Friday, October 31, 2008

Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindrenwale (1947 - 1984) - 3

The Delhi Massacre, 1984:

On June 3-6 1984, in Operation Bluestar, Indian forces laid siege to the Golden Temple, Sikhism's holiest shrine, in the Punjabi city of Amritsar. The temple had been occupied by heavily-armed Sikh militants under the leadership of Sant Bhindranwale. In the massacre, and in dozens of other mass killings that took place simultaneously at religious sites throughout Punjab, thousands of Sikhs were murdered by Indian security personnel. At the Golden Temple, according to Human Rights Watch, "Indian government forces were guilty of outrageous violations of fundamental human rights -- deliberately attacking the temple at a time they knew thousands of religious pilgrims were inside, not offering an opportunity for surrender, and summarily executing those it captured." ("India: Arms and Abuses in Indian Punjab and Kashmir", September 1994.) Many children and women were killed in the assault, along with a preponderance of Sikh men. "Civil liberties organisations, such as the Movement Against State Repression, have claimed that the total number killed in Operation Bluestar exceeded ten thousand. Thousands of young men also went missing in the period after Bluestar." (Joyce Pettigrew, The Sikhs of the Punjab: Unheard Voices of State and Guerrilla Violence, p. 24 [n. 10].)

Hindu men rampage through the streets of Delhi, November 1984:

On October 31, 1984, the Indian Prime Minister, Indira Gandhi, who had ordered Operation Bluestar, was assassinated in a revenge attack by her two Sikh bodyguards. Over the following five days, one of the worst gendercidal massacres of modern times took place in the Indian capital, Delhi. The victims were Sikh males of all ages. At 10 p.m. on the evening following the Prime Minister's assassination, widespread killings broke out across Delhi, apparently organized by the Hindu extremist parties that have become prominent players in Indian politics. Hindu men roamed the streets, declaring an open season on Sikh males (those who were religiously observant were easily identified by their long hair and turbans). The gendercidal character of the killings was indeed almost total. According to the Indian feminist Madhu Kishwar,

The nature of the attacks confirm[s] that there was a deliberately plan to kill as many Sikh men as possible, hence nothing was left to chance. That also explains why in almost all cases, after hitting or stabbing, the victims were doused with kerosene or petrol and burnt, so as to leave no possibility of their surviving. Between October 31 and November 4, more than 2,500 men were murdered in different parts of Delhi, according to several careful unofficial estimates. There have been very few cases of women being killed except when they got trapped in houses which were set on fire. Almost all the women interviewed described how men and young boys were special targets. They were dragged out of the houses, attacked with stones and rods, and set on fire. ... When women tried to protect the men of their families, they were given a few blows and forcibly separated from the men. Even when they clung to the men, trying to save them, they were hardly ever attacked the way men were. I have not yet heard of a case of a woman being assaulted and then burnt to death by the mob. (Kishwar, "Delhi: Gangster Rule," in Patwant Singh and Harji Malik, eds., Punjab: The Fatal Miscalculation [New Delhi, 1985], pp. 171-78.)
A typical account of the atrocities was provided by a female witness whose "husband and three sons ... were all killed on 1 November." As investigators summarized her testimony:

When a mob first came the Sikhs came out and repulsed them. Three such waves were repulsed, but each time the police came and told them to go home and stay there. The fourth time the mob came in increased strength and started attacking individual homes, driving people out, beating and burning them and setting fire to their homes. The method of killing was invariably the same: a man was hit on the head, sometimes his skull broken, kerosene poured over him and set on fire. Before being burnt, some had their eyes gouged out. Sometimes, when a burning man asked for water, a man urinated on his mouth. Several individuals, including her sister's son, tried to escape by cutting their hair. Most of them were also killed. Some had their hair forcibly cut but were nevertheless killed thereafter. (Quoted in Khalsa Human Rights, "Cases of Victims".)

The estimate of 2,500 dead offered by Kishwar (above) is almost certainly too low. The New York Times in 1996 cited the research of Sikh activist Gurucharan Singh Babbar, who "has piles of affidavits from victims' families that prove, he says, that 5,015 Sikhs were killed, more than double the official figure ..." Whatever the exact death toll, it was "one of the darkest chapters in [India's] half-century of independence." (John F. Burns, "The Sikhs Get Justice Long After A Massacre," The New York Times, September 16, 1996). Throughout the massacre, Indian police and security forces stood by or assisted in disarming Sikhs, rendering them defenceless. An Indian Supreme Court Justice, V.M. Tarkunde, stated in the aftermath of the slaughter that "Two lessons can be drawn from the experience of the Delhi riots. One is about the extent of criminalisation of our politics and the other about the utter unreliability of our police force in a critical situation." (Quoted in Khalsa Human Rights, "The Delhi Massacre: An Example of Malicious Government".)

A Sikh woman weeps after her husband was burned to death in the Delhi massacre.

It is important to note that while few if any Sikh women were intentionally killed, hundreds, if not thousands, were raped -- sometimes repeatedly -- by rampaging Hindu men. Many of the female survivors of the massacre today live in Tilak Vihar, a quarter of Delhi that has become known as the "Widows' Colony." Since 1984, they have pressed for justice in the killings, and finally achieved some success in 1996, when "a magistrate ... imposed a death sentence on a butcher found guilty of two Sikh murders in the riots. Evidence presented in court indicated he was also involved in at least 150 other killings." The justice in question, Shiv Narain Dinghra, has led a "personal crusade" of his own, sentencing dozens of rioters to five years' "harsh imprisonment." Nonetheless, official Indian attitudes toward the slaughter reflect a belief that "the massacre was necessary to teach a lesson" to the Sikhs, according to Dinghra. (Burns, "The Sikhs Get Justice.")

Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindrenwale (1947 - 1984) - 2

As per noted journalists Mark Tully and Satish Jacobs' "Mrs Gandhi's Last Battle pages 155-160"

Operation Blue Star:

The first task was the destruction of Major-General Shahbeg Singh's outer defenses. Much of this had been completed in the preliminary firing when Major-General Brar had hoped to frighten Bhindrenwale into surrendering. These defences included the seventeen houses which the police had allowed Bhindanwale's followers to occupy in the alleys sorrounding the Golden Temple. Some of them were as far as 800 yards away from the complex. These outposts were all in wireless contact with Shahbeg Singh's command post in the Akal Takht. The Temple view hotel outside the Temple complex had also been occupied. Next to it was Brahmbuta Akhara, a large bulding housing the headquarters of a Sikh sect. Then there were three main towers which had been fortified to make positions from which Bhindranwale's men could fire into the Golden Temple complex. Because they stood well above the rest of the building, the towers were also excellent observation posts for watc hing the movement of troops in the narrow alleys sorrounding the Temple. The tops of these towers were blasted off the by artillery fire. The use of artillery in the dense city of Amritsar prooved very costly, many innocent people living in close proximity of Golden Temple lost their lives. Then the commando operation was planned.

It was between 10 and 10:30 PM when commandos from 1st Battalion, the parachute regiment, wearing black denims were ordered to run down the steps under the clock tower on to the parikarma, or pavement, turn right and move as quickly as they could round the edge of the sacred tank to the Akal Takht. But as the paratroopers entered the main gateway to the Temple they were mown down. Most of the casualties were caused by Sikhs with light machine-guns who were hiding on either side of the steps leading down to the parikarma. The few commandos who did get down the steps were driven back by a barrage of fire from the building on the south side of the sacred pool. In the control room, in a house on the opposite side of the clock-tower, Major-general Brar was waiting anxiously with his two supporting officers to hear that the commandos had established positions inside the complex. When no report came through he was heard over the command network sayin g, "You bastards, why don't you go in."

The few commandos who survived regrouped in hte square outside the Temple, and reported back to Major-General Brar. He reinforced them and ordered them to make another attempt to go in. The commandos were to be followed by the 10th Battalion of the Guards commanded by a Muslim, Lieutenant-colonel Israr Khan. This battalion had Sikh soldiers in its rank. The second commando attack managed to neutralise the machine-gun posts on either side of the steps and get down on to the parikarma. They were followed by the Guards who came under withering fire and were not able to make any progress radioed for permission to fire back at the buildings on the other side of the tank. That would have meant that the Golden Temple itself, which is in the middle of the tank, would have been in the line of fire. Brar refused permission. But then he started to get messges from the commander of Guards reporting heavy casualties. They had suffered almost 20 percent casualties without managing to turn the corner of parikarma to the western sides. Sikhs would also suddenly appear from man-holes in the parikarma the Guards were fighting from, lef off a burst of machine-gun fire or throw lethal grenades, and disappear into the passages which run under the Temple. These machine-gunners had been taught to fire at knee-level because Major-General Shahbeg Singh expected the army to crawl towards its objective, But the Guards and commandos were not crawling, and so many of them received severe leg injuries.

Brar, then decided on a change of plan. He ordered to occupy the roof tops of the clock towers as well as all the rooms along the parikarma. Army commandos rushed in from main clock tower entrance, their objective being to neutralize fire from Akal Takht in North. They ran into trouble as soon as they went down the steps, automatic gunfire hit them from both sides of stairs and more then 40 commandos lost their lives in less then five minutes, amazingly only two Bhindrenwale supporters were firing at them. Next batch of commandos were able to run down the stairs and turn right but here again, automatic gun fire from Akal Takht as well as old towers and water tank hit them. By this time Soldiers from Bihar regiment had cordoned off the whole Golden Temple complex, but not very effectively. Madras regiment was trying to enter through the Eastern gate and had reached many difficulties. While Kumaonis from North close to Langar were trying desperately without much success. So General Brar requested tanks to be brought in to Golden Temple, but he was give armored personnel carrier. Which was blown up by rocket launcher as soon as it had crossed Baba Deep Singh's Samadh.

Brar again requested tanks and was allowed this time. According to Giani ji of Golden Temple, who was present at Golden Temple itself during all this time, as many as 13 tanks were brought into parikarma and lined up on the eastern side, expensive marble was crushed and whole eastern parikarma broke. Brar ordered to blew up the Akal Takht and thus the highest seat of Sikh authority was brought down by Indian army. Bhai ji at basement of Akal Takht tells us that Bhindrenwale came to Guru Granth Sahib and after Ardas said "Those who want to be martyrs come with me" then he dashed outside in front of Akal Takht and was greeted with bullets, like about 40-50 of his group. Many were able to reach Sarovar . Next morning, Indian army was responsible for gutting down historical Sikh relic, some soldiers set fire to Sikh library and many historical manuscripts were lost as well as treasury Toshakhana was gutted. There were more then 140 bullets marks on Golden Temple itself, even though Indian army insisted that not a single bullet was fired towards Golden Temple.

Sikh pilgrims who were held up by Army in buildings in and around Guru Ram Das Sarai, Teja Singh Samundri Hall, etc. These innocent bystanders were not given any food or water for 4 days. Army soldiers asked them to drink water mixed with urine from small puddles on ground. One army soldier went berserk and fired on these innocent pilgrims killing 70. About 40 or so bodies of Sikh men with their hand tied up behind in execution style, were found in several rooms. A Journalist saw a whole truck filled with bodies of women and children. There is more then enough evidence that Army Soldiers were served alcohol as well as cigarettes inside Golden Temple complex

Operation Blue Star - Background:

On 13th April 1977, head of Naqli Nirankaris named Gurbachan led a procession in Amritsar. Earlier he had declared that "If Guru Gobind Singh can make five beloved one's., he will make seven stars" . Naqli Nirankaris are strongly associated with Arya Samajis and other such organization which came out of need to reform Hinduism, from its age old superstitions and rituals., but these movements instead of targeting common Hindu individuals spearheaded their movement against Sikhism. Arya Samajis and Naqli Nirankaris wanted Sikhs to start shaving and to drop their individuality and assimilate into Hinduism (or their form of Hinduism with rituals like "Havan"). So on this occasion of Vasakhi, Gurbachan Nirankari led a procession in Amritsar. Bhindrenwale at this time was a small time preacher, who would visit villages and preach to youngsters to adopt Sikh practices. Akhand Kirtani Jatha with its leaders set out from Akal Takht to stop Gurbachan Nirankari for his act of "Creating five stars". Gurbachan and his armed accomplice fired at these Akalis and one by 13 Akalis were killed.

After this incident, Bhindrenwale's reputation as a fierce emerging Sikh leader rose tremendously in Sikh political circles. From 1977 until 1983, Bhindrenwale led his agitation against Arya Samajis and other fanatic Hindu organizations who were working against Sikh and ncept of Punjabiat as well as many Sikhs who opposed him for his fanatical views. Many of his followers were young rural Sikhs, who had been disappointed with state and central government due to unemployment, poverty and other problems. After 3-4 years of trial, Gurbachan of Nirankari sect was acquitted by Indian court, even though more then 10 person testified against him in court, it was clearly evident that there were political heavy weights behind him as well as behind Bhindrenwale.

Till 1983 about 500-1000 persons were killed all over Punjab by armed brigades of young motor cycle driving terrorists who would suddenly appear and with one burst of machine gun kill 10-15 people. Prominent Arya samaji leaders and news paper publishers of Hind Samachar group like Lala Jagat Narain was killed by unidentified persons and Government of India implicated Bhindrenwale and arrested him at Chowk Mehta in 1982, but he was released in two days. Then,
in later half of 1982 he moved to Golden temple complex where he setup his headquarters in Guru Ram Das Sarai. In 1984 he moved to Akal Takht. Indira Gandhi and government of India declared president rule in Punjab and deployed 4 division of Army through out Punjab, in a desperate attempt to flush out Bhindrenwale and his accomplice from Golden Temple complex. Then it all started, I quote from much accomplished book called "Amritsar Mrs. Gandhi's Last battle", by Mark Tully and Satish Jacob "At Seven o'Clock on the evening of 5th June, tanks of the 16th Cavalry Regiment of the Indian army started moving up to the Golden Temple complex. They passed Jalianwala Bagh, the enclosed garden where General Dyer massacred nearly 400 people. That massacre dealt a mortal blow to Britain's hopes of continuing to rule India and was one of the most inspirations of the freedom movement. When Mrs. Gandhi was told that Operation Blue Star had started,she must have wondered whether it would provide the decisive inspiration for the Sikh independence movement, a movement whch at that time had very little support outside Bhindrenwale's entourage and small groups of Sikhs living in Britain, Canada and the United States. Major-General Brar was leading a mixed bag of troops, representative of the widespread recruiting pattern of the modern Indian army, which has broken with British tradition of limiting recruitment to certain 'martial castes'. There were Dogras and Kumaonis from the foothills of the Himalayas, India's northern border. There were Rajputs, the desert warriors from Rajasthan. There were Madrasis from Tamil Nadu, one of the most southern states. There were Biharis from the tribes of central India, and there were some Sikhs. Major Brar had joined Maratha Light infantry 30 years ago in 1954 as a lieutenant. He had fought in Bangladesh under Lieutenant-General Jagjit Singh Aurora, the Sikh general who was most outspoken critic of the Operation Blue Star."

Bhindrenwale and his group had moved to Akal Takht, the highest seat of Sikh authority few weeks before Army attack. He had been criticized for this act as he became the only person after Guru Hargobind to live in Akal Takht. He was obviously spearheading the last showdown with Indian army and had knowledge that sooner or later Army would attack and he himself wanted to go down in Sikh history as a martyr and not deserter or negotiator as other Akalis political leaders. He had support of Major General Shabeg Singh, unofficial hero of Bangladesh war., as well as thousands of rural Sikh youth.

Brar's superior officer was Lt-General Krishnaswamy Sunderji, who asked his chief staff Officer, Lt-General Ranjit Singh Dayal, to draw up the plans for Operation Blue Star. Dayal, like Brar was a Sikh, but he had not shaved his beard or cut his hair, and still wore a turban. Dayal was also an infantry soldier, having served in the Ist Battalion, the Parachute Regiment, which was to spearhead the attack on the Golden Temple Complex. During the 1965 war with Pakistan, Dayal became legend by capturing a pass which had previously been thought to be impregnable, and blocking off one of the most important routes from Pakistan-Controlled Kashmir into Indian state of Jammu and Kashmir. A frontal assault was impossible and so Lt-General Dayal climbed up the mountains towering over Haji Pir pass and came down on top of the Pakistanis.

Dayal, Sundarji and Brar drew up at twofold plan. The essence of this plan was to separate the hostel complex from the Temple complex so that the hostels could be evacuated without becoming involved in the main battle. To achieve the prime objective to get Bhindrenwale out of the temple complex they had planned a commando operations. Commandos were to be supported by infantry, Tanks were only to be used as platforms for machine guns to neutralize fire on troops approaching the Golden Temple complex, and to cover the Temple exits in case anyone tried to escape. Armored personnel carriers were to be positioned on the road separating the hostels from the Temple complex to keep the two potential battle fields apart.

Operation Blue Star - Aftermath:

Aftermath of operation blue star was not different from other attacks on Golden Temple in previous centuries. To make matter worse, Indian army simultaneously attacked 40 other historical Gurdwaras all over Punjab. It was reminiscent of Ahmad Shah Abdali's invasion where Abdali forces had destroyed all the Gurdwara in his path. About 5000 soldiers of Sikh regiment of Indian army as well as other institutions rebelled against Government of India. Many prominent sikh leaders and theologians who had been honoured by Indian government returned their medals and certificates.

This attack only alleviated the secessionist movement and overnight Bhindrenwale became a folk hero. It is a known fact that more people died after this attack in next two years then from 1977-1984 while the attack on golden temple was to curb the "seccessionist movement". It was obvious that sooner or later Indira Gandhi will have to suffer for this destruction. In November of same year, two devoted Sikhs named Beant Singh and Satwant Singh in Delhi police who were posted at Indira Gandhi's residence in New Delhi, killed her. Then riots against Sikhs followed in Delhi, Kanpur, and other cities in all over India in which more then 15,000 Sikhs were murdered in broad daylight by the supporters of Indira Gandhi while police watched, all this when India had a Sikh president but without any power.

In following picture., you can see Army soldiers are posing for pictures with shoes on In the following picture you can army soldiers in front of Akal Takht without their head covered. It is required for all persons to cover their heads in the vicinity of Golden Temple and other Sikh Gurdwaras.

Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindrenwale (1947 - 1984) - 1

Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindrenwale was a (and to some extent still is ) Sikh hero of modern times. He was born in the family of Brar-Jatt Baba Joginder Singh and Mata Nihal Kaur of the village Rode in Faridkot District. Baba Joginder Singh was a farmer of moderate means. Bhindrenwale was youngest of the seven brothers. After primary education took up farming in his village. He engaged himself in farming until 1965 when he joined the Damdami Taksal of Bhinder Kalan village, about 15 km north of Moga, then headed by Sant Gurbachan Singh Khalsa. Hence the epithet Bhindrenwale. But his association with Bhinder village was only notional because Sant Gurbachan Singh, though associated with Gurdwara Akhand Prakash at Bhinder Kalan, usually took out his group of pupils on prolonged tours. Jarnail Singh underwent a one-year course in scriptural, theological and historical studies, at the hands of Sant Gurbachan Singh Khalsa partly during one of his tours but for the most part during his stay at Gurdwara Sis Asthan Patshahi IX, near Nabha Sahib village, 15 km south of Chandigarh along the Chandigarh-Patiala road. In 1966, he rejoined his Family and settled down to farming again. He was married in 1966 to Bibi Pritam Kaur, daughter of Bhai Sucha Singh of Bilaspur, and had two sons, Ishar Singh and Inderjit Singh, born in 1971 and 1975 respectively. He continued his religious studies and also kept his close association with the Taksal, which after the death of Sant Gurbachan Singh Khalsa, in June 1969, was headed by Sant Kartar Singh Khalsa, who established his headquarters at Gurdwara Gurdarshan Prakash at Mehta Chowk, 25 km northeast of Amritsar along the road to Sri Hargobindpur. Sant Kartar Singh khalsa was killed in a road accident. Before his deadh on 16 August 1977, he had mentioned the name of Sant Jarnail Singh as his successor as the new head of Damdami Taksal. Sant Jarnail Singh was formally, elected at the bhog ceremony in honour of Sant Kartar Singh Khalsa at Mehta Chowk on 25 August 1977.

He had a meteoric rise to fame and his photographs began to be avidly displayed on the front pages of newspapers and journals across the continents. Trained in a Sikh seminary to preach the holy word of the Gurus, he stood face to face with history at several critical moments. Bhindrenwale within his seven brief years of a total of 37, marked by a precipitous course, emerged as a man of extraordinary grit and charisma. Soon he came to be talked about in the far-flung academe as well as in political forums.

Sant Jarnail Singh exhibited remarkable enthusiasm in carrying out his missionary responsibilities. The primary task he addressed was the administrating of amrit (Khanda Baate da Pahul) . He vehemintly denounced drugs, alcoholic drinks and trimming of hair. He took special notice of the Nirankari heresy Which was undermining the Sikh Structure. Opposition to the Nirankaris had started during the time of his predecessor, Sant Kartar Singh Khalsa. Matters camee to a head on the Baisdkhi day of 1978 when Nirankaris held a convention at Amritsar. The Damdami Taksal under Sant Jarnal Singh Bhindrenwale and the Akhand Kirtani Jatha, another purely religious organization, protested against government allowing the Nirankaris to hold their convention at a time the Sikhs were celebrating the birth anniverssary of the Khalsa. Some of them who marched to the site of the convention were fired upon by Nirankari guardsmen killing 13 of them on the spot and wounding 78 others. The episode brought Sant Bhindrenwale into the political arena. He was more against the Akali Dal which was then leading the government in the Punjab and was partner in the central authority in Delhi. On 4 january 1980, two days before the Lok Sabha poll, all the 64 Nirankari accused, including their chief Gurbachan Singh, being tried for the killing of Sikhs, were set at liberty, by the sessions judge of Karnal in Haryana. This bittered Sant Bhindranwale. The media in the Punjab took the part of the Nirankaris on the pica of' secularism. So did the Congress party which, on returning to power at the Centre, dismissed the Akali government in the Punjab, where too fresh elections were held and Congress government installed. On 9 September 1981, Lala Jagat Narain, a press baron of jalandhar, highly critical of Sant Bhindrenwale, was assassinated. The Sant too had been a strong critic of Jagat Narain. The government suspected the Sant's hand in the murder and issued warrants for his arrest. He was then on a preaching tour in Haryana and was camping at Chando Kalan village in Hissar district when a combined force of Punjab and Haryana police raided the village to nab him. He himself escaped to the security of his own headquarters at Mehta Chowk, but the police fired upon his jathd or band of disciples; their baggage was looted, and some of the sacred texts burnt.

The Sant offered himself for arrest on 20 September 1981. This was followed by, a spate of violence. The Sant was released after the Central Home Minister, Giani Zail Singh, declared in the Parliament on 14 October 1981 that there was no evidence against him to show his hand in Jagat Narain's murder. The Sant had seen through the Congress conspiracy loaded against the Sikhs. His arrest and Subsequent release raised the Sant's stature among the Sikh community who, especially the youth, judging hitu against the moderate Akali leadership, flocked under his banner in ever increasing numbers. The Sant became increasingly outspoken. The governnient took notice of the change in Bhindrenwale's stance and proceeded to take action against him. An attempt Was made to arrest him while he was on a visit to Bombay was staying in the Singh Sabha Gurdwara at Dadar on 20 April 1982, but Sant Bhindrenwale was again able to reach safely in the Gurdwara at Mehta Chowk. On 19 July 1982 the police arrested Bhai Amrik Singh son of the late Sant Kartar Singh Khalsa and president of the All India Sikh Students Federation. Another senior member of thc Damdami Taksal, Bhai Thind Singh, was arrested on the following day. Sant Bhindrenwale felt highly provoked. Feeling that sanctuary at Mehta Chowk was not safe enough, he moved to the Guru Nanak Nivas rest house in the Darbar Sahib complex in Amritsar on 20 july and called for a Panthic convention on 25 july at which he announced thc launching of a morcha (campaign) For thc release of his men. Meanwhile., the Shiromai Akali Dal had been conducting a morcha since April 1982 against the digging of Satluj-Yamuna Link (S.Y.L.) canal which would divert part of Punjab's river waters to Haryana. The agitation inspite of immense support from the Sikh peasantry was not bearing any tangible fruit because the site (Kapori village on the Haryana-Punjab border where the Indian Prime minister had inaugurated the digging of the canal on 6 April 1982 was in a remote corner away from the Dal's headquarters. The Dal now decided to transfer the agitation, now designated Dharam Yuddh or religious war, to Amritsar from 4 August 1982. Sant jarnail Singh merged his own morcha with it, and thus became in a way the joint dictator of the entire Panth though he still swore loyalty to the former dictator of the Akali morcha, Sant Harchand Singh Longowal.

A further provocation to the Sikhs came from the behaviour of the Haryana government and police during the Asian Games held at Delhi in November 1982. Sikhs travelling from Punjab to Delhi or back were indiscriminately stopped, searched and humiliated. Violence in the Punjab was on the increase. It was becoming more and more clear that the government would seek a military Solution of the situation in Punjab rather than a political one. Sant Bhindranwale exhorted the people to be prepared for a showdown. On 15 December 1983, he with his men entered the Akal Takht and With the help of a former major general of the Indian Army, Shahbeg Singh, prepared a network of defensive fortifications inside the complex collecting in the meanwhile a large stock of arms, ammunition and rations anticipating the possibility of a prolonged siege. The government on its part made elaborate plans for all army action while pretending all along its readiness for negotiations and denying any intention of sending armed forces inside the Darbar Sahib complex. The Punjab was placed Under the President's rule on 6 October 1983. A ordinance declaring parts of the state a disturbed area was promulgated, and the police was given power to search, arrest or even shoot whom they will with immunity from legal action. Six additional divisions of the army including especially trained para commandos were inducted into Punjab by the end of May 1984. On 1 June, while the Sikhs had started preparations in the Golden Temple for the observation of the martyrdom anniversary of Guru Arjan, which fell on the 3rd of June, strict curfew was clamped on Amritsar and surrounding districts. The actual assault of the army's operation nicknamed Blue Star took place on the night of 5-6 June 1984. A pitched battle ensued in which the army also used tanks and artillery. On the 7 Of June the dead body of Sant Jarnail Singh Bhindranwale was located in the basement of the Akal Takht.

Jinnah - Liaquat Relations.

Moral and Financial Dishonesty are not that dangerous as dangerous the Intellectual dishonesty is. The good thing in American System, which should be appreciated is that, they declassify their State’s Privileged documents {Please visit the US Declassified Documents on Pakistan in the links below} after certain years and these declassified files help a great deal to those who want to learn from history. Since the society of ours is consist upon bunch of Intellectual Dishonest what we do instead of telling the truth to the nation we change and tamper with the history and if that is not enough we altogether change the text books of Social Studies or Pakistan Studies with the change of every government. Examples are as under:

Late. Ms. Fatima Jinnah in her memoir ‘My Brother’, which she prepared with the help of Mr. G. Allana is still not fully published some excerpt of which as per the mood of our Establishment and the nation as well are very sensitive. However, the same are being quoted below:


“Towards the end of July, without prior notice, Mr. Liaquat Ali Khan, the Prime Minister, arrived in Ziarat accompanied by Chaudary Mohammad Ali. He asked Dr. Ilahi Bux about his diagnosis of Quaid’s health. The doctor said that as he had been invited by me to attend to the Quaid, he could only say what he thought of his patient to me.

“But, as Prime Minister, I am anxious to know about it. The doctor politely replied. “Yes, Sir, but I can’t do it without the patient’s permission”.

As soon as I was sitting with the Quaid, that the Prime Minister and the Secretary General wanted to see him, I informed him. He smiled and said, “Fati, do you know why he has come?” I said I wouldn’t be able to guess the reason. He said, “He wants to know how serious my sickness is. How long I will last”. After a few minutes he said, Go down. Tell me. Tell me Prime Minister I will see him”.

“Its late, Jin. Let them see you tomorrow morning”.

“No, let him come now. Let him see for himself”.

The two were together for about half an hour, and as soon as Liaquat Ali Khan came down, I went upstairs to my brother. I found him absolutely tired, and he wore a sickly look. He asked me to give him some fruit juice, and then said, “Send Mr. Mohammad Ali”. The Secretary General of the Cabinet was with him for about fifteen minutes, and when he was once again alone, I went into his room. I asked him if he would have juice or coffee, but his mind was too preoccupied to answer me. By now it was dinnertime, and he said, “You better go down. Have dinner with them”.

“No”, I said emphatically, “I would rather be with you, and have dinner upstairs”.

“No, that is not correct. They are our guests here. Go. Eat with them”.

I found the Prime Minister on the dinner table in a jolly mood, cracking jokes and laughing, while I shivered with fright about his health, who was alone in his sick bed. Chaudary Mohammad Ali was silent, thinking. Before the dinner was over, I rushed upstairs. He smiled at me as I entered and said, “Fati, you must be brave”. I did my best to conceal tears that came surging into my eyes.

After a few days, Mr. Ghulam Mohammad, who was Finance Minister at that time, came to see the Quaid-e-Azam. As I sat alone with him over lunch, he said, “Miss Jinnah, I must tell you some thing Quaid-e-Azam’s Independence Day message has been played down, while the Prime Minister’s message was printed on the posters and pasted on buildings all over the cities. It was also thrown from aeroplanes over big cities”. I listened to this quietly: what was the use of bothering about such things? The only thing that mattered to me was my brother’s health, not his publicity.

“UN-QUOTE” [PAGE 438-439 from Shahabnama by Late. Qudratullah Shahab.]

Second opinion: Who killed Miss Fatima Jinnah? Khaled Ahmed’s Urdu Press Review Daily Times Friday, September 17, 2004

Many political leaders of Pakistan died unnatural deaths. But it is shocking that many natural deaths too are being converted today into unnatural death through hindsight. If this thing goes on it might put the entire official history of Pakistan out of joint

In Pakistan, there are far too many mysterious deaths among the elite. If you think Liaquat Ali Khan was the first leader murdered by an assassin in 1951, you are wrong. Many people think that the Quaid-e-Azam, the founder of the state, was murdered too, by none other than the administration of Liaquat Ali Khan! Then Bhutto was hanged by General Zia who was himself killed by someone who shot down his plane. There are many who think that ex-premier Suhrawardi was killed in Beirut. And General Ayub was killed by an American photographer who was hiding a lethal device in his camera!

According to “Nawa-e-Waqt” (22 July 2003) former attorney general of Pakistan and “honorary” secretary of the Quaid-e-Azam from 1941 to 1944, Mr Sharifuddin Pirzada, revealed outside a conference-room in Islamabad that Miss Fatima Jinnah had not died a natural death in 1967 but was murdered by a servant of hers. Mr Pirzada did not speak about the incident in the conference “for fear of spoiling the atmosphere” but added that more revelations would be made by him on August 14 about who hushed up the murder and then asked the Karachi police to bury the case. The revelation has not failed to shock the entire nation busy observing a year dedicated to the memory of Fatima Jinnah, the Quaid-e-Azam’s most revered sister. She led the opposition to General Ayub Khan’s military regime and figured as his most powerful electoral opponent in elections which were widely believed to have been rigged. Ms Jinnah returned late at night from a wedding. She locked up the house and threw the keys in her kitchen as was her habit and went to sleep. In the morning when Ms Jinnah could not be awakened, her neighbour Begum Hidayatullah was called, who got the door opened in the presence of commissioner Karachi and the inspector general of police, but found that Ms Jinnah had been murdered. Her bed was covered with blood and her neck was scarred. The police later declared that the death had been caused by cardiac arrest. Ms Jinnah’s lawyer nephew Akbar Pirbhai flew over from Bombay to investigate the real cause of her death but was confronted with an official smokescreen. Mr Pirzada thinks that she was killed by a servant of the house, but that the cover-up was later managed by the Ayub government.

Mr Sharifuddin Pirzada had appeared in a case that opened at the Sindh High Court in 1970 contesting Fatima Jinnah’s claim that the Quaid was a Shia. Miss Jinnah had entered an affidavit in 1948 at the High Court saying that she and Mr Jinnah were Shia. On 29 October 1970, one Hussain Ali Gangji Walji filed a suit at the High Court against Shirin Bai contesting her claim that Fatima Jinnah was a Shia. He sought to prove that Miss Fatima Jinnah was in fact a Sunni, as was Jinnah, and that therefore Shirin Bai was entitled to only half the inheritance under Sunni law, the other half going to the agnate relations, that is, to the offspring of Fatima Jinnah’s paternal uncle. Hussain Ali was the son of Gangji Walji who was in turn the son of Walji Poonja, the paternal uncle of Jinnah and Fatima Jinnah. The chief witness to appear for Hussain Ali Gangji Walji contesting Shirin Bai’s claim in 1970 was Syed Sharifuddin Pirzada. He had been honorary secretary to Jinnah from 1941 to 1944. He deposed that Jinnah was avowedly non-sectarian and had kept away from Shia politics. Had Miss Jinnah been alive she should would have been offended with him. He referred to documents which confirmed the secular Muslim faith of the Quaid. It appears that Matloobul Hassan Syed and Syed Sharifuddin Pirzada were for some time simultaneously secretaries to the Quaid, one ‘honorary’ and the other ‘private’. When Pirzada supported General Ayub Khan and declared his connection with Jinnah, Miss Fatima Jinnah issued a statement contradicting that he was ever his secretary. Pirzada submitted a press clipping at the Court which said that ‘Mr Pirzada, the husband of a Bohra lady, had become secretary to the Quaid’.

According to “Khabrain” (22 July 2003) Saira Hashmi’s book published some years ago had revealed that Fatima Jinnah went to attend the wedding of the daughter of Mir Laiq Ali on 8 July 1967 and returned from there after a short stay. She locked up the house and took her usual glass of milk. In the morning Lady Hidayatullah was called who got the house opened and discovered Miss Fatima Jinnah dead. One window was open which was unusual and the glass of milk was not there. Her cook had been fired three days earlier and a new cook had been hired. The new cook disappeared and was not to be found after the incident. After she was given two separate “namaz janaza” Miss Jinnah was not allowed to be buried near the Quaid by the Karachi administration which wanted her to be buried in Karachi’s Amir cemetery, but under public pressure commissioner Karachi allowed a piece of land 120 feet away from the Quaid’s mausoleum for her grave. That’s where she was finally laid to rest. Ahmad Saeed Kirmani who was Ayub Khan’s information minister said that he had heard rumours that Ayub Khan had got her killed but when he asked Ayub he said he would be mad to do a thing like that. Diplomat and a friend of the Jinnah family Qutbuddin Aziz told “Jang” (23 July 2003) that his mother had given “ghusl” to Miss Fatima Jinnah and had noticed no wounds or spots of blood. He said Ms Jinnah had died a natural death. Justice (Retd) Javed Iqbal told “Nawa-e-Waqt” that Mr Pirzada had kept quiet for 36 years and for some strange reason had now chosen to speak to distract attention. Nawabzada Nasrullah Khan told daily “Pakistan” that he knew that Miss Fatima Jinnah had been murdered but that the IG had covered it up. “Jang” (24 July 2003) quoted one Jawad Beg from Karachi saying his mother Mrs Raheel Sherwani was one of the ladies who gave the last “ghusl” to Miss Fatima Jinnah and had found no blood or scars on her body. Nawabzada Nasrullah remarked that ex-foreign secretary Mian Sheheryar Khan, whose late mother was a friend of the Jinnah family, would know the truth about Fatima Jinnah’s death.

Nawabzada Nasrullah definitely thinks that Miss Jinnah was killed by someone. He is also convinced that ex-prime minister Suhrawardi too was murdered. The mystery has developed because Miss Jinnah’s radio address after the death of the Quaid was switched off, meaning that all was not well between her and Liaquat Ali Khan. Then she had a tough confrontation with General Ayub whose son Gohar Ayub took out a violent procession against her in 1964 during elections when Karachi was expected to fall to her. It is psychologically damaging to the nation to learn all these details during a year dedicated to her memory. *

2nd example:


In 1945 Liaquat signed an agreement with Bhulabhai Desai of the Congress party, committing the Muslim League to a certain line of action on future constitutional progress of the country. He did this after telling Desai that Jinnah was a sick man and was dying and if the Congress desired a lasting and practicable solution of the Muslim problem it should deal with him (Liaquat) rather than with Jinnah. It was a secret and shady deal and Jinnah was neither consulted nor informed. When he read the news and the text of the Liaquat-Desai Pact in the press he was shocked, and considered it as an act of treachery on Liaquat’s part, and ordered his domestic staff not to let Liaquat enter his residence if he came to visit him.

Even as Prime Minister, Liaquat did not enjoy the trust of Jinnah. How could he with this background? Chaudari Muhammad Ali implied in his talks with me that the two men were not even on speaking term except in public and large company. M.A.H. Ispahani said that the Prime Minister did not take the files to the Governor General for personal discussion but sent them by the hand of his secretary. Thus there is sufficient evidence from authentic quarters to prove that Liaquat Ali Khan, in spite of being the first Prime Minister of the country, was far from being a national hero. His own record in office provides additional support to this contention. He failed to expedite the process of constitution making and died after more than four years in command without giving the country its basic law. He made a deliberate decision to refuse to visit the Soviet Union from which he had received an invitation. Instead, he chose to go to the United States and take Pakistan into the American Camp, thus initiating a slide, which led, by stages to friendship, junior partnership, dependence, obedience, beggary, and servitude.

He groomed certain bureaucrats for high political offices and preferred their advice to the counsel of his political colleagues. He neglected the task of organizing the Pakistan Muslim League and making it into a grass root party. He did nothing to meet the needs or allay the fears of the indigenous population of East Bengal. He posted arrogant, unsympathetic and self-willed Punjabi and Urdu-Speaking civil servants to the Eastern Wing, laying the first brick around the foundation stone of Bangladesh.


{The Murder of History: A critique of history textbooks used in Pakistan by K.K. AZIZ}.

2- Who was Liaquat ali Khan?

3- Political Isolation and Wilderness of Liaquat Ali Khan.

4- What happened in Company Bagh?

5- Government setup in 1951.

6- The Investigations

7- Who was Said Akbar?

8- Proof is nowhere?

9- Martyrdom of Liaquat and Super Powers.

10- Ghulam Mohammad’s Connections.

11- For US Secretary of State.

CIA Supports Bengali Elite

US Agents Pressuring Bangla Desh

TASS: Rightwing Forces Active in Bangladesh

The Pakistan National Alliance: Participants and Prospects, circa Aug. 1977

Various Bangladesh links:

Lawful [Halaal] and Unlawful [Haraam].

Sultan Shahin wrote:

Dear Friends

1. Yoga haram for Muslims! Are Malaysian clerics losing their mind?


Dear Sultan Sahab,

Regarding Lawful [Halaal] and Unlawful [Haraam] my comment are as under:

Prophet Mohammad [PBUH] allows us to eat the dead found in the sea [Bukhari and Muslim]. Prawns and Shrimps comes under the Order of Prophet so we should enjoy and eat Prawns and Shrimp freel without any doubt instead of making a Halal [Allowed] thing a Haram [Unlawful]

Muslims have strange behaviour because Absurd Islamic Hanafi Fiqh declares that Prwans and Shrimps are Haram to eat [Hanafi' Fiqh's Makrooh means Haram - Reference:

إعلام الموقعين عن رب العالمين

I'laam ul Muwaqqi'een 'an Rabb il 'Aalameen Ibn Qayyam

Ibn Qayyam in his book above exposed the absurdities of Fiqh in 2 thick Volume Book.

There is a book by Hanafi Scholars namely Kitabul Heel [Book of excuses] wherein these Rampant Fatwa Mongering Hanafi Scholars issued 250 Fatwa [Religious edicts] which has made Unlawful [Haraam] into Lawful [Halal]. In one of the Fatwa from Qazi Abu Yusuf [who is praised by the 20th Century Abdullah Ibn Saba (Creator of Shia Religion) i.e. Mawdoodi of Jamat-e-Islami in his book Khilafat o Malookiyat] had advised to an Abbasi Caliph that he can sexually use the slave woman freed by Caliph's Father [as per Quran and Hadith this is Haraam].

Another absurdity of Hanafi Fiqh as per their books

Crow [Kawwa in Urdu - Ghurab is Arabic] is clearly declared Haram in Bukhari, Muslim, Tirmidhi, Ibn Majah]

But Hanafi Fiqh books Fatawa Alamgiri [Egyptian Edition], Mabsoot, Ainal Sharah Hidaya, Kitabul Behrar Riqaiq Sharah Kunzul Daqaiq decalres that eating Crow is Halal [Lawful]

Another absurdity rather Blasphmey attributed towrds Hanafi Fiqh, their Hanafi Fiqh books and Hanafi Scholars that writing Quranic Verse with blood and urine [for recovery from Illness] is allowed. Reference is attributed Fourth Hijri's Hanafi Scholar Abu Bakar Mohammad Bin Ahmed Skaf, Fatawa Qazi Khan Chapter Bab Al Hazar Wal Ibahat, Kitabul Behrar Riqaiq Sharah Kunzul Daqaiq bab Tanzih Al Bair Bu Qooh, Fatawa Sirajiya Bab Al Tadawi, Hamawi Sharah Al Ashba Walnazair Bab Al quaeeda Al Khamisa Al Zarar La Yazal, Raddal Mukhtar Sharah Darr Al Mukhtar aka Fatawa Shami Bab Al Tadawi Bil Mehram.

And one such absurdities of Hanafi Fiqh is that you can offer Salat while carrying puppy [clear violation of Quran and Hadith].

Muslims are bothered about KFC AND PIZZA Legality but Muslims are least bothered about Islamic Month Rajab's Special Food Offerring [attributed towards Hazrat Jaffer Sadiq's Niaz] whereas Rajab is the Month when Hazrat Muawiyah [May Allah be pleased with him] died but shamelessly Rafizis and Sunni offer food to celebrate the death of the Companion.

They are least bothered about what they eat in the name of Islami e.g. Food Offered in the name of Dead Saints like Qadir Jeelani, Ahmed Rafai, Moin Chishti, Shahbaz Qalandar and millions other 'unkown' saints.

Islamic Month Safar is considered Accursed particularly in Ind-Pak, Iraq and Iran and in these months special food is offered to ward off Bad Omen. These Muslims eat that too... These Muslims even eat what is offerred at the Tombs of the Saints or Graveyard. About many graves they dont even know as to what is buried there.

Muslims questions KFC and Pizza legality but overwhelming majority of such muslims violated the below mentioned Quranic Verse by eating offerrings given in the name of other than Allah:

حُرِّمَتْ عَلَيْكُمُ الْمَيْتَةُ وَالْدَّمُ وَلَحْمُ الْخِنْزِيرِ وَمَا أُهِلَّ لِغَيْرِ اللّهِ بِهِ وَالْمُنْخَنِقَةُ وَالْمَوْقُوذَةُ وَالْمُتَرَدِّيَةُ وَالنَّطِيحَةُ وَمَا أَكَلَ السَّبُعُ إِلاَّ مَا ذَكَّيْتُمْ وَمَا ذُبِحَ عَلَى النُّصُبِ وَأَن تَسْتَقْسِمُواْ بِالأَزْلاَمِ ذَلِكُمْ فِسْقٌ الْيَوْمَ يَئِسَ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ مِن دِينِكُمْ فَلاَ تَخْشَوْهُمْ وَاخْشَوْنِ الْيَوْمَ أَكْمَلْتُ لَكُمْ دِينَكُمْ وَأَتْمَمْتُ عَلَيْكُمْ نِعْمَتِي وَرَضِيتُ لَكُمُ الإِسْلاَمَ دِينًا فَمَنِ اضْطُرَّ فِي
مَخْمَصَةٍ غَيْرَ مُتَجَانِفٍ لِّإِثْمٍ فَإِنَّ اللّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ

Forbidden unto you (for food) are carrion and blood and swineflesh, and that which hath been dedicated unto any other than Allah, and the strangled, and the dead through beating, and the dead through falling from a height, and that which hath been killed by (the goring of) horns, and the devoured of wild beasts, saving that which ye make lawful (by the death-stroke) , and that which hath been immolated unto idols. And (forbidden is it) that ye swear by the divining arrows. This is an abomination. This day are those who disbelieve in despair of (ever harming) your religion; so fear them not, fear Me! This day have I perfected your religion for you and completed My favour unto you, and have chosen for you as religion al-Islam. Whoso is forced by hunger, not by will, to sin: (for him) lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. [AL-MAEDA (THE TABLE, THE TABLE SPREAD) Chapter 5 Verse 3]

Among the blessings that Allaah has bestowed upon us is the fact that He has made our religion easy for us, and has not made it too difficult or unbearable. He has allowed us many things that were forbidden according to previously-revealed laws. Allaah says

يُرِيدُ اللّهُ بِكُمُ الْيُسْرَ وَلاَ يُرِيدُ بِكُمُ الْعُسْرَ

Interpretation of the meaning:

Allah desireth for you ease; He desireth not hardship for you; [AL-BAQARA (THE COW) Chapter 2 - Verse 185]


The Arabs of the pre-Islamic era provide a noteworthy example of utter confusion regarding the criteria for making lawful or prohibiting things and actions. They permitted the drinking of alcohol, the taking of usury at exorbitant rates, the torturing and secluding of women, and many similar practices. Those who had diabolical minds made alluring to many of them the killing of their own children, until, suppressing their natural paternal feelings, they obeyed them.

Allah says:

وَكَذَلِكَ زَيَّنَ لِكَثِيرٍ مِّنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ قَتْلَ أَوْلاَدِهِمْ شُرَكَآؤُهُمْ لِيُرْدُوهُمْ وَلِيَلْبِسُواْ عَلَيْهِمْ دِينَهُمْ وَلَوْ شَاء اللّهُ مَا فَعَلُوهُ فَذَرْهُمْ وَمَا يَفْتَرُونَ

Thus have their (so-called) partners (of Allah) made the killing of their children to seem fair unto many of the idolaters, that they may ruin them and make their faith obscure for them. Had Allah willed (it otherwise), they had not done so. So leave them alone with their devices. [AL-ANAAM (CATTLE, LIVESTOCK) Chapter 6 Verse 137]

These "partners" from among the guardians of the idols had devised many impressive arguments to persuade fathers to kill their children; among them were the fear of actual or anticipated poverty, the impending shame in case of a daughter, and the closeness to the gods to be attained by the sacrifice of a son.

It is strange that these same people who permitted the killing of their children by cutting their throats or burying them alive had prohibited to themselves the eating of certain agricultural produce and the flesh of cattle. Stranger still is that they considered such prohibitions as part of their religion, attributing them to Allah's command. (It should be noted that while worshipping and ascribing powers to numerous male and female deities the pagan Arabs of the pre-Islamic era possessed the concept of a supreme Deity, Allah, ascribing to Him many false attributes and laws. (Trans.))

But Allah rejected their false claim:

وَقَالُواْ هَـذِهِ أَنْعَامٌ وَحَرْثٌ حِجْرٌ لاَّ يَطْعَمُهَا إِلاَّ مَن نّشَاء بِزَعْمِهِمْ وَأَنْعَامٌ حُرِّمَتْ ظُهُورُهَا وَأَنْعَامٌ لاَّ يَذْكُرُونَ اسْمَ اللّهِ عَلَيْهَا افْتِرَاء عَلَيْهِ سَيَجْزِيهِم بِمَا كَانُواْ يَفْتَرُونَ

And they say: Such cattle and crops are forbidden. No-one is to eat of them save whom we will - in their make-believe - cattle whose backs are forbidden, cattle over which they mention not the name of Allah. (All that is) a lie against Him. He will repay them for that which they invent. [AL-ANAAM (CATTLE, LIVESTOCK) Chapter 6 Verse 138]

Moreover, the Qur'an exposed the error of those who made halal what should have been prohibited and made haram what should have been permitted:

قَدْ خَسِرَ الَّذِينَ قَتَلُواْ أَوْلاَدَهُمْ سَفَهًا بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ وَحَرَّمُواْ مَا رَزَقَهُمُ اللّهُ افْتِرَاء عَلَى اللّهِ قَدْ ضَلُّواْ وَمَا كَانُواْ مُهْتَدِينَ

They are losers who besottedly have slain their children without knowledge, and have forbidden that which Allah bestowed upon them, inventing a lie against Allah. They indeed have gone astray and are not guided. [AL-ANAAM (CATTLE, LIVESTOCK) Chapter 6 Verse 140]

The first asl (Asl, plural usual, denotes origin, source, foundation, basis, fundamental or principle. (Trans.)), or principle, established by Islam is that the things which Allah has created and the benefits derived from them are essentially for man's use, and hence are permissible. Nothing is haram except what is prohibited by a sound and explicit nas (Nas denotes either a verse of the Qur'an or a clear, authentic, and explicit sunnah (practice or saying) of Prophet Muhammad. These are the two main sources of Islamic law, i.e., its Shari'ah. (Trans.)) from the Law-Giver, Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala. If the nas is not sound, as for example in the case of a weak hadith, or if it is not explicit in stating the prohibition, the original principle of permissibility applies.

وَمَا لَكُمْ أَلاَّ تَأْكُلُواْ مِمَّا ذُكِرَ اسْمُ اللّهِ عَلَيْهِ وَقَدْ فَصَّلَ لَكُم مَّا حَرَّمَ عَلَيْكُمْ إِلاَّ مَا اضْطُرِرْتُمْ إِلَيْهِ وَإِنَّ كَثِيرًا لَّيُضِلُّونَ بِأَهْوَائِهِم بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ هُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِالْمُعْتَدِينَ

How should ye not eat of that over which the name of Allah hath been mentioned, when He hath explained unto you that which is forbidden unto you unless ye are compelled thereto. But lo! many are led astray by their own lusts through ignorance. Lo! thy Lord, He is Best Aware of the transgressors. [[AL-ANAAM (CATTLE, LIVESTOCK) Chapter 6 Verse 119]

In Islam the sphere of prohibited things is very small, while that of permissible things is extremely vast. There is only a small number of sound and explicit texts concerning prohibitions, while whatever is not mentioned in a nas as being lawful or prohibited falls under the general principle of the permissibility of things and within the domain of Allah's favor.

In this regard the Prophet Mohammad (peace be on him) said: What Allah has made lawful in His Book is halal and what He has forbidden is haram, and that concerning which He is silent is allowed as His favor. So accept from Allah His favor, for Allah is not forgetful of anything. He then recited,

وَمَا نَتَنَزَّلُ إِلَّا بِأَمْرِ رَبِّكَ لَهُ مَا بَيْنَ أَيْدِينَا وَمَا خَلْفَنَا وَمَا بَيْنَ ذَلِكَ وَمَا كَانَ رَبُّكَ نَسِيًّا

We (angels) come not down save by commandment of thy Lord. Unto Him belongeth all that is before us and all that is behind us and all that is between those two, and thy Lord was never forgetful [MARYAM (MARY) Chapter 19 - Verse 64] [Mustadrak Al-Hakim and Al-Bazzar.]

Salman al-Farsi [May Allah be pleased with him] reported that when the Messenger of Allah (peace be on him) was asked about animal fat, cheese, and fur, he replied, "The halal is that which Allah has made lawful in His Book and the haram is that which He has forbidden, and that concerning which He is silent He has permitted as a favor to you." [Tirmidhi and Ibn Majah]

Thus, rather than giving specific answers to what the questioner had asked, the Prophet (peace be on him) referred to the general criterion for determining the halal and the haram. Accordingly, it is sufficifor us to know what Allah has made haram, since what is not includedin it is pure and permissible. The Prophet Mohammad (peace be on him) also said: Allah has prescribed certain obligations for you, so do not neglect them; He has defined certain limits, so do not transgress them; He has prohibited certain things, so do not do them; and He has kept silent concerning other things out of mercy for you and not because of forgetfulness, so do not ask questions concerning them. [Al-Darqutni]

The case is different, however, in relation to acts of worship. These are purely religious acts which can be taken only from what Allah Himself reveals. Concerning this we have a sound hadith: "Any innovation in our matter (worship) which is not a part of it must be rejected.'' [This hadith is classified as muttafaq'alayh "agreed upon" by Bukhari and Muslim]

قُلْ أَرَأَيْتُم مَّا أَنزَلَ اللّهُ لَكُم مِّن رِّزْقٍ فَجَعَلْتُم مِّنْهُ حَرَامًا وَحَلاَلاً قُلْ آللّهُ أَذِنَ لَكُمْ أَمْ عَلَى اللّهِ تَفْتَرُونَ

Say: Have ye considered what provision Allah hath sent down for you, how ye have made of it lawful and unlawful? Hath Allah permitted you, or do ye invent a lie concerning Allah? [YUNUS (JONAH) Chapter 10 Verse 59]

This is a great and beneficent principle, on the basis of which we can say that buying, selling, leasing, giving gifts, and other such matters are necessary activities for people, as are eating, drinking, and the wearing of clothes. If the Shari'ah says something concerning these mundane matters, it is in order to teach good behavior. Accordingly, it has prohibited whatever leads to strife, has made obligatory that which is essential, has disapproved that which is frivolous, and has approved that which is beneficial. All this has been done with due consideration for the kinds of activities involved, their magnitudes, and properties.

Since this is the stand of the Shari'ah, people are free to buy, sell, and lease as they wish, just as they are free to eat and to drink what they like as long as it is not haram. Although some of these things may be disapproved, they are free in this regard, since the Shari'ah does not go to the extent of prohibiting them, and thus the original principle (of permissibility) remains. (Al-Qawa'id al-Nuraniyah al-Fiqhiyah by Ibn Taymiyyah, pp. 112-113. In accordance with this principle, Ibn Taymiyyah, his pupil, Ibn al-Qayyim, and the Hanbali jurists in general hold that contracts and the conditions laid down in them are essentially permissible, as any contract not involving any matter which is textually established as haram is valid.)

To Make Lawful and to Prohibit Is the Right of Allah Alone:

اتَّخَذُواْ أَحْبَارَهُمْ وَرُهْبَانَهُمْ أَرْبَابًا مِّن دُونِ اللّهِ وَالْمَسِيحَ ابْنَ مَرْيَمَ وَمَا أُمِرُواْ إِلاَّ لِيَعْبُدُواْ إِلَـهًا وَاحِدًا لاَّ إِلَـهَ إِلاَّ هُوَ سُبْحَانَهُ عَمَّا يُشْرِكُونَ

They have taken as lords beside Allah their rabbis and their monks and the Messiah son of Mary, when they were bidden to worship only One Allah. There is no Allah save Him. Be He Glorified from all that they ascribe as partner (unto Him)! [AL-TAWBA (REPENTANCE, DISPENSATION) Chapter 9 Verse 31]

أَمْ لَهُمْ شُرَكَاء شَرَعُوا لَهُم مِّنَ الدِّينِ مَا لَمْ يَأْذَن بِهِ اللَّهُ وَلَوْلَا كَلِمَةُ الْفَصْلِ لَقُضِيَ بَيْنَهُمْ وَإِنَّ الظَّالِمِينَ لَهُمْ عَذَابٌ أَلِيمٌ

Or have they partners (of Allah) who have made lawful for them in religion that which Allah allowed not? And but for a decisive word (gone forth already), it would have been judged between them. Lo! for wrong-doers is a painful doom. [ASH-SHURA (COUNCIL, CONSULTATION) Chapter 42 Verse 21]

The Qur'an took to task the People of the Book, that is, Christians and Jews, for putting the power to make lawful and to prohibit things and actions into the hands of their rabbis and priests.

'Adi bin Hatim, who had been a Christian before accepting Islam, once came to the Prophet (peace be on him). When he heard him reciting the above ayah he said, "O Messenger of Allah, but they do not worship them." The Prophet (peace be on him) replied, Yes, but they prohibit to the people what is halal and permit them what is haram, and the people obey them. This is indeed their worship of them. [Tirmidhi]

وَلاَ تَقُولُواْ لِمَا تَصِفُ أَلْسِنَتُكُمُ الْكَذِبَ هَـذَا حَلاَلٌ وَهَـذَا حَرَامٌ لِّتَفْتَرُواْ عَلَى اللّهِ الْكَذِبَ إِنَّ الَّذِينَ يَفْتَرُونَ عَلَى اللّهِ الْكَذِبَ لاَ يُفْلِحُونَ

And speak not, concerning that which your own tongues qualify (as clean or unclean), the falsehood: "This is lawful, and this is forbidden," so that ye invent a lie against Allah. Lo! those who invent a lie against Allah will not succeed. [AN-NAHL (THE BEE) Chapter 16 Verse 116]

In his book Al-Umm, Imam Shafi'i narrated that Abu Yusuf, a companion of Abu Hanifah and a chief judge (qadi), said:

I know that our knowledgeable teachers avoided saying, 'This is halal and that is haram,' apart from what they found clearly stated without requiring an interpretation in the Book of Allah. We have been told by Ibn al-Saib that al-Rabi' bin Khaytham, one of the greatest of the second generation Muslims, said, 'Beware that none of you says, "Allah has made this lawful or approves of it," and that Allah may then say that He did not make it lawful nor approve it, or that you say, "Allah has prohibited this," and that Allah may then say, "You lie! I did not prohibit it nor disapprove of it." Some companions of Ibrahim al Nakh'i, a great jurist of Kufah among the second generation Muslims, have told us of his mentioning his colleagues as saying, when they gave a judgement concerning something, 'It is disapproved' or 'There is no harm in it,' rather than, 'It is haram' or 'It is halal,' as haram and halal are terms of much greater import. (AI-Umm, vol. 7, p. 317.)

This is what Abu Yusuf has reported concerning our righteous forebearers and what al-Shafi'i has quoted from him, in agreement with his position. Similarly, Ibn Muflih reported the great scholar Ibn Taymiyyah, as saying that the jurists of the early days of Islam did not term anything haram unless it was definitely known to be so. (This is further supported by the fact that the companions did not give up the drinking of alcohol after the revelation of the Qur'anic verse, "They ask thee concerning wine and gambling. Say: In them is great sin and some benefit," (2:219) since this verse did not definitely prohibit drinking prior to the revelation of the verses in Surah al-Maida. (5:93-94 (90-91)) In the same spirit, the great imam Ahmad ibn Hanbal, when asked about some matter, would say, "I disapprove of it" or "It does not appeal to me," or "I do not like it" or "I do not prefer it."

Similar reports are narrated concerning Malik, Abu Hanifah, and all the other imams (may Allah be pleased with them). (This is a lesson to the followers of such imams who freely use the word "haram' without having a proof, or even a semblance of proof.)

Prohibiting the Halal and Permitting the Haram Is Similar to Committing Shirk While Islam reprimands all those who, on their own authority, declare what is lawful and what is prohibited, it is more strict with respect to those who voice prohibitions; for the tendency to set up prohibitions results in hardship for human beings, unjustifiably narrowing what Allah has made spacious for His creatures. Moreover, this tendency is prevalent among some of those who go to extremes in matters of religion and must be checked. The Prophet (peace be on him) fought against this pseudo-pietism and zealotry by every means, warning those who indulged in it with the words, "The zealots will perish," repeated three times. [Muslim, Musnad Ahmad, and Abu Dawood]

The Prophet Mohammad (peace be on him) characterized his Message by saying, "I have been sent with what is straight and easy". [Musnad Ahmad]

The straightness of his Message consists of belief in tawheed (the unity of Allah) and its ease in practice and legislation, in contrast to shirk (Ascribing partners, or associating others, with Allah. (Trans.)) and to the prohibiting of good things of this life.

The Prophet (peace be on him) has mentioned all this in a hadith qudsi (A hadith in which the Prophet (peace be on him) refers a saying to Allah, the Prophet himself being merely the narrator. Unlike the Qur'an, one cannot say of a hadith quasi that "Allah said it." In the case of a hadith quasi, the meaning is from Allah but the words are the Prophet's, transmitted to him either through a vision or revelation. (Trans.)), reporting the saying of Allah Ta'ala: They prohibited to people what I had made lawful for I created people upright (hunafah). Then the evil ones came to them and led them astray from their religion them and commanded them to associate with Me that for which I had not sent down any authority. [Reported by Muslim]

Prohibiting something which is halal is similar to committing shirk, and this is why the Qur'an censures the idolaters of Arabia for their polytheism, their idols, and for prohibiting to themselves, without any authority from Allah, the eating and the use of certain kinds of produce and cattle. Among these prohibited animals were those which were called bahirah, saibah, wasilah, and ham during the pre-Islamic period of jahiliyyah. (The state of mind and conditions of life prior to the advent of Islam, characterized by deviation from the guidance of Allah and the adoption of ungodly systems and ways of life. (Trans.))

Bahirah (the slit-eared) denoted a female camel which had given birth to five calves, the last of which was a male. The ear of such a camel was slit and she was loosed to roam freely; she was not to be ridden, milked, or slaughtered, and was free to eat and drink from any place she liked without hindrance. Saibah referred to a male or female camel which was released to roam freely because of a vow, usually made following a safe return from a journey, the cure of an illness, or for some other reason. As for wasilah, if the firstborn of a female goat were a male, the polytheists would sacrifice him to their gods, while if it were a female they would keep her for themselves. In the case of twin offspring, one female and the other male, they would say, "He is her brother," and instead of sacrificing the male they would release him to roam free; he was known as wasilah. And if a male camel's second generation offspring was capable of carrying a rider, they would let the older camel go free, saying, "He saved his back," and calling him al-ham.

While there are other interpretations of these four terms, they are all of a similar nature. The Qur'an rejected these prohibitions and left no excuse for those who practiced them to follow the errors of their forefathers:

Allah hath not appointed anything in the nature of a Bahirah or a Sa'ibah or a Wasilah or a Hami, but those who disbelieve invent a lie against Allah. Most of them have no sense. And when it is said unto them:

مَا جَعَلَ اللّهُ مِن بَحِيرَةٍ وَلاَ سَآئِبَةٍ وَلاَ وَصِيلَةٍ وَلاَ حَامٍ وَلَـكِنَّ الَّذِينَ كَفَرُواْ يَفْتَرُونَ عَلَى اللّهِ الْكَذِبَ وَأَكْثَرُهُمْ لاَ يَعْقِلُونَ

وَإِذَا قِيلَ لَهُمْ تَعَالَوْاْ إِلَى مَا أَنزَلَ اللّهُ وَإِلَى الرَّسُولِ قَالُواْ حَسْبُنَا مَا وَجَدْنَا عَلَيْهِ آبَاءنَا أَوَلَوْ كَانَ آبَاؤُهُمْ لاَ يَعْلَمُونَ شَيْئًا وَلاَ يَهْتَدُونَ

Allah hath not appointed anything in the nature of a Bahirah or a Sa'ibah or a Wasilah or a Hami, but those who disbelieve invent a lie against Allah. Most of them have no sense. And when it is said unto them: Come unto that which Allah hath revealed and unto the messenger, they say: Enough for us is that wherein we found our fathers. What! Even though their fathers had no knowledge whatsoever, and no guidance?[AL-MAEDA (THE TABLE, THE TABLE SPREAD) Chapter 5 Verse 103 and 104]

[NOTE: Dear Atif Sahab, I have seen such animals as mentioned in the verses above around the the Shrines of Suif Saint in the so-called Fort of Islam i.e. Pakistan]

ثَمَانِيَةَ أَزْوَاجٍ مِّنَ الضَّأْنِ اثْنَيْنِ وَمِنَ الْمَعْزِ اثْنَيْنِ قُلْ آلذَّكَرَيْنِ حَرَّمَ أَمِ الأُنثَيَيْنِ أَمَّا اشْتَمَلَتْ عَلَيْهِ أَرْحَامُ الأُنثَيَيْنِ نَبِّؤُونِي بِعِلْمٍ إِن كُنتُمْ صَادِقِينَ

وَمِنَ الإِبْلِ اثْنَيْنِ وَمِنَ الْبَقَرِ اثْنَيْنِ قُلْ آلذَّكَرَيْنِ حَرَّمَ أَمِ الأُنثَيَيْنِ أَمَّا اشْتَمَلَتْ عَلَيْهِ أَرْحَامُ الأُنثَيَيْنِ أَمْ كُنتُمْ شُهَدَاء إِذْ وَصَّاكُمُ اللّهُ بِهَـذَا فَمَنْ أَظْلَمُ مِمَّنِ افْتَرَى عَلَى اللّهِ كَذِبًا لِيُضِلَّ النَّاسَ بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ إِنَّ اللّهَ لاَ يَهْدِي الْقَوْمَ الظَّالِمِينَ

Eight pairs: Of the sheep twain, and of the goats twain. Say: Hath He forbidden the two males or the two females, or that which the wombs of the two females contain? Expound to me (the case) with knowledge, if ye are truthful. And of the camels twain and of the oxen twain. Say: Hath He forbidden the two males or the two females, or that which the wombs of the two females contain; or were ye by to witness when Allah commanded you (all) this? Then who doth greater wrong than he who deviseth a lie concerning Allah, that he may lead mankind astray without knowledge. Lo! Allah guideth not wrongdoing folk. [AL-ANAAM (CATTLE, LIVESTOCK) Chapter 6 Verse 143 and 144]

In another discussion contained in Surah al-A'raf, Allah Subhanahu wa Ta'ala rejects the claims of all prohibitors, laying down the final criteria governing prohibitions:

قُلْ مَنْ حَرَّمَ زِينَةَ اللّهِ الَّتِيَ أَخْرَجَ لِعِبَادِهِ وَالْطَّيِّبَاتِ مِنَ الرِّزْقِ قُلْ هِي لِلَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا خَالِصَةً يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ كَذَلِكَ نُفَصِّلُ الآيَاتِ لِقَوْمٍ يَعْلَمُونَ

قُلْ إِنَّمَا حَرَّمَ رَبِّيَ الْفَوَاحِشَ مَا ظَهَرَ مِنْهَا وَمَا بَطَنَ وَالإِثْمَ وَالْبَغْيَ بِغَيْرِ الْحَقِّ وَأَن تُشْرِكُواْ بِاللّهِ مَا لَمْ يُنَزِّلْ بِهِ سُلْطَانًا وَأَن تَقُولُواْ عَلَى اللّهِ مَا لاَ تَعْلَمُونَ

Say: Who hath forbidden the adornment of Allah which He hath brought forth for His bondmen, and the good things of His providing? Say: Such, on the Day of Resurrection, will be only for those who believed during the life of the world. Thus do we detail Our revelations for people who have knowledge. Say: My Lord forbiddeth only indecencies, such of them as are apparent and such as are within, and sin and wrongful oppression, and that ye associate with Allah that for which no warrant hath been revealed, and that ye tell concerning Allah that which ye know not. [AL-ARAF (THE HEIGHTS) Chapter 7 Verse 32 and 33]

A significant aspect of these discussions is that they were revealed in Makkah. The Makkan revelations invariably dealt with matters of faith, the oneness of Allah Ta'ala, and the Hereafter. We may therefore deduce that, in the sight of Allah, this matter of declaring things to be prohibited without any authority from Him was not a minor matter but one which pertained to the fundamentals and general principles of the faith.

In Madinah certain Muslims showed a tendency toward asceticism, denying themselves some permissible pleasures. Then, in order to keep them within the limits set by Himself and bring them back to the straight path of Islam, Allah revealed the following strongly-worded verses:

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ لاَ تُحَرِّمُواْ طَيِّبَاتِ مَا أَحَلَّ اللّهُ لَكُمْ وَلاَ تَعْتَدُواْ إِنَّ اللّهَ لاَ يُحِبُّ الْمُعْتَدِينَ

وَكُلُواْ مِمَّا رَزَقَكُمُ اللّهُ حَلاَلاً طَيِّبًا وَاتَّقُواْ اللّهَ الَّذِيَ أَنتُم بِهِ مُؤْمِنُونَ

O ye who believe! Forbid not the good things which Allah hath made lawful for you, and transgress not, Lo! Allah loveth not transgressors. Eat of that which Allah hath bestowed on you as food lawful and good, and keep your duty to Allah in Whom ye are believers. [AL-MAEDA (THE TABLE, THE TABLE SPREAD) Chapter 5 Verse 87 and 88]

Accordingly, He has neither permitted anything except what is pure nor has He prohibited anything except what is impure. It is true that Allah Ta'ala had prohibited certain good things to the Jews, but this was only as a punishment for their rebelliousness and transgression of the limits set by Allah. Thus He says:

وَعَلَى الَّذِينَ هَادُواْ حَرَّمْنَا كُلَّ ذِي ظُفُرٍ وَمِنَ الْبَقَرِ وَالْغَنَمِ حَرَّمْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ شُحُومَهُمَا إِلاَّ مَا حَمَلَتْ ظُهُورُهُمَا أَوِ الْحَوَايَا أَوْ مَا اخْتَلَطَ بِعَظْمٍ ذَلِكَ جَزَيْنَاهُم بِبَغْيِهِمْ وِإِنَّا لَصَادِقُونَ

Unto those who are Jews We forbade every animal with claws. And of the oxen and the sheep forbade We unto them the fat thereof save that upon the backs or the entrails, or that which is mixed with the bone. That we awarded them for their rebellion. And lo! we verily are truthful. [AL-ANAAM (CATTLE, LIVESTOCK) Chapter 6 Verse 146]

فَبِظُلْمٍ مِّنَ الَّذِينَ هَادُواْ حَرَّمْنَا عَلَيْهِمْ طَيِّبَاتٍ أُحِلَّتْ لَهُمْ وَبِصَدِّهِمْ عَن سَبِيلِ اللّهِ كَثِيرًا

وَأَخْذِهِمُ الرِّبَا وَقَدْ نُهُواْ عَنْهُ وَأَكْلِهِمْ أَمْوَالَ النَّاسِ بِالْبَاطِلِ وَأَعْتَدْنَا لِلْكَافِرِينَ مِنْهُمْ عَذَابًا أَلِيمًا

When Allah sent His final Messenger (peace be on him) with the eternal complete religion to humanity after it had developed to a state of maturity, He demonstrated His mercy by removing these prohibitions, which had been a temporary penalty for a rebellious, stiff-necked people. (See, for example, Exodus 32:9. (Trans.)) And the coming of the Prophet (peace be on him) who would relieve them of this burden was foretold to the Jews and Christians, who, as the Qur'an states: ...they find described in their own scriptures, in the Taurat and the Injeel. He commands them what is right and forbids them what is evil; He makes lawful to them what is good and makes unlawful what is foul; He releases them from their burdens and from the yokes which were upon them... (7:157) (Taurat refers to the original scripture revealed to the Prophet Moses by God, and Injeel to what He revealed to the Prophet Jesus. These are not to be confused either with the existing Torah or Old Testament, or the four Gospels of the New Testament. (Trans.))

In Islam, ways other than prohibiting the good things were prescribed by Allah Ta'ala for the eradication of sins: sincere repentance' which cleanses sins as water cleanses dirt; good deeds, which compensate for evil ones; spending in charity, which extinguishes fire; and trials and sufferings, which disperse sins as the winter wind disperses dry leaves. Accordingly, we know that in Islam things are prohibited only because they are impure or harmful. If something is entirely harmful it is haram, and if it is entirely beneficial it is halal; if the harm of it outweighs its benefit it is haram, while if its benefit outweighs its harm it is halal. This principle is explained in the Qur'an in relation to wine and gambling:

يَسْأَلُونَكَ عَنِ الْخَمْرِ وَالْمَيْسِرِ قُلْ فِيهِمَا إِثْمٌ كَبِيرٌ وَمَنَافِعُ لِلنَّاسِ وَإِثْمُهُمَآ أَكْبَرُ مِن نَّفْعِهِمَا وَيَسْأَلُونَكَ مَاذَا يُنفِقُونَ قُلِ الْعَفْوَ كَذَلِكَ يُبيِّنُ اللّهُ لَكُمُ الآيَاتِ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَتَفَكَّرُونَ

They question thee about strong drink and games of chance. Say: In both is great sin, and (some) utility for men; but the sin of them is greater than their usefulness. And they ask thee what they ought to spend. Say: that which is superfluous. Thus Allah maketh plain to you (His) revelations, that haply ye may reflect. [AL-BAQARA (THE COW) Chapter 2 - Verse 219]

By the same logic, if it is asked, what is halal in Islam, the answer is, the good things. Good things are those which moderate people acknowledge to be wholesome and which are approved by human beings in general without relation to the habits of a particular group.

يَسْأَلُونَكَ مَاذَا أُحِلَّ لَهُمْ قُلْ أُحِلَّ لَكُمُ الطَّيِّبَاتُ وَمَا عَلَّمْتُم مِّنَ الْجَوَارِحِ مُكَلِّبِينَ تُعَلِّمُونَهُنَّ مِمَّا عَلَّمَكُمُ اللّهُ فَكُلُواْ مِمَّا أَمْسَكْنَ عَلَيْكُمْ وَاذْكُرُواْ اسْمَ اللّهِ عَلَيْهِ وَاتَّقُواْ اللّهَ إِنَّ اللّهَ سَرِيعُ الْحِسَابِ

They ask thee (O Muhammad) what is made lawful for them. Say: (all) good things are made lawful for you. And those beasts and birds of prey which ye have trained as hounds are trained, ye teach them that which Allah taught you; so eat of that which they catch for you and mention Allah's name upon it, and observe your duty to Allah. Lo! Allah is swift to take account. [AL-MAEDA (THE TABLE, THE TABLE SPREAD) Chapter 5 - Verse 4]

الْيَوْمَ أُحِلَّ لَكُمُ الطَّيِّبَاتُ وَطَعَامُ الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْكِتَابَ حِلٌّ لَّكُمْ وَطَعَامُكُمْ حِلُّ لَّهُمْ وَالْمُحْصَنَاتُ مِنَ الْمُؤْمِنَاتِ وَالْمُحْصَنَاتُ مِنَ الَّذِينَ أُوتُواْ الْكِتَابَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ إِذَا آتَيْتُمُوهُنَّ أُجُورَهُنَّ مُحْصِنِينَ غَيْرَ مُسَافِحِينَ وَلاَ مُتَّخِذِي أَخْدَانٍ وَمَن يَكْفُرْ بِالإِيمَانِ فَقَدْ حَبِطَ عَمَلُهُ وَهُوَ فِي الآخِرَةِ مِنَ الْخَاسِرِينَ

This day are (all) good things made lawful for you. The food of those who have received the Scripture is lawful for you, and your food is lawful for them. And so are the virtuous women of the believers and the virtuous women of those who received the Scripture before you (lawful for you) when ye give them their marriage portions and live with them in honour, not in fornication, nor taking them as secret concubines. Whoso denieth the faith, his work is vain and he will be among the losers in the Hereafter. [AL-MAEDA (THE TABLE, THE TABLE SPREAD) Chapter 5 - Verse 5]

Another example of this is in the Prophet's saying:

"Avoid three abominable acts (that is, the one who does them is cursed by Allah and by the people):

defecating in streams, defecating on roadways, and defecating in shaded places." [Abu Dawood, Ibn Majah and Mustadrak Al Hakim, and Baihaqi]

People of earlier times merely knew that these were filthy acts, abhorrent to civilized taste and public manners. With the advancement of science, we now know that these "three abominable acts" are hazards to public health, as they are the root cause of the spread of such dangerous diseases as hookworm (ankylostoma) and bilharzia (schistosomiasis).

Thus, as the light of knowledge penetrates more deeply and new discoveries are made, the beneficial aspects of the Islamic legislation relating to the lawful and the prohibited—in fact, the benefits of all its legal injunctions—become apparent to us. How could it be otherwise when they come from the Wise, All-Knowing, and Merciful God?

Allah knoweth him who spoileth from him who improveth. Had Allah willed He could have overburdened you. Allah is Mighty, Wise. [AL-BAQARA (THE COW) Chapter 2 - Verse 220]

What is Halal Is Sufficient, While What is Haram Is Superfluous One of the beauties of Islam is that it has prohibited only such things as are unnecessary and dispersible, while providing alternatives which are better and which give greater ease and comfort to human beings. This point has been explained by Ibn al-Qayyim:

Allah has prohibited seeking omens by drawing lots but has provided the alternative of istikhara (Islam teaches that if the Muslim faces a problem he should consult with others and seek guidance fAllah. The meaning of istikhara is to ask guidance from Allah in making a choice between two conflicting decisions. For this there is a salat and a du'a (supplication).) which is a supplication for seeking Allah's guidance.

He has prohibited usury but has encouraged profitable trade. He has prohibited gambling but has permitted betting on forms of competition which are useful for their (the Muslims) religious striving, such as horse or camel racing and competing in marksmanship. He has prohibited (to men) the wearing of silk but has given them the choice of other materials such as wool, linen, and cotton.

He has prohibited adultery, fornication, and homosexuality but has encouraged lawful marriage. He has prohibited intoxicating drinks in order that they may enjoy other delicious drinks which are wholesome for the body and mind. And He has prohibited unclean food but provides alternative wholesome food. (Rawdah al-Muhibbeen, p. 10, and A'alam al-Muwaqq'in, vol. 2, p.111.)

Thus, when we survey the Islamic injunctions in their totality, we find that if Allah limits the choice of His servants in relation to some things, He provides them with a still wider range of more wholesome alternatives in relation to other things of a similar kind. For assuredly Allah has no desire to make peoples' lives difficult, narrow, and circumscribed; on the contrary; He desires ease, goodness, guidance, and mercy for them, according to His saying:

يُرِيدُ اللّهُ لِيُبَيِّنَ لَكُمْ وَيَهْدِيَكُمْ سُنَنَ الَّذِينَ مِن قَبْلِكُمْ وَيَتُوبَ عَلَيْكُمْ وَاللّهُ عَلِيمٌ حَكِيمٌ

وَاللّهُ يُرِيدُ أَن يَتُوبَ عَلَيْكُمْ وَيُرِيدُ الَّذِينَ يَتَّبِعُونَ الشَّهَوَاتِ أَن تَمِيلُواْ مَيْلاً عَظِيمًا

يُرِيدُ اللّهُ أَن يُخَفِّفَ عَنكُمْ وَخُلِقَ الإِنسَانُ ضَعِيفًا

Allah would explain to you and guide you by the examples of those who were before you, and would turn to you in mercy. Allah is Knower, Wise. And Allah would turn to you in mercy; but those who follow vain desires would have you go tremendously astray. Allah would make the burden light for you, for man was created weak. [AN-NISA (WOMEN) Chapter 4 - Verses 26, 27, 28]

Whatever Is Conducive to the Haram Is Itself Haram

Another Islamic principle is that if something is prohibited, anything which leads to it is likewise prohibited. By this means Islam intends to block all avenues leading to what is haram. For example, as Islam has prohibited sex outside marriage, it has also prohibited anything which leads to it or makes it attractive, such as seductive clothing, private meetings and casual mixing between men and women, the depiction of nudity, pornographic literature, obscene songs, and so on.

Accordingly, Muslim jurists have established the criterion that whatever is conducive to or leads toward the haram is itself haram. A similar principle is that the sin of the haram is not limited only to the person who engages in it but extends to others who have supported him in this, materially or morally; each is held accountable according to his share. For example, in the case of intoxicating drinks, the Prophet (peace be on him) cursed not only the one who drinks them but also the one who produces them, the one who serves them, the one to whom they are served, the one to whom the price of them is paid, etc. This point will be discussed again later. Again, in the matter of usury, the Prophet (peace be on him) cursed the one who pays it, the one to whom it is paid, the one who writes the contract, and the one who acts as a witness thereto. Accordingly, we derive the rule that anything which assists in the doing of what is haram is itself haram, and anyone who helps another person to do it shares in the sin of it.

Falsely Representing the Haram as Halal Is Prohibited

Just as Islam has prohibited whatever leads toward the haram, it has also prohibited resorting to technical legalities in order to do what is haram by devious means and excuses inspired by Satan. It has reprimanded the Jews for resorting to such practices. The Prophet (peace be on him) said: "Do not do what the Jews did in order to (technically) legalize Allah's prohibitions by flimsy excuses.'' (This hadith is in Ighathat al-Lahfan by Ibn al-Qayyim, vol. 1, p. 308. The author says: "This was reported by 'Abdullah bin Battah on good authority, and al-Tirmidhi classifies a similar hadith as sahih.")

This is a reference to the fact that Allah had prohibited the Jews to hunt on the Sabbath (Saturday). To get around this prohibition, they would dig ditches on Friday so that the fish would fall into them on Saturday, to be caught on Sunday. Those who resort to rationalizations and excuses to justify their actions consider such practices to be permissible, but the jurists of Islam consider them haram, since Allah's purpose was to prevent them from hunting on the Sabbath, whether by direct or indirect means.

Calling a haram thing by a name other than its own or changing its form while retaining its essence is a devious tactic, since obviously a change of name or of form is of no consequence as long as the thing and its essence remain unchanged. Thus, when some people invent new terms in order to deal in usury or to consume alcohol, the sin of dealing in usury and drinking remains. As we read in the collections of ahadith,

A group of people will make peoples' intoxication halal by giving it other names. (Musnad Ahmed Bin Hanbal]

A time will come when people will devour usury, calling it "trade." [Bukhari and Muslim]

And among the strange phenomena of our time is that people term obscene dance "art," liquor "spirits," and usury "interest."

Good Intentions Do Not Make the Haram Acceptable In all its legislations and moral injunctions, Islam lays great stress on nobility of feelings, loftiness of aims, and purity of intentions. The Prophet (peace be on him) said, "Actions will be judged by intentions, and everyone will be recompensed according to what he intended." [Bukhari]

Indeed, in Islam the routine matters of life and its mundane affairs are transformed into acts of worship and devotion to Allah by good intentions. Accordingly, if one eats food with the intention of sustaining life and strengthening his body in order that he may be able to carry out his obligations to his Creator and to other human beings, his eating and drinking are considered worship and devotion to Allah Ta'ala.

Again, if one enjoys sexual intimacy with his wife, desiring a child and seeking to keep himself and his wife chaste, it is considered an act of worship on his part, deserving of reward in the Hereafter. Concerning this the Prophet (peace be on him) said: When you satisfy your desire with your wife, it is counted for you as an act deserving of reward. Those who were listening to him said: Messenger of Allah, how can it be that one of us satisfies his desire and will then be rewarded for it? The Prophet (peace be on him) replied: Would he not be sinful if he had satisfied it in a prohibited manner? Consequently, if he satisfies it in a permissible manner, there is a reward for him.[Bukhari and Muslim]

He also said: Anyone who desires what is permissible from the world, keeping himself away from sins, working for the sake of his family, and taking care of his neighbor, will meet his Lord with a face shining like the full moon. [Tabarani]

In this manner, whenever any permissible action of the believer is accompanied by a good intention, his action becomes an act of worship. But the case of the haram is entirely different; it remains haram no matter how good the intention, how honorable the purpose, or how lofty the aim may be. Islam can never consent to employing a haram means to achieve a praiseworthy end. Indeed, it insists that not only the aim be honorable but also that the means chosen to attain it be pure. "The end justifies the means" is not the maxim of the Shari'ah, nor is "Secure your right even through wrong-doing." This can never be, for the Shari'ah demands that the right should be secured through just means only.

If someone accumulates wealth through usury, forgery, gambling, prohibited games, or in any other haram manner in order to build a mosque, establish a charitable foundation, or to do any other good work, the guilt of having done what is haram will not be lifted from hbecause of the goodness of his objective; in Islam good aims and intentions have no effect in lessening the sinfulness of what is haram. This is what the Prophet (peace be on him) taught us when he said: Allah is good and does not accept anytbut good, and Allah has commanded the Believers, as He commanded His messengers, saying

يَا أَيُّهَا الَّذِينَ آمَنُواْ كُلُواْ مِن طَيِّبَاتِ مَا رَزَقْنَاكُمْ وَاشْكُرُواْ لِلّهِ إِن كُنتُمْ إِيَّاهُ تَعْبُدُونَ

O ye who believe! Eat of the good things wherewith We have provided you, and render thanks to Allah if it is (indeed) He Whom ye worship. [AL-BAQARA (THE COW) Chapter 2 - Verse 172]

The Prophet (peace be on him) then said, A man travels far, unkempt and dust-stained (for hajj, umrah, or the like), raising his hands to the sky (and saying), 'O Lord! O Lord!' while eating what was haram, drinking what was haram, wearing what was haram, and nourishing himself through haram means. How then could his prayers be accepted? [Muslim and Tirmidhi on the authority of Abu Hurairah]

He also said:

If anyone amasses wealth through haram means and then gives charity from it, there is no regard for him and the burden of sin remains. [Ibn Khazimah, Ibn Hibban, and al-Hakim on the authority of Abu Hurairah]

Again he said:

If a person earns property through haram means and then gives charity, it will not be accepted (by Allah); if he spends it there will be no blessing on it; and if he leaves it behind (at his death) it will be his provision in the Fire. Indeed, Allah Ta'ala does not obliterate one bad deed by another bad deed, but He cancels out a bad deed by a good deed. An unclean thing does not wipe away another unclean thing. [Musnad Ahmad on the authority of Ibn Mas'ood.)

Doubtful Things Are To Be Avoided

It is Allah's mercy to human beings that He did not leave them in ignorance concerning what is lawful and what is prohibited. Indeed, He has made explicit what is halal and explained what is haram, as He says:

وَمَا لَكُمْ أَلاَّ تَأْكُلُواْ مِمَّا ذُكِرَ اسْمُ اللّهِ عَلَيْهِ وَقَدْ فَصَّلَ لَكُم مَّا حَرَّمَ عَلَيْكُمْ إِلاَّ مَا اضْطُرِرْتُمْ إِلَيْهِ وَإِنَّ كَثِيرًا لَّيُضِلُّونَ بِأَهْوَائِهِم بِغَيْرِ عِلْمٍ إِنَّ رَبَّكَ هُوَ أَعْلَمُ بِالْمُعْتَدِينَ

How should ye not eat of that over which the name of Allah hath been mentioned, when He hath explained unto you that which is forbidden unto you unless ye are compelled thereto. But lo! many are led astray by their own lusts through ignorance. Lo! thy Lord, He is Best Aware of the transgressors. [AL-ANAAM (CATTLE, LIVESTOCK) Chapter 6 - Verse 119]

Accordingly, one may do what is lawful and must avoid what is prohibited insofar as he has the choice. However, there is a gray area between the clearly halal and the clearly haram. This is the area of whatis doubtful. Some people may not be able to decide whether a particular matter is permissible or forbidden; such confusion may be due either to doubtful evidence or because of doubt concerning the applicability of the text to the particular circumstance or matter in question.

In relation to such matters, Islam considers it an act of piety for the Muslim to avoid doing what is doubtful in order to stay clear of doing something haram. This is similar to what was discussed earlier concerning the blocking of the avenues which lead to what is haram. Such a cautious approach, moreover, trains the Muslim to be farsighted in planning and increases his knowledge of affairs and people.

The root of this principle is the saying of the Prophet (peace be on him): The halal is clear and the haram is clear. Between the two there are doubtful matters concerning which people do not know whether they are halal or haram. One who avoids them in order to safeguard his religion and his honor is safe, while if someone engages in a part of them he may be doing something haram, like one who grazes his animals near the hima (the grounds reserved for animals belonging to the King which are out of bounds for others' animals); it is thus quite likely that some of his animals will stray into it. Truly, every king has a hima, and the hima of Allah is what He has prohibited. [Bukhari and Muslim, the narration is taken from Tirmidhi]

The Haram Is Prohibited to Everyone Alike

In the Shari'ah of Islam the haram has universal applicability; here there is no such thing as that which is prohibited to a non-Arab but permitted to an Arab, nor anything which is restricted to a Black but allowed to a White. For in Islam there are no privileged classes or individuals who, in the name of religion, can do whatever they please according to their whims. Muslims do not have any privilege of making something haram for others while it is lawful for themselves; this cannot be, for truly Allah is the Lord of all, and the Shari'ah of Islam is the guide for all. Whatever Allah has legislated through His Shari'ah is lawful for all human beings and whatever He has prohibited is prohibited to all human beings until the Day of Resurrection.

As an example, stealing is equally haram for the Muslim and the non-Muslim; the punishment for it is the same, regardless of the family or the origin of the thief. The Prophet (peace be on him) firmly enforced this rule, proclaiming, "By Allah, if Fatimah, the daughter of Muhammad, were to steal, I would have her hand cut off." [Bukhari]

A case of theft was brought before the Prophet (peace be on him) involving two suspects, the one a Jew and the other a Muslim. Some relatives of the Muslim advanced circumstantial evidence to cast doubt on the Jew in order to save their man while he was, in fact, guilty. The Prophet (peace be on him) was almost persuaded to believe that the Muslim was innocent. Then a revelation was sent down exposing the conspiracy, clearing the Jew of the crime and directing the Prophet (peace be on him) to establish justice without any bias:

إِنَّا أَنزَلْنَا إِلَيْكَ الْكِتَابَ بِالْحَقِّ لِتَحْكُمَ بَيْنَ النَّاسِ بِمَا أَرَاكَ اللّهُ وَلاَ تَكُن لِّلْخَآئِنِينَ خَصِيمًا

وَاسْتَغْفِرِ اللّهِ إِنَّ اللّهَ كَانَ غَفُورًا رَّحِيمًا

وَلاَ تُجَادِلْ عَنِ الَّذِينَ يَخْتَانُونَ أَنفُسَهُمْ إِنَّ اللّهَ لاَ يُحِبُّ مَن كَانَ خَوَّانًا أَثِيمًا

يَسْتَخْفُونَ مِنَ النَّاسِ وَلاَ يَسْتَخْفُونَ مِنَ اللّهِ وَهُوَ مَعَهُمْ إِذْ يُبَيِّتُونَ مَا لاَ يَرْضَى مِنَ الْقَوْلِ وَكَانَ اللّهُ بِمَا يَعْمَلُونَ مُحِيطًا

هَاأَنتُمْ هَـؤُلاء جَادَلْتُمْ عَنْهُمْ فِي الْحَيَاةِ الدُّنْيَا فَمَن يُجَادِلُ اللّهَ عَنْهُمْ يَوْمَ الْقِيَامَةِ أَم مَّن يَكُونُ عَلَيْهِمْ وَكِيلاً

Lo! We reveal unto thee the Scripture with the truth, that thou mayst judge between mankind by that which Allah showeth thee. And be not thou a pleader for the treacherous; And seek forgiveness of Allah. Lo! Allah is ever Forgiving, Merciful. And plead not on behalf of (people) who deceive themselves. Lo! Allah loveth not one who is treacherous and sinful. They seek to hide from men and seek not to hide from Allah. He is with them when by night they hold discourse displeasing unto Him. Allah ever surroundeth what they do. Ho! ye are they who pleaded for them in the life of the world. But who will plead with Allah for them on the Day of Resurrection, or who will then be their defender? [AN-NISA (WOMEN) Chapter 4 - Verse 105, 106, 107, 108, 109]

In the distorted scripture of the Jews, it is alleged that while usury or interest is prohibited to the Jew when lending money to a brother Jew, there is no harm in charging it to a gentile, as stated in Deuteronomy 23:19-20:

You must not lend on interest (usury) to your brother, whether the loan be of money or food or anything else that may earn interest. You may demand interest on a loan of a foreigner, but you must not demand interest from your brother, so that Yahweh your God may bless you in all your giving in the land you are to enter and make your own.

The Qur'an also speaks about another similar tendency among the Jews, that of cheating others who are not of their race or faith without feeling anything wrong in it. The Qur'an says: And among the People of the Book is he who, if entrusted with a single gold coin, would not return it to thee unless thou constantly stood over him. This is because they say:

We have no duty toward the gentiles, but they utter a falsehood concerning Allah, and they know it. (3:75)

(Gentiles" here refers to the Arabs, who before Islam possessed neither religion nor a divinely revealed scripture.)

They have unquestionably uttered falsehood in what they have ascribed to Allah, for the law of Allah does not discriminate between one people and another, and insofar as cheating is concerned, Allah has condemned it through the tongue of all His messengers and prophets.

With due apologies, we may say that this tendency to use a double standard, one for one's "brother" and another for a "foreigner" or outsider, is a characteristic of primitive ethics. It can never be ascribed to a divinely revealed religion, for high morality—that is, true morality — is distinguishable by its universality and comprehensiveness and by its lack of a double standard. The distinction between us and primitive peoples is not in the existence or absence of a moral code but in the enlargement of the area of its application. As an example, such people also consider honesty as a praiseworthy quality, but they restrict its practice to the people of their own tribe. When dealing with people from outside their tribe or clan, they see nothing wrong with cheating them, or in fact recommending or even requiring it.

The author of The Story of Civilization writes, Almost all groups agree in holding other groups to be infer to themselves. The Amerian Indians looked upon themselves as the chosen people, specially created by the Great Spirit as an uplifting example for mankind. One Indian tribe called itself 'The Only Men;' another called itself 'Men of Men;' the Caribs said, 'We alone are people.' The Eskimos believed that the Europeans had come to Greenland to learn manners and virtues.

Consequently, it seldom occurred to primitive man to extend to other tribes the moral restraints which he acknowledged in dealing with his own; he frankly conceived it to be the function of morals to give strength and coherence to his group against other groups. Commandments and taboos applied only to the people of his tribe; with others, except when they were his guests, he might go as far as he dared (Will Durant, The Story of Civilization, Simon and Schuster, New York, 1935, vol. l, pp. 54-55.).

Necessity Dictates Exceptions

While Islam has narrowed the range of what is prohibited, it is, at the same time, very strict in seeing that its prohibitions are observed.

Accordingly, it has blocked the ways, apparent or hidden, leading to what is prohibited. Thus, what is conducive to the haram is itself haram, what assists in committing the haram is haram, any rationalization for engaging in the haram is haram, and so on, to the last of the principles which we have elucidated. At the same time, Islam is not oblivious to the exigencies of life, to their magnitude, nor to human weakness and capacity to face them. It permits the Muslim, under the compulsion of necessity to eat a prohibited food in quantities sufficient to remove the necessity and save himself from death.

In this context, after listing the prohibited foods in the form of dead animals, blood, and pork, Allah Ta'ala says:

إِنَّمَا حَرَّمَ عَلَيْكُمُ الْمَيْتَةَ وَالدَّمَ وَلَحْمَ الْخِنزِيرِ وَمَا أُهِلَّ بِهِ لِغَيْرِ اللّهِ فَمَنِ اضْطُرَّ غَيْرَ بَاغٍ وَلاَ عَادٍ فَلا إِثْمَ عَلَيْهِ إِنَّ اللّهَ غَفُورٌ رَّحِيمٌ

He hath forbidden you only carrion, and blood, and swineflesh, and that which hath been immolated to (the name of) any other than Allah. But he who is driven by necessity, neither craving nor transgressing, it is no sin for him. Lo! Allah is Forgiving, Merciful. [AL-BAQARA (THE COW) Chapter 2 - Verse 173]

And this is repeated at four places in the Qur'an after each mention of the prohibited foods.

On the basis of these and similar verse of the Qur'an, Islamic jurists formulated an important principle, namely, that "necessity removes restrictions." However, it is to be noted that the individual experiencing the necessity is permitted to eat the haram food with the stipulation that he is "neither craving it nor transgressing." This is interpreted to mean that he should not desire to relish it nor transgress by eating more than the bare amount needed to satisfy his hunger. From this stipulation, jurists have derived another principle, that "The quantity permitted is determined by the (magnitude) of the necessity." Here the underlying idea is that, even though compelled by necessity, a person need not surrender to it or embrace it with eagerness; rather he must live with what is essentially halal and seek a way to return to it so that he may not become accustomed to the haram or begin enjoying it under the pretext of necessity.

In permitting the use of the haram under necessity, Islam is true to its spirit and general principles. This spirit, which we find permeating its laws, is to make life easy and less oppressive for human beings, and to lift the burdens and yokes imposed by earlier systems and religions.

True is the saying of Allah, the Almighty:

يُرِيدُ اللّهُ بِكُمُ الْيُسْرَ وَلاَ يُرِيدُ بِكُمُ الْعُسْرَ

...Allah desires ease for you, and He does not desire hardship for you.... [AL-BAQARA (THE COW) Chapter 2 - Verse 185]

مَا يُرِيدُ اللّهُ لِيَجْعَلَ عَلَيْكُم مِّنْ حَرَجٍ وَلَـكِن يُرِيدُ لِيُطَهَّرَكُمْ وَلِيُتِمَّ نِعْمَتَهُ عَلَيْكُمْ لَعَلَّكُمْ تَشْكُرُونَ

Allah would not place a burden on you, but He would purify you and would perfect His grace upon you, that ye may give thanks [AL-MAEDA (THE TABLE, THE TABLE SPREAD) Chapter 5 - Verse 6]