Letters to the Editor
Q: My husband and I stay in a joint family. Recently, a death occurred in our family. The women of the house did not comb their hair for three days after that. They tell me during these days, the departed soul is given a drop of water between ‘Asr and Maghrib. If we were to comb our hair, then the soul is denied water and is left thirsty forever.
What the women of your family say has no basis in Islam. In the entire hadith literature, we do not find anything mentioned about the dead being given a drop of water. It is only the martyrs who are alive, with Allah. As for ordinary believers, after their death and questioning by the angels, they are either subjected to punishment for their misdeeds, or, are allowed to sleep off until the Day of Judgement. They are not alive, and are not given drinks nor receive chocolates.
The statement, as given by you, also falls against the Qur’anic injunction that no soul is burdened for the deeds of another. Why should a dead man be punished for the deeds or misdeeds of those alive? In fact, the departed soul is very likely to be punished with thirst, if he was the one who encouraged the innovative practice that you have mentioned.
Alternatively, if he knew it as wrong but did not prohibit, or, received the innovative tradition and practice from the previous generation, and allowed it to prevail, without questioning its validity, then too he will be held responsible for what of the innovations are practised, for his benefit, after his death.
Another point: it is make-up and appearing bright and beautiful that is disallowed for the wife of a dead Muslim during the period of ‘Iddah. That doesn’t mean she puts on the appearances of a witch. She can wash herself, comb her hair and lead a normal life. She might not try to show herself attractive by means of bright dress, ornaments, perfumes or make-up.
Finally, the rules of ‘Iddah apply to the wife of the dead person alone. They do not apply to other women of the house, not even to his mother, daughter or sister.
Q: I am a revert to Islam, and the behaviour and practices of my in-laws is strange and totally alien to the teachings of Islam, not supported either by the Qur’an or Hadith. They say that this is a tradition that has been passed to them by their elders from generations and they would not like me to debate on this issue.
Their refusal to discuss the issue shows that, at heart, they know that their practice is groundless. They are fearful that, if an inquiry is conducted, they’d be proven wrong, and forced to change their ways, which they do not want to. They wish to carry on, injunction or no injunction, Islam or no Islam.
Q: My husband says he follows the ways of the Tableeghi Jamaat, and yet he makes no attempt to correct these wrong practices.
Being someone who knows (or ought to know) better, his responsibility is greater. He should try to put them to the study (in a family Halaqah – circle of study) of books of Hadith: but not those that contain virtues of acts of worships, rather, collections such as Riyadh as-Saleheen and others. Nothing but a personal, direct, study of hadith will get people rid of these innovative practices. There is power in the words of the Prophet.
Q: Please advise me as to the course of action that I should take when I encounter this bizarre behaviour and irreligious practices of my in-laws.
Remove it from your mind that you will be able to cure these, or any other people’s malice through admonition, warning, or threats of punishment in the Hereafter. The more you criticize, the more adamant they will become.
Therefore, follow the Prophet’s dictum: “I am leaving behind me two things: the Book of Allah, and my Sunnah. So long as you follow them you will never be misguided.” So, what you need to do is institute a study of these two.
Now, the Qur’an is something that is a little difficult for the common people to get interested in, especially the uneducated non-Arabs; and especially so in modern times when patience with any written material is low. For women and children, who are not exposed to the complicities of life, it is all the more harder to grasp what the Qur’an is saying. In addition, lack of knowledge of the historical background renders it a total enigma to them. But the study of the Hadith is less demanding, if the right book and right portions of the book are chosen.
Translations of Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah are now available. To start with, choose and read out to the family members, every night, before going to bed, those parts of these works that speak of the Prophet’s manners and describe his person. They are interesting, simple, and impressive. Try and persuade your husband to conduct the Halaqah. If he fails, either because he doesn’t care, or because he is too timid, then you start the study circle yourself. Initially, get those around you over whom you have some influence. Children are sure to respond. To them read out 3-5 ahadith a day, at night, the last thing to do, before everyone goes to bed. Gradually, in a few months time, others will join in, one after another. Though not exactly as the Qur’an, the Hadith also has a powerful effect on the mind and soul. Gradually you will find the people adopting the Prophetic ways of life. With that, the bid’ah will exit, without you ever uttering a word about it. A precaution that is to be observed is that you will never speak out against a bid’ah. Read out the Sunnah. If that clashes with the practices at home or around, and you are asked, just say, “I am not here to comment on people’s practices. I am here to read out the Hadith. You do as you like.” If they press for a definite answer, tell them to contact a proper ‘Alim. But yourself, say not a word about the innovative practices. Otherwise, they will disperse.
Q: My mother-in-law goes to extraordinary lengths to do Purdah in front of her son-in-law. She is a lady well into her old age. Is this behaviour of hers justified? Please explain so that I get to know the truth of their actions in light of the Qur’an and Hadith?
Name & address withheld
We cannot understand why a woman, young or old, should be observing hijab against a son-in-law who is her Mahram?
Q: Is it necessary to keep a beard that has never been shaved (Jamaal beard) or not? Will not those who grow their beards later earn the same reward?
“Jamal Beard”? What’s it? A people who do not act, play with words. If we add ignorance to the games they play, then, new terms, words and expressions arise. You seem to be a victim of this culture. Anyway, there is no such thing as Jamal Beard, but, length of time of good deeds should count on rewards.
Q: You have written a lot about masturbation – a sin in which many of the youth are involved. I have tried Nafil prayers, tasbeehat, sadaqa, tahajjud, three monthly fasts, patience, Islamic knowledge etc., but to no avail.
You tried everything except the Prophet’s recommendation.
Q: I have been searching for its solution for years. One solution could be to get married or fast as much as I can. But these are not feasible for me at this stage.
You talk of “years” almost with pleasure, and say that getting married isn’t feasible. We wonder why, seeing that in a country like India, those who have access to computers are generally well-off. Anyway, getting married is the Islamic solution. If that is not acceptable to you, then what is the alternative?
As regards fasting, it helps the pious of a high standard.
Q: Moreover, I do not want to apply this solution because it would be like running away from the battle. I want to win. I don’t want to run away.
The devil blew these words into your ears. Islam does not allow for a pleasant fight with the devil in which the Devil has the last laugh.
Q: I pray to Allah that I receive His toufeeq through your reply to get rid of this sin.
There can be little hope of tawfiq through replies, when Islamic solutions are spurned.
Q: I have heard that there are five kinds of Talaq in Islam, could you tell me whatever you can and where I can find out about the same in more detail?
We are glad you have asked us where you could find details about Talaq. Religion is not something that can be known through word of mouth or short discourses here and there. It has to be learnt through one’s own personal studies. Many young men who read our magazine fail to realize that, in a few cases, they can ask and get a reply from us. But, is Islam all that YMD writes about? Obviously not. They need to study more, and now, before life imposes functions that will prevent them from finding time for an enquiry. Every Muslim should know the basics of family laws before he, or she, gets married. In majority of cases, it is ignorance of the laws and the rights and duties of the spouses upon each other that lead to complications and even disasters. To know these things is as important as to know how to Pray and fast.
Talaq (divorce) is of three kinds: raja’i, baa’in and qata’i. Raja’i and baa’in are those in which a re-marriage is possible. In other words, these two types of divorces are revocable. On the other hand, a qata’i talaq is one which does not allow for a re-union of the pair. That is, it is irrevocable and the separation is final, unless another man marries the woman (so divorced), by free consent, and divorces her by free consent. For further details, please look into the law (fiqh) books, such as, for e.g., Islamic Fiqh by Mawlana Mujeebullah Nadwi.
Q: I am an ardent fan of ‘young Muslim Digest.‘ It is really a great necessity in this era of moral degradation. However, I have some doubts, which I hope you will clear. Here in India, there are many religious customs and practices followed by Indian Muslims, which are actually nothing but Islamized pagan customs? Do you agree with us that this is mainly due to illiteracy and ignorance?
Yes, we agree with you.
Q: Milk boiling during the ‘house-warming’ ceremony has become one of the necessary customs among the Indian Muslims, which was actually a pagan practice. In this milk-boiling process, if the milk boils and spills out, then it is considered as a good luck and a sign of happy and comfortable or peaceful life in the new house. Instead of that, just saying ‘Bismillah‘ while entering the house would suffice. Do you agree?
Of course, we agree. The Prophet has said, “Drawing omen (tiyarah) is an act of association (with Allah).” The most that is allowed in Islam, in regard to the omen drawing, is to seek to be cheerful with nice sounding names and avoid names that sound ill. This is known in Arabic as “Faa’l.” But this permission is also only because, as the Prophet has said, this is something one finds in one’s heart: a thing most people cannot escape from. The Prophet has suggested that when one finds an omen in his heart, he should say, “O Allah, no one can bring good but You, and no one can prevent evil but You, and there is no power nor strength but Yours.”
With reference to “Faa’l” one may go no further than what we have stated above. That is, if one is purchasing a tire called “Good-year” tire, one might say, “Allah willing, it will be a ‘good year’ for me.” On the other side, if one is choosing a name for his child, he might not choose one of evil meaning, such as Mr. Wolf, or Mr. Forest, etc. But drawing omen from a cat crossing one’s path, from number 13, or, the first thing not to look into the mirror in the morning, or boiling milk to determine the auspiciousness of a house, are acts that belong to the pagan world.
Q: The religious scholars speak in Urdu, and a little bit of the regional language. But, they do not know English. Why the Madrasah do not include English as a subject? By knowing English an Alim or Hafiz could travel all over the world to do Da’wah work.
The problem is a century old. The religious institutions cannot be expected to change their curriculum. But, surprisingly, the English knowing, wealthy and idle educated class has been doing little more than criticizing the scholars and the system of education for over a century. Why should not they take this task upon themselves and provide facilities to the Imam’s of the mosques for learning the Arabic language? How many such institutions are operating now? None.
Q: Arabic is not inferior to English, but the Arabic we speak of is the ‘language of the Holy Qur’an’ and not the language of the Gulf.
This language of the Qur’an has to be learnt by every Muslim, Alim or no Alim.
Q: Another custom that the Muslims in India follow is that when they accidentally touch another Muslim with their foot, they touch them on the shoulders with the hands, withdraw and kiss them. Shouldn’t saying sorry or ‘AstaghfirAllah‘ be enough?
This comes from the Hindu belief that the Sudra, the lowest among them, has been created from god’s feet. In other words, it is assumed that the feet are inferior to other parts of the body and hence those who emanated from the feet of god are inferior. But, since the idea is alien to Islam, the practice of touching the shoulders with the hand, withdrawing them and kissing them, upon accidentally touching someone with the feet, is to be strongly discouraged.
Saying ‘astaghfirullah’ (I seek Allah’s forgiveness) is also not to be encouraged. To say sorry should be enough. One needs to say ‘astaghfirullah‘ to himself, and not address it to the person so touched.
Q: Since, to the best of our knowledge alcohol is prohibited only for consumption, our doubt is can it be used in the manufacture of soap, perfumes, oil, gel, etc.?
You are not correct about the legality of the use of alcohol as an ingredient in non-edible products. Far from that, even its buying and selling is prohibited.
Q: Is it sensible to puff at non-living things like the fridge, cycle, and etc..? As we puff the four ‘quls’ and some Qur’anic verses on human beings.
Mrs. Minnath Jahan
You mean reciting portions of the Qur’an and blowing onto the refrigerator, cycles, etc.?
Well, that is not allowed. In this connection we have to remember a single principle that is unique to Islam. No religion has such a principle. It is as follows: In matters of worship and rituals, everything is prohibited unless a command is reported. The Prophet said, “Whoever introduced an innovation into this religion, that doesn’t belong to it, will have it rejected.” In contrast, in matters involving worldly affairs, reverse the principle. That is, everything is allowed until a prohibition is reported.
If we recite some Qur’anic chapters, blow onto our hands and rub the hands over our body… if we do that… it is because the Prophet did it unto himself. That we can do it to others, that is, recite some chapters of the Qur’an and blowing onto our hands, rub them on another person’s body, is also proven by what ‘A’isha did to the Prophet in his sickness. Alternatively, one could recite parts of the Qur’an and blow unto other human beings. This was also approved by the Prophet.
But, can we do that to animals, trees, pots and pans, as is the practice of the followers of other religions? The answer is a firm no. Why? Because there were animals, trees, pots and pans during the Prophet’s time. And most of those articles were dearer to the people then, than they are now: being so expensive and rare at that time. Yet, the Prophet neither blew onto them any Qur’an nor advised his Companions to do so. Therefore, the practice is prohibited.
Further, there is a difference between human beings and animals or inanimate objects. Humans are living organisms, conscious, with an intellect and a soul.
Others lack one or more of these elements. As a result, humans have a psychology, which others lack. When you blow a Qur’anic portion on a human person, the least that is likely to happen is that the person will receive it with a positive note, which has a great influence on his psychology and, in its cycle, on his physical being also. Someone, for instance, who is suffering from fever, is likely to fight it off, by himself, without medication, simply by being positive about it. But a pot or a pan or a cow cannot react in that manner, to fight off rust, for e.g., or to escape being stolen, or not suffer a breakdown. They are inanimate, soul-less objects and will serve well if they are maintained well. That applies equally to animals. Some people tie up strings etc., to prevent them from being breaking their limbs or from being stolen. But, such tying will not prevent them from a fall, or from a thief leading them off.
By the above, we do not mean that there are no spiritual effects of the recitation of the Qur’an on human beings. Rather, human beings being endowed with a spirit, will be affected in many ways by the words of Allah. But, the point of emphasis here is that purely from rational point of view, there can be effects of blowing Qur’an on human beings, but there can be no such effects on inanimate objects or, objects that lack consciousness.
Q: In the issue of February 2000, a questioner said that the Prophet (saw) used to visit Hamza’s grave and recite holy verses of the Qur’an there. You answered that there is no hadith that says that the Prophet (saw) recited the Qur’an at a grave. But you have agreed that the Prophet (saw) used to visit Jannat-ul-Baqee as well as the graveyards of the Uhud martyrs. Now, I would like to know why the Prophet visited the aforesaid graveyards and what he did there?
Obviously, when the Prophet visited the graves, he must have supplicated for the dead. However, an additional possibility is that he went there to remind himself of death and to ponder over the futility of this life – if not lived in preparation of the Next. We say that because he recommended that the Muslims visit the dead to draw lessons. Now, the Prophet would never say that without practising it himself. He always did what he said.
To give you an example of how much the Prophet took care of himself, while he led the Ummah onto the path of virtue, we quote an incident from the battle of Badr. When he started off with three hundred and odd Companions, they didn’t have sufficient camels, just over a hundred. So, three people shared a camel, riding in turns. The Prophet also shared a camel with two others. They were Abu Lubabah and ‘Ali b. Abi Talib. Now, when his turn came to walk, they said, “We will walk in your place.” He replied, “Neither you are stronger than me nor am I any lesser in need of rewards.”
Therefore, while the Prophet went to graves to supplicate for the dead, he would have also sought to remind himself of death as he recommended that to others.
Q: If he supplicated for the buried, what was the way applied by him?
We do not know for sure what exactly were the words he used when he visited the graves. In fact, he didn’t care to take others along with him, who could have reported. And this shows that he didn’t think very important for them to visit the graveyards. He allowed them, but did not recommend it. And his taking them along with him would have meant a kind of recommendation. Many of those to whom the company of the dead in the graves is more important than the company of the Prophet, which can be obtained through the study of his ahadith, miss this point.
However, not being absolutely sure of what the Prophet said when he visited the graveyards is of no harm to us because he has taught us what to say when we visit the graves. He taught us to say, “Peace be unto you O people of the graves, and we are soon to join you.” This then, is the primary reason of entry into grave-yards: to remind ourselves that: “we are soon to join you.”
Thereafter, one may seek forgiveness of the sins of the man in the grave, without raising his hands.
Q: After burying the dead we recite holy verses of the Qur’an and supplicate for the dead. I want to know what we do is right or wrong?
M. S. Hasan,
So far as seeking the forgiveness for the dead is concerned, there is no difference in opinion since that is proven by the Hadith. However, recitation of the Qur’an is proven by extension. A clear directive about it has not been received. Therefore, opinions have split. Some scholars allowing, some not allowing. The majority opinion is that it is allowed.
Q: I have completed M.B.B.S. and am doing internship. I have some questions regarding my profession: I come across a lot of patients and touch them with my hands whereas the overwhelming majority is that of males. It also entails contact with colleagues and senior doctors whereof most are males. Although I want to observe full Purdha, I cannot do it due to aforesaid reasons. So what does Islam say regarding the Medical profession of a woman?
Both the questions have obvious answers. A hadith of the Prophet gives us a governing principle for many situations. It says, “Deeds are (reckoned) by the intentions.” In your case, since you are not touching the males out of “Shahwah” (carnal desire), you would be forgiven, especially in the circumstances that are forced on you.
Q: People who tampered with their religious books to suit themselves can change the meaning of any English word as well. For e.g., ‘terrorism’. The way this word is being used nowadays, I am more inclined towards ‘terrorists’ than the ‘peace lovers’. I love the ‘terrorists’ of Chechnya, Palestine, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Kosovo, and Kashmir…
You are not alone in your inclination. Today there are a great number of non-Muslims in the Western world who are with you in your sentiments. They know the games their leaders play, and the manipulations that the media performs. They feel ashamed, sometimes even outraged. But, they are powerless.
Many Westerners in fact, especially, the Americans, believe that their political leaders are liars when it comes to human issues, and that the media is a meticulously controlled organ. Many say that when the media portrays, as something true, be sure it is false. Therefore, although the general public knows that what the media portrays is false, they are entirely helpless against it.
So, rest assured that you are not the only one vary of reversed definitions and applications.
Q. I am writing to you because, just like the ‘liberal/ moderate’ Muslims of India, you seem to hold the same views regarding terrorism.
We are of the firm belief that it is the governments and nations of today’s world that are terrorists, or follow terrorist policies, to control commerce and impose their commercial and political hegemony on others. The terrorist acts that you see individuals committing are merely in reaction, and are minor irritations in comparison to what the world powers do.
Q: At present, I don’t have any newspaper cutting or testimonial regarding the following incident, but it will tell you something about the sacrifices of the Kashmiri Muslims.
The Kashmiri question, once a simple one, requiring simple things done for a solution fair and satisfactory to all, has turned into a complex and thorny issue.
The government of India has, through last fifty years of mishandling, messed up the issue. The present government has inherited the ball of fire, and, is determined to harden the attitudes with its own hardened attitudes. Now it is in a quagmire and finds itself in a no-win situation. It has also cost us, Indians, a lot of resources and, promises to drain away much more, robbing us of funds marked for welfare programmes. Many countries (although late in the starting), like Singapore, Taiwan, South Korea, Malaysia, Indonesia, and even Vietnam, (which was scorched, burnt and devastated by the Americans), have taken huge strides in development, taking progress right to the grass roots level. In comparison India, with its huge potentials of manpower, minerals, natural resources and fertile lands, is still a land where a thousand huts surround every concrete house.
But, since poverty and suffering does not touch the ruling class, nor those who bring them to power through their funding, we don’t see a change in policies, either toward solving internal conflicts or achieving external harmony.
Further, the Kashmiri problem is not the only thorny issue that India faces nor the only issue that has been messed up. Assam is another. In fact, some analysts believe that greater losses have been incurred there than in Kashmir and the situation has become more challenging to resolve. Add to the above the divisive forces freely operating in all parts of the country – under holy banners – promising to divide the people down to the last man, and you have a situation that is extremely vulnerable, unstable, and unpredictable. Any untoward thing can happen to this country any time.
This is the background and the foreground in the light of which we stand confused, (we, and the masses, and the intellectuals of the country), not knowing what to say, do, or what opinions to hold.
Q: In December 1993, during the Hazratbal seige in Srinagar, Maulana Wahiduddin Khan appeared on TV and declared that it was ‘totally against Islam to take weapons inside a place of worship’ thereby justifying Army action against the holed-up militants.
We disagree with the Mawlana on many issues. His opinions seem to be very close to that of the Jewish Rabbis in pre-war Germany who believed that the Nazi persecutions were a result of their sins, and hence the Jews must quietly submit. Many walked to the gas chambers with a sigh. (A renewed covenant with God and manly resistance was out of the question). But, so far as this opinion goes, that firearms should not be taken into places of worship, we would say, politically, the statement is correct. That will take away the peace of the devotees and allow the security forces to take the battle into the mosques, closing down anyone of them, on the pretext of discovery of arms or terrorists within.
Q: As troops and ammunition was being reinforced to the site of siege, people tried to stop and prevent another ‘Operation Blue Star.’ At Brijbehara, people lied on the road to stop the army trucks. After ten minutes, the trucks again headed towards Hazratabal with 40 corpses lying scattered on the road. You may or may not have heard about this ‘one among hundreds of such’ incidents, probably not because the slain ones were Muslims and not Hindus.
When conflicts heat up, humans become animals and the religion of the opponents becomes secondary. It is important, therefore, that solutions be sought with the help of other than the guns: by both the parties involved in a conflict.
Q: During the past turbulent decade in Kashmir, not a single Muslim Jamaat or delegation visited Kashmir to know what actually is happening here behind the curtain.
What is behind the curtain? Everyone knows the atrocities committed there. The failure of Indian Muslims at large to come to the aid of their brothers in faith, and a people wronged, has been because of a variety of reasons. One reason is confusion. They don’t know what’s happening, who is fighting whom, why, what’s wrong, how did it start, how will it end, etc. Another reason is cowardice. Today’s average Muslim is mighty fearful of dying. A third reason is the feeling of helplessness. They don’t know what they can do, and how. A fourth reason is fear of the security forces. Many think they will be persecuted back home if seen in Kashmir. Some are fearful they would be assassinated by the hidden forces. A fifth reason is cynical. Some people are dead sure this country will break apart, whether they wish or not and do anything about it or not. So, they say to themselves, why involve yourself? Mind your own business, and let the divisive forces pay for their destructive efforts. In the South of India, there is an added reason. In this part, Muslims and non Muslims alike feel that Kashmir is too far to affect their lives and that northern people are a different people: they are violent and muscle-flexing instead of hard-working. In comparison, they feel that the southerners are more passive, more flexible, more peaceful, more reasonable, more accommodative, more ‘Indian’ and hence, should keep themselves at a safe distance from all northern conflicts. Obviously, there is some prejudice in this mode of thinking, but, that’s not the problem. The problem is the resulting empathy.
Q: Instead the ‘liberals’ gave full support to their Hindu leadership to fight ‘terrorism’. I don’t know what type of terrorism they wish to fight – the one against which Russia is fighting in Chechnya, Israel in Arab land or Serbs in Kosovo/ Bosnia. If they sincerely want to fight terrorism, shouldn’t they have first asked their leaders as ‘why Srikrishna Commission is in the garbage dump,’ ‘why Liberhans Commission has passed into limbo,’ ‘what happened to the killers of Graham Staines and his sons’, ‘why the rapists of four missionaries of Madhaya Pradesh are still at large’?
But the problem in Kashmir is that things do happen that can be labelled as terrorism. Now, we are to hear that quite a few are orchestrated for certain effects, and are not genuine terrorist operations. But, who has the truth?
Especially, as you say, when findings of enquiry commissions are locked away into unidentifiable cupboards, to be made public after the death of those who conducted the enquiry, with additions and deletions of the sort you spoke of in the first para of your letter.
Q: Muslims in India are treated as third rate citizens – their honour and property attacked, loyalty suspected and justice denied. Instead of demanding their rights and standing for their honour, they merely try to please the authorities.
Here too they seem to be playing the role the Jews played in Eastern Europe just before the Second World War: submit to the situation and offer no resistance. Their religion is the religion of goats (not even of jackals that Tipu Sultan spoke of).
However, every generalization is erroneous. Muslims in India are now more assertive than before. Half a century of experience has taught them that it is useless to expect to be treated fairly. A people who did not treat people of their own faith fairly for three thousand years, and continue to disdain them, even to this day, (except for some holy statements here and there), are not going to learn lessons of justice and fair deal very soon. This realization, dawning upon them gradually, is making them more assertive.
Q: They have accepted despotism (in disguise of secularism) to the tempestuous sea of honour and dignity, and, it is this attitude that has alienated the Muslims of Kashmir from those of India.
The Kashmiri Muslims might feel themselves alienated from the Indian Muslims. But, firstly, there is no such division in the minds of the Muslims of the sub-continent, and, secondly, the Muslims in other parts of India do not feel the alienation at all.
We have expressed our view at the opening of the discussion on this topic. Those are the reasons that we think leave the people in confusion.
As for submission to the authorities, we don’t believe it is complete. The Muslims are buying time and waiting for reason to prevail. Indian Muslims are hundred percent Indian. Like the Hindus, they are slow to react. But they are sure to react one day, bestowing political power to the right people. At the moment they don’t see anyone capable of solving any problem. In fact, they don’t see that capability in the Muslim leadership either. So, they wait. Now, whether they and the silent Hindu masses will get the opportunity, to bring changes, or will be denied the opportunity, is something unpredictable. A quick answer is, they might not be. Things will only get worse. But, since that means breaking a part of India, a thing detestable to most Indians, Muslims included, that quick answer is ignored. So, let us see.
Q: We too are being labelled as ‘terrorists’ and the facts presented topsy-turvy by the media with similar dexterity as that of Western media. You must be surfing the world on Internet and obtaining every possible detail about the Muslim World but it is painful that you are maintaining silence about the atrocities committed by the troops of your own country.
Like million other Indians, we are opposed to violence. But, how it could be ended in Kashmir, or Assam, or curb its rise in politics, and the use of strong arms by the authorities against civilians, are issues over which we have no answer.
Yes, we are silent. But that is not because of empathy alone. Feelings of helplessness are overwhelming.
Q: I have enclosed a few newspaper cuttings (on which I could lay my hand) to give you an idea of what is happening in this forgotten land. I don’t want you to show sympathy with the people of Kashmir only because they are predominantly Muslims but please visit our valley and know the ground realities of what is happening here and then adopt a line of action that you consider is the most suitable, present a true picture of Kashmir to your readers and help us if we deserve it.
We have deep sympathy for those who suffer atrocities. When it is Muslims who suffer, then the pain is more acute. But, our line of action is as stated above. However hurtful it might be to you, realities will not change. You should accept the bitter pill.
The only way we believe you can stir the Muslims, and, in fact, many non-Muslims, is to present to them the case of the orphans, the destitute, widows, displaced people, demolished homes, jailed innocent people, and ask for monetary help giving them strong and sincere assurance that the funds will not go for supporting the uprising, directly or indirectly. Indeed, if you have a good, honest scheme, even the government of India will help with funds, since there are many advisors of the opinion that the government needs to rebuild confidence.
Q: At least you can visit the valley on Internet at: (1) www.myasa.com/kashmir monitor (2) www.kashmirobserver.com. I don’t expect any help from those who try to be more pleasing to the authorities and the Western world, than to Allah, with the pretension that you fear Allah alone, that I communicated with you. However if you still remain silent…
We might still remain silent because we wish to see the Kashmiris taking some constructive action about rehabilitation. The Palestinian women, for instance, have a wonderful network to help the categories we have stated above. Kashmiris also need to create such a network.
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