Sunday, January 25, 2009

Terrorism and War Clouds over South Asia by Shamim-ur-Rahman

Terrorism and war clouds over South Asia by Shamim-ur-Rahman.

Author is a Senior Correspondent in Daily Dawn, Pakistan

Published in DAWN suppliment on January 21, 2009. "Anti-Terrorism & Disaster Management Conference)

With the demise of the Soviet Union the balance of power maintained during the cold war of ideologies also withered away and the world saw sudden and massive sprouting of non-state actors, and decision making in world politics acquired religious undercurrents. Some called it clash of civilization and some billed it as global terrorism.

Since 9/11 tragedy non-state actors are held responsible for all the challenges to the international peace and security. The American response to 9/11 in the form of massive attack on Afghanistan against and Iraq, without any cool headed attempt to define terrorism and the terrorists, to many analysts represented that religious undercurrent in Washington's approach to dealing with global security.

The jingoistic frenzy was so high that Neocons, saddled with enormous military might were not ready to address the root cause of the problem and they thought they could wipe out these terrorists with their unchallenged military might. They forgot that under international law States have an obligation to act with due diligence in confronting non-State actors that engage in terrorism.

Analysts have said that terrorism is a complex issue with no easy resolution. They believe that terrorism is not a specifically "Middle Eastern" or "Islamic" problem. Historically, " the continent of Europe pioneered political violence on a world scale, developed modern industrial war, and played the leading role in developing those particular instruments of modern political action and control: genocide, systematic state torture, and terrorism".

Today, Western countries feel that their own lives, their flawed but nonetheless substantial liberal and democratic values are under threat. What they are describing value system , is in fact their religious bias which is reflected on the question of Turkey's entry into the EU and other Muslim countries' attempt to acquire control of their resources and harnessing nuclear energy.

Much has been written on the question whether a comprehensive definition of terrorism exists, but generally experts believe that what is required is a general anti-terrorists convention away from the bunch of destructive conceptual and semantic confusion and controversy so that no terrorist activity remains unpunished. But instead a new constellation of the tyrants following Clausewitz's doctrine went on a rampage and tried to impose their will as international law. The fight against terrorism has resulted in violation and denial of human rights as it was dictated by national security considerations of the US alone.

Terrorism is the defining issue of the post 9/11 world. It is also one of the most confusing and contested words in the political lexicon. But if one looks deeper into international security order it will become clear that non-state actors did not emerge overnight after 9/11. Militancy and extremism was there even before 9/11 due to denial of inalienable rights to freedom and economic opportunities to a vast majority of the world population. It mostly affected the regions which are Muslim dominated. But during the Cold War it was couched in ideological conflict between the so-called Free World and the Communist bloc led by the Soviet Union. Extremism and militancy proliferated as Palestinians were thrown out of the homeland and made refugees. Efforts were made to get them wiped out with the connivance of proxy of the colonial powers. World peace was endangered by Israel as it continued its lethal military offensive against unarmed civilians in occupied Palestine and tried to change the equation in Lebanon, It was also brewing behind the Iron Curtain as Moscow tightened its noose over Central Asian states rich in natural resources, especially oil and gas. It was also injected in the body politics of the sub-continent by imposing the unjust boundary award on Pakistan and failure of the world community in preventing Kashmir's occupation by India and not taking any action against its genocide of the Kashmiris fighting for their right to self determination. This was much before 9 /11. Extremism also proliferated due to iniquitous world economic order in which resources of developing countries were controlled by the big powers.

After 9/11 we are once again passing through defining moments due to Mumbai terrorist attacks after which India, following in the foot-steps of the US, has launched a diplomatic offensive against Pakistan. accusing it of complicity in the crime and being the epicenter of terrorism, in an effort to prepare the international community's mind for its surgical strike against Pakistan. It is not agreeing to joint investigation of the incident, as proposed by Pakistan, nor is it prepared to invoke the bilateral convention on terrorism to find the truth. It is in fact using the terrorist act to advance the Indian state's diabolic grand designs against Pakistan.

India's blow hot blow cold diplomacy continues, raising the cost of conflict with Pakistan, without firing a bullet. Despite hectic international diplomacy to prevent outbreak of a catastrophic India-Pakistan war, as a consequence of New Delhi's display of hyper-belligerency towards Pakistan in the aftermath of the Mumbai terrorist attack, war clouds are still hovering and both the countries are taking adequate steps to deal with the unfolding situation. But war gaming is becoming a bit itchy as both the countries are sticking to their respective positions , though moderating a little due to proactive indulgence of the external actors.

India demonstrated an unprecedented and unexpected belligerence towards a nuclear Pakistan after the Mumbai incident which was used by the Indian media, advocates of Hindutva and hawkish elements in Congress led by Pranab Mukherji, himself trying for the top slot after the upcoming Indian elections. The Indian attitude was understandable because of the nexus between New Delhi and Washington following their strategic alliance.

On the other hand it has put Pakistan in an awkward defensive mode because its defences on the Eastern borders had been depleted and exposed, thanks to questionable deployment of Pakistani troops on the Western borders with Afghanistan to fight what was initially the American war on terror that has divided the country from within horizontally and vertically. The Indian threat has escalated while the country is under grave economic stress and political leadership, both in the government and in the opposition, had no comprehension of the gravity of the situation. Their attitude is making the Indian game plan easier to implement because of the mounting cleavage between them amid smear campaign against each on narrow agenda.

It will be a wonderful thing if the world community succeeded in averting a military show down in South Asia, otherwise the world will have to have cost of conflict, and for a longer time. Since the tension shot up to the danger level, Pakistan has insisted that India should deactivate its forward air bases and withdraw troops to their peace time bases. It should also provide proof of Indian charge sheet. Pakistan is also advocating inclusion if China and Iran in the war against terrorism. India maintains that it had not mobilized troops so there was no question of withdrawing it.

On the other Pakistan was very late in comprehending that Indian attitude was dictated also by its strong economy and integrated Pakistan-centric offensive strike capability which was gradually beefed up since 2004 under a new cold start war doctrine which envisages a blitzkrieg type strategy involving joint operations by the army, navy and the air force .Indian leadership came up with this doctrine particularly after the Kargil incident.

Perhaps this time interests of India and the West have converged because of the rising militancy and terrorism in Pakistan. Surgical strikes attempts to hold on some territory will be the main objective –to bring down the government, disintegrate the military and disintegrate the country. It might also be part of the plan to enable the West to come in militarily as arbiter and deny Pakistan of nukes as a fait accompli. But surgical strike will not remain contained and controlled operation.

According to reports India has, to a great extent, created infra- structure of integrated forward deployment of its combat command close to Pakistan's border during peace time that is why the ISPR chief had recently said that there was no significant forward movement of the Indian troops close to our borders. The so-called violation of Pakistan's air space was definitely a probing mission to test Pakistan's reaction time to the violation of the agreement on no fly zone by military aircraft close to the borders.

Analysts believe that India might have reconstituted its Strike Corps and may have reinforced it to provide offensive elements for the battle groups to launch multiple strikes into Pakistan involving Air Force, and navy in the southern sector. It also means that Strike Corps no longer require the long haul mobilization. Since the most significant aim of the new war doctrine is to strike offensively without giving away battle indicators of mobilization. Hence reports about deployment in Barmer-Jaisalmer-Bikaner-Suratgarh sector. India has pushed the temperature on the high as it maintained the element of surprise necessary to prevent crossing of the nuclear threshold by either side. But can it prevent that, given the India-Pakistan disparity in conventional weapons.

The cold start war doctrine based on NATO's strategy has provided India greater element of surprise in terms of when, where and how it would launch its attack. Many analysts believe that India might have lost that element of surprise because of the lingering on of diplomatic activity to cool off the situation. But that is perhaps to the advantage of New Delhi be which wants to keep Islamabad guessing and come under tremendous economic and psychological pressure due to mobilization of troops.

Perhaps the initial Pakistani response to the Indian threat of a surgical attack was correct and also provided it the time to redeploy its formations.

Perhaps the initial Pakistani response to the Indian threat of a surgical attack was correct and also provided it the time to redeploy its formations, reinforce its reserve corps and devising strategy for fighting a war in an environment where the IAF has a significant numerical air superiority and for countering India's long range missile through a credible anti-ballistic missile defence, and making it impossible for the Indian Navy to impose a blockade of Pakistan's sea lanes.

The war doctrine represent growing power of the Indian military to "compel the political leadership to give political approval 'ab-initio' and thereby free the Armed Forces to generate their full combat potential from the outset, shift from capturing bits of Pakistan territory in small scale multiple offensives to be used as bargaining chips after the cease fire; and focus on the destruction of the Pakistani Army and its military machine. The objective is to deny Pakistan any opportunity to muster global community's indulgence in defusing the situation. Indian government seems to be under increasing pressure of the hawkish elements who want it to use offensive military power .through pre-emptive strategies.

Pakistan cannot remain oblivious of the fact that much before the cold start doctrine was unfolded, Indian military writers have been writing about "reconstructing" Pakistan through a "stable democratic order brought on by unmanageable civil unrest forcing the army back into the barracks, mandated by the global community in the face of increasing global threat from radical Islamist groups. They have also been trying to solicit global community's support, "after military intervention by India". They had not ruled out the possibility of a full-scale civil war, leading to breakaway of one or more of the provinces of Pakistan.

The Indian diplomacy has been focused on the Western sensitivity that after the fall of the Soviet Union, Pakistan was the epicenter of terrorism and that "no lasting solution for peace in Afghanistan can be found without some restructuring in Pakistan". The Indian attitude since Mumbai terrorist attack and its charges against the so-called terrorist outfit in Pakistan is reflective of that mindset.

Pakistan cannot also not ignore the fact that India is being sucked into the so-called peace keeping role in Afghanistan by the US-led coalition and has been using this territory to foment terrorist attacks inside Pakistan. It has sent its mountain-trained paramilitary force tasked with guarding the border with China, under the garb of guarding its workers. India has gained a strategic depth vis-à-vis Pakistan in Afghanistan and the establishment of Indian military airbase in Farkhor, Tajikistan which is first Indian military airbase overseas, and is convenient for transportation of men and material to and from Afghanistan.

Pakistan needs to revisit its economic and security policy and more than improve its governance for ensuring sustainable democratic dispensation. Country cannot be sure of its destiny by always looking for external players to bail it out of difficulties. We have to remove the cause of horizontal and vertical divide within.

There are apprehensions that so many different forces prone to religious, sectarian and other forms of intolerance and violence may be looking for ways to arm themselves with more and more sophisticated weapons of mass murder and destruction. ENDS

Brigadier [Retd] Usman, Abidullah Jan & Civilian Leadership

Ahmed Quraishi wrote:
AHMED QURAISHI [Former Analyst of World View, Pakistan Television Network and Presently is with GEO TV Network]

From: Usman Khalid

Fascinating. The military dictatorship was bad. Fine. What's the problem of Pakistan's 'democratic' saviors? Why can't they get better approval ratings? My point: Democracy is great. But there are no real democrats in Pakistan. Unless, of course, the existing circus players are disqualified and political parties are democratized by force to allow competent Pakistanis to come forward. Questions is: Who will that 'force' be?

Pakistanis Give New Civilian Leadership Low Marks So Far


I wonder if Brigadier [Retd] Usman Khalid of London Institute of South Asia whose another important member is Abidullah Jan (Pakistan), Toronto, Canada operate a website, could even justify their rhetoric [Abidullah's website claims to be Anti-Establishment (Read Military) but what a great diverse combination we have in the shape of Abidullah Jan and Brigadier [Retd] Usman Khalid Nexus. WOW.

Brigadier [Retd] Usman Khalid of London Institute of South Asia.

Abidullah Jan (Pakistan), Toronto, Canada.

Who is to be believed Usman Khalid, the born again democrat, Abidullah Jan whose website say and preach something entirely different and his 'fellowship' with Brigadier Sahab, suggest something entirely diverse!

No doubt present democrats are not the ideal but far better than what was the case with General Musharraf's Regime [I wonder should we even trust Abidullah Jan's website anymore]

One shouldn't treat anybody like this what to talk of your own citizens and if you do then talk about Justice and Peace for the people in GAZA, Palestine and that too when you yourself behave like Israel.

A Glimpse of General Musharraf's Rule:

Picture of Secret Detentions Emerges in Pakistan By CARLOTTA GALL Published: December 19, 2007 [THE NEW YORK TIMES]

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Pakistan’s military and intelligence agencies, apparently trying to avoid acknowledging an elaborate secret detention system, have quietly set free nearly 100 men suspected of links to terrorism, few of whom were charged, human rights groups and lawyers here say.

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan — Pakistan’s military and intelligence agencies, apparently trying to avoid acknowledging an elaborate secret detention system, have quietly set free nearly 100 men suspected of links to terrorism, few of whom were charged, human rights groups and lawyers here say.

Skip to next paragraph

Akhtar Soomro for The New York Times

A Pakistani mother held a portrait of her missing son during a protest this month in Islamabad, Pakistan. Pressure has mounted to bring the cases of people detained in secret to the courts.

Those released, they say, are some of the nearly 500 Pakistanis presumed to have disappeared into the hands of the Pakistani intelligence agencies cooperating with Washington’s fight against terrorism since 2001.

No official reason has been given for the releases, but as pressure has mounted to bring the cases into the courts, the government has decided to jettison some suspects and spare itself the embarrassment of having to reveal that people have been held on flimsy evidence in the secret system, its opponents say.

Interviews with lawyers and human rights officials here, a review of cases by The New York Times and court records made available by the lawyers show how scraps of information have accumulated over recent months into a body of evidence of the detention system.

In one case, a suspect tied to, but not charged with the 2002 killing of Daniel Pearl, the American journalist, was dumped on a garbage heap, so thin and ill he died 20 days later. He, like one other detainee, was arrested in South Africa several years ago and released in Pakistan this year.

The Pakistani government denies detaining people illegally and says that many of the missing are actually in regular jails on criminal charges, while other cases have been fabricated.

In at least two instances, detainees were handed over to the United States without any legal extradition proceedings, Pakistani lawyers and human rights groups say. American officials here and in Washington refused to comment on the cases.

“They are releasing them because these cases are being made public,” said Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui, a lawyer working at the Supreme Court who has taken many cases of the missing. “They want to avoid the publicity.”

In addition, human rights groups and lawyers here contend, the government has swept up at least 4,000 other Pakistanis, most of them Baluchi and Sindhi nationalists seeking ethnic or regional autonomy who have nothing to do with the United States campaign against terrorism.

Human rights groups and lawyers describe the disappearances as one of the grimmest aspects of Pervez Musharraf’s presidency, and one that shows no sign of slowing.

Under previous governments, “there were one or two cases, but not the systematic disappearances by the intelligence agencies under Musharraf,” said Iqbal Haider, secretary general of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, an independent nonprofit organization.

The issue of the missing became one of the most contentious between President Musharraf and the Supreme Court under its former chief justice, Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry.

The releases are particularly galling to lawyers here because as one justification for imposing emergency rule on Nov. 3, President Musharraf accused the courts of freeing terrorism suspects. That decree was lifted Saturday, but the former chief justice and other judges were dismissed and remain in detention. The Supreme Court hearings on the missing have been halted.

While Mr. Musharraf criticized the court as being soft on terrorists, court records show that Mr. Chaudhry was less interested in releasing terrorism suspects than in making sure their cases entered the court system.

He said at each hearing that his primary concern was for the families of the missing, who were suffering anguish not knowing where their loved ones were.

His main aim was to regularize the detention of the missing, not to free them, Mr. Siddiqui said. “Not a single person who was convicted was released on the Supreme Court’s order,” he said.

Detainees have been warned on their release not to speak to anyone about their detention, yet fragments of their experiences have filtered out through relatives and their lawyers. A few even appeared in court and told their stories, and it became increasingly clear that the “disappeared” men had in fact been held in military or intelligence agency cells around the country, often for several years without being charged.

Still, the government denies detaining people illegally or torturing them. Brig. Javed Iqbal Cheema, a spokesman for the Interior Ministry and leader of the national crisis management cell that deals with terrorism, said many of the men said to be missing had been found in jails or police cells and had been charged with crimes

Others, he said, may have gone to the hills or to Afghanistan to fight and died there. Still others, he suggested, were fabricated. “Let me assure you that there’s a lot of politics going on into the missing persons also,” he said.

Critics say abuses continue. The director of the human rights commission, I. A. Rehman, said the government had set up a nearly invisible detention system. “There are safe houses in Islamabad where people are kept,” he said, citing accounts from the police and freed detainees. “Police have admitted this. Flats are taken on rent; property is seized; people are tortured there.”

In some cases, detainees recounted that they had been interrogated in the presence of English-speaking foreigners, who human rights officials and lawyers suspect are Americans.

A United States Embassy spokeswoman said she could not comment on the allegations and referred all questions to Washington. A spokesman for the Central Intelligence Agency, Mark Mansfield, declined to comment on Mr. Rehman’s accusations, or on any specific detainees.

One detainee, a Jordanian named Marwan Ibrahim, who was arrested in a raid in the city of Lahore, where he had been living for 10 years, said he was sent to a detention center in Afghanistan run by Americans, then to Jordan and Israel, and was finally released in Gaza, according to an account Mr. Ibrahim gave to Human Rights Watch.

Another detainee, Majid Khan, 27, a Pakistani computer engineer who disappeared from Karachi four years ago, surfaced April 15 this year before a military tribunal in Guantánamo Bay. His American lawyers say he was subjected to torture in C.I.A. detention in a secret location. Mr. Mansfield, the C.I.A. spokesman, declined to comment, except to say that the “C.I.A.’s terrorist interrogation effort has always been small, carefully run, lawful, and highly productive.”

“Fewer than 100 hardened terrorists have gone through the program since it began in 2002,” he added, “and, of those, less than a third required any enhanced interrogation measures.”

As more and more such accounts have come to light, President Musharraf has fought vigorously to keep the details of Pakistan’s secret detentions hidden.

A week into emergency rule, he passed a decree amending the 1952 Army Act to allow civilians to be tried by military tribunals for general offenses. The tribunals are closed to the public and offer no right of appeal.

The amendment was made retroactive to January 2003. Mr. Haider of the human rights commission said the amendment was to cover the illegal detentions by the intelligence agencies. “These agencies have gone berserk, and President Musharraf is legitimizing their acts,” he said.

Brigadier Cheema, the Interior Ministry spokesman, acknowledged that prosecutors and investigators had had difficulty pinning crimes on detainees. Hundreds of people in Guantánamo have not been charged either, he pointed out. The Army Act amendment would resolve much of the problem, he said.

“Sometimes it becomes difficult to prove a case, but you have reasons that a person poses a threat to humanity and to society,” he said.

The intervention of the Supreme Court under Mr. Chaudhry was undoubtedly exposing this system of secret detentions.

He first took up the cases of the missing in 2006, demanding that the government trace the detainees and account for them.

His steady requests for information from senior police, Interior Ministry and military officials in court helped to trace nearly 100 detainees. Most of those were subsequently released without charges.

“This was very embarrassing to the government because the people who were supposed to be found and released, they told all their stories,“ said Mr. Rehman of the human rights commission.

Amina Masood Janjua, who has led a campaign to trace the missing, first learned about news of her husband, who disappeared in July 2005, from a written account by another detainee. Later the detainee, Imran Munir, was produced in court and told her he had been held in the military base at Chaklala, in Rawalpindi, south of the capital, and saw her husband in another cell.

Another detainee, Hafiz Muhammad Tahir, was brought before the court and told the judges he had been ordered by the police to give a false account of his detention and charges against him, Mrs. Janjua said. In fact he had been held secretly for three years without charge. The chief justice ordered him to be freed, and he was released the same day.

But only four or five detainees ever appeared before the Supreme Court. Most of the 100 detainees released this year have been freed surreptitiously by the police and intelligence agencies, lawyers and human rights officials said. “They cannot admit that they had these people because they have no charges against them, no documentation,” Mrs. Janjua said.

One such detainee, Saud Memon, was dumped on a garbage heap, she said. Mr. Memon owned a plot of land where Mr. Pearl, the American journalist, was beheaded in 2002. Citing witness accounts from Pakistani investigators, The Wall Street Journal, Mr. Pearl’s employer, reported recently that Mr. Memon had driven three men who were the killers to the site.

Mr. Memon was picked up in South Africa in March 2003, his family said, and later brought to Pakistan and held by intelligence agencies. His brother, Mahmood, said the family learned only this year from another detainee who had been released that Mr. Memon was in Pakistan.

Mr. Memon was dumped near his home in April, so thin and ill that he never recognized his wife and children, and died within three weeks. Yet he was never charged and the Pakistani government never acknowledged holding him.

Mr. Mansfield of the C.I.A. declined to comment on Mr. Memon’s case, saying, “The C.I.A. does not, as a rule, comment on allegations regarding who has, or has not, been in its custody.”

Picture of Secret Detentions Emerges in Pakistan By CARLOTTA GALL Published: December 19, 2007 [THE NEW YORK TIMES]


Page: 2

i- International Day of the Disappeared

AI Index: ASA 04/001/2006 (Public)News Service No: 221 Embargo Date: 30 August 2006 01:00 GMT

South Asia: 'War on terror' spawns new patterns of enforced disappearance Published

New patterns of enforced disappearance related to the "war on terror" have emerged in South Asia alongside the long-standing problems in countries such as Nepal and Sri Lanka. In all cases, the families of the victims suffer emotionally, socially and financially, said Amnesty International on International Day of the Disappeared.

ii- Please find attachment on "Reports on Human Rights Situation During Year 2006."

Asian Human Rights Commission 19floor, go-up commercial building,998- canton road. Mong Kok. Kowloon. Hong Kong - China

iii- Dark Nights of Salim Balouch

iv- Painful search for Pakistan's disappeared Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 December 2006, 18:04 GMT By Barbara Plett BBC News, Islamabad

v- Hide n’ seek By Zofeen T. Ebrahim The Review [Daily Dawn]


Urgent Appeal 23 December 2006

UA-413-2006: PAKISTAN: Gross negligence of the High Court of Sindh on disappeared persons Urgent Appeals Programme

Asian Human Rights Commission (

A Confident Musharraf On Bin Laden!

Ahmed Quraishi wrote:
AHMED QURAISHI [Former Analyst of World View, Pakistan Television Network and Presently is with GEO TV Network]

Sheikh Osama Bin Laden Al-Khariji [As per the Saudi Fatwa issued by Shaikh Abdullah Bin Abadul Aziz Bin Baaz]

A Confident Musharraf On Bin Laden

It's been a long time since a voice from Pakistan spoke with this authority. Here in this video clp, former President Musharraf, in Michigan for a speech, gives a solid response to those who say that Pakistan is the headquarters of bin Laden & Co.

Check the video at

General [Retd] Pervez Musharraf [American Backed Military Dictator of Pakistan 1999 - 2008]

A Confident Musharraf On Bin Laden


Dear Quraishi Sahab

And what about General Musharraf's Key Political Support which came from these very elements [for example Sipah-e-Sahab and Lashkar-e-Jhangavi] against whom he was lecturing????


General Ziaul Haq [Maternal Son-In-Law of Former Jamat-e-Islami Ameer Mian Mohammad Tufail and Amercian Backed Military Dictator of Pakistan 1977 - 1988]

During Zia-ul Haq’s rule, General Pervez Musharraf, then a Brigadier, was assigned the task of suppressing the Shia revolt against the Sunni-dominated administration in the Gilgit region. Musharraf used Pathan tribesmen from NWFP and Afghanistan along with his troops to silence the Shias. In the wake of this operation, hundreds of Shias were butchered and displaced from Gilgit. The operations were widely reported in the Herald, a monthly magazine of the daily Dawn in its April and May 1990 issues. It is also said that the Wahabi Pakhtuns who raided Gilgit under Musharraf’s command were led by none other than Osama bin Laden.According to a Herald report of May 1990, “In May 1988, low-intensity political rivalry and sectarian tension ignited into full-scale carnage as thousands of armed tribesmen from outside Gilgit district invaded Gilgit along the Karakoram Highway. Nobody stopped them. They destroyed crops and houses, lynched and burnt people to death in the villages around Gilgit town. The number of dead and injured was put in the hundreds. But numbers alone tell nothing of the savagery of the invading hordes and the chilling impact it has left on these peaceful valleys. Read the details [1]

Another point against General Musharraf being a liberal is that most of his political support over the last eight years has come from pro-Islamist conservatives. For those that might have forgotten, the one vote that allowed the pro-Musharraf coalition to win a majority in the National Assembly came from the late Maulana Azam Tariq, leader of the sectarian Sipah-e-Sahaba. Read the details [2]

Musharraf has plainly given the religious groups more free rein in the campaign than he has allowed the two big parties that were his main rivals. In Jhang city, in Punjab province, Maulana Azam Tariq, leader of an outlawed extremist group called Sipah-e-Sahaba, which has been linked to numerous sectarian killings, is being allowed to run as an independent—despite election laws that disqualify any candidate who has criminal charges pending, or even those who did not earn a college degree. Read the details [3]

And while the Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan and the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi stand officially disbanded, their most militant son and leader, Maulana Azam Tariq, an accused in several cases of sectarian killing, contested elections from jail - albeit as an independent candidate - won his seat, and was released on bail shortly thereafter. The fine line between an outright violation of the law and its insidious subversion by those who appoint themselves its custodians has been blurred so often in Pakistan's chequered political history, that is has now become par for the course. The irony is when the architects of that subversion or violation are those who frame the laws themselves. Read the details [4]


References and Notes:

1 - The Problem of Kashmir and the Problem in Kashmir: Divergence Demands Convergence Strategic Analysis/Jan-Mar 2005 [1]

2 - VIEW: End of a liberal alliance? —Syed Mansoor Hussain [2]

We might just be seeing the evolution of a new political consensus based not on some loosy-goosy idea like enlightened moderation (Rest In Peace) but on a true liberal-democratic desire for representative democracy

Ever since the Lal Masjid action, an imagined divide between ‘moderate-liberals’ and the ‘true believers’ has become a topic of discussion. The presumption is that there exists in Pakistan a distinct group of people that are more beholden to religious values than others. This group is felt to be in opposition to those that are presumably less religiously inclined and support General Musharraf. And, that under General Musharraf’s guidance and US prodding, a new liberal alliance is coming into place.

Before going further it is important to establish the fact that General Musharraf is definitely not a political liberal or even a moderate. He is an autocrat, albeit benign in comparison to others and has, over the years, demonstrated little if any partiality towards either participatory democracy or the supremacy of constitutional norms. As for his personal lifestyle choices, even those not approved by the keepers of the faith, they are his business and his alone.

Another point against General Musharraf being a liberal is that most of his political support over the last eight years has come from pro-Islamist conservatives. For those that might have forgotten, the one vote that allowed the pro-Musharraf coalition to win a majority in the National Assembly came from the late Maulana Azam Tariq, leader of the sectarian Sipah-e-Sahaba.

PMLQ, the party that supports him, is definitely not a moderate or liberal political party. At best it is an alliance of conservative centrist and pro-Islamist politicians. Its natural allies are the Islamists in the MMA as was demonstrated during the passage of the Seventeenth Amendment to the Constitution that validated General Musharraf’s presidency.

The party does, however, include some politicians that are not pro-Islamist but can at best be called opportunists in search of power. Even now the PMLQ is much more likely to make a deal with elements within the Islamist MMA rather than allowing General Musharraf to make any arrangement with the PPP. And, anybody who thinks that General Musharraf wants to make any deal with the PPP because he shares a similar political ideology must have spent too much time in the sun.

The state of emergency imposed by General Musharraf earlier this month has laid to rest, once and for all, any doubts anybody might have had about his liberal democratic credentials. It has also made it clear that General Musharraf wants to continue as ruler of Pakistan for the foreseeable future, preferably with his compliant comrades in the PMLQ. As such, he will definitely want them returned to parliament in the upcoming general election.

As things stand, it seems that Pakistan will most likely move straight on from the state of emergency to a controlled democracy. Elections, if they are held in January will be controlled even more than they were five years ago to produce this time around an outright majority for the PMLQ in the centre as well as the Punjab.

The much-touted deal between General Musharraf and the Mohtrama is already dead and gone. Does this mean that the possibility of any liberal consensus is now doomed for ever? Probably not. However what has changed is that this liberal democratic consensus, if it does develop, will come without General Musharraf, as it should. Already, the centre-left and centre-right political forces are being pushed closer to each other, the common ground being the basic liberal-democratic desire for representative democracy.

Interestingly, differences based upon religious ideology between different political parties are receding to the background. The religiously conservative Nawaz League is busy trying to find common ground with the relatively secular Bhutto-led PPP. The recent roughing up of the PTI chief Imran Khan by IJT goons at Punjab University might also force him to reconsider his Islamist political points of view. So, we might just be seeing the evolution of a new political consensus based not on some loosy-goosy idea like enlightened moderation (Rest In Peace) but on a true liberal-democratic desire for representative democracy.

If this situation indeed comes to pass then we will have General Musharraf to thank for it. By shaking off his democratic mantle, he has made the choice clear for the people of Pakistan. However, the two ringers in this scenario are the US and the Mohtrama. It is obvious that the US would prefer to see the PPP and the General come to some arrangement about sharing power. Increasingly it seems that the US will have to make a choice between these two since power sharing is not in the General’s cookbook.

Considering the US imperatives, the choice will inevitably have to be the General over the Mohtrama if some sort of arrangement between these two is not possible. As far as the Mohtrama is concerned, she will eventually come to a similar conclusion. The question for her then is whether or not she really wants to become a part of an opposition coalition that has a one-point agenda — free, open and fair elections and the prerequisites thereof including a free media and an independent judiciary.

If General Musharraf does not end the emergency, give up his army position, provide a truly impartial interim government and an independent election commission then Bhutto along with others might have to embark upon a public campaign to force his hand. If the Mohtrama wishes to remain politically relevant then she must also resist US pressure to continue some sort of an arrangement with General Musharraf.

If however General Musharraf does indeed allow the free and fair elections that he keeps promising, the people of Pakistan will most likely come out in force to support this new liberal-democratic alliance. Indeed, if the people of Pakistan actually prefer General Musharraf over others, as he thinks they do, then all the more reason for him to have a truly free and fair election to prove that he was right all along.

Syed Mansoor Hussain has practised and taught medicine in the US. He can be reached at

3 - General's Election By TIM MCGIRK / KHANA-KHEL With reporting by Syed Talat Hussain/Islamabad Dated Monday, Oct. 07, 2002 [3],9171,501021014-361788,00.html

You'd think there'd be plenty of campaign issues to discuss in Pakistan these days�especially in a general election that is supposed to restore democracy after three years of one-man rule. But at a rally not far from the Afghan border, in a village at the bottom of a ravine where there are more goats than party faithful, there is only one issue that counts: America the Awful. A speaker rises from beneath a broad tree and shouts, "Americans are killing our Muslim brothers and sisters in Afghanistan. And soon, they will come to Pakistan!"

The voice bellows not from some bearded firebrand but from Sumbal, a five-year-old girl in a bubble-gum-pink smock. After her speech, delivered with a child's pure-spun rage, Sumbal encounters TIME's correspondent, an American citizen. Trembling, she hides behind her teacher's legs and tries to bury her face in the baggy folds of his salwar kameez. This is her worst nightmare: after memorizing her diatribe against blood-thirsty Americans, one of them has come stalking up the ravines after her.

President Pervez Musharraf is holding polls on Oct. 10 to fulfill his promise to return Pakistan to the democratic path. But it is a brand of democracy that suits the General better than anyone else. He rewrote election rules to disqualify former Prime Ministers Mohammed Nawaz Sharif and Benazir Bhutto, and threatened to toss them in jail if they returned from abroad, which badly undermined both Nawaz Sharif's Pakistan Muslim League and Bhutto's Pakistan People's Party (PPP). And once the polls are over, the elected government will work under a constitution amended by Musharraf, which gives expanded powers both to him and a new military-heavy National Security Council. Musharraf insists he is merely trying to prevent corruption and bad governance; critics say he has no intention of letting elected civilians run Pakistan. Faced with such criticism, Musharraf appears eager to divert public attention away from the election�hence, last Friday, Pakistan test-fired a nuclear-capable missile, and India performed a parallel missile test hours afterwards.

The President must have known his tinkering would take some of the oomph out of an election campaign, which in Pakistan is usually as thunderous, and joyfully welcomed, as the yearly monsoon. But Musharraf prefers it dull, and that is how it is: the Pakistan Muslim League and the PPP combined normally get more than 50% of the popular vote, but now their camps are apathetic, producing one of the dullest campaigns in memory. What Musharraf did not expect was the force that has filled the vacuum: an alliance of six hard-line religious parties that calls itself the Muttahidda Majlis-e-Amal (MMA). The MMA is volubly anti- American, as Sumbal, the five-year-old anti-Yankee rabble-rouser, demonstrates. More worrisome for Musharraf: it has also become a focus for popular discontent against him for his actions since Sept. 11, especially his crackdown on insurgents going to fight jihad in Kashmir, and what is perceived to be his pro-America pandering.

In the past, Pakistani religious parties seldom grabbed more than five percent of the vote. The country's intelligentsia likes to claim this is because, once all the hollering dies down and ballots are cast, Pakistanis are moderate, secular folk. In fact, most Pakistanis are poor, unschooled people who traditionally vote as their feudal squires command�or suffer their wrath. With the two big parties in retreat, the hard-line religious coalition is leading a whole lot of voters to the booths. Polls indicate that the MMA could win 30 to 50 of the 270 National Assembly seats. (Another 70 seats are reserved for women and minorities, a Musharraf innovation.) That is nowhere near a majority. But in a splintered Parliament, it could be enough to give the clerics a few berths in a future coalition government. From there, the clerics could snipe and demand radical Islamic changes in schools and social programs.

Hatred is a powerful motivator. Until the clerics made common cause against America, the six hard-line party leaders were rivals. They stormed each other's mosques and split hairs over ideological disputes dating back to Islam's early days. Their differences were stark: some worship at the tombs of local Sufi saints; others dismiss that practice as blasphemy. Most of the parties want their women veiled from head to toe, although more liberal groups argue that it ought to be the woman's choice. The personalities of the parties' leaders have also clashed. Qazi Hussain Ahmed from the Jamaat-e-Islami is a cultured, well-traveled cleric who speaks with the measured finality of a judge passing a grim sentence. Several of his new brethren, in contrast, are unquestionably flamboyant. Maulana Fazlur Rehman wears robes of golden thread and was dubbed "Maulana Diesel" after allegations were made�though never proven�that he was involved in a fuel scam. Maulana Samiul Haq earned the nickname "Sandwich Sammy" after being photographed (presumably by Pakistani intelligence officers) in an inventive position with several bedmates. "We have our differences, some of them centuries-old," concedes Ahmed, "But we have enough in common."

The MMA's stronghold lies in the tribal band along the Afghan border. Its Baluch and Pashtun supporters are ethnically and ideologically tied to the former Taliban rulers in Afghanistan, thus their anti-Americanism. The region is where Pakistani and U.S. intelligence officers believe many al-Qaeda fighters, possibly even Osama bin Laden, may be holed up. Guns are in plentiful supply. Basha Kamal from Khana-Khel village, in the hills behind the turquoise Indus River, slaps his hip and says: "Of course I carry an automatic pistol. That doesn't mean I'm a terrorist." He adds, "But I refuse to bow to the Americans. This is our land."

The clerics have a long litany of gripes against the Americans and Musharraf, whom they dismiss as "an American agent" and "a puppet." They resent him for allowing the U.S. to use Pakistani military bases in Baluchistan and the Northwest Frontier province as staging posts in its Afghan campaign. It angers them that agents of the fbi wiretap Pakistani telephones and organize raids on suspected al-Qaeda hideouts. The Islamic hard-liners even fret that cameras at the Karachi airport are feeding images into CIA computers. What riles them most is that Musharraf has buckled to U.S. pressure and scaled down Pakistan's covert support of Muslim militants fighting in Indian-held Kashmir. "This is against our sovereignty," says the MMA's Ahmed.

Musharraf has plainly given the religious groups more free rein in the campaign than he has allowed the two big parties that were his main rivals. In Jhang city, in Punjab province, Maulana Azam Tariq, leader of an outlawed extremist group called Sipah-e-Sahaba, which has been linked to numerous sectarian killings, is being allowed to run as an independent�despite election laws that disqualify any candidate who has criminal charges pending, or even those who did not earn a college degree. "It makes no sense that Benazir can't run in the election," says one Islamabad-based diplomat, "and this nasty guy can." Musharraf may have underestimated the power of nastiness, the depth of the Islamic conservatives' popular support, and the intensity of their hostility towards him. That anger also extends to his American allies, especially where it counts the most: in al-Qaeda country.

4 - For The 'General' Good By Sairah Irshad Khan [4]

All the pieces of the Mush doctrine - promoted with almost as much Goebbellian zeal as the Bush doctrine - have fallen into place.

The general is secure in his labyrinth, his five year tenure as President 'validated' by a referendum tailored to ensure positive results. Dissidents have been deftly manoeuvred into the political wilderness or coopted by the establishment. And 'democracy' has been restored.

But for the people of Pakistan, the new year is marked not by celebration but a deafening silence. In a political history littered with broken promises and shattered aspirations, it is business as usual.

Power, it is said, has been handed over to the 'peoples'' representatives. The question is, which people? Those who cast their vote for their party candidates only to find they had switched sides once elected, or those orchestrating the farce being played out as the return of parliamentary democracy?

At any rate, the complexion of some of those in the assemblies and those awarded positions elevating them to the rank of federal ministers, makes for a compelling picture. Federal interior minister, Faisal Saleh Hayat, awarded this portfolio shortly after he formed a forward bloc in the PPP, is a declared defaulter - by NAB spokesman Major Ali's reckoning, of a 24 crore, 10 lakh, 72 thousand rupee loan, taken from the Faisalabad branch of the National Bank of Pakistan for the Jewna Textile Mills he owns. Currently out on bail, Hayat's name reportedly still features on the Exit Control List - which falls under the purview of the very ministry he now heads.

Former PPP leader, Aftab Ahmed Sherpao, charged in five cases of corruption, was acquitted in three and convicted for two. Also out on bail while his appeal in the latter is pending in the Peshawar High Court, Sherpao has secured the portfolio of federal minister for water and power.

A case is also pending against current federal minister for agriculture and livestock, Abdul Sattar Lalika, for the illegal awarding of fertiliser contracts.

Until the eve of his appointment as Sindh governor, Ishratul Ibad, a former convenor and "committee incharge" of the London branch of the MQM, was a declared absconder, wanted in eight criminal cases in four Karachi police stations, with a price of three million rupees on his head. The cases ranged from 'incitement of violence' to kidnapping for ransom and murder. The amendment of Article 63 of the constitution as framed in President Musharraf's Legal Framework Order (LFO) stipulates that an absconder is prohibited from contesting elections. Ineligibility for the assemblies is also a disqualification for governorship under article 101 (2).

Before former Sindh governor, Mohammed Mian Soomro, vacated his seat, he reviewed the cases against Ishratul Ibad and soon thereafter they were quashed.

Nelofar Bakhtiar, a cousin of President Musharraf's principal secretary, Tariq Aziz, convicted of contempt of court and currently on bail with an appeal pending in the Supreme Court, has been appointed advisor to the Prime Minister on 'women development and social welfare,' with the status of federal minister.

Interestingly, there was neither any impediment in Bakhtiar's contesting the elections - despite an order banning those convicted on charges of contempt of court from contesting (ruling out for example aspiring candidate Akhtar Rasool who is charged with the same offence) - nor in her assumption of the post of advisor, despite having lost her PML-Q seat. Meanwhile, losing candidates are not eligible to stand for Senate elections, courtesy a presidential ruling.

And a winning candidate from Balochistan, who allegedly featured high on the United States' list of drug barons, and reportedly also as a matter of concern in the recent talks held between Iranian President Khatami and local officials, has been awarded a high profile portfolio in the provincial assembly.

These are just the tip of the iceberg. While the Musharraf regime's béte noire - Benazir Bhutto, Asif Zardari and the Sharif clan - have effectively had their political wings clipped due to the continuing cases against them, the long list of those under investigation for assorted improprieties, or those in appeal against convictions who now sit in the assemblies, makes a mockery of President Musharraf's pledge to usher in a clean, wholesome government.

Even NAB chairman, Lt. General Munir Hafiez, does not attempt a whitewash. When questioned in a television interview about the integrity and efficacy of his organisation, given the exoneration of and induction into parliament of several individuals involved in NAB cases, the general responded that such queries should be addressed not to his bureau which only has the jurisdiction to investigate and frame references, but to those under whose jurisdiction prosecution falls.

Other questions also beg answers. Among them, why, almost immediately after the Jamali government was installed, was former provincial minister Faiq Ali Jamali, a relative of Prime Minister Zafarullah Jamali, serving a 38-year sentence after conviction in eight cases of corruption, released on 'permanent parole,' without any explanation or enabling provision of the law?

Why was the mercy petition of Chaudhry Sharif, an FIA official serving time in jail after conviction on corruption charges (whose multi-million-rupee plea bargain appeal was reportedly rejected by NAB), accepted by the President under the advice of Prime Minister Jamali, resulting in his release from prison?

Why were the convictions by accountability courts of MMA members, Behram Achakzai and Hafiz Luni, quashed, along with those of other activists of certain select political parties?

In Pakistan today, justice is clearly not blind - and laws are made to be broken.

Section 3 (4) of the Political Parties Order 2002 states, "A political party shall not… promote sectarian, regional or provincial hatred or animosity; or bear a name as a militant group or section…"

Promulgated by the 'chief executive' on June 28, 2002, with the Election Commission Order, 2002 and the Conduct of General Elections Order, 2002, these presidential diktats seen in conjunction with one another unequivocally enforce the official position on the status of certain political groups with specific ideological charters. Viewed in alignment with two other presidential decrees (promulgated in January 2002), which disbanded the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi, the Sipah-e-Mohammadi, the Jaish-e-Mohammed, the Lashkar-e-Tayyaba, the Tehrik-e-Fiqah-e-Jafria and the Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan, and placed 'under observation' the Sunni Tehrik, there is no ambiguity about the eligibility or otherwise to contest elections of members of the banned outfits or parties that fall under the category of "sectarian" and "regional" organisations, or those that promote "provincial hatred."

Election 2002. Without any ado, the Election Commission (EC) accepted the nomination papers of 69 Sunni Tehrik candidates, 22 for the National Assembly and 47 for the provincial assemblies. Likewise, the Pakistan Shia Political Party and the Mohajir Qaumi Movement, both of whom fielded candidates under their respective party banners.

And while the Sipah-e-Sahaba Pakistan and the Lashkar-e-Jhangvi stand officially disbanded, their most militant son and leader, Maulana Azam Tariq, an accused in several cases of sectarian killing, contested elections from jail - albeit as an independent candidate - won his seat, and was released on bail shortly thereafter.

The fine line between an outright violation of the law and its insidious subversion by those who appoint themselves its custodians has been blurred so often in Pakistan's chequered political history, that is has now become par for the course. The irony is when the architects of that subversion or violation are those who frame the laws themselves.

The graduation criterion for aspiring electoral candidates set by the Musharraf government, is a significant case in point.

The merits or demerits of the condition aside (and that remains a moot point), the validity of degrees submitted to and accepted by the election commission demands close examination.

Previously, only those degrees from educational institutions (including a handful of madrassas) granted a charter by the government to award certification and recognised by the University Grants Commission, were considered valid.

The October elections opened the floodgates. Overnight, there was a proliferation of degree-awarding madrassas and hitherto unknown 'American' and 'Canadian' 'universities' conferring eligibility for candidature in the elections upon scores of 'graduates.'

Take the degree (now being challenged in court by the MMA) of federal minister Abdul Sattar Lalika. The conferring authority: the Karachi-based 'Canadian School of Management.' Inquiries about this institution so far yield a blank.

The degrees of Sindh assembly MPAs, Saleem Jan Mazari and Syed Ali Bakhsh alias Papoo Shah, from the 'International University of America, London campus,' also bear scrutiny. No information is available for this institution.

Interestingly, in 2001, when Shah was aspiring to contest the local bodies elections, the board of secondary education informed the EC that his matriculation certificate was bogus, on account of which his nomination papers were rejected.

And there are no records of government charters ostensibly awarded to scores of madrassas whose degrees left the electoral field wide open for dozens of candidates of assorted political groups, of whom the MMA and the PML-Q were prime beneficiaries. Meanwhile, chartered accountants with five to seven years of training were disqualified as candidates, their degrees considered unacceptable by the EC.

The selectivity demonstrated in the matter of academic qualifications - clearly to allow certain individuals into the election loop - was also applied to keep people out.

In the instance of the filing of nomination papers for example, laws relating to the election procedure were repeatedly changed even after the event, with the visible intent of eliminating Benazir Bhutto and the Sharifs from the race. Initially the law provided for a candidate's seconder or proposer filing his/her nomination papers if the candidate was not physically present.

However, the President promulgated a new law stipulating that only candidates themselves could file their papers, effectively scotching the two exiled former premiers' chances of contesting, even in by-elections.

Similarly, while an earlier Presidential order ruled that anyone who had served two terms in office was not eligible for prime ministership or the post of chief minister, the law was amended to allow Zafarullah Jamali - who has served has both, interim prime minister and chief minister - to assume the PM's mantle.

Given the seeming whimsicality of the regime in promulgating ordinances and issuing orders and notifications, only to withdraw or amend them soon thereafter, it is not surprising that the Musharraf government has the distinction of having issued more orders than any other in Pakistan's history - 127 ordinances alone, for example, in just the past 11 months.

With sweeping changes introduced through the endless orders, a natural corollary is the confused state of the country's constitution. While the 1973 constitution was revived by General Musharraf on November 15 (with some provisions relating to the provincial assemblies and the Senate remaining suspended), the document, if inclusive of the amendments of the past three years, bears little resemblance to the original.

The Supreme Court had allowed President Musharraf to amend the Constitution as a measure dictated by state necessity after the promulgation of the Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO) of 1999, but these amendments were subject to specific conditionalities. Among these was the stipulation that the amendments would not impinge on the independence of the judiciary or affect the federal parliamentary system of government.

While state-sponsored constitutional experts could undoubtedly present a vibrant argument to support the establishment's contention that the amendments do not violate the spirit of the '73 constitution and are not contrary to the Supreme Court ruling, the creation of the National Security Council, the revival of certain salient features of article 58-2B, and the power conferred on the President to make all vital appointments in the armed forces, unarguably militates against such a defence.

According to the law of the land, all ordinances, orders, notifications etc. promulgated and issued by the Musharraf government under the emergency declared on October 9, 1999 are now subject to validation by Parliament. There is a unanimity of opinion among the lawyers community and all the political parties that the Legal Framework Order (LFO, promulgated by President Musharraf on August 2002, which seeks to validate all the ordinances and amendments, can only be made part of the constitution if approved by a two-third majority in both houses of Parliament.

This notwithstanding, on November 16, one day after he announced the revival of the '73 constitution, President Musharraf declared that the LFO was now part of the constitution. (The latest edition of the '73 constitution published by the ministry of law echoes this contention since it has unilaterally incorporated the provisions of the LFO in this document).

Furthermore, the same day (November 16), President Musharraf promulgated yet another ordinance - the Anti-Terrorism (amendment) Ordinance, amending the Terrorism Act, 1997.

The draconian nature of this ordinance apart (which arguably militates against the human rights guaranteed and protected by the '73 constitution), the very act of promulgating the ordinance is in violation of article 89 of the 1973 constitution which had been restored a day earlier. Article 89 empowers the President to promulgate ordinances - except when Parliament is in session. November 16 marked the commencement of the first session of Parliament. Interestingly, with the revival of the constitution, the PCO of 1999 automatically ceases to be operative. Yet, the anti-Terrorism (amendment) Ordinance of November 16 does not even refer to the 1973 constitution.

It reads "in pursuance of the proclamation of Emergency on the fourteenth day of October 1999, and the Provisional Constitutional Order No. 1 of 1999, read with the Provisional Constitutional (Amendment) Order No. 9 of 1999 and in exercise of all powers enabling him in that behalf, the President of the Islamic Republic of Pakistan is pleased to make and promulgate the Ordinance."

Says lawyer and former Senator Iqbal Haider, "Now there are two constitutions, the PCO and the 1973 constitution, and we are operating under both. Even General Zia-ul-Haq presented his Revival of Constitution Order (RCO) to the elected National Assembly and Senate, which debated it for five months and approved it only after correcting and amending it."


U.S. Deputy Secretary of State John Negroponte told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee the judicial dispute is "something that we believe the Pakistanis themselves are going to have to sort out."

U.S. backs Pakistan judicial reform and mum on judges

By Paul Eckert, Asia Correspondence Reuters Thursday, February 28, 2008; 4:00 PM

During his Senate hearing on Thursday, Mr. Negroponte said, “I think we would, as a general proposition, urge that the moderate political forces work together, and of course President Musharraf is still the president of his country, and we look forward to continuing to work well with him as well.”

U.S. Embrace of Musharraf Irks Pakistanis By DAVID ROHDE Published: February 29, 2008

ISLAMABAD, Pakistan -- The U.S. has a puzzle to crack in Pakistan.

The Bush administration wants to ensure military pressure is kept up on militants in the lawless tribal areas, but U.S. support for President Pervez Musharraf risks deepening anti-American sentiment among a public already fuming over Islamabad's role in the war on terror.

US Support for Musharraf Causes Anger By JASON STRAZIUSO The Associated Press Friday, February 29, 2008; 6:12 AM

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Comedy of Shia Sunni Differences - 17

Syed wrote:

Your understand is wrong. tau agar shia Imam Jaffar ko follow karte hain tau yeh un ki ghalti hai kyunke Allah ne Quran main Irshad farmaya hai ke "Muhammad (PBUH) ki zindagi tumhare liye example hai", it means our ideal should be Muhammad (PBUH).Issi tarah jo apne aap ko Shafi, Barelvi etc.. kehte hain woh bhi Allah ke naa farman hain...


Muhammad Furqan wrote:

It seems that you know nothing and i suggest Mr. Syed not to argue with the person like you. Well if you read the Holy Books you will find the creiteria of Kafir, Munafiq, murdid etc.

(1) Did quran declare Qaidiani Kafir?

(2) What about buddist, Hindus etc?

(3) Can you proof yourself and your forefathers a muslim (mention verses of quran....)

(4) Can you tell me the what is the criteria of being a Muslim?

(5) If you don't believe in Mullas Fatwa then you should not believe in "Nikkah nama" (marriage agreement) of your parents as it is issued and approved by Mullas hence not a Hujjat (proof) tell me where it is written that you are the legal son of your parents.

Dear Mr Furqan,

If I know nothing then why did you ask question from me. However, as per my poor and humble knowledge, answers are as under:

(1) Did quran declare Qaidiani Kafir? [Furqan]

Mirza Ghulam Ahmed denied the finality of Prophet Mohammad [PBUH] and declared it openly and this is ultimately denying the Quran so Mirza automatically became Infidel because denying the finality of Prophet Mohammad [PBUH] is negating Quran. Read the Quran.

(2) What about buddist, Hindus etc?

Their act of associating Partner with Allah is enough proof. Read Quran.

(3) Can you proof yourself and your forefathers a muslim (mention verses of quran....). [Furqan]

My immediate forefathers were Muslim and so am I [By the Grace of Allah]. And if they were not then I am not responsible for them. Read Quran Chapter 2 Verse 141 .

(4) Can you tell me the what is the criteria of being a Muslim? [Furqan]

Having belief on the Five Pillars of Islam as given in Quran and Hadith [Bukhari, Muslim and other Hadith books]

(5) If you don't believe in Mullas Fatwa then you should not believe in "Nikkah nama" (marriage agreement) of your parents as it is issued and approved by Mullas hence not a Hujjat (proof) tell me where it is written that you are the legal son of your parents.[Furqan]

Nikah can be managed/recited by anybody by reciting Masnoon [As prescribed in Hadith] Khutbah {Read Khutbah of Nikah in Sahih Muslim, Nisa'ai, Musnad Ahmed, Sunan Darimi, Mishkqat - Only three or two Verse from Quran]. Sir, you must learn something about Masnoon Nikah and Islamic Marriage before opening your filthy mouth because its not Mullah who approved the marriage but the Quranic Verses, Alimony [Meher] and Witnesses and Mullah is only a Record Keeper. You shouldn't worry about my being illegitimate [Harami] or legitimate [Halali] because you would not be the Judge on the Judgement day. Lets assume I am a Bastard then on Judgement Day it wouldn't be Crime before Allah.

Dear Mr Syed,

The Principle of ""Muhammad (PBUH) ki zindagi tumhare liye example hai", it means our ideal should be Muhammad (PBUH)." is not only meant for Shias, Shafa'i and Barelwis but Deobandis as well. Apply the same principle for Rampantly Deviant and Anarchist Mullahs of Deoband.

Mr Furqan should love these Mullahs. A detailed Research on the Deviant Beliefs [Gumrah Kun Aqaid] of Deobandis: Now read the teaching of Fitnah-e-Deobandiya and prove it "CORRECT AS PER YOUR PRISTINE PRINICPLE YOU APPLIED FOR SHIAS ABOVE" through Quran and Hadith.



The Deobandis are one of the groups of Muslims. This group is connected to and named after the University of Deoband _ Dar al-Uloom _ in India. It is an intellectual school of thought that is deeply rooted, and everyone who graduated from that university was influenced by its academic characteristics, so that they became known as Deobandis. The University of Deoband was founded by a group of Indian `ulamaa' (scholars) after the British had put a stop to the Islamic revolution in India in 1857 CE. Its establishment was a strong reaction against western advancement and its materialistic civilization in the Indian Subcontinent, aimed at saving the Muslims from the dangers of these circumstances, especially when Delhi, the capital, had been destroyed following the revolution and the British had taken full control of it. The scholars feared that their religion might be assimilated, so Shaykh Imdaadullaah al-Muhaajir al-Makki and his student Shaykh Muhammad Qaasim al-Nanatuwi, and their companions, drew up a plan to protect Islam and its teachings. They thought that the solution was to establish religious schools and Islamic centers, thus al-Madrasah al-Islamiyyah al-Arabiyyah was established in Deoband as a center for Islam and Sharee'ah in India at the time of British rule.

The most prominent figures of this intellectual school:

1- Muhammad Qaasim Nanootvi

2- Rasheed Ahmad Gangohi

3- Husayn Ahmad Madani

4- Muhammad Anwaar Shah Kashmiri

5- Abu'l-Hasan al-Nadvi

6- Al-Muhaddith Habeeb al-Rahmaan al-A'zami

Thoughts and beliefs

With regard to basic tenets of belief (`aqeedah), they follow the madhhab of Abu Mansoor al-Maatreedi.

They follow the madhhab of Imaam Abu Haneefah with regard to fiqh and minor issues.

They follow the Sufi tareeqahs of the Naqshbandiyyah, Chishtiyyah, Qaadiriyyah and Saharwardiyyah with regard to spiritual development.

The thoughts and principles of the Deobandi school may be summed up as follows:

- Preserving the teachings of Islam and its strength and rituals.

- Spreading Islam and resisting destructive schools of thought and missionary activity.

- Spreading Islamic culture and resisting the invading British culture.

Paying attention to spreading the Arabic language because it is the means of benefiting from the sources of Islamic sharee'ah.

- Combining reason and emotion, and knowledge and spirituality.

Because the Deobandis follow the Maatreedi madhhab with regard to belief (`aqeedah), we have to define what al-Maatreediyyah is:

This is a philosophical (kalaami) group which is named after Abu Mansoor al-Maatreedi. It is based on using rational and philosophical proof and evidence in disputes with opponents from among the Mu'tazilah, Jahamiyyah and others to establish the truths of religion and Islamic `aqeedah (belief). With regard to sources, the Maatreediyyah divide the bases of religion into two categories depending on the source:

1 _ Divine or rational: these are matters which are established independently by reason and the reports follow that. This includes issues of Tawheed and the Divine attributes.

2 _ Legislative matters or transmitted reports, These are matters which reason states may or may not exist, but there is no way to prove rationally that they exist, such as Prophethood, the torment of the grave and issues of the Hereafter. It should be noted that some of them regarded Prophethood as coming under the heading of rational issues.

It is obvious that this is contradictory to the methodology of Ahl al-Sunnah wa'l-Jamaa'ah, because the Qur'aan, Sunnah and consensus of the Sahaabah are the sources of guidance in their view. This is in addition to their bid'ah (innovation) of dividing the sources of religion into rational matters vs. transmitted reports, which was based on the false notion of the philosophers who assumed that the religious texts contradict reason, so they tried to mediate between reason and the transmitted reports. This led them to force reason into fields where it has no place, so they came up with false rulings which contradicted sharee'ah, and that led them to say that they did not know what the texts mean and that only Allaah knows their meaning, or to misinterpret them altogether. In the view of Ahl al-Sunnah wa'l-Jamaa'ah, on the other hand, there is no contradiction between sound reason and the sound transmitted reports.

Attitude of Ahl al-Sunnah towards the Maatreediyyah

It was narrated from the Prophet SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) that this ummah would split into seventy-three sects, all of which would be in the Fire apart from one. The Prophet SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) explained that the saved group is the Jamaa'ah, which is the group that follows the same path as the Messenger SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and his Companions. Undoubtedly Ahl al-Sunnah wa'l-Jamaa'ah, who adhere to the Qur'aan and Sunnah in terms of both knowledge and actions, are the saved group, and this description applies to them, i.e., they adhere to that which the Messenger SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him) and his Companions adhered to in terms of knowledge and actions. It is not sufficient for an individual or group merely to claim to belong to the Sunnah whilst going against the methodology of the salaf, namely the Sahaabah and Taabi'een. Rather it is essential to adhere to their methodology in knowledge, action, approach and spiritual development. The Maatreediyyah are one of the groups whose opinions include true and false views, and some things that go against the Sunnah. It is known that these groups vary with regard to the truth, how near or far they are; the closer they are to the Sunnah, the closer they are to the truth and the right way. Among them are some who went against the Sunnah with regard to basic principles, and some who went against the Sunnah with regard to more subtle issues. There are some who refuted other groups who are farther away from the Sunnah, so they are to be praised with regard to their refutation of falsehood and what they have said of truth, but they have overstepped the mark in so far as they have rejected part of the truth and gone along with some falsehood. So they have refuted a serious bid'ah by means of a lesser bid'ah, and refuted falsehood with a lesser form of falsehood.

This is the case with most of the philosophers (ahl al-kalaam) who claim to belong to Ahl al-Sunnah wa'l-Jamaa'ah…"

There remains one important question to be answered, which is: what is our duty towards the Maatreediyyah and groups who hold similar beliefs such as the Deobandis and others?

The answer varies according to differences in the persons involved.

If someone is stubborn and propagates his bid'ah, then we must warn others about him and explain where he has gone wrong and deviated. But if he does not propagate his bid'ah and it is clear from his words and actions that he is seeking the truth and striving for that purpose, then we should advise him and explain to him what is wrong with this belief, and guide him in a manner that is better; perhaps Allaah will bring him back to the truth. This advice is included in the words of the Prophet SAWS (peace and blessings of Allaah be upon him):

"Religion is sincerity (or sincere advice)." We [the Sahabah] asked, "To whom?" He said, "To Allaah and His Book, and His Messenger, and to the leaders of the Muslims and their common folk." (Narrated by Muslim, 55).

It is important for us to understand, firstly, that the words "Tasawwuf" and "Sufism" are modern terms which refer to something that is not automatically approved of in sharee'ah as the words eemaan (faith), Islam and ihsaan are. Neither is it automatically condemned like the words kufr, fusooq (immorality) and `asyaan (disobedience, sin).

In such cases, we need to find out more about what is meant by such words before we can pass comment. Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah (may Allaah have mercy on him) said: "The words al-faqr and al-tasawwuf (i.e., Sufism) may include some things that are loved by Allaah and His Messenger, and these are things that are enjoined even if they are called faqr or tasawwuf, because the Qur'aan and Sunnah indicate that they are mustahabb and that is not altered if they called by other names. That also includes actions of the heart such as repentance and patience. And it may include things that are hated by Allaah and His Messenger, such as some kinds of belief in incarnation and pantheism, or monasticism that has been innovated in Islam, or things that go against sharee'ah and have been innovated, and so on. These things are forbidden no matter what names they are given… And it may include limiting oneself to a certain style of clothing or certain customs, ways of speaking and behaving, in such a way that anyone who goes beyond it is regarded as an outsider, although this is not something that has been stipulated in the Qur'aan or Sunnah; rather it may be something that is permissible or it may be something that is makrooh, and this is a bid'ah that is forbidden. This is not the way of the friends of Allaah (awliya' Allaah); such things are innovations and misguidance that exists among those who claim to follow the Sufi path. Similarly, among those who claim to be servants of knowledge there are innovations that involve beliefs and words that go against the Qur'aan and Sunnah, using phrases and terminology that have no basis in sharee'ah. Many such things happen among those people. The wise believer agrees with all people in that in which they are in accordance with the Qur'aan and Sunnah and obey Allaah and His Messenger, but he does not agree with that in which they go against the Qur'aan and Sunnah and disobey Allaah and His Messenger. He accepts from every group that which was taught by the Messenger… when a person seeks the truth and justice, based on knowledge, he is one of the successful friends of Allaah and His victorious party…

But what Shaykh al-Islam said about the view of Sufis depending on their situation is almost too theoretical for our times, when the objectionable matters that he referred to have become part of the path of those who call themselves Sufis nowadays, in addition to the different occasions they celebrate such as the Mawlid, and their exaggeration about their living shaykhs, and their attachment to shrines and graves, where they pray and circumambulate the graves and make vows to them, and other well-known practices of theirs. Because of these matters, the correct approach now is to warn against them with no reservations. This is what was agreed upon by the Standing Committee in their answer to a question about the ruling on the Sufi tareeqahs that exist nowadays.

They said:

Usually those that are called Sufis nowadays follow bid'ahs (innovations) that constitute shirk, as well as other kinds of bid'ah, such as when some of them say "Madad ya sayyid (Help, O Master)", and call upon the qutubs ("holy men"), and recite dhikr in unison using names by Allaah has not called Himself, like saying "Huw, Huw (He, He)" and "Ah, Ah (a contraction of the word `Allaah')". Whoever reads their books will be aware of many of their innovations that constitute shirk, and other evils.

With regard to the Jamaa'at al-Tableegh, this is one of the groups that is active in the field of da'wah, calling people to Allaah. They do a great deal of good and make commendable efforts. How many sinners have repented at their hands, and how many have now become devoted to worship of Allaah. But this group is not free of some innovations in knowledge and action, to which the scholars have drawn attention. But whatever the case they cannot be described as being one of the misguided groups. We have quoted above the words of Shaykh al-Islam Ibn Taymiyah: The wise believer agrees with all people in that in which they are in accordance with the Qur'aan and Sunnah and obey Allaah and His Messenger, but he does not agree with that in which they go against the Qur'aan and Sunnah
The Jamaa'at Tableegh and the Deobandis

Sufism Today

Sufism or Tasawwuf is divided into many sects, called Tareeqahs. The four major Tareeqahs are, Chistiya, Qadriyah, Naqshbandiya and Soharwardiyah. Sufism in India is represented by ‘the Deobandis’ and ‘the Barelawis’, who follow all these four Tareeqahs. Until the seventeenth century, there was no distinct school of thought amongst India’s Sufi Hanafee Scholars. But mutual disagreements later caused a great rift among them and led to the formation of two different and opposing institutions; the ‘Barelawis’ and the ‘Deobandis.’ Hostilities and bitter disagreements between these two groups have taken dangerous proportions and the Barelawis in particular have exaggerated in the Takfeer (declaring Kufr) of the Deobandis. Both these groups claim to follow the Hanafee Madhhab, though they only follow the Hanafee Fiqh and do not share the beliefs of Imam Abu Haneefah. Since this book focuses primarily on the beliefs and methodology of the School of Deoband and the Jamaat Tableegh, we shall limit ourselves only to those aspects of Sufism that are related to the Deobandis, and study Sufism from their (Deobandi) perspective.

Tareeqah and Sharee’ah: According to the Soofis, Tareeqah is the way by which one reaches to Allah, and Sharee’ah is the path which reaches the Jannah. Tareeqah is special and Sharee’ah is common. Tareeqah is based upon a particular set of beliefs, actions and exercises. [A Dictionary of the Technical Terms used in the Sciences of the Musalmans by Moulvi Muhammad Alee Ibn Alee Al-Thanvi, p.919]

The Barelawis

The founder and Imam of the Barelawis was Ahmad Raza Khan, who was an extremist Sufi known for his Takfeer (declaring Kufr) and extremely heretical beliefs. Allama Ehsan Illahi Zaheer (rahimahullah) has written a detailed book on the Barelawis, which highlights…

The influences of Shi’ism on the founder of the Barelawi school of thought.

The easiness with which they declare Kufr on their opponents.

Their giving superstitions, baseless talk, unfounded stories and fables, the garb of religion.

Their distortion (Tahreef) and misinterpretation of the Book and the Sunnah to support their beliefs.

Anyone who wishes to further study this subject should refer to this book called, ‘Barelawis – History and Beliefs’

Another excellent book that explicitly exposes the corrupted beliefs and actions of the Barelwis is, ‘The Book of Unity or Oneness of Allah’ compiled by Muhammad Iqbaal Kailani.

The Deobandis and the Jamaat Tableegh

The inception of the Deobandi School of thought stems from the differences and disagreements with the Barelawis, and the subsequent formation of the Darul-Uloom Deoband in 1868 by Moulana Qasim Nanotwi. The term, Deobandi, is used to describe all those who were in agreement with the school of Deoband and its ideology. From amongst the Deobandi scholars is Moulana Muhammad Ilyas, the founder of the Tableeghi Jamaat. Moulana Ilyas was much influenced by another prominent Deobandi scholar – Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi about whom he used to say, “Hazrat Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi has done a great service (to the religion). It is my heart’s desire that the teachings should be his and the Manhaj (methodology) of Dawah (propagation) be mine, so that this way his teachings become well-known.” So, the Jamaat Tableegh shares the same ideology as the School of Deoband and may be considered as the Deobandis’s Dawah organ. Whilst the Deobandis have been constantly bogged down because of the opposition by the Barelawis, the Jamaat Tableegh has been instrumental in the spread of Deobandism by hiding its true orientations and evading controversy. Malfoozat Moulana Ilyaas (Sayings of Moulana Ilyaas), collected by Muhammad Manzoor Noomani, p.50, incident no. 56. Important Personalities amongst the Deobandis and the Jamaat Tableegh 1. Moulana Qasim Nanotwi (d. 1879): “The Darul-Uloom Deoband (the School of Deoband founded in 1868) was founded by Moulana Qasim Nanotwi.” He was ba’yt (taken the oath of allegiance) at the hands of Imdadullah Muhajir Makki.[2] 2. Imdadullah Muhajir Makki (d. 1899): The highly revered Pir (spiritual guide) of the Deobandis. He is the spiritual guide of Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi, Moulana Qasim Nanotwi and Moulana Rasheed Ahmad Gangohi. 3. Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi (d. 1943): He was ba’yt at the hands of Haji Imdadullah Muhajir Makki and the author of many books like, “Bahishti Zewar” and ‘Tafseer Bayanul Qur’aan’. He named many of his books after his Pir, Imdadullah Muhajir Makki. Like Imdadullah Muhajir Makki, Ashraf Ali Thanvi too was an advocate of Wahdat al-Wajood. Ashraf Ali Thanvi’s teachings greatly influenced the founder of the Jamaat Tableegh, Moulana Ilyas. 4. Rasheed Ahmad Gangohi (d. 1908): Another prominent elder of the Deobandis, who was ba’yt at the hands of Imdadullah Muhajir Makki.[3] One of his famous books is ‘Imdadus Sulook.’ 5. Other Prominent Deobandi Scholars include: Khalil Ahmad Saharanpuri, Aashiq Ilahi Meerathi, Moulana Mahmoodul-Hasan Deobandi, Moulana Shabbir Ahmad Uthmani and Moulana Abdul-Rahim Lajpuri. 6. Moulana Ilyas, popularly known as Hazratjee: (d. 1944): He was the founder and first Amir of the Jamaat Tableegh. He was the Khalifah (successor) of Khalil Ahmad Saharanpuri, who was amongst the Khulafa of Rasheed Ahmad Gungohi.[4] He founded the Jamaat Tableegh on Sufi principles and incorporated many Sufi practices like Muraqabah (meditation), Chillah (40 day seclusion period) and the silent Dhikr (remembrance) into the routines of his Jamaat. 7. Moulana Muhammad Yusuf (d. 1965): Moulana Ilyas was succeeded by his son, Moulana Muhammad Yusuf (d. 1965), who became the second Amir of the Jamaat Tableegh. Inamul-Hasan succeeded Moulana Muhammad Yusuf. Presently, there is no Amir of the Jamaat Tableegh and its affairs are run by a Shoorah (committee). 8. Moulana Zakariyah: The son-in-law of Moulana Ilyas[5] and the author of Fazaail-e-Aamaal. He was well acquainted with Sufism and was given the Khilafah of all the four Sufi Tareeqahs by Moulana Khalil Ahmad Saharanpuri.[6] [1] Mashaikh-e-Chist (Eng. Trans.) p.222. [2] Irshaadul-Mulook (Eng. Trans.) p.32. [3] Irshaadul-Mulook, (Eng. Trans.) p.32. [4] Irshaadul-Mulook, (Eng. Trans.) p.12. [5] Mashaikh-e-Chist (Eng. Trans.) p.307. [6] Mashaikh-e-Chist (Eng. Trans.) p.304-305. The Training Manual of the Jamaat Tableegh Originally known as Tableeghi Nisaab, ‘Fazaail-e-Aamaal’ literally means the virtues (Fazaail) of actions of worship (Aamaal). It consists of a series of booklets written by Moulana Zakariyah Kandhalvi on the instructions of Moulana Ilyas (the founder of Jamaat Tableegh) as mentioned by Moulana Zakariyah himself in his autobiography ‘Aap Beeti.’ Fazaail-e-Aamaal consists of nine booklets, namely - Hikayaat Sahabah, Fazaail-e-Dhikr, Fazaail-e-Namaaz, Fazaail-e-Tableegh, Fazaail-e-Qur’aan, Fazaail-e-Darood, Fazaail-e-Ramadaan, Fazaail-e-Sadaqat and Fazaail-e-Hajj. These series were compiled in two volumes and entitled, ‘Tableeghi Nisaab.’ They were intended to be the fundamental training guide for the cadre of the Jamaat Tableegh. Later on, it was re-named, ‘Fazaail-e-Aamaal.’ This book originally in Urdu, has been translated to many different languages. But it has never been translated into the Arabic language as a whole.[1] [1] The Arabic version is just a small booklet of about 72 pages compared to the original Urdu books, which consists of two volumes (400+ pages each). The Arabs who affiliate themselves to the Jamaat Tableegh never refer to the Tableeghi Nisaab, but to Imaam Nawawi’s collection of Hadeeth, ar-Riyaadh as-Saliheen. . The Deobandis are followers of Sufism Elders of the Deobandi school of thought, from among who is Moulana Zakariyah; the author of Fazaail-e-Aamaal, have testified to the fact that their Manhaj (way) is that of the Sufis and take pride in it. Mufti Abdur-Rahim Lajpuri quoted in his book of Fatawa, the words of Qaree Mohammed Tayyib (the rector of the Darul-Uloom, Deoband) as,
“Religiously, the Ulema of Deoband are Muslims, as a sect they belong to the Ahl us-Sunnah wal-Jamaah, by Madhhab they are Hanafee, in conduct they are Sufis, scholastically they are Maturidi and in Sulook they are Chisti - rather they combine all Sufi orders... And in nisbat they are Deobandi.”
“In essentials and beliefs, they (the Deobandis) follow Imam Abul Hasan Ash’aree and Imam Abu Mansoor Maturidi; and in sub-principles Imam Abu Haneefah. They are initiates of the Chistiyyah, Naqshbandiya, Qadriyah and Soharwardiyah Sufi orders.”
Moulana Mohammad Zakariyah, whose book ‘Fazaail-e-Aamaal’ is revered and used as a training guide by the workers of the ‘Jamaat Tableegh’ highly praises this Fatawa collection (Fatawa Rahimiyyah) of Mufti Lajpuri and approves of the views mentioned In it. A Soofi order i.e. Tareeqah Quoted in Fatawa Rahimiyyah, (Eng. Trans.), vol.1, p.9-10 from Ulama-e-Deoband ka Maslak. Fatawa Rahimiyyah (Eng. Trans.), vol.1, p.58. Moulana Zakariyah says, “The humble writer prays most sincerely for (success of) the Fatawa Rahimiyyah. May Allah make it the lot of the people to avail themselves more and more of and derive benefit from it and make it a Sadaqah-e-Jariah (continuous charity) for you (the author), for the printer and publisher and for everyone who may have in any way endeavored for the publication of this work and bestow upon you (all) its best rewards in both the worlds.” [Quoted from the first page of ‘Fatawa Rahimiyyah’ vol.1, published by the Islamic Book Printers, edition: Feb. 1997] The Definition and Reality of Sufism The Deobandis claim that Sufism is just another name for Tazkeyyatun-Nafs (purification of the soul) and Ihsan (the highest stage of Eemaan). Moulana Muhammad Maseehullah Khan, a Khalifah (successor) of Moulana Ashraf Alee Thanvi states, “It’s (Sufism) function is to purify the heart from the lowly bestial attributes of lust, calamities of the tongue, anger, malice, jealousy, love of this world, love for fame, niggardliness, greed, vanity, deception, etc.”
And, as such, they claim that Sufism does not contradict the Sharee’ah (Islamic Regulation), rather “It is incumbent for every Muslim to become a Sufi. Without Sufism, a Muslim cannot be described as a perfect Muslim” It is also claimed that a Sufi is someone who strictly adheres to the Sunnah and the Sharee’ah. But in reality, Sufism is far from the above description. Purification of the soul and curing the heart from its sicknesses is part of the religion of Islam and is completely explained by Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam). “Purification of the Soul” as Moulana Muhammad Maseehullah Khan further explains is just the first part of the journey of Sufism, and it is referred as journey towards Allah.
The next part of this journey is called – ‘The journey into Allah’, and “In this high stage of spiritual development, matters pertaining to the Thaat (Being of Allah), Sifaat (Attributes of Allah), Af’aal (Acts of Allah), Haqaaiq (realities) as well as relationships between Allah and His servants become manifest.”
And thus, everything is manifest to the Sufi and nothing is hidden from him. He accomplishes this by either exaggerating in prescribed forms of worship or indulging in innovative forms of worship. This is the real face of Sufism!
Shariat and Tasawwuf p.11. Shariat and Tasawwuf p.11. Some also go to the extent of saying that the Messenger of Allah and his Sahabah were nothing but Soofis. Especially the group of students who resided in the Prophet’s Mosque – the Ashabus-Suffah. Shariat and Tasawwuf p.112. Shariat and Tasawwuf p.113. Sufism is marred by un-Islamic beliefs and is an Ideology in itself Sufism is not just an emphasis on the purification of the soul but a complete ideology in itself and it is marred by un-Islamic concepts and philosophies like:-
1. The belief of Wahdat al-Wajood, which implies that the Creator (Allah) and the creation are one, and the creation is just the manifestation of the Creator.
2. The belief that the Prophets and the Sufi saints are alive in their graves, just as they were alive in this world. They are fully aware of the outside world; they can communicate with the living and help those who call upon them.
3. The spirits (Ruh) of the righteous comes back from the Barzakh.
4. Gross exaggeration in praising the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) whilst neglecting his (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) teachings in understanding the religion.
5. Total and complete obedience to a Sufi Shaikh.
6. Penance and living the lives of hermits are ways to get closer to Allah.
7. Some Majzoobs, who have reached the goal of Sufism, run the affairs of the creation. Extremist Sufis have even more deviated beliefs, but we limit our discussion to only those beliefs that are related to the Deobandis in this book. S. R. Sharda comments in his book, ‘Sufi Thoughts’, “Sufi literature of the post-Timur period shows a significant change in thought content. It is pantheistic. After the fall of Muslim orthodoxy from power at the center of India for about a century, due to the invasion of Timur, the Sufi became free from the control of the Muslim orthodoxy and consorted with Hindu saints, who influenced them to an amazing extent. The Sufis adopted Monism, Bhakti and Yogic practices from the Vaishnava Vedantic schools. By that time, the Vedantic pantheism among the Sufis had reached its zenith.” This observation by S. R. Sharda is correct, because eastern religions have a well-established and highly revered position for mysticism and abstinence, and Sufi beliefs are amazingly similar to them. Sufi Masters like Ibn Arabee, who is greatly revered by the Deobandi scholars, believed that every religion has element of truth in it. He considered the Pagan religions and idol-worshipers as followers of the truth because in his view, everything is Allah and since there is no difference between the Creator and the created, the worship of the creation is worship of the Creator. His belief as mentioned in al-Fatoohaatul-Makkiyah is: “The slave is the Lord and the Lord is the slave, I wish that I knew which was the one required to carry out the required duties, if I were to say that the servant then that is true, or if I were to say the Lord, then how can that be required for Him.” Ibn Arabee says about the Sufis: “Sufi; the person with complete understanding is he, who sees every object of worship to be a manifestation of Truth (Allah) contained therein, for which it is worshiped. Therefore, they all call it a god, along with its particular name, whether it is a rock, or a tree, or an animal, or a person, or a star, or an Angel.”
It is this lax attitude of the Sufis towards false religions that makes Sufism receptive to many false philosophies and un-Islamic beliefs. Following is a comparison of five concepts and beliefs of Eastern Pagan Religions as compared to Sufi practices.
1 - In Search of God Hinduism and Buddhism claim to possess great books of wisdom inherited from the ancestors but instead of learning from these books, all of their philosophers and thinkers have to take up an essential journey to the wilderness... in search of God. The Sufis too, instead of referring to the Qur’aan and the Sunnah for guidance wander in forests in search of God. They seclude themselves from the society (Khilwah) for specific periods (Chillah), and examples of this are abundant in their books…
1. Moulana Zakariyah says: “He (Imdadullah Muhajir Makki) withdrew himself from the midst of people and wandered in the wilderness of Punjab, which became his home… He would refrain from eating for up to eight days. Not a grain would go down his throat in these periods of self-imposed starvation
2. Moulana Zakariyah says: “A beggar (a Sufi master in disguise) chewed something, and gave Abdul Hadi to eat. As he ate the morsel, his state began to change. Shaikh Abdul Hadi developed a dislike for company and became claustrophobic in settlements. He would wander into the forest and spend most of his time there.”
3. Moulana Zakariyah says: “Shaikh Ahmad Abdul Haqq Radoli was a person of ecstasy, and Uloom-e-Batiniyyah (inner knowledge) attracted him in full force. Even before completing his academic career, he adopted solitude and wandering in the forest.”

2 - The Relationship between the Creator and the Creation The Hindus, Buddhist and Jain religions unanimously agree on the concept that everything is the Creator (i.e. nothing exists other than God. The Creator and His creation are, in reality, one) and ultimately everything merges in Him (the Creator). This merging is basically the goal of worship in Hinduism and Buddhism, which is also known as ‘Moksha.’ These pantheistic views of the Hindus and Sufis are amazingly similar. If one reads books explaining Pantheism by the Hindus and the books of Sufis, one would hardly see any difference. We shall see this with ample proofs in Chapter 3: ‘Pantheism, Wahdat al-Wajood or Moksha.‘

3 - Abstinence is the Key to Piety and Wisdom According to these religions; piety, wisdom and nearness to God is only possible when one devotes all his time in the wilderness and abandons the civilized world. Sadhus or hermits cause great hardships to themselves by practicing harsh acts of abstinence. They live without food for days to end until their bodies are reduced to just bones. Their devotional exercises include hanging upside down on the branches of trees for hours and sleeping on bed of nails. They meditate for long periods sitting without any movement in one position and hold their breaths for enormously long time. Professor D. S. Sarma, the author of numerous Hindu books says: “The higher phase of self-control is detachment. We have not only to overcome what is evil in life but also to become independent of what is good. For instance, our domestic affections, our family ties, our love for home and friends are good in themselves. But, as long as, we are passionately attached to these earthly things, we are only on the lower rungs of the spiritual ladder.”
The Sufis too believe in complete abstinence from worldly pleasures and deprive themselves of the blessings of Allah. It is mentioned in Irshaadul-Mulook, “According to some Sufiya, it has been learnt from experience that thirst is a deceptive desire. Therefore, whoever develops the habit of drinking less water at the time of thirst; Allah will quench his thirst until he gains the ability of abstaining from water for several months at a time. He will not even have the desire to drink water. Despite this, his physical health will not deteriorate in anyway whatsoever. His body will be sustained by the moisture acquired from the food he eats.”
We find number of stories concerning wandering and starvation of their Shaikhs mentioned in their books, 1. “He (Khwaajah Abu Hubairah) loved solitude dearly. His entire life was spent in
one room. He would cry so much that people thought he would die. He abandoned all delicious food.”
2. “Khwaajah Shareef Zandani stayed in forest for 40 years, fleeing from people. He subsisted on the leaves of trees and whatever he could find in the forest. He loved poverty and starvation. He would break fast only after three days. When he ate food, it was only salt-less vegetables.”
3. Khwaajah Uthmaan Haaruni adopted Mujahadah for 70 years, never eating to satiation (to satisfy fully or excess) in all this time. He would drink mouthful of water only after seven days.
4. “Hazrat Faridud Deen’s Shaikh advised him (Faridud Deen) hunger for three days and then eat what comes from Ghayb (Unseen). After three days, nothing came. On account of extreme hunger Faridud Deen put some pebbles in his mouth, the pebbles turned into sugar; he spat them out. A short while later, he again put some pebbles in his mouth which too, became sugar.

This happened again for the third time. When Faridud Deen informed his Shaikh of the incident, his Shaikh said: “It would have been good if you had ate it.”
5. “Khwaajah ilw Mumshad Dinwari was a perpetual faster. It is said that even during his infancy he would sometimes abstain from drinking his mother’s milk. He is therefore called a born wali.”
6. Moulana Zakariyah says: “It is said that Khwaajah Abu Ahmad Abdaal Chisti never slept on bed for 30 years.”

4 - Meditation, Excessive Chanting and breath holding Excessive chanting and breath-holding exercises are essential rituals of mysticism. This is generally done in solitude and for hours together. It is believed that such rituals enlighten the heart with knowledge and gives them miraculous powers.

The Sufis too have similar types of Dhikr… Moulana Zakariyah says: “Hazrat Nizamuddin al-Umri was instructed by his Shaikh to recite ‘Allahu’ 90 times in a single breathe gradually increasing the number in accordance with his ability. Ultimately, he developed his ability to the extent of up to 400 times with a single breath.”
The practice of heavy breathing, as in the Sufi Dhikr of inhaling whilst saying “La-ilaha” and then exhaling to create a loud and sharp voice saying ‘ill-lal-lah’ is seen in various oriental and eastern religions. Islam neither specifies breathing techniques as part of Ibaadah, nor sets any guidelines in this regard. This aspect of Sufism will be discussed further under, ‘Chapter 7: Worship in Islam.’

5 - The Concept of Eternal Life Eastern mystics claim to have eternal life. No people would worship a mystic or depend upon him to avert evil, if he had no control over his own existence. The concept of death would imply that they could not avert harm or help the people. Thus, the concept of eternal life - as is also inscribed on the grave of Rajneesh, “Osho – Never Born, Never Died - Only visited this Planet, Earth between Dec 11-1931 to Jan 19-1990.”
The Sufis consider their Shaikhs in the graves to be alive and in their senses. They consider them able to benefit their followers. Moulana Zakariyah quotes Haji Imdadullah Muhajir Makki in his book Mashaikh-e-Chist saying, “…The Faqir does not die. He is simply transformed from one abode to another. The same benefit which was received from the Faqir’s physical life will be acquired from his grave.”
These abovementioned examples show the origins of the many deviated and un-Islamic concepts that the Sufis have borrowed from Pagan religions. The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) and his Companions (radhi allahu anhu) did not live the life of hermits, neither did they abstain from Halaal blessings of Allah. They did not punish themselves, nor did they indulge in the types of innovative and excessive Dhikr that the Sufis prescribe. They knew that guidance is only in following the revelation and not wandering in the wilderness.

[1] Moulana Zakariyah says: “According to some Ulema, he (Shaikh Ibnul Hamaam Hanafee) was among the Abdal (the Deobandi translator says Abdaal are a class of Awliya whose identities remain concealed. They possess miraculous powers and execute a variety of tasks under Divine Command in various places of the world). [Ikhmaalush Shiyaam (Eng. Trans.) p.59.] Pantheism: The belief that God and the universe are the same - doctrine that God is an expression of the physical forces of nature [The World Book Dictionary] Monism: The doctrine that the Creator and His creation are one and that nothing exists other than Allah. In Soofi terminology, it is known as Wahdat al-Wajood Bhakti: Selfless devotion as a means of reaching a higher spiritual being.
Abu Bakr Muhyiddin Muhammad bin ‘Ali al-Tai, commonly known as Ibn Arabee / Ibn ‘l-’Arabee (1165-1240), was born in Murcia (Spain) and died in Damascus. He was one of the leading authorities on Sufism, who is respected by Sufis around the world. The scholars of the school of Deoband consider Ibn Arabee to be one of ‘the great Soofi saints’ and refer to him, Ash-Shaikh al-Akbar (The Greatest Shaikh). A Question was put to Mufti Abdur Rahim Lajpuri, ‘Some Moulvis (religious leaders) allege that Moulana Rasheed Ahmad Gangohi, Moulana Muhammad Qasim Nanotwi, Moulana Khalil Ahmad Ambethvi, Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi and other religious divines are infidels and apostates, faithless and heretic, accursed and denizens of Hell etc. Please comment. Answer: “The unholy endeavor of vilifying and maligning men... is not something new”. Mufti Lajpuri then gives the examples of Prophets, the Sahabah, the scholars, the pious Imams and the Soofi saints who have suffered likewise. He then states, “(Even) the mystical statements of Ba Yazid of Bastami were adjudged to be inconsistent with the Sharee’ah... About the most great Shaikh Muhiyyud-Din Ibn Arabee it was said, ‘His unbelief (Kufr) is worse than the unbelief of the Jews and the Christians’.” [Fatawa Rahimiyyah (English trans.) vol.1, p.2-4] [7] Al-Fusoos (1/195), al-Wakeel: Hadhihi Hiyas-Soofiyyah (p.38). [8] Mashaikh-e-Chist (Eng. Trans.) p.220 and Imdadul-Mushtaq ila Ashraful-akhlaq (Urdu) p.9. [9] Mashaikh-e-Chist (Eng. Trans.) p.205. [10] Mashaikh-e-Chist (Eng. Trans.) p.166-167. [11] ‘The Religion of the Hindus’ by Professor D. S. Sarma, p.12. [12] Irshaadul-Mulook (Eng. Trans.) p.70. [13] Mashaikh-e-Chist (Eng. Trans.) p.125. [14] Mashaikh-e-Chist (Eng. Trans.) p.140. [15] Mashaikh-e-Chist (Eng. Trans.) p.142. [16] Mashaikh-e-Chist (Eng. Trans.) p.156. [17] Mashaikh-e-Chist (Eng. Trans.) p.126. [18] Mashaikh-e-Chist (Eng. Trans.) p.131. [19] Mashaikh-e-Chist (Eng. Trans.) p.192. [20] Rajneesh has a great admiration for Sufism, and he wrote numerous books on the subject. Among them are, ‘Soofis – the people of the Path’, ‘Just like that’, ‘The Secret’, ‘The Wisdom of the Sands’, ‘The Perfect Master’ and ‘Until you Die.’ [21] Mashaikh-e-Chist (Eng. Trans.) p.211

Historical Background into the Deobandi-Barelawi Differences

Bitter difference and rivalry between the Deobandis and the Barelawis has caused much confusion and hatred amongst Muslims in the Indian subcontinent. One of the major issues that caused the rift and the subsequent formation of the school of Deoband was the Tafseer (explanation) of ‘Khaatam an-Nabeeyeen’ (seal of Prophet-hood) mentioned in Soorah al-Ahzab: “Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) is not the father of any man among you, but is the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) and the last of the Prophets (Khaatam an-Nabeeyeen).”[1] Moulana Ahsan Nanotwi (a prominent Deobandi scholar) mentioned that the Khaatam (seal) of the Prophet-hood mentioned in Soorah al-Ahzab does not deny the advent of another Prophet. And even if another Prophet arrived, this would not affect the finality of Prophet Muhammad’s (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) Prophet-hood.[2] The Barelawis strongly objected to this statement and used it as a proof for the Takfeer of the Deobandis. The Deobandis also argue with the Barelawis on futile issues, like (Imkaan al-Kadhib) whether Allah has the ability to lie or not? Other issues of differences were the celebration of Milaad (the Prophet’s Birthday) and various innovations which accompany it, ceremonies in which Soorah al-Fatihah is recited over food before eating, celebrations and festivities held at the graves of popular saints, invoking the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) believing that the Messenger is Omnipresent and the like.[3]

The Real Ikhtilaaf (Disagreement)

In reality, the Barelawis and the Deobandis differ more in practice than in principle. This is apparent from books that have been written by the Deobandis in order to bridge their differences with the Barelawis. Most disagreements are either in finer details, or whether those actions are for specific people or for all. A good example is the issue of meditation (Muraqabah) and seeking benefit from the graves. Even though, the two groups outwardly oppose each other on this issue, the only difference is that the Barelawis call towards and recommend visiting graves to derive benefit from them for everyone, whilst the Deobandis make it specific for a few. Therefore, the rift between the Deobandis and the Barelawis is more of mutual prejudice, than of Aqeedah. The Barelawis on their part have relied mostly on conspiracy theories and misinterpretation in their Takfeer (declaring Kufr) of the Deobandis. They created a lot of noise on Moulana Ahsan Nanotwi’s statement, “And even if another Prophet arrived…”, but this statement is not objectionable from the Sufi point of view. It simply stems from the common belief of all the Sufis that everything was created from the light of Muhammad (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam), and that he (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) is the ‘Seal of Prophet hood’ from the very beginning. Besides, ‘real Sufis’ know that since nothing exists other than Allah, to believe in the real existence of Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) is Shirk. This shows that the differences between these two Sufi groups are superficial and based mostly upon party rivalry than upon religion. The Sufis in general do not give Aqeedah, which is the core of Islam, its due position. We shall elaborate further in light of statements by Haji Imdadullah Muhajir Makki.

[1] Soorah al-Ahzab (33): 40. [2] Tahzeerun-Naas, p.3 and 25. [3] See Bahishti Zewar, Part 12, p.222, (Unity in Islam by Haji Imdadullah).

The Importance of Aqeedah to the Sufis in light of an essay by Imdadullah Muhajir Makki

Firstly, the influence of the views of Haji Imdadullah Muhajir Makki on the Deobandis and the Jamaat Tableegh cannot be over-emphasized - He is the spiritual guide of many prominent Deobandi scholars like Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi, Rasheed Ahmad Gangohi and Qasim Nanotwi. Moulana Rasheed Ahmad Gangohi addresses his Shaikh Imdadullah Muhajir Makki as, “O my Refuge of both worlds.” and Moulana Zakariyah (the author of Fazaail-e-Aamaal) refers to him as, “guide for humanity.” An essay by Imdadullah Muhajir Makki has been compiled in the English translation of ‘Bahishti Zewar by the name, ‘Unity in Islam’ and its subject is the Deobandi-Barelawi Dispute. In this essay, Imdadullah Muhajir Makki comments upon the Milaad gatherings, which are held to commemorate the birth of Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam). In these gatherings, poetry in praise of Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) is read and when the crowd is signaled, everybody stands (to greet the Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam)). Imdadullah Muhajir Makki, the esteemed Shaikh of the Deobandi scholars, says about the Milaad gatherings... “…you should not hate someone who does not perform ‘Qiyaam’ (standing) in Milaad because this is not Wajib (desirable) or Fardh (obligatory)… If you know someone, who considers the Qiyaam as Wajib (obligatory), then Qiyaam will be an innovation for him alone. However, to call all those who perform Qiyaam in Milaad, as innovators, is exceeding the limit. It is quiet possible that the holy Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) stays in his abode in Paradise and our activities are shown to him as on T.V. or somehow through other means; through Angels or without them…” He further adds, “Consider these differences as trivial (unimportant), like the differences between Imam Abu Haneefah and Imam ash-Shafi’ee”. He says: “Do not oppose these ceremonies, where they are customary… If those who oppose Qiyaam are also invited in a general meeting, then it is better to drop the Qiyaam. However, if it is not possible to do so, then if they (those opposed to Qiyaam) wish to continue then they should also join the rest in Qiyaam and Salaam.”[5] Commenting upon music, which is totally Haraam in Islam[6] Muhajir Makki says, “Do not call each other as Bidati (i.e. innovators) and Wahabi, live in peace with moderation. Musical concerts (or Sama or Qawwali) with or without instrumental music are likewise controversial. Some need them (instrumental music) among the loving Sufis (Ahle-Muhabbat) and it is best not to criticize others as hypocrites. Who do not need them should not perform them, but do not divide over trivial (unimportant) differences.” As we mentioned earlier, the Deobandis agree in principle on most issues with the Barelawis. The disagreements are either in finer details or, whether those actions are for specific people or for every one. This essay by Imdadullah Muhajir Makki is an open witness to this attitude and is apparent in both the examples (Milaad and music). Haji Imdadullah Muhajir Makki’s advice to his followers is that Milaad, the gatherings, the standing to greet Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) and the belief that even after death Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) can attend multiple gathering at the same time are not innovations in themselves. The problem is only with those who consider standing in Milaad to be an obligation! Furthermore, he expresses no real disapproval for this “pagan originated custom” (as today’s Deobandis call it), by allowing his followers to participate in the Milaad. The so-called, ‘Ahle-Muhabbat’ mentioned by Imdadullah Muhajir Makki were those who indulged in the Haraam (prohibited) action of playing and listening to music, in order to please Allah. To exaggerate in righteous actions is bad enough but to indulge in Haraam action claiming to gain the pleasure of Allah is the worst of all. This essay also raises another question as to whether certain actions are Haraam for the common Muslims and Halaal for a special few. Is anyone above the Sharee’ah? Furthermore, Haji Imdadullah Muhajir Makki considers issues of Aqeedah and, Halaal and Haraam to be trivial. He considers such disagreements to be a mercy for the Ummah.

Mashaikh-e-Chist (Eng. Trans.) p.242. Mashaikh-e-Chist (Eng. Trans.) p.218. Bahishti Zewar is a highly revered book of the Deobandis written by Moulana Ashraf Ali Thanvi. This book deals with everyday Fiqh and is traditionally given to brides as part of their dower. The pro-Deobandi Majlis Ulema of South Africa says, “…The reason behind the standing during Milaad is the belief that Rasoolullah presents himself at such gatherings…” By this belief, “The attribute of omnipresence (present in all places at all times) is bestowed upon Rasoolullah.” The same booklet declares, “…the Milaad originated from the pagans.” [All quotations from the booklet, “What is Milaad?” p.12., published by pro-Deobandi Majlis Ulema of South Africa] Bahishti Zewar (Eng. Trans.) Part twelve, p.222. The Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said: “I forbid two voices, which are imbecilic and sinfully shameless: one is the voice (of singing)
accompanied by musical instruments and Satan’s wind instruments.” [Related by al-Hakim]. The Prophet (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) warned the Muslims against those who consider music to be lawful, when he (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) said, “There will be people from my nation [Muslims] who will seek to make lawful: fornication, the wearing of silk [for men], wine drinking and the use of musical instruments [ma’aazif]…. Then Allah will destroy them during the night causing the mountain to fall upon them, while He changes others into apes and swine. They will remain in such a state until the Day of Resurrection.” [Saheeh al-Bukharee, (Eng. Trans.) vol. 7, 494 B] The Sufis consider this Haraam action as food of the soul: Abu Bakr al-Kalabadhi said, ‘I heard Abu’l-Qasim al-Baghdadi say, “Audition is of two kinds. One class of man listens to discourse, and derives therefrom an admonition: such a man only listens discriminately and with his hearten present. The other class listens to music, which is the food of the spirit and when the spirit obtains its food, it attains its proper station, and turns aside from the government of the body; and then there appears in the listener a commotion and a movement.” [The Doctrine of the Sufis, p.164] See Bahishti Zewar, Part twelve, p.223, “Unity in Islam by Hazrat Haji Imdadullah”. Moulana Zakariyah has quoted five page discussion in his book “Mashaikh-e-Chist” from the writing of Moulana Ashraf Alee Thanvi’s by the name, “Haqqus Sama.” The conclusion of this discussion is that listening to Samaa and music is permissible for the Soofis with certain conditions. [See, Mashaikh-e-Chist (Eng. Trans.) p.174.] See Bahishti Zewar, Part twelve, p.222.

Propagation of Truth Mixed with Falsehood

The Deobandis and the Barelawis both have their own specific religious schools, literature and Dawah organizations. It would be unjust to consider both these groups influenced by Sufism on an equal footing, because the Barelawis directly call to acts of Kufr and openly support such views by distorting the meanings of some Qur’aanic verses and Ahaadeeth. The Deobandis, however, do not openly call to grave-worship and saint-worship, and other acts of Shirk and Bidah (innovation). Rather, their Dawah organ, the “Jamaat Tableegh”, calls towards acts of righteousness, like Salaat (prayer), but they have various manifestations of Shirk in their beliefs, and innovations in their actions. Therefore, they may be less deviant but their danger to the Muslims in general is more, because of their hidden nature!! The emergence of people who propagate the good mixed with falsehood, is prophesized by Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam). Hudhaifah Ibn al-Yamaan (radhi allahu anhu) narrates: “The people used to ask Allah’s Messenger (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) about the good and I asked him about the evil, fearing that it would reach me. So I asked: “O Messenger of Allah (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam)! We were living in ignorance and evil, and then Allah brought this good (i.e. Islam) to us. So, will there be any evil after this good?” He (sallallahu alaihi wa-sallam) replied: “Yes” I then asked: “Will there be any good after that evil?” He replied: “Yes, but it will be tainted” So I asked: “What will be its taint?” He replied: “People who guide others to other than my way, you will approve of some of their deeds and disapprove of others.”