(This writing is based on the
transcript of the above interview)
Question: Islam is a well established religion, and
is meant to exist forever. However, with time and rapid changes in global
politics, the understanding and image of Islam have changed completely. Islam is
now being presented to the world as a symbol of terrorism. We believe that some
so called representatives of Islam and the western media have played a dominant
role in spreading this image. In our talk today, we have invited Mr Jāved Ahmad
Ghāmidī, an Islamic scholar and the head of Al-Mawrid (www.al-mawrid.org),
an esteemed organization who will join us from Malaysia. We will discuss
important issues related to the ways in which jihād, terrorism and
violence are being connected to Islam.
A very warm welcome to you Ghāmidī sb and thank you for
appearing in the Indian media. We hope that our talk today will be a humble
effort towards reducing some misunderstandings about Islam across India. Our
first question to you is, do you find anything unusual in what we have said
Answer: You are absolutely right. There is no doubt
that Islam is a religion of peace and harmony. It is a blessing for all mankind
and it has brought the message of tolerance and co-existence for the entire
world. It gives protection to the life, wealth and honour of mankind. It has
clarified to all human beings that no actions can be taken to violate any of the
said three things. The Prophet (sws) of Islam had said in his last sermon during
the month Dhū al-Hijjah pointing to the Baytullāh: Just as this House, this
Month and this City is sacred to you, the life, wealth and honour of everyone is
equally sacred. There can be no message of peace greater or more meaningful than
The prophet meant that no individual has the right to go
after anyone’s life, property or honour. This rule forms the very basis of
humanity and is laid out as such in the Holy Qur’ān which says that the taking
of life of a single person equals killing all mankind and a person who saves the
life of a single man in fact saves the life of all mankind. What can be a more
comprehensive, trustworthy and encompassing message of peace than this one?
Question: Referring to the Qur’ānic verse you have
mentioned, one can say that people seem to have changed the meaning and message
of the verse. Who are these people who have distorted the whole image of Islam,
given a wrong interpretation to it, and made the followers of this religion feel
ashamed? The way in which Islam is being presented is harmful not only for the
Muslim world but for all mankind. How would you explain this?
Answer: The people who are doing this are
our brothers and friends. But they are actually causing harm to themselves,
their nations and their religion. They are committing a grave crime against all
mankind to say the least. For this reason we humbly explain to them that they
should try to understand the message of the divine Book they read. What is the
basis of their misunderstanding? It lies in the fact that they have taken on
some tasks as their responsibility that actually belong to Allah as it is Allah
who gives life or takes it away. He will give reward and punishment on the Day
of Judgment. Allah also implements His punishments after sending His messengers
to a nation that refuses to follow the given message.
The mistake these people have committed is that they have
taken up these tasks of punishment on themselves. Allah has not given anyone the
right to act against the life, wealth or honour of any human being. Even when in
the middle of a war, no harm should come to those who are not involved in
fighting, according to the laws in Islam. Islam has taught us to avoid killing a
person when he gives himself up in the battle field and refuses to fight. It is
very unfortunate that non-combatants are killed when sitting in their houses,
walking towards mosques for prayer, going to churches for supplications or to
temples for worship.
This is such a big crime that whenever the Holy Qur’ān
discusses jihād it clarifies that if Allah had not permitted jihād, people would
have destroyed all the mosques, worship places, churches, and synagogues. This
implies that in the eyes of Allah, worship places carry so much importance that
He calls His servants to fight in order to save them from being destroyed. Right
now we find ourselves in a situation that the fundamental values of our religion
are being violated by its very followers. These people have taken up the work
that belonged to Allah and this is the basic error that has been made.
Question: Referring to the Qur’ānic verse regarding
the protection of synagogues and the churches, after the conquest of Mecca, all
the idols present inside the Baytullāh were smashed. These idols symbolized the
worship and deities for some people. Why do you think these idols were broken?
Answer: These are two different cases. The Baytullāh
is a sacred building constructed by Prophet Abraham (sws) purely for the worship
of Allah. This is as analogous to putting an idol in a mosque or making an idol
worship place into a mosque. Suppose that there is an idol-room or a church and
people have forcefully turned it into a mosque. The building should be
reinstated into the previous state if Muslims have the authority. The Baytullāh
is the centre of (tawhīd), the oneness of Allah. It had been built as a centre
of tawhīd. Keeping idols inside it was against its purpose. If someone from
another country puts idols in one of your mosques, your government would
immediately remove these idols. This is because a mosque is not the right place
for idols. They must be kept in temples. That is why temples are built. It is
your religion and no one can object to it. However, the Baytullāh is a mosque.
It is the most sacred mosque for Muslims, chosen by Allah, just as the Bayt al-Maqdas
is a mosque also chosen by Him. Since it was the rule to keep the mosques pure
of idols, the Baytullāh was cleansed from the idols.
Question: Are idols broken just to purify the
mosque? Would you break the idols if you come into power to purify your mosques?
Answer: The reason was that there was nobody left
who believed in idols. Had there been any people believing in the idols, they
would have had the right to take their idols away. Actually at that time, the
whole population of Arabia had embraced Islam accepting the preaching of the
Holy Prophet (sws). After their embracing Islam, the whole country was cleansed
of the idols. You must keep two things in mind, i.e. Allah has preserved two
places, Canaan in Palestine and the land of the Arabs for the preaching of His
Messengers since the time of Abraham (sws). Worshipping idols in these places is
completely forbidden. No other religion except Islam can be propagated in these
places. It is just the same as declaring the whole area as a mosque. It means
that no one has the right to enter this territory. Had some of the idol
worshippers survived, they would have taken their idols away from the Baytullāh.
Question: Whether in India, Pakistan, any other
Asian country or all over the world, jihād is being interpreted and practiced as
an act of cruelty and violence. How has jihād come to be interpreted in this
way? What is its actual definition?
Answer: Jihād means to fight against oppression and
cruelty. When an individual commits a crime, the government of that state has
the right to bring him to justice and punish him. Similarly when a nation
transgresses, there may be some people inside the state involved in the
transgression or it may be the government oppressing the people and being cruel
to them. In that case, Allah has made jihād obligatory for believers to keep
such people or nations in check. It is obligatory for Muslims as a nation. But
this can be brought into operation only if the believers have a state under
their rule or a collective society that can fulfill this obligation. It is not
permissible for individuals or non state groups to take up arms and it can be
done only against an oppressive rule. We are very thankful to Allah Almighty
that our religion has told us to take up arms for jihād to crush oppression and
to support those oppressed all over the world. The Qur’ān says:
And had it not been that Allah set aside one people with
another, the monasteries and churches, the synagogues and the mosques, in which
His praise is abundantly celebrated would be utterly destroyed. (22:40).
If a country transgresses its limits, oppresses its people,
violates the fundamental rights of mankind, it should be checked immediately.
You can see that recently, when some destructive tools were used against people,
as a clear violation of human rights, the United Nations was asked to give
permission to take action against those responsible. For this very purposes
jihād has been made obligatory.
Question: This means that the purpose of jihād is to
protect the rights of the weak and oppressed and ensure their safety. But jihād
has been connected to terrorism all over the world. How do you explain this? Who
are the people responsible for this misinterpretation? There are people who
misinterpret Islam in the name of jihād and there are those who are engaged in
legitimate jihād but the western media or a special group of media declare them
criminals interpreting their case wrongly. Where does this confusion lie?
Answer: What is being undertaken in the name of jihād is
anarchy and mischief. The first condition for giving a call for jihād is that it
should be done against oppression. Secondly the people involved in jihād should
have political majority and should be the rulers. If some private organizations
or people stand up for jihad, it would be similar to some people of India saying
that they shall punish the criminals who are oppressing the people of an area in
the country. This is neither acceptable within a country nor outside. Islam
demands the same condition i.e. only those having political power can use arms
against oppressors. If Muslims have political power in a country, it becomes
obligatory for them to take up arms in the form of jihād for the safety of the
oppressed ones. The scholars who have backed this and who have been the driving
force behind this war have misinterpreted the Qur’ān and have committed two big
mistakes. Firstly they have permitted people and organizations to use weapons
and fight in the name of jihad. In addition, they have reinforced the
misunderstanding that already existed and have deepened it. This has created
widespread violence. Unarmed people in Pakistan are being continuously killed as
a result and this is happening all over the world. These people have
transgressed their limits.
Question: You just said that jihād is permissible only when
Muslims are in power. What should the minorities do? Should they continue to
face oppression at the hands of the majority and wait until they obtain
political power? Can they not struggle for their protection?
Answer: If they start their struggle without being in
power, they would only create problems. Without political authority, they must
conduct their struggle in peaceful ways. In the present era, Allah has created
many peaceful ways of doing so. Democratic methods should be used to communicate
the problems to the world. There are organizations to which one’s case can be
presented. If I know that the assassin of my father is walking free, I have not
received justice and I kill him for myself, or if someone has committed a fraud
with me and I cut off his hands myself, it would only promote violence.
Punishments are to be given by legal and formal authorities. Allah has made it
mandatory for us that we can use arms against our enemies only when we have
political power. If we do not posses political power then we must do jihād
verbally. We should use peaceful methods of protest. We know that Mahatma Gāndhī
(d. 1948) had struggled against a mighty power following this very principle.
Question: You have just told us about Mahatma Gandhi and
revealed to us that according to Islamic teachings, killing a person equals
killing all mankind. Let us now look at it from another angle. Some private
organizations present themselves as leaders of the people and carry out suicide
attacks and bomb blasts. Where would you place their activities?
Answer: This is pure violence from beginning to the end. It
is both violence of ideology and action. Muslims should purify themselves from
it as quickly as they can. When I see the actions of these people I start
worrying how these people would face their Lord on the Day of Judgment. They
cause great harm to the innocent non-combatants across the country. If they had
restricted their activities to the armed forces, we could have put up with it to
some extent. But they target innocent men and women as in the case of the
incident in which a bus carrying people going to their homes from offices was
blasted away. People worshipping in their church were killed in a suicide
attack. What type of Islam is this? What kind of jihād is this?
Question: Similar activities have been carried out in
India. Such attacks have been carried out at different places in which bombs
were placed on bicycles. Terrorists have first handicapped people, inflicted
pain on them and then presented themselves as the oppressed ones. How should
innocent Muslims stay away from them? How can they protect themselves where they
are a minority living with their fellow nationalists? How can they avoid the
suspicions of the people around them? No one should question their loyalty to
the state but what should they do? They are oppressed from both sides. Their so
called fellows who share their religion undertake such terrorist activities and
they are eyed with suspicion by others. Every Muslim has become a symbol of
terrorism and violence. What should be done in such a situation?
Answer: They should come forward to tell these
organizations that they consider these acts of terrorism unacceptable and
un-Islamic. Any such activity has been declared as the worst crime by Islam
whether it is against those living in Israel, India, the US or anywhere in the
world. They should tell them that it is one of the three greatest crimes
according to Islam. Just as in every nation criminals are found, our nation
unfortunately has some too. They use our religion as a tool but most Muslims
have no association with them. Muslims should remain loyal to their state. They
should follow its rules and laws in their true spirit. They should develop
themselves in knowledge, skill, intellect and trade. People all over the world
have progressed through these qualities. They do not better themselves by
shooting guns and blasting bombs.
Wherever Muslims live as minorities they should adopt this
method. Long gone are the days when nations would remain oppressed. The
minorities in Pakistan and the Muslims in India have equal rights as citizens.
In a democratic state the laws are made according to the decisions of the
majority and the minorities are given their rights. They are allowed to practice
their religions, preach their teachings and express their opinion to others.
This is the greatest system that has surfaced in this world. Muslims should be
thankful to Allah and convey their religion and teachings to their neighbours.
They should tell them that their relationship with all humanity is based on love
and kindness to others.
Question: Please explain to us how a democratic system
should work in the light of Qur’ān and H̩adīth. Our viewers wish to know what
type of system would this be and how can they understand and infuse it into
their own system.
Answer: There are only two entities that have the right to
choose a ruler. The first one is Allah. He is the creator of the entire
universe. If He chooses a ruler, it is His right and we shall have to humbly
accept His decision. However, He has put this matter to an end after the Holy
Prophet (sws). It has been declared in the Holy Qur’ān: “They conduct their
affairs by mutual consultation, (42:38).” Explaining this divine command, Umar (rta)
once said: “There is no caliphate except through consultation among the
believers.” Therefore, no Muslim government can be formed except through the
shared opinion developed through discussions by the Muslims. The formation of a
government through public voting, its continuity through the opinion of the
public and its dismissal at the hands of the public is the requirement of Islam.
It is our religious obligation to believe that it is the right of the public to
choose their rulers and that it is they whose opinion shall be considered for
the formation of the ruling body.
If there are any differences in this regard, they must be
resolved through voting. This is called consultation by our ancient scholars.
The term “consultation” is an old one in our fiqh. It implies the opinion of the
majority of people. The Holy Prophet (sws) has advised us that we should not
reject the principle or a law formed by the opinion of people. We can differ in
these matters, try to change them but the opinion of the majority shall be used
to prepare a law which should be followed by all. All these teachings are found
in the Holy Qur’ān and H̩adīth. On this basis, I say that democracy is the
perfect system for the Muslims. We should implement the democratic system in
Pakistan as well as in India and give weight to democratic values. Democracy
means that laws will be made according to the opinion of the majority.
Minorities have the right to express their opinion, propagate their views and
strive to gain majority on the basis of sound evidence.
Question: Please explain how different is western democracy
from Islamic democracy.
Answer: Muslims should establish democracy in their states
similar to the western countries. The Holy Qur’ān has revealed a principle. The
west has developed a system applying this principle. Unfortunately Muslims have
not succeeded in doing so. If there are any flaws in this system, it needs to be
studied and the flaws should be pointed out. The west has achieved much progress
based on physical sciences. Major scientific inventions have been made. The fact
that I am talking to you from a distance of hundreds of miles has been made
possible due to this development of science. Similarly they have also very
effectively adopted some of the basic principles for economic and political
progress. As they made changes to the system, they explained the ways to
establish a parliament, accomplish a fair voting system, distribute powers
between the prime minister and president and choose the speaker for the
parliament. This is called ijtihād. If there is a problem with this ijtihād then
it must be pointed out and corrected. This is because I consider it the
inheritance of humanity. We should welcome all scientific inventions and
appreciate the development in the social sciences. In fact, I do not see any
fault in western democracy.
Question: A late scholar Dr Isrār Ahmad (d. 2010) once said
that Islamic democracy is not completely free. Instead it has some restrictions.
You have had a debate with him. Do you think that Islamic democracy is
restricted? Or is it completely free like that of the west?
Answer: Individuals are restricted. Since I am a Muslim, I
have put myself under some restrictions. As a Muslim I have to offer prayer five
times a day. I shall fast in the month of Ramadān. If Allah has commanded me to
do something that relates to collective life or a Muslim state, I would fulfill
this command. When we have the majority in state, as Muslims we shall have to
accomplish the requirement of our religion in our collective lives as we do in
our individual lives. I do not feel the need to put any restrictions.
The restrictions shall be put by the people and they are
already effective. When you take a position in the parliament of India, you will
have to make legislation while considering the desires, needs, customs and
traditions of society. When Muslims obtain majority in a parliament, they shall
take into consideration their religious affairs and it would be quite
instinctive and natural. We do not need to apply any external restrictions. I
have written that if you wish to establish a real Islamic state, you need to
create respect for Islam in the hearts of the people. It does not need naming
the state as an Islamic Republic, presenting specific statements such as the
Objectives Resolution or making constitutional articles. Pakistan is a Muslim
country and more than 80 percent of its people have their representatives
running the parliament. Therefore, they will naturally be restricted to
legislate according to the teachings of their religion. This is what the Quaid e
Azam would have said, but unfortunately we made these constitutional articles
and other minor matters our national issues. Islam addresses me. It makes me bow
before my Lord as an individual and I bow before Him. When hundreds of people
bow before Him, Islam itself appears on the surface and it does not require any
Question: When an Islamic government is formed, does it
require the personal opinion of the people being selected considering that they
do not have complete knowledge of Islamic sharī‘ah or laws? If a parliamentarian
is not a Muslim, would he play a part in the legislation being a member of the
Answer: Minority members are a part of our parliament. We
will communicate our views to them and if they do not consider a law suited to
their lives, then Islam itself has permitted that its laws and sharī‘ah cannot
be applied to non Muslims. For example if there is a problem among Muslims
considering inheritance, the court will judge the matter in the light of Islamic
sharī‘ah. If there are disputes among Christians over the same issue, they shall
be judged according to the laws of their religion. We have admitted this rule
from the very first day. In Sūrah An‘ām of the Holy Qur’ān, Allah has stated in
the presence of His Messenger that if these people wish to decide their matters
according to their own laws, they have the right to do so. For this reason,
there is no chance of any dispute in our religion.
Question: You mean it cannot be forcefully implemented upon
Answer: Of course there is no room for any forceful
Question: When we have gatherings and talks, we discuss
Islam and the Muslims and various ways to interact and mix with our fellow
citizens. Often these things are presented differently and people believe that
we are doing something un-Islamic while the fact is that Islam teaches us to do
so. How do you consider this matter?
Answer: Many people do things that are un-Islamic. When we
explain to them the real teachings of Islam and talk about the real message,
many tend to blame us. We should not be very concerned. Truth has far more value
and a person should continue to testify to it without caring about anything
else. The Holy Qur’ān has interpreted this situation in a very beautiful manner.
One should not be afraid of the reproaches of those who find fault. One must not
fear these consequences. Instead he should say the right thing and give
evidences from the Holy Qur’ān. A couple of decades ago I had stated that
private jihād is not acceptable in Islam. At that time I felt that I was the
only person to hold this approach. But in recent times many people have realized
that this was correct. The harm caused by this misconception has affected not
only the state but also our religion and the Muslims as a nation. Obviously I
cannot go deep in the evidences and arguments regarding this issue now but I
have written extensively on all these issues. We should strive to show the real
face of Islam to the people. We are not developing our personal religion.
Instead we are trying to deliver it from distortions.
Question: Some people believe that there is no concept of
democracy in Islam. How do you see this matter?
Answer: The Holy Qur’ān has clearly stated that: “They
conduct their affairs by mutual consultation,” (Q 42:38). The Holy Qur’ān had
made this declaration when the idea of democracy was quite vague. The rulers
after the Holy Prophet (sws) had not assumed their positions through the
kingship system. They did not have any kinship with each other and the people
from the smallest tribes were chosen as rulers. The people elected their rulers
without using swords or guns or protests. The entire process was accomplished in
a democratic manner. It was a tribal society and a rule was applied and
implemented according to the requirement of those circumstances. The
instructions of the Qur’ān are quite clear. I have told you that when ‘Umar (rta)
felt that some people intend to misinterpret these principles after hearing
things at a particular occasion, he addressed the people. Imām Bukhārī has
included the whole speech in his compilation. I have related to you a famous
sentence of this speech in which he said: “A government cannot be formed without
the consultation of the believers.” This evidently establishes that the basis of
the Islamic system of governance is democracy. In fact, there are only two
entities in this world that have the right to choose a ruler: God and the
people. Allah Almighty has declared His decision through the Holy Prophet (sws).
After the seal of prophethood, people have been given the right to form their
government to decide their matters.
Question: Sectarianism has spread in Islam, resulting in
bloodshed, forcing people to kill their own brothers and Muslims to kill other
Muslims not only at the individual level but also at the state level as you have
seen in countries such as Syria, Yemen and Damascus. How has this affected Islam
Answer: Of course this is a great test. It has
disintegrated Muslim nations. People often declare that there are more than
hundred million Muslims living all over the world. But if you ask them, you will
discover that they only consider their own sect as a Muslim and are not ready to
accept any other sect as Muslim. This is the greatest curse that falls on a
nation as mentioned in the Holy Qur’ān. Only those people disintegrate who do
not judge their matters according to the teachings of the book of Allah. Rather
they base their decisions on their prejudices.
In reality there is no room for sectarianism in Islam.
Muslims must decide that they are Muslims. Our first introduction is as human
beings. We are the offspring of Adam (sws) and Eve. As a religious body we are
Muslims. We believe in the Messenger of Allah. All others are human beings. We
can agree or differ with them. We should listen to everyone while leaving behind
our prejudices. All the Imams of Muslims are our leaders and their scholars are
our scholars. We should respect all others and listen to them. We should accept
the view which is moderate and closer to the Book of Allah and the Sunnah of His
Holy Prophet (sws). But we should not reject the others.
There is yet another misconception. There are three things
that Allah has kept for Himself to judge and decide: polytheism, kufr and
apostasy. Unfortunately our people have taken these responsibilities on
themselves. We have the right to punish a thief or an adulterer but we have no
right to reward or punish someone on issues concerned with religion. Allah has
kept this right to himself. This is where the corruption and mischief starts.
Question: It is widely observed that the greatest scholars
as well as the most ignorant Muslims easily declare people of the other sects as
non-Muslims. By issuing such edicts people arouse hatred. How can this be
Answer: It can be done through education. All this is
happening due to ignorance. We should tell people that they do not have any
right to decide on the kufr or faith of a person. This right is the right of
Allah alone and He will decide this issue on the Day of Judgment. He has been
deciding such issues in the world too through His Messengers. It is not the task
for any human being to undertake. They only need to deliver the message of Allah
to their fellow beings. We should try to propagate the divine message instead of
excommunicating people. We should try our best to convince the world to believe
in the reality in which we have belief ourselves. It is not our duty to pinpoint
the mistakes of others and throw them out of religion. We should act like
preachers, not judges.
Question: Whatever you are telling us is being communicated
to the people around the globe where both the rulers as well as the public are
Muslims. What is the contribution of non-Muslims in this regard?
Answer: We must see that if non-Muslims are residing in a
Muslim state, under what conditions are they living there? As for the non
believers in Pakistan, the Quaid-e- Azam had announced on the very first day
that all people, Muslim and non Muslims shall have equal rights as citizens of
Pakistan.. The constitution of India too states that no differentiation can be
made between the citizens of this state. Islam has permitted us to make any
agreements with non-Muslims according to the requirement of circumstances.
However, it is an established fact that the majority shall have the right to
Question: Mr Ghāmidī, you are a Pakistani and you are aware
that sectarianism has brought a bad name to Pakistan. A campaign started against
Ahmadis in Pakistan in 1953. Later, Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto (d. 1979) who was an
elected prime minister of Pakistan excommunicated Ahmadis in 1974 when people of
your calibre were present in parliament but still no protests were carried out.
General Zia ul Haq (d. 1988) also promoted sectarianism. Why?
Answer: This condition has always prevailed in Pakistan.
Religious people have had unusual authority. Even the governments have been
afraid of religious groups and individuals. Let me honestly tell you that even
at present politicians freely admit their mistakes in several matters if you
discuss with them in private, but they cannot openly express themselves fearing
revolt from religious parties. Since many religious parties have street power,
whenever they issue a fatwa, it becomes difficult to contain the easily roused
emotions. An unknown fear exists within the country. This atmosphere will
change only with the passage of time. There are plenty of examples in which
religion has been used for political purposes in Pakistan. It was done during
the Pakistan Movement, during the tenure of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto and by Zia ul
Haq in a very detrimental manner. Even today we sometimes use religious terms to
gain political mileage. The fact is that it is one of the greatest crimes to use
religion for political motives. The situation can only be corrected when people
see the real picture of Islam and are motivated to view political issues in a
political way and address religious matters in the light of the teachings of the
divine Book and the Sunnah of the Holy Prophet (sws).
Question: When we talk about Pakistan and India, we find it
hard to ignore two things: tension in the relationship between the two countries
and the longing of the citizens to live peacefully together. The contradictions
between the governing bodies of the countries result in the distance among the
common citizens. The minorities in both the countries are suspected. However,
all the people wish to live together in peace. What is being done for such
peace? What should be done to reduce the bitterness in the relationships at the
highest level? The prime ministers of both the countries are due to meet soon.
How can we bring both states to a single platform to make the possibility of
people living together peacefully because both the states have democracy in
which the majority has to decide their fate, and the majority in both these
countries desire peace.
Answer: You are right in saying so. Every single person
from both countries desires peace and wishes that these countries should be as
united as European countries are. We believe that these two states are the
closest neighbors and both states need to fulfill the rights of neighborhood
naturally as well as morally. Both the countries should fulfill their
obligations. I believe that politicians have vested interests for which they
promote hatred among people. If the people were wise or we had succeeded in
making them so, and of course the media can help a great deal in this regard,
the politicians would learn a lesson and would stop invoking hatred among the
public. They would prefer using their resources for the betterment of their
people instead of wasting them in unnecessary things. We should tell our masses
that our real problems are poverty and ignorance. We have to educate our people
and try to eradicate poverty. These are the missions we must strive for and
these are common for all mankind. We cannot achieve these goals until we stop
ourselves from fighting against each other and promote peace and harmony.
Question: To promote peace we have to strive hard. There
are two neighboring countries each giving a lot of importance to the rights of neighbourhood. Islam as well as Hinduism gives great importance to the
fulfillment of the rights of neighbours. It is as if the foundation of the
relationship is based on love between the neighbors. Yet there is great hatred
between the two neighbours. How can this situation be changed?
Answer: Circumstances will change, God willing. The time is
not far when the majority of our people shall admit their mistakes. They would
then press the politicians to give up promoting hatred. Political differences
can occur. But we must not convert our political differences into religious
differences. There are issues including Kashmir, Siachen Glacier and many
others. We should keep discussing the solutions for those issues and never give
up the process of dialogue. Both the countries should express their views. It
does not mean that a small mistake should lead them to a halt in dialogue.
Rather they should continue to look for solutions and work together. This would
gradually reduce the problems.
In fact, both should continue in parallel. They should keep
discussing disputed matters and promote working on the agreed issues which are
greater in number. They should open their borders, reduce restrictions, increase
business meetings, and let people meet each other as it leads to the removal of
misconceptions. In that way it would be difficult for politicians to promote
hatred among the people.
Question: The Holy Qur’ān is interpreted in different ways.
Please explain for whom has the Qur’ān been revealed and what is its message?
Answer: It has been revealed for all mankind. It has quite
a brief message. Actually the Qur’ān continues to repeat the message in
different ways which makes it a big book consisting of six thousand verses.
Otherwise, its message is quite simple and clear. It says that we have one Lord
who is the creator of all the worlds. One day we will have to be accountable
before Him and to succeed in that accountability we need to do good deeds in
this world. This is the message of Islam and the Holy Qur’ān. We need to deliver
this message to all mankind.
Question: And the people divided in different sects believe
that this is exclusively their book?
Answer: It was only a book of God which we had to take and
deliver to all the people around us. The Holy Qur’ān had declared that it was an
admonition for the whole world. See the first verse of Surah Furqān the Holy
Qur’ān. It reads: “Blessed is He who sent down the criterion to His servant,
that it may be an admonition to all creatures. (Q 25:1)” How can this book
revealed for all creatures be for Muslims alone?
Comment: Thank you very much, Mr Ghāmidī. Whenever you
visit India, we shall have a live chat with you. We will further try to discuss
each issue in detail and communicate your views to people around the globe.
Answer: I am very thankful to you too.
(Tr. by Tariq Mahmood Hashmi /
Adapted by Nikhat Sattar)