit!

    Our beloved Prophet s.a.w.w said:
    “No one can claim Eemaan unless s/he loves Allah and his Messenger more than his/her Parents and anything else in this world”.

    So do you think we can claim Eemaan by ignoring Blasphemy ?

    I don’t say you should hit or kill them, but at least gain that much knowledge to out speak them, Gain knowledge to give them a shut Up call. Gain knowledge to defend you Prophet s.w.w. Raise your voice.
    May Allah Guide us all to the Truth.Recommend

  • Sumair
    Jan 6, 2011 - 10:46AM

    Regarding the punishment for blasphemy in Islam, it is mentioned in the Glorious Qur’an:

    “The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger, and strive with might for mischief through the land is: execution, or crucifixion, or the cutting off of hands and feet from opposite sides, or exile from the land: that is their disgrace in this world, and a heavy punishment is theirs in the Hereafter;” [Surah Al-Maidah 5:33]. In Islam, a person who has committed blasphemy can either be killed or crucified, or his opposite hands and feet can be cut off, or he can be exiled from that land. On the other hand, in other religions there is no other option except capital punishment. Islam at least has four options of punishment for an act of blasphemy.

    In spite of all the negative propaganda in a section of the western media, ironically Islam still happens to be the fastest growing religion, not just in the west but also across the world. The more people try to suppress Islam, the more it will prevail. Allah (swt) will make His Deen (Islam) to prevail over all the other ways of life irrespective of people mocking and ridiculing His messengers. As Allah says in the Glorious Quran: Recommend

  • Anam Aftab
    Jan 6, 2011 - 11:16AM

    Very insightful article!Recommend

  • Waqar
    Jan 6, 2011 - 11:33AM

    Please correct your faiths regarding hadiths…Recommend

  • Yasin
    Jan 6, 2011 - 11:45AM

    Dear Khalid Zaheer sb,

    Your discussions and writings are always very informative and insightful. I have read this article and your comments thoroughly and understand that Quran provides the guidelines to interpret various concepts of shari’ah and one can never get a true understanding of Islam with the help of Quran only. We need sunnah to have a complete understanding of deen. While you have quoted various verses in the support of your point of view, those who favor the death penalty for blasphemy do have reference of various other verses from Quran. Since, these verses (from both point of views) do not explicitly allow or disallow the death penalty for the blasphemy, there is room to differ in the interpretations of respective verses. Of course, the next thing is sunnah i.e. how such cases were dealt during the life of the Prophet SAW. There again, we find difference of opinion about the underlying reasons of specific incidents e.g. At the time of Fatah e Makkah or the reaction to the behavior of Abdullah bin Ubai etc. The confusion prevails as to how blasphemy should be dealt with, if we limit ourselves till that time. Then, we will have to go through the conduct of Khulafa e Rashideen, Aimma i Kiram and Mufassirin. There, we again find two kinds of opinion and the majority of the Aimma e Kiram and Mufassirin were in favor of death penalty for blasphemy. Now, if we challenge the death penalty, that means we are challenging the intellect of Imam Malik, Imam Shafa’i, Imam Ibn e Humbal and many other great Mujtahideen of their times, which, I believe, is not an easy thing. So, it will not be prudent to establish that Blasphemy law (with death penalty) is against the principles of Islam, and also to label it as the exploitation of present day mullahs.

    Both points of view carry weight and have their respective arguments, and difference of opinion should be respected, but when it comes to legislation, only one point of view can be adopted and that will be the one which is according to the wishes and sentiments of the majority of the population of the country.

    Here, I would also like to give the example of Ghazi Ilam Din Shaheed who is undoubtedly a hero of muslims of the subcontinent. Quaid e Azam, Allama Iqbal and all the muslim leaders of that time were supporting him although it was his individual act in the absence of Blasphemy law.

    In a way, this law is not only a deterrence against blasphemous acts, but also a law to safeguard the life of blasphemers who would otherwise have been killed by anyone in rage. No doubt, this law has been misused in past and there is dire need to take measures to stop its misuse. I also lament the approach of those people who are condemning this law in harsh and inappropriate language and terming it a heinours craft of religious fanatics. I reckon that they are no different from religious fanatics as they are having the same mindset but with the opposite extreme. Tolerance is the thing this is required the most in this society.Recommend

  • hina nasser
    Jan 6, 2011 - 11:49AM

    A very intersesting article. Rules and laws are meant to hlp/ facilitate people and not to make life hell 4 someone or to bring misery upon someone. What about death for those who disoey the followings and teachings of th holy prophet,inflict misery and hurt their fellowbeings. There should be a law but it should not be used as a tool to bring death/ pain to someone with whom one wants to settle a score!!! Recommend

  • ali
    Jan 6, 2011 - 11:55AM

    Hazrat Mohammad peace be upon him is rahamutul allameen. we should learn from the practices of prophet what he behaved with his enemies. for instance , the story is about the prophet which i read in my primary class at school that once the women who always threw garbage over him one day she remained absence and the prophet found that she was ill , the prophet went to her home and behaved with her friendly and fulfilled her needs. the infidel women accepted Islam because of prophet’s attitudes and behavior. now we have zero toleration in our society. killing or assassinating someone is becoming our culture, in such situation , how we expect peace and development. all the ignorance is because of lack of knowledge with respect to religion. the debate on blasphemy should be encouraged and everyone should have right to have different point of views. Recommend

  • Jan 6, 2011 - 11:59AM

    There is no leeway in the issue of killing the one who reviles the Rasool Sallallahu `alayhi wa Sallam. There is absolute agreement (ijma’) among the fuqaha on this issue:
    see Imam Ibn al-Mundhir – Kitab al-Ijma article 720

    This article is ridiculous, the whole idea of someone from the Indian subcontinent, who doesn’t even know Arabic, conducting ‘independent research’ in the Quran to discover that the principles Muslims all over the world have adhered to for a century and a half are incorrect is absurd

    see Surah 9 at-Tawbah – ayah 12

    From here we draw the ruling for killing the one who reviles the Rasool Sallallahu `alayhi wa Sallam or reviles the Deen…Recommend

  • Mariam Mahmood
    Jan 6, 2011 - 12:49PM

    For me, the question to ponder is that what makes those people say blasphemous stuff about Islam and Prophet Muhammad (SAW)? They misunderstand our religion and our Prophet (SAW). Is it not so that all around them they see men with long beards wearing Kurta Shalwar and a cap on the head cursing, taking bribes, being dishonest in their talk and business engagements, littering the place around them; in short doing everything that’s ethically not right. And yet they claim to be great Muslims. Pakistan is one of the most corrupt nations in the world and yet it was created in the name of Islam. Doesn’t that make them believe that if these people are “good Muslims”, then all the “bad” stuff that they do must be coming from their religion? If somebody says something blasphemous, shouldn’t we try to educate him through our speech, conduct and writing, and be such a good example that he wants to convert to Islam? Isn’t spreading the word of Allah one of the major responsibilities of every Muslim? If we kill all those who mis-understand our religion, how will we be able to fulfill this duty?Recommend

  • Shafaq Ambreen
    Jan 6, 2011 - 12:51PM

    As-salaam-o-alaikum All

    A very enlightening article i wish all our practicing and non practicing Muslims including me get literate .. literate dosent mean you are a MBBS doctor an MBA a chartered accountant etc… literate means have read Quran with full understanding and be able to realize what is our religion Islam and its teaching is.. this whole chaos is just only & only because of illiteracy towards our religion.. i totally agree with the writer and wish if other so called extremist could understand just the basics and realize the essence of our beautiful religion.. Alas but not the least I will kindly request one of our respected commenter Ms. Syeda Shah on her comment to kindly quote it with reference from Quran or Hadith on the death sentence she has mention, to clarify all of us here to explore and change …

    Jazaak Allah Khairan


    Shafaq AmbreenRecommend

  • Amanat ali
    Jan 6, 2011 - 1:32PM

    I am in opinion that no doubt the punishment of “blasphemy” should be capital punishment with out any pardon by any authority but this should be amended to stop misuse of this law by our * > so called Islami thekedars” *. Being a muslim we can not compromise on the holy respect of Muhammad SAW. But keep in mind that Muhammad SAW forgive all his opponents even the man who eat the heart of Hazrat Hamza and the women who throw dust of Muhammad SAW. There are many examples where Hazrat Muhammad SAW forgive the peoples who committed serious crimes. Islam does not teach us this to kill peoples without any reasons and evidences. Even this job is reserved for the courts who decides who will be hanged, cut hands, and sangsar. * > These maulvis have no right or power > to decide on their own. * We should support this if Govt amend this law but I again said if one is proved of blasphemy he should be hanged no mercy. but investigate first. There are many examples that peoples killed innocent peoples on provoking by so called maulvis as it happed in 1994 when a maulvi blame on his rival maulvi, who was also an Imam and Hafiz, of blasphemy and peoples killed him by stones. terrible. WE SHOULD STOP MAULVIS TO MISUSE THIS LAW AND THE SAME PUNISHMENT SHOULD PROPOSE IF SOMEONE BLAME WRONGLY. GOD BLESS ON HAZRAT MUHAMMAD (SAW) AND ON ALL OF US.Recommend

  • Sarfraz Hussain Naqvi
    Jan 6, 2011 - 1:44PM

    Dr. Khalid Zaheer has opened the discussion well. He deserves to be both commended and commented and I earnestly pray that he will find his reward with Almighty Allah.
    Discussion must remain within the bounds of discussion as mentioned in the Qur’an. One should quit having said “Peace be on you” if discussion turns to be sour.
    The Qur’an is well understood when all verses on a particular topic are focussed for contemplation. It is only the “well grounded in knowledge” [RASIKHOON-FIL-ILM] that should take part in the debate/discussion.
    Parliament is one such forum that should debate such issues. Committee or committees of Parliament tasked to view this or any such like issue must be assisted by the “well grounded in knowledge”
    Open debate or discussion on such issues, ostensibly, may result in more harm than producing good results.
    Mullah, Madrissa and Mosque (MMM) are an integral part of our religious culture. We have to take these along in order to look for positive and long lasting results.
    Once again “well done” Dr. Khalid Zaheer.Recommend

  • Asad M
    Jan 6, 2011 - 3:23PM

    thanks Khalid Sb., for quoting relevant signs from Quran about blasphemy and your perspective and context seems to be quite correct. it is my request to please write such essays in urdu language also to aware the masses.
    thumbs up !Recommend

  • urooj
    Jan 6, 2011 - 3:27PM

    Come on guys…lets get out and see the real faces of these hypocrite mullah. Dont you remember a mullah on Aalim Online calling Prophet(P.B.U.H) “napak” which after Aamir liaquat Hussain’s reaction apologized on Tv and later is said to visit Madinah to “apologize”. Wasn’t that blasphemy, where were these Mullahs sleeping when their own Bearded mate was committing blasphemy. Not a sing mullah condemned or rose their voice over….
    …these mullah keep their children in Birmimgham and Dallas etc….have anyone of them ever chosen their own kids to blow themselves up….Companions of Prophet(P.B.U.H) never use to “send” people to fight against mushriks…they were fighter themselves…
    WAKE UP NATION!!!!Recommend

  • Aly Sarmad
    Jan 6, 2011 - 3:57PM

    the point is what is tolerance leading to? A man throws a shoe at Bush and is jailed for GOD knows how many days … We have some minister or prime minister attending any of our events and all of us stand on both sides of the hallway with our hands folded to welcome him and honor him … strict protocols are to be followed .. bottom line is … for human beings who are our leaders in today’s world .. who we know are dirty and corrupt .. We put in our max to ensure their security, honor and safeguard their and we debate about Blashemy law make it a subjective matter? hah ! this is why there are events being held in the world today such as cartoon contest and draw Mohammad day because the world wants us to accept their hatred towards our religion with a broad smile towards our face. Today they are scared because they know that muslims got Zero Tolerance towards ALLAH & Rasool ALLAH S.A.W and this 1 point is the only thing that can reunite the entire Ummah .. hence they are working on this agenda via using tools like “freedom of speech” .. Democrasy … Dialouge … bla bla bla which even sounds right to you because your so called perfect brought up and education has been on the syllabus they drafted for your kids. The theory you read was written by them, hence their crap makes sense to you. Recommend

  • maitre
    Jan 6, 2011 - 6:01PM

    @Syeda Shah. You are absolutely right. Mr. Khalid Zaheer has quoted passages from the Qu’ran but has failed to differentiate the status of Islam as ‘Islam in process’ and the status of Islam as ‘State Religion and governing Organ’ with all its defined rulings. The three cases he quoted relate to the Prophet’s life and the hypocrats teasing attitude, Prophet Muhammad (SAW) said: ‘what the acts of hypocrats imply is the ‘death’ (Hazrat Omer Farooq (Razi Allaho Taa’la anho) asked permission from him to chop their heads off) but I do not want people (or my enemies) to say that’ what kind of Prophet am I who orders the killing of his followers. He didn’t order their death. But when Islam became the Madina state dominating religion, and when the blasphemers balsphemized, he asked the volunteers to rid of the blasphemers. There are in total five blasphemers out of which four were killed by different companions of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) and one killed by her own husband. Besides, I would ask Mr. Khalid Zaheer to read the following verses in The Qu’ran to know more about Allah’s last Messenegr’s Prophetic status and his divinely attributed elevation : 2:273; 48: 2…, 49: 2… and 40:33, May Allah guide him and help him beg pardon from Allah Almighty.
    It’s true that Islam is religion of peace. At the same time, it has stated certain strict parameters for its followers, and other minorities living besides the Muslims or under the Muslims domination. Allah said: ‘O believrs! raise not your voice above the voice of Prophet Muhammad (SAW) like you raise your voices among yourselves lest all your good deeds turned null and void and you know not.'(49;2…) At another point, He said: O Believers…. assist and honour him…48:2.
    And if any body blasphemizes, he tries to take honour from him and the penalty of this act is ‘death’Recommend

  • Mustapha K.
    Jan 6, 2011 - 7:19PM

    The depressing incident of the killing of the governor of Punjab, Salman Taseer, has increased the gravity of the issue of blasphemy which has already been a hot issue of debate in Pakistan for quite some time. This trend of events is a great threat to the meaning of Islam, Pakistan and the sacredness of human life. There is a dire need to stand up against the ignorance and tyranny by clearly addressing the issue that what is blasphemy and what does Islam says about it? And before everything the ‘Muslims’ must start learning what is Islam. Because there is no greater misunderstanding than if you do not even know and understand what Islam is. I agree with Dr. Khalid Zaheer’s views and further add that blasphemy is a subjective subject which varies according to the personal interpretation of religion. For example, for a Muslim like me may believe that all the non-believers or non-Muslims are committing blasphemy by not accepting the true religious teachings and path prescribed for Islam by the Holy Quran. But am I justified in announcing that all those people are liable to capital punishment? I found this article to be very enlightening and the Blasphemy law needs to be amended, and brought in accordance with the teachings of the Quran. Love for the Holy Prophet can certainly only be demonstrated in more positive and pro-developmental ways opposed to condemning the so-called “blasphemers”. I disagree with extremists who say that the punishment of blasphemy should be death. Islam is religion of love and peace and extremism and bigotry has nothing to do with Islam. The Quran has directed us to spread the message of Islam in an attractive way by using the best available methods. Imagine if every religion kept a wall of blasphemy around it, it would never be able to be spread. I think that the time has come for a major overhaul of our understanding of Islam and how God intended it to be. We must revisit the compliation of the Hadith and validate or reject, purely based on Quran and logic and intellect. I have suspicions that a very large of number of Hadith are simple not true, twisted or do not apply in the current time period that we live in today.It is time that the educated Muslims take the lead on research of the true Islamic spirit and lead the way. Islam as it stands is very dangerous in the hands of a typical ‘Mullah’. We have to protect our religion from our own people who are twisting and exploiting it.Recommend

  • Jan 6, 2011 - 7:54PM

    Great! You should write a book on it. I truly say that who are we to judge anyone. It is Allah’s duty to punish. How can we justify a killing. It is horrible.Recommend

  • Asim
    Jan 6, 2011 - 8:06PM

    @Aly Sarmad

    You are comparing apples and bananas….. take some rational please…..Recommend

  • Jan 6, 2011 - 8:13PM

    I am afraid how many people will get influenced from this man qadri (right or wrong) and what actions will they take. And of course it will open up another very very teasing debate…

    I will never support the actions and words of Salman Taseer but at the sametime I am also afraid what Mr. Qadri’s actions will bring to this nation.

    Our country is not in a position to afford Vigilantes and the moment.Recommend

  • Imtiaz Ahmad
    Jan 6, 2011 - 8:57PM

    @Aly Sarmad
    It is not the fault of Islam or Prophit Muhammad PBUH, that our molvis are not good n thier actions. The teaching of islam are for the whole world and for all ages. You can condem molvis actions, but you should not say that since they are doing wrong on the name of Islam so Islam is wrong as well. All people who are favouring this law does not mean that they are favouring these molvs actions. These peoples are favouring the Sanctitiy of Hazrat Muhammad.
    I strongly condem the actions of Salman Taseer and also of Mumtaz Qadri. But I will not favour for the change of this law, Yes it needs legal procedural changes to make it more effective and it should not be misused by anybody no matter he is a common man or a big molvi. Recommend

  • Imtiaz Ahmad
    Jan 6, 2011 - 9:09PM

    @Marina Khan
    Good logic, why dont you tell govt to stop these laws and courts and do not punish anybody for any misconduct. not even for a murder, and so on………. And let Allah punish these criminals.
    That will be the horrible. So better think before you write any comment.Recommend

  • Imtiaz Ahmad
    Jan 6, 2011 - 9:25PM

    Can you plz make changes in my first msg 28 minutes ago
    it needs to be address @ Urooj and not @Aly SarmadRecommend

  • Whatever
    Jan 6, 2011 - 9:35PM

    @Imtiaz Ahmad: Dude, that’s what your problem is. There’s something, that’s known as “neutral”. Who’re you to decide anything? Well, as you’re going to hell – I don’t have any problem with you.

    Most of the people in pakistan have gotten STUPIDER! There goes the hope for any change in this country. God bless you. May Salman Taseer’ soul RIP.Recommend

  • Jan 6, 2011 - 9:55PM

    @Imtiaz Ahmed Its not like that. Courts and Laws are essential part of society. What i meant was that Who gave the right to individuals to decided killing anyone. These issues should be settled in courts.Recommend

  • Asim
    Jan 7, 2011 - 12:07AM

    @ Imtiaz Ahmed

    There are some crimes where it is better to let it go and let Allah decide on the day of Judgement. I can quote more than more ayats from Quran (read Ayaats of Surah Noor regarding Zina and its punishment – for example). But, as this is very logical argument, I am leaving this to logic only. Whenever you do not have convincing proof to reach a verdict, you should give the benefit of the doubt, and wait for the day of judgement when the Justice will be done in full. Recommend

  • Imtiaz Ahmad
    Jan 7, 2011 - 2:50AM

    When a crime is comitted and it is reported, then it has to be taken a proper legal course prevailing in your country. and only there one can get the benifit of doubt. Benifit of doubt can not be granted by general public.
    Leaving the things to Allah is only when the mater is between two or couple of people and they decided to leave it to Allah rather then reprot it. Once it is reported and brought to public, then it has to go through its proper legal way.Recommend

  • Jan 7, 2011 - 3:15AM

    GREAT article.
    Khalid, you have become very dear to me after I finished reading your thoughts.
    Live well brother, may Allah bless you further strength to achieve this goal.Recommend

  • NS
    Jan 7, 2011 - 8:44AM

    Asiya Bibi, a christian woman who was accused of blasphemy last year became one of the hottest topic of debate . The question we are faced with is “How are we, as Muslims, meant to deal with blasphemy?” According to Dr. Khalid Zaheer “we should ignore people who are accused of blasphemy and tell them that the great man whom they are supposedly targeting in their acts of blasphemy was the one who taught us to ignore their actions and focus on more positive things in life.” I completely agree with Dr. Zaheer as Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance and our beloved Prophet (PBUH) would have done the same, leaving this matter between the person and God. Abdullah Bin Ubay the leader of the hypocrties who commited the act of blasphemy was not murdered, but died a natural death. This shows that the Holy Prophet would not have wanted violence and blood shed. We should show our love to the Holy Prophet in other ways which do not include vioent ways. Another argument that supports Dr. Khalid Zaheer’s answer is that in the Quran itself it is not mentioned that the punishment for blasphemy should be death. Blasphemy is one of the worst thing that someone can do, eventhough I disagree with extremists who say that the punishment of blasphemy should be death but I cannot simpy say that people who are for the blasphemy law are wrong. It is the love for our Holy Prophet (PBUH) that makes us Muslims furious if anything is said or done against our Holy Prophet (pbuh). This would lead to the sad event of the assassination of the Governor of Punjab, Salman Taseer. Some would say it was completely wrong, and some would say it was the right thing to do. In my opinion I truly don’t know what it was, but I do know it was very sorrowful as on the 4th of January 2011, not only the Governor of Punjab was assassinated but a father, a husband, and a friend.Recommend

  • Nasir Shahab
    Jan 7, 2011 - 9:31AM

    Asa Khalid Zaheer Sahib
    Excellent article and very decent replies to the queries. I have watched you, Mr Javed Ghamidi and others from Al-Mawrid institute on TV and Internet and what you are doing are a great service to Islam and the human race. Please keep up the good work.
    Nasir Recommend

  • NS
    Jan 7, 2011 - 9:35AM

    Asiya Bibi, a christian woman who was accused of blasphemy last year became one of the hottest topic of debate . The question we are faced with is “How are we, as Muslims, meant to deal with blasphemy?” According to Dr. Khalid Zaheer “we should ignore people who are accused of blasphemy and tell them that the great man whom they are supposedly targeting in their acts of blasphemy was the one who taught us to ignore their actions and focus on more positive things in life.” I completely agree with Dr. Zaheer as Islam is a religion of peace and tolerance and our beloved Prophet (PBUH) would have done the same, leaving this matter between the person and God. Abdullah Bin Ubay the leader of the hypocrties who commited the act of blasphemy was not murdered, but died a natural death. This shows that the Holy Prophet would not have wanted violence and blood shed. We should show our love to the Holy Prophet in other ways which do not include vioent ways. Another argument that supports Dr. Khalid Zaheer’s answer is that in the Quran itself it is not mentioned that the punishment for blasphemy should be death. Blasphemy is one of the worst thing that someone can do, eventhough I disagree with extremists who say that the punishment of blasphemy should be death but I cannot simply say that people who are for the blasphemy law are wrong. It is the love for our Holy Prophet (PBUH) that makes us Muslims furious if anything is said or done against our Holy Prophet (pbuh). This would lead to the sad event of the assassination of the Governor of Punjab, Salman Taseer. Some would say it was completely wrong, and some would say it was the right thing to do. In my opinion I truly don’t know what it was, but I do know it was very sorrowful as on the 4th of January 2011, not only the Governor of Punjab was assassinated but a father, a husband, and a friend.Recommend

  • SMK
    Jan 7, 2011 - 9:37AM

    The article written above is extremely relevant and well written. As it says, there are no clear punishments written in the Quran regarding blasphemy. The prophet (pbuh) told us to ignore those who blaspheme instead of residing to cruel consequences. The only exception when punishment is acceptable is when one receives the message of god directly from the prophet (pbuh) and denies it. Only under this the guilty can be condemned. Dr. Khalid Zaheer has clearly stated only two criminals are sentenced to the death penalty. Those two criminals would include murders, people who create mischief on earth like burglars, thieves, rapists, and those who threaten one’s life or property. The prophet (pbuh) was a very peace-loving person and avoided violence as much as possible. He would’ve never resided to such cruel punishments. I personally agree with Dr. Khalid Zaheer. Living in a Muslim country, Islam is very strictly followed. Then, why isn’t Islam playing a role regarding these blasphemers? Also, during the prophet’s (pbuh) time, Abdullah Bin Ubay committed blasphemy and the prophet asked all the believers to ignore him, and not take any action. He later died a natural death and the prophet (pbuh) never punished him for blaspheming. The death of our governor, Salman Taseer, was a tragic event. I reheard his whole speech again and didn’t find anything that should’ve resulted in his death. He was simply standing up for Asiya Bibi who everyone overlooked. HE wasn’t wrong in any way and this just shows where our country stands and how narrow-minded and frustrated our people are.Recommend

  • Jan 7, 2011 - 9:47AM

    Someone mentioned the analogy of civil engineers for religious scholars and advised us to leave our religious matters to be decided by our scholars as we leave the construction of our buildings to the civil engineers. The question is that while in case a civil engineer isn’t good enough we would know if the building he constructed collapses, how would we know whether what a scholar is saying is correct or not?

    Another writer said that there was Sunnah apart from the Qur’an which needs to be taken seriously. My complaint is that he/she didn’t read my article carefully. What if the Qur’an and hadith apparently clash?

    Another writer came up with the idea that the Qur’an gives a clear indication that the punishment for blasphemy is death when the book declares death for those who are engaged in a war against Allah and His messenger. In other words war, to him, includes war of words. If that is how we understand the Qur’an, I have nothing to say then.

    Voltaire blasphemed against the prophet, alaihissalaam; Muslims didn’t react to it and Voltaire’s nonsense went almost unnoticed. Later, Salman Rushdie came up with his third-rate nonsense against our prophet, alaihissalaam, and we issued a fatwa for his head. The result was that the filthy book was translated into more than hundred languages and Rushdie remains unhurt todate. .

    Which of the two reactions of Muslims was correct: against Voltaire or Rushdie?Recommend

  • Talha
    Jan 7, 2011 - 10:44AM

    Before writing on the teachings of Islam U need to have full command of the Quran and Ahadith and what were the teachings and practice of Sahaba e karam after the demise of the Holy Prophet. However I am really disappointed to see what you are trying to portray. This is clearly a misguiding article. All thise who praised teh writer plz plz go through the authentic works of our Ulma e Karam, books of Ahadith and Tafaseer e Quran.

    Sorry but Pathetic work. Recommend

  • Ayesha
    Jan 7, 2011 - 5:54PM

    Talha, r u rejecting the AYAHs of Quran?

    First Quran, if not clearly mentioned in Quran, then ahadith with their context and authenticity…. later any tafseers. If you research topics in Ahadith, u’ll notice many contradictions b/c these ahadith were iterated by other people who were present or heard from someone and can have biases of people in it. That is why authentic ahadith have weight (i.e. confirmed by multiple people in the same way).

    Noone has a right to take law in their own hands. Its the state’s responsibility. I suggest that u read Khalid Zaheer’s replies to comments, all of them. I suggest u read Quran first before u give comments. Recommend

  • HappyFeet
    Jan 7, 2011 - 7:13PM

    @Khalid Zaheer.. and to the person who put forth “War of Words”

    War of words is to be fought with war of words. An eye for an eye

    .. a bad deed has to be fought with a good deed. Unless the deed threatens life, integrity and belongings.

    Have you ever killed Shetan in your demagh, when shetan convinced you to perform a sin.

    An eye for an eye is not only translated into its physically manifestation. It has deeper meanings. If someone publishes something blasphemous about our Prophet PBUH, we should publish the actual facts and make a true case.

    If only Islam was spread through force (sword), we would endorse killing of people. Recommend

  • Abu Abdullah
    Jan 7, 2011 - 7:28PM

    @Talha said: plz plz go through the authentic works of our Ulma e Karam, books of Ahadith and Tafaseer e Quran.

    Anyone interested to see the ‘works of Ulma -e- Karam’ then please goto:

  • Salman Shah
    Jan 7, 2011 - 8:53PM

    A great article Sir, wish we can get more sane voices like you in this regard. Killing in the name of religion has to be stopped, I guess by force now.

    And how about all those 500 so called Ulemas who not only lauded that sick Qadri but also issued fatwa warning people not to attend the late Governor’s funeral ?? They are the real blasphemers..bury them somewhere with all their hatred & filth. Recommend

  • xEe Sheikh
    Jan 7, 2011 - 10:19PM

    Well first of all we should stop trying to be Moderate Muslims there are just two codes…either you are a practising Muslim or your are a non practising Muslim…now here the last thing we want is the west to play with our beliefs just like they do with theirs…i. e fredom of speech leading to false stories regarding prophets(esa)`s (nauzobillah) illegal life line…yeah thats how far they can go n they dont care about it so yeah we have to stand up and tell them that its wrong and we wont tolerate that because its our code to respect our prophet(SAW) and we would not allow any one that mean ANY one to do it if he does……….hes dead! simple and plain rule! thats how pure we are and we will be so all the whiners mullas r the specialists they are prayin when u r drinkin and doping and talkin wid ur girl ..etc etc and i can bet ppl here saying that we should ignore blasphemousness should think how many times they prayed to Allah today because trying to be a wannabe will always end up being confused and delusional and quoting things like that we have no right to say that!…I am proud to be a Muslim and Insha Allah i will never tolerate this! my entire life!..Islam doesn’t tell us to kill anyone for real but it also doesn’t tell us to stay quite and retarded while others disrespect our prophet! People who wanna do that can wear bangles n start living in their homes!…we are lacking people with balls anyways its all a bunch of scared pidgins that fly even if someones cracked a stone!Recommend

  • Sheila O'Sullivan
    Jan 7, 2011 - 11:42PM

    Dr. Zaheer,
    Thank you for writing such a clear article, one that is easily understood by a non-Muslim.
    I only have one objection to your posts: We in the West do not celebrate or find it in any way amusing, when Muslims in various parts of the world demonstrate violently in response to cartoons. I am a Christian. I follow the teachings of Jesus. It is difficult to understand the intolerance exhibited by some Muslims. It is also frightening. Since fear and ignorance are the cause of so much violence in the world, I am trying to stop being ignorant. Articles like the one here help to educate those of us in the West who would rather understand than fear, or despise. I applaud your courage and conviction. Recommend

  • Jan 8, 2011 - 3:26AM

    Dear Dean,

    This is what you expressed, came into my mind through a lil reading of Quran.You put some references of Quran those were clear already for all,but unfortunately we have 10% out of 100%community living here in pakistan,who can think and percieve accurate.I am very Happy after reading your written expression based on truth and references..MashAllah.
    i also appreciate from readers comments, one is( Actually) and other one is Faraz..and many others..
    May Allah make this unfortunate incident a ‘Light’ to get a true knowledge through Quran Hadith, and many other sources are exist in 21st century.And make this a trigger for the truthful knowledge and practice.Ameen..
    and for sure we all love our Islam and our prophet…(PBUH)..Recommend

  • Fatima Faisal
    Jan 8, 2011 - 3:38AM

    i was thinking over this again n again and infact has been discussing with my husband and friends tht during prophets MUHAMMAD’s (pbuh) own life there were so many blasphemy cases but never ever they were punished a death sentence..
    and i fully endorse views of many others above tht islam never ever preached killing !!!!Recommend

  • Abdur Rahaman2
    Jan 8, 2011 - 11:21AM

    No any Muslim can say that Blasphemy law should be abrogated. Nor Shaheed Governor Taseer said so. When he said It is a black Law, that clearly meant that Law is not wrong but its formation style was wrong because record shows, that many Christians were managed to entangle in these type of cases due to some personal problem. Court works on witness but it is quite easy to prepare false witness in Pakistan. Because there is no any hard punishments for the culprit who provides the false witness. Unless truthful witness is assured. Justice dept in Pak is useless and dangerous.

    Taseer Shaheed was a great civilized brave person. He knew thru his sources that That Christian woman is punished in this case due to person enmity.

    This is worst kind of example that a Religious fanatic Mumtaz Qadri has murdered a great man and Mullahs are supporting a criminal.

    Most shameful is, that there are hundreds of Mullahs who are supporting this murder and making that criminal killer as their Hero & no one is there to arrest them..

    Here My colleage [not from pak] was smiling upon this murder when he read that news of horror and he told me, now we know, why Pakistan is failed to control Talbans. I asked why? He replied ” because whole Pakistanis are Crazy Talbans”.

    Army and Government must hang that Criminal killer in front of Public and must arrest all those Mullahs & Lawyers who showered flowers on that Killer and These all supporters of Killers must be sent to Prison for Life. If power is in our hands, we will not leave even one Mullahs who are supporting killer in their speeches even now.

    Mullahs & religious-fanaticism are Cancer of Pakistan. We bet with you that PAKISTAN IN NO WAY & NEVER EVER CAN proceed froward unless these all Crazy-Mullahs are sentenced to death and Madrasas that breed killers like Mumtaz Kadri are closed permanently.
    These Mulahs have no any love for Prophet. They are just nasty hypocrite actors. Make that Mullah a Hajj minister, who claim that he is lover of Rasool, we bet, he will steal mony from Hajis.
    If this liar Killer Mumraz Kadri who acted as a Lover of Prophet was made Minister; he would had stolen millions from funds.
    Pakistani Mullah have in fact no religion; neither Muslim nor Hindu nor Jew. They are only one thing and that is a group of HYPOCRITE MONAFIKS.
    I am top recognized scholar of Islam & I know, Quran never allow such kind of killings. No ways Recommend

  • Zubair
    Jan 8, 2011 - 11:34AM

    I am impressed by this article and just wish that for once, in this world full of hate and blood, we can learn to spread peace and tolerance through our religion and cultureRecommend

  • ercelan
    Jan 8, 2011 - 12:28PM

    why are we stuck in the quicksand of what is and what is not blasphemy, and what is or is not the divine punishment for blasphemy? universal human rights demand equality of all citizens in expressing opinions. State and society refuse to punish those who incited, even rewarded, murder of salman taseer. Did Salman Taseer have lesser right to life?Recommend

  • A.D
    Jan 8, 2011 - 2:27PM

    Islam is a religion of peace and it teaches us to be tolerant. Now days people are using Islam to fulfil their own hidden agendas. The recent incident of the murder of Governor Salman Taseer proves that people living in Pakistan have no freedom of speech. The image of Pakistan has already been portrayed negatively and as an extremist community and this act worsened it more. Who are we to decide the punishment when there is judiciary present in our country? We people are to be blamed for the discrimination we face in the west. At this point of time the growing number of extremist groups and how they are coming in the way of the success of the country and ruining its image should really concern the people of Pakistan. We people need to think before we act or say anything about anyone. I’m not trying to take sides here but trying to prove a point that we have no right to kill anyone. Prophet (P.B.U.H) himself used to forgive everyone regardless of what they did to him. The recent incident of Blasphemy should have been handled properly with complete investigation and the Supreme Court of Pakistan should decide the punishment to be given to the guilty. No individual is entitled to decide what’s wrong or right on a personal level just on the basis of their religion until the other person is proven guilty. Recommend

  • Imtiaz Ahmad
    Jan 8, 2011 - 4:56PM

    @ Khalid Zaheer,
    How whould you know the scholar’s sayings are correct or wrong……… Simple compare these sayings with other porminent and unbiased scholars, even if still can not decide, consult most prominent religious scholars of other nations, like India, Saudia and egypt and specailly Jamia Al-Azhar Egypt.
    This is the problem in pakistan………….Literate people get anoid from Islam just because of stupid and narrow minded molvies of mohal’s and street’s and like people of Qadri. And start questionaning the rules of Islam. They start giving their own verdicts of islam. This creats confusion and more religious sectors, nothing else.
    This is the reason that we see more religious groups in Pakistan only then in any other islamic country in the world. You can see Saudia, egypt, turkey, Indonesia, Malaysia. Bangladesh…………. Paksitan is the only country have most different religious groups…. This itself shows that many of them are on wrong directions.

    Reason…… every scholar and somewhat literate religious person thinks that whar ever he is understanding Quran and Ahadith….. that is true and starts saying these publically and starts writing books. and hence another geligious group is formed.

    . Recommend

  • ahmed hassan
    Jan 8, 2011 - 7:01PM

    since the murder of Salman Taseer i have been wondering how Would our beloved Prophet Mohammad SAWW himself react/ treat to a blasphemer? and i have read this article. Some of my brothers have argued that Mohammad SAWW Himself announced death penalty for blasphemer but they didnt mention any source to confirm. I would request them any source as i need to confirm. And i really dont know why the old lady who used to throw garbage on Mohammad SAWW comes into my mind. The people who threw stones and wounded Mohammad SAWW come into my mind and the response from Mohammd SAWW was to forgive them. so just please enlighten me. Right now i agree with the article as it has arguments with all the sources. So any one who who could provide me the sources against this article would be welcomed. thanksRecommend

  • Jan 8, 2011 - 7:57PM

    I am saddened that there are not more people in this forum who question the actual accusation of blasphemy against this woman. We can spend all the time in the world arguing the correct punishment for blasphemy, or arguing whether Salman Taseer was correct or incorrect as there is no urgency in those issues. HOWEVER, a woman, who is most likely innocent is being held and tried and in fear of losing her life… we should be making every effort to assure that the woman is truly guilty of what she is being charged with. I have known many non-Muslim Pakistanis, and they were never at all disrespectful of Islam or its prophet… after all they knew who was in charge, and what the penalties would be. In that climate do you think it is really likely that this woman really blasphemed the prophet? And by blasphemy we do not just mean an exclamation in the course of an argument or something like that, blasphemy has to mean a heart truly turned against the prophet, and with the intent of bringing him and his followers down.

    After all what happens to this woman is ALL our concern, If she is killed, it is on all our hands, and the sentence does not simply affect her, but her family (a husband who will have to raise his children without their mother, children who will grow up without a mother, parents who will have to bury their child) and community as well (people who will no longer see themselves as Pakistanis first and Christians second, but as Christians at odds with Pakistan), and eventually all of us, as the inevitable consequences follow. Do we really think her children and close family will grow up to be more kindly disposed towards Muslims or their fellow Pakistanis?

    My guess is that this accusation is more likely someone being jealous or spiteful, than a true case of blasphemy.. .and our nation’s absurd blood lust for this woman is only tainting our entire society.Recommend

  • Noor Naveed
    Jan 8, 2011 - 7:58PM

    This article is very interesting and the fact that he has supported it with passages from Quran makes it more reliable. I think no one has the right to take anyones life. Also taking law in your own hands shouldn’t be an option. If law s taken in an individuals hand then things will not turn out to be good. Recommend

  • QMA
    Jan 8, 2011 - 9:20PM

    I fully agree with Mr.Khalid Zaheer. We should ignore people who are accused of blasphemy. Almighty Allah has been sending his messengers to show mankind the right path. Some people believe them while others teased and tortured them. Prophets prayed to Allah to punish the disbelievers they did not do this by themselves. Allah punished the disbelievers in his own way for example by sending strong winds, stoning or heavy rains. Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) is the last Prophet. He is said to be “Rehmat-e-Alam” for all times to come. I have read the story of the old woman (disbeliever) a number of times who used to throw trash on Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) whenever he walked by her house. One day when she didn’t do this Prophet Muhammad went to her to find out the reason. She was ill. Our Prophet wished her well and brought her water. Instead of taking revenge he was nice to her.
    I believe if somebody spits on moon it comes back to him. Prophet Muhammad (P.B.U.H) is such big personality that Allah created this world for him. If somebody says anything bad about him no harm is done to his image. Allah says that he himself would protect his Prophet and Quran. So we should leave it to Allah to do the Justice.Recommend

  • Kabir Das
    Jan 8, 2011 - 11:12PM

    Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities.
    Voltaire (1694 – 1778)Recommend

  • M R Zafar
    Jan 8, 2011 - 11:40PM

    Thanks Zaheer Sahib
    I feel indebted to you for voicing the opinion of the sane amongst us and may Allah bless you and keep you safe. The blasphemy law is not sacrosanct and should be done away with. Only the ignorant use violence to deal with difference of opinion. Neither the Danish cartoons nor the supposed remarks uttered in some remote field of Punjab make the Prophet of Islam (SAW) less revered a person but the actions of His misguided followers certainly undermines the principles that he personified and taught. May we follow his example and pray to Allah(SWT) to grant them guidance and forgive their misdemeanors and foul their vain attempts to create discord and mischief on earth! Ameen. Recommend

  • Amber Salimi
    Jan 8, 2011 - 11:40PM

    I’m still confused! I don’t know what a person should really do when coming across blasphemy. But what I do know is that a judge or court room is no place to be deciding that. A person needs real proof to be able to accuse someone of blasphemy, otherwise any other person could just accuse the person they hate of committing blasphemy and that is what is happening. The blasphemy is used by people in many ways to accuse innocent people they hate of have problems with. Now I think everyone knows that, that is not right! But how to deal with someone who is saying something blasphemous about your religion to your face? I know that growing up as I did studying in an American School with all kinds of people I did come across many circumstances where my friends or colleagues would be saying things to me or I would over hear conversations about Islam that were shockingly blasphemous but I remember myself even as a child just thinking to myself about how I felt so sorry for the people who were committing such acts. They were so misunderstood, so misguided and they were on the completely wrong path. I used to pray to Allah in my mind to give those people wisdom and to help them join the right path. I would say Astaghfirullah to myself and make sure to try and stay away from such talks. Many times in school I would even come across conversations in class discussions about Islam due to the circumstances in the country mostly I would just try to change the topic because it angers me A LOT when people say horrible things about my religion and it makes me want to say horrible things to them but I try to change the topic so that I don’t have to get mad and do those thing. When worse came to worse I would even just walk out of class! So I do agree with what Dr. Khalid Zaheer has said about how we should just try and avoid people, situations and circumstances in which such issues are occurring. But what if ignoring it just makes it worse? What do I do then? I have learnt that patience is virtue! Is that what we do in such situations? Be patient. There are even limits to how much patience a person has. We can’t be like our Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w). He (s.a.w) has incredible patience. There are numerous stories from his life that show us and teach us to be patient. One of the most amazing ones being the one about the woman who would throw garbage on our Prophet (s.a.w) everyday. Imagine how much patience a person would need to be able to endure such things everyday! That woman converted to Islam after that incident. How incredible a story! Just amazing! These are the things that lead me to believe that the blasphemy law maybe should be amended and not only that it should be gotten rid of! People need to learn to deal with issues by themselves and not have to take everything to the level of the court and turn it into a big issue. Recommend

  • EA
    Jan 9, 2011 - 12:31AM

    According to me Blasphemy should be dealt with execution but the main issue is that did the person (alleged blasphemer) really insult Prophet Muhammad PBUH or is it just another case of blaming others because he/she hates the other person. I personally think that people if they actually insult the Prophet PBUH those people should be trailed in courts and if it’s true then they should be harshly dealt with. People running ballistic with Kalashnikovs killing alleged blasphemers isn’t what’s written in the Quran. The Quran teaches to live in peace and harmony with others. Some think executing people just for insulting Prophet Muhammad PBUH is pure fanatism, others say it is written in the Quran therefore it is their duty. Some say that Prophet Muhammad PBUH never harmed anyone even those that threw garbage at him. Others say that it was only Prophet Muhammad PBUH who could forgive blasphemers but we cannot. Here in Pakistan as you know its always choatic, people don’t get justice, food and shelter. Most of the people in Pakistan are frustrated and despise the government. Everyone reading this article would know that the Governor of Punjab Salman Taseer was assassinated for commiting blasphemy so fanatism isn’t the only factor to consider. Recommend

  • Hara
    Jan 9, 2011 - 1:59AM

    To an outsider, the above quotes from the Quran are really scary. I will, from hereon, think twice before setting foot in any country that calls itself Islamic.

    “they were forced to live the life of second-rate citizens and pay Jizya, the non-Muslim tax (Quran; 9:29). Only those Jews and Christians who had not only denied the Prophet’s (PBUH) message but had also gone on to tease, insult, and threaten his life, were considered worthy of being killed like their counterpart polytheist disbelievers of Makkah”.

    Why should I be killed no matter how important the person I criticize/deny might be? Why should anyone be forced to live as second rate citizens?

    In treating disbelievers or atheists, Quran is not different from any other religion. But at least secular governments have helped them breathe freely. I doubt that would be the case when the country calls itself Islamic.Recommend

  • Imran
    Jan 9, 2011 - 3:04AM

    In the surahs u mentioned, there is no mention at all of the death penalty

    , Reuters reported:

    However, in a sign of how confusing Pakistan’s politics can be, pro-Taliban cleric Tahir Mehmood Ashrafi condemned the killing of Taseer, saying the law was man-made and not divine. “It is the product of extremism and fanaticism which is damaging for an Islamic society,” said Ashrafi. He said the clerics’ association which he heads has 5,000 members.Recommend

  • Khalid Zaheer
    Jan 9, 2011 - 6:08AM

    Dear Hara

    There is no reason for you to be scared on learning about these quotes if you also know that their application was meant for an era when God had maniifested His truth in its clearest form. Such mentions were never desired by God for other occasions. Unfortunately this reality hasn’t been appreciated by many Muslims even though it has been described most clearly in the Qur’an. That is what scares me; and that is what I am trying to clarify so that the beautiful message of Islam appears attractive to the good non-Muslims like you as well.Recommend

  • Khalid Zaheer
    Jan 9, 2011 - 7:34AM

    Salam Sheikh

    You’ve mentioned that those who support a moderate version of Islam are non-practising Muslims, who drink and are indulged in all sorts of vices while the practising Muslims are the ones who are not moderate. I want to inform you that the prophet, alaihissalan, whose love is inclining you to present your understanding is reported to have said that the one in whose heart there is even a slight hint of arrogance shall not enter the paradise. And on being enquired, he clarified that arrogance comprised of two things: refusing to accept the truth and looking down upon others as inferiors.Recommend

  • Khalid Zaheer
    Jan 9, 2011 - 11:21AM

    Dear Sheila O’Sullivan

    The reason why you find many Muslims intolerant is that they have been trained that way. They are given to listen to only one point of view which is presented in such emotional way that no other view has any possibility of claim to truth. We find therefore that when a view different from theirs is presented, they react in an unreasonable way. I remember I mentioned in a discussion with a Christian friend in Britain that I believed Jesus was not the son of God, he too reacted very strongly. The gentleman was a Georgian.

    What makes you tolerant is your realisation that others also have a belief like you have yours. The other person is also quite as convinced as you are that his view is correct. Also, when someone talks against my religion, I tell myself that he/she doesn’t know it; that’s why he is saying it. I must therefore do my best to remove his misunderstandings. Also, when someone is critical of my religion, I blame myself for that.

    You have to be an ignorant, rigid, and narrow-minded person to be intolerant and reactive.Recommend

  • Khalid Zaheer
    Jan 9, 2011 - 2:32PM

    I received a message which mentioned a few incidents reported in hadith which inform us that apparently some blasphemers were put to death on charge of blasphemy. Those ahadith are the basis of the opinion that the punishment for blasphemy in Islam is death. The following was mu response:

    Assalamo Alaikum Brother Fahd Khan

    Thank you very much for your kind message and the link. I have read them both. Kindly consider what I am writing sympathetically as well.

    The Qur’an is completely silent about punishment for blasphemy. All verses mentioned for the purpose are either condemning the act of it or warning of dire consequences in the hereafter. On the contrary, there are many passages that talk of the mischief of hypocrites and Jews and urge believers to ignore what they were doing. We also know that the Qur’an mentions murder and mischief on earth as the two reasons why a person could be killed. 

    Given these facts, the mention of killing of blasphemers in the hadith during the prophet’s, alaihissalaam, lifetime, there could be two ways of explaining them. Either what is mentioned in hadith is the ultimate expectation of Islam on blasphemy which was gradually implemented, like the ultimate punishment was gradually implemented in case of alcoholic drinks. The other possibility is that the mention in ahadith pertains to the people who were guilty of denying the message of the messenger of Allah and it was implemented on some of them. To me, the latter possibility is more likely because the Qur’an very clearly mentions that the people who reject the message of a messenger of God (rasul) their punishment is death. I therefore see no conflict in the Qur’anic descriptions and the incidents mentioned in ahadith.

    What transpires from the above is the fact that the hadith mentions an era-specific requirement and not a Shari’ah law meant for all times to come.Recommend

  • leela
    Jan 9, 2011 - 5:37PM

    the final judgement is always with Allah.islam is based on two things sncerity to our creator and showing mercy to his creation.Recommend

  • hassan
    Jan 9, 2011 - 7:54PM

    I think that anyone who commits blasphemy should be punished harshly. But this should happen through a proper way. Salman teaser committed blasphemy and was shot by his guard 26 times. That is not the way to handle this. He should have been taken to court and punished by the law. People cant take the law into their own hands they need to follow the proper way even if its hard or unsuccessful. People who insult Prophet Muhammad PBUH should be punished with exception but by the proper authorities not by the people even if it doesn’t work out it should be dealt with proper care and not people with guns and bombs. There should also be proof because their many cases when people just get blamed for committing blasphemy when they did not actually do it. So thats why this should be handled in proper care. Recommend

  • TAH
    Jan 9, 2011 - 11:04PM

    I totally agree with this article it is a true eye opner and shows us that there is a problem with our people. Though the blasphemy law to some extent might be wrong the major problem is the problem that our people love to take matter into their own hands. As EA has mentioned it is just a matter of who you like and who you don’t. It is not hard for any person to find witnesses today and frame the other person. What our people actually need is education and a law that claims that a person is innocent until proven guilty. When i say guilty I mean that the verdict is given by a judicial body not a village court composed of the elders of the village. People should also be educated enough to know that there are other ways to solve problems rather than leading to the death of their enemies. The government should also amend the blasphemy laws (as it is difficult to get rid of it). The consequences for a false report should be made harsh so that people refrain from actually reporting so many casesRecommend

  • Kabir Das
    Jan 9, 2011 - 11:09PM

    Recently a friend of mine who is an agnostic came to Pakistan and started praying the following prayer 5 times a day and 7 days a week:
    ‘Oh, God save me from your followers’.


  • HQ
    Jan 9, 2011 - 11:11PM

    I hope this article serves as a , “wake up” call for people who think that by putting the blame on others they can seek some form of approval from their peers. Dr. Khalid Zaheer does a great job of not only expalining what the real message of the Quran is but also by backing it up from examples from the Quran and the Hadith that back up this idea of peace and tolerance. A quote from the prophet himself who told others to forgive ignore and forget the blasphemy of non believers. The Quran also doesnt give muslims any reason for making fun of the blasphemers as it only says that they dont know the truth. I really liked the 3 examples of blasphemy given in the Quran and in each one of them no one died. Furthermore even people of other faiths werent killed. The only people that died on causes of blasphemy were the people who threatned the prophet and the well being of his followers. For those people who will try to talk about death punishments for blasphemy let me just clarify what Dr. Khalid Zaheer said. There is no certain punishment for blasphemy. I would also like to add to the fact that when you apply this to the case of Aisia Bibi, dont only think as some one who’s idea of islam only comes from people you know but try to think for your self. Is there any solid proof that she said it. Secondly if she said it why is her family being tortured. I urge all of you to see the BBC interview of her family. Her father got kicked out of her job, her daughters out of school. People cussed them and arent letting them leave their house. What these hypocrites have given her, is a fate worse then death. If she dies, she will see her family tortured and eventually killed. Look at it as a person. How would you like to be blamed and sent to prison waiting to die. I am proud of Dr. Khalid Zaheer for opeining up the eyes of some of the people, who were for her killing. If we still cant let it go then not only are we going against our civic duty as muslims which is to forgive but we are giving up our humanity to live in a just world.Recommend

  • Noor Naveed
    Jan 9, 2011 - 11:28PM

    Blasphemy has become a really big issue in Pakistan. Many people have been losing their life and no one has freedom of speech anymore. The world has become really corrupt and people have started taking law and order in their own hands. People do not understand that if they take law and order in their own hands, things will get worse. No one has the right to take anyone’s life for something they believe in.
    This article talks about how this is wrong and Pakistan is going in the wrong direction. It also gives evidence from the Quran which is enough to support that what is happening in this country is wrong. Allah has not given the permission to kill someone no matter what they said as he is up there watching and will give punishments himself. Khalid Zaheer has presented us with some really good evidence, which shows us that what was done with Salman Taseer was wrong. Pakistan also is under the Maulvis who tend to stay things, which is not true, plus the country is already corrupted. This article is very interesting and an article which explains and clarifies what the Quran says and who are the Blasphemers. Recommend

  • Adil
    Jan 10, 2011 - 12:22AM

    Asslamu Alaikum Warahmatullah Wabarakatuh to everyone!

    I happen to join this debate late and I am seeing that there has been no comment for last few days. That might be because of the sad incident that occurred in our country, the murder of our Governor. I am not favouring his statements here but his murder has cleared few things that our soicety is not yet ready for or has not enough space to to talk with logic because a person only picks up the gun when he is out of logic. The rule of debate is that each side should come up with their views, evidences and logic and then they should leave it to the people to decide. The one with weak logic will lose. This is the universal formula adopted in every society and same approach was adopted by ALLAH as when we read Quran, the polytheists are repeatedly asked to think, observe, ponder or to come with logic to support their view.

    Anyway I should come back to the topic ‘The Blasphemy Law’. I will start with the saying of Imam Shafa’i that “I am convinced about the veracity of my opinions, but I do consider it likely that they may turn out to be incorrect. Likewise, I am convinced about the incorrectness of the views different from mine, but I do concede the possibility that they may turn out to be correct.” I have been listening to Ullema’s, Analysts, Social Activists and Common people for last many weeks. The thing I have noticed is that majority of Ullemas (by Ullema I mean Ullema of Pakistan) and people are not adopting a correct approach to understanding this law or any other concept or law of Islam. The correct approach consists of the following three steps:

    1) Analysis: Analysis means understanding a situation, set of circumstances or a whole process by studying parts of it and the relations between them. Analysis is performed to discover qualities, causes, effects, motives and possibilities.
    In Islam it would mean collect all the relevant, sufficient, accurate, complete and reliable information (i.e Hadith) on the concerned topic.

    2) Synthesis: Developing generalisations for a situation, set of circumstances or a whole process. It means combining individual components or parts that have relation to produce a a whole that makes a meaning.
    In Islam it would mean that the collected ahadith, after analysis, should be combined in way that do have some meaning with concerned topic. For example that ahadith relating to blaspehmy should be left with blasphemy law but ahadith which are related to specific war times are not ahadith regarding blasphemy. We need to look at the background, causes and motives which would easily identified after analysis.

    3) Evaluation: And the last step is to evaluate which means relating a situation to predetermined standard or primary principle.
    Here in Islam it is definitely understanding the ahadith in the light of Quran the Meezan.

    This is is the correct approach to understand any concept or law in Islam. This is indeed the approach adopted by all the Fuqhah’s and the writer Dr. Khalid Zaheer is is asking to do the same.Recommend

  • Adil
    Jan 10, 2011 - 1:20AM

    Now what I have noticed that our Ullema’s and due to them majority of people are making mistakes in either understanding or/and explaning this law. They are making the following three mistakes which majority of my brothers in this blog have made too:

    1) Picking up a single hadith or aayat as law: Now I have seen that Ullema’s are presenting a single hadith or aayat in islolation and explaning it as a law where as Fuqhah never did it. We need to collect all the relevant data on the concernced topic and then analyse it to see its background, its reason to understand its true motive. If a single hadith could be a law or direction then there can a simple question for Hanafis that why do not they recite Surah Al’Fatiha in ‘Ba-Jamat Prayer’ when there is clearly a sahih hadith narrated by Hazrat Abu Huraira (R.T.A) that Prophet Mohammad (S.A.W) told him that there is no prayer without surah Fatiha and then Prophet (S.A.W) told him to recite in heart. But Imam Abu Hanifa did not adopt the approach of today’s Ullemas. He collected all the ahadith and then tried to understand them in the light of Holy Quran and to him the aayat which says listen attentively when Quran is being read held more importance because it was the aayat of Quran.

    2) Mis-relating the aayat or ahadith to the laws or concepts: Recently I have been noticed that Ullemas has started relating those aayat or ahadith to the laws which even Fuqhah’s did not mention in their books or in the chapters of hudoood but Ullemas or Imams in their khutbas are presenting those hadith and are trying to relate them with blasphemy. Now if there is any hadith or aayat that explains the love for prophet or ethics for behaving in front of the Prophet then it does present any law. Similarly if there is any aayat regarding state of war then it is not the aayat regarding blasphemy. Specially the aayat of Surah tauba which says to kill every disbeliever but if we go just two aayats ahead it says to provide a safe assylum but Ullema only present the first aayat. Similarly there is aayat in Surah Tauba which forbids munfqeen to blashpemise Allah’s ayaat but if we do not know the background we are told that ayaat was for everyone. If we also read full Surah Tauba then we come across the words of the leader of the Munfqeen who died the natural death so we need to relate the relevant data with the law and not misrelate. Quran is very clear in presenting laws if we just look at it. It explains laws for murder, fasaad fil ard, theft, rape, prostitution, divorce, inheritence, or even the concepts are explained in detail. We just need to follow the consistency of book.

    3) Interpreting Quran in the light hadith: Where we needed to interpret ahadith in the light of Quran, the Ullemas started doing vice versa. I would like to quote Tariq Mehmood Hashmi of Al-mawrid here “when we say that the hadith should be understood in the light of the Qur’an and not the Qur’an re-interpreted in the light of hadith that does not mean that no hadith can be used as a tool for understanding the Qur’an. There are instances when people change the clear meaning of the Book in the light of hadith. The Qur’an claims to be a clear book whose intent is clear and understandable. It has been transmitted through tawatur (generations to generation mode of transfer) while the hadith is zanni (probable). This does not allow us to alter the apparent clear meaning of the book in the light of a zanni source.”

    Now when look at Blasphemy law in this way, then we understand that why there is no death penalty for blasphemy because the ahadith which are presented are either not sahih or they are not related to blasphemy. Actually they are related to the specific time period when Allah’s message became clear for everyone and every loud and explicit blasphamer was punished but that was a certain time period. We can easily see that in Sahih Bukhair Prophet Mohammad (S.A.W) is ordering to kill Ibn Khattal and his two daughters but after Fatahe Makkah the Prophet announced complete freedom for everyone and here I would like to mention which Ullemas do not tell that Ibn Khattal’s one daughter was killed but other blasphemer daughter was forgiven. Similarly there are was one Sahabi who was slipped by the satan and who joined the group of infidels but Prophet forgave him too. So we need to see that why some in Madinah were killed who were loud blasphamers but in Makkah after the war were forgiven. Imam Abu Hanifa clealry understood this and that is why his statement is mentioned Awn-Al-Mabood Sharh Sunnan Abu Dawood that no zimmi should be killed for blasphemy as he/she is already is commiting a bigger sin that is shirk but he is of the opinion he/she can be imprisoned for habitual blasphemy. Why Imam Abu Hanifa did not consider death penalty for blasphemy surely raises a question that we need to think. It also raises a question that if Ullema tells us something we need to investigate because we are continually told there is Ijma on this topic but there is not.Recommend

  • Abdus Samad Khan
    Jan 10, 2011 - 1:28AM

    Great manipulation of words but I’m afraid you forgot to study Quran Surah Tooba verse 61 (9:61) and Surah Ahzab verse 57 (33:57). All those who speak ill of Allah or the Prophet (S.A.W) will face a painful punishment and torment. A Blasphemer will suffer torment and punishment in this world and the world after! Isn’t this clear enough for you ??

    Besides your interpretation is selective and out of context, I suggest you beg for forgiveness because you might ended up losing your faith in this article! and thats a huge bargain!Recommend

  • Adil
    Jan 10, 2011 - 1:49AM

    Well here one brother has mentioned that Imam Abu Hanifa considered death Penalty for an Apostate well he is right but not only Imam Abu Hanifa but all five Imams hold the same opinion but now if we look at the implementation of their intrepretations in different countries we come to know that it is simple to pass a judgement on someone. Well in Pakistan we do it like we call someone with a pet name but when we look at the real cases in other Muslim countries we see that uttering only blashpemic words do not make someone an apostate. The court looks at the extent of the words and assess the person’s belief too to pass the judgement.
    In 1999, a university professor Ahmed al Baghdadi of Univeristy of Kuwait, uttered blasphemic words regarding Prophet but he was only punished for one month because he was not considered a disbeliever though his words were blasphamic.
    In 2005, In Jordan three journalist published some blasphemic words but again they were only punished for 6 months.
    In 2007, some students Tehran published blasphemic remarks regarding Prophet (may ALLAH always keep us on the right and we never do such thing). But they were also not executed to death.
    Now other than this, there have been numerious cases in the recent times. I could have mentioned the words uttered or published by them too but my concern was to clarify my point. Anyone can check on internet. The primary thing is that all these countries are Muslim countries where either Sunni or Sheeya Sharia is implemented. Some of these countries simply do not consider a death penalty for blasphemy for a Muslim unless he becomes an apostate. In all these mentioned cases the culprits uttered words far more worse than anyone can think but the court decided that their belief is sustained. In last feww days another case arose where President Zardari was about to forgive Aasia Bibi but our Ullema raised a question that how can anyone forgive a blasphmer as it is not allwed to anyone but ALLAH. I would like to tell that a Turkish Barber arrested for blasphemy in Saudia Arabia in 2007 and he accepted his crime. The punishment was announced to death. He made an appeal to the higher two courts but rejected. At last he sent an application to King Abdullah who forgave him in 2009 on the grounds of repentence. Now this gives rise to two questions.
    1) Do our Ullema tell us that Fuqhah also mentioned about repentance in books and if anyone repents than the punishment can be forgiven. No because we are not told in detail the law. The law in one line law. It consists of many things. It divided between muslim and non-muslim, habitual and non-habitual, younger and mature, single and married, male and female, the one who repents and the one who does not and many more but our Ullema will never tell us that.
    2) In the things of our interest we idealise Saudia Arabia as mentioned here that the true picture of Islam is presented in Saudia Arabia after friday prayers but now when King Abudullah can forgive a blasphamer, we will never idealise this logic because it goes our interest. Anyways we need to see that the Muslim world consists of 1.6 billion people and many do not agree with our opinion in many factors. I respect the opinion of others too as long as they talk and come with logic but I feel sad to see such events when people pick up guns and do not go to the law. I feel more sad when our Ullema support those people who do not go to the law. Anyways I will wait for others’ opinion.Recommend

  • J_N
    Jan 10, 2011 - 3:33AM

    Dear Khalid Sb,

    First of all, I would like to say that I agree with your point of view regarding the blasphemy law. You mentioned that certain ahadith speak of people being killed apparently for blasphemy but that the punishment was era-specific and not meant to a part of Shariah Law. I would be grateful if you could study the following hadith for me and give your opinion on whether it falls in the same category of being era-specific or if there was a certain context in which it was valid, because it seems to imply that no recompense is due for the killing of a blasphemer:

    Narrated Abdullah Ibn Abbas: A blind man had a slave-mother who used to abuse the Prophet (peace be upon him) and disparage him. He forbade her but she did not stop. He rebuked her but she did not give up her habit. One night she began to slander the Prophet (peace be upon him) and abuse him. So he took a dagger, placed it on her belly, pressed it, and killed her. A child who came between her legs was smeared with the blood that was there. When the morning came, the Prophet (peace be upon him) was informed about it.

    He assembled the people and said: I adjure by Allah the man who has done this action and I adjure him by my right to him that he should stand up. Jumping over the necks of the people and trembling the man stood up.

    He sat before the Prophet (peace be upon him) and said: Apostle of Allah! I am her master; she used to abuse you and disparage you. I forbade her, but she did not stop, and I rebuked her, but she did not abandon her habit. I have two sons like pearls from her, and she was my companion. Last night she began to abuse and disparage you. So I took a dagger, put it on her belly and pressed it till I killed her. Thereupon the Prophet (peace be upon him) said: Oh be witness, no retaliation is payable for her blood.[Sunnan Abu Dawud 38:4348, Sunnan Abu Dawud 38:4361]Recommend

  • Abbas
    Jan 10, 2011 - 8:04AM

    I have read a lot of the comments posted in this article and a number of other opinion pieces that have been written about this issues. Now ignoring the debate as to whether an act of blasphemy was actually committed or not, one of the points which I believe hasn’t been give any thought is: What actually is blasphemy? How do you define it? Is it a thought or an idea? Is it some thing practical like the actions of a person? The dictionary definition of blasphemy is: irreverence towards a holy personage, religious custom or belief. Now using this definition and based on historical facts I think there were numerous acts of blasphemy that were committed against Islam and specifically the person of the Holy Prophet (PBUH) during his life. What could be more irreverent than attempting to kill him and this was attempted numerous times like just before the migration to Medina and then again during numerous battles. In fact during one battle (Uhad) he was even injured. Many of the people who attempted such acts actually later converted to Islam and became some of the closest companions of the Prophet. Why where they not punished for their actions? Did they not learn the error of their ways and find redemption at a later stage. If they had been punishment for such “sins” with death wouldn’t these people have been denied the option of finding redemption and salvation through the message of God.
    Weren’t the pagan Arabs in a constant state of blasphemy before the coming of Islam. Did Islam not come as a way to redeem these people? If the punishment for blasphemy was death shouldn’t Allah have just destroyed mankind? I’m sure some people will argue that before destroying everything Allah revealed his religion but had He not already revealed His religion on numerous occasions (124,000 times to be precise based on what the Quran says). So any time people had rebelled against Allah’s and his Prophets’ messages shouldn’t Allah have destroyed mankind completely. He did not because the doors to salvation are always open. A person always has the option to repent and obtain salvation. In fact this message is present in the very first line of the Quran which we repeat at the start of every verse and every action we perform as Muslims and say that Allah is the most beneficent the most merciful.
    The Quran speaks to us and tells us that Allah is kind, forgiving, merciful, wise. Why have we the Muslims forgotten these attributes of Allah. In fact if we study the Old Testament, we see a vengeful God who has sent mankind to earth as a punishment and for the sins of Adam and Eve which have still not been forgiven and the crucifixion of Christ was an act meant to delay the vengeance of God till the last judgement. The Quran says that God not only forgave Adam and Eve for their sin but in fact declared man the best of creatures and His vicegerent on earth. It seems to me that the Muslims have somehow adopted this concept of a vengeful Allah from the other prevalent Abrahamic religions and have completely forgotten His mercy and the message of the Quran.
    I pray that we the Muslims can some how find our way back from the brink and find Allah again.Recommend

  • Omair Rana
    Jan 10, 2011 - 9:09AM

    Jazaak Allah!Recommend

  • AK
    Jan 10, 2011 - 10:57AM

    A very enlightening and well written article that depicts the ‘true’ unadulterated Islam I am a follower of. Thank GOD we have still have people who promote the true voice of Islam.
    What I fail to understand is that one of the foremost principles of Islam is that no human has the right to take another life, only ALLAH creates life and has the authority to take it whenever HE wants, than how can we call ourselves Muslims if we (by killing) are going against the very foundation of our religion. Unfortunately, ignorance will destroy us thanks to the mercy of our so called ‘informed’ Ulema who don’t know a thing about Islam. They are the real blasphemers, the real enemies of Islam through their ignorant views. In no way can Salmaan Taseer’s death be justified. A Muslim is not one who boasts about how religious he is as most of our ‘ulema’ do, a Muslim is one who speaks the truth and is just – that is what Salamaan Taseer was. He never took any ones life – instead his life was taken.Recommend

  • Jan 10, 2011 - 11:38AM

    I endorse your views completely from beginning to end! May Allah give the strength to logical Muslims who do not distort this beautiful religion of peace and forgiveness.

    Thank you for voicing these much needed facts!Recommend

  • Kabir Das
    Jan 10, 2011 - 12:25PM

    If in Islam the punishment for blasphemy as envisaged by our so called Ulma-e-Karam is indeed death then I would rather be a non-Muslim.Recommend

  • Kabir Das
    Jan 10, 2011 - 12:54PM

    “According to the Quran, only two types of criminals can be sentenced to capital punishment: those who are guilty of murder, or those who create mischief on earth.”

    If so then I am afraid most of our present lot of Ulma-e-Karam who are up in arms even against the review of our existing blasphemy laws are guilty of both these crimes.Recommend

  • Sarfraz Hussain Naqvi
    Jan 10, 2011 - 5:33PM

    Struggle between right and wrong is going on since time immemorial. Words and wishes of our Creator Lord are, though very clear, but amply distorted by the hijackers of the messages of the Messengers of our Creator Lord.
    Hijackers and the Inheritors of the way of life desired by the Creator Lord have been and will continue to at war with each other employing all possible arsenal in their armory.
    Hijackers mostly rely on use of brute force while the Inheritors usually make use of the logic and reason for their view point to be heard and understood.
    Hijackers enjoy more nuisance value because of the tactics employed by them. The Inheritors DO NOT have such value because of their strategy of putting across their viewpoint.
    What is to be done is already decided. We have to decide which group we belong to and then keep moving forward as earlier decided.


  • Kabir Das
    Jan 10, 2011 - 11:14PM

    With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.
    Steven Weinberg (1933 – ), quoted in The New York Times, April 20, 1999Recommend

  • Sarfraz Hussain Naqvi
    Jan 11, 2011 - 5:50PM

    @ Dear Kabir Das it is incorrect to blame religion for the folly’s of bad ones who use the name of religion to cover their ill deeds.
    No religion teaches aggression or ill treatment to other humans. Even the animals and herbs (in fact every thing that we see) have their prescribed place in the scheme of life of all humans.
    PEACE is the ultimate and real desire of our Creator Lord that all humans must aim at.It is only ironic that humans feel pleasure in killing other humans and that too in the name of religion. Recommend

  • Muhammad Bilal Abdullah
    Jan 11, 2011 - 6:55PM

    Dean said “Indeed, making profane remarks about the prophet is a crime, but the one committing it neither declares a war against Allah and His messenger nor does he struggle to create mischief on earth.”
    Really?? How do you work it out??Recommend

  • Adeel
    Jan 11, 2011 - 8:16PM

    A certain gentleman Mr Ahmed, quoted here from the Bible regarding the old testament… well there is also this quote from the bible that is considered as the bedrock of christian faith- ‘If someone slaps you on your right cheek, turn your other cheek to him as well’ Mathew 5:39
    Christianity practices forgiveness.

    Little does he even know the context or its implication. For in reality no country in the world practicing Christianity as the state religion carries out such hideous and heinous act of taking out someone else’s life because they spoke ill about the word of God.

    Islam created its protection clauses …. why because it couldn’t stand competition??? it couldn’t stand another point of view??? or has it been interpreted in this manner because the people who practice it are insecure.

    Human life has the greatest value in the world, and that is and should be at the center of every religion practiced in the world. If that is not the case then the religion stands void.
    keeping an open mind is of the utmost importance towards the interpretation of the word of God.
    Everyone here needs to understand this that what held true thousands of years ago would have a different interpretation now.

    Focusing only on blasphemy law and jihad i am sure isn’t the only focus in Islam; what happened to piety, forgiveness, kindness, compassion… or are they virtues taught only in Christianity.

    The Muslims can start by being more honest and upright in there daily and personal lives and making an effort to practice tolerance and patience.Recommend

  • Khalid Zaheer
    Jan 11, 2011 - 8:40PM

    Salam Brother Bilal Abdullah

    The Qur’an mentions the insulting attitude of hypocrites in many passages, three of which I mentioned in the article on which these comments are being made. If you are having difficulty in reading the article, I am repeating their references and add a fourth one: 2:104, 4:140, 5:57-58, and 63:8. Please read them carefully; all of them are mentioning insulting attitude of people followed by God’s instructions to ignore them.

    While the Qur’an proudly claims that the reason why one can feel confident that the Book is from God is that there are no contradictions in it, many defenders of the faith are bent upon proving that the reality was other. If a poor chap tries to prove that the Qur’an is indeed consistent, he is met with sarcastic remarks.Recommend

  • Fida Ur Rahman
    Jan 11, 2011 - 9:03PM

    May you live long Sir!Recommend

  • Muhammad Bilal Abdullah
    Jan 11, 2011 - 9:36PM

    @Khalid Zaheer:
    Well yes those verses do make me think….and I am sorry for being sarcastic….Insha’Allah I will search it out and then talk about it.Recommend

  • Fayyaz Shah
    Jan 11, 2011 - 10:01PM

    Did Prophet Mohammad order to kill the woman who threw garbage at Him every time he passed?Recommend

  • Kabir Das
    Jan 11, 2011 - 10:21PM

    Sarfraz Hussain Naquvi says: ” it is incorrect to blame religion for the folly’s of bad ones who use the name of religion to cover their ill deeds.”

    Sir, surely Malik Mumtaz Quadri is not using religion to cover up his folly. What he seems to be doing by his ill deed is to cover up the folly of his religion. And that is the crux of the whole matter whether you like it or not.Recommend

  • Kabir Das
    Jan 11, 2011 - 10:33PM

    Sarfraz Hussain Naquvi says: “.It is only ironic that humans feel pleasure in killing other humans and that too in the name of religion.”

    Kabir Das says there is no irony whatsoever in it. You will discover this by referring to the holy scripture of various religions particularly the Abrahamic religions.Recommend

  • Stephen B.
    Jan 12, 2011 - 2:08AM

    Dear Mr. Zaheer,

    I am glad that finally moderate forces of Islam are coming in the mainstream against the extremists. I would like you to know that my intention is not to offend anyone here, but i am here just to ask a few questions about your faith as I was having an argument with my Muslim classmates about why Islam is an extremist religion. They were trying desperately to defend the violent parts of the Koran e.g. the part where you need 4 witnesses for rape victims, or stoning to death, or cutting a thief’s hands, or killing a person who decides to quit Islam etc. My question to you is that why do you desperately defend something which maybe outdated now? Why doesn’t your clergy work to make amendments and get rid of the violent parts if you people claim that majority of the Muslims are moderate? Do you think that human mind is so incapable that it needs these books for guidance, if yes then you can see how the west got rid of the church and has prospered ever since, so why the need to have a book which is causing so many problems all over the world? Why let religion dictate your lives such that it puts people’s lives in jeopardy and the effect is such severe that not even the top officials of your government are secure anymore?

    I am sorry I have put forward too many questions with my limited knowledge about Islam and Muslims, and again i apologize if I offended anyone. My intention was nothing more than gaining knowledge, or maybe guidance.

    Stephen B.Recommend

  • Muhammad Bilal Abdullah
    Jan 12, 2011 - 6:54AM

    @Stephen B.:
    Are you joking? This debate is not about moderate or not? Its about whether the blasphemy law is right in the light of Qur’an or not? The debate IS NOT and WILL NEVER BE about the righteousness of Quran and I think Mr. Zaheer will agree that Qur’an can never be wrong and can NEVER BE amended. The laws of Allah clearly mentioned in Qur’an can NEVER BE changed.
    Moreover, you said
    “the part where you need 4 witnesses for rape victims” the victims are NOT the ones put to death rather they are symphathized with…it is those who rape are put to death and there is NO doubt about it that it is the law of ALLAH.
    and you said:
    “or cutting a thief’s hands”
    there is NO doubt about this punishment too, it is the law of Allah.
    and you said:
    “killing a person who decides to quit Islam etc”
    for that visit this link:

  • RK
    Jan 12, 2011 - 11:18AM

    I totally agree with Mr. Khalid Zaheer and his views. As in the article Mr. Khalid talks about how the it is not mentioned anywhere in the Quran that the punishment for a person who disrespects the Prophet (PBUH) should be sentenced to death. Another incident which gives us an example of how it is not right to kill someone who disrespects the Prophet (PBUH) is that when the old women used to throw garbage on the prophet everyday when he used to pass by the prophet (PBUH) ignored her rather then sentencing her to death. Then when that old lady got sick the prophet (PBUH) used to go to her house and take care of her. Is it not written in the Quran that we have to follow the teachings of our prophet (PBUH) ? Is this what our prophet taught us to kill someone because he was trying to help a minority ? This is nothing but jahaliat, people think they are very pious by giving their life and killing innocent people. Extremists don’t even know what the Quran and prophet (PBUH) actually teaches. Asia bibi case i really don’t know what the actual story is behind this and if she actually said this or not. Because the problem with this law is that it says you need two witnesses who have saw or heard you disrespect the prophet (PBUH) and in Pakistan Christian’s are minorities which makes it difficult for them to live in a muslim state. People use this law the wrong way, they accuse people because of their personal problems with them and just give two witnesses, which you all know is not a problem to find in Pakistan especially if their is no punishment is the witness is caught lying. Why would the witness hesitate to lie if their is no punishment for him. On the F.I.R reports when they write how the accused person disrespected the prophet they also add things from their own, is that not disrespecting our prophet (PBUH)? This law is used only against the minorities, and Asia bibi also say’s that she did not say anything like that. Then one heroic police officer who had taken the oath to protect the vip on whose duty he was appointed to killed the vip himself, but breaking the oath is totally right acording to him, isn’t it? Recommend

  • Bakari
    Jan 12, 2011 - 10:05PM

    @ Stephen
    Dear as u confess at ur own that u have little knowledge about islam and Quran. I do agree that u dont have any knowldege about Quran However being old is not the guarantee that it should be replaced or repealed. The Quranic principles are universal in nature as u said the rapist is being punished to death, it is the real justice. What will a person himself do if his daughter, sister or wife is raped???? Think at urself. it is the question of common sense he will surey kill him. (Put urself in this situation and then think what will u do, answer honestly)However the Quran needs 4 witnesses to justify the allegations in order to avoid the innocent to be punished. Dear U must read and study the Quran carefully and then analyse it.

    When u people have thrown the church, firstly Church has been thrown because Bible has been amended for many times and thus lost the accuracy or divine nature. and by throwing church u know people at u have lost sacred lives. Rapes, aclohol, and other social crimes are common. Older parents r thrown to old homes no family life.

    Dear if u study the Quran and Islam in true sense u will be impressed by it. individual actions of Muslim are not representative of Islam.
    As for as blasphemy laws are concerned these are justified that person who blasphemes Holy Prophen must be sentenced to death. No doubt it is the Sunnah of Allah. Read Surah Hujrat chapter no 26 in which it is said that a person who increases his voice more than the prophet’s his good deeds will be vanished/ erased/ destroyed and he will not be known to it. and the need which is felt in said pakistani penal code article 295 c is that procedure to execute or prove the accused’s sin must be envisaged in a way that any innocent person may not fall prey to it and perso who wrongly blame someone on blasphemy law must be punished likewiseRecommend

  • Kabir Das
    Jan 13, 2011 - 12:04AM

    @ Muhammad Bilal Abdullah

    You had said: Well yes those verses do make me think….and I am sorry for being sarcastic….Insha’Allah I will search it out and then talk about it.”

    Sir, may I venture to ask you what has been the outcome of your research. I am eager to know the Quranic references for death being the penalty for blasphemy.Recommend

  • Khalid Zaheer
    Jan 13, 2011 - 6:58AM

    Dear Kabir Das and Stephen B.

    I didn’t want to initiate or be a part of a new debate while we were dealing with a very important and sensitive issue. But then it’s not my prerogative to decide what is to happen when. Your points are well taken.

    In my ordinary opinion, Kabir, while there is nothing better under the heavens than a good religious understanding backed by genuine application of it, there can be nothing worse than a bad religious understanding and practice of it. A non-religious solution is no solution to the problem of life. It is as if one says: “Let’s forget the long-term issues and focus on our problems of today.” The way we humans have been created and our life has been designed, this answer doesn’t satisfy us. You can wish away religion from your mind through a criticism of it but you can’t eliminate the need for it, like you can’t convince a thirsty man that he wasn’t thirsty even when he was by merely making some philosophical statements to prove that he wasn’t.

    Some part of present-day Muslim understanding of Islam, Stephen, is flawed and some aspects of the correct understanding of it are being improperly presented. However, God’s word is there to be understood and interpreted and not to be altered, ‘improved’, or worse still, abandoned. When you say that we should move ahead with times, you are indicating that either you have not understood the claim of the message of Islam or you have been put off by the contemporary practice of it. We believe Qur’an as God’s word. God sent it to guide us; He didn’t send it with a request that we should improve it.Recommend

  • Muhammad Bilal Abdullah
    Jan 13, 2011 - 7:01AM

    @Kabir Das:
    Be patient, I will reply soon Insha’Allah, and if you are very eager you can give me your contact and I will, after research, personally discuss the matter with you. But in anyway its Allah who will guide me and He guides the best. Like Allah says in Al-Qur’an 2:2Recommend

  • Kabir Das
    Jan 14, 2011 - 11:47PM

    Khalid Zaheer
    Sir, thank you very much for taking time out to specifically respnd to my comments. Regretably I don’t agree with you when you say:
    “A non-religious solution is no solution to the problem of life. It is as if one says: ‘Let’s forget the long-term issues and focus on our problems of today.’ The way we humans have been created and our life has been designed, this answer doesn’t satisfy us. You can wish away religion from your mind through a criticism of it but you can’t eliminate the need for it.”
    While holding such views one can’t ignore the discoveries made by modern day science and the views of modern time philosphers and thinkers about the ill effects of religion. However, I gree with you that this may not be the right forum or time to start a new debate.
    So let us leave this debate to some other opportune moment.
    By the way I did appreciate your post under discussion. It was informative, well argued and well written. We need more people like you amongst us.Recommend

  • Kabir Das
    Jan 15, 2011 - 12:03AM

    Muhammad Bilal Abdullah
    Sir, I don’t mind being patient but at the same time I don’t want to send you on a wild goose chase wasting your time. It is nowhere given in Quran that the punishment for blasphemy is death. Take it from me. The most Quran has said is to ignore the blasphemers which is a very sound advice.
    Take careRecommend

  • Karim
    Jan 16, 2011 - 4:34AM

    First of all I would like to thank my friends Kaffur, American, Stephen, Cautious… for expressing their concerns. This issue and the recent incident in Pakistan has created so much confusion. There has been so much input but very few articles and comments provide any conclusion. No doubt a lot of effort has been put to produce this article and I appreciate it.

    In context of recent incident in Pakistan, who takes more share of blame is neither the killer nor the one who is killed but the law enforcing agencies/bodies. Right or wrong but the law was there, Salman’s comments were there against the law also he had received threats for it. The issue was there for so long but there was no one to handle it.

    One thing I want to request you all. As by reading a law book you will not become eligible to pass judgments or by reading a medical book you do not get an authority to operate, only by reading some hadiths or Quran verses we are not in a position to finally decide about this particular law called blasphemy. There is a consensus of Ulma (Islamic scholars) in Pakistan that a blasphemer should be given a capital punishment. This is how we decide in Islam for something which is not clearly mentioned in Quran and not demonstrated in hadith.

    As the law can take or save a life, my personal suggestion is that we should raise this debate on international level among all renowned ulma (Islamic scholars). Unanimously ulma reach to a conclusion regarding the punishment for the law and that decision should be implemented in Pakistan, whether ulma agree on ignoring a blasphemer, suggest a minor punishment or a death penalty. We must not let the time pass just to witness another such incident.Recommend

  • Kabir Das
    Jan 17, 2011 - 12:40AM

    Mr Karim says:
    “There is a consensus of Ulma (Islamic scholars) in Pakistan that a blasphemer should be given a capital punishment. This is how we decide in Islam for something which is not clearly mentioned in Quran and not demonstrated in hadith.”

    Sir, to start off with I don’t think there is a consensus among Ulma in Pakistan that punishmet for blasphemy in Islam is death and only death. Let me tell you some serious religious scholors in Pakistan like Dr Khalid Masood, Javed Ahmed Ghamdi, Khalid Zaheer and late Dr Farooq Ahmed Khan any many others have been critical of the existence and usage of these laws promulgated through PPC. How many other Muslim societies barring Saudi Arabia, Afghanistan, Somalia and Sudan have such atrocious laws. This is not how we decide in Islam for something which is not clearly mentioned in Quran and Hadith. The mechanism for this is Ijtihad which we have not followed for any such issue for a long time.
    I also don’t give much credence to the opinion of some so called Ulmas belonging to religious political parties like JUI-F, JUI-Samiul Haq group, Jamat-e-Islami and Sunni Tehreek etc. They have their own axe to grind.
    By the way according to Justice Munir’s report on riots against Quadianis none of the Ulma belonging to various sects of Islam had a consensus on the definition of a Kafir. Each of them who were interviewed called the other a Kafir and wajab-ul-quatal. Please google for this report and see it for yourself before you want us to value the opinion of such ulmas on such and similar issues???????
    You listen to them and then use your own head and you will know what needs to be done.
    In the end I will request you to read this article again to know the truth. Recommend

  • Karim
    Jan 17, 2011 - 4:11AM

    Sir Kabir Das, Honestly I have read your article. I agree with you on almost all your points in your reply to my comments. Ijtihad, yes, this is what I have referred to in my last comment but I did not use this word as we have non-Muslim participants here as well. I also agree with you that political Ulmas should not be counted among religious Ulmas at all.

    I really appreciate everyone including you who are addressing this issue and trying to make an opinion.
    There are two points that I want to emphasis on again.
    1) Authorities in Pakistan must not close eyes to this issue like they did earlier for all controversial issues. They must make arrangements for dialogues among Ulmas and make sure that the nation reach to a peaceful conclusion.
    2) No doubt people like you can do a lot in making an opinion on various issues, this is purely a religions matter and we all know very well that it would not be settled down unless (non-political) renewed Ulma of Pakistan and I wish that Ulma from other countries discuss it and give a final judgment on this law and on possible punishments. A political solution will not be a long lasting one.Recommend

  • Muhammad Bilal Abdullah
    Jan 17, 2011 - 3:34PM

    @Kabir Das:
    If you don’t mind, can I ask you whether you are Muslim or Hindu, because your name shows you are Hindu….or you may be atheist/secularist etc???Recommend

  • Kabir Das
    Jan 18, 2011 - 1:22AM

    Karim, your two suggestions make sense. I agree with you and second your proposal.Recommend

  • Kabir Das
    Jan 18, 2011 - 1:32AM

    MB Abdullah, no I don’t mind at all sir. However, may I know what bearing does it have on the issue under discussion and how did you come to conclude that I have a Hindu name. Kabir, if I am not wrong is one of Allah’s name/attribute.
    Sir,I will wait for your reply to this before I disclose my religion albiet I don’t wear my religion on my sleeve. Recommend

  • Kabir Das
    Jan 18, 2011 - 1:45AM

    MB Abdullah sir please also allow me to add that you will find it rather interesting to note that Kabir Das also means the same and is equivalent to the name Abdullah. Now did I hear a slight murmur of Nawoozbillah or is it just my imagination playing trcks on me:-)Recommend

  • Rehan
    Jan 19, 2011 - 11:41PM

    I am seriously disappointed at the lack of basic Islamic knowledge that is embeded in our minds these days..let me clarify these points.we have the Quran, the Sunnah,the way of the Caliphs and then the judgment of the Ulema at the time a particular problem arises..But unfortunately everybody here thinks that he/she has a right to pass his own judgment wen he doesnt even have the slightest knowledge of what Islam is.Most Ulema have agreed on the punishment of blasphemy,yes there can be certain degrees as to who is to be given death but the so called LIBERAL thinking class of Pakistan,thinks they Ulema are illetrate and stupid..wen u become sick u go to a specialist doctor,u dont treat it on the advice of a 5-yr wen an Islamic law is in discussion we like to pass our own judgment instead of consulting the learned Ulema..Recommend

  • Rehan
    Jan 19, 2011 - 11:45PM

    And does anybody even have the true facts as to how many blasphemers have ever been hanged?cum on guys..i read somewhere that since 86 not a single one or at most 3!!..most were granted forgiveness by the Higher Courts..the case has only been heard in the Session Courts!it wasnt like she was being hanged the next day..wake up ppl!..Islam is strict when it comes to strictness..yes it is a religion of toleration and peace,but it has limits and if we cant stand up or speak to defend our Prophet(P.B.U.H) than we are good as dead..Recommend

  • Kabir Das
    Jan 20, 2011 - 4:16PM

    @ Rehan
    To start off with please allow me to quote an MD, Doris Egan, who in an article ‘The Rght Stuff’ said:
    “Rational arguments don’t usually work on religious people. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be religious people.”
    I am quoting this statement because in my experience I have found it to be absolutely true.
    Some time back I had a group of Tableeghi Jamat guys in my library discussing the dogmas of Islam. They had come to invite me to come to the local mosque for Maghreb Prayers where after the prayers some TJ person was to speak. During our discussion one of them looked at my books which were mostly about Evolution, Genese, Genetics, Relativity, Quantum Mechanics, Philosophy and Religion etc and said: “The problem with you is that you have read far too many books. There is only one book to read (meaning Quran) which you should read and after having read that you will feel no need to read any other book.” I retorted: “Sir, you have overlooked the few copies of Quran on the shelf perhaps because they are without their ornamental covers. I have read the book which you have in mind many time over and I have read its varius translations in a language which I understand fairly well. And it was to understand this particular book that I read all these other books which you see on the shelf and which you don’t seem to like. If you read these other books you will have a better understandng of Quran.”
    Anyway I did go to the mosque to hear the lecture with their tacit understanding that like a good Muslim I wont leave my wit with my shoes at the gate before entering the mosque. At the end of the lecture there was question answer session. I also asked few pertinent questions but in a rather guarded and respectful manner. The way the whole audience turned round and looked at me I could guess my questions were being considered heretical. After a few weeks of this late at night someone threw a rock at one of the large glass windows of my house and broke it. I am not sure if it was a response by some faithful to my questions which I asked after the said lecture or it was a simple case of vandalism by some rascal. Either way it cost me few thousand bucks to replace the window and gave me some more food for thought.
    [To be continued] Recommend

  • Kabir Das
    Jan 20, 2011 - 11:09PM

    Khalid Zaheer:

    Sir, you may remove my comments if you find them contrary to your policy. I wouldn’t mind one bit if you did that. As it is I wouldn’t like to hurt anybody’s feelings. I assure you I will respect yur decision and have no hard feelings on this account.
    I am actually very upset at the murder of Salman Taseer and the support of the killer by a religious section of our society. Mind you I was no admirer of Salman Taseer because of his politics. But I admire the way he stood out for a poor woman knowing full well the risk in that.
    Take careRecommend

  • Sarfraz Hussain Naqvi
    Jan 21, 2011 - 1:40PM

    It will be good if we leave this discussion to the Parliament of Pakistan where learned people are also heard BUT without the presence of media.Recommend

  • Muhammad Bilal Abdullah
    Jan 21, 2011 - 5:10PM

    @Kabir Das:
    You said:
    ““Rational arguments don’t usually work on religious people. Otherwise, there wouldn’t be religious people.”
    I am quoting this statement because in my experience I have found it to be absolutely true.”
    So, how do you define rationality?? and how do you define religious people?? Is there a definition or just old cliched statements??Recommend

  • Muhammad Bilal Abdullah
    Jan 21, 2011 - 5:18PM

    @Kabir Das:
    I know, generally so called “religious people” these days do NOT respond well to foreign questions. I will be more than happy to answer your questions, because I myself has passed a stage, when I had too many questions and I could not find anyone to answer them. But let me tell you I have found the answers to questions from as crucial as existence, the reason we should obey Allah’s orders to reason behind psychological realm of pain and irrationality that moves one away from religion.
    As long as you remain rational and logical, we will be able to work out the objective realities, as far as subjective are concerned, you will have to work yourself for it and ask for Allah’s guidance.Recommend

  • Muhammad Bilal Abdullah
    Jan 21, 2011 - 5:21PM

    @Kabir Das:
    I know your religion is not related to the discussion, but religion whether true or not does play an important role in defining one’s personality, and I have found through discussion that this far you are basing your answers on reason and logic, and let me tell you these are the very things (if you remain sincere) that guide one to truth.Recommend

  • Kabir Das
    Jan 22, 2011 - 1:25AM

    @Muhammad Bilal Abdullah:

    Let me first quote Bertrand Russell who says in his book Human Society In Ethics and Politics:
    ” We may define ‘faith’ as afirm belief in somethig for which there is no evidence. Where there is evidence, no one speaks of ‘faith’. We do not speak of faith that two and two are four or that the earth is round. We only speak of faith when we wish to substitute emotions for evidence.”
    Having said that let me illustrate the diffence between a rationalist and a religious person by an example. Consider following statements:
    1. In the time of our ancestors, a man was born to a virgin mother with no biological fathe being involved.
    2. The same fatherless man could bring dead back to life.
    3. The fatherless man himself came alive after being dead and buried three days.
    4. Forty days later, the fatherless went up to the top of a hill and then disappeared bodily into the sky.
    etc, etc. The list can go on adinfintum.

    Now sir my definition of a rational person would be the one who doesn’t believe in all that because it does not stand to reason. A religious person would believe all that just because the holy scrptures say so.
    I hope I have made myself amply clear. Recommend

  • Kabir Das
    Jan 22, 2011 - 1:52AM

    @Muhammad Bilal Abdullah:

    OK if I agree that religion has a bearing on ones personality pray let me know how my personallty will be relevent to this discussion. Anyway if you must know let me tell you that by the accident of birth I am a Muslim. I am also a Muslim as per an entry in my passport which was a compulsion for some reason. Otherwise I call myself a rationalist. You can quite rightly call me an agnostic or even an athiest if you so desire.
    However, for the sake of this discussion you can assume I am a Hindu. Let me see how can you argue with a person and convince him who doesn’t belive in your holy scriptures. You can’t tell him to take every thng in Quran as a given for the sake of a discussion. You have to covince him with solid arguments and not by special pleading.
    I am glad to know that you agree that reason and logic lead to the truth but then the truth may not becessarily be the same as given in the holy scripture many centuries ago.
    Take care and sleep well.Recommend

  • Kabir Das
    Jan 23, 2011 - 8:02PM


    Some of these learned Ulemas are like the frogs of a well. Sir, just answer a simple question of mine. Why can’t your learned Ulma resolve the issue of sighting of moon and thereby the day of Eid. It is such an embarrasment when we don’t know in advance even a day in advance as to when a certain religious occasion going to be. This issue I tell you is an excellent reflection on the state of affairs of our religion and its so called Ulema.
    On last Eid while various TV channels were showing our Ulemas struggling to sight the moon amidst great deal of confusion BBC was showing discovery of a new planet in a far off galaxy. What a contrast sir and you expect us to leave the affairs of our religion in the hand of such Ulema. No sir. No way we should do that.Recommend

  • Kabir Das
    Jan 23, 2011 - 11:48PM

    @ Rehan

    Since i986 many blasphemers might not have been hanged as you say but do you know how many persons accused of blasphemy have actually been killed. One was killed inside jail by a policeman, one was killed inside jail by other inmates, on was shot dead outside court when brought for hearing of his case. One judge was killed for pronouncing one not guilty. In two cases the accused were sent abroad alongwith their families. One lecturer of a college in Lahore who opined that parents of prophet Muhammad (pbuh) were not Muslims had to go in hiding and then leave the country. One lawyer was shot dead outside a court for defending a Quadiani accused of a similar kind of crime. All these killings were done by devout Muslims who also believe that as per Islam killing of one person is like killing of all the humanity and their religion is a religion of peace. I shudder to think what would have happened had Islam had not been a religion of peace.Recommend

  • Kabir Das
    Jan 24, 2011 - 12:04AM

    In 1957 Bertrand Russel the greatest phiolspher of 20th century wrote a book titled ‘WHY I AM NOT A CHRISTAIN’. In the preface of this book Bertrand Russel said something about all major religions which still holds good TODAY more for Islam than any other religion. He wrote:

    I think all the great religions of the world – Judaism, Buddhism, Hinduism, Christianity and Islam – are both untrue and harmful. It is evident as a matter of logic that, since they disagree, not more than one of them can be true. With very few exceptions, the religion which a man accepts is that of the community in which he lives, which makes it obvious that the influence of environment is what has led him to accept the religion in question.
    The question of the truth of a religion is one thing, but the question of its usefulness is another. I am firmly convinced that religions do harm as I am that they are untrue.
    The harm that is done is of two sorts, the one depending on the kind of belief which it is thought ought to be given to it, and the other on the particula tenents believed. As regards the kind of belief: it is thought virtious to have faith – that is to say, to have conviction which can’t be shaken by contrary evidence. Or, if contrary evidene might induce doubt, it is held that contrary evidence be suppressed. The conviction that it is important to believe this or that, even if free enquiry will not support the belief, is one which is common to almost all religions and which inspires all system of State education. The cosequences is that the minds of the young are stunted and are filled with fanatical hostility both to those who have other fantascisms, and, even more virulently, to those who object to all fanaticisms. A habit of basing conviction on evidence, and giving to them only that degree of crtainity which the evidence warrants, would, if it became general, could cure most of the ills from which the world is suffering. But at present, in most countries, education aims at preventing the growth of such a habit, and men who refuse to profess belief in some unfounded dogmas are not considered suitable as teachers of the young. For my part, I think better to do a little good than to do much harm. I should wish to see a world in which education aimed at mental freedom rather than at imrisioning the minds of the young in a rigid armour of dogma calculated to protect them through life against the shaft of impartial evidence. The world needs open hearts and open minds, and it is not through rigid systems, whether old or new, that these can be derived.

  • Kabir Das
    Jan 24, 2011 - 12:15AM

    Will some subscriber to this post answer Bertrand Russell for me. If not then what other option I would have but to agree with him. No, killing him or me may not be a convincing answer.Recommend

  • Khalid Zaheer
    Jan 24, 2011 - 1:07PM

    Salam Kabir Das

    I thought this space had a special purpose and it has outlived its utility. But you have, masha’Allah, kept this dead horse alive through sheer perseverance. You didn’t seem from your earlier messages a person who would send the kind of ultimatum you have handed down in a recent message.

    All that I can say in response is that Bertrand Russell has been one of my favourite writers. While reading him as well as the Qur’an I came to two clear conclusions: Indeed the Qur’an is the word of God and indeed Muslims, at least the present-day generation of them, have very little to do with the book. They learn their religion from elsewhere.Recommend

  • Kabir Das
    Jan 24, 2011 - 1:32PM

    “When the truth is replaced by silence,” the Soviet dissident Yevgeny Yevtushenko said, “the silence is a lie.”Recommend

  • Khalid Zaheer
    Jan 24, 2011 - 6:29PM

    I am sorry if my last message sounded rude. Sometimes your emotional part gets over you.

    Islamic faith is neither a dogma that is to be believed in blindly nor is it a reality like two plus two. It is belief in the unseen realities on the basis of intellectual reasoning. If you like, it’s akin to the siting of the moon on the horizon. You don’t always see it even if it’s there if you don’t concentrate. And you don’t focus if you are not interested.

    The Qur’an helps in understanding those realities. Some people don’t get it because they are not trying hard enough that in turn is because they are not interested enough.

    If you say that if people who are claiming that they have seen the moon are not reliable what is the fault of those who don’t make an attempt, I would respond by saying that the case would then be put up in the court of the Almighty to decide which party was to be blamed.Recommend

  • Nasir Shahab
    Jan 25, 2011 - 9:07AM

    I used to think that Islam is a blind faith. At least this is what we were taught. Not to question the elders and the Maulvi Sahib. Just follow the teachings. But on reading the Quran it becomes obvious that this is not the case. Recommend

  • Muhammad Bilal Abdullah
    Jan 28, 2011 - 7:07PM

    @Kabir Das:
    First, sorry for being late. I was taking my exams.
    According to what you posted the defintion of rationality is a judgement based on objective human experiences and the knowledge humans have gained through that objective experience.
    First of all this definition of rationality is not consistent, because its not necessary that human being is able to comprehend through only his brain (or only the factual knowledge portion) all the objective realities.
    I on the other hand, add one more thing to the definition of rationality, the subjectivity (which is a crucial part of being rational and reasonable), is very important to individual’s experience. i.e one who has passed a phase of depression and psychological turmoil knows better about it than the one who has read about disorders and psychological diseases.Recommend

  • Muhammad Bilal Abdullah
    Jan 28, 2011 - 7:18PM

    @Kabir Das and Khalid Zaheer:
    Now, using both basis, we will come to the discussion of existence of Allah (God). First all the objective happenings around us follow a specific laid out rule/law. Now who made that rule/law? Who defined gravity to attract objects? On more basic level, who decided positive and negative should attract each other? Who laid out that 2+2=4? And if someone could define such a thing only He could be able to change that law for the time being, just to achieve something greater and better, and arguing that only He can change the usual laws, then the change itself (the miracle) would actually be a part of the pattern. In this regard I would have posted a link, but blog doesnt allow links. So i would like to refer you to Hamza Andreas Tzortis’ lectures, he has explained in philosophical and rational context, the proof for Allah’s existence.
    Now second basis is subjective basis, Assuming, I can write books about how Allah exists but it may not convince someone who is subjectively biased or who is subjectively on disbelief. I, personally know that Allah exists not only because of the objective truths but because I can feel Him, and that is the spiritual truth. You know when your plane gets stuck in a storm and you panic and you say Oh God help me, then at that moment, think about it, are you really not believing or trying to believe in something supernatural??
    The spirituality is what defines the subjective proof for existence of Allah. and that is to say the true spirituality not the hoax one containing absurd rituals. Now that subjective spirituality that leads you closer to Allah is called “Belief”. I would strongly recommend you to read Iqbal.Recommend

  • Muhammad Bilal Abdullah
    Jan 28, 2011 - 7:27PM

    @Khalid Zaheer:
    I want to ask you, that, Ok, Qur’an doesn’t clearly say to kill the blasphemers but Hadiths do!! What do you have to say about it??Recommend

  • Kabir Das
    Feb 1, 2011 - 12:31AM

    @Khalid Zaheer:

    Sorry for the lateness of response. I was down with a bout of severe flu.

    Glad to know you are also fond of BR.I wonder how after reading BR and Quran you came to the conclusion that Quran is indeed the word of God. Anyway you needn’t answer this. I may not agree with you but I would respect your view on this.

    You go on to say: “Indeed the Qur’an is the word of God and indeed Muslims, at least the present-day generation of them, have very little to do with the book.”

    The present day Muslims indeed seem to have very littlte to do with the book. But you can’t say the same about Taliban. They seem to be following the book literally. I will never ever like to argue with them on this issue. Not because for fear of loosing my life (that fear of course will be there as well) but because I will not be able to prove them wrong. They are following the word of God as enunciated in the book alright. Recommend

  • Kabir Das
    Feb 1, 2011 - 1:42AM

    @Khalid Zaheer:
    “It is belief in the unseen realities on the basis of intellectual reasoning.”

    I wish I could see this ‘intellectual reasoning’ in the book hard though I tried to find it albiet with an open mind without any preconceived ideas.

    “If you like, it’s akin to the siting of the moon on the horizon. You don’t always see it even if it’s there if you don’t concentrate.”

    And sir, by the same token if you concentrate believing it to be there you will see it there even though it is not there.

    “the case would then be put up in the court of the Almighty to decide which party was to be blamed.”

    Bertrand Russell was asked what would he say if he died and found himself confronted by God, demanding to know why Russell had not believed in him. ” Not enough evidence, God not enough evidence,” was Russell’s reply. Mightn’t God respect Russell for his courgeous scepticism let alone for the courgeous pacifism that landed him in prision in the First World War. Recommend

  • Feb 1, 2011 - 1:05PM

    Salam Kabir

    I got more confident about Qur’an after reading Bertrand Russell because I felt that I have read the best critique on religion with an open mind and yet the Qur’an doesn’t seem to affected by it, at least in my honest mind.

    I have trained myself not to doubt the intentions of others. but I can tell you that the Taliban have little to do with the Qur’an. They emotional about the traditional understanding of the Qur’an. You can’t expect them to discuss on the basis of Qur’an. The communication doesn’t take place at all. Their minds are fixed. The Qur’an refuses to guide people who refuse to understand it with open mind. I therefore believe that if you are a sworn liberal or a sworn orthodox you can’t get guidance from the Qur’an, which demands unconditional submission to it for its message to be unfolded to you properly.

    I am fluing too :)Recommend

  • Feb 1, 2011 - 1:10PM

    Salam Kabir

    There two things possible Kabir: either God would apllaud his boldness and honesty or expose his hypocrisy and rigidity. Qur’an says: ‘We shall not make any soul accountable for more than its potential.’

    As for your other comment, let me assure you that you are talking to someone who once belonged to BR’s camp and didn’t want to sight the moon. But once it was visible, right there, he couldn’t say that didn’t want to see what he was seeing.Recommend

  • Kabir Das
    Feb 2, 2011 - 11:40PM

    Please watch the video to see to what an extent a Mullah would go to kill in the name of Allah.

  • Kabir Das
    Feb 3, 2011 - 12:57AM

    @ Khalid Zaheer:
    ” I got more confident about Qur’an after reading Bertrand Russell because I felt that I have read the best critique on religion with an open mind and yet the Qur’an doesn’t seem to affected by it.”

    Sir, I admit that to some extent I also felt the same kind of thing like you did. I thought of 3 possible reasons for this:
    a. Having being born a Muslim I was perhaps inadvertently somewhat biased towards Islam and thought it to be a better religion than its other two predcessors.
    b. BR did not have as much knowledge about Islam and Quran as he had about Judaism and Christianity and Old testament and Bible. Therefore he could not criticise Islam in a similar manner as he criticised the other two. So the main thrust of his criticism was against Judaism and Christianity and not so much against Islam.
    c. Islam by virtue of being a later version of Judaism and Christianiy and reasoably well documented was free from lot discrepencies, inaccurasies and flaws of the other two.

    Once after reading BR’s Why I Am Not A Christian I wondered for quite some time if one could also write a similar book titled Why I Am Not A Muslim. After lot of delibration I came to the conclusion that perhaps one could not find the same kind of reasons for not being a Muslim as BR found for not being a Christian. This is not to say that one could not find many other reasons for one’s disenchantment with Islam as well.
    By the way you might be aware that a Muslim professor at one of American university has written one such book titled Why I Am Not A Muslim. I would like to read it some day.
    [To be continued] Recommend

  • mezvix
    Feb 5, 2011 - 9:34AM

    @Syed Shah and all can any one please bring me one Sahih hadith which shows death penality? There are few twisted stories which on verification doesn’t refer to blasphemy. There is not even single hadith in any book talking about killing ablasphemmer only mullahs told you so. also none of four Imams of Sunny islam endorsed killig a blasphemmer and always a session for convincing and making them to repent. please correct me if I am wrongRecommend

  • Muhammad
    Feb 5, 2011 - 9:36AM

    Excellent summary of the problem and its possible long-term consequences. I always thought the extremist mullahs are only a few in numbers. I was appalled , shocked and scared when I saw Governor Salman Taseer of Pakistan shot dead by his own security guard in name of “Blasphemy”. That was not the end of it; I was more frightened when I saw masses hailing him as a hero and the Mad Mullah Disease caused a mass hysteria. I witnessed hundreds of thousands supporting this act. I agree that if we dont take care of our own problems, someone from outside will . This problem needs a global effort including the west. All the good and sensible people in Pakistan need to speak up, stand up against this Mad Mullah Disease.Recommend

  • Kabir Das
    Feb 6, 2011 - 12:27AM

    @ Khalid Zaheer
    You say: “The Qur’an refuses to guide people who refuse to understand it with open mind.”

    Then you go on to say: “the Qur’an, which demands unconditional submission to it for its message to be unfolded to you properly.”

    I notice a serious contradiction in these two statements. The demand for ‘unconditional submission’ first does not seem to commensurate with open mind. In any case once you are born a Muslim and thereby indoctrinated in a certain way from the early childhood it is well neigh impossible to read Quran with an open mind even though you may think so in all honesty. The words of God must first create an impact and then lead to automatic submission which doesn’t happen. If I submit to the theory of Evolution first and then read it to understand it, it won’t be considered an approach with an open mind.

    Before reading Bertrand Russell I tried to understand the life and the universe. For former I read extensively about The Theory of Evolution and related subjects like genes and genetics. To understand the latter I read extensively about the Theory of Relativity (Special and General) Quantum Mechanics and some other related subjects like Cosmology etc. This exercise spread over many years opened my mind for a better understanding of not only life and universe but religion also. To understand religion better I also studied evolution of religion from the beginning of civilization followed by the writings of various philosphers particulary Bertrand Russell because his writing was so simple and easy to understand. In any case I was a rationalist and man of reason by nature to start off with. This reading exercize only helped me to firm up my views and thus came to believe in a kind of God which is quite different from what he is thought to be by religious people.
    I assure you of one thing that after, more or less, giving up religion I became at peace with myself and started leading a much more well contented life than ever before.

    You say: ” either God would apllaud his boldness and honesty or expose his hypocrisy and rigidity.”

    Sir, the kind of God I believe in would surely not value dishonestly faked belief or even honest belief over honest scepticism and is very likely to consider honest seeking after truth as supreme virtue.

    PS: Delayed response is due some other preoccupations. Recommend

  • Kabir Das
    Feb 6, 2011 - 12:49AM

    @ Khalid Zaheer

    Sir, you may have good reason to disagree with Bertrand Russell but pray how would you reconcile holy scriptures with The Theory of Evolution which hits at the roots of religion????? How can you say you don’t see a moon which is there shining bright with the proven facts of science as nowhere else. And then don’t have to have any preconceived notions to see this moon in The Theory of Evolution! Recommend

  • Kabir Das
    Feb 6, 2011 - 1:03AM

    @ Muhammad Bilal Abdullah
    ” So, how do you define rationality?? and how do you define religious people??”

    Sir, request you to read my comments of Jan 22 again for answer to this question.Recommend

  • Muhammad
    Feb 6, 2011 - 8:46AM

    @Kabir Das:
    Kabir, there is no death punishment for apostasy or for balsphemy in Quran. Ignore those who claim that there is . If one reads quran in its own context, it is very clear that there is no coercion in matters of faith and religion.
    Are you looking for a particular reference?

  • Muhammad
    Feb 6, 2011 - 9:32AM

    your conclusion regarding “consensus of ulema” is called appeal to number in discussion of logical fallacies/
    Millions of hindus consider cow sacred and monkey sacred. Are you saying that if enough number of people agree to something , it must be correct? Recommend

  • Muhammad
    Feb 6, 2011 - 9:49AM

    @Muhammad Bilal Abdullah:
    HQAdeeth alone can not be basis of awarding death sentences to people. Allah has clearly spelled out all major details in Quran. You will find details fo halal haram, how to make a contract, issues regarding inheritance. The Creator who went to finest details of all major issues, forgot to mention blasphemy and its punishment to be clearly mentioned in Quran? I think not. Also, hadeeth authetnicity is not infallible. Mr Bukhari was born about 150 years AFTER PRophet had passed away. Exactly how did he know what Prophet said and what was not said by him (PBUH). Islam and Prophet were rehmat for world , and not a punishment. on multiple occasions Allah has mentioned people who are apostated,comit to islam and then apostate again. No mention of “go kill them”. There is not “Death sentence” for blasphemy against God. Is Prophet’s honour “superior” to Allah’s honour? And you need to be really careful about this since you will eb answerable for your actions and support that you extend to mullahs by supporting their :hadith” for death sentences when Allah says otherwise. go back to Quran, open multiple translations on line and go through these verses:

    (3: 58) This We recite to you of the Verses and the Message that is full of wisdom.
    (3:79). No human being whom Allah blesses with the Book and Wisdom and Prophethood has the right to say to the people: ‘Be my servants instead of Allah’s.’ (He would rather say:) ‘Be the devotees of Allah because you teach the Book and because you study it yourselves as well.’
    (3: 80) He would never command you to take the angels and Prophets as Lords. Would He command you to become kafir after being Muslim?Recommend

  • Muhammad Bilal Abdullah
    Feb 6, 2011 - 12:18PM

    @ Kabir and Khalid Zaheer:
    Either you didn’t read my responses at page 5 or you do not want to respond.
    Please do define “mullahs” before throwing it anywhere or anyone, who is a “mullah”? Every bearded person with covered head or what??
    @mezvix and everbody:
    Here is a hadith:
    “According to Hadith in Abu Daud with a Saheeh Sanad it is narrated Upon the authority of Ali Bin Abi Talib Radi Allahu Tala Anhu that:
    A Jewish woman used to commit blasphemy against prophet Muhammad SallAllahu Alaihi Wasallam. A man killed her for this act. Upon getting news of this prophet Muhammad SallAllahu Alaihi Wasallam declared that the murderer should not be killed.”Recommend

  • Khalid Zaheer
    Feb 6, 2011 - 12:35PM

    Salam Kabir Das

    What I mentioned are two stages of enquiry. Evolution is not contradiction; it is progress and development. We evolve in our learning as well. There is one stage when we learn with an open mind. There is another when we realise that the text demands submission. I don’t see any contradiction in the two.

    If you feel at ease without religion it proves nothing as indeed feeling the same with religion doesn’t prove anything. There is no contradiction between Theory of Evolution and Qur’an. While the theory tells us how this world came into being, the Qur’an tells us that it was created by God. The latter answers the question ‘who’ while the former answers the question ‘how’.

    I believe God is going to value genuine investigation. But only He will decide what genuineness was and who was genuine and who was not. And only He can decide it.Recommend

  • Muhammad
    Feb 6, 2011 - 12:41PM

    @Kabir Das:

    Quran does not contradict theory of evolution. Mentioning that “We cerated Adam” does not mean there was no evolution.Quran is not a book of biology or mathematics. We surely would not be looking for explanation of string and M theory in a book of philosophy. Quran (and other holy scriptures) are merely dialogues and principles on which to found a “secular” kind of a society. God would like us to exercise justice and equity no matter who is the member of the society.
    Although God wants to be worshiped, but still , scriptures are more than just an invitation/order to worship God. These are invitations to think, ponder and use our intellect. If a religion can not survive the logical questioning, then it wont be a religion after all. The religion is definitely NOT what Mullahs portray it to be all the time.Recommend

  • Muhammad
    Feb 6, 2011 - 12:47PM

    The more I read Quran “independant” of influence of Mullahs, more I am convinced that Quran is NOT AT ALL what we Muslims are following. We have become a cult that WROSHIPS sahah-e-sitta and place our “Imams” and Propeht himself above the divinity of God. We treat our “Muslim Scholars” as only God should be respected and worshipped. The worst part is , we are not ready to acknowledge our own mistakes and hence this bigot approach to impose ISLAM upon the BLASPHEMERS.Recommend

  • Muhammad
    Feb 6, 2011 - 12:51PM

    @Kabir Das:
    HAve a look at my videos that I made after Mr Paracha’s quoting of these verses.

    This link is only for one video but my channel has few others I also made few others about our “Scholars and Ulemma” who never agree with each other — all based on Sahah-e-Sitta. enjoy.

  • Muhammad Bilal Abdullah
    Feb 6, 2011 - 1:01PM

    You said: “HQAdeeth alone can not be basis of awarding death sentences to people.”
    Who will decide that?? You or those who spent their lives researching on Islam.
    and you said:
    “And you need to be really careful about this since you will eb answerable for your actions and support that you extend to mullahs by supporting their :hadith” for death sentences when Allah says otherwise.”
    again you must define the word mullah before splashing it, and morever, Allah does NOT say otherwise in Qur’an, their is no ayah saying there is or there is not death penalty, but their are several ayahs stating their follow Allah’s Prophet (SAW)
    “And whoever opposes the Messenger after guidance has become clear to him and follows other than the way of the believers – We will give him what he has taken and drive him into Hell, and evil it is as a destination.” (Al-Qur’an 4:115)
    and Hadiths are the sayings of Holy Prophet (SAW), we can follow him by following his hadiths.
    And Allah knows better the reason for not clearly mentioning the death penalty for blasphemy.
    And yes I will be held accountable, that is why i seek guidance from Allah, I never said I trust in anyone except Allah and His Holy Prophet (SAW), but this does NOT mean we cannot discuss what the people of Allah researched for their lives, we should be patient and listen to each other and IF YOU CAN GIVE ME ANY GOOD REASON WHY A HADITH IS NOT ENOUGH FOR US TO ESTABLISH SHARI’AH, I WILL SURELY GIVE IT VERY GOOD THOUGHT. But people such as Bukhari and Taymini and Ibn Majah spent their lives researching Qur’an and Hadith, they were scholars, so we must give rational and due consideration to what they are saying and then interpret it, and if its true we must follow it.
    “Guide us to the straight path” (Al-Qur’an 1:6)Recommend

  • Muhammad Bilal Abdullah
    Feb 6, 2011 - 1:08PM

    @ Muhammad:
    You said:
    “The more I read Quran “independant” of influence of Mullahs, more I am convinced that Quran is NOT AT ALL what we Muslims are following. We have become a cult that WROSHIPS sahah-e-sitta and place our “Imams” and Propeht himself above the divinity of God. We treat our “Muslim Scholars” as only God should be respected and worshipped. The worst part is , we are not ready to acknowledge our own mistakes and hence this bigot approach to impose ISLAM upon the BLASPHEMERS.”
    I agree with you on the topic of blind following, and ascribing divinity to slaves of Allah, but what I must emphasize is that, NOT all scholars are the bad ones (i agree most are), we must be loving and patient towards those scholars who call us towards the way of Allah and His Holy Prophet (SAW), and base their teaching on Qur’an.
    As far as the topic of following Saha Sitta is concerned, I am not sure about that one so I will not argue, BUT before rejecting Ahadith outright (for the lack of surity of authenticity), you must seek guidance from Allah, that if those Ahadith are right then He will guide us and if vice versa even then only He can guide us. Because only Allah is the best guide.
    And May Allah guide us all. Ameen
    And May He make this discussion a benefit for all of us. AmeenRecommend

  • Muhammad Bilal Abdullah
    Feb 6, 2011 - 1:14PM

    and May Allah make us understand, think, ponder (upon) and consequently follow Qur’an, and NOT just use it as a tool to prove others wrong and prove ourselves right.
    I am sorry, if in anyway I offended you all, I assure you my intentions were NOT to hurt but to communicate (but sometimes the aggressiveness takes hold). I pray May Allah guide us all. Ameen.Recommend

  • Kabir Das
    Feb 6, 2011 - 1:24PM

    @Muhammad: “Are you looking for a particular reference?”

    No, thanks. I take your words for it. Moreover Khalid Zaheer had made this very clear to us from the very beginning. Recommend

  • Kabir Das
    Feb 6, 2011 - 1:32PM

    @ Muhammad: “Are you saying that if enough number of people agree to something , it must be correct?”

    Sir, there indeed seems to be sanctity in numbers. If one person holds the beliefs which a religion preaches he will be called an insane person and referred to a psychiartist for treatmnt. If same beliefs are held by a large number of people it will be known as a religion:-)Recommend

  • Kabir Das
    Feb 6, 2011 - 1:41PM

    @ Muhammad: “HAve a look at my videos that I made after Mr Paracha’s quoting of these verses.”

    Bravo!I have already watched this video and thought very highly of it and passed it to a large friends of mine both here and abroad. Sir, full marks to you for this excellent video. We need more people among us to expose the bigotry, selfrightiousness and hypocricy of Mullahs like Paracha.
    I would love to watch all the videos made by your channel.Recommend

  • Muhammad
    Feb 6, 2011 - 5:11PM

    @Muhammad Bilal Abdullah:
    the mere fact that same Allah who goes to finest details of what is halal to eat and what is not,who describes how to distribute my money when I die, the One who tells me about 20 times in Surah Baqara ALONE to spend my money in charity, does not mention death sentence for apostasy or blasphemy is enough for anyone with common sense that there can be no death punishment for apostasy or blasphemy– unless of course you think that Allah “forgot” to include the important issues of dealing with human lives for us to debate about 1400 years after Prophet’s death.
    The person you are putting so much faith in when you talk about pivoting your fiath on, is Bukahri and Malik and few others; all of them persians birn about 150-200 yeras AFTER Prophet had been deceased. Exactly how did they were able to ensure 100 % beyond any reasonable doubt that what they were putting in their books were 100 % authentic and infallible. IF given the choice to choose I will definitely choose Allah’s word over Bukhari et al. Allah is meticulous to tell you “dont have sex with your wife when she has menses cause that is an unclean state” but chooses to mention an iimportant issues of life and death for human lives? I dont think Allah is that careless. And Allah is The Just above all. Recommend

  • Muhammad
    Feb 6, 2011 - 5:14PM

    @Muhammad Bilal Abdullah:
    YEs Bilal, I am seeking guidance from Allah. It is called Quran.Recommend

  • Muhammad
    Feb 6, 2011 - 5:20PM

    @Kabir Das:
    “sanctity in numbers”
    I agree with your sarcastic pun (which is true unfortunately).
    IT is , I guess human nature. Same thing happened to String and M theories when they were budding. All science community called them mad jokers. No one would consider it as a career. Einstein was not given a job after his graduation cause professors did not like his ideas. He was working as swiss patent clerk when he published his paper that won him Nobel prize(As you would be aware that it was not E=MC2 or relativity, but on photoelectric effect).
    Curiously enough , all prophets were the only Ones to begin their preaching when they started. All the rest were against their teachings.
    So I guess “it is dangerous to be right when public is wrong” LOL./
    this is a slight modification of Voltaire’s original quote which was:
    “It is dangerous to be right when government is wrong”.Recommend

  • Muhammad
    Feb 6, 2011 - 5:23PM

    @Kabir Das:
    Dear Kabir, please dont call me Sir. thanks for your courtesy but I am an ordinary human being trying to pitch in my two pennies and that is my human moral duty. Muhammad is perfectly fine. (I think as a nation we need to grow out of “Sirring” each other.
    Regards and my gratitude for your kindness.Recommend

  • Kabir Das
    Feb 6, 2011 - 11:44PM

    @ Muhammad:
    “And Allah is The Just above all.”

    And my Allah is also not so vain as to allow killig of his own creation for blasphemy against Him or His prophet.

    ” it is dangerous to be right when public is wrong”

    Sir, you are a dangerous man. You seem to be winning me back into the fold of Islam.


    An Islamic website writes this equatin as ‘E=MC2= Shirk’ and then goes on to curse Einstein and also H.G.Wells for some odd reason. Another Islamic website tries to show in an impressive style that speed of light is given in Quran to 6 decimal figures of its presently calculated value.
    By the way Einstein didn’t get a teaching job because his grades on graduation were not good enough and not for his ideas which he hadn’t developed till then. He was also not liked by his teachers for his contempt for authority but then fate turned him into an authority himself.

    “Same thing happened to String and M theories when they were budding.”

    The analogy of M and string theory with religious beliefs may not be correct. Most new scientific ideas do get ridiculed or not readily accepted in the beginning and indeed same is the case with new religious dogmas. The analogy ends here. The new scientific ideas in due course either get accepted or rejected depending on the confirmation of predictions made by them. The religious ideas on the other hand once floated continue to exist for ever in the original form. One dare not change them or reinterpret them taking into account the latest knowledge.

    “Dear Kabir, please dont call me Sir.”
    Sir, that is my style of writing and request you to let me continue with it unless you have some very strong objection to its use.Recommend

  • Kabir Das
    Feb 7, 2011 - 12:43AM

    @ Khalid Zaheer: “There is one stage when we learn with an open mind. There is another when we realise that the text demands submission. I don’t see any contradiction in the two.”

    Yes, the way you have put it now there is no contradiction. Generally I have heard people saying that to understand Quran you have to believe first that it is the words of God which doesn’t sound logical to me.

    “There is no contradiction between Theory of Evolution and Qur’an.”

    I hope you mean it when you say that though I have no reason to believe you would say something which you don’t mean. I have seen most scholors either deflecting or evading any question about evolution or just shrugg it off (Naik being one of them) by saying that it is just a theory and could be wrong. They don’t even know what a scientific theory means. They don’t know that earth being round is also a theory.

    You may or may not be aware that even Roman Catholic church, after lot of reluctance and hesitation, has now acknowledged that we have reached to our present complex state starting with a single cell through the process of evolution over a period of 3,5 billion years as explained by the theory of evolution. However, they still maintain that the agents of evolution such as Natural Selection etc were set there by God for this process to rake place. That is fair enough till such time that biologists can develop a concensus on how the original replicating molicule got made to start the process.
    I would like to post the views of my guru BR on this subject shortly. for you to mull over if you haven’t already done so.
    Thanks for being so patient with me.Recommend

  • M R Zafar
    Feb 7, 2011 - 1:04AM

    I have been following your discussions for a while. It seems that we have lost faith on Quran which I regard as a RESET mechanism to restore the religion to the Creator’s specifications when it has been corrupted by misinterpretations whether willful or otherwise! The details that have not been mentioned are due to the fact that they are not important for the basic practice of Islam. It is important that we offer salat it doesn’t matter how we do it as long as the basic ingredients are there. There are variations in the way different sects offer their salat. Which one of them is correct? Who has the authority to decide. I shudder at the thought that the present mutilated version of Islam becomes established as the uncontested only version! Life on this planet would then be a disaster wouldn’t it?Recommend

  • Kabir Das
    Feb 7, 2011 - 1:13AM

    So spoke Bertrand Russell vide ‘Unpopular Essays’

    It was geology, Darwin, and the doctrine of evolution, that first upset the faith of British men of science. If man was evolved by insensible gradations from lower form of life, a number of things became very difficult to understand. At what moment in evolution did our ancestors acquire free will? At what stage in the long journey from the amoeba did they begin to have immortal souls? When did they first become capable of the kinds of wickedness that would justify a benevolent Creator in sending them into eternal torment? Most people felt that such punishment would be hard on monkeys, in spite of their propensity for throwing coconuts at the heads of Europeans. But how about Pithecanthropus Erectus ? Was it really he who ate the apple? Or was it Homo Pekiniensis Or was it perhaps the Piltdown man? I went to Piltdown once, but saw no evidence of special deprivity in that village, nor did I see any signs of it having changed appreciably since prehistoric ages. This seems the more likely, as they lived in Germany. But obviously there could be no answer to such questions, and those theologians who do not wholly reject evolution have had to make profound adjustments.

  • Kabir Das
    Feb 7, 2011 - 1:34AM

    @ Muhammad Bilal Abdullah 28 Jan:
    “one who has passed a phase of depression and psychological turmoil knows better about it than the one who has read about disorders and psychological diseases.”

    Sir, unfortunately your post is not very clear to me. However, for treatment of my depression I will still go to a psychiatrist who may not have suffered from the same disease himself than to some one who has suffered from it but is not a psychiatrist. Recommend

  • Kabir Das
    Feb 7, 2011 - 1:41AM

    @ Muhammad Bilal Abdullah Jan 28
    ” Now, using both basis, we will come to the discussion of existence of Allah (God).”

    Sir, the existence of God has neither been proved nor disapproved scientifically. So it may be advisible not to enter into this tedious and oft heard debate.Recommend

  • Muhammad
    Feb 7, 2011 - 11:49AM

    @Kabir Das:
    “Einstein job idea”
    When I said he didnot get a job because of ideas I was meaning to say his “ideas to challenge his professors”. I did not mean ideas of relativity etc.
    My personal thing about this is that we as Pakistanis are unable to be free thinkers. One of the main reasons is that we can attach too much respect to figures of authorirty for religious, political and other reasons. The word SIR reminds me of that problem that plagues Pakistan and hence my request to refrain from it. You seem to be a free thinker but the word Sir still propagates that thought process in the readers’ minds . If its an issue for you, I have no intent to impose this upon you.
    No coercion in matters of faith.

  • Muhammad
    Feb 7, 2011 - 11:58AM

    @Kabir Das:
    As far as speed of light is concerned, anyone can make out of any text one feels like. It is stupid to think of Quran as a scientific book when that was not the intention of The Creator. Science is for us -the humans- to sort and figure out. God already knows what science he set into motion.
    “string theory, M theory, religion analgoy”
    I agree with your comments. My intention was to mean that presuming there is only One Truth, and presuming ther religion in its original form was indeed Truth, then all truth in beginning gets ridiculed, mocked, and resisted. Seems like human nature-even in scientific circles.

    “Sir, you are a dangerous man. You seem to be winning me back into the fold of Islam.”
    I did not know you were not a Muslim. From sound of what you write, you beleive in One Supreme Entity or Force or God. If you beleive in that, and beleive in good deeds and day of judgement,then you are already a Muslim (by quranic definition which actually differs from the Mullah’s definition.
    As far as Judgement Day is concerned, I am not sure what is that exactly but it is my understanding at this time that it would be some sort of another dimension/level of consciousness or existence– but I suppose there is no way of knowing till we actually “Cross over” after dying I suppose)Recommend

  • Muhammad
    Feb 7, 2011 - 12:17PM

    @Kabir Das:
    “Generally I have heard people saying that to understand Quran you have to believe first that it is the words of God which doesn’t sound logical to me.”
    Nothing is farther from truth.
    I was born into a muslim family. was a “religious fanatic” till age of 23 when I “realized” this all religion business is nonsense and that there were no God. I stayed like that for a number of years till I believed in God once again. Believing in God’s existence is another story which is not pertinent here at all. Anyways, to cut a long story short, the best understanding of Quran came from that very period when I did not believe it to be a word of God. Once I read it free from all the influence of the Mullah, with a skeptical view, it made perfect sense to my mind. After re-realizing God’s Creator’s existence,I have never gone back to any Mullah and have kept an open mind. Interestingly Quran becomes a very different document from what Mullahs claim it to be. eg JANNAT may well be only a concept of abundance rather than an ACTUAL GARDEN with highly sexual chicks in it (laughable is the way, Mullahs claim this to be a Garden when Quran only speaks allegorically about this level of existence-which is possibly not perceivable to us with our current senses). But then this is only my humble understanding and there may be yet another angle of looking at it which is not apparent to me at this time.
    Quran makes much more sense once one reads with an open and neutral mind. Mostly people go to read it with preconceptions which essentially murders the idea of this Document.Recommend

  • Kabir Das
    Feb 7, 2011 - 4:15PM

    @ Muhammad: “I did not know you were not a Muslim.”

    Sir, don’t blame you for that. Anyway this is what I wrote above on 22 Jan in this forum, in response to a query from Mr MB Abdullah about my religion which I am reproducing below for your convenience.

    “Anyway if you must know let me tell you that by the accident of birth I am a Muslim. I am also a Muslim as per an entry in my passport which was a compulsion for some reason. Otherwise I call myself a rationalist. You can quite rightly call me an agnostic or even an athiest if you so desire.
    However, for the sake of this discussion you can assume I am a Hindu. Let me see how can you argue with a person and convince him who doesn’t belive in your holy scriptures. You can’t tell him to take every thng in Quran as a given for the sake of a discussion. You have to covince him with solid arguments and not by special pleading.”

    By the way Kabir Das is my pen name after the great mystique of India, Kabir Das, who one could not say was whether a Hindu or a Muslim. You would not have thought I was not a Muslim if you had read carefully what I said. I said: “You seem to be winning me back into the fold of Islam.” The word ‘back’ in this sentence is a key word showing I was a Muslim before.

    Now I call myself a ‘rationalist’. However, my views are what they are. If they make me fall in the category of an ‘athiest’ I don’t mind one little bit.Recommend

  • Muhammad
    Feb 7, 2011 - 6:16PM

    @Kabir Das:
    “The word ‘back’ in this sentence is a key word showing I was a Muslim before”.
    I did note the key word. However, in different contexts , the keywords can convey a wide variety of meanings. “Wining BACK to Islam” may imply that one is skeptical and not completely dismissive of Islam. In any case, at best it would be a guess and not a fact for a discussion unless you admit to your own faith/ beliefs and hence my direct and “gentle” hint so as to allow you to come forth about your belief yourself.
    It is also reasonable not to jump to conclusions despite keywords or I risk offending others for no good reason.
    Either the above explanation , or maybe I did not indeed read your comment “carefully enough”
    Anyways, thanks for coming forth with your own belief yourself. Recommend

  • Muhammad
    Feb 7, 2011 - 6:23PM

    @Kabir Das:
    “Now I call myself a ‘rationalist’. However, my views are what they are. If they make me fall in the category of an ‘athiest’ I don’t mind one little bit.”
    So are you believer in a Supreme Entity/God/Creator/Force? or you are still neutral and skeptical?
    Aehtiest in its wider sense of use would be a believer of a view dismissive of concept of a Creator.
    From your posts it seems that you do believe in a Supreme Being/Entity but do not associate with one particular religious system of beliefs.
    I may have “guessed” wrong, so probably may be I should leave it to your discretion to disclose it or not.
    “Rationalist” is a new term to me in religious discussions. Would you care shedding some light on that?Recommend

  • Kabir Das
    Feb 9, 2011 - 1:44AM

    @ Muhammad:
    “So are you believer in a Supreme Entity/God/Creator/Force? or you are still neutral and skeptical?”

    Not neutral. I am skeptical, particualry of the type of God portrayed by various religions of the past and present.

    “Aehtiest in its wider sense of use would be a believer of a view dismissive of concept of a Creator.”

    If that is the case then I may be leaning to be an athiest.

    “From your posts it seems that you do believe in a Supreme Being/Entity but do not associate with one particular religious system of beliefs.”

    As for the first part of your statement I would again say that I am skeptical of the existence of a Supreme Being/Entity. As for the second part of your statement I would say that I find it rather difficult to associate with any particular, past or present, system of beliefs.

    ““Rationalist” is a new term to me in religious discussions. Would you care shedding some light on that?”

    I think I picked it up either from Richard Dawkins’ book THE GOD DELUSION or Will Durant’s book THE PLEASURES OF PHILOSOPHY and felt it applied to me admirably. I will look up its source again. I reckon it can best be defined by its dictionary meanings which read as follows: Someone who emphasizes observable facts and excludes metaphysical speculations about origin and ultimate causes.

    Sir, please free to discuss or ask me anything you like. I believe in absolute freedom of speech and freedom of thought. I consider myself lucky to have come across a person like you who may be able to teach me a thing or two.Recommend

  • Muhammad
    Feb 9, 2011 - 12:10PM

    @Kabir Das:
    Kabir, we can all learn something from almost anyone. From people whom we cant learn “anything” that we SHOULD do, we sometimes learn things that we should NOT do in life (Nazi germans, terrorist muslims etc).
    I am happy to try to answer your questions if you have any particular questions.
    Regarding Creator in the form religious leaders claim Him to be, I think you are very right that our Creator is not the way they tell us He is.
    Thats why it is important to understand Quran (and other scriptures) using our own intellect and not mullah’s intellect.Recommend

  • Muhammad
    Feb 9, 2011 - 12:22PM

    @Kabir Das:
    I have given a bit touch to Russel and Dawkins etc, but dont find any sense in their arguments when they talk about concept of a Creator.
    Essesntially if we take out divine revelation from our life, there is nothing that prevents me from marrying my own mother. You may argue about genetic deterioration due to inbreeding , however, that can be dealt with by artifical insemination with sperms from another man.
    There is also no real value in valuing life except the fact that a Superior force decrees that there is. I would be just as happy with philosophy of killing and acquiring others’ possessions (a main dirving force for primate psyche) and there is no reason why should I stop unless there is a Superior Force that tells me not to do it because it is “wrong”. Anyways, we can argue that “there were Greek philosophers who thought about it and awarded value to life” but as I said, if a person like me did not beleive in God, then there is nothing that stops me from doing what I may please. If there is no fear of hereafter, then essentially there is no need of morality and all might as well be a law of jungle.
    I wont go into those philosophical details since I am not a great fan of philosophy anyways. They still wonder “what is the fundamental reason that rape is wrong”- check out PHILOSOPHY OF SEX (a collection of essays on the topic).
    All the philosophers who claim they have independent views, have actually many views which stem from the moral standards of majority of society. That is why they attach value to life/morality. What do you think these philosophers would be saying if this was a society consisting of 99 % people who would consider rape as a “masculine” deed? Also, we may say that “human inner self tells us what is wrong and what is right”, and I agree wiht that. very interestingly, when I started to read up Quran, it says same thing– We innately know what is wrong and what is right- the test consists of which of our inner impulses do we follow? Obviously this is not a proof of existence of God in any way. I am just saying !
    Now the question that arises in my annoyingly curious mind is , who put that software inside our souls that we recognize when something is wrong?
    The chain essentially goes on till it stops at the question “IF God created everything, then who created God?” Unfortunately , that is a question that I will have to ask God Himself when I cross over one day (hopefully I will remember the question if there are no other pressing concerns like escaping fire and thorny walls of jahanum like mullahs promise us).
    So I agree that God is not what Mullahs tell us he is. Recommend

  • Kabir Das
    Feb 9, 2011 - 4:42PM

    @ Muhammad

    I have been quite busy and will continue to be so for another day or so. I have been writing my comments in past few days intermittently in bits and pieces whenever I could find some time to spare from my other commitments. You have started an interesting new topic. I will revert back to you shortly. Don’t go away. I will be back after a short break :-)Recommend

  • Muhammad
    Feb 9, 2011 - 6:13PM

    @Kabir Das:
    No problem. Sort your other commitments and then we can continue our discussion. However, I sense you wanna talk about “philosophy” whereas I am pretty much done with philosophy of “philosophy”. I pretty much consider discussion on philosophy as running in circles since almost every concept has arguments and counter-arguments in favor as well as against it. So I think we cant sort out what philosophers could not sort out since time of Greeks. I was just recounting about my thoughts about philosophy and as such no one is bound to agree with me at all. Anyways, will look forward to “Return of the Jedi Kabir”.Recommend

  • Kabir Das
    Feb 9, 2011 - 6:57PM

    Rest assured Philosphy is not my forte my respect for philospher notwithstanding. I am more into science than anything else.Recommend

  • Muhammad
    Feb 10, 2011 - 5:07AM

    @Kabir Das:
    “Science” is interesting. But is ever-changing.
    Unfortunately I wont be around to see it mature to level of FTL and interstellar travel (which I guess would not happen until we become a type 2 or 3 civilization which is at least one millennium away , may be more).
    Anyways, I look forward to your return with science discussions. What do you do ?I am a doctor of medicineRecommend

  • Muhammad
    Feb 10, 2011 - 5:32AM

    @Kabir Das:
    @Kabir Das:
    Since you do not beleive in the Mullah’s Version of Islam and God (as do I and many others), Here is something for you to give a listen to:

    Listen only to first minute if you are in a hurry and listen what he says about “worship God” verses in Quran. Recommend

  • Muhammad
    Feb 10, 2011 - 5:47AM

    @Kabir Das:
    And last but not the least-in fact probably most important is this article written by a former apostate from India who highlights mullahs version of Islam and how he discovered it for himself. If you wanna read one thing out of all this, then this would be the one(since you must be very busy): Recommend

  • Kabir Das
    Feb 10, 2011 - 1:49PM

    @ Muhammad
    “Science” is interesting. But is ever-changing.”

    I will let BR answer this:
    It is a practice of theologians to laugh at science because it changes. ‘Look at us,’they say. What we asserted at the Council of Nicea we still assert; whereas what scientist asserted two or three years ago is already forgotten and antiquated.’ Men who speak this way may have not heard of successive approximations.
    (Education and the Social Order)

    “Anyways, I look forward to your return with science discussions. What do you do ?I am a doctor of medicine.”

    I am or rather was a doctor of machines meaning a mechanical engineer. Now I just read and think being somewhat lazy. I have read extensively about theory of relativity, quantum mechanics and evolution to understand life and universe. Recently undergone a very serious, major, tricky and risky operation called ‘Cervical Laminactomy’ for the treatment of my problem known as ‘Cervical Stenosis'(pressure on spine in the neck region). Because of this I can’t sit before computer for long. Also type with some difficulty because of numbness of fingers. Not that I was a good ypist before the onset of this problem. These days I have some house guests who make harder for me to find time to sit before computer to write somethig serious.Recommend

  • Kabir Das
    Feb 10, 2011 - 2:16PM

    @ Muhammad
    “Since you do not beleive in the Mullah’s Version of Islam and God ”

    Basically I am highly skeptical of all religions including Islam. Sometime I think Mullah’s or Taliban version of Islam is true and pure form of Islam unadulterated with reason.
    By the way when I saw the video made by you to expose Mullah Paracha I was not so much disturbed by his lying and dishonesty as with the laughter and clapping of the audience who looked fairly educated lot. These are Mullahs in the closet or Mullahs in the making or simply and justifiably true followers of Islam. There is a very large number of such people in Pakistan. How can you deal with such educated Mullahs. That is why I say we in Pakistan don’t need freedom of religion. What we really need is freedom from religion. And I also maintain that there is not so much wrong with the fundamentalists as with the fundamentals of religions.

    Thanks for forwarding me the links to some informative material to read and watch. I will certainly read them in due course.Recommend

  • Muhammad
    Feb 10, 2011 - 4:45PM

    @Kabir Das:
    Quantum mechanics fascinates me since it interestingly speaks of some concepts which sufis and mystics of other religions have been claiming sicne many centuries:
    you can be at many places at same time.
    One can travel back and forth in time and see universe unfold
    One can teleport
    One can move objects without touching them etc.
    I think you must have read about all the uncertainty principles and although there is no direct link , but sometimes I wonder if there is a connection on a cosmic level too.
    I remember studying many spiritual discussions when I was around 10 and I read “every material thing is made up of energy waves at certain frequencies”. Now they claim all the particles are strings- you pluck them this way, they are a neutron, you pluck them that way and its a proton. I was fascinated and indeed taken aback that science is now saying about matter what I read as a young kid.
    but anyways, my personal thoughts are not a “hujjat” for you. Recommend

  • Muhammad
    Feb 10, 2011 - 5:57PM

    @Kabir Das:

    The remark of science changing refers to the historical errors in science:
    Earth is flat
    Earth is center of universe etc.
    Stars are stationary
    More recently;
    Discovery of galaxies racing away was in somewhere in 1920s by Edwin Hubble. Before that “science” was sure that Milky Way is the entire universe and stars are static. Surprisingly, Earlier, in 1917, Einstein had found that his newly developed theory of general relativity indicated that the universe must be either expanding or contracting. “Science” of that time predicted otherwise. Unable to believe what his own equations were telling him, Einstein introduced a cosmological constant (a fudge factor) to the equations to avoid this “problem”. Hubble proved otherwise by using Red shift data and working on nebulae. When Einstein heard of Hubble’s discovery, he said that changing his equations was “the biggest blunder of [his] life”. So “Science” changed. Hubble discovered “galaxies racing away from each other” in 1920s s but Quran said 1400 years ago that whole universe is expanding till a certain time.

    Not many people knew Quran in 16th century when people were working on theories of sun being a star and about a heliocentric solar system consisting of sun and planets. Before that, in BC era many people had suggested the same and some of them burnt at stake. However, Quran made this simple assertion 1400 years ago without any hesitation that all stars are moving.
    Quran states about “all stars moving in their own prescribed manner”, which is a pretty amazing and daring statement from a layperson’s point of view when we now discover that stars orbit each other, or super massive blackholes at centre of galaxies”. Also, very distant galaxies observed: Moving away from us at 580,000km/s (1,305,000,000mph). (This is faster than the speed of light and is a result of the shape of the universe!!!).

    Although successive approximations is the only way we finally understand things, the stages themselves , in their own right, are by no means “Scientific” facts. Newtonian laws are “Scientific” facts for heavenly bodies- but hey quantum physics (of the really small) is exactly opposite and are mutually contradictory and sometimes exclusive of each other. So two “facts” almost completely opposite to each other. So by any yardstick, we are nowhere near knowing the “reality”. And that’s why I don’t bother about science too much. Science will continue its development through successive approximations but It really cant answer questions like “why should I respect life”, or “why should I not marry my own daughter, mother, or grandma”. To get answers to such questions and others like “Why are we here”, and “who put us here”, and “where did this all come from”, we will have to turn to other sources. These questions will not be really answered by science- at least in near future (few thousand years maybe). Science will indeed , in the end tell us what are basic particles and more, but the fundamental question will still remain “where did those particles came from” or “what was there before big bang”, or what was there before the “singularity” that caused the big bang. The M-theorists are now saying that two branes with their “universes” inside them collide and caused the big bang-ooops “Science” about to change again. Irrespective of the end result of these theories being right or wrong , they still do not answer “where did the branes come from”. To me , that is the fundamental question. Rest is all “successive approximations”.Recommend

  • Muhammad Umer
    Feb 10, 2011 - 6:18PM

    @Kabir Das:
    @Kabir Das:
    “as with the laughter and clapping of the audience who looked fairly educated lot”
    I agree with you.I was also appalled at the way they were clapping and I realized in those days (taseer’s murder and public support for qadri) that majority of our people actually BELEIVE that blasphemy is punioshable by death. I was so upset for so many days. I am better now but still very deeply bothered about this nemesis in our society-essentially a mullah may turn up on my door to declare me infidel or say “I saw a dream last night that I should marry your daughter”.
    When I look at Quran , it sounds very “secular” to me. Personal beleifs, religion and “Dawat-e-Islam” is essentially a matter of preaching and dialog and personal preferences rather than a military campaign.however, our mullahs have made it pretty much a military campaign at all levels. Recommend

  • Muhammad Umer
    Feb 10, 2011 - 6:27PM

    @Kabir Das:
    “house guests”
    Stay hopeful Dear Kabeer,one day,they will depart LOL (just a joke-no intention of implying that you want them to leave LOL).
    “cervical laminectomy”
    It is a delicate surgery indeed. humans’ breathing nerves (phrenic nerves)come off from cervical spine levels C3C4C5.
    I hope you do well with your health.Recommend

  • Muhammad Umer
    Feb 10, 2011 - 6:28PM

    @Kabir Das:
    Hope to “talk” to you soon Insha Allah.Recommend

  • Kabir Das
    Feb 10, 2011 - 10:59PM

    @ Muhammad:”Quantum mechanics fascinates me.”

    Niels Bohr once said: “Those who are not shocked when they first come across quantum theory cannot possibly have understood it.”

    I was shocked by it alright when I first came to know about it and yet I did not quite understad it —– then or even now.
    Sometime back some metaphysicsts tried to show that QM has a lot in common with ‘eastern mysticism’ but QM physcists scoffed at this idea.Recommend

  • Kabir Das
    Feb 10, 2011 - 11:47PM

    @ Muhammad Umer: “Stay hopeful Dear Kabeer,one day,they will depart.”

    They happen to be my outlaws — oops— I mean my inlaws:-) Mrs Kabir Das wants me to give up my reading and writing to provide them company. Seems like most people they also don’t enjoy their own company unlike Kabir Das (KD) who enjoys his own company more than anbody elses’ company.

    ” Cervical Laminectomy “
    It was done on C1,C2,C3,C4,C5 and C6. Still I came out alive and unharmed and in a much better condition than before. thanks to doctors. God bless America.

    “Hope to “talk” to you soon Insha Allah.”
    In most cases when people precede or succeed their commitment or promise with Inshallah I become bit wary of their own intentions or seriousness:-) Recommend

  • Kabir Das
    Feb 11, 2011 - 1:27AM

    @ Muhammad: “Earth is flat”

    Indeed at one time in the light of data available the earth was considered to be falt which we know now it wasn’t. As with the passage more data became available it was considered to be a sphere again which we know now it isn’t. And then as our measuring skills improved during Newton era it was thought to be a ‘oblate spheroid’ ratherthan a sphere. In 1958 when the local gravitational pull was measured from the satellite the earth was found to be pear shaped. Actually the pearlike deviation from oblate-spheroid was a matter of yards rather than miles. Please note that this doesn’t mean that the earth may be thought spherical now, but cubical next century, and hollow icosahedron the next, and a doughnut shape the one after.
    Isaac Asimov explains this in his book The Relativity Of Wrong as follows:
    “What actually happens is that once scientist get hold of a good concept they gradually refine and extend it with greater and greater subtelity as their istruments improve. Theories are not so much wrong as incomplete”
    By the way Bertrand Russell also meant the same kind of thing by ‘successive approximation’ which in actual fact is a procedure used in mathematics to solve certain type of second order differential equation which can’t be solved directly in a normal manner. I learned it and used it when I was an engineering student and thought the procedure to be a pain in the neck.

    “Quran said 1400 years ago that whole universe is expanding till a certain time.”

    Can you please provide me the ref. I had it but lost it when I had me hard disc replaced. It says something like we gave ‘woosat’ to the universe which doesn’t necessarily mean the expanding universe. Anyway let me see the ref again for my comment.

    “Moving away from us at 580,000km/s (1,305,000,000mph). (This is faster than the speed of light and is a result of the shape of the universe!!!).”

    Sir, where did you read all this. Special theory of relativity puts a limit on speed. Nothing can move faster than light.

    [TO BE CONTINUED] Recommend

  • Muhammad
    Feb 11, 2011 - 4:52AM

    @Kabir Das:
    “QM physcists scoffed at this idea”
    So if they scoff, are you implying that there is no possibility of this being true???
    IT is common for people (scientists especially) to reject new and unconventional ideas. They did the same with quanutm physics, multi-verse, string and M theory, etc. So there is a long history of them scoffing on ideas and propositions that they thought were ridiculous but later accepted as facts.
    As I said, I read all the mystic stuff when I was about 10 or so. Those mystic concepts go back many hundred years so were there long before we made the “quantum leap”. Just because we dont understand some thing, or cant see something , does not mean that there is no possibility of that very concept being a truth. If you have ever had a string of dreams coming true verbatim or any out of body experience kind of thing, you will know what I am mean when I say “there is more than what meets the eye in this universe”. Once again, my personal experiences unfortunately (or rather fortunately) do not form a “hujjat” for you. everyone has to discover the truth in his/her own way. We dont understand all of it (yet). There has to be another way (just like quantum physics that does not make sense according to Newtonian laws but on minuscule scales of smaller than Angstrom measurements, are the realities).
    Are you aware of the experiments that show that just by “thinking” and “expecting” a certain outcome , the probability of that certain “outcome” in computer models actually changes. This means, just thinking can actually make things happen. We the humans are in very initial stages of the “science ” of metaphysics, but it is going to explode one day just the way other sciences did 500 years ago.
    “Sometime back some metaphysicsts tried to show that QM has a lot in common with ‘eastern mysticism’ but QM physcists scoffed at this idea.” which meta-physicists are you talking about? You should watch WHAT THE BLEEP DO WE KNOW-DOWN THE RABBIT HOLE. Its a rather controversial documentary but at least it gives a new way of looking at QM and metaphysics. you say you have read good deal of QM,so you will have no problem with the concepts explained in it.Even if you dont agree with it, still you might enjoy it and certainly , you will get a good chance to “scoff” at it. :-)
    PS: its there on youtube too.
    It was available in Karachi but not sure about rest of Pakistan. Recommend

  • Muhammad Umer
    Feb 11, 2011 - 4:56AM

    have you read “Parallel Universes” by Michio Kaku? Another by same author is “Physics of the Impossible”. both are interesting reads.Recommend

  • Kabir Das
    Feb 11, 2011 - 3:46PM

    @ Muhammad
    “have you read “Parallel Universes” by Michio Kaku?”

    No, no but I have read one written by Fred Alan Wolf. This book is sitting right there on one of my book shelfs. Is Michio Kaku a physicist or a so called metaphysicidt? Recommend

  • Muhammad Umer
    Feb 11, 2011 - 3:49PM

    “when people precede or succeed their commitment or promise with Inshallah I become bit wary of their own intentions or seriousness:-)”
    then you should be very happy that I did not say “Baad-as-salaat”/ . As the word has it, people who have worked in Saudi Arabia narrate this occurrence that when arabs dont want to do somehting for you, and defer it (almost indefinitely) they say ” we will do it after prayers- (baad-as-salaat). LOL
    Anyways, I do say it occassionally intentionally or un-intentionally.
    “Mrs Kabir Das wants me to give up my reading and writing to provide them company. ”
    I understand the feeling precisely. My wife keeps telling me “why are you always on internet working like an “ASGARD”? LOL.Recommend

  • Muhammad Umer
    Feb 11, 2011 - 10:12PM

    “Special theory of relativity puts a limit on speed. Nothing can move faster than light.”
    Kabir, aer you testing me or you really missed this part in your passionate study marathon?
    I suspect you are just testing me. But anyways, the speed limit (c) is on OBJECTS physically moving THROUGH space . SPACE itself can EXPAND faster than speed of light.
    I will check this speed of galaxies again (or maybe you can google it for me). I am sure about the space expansion at a rate faster than speed of light though. That is also the concept behind making FTL possible . It is proposed to CONTRACT space in front of the drive FASTER than speed of light and EXPANDS (or does something to ) the space BEHIND the drive (ship). so the ship itself does not travel faster than light but the SPACE EXAPNSION and CONTRACTION does. obviosuly I am no physicist so this is just in my words but you can double check on FTL and HYPERDRIVEs and Alberqueque drive (I read these long time ago so may be giving you jumbled up names but the concept still the same). Mind you these drives are only one possible method of FTL. There are others too, but we are not even a type 1 civilization yet so its not gonna happen in my life time. So never went back to read them again. Our discussion revived my old passion about FTL and hence my mention of galaxies.
    I have lost the reference that I had used.Recommend

  • Muhammad Umer
    Feb 11, 2011 - 10:14PM

    @Muhammad Umer:
    Michio Kaku is a theoretical physicist. his books are very interesting. I presume you already must have read BRIEF HISTORY OF TIME and UNIVERSE IN A NUTSHELL by Stephen Hawking.
    A bit more mathematical for me (bilogy was my subject). Mchio Kaku is much more easy for me to udnerstand.Recommend

  • Kabir Das
    Feb 12, 2011 - 1:19AM

    @ Muhammad
    “Stay hopeful Dear Kabeer,one day,they will depart.”
    Thier departure has been delayed due to PIA strike. Have got a chance now to swich on my computer after puting them to bed and tucking them in:-)


    Read it long time back when it was first published in 1992. Soon after it I read two other books (Stephen Hawking, quest for a theory of everything by Kitty Ferguson and Stephen Hawking, A life in Science by Michael White and John Gribbin) which came out in explanation of it. I haven’t read Stephen Hawking’s book The Universe in a Nutshell. I finished reading his latest book The Grand Design about two months back. He didn’t say anything nein this book which I already didn’t know. I think he wrote this book to raise some funds of which he is always short. But that is fair enough.

    “Michio Kaku”
    It was so silly of me to have asked you about Michio Kaku. Just now when I looked for The Brief History Of Time to check when was it when I read it I saw sitting next to it a book Beyond Einstein by Michio Kaku. It was given to me as my birth day prsent by my wife. I read it sometime back and had forgotten all about its author.

    I can recommend to you two other books which may be of great interest to you. One is The Mind of God and the other one is God and the New Physics both written by Paul Davies a physcist. I am recommending these books to you since Paul Davies is sponsered by a religious organisation TEMPELTON and as such does not lose sight of religion when writing such books. I don’t like him for his subtle religious touch in these books.

    Right now I am reading The Fabric Of The Cosmos byBrian Greene. An excellent book I must say.

    I feel refreshed after talking about books.Recommend

  • Tariq Gondal
    Feb 12, 2011 - 6:50PM

    my article covering the same topic has been printed by the Nation dated 12/02/2011 , The need to rally not just in Pakistan but across the World of propagate the True , the Progressive and THE Islam which our beloved Prophet (PBUH) PROPAGATED, ….is most urgent now , than at any other part of our history…!!!!well done Khalid shb….we need more people ..specially amongst the youngsters who have the moral courage to stand up for what is right…??Recommend

  • Kabir Das
    Feb 12, 2011 - 8:39PM

    @ Muhammad
    “Kabir, aer you testing me or you really missed this part in your passionate study marathon?”

    Sir, I am neither testing you nor I have missed this part in my marathon passionate study. I am just trying to bring to your notice a scientific fact: nothing can move faster than light be it space or be it time or whatever. There are some well established laws of nature which just can’t be violatd like Heisenburg principal of uncertainity, second law of thermodynamics and universal speed limit etc. Many a time peeople come up with some excellent new ideas but then when they are probed further and found to be cntradicting any such law they are rejected forthwith without much adu on this basis.
    You may have read something like this in some science fiction or on some Islamic website :-)
    I will appreciate if you can check the speed of galaxies and let me know what did you find. I have enough on my plate right now. I have yet to answer your question about incest which I intend to do after putting my guests to bed :-) Recommend

  • Kabir Das
    Feb 13, 2011 - 2:16AM

    @ Muhammad
    ” I have given a bit touch to Russel and Dawkins etc, but dont find any sense in their arguments when they talk about concept of a Creator.”

    Sir, the basis of Richard Dawkins arguments about God is mainly and primarily evolution. If his arguments don’t make sense to you it only shows that you have not understood the evolution and the powerful driving force behind it ie Natural Selection. Before the publication of his book The God Delusion I had read 5 out of 8 books that he had written explaining various aspects of evolution. I would say I came to understand evolution when I first read his book The Bind Watchmaker. It was enough to change my views about religion which were not very strong otherwise also. Thereafter I read his other books and few other books by other writers about evolution to fully understand all aspects of evolution. When I read his book The God Delusion it didn’t have much new for me. I had already come to the same conclusion which he tried to prove in this book. By the way I read his last book The Greatest Show On Earth when I was recuperating from my surgery in a rehabilitation centre.

    “Essesntially if we take out divine revelation from our life, there is nothing that prevents me from marrying my own mother.”

    Are you implying that athiests have no qualms in marrying their mothers or that people of primitive societies which didn’t have religion worth the name were incestuous?? That you will agree is not true. Sir, morality predates your institution of religion.

    You may be aware of Will Durant who wrote a classic ref book The Story Of Civilization which consists of 11 volumes each volume of more than thousand pages. In the first volume titled Our Oriental Heritage he writes:
    Religion is not the basis of morals, but an aid to them; conceivably they could exist without it, and not infrequently they have progressed against its indifference or its obstinate resistence. In the earliest socities, and in some later ones, morals appear at
    times to be quite independent of religion. As a rule religion sanctions not any absolute good (since there is none), but those norms of conduct which have established themselves by force of economics and social circumstances, like law it looks to the past for its judgements, and is apt to be left behind as conditions change and morals alter with them. So the Greeks learned to abhor incest while their mythologies still honored incestuous gods; the Christian practised monogamy while their Bible legalized polygamy; slavery was abolished while dominies sanctified it with unpeachable Biblical authority. The moral function of religion is to conserve established values, rather than to create new ones.
    Sir, I wonder if you find sense in what he is saying??
    [TO BE CONTINUED]Recommend

  • Kabir Das
    Feb 13, 2011 - 2:37AM


    In The God Delusion Richard Dawkins asserts:
    Several books, including Robert Hinde’s Why Good is Good, Michael Shermer’s The Science of Good and Evil, Robert Buckman’s Can We Be Good Without God? and Marc Hauser’s Moral Minds, have argued that our sense of right ad wrong can be derived from our Darwinian past. [these are biologists and not philosophers which hold similar views but I wouldn’t quote them since you don’t like them]If our moral sense like our sexual desire, is indeed rooted deep in our Darwinian past, predating religion, we should expect that the research on the human mind would reveal some moral universals, crossing geograpical and cultural barriers, and also, crucially, religious barriers. The Harvad biologist Marc Hauser, in his book, Moral Minds: How Nature Designed our Universal Sense of Right and Wrong, has enlarged upon a fruitful line of thought experiments. [very interesting thought experiments detais of which is given in the book]A hypothetical moral dilemma is posed, and the difficulty we experence in answering it tells somerhing about our sense of right and wrong. He does statistical surveys and psychological experiments using questionaires on the internet. The interesting thing is that most people come to the same decisins when facedd with these dilemmas, and their agreement over the decisions themselves is stronger than their ability to articulate their reasons.The way people respond to these moral tests, and their inability to articulate their reasons, seems largely independent of their religious beliefs or lack of them.
    The main conclusion of Hauser and Singer’s study was that there is no statistically significant difference between athiests and religious believers in making these judgements. This seems comparable with the view, which I an many others hold, that we do not need God inorder to be good—or evil.
    Take care and good night.Recommend

  • Muhammad Umer
    Feb 13, 2011 - 3:35AM

    @Kabir Das:
    Dear Kabir, as I said there is a difference between “galaxy” moving at speed of light and “space expanding” at speed of light (or faster than it). Now it is a common concept in astronomy and astrophysics and I have read it not in one but many books that I have been reading over years.
    Unfortunately I did not know that I will come across you. Had I known, I would have kept a reference ready for you.
    For now, just this “popular astronomy” link is attached . Obviously it is not a proper “academic” reference but there are many sites like this and apparently it is a common issue there (I did not realize people considered “mass traveling through space” synonymous with “space expansion” itself. Space can expand at or faster than speed of light but physical objects can not do so). I will keep looking for a more academic reference and will forward it to you as soon as I get it .Recommend

  • Muhammad Umer
    Feb 13, 2011 - 3:37AM

    @Muhammad Umer:
    sorry forgot the link in first post.Recommend

  • Muhammad Umer
    Feb 13, 2011 - 3:53AM

    @Kabir Das:
    Another link from NASA explaining the difference of “objects physically” travelling through space and non-violation of Einstein’s Theory of relativity when “space” itself expands.
    Hope this helps.

    PS: NASA is not an Islamic website.Recommend

  • Muhammad Umer
    Feb 13, 2011 - 3:58AM

    @Kabir Das:
    “I am just trying to bring to your notice a scientific fact: nothing can move faster than light be it space or be it time or whatever.”
    Kabir I believe (do correct me if I am wrong) that you may need to revisit your understanding of Einstein’s Relativity and its application to physical objects travelling through space and expansion of space itself.
    Have a look at this link too.
    Probably discuss this one of your astrophysicists friends who may be able to explain it to you better than me. I might have failed to bring a point to your attention.

  • Muhammad Umer
    Feb 13, 2011 - 4:04AM

    @Kabir Das:

    Have I satisfactorily answered your question about space expansion?Recommend

  • Muhammad Umer
    Feb 13, 2011 - 12:51PM

    @Kabir Das:

    “Sir, the basis of Richard Dawkins arguments about God is mainly and primarily evolution.”
    So how does confirmation of the process of evolution prove there is no God? Evolution is just one many other continuing processes in the universe. How does it prove that there is no God? Dawkins logic is based on presumption (and stupid assertion of theologians) that God/Allah said “Be!!!” and everything came into being in a split second!
    If that premise is taken out (which many scholars have proposed in their translations of Quran), Dawkins assertion about God based on evolution is nothing but pining the argument on theologians understanding of or rejection of evolution.
    It is a matter of debate as to where does the “morality” of human civilization come from.
    Are you implying that athiests have no qualms in marrying their mothers or that people of primitive societies which didn’t have religion worth the name were incestuous?? That you will agree is not true. Sir, morality predates your institution of religion.”
    So why a society would suddenly(or slowly) start talking about incestuous relationships when it were the norm in a Greek society (esp in their gods)? What was the reason they started to think that way?If their gods were loving incest , they should have followed suit since the “religious following” is always blind and ever enthusiastic.
    so why , as an atheist , it is wrong or immoral for you to marry your own daughter?
    I already know you consider it “immoral” .
    My question is “why it is immoral”? Disregard the society’s norms since this is an “Islamic” society so to say; why it is immoral for you to go ahead and do this?
    I have my reason: it is forbidden by God.
    Whats yours as an atheist?
    Probably no point in discussing this.
    Did you get a chance (yet) check on the links I sent you about Einstein’s theory application to space?Recommend

  • Muhammad Umer
    Feb 13, 2011 - 12:55PM

    @Kabir Das:
    I really want to know the reason why it is “immoral” from an atheist point of view to be involved in an incestuous relationship.
    I would want to understand the “process” by which the philosophers declared it “immoral”. And even with all that, there should be nothing wrong with incest if two parties give consent.
    I have never been involved in such a direct debate so I think it is a good chance for me know your side of story.Recommend

  • Kabir Das
    Feb 13, 2011 - 1:15PM

    @ Muhammad

    Sir, the above concluding remarks bring to mind what Steven Weinberg the nobel priz winner (co-sharer of prize with Dr Slam and another physcist) said so aptly as follows:
    With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.

    I have no reason or evidence to say that Malik Mumtaz, the killer of Taseer, the lawyers who applauded him when he was brought to court, the frothing Mullahs on the streets in support of him and the audience in your video who clapped at the the interpretation of Quaran sanctioning killing of the blasphemers are not good people. They all seem to be good people like everybody else if not better. But alas it is religion and a so called religion of peace at top of that which is making them do an evil. Salman Taseer may not have been a good person like them but out of this lot he is the only one who didn’t make me spew by his acts.Recommend

  • Muhammad Umer
    Feb 13, 2011 - 5:20PM

    @Kabir Das:
    So USA invaded Iraq for alleged WMDs. Did they do it for religion?
    We dont need religion to make people do bad things since they will still do the bad things for reasons other than religion.
    People are “white supramict racist” cause they think they are “white” and hence are the best , not because their religion tells them so.
    But anyways, it does not matter what I believe or you believe; it is not going to alter my belief or your belief.
    Lets resume our discussion on Space expansion.
    did you get a chance to read the links up that I forwarded to you?Recommend

  • Kabir Das
    Feb 13, 2011 - 8:02PM

    @ Muhammad
    “So USA invaded Iraq for alleged WMDs. Did they do it for religion?”

    No! They did it because they were bad people. Sir, read the quote again to understand the profound thought that it coveys. Recommend

  • Kabir Das
    Feb 14, 2011 - 12:01AM

    @Tariq Gondal:

    Haven’t read your article but can guess what you could have said. I think your voice, the voice of Khalid Zaheer, the voice of Muhammad Umer and few other such voices, sad though it may sound, are nothing more than the voices in the wilderness. In any case keep up the good work.Recommend

  • Kabir Das
    Feb 14, 2011 - 12:27AM

    @ Muhammad: PS: NASA is not an Islamic website.

    Is that so. In that case I will give serious considerstion to what it says.
    There is some error in the link. I can’t open it. Can you please retransmit it for me.
    My stance still remains the same. I will get back to you on this after I have seen the NASA website. By the way expansion of space has interesting effect on time as well. I may dwell on it as well when I get back to you after seeing the referenced NASA website.

    In the meantime can you please also let me know the Quranic ref to the expansion of space which I had requested you for. Recommend

  • Kabir Das
    Feb 14, 2011 - 12:41AM

    @ Muhammad
    “I really want to know the reason why it is “immoral” from an atheist point of view to be involved in an incestuous relationship.”

    Because it has been hard wired into us by Natural Selection during our evolutionary past.
    If it doesn’t make sense to you I am afraid you will have to understand evolution and what is Natural Selection all about. Recommend

  • Kabir Das
    Feb 14, 2011 - 3:35AM

    @ Muhammad
    With some further delibration over the matter of high speeds of galaxies I agree that if the speed of recession is larger and larger for galaxies that are farther and farther away that would mean that the galaxies that are sufficiently distant will rush away from us at a speed greater than the speed of light. You have made your point.
    However, since the galaxies, on average hardly move through space at all it is not in violation of special relativity.
    There is still something which is not quite clear to me and I am feeling bit uneasy about it. How can the speed of recession of a galaxy can be cnstrued as speed of expansion of space as well when all the galaxies are receding at different speeds depending upon their distance from the observer. Hubbel’s original data show that galaxies that are 100 million light-years from us are moving away at about 5.5 million miles per hour, those at 200 million light-years are moving twice as fast, at about 11 million miles per hour, those at 300 million light-years’ distance are moving away three times at fast, at about 16.5 million miles per hour, and so on. Fair enough but then which galaxy should be made the basis of the speed of the expansion of the universe. I have yet to figure out an answer to this question of mine. I think I will be able to figure this out soon after the PIA flights are fully resumed :-)
    Take care and good night.Recommend

  • Muhammad Umer
    Feb 14, 2011 - 12:32PM

    @Kabir Das:
    “How can the speed of recession of a galaxy can be cnstrued as speed of expansion of space as well when all the galaxies are receding at different speeds depending upon their distance from the observer”
    I read some sort of a mathematical calculations that explain all this stuff but I hated mathematics (although I used to score pretty well in exams- but thats not a true measure how well one knows a subject), and hence could not understand it (or maybe I did not exercise enough patience to read through it properly).
    Anyway, now that that MD has resigned and PALPA have been successful in their demands getting accepted by Govt, I think PIA should be resuming their operations soon- and directly affect your time with your own self in solitude!:-)Recommend

  • Muhammad Umer
    Feb 14, 2011 - 1:58PM

    @Kabir Das:
    I am sure you have heard the common example of “first raindrops”
    I agree with you that our voices are not much in amidst of rest of the mob who consider “it is alright to kill people in name of blasphemy and apostasy”.
    We have to say what we have to say although “It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong”.

  • Muhammad Umer
    Feb 14, 2011 - 2:18PM

    @Tariq Gondal:
    what was the title of your article?Recommend

  • Muhammad Umer
    Feb 14, 2011 - 2:19PM

    @Kabir Das:
    “It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong”.

  • Muhammad Umer
    Feb 14, 2011 - 4:47PM

    @Kabir Das:
    here is the NASA link whre they answer questions from public. there are various topics listed on this page and you can click on links and read that expansion of space can itself happen at faster than c and does not violate any laws of physics (including barrier of speed c)

    The other one is

  • Muhammad Umer
    Feb 14, 2011 - 4:50PM

    @Kabir Das:
    we are the expanders : 51:47Recommend

  • Muhammad Umer
    Feb 14, 2011 - 4:55PM

    @Kabir Das:
    earth and heavens came from a united entity and all living things came from “water”Recommend

  • Kabir Das
    Feb 15, 2011 - 12:28AM

    @ Muhammad
    I have two translations of Quran infront of me. Their translation of this Ayet is as follows:
    1. And the heaven, We raised it with power, and We are Makers of the vast extent.
    2. We have built the heaven with might and We it is who make the vast extent (thereof)

    Now sir, where does it talk about the expnding universe. And none of these translators have written any commentry to relate it with the scientific discovery of expanding universe. I will refrain from saying more than that lest I also get labelled as a blasphemer in addition to being an thiest.

    Can you please let me know the name of the translator and his commentry on this before I make my specific comments on this.

    As a follow up of this please see my comments below. Recommend

  • Kabir Das
    Feb 15, 2011 - 12:52AM

    @ Muhammad
    As a follow up of my above post please read the following extracts from the book The God Particle written by Leon Lederman, Nobel laureate and one of the worlds foremost experimental physcist. These exracts relate to a Greek philospher who in the fifth century BC came up with the idea that an invisible particle might be basic building block of all matter. He called it an ‘atom’— that which can’t be cut. Compare this with the dubious inferences drawn from Quranic verses unnecessarily. JADOO WOH JO SAR CHARH KAY BOLAY.
    ” Nothing exists except atoms and space; everything else is opinion.”
    ” Everything exisiting in the universe is the fruit of chance and necessity.”

    Historian refer to him as Laughing Philosopher, moved to mirth by the follies of mankind. It is hard to accept this as true. He was no strangr to violence; his atoms were in constant violent motion. Democritus work on void was revolutionary. He knew, for instance, tha there is no top, botttom or middle in space. It was quite an accomplishment for a human born on this planet with its geocentric populace. The concept that there is no up or down is still difficult for most people, in spite of TV scenes from space capsules. One of Democritus’ further out beliefs was that there are innumerable worlds of different sizes. These worlds at irregular distances, more in one direction and fewer in another. Some are flourshing, and some declining. Here they come into being. There they die, destryed by collisions with one another. Some of the worlds have no animal or vegetable life nor any water. Odd stuff, yet this perception can be related to modern cosmological ideas associated with what is called ‘inflationary’ universe, out of which can spring numerous ‘bubble universes’. This from a laughing philosopher who trekked around the Greek empire for more than two millennia ago.

    As for his famous quote about verything being ‘the fruit of chance or necessity,’ we find the same paradox more dramataclly in quantum mechanics, one of the great theories of the twentieth century. Individual collision of atoms , said Democritus, have necessory consequences. There are strict rules. However, which collisions are more frequent, which preponderate in a particular location — These are elements of chance. Carried to its logical conclusion, this noton mans that the creation of an almost ideal earth-sun system, is a matter of luck. In the modern quantum theory resolution of this conundrum, certainiity and regularity emerge as events that are average over a distribution of reactions of varying probobality. As the number of randum processes contributing to the average increases, one can predict with increasing certainity what will happen. Democritus’ notion is compatible with our present belief. One can’t say with certainity what fate will befall a given, but one can fortell accurately the consequences of the motion of zillion of atoms colliding randomly in space.

    Even his distrust of the senses provide remarkable insight. He points out that our senses are made of atoms, which collide with the atoms of the object being sensed, thereby constraining our perception. His way of expressing this problm is resonant with another of the great discoveries of twentieth century, the Heisenberg’s uncertainity principle. The act of measuring affects the partiicle being measured. Yes, there is some poetry here. Recommend

  • Muhammad Umer
    Feb 15, 2011 - 3:53PM

    @Kabir Das:
    you can visit this site and check a number of translation side by side: much more efficient in every way:,en-muhammadasad,en-muhammadusmani,en-syedahamed&show=both,quran-uthmani&ver=2.00Recommend

  • Kabir Das
    Feb 18, 2011 - 9:40PM

    @ Muhammad
    earth and heavens came from a united entity and all living things came from ‘water’ ”

    Sorry I couldn’t respond earlier because I got busy with few other things. In regard to 21:30 may I know what is your precise claim or question so that I can respond in a meaningful manner.

    I hope Khalid Zaheer Sahab is patient enough to let us resolve this issue before calling it a day.Recommend

  • Muhammad Umer
    Feb 19, 2011 - 6:04PM

    21:30 says earth and heavens came from a united entity and all living things came from water
    I do not have a claim. It makes me think of the singularity (single entity) from where we are supposed to have a begining.
    Or it could be God Himself (entity) but whatever , does not mattter
    May be more important and more precise statement is the one about sun, stars, earth all being in their respctive orbits.
    so probably I would be more interested in your response to that.
    PS: this is not me trying to convince you about “scientific” facts in quran since it is not a scientific discourse at all. but these statements do make me wonder the facts that we know today.Recommend

  • Muhammad Umer
    Feb 27, 2011 - 6:47PM

    where have the comments gone?Recommend

  • Muhammad Umer
    Feb 27, 2011 - 6:48PM

    @Kabir Das:
    Dont tell me your outlaws are still there!!!!
    please write to me on my email (since the comments may be closed and I dont wanna loose your input on various topics)
    [email protected]
    PS: hope all is well at your end.Recommend

  • Kabir Das
    Feb 28, 2011 - 7:20PM

    All is well at my end. My inlaws are gone. I have reduced my computer time due lack of some interesting subject. Gone back to my reading mode. Spent a major part of night last night to understand Higgs field. Thanks for contacting me and for your email address. Will get in touch with you as desired by you. Take care.

    Khaild Zaheer Sahab: Thank you for providing an opportunity to express my views so candidly although you wouldn’t have agreed with most of what I said. I am glad to have met you. I respect your views. Wish you luck and hope to see you again on these pages. Keep up the good work and take care. Allah hafiz.Recommend

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