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Preaching extremism on the rise in Chitral — 86 Comments

  1. Wow, nice debate was on and I unlucky could not come on time. Mr. Danish has made nice effort to put some bitter issue in front of us. Really, a good attempt from him to discourage such mindset which always puts our Chitral in the back line by the clerics. Related authorities should be careful of these environment exploiters who always fill haltered in the innocent minds of Chitralis. In the main town Chitral, loudspeakers should be used for the fruitful tasks instead of spreading hatred.

    Commenting on posts more than six months old are automatically closed.–Editor

  2. I appreciate the writer for putting such an important issue which threatens the peace and solidarity of Chitral into our knowledge. But I would like to add a few things. Someone has written above that the West(USA) is aiming to destroy the Muslims wherever they live. Well,yeah statistics show that USA has always been attacking the Muslim World. But one should know that the reason behind this has not been religious at all but WE are taking it as religious, and our response is religiously motivated one. The reasons have always been socio-political ones.They attacked Iraq because they wanted to take control of the oil reserves and there is the same socio-political motive behind attacking other countries. I am saying this because if our response to USA is a religious one, we might get up listening to the Mullas, thus end up being extremists ourselves.

  3. This whole discussion is reminding me the example of paradigm shift mentioned by Stephen Covey in his famous book “7 habits of highly effective people”.
    where in a classroom two groups were asked to see or rather observe, a picture each, for 15 to 20 seconds. One of the pictures was that of a charming lady and the other was that of an old woman. Then a third picture was shown to the class collectively, this was a combination of both the early pics.
    The students were asked to comment on this third picture.
    Both the groups were on opposite extremes with contrasting comments, trying to prove each other wrong and doubting each other’s observation skills. But when they were told the other side of the story, they realized that there was another point of view as well. From that point the other group was right.
    We human beings face this biggest problem; we see the world not as it is, but as we are, or as we are conditioned to see it. We never try to see from others position, and hence always consider others wrong or disloyal.
    I would love to appreciate all the learned people who commented on this serious issue. No doubt they are all sincere from their point of view, as they were looking at different pictures.
    Now I would like to explain both pictures briefly:
    YES, Ulema have tremendous services for Islam. They have been sincere servants of Islam for over the years through thick and thin. With their devotion they somehow managed to keep Islamic values alive through the high times of post-independence war 1857.
    They were infused with irresistible desire to acquire knowledge which equipped them with moral character, spiritual insight, and excellence.
    Even today people likes of Moulana Tariq Jameel, Moulana Zulfiqar Ahmad Naqshbandi, Moulana Masood Azhar, Moulana Taqqi Usmani, Moulana Muhammad Aslam Shekhopoori (recently martyred in Karachi, his columns are available on http://www.darsequran.com.) and many others are devoted souls, who are trying to remove differences among Muslims. Their sincerity is giving them huge acceptance among Muslims all over the world.
    But, as always, there is another side of the story. this is a bitter truth that, going for religious education is the last option for most of the students, rather it is imposed by their family; those students who can’t complete their schooling, can’t learn any technical skill, their rudeness and arrogance is a source of distress for their family are being gotten rid of , by being send to Karachi, Lahore or Peshawar. Seminaries provide them every facility plus freedom. when these irrational souls somehow manage to complete their course and return with out moral character, spiritual insight and excellence, they behave like a bull in a china shop.
    We must confess that they are not a few, even if they are a few they a risk for our peace. we must call a spade a spade. we don’t have to defend them, because if they deserve our defense they will never require it, and if they don’t deserve it will not help them.

    Samiullah Saadi, Jughoor

    • Dear Samiullah, the way you expressed it, plus the concept of ‘paradigm shift’ was really interesting. Let me share another concept that is ‘model-dependent realism’. This approach is explained in a bestseller book “The Grand Design” by Stephen Hawking and Leonard Mlodinow.
      “The idea of model-dependent realism is that we build mental pictures, or models, of how the world works, and we interpret the world through those models. We don’t have direct access to the world as it actually is, only to the world as it is filtered through our model.”

  4. “The language we use to communicate with one another is like a knife. In the hands of a careful and skilled surgeon, a knife can work to do great good. But in the hands of a careless or ignorant person, a knife can cause great harm. Exactly as it is with our words.”

  5. My humble request to the respected editor, please close this topic and start any new topic with positive approach.
    Best regards,
    Saira Syed

  6. Saeed ul Abrar has written rational, argumentative and logical comments. He has reproduced whatever the authoritative exegeses of Holy Quran as evidence for his thesis. If you believe it that is ok otherwise you should produce such proof from the Holy Quran. The Holy Quran itself says that Allah has made it easy to understand for anyone who seeks guidance. Instead of being angry you should put forward your own point of view according to the Holy Quran and Sunnah. It’s the duty of everyone to seek direct guidance from the Holy Quran. If he can study English literature why can’t he study the Holy Quran and seek guidance from it.

    Wajih Uddin

  7. Many of the commentators on this sensitive topic have emerged as self-proclaimed scholars. The way they argue, based on mere gossips, is not a healthy debate at all. This trend must be stopped because a person who has no command over a subject, particularly religion, can even mislead the people.
    If someone who has a master’s degree in English literature or any other subject starts portraying himself as an all-rounder, he will certainly spoil the matter.
    We people do not hesitate to blame a mullah but the way some so-called scholars have started interpreting the religion, it is also not different from a “semi-literate Waiz or a Nimcha-mullah”.
    I do not know what these pseudo-scholars want to prove. On the one hand they blame the mullah for everything, declaring him illiterate, ignorant etc., and on the other they themselves play the role of the mullah.
    The interpretation of the holy Quran and Hadith by all and sundry is dangerous as it may create more controversies. Everyone is free to express their opinions but they should avoid cut-pasting the verses from the holy Quran and Hadith. This may come under plagiarism which is a crime now.

  8. No one is disrespecting the scholars – neither the writer nor the people who commented on the topic. We are just talking about the evil elements who are trying to hijack the true teachings of Islam. Even our Prophet (peace be upon him) has warned us about such evil people. There are hundreds of Hadiths where our Prophet (PBUH) has warned us against such evil people but let me share with you a few of them. It is reported in Mishkat from Hazrat Abu Said Khudri (RA) that, ‘Once we were in the presence and company of Prophet (SAWS). He was distributing booties (spoils of war) when a person named Zul-Khawaisara, who was from the tribe of Banu Tamim, addressed the Prophet (SAWS): ‘Oh Muhammad Be Just!’. The Prophet (SAWS) replied: ‘A Great pity that you have doubts; if I am unjust then who will be just; you are a loser and a failure’. Zul-Khawaisara’s attitude infuriated Hazrat Umar (RA) and he pleaded with the Prophet (PBUH) to permit him to slay Zul-Khawaisara. The Prophet remarked: “Leave him, as his slaying will serve no good purpose, as he is not the only individual but there are a host of others like him and if you compare their prayers and fasting to that of yours, you yourself will feel ashamed. These are the people who will recite the Quran but it will not go beyond their throats, with all these apparent virtues they will leave the fold of Deen just like the arrow leaves the bow.” (Miskhat, P. 535)
    Shareekh Ibn Shihab (RA) has stated that Prophet (PBUH) said “Nearing Qiyamah there will be a group of people who will recite the Holy Quran but it will not go below their throats. They will leave the true religion of Islam as fast as an arrow leaves the bow. They will be recognized by the shavings of their entire head and they will move in groups and their last group will emerge with Dajjal. When you meet them you will discover their nature and character, the worst of its kind.” (Mishkat p. 309).    
    Hazrat Abu Saeed Khudri (RU) and Hazrat Anas (RU) report that the Prophet (SAWS) stated: “My Ummah is destined to differ and be divided. So a group will rise whose talks will sound very good but their character will be misleading. They will read the Quran but it will not descend below their throats (meaning they will not understand its meanings). They will leave Deen just as an arrow pierces and goes right through the prey. They will not return to Islam. They are the worst of creation because of their nature and constitution. They will call the people towards the Quran and Deen whilst in reality they will have nothing to do with Islam. Whoever will confront them, he will be the most beloved servant of Allah. The Sahaba inquired: “Ya Rasoolullah, (SAWS) what is their sign?” He replied: “Sitting in  Halqa (circle). (Mishkat, p. 308).
    Sahih Al-Bukhari Hadith 6.578 narrated by Abu Said Al Khudri:
    “I heard Allah’s messenger (PBUH) saying: ‘There will appear some people among you whose prayer will make you look down upon yours, and whose fasting will make you look down upon yours, but they will recite the Quran which will not exceed their throats (they will not act on it) and they will go out of Islam as an arrow goes out through the game whereupon the archer would examine the arrowhead but see nothing, and look at the un-feathered arrow but see nothing, and look at the arrow feathers but see nothing, and finally he suspects to find something in the lower part of the arrow!”

  9. In the Name of ALLAH the Almighty. Islam is the religion of peace and love. From the days of ADAM, (the first man and the father of humanity) to this day, Prophets, Saints and Seers, Philosophers and social reformers have tried hard to inculcate the concept of universal brotherhood among mankind as they feel that this is the only way to bring about world peace. How far they have been successful in their own time, history will prove!
    The discussion initiated by Mr. Zahoor ul Haq Danish has really granted us a good opportunity to think and speak about the unbelievable religious intolerance in our country.
    Pakistan is a country where quality education is rare; people are used to blind following and there is a great dearth of awareness among people about misuse of religion. It is the need of the hour that as an individual and as well as a society we shall raise awareness among people against such propagandas and for the welfare of our country by using all possible means. We need to claim back the Jinnah’s Pakistan which endorses tolerance, peace, love and equality rather than a country plagued by intolerance, hatred, sectarianism and fanatic mentality indoctrinated by those who have already hijacked the ideal state of Pakistan and camouflaged themselves as religious shepherd.
    Today there are many known and unknown forces from inside and outsides who are very active in carrying out their own agendas. These forces are taking advantage of our most weak point (religious intolerance) and spreading hatred; violence on the base of sect, race, language and others. Their main aim is to destabilize Pakistan and damage the real image of Islam. These forces sometimes are getting success in their missions due to our ignorance and disunity. As a result, life is becoming miserable in many parts of our country.
    Chitral has luckily remained one of the most peaceful areas of Pakistan. People from the valley are being respected in other parts of the countr for their polite and peace loving nature. There are best examples about our hospitality, dignity, honesty, and harmony and crime free region.
    For those who dislike criticism on extremist elements, I only can request them please just once think about how a single stick of match can be the cause of fire that destroys the whole building in minutes. In this way, how a physically weak guy can hijack a whole airplane. The same way any single extremist or terrorist sometimes can destroy the whole society. So we cannot ignore such burning issues anyway. We already have good experienceof the situation in our neighboring areas. We must come forward for timely stopping them, at least in the best interest of our new generation; there is good idiom in Urdu “Elaaj se perheiz behtar hota hy”.
    Being a Chitrali, this is our collective duty to maintain and guard our dignity and God forbid if we failed to maintain our image then we will have nothing to be proud of in future.
    There are so many lovely Verses from the Qur’an referring to Islam as the religion of peace, love and brotherhood: “You who believe! Enter peace (Islam) totally. Do not follow in the footsteps of satan. He is an outright enemy to you.” (Surat al-Baqara, 208)
    Allah calls to the Abode of Peace and He guides whom He wills to a straight path…. (Surah Yunus, 25)
    … If someone kills another person—unless it is in retaliation for someone else or for causing corruption in the earth—it is as if he had murdered all mankind. … (Surat al-Maida, 32)
    The believers are brothers, so make peace between your brothers and fear Allah so that hopefully you will gain mercy. (Surat al-Hujurat, 10)
    If one is a leader or religious scholar, one learns true qualities of leadership from the Prophet’s (P.B.U.H) Seerah, in terms of how the Prophet (S) was just; how he united the Muslims; how he (S) dealt with subversive elements of society, namely the hypocrites, who were headed by ‘Abdullah ibn Ubai ibn Salool; and how he (S) constantly strove for the betterment of the Muslim nation.
    There is a famous Hadith narrated by Imam Bukhari and Imam Muslim:”A true Muslim is the one from whose tongue and hand other Muslims stay safe.”
    Though I am not a religious scholar but being a student, a Chitrari; the follower of Islam, I have especial message to those who always dream to be champion of Islam: convert the whole world into their choice of sect by gun power. The Allah Almighty never allowed to anyone for this mission. Proof from the Qur’an.
    There is not a single verse in the Qur’an which says to harm another person because of their not being a Muslim. On the contrary, there are several verses which talk about respecting non-Muslims.
    To further clarify the matter about forced conversion to Islam, let’s look at this verse:
    “There is no compulsion in religion…” (Qur’an, 2:256)
    I hope all of your support to promote the true Islamic harmony and religious tolerance, strongly oppose all those satanic forces in their missions and avoid hatred, disunity and propaganda in our peaceful region. Please spread this message among all our friends, brothers and sisters to keep Chitrari spirit up.
    Let us pray and try our best for this end so that we can live like brothers and sisters in this Universe and as human beings and let not our deeds degenerate us lower than the state of animals. We might not have seen a lion killing a lion, a dog killing a dog, a cat killing a cat for its ends, but alas man takes pleasure in sucking the blood of his own brothers for no fault of theirs. Is it not shameful??? May Almighty guide us in the right path; the path that pleases HIM, the path that elevated mankind and gets the Blessings and Mercies of his Lord. (Aameen)!!!

    Saira Syed

  10. My 85-year old illiterate grandmother – a wonderful rotten Ismaili – regularly recites the holy Quran. Once I asked her is it of any use to recite the holy Quran without understanding it.
    She quickly responded: “So what if I do not understand what it says…just look at the mullah, same is the case with him.” Believe me, I kissed her beautiful hands and walked away speechless?
    The crux of the story is that Saeedul Abrar – a ruthless henchman of the mullah – should stop interpreting the Holy Quran in his own typical style. It is not English literature, which you can interpret the way you like.

    • Dear Ahmad, Abrar has not given his interpretation and opinion he has made factual statements. He has command over Arbic and Persian literatures in addition to English that you have mentioned. I just want to make it clear that he is not a henchman of the mullah but a torchbearer of truth. And finally, if you want to continue reciting the Quran without understating it, this is a good justification that the mulla do so.

      • @Alamgir: The thing which needs to be clarified here is that we do not believe in reciting the holy Quran without understanding its spirit. If you are reciting it just for the sake of “Sawab”, you must not start its interpretation based on mere gossips or after listening to the sermons of a mullah. This is what Mr Ahmad has tried to explain to your respected sir, who, in my opinion, should try to understand the real meaning of the Quran instead of just reciting or learning it by heart. I am sure you are clear and my advise to you is that do put question to your teacher and I am dead sure he will not be able to give you a satisfactory answer.

        • Dear Afzal. I fully agree with you that Quran is the source of guidnce and not just for “sawab” or learning by heart. I also agree that we should understand its messege rationaly and logicaly and not by blindly following mulla or ANY other selfprclaimed religous leader. Neither Mirbaiz Khan nor Mr. Ahmad had given any arguments and used some harsh words which is not sensible when we are discusing extreemisum. And finnaly the questions raised by Mirbiaz Khan have been clearly answered. If you put any other question to him I am dead sure you will also get satsfactory answer.

  11. My comments o Mr. Zuhoor letter was not supposed to arouse a religious controversy. As numerous comments had brought the whole religious scholars under fire on account of the few misguided individuals. I had endeavored to pen down my observations about the positive role of our religious scholars. Having borrowed the word “priesthood” used by one of the commentators, I had pointed out that priesthood is institutionalized in Christianity along with the doctrinal principles of man’s original sin, crucifixion of Jesus Christ for the recompense of his followers, their confessions to the clergy resulting in the absolving of the souls. Such priesthood has no room in Islam as every individual will have to carry his burden of deeds. No prophet, no saint, no religious leader will stand before Allah and man as a mediator or intercessor to recompense for the sins of his followers in the hereafter. The former sentence is the translation of the verse of the Holy Quran Sura Banni Israel verse 15. In the preceding verse 14 it is written that the books of deeds of every individual will be hung round his neck and asked to read his own account of actions. The latter was the translation of a verse 48 from Surah-e-Baqara.
    “That there will be no compensation, neither trading nor any help from others”.
    One of the commentators, Mr. Mir Baiz Khan, took this as a moot point with interrogative argument “who were all the Prophets and messenger whom God chosen to convey His message if they were not intermediary between Him and the rest of humanity and why had Allah chosen Muhammad (S.A.W) as Mustafa? Why Allah has introduced the concept of intercession if it was irrelevant? Who are those whom He has granted permission and whose word is acceptable to Him.” Similarly, he has used the word “waseelah” the means of approach on to Allah as an argument in this connection.
    I will cite the verse 34 Surrah-e- Abasa which says that man will run away from nearest of relatives like brothers, mother, father, husband, wife and friend on that day of Judgment. Similarly, the verse 68, in Surrah-e- Ahzab, clarifies that when hosts of men damned for eternal punishment will come up with their leader saying that their leaders had misguided them therefore there should be double punishment for them. In another verse Allah will decree, both of you will have the double punishment. These are the literal translation of the few verses of the Holy Quran. In the commentaries of Tafseer-e- Haqani, Tafseer-e-Usmani, Tadabbur ul Quran, Anwar ul Quran , Maaref-e-Quran , Tafseer-e-Majidi , Fee-zelalul Quran, Tafheem ul Quran and the noble Quran by Abdullah Yousuf Ali, all have elaborated on the concept of intercession. According to the learned interpreters, the Jews believed in their original virtue of being chosen people. On this basis they said that they would not be tormented to eternal fire. Similarly, the Christians having the conviction of the original sin of man, believed that Jesus Christ would recompense for the sins of the believers as he had accepted crucifixion for the redemption of his followers. The cited verse of Holy Quraan by Mir Baiz Khan has the contextual background in which Jews, Christians and followers of Muhammad (S.A.W) have been admonished that as Muhammad (S.A.W) has been sent with divine guidance as true model to humanity to show them the practical course of salvation in this world and the hereafter. Therefore everyone is responsible and accountable before Allah, for his belief and actions. On the day of judgment no Prophet, no saint, no religious leaders will intercede for the sins of human beings as the sovereign power of decision will rest with Allah and whom so ever He would want to save from the eternal torment according to His will and Justice system, He would honor his chosen Prophets and pious bondmen to come forward as intercessors. If prophets saints and religious leader could recompense for the sins of followers what would be the purpose of man’s trial and probation on this earth? What would be the end result of the actions of the virtuous and the evil-doers? The verse, means of approach, “Waseela” according to the learned commentators is the Holy Quran which has been termed with different names like Ziker, huda Furqaan Habl-ullah etc. This means of approach will guide humanity towards the true path till life exists if any one seeks it as a means to approach Allah. I had written authoritatively on the basis of the readings of the above mentioned commentaries of the Holy Quran.
    Moreover, I must state that Allama Muhammad Iqbal was deadly against the lethargic, inert and parasitic sufi who fattened on the labours of his followers and did not incite them to strive towards lofty goal of emancipating his followers. His poem with the name of BAGHI MUREED is self-explanatory. The Persian verse,further endorse my understanding,
    “In the blissful spell of purifying ones soul, a sufi must strengthen himself by having constant contact with Allah, when spiritual purification is accomplished, he must strike against the power of tyranny.”
    As we should agree to disagree, our point of view about the given concepts may differ but argumentative and logical explanation must be respected. Such kind of dialogs instead of widening the gap will bridge the distances. Therefore we should see into these important doctrinal issues with clear conscience and intellectual honesty.

    Saeed ul Abrar
    Moughlandeh, Chitral

  12. Religion is the binding instrument and being Muslims we should not fall in ethnic, linguistic and cultural issues. We should cooperate with each other leaving everything behind whether we are Sunnis or Shias. Chitral and Gilgit-Baltistan are the paradise on earth. Peace in these areas should be maintained at every cost. We should create harmony and integrity among ourselves. No one should indulge in targeting each other and we should work together to attain our goals. I love Chitral and Gilgit and love every peace-loving person whether Sunni or Ismaili.

  13. Your religion is for you and my religion for me (109:6). Saira selected the appropriate verse from the Holly Quran and very apropriate to the context. The mullahs have always acted like contractors of Islam but why they don’t act upon on such lucid message as the our Holly Quran conveys. These mullahs not only targeted the particular sect in Chitral, I had read in a magazine, which published from karachi namely Takbeer, that propagates ridiculous lies and imposes Fatwas about most of the sects. A few months back I also read a writer in one of the Gilgit web page who was defending the allegations raised by this so-called magazine that Ismaili community is involved in the violence in Gilgit-Baltistan between Shias and Sunis.

  14. Very emotional article and I do not agree with the writer. Molvi sahiban are doing very great job for peace and harmony in Chitral. You should not interpolate the mistake of only one person on all others.
    Being a Muslim you should not use such bad words for the religious scholars. It is not good.

  15. I fully agree with the point of brother Saeed ul Abrar that we must pay respect to those religious scholars who are preaching the true spirit of Islam and promoting harmony and brotherhood between communities.
    I also agree with brother Danish’s concern about extremist elements who are trying to spread hate in our paradise valley. We cannot close our eyes from these realities and what is going on in various parts of our country where the situation is getting worst day by day due to these dangerous elements.
    We must understand the difference between real Islamic scholars and Mulas. If still we are confused about, then there are clear directions and examples in Islam:
    Allah epitomizes religious tolerance in Quran in a nutshell: “Lakum deenukum wa liya deen: Your religion is for you and my religion for me (109:6).” This need to be adopted worldwide as a slogan. There need be no restraints on preaching of the faith by appealing to reason. Holy Quran says: “Call unto the way of thy Lord with wisdom and fair exhortation, and reason with them in the better way.” (16:125).
    Allah ordained religious freedom and tolerance and His Prophet (PBUH) implemented and preached it. Allah tells the believers: Do not insult what they call gods that are other than Allah. Prophet Muhammad (PBUH) promised the Christians of Najran not to harm their crosses or idols. He even allowed Christian delegates from Najran to pray in his mosque at Al Medina.
    Now we can easily understand who is the real religious scholar or “neem mula khatra-e-imaan”.

  16. Dr.Kasturi is currently Defence Editor with the Deccan Herald newspaper. He has been a visiting fellow at the Stimson Center and is a former editor of the Indian Defence Review. The following excepts are taken from an article by Dr Kasturi published in http://www.bharat-rakshak.com/MONITOR/ISSUE2-3/kasturi.html.

    “The earliest sectarian clashes occurred in Chitral in 1981 when a mob led by Maulana Ubaidullah stormed a hostel run by the Aga Khan Foundation. A year later, Sunni-Shia clashes occurred in the area. The Shias organized themselves under the Tehrik-e-Nifaz-e-Fiqah-e-Jaffariya (TNFJ). The Ismailis and Noor Bakshis, though followers of the Fiqah-e-Jaffariya, were not accepted into the fold of the former party. The two groups did however play a balancing role in the area. The Aga Khan Foundation has been a premier institution working for socio-economic development in the region. The Aga Khan is reported to have commissioned a in-depth study of the region. The study says poverty and economic deprivation have made the area a breeding ground for sectarian militancy.The study also pointed to dangers that Ismailis faced in the Chitral region. According to one Pakistani writer in Chitral alone, about 10% Ismailis converted to sunnism, either out of financial motives or to save their lives or escape the pressure of the social boycott imposed on them by Maulana Ubaidullah’s fatwa.”

  17. The discussion initiated by Mr. Zahoor ul Haq Danish has really granted us a license to characterize the Mulla according to our perceptions which is a fanciful topic especially for the westernized liberals. Mulla appears to them to be a maverick creature, that nature has suffered to breathe on the world of civilized men. Western literature starting from Chaucer is replete with the denunciation of the clergy because of the negative role of priesthood institutionalized in Christianity. To quote Chaucer “If gold rusts what shall iron do”. Similarly, Morlove makes fun of pope and priests in his epoch making drama Dr. Faustus. The clergy class of the Jews and Christians have been rebuked in the Holy Quran with the name of Ahbaar and Ruhbaan for associating themselves in authority with Allah. In Islam, there is no room for priesthood as every individual will have to carry his burden of deeds. No prophet, no saint, no religious leader can stand before Allah and man as a mediator or intercessor to recompense for the sins of their followers. According to the Holy Quran Allah is nearer to man than his jugular vein and man can have a direct spiritual contact with his creator every time. Therefore, everyone as a vicegerent of Allah is responsible according to his ability and knowledge and has to play his duty for the moral, spiritual, economical, and educational well-being of the society.
    Like all sensitive individuals, I also detest the obscurantist Mullah but at the same time every human being who forsakes his soul and abandons his reason falls from high moral ground of humanity to the lowest pit of beastly life. But exceptions do not make the rule. All cannot be termed obnoxious. Few should bear the brunt of general hatred. Mullahs representing the religious scholars are not the chip of the same block. Few of them do carry the blame but their majority play constructive role in the moral education of the society.
    I have learned the holy Quraan with translation from the Mulanas of my village. My children and nephews are doing the same. A long-lasting family feud which could have broken my family was resolved by the instrumental role of Maulanas like Maulana Habibullah, Maulana Khaliquz Zaman, Maulana Hafizullah. People listening to sermons of Mualana Ismail are seen to abstain themselves from sins. We see that bereaved families are consoled by the sermons of the religious scholars. Delinquent souls adopt piety by their admonitions. Black-marketers give up their illegal business. Young addicts of my own village abandoned using drugs on the instigation of Maulana Jamsheed’s sermons. In Chitral town, before noon prayers every day people throng to listen to the Quranic sermons of Maulana Sher Aziz, Maulana Hussain Ahmad, Maulana Mumtaz etc.
    Even historically no one can deny the positive role played by late religious scholars like Maulana Mustajab of Ayun, Qazi of Mastuj, Qazi of Moroi, Qazi of Kari, Maulana Noor Shah Din, Maulana Shahabuddin, Qazi Nizam, Mufti Azam Abdu Dayyan, Maulana Abdur Raheem etc., only to mention a few. No one has heard such scholars spewing hatred against any sect. They have helped in extinguishing the sectarian fire of 1982 and 1998. Few exceptions in the present time if play negative role in the society, the fault lies in our class based, parallel education system. It is the responsibility of the state to provide uniform, productive education freely to all its citizen in line with the ideological and national objectives but the irony is that the elites have their own educational system with their own curriculum. The middle class send their children to the public schools according to their own means and affordability. The rest either go to the government schools or to the religious seminaries. More than ten lac students are given free of cost religious education in the privately sponsored Madrassas. To quote the ex-president Gen(R). Musharraf “They make the largest NGO of the country to be sponsored by private individuals. Our whole educational needs overhauling but those at helms care a fig about it. The fruit we reap in the form of societal chaos in our country. Our products are of diverse nature. The so-called westernized liberal hailing from the elite and taking the rein of the government have wrought havoc with the administrative machinery of homeland for the last sixty five years. The confused middle class is a mixture of contrasts, as compliant citizen can only lament the sorry state of affairs. The major bulk of our population fight the battle of daily bread and daily butter driven by the insensitive elite. The media and other sources of education are again in the hands of commercial oriented and politically driven tycoons. The masses of the villages have to give an audience to the religious scholars for the salvation of their restless souls. In the context of Chitral excluding a few Mullas, the religious scholars communicate the message of Islam, according to the level of their understanding. They certainly admonish the people to be God fearing, to execute justice, to be charitable, to be tolerant, kind, affectionate and to abstain from all kinds of social evils like corruption, embezzlement, cruelty, prejudice etc. It is wrong to say that they do not talk about social evils because last Ramzan in most of the Musajeed of Chitral bazar they even told the shopkeepers that their prayers would avail them nothing and eternal punishment of Allah could not be thwarted unless they gave up hoarding and transitional deceit. But if it fell on deaf ears it is not their fault . Thus in our society the religious scholars have a vital role to play in the moral education of the masses. Most of them do it to the best of their level. Few belonging to blacklist organization and graduating from extremist seminaries may try to plague the environment with their schismatic views but in our peaceful district such Mullas are spotted and spurned by the public therefore the majority cannot be blamed for the sins of few black sheep.
    In spite of accusing the religious scholars we should see into our own selves as how much we are striving to understand the message of Holy Quraan, to act upon its injunction, to convey its universal message to other and to implement its principles of truth and justice. if the educated class come forward with the true message of the Holy Quran and sunnah, the menace of societal disintegration can be halted and social evils can be nipped for good. On the other hand if we pick holes the gap will get widened by the obscurantist few. Let us focus our center of influence rather than focusing our center of concerns.

    Gr tu me Khawhi muslman zeestan
    Neest mumkin Juz ba Quraan zeestun (Iqbal)

    Saeed ul Abrar

    Mogholandeh, Chitral

    • I really appreciate sir Abrar for showing the complete picture with rational arguments. Nobody can deny the fact that Chitral has enjoyed peaceful living for centuries. We must give credit to our religious scholars for preaching peace and harmony. Since 9/11 extremism has rapidly increased in our province and if there were extremist elements in Chitral it was a great opertunity for them. But as we know that our religious scholars never allow the spread of extremism in Chitral.

  18. Afzal, puluso tay e kahak diko ta khilafa de FIR derg koi wa. Hes kya mushkil korum no, Pakistana kya qanoon kya niki. Haya intzamio krum royan control korick k eval evalio aqeedo tay kya morani.

  19. In response to brother Zulfikar’s comment, Hameedullah has come up with a very very good suggestion that all these hate-mongers should be brought to book instead of being cursed. The cleric, whether he is from the mountains of Chitral or far away in the Gulf,is the name of a mindset, some of them are bearded and some without beard. The time is rife to reign them in or their next target will be the increasin trend of female education in Chitral like their brother Taliban. I would like to ask Hameedullah to muster some courage and lodge an FIR against the cleric as a peace-loving Khow since you have floated a very good idea. Come on man, we are here to stand by your side like every peace-loving Chitrali stood by Danish??

  20. I think it is becoming so interesting. It would be indigestible for many people had the piece showing such a picture of the mullah been written by someone from the Ismaili community.