Delhi gang-rape Case – a temporary outburst of collective outrage or an opportunity for empathetic social reform and effective deterrents: A Call for the Muslim Ummah to Respond

A recent gruesome incident of rape and torture of a 23 year old girl in the nation’s capital – New Delhi has agitated the minds of people all over the Indian Sub-continent. Such a ghastly inhuman act has naturally generated a sense of utmost disbelief & dismay throughout the country. My heart trembles with anguish at the very thought of the extreme physical suffering & emotional trauma that she would have suffered. I extend my heartfelt solidarity & empathy towards her family members in this time of overwhelming grief.

The cold-hearted justification of the crime, peddled in some sections of the society can never be a plausible excuse to perpetuate such cruelty. Although pervasive immorality & unrestrained intermingling of the genders certainly does contribute towards the degeneration of the society, yet debased acts of leering or assaulting are unequivocally beyond the pale of justification. Moreover, this horrific episode has once again brought to light the widespread moral depravity in the contemporary world.

Heinous crimes of this nature invariably trigger public protests – and rightly so – demanding tangible solutions from the powers that be. It is an obvious response from the youth towards the inefficiency of authorities in eliminating the horrific crime and brining the culprits to justice. I support and agree with their expression of dismay, and support their demand of “Death penalty” to the criminals of this incident and who so ever does it again.

There is a palpable sense of resentment towards the prevailing system of criminal justice & an ardent desire in the civil society to bring about constructive social reform and implement effective deterrents. I would try to bring an attention to a point that, this demand of death to this crime was prescribed by the Prophet of Mercy 1500 years ago to safe guard the chastity of women folk. The demand of youth is the command of ISLAM.  And ISLAM prescribes beyond that, to establish a peaceful atmosphere.

However, I am apprehensive that the temporary outbursts of collective outrage will soon peter out with the passage of time. The clichéd press statements from celebrities, politicians and law enforcement agencies will run their usual course. The animated television debates & heated discussions by common people amongst themselves will soon fade from public memory. The candle light marches & the heightened sense of social responsibility will soon dissipate. Until, yet another tragedy of this nature strikes an unsuspecting daughter of ours. How many more of our daughters & sisters need to sacrifice their lives before the Muslim Ummah stands up and responds, on behalf of the beleaguered humanity which is plagued with such problems? If such shocking cases of brutality will not stir from their passive stupor, the followers of the Prophet Muhammad (s.a.w.), who was sent as a mercy to mankind – then what will?

It is a matter of shame if the flag bearers of his noble message of universal peace do not attempt to disseminate & demonstrate the divinely ordained regulations to eradicate the social evils of rampant promiscuity & intoxication which invariably are the root causes of such wretched perversions. This tragic case is no exception.

Every human on this face of earth has a right to live with peace and tranquillity. And the creator has provided with all the possible means & ways to preserve the well being of societies. When the societies face threats, brutality and such incidents are common, it is a sign of a presence of dangerous evils, and effects of which lead to this incident. People of serious concerns should concentrate on the various grounds that lead to this shameful situation. The Book of ALLAH prescribes every detail of these aspects.

The compulsion of ISLAM is not commanded by ALLAH, but ALLAH addresses the humanity with utmost love. HE says, “Oh you Human Beings, what has deceived you from your LORD, the most Beneficent”.  ALLAH is the creator and the Lord of not only Muslims but also the entire humanity. The Prophet of Love and Mercy was not only sent to Muslims of Arab. But He was a mercy for all the worlds.

A few thousand companions of the Prophet (s.a.w.) brought about unprecedented social revolutions, implemented effective deterrents & established equitable societies in distant lands. It is ironic that more than 200 hundred million Muslims cannot, in our own country, appropriately highlight Islam’s humane & effective measures as a credible alternative to safeguard the honour of half of mankind. It is a travesty of gigantic proportions that we are supposedly the upholders of the legacy of our remarkable ancestors who went to the extent of immediately sending an army because one woman was molested thousands of miles away. 

I hope and pray that the social churning displayed by the demonstrations all across the country translates into tangible reform instead of mere lip service. Besides, I also earnestly implore Allah to give the parents of this daughter of ours, the strength to bear the devastating sorrow. And I also pray that my voice can reach the authoritative people as a call to study and adopt the humanitarian principles prescribed in the Book of humanity & Guidance i.e the Noble Quran.

Sajjad Nomani

The attack on Malala Yusufzai: A prudent approach in times of trial and turmoil

The recent incident of an assassination attempt of a 14 year old girl and activist for girls education Malala Yusufzai by the militants reported in the worldwide media deserves an unequivocal & categorical condemnation from all quarters of civilized society. Such utterly unIslamic acts of intolerance and oppression have absolutely no place in Islam whatsoever.

Today Islam is at such a crossroad that it is caught between its immature and imprudent friends and its scheming and cunning adversaries who leave no stone unturned in their fervour to malign it. We live in an age wherein sensationalised propaganda and prejudiced yellow journalism is the norm. Inspite of the generally accepted unreliability of the media such inhuman brutality stands condemned in the strongest possible terms by the overwhelming majority of the Islamic scholars.  It is imperative that the Islamic scholarship across the world should unanimously and immediately come forward to publicly denounce this tyrannical act apparently perpetuated by an extremely miniscule fringe of misguided zealots who tarnish the fair name of Islam.

By the statements given by the Tehreek-e-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) spokesperson to justify the attack it seems very much likely that the girl in question due to her neo-colonial indoctrination was a votary of western styled materialistic education & cultural corruption. Yet, even if we assume that she was a promoter of moral turpitude such spiteful misdemeanour is totally incompatible with the peaceful & egalitarian teachings of Islam and can never be Islamically sanctioned by any stretch of the imagination.

Our beloved Prophet Muhammad (may peace be upon him) set innumerable examples of forgiveness, tolerance, moderation & forbearance even with the staunchest opponents of Islam. It would be interesting to know as to how many times did the concerned TTP attempt to reason with her parents and counsel her in a compassionate & wise manner. Moreover, it is quite ironic that some of the supposed flag-bearers of the cause of Islam have forgotten the fundamental aspect of earnestly beseeching divine intervention to transform her heart and mind. Taking such drastic offensive steps is simply playing into the hands of the satanic forces that are determined to deride Islam. Hence such a reckless & vindictive approach is irreconcilable with the peaceful and authentic teachings of Islam.

May the Islamic scholarship of Pakistan, authorities of the Islamic seminaries, religious organizations, and the elites unanimously and immediately come forward to deal with this issue with courage and wisdom.

I sincerely pray for the complete and speedy recovery of this daughter of ours from the physical harm inflicted upon her and ardently beseech Allah to keep her safe from the deceitful manipulations of her pseudo-sympathisers who harbour ulterior motives. I also earnestly implore Allah to heal her heart from any feelings of vendetta as well as cure her of the alien ideological & cultural influences that have captivated her mind.

Sajjad Nomani