Archive for the ‘Muslim World’ Category

Pakistan Army’s Nightmare. Erdogan-ilk! 

April 26, 2020

 

 

Is Pakistan showing Kashmir as a part of Pakistan in their map as ...

I never had so much clarity, about an overarching role of Pakistan Army, as I do now. I always, in the galore of patriotism, took the Pakistan army as an infallible, pristine and divinely entity; who is there to protect Pakistan and its people from all and any, internal or external, evil. Let me be clear, I am not against the Pakistani army and laud its role as the guarantor of Pakistan’s ideological and physical boundaries, do revere the sacrifices it has offered. I am, however, against the unsavory practices its top brass is employing to further their interests at the cost of the country. 

I always wondered hearing the criticism of the army and the stories of those who dared criticize; always trashed as anti-Pakistan traitors! Hussain Haqqani’s name immediately pops up on memory’s horizon; a journalist, a political activist and an academician. He also served as an ambassador in Sri-Lanka and the USA. The second name which pops up is that of Ayesha Siddiqa, an intellectual, a military scientist, and a director of naval research in Pakistan Navy. Doctorate in war studies from King’s College London. She wrote a book in 2007, Military Inc, exploring Pakistan army’s practices and faced an immediate smear campaign; which she weathered pretty well and still got a fair amount of media coverage within and without Pakistan.

I admit on the outset of having no inside information about the working of the Pakistani army, but as a thinker, political observer and analyst I can see, how things are being managed, maneuvered in Pakistan—by the so-called establishment—-which; in reality, is only the army. 

[Pakistan seems to be a unique case-study; in which so-called establishment—military—the only well-organized, most powerful entity, owns the country as its turf]

It dawned on me when; Nawaz Sharif—a convicted criminal—was met in prison; under the cover of the darkness of the night; by some representative of the establishment, and a deal was struck for his release out to U.K. A drama of his imminent death was staged, for which his medical reports were skillfully fabricated, Judiciary managed and the PM duped.  This whole episode would be an excellent script for a future James Bond movie! Bravo to Pakistani Military. No one else in Pakistan could have done such a fine job! No wonder, even Americans are convinced that the Pakistani (army’s) Intelligence Agency (ISI) is # 1 in the world!

When I shared my concern with a friend of mine, a veteran of Pakistani Capital—he asked me; “are you saying that Pakistan Military is working against Pakistan?” My answer was; “NOPakistani Army is working to hold on to its turf; on which it has been playing its game of king-making for the past 70 some years. It will fight tooth and nail against, it being taken away by an Erdogan-ilk and, being subservient like the Turkish army?”

Now, the obvious question arises, why someone would meet Nawaz Sharif in Prison and offer him a deal? One may recall, sometimes back Nawaz Sharif openly threatened to divulge some secrets if forced. That thereat was not a hollow threat but a potent one and heard by the concerned quarters. The Pakistani military has never been absent from any change; ever took place in Pakistani statecraft, for which its hands ought to be dirty. Nawaz Sharif, being highly vengeful by nature and at the helm of affairs longer than anyone else, must have saved some “unsavory maneuverings” of the military, to be used at the right time, as he did.

This thing is further confirmed by Gen Bajwa’s extension saga. Gen. Bajwa—selling his Bajwa doctrine—sought an extension in his tenure which; unscrupulous P.M Imran Khan and his novice courtiers bungled up and the Judiciary; in pursuance of settling its scores with the PM, created a bottleneck, for which a “Yeh” vote of the national assembly became necessary. This was managed by the Pakistani military; at an immense cost to the Pakistani state, economically, politically, culturally and socially. Most of the arraigned and confirmed robbers of Pakistan were set to be released on bail, and some were even promised a future leadership role in the government. {as has recently been published by a senior Pakistani journalist in Dawn Newspaper, concerning Shahbaz Sharif—who surprisingly dashed back from London hoping for something. Another news of $ 500Mil—a pittance in the face of 36-40Billions robbed— paid by Nawaz Sharif in secret for his release, also confirms the customary shady-dealings of the deep-state} Bajwa’s extension dashed all hopes of ending corruption, injustice and Pakistan’s economic well-being, forever. To understand fully, one may also delve into the obliquities of Gen. Parvez Musharraf, (Saudi King awarded him with 10 Mil $ gratuitous Baksheesh) Gen. Ashfaq Parvez Kayani (reportedly, bought an island ) and Gen. Raheel Sharif (awarded with a prized posting in Saudi Arabia, reportedly, for exculpating Maryam Nawaz from infamous “Dawn-Leak”).

 

Pakistan has been, put back on its old trajectory of “All-elite’s-shared-corruption” resulting in misery, poverty and destitution, for this is the only way military can hold-on to and manage its turf. The Military, under any circumstance, cannot and would not even entertain an idea of “Pakistani Erdogan” It looks like doltish PM Imran Khan is oblivious of even any strain of such thinking! He is still busy, praising Gen. Bajwa, beating the drum of accountability while some of them (untouchable) criminals are surrounding him while the others are roaming around freely (indemnified by the establishment) and politicking as usual. Entrenched interests of the Pakistani deep-state have necessitated Pakistan’s economy to be handed over to IMF, which might prove to be a huge set back to the most publicized “CPEC”! Lavish doling out of funds by IMF, World Bank, ADB coupled with plans of billions of dollars of investment by Beduin-Pentagon, despite oil market crash, is a visible enough sign to prove the point!

Any temporary betterment in Pakistani economic scenario would not benefit doltish Imran Khan; for which his inexperience, his indecisiveness and his dependence on the group of (managed/planted) cronies around him, has already predatorily been used to discredit his government. If somehow, it is felt that he may become unmanageable or indispensable [Erdogan-ilk], he would be immediately removed. For now, his stature and celebrity status is being used as a showboat for a softer-civilian image of Pakistan, to win on regional and international diplomatic fronts. He, nevertheless, is under the Damocles’ sword, and can be dispensed with at the spur of the moment!

 

Military in Pakistan is untouchable and poised to remain so for a long time to come, with an undeclared proscription for an Erdogan to ever let borne in Pakistan. 

A miracle, however, will always be the hope for Pakistan and Pakistanis! InshaAllah.

https://shakir2.wordpress.com/2018/05/10/pakistans-exceptionalism/

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Deserted Mecca!

March 23, 2020

Kaaba after

Recently Saudi Government; to stem the spread of the coronavirus, stopped the incessantly ongoing activities, of congregational prayers and circumambulation of mecca. It was an unprecedented decision; tough to be rationalized and accepted by ordinary Muslims. The scenario was a painful thing to endure for the Muslims-across the board. The solace and comfort were sought by watching and circulating a video of pigeons circumambulating the mecca overhead instead of human beings on the ground!

A sighful voice gushed from the inner recesses of my heart; “Allah will punish those who forced this desertion and abandonment of House of Allah! InshaAllah”. 

I do not know, how hard or easy this decision was for the Saudi government but sure seems to have been taken in haste without envisaging the ramifications. The Saudi government, with all the resources available, could have found a way without forcing desertion and abandonment of mecca, as well as causing physical and spiritual pain to millions of Muslims there and billions globally.

 Allaah said:

“whosoever enters it, he attains security”       [Q, 3:97]

“And We made the House for people to return to, and  [a place of] security” [Q, 2: 125]

 

Now, the result is that many countries, following the Saudi suit, are deserting and abandoning their local mosques. The worshippers are left hanging high and dry; especially those, for whom the mosque is the only place of comfort and solace to resort to.

On top of it all, it exposed the secular and casual attitude of; always wearing gallantry and self-praise on their sleeves, Muslims towards their religion. I was aghast to see that the Muslims; who are never tired of boasting to sacrifice their lives for the religion of Allah, simply abandoned His house, for fear of being infected with a virus whereby the death possibility is minimal. 

What happened to Momin’s farsightednesstaqwa and tawakkul?

It is sure an occasion; for those who always wanted to see Muslims defeated in Jihad-e-Asghar, to celebrate; for Muslims succumbed to the fear-mongering and defeated themselves in Jihad-e-Akbar, instead.

So-called religious scholars [who are in reality religious-seculars] are busy on national t.v. channels of various countries distorting different Ahadith to justify the abandonment and desertion of the mosques and congregational prayers.

A famous religious-secular (Dr. Professor) on a Pakistani t.v channel e.g narrated that Prophet (PBUH) once commented on how to use grafting to increase the dates production, which was misunderstood. Prophet thereupon had to clarify and said, ”You are better aware of worldly matters than me, I am here to teach the religious matters only” This hadith was used to justify the abandonment of congregational prayers due to coronavirus. Increased production of dates, in this case, has no religious dimension to it whereas the abandoning of the congregational prayer does. Anyhow the hadith was abused/distorted in the presence of, supposedly an educated/informed, big-wig anchor and two so-called religious scholars.

Another hadith being touted is that Prophet (PBUH) said, “do not come to the mosque in heavy rain”. Historically pertinent circumstances of this hadith are being utterly ignored in the zeal of justifying the point raised. Back then, people would either walk or ride an animal to the mosque. Now, those impediments are not commonplace, hence the application, by far, would change. Unfortunately, this hadith is being importunately quoted to justify the abandonment of mosques and congregational prayers. Alas! May Allah have mercy on Muslims, and enable them to resort to precautions, wisdom, taqwa and twakkul instead of succumbing to fear-mongering. InshaAllah!

By the way, in no way or sense, I am suggesting that the worshippers should let themselves be infected with coronavirus and die maintaining the sanctity of the mosques and prominence of the congregational prayers. Sanity. coupled with precautions, should have prevailed.

 

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Riba (usury), prohibition vs dubious easements! 

March 13, 2020

“Those who devour riba will stand, on judgment day, like those driven to madness by a touch of the evil. That is because they say “trade is just like usury”. But Allah has permitted trade and forbidden usury. Whosoever, after receiving a warning from their lord, refrains may keep their previous gains, and their case is left to Allah. As for those who persist [in devouring riba], their abode will be hellfire. They will remain there forever. (Q, 2:275)

 

PREFACE.

In my view, in the above verse and other verses on the topic, there is no ambiguity; which may lead one to any confusion, that business transactions within the parameters delineated by the Prophet, are unequivocally permissible (except recent innovative/circumventive dubious transactions). Riba/usury, however, in whatever type or form (discussed in detail in the proceeding paras) is unequivocally forbidden. I strongly disagree with the currently in vogue innovative-easements; justifying the riba/interest drenched transactions, under the guise of “lease-purchase and loaning/financing in the name of murabaha”. 

I also disagree with the blatantly adduced assumption that “taking interest is forbidden but not giving” It contravenes an implied Qura’anic injunction; of not giving an increased amount on loaned money (Q, 30:39). This assumption is not only illogical but also negates the “duality of creation” (rule), affirmed in the Holy Qura’an.

DUALITY OCREATION

[and from all of the fruits He made therein two mates; He causes the night to cover the day. Indeed, in that are signs for a people who give thought. Q,13: 3]

[…and from all of the fruits He made therein two mates; He causes the night to cover the day. Indeed, in that are signs for a people who give thought. Q,13: 3]

[And a sign for them is the night. We remove from it [the light of] day, so they are [left] in darkness. Q,36:37] 

 

These innovatively crafted-distortions do not fit the doctrine of Maslahah” as well. Terms of the loans under Islamic financing OUGHT TO BE DICTATED by the “creditor”, not the “debtor” [Q, 2:282]

“And of everything We have created pairs: That ye may receive instruction” (Q, 51:49) {Pair may be ln a tangible form, in an intangible or conceptual form; such as—man/woman, day/night, taking/giving or good/bad, etc.}

“He to whom belongs the dominion of the heavens and the earth: no son has He begotten, nor has a partner in His Kingdom. He created everything and ordered them in due proportions” (Q, 25:2)

{Singularity (Monotheism) is exclusively Allah’s attribute; nothing else, could/would exist in singularity} Nauzubillah! 

 

Notes: appearing at the end of certain points, in the proceeding paragraphs, is the point of view of the author.

 

Riba was prohibited gradually in four stages via                                                                Q, 30:39, 4:161, 130:132 & 2:282.

Kinds of riba

Islamic discourse identifies three different types of riba: 1) riba al-Fadl (primarily related to sales transactions), 2) riba al-Nasiya (sales or debt involving deferment) and a variation of the previous two, 3) riba al-Jahliyyah.

Riba Al-Fadl is the excess over and above the loan paid in kind.  It lies in the payment of an addition by the debtor to the creditor in exchange for commodities of the same kind. The Shari’ah wishes to eliminate not merely the exploitation that is intrinsic in the institution of interest, but also that which is inherent in all forms of unjust exchange in business transactions.

Riba Al-Nasi’ah refers to the interest on loans; its prohibition essentially implies that the fixing in advance of a positive return on a loan as a reward for waiting is not permitted in Islam.

Riba Al-Jahiliyyah when a buyer/borrower did not pay his due after the stipulated time, the seller/lender would increase the price, and thus a higher principal amount, sometimes doubled (or more), would be imposed.

According to Ibn Abbas, one of the major companions of the Prophet and earliest of the Islamic jurists, and few other companions (Usama ibn Zayd, ‘Abdullah ibn Mas’udUrwa ibn Zubayr, Zayd ibn Arqam) “considered that the only unlawful riba is riba al-jahiliyyah.” (No textual/hadithic authority/basis cited)

 

Muhammad Nezatullah Siddiqi. In his book Riba, Bank Interest, and The Rationale of Its Prohibition [p. 41], offers a thorough work explicating the rationales of the prohibition of bank interests, and lists the following reasons justifying its prohibition: 1. Riba corrupts society. 2. Riba implies the improper appropriation of other people’s property. 3. Riba’s ultimate effect is negative growth. 4. Riba demeans and diminishes human personality. 5. Riba is unjust.

{These arguments are objectively scrutinized hereunder}.

 1) Riba corrupts society! 

Corruption studies or corruption-related literature does not identify interest anywhere as one of the determinants of corruption. Indeed, most of the Muslim-majority countries rank high in the Corruption Perception Index (CPI).11 

Siddiqi’s flawed logic can be identified by simply examining his first point – that riba corrupts society. While riba-based transactions are unjust and thus may have corrupting influence on society, but the corruption studies or corruption-related literature does not identify interest anywhere as one of the determinants of corruption. Indeed, most of the Muslim-majority countries rank high in the Corruption Perception Index (CPI).11 But corruption-related studies relating to these countries done by either non-Muslims or Muslims have never identified interest as one such determinant of corruption.

As we will see, Siddiqi’s enumeration is generally not much different from the earlier ones by Abul Ala’ Mawdudi and Dr. Yousuf Ali-Qaradawi (using Al-Razi’s arguments ad verbatim) and is as polemical as well as empirically unsubstantiated and untestable as ever. Only one rationale is identifiable from the Qur’an: exploitation/injustice (zulm): “If you do it not, Take notice of war from Allah and His Messenger: But if you turn back, you shall have your capital sums: Deal not unjustly, and you shall not be dealt with unjustly.” [la tazlimoona wa la tuzlamoon; [Q, 2:279] Hadith: – (Prophetic narrations) also does not provide in this context any specific rationale other than what is identified in the Qur’an.

Note: – 1) It does not, by any mean, means that CPI index or corruption-related studies absolve “riba” of its implications or represents an Islamic perspective in any contextual sense. Riba simply was not taken into account as a consideration. 

2) Injunctive (hukmi) verses, at times, may not necessitate any explanations, for these are/maybe above and beyond the scope of human reasoning and logic.

 

[In terms of the use of riba, Sudan is the strictest and Malaysia the most liberal state]

 

2) Improper appropriation of other people’s property.

Charging/taking an interest, here, implies appropriating another person’s property without giving him anything in exchange because one who lends one dollar for two dollars gets the extra dollar for nothing. Now, a man’s property is for (the purpose of) fulfilling his needs and it has great sanctity. According to the hadith, ‘A man’s property is as sacred as his blood.’ This means that taking it from him without giving him something in exchange is haram. [p. 265]

One can argue that, in trade, taking something from someone without giving something in exchange is haram (prohibited). However, the argument is misleading and erroneous. When a non-charitable transaction is involved, both the parties know what the lending and borrowing entail. The borrower is borrowing for some commercial or personal benefit and the lender is lending for-profit motive. In such a non-charitable context, the lender is giving up or foregoing the purchasing power for a specific period. In other words, the lender is “renting out” the purchasing power of his/her capital for a specific period at a cost; interest here constitutes “rent” that is paid by the borrower. The lender is getting paid (interest) for foregoing something; it is not something for nothing but quid pro quo!

Note: {Islam, in the first place, does not espouse the concept of non-charitable-loaning but charitable one—Qarzhasanathat may be administered by the state from the “Sadaqat” collected. Allah will destroy Riba (usury) and will grant increase, for Sadaqat..}     (Q, 2:276)

 

Time-value of money in Islam!

Islamic economics/finance literature generally denies that Islam recognizes the time value of money. [El-Gamal 2000, quoting Mawdudi and Al-Sadr]. “[I] in Shari’ah, there is no concept of the time value of money.” [Usmani, p. xvi] Some authors think that the time value of money as relating to sales (deferred sales, to be specific) is allowed in Islam, but that it is not the same kind of time value of money as in case of loans. [Saadallah; M. Akram Khan cited in Vogel and Hayes, p. 202] Others even suggest that there should not be any profit-motive on the part of Muslims, seeking service from Islamic Banks. Although, its equivalent is found in Murabaha, cost-plus financing in purchase and resale. It has been conveniently ignored that accepting the time value of money logically leads to the acceptance of interest. [Saeed, p. 95]

Note; 1) -It may be due to the reason that; the time is created and determined (finite); relevant only to the temporal realm, whereas the recompense for use/misuse of money is indeterminable (at, this stage; i.e. temporal level) and relevant to the non-local domain only.  The time-value of money, in the charitable transactions, therefore, would render utterly irrelevant!

2) – The question of the distinction between the nominal-value and the real value of money, due to inflation, has also not been addressed in Islamic economic literature. At present, there is no economy “without-inflation” {Inflation, in my view, is a derivative of the flawed global economic system; whereby mostly the investors and/or the manufacturers benefit; reflected in different countries at different levels, representing overall state of economy} 

 

3 & 4) Riba’s ultimate effect is negative growth. & Riba demeans human personality.

Supporting arguments.

Dependence on interest prevents people from working to earn money, since the person with dollars can earn extra dollars through interest, either in advance or at a later date, without working for it. The value of work will consequently be reduced in his estimation, and he will not bother to take the trouble of running a business or risking his money in trade or industry. This will lead to depriving people of benefits, and the business of the world cannot go on without industries, trade and commerce, building and construction, all of which need capital at risk. (This, from an economic point of view, is unquestionably a weighty argument.) [p. 265]

Counter arguments.

In modern times, commercial lending and borrowing usually do not take place involving an individual lender at a personal level. Rather, there are lending institutions that mobilize savings from individual and institutional savers/depositors and channel such savings to the borrowers. The lending institutions have to work hard to solicit and pool the savings. They also employ people for the purpose.

The primary source of banks’ lending is savings and demand deposits of the depositors. Demand deposits come from people of all sorts, irrespective of their financial status. A good part of the savers; who use a bank as a source of quick and safe-return instead of risky and arduous stocks and bonds markets are usually risk-averse, older and/or retired people. They want quick access to their savings with a guaranteed return on it. This class of savers consists of people of all ages and financial backgrounds – wealthy and not-so-wealthy, young and older/retired. Indeed, these people can’t be expected/forced to engage in risky investments or laborious-works to seek “earned” income!

 

5) Riba is Unjust.

Supporting Arguments: –

Permitting the taking of interest discourages people from doing good to one another, as is required by Islam. If interest is prohibited in a society, people will lend to each other with goodwill, expecting back no more than what they have loaned, while if interest is made permissible the needy person will be required to pay back more on loans (than he has borrowed), weakening his feelings of goodwill and friendliness toward the lender. (This is the moral aspect of the prohibition of interest.). [p. 266] 

Counter-arguments: –

This whole argument is contrary to the profit-motive, recognized in Islam. Unless we are talking about charities, these arguments would be misplaced and erroneous. This would also imply that people in interest-based societies have lesser goodwill toward others and may not be engaged in enough charitable acts. Is there any empirical corroboration behind such comparative observation?

Note; – [ In my view both, the pro and against, arguments are flimsy at the best. Profit motive sanctioned in Islam is through business dealings not through money-lending for a pre-determined period and profit. Islam, as mentioned earlier, does not espouse non-charitable lending]

 

Some [al-maslaha-al-mursala based] opinions/fatawa; issued by earlier religious figures are being vehemently propagated by some present religious figures with unabashed assertiveness. 

 

The point, a bone of contention; that has divided Muslim scholars is, whether riba (usury) and bank interest are to be considered the same/equivalent or distinct?

 

Equivalence Proponents.

One body of scholarly opinion defines riba to include not only interest but also transactions involving speculation, capital gains, monopoly, hoarding, and absentee rents, in other words, any appropriation of value for which an acceptable counter value is not forthcoming. The reader can easily read through and conceptualize the implications of using more and more restrictive definitions, in the limit (to borrow a mathematic term) equating riba simply with interest.

 

“All the schools of thoughts of Muslim jurisprudence hold the unanimous view that riba, usury and interest are strictly prohibited.” [Siddiqui, p. 15] Also see, Mabid Ali Al-Jarhi and Munawar Iqbal. “Islamic Banking: Answers to Some Frequently Asked Questions,” Islamic Development Bank, Occasional Paper No. 4, 2001. http://irtipms.iskandertech.com/OpenSave.asp?pub=92.pdf; Tariq Talib al-Anjari. “Islamic Economics and Banking,” http://islamic-world.net/economics/economic_banking_01.htm;

“The renowned Islamic scholar Dr. Yusuf Ali Qaradawi holds that the question of prohibition of interest is a settled issue and that ‘there is no provision left in it for any reformist to re-interpret and provide an excuse for stating anything otherwise’. He states that it is ‘an issue which has withstood the test of consensus (Ijmah) of ummah of the present day as well as of the past’.” [ Syed Thanvir Ahmed. “Attempt to Justify Interest an Exercise in futility,” http://www.islamicvoice.com/april.99/economy.htm.]

Abul Ala’ Mauwdudi defines riba as the amount that a lender receives from the borrower at a fixed rate of interest. {for a fixed time and transaction contingent on the excess on the principal}. The transaction would be usurious whether it is for productive-investment or private needs.[Mawdudi, 1997;164] The most explicit report of the Council of Islamic ideology (CII) says: “There is complete unanimity in all schools of thoughts in Islam that the term “riba” stands for interest in all its types and forms”

 

Non-Equivalence Proponents

Those who have argued against this equation, the Non-Equivalence School [Ahmed, p. 28], have not made their arguments in clear and convincing terms so that the common Muslims can decide for themselves. Thus, this discourse needs to continue more vigorously and engagingly.

Note: In my view, as also enunciated in the preface, verse 30:39 categorically settles the issue of non-equivalence of usury, riba or interest by stating “whatever you give in addition to loan amount”, is riba. Supported by a hadith narrated by Jabir, mentioned in Muslim and Tirmazi“Prophet cursed the receiver and payer of the riba, recorder and witnesses to the transaction. And said they are all alike” (in sinfulness)

 

Interest-free economies

Since there has not been any true interest-free, modern Islamic economy and a few places where it is being attempted, the Islamic financial institutions (IFI hereafter), are moving rather closer to the conventional banking practices.

Note: – Use of Interest regime (to control the demand and supply of the funds/liquidity levels; which in turn determines the cost of borrowing; seldom yields the desired results, due to several other factors at play) is the chief catalyst in the volatility of the world’s, almost all, interest-based economies! [Although the man-made  economic management system has gained a high level of sophistication, yet lacks the precision]

 

The primary source of an Islamic Economic system is the Holy Qura’an and Sunnah. Secondary sources include the followings: –

Ijtihad: – True Ijtihad is both the source and the legal instrument that allows a dynamism to be set in motion at the heart of Islamic law and jurisprudence—closely linked with Qura’an and Sunnah.

Ijmaa (Consensus): In its technical dimension, Ijmaa means the agreement of all competent jurists in any particular generation, acting as representatives of the community on a point of law. In practice, the Ijmaa acts as proof if there is no element of the Qur’an or the Sunna that makes it possible to decide on a case, and could in principle elevate a ruling based on probable evidence to absolute certainty.

Qiyas (Analogical reasoning): this technique consists of assigning, based on a common underlying characteristic, the legal ruling of an existing case found in the texts of the Qur’an, Sunnah and/or Ijmaa, to a new case whose legal ruling could not be deduced directly from the scripture and/or Sunnah. This ruling nevertheless ought to remain within the confines and spirit of the primary sources of Islamic law.

 

Misuse of the concept “IJMA’A”

It has been a common practice among Muslim scholars and jurisprudents to claim consensus (ijma) about almost anything they have given their juristic opinion on. The very use of the word ijma inspires awe among faithful Muslims. However, the existence of multiple schools of jurisprudence (fiqh) is not evidence of consensus, but the lack of it.

The reality is that there is not even a consensus on the definition of ijma.  Indeed, it is reported that Imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, founder of one of the four orthodox schools (madhab) made a general assertion: “Whoever claims consensus is a liar.

Note; – The concepts, of hire-purchase and lending under Murabaha, seem to fall in the same category; for there are many scholars and Islamic Financial institutions, voicing against these financing modes.

 

Foundational work; a springboard for the current deviant practices, under the guise of Islamic Financing!

 

In the 1930s, Syrian scholar Marouf al-Daoualibi suggested that the Qur’an bans interest only on consumption loans, not investment loans, and in the 1940s Egyptian jurist, Al-Sanhuri argued that the Qur’an sought chiefly to ban interest on interest. A more extreme and recent example is the opinion of the mufti of Egypt, Shaykh Muhammad Sayyid Tantawi, who in 1989 declared that interest on certain interest-based government investments was not forbidden riba (because the gain is little different from the sharing of the government’s profits from use of the funds or because the bank deposit contract is novel), thus joining the thin ranks of prominent religious figures who have issued fatawa declaring clear interest practices permissible. This fatwa aroused a storm of controversy, with opposition from nearly all traditional religious scholars and warm praise from secular modernizers. Later he went even further, saying that interest-bearing bank deposits are perfectly Islamic, and more so than ‘Islamic’ accounts that impose disadvantageous terms on the customer. Laws should change the legal terminology used for bank interest and bank accounts to clarify their freedom from the stigma of riba. [Vogel and Hayes, p. 46]

 

Fatwa for sale

Owen Matthews, “How the West Came to Run Islamic Banks”, Newsweek [October 31, 2005] While the evolved orthodox position about riba was not necessarily tainted by worldly considerations, the contemporary IBF discourse does note “the debate on ‘fatwas for sale” … fatwa wars”, etc. [Warde, p. 227] It is important to note that the classical orthodox position revolved around riba and the modern, contemporary discourse revolves around not merely riba, but a riba-interest equation. The contemporary Shari’ah experts serving the IBF industry hardly have anything to say about the political tyranny, or concentration of wealth, involving the patrons of the IBF movement. [IBF—Islamic Banking and Finance].

 

Islamic Financial Instruments include: MusharkahMudarabahMurabahaMusawamah, Salam,Istisna’aTawarruqIjarah and Qard Hasana.    [Only the relevant financial instruments are discussed in detail]

 

Arguments against lease-purchase/lending.

According to Yousef, “the predominance of the murabaha represents a challenge to the very notion that Islamic finance would provide an alternative to interest-based conventional financial systems.” [p. 64] Siddiqi went much further to warn the Islamic finance industry: … we cannot claim, for an interest-free alternative not based on sharing, the superiority which could be claimed based on profit-sharing. What is worse, if the alternative in practice is built around predetermined rates of return to investible funds, it would be exposed to the same criticism which was directed at interest as a fixed charge on capital. 

 

It so happens that the returns on finance provided in the modes of finance based on murabaha, bay’ salamleasing and lending with a service charge, are all predetermined as in the case of interest. Some of these modes of finance are said to contain some elements of risk, but all these risks are insurable and are insured against. The uncertainty or risk to which the business being so financed is exposed is fully passed over to the other party. A financial system built solely around these modes of financing can hardly claim superiority over an interest-based system on grounds of equity, efficiency, stability and growth. [Siddiqi, 1983, p. 52]

 

It is noteworthy that, contrary to the popular perception of the believing Muslims, Murabaha, (leasing and lending), may not be, as generally claimed, quite Shari’ah-compliant. It is heavily criticized or repudiated by many Islamic scholars and by some Islamic financial institutions.

 

Why Western Institutions are swarming Islamic Banking?

Western interest in “interest-free” banking, is not because the West is convinced about the claimed superiority of Islamic finance/banking in general, and Islamic financial products in particular; but because they don’t find any substantive difference between conventional banking and the current practices of Islamic banking, which have shifted away from profit-loss sharing (PLS)/Risk-sharing-based transactions to Murabaha. It is a vast untapped lucrative market for them, with a clear edge in terms of credibility, experience and capitalization. These banks have found Mudaraba and Musharaka to be inoperable in the modern context. [Saeed, chapter “Murabaha Financing Mechanism,” pp. 76-95; Aggarwal and Yousef, p. 106; Vogel and Hayes, p. 7] Thus, they quietly disengaged themselves from risk-sharing, Musharaka and Mudaraba modes and engaged in Murabaha, instead.

 

Application of the Doctrine of Maslaha.

Maslaha is a very specific concept—in its definition, its levels, its types, and its conditions require that the ulama (religious scholars) constantly refer back to the revealed sources to be able to formulate judgments in conformity with the Qura’an and Sunnah, even when there is no specifically relevant text available. They must try—by carrying out a thorough and detailed study–to provide Muslims with (common good) new banking and financial instruments, guided by Islamic principles and in conformity with Sharia’a.

Presently, this concept is being used and also abused to justify all sorts of new fatawaeven some manifestly in contradiction with obvious proofs from the Qura’an and the Sunna, as in the case of rules concerning interest (riba), inheritance and lending under Murabaha.

Note: [A glaring example of “Tufian” approach, appearing below]

Imam Malik referred to the notion of istislah, which meant “to seek the good.” In his legal research, he, therefore, used the example of the companions—who formulated numerous legal decisions in the light of the common good while respecting the corpus of the sources—to justify the fact that “to seek the good” (istislah) is one of the fundamentals of the Sharia and so is part of it.

It is, however, Abu Hamid al-Ghazali who, with his strict codification, provided the clearest framework for tackling this question from his time to the present. In his Al-mustasfa min ilm al-usul, he states very precisely: “In its essential meaning, al-maslaha is a term which means to seek something beneficial [manfaa] or avoid something harmful [madarra].

What we mean by maslaha is the preservation of the objective [maqasid] of the Law [shar], which consists of five things: the protection of religion, life, intellect, lineage, and property. Whatever ensures the protection of these five principles [usul] is maslahawhatever goes against their protection is mafsada, and to avoid it is maslaha”.

Al-Ghazali, still referring to the broad meaning of maslaha, mentions three different types: al-daruriyyat (the imperative), a category which has to do with the five elements of maqasid al-sharia (here in the sense of the objectives of the Law) listed earlier; al-hajiyyat (the necessary, the complimentary), which has to do with the prevention of anything that could be a source of difficulty in the life of the community, without leading to death or destruction; and finally al-tahsiniyyat and al-kamaliyyat (the enhancing and the perfecting)*1, which concern anything that may bring about an improvement in religious practice. These three levels cover all that can be considered as the masali (common good) of the human being considered as a person and as a worshipper of God, and this categorization was hardly ever questioned in debate and polemic.

*1 {The only point which could be cited, while ignoring all other parameters, vaguely favoring financing under murabaha}

Ulama established a typology based on the degree of proximity of al-maslaha to the sources. If al-maslaha is based on textual evidence (i.e., a quotation from the Qur’an or the Sunna), it is called maslaha mutabara (accredited), and it must necessarily be taken into account. If, on the other hand, the maslaha invoked is contradictory to an undisputed text (nass qati), it is called mulgha (discredited) and cannot be taken into account. The third type occurs when there is no text: the Qura’an and the Sunna do neither confirm nor reject a maslaha that became apparent after the age of Revelation. A maslaha of this type is call mursala (undetermined), for it allows the “Ulama” to use their judgment and personal reasoning to formulate a legal decision in the light of the historical and geographical context; using their best efforts to remain faithful to the commandments and to the “ letter and spirit” of the law.

 

It is this last type that has given rise to much debate and polemic (the analysis is beyond the scope of this study). Suffice it to say here that the main cause of disagreement was the fear, on the part of those opposed to the very concept of al-maslaha al-mursala, that such a notion, with such broad scope, might then allow the ulama to formulate regulations without reference to the Qur’an and the Sunna based on exclusively rational and completely free reasoning, all in the name of a remote hardship or “an anticipated difficulty  Most ZahiriteShafaiite and Malikite ulema did not recognize al-maslaha-al-mursala, for it does not refer back to the sources—as a legal proof; they saw it as a specious (Wahmiyya) proof.

 

This was the very same instinctive fear in an approach that is although purely rational but disconnected with the Law; that pushed Al-Ghazali to restrict work on al-maslaha to the area of the application of qiyas (analogy), which, of its nature, requires a close link with the text for the deduction of the cause (illa) on which analogical reasoning rests.

Note: – Hire-purchase and lending under Murabaha, therefore, contravenes the second rule of maslaha as well as the third rule, by not fulfilling the “referring back to the source” requisite. Hence being spurious (whamiyya) in nature, becomes clearly impermissible!

 

Famous fourteenth-century Hanbali jurist–Najm al-Din al-Tufi– ended up giving al-maslaha priority over texts from the Qur’an and the Sunna; which, according to him, should be applied, according to Mahmasani, only–“to the extent that the common good does not require anything else” 

 

Currently, we see very strange “modern Islamic legal decisions” based on “modern maslaha-al-mursala” that are manifestly contradictory to the sources. The misuse of al-maslaha al-mursala thus sometimes seems to justify the strangest behavior, as well as the most obscure commercial dealings, financial commitments, and banking investments, under the pretext that they protect, or could or should protect, “the common good.”

 

Common good 

Famous 14th Century renowned scholar of Grenada, Al-Shitabi, first of the proponents of the doctrine of al-maslaha-al-mursal who stipulated the precise conditions for “common good” –to be considered as a reliable judicial source, restricting its application `preventing ulema from resorting to maslaha without justification. There is a general agreement of the scholars (both, for and against al-maslaha-al-mursala) on the precise definitions stipulated by Al-Shitabi for “common good”

Without going into too much detail, we may summarize the three generally recognized main conditions for situations when it is sure that no text has been enunciated:

  • The analysis and identification must be made with serious attention so that we may be sure that we have before us an authentic (haqiqiyya) and not an apparent or spurious (wahmiyya) The scholar must reach a high degree of certainty that the formulation of an injunction will avoid difficulty and not do the opposite and increase problems in the context of the Islamic legal structure.
  • The maslaha must be general (kulliyya) and be beneficial to the population and society as a whole, and not only to one group or class or individual.
  • The maslaha must not be in contradiction to or conflict with an authentic text from the Qur’an or the Sunna. If it were, it would no longer be a maslaha mursala but would be a maslaha mulgha.

 

What is clear from the above three conditions that it is the supremacy of the Qur’an and the Sunna over all other references and legal instruments. 

 

Dr. Yusuf Ali Qaradawi rightly recalls, taking up the ideas of al-GhazaliIbn al-Qayyim, and al-Shitabi, that everything found in the Qur’an and the Sunna is, in itself, in harmony with “the good of humankind” in general, for the Creator knows and wants what is best for human beings, and He shows them what they must do to achieve it. We find in the Qur’an, referring to the revealed message: “[the Prophet] who will enjoin upon them the doing of what is right and forbid them the doing of what is wrong, and make lawful for them the good things and forbid the bad things of life, and lift from them their burdens and the shackles that were upon them [aforetime]”

“They ask you about wine and gambling. Say, “In them is great sin and [yet, some] benefit for people. But their sin is greater than their benefit.” And they ask you what they should spend. Say, “The excess [beyond needs].” Thus, Allah makes clear to you the verses [of revelation] that you might give thought”. [Q, 2:219]

 

If the conditions stipulated for common good are, manifestly proclaimed (qati al-thubut wa-qati al-dalala) in the Qur’an and/or the Sunna, they must be respected and applied in the light of an understanding of the whole body of the objectives of Islamic teaching, maqasid al-Sharia.

 

“And We did not send before you any messenger or prophet except that when he spoke [or recited], Satan threw into it [some misunderstanding]. But Allah abolishes that which Satan throws in; then Allah makes precise His verses. And Allah is Knowing and Wise”. [Q, 22:52]

 

 

The author earnestly hopes and prays, that this piece will provide clarity to the people, on the issue of “RIBA” {as promised by Allah}, and help them choose the right path. InshaAllah.

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What is a “Halala/Tahleel-marriage” in Islam?  

January 25, 2020

Image result for pic of a Muslim divorced couple?

Answered a question on Halala (briefly) on 01/15/2020 at Quora.com

Halala Also known as Tahleel Marriage” loosely means to “legitimize” something.

Most often, the concept of Halala” is misunderstood and misquoted by ignorant Muslims and Non-Muslims alike.

Halala is neither a convenience nor a short-cut to undo an irrevocable divorce; but a sort of punishment for the man, who has committed an abominable act without due diligence and deliberation. 

A woman will not become lawful for the first husband to marry again, had the second husband divorced her without consummating the marriage, even at his own free will.  Bukhaari (2639) and Muslim (1433) Narrated by Ayesha (r.a.a)

This matter ought to be looked at; bearing in mind; that the act of “Divorcing” though permissible, is considered the most despised act, by the Almighty!

Hadith. The Prophet (PBUH) said, “Among lawful things, divorce is most hated by Allah.” (Abu Dawud).

 These are the three most important verses in the Holy Qura’an; setting the principles and modalities of “Divorce” Tahleel-Marriage” and “Post-Tahleel-Behavior”, to be followed.

“And when you divorce women and they have [nearly] fulfilled their term, either retain them according to acceptable terms or release them according to acceptable terms, and do not keep them, intending harm, to transgress [against them]. And whoever does that has certainly wronged himself. And do not take the verses of Allah in jest. And remember the favor of Allah upon you and what has been revealed to you of the Book and wisdom by which He instructs you. And fear Allah and know that Allah is Knowing of all things” [Q, 2:231]

“And if he has divorced her [for the third time], then she is not lawful to him afterward until [after] she marries a husband other than him. And if the latter husband divorces her [or dies], there is no blame upon the woman and her former husband for returning to each other if they think that they can keep [within] the limits of Allah (SWT). These are the limits of Allah, which He makes clear to a people who know” [Q, 2:230]

“And when you divorce women and they have fulfilled their term, do not prevent them from remarrying their [former] husbands if they agree among themselves on an acceptable basis. That is instructed to whoever of you believes in Allah and the Last Day. That is better for you and purer, and Allah knows and you know not” [Q, 2:232]

It has been emphatically advised that the utterances of “Divorce” [talaq] should not be carried out in one go but in three stages, spanning through the duration of married life, known as (Talaq al-bayyina al-sughra) [agreed upon by the majority of scholars and schools]. Affording the couple at least two opportunities in their married life to reconsider their decision and re-unite (Raja’a), before it is too late, and the irrevocable divorce becomes established. (Talaq al-bayyina al-kubra)

Hadith. [Ibn ‘Abbas (Allah be pleased with them) reported that the (pronouncement) of three divorces during the lifetime of Allah’s Messenger (PBUH) and that of Abu Bakr and two years of the caliphate of Umar (R.A. A) was treated as one. But Umar bin. Khattab (R.A.A) said: Verily the people have begun to hasten in the matter in which they are required to observe respite. So, if we had imposed this upon them, and he imposed it upon them]. Book 9, Number 3491.

NOTE: – Here, if a couple, after the first divorce, hasn’t re-united within the idda period, an irrevocable divorce would become established. They may, nevertheless, re-marry, with a fresh nikah. So, would they be entitled to, after the second divorce as well—either to re-unite before the expiration of the idda period or re-marry afresh after the lapse of idda-period. {re-union without nikah is available before the expiration of the idda period after all three divorces. The convenience of re-marrying after the lapse of third idda-period, however, would come to an END, and the compulsion of Tahleel-marriage would kick in. 

 

Divorce is of four kinds:  Ahsan, most laudableHasan, laudable, In-correct/irregular Bida’a and under duress Mukrah.

Talaq Ahsan–most laudable divorce–is where the husband repudiates his wife by making one pronouncement within the period of Tahr (purity–when the woman is neither menstruating nor having post-natal bleeding) and husband has not had sexual intercourse, and (after the utterance of “Talaq”) she is left to observe her ‘Idda waiting-period:-

Iddah. “Women who are divorced shall wait, keeping themselves apart, three (monthly) courses. (Q, 2:228).  And as for pregnant women, their term shall end with delivery. (65:4).   And those among you who die and leave behind wives, (these wives) should keep themselves waiting for four months and ten days” (Q, 2:234).

Talaq Hasan–laudable divorce–is where a husband repudiates an enjoyed-wife (having had intercourse with) by three sentences of divorce, in three Tuhrs

Talaq Bida’a—irregular or In-correct divorce–is where a husband repudiates his wife by three utterances of “Divorce” (talaq) in one go. According to the majority of the jurists, the Divorce, though valid, is against the spirit of the Shari’ah, therefore, the man following this course would be a deviator in the eyes of Allah (SWT).

Talaq Mukrah–under duress.

“There are three things in which, not only the serious worlds but nonserious words would also count serious. 1) Nikah 2) Divorce 3) Emancipation of a slave. 4) Re-uniting (raja’a), by revoking the divorce. [Narrated by Abu Dawood and Tirmazi—category—good]

According to Imam Abu Hanifa, Nakhai, Qatadah,  Zuhri, and Al Sha’bi, the application of this hadith is restricted to the divorce under duress/compulsion. [discounting the consideration of the will and the intention]

Imam Shafai’i, Imam Ali Ibn Talib and Ibn Abbas, however, contended otherwise by citing another hadith;

“Removed are, from my Ummah, the consequences of acts done by mistake, in forgetfulness and under duress” [ Narrated by Tabarani and Thawhan—category—authentic]

Imam Abu Hanifa is of the view that the “exculpation” as per this hadith pertains to the hereafter, not this world.

Should this premise be admitted, then in my humble view, the consideration of the will and the intention will inevitably become pertinent and integral! Moreover, the intent/purport of the earlier narration seems to have a deterring-undertone (against a casual attitude in serious matters) rather than injunctive, which will satisfy the conciliatory-requisite for the accommodation of both the narrations.  Famous Hadith: “Actions are judged by the intentions” clearly support the argument. (Allah knows the best).

 Divorce initiated by a Woman. (khula)

The right of a woman in demanding the dissolution of marriage is known as “Khula (meaning, the putting off or taking off of a thing). It is a kind of facility/right provided to the wife in securing “Divorce” Talaq from her husband by returning a part or full amount of the bridal gift.

Hadith. ‘A’isha (Allah be pleased with her) reported: When the Messenger of Allah (may peace be upon him) was commanded to give option to his wives, he started it from me saying: I am going to mention to you a matter which you should not (decide) in haste until you have consulted your parents. She said that he already knew that my parents would never allow me to seek separation from him She said: Then he said: Allah, the Exalted and Glorious, said: Prophet, say to thy wives: If you desire this world’s life and its adornment, then come, I will give you a provision and allow you to depart a goodly departing; and if you desire Allah and His Messenger and the abode of the Hereafter, then Allah has prepared for the doers of good among you a great reward She is reported to have said: About what should I consult my parents, for I desire Allah and His Messenger and the abode of the Hereafter? She (‘A’isha) said: Then all the wives of Allah’s Messenger (may peace be upon him) did as I had done. [Book 9, Number 3498]

 

A desire to re-uniteONLYafter the third and final Divorce (irrevocable—talaq bayyina al-kubra), would necessitate the process of “Halala” or “Tahleel-marriage”

 

One may contend why the woman has to suffer for the fault of the man?

The logical answer is that; a man being the head of the family, custodian of the honor and the dignity, of the family, clan, tribe, etc. would psychologically suffer the most. The woman on the other hand (depending on the ex-husband’s overall behavior/treatment), may or may not like the apparently grotesque process of reunification with her first-husband. However, in all fairness, the woman not only gets re-instated in her status, but she also gets an opportunity extended, to prudently compare and evaluate the present and the past situations. If she feels comfortable and content with the present situation, she may avail of this opportunity and stay put, for she, having been repudiated, was disrespected, dishonored and belittled by her former husband!

Had the man been subjected to go through the process instead, it would have been rather a boon to him; as he is already allowed to marry up to four women. Instead of deterring it would have, most likely, incentivized him for his callous behavior to repeat!

Allah (SWT), is best of the psychologists, therefore, He has ordained the redress jolting the psychological reflexes of the man to the core.

 

Moreover, the woman here neither has the control (over the divorce), nor the obligation to go back to her former husband!

The second husband is also under no moral or legal obligation to divorce. Anyone who does so deliberately; to facilitate the return of the woman to her first husband, has been “cursed” by the Prophet (PBUH)} [Tahleel-marriage in such a situation would become “haram” Invalid]

Women having been endowed with unique temperamental flexibility in terms of the marital relationship by Allah (SWT), therefore, may not take long to adjust in a new situation,

“And one of His signs is that He created mates for you from yourselves that you may find tranquility in them, and He put between you love and compassion; most surely there are signs in this for a people who reflect” [Q,30:21]

 

Divine injunctions, when analyzed from a secular or western frame of mind; often lacking the faith in the Divine will and wisdom, would neither make sense nor would lead to the right conclusion.

 

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Are Ahmadis [Qadyanis], Ismailis Muslim?

January 3, 2020

Image result for pic of Rabwa ?

(Ahamdya town Rabwah—Chenab Nagar–Pakistan)

Originally answered on Quora.com on June 16th, 2017.

On principle, No. Because they openly reject that Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) was the last Prophet and declared Mirza Ghulam Ahmad as their Prophet—-who died in the toilet. They, therefore are guilty of triple rejection. 1) Qura’anic verses, 2) Prophet Muhammad being the last of the prophets and 3) Declaring and accepting—Mirza Ghulam Ahmad—- as their Prophet.  (no one can be a prophet after Prophet Mohammad [PBUH] in Islam). [A final judgment, nevertheless, rests with Allah S.W.T]

I happened to be a Sunni Muslim speaker, many years ago, at one of their conventions in Atlant Georgia and noticed first hand their deceitful behavior with respect to the finality of the Prophethood of Mohammad (PBUH).

So should Not be Ismailis, who,

1) Curtailed the number of Mandatory Prayers from 5 to 3 as a routine

2) Changed the mode of prayer performance.  (Praying without bowing-down or prostrating, sitting on a chair like in a Church).

3) They consider that Prince Agha Khan is endowed with an authority to alter/reject the Divine Injunctions. Some even call him a Prophet and the “Noor” of Allah (SWT)—(NAUZB) out of sheer blind reverence and ignorance.

4) They do not attend the regular mosque but their own social-club type–Jama’t Khana.

5) They do not introduce themselves as Muslim but “Momin” to distinguish from mainstream Muslims.

6) The concept of Haram and Halal is non-existent among them.

Note: I loathe to call someone a Non-Muslim or Kafir, {as no Muslim is entitled or authorized to declare someone, who claims otherwise, an Infidel or Kafir} however, it is important for Muslims and common people to know the differences for a better understanding of religious sensibilities while dealing with each group.

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The singularity of the Grand Tahrir Square on the eventual-horizon! 

July 24, 2019

Image result for Pic of Mix protest by the Arabs and Europeans

Interestingly, events in the Muslims world seems to discreetly vanguard the world at large towards the singularity of a GRAND Tahrir Square. There seems to be, inter-alia, a Muslim awakening all around. Although the counter-revolutionary forces; in and out of Middle East and Africa; seem to have succeeded in derailing the Arab-Spring; installing a new military authoritarianism (an eclipsed military crescent), would eventually face the materialization of the Arab-spring on a much bigger scale, giving in to the aspirations of the masses (a huge bulge of tumultuous youngsters) in the end.

The remarkably positive outcome of this ratiocinative Ellan Vital would be the elimination of the danger of Clash-Of-Civilizations!

Counter-revolutionary forces are; The United States, Europe in general, Beduin-Pentagon {lead by Saudi Arabia}, Egypt, Israel and India.

Present West-centric world-order is bound to collapse; for the People NOW are able to quickly discern the reality of the issues even when shrouded in the thick of disinformation. The resourcefulness of dissemination (through mushrooming independent T.V channels and social media avenues) of the genuine/legitimate aspirations/concerns of a segment of society, for the others, to support and make it a popular/top trend, has become an unbridled anti-oppression, anti-tyranny tool.  The reason for my optimism is the Pakistani Army’s decade long; hands-off, behind the scene, through the civilian apparatus approach, to the country’s multitudinous affairs. Pakistani army; the strongest (after that of China and Russia) in the third world developing countries, has learned its lesson after several elongated stints with the governance; that it ought to stay away from its supra-constitutional role to let Pakistan develop into a modern, viable, civilian-ruled state. 

Note: {I have deliberately left the international, political/military/economic, polarization aside, for it is all too obvious}

In Algeria, Egypt, Libya, Sudan and elsewhere the military establishments have the unique opportunity to learn from Pakistani military’s experience, making the right choices: handing over the power to the civilian-representatives and prevent another Iraq, Syria or Yemen from happening. 

The resurgence (contagion effects) of “Awakened-Muslim-Youth” {AMY} would engulf, sooner than later, The Beduin Pentagon, other oppressive and corrupt Muslim dominated countries; non-Muslim Youth in Europe; Africa and Americas, steering the world towards the singularity of “GRAND TAHRIR SQUARE”.

US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, gave a speech in Cairo, on June 2005, in which she said: “For 60 years, my country, the United States, pursued stability at the expense of democracy in this region here in the Middle East – and we achieved neither. 

West, in my opinion, has been wrong on both the accounts; military-ruleauthoritarianism and democracy.

I will agree with Samuel Huntington, in an even broader context, that democracy is not only an alien concept (to Middle Eastern culture) but an anathema to the overall Muslim’s psychological constitution and dispensation.  

Consensually Nominated Caliphate, in my opinion, would, therefore, be the best model for Muslim dominated countries; synchronizing caliphal/sharia’a rules, as far as permissible, with the demands and compulsions of modern-times.

I envision a looming CALIPHATE as a result of this Muslim youth-awakening.

NOTE: For the sake of brevity I will discuss, but a few, hot spots around the world to build my premise.

Algerian President Abdelaziz Bouteflika has been forced, by the Algerians, out of the electoral race seeking the fifth term after being 20 years in power. What is striking in the Algerian uprising is that the protesters are a mix of all walks of life and determinedly peaceful. They do not want to be associated with the hijacked and derailed Arab-Spring. They call out each other to go to “Selmiyya” (Peaceful-rally) rather than to “protest” to avoid any semblance with failed-Arab-Spring.

Abdelkader Ben salah, the interim president was supposed to hold fresh elections and step down on July the 4th but postponed the elections and suggested the dialogues to pave the way for elections, without involving military, instead.

Algerians, sensing the delaying maneuvers, have repeatedly referred to Article 7 of the Constitution which stipulates that ultimately, sovereignty belongs to the people and their will is represented by civilian institutions. Algerians are demanding a genuine change in the system offering openness, transparency and opportunity.

https://shakir2.wordpress.com/2011/03/05/hawks-are-getting-itchy-to-commandeer-the-mid-east-revolution/

Algeria is Africa’s largest country, ninth biggest OPEC producer of crude oil and liquefied gas, having a population of around 41 million, 70 percent of which is below the age of 30 years, beset with huge unemployment and a stagnant economy. Yet not afraid of “Le Pouvoir the powerful ruling elites.  It is producing over a million barrels per day. Its 85 percent export consists of liquified gas and crude oil.

Protestors in the Middle East have learned crucial lessons since the Arab Spring—Peaceful-protest.

The success of popular action and civil disobedience in Sudan and Algeria have been treated skeptically by commentators. The pessimists might just be getting it wrong this time around, just as the optimists did eight years ago. Two very different political waves are sweeping through the Middle East and North Africa. Popular protests are overthrowing the leaders of military regimes for the first time since the failure of the Arab Spring. At the same time, dictators are seeking to further monopolize power by killing, jailing or intimidating opponents who want personal and national freedom.

In Egypt, West supported, Ex-Military General Fattah El Sissi is trying to maneuver a referendum for his lifelong presidency. I am of the opinion that his days are numbered. On June 14, Egypt’s president, Abdel Fatah al-Sissi, appointed a new minister of defense without seeking the approval of the Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF)— the institution that brought him to power. At the same time, he appointed a prime minister without the necessary parliamentary approval.

These might seem like minor political maneuvers, but they are highly revealing about the direction of Egypt’s politics. Since taking power in 2013 in a military coup against President Mohammed el-Morsi, Sissi is busy systematically removing obstacles to his power, as dictators do.

Supreme Council of the Armed Forces (SCAF). Created in 1954 by Jamal Abdel Nasser, provided the armed forces with an intermittent mechanism to influence government. SCAF reappeared during the demonstrations against Hosni Mubarak in early 2011 and took control of the government until Morsi’s election in 2012. The law implemented Article 234 of the 2014 constitution that, until 2020, appointing the minister of defense requires SCAF’s approval. SCAF had insisted on this provision even though it caused divisive political conflicts and sometimes street battles between 2011 and 2014.

Article 146 of the constitution gives the president the right to appoint a prime minister, but parliament must give the new government a vote of confidence. Prime Minister Mustafa Madbouli replaced Sobhi as minister of defense with Muhammad Ahmed Zaki. SCAF has not approved Zaki’s appointment, while parliament has yet to accept Madbouli’s government. These two presumably pro-Sissi institutions have not rubber-stamped his appointments because of Sissi’s 2016 decision to transfer the sovereignty of two small islands, in the Red Sea Tiran and Sanafir, to Saudi Arabia. Article 151 of the constitution forbids the cession of state territory.

The arrests of two former generals, the summary ouster of the defense minister without SCAF approval and the installation of a new ministry without parliamentary approval conclude the consolidation of Sissi’s control. In return, Sissi has ensured all kinds of benefits and complete immunity to SCAF officials from any future prosecution as a bribe. {Sissi is a favorite of the USA, Europe, Beduin-Pentagon and Israel}

Sinai, Bedouin lead, Insurgency is another tetra-pronged flashpoint; involving Egypt, Israel, Libya and Gazza-Palestine. In this insurgency, Salafi-Jihadist and Islamic State (ISIS) are also involved. {A sequel of Tahrir Square is on the eventual-horizon}

Jordon

The public unrest in Jordan is not dying down, and the frequent protests are threatening to destabilize the country. Not only are the kingdom’s dire economic straits – one of the factors driving the protests – not improving despite harsh austerity measures, but the situation is even worsening. Alongside the calls to address the economic problems, various political forces – including not only the traditional opposition but also tribal leaders, former regime officials and retired military officers – have been demanding political reforms and even calling to limit the powers of the King on the pattern of the U.K.

Tribal Forces Demand Regime Change, Ouster of the King

The climate of unrest has affected even the Jordanian tribes, which constitute the backbone of the regime. On March 1, a protest movement identified with Jordan’s large Bani Hassan tribe issued a statement of unusual harshness against the King, accusing King Abdullah II and Queen Rania al-’Abd Allah of behaving like “demigods” and demanding a change of regime. {May Allah have mercy on the king…a pauper would be more respectable than a Western stooge-Hashemite king} 

West installed “Sheikhs” & “General” are terrified of the contagion-effects of Iran’s revolution as well as that of the Arab-spring.

Libya. According to international officials and Libya experts; the UAE, an ally of the UK, US, and France, shipped weapons to Libyan warlord Khalifa Haftar  [a, US/Libyan, dual national] even after the ex field-marshal, turned warlord, declared the head of the UN-backed head of state in Tripoli, Fayez al-Sarraj, a “terrorist” and issued for his and other officials arrest warrants.

The vast oil-rich north African nation has been crippled by violent civil strife since the Gaddafi’s downfall in 2011. Two loose alliances dominate the country: a collection of eastern militias led by Khalifa Haftar under the umbrella of the Libyan National Army, and a UN-backed Government of National Accord, anchored in Tripoli.

The UN panel last year cited evidence, suggesting, both the UAE and Turkey, were providing weapons and military equipment to rival sides in Libya. Both Egypt, a security partner of the west despite human rights abuses, and the USA, have been aggressively supporting Khalifa Haftar because they perceive the rival government in Tripoli as a front for the Muslim Brotherhood organization, which they have vowed to crush. {Elected president, late-Morsi, was removed by the counter-revolutionary forces for the same reason}.

Warlord Khalifa Haftar has been backed for years by President Trump, (USA),  Egypt, Saudi Arabia and France, which see in him a potential strongman to bring order to the country even after they have also publicly backed the UN peace process and other international initiatives to stitch the country back together.

ISIS fighters [a western proxy militia] kill LNA troops outside the Libyan oilfield.

Unfortunately, if the situation continues like this, 95 percent of oil production will be lost,” Mustafa Sanalla told reporters in Jeddah ahead of a ministerial panel of top OPEC and non-OPEC producers recently gathered. The raid on Zillah is the third ISIS attack targeting Haftar’s forces in the recent past. According to the latest reports, the LNA (Haftar) forces seem to have bogged down in the Capital’s outskirts.

An old hand, Saif-Al-Isalm-Gaddafi, the eldest son of late Muammar Gaddafi; who is aspiring to become president and lead the country, may prove to be a viable consensus candidate to unite the country.

Nigeria. {A 50/50-Muslim/Christian-country} Incumbent president Muhammadu Buhari won his reelection bid, defeating his closest rival Atiku Abubakar by over 3 million votes. He took an oath of office on 29 May 2019. Muhammadu Buhari, 76, (former military strongman) and Yemi Osinbajo, who will serve as vice president. Africa’s largest economy {OPEC’s sixth-biggest oil producer} is mired in its first recession for 25 years as low oil prices have hammered public finances and foreign reserves while driving up annual inflation to almost 20 percent.

Africa’s most populous nation has traditionally been marred by violence and rigging. Presidential and parliamentary elections taking place under the shadow of a devastating war against Islamist militants (Boko Haram) in the northeast, clashes between farmers and herders that have claimed thousands of lives, and a moribund economy.

Boko Haram, founded by Mohammed Yusuf in 2002, the group has been led by Abubakar Shekau since 2009. When first formed, its actions were nonviolent. Its main goal was to “purify Islam in northern Nigeria.” From March 2015 to August 2016, the group was aligned with the ISIS Boko Haram promotes a version of Islam which makes it “haram”, or forbidden, for Muslims to take part in any political or social activity associated with Western society. This includes voting in elections, wearing shirts and trousers or receiving a secular education.

Boko Haram regards the Nigerian state as being run by non-believers, regardless of whether the president is Muslim or not – and it has extended its military campaign by targeting neighboring states.

A Simmering Potential Flash-Point.

The Zumratul Jamiu Muminu Society of Nigeria has asked the Federal Government to look for a new location for the proposed interchange at the Pakuro/Lotto area of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway in the Obafemi-Owode Local Government Area of Ogun State. It has been reported that over 300 buildings are marked for demolition to pave the way for the interchange.

The Islamic organization said its schools and members’ buildings were among the structures marked for demolition, alleging that neighboring religious premises, including those of the Deeper Life Bible Church and the Redeemed Christian Church of God, were excluded from the planned demolition.  

{Christian missionaries proselytizing/exploiting destitute Muslims under the auspices of the USA and UN should be expelled from the entire African continent; for the sake of peace and religious harmony}

Pakistan

Pakistan—the only Muslim Nuclear-State— at the moment is trekking on a rocky path. its corrupt leaders are on the leash. Some are behind bars while others are waiting in the queue.  Its iconoclast leader; a cricket-famed celebrity; a playboy turned philanthropist and savior-politician, is struggling against his inexperience and entrenched tentacles of the old guards. Pakistan’s transformation into an emerging economy and developing country is dubious but most Pakistanis/Muslims around the world are harboring high hopes. {its economic vehicle, however, is being driven by two US/IMF appointed drivers at an undeclared price-ticket!}

Readhttps://shakir2.wordpress.com/2018/05/10/pakistans-exceptionalism/

Somalia

Somaliland, Puntland, Jubaland

Al Shabab, a splinter group of Islamic Courts Union (ICU), is fighting against the Transitional Federal Government (TFG), U.S sponsored Ethiopian forces and all other foreign forces, including African Union Peacekeeping forces, considering them as occupying foreign forces. Al Shabab considers TFG as a secular government. Al Shabab is labeled as a radical Islamism group for they want to implement Islamic Sharia’a.

Somaliland declared its independence from the failed state of Somalia in 1991, but the world … for the most part … has ignored the declaration. The similar names are rooted in colonial history: Somaliland became known as British Somaliland in the 19th century, while the southern region was Italian Somaliland. “We have a functioning democracyWe have our own army. We have our own police. We have our own coast guard. You know, we have our own border police. We have fulfilled all the conditions of a sovereign state,” Shire says as he ticks through why Somaliland is its own nation. And there’s more. Somaliland has its own currency. It regularly holds elections. The current President of Somaliland is Musa Bihi Abdi.  

Lawmakers in Somalia’s semi-autonomous Puntland region have elected former Somalia planning minister Saed Abdullahi Deni as president. The new president, 52, is widely known for his role in education in Puntland where he helped establish schools and universities.  In 2017 he mounted an unsuccessful run for president of Somalia. Deni campaigned on promoting economic growth and fighting corruption in the relatively peaceful Somali region.

“A new chapter has opened for this region, a chapter of unity and brotherly relations among Somalis,” the new president said. Puntland has largely escaped the worst of the country’s decades of lawlessness, but there are pockets where al-Shabab and Islamic State militants are present and periodically attack security forces.

The revival of the Jubaland administration

On 3 April 2011, it was announced that the new autonomous Jubaland administration would be referred to as Azania, and would be led by Mohammed Abdi Mohammed (Gandhi), the former national Minister of Defense, as president. According to President Gandhi, a trained anthropologist and historian,  Azania was selected as the name for the new administration because of its historical importance, as Azania was a name given to Somalia more than 2,500 years ago and it was given by Egyptian sailors who used to get a lot of food reserves from the Somali Coast[…] Its origin is [an] Arabic word meaning the land of plenty.

Somalia has become shorthand for how the lack of a strong central government makes states collapse into unlivable chaos. In part, that idea rests on popular conceptions of Somalia as the world’s most persistent failed state, a nation without basic security where the population struggles to get an education, food, and security.

The idea that Somalia is completely lacking in central government is false, but the federal government’s reach is indeed inconsistent. The central government is strongest around the capital, Mogadishu, but declines quickly outside of the immediate area. But that is not to say that no governing structures exist, even if they are not central. The regional government in Somalia operate with varying degrees of independence and effectiveness, ranging from the almost fully autonomous Somaliland region (which has sought recognition as an independent state), areas dominated by the militant organization Al-Shabab, and other states and regions that still struggle to establish political control.

SOMALI lawmakers elected a new president Wednesday, choosing a former prime minister who is a dual U.S.-Somali citizen. Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed, better known as Farmajo,’ was declared the winner after two rounds of voting by the Somali parliament in Mogadishu. Farmajo won the largest share of votes in the second round, far outdistancing incumbent leader Hassan Sheikh Mohamud and former president Sheikh Sharif Sheikh Ahmed. Mohamed Abdullahi Mohamed Farmajo, 54, who, has been living in Grand Island, N.Y., and holds degrees from the State University of New York-Buffalo. He worked as the Commissioner for Equal Employment at the New York State Department of Transportation in Buffalo. Farmajo had lived in the United States since 1985 when he was sent there with Somalia’s foreign affairs ministry. He was Somalia’s prime minister for eight months until leaving the post in 2011. [same is the case with Afghan President Ashraf Ghani; who holds trinal nationalities—Afghani, Lebanese & American]

The security situation in Somalia remains volatile, and Al-Shabaab remains the main threat to the country’s security. Al-Shabaab continues to maintain its operational strength and capability, despite ongoing and intensified ground and airstrikes across the country. Pro-ISIS elements have increased their activities in and around Mogadishu, although their operations remain limited to targeted killings. In Puntland, Al-Shabaab and pro-ISIS elements remain active.

In Sudan Hassan Al Bashir, who came to power in 1989 in an Islamists backed coup, has been forced out and now the caretaker military is also being compelled to hand over the power to the civilians. The ruling Transitional Military Council (TMC) says Islamic laws should remain the guiding principle of Sudan’s new laws. The council and protest leaders had reached an agreement on the other main aspects of the transition, including a three-year transition period and the creation of a 300-member parliament, with two-thirds of legislators to come from the protesters’ umbrella group.

The two sides launched what had been billed as a final round of talks on the transition late on Sunday [May 19th, 2019]. The TMC has faced pressure from Western governments and the African Union to agree to a civilian-led transition. {Western Government’s pressure would always be a tricky Quid-Pro-Quo}

The military junta is resisting the transition to the civilian-rule by killing protestors, who have launched peaceful civil disobedience. Ethiopian Premier—Abiy Ahmed’s mediation has also failed. Finally, a western-educated economist and UN policy expert in Africa, British national (now surrendered) has been appointed as Sudan’s head of state.

Christian South Sudanhaving sub-Saharan Africa’s third-biggest oil reserves– forced-created out of Muslim Sudan, is an example of West’s colossal failure. Its scission has cost more than 400K lives and is still in tatters. South Sudan’s war has brought underlying regional tensions to the fore. It is part of yet another chapter of the historic enmity between Uganda and Sudan, while the rivalry between Uganda and Ethiopia over their respective influences on regional security has colored the mediation process. Ethiopia, Kenya and Sudan have dedicated envoys mediating the process while Uganda is only involved at the IGAD heads of state (HoS) level.

Now, Ethiopian Abiy Ahmed (also US-educated), Sudanese Hamdouk (US/UN planted) and Egyptian (US-trained soldier) Fattah El Sissi are western hand-picked heads-of-state while Iran, Iraq, Lebanon, Algeria and Tunis are in the process of being cultivated.

France

Massive protests are happening in France, where people wearing “Yellow Jackets” demanding the resignation of Emmanuel Macron, seeking multifaceted reforms as in Muslim dominated countries.

Germany

Thousands of people joined climate change protests near one of Germany’s biggest lignite coal mines on Saturday, two days after European Union leaders failed to agree on a plan to make the bloc’s economy carbon neutral by 2050. Protests are also being held against the Article 13 (internet freedom of expression), Islamization of Europe (hate speech) and Immigration policies of the Angela Merkel (accepting refugees).

Serbia, Montenegro & Albania

Anti-government protests in Serbia that have brought tens of thousands of people into the streets, decrying what they see as increasingly authoritarian rule, are entering their third month. But there seems to be little sign that the demonstrators’ demands will be fruitful.

On Feb. 25, a European Union spokeswoman, Maja Kocijancic, told protestors that there would be no “Balkan spring,” referring to widening protests in Serbia, Montenegro and Albania—all countries that are hoping to join the EU. The statement, which riled protesters in all three countries, seemed to confirm for them what has been increasingly evident in recent years: The EU prefers to stick with the devil it knows in the Balkans, backing autocratically minded governments—similarly as they do in the middle east and Africa—that have failed to root out corruption and crime—the very benchmarks to join the EU—in order to preserve what it considers regional stability in the face of geopolitical rivalry.

The protests snowballed and have brought together an unlikely range of groups, including several parties from Serbia’s hugely fragmented opposition, trade unions and professional associations that might not normally be associated with rocking the boat. The protesters claim that Aleksandar Vucic (Serbian Politician) has overseen an unprecedented erosion of democracy, media freedoms and institutional independence. [These things were never let taken roots by design in the Middle East and Africa]

Democracy in Western Balkans is backsliding. Civil society, international organizations and independent experts have been reporting on unfair election practices, rising corruption, lack of accountability and lack of media freedoms for some time now. In its 2019 report, Freedom House ranked all six countries of the region as “partially free”, with Serbia’s status being downgraded for the first time after the fall of Milošević. Paradigm shift, towards equilibrium with the Middle East and Africa.

Nevertheless, the European Union has not signaled any significant change in its policy towards the region, which has been criticized by many as support of stabilocracy: mild treatment of the strongmen in the Western Balkans in exchange for political stability. It would be safe to say that, in general, E.U and the U.S.A have, hand in glove, with respect to the rest of the world.

Given that the huge protest waves of 1968, the early 1980s and 1989-1990 can now be regarded as past history in European democracy, the question now is whether a new protest culture is emerging in Western Europe. New protest lists, some evidence of ‘citizens in anger’. (like that in the Muslim-world). The new face of protest today is influenced by political agendas in reaction to recent parliamentary and governmental actions. The confidence in legislatures and governments is decreasing as there is also growing general distrust of coherent polities within European national systems. European representative democracies may come under intense-civic pressure in the future.

In Europe, people most often take to the streets to protest against austerity measures and controversial projects. This trend implies that dissent arises after decisions have been made by governments on different levels and through democratic bodies such as parliaments. It may, nevertheless, be safely asserted, that the discontentment and distrust with the ruling elites is a common denominator, albeit with some differences in their intensity and expression, given the level of development and education in various regions and countries.

People tend to be more skeptical than in earlier times about democratic decision-making processes. Indeed, being skeptical could be regarded as better than being apathetic, which unfortunately is a persistent theme in European politics, as evidenced by low voter participation. But protests today are influenced by political agendas reacting to recent parliamentary and governmental actions. After the Bologna Process, students began striking in France, the United Kingdom and Germany. In December 2010, Italian and English students smashed windows and clashed with police. Can anyone deny that it is not the ballooning of the contagion effect of the failed Arab-spring?

After strict but necessary austerity decisions were made in Greece in order to avoid a severe crisis, violent demonstrations broke out. On 29 September 2010, the so-called European Day of Action, thousands of people across Europe rushed onto the streets to protest similar austerity measures in their countries, blocking European capitals with swarms of demonstrators. The scenes were similar to those of Arab-spring from Madrid to Brussels to Athens. In France, citizens demonstrated against plans to revise the deficit-plagued pension scheme by increasing the retirement age.

United States

“Though final count is still being tabulated, researchers Erica Chenoweth and Jeremy Pressman of the Crowd Counting Consortium estimate that over 1.25 million people across the United States participated in “Saturday’s March for Our Lives” protest, making it one of the largest youth-led protests in American history, at least since the Vietnam War. These numbers aren’t an accident. A combustible array of variables, including the rise in the authoritarianism and anti-authoritarianism worldwide and technology that makes it easier to organize sibling marches, have contributed to historic turnouts. 

Overall, it is estimated that between 5.9 million and 9 million people protested in the US in 2017 alone.

The counts are already huge. Now get ready for them to explode.

Social media contributed to the exponential growth in protest size, including an increasing reliance on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media tools that make mass organizing both desirable and easily replicable.

Worldwide trend {A convergence on a grand Tahrir Square}

The feeling isn’t just mutual. It’s global. As Chenoweth notes, both authoritarianism and anti-authoritarian protests have been on the rise in recent years. Researchers have noted a substantive global increase in authoritarian populist candidates in the West in the past two decades. Citizens in 94 countries now live in non-democratic regimes, including 53 percent of the world’s people, according to the Human Rights Foundation. Authoritarianism has arrived in Turkey as well as Venezuela, (Egypt, Israel) and it continued its slow, not-quite-unprecedented crawl in the States”. BY Heather Dockray MAR 27, 2018. MASHABLE.

Conclusion

So far, protest mobilizations ‘have played only a marginal role in the master narrative of Europe. In Western Europe, countries such as France and Germany still have their own protest culture despite common projects such as the counter-globalization movement ATTAC. A new protest culture has emerged on the pattern of protests in the Muslim world, which appeals to citizens’ resentment towards government elites and decision-makers at all levels. Transnational movements; especially the contagion effects of Arab-Spring have played an important role in shaping student and austerity-related protests and the anti-globalization movement that has targeted G-8 summits. Dieter Rucht, self-deceptively concludes, the ‘Europeanisation of protest is still a myth because only a small number of protests of this type have taken place. The existing anti-elitist aspect, however, does have a direct connection to the European Union and the Muslim world’s oppressive governments; where decisions used to gain ex post facto legitimization/acceptance. Future politics in all spheres and at all levels should take this “protestation-shift” into account, otherwise, a new, fully-fledged protest culture; as a consequence of equilibrium-deterioration setting in the world at large, is bound to converge on the Singularity of a Grand Tahrir Square on the eventual Horizon.

Other potential hot-spots; are:

Afghanistan, Argentina, Albania, Bahrain, Bangladesh, Bissau, Bolivia, Brazil, Baltic states (several), Cameroon, Chad, Chile, Colombia, Croatia, D.R.C (Congo), Ecuador, Guinea, Guyana, Hungary, India, Jordon,  Kashmir,   Kosovo, Latvia, Liberia, Macedonia, Mali, Moldova, Montenegro, Myanmar, Paraguay, Panama, Palestine, Peru, Philippine, Poland, Romania, Russia, Saudi Arabia, Slovenia, South  Africa, Sri- Lanka, Suriname,  Trinidad and Tobago,  Ukraine. Togo, Uruguay, Venezuela, Yemen, and Zimbabwe.

For further discussion on international affairs/relations, read: https://shakir2.wordpress.com/2018/06/19/re-alignments-in-the-middle-east-in-the-wake-of-receding-west/

https://shakir2.wordpress.com/2015/08/31/should-kenya-ethiopia-be-wary-of-sectariantribal-wars/

SAVE—-ROHINGYA, UGHER, PALESTINIAN AND KASHMIRI MUSLIM FROM STATE-SPONSORED GENOCIDE. RECLAIM—AFRICA— A MUSLIM CONTINENT.   

Shakir2.wordpress.com

What is I’tikaf in Islam? What does one have to do during an I’tikaf?

May 27, 2019
It is the name of “spiritual retreat”. Seclusion for a certain number of days in the mosque, giving up/curtailing worldly affairs while keeping busy in the worship of Allah (SWT).

“Shara’i I’tikaf must be in the mosques because Allah says:: “… while you are in I’tikaf (i.e. confining oneself in a mosque for prayers and invocations leaving the worldly activities) in the mosques” [al-Baqarah 2:187]. “Shaykh Ibn ‘Uthaymeen in Fataawa Noor ‘ala al-Darb (8/176)”

“Undoubtedly I’tikaf in the mosque is an act of worship, and (observing it) in Ramadan is better than at other times. It is prescribed in Ramadan and at other times. [Fiqh al-I’tikaf by Dr. Khaalid al-Mushayqih, p. 41 – Shaykh Ibn Baaz said in Majmoo’ al-Fataawa (15/437)]

One may get out of A’atikaf only for necessities/emergencies. Both men and women may perform I’tikaf in the mosques. It is not limited to the month of Ramadan only. It is sunnah. Its duration may be from the shortest to the longest time. Normally, however, it is for the last 10 nights of the Ramadan.

Al-Shaafa’i and his companions said: Whoever would like to follow the example of the Prophet (peace and blessings of Allah be upon him) in observing I’tikaf during the last ten nights of Ramadan should enter the mosque before the sun sets on the night of the twenty-first, so that he will not miss any of it, and he should come out after the sun sets on the night of Eid, whether the month is twenty-nine days or thirty.

Reed: https://shakir2.wordpress.com/tag/taraweeeh/

https://shakir2.wordpress.com/2019/06/01/are-qiyam-ul-lail-and-taraweeh-the-same-is-it-allowed-to-pray-both-taraweeh-with-vitr-and-qiyam-ul-lail-at-the-last-ten-days-of-ramadan/

shakir2.wordpress.com

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Pakistan’s Oil and Gas Exploration Torpedoed!

May 19, 2019

Image result for pic of Pakistan oil and gas exploration?

Pakistan’s oil and gas exploration has been torpedoed by the alien interests for fear of uncontrollably boosting Pakistan’s strategic, economic military position on top of mega-project CPEC and giving a free pass to its obvious beneficiary China becoming secure and economically efficient with regards to its oil and gas needs; hence becoming more aggressive and pronounced, in its counter-weight super-power posturing.

IndiaBeduin Pentagon and some other countries would have lost a big chunk of their revenues and standing in international as well as regional affairs. Containment of China and clumsily botched regional—the super-power role of India would have been heavily marginalized.

Given the estimations of the discovery of huge quantities, it may, by default, be a boon to, under the heavy regimen of sanctions, Iran and Venezuela.

In its first assessment, the US Agency for International Development (USAID) estimated that Pakistan had massive deposits of 10,159 trillion cubic feet of shale gas and 2.3 trillion barrels of shale oil – figures that were several times higher than those released by the US Energy Information Administration (EIA).

PROLIFIC BLOCKS & GOOD DATA

Chairperson of P.M Imran Khan’s Task Force on energy reforms had rightly boastfully said the blocks for auction were “prolific and … (had) good data”, with interested companies including Saudi Arabia’s Aramco, Exxon Mobil and Russia’s Gazprom.

Only about 4 percent of Pakistan’s landmass has been explored, and the success rate, with one out of three wells making a find, is above the international average, he said. He also said at least three more offshore blocks have also been carved out near where Eni and Exxon are searching for gas.

“We will be auctioning those … probably next year.”

[Given the turn of events, it seems highly improbable that these blocks will be auctioned any time soon]

  • ExxonMobil, along with OGDC, PPL, and Italian energy firm Eni, each holds 25 percent interest in Block G located offshore Pakistan which is operated by Eni Pakistan Limited.
  • The block is located approximately 143 miles (230 kilometers) off the coast of Pakistan in a water depth of about 6,200 feet (1,900 meters).

https://shakir2.wordpress.com/2019/01/24/4th-5the-generation-war-waged-against-pakistan/

Valiant, Assertive Women Flocking to Islam!

May 6, 2019

 

Claire Evans

{female converts finding true feminism in Islam}

The utilitarian but sacralized character of woman, defined in Islam!

Pondering upon the creational imperatives of a woman with an open mind would inevitably make her (Divine-rule/command) utilitarian role stand out. From the Judaic and biblical accounts; carried over Into Islamic literature: Adam knew the names of everything (Adam having been taught the names of all the things, is Confirmed in Q, 2:31). Adam, at times, used to engage in conversation with angels, but they were often busy worshipping God, so Adam felt lonely. Ibn Abbas and a group of companions of the Prophet (PBUH) narrated that when Iblis (Satan) was expelled out of Paradise and Adam was accommodated therein, Adam was lonely as he did not have a partner from whom he could get tranquility. He slept for some time and when he woke up, he saw a woman, whom Allah had created from his ribs. So, he asked her, “Who are you? She replied, “A woman,” He asked: “Why have you been created?” She said; “So that you could find tranquility in me” The angels, trying to find out the extent of his knowledge, asked him: “What is her name O Adam?” He replied, “Eve,” They asked, “Why was she so named?” He replied, “Because she was created; out of me, something living” (Q, 2; 33 & Hadith—present similar narrative).

Reportedly Eve was created from the rib-cage of Adam. She was not created as a separate entity at par with Adam. Qura’an confirms that; human [Adam] was created from one soul; then-out of him–was created his mate; therefrom multiplied them, into the human race.

“It is He who created you from one soul and created from it its mate that he might dwell in security with her. And when he covers her, she carries a light burden and continues therein. And when it becomes heavy, they both invoke Allah, their Lord, “If You should give us a good [child], we will surely be among the grateful.” (Q, 7:189)

Her utilitarian character is accentuated in Surah Ar-Rahman # 8 verses: 54, 56, 58, 60, 70, 72, 74 and 76. Here; what is noteworthy is that; she is presented as a reward for the good conduct of man; praised by Allah, as the rubies and coral; untouched by a man or a gene (emphasizing her purity/chastity)fair ones reserved for him (man) in pavilions, reclining on green cushions and beautiful carpets.

In surah An-naba # 78, verses, 33-34 her contour {appealing to man’s psychological passion} is highlighted as an inducement for man to do good and be rewarded with; {and a full-breasted—and (size of) a full cup–a woman of equal age}. {As a reward from your Lord, a generous gift [made due by] account (of good deeds)}

 

“And among His Signs is this, that He created for you wives from among yourselves, that you may find repose in them” (Q, 30:21) 

Your wives are as a tilth unto you; so, approach your tilth when or how ye will” (Q, 2: 223) {Categorical imperatives}

 

Historically, a woman was considered a chattel, of an unspecified multitude. Islam, however, limited that to only four at any given time. (still preserving her utilitarian character—granting numerical excess over men—to accommodate polygamy).

“Marry women of your choice two or three or four; but if ye fear that ye shall not be able to deal justly (with them) then only one” (Q, 4:3) {prima-facie choice/duty vs actual choice/duty}

 

Here is how this role has been sacralized by Almighty Allah (SWT); by granting her the status of the mother of the Prophets, mothers of the faithful; underneath whose feet lies the paradise. Maryam (Virgin-Mary), the only woman mentioned in the Holy Qura’an, by name with an appellation of “the truthful” [siddiqa]. (Q, 5:75)

The major part of Surah An-Noor is dedicated to the protection and security of the chastity and continence of women. Utmost importance has been attached to the honor and chastity of a believing woman in Islam.

“Those who slander chaste women indiscreet (naive) but believing are cursed in this life and in the Hereafter. For them, there is a grievous Penalty” (Q, 24:23)

The second most venerated woman is Aisha—the youngest wife of the Prophet. She was slandered falsely by a hypocrite but exonerated by Allah (SWT) by revealing 10 verses. (Q, 24: 11-21)

Here is a brief of the heartwrenching story about her grief and exoneration by Allah (SWT). 

Quote: “WAllah, now I do not see an example on the issue between you (prophet) and me, except the one father of Yousuf (Joseph) Yaqoob (Jacob), said after hearing the wrong statement by his sons. “So, Patience is best, and It is Allah whose help is sought against what you describe”

Prophet who was sitting there received the revelation about her exoneration and gave her the good news.

Grief-stricken Aisha, urged by her parents to go to the Prophet, responded: “I do not feel obligated to anyone in this case, except Allah, nor would I get up. I am thankful to my Lord who has exonerated me”

The woman has been elevated in-status by asking her to cover herself and adorn herself only to please her husband. {to save her from the lustful staring, gazing or glancing by the strangers}. Islam is the religion that granted her the right to inheritance and the right to be consulted in daily life matters. Vehemently protecting her from false accusation of adultery/fornication. Portraying as a poetic creature, repeatedly advised men to treat her with compassion and tenderness.

O you who have believed, it is not lawful for you to inherit women by compulsion. And do not make difficulties for them in order to take [back] part of what you gave them unless they commit clear immorality (adultery). And live with them in kindness. For if you dislike them – perhaps you dislike a thing and Allah makes therein much good. But if you want to replace one wife with another and you have given one of them a great amount [in gifts], do not take [back] from it anything. Would you take it committing injustice and manifest sin?” (Q, 4:19, 20)

So when Zayd had no longer any need for her, {When a husband is done with his wife; having no feeling for her, he may divorce her amicably} We married her to you [Prophet] in order that there not be upon the believers any discomfort concerning the wives of their adopted sons when they no longer have need of them {having become disinterested, without feelings/emotions in their relationship}. (Q, 33:37) 

This injunction; granting a concession primarily to man, is an example of purely Divine rule/command utilitarianism. {secondarily, however, a woman may also exercise her right to seek a divorce in similar situation}

“So, with those of whom, you have enjoyed sexual relations, give them their due compensation as an obligation” Q, 4:24)*

 

Note: *From this very verse, Shia’a school derives the validity of the terminal marriage (muta’a), which Sunni schools abhor as forbidden. 

                                                                      

{Shia’a school, seems to be making use of the “Hedonistic utilitarianism”; where the rule-utilitarianism—Sunni school– is collapsing into act-utilitarianism!}

 

Sura An-Nisa’a, contrary to the usual misinterpretation/misunderstanding, secures women’s place; rights to have autonomy and independence, within the family structure. 

 

“O Children of Adam! We have bestowed on you, the raiment to cover your shame as well as to adorn you. But the raiment of righteousness, that is the best. Such are among the Signs of Allah, that they may receive admonition.” (Quran 7:26)

“And say (O Prophet) to the believing women that they should lower their gaze and guard their modesty; that they should not display their beauty and ornaments except what must ordinarily appear thereof; that they should draw their veils over their bosoms and not display their beauty except to their husbands, their fathers, their husbands’ fathers, their sons, their husbands’ sons, their brothers, or their brothers’ sons or their sisters’ sons, or their women or the servants whom their right hands possess, or male servants free of physical needs, or small children who have no sense of the shame of sex, and that they should not strike their feet in order to draw attention to their hidden ornaments. And O you Believers, turn you all together towards Allah, that you may attain Bliss.” (Quran 24:31).

“O Prophet, tell your wives and your daughters and the women of the believers to draw their cloaks close round them (when they go abroad{outside}). That will be better, so that they may be recognized and not annoyed. Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful.” (Quran 33:59)

West has exploited her act-utilitarian character [defying Divine-rule/command] by objectivizing and universalizing it so that she may be trampled and abused with impunity. West also, exploited her overly compassionate and impressionable nature towards her physique. Thus, a naivete-prone, (act-utilitarian), woman worthy of being revered, respected and protected; is misguided/indoctrinated—in the name of gender equality and woman’s emancipation—to commoditize herself to be desecrated willingly.

Valiant, thoughtful and assertive women, therefore, are rebelling against this exploitative indoctrination and flocking to Islam to fit in the natural pecking order. {النظام الطبيعي- alnizam altabiei}; which is reason-basedDivine-rule/command utilitarianism.

[I seek refuge and forgiveness of Allah, for any inadvertent wrongful assertion].

For further reading on the topics about women: https://shakir2.wordpress.com/2018/01/11/a-womans-place-in-islam/

https://shakir2.wordpress.com/2015/06/22/muslim-women-marrying-non-muslim-men/

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Sharia’a Punishments of Islam 

April 3, 2019

The central principle/theme in the application of the hudood punishments is maximizing mercy. This was formulated clearly in a hadith of the Prophet ﷺ that was echoed by the prominent Companions, such as, his wife Aisha and the Caliphs Umar and Ali. The best-attested version states, “Ward off the hudud from the Muslims as much as you all can, and if you find a way out for the person, then let them go. For it is better for the authority to err in mercy than to err in punishment.” Within a century of the Prophet’s death, Muslim scholars had digested this hadith into the crucial legal principle of Ward off the hudud by ambiguities/doubts (shubuhāt)”

In Qura’an there are only four {Hudood} punishments prescribed/enforced by Allah Himself, whereas the rest are left to man (Qazi/Judge) to administer and apply. [penal laws]

1) Theft.

2) False accusation against a chaste woman.

3) Drinking alcohol.

4) Adultery. {Q, 24:2}

NOW AS FOR the man who steals and the woman who steals, cut off the hand of either of them in requital for what they have wrought, as a deterrent ordained by God: 48 for God is almighty, wise. (Q, 5:38)

And to those who accuse chaste women [of adultery], 6  and then are unable to produce four witnesses [in support for their accusation], flog them with eighty stripes; 7  and ever after refuse to accept from them any testimony since it is, they who are truly depraved”- (Q, 24:4)

O You who have attained to faith! Intoxicants, and games of chance, and idolatrous practices, and the divining of the future are but a loathsome evil of Satan’s doing: 105  shun it, then, so that you might attain in a happy state! (Q, 5:90)

Shurb al-Khamr: Though the Qur’an prohibits drinking wine (khamr) and intoxication, the punishment for drinking comes from the Sunna. The most reliable hadiths state that the Prophet ﷺ would have a person lashed 40 times for intoxication, but the caliphs Umar and Ali subsequently increased this to 80 after consultation with other Companions.

“The woman and the man guilty of adultery or fornication flog each of them both with 100 stripes; let not the compassion move you in their case in a matter prescribed by Allah If you believe in Allah and the Last Day; and let a party of believers witnesses their punishment”         (Q, 24:2)

Muslim schools of law have disagreed on whether three other crimes should be included in hudood category as well: public apostasy (ridda), sodomy (liwāṭ) and assassination/premeditated murder for purposes of robbery (ghīla). 

Ḥirāba(Fisad fil Ard—corruption in the land) This crime is understood to be set out in Qura’an for the condemnation of “those who make war on God and His Messenger and seek to spread harm and corruption in the land.” Qura’an declares the harshest punishment–for those who cause chaos/corruption in the land–: crucifixion or amputation of one hand and one opposite foot; of all involved in the group, regardless of the level of participation. (Qur’an 5:33).

It is but a just recompense of those who make war on God and His apostle, 43 and endeavor to spread corruption on earth, that they are being slain in great numbers, or crucified in great numbers, or have, in result of their perverseness, their hands and feet cut off in great numbers, 44  or are being [entirely] banished from [the face of] the earth: such is their ignominy in this world. 45  But in the life to come [yet more] gruesome suffering awaits them.

The first three hudood acts; though willfully committed; may partially be influenced by some circumstantial compulsions; beyond one’s control, such as poverty, suspicion, or depression, etc., adultery is sure an outcome of one’s continual and deliberate flouting of the continence and precepts of morality. Hence, the punishment for it is also the harshest. For those who are unmarried, it is 100 lashes and banishment from society {of the male only} for one year. (hadith) For those who are married,  Rajm– stoning till death. [incontrovertible evidence, proof, such as pregnancy, or confession is pre-requisite].

Punishment has to be meted out without any compassion/leniency towards the culprits and in public for its optimal deterrent effect.

The punishment for adultery was revealed piecemeal; initially, a softer one; wherein repentance was permissible (Q, 4: 15-16).  The adulterous woman was to be confined within the house, deprived of husband’s company in the bed, a necessity of four trustworthy witnesses of the crime and resultant hurt (a light infliction of harm) OR until Allah prescribe a way for them. (Q, 4:15)

Then Surah Al-Noor 24:2 was revealed.

Finally; the 100 lashed and banishment of the unmarried and stoning (Rajm) of the married (Through the Hadith & Sunnah of the Prophet).

NoteIn the beginning; the quantity and type of harm to be inflicted etc. was left to the discretion of the judge.

What is in common about the hudood crimes is that; their punishments have been specified in the Qur’an or Sunna, they are considered to be violations of the rights of God and that; no one—even the king or the ruler– has the right to alter, abate or abolish them.

Note: In Qura’an, adultery is the only crime where a woman has been mentioned before man. In Qura’an, the masculine gender is the main addressee whereas feminine gender is considered included by implication.

A logical reason for mentioning women here first is that; women are overly compassionate and impressionable toward their physique. The evil of adultery is so impudent that; initiation from a woman would be the result of an extremely brazen behavior, for she is endowed with instinctive shyness and protection of her chastity. 

It is worth noticing here that; where the punishment is severe, the conditions about the proof are also tough and the slightest doubt would remit the punishment out of Hudood ambit. A judge then would have the jurisdiction to decide the case under (tazir) penal laws prescribed in Sharia’a/Fiqh.

A false accuser or witness whose evidence has been rejected is liable for the punishment of 80 lashes. (#2 above).

NOTE: If there are four HONEST, EQUITABLE and JUST witnesses not available but less than four, or not willing to testify, the crime can still be reported by the witness (s) to be dealt with by the Judge under penal law; awarding the punishment based on circumstantial imperatives, as he deems fit, in the light of sharia’a/fiqh.

The punishment for false accusation does not fall in the category of “Hadd” as this is the right of the falsely accused. It shall be awarded [80 stripes] only if the accused demands its enforcement. She/He may forgive the accuser or not demand its implementation at all, thereby giving up her/his right.

The accusation of adultery, between Husband and wife, although falling under the doctrine of “Hudood”, has been SPECIFICALLY dealt with under a sub-doctrine of “LIA’AN—CURSE of ALLAH” {where either one of them is unable to neither produce 4 witnesses nor keep quiet}.[Q, 24:6]

The spirit and intent of the Islamic laws are, the compassion and mercy, therefore the benefit of the slightest doubt would go to the accused.

Islamic injunctions are based on pre-emption; therefore, it promulgates the laws to (nip the crime in the bud) stem the crimes before they take place. Women, therefore, are required to cover themselves appropriately, not be ostentatious and thumping while walking. Men are also required to keep their gaze down and not cast an eye on women. Proscription for a man and a woman to be together in the absence of a third person/guardian. One should not enter a house without permission.

Apart from Hudood, there are two more categories under which punishments may be administered in Islam.

Tazir (or ta’zir, Arabic) Penal-Law refers to punishment, usually corporal, that can be administered at the discretion of the judge or the ruler of an Islamic State.

Qisas (equal retaliation) — an alternate of which is “Diya” (Arabic: دية‎; plural diyāt, Arabic: ديات‎), often called blood-money–in Islamic law, is the financial compensation paid to the victim or the heirs of a victim in the cases of murder, bodily harm or property damage.

O you who believe! retaliation is prescribed for you in the matter of the slain; the free for the free, and the slave for the slave, and the female for the female; but if any remission is made to anyone by his (aggrieved) brother (relatives), then (the demand for the bloodwit) should be made according to usage, and payment should be made to him in a good man­ner; this is an alleviation from your Lord and a mercy; so whoever exceeds the limit after this, he shall have a painful chastisement” (Q,2:178).

“And there is life for you in the retali­ation, O men of understanding, that you may guard your-selves (against evil)” (Q, 2:179).

LIFE FOR LIFE/QISAS

Murder is not a crime that takes place at the hands of sound individuals; surely the murderer suffers from some psychological disorder (sickness/disease). We witness and understand that for the purpose of protecting a body, the diseased part of that body is amputated. Therefore, eliminating such blood-shedding individuals from society is akin to severing a harmful limb to safeguard the life and the society at large.

NOTE:

Western canon law was influenced/shaped a great deal by Islamic law (sharia’a), just as the Western philosophy and science were profoundly shaped by Muslim scholars from the tenth to the thirteenth centuries.

https://shakir2.wordpress.com/2017/09/01/which-morality-modern-or-virtuous-is-right/

https://shakir2.wordpress.com/2014/05/10/disjunctive-sequel-2/

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