What the Holy Quran, Ahadith and Scholars Say Concerning Blasphemy
“Our Lord! Pour out constancy on us and make our steps firm: Help us against those that reject faith.” (Holy Quran 2: 250)
Last week has seen a barrage of columns, articles and blogs written by liberals on the now famous blasphemy case against the Christian girl in Islamabad. These opportunistic pathogenic anti-patriotic Pakistanis have found another opportunity to bash Pakistan and to malign Islam & its teachings as well. From Advocate Asma Jahangir to the notorious champion of liberals Mr. Nadeem F. Piracha, the articles keep on pouring in like the Monsoon rains.
And they may surely have succeeded in flooding the minds of innocent men & women with their obnoxious views! These same liberals will not hesitate to state that the punishments for murder, adultery and theft as prescribed in the Holy Quran are inhuman as well although the social, moral, and judicial advantages of these punishments have been verified by all without any doubt. More shall be written about these liberals in another column.
Well first point I have to make clear is that God’s chosen ‘Deen’ for mankind, ‘Islam’, is never at fault. It’s the way it is implemented and interpreted by humans that make Islam seem God-forbid a very barbaric religion as portrayed by the liberal fascists. One thing more we need to understand here is that Islamic Laws are not always derived directly from Quran.
The Primary source of Islamic Laws are 1) Quran 2) Hadith 3) Ijma (consensus) 4) Qiyas (analogy) There are secondary sources as well. So, the opinion that Blasphemy Law has no basis from Quran, even if correct, makes no difference as according to the principles of Islamic Jurisprudence, we will move on to the next source and so on. There’s nothing we can do if the secular/liberal section in their arrogance are questioning the authenticity of Hadiths & Ijma of Sahaba or scholars.
Major Quranic Reference
‘The punishment of those who wage war against Allah and His Messenger, and strive with might and main for mischief (fasaad) 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 5:33:)
Modern day interpreters against blasphemy laws like Mr Khalid Zaheer and Mr. Javed Ghamdi state that this verse is not a valid argument for supporting punishment against blasphemy. Mr Khalid says concerning this verse “That crime is committed when an individual or a group commit murders, burglaries, or rapes and cause the life, property, and honor 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.”
The argument that goes against this is firstly the specific punishments for these crimes i.e. murder, burglaries and theft have already been mentioned in other places in the Holy Quran. The punishment for all these crimes is not death, so this verse doesn’t seem to fit those type of crimes. Secondly it fits another type of crime explained below:
In Shariah there is also a legal principle known as Saade Dharai (Blocking of the means) – which in a nutshell states that you must now allow something in fear of the consequences that can arise there from. The sanctity of the Prophet (SAW) is most important for all believers. The Prophet (SAW) said that none of you truly believes until I am dearer to them than his family and himself.
Imagine what may happen, if those who are continuously and purposefully slandering our Holy Prophet, are let off and forgiven every time they do so. Muslims will naturally get incensed and hence chaos (fasaad) may ensue. And such chaos does occur every time such a blasphemous act takes place.
My dear readers, seriously how would you react if God forbid someone was abusing your father and making a mockery out of him every once in a while? And someone doing the same to our Prophet, you would let him go??!!! So certain laws have to be set that lay down certain limits and boundaries for everyone including Muslims and Non-Muslims.
Quranic References for Non-Muslims:
“But if they violate their oaths after their covenant, and attack your religion with disapproval and criticism then fight (you) the leaders of disbelief (chiefs of Quraish – pagans of Makkah) – for surely their oaths are nothing to them – so that they may stop (evil actions). Will you not fight a people who have violated their oaths (pagans of Makkah) and intended to expel the Messenger, while they did attack you first?
Do you fear them? Allâh has more right that you should fear Him, if you are believers. Fight against them so that Allâh will punish them by your hands and disgrace them and give you victory over them and heal the breasts of a believing people. And remove the anger of their (believers’) hearts. Allâh accepts the repentance of whom He wills. Allâh is All-Knowing, All-Wise. ” (9:12-15)
In these verses Allah is commanding to kill those who have violated their oaths and criticise the religion like abusing Allah or Prophet of Allah or abusing the religion in any form. Many of the Ulemas have stated that amongst Ahl-e-Zimma (People of the Book in lands of Muslims) whosoever abuses Prophet (s) or consider the personality of Prophet (s) as degraded or, besides his Kufr (disbelief), he attributes anything else (to Prophet (s)), he should be killed, we cannot give them covenant (protection)
Hafiz Ibn e Kasir ( 774 H ) writes in his Tafsir concerning these verses: “and attack your religion…) with disapproval and criticism, it is because of this that one who curses the Messenger, peace be upon him, or attacks the religion of Islam by way of criticism and disapproval, they are to be fought.”
Support From Ahadith:
- Sahih Bukhari (regarded by Muslim scholars as the most authentic book after the Holy Quran) Volume: 005, Book 059, Hadith No 371. “Narrated by Al-Bara bin Azib: Allah’s Apostle sent some men from the Ansar to kill Abu Rafi the Jew and appointed Abdullah bin Atiq as their leader. Abu Rafi used to hurt Allah’s Apostle and help his enemies against him……..”
2. Narrated Ali ibn AbuTalib (RA):
A Jewess used to abuse the Prophet (peace_be_upon_him) and disparage him. After repeated warnings, a companion strangled her till she died. The Apostle of Allah (PBUH) declared that no recompense was payable for her blood. Sunan Abi Dawud: 4362 (Another Sahih Sittah book-six most authentic books of Ahadith).
These two Ahadith point out that the persons concerned were notorious for this crime of blasphemy and doing it purposely and were repeatedly warned.
A Wrong Argument Given by Clergymen
مجھے پتہ ہے اکثر لوگ زاتی دشمنی کی وجہ سے غلط الزام بھی لگا دیتے ہیں یہ غلط ہے ایسا نہیں ہونا چاہئے.. لیکن جناب 35 سال ہو گے ہیں توہین رسالت کا قانون بنے ہوۓ… لیکن آج تک ایک شخص کو بھی سزا نہیں ملی… جب ریاست کسی کو سزا نہیں دےگی تو پھر امت سزا دیگی..
“I know that most people are blamed of blasphemy due to personal differences, this is wrong and should not happen; but it has been 35 years since the blasphemy laws have been laid down but not a single person has been punished; when the state will not punish, then the people will give the punishment’
This is the wrong argument given by many clergy and other people for taking the law into their own hands which includes killing blasphemers themselves without court decision and/or orders.
This argument is severely flawed due to the following reasons:
- There is no reference in the Holy Quran or Ahadith stating or indicating such a decree/fatwa and there is no consensus or Ijma among the scholars for such an action
- Two wrongs never make a right. Islam is a Deen of logic and sense.
- Basic Islamic principle states that ‘everyone is innocent unless proven guilty.
- Who will prove anyone guilty? Not you or me but only legal court because you may say guilty and I may say innocent.
- Under the same argument given by the clergy, there are many murderers who have not been punished by courts; many robbers who have not been punished. Will people go about killing or cutting off the hands of these criminals? Will the people go around and burn all the interest based banks (remember riba/interest is a war against Allah and His Prophet (PBUH) according to the Holy Quran)? What non-sense! There is no such reference for taking law into ones hands or into hands of a group of people. Then the law of the jungle would be supreme. All this is made up by jahil (ignorant) Mullahs!:-
BLASPHEMY LAWS SHOULD NEVER BE TAKEN INTO ONES OWN HANDS
Blasphemy Laws Any law is not meant to harass people; it’s only the application that can be wrong. If corruption laws are misused by generals and political parties, it does not mean we should revoke all corruption laws, but rather work towards proper implementation of such laws.
The blasphemy law is a mere anti-virus protection against people like Salman Rushdie and Taslima Nasreen to prevent them to openly malign our Prophet (PBUH). It is not meant to harass people who utter such things in a disturbed state of mind, but punish those who purposely do such things to incite hatred or become popular. See the words in italics.
With references from the Holy Quran & Ahadith, principles of qiyas (good logical reasoning & sayings of scholars, blasphemy laws should be upheld/amended as follows:
All points to be satisfied by a judge, with help from Ulema Kiraam
1. Confirm that blashemy has been committed
2. The persons should not be in a disturbed state of mind, should be in his senses, and should not be a mental patient.
3. This also means that the person should not be a minor.
4. He/she has PURPOSEFULLY blasphemed especially with purpose of maligning Islam and/or the Holy Prophet
5. Has done it especially with the purpose of inciting hatred, creating chaos, mischief and anger among Muslims
6. There should be a proper trial & judgment passed by a Judge; the law should never be taken in the hands of any individual or a group of people. Evidence of a crime is a necessity in Islamic jurisdiction/jurisprudence.
7. Should be given opportunity of forgiveness especially if done unintentionally and/or by mistake. In the verse following punishment for spreading chaos in the land, it is mentioned:
“Except for those who return [repenting] before you apprehend them. And know that Allah is Forgiving and Merciful.”
(Holy Quran 5: 34)
8. Then after if repeated, first lesser but severe punishments (jail, lashes) should be given as a warning to the person and for others as is the main purpose of all punishments prescribed in Islam.
9. More severe punishments like death penalty or exile from the land should be a last resort (again given by court) for repeated/habitual offenders who are obviously trying to incite hatred & create chaos in the land.
10. The law should never be misused for personal gains and/or for settling personal enmity.
11. People who falsely accuse others of blasphemy should be given severe punishment
The Case of Rimsha, Asiya Bibi, Mishal or anyone else should be handled under above conditions
Role of Ulema/Clergymen
- The Ulema have to come forward and clarify that laws should not be taken into ones hands so that further misuse of the blasphemy laws does not take place.
- They have to guide the masses in this regard and not make everyone willfully or cunningly become a Mumtaz Qadri
- They should, if possible, analyze each case on their own in light of the above criteria and then give their opinion only and leave case to the legal courts
- They should come forward and strongly condemn if a murder/crime has taken place due to misuse of blasphemy law i.e. a person has wrongfully been accused of blasphemy due to personal fued/grudge.
Muslims Most Tolerant
And liberals please don’t tell us that Muslims are the least intolerant of people. I would like to ask you whether anyone in Europe can challenge holocaust when it comes to freedom of speech. There are laws regarding denial of Holocaust especially in Hungary, Germany, Romania, etc.
Anyone speaking against Jewish values is given ‘Fatwa’ of being ‘Anti-semetic’
We, Muslims hold Jesus (Hazrat Issa AS) in highest esteem. Christianity itself is not clear whether Mary (Hazrat Marium) was virgin or not. Compared to other religions, we (the Muslims) are the most tolerant and respectful of other religion’s sacred personalities.
We believe in all religious personalities in Christianity and Judaism like Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Jesus, Mary (PBUT) etc. On the other hand these religions don’t believe in the most sacred personality of Islam. Then, who is tolerant? In USA & Europe religion is taken as a joke, but in Pakistan & most Muslim countries it is taken very seriously.
Those who are unnecessarily slandering about blasphemy laws and worried about the angry response, they should go to some ghetto in America and start calling all those people black niggers and judge the response.
And Allah knows best
Epilogue: Mr. Qadri’s case now rests with Allah.
Alhamdulillah, my stance on Blasphemy laws with the criteria laid down for carrying out any punishment, has been vindicated by Mufti Tariq Masood and Mufti Taqi Usmani.