Words that sparked the ideas

The arguments Islahi made have acquired new resonance in recent months, as IS’ forces have occupied growing swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria.

Written by Praveen Swami | New Delhi | Published: December 16, 2014 12:40 am

He’s almost unknown outside the sprawl of closed-in lanes that run through Saidabad —once home to Hyderabad’s elite, now a run-down lower-middle-class ghetto. From his spartan room in the seminary he runs, Abdul Aleem Islahi’s words, however, have fired the imagination of many young Indian radicals. Breaking with the Jamaat-e-Islami for what he saw as its accomodationist posture during the Ram Janambhoomi movement, he inspired many of the young radicals who set up the Indian Mujahideen. He has never advocated violence — but his books are a map to their minds.

In Taqat ka istemal Quran ki Raoshni Main [‘The use of violence, in the light of the Qur’an’], an angry polemic, Islahi asserts that “war has been ordained against those who meet three conditions until they pay jizyah [a tax on religious minorities]: do not profess faith in God and Day of Judgment; do not accept as haram [forbidden] what God and his Prophet have declared haram; do not accept Islam as their religion”. It is, Islahi argues, “the duty of Muslims to struggle for the domination of Islam over false religions, and to subdue and subjugate infidels and polytheists”.

He concludes: “If the British nation can give in to the freedom fighters and a super power like Russia can surrender before the Afghans, why should we believe that Indian Muslims cannot succeed?”

In Nizam Khilafat-wa-Emirat, a disquisition on Islamic law on political power, Islahi argues that the practice of Islam cannot but be incomplete in a secular political order. Living under Muslim personal law “may be acceptable to God for the moment in view of our compulsion to live under a system of unbelief. However, we should not forget for a moment our goal of establishing an Islamic system of Khilafat and Emirate”.

He recruits the authority of the 13th-century theologian Taqi ad-Din Ahmad ibn Taymiyyah — pulled to centre stage by salafi-jihadist ideologues in the last century. Taymiyyah, he notes, “had issued the fatwa for those lands under the rule of infidel Tartars that the Muslims there should not remain contented eternally with this change”.

Thus, he goes on, “Indian Muslims had, and even today have, only two options. They should either form a Jamaat [a collective decision-making body for their affairs] or Emirate and fulfil their communal duties — or migrate. The third way of living permanently and happily under a rule by infidels and polytheists is not at all acceptable”.

The arguments Islahi made have acquired new resonance in recent months, as Islamic State’s forces have occupied growing swathes of territory in Iraq and Syria. In its August 25 issue, the Jamaat-e-Islami bi-weekly newspaper Dawat called on Indian Muslims to support Islamic State, arguing that this was a religious obligation.

For all the latest India News, download Indian Express App

  1. G
    Ghulam Muhammed
    Dec 16, 2014 at 1:35 pm
    Praveen Swamy translates Taaqat as violence. Actually it is power. Power could not necessarily means violence. BJP came to power in India, not through the power of violence, but through the power of votes. Praveen is influenced by western use of violence. When US attacks other countries, it is legitimate war. When Al Qaida retaliates,it is illegal terrorism. One side's freedom fighter is another side's terrorist. That logic is porous and Swamy should better always revisit his written material to spot his pitfalls.
    1. P
      Dec 15, 2014 at 9:51 pm
      So how does Digvijay/ secularists, want react to this? or is he not aware of such elements??.How about Takat ka istamal against such elements?
      1. S
        Sheikh Khurshid
        Dec 16, 2014 at 1:35 pm
        The allegations that Jamaat-e-Islami Hind (JIH) in any way supports violence, extremism or extremist organisations like Daish (ISIS or ISIL) is untrue and false.n this regard I will quote verbatim from a Press Note of Jamaat dated 6th Sept. 2014 under the caption ‘Turmoil in the Muslim World’:“Libya after widespread destruction is desperately struggling for survival. The western plan for division of Iraq into three separate countries is already underway. The emergence of ISIS or Daish, appears to be a result of internal strife and external conspiracies. ISIS has captured a big portion of Iraq and Syria and has been indulging in large scale atrocities, which has given a bad name to Islam and the very concept of Islamic state or pan-Islamic Khilafat.”The full text can be accessed on this URL: :jamaateislamihind/e...This Press Note was released in a Press Conference held at JIH headquarters in New Delhi on 6th Sept. 2014.On 7th Nov. 2014, after the three-day session of Central Advisory Committee (CAC) of JIH in New Delhi on 2 to 4 Nov. 2014, resolutions were released to press which were ped by the CAC of JIH. The resolution under the caption ‘The Disquieting Developments in the Muslim World’ includes the following para:“This session condemns the extremist and violent goings-on in the name of ISIL and appeals to the youth not to get influenced by such misleading slogans and appeals as have been declared doubtful and undesirable by eminent Ulema and movements in the Muslim world.”The full text can be accessed on this URL::jamaateislamihind/e...Ejaz Ahmed AslamSecretaryJamaat-e-Islami Hind