THIS is in response to the letter ‘A war which is not yet over’ (Jan 9) by Amjad Rashid. Islam is not just a religion or faith, it is a way of life. It governs everything we do. From trivial daily chores to running a state.
Religion enjoins upon us to uphold justice. Yet we have seen Muslim rulers who refuse to uphold justice or follow the teachings of their religion, as in Islam we cannot separate the spiritual from the secular.
The word used for non-Muslims living in an Islamic state is ‘dhimmi’. It has is roots in ‘taking responsibility’ like the word used in Urdu ‘zimmadari’.
The meaning of the word ‘dhimmi’ is ‘a non-Muslim protected by the state’.
Here the word ‘protected’ is important. What happened to Salmaan Taseer was a cold blooded murder and nowhere in Islam is it allowed or ordered.
It is the current system that is wrong, not the Islamic system. In an Islamic state only the state can punish someone who has done any crime. Even in our current legal system the high court can give orders against blasphemy.
No one can take the law into his own hand no matter how right he is. Thus it is not religion Islam that is wrong, neither is its socio-politico-economic system.
In the case of Rimsha, the Christian girl accused of blasphemy, the maulvi of the mosque that put pages of the Holy Quran in the shopping bag to frame her was not punished duly.
Why? Just because he was a Muslim. The Holy Prophet (peace be upon him) has said: “Whoever killed a Mu'ahid (a person who is granted the pledge of protection by Muslims) shall not smell the fragrance of Paradise though its fragrance can be smelt at a distance of forty years (of travelling).”
The Prophet has also said: “Whoever wrongs one with whom a compact (treaty) has been made [i.e., a dhimmi] and lays on him a burden beyond his strength, I will be his accuser”.
Thus, it is, in fact, the separation of the state and religion that is the cause of this problem, i.e. non-Muslims in Pakistan not getting their rights.
Islam should not be judged by people who claim to follow it or who represent it. Judge it on merit, according to the Holy Quran and Hadith.
AHMED AKRAM Islamabad